Instant Indie Halloween Edition

Hey Everyone. Here’s another Instant Indie-A quick look at some great Indie products. In our Halloween Edition we look at a Motion Comic with music, a Kickstarter comic based on H.P. Love Craft called Kidthulu, an addictive iOS game and some early information on a Zelda-esque game in its early stages. All of the information is straight from the developers’ mouths, and it’s not my spin. It’s what they want you to know about their products, except for my opening commentary on each. Enjoy, and thanks for supporting independent goodies.

 

Re:creation

I’ve been talking with Elias Daler for awhile for an upcoming interview on being an Independent Developer. Look for that article soon. The concepts Elias is using and the gameplay his game will have are all things I’ve been wanting to see for awhile. I personally loved the Legend of Zelda games as well as early RPGs like  Final Fantasy. Here’s to hoping this game fills my desires for an old school experience.

Here's a cool gif from re:creation. I cannot wait to play this game.
Here’s a cool gif from re:creation. I cannot wait to play this game.

Re: Creation is a hobby gamedev project being made by Elias Daler. Re:creation is an action rpg inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Earthbound.You play as an undead knight who can become people he kills and get their abilities to progress in the game and solve various puzzles.

Have a look at Elias’ blog to keep up with his progress.  

Story

The main hero is an undead knight who was betrayed by his partner, Necromancer, during a fight with a giant demon. When the hero raises from the dead, he realizes that lots of time has passed since his death. The Great War between humans and undeads is being fought for several centuries. Necromancer is still alive. He actually became a Lich. He has lots of power and uses undeads as a cheap working force. The hero explores society of undeads and finds out that they don’t actually want to kill humans. They just want people to use them for training and steal their treasure! The hero decides to stop the war and prove that undeads are not that evil as it seems.

Kidthulu

Kidthulu looks fun and creative. It's a quirky gamble. Let's hope it pays off.
Kidthulu looks fun and creative. It’s a quirky gamble. Let’s hope it pays off.

I found Kidthulu while trolling Kickstarter for cool projects I could write about. How can you not get behind a cartoony version of the H.P. Lovecraft classic.?

 

Maryland based writer Martin E. Brandt II and Baltimore area artist Charles C. Dowd in cooperation with Raven Warren Studios are launching their new comic book mini-series Kidthulhu: Tales of Madness on Kickstarter Thursday October 16th, 2014. Along with the help of Jess Boudrie, Courtney Hahn, Gaston Pacheco, and Martinho Abreu they plan to release a 32 page full color first issue.
Kidthulhu is the tale of the world as seen through a 10-year-old monster of madness accompanied by this faithful Shoggoth Shog and his best friend Capi, The Albino Goat of the Woods with 999 siblings. Kidthulhu: Tales of Madness is a ridiculous reimagining of the Lovecraft universe that you can share with kids.

Come join in and be a part of the genesis for this new series on Kickstarter and help them reach their $2,500 to fund the initial print run. There are plenty of awesome incentives for backers to show thanks for their support. Starting October 16th you can find more information on Kickstarter at: http://www.kidthulhu.com/kickstarter, spread the madness.http://www.ravenwarren.com
Additional Media can be found here: http://www.ravenwarren.com/kidthulhu-media-page/

 

DARK MOON

I took a look at Darkmoon in the first ‘Instant Indie’ and looks like it’s finished and ready to experience. Follow the link and watch/listen. It’s a great Halloween experience.

Dark Moon is an exciting new comic that features an original soundtrack designed to be listened to while reading.  You can stream the music while reading the digital versions, watch our youtube series, or download the soundtrack to listen to while reading our print copy!The story is about Dante, a scientist in the late 21st century, who is working on teleportation technology when a cataclysmic event, a meteor strike near his hometown of San Francisco, causes him to have to use the transporter to transport him and six others to safety.  They make it to a distant moon, but they find out their problems are just beginning.

Check out the motion version here. Dark Moon Motion comic.

Well, at least there aren't any monoliths here.
Well, at least there aren’t any monoliths here.
I don't think scientists were taught to shoot monsters on distant moons. At least, not at MIT.
I don’t think scientists were taught to shoot monsters on distant moons. At least, not at MIT.

About Tiny Grave

I actually reviewed this game and really enjoyed it. Have a look at my review here. My girlfriend is actually still playing it and loves it.  It has really addictive gameplay and surprising depth.

