IndieGame – The Nerd Stash http://thenerdstash.com Video Games, Reviews, News, Movies, TV, & More! Fri, 26 May 2017 21:04:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bohemian Killing Review http://thenerdstash.com/bohemian-killing-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/bohemian-killing-review/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 15:23:18 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=63590 Title: Bohemian Killing Available On: PC Developer: The Moonwalls Studios Publisher: IQ Publishing Genre: First-Person Adventure Official Site: www.bohemiankilling.com Release Date: July 21, 2016 Where To Buy: Steam After watching How to Get Away With Murder, I was waiting for an opportunity to put my defensive skills to the test in a courtroom. Unfortunately, I’m a twenty-three year old […]

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Title: Bohemian Killing

Available On: PC

Developer: The Moonwalls Studios

Publisher: IQ Publishing

Genre: First-Person Adventure

Official Site: www.bohemiankilling.com

Release Date: July 21, 2016

Where To Buy: Steam


After watching How to Get Away With Murder, I was waiting for an opportunity to put my defensive skills to the test in a courtroom. Unfortunately, I’m a twenty-three year old games journalist with no intentions of killing someone and going to trial for it. To my joy, there was a game on Steam that allowed me to commit that hypothetical murder and weasel my way out of my conviction. To my surprise, it is much more difficult than it seems.

Bohemian Killing is a first-person adventure game by The Moonwalls studios that puts the players behind the wheel of a man on trial for murder. It’s your job to narrate the events that transpired in whatever way you can to convince the judges that you’re an innocent man, or admit your guilt and claim insanity. The game gives you a number of different ways to present your case, though some may be more credible than others.

As Bohemian Killing opens, your character, Alfred Ethon, walks into a hotel room where a woman is crawling backward on the ground. You step up with your knife and kill her before the game pulls you back into the courtroom in a bohemian Paris in the 19th century where you stand on trial for this murder. A variety of evidence is presented against you, and it doesn’t look good. It’s up to you to tell your testimony and rewrite history to be in your favor, through picking up evidence, altering witness statements, and lining up the events with the evidence against you into a new perspective.

Each playthrough you do gives you a better perspective of how to best present your case. For example, my first playthrough had me feeling fairly confident: I gathered some evidence, stated my case, convinced some witnesses to help me out, and even admitted to seeing the victim and framed her as having socialist tendencies. Feeling confident with the help of my lawyer, I ended my testimony. Unfortunately, some of my statements didn’t line up with the evidence against me, and I was quickly found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. My second time around, I used this experience to start pouring through the evidence against me, exploring areas in different orders, and lining up my events with the proper timing. By convincing the court I had indeed killed her, but only in self-defense, I got my first victory: an innocent verdict.

Just to be thorough I decided on one more playthrough. This time, on a break, I read through my letters and used my gypsy connections in the city to break out of my prison cell, escaping my impending fate. It was in this precise order of events that I found the joy of this game. No matter how much evidence I piled up or how confident I felt, I always went to the verdict hearing with a sense of nerves that I had missed something or that my case wasn’t solid enough. It also challenges the player to make sure they use their time precisely to line up events according to the prosecution’s timeline or face the consequences.

The game has quite a bit of character for its fairly heavy indie feel. The setting for the game involves themes of poverty and racism over those of gypsy heritage in this time frame. This helps compound the sense of guilt and mistrust toward your character. The voice acting is fairly stellar for such a simple project, which makes your character feel like a fully intelligent inventor and citizen. The soundtrack is truly excellent and brings the 19th century feeling of the city to life. Probably the best part of the game is that it feels concise. Though it only takes about an hour or two to work through the whole story, Bohemian Killing encourages the player to work through the game a number of times to solidify their case more so each time. The load times are also incredibly fast, which helps keep transitions in your testimony feeling smooth and never detracting from the story being told.

All of this being said, the game still has some issues to it. The animations of characters, both in body and face, are fairly unnatural and strange, even if they aren’t a central part of the game itself. Also, while the soundtrack is stellar, the sound FX in the game are lackluster. The sound for opening doors seems to be directly borrowed from the old AIM login sound, which is off-putting. The glitches in the game are perhaps the most annoying issue, as my character would occasionally get lodged in between objects, forcing my to close and reopen the game to escape.

I was surprised by the game, and I say that with all notes of positivity. While it still has some of the struggles of an indie title, its strengths of character and choice outweigh its problems. While I expected to find the game interesting, I didn’t expect the thorough challenges it held and the level of detail put into the lining up of evidence. Bohemian Killing does an excellent job of making you feel in charge of your own future, so long as you put the effort forth. It’s worth picking up and playing, which is the best compliment I can give.


  • Gameplay: Short, sweet, and to the point with a heavy focus on accuracy
  • Graphics: So-so, not horrible but nothing lovely
  • Sound: Excellent soundtrack and voice acting, poor sound fx
  • Presentation: Concise and detailed, overall an interestingly fun experience

Bohemian Killing Review

Paris, 1894. Class differences and pervasive racism finally lead to a tragedy. A year later you find yourself on trial, accused of a brutal murder. How far will you go to exonerate yourself? Will you lie? Manipulate the evidence? Frame others? Act insane? Confess? Your imagination is the limit.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Numerous endings
  • Heavy focus on details of evidence
  • Lovely soundtrack and aesthetic
Cons:
  • Poor sound fx
  • Lackluster animations
  • Occasional game halting glitches

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Little Nightmares Review http://thenerdstash.com/little-nightmares-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/little-nightmares-review/#respond Tue, 16 May 2017 00:09:26 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=62500 Title: Little Nightmares Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Developer: Tarsier Studios Publisher: Bandai Namco Genre: Platformer, Horror Official Site: http://www.little-nightmares.com/us/ Release Date: April 27, 2017 Where To Buy: Steam Little Nightmares likes to get in your head. Why is the world built for big people, when you are so small? Why is everyone so grotesque looking? Why is […]

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Title: Little Nightmares

Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Developer: Tarsier Studios

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Genre: Platformer, Horror

Official Site: http://www.little-nightmares.com/us/

Release Date: April 27, 2017

Where To Buy: Steam


Little Nightmares likes to get in your head. Why is the world built for big people, when you are so small? Why is everyone so grotesque looking? Why is the controller shaking – is there a bad guy just around the – OH YES HE’S RIGHT THERE GET AWAY, GET AWAY.

