Unique Indie Games (Part 5)

Unique Indie Games (Part 5)

6 special titles for Switch and Xbox One

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

I love playing unique indies so here are 6 recent games that stood out to me in their own special ways. Perhaps you'll enjoy them, too!

Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill Review Xbox One ★★★★☆

If you like quirky off-the-wall retro-inspired games then Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill will be right up your alley.

Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill screenshot
For whatever reason, Saddam Hussein sure shows up in a lot of games!

Playing Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill is a real trip. You basically control an avatar to avoid hazards and enemies while shooting with twin-stick controls. Although it's an overall crazy game, there are 2 main gameplay components. The first is that you can either kill or kiss your enemies which doesn't change the core gameplay much but it is cool that you can alternate between the 2. Plus, getting combos after kissing enemies makes erotic anime ladies show up on the sides of the screen and that's cool... right? The second aspect is that you can zoom in and slow down time or zoom out and speed up time which makes avoiding hazards more manageable. Each stage is incredibly unique in that you'll end up playing through various visual styles ranging from Space Invaders to a 16-bit RPG. On top of all this, you'll regularly see insane video footage of a masked character that adds a welcome layer of spectacle to the equation.

Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill may be a simple and strange game but it's so insane that you'll wonder what the heck you're experiencing.

Gaijin Charenji 1: Kiss or Kill gameplay video →

Jet Kave Adventure Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Strap a jetpack on a caveman and get ready for one interesting 2D platformer with Jet Kave Adventure from 7Levels.

Jet Kave Adventure screenshot
Kave takes a moment to admire the view

If you've ever played the Rocket Knight / Sparkster series then Jet Kave Adventure will be a very familiar formula. You play as Kave who traverses a variety of stages that are full of unique scenarios and the core gameplay involves running, jumping, and bashing things with your club. On top of that, the jetpack allows you to hover and smash through barriers and you can also throw rocks which is handy. The stages shift between various styles such as straightforward platforming, chase scenes, and there are even some simplistic puzzles thrown in as well as distinct boss encounters. All of that being said, the overall polish is lacking as the gameplay regularly feels loose and disconnected, especially during the more stand-out moments which can result in unexpected deaths and frustration.

Jet Kave Adventure is full of rewarding scenarios but it could have definitely used more time in the oven before it released.

Jet Kave Adventure gameplay video →

Hyperforma Review Switch ★★★★☆

Have you ever wanted to be a hacker in an abstract world? If so, the Breakout-style Hyperforma is here to make your dream reality.

Hyperforma screenshot
Who knew hacking could be so fun?

Hyperforma tasks you with destroying the centre of 3D brick-filled objects that you can freely rotate as your character automatically bounces around the playfield. The only controls come in the form of a homing attack that attempts to smash the core whenever you use it as well as a few additional upgradeable abilities such as being able to split into 2 and trigger small explosions. Even though this sounds like a super-simple formula, I found myself completely hooked after the core gameplay started to click. What makes Hyperforma even more immersive is its stylish visuals and top-notch electronic soundtrack that I absolutely loved and I'm sure you will, too. Trying to master the stages as efficiently as possible makes for a challenging and engaging experience that you won't soon forget.

Hyperforma gets so much right with its simple and immersive setup that it's hard to put it down once you start playing; a true indie gem!

Hyperforma gameplay video →

Creature in the Well Review Xbox One ★★★★☆

Speaking of interesting takes on classic formulas, Creature in the Well is a pinball hack and slash experience that's a ton of fun.

Creature in the Well screenshot
Hack and slash pinball?! Sign me up!

The premise of Creature in the Well is very cool as you play as a robot who must power an intricate facility in the hopes of protecting its home city of Mirage from an encroaching sandstorm. However, a dastardly Creature inhabits the facility who appears to be trying its darnedest to halt your progress. The core gameplay involves slashing weapons in order to whack energy into machines to power them up. Almost every room contains a unique scenario that may have you dealing with timed contraptions, deadly turrets, and many other mechanics that gradually introduce themselves throughout the campaign. The resulting formula is very puzzle-focused yet action-intense and it can be quite rewarding. That being said, trying to aim in certain situations requires spot-on precision which can be excruciatingly irritating, especially when turrets are constantly shooting at you and pushing you all around the room.

Although it can be annoying at times, Creature in the Well is a highly enjoyable game that plays, looks, and sounds fantastic.

Creature in the Well gameplay video →

Deathstate: Abyssal Edition Review Switch ★★★☆☆

It may have debuted years ago for PC and had a PS4 release but Deathstate is back in a new Abyssal Edition for Switch.

Deathstate: Abyssal Edition screenshot
Don't mess with a girl who has pink axes bursting from her chest

Deathstate: Abyssal Edition is a twin-stick shooter where you use the left stick to control your hovering character and the right stick to dodge. Meanwhile, you automatically shoot whenever enemies are near which I found to be rather convenient because you can't always clearly see where enemies are lurking. The story revolves around Professor Elinberg who opened a gate to a mysterious place known as the Void and it's your responsibility to find out what happened to him. As you float around shooting, you'll acquire nifty equipment, deploy powerful abilities, and face hordes of goofy enemies. All of that being said, I found the overall formula to be a bit too monotonous after playing for a while and it could definitely use more variety to mix up the mostly unchanging core gameplay.

If you're looking for a satisfying roguelike to play in short bursts then Deathstate: Abyssal Edition will definitely act as a fun distraction.

Deathstate: Abyssal Edition gameplay video →

The Long Journey Home Review Switch ★★★☆☆

Here we have a space exploration game with many systems in place so do you have what it takes to command a mighty space force?

The Long Journey Home screenshot
I don't think I'm going to win this boss encounter...

In The Long Journey Home, your goal is to return to your home planet after you accidentally warp light-years away. The gameplay is all over the map as you must manage your crew and equipment, soar through solar systems, deploy and control your lander which can mine for resources, battle bosses with your main ship, and warp to new locales after powering up your drive. Meanwhile, you'll meet a variety of aliens who range from friendly to dastardly and some of the conversations are downright hilarious. This might sound great but enjoying The Long Journey Home depends on your propensity for managing your crew and equipment which easily get injured and broken. Plus, the amount of tasks that you end up constantly juggling makes the gameplay quite disjointed, especially considering how many loading screens there are in between the various scenarios. That being said, I definitely enjoyed my time with this ambitious indie.

If The Long Journey Home had focused gameplay and transitioned smoothly between its many elements, it would be a great game.

The Long Journey Home gameplay video →
Gameplay video playlist for Unique Indie Games (Part 5) 47:16
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