Adult Swim Games Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Adult Swim Games RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Battle Chef Brigade Release Date Announced For Steam and Switch Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:41:40 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Battle Chef Brigade -- the 2D Action-RPG cooking/puzzle game developed by Trinket Studios and published by Adult Swim Games -- has finally been given a release date of November 20th on Steam and Nintendo Switch.

Battle Chef Brigade was the result of a Kickstarter by newcomer Trinket Studios in an effort to create a type of cooking game that focused more on the actual cooking, as well as made it more involving. On their Kickstarter page they say:

Cooking in games is always a simple affair, represented entirely by minigame or crafting mechanics. Not so in Battle Chef Brigade. Here, you decide what dishes to make. Each elimination round of the Battle Chef Royale will pit you against an opposing chef in a competition to wow the judges with your tasty dishes and culinary skills and spells

The gameplay is split between hunting monsters and collecting ingredients under a time limit in a style similar to Vanillaware titles, selecting the ingredients you want and need in order to impress the judges on the Battle Chef competition, and improving your dish through a match-three puzzle game. The game will also feature several playable characters, all with different abilities and play-styles, and personal narratives that are all interconnected in order to create a larger story. 

Battle Chef Brigade will release on Steam and Nintendo Switch on November 20th. You can watch the new release date trailer right here:

Robot Unicorn Forever Attack Review: A Four-Legged Android's Fever Dream to Freedom Mon, 08 May 2017 09:00:01 -0400 GeorgieBoysAXE

Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has been running for over fifteen years, so it’s natural that the brand would expand beyond the role of broadcasting a late-hour block of mature cartoons and into something much bigger; a video game publisher and part-time game developer.

While Adult Swim has bankrolled the distribution of some stellar indie affairs like Jazzpunk and Völgarr the Viking, they’ve also made a name in gaming with titles they’ve developed in-house. And one of their more prominent properties is the ridiculously enchanting Robot Unicorn Attack.

The series has spawned a few light-hearted sequels, but nothing as ambitious as the newest entry to the fold, Robot Unicorn Attack Forever. The latest effort from Adult Swim Games and GetSet is an evolution of the Equestrian Droid’s wish-chasing quest in every way you could imagine, and then some — it’s just too bad that a lot of the new depth offered is a bit limited because of at times poor execution and obnoxious paywalls.

In an age where endless runners have saturated the mobile space of gaming, Robot Unicorn Attack remained engaging because it recognized the undeniably effective allure that its bizarre presentation had. The previous entries took strides to prioritize the expansion to its themes over its gameplay.

The focus of Robot Unicorn Attack Forever is different, however. Adult Swim has shifted their direction toward gameplay this time around, and has fortunately done so in a manner that doesn’t compromise the novelty that gives the Mechanical steed its appeal. For starters, there’s a lot more at stake than simply running and jumping through deceptive death-traps. The score accumulated from your performance, for instance, is now used as experience to level up the capabilities of Robot Unicorn, alongside the newest edition to the series, the Citadel.

You’ll not only earn spoils for the fabled horse, but you’ll also earn points that will level up a magic base of operations that will offer a variety of functions to your adventures.

The Citadel will periodically generate the collectible tear drop currency from RUA’s second outing, as well as other special stones that can be used in its in-game store, where purchases from its market generate back a sum of experience to the base. The more experience you earn for the base, the closer you get to leveling it up to the next tier, which will not only significantly improve the output of its resource regeneration, but will also unlock a new stage for you to endlessly roam through. However, that task is easier said than done.

While the grind to get new goods is a little more demanding than it should be, the dynamic to purchase new ‘corns for use is satisfying, if not a bit messy.

Players will get to arrange a personalized team of their own horned beauties from a roster of over 40 different galloping bots, with the caveat of having to maintain your growing collection unicorns within a limited stable space. The concept is a bit frustrating as the manner of upkeep is clunky as hell; the only way to make room for more horses is to salvage the ones you don’t want for parts. Sounds simple enough, right?

It isn’t, not by a long shot…

All the new horses you buy are generated randomly through a gachapon-styled lottery, and while that doesn’t sound like an issue at first, it gradually becomes one when you realize that you can only salvage the horse you don’t want if there’s an upgradable horse available. If there isn’t, then you can’t trash them. And if you can’t trash anything, you won’t be able to buy anything— which left me with killing off Unicorns that I didn’t want to sacrifice. This left me with a full stable filled with incompatible unicorns.


The only way to efficiently grow the citadel beyond the standard horseplay is to recruit more horses, so I was left with no choice but to spend real-world money to expand my stable space by two more slots. Even as we speak, I narrowly avoid that dreaded stable scenario each and every time I visit the store to buy a new steed; it’s needlessly frustrating.

Aside from the gripes that come with growing the Citadel with clumsy resource management, the other method of expanding its abilities comes from directly playing the game itself, which thankfully is the most polished version of the formula yet.

Every rainbow-clad trot you run through will go toward upgrading Robot Unicorn, granting the steel beast new passive perks that will vary by its level; these perks range anywhere from additional smash bonuses to percentage increases for any of the experience points or items earned. In addition to their inherent abilities, you can upgrade the fabled creatures with companion bots, new floaty helper drones (available to buy from the Citadel’s store), and stacking additional perks onto the Unicorn as they hover alongside.

The other new addition introduced in Robot Unicorn Attack Forever is raiding, which will let you assign one of the unicorns in your stable to go out on a mission that takes place asymmetrically. These happen under a range of different time frames so that you can farm extra bonuses for your stone stash.

The feature isn’t mind-blowing, but it certainly is useful in taking on some of the glut from RUAF’s demanding grind. It also gives you something that you can do with the extra pair of hooves that’re taking up residence in the Citadel’s cramped stable.

While there’s been a lot of work done to add depth to the core game, the team didn’t forget about the importance of the title’s trademark nihilism, as Robot Unicorn Attack Forever has a load of dark humor behind it. There are plenty of moments where the irreverent Lumina will dish out plenty of backhanded ribs that’ll be sure to slap a dumb smile on your face, and the bios of the different unicorns that you collected in the game’s unidex are comedy gold, almost making up for the game’s flawed system that manages them.

I never did like the phrase “you can’t beat free” because there’s one other precious commodity that’s spent with video games that you just can’t earn back, and that’s time. Robot Unicorn Attack Forever doesn’t do the best job of respecting that time, but it’s still the most enjoyable entry that the series has ever produced.

There’s plenty of fun to be found, and the sequel does deserve to be played every now and again. I would just recommend not sinking your teeth too deep into the new depth it offer, as the payoff is more groan-inducing than it is rewarding.

Pocket Mortys: How to Craft a Microverse Battery Sat, 06 May 2017 14:39:24 -0400 tofuslayer

Pocket Mortys is a mobile game for Android based on the [adult swim] television show Rick and Morty. Within the game, there are a number of craftable items that aid you in your quests.

