Slap City

Slap city is the newest Platform Fighter (see Super Smash Bros., Brawlhalla, Icons, Rivals of Aether) to throw its hat into this increasingly pervasive genre.  This game is an all-stars mashup of characters created by the company, Ludosity, makers of indie darlings such as Ittle Dew and Card City Nights.  Even if you have never heard of these properties, I highly recommend Card City Nights on Steam or Mobile, the characters are lovingly realized with cartoonish 3D models.  One of my favorites, and a fan favorite at that, is this beautiful specimen and my husband: Fishbunjin.  maxresdefault

The animations are very smooth, and often quite comical.  For you fighting game fanatics, the developers are constantly tweaking knockback values and damage, perfecting hitboxes (which are already pretty damn good for a game in its first months of release), and adding new characters.  The biggest gripe I can see for adopting this game at this point is the rather low character pool (as of writing there are 7 very unique and fun characters).  Good news is that the price point sits at $4.99 on sale, or $6.99 otherwise, which makes for an excellent entry for even the stingiest consumer.  The single player mode is slowly being expanded upon: for now, settle for the traditional arcade mode and a “break the crystals” minigame.  Be warned: the later difficulties arm the CPU with virtually zero endlag on attacks and endlessly chaining normals and specials, which equates to you getting absolutely murdered within 10 seconds if you aren’t careful.

If you are a fan of super smash bros melee, the game engine and competitive focus definitely implies that Slap City wears Melee on its sleeve.  All the insane techniques that are completely lost on casual fans are in this game, from l-canceling to wavedashing, so there is quite a bit of depth to be had when picking this game up.  There isn’t too much in the way of teaching you the more advanced gameplay through a direct tutorial, although I would definitely recommend reading the information in the Library section of the Main Menu for some advanced tips at the very least.  There are no items, but some of the stages can get extremely hectic (the pinball one is particularly insane: think an entire stage covered with the Bumpers from smash bros).

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(Editors Note: There’s a Pinball Level…That sound you just heard…That was Indie Gamer Chick shrieking in excitement)

There is a healthy balance between enabling the wacky chaotic fun for the party game audience, and the high-stakes, Fox only, Final Destination environment that the fighting game community craves. In fact, tournament organizers are already getting their feet wet as this quickly growing fanbase is slowly but surely racking up those Twitch views.  While couch multiplayer will likely take up the bulk of your time with Slap City, some of us are not fortunate enough to actually have friends.  Well dry your tears: the online netcode is pretty damn solid if I do say so myself.  Embracing this innovation from Smash 4, you can play upwards to 8 players on one map!  You can create public and private lobbies set to team battle, free-for-all, (timed or stock), and even the Slap Ball gamemode.  In Slap Ball, players team up to slap soccer balls into the opponent’s goal.  Never before have you been able to vicariously live your favorite World Cup moments in such a derpy fashion!

If you are itching to play the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and really need that fix, you would be hard-pressed not to seriously consider Slap City.  It doesn’t set your wallet back too far, and the developers have proved that they are more than capable of creating a competitive, yet wacky game for players new and old.  Hopefully this will the first of many Indie Gamer Team seals of approval you see from me in the future!

The Seal

 

Slap City: Steam

Developer: Ludosity

Price: $6.99

Review Copy was Purchased

 

 

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Hey, Hey You. Wanna Write for Indie Gamer Team?

Hello, I’m William, the editor and chief of IndieGamerTeam.Com. Over the last few days we’ve had a few people ask if they could write for us, but due to some tech issues (BOTH of my computers were fried and i had to buy a new laptop) i completely ignored them. PROFESSIONALISM!!!

Okay, for real now. If you want to write for IndieGamerTeam.com…okay. We’re here to help people find their voice and audience. We’re not too strict. We have a few basic rules which i’ll go into in just a sec, but yeah, more or less if you want to write for us we’re cool with it.

