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(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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Hotline Miami 2

DoraPlease be aware that this game contains graphic, heavy violence, as well as sexual violence some players may find upsetting.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number opens with a tutorial were you brutally slaughter everyone inside a house in the most graphic fashion possible and then assault a woman. If any part of that sentence made you wince, Devolver Digital and Dennation Games' follow-up to their 2012 ultra-violent, ultra-challenging indie action game probably isn't for you. That the whole scene turns out to be part of a movie's filming doesn't necessarily lessen the blow when the rest of the game is every bit as gut-wrenchingly gory, with all of it wrought by your own hands. In every level you're bashing, blasting, slicing, or otherwise decimating your way through places filled with people armed to the teeth, and even a single hit will take you down, forcing you to move fast and react faster. Kick the door down to knock the man behind it to the floor, grab his gun and blow away his partner and the reinforcements who come bursting in while dodging to the side to avoid the gunfire through the windows and then take out the first guy before he gets to his feet and comes after you. Fail, and you'll have to try, try again, and all of it happens in the space of a breath. It's fast, stressful, and, yes, incredibly, lavishly, unstoppably violent, but it's packaged around a challenging and rewarding combat system, and one of the trippiest stories, soundtracks, and visual styles you could ever encounter. Despite significantly increasing the premise and complexity of its story as you play multiple different characters over the course of the game, a significantly more structured approach to the way levels are designed removes enough of the need for quick-thinking versatility to make the game something more of an action-based puzzler... with levels of violence that might make Tarantino raise an eyebrow.


(9 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (1,916)

Lakeview Cabin Collection

DoraPlease note that Lakeview Cabin Collection is an episodic game. As of this writing, only the first installment has been released. Purchasing the game gains you automatic access to all other episodes in the future.

Roope Tamminen's Lakeview Cabin was a surprise hit in 2013, a deceptive little browser game without dialogue or direction where you played a man at a peaceful lakeside cabin who discovers the place gets very different, and dangerous, when the sun goes down. Players adored not only the campy, old-school horror themes and styles, but the free-roaming gameplay... it was entirely up to you to figure out what to do, and there was a lot you could do just for the heck of it, like skinny-dipping. Now you can go back for more with Lakeview Cabin Collection, a paid indie download over at itch.io, which, as of this writing, contains the first of several planned "episodes". (You'll automatically gain access to the other three chapters when they release!) The premise is the same, though the set-up isn't, this time framed around a movie theater showing a variety of horror films you end up taking part in. Though you can explore the theater as different characters and find secrets there, the bulk of the game resides in the cinema showing Lakeview Cabin III, where you suddenly find yourself in control of a group of people partying it up lakeside at a sprawling campgrounds. They're actually the new counselors, ensuring everything is ready for guests, but there's just one small, murderous problem...


  • Currently 3.5/5
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Rating: 3.5/5 (31 votes)
| Comments (1) | Views (2,813)

Lethal RPG: War Begins

AllyIt's good to appreciate the little things in life. Like dandelions, or the sound of rain, or the age-old story of spiky-haired young men with swords the size of their own bodies fighting to keep the world free of evil. Lethal RPG: War Begins is a bite-sized bubble of browser-based RPG goodness from EyeSpyda Games, full of all the classic RPG standbys: impossible hairdoes, impossibler weapons, giant rats, evil mushrooms, item crafting, and sidequests, sidequests, sidequests! War Begins is actually just a small snippet... a teaser, if you will... of the full Lethal RPG: War, which is available for Android devices via Google Play, iOS on the App Store, and PC via Desura. But War Begins is more than just a glorified demo. It's a meaty and deep browser RPG in its own right, with plenty of challenge, strategy, and sidequests for your monster-battling pleasure. Did we mention sidequests? Because there's loads of those. Lethal RPG: War Begins thrusts you directly into its world with only a modicum of introduction, which is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it's refreshing to see a fairly deep and complex browser-based game that doesn't insist on railroading you through its first fifteen minutes, but on the other hand...


(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (2,097)

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

DoraWe've briefly discussed Cornfox & Bros' lovely iOS action adventure Zelda-alike Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas before, but now that it's finally made the leap to PC on Steam, I thought it was time to take a little more in-depth look at it. The game follows you, a young lad in a world taken over by a vast sea, when your father goes missing while hunting the titular legendary monster. You quickly discover, through the influence of a magical pendant (as you do), that only you can stop the evil beast, but to do so you'll need to sail the ocean far and wide, finding magical crests, heart pieces, and more while solving puzzles with bombs and arrows... and pots. Stop me if any of that sounds familiar. But while Oceanhorn undoubtedly borrows very heavily from a lot of classic Zelda mechanics and themes, its beautiful style and breezy casual gameplay makes it a rock-solid addition to any action-adventure fan's library.


