Video Games » This Week On Steam » This Week’s Steam Releases and Reviews-October 2nd, 2015

This Week’s Steam Releases and Reviews-October 2nd, 2015

With the number of daily Steam game releases increasing exponentially, it can be hard keeping up with the newest releases and picking the best gems out of all the clutter. This Week’s Steam Releases and Reviews is a weekly post series that attempts to do that work for you. We have looked over all of the games released on Steam for the week of September 27th-October 2nd, 2015 and picked out (and in some cases reviewed) the best games this week had to offer.

If you represent a game that is going to be released on Steam soon and would like to see it featured on Geeky Hobbies check out our contact page for details.

Reviewed Games

Other Notable Games

The Rest

Reviewed Games

We would like to thank Brushfire Games (Polychromatic), Chris Johnson (Expand), Disparity Games (Ninja Pizza Girl), Epic Devs LLC (Swords & Crossbones), Frozen Dev (8Bit Fiesta), Giant Enemy Labs (ASDAD), inkle Ltd (80 Days), Out of the Park Developments (Franchise Hockey Manager 2), Pidroh (Daily Espada), and Pixeljam (Dino Run DX) for the free review copies used for these reviews.

80 Days
© inkle Ltd

80 Days

  • Release Date: September 28th, 2015
  • Genre: Casual Strategy
  • Developer: inkle Ltd , Cape Guy Ltd
  • Publisher: inkle Ltd
  • Retail Price: $9.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 1.5 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: 80 Days

Concept

It is the year 1872. Your employer Phineas Fogg has wagered that he can traverse the globe within 80 days. This starts your journey around the steampunk inspired world. You must book passage from city to city throughout the world. In each stop you will encounter different events or people that will help or hinder your adventure. Since nothing is free you must also buy and sell items throughout your travels in order to pay for your trip around the world.

Review

The hit mobile game 80 Days was released this week on Steam. For those of you who have never heard of or played 80 Days it is kind of hard to explain but I will do my best job. 80 Days is pretty different than any other game that I have played.

The first main mechanic in the game involves booking passage as you travel around the world. In your adventures you find different travel routes that will take you from city to city. This can come from buying items, talking with other characters, or just exploring. You need to decide which route is best factoring in cost, time and safety of the routes you take.This travel mechanic is interesting since you always need to keep track of the time since if you miss your ride you will be stuck in your current city and lose precious time that you could have been traveling.

Next comes the trading/collecting mechanic. Every city has a market where you are able to buy and sell goods that make you money in order to fund your trip around the world. Basically you buy an item for cheap in one city and then are able to sell it in another city for a lot more money. You only have so much space to carry goods though since you can only bring so many suitcases with you on certain routes. I liked this mechanic since it makes you think about more than just moving from city to city. Trading goods sometimes forces you to plan indirect routes since you might be going out of the way but you can get so much money if you take a good to a specific city. You pretty much need to decide between trading money for time or vice versa.

The main mechanic in 80 Days though is the story. If you don’t like story driven games you probably won’t like 80 Days. The game has a lot of text in it so if you don’t like reading text you will probably get bored of 80 Days. The story itself is the biggest selling point in the game though. For the majority of the game you will be exploring the cities you travel through talking to people and finding out about the world. Most of the story is told through text where you will get to pick from different branching narratives which will ultimately determine how the game turns out. The story is interesting in that it is somewhat based on history but there is obvious steampunk influences included as well.

While I fully acknowledge that 80 Days won’t be for everyone, I had quite a bit of fun with the game. 80 Days is a pretty unique experience. Games like this don’t come out often. The game is a unique story telling experience where you get to help decide how the story ends. Combine that with the simple but elegant graphics and 80 Days is an engaging experience.

Since I liked the game so much you might be wondering why I have only played the game for an hour and a half. Well that is due to some errors I have encountered with the game. I have encountered some bugs that have prevented me from continuing to play the game. I would like to point out though that these bugs appear to be rare since no one else appears to be having them. I enjoyed 80 Days enough that I plan on continuing to play the game after these issues are resolved. Hopefully I can get a full review of the game up next week if these issues can be resolved.

The only other issue I had with the game was that I think the game could have done a better job showing you where different locations are on the map. I am not terrible at geography but I am far from an expert. I encountered quite a few situations when I didn’t know where a location was. This made trying to find ares where I had to trade goods harder than it needed to be.

Should You Buy 80 Days?

While 80 Days is a good game, it will not be for everyone. If you don’t like casual story driven games and the theme doesn’t appeal to you, you probably won’t like 80 Days. If the concept interests you I think you could have a lot of fun with the game since 80 Days is a truly original idea for a game.

8Bit Fiesta
© Frozen Dev

8Bit Fiesta

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Local Multiplayer Party Game
  • Developer: Frozen Dev
  • Publisher: Frozen Dev
  • Retail Price: $6.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 1.5 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: 8Bit Fiesta

Concept

8Bit Fiesta is an early access party game that includes both a single player and a multiplayer/party mode.

The single player mostly works like a traditional platformer. In the story you play as Santa Claus who is tasked with trying to save the world from Hitler. The single player story line is kind of weird and definitely not for children since the story has swear words and other topics not suitable for children. Gameplay wise you most just move and jump trying to avoid obstacles on your way to the exit.

The multiplayer mostly focuses on small little mini games where you compete against the other players to see who can win the designated number of games. At this point the game has around ten mini games. The game also includes a battle mode which pits players against one another as they try to kill one another.

Review

Being an early access game, 8Bit Fiesta is not completed so I can only talk about where it is at this point.

