extraneum-is-a-bit-doom,-a-tiny-bit-system-shock,-and-a-huge-bit-fun Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Extraneum is a bit Doom, a tiny bit System Shock, and a huge bit fun

The old school FPS revival has largely left me cold, if I’m honest. Even the ones I’ve enjoyed tend to get old within an hour. Most of the things that get recreated aren’t the things I miss about 90s games, and if they were… Doom still exists, you know? So does Blood, and Strife, and Quake was never that good anyway. Extraneum is good, though. I think it’s precisely because it’s not doing a big song and dance about its influences, although those are very clear. It’s not big or brash, nor overly stripped down or obnoxious about difficulty. Clean…

buy-2357-bees-for-3-then-find-them-in-these-new-hidden-object-games Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Buy 2357 bees for £3 then find them in these new hidden object games

A pair of new hidden object games have a pleasingly straightforward name to describe their inception: I Commissioned Some Bees. The developer paid illustrators to draw pictures with bees, and you can find the bees. It’s quite fun to find the bees. I got into hidden object games a few years back the 100 Hidden X series, and today have enjoyed poring over colourful and often surreal landscapes to find our striped friends. Read more

dome-keeper-is-a-superbly-satisfying-wave-defence-game-about-fending-off-aliens-with-a-giant-laser Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Dome Keeper is a superbly satisfying wave defence game about fending off aliens with a giant laser

I realised earlier that today was the last day of Steam Next Fest, and I panicked. I remembered seeing one particular demo on Steam which made my ears prick up and my eyes expand to thrice their usual size, and until now I hadn’t the time to try it out. So today I carved out a small portion of the day to download and play the demo for Dome Keeper, a wave-based survival game about protecting your glass dome home from alien invaders using a gigantic laser. Unfortunately, I ended up playing it a little too long, and now I’ve…

the-best-in-new-worlds,-shooting-and-jank-from-survival-games-at-the-steam-next-fest Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The best in new worlds, shooting and jank from survival games at the Steam Next Fest

There’s something so intriguing about a new survival game. You just never know what you might find, with some becoming the best thing since cubed diamonds and others getting left in a state of endless early-access jank. Partly to help you all avoid the duds and partly to satisfy my own morbid curiosity, I trawled through this Summer’s Steam Next Fest demo list to test out a bunch. As you might expect, I got subjected to some chugging framerates and a bit of body horror, but also found some great multiplayer shooting in Dysterra and terrific tile-placement in Above Snakes,…

vampire-survivors-meets-newgrounds-in-this-steam-next-fest-demo Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Vampire Survivors meets Newgrounds in this Steam Next Fest demo

The auto-attacking action of Vampire Survivors and rude ‘tude of Flash games combines in Brotato, an upcoming indie game with a free demo available in the Steam Next Fest right now. We play as a potato dodging around waves of aliens while blasting them with sticks, stones, guns, knives, rocket launchers, and weird mutations. I mean it as a great compliment when I say the roguelikelike arena survive ’em up feels like a Newgrounds game. Read more

this-kafkaesque-steam-next-fest-demo-visits-a-towering-walled-city Rock,Paper,Shotgun

This Kafkaesque Steam Next Fest demo visits a towering walled city

Dear Esther meets Amnesia in The Silent Swan, an open-world walk-o-story set inside a mysterious walled land with two towering empty cities. It has a demo in the Steam Next Fest and I think I want more? I was drawn in by screenshots of vast Gothic architecture, put off by frustrating slowness, then kept interested by the mysteries of our fella adrift in his former home. It does, at the very least, have pleasingly giant buildings rising from fog. Read more

hypnospace-spin-off-slayers-x:-terminal-aftermath:-vengance-is-my-kind-of-retro-throwback Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Hypnospace spin-off Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath: Vengance is my kind of retro throwback

If you played Hypnospace Outlaw, there’s a high chance you’ll remember Zane “Zane_Rocks_14” Lofton. He’s one of the more memorable characters you meet in Tendershoot’s alternate reality web simulator, an angsty teenage boy whose home page is slathered in camouflage textures and GIFS of exploding handguns. Since release, Zane has become one of Hypnospace’s de facto mascots, a beloved dweeb that is abrasive but also kind of painfully relatable? It’s hard to laugh at Zane’s baggy trousers and love for Linkin Park-esque rap-metal when you grew up in the mid-2000’s. I mean, we all bought a dog lead from Wilkinson’s…

killing-the-framerate-is-20-minutes-till-dawn’s-secret-real-win-condition Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Killing the framerate is 20 Minutes Till Dawn’s secret real win condition

