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In Extremis


Steam Page

In Extremis is a shmup in which you play through various genres of art and music in a rather literal sense. If that sounds weird, well, In Extremis is a very strange game. While this is an entirely competent shmup filled with secrets, unlockables, and multiple paths, its true strength lies in being a visual marvel and an auditory delight where each stage is radically different from any other.
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Shrouded in Sanity

Shrouded in Sanity


Steam Page

Shrouded in Sanity is a horror-themed action RPG with some minor balance issues and a few too many dead ends, yet a satisfying combat system and a great sense of atmosphere supported by plenty of lore make this a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Even though this is a fairly short game, especially if you know where to go, a New Game+ mode, multiple endings, and a completely open map make Shrouded in Sanity highly replayable regardless of if you’re going for a speedrun or simply aiming for a new ending. The upcoming semi-sequel, Usurper, will almost certainly be the better game of the two, Shrouded in Sanity has more than enough going for it to stand on its own.
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Neko Navy

Neko Navy


Official Site || Steam Page

Neko Navy is an adorable yet difficult bullet hell shmup filled with flying cats, strange locations, and even more bizarre enemies. Nothing about this game makes sense, but with online leaderboards, six playable characters, three very different difficulty settings, a deep scoring system, and a few secrets for good measure, Neko Navy has everything shmup fans (and cat lovers) could ask for.
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Monolith Daemon Boss

Monolith


Steam Page || Developer’s Site || Playthrough Part 2

Top-down action rogue-likes (or rogue-lites or roguelike-likes or whatever you want to call them at this point) have been ridiculously common in the world of indie game development ever since The Binding of Isaac became popular and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never been particularly fond of this subgenre as a whole, but Monolith stands out in some very substantial ways. Infused with the soul of a bullet hell shmup, Monolith introduces a whole new layer of carefully handcrafted bullet-dodging action to the formula while fixing many of this subgenre’s shortcoming, making this not only a game which is designed to be replayed multiple times, but one which you’ll actually want to reply again and again.
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Crystal Towers 2


Official Site || Steam Page

Crystal Towers 2 expertly combines the open, branching level design of many Genesis-era platformers with many of the better exploration elements from Nintendo 64 collectathons like Super Mario 64. This isn’t a game which shies away from revealing its influences, there are plenty of red springs and tiles with checkered patterns along the way, but it also doesn’t adhere itself too closely to the formula of any one game in particular either. Though there are a few rough spots along the way, mainly the boss fights, this massive 20+ hour adventure is filled with tons of secrets, charming writing, a fantastic soundtrack, and excellent platforming challenges.
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