It is kind of hard to accurately describe 8Bit Fiesta but my best comparison would probably be an 8/16-bit version of Mario Party. The reason I compare 8Bit Fiesta to Mario Party is that the majority of the game seems to be focused on the little multiplayer games included with the game. Unlike Mario Party you just play the mini games without having to worry about that pesky game board and the players who keep stealing your stars.

While a lot of the mini games are quite short I had quite a bit of fun with some of them. The following mini games were the standouts in my opinion.

  • Duck Hunt is actually exactly what it sounds like as in an homage to the classic Nintendo game. In this version of the game you are throwing beer bottles at the ducks instead of shooting them.
  • Flappy Tap is your typical Flappy Bird game. Some times the game seems to think you are an expert at the game since it places the pipes so close to one another that it seems impossible to get past one or two of them.
  • Physball is a little soccer game where you try to score goals on your opponent’s nets. I had fun with this mini game but I wish the game didn’t end after two goals against a player. I think the game would have been better if it required more goals to win.
  • Road Rage is an “RC” racing game. The cars are kind of hard to drive and that actually kind of made the game more fun. Your cars can spin a lot so you need to be very careful as you make turns around the track.

Other games include a game that plays like the classic Bomberman games. The games that I didn’t mention weren’t bad but not as good as the ones I specifically mentioned.

Other than the mini games the game also includes a battle arena and the “drinking” mode. The battle arena is decent. You essentially collect weapons that you use to try and kill the other players. I personally preferred the mini games over the battle arena. While I “tried” the drinking mode I can’t really comment on it since I don’t drink. Essentially in this mode you just play the mini games with the losing player having to drink which should make them even worse at the games.

For those of you who don’t have any friends there is the “No Friends” mode, aka single player. The single player is okay but nothing special. I played the first 15-20 levels but it didn’t really interest me that much. It is a functional platformer but doesn’t really do anything original. I also didn’t really care for the story. At this point I wouldn’t buy the game for the single player mode.

Overall I think 8Bit Fiesta has quite a bit of potential. Some of the mini games are already pretty fun. If the developers continue adding more fun and interesting mini games to the game, I think 8Bit Fiesta could be a fun little party game. When the final copy of the game is released I will definitely check it out and post a review of it here on Geeky Hobbies.

Should You Purchase 8Bit Fiesta?

While 8Bit Fiesta has a single player mode, if you don’t have anyone to play the local co-op with I don’t think 8Bit Fiesta is worth picking up at this time. If you are looking for a local multiplayer party game featuring mini games like Mario Party though I think you could have some fun with the game. While some of the mini-games are a little hit or miss, for an early access game 8Bit Fiesta shows quite a bit of potential.

All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds
© Giant Enemy Labs

ASDAD: All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Local Multiplayer
  • Developer: Giant Enemy Labs
  • Publisher: Giant Enemy Labs
  • Retail Price: $6.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 1 hour
  • Purchase on Steam: ASDAD: All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds

Concept

In ASDAD: All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds you and another player play as a different adventurers that are trying to collect as many diamonds as they can. ASDAD features two different modes. The main mode involves the players competing to try and collect the most diamonds. The other mode “Race for the Idol” is a race between the two players to see who can reach the end of their maze first and collect the idol.

Most of the game involves traversing the maze but the game does include some power ups and traps. The traps will either block the players path for a time or hinder their progress in another way. The power ups come from players collecting treasure chests. The power ups come in two varieties that either help the player that collected it or hurts the other player.

Review

Overall I had some fun with ASDAD: All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds. The game’s concept is pretty interesting and fun to play. Unfortunately it is not the type of game that I would play for hours at a time. It is more the type of game that I would play for maybe a half hour at a time and then come back to at a future date. Some people might be able to play the game for hours at a time but I could see some players getting sick of the game really quickly. It all depends on how much you are interested in the maze mechanics in the game.

Of the two modes in ASDAD I would probably say that I preferred the normal mode. I didn’t mind the “Race for the Idol” mode but it relies too heavily on the use of the items. Since the mazes in that mode aren’t that complex, you will win by getting lucky and getting better items than your opponent.

The regular mode relies more on navigating the maze as well as using the items. If you are better at navigating the maze you should do better than your opponent since if you backtrack too much you will lose out on collecting a lot of diamonds. We did notice that collecting the items were really important in this mode as well. Generally whoever collected the most items would end up winning. This is because getting one item could slow down your opponent which lets you collect more items which you can use to keep slowing down your opponents or gaining other advantages.

Overall I liked some things about the items. The items in the game are pretty necessary since the game would have been pretty boring without them. Without the items the game would have just been an exercise of who was best at navigating the mazes. This would have gotten boring pretty quickly. The items add some variety to the game as well as some strategy. If you use your items at the right time you can get a pretty big advantage over your opponents.

The problem with the items is that some of them are considerably better than others. In particular the items that directly impact your opponents seem to be more powerful than the items that benefit you. The items that slow down your opponent, steal items from your opponent, or switch places are the best in my opinion. The switch places power up is particularly powerful in the “Race for the Idol” mode.

While ASDAD does include a single player mode, you are going to want to play the game with another player. The single player acts more like a training mode than anything else. It can help you learn the basics of the game but that is it. I don’t know why you wouldn’t play the game multiplayer anyway since it was built as a multiplayer game. Unfortunately the game is only local co-op though. Having online multiplayer would have made it much easier to find someone else to play the game with. If you want to play the game you will just need to find another person to play the game with like in the old days before online multiplayer.

