Arcade Classics Meet Modern Artistry - Paper Planet (Steam) Review

Merging the whimsy of hand-drawn heroes with the thrill of roguelike challenges, Paper Planet turns the humble doodle into your mightiest ally.

Planet Paper is one of those games that takes the best of Gyrus and Tempest and rolls them into one fun and challenging game. For the uninitiated, Gyrus and Tempest are classic arcade games from the golden age of gaming. Gyrus, with its tubular space shoot-outs, and Tempest, with its dizzying vector-based vortex gameplay, have found a beautiful marriage in Doodle Games' recent indie offering.

Every Sketch Has Its Day

Paper Planet is to visuals what pop-up books are to literature: simplistic on the surface, but unfolding layers of complexity as you dig deeper. Comparing the game's aesthetic to origami feels about right as the intricacies lie in the folds, where the mere crease of a paper can breathe life into a character, or in this case, an entire world.

The world of Paper Planet is almost like your childhood art class coming to life. Remember the joy of making those stick figures dance across the pages of your notebook? This game captures that very essence, presenting a universe where doodles evolve and engage, all while dancing to the rhythm of bullets, explosions, and chaos.

Drawn to Danger

At its core, Paper Planet is a rogue-lite, bullet-hell extravaganza. Situated at the center of a vast galactic space, players are tasked with defending their paper-crafted planet from a barrage of alien invaders. Each alien downed contributes to a points tally, which, when saved up, can be spent on upgrading your arsenal and bolstering your defenses. Weapon progression is paramount here, as complacency will see players swiftly overwhelmed by the ever-increasing onslaught of doodled doom.

And the gameplay is not merely based on obliterating hostile invaders either. Your defensive tactics must be as varied as the threats you face. For example, while your planet can shrug off the blows from yellow missiles, your turret cannot, necessitating a dance of precision shooting and evasive maneuvers.

On the flip side, red missiles leave your planet utterly defenseless, compelling you to activate its protective shield. These elements elevate the gameplay from a typical bullet-hell frenzy to a more tactical ballet of strategy, demanding both finesse and forward-thinking for survival

The game also features a local co-op mode accommodating up to four (4) players, which significantly amplifies its replay value. However, as this review pivots on the single-player experience, I'll reserve judgment on the multiplayer dynamics at another time..

Merging the whimsy of hand-drawn heroes with the thrill of roguelike challenges, Paper Planet turns the humble doodle into your mightiest ally.

A Few Creases in the Folds

Despite how good the gameplay is, no game is without its flaws, and Paper Planet has a couple tucked beneath its paper folds. First, several of the powerups feel disproportionately overpowered, turning levels into lopsided affairs as you can simply sit back and just hold down the fire button and eliminate all the threats on screen.

Secondly, while the journey is packed with chaotic pandemonium, the destination arrives a tad too soon. A few more sittings, and players might find themselves yearning for an endless mode or more menacing bosses to challenge their doodle defending prowess.

While both the classic keyboard/mouse combo and the controller strut their stuff commendably, there's an undeniable charm to the tactile feel of a controller. The feel of its motion marries flawlessly with the game's orbital mechanics, making you glide seamlessly through the most heated stints of cosmic chaos.

And yet, in a twist of tech irony, my first try with the controller setup played hard to get. It took a few rounds of plugging-then-unplugging before the game was able to recognize my controller. Here's hoping for a quick fix to resolve this minor nuance.

Merging the whimsy of hand-drawn heroes with the thrill of roguelike challenges, Paper Planet turns the humble doodle into your mightiest ally.

From Scribbles to Supremacy

All-in-all, in a gaming universe brimming with newly released titles, it's a breath of fresh air to play something that harks back to simpler times, yet doesn't feel dated. Paper Planet seamlessly fuses the nostalgia of childhood sketches with the thrill of arcade classics.

Yes, it could do with a few more folds and creases to enhance its longevity, but as it stands, it's an experience that's undeniably worth the, um, paper it's drawn on. So, if you're looking for a visually striking, gameplay-packed joyride through a world of pen and paper, Paper Planet is the cosmic journey for you.

Looking to read more indie reviews? Check out our review page here.

Pavement Pandemonium: Tristan Cole's Pro Driver

Whether you're a video game connoisseur or just a casual controller wrangler, it's time to buckle up and set your sights on the retro rearview mirror. Get ready to pave the digital asphalt with tire treads as we turn the key on Tristan Cole's Pro Driver (TCPD), an upcoming indie title by the eponymous developer, Tristan Cole.

Pavement Pandemonium: Tristan Cole's Pro Driver

Stunt Driving Redefined

Marrying the wild, frantic action of Sega's Crazy Taxi with the precision trickery of combo-based extreme sports games, all against the backdrop of blistering speed akin to premier racing titles, TCPD promises a potent cocktail of nostalgia and novelty, adrenaline, and amusement.

As an indie developer with his steering wheel firmly gripped on the gaming community's pulse, Tristan Cole has become synonymous with the fusion of creativity and gameplay practicality. Blending classic elements with inventive twists, Cole's craft is no mere exercise in reinventing the wheel, but rather, adding a turbocharger to it. Having previously charmed players with engaging narratives and unique gameplay mechanics, TCPD is Cole's bold leap into the nitrous-infused world of stunt driving.

