Published on October 16th, 2017 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Indie Watch: Games You May Have Missed
Editor’s Note: Game codes were provided for the purpose of review.
We are now in, possibly, the greatest time of the year for video game releases. My personal backlog, as well as probably everybody’s else backlog, almost doubled trying to catch up with all of the games that released earlier this year. I played and completed a number of the mainstream games this year. However, there are a few games that have not been receiving much coverage that should be on anybody’s radar.
Indie Watch is here for you to highlight some of those smaller games that might have fallen off your radar.
Within the past month or so, three fantastic games have been released and simply got buried by high profile games. The games are Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition, Redeemer, and Trackless.
Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition:
The limited coverage I have seen with the release of Night Trap comes from the games physical run through Limited Run Games. Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition is so much more than just a remastered version of the classic Sega 32X game. (game company) poured tons of love in this HD release. In Night Trap’s narrative, you play as a special forces officer trying to capture vampires from taking teens. You take control of a trapped filled house that they normally use on their unexpecting victims. Instead, you use it against the creatures that try to sneak into the house to capture the guest. Night Trap is essentially a quicktime event (QTE) game similar to Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. The game itself is a movie that advances properly pressing buttons to set off the traps. The difference is instead of following the button presses that pop up on the screen, Night Trap gives you the ability to pick and watch specific rooms of the house. It is your job to switch between rooms to capture the creature by initiating the traps before they escape. You switch scenes/rooms using the left analog stick and you trigger the trap using one of the face buttons. There are no clues or screen notification of when to trigger the traps. It’s all about timing. Playing the game using the classic Sega 32X filters invites a tougher challenge as the icons for the different rooms are static, forcing you to constantly switch between rooms to make sure a creature is not lurking around. Using the remastered filters creates an easier game because you can see a “live” feed of each room before without switching to it. This allows you to watch specific scenes in which can provide clues about how you should react.
Night Trap has an important and interesting part of video game history by causing congressional controversy on violence in video game right after it was released. The game was seen as “ultraviolent, sick and disgusting, and incorrectly claiming the object of the game was to trap and kill woman” and was subjected to countless criticism. The fact that the purpose of the game is to try to save woman was overlooked. The result of the controversy and multiple Senate hearings was the creation of the ESRB rating system.
Playing Night Trap today and comparing it to modern “M” rated video games is a mind blowing. Night Trap is extremely tame compared to almost all rated “M” games. The 25th Anniversary release is rated “T” so that will give you a good idea on how video games are rated today. Playing through the game is both fun and a very interesting history lesson. Night Trap is a fun game that reminds us just how far gaming has come in just a 25 year span. It should be part of everybody’s collection.
Redeemer is a very interesting game that was silently released on Steam. Redeemer is a wonderful mix of top down brawler and shooter. The easiest way to describe Redeemer is God of War with guns. You go through each level beating up your enemy with the ability to pick up a variety of weapons. The camera will pull down to showcase the brutality of some of the kills. You will also go through a variety of environments giving you a wide variety of environmental kills. In addition, you will encounter a variety of enemies in which you have to attack accordingly. Enemies with guns are easier to deal with hand combat or using the environment. You will want to save weapons for more powerful enemies with such as an heavily armored enemy with flame throwers. Keep in mind that you cannot switch between weapons and hand-to-hand combat bringing some strategy to when you should be picking up weapons. Each enemy has animation clues to give you time to dodge or counter when you are overrun with enemies. Combat is very similar with the Batman Arkham series where you have the ability to counter oncoming attacking enemies. The story is told with cut scenes between levels. I found no interest in the story and was eager to get to new environments and enemies.
The fatal flaw is the lack of character development. The main character is filled with anger just like Kratos and simply stays angry.
The arcade gameplay is fast and fun. Just like any other arcade, Redeemer is fun in short play sessions. The game starts to feel repetitive around the two hour mark. Being a smaller game, two hour sessions is perfect for breaks between the vast of AAA games.
Trackless is a beautiful, artsy game in which you type verbs to get through the puzzles. Instead of interacting with objects with a button press, you are presented with a text box in which you have to type in a verb of what the action would be. For example, when you are presented with a VCR with a tape popping out, typing “push” will push the tape in. Typing “play” will play the tape.
What attracted my attention to this game is the wonderful art style. Stopping at any time will create a beautiful screenshot. The world is filled with amazing characters and environments. Trackless is an unique point and click adventure game. Points are rewarded by exploring each environment and typing in verbs that will aid in solving the game’s puzzles. The better the verb, the more points you will receive. For example, when approached door, typing the word “open” will net you 30 points but typing the word “slide” will net you 50 points.
Trackless can quickly get frustrated because of the lack of clues . There were a number of times I tried a number of different verbs to try to complete the puzzle but nothing will work. This game is not forgiving at all.
With the difficulty in mind, I do think Trackless will be an amazing and unique game for streamers. With the right audience, getting viewer participation on verbs that will score the most points will be a fun and engaging experience. In addition, it will remove a lot of the frustrated moments you my encounter if you were playing by yourself.
With a number of AAA games scheduled to come out in October alone, there will be a number of Indies that will get overlooked. Indie Watch will be back to highlight those games that should not be missed.