While the game does have replay value since no two matches will play out the same way, I kind of wish there were a couple more maps in the game. The game only includes a couple maps, so additional maps would have added some more variety to the game. The game does have a lot of features that can be tweaked though which does change up each of the maps.

Finally I want to address a small bug I encountered when first playing the game. I had some issues with the game screen appearing larger than my monitor which meant that quite a bit of the screen was cut off. After some tweaking I figured out that the issue was with screen resolution text size on my computer. When I decreased the size the game then displayed properly. If you are having an issue where part of the screen is being cut off I would recommend trying this solution.

Should You Purchase ASDAD: All-Stars Dungeons and Diamonds?

If you don’t have anyone to play the game with locally or the concept doesn’t really appeal to you, you probably won’t like ASDAD. If you like local multiplayer games but aren’t in love with the concept of the game I would maybe recommend waiting for a sale. If you really like local multiplayer and the game’s concept I think you will really like the game.

Daily Espada
© Pidroh

Daily Espada

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Action
  • Developer: Pidroh
  • Publisher: Pidroh
  • Retail Price: $4.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 2 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Daily Espada

Concept

If you thought reality shows in America were bad you haven’t seen anything yet. In Daily Espada you play as a family man who has decided to enter Brazil’s strangest/creepiest game show in order to win prizes for his family. This game show, Daily Espada, pits normal citizens against monsters from Brazilian folklore. You fight monsters as the world watches you win prizes for your family. That sounds like a “great” television show.

For the most part Daily Espada plays like a traditional action game. Your goal in the game is to fight different creatures to clear levels which allows you to progress in the game. In the game you have two weapons, a sword and a “gun”. Your character can also take two forms. One form is your normal form where your attacks are weakened and you are vulnerable to damage. After a certain amount of time you can change into a supercharged form which grants you increased damage and prevents you from taking damage. In this supercharged form you don’t take damage but instead take damage to your armor. When your armor is depleted you will revert back to your normal form and will have to wait before you can change back into your supercharged form.

The main game is comprised of five different levels. In each level you can fight some weaker enemies which will unlock some power ups that you can equip which give you special abilities. You will then fight the main boss of each level which is one of the aforementioned mythical creatures. These boss fights are the major portion of each level. The boss fights pretty much boil down to figuring out the bosses patterns and determining when and where to strike.  When you kill the creature you move onto the next level.

Review

What first got me interested in Daily Espada was the theme of the game. The theme of competing on a game show where you fight mythical monsters sounded like a great idea for a game. Unfortunately I was disappointed by the implementation in the game. Other than the story, the game show theme never really comes into play. The game takes a serious tone while I would have preferred a more wacky take. This was disappointing since the theme could have been so much more if it was actually utilized in the gameplay.

The story is pretty interesting though. The story introduces the backstory of the different creatures that you fight as well as exploring your character’s home life while he is competing on the show. I know nothing about Brazilian mythological creatures so I can’t contest to how accurate the game is in this regard but I thought the game did a good job coming up with unique ways to introduce the different creatures you end up fighting.

The combat/gameplay is pretty average overall. It is pretty much what you would expect from an action game. You keep pressing the attack buttons while trying to avoid the enemy attacks. While a better strategy would probably allow you to do better in the game, I was able to beat all of the levels on an intermediate difficulty level by pretty much just mashing buttons while trying to avoid enemy attacks.

Overall I liked the idea behind the two forms. Having the “immune” form really helps people who have trouble avoiding enemy attacks. I have never been great at avoiding enemy attacks so this ability allowed me to have a little more success than I normally do in these type of games. You do lose the form though if you take too much damage so you still need to try to avoid enemy attacks. This just gives players a little leeway to take hits from the bosses without being immediately killed.

At the intermediate/medium difficulty level that I played the game at, I found the game to be moderately difficult. I died during all of the bosses but it never became an issue where I was constantly dying. It takes a while to figure out the bosses attack patterns but you get better at avoiding their attacks through practice. The game does feature quite a few difficulty settings though so if you are finding the game to be too easy you can easily increase the difficulty at any time.

Overall I had some fun with Daily Espada but the game never did anything particularly special. Daily Espada is a pretty average action game. The game is pretty short since I completed the first four levels of the game in about an hour and a half. The game actually has five levels but kind of has an ending after four levels and since you have to figure out how to unlock the fifth floor I didn’t feel like it paid for me to go through the effort to unlock it. In order to get a decent amount of time out of the game you will need to want to replay the boss levels at different difficulty levels.

A couple other quick thoughts:

  • The graphic style is pretty nice overall but the game is so dark at times that you can’t really appreciate it. At times I had a hard time even seeing some of the bosses during parts of the fight.
  • Some of the audio in the game gets kind of annoying. Especially in the boss fights you end up hearing the bosses yell out the same sentences over and over again. These are used as clues to tell you which attacks are coming up next but they become annoying quickly.

Should You Purchase Daily Espada?

Unless you really like action games and the theme really appeals to you, Daily Espada is probably not worth it at full retail. If you like action games though, Daily Espada might be worth picking up in a sale.

Dino Run DX
© Pixeljam

Dino Run DX

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: Endless Runner
  • Developer: Pixeljam
  • Publisher: Pixeljam
  • Retail Price:
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 1 hour
  • Purchase on Steam: Dino Run DX

Concept

In Dino Run DX you play as a raptor that is trying to escape extinction. The meteorites have started hitting Earth and your raptor needs to run in order to avoid being killed.  For the few of you who have never played a runner before your goal is to just keep running trying to avoid obstacles and being killed. In Dino Run you also try to collect eggs and eat other not so fortunate species in order to score points which can be used to purchase extras and upgrades.

