Unconventional Indie Games (Part 2)

Unconventional Indie Games (Part 2)

Become a painter, tomb raider, and angel

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

It's a nice change to play something out of the ordinary so here are 5 recent unconventional indie games that I've been enjoying lately.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale Review PlayStation 5 ★★★★☆

Overhead adventure games generally haven't changed much over the decades yet Chicory: A Colorful Tale is here to offer a nifty twist.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale screenshot
I'd buy a print of that for a dollar

When I booted Chicory: A Colorful Tale up, I was surprised to see that it had a co-op option so I got my gaming chum to play with me and we had a great time. You play as a hero who claims a magic paintbrush after all the colours in the land disappear and it's your job to bring them back as well as confront whatever dastardly force is responsible. Meanwhile, the titular Chicory (who was the paintbrush wielder before you) deals with feelings of inadequacy and throughout the journey, you gradually form a bond with them which is both heartwarming and inspirational. The gameplay involves controlling the hero while painting the environment to accomplish things like grow plants, light dark caverns, fight bosses, and fulfill quests for the locals. The puzzles are mostly well-done but some can be a bit tedious and few aren't really all that challenging. However, it is a lovely and rewarding adventure nonetheless and I definitely recommend it.

Video games don't get much more heartwarming than Chicory: A Colorful Tale with its beautifully-interwoven gameplay and story.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale gameplay video → More games that play like The Legend of Zelda

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights Review Switch ★★★★☆

Metroidvanias are quite common so it's notable whenever a game takes the formula and adds something innovative; here's Ender Lilies!

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights screenshot
Good thing I have this sword-wielding spirit by my side

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights has you control a girl who has the power to summon a legion of ghost-like warriors to do all the fighting for her. Its premise is that an evil rain transformed everyone into mutants so you go on a journey fighting them while trying to unravel why this had happened. When I started playing it, I found the controls to be a bit clunky but as I learned its ins and outs and got used to the fact that I was attacking with a ghost who follows Lily around, it started to become impressively intuitive and satisfying. This was especially true when the game world opened up and allowed me to choose which path to take. Doing so only to fight challenging bosses is super-rewarding and I enjoyed amassing a wealth of new battle skills. Also, the fact that dodging is as useful as it is makes combat even more immersive because enemies telegraph their attacks well. Oh, and it has quite a pitch-perfect dark atmosphere.

I haven't played a Metroidvania as immersive and rewarding as Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights in a long time; it's great stuff.

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights gameplay video → More Metroidvania games

Infinitrap: Rehamstered Review Xbox One ★★★★☆

If you've ever wanted to play as Indiana Jones then Infinitrap: Rehamstered is a silly and challenging indie that you'll probably enjoy.

Infinitrap: Rehamstered screenshot
Once I grab that key, I bet something unexpected happens

Infinitrap: Rehamstered has you play as Ohio Jack (get it?) who raids complex tombs while trying to snag as much treasure as he can. The campaign is like a stage-based arcade game with each level featuring its own leaderboard. What makes it fun is that you're constantly triggering traps, uncovering hidden areas, dealing with enemies, solving puzzles, and much more. Considering all of this is handled at such a rapid pace, its gameplay is extremely frantic and engaging as you try to carefully navigate your way to the next big treasure trove. There are also multiple exits to each level so you can either take the obvious one with less loot or do a little exploring in order to discover a secret area that's more than likely to offer a substantial challenge. Just thinking about it makes me want to play it again! 😁

With its impressive gameplay variety and frantic action, you'll gladly play Infinitrap: Rehamstered whenever you want a quick fix of fun.

Infinitrap: Rehamstered gameplay video → More Old-School Xbox One Games

Super Magbot Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Single-screen 2D platformers come in all shapes and sizes but I bet you haven't played anything like the magnetic Super Magbot before.

Super Magbot screenshot
Once I make it over this gap, I'll be golden!

In Super Magbot, you play as a robot who extends a magnetic beam that allows it to be attracted or repelled by red and blue coloured surfaces. You can probably see where this is going and yes, it's an exceptionally challenging game. For starters, each level requires both puzzle-solving abilities and precision platforming and if you're even a little bit off, you'll fall down a pit or get hit by a hazard and have to start the stage all over again. Because of this, I find it to be a more frustrating than satisfying experience although I imagine that more masochistic gamers will admire this degree of difficulty. I also found it hard to keep track of which buttons to hold in order to be attracted or repelled by certain platforms so I often had to stop to recalibrate my brain. In the end, it's definitely not for everyone.

Super Magbot's fun factor almost entirely relies on if you enjoy replaying levels over and over again until you finally master them.

Super Magbot gameplay video → More 2D Platformers on Switch

Empire of Angels IV Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆

Turn-based SRPGs have been around for a long time so does Empire of Angels IV have what it takes to live up to genre greats?

Empire of Angels IV screenshot
This quaint village is about to get a lot more lively

For the most part, Empire of Angels IV plays exactly as you would expect an SRPG to play yet it has 1 defining quality which is that its all-female cast loses their armour whenever they're defeated which I found to be pretty funny, especially considering that every character has a chibi 3D model despite the fact that their artwork is much more refined. Anyway, the characters are quite forgettable due to the middle-of-the-road and often lifeless localisation and the story is rather generic, too. The same can be said about the battles which are at least entertaining because you can be overpowered so the challenge may rely on your ability to deal with the hordes of enemies as efficiently as possible. On a positive note, I enjoyed setting up my party and swapping roles in order to figure out the best party dynamic which is rather rewarding. Oh, and some of the special skills are quite funny and provide a welcome layer of levity to the battles.

Although I wouldn't put Empire of Angels IV in my top SRPGs, it's unique and enjoyable enough if you don't have anything else to play.

Empire of Angels IV gameplay video → More turn-based strategy RPGs
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