The Microverse Battery is one craftable item that contains a miniature universe. In the show, the battery generates power through kinetic devices that Rick installs so the universe's inhabitants can power their homes and devices. Ultimately, they are not only powering their own world but also whatever device the battery is hooked up to.

How to Craft a Microverse Battery

The recipe for a Microverse Battery calls for a Motherboard (here's how to craft a motherboard). You will also need a Supercharged Battery using the recipe below.

At a crafting station, you will combine a Supercharged Battery, a Motherboard, and a Dark Matter Ball to craft the Microverse Battery. 

When do you use the Microverse Battery?

In the game, you will need the Microverse Battery for two quests:

  • Feeling Rickcharged

The Microverse Battery is one of two items you can use to recharge the Robot Rick near the crafting station at the Citadel closest to the Shop. You can either give him a Supercharged Battery or a Microverse Battery. Once you have recharged the Robot Rick, you will receive Level Up Mega Seed.

  • Dude, Where's My Rick?

The Microverse Battery is also necessary for a quest that becomes available after you collect all 38 badges. In this quest, Dandy Rick will ask you for a Microverse Battery and in exchange, you will receive a Blips and Chitz coupon.


And that's it for the Microverse Battery. If you need more crafting recipes, check out this article on crafting recipes for Pocket Mortys! Happy crafting!

Pocket Mortys - How to Craft a Motherboard Thu, 04 May 2017 05:55:09 -0400 Jerline Justo

From Robots to Morty Manipulator Chips, Pocket Mortys features a crafting station, where you can create at least 34 items based on the materials received through rewards and dungeons. With crafting stations, you can craft healing serums, rocks, and cells that can help you through the game.

The Motherboard is also another helpful, craftable item. This complex device functions as a material for more complex crafts, like a Multiverse Battery or an IQ Enhancing Helmet.

With this guide, you can become authentic Motherboard crafters.

How to Craft a Motherboard

In order to craft a Motherboard, you will need these items.

Like other base items, Cables and Circuit Boards can be obtained either through rewards or dungeons. The Battery, on the other hand, can only be created through a craft station.

To craft a battery, you will need: Tin Can, Cable, and Fleeb.

After getting that Battery, Cable, and Circuit Board, combine these materials and viola, Motherboard!

Here's What You Can Make With It

Now that you got yourself a Motherboard, what can you do with it? Well, you can create higher and complex crafts by obtain specific materials. Here are some examples what you can craft with them.

Courier Flap

Courier Flap can teleport you back to the Citadel, but to get this item, you need a Battery, a Mutant Bacteria Cell, and of course, a Motherboard. Like the Battery, the Mutant Bacteria Cell can be crafted by combining Turbulent Juice and Bacteria Cell together.

Neutrino Bomb

With the Neutrino Bomb, you can demolish any living thing within seconds. Along with a Motherboard, you will need a Supercharged Battery, which is created with a Turbulent Juice and a Battery, and a Dark Energy Ball, which is created with a Bacteria Cell and a Fleeb.

Interdimensional Cable Box

Just as it sounds, you can watch cable in any dimension, but you will need a Supercharged Battery and Time Crystal with your Motherboard to get this item. Out of all these items, Time Crystal takes a bit more effort. It requires, a Purified Fleeb, which is created with a Bacteria cell and Turbulent Juice Tube, and a Dark Energy Ball.


Before selling those materials from the dungeon, try saving them and using them in a crafting station to get yourself a Motherboard. With it, you can create cool items to use on your adventures in Pocket Mortys. Whether its crafting a Interdimensional Cable Box or Motherboard, have fun crafting!

 If you want more guides on Pocket Mortys, check these ones out!

Get Ready to Be Rick-iddy Rekt in Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality Thu, 20 Apr 2017 17:00:51 -0400 Justin Michael

If you don't know what Rick and Morty is, chances are you've been living under a rock -- or in an alternate multiverse without the awesomeness of the show. But, if you do know what I'm talking about, then good news! You can now take part in crazy Rick and Morty shenanigans in Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality.

In Virtual Rick-ality, you play the part of a Morty clone that your genius alcoholic grandfather Rick Sanchez created for the lowly purpose of being his laundry b!tch. After making it through that level -- and getting your balls busted if you take too long -- you'll get more and more interaction with familiar faces and places from the show. 

Virtual Rick-ality looks to be mechanically like many of the popular "Job Simulator" titles on the various VR platforms. And just like those titles, this game is VR only -- currently playable on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. 

If this sounds like something you'd like to play, you can find the game on the Steam marketplace and the Rift Experiences page for $29.99. 

Rain World Highlights A Beautiful Dystopia For Platformers Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:00:02 -0400 Nick Lee

While most reviews have either counted out the Adult Swim Games Rain World as too hard or shown admiration for the game, the visually stunning aspects more than make up for some difficulty. For those who are not as adept at the game just yet, you'll have to keep the larger picture in mind while playing: progress, survival and life itself. Other indie platformers, such as the recent Hollow Knighthave received better reviews than Rain World but don't capitalize on the visuals nearly as well.

This boils down to a more simplistic reasoning behind certain reviewers who think that ease of game play makes for a better game. We see this line of thinking in games like Super Meat Boy, and there's a difference in the combinations of these components that make Rain World a better game than critics are giving credit for.

Rain World

The game plays out as you collect food and explore the ecosystem you are in, which act as the rooms. During this time you have to keep a watchful eye on the amount of time you're spending out in the open as hibernation is integral to the survival of your half-slug, half-cat. Rain World does a great job of creating an immersive experience even in a world of wonder and sadness (primarily due to all the rain) but those concepts aren't vastly different from our own anyhow. In each room you encounter a varying amount of enemies but are given little direction as to what the objective is.

While problematic for those who are more use to games that directly tell you the controls and objectives, Rain World just lets the player into the world and sets them free. There's a more important point to this that I feel should be noted: Gaming doesn't have to be about winning. Gaming has primarily focused on achievements, unlocking power-ups and just finishing the game. Luckily more indie games like this one are allowing for the exploration of hard work and works of art by developers like Videocult to be seen.

rain world

To truly see how Rain World has gotten some unfair shakes in its reviews, we can look to another indie platformer released this year, Hollow Knight. The game takes on visuals in a different way with a Metroidvania style that is unlike most others and unique by it's own merits. Both games have ways of keeping players from certain areas, (Rain World by karma points and Hollow Knight by item acquisition) but Hollow Knight has overall better reviews and ratings. Most of these ratings cite the style, the art, but like Rain World are hindered by difficulty. 

If both games only issue is difficulty, even by a change of settings, perhaps it isn't a bad game merely because you aren't good at it. In fact the game may be a good one regardless of how bad you are. Therefore it can just be enjoyed for the new and different take on a proven platform, and the same goes for Hollow Knight.

