Whether locally or online, competing and cooperating with chums makes for some fun times so here are 5 nifty multiplayer indie games.
Hypercharge Unboxed Review Switch ★★★★☆
Playing as toy soldiers may sound a bit juvenile but Hypercharge Unboxed is here to prove that toys can kick some serious ass.
Hypercharge Unboxed offers a blend of first-person shooting and tower defense elements to create an enjoyable dynamic that's great fun whether you're playing via local split-screen or online multiplayer. Although I was initially put off by the lack of interactive tutorial, I picked up the gameplay quickly which means it's a very intuitive experience. You can think of the gameplay as having 3 facets: combat, exploration, and building defenses. The combat merely involves shooting encroaching toys in order to defend your 3 hyper-cores while double-jumping around the intricate stages which feature an impressive amount of verticality. While you're at it, you can try and discover plenty of pick-ups that you can use to deploy traps and such around the stage as well as place batteries into cores so they can recharge their defensive gauges. It all works together to make a thoroughly engaging and exciting formula that's great fun to play online.
Even though there are plenty of online multiplayer games out there, Hypercharge Unboxed is a solid enough offering to be worth playing. The fact that you play as toys is something that the whole family can enjoy, too.Hypercharge Unboxed gameplay video →
Sky Rogue Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Flight combat games aren't often explored in the indie realm so does Sky Rogue have what it takes to stand out in the genre?
When I started playing Sky Rogue, I was blown away by its textureless polygonal visuals as it brought me back to the mid-'90s by reminding me of games such as Star Fox and Cyber Sled. The music is rocking, the colour palettes are gorgeous, and it's quite a joy to play, too. Of course, it's not as intricate as a modern Ace Combat game but its arcade feel is accomplished masterfully through intuitive and tight controls as well as an array of diverse weaponry that's great fun to blow stuff up with. You can play it solo which is enjoyable but tagging a friend along to cooperate in split-screen missions amplifies the fun factor. The roguelike setup is also appreciated as each run is different to the previous and upgrading your plane adds a layer of satisfaction. However, this makes failure all the more devastating so be sure not to crash! Anyway, if you're into flight combat games then you shouldn't pass on this gem.
Playing Sky Rogue is like going back in time to an era when trying your best to get as far as you can was all that mattered.Sky Rogue gameplay video →
It came from space and ate our brains Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
There are so many twin-stick shooters out there that it's absurd so let's see if this odd indie can delight genre fans.
With genre examples like Dead Nation and Assault Android Cactus already available, it'll take a lot for a similar game to be considered great. Even though It came from space and ate our brains is a solid game that features tight controls, lovely neon visuals, and incrementally challenging gameplay, it simply feels rather humdrum when you compare it to its contemporaries, some of which released years ago. Each stage lasts a very long time and you'll find yourself fending off the same kind of aliens over and over again and there are only 6 stages to choose from. On the plus side, the electronic soundtrack is pretty good and playing with 4 players can be kind of fun for a short while. Other than that, it's a very standard twin-stick shooter that doesn't really do anything worth writing home about.
It's definitely a solid twin-stick shooter but after a while, It came from space and ate our brains becomes so monotonous that you'll eventually feel like something came from space and ate your brain. Well, they got me there, I guess.It came from space and ate our brains gameplay video →
SpeedRunners Review Switch ★★★★☆
Racing / platforming hybrids usually provide exciting couch multiplayer experiences and SpeedRunners certainly fits that description.
SpeedRunners debuted a few years ago and I've been meaning to give it a go yet never did for whatever reason. So, when this Switch version released, I just had to play it and I'm very happy that I finally did. Essentially, it's a racing game where you and up to 4 players compete by racing on foot while looping through 2D courses. Along the way, you can pick up power-ups as well as charge your boost gauge which may allow you to sprint ahead and claim 1st place. The power-ups let you mess with your opponents by firing rockets and using a grappling hook to change places with them. Also, the core gameplay isn't just running and jumping as you'll also have to swing from ceilings and slide under tight spaces if you want to optimize your forward momentum. It's such a fun game that we had a hard time putting it down whenever we started playing it. Plus, you unlock cool goodies as you play which is a nice treat.
It may be a few years old but SpeedRunners holds up fantastically and it's a must-play for any local multiplayer enthusiast.SpeedRunners gameplay video →
Doggie Ninja The Burning Strikers Review Switch ★★★★☆
If dogs playing soccer sounds like it could be fun to you then you're in for a surprisingly good time with this indie gem.
You probably wouldn't expect much from a game called Doggie Ninja The Burning Strikers but it's such an over-the-top and ridiculous little 2-on-2 arcade soccer game that each match is a blast to play. First of all, it features extremely simple controls as all you do is run around and use 1 button. However, using that button strategically is where the challenge comes in. For example, you can charge up then have your partner pass you the ball and if you time it right, you'll perform a super-powerful kick that can send the ball soaring through your opponent's net. Keep in mind, each net is protected by a barrier but once you score, the whole goal explodes which is just awesome. Anyway, you can compete on different fields that feature blockades and unique layouts and overall, it's super-fun stuff.
Doggie Ninja The Burning Strikers may not offer much in the single player department but competing with 4 friends provides some truly exciting and ridiculous arcade sports action. I give it 4 exploding goals out of 5.Doggie Ninja The Burning Strikers gameplay video → Doggie Ninja The Golden Mission Review