Hollow Knight Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hollow Knight RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network E3 2018 Nintendo Direct Recap: All the Trailers & Release Dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates Tue, 12 Jun 2018 19:58:41 -0400 Ashley Gill

Nintendo going the Direct route for E3 these past few years has been a strange ride, but fans can always count on E3 Directs to have two things: Some anticipated reveals, and a lot of gameplay.

Though today's biggest Nintendo announcements were Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Fortnite launch, they did reveal a number of other ambitious projects that can find a home in most Switch libraries.

Out of all of Nintendo's showings today, I am most excited to see Kenichiro Tsukuda's DAEMON X MACHINA in action as it's been a long time since we've seen a mecha game from Armored Core's backbone producer. And the Macross guy doing the mecha designs? Yeah, I'll take that.

DAEMON X MACHINA may be my most hyped game out of this Direct, but chances are you're excited about any of the other great titles shown during the conference.

There's something for everyone in Nintendo Direct E3 2018!

Fire Emblem Three Houses trailer

It's been how long since Fire Emblem has seen a release on a home console? Ah, that's right: It's been 10 years since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was released on the Wii.


Fire Emblem Three Houses
looks to be the most graphically/technically impressive game in the series yet. Look for its release in Spring 2019.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: "Torna -- The Golden Country" trailer

The only expansion in Nintendo's lineup this E3, "Torna -- The Golden Country" is set 500 years before the events in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

 

"Torna" won't just be a story expansion; it will also feature tweaks to the battle system, allowing you to play as both Blades and Drivers in combat. This is a sure buy for fans, look for it on the Nintendo Switch on September 21.

DAEMON X MACHINA trailer

We need more mecha games these days. Fact.


DAEMON X MACHINA
from Marvelous! is headed by Armored Core producer Kenichiro Tsukuda, with designs from Macross's Shoji Kawamori, not to mention the other talent involved. It will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Super Mario Party trailer

The Mario Party games have come in a lot of numbers, but none of them have had "Super" in the name.


Super Mario Party
will be able to make use of two Switch consoles for unique four-player gameplay and minigames. For the first game in the series to be Super, you've got to assume Nintendo is confident in this entry to their long-running party game series. Expect to see this one on the Switch this fall on October 5!

Overcooked 2 trailer

Overcooked has swiftly taken over as one of the go-to co-op games for many, so it makes sense for developer Ghost Town Games to keep the ball rolling with a sequel.


Overcooked 2
will feature more recipes, kitchens, and chefs to keep returning players engaged -- and if that wasn't enough, the game will also come with online multiplayer. There's no such thing as too many cooks.

Along with all of the above, Nintendo showed the following games briefly during today's Direct:

  • Hollow Knight (2018)
  • Fortnite (Today)
  • Killer Queen Black (Winter 2018)
  • SNK Heroines (September 7)
  • Octopath Traveler (July 13)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)

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And that's it! Everything you need to know about the great games shown at Nintendo's E3 Direct! 

As always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on these titles as they develop. 

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Five Games You Missed in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/5jlvx/five-games-you-missed-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/5jlvx/five-games-you-missed-in-2017 Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:07:26 -0500 wlkrjesse

Last year was incredible for video games. Super Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, PUBG, the list goes on. 2017 was a seemingly never-ending barrage of critically acclaimed releases. However, with this degree of uninterrupted success from AAA and indie studios alike, we're bound to lose a few good ones along the way. Whether they were released too early, couldn't drum up the right kind of hype, or just had bad timing, these are a few of the games that shouldn't have been left off your end-of-the-year list. 

5. High Hell


The landscape has been changing for single-player FPS campaigns in the past couple years. Games like Superhot and Doom are bringing the frantic speed and arena combat of their predecessors back into the fold, but with quality of life changes that can only come from paying close attention to modern sensibilities. While I wouldn't say that High Hell is bringing the punching weight of Superhot's time-stop mechanic or Doom's sheer level of polish, it instead carves out its own identity from unapologetic style and an incredible use of restraint.

High Hell lets you know what it is from the second you start the game. "Go and get the gun." Now what? "Use your gun to shoot those guys." Now what? "Go and do that 20 times, very fast." This minimalist slash-and-burn approach can come across as severe at first, but once you play High Hell you soon realize that it's the only logical choice. This is speed shooting distilled down to the smallest but most potent dosage, and then injected directly into your cerebral cortex.

It's like a John Woo movie had a nightmare.

You have one gun and you don't need to reload. Levels have few, if any, health pickups. Take a few shots and you're dead. How do you finish the level? Jump off the roof after you shoot all the guys. What about side missions? Burn money. The game is relentless, leading you down one adrenaline-fueled murder binge after another. The insanity of High Hell is further complemented by the aesthetic choices. Fat, blocky graphics. BeamNG.Drive levels of insanity when it comes to the ragdoll physics. Doseone of Enter the Gungeon fame mans the soundtrack, consisting of electronic jolts that provide the perfect backdrop to the frantic action.

The loading screen minigames are always fun.

High Hell is a two-hour fever dream. There are no brakes. It's a twitchy, no rules just right sprint through a cathartic power fantasy that feels like someone took the scene from Saints Row: The Third where you parachute from a 50-foot drop directly onto a penthouse -- Kanye West's "Power" blaring in the background as you crash head-first into the rooftop pool, emerging from the water in a hail of bullets -- and made a game based around that feeling. It's a lowdown, dirty game with no ref, no whistle -- a $10 roller coaster ride.

4. Tekken 7

The genius of Tekken 7 is more than it simply being a great Tekken game. It's a Tekken game that has made so many small improvements upon previous entries in the series that it stands head and shoulders above many of its predecessors and contemporaries.

Comeback mechanics in fighting games are notoriously difficult to balance, with something like Marvel vs. Capcom 3's X-Factor being too overwhelming and ruining the flow of the match with a sense of purposelessness due to certain Level 3 X-Factor characters. Tekken 7 chooses a perfect middle ground by including the rage mechanic (more damage at low health) from Tekken 6 while giving players the option to sacrifice their newfound damage to perform various rage moves. This provides a powerful comeback mechanic when a game seems to be slipping through your fingers, but here it's a tool and not the final solution.

Tekken 7 walks the fine line between accessible for newer players and engaging for veterans.

Tekken 7 further goes above and beyond by including a slow-motion mechanic that activates when both players are low on health and have thrown out moves at around the same time. While this seems like a minor visual change to the game with no real impact on the match, it's so brilliant in its simplicity I'm shocked it hasn't been included in a fighting game before. The level of intensity that the slow-motion finishes create allows even the most bog standard of rounds the chance to reach a thrilling end.

The character roster, while missing a few fan favorites, is still fantastic. All of the mainstays show up in a big way -- with some of the best versions of Kuma and Eddy in a Tekken game to date, to name a few -- and the DLC is absolutely nothing to scoff at. Akuma, Eliza and Geese Howard all bring a unique marriage of 2D and 3D to the game, a concept that sounds like it would be an absolute nightmare on paper but works better than it has any right to.

I couldn't imagine using another costume for Kuma.

Round it out with a goofy story, a team that has recently addressed the frame lag in regards to the net code in an effort to continually balance online play and you have a Tekken game that just feels so much more polished than any other fighting game on the market. To see a series learn from its mistakes, fix them, and then improve upon what makes it great is such a treat, and that's exactly what Tekken 7 does.

3. Polybius


I have lost sleep thinking about what that one button does.
Veteran U.K. game developer Jeff Minter's latest venture, Polybius, borrows its name from the urban legend arcade machine, which in an early press release Minter claims to have played, that is said to be a government-funded psychological experiment that produces heavy psychoactive and addictive reactions in the players.

While Minter's Polybius does not claim to replicate the gameplay of its namesake, you honestly could have fooled me. If Thumper was programmed by Robotron 2084 creator Eugene Jarvis and Mr. Bean, this would be the end result. Minter's Polybius is a hypnotic trip through a psychedelic interpretation of the English countryside, as rendered through Raster graphics.

Nothing else looks like this.

Constantly dumping bullets at polygonal monsters and dodging vector pillars to pilot your ship through horned gates in an effort to attain ludicrous degrees of speed is the name of the game in Polybius. Each enemy killed results in an explosion of geometric impossibilities accompanied by a neon-fueled color change and another insane upgrade to your ship. While you can play the game without VR, with the glasses on, you're pulled into a state of flow. The pulsating soundtrack accompanied by the audio of a woman's voice reciting an airline safety video in Japanese coupled with images of countryside animals pulls you further into the world of Polybius than you'd ever want to go.


But why would you ever want to?

This is a game that just goes and stops for nothing, especially not the player. Yet it's so hard to put down. Once you acclimate to the speed, the game becomes rhythmic. You're sucked in. You live here now, in Jeff Minter's fun house of sunny-side-up eggs and ruminants. A constant struggle to maintain your ship's invincibility set against a retro-futuristic interpretation of what we thought video games would be in the 80's that overloads your mind to the point where you simply cannot leave.

2. Hollow Knight

Also nothing else looks like this.

The only reason we aren't collectively terrified of tardigrades and mites is because they're tiny. Hollow Knight immediately rectifies this problem. I can't recall a game about the horrors of the microscopic world outside of Harley's Humongous Adventure, and it's safe to say that Hollow Knight does a far better job at portraying exactly why the wriggling masses of carrion that live in your eyelashes and underneath the dirt in your finger nails are so horrifying.

The open-world action exploration game formula suffers from a few distinct problems, one of which is how stupid the term "metroidvania" is. Exploring is made tedious instead of engrossing by sectioning off areas that can only be accessed once you have X item, and the charm quickly wears thin. The game turns into this weird pseudo blobber where the difficulty dissipates once you hit a certain echelon of gear, and things begin to congeal together in a haze of same-y backgrounds, feeling less like a big, wide, open world and more like one long, gray level full of cryptic but unrewarding treasure that you got tired of a few hours ago.

The game is a graduate level course in engineering unique areas.

Hollow Knight immediately seeks to avoid this problem by simply making the game more open from the start. Instead of having to bang your head against the wall with the game saying, "Nope, can't go there yet," Hollow Knight swings its doors wide open and instead allows the player to get as lost as they'd like -- and Hollow Knight is a game that you want to get lost in.

Possibly the most brilliant use of parallax seen in a game to date is doubled up with challenging gameplay and a truly haunting setting. A slew of unique NPC's and enemies make the tiny world of Hollow Knight really feel alive, the simple designs hiding a level of detail I wasn't ready for. Furthermore, simple changes to the traditional gameplay formula keep you on your toes.

Borrowing from Shovel Knight and the Souls series, Hollow Knight is a game where the "retrieve your stuff if you die, or lose it forever if you die again" system really works, with the creepy atmosphere of the game and the general level of challenge making some fights back a hard-fought but well-earned victory. The further small change of having the main character drink their potions Monster Hunter-style instead of just immediately recovering their health adds yet another fold of tough but fair difficulty to Hollow Knight.

Having a nail as your main weapon just fits so well.

Hollow Knight is a game in tune with itself in a way that so many games are not. Created on a humble budget of $57,138 AUD ($44,040 USD), Hollow Knight has set a new bar for open-world action-exploration games that I thought only something like La-Mulana was capable of pulling off. Everything in the game works like the gears of a clock, all the little finite elements nudging the game closer and closer to excellence. It's an experience that isn't a pain to 100% complete, because you simply can't look away from the the dark underbelly of the world you find yourself in.

1. Yakuza 0

Welcome to the family.

The king with a furrowed brow of incredible games forgotten in 2017, Yakuza 0 had everything working against it last year. Originally released only in Japan back in 2015, the game finally received a world-wide port on January 24th, 2017. By the time the dust had cleared around December, there was no time of day given for a game released all the way back in January in comparison with the heavyweights that had come out more recently and were still fresh in our minds.

Yet for those who played Yakuza 0 and remembered it for what it was, the reward is incomparable. The most consistently excellent video game franchise to date has given us its most coherent game in Yakuza 0. It's a straight shot right down the middle. Bullseye. Get the popcorn out, it's a movie. The 80's economic bubble of Japan is a perfect setting. The way both fans and newcomers are introduced to Kiryu and Majima before they become the iconic characters we know them as is perfect. The changes made to both the combat system and the EXP system, where you flood millions of dollars into learning increasingly more ridiculous heat actions and "improving yourself," is perfect.

This is the first image you see when you go to heaven.

It never ends. And this isn't to say there aren't problems with Yakuza 0. Kiryu's real estate minigame is tedious and unrewarding (despite achieving Metal Gear Rising zandatsu levels of satisfaction when you see him pull out a giant briefcase full of money out in the middle of the street whenever you buy something), and while the combat is brutally satisfying, there are points where it does get a bit mashy. The game is not without flaws, but think about the rest of this game. Really think about it. People don't remember Ocarina of Time as that game with the water level, so why should we remember Yakuza 0 as such? Yakuza 0 is so successful in what it tries and then succeeds in accomplishing that I am unable to do anything but look past its flaws to see the unbridled enjoyment underneath.

Watching this gorilla man really invest in a game of Outrun will never get old.

The original concept of Japanese man simulator has reached such a high degree of perfection in Yakuza 0 that I have no idea how Yakuza 6 can even come close to topping it. This isn't even getting into some of the greatest comedy writing of 2017 that you can find within the substories, or the loving re-creations with which both Tokyo, Kabukicho and Osaka, Dotenbori are rendered, where the digital cities of Kamurocho and Sotenbori are uncannily synonymous with their real-life 1988 counterparts. Or just the almost insane amount of things you can do in the game that make other open-world side activities look lazy at best in comparison. Pocket racing is something you can spend hours on without touching the main story. Space HarrierOutrunFantasy Zone, and Super Hang-On are all available to play to completion as long as you have the money (and you do). How about some of the greatest karaoke ever in a game, complete with music videos? What about seeing if you can best Mr. Shakedown? What about the one-two punch of managing a cabaret club that is like all the best parts of a dating sim and Diner Dash in one game? Or just disco dancing the night away?

No really these cities are god damn incredible.

Yakuza 0 is an experience that can only be created after years of working on a series until everything falls into place so perfectly that it seems impossible to replicate. The grand champion of underrated series has released its magnum opus, which is somehow also the best entry point to get into the long-storied franchise. If you enjoy video games, you owe it to yourself to play Yakuza 0.

Don't you want to see what this guy gets up to?