Rain World

The opposite effect of having a platformer be less about visuals or message and more easily playable is available through looking at Super Meat Boy. Reviews for the game are generally high, and the game itself is great without getting into the more meta regions of thought in art. The game is compared on a variety of levels and given high praise for what could easily be a free mobile game. In 2010 IGN's Daemon Hatfield stated: 

It's no coincidence that Super Meat Boy shares its initials with Super Mario Bros. This is a pure platformer that boils gameplay down to nothing but running and jumping.

So because a game is more simple and easy to pick up is it really a better game? Compare this question to the IGN review of Rain World and we see that reviewers think the answer is yes. Joe Skrebels stated: 

Beautiful environments, incredible animations and enticingly hazy mechanics are fantastic, but the sheer cruelty of how it’s pieced out to the player transcends challenge and becomes an unwanted trial.

Super Meat Boy received a 9 out of 10 while Rain World got a 6.3 out of 10 just for a reference between the two. The difference between them, and by extension the ultimate Super Mario Bros., is that Rain World is ironically more about the real world. If we could rate how life is, fairness and beauty as factors of course, it probably wouldn't score very high. Games like Super Meat Boy are about simple objectives for which there's minor punishments but ultimately a reward and can be just as difficult as Rain World. In nature as in our lives, there isn't always a reward or a fair hand for everyone, and that's just the way things are.

Rain World, gif, fight

Art can do a beautiful job of illuminating these difficulties and provide an escape from the sad or dreary but the message should be clear. In this game the message is that life is both tough and about discovery. My advice for future reviews of the game, and even future platformers like it, is to remember there's more in it than our ability to win.

Objectives don't make the game, having an overall goal gives purpose to the game, but the simplicity of play doesn't equal an excellent game. After all, wouldn't life be so much easier if we knew the exact command codes for a successful interaction or raise?

One final note on Rain World in these respects is that the devs knew you'd use the environment to aid you, that's by design, even when you didn't understand the larger purpose of the game, it wouldn't always be fair. That's just life.

Rain World Review -- Karma's a Bitch Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:49:15 -0400 Autumn Fish


I'm sitting down to write this review after another lengthy session with Rain World, and I am simply overwhelmed with emotion. I've never before seen a game couple such breathtaking highs with utterly demoralizing lows. For better or for worse, the sweet joy of discovery often goes hand in hand with the cold sting of death.

Rain World: A Place of Beauty and (Sometimes) Melancholy

Death is all too commonplace in a world where rain can kill just as well as the predators that roam it. I know, killer rain sounds a little far fetched, but you won't be scoffing at the idea when you get caught in a torrential downpour that may as well be a solid waterfall dropping out of the sky. The rain literally crushes you.

And when you're not racing the clock to the next water-proof hibernation chamber, you'll be puzzling out how to sneak past giant lizards, vultures, goblins, and centipedes -- among many other wild monstrosities that I struggle to describe -- so that you don't become their next snack.

In Rain World, you play as a young slugcat separated from its family during a rainstorm. In hopes of getting back to them one day, you must make your way through an overgrown, post-apocalyptic environment that's reminiscent of games like LimboN++, and Titan Souls.

Rain World Review Impressions What is the game 2D Survival Platformer

Rain World is an Inhospitable Land Made for Survival

You maneuver around the 2D survival platformer with a simple set of controls -- jumping, grabbing, eating, and throwing -- that can be used in weird and unique ways. For example, if you crouch and charge up a jump, you'll end up leaping a great distance. Or if you find a nice weapon that you want to hold onto but have other things you need to carry, you can press and hold down the eat button to store the weapon in your belly.

I say weapon, but that's like calling a bowl of Trix cereal a bowl of fruit. Aside from the occasional firecracker, most of what you grab will be nothing more than rocks, sticks, and bricks. You can throw them at enemies to try and deter them from following you, but don't expect to actually kill them. You're better off throwing the sticks into walls and using them to climb to new heights.

Now, the core of the game is a simple yet comforting cycle: Eat, Explore, and Hibernate. Every time you head out into the dangerous Rain World, you need to fill your slugcat belly with enough food to hibernate through the next storm. Once full, you have time to explore the nooks and crannies to see if you can't find your way to the next area. If you happen to die along the way, your save reloads at the last hibernation chamber you slept in.

If you just told yourself "Oh, that's not so bad," that's because I haven't yet explained Karma.

Rain World Review Glyphs and Why Karma is a Bitch

Karma's a Bitch -- and Rain World Doles it Out in Spades

Karma in Rain World is somewhat akin to leveling or ranking up in other games. It is displayed as a glyph rather than a number in the lower left-hand corner of the screen when you open your map.

While it won't earn you any extra abilities, a certain amount is required to pass gates that bar you from progressing into the next area. You also need a certain Karma level to return through the gate, which means it's entirely possible to find yourself stuck in a level.

The overall concept is simple enough. When you hibernate, you earn one level of Karma. However, if you die, you lose a rank. Bear in mind that you have to eat food to hibernate and that food is generally non-renewable and you'll begin to see where the problems arise.

Death is inevitable, here. It doesn't matter how skilled you are at platformers, you can't just pick up this game and breeze through it. No life bar and a lack of ways to defend yourself mean every enemy poses a very real threat. This is survival horror in its purest form.

Verdict -- Rain World Isn't For Everyone, But That Doesn't Mean It's Not Great

I wanted to give Rain World a 10/10, to declare it a masterpiece that every gamer must experience at some point in their lives. However, even in the post-Dark Souls era, I know that many of you are not ready for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the Karma system. I'm not even sure I was.

Rain World Review Slugcat Verdict Difficult Punishing Survival Platformer

Yet despite losing all of my progress time and time again, I can't stop obsessing over this game. There are so many wonderous things to discover here that spoiling even a smidgen of it would be a crime. I'm having an incredible time as a slugcat and I can't wait to see more of the secrets that Videocult have packed into this breathtaking adventure.

You can pick up Rain World for $19.99 on Steam (PC) and the PlayStation Store (PS4).

Note: Copy provided by Adult Swim Games for review.

Desync -- A Love/Hate Relationship Covered in Neon Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael

From the video above I was sure that Desync was going to be a great game. With its Tron-like neon scheme and industrial electronic audio, I was pretty excited to see what it had to offer. Which is why I was disappointed when I finally made the time to sit down and play.


"How do we make the game look like it's retro?" I assume designer A said to B. "We could add scanlines and texture artifacts to everything and, if they didn't have epilepsy before, they will now!"

Desync is going for this simulation feel -- like you're inside of some sort of computer program, but the program is bugging out. Now, I do want to point out that they did put an epilepsy warning screen in the game before the title screen. I myself am not epileptic but I found myself feeling nauseated after an hour of gameplay, which is a first for me.

Objects in the game just spazz out -- shifting colors, flickering, the constant scanlines like old CRT monitors, and pulsing weapon blasts create a chaotic display that is just hard to look at.


So visuals aside, how does the game play? Well, that's another sore point for me. The shooting mechanics are pretty simple -- primary fire on the left mouse click, secondary on right mouse click. But then you add in the enemies and it becomes chaotic and not in a good way.

