4 Itch.io Indie Game Mini Reviews
These days with so many massive indie games coming out it’s sometimes nice to play some smaller but in many ways just as good titles that may not get the attention they deserve. So here goes 4 indie picks reviewed for your reading pleasure. We’ve linked the games pages at the bottom of this story.
Test Your Rage by LaFigaraNegra
Inspired by the Mortal Kombat series early titles, at least in terms of visuals, Test Your Rage, is actually a far different type of game, basically you press the ctrl key to fill up your “rage meter” and then hit space to attack, each item you destroy is then replaced with another item and the marker on your rage meter that you need to exceed to break the current item increases.
The game gives you a choice of five characters, and has a place for a sixth, although gameplay wise, all characters appear to be exactly the same, they receive the same items, in the same order (i.e. cactus, teddy bear, rabbit and tv with the Ricardo meme on it), the game is over when you smash all of these items, fail to smash an item or wait too long to attack.
As mentioned earlier the graphic style is based off the old Mortal Kombat games, using pictures of real people executing basic movements, and making distorted noises in place of clear speech, the backgound is just fire and the music is a short rock loop.
Test Your Rage is just a demo at the moment, but it will need to add a lot to hold any interest in the full version, as it currently feels more like a school project or maybe a mini game, than an actual game.
Monochrome RPG by Ottojokes
Monochrome RPG is a short prototype at this stage, it comes across as a mixture of Cuphead and Paper Mario, both the art style and the music are inspired by the roaring 20’s, hence the Cuphead links, all the furniture is anthropomorphic and uses rubber hose style animation (a style of animation with bouncy characters, although it is actually named for the long, non articulated limbs i.e. no knees or elbows, but rather long curvy lines that can make impossible movements much like that of a rubber hose).
The gameplay in Monochrome comes across more as a Paper Mario styled RPG, with a slight Pokemon or other collectable monster type game, in that your hero Otto the rabbit, will face off against his enemies, in the demo mostly flies or other insects, and can either attack them or try to win their favour by telling jokes, attacking reduces the enemy health meter and jokes fill it up, emptying the meter defeats them, and similarly filling it ends the battle, however filling the meter will allow you to convert the enemy onto your team like in the Shin Megami Tensei series, and they will then sit in your audience, again like Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door and will actually get turns as well but at this stage they can only attack.
Over all Monochrome needs some polish but the idea is solid and it has the potential to become a fan favourite, Monochrome also had implemented an unusual development model, rather than a core team requesting money to complete the project, the lead has asked for contributions in the form of assets and ideas, which makes Monochrome a truly community based title.
My Inner Demon by Rona Hattingh
My Inner Demon is listed as a Puzzle game, and feels like a horror title, something along the lines of Wooden Floors or Dying Reborn.
The basic concept is that your character, Elly wakes up in a room with a dead body and a crow, the crow then tells Elly, in rhyming dialogue, to locate the “soul” of the corpse, once you find the soul, a door opens and takes Elly to another room, with another corpse and the cycle repeats until all is revealed, it’s all very Edgar Allen Poe, which is good because a game like this needs to either have great puzzles, a great story or preferably both, My Inner Demon falls further on the story side of things, with the various tasks you perform, there is only one that I could conceivably call a puzzle.
Graphically the game isn’t bad for such a small production, and the music is quite nice although I wish it was a bit more prevalent as I found myself in relative silence bar the incessant sounds of the crow cawing a little too often.
The game is fully voice acted and both voice actors had solid performances, however as a writer I took some umbrage with the rhyming dialogue, a lot of the dialogue felt forced just to rhyme, and more than a few times the words didn’t actually rhyme, such as soul and afoul, in the written form they end in the same letters however the pronunciation is different, the voice actor did the best with what he had and I’m sure the writer did the best they could, but I was irked by it.
Over all My Inner Demon is a solid little game, with a nice little twist at the end (although I guessed it before it was revealed), the game is dedicated to the mother of the creator as she has passed away, which did give it more of an emotional core than most similar titles I’ve played, if it was to be expanded on to be a larger title it would need a different story and actual puzzles with possibly some new game mechanics.
Super Bus Squad: Omega Edition by Gee It Some Laldy (not a spelling error)
Super Bus Squad is a platformer originally made for the Desert Bus For Hope Jam, you control a character who must help put the props back into storage after Desert Bus For Hope, which is a pretty meta plot, you control your character, allowing them to walk, jump, shoot and once unlocked you can swap through super weapons, these are picked up from the bosses which you fight at the end of a stage filled with traps and enemies, and you can select to fight them in any order.
This might sound familiar to some people, pretty much anyone that has heard of or played the Megaman series, and that is basically, because it’s a fan made Megaman game, each stage is themed with its own set up, icy floors, lasers, moving platforms etc. and once you pass through successfully, you take on a boss, if you can survive against the boss you can pick up the item they leave behind which gives you a new weapon to fight with, and I would assume that each weapon would be extra helpful in bringing down another boss, much like in the Megaman games.
There are elements that are unlike Megaman though, for instance instead of a health meter your character has four hearts, so they can only be hit four times without being destroyed, there is no life counters so you can keep retrying until you win or give up, levels have less enemies and unless you leave the room and re-enter they don’t reappear, sometimes even if you respawn some of the enemies remain destroyed, these elements make Super Bus Squad an easier game, however it is still a challenge.
One of the levels you play has gravity manipulation at the core of its design, meaning you spend parts of the level walking up walls and on the roof, another has lasers that you need to time your run with to avoid, so each level feels different enough to the others and for the most part different enough from the Megaman games.
Another feature that Super Bus Squad contains is the ability to select from four avatars and even customise their colours, this has no impact on the gameplay but it is neat.
Over all, Super Bus Squad is quite a fun Megaman styled platformer that deserves a look for fans of the Megaman series.
Thanks for reading, it really means a lot to know that we’re helping folks out. We’ve reviewed lots of other small indie games so why not check out our review of battle princess an old school action platformer inspired by classic SNES titles:
Links for games:
One half of the YouTube brother duo, The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n, Chris is a lover of games, movies and other great things you can do from home.
Coffee of choice: I like the sweeter kinds, mixed with chocolate, coconut, caramel etc. but I won’t turn down a flat white or a straight black either.