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Snap judging pixel art indies


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I recently sorted my random (mostly bundle trash?) indie pixel art games into fake 2d consoles.  I'm thinking of dropping 5-10 minutes into these every now and again to see if any are worth playing, or if I mislabeled any.  Perhaps within a few months to a year I'll get through most of them.  (... more will get added, so who am I kidding)


Beaten a couple, played my fill of others, but most should be fresh.


The list:

8-bit: 9 / 17


Alwa's Awakening - ***
Baba Is You - ***

Cathedral - ***

Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl
Jet Gunner - **

LOVE - **½
Micro Mages - **½
Minit Fun Racer
Minit - ***½ :sun:
Pirate Pop Plus
Princess Remedy In A Heap of Trouble
Project Mercury
Retro City Rampage™ DX
Shotgun King: The Final Checkmate
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove - **** :sun:
Treachery in Beatdown City
VVVVVV - **** :sun:

16-bit: 27 / 80


20 Minutes Until Dawn

2064: Read Only Memories
8BitBoy™ - **

ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)

Archvale - ***

Astro Duel II - ***½ :sun:
Dad Quest
BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad
Beat Cop
Blazing Beaks
Blazing Chrome
Bleed - ***
Bleed 2
Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth

Cave Story+
Chroma Squad
Contra ReBirth
Crypt of the NecroDancer
Curious Expedition - ***

Cursed to Golf - ***½ :sun:
Dad Quest
Desert Child
Destructivator 2 - **
Dumpy and Bumpy - **½
Eatvolve - **

Elliot Quest - *
Escape From Tethys - **
Eschalon: Book I
Eschalon: Book II
Flynn: Son of Crimson - **
Gradius ReBirth
Grapple Force Rena - ***
Gryphon Knight Epic - ***
Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok
Iconoclasts - ***½ :sun:
Into the Breach
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass

Kunai - ***½ :sun:

LISA: The Painful
Lenna's Inception - **½
Loop Hero
Mable & The Wood - **
Merchant of the Skies

Moonlighter - ***½ :sun:
Monster Crown - *½
Old School Musical
Plunder Panic
Pocket Kingdom - **
Punch Club
Quest Of Graal - **½
Rising Dusk - **½
Risk of Rain
Rivals of Aether - **** :sun:
Samurai Gunn - ***


Shakedown: Hawaii
Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut
Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator
Squishy the Suicidal Pig
Stardew Valley
Strikey Sisters
Super Slime Arena

Tangledeep - ***½ :sun:
The Messenger - **** :sun:

This Way Madness Lies
Tiny Barbarian DX **½

Tyrant's Blessing
Unpacking - **

Vigro Versus The Zodiac

Wargroove - ***½ :sun:
Where Is My Heart? - **½

32-bit+: 31 / 123


9 Years of Shadows - ***

Angry Video Game Nerd I & II Deluxe
Archvale - ***

Atari Mania - **½
Axiom Verge
Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials - ***
Black Future '88
Black Widow: Recharged
Blade Assault
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King - ***½ :sun:
Celeste - ***½ :sun:
Centipede: Recharged
Children of Morta - **** :sun:
Chronicles of Teddy - ***
Cosmic Star Heroine
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition - ***½ :sun:
Dark Deity
Dead Cells
Deadly Days - *½
Dungeon Souls
Dungeon of the Endless™

Eagle Island - ***½ :sun:

Eldest Souls
Enter the Gungeon - ***
Evan's Remains - ***
FTL: Faster Than Light
Fae Tactics
Finding Paradise
Finding Teddy

Full Metal Furies
Galaxy of Pen & Paper +1
Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy - **** :sun:
Half Minute Hero: The Second Coming - **** :sun:
Hell is Others
Hero's Hour
Hyper Light Drifter
INMOST - ***½ :sun:

Jack Move - ***½ :sun:

Katana ZERO
King Arthur's Gold
Kingdom Two Crowns
Kingdom: Classic
Kingdom: New Lands
Lacuna – A Sci-Fi Noir Adventure
Lair of the Clockwork God - ***
Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager
Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut

Lost Ruins
Lovecraft's Untold Stories
Mana Spark - **
Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight
Monster Harvest
Moon Hunters
Mother Russia Bleeds
Möbius Front '83
Neon Abyss
Nidhogg - ***½ :sun:
Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor
Nuclear Throne
One Step From Eden
One Way Heroics
Out There Somewhere - **½

