Some games I’ve played recently, none of which are quite notable enough to write up a full article about:
Astronot (iOS): An unapologitically low-res IOs metroidvania somewhere between Metroid 2 and Redder in terms of complexity (one ‘scrambled’ screen I ran into hints at a reference to the second, but it may also have been an honest bug). There are only a handful of powerups to collect and enemies to defeat, and a lot of space to explore. I eventually gave up on it due to the lack of an automap and a a few poor presentation decisions- mostly centering around insufficient differentiation between foreground and background tiles. Others may enjoy it more than I, and it’s lightweight if you’re itching for some exploration-on-the-go. There’s both a full and demo version available.
Platformines beta (PC): Perhaps best described as Borderlands by way of Metal Slug, this platformer/Roguelike is about exploring a randomly-generated cave in seach of a set of key items. Along the way, you’ll be looting treasure and stockpiling a set of also-randolmly-generated guns. It was a lot of fun for the two hours or so I played the beta for; while I’m not entirely sure that there’s enough meat to the game to keep it interesting for the advertised 5-10-hour playtime, it’s worth keeping an eye on. The beta can be downloaded here, and there’s a trailer available here.
Blind Man’s Dungeon (iOS): Japanese developer Skipmore has produced a number of small, free games for iOS, including Rotten Tangerines, my second-favorite tangerine-themed video game. Blind Man’s Dungeon is their latest, following a hero who’s decided to blindly charge into his local dungeon, with the plan of left-hand-ruling his way to treasure and glory.
Note to aspiring adventurers: This is not a good plan. Do not do this.
You control a fairy with the power to create temporary walls; your goal is to use this power to guide the hero, who will turn left whenever he bumps into a solid object, toward treasure to collect and monsters to slay, while avoiding hazards along the way. Collecting treasure creates traps which will damage the hero if he crosses them; while the hero is capable of destroying most monsters, there are also some that will damage him as well. I’m not sure how long the concept will stay fresh, but it’s been pretty decent so far. It’s also ad-supported and downloadable for free here.
Oniken (PC): This one has been making the rounds on a number of news sites, so you’ve probably seen it before. The upshot: It’s a NES-style platformer recently released, starring a sword-wielding Kenshiro lookalike on his quest to defeat the robotic Oniken. It has the difficulty level you’d expect from an NES game- it certainly doesn’t pull its punches- but it has the smoother controls of a modern platformer. It feels a bit like Shatterhand, or one of the NES-era Ninja Gaiden games; it’s solid, although it admittedly didn’t do a whole lot for me. The full game costs $5; I’ve only played the demo, available on their website.