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Pounding, Soulful Hearts Afire and Alight – Indie Royale Returns for Valentines

It seems that so long as people keep buying them, then indie bundles are going to keep coming. Indie Royale is back again with a bundle of five games, a couple of them being former XBLIG exclusives, and once again, there’s very little to grumble about in terms of content and value. As usual, it’s ‘pay what you want, above a minimum’, and especially generous purchases push that base figure down for everyone else. Hit the break for some gameplay trailers and a few thoughts on each game.

Zeno Clash by ACE Team

This is what would happen if you jammed The Dark Crystal and Streets of Rage into a blender and set it to ‘puree’. A meaty first-person brawler based on the Source engine, with an utterly surreal story and an equally demented setting. It’s fairly short, but a lot of fun and a fairly unforgettable ride. After release, they added a series of pure combat challenge stages, extending the lifespan of it somewhat. While there’s occasional bursts of shooting, this is a game primarily about punching people in the face, and it’s plenty satisfying because of it.


Lume by State Of Play Games

The odd one out of this bundle – the only game I’ve not played of this set, although I can’t say much about it beyond ‘Cor, that looks lovely’. A visually charming point-and-click adventure, although seemingly with a focus more on up-close, self-contained puzzles. A quick google around reveals agreeable enough review scores, although a few sites marked it down as it was quite short, and almost scuppered by one particularly illogical puzzle. Still, hard to complain at this price.


Hoard + DLC by Big Sandwich Games

Bring a friend, and be prepared to be punched. An arcade/score-attack game about being a dragon. You burninate thatched-roofed cottages, loot gold, kidnap princesses and generally wreck stuff in a generic fantasy world. If played with others, it really shines, and takes on the same kind of manic, friend-beating competitive edge of Bomberman, as everyone tries to screw over everyone else all the time. As a bonus, this includes both DLC packs, adding a good chunk of additional content to the mix.


Soulcaster 1 & 2 by MagicalTimeBean

Soulcaster 2 was the very first game I reviewed for this site – one of the better games on the ill-fated XBLIG service at the time, and still great fun now. A rather modern ‘defensive action’ game wrapped in a NES-style aesthetic and a great early 32-bit era soundtrack reminiscent in part of Castlevania: Symphony of The Night. You play as a wizard that summons stationary allies, rather than throwing fireballs, and need to hack through a whole mess of action-oriented puzzles. It’s simple stuff, but a lot of fun, and you get both games in the series for your bargain bucks this time.

Zeno Clash, Lume & Hoard can all be activated on Steam, and Soulcaster 1 & 2 are on Desura. Direct downloads are available for some of the games, and so are Mac and Linux versions in some cases. The current minimum price is 3.1 Eurobucks and rising. As usual, expect bonuses and additions further into the sale, although I (or the Indie Royale folks) make no promises. Personally, I’m hoping Escape Goat manages to break free of XBLIG too… but that’s just me.

[Indie Royale]