Happy Friday, Ghosties! I hope everyone is staying safe, staying healthy, and STAYING THE FUCK HOME! Since this article is geared towards Switch owners I’ll assume everyone is perfectly happy to be couch-bound since Animal Crossing: New Horizons just came out last week. I’m right there with you, it’s quickly becoming my favorite game of all-time and it’s the perfect antidote to all the negativity floating around in the world right now.
But AFH, this article is about INDIE games. Nintendo gets plenty of PR on their own.
True story! In between hustling to make bells in AC, I’ve made some time to check out a few more Indies that I wanted to tell you guys about. This one is gonna go pretty quick because this particular batch of games were all pretty straightforward affairs. We have three out-and-out weirdos this time around so sit back, strap on your unnecessary face mask, and enjoy!
Mekorama (from Martin Magni & Ratalaika Games, published by Rainy Frog) is very similar to Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. If you liked that game you will have found your next must-have in this one, but it’s original enough to stand confidently on its own too.
Mekorama is about a robot (Robot B to be exact) who crash lands on a strange cubic planet. The mission is to get the hell OFF said planet and to do that your robot buddy has to make their way through 100 levels of brain-teasing, puzzle-crazy bliss.
100 Levels? That’s A LOT.
Sure is, but the beauty of this game is that it never feels like too much, and it’s extremely accessible for anyone which is a nice plus. The levels can be rotated to see new perspectives and the puzzles vary from simple walking onto a switch affairs on up to elaborate physics-based puzzles and the pacing is perfect. I wish more puzzle games could nail that aspect better cause it makes playing it SO much less of a headache.
It doesn’t throw too much at you at once, and working your way through this game is a constant source of joy. Plus, you feel a little smarter every time you pull off a tough level. The game looks great, it performs well docked or handheld, and the music/sound effects are on point too. There’s also a level editor that I hear is really fantastic, I haven’t had time to mess with it outside of a quick look-around but so far so good. I’ll take a break from Animal Crossing and design a few levels this weekend, but jumping in quickly showed a nice and easy-to-use format so I shouldn’t have much trouble.
Mekorama is a really awesome little game and it’s a steal on the eShop so this one gets high marks from me and is definitely quarantine-approved!/$4.99- eShop
This is easily one of the weirdest shmups I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Dezatopia (developed by HEY and published by Hanaji Games) is about a girl named Momoka who discovers that alien creatures are living underground and have been for a long time. She either wants to unify the above and underground worlds OR the underground aliens want to use her to take over the world. Whichever the case may be, two of Momoka’s schoolmates (Akane and Aoba) are building an underground bridge when this all goes down and they decide to stop her. You play as them, and what transpires from there is batshit crazy and pretty damn wonderful.
That all sounds pretty weird.
It is, and to be 100% honest, I skipped through most of the story stuff (cause shooter) so I didn’t pay much attention to it cause I never do in shmups like this. I just want to get to the main event, and this game brings the heat where that’s concerned.
What you have here is a ship with four independent weapons. Each one fires on its own, and there’s a fixed and a free shooting mode to choose from. This is all extremely tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be a killing machine in no time. Everything plays out in routes, you have 5 expansive stages and then a final boss. Each stage has a boss too, and there are multiple routes through the game which makes it extremely repayable which is ALWAYS a bonus.
Dezatopia looks fantastic, with a cornea-murderingly colorful low-res pixel art style that is impossible not to like. It performs perfectly in either mode (handheld or docked) and the music is really great. Sound effects are appropriately over-the-top, and it all comes together into one of the weirdest shmup games I’ve ever seen. Everything is some kind of weird organic-fish robot, the bosses are insane, and it’s DEFINITELY original.
Your weapons can be upgraded on the fly, and each one starts from zero with a charged shot that clears some serious real estate so you’ll want to not park your trigger finger cause that charged shot can really get you out of some jams. You don’t die for hitting walls but falling behind the scrolling will take you out, and you also have a very specific hitbox which you’ll want to get down with pretty quickly so as not to end up a frustrated mess crying in the corner.
The game has a pretty thorough tutorial though, so you’ll be fine. It’s another budget-priced steal on the eShop and if you dig this genre you might have a new favorite. I’m not even the biggest chump guy and I love it. take that as you will!/$16.99- eShop
RAINBOWS, TOILETS, AND UNICORNS
Yeah, you read that right. Rainbows, Toilets, and Unicorns (from Fantastico Studio) is a colorful, irreverent, and super-fun little shmup that I absolutely recommend if you like offensive humor and fun. I do, so this one was right up my alley.
Your character is looking for solace in the summer heat in the form of a unicorn-shaped popsicle which unfortunately triggers his irritable bowel syndrome and send him scrambling to a nearby porta-potty. Somehow or another, a giant rainbow shoot up out of the toilet and sends him flying, which would be terrifying but also kinda awesome if it happened in real life.
But where did all the poop go?
Yikes, good question Me! Oh well, who cares. This dude is flying around, pants down, with a rainbow up his ass- and he does this throughout the course of five unique worlds, 15 bosses, and a whole bunch of shooting and weaving.
That’s pretty much it here folks, shooting, weaving, and laughing at the ridiculous and offensive shit that comes your way. There’s a world that takes the piss out of religion (always OK with me), one that skewers influencers, and plenty more where that came from. It’s all done in a really well-realized pixel art look and the gameplay is addictive as hell because you get one life. Power ups are temporary but immensely helpful, permanent upgrades are plentiful with progression, but none of it matters if you die cause you have ONE life. That’s right folks, one and done. That leads to long stretches of “just one more try” to see if you can inch your way up the leaderboard and it’s the thing great arcade games are made of.
It performs well, looks fantastic, and the humor made me laugh many times over. Sure, some people could call the humor a little sophomoric but I’m happy to be a child inside who can appreciate some good old-fashioned toilet humor and South Park style skewering of pop culture. It’s ANOTHER steal on the eShop and if you’re looking for another addictive little gem Rainbows, Toilets, and Unicorns will definitely deliver./$6.99- eShop
Now you can go back to panic-scrolling through CNN.
A little humor, a little weirdness, and some good fun for your lockdown enjoyment. Thanks for hanging out and I hope you guys are staying as safe and healthy as possible. Go buy games!
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration