Steam Sales!!

Steam’s Summer Seal is raring to go once again, much to the dismay of backlogs everywhere. I haven’t taken any damage to mine yet (although I am eyeballing 3 or 4 different 50+ hour RPGs…), but here I am nonetheless to encourage you all to take a lot of damage to yours, like I did last year.

New here? Read this and join the fun!


Pyre! Pyre, get Pyre. Get it. Go get Pyre right now. I’ll wait.

Congratulations! You just bought what is currently my GOTY, and one of my favourite games of all time. The cosmic basketball might not be to everyone’s tastes (as someone who shirks sports games entirely, I actually really enjoyed the Rites), but the real treat is in the family of misfits you find and, hopefully, liberate. It’s beautiful, and I’m not just talking about the visuals. Even weeks after finishing it, thinking about the ending has me wailing. I’m an absolute sucker for found families- and I’ll never forget the time The Nightwings welcomed me into theirs. (Steam / BBLC)

Invisible Inc.

I so nearly binned this, but something told me to just give it one more shot… and it swallowed me whole. Fantastically tense strategy/stealth game, it’s a little bit rogue-like which is what turned me off to start with. You have never before, nor will you ever again, be so aware of doors being left open. Story gets kinda weird, but as long as you have a passing knowledge of cyberpunk tropes you’ll have a good time here. (Steam / BBLC)


Official word states the title of this series should be presented in lower case. I don’t like it, but fault’s earned enough of my respect that I’ll acquiesce. Holy crap, it’s hard to explain without spoiling anything, but if you have any tolerance for visual novels at all, and a strong stomach for terminology, these games will blow you away with their presentation alone- and you’ll stay for the plot. First five minutes of milestone two had me staring agape at my screen. Next level stuff. (Steam / BBLC)

Wonderboy Girl: The Dragon’s Trap

A gorgeous refreshening of the Master System’s best game (controversial!), I already gushed about this at tedious length in my original post. It’s got some retro trappings that are moderately eased by optional difficulty settings, and the inclusion of Wonder Girl is handled with absolute elegance. (Steam / BBLC)

Hopefully I haven’t done too much damage to your backlogs, but also I really hope everyone checks these titles out and gives them a chance!

Wondergirl: The Dragon’s Trap

A remake of the Master System classic, a beloved metroidvania-style game that pushed the boundaries of what the Master System was thought to be capable of. I have a lot of nostalgia for the original, especially its soundtrack which is among my favourites.

Holy shit, this remake. I can’t overstate how emotional I became when I first started playing this game- I’d known about the remake for a long time and could obviously see it’s fricken gorgeous, but to actually play it for myself and see all the TINY details that went into making it the best representation of Wonderboy it could be, I was blown away.

The entire soundtrack has been remastered with live instruments and it sounds utterly superb– and in a really nice extra touch, with the push of a single button you can swap all the graphics and sound back to the retro versions at any time. I’ve especially enjoyed being able to show midgi the differences- and how much they managed to keep the SAME, too, while bringing it up to date. One of my favourite new features is how the dungeon music now has a different version for each of the themed dungeons- the haunting, desolate version that plays in the sunken shipwreck is a personal fave.

I already mentioned it, but the visuals are stunning. To see the game in motion is an experience akin to watching a wonderful animated sequence. From the way the backgrounds scroll to the subtle little turning animation each animal form has when you change direction while running, there’s no end of tiny details to catch.

I also really, really appreciate the addition of Wondergirl as a playable option. You only play as the human form of your character for 10 minutes before (spoilers) they fall into the Dragon’s Trap and are cursed into various animal forms, but they added an entire set of graphics and animations for her anyway- and didn’t give her animal forms any awkward lizard-boobs or make them uncomfortably sexualised. Commendable work.

The gameplay itself then- this is a through-and-through, frame-perfect recreation of the original game, warts and all- you’ll need a taste for slightly wonky retro platformer combat to get the most out of this one, as an early entry in a burgeoning genre of game. They did add difficulty options, but playing through on Easy I’m not really noticing a great deal of difference- probably enemy attacks are a little less damaging, but the trickiness hasn’t changed. Still, once you’re used to Wondergirl’s heavy movements and short reach, it plays very well.

Fin or Bin:

Time to wrap this one up then- I will OBVIOUSLY be Finishing this one, and will doubtlessly revisit it many times in years to come. I bought it with the OST included and it’s worth the purchase for that alone.

(Steam page)