Enemies will spawn in all over the place -- most of the time it's behind you when your attention is already on something else. There is a dash mechanic which has a relatively short refresh loop but the enemies have a pretty aimbot feel to them. They know exactly where you are at all times and the big brute types with the massive hammer constantly come flying at you from out of the sky with this hammer smash attack that is just frustrating until you figure out the spawn order of the room.

Health and ammo are also kind of scarce unless you're killing the enemies with this rather strange and confusing combo system that's in place. I don't understand it, like, at all. I shoot one enemy in the face and I get one type of combo. Do the same stuff to a different enemy, different combo.

One of the big factors of this game is the combo system. You do specific actions in a specific sequence and you rack up tons of points. Also, this is the best way to get health and ammo drops, which you'll constantly be in need of. I've noticed that doing more complicated combos, however, doesn't necessarily mean bigger points. In fact, the differences are actually pretty small and it makes the overall system just feel clunky and rather pointless.

Another gripe would be the enemies themselves. They don't really have much life to them or anything that makes them feel interesting. It's basically just different size/color polygonal figures that come rushing at you with different attacks. After awhile it just felt mindless.

The Good

Despite all of the shortcomings, there is some fun to be had in Desync. The dodging mechanics are rather fun in the heat of battle and I found myself doing it to the beat of the music which was enjoyable. I personally really dig the soundtrack of the game which I feel is really important for a title like this where there is so much going on at once and the music matches the frantic pace of the game. There is also the leaderboard aspect as well. I mean, who wouldn't like to see their name in that #1 spot?


There is nothing really special about Desync that makes it stand out. The gameplay and mechanics are simple but lacking, and there is an overall feeling of samey play to it. At the full price of $14.99 I couldn't recommend the game, but if it was on sale it might be worth getting. It's an average example of the FPS genre.

If you're still interested in playing the game you can find it on the Steam Store.

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

Small Radios Big Televisions Broadcasts Strongly Fri, 24 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

Who would have thought that cassette radios or cassettes in general would have the role they do in video games? They often end up being the key object you need to find to trigger past events in games such as Gone Home, yet Small Radios, Big Televisions takes a different approach. It decides to not just take you to the past, but to a whole other world with a simple click of the tape into the tape deck.

Small Radios, Big Televisions was developed by Fire Face Corporation and was published by Adult Swim Games. It’s a First Person Puzzle game where you travel from building to building, gathering up tapes in order to find keys to unlock the next building.

The game is entirely based around this idea, and is mostly filled with you going in and out of rooms in a sort of disembodied fashion, as if you’re floating midair as you’re moving from room to room. It leaves a sort of disconnect to the world that you’re in, giving a player an immersed feel yet separate from the narrative itself. In this case it ends up working out, considering that we aren’t entirely sure what’s going on at first until you finish the first building. After this, you’re treated so some dialogue that slowly makes it clear just why all these building are out here in the middle of nowhere in the first place.

You’ll find that the game doesn’t tell you what’s going on outright as much as it implies it; the majority of the environments themselves tell a kind of story, especially with all of the graffiti and writing on the wall. Think of Portal’s Ratman, except more controlled at first and descending into full blown panic later. Something obviously happened here, but it leaves just enough to the imagination for the player to figure out.

The colors are very bright and vibrant, almost like pages out of a bright superhero comic book, which leads to a lovely tonal dissonance between what’s going on and where you’re at. It’s a little jarring at times, especially when the music gets slowed down and the environments start to crumble around you, yet there’s still this unsettling extreme friendliness to some of the environments despite the more dour grey building they tend to take place in.

Each new building leads you to a different sort of a puzzle that you need to solve, usually just with the mouse but sometimes the keyboard. Oftentimes, you’ll be treated to a sweeping shot of the different environments before being sucked right into it depending on the door that you choose. Some doors are locked or don’t appear at first, however, and it’s up to you to figure out where to go; most of the time this involves finding one of the cassettes. You’ll take a cassette and play it, before being transferred into a completely different world than the one you’re in now -- a sort of pseudo paradise if you will, one that will loop forever if you let it.

While in here, you’re supposed to collect one of those keys, but sometimes you need to do something to the tape in order to find it, which involves more exploration and a larger variety of puzzles than just I Spy. There are things like small physics puzzles or water based puzzles (which are almost never fun, yet games keep putting them in any way for some bizarre reason), and each area has its own unique brand of puzzle that it slowly introduces you to before throwing you to the wolves. While they're not always easy, like with a certain gear swinging puzzle requiring momentum to solve or a certain water pressure puzzle that requires a lot more turning and finagling than you’d expect, for the most part things try to seem straightforward.

What does hurt the game the most is its strange technical issues that pop up just enough for you to notice. You aren’t able to Alt-Tab in this game to check anything because if you do, the game will resize itself and you won’t be able to press escape. Checking on things on Steam is almost out of the question as well, because it will cause the game to lag or even crash.

There’s also a few framerate drops and times where during the cutscenes the audio cuts out for a brief moment; just a split second but still noticeable, and it just seems like poor audio mixing on the part of the developers. It doesn't matter all that much considering those scenes are subtitled because they’re in gibberish, but it does smack you right out of the immersion. These are simple things that should have been caught that do slightly sour the experience overall.

Small Radios, Big Televisions is a solid experience that nonetheless isn’t for everyone. If you like games with big action and even bigger story, this game isn’t for you; if you like games that have some puzzles, with a story that leaves you thinking afterwards, then I’d give this game a try. It’s the sort of game that draws you in out of raw curiosity, and once you’ve started playing it’s actually hard to stop without feeling as though you want to know what happened to this world. Small Radios, Big Televisions might be small in scale but it’s large in impact.

Rise & Shine: Puzzles Meet Bullets in This Gaming Pop Culture Gem Thu, 12 Jan 2017 05:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael

I've played a lot of games over the course of my life, amounting to (easily) hundreds of titles spanning across all systems Atari-2600 to current-gen. I've saved princesses and kingdoms galore, thwarted numerous evil villains and sinister plans, and boy did I play a lot of minigames. So, when I first saw Rise & Shine I knew that it was a game I had to play.

For those unfamiliar with the game, you play as Rise -- a youth living on Gamearth, where all the characters from video games live. The peaceful planet comes under attack from the warlike Space Grunts, who hail from the planet Nexgen. It's up to you to lead Rise, and the legendary gun, Shine, who are the last hopes of repelling the attack, the ultimate weapon. 

What Makes it Great

The selling factor for me on Rise & Shine is the phenomenal artwork of the game. Every level of the game is drawn by hand and is not tiled or repeated at any point. Every layer, every little detail, is painstakingly crafted by hand, which doesn't go unappreciated, even when you die over and over again.

Oh yeah, did I mention that this game is difficult?

I let myself fall into a false sense of security because of the light-hearted art style and the fact that you're playing as a kid. That all goes out the window when the bullets start flying. And they come in waves. Much like playing Dark Souls, you can expect to die many, many times.  

