For Indie Game HQ’s first ever “Indie Bundle Spotlight”, Nathan takes a look at the third Greenlight Bundle. Created by Stolen Couch Games, the Greenlight Bundle aims to provide not only awesome indie games at a price of your choosing, but to also help generate traffic to the featured developers Steam Greenlight campaigns.
Even though Gabe Newell has reported that Steam plans to bury Greenlight to give developers a fair shot at getting their game on Steam, we still don’t have a set date of when that’s happening. To that I say, why not show these indies who are still stuck in that process some support! Links for each game will be found below their respective synopses.
Aeon Command by Bat Country Games
Aeon Command is a tug of war style strategy featuring three unique factions and a ship load of fun. Collect resources, send off varying space-mobiles, whom each have their own special ability and purpose, and completely obliterate anything in your path. Across the 24 single player missions you’ll be able to upgrade your ships with resources and each faction with gears collected throughout the levels. The game also features Skirmish Mode as a free-play option, and full Multiplayer to take those ship-spawning skills online.
Aeon Command is appealing to the casual gamer with an easy to use control scheme and great tutorial while still drawing in the hardcore strategist with its competitive gameplay and increasing difficulty. Overall, Aeon Command is really enjoyable and an especially good time killer.
Beware Planet Earth! by Lightmare Studio
Beware Planet Earth! is a mash-up of the classic tower defense strategy genre and time management games. The consistent mission is to protect your cows from being abducted by aliens with varying speeds, strengths, and abilities. To defend said cows from invaders, you’ve got an arsenal of turrets at your disposal. From a barrel that shoots standard pellets, to a refrigerator that chills enemies to slow them down, and even placeable mines. In later levels, you’ll also receive an alien ray gun to help your turrets and even knock disguises off of incognito enemies. To purchase turrets you’ll need gears, which can be generated every few seconds using the cheapest form of turret.
Beware Planet Earth! has familiar gameplay mechanics and even a similar art style to Plants Versus Zombies, so if you liked that, then you’ve got no reason not try this game out. BPE! is very appealing to casual gamers as waves do not take very long to complete once you’ve got a decent turret set-up, and also to the more hardcore crowd with the added Veteran Mode feature which, as you might have guessed, makes the game harder.
Depth Hunter by Biart
Depth Hunter is a spear fishing simulator with stunning underwater aesthetics. The game features 25 “campaign” missions, a photo mode, and a free play option if one would like to explore and do as they please. Depth Hunter also features NVIDIA 3D Vision for, as you might have guessed, playing in 3D, and optional motion controller support for the Razer Hydra and other similar devices.
As free mode is pretty much self explanatory, I’ll move into the mechanics of the missions and gameplay. The first few missions in Depth Hunter are simple, yet may take a while to complete. The “reeling in” mechanic in-game is somewhat broken though. When pulling in a fish attempting to catch it, they will try to pull away. The game tells you to loosen the line while they are pulling, but in all reality, you have to do the opposite. To catch a fish you must be within at least 15 meters as any further and it will take forever, and more often than not it will escape. After you’ve hooked a fish, loosen the line when they swim around you, and pull against them when they try swim away.
As for the missions, they are somewhat repetitive. I did not make it very far in this game due to frustration. One mission later in the game you have to catch a rare fish near a sunken ship. It managed to snap the line, and the fish swam away. I chased it down, but due to being underwater and having limited speed, it disappeared into the distance. The fish never re-spawned, so I tried the menu option labeled “Restart Mission” thinking it would take me back to before I tried to catch it. I was wrong, apparently, as it restarted the campaign completely. Needless to say, I won’t be playing this game again.
I apologize for the rant, but felt it necessary to share my experience with Depth Hunter. The game is obviously more suited to those interested in diving and/or spear fishing, and not necessarily to more casual gamers.
Steam Greenlight | Depth Hunter | Biart | Facebook | Twitter
Dwarf Quest by Wild Card Games
Dwarf Quest is a 3D roguelike, featuring fast paced, turn-based combat, Battle Cards to enhance your skills when fighting, and 9 levels which includes 2 bosses. Playing as Morrin Firebeard, a proud dwarven warrior, you’ll explore forgotten dungeons, fight an array of different creatures, and find new equipment, Battle Cards, and glorious gold. The ultimate goal of Dwarf Quest is to survive until you track down the undead Wizard Azar.
Gameplay in Dwarf Quest is reminiscent of board games due to the turn based attacking while in combat, and using cards to buff yourself during a fight. With 3 moves before your turn ends, you must make movements wisely. You may need to duck behind an enemy in front to avoid archers in the back. Not only will you have to watch out for enemies, but there are also timed traps and puzzles. Sadly, as you traverse the levels of the dungeon, you find your dwarven brethren slain and left to rot, but you can rejoice as they may have useful equipment.
Overall, Dwarf Quest should be an enjoyable experience for those who like strategy, roguelikes, dungeon crawlers, turn-based games, or even dwarves! I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played so far, and definitely recommend checking this game out.
Gear Jack by Piwot Games
Gear Jack is a hardcore slide and jump/auto-runner with a fantastic art style. Featuring 30 levels, a unique trick system with over 30 animations, two difficulty settings, various traps that require player interaction, and a character garage to customize your abilities to fit your play style. For an added challenge, switch to Hardcore difficulty to remove check points. To keep the replay value high, the developers have added an awesome feature that makes the trap generation random after completing the game once.
