As a modern gamer with varied interests, I'm constantly drowning in indie games so here are 7 recent indies that I found to stand out from the crowd in one way or another.
│ A.J. has been obsessively gaming since the late '80s and is just as passionate about video games in 2022. 🐻
Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling Review Switch ★★★★☆
Although there are many wrestling games out there, I bet you haven't played anything quite like Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling. v1d30chumz 3-236-65-63
Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling may look like a goofy take on the sport but there's so much to it that you'll be impressed. For starters, the visuals are fantastic with all sorts of blocky chums and distinct arenas, many of which feature their own gimmicks and hazards. The audio is great, too, with rocking music, a silly announcer, and rewarding effects and crowd cheers. What makes it truly stand out is its intuitive yet open-ended gameplay. You can perform all sorts of throws and attacks as you bounce off the ropes, leap high in the air, and grapple with various parts of your foe whenever they're downed. Throw in power-ups, a cool character creation component, and local and online multiplayer and you're left with one fully featured super-fun wrestling game that can be enjoyable even for non-wrestling fans.
If you're looking for a fun wrestling game that doesn't take itself seriously then Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling is a must-buy game.Chiki-Chiki Boxy Pro Wrestling gameplay video → Chiki-Chiki Boxy Racers Review
Post War Dreams Review Xbox One ★★☆☆☆
America is crumbling and here's a game that shows what the good ol' USA will turn into if it keeps steamrolling ahead.
Post War Dreams is a depressing game. First, it's set in a post-apocalyptic USA where militias and gangs run the show. You play as a gun-toting dude who hopes to escape this shithole country and along the way; you can help other survivors who each have their own story. Although it features gritty 3D visuals, Post War Dreams is a 2D action platformer where you aim various firearms and shoot bad guys while climbing your way through city wreckage. Unfortunately, the gameplay is tough to enjoy for a multitude of reasons, the most annoying of which is aiming as it's unintuitive and clunky. Clearly, it was made for mouse controls and they didn't adapt it well for consoles. Also, it's full of glitches. More than a few times, I had the camera zoom in so much that I literally couldn't see anything around me. After fumbling around with the controller and looking through all of the options and help menus, I was at a loss as to how to fix it.
It may have a promising premise but Post War Dreams executes its vision poorly and it's definitely not optimized for consoles.Post War Dreams gameplay video →
Grand Brix Shooter Review Switch ★★★★☆
Here we have a challenging shoot 'em up that feels like it's made out of stylish Lego bricks. Let's check it out!
At its core, Grand Brix Shooter is like many other shmups in that you fire streams of projectiles while carefully avoiding enemy fire. What sets it apart is its very cool power-up system. Basically, you can equip and level-up various forms after uncovering them from their special containers. Once you equip one, bricks attach to your ship thus altering its appearance and once you collect enough stars, you can level up the form. As soon as it's at max level, filling up the meter again will make it super-powerful for a limited time. Anyway, the graphics are crisp, the chiptune soundtrack is great, and the gameplay is super-tight. That being said, it is a very challenging shooter so only genre veterans will appreciate its steep level of difficulty. There's also a list of achievements to master, a collection of ships to fill out, and challenge and arcade modes with a couple of difficulty settings as if the normal difficulty isn't challenging enough.
There's a lot to love about Grand Brix Shooter, especially for dedicated shoot 'em up fans who are looking for a challenge.Grand Brix Shooter gameplay video →
AER Memories of Old Review Switch ★★★★☆
Games where you explore a stylish world while trying to uncover its many mysteries are common but few are done as well as AER.
I must admit, I usually can't stand games with an almost complete lack of direction. With that in mind, I absolutely loved my time with AER Memories of Old. You essentially play as a woman who can transform into a bird and you explore the overworld by soaring between floating islands. Right off the bat, I was impressed with the gorgeous visuals and character animations as well as the tight controls, especially while flying. Plus, the music is stunning and it changes subtly as you fly between areas. Whoever designed and composed the audio for AER Memories of Old is certainly a master of their craft. Anyway, discovering and mastering dungeons while solving puzzles and interacting with the locals is a joy and although it's short, I'd definitely play through it again.
AER Memories of Old is such a captivating game that it's hard not to get lost in its beautiful and rewarding world.AER Memories of Old gameplay video →
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
When you think of adorable 2D platformers starring a pink puffball, the first game that comes to mind is... Whipseey, right?
Yes, Whipseey and the Lost Atlas looks a lot like Kirby but it definitely doesn't play like it. First of all, you merely run, jump, and whip enemies. There are no interesting core mechanics aside from using your whip to swing from certain nodes and such. Although this makes it sound like a simple game, Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is surprisingly challenging. The little pink fellow sure has a big hitbox and only has 5 health points. However, those health points don't mean much because you'll usually perish via instant death traps like spikes and pits. Once you eat up your 5 lives, you have to start the stage all over again. Thankfully, you can get more health and lives by collecting gems but on the downside, there are only 5 somewhat lengthy stages to work through which is ridiculously short.
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas may be a cute and somewhat fun 2D platformer but it's a bit too unforgiving as well as incredibly short.Whipseey and the Lost Atlas gameplay video →
Fin and the Ancient Mystery Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Here's yet another 2D platformer. Fin and the Ancient Mystery has some promising mechanics in play but does it live up to them?
Fin and the Ancient Mystery has you play as a large-eared critter who goes on an adventure to uncover artifacts in the hopes of saving the world from something simply named the Destroyer. You basically run, double-jump, slash a sword, and use magic while fighting monsters and traversing intricate stages. Speaking of which, there are 10 of them and they contain plenty of hidden goodies and most feature a boss. As you play, you can purchase potions and shields to help you out of a jam as well as level-up your base stats using currency and skill points. Even though all of this is promising, the gameplay itself is where it all falls apart as combat feels disconnected, the controls are loose and unrefined, and stages can be downright disorienting. I do enjoy the stage visuals, though.
If the developers tightened up Fin and the Ancient Mystery's gameplay, it could be a rather enjoyable 2D action RPG.Fin and the Ancient Mystery gameplay video →
ESport Manager Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
ESports are a thing so why not cash-in and make a goofy simulation game where you manage your very own team of players?
Although I initially expected ESport Manager to be a basic simulation game, it features a surprising amount of depth. Before diving in, you have to choose whether your team will play first-person shooters or MOBA games. I chose the latter because first-person shooters are for chumps. Anyway, after creating your team of players, you can manage them at your home base which you can expand with new rooms and equipment that'll make your team happier and more skilled. It takes a while to learn how to effectively navigate all of the menus because they're very unintuitive but the biggest downside is when you actually play matches. Whenever you challenge a competing team, you command your team by setting up strategies and such. However, I found that you can easily win by using cheap tactics so the whole game kind of falls apart once you realise how easy it is to beat any opponent.
ESport Manager has a solid premise and some cool simulation elements but the actual matches are way too easy to exploit.ESport Manager gameplay video →