 You get right into the action with minimal "tutorial stage" as the game has a separate tutorial section accessible from the main screen. Right off the bat, you learn about the cover system, which is your best friend as fiery death rains down on you from the sky. Shine, your gun, also has a number of different fire modes as well as bullet types that effect your enemies and the environment in different ways. My personal favorite is the grenade launcher mode that can negate your enemies cover with a bit of skill. 

But it's not just all bullets, blood, and guts. You can also expect some fairly solid, and sometimes challenging, puzzle mechanics. I'd be a liar if I told you that I never got stuck trying to progress through the game.  You start off easily enough with some staple puzzles like lever and button timer puzzles. But you slowly get into slightly more complex puzzles as you progress through the game -- my favorite type being the bullet control puzzles where you take control of the bullet and navigate a tight maze of obstacles. 

There were a few puzzles that had me scratching my head, but it was mostly due to me forgetting about the various tools and modes that your gun, Shine, has in its repertoire. When in doubt, try all the abilities out!

On top of the well-done gameplay mechanics, there is something that I can appreciate even more; the amazing references to gaming pop culture

There are so many references to classic games that I played growing up it was almost like a nostalgia overload. It also did this in a way that didn't feel like it was playing off of the success of the games or tropes that it was referencing. It just fits in in an organic way because of the story and nature of the game. 

Final Verdict

While the concept of Rise & Shine is not something new or genre-defining it does everything you would think of when you "shoot em up puzzle/platformer" and it does it exceptionally well. Visually the game takes me back to the amazing aesthetics of games like Viewtiful joe and the difficulty of games like Super Meat Boy.

Everything about this game just seems to mesh together to deliver an enjoyable experience that is refreshing, challenging, and witty. It's a game to experience and an experience that veteran gamers from the 80s and 90s will enjoy.

Rise & Shine comes out January 13th on the Steam Marketplace and is a game that should be, at the very least, on your wishlist. At the time of writing this, the price is still TDB.

Does Rise & Shine sound like a game you'd enjoying playing? What about it are you most looking forward to? Let's talk about it in the comments below!

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

Rewind Your Cassette Tapes -- Small Radios Big Televisions Review Thu, 17 Nov 2016 08:51:10 -0500 Steven Oz

Video games could be seen as playable pieces of art. At times they affect your very soul. Perhaps this game talks about the triumph of the mechanical world over the natural land. Humanity taking their place as the ultimate creature. As they rise, it is followed by the eventual fall. What happens when they find the errors of their ways too late? 

Small Radios Big Televisions is a trippy game. I would expect much from publisher Adult Swim Games and the developer FIRE FACE. The ascetics of the game are experimental once you go into the micro worlds of the cassette tapes. Yes, I said cassette tapes.

There are two main worlds you visit in this game. First, a structure industrial outer world. This houses each of your levels and the interiors. The great care in crafting that feel you are in some factory or warehouse. Boxes stacked and strewn on the ground. Mechanical gears that you can manipulate for your own purpose. That eerie sense of being alone and finding out what happened.

The second world your visit is not a world but as an expression of the surroundings that were lost. These cassette tapes are inserted into your VR headset to replicate the areas such as a forest or a mountain. The cassettes have to stand in for the real thing.As you warp the data, you are collecting bits to open the real world locked doors in various mysterious factories.

These worlds are something from video games past. The unique stylings of virtual cassette world are small in size but give you a glimpse of what this land lost in the industrial revolution. As humans do, we distort our surroundings. In Small Radios Big Televisions, you have to distort the virtual world to find the keys to unlock the puzzles. It's like you have to follow the path of the people who made this world to understand what happened to it. 

I pondered while I was playing this, what happened to this land? This game was inspired by the past with analog devices, retro graphics, and the weakness of older media. While the world is moving forward with virtual reality, this game sets itself apart. FIRE FACE has bucked the trend with going back to an era of forgotten technology. Even as short as the game is, the message is there.

As humanity strived for technological greatness, we had to sacrifice nature. Some might say that game serves as a warning of what could happen to the human race. With all that said, this is a good game with replayability. If this game came to VR, that would be the ultimate experience for the player.   

Disclaimer: Publisher provided a download code of Small Radios Big Televisions.

How Perfect Is Small Radios Big Televisions? Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:00:02 -0500 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

Adult Swim has given viewers a great nightly channel, bringing adult classic shows like Family Guy, King of the Hill, and American Dad to late night cartoon television, while also giving us originals like Rick and Morty, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And all those 3am hour specials, which are completely weird and sometimes terrifying.

But Adult Swim has also given us some great games -- both classic browser games like 5 Minutes to Kill (Yourself) or Candy Mountain Massacre Revenge, and more modern games like Rick and Morty Pocket Mortys or Animation Throwdown. But nothing compares to the beauty that was just released, titled Small Radios Big Televisions.

Story and Gameplay

While there isn’t much of a story, the game places you in a giant facility with cassette tapes, exploring areas and collecting gems which can be used to open new locations in the facility. This is a puzzle game, and some puzzles may seem too complex or just hard to perform in places. And while there are some issues with that, the puzzles are satisfying once finished.

Most of the amazing gameplay comes in once you obtain cassette tapes, which take you to a certain area depending on what the tape is titled -- tapes saying “Forest” or “Coast”, for example, transport you to that area. This element goes farther by putting the tapes in a type of containment, so you have to nearly break them to reveal more secrets.

Art Style

The art style used for Small Radios Big Televisions is almost like a painting with how beautiful it is. The game on the outside has a sort of hand-drawn 2D art style mixed with simplistic 3D animation as you turn the facility to examine it. But once you get inside, everything is either very dim or very brightly lit, with an aesthetic that makes one think of Valve games. 

While the art style does seem overdone in some spots, the game mixes the two elements perfectly and makes a fantastic overall aesthetic that is visually perfect.


While there are some slight issues with the controls depending on what platform you play on, most of the time the controls run smoothly. You are really only given a few prompts for the game -- looking around, the main action button, the map, and the ability to pull out your cassettes and radio.

There are some parts where the controls for looking are a bit touchy, causing some puzzles that require dragging certain objects around to behave erratically, which could cause some frustration here and there.

Music and Sound

The music is possibly one of the best things about this game. With simple sounds for your surroundings, the music really makes you feel exactly what you are meant to feel based on the level. 


Overall, the game itself is a shockingly fantastic game from Adult Swim. From gameplay to graphics, this game is possibly one of the better indie games released this year, and is recommended for anyone seeking a beautiful, challenging puzzle game!

Battle Chef Brigade to be Published by Adult Swim Games Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:04:45 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Trinket Studios, developer of upcoming action/puzzle cooking show simulator Battle Chef Brigade, have announced that the game will be published under Adult Swim Games.   

Battle Chef Brigade is a hand-drawn 2D action/puzzle game with a concept inspired by Iron Chef in concept, Vanillaware in art-style, and somewhat by Monster Hunter in gameplay. The game revolves around a cooking competition in a realm of fantasy, where the player must exit the arena and slay monsters and collect local flora for the freshest of ingredients, and mix them together into whatever they think will please the judges. It will feature four playable chefs, light puzzle and RPG elements, and daily challenge leaderboards.

