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Games I won’t review – 2017 leftovers

So there’s a few indie games from 2017 I recently played and didn’t have time to post full reviews for. So here’s a few in my “Games I won’t review” format.

So today I’m not reviewing: Steamworld Dig 2, Ruiner and Pyre.

Let’s go!

Steamworld Dig 2

Steamworld Dig 2

I was pretty interested in this game when it came out, but here in Canada downloadable Switch games are way more expensive than the same games on Steam, so I waited a bit for a sale… which just brought it down to the same price as on Steam… Eh. Nintendo fix this shit.

So this is a Metroidvania game, with it’s own cool quirks. Basically you’re a digging robot going down a mine, looking for Rusty, who I believe is the main character of the first Steamworld Dig (I never played that one). The mine is basically full of blocks to destroy. Some of these blocks contain minerals, which you can grab. You have a limited amount of slots to grab minerals, so you have to go back to the town (there’s a bunch of teleports to do that) and sell your minerals. The money you get can be used to upgrade your equipment. Pickaxe for faster destruction of tiles, backpack for carrying more minerals, lamp to see better, armor to be hurt less, and several other things.

So the game is mainly about digging down, fighting enemies and upgrading yourself. As you reach certain points you’ll find more items, which will make mining easier or movement easier, or both. One of the first upgrades you get is running, but you get a lot of cool stuff like bombs and hookshots. You can also find cogs as you explore, sometimes hidden. Cogs are used to unlock other upgrades on your equipment, which tend to be really useful too. Also hidden in the map are treasures. Collecting a certain amount of those gets an NPC in town to give you  blueprints for more upgrades that you can activate with cogs (cogs can be added and removed as you feel so you can change to whatever you prefer).

Overall this is a very fun game, I definitely recommend it.

Ruiner

ruiner

Ruiner is a twin-stick shooter, it’s very fast and action-based.

You play as some dude with an LCD screen mask who never speaks. You do have dialogue choices, I don’t know if they’re important (said choices are generally “nod”, “crack knuckles” and “shrug”). After being hacked and afterwards “unhacked” you are on a mission to find your brother, and you’ll kill everything in your way to do so.

As far as gameplay goes this is fairly simple. You aim with the mouse (or right analog stick if you’re playing on console but I assume that’s not as accurate), move with WASD (or the left analog stick). You have a shoot button and several other buttons you can press to activate various skills. The most important skill is dashing, you’ll end up needing to do that a lot. You get several other things like shields, healing, grenades and some passive things.

You have a normal melee weapon and a normal gun, but when enemies die they tend to drop the weapon they were using so you can pick those up and use them yourself. Those have limited ammo (or durability for melee weapons), but they’re way stronger than the regular shit. Killing enemies and finding crates in the levels will give you Karma (plus most battles are followed by a weapon grinder spawning, using that destroys all weapons on the floor and gives you karma for each, and sometimes a higher-grade weapon), which is experience. There’s also some sidequests in the hub area. Enough karma gets you skill points, which you can use to unlock skills for the different buttons. I actually don’t know how it works when you unlock 2 skills on the same button, so I just had one each (you can switch the points around as you want though so it’s not a problem).

So this game is pretty simple overall. It’s quick, it’s tough, and by the end I was kinda bored. It’s fun, but it’s the same thing over and over. There’s lots of enemy types but most of them feel basically the same. Some of the boss battles can be cheesed pretty easily with the stun grenade. I would recommend it, but maybe wait for a sale.

Pyre

pyre

I have very little to say about this one honestly. It’s made by the team behind Bastion and Transistor, 2 games I did enjoy a decent amount (I think they’re a bit overhyped, but they’re still solid games). This was clearly very different from those 2 games.

This is a sports game (with semi RTS controls). There’s a ball (a moon crystal of sorts in this case), you have to grab it and put it in the opponent’s goal (or Pyre). You can do so by jumping into it with the ball, or throwing the ball in. Characters on your 3-person team have different stats for movement speed, dashing style and attacks. Each character basically attacks by sending a wave on the ground. Some characters can jump over that, but it’s shaped differently for everyone. Also, if you don’t have the ball your characters have an aura that banishes enemies that touch it. If a character is banished by either being attacked or by jumping into the enemy pyre to score (if you throw the ball in you don’t get your character banished, but you also get fewer points), they come back after a few seconds.

Outside of the matches you make dialog choices which may determine certain things plot-wise, such as new characters joining your ranks. You may also get different items that you can sell or equip to your characters. The characters gain experience from matches to get better, and gain mastery skills (you have a choice for those when you level up), and the equipment adds more passive boosts to them.

So this game… It’s really not clicking with me at all. Just a few matches in and I couldn’t stand it anymore. The controls are weird (Switching between characters is clunky as fuck), the gameplay is really basic and not super interesting. It seems like the AI has not much of a chance against you at all, the flow of matches is just kinda annoying.

I wouldn’t really recommend it, but maybe you can look at a couple videos see if it looks interesting to you. It just didn’t work for me.

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