eSports for indie | E4i

A Hat in Time Review

A Hat In Time has grasped the title of the highest-earning 3D indie platformer ever funded on Kickstarter, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to see why. The story, the play, the graphics, everything it has instills in gamers one of the most comforting and thrilling nostalgic experiences in recent game development history. This platformer is itself a perfect modern game, with all of the classic staples players know and love, rather than being just an old game made in the present day; in a world of constant evolution and innovation, few things are as comforting as a nice easy blast from the past.

Mages of Mystralia Review

Mages of Mystralia is for gamers looking for more than hack-and-slash action RPGs. It has a unique magic crafting system, puzzles, and challenges that compel you to play more, unlock more spell customization options, and grow stronger. Designed for the Steam Controller, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, you’ll master your magic and empower your destiny as you save the world of magic users.

Echo Review

Echo proves that innovation can truly be limitless as long as there are people willing to push boundaries and explore new ideas. With a stunningly flawless trifecta of gameplay, storyline, and visuals, Ultra Ultra has knocked it out of the park with their first foray into indie gaming. Regardless of your tastes, styles, or interests, this adventure is sure to satisfy nearly all of your cravings. The only craving that you will be left with is for more and more game to play.

Slap Village: Reality Slap Review

The uniqueness of this title carries it to the end, and is ready to go for a couple episodes more, leaving you intrigued about the conspiracies and ground-breaking truths you have discovered: a solid couple hours invested in a protagonist you care about, wanting to see it to its end, and then twice over.

Tokyo Dark Review

Dreamy yet disturbing, Cherrymochi’s Tokyo Dark keeps its crosshair leveled at a sweet spot between Japanese visual novel and point-and-click adventure. Backed by beautifully illustrated environments and an eclectic soundtrack, Tokyo Dark gives the impression of having been carefully crafted; the creators were thoughtful in how they integrated different elements to evoke a striking ambiance. Featuring supernatural cults, dark family secrets, kawaii cat maids that wax existential and a protagonist who speaks primarily in ellipses, the game nails narrative but misses the mark on a pointless stat system.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm Review

Life is Strange: Before the Storm plays like a cutscene with a point-and-click element that is a joy; no button combinations or consulting a grainy minimap: Daedalus himself designed the levels. The title deals with weighty issues wrapped in stunning visuals and peppered with a comprehensive soundtrack by real artists. This addition to the franchise is a must-play.

Super Cloudbuilt Review

Super Cloudbuilt has the potential for unlimited playability simply due to the fact that there is always a higher challenge to aim for. The downside to this, however, is an intense level of frustration from repeated failure. The visual aesthetic and puzzles are commendable, but the awe doesn’t even register in comparison to the amazement you can experience due to your own reflexes and persistence – if you ever actually manage to make progress.

Syberia 3 Review

At the end of it all, yes. There were quite a few things in this installment that could have driven me batty — had I allowed them to do so. The beautiful reality of Syberia 3 is that I didn’t need to know what happened beforehand in the franchise. If you play for release, for freedom that you don’t have in a normal, boring life — and if you can look past some rough handling --  Syberia 3 is for you.

The Wild Eternal Review

The Wild Eternal might be an acquired taste for some players, given its spiritual undertones and mystical themes, but the witty dialog and gripping plot combine with the scenic milieus to make The Wild Eternal a solid recommendation for fans of the genre.

The Falconers: Moonlight Review

Visual novel veterans will enjoy The Falconers: Moonlight, as will gamers, of any breed, who seek well-crafted stories. Its aesthetic suits its themes, and its sound plays a key role in the player's process of working out its mystery. Dialogue choices remain meaningful despite their limited impact on the plot. This title delivers an experience that, while short, is more than satisfactory.

A Rose in The Twilight Review

A Rose in The Twilight is a visually stunning yet straightforward puzzle-platformer with a macabre atmosphere and an adorable main character. The storyline and the dialogue tend to fall short, but with unique game mechanics and beautiful design, lovers of the genre can enjoy the delightful characters while testing their mettle on the challenging puzzles of this title.

Xenon Valkyrie Review

XenonValkyrie is a project that held many promising ideals.  It sought to be the synchronized combination of a platforming shooter, rogue-like, and Metroidvania game, but couldn't quite live up to its potential.  It had too much on its plate, and the result was a disjointed and buggy mash of disconnected aspects of many genres.  Pile that on top of balance, design, and control issues and you get a game that is unfairly difficult and lacks truly elaborate content.  Nevertheless, the game is still somewhat enjoyable, if you have a knack for the brutally challenging and are willing to invest a lot of time and tolerance to unravel what it does have to offer.

Milkmaid of the Milky Way Review

Milkmaid of the Milky Way makes its impression as a passion project that had solid foundations but leaves a little more to desire. It hits all the right notes in every way, but leaves room for expansion. Much has untapped potential that, I suspect, isn't matched with the developer’s funds and assets. Even though the game is short, you feel engaged and immersed the entire way. It’s also a title that could appeal to anyone, even gamers who aren't accustomed to classic point-and-click games. Overall, the inexpensive Milkmaid of the Milky Way is worth checking out. Appreciate the heart and personalization that went into making it so concisely wonderful.

Yomawari: Night Alone Review

Yomawari uses your sense of sight and sound to plunge you into a haunted town and an underlying story of love that you won’t want to miss. The only real question is: Are you brave enough to take on the night alone?

Silence Review

The world that is created by Silence is magical, mystical, and everything a gamer could want. It keeps you exploring for days and you feel as if you are a part of this alternate universe. I highly recommend playing Silence and bet that you will become caught up in this exciting tale of good and evil, life and death.

Bear With Me Review

Bear With Me isn’t a stand-out example of a Point-&-Click adventure, but the fact that it’s episodic makes me hope that some of the bugs and complications in this first chapter are ironed out in later additions. The dark humor and Noir vibe of the game are a great contrast to the nostalgia of playing through a child’s imaginary adventure, and it reminded me of Among the Sleep and Fran Bow with all the toys, puzzles, and make-believe.

Near Death Review

The experience of actually surviving Antarctica in a realistic simulation affords Near Death a sense of immersion that few entertainment mediums can achieve. With the exceptional visuals and damn near, if not perfect audio, Near Death is a game that is worth the price in money and time. Pick it up, turn on your flashlight, and don’t stop until you’re inside.

D.N.Age Review

D.N. Age is a tough one to recommend, but for an RPG fan who is looking for a casual experience or is interested in the DNA merging feature which is the cornerstone of this title, check this one out. One may be underwhelmed by the inability to explore and the similarities between this and browser or mobile "freemium" titles, which hopefully the DNA merging will help make up for.

I Am Setsuna Review

All in all, I am Setsuna will be a treat for any JRPG lover in today’s market, and is absolutely worth picking up even at the $40 price point. Great mechanics, fantastic artwork, and music that creates atmosphere rivaling even the great John Williams are all wrapped up in one nice and neat package.

Highway Blossoms Review

The beautiful artwork coupled with such a story line, not to mention the technical ease at which the camera moves instead of watching still frames, Highway Blossoms is one of the best visual novels I have had a pleasure of reading. A lot of thought went into this story and the extra attention to both the writing and the programming shows.

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