Another month has gone by. At least in the northern hemisphere, summer is finally approaching. The days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer and we all want to feel that spring breeze on our skins. Regardless, in the past thirty or so days, plenty of developers still sent us their indie games to try and review.
As usual, we prioritized some titles over others. Their overall appearance, popularity and quality heavily influenced our choice. Those that we felt had a better chance of success were given more space to prove themselves. The rest, on the contrary, still litter our inbox. Now, the time has come to free up some space for whatever hits the shelves in May.
We didn’t want to simply toss everything away, though. Instead, we decided to honor the hard work that went into these projects. In no particular order, here’s a handful of indie games that caught our attention but didn’t get a full review!
Train Valley 2
On a recent trip Elisa and I took, we ended up being stuck at a station for hours. Some sort of technical problem had occurred and the train that was to take us back simply wasn’t there. I remember getting furious, thinking of how preposterous such a situation was. Then, a few days later, I bumped into Train Valley 2.
The premise to this indie game is simple: you’re in charge of every aspect of a small railroad company. From building tracks to arranging convoys, your job is to deliver goods and people to various stations around the map. The title takes the form of a puzzle of sorts, with short levels that get increasingly harder to clear.
There’s so much to say about Train Valley 2 and I’m sad I couldn’t spend more time on it. The colorful graphics, the nice music, the simple yet captivating gameplay make for a great companion. It’s a shame the game isn’t available on mobile; I would have definitely bought a copy!
The second entry for this month’s Lightly Toasted is yet another puzzle game. Those who say the genre’s flooding the market might not be so wrong after all. Still, Star Swapper managed to be unique enough to catch my attention. I’ve had some moments of genuine fun with it, which is as much as I can ask from any indie title.
Let’s take a step back: what exactly is this game anyway? Drawing heavily from the world of mobile entertainment, Star Swapper’s a swipe-centric brainteaser built around constellations. You’ll find yourself dragging individual stars to their final location, all while you attempt to recreate specific patterns.
Would I call this one an outstanding example of modern entertainment? Nah, I don’t think so. Still, the title packs about 100 riddles and costs less than 5 bucks. It is a casual game that you’ll play every now and then, without having to commit or invest large amounts of time. If that’s the kind of experience you’re after, Star Swapper deserves a chance!
As you probably noticed from the picture right above this text, entry number 3 looks rather familiar. I’ll save you some time and state it outright: Build Wars is yet another offshoot of Minecraft. In fact, this game is based off a mod for what’s arguably the most famous indie title ever released.
Legal technicalities aside, what we have in front of us seems sturdy enough to stand on its own. Build Wars will pitch you against other players, assign the group a theme, and give you a limited amount of time to piece your creations together. The mechanics are pretty much the same as Minecraft’s; so I’m sure they don’t need an introduction.
Once the match is over, each contestant will vote to establish which of the digital sculptures got closer to the assignment. This makes for a rather exciting experience that works best is small doses. The game’s cheap and could really use a few more people playing it. If the idea sounds solid enough to you, consider giving it a try!
E-Startup and Computer Tycoon
I’ve decided to bundle these two together because they’re both built on top of the same idea. E-Startup and Computer Tycoon are management sims; games where you’re supposed to create a thriving company from scratch. Both in early access, these titles have been around for a while but only recently reached our inbox.
It feels a bit weird to even give these games a spot on the list, especially since my first impressions were not exactly positive. The similarities between the two don’t stop with the projects belonging to the same genre. The development cycle is still far from complete, but both developers might want to review their priorities.
Several parts of the experience that should have been there before it hit the streets are nowhere to be found. This makes playing E-Startup and Computer Tycoon a lot more challenging than it should. Still, I’m willing to give them both a pass; at least for now. I believe these teams deserve the attention of a larger crowd but I expect them to get back on track as soon as possible!