Video Games » This Week On Steam » This Week’s Steam Releases and Reviews-September 25th, 2015

This Week’s Steam Releases and Reviews-September 25th, 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 19-25, 2015 and picked out (and in some cases reviewed) the best games this week had to offer. This week’s best releases include Concrete Jungle (our game of the week), Blood Bowl 2, Penarium, The Flame in the Flood, and SOMA.

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 at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Witch Beam, ColePowered Games, Erik Svedäng AB, Golden Ruby Games, Lantana Games, Self Made Miracle, and HYPYRYL for the review copies used for these reviews.

Assault Android Cactuts Logo
© Witch Beam

Assault Android Cactus

  • Release Date: September 23rd, 2015
  • Genre: Twin Stick Shooter
  • Developer: Witch Beam
  • Publisher: Witch Beam
  • Retail Price: $14.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 4 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Assault Android Cactus

Concept

In Assault Android Cactus you play as one of eight different androids. The cargo ship that you are stuck on has been taken over by the robot workers that have for some reason decided to revolt against the human passengers. You must fight through the ship in order to regain control over the computer system and retake control of the ship.

Mini Review

Assault Android Cactus is your typical twin stick shooter. One analog stick controls movement while the other controls the aim of your weapon. The game includes eight different characters that each have unique primary and secondary weapons making each one play differently.

Typically I wouldn’t consider myself to be a big fan of the twin stick shooter genre but I was pleasantly surprised by Assault Android Cactus. I actually had quite a bit of fun with the game. I liked the variety in the different characters and I liked the unique “battery system”. Unlike a lot of shoot ’em ups/twin stick shooters you don’t really have health in the game. When you lose all of your health you are just stunned for a short amount of time. Instead you need to make sure that your battery level isn’t depleted. In order to charge your batteries you need to kill enemies which drop batteries that recharge your meter. This mechanic allows you to focus more on killing enemies rather than trying to avoid hundreds of enemy projectiles.

The two main issues I had with the game was the length and the difficulty. For the most part the game is pretty easy. Other than the bosses (the last boss in particular) the levels aren’t that challenging. The main storyline is pretty short at only four to five hours long.

Full Review

Should You Purchase Assault Android Cactus?

If you really like twin stick shooters I think you will really enjoy the game and it should be worth purchasing. If you only have a passing interest in the genre I would maybe wait for a sale but I would look into the game at some point since it was surprisingly good. If you hate twin stick shooters you probably won’t like the game.

Logo for Concrete Jungle
© ColePowered Games

Concrete Jungle

  • Release Date: September 23rd, 2015
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Developer: ColePowered Games
  • Publisher: ColePowered Games
  • Retail Price: $15.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 7 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Concrete Jungle

Concept

Concrete Jungle combines a city builder like Sim City with a deck building card game like Dominion. You play as a city planner. You are given a deck of cards that you use to build up your city. You place point collecting buildings and use the special abilities of other buildings to build up points which are used to clear rows. Concrete Jungle rewards planning and stacking bonuses in order to maximize your score.

Mini Review

Concrete Jungle is one of those type of games that come out of nowhere and really surprise you. Concrete Jungle is a great game that is easy to play but also has a lot of strategy. While the game will not be for everyone, I had a lot of fun with the game. The game takes a while to adjust to but once you fully understand the game it is hard to put down. The game does such a great job blending all of the different mechanics into a cohesive game that is just so fun to play. I won’t elaborate more (check out my full review for more information) but Concrete Jungle is my Steam game of the week.

Full Review

Should You Purchase Concrete Jungle?

If you like the game’s concept I would highly recommend Concrete Jungle.

 

Else Heart.Break()
© Erik Svedäng AB

Else Heart.Break()

  • Release Date: September 24th, 2015
  • Genre: Point and Click Adventure Game
  • Developer: Erik Svedäng , El Huervo / Niklas Åkerblad , Tobias Sjögren , Oscar “Ratvader” Rydelius , Johannes Gotlén
  • Publisher: Erik Svedäng AB
  • Retail Price: $24.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 2 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Else Heart.Break()

Concept

You play as Sebastian who has just arrived in Dorisburg to start his new job as a soda salesman. He quickly tires of that job and when he runs into some hackers he decides that hacking is his true calling. Things in Dorisburg are not as they seem though as Sebastian and his friends need to try and stop the people who rule over the city.

Gameplay in Else Heart.Break() mostly follows the basics of a typical point and click game. You click on various people and objects in order to interact with them. The one unique mechanic in the game is that you eventually learn how to hack into computers which allows you to change things about the world by writing your own code.

Review

When I first saw the Steam page for Else Heart.Break() I was intrigued by the game. The idea of a video game where you could actually hack the game’s code has intrigued me for quite some time. I was really excited to try Hack ‘n’ Slash but was kind of disappointed since it could have done so much more with the concept. So I was excited to see what Else Heart.Break() would do with the concept. Unfortunately I didn’t really like the game but read on since I think some people may enjoy it a lot more than I did.

The biggest issue I had with the game is that there is a lack of direction. While a lot of games will kind of hold your hand or at least nudge you in the right direction, Else Heart.Break() does no such thing. It will give you some vague clues on what you are supposed to do next but it is then up to you to figure out what to do. For example the game might say that you need to meet someone at the cafe but it doesn’t do a very good job telling you where the cafe is. So I try to find the cafe. The in game map is of little help though so I ended up running all over town and by the time I found the cafe the person had already left.

The lack of direction forces you to just walk around the town aimlessly. I thought this was kind of boring but other people may enjoy the freedom a lot more than I did. In the first two hours the characters and story didn’t really grab me either. There is nothing particularly wrong with the story but I just didn’t find it to be that interesting.

The programming mechanics are what initially drew me into the game. Unfortunately after two hours I didn’t really get to experience a lot of it since I wasted so much time trying to find buildings in the city. From the little programming I did get to do it looked like it might have potential. The programming actually seemed a lot more realistic than the “programming” in Hack ‘n’ Slash. The developers do claim that you can change the entire world through programming so that could make for an interesting game. Unfortunately the game didn’t hold my interest long enough to get to that point.

Should You Purchase Else Heart.Break()?

If you don’t like point and click games and/or games that don’t really give you a definite direction on what you are supposed to be doing next, you probably won’t like Else Heart.Break(). I can see some people really liking the game though. If the concept sounds really interesting to you and you really like point and click games I think you can have fun with the game.

Extreme Exorcism Logo
© Golden Ruby Games

Extreme Exorcism

  • Release Date: September 23, 2015
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Developer: Golden Ruby Games
  • Publisher: Ripstone
  • Retail Price: $12.99
  • Review: Adam Mortensen
  • Time Played: 2 hours (it will take at least 6-10 hours to complete the game)
  • Purchase on Steam: Extreme Exorcism

Concept

Extreme Exorcism is a paranormal platformer game where every action you take could come back to haunt you. The game offers arcade (which can be played either single player or co-op), challenges, and deathmatch (competitive multiplayer) modes. In the arcade and challenge modes, you are attempting to rid your haunted house of ghosts and must survive several waves of them. However, these ghosts are smart and one of them will mimic your moves from the previous wave. For example, if you grabbed a rocket launcher right away and went Rambo with it, one of the ghosts in the next round will continuously shoot a rocket launcher as well. In arcade mode, you are just trying to take down the crown ghost and survive as long as you can (and rack up as many points as possible). However, in the challenge mode you are challenged to get rid of the ghost(s) in a certain way (with single-use only weapons, only using the power of kung-fu while all the ghosts have grenade launchers, etc.). Deathmatch mode pits you against your friend(s).

Mini Review

I was mainly interested in Extreme Exorcism because of its unique mimicking mechanic, which I thought was a great idea. I thought there was a chance it wouldn’t work very well or it wouldn’t force you to change your strategy that much, but it actually does work pretty well and you do have to try to vary your play style in each wave. However, it usually isn’t too difficult to avoid the ghosts including the one that is mimicking you. I consider myself to be a pretty average gamer (in terms of skill) but I rarely lost a level or challenge. I tried out both the arcade and challenge modes and both are quite a bit of fun to play. The pixel art is nice and there is a lot to do in the game.

Should You Purchase Extreme Exorcism?

While $12.99 is a little bit on the pricey side for an indie game, I actually think Extreme Exorcism is worth it. While I have only played the game for two hours so far, I only managed to beat about half of the challenges and just a couple of the arcade levels. If I had to guess, I would say Extreme Exorcism should take you 6-10 hours to complete. That isn’t too bad of a price per hour played ratio and the game is a lot of fun to play. If the game’s concept sounds fun to you, I would definitely give it a try.

Mondrian Logo
© Lantana Games

Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty

  • Release Date: September 21, 2015
  • Genre: Block-Breaker/Casual
  • Developer: Lantana Games
  • Publisher: Lantana Games
  • Retail Price: $6.99
  • Review: Adam Mortensen
  • Time Played: 3.5 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Mondrian: Abstraction in Beauty

Concept

Mondrian is a block-breaker game (like Breakout) that takes place around a full circle instead of just having your paddle at the bottom of the screen and hitting the ball just vertically. You will have to move your paddle across the screen (in a complete 360) in order to keep the ball in play and try to break all of the blocks in the level before you lose your ball. Oddly, the game isn’t really level based at all. Instead, you complete randomized stages to get new level features (like new paddles, balls, shapes, and powerups) and are given a randomly generated level every time you play.

Mini Review

Mondrian is pretty much the definition of average. The game is fun to play but I did have a few issues. First of all, my controller had some stickiness issues (not sure if it’s just my model of Xbox controller or if all controllers have the same problem), which pretty much forced me to play with a keyboard (which isn’t that big of a deal since you can easily play a block-breaker with a keyboard anyway). Also, I thought the physics were a little wonky at times (it seems like the ball bounces off blocks differently than you would think quite often, which can sometimes make it hard to keep it in play). The art and music are both very basic, which isn’t too surprising for a basic block-breaker game.

However, even though Mondrian has some issues (which will hopefully be fixed), it is still pretty fun to play and even a little addicting. It isn’t one of those games you are going to play for a long time at first but it’s the type you will go back and play for an hour or two every so often. Mondrian also offers some interesting mechanics because the paddles, balls, and pretty much everything else in the game can change. For example, there is a ball that instead of bouncing back will break through all blocks it hits (but you need to recharge it by hitting with your paddle or it might completely deflate and you will lose the level). Some of these are interesting new mechanics that add something new to the genre.

Should You Purchase Mondrian?

I think it depends on how much you love casual games and especially block-breakers. While I’m sure there are other block-breakers that take place on a circular board, the game does offer some new mechanics. It’s fun to play but I really wish there was a bit more polish. I would maybe wait for a sale but casual gamers and block-breaker fans should enjoy Mondrian.

Penarium Logo
© Self Made Miracle

Penarium

  • Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Developer: Self Made Miracle
  • Publisher: Team17 Digital Ltd
  • Retail Price: $9.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 2-3 hours
  • Purchase on Steam: Penarium

Concept

In Penarium you play as Willy. Willy is sick of working on his father’s farm so he decides to run away and join the circus. This is no normal circus though since it is run by a psychotic ring leader that kidnaps people and forces them to compete in his twisted gladiatorial arena. Willy needs to try and survive various challenges as he tries to avoid dangerous gadgets that are set to try to kill him.

Mini Review

Penarium is your typical “hard platformer”. The game is challenging and you will die a lot. Essentially the game plays as a contest for survival as you try to keep Willy alive for as long as possible. While avoiding obstacles you need to collect various objects or even play a game of twisted Simon. The game controls well and is pretty fun.Other than the concept though the game is not highly original. The game doesn’t really have any new mechanics but does a good job with the mechanics that it does have.

The campaign is kind of short since it is probably only around 3-4 hours long. Most of your time will come from the arcade which is essentially a competition to see how long you can survive and how many barrels you can collect. The money you earn in the arcade can be used to purchase cards that give you special abilities which will help you survive longer in future attempts.

Full Review

Should You Purchase Penarium?

If you like hard platformers and the crazy circus arena concept, you should like Penarium. If the concept doesn’t really appeal to you but you like hard platformers I would maybe wait for a sale.

 

Redshift Blueshift
© HYPYRYL

Redshift Blueshift (AKA One Ship Two Ship Redshift Blueshift)

  • Release Date: September 24th, 2015
  • Genre: Action Arcade
  • Developer: HYPYRYL
  • Publisher: HYPYRYL
  • Retail Price: $8.99
  • Review: Eric Mortensen
  • Time Played: 30 minutes
  • Purchase on Steam: Redshift Blueshift

Concept

Do you like Pong but wish there was some way you could mess with your opponent? Redshift Blueshift may be the game for you. The game takes Pong and combines it with a shoot ’em up game. You control a ship that also works as a paddle. Like in Pong you need to deflect the ball when it is your turn. Whichever player fails to return the ball loses the round and the other player scores a point.

The unique mechanic that Redshift Blueshift adds is that when it is not your turn you can fire your guns at various “powerups” on the screen that match your color. If you hit these powerups you can either generate a shield for yourself or unleash projectiles that can hit your opponent stunning them.

