I’ve spent most of my gaming life residing in the AAA space. Rarely venturing out to the smaller indie game market. Only dipping my toe in when an indie game carried some type of notoriety with it. This narrow minded approach surely has caused me to miss out on some great experiences. Although I’ve found comfort in big budget titles, losing myself in vast open worlds and storylines or soaking in the adrenaline rush of FPS, my genre of choice. But as I grow older and my children do the same I am starting to become a little less hard nosed concerning my gaming choices. As a younger man video games was my lifestyle, that I gladly catered too. Now the roles have changed and gaming has to cater to me. Sometimes the opportunity to devote my complete attention to a game isn’t available. So finding a game that plays a little more casual while all along still providing challenge and a fun experience is exactly what’s needed until my late night sessions of course. With that said I plan on bringing light to newly released games that I have found that surely fit that bill. In this first article I will be talking over two games I’ve recently been playing, Sword with Sauce and Jumps.
At first glance, Sword with Sauce can quickly draw comparison to Superhot as they share a very similar art style. Although that’s where the comparisons end, as Sauce doesn’t operate off of the mechanic of time manipulation. The gameplay and goal is quite simple, kill all enemies on the map. How you go about that task is the fun and challenging part of the game. The player is dropped into a map with 30 enemies to dispose of and an inventory of gadgets and weapons to lend a hand. The caveat is you are equipped with a limited quantity of ammunition and/or gadgets. So going about your killing in the most efficient manner is key to success. I made the mistake of initially trying to complete the objective using only the machine gun as that’s where my instincts led me. Quickly realizing that utilizing all inventory at my disposal would serve me better. If the original 8 inventory items you initially load up with don’t fit your playstyle or you’re looking to experiment, changing your items before starting is an option. Inventory variety aside, the gameplay and how enemies reacted each run through almost provides a different experience every time. Expecting to mimic your steps from a previous match isn’t always the best plan as the AI would almost always do something slightly different to throw off your plan and you are set to improvise. Being that this game is only in its alpha stages is impressive. At the moment there are only 3 levels to play through but surely more will be added in the future. The simplistic presentation of Sword with Sauce masks its challenging nature while all time providing a fun and replayable game for 15 minutes or for an hour.
Jumps is a game about just that. Finding your way from point A to point B in the fastest time possible by mostly jumping. Your ability to jump is earned through jump pickups sprinkled across the levels. After you use a jump you will have to collect another before you can jump again. This game mechanic forces strategic decision making on how you navigate through the level as you aren’t afforded the comfort of being able to jump when you please. This restriction certainly ups the challenge of the game but the fun factor goes up as well. At this moment there are 6 worlds with 10 levels inside of each to jump across. Unlocking each world consists of finishing the one before it in a pre set cumulative time. This is where racing the clock plays its part. It’s not just about doing it as fast as you can, there is a set goal you must reach to proceed through the game. As you play each world the possibility of having to going back to previous levels to shave a few seconds off your run just to continue adds a bit of replay value. As well as fulfills the sense of accomplishment needed to keep you playing this or any other game. Each world is pleasing to the eye and a joy to play through, adding variation with new obstacles, introducing more jump mechanics aside from the pickups and multiple paths to the end goal. I would say though that the game could last only a short amount of time if no more content is added to it. Especially that the game is so addicting, you can knock out a good chunk of the game in one sitting, possibly even finish. Even without the extra content I wish there were leaderboards to keep track of the fastest times across all levels. I believe this could cause the replay factor to go up as many would keep rerunning levels just to maintain high scores against their friends and the world. But this doesn’t take away from what the game is, and that’s a challenging fun experience. Continuing on with the theme, simplistic design married to challenging gameplay.