Realms Deep 2022 Indie Showcase

This is a showcase dedicated to the demos we played during the realms deep 2022 showcase. If you would like me to take a look at your game for a future video/stream, please reach out.

Rogue Command Developer Interview

For this Perceptive Podcast, I spoke with Mario who is currently working on the game Rogue Command: combining deck building, roguelikes, and RTS into one game. We spoke about the design of the game and balancing all these different elements together.

Indie Stream Archive 9/23/22

Indie Showcase 9/21/22

The indie showcases highlight the many indie demos and developer submitted games we play, if you would like to submit a game please reach out.

Moolander Store Page Review

For each episode of Indie Inquiries, we review the steam store pages requested by developers to help them improve how they market their games. If you would like to submit your game, please reach out.

Store Page

  • 0:00 Intro and Thumbnail
  • 3:24 Trailer
  • 10:12 Screenshots
  • 12:53 About This Game
  • 17:18 Title Card
  • 20:33 Final Grade

Fashion Police Squad Review

A Stylish Shooter

Fashion Police Squad is the latest in the boomer shooter craze, but while other games go for the dark and gritty, this game goes for glitz and fashion. A game that fully commits to its tone and aesthetics, I just wish the outfit was just as functional as it is fashionable.

Style Shooter

You play as an officer of the fashion police, when bad fashion trends appear it’s up to you to make things stylish. Everything about the game’s aesthetic helps Fashion Police Squad stand out — areas are bright, colorful, and you have a narrator who says stylish words after every fight.

While this game may look retro, its major inspiration is oddly enough Doom Eternal. Every enemy is a fashion criminal with something wrong with their clothes, surprisingly there are no “white after Labor Day” crimes in the city. To deal with each fashion disaster, you need to use one of five different weapons. Each weapon handles a specific kind of enemy, with some enemies requiring multiple weapons to deal with them in different stages. All the weapons handle nicely with a few having a secondary attack to give them more options. You also have a belt that you can use to stun, attack, and even grapple around the areas with, and your “fab glove” that acts as a super attack once fully charged.

The levels follow the same kind of structure of Doom Eternal with sections that focus on combat in arenas and those about platforming around. You can also find secret fashion posters and collect items. The variety of content with boss fights and non-shooting sections does help the game as the regular levels do start to feel repetitive.

The charm is certainly on full display, but Fashion Police Squad can’t quite stick the landing when it comes to the end.

A Difficulty Don’t

While I did play the game on the hardest difficulty, that didn’t change the fact that the game’s design lead to some difficulty spikes as you enter the back half. Bosses and enemies are good at tracking the player and your base speed is often not enough to get out of the way of certain attacks. One of your guns does allow you a speed boost while aiming it at the ground, but that is not always feasible due to the design of the encounters. Most enemies attack by a physical projectile you can dodge, but there were two that used hit scan attacks that were almost near impossible to dodge their actual attack in some areas.

Due to the enemies being designed around specific counters, if you try to attack one with a weapon other than their weakness, they will just shrug it off. This is different from Doom Eternal where even though enemies had their weapon weaknesses, they could still be hurt by anything. Here, it felt a bit repetitive to approach every encounter without a lot of flexibility in tactics. Besides the secondary functions, your weapons do not gain any kind of customization or additional abilities. The game really leans into small rooms for its arenas in the final quarter, which makes it even harder to properly dodge and hit enemies. There were multiple situations where I was attacked by an enemy entering a small area without any warning or means to get out of the way due to the limited area. The enemies tend to bunch up and if you’re trying to specifically target an annoying one, it’s more than likely their friends are going to get in the way and block those shots.

To the game’s credit, they do introduce new elements and enemies all the way to the final stage, but the charm started to wear out by the final two stages and the very long final boss fight.

Stylish Shooting

Fashion Police Squad proves that you can make a great FPS without the use of demons, blood, and various shades of browns and greys. While I wouldn’t rank it as high as Doom Eternal or Ultrakill, it’s a great first game and concept for hopefully more seasons of stylish shooting in the future.

This was played with a press key provided by the developer

Games of Gamescom Stream Night 4

Games featured:

Indie Showcase 9/12/22

Each indie showcase highlights the dev-submitted games and demos we play here, if you would like to submit a game for a future piece please reach out.

Last Call for Zachtronics

For this cast, I sat down with Zachtronic’s Zach Barth to talk about what’s next for him with Zachtronics’ stopping game development, Last Call BBS and more.

Games of Gamescom 2022 Stream Part 3

Games Featured:

Masahiro Sakurai’s Game Design Series

Sakurai’s fifth video, on frame rates.

A lot of the gaming web has been fawning over Kirby and Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai’s design videos. I haven’t had the chance to look at them yet, but they look interesting at least. They’ve been coming out at a good clip, like one every two days.

Sakurai’s star is so high right now, that it’s worth noting that (going by memory) he left Nintendo with a bit of a cloud over his head, after Kirby Air Ride was seen as something of a failure. Nowadays KAR (nice acronym!) is seen as an underrated classic, and I have put many hours into its City Trial mode, which is terrific, a tiny open-world high-speed racing/party game. More people should have the chance to play it; it is unique, which is something I can’t say about many other games. While the 3DS version of Smash Bros. has a mode inspired by it, in versus mode human players cannot interact with each other during the exploratory portion of the game, which harms it somewhat.

At the height of his abilities, Sakurai can make really interesting and new kinds of games, like Smash Bros. was, and like Kirby Air Ride and (the sadly neglected these days) Meteos are. It’s a shame that Smash is so popular, one of Nintendo’s biggest tentpoles, enough to crowd out his other work. I’m really interested to see what the next crazy idea he comes up with will be!

Sakurai’s Game Design Videos, on YouTube

Top Games of Gamescom 2022 Demo Spotlight

From Gamescom 2022, here are my favorite demos I had a chance to play and for the full plays of each, I have my stream recordings going up.