Gah! Bad touch!

It also occasionally likes to say, “Do you have a badass gaming computer? Too bad, we’re crashing to desktop.”

Yes, Little Nightmares (for me anyway) isn’t the most stable thing in the world. Judging from my Google-fu, it is the same for several others. It’s a big enough release that it will probably be fixed in no time, and I would still recommend it to anyone who likes a good, disturbing yarn.

Little Nightmares is a game all about atmosphere. It is comparable to games like Limbo and Inside; there are moments of jump out of your seat horror, but it is mostly scary because of the situations the game puts you in. It is a game all about being vulnerable in a scary world: you have to pick your time to move in order to avoid enemies and save your skin and, for the most part, it delivers.

Stealth is your only real means of survival.

Again, comparisons to Inside and Limbo are unavoidable. This is a semi puzzle game where combat is mostly nonexistent. What sets it apart are a few things: it is absolutely gorgeous to look at, as opposed to the much more artistic beauty of the other two games. It is also much more three-dimensional than those games, which both helps and hinders its puzzles.

Little Nightmares is basically set into a series of rooms. You play as Six, a raincoat-clad child in a grotesque world, where seemingly everyone is out to kill you. Each room is a puzzle; what can you do to distract the baddies in order to buy yourself enough time to get through to the next location? It hints at the details of the world surrounding you without explicitly stating them: I came to an entirely different conclusion as to what this world was than several others after finishing the game. One thing everyone seems to agree on is that this is one unsettling game.

Watch that  video. Jerky movement? Check. Oddly proportioned people? Check. Nail-biting stealth sections? Check. This is a game designed to drudge up your childhood fears and prey upon them. Ultimately, Little Nightmares wants to make your oldest and darkest fears manifest once again. There is almost no way to fight back against these creatures – being discovered almost always means instant death. You have to pick your spots wisely in order to survive, which adds a total sense of urgency to the game. The level design in Little Nightmares is absolutely perfect – with absolutely no onscreen text, it teaches you how to overcome every obstacle in the game. The puzzles are never so much that they require a guide, but you will most likely die a few times in getting to where you need to go.

These guys look friendly.

While it is beautiful to look at, Little Nightmares does stumble in a few areas, lacking what it needs to really stand up as a must-buy. First, while it is very pretty, some of the animations on enemies lack polish. Sixalways looks great; I especially like the animation when she is running across narrow platforms, trying to keep her balance. But I noticed a lot of issues with the chefs, who are constantly picking things up and setting them back down – items tend to warp around to where they are programmed to be. The addition of 3-D movement, rather than just being a pure sidescroller, makes some of the depth judgment nearly impossible. When sprinting away from an enemy and trying to grab a hook to make your escape, it sucks to die because it is impossible to judge where in the foreground that hook exactly is.

One other big issue with Little Nightmares is the length. There is an achievement that tasks you with beating the game in under an hour; granted, it is difficult to pull off, but this is not a speedrun, glitching through walls and skipping entire areas. Once you know the levels, it can easily be completed in one sitting. And once you’ve beaten it and seen how things play out, there is little incentive to go back to it again unless you want all the achievements. When some games offer up hours and hours more entertainment at a similar price point, that can be a problem.

The short runtime is the game’s biggest fault.

Despite the issues and shaky stability, Little Nightmares gets a lot right. It sets up a terrifying world, then tasks you with sneaking through it. It’s beautiful, unsettling, and has some impeccable level design. I can’t think of a single moment of “what do I do now?” coming up throughout my playthrough – the solution is always right there, and it generally involves skills the game taught you early in your run. If you’ve been searching for something atmospheric to creep you out, we have a winner.


  • Gameplay: Smooth platforming and stealth elements. Some jumps are tricky because of poor depth judgment.
  • Graphics: Beautiful art and style. The animation is generally great, although there are a few odd glitches.
  • Sound: Creepy, tense music. Good panic music when trying to escape from foes.
  • Presentation: Creepy but whimsical. Calls to mind Grimm’s fairy tales. A bit too short.

Little Nightmares Review

Little Nightmares is a stealth/horror game developed by Tarsier Studios and published by Bandai Namco.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Beautiful presentation
  • Very unsettling
  • Good stealth gameplay
  • Puzzles make you think without being frustrating
Cons:
  • Too short; can be beaten in one sitting
  • Glitchy release

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Leaked Red Dead 2 Image Turns Out to Be Upcoming MMO Wild West Online http://thenerdstash.com/red-dead-2-mmo-wild-west-online/ http://thenerdstash.com/red-dead-2-mmo-wild-west-online/#respond Fri, 12 May 2017 21:10:29 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=63019 Since it’s announcement, fans have been clamoring for any information they can get their hands on for Red Dead Redemption 2. An image recently appeared online stating that it was the first leaked screenshot of Rockstar’s upcoming Wild West sequel, but in reality, it belonged to another upcoming game called Wild West Online. It won’t […]

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Since it’s announcement, fans have been clamoring for any information they can get their hands on for Red Dead Redemption 2. An image recently appeared online stating that it was the first leaked screenshot of Rockstar’s upcoming Wild West sequel, but in reality, it belonged to another upcoming game called Wild West Online.

It won’t star Will Smith as Jim West, but the upcoming Kickstarter project is set to be an open-world PvP MMO. Obviously set in the old west, the company behind Wild West Online hope to launch their $250,000 Kickstarter for the project at the end of the month, with stretch goals tied to additional funding.

Wild West Online

The leaked image in question belonging to Wild West Online

It not hard to see why fans on the GTA forum thought that the upcoming MMO was a screenshot from RDR2, as they certainly look similar. The newly formed 612 games stated it was intentional though, as they stated in an interview with PCGamer that they were tired of waiting for Red Dead to come to the PC.

“There’s an audience for this that just wasn’t being served on PC,” Bugaj explained. “So we wanted to make this big, open Wild West world with a bit of a twist that, like the best MMOs, is a place where people can really live in.”

