Rogue Islands Steam Screenshot

Genre: FPS / Roguelite
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

In Rogue Islands you take control of a dwarf on a journey to save his tribe. It’s an FPS-meets-minecraft kind of game, with voxel graphics and heavy use of roguelite principles. You travel from island to island on your boat and complete simple missions: simply gathering enough fuel to move forward, visiting the “spirit tree” to meditate on top of it or fighting the boss. The gameplay on every island can be split into three parts: exploration, resource gathering, fighting. As for the gathering part: at the very least, you need to gather enough fuel to move to the next island, but there’s much more resources (food / magic gems) at each location. The monster hunting part is pretty straight forward: use your spells to kill monsters, they drop “souls” that can be used for upgrades later on.

The Good:

  • The islands are huge. The random terrain generation is also very well done, generating caves / mountains / ponds and placing random resources. I don’t know how they did it, but most of the time you get the feeling that no way the current map you’re playing on could have been randomly generated. I’m very impressed.
  • The graphics are well done: very colorful, lots of effects and due to the right sound choice you get the feeling like you are in 8-bit world. The monster death effects deserve extra mention: killing stuff is just cool.
  • The FPS mechanics are alright. It’s not impossible to dodge the enemy projectiles, but you need to make an effort to do this. The projectile impacts are well done, but the weapon shooting does not always feel powerful. Don’t get me wrong, the weapons are in fact quite powerful, it’s just your first weapon, wand, which you are going to use most of the time, does not give impression of power. Projectiles just sort of fly away from it. It’s just an aesthetic feeling: impacts done right, shots – not so much.
  • The difficulty seems just right. If you make mistakes: you die and reset, if you play / dodge correctly – you progress further. There’s not much random involved in the combat itself, which makes it deterministic and not luck-based.

The Bad:

  • As of now, not big enough variety of monsters: first two boss models are the same. At the first ¾ islands, you are going to encounter 3-4 types of enemies at most. Again, this is OK for the early access title, but I think it’s fair that I warn you.
  • If you are playing with keyboard/mouse, but have controller connected, it’s still going to vibrate (which essentially means that you’ll have to disconnect it from your pc when playing).
  • No hotkeys to switch between weapons (spells). You have to press right mouse key, then the circular menu opens and you need to navigate to the one you need.
  • As of the current moment, the game crashed about 4 times upon my death within ~6h of playing. Not a huge deal (since you died anyway), but still gets on your nerves occasionally. After patch today I played for ~3 hours and did not encounter any crashes.
  • After alt-tabbing, the mouse pointer is not captured inside the game window (meaning it can go over the game window bounds if you have 2 monitors like I do – meaning you’ll probably die since the game is not pausing on alt-tab).


I don’t think it’s bad, but I have to warn you that it’s a roguelite after all, so all who like hoard resources are going to be disappointed as there’s really no easy mode 🙂 Despite the lack of content in Early Access version on launch and some inconveniences, the main gameplay loop is really well-done and I had fun playing for about ~9 hours at the current point. The terrain generation is really original and all the randomly generated landscapes/islands never felt repetitive, as I was eager to explore them and find the resources every single time. The game is really fun even at this point and I can confidently recommend it: there’s not much content yet, but the developers mentioned that it’s going to cost $9.99 during early access. For this price – it’s a steal and if you like the idea of it – there’s no reason not to buy it.

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Riptale - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Screenshot

Genre: Action
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Wait for 50% discount

About The Game

In Riptale you take the role of the swordsman, a dragon hunter of sorts. You go through randomly generated levels and hack/slash through the enemies. Literally. There’s lots of blood and when you strike an enemy, you really go through him. Non-boss enemies die from one hit, but you must plan your attacks carefully, because it’s pretty easy for them to hit you too.