---

While 2017 was a truly remarkable year for video games, it's easy to get analysis paralysis. With so many fantastic releases coming out one after another, you eventually have to prioritize, and some games simply don't make the cut. That being said, it's never too late to go back. You might be surprised by what you find.

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Best Indies/Sleeper Hits of the Year https://www.gameskinny.com/rhwoe/best-indiessleeper-hits-of-the-year https://www.gameskinny.com/rhwoe/best-indiessleeper-hits-of-the-year Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:19:14 -0500 bazookajo94

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I'm not sure what a game developer has to do in order to breach the border separating "indie" from "AAA," but if indie games can do just as well as the big guys, then maybe they don't have to worry about crossing that line at all.

\n

Any game with a stellar art style, superb sound design, and a killer story (metaphorically or otherwise) deserves its place on this list -- whether they be loud and quick or soft and subtle, these indie games are sure to burrow their way into someone's heart.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-e7e34.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-e7e34.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176041","description":"

Bendy and the Ink Machine

\n
Platform: PC
\n

I love the phrase "accidental success", and I didn't even know it could be a thing until I discovered Bendy and the Ink Machine.

\n

Developed by TheMeatly Games, Bendy and the Ink Machine's first chapter was released in February, and apparently, the developers didn't think it was going to do as well as they thought. 

\n

This survival horror game follows the story of Henry, an animator visiting his old workplace, where he discovers that his old boss was an occultist, and some seriously demonic stuff has happened to the studio since Henry's departure.

\n

The game releases parts in chapter segments, with the most recent Chapter 3 having been released in September. 

\n

Bendy and the Ink Machine is cute, terrifying, and is sure to make people hate the cartoons they grew up with. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast2-b6077.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/outlast2-b6077.png","type":"slide","id":"176039","description":"

Outlast 2

\n
Platforms: Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4
\n

Any sequel to a game as scary as Outlast has a lot to live up to. I'll never forget how terrified I was the first time I opened the library door in Outlast and a dead body came flying at my face. You just can't beat an opening jump scare like that. 

\n

Outlast 2 gave its best shot, though. 

\n

Developed by Red Barrels and released in April, Outlast 2 follows a married couple investigating the murder of a pregnant woman. Their search brings them to an occult village whose inhabitants believe that the end is nigh, and then things start to get really weird.

\n

Outlast delivered frightful imagery and haunting stories that stuck with the player long after the game is over, and Outlast 2 is no different. A good horror game is one that players dread playing. A great horror game is one that compels the player to keep on playing anyway, and Outlast 2 is just that.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/blogimage-2629d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/blogimage-2629d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176037","description":"

Hollow Knight

\n
Platforms: PC
\n

I'm so glad that one of the main staples of indie games is fantastic art -- and I'm even gladder still when that fantastic art is as haunting as what you'll find in Hollow Knight

\n

Team Cherry's Hollow Knight tells the story of a knight on a quest for treasure and travels through the abandoned Hallownest kingdom. It is a game of combat and exploration (what else would a knight do?) where players will discover what really happened to Hallownest.

\n

Beautiful, haunting, and delightful mysterious, Hollow Knight has received positive reviews from most critics. 

\n

And, really, anything dark and little steals my heart.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-73d78.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-73d78.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176035","description":"

Last Day of June

\n
Platforms: PC & PlayStation 4
\n

Color design has just as much impact on a viewer as sound and graphics. If any game presents itself with a warm sunset beside a dusky purple, things have gone wrong and things will be sad. 

\n

And Last Day of June is sad. 

\n

Developed by 505 Games and released in August, Last Day of June is an adventure puzzle game that centers around a couple who's just been struck with tragedy (meaning one of them died and the other must come to terms with it). 

\n

Praised for its beautiful aesthetics and great storytelling, Last Day of June is good at winning hearts and then breaking them into a million tiny pieces. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/c/0/5c0d3b741e91296f9899b41332aad9fd-3d66e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/c/0/5c0d3b741e91296f9899b41332aad9fd-3d66e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176030","description":"

Tokyo 42

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4
\n

While there may be many assassin games players can find on the market, I doubt players will be able to find one quite like like Tokyo 42

\n

With it's low-poly aesthetic and simplistic perspective, Tokyo 42 sets players in a world where they are framed for murder, and they must fight for their lives against assassins in a colorful Tokyo setting. 

\n

With level designs reminiscent of the mobile game Monument Valley, Tokyo 42 boasts a tactical stealth play style and competitive multiplayer gameplay. 

\n

SMAC Games did their best with this indie title, despite some players reservations. At the very least, it's a beautiful game with an interesting idea, and definitely worth any indie fan's time.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-cd7b8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-cd7b8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176029","description":"

Little Nightmares

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4
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Thrill-seeking gamers around the world rejoiced when Little Nightmares was added to the library of horror games this year -- even one as eerily cutesy as this one (if hugging is an action I can do in a game, then the game becomes 99% more cute than it was before). 

\n

Developed by Tarsier Studios and released in April, Little Nightmares follows a little girl named Six on her journey across The Maw. Players discover the secrets behind The Maw and this "precious" little girl as they trek through five levels of puzzles, scares, and mysteries.

\n

Despite its short length and long wait times, critics enjoyed the game for its atmosphere, suspense, and artistic cast of characters.

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And don't forget the hugs (I know I never will). 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/2/572dc161-0e1c-4ff2-ae9f-bfc4d03ecb08-4aae1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/7/2/572dc161-0e1c-4ff2-ae9f-bfc4d03ecb08-4aae1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176027","description":"

Cuphead

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Platforms: Xbox One, PC
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I don't think I've ever played a game as great as Cuphead since I started playing video games twenty years ago.

\n

With it's run-and-gun style of gameplay, Cuphead follows the story of Cuphead and his brother Mugman as they fight bosses and collect souls for the devil in return for souls of their own. Differing from games of similar ilk, Cuphead is based more on boss fighting than level-progression; each level consists of only fighting a boss, with a few boss-less levels that serve as a way for characters to collect money.

\n

The developers Studio MDHR really put themselves on the charts with this game. Though its name and reputation has been around since E3's 2014 conference, Cuphead lived up to the hype, and its worldwide September release garnered critical renown, scooping up multiple nominations and awards.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/n/bendy-ink-machine-what-have-creators-learned-dagames-youtube-11804.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/n/bendy-ink-machine-what-have-creators-learned-dagames-youtube-11804.jpg","type":"slide","id":"176044","description":"

As indie gaming grows more prominent in the gaming community, it's a wonder that they some can still be considered "indie." Indie games can be just as loud and proud as AAA -- or they can be as soft and subtle in a way a AAA game can't be.

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So, just as I have compiled the 9 best PS4 games of 2017, here are some of the best indie games this year has to offer.

"}]]]>
10 Treats You Don't Want to Miss From GOG's Halloween Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/mki7u/10-treats-you-dont-want-to-miss-from-gogs-halloween-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/mki7u/10-treats-you-dont-want-to-miss-from-gogs-halloween-sale Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:17:18 -0400 Allison M Reilly

Let's face it: the weather is getting colder. As much fun as it is to go trick-or-treating, it's also fun to stay in and be warm, too. Fortunately, GOG.com is running a Halloween sale until 6 p.m. ET,  November 2nd, so staying in can be even more fun with one (or more) of these 10 great deals.

During the sale, those who spend at least $15 will receive a free copy of Tales From the Borderlands, if you needed yet another excuse to spend money and get just one more game for your buck.

Darkest Dungeon

It can be hard enough to manage mental health issues in real life, but Darkest Dungeon presents the challenge of managing mental health issues in game. Part of the adventuring in this gothic, rogue-like RPG is managing the stress and sanity of your team. Also part of the game is Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Darkest Dungeon is a game of chaos, but intellectually stimulating chaos that doesn't completely feel like the game just wants to screw you over.

Darkest Dungeon - sale price $9.99 - normally $24.99

SOMA

SOMA is an interesting entry in the genre of horror games. It's not really one about jump scares or surviving a ton of enemies. The underwater, sci-fi elements play into very specific phobias and create an uneasy, uncertain environment. On top of all that, SOMA has a compelling story, further driving both the game and the player toward continuing and finishing the game. A refreshing title when it comes to horror games, and one worth purchasing.

SOMA - sale price $7.49 - normally $29.99

Hollow Knight

The popular Metroidvania is perfect to purchase now if you haven't already, as the free expansion "The Grimm Troupe" just came out on Oct. 26. "The Grimm Troupe" is a new questline with new bosses, enemies and items, and players can access it at any time. Even without the free DLC, Hollow Knight is considered one of the best games of the year, if not the best. It's beautiful, challenging, engaging, and worth every penny.

Hollow Knight - sale price $9.89 - normally $14.99

Crypt of the Necrodancer

Crypt of the Necrodancer is a rhythm game even rhythm game haters would enjoy. The soundtrack is phenomenal, or players can add and play their own music if they disagree. The game also has tons of replay-ability, not just with the ability to add your own music, but with the different characters that require different playing styles. The game is a few years old, but manages to never get old. If you haven't picked up Crypt of the Necrodancer yet and given it a try, then every time is a good time to do so, but especially now during the GOG.com sale.

Crypt of the Necrodancer - sale price $4.49 - normally $14.99

Grim Fandango Remastered

Halloween isn't the only holiday happening this time of year. Those who love and celebrate the Day of the Dead will also love Grim Fandango Remastered. Everybody's a skeleton, you're in the Land of the Dead, and the dialogue is top notch. This horror isn't in the jump scares or enemies, but the level of corruption Manny Calavera has been dealing with in the Department of Death! Grim Fandango Remastered is an excellent game to pick up if you rather laugh out loud than scream this Day of the Dead.

Grim Fandango Remastered - sale price $3.79 - normally $14.99

Hand of Fate

Hand of Fate does a great job of combining many gaming elements together. It's part card game, part board game, part RPG. The player is in control during combat but still subject to the RNG of the cards. Overall, the game has a fantastic concept and is a grind, albeit a rewarding one, for achievement hunters. If you haven't yet tried Hand of Fate, then now is a great time to do it. The sequel, Hand of Fate 2, is coming out Nov. 7.

Hand of Fate - sale price $6.29 - normally $24.99

Don't Starve

Don't Starve isn't an easy game, and with each DLC release, it doesn't get any easier. The base game alone presents a ton of challenge, and most players will spend hours in trial and error figuring out how to not only survive, but thrive in a world where nearly everything is designed to kill you. The horror in Don't Starve isn't the creepy wilderness or the arrival of Deerclops, but the oversight of forgetting your thermal stone during your winter venture.

Don't Starve - sale price $3.79 - normally $14.99

Outlast

Sure, Outlast II came out earlier this year and it may be tempting to play the newest game. But, don't skip over the original Outlast, where the object of the game is in the title. There's no fighting; just a lot of running and hiding while trying to record as much as possible. Not everyone is an enemy either, so there's the suspense and tension in who to watch out for and where you need to go. Outlast is a must-play title for any fan of the horror genre.

Outlast - sale price $2.99 - normally $19.99

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is fast-paced and action packed. If you want your heart to race because all you're doing is moving, reacting and paying attention to every detail, then Hotline Miami is the game for you. The main character goes on murderous rampages and all the enemies can kill you in one hit. You can sneak by, but that's not going to work every time. The scare here is the blurred lines in who's controlling the main character's actions. Are you really in control, or are you just doing what the answering machine tells you to do?

Hotline Miami - sale price $1.99 - normally $9.99

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear isn't about action. It's not about resolving one scary scenario only to move on to the next scary scenario. It's drawn out. It's meant to feel like you can settle while, in reality, there's no room to get comfortable. Layers of Fear is meant to be about endurance. It's an excellently detailed game, designed to force the player to explore the complexities of fear much in the same way the paintings in the game can be much more than they appear.

Layers of Fear - sale price $4.99 - normally $19.99

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Are you planning on taking advantage of the Halloween sale? What games did you buy, or are you wanting to buy? Let us know in the comments!

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14 Non-Horror Games to Play for Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/kdgrd/14-non-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:59:56 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

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Costume Quest 1 & 2

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It's difficult to find a set of games more perfectly suited for Halloween than Costume Quest and Costume Quest 2. The first centers around your team of characters trying to restore the stolen candy to their neighborhood and rescue a kidnapped sibling, while the sequel has you fighting a team of dental-hygiene fanatics intent on ruining Halloween for everyone.

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They are set up as RPGs, with sidequests and turn based battles. However, your gear is more than just what keeps you safe. Why is that? Because your costumes allow you to transform into what they represent, be it a knight, robot--you name it. The games look adorable as well, with a charming mix of spooky and quirky and environments that can't fail to put you in the Halloween spirit.

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Plus, until November 1st, both games are discounted on Steam: $0.99 for  Costume Quest, $5.24 for Costume Quest 2 or $4.99 for a bundle with both. Note too that the DLC for Costume Quest comes bundled with it.

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Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance (or Complete)

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Disgaea is a perfect series for Halloween, and the latest entry is no exception. You play as a demon overlord of some kind or another in every entry and recruit a variety of different monsters to your team as you fight to fulfill morally dubious goals and secure your position as hellish ruler. It's got everything a strategy fan could ask for too: deep mechanics, micromanagement galore, challenging battles, and a plethora of character classes and skills to master.

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Then there are the Prinnies. They're fun and slightly cute, plus they explode. But they're also the reincarnated forms of murderers and the worst kinds of criminals. If that alone doesn't tell you, the series prides itself on juxtaposing seriousness with ludicrous humor, all in a very anime style. It's a refreshing twist in a genre usually prone to taking itself too seriously and is sure to provide you with a frightfully good time.

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From RPG to quirky platformer and puzzler, there's plenty to tick those spooky seasonal boxes and keep you occupied until -- and after -- Halloween. Let us know in the comments what you're playing for Halloween!

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Looking for more Halloween-themed content? Make sure to check our other Halloween articles on GameSkinny!

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Lumo

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Lumo is a charming little puzzler that has you take control of what looks quite like a Black Mage from Final Fantasy as you solve the brain-teasing puzzles in each of the game's many rooms. The game looks equal parts Fantasia and Chocobo's Dungeon, with a hint of Harry Potter, and it sees you traverse through a tremendous variety of locations in each of those rooms, from your basic storeroom setting to a hallway filled with lasers and a rotating tower with crumbling steps, among others.

