Indie Royale Review

For those people who have been obsessing over the glory that is the Humble Bundle, there have been other great bundles out there for games that you’ve probably never even heard of or tried. The Indie Royale is a bundle dedicated to the Indie games and gamers, a new bundle coming out 2 weeks or so.

The most recent bundle was the Graduation Bundle, which contained 5 base games and 2 extra games, which I picked up for USD$7. SERIOUSLY? $7 for 7 games?!? You can’t really find these prices elsewhere besides the bundles, so I’m going to take a look through some of the games and give a quick review of each.

THE VOID

Hoo boy, talk about your crazy relatives, The Void feels like an acid trip gone horribly wrong. You play as…well…they never really tell you but a person who has just died. You’re current in this place called the Void, where an entity called Color is the only thing keeping you alive, as well as your main means of interacting with the world, such as moving about or activating objects. You are guided by the Sisters, who are in fear of the Brothers, who are…OK now this is just getting VERY CONFUSING. Suffice to say gameplay has a touch of the Okami mechanic of drawing onto symbols the screen. You also hae to manage the amount of color you have or else you “die” in the game, so it’s a 1st person adventure with time management mechanics & painting. And painting. Right.

Baseless criticisms aside, the story in the game is rich and filled with back story and lore, although that much information at one time is rather jarring. The gameplay does have you run around desolate areas for long periods of time and fighting of one or two enemies, but the true mechanic is the Color system and how you’ll need to balance how much you use in order to survive. Overall, good concept, great visuals but ‘meh’ gameplay in the end.

SCORE: 6.5/10

DEAD PIXELS

A shoot-em-up based on zombies and survival? Why am I not playing this game NOW? Dead Pixels game mechanic is simple: You are trying to get to a destination a number of streets away. To get pass a street, one has to grab a gun and repeated shoot zombies in the faces, as well as blow them up with various grenades, flares and pipe bombs. The game places you in one of three different scenarios, each with their own storyline and rules. In one, you are trying to escape the city, trading with other survivors along the way till you reach the helicopter. In another, you are a convict trying to win his/her freedom by shutting down the zombie city, this time with no traders and limited saves.

The game is well-balanced and keeps the vibe of the Grade B Horror movie. The weak point is that melee becomes either unimportant or too important in the game, as well as tedium in shooting zombies after 35 streets in a row. The music contains brilliant chip tunes and the graphics are so 8/16-bit esque that it feels as retro as the theme. A great game in general

SCORE: 8/10

THE SHIP

The last of the Indie Royale review is The Ship. Now this is going to be interesting. You see, The Ship was originally one of those Source mods good enough to be a stand alone. However, the main gameplay mechanic is a free for all stealth game. You have a target to kill and a hunter trying to kill you. You only know their last known location and outfit, so it’s an all out sneaky kill for the win! Not only do you have to watch your front and back, you’ll have to care for your needs a-la-Sims mechanic, ignoring them for long periods of time will handicap you in the game.

Now that sounds very nice on paper and wouldn’t tha make it a fantastic game? Well, not quite. You see, the problem with the game is that they forgot to account for the gamers themselves. Sure, a stealth hide and seek game sounds fun, but waiting around for 15 minutes to kill your target and then getting killed 5 seconds later is frustrating, to say the least. The Single Player campaign is atrocious, you just walk around the ship finding items or waiting to kill people in the bathrooms, which gets old and tired very fast. Multiplayer just ends up in a crazy kill all moving human beings brawl, defeating the purpose of the game. Once again, another case of great concept but horrible execution on the part of the gamers and developers themselves.

SCORE: 6/10

That’s it for me for now. To check out the Indie Royale and their upcoming bundles, head over to the site here: Indie Royale

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