Review

Before seeing the game on Steam I had actually never heard of the Dino Run series before. Dino Run DX started life as a browser game called Dino Run back in 2007. Dino Run was actually one of the first runners before they became really popular on mobile devices. Then in 2010 the developers created Dino Run SE which expanded on the game made back in 2007.

Having not played a lot of endless runners, I am not super familiar with the genre. I had some fun with Dino Run DX but it is not the type of game that I would play for long stretches of time. So far I have played the game for around an hour. At first I found the game to be a little boring but with extended play it started to grow on me.

In Dino Run DX you are responsible for two things. You need to always keep your dinosaur running forward. If you don’t you will die quickly especially in the harder difficulty settings. The second key is to avoid obstacles. You need to pay attention to what is going on in front of you or you are bound to hit an obstacle that will slow you down and could lead to your extinction. The game is pretty simple overall since all you need to do is run forward and jump to avoid obstacles.

While the game is simple, that doesn’t mean that it is easy. The game includes several difficulty settings and some of them will really challenge you. While I don’t play a lot of games from the genre, I struggled with the harder difficulty levels in the game.

One thing I give the game credit for is the procedurally generated levels. While I played through the game I could tell that while the levels were different each time, they still flowed well. This gives the game an opportunity for a lot of replayability since two levels should rarely ever be the same.

Other quick thoughts:

  • I tried the game with both the keyboard and a controller and I preferred the keyboard. In particular the duck button didn’t seem to work that well with the controller. The controls for the keyboard worked really well though.
  • While the graphics are kind of simple, they are pretty reminiscent of old Nintendo sprites. While it makes no sense that dinosaurs are wearing hats, the hats are a nice addition to the game.

Should You Purchase Dino Run DX?

Do you like the runner genre? If not, there is not much for you in Dino Run DX. If you like runners though you will probably like the game. I personally would only play the game every so often, but if you really like these type of games you should get a lot more enjoyment out of the game than I did.

Expand
© Chris Johnson , Chris Larkin

Expand

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Casual Puzzle
  • Developer: Chris Johnson , Chris Larkin
  • Publisher: Chris Johnson , Chris Larkin
  • Retail Price: $5.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 2 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Expand

Concept

In Expand you play as a pink/red square that is trapped inside a labyrinth. You must traverse the world trying to avoid being squished or hitting any of the red obstacles. That might seem easy but the games’ world is regularly transforming and spinning to reveal new obstacles that you need to face. The only controls in the game involve moving your box around the labyrinth. If I had to classify Expand I would probably classify it as a “casual puzzle” game.

Review

Long time readers of this blog probably already know that I am a pretty big fan of these type of abstract puzzle games. Puzzle games are one of the video game genres where graphics don’t really matter since I have played quite a few puzzle games that have looked pretty bad but were still good games because of the gameplay. When you first look at Expand you will probably think that the game looks pretty simplistic. The game mostly uses basic shapes and looks pretty simplistic. Expand does a fantastic job with the simple shapes though as the game’s style really stands out as the world spins, shrinks and expands as you move through the labyrinth. Despite the simple shapes I would say that the visual style in Expand is quite good.

I actually had quite a bit of fun with Expand. The game is kind of simple but engaging at the same time. Since all you do in the game is move your square you wouldn’t think that the game would be that fun but it was since the puzzles in the game are well designed. You can tell that the developers put effort into designing the puzzles since some of them are intertwined so well. If you like these type of abstract simplistic puzzle games I think you will really like Expand.

While I really enjoyed Expand I had two issues with the game.

First the game is quite easy. The game is designed as more of a meditative/relaxing game so that is probably part of the reason why the game is so easy. I wish the game would have been a little more challenging though since in the entire game there was only two or maybe three areas where I had any trouble at all. You will “die” in the game but you won’t die that often. There will be some pretty long stretches where you just breeze through the game.

The biggest problem I had with the game was the length. This is too bad since I would have loved for the game to have been longer. I was really starting to get into the game and then it was over. Expand is the type of game that you could probably finish in one sitting. I finished the whole game in around two hours.

While these two issues hurt the game, they don’t ruin it. Expand is still a good/great game that is a lot of fun to play.

Should You Purchase Expand?

While kind of short and easy, Expand is still a good game. If you like more laid back puzzle games I think you will really enjoy Expand. Due to its’ short length though if length is really important to you, you may want to wait for a sale.

Franchise Hockey Manager 2
© Out of the Park Developments

 

Franchise Hockey Manager 2

  • Release Date: September 28, 2015
  • Genre: Sports, Simulation
  • Developer: Out of the Park Developments
  • Publisher: Out of the Park Developments
  • Retail Price: $39.99
  • Review: Adam Mortensen
  • Purchase on Steam: Franchise Hockey Manager 2

Concept

Franchise Hockey Manager 2 is a hockey management/simulation game from the makers of the amazing Out of the Park Baseball (which I’m a big fan of). For those who don’t know how these sports management/simulation games work, it is almost nothing like Electronic Arts’ NHL series. You don’t play the games (though you can “watch” them as they are being simulated), instead you are tasked with running a team and attempt to build a dynasty by making smart trades and finding great prospects in the draft. Every aspect of the team is in your control, from deciding which tactics your team will use to scouting upcoming draftees to try to find the next hidden gem. You can start the game in any historical year you want (all the way back to 1931) and see how differently the history of the league plays out or just start with the upcoming 2015-16 NHL season. Expansion teams, facegen, and a new game engine are among the large amount of additions to this year’s game (see the game’s Steam page for the full list of improvements and changes).

