I've been enjoying a lot of indie games recently so I figured I should share my thoughts about 5 that are quite mentally stimulating.
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tERRORbane Review Switch ★★★★☆
Playing around with games while trying to find bugs can be fun and tERRORbane is here just to scratch your curious itch for glitches. v1d30chumz 18-208-132-74
tERRORbane is an adventure game that's disguised as a classic RPG. Its premise is very meta as you control a hero while interacting with the game's developer and taking advantage of glitches in order to overcome adversaries which takes the form of mini-games. It's undeniably silly and clever stuff that'll regularly have you laughing out loud and as you re-play sections to discover more glitches, it ends up being a rather rewarding experience. It's also the sort of game that rewards you for thinking outside the box although some segments left me confused as to what I was supposed to do. Once you get over these occasional hurdles, you'll be left with a wonderful game world full of quirky characters, ridiculous moments, and enjoyable glitches that are always great fun to stumble upon.
I haven't played anything quite like tERRORbane before and its concept of making glitches fun is impressively satisfying and silly.tERRORbane gameplay video →
LIT: Bend the Light Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Mirror puzzles are nothing new but the delightful indie LIT: Bend the Light makes them exciting again with its many clever mechanics.
When I started playing LIT: Bend the Light, I thought it was simply a standard mirror-based puzzle game where you guide a light from a starting point to a goal but as I progressed and new gimmicks and mechanics began to be introduced, I realised just how ingenious its gameplay is. Simply rolling the source of light left and right while rotating it and reflecting the beam isn't all that special but when you factor in movable and rotatable mirrors and refractors, things really start to shape up. To make matters even more enjoyable, there are multiple solutions for most stages so re-playing them in order to discover more adds a ton of replay value for completionists and puzzle enthusiasts who really want to test their lateral thinking abilities. Don't let its simple premise fool you; this is great stuff! 😄
LIT: Bend the Light takes a familiar puzzle formula and fleshes it out in such clever ways that you'll end up enjoying it for a very long time.LIT: Bend the Light gameplay video →
Toodee and Topdee Review Switch ★★★★☆
Toodee and Topdee is a puzzle platformer with a consistently mind-bending gameplay premise so let's slide some boxes and jump to it.
At its core, Toodee and Topdee presents a truly distinct experience as you alternate between 2 characters who must help each other reach each level's goal. Considering both characters need to arrive at the goal, it can be quite a tricky game. Also, one character controls like they're in a 2D platformer while the other is from a top-down perspective and both characters occupy the same stage. Therefore, Topdee will have to move crates so that Toodee can hop on them and Toodee can hold switches for Topdee, etc. There are too many mechanics to list but needless to say, manipulating enemies while helping each other out becomes a super-engaging formula that's hard to put down, especially with the chill music and vibrant and adorable visuals on display which really liven things up.
Toodee and Topdee is a brilliant puzzle platformer that joins Tandem: A Tale of Shadows in a unique genre that I'd like to see more of.Toodee and Topdee gameplay video → Tandem: A Tale of Shadows Review
Chinatown Detective Agency Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
If you think detective games are missing realism, here comes Chinatown Detective Agency with a real-world twist on mystery gameplay.
In Chinatown Detective Agency, you play as Amira Darma, a woman who's just starting her career as a private investigator in Singapore. Amira's first case leads her to more work and she's soon solving cases for various clients while uncovering the sinister plots that connect them. It features 2D adventure gameplay where you choose items to interact with at different scenes, solve puzzles that get tricky quite fast, and travel around the world while gathering information. The twist in Chinatown Detective Agency is that you must use your internet search skills to figure out what to do next. For example, you'll be presented with the picture of an old stamp and you'll need to figure out where that stamp originated which is harder said than done, especially because some references are very obscure.
I personally found the incessant internet searching to be draining and it's just not for me but I could see how someone who enjoys hunting for information could get a kick out of it. Also, the voice acting is well done and the graphics are okay but nothing special.
Chinatown Detective Agency could be rewarding for the average pantomath and the story is intriguing stuff but if you don't enjoy doing your own research in order to progress in a video game then you'll likely find it to be more of an annoyance than a fun adventure.Chinatown Detective Agency gameplay video → More detective video games
A Memoir Blue Review Xbox Series X ★★★☆☆
If you'd like to experience the early life of a young swimmer through metaphor and attractive visuals then here's A Memoir Blue.
In A Memoir Blue, you control a competitive swimmer as she recounts her life from a small child with a happy family to growing up into a lonely but celebrated athlete. The gameplay is minimal and poses almost no challenge and it's a short game, too, at only about an hour long. However, it's a relaxing experience that you can play at your own pace and some of the visuals are quite impressive, especially when you reach the later underwater portions. A simple piano tune plays in the background that increases intensity during the emotional moments while the story is simple and there aren't any interesting twists but there is some solid use of metaphor throughout.
Although this short adventure doesn't have much in terms of gameplay and its story is predictable, A Memoir Blue does a good job of portraying the life of a young athlete in the spotlight while showing how she got there and how she deals with her personal struggles.A Memoir Blue gameplay video → A Memoir Blue: A Step-by-Step Guide