For many who grew up during the 90's, the era was home to many retro, 16-bit shooters. Gleylancer was one of them, but like many titles, it was never released outside of Japan. Thankfully, with the help of Ratalaika Game, Gleylancer is now available for other countries to experience the classic shooter. Whether it's on Xbox, PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch, one thing is certain; this is a port done right.
For anyone unfamiliar with Gleylancer, this is a 1992 side-scrolling space shooter. Levels will see you blasting your way through tons of aliens as you guide your ship to safety across the universe. There's various weapons and powerups to equip, which makes gameplay constantly feel frantic and interesting.
The controls have been updated to adapt to current consoles, along with new accessibility options. Visually, the game remain unchanged for the nostalgic feel of the original. Cutscenes are presented with 16-bit sprites and the sound is as expected.
For newcomers or anyone looking for nostalgia, Gleylancer is a blast from the past that's worth revisiting. This is a port done right.
LoveChoice is an interactive novel that explores relationships and tries to explain what love is. The game spans across three separate stories.
Although there are elements of a visual novel here, the game function more as a point-and-click adventure. Each of the three stories take place in your apartment, and it shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes to finish each one. With that said, there's some replay value to those looking to experience each ending.
Each story is divided into varied experiences; Love-Game, Love-Distance and Love-Detective. The first one tells the story of a boy trying to control his nerves, building courage to ask a girl out on a date. You have the choice to decide what to say, and hopefully chose where your date will take plce.
You'll soon see how your decisions impact the outcome of the relationship. The game does a good job of making these feel relatable, and I enjoyed replaying them to see what the other outcomes were.
The visuals also present a cute, hand-drawn presentation that feel well suited to the calming gameplay. I found the entire experience a relaxing and rather fun experience. It's just a shame the stories are so short and lack much depth. 6
Barry the Bunny is a colourful platformer with an 8-bit pixel aesthetic. You take the role of Barry the bunny. He loves carrots like any other rabbit , but Barry also likes to build bridges. He must build them all in order for the other bunnies to return home. You'll do this by collecting enough wood, whilst punching enemies, hoping across obstacles and throwing objects.
It's a very basic platformer. It offers nothing fresh to the genre, but if your looking for a casual 2d platformer with easy achievements, then Barry the Bunny might be something to hop onto. As expected, levels do become a bit more challenging as you progress. You'll be jumping across moving platforms, fending off various critters as you go. Throughout the levels are carrots and hammers to collect, which are used as your weapons.
Anyone looking for easy achievements will find Bunny the Barry well worth a play. Yet, it offers nothing refreshing or new to the genre, so expect a very basic platforming.
Visually, the 8-bit aesthetics are colourful. The mechanics are what yo would expect too. It does the job, and just responsive enough. Yet, it still has some fiddly moments, which can make going up ladders a pain at times.
Orbibot is a physics based puzzle game in which you control a robotic ball to solve puzzles. You'll be tasked with various puzzle solving that uses physics and logic. The most challenging aspect is trying to not drop off the side of the floating levels. Each environment is well designed and gradually becomes more challenging as you progress. Many are built with spiralling, metal tube segments, along with plastic tubes that get you from one area to another.
The controls are easy to pick up, if a little fiddly. Yet, there's a well placed checkpoint system,, so I never found myself frustrated when the ball drops off the level. Completing all the levels could take 20 minutes or so, but there's also collectibles in the form of plastic cats to collect.
For anyone who enjoys physics based puzzlers, Orbibot, for the price, is certainly worth a try. It might be on the short side, but it's one of the more quality experiences published by Ratalaika Games for quite some time.
Bouncy Bullets is back with a colourful sequel, yes you guessed it, Bouncy Bullets 2. Much like the first game, the core gameplay is the same. Set from a first person perspective, the goal of each level sees you dodging obstacles as you search for the portal exit.
There's 45 levels in total, each offering some vibrant and varied terrains. Throughout them are various enemies to shoot, along with inhabitants to save. I found them a blast to play, but found the levels too short. Although there's 45, you can easily breeze through them in less than half an hour. With that said, the game does offer a speed run mode, which is great for testing your reflexes as you race against the clock.
All in all, Bouncy Bullets 2 is more of the same, but for the asking price, it's a quick and easy completion that's funs while it lasts.
Thank you to Ratalaika Games for providing a review copy.
You take the role of a bushy-tailed fox named Foxy Foxy. He's in love with another Fox named Jennie. As they both take a stroll through the woods, suddenly, an hawk swoops down and snatches Jennie away. Your true love is gone, and it's up to you to rescue her, traversing across the treturous woodlands along the way.
In terms of 8-bit platformers, Foxyland is rather generic. Each level consists of jumping, climbing and dodging hazards as you make your way to the exit. Along the way, you'll collect cherry's that are basically the in-game currency. Yet, collecting them feel rather pointless as they don't introduce any upgrades. These are simply for cosmetic items only.
Each level consists of collecting gems, which are required in order to finish the levels. As you progress further, environments will become a little more complex, requiring you to back track and pull levers to activate new platforms.
You'll begin with 3 lives on each level. Touching hazards, such as spikes or other animals will lose you a heart. Timing your jumps perfectly are key to surviving. One single touch of an enemy, and you'll love a heart. There's no attack button at all, and the only way to defeat enemies are by jumping on them. However, I found doing so a chore a lot of the time. Enemies always respawn back, so it's best to simply dodge them instead.
There's 36 levels in total, but none of them felt too challenging. It shouldn't take long to complete. There's no reason to return as well, other than purchasing cosmetic items. Levels are not procedurally generated, so it makes revisiting them not worth while.
Visually, Foxyland is very colourful, and that's something the game achieves very well at. The pixelated presentation is vibrant and pleasing on the eye.
Overall, Foxyland is a generic platformer that does what it sets out to do. For the asking price, anyone who enjoys the 8-bit era should have a decent time while it lasts.
When i'm searching for a new puzzle game, I tend to go for a mixture of challenging and tranquillising experiences. Swim out is one of those games. It's calm and relaxing, but can also be extremely challenging and frustrating. Developed by Lozange Lab, Swim Out is a colourful, picturesque puzzle game that takes place inside swimming pools. That alone is very unique, but is it a splashing good time ? Read on to find out.
Set from a top-down perspective, you take control of a blue costumed swimmer. The objective to each level is simple enough, requiring you to reach the opposite side of the pool. The catch is, your faced with various obstacles, and crossing paths with them will reset the level. Each pool is made up of grids, with each move acting as a turn. When you move, so do other obstacles. To begin with, levels start off simple enough, as you learn the turn-based formula. The opening levels begin with other synchronised swimmers, as you try to avoid their patterns.
Throughout the 8 worlds, there's a total of 100 stages to swim through. As you progress, new obstacles and abilities will come into play. Eventually, levels will see you avoiding kickboards, kayaks, crabs and more. There's also abilities, such as performing a splash of water, allowing you to stun other swimmers. Although the turn-based gameplay is very simplistic, new abilities and obstacles keep the game feeling fresh and interesting. There's also various challenges to complete throughout the levels. Perfecting a level varies from one to three objectives. This could be completing a level within a set amount of moves, not touching obstacles, or all of them together.
Swim out is a unique, challenging and relaxing puzzle game. For the price, anyone who enjoys challenging, but peaceful puzzle games should give this a go. You can have a splashing good time, but expect some very mind-blogging puzzles in the later stages.