Adult Swim Games is the video game publication division of the adult animation network Adult Swim, and they have published standout titles like Duck Game and Jazzpunk, and will be publishing the upcoming Starr Mazer and Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality. 

Battle Chef Brigade, as well as Adult Swim Games, will both be present at PAX West 2016 in the next few days, so for those looking to check out BCB or several other titles under Adult Swim Games, keep an eye out for them.

You can see an early trailer for Battle Chef Brigade right here:


Adult Swim teases release for Toejam & Earl reboot. Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:56:54 -0400 Joshua Potter

While the video game industry is flourishing, there is still a hole in it waiting to be filled. Among the many first person shooters and action-adventure platforming games, there still is a distinct lack of a, "funky-aliens-crash-landing-on-Earth" genre.

Fortunately the people at HumanNature knew exactly how to fill this void; by bringing back the duo of Toejam and Earl from the early Sega years. They created a successful Kickstarter back in February of 2015 and promised to deliver on a faithful recreation of the alien associates' glory days.  

These two ship-wrecked strandees are looking to piece their ship back together and get off the incredibly uncool planet of Earth. In the previous game, the general lameness of humans like Mad Dentists and Boogey-men were a constant threat to our harmonic heroes, and their only defenses were presents found lying around the world that often had various effects.

Randomness is a huge part in the gameplay of Toejam and Earl, which should come as a delight to players of rogue-likes such as Rogue Legacy that never have the same feel twice. While the original game did have a premade mode, most of the fun could be gained from the random mode, that mixed up worlds and presents to give a different experience with each playthrough. According to TJ&E: Back in the Groove's Steam page, that will be featured in the new game, as well as its classic humor.

Among other features will be nine playable characters, including the namesake pair, as well as Latisha from the less popular Xbox sequel of the game. Humanature is also bringing back remixed versions of the original games' awesome music, as well as adding in some of their own, and a Hyperfunk Zone for co-op. The amount of available presents has been increased, as well as threatening Earthlings and character stats and upgrades. 

Adult Swim has been behind the publishing of some incredibly well received games recently, including Headlander and the over the top arena fighter Duck Game. Look for this release to be coming out sometime in 2017.

Headlander: Everything you need to know Sun, 14 Aug 2016 13:11:50 -0400 Joshua Potter

Headlander is Adult Swim Games' newest release available on PC and PS4.  Developed by Double Fine Productions, the game is possibly one of the most beautiful and refined games in the Adult Swim Games' lineup, following up other hits such as Jazzpunk and Duck Game.

Headlander is a fairly straightforward action platformer, but there are a lot of secrets to be found across the space ships and stations you'll explore. The game's upgrade system also allows for plenty of customization to get the most out of your time in space. Here's a list of some useful resources for you to use to escape Methuselah's far reaching robotic regime.

Staying Alive

You'd think that being torso-less and limbless would make you all together helpless. It turns out, being a motorized head has its advantages. While floating around as a head you'll be able to rip opponent's heads from their bodies, redirect enemy fire and hazards, and possess other mechanical bodies to use to navigate and fight. As powerful as these abilities are, remember that while you're a head, this is also when you're at your most vulnerable. Jump between bodies whenever you're in combat to make use of them as figurative meat shields.

How to Fight

As mentioned before, you have a few powerful options while outside of a body to defend yourself. Once you learn how to reflect lasers, you can use that ability to turn their aggression against them. You can also vacuum the opponent's heads off their bodies to claim them as your own, but doing so opens you up to counter attack from your victim. It's better save these options for worst case scenarios and keep to a body while you can. While doing so you can take advantage of the weapons of that body and use cover to hide. Lasers can also be angled off of walls, the higher your bodies' security clearance, the more powerful those lasers become. Try to use angles to take out enemies from afar, you don't want to backtrack through twenty rooms to replace a body you lost to carelessness.


There's a lot of ways you can boost your character to better fight the threats aboard the stations you'll travel. Some of the ones I've found to be the most useful are the ability to headbutt your opponent's head off their body. While dangerous to the body you're in, it won't matter once you've stolen theirs. Upgrades in the defensive tree that help maintain your bodies will be useful for keeping high security clearance. As mentioned earlier, you don't want to have to backtrack to replace a body you've lost due to accident or carelessness. If you actively seek out energy, you should have no problems maxing out your upgrade tree.

Seek out Mappy

This walking iPhone is your key to hunting down all the upgrades available in the game. Mappy is often found whenever you enter a new area, and can sometimes be obscured behind terrain, so be sure to keep an eye out. Once you've found him, just pop his head off and upload his data to your noggin. This will help when looking for vents or planning out the fastest path to return a high security clearance body to a door you need opened. Player Joey Joe-Joe Jr. Shabadoo is credited for having also provided this collection of completed maps in the game, should you need reference.

The community for this game is excellent source if you're a completionist like myself. YouTuber Tomoch has taken the time to painstakingly create a playthrough to help new players, as well as a complete compilation of every location of every upgrade, assorted chronologically.

Hopefully this will get you through Methuselah's monarchy in one piece. Remember that in this game keeping your head on your shoulders isn't always a good thing. Don't get attached to your bodies, they're replaceable after all. Above all, have fun!

Headlander is an out of body and world odyssey Wed, 03 Aug 2016 09:06:31 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Science fiction of the 1970's was an era inspired by pop-culture, defined by the fears of nuclear war, the distrust brought on by Watergate, the experiments of New Hollywood, all while following the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Enter the team at Double Fine Productions as they attempt to bring that influence and style into the game, Headlander. The result is a science fiction odyssey that takes some of the most iconic work of the era and blends it into a unique gaming experience.

Gamers will first be attracted to Headlander's groovy art style, but the story and gameplay will keep them hooked.

Welcome To The Future

Headlander is set in a world where humanity has uploaded their consciousnesses to a cloud storage system while abandoning their bodies in favor of robots. This new world is under the rule of Methuselah, an artificial intelligence, that has trapped the human consciousnesses inside the robots and enslaved them.

Players take on the role of the last human, but they are just a head in a special helmet and are suffering from amnesia. Using Earl's guidance, they must find a way to defeat Methuselah and free humanity.

At first the plot may feel similar to the Futurama episode, "A Head in the Polls", but there is more to the story than a head looking for a body. The team has done a masterful job at crafting a story that cleverly blends a sense of humor into a serious narrative.

The games artistic style really adds to its 70's influence with retrofuturistic level design and colorful details. Complementing the artistic style is the soundtrack that borrows from many classic films of the era and is mixed with a groovy beat.

Keep It Old School

While a good story and stunning visuals with a catchy musical score are great, one must not forget about the gameplay setup.

