Boreal Tales: Bargain Indie Scares Up The Past

Boreal Tales title

With a game developer name like Snot Bubbles Productions, one would imagine the Vancouver-based team to have a first game straight out of the gate that’s going to be pretty darn interesting.  Or kind of damp and sticky, ewww.

Welcome to Boreal Tales, folks.

The game is out now and it’s a paltry $3.00 or Steam or itch.io and that makes it for me, an automatic purchase even though I was offered a free code to review. Small developers with a great looking game such as this need a boost with any sales they can get and I really like these offbeat games, so it’s on my BUY IT! list as we speak. Anyway, “What’s the game about?” you may be asking right about now. Well, I’ll duck quickly into show and tell mode here (quack, quack!):

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Review: REFUNCT

REFUNCT header

Ladies and gentlemen, this is quite possibly the shortest review I’ve written about a game I like a lot, so let’s see if you can all hold a breath in and read this in one shot. Ready? GO!:


I wasn’t expecting much from REFUNCT when a code invite popped into my inbox, but I wisely looked up (and downloaded) the developer’s previous game, REFUNKTION and saw that this simple but gorgeous Unreal 4-powered sequel was a response to some saying that first game was too difficult. REFUNCT didn’t take long to complete and while incredibly easy, manages to be brilliantly conceived and executed.

REFUNCT 1

No instructions needed here, just intuitive controls using k+m or a controller, some surprising jumping (that should be adopted into other first-person games) and a payoff that brought a smile to my face (and a bigger one after that when I was able to get 100% after completing the game when I tried to better the 98% I ended with). Telling more would be spoiling things, but there’s no “story” to speak of and in fact, the whole thing seems more like a lovely test for a far larger project down the road. It took about 45 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace, but I took it slow and even quit out to go have lunch at one point. Some players have made it to the end in half an hour or less, but your mileage may vary, as the saying goes.

If anything, creator Dominique Grieshofer should expand the game into an entire series of puzzles on the same map and keep the same enemy-free, death-less approach. The feeling of finally playing wall-climb sequences in a game that aren’t frustrating series of trial and error runs was exhilarating to say the least. The feeling of finally playing wall-climb sequences in a game that aren’t frustrating series of trial and error runs was exhilarating to say the least. Now, I want more. You will too. Go get this and have a blast.

REFUNCT 2

REFUNCT is a mere $2.99 on Steam. REFUNKTION is free on indieDB, but it’s hard as hell in a great way. You may as well get both.

Score: A- (90%)

-GW

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Heroes of Loot: Budget Bitty Dungeon Crawling Hits The Vita


 

It’s a darn good thing I pay ZERO attention to what internet comment sections on game and video sites say. Absolution Games’ budget twin-stick dungeon crawler Heroes of Loot is actually pretty fun to play and dirt cheap at $2.99 on the Vita. The bite-sized dungeons, fast-paced gameplay and simple retro looks aren’t getting a lot of love from the usual suspects, but the game is great fun so far. You’re basically getting a Gauntlet homage with a bit more humor and difficulty that ramps up as you clear special optional side quests.

yeah, yeah, it was/is a tablet game, but so what? If you like your dungeon crawlers and teeny sprite characters zipping about laying waste to hordes of monsters, collecting loot and trying to stay alive, this one’s right up your alley. Or right down your dark dungeon hallway. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a LOT more monsters to kill. In the cutest possible manner, of course.