Tag Archive: sidescroller

Wells Title Screen

First Impression: Wells


Official Site || Steam Page

NOTE: The Wells segment in the above video begins at 1:15:45!

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, which can range from 0 to 5.

Wells is a good idea executed poorly. A sidescrolling action platformer inspired by 90’s run-and-gun games with a steampunk setting and an outlaw protagonist certainly sounds good on paper. You even get a bunch of different guns to play around with, allowing you to adapt to any situation. However, none of this holds up in the face of awful combat, bland level design, and an almost complete lack of plot and characterization.
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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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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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