Curse of the Crescent Isle DX

A game by Adam Mowery for PC, Mac, Linux, and Vita, originally released in 2015.
Curse of the Crescent Isle DX is an updated re-release of Curse of the Crescent Isle, originally released on Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. The new release features updated graphics and sound but retains the enemy-tossing gameplay, level designs, environmental puzzles, and boss encounters found in the original. However, the graphical enhancements and addition of 2P co-op – along with a few other enhancements – make this the definitive version of the game.

The premise remains the same: A few days after her 22nd birthday, the princess of Crescent Isle is set to enter into an arranged marriage with a prince from another island in order to retain peace in both lands. However, a warlock appears and attempts to curse the king, but the spell goes wrong, and instead the people of the land are transformed into various creatures that the player later encounters in the game.

The warlock absconds with the king’s wife and daughter, so now he must set out to rescue them and to save his people. The DX version of the game offers two playable characters, the king and the queen, although their movesets are the same. However, new to the game is the ability for players to team up for offline 2P gameplay, with each player controlling one of the characters for some same-screen co-op action.

Curses ‘n Chaos

A game by Tribute Games for PC, Mac, PS4, and Vita, originally released in 2015.
Curses ‘n Chaos is a single-screen brawler starring a pair of bounty hunters named Lea and Leo who have been cursed by the Wizard King. As a result of this curse, Death follows them wherever they go, and their only hope is to continue fighting forward. Fortunately, the duo meets an alchemist named Allison who knows how to mix ingredients to create tools that can help them in battle. Combining the appropriate ingredients can even help Allison to brew up the Elixir of Life to dispel the terrible magic that has been laid up on them.

At the start of the game, players may select between Lea or Leo, each of which have equal combat abilities, or they can team up with a friend for online or offline 2P co-op. With all of the, er, chaos happening onscreen, going in with a friend can greatly help with crowd control, but players share a stock of lives, so you’ll want to bring along an equally skilled companion.

Mommy's Best Action Pack

Mommy's Best Games, developers of high-octane shooters and co-founders of 8 Bit Horse (this very site), have unleashed Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compendium of their classic blastfests. The company's more recent releases include the 2D Contra-style entry in the Serious Sam saga, Serious Sam: Double D XXL, as well as the completely mental touch screen horse racing derpaganza Finger Derpy.

Now players can explore the company's history with Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compilation of four games originally released on Xbox Live Arcade: Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP, Explosionade, and Game Type. Each game has been re-tuned for its Steam release, with support for keyboard and mouse or gamepad controls, as well as the requisite cheevos and other such Steamy accouterments.

The bundle is currently available via Steam, or games may be purchased individually from the following links:

Olympia Rising

A game by Paleozoic for PC, Mac, AND Linux, originally released in 2015.
Olympia Rising is based in Greek mythology and stars a young warrior named Iola who lost her life and has been sent to the Underworld. Iola must battle her way up through the many levels of the Underworld, fighting mythical beings along the way – including Cerberus, Cyclops, and Hades himself – in order to make her escape and enter Olympus. In addition, Charon the Ferryman requires payment before he allows Iola to pass through each of the Underworld’s gates, blocking progress into the next level if his purse is not properly weighted.

Each of the themed regions of the Underworld is named for one of its rivers, with the player passing through Styx, Acheron, Cocytus, Lethe, and Phlegethon. These areas are not themed based on their mythological origins, but rather consist of caves, forests, ice areas, and fire areas, per platforming standards. Many of these levels are open and may be freely explored, but often the player must race through vertically-oriented levels and flee a sea of rising acid that spells instant death when touched.

Mute Crimson+

A game by Iced Lizard Games for PC, Mac, and Linux, originally released in 2015.
The original Mute Crimson was one of the standout titles on Xbox Live Indie Games when it was released in 2011. In the years before Steam Greenlight, the Xbox 360 offered indie developers the opportunity to develop and sell games for the system on a dedicated channel, removing many of the industry’s traditional gatekeepers and resulting in a wild frontier of self-published indie titles of vastly varying qualities. Despite the large number of nigh-unplayable garbage that eventually filled the marketplace, many games stood well on their own and have gone on to see releases on other platforms.