Review

As both a sports management/simulation game junkie (I have spent countless hours playing Baseball Mogul and Out of the Park Baseball) and a new hockey fan (since Wisconsin doesn’t have a team I am relegated to having to root for the Minnesota Wild), I knew I would love Franchise Hockey Manager 2 before I even tried it. I love sports management/simulation games and am always on the lookout for games in the genre for the other sports that I am a fan of (I still haven’t found a good American football or basketball one). Franchise Hockey Manager 2 is definitely good enough to become my go-to hockey management game.

While I have only been able to play the game for a couple hours thus far, I know Franchise Hockey Manager 2 is a game I’m going to get 20+ hours out of eventually. While this series is relatively new compared to Out of the Park Baseball, the game engine is almost as good already (though it does need just a little more polish to reach OOTPB standards). I haven’t run into any problems yet and everything seems to be pretty well balanced. I never got a chance to play the first release but based on the list of changes for 2015, it seems like there were a lot of improvements made.

The only problem with Franchise Hockey Manager 2 is the price. I think $39.99 (the game is on sale for $29.99 but only until October 5) is a bit steep for a sports management game. While the game is good and is most likely a huge improvement over its predecessor, that’s only $20 cheaper than NHL 16. I think $29.99 is a better price for this game even though you will probably get a ton of hours out of it.

Should You Purchase Franchise Hockey Manager 2?

Obviously a game like Franchise Hockey Manager 2 has a very specific niche market. I happen to fit into that niche (hockey fan who would rather build a dynasty team with great management skills than actually play the games) and not surprisingly I loved it. If you love hockey and sports management games like Out of the Park Baseball, I’m guessing you will love it as well. If you don’t like both of those things, you should probably pass.

Ninja Pizza Girl
© Disparity Games

Ninja Pizza Girl

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Action Platformer
  • Developer: Disparity Games
  • Publisher: Disparity Games
  • Retail Price: $12.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Purchase on Steam: Ninja Pizza Girl

Concept

In Ninja Pizza Girl you play as Gemma a sixteen year old girl who delivers pizza for her father’s business. Gemma faces many challenges in her life which includes a rival pizza joint that regularly bullies her. Can Gemma overcome her bullying and build up enough self-esteem to stand up for herself?

Ninja Pizza Girl is a platformer/runner game. In each level you are given a specified amount of time in which to deliver a pizza to the customer. Gemma needs to run, jump and do other parkour type moves as she traverses the rafters high up in the skyscrapers of the city. Later in the game the bullies are introduced which act as enemies that Gemma has to avoid. The bullies will try to knock her down. While on the ground Gemma is taunted by the bullies which will temporarily stun her if she is exposed to it for too long.

Review

While I usually like to talk about the gameplay first in most reviews, in the case of Ninja Pizza Girl I would like to talk about the story first. While the story is pretty cheesy, it has a good moral/point. The game deals with the serious topic of bullying. I think the game does a pretty good job with the topic and I applaud Disparity Games for making a game about a topic most larger publisher would never touch. I can see the message of the game being uplifting for kids who are dealing with their own bully issues.

Being a game that is about dealing/overcoming bullying you would probably think that the gameplay wouldn’t be very good. I was actually surprised by the gameplay in the game. The game plays like a lot of other platforming/parkour games. The game plays fast and should be fun for people that enjoy these type of games.

The only part of the gameplay that I didn’t really like were the bully enemies. While they make a lot of sense for the plot, I think they kind of get in the way of the gameplay. First of all Gemma deals with a lot of the bullies by either kicking them in the head, or slide kicking them. I think this kind of sends the wrong message.

The biggest problem with the bullies though is that they interrupt the flow of the levels too much. You could be blazing through a level and then you will run into some bullies that will stop you right in your tracks. This kills all of your momentum which is one of the game’s biggest strengths. I think the game might have been better off if they just left the bullies in the cutscenes/story and outside of the actual gameplay.

While the Steam page says that the game is difficult but fair, I don’t really agree with that. I personally found the game to be pretty easy. For at least half to two thirds of the game I breezed through all of the levels. In these early levels the game gives you too much time so you shouldn’t have that much trouble beating these levels. The later levels get a little harder mostly because the levels have areas set up where there are a lot of bullies which means that you are almost guaranteed to get stalled. Even the later levels aren’t that hard though as I would classify them at only a medium difficulty level.

The biggest problem with the game is the length. While I didn’t go out of my way to gather the collectibles or spend any time with the speed runs, I completed the whole game in around two hours. At $12.99 the game is pretty short for the price. Unless you really like replaying the levels, I don’t think you will get much more than four or so hours even if you try to get all of the collectibles.

Should You Purchase Ninja Pizza Girl?

If you are not interested in the theme or runners/platformers, I don’t think you are going to like the game. If the theme really appeals to you or you really like runners/platformers you should enjoy the game quite a bit. The decision of whether you should purchase the game at full retail price will depend on the value you put on length because the game is pretty short at only around two hours long.

Polychromatic Gameplay
© Brushfire Games

Polychromatic

  • Release Date: October 2nd, 2015
  • Genre: Twin Stick Shooter
  • Developer: Brushfire Games
  • Publisher: Brushfire Games
  • Retail Price: $9.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 1 hour
  • Purchase on Steam: Polychromatic

Concept

Polychromatic is your typical twin stick shooter. One analog stick controls movement while the other controls the aim of your weapon. The objective of the game is to try and score the most points. As you score points you will unlock two special abilities that either let you release an energy burst that kills all of the nearby enemies or you can use the speed burst that quickly moves you across the screen and makes you invulnerable for a short period of time.