You take on the role of a hired driver in the world of stunt driving. As a mercenary, you accept any challenge as long as the price is right. You will need to balance strategic resource management, collecting earnings to upgrade your vehicles and acquire new flashy machines. In addition, the driving mechanics require skill and reward high-risk maneuvers with high-octane glory.

Pavement Pandemonium: Tristan Cole's Pro Driver

Turning Green Lights to Gold

The control scheme, more akin to a twitch-based fighter game than your typical racer, demands precision timing to execute elaborate driving stunts and rack up impressive combos. Meanwhile, the race against the clock and rival drivers adds an exhilarating sense of urgency that keeps the tension at a perpetual high gear.

TCPD's environment is both your stage and playground as the sprawling urban jungle comes alive with opportunity and danger at every corner. Back alleys become potential shortcuts, rooftops morph into makeshift ramps, and roundabouts transform into dizzying drifting circuits. This dynamic, interactable cityscape ensures each game session remains fresh, unpredictable, and thrillingly chaotic.

As for aesthetics, TCPD channels the charm of arcade-era vibrancy with its saturated colors, sharp contrast, and whimsically exaggerated vehicle designs. The stylistic echoes of yesteryears, however, do not hinder the game's seamless performance. Accompanied by an electric soundtrack, the game proves to be as much a visual and auditory spectacle as it is a test of your driving dexterity.

Pavement Pandemonium: Tristan Cole's Pro Driver

Ingenuity Meets Rapture

With its white-knuckled, fast-paced gameplay and inventive approach to the stunt driving genre, TCPD is revving up to be a showstopper on the indie scene. Cole's unique combination of tried-and-true gameplay elements with innovative features presents a promising new challenger on the grid of racing games.

We eagerly anticipate donning our digital driving gear, hitting the gas, and burning some serious rubber in this upcoming release. As the saying goes, 'one never knows the feeling of speed until one is in control' and Tristan Cole's Pro Driver, is poised and ready to hand us the keys to fun.

Early Impressions: Pacific Strafe - A High-Flying WWII Arcade Shooter

Have you ever dreamt of soaring through the sky in a classic fighter plane, engaging in dogfights, and saving the day? If so, then Pacific Strafe by indie developer Insane Software might be the game to satisfy that old arcade itch. Set during World War II, players take on the role of a brave pilot fighting to liberate islands from an invading force.

Get ready to protect your carrier from torpedo planes, lead attacks on enemy battleships, and assist your landing craft in reclaiming precious territory. So buckle up and prepare for an exciting adventure high up in the Pacific skies.

In-game development video

Early Impressions: Pacific Strafe - A High-Flying WWII Arcade Shooter

Pacific Strafe offers players a chance to fly one of five classic World War II fighter planes that played critical roles in the war. Choose from the P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, A6M Zero, or the B-25 Mitchell. Each plane has its strengths and weaknesses, making the player's choice of aircraft critical to the outcome of each mission. Practice makes perfect, so don't give up after a few defeats. Players will gain more experience with each attempt and improve their flying and shooting skills.

The arcade-style gameplay is fast-paced, with missions that range in difficulty and objectives. For example, players may be tasked with protecting their carrier from incoming torpedo planes while simultaneously taking out enemy fighters. On another mission, players may need to coordinate with their squadron to escort bombers and sink enemy battleships. With each mission, players will earn points and unlock new skills, weapons, and planes. The abilities gained will prove critical for later missions, as the game ramps up the difficulty considerably.

While Pacific Strafe undoubtedly takes its charm from arcade classics like 1942 and Striker, it does have some limitations. One, if you're hoping for a coherent storyline, well, let's just say it's not the game's strong suit. Sure, there are plenty of special effects, but without a directorial campaign to connect them, you'll be left scratching your head as to how the Americans pulled off their unlikely victory. Second, the game's difficulty level can be frustratingly high, and the lack of checkpoints means that players will need to start from the beginning each time they lose their lives.

Despite still being in its early release stage, it already shows significant promise. The developers have big plans for the game and intend to continue working on it over the next few months until it reaches completion. As a result, players can look forward to exciting updates, including new planes, weapons, and enemies, along with graphics, sound, and design improvements.

By purchasing Pacific Strife now, customers will gain access to all future updates, making it an enticing purchase for any aspiring fighter pilot who enjoys old-school arcade action. So buckle up and prepare to take flight into a world of intense dogfighting and thrilling aerial battles that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

View Pacific Stafe on Steam.

Sandbox Sensation Aloft Soars to New Heights with Steam Trailer and Demo

Players of Aloft must survive on islands floating around a central, eternal hurricane in their world. They must build a base and call one of these islands home in order to begin the adventure. Adventurers can outfit the enclave with sails to travel the winds, uncovering new territories and collecting resources, technologies, and equipment upgrades.

To cleanse the nature of dangerous fungi that contaminate flora and corrupt wildlife, they must free and heal the ecosystem from harm. Through progress on their expedition through the sky, players will uncover secrets of a lost civilization while discovering their origins by soaring to high altitudes in this mysterious realm.

Sandbox Sensation Aloft Soars to New Heights with Steam Trailer and Demo

The trailer for Aloft revealed the demo content includes novel characters and monsters, distinctive environments, a revamp of the survival system, simplified building mode, a photo mode, UI and icon modifications, new audio effects and animations as well as gliding controls; also new features such as cooking pots, campfires. fireplaces. doors and windows were highlighted.