The Good

  • Hitting enemies feels great. The blood, the slow-down of time at the moment of impact that allows you to start another combo.
  • Challenging Difficulty: the game is really hard
  • Good selection of music and sounds. The music can get repetitive after a while, but it never felt annoying. The hit sounds are very satisfying: it’s exactly as you would imagine when you think about something alive that got hit by a sword.
  • Customizable attack combos: you don’t have a traditional attack cooldown. Instead, you have three attacks (gems). Each attack costs one gem, so you can do three rapid attacks at once. Gems replenish over time though, so you can’t combo immediately. The interesting thing is you encounter shops as you progress in the game, and those sell special gems that can alter your attack pattern and make you stronger. This is the main way to change your strategy and playstyle. For example, as you play, you discover that placing some gems in first position makes charging harder, so you put them in second attack position (i.e. your first attack remains normal, but second attack becomes homing, allowing to kill the enemy quickly if he dodged).


The Bad

  • Collisions could be better. Occasionally you go through flying enemies without damaging them.
  • Gems are not recharged when you enter new room. If the game expects to have a fast gameplay, it’s a bit counter-intuitive to have player stand in one place and wait till the gems are refilled.
  • Aiming controls felt subpar quite a while: the 45-degree directions are fine, but enemies that are located at a different angle from you are frustrating to hit.
  • Slow-mo during falls could be useful. From time to time you get into situation when you jump down a platform and collide with a monster below (but there was no way to see it).
  • The levels are randomly generated. Traversing some rooms is not very pleasant due to a huge number of obstacles or maybe randomly placed stuff. The level compositions seems to be a bit broken and the gameplay speed gets hindered because of that.



What game excels at is the feel when you kill something: once your character cuts an enemy, you know this was for real. The time slows down for a split second and you just know that you’ve delivered a crushing blow of unstoppable force to something. That feeling of speed, action and being in the center of the events is something. Due to the other flaws and pretty simple graphics – I suggest waiting for 50% discount before grabbing the game; It gave me ~2 hours of good gameplay, but I doubt I’d return to it later.

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Feature Image taken from the game store page, here

Asura - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Screenshot

Genre: Action / RPG / Roguelite
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

First, Asura is having a bit of the controversial launch: there’s one negative review that is calling out the developers on dishonest practices (leaving fake reviews). The developers, on the other hand, are saying that their Chinese publisher left the reviews and they’ve already asked him to leave that practice, apologizing for this behavior. Here’s the reply from one of the developers:

“We are a two person team from India who have made the game and let me assure you that we would never ask anyone to review or promote the game in a misguided manner.

Now in this particulare case, we have a chinese publishing partner who is handling the chinese version of the game and it was one their members who did this.

We sincerly apologize on behalf of them.”

Nonetheless, the damage seems to be done: there’s suspicion all around and all the positive reviews are looked at with doubt. Essentially, it also affects this review. To address this: I welcome the fact check and critical approach, so if you are wary of this review too – that’s totally cool. That’s only one man’s impression: I’m going to evaluate the game by its qualities and describe why I think it is good. If you disagree – make sure to leave a comment and let’s have a weighted discussion.

Asura is an Action-RPG with roguelite elements. In Asura, you play as a demon, seeking revenge. You need to destroy 5 fortresses, guarded by mythical creatures. What makes it distinguishable from other games is the randomly-generated skill tree. Each playthrough that you are going to have has its own skill tree and it’s up to you how you want to utilize them. The gameplay reminded me more of Bastion rather than Diablo. You must rely heavily on dodging and dynamic movement in different directions, hence making combats really intense and action-packed.


  • Great approach to game world: first, you play as antagonist (arguably; you’re the dude that got sacrificed at the stake); second – it’s based on Indian mythology, which by itself is rare for the video games and exciting to me.
  • Awesome graphics: the style looks very clean and colorful, the game is pleasant to look at as you play.
  • Challenging, hardcore gameplay. Action-packed combats where you have to masterfully dodge opponent attacks
  • Brave approach to game mechanics: random skill tree adds variety and replayability to the process
  • Lots of content: player skills / enemies / weapons. As you kill enemies – their strength actually grows for the next walkthroughs. For example, killing a boss on the first level adds a chance to encounter totally different, tougher, boss on a next walkthrough.