(8 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (2,283)

To Be or Not To Be

DoraRyan North and Tin Man Games' To Be or Not To Be, also available for iOS and Android, is Shakespeare's iconic "Hamlet" taken to glorious, chaotic extremes. Presented in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you're given the chance to not only play as someone other than Hamlet (why shouldn't Ophelia and Hamlet's dad get in on the action?), but also to take the story in directions the legendary playwright likely never even conceived. To play, all you need to do, once you've chosen who you want to play as, is just click to advance text and make choices whenever they become available to you, with the choices that follow the original tale marked with a very well known skull. Combining the talents of everyone from Kate Beaton and Anthony Clark and more, including an optional narration from Ryan North himself, To Be or Not To Be has piles of different endings, each stranger than the last, and a fantastic sense of humour and style, though some clunky mechanics mean the road isn't entirely a smooth one.


(16 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (9) | Views (3,596)

Town of Salem

Johnny123 There's been a murder! Yes, one of your simple, salt-of-the-earth kinfolk bit the big one last night and it's up to you all to find out who's responsible and bring him to justice. The problem? It could be your friend, or your neighbor, or the milkman, or the local drunk. This is how BlankMediaGames' new indie multiplayer strategy/puzzle title keeps the suspense ramping up. Town of Salem, free in your browser or as a paid indie download via Steam, is an electronic update of the popular "Werewolf/Mafia" party game, featuring cute little pilgrims trying to out-witchhunt each other while keeping their own sorry hides above suspicion. By day you bicker and argue with each other, hurling accusations in the chat box, trying to determine who's been doing the killings and put them on the gallows to stand trial by their peers. By night, you huddle in fear, waiting to see if you're on someone's hit list. Or maybe YOU are the one who's on the prowl, and you need to do some killing of your own. Things are about to get messy in Salem, that's for sure.


(10 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (2,814)

tormentum

Lori.h OhNoo Studio's new indie point-and-click adventure game brings us a look into a dark unsettling world. With the art inspired by H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński, you know you're in for an unsettling ride. Tormentum: Dark Sorrow is a tale of a nameless hero trying to find redemption for a past he cannot remember. All he knows is the cage that is transporting him to the halls of torture and a faint dream of a female statue in between hands reaching towards the sky. Our hero must escape his prison and find this statue that haunts him so. Along the way there are puzzles to be solved, items to be gathered, and major moral decisions to make. Plus plenty of creepy people desiring you to solve their problems. He was told that his soul was filled with evil, will he clear his conscious or prove them right?


(9 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (1) | Views (3,232)

The Misadventures of Detective Butler

TrickyLet's face it: we just don't know why groups of archetypal anime-style characters keep deciding to get together for vacations at locations cut-off from the surrounding world, or, at least, why they always seem so friggin' shocked when someone ends up dead. If you ever show up at like, a secluded mountain cabin, and the first people you meet are a clumsy maid and the gregarious dad of a disaffected slacker, I would probably just hop back on your Ski-Doo. That having been said, even if The Misadventures of Detective Butler, a free indie mystery visual novel by Goldbar Games, sticks pretty close to the model perfected by Ryukishi07, it's still quite entertaining. In 1962, a popular cruise ship shuts down after the accidental deaths of two of its passengers. Now, a half-century later, the CEO of a wealthy company has purchased tickets for his closest employees and son Gilligan to sail on the first cruise of the relaunched and remodeled relaunched ship.. On board, Gilligan happens to meet the mysterious Detective Butler and, when the two of them delve deeper into the ship's history, another incident occurs. Will our sleuths crack the case of the Maiden Voyage Murder? And more importantly can you crack it before they do?


(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (2) | Views (3,147)

locked-in

Lori.h In one night, Jacqueline Brown's life was flipped upside down, someone tried to kill her, and a close friend was killed. Things would be much smoother for her in this visual novel if it wasn't for the fact that as a result of a car accident she is left blind, mute, and paralyzed. All her friends and family members think she is in a coma, but she can still see light and hear every guilty word her visitors say. Locked In, by Lucky Special Games, is a free indie "whodunnit" mystery where we see, hear, and remember everything Jacqueline does. While most of this game is reading, in the end you are given the choice of who you should show you're still listening to... by wiggling a single finger. The entire game is played with the mouse, clicking to get through dialog faster and selecting what choice you make in the end. With eight different endings can you make sure justice is served or be forever trapped in a prison of yourself?


(4 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (0) | Views (3,871)

Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic
KimberlyBrave adventurers, are you ready for a challenge? A mysterious cult has begun infiltrating the land, and it's up to you to get to the bottom of it in Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic, a rogue-like RPG for iOS or your desktop from The Bitfather. Start by choosing three heroes from those milling about at the inn. Tap on them to see their stats, special abilities, and hilariously random back story. Once you've done that, hit the "go" button near the bottom right to set off into town. Talk to the colorful cast of characters, check the shops, arrange your hero order and equipment to your satisfaction, and accept a quest. Though danger is lurking everywhere, you might agree to fetch someone's favorite comb, or a crucial missing piece of a super suit. Once you leave town there's no going back until you conquer the dungeon or die, so make sure you're ready to go. Empty your bag as much as possible as it's a bit small to fit all the loot you're likely to find. As you walk to your designated dungeon, you'll engage in several randomly generated encounters along the way, which can lead to treasure, fights, or nothing. The turn based battles start in earnest when you reach the dungeon.