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The puzzles are never overly difficult, so it's the perfect game to play with your children, if you have them, but it's certainly not too easy for adults to unwind with at the end of the day. Some of you might recognize it, too, as it's meant to be a revival of the classic British isometric puzzler genre, and it does a superb job of what it sets out to do.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-cf2b1.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/k/i/n/kingdom-hearts-cf2b1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171499","description":"

Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2

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Continuing on with the theme of costumes means the Kingdom Hearts games are next. Sora and co. change their gear with every world they enter, but there are two real main reasons for having these games on your Halloween list. The story becomes more convoluted as the games progress, naturally, but at the core of it all remain the themes of redemption, friendship, and, of course, the conflict between light and dark. It's a lighthearted take on the concept of battling the darkness within us all that carries with it a certain tone with it that perfectly suits the cold, dark autumn nights.

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More to the point, though, is the visit to Halloween Town! In both mainline games, you'll visit Jack Skellington and friends and battle the Heartless that manage to terrify even these monsters. The sequel puts you in Christmas Town—still in Halloween getups—excellently recreating the juxtaposition of happy and spooky that makes the film so enjoyable.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/5/1059e772cddb551.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171498","description":"

Final Fantasy V

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It's Final Fantasy, but with dress-up! But seriously, Final Fantasy V stands out from its brethren for more than the adorable sprite costumes that accompany each change of class. It's a story that takes you across the world, only this time, the world is a lot more expansive, from dealing with mummies in a desert tomb to flying across the mountains on a dragon and everything in between. It's the plot and antagonist that really make this worth putting on your Halloween list, though.

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FFVI's Kefka is villainous in his own right, but Exdeath is the embodiment of evil, almost literally, considering the possibility that he was once the spirit of a forest, now turned corrupt. Along with his evil machinations, you've got a haunting (sorry) time-traveling, interdimensional tale of love, loss, and betrayal. That makes FFV much easier to recommend than that other costume-driven game, FFIII, since there is not much story in the latter. Plus, if you really want to scare yourself, you could play the mobile version of FFV.

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

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The latest mainline Fire Emblem offering, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia provides both an eerie atmosphere and intense gameplay. The land of Valentia is suffering at the hands of a manic priest devoted to a corrupt god. Soulless witches who have offered themselves up to Duma wreak havoc, but that's not all. Fans of later games, including Sacred Stones and Awakening, will see the roots of the undead adversaries in Echoes, in the form of Terrors, legions of the undead controlled by some unknown force and popping up everywhere.

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From a gameplay perspective, it provides a serious challenge, too, requiring you to carefully plan your every move and delivering its own form of tension in the process. It's definitely one of the darker entries in Fire Emblem, and it only gets darker as the game progresses, with the final climax *mild spoilers ahead!* taking place deep underground, involving possession, murder, and betrayal.

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Hollow Knight

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Hollow Knight looks like what you'd get if Tim Burton made video games. Based on the classic Metroidvania genre, Hollow Knight combines the best of 2D platformers with a distinct and attractive art style. Hollow Knight himself, sporting a stylish skull helmet, must traverse the dark, monster-ridden depths of his underworld home to find the secrets buried in it corrupt heart.

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The entire world exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly -- netherworldly? --atmosphere, drawing you in and keeping you wondering what might be beyond the next turn. Yet despite focusing on muted tones and various shades of darkness, the art manages to remain appealing throughout the difficult campaign. Even better is the new Grimm Troupe DLC dropping October 31, even more reason to dive back in or pick up the game for the first time!

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Dragon Quest VI

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"What the heck is a Dragon Quest game doing on a Halloween list?" you might be asking. Well, there's good reason Dragon Quest VI is. You see, long before Halloween became the blood-filled fright-fest it is now, it was one of two times of the year when people of almost every culture believed the veil between this world and the next was at its thinnest. That meant the spirits of the dead could cross, of course, but also all manner of other creatures, including fairies -- not the Tinkerbell kind; the steal your soul and curse your cattle kind -- and other nefarious creatures from beyond could walk in our world.

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Dragon Quest VI captures that theme perfectly. It alternates between an illusionary dream world and a real world, blurring the lines between both (and even making you a kind of ghost when you first visit the real world). The main antagonist draws his power from both worlds, breeding a host of monsters and causing nightmares in the dream world to create havoc in the real one.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/u/i/luigis-mansion-686f4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171492","description":"

Luigi's Mansion

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The launch lineup for the little purple lunchbox that could might have suffered from its games being too short, but that doesn't mean they lacked innovation and quality. And Luigi's Mansion is one that stands out. It's the first game to feature Luigi in a prominent role and completely changes the style of gameplay one would expect from a Mario-type game.

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Over the course of one stormy night, Luigi must explore the depths and heights of the mysterious mansion that appeared from nowhere in order to try and find his missing brother.

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You'll come across multiple mischievous ghosts in the process, along with the masterminds behind the kidnapping, the Boos. The original Luigi's Mansion brings with it a much spookier atmosphere than its sequel, owing partly to the fact that the camera is much closer to Luigi and also the fact that the mansion is much, much darker until you solve the puzzles of each room. For maximum enjoyment, play with the lights turned off.

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Axiom Verge

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If 2D Metroidvania is more your taste, then Axiom Verge is just the game for you this Halloween season. Drawing inspiration from Super Metroid, among other titles, Axiom Verge places you in an unknown environment that blurs the lines between reality and the subconscious. You end up there as a result of a lab accident, so you're not entirely sure at first if you're alive or not.

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However, the game gives you a great deal of control over your environment through the glitch mechanic, letting you manipulate your weapons, enemies, and even landscapes -- some you might not have been intended to see. There's a deep story here, too, as you'll uncover the remnants of an ancient, apocalyptic war and try to piece together how this domain ended up the way it did. The entire affair is rather dark and moody, as you would expect, and it's an excellent way to add some atmosphere to your Halloween gaming.

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Metroid Prime

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The Metroid games are known for creating eerie atmospheres and a sense of isolation, with the possibility of mortal danger lurking around every corner. Any game in the series would be suitable for Halloween (though some fans might say Other M is the most frightening of all, even if for reasons not entirely intended by the developers). However, the original Metroid Prime stands out above the rest in this regard.

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Its first-person mechanic and the dreary desolation of Tallon IV combine perfectly, and no matter how many times you play it, that first time the Metroids burst out of their tanks still holds the power to make you jump. If this doesn't quite sound appealing, though Prime 2: Echoes is also a good candidate, with an even darker plot and the terror of the Ing to contend with as well.

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Puppeteer

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Puppets are creepy, and that goes double for marionettes. Puppeteer manages to maintain that creepiness, yet makes it endearing by adding to it with a quirky, eerie aesthetic and a storyline pulled straight from a fairytale. The story begins when the Moon Bear King puts your soul into the body of a puppet to serve as a slave, but your troubles don't stop there. Before tossing you into his dungeon, the Moon Bear King also rips your head off -- but that sets the stage, so to speak, for the game's signature mechanic.

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You acquire various powerups throughout the game, and these are incorporated via wearing different heads. Your journey takes you across the world and through a wide variety of landscapes, but it's all presented as though it's on a miniature stage, as you'd see with a real puppet show, complete with audience effects, props, lighting, and the whole works. It's a superbly tight platformer and a joy to play, plus there's the added bonus of it being a form of exposure therapy.

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The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

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Arguably one of the darker entries in the LotZ franchise, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask takes everything you know about the series' structure and chucks it out the window. Taking place right after the events of Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask sees Link taken to the mysterious world of Termina, a land where time is quite short because the moon is going to crash into it in three days' time. From there, you travel through Termina's four main regions and try to uncover the mysteries surrounding the catastrophe and the enigmatic Skull Kid wearing Majora's Mask itself.

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As you'd expect, masks play an important role throughout the game, providing new powers and abilities and even transforming Link into different Link-forms. Needless to say, the entire atmosphere is quite dark and broody, rivaling even Twilight Princess. And as the days progress, the people you interact with begin realizing their lives are about to end influences the way they conduct themselves in the game, with reactions ranging from desperation to quiet acceptance of their dark fate.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/n/i/animal-crossing-08c33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171484","description":"

Animal Crossing

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Of course, no Halloween game list would be complete without Animal Crossing. With the exception of Wild World, with its grudge against holidays, every Animal Crossing game has some form of Halloween festivity. Whether it be the GCN original's hunt for Jack to get Spooky furniture or New Leaf's wider array of activities involving month-long specials at the Nooklings' store, mask collecting, and neighbor-scaring, there's plenty to do throughout the month of October.

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Later entries, especially New Leaf, allow you to customize your look down to the finest details, so you can always be in costume. Or you can just finish a long day by taking an evening stroll through your village, appreciating the change of scenery.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-f3efd.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-f3efd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"171502","description":"

The sun sets early, the evenings are getting darker, and there's a certain something in the atmosphere that sets your hair on end. That's right, Halloween is almost here! But not all of us are fans of horror, blood, and gore, so what's a gamer to do if Resident Evil and Silent Hill are out of the question? 

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Never fear! We've got a list of the best 14 non-horror games (because 13 is supposed to be unlucky, right?) you can play in the run-up to Halloween without having to plug in your night-light. Plus, as an added bonus, these are almost all perfectly safe for you to play with the younger members of your family -- and this first one, in particular, should prove widely popular with that specific audience. 

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Team Cherry Reveals New Free Content Pack for Hollow Knight https://www.gameskinny.com/ffrcy/team-cherry-reveals-new-free-content-pack-for-hollow-knight https://www.gameskinny.com/ffrcy/team-cherry-reveals-new-free-content-pack-for-hollow-knight Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:07:36 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Team Cherry recently announced Hollow Knight's second content pack, called "The Grimm Troupe". This expansion releases on Halloween this year, and will offers a variety of new features. The developer also made it a point to note that it will be free for all players. 

Chief among the new features in the pack is a new quest, which the developers say involves the Nightmare Lantern and "a twisted ritual that stretches the breadth of the kingdom". It ultimately provides the player with a powerful new ally as well. Within the new quest, Team Cherry promises new "epic" boss fights that will the player against an ominous red spirit, among others.

"The Grimm Troupe" also introduces 4 new charms and a variety of new foes to test the player's skills. The Troupe contains friendly critters too -- some of which Team Cherry says will end up on your side.

Last of all, the expansion gives players the chance to create custom map markers to help them find their way through Hollownest, and introduces new music for the adventure. The new quest and features may be accessed at any point in the game, and the pack will be included in the Switch launch as well, though no definitive date was given for that launch.

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Are you excited about the new content? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out our Hollow Knight guides if you're just getting started with the game.

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Love Art? These 7 Hand-Drawn Games Will Blow Your Mind https://www.gameskinny.com/5wfuq/love-art-these-7-hand-drawn-games-will-blow-your-mind https://www.gameskinny.com/5wfuq/love-art-these-7-hand-drawn-games-will-blow-your-mind Fri, 01 Sep 2017 17:40:56 -0400 adelgirl

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Skull Girls

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Price: $9.99
Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive
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Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game where players can choose from a multitude of fighters. This game is a great starter fighting game for people new to the genre. While there are many combos to learn for each character, they can be learned relatively quickly -- especially when compared to many other fighting games currently on the market. While there is a story mode for the game, many people prefer to go head-to-head against each other through local or wireless play.

\n

The hand-drawn, anime art style lends itself perfectly the character of Skullgirls. In essence, it's like playing your favorite anime -- except its the one you never knew you wanted. 

\n

Get Skull Girls on Steam.

\n

---

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Have you played any hand-drawn games that you think should have made the list? Have you played any of the games on this list and want to share your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below. 

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/e/need-deeper-51247.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/e/need-deeper-51247.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168425","description":"

We Need to Go Deeper

\n
Price: $9.99
Rating: Very Positive
\n

We Need to Go Deeper is a co-op game about exploring the depths of the ocean. The game requires 2-4 people to pilot a submarine through a trench into the dark depths of the sea. As you travel through the unknown, you and your companions must maintain your submarine -- least you sink. The ocean you explore is randomized whenever you and your friends start a new game, so you are always discovering new biomes and new creatures. 

\n

We Need to Go Deeper has a unique art style that's quirky and fits perfectly with the bizarre nature of the game. Like a children's book, We Need to Go Deeper is imbued with a sense of wonder because of its art. 

\n

Get We Need to go Deeper Early Access on Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-a49f8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-a49f8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168630","description":"

Hollow Knight

\n
Price: $14.99
Rating: Very Positive
\n

Hollow Knight is a side-scrolling Metroidvania RPG that mainly focuses on exploration. As you play, your character will gain skills and abilities that will help you discover new areas and new items -- which, in turn, will help you open new areas and unlock new items. It's classic Metroidvania in a perfectly hand-drawn aesthetic.

\n

And while the art of the characters in Hollow Knight appears to be quite simple, the background contrasts with it in such a way that makes the game to look incredible. That perfect juxtaposition of simple and complex set it apart from other games in the genre. 

\n

Get Hollow Knight on Steam.

\n

 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/y/r/pyre-68091.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/y/r/pyre-68091.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168428","description":"

Pyre

\n
Price: $19.99
Rating: Very Positive
\n

Pyre is an RPG created by the same team that made the games Bastion and Transistor. The story follows a character that was exiled from society, where they meet up with a group of other exiles and embark on an adventure. Your goal is to help the group survive by defeating other exiles that attack your groups, finding supplies the party can use, and helping them improve their various abilities.

\n

Pyre makes use of detailed character and background artwork in order to tell its story. It's reminiscent of its forebears, while its charming aesthetic meshes well with its tone and mechanics. 

\n

Get Pyre on Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/n/banner-saga-603dd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/n/banner-saga-603dd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168629","description":"

The Banner Saga

\n
Price: $19.99
Rating: Very Positive
\n

The Banner Saga is a turn-based tactical strategy game on steam which takes place during the time of the Vikings. You control a Scandinavian warrior as they travel through a desolate world. As you progress, you gain and lose members of your caravan, and while you're fighting the cold, you're also fighting other clans. Banner Saga also makes use of the choices you make in dialog and combat to affect how the game progresses. 

\n

Banner Saga's art was inspired by the Disney film Sleeping Beauty, as well as Donald Bluth and his work on game's like Dragon's Lair. 

