Wraithkal: The Indie Gaming Corner
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‘The Rat Pack’ (Beta) Impressions: “Not enough space!”

Making your way in the world today takes everything you got. Especially for the young rat in The Rat Pack who's got naught but a commission from King Rat to work with. In fact, this fella is all too likely to bear witness as everyone around him gets eaten by the local cat, trampled by cattle, wiped out by disease or other 'accidents', as he attempts to move up to the big leagues, one colony at a time. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, however. It is possible.
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‘JUMPGRID’ Review: Relentlessly Ruthless Rhythmic Finger Ballet Fun

So you think you're tough, eh? That you're blessed with super-human muscle memory, that you've got what it takes to... master the grid? Yeah. The grid, as in, JUMPGRID! Well, think again, because this game is going to kick your you-know-what over and over again. But you won't want to stop playing, even after failing to make that one last jump to the ever-important center. Oh no. This game will sink its hooks into you so deep, you'll end up teleporting to gobble up cubes in your dreams too! Groovy.
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‘One Finger Death Punch 2’ Demo: Stickmen to the Left, Stickmen to the Right… FIGHT!

Rhythm (and semi-) games are a dime a dozen nowadays, and yet, for some reason, few have ventured into the realm of martial arts. While the recently released One Finger Death Punch 2 demo - which delves deeply into the art of kung fu - at first glance may seem like one such, it really isn't so much a rhythmic experience as something that'll truly test your reflexes (just like One Finger Death Punch from way back in 2013 which featured the same context-sensitive 'attack left or right' mechanic). But... if it ain't broke, right?
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‘Hyper Jam’ Review: Be Quick or Be Dead

It's been a while since I had a chance to get down and dirty with a PvP-focused indie title, so when Hyper Jam appeared on my radar, I jumped at the chance to fight... all the way back to the neon-bathed, synthwave past. As such, I hereby welcome you to the deadliest sport of the '80s (or my review of said carnage, anyway).
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‘Evolution: The Video Game’ Review: Carnivores Coming Through!

It all began with a deck of cards and two players. Both were herbivores... until suddenly, one wasn't. At this point things got a bit dicey, animals suddenly went extinct, the watering hole dried up and/or ran out of food. Actually, I'm not entirely clear on the chain of events that followed, as I was much too busy accusing my opponent in Evolution: The Video Game of cheating. Why? He was winning, that's why!
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Platform Through (Literal) Hell in ‘Philophobia: The Fear of Love’ to Mend a Broken Heart

Heartbreak can be hell, and in Philophobia: The Fear of Love, that's more than a mere metaphor, Stuart - its protagonist - traversing the actual bowels of Hell in an attempt to mend that which was broken. Whether it will actually work remains to be seen, but if nothing else, it's an undeniably unique way to work through the five stages of grief.
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‘while True: learn()’ Wants to Create a World Where Cats and Coding Go Hand in Hand

I know a lot about many an odd thing, but machine learning, neural networks, big data and AI? Not really. And yet I'm more than a little interested in while True: learn(), in spite of having a history of being awful at puzzle games. A game which is about all those things and more. Also, and the protagonist's cat is better at coding than him; shame it doesn't speak human language... yet.
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‘Wormhole City’ has Everyone Struggling for Even a Tiny Hint of Freedom… in Space

Technology can be a wondrous thing, and in Wormhole City, it has at least helped mankind reach the final frontier. Whether this is a good or a bad thing, however, depends on who you ask, diverging factions seemingly locked in neverending conflict for a taste of freedom (and control, in case the two do somehow end up going hand in hand). Amidst it all we find Acero Astra - its protagonist - who's been tasked with... an escort mission?! Oh boy.
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‘The Slormancer’ Will be Fast, Furious and Overflowing With Loot and Monsters to… Grind?

