Tag Archives: Indie Game of the Week

The Binding of Isaac

Indie Game of the Week: The Binding of Isaac

If you paid attention in religious education classes in school, you might be slightly surprised at the name of this week’s indie game, whose plot is inspired by a story in the bible where Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. One of the recurring themes with indie games (and one of the reasons we love them!) is that the plot and premise is often not the standard aliens in space/war/racing idea that you get in many mainstream games. Whether its drunken wizards or a love story puzzle game, it’s hard to imagine a movie based on these games.

The Binding of Isaac (the game) follows the character Isaac as he tries to avoid being sacrificed. Fleeing to his basement, the game revolves around Isaac fighting off the numerous monsters that inhabit his basement. Playing like an old-school top down dungeon crawler, each stage features a boss, numerous enemies and the chance to buy power ups and new weapons. The game feature randomly generated levels, items and bosses, greatly increasing the game’s longevity. It also includes unlockable player characters, as well as multiple endings – not bad for a game costing less than a fiver!

Mario Portal

Indie Game of the Week: Mari0

Ever wished a wish that seemed so implausible that even mentioning it to your closest confident was too risky, as it would likely result in prolonged mockery at your expense?

As a kid, I once considered who was better out of Mario and Sonic. Nowadays kids are quite spoilt and you have irritating crossovers where Mario and Sonic compete in Olympic events. Answer me this, how is that tubby plumber ever realistically supposed to keep up in a sprint against a blue hedgehog who can run so fast that his name is typically used before boom or after super? I could continue my rant, but that would be unbecoming, so let’s focus on the positive.

Occasionally an indie developer will happen across an idea so beautiful and seemingly simple that they are captivated by the concept and are forced to bring it through to fruition. This has been the case in the creation of Mari0, which put in the most simple terms is the answer to the question of, what would happen if, in Super Mario Bros. Mario was able to use a Portal gun?

And this is a true answer, as the developer Stabyourself has completed a full recreation of the Original Super Mario Bros., and equipped the Nintendo veteran with an Aperture Science Handheld portal device.  The game also features a four-player co-op, a level editor, 33 different Mario hats, Minecraft style toolbar and a bunch of other tweaks, edits, adjustments and modifications.  If the thought of this alone hasn’t whetted your appetite then this video will, because it shows how a classic can be re-awesomed by tenderly shoving some modern in its face.

This game is free to download but there are still a few teething problems so be patient and check the forum for solutions to known problems, if this does run smoothly, it’ll be pure joy.


Indie Game of the Week: Culmination

It has been awhile since we looked at an in-browser game for Indie Game of the Week.  I guess some might argue that they don’t, strictly speaking, fall into the ‘indie’ bracket but I think for all but a few intents and purposes, these titled are best served in this section of the blog.

So it is with great pleasure that I present to you, ‘Culmination: Armed with Wings’, an understated but beautifully conceived title.  Even from the title screen, you get a sense of what is to come in terms of the movement of the characters and the influences that have been drawn upon in creating this game.  The references from the east of Asia, point towards modern Samurai manga animes that feature swordsmen with mythical powers at their disposal.

Developed by Sun-Studios.net, Culmination starts off by giving you the option of playing in black and white or colour.  The colour option (not suitable for low-end computers) isn’t an indulgent cornucopia of colour, instead the developers have stayed true to the moody feel which runs throughout the title, by employing soft hues which create a complimentary backdrop to the silhouetted character you see running across the terrain, sword in hand.

Once you select play, the narrative begins, “…I will slay you, Vandheer Lorde!!!” turns out that the antagonist, this Vandheer Lorde character, is rather arrogant and condensing.  All the more reason to want to slay him, I say.  He says something along the lines of “Do you think you can catch me with YOUR speed? Do you think you can catch me with YOUR power?!” well you know what buddy? Yeah, I reckon I can!

The keyboard controls, are what you’d expect them to be.  This makes the game intuitive and the reaction is pretty quick.  Everything about it is smooth and fluid.  The combo count that flashes on screen is a contemporary touch that I liked, but you can switch this off if you’d prefer.  I quite enjoyed, catching the attacking monsters in mid-air with well timed sword slashes to increase the hit count.

When you break it down, the gameplay is the result of a tried and tested formula.  That’s not a bad thing, what makes this game worthy of your time and attention, is that it is all delivered in such a stylish way.  This isn’t a big budget title and it doesn’t need to be.  This is further proof that, accessible, engaging games, can be provided at no cost to me and you.  And isn’t that what we all want?

You can play Culmination: Armed with Wings here, and if you find a better way to pass the time spent in the office until Christmas, then please let me know in the comments.