Key Features:

A free demo of Aloft is now available on Steam for PC and the game will launch on the platform in early 2024. For latest updates on the title, users are encouraged to join their Discord community, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them Instagram, visit their website and check out their Steam page.

This Copycat Vampire Survivor Game is Perhaps the Best One Out There

Brotato, the game by indie developer Blobfish Game Studios, is like nothing you've played before. It's a top-down rogue-lite arena shooter where instead of being some generic superhero with a gun, you're, well, a potato. Yes, an actual potato, armed to the teeth and ready to take on hordes of enemies hell-bent on making potato salad out of you.

Brotato, the game by indie developer Blobfish, is like nothing you've played before.

With fast and hectic game mechanics and accurate, responsive controls that make the action even more thrilling, you'll be in gaming heaven.

And the! It's got awesome tunes and sound effects that just adds another layer of fun to the already frantic gameplay.

With up to 6 weapons at your disposal, you can create unique builds and strategies while gathering items and traits as you fight off wave after wave of enemies until the timer runs out.

If you thought vegetables had no place in gaming, think again, cause in Brotato, not only do they come in all shapes and sizes, but they also come packing heat!

You can check out more of the game on Steam.

Pixel Art Comedy, Dwarven Skykeep Releases on Steam

While everyone is preoccupied with either playing the latest AAA game or stuffing their faces with turkey and gravy leftovers, a wizard is going unnoticed!

Dwarven Skykeep, a humorous pixel-art base builder, is now available on PC via Steam, according to the publisher. For a limited time during launch week, save 15% on the title.

The Dwarven Plot

In Dwarven Skykeep, aspiring wizards take on the role of Dr. Sevendar Kness, a master of card magic and the foremost authority on the construction of block towers. Dr. Kness arrives in Dwarven City for an unknown reason. Join him on his quest to create The Nameless Kingdom's most powerful card deck, then raise massive towers as a testament to your might and magic.

Build, upgrade, and defend your towers with the assistance of devoted dwarves and gnomes. Command your miniature army to create, repair, and renovate. It's small and personable, but it's surprisingly useful. Throw your minions into sword fights and fires, or have them scavenge for resources. They'll do almost anything you ask of them.

Pixel Art Comedy, Dwarven Skykeep Releases on Steam

Explore five distinct worlds, each with its own inventive gameplay mechanics and heinous challenges. Warm up your tower in the Winter World, race a train across a vast desert, keep your spire afloat among the clouds, and return the sun to its rightful place in the sky while racing through the Shadow World. Nothing is impossible, especially on your ninth attempt.

Key Features:

Pixel Art Comedy, Dwarven Skykeep Releases on Steam

Watch the official launch trailer here:

Indie Recommendation: Moons of Darsalon

Early Impressions

The moon is always full in Darsalon! So party it up with your friends, and don't forget to bring a picnic blanket and a compass since you'll be going where no man has gone before. A telescope and some courage are welcome too since you might catch a glimpse of some intergalactic shenanigans as you traverse upward toward the skies or down deep into the caverns of the underground.

Koochy, Koochy, Koo!

Moons of Darsalon, by indie developer Dr. Kucho! Games is the next installment in the Darsalon series, (the first one being Pilots of Darsalon) and presents players with the task of rescuing a mining team lost on one of the moons orbiting the foliage-rich planet of Darsalon. The premise, as you can imagine might sound easy, until you realize the group you have to save have a combined IQ of a doorknob. But hey, that's what makes the game utterly fun and hilarious at the same time.

The first time I booted up the game, I was eerily reminded of the first few levels of Earthworm Jim, with its pixelated graphics and soft hues in colors. The actual gameplay, however, feels reminiscent of classic platforming and puzzle-solving games like Lemmings where the game challenges players to think strategically and use their abilities in creative ways to bring the mining team back safely.

But beyond just being an entertaining and charming experience, Moon of Darsalon also evokes feelings of nostalgia with its retro graphics and brilliant musical score. In a sea of big-budget blockbuster games, this one took me by surprise and it stands out as a refreshing and unique achievement in indie gaming. While the demo has its quirks, like resolution and controller issues, I still found the experience to be quite addicting, leaving me wanting to play more.

Bring Me Home, Baby!

Playing Moons of Darsalon not only brought me loads of fun, but it also gave me a sense of nostalgia for those classic games that I loved growing up. I would highly recommend this game to anyone looking for an exciting platforming and puzzle-solving experience. With its addicting gameplay and throwback feel, Moons of Darsalon is definitely a title to keep your eyes on.

We'll have more on Moons of Darsalon as it gets closer to release.


Is Dr. Kucho! Games the real name of the developer?

Yes! According to his bio, Dr. Kucho! was/still is a well-regarded Spanish house DJ who is now tinkering in the world of video game design. How cool is that?

You said Moons of Darsalon reminded you of Earthworm Jim, I think you meant to say Abe's Oddysee, perhaps?

No, pal. Aesthetically, the game reminds me a lot of Earthworm Jim. Gameplay-wise, it does have elements of Abe's Oddysee with its command prompts. So, yeah, you're half right.

