Indie Bin: The Adventure Pals, Dusty Raging Fist, Rogue Aces

From the embers of the Push Square Podcast rises Indie Bin – a brand new feature that draws attention to some of the smaller games in the PS4’s busy release schedule. Once the Indie Bin is full, we’ll put it out for collection in these consolidated articles featuring several pint-sized reviews. The metric here is simple: games we don’t like stay Indie Bin, and games we do like rest Outdie Bin. Without further ado, let’s crack on.

This daft title from Massive Monster and Armor Games combines Saturday morning cartoon presentation with very light action platforming, and even some RPG elements. The result is a silly yet pleasant adventure game that’s surprisingly large despite its postage stamp story and simplistic gameplay. There are bosses to fight, new abilities to equip, and a decent variety of cutesy locations with secret stickers and cupcakes to find. You can play in local co-op as well, and we’d suggest doing so. If beating up bandits and exploring basic levels with your pet rock and backpack-dwelling giraffe sounds fun, you can be sure it’s even better with a pal. ST

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Everything’s randomly generated in Death Road to Canada, a game about the journey out of a zombified America. Your characters must scavenge various zombie-infested locations for supplies to take with them on the road, and you’ll need to keep on top of food, fuel, medicine, ammunition, and more. There’s a surprising depth to be found here, with random stats and traits to manage, scenarios that force you into difficult decisions, and permadeath forever looming. The menus are poorly laid out, but controls are otherwise very simple, and the mix of short supply runs and the more narrative focused driving segments is compelling, thanks to a snappy pace. A generous amount of modes and a character creator, along with the random generation, means there’s also a fair amount of replayability to boot. ST

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Not to be confused with the similarly named Streets of Rage rip-off Raging Justice, Dusty Raging Fist is a Streets of Rage rip-off for folks who fap over Amy Rose. A loose side-scrolling brawler, there’s some nice art and animation work here if you’re fond of the whole anthropomorphised thing. Hey, what you search for on Pornhub is your own business. No, the real problem with this game is that it just doesn’t feel tight enough; a fairly deep upgrade system does little to prevent the combat from whiffing, and the platforming is equally imprecise. There’s a neat system where you can call a sniper into battle, but this boils down to pointing a reticule at enemies on screen and slamming the square button like you’re on top of a Taylor Swift lookalike with prosthetic antlers. SB

Vedict: Indie Bin

Did you know picross puzzles are also known as nonograms or griddlers? The latter’s kinda left us longing for Burger King if we’re honest, but there are no flame-grilled delicacies in Pic-a-Pix Color, a cross-buy puzzler that has you solving cunning pixel art conundrums in the name of entertainment. Set against a MIDI rendition of Don’t Stop Believin’ which we’re 93 per cent certain isn’t licensed, there are over 150 boards to solve here, with completed images ranging from fried eggs to footballs. Larger grid-sizes offer a sturdier challenge, but the controls can be cumbersome even on the PS Vita, where you can choose between the face buttons or touch screen. It’s all inoffensive enough, but it’s not exactly going to leave you delirious like a Journey cover band at an over 50s club. SB

Verdict: Indie Bin

With roguelikes being the indie scene’s genre of choice, game titles that begin with ‘Rogue’ are becoming as common as the digits at the end of a Nintendo 64 release. Rogue Aces takes the arcade dogfighting of Luftrausers and adds a roguelite spin on it, with each run seeing you upgrade your World War II aircraft before you crash it and start all over again. The stiff upper lip gags have been done a thousand times before, but the gameplay loop – which sees you returning to an aircraft carrier in order to refuel between operations – is entertaining. A progressive upgrade system and plenty of supplementary modes help this likeable release stick its landing. SB

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Words: Sammy Barker, Stephen Tailby

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