  • The keyboard + Mouse controls feel pretty meh. You move and attack with mouse only. After trying that out, I played with controller only (as developer recommended). I still see no reason not to make WASD movement controls, because the game rewards active movement / dodging.
  • The burning mechanics destroys your items: might sound cool, but if you get to level 3-4 and get your weapon destroyed, you’re pretty much screwed because you can’t deal much damage and it’s hard to find a new one without killing monsters
  • As with most of roguelites, you can get screwed by random. If you find a good weapon at the start (randomly dropped from enemies / chests) – the game feels much easier. The situation is also made worse by the fact that your skill tree is also randomly generated (you might end up with totally useless skills).

If there really has been fake reviews – it feels totally unnecessary. Despite the flaws, the game feels great, highly polished and is offering a lot of fun. Overall, I got surprised by high quality of this one. All I want to say is that if you liked bastion / torchlight / diablo series – you won’t be disappointed, as this is a terrific addition to Action-RPG genre.

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Feature Image taken from the Has-Been Heroes store page, here

Has-Been Heroes - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Screenshot

Genre: RPG / Strategy / Roguelike (which is actually Puzzle / Roguelike)
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

“Has-Been Heroes” is a game from studio “Frozenbyte” – famous for its Trine 1 and Trine 2 games. I’m not mentioning it just because I want to: in my perception, Frozenbyte is a studio that is not afraid to take chances and experiment with the gameplay. The same is true for Has-Been heroes. In the game you play as retired (or actually dead) heroes, trying to escort the princesses to the academy. One unfortunate event happens though: the evil awakened in the kingdom and is actively trying to disturb you. Apart from the original premise of retired heroes – the plot is pretty cliché and very secondary. The premise of the academy seems to be forgotten entirely, since every play through is about killing the final boss.

The game offers an interesting and innovative line-based battle system: when one of your heroes attack, the game freezes. You can move another hero to attacker’s spot and attack again. All monsters have armor (called stamina), which you need to destroy in order to deal any damage. The catch is: every one of your heroes attacks different amount of times. Knight – once, monk – twice, rogue – three times. To be most effective, you need to score hits on the monsters that _exactly_ match their armor, otherwise it is regenerated. That leads to the gameplay that is based on effectiveness.


  • Awesome mix of puzzle / rpg / roguelike that is fun to play. Really innovative “attack optimization” mechanics are well thought out.
  • Tons of unlocks. I’ve played for about 8 hours and I maybe unlocked 20% of items / spells and less than 25% of all heroes.
  • Pretty graphics with its own style
  • Nice sounds and music
  • Challenging difficulty and skill-based gameplay. The more you play – the more you notice how much further you can actually go


  • Tutorial is seriously lacking. How do combos work? Why some attacks end up dealing more damage than another (even if armor has been broken)? The synergy between heroes is also not shown well, so when the game starts – you will most certainly lose fast, thinking that it’s too difficult.
  • It can get repetitive: in essence, this game fighting is all there is. For me: it has been pretty cool, but if you are looking for something more than awesome gameplay mechanics (plot? Detailed game world?) – you’ll be disappointed.


The game by itself has not been getting enough attention – which I think is a shame. Partly I think because the game description positions itself as a roguelike/rpg, where in truth is more like a puzzle game with a huge roguelike influence. It’s not a game for everyone, but if you enjoy puzzle games focused on optimization – this one is for you. I loved Has-Been heroes and I can recommend it to anyone looking for a mix of puzzle/rpg games with fighting systems. It fits perfectly for those who love combat but want something more.

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Feature Image taken from the Has-Been Heroes store page, here

Domina - Indie Game Reviews 2017 Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Management / Action
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

Disclaimer: the game is in early access.

