Death of the Critic

Indie Games

Future Unfolding – Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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Future Unfolding
is a hard game to describe. A philosophical, top down exploration of a gorgeous world as you try to figure out what exactly is going on. You are dropped in with basically nothing, and what story is there is confusing to say the least. But there is something magical about wandering through the world here, almost discovering new things and slowly inching your way forward on this quasi-vision quest that you’ve found yourself in the middle of.

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The Backlog - Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage

Written by: Tom Blaich

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I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my
backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

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FEIST - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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It is hard to look at this game and not immediately think of Limbo. In many ways it is an apt comparison to the 2010 sidescrolling platformer. It's a pseudo-3D, atmospheric world with freakish enemies and light physics puzzles, and walking through the world brought flashes of nostalgia to games past. FEIST is gorgeous, with a more colorful world that legitimately feels dangerous. Everything can kill you, from a forgotten trap to a tumbling rock waiting to crush you; and over the course of the game, most of them will. Unfortunately, few of these deaths feel earned, and the simple act of playing can leave you wanting for something more.

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The Backlog - Heavy Bullets

Written by: Tom Blaich

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I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my
backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

A well-made roguelike is a guilty pleasure of mine. It just lets me play over and over and over again without getting bored. When they are well designed and they have something unique about them, I pump a lot of hours into them. Heavy Bullets has you, the janitor in a luxury hunting ground, tasked with resetting a rampant security system. It sounds like an easy job when you start, but you will quickly discover that isn't the case. You'll encounter turrets, poisonous snakes, flying monsters, and little black balls of death standing in your way. All you have to help you is one revolver and a few heavy bullets.

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Killing Floor 2 - Review

Written By: CJ Streetman

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In the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of games like
Call of Duty, which dilute their experience by trying to be everything for everyone. They become bloated  with serviceable modes that all are perfectly adequate in their own rights, but don’t really excel in anything.

Conversely, games like Killing Floor 2, which come with a clear sense of identity and purpose, are becoming more and more rare.

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Small Radios Big Televisions - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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Small Radios Big Televisions
is the latest title to be released by Adult Swim. Developed by Fire Face, the stylistic puzzler dips you into a series of themed “factories” as you try to figure out the mystery behind the world that you have found yourself in. Essentially it is a point-and-click puzzle game with a heavy emphasis on style over difficulty. The world is colorful and broken, as nature slowly tries to reclaim the crumbling buildings from civilization. To get through each one of the shaped factories, you must collect cassette tapes that you use with your character’s VR headset to transport you from your industrial tower back to a piece of nature from before whatever has happened to the world.

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Kentucky Route Zero

Written by: Tom Blaich

It’s hard to talk about video games without using references to games that have come before them. That’s why we have we call games “Roguelikes” or “Metroidvanias”. Because when we encounter a new experience, we look for ways we can relate it to something we are all familiar. Maybe it is an old game like Rogue, or a massively popular series like Metroid or Castlevania. But what do we do when we encounter a truly new experience? That is the question I found myself asking when I first picked up Kentucky Route Zero. While I could see elements of its predecessors within it, I found it hard to truly describe it to others outside of simply saying that it was different. Read More…
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The Backlog - Nuclear Throne

Written by: Tom Blaich

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I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

I landed on the twin-stick, rogue-like shooter
Nuclear Throne. A former early access game by Clamber, the critically acclaimed indie title has you taking control of one of a cavalcade of mutated freaks and monsters as you try to blast your way through dozens of disfigured enemies to reach your ultimate goal, the Nuclear Throne. There is no story. No character motivations. Only pure gameplay.

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Grow Up - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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It is refreshing to sit back and play something a little more relaxing every now and then. Coming off of several months of playing some fantastic, if relatively day and self-serious titles, an experience like
Grow Up can serve as a nice palate cleanser. A follow up to the 2015 title Grow Home, it tasks you with navigating an alien world as the robot B.U.D, attempting to reassemble your scattered ship at the behest of M.O.M, the AI in charge, so that your journey across the galaxy can continue unabated.

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The Backlog - Luftrausers

Written by: Tom Blaich

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I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

I’m a big fan of many of the titles that Devolver Digital has published over the years. They all seem to have a certain sense of “style” to them.
Luftrausers is, of course, no exception to this. What appears to be a relatively simple game at the surface hides a surprisingly complex system of upgrades that can fundamentally change the way you play. You take control of a tiny place faced with a big problem - jets, fighters, missiles, boats, subs, oh my. They all stand in the way of your ultimate goal, getting a lot of points as quickly as possible.

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Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Review

Written by: Tom Blaich

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It is rare to see a game that allows its players to play together on the same system. The days of couch co-op are long past. It is even rarer to see a game that practically demands it.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, which sounds like something equal parts 1950’s science fiction and pulp romance novel, begs you to play with someone else. Together. Playing alone, this game is good, albeit a little frustrating at times, as you and your space pet, a relentlessly happy fur ball of a cat or dog, battle your way through a bleak but colorful space full of enemies and environmental hazards. They stand between you and saving your tiny friends and fighting back the anti-love that is threatening the universe.

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