So, those rules:

  1. We have the easiest style guide there is, fallow it. We see reviews as entertainment. I personally love academic style essays about games, but that’s not what we do. If you’re not comfortable writing entertainment focused reviews on a game, then that’s not a game you should review for us. Other basic format rules we’ll go over once you’re part of the team.
  2. Don’t be toxic. We more or less don’t care about you’re political stance or where you stand on this or that issue (Nazi’s being the only exception. You all can fuck off). But if you’re going to be toxic you can also fuck off. And seriously, i shouldn’t have to spell out what that means. You can be abrasives in your writing, but if entire group of people feel like they aren’t welcome reading the writing on our site or writing for us, then you can piss off.
  3. We don’t do news or previews or early access reviews.
  4. You have to have a Skype, that’s how i contact people for edits.
  5. Site writers help share everyone else work. Again, we want to help you find your audience, which is why we do this.
  6. We are an enthuses site, so we’re not rolling in doe. As such, we don’t pay. But you will get the experience of working with an editor and have a pretty open environment to explore who you are as a writer.

If that sounds good to you, send an email to me at ludophilewill@gmail.com, with a few pieces of your writing attached.

And please keep in mind: i work almost full time and will start school again in August, so i’m not going to be free all the time. i’ll get back to you as soon as i can.

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A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael

cover.jpgA Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael is an action Visual Novel game based on a budding romance between two high school girls. It’s a stand alone game in a series of games all dealing with the same topic but with different couples. This game is based on the coupling of Risa and Miya, about how their romance started and the problems they had along the way. The characters in this series of games, are all fairly unique granted a couple of them are by the book standard character archetypes. Not only are they unique but the couples all balance each other out really well in some way. That balance makes everyone that much more endearing for reasons I can’t quite explain. Risa and Miya are no different in this aspect and that really brings a super cute quality to the game.

Risa is always trying her best, she works as hard as she can at everything she does even if she’s not very good. She’s also the class president and is constantly looking to do whatever she can to stand out more so she can get into better universities later in life. Miya on the other hand… she’s a super genius who’s good at literally everything from sports to all forms of studies. She’s however, considered a trouble child because constantly skips class, much to Risa’s annoyance as she has to fetch Miya constantly. Miya has a photographic memory as such upon reading a book once; teachers have nothing left to teach her. She’s always spent her time reading since she was young so she knows generally, everything really. Most of the game you play as Risa, occasionally moving into Miya or side characters’ points of view but those are very short and very rare.

The game is fairly basic, you have a handful of choices throughout the whole game, maybe a dozen or so, and this game is HUGE, it’ll take around ten hours to complete your first time, and there’s three or four endings for their relationship. However, as a nice little bonus, you also get the stories of all the other couples on what they did during parts of the game as well. Each of these stories are a bit smaller but still sizable, and I believe they all have multiple endings as well. This lets you feel even more connected to the side cast that have a lot of importance with the main story.

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Risa and Miya, aren’t they cute?

This game isn’t going to promote any deep thoughts, it’s a nice light-heated adventure about a naive girl falling in love for the first time and all the trials and trepidation’s that come with it. Not just that but falling in love with a girl, which she never expected would happen in the first place, and to top that off falling in love with a girl she always thought she hated. So basically this is a Rom-Com. You will laugh, a lot. Risa regularly blushes and stutters because, again, she’s new to all this. She all but freaks out because of the other girls and their openness when it comes to their own relationships and perversions. Risa is far too prim and proper and it’s really funny to see her freak out at even the smallest suggestive things being said let alone the larger ones half of which start off going over her head before it slowly dawns on her what they’re talking about.

The entire game is voice acted, every single character. All of the voice actors did really good in this as all the characters are voice magnificently. The voices are in Japanese with English subtitles, hopefully that doesn’t bother you because it is done really well.

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The frisky girls… ooh la la

Now the thing you have to remember about this game, is perversions are aplenty, this is not a children’s game. There’s two versions of the game, an 18+ which is the original localization and then there’s an ‘all ages’ version but… honestly… I don’t think it’s really all that all ages even then. The ‘all ages’ version is heavily toned down, there’s next to no nudity in it, there’s no sex scenes, only two bits of nudity I remember both are breasts, one is when Miya is sick and Risa wipes off her sweat so you see Miya chest, this is a common thing in Japanese media. The other time Risa nearly walks in on two classmates… hmmm… getting a little frisky in a classroom and she looks for a bit cause she’s trying to figure out if she’s is okay with going that far with Miya, in that you see a bit of one of those girls’ breasts as well. Beyond that, I don’t remember any nudity in the main game. I don’t remember any nudity in the side parts, but I didn’t finish them all before writing this and I can’t really remember them very well. However, honestly I would think those bits either straight up don’t have any nudity or it would be in a similar vein as the sweat washing part in the above. I think they’re fixing the frisky bit to be censored as I’m pretty sure it was suppose to be censored.

