Wells Title Screen

First Impression: Wells


Official Site || Steam Page

NOTE: The Wells segment in the above video begins at 1:15:45!

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end, which can range from 0 to 5.

Wells is a good idea executed poorly. A sidescrolling action platformer inspired by 90’s run-and-gun games with a steampunk setting and an outlaw protagonist certainly sounds good on paper. You even get a bunch of different guns to play around with, allowing you to adapt to any situation. However, none of this holds up in the face of awful combat, bland level design, and an almost complete lack of plot and characterization.
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Warlock's Tower Title Screen

First Impression: Warlock’s Tower


Official Site || Steam Page

NOTE: The Warlock’s Tower segment in the above video begins at 29:30!

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Warlock’s Tower is a potentially interesting puzzle game which takes a bit too long to get going. As Tim the mailman, it is your duty to delivery a letter to a warlock at the very top of his life-draining tower. The warlock himself actually appears quite frequently to give you advice, only to poof away back to the top of his tower so you can give him his mail. The Game Boy-inspired aesthetics combine with some nice little touches of animation to give an extra boost of ridiculous personalty to this game and its characters. As for the gameplay itself, that’s where the ‘life-draining’ part of the tower comes in.
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Ghostlords Title Screen

First Impression: Ghostlords


Official Site || Steam Page || itch.io Page

NOTE: The Ghostlords segment of the above video starts at 33:22.

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Ghostlords is in some ways a Pok√©mon game with ghosts, though it also deviates from that formula rather significantly. The game is divided into several campaigns and it seems like each of them can be completed within about two hours, give or take. I’ve only played through part of the first campaign so far, so I can’t speak for the other ones, but the story’s tone is on the darker, edgier side of things. In the first campaign, the protagonist is on a quest to rescue her husband as she fights for her life against evil future-police in an alternate version of the United Kingdom after an apocalyptic event.
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First Impression: Eldritch Hunter

First Impression: Eldritch Hunter


Steam Page

First Impression articles are based entirely upon the first roughly 30 minutes of gameplay and may not necessarily be indicative of the game as a whole. This includes the score at the end.

Eldritch Hunter is a lighthearted game about a girl who saves a city from Lovecraftian abominations. It definitely nails its take on the cute-gross aesthetic with bright, hand-drawn characters, cutscenes, and backgrounds. The monsters look adorable even as they try to melt the flesh from your bones or tear you to pieces, which they will inevitably succeed at doing quite often. The soundtrack plays a large role in setting the tone as well as the songs place a heavy instrument upon woodwind and string instruments, bringing to mind images of bards telling tales of the Eldritch Hunter to captivated crowds. As for the gameplay itself, this technically falls into the same category of ‘brutal action platformer’ alongside the likes of Super Meat Boy, though Eldritch Hunter is not quite so brutal and, unlike in many such games, you can fight back.
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Apple Jack 1 Title

First Impression: Apple Jack 1&2


Steam Page || Developer’s Site || Musician’s Site

This article is based entirely on the first ~30 minutes of gameplay from Apple Jack (not Apple Jack 2). The score at the end is likewise only for these ~30 minutes and not for the game as a whole.

Apple Jack was one of the very few games from Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) to gain any sort of positive popularity back in the day and, now that it’s available for PC’s, I finally decided to check it out. It initially comes across as a generic, though well-made, platformer, but there’s more to it than I expected. Your apple-headed protagonist is out to rescue his dog and that seems to be the entirety of the plot; the game doesn’t take itself remotely seriously. You can run around, perform some rather small wall jumps, and duck by ditching your body to roll and hop along the ground as an apple. Levels are short and some have checkpoints, which is good because you die in one hit from anything. Even though this all sounds like rather standard platformer stuff so far, that’s about to change.
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