Tag Archive: 2016

First Impression: Blue Rider


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.

The first three levels of Blue Rider show potential while not being overly remarkable. You’ll be disappointed if you’re hoping to see much from Blue Rider which hasn’t been done before, but this is nevertheless a decent top-down shooter which fans of the genre might want to keep their eyes on.
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Owlia Title Screen

First Impression: The Legends of Owlia


Official Site || Steam Page

NOTE: The Legends of Owlia is in the above video starting at 1:41:24!

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.

The Legends of Owlia seems like it is so concerned with ticking every box in a checklist that it never stops to polish up anything. Though there are plenty of bits and pieces of nostalgia here, the experience as a whole feels completely sparse. This is a rather unusual game because it really does capture the feel of a NES game, but that includes various outdated design practices and many of the better mechanics are hamstrung by mediocre execution.
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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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Stephen’s Sausage Roll


Steam Page

You’re Stephen, your ship is wrecked, and you’re stuck on an island filled with giant sausages. The only thing left to do is to use your massive skewer to push those sausages onto grills embedded in the ground and eat them. This is Stephen’s Sausage Roll and it’s a puzzle game which is as clever as it is weird.
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T.R.I.S.


itch.io Page

This little game starring a Triangle Rotating In Space was created for Game Boy Jam 5, the same game jam which gave us Derelict. You can’t jump, all you can do is rotate from one tile to the next and let gravity take its course as you make your way to the ship at the end of each level while collecting water drops along the way. The quiet, minimalistic music works well alongside the muted red and green color scheme to give the game an otherworldly atmosphere while the louder sound effects help to put the focus on the action. Though there are only ten short levels, space is used extremely well with crumbling blocks, crushers, spikes, turrets, and spinning blades every step of the way with a few small safe areas for checkpoints.

The gameplay gets changed up somewhat on the fourth level where gravity is reversed and you must make your way to the top of the level, but a far more significant change is introduced soon after that. From the fifth level onward you gain the ability to flip in a straight line from the floor to the ceiling or vice versa. This new mechanic becomes an integral part of the platforming in T.R.I.S. as it is used for maneuvers such as dodging between turret bullets or flipping from a crumbling tile to a solid one while waiting for the timing on a crusher and then flipping back to the crumbling block after it respawns and rushing under the crusher. The difficulty level becomes fairly demanding later on, but frequent and well-placed checkpoints ward away any sense of frustration.

The fact that this game was created within a limited amount of time for a game jam becomes a bit apparent when it comes to the camera. Namely, the camera doesn’t move with you unless you’re on solid ground so flipping your orientation can result in a death if you fling yourself off the edge of the screen and this is fine on its own, but the camera is somewhat inconsistent. There were a few times when I would fly to a ledge near the edge of the screen and the camera would barely move, if at all, and at other times the camera would move a great deal. This usually isn’t a problem, but it can get in the way a bit if you’re trying to backtrack to a checkpoint or a water drop which has disappeared outside of the play area since you won’t know if the camera will actually let you backtrack until you get near the edge. Other than the minor camera issue, T.R.I.S. has consistently solid level design, the movement mechanics make the platforming interesting, and it effectively combines its various hazards together to make for an entertaining game which I only wish was longer.