It has been nearly a year since I first started covering overlooked indie games here at Indie Overlook so I thought that now would be a good time to get around to making some useful changes to the site. More changes will come as Indie Overlook continues to grow and expand, but here’s the full list of changes for today in a patch notes fashion:
The Game Articles Page has had its overly long list replaced with two separate tables for freeware games and for commercial games.
The Demo Articles Page has been removed for now. Instead, both demo articles and mini articles have been added to the Extras Page.
The Extras Page itself has been significantly condensed to make it much more readable and Haunted House Week articles have been added to it.
The Lighthouse is the first campaign we’ll be looking at and it’s a bit on the short side with only two levels, but it makes up for quantity with quality. This is a campaign which is primarily about creating a sense of place and it’s clear that a lot of effort was put into the details. The first level takes place outside of the lighthouse where even if you didn’t read the description it would soon become clear that something was wrong as the weather fluctuates. Most of the enemies in this first level are rats and basic humanoids which don’t pose much of a threat, though there are a few well-placed archers scattered about. Other than the weather effects, I think it’s a nice, subtle touch to have a wrecked ship near the docks to further indicate the malfunctioning nature of the lighthouse.
The second level makes up the majority of the campaign and this is where The Lighthouse truly shines. Players are tasked with climbing to the top of the lighthouse while seeking out keys and help from the questionably benevolent lighthouse keeper. The most impressive part of this level is the sheer sense of verticality to it all. You are constantly moving up and down staircases and even the more open floors are kept fairly small. My favorite parts are the spiraling screens where you must fight off enemies in very confined spaces as you ascend up the lighthouse. Towers of all sorts are everywhere in video games, but usually the feeling of climbing up a tower is somewhat dampened by the tower being too big or suspiciously square. Here, the narrow, spiraling confines combine with small balconies and clouds to really give an authentic sense of climbing up a small tower. This campaign is not without a few shortcomings, namely the final confrontation is underwhelming and the red key is hidden a bit too well for its own good, but these are fairly small marks against an otherwise solid and memorable set of levels.
Corrupted Lands is a fun, though not particularly outstanding, level, but I think it makes for a great first level to take a look at. My favorite part of this level actually occurs at the very start as it begins with the standard hub area under attack. Seeing this hub recreated as faithfully as possibly, but with a burning house and enemies swarming around the surrounding land is great and making the rest of the level expand upon an entire world of similar floating islands is brilliant. This level also has a little bit of everything even if it doesn’t excel at anything in particular. There are plenty of minibosses scattered around, some minor platforming is needed in order to traverse the broken roads connecting the islands, and basic pressure plate puzzles are scattered around where the player must carry barrels to the plates while avoiding enemy attacks or environmental hazards. Though it may not stand out particularly well in any way beyond its setting, Corrupted Lands also doesn’t stumble in any area either, making it a well-rounded level in every regard.
Fight The Dragon is a good, old-fashioned 3D hack and slash game with some light platformer and RPG elements, so those who enjoy games like MediEvil should seriously consider giving this game a try. There is full online multiplayer support here and enemies scale automatically with your level through basic stat boosts and more frequent random modifiers. Both the combat and the platforming elements are undeniably wonky, but enjoyably so, giving this game that unique sense of rough, slightly chaotic PS1-era charm. However, the biggest drawing point for Fight The Dragon is bound to be the fact that this is another game which thrives on content made by the community with a massive level count of over 10,000 and growing. (more…)
This is a straightforward, no-frills, single-phase fight and that’s just fine. As much as I enjoy the more intricate bullet hell-style bosses, fights like this one against Hellion Draconis allow the more unique aspects of Fraxy‘s engine to really shine. Hellion Draconis hits the ground running, immediately barraging the player with a nonstop spray of mostly harmless bullets alongside lock-on targeting, homing missiles, a front-mounted laser which packs a rather nasty punch, and even more bullets. With no additional phases and no destructible parts, you can see everything this fight has to offer within the first ten seconds, but the fight as a whole also only lasts about a minute and provides an exhilarating rush from start to finish as Hellion Draconis never eases up on bombarding the player with an onslaught of deadly attacks. In terms of aesthetic design, Hellion Draconis has a simple yet economically stylish appearance with a main body resembling a fighter jet alongside laser swords for wings and a flamethrower tail to make it live up to the ‘dragon’ part of its name. In virtually every way, Hellion Draconis stands as a shining example of how to make a Fraxy boss which is simple without being trivial and it definitely was a welcome surprise to fight against.