Tag Archive: sidescroller

Kero Blaster


Playism Page || Steam Page || Developer’s Site

Any major commercial release by Studio Pixel will inevitably be compared to Cave Story and Kero Blaster is certainly no exception. With its run-and-gun 2D platforming, its light RPG elements, and its retro aesthetics Kero Blaster seems to have much in common with the legendary indie game. However, these similarities are largely superficial because this is not a spiritual sequel to Cave Story, it’s not trying to be a spiritual sequel, and, to be as clear as possible, that is absolutely, perfectly fine. Kero Blaster is a linear platforming experience divided into several levels, the multiple unlockable difficulties are different enough to definitely warrant going through the game more than once, and the combat system incorporates some of the best elements from Cave Story while refining them into an incredibly polished state.
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Touhou – Wandering Souls


RPGMaker.net Page

You know an indie game has made it big when other indie developers start making fangames based on it and the Touhou series has a ton of fangames. I’ve played my fair share of Touhou fangames over the years and at the end of the day Touhou – Wandering Souls remains not only my favorite Touhou fangame, but one of my favorite freeware indie games. This sidescrolling action RPG perfectly translates the gameplay of a bullet hell shmup series into an entirely different genre alongside some surprisingly deep mechanics and an outright obscene amount of content all while being made in the utterly unlikely RPG Maker VX engine.
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Creepy Castle Title Screen

Creepy Castle


Official Site || Steam Page

Retro sidescrolling adventure RPG’s and minigames are two things which don’t seem like they should go together, yet Creepy Castle, for the most part, makes this odd combination work. With a combat system based on performing various WarioWare-style minigames, around 15-20 hours of gameplay spread across five scenarios, a surprisingly engaging story, and plenty of secrets to find along the way, Creepy Castle makes for a particularly memorable experience. There are a few points at which it begins to overstay its welcome and I am not particularly fond of the third scenario for reasons which I will cover later, but when the formula works, and it does work for the vast majority of the game, it works exceptionally well.
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Helicopter

Noitu Love 2: Devolution

Official Site || Steam Page

I originally purchased Noitu Love 2: Devolution nearly a decade ago, back in the days when commercial indie games were rare oddities which often could only be found on the personal sites of their developers, and it’s still one of my favorite games to go back to. I’ve praised the dash mechanics in games like Psi Knuckle and Bleed 2, but this is definitely the game which first made me aware of just how satisfying a well-implemented dash could be. With its incredibly fluid controls which seamlessly combine traversal with combat, Noitu Love 2 has withstood the test of time and easily holds on to its position as one of the best action platformers in existence.
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Bleed 2

Official Site || Steam Page

If you want to see the right way to make a sequel, you need look no further than Bleed 2. The same fantastic time-slowing, air dashing, run and gun gameplay from the original is back, but with an expanded character roster, a slightly smaller, yet more refined arsenal of weapons, and the addition of color-based bullet deflection. A new and very noticeable layer of polish has also been applied to everything from the graphics to the menus, improving upon the first game in virtually every way. 2017 has just started, but Bleed 2 is already looking like it will be a strong contender for one of the best games of the year.
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