Mute Crimson’s developer released a number of other titles on Xbox Live Indie Games, including Block Puzzle’s Revenge, a falling block puzzle game with time-based challenges and a wide playfield; Run Rectangle! Jump! Shoot!, a sidescrolling twin stick shooter; and Null Divide, a space-based action-adventure. Null Divide received a remastered release as Null Divide+, and now the developer has returned with Mute Crimson+.

A Mini Falafel Adventure

A game by Beadybox for PC, originally released in 2015.
A Mini Falafel Adventure is a game about an anthropomorphic falafel who goes on an adventure to rescue his also-an-anthropomorphic-falafel friend who was abducted by aliens while the pair were out hopping around. The game is a metroidvania, but unlike traditional genre entries, which tend to be large and lengthy adventures, this game is quite short and focuses on multi-phase boss encounters rather than the spaces in between, and the game can be completed in under two hours.

The falafel hero has a 2x nonvariable jump and the ability to swim across pools of water, but he begins the game with no offensive abilities. Dangers include blocks that spit flame spouts a couple of seconds after you step on them, and some hopping enemies.

Inferno 2

A game by Radiangames for PC, iOS, and OUYA, originally released in 2014.
In 2010, Radiangames released Inferno as part of a project to produce a game every couple of months, with a focus on arcade-style action and flashy neon aesthetics. These games were originally released on Xbox Live Indie Games, and also included JoyJoy, Crossfire 1 & 2, Fluid, and Fireball, many of which have since been released on other platforms.

The original release of Inferno was modeled heavily after Gauntlet, allowing 4P local co-op in an action-adventure framework where players searched for keys while taking down swarms of enemies pouring forth from spawners. The game was short, offering only 30 levels and two “bullet sponge” boss encounters, but it offered some variety in its upgrade system, where players could spend currency between levels to buy different kinds of weapons and defensive items. Upon completion of the game, players unlocked a more challenging New Game+ mode.

In 2012, Radiangames released an enhanced version of the game called Inferno+, which offered remixes of the first 30 levels, plus 10 new levels, as well as four boss encounters and more ship customization options. However, the 4P cooperative mode was eliminated in favor of a single player experience.

Inferno 2 continues to expand on the original concept, offering the same core mechanics with some added nuances, but this time spread across 80 single player levels. As before, the player commands a circular ship that is able to move and aim independently. Environments consist of dark backgrounds and bright neon enemies, many of which originate from spawners. While there are a few straight lines to be found, there are no sharp angles; everything in the environment, from the surfaces, to the enemies, to the projectiles are all round or curved.


A game by Morgondag for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Wii U, and iOS, originally released in 2015.
RymdResa is a story of solitude. A lone astronaut pilots a spacecraft through the depths of limitless space following the destruction of his home world by a gigantic asteroid. But space is dangerous and unforgiving. Hurtling asteroids, floating debris, and enemy ships stand between you and the salvation of your people… and even the emptiness of space threatens your existence, as resources are scarce.

The astronaut’s only hope is to navigate to a handful of known coordinates, gather any resources he can find, and look for clues that might lead him to a new home world.

Throughout his multi-year journey, the astronaut occasionally pauses to ruminate over his situation and his very existence… often informing the player of the toll his journey has taken on him.

These ruminations are often poetic in nature, and in fact, much of the game centers around a somber poetry, whether it be from the narrator himself or from words floating in space.

This does a great deal to set the tone of the game – as does the player’s interactions with planets and derelict spacecraft – painting a very dour picture of the universe and the player’s place within it, which is further supported by a melancholy soundtrack.

The day you died.
Watched it explode.
Watched it burn.
Observed… the… explosion.
Observed… the… fire.
Thinking of you.


