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Demolition Inc.

Best Indie Game -  Demolition Inc. Screenchot

Demolition inc is quite the game. A brief synopsis, you are Mike, and you must wreck the earth. Sounds fun. Silliness will ensue.

This physics-based game is reminiscent of Blast Corps and Destroy All Humans. The storyline is simple, you are an alien who won a contract to level earth to create an intergalactic park. One thing German-based ZeroScale Game development has done right is how well the game is made. IT is done, complete, and doesn’t have many bugs. You can see that they put time into this game, and they did not just rush till they got a semi-finished product. And this is especially nice because this is an indie game and indie games don’t normally have this polish.

The graphics aren’t really cutting edge and miraculous, but realism in a game like this would not fit. The cartoony graphics really bring together the whole aesthetic and feel of the game.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Demolition Inc.

The gameplay is fairly simple, follow the roads and knock down any building that you see, and you must do this quickly because the army is on its way. To knock down the buildings you use some pretty silly methods, like using oil slicks, glue bombs, and exploding cows. This all seems very silly and it feels like ZeroScale went overboard here on the Silly Scale. You have a few super attacks to use in times of need, but basically, all your destruction will be caused using good ol’ hit and run, smash everything with vehicles. Use cars and other objects to destroy and level the buildings. When debris starts falling, suck it up for some extra money and clean up the block. Clean up a block and flora and fauna start sprouting on it. Clean up every block and you clear a level. The game isn’t particularly hard.

The music of the game is quite good and matches the feel of the game well, but it can get repetitive at some moments. The physics of the game fit the game, they aren’t particularly realistic but they are just silly enough. The mayhem can cause many chain reactions as tiny bits of shrapnel trigger exploding cows and destroy buildings all across the map and start a huge explosive climax of alien demolition. The chaos of the game is quite entertaining.

Conclusion: Demolition Inc. is a fun cartoonish game, it isn’t particularly amazing but is good all-around and definitely worth a buy. No area is really lacking.

Demolition Inc

8/10

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OIO

Best indie Game - OIO Screenshot

OIO is a puzzle platformer made by the French dev Uncanny Games. The game is kind of like machinarium, in the sense that a lot of the value of the game comes from the atmoshpere, art style, and magnificent aesthetics. The game feels simple and styled with no clashing of graphics. OIO has nothing that really is directly scary, but it is a combination of atmosphere and suggestion that makes the game quite dark. TYhis quality is something that we have really noticed is common in some of the best indie games.

The game doesn’t tell you much in the way of the story, and it doesn’t have much dialog. This focuses you on the game-play and keeps this game kind of casual.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of OIO

There are a few problems with the game, like when you try to move in a direction your character starts moving slowly and then accelerates. This is normally fine, but in this game, the running animation for the character stays the same, even though you are running very slowly, which makes the main character look like Roadrunner from the Looney Tunes.

Best Indie Game - Screen shot of OIO

The basic main mechanic of this game that differentiates it from the average platformer is the ability to grow or destroy wooden platforms by simply throwing seeds at nodes located in parts of the levels. Only three of these platforms can exist at a time, when there are 4 on the field the oldest one is destroyed. This mechanic can get very deep, as sometimes you have to do timing jumps with branches and you have to grow branches off of branches.

OIO is really a puzzle platformer that requires thought and is much deeper than a standard run and jumps indie Mario clone. If you were to compare this to most other puzzle platformers out there, this would come out best. Levels are more than timing your jumps or moving for just enough time, but about thinking and intellectual challenges.

Conclusion: OIO is a great puzzle platformer with great art style and good gameplay.

OIO

8/10

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Atom Zombie Smasher

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Atom Zombie Smasher

Atom Zombie Smasher is a top indie game created by the company Blendo Games,  released on March 14, 2011. Just when you thought you were getting tired of zombie games, you get to play it again, in an RTS format.

The world has been overrun by zombies, again. Big surprise. Instead of the frequent scenario of happily mowing down zombies in a first-person view, it is a real-time strategy game where you are evacuating a city bit by bit through elaborate rescue operations. Helicopter rescue zones can be marked on the city, that will attract civilians nearby and evacuate them in chunks of up to 30 people out of the zombie infestation.

To help evacuate the civilians, various squads are deployed each round to help slow the zombies that will approach, attempting to thwart the escape. Roadblocks can be used to block the movement of zombies (and humans) from roads that may lead to your rescue zone. Anti-infected landmines, dynamite, and artillery are all used to eliminate approaching zombies and to help escort the humans to the escape chopper. Placing sniper and assault rifle squads at tactical choke points means the difference between a successful mission or a failed mishap.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Atom Zombie Smasher

This game is hard. Extremely difficult. Every time you successfully save the specified minimum number of civilians from a sector, clearing it, three or four more even deadlier areas on the world map become infested. Each sector can have an “infected” rating between 1-4, ranking how heavily infested the area is. Level 1 is minor, and if well-executed it is possible to destroy all the zombies. If this is done, all civilians are automatically saved and you gain control of the sector. Levels 2-3 are more difficult and where additional zombies will spawn at a time, and level 4 has no remaining human life to save and the only option is to cleanse the entire area of zombie scum with sufficient firepower or the sector will continually spread zombies to nearby areas.