The Doctor and his assistant need help creating their monster. Experience their story with this new twist on the puzzle genre featuring a story mode with 17 levels of game play, spoken dialog, and immersive music. To aid your matching efforts the Doctor has created powerful potions that you can use to get out of dead end situations. Hone your matching skills or play a quick game by playing in Endless mode. But don’t worry; your progress is saved so you can continue your game at any time. Tiny Grave may be inspired by puzzle games of the past but it has a style and game play all its own. Download it today and experience Tiny Grave for yourself.

Watch the Trailer

Screenshots

Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.
Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.
Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.
Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.

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Tiny Grave iOS review: Burton-esque indie puzzler scratches undead itch

Tiny Grave should find it's way to your iOS device before Halloween.
Tiny Grave should find it’s way to your iOS device before Halloween.

With Halloween coming up, I decided to do some undead themed reviews by some indie companies. I’ll be doing a couple of other articles too featuring some great games, comics and more. With that said, I wanted to try my hardest not to use cheesy slugs to describe some of these ghoulish treats (see, I just did it) so I’ll do my darndest to keep away from the cliche descriptions. Now, on to the review:

Tiny Grave

Tiny Grave is an inexpensive puzzle game with a big heart. You play the role of Eyegore, the evil hunchbacked henchman of a mad scientist tasked with collecting body parts Frankenstein style. You’re given some charming cut scenes with admirable voice-acting, and then you move on to collecting those organs and bones.

The puzzles

After the cut-scenes, you go to the game screen. Here you are thrown into the game with little to no direction. There are piles of different icons, and you must decipher that the game works bejeweled style. Line up 3 of the same icon, and they disappear and more icons fall into place. Once you figure out what you’re doing, the game quickly becomes addictive. There is a good amount of strategy, believe it or not, to lining up 3 or more eyeballs and setting up your screen to feed more items until you reach 300.

Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.
Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.

Another layer of strategy (There’s no tutorial, but the developer did point out there is a tutorial in the help menu) are little vials of an explosive compound, a vial of acid, and another vial that I never used. You’ll be able to see that in the screen shots here. If you become stuck, with no way to line up your body parts, just throw some of the acid on an area, and voila! More body-parts fall and you’re back on your quest to satisfy the good doctor with much needed body parts. Be warned, if you’re irresponsible with your vials, you’ll find yourself with a game-over screen later on in your adventure (during story mode) and be wondering why. I’m assuming I ran into the game over screens because I ran out of plays. This is unexplained.

Modes

You’re able to play in story mode and endless mode. Endless is ala Tetris with a high-score as your goal.

Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.
Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.

Impressions

I went to a coffee shop down the road to do my review, as I often do. I want to see how immersive the game can be, and whether or not it’s good to pick up and put down. My girlfriend came with me to get out of the house and get some work done, and I told her what I was doing, so we loaded the game onto her iPad. I had a good time with the game, but I noticed her playing. She played the entire time we were out, and she kept going even after I had taken a break. I think it’s important to give her impressions, more so than mine, because she wasn’t looking to review it. She was looking to spend some time using her brain and having some fun. So what did she think?

She really enjoyed it. She played into the night, and even played more the next night. She wasn’t happy that she was only able to get C+ ratings, but she kept playing. It reminded her of those bar games where you spend 20 dollars before you know it, and two hours and more than a few pints are gone as well. I think that says a lot about the game. I look at things too analytically, and she looked at the game like the developers wanted her to see it. Again, that’s what is important.

The Good

  • Quick, fast paced game play at times. A solid amount of strategy for a $2.99 iOS game.
  • The music is top-notch. It is very reminiscent of Danny Elfman and his work on the Tim Burton films. It never grated me. Whomever wrote it has a solid knowledge of music, and I’d love to go on and on about how new instruments were introduced with counter melodies and…ok, I’ll stop.
  • Easy to pick up and play.

What I’m loathing

I don’t like that the mechanics are not introduced or explained via tutorial. I would’ve loved to know how the vials work. There are also some other little quirks that I never figured out. Like, how sometimes you are able to move the skull, or items on the top row one space. There are instructions in the help menu, so if you get stuck, make sure to check it out.

The timed mode in the story mode was super tough. It was stress-inducing tough to me. I’m not a big player of puzzle games, but I still found it a little too tough. But, that adds replay value I suppose and ensures you won’t be finishing the game in an afternoon.

 

Final verdict

Tony Grave is a great effort by an ambitious indie company and I’m glad to have played it. It’s something I don’t mind recommending, especially after seeing my partner play it for so long. She doesn’t play many mobile games, and it hooked her. So go out and buy it, it’s worth the money. Below you’ll find a link to Digital Hero games, as well as a youtube link to a video of Tiny Grave.

Tiny Grave via Digital Hero Games

Digital Hero game store