The confusion has, at the very least, provided some sweet free advertising for 612 games and the MMO, as the indie project has very lofty goals in its Kickstarter. One of Wild West Online’s most interesting stretch goals lies at 1.75 million dollars. When reached the developers will add train robberies as part of a “season one” update.

Wild West Online

The open world design and PVP aspect certainly sounds appealing in Wild West Online

Interestingly enough, Wild West Online is slated for release at the exact same time as Red Dead Redemption 2, fall of 2017. The kicker is that no PC version of Red Dead has been announced, and is the whole inspiration behind its competitor making the game, so Wild West Online may corner the market.

It’s hard to imagine that Rockstar will take that lying down, especially after the success they saw with GTA: Online. Be sure to check back to the site for updates in the meantime as Wild West Online’s official site states more will be revealed in approximately four days.

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This Is the Police Review http://thenerdstash.com/this-is-the-police-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/this-is-the-police-review/#respond Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:56:42 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=61941 Title: This Is the Police Version Tested: Xbox One Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems Developer: Weappy Studio Publisher: THQ Nordic, EuroVideo Medien Genre: Adventure Game, Strategy game This Is the Police is one of the most strangely addicting games I have ever played, set in a format I usually […]

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Title: This Is the Police

Version Tested: Xbox One

Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems

Developer: Weappy Studio

Publisher: THQ Nordic, EuroVideo Medien

Genre: Adventure Game, Strategy game


This Is the Police is one of the most strangely addicting games I have ever played, set in a format I usually have no interest in whatsoever. The simulation strategy game, despite its faults, had me up well into the hours of the night exploring its unique gameplay.

Placed into the role of Jack Boyd, a police chief in his last days of office, the game presents real life situations that officers of the law face every day, and has the user decide the best choices to the outcomes. While it took time to understand how to micromanaging elements of the game to not only succeed in the allotted missions per day but the ones placed over longer periods of time, the process eventually began to ebb and flow.

This is the Police

Certain officers and detectives are better than others, promote the deserving and fire the drunk and lazy

Developing officers and detectives is one of the most vital aspects to get down early on, determining which ones may have drinking problems, or are just plain lazy, is vital to succeeding on missions. Juggling using a vital employee too much is also an issue, as fatigue will happen their abilities, no matter their rating.

Laced within the management of all these important skills is the monkey wrench that is This Is the Police’s take on social commentary. Racism, corruption, and negligence are issues that real life offices of the law have to work around every day, and the game is no different.

This is the Police

While the social commentary is certainly exaggerated it definitely has an interesting impact on the story

Well ok, I take that back just a bit, because the things that take place in This Is the Police are certainly exaggerated to an extent. Examples being City Hall’s requirement of Boyd to hire at least fifty percent of his staff to be women or requiring all black cops be fired as a result of racial tensions on the streets are just two examples of that exaggeration.

But it didn’t take away from the experience personally, as it added a challenge in the managing aspect of the gameplay. Plus it’s a game, so I try not to take it entirely too seriously, despite its intended message.

This is the Police

Will your Jack Boyd play it straight? Or will he build his nest egg

That being said, the game’s story does essentially revolve around that exaggeration, as many of the ultimatums and situations presented in the game are rather ridiculous. Jack’s “relationship” choices with the mob, choosing to hoard guns, drugs and ammo found at scenes and framing/killing officers that have information on Boyd just to name a few.

But while the actual dialogue and story aren’t entirely too interesting, it’s effect on the gameplay keeps it refreshing throughout. Giving the ability to improve the department through collaborations with the mob or money earned turning the other cheek is not only a great way to keep things interesting, it also will have an effect on the end game.

This is the Police

Detective cases can vary from individual ones to gang related tasks, with the eventual goal of taking out their leader for a big reward

The detective cases are one of my favorite aspects of the game as well. Not only do they add a bigger feel than the everyday calls, their’s also another element of gameplay. Sifting through photos to corroborate with eye witness statements and being patient enough to catch the real perpetrator is satisfying.

A big issue I’ve had so far with This Is the Police is that it’s surprisingly long. Playing the game for well over eight hours so far, I’ve only apparently scratched the surface of the 180-day simulator. While each day does manage to have unique situations, the only thing that tends to change is the wording, which can get slightly repetitive. I rather enjoy the song element of the game though, and I found that it help pass the long and sometimes repetitive days a lot easier and that it relaxed me as much as it did Boyd.

Despite the issues with length though, I can say that I will certainly be completing it, no matter how long it takes. I would highly recommend This is the Police to anyone who has the time on their hands to play it, as the gameplay outshines the somewhat mundane main story and exaggerated bits of social commentary.   


  • Gameplay: Addictingly fun for a simple simulation game
  • Graphics: Simple enough to work with the excellent gameplay
  • Sound: Superb complimentary old-school soundtrack and purchasing options
  • Presentation: Despite running a little too long, the game still manages to feel fresh with each situation

This Is the Police Review

This Is the Police is a strategy/adventure game set in a city spiraling the drain. Taking the role of gritty Police Chief Jack Boyd, you'll dive into a deep story of crime and intrigue. Will Jack reach his retirement with a nice stack of bills, or will he end up broken ... or worse?
Overall Score
Great
Pros: 
  • Addictive and invigorating gameplay
  • Intuitive learning system
  • Fun daily stories
  • (Bonus) Hulk Hogan Cop!
  Cons:
  • Exaggerated Social Commentary
  • Long Playthrough

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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N++ Ultimate Update Adds Over 2000 Levels To The Game http://thenerdstash.com/n-ultimate-update-adds-2000-levels-game/ http://thenerdstash.com/n-ultimate-update-adds-2000-levels-game/#respond Sat, 22 Apr 2017 20:22:15 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=61897 Platforming fans rejoice: one of the best entries in the genre, N++, just got a gigantic (and free!) update that immensely increases the amount of content in the game. The “Ultimate Edition update” adds several new modes to the game, including a hardcore mode where the timer never stops and deaths accumulate over the course of […]

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Platforming fans rejoice: one of the best entries in the genre, N++, just got a gigantic (and free!) update that immensely increases the amount of content in the game. The “Ultimate Edition update” adds several new modes to the game, including a hardcore mode where the timer never stops and deaths accumulate over the course of each level. In addition, the update adds more than 2000 levels to the game, which more than doubles the content that was already in the game. The total level count now stands at 4340.