Domina is the game you’re probably not going to complete. You can still enjoy it though. In Domina, you play as a wealthy woman who inherited her failing estate from the dying father. Having nothing to lose, she goes into “gladiator fighting business”. You have 365 days to prepare your gladiators for major tournament, all while training and participating in other fights (and also trying not to go broke).


  • Gladiator fights. With lots of gore.
  • You have a choice to control your gladiator directly or to watch how ai fights. Total chill. Exciting in both cases. Compare it to playing football or watching a match on tv. Both fun, but in different ways. Gladiator controls are smooth and responsive, but the hits / movement speed depend on how well-trained your gladiator is.
  • A lot of gladiator management opportunities: you need to train gladiators, buy equipment, upgrade your villa, and appease government officials.
  • Epic sounds and music
  • Nice pixel-art graphics that fit the violent atmosphere of the game perfectly.


  • No save games. The game does not save progress on exit. It’s a management game where you have to go through the year (2+ hours of gameplay) without being able to quit and return to this again later.

Essentially, the game is a black box. You have the description of stats that you train, but there are 3 gladiator classes available. To add to that, each gladiator has 3 parameters (aggro / turtle / evasion – which give an idea what they mean, but no way to understand what works best when picking the class without lots of experimentation). In my eyes, it’s not a con. If you want the game that leads you by hand – it’s not one of those.


Well guys, there’s no going around it: lack of save feature seriously takes away enjoyment from the game. Honestly, the lack of save-games is a huge let-down. I’ve completed it once in a loss, took me 2 hours and I did not participate in any extra combats (pit fights) + did not spend much time going into gladiator stats in detail. I’m not judging the developer, just saying my view from the third-person perspective: it’s like he made a most precious jewel and then choose to drown it in dirt. Everything in the game is great, but the lack of save system spoils it. For a lot of people – that’s a huge decisive factor and I understand.

Having that in mind, I cannot say that the game is bad. I really feel like the game does a top-notch job to simulating the gladiator fights. “Mixed” reviews show the essence very well. To me, the game was fun to start every time (about 6-7 that I’ve played, but I lost quite fast). The losing was pretty fun too: you just look how gladiators fight and then yours die off. If you want to complete the game and don’t have 2+ free hours when you can concentrate – don’t even think about it. If you just want to see cool gladiator combat – train your gladiators OR have extra time – A+, absolutely worth it.

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Polygod Steam Screenshot

Genre: Roguelike/FPS
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Wait until the game is out of early access.

Disclaimer #1: I got the key for free
Disclaimer: #2 Game is in early access, so lots of things will probably change

In Polygod, you challenge the evil Gods in a special trial (Trial of Gods). The twist is that every level is randomly generated. As you kill enemies, you gather “souls” which you can use to improve your character. And while it all sounds great, I have mixed feelings about the game.


  • Fast paced gameplay
  • Beautiful low-poly graphics, distinct style, colorful levels and effects
  • Lots of different upgrades
  • Challenging


  • Only one weapon. (Yes, you can get various modifiers, but at the current point it just feels very repetitive to start every game with it).
  • Menu issues with gamepad, some UX/UI trouble
  • The shooting sound of player’s weapon does not feel enjoyable
  • Pathfinding is not that great, monsters get stuck behind walls


I can see that a lot of work went into the game, but my main issue is with the gameplay right now: pace-wise it’s good, but there’s actually a big game design challenge. In “linear” shooters, you are often given weapons to solve some kind of an “issue.” I.e. you are given rocket launcher before tank appears or shotgun for close-quarters or sniper-rifle before long-range combat starts. If the process is randomly generated, it’s just is not there. Therefore it becomes somewhat repetitive, because you have a gun and specific enemies that you can defeat using pretty much anything.

Overall, I’d say the game has its own style and the gameplay principles are there, but it feels that the game went into early access a bit too early. At the time of writing the review, enemies don’t have shooting/movement sounds, so you can’t hear where they are nearby. I’d say skip this one for now and check it out when it’s done. I’d be more than happy to look at it when it’s done though.