The game looks cool, When is it scheduled for release?

According to the Steam page, the target release is aimed at the 1st Quarter of 2023.

Horror Investigative Game "My Work Is Not Yet Done" to be Published by Raw Fury in 2023

Is Your Work Done Yet?

Raw Fury and Sutemi Productions have announced a collaboration to publish Sutemi's debut novel, My Work Is Not Yet Done. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the investigative horror game with disturbing visuals will be released next year. The announcement trailer debuted exclusively at The MIX Next 2022 and shows off the game's distinct style.

My Work Is Not Yet Done is a narrative-driven investigative horror game with survival-simulation elements and a dense, nonlinear plot. The final days of the inquisitor Avery, the last surviving member of a doomed scientific expedition into a remote and unfathomable stretch of sinking country, are followed by the players. They must navigate, survey, and survive an eerie, ever-shifting landscape reclaimed by nature — and something stranger — in order to find the source of a strange transmission believed to have originated somewhere within the region.

My Work Is Not Yet Done aspires to be a distinct and innovative take on the survival-simulation genre, accurately reproducing the physical and psychological experience of being alone and lost in the wilderness. The game takes place in an expansive open-world environment, seamlessly blending procedurally generated locations with a variety of handcrafted points of interest to provide a distinct sense of disorientation with each playthrough.


Raw Fury and Sutemi Productions will release My Work Is Not Yet Done in 2023. The game is now available on Steam.

Last Time I Saw You (Demo) Impressions

Last Time I Saw You, by indie developer Maboroshi Artwork, tells the heartwarming tale of discovery that finds a balance between adventure and suspense. The story sidesteps the typical clichés of teenage coming-of-age and expands beyond the human emotions of love. It's the kind of story you know you can trust and one that you ultimately give yourself over to affection for these characters who are so tenderly represented.

We follow the story of a young boy named Ayumi, who has been having repeated dreams that his mind cannot comprehend. In these dreams, a young girl calls to him but reveals very little of her intentions. To many, they may be signs of an ominous omen, but to Ayumi, they are wondrous events that have a deeper meaning.

Ironically, Ayumi's hometown is bracing for a typhoon that will inevitably make landfall and he wonders if there is a connection between his dreams and the typhoon. The story is a subtle construction of art, as buried questions slowly emerge, hidden feelings become clear, and we are led, but not too far, into wondering if Ayumi is prophesizing or if he really is crazy.

Set in Japan during the 1980s, the countryside where the story takes place is exquisitely hand-drawn and bustling with activity. It is a vivid and vibrant place where the streets expand to infinity and everything around it looks big and uncharted. It is also a place where the innocence of kids and the experiences of the shopkeepers cross between the past and the future flowing together naturally like the ripples of a river.

Some of the characters are more wounded and cynical than others, and some, like the meat shop owner, for example, find kindness as foreign as an undiscovered country. Moments of humor are sprinkled throughout the game and while some of the dialogue can get repetitive, the story opens up gently revealing the next moment. Everything is lined up as it should. And while the pacing is deliberate, nothing is derailed.

The developer's style, I suppose, is to introduce some characters, linger with them for a while, and then move on to others, eventually coming back so that all the stories get tied together as we get glimpses of their many lives. Manabu, for example, is a bit older but is more childlike as he shares his ambition of becoming a baseball player. Nao, on the other hand, is well reserved, studious, and appears to be the voice of reason. Ayumi's parents are typical: an awkward father who goes to work every day and a stay-at-home mom who occupies her day cooking, cleaning, and prepping hearty desserts for the family.

While most adventure games overwhelm the player with useless dialogue and a long-winded introduction, Last Time I Saw You has no wrong scenes and no extra fluff. There are two repeating motifs: the constant dreams which are so simple and true and the seasonal approach of the typhoon, which the townsfolks worry about but never enough to stop their everyday activities.

There's a crucial scene where the storm finally makes landfall and Ayumi has to leave the safety of his class to retrieve an item he has left behind. Ominous black clouds gather above giving way to the heavy winds and raindrops which are so subtle that some may hear and feel it to be real, not imaginary.

As Ayumi tries to make it back to the safety of the group, he is attacked by flying phantom creatures. The entire sequence resembles a nightmare in which strange entities drift in and out of focus, puzzling Ayumi with their unexplained appearance. I applaud the developers here as they pay special attention to each scene, which I believe, is not to tell an ongoing story, but to make each scene have a unique end so viewers become anxious about what's to come next.

Unfortunately, that's where the demo ends. Last Time I saw You has real inspiration, and after a few playthroughs, I feel like I know the characters by heart, but I don't want to spoil your experience by quoting one-liners or revealing too much. Instead, I'll just say that the game's surprises, in any event, can lead our imaginations to wonderful places.

I'll provide a more detailed review when the game is officially released.

Here They Come! Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde (Steam) Review

How did this one fly under my radar? Week after week and month after month, we get inundated with subpar games, and then, out of the blue, a charmer like this comes along practically out of nowhere and reminds us how fun gaming can be.

Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde is a chaotic top-down rogue-lite game, that, unlike most titles, is a genre that makes characters not so necessary. This durable form inspires developers to create plots that are baffling in their complexity and bold in their simplicity. And Spirit Hunter achieves both.

