It's fun to escape while being whisked off to an imaginative game world so here are my thoughts on 6 recent indie fantasy games.
Indivisible Review Switch ★★★★☆
You don't see many Metroidvania games with RPG combat systems yet Indivisible is here to prove that it's a formula worth investing in.
Indivisible stars a young lady named Ajna whose hometown is destroyed which sets her off on a quest to save the world. What makes her special is that she has the ability to absorb recruitable Incarnations which allows her to summon allies to fight alongside her. Presentationally speaking, Indivisible features a fantastically expressive voice cast and top-notch animation which is fitting because it's by the developers of the gorgeous Skullgirls series. Anyway, the gameplay involves traversing Metroidvania-style environments and taking part in RPG battles where you tap buttons to command allies to either attack or defend. The combat is intuitive and simple and the same can be said about the exploration so it's an easy game to dive into whenever you're in the mood. Plus, a brand new DLC pack called Razmi's Challenges just released so now is a perfect time to play through this wonderful adventure.
Traversing Indivisible's beautiful world as you recruit an army of quirky characters makes for one delightful and memorable adventure.Indivisible gameplay video → More Metroidvania games
Potata: Fairy Flower Review Switch ★★★★☆
Did someone say potato? Well, Potata: Fairy Flower may not offer starchy nutrients but it's a very cool 2D adventure platformer.
Potata: Fairy Flower stars the titular witch who's on a quest to protect her village from the dastardly forces of the dark forest. The core gameplay is what you'd expect from a 2D platformer as you run and jump around stages and you also get a little sword that you can use to destroy blocks as well as adversaries. What makes the gameplay cool is that there's an adventure element where you have an array of items that you can use in certain situations in order to progress. For example, you can feed certain food to a carnivorous plant in order to put it to sleep or bury a seed so you can grow a platform. The colourful visuals are just fantastic and I love watching the silly dialogue scenes between the charming cast of characters. I wasn't expecting much but Potata really won me over. Great stuff!
If you love cute 2D platformers and have a soft spot for inventory-based puzzles then Potata: Fairy Flower is a must-play indie title.Potata: Fairy Flower gameplay video → More 2D Platformers on Switch
Demon's Tier+ Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
There's a ridiculous amount of roguelike twin-stick shooters out there yet Demon's Tier+ shows that the genre is alive and kicking.
Demon's Tier+ is by the talented folks who made both Xenon Valkyrie+ and Riddled Corpses EX so you know that you're in for one challenging old-school experience. You basically play as a small hero who explores dungeons that are full of demons and it controls like your average twin-stick shooter. However, it features nifty RPG elements that allow you to level-up between floors and doing so is exceptionally rewarding as you watch your character become incrementally more powerful. Also, whenever you're back in town, you can purchase relics, craft new weapons with found recipes, and change characters / classes so configuring your hero to effectively topple the next tough boss is great fun, especially after you rescue some villagers from the dungeons below.
Its challenges may be tough to overcome yet Demon's Tier+ offers a fleshed out game world that's awesome to watch unfold.Demon's Tier+ gameplay video → More roguelike twin-stick shooters
Spirit of the North Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Adventure games where you wander around and solve simple puzzles definitely have their audience but is Spirit of the North any good?
When I saw Spirit of the North's trailer, I was captivated by its snowy world and foxy hero but after playing it, I'm quite disappointed. For starters, it looks extremely dated on the Switch. I'm not sure if it's much better on other consoles but playing it on Switch made me feel as if I was playing a PS2 game. Of course, graphics aren't all that important if the game is enjoyable but in Spirit of the North's case, an immersive atmosphere would have gone a long way. Thankfully, the music is lovely but it's still hard to feel engaged when the visuals lack style and are as dated as they are. The gameplay merely has you trot along as a fox and it's a very linear campaign. Even when you get to the more puzzle-heavy segments, figuring out how to progress is usually so easy that it ends up being tedious and tiresome.
Spirit of the North may have been a noteworthy game if it released a decade prior but it's far too uninspired in today's gaming market.Spirit of the North gameplay video →
Myths of Orion: Light from the North Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Solving puzzles to thwart an evil wizard's plans sounds like a cool premise so here's the enjoyable adventure game Myths of Orion.
This is the fifth adventure game from Cateia Games that I've played so far and Myths of Orion: Light from the North is definitely in-line with the rest of their titles. Just like the other games, you'll constantly find yourself juggling solving inventory-based puzzles, completing mini-games, and finding hidden objects in order to progress. With that being said, Myths of Orion's world is more magical and it has plenty of intriguing cutscenes that help paint it as such. From talking to your creepy old Aunt Ariel to seeing glimpses of the dastardly wizard, there's definitely a strange world here to unpack. Playing as Meredith as you gather items and solve puzzles only to watch the plot unravel makes for quite the memorable journey. So, if you enjoyed any of Cateia Games' other titles, you're sure to like this, too.
Myths of Orion: Light from the North takes a somewhat fantastical approach with its otherwise standard adventure game formula to create a memorable and magical adventure that'll appeal to anyone who enjoys retro-inspired point and click tales.Myths of Orion: Light from the North gameplay video → Where Angels Cry Review Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen Collector's Edition Review The Man With The Ivory Cane Review Black Rainbow Review Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix Review Tales from the Dragon Mountain 2: The Lair Review Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel Review
EMMA: Lost in Memories Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆
Challenging indies that provide unique spins on classic gaming formulas are usually fun to master but does EMMA offer worthy gameplay?
The basic concept of EMMA: Lost in Memories is that you control a perpetually-moving girl by timing jumps (with wall jumps and double jumps in play) and slides. This sounds incredibly easy yet the gameplay is surprisingly difficult as platforms gradually disappear once touched and the primary objective of each stage is to simply figure out how to reach its goal. Doing so will undoubtedly require many attempts as you slowly make tweaks to your approach only to eventually master the task at hand. The thing is; this isn't all that fun to do. In fact, it's quite frustrating. When you factor in the imprecise and finicky controls, EMMA: Lost in Memories can be one maddening experience. However, if you have the patience to persevere, you'll enjoy trying to collect each level's feather which is usually difficult to reach.
EMMA: Lost in Memories may just be the most frustrating game that I played so far this year. With its clumsy controls and overly unforgiving stages that require many attempts to merely complete, I can't recommend this to anyone but masochists.EMMA: Lost in Memories gameplay video →