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.
Like many people, City Tuesday was probably the Indie Games Uprising III title I was most looking forward to. You might even remember I featured it in a Game to Watch segment a few weeks ago. So, knowing how rare it is for me to get REALLY excited about a game, Rick and I decided to sit down and give it a try for this week’s Indie Game Date.
Although I had been warned that it was short, with most players taking between 30 and 60 minutes to complete the full game, I still felt like we would get our monies worth with some good puzzles and some simple “open world platforming” action. Unfortunately, much like The Indie Ocean, Indie Gamer Chick and The Xblig, I couldn’t help feeling a little cheated when all was said and done.
The concept and art style are pure gold. You play as a stick figure man forced to run around town disarming terrorist bombs before they detonate and destroy the oblivious citizens of the city. If you fail, you simply go back to where you started and relive the same five minutes over and over again until you disarm all the bombs. Which sounds pretty cool, except that the “open world” part is only one out of three areas and is easily completed in about 10 minutes if you’ve been paying attention.
The other complaint that I share with The Indie Ocean is that even in the open world section where you have to memorize certain events and disarm bombs in sequence, once you disarm a bomb it stays disarmed for your next playthrough, significantly lowering the difficulty curve and seriously taking away from the whole “open world” concept. While well designed and programmed, the short length and dumbing down of certain elements make City Tuesday more of well executed concept than a standout indie game.
So since that ended with such a thud, Rick and I decided to keep going and try out the highly touted Gateways, a 2D Portal clone that both Indie Gamer Chick and the Xblig raved about (even if no one could finish it).
Since I knew there would be some twitch platforming in this one I let Rick take the reigns, although I tried to help out where I could with certain puzzles. Built with a Metroidvania level and map structure the 8-bit style does a lot to enliven the gameplay since there isn’t much of a story to speak of. However, the flat 2D plane does make using the “Gateway Gun” (read: Portal Gun) sometimes very confusing.
After playing for close to an hour and realizing we’d only started to scratch the surface on the complexity of the puzzles we decided to take a break, but Rick definitely felt like we got our monies worth with this one. We’ll be returning to this one for sure, so check back for an more in-depth review.