Introducing First Impressions!

With the Steam Summer Sale currently in full swing, this seems like the perfect time to introduce a new feature for Indie Overlook, First Impressions. I’ve been wanting to add something like this in for a while so I’m really excited about this. First Impressions will be short articles based entirely on the first ~30 minutes (~60 for RPG’s) of gameplay with accompanying videos showing my experience during those 30 minutes.

Unlike with most other articles, the games on display here are going to range quite a bit in quality since, after all, I’m going into these games blind and any game I choose for a First Impression will get an article written about it regardless of how good or bad it ends up being. There’s generally going to be a harsher tone to both the videos and the articles as well in part because of the wide quality range and in part because I’ll be speaking and writing about a very specific, small part of the game without having experienced in it full.

First Impressions will be located in the Extras section for now, but they’ll likely get their own section once there are a decent number of them. I plan to make a Gaming Grab Bag stream every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday in which I play through three or four games for 30 minutes each for the duration of the Steam Summer Sale. Every day that isn’t a stream day will be dedicated to writing one or two First Impression articles for the games shown off in these streams until I’ve covered all of them.

Last, but by no means least, I want to stress that these really are first impressions. Seemingly good games may wear thin later on and games which get off to rough starts may turn out to be great once they get going. These are by no means judgements upon each game as a whole. Nevertheless, good first impressions are important, even for video games, and I hope these articles prove to be both fun and informative for everyone who reads them.

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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Eden Reverse Spiral Attack

Eden Reverse


Freem Page

Eden Reverse is a short cross between a platformer and a shmup without feeling entirely like either. Your character can stay in the air for quite a while before falling back down to the ground, but the main feature is hinted at by the title itself. Specifically, you can reverse gravity to walk on the ceiling. This is far from the only game to feature such a mechanic, but Eden Reverse is rather unique among these types of games in its pure focus on boss fights. With gravity controls, a jetpack that lets you remain in the air for extended periods of time, and creative boss fights within often equally creative arenas, this little game packs a big punch.
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TranscendPang Sentinels

TranscendPang


Official Site

TranscendPang might be the best Pang-style game out there, freeware or otherwise. This psychedelic take on the arcade classic still has you shooting wires upward to split bouncing circles into smaller bouncing circles, but it adds in a whole slew of new things. With branching paths, bizarre bosses and minibosses, a clever bomb mechanic, and tons of playable characters, each with a unique ability and varying stats, TranscendPang takes the original formula to the next stage.
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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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