Hyper Light Look #5

Every month, hundreds of new indies enter the market. While it would be awesome if all of them could have their own, dedicated review or preview, we unfortunately do not have the time or space to do that in a timely manner. Instead, we offer you Hyper Light Look, our new series of feature articles where we take a quick look at some new indie games.


Bury me, my love

The topic of the refugee crisis is pretty huge still and this game takes it to a whole other level, allowing the player to explore through a text chat of a couple that got caught in the midst of the war in Syria. The player gets to make a few decisions here and there, allowing the story to go down a different path every time. These decisions come through the choice between a couple messages that Majd can decide to send to his wife who is travelling as a refugee away from Syria. We get to see all sorts of situations that his wife encounters through the stressed out eyes of a husband that can only see texts and photos now and then on his phone.

The game feels very slow but if you find the topic interesting and want to learn more about what goes on in a life of a refugee in 2019, then this game should be something you pick up and try out.

Score: 6.2/10

~Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis


Woodpunk

Woodpunk was released in late November 2018 to quiet success and mixed reviews on steam. The project is a top down twin-stick action dungeon crawler, similar in style to Enter the Gungeon and is created by Meteorbyte Studios and published by Libredia Entertainment.

First experiences with Woodpunk are wrapped up in a cute pixel inspired world but end up being ultimately fairly basic. This works in the games favor though as it makes the title an experience that’s easy to pick up and put down at your leisure. Your task in this adventure, is to make your way through each of the games 4 procedural generated dungeons and defeat the boss, each floor requires completion of certain simplistic tasks, such as kill all enemies or destroy all structures in order to progress to the next floor.

Woodpunk tries to mix up the formula and keep it fresh each time with a progressive skill tree. This skill trees main aim is providing you with a variety of small benefits, as well as stronger loot tables to add to present gameplay. The system falls short however when you notice that most of these minor increases, are all stuck behind large chunks of repetitive gameplay.

At the end of the day Woodpunk is a nice game to play in short bursts, especially if you have a Co-Op buddy. But if your not already a fan of the twin-stick action and dungeon crawling, this won’t change your mind. Woodpunk can be found on steam for $21.50 AUD or your regional equivalent here.

Thanks goes out to Meteorbyte Studios for constructing a wooden computer and a working copy of Woodpunk for this review.

Score: 6.1/10

~ Aaron Nicholls


Sonar Beat

There are a lot of rhythm games out there for players to try out and burn hours upon hours mastering, so when a new one like Sonar Beat comes along, the best way for it to differentiate and stand out is by being good at the very thing that attracts people to this genre of games in the first place; rhythm.

Unfortunately Sonar Beat is a bit off on the matter of rhythm from time to time and that sort of kills the mood for wanting to keep on going with it. The mechanics of having to play a note when you pass by that spot again later on in the song also makes it very counter-intuitive, not allowing you to enjoy the song. If anything, games like Guitar Hero just tell you that you missed a note and allow you to continue onwards with your life, playing the rest of the song to your best ability.

Unfortunately, although Sonar Beat has a very cool concept, it falls short on the “get excited with a rhythm game” part and goes very low on my list of rhythm/music video games. Even the songs included in the game were sort of dull, all building up in the exact same way, with a new instrument or effect being added every time the sonar does a full circle. That presented various difficulties with the previously mentioned mechanic of having to deal with things you missed.

The only points it gets are basically because of the cool sonar mechanic and the few songs that were interesting here and there.

Score: 3.5/10

~Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis


BlackSmith

BlackSmith is a small title produced by Otis Miller & Maly LaMala. One which left early access on the 12th of January. If you ever wanted to experience blacksmithing as a second job, warts and all, they’ve got you covered.

What initially drew my curiosity to BlackSmith was it’s paper mario in 3-D art style. I hadn’t come across something like it before and it gives the title a very distinct eye catching flair to go with it’s relaxing score. Most of the Gameplay loop consists of venturing around the town to complete jobs for its residence, when your not stocking your local heroes with gear for their expeditions. It’s definitely a refreshing way to wind down after a days hard work and i found myself enjoying the art of slowly banging out a swords bumps, or crafting a new frying pan for the inn keeper.

BlackSmith is a considerably well priced look at the real life of a blacksmith, it’s not glamorous or exciting but it’s rewarding in it’s own way. BlackSmith can be found on steam for $14.50 AUD or your regional equivalent here.

Our thanks goes to Otis Miller & Maly LaMala for trusting me near a forge and sending us a copy for this review.

Score: 6.3/10

~ Aaron Nicholls

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