Mini Review

I would classify myself as somewhat of a Pong fan. I don’t mind occasionally playing the game but it is not something that I would play for long periods of time. That said I had some fun with Redshift Blueshift but like Pong it is not the type of game that I would probably play for long stretches of time.

For the most part the game plays a lot like Pong. The main mechanic in the game is exactly the same. The ability to get powerups that either help you or hurt your opponent is an interesting addition to the game. It adds something to the game but do to the lack of variety in the powerups the game doesn’t feel drastically different than Pong. The powerups will occassionally mess with a player enough that they miss the ball but it didn’t happen as often as I would have liked. Players can usually either avoid the hazards or they hit them while it is your turn to return the ball so getting stunned doesn’t hurt them that much.

While the game does have a single player mode, I would recommend playing the game with another player. While the computer has four difficulty levels they pretty much boil down to two. Easy doesn’t provide much of a challenge and all of the other difficulties are really tough. The local co-op is considerably more fun since it is much more fun to compete against another person and it is more interesting since a human player is going to be more creative and attack you in different ways. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have online multiplayer so you are going to have to invite a friend over.

Unfortunately after about half an hour I was kind of sick of the game. It is the type of game that I would probably come back to at another time but I don’t see it as the type of game that you could play for hours at a time. The game doesn’t have a lot of variety so you are pretty much just doing the same things over and over again which can get a little tedious after a while.

Should You Purchase Redshift Blueshift?

Do you really like Pong? If you answered no, Redshift Blueshift is probably not for you since the new additions don’t make that drastic of changes to the typical Pong formula. If you like Pong though and have some friends that you can play the local co-op with, I think you could have some fun with Redshift Blueshift.

 

Other Notable Games

 

Blood Bowl 2
© Cyanide Studios

Blood Bowl 2 (Strategy)

  • Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • Developer: Cyanide Studios
  • Price: $44.99

Being a huge fan of football I have been interested in the Blood Bowl franchise for quite some time. I have never played the game before (I have played Battleball though) but I know it is highly regarded by some people. Blood Bowl originally started as a board game where you would control different characters in an alternate reality version of football. You use these characters to either fight your opponent’s players or to move the ball into the endzone. I was surprised that the game only has mixed reviews on Steam right now.

Bloodlust Shadowhunter
© WRF Studios

BloodLust Shadowhunter (Action RPG)

  • Release Date: September 21st, 2015
  • Developer: WRF Studios
  • Price $12.99

While I never heard of the game before I found the page on Steam, Bloodlust Shadowhunter looks like an interesting game. It looks a lot like other dungeon crawlers like Diablo but you can play as a vampire and sire your own group of vampires to assist you. The game reminds me a lot of Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. At this stage the game has really positive reviews as well.

Flame in the Flood
The Flame in the Flood (Rogue-lite Adventure Game)

  • Release Date: September 24th, 2015
  • Developer: The Molasses Flood
  • Price: $19.99

Despite being an early access game, after watching the trailer you have to be impressed with the visual style of the game. In The Flame in the Flood you play as a character that needs to survive in a post-societal America. While the trailer doesn’t show a whole lot of what you will end up doing in the game, you will supposedly be fighting for your survival while you forage and craft items that you need for your survival. This is a game I will keep an eye on to see if it develops into a game fitting of its’ fantastic visuals.

Laserlife
© Choice Provisions

Laserlife (Rhythm)

  • Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • Developer: Choice Provisions
  • Price: $14.99

Created by the creators of the Bit.Trip series, this rhythm game looks interesting. Watching the trailer it is hard to tell exactly what you do in the game but based on the history of the creators and the visual style of the game I think this could be a very interesting rhythm game.

Reverse Crawl
© Nerdook Productions

Reverse Crawl (Turn Based RPG)

  • Release Date: September 24th, 2015
  • Developer: Nerdook Productions
  • Price: $5.99

In Reverse Crawl you play as the dungeon instead of the heroes. Your goal in the game is to try and stop those heroes that keep barging in unannounced. While the combat doesn’t look highly original, I am interested in seeing how a game where you play as the villain trying to stop the heroes turns out. The game is made by the creators of Vertical Drop Heroes HD so the developers have a reputation for making good games.

Rivals of Aether
© Dan Fornace

Rivals of Aether (Fighter)

  • Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • Developer: Dan Fornace
  • Price: $14.99

Rivals of Aether is an early access 2d multiplayer fighting game. Warring civilizations have summoned forces of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth to fight one another for superiority. Being a fan of arena fighting games like Super Smash Bros, Rivals of Aether looks like it could be a really good game. The game actually reminds me quite a bit of Smash Bros as a matter of fact. Despite being in early access the game already looks like it is pretty polished.

