James Huynh is a college student pursuing a degree, and is also an avid gamer. He enjoys all types of games, but he is particularly interested in the indie genre. James has a profound appreciation for geek culture and loves to waste time playing League of Legends and Overwatch with his friends.
With an intricately crafted world, innovative and engaging battle system, and delightful array of scenery and music, this game is a splendid and true tribute to the SNES JRPG. The bugs one might encounter in beta versions are overshadowed by pure awe and captivation—a relentless desire to play more and more.
Warlock's Tower is overall well developed, and it definitely shows; the gameplay is smooth, and the puzzles are carefully crafted. What you get is a challenging but fair experience layered under a bundle of silly and retro enjoyment. Retro is a common and almost diluted theme in many indie titles nowadays, but in this case, it's pulled off extremely well and looks beautifully authentic. While the price point is a little steep for what seems like a simple old-school puzzler, there is a lot of depth and mechanics to make it worth it for those who can appreciate good design.
XenonValkyrie is a project that held many promising ideals. It sought to be the synchronized combination of a platforming shooter, rogue-like, and Metroidvania game, but couldn't quite live up to its potential. It had too much on its plate, and the result was a disjointed and buggy mash of disconnected aspects of many genres. Pile that on top of balance, design, and control issues and you get a game that is unfairly difficult and lacks truly elaborate content. Nevertheless, the game is still somewhat enjoyable, if you have a knack for the brutally challenging and are willing to invest a lot of time and tolerance to unravel what it does have to offer.
Milkmaid of the Milky Way makes its impression as a passion project that had solid foundations but leaves a little more to desire. It hits all the right notes in every way, but leaves room for expansion. Much has untapped potential that, I suspect, isn't matched with the developer’s funds and assets. Even though the game is short, you feel engaged and immersed the entire way. It’s also a title that could appeal to anyone, even gamers who aren't accustomed to classic point-and-click games. Overall, the inexpensive Milkmaid of the Milky Way is worth checking out. Appreciate the heart and personalization that went into making it so concisely wonderful.
Creepy Castle feels like it’s complete and was handled with love. It hit all the right notes with me: quirky but meaningful plot and characters, elegant retro art and sound, and simple but engaging exploration and combat.
King Machine had a new and interesting idea, but it failed to execute it properly. FastRam Design attempted to create a title that would innovate upon multiple styles of games, but did not make it intuitive to its users. I still give King Machine kudos for attempting to be something different; the industry progresses when people are creating rather than copying.
Overwatch was by far one of the most significant releases for the year 2016. Like many Blizzard releases, it made waves within the gaming community. But, the formula that can be attributed to Overwatch’s success is by no means original. They simply built upon and created their own spin a genre that has been tried and true. Though, what many are speculating is if this will pull the trigger on the influx of “clones” as companies attempt to throw their hats in the ring, attempting to profit from the trend.