\n

Get The Banner Saga on Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/p/deponia-90c15.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/p/deponia-90c15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168424","description":"

Deponia

\n
Price: $39.99
Rating: Very Positive
\n

Deponia is a point-and-click adventure game where you follow Rufus. He lives in the city of Deponia and desperately wants to leave. He wants to leave the city so badly that he has tried time and time again to do so, with no luck, until he accidentally causes a woman to fall from her star cruiser -- and things change forever.

\n

The art of the game is a simple, cartoony style -- but with incredibly detailed backgrounds. If you like point-and-click games, or want to try a new game, definitly check out Deponia. 

\n

Get Deponia The Complete Journey on Steam. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/r/gorogoa-screenshot-6ab8e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/r/gorogoa-screenshot-6ab8e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168423","description":"

Gorogoa

\n
Price: TBA
Rating: TBA
\n

Although Gorogoa hasn't been released yet, the art in this upcoming puzzle game from Annapurna Interactive for Android, iOS, and Windows looks absolutely gorgeous based on the trailers and screenshots we've seen so far. 

\n

The basic conceit is that you are given four panels with which you have to interact in order to solve puzzles. You can drag the various panels onto each other or touch them in order to get to the solution of each puzzle. You can also take certain panels off of other panels in order to change the scenes in them. The details in each panel are fantastic, not only in art but also in how they can change so much yet still somewhat stay the same.

\n

The details in each panel are fantastic, not only in art but also in how they can change so much yet still stay the same. Definitely check this game out when it is released.  

\n

You can check Gorogoa out on Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-22f25.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-22f25.jpg","type":"slide","id":"168628","description":"

Hand-drawn games are amazing -- and the game art can be fantastic, too. The art various so much between the games and the movements are so fluid that you can tell that a ton of work was put into these different games. While these games do focus a ton on the art put into their games, they do not slack in other areas. The actual mechanics and stories of some of these games are great, but do not take away form the art of the games. These games in this list are some of the best hand-drawn games that you can purchase on steam. They are all various types and genres, from fighting to point and click adventure games. This list has something for everyone.

\n

All of these games are playable on Macs and PCs, though make sure to check the system requirements for you computer before purchasing any of these games. 

"}]]]>
11 Best Current and Upcoming Indie Games for the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/wbqu0/11-best-current-and-upcoming-indie-games-for-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/wbqu0/11-best-current-and-upcoming-indie-games-for-the-nintendo-switch Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:16:47 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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That wraps up our list! As much as we tried, we couldn't fit in every indie darling that we wanted to. But hopefully you've found at least one game that you can enjoy on your Nintendo Switch console. 

\n

Don't see an indie gem that you think deserves a spot on this list? Let us know down in the comments! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5d581a94e6d5b619d3ede058b271f740.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5d581a94e6d5b619d3ede058b271f740.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11325","description":"

Fe

\n
TBA 2018
\n

Fe is an oddly titled platform adventure game where you play as a small wolf-cub-like creature and sing to interact with a "living, breathing ecosystem".

\n

It has a bright, cool color palette that's reminiscent of games like CreaVures or Ori and the Blind Forest, and appears to be based heavily in exploration. We don't know much about it yet -- but if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks as though it will be an interesting take on the adventure genre, and provide players with a new fantasy world to really fall in love with.

\n

This game is definitely worth keeping an eye on if you're looking for more adventures to experience on your Nintendo Switch.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/80d67d69c7db4efe1b90c105dd843f45.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/80d67d69c7db4efe1b90c105dd843f45.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11321","description":"

Battle Chef Brigade

\n
TBD
\n

I've already written a lot about the upcoming Battle Chef Brigade, so I'll do my best to not repeat myself. Battle Chef Brigade combines elements of Monster HunterOdin Sphere, and Bejeweled into one game, then frames it all with gorgeous hand-drawn animation that depicts a fantasy world cooking competition akin to Iron Chef. 

\n

The player is expected to go out into the field and slay beasts to collect magical plants and forage the best and freshest of ingredients. They must then cook them into a delicious meal by playing a match-two puzzle game, all while taking into account the judge's tastes and the time limit.

\n

The game promises four different playable characters -- all of whom have different storylines that intersect with each other, as well as their own special abilities to utilize on the field. Battle Chef Brigade has one of the most appealing premises I've heard for a game in years. And based on what we've seen so far, it looks as thought it'll turn out to be quite the treat. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/318712bf7b8f5e1a91becfddeb594ade.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/318712bf7b8f5e1a91becfddeb594ade.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11331","description":"

Thimbleweed Park

\n
September 2017
\n

Thimbleweed Park is the most recent adventure game from veteran game developer Ron Gilbert, best known for his involvement in LucasArts adventure games (including the first two games in the Monkey Island series and Maniac Mansion). Thimbleweed Park is a sort of spiritual successor to those games, sporting a pixelated retro-computer artstyle, the same user interface as most classic LucasArts point-and-click games, and several playable characters.  

\n

The gameplay is traditional point-and-click fare -- examine the environment, find an item, read the humorous text description, and then try and figure out what goes where as you follow the storylines of each individual character. You also have the ability to switch between the five playable characters at will during gameplay, which grants the player a lot of expedience in how they want to proceed with the story. Each character is vastly different in personality, which makes each of their stories entertaining for different reasons.

\n

Thimbleweed Park is a high quality classic adventure game that will feel right at home on the Switch. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/328876b707a66a43da03ca6bfe7a5015.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/328876b707a66a43da03ca6bfe7a5015.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11322","description":"

Hollow Knight

\n
TBD 2017
\n

Hollow Knight is a 2D Metroidvania-style platformer that tells the tale of the titular Hollow Knight, who must traverse an ancient series of all-but abandoned ruins of a once mighty civilization. It's among the more slowly paced Metroidvania games out there, but in the end this works in its favor, creating an expertly crafted gaming experience that owes a great deal of its inspiration to Dark Souls and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

\n

The cutesy hand-drawn art-style and the insect-centric aesthetic help to emphasize a grand sense of scale and curious awe that the game's exploration sets up from the start. The average Metroidvania game will start you off with little and gradually reward your hard work with more tools and abilities -- but among games like these, Hollow Knight is an exemplary title.

\n

Every single room feels like progress and every boss defeated is a triumph as you slowly but surely grow more and more powerful and unravel the story behind the crumbled kingdom around you. It's a game of many emotions as well -- often conveying much while saying very little, and manipulating the player's sense of security and tugging their heart-strings through its limited dialogue, music, and visuals.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8880d80a0d61783ea506790499f66935.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8880d80a0d61783ea506790499f66935.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11318","description":"

Yooka-Laylee

\n
TBD 2017
\n

The familiar yet fresh spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie that is Yooka-Laylee will be coming to Switch in the near future -- and it could not be on a more appropriate platform. Considering the classic Rareware Nintendo 64 roots that this game has, as well as the many dedicated platforming fans that exist among the Switch's audience, it's hard not to see Yooka-Laylee arriving on the Switch as a homecoming of sorts.

\n

While the collect-a-thon style of gameplay may not be for everybody, Yooka-Laylee executes that style particularly well. While there are only five main worlds in addition to the hub-world, they are all creatively designed on top of being whimsically themed, and absolutely stuffed to the gills with different collectibles to find and tons of fun and varied ways to get them.

\n

The Switch version also promises to be the most complete version of the game to date. The Switch version will launch with the "Spit 'n' Polish Update" already installed, which addresses a number of issues that some players took with the game. That means it's the ideal port for people who were on the fence about the game after hearing it's divided response and held off on trying it until now.

\n

Yooka-Laylee was a good game already, but it will be better on the Switch.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d87aad72d88112b53168468debf00ad8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d87aad72d88112b53168468debf00ad8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11328","description":"

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

\n
Available Now
\n

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is the most recent entry in the Shantae series, as well as an excellent comedic Metroidvania-style platformer -- and it may also be best experienced on the Switch more than anywhere else.

\n

This game is a great time no matter what platform you play it on. But of all the various options available, there are more reasons to buy the Switch port than any other. First off, it's a better portable version than the PlayStation Vita version due to the Switch's much bigger screen size, which truly becomes crucial at points when visibility is key. 

\n

The second major bonus to the Switch version of the game is its love of utilizing the controller's HD Rumble feature. WayForward was so excited to use the feature in the game that they marketed it as a selling point.

\n
\n\n
\n

This port really takes full advantage of the Switch's exotic features, but never in a gimmicky way that interrupts the flow of gameplay. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero on the Switch is the best way to play an already great game.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d7a6f1577f420354d6beb7e95ac82891.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d7a6f1577f420354d6beb7e95ac82891.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11330","description":"

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

\n
Available Now
\n

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a remake of the original Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, but with more polished core gameplay, slightly tweaked mechanics, and the option to switch between the game's expressive hand-drawn style and the pixelated aesthetic of the original.

\n

The Dragon's Trap shines through with its charming visuals, catchy soundtrack, and polished classic gameplay, making it a game that both fans of the original as well as newcomers can enjoy. If you enjoy a good platformer you're bound to like this one -- it's got multiple animal forms with different abilities to play around with, simple RPG elements with its different armor and weapons, and its general old-school charm.

\n

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a solid remake, a solid platformer, and an all-around good time that's easily worth the $20 price tag.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5803961f49ee4494f07594907d7926fb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5803961f49ee4494f07594907d7926fb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11324","description":"

Thumper

\n
Available Now
\n

Thumper is unlike pretty much any other rhythm game out there, and describes itself much better than I think I ever could:

\n
\n

"Thumper is rhythm violence: classic rhythm action, blistering speed, and brutal physicality. You are a space beetle. Brave the hellish void and confront a maniacal giant head from the future."

\n
\n

This rhythm game has more than a dash of violence, as well as an oppressive, threatening, percussion-heavy soundtrack that goes hand-in-hand with the otherworldly and sometimes frightening visuals. It's a game that's all gameplay, while still managing to feel more like an experience of some sort than a conventional game. You should definitely look into Thumper if you'd like to play a rhythm game that breaks the mold of classic rock and energetic pop songs.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c30d73552b42d2af982193fe8344e722.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c30d73552b42d2af982193fe8344e722.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11317","description":"

GoNNER

\n
Available Now
\n

GoNNER is a procedurally-generated 2D platformer where you jump around and shoot everything as the "altruistic" Ikk looking to find the perfect gift for his friend Sally the whale. It's a basic game, but executed very well -- and the gameplay is backed up by a variety of weapons, colorful and bombastic visuals, and an atmospheric yet blood-pumping soundtrack. 

\n

It's the kind of game you can play for five minutes or five hours if you want, which makes it a perfect fit for the pick-up-and-play nature of the Switch. It's also a surprisingly lengthy experience for the low price of $10. GoNNER is a trippy, fun, action-packed game with lots of bright colors and plinky-plonky sound effects, which all make it easy to recommend.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3cea00092a97e498344765d706e8e0ab.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3cea00092a97e498344765d706e8e0ab.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11319","description":"

Snipperclips

\n
Available Now
\n

Odds are if you own a Switch, you've at least heard of Snipperclips. It was a launch title for the system that a lot of people bought just to have something to play -- which ultimately works out for everyone anyway, because the game is actually pretty great.

\n

Snipperclips is a 1-4 player co-op puzzle game that involves playing as 2-4 paper characters who must work together to solve a series of logic and physics puzzles -- whether that puzzle be guiding a gerbil up a ramp, or dunking a basketball. Teamwork is key in this game, as you must literally use each other to succeed -- whether that be by using your partner as a platform, or overlapping your body with theirs and cutting them into whatever shape they need to be. 

\n

It's a great game both for people who want to work together, as well as people who just want to grief each other. There a number of competitive modes alongside the main 2-player campaign, such as basketball and a first-to-three battle mode. You can also just endlessly cut each other to ribbons and re-spawn infinitely in the main mode, which is just fun to do.

\n

Snipperclips is accessible, genuinely head-scratching at times, packed with charm, and just all around a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d6c1cea3acbea3c01d2ce8867244af90.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d6c1cea3acbea3c01d2ce8867244af90.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11316","description":"

The Jackbox Party Pack 3 

\n
Available Now
\n

Let's start this list off with something anyone can enjoy. Jackbox Party Pack 3 is the third installment in the Jackbox party game series and probably the best. It's a collection of multiplayer games meant to crack up their players -- some of which can host up to 8 players with only one controller, as long as they have something else to access the internet with.

\n

All you need to play most of these games is a phone, tablet, or laptop of some kind, an internet connection for the Switch, and some creativity. All five of the packaged games are simple, quality games that require constant player input.

\n

Here's the rundown of all 5 games you'll get in this Party Pack: 

\n
    \n
  • Trivia Murder PartyAnswer trivia questions in a life-or-death comedy parody of horror movie sequels. 
  • \n
  • Fakin' ItLie to your friends and try to shift guilt onto your teammates in order to save your own skin -- even if you're innocent. 
  • \n
  • GuesspionageA game of governmental surveillance that questions you about how many people do certain things, then makes you guess what percentage of people do/don't do these things. 
  • \n
  • Tee K.O.A delightful mess that has you create images and slogans for t-shirts, which are then randomly handed out to all players so they can try and make the best or funniest shirts from what they're given. If there's one shirt you really love, you can have it custom-made for purchase through the Jackbox website.
  • \n
  • Quiplash 2: Players are asked a variety of questions, write a punchline for each answer, and judge each other's answers to decide which is funniest. It's the perfect game for groups of friends with creative and dirty minds. 
  • \n
\n

Jackbox Party Pack 3 is simply one of the best party games available right now, especially on the Switch. No matter what kind of audience you've got it's virtually guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-indie-banner-b6efd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/w/i/switch-indie-banner-b6efd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"167860","description":"

The Nintendo Switch has been garnering an excited user-base since its launch earlier this year, and for a number of good reasons. One of those reasons is how attractive the Switch is as a platform for ports, smaller games, and indie titles. But now that developers are rushing to create games for this new console, it's getting a little difficult to sort through all the current and upcoming indie titles to find the ones that are really worth your time. 

\n

But that's okay -- we've done the work for you and rounded up nearly a dozen of the best indie games that are on the system right now, along with some gems coming later down the line. It's a pretty diverse set of games that we'll be showing off here, so there's something on this list for every kind of Switch gamer. 

