Starsector (FractalSoftworks) is a 2D top down space combat/strategy game filled with weapons, ships, piracy, and explosions. Starsector takes place in the year 3126 and the Domain of Man has suffered a great collapse, isolating entire sectors of space. You start the game in one of those sectors and must battle through hordes of pirates and law enforcement patrols to survive. Currently you can start out as one of three professions; Bounty hunter, Trader, or Smuggler. All three start out with varying equipment and ships. The game controls a little bit weird. When you start out, WASD controls general movements while Q and E strafe left and right. The mouse wheel selects different armaments, F uses your special ability (like phasing a short distance), and right click to brings up your shield. I currently have 7 hours in game and have enjoyed it throughout. I give Starsector a 4.5/5.
Samurai Gunn (Teknopants - the company name is amazing) is a game where you and 3 friends play as 4 factions. You're weapons are a katana and a gun, you have to utilize them efficiently as the gun only has three bullets and the katana is on a timer. There is a versus mode where you and your three friends play against each other (local only) and a survival mode where you play against waves of AI. It’s not a bad game all in all, but if I have to give it a rating, it's a 3.5/5.
Rogue Legacy (Cellar Door Games) is an indie platform game/dungeon crawler with rogue-lite elements. The goal of Rogue Legacy is to conquer a randomly generated dungeon, then defeat the four bosses, each in a different environment. Whenever a character dies, the player can choose between three randomly generated heirs that come with their own genetic flaws and advantages. The controls are a little bit awkward, you move with the arrow keys and use abilities with WASD. Any gold found while exploring the castle is passed onto that character's heir. The gold can be used to buy improved abilities of the heirs. Gold can be found by smashing pieces of furniture, opening chests, or defeating enemies. Any unused gold is given to Charon, the gatekeeper, to enter the castle. There are also many challenges that can be done. In one, a carnival spawns with a random objective, like throwing axes to destroy targets. You can unlock character classes and equipment that help you get through the castle with your gold. The game is amazingly fun but really hard, like Dark Souls hard, so it gets a 4.6 in my book.
Blacklight: Retribution (Zombie, Perfect World Entertainment) is a free to play, first person twitch shooter. It’s very ... well … normal. This goes for the graphics and the controls. At one point it had an amazing in-game pay system. Within a few matches you could get a good weapon, decals, emotes, or armor. Now it’s mostly micro-transaction driven, with the cheapest purchase you can get currently being $10.00. Updates to the game have been underwhelming. The first year anniversary brought a new game mode and a wealth of items. Since then, most updates have consisted of a bug fix or two. Now, most veteran players are leaving due to the limited new game content. This game gets a 3 in my book.
Chroma Squad (Behold Studios) is a 2D squad strategy game. You play as a new television studio founded by a team of stuntmen. You begin with the bare essentials and grow your studio through gameplay. Intelligent play will add fixtures and other items to your studio which in turn increases how much cash and fans you get per episode. The combat is somewhat simple, as you can see in the video. Click to move or attack and WASD to move the camera. You can use character special abilities to do more damage, heal, stun and other things. It very entertaining but sometimes it can get repetitive and there are some pacing problems, I rate it 2.5 out of 5.
Hammerfight (Konstantin & Kranx Productions) is a 2D, mouse controlled, fighter (sort of a fighter) with local multi-player support, with multiple endings and a large amount of levels. There is an almost endless arena mode where you take on a plethora of opponents. The game is somewhat difficult to control as your main weapon is momentum, which means that you have to rotate your mouse until enough speed is gained to do some damage. You move through the game with your mouse as well, so you end up losing momentum as you move. This affects weapon status. It’s also somewhat hard to aim without hitting any by-standers or environment walls. Throughout the game you can unlock new features and weapons in the arena mode (but not in the campaign mode). These unlocks, with the plethora of levels, give the game a lot of replay value. It's a hard and challenging game but its very fun to play. I love this game but I don’t like the controls so I have to give it a 3.5/5.
21 Bytes (Opifex Ludus) was not a game on my original review list, it was included because it was the easiest to record. 21 Bytes is a game made in France by 6 students. It’s a 3rd person fighting game. You play as a cave-rock-man, whose health is time. You hunt and collect other rock animals. It’s a small game that you can download or play in your browser. 3.5 for a fun and simple game, the sound effects are really nice and the graphics are simple but pretty.