Pathway - ***

Pharaoh Rebirth+
Police Stories
Pony Island
Rain World
Regions Of Ruin
Relic Hunters Zero
Reventure - **½
Rising Hell
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos
Rogue Legacy - ***½ :sun:
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Souldiers - ***½ :sun:
Super House of Dead Ninjas
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Tales of the Neon Sea
The Captain
The Darkside Detective
The Escapists
The Expendabros
The Final Station
The King's Bird

The Mummy Demastered - ***
Thimbleweed Park
Titan Souls - ***
To the Moon - **** :sun:
Tooth and Tail

Tower 57 - ***
TowerFall Ascension
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion - ***

Underhero - ***
Undertale - **** :sun:
Vision Soft Reset
Voidigo - **** :sun:
Volgarr the Viking
Wand Wars
Wanderlust: Rebirth
Wayward Souls
Whispers of a Machine
Wizard of Legend
Yes, Your Grace - ***½ :sun:
Zwei: The Arges Adventure


Rating Scale:

**** - Will return to

***½ - Would like to return to

*** - Could be fun to try again

**½ - Functionally fun, not super enticing

** - Quite flawed or bland, with some redeemable qualities

- Semblance of fun, but very flawed

* - Hot Garbage


I've beaten some, so in those cases, it's just a short review.


Other takes:

Neon Abyss (stepee - ***)

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Time Spent: 15 min

Rating: ** / 4


Perfect example of a great sounding game on paper not panning out.  A level based 2d platformer with a world map, Super Mario World style, with great art and animation.  But WTF, please don't kill all my momentum in the air with my basic sword swing.  It feels awful.  No game should do this ever.



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13 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:





Time Spent: ~5 hours

Rating: *** /4


Baba is You is a brilliantly original game.  But like The Witness it makes my brain hurt, and I can only take so much push block puzzles.  Play it, enjoy it while its fun, don't try to beat it.

I think it got a lot more obscure than The Witness -- I was able to complete the main story of the Witness without too much difficulty.  Some of the puzzles/rules here were on a completely different level.

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Time Spent: ~3 hours

Rating: *** /4


A more than decent roguelike I don't have the time for.  Power-ups feel a little unbalanced, and I dislike that a dodge-invincibility roll is a prerequisite for survival.  But there's a reason this game is well known in its genre.  Multiple classes are a nice touch.  It's a game that's more fun to watch than play IMO.

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Time Spent: ~10 hours

Rating: **** /4


One of the better platform fighters out there.  If you haven't played it yet, you should.  Music bumps like the Megaman X series, which is also part of the draw.  Platform fighters are better in 3D, so I'm looking forward to the sequel with expanded mechanics (ie: blocking, not just parries).

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Time Spent: ~2 hours

Rating: ***½ /4


I haven't seen any 2d platformer do cinematics quite as well as this.  It's a little stilted feeling like its inspirations (PoP, Another World), but given the purpose of this thread, it warrants a high score regardless.  I'll be going back at some point.

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3 hours ago, crispy4000 said:





Time Spent: ~4 hours

Rating: **** /4



Still one of the absolute best indie games out there.  It's a Metroidvania-lite with single screen challenges.  The variety of platforming concepts are the real draw, the pacing is perfect, and the physics are fun.


Best game that I have no idea how I got it. I think I saw a voucher for it in my Steam inventory one day without any notification of how it got there. I heard that it was good so I tried it and loved it.


Shovel Knight is great but it might be too much to play everything in one go. Finish with one character, move on to something else and come back to it later. I really liked Alwa's Awakening, the 16bit style sequel is even better.


Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass was great (saw it in my discovery queue during a Steam sale and it had the Xbob seal of approval so I got it) but prepare to have your heart crushed when you realize what's going on. I liked The Messenger but couldn't get back into it for the DLC. I liked all the Shantae games though I wouldn't want to play the first game without save states.


