Single Player Challenges (Part 2) thumbnail

Single Player Challenges (Part 2)

6 indies for solo gamers

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

There's nothing quite like chilling with a few single player console games so here are 6 interesting indies that pose unique challenges.

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Kingdom Rush Review Switch ★★★★☆

When it comes to tower defense, you can't do much better than the Kingdom Rush franchise and the first one is now on Switch. v1d30chumz 3-235-186-94

Kingdom Rush screenshot
Kingdom Rush's visual style always cheers me up

It's odd that Kingdom Rush Frontiers released for Switch before this one considering that's the 2nd game in the series. However, this original installment is just as enjoyable even with its back-to-basics formula. The primary reason why I love Kingdom Rush so much is that it has the perfect difficulty balance that encourages you to retry stages in order to earn all 3 stars so you can purchase further upgrades. Plus, the learning curve is implemented beautifully as you gradually unlock new features and facets of combat that turn the gameplay from simple and laidback to frantic and super-rewarding. I also thoroughly appreciate the lovely visual aesthetic complete with well-animated sprites and colourful environments. It may have originally released way back in 2011 but it certainly doesn't show its age.

Kingdom Rush completely nails the tower defense genre and this first entry in the series is great fun to play; even nowadays.

Kingdom Rush gameplay video → Kingdom Rush Frontiers Review Kingdom Rush Origins Review

Heroes of Hammerwatch - Ultimate Edition Review Xbox One ★★★★☆

If you enjoy twin-stick combat and roguelike RPGs then you're definitely going to want to check out Heroes of Hammerwatch.

Heroes of Hammerwatch - Ultimate Edition screenshot
Did someone call the exterminator?

I've never heard of Heroes of Hammerwatch before but it's now available on modern consoles and it's one amazing game. For starters, this Ultimate Edition contains all of the DLC which is great. When I first started playing it, I didn't really understand what it was all about but as the hours ticked away and I began mastering its tricky enemy-filled dungeons, I became hooked. You basically create and control a hero who traverses dungeons in order to earn cash and ore which are used for many reasons. For example, you can upgrade your home town to offer more shops, purchase permanent stat boosts, and exchange currencies for temporary items that may be powerful enough to give you the upper-hand during your next expedition. On top of the satisfying combat featuring fun special moves and rewarding gameplay, the music is very catchy and the graphics are pixel-perfect. Oh, and there are multiple overworld areas to explore, too.

Before wrapping up, I should mention that you can play Heroes of Hammerwatch - Ultimate Edition via online cooperative multiplayer with up to 4 players although there is no local multiplayer. I still consider it a single player game, though, but it's great to have the option.

Heroes of Hammerwatch completely exceeded my expectations and this Ultimate Edition is one of my favourite indies of the year so far.

Heroes of Hammerwatch - Ultimate Edition gameplay video →

Ageless Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Puzzle platformers can be quite fun to exercise your brain with but does the charming Ageless offer worthwhile gameplay?

Ageless screenshot
I think Kiara's about to fall down...

On the surface, Ageless looks like a great game and its trailer really sold me on that notion. You basically control a brave soul named Kiara who discovers a nifty ability soon into the campaign. This newly-learned skill allows her to change the age of plants and animals and this is incorporated into the gameplay seamlessly. For example, aging a plant will grow it and make it work like a platform while aging a rhinoceros makes it take on various attributes: young ones move forward when you present them with food, adults charge at you, and elderly ones break weak platforms that they stand on. When you combine all of this with Kiara's acrobatic jumps, you're left with a formula that presents some truly tricky and rewarding scenarios. However, the gameplay itself is quite clunky as I constantly found myself doing unintended actions and sometimes, Kiara would float off a platform because I didn't hold the aim button at the right time.

Ageless presents some truly ingenious puzzles and an engaging story yet its gameplay is a bit too haphazard to fully enjoy.

Ageless gameplay video →

Lost Wing Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆

Here's a game for high score chasers who like the idea of being propelled down hazard-filled tubes in an anti-gravity racing vehicle.

Lost Wing screenshot
Get ready for a lot of dodging and shooting

At its core, Lost Wing is a simple game where you move left and right while avoiding hazards. You can also shoot, deploy bombs, jump, and slow down and speed up time. However, most actions require energy that's acquired either by collecting pick-ups or accelerating which also makes things more challenging. The visuals are quite clean and unambiguous while the music is a fantastic mix of electronica that I enjoyed immensely. As you play, you'll earn experience points that grant you bonuses whenever you level up such as new skins and levels to challenge. Even though all of this sounds perfectly fun (which it is), there are a couple of downsides. Mainly, crashing is often frustrating, especially when you didn't see the hazard approaching. Also, the gameplay is very repetitive due to its simplistic nature.

Lost Wing is certainly a capable high score chaser but it's also one that'll make you frustrated with its difficulty and repetition.

Lost Wing gameplay video →

Bullet Beat Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆

Vertical arcade shooters come in many varieties so here's one that mixes in heavy beats with its minimalist aesthetic but is it good?

Bullet Beat screenshot
I don't think arcade shooters get any simpler than this

I've had Bullet Beat sitting around on my Xbox for over 2 months and I finally decided to review it. The premise is that you shoot at things while trying not to let anything past you. As you play, you'll hear plenty of dubstep tracks and most of them are pretty annoying. I mean; I've never liked dubstep but does anyone actually still listen to it? Anyway, its gameplay is ridiculously simple which is a bummer on its own but when you factor in the extra-wide playfield, playing Bullet Beat turns from a standard shooter into an exercise in tedium and irritation. The graphics are monochrome and nothing special, there are annoying camera effects, and it's just not all that fun. At least there are different levels to enjoy as well as a couple of modes. Overall, it's not the worst shooter but it's surely underwhelming.

After a handful of rounds, I can easily say that Bullet Beat is a barebones and tedious shooter that genre fans will likely regret playing.

Bullet Beat gameplay video →

Get 10 quest Review Switch ★★★☆☆

There are many different kinds of puzzle games out there and it's refreshing when one as simple and creative as Get 10 quest releases.

Get 10 quest screenshot
Oh boy; I'm about to finally get 10!

Get 10 quest is played by tapping on numbered tiles that are touching at least 1 of the same number of tile. Then, you tap where you want the group to combine and once it does, its number increases by 1. Therefore, the key to strategizing relies on your ability to plan ahead while making the tiles fall and combine to advantageous positions. That's basically all there is to it and there are 2 modes to enjoy: endless and levels. The latter is basically a list of challenges to master under certain conditions although there aren't all that many of them. Overall, the simple gameplay is enjoyable and the visuals are nice and clean with chill beats that play throughout.

It may be a simple game yet Get 10 quest is an entertaining puzzler that'll push you to achieve higher and higher scores.

Get 10 quest gameplay video → Similar game: Threes!
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Gameplay video playlist for Single Player Challenges (Part 2)
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