Nindie Rundown - Episode 1
We’ve been playing a fairly eclectic mix of indie titles recently. Here’s a quick rundown on a handful of them, as well as our initial thoughts and impressions.
Gris is a fairly straightforward platformer, but the art style is absolutely gorgeous and the soundtrack is simply beautiful. Progressing through the world adds layers of colour to it opening up new areas, as well as reflecting the growing strength of the game's protagonist as she deals with the five stages of grief. The platforming isn't particularly challenging, and what puzzle solving there is is fairly simplistic, but moving through this 3 to 4 hour adventure is an absolute joy. Check out our full review to see why this is one we highly recommend.
+ Stunning art design
+ Beautiful score
+ Emotionally captivating
- Very little challenge
- Short (but very sweet)
Project High Rise: Architect’s Edition
Publisher: Kalypso Media Group GmbH
Project Highrise is a simulation strategy game that sees you building vast skyscrapers in which people live and work. There’s two main modes. The first one sees you take on multiple missions alongside an already existing high rise that must be modified and built upon to complete the three objectives given. The other is a more laid back approach that gives you the freedom to create what you want, while still throwing out all sorts of challenges that you’d expect from the micro-managing genre.
There’s a huge depth to Project Highrise that made had my mind racing with every decision I made. Every aspect of the game is thought out to such a degree that you really have to pay attention to exactly what your individual tenants want, or else they’ll leave. There’s plenty of hours of enjoyment here, and trying to make everyone in the skyscraper happy while still expanding the building into new territories, constantly had me booting it up for another go.
+ Tons of depth and complexity
+ Clean visuals
+ Handy tutorials
- Easy to get lost
- Some repetitive music
The Legend of Evil
The Legend of Evil is a nice twist on the Tower Defence genre - the twist being that this is a tower offence game. You have a certain number of areas in which you can build different demon-spawning structures to unleash the leagues of evil upon unsuspecting villagers. They do mount a counter-offensive to see you off, but the goal is to slice your way through them and destroy their obelisk before they can get to yours.
The variety of demons to spawn and ways to improve your towers – increased spawn rate, defence barricades and so on – add complex levels of strategy that are engaging, but make the game incredibly tough. You really need to be switched on and thinking clearly if you're going to get past the third level. As a result, it's not really a casual drop-in and out kind of title, but it's one worth picking up if you're into these kind of games. The writing's great too.
+ Fun twist on tower defence genre
+ Humourous writing
+ Deep and complex strategy
- Very, very tough
- Some demon designs are a little bland
Planet RIX-13 is a very simple, point and click adventure that sees you crash landing on a mysterious planet and trying to figure out what’s behind the strange anomalies that are afflicting your environment. It’s all fairly straightforward stuff and you can breeze through the entire thing in around an hour.
A couple of the puzzles took a little brain power to figure out, which was satisfying. But the incredibly basic presentation and truncated length means it’s difficult to recommend. There’s better point-and-click adventures on the Switch, but if you’re after a quick fix, there’s enough smart puzzle design here to give aficionados of the genre some satisfaction.
+ Some clever puzzle design
+ Multiple endings
- Incredibly short
- Basic presentation
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a top down hack and slash game which sees the protagonist from the fan-favourite Wii series dive into numerous video games to battle his way through hordes of enemies. A touch of Suda 51’s signature flair is interwoven throughout, and the game shines when it’s not taking itself too seriously. It’s a blast in co-op multiplayer too, with the second player taking control of Badman. Unfortunately, some of the game’s more interesting concepts and ideas are lost in uninspired design, overstretched levels and puzzling execution of its story. Be sure to check out our full review.
+ Co-op with single Joy-Con
+ Light RPG elements
+ Simple controls
- Tiresome visually
- Text heavy story
- Bland gameplay
Conduct Together! is a hectic action puzzle game where you must conduct your colour coded trains to their relevant stations without crashing. Conducting trains, switching tracks and avoiding collisions can all be done with one to four players in this crazy party game.
It features seamless switching between one to four players as you work together to deliver passengers to their stations. A timed scoring system and simple controls means that anyone can jump into the action without getting too lost. It’s a joy to play with multiple players but can become frustratingly hard very fast, while playing solo makes it one of those “one more try” games that could keep you up all night. I enjoyed the look of the low-poly worlds, cheerful music, and unlockable trains.
+ Clean low poly worlds
+ Crazy four player gameplay
+ Simple controls
- Difficulty spikes
- Can get a little repetitive