Wraithkal: The Indie Gaming Corner
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‘Snowblind’ Lets You Hack, Slash and Fling Fireballs at Skeleton and Cultist Alike

No matter what you do in Snowblind, eventually, the cold climate will get the better of you. Unless its sword-wielding skeletons and/or spell-slinging cultists drain your health first, that is. Doesn't mean you should simply stand still, awaiting your inevitable demise, however... even if taking a number of enemies with you to the great beyond is really all you can do, in this procedurally generated survival tale.
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Punch Through Hostile Dimensions in the ‘Warpthrough’ Demo and Don’t Button Mash

Way back, single-screen platformers were a rather big deal and a lot of them were pretty darn great: Bubble Bobble, Donkey Kong, Joust, Bomb Jack, and Lode Runner, to name but a few. Since then, while technology has obviously come a long way, enabling developers to do so much more, that didn't stop Roofkat from making Warpthrough, a single-screen platformer in which the player will be patiently punching baddies while rushing towards the next warphole. Groovy stuff.
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‘Nymphiad’ Lets You Shift Geometry to Create New Paths on a Journey Back to Daylight

I'm not sure how the little green fella - a nymph, as it turns out - got lost beneath the temple of Tithonus, although what I do know is that it needs to get back to the surface, and ASAP. A journey which involves a fair amount of box puzzling. I know, not exactly the most compelling aspect of a platformer in 2019, so it's fortunate that Nymphiad also lets the player... shift geometry!
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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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‘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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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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‘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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Slow Time as a Neon Ninja in ‘Cyberdrome’ to Demolish Robots and Climb Leaderboards

Ninjas in video games are, generally speaking, pretty darn awesome. Whether it be Ryu from Ninja Gaiden or Genji from Overwatch, awesome is definitely how I'd describe them. Didn't have to spend a lot of time in Cyberdrome's arenas either, to find out just how addictive dashing through the air and slashing robots with crazy slow-motion sword moves for a high score can be. Ninja hype!
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‘Professor Neely And The Death Ray Of Doom’ Spins a Web of Sciency Shenanigans

The Z-22 Vacuum Tube - a scientific breakthrough or an odd creation by a inventor long past his prime? Well, seeing how Spliner is more than a little eager to get his evil hands on it, I'd say... the former. Luring Professor Neely And The Death Ray Of Doom's protagonist into a (rather obvious) trap to get it might not have been his brightest moment though, as now more than ever, the odds are in Neely's favor. More or less.
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Button Mashing Beat ’em Up ‘Pain Masher’ Is a Game of Patience (and Drugs) Aplenty

Button mashing is bad for several reason, the least of which is... it'll wreak havoc on your poor finger(s). I'm sure there's more too, but for now, let's focus on Pain Masher instead - a game that's all about being patient instead of mashing the 'z' key. Or go ahead and mash away, see how long you'll last (spoiler: not long!). Oh, meds are also a solution. Kinda.
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Wits Will (Hopefully) Beat Jumpscares as ‘Clea’ Prototypes Puzzling Survival Horror

I'm not overly great with horror games, and the Clea prototype all but confirmed that as the moment those ever-approaching creepy sounds got too close, I would... hide in the nearby closet until they stopped. Why couldn't the two kids have done as told and stayed put? Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so... let's send Clea and Ed off to their doom. Or have them both die trying. Or something.
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Stop the Feline Antagonist in ‘Cat-A-Strophic’ From Destroying All Your Valuables

For the record, while I am a dog person, I do not dislike cats. In fact, I absolutely love how adorable their behaviour, in general, is. If only that also applied to the feline in Cat-A-Strophic, but that's not even remotely the case, as this cat is hellbent on destroying every last item on the shelf. Guess the player somehow pissed her off before the game even began? Oh boy.
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‘Death Ray Manta SE’ is a Flashy Space Fish Twin-Stick Shootin’ Oldie With Arcady Roots

After playing Death Ray Manta SE a grand total of less than ten minutes, I was certain I had experienced all the overly flashy and colorful twin-stick shooter had to offer. Well, aside from actually beating - or even reaching - its 32 levels, that is. But I had collected gems, blasted countless tiny robots, dodged even more bullets and gotten a tiny bit dizzy from the sensory overload of its flashy visuals. Good stuff? Well...
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‘LandR’ (Demo) Makes Puzzle Platforming a Fun Challenge With Single Player Co-Op

Puzzle platformers, for the most part, has players take control of a single protagonist - a lone entity, as it were. But... what if we were instead allowed access to two... at the same time? While LandR is by no means the first to attempt this, it at least does so in a way that doesn't feel awkward or cumbersome, levels obviously designed with an additional moving object in mind. Groovy stuff.
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‘Parsec Rivals’ Impressions: In Space Soccer, With Lasers We Thrust

These days there exists a multitude of ways to play soccer in video game form: from the traditional way in FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer to blazing fast RC cars in Rocket League. But how about... in space, only one player on each team, movement controlled entirely by thrust, ball moved by shooting it? Crazy? That's what I thought too, but Parsec Rivals is actually an amusing take on the sport.
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‘Snow Nor Rain Nor Living Dead’ Impressions: Mailman With a Shotgun, Coming Through!

The dead have risen and now roam freely on the surface, and just like last time this happened, society collapsed. Completely. Or did it? Wait, no, because... for some reason, there's this idiot running around, determined to deliver mail. In spite of everything that's happened/happening. Zombies? Not a problem - dude's packing a shotgun with unlimited ammo! Everyone's dead? Who cares! There's mailboxes to fill, and not Snow Nor Rain Nor Living Dead shall prevent this guy from doing his job.
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‘Overclocked’ Impressions: High-Tech Ninja Platforming Is Fast, Fun and… Challenging!

When her city suddenly comes under siege by a nasty computer virus - one that "amplifies negative emotions and augments physical strength" - Amber sees no alternative but to take up arms as a vigilante in Overclocked, fighting the good fight. But while this agile girl is more than capable of kicking ass on her own, dashing through the air to make robots explode and dodge laser beams, she's by no means alone. Or rather, there's a whole crew working behind the scenes, even if in each level... she is very much alone.
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‘Kitten Smack’ Impressions: With the Power of Sound, I Shall… Smack a Kitten Around?

The things we find amusing in video games can often be quite strange - and often repetitive - in nature. Ah, and you see, both of those most certainly apply to Kitten Smack, a game which has you... well, smacking a kitten around. Literally. At least you're not actually laying a finger on the poor feline (or its head, which is the only part of it that appears on-screen, rather), instead pushing it around the level with audible bursts. Yeah, I don't know - some weird magical thing called 'soundblasting'.
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Metro Cop Impressions: Arcade Classic ‘Virtua Cop’ In An Absolutely Brilliant Fan Demake

Few arcade games from the mid-90s actually tickle my nostalgia bone like SEGA's Virtua Cop from 1994 (and its sequels!); so when I heard about Metro Cop, you better believe I jumped at the chance to play it. Glad I did too, because this is an absolutely incredible technical feat, getting very close to everything fun in the original; right down to enemy placement (more or less). So good.
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‘To the Core Again’ Impressions: …Are We Ever Actually Okay?

Safety has been quite the topic since... well, since mankind figured out how to communicate, really. We didn't live in caves because of the scenery after all, and quite frankly, it's still an issue today. Oh, and then there are events we'd like to forget, only our minds won't let us. Such is also the case for To the Core Again's protagonist, and he/she chooses to deal by way of a mirrored dimension. Spoiler: big mistake.
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