Of Guards and Thieves (Subvert Games) is a top-down multi-player shooter, in which you play as a guard or thief the guards, and try to prevent the thieves from stealing an un-known item. There are four classes on each team medic, heavy, scout, and soldier. There are some other game-modes like Zombie Rush and Foot-ball, (soccer) I think you can figure out what you do in those game-modes. The only real killer for this game is how small the community is. All in all it’s a pretty fun game and the mechanics are amazing but just isn’t right, maybe it’s the lack of customization for classes. I don’t know but something isn’t right, 4 out of 5.
Natural Selection 2 (Unknown Worlds Entertainment) is a first person shooter/real time strategy based on a ten year old Half Life 1 mod. After the success of the original mod, the modders went on to make their own engine (The Spark engine). In the game, you choose to play as either a marine or an alien. Both sides have a commander who builds needed structures and drops supplies on the ground for players to use. The aliens can evolve into bigger and stronger creatures, while the marines can upgrade their equipment. The controls are a pretty much standard, identical to other games in the class. The objective of the game is simply to destroy the enemy base. The game was a much anticipated title in 2012 and it was a huge success. Since release the developers have created and provided tools to help players build maps and modifications. This game looks great, controls well, and the community is great, amazing even, so, in my book it gets a 4.5/5.
Insurgency (New World Interactive) is a semi-realistic first person shooter, in which two teams (Security Forces and Insurgents) fight in 12 different game modes. Most of the modes involve running into the middle of the map and shooting the opposing team (then waiting until the end of the round to respawn when you die). Most of the included maps are fairly bland and flat terrains with buildings seemingly slapped on them without much thought. But there are some maps that are different from the rest. Station and Kandagal are cliff-like and more fun to play through than the others. I personally like playing co-op in this game more than player-versus-player. It feels more tactical compared to simply running down a street and shooting, or getting shot, in the p-v-p mode. It almost feels like the co-op is a separate game from the p-v-p mode. Co-op forces you to work with your team or fail, and I like that. I give this game a 2.5/5 due to its well-done co-op mode and its well-done heads up display.
Project Nimbus α version (GameCrafter Studio) is a third person shoot-em-up mech game. It takes place in a future where earth has been nuked multiple times and resources, meaning everything, are scarce. Humanity now lives in flying metropolises and use “Battleframes” as one of they’re defenses. A Battleframe is a human shaped flying mech (aka., Gundam, Zone of the Enders, Strike Suit Zero, or any other mech game). They come in tons of types from an M1, equipped with only one rocket and a heavy machine gun, up to a gigantic winged nuclear launch platform equipped with the obvious nuclear arsenal. In the current form it is a campaign based game. The controls are familiar and easy to master. The game is somewhat un-optimized presently, but it is very pretty if the in game graphics are set high enough. The game is fun and hopefully the full release will be even better, but in its current version it gets a 3.5/5.
Minimum (Human Heads Studios, Atari and Cube Productions, LLC) is a third person shooter, where you and the opposite team have titans. The goal is to get the titans across the map and to the opposite teams gem deposit (there are currently eight maps in the beta). During the game, when both titans are killed there is a creep round (AI), where you have to kill the creeps to collect crystals and ore. The crystals collected in the creep round power up the titans, and the ore allows you to make armor for yourself. When you’re team's Titan reaches the enemy’s gem deposit you win. After the match you gain resources to craft new weapons and gain new armor types to use in the next battle. I like the game but it has one flaw, melee weapons are unbalanced. So you could be shooting at the opposition from a long range, but they could be there (via a special ability) and kill you within a few seconds and three hits.They've made multiple patches to the game, but have not yet fixed this issue. So this game gets a 2.9, being a very pretty and fun game, but with a key play element done wrong.
Olli Olli (Roll7 and General Arcade) is a 2D skate boarding pixel junk game. Originally created for the PS Vita, now on the PC and PS4 as a good port for a semi-mobile game. Its controls are fairly simplistic, but it takes a while to master. It’s a good game for people who like to challenge themselves and others. I give it a 4.5 as it is an addictive and hard game, but really fun.