Winning the game involves beating the computer (infected) to the specified threshold of points first. Points are awarded at the end of each mission, given based on the number of sectors on the world map you have captured. As the computer is able to infect multiple sectors at a time while you can only attempt to clear one at a time, it seems unfair.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Atom Zombie Smasher

The game has a novelty to it and is fun for an hour or two. But the scenarios are always pretty much the same although with subtle differences as the random map generator does its work defining streets and alleys. This lets the game become boring pretty quickly. Your choice of weapons/units that you can deploy may be different, but the goal is the same for every level: evacuate as many civilians as you can from the sector while batting zombies off along the way.

The graphics are nice yet seem a little lazily done. Vibrant, colorful effects are nice yet the civilians, zombies, and even your own soldiers are represented by bright yellow, pink and green squares, flashing and slowly sinking across the screen as they go, hence the name Atom Zombie Smasher. Aside from some simple, appropriate sound effects, the music dispersed throughout the game could have used some work to captivate the audience more.

Conclusion: Atom Zombie Smasher boasts a fun unique zombie game where speed and efficiency with what you have are crucial, although sound and graphics could use work.

Atom Zombie Smasher

7.5/10

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September’s Best Indie Game: Hammerfight

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Hammerfight


Hammerfight is a two-dimensional physics-based indie game produced by Konstantin Koshutin and released in September of 2009. Previously known as Hammerfall, players control a gyroscope flying machine, on which deadly weaponry is mounted, not limited to hammers, swords, and maces.

The general idea of the game is that your character embarks upon scenarios in which you must use your flying machine to attack enemies by swinging blunt weapons, dealing damage through kinetic force, or pelting them with your add-ons such as guns and dynamite launchers. Newton’s laws of physics are used then speed up if you want to deal more damage and use the momentum of your enemy to land a lovely strike.

Hammerfight’s controls are a bit tricky to get used to at first. You might need to adjust your sensitivity frequently to fit your hand- unless you desire a carpal tunnel. After that, it gets very fun, very fast. Swinging weapons such as maces at your foes can get very entertaining, especially when a well-coordinated attack makes contact. Flails were my favorite weapon, as they do brutal crushing damage from a distance, and are easy to control. When hits are made, cheers are set off and slow-motion effects can initiate, along with highlights of blue or red on your weapon. Gibs will fly out of your enemy, sparks will fly and wood and stone will be scraped off the wall with every impact.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of Hammerfight

This game will make you frustrated. It is very easy to take large amounts of damage, which is nearly impossible to avoid. Striking an enemy flyer can cause it to explode- and damage you. Destructable debris you would normally associate as unimportant, visual effects will surprisingly damage you on contact. Many starter scenarios are brutally difficult, and the only alternative requires you to sacrifice all the gold you have earned so far to skip it.

The graphics are very nice to look at, and the number of juicy effects located in this game is immense. An interactive, moving backdrop of cheering crowds will enhance your fights- especially when a lantern lights the stadium on fire. Music is fitting and provides competitive excitement. The absence of an online multiplayer mode is disappointing because the amazing fighting system would make this game a hit.]

Out of all the indie games we have reviewed in this month of September, Hammerfight is the best, with a unique fighting system, a cool story, and juicy effects with a tinge of annoying kinks here and there.

Conclusion: September’s Best Indie Game, a must-buy. The great fighting system, interesting story, nice cutscenes, and decent graphics with eye-dazzling effects.

Hammerfight

9.5/10

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VVVVVV

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of VVVVVV

VVVVVV is an indie action platformer developed by Terry Cavanagh and was released on January 11, 2010. Its core gameplay mechanic, gravity-flipping was inspired by one of his previous games, Sine Wave Ninja.

In the game, you are Captain Viridian, in a pixelized world. Your ship and crew have been separated in a horrible accident, and your goal is to rescue your crew and escape from the space station that you have been stranded on. There is a twist, though. Unlike common platforming games, you can not jump. Instead, you can flip gravity, causing you to fall in the opposite direction. But you can only flip gravity when you are on a solid surface. This mechanic is used extensively in the game and used to move around, and complete puzzles.

This game is a quick-action-paced game. The game revolves around making quick maneuvers with your gravity-flipping ability, cleverly challenged by trampolines, a number of abstract objects (don’t touch them), and optional yet so satisfying “trinkets” that are extremely hard to acquire. This makes VVVVVV the best indie game if you want to have some great casual fun.

Best Indie Game - Screenshot of VVVVVV

Akin to Super Meat Boy, another 2D platformer, the game is very difficult. Some sections, are extremely hard to maneuver around and require perfect coordination of keyboard presses and timing. What VVVVVV does cleverly to prevent this from being detrimental to the game, is by adding quick-save points where you will respawn every time you die. This makes the game less unforgiving, preventing one from having to repeat territory.

The gameplay was madly addicting, except for a frustrating portion here and there. The 8bit music is catchy, the puzzles are entertaining and fast-paced. For the most part, it is a great experience. Savepoints were plentiful that offset this design choice. The graphics were 8bit, which fit the style of the game and provided a nice aesthetic, but the options were lacking and many little things were missing like the ability to lower the volume. The gameplay was top-notch and challenging if a bit repeating at times. The game wasn’t that long too, but it was still good.

Conclusion: Great gameplay if not for some seemingly impossible areas, good aesthetics, good music and it lacked many different settings.

VVVVVV

8/10