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Hidden Nindies Vol. 4 - Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Into the Breach, Wandersong, 7 Billion Humans
by 
Editor-in-chief
May 15, 2019, 21:08:22
 
Welcome to Hidden Nindies, a (no longer very) new feature where we put the spotlight on some of the lesser known indie games on current Nintendo platforms! We donít have a strict line drawn for determining which games meet this criteria, but the spirit of the feature is to both expose Nintendo gamers to neat games that they may not have heard much about and to help indie game developers gain some attention for the quality games that they have built which may have fallen a bit under the radar on the Nintendo platforms (even if they were more successful elsewhere.) These are not reviews per se, and the writers may not even have finished the games, but something about them stood out enough to warrant a recommendation.


Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Developer: Asteroid Base
Nintendo Platform/s released on: Switch
Platform/s played on: Switch
Played by: Andrew N

Although I rarely find the opportunity to play them nowadays, Iím a sucker for couch co-op games, and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a fun little local co-op game for 2-4 players where you need to work together to navigate a spaceship through dangerous worlds.

The concept is pretty simple, everyone is inside of a large circular spaceship and needs to man different stations to control different parts of the ship: movement, weapons, shields, etc. What complicates things a bit is that there are more stations than players, and successfully navigating the worlds requires using all of them, so there is a bit of juggling tasks by everyone involved, and a lot of on-the-fly decision making required. Without some well-synced minds and coordination things can get pretty chaotic fast.

Still, itís a pretty casual game that, with the right group of people, can be a lot of fun without being overly difficult. I donít know of too many Switch games that support up to 4 players for local co-op, but even if there were a ton, this one is still well worth checking out.



Into the Breach
Developer: Subset Games
Nintendo Platform/s released on: Switch
Platform/s played on: Switch
Played by: Andrew N

Anyone who follows my forum posts knows that I have not historically been the biggest fan of the procedural generation roguelike trend in indie gaming, but a pair of games have come along lately that have changed my mind a bit, and Into the Breach is the first of the two. Itís a great little top-down turn-based procedurally-generated strategy roguelike that does a lot right.

Iím a huge turn-based strategy fan, but one of the things I donít like about the genre is that battles can often turn into long drawn-out battle of attrition slogs. Into the Breach successfully sidesteps that issue completely. The maps are small, you only have 3 characters to control, and all you really need to do to complete a map is survive an alien invasion for a limited amount of turns. For a turn-based strategy game, everything is surprisingly tight and quick.

However, what also makes it work is that each map has alternative goals that, if met, give you rewards which can help power-up one of your characters, which, being a roguelike, is incredibly important. This sets up an ongoing risk / reward situation, where merely playing for survival might help you make it to the next map, but will damage your chances of successfully beating off the alien invasion in the long-run. A failed run will lose you most everything, but if any of your human pilots survive, you can bring them into the next run.

I wonít say I am totally sold on roguelikes yet, but this is the first one that I played that I actually finished a successful run in (after many failures), and can honestly say that I loved it start to finish. But there has since been another. Maybe I will talk about that one in Hidden Nindies Vol. 5...



Wandersong
Developer: Greg Lobanov
Nintendo Platform/s released on: Switch
Platform/s played on: Switch
Played by: Andrew N

I will open this in full disclosure by saying that the developer of Wandersong is a uhÖ acquaintance of an acquaintance of mine... I think? And my acquaintance did some audio work on the game in some fashion? But honestly, for one reason or another, I rarely ever get into the games of people I know (sorry!), but I did love Wandersong.

The thing that initially drew me to the game was the focus on song at the core of the gameplay. Aside from basic platforming, most of what you will be doing in this game is singing. Some of it is rhythm based, some of it is more freeform, but either way it works pretty well. Luckily the music is well done and the singing voice is great, which brought a lot of joy to me while playing the game. There are a lot of music games out there but few that use music in such a novel way.

The story is pretty solid too, with a lot of the key moments happening in, you guessed it, song. Beyond the music focus and some neat visuals, the core of the game is not anything unfamiliar. Platforming, puzzles, completing tasks for NPCs, itís all well done but similar to stuff you have probably seen before. The singing element is the real standout, and that is the thing that gives this game itís voice. Pun very much intended.



7 Billion Humans
Developer: Tomorrow Corporation
Nintendo Platform/s released on: Switch
Platform/s played on: Switch
Played by: Andrew N

7 Billion Humans is the follow-up to Human Resource Machine, a puzzle game made by programmers for programmers or anyone else who is interested in programming. While I was expecting a me too sequel of sorts, 7 Billion Humans really does a lot to distinguish itself from Human Resource Machine, in large part due to its focus on ďparallel programmingĒ. You no longer control just one worker at a time, but many, and this changes everything.

The basic gist of the game is you are given a group of workers and a certain task to complete, and you have to choose and order commands from a pool of commands to essentially write code that will tell the workers what to do. A lot of things familiar to programmers are present, like variables, gotos, pointers, etc. However, this is a puzzle game at its core, which means that often a task which would be easy enough to complete with a full programming language is difficult due to the limited amount of commands at your disposal. As a programmer, this is a very compelling game for me, but it is difficult to say how non-programmers would react to it. Whatever the case, Iíd definitely say that of the two games this one is tougher to wrap your head around, so if you havenít played it yet, you might want to start with Human Resource Machine, if possible. But if you liked Human Resource Machine, this is a great follow-up.