The Horde Never Dies

After a brief intro, we learn the early history of a forgotten land, plundered and pillaged by an evil force. But hope is not lost, as you take on the role of either a prophet or sorcerer tasked with defeating the evil that has laid waste upon your homeland.

Much of the game's success and enticements come from comparisons from other games of similar ilk; most notable being Vampire Survivors. These games are all more or less similar, but Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde gives us much, much more even if many of its mechanics are the same.

There must be a threat and heroes must be enlisted to stop the said threat. The bosses must be dramatized but not overpowering. Passive and active skills need to be enhanced and probed. And then the gameplay needs to consist of special effects in which large mechanical objects engage in combat that results in deafening crashes, blinding flashes, and fiery explosions.

Visually, Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde shines brighter than Vampire Survivors with its generous use of bright vibrant colors resembling a large water stroke design. Game characters are random but well thought out, yet simple enough that anyone can draw them; small dots for eyes, a slight curvature for eyebrows, and a straight line with a loop at the end to finish off the mouth. I do enjoy these types of caricatures because making them any more realistic would take away from the personalities and depth each character possesses.

Soul Survivor

The landscape, as you can see, is vast and players can traverse from one end to the other without the limits of borderless walls. Another unique aspect of the game is the way chests are opened; in Vampire Survivor, for example, you simply walk up to the chest and it opens. Here, you'll need to stay within the radius of the chest until the area of effect is complete before the chest opens. Step outside and the timer resets back, so strategy plays a big part in whether or not you can or should open a chest, depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Another helpful feature is the placement of supply huts randomly placed on the map to purchase, potions, health, and crystals. Once inside, you're safe as these huts are considered neutral ground to both prey and predator awaiting outside.

With everything happening on-screen at once, one might think that the game is played at breakneck speed. Not here. The developers have a good feel for slow methodical pacing. Time is given and attention is paid to the construction of each level so that the tension grows from the situation and doesn't pound the player into frustration.

Of course, you'll still get overwhelmed, but it's more incidental than intentional. The bosses, for example, aren't the rubber-stamp bad guys from other games, but plausible creatures that blend well with the environment and do not just randomly rush in to attack.

Infinite Fun

Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde marks the indie debut of developer Creature Cauldron Game Studios, who like many indie developers, are better with elegant game design than with dazzling 3D effects. There aren't any fancy ray tracing virtuosities here, instead, we have direct and precise designs that focus squarely on the characters, the environment, and the situation which is handled in an unusual way, with the core mechanics never seemingly wasted or depraved, but created organically to be out of control.

There's an understated irony in games like this because it doesn't want to overwhelm the player but to keep them on their toes, making each level feel fresh and new. Spirit Hunters: Infinite Horde is built around, not the game per se, but the free-spirited reaction of the players as they move to and from one area to the next, moving in zig-zagging patterns to avoid being smothered to death. When it comes to fun, indie developers always come out with something unique, different, and challenging. So if you're looking for a game that will test your sanity, give this spirited hunter a try.

I Scream for Ice Cream - Scoop Kick! Review

Play through 5 different worlds, each with its own exciting story and challenges--will you be able to save the day?

If you've always wanted to work in an ice cream store but hated to wear aprons or those silly little hats, then Scoop Kick! by developer Ryemanni Studios will satisfy your dairy thirst without getting your uniform all dirty.

Taking much of its gameplay design from the classics like Burgertime, Dig Dug, and Donkey Kong, Scoop Kick! takes you through seven unique worlds with over 30 intricate levels and a slew of unlockable characters, bonuses, and secrets to find. Suffice it to say, you'll get plenty of bang for your buck with this game.

Creamy Delight

The premise is fairly straightforward: you take the role of the lovable Ms. Cream, who along with her fruity friends, must take back all the ice cream that was stolen by the notorious ice cream bandit, Juice Bunch, and his minions. The story might sound simple as a rack 'em-stack'em type game, but it's a lot harder than it looks, especially in the later levels when the enemies become faster and start shooting chocolate chips at you.

Gameplay-wise, there isn't anything here that you probably have not played in the past. You start off running up and down ladders and crossing platforms while kicking down scoops of ice cream onto the awaiting cones below.

The premise sound easy enough if it were not for the fact that you're constantly being pursued by colorful little bad guys who probably taste as good as they look. With everything chasing you onscreen, It's a wonder how the FDA hasn't closed down the game for health violations.

Unlike in the original Burgertime where you had pepper to momentarily 'stun' your pursuers, Scoop Kick! employs a more run-and-hide approach that includes luring the enemies into position and crushing them beneath or against the weight of the ice cream in the same way you would crush the Pookas in Dig Dug. Also, you don't have to place the ice cream in any particular order, you just need to clear them all to advance to the next level.

Play through 5 different worlds, each with its own exciting story and challenges--will you be able to save the day?

Kick It, Don't Lick It!

Controls are simple, yet very intuitive and responsive, which is needed since quick and accurate movements are what is going to save your dairy behind from instant death. Get cornered between two bananas chasing you, for example, and you become the topping on their proverbial split.

Overall, Scoop Kick! is a great little gem for those looking for a quick fix in short sessions. The game has been out since February and I still boot it up regularly to play which is a testament to the game's overall appeal and addictiveness. This was especially true when my nieces and nephews stopped by during Spring break and were in awe of the game. Give it a try and I promise you that you will never look at ice cream the same way again.

