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#Indie

SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption Review

Souls-less

There’s been a lot of talk of Dark Souls lately. It seems like you can’t read a review without tripping over some reference to the series or a game being compared to it. However, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption fully invites the comparison, and was absolutely cast in the mold of Dark Souls. It very clearly tries to ape its gameplay and rather than copy the experience wholesale, boil it down to a boss rush mode game with a few unique twists. But in excising everything else that makes Dark Souls, Dark Souls, it loses what makes that series special.

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Firewatch Review

Finally, a game starring a middle-aged schlub that I can identify with!

We’re in a unique situation with video games right now. While there is a perceived waning interest in big “triple-A” releases (for a variety of reasons), the industry has reached a place where smaller and more personal tales can be told. These games take a multitude of forms, and as I mentioned in my review for Virginia, a new “day in the life” genre has popped up recently. Firewatch is certainly one of those games, and it is one that came along at just the right time for me.

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Virginia Review

You may need a master's degree in literature before you play this one.

Have you ever finished a book or a movie and been left trying to puzzle out the meaning of what you just experienced? Likely it was a frustrating feeling, as if you were on the cusp of understanding what the creator of the work was trying to tell you, but you were unable to make the connection in your head. Such was my experience with a little game called Virginia, which left me feeling mentally lacking at the best of times, and needlessly aggravated at the worst of times.

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Nerds Without Pants Episode 84: Nerds on the Short Bus

Godspeed, Omnibus!

Welcome to another episode of Nerds Without Pants as we get back on track with our normal release schedule. This week, we are joined by Jeremy Crockett of Buddy Cop Games, the makers of the soon to be cult classic Omnibus. Before we get the low down on Jeremy's passion project, we do some Consumption Junction.

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Nintendo - "Nindies@Night" Presentation

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Nintendo Wii U eShop - "Nindies@Home" Discount Program

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Rollers of the Realm Review

Rolling Deep

A plucky thief with a heart of gold arrives outside a small village. Using her companion, a scraggly mutt, she distracts the guards at the gate and sneaks into the nearby sewer entrance. Upon her arrival, she picks a few pockets to gather what she needs, and prepares to leave when a drunken man in plate mail being harassed by the henchmen of the town butcher, a local crime boss of sorts, stumbles onto the scene. A few backstabs later, and our thief now has a new partner, but her canine companion has been kidnapped by the butcher’s men, and they’re off to liberate him.

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Wrack's Run 'n' Gun to Completion: An Interview with Developer Brad Carney

This could be the “Doom Clone” you've been hoping for.

If you’ve tried Wrack in its current early access version on Steam, you’ve no doubt realized that this isn’t another shooter marching lockstep behind Halo and Call of Duty. Wrack is an intentional throwback to the sensibilities of Doom II, and its lead designer, Brad Carney is hoping there are enough people out there looking for that classic experience. Carney sat with me at QuakeCon and talked about the good and bad of having an early access game on Steam and how a six-year (!) development cycle can really benefit an indie game like Wrack.

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Spate Review

Floating platforms with a touch of absinthe.

For better or worse, games like Braid, Limbo, and other 2.5D “masterpieces” have reconfigured what a platformer can be.  Spate, developed by Eric Provan and his development team at Ayyo, is not as complete a package as these games, but is still an astoundingly beautiful work of art, with truly arresting imagery, an interesting story, and a unique and moody soundtrack.  However, with its tired mechanics, inconsistent controls, and sloppy (yet forgiving) physics, it is hard to quantify, or to even categorize. It is a conundrum, as it stretches between these two poles – one of artistic genius; and the other of uninspired game design. 

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Nimble Quest Review

A collision of great concepts that just works.

Why in the world I keep getting suckered into buying retro-styled arcade game mash-ups is beyond me, but Nimble Quest is just going to encourage me to do it more. Mixing together the basic idea of Snake or Tron’s Light Cycles, adding a combat element,  and layering on a leveling-up mechanic got me pretty hooked on this little game originally designed for mobile devices. Nimble Quest fares well in its transition from mobile to PC (unlike a lot of titles) and it’s well worth the low price to have something on your desktop for an occasional attempt at a new high score.

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