Rick’s been playing games since before he could walk. I went from an NES to a PS3 with nothing in between. We love to game together, but finding games we can both enjoy can be tough. Indie Game Date is our quest to find great indie games that both of us will love.
Another date with myself
Rick and I have been running around a lot more than usual this week… well actually, I’ve been doing most of the running around and Rick’s been planted on the sofa playing Sleeping Dogs, but in any event we haven’t had much time to spend playing games together, so this week is another date with myself. My original plan had been to give reader suggestion Project Black Sun a try, but it turns out I’m terrible at video games and despite a great look and simple controls, it was just a touch too difficult to be fun for me on my own. You start with TWO LIVES and enemies kill you with TWO HITS! That should have been a sign right there.
However, downloading the game required finally installing the Desura client, so I decided to browse through the top rated games and found the charming hand-drawn platformer Chester. Currently listed at #4 on Indie Gamer Chick’s Leaderboard, the game also boasted “4 difficulty levels so that almost anyone can beat the game,” which is really all you needed to tell me.
The gameplay in Chester is straightforward platforming, but you also have a weapon with which to attack enemies. The main collectibles in the game are stamps which you can redeem in the store for new characters or level art styles. Different characters have different special attacks and the game also utilizes an element system which means certain characters end up being better against certain enemies. Changing the art style of a level can also have certain benefits, such as slowing down enemies or speeding up weapon recharging.
It’s ironic that I chose to try the game first on PC because it was obviously built for Xbox and then ported. This could explain why some of the controls didn’t feel as tight as I wanted them to be, then again, it could just be that I’m terrible at video games. After trying a particularly tricky set of quick jumps in the second level for the 15th time in a row, I ended up rage quitting while miming destroying my keyboard– much to Gatsby’s horror. This isn’t to say it’s a bad game at all. In fact, I’d have to say it’s quite a good game and a fun and fresh take on classic platforming.
My lack of progression has much more to do with the facts that A) I’m terrible at platformers to start with, B) I’m not that accustomed to gaming on my laptop and C) I don’t have a controller for my laptop because my stupid cat ate the cable for it. I do intend to go back to Chester when I’m feeling a little less rage-y, or maybe I’ll just take the hit and download it for Xbox instead.
The art styles at a new dimension to the game and the music has a nice indie rock pulse to it. It’s retro without having to scream it with it’s art style and even Easy mode was peppered with challenges. In any event, with the new reduced PC price and an 80 MSP price on XBLA, Chester is more than worth a look for fans of platformers and indie gems in general.