Journey Through Hell and Back - Inferno: A Puzzle Game (Steam) Review

Anyone who has ever written stories knows the feeling of dropping out of the world of words and time. A mental state of musing takes over as an unknown void beholds the writer where no sensation of the passing of hours is felt. The voices inside our heads, that allows us to talk to ourselves, falls silent and there are only letters, words, and sentences that seamlessly integrate together.

There is, however, a theory to explain all of this. Language, as experts have surmised, is centered on the left side of the brain. Art, on the other hand, lives on the right side. They say that you can't create something as long as you're thinking about it in words and vice-versa.

Indie developer, Blue Vertex, seems to have spent most of their time on the right side of the brain developing Inferno: A Puzzle Game based on Dante's Inferno, as only a talented team could understand that while representing their game in perfect unison with Dante's work.

Journey to the Nine Circles of Hell

For those unfamiliar with Dante Algheirie or Dante as he is commonly known, was a medieval writer, poet, and philosopher famous for his narrative poem, Divine Comedy, in which he chronicles his journey to Hell (Inferno) guided alongside by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil. Dante depicts Hell as being realms or circles through which the soul must travel through to be closer to God.

Inferno: A Puzzle Game, takes those circles and interprets them into 100 unique and formidable puzzles. All the trademarks of successful puzzlers are here, including beautiful imagery, evocative sound effects, strange and wonderful worlds, and some of the best soundtrack and musical scores around.

The character movement is a step-by-step, sliding show affair rendering the pixel world in vibrant colors where trees grow and flowers sway against the wisp of a gentle breeze. The game uses a mix of primitive and current puzzle-solving objectives and where you stand on how puzzles are solved boils down to how you go about interpreting them.

Since your character cannot jump or travel above ground that is waist-high, the majority of Inferno's objectives are based primarily on moving crates and boxes around to form bridges and connections between gaps. There will be much trial and error figuring out how to get from one point to the next and oftentimes, you'll find yourself moving a crate to a bad location and getting stuck; thankfully, there's a nice little 'undo' button that reverses such moves.

Tonight is the Beginning of Always

There is no time limit to solving any of the puzzles so there's no predicated push to rush through it; which means you can tackle them at your leisure. Inferno follows many of the established conventions of puzzle games so if you've played any puzzlers from the last decade or so, you should feel fairly comfortable taking on these challenges.

The best parts of the game, in my opinion, are the ones that are circle specific. Blue Vertex uses prologues from each of Dante's passages to show the smallest details of the level designs, while the written text describes the circles you are in (Greed, Wrath, Heresy, etc.). There are even little tidbits surrounding Dante and his writings floating around in situations where you just want to know more about this prolific writer.

Aesthetically, Inferno looks wonderful. There are times when we almost seem to be looking at the very pixels that Dante is describing in his works. These moments create a sense of realism and warmth. We aren't looking at stars in the sky, flowers in the fields, or portraits against a wall; we're looking at moments that are, figuratively, frozen in time when Dante's words moved us in such a way that they responded to his feeling and his craft. And Blue Vertex captures that essence brilliantly.

Despite my high praises for the game, however, some notable flaws do stand out mainly because of how well developed the rest of the game design is. For one, I found myself constantly having to rotate the game world to identify hills and barriers on the map because my character was shrouded by tree branches. I hope in future updates, the developers would implement a way to make the player see through those barriers. Second, the game only has one 'save' slot which makes saving in several places inconvenient. Multiple save options would be ideal since puzzle games require constant trial and error.

The Path to Salvation

So much of the popular depiction of puzzle games are often crude and inaccurate, fed by the notion that they are boring or meant for children. Inferno: A Puzzle Game is an entirely different game altogether made even better because it serves the purpose of bringing both art and language together.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Inferno. The game feels small but the meaning is enormous as it calls our attention to the details and to the way that Dante's writings, and the developer's interpretation of those writings, are not about the subject matter but about the way both see the spiritual world. If you enjoy games that are both compelling and thought-provoking, then you definitely need to add Inferno to your gaming library.

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave - Webbed (Steam) Review

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave - Webbed (Steam) Review

"I think there is a hero in all of us."


I quote this line because you do not expect something so commemorative to reference a game about an astute little spider. One of the major delights of Webbed is that it is such a clever little platformer. It is as simple of a game as simple can be, and yet all of the characters are smarter and more articulate than the characters in most of the AAA titles I've played.

Getting Caught in the Webbing

The game takes place in the outbacks of Australia, where our hero, a young female spider sets out to find her boyfriend who has been abducted by one of nature's most predatory birds.

Armed with determination, courage, and an endless supply of webbing to make things right in the insect world. She has the powers of a spider but the instincts of a human being and the game is split between creating a plausible gaming character and a bona fide superhero.

Through trial and error, she'll journey along zipping through level after level on thinly spent webs. As she progresses, she learns how to spin and toss webbing and finds that she can make enormous leaps.

Where other games simply ask you to swing away and to attach your hooks on some object, Webbed creates the sensation of free-floating and the rush that flesh and blood are contending with gravity feels almost effortless.

The entire game just flows and never gets bogged down by long-winded narration or time-limited levels. The music and sound effects are punctuated by little musical passages that act sort of chorus without taking away from the soothing gameplay.