"}]]]>
Steam's 6 Best Metroidvanias https://www.gameskinny.com/h9qz6/steams-6-best-metroidvanias https://www.gameskinny.com/h9qz6/steams-6-best-metroidvanias Thu, 27 Jul 2017 11:29:19 -0400 Zantallion

The Metroidvania genre is a personal favorite of mine, as well as millions of other gamers. Having played games in the Metroid series since I was very young, I unsurprisingly love that style of gameplay, and the continuing popularity of the genre has kept my desire sated. But as with every genre, there are diamonds and a whole lot of rough. So to help make the search easier, this article will be going through some of the best Metroidvania games Steam has to offer right now.

Let's get started. 

Guacamelee

Guacamelee is a very colorful, stylized Metroidvania title that sees you taking the role of Juan Aguacate, a Mexican farmer who becomes a powerful wrestling hero after putting on a special mask. In order to save El Presidente's daughter from Carlos Calaca, an undead dictator, you'll traverse through gorgeous Mexican mythology-inspired landscapes, all the while adding new abilities to Juan's movelist. The art style is gorgeous, and the setting allows for unique visuals and an atmosphere that most other Metroidvanias don't explore.

Get Guacamelee on Steam.

Dead Cells

Are you looking for a Metroidvania with a little more bite to go along with its bark? Then look no further than Dead Cells. Taking a page from the Souls playbook (in the developer's own words), Dead Cells is an insanely punishing take on the Metroidvania concept. The usual ideas that follow the genre are intact. New abilities, weapons, and skills unlock new areas to explore. But there are no checkpoints, no save stations, no churches or anything of the sort. Every single death sends you right back to the very beginning, and you have to progress through the maze all over again. If you're faint of heart, Dead Cells may not be your cup of tea. But if you want a true grit challenge, Dead Cells is the title to get.

Get Dead Cells on Steam.

Axiom Verge

For those looking to whet their retro game appetite, Axiom Verge offers a classic 2D, sprite-based title not unlike the Metroidvanias of the NES and SNES eras. Rather than a bounty hunter or vampire killer, however, you play as a humble scientist who, by unknown means, has found himself on a mysterious alien planet. Using abilities and items you find along the way, you'll have to fight your way through the planet to discover just where you are, and why you're there.

Buy Axiom Verge on Steam

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

Everyone's favorite purple-haired genie nabs an entry on this list with Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, a gorgeous romp through classically and beautifully sprited landscapes set to some of the best music in the genre. When a demon pirate's spirit threatens to destroy her island home, Shantae and her former archenemy, Risky Boots, set sail to thwart his plans and keep Sequin Land safe from his clutches. Or, in Risky's case, to get her horde of minions back.

Buy Shantae and the Pirate's Curse on Steam

Hollow Knight

Looking for something similar in tone to games like Limbo or Inside? Then Hollow Knight is probably the best choice for you. As a cute but eerie little treasure hunter, you'll descend into the depths of Hallownest, the underground world. There you'll find all kinds of similarly eerie enemies and obstacles, which you'll need a multitude of abilities to overcome. In this quiet world of bugs, mist, and dirt, expect your journey to be just as enjoyable as it is unsettling. Arachnophobes need not apply.

Get Hollow Knight on Steam

Ori and the Blind Forest

You didn't think I'd do an article on best Metroidvanias without mentioning Ori, did you? Ori and the Blind Forest is a masterpiece of a game, with beautiful music, a haunting, silently told story, and the best visuals of all the games on this list. Considering its competition, that should say a lot about Ori. As a mysterious glowing creature named Ori, you must make your way through awe-inspiring landscapes and environments in order to save the titular forest from a gargantuan shadow owl intent on destroying it. The entire story is told without a single word ever said, which makes Ori's mastery that much more apparent.

Get Ori and the Blind Forest on Steam

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And there you have it. Steam's best of the best when it comes to Metroidvanias.

So what did you think? Which is your favorite? Did we miss a key title? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hollow Knight Hidden Dreams DLC Releases August 3 https://www.gameskinny.com/gote3/hollow-knight-hidden-dreams-dlc-releases-august-3 https://www.gameskinny.com/gote3/hollow-knight-hidden-dreams-dlc-releases-august-3 Wed, 19 Jul 2017 14:01:13 -0400 Erroll Maas

Team Cherry, the developers behind the popular 2D adventure game Hollow Knight have announced that the first DLC content for the game, "Hidden Dreams", will go out to all players on August 3. Team Cherry says that this release date is a little later than originally expected and that the content still needs some testing and fine tuning before release. On top of that, Italian and Japanese language support has also been announced, in addition to some "unannounced surprises" which have not yet been revealed.

The blog post also highlights two of the game's most popular mods, Lightbringer and Glass Soul. Lightbringer gives players new weapons, while Glass Soul gives players only one health point to complete the game.

There were no updates on the upcoming Nintendo Switch version of the game, but the team will be showing off Hollow Knight and participating in a few panels at AVCon in Adelaide, Australia this weekend, so stay tuned for more updates.

Hollow Knight is currently available for PC and Mac through Steam. A Nintendo Switch version has been in development for some time and is planned to release later this year.

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Where to Find Pale Ore in Hollow Knight https://www.gameskinny.com/d56j2/where-to-find-pale-ore-in-hollow-knight https://www.gameskinny.com/d56j2/where-to-find-pale-ore-in-hollow-knight Mon, 24 Jul 2017 09:33:28 -0400 Michael Dellapi

Pale Ore is one of the most coveted items in Hollow Knight because although it's hard to acquire, its rewards are unbelievably enticing. By visiting the Nailsmith, the player will be able to upgrade their Nail for each piece of Pale Ore (plus a bit of Geo) that they have. This means that the player character's Nail will be more powerful, delivering more damage via melee strikes to enemies throughout the game. 

In total, there are six pieces of Pale Ore to be found scattered throughout Hollow Knight. This guide will show where to find in each location. 

How and Where to Find Pale Ore in Hollow Knight

Hallownest's Crown

To find the Pale Ore found in Hallownest's Crown, you'll need the Monarch Wings (this is the only location on this list that requires additional tools to find Pale Ore). Technically, the item can still be accessed with some clever platforming, but the entire process is made much quicker by having the Monarch Wings in the first place. 

Navigate to the top of Crystal Peak and walk all the way to the left. There, you will see a statue of The Radiance with a glowing item found at the base. By inspecting this glow, you will acquire a Pale Ore.

Ancient Basin

This location for Pale Ore can be found starting at the main entrance of the Ancient Basin coming from Deepnest. It is located to the left of the tram station and to obtain it, you must defeat two Lesser Mawlek's. After fighting them, continue moving left and you will find an inspectable item that will grant you another Pale Ore. 

Deepnest

Speaking of Deepnest, this piece of Pale Ore can only be found by defeating the secret boss "Nosk." To the left of the Hot Spring in Deepnest is a breakable wall leading you into a series of tunnels. Continue traveling down this path and make your way into Nosk's lair. We won't spoil too much about the fight with Nosk, but just know that defeating him will grant you a Pale Ore

Grubfather

The Grubfather is an NPC found in the northwest corner of Forgotten Crossroads. Grubs are found scattered throughout the game and returning them to the Grubfather earns you a number of different rewards depending on the number of grubs returned. If the player returns 31 Grubs, however, they recieve another Pale Ore

The Seer

The Seer is met upon reaching the Resting Grounds, whereupon the NPC gives you access to the Dream Nail, a special item that lets you explore the dreams of other NPCs. 

The item allows you to gather Essence from Ghosts, Dream Warriors, and Dream Bosses. If you return to the Seer with 300 Essence, the Seer will give you a Pale Ore

Colosseum of Fools

The Colosseum of Fools lets you fight in a series of trials of escalating difficulty. The trials include the Trial of the Warrior, the Trial of the Conqueror, and the Trial of the Fool. By completing the Trial of the Conqueror, you will earn a Pale Ore and 1800 Geo.  

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After finding all of these pieces and returning them to the Nailsmith, you will have a fully upgraded Nail. This dramatically boosts the damage output of the weapon and should make taking out enemies much easier. Of course, there is much more to explore in Hollow Knight, so your journey does not necessarily end after finding all of the Pale Ore. Be sure to read some of the other Hollow Knight guides from Gameskinny! Here are a few to get you started: 

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How to Find and Beat Nosk in Hollow Knight https://www.gameskinny.com/gh494/how-to-find-and-beat-nosk-in-hollow-knight https://www.gameskinny.com/gh494/how-to-find-and-beat-nosk-in-hollow-knight Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:15:06 -0400 heatherew24

Since its release in February, Team Cherry's Hollow Knight has already garnered thousands of downloads and positive reviews on Steam. This single-player game is a hand-drawn 2D masterpiece that takes players underground to explore and navigate the dark depths of a once glorious kingdom. 

Lots of people have been talking about this game non-stop since its release. And recently, a good deal of that talk has been about finding and destroying the boss villain Nosk. Where is he located? What are his major moves? Is he even worth killing? We have the answers, and in this short guide, we're going to tell you how to track down and defeat Nosk.

Where to Find Nosk in Hollow Knight

Nosk's location is inside of Deepnest. Here's how to get to the precise area where you'll find him:

  1. Go to Deepnest, specifically the Hot Spring to the West of Tram.
  2. To the left of that Hot Spring there should be a room with a wall. Break it.
  3. Behind that wall is a Grub with wall behind it. Do whatever you want with the Grub and then break the wall.
  4. Follow the tunnels, and you will soon find yourself in Nosk's lair.

How to Beat Nosk in Hollow Knight

The interesting thing about Nosk is that he is a mimic -- so when you are first looking for Nosk, look for a character that looks just like yours. There's a fair chance that it's Nosk trying to hide. (According to the wiki, Nosk will appear as the character in multiple locations at once.)

Defeating Nosk is relatively simple. First, attack yourself until he turns into his scary real form first. Then comes the real fight.

Other than mimicking, Nosk has only two attacks:

  • Charge: Nosk sprints towards you from side of the room to the other.
  • Jump: Nosk quickly jumps around the room, making him a difficult target. 

The best piece of advice to follow when you're facing this boss is to hide when he tries to charge or jump on you. There is a little hideout just beside the elevated platform in the center of Nosk's lair. Hiding there gives you enough time to heal so that you can jump back into the fight. Check out the image below to see exactly what we're talking about:

Is Nosk Worth Beating?

The TL;DR here is yes. Nosk appears to be a major part of the game, given that he's mentioned in the Kickstarter -- and there are also hints toward his existence throughout the game. 

Nosk is also guarding a Pale Ore that you can obtain upon defeating him. So if you're looking to upgrade your Nail, you'll definitely want to pick this up. 

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We hope this helps! Share your Nosk battle story in the comments below. And while you're here, be sure to check out the rest of our Hollow Knight guides to make sure you get out of Hallownest alive:

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Hollow Knight Charms Guide: All Charms and Where to Find Them https://www.gameskinny.com/84hh1/hollow-knight-charms-guide-all-charms-and-where-to-find-them https://www.gameskinny.com/84hh1/hollow-knight-charms-guide-all-charms-and-where-to-find-them Mon, 10 Jul 2017 16:16:25 -0400 Wizard of Warsaw

In Hollow Knight, charms are special items that provide buffs, and can be found all over the world. To equip charms you'll be using notches. You start with three notches and can gain up to seven more throughout the game. Each charm requires a set number of notches to be equipped, allowing you to mix and match a variety of charms to help fight your way through the world.  

The notches that determine how many charms you can equip are not a hard cap. A risky concept, the ability to be "overcharmed" allows you to equip more charms than you should be able to. If you attempt to equip a charm that uses more notches than you have, the game will refuse a few times before finally relenting and equipping the charm. When overcharmed, play carefully -- as you will take double damage until you are no longer overcharmed. 

Master List of All Charms and Their Locations in Hollow Knight

Wayward Compass
  • Description: Whispers its location to the bearer whenever a map is open, allowing wanderers to pinpoint their current location. 
  • Notches:
  • Location: After first encounter with Cornifer, it can be bought from Iselda in Dirtmouth for 220 Geo. 

This charm is perfect for a first time playthrough. While equipped, it will show the player's location on the map -- making it primarily useful in learning the complex map of Hollow Knight. The winding passageways of the world can quickly confuse you, so it's a safe charm to have if you're not intending to get involved in any serious battles.  

 

Gathering Swarm 
  • Description: A swarm will follow the bearer and gather up any loose Geo. Useful for those who can't bear to leave anything behind, no matter how insignificant. 
  • Notches:
  • Location: Bought from Sly in Dirtmouth for 300 Geo. 

This is a really helpful charm early on when you don't have quite enough Geo. The swarm will pick up any Geo that you can't reach -- like the coins that fall into spikes. Mostly useful for grinding Geo to get the expensive early items like the Lumafly Lantern, this charm loses its usefulness late in the game after most items have already been bought.  

 

Stalwart Shell
  • Description: Builds resilience. When recovering from damage, the bearer will remain invulnerable for longer. Makes it easier to escape from dangerous situations. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Bought from Sly in Dirtmouth for 200 Geo. 

This charm increases the length of the invulnerability period that occurs after taking damage. Mostly useful in boss fights or against large groups of enemies that are hard to dodge, the charm gives some extra time to escape a situation or start swinging wildly.  

This charm can be more effectively used with the Quick Slash and Fragile Strength charms to output a ton more damage, or the Quick Focus charm to get a quick heal during the invulnerability.  

 

Soul Catcher 
  • Description: Used by shamans to draw more SOUL from the world around them. Increases the amount of SOUL gained when striking an enemy with the nail. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: After killing the Elder Baldur, found at the end of the Ancestral Mound. 

The description on this charm is pretty self-explanatory. You get more SOUL for hitting enemies, which is useful for casting spells and healing. It's not an incredibly powerful effect, but it is still useful well into the later stages of the game.  

Soul Catcher's effect can be combined with a ton of other charms to get some impressive power spikes. You can stack this charm with Soul Eater and further increase the amount of SOUL gained, or equip Spell Twister and be able to more frequently cast spells.  

 

Shaman Stone
  • Description: Said to contain the knowledge of past generations of shaman. Increases the power of spells, dealing more damage to foes.  
  • Notches: 3 
  • Location: Purchased from Salubra in Forgotten Crossroads for 220 Geo. 

A spell focused charm, the Shaman Stone increases the damage of spells by 33%. The damage increase is substantial, but unless you can guarantee that you will have enough SOUL for both spells and healing, it isn't as useful on its own. 

Bringing charms to help get more SOUL makes the Shaman Stone far more useful. Soul and Eater, Soul Catcher, and Grubsong are both good combinations to increase the amount of SOUL generated during combat. The Spell Twister charm is also a good option as it reduces the cost of spells. 

