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If you’re in the mood for an RPG filled Indie Bundle, you’re in luck because the Indie Royale has just released their latest bundle, they’ve called it the July Jubilee bundle. For a fluctuating price of about $5.50 you get 10 awesome indie games, including a super smart crayon outline style puzzle game, an epic 5 chapter RPG saga, an authentic feeling 8 bit 2D platformer, a critically acclaimed 89 level twin-stick shooter, a twitchy maze game where timing is key, and a 2D platformer RPG. If you pay more than $8 you also get Prof.SAKAMOTO’s ‘Insert‘ album
Also included in the bundle as free extras are the Original Soundtracks for Oniken, Puzzle Agent and Swift*Stitch, the Rose and Time bonus game along with the Royale Ring and 100 Unepic credits for In-game bonuses.
Developed by Telltale Games and is available for Windows, Mac, Desura and Steam.
Puzzle Agent is a fun and reasonably difficult crayon-outline style puzzle game. It’s definitely got a unique art style, and the style feels consistent through the game and during cutscenes. Even though you may think that from the first few puzzles and from the playful art style that this game is easy, you’re wrong. The game quickly accelerates in difficulty; By the fourth or fifth puzzle I was having to take my time thinking over the problem at hand then solve it, and I’d keep looking over my answers because I never wanted to make a mistake before submitting it, you’re penalized for that. Each puzzle is unique to the others from what I’ve played, which is a breath of fresh air from other puzzle games that I’ve played in the past. Although I’m not usually one for puzzle games, this game sucked me in as well as making me want to play more.
Developed by Spiderweb Software and available for Windows, Mac, Desura, and Steam. NOTE: Although this review was written specifically for Geneforge there will not be reviews for each individual chapter in the game, it’s mostly just plot advancement and I don’t really have the time in a review like this one to evaluate the story of such an extensive RPG.
Geneforge is a retro style role playing game with a science fiction twist, the first of the Geneforge saga. In Geneforge, you are able to create a character that is one of three classes. The classes available are Shaper (Mage), Guardian (Warrior) and Agent (Rogue). When creating your character you are presented with a menu that allows you to pick out what stats you’d like to improve with your extra 15 stat points you are assigned at the beginning, and different skills have different costs to upgrade. Each of the three classes obviously have different specialties in the game, which is very evident even in the tutorial. The Shaper is best at magic and summoning creatures to aid him in battle, the guardian is the best for heavy armour combat but can still summon creatures and the Agent is best at sneaky skills and in some cases may not be able to summon creatures at all.
Something that I found to be quite intuitive and neat was the party system itself, as your party can hold up to seven members other than yourself at the cost of essence, when you are summoning creatures to aid you you can either spend extra essence to improve their skills therefore making stronger minions (and need to spend extra if you want to control them completely and not have them autoattack), but you wouldn’t be able to afford as many or you could buy many minions but spend little to nothing on their skills, either way is viable, it’s up to you to choose.
Essence is also used for higher level spells and skills, so spend it wisely, as you don’t get it back until your creatures die or you reabsorb them. If you use essence on a higher level spell then the only way to get it back is to visit a special essence well in town, which will replenish it for you. The story in Geneforge is extremely flexible and adaptable as you have many different choices throughout the dialogue and you can either sway more to good or more to the evil side of things, play the game how you wish. Overall, even though Geneforge isn’t the most high fidelity game ever as well as being a little on the old side, it’s still a fantastic play and is definitely worth your time. I really wish I was able to play more and I definitely will, but sadly I had a limited time frame so I needed to move on to the next game.
Oniken was developed by Danilo_Dias and is available for Windows and Desura.
Ah Oniken, quite a unique game in how it was created and deployed, it is perhaps the most authentic 8-bit 2D platformer that I have ever seen, it does a very good job of looking and feeling just like a game you’d play on your NES emulator; it feels like an NES game. The pixelated graphics style is just gorgeous and goes with the style of game perfectly, everything fits together exactly how you’d expect it to. As for gameplay itself, I found in my play of the game that it was a hard game to play with a keyboard, and I suspect that things would go better for me if I was using a controller, but that’s not a major complaint. I will, however, bring to your attention the lack of key binding options, which I consider to be a concern. Although Oniken allows you to choose your control scheme, instead of simply allowing you to bind the game’s controls to any keys that you feel like using, you are required to use one of their premade control schemes instead, which in my mind is a little unnecessary but in the grand scheme of things not that big of a deal. Overall Oniken is definitely worth having a look in my opinion, especially if you’re a fan of retro platformers such as Contra.
Mutant Storm Reloaded was developed by PomPom Games and is available for PC, Desura and Steam.
