Category Archives: Indie

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice review – You must be mad!

You know what really bothers me about Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice? Something which made me feel really extremely silly and therefore irritated with developers Ninja Theory for making me look and feel silly. Have you heard about the whole controversy that surrounded the game’s save files? The game itself even outright tells you that if you die too often that it would delete your save in a manner of permadeath? I had a big long discussion about this and whether or not I thought it was good game design, whether it was a gimmick or actually could even be construed as a legitimate mechanic. Well it turns out that actually it’s simply not true and doesn’t happen. Yeah, mind blown. Apparently there is no permadeath mechanic. The game doesn’t delete your save file. The rot which creeps up the protagonist’s body to show how often you’ve died actually just always stops at a certain level and never progresses higher. It was all a swindle, a sham, a bald-faced lie.

Doki Doki Literature Club review – Hej Hej Monika! Hej Hej Hej Monika!

Foreword to the review: this will be a review of two parts. A standard review (shorter than usual) for the overall game followed by score and Pros and Cons, all of which will be spoiler free. This will be followed by a more in-depth story-review which I expect to be very spoiler heavy, I will put another warning before the spoilers begin, but you have been warned! Doki Doki Literature Club by Dan Salvato has a dumb name, but considering that it’s a Japanese dating sim perhaps that’s to be expected. Except that it’s not just any old dating sim… Loli Loli Book Van is one of those rare games which is particularly difficult to review because I’d say enjoyment of it requires that you go in more or less blind and with no pre-existing expectations. While this can make the decision to play a game difficult when you have very little to go on, allow me to state early on: if you are at all curious about the game then I really do recommend it. At 4-5 hours in length and completely free, there is really the barest minimum of commitment to finding out what all the fuss is about.

Syndrome review – Syndrome of a Down.

One of the worst things about becoming at least reasonably clued in to any particular medium is that you begin to recognise the patterns and tropes between titles. No longer do you approach every film/book/game with wide eyed optimism but instead with a leery cynicism as you point out every single thing that has been done previously. Of course, sometimes this sort of thing is just made a bit too easy for you and such is the case with Syndrome, a new indie horror by Camel101 in conjunction with Bigmoon Entertainment (the company behind Lichdom Battlemage).

Early Access Evolution: Folk Tale

    We at MMGaming love early access games. It gives us a good taste of what fun feature complete games to expect in the future and the added bonus of (hopefully) being fun while still in early access. So what happens to all those games that we tried out in early access years ago? The ones that may have been popular for a time on their early access release but have gone under the radar since then? Let’s see where some of these games are now… Starting with Folk Tale!

RIVE Review – Tank Bullet Death Trap

  RIVE is the newly released action platform sidescrolling bullet-hell from the developers Two Tribes. If that sounds like a mouthful of buzzwords… well you would be right. However this doesn’t mean that RIVE gets bogged down in all of these elements. In fact, RIVE is a rather impressive little game

Factorio Impressions – Machines building machines! How perverse.

It can often be quite difficult determining whether a game is the sort of thing one will enjoy or not. Two of the best ways of doing it are to either find a reviewer with decent taste (so really you should definitely accept my ratings as gospel) or to look at review aggregates, in order to see what the Hive Mind thinks. Looking at the Steam reviews for Factorio is how me and Tim started. “Overwhelmingly Positive” doesn’t really begin to describe the state of affairs of the game. Of 8100 reviews (at the time of writing), 100 are negative, providing what is damned close to a 99% approval rating. And then if you look at the top negative reviews they all start with something along the lines of “I love this game, I just have a niggle that is probably due to it being Early Access”. And it IS Early Access. That was a large part of my initial hesitation in getting the game. There are way too many games which wear the banner of Early Access as an excuse for being completely unfinished and damned near unplayable. Despite that, it seemed to basically hit the ground running with close enough to make no difference 100% of people enjoying it. So me and Tim got copies and I’ll be damned if I’m not just another sheep following the herd because I also think it’s absolutely fucking fabulous.

Life is Strange review – “Hella” ain’t no place I ever heard of

Say “hella” again. I dare you, I double-dare you motherfucker say “hella” one more, goddamned time. Okay, now that’s out of the way… I assume people by now are aware of “The Telltale Game”? You know: a point-and-click, character-based, interactive-story with rapid decisions made during dialogue, minor puzzle-solving, and several major decisions made over the course of the game which will have far-reaching consequences in the scope of the game? *Gasping inhale* The sort of game which I have heard, in my opinion slightly unfairly, termed as interactive films, rather than games. Well, Life is Strange is a new Telltale game, by DontNod entertainment and NOT by Telltale surprisingly… This is indeed a most disturbing universe…

Hacknet review – MI5 Status: Hacked, Area 51 Status: Hacked, Illuminati Status: Hacked

Hacknet is one of those wee indie games that is something of a success story in the way its design process came about. It was actually started as one of those “make a game in 48 hours” projects, all the way back in 2012. I’m not sure if it was done for a competition or just for the lulz, but that is definitely the humble origins of the game, those original versions still available on ModDB. Created by a single man, Matt Trobbiani (as part of his one-man group Team Fractal Alligator), Hacknet then received enough attention and acclaim from gamers that it went into full time development in order to release a completely updated and expanded version last year.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter review – Dear Esther Plus

Of course, that’s a rather unfair way to introduce any game by describing it as being similar to Dear Esther, because while there is much that The Vanishing of Ethan Carter does indeed share with Dear Esther it also involved rather a lot more interaction than the in/famous walking simulator. Developed by The Astronauts, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, is one of those story-based “experiences” set in the fictional Red Creek Valley and following the protagonist, the supernatural detective Paul Prospero, who is investigating the death of one Ethan Carter. The first thing one does have to say about it is actually pretty much my summary of the entirety of Dear Esther in that it was really rather lovely. However, there is also much more to Ethan Carter which makes it that much more enjoyable and thus far more easy to recommend to anyone at all. It also was re-released rather recently (in mid-July) for the PS4 and so now is actually a rather opportune time to review it.

Monochroma review – 50 Shades of Grey with a bit of red

Monochroma is the first title by Istanbul-based Nowhere Studios (thanks Wikipedia!) and despite it’s humble origins, the developers had some fairly lofty goals for the game. On the Steam page, one of the early bug updates says that they (Nowhere) want Monochroma to be considered as one of the best platformers of all time. Meanwhile on their official website they are no less reserved as they describe their game as a “deeply visual, intellectual and emotional experience”. So if it sounds to you like these guys are aiming high, then you would definitely be very right about that. Whether they’ve succeeded is, of course, an entirely different matter.