Stories: The Path of Destinies [Steam store page]
A choose-your-own-adventure beat em up, with excellent and unpredictable story outcomes, though the combat becomes a bit repetitive after a while.

The Long Journey Home [Steam store page]
The RPG elements of this game are really well done - exploring the galaxy, meeting and interacting with other races, finding random items and trading them, or showing them to alien races in an attempt to discover what they do.

But the lander mini-game to harvest resources to repair and refuel your ship is more of a nuisance than a pleasure. It's fairly challenging to get right at first, but once you get used to it there are still planets where you come in way too hot and get unavoidably damaged due to the gravity or terrain. And even once you're good at it, it isn't enjoyable, just a chore.

So while a segment of the game is good, there's far too much of the rote lander upkeep missions to make the entire experience appealing to me.

While the story, art, and combat are all solid, this one isn't nearly as good as Transistor in my opinion. The art is on par with visual novels and choose your own adventure games, and the story didn't feel as gripping as their past two games, even though the world itself seems interesting.

But the part that was the weirdest to me was the combat - which by itself was fine in a sort of sports-game way, but it was an odd dichotomy between the fast-paced action and the relatively long story and shopping pauses between battles.

It wasn't bad, just a strange mix. Other games like Hand of Fate have also mixed story and action sequences, but they usually keep the interactions between matches very brief, and I think that works better.

Infectonator : Survivors [Steam store page]
The game concept/design is solid - scavenge supplies, rebuild your base, try to rebuild the car to get out of town - but there are a couple fatal flaws that really hurt the gameplay.

The main one is the AI - it's dumb as a box of rocks, and will walk through toxic slime (which kills the character in a few seconds) without hesitation, even when there's an easy path around it. Most of my damage and deaths in this game were due to the AI making stupid decisions.

And when a character "dies", they can be revived for around 15 seconds - which is fine except that it takes like 7 seconds to actually revive them. The timer doesn't stop as you're reviving, which means that if you get to the character with 3 seconds left on their timer, there's no chance you can save them.

It makes it frustrating if you're in the middle of fighting zombies and can't start healing immediately. I'm sure there are upgrades to make heals faster, but it's still a flawed design.

Interesting concept, but the implementation is really rough and basic - to even restart you have to exit the game, and when you die any stuff you're carrying is irrecoverably lost.

I'm on the fence about whether to give this an "Okay" or a "Bad" rating, because it's relatively cheap and I like it a lot better than most horror games that use this graphical style, but it's sorely in need of a tutorial and a lot of polishing.

Your character seems to know what needs to be done to fix the apocalypse, and it would be nice if the game told you too, although that minor mystery probably makes it more interesting than the repetition would be otherwise.

2DActionAdventureIndieRPGLink
This feels much more satisfying and well-tuned than the original Sanctum - and the addition of co-op takes it to a whole new difficulty level.

The combination of tower defense and hack-n-slash works fairly well together, though the classes are completely unbalanced. Melee is by far the easiest.

Orcs Must Die! [Steam store page]
While not co-op like the sequel, this game has an excellent sense of humor and decently balanced maps. Too bad the humor didn't carry over to Orcs Must Die! 2

Orcs Must Die! 2 [Steam store page]
They added co-op, but lost some of the humor that made Orcs Must Die! so fun. Similar gameplay, with more expansive levels to challenge two players.

A great combination of music, nice visuals, and a unique style of light strategy. Easy enough for casual players, with Bastion type difficulty settings.

The art is bright and fun, but the narrator really makes this game fantastic - narrating every move as you shoot and smash your way through the story.

Tomb Raider [Steam store page]
This franchise reboot was very satisfying, an appropriate start for the character we know Lara Croft will turn into eventually.

Deus Ex: The Fall [Steam store page]
This isn't relevant to the rest of the Deus Ex series, and is a trash mobile port with rough graphics and shallow mechanics.

Guild of Dungeoneering [Steam store page]
Some of the mechanics are unconventional, but once you learn how to play it properly it's a fun and well balanced dungeon crawler with a twist. It's one of the only rogue-like dungeon crawlers that I actually go back and replay from time to time.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut [Steam store page]
While the story is weaker than the original, this FPS-RPG still offers many viable playstyles - and a visually stunning world. And the Director's Cut does a slightly better job of integrating the DLC, although they're still sort of an independent experience.

You also get a few other perks like developer commentaries, although these don't have any visual indicators to show where they are, so they're hard to locate and activate as you're playing. The redesigned boss fights are a nice touch though, and definitely a welcome change compared to the originals.

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