Prepare to see this message a lot. N++ loves to kill you.

N++ is a momentum based, tough as nails platformer where you take control of a ninja, darting about minimalist levels, avoiding traps and enemies, and trying to collect gold to open the exit. In addition to the massive single player campaign, N++ also contains a level editor, a sweet soundtrack, and both co-op and competitive multiplayer. Fans of Super Meat Boy will be right at home in N++. You can read the full announcement about the update here, and check out the launch trailer below:

If you act quickly, you can get an even better deal: N++ is discounted 50% until Sunday the 23rd on Steam. The Ultimate Edition update is free, so, if you act fast, you can grab it for $7.49. That works out to about 2/100ths of a cent per level. Not a bad deal at all.

Steam is home to a lot of sub-par, retro-styled games. N++ has received almost universal praise across the board. A giant, free update to an already great game is always a sign of a good developer.

Already have a copy of N++? Think you’ll pick up a copy now that the amount of content has doubled? Let us know in the comments below.

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2Dark Review http://thenerdstash.com/2dark-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/2dark-review/#respond Sat, 15 Apr 2017 20:08:22 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=60509 Title: 2Dark Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Developer: Gloomywood Publisher: Gloomywood, Bigben Interactive Genre: Adventure, Stealth, Survival Horror Official Site: http://www.2dark.cc/ Release Date: March 10, 2017 Where To Buy: Steam Don’t let the chunky, old-school graphics fool you. 2Dark is not a game of chiptunes and nostalgia; this is a dark tale full of endangered children, bloody kills, and […]

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Title: 2Dark

Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: Gloomywood

Publisher: Gloomywood, Bigben Interactive

Genre: Adventure, Stealth, Survival Horror

Official Site: http://www.2dark.cc/

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Where To Buy: Steam


Don’t let the chunky, old-school graphics fool you. 2Dark is not a game of chiptunes and nostalgia; this is a dark tale full of endangered children, bloody kills, and unforgiving stealth gameplay. It rewards patience and planning and, when it works, it works really well. The game is marred by several issues that keep it from reaching the lofty peaks it aspires to, but it is a game packed with harrowing moments and great design choices.

Like your janitor disguise doubling as a way to clean up your messes.

2Dark puts players in control of a former detective named Smith. On a camping trip years ago, Smith’s wife was murdered and his children went missing. Now, Smith is working to solve a series of child abductions in the not-at-all ironically named town of Gloomywood. These abductions will take you through a slew of creepy locations, like an abandoned carnival, an office building for a creepy doll company, and the like.

Gameplay is stealth based; players need to observe enemies, hide in darkness, and mask sound to get past obstacles. After locating the children in each level, the process is reversed. The kids can be bribed with candy, but they are understandably terrified of the situation and prone to make a bit more noise than you would like. Your combat options are extremely limited: usually, a blunt object and a gun with a few bullets are your only chance of survival if you are discovered. 2Dark wants you to avoid combat unless it is absolutely necessary, and that’s a very good thing.

When you must resort to violence, backstabs are the way to go.

The combat in 2Dark is abysmal. It is incredibly difficult to master timing, distance, and damage with the clunky controls and strange view on offer, and enemies can sometimes fall into “bullet sponge” territory that generally makes combat much more trouble than it is worth. It does undermine the game’s attempt at dark, gritty realism at times when you shoot an enemy six times and they still don’t slow down.

Speaking of tone, 2Dark seems unsure of how to balance things in that regard. On one hand, we are dealing with some extremely heavy territory: a child abduction ring, full of perverts, serial killers, and other bizarre villains, is one of the darkest places a video game can go. In some strange moments, the game veers from this ultra-serious tone into levels of comic book supervillains. The first level, in which you investigate a dilapidated, abandoned circus, features an insane circus clown who dresses children up as animals and makes them jump through rings of fire. This cackling, mustache-twirling level of villainy clashes with the gritty tone that the game tries to set, making for an odd style that doesn’t always work.

The tonal shift is very jarring at times.

What does work in 2Dark is the pacing and level design. There are some heart-pounding moments as you hide in the shadows, searching for a weakness in enemy patterns and planning your next move. Ultimately, 2Dark is a puzzle game where failure to solve the puzzle results in bloody murder. Scanning an environment for clues and traps in the brief moment the butler left the room. Sprinting through the dark, hoping to remember just how objects in the room are laid out so you can stay ahead of the maniac following behind you. These are the moments where this game works, and they provide some serious thrills.

Even the escorting aspect of the game is done well. Candy is a valuable resource in keeping the children quiet and following your instructions, but you only have so much to go around. More children following you means there are more opportunities for one to slip up, but taking fewer at a time means you have to return, again, through the traps. There is a well done risk-reward element to 2Dark – one that usually punishes you for getting a bit too greedy.

Maybe he won’t check in the other room?

Punishing is a good way to describe things in general. There is no auto-save; you have to find time to light a cigarette in order to save your progress in the middle of a level. That means time standing still and possibly attracting the attention of nearby enemies. There are instakill traps everywhere, and security systems like cameras and alarms will give you no choice but to pull up your last save. A kid will start crying as you try to sneak past a dozing guard. This is not a game for the easily frustrated.

Overall, 2Dark is frustrating, with clunky controls and graphics that look better in stills than in action. Combat is terrible, the tone is unbalanced, and the inventory system needs work. And yet, it does manage to capture that pure gaming zen that some games are never quite able to. The moment where things click, a plan goes off without a hitch (or with a hitch or three that you are able to successfully navigate), and everything feels right. For that reason, I would recommend 2Dark for people who are looking for a puzzle game that demands thinking. People who want their survival horror to be based on actual fear and panic rather than jump scares. People who want to save the children from being mauled by lions.


  • Gameplay: Combat is clunky, but the stealth mechanics work well and offer some extremely tense moments.
  • Graphics: Retro art style certainly isn’t pretty, and can make it difficult to identify traps. Levels are creepy and well designed.
  • Sound: Good voice acting sets the noir style. Good use of sound in levels as well.
  • Presentation: Gritty and high stakes scenes. Controls are a bit simplistic, and the inventory has a tendency to take up too much screen real estate.