The presentation values are, again, spectacular. Tomorrow Corporation has a graphical and audio style all of their own, and the humor is pretty good as well. While I wasnít expecting them to take another crack at the (very small) programming puzzle genre, Iím glad that they did.


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Posted: 05/15/19, 21:08:22  - Edited by 
 on: 05/15/19, 21:22:21    
 
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
 
That Andrew N guy gets around. I wonder if his last name is Nintendo...

I love Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime. And I really should start Into The Breach. And get Wandersong.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/19, 06:40:31
How have you not played Into the Breach?! I thought you were the procedurally generated roguelike champion or something?!


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/19, 20:20:06
I also don't usually care for roguelites, but Into The Breach does seem like an interesting use of it. I wonder if it's ever gone on sale. I've just gotta be careful I don't accidentally buy the knockoff about laundry, Into The Bleach.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/19, 21:51:50
@Zero
Only with dumb action games! Not brain games!

No, it looks awesome, and everybody loves it. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Same thing with Hollow and Shovel Knight!

@Mop it up
That actually sounds more deadly.


Posted by 
 on: 05/17/19, 01:45:06  - Edited by 
 on: 05/17/19, 01:46:01
@Anand But you haven't even finished Downwell once yet!

And how have you not played Shovel Knight?! I thought that was a mandatory indie for all Nintendo fans!


Posted by 
 on: 05/17/19, 15:50:37
@Zero
Oh, I HAVE it...

Also, I don't finish anything. I think you're the only person here who's beaten it. (And you won the game, too!)

What's even worse is that you have the highest combo!

I did start Shovel Knight, but it didn't win me over. I'm, like, the one guy in the world who still prefers WayForward to Yacht Club.

I just rebought it on Switch, though. One more chance!


Posted by 
 on: 05/17/19, 23:22:41
@Anand I only have the highest combo because world 4 is basically no ground so you have to combo! Stop trying to get the highest combo in earlier areas it's not worth it! Just get to world 4 it is combo city!


Posted by 
 on: 05/18/19, 17:16:42
@Zero
Oh, that ocean level? That's true! You've covinced me.

I thought that you comboed multiple early levels, or something.


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 00:57:48
No that is world 3! Caves... dungeon... ocean... uh... hellish area? World 4 has no actual platforms other than the ones leading to side stuff. And even those don't break a combo as long as you hit the ground within the slowmo area. So the only real way to break a combo in world 4 is if you hit one of the tiny pieces of side ground platform outside of the slowmo area that covers 90% of those platforms.

I actually started purposely breaking combos sometimes because you can keep going higher and higher but there doesn't seem to be any added benefit to comboing beyond 25 or whatever it is that gets you a health piece once it breaks. Two 25 combos is two health, one 50 combo is only one health... I think?


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 01:52:58  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/19, 02:00:41
@Zero
I thought you keep getting more health as you combo. I dunno.


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 03:43:18
From the Wiki:

Combo Count Rewards
8 100 gems
15 100 gems +1 charge
25 100 gems +1 charge heal 1 hp

Going past a 25 combo is impractical, since the maximum combo award has been reached, going any further will provide no benefit other than affecting stats and achievements, and actually prevents the player from getting potential rewards. When focusing on the gameplay, it is recommended to land as soon as possible when the 25 combo has been reached and then start a new combo to get more rewards.


Kind of weird that they made a combo system where breaking the combo is the best choice for progression. Not sure why it wouldn't just continue...

33 gets you 200 gems, +1 charge, heal 1 hp
40 gets you 200 gems, +2 charge, heal 1 hp
50 gets you 200 gems, +2 charge, heal 2 hp
58 gets you 300 gems, +2 charge, heal 2 hp

Etc.

UH OH. DID I FIND THE SINGLE FLAW IN DOWNWELL!?


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:17:59  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:19:04
Streets of Red, BUTCHER, Mulaka, Risk of Rain, these are actual lesser known indie titles!!

Into the Breach? Everyone knows that game!


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:20:02  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:20:39
We donít have a strict line drawn for determining which games meet this criteria, but the spirit of the feature is to both expose Nintendo gamers to neat games that they may not have heard much about and to help indie game developers gain some attention for the quality games that they have built which may have fallen a bit under the radar on the Nintendo platforms (even if they were more successful elsewhere.)

Considering that I'm the only one who owns the game in our database AND is ever talking about it here, I think it fits.

Also I'm always looking for people to write up a game or two for the feature. Are you volunteering?!


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:30:24  - Edited by 
 on: 05/19/19, 04:31:22
@Zero

I 2 layzee.


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 05:28:28
@Zero
That IS weird! Maybe the creator didn't want people to focus on combo-ing?


Posted by 
 on: 05/19/19, 09:07:31
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