While the official way to win 20 Minutes Till Dawn is to survive 20 minutes of monster attacks, I disagree. Like in Vampire Survivors, I think the roguelikelike arcade shooter’s real victory condition is spewing so many bullets and explosions and fireballs and lightning strikes and ice shards that the framerate starts chugging. As far as I’m concerned, when the game can no longer process just how ridiculous my run is, I’ve beaten it and I win. Reader dear, I’m delighted to say I finally managed that in 20 Minutes Till Dawn. I finally won. Read more

tinyfolks’s-charm-makes-it-far-more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Tinyfolks’s charm makes it far more than the sum of its parts

Abib the troubadour killed an ancient evil spirit by throwing his knife at it. Tinyfolks is not a “story generator” sort of game, but that fight removed any doubt that it was excellent. There’s no shortage of dungeon-ish turn based combat games, nor of those made of all the usual fantasy archetypes, nor of pixelly low-fi games with bleepy bloopy music. Nor again are we likely to run short of games that combine some or all of the above. But like a good meal, combining even the most common ingredients in just the right way can make them delicious. It…

the-5-best-games-from-the-guerrilla-collective-showcase-2022 Rock,Paper,Shotgun

The 5 best games from the Guerrilla Collective showcase 2022

The Guerrilla Games showcase this year had trailers for like, 60 games, or something, and no woman can play 60 games. Who do you think I am, Santa? You think I can slow time to infinity when I need it? So I’ve done you a little roundup of the games that caught my eye this time. There’s some action, some horror and some puzzles. Fun for all the family! Read more

ripout-is-a-co-op-horror-fps-that’s-a-bit-like-a-roguelike-doom-3 Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Ripout is a co-op horror FPS that’s a bit like a roguelike Doom 3

Over the past few weeks I’ve sampled so many retro-styled FPSes, I’d class it as a form of training. I’m now attuned to their look, their pacing, their good and bad points. So, it came as no surprise when I found myself testing out the closed alpha of yet another of their ilk: Ripout, an upcoming sci-fi horror FPS that’s very Doom 3. What’s nice is that vidbud Liam joined me! Both because he’s a fan of the FPS genre and to be present with a jar in hand, lest I crumbled into dust. Thankfully this didn’t happen and we…

speedy-eggbert’s-level-editor-made-it-the-best-game-to-ever-score-4% Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Speedy Eggbert’s level editor made it the best game to ever score 4%

I used to draw Abe’s Oddysee levels. Then Abe’s Exoddus, when that came out. Also, before them, every other platform game I ever got my hands on. Take a sheet of plain paper, turn it horizontal, draw two long lines across it, dividing it into three strips. That’s a level; that’s a side-scrolling environment. That’s what I’d do, basically all the time, basically every day. You could call me a budding game designer, only I had no knowledge of how to transfer my genius creations into digital form. I’d tried before, with Doom, but the editor was incomprehensible. Sectors? Vectors?…

silt-review:-there-are-plenty-of-fish-in-the-sea-but-they’re-all-trying-to-kill-you Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Silt review: there are plenty of fish in the sea but they’re all trying to kill you

Has anyone coined the term Limbolike yet? 2D side-scrolling platformers that are a bit Tim Burton-y, and possibly in monochrome. Y’know the ones? Silt is a Limbolike, only it’s Limbo under the sea. Other free-wheeling associations I have made include Minute Of Islands and, most weirdly, Gormenghast. But having mentioned the later, and because people who like Gormenghast really bloody like Gormenghast (a reasonable position), and respond to its evocation like Chekhov’s dogs let loose at the eleventh annual Ringing World National Youth Championship competition, I’m now going to have to temper expectations back down. Read more

zerograve-is-an-arcadey-descent-in-a-technicolour-dronecoat Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Zerograve is an arcadey Descent in a technicolour dronecoat

Joining the scandalously overlooked Blast-Axis and the more recognised Overload in the pantheon of Descentants this week, it’s Zerograve. Is this a genre revival now? Three solid contenders (that I’m aware of) must surely bring us close. It’s fully 3D space-ish combat, this time with colourful stylised levels, somewhere between technicolour neon and oddly minimalist. I don’t want to start on a downer so let’s say that my opinion of it improved the more I played it. Read more

floppy-knights-review:-a-joyful-card-game-that-offers-more-the-longer-you-play Rock,Paper,Shotgun

Floppy Knights review: a joyful card game that offers more the longer you play

Every kid is a goddamn dork. Some people – the cool kids of school – think they’ve got it all figured out, while others just mope about in their groups of indie kids, emos, and nerds, to name but a few very atypical retinues. It’s all a lie, though: in reality everyone’s an idiot as a kid, blissfully unaware of adult problems as they struggle through the most painfully awkward years of their lives. Floppy Knights revels in that dorkiness. A tactical card-based game that’s been in early access since last June, Rose City Games’ adventure stars Phoebe, an absolutely…