It’s an indie summer alright – this week’s digital offerings including the start of yet another episodic adventure, the penultimate episode of Life is Strange and the return of a cult indie classic. A rather unexpected HD revamp also heads to retail. Even more unexpected than the recent Prototype Biohazard Bundle? Perhaps.
At least Legend of Kay Anniversary has had a fair bit of work put into it visually, with reviewers claiming that it does look rather fetching with a new coat of polygon paint. As we could have foreseen however, the new visuals aren’t enough to elevate it from being anything more than above average. When it was first released in 2005 it was met with 5/10s, 6/10s and the odd 7/10. Ten years on, nothing has changed.
The 3D platformer is out now on a wide assortment of formats – PS4 (physical and via PSN), PS3 (PSN only), Wii U (physical and via the eShop), Xbox 360 (via Games with Demand only) and PC. Expect to pay around £20.
King’s Quest – Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember is also out now on just about every format going, including Xbox 360 and PS3. This too is a revamp of a long lost franchise – the last time the world saw King’s Quest was back in 1998. Destructoid was smitten with A Knight to Remember, calling it a “modern classic” before handing out a lofty 9.5.
It also received 8/10s from The Metro (“easily the most authentic interpretation of the graphic adventure in the modern era”) and GameInformer. “The team at The Odd Gentlemen has created one of the most endearing, true-to-form adventure games I’ve played in recent years” came the latter’s verdict.
Although the asking price is double that of your standard Telltale release (£7.99) it would appear that it’s a tad lengthier due to a sandbox area that opens up towards the end of the chapter. A complete package is also available to purchase now, priced £31.99.
A Knight to Remember brings us onto Life Is Strange: Episode 4 – Dark Room (£3.99) nicely. This episode starts out with a shock and a major one at that, prompting a wave of “OMGs” on our Twitter feed. Reviews would suggest that only the episode’s beginning and ending leave an impression though, with both GameSpot and The Metro highlighting the “crawling” pace in-between. Both gave it 6/10.
Over on Xbox One Squid Hero for Kinect (£7.99) and World of Tanks (free!) show their faces while Curve Digital’s 2D stealth adventure The Swindle is due on Friday. We may see another surprise release later in the week – last Friday 2D ninja thing SlashDash showed up out of nowhere. Like a ninja.
While Xbox One owners have to wait a couple more days for The Swindle (£11.99 or £10.19 with PS Plus), PS4, PS Vita and PS3 owners can play it now. Not sure if it’s your cup of tea? Eurogamer’s flamboyant description may help: “The Swindle’s a knockabout 2D platformer at heart: a Spelunky-flavoured, steampunky muddle of stealth and violence in which you rob a series of procedurally scrambled mansions”.
“Fast-paced stealth set to a ticking clock makes this a procedural platformer to savour” was their verdict, bagging it a recommendation in the process. It was also given a 7/10 from Push Square, 7.5 from God is a Geek and an 8.0 from TheSixthAxis.
Then we have tiny 2D action platformer N++, which includes all levels from the cult classics N and N+ to bring the total up to 2360 handcrafted levels. A staggering amount. Enough to justify the £15.99 price tag? The glowing review scores would suggest so. The Metacritic currently stands at 84% which includes 9.5 from God is a Geek, 8.5 from Destructoid (“N++ might lack online play and feel like more of the same, but it’s pretty much everything a platformer fan could want out of a sequel”) and a 4/5 from Digital Spy.
This leaves us with Arcade Archives Karate Champ (£7.99) on PS4 – a re-release of Data East’s fighter from 1984. “At the time, a bonus stage to wrestle with cattle on the beach was a hot topic” the blurb informs. How about the fact that it was one of the first ever one-on-one brawlers? That’s your selling point right there.
Next week: Rare Replay (Xbox One) and Submerged (PS4, Xbox One, PC).