 

Soul Eater
  • Description: Forgotten shaman artifact, used to draw SOUL from still-living creatures. Greatly increases the amount of SOUL gained when striking an enemy with the nail. 
  • Notches: 4 
  • Location: Found in the Resting Grounds. Use Desolate Dive on the grave underneath the stag station. The charm is found down the passageway on the right, next to a statue. 

An upgraded for of the Soul Catcher, this charm grants even more SOUL when hitting at enemy. The four notch requirement makes it a little harder to manage early on, and generally Soul Catcher is a better option. 

Combining this charm with other spell-based charms can lead to an effective spell build though, with Spell Twister and Shaman Stone both being good combination options.   

 

Dashmaster
  • Description: Bears the likeness of an eccentric bug known only as 'The Dashmaster'. The bearer will be able to dash more often as well as dash downwards. Perfect for those who want to move around as quickly as possible.  
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Found southeast of the Mantis Village in the Fungal Wastes, near the entrance to the Royal Waterway.  

A good option for the early game, the Dashmaster charm loses its usefulness into the late game. Dashing is faster than walking, so this charm can help to move across large distances, but there are so many other charms that are more useful that it is hard to justify using Dashmaster for long.  

That being said, using the Dashmaster alongside the Sharp Shadow increases the damage to 150% Nail damage, rather than the standard 100% Nail damage. 

 

Thorns of Agony
  • Description: Senses the pain of its bearer and lashes out at the world around them. When taking damage, sprout thorny vines that damage nearby foes. 
  • Notches: 1 
  • Location: Requires Mothwing Cloak. Can be found in Greenpath in a maze of thorns.  

Thorns of Agony is a useful charm if fighting multiple enemies. The damage is double your base Nail damage, giving it a fair amount of damage. Unfortunately, the damage dealt doesn't gather any SOUL, which can make it difficult to gather SOUL for healing or spells. 

When combined with the Baldur Shell charm, Thorns of Agony will activate when the Baldur Shell breaks, even if no damage is taken.  

 

Fury of the Fallen
  • Description: Embodies the fury and heroism that comes upon those who are about to die. When close to death, the bearer's strength will increase. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Found in King's Pass. Acquired with the Mothwing Cloak or Mantis Claw. 

A pretty risky option for new players, the Fury of the Fallen charm activates when you reach one health. As long as you remain on one health, your Nail damage is increased by 75%. Fury of the Fallen only affects Nail damage, so it shouldn't be used on spell-focused builds. 

This charm stacks with Fragile Strength, granting roughly 162% increased damage as long as you are at one health. Interestingly, it also interacts with Grubberfly's Elegy to give the player red projectiles at one health.  

 

Fragile Heart
  • Description: Increases the health of the bearer, allowing them to take more damage. This charm is fragile, and will break if its bearer is killed. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Purchased from Leg Eater in Fungal Wastes for 350 Geo. 

The Fragile Heart charm is a powerful option, giving the player two additional points of health. The only real downside is that the charm can break, but even that is a fairly small problem since Leg Eater will repair it for Geo.  

When combined with Joni's Blessing, the Fragile Heart charm will grant Lifeblood Masks in keeping with the Joni's Blessing charm effect. 

 

Fragile Greed
  • Description: Causes the bearer to find more Geo when defeating enemies. This charm is fragile, and will break if its bearer is killed. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Purchased from Leg Eater in Fungal Wastes for 250 Geo. 

This charm simply grants more Geo from enemies when they die. Its biggest use comes from exploring the world, and it doesn't have any combat use. Like the other Fragile charms, it breaks upon death and Leg Eater will repair it for Geo.  

Combining Fragile Greed with the Gathering Swarm can maximize the Geo earned, by allowing the swarm to pick up the Geo that falls into unreachable places. 

 

Fragile Strength
  • Description: Strengthens the bearer, increasing the damage they deal to enemies with their nail. This charm is fragile, and will break if its bearer is killed.  
  • Notches: 3 
  • Location: Purchased from Leg Eater in Fungal Wastes for 600 Geo. 

Fragile Strength increases Nail damage by 50%. This option is technically weaker than other charms, but generally more effective because it is a constant upgrade, rather than having the 1 health requirement of the Fury of the Fallen charm. Like other Fragile charms, it breaks upon death and Leg Eater will repair it for Geo. 

The charm can be combined with other charms to increase damage output. Charms like Quick Slash allows you to output your damage faster, while the damage of Fury of the Fallen and Fragile Strength stacks multiplicatively. 

 

Spell Twister
  • Description: Reflecting the desires of the Soul Sanctum for mastery over SOUL, it improves the bearer's ability to cast spells. Reduces the SOUL cost of casting spells. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Found in a secret room at the top of Soul Sanctum. 

A useful charm for spell-focused builds, the Spell Twister reduces spell costs by 33%. Combining this charm with other spell-based charms can greatly improve spellcasting. Soul Catcher and Soul Eater both grant more SOUL per hit giving more opportunities to cast spells, and Shaman Stone increases the damage of your spells reducing how many spells you need to cast to defeat your enemies.  

 

Steady Body
  • Description: Keeps its bearer from recoiling backwards when they strike an enemy with a nail. Allows one to stay steady and keep attacking. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Purchased from Salubra in Forgotten Crossroads for 120 Geo. 

A fairly simple effect, the Steady Body charm removes the recoil from attacking. This charm is most effective in areas with heavy platforming, where sliding backwards could send you tumbling to your death. Luckily, the charm does not affect the bounce that happens when attacking enemies from above.  

Steady Body can be combined with a number of charms (Mark of Pride, Longnail, and Quick Slash are a few examples) usually as a way to stay in range of the enemy. 

 

Heavy Blow
  • Description: Farmed from the nails of fallen warriors. 
    Increase the force of the bearer's nail, causing enemies to recoil further when hit. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: After acquiring the Shopkeeper's Key from the Crystal Peak, can be purchased from Sly for 350 Geo. 

Heavy Blow is another simple, yet powerful charm. Granting the player a more effective knockback effect when attacking enemies gives more opportunity to avoid the enemies attacks and can create openings to heal. 

 

Quick Slash
  • Description: Born from imperfect, discarded nails that have fused together. The nails still long to be wielded. Allows the bearer to slash much more rapidly with their nail.  
  • Notches: 
  • Location: In a hidden room in  Kingdom's Edge. 

A fairly plain effect that combos exceptionally well with other charms, Quick Slash increases your attack speed -- and when used alongside other charms, can ramp up your damage. 

Common combinations include basic damage buffing charms like Fragile Strength, or Grubberfly's Elegy to increase the number of projectiles.   

 

Longnail

  • Description: Increases the range of the bearer's nail, allowing them to strike foes from further away. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Purchased from Salubra in Forgotten Crossroads for 300 Geo. 

Used primarily to keep distance, the Longnail increases the range of your melee attacks. It is slightly shorter range than the Mark of Pride, but oftentimes that difference isn't a huge factor, especially considering Longnail has a lower notch cost and is easier to acquire. 

You can equip both Longnail and Mark of Pride for a further extended range, but it's generally advised to pick one or the other and use the extra slots for something else.  

 

Mark of Pride
  • Description: Freely given by the Mantis Tribe to those they respect. Greatly increases the range of the bearer's nail, allowing them to strike from further away. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: In the Mantis Village. Look for a room to the northeast of the Mantis Lords, available only after defeating the Mantis Lords.  

An upgraded version of the Longnail. The upgraded range can be used to more safely Nail bounce. 

 

Baldur Shell

  • Description: Protects its bearer with a  hard shell while focusing SOUL. The shell is not indestructible and will shatter if it absorbs too much damage. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Southwest portion of Howling Cliffs. After finding a chest that drops only 1 Geo, jump inside the box to find a cave guarded by two Elder Balder and the charm. 

The Baldur Shell is a protective charm that can be incredibly useful early on, but is generally considered less useful than other charms. The charm provides a protective barrier when focusing SOUL -- but if the barrier is hit the focus will be interrupted and the SOUL will be wasted. Charms like Quick Focus and Shape of Unn tend to be better. By the far the biggest downside is that the shell breaks after four hits and won't regenerate until the next time you rest.   

 

Flukenest
  • Description: Living charm born in the gut of a Flukemarm. Transforms the Vengeful Spirit into a horde of volatile baby flukes. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Dropped by Flukemarm in the Royal Waterways. 

Flukenest is a replacement of the Vengeful Spirit spell. It does more total damage and has a wider spread, while sacrificing consistency.  

While Flukenest is best used against large bosses to ensure maximum damage, when combined with the Defender's Crest it will send out a toxic fluke that explodes releasing a toxic cloud, making it much more reliable for damage.   

 

Defender's Crest
  • Description: Unique charm bestowed by the King of Hallownest to his most loyal knight. Scratched and dirty, but still cared for. Causes the bearer to emit a heroic odour. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Reward for defeating Dung Defender in the Royal Waterways. 

The Defender's Crest is fairly situational, as it emits toxic clouds around the player. The clouds are small and very strong, but they linger and can be used to damage enemies as you run away from them. Mostly, this charm shines when combined with other charms. Flukenest and Glowing Womb both create toxic creatures that will explode and release toxic clouds. 

 

Glowing Womb
  • Description: Drains the SOUL of its bearer and uses it to birth hatchlings. The hatchlings have no desire to eat or live, and will sacrifice themselves to protect their parent.  
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Requires Crystal Heart. Acquired in the Forgotten Crossroads, to the right of the False Knight arena in the ceiling. 

Glowing Womb uses the player's SOUL to create up to four followers that will charge at nearby enemies. Useful for players who prefer Nail combat since SOUL is only used for healing. Combined with the Defender's Crest the followers will explode into poison clouds. 

 

Quick Focus
  • Description: A charm containing a crystal lens. Increases the speed of focusing SOUL, allowing the bearer to heal damage faster.  
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Purchase from Salubra in Forgotten Crossroads for 800 Geo. 

Most useful in high pressure situations, the Quick Focus charm allows you to cast Focus faster. The increased speed of Focus can let you heal in the middle of a boss fight or an arena.  

When combined with the Stalwart Shell, the time it takes to heal is just shorter than the invulnerability time. Additionally, charms like Soul Catcher and Soul Eater allow more SOUL per hit, giving more opportunities to heal.  

 

Deep Focus
  • Description: Naturally formed within a crystal over a long period. Draws in SOUL from the surrounding air. The bearer will focus SOUL at a slower rate, but the healing effect will double. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Requires Crystal Heart. Found in Crystal Peak. Below the area where the player finds Cornifer, a Husk Miner is mining a wall. Breaking the wall reveals the secret area. 

The opposite of the Quick Focus, the Deep Focus charm grants two points of health, though a bit slower. The extended time makes it difficult to use in boss battles so it's recommended for platforming challenges or other places where there is a lot of time to rest. 

The biggest combination for Deep Focus is with the Quick Focus charm. With both charms active you can use Focus to get 2 health back, at the regular speed.   

 

Lifeblood Heart
  • Description: Contains a living core that seeps precious lifeblood. When resting, the bearer will gain a coating of lifeblood that protects from a modest amount of damage.  
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Purchase from Salubra in Forgotten Crossroads for 250 Geo. 

The Lifeblood Heart grants 2 Lifeblood Masks. These additional health points regenerate after resting and are commonly used for spell casting builds as a way to reserve SOUL for casting rather than healing.  

Lifeblood Heart can be combined with other Lifeblood based charms like Joni's Blessing and Lifeblood Core for additional Lifeblood masks. 

 

Lifeblood Core
  • Description: Contains a living core that bleeds precious lifeblood. When resting, the bearer will gain a coating of lifeblood that protects from a large amount of damage.  
  • Notches: 3 
  • Location: On the left wall of the Abyss is a cave that only opens if a player has 15 or more Lifeblood masks. The charm can be found inside the cave. 

An upgraded version of the Lifeblood Heart, the Lifeblood Core grants 4 masks rather than 2. It stacks with Joni's Blessing and Lifeblood Heart and costs one only one notch more than the Lifeblood Heart while providing double the effect. 

The biggest downside to what is arguably the best Lifeblood charm, is that it is immensely difficult to obtain. It is recommended that you get at least 7 health, then use Joni's Blessing and Lifeblood Heart to reach 15 Lifeblood masks to open the door to the Lifeblood Core.   

 

Joni's Blessing
  • Description: Blessed by Joni, the kindly heretic. Transfigures vital fluids into blue lifeblood. The bearer will have a healthier shell and can take more damage, but they will not be able to heal themselves by focusing SOUL. 
  • Notches: 4 
  • Location: Acquired at Joni's repose in Howling Cliffs. 

Joni's Blessing has one of the most noticeable effect of any charm. It increases your health by 4, and changes all masks into Lifeblood masks. The Focus ability becomes useless as you can't regenerate Lifeblood masks, which makes this a powerful choice for spell builds as it reserves all SOUL for casting.  

When combined with Hiveblood, the masks granted by Joni's Blessing will regenerate, unlike the masks granted by other Lifeblood charms. Shaman Stone is another strong option for spell builds utilizing Joni's Blessing.  

 

Grubsong
  • Description: Contains the gratitude of freed grubs. Gain SOUL when taking damage.  
  • Notches: 1 
  • Location: Given by the Grubfather after the player has freed 10 grubs. 

With such a low cost, the Grubsong charm is a top notch choice. The charm grants SOUL every time you take damage, and while the amount of SOUL gained isn't enough for a heal or spell on its own, when combined with striking enemies it becomes far easier to gather SOUL.  

Grubsong can be combined with a ton other charms for useful interactions. When combined with the regenerative effect of Hiveblood, you can have infinite SOUL by jumping into a hazard then letting Hiveblood heal you before repeating. When combined with Grubberfly's Elegy, it actually increases the amount of SOUL received from damage. 

 

Grubberfly's Elegy
  • Description: Contains the gratitude of grubs who will move to the next stage of their lives. Imbues weapon with a holy strength. When the bearer is at full health, they will fire beams of white hot energy from their nail.  
  • Notches: 3 
  • Location: Gifted by the Grubfather after freeing all 46 grubs. 

While Grubberfly's Elegy projectiles are a cool effect, it is fairly difficult to obtain with pretty low damage -- making it kind of a letdown. Having said that, it works well in combinations that increase damage or attack speed. When combined with Fragile Strength and Fury of the Fallen, reaching one health brings the projectiles back and gives them a massive increase in damage. 