Polychromatic features three different modes. There is a traditional arcade mode where you get a certain number of lives while you can earn additional lives based on the points you score. There is a timed mode where you get a specified amount of time to try and kill as many enemies as possible but you get more time for each wave you complete. Finally there is the mode where you only get one life and you try to survive as long as possible.

Review

As a traditional twin stick shooter Polychromatic does a lot of things right. The game is fun to play. The controls work well. The game is polished and I really didn’t encounter any issues with the game. The biggest “issue” with the game is that it doesn’t really have any unique mechanics. I don’t play a lot of twin stick shooters but nothing in the game appeared to be anything that I haven’t seen in other games from the genre. Polychromatic does a good job with the twin stick shooter genre but it doesn’t really add anything new/original.

The three different modes all play pretty similarly but I would say that I preferred the time mode. I preferred the time mode since I usually die a lot in these type of games so this mode made me not have to worry about lives since you get unlimited lives until the time runs out. While I thought I was going to hate the one life mode I actually liked it more than I was expecting. I didn’t last that long in the mode but I had fun with it.

Regarding the power ups I really liked the blast powerful but not the speed burst. I just didn’t really see much use for the speed burst. While it makes you immune for a short period, it really didn’t help me much. The blast power up is really helpful since it helps you get out of jams when you are surrounded. You only get a couple of them though so you need to be very cautious deciding when to use them.

While the game’s graphics are kind of simplistic, I kind of liked them. The game mostly uses simple shapes for the enemies but it works for the game. Each different type of enemy is a different color and shape which makes it easier to determine the special ability each enemy has. Overall I liked the simplistic look to the graphics. One of the big reasons that I like the simplistic style is that the game runs really well. I never encountered a single slowdown even with many bullets and enemies on the screen at the same time.

Should You Purchase Polychromatic?

Polychromatic is really good at what it is, a twin stick shooter. If you really like arcade style twin stick shooters, I think you could get some fun out of Polychromatic. If you hate the twin sticker shooter genre, Polychromatic brings nothing new to the table that will change your mind.

Swords and Crossbones
© Epic Devs LLC

Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story

  • Release Date: September 30, 2015
  • Genre: Adventure, RPG
  • Developer: Epic Devs LLC
  • Publisher: Epic Devs LLC
  • Retail Price: $4.99
  • Review: Adam Mortensen
  • Purchase on Steam: Swords & Crossbones

Concept

Swords & Crossbones is a pirate-themed role-playing/adventure game with some simulation/management mechanics. You will explore islands, sail the seas, battle pirates and animals, build and upgrade your ship, and develop your own pirate island.

Review

Unfortunately, I quickly found out that Swords & Crossbones is not the game for me. I sadly found the game to be pretty boring (especially the combat) and I could only get an hour out of it before I got sick of it. It just isn’t for me. Gamers who like games like this might like Swords & Crossbones but since I clearly am not part of that niche, I can’t say for sure. For positives, the game is very easy to learn and play, it has solid mechanics (everything seems to work just fine), and the dialogue can be very funny at times.

Should You Purchase Swords & Crossbones?

While I can’t speak for fans of this niche, I personally found Swords & Crossbones to be boring. However the game is very cheap (just $4.99) and it appears to be a pretty lengthy game. If you are into this type of game, read some more reviews of the game and see if it is something you would like to play. Otherwise, if you don’t particularly like this genre pass on it or wait for a bundle.

Other Notable Games

Angels Fall First
© Strangely Interactive Ltd

Angels Fall First

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Early Access FPS
  • Developer: Strangely Interactive Ltd
  • Publisher: Strangely Interactive Ltd
  • Price: $17.99

Angels Fall First is a FPS that is currently in Early Access. While the game doesn’t appear to have any highly unique mechanics, what interests me about the game is the variety of combat in the game. Some of the combat options in the game include infantry, ground vehicles, and air vehicles. The game also seems to have fights both on the ground and in the air and supports up to 64 players at the same time. At this time the game has mostly positive reviews so if you are a FPS fan you should look into Angels Fall First.

Armikrog Image
© Pencil Test Studios

Armikrog

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Point and Click
  • Developer: Pencil Test Studios
  • Publisher: Versus Evil
  • Price: $24.99

From the creators of Earthworm Jim and Neverhood, Armikrog has a pretty strong pedigree as far as game developers are considered. Then you look at the really cool stop motion clay animation style and its hard not to be interested in this game. The early reviews are kind of mixed though with many mentioning game breaking bugs. I am guessing these bugs will be fixed over time. If you are a fan of Neverhood or really like point and click games you should look into Armikrog.

The Beginner's Guide
© Everything Unlimited Ltd.

The Beginner’s Guide

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Story Driven Walking Simulator
  • Developer: Everything Unlimited Ltd.
  • Publisher: Everything Unlimited Ltd.
  • Price: $9.99

While not the type of game that everyone would enjoy, The Stanley Parable was a great game that focused more on story than gameplay. The Beginner’s Guide is the latest game by Davey Wreden, creator of The Stanley Parable. The Beginner’s Guide apparently focuses on a developer’s journey creating different video games. Due to his success with The Stanley Parable I am interested in The Beginner’s Guide. The early reviews are also very positive so that is a good sign.

