Hot and Steamy: Black Panther gets turnt up

Sleeper hits or sleeper shits?

Happy Chrimbus everyone! What do you hope to get in your Chrimbus bush from Winter Man? All I know is that you better keep it trimmed and wet! Personally, I hope to get some hot new indie games on Steam like the ones listed below that are releasing this week.

While these look good at first glance (and very well may be), remember that mihgt only be because of the diarrhea problem that Steam has, thanks to all the shit games it allows on the service. 

The ones that got away last week

I’m pretty good at this, considering this makes a month’s worth of games I’ve gone through as this is the fourth installment of this here feature. (Jeditor’s Note: You’re still welcome.) But even being this near perfection, sometimes games still slip through the cracks or fail to put up a release date prior to release. So here are the games I ‘missed’ last week that might be alright, though many of them have some imperfections to take note of.

Dungeon Souls is one of those Nuclear Thone inspired shooters that looks possibly even better. *GASP* With 845 reviews and an overall very positive rating on Steam, it is safe to say if you dig the genre you’ll probably enjoy this one. Most of the reviews praise the soundtrack, art, and wealth of content, but a few say the game feels unfinished and like a mashup of The Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne with nothing new, as well as being “extremely visually noisy.”

I debated whether or not to put Maize on the list last week as I’d already taken a behind-the-scenes peek at Patrick’s 5 out of 10 review for the game where he said the game looked “muddy” and said there wasn’t much going on in it due to the gameplay being so simplistic. At least one Steam review agreed by saying “the characters grow tiresome quickly and the puzzles are depressingly easy adding almost nothing to the story” and goes on to say it is “incredibly linear with zero replay value.” Other people praise it for being funny, though I can’t say any of the trailers for the game even got a “ha” out of me. I guess you could say this is a ‘walking simulator’ for the Family Guy crowd. 

 

Giants: Citizen Kabuto finally got its Steam release 16 years after its initial release on PC and PS2. While the game was critically acclaimed in its time, the Steam version seems to have some issues. As the game was seemingly stealth released for one reason or another there are currently only two reviews, one raving about the game and the other saying it is being marketed falsely. “Steam overlay doesn’t work, no servers for multiplayer, version 1.497 has to be manually installed from some fishy website,” and the review goes on to say the game is “being marketed with screenshots that have a completely different HUD and with the nude female character in videos.” I’m not one to cry about “censorship” but if you are upset about blocky fake tits not being visible in a 16-year-old game, you only have Walmart and the ESRB to blame.

While hardcore platformers like Dispersio aren’t for everyone, I absolutely adore them. I’m a sucker for retro graphics, kickass soundtracks, and tons of spikes (hence why I loved 1001 Spikes) all of which can be had here for under a dollar. Cheap doesn’t always mean bad!

3D Realms snuck out a ’90s-like platformer this week called Rad Rodgers: World One that seems like people are enjoying. One Steam review says it reminds them of Commander Keen and the original Duke Nukem games, while another says it is the best platformer to come along in a while. Seems like some reviews do caution that you need a decent rig to play this one as it may be demanding or poorly optimized, so keep that in mind. Probably the only game where you’ll see a toaster call a tree a bitch and later see that tree smoking a pipe made from her husband. That’s my kink.

Taiker answers the question of “What would it be like if Mega Man had a love child with Jed Whitaker’s waifu, Hatsune Miku?” The answer? A cyberpunk action platformer that is equal parts cute and nostalgic. Some of the backgrounds look like they could be ripped straight from a Vanillaware game, which could actually be the case considering the game was updated to remove a music track from Bravely Default, but maybe that was an honest accident? There aren’t a ton of written reviews since the game exited Early Access, but early impressions say it has “that classic retro feel. Like a female Ninja Gaiden” and that the combat is “fast, fluid, and rewarding.” 

This week’s Steam games that don’t look like sewage

A nice mixture of games this week from a few free-to-play student games to big-budget full-fledged cooperative shooter to Undertale-likes, there is surely something for everyone.

It is a shame that the above trailer is the only one available for Ley Lines as it makes it look like it is a dreary 2D side-scrolling platformer when it actually a third-person action-adventure puzzle game releasing tomorrow for the low price of FREE! This student game was developed by folks going to the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, so hopefully me writing about it gets them some extra credit or such. I’m a big fan of the character design and the pink and blue tone of the environments as well as the glowing arrows. Plus, you can’t beat free.

Do you guys remember Smartball (aka Jellyboy) for the SNES? I fucking loved that game so much when I was little, so of course when I saw the similar looking free-to-play Drop Alive where you play as a water droplet, I had to include it in this list. While this isn’t exactly a cutesy mascot-based platformer that would feel at home in the ’90s, it still looks worth a play. Again, you can’t beat the price of free!

The queen of England gives up on Earth and turns to the stars to find a new galactic British empire in Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, which looks to be a comical adventure game with a good bit of wit if the above launch trailer is anything to go by. The game received over £33,000 in crowdfunding, so I’m not the only one that thinks it has potential. Guess we will find out this week.

I’m thinking that OneShot is looking to capture some of the Undertale crowd based on its Steam description alone, and I’m on board the hype train. First off it has an enjoyable art style with a cat person as the lead, but also offers “Unusual gameplay features that go beyond the game window” and a diverse cast of characters. Mysteriously potential buyers are instructed to keep a couple things in mind: “The 4th wall is your enemy sometimes” and “consequences may be permanent.” Sounds an awful like that Undertale and the sleeper hit Pony Island to me, which is definitely not a bad thing!

I couldn’t tell you the first thing about Warhammer 40,000, but what I can tell you is this upcoming co-op shooter based on it looks damned fun. Space Hulk: Deathwing has you and up to three other players battling through tight rooms filled with monstrosities in customizable mech-like suits. From watching the trailers I’m getting vibes of both Doom and Metroid Prime: Federation Force, easily two of my favorite games this year, so I’m definitely interested! Now, if only I had three friends.

What a weird mix of games this week; all the ones I missed from last week seem to be a bit iffy, and all of this week’s games vary a great amount. I’m pretty excited to try a few of them out, for sure. Anything to get me away from the same boring AAA games that I’ve been playing for years.

Anything I missed releasing this week? Are you a developer, publisher, or concerned reader and want to make sure I don’t miss a game? Then feel free to comment, shoot me an email, or hit me up on Twitter. While you’re at it, shoot me a key for your game so I can let our readers know with confidence that your game is worth a look!

Jed Whitaker