2Dark Review

2Dark is a survival horror/stealth game where players rescue children from a variety of criminals. It was developed and published by Gloomywood.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Good stealth gameplay
  • Interesting style and ideas
  • Genuinely creepy and intense
Cons:
  • Clunky controls
  • Frustrating elements
  • Strange tonal shifts

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Deceit Review http://thenerdstash.com/deceit-pc-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/deceit-pc-review/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:09:26 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=61136 Title: Deceit Available On: PC Developer: Automaton Publisher: Automaton Genre: 1st Person Shooter/Survival Horror Official Site: playdeceit.com Release Date: March 03, 2017 Where To Buy: Steam Would I lie to you? Yes, in Deceit, I most certainly would. In this 6 player horror survival game, the aim of the game is to lie your way to victory, being wary of others and […]

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Title: Deceit

Available On: PC

Developer: Automaton

Publisher: Automaton

Genre: 1st Person Shooter/Survival Horror

Official Site: playdeceit.com

Release Date: March 03, 2017

Where To Buy: Steam


Would I lie to you? Yes, in Deceit, I most certainly would. In this 6 player horror survival game, the aim of the game is to lie your way to victory, being wary of others and building trust with your teammates.

In Deceit, you play as one of 6 test subjects in each game, 2 subjects are injected with a virus which allows them to turn into a bloodthirsty creature when the conditions are dark.

The objective in Deceit entirely depends on whether you are innocent or infected; if you are innocent, you must quickly determine who is infected, try to eliminate them from the game and escape. If you are infected, your aim is to kill the innocent players.

Like Arnold would say: “You’re one ugly mother…”

Infected players must drink blood from blood bags which are dotted around the level in order to transform and execute innocent players. Drinking the blood makes a loud, obnoxious noise that can be heard from some distance; so this needs to be a discreet action. Drinking blood around other players is a sure way to get yourself eliminated from the game.

As each match progresses, the innocents can equip themselves with camera’s to stun the infected creatures in the dark, which in the current build of the game, is the best form of defense during the dark periods of the game. The gun is ineffective at night time but can stun the creature, but a couple of clicks with your camera does the same job in far less time.

Players can also acquire other items such as a tracker which does what it says on the tin, it tracks a player’s movement for a set period of time. Players can use this to track someone they may suspect to be the infected or the infected can use it closer to the dark period of play in order to find their prey in the dark much easier.

Stand in the circle to complete the objective.

Sometimes, the players can find a scanner, a one-time use item that can tell the user if another player is infected or not. I stress that only the user can see what the results are, which allows for potentially infected players to either keep hold of the item or scan another player and lie to their “teammates” in order for the team to eliminate them. Either way, as the infected, you do not want to be scanned, so pleading innocence before someone scans you may just save you from elimination.

There is an antidote that can instantly revive a player who has been downed. This item appears to have very little use against players who know how to play, as the creature has an uninterruptible cinematic kill that doesn’t allow the victim to be revived, which can be used so long as they have at least 1 third of their blood meter filled.

Finally, there is a lethal injection that can be used as an instant kill on any innocent player; the lethal injection does not work on the infected players. Most innocents will plead for everyone to not attempt to pick this up, as it results in an easy kill for the infected, should the infected pick this up. An innocent would technically have no reason to use this item, other than to stop the infected from being able to acquire it.

“Smile for me!”

I was disappointed to find only a handful of maps are available, with no way of choosing a map. Running through the same few corridors or the same forest gets dull pretty quick. Variety is the spice of life after all! There are 4 playable characters, each with their own glut of customization options (purchasable in the game). For the record, I really don’t look at cosmetics or skins as “content”, since it does little to enhance a game.

Each character has their own set of perks, which are unlocked by completing challenges as those particular characters. The perks basically break the game when paired against new players. The fact that the creature can be stun locked with the camera is ridiculous, allowing them no time to recover or any hope of ever killing another survivor.

Deceit offers a pretty intense communication-based scenario in which you must learn to trust and detect when people are lying. If you suspect a player is lying you can shoot them with your gun, which begins the voting process. When enough shots have been counted as votes from other players, the downed victim is eliminated from the game, with no chance to respawn.

Innocent…this time round

The biggest obstacle you will face in Deceit are players working together. Despite the game being very much a game about discovering the truth about other players, you can eliminate the need to do this by partying up with friends, and telling each other who is infected and who is innocent, which completely detracts from the point of the game.

Deceit comes with a ranking system and in-game currency which can only be acquired by winning games. The grind can be incredibly monotonous so, why not cheat to get ahead? After the first week of playing this game, many of the games I found myself in were completely unbalanced and spoiled by this type of behavior.

Whether innocent or infected, you are at a complete disadvantage when 2 or more of the players in the game are uncooperative simply because they want to grind experience and play to their own agenda.

Some of the visuals are stunning, but it’s a shame it doesn’t run all the way through!

At present, there is no way to really counter this, other than trying to convince every other player to eliminate these types of player, however, this is easier said than done! Too much emphasis is hinged onto the community to play the game as intended for this to ultimately work.

So, would I recommend Deceit? If the game goes on sale, certainly, but ultimately I’m left disappointed because there just isn’t enough content to warrant a full price purchase here.


  • Gameplay: Gameplay shows potential, but it’s far too repetitive and doesn’t vary from game to game.
  • Graphics: A mixed bag. Backgrounds look nice, but certain models clearly look out of place.
  • Sound: Default sound levels are deafening! Gun shots sound weak, drinking blood is exceptionally loud; a poor balance overall.
  • Presentation: The concept of Saw meets Trouble in Terrorist Town (Garry’s Mod) is an interesting one, but requires a community to play as intended.