Gear Jack definitely relies heavily on timing. There are numerous points in each level which require you to jump or slide at the right time to avoid exploding and being sent back to either your last checkpoint or the beginning of the level. The trick system adds some fun and excitement to the timing mechanic as it slows everything down and you get to see every intricate movement Jack makes. To make things easier, there are numerous upgrades available to make Jack jump higher, run faster, and even roll quicker. These upgrades are meant to adjust Jack’s skills to your play style, and it does that very well.
In the end, Gear Jack is a challenging yet unique and fun twist on the auto-run genre. I like the upgrade system, the various tricks Jack can perform as time is slowed, not to mention the traps that force the player to pay attention to the surroundings. You will die a lot, and it can be frustrating, but I still highly recommend giving Gear Jack a few moments of your time.
Hairy Tales by Arges Systems
Combining fast-paced action with tactile tile-dragging mechanics, Hairy Tales is an action puzzle game following the story of a group of not too bright fairy folks. You must help them with the twisted, evil puzzles that are corrupting their land! Hairy Tales does not fail to create a unique puzzle experience. It features 72 levels across three distinct worlds, multiple ways to solve levels, and even bosses and monsters to fight. Use your wit and cunning to move the level tiles to your advantage while keeping the Hairys out of harm’s way.
The characters in Hairy Tales are amusing and quirky, the level design is genius and is definitely challenging later on in the game. There is a unique feature that allows you to see the progress you have made in the level as the corruption clears and everything returns to its original bright and cheery state.
Hairy Tales is definitely a game for casual gamers as well as the more hardcore puzzle solvers, not to mention fun for all ages.
Megabyte Punch by Reptile Games
Megabyte Punch is a fast and fun, beat-em-up platformer featuring six “electronified” worlds, boss fights a-plenty, over 128 unique parts to collect and customize your bot, an awesome electronica soundtrack, and 4 player co-op and versus modes only to further enhance the experience! Fight in the tournament and battle up the rankings to earn rare rewards and customize your bot even more! The art style is chunky-looking, and fits the game very well. It’s bright colors and shading are definitely eye candy.
Megabyte Punch is still in Beta, and doesn’t fail to deliver loads of content and fun. The fighting mechanics are similar to Super Smash Brothers in the fact that you have a damage percentage. The higher that goes, the more likely you are to be hit harder, knocked further away, or destroyed. Besides that, Megabyte Punch does very well to set itself apart with all the varied parts, abilities, and customization options to adapt your bot to your particular play style. The game does have a few bugs, but nothing major that ruins the game experience in any way.
In conclusion, Megabyte Punch is an epic punching, kicking, and upper-cutting good time. The aesthetics and music fit the game very well, and I can’t wait to see what future updates they have in store.
Paranormal by Matt Cohen
Paranormal is a simulation combined with a horror adventure game, making it even more irresistible and terrifying. The game features collectible items, a unique sleep system that’s used to recharge your in-game camera’s batteries, and a flashlight that casts dynamic shadows when lighting up an area, which doesn’t make it any less scary. There is also a dynamic haunting system, adding multiple outcomes, dynamic triggers, countless variables, and an action-reaction system. Basically, you never know what’s going to happen. In addition to all that awesomeness, Matt Cohen has stated that all future content for Paranormal will be free. This includes new locations, stories, scenarios, scares, gameplay mechanics, and more.
I am not a fan of scary games. Especially those really immersive ones, such as Paranormal, where even the littlest bump or knock gets your heart racing. You play as Mattel Clark, an artist who has noticed certain supernatural happenings inside his new home. Mattel decides to document everything with a portable camera, which also plays part as the viewpoint. You control the camera as the hauntings slowly but surely escalate into something far worse and more horrific.
With multiple endings, a different experience every time, top-notch graphics and sound, Paranormal is a constantly evolving indie horror game. I would recommend Paranormal to those who are fans of the horror genre, but not to children. Unless, of course, they are more “badass” than I, because this game scares the ever-living *expletive* out of me.
Potatoman Seeks the Troof by Pixeljam
Potatoman Seeks the Troof is a bizarre and intriguing adventure following an anthropomorphized potato in his quest for, well, the Troof. Test your reflexes and worldview while traveling through dry deserts, dark forests, busy cities, the tallest mountains, and even your own potato-subconscious. The game features numerous levels, difficult and challenging obstacles, much needed checkpoints and numerous lives, and finally there’s always a chance you’ll discover the Troof.
A strange and whimsical adventure indeed, Potatoman Seeks the Troof combines the difficulty of some platforming games with a very odd plot. This game will make you question everything you’ve ever thought about potatoes.
Overall, Potatoman Seeks the Troof is not the easiest platformer out there, but with the numerous lives and checkpoints it makes it a bit easier. The art is simplistic yet fitting, it works very well with the style of the game and the music. I would recommend this game for people of all ages and to those looking for a challenge. Maybe even those who like strange storylines, because it doesn’t get much better than a potato seeking the Troof.
Steam Greenlight | Potatoman | Pixeljam | Facebook | Twitter
In all honesty, this is a bundle you can’t miss. Nine amazing games for a minimum price of $5. You can, of course, raise that minimum if you’re feeling particularly generous and would like to help support these indie developers. As of writing this there are 1 days, 20 hours, and 14 minutes remaining with 2964 bundles sold. Not a lot of time left, so if you’ve got an extra $5 or more to spare and want some awesome games, The Greenlight Bundle is right up your alley.