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Feature Image taken from the Polygod store page, here

Everspace Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Space Action/Roguelike
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes, if you enjoy space actions/roguelites

If you would ask me to give a brief description of Everspace, I’d instantly say that it’s a mix between Freelancer and Rogue Legacy. You travel from sector to sector of the galaxy via hyperspace jumps, kill the enemies and gather equipment to get to your goal (which is intentionally vague). The game is not open space, there is a route that you must follow. After you die – you have to start from scratch. However, you get to keep your money so you can upgrade your ship post-death and make the next run smoother.


  • Responsive ship controls using keyboard and mouse, decent space dogfighting combat
  • Great replayability: after you die, you get to equip the ship for the next run and try to do better
  • Amazing graphics: space seems very vivid
  • Challenging: you won’t go far during your initial runs, but that’s perfectly fine.
  • The missions/small challenges add focus to the gameplay
  • Innovative mechanics that work quite well: I think that’s the first combination of roguelike and space sim, have to give props to dev for making it work.


  • At this stage, the game can get a bit repetitive. Initial levels don’t offer enough variety. It often feels like you are going on the same track when you fly through them. (And you’re going to fly through them a lot!)
  • Looting often feels like a tedious job – flying from point to point just to shoot asteroids / crystals can get you bored. The upside is that you don’t have to hunt for resources, but you are greatly reducing your chances to have a good run.
  • Like with lots of roguelikes out there, you can get screwed by the gods of random, ensuring an unfavorable setup against you. You might get no decent weapon drops/overwhelming enemy numbers, that ultimately leads to your demise.

Everspace Review Summary

If you enjoy either permadeath roguelites or space action games – this one is for you. The space dogfights combined with permadeath/improvement mechanics will keep you entertained for some time. I’d probably suggest waiting for full release tho – the game is enjoyable as it is, but the developer promises much more content later on. If you don’t like idejas of permadeath and dying a lot and starting from scratch to achieve your objective – skip  this one.

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Feature Image taken from the Everspace store page, here

Assault on the Necrospire Steam Game Screenshot

Genre: Action/Roguelike
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: if you are OK with giving feedback during early access – Yes, otherwise: add it to wishlist and wait for it to be fully released

Disclaimer #1: I got the key for free.
Disclaimer #2: The game is work in progress, so some things ought to change.

Traverse the dungeon to take down the evil necromancer! You control the mage that must go deep into the dungeon and kill the necromancer that has destroyed the wizard order. The game is an Action/RPG where the choice of items matters. There is no leveling system, you build your character by equipping the good stuff and avoiding the questionable stuff. It has a similarity with bullet-hell games, but is somewhat slower paced. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because the game is still intense but leaves a bit more time for decision making compared to Enter the Gungeon or Nuclear Throne. You only have one attack, which is modified by special items, „spells.” Those items can speed it up or slow it down, add debuffs like bleeding or poisoning or change the attack pattern fully.

Since the game has permadeath, you will often face a sequence of small gaming sessions. The good part about them is that you can set up the difficulty yourself: as of the time when this review has been written, there are 15 difficulty modifiers like „double bosses,” „no health globes,” „exploding enemies” and so on. Those difficulty settings offer a great approach towards how the game is played: the hardships are not simply expressed through the monster stat increase, but actual gameplay changes which strongly affects the gameplay.


  • Lots of items that alter the gameplay (instead of just altering stats), which opens room for interesting combinations
  • Well-drawn pixel Art
  • Difficulty modifiers adjust the gameplay, opening new experiences, instead of simply
  • The environment is well polished
  • Responsive controls
  • Pleasant, not-annoying, ambient music
  • Interesting Bosses, fights involve multiple stages


  • Slow Travel Time. Cannot really teleport between the rooms, even the ones that you’ve visited which often makes.
  • Not that big room variety (80 room layouts means you’ll be seeing lots of duplicates if you play long enough), some rooms (especially the cross shaped one) don’t give much space for maneuvering resulting in inevitable loss of health
  • As with most of RNG-based games, sometimes the random does not favor you. You might get bad rooms or bad items and die fairly quickly
  • Only one basic attack at the start, could use a bit more variety (or improved feeling? Lesser damage but faster firing speed or just a bit shinier)