Disposable Heroes
© Ben Aprigliano

Disposable Heroes

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Early Access Hack ‘n Slash
  • Developer: Ben Aprigliano
  • Publisher: Evilized productions
  • Price: $9.99

The kingdom is in peril. The king has sent out all of his greatest heroes to defeat the evil that threatens the world but none have come back alive. Since there are no heroes left, the fate of the kingdom is up to you, a complete nobody. Disposable Heroes is foremost a co-op hack ‘n slash game. The graphics look kind of simplistic but they may work for the game. The game is currently in early access. If the developers can create a funny engaging story I think Disposable Heroes could be a good game.

Epistory
© Fishing Cactus

Epistory – Typing Chronicles

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Early Access Action Adventure
  • Developer: Fishing Cactus
  • Publisher: Fishing Cactus, Plug In Digital
  • Price: $9.99

It is kind of hard to make out exactly what the early access game Epistory is going to be like.  The game seems to be a combination of an action adventure game combined with those old style typing games. Without playing the game I can’t tell for sure how well the gameplay is going to work but the game already looks like it could have some well designed puzzles. One thing you can’t deny is the amazing origami folding art style.

Escapists Walking Dead
© Team17 Digital Ltd

The Escapists: The Walking Dead

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Action Strategy
  • Developer: Team17 Digital Ltd
  • Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
  • Price: $17.99

Do you like The Escapists and the Walking Dead? Well The Escapists: The Walking Dead combines both into a new game in the franchise. Having never played the Escapists I can’t really comment on how good the game is but I have heard really good things about the franchise.

Heroes of Normandie
© Cat Rabbit

Heroes of Normandie

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Strategy Board Game
  • Developer: Cat Rabbit
  • Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
  • Price: $29.99

This beloved board game is finally on Steam. While I have never played Heroes of Normandie, it is highly rated on BoardGameGeek. The gameplay looks strategic but still accessible. What I really like about the game is the artistic choice to actually keep the tiles in the game. Most developers would turn all of the components from the game into 3D models but Heroes of Normandie keeps them as tiles while adding some flourishes to the game that only a video game could add. If you like strategic board games I would look into Heroes of Normandie.

inSynch
© Them Games

inSync

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Music and Rhythm
  • Developer: Them Games
  • Publisher: Them Games
  • Price: $4.99

inSync is a music rhythm game where players need to press buttons in order to launch different shapes into the center ring of the game board. Supposedly your successes and failures impact the music that is played in the background. The thing about inSync that first attracted me to the game was the cool stop motion animation used in the game. We here at Geeky Hobbies have received a review copy of the game and we are excited to try the game. Unfortunately we are having some issues with getting the game to install properly so our review of the game will come whenever we can get the game running properly. I would like to point out that whatever error is effecting our copy of the game appears to be pretty rare since it doesn’t appear to be affecting any other people’s copies of the game.

Jerry McPartlin
© bluebox interactive

Jerry McPartlin – Rebel with a Cause

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Point and Click
  • Developer: bluebox interactive
  • Publisher: United Independent Entertainment GmbH
  • Price: $19.99

Jerry McPartlin – Rebel with a Cause stars Jerry McPartlin as he tries to pursue his life long dream of becoming a Rock ‘n’ Roll star. Things haven’t gone his way though as his parents disappeared years ago and his career has gone nowhere. Due of a string of mysterious murders, Jimmy must return home to his small town to figure out what is going on. The setting of 1950’s USA looks interesting but the success of the game will depend on the story and the puzzles.

Jotun
© Thunder Lotus Games

Jotun

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
  • Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games
  • Price: $14.99

After watching the trailer for Jotun all you can say is WOW. The visuals in the game look fantastic. In Jotun you play as Thora a Viking warrior who died and needs to fight for the ability to enter Valhalla. I love the game’s theme and I like that the game has a strong female character which is a nice change of pace. The early reviews for the game are very positive with the only real complaints being that the game is a little short and kind of hard. If you like action adventure games Jotun is definitely a game you should keep an eye on.

Keen Dreams
© id Software

Keen Dreams

  • Release Date: September 28th, 2015
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Developer: id Software , David Gow
  • Publisher: Hard Disk Publishing, Bethesda Softworks
  • Price: $4.99

Growing up I remember regularly playing the games from the Commander Keen series. Keen Dreams is the apparent “lost episode” of the series. For those of you not familiar with the game, Commander Keen is a traditional platformer from the DOS days of computer games. Fans of old platformers might get a kick out of reliving some of their memories from an age of computer games long forgotten.

Lost Horizon 2
© Animation Arts GmbH

Lost Horizon 2 

  • Release Date: October 1st, 2015
  • Genre: Point and Click
  • Developer: Animation Arts GmbH
  • Publisher: Deep Silver
  • Price: $39.99

Taking place during the Cold War, Fenton Paddock is trying to save his family who have been kidnapped. The graphical style in Lost Horizon 2 looks great and the setting is interesting. Being a point and click game this game is not going to be for everyone. Like a lot of point and click games the story is going to be the determining factor on whether Lost Horizon 2 is a good game.

Might and Magic Heroes 7
© Limbic Entertainment and Ubisoft

Might & Magic® Heroes® VII

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: RPG
  • Developer: Limbic Entertainment
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Price: $49.99

The next game in the long running RPG series Might & Magic Heroes. I have never played a Might & Magic Heroes game but I know that it is loved by a lot of people. You have to be loved to get seven different games after all. While the game only has mixed reviews at this time, if you a RPG fan you should take a look at Might & Magic Heroes VII.