I liked Axiom Verge and its sequel despite it being very different. Also liked Celeste but it told me my body was too old for games where I have to keep repeating the same thing over and over until I finally succeed. If you like A Link to the Past, definitely play Blossom Tales. Cosmic Star Heroine is good. CrossCode is great, I especially liked the new game +, achievements unlock points and then when you start the new game + you can spend them to unlock perks and stuff that carries over. One of the perks makes you do crazy damage and the best part is how that affects NPC dialog. Momodora was good, not very memorable but there is another entry in the series releasing in about a month. To the Moon is short but good and there's an RPG sequel coming in 2024. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion was enjoyable but too short so it lacks the exploration typical of Zelda games. Undertale is not the best game ever, but it is a really good game. 

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Time Spent: 15 minutes

Rating: ***½ /4


Out of nowhere.  First thing you're greeted with a is a menu asking if you want to play roguelike or 'Twist' which is handcrafted.  I went for Twist.  There's another SMW style map, and each level has some gimmick like exploding enemies or persistent powerups.


I think this is the game I wanted Flynn to be.  Visuals are just as good.  Yes, your motion also stops in air when attacking, but that's apparently better when you're angling and shooting a pinball eagle of doom.

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Time Spent: 15 minutes

Rating: **½ /4


Very basic throwback platformer, sort of a beat em up Kid Niki.  I dislike it when games like this go for a super small sprite on screen.  Your swing also seems to come out too slowly and gracefully for my tastes, as if your sword is a whip.  It's fun on some level though, they wisely put checkpoints in frequently.

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Time Spent: 8 hours

Rating: **** /4


Needs no introduction.  I only beat the main quest, stopped after learning Plague Knight was basically the same campaign with a new control scheme.  (I know the other campaigns do more)  There's an over reliance on bottomless pits.  Otherwise, Shovel Knight is as good if not better than any NES Megaman.

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Time Spent: ~30 min

Rating: **½ /4


Picked this one up in one of the itch.io collections.  Puzzle platformer where collecting coins can make interactive elements appear and disappear, and you don’t take damage when hit.  It's supposedly very short, I think I made it halfway through in the 30 minutes I played.  Love the visuals and animations here, but the sound effects, hit detection and controls feel slightly off.  The central gimmick is interesting enough to recommend checking out if you've got one of those itch bundles.

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Time Spent: ~12 hours

Rating: ***½ /4



The movement and level design in Celeste deserves all the praise the game gets.  I find it a tad overrated even still.  The pacing can be rough depending on how eager you are about collectables, and it was a bad artistic choice to zoom in on their minimalist sprites.  Otherwise, stellar game.  I enjoy that it strikes a balance between something level-based and open ended.

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  • crispy4000 changed the title to Snap judging pixel art indies in my library
3 hours ago, crispy4000 said:



Time Spent: ~5 hours

Rating: ***½ /4


A more hyperactive, multiplayer take on Prince of Persia classic.  The duck roll is an awesome mechanic, and it's fun going for broke throwing your weapon. Great fun, but how much so depends on if the people you play it with can look past the odd aesthetic.

i picked up nidhogg 2 recently and its a good time for couch multi 

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Time Spent: ~30 min

Rating: ***½ /4


Visually looks like Trials of Mana tried to be a Metroidvania.  I went with the mage class, which reminds me of the projectile character in Greak.  I could see some eventual frustration with the dash/parry button not being as responsive as I’d like, but there is a meter-limited shield option that blocks most attacks.  Serious potential here, even though some of the Steam reviews imply it’s too long, hard, glitchy, etc.  But my quick take is very positive.


Word of warning, the console versions apparently haven’t been patched from a very buggy, imbalanced, bad performance launch build.  

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Time Spent: ~45 min

Rating: ***½ /4


I've been wanting to try out this one for a while now, this thread was a good an excuse.  It's a Metroidvania with a light puzzle vibe akin to Mario vs DK. The controls feel very Metroid Zero Mission/Fusion but simplified, in a good way.  There's some evil faith organization against mechanics that leans into the title, which is cool, but comes across a bit too much as religion word salad at the start.


Unfortunately, the music isn't great so far.  The entire game is made by one guy, and not everyone is Toby Fox.

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Time Spent: ~30 min

Rating: ***


Another Metroidvania-lite, this time inspired heavily by Zelda II.  Your moveset feels most inspired by Smash Bros Link actually.  If that sounds appealing it's probably worth checking out.  It seems like it could go either way to me, quality-wise.  The dashing feels a little suspect.  Fantastic animation, but I still hate pixel art games that zoom in too far for dramatic effect, it's never appealing.


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