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave - Webbed (Steam) Review

Web of Addictiveness

Webbed is a game created with charm and unlike other games, it does not force the player to play past their abilities, not for a second. Webbed believes it is OK to make mistakes and to learn and build upon them when creating complex spider-web designs.

And instead of the usually contrived melodrama of most games, this one develops a story that highlights the characters. The developers, Sbug Games, know these things and they teach us these lessons in such subtle ways from the characters on screen. And it is so well made that adults will find it entertaining, too; maybe more than some kids, because we as adults can clearly see the effort put into it.

If you're into platformers, I highly recommend you give Webbed a try. But don't be surprised if you find yourself tangled in its web of addictiveness.

Who the F*^% You Calling a Duck? Mighty Goose (Steam) Review

Star rating for the game the Mighty Goose

If you're itching for some classic side-scrolling action, the Goose Federation wants you. But be advised, this game is an assault on your senses as well as on your webbed fingers.

As it normally goes, the planet is once again being invaded by a bunch of goons hell-bent on taking over the world. But fear not as humanity is sending its biggest and toughest warrior to stop the invasion.

No, it's not Stallone or Schwarzenegger, it's the Goose. Make that, The Mighty Goose.

If you're itching for some classic side-scrolling action, the Goose Federation wants you. But be advised, this game is an assault on your senses as well as on your webbed fingers.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

To combat the enormous wave of bad guys coming at you, you'll need superior firepower to survive and the game obliges accordingly. Armed with a slew of weapons that would make most third-world countries green with envy, the Goose uses his wits and honking abilities to dodge, evade, and mow down enemies through some of the most explosive levels not seen since the days of Metal Slug.

Taking its cues from classics like Contra and Super Turrican, Mighty Goose expands on the tried and true formula of arcade shooters and takes it up a notch with its intense gameplay and vibrant, retro-inspired visuals. The basic formula hasn't changed as you take the Goose from level to level going left to right and up and down.

Blasting open crates and eliminating bad guys garners you coins which you can use to purchase upgrades and enhancements. Along the way, you'll be joined by AI-controlled ducks and pigs who will assist you in taking down the more challenging bosses. The sound effects pack a punch as well with crystal-clear explosions and thumping soundtracks that will rock your proverbial hen house.

If you're itching for some classic side-scrolling action, the Goose Federation wants you. But be advised, this game is an assault on your senses as well as on your webbed fingers.

Release the Goose

Despite the game being everything a shooter fan could wish for, there are a few nuances that prevent the Goose from claiming top roost. One, while the visuals are impressive, it also hinders the player due to the fact that you almost always lose track of where the Goose might be due in large part to so many things happening on-screen at once.

Oftentimes, you'll often find yourself in the thick of an explosive firefight only to keep shooting and blindly dodging projectiles hoping to wipe out the enemies before they make duck meat out of you.

Second, like all arcade shooters of this type, Mighty Goose is a short game that can be completed in one sitting. Now, this isn't a knock against the game per se, but more about the limitations of the genre.

Making the game too long makes it repetitive and boring and making it too short would feel like a cheap and unfulfilling thrill. And despite the addition of online play, the game doesn't offer any new levels to try out. You are, essentially, just replaying the levels again, but this time with a companion.

Getting Goosebumps

While Mighty Goose doesn't blast open new territory it does provide some awesome thrills, frantic actions, excellent controls, and imaginative level design. If you're feeling a bit fowl (get it?) do yourself a favor and grab this game. This Goose is everything is quacked up to be!

Congratulations Pilot, You've Earned Your Wings - Broken Sky (Steam) Review

Broken Sky is a solid side-scrolling shooter that will make you miss breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner, too!

At a very young age, I was told that my coordination would never be right. Heck, I could barely touch my nose with the tip of my finger without poking myself in the eye, and yet, here I am preparing to top Broken Sky’s leaderboard high score. It’s 8:35 am on a Tuesday morning when I boot up the game and several hours later, my cell phone sends out an alert sayings it’s lunchtime. How can such a tiny little game make me lose so much track of time?

The concept is simple: take the gameplay of defender, add nitrous to it and you have a game that harkens back to the good old days of blast 'em up shooters. As a fellow gamer once told me, "If you got the gameplay down right, then you don't need anything else. No story, no background, no mama, no papa. Gameplay is all you need." And Broken Sky from indie developer Addictive 247 Games, is all I need.

Broken Sky is a solid side-scrolling shooter that will make you miss breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner, too!

Mile High Flight

Broken Sky's strength lies in its elegant simplicity. Each level is one long vastness of open space in which various enemies spawn and where the player controls a tiny plane with two modes of fire and one for special abilities. The first and secondary modes are where you select your weapons and the third can be used to equip your plane with special abilities like lightspeed to evade incoming projectiles. That's about it in a nutshell. Simple, clean, and very easy to pick up and play.

The gameplay is fast and frantic which treads the fine line between frustratingly difficult and rewarding achievement through patience and diligence. Suffice it to say, Broken Sky is a very challenging game, and if you can beat the game and obtain all the achievements in one sitting, consider yourself an old-school shooter master.

