Comics are the forefront of what we love here at the Beat, but when Marvel delays its latest event you need something more to pass the time. That’s where gaming comes in. At this year’s PlayStation Experience, we went hands on with tons of new and upcoming games. Here’s our impressions of some of the most memorable indie games we tried during the show.
SUPER IMPOSSIBLE ROAD by Wonderful Lasers INC
The real world filled with speed traps and bumper-to-bumper traffic makes any racing game where you can travel above 50MPH a bit of an exasperation. SUPER IMPOSSIBLE ROAD takes racing to Jack and the Beanstalk levels of grandiose in the best way possible. You and four friends race down a surreal roller coaster track. Every inch you spiral downward makes you feel closer and closer to diving into nothingness of just a pure white void. In order to win this race you’ll have to cheat your way to victory by taking giant leaps across sections of the track without landing in the white abyss. It has a Mario Kart like feel to the competition which makes it a perfect game for get togethers with friends. So get ready for yet another competitive game with the ability to ruin friendships. Super Impossible Road is currently available on mobile devices with a PlayStation 4 version to come soon.
SALT and SANCTUARY by Ska Studios
Tons of indie games today make homage titles that simply feel like clones of classic games from the 8-bit Nintendo era. When I first glimpsed at someone playing Salt and Sanctuary it felt like another Castlevania clone. After being talked into trying it by the two humans that make up Ska Studios, I can safely say this is more than just a copy; it’s a love letter to the golden age of Konami’s vampire classic. By fate your character is stranded on a spooky island full of interconnected puzzle secrets. What’s the best way to get through this mystery? Kill all the monsters. It’s definitely not as easy as it sounds. More than twenty unique boss monsters of various strength levels will annihilate you in seconds if you don’t put in the RPG work of upgrading your character’s skills. The game’s strength is its fantasy genre based narrative. It’s simple, straight-forward, but one that fans of the genre and these types of games can get behind. What really set Salt and Sanctuary apart from clone games was the little current gen tech touches the developer adds. In one of the levels, dead bodies hang from the ceiling. It didn’t occur to me till after I died and restarted the stage that the scenery had been altered because the bodies were actually other characters from players that died in the same area. It’s a rad little touch in a game loaded with them. Salt and Sanctuary will hopefully arrive sometime next year on both the PS Vita and PlayStation 4.
SMUGGLECRAFT by Happy Badger Studio
SmuggleCraft is no simple racer. It’s a beautiful journey about doing bad things. To be more precise; it’s a quest-based hovercraft game in which players smuggle contraband, improve their hovercraft, and run from the authorities as they discover the incredible stories of the inhabitants of the unforgiving and troubled world Dirah. The best indie games are the ones that fit your in-between moments. Not only does SmuggleCraft fit, but its story is deceptively addictive. It feels easy to jump in and out of this world without losing your place in the overall story. Your illegal activities will be responsible for the fate of this world. Neat. If stylish gallery games are your forte then this one is definitely for you. With multiple endings, customizable hovercrafts, and tracks that randomly generate; this game could be one buying for a lot of your time.
JENNY LeCLUE: DETECTIVU by Mografi
Probably the most engaging story of PSX was one found in the most adolescent of titles. Jenny LeClue: Detectivu sounds like something out of the Babysitters Club books. A young girl growing up in a boring town yearns for adventure. To you that either sounds exciting or too cliche, yet you’ll arrive at the same conclusion… I’m playing Jenny LeClue all the way through. This is more than just a simple 2D exploration game. First, its scale is massive. As you explore the town of Arthurton you’ll come across hidden caves, caverns, and secrets with scenery that dwarfs our plucky protagonist. Second, the characters that you’ll come across in the game range from heinous to hilarious and each have such a unique fleshed out personality. What really drew me into Jenny LeClue was how involved you’ll be in this layered mystery. Jenny’s mother has been framed for murder and you have to prove her innocence. Such heavy subject matter for a game with a childish look to it right? The game’s story really questions the players sense of right and wrong as you might have to bend or even break a few laws to get to the truth. This is a game you can’t take your eye off of for a moment. Because relationships are key in Jenny LeClue you’ll have to decide quick who is and isn’t on your side. During dialogue scenes with other characters you’ll need to move the camera around to observe their mannerisms and surroundings in order to cypher fact from blatant lies. Everything about Jenny LeClue is nuanced and deserving of your time. The game comes to PS4 next year and was also playable on the Vita but no official word on that release was given. Next year the top three detectives of all time could be Batman, Sherlock Holmes, Jenny LeClue.
Those were our favorite indie games from PSX 2015. Tomorrow we’ll be talking all about Lego Marvel’s Avengers with an exclusive interview with TT Games Arthur Parsons.