Deceit Review

Deceit tests your instincts at trust and deception in a multiplayer first-person shooter. You wake up in an asylum to the sound of an unfamiliar voice, surrounded by five others. A third of your group have been infected with a virus, but who will escape?
Overall Score
Disappointing
Pros: 
  • Great concept
  • Great atmosphere
Cons:
  • Too reliant on player base
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Lack of substantial content

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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Captain Kaon Review http://thenerdstash.com/captain-kaon-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/captain-kaon-review/#comments Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:11:10 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=61351 Title: Captain Kaon Available On: PC Developer: Engage Pixel Publisher: Engage Pixel Genre: Twin Stick, Gravity Shooter Official Site: Engage Pixel Release Date: April 14, 2017 Where To Buy: Steam, Xbox One Captain Kaon to the rescue! Or not, depending on your moral compass. Captain Kaon is a pretty spiffing indie old school gravity twin stick shooter (don’t know […]

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Title: Captain Kaon

Available On: PC

Developer: Engage Pixel

Publisher: Engage Pixel

Genre: Twin Stick, Gravity Shooter

Official Site: Engage Pixel

Release Date: April 14, 2017

Where To Buy: Steam, Xbox One


Captain Kaon to the rescue! Or not, depending on your moral compass. Captain Kaon is a pretty spiffing indie old school gravity twin stick shooter (don’t know what a gravity shooter is, then you were clearly born after the 80’s).

In Captain Kaon, the player takes on the role of Captain Talia “Kaon”, an extraordinary space pilot who has just more than a few anger issues and nothing to live for except for revenge against the Drulz; a species that destroyed her home. Captain Kaon is incarcerated and facing a court-martial when war breaks out. Hoping this new conflict would give her the chance for salvation, she instead found herself left behind. With the Argus operating on a skeleton crew, she has been assigned as its sole gunship pilot.

“This is harder than it looks!”

In the midst of this uncertainty the miners of Ceres revolt against Earth rule, refusing to supply the fleet with the deuterium fuel it sorely needs. Without it, the fleet in Regulus will be unable to fight and the Earth will become vulnerable. Only Captain Kaon can fly her gunship through the twisting tunnels beneath Ceres surface and fight the revolt.

The visual presentation of Captain Kaon is almost that of a love letter to classics such as Thrust and Gravitar. The game looks, sounds and feels like a game from a bygone era, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! James Buckle, the lead developer; spoke of his fondness for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and the Amiga. It’s clear to see when you launch the game, where the inspiration comes from, and it’s a breath of fresh air to play a new, retro game.

Do NOT touch the wheels of death…they cause death y’know!

My complaints about the visual style only come in from a user interface perspective; green text over a green lines makes it somewhat difficult for me to read all of the text, and navigating the menus can seem a little counterintuitive and clumsy as they seem a little unclear, but this, of course, is me being somewhat hypercritical, or as my peers would refer to as “whinging“.

Captain Kaon is quite easy to learn the basics of, but the difficulty ramps up when you are attempting to navigate tight maze-like flight paths and fire at enemies coming from multiple directions. It reminds me of situations I’ve faced in bullet hell games or in a more well-known case, like that time I played Silver Surfer on NES; where my undivided attention is required to make any notable progress.

Pew pew pew! Boooom!

The tutorial does a nice job of easing you in to the mechanics, but even after a couple of hours of successfully completing objectives, sooner or later the frustration can set in. I wouldn’t recommend playing for extended spells for fear of breaking a keyboard or monitor in anger, but in that sense, the game offers quite the challenge. You can use either a keyboard and mouse or a controller to play. Trying to keep your ship from crashing into obstacles whilst shooting enemy ships and dodging bullets and missiles is a pretty difficult task, but when you get that balance just right; you revel in the satisfaction of all the enemy ships going boom, exploding into mini pixels and dropping to the ground like lead balloons.

As you play the game, your moral compass may make you question whether our heroine, Captain Kaon should have been left in lock up, as she rains bullets and bombs at helpless ground fixtures, and exploits resources from various people along the way in order to upgrade the ship and maintain repair costs. As you progress, you unlock different areas that can be exploited for resources, and previously exploited areas can be revisited.

Ready, aim, fire!

When I spoke to James Buckle at EGX Rezzed 2017 about this, he spoke about whether or not Captain Kaon is the bad guy in all this, and talked about whether the end justifies the means. It’s an interesting conundrum you find yourself in, as you don’t technically need to exploit every resource in order to progress through the game, only taking what you “need”. The question is, whether players will in fact only take what they need, rather than taking everything that is available! I know in my experience, I took everything I wanted rather than everything I needed, but then; I’m a horrible person.

The most important aspects to take away from Captain Kaon is whether it’s fun and if achieves what it set out to do. It looks, sounds and feels like a game straight from the 80’s or early 90’s, which is exactly what the developer had in mind. As for fun? Yes, the game is fun; frustrating as hell at times, but not so much that you don’t want to continue. It has that “Just one more time” factor that comes from such a labor of love, which in this case is clear for all to see.

Huge enemies? Outnumbered? I like those odds!

So, would I recommend Captain Kaon? Yes, I would. If you want to see the revival of a long gone genre of games, this one definitely has you covered. It’s a great addition to Steam that I hope is met by like-minded individuals who appreciate the good old days. I’d recommend you tackle the game in short bursts rather than marathons in order to get the best experience.

For more game reviews or if you want to see more of my written work follow the links!


  • Gameplay: Great physics and fun, addictive gameplay
  • Graphics: Fabulous pixel art to replicate an age gone by
  • Sound: Great ambient sound design and FX
  • Presentation: A few issues with the user interface, especially the mission select and ship management screens, but otherwise very good!

Captain Kaon Review

A salute to such 1980s classics as Thrust and Gravitar, Captain Kaon brings the vector graphics of old right ‘up-to-date’ with vibrant Amiga-style pixel art and a tight twin-stick control mechanic. As a much-loved but long neglected genre, gravity shooters have found their modern champion in indie developer James Buckle. He played the pants off these games as a child and is launching on Steam Early Access today to gather valuable community feedback and ensure that Captain Kaon is the perfect celebration of the genre.
Overall Score
Good
Pros:
  • Amiga styled artwork
  • Gravity Physics work great
  • Great ambient soundtrack and use of sound
  • A real nostalgic trip to the good old days
Cons:
  • Frustrating in parts
  • Environmental damage is too high
  • Poor UI on map screen

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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The Crow’s Eye Review http://thenerdstash.com/crows-eye-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/crows-eye-review/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:17:04 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=60528 Title: The Crow’s Eye  Available On: PC Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.   Developer: 3D2 Entertainment Genre: Adventure, Indie, Puzzle  Official Site: The Crow’s Eye  Release Date: March 20th, 2017 Where To Buy It: Steam ($14.99)   Creep, abandoned medical school? Check. Gripping Story? Check. On the surface, The Crow’s Eye has everything it needs to be a stellar title. However, it misses […]

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Title: The Crow’s Eye 

Available On: PC

Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.  