Graphically, Broken Sky stays true to its retro roots with a design philosophy that takes you back to the days of bright neon lights of the arcade experience. But that's not to say the graphics are bad either. In fact, the particle effects, the explosions, and the catchy upbeat tempo create an illusion of two worlds colliding - old-school romp and modern-day technology.

Broken Sky is a solid side-scrolling shooter that will make you miss breakfast, lunch, and possibly dinner, too!

Flying Ace

Despite my praises for the game, several game quirks do pop up here and there. One, since your craft is always forging ahead at a brisk speed, it's often difficult to see enemies coming towards you.

There are little blinking indicators at the edge of the screen that warns you of incoming missiles, but they are so small they oftentimes get lost in all of the action. Another quirk I find with the game is that the controls are inverted when you're flying in the other direction which makes controlling your plane a lot more difficult than it should be.

These complaints, however, diminish the more you play and the further into the game you get. And once you get used to the controls, flying becomes second nature. So, if you're a wannabe space pilot looking for some intense action, strap in and hold on, because many hours of shooting adventure await.

Gone But Not Forgotten - The TOP 6 Memorable PS1 Moments

Hello, Goodbye

The PS5 and Xbox Series X might be the talk of the town this generation, but we can't forget the important role the original Playstation (PS1) had on the industry and the critical impact it had on our gaming psyche.

While our itemized list is a small example of the Playstation's gameplay brilliance, collectively, it represents several of the most memorable moments in the history of gaming.

Let's take a six of the most memorable gaming events that defined the PS1!

6 - Tekken 2: The Intro

This was an example of an early FMV (Full Motion Video) that worked to convey what the game was about. It was done so well that by the end of the video your pulse would be pounding and you couldn't wait to start playing.

5 - Ridge Racer: Hitting the Chopper

Ok, this one may just be folklore since I have never seen anyone do it nor have I seen videos of anyone hitting the chopper. Still, where there's smoke there's fire, and gamers from around the globe have sworn up and down that they've done it.

4 - Toshinden: Sophia's Slap

Perhaps the most humiliating power move in all of the hand-to-hand combat. After giving her opponents a thorough butt whipping, Sophia puts down her whip and slaps her defeated foe with reckless abandon. It was the ultimate crowd-pleaser and a turn-on for a generation of adolescent teens.

3- Tomb Raider: T-Rex Chase

Nothing leaves an impression quite like being chased by an oversized T-Rex. This is perhaps one of the most defining moments players bring up when they talk about the original Tomb Raider.

2 - Final Fantasy VII: The Death of Aris

Arguably, the most tragic moment ever in a videogame. You've invested so much with this character, even dated and fantasized about her, just to witness her life come to a sudden end. Everyone got misty-eyed over this sequence of events even if they won't admit it.

1 - Resident Evil: Zombie Dog Smashes Through Window

You're walking slowly down a long, empty hallway when…CRASH! Bloodthirsty zombie dogs from hell come smashing through the window at you. The shock was so spontaneous that players would often forget which direction they needed to run to. Without a doubt, this one scene became one of the most memorable moments in videogame history.

Armed to the Gears Review - Armed and Semi Dangerous

Armed to the Gears is a linear game but filled with enough action to make it a solid title.

Ah, the joys of a straight-up, balls to the wall action game. Deonn Software brings it all together with Armed to the Gears, an unabashedly action-focused isometric mech shooter set in an extremely cool dark world. You won't find too much of a storyline here, but you really don't need it when the gameplay sports some of the best robot mayhem around.

Taking the role of a 60-foot tall biomechanical beast, you'll fight your way through huge industrial and military war zones to defeat a maniacal regime that rules with an iron fist. The game does a good job of setting you within a living city by including detailed landscapes, dilapidated streets, and abandoned buildings as you trade rockets and machine-gun fire with an army of enemy robots, tanks, and ground troops.

Armed to the Gears sports mission-based levels that assign you specific objectives like completing key missions or defending your base against an onslaught of enemies. Many of the levels are commendably large and capturing reactors grants the player Energy Points which can be used to call in air support or to fortify a position with offensive and defensive weapons.

Mech it Stop

Graphically, the game looks really good with vibrant colors, exceptional lighting, and tons of special effects. Explosions are put to good use especially when you blow up the bigger bosses later in the game. It would have been nice, however, to see civilians running around or having the battlefield littered with hulking pieces of metal and debris, especially after a long-fought battle. Robot animations are nicely done and the different designs give each mech an ominous but sporty look. Sound effects are top-notch and the tunes are generally better than your typical gaming tracks.

Taken at face value, Armed to the Gears is a very well done single-player title, but therein lies the problem that most gamers are going to find substantial. You see, Armed to the Gears has no multiplayer mode whatsoever, which is a real shame since the detailed environments make it a perfect setting to stomp through in deathmatch or in a game of Capture the Flag. In this day and age, I find this omission very odd even from a start-up indie developer.

Locked and Loaded

Despite the lack of multiplayer support, Armed to the Gears' fast-paced, frantic action is engaging and the environment you battle in has a distinct cyberpunk look that will appeal to many. The level design, while linear is entertaining, and with a price point of just under six dollars, it's not going to break your wallet. The game might not be as deep or as innovative as other mech games in the market, but if you want to have a good time by yourself, especially when we're all home isolating, Armed to the Gears is definitely worth a look.