 

Hiveblood
  • Description: Golden nugget of the Hive's precious hardened nectar. Heals the bearer's wounds over time, allowing them to regularly gain health without focusing SOUL. 
  • Notches: 4 
  • Location: Acquired in the Hive, below the Hive Queen's spirit. 

Hiveblood returns the last point of health over a period of 10 seconds. This regeneration can keep you fairly healthy as long as you're not diving headfirst into enemies. Hiveblood can also regenerate the health from Joni's Blessing, though not Lifeblood Heart or Lifeblood Core. An interesting passive to this charm is that the Hive enemies will cease to be hostile unless attacked.  

 

Spore Shroom
  • Description: Composed of living fungal matter. Scatters spores when exposed to SOUL. When focusing SOUL, emit a spore cloud that slowly damages enemies. 
  • Notches: 1 
  • Location: Requires Mothwing Cloak and Mantis Claw. Located in the Fungal Wastes, near the secret ways to Queen's Gardens and Deepnest.   

Useful against slow enemies or in tight spaces, the Spore Shroom releases a toxic cloud after healing. Unfortunately, it loses some of its use as you shift into the late game. Additionally, there is a passive ability that allows you to understand the both language of the Riddle Tablet in Kingdom's Edge and Mister Mushroom. 

Spore Shroom achieves various aesthetic effects when combined with the Baldur Shell and the Shape of Unn, changing your character into a snail while using Focus. Alternately, when combined with the Defender's Crest the poison damage does more damage and ticks faster, dealing more damage over the duration.  

 

Sharp Shadow
  • Description: Contains a forbidden spell that transforms shadows into deadly weapons. When using the Shadow Dash, the bearer's body will sharpen and damage enemies. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Requires Shade Cloak. In Deepnest, in a room beneath the tram station behind a wall of shadows. 

The Sharp Shadow increases the dash length as well as dealing damage to enemies. The damage scales off the current Nail damage, but is unaffected by damage buffs from other charms. The only exception being in the case of Dashmaster, which improves Sharp Shadow's damage slightly.  

 

Shape of Unn
  • Description: Reveals the form of Unn within the bearer. While focusing SOUL, the bearer will take on a new shape and can move freely to avoid enemies. 
  • Notches: 2 
  • Location: Requires Isma's Tear. Acquired from Unn beneath the Lake of Unn. 

The Shape of Unn charm grants you the ability to move while healing. The movement is slow and you can't jump, but movement is still safer than standing still. It can be combined with Spore Shroom and Baldur Shell for aesthetic changes, and combining with Quick Focus allows for faster movement.  

 

Nailmaster's Glory
  • Description: Contains the passion, skill and regret of a Nailmaster. Increases the bearer mastery of Nail Arts, allowing them to focus their power faster and unleash arts sooner.  
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Given by Sly after learning all 3 Nail Arts from the Nailmasters. 

Nailmaster's Glory charges Nail arts twice as fast, making it an incredibly useful one notch choice. When combined with the Fury of the Fallen, your Nail arts damage is increased by 75% -- making them a solid retaliation option.  

 

Dream Wielder
  • Description: Transient charm created for those who wield the Dream Nail and collect essence. Allows the bearer to charge the Dream nail faster and collect more SOUL when striking foes. 
  • Notches: 1 
  • Location: Given by the Seer after gathering 500 essence. 

The Dream Wielder reduces the time to charge the Dream Nail while simultaneously increasing the amount of SOUL gained from those strikes. Unfortunately, you have to stand still to use it and it does no damage.  

 

Kingsoul
  • Description: Holy charm symbolising a union between higher beings. The bearer will slowly absorb the limitless SOUL contained within. Opens the way to a birthplace. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Acquired by finding both halves. One half is given by the White Lady in Queen's Garden, and the other is a reward for completing the White Palace. 

This charm's high notch cost makes it difficult to combine with other charms, but the constant SOUL regeneration is still useful, as you can guarantee both healing and spells. Additionally, the charm is still used to unlock the secret area of the Abyss. 

 

Void Heart
  • Description: An emptiness that was hidden within, now unconstrained. Unifies the void under the bearer's will. This charm is part of its bearer and cannot be unequipped. 
  • Notches: 
  • Location: Found in the Birthplace. 

The most drastic effect of this charm is that it grants access to two different endings for the game. It also uses no notches, replaces the Kingsoul charm, and makes your Shade and Siblings non-hostile.  

---

There you have it! That's all the charms in Hollow Knight, along with where to find them and how to best utilize them. If you want even more tips for this Metroidvania game, check out the rest of our Hollow Knight guides here on GameSkinny:

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How to Reach the Howling Cliffs In Hollow Knight https://www.gameskinny.com/434fo/how-to-reach-the-howling-cliffs-in-hollow-knight https://www.gameskinny.com/434fo/how-to-reach-the-howling-cliffs-in-hollow-knight Sat, 08 Jul 2017 19:33:38 -0400 ActionJ4ck

The Howling Cliffs is a relatively small area in Team Cherry's Hollow Knight, tucked away at the top of the map. Though technically optional, this area does contain some interesting story tidbits and a few important finds, including the Cyclone Slash Nail Art and the fight with Dream Warrior Gorb.

Players can access the Howling Cliffs after obtaining the Mothwing Cloak from defeating Hornet and the Mantis Claw in Mantis Village. Once both of these abilities are under your possession, you can enter the Howling Cliffs either from Greenpath or via the King's Pass outside Dirtmouth. 

How to Get to the Howling Cliffs From Dirtmouth

[Original image courtesy of Hollow Knight Wiki]

After obtaining the Mantis Claw and Monarch Wings, player's can return to the King's Pass (the game's starting area) to the west of Dirtmouth. With these two items, you should now be able to scale the wall on the west side of the area. Doing so will put you in the northeast corner of the Howling Cliffs. 

How to Get to the Howling Cliffs From Greenpath

[Original image courtesy of Hollow Knight Wiki]

The second entrance to Howling Cliffs is located at the northernmost point of Greenpath (circled above). If you are making your way from the Stag Station (next to where you fought Hornet), then it's a quick trek east/northeast from there, but shouldn't be too much of a hassle even if you are starting from elsewhere. 

What to Do When You Reach the Howling Cliffs

As is usually the case in Hollow Knight, the first thing you'll want to do in the new area is grab yourself a map from Cornifer -- but the choice is ultimately up to you. Though relatively small, the Howling Cliffs still contains a few key points of interest that we've labeled for you in map below. 

 [Original image courtesy of Hollow Knight Wiki]

  1. Cornifer
  2. Nailmaster Mato: When talked to, Nailmaster Mato will teach you the powerful Cyclone Slash
  3. Gorm: Gorm is one of the optional Dream Warrior bosses. Per usual, you will need the Dream Nail to trigger this fight. 
  4. Joni's Repose: This is a sub-area where players can obtain the charm Joni's Blessing and meet the ghost of Blue Child Joni herself (Dream Needle required). 
  5. Stag Nest: This sub-area/Stagway Station is available after unlocking all other Stagway Stations in the game. 

Now that you've found your way, feel free to explore the Howling Cliffs to your heart's content, and don't forget to check back with GameSkinny for more Hollow Knight guides.

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Possible Physical Switch Edition of Hollow Knight "Looking Promising" https://www.gameskinny.com/4zswy/possible-physical-switch-edition-of-hollow-knight-looking-promising https://www.gameskinny.com/4zswy/possible-physical-switch-edition-of-hollow-knight-looking-promising Wed, 05 Jul 2017 14:44:58 -0400 Erroll Maas

In a recent update on Hollow Knight's Kickstarter page, developer Team Cherry has announced that while they're not able to confirm anything yet regarding a physical release of the game for the Nintendo Switch, they have been looking into making it happen -- and that "things are looking promising."

On June 7th, it had been announced that the Nintendo Switch version of Hollow Knight is feature complete, and all that's left is testing and optimization. It was also revealed that the Nintendo Switch version will include the recently released Hidden Dreams content pack.

Hollow Knight is a 2D indie platformer featuring hand-drawn artwork. It stars a tiny insect warrior who arrives in the town of Dirtmouth and ventures into the mysterious Hallownest to lift the curse that afflicts the town.

The Kickstarter campaign for Hollow Knight started on November 18 ,2014 and reached its initial funding goal just a month later. Since then, the campaign has been able to fund four of its eight known stretch goals.

Hollow Knight was released for PC on February 24, 2017. A second playable character, known as Hornet, was recently announced alongside three content packs.

Hollow Knight is currently available on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux, and will be released for Nintendo Switch at an unspecified date later this year.

Stay tuned in to GameSkinny for more Hollow Knight news and updates.

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How Long is Hollow Knight? https://www.gameskinny.com/65h2q/how-long-is-hollow-knight https://www.gameskinny.com/65h2q/how-long-is-hollow-knight Tue, 04 Jul 2017 15:01:18 -0400 glados131

Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania-style platformer from indie developer group Team Cherry. As it is an indie title, it's reasonable to wonder how much content you're getting for your purchase, as indie games tend to be on the shorter side. You needn't worry, however-- Hollow Knight packs a ton of content into its $15 package.

Total Play Time for Hollow Knight

The game has roughly 13 major areas for you to explore, give or take. Each area can range from one to even two hours to clear (sometimes more when full completion is taken into account), so you can expect a lot of playtime from even one playthrough.

HowLongToBeat calculates a playthrough at around 21 hours -- and that's just for the main story. If you add in optional areas, that figure inflates to 26 hours, which is staggering for an indie game. And if you're a real completionist, you're looking at a whopping 42 hours of playtime. When you consider that many indie games fall short of even 10 hours, Hollow Knight's length is truly impressive.

How does the game fill all that playtime? We already mentioned the area count, but the game boasts quite a few more features, including:

  • 30 bosses
  • Over 130 enemies
  • A beautiful hand-drawn art style
  • A great atmospheric soundtrack
  • Lots of adorable bug characters
  • Even more content coming this month in the form of a free update

If you're looking for a short little indie game to pick up and beat within one or two sessions, you're probably better looking elsewhere. But if you want an experience that you can savor for longer, all for only fifteen bucks, Hollow Knight is almost certainly worth your time.

Be sure to check out our review of Hollow Knight and stay tuned for more articles from GameSkinny!

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Steam Summer Sale 2017: 5 Best Platformers Under $10 https://www.gameskinny.com/x4ete/steam-summer-sale-2017-5-best-platformers-under-10 https://www.gameskinny.com/x4ete/steam-summer-sale-2017-5-best-platformers-under-10 Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:08:13 -0400 glados131

Few gaming genres are as popular as the platformer. Nowhere is this more evident than on Steam, where a vast library of these games -- many of dubious quality -- are literally just a few clicks away. But for all of the dime-a-dozen Mario clones out there, a few stand above the rest. And with the Steam Summer Sale underway, there's never been a better time to pick them up.

Here are just a few platformers you can get right now for $10 or less.

Super Meat Boy

Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price: $2.84
Steam Rating: Very Positive

One of the most iconic platformers outside of the plumber himself, Super Meat Boy is the creation of one Edmund McMillen. It should be noted that many platformers are reasonably challenging, but not overly so. This game is another story.

Super Meat Boy is a game you should play if you want your platforming skills pushed to the absolute limit. It demands mastery over the precise and responsive controls if you want to come out on top. Luckily, when death comes, you barely need to wait a second before jumping back into the fray.

Get Super Meat Boy on Steam

Rogue Legacy

Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price:
$2.99
Steam Rating: Very Positive

A more recent game, Rogue Legacy is both a well-polished platformer and a type of game called a roguelike (well, technically a roguelite, but that's a debate for another time). That means that every time you play, the levels are randomly generated -- and if you die, it's back to the beginning. It's not as hard as it sounds, though, as you gradually unlock upgrades that persist between attempts and make things easier.

One of the most fun aspects of the game is that when you start a new attempt (or a "run"), you choose from a few randomly generated characters with their own classes, and special "traits" that include things like color blindness, dyslexia, and more.

Get Rogue Legacy on Steam

Hollow Knight

Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price:
$9.89
Steam Rating: Very Positive

Hollow Knight just came out this year, but has already made a huge impression with its engaging, Metroidvania-style gameplay and gorgeous hand-drawn art style. If you're a fan of games like Castlevania and Metroid, which gradually let you explore more and more of their vast worlds as you unlock new abilities, this is one worth checking out.

Get Hollow Knight on Steam

Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

Standard Price: $19.99
Sale Price:
$9.99
Steam Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

If Hollow Knight sounded appealing to you, Ori and the Blind Forest should also be a must-have. Another beautiful Metroidvania game, this one has some truly breathtaking moments. It also recently had a sequel announced at this year's E3, so now is a great time to play it if you haven't already.

Get Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition on Steam

Cave Story+

Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price:
$10.04
Steam Rating: Overwhelmingly Positive

Okay, technically this game is currently a few cents over ten bucks, but we had to make a special exception for a truly special game. Cave Story is, simply put, one of the most legendary indie games of all time, with its addicting gameplay, charming story, and lovable characters. Its enhanced edition, Cave Story+, was released on Steam in 2011 and remains the definitive way to play the game with its updated graphics and extra content. Do yourself a favor and give it a try -- this is one story you don't want to miss.

Get Cave Story+ on Steam

 ---

These are just a few platforming games that are a part of Steam's 2017 summer sale. Let us know what you think of our picks in the comments!

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5 Recent & Decent PC Platformers You May Have Missed https://www.gameskinny.com/yueo8/5-recent-decent-pc-platformers-you-may-have-missed https://www.gameskinny.com/yueo8/5-recent-decent-pc-platformers-you-may-have-missed Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Erroll Maas

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/i/flinthook-featured-415ad.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/i/flinthook-featured-415ad.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157232","description":"

Brand New Hidden Gems

\n

So there you have it, 5 recent and decent platformers available for the PC. With how different each of these games are -- despite being part of the same genre -- when it comes to recent platformers, there seems to be something special for gamers of all types. Whether you're hunting for treasure in Flinthook, exploring the world of Hollow Knight, or getting creeped out by Little Nightmares, these 5 games provide something  different for everyone.

\n

Are there other titles in the genre we missed that you think should be on this list as well? Let us know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5a0b541a094242efe3ade7396c5e00b5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/5a0b541a094242efe3ade7396c5e00b5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10767","description":"

Play Hollow Knight If You Enjoy Games Like Salt & Sanctuary

\n

Hollow Knight is a 2D metroidvania style action adventure game developed by Team Cherry, released on PC this past February.