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A girl and her perver… I mean girlfriend

Regardless, I say I don’t think it’s ‘all ages’ period not so much because of the couple of tits you see cause I’m not a prude but because they talk about sexual things in the game. Sex is a part of romance, asexual people aside anyways. The girls in this, like me and many girls I’ve known growing up, are very open about sex, granted I think sometimes some of these girls go a bit overboard sometimes, but so did I when I was younger so… yeah. I consider it fairly realistic, however these girls are seemingly obsessed with sex related things. In anime and Japanese video games, the portrayal of girls’ and their thoughts on sex tend to go in one of two ways. Either they never think about anything related to sex which is crazy talk, or that’s ALL they think about which is just as laughable. This game pushes that towards being all they think about. To be honest I don’t really see an issue with talking about sex in front of kids, that’s just not an issue with me, but there’s a limit to what about it you talk about or how much detail you go into and this game pushes it beyond where I think it’s acceptable for kids to read about. As such I really don’t think it’s appropriate for younger audiences. Maybe older teens but 18+ fits that bill so I mean… yeah.

I think this is great for anyone who’s an adult, the all ages version, tones it down and removes the sex scenes and such for those of you not into that stuff, because I know some people want the VN but don’t want naked people shoved in their face. The game is really funny, especially if you like perverse humor and people being oblivious to it. However, on the other side if you don’t like perverse humor, I don’t know if this game would sit well for you honestly. I thought it was hilarious but I’m a big ol’ perv, most of the dirty jokes and Risa’s reactions to them were hilarious for me. For those of you who want the full experience of the game there’s the 18+ version which has all the extra sex stuff in it, including the creepiest fucking sounding kisses I think I’ve damn near ever heard. But then again Japan is really bad with kissing sounds in my opinion in damn near all media, it always ends up sounding like they’re making out with like squid tentacles or some shit, it’s just… wrong sounding. So. Fucking. Wrong.

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A cute school valentines event

For me, I loved the game, other than the kissing sounds, which you only get if you play the 18+ version. And thank fuck for that, cause that would scar people for life. It’s $35 on MangaGamer’s website, I don’t know if it was the same on Steam or not, but it’s currently unavailable on Steam. My speculation is it’s not on Steam currently because of that above mentioned frisky scene not being censored, MangaGamer is working on getting it back up on Steam, hopefully they do soon, because it is a pretty funny game. If pervy humor amuses you, this will make you piss yourself. If you want a kindhearted story about the start of a romance and how a naive girl navigates it from first kisses, to Valentines and Christmas to trying to figure out if she’s comfortable enough to have sex or not and how it would even work, to helping each other deal with life problems, this is also for you. It has a great heartfelt story if you can ignore the prevy stuff, providing you don’t like the pervy stuff anyways. I’m all for it, I totally suggest it, but I know because of its content, it won’t be for everyone because it is really open about perversions and not everyone is comfortable about that. If you’re not sure if you’re into it, maybe get the other A Kiss of the Petals game that’s on steam, it’s a lot shorter, and it’s much cheaper. If you like you that, then give this a go, I think it’s worth your money. That being said, when it’s back on Steam, if it gets back on there, we’ll update the below Point of Sale area to the Steam page instead of the game’s landing page. I’m really hoping you guys will give it a chance I think it’s a really good game.

cover.jpgA Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael was developed by: Yurin Yurin and Sei Mikaeru Joshi Gakuen

Point of Sale: MangaGamer

$35.00: The best thing about 18 year old high school girls is no matter how old I get they’re always 18… or something. I feel a bit dirty after saying that…

The Seal.pngA review copy was provided by the publisher.

darkmikasonfire has awarded A Kiss for the Petals: Maidens of Michael The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval

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The Mind’s Eclipse

SteamSmallCapsule_rev1.jpgThe Mind’s Eclipse is a science fiction Visual Novel game with a basic point and click mechanic. It was developed and self-published by: Mind’s Eclipse Interactive, LLC. The point and click mechanic is simple in that you can interact with parts of the environment which allow you to learn more about the world, and individuals that live in it. This occasionally provokes conversation pieces as well. You also pick up items that are used later to unlock doors and the like. There’s no puzzling about any of the game, if you pick up an item and you can use it you’ll lose it, if you don’t have an item to get into an area, then you can’t get into it. It’s very basic, which is fine since at its core this is a visual novel.

