ESPORTS4INDIE

With an intricately crafted world, innovative and engaging battle system, and delightful array of scenery and music, this game is a splendid and true tribute to the SNES JRPG.  The bugs one might encounter in beta versions are overshadowed by pure awe and captivation—a relentless desire to play more and more.

While it's commendable that a two-man team set out to create an adventure of relatively broad scope, I can't recommend Hero, especially not at its current price point. It does have decent music and sound effects, but the lackluster graphics, lack of polish and uninspired gameplay are too glaring to ignore.

Disagea 2 is a fantastic release that plays quite smoothly and has a tremendous amount of depth and playability to offer. Granted, the combat mechanic can seem repetitive, but there is a staggering number of classes to recruit, along with new abilities to unlock and level up, and new maps and aspects to explore. As a Prinny might say: download the demo and check it out, dood!

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.

One of the best virtual introductions to a new language I have ever seen. Thanks to Learn Japanese To Survive!Katakana War, one could be well on their way to learning the Japanese language while immersing themselves in a genuinely fun game.

A House of Many Doors is a terrifying trek through the unknown, a disjointed story with startling descriptions of lost memories and slow declines into madness. It is beautiful, haunting, gripping… and boring. It is simply hard to identify with it, and complicated to understand, which prevents it from truly capitalizing on its amazing elements which would otherwise stand alone so well.

Diluvion tugs at the soul of the land-bound adventurer who longs to experience the mysteries of the deep. It ties together RPG elements, resource management, combat, and the salty appeal of a marine environment in a brilliant blend of whimsical and exciting.

Ashbourne is a title that I would love to have enjoyed and recommended. Sadly, I didn’t and I can’t. Despite its promising premise, the game severely lacks any substance, it feels like a Beta, if not an alpha, and so much work needs to be done to transform it into a compelling, memorable addition to the Action-RPG genre. While we understand this is a low budget production, some attention to detail and much-needed refinements are direly needed to improve the experience overall. Unless heavily patched, Ashbourne will be forgotten as a jarring, clunky experience of the 2017 year in PC gaming.

Unhappy Ever After is the result of a wicked mind’s imagination, and it’s a charming and enchanted, yet morbidly terrifying world that will suck you in, deep. The visual design is done so well that it paints a vivid picture of a battle between the imaginative world we inhabit within our mind and our daily struggles with societal issues of modern days. At $6 on Steam, it’s a steal.

Card Quest is innovative in combat mechanics, and while its competitors can be fun to try, this card-based RPG especially left me wanting to play more. The system in place for progression gives exciting edges in combat, and it's somewhat addictive. With each battle and every turn, you must plan to survive. You must beat the level. You must complete your quest... Yes: if you enjoy card-based RPGs, definitely check Card Quests out.

Fundamentally, Hellenica is good. I actually think it represents the genre pretty effectively, especially because it fits neatly into a spot somewhere between the classic tactical RPG’s that have been around seemingly forever, and the new wave of casual story driven RPG’s that are so popular today. 

The Anime style of Criminal Girls: Invite Only may be great, but it isn't enough to consider the Steam release a worthy purchase. A video game should always be fun to play; sadly, too many oddities plague this one's progression and inhibit the strategic aspects that turned-based RPGs rely on to be considered good games.

Tension is the primary dynamic of Your Star. Your resources are constantly draining as your enemies gather. The longer it takes to find what you need, the stronger they grow and the weaker you become. Confusion is death. Hesitation is death. To be successful you must think quickly, but you’re still likely to die several times before completing the game. Your Star isn’t intended to be a relaxing, casual game to be enjoyed between other, bigger things. It is ideal for gamers that love a challenge and who thrive under pressure.

Heroine Anthem Zero’s strength lies in its story and depth of world. If you expect to play a masterpiece ARPG with innovative and intuitive mechanics, character level progression, and/or a high skill cap that requires regular practice, look elsewhere. But if you want an interesting, albeit sometimes by the book, story played out through captivating visuals and don’t mind the occasional moment of "ecchi," then HAZ may be the ARPG for you. Solid gameplay and appealing boss fights help carry the action between story moments, while not forcing a skill wall on the player, and the promise of more content to come help increase the value of its meager $14.99 price tag.

I would highly recommend beholder because the art and music style perfectly captures the story. The struggle between the decisions is one that causes real struggle and emotional turmoil. This may not be a game you come back to over and over, but you’re going to sink your time into a few play throughs to try and make the ‘right’ decisions, whatever they may be.

Ghostlords is a highly polished game with simple yet addictive gameplay, an original premise, and great replayability. Its art and sound design also do wonderfully in supporting the atmosphere, which helps it stand out amongst others.

With an efficient combat system, robust and far-reaching interactions with NPC’s, Tyranny is a game not to be missed. The myriad of choices you have and the different ways that the game can be experienced lend a high level of replayability. The well-defined yet flexible character creation system allows you to experiment on the fly an remain effective. Best of all is how developed the cultures of Terratus are and how visible the differences between them are.

Creepy Castle feels like it’s complete and was handled with love.  It hit all the right notes with me:  quirky but meaningful plot and characters, elegant retro art and sound, and simple but engaging exploration and combat. 

A nostalgic, Buffy-worthy trek into the past, with fairly challenging supernatural creatures, fun weapons, and a decent amount of strategy to be had. Ultimately, Slayer Shock is a great Retro-style choice, especially for us ‘90s kids who still love our supernatural fluff, but fans looking for a hardcore FPS game or something with more finesse might want to wait and grab this one on sale.

A Heroic-Parody tactical RPG combining dungeon crawler’s gameplay and turn-based fights. Dive in an off-beat universe, manage your team and craft mighty gear to equip them! Build your own dungeon by hiding traps and monsters in your galleries, then challenge other players to clean it!

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