Developer: 3D2 Entertainment

Genre: Adventure, Indie, Puzzle 

Official Site: The Crow’s Eye 

Release Date: March 20th, 2017

Where To Buy It: Steam ($14.99)


 

Creep, abandoned medical school? Check. Gripping Story? Check. On the surface, The Crow’s Eye has everything it needs to be a stellar title. However, it misses the mark on quite a few points. While very ambitious, this game is something that could have really benefited from some focus because certain parts of the game just don’t mesh. Due to this, The Crow’s Eye almost feels like three games mushed together in an attempt to create one experience, but the experiences just don’t connect.

The Crow’s Eye is a puzzle platformer that takes place in an abandoned medical school. As your character explores the school, you’ll find notes, recordings, letters, and photos that help you unravel the mysteries of its past. Years before your character’s arrival, students and faculty had begun to disappear mysteriously from the school along with the police and the detective sent to work on the case. Now that you are here, can you not only escape the school but solve the mystery behind all of those disappearances so long ago?

Crow's Eye

One thing that The Crow’s Eye really has working in its favor is its story. As you progress through the game, looking for more notes, letters, and recordings really became my true goal because I wanted to know more. The writers carefully crafted the story around the Philadelphia Experiment, a rumored military experiment that took place in the 1940’s, in a truly interesting way.  And the characters they have created around the school are interesting and really bring the story to life. Especially when you begin to see just how crazy and how far some of the doctors took their experiments; you’re hooked. At some points, finding out more about the story were one of the only things that kept me playing the game, sadly.

Despite having such a great story, the developers didn’t seem to do much with it. For me, at least, it felt like the game was split into different games that didn’t really flow together. I was really thrown off by the lockpicking mini-games, the crafting system, and the fortune telling machine used as save points. The lockpicking and crafting system didn’t really make sense, and honestly, didn’t add much to the experience as a whole. The time spent on these functions could have been spent on making new puzzles or perfecting the platforming aspects of the game. As far as the random fortune telling machines go, I think this, along with a few other elements, were inspired by BioshockAbout half way through the game, you build an electromagnet that allows you access to new areas, allows you to carry puzzle boxes, and to float into the air. After what the game has already conditioned you to expect, this kind of comes out of left field.

Crow's Eye

Unfortunately, one major thing the game is lacking is a sense of danger. As much as I loved finding all of the goodies this world had to offer, a lot of the game is walking from one puzzle to another searching for items or notes. While you can die from falling and things of this nature, there are no enemies. Well, aside from these occasional worms that will jump out of random places and attack your face. Despite this, the game really lacks a sense of urgency. There are sections of the game that would greatly benefit from some sort of chase sequence or just an enemy in general. But through a good majority of the game, you don’t encounter anyone. The only sort of “human” contact comes from a speaker system of sorts or the recordings themselves if you choose to play them. And what makes the lack of enemies hurt, even more, is that the story totally provides an outlet for some cool enemies.

At the end of the day, I feel like The Crow’s Eye tried way too hard to pull inspiration from too many sources without really looking at their product clearly. It could be a really great horror title; it could be a really great puzzle platformer; it could be a really great adventure game like Bioshock. But it just can’t be all three, even though they tried. Because they didn’t choose one of these main ideas, the game just lacks structure, a sense of urgency, and a clear vision. I can only imagine the brilliant things these developers could have created if they hadn’t spread themselves too thin during development.


  • Gameplay: The Crow’s Eye is full of puzzles that aren’t super challenging, and sometimes, come across as more tedious. For a puzzle platformer, the controls are a little looser than I would hope for them to be. I wish that the game would have spent more time perfecting the gameplay rather than stretching itself too thin.
  • Graphics: The graphics aren’t terrible, but they aren’t breathtaking either. Things like laser traps and metallic sliding doors don’t mesh well with the earlier time period of the game. However, there weren’t many glitches at all.
  • Sound: Unfortunately, sound design is pretty non-existent in The Crow’s Eye. When making horror games of any capacity, sound design is a main element in setting an unsettling mood or perfecting jump scares. But the developers didn’t take advantage of this at all. Most of the game is spent in utter silence with music only being used occasionally.
  • Presentation: Overall, this game could be really great and I really hated giving it such a low score. They really should have picked one element to focus on instead of trying to add too much to the game. The game is full of things that don’t make sense like lockpicking mini-games, a crafting system, and a handheld electromagnet that allows you to better move around. It feels more like 3 different games smashed together without a clear vision.

The Crow's Eye Review

The Crow's Eye is a puzzle platformer with some horror elements that was heavily inspired by Bioshock and Portal. Students have started going missing from a medical school and now your detective father has gone missing as well. Can you find your father and solve the mysteries behind the disappearances? 
Overall Score
Disappointing
Pros:
  • Gripping, creative story
  • Ambitious gameplay
Cons:
  • Lack of music
  • Poor controls
  • Lack of focus

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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The Flame in the Flood Complete Edition Review http://thenerdstash.com/the-flame-in-the-flood-complete-edition-review/ http://thenerdstash.com/the-flame-in-the-flood-complete-edition-review/#respond Wed, 15 Mar 2017 01:31:02 +0000 http://thenerdstash.com/?p=55743 Title: The Flame in the Flood Available On: PlayStation 4, PC Developer: Molasses Flood Publisher: Molasses Flood Genre: Indie Survival Official Site: http://www.themolassesflood.com/the-flame-in-the-flood/ Release Date: January 17th, 2017 Where to Buy: Steam, PlayStation Marketplace Survival games are a tricky thing to get right.  On the surface, the very notion of a survival game seems to be odds with itself. […]

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Title: The Flame in the Flood

Available On: PlayStation 4, PC

Developer: Molasses Flood

Publisher: Molasses Flood

Genre: Indie Survival

Official Site: http://www.themolassesflood.com/the-flame-in-the-flood/

Release Date: January 17th, 2017

Where to Buy: Steam, PlayStation Marketplace


Survival games are a tricky thing to get right.  On the surface, the very notion of a survival game seems to be odds with itself. Typically these games aren’t reliant on power fantasies or rewarding combat, but more around simply surviving, which can feel inherently disconnected.  From the get-go, your character can be hungry, or thirsty or tired, but no amount of playing the game is going to take you out of your cozy living room.  So what makes a good survival game, or more generally, how can survival games succeed?

