Tag Archive: exploration

A Robot Named Fight


Official Site || Steam Page

It’s an all-out war between the robotic residents of Earth and the endless spawn of a moon-sized glob of flesh in the sky called the Megabeast! I was skeptical of a Metroidvania roguelike because I generally prefer it when games with procedural generation only last about 30 minutes per run. However, while a successful run of A Robot Named Fight does indeed take about an hour, the game does a fantastic job of keeping things fresh by changing up the obstacles you encounter based on the powers you obtain. Sometimes this just amounts to adding in doors which require a certain type of weapon to open, but it also means things like adding in dark rooms if you get a light source and high barriers if you get a jump upgrade. It’s delightfully gross, surprisingly varied, and an all-around awesome game about becoming fight enough to take on cosmic abominations.
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The Music Machine


Steam Page || itch.io Page

Before anything else, I want to share a personal story about The Music Machine in October of 2016 I began to play through this wonderfully atmospheric first-person horror game for the sake of writing an article about it. Unfortunately, I accidentally overwrote my save data and lost some progress, but this isn’t a particularly long game so that wasn’t really much of an issue. Except, then my entire hard drive died and with it went my save file until I found a replacement. Then my computer died, taking my third save with it. Once everything was back in order the Halloween season was long over and plans to write about The Music Machine fell through the cracks.

With Halloween once again on the horizon, this week seems like the perfect time to at last delve into this story about a girl, the ghost possessing her, and the mysteries surrounding a very creepy and exceedingly orange island.
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FAITH


itch.io Page

It’s October, and that means all sorts of indie horror games are going to start popping up just in time for Halloween. FAITH is one such game and it takes the retro aesthetic even farther back than usual with graphics inspired by the likes of the ZX Spectrum and plenty of computerized ‘voice acting’ that would feel right at home in an 80’s arcade game (Sinistar comes to mind). Starring a priest who has returned to the secluded site of a failed exorcism, FAITH wields its minimalism like a rather sharp knife.

This is a fairly short game, but it’s also a respectably dense game, packed with enough secrets, lore, and alternate endings to more than double your playtime if you want to see everything. Whether it tasks you with wandering through the woods alongside a retro rendition of “Moonlight Sonata” or creeping through a house in dead silence, FAITH knows how to use emptiness and absence to create constant tension.
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A Bright Light in the Middle of the Ocean


itch.io Page

Video games allow us to intimately interact with spaces to a degree unrivaled by any other medium. It’s a lesson I think most players learn eventually. It’s learned in that moment when we catch ourselves examining every discarded scrap of paper, every shadowy corner, and the contents of every mug and cup left on a table because we’ve been captivated by a world, whether it is wondrous or horrifying, and we desperately want to know as much about it as we can. I first learned this lesson at a young age via my Sega Saturn when Myst completely captured my attention with its melancholy, mysterious island, but every now and then a game like A Bright Light in the Middle of the Ocean comes around to remind me of it.
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Crystal Towers 2


Official Site || Steam Page

Crystal Towers 2 expertly combines the open, branching level design of many Genesis-era platformers with many of the better exploration elements from Nintendo 64 collectathons like Super Mario 64. This isn’t a game which shies away from revealing its influences, there are plenty of red springs and tiles with checkered patterns along the way, but it also doesn’t adhere itself too closely to the formula of any one game in particular either. Though there are a few rough spots along the way, mainly the boss fights, this massive 20+ hour adventure is filled with tons of secrets, charming writing, a fantastic soundtrack, and excellent platforming challenges.
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