A game by Bits & Beasts for PC, Mac, and Linux, originally released in 2015.
Feist is an atmospheric physics-based platformer starring a creature who must make his way through a dark and hostile landscape filled with dangerous beasts and deadly traps. The game is presented in a silhouette style, inviting the inevitable comparison to Limbo, although gameplay is quite different. The story is also far less heavy, and the overall presentation not as dreary... offering subdued greens, blues, and, yellows, and much less haze and fog.

At the start of the game, the player character is trapped in a wooden box that is hanging from a tree. By swinging the box back and forth, the rope eventually breaks and sends it falling downward. However, the box remains intact upon contact with the ground, and the creature within must roll the box down a slope and jump in order to make its way over obstacles. Eventually, the box reaches a steep hill where it tumbles down and builds up speed, eventually smashing open at the bottom and revealing a short hairy creature.

Odallus: The Dark Call

A game by Joymasher for PC, originally released in 2015.
Odallus: The Dark Call takes place in a foreboding land that is slowly being consumed by evil. The old gods have stopped answering the prayers of mankind, and an aged warrior named Haggis (yes, like the meal consisting of sheep innards) must take up the sword once again to rescue his son from these dark forces.

Odallus is a metroidvania, but rather than offering a single contiguous world, it is divided into distinct levels. This is somewhat atypical of the genre, but this structure has been used previously in such titles as Wario Land 3 and Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse.

Thematically, the game draws its inspirations from the Castlevania and Ghosts ’n Goblins series, though the level layouts are most similar to Capcom’s unappreciated masterpiece of the macabre, Demon’s Crest.

Like Demon’s Crest, levels are layered and nonlinear, with multiple paths to explore, alternate routes through many levels, and numerous hidden areas to uncover.

In Demon’s Crest, every level is essentially two levels compressed into one, with a direct path leading to the level’s end boss and progress to the next level, and an alternate path leading to a separate boss, with no small number of miniboss encounters in between.

Odallus is very similar in this regard, with some levels containing more than one boss, and several minibosses along the way, many of which are hidden behind large level branches that may only be accessed by using sub-weapons or new movement abilities. In addition, Odallus offers entirely new levels that can only be accessed by finding alternate branching paths.


A game by Tomasz Wacławek for PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, and Vita, originally released in 2015.
Ronin stars a young woman on a mission of vengeance. Wearing a motorcycle helmet and wielding a katana, she infiltrates various office buildings to take down the five leaders of a corrupt corporation. At the start of each mission, a black and white photo is displayed, and the protagonist draws circles around the faces of each target, crossing them out once they have been killed.

Ronin mixes direct action with turn-based strategy in an interesting way. Throughout the adventure, the player takes direct control of the ninja-like heroine as she sneaks through the shadows, scales buildings, and swings from a grappling hook. If the player manages to reach an enemy undetected, he is able to perform a silent execution, which is typical of other entries in the stealth genre.

However, if the player is detected – by moving into the light or making a loud noise – the action shifts into turn-based gameplay, with the player able to plan out individual moves while attempting to take down enemies and avoid gunfire. A single hit spells instant death for our young assassin, and danger waits around every corner.

Adventure in the Tower of Flight

A game by Pixel Barrage Entertainment for PC, Mac, and Linux, originally released in 2015.
Adventure in the Tower of Flight begins with a telling of its history. Long ago, there were five kingdoms, each of which possessed a powerful relic gifted to them from the gods. However, the kings of each land were not satisfied with what they had, and chose to invade the other kingdoms in hopes of winning all of the relics for themselves and claiming ultimate power.

Angered by humanity’s greed and lust for power, the gods round up all of the artifacts and place them within a gigantic tower, declaring that whomever is able to ascend the tower, overcome its challenges, and collect them all will become ruler of the world.

Generations have passed and no one has yet been able to make the ascent. Knights continue to arrive from all over the world, hoping to claim ultimate power for themselves… but none of them have ever returned.

As the game begins, a young boy named Wing stands before the tower, armed with only a short sword and a helmet that allows him to fly. No explanation is given for why he seeks out the relics, and many of the nearby NPC’s suggest that he is a fool for even making the attempt. Nevertheless, he presses forward.

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