I’m going to start this review off by pointing out the fact that I don’t really play twin stick shooters much, so perhaps people who enjoy that style of games will like it, but I certainly didn’t. I’ll say this like it is, I found Mutant Storm Reloaded to be a boring game that was not very unique in its implementation and gameplay, which makes for a boring experience. Yes, it has a rather unique graphics style and definitely looks better than a lot of the other twin stick shooters out there at the moment, but that’s all it really has going for it. It doesn’t do a good job of differentiating itself with its gameplay from the rest of the games in this saturated genre, which is disappointing. In Mutant Storm Reloaded you have one attack which can be altered via the use of powerups, but for most of the time that I played it I was using the normal attack; Powerups seem to be few and far between. In the ten levels that I played of it, I encountered four or five different types of enemies, but nothing really different from the usual twin-stick. Mutant Storm Reloaded certainly didn’t wow me gameplay-wise, but I think fans of the genre will probably enjoy this game, especially at the higher resolutions.
Swift*Stitch was developed by SophieH and is available for PC, Mac and Desura.
Swift*Stitch is some sort of an abstract maze game, it’s completely unique and I’ve never seen anything like it before. Imagine a game where you only have two options of movement, horizontally and vertically and you’re moving at all times;You must make your way through a maze using these two directions of movement, which isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds, I assure you. If you crash into a wall, you lose the level and must start over. The game adds to the experience by having special types of walls that you must go through in order to complete the maze, such as ones that reverse your direction of vertical (eg. From up to down) or horizontal movement (Eg. From left to right), checkpoints and even a special type of wall, one which changes your movement system entirely until you touch the same type of wall again, this one causes you to move in an arc direction which is a stroke of pure genius, it makes the game so much more difficult and fun to play than it would have been otherwise.
At first glance it might appear that the graphics for Swift*Stitch are retro and not up to the task, but I assure you that the graphics enhance the experience, they suit the game perfectly. I’m not a completionist, but I found myself restarting levels over and over again in order to try and get that perfect score by collecting all of the “shinies” throughout the level and not crashing once for the entire level. This game is fantastic and is definitely worth a look, I’d strongly recommend giving it a try.
Rose and Time was developed by SophieH and is available for PC and MAC. It’s a bonus game in this Indie Royale Bundle.
Rose and Time is a unique puzzle game about time travel. In the game you are a young girl trying to learn how to travel through time to free her parents, but no matter how many physics books you read, you can’t find the solution to your problem (how to time travel), so you go to your favourite place to think and then find a red crystal. It turns out that with these red crystals you can travel through time, so you start collecting them. In the beginning levels there’s only two, but in the later levels there’s as many as four. This is key to the gameplay because after you collect a red crystal, you are sent back in time to collect another crystal in the level, and you must avoid past copies of yourself in order to stop yourself from creating a paradox. This also means that you must be careful what you do in the early stages of the level so that you don’t screw up the later stages and have no way to get the last crystal, making the game quite interesting to play, as you have to plan ahead.
Rose and Time is a rather nice looking game that requires almost nothing to run, it’s definitely worth a try, especially to those of you who like thinking games, as you have to be sure to plan out what you’re going to do so that in later stages you can complete the level.
Unepic was developed by Franfistro and is available for Windows and Desura.
Unepic is a dungeon crawling parody style RPG where you take the role of a man who was playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends and then something happens (Not saying what) where he is put into his own castle RPG world where he must learn how to survive using just the loot he finds. It’s definitely an interesting and unique game, the graphics style for instance, I haven’t seen many RPG games with a side/platformer view, so that’s pretty neat. From what I’ve seen so far there’s plenty of weapon styles to choose from and the game also offers five difficulty modes ranging from newbies to the genre to RPG experts, so it’s quite nice regardless of what your skill level is.
The traps system is also cool, you have to watch where you step to avoid getting hit by a trap. Another thing that I found neat about the game is that you have to carefully consider the consequences of your actions. For example, although picking something up may seem like a good idea, it may have dire consequences in the end, which creates the need for you to think carefully about what you’re doing.
Now, let’s move onto my qualms that I have with this game. First of all, why are there not proper resolution settings? As far as I can tell the highest resolution that you are able to run the game in fullscreen at is 1024×768 or so, which is not cool. Why can I not adjust the game to fit my screen at 1280×800 or at least bigger than what it allows you to currently? 1024×768 is a small resolution and on my screen the game doesn’t look as good as it could, which is a shame really.
Another potential issue that I have with the game (only the version that comes in this bundle) is the Royale Ring. I don’t consider it to be a very good idea to give people a special bonus for buying this game through the Indie Royale, as that can unbalance the game and give people an unfair disadvantage who bought the game through Desura before this bundle happened instead, but since it’s a singleplayer game I guess I can let it slide.
I’d recommend Unepic to everybody, especially fans of the RPG genre, as it’s definitely a fun addition to your collection, and I plan to sink many hours into this game in the days ahead.
The Indie Royale July Jubilee Bundle may be their best bundle yet, filled to the brim with excellent RPG and Puzzle games, and there was only one game in the entire bundle that I didn’t like much, which was Mutant Storm Reloaded, but I’m sure others will. As for the value of the bundle, it’s obviously a wise investment as the value:dollars ratio is quite high on this bundle, a whopping ten games for the low fluctuating price of $5.50. I hope my reviews have helped you make a decision about this bundle and if you want to make the purchase then you can do so using the embedded widget below.