In this game you play as Jonathan Campbell, he’s just woken up in a hospital with no memory Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. You’re informed that the hospital is losing oxygen and you need to get out of it by an AI named L, which has rooted herself in your head. After dealing with your immediate issue, you go on a journey to figure out what’s happened to Europa, to regain your memories, and to find your loved ones. The only quest left at that point is, do you really trust L?

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This game allows you to learn about the world around you and the people that inhabit it but it doesn’t force that knowledge on you like most VNs do. In most VNS they tell you about the world around you either with narrative pieces or through dialogue with characters. This game instead allows you to choose whether you want to bother with most of it or ignore it as you get most of this knowledge from interacting with things in the environment which is mostly unrequired. I, personally, like seeing the background information but I know that isn’t for everyone. Because of the way this game is set up, it doesn’t force you to hear about all the background stuff if you really don’t want to know it. I think the background information was useful as it made the world feel more alive. It also gave explanations and background which helped explain the game and helped connect threads later on.

This VN instead of being about characters, it was more about Jonathan’s personal beliefs and his backstory. It’s used to explain who and what he is and why he did the things he did. It’s a story about a man learning who he was and figuring out if that’s who he wanted to be. The age old questions of: Am I who I was? Is that who I want to be? If I don’t want to be that person, do I have a choice, can I be someone else? The game is all about introspection while looking through his eyes at the outcomes of his previous self’s actions. A self he no longer knows thanks to his amnesia.

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I mean look at her she’s fucking adorable and super cool

Most of the game Jonathan talks to himself about things, trying to piece information back together. When he’s not doing that he’s often talking with L. He tries to get information about the world around him from her since he’s been in a coma for who knows how long and he has amnesia. L becomes his AI encyclopedia, at least when she has an answer for anything anyways. Jonathan doesn’t really interact with other characters beyond reading personal files that are nearly everywhere. When L talks there’s often an avatar of her that shows up which is really cool, she had an awesome design.

There are choices occasionally in the game but all but one are just do this or wait to do this, and to get forward you have to eventually do it. This is why it’s kinetic there’s no real choice in the game until the end. It gives you a choice at the ending you want for the game, I went both routes, assuming there’s only the two anyways. When that choice comes up it’s pretty obvious since it’s not a do it or wait to do it option. The VN works as a kinetic one, but I have a feeling this team, if they wanted, could probably make a really good action VN with a bunch of endings. The game was really well written.

steam_screen5.pngThe game had a lot of sci-fi talk as the game involved nanotechnology, AIs, cybernetics, and genetic modifications. It dealt with them as, oh these things exist, not everyone likes it, some people go a bit overboard, etc. It’s treated like it’s just part of life which is nice. There’s not a big deal made of it or a lot of information poured into the mechanics behind it as though it matters. Instead it’s just an everyday thing and I really like how that played out.

I suggest the game, it’s $10 so it’s cheap, it lasted me around 3 hours. It has a nice gritty look to it and with it being in black and white it looks even grittier which is nice. The story being so introspective and dark is a nice palette cleanser for a VN, most of them are fairly cheerful and happy or bittersweet. Other formats of VNs are a fairly small percentage, so it’s nice to come across one that’s not happy go lucky or bittersweet every now and then.

 

main capsule image.jpgThe Mind’s Eclipse was developed by: Mind’s Eclipse Interactive, LLC

Point of Sale: Steam

$10.00: The eternal question every man asks; if I fucked up big time, but forgot I fucked up, did I still fuck up? Even future men ask this, as this game shows.

 

The Seal.pngA review copy was provided by the publisher.

darkmikasonfire has awarded The Mind’s Eclipse The Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval

 

 

 

 

 

 

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