Welcome to the ARENA.... GODS, a title where you use anything and everything at your disposal to beat, slice, smash, stab, and pummel your way to victory. There are no fancy controls or tech skills you need to learn to be proficient at this game: you run, you attack, you roll. Sometimes you win; more often than not, you die. There is nothing keeping you playing in terms of story — because it does not have one — and while the gameplay is simple and fun, it is still simple, meaning that once you have played a few matches, you have experienced all that the Early Access title has to offer.
If there’s one takeaway from Guns’n’Stories: Bulletproof VR, it’s that you don’t need to be a AAA studio to develop an entertaining wave-shooter with solid production values. Guns’n’Stories doesn’t have the largest amount of content, and its two-handed weapons could use some fine-tuning, but the quality and experience, especially for the price, makes this title easy to recommend.
Battlerite provides fast paced, beautiful combat with a litany of combos and movesets across its cast. You are given a great toolset to freely explore various playstyles to determine which you prefer the most — or with which you’re mostly successful.
Hand of Fate 2 brings the greatest strengths of its predecessor back in this sequel. Innovative gameplay combines action RPG combat with roguelike progression and deckbuilding, and small quality of life issues in the controls do little to detract from the masterful storytelling of this title.
In this debut beat ‘em up from Deadbeat Productions, chunky graphics mix with smooth mechanics. Add a layer of cheesy one-liners, sandwiched between saucy superheroes and crusty villains. You hold something tasty and classically-inspired in your hands, if perhaps a little unexceptional. It’s not Disneyland’s Monte Christo, but an enjoyable BLT.
Overgrowth, while fun for a while, misses the mark for a captivating story or combat. The world feels uninviting and dead, giving off the feel of a game from the early 2000’s when the processing power of hardware was much more limiting. The combat is fast-paced and fun, but it lacks depth and eventually goes stale. The story that ties it all together feels loose and lacks impact, each character blends into another and consequently prevents the player from connecting at a deeper level. The title does shine for the first hour or two, but it quickly loses its flair.
Black Day is an “Early Access” third person shooter with FPS elements. Rather than focusing on a set story and setting, Black Day is a military sandbox where players change the parameters of their missions. Featuring an experience-based progression system, Black Day rewards players for handicapping themselves via difficult obstacles with new equipment and maps. Helios Productions self proclaims this title as “very ambitious,” promising that they only want to provide an excellent final product. The promise of so many features, paired with the beauty of the Unreal Engine, begs the question; is it able to deliver on its ambition?
Project Nimbus has a somewhat anticlimactic ending, but that’s only because the climax revealed in Early Access set the bar so high, both in terms of gameplay and story. Those awaiting this title’s full release after playing the Early Access might feel a little ripped off, but they might also realize just how great this experience is a second time through. Impressive mech combat that never grows old and interesting story elements equate to an impressive win for this small indie developer.
With many weapons, unlocks, and even co-op play, The Walking Vegetables has a high chance you will replay it over, and over... and over. It’s a great game all-around, especially if you are interested in a cheap alternative to therapy because your mom forced you to eat her vegetable casserole, even though you told her you hated carrots. The Walking Vegetables takes the best aspects of any top-down shooter, and gives it the 80s-cocaine-treatment that it needed.
Although Pylon: Rogue provides fun, the lack of upgrades that carry over, aside from unlocking more items, may deter players. Enjoyment might diminish after so many runs, depending on what you’re looking for in a title, but that’s simply the nature of the genre. However, if you like roguelikes, such as The Binding of Isaac, and enjoy difficult titles, you’ll likely enjoy this.