SOMA
© Frictional Games

SOMA (Horror):

  • Release Date: September 21st, 2015
  • Developer: Frictional Games
  • Price: $29.99

While you won’t catch me playing the game since I hate horror games, SOMA is the next game from the developers who made Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The game already has very positive reviews so I guessing this will be great for fans of horror games.

Subaeria
© Studios Illogika

Subaeria (Action Puzzle)

  • Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
  • Developer: Studios Illogika
  • Price: $12.99

In Subaeria you play as an outcast trying to escape a world run by technology. You and your drone must use the environment and even the enemies themselves to clear a path through the city. What interests me about Subaeria is that the game has an interesting premise combining action, puzzle, and rouguelike games. We at Geeky Hobbies have actually received a review copy of the game and I am excited to try out the game. Unfortunately at this time I have been unable to get the game to play properly since the game has a grey haze that covers the whole screen which makes it impossible to see my character. My computer is only around the required specs though so that could be causing some of the problems. When I can get the game working properly we will be putting up a preview of the game on Geeky Hobbies.

The Rest

A Fistful of Gun (Topdown Shooter)
A Kiss for the Petals – Remembering How We Met (Visual Novel)
Abandoned: Chestnut Lodge Asylum (Hidden Object)
Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One (Hack ‘n’ Slash)
Arson and Plunder Unleashed (Beat ’em Up)
Blowy Fish (Casual)
Burstfire (First Person Shooter)
Car Mechanic Manager (Casual)
Cataegis : The White Wind (Action)
Champions Of Chaos 2 (Turn Based RPG)
CortexGear:AngryDroids (3d Sci-Fi Shooter)
Dale Hardshovel HD (Puzzle)
Dark Heritage: Guardians of Hope (Hidden Object)
Doodle God (Casual Puzzle Game)
Epic Quest of the 4 Crystals (Turn Based RPG)
Erwin’s Timewarp (Adventure)
Euclidean (Horror)
Explosionade (Platformer Shooter)
Final Fantasy V (Turn Based RPG)
GabeN: The Final Decision (Turn Based RPG)
Game Type (Shoot ‘Em Up)
Gamer Simulation (Simulation)
Golden Rush (MOBA)
Grand Ages: Medieval (Simulation Strategy)
Hacker’s Beat (Rhythm)
Haywire on Fuel Station Zeta (Puzzle)
Invisible Apartment II (Visual Novel)
Jagged Alliance Online: Reloaded (Turned Based Strategy Game)
Kanji Training Game (Casual)
Labyrinth Simulator (Simulator)
League of Mermaids (Puzzle)
Legends of Solitaire: Curse of the Dragons (Casual)
Lost Lands: A Hidden Object Adventure (Free to Play Hidden Object)
Mars Colony: Frontier (Simulation)
Melter Man (Action Adventure)
Miner Mayhem (Casual)
Missing Translation (Free Adventure Puzzle)
Mold on Pizza Deluxe (Casual)
My Paper Boat (Racing)
Navpoint (Casual Strategy)
Nyctophilia (Free Adventure Horror)
One Ship Two Ship Redshift Blueshift (Arcade 2d Shooter)
Piloteer (Casual Simulation)
Planetship (Action Adventure)
Project Tarvotan (Simulation)
Quick Slick Deadly (Action)
Reiner Knizia’s The Confrontation (Turn Based Strategy)
Rescue Team 2 (Time Management)
Rescue Team 3 (Time Management)
Romero’s Aftermath (Free to Play MMO)
SC2VN – The eSports Visual Novel (Visual Novel)
Shadow Ninja: Apocalypse (Action Platformer)
Shapes of Gray (Action Arcade)
Shoot 1UP (Shoot ‘Em Up)
Shoppy Mart: Steam Edition (Casual)
Snail Bob 2 (Kid’s Puzzle Game)
Space Thinger (Action)
Straima (Multiplayer Platformer)
Tango Fiesta (Top Down Shooter)
TankZone Battle (Action)
Templar Battleforce (Turn Based RPG)
TowerClimb (Rougue-like Platformer)
Uncraft World (Action Platformer)
Undeadz! (Action Survival)
VERLIES II (RPG)
Weapon of Choice (Platformer Shooter)
Woof Blaster (Shoot ’em Up)
XenoBloom (Simulation)

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