NBA 2K16
© Visual Concepts and 2K

NBA 2K16

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: RPG
  • Developer: Visual Concepts
  • Publisher: 2K
  • Price: $59.99

The latest game in the long running basketball franchise. What else is there to say about the game. If you are a basketball fan you are probably excited for the game and if not you will no interest in it.

 

Never Ending Night
© Dot Dream

Never Ending Night

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Developer: Dot Dream
  • Publisher: Dot Dream
  • Price: $9.99

In Never Ending Night you play as a character who needs to try to survive in a world dominated by mechanical monstrosities. For the most part the game appears to be an adventure game where you can use the environment to help you dispatch with your enemies. While I can’t really tell how the game plays, the theme and art style really caught my eye. I think Never Ending Night could be one of those type of games that comes out of nowhere and surprises.

Nevermind
© Flying Mollusk

Nevermind

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: Horror Puzzle
  • Developer: Flying Mollusk
  • Publisher: Flying Mollusk
  • Price: $19.99

Being a coward that hates horror games, I have no interest in Nevermind. What really caught my attention though is that the game has the ability to use a biofeedback sensor which changes the game if you get nervous. Nevermind could be an interesting game that really pushes forward some new computer technology. At this time the reviews are really positive with the main complaints being about the short length of the game. You won’t catch me playing the game but if you like horror games, Nevermind might be a game you want to take a look at.

Rugby League Live 3
© Big Ant Studios

Rugby League Live 3

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: Sports
  • Developer: Big Ant Studios
  • Publisher: Big Ant Studios (Steam), Tru Blu Games
  • Price: $49.99

For all you rugby fans, Rugby League Live 3 is the latest rugby game to be released on Steam Despite most of the rugby games on Steam not being very good, Rugby League Live 3 actually has positive reviews at this time. If you are looking for a good rugby game on Steam, Rugby League Live 3 may be it.

Steamroll
© Anticto

Steamroll

  • Release Date: September 30th, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle Platformer
  • Developer: Anticto
  • Publisher: Anticto
  • Price: $12.99

Being an early access game it is kind of hard to know what Steamroll actually is. From what is shown in the trailer the game looks interesting. In the game you control a spherical vehicle that shoots out steamballs. It appears that you use these balls to help solve puzzles by bouncing them off walls and other objects. The game claims it took inspiration from Portal, Marble Madness and from classic mini golf games. If the game delivers on its’ premise I think Steamroll could be a surprisingly good game.

Toto Temple Deluxe
© Juicy Beast

Toto Temple Deluxe

  • Release Date: September 29th, 2015
  • Genre: Multiplayer
  • Developer: Juicy Beast
  • Publisher: Juicy Beast
  • Price: $9.99

In Toto Temple Deluxe, you and a bunch of your friends are competing to take control of an egg-laying goat. While the trailer doesn’t give a strong clue on what the gameplay will actually be like, I have to say that I found the trailer to be pretty funny. Hopefully the game does a good job maintaining that wackiness in the actual game. If you are looking for a wacky local multiplayer game you should look into Toto Temple Deluxe.

The Rest

7,62 Hard Life (Strategy Simulation)
Ace of Words (Casual)
The Adventures of Fatman (Point and Click)
A.I. Invasion (Top Down Shooter)
Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! (2D Fighter)
The Bizarre Creations of Keith the Magnificent (Adventure)
Black & White Bushido (Multiplayer Arena Fighter)
Bloo Kid 2 (Platformer)
Dead But Alive! Southern England (Zombie Simulation RPG)
Drone Zero Gravity (Adventure)
Eaten Alive (Zombie Survival)
Epsilon (Strategic FPS)
Fasaria World Online (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG)
Guardians of Victoria (Early Access Runner)
Hylics (RPG)
Hypership Out of Control (Shoot ’em Up)
Hyperspace Pinball (Pinball)
Inside Me (Shoot ’em Up)
Jim Power -The Lost Dimension (Action Adventure)Korwin The Game (Platformer)
Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons (Casual)
Lift It (Sports)
Lost Moon (Early Access Metroidvania)
Lumber Island – That Special Place (Horror)
Luna Sky (Platformer)
Mighty Gunvolt (Platformer)
Moonstrider (Action Adventure)
Neoncube (Platformer)
No Time To Live (Casual Simulation)
OASE – Other Age Second Encounter (Visual Novel)
Omnipresent (Strategy)
Operation Z (Early Access Open World FPS)
Orbit (Action Multiplayer)
Orion: A Sci-Fi Visual Novel (Visual Novel)
Pixel Galaxy (Shoot ’em Up)
Planetary Prospectors: A.R.M. (Asteroid Resource Mining) (Action Simulation)
Porradaria Upgrade (Action)
Psycho Starship Rampage (Shoot ’em Up)
Puzzle Ball (Casual Puzzle)
Queen Under The Mountain (Simulation)
Ratings War (Interactive Novel)
SAMURAI WARRIORS 4-II (Hack ‘n Slash)
Silver Creek Falls: Chapter 2 (Story Driven Adventure)
Sketch Tales (Early Access Action RPG)
Stairs (Horror)
StarForce: 2193 (Strategy)
Steredenn (Shoot ’em Up)
Stigmat (Hard Platformer)
Survivor: The Living Dead (Early Access Action)

Thea: The Awakening (Early Access Turn Based RPG)

Tic-Toc-Tower (Puzzle Platformer)
VERGE:Lost chapter (Horror)
Vicky Saves the Big Dumb World (Action Platformer)
Who is Mike – A Visual Novel (Free to Play Visual Novel)
The Worm (Casual Puzzle)

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