The gameplay setup uses Metroidvania as its foundation while putting more emphasis on puzzle solving over combat. When players have to engage on combat, outwitting the enemy is preferred over basic running and gunning.

Overall this is a title that any gamer will fall in love with the moment they start it up, be it because of the artistic style and story or the old school gameplay. Headlander is just another example of how unique the indie game market is.

Headlander is a Metroidvania style game that will not only take players on an out of body and world odyssey but it will serve as an example of the influence that science fiction of the 1970's has had on pop-culture.

Disclaimer: Evolve PR provided the game that was used for this review. 

WASTED Review: Here's the TP Wed, 08 Jun 2016 06:39:02 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

I really wanted to make jokes about how WASTED is a wasted endeavour for developer Mr. Podunkian. Or to say things like "was the developer wasted while making this?"

The sad truth is, WASTED is actually pretty good. (I say sad, it's not actually sad.) While it's not breaking any rules, or doing anything crazy and new, WASTED is a fun little game with a few quirks; both good and bad.

wasted, combat, cooler

WASTED is a dumb world

The game is set in a post-apocalypse where nuclear war has wiped out all of the intelligent people, and the survivors are dumb due to radiation. The cause, Booze, is also the fuel of the land; and toilet paper (TP) is the new form of currency. There is a good reason for TP being as good as money -- because of the radiation, everyone has the runs.

Yep, childish humor is the name of the day, as WASTED is littered with both intelligent jokes and some very childish ones. Even if I'm not very impressed with toilet humour, it actually works rather well in the WASTED.

You play as a Waster, the least braindead survivor in the Wastes. Zombies do make an appearance, and they explode when they die. WASTED is a roguelike with RPG and dungeon crawler elements, where you scavenge for Booze, guns, armor, and radioactive buffs. Down a bottle of Booze, and you'll get a banging hangover, plus a mutation which grants you extra resistance to damage, speed, strength, or damage output. To get these, you must take on a cooler run, which involves going deep underground into a cooler.

wasted, cooler, exterior, game

I'll fight you! Cause duh...That's what we do!

Combat gives you a surprising number of options with melee, guns, or stealth. Take a DUZI (WASTEDs version of an UZI) and breeze through ammo, but also kill rather quickly -- killing is made a duzi. You can also take the longer range approach with rifles, or be a dumb John Wick and use pistols. If you prefer looking at your prey directly in the eyes, take a knife, baseball bat, or your fists and hit things. Wind up for the most powerful of hits, or spam attack to get fast but weak hits in -- you can even break down locked doors with explosions, blunt force, or by tinkering with them (lock picking).

The final option is to make your enemies feel stupid -- which is surprisingly hard to do with enemies this dumb -- and ninja it up. The stealth feels a lot like that in Skyrim or Fallout 4, where you have a hidden meter and attacks on unaware enemies nets you a damage bonus. If the attack doesn't instakill your target, you become detected -- just like in BethSofts' most lucrative franchises -- and every enemy in the immediate area attacks. Winding up your melee attacks is a nice touch, shooting works perfectly well. But in spite of these touches, the combat isn't a walk in the park. So you will die.

wasted, combat, enemies, uzi, duzi

Borders on the lands of the lands at the border

Cell Shading has kept some games from looking like crap years later, with Borderlands being the game which came to mind as soon as I was shunted into the Wastes. WASTED screams that it was influenced by Borderlands, albeit with a lower poly count. From the crazy characters, to the art style, even the slightly dodgy AI -- which as everyone is so stupid, it actually works. If a random weapon generator were to be added to WASTED, I would call it a roguelike Borderlands with less RPG elements. If you don't tend to like dungeon crawlers -- as they boil down to 'get the biggest number and win' -- unfortunately, WASTED is no exception to this rule.

I feel like I should waste more time on WASTED, but I won't

The inventory interface reminds me of both Borderlands and The Elder Scrolls (TES)/Fallout games, with computer screens which feel Fallout inspired, to the multiscreen inventory feel of Borderlands, and the simple swapping out of what you are wearing of TES, WASTED should be a game I like.

wasted, computer, cooler, game

But, being the loot-heavy, number-driven, decision-making dungeon crawler this game is, I don't see myself playing it more. That's not to say WASTED is a bad game, it does its thing very well -- just without doing anything new.

Fully voice acted, surprisingly decently

When I think of small budget games, I often think that the voice acting will be serviceable at best. WASTED actually does a really good job with both the writing and voice acting. While some characters are very "so like, totally, right, like this is like very like annoying right?" Others speak very slowly, others gruffly, or nasally. There is a range of cardboard performances and eccentric characters, but each one works very well in the game. You, as the protagonist, are a voiceless character -- think Skyrim/Fallout 3 style, where you have dialogue options but are not voiced.

Trade TP for armor, weapons, ammo, or consumables, and shopkeepers will talk to you and fill in the backstory. One of the lines which sticks in my head is "we will split the profit, 50, 50, 50 between us 3." While WASTED isn't The Witcher 3 level well-written, it has some very good lines of dialogue. It does exactly the job it needs to do, without being terrible. However, some dialogue did go on for a bit too long.

wasted, game, king, throne

Quests can feel wasted and repetitive

The roguelike aspect boils down to random appearances and different names, with enemy and weapon spawns changing. Each time you die, you wander across a shack -- the player's house -- and the name of the previous occupant falls off while your new name is stamped on the top. It's a nice touch, which I didn't expect the first time.

You have quests, which again I didn't expect, but the roguelike nature makes these feel repetitive. If you complete 3 quests, and die on the 4th, you become a new character. All of mine generated as female for some reason, which has no real effect on anything. If you then get a brilliant run and complete 7 or 8 quests, but die on the 9th, you'll have to do those first three quests again as another character. If you die, you do everything again. I feel like there needed to be some more quest randomization to cut down on the repetition, but unfortunately I think the budget made this impossible. If a larger budget were thrown at this concept, I think it could really work.

Solid game, booze time!

There are so many lovely touches in this game -- from heavily armored, and lethal enemies hunting you down in the Coolers, to delivery boxes which serve as global storage containers. WASTED is a very solid game. With the performance, stability, and even moment-to-moment gameplay it doesn't dissapoint.

While WASTED doesn't do anything new or redefining for its genre, it has wonderfully surprising touches and some funny dialogue. It's definitely worth a look at if you are into this sort of game.

WASTED is out now on Steam.

[Note: Publisher Adult Swim Games provided a copy of this game for review purposes.]

Abstract Shooter Zenzizenzic will be Published by Adult Swim Games Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:29:33 -0400 PencilPusha

A new, indie shooter game called Zenzizenzic is coming to Adult Swim Games. According to the official website, the indie game is "a high paced, adrenaline infused, challenging and addictive twin stick shoot 'em up bullet hell game." The gameplay features geometric shapes that serve as all the action players will experience. At first glance, the gameplay screenshots resemble gameplay from Geometry Wars, only it's not as hard on the eyes. It looks complex, wild and crazy - a perfect fit for Adult Swim Games.

