ESPORTS4INDIE

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Heather has been playing video games ever since she can remember. Starting off as a PC gamer at age 2 with edutainment games and progressing to the NES and beyond, she has always had a love for everything gaming, PC and console. She’s carried a hand-held console in her back pocket (now purse) since the 3rd grade and is probably the only person in her mid-twenties that still enjoys street-passing. She lives in Los Angeles and currently works for Bandai in the marketing department – she doesn’t make toys, she just makes toys look good. Right now she is actively avoiding planning her upcoming wedding by playing Skyrim. Other hobbies include trying to go to the gym, watching documentaries, sleeping, and tormenting (see: showering with affection) her beloved Maine Coon, King Henry VIII. Favorite games include FFX, Katamari Damacy, Saints Row IV, Skyrim, Catherine, and Phoenix Wright. She has her phone surgically attached to her hand and is happy to help whenever possible.

I had been putting off playing Cursed for the sheer fact that it seemed like it would be a lot of work to play. I didn’t want to “work” - I just wanted to have fun. I ended up having so much fun playing this game that I kind of wish there was a prequel to it, or that it had been longer. It was a really interesting title and one that I would definitely recommend to not only fans of the point and click genre but anyone that has an hour to kill and wants a spooky story to experience.

Funklift is small. It’s simple. It’s funky. It’s clean. It’s easy. It’s engaging. Most importantly - it’s fun.I was really surprised by the simplicity of this title because I just did not think the value was there originally. But it is - in spades. I am sure this game will be more fun in multiplayer mode, but anything that lowers my heart rate and blood pressure for an afternoon is an awesome game in my book.

There’s a reason why Senran Kagura has made it to number three in the series. The price is a bit steep, but this includes a huge game with a lot of bonus features, including all the DLC, so it’s sure to please. A decent port and well worth the pleasure. I mean purchase.

Sol Trader really is something else. It’s new and innovative, so it’s sure to have its hiccups. I still think it’s worth the purchase because my frustrations may admittedly be chalked up to individual differences. It may be that you’ll succeed where I failed and find the joy in this game. But by Grapthar’s hammer, I wanted that borrowed ship!

Trump has taken root within our psyche, and we just can’t seem to get enough of him. So let’s put on our red hats and rubber gloves and get down to business - Drump needs a heart, and we have to figure out basic body movements with outrageous equipment to get it in there. For America.

Arif Pribadi (Lead/Technical Director) and Audrey Wong (Lead Modeler) have created something so visually appealing that I’m certain finding a job after college will be a walk in the park for them. When I stumbled upon the beauty that is Warrior’s Pilgrimage on Twitter, I knew I had to play it for myself. I asked to review their game and found it a little humorous that Arif insisted that it wasn’t a game and instead humbly referred to it as an art project.

Demetrios surprised me. I felt knocked off my horse a little bit. Sure, it didn’t add anything new mechanics-wise and it certainly is a bit basic (and there’s just so much vomit in this game, guys. Like, a lot), but it has this really strange charm to it. Surreal, bizarre, humorous, and entertaining - that’s Demetrios: The BIG Cynical Adventure.

If you enjoy board games and/or have an iPhone, chances are you’ve played this game before. Considered the “opposite of Pandemic”, Infection takes the “fun” out of “obliterate humanity” and readily inserts it into “save all mankind”. Yeah, we reached. So sue us.

AstroKill reminds us that the universe is a pretty big place, and it still has room for a few good space games. AstroKill snagged a prime spot of real estate - not only in a far off corner of the galaxy, but in our hearts - because MAN, those explosions really do get the adrenaline going.

A Point-and-Click Renaissance Masterpiece

As a passive, lifelong gamer, I'd never really asked myself that question. I played for enjoyment. I played for relaxation. I played for no real reason other than to finish to completion. The minute it stopped being fun, I'd put my controller down and walk away, only to be drawn back to it moments later, my hands itching to feel the smooth buttons and ergonomic handles at my fingertips.

Fear is a funny thing. Ideally meant to keep us safe from harm, if left unchecked it can become a barrier that prevents us from doing things that we may otherwise find enjoyable. It’s great in situations that require us to stop and think about possible hazards, such as walking near a dangerous cliff or travelling through a sketchy neighborhood.

From Windlimit studios comes a beautifully designed 2D platformer that is tremendously pleasing to the senses. Greenlit by Steam, this title will be making its way to the PC community eventually, but for now it’s a treat for my eyes only, and they are most definitely feasting.

StarBreak is a pretty decent game - one I can see a lot of people enjoying for hours on end. The pick-up-and-play pack-like elements are pretty unique - something Jinx, Damacles, and LordTorstein pointed out - and provide a lot of amusement for literally no cost. If you have a few hours to kill, I recommend trying StarBreak out - what do you have to lose?

Overall, Castle Heist: Chapter One is a nice tribute to retro games like Thief: Deadly Shadows that comes ever so close to feeling like a polished product. It’s that “special snowflake” idea that makes me appreciate the title more than I probably would have otherwise – the notion that a simple mechanic could create an entire storyline, to me, is video game art. It’s taking something that most RPGs just incorporate into their titles without thinking much about it. The fact that stealth can have an entire story extruded from it was certainly interesting, and not something I’ve come across before. With perhaps a bit more polish and a few more updates (voice acting?), I can see this easily finding its way into the Steam library of RPG fans everywhere.

Perhaps it’s not the game it could be at this point in time, but I have a lot of hope for it – it’ll get there. I look forward to what Parkitect has to offer in the future and eagerly await the much-needed adjustments to tweak it into perfection.

It wasn’t quite the tear-jerker I thought it would be, but it was a deep and compelling look at love, life, loss, and mourning. I can say with absolute confidence that Fragments of Him is one of the most original titles to be developed this year and is truly a worthwhile addition to any Steam library.

It's video games like NERO that prove this medium is evolving into something far more compelling than the Atari or NES generations could have ever imagined. Who knew that a game could teach players about love and loss, of sorrow and grief, of the slow, painful process of watching a beloved child die before your eyes?

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth is a chill, stargazing experience that's handcrafted for people who enjoy story-driven games and arguing about Pluto.

Playing POLLEN took me back to my childhood days of attempting Myst and its seemingly unsolvable puzzles. This is a flawless masterpiece that is a warmly welcomed addition to the mystery genre that will be sure to easily capture your interest as it did mine.

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