8-Bit Adventures 2 Demo Title

Demo – 8-Bit Adventures 2

Official Site || Steam Page

8-Bit Adventures 2 is an upcoming RPG from the developer of Tales Across Time and the demo gives us a brief look into the adventures of Warrior, Thief, Robot, and, of course, Charlie. Players will be able to change these names in the full release, though I think the default ones fit rather well alongside locations like a city named Processor. Clocking in at about 45 minutes, give or take a few depending on how much you explore, this is on the slightly shorter side as far as RPG demos go and that’s perfectly fine because the goal here seems to be to give players a good sense of the combat system and exploration without revealing too much about the plot and the setting. The demo definitely succeeds at achieving its goals, but how does the gameplay itself stack up?

Hollow Knight Fountain

The Top 10 Indie Games of 2017

2017 was an incredible year for video games, indie and AAA alike. We were buried in an endless avalanche of sequels, fan games, and entirely new surprises. Whenever it seemed like things were starting to slow down, a shining new release would come out of nowhere to keep the excitement flowing. This was also a remarkably varied year where no one genre clearly dominated the scene; every genre had at least one stellar game to offer and we saw a healthy mix of refreshingly new ideas and highly polished old ones. This was a highly competitive year, it was very likely one of the best years in history for video games, yet only ten games can make this list, Indie Overlook’s Top 10 Indie Games of 2017!

Mega Man Maker Level Batch #1

Wind Storm-y Night || Ride The Wind || Speedy Blue Hedgehog

This is the very first batch of Mega Man Maker levels on Indie Overlook! While levels for this game have previously been covered on an individual basis, they’ll be covered in these small groups from now on like with other player-created content. Today’s batch of levels is loosely themed around speed with two Wind Storm levels and a massive Sonic the Hedgehog reference!

Mega Man Maker – Destroy That Stronghold by Art (172760)

Now this is what a thematically strong level looks like! Destroy That Stronghold is of about average length and doesn’t try anything overly fancy, but it uses its mechanics well. You’re introduced to orange rotating platforms, conveyor belts, and spines (the little invincible things that look like hockey pucks) early on and these are the three tools the level focuses on throughout.

Simplicity and efficiency are the keys here. The only weapon at your disposal this time around is the Mega Buster. Aside from the spines, the only enemies used are cannons, the big jumping enemies known as power musclers, and lyrics, flying robots which slowly home in on Mega Man. For the most part, enemies exist for the sake of knocking you into pits or spikes. Though you only have one weapon, the level is designed around it as the Mega Buster is effective both for stunning the spines and destroying the lyrics when they fly in at odd angles. Checkpoints are spread out far enough to make every stretch of the level feel challenging, though they’re still close enough together that death isn’t frustrating. The only point where this level feels like it could use more complexity is the boss fight with Stone Man; the ceiling is uneven, which can affect Stone Man’s high jump, though the fight is otherwise completely straightforward.

There are two common ways in which Destroy That Stronghold uses its primary mechanics. First, it likes to pair up spines with sets of conveyor belts. This creates a neat gimmick where you need to deliberately lure the spines towards you when they’re on conveyor belts facing the opposite way and then jump out of the way quickly when they dash at you after sliding off the conveyor belts, which turns the encounters into miniature timing puzzles. Another common danger is sets of rotating platforms paired up with spikes, pits, and possibly lyrics. As the platforms can fly in a straight line at any angle, you need to try to figure out which way each platform will move ahead of time and be ready to react quickly if they move in an unexpected direction. The level plays with these platforms quite a bit and each formation poses its own challenge. Overall, this level excels at using a small number of tools to create a nice variety of mechanically consistent challenges.

4 Ludum Dare 40 Games

Ludum Dare 40 recently wrapped up, which means the Internet has been flooded with all sorts of weird, experimental little indie games! This time around the theme was “The more you have, the worse it is”. It’s one of the stranger themes I’ve seen for this game jam and I have mixed feelings about it. I like how unusual this theme is and how open it is to interpretation. However, in execution many of the participants ended up making games based on one of two specific interpretations. A huge chunk of the entries either revolve around the game becoming gradually tougher as you get more points or your character becoming slower as you’re weighed down by money/treasure. Even the more polished entries I’ve found tend to fall back on one of these two interpretations and the former is basically just the standard formula for any sort of score-based arcade game.

Though this jam’s theme has fallen slightly flat, there are still plenty of good games. Let’s take a look at four of the best Ludum Dare 40 games I’ve come across!