Buckle up, dungeon-crawlers, because The Slormancer is back in town and, well, you know how this goes by now: "You're the only one who can stop him!", or... something along those lines. Right. I suspect this is not so much about telling a grand story as giving you motivation to kick you-know-what, take names (along with an abundance of loot!), and gear up - to kick even more you-know-what and take even more names. The grind is real.
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‘The Red Stone’ Delayed Indefinitely as the State of Pyrodactyl Changes to… “Paused”

These past few years have proven quite the bumpy road for Pyrodactyl, creator of the zany Will Fight for Food, among other. Quite the bumpy road indeed, and yet, hopes were high that the fairly recent reveal of The Red Stone would eventually lead to another interesting title from said developer. But... less than a week ago, bad news regarding that mysterious stone - and its creator - were shared.
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Flip Out as You Pinball the Occult in ‘Demon’s Tilt’ for its Elusive Ultra Jackpot

In the beginning, pinball was a simple affair: a spring-controlled launcher sent the ball flying, after which all you had to do was make sure it smashed all the right areas to unlock score multipliers, maybe even some multi-ball craziness and... that was about it. Fast-forward to more recent times however, and we've got all sorts of madness in Demon's Tilt: quests, secret areas, bullet hell, multi-story tables and several boss fights!
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Slice, Dice, Cut, Gut and Blast Zombies in the ‘Dead Pixels II: Straight To Video’ Demo

Welcome to 1991. Zombies took over the world four years ago. How did the protagonist in Dead Pixels II: Straight To Video actually survive from 1987 to 1991? I honestly couldn't tell ya if I wanted to, as my time spent with the demo mostly consisted of sneakily stabbing the undead with a variety of knives... and blasting them with my trusty shotgun. Who cares though? There are zombies to kill and XP to gain!
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‘Dead in Vinland’ Gets Endless Mode DLC Alongside Rather Substantial 1.3 Update

If you're among those Dead In Vinland fans who's been eagerly awaiting a chance to ditch the story in favor of a far more customizable pure survival experience... then this DLC was made for you. Perhaps not literally, but almost. This mode also comes with exclusive features and additions, like, say, new merchants and starting skills, a map of randomized tiles (that regenerate after a while), and much more.
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‘Tower of Time’ Adds New Modes With Permadeath and Heavily Trimmed RPG Elements

Post-launch support is truly a magnificent thing, and Tower of Time certainly seems intent on providing plenty, what with its most recent update adding not just one, but two brand new modes to the mix: RPGlite and Permadeath. Unsurprisingly, they do exactly as they're called, greatly changing how the popular RPG is experienced. An RPG already overflowing with content, I might add.
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‘Ancient Enemy’ Stacks the Deck(s) Against You in a World Where Evil Has Already Won

Alright, I've got both good and bad news. The bad news is that in Ancient Enemy, well... evil has already won. How's that for a grand, dramatic way to kick things off? Oh right, there's also good news. Kinda. I mean, apparently all is not lost, as you do get to duel "a cast of deadly enemies" in an attempt to grow powerful enough to vanquish the greatest of them all. With cards. So many cards.
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‘Fragile Equilibrium’ is a Shmup of Risk, Decay and Problematic Controls

"Find your balance, live a life well played", they said. Was told I'd get to "explore a world of quick actions, forced decisions, and subtle strategy". Well, Fragile Equilibrium didn't quite deliver on either, but at least I got to blow stuff up while fixing a decaying end-zone. Oh, and missiles. Laser beams. Did I mention how stuff blew up all around me?
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Slightly Modernized Classic ‘The Eternal Castle [REMASTERED]’ Brings 1987 to 2019

I'm just gonna come right out and say it: CGA is awesome! Yeah okay, that's obviously a bit of an exaggeration, but there is still something undeniably intriguing about its limited color palette and resolution. Even more so when games like The Eternal Castle, originally released back in 1987, comes along to really push the limits of what can be done. Oh, and don't let that 'remastered' bit fool ya: this is not some nonsensical 'upscaled HD' thing, and thank goodness for that.
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