The Flame in the Flood is a game that recognizes that survival games live and die on their sense of immersiveness, and it’s clear that this was a top priority from square one. Paddling down the river over wild rapids as a folk-heavy soundtrack sings your survival anthem is the Flame in the Flood at its absolute best. It’s in these moments that the game is content to the let the player immerse themselves and take an active interest in surviving the game world. Held up by an excellent art style and well-handled survival system, the Flame, and the Flood finds its strength in all the right places.

Immersion In Survival Games

The player takes control of a girl named Scout and she and her trusty dog Aesop make their way across the deserted wilderness.  No mention is made of what’s happened to the world around them, but gradually it’s made clear that the world is in a state of some post-apocalyptic disaster.  The Flame in the Flood seems wholly uninterested in spoon-feeding you a story about the world, more content to let you fend for yourself in the harsh wilderness and throw you scraps of a narrative right before you starve.

The mechanics are relatively simple as far as survival games go, stay fed, hydrated, warm and rested and you’ll be just fine.  Staying healthy and crafting survival crucial resources will account for most of your time during your journey.  Every resource is vital; you can find lumber to repair your raft or brew a tea of dandelions to cure your food poisoning.  Foraging for berries will only last so long, eventually, you’ll need something more substantial. Catching a rabbit requires a snare, which in requires a stone knife, which requires, flint, and you get the idea.

The crafting and survival systems are relatively simple, thanks to a certain intuitiveness in their design. Regardless of whether or not you’ve played, it’s clear that meat will need to be cooked, water will need to be filtered, and shelter will be needed to keep you rested.  Built on the backs of these elements the game is satisfied to let you face the daunting journey without much more information to go on, trusting your ability to learn the systems to accommodate the increasing difficulty. The tutorial comes in the form a few signs in the first area, and after that the games complete instruction manual may as well just say “Don’t Die.”

Don’t Die

With a relatively small number of items to craft all made from simple resources, learning these recipes and making more intuitive decisions with my supplies was always satisfying, particularly in how the player is rewarded for making the correct decisions in harsher terrains.  The simplicity of the crafting system ensures that survival decisions are clearly defined, as it’s normally obvious when crafting one crucial item will prevent you from crafting another.

The Flame in the Flood is comprised of 10 different regions each presenting unique challenges.  Whether it’s a dense city region with scarce food, or the deep country with a barely any docks, the game’s environments felt like they changed the challenge in dynamic enough ways to keep the experience interesting for the duration.

Keeping supplies well-stocked becomes more crucial as the player faces these challenges as checkpoints are few and far between.  With checkpoints so distant and supplies increasingly scarce, these harsh systems needed to be designed in a fair manner, which they certainly are.  Every time I didn’t make it up the river, it felt like my own unpreparedness was the cause.

Upon my first death, I didn’t feel frustrated but rather encouraged to begin my journey anew, scour harder for materials, rely on my increased knowledge of recipes, and see how well the game had taught me with my last failure. At times the moments of randomness can seem to spite the player, as often crucial supplies won’t be available for longer spans of time than what felt fair, but after becoming familiar with the systems, these random areas of scarcity felt far less unforgiving.

Unforgiving But Fair

The journey is not without its flaws, and in particular seems to struggle with the same pitfalls that many of these craft-heavy survival titles do. The player is going to be doing just as much journeying through menus as they do through the wilderness, which slows the moment-to-moment gameplay an unfortunate amount, exacerbated by the game’s insistence to not pause as the player crawls through these menus.

Scouts inventory is painfully limited at the game’s outset, with her sole item storage being either her backpack, with Aesop or on the raft.  While this does present a nice progression arc as you upgrade your raft and pouch with necessary materials, when I think about starting the game again these opening sections are what give me pause. In a title like the Flame in the Flood immersion is king, so this limitation is ultimately understandable, if not a bit overdone.

The Flame in the Flood suffers from a few minor technical issues as well, items tend to not automatically stack in Scouts inventory, sometimes the disembarking animation simply won’t play, and animals can be glitched out by nearing the end of their active fields.  Items for some reason can’t be used directly from the raft inventory, but must be first moved to your bag, and then used from there.  That may not seem like a big issue, but considering how many times you’ll be doing this throughout the journey it can become quite tedious.

That aside the Flame in the Flood was a survival game done right.  Leaning hard into the folk and wilderness atmosphere was well-worth the effort, and backed with an excellent art style the journey felt immersive and rewarding in the ways most important to a title in this genre. With well-considered systems making survival a satisfying endeavor, the Flame in the Flood sets out for great things, and despite a few trip ups, reaches its destination.


  • Gameplay: Satisfying and rewarding, with a few minor menu-based slowdowns.
  • Graphics: Smooth and crisp, the graphics made the art style truly shine.
  • Sound: The folk-heavy soundtrack by Chuck Ragan is excellent.  I suggest downloading the soundtrack to listen to in your free time, it’s that good.
  • Presentation: An interesting art style more than makes up for a few minor technical issues.

The Flame in the Flood Complete Edition Review

The Flame in the Flood is an indie survival game developed by Molasses Flood.  It was released for the PS4 on January 17, 2017.
Overall Score
Great
Pros:
  • Satisfying Survival Mechanics
  • Excellent Art Style
  • Amazing Soundtrack
Cons:
  • Menus Can Be Tedious
  • Minor Technical Issues

User Rating:

/5
(0 votes)

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