(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (1) | Views (5,209)

Living Playground

Dora[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]

In Meaka's surreal free indie horror adventure Living Playground, Octavio, Tony, and Pablo are just your average kids who also happen to turn into playground equipment, out to hunt up the best snails they can find at an old factory. When a shadowy figure attacks, Tony finds herself trapped inside and separated from her brothers, and following pieces of a story that might be even stranger than a bunch of kids who can turn into playground equipment. To play, just use the [arrow] keys to move and the [spacebar] to interact. While all items are used automatically wherever they're needed and you can only save the game in certain places, opening the menu with [ESC] allows you to access the Skills submenu, which lets you transform Tony to and from her slide form, which can help in certain situations. While there are no battles, Tony and the others can still take damage from certain things, and they have limited hit-points, so be wary of danger. Living Playground's odd premise may raise an eyebrow, but expressive artwork, loveable characters, and a story that combines classic fairytales with a look at family and identity makes it an impressive, engrossing game adventure fans should definitely check out.


  • Currently 3.8/5
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Rating: 3.8/5 (22 votes)
| Comments (6) | Views (4,740)

Our Personal Space

Kimberly

Think Little House on the Prairie mingled with Star Trek and you've got an idea of the feel of Our Personal Space, a thoughtful sci-fi visual novel by Metasepia Games, free as a download or for your Android device. Would you be willing to give up your family and friends, basically your whole life to colonize a distant planet? What skills would you need to have? How much could other futuristic technology make up for the lack of indoor plumbing? Could you handle it? Could your relationships handle it? You get to step into the shoes of the protagonist and her new husband (you get to choose their names!) as they embark on a journey of a lifetime to the distant garden planet Talaam. As you progress in the story you'll get to choose your profession and your hobbies, all which open up different scenes and options as you go.


(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (2) | Views (4,978)

Bevel's Painting

Dora[Mac user? Try freeware tool RPG Hub]

In Bevel's Painting, a free indie horror adventure by Maninu and translated by vgperson, you play an artistic young girl who winds up inside one of her own paintings one day when she discovers the canvas aglow. You know. As you do. Inside, things look magical, with fairy servants and teddy bear chefs, but there's something strange going on. ... well, stranger than getting sucked into a painting where everyone speaks gibberish. There's danger hidden around every corner, and this world doesn't exactly seem to follow logic our heroine would understand, though making the wrong choice could have... unfortunate consequences. Use the [arrow] keys to move and the [spacebar] to interact, while [ESC] opens the menu. You can only save at the little paint boxes you find, and most items will need to be used manually, so open the main menu and select an object from your inventory when you want to try to use it. Additionally, as you explore you'll find paint colours that can be used to change the world around you, though using a brush makes it dirty, and you'll need to find clean water to wash it before you can use it again. There are nine different endings to find, and the way to unlock all of them isn't necessarily obvious. Save frequently, and in different slots. Though on the short side compared to some freeware horror adventures and possessed of some chase sequences that may annoy more than anything else, Bevel's Painting crafts an unsettling and intriguing atmosphere with a story more implied than implicitly told. Note that while most of the text is in "Bevelese", it can be translated manually once you've worked out the alphabet... there's a clue as to how to do so in one of the "worlds".


(15 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
| Comments (4) | Views (3,323)

Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt

DoraPrincess Remedy in a World of Hurt by Remar Games and Ludosity is a very retro free indie action RPG made in four days for the Games Against Ebola Jam. You, as the titular princess, descend to Hurtland in search of your missing friend and healing people of various ailments as you go. See, as the name might imply, the folks of Hurtland are in a bad way, but lucky for them Princess Remedy can duke it out with the things making them sick. To play, just use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, and [spacebar] to interact. In a fight, Princess Remedy fires automatically in the direction she's facing, so it's your job to maneuver her around the battlefield to blast enemies apart while dodging their attacks. Tapping the [spacebar] will throw a flask... you only get one of these per battle to begin with, but they let out a big blast! The more people you heal, the stronger you get, and there are plenty of treasure chests to find to upgrade the princess' power as well. It's on the simple side, but fans of sweet, silly humour and classic old school gameplay will want to add this one to their to-do list.


  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (20 votes)
| Comments (0) | Views (3,475)

little-briar-rose

Lori.hAlmost everyone knows the story of Briar Rose, or more commonly known as Sleeping Beauty, thanks to Disney. A princess falls under a curse that puts her and her whole kingdom to sleep, thick briar bushes fill the forest leading to the kingdom, and the only way to break the curse is for a prince to awaken her with a true love's kiss. Elf Games' free indie point-and-click adventure Little Briar Rose brings us back to this tale we all enjoyed from our childhood, but takes a different look at the tale. Namely, how the Prince got to the castle in the first place. These are magical thorny vines so the good old hack and slash won't do. Thankfully the woods are full of magical creatures needing help and some talking to and your little Prince is armed to do just that. This beautiful little tale will remind you of all the magic of your childhood. Just be sure to get the puzzles right the first time, or there won't be any happily ever after for your prince.

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