Ah, hello! It’s good to see you again. Why don’t you take a seat? I do enjoy these Saturdays that we spend together, where I get to share with you five more of the best and most interesting games vying for our votes on Steam Greenlight. I’ve spent another week looking through dozens of pitches and these are my new favourites. Sorry, Farm Machines Championships, you didn’t make the cut.
This is one of the most unusual ideas for a game world that I’ve seen in a long time. The whole world exists on the side of an enormous, endless wall. The bricks that make that wall can be pulled out to form platforms that you can use to slowly climb your way up the face. Climbing ever upwards as you try to make your way home, you travel past trees, houses, windmills and castles. The game’s webpage also says there are dangerous creatures out there, presumably hidden amongst the abandoned settlements and strange mechanisms that also populate the wall.
Kentucky Route Zero
I really, really like the idea of “a magical realist adventure” about a hidden highway that exists below the state of Kentucky and the strange people who use it. Although there’s only a short video and a handful of screenshots to look at right now, you can already feel that sense of mystery coming through and I think developers Cardboard Computer are going to deliver atmosphere in spades. I’ve got to admit a certain personal bias here, because I was rather impressed by one Cardboard Computer’s previous releases. Ruins was an abstract and fairly simple game that was, at least on the surface, about chasing rabbits, but it had a strange ethereal quality to it and some quite beautiful music. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kentucky Route Zero also serves up that same otherworldly experience.
This isn’t just tower defense in three dimensions (which itself would be worth the raising of an eyebrow), it’s also eight player co-op tower defense. So I suppose if you have eight players handling three dimensions, two players can double up on each dimension, while the remaining two… wait, that probably wouldn’t work. Anyway, Terrorhedron also adds programmable turrets, which sounds like a great idea to me, and looks to be pushing tower defense beyond the stagnancy that it’s in danger of slipping
If you ever wanted an 8-bit platformer where you were chased by a bear, this is the game for you. Oniken is one of the most retro of the retro-style indie game I’ve seen this year and it really could pass for being 25 years old. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, no ma’am. It also looks properly hard, although that might be because I’ve always been pretty terrible at most platform games and I have all the dexterity of a piece of wet pasta.
I can’t seem to go a fortnight without finding some way to mention my love of procedural generation and Steam Marines gives me a perfect excuse to talk about it once again. This is a little bit like a cross between Space Hulk and a roguelike, giving you command of a four person squad and tasking you to fight your way through a steampunk spaceship. You can try the open alpha here, but do be warned that the medium difficulty level is not to be underestimated.
I should add that it also has the best license agreement for any game ever.