\n

In Hollow Knight, you play as the titular character exploring a world populated by all different kinds of bugs battle hordes of strange enemies, and piece the story together -- as you might in any Dark Souls game.

\n

Even though it may not be the easiest or most well known game, Hollow Knight is a great choice for any fan of games like Dark Souls and Salt & Sanctuary, hand drawn artwork, or pleasant sounding soundtracks

\n

Buy it on Steam. Hollow Knight will also be available on Nintendo Switch some time in the near future.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adcc14b3e85e2c12f1f11c1c025e14e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adcc14b3e85e2c12f1f11c1c025e14e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10765","description":"

Struggle for Survival in Rain World

\n

In this survival platformer released by Adult Swim Games and developed by Videocult, you play as a Slugcat who gets separated from its family. To progress through the game you have to eat as well as avoid different creatures in the world's ecosystem, all while avoiding deadly rain. You can use debris as weapons to defend against randomly generated enemies, search for food, and reach hibernation rooms which are used as save points.

\n

The story of Rain World is communicated through details in the environment and the game does not help the player too much, instead only giving the smallest of hints as they progress through the world.

\n

Although it has received mixed reviews due to its tough gameplay, Rain World is a unique indie platformer which provides a new experience for any gamer who enjoys games about survival.

\n

Buy it on Steam, or PlayStation 4.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/24d3bc734ad4f05e61281d3ab149339c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/24d3bc734ad4f05e61281d3ab149339c.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10766","description":"

Play Hacky Zack If You Need A Game To Play in Short Sessions

\n

Hacky Zack is a game developed by Spaceboy, and first started out on Steam Greenlight.

\n

In Hacky Zack, you play as a character named Zack and juggle different balls to help get through the different obstacles of each level.

\n

Hacky Zack also features plenty of stickers to collect, 8 different characters to play as, and a timed challenge mode.

\n

With a stellar soundtrack, Hacky Zack provides a small but great game to be played in short bursts for any PC gamer's collection.

\n

Buy it on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/896e99cc9bb49b56941f59cbe3c49088.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/896e99cc9bb49b56941f59cbe3c49088.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10761","description":"

If You're A Big Fan of Inside, Play Little Nightmares

\n

Little Nightmares is a game being released by Bandai Namco, developed by Tarsier Games, and has some striking similarities to 2016's indie smash hit, Inside.

\n

In Little Nightmares, you play as a girl named Six, as she tries to escape out of a strange underwater resort known as "The Maw."

\n

This is likely to be be the first of many in the "creepy indie platformer" sub genre seemingly created by Limbo, and Inside. Little Nightmares is arguably creepier and more disturbing than the game which inspired it, due to its more detailed graphical style, grotesque looking enemies, and its theme of "childhood fears."

\n

As a new entry in the indie horror platformer genre, Little Nightmares is a game fans of Inside should definitely lookout for.

\n

Buy it on Steam or PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2dbd2c693602af4a65b470d1514e6b07.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2dbd2c693602af4a65b470d1514e6b07.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10760","description":"

Play Flinthook If You Enjoy Roguelikes and Space Pirates

\n

This charming indie roguelike platformer released rather recently, although it was overshadowed by games like The Disney Afternoon Collection, Full Throttle Remastered, and Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 1, all releasing on the same day, Flinthook stands out. In Flinthook, you play as the titular space pirate with a grappling hook, exploring the Mermaidon galaxy to hunt treasure, fight bad guys, and collect bounties for wanted criminals.

\n

Whereas fellow roguelike The Binding of Isaac, is dark, disturbing, and inspired by the top down view of the Legend of Zelda games, Flinthook is more similar to a Metroidvania style game, while being much more humorous and lighthearted.

\n

With its science fiction and classic pirate crossover aesthetic, Flinthook is a great game for any fan of indie platformers, roguelikes, and space pirating.

\n

Buy it on on Steam, or PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/3/1338-flinthook-screenshot-1490079404-1490079404-21923.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/3/3/1338-flinthook-screenshot-1490079404-1490079404-21923.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157214","description":"

Platformers are having a magnificent year in 2017. So far, we have seen games inspired by beloved Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie, like Snake Pass and Yooka-Laylee, as well as re-releases of older platformers such as The Disney Afternoon Collection and Voodoo Vince Remastered, with plenty more new platformers and remasters coming soon.

\n

We have also seen indie platformers having a great year as well, but they don't always get the attention they deserve, or the attention they get seems to fade away a bit faster than usual. These smaller games are also often overshadowed by bigger games in other genres as well as their more popular counterparts which all release around the same time.

\n

Here are 5 indie platformers released recently you may not have known about that deserve more attention.

"}]]]>
Why Hasn't Konami Remastered Its 2D Castlevania Backlog? https://www.gameskinny.com/uk73r/why-hasnt-konami-remastered-its-2d-castlevania-backlog https://www.gameskinny.com/uk73r/why-hasnt-konami-remastered-its-2d-castlevania-backlog Thu, 06 Apr 2017 17:42:10 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Konami has made some odd decisions in recent years from top to bottom. From all the drama surrounding the Metal Gear series and its now-independent creator Hideo Kojima, to the whole fiasco with Silent Hills getting cancelled, the company has been subjected to a lot of criticism from its fans. 

But there's another influential IP that Konami hasn't quite been treating well lately -- Castlevania. With the industry's recent influx of reboots and remasters, a lot of fans are wondering why the heck we haven't seen some Castlevania games coming to modern devices. 

In the last few years, Konami has decided to restructure its company to be more mobile-focused, while largely forsaking the franchises that made them successful. It drove away Metal Gear Solid’s creator, Hideo Kojima, in an epic display of giving zero f*cks about what he brought to the company. The Silent Hill reboot also fell to the same fate since it was under Kojima's name. 

Konami has since announced a Kojima-less entry in the MGS series that's really more of a zombie spinoff. And aside from that, the company seems more concerned with making mobile games, pachinko machines, and ruining beloved childhood TCGs than it does with revisiting any of its iconic Castlevania games. 

A little history...

The last Castlevania game was Lords of Shadow 2, released 3 years ago in February of 2014 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Before that, there was Castlevania Mirrors of Fate for the 3DS -- which despite being a 2.5D side scroller, was still an action-oriented game in the same vein as Lords of Shadow.

To find the last Metroidvania-style Castlevania game, you have to go back almost a decade 2008’s Order of Ecclesia. It had a killer style and top-notch bit art that earned it glowing reviews upon release. But in spite of its success, we never really saw another game like it. 

Where's My Castlevania?

Not Around Here (Not Anytime Soon, At Least)

There are two questions begging to be asked here:

  1. Why haven't there been any new 2D Castlevania games?
  2. Why haven't any of the older Castlevania games been remastered?

With the rise of mobile gaming on smart devices, the continued popularity of handhelds like the Nintendo 3DS, and the recent release of a hybrid console like the Switch, it seems like the perfect time to revisit a style/genre of game that was basically made for handheld play. The Switch provides an especially lucrative opportunity to bring those much-beloved classics into the modern day. Nintendo is doing it with many of its exclusive fighting games, so why shouldn't Castlevania get the same love?

Just imagine having Symphony of the Night and all six handheld-based Castlevania games available for one system. Heck, with all the advancements we've made in terms of storage, you could probably fit multiple games on one disc or cartridge and sell it as a bundle. 

Sure, the first two GBA Castlevania games -- Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance -- were released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2014. But the Wii U isn't exactly a super successful console, so making those games available there doesn't make them available to their whole audience. Symphony of the Night is also available for digital download on PSN and Xbox Live, but even then it's not currently available on current-gen consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. 

The Market Has Spoken!

Konami might be justifying the lack of new or remastered Castlevania by saying that there simply isn't any consumer interest in it. But a quick Google search will prove that's patently untrue. 

If you Google "metroidvania games", you get a massive list of modern games that are trying to emulate what Castlevania did back in the day. And it just keeps going and going and going. 

The case for Konami revisiting its Castlevania titles only gets more compelling when you look at how much the market wants more Metroidvania games. Not only does the market want them, but a lot of those that have been released in the last several years have been very successful. Here are some examples:

  • Axiom Verge
  • Guacamelee
  • Rogue Legacy
  • Owlboy
  • Apotheon
  • Salt & Sanctuary
  • Steam World Dig
  • Shadow Complex
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Recent Shantae games

Hell, just recently Hollow Knight was released and has been getting great reviews across the board.

Some of these games play very close to the vest with the Metroidvania formula, while others innovate and only loosely utilize it. But the consistent theme is that the formula holds up and people love it. Chances are that you've heard of at least a few of these games, and maybe have even played (and enjoyed) some of them yourself.

This isn’t even considering the fact that the man behind the Castlevania formula, Koji Igarashi, secured $5.5 million worth of funding for his Metroidvania game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, via Kickstarter.

There’s very clearly a market for these games. And it doesn’t have to be a triple AAA, high-risk venture. Konami could make a game with a smaller scope, or at least test the waters by porting older games in the series to see if the interest is still there.

Their whole purpose is to make money, just like any other company. And their rationale for the recent treatment of many of their IPs -- the Castlevania series included -- is that they can't make money off those games or genres anymore. But that's clearly not true if you look at the indie development scene and how thriving the Metroidvania market still is. They could profit off of that while pleasing their fan base. It's a win-win.

Metroidvania even has its own "tag" on Steam!

I want more 2D Metroidvania style Castlevania games. And for now, I'd be willing to settle for ports and remasters on current gen consoles or the Nintendo Switch. And I know I'm not the only one -- there are a lot of avid Castlevania lovers out there who miss the days of old.

We know you can do it, Konami. If Capcom has done a halfway decent job of porting the Mega Man games, surely you can give Castlevania a shot. After running your fans through the wringer with Silent Hills and the Kojima fiasco...you kind of owe it to us. 

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Hollow Knight: A Dark Yet Whimsical Gaming Experience https://www.gameskinny.com/rjp31/hollow-knight-a-dark-yet-whimsical-gaming-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/rjp31/hollow-knight-a-dark-yet-whimsical-gaming-experience Fri, 31 Mar 2017 15:40:08 -0400 Justin Michael

As of late, I have been playing a lot of indie games. As an aspiring indie developer myself, I believe in supporting the community as well as learning from other developer's successes and mistakes.

So, when I was told that I was going to reviewing Hollow Knight -- a recently released Metroidvania with a "Very Positive" rating on Steam -- I was quite excited.

A Well-Balanced Aesthetic

Hollow Knight, the product of developer Team Cherry, is a 2D side-scroller with gorgeous hand-drawn art. And let me tell you -- the art style for this game is amazing. Despite the dark and gloomy color scheme that marks most of the game, it still manages to feel warm...even inviting...in some sections of the game.

The amazing soundtrack only adds to the overall feel, with its quaint melodies and fantasy vibe. And it's earned a spot on my list of games with great soundtrack, right alongside titles like Risk of Rain and Hyperlight Drifter.  

There is a great balance between the hand-drawn art style and graphical effects that make it hard to differentiate between the two at times. I notice it in things like the particle effects when you slay enemies and bosses, as well as in some of the lighting. It just feels so natural... well, as natural as a decaying kingdom populated with bug people can get.

Room to Roam

Like I mentioned above, Hollow Knight takes place mostly in an underground kingdom of bug people. You play as some nameless hero bug, armed only with a nail sword. You will follow the path of the many other heroes that have come before, but never returned from the depths of decaying kingdom. What drove them to explore it...well, that's something you'll figure out along your journey. 

And explore you shall! Hollow Knight, like other games in the genre, encourages you to explore all that it has to offer. And it has a lot to offer. You'll be able to cover a fair bit of the map initially, but as you progress you'll need a combination of charms -- equipable relics that grant a number of buffs and abilities -- and some skills learned from bosses and NPCs in order to reach all areas. 

Despite the size of the map, and the amount of backtracking that you'll be doing as you gain new abilities and charms, the game never really feels like a chore. Enemies will typically respawn once you leave an area, which allows you to farm for Geo (the currency used in the game). 

Boss Battles Galore

There are plenty of enemies to fight and quite a variety as well -- most with their own unique patterns and abilities. But Hollow Knight does a good job of introducing you to it without putting you in over your head. That doesn't mean you're going to have an easy go of it, however, as there are a number of challenging bosses to face as well. How many bosses, you ask? There are over 30 unique bosses in the game! 

A number of these boss fights are optional, and if you're the type of person who gets frustrated when you die over and over, then you might have a hard time playing this game. It actually reminded me of boss fights in Dark Souls, though not quite as rage-inducing.  I can say, however, that managing to take out a boss on the first try is very satisfying -- but that is generally not the case for me.  

Also, like the Souls games, when you die you lose all of the Geo that you have collected up to that point and have to fight a shadow version of yourself to recover it. I found this to be a good mechanic for the game, as it forces you to think about what you're doing and what you're going to do. If you die before you can recover your Geo, then it is lost forever. So you really go into each area with a lot more respect for your enemies.

Seamless Controls

Something else that Hollow Knight really has going for it is great player controls. In a game like this, having good controls is a must -- and Team Cherry did a great job on this front. That said, I have to take the developer's side in highly recommending the use of a controller to play the game.

The control scheme pairs nicely with how the player gains abilities as they progress in the game, which keeps you from being overwhelmed. You have time to progress in your skills and gain mastery over abilities like dash, double jump, and charged attacks. 

You'll have plenty of time to perfect those controls as well, since there is so much to do in the game. There are a number of hidden areas scattered all over the rather large map and plenty of things to uncover. I'm roughly 5 hours into the game at the time of writing this, and there are a number of achievements still grayed out that I'm eager to unlock. I can easily see this as a 30+ hour game, especially since there is more than one ending to the game.

TL;DR

It's not too often that I get the time to really play a game in-depth before I get to review it, and a lot of the time it ends up on my backlog afterward. But Hollow Knight is a game that I'm going to make time to finish, because it is simply that good. From the beautiful art and the enchanting musical score, to the depth of its story and achievements, Hollow Knight is a must-play game for anyone that claims to be a fan of Metroidvania titles.

You can find the game now on the Steam Marketplace for $14.99 for PC/Mac/Linux, and there's also a planned release for the Nintendo Switch coming sometime this year.

Note: A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.

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