Ruud Koorevaar, indie developer and designer of Zenzizenzic, wrote on the website that he created Zenzizenzic from scratch and he named it after "a mathematical term for the eighth power of a number through squaring". Koorevaar hails from the Netherlands, said he "didn't know a damn thing" about game development until he started using Unity3D and had slightly delayed the game's development a month ago due to an injury he had while snowboarding. But now, he's psyched to have his game published by Adult Swim Games. And they're even going to help him get his game on Steam, which is currently under a Greenlight campaign.

One other branch-off game, Zenzizenzic: Macro, that Koorevaar had in mind is now going to be included in the game's debut release instead of being a separate entity. Koorevaar mentions on his game's site that the reason for this is to "avoid confusion, prevent doing a double promotional campaign and to make a single, very strong release". He's aiming for Zenzizenzic to be released in June 2015. For now, he's put out a beta for interested players to enjoy and to help him improve the game.

If you would like to try the beta or sign up to receive newsletter updates on Zenzizenzic's progress, visit his official website. If you would like to contact Ruud Koorevaar, catch him on Facebook or Twitter.

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake Review: Adorableness Packaged with Zelda-like Gameplay Wed, 25 Jun 2014 19:18:41 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Calling Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake 'cute' is to give the word too much credit. Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is pure adorableness packaged with a Zelda-like aesthetic, and rounded out with a good dash of cake. 

Released over the next week on iOS, Android as well as PC, Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake brings the simple 16-bit aesthetic to life in a fresh and fun new way. It achieves this primarily through puzzle-like gameplay with a fresh cast of interesting characters with different abilities, as well as a super cute, family-friendly story. 

The game centers around Niko, whose birthday cake has been stolen by the evil Boogins

You lead Niko and a band of friendly monsters, each with their own unique ability, around a bright and colorful world collecting pieces of cake and fighting off the evil Boogins. Niko has the companionship of his faithful dog Bazooka, and a variety of new costumes that allow for different abilities. 

Gameplay is a mixed bag that is focused on the different abilities of Niko and his monstrous gang. Certain monsters have the ability to freeze enemies or charge, and like a puzzle these abilities have to be used in a certain way to unlock certain challenges or cake pieces. Enemy monsters also have their own bunch of abilities that work mostly as level obstacles that characters must work around. It's a fresh and fun take that doesn't get stale. Each level has a certain amount of replayability, with different challenges that allow players to focus on different tasks every play -- from collecting all of the coins to finishing the level within a certain time limit. 

Dialogue and style seems clearly focused towards a younger audience, with characters speaking in simplistic (but never too-cutesy) blurbs.

Puzzles can be a bit confusing, even for adults, and they might stump younger players. 

Each character is well fleshed out from its peers, and makes it so that long talking moments don't feel drawn out. 

Puzzles can be a bit confusing, even for adults, and they might stump younger players. There is one level where the ice creating ally has to create ice in a very specific way to move characters throughout the level. This is where a particularly punishing aspect of the game comes into play. If one of your characters dies -- for example getting impaled on spikes or falling into the river, the entire level appears to reset. For especially confusing levels this can be daunting and a tad annoying. In one level I kept getting barreled through by a hard to see enemy, and having to redo the level a few times before I stopped making the mistake. In the end, it wasn't annoying enough for me to put down the game, but it still felt incredibly punishing. 

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake has a childlike appeal to it, but adults and kids will appreciate fun gameplay, cute characters, and solid animation.

The game is incredibly well made and has plenty of customization and challenges to encourage repeated playthroughs. 

The game comes out on iOS, Google Play and Amazon today, and through Steam on July 1. 

Volgarr The Viking: Review Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:52:10 -0500 Death Metal Hero

"Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Have you ever played a game that was so awesome, so fun, and yet so infuriating that your controller has cracks in it? Well, I think I found that game, for me at least. Volgarr The Viking will chew you up, spit you out, and then stomp on your slimy remains. But like all beasts, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Volgarr The Viking is no exception.

What's so great about it?

Well, if you like getting punched in the face, then Volgarr will make you feel right at home. The difficulty is unrelenting, and seeing how there is only one setting for the difficulty, you’re in for a shock. Volgarr acts as a reminder to all gamers that back in the day, video games were challenging, and didn’t hold your hand through every step of the way.

There are no “save points” in Volgarr. You start at the beginning of the level, and pray to the gaming gods above that you manage to make it to the half way point. Make it to the boss and then die? Have fun doing the second half of the level all over again.

The level layouts are challenging, unique, and fun. Each level has certain "elements" that you need to deal with, such as water and drowning, wind and getting thrown about, lava, etc. Once you beat Volgarr The Viking, the developers show you a "special" way to beat the game, which is actually the right way to beat Volgarr.

Doing so is ridiculous.

You need to get your upgraded shield, a helmet, and the fire sword. After that, you have to open two to three more chests without getting hit. The chests will then have a purple or blue flame inside. This fire will allow you to pick the "alternate" path of the next level.

During the alternate path levels, your purple or blue flames are now your lives. So, if you only collected one flame in the first level, you only get one life in the alternate path. Once you run out of lives, you go back to the "normal" path. You need to beat all of the levels on the alternate path (and collect a special item before the boss room in each level) to enter the secret final level. BEST OF LUCK!

The retro graphics will awaken your inner nostalgia gland, and you’ll probably wonder, “Why was this game not out for the Super Nintendo?” Good question; the Norse Gods over at Crazy Viking Studios might have the answer to that.

The combat is pretty simple; swing your damn sword. Other than that, Volgarr requires a lot of memorizing patterns and enemy spawns. The Red Skeleton warrior swings his sword twice, and then jumps over you. The Green Fishmen need to be killed with a spear, as getting close to them only results in getting stabbed. Then there are the bosses and their unique patterns as well.

The soundtrack in Volgarr is phenomenal; Kochun Hu has really out done himself. Each level has really epic and medieval soundtracks. They also do an amazing job of capturing the atmosphere of each level. So expect jungle-type tracks, water world tracks, and so on. Except that they are all really well done.

What is not so great about it?

Well, nothing. This game is damn near perfect. I seriously cannot think of anything that I did not like about Volgarr. Secrets in each level? Amazing. Hard and challenging bosses, level layouts and enemies? Hell yeah. Epic sound track? You got it!

I know that the difficulty might scare off some of you, but try to muster up some courage. Volgarr is a great game that you do NOT want to miss out on. I don't normally throw out a solid 10/10, but for Volgarr The Viking? I think that Crazy Viking Studios have very well out done themselves on this masterpiece. There is no reason to not get this awesome game. If you want to improve your gaming skills, or just take on a REAL challenging game, then Volgarr The Viking is for you.

Now if only Volgarr could make its way to consoles. That would be most epic.

A personal copy of Volgarr The Viking was purchased via Steam and released on September 13, 2013. Volgarr was developed by Crazy Viking Studios and published by Adult Swim Games. I played for hours on end, and I’ll always come back to this amazing game.