Epic Dungeon has a lot to prove. It's the first game of the Indie Winter Uprising: the rebellion against low quality cash-ins by veteran XBLIG developers. Luckily, Eyehook starts the proceedings on a massive high.
You might expect Epic Dungeon to be a simple homage to Gauntlet and similar dungeon crawlers... but the experience actually manages to surpass many of the retro gems that provided its inspiration! Four character classes with varied abilities, weapons and skills have to descend through fifty tricksy levels- with plenty of loot, gear and items to keep them going. Combat is simple, streamlined and deceptively deep, and is as solid as you'd usually demand from a full-price release.
What's more, the presentation is absolutely top-hole. I hate to sound like a broken record, but retro-cool visuals with detailed sprites always fly very well in our Indie roundups. We also love a good sense of humour here at Dealspwn... and Epic Dungeon will frequently make you crack a smile. It's beguilingly charming and self aware.
The clue is in the name. Epic Dungeon is an utter delight to play and to behold, bringing an obscene amount of value to the table for a meagre eighty points. The weather outside may be frightful... but this game is truly delightful. Go buy it.
Decay - Part 3
The Decay series is one of the most impressive emergent franchises on the Indie Games marketplace. Free-to-play room escape games are ten a penny on the internet, but Decay propels itself into an entirely different league. Creepy, subtle sound design and detailed HD artwork conspire to create a genuinely tense atmosphere that never lets up. Thankfully the puzzles/hidden objects are oblique and challenging without ever getting frustrating; providing an excellent balance between work and reward. The storyline, whilst understated, is grim and disturbing. Expect new terrifying revelations.
Decay 3 is an excellent continuation of an excellent series... so consider this an essential purchase if you've been following the story from the beginning. If you're new to the experience, however, I'd highly recommend checking out the very first episode. Horror fans and puzzle fiends won't be disappointed.
Spring Break In Zombie USA
Right. Hmm. Okay. Let's put this entry into a little context. The folks over at Raining Talent were keen to show us their latest title- and because we never turn away an Indie dev from our doorstep, here's our micro-review.
The premise is simple. You're on spring break- and it's up to you to kill zombies, steal cars and raise money to spend in bars, clubs and hotels in search of the "babe nirvana." Essentially, it's GTA-lite. Whilst the imagery is puerile and the exploitation is rampant, Zombie USA undeniably delivers some mindless fun.
Spring Break In Zombie USA is a cynical cash-in that panders to the lowest common denominator as well as our basest instincts, but there's actually an entertaining little game in here. Raining Talent have aptly demonstrated that they know their way around XNA- and we hope that their future projects will build on this to create a more measured and mature experience.