Overall, buy this one now if you like to give feedback on early access games. The developer is really friendly and you can clearly see that the game was made with love, so there’s potential. Otherwise, I think it’s worth to wait until there are more clarity and content: with all the great stuff about it, the game will definitely give you a good time for a an hour or two, but slow pace combined with very simple basic attack with little variety (at the start only, it gets better if you progress due to various spells) feels like the game is punishing new players. I’d add it to wishlist and wait to see how early access progresses.

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Feature Image taken from Assault on the Necrospire store page, here

Enter The Gungeon Game Review Screenshot

Genre: Bullet Hell/Action/Roguelike
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes

Enter The Gungeon is a roguelite bullet-hell game. Your hero descends into the dungeon to find a gun that can kill time. Control your hero and move through the randomly-generated rooms while trying to shoot everything that moves. Destructible furniture / barrels can help you avoid enemy bullets and lots of guns make the elimination process much more cooler.


  • Amazing polishing (Good example: reflections in the puddles from the barrels that you broke) and visuals, very charming.
  • Smooth controls
  • Dynamic Gameplay
  • Lots of Guns
  • The sound/music is nice


  • Sometimes it feels like the game depends on RNG too much. If you get bad weapons in the starting crates – you’ll probably dead.
  • Some guns are useless. Like, totally useless (see the first reason).
  • Does not feel like there’s much of variety between characters.
  • The room transition/movement feels a bit slow. The action is great, but this part feels very dragged occasionally (huge rooms generated with not many enemies that you still need to traverse completely).

Overall, I’d say give the game a try. At least to see how visual perfection looks like in 2d. You’re going to love the effects.

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Feature Image taken from Enter the Gungeon store page, here

Okhlos Steam Game Review Screenshot

Genre: Action/Strategy
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes, but wait for 50%+ discount, as the game is quite short

Game Description

Today I wanted to make a review of the game called Okhlos: the game by itself puts you in a role of a philosopher responsible of challenging the greek gods themselves. You gather the crowd of people with different roles and try to eliminate the enemies. The levels are split into rooms (think Binding of Isaac) with vendors in-between. The boos encounter awaits you at the end of every level. The gameplay is pretty simple: you move your main character (philosopher) with WASD and show where the crowd should move (or what to do) with your mouse. Essentially, you can issue 2 commands to the crowd: attack (damage enemies) or defend (preventing enemy burst-damage attacks). There are also 4 types of special items which you need to find first before using.


  • Really Fun Gameplay once you get figure out the game principes (yes, there’s not much to do, but the timing matters a lot).
  • Awesome Style
  • Lots of Greek Mythology References
  • Lots of Unlocks
  • Responsive controls


  • After each game room there’s a small „Character Market” – .
  • No bonus description? At least I could not find one. Still have no idea what green helmet means.
  • Short (one playthrough takes about 1.5-2hours max)


Also, since one playthrough is so short, the death is permanent. If all your philosophers are dead, the game is lost. One thing that bothered me is inability to form your crowd (people are recruited at first met-first picked basis, but shops often require a specific group of people present if you want to buy a hero). For example, you need 5 slaves to buy a hero. Your crowd consists of 25 people, there are slaves at the level, but you can’t pick them, because crowd is full. So, yeah. The shopping involves resource management, but there are very few ways to affect human resources. On the flipside, that makes UI very unencumbered and the game is easy to control.


Skip the game if you love to micromanage stuff. I definitely think you’ll have fun playing it. You will need to have multiple playthroughs to unlock everything, as the game is pretty easy to complete, but hard to unlock everything (you’ll need lots of walkthroughs and grinding in a good way).

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Feature Image taken from Okhlos store page, here

Finally, here’s the video review: