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Home » Latest Features

Hidden Gem of the Week: Manowar

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months ago

Blend a swaying ship, cannons, and a colorful assortment of cannonballs together and you'd get the tricky and satisfying puzzle game that is Manowar. Trailer Each level of Manowar is the cutaway of a drifting ship filled with various platforms, barriers, and cannonballs, lined with cannons. The goal is simple: tilt the ship in the right ways that maneuver the cannonballs into the properly cannons and fire them into the surrounding ocean. The twist is that each time you fire a cannon also results in the remaining cannonballs to bounce into the air; this mechanical quirk lets you bounce cannonballs between platforms or even into position balacing atop other cannonballs. Then direction-spe…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 4th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of June 4th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the bullet hell shoot-em-up Blazefury, that makes its own mark by mixing the shmup style with the idle tapper genre. While not immediately compelling, the vibrant aesthetic and upgrading mechanics make Blazefury surprisingly enjoyable as a unique shooter. Over on Pocket Gamer, Emily Sowden provides a rundown of the games that won at Apple Design Awards, the eclectic group of winners including the desert snowboarding Alto's Odyysey, touching romance Florence, artful puzzler Frost, grim platformer I…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Yellow & Red

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 1 week ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Yellow & Red

Bart Bonte's library of games is one of weird, quirky, tacitle puzzles, often with a focus on experimentation to discover rules and solutions. His two color-themed games Yellow and Red fit this design perfectly, offering myriad mininalist challenges. Both games feature 50 stages, all aesthetically themed as a black background overlaid by a puzzle in the games' corresponding color. Your goal is to fill the screen with a single color, but how you accomplish this goal is what makes Yellow and Red such enjoyable experiences. Every stage features a distinct rule, to be discovered and understand, to solve a puzzle; through experimental taps and swipes and observation, soon that rule or pattern…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 28th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 28th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour covers the puzzle adventure Faraway 3: Arctic Escape, a game reminiscent of the tactile brain-teasers such as The Room and The Witness. Concluding the Faraway trilogy, Faraway 3 is simpler than both aforementioned games but its switch-and-tile-manipulating puzzles are praised as being satisfying and fun to solve. Over on Pocket Gamer, Susan Arendt explores the tough decisions in the zombie apocalypse strategy game Rebuild 3, discussing how the game's systems blends the humanity and struggles of the members of…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Barrier X

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 2 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Barrier X

Barrier X puts you in control of a vessel rocketing through an endless expanse at insane velocities, as white barriers appear with alarming speed. The ground beneath your craft turns orange as a visual warning of an upcoming barrier, giving you just enough of a warning to shift right or left and evade destruction by mere moments. It's breathless relentless action, as barriers fly past, barely a blur as you rocket onward. Survive for 15 seconds, and your reward is to go faster, an increase in speed. 30 seconds, and you unlock a new level, while 60 seconds masters that level, a true test of reflexes and reaction. Barrier's slick polished design and wonderful sense of speed would be enough t…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 21st

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 3 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 21st

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews Zero/Sum, the comedic b-movie math game about finding the cure for cancer from math terrorists. The so-bad-it's-fun cutscenes, increasingly complex mechanics, and additional modes make Zero/Sum an enjoyable and well-designed puzzler that doesn't take itself seriously. Over on Pocket Gamer, reader comments provide an overview of the unique puzzler Homo Machina, praising its steampunk portrayal of the human body, surprisingly brain-teasing puzzles, and plethora of little details and animations. Finally on&nb…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Dungeon of the Endless

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Dungeon of the Endless

Dungeon of the Endless starts out pretty badly for your team of bounty hunters, assassins, and criminals, as their prison transport vessel is destroyed by the mysterious alien force known as the Endless and the survivors find themselves in the subterranean corridors of an Endless complex. Otherworldly horrors lurk in the dark rooms and halls, waiting to attack your heroes in overwhelming waves. The exit is twelve floors up. Amplitude Studios' tower defense strategy roguelike is a desperatr and tense journey to the surface so far above. Each floor is a procedurally-generated maze, through which you guide your team room-by-room, preparing for whether you find much-needed resources, a mercha…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 14th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 2 months, 4 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 14th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour provides hands-on impression of the recent release Bombarika. This bomb-clearing isometric puzzler relies on precise timing and trial-and-error as you manipulate objects inside rooms to try and bounce a bomb outside before it explodes Over on Pocket Gamer, Jessica Famularo covers the news that the acclaimed story-driven indie game To The Moon will be received an animated film adaptation, made in Japan with funding from Chinese investors. Not much is known about the project currently, but it is expected to have…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Telepaint

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Telepaint

Combining easy controls with tricky space-bending puzzles, Telepaint's format is simple: you're a paint bucket trying to reach a waiting brush, auto-walking between portals that you can link to teleport around levels. Activating these portals are the core of Telepaint's puzzles, requiring timing and planning to survive hazards and tricky puzzle elements. While the automatic movement may sound like more of a hectic element, Telepaint lets you pause the time and manipulate portal while stopped, giving you as much time is needed to consider what direction you'll exit portals, how that direction will make you bump off walls, how you'll interact with certain obstacles. Early levels only requir…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 7th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of May 7th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour reviews the latest ".io" style game Axe.IO, and praises it as a surprisingly addictive and featured multiplayer experience, including different classes with various skills, diverse game modes including a 50-player Battle Royale, and simply yet enjoyable mechanics that lets you deftly dodge axes and collect upgrades mid-combat. Over on Pocket Gamer, Susan Arendt writes about the recent puzzler Dissembler and how its vibrant style and relaxed pace, without pressure or punishment for wrong moves, might provide on…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Imbroglio

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 1 week ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Imbroglio

Michael Brough is known for delivering odd abstract roguelikes and puzzle games that seem simple but reveal a hidden depth and complexit, like the block-pushing Corrypt, or the virus-destorying 868-Hack. But Imbroglio is perhaps his most defining release in recent years, blending elements of roguelikes, RPGs card games, and board games. If you've played 868-Hack, Imbroglio will feel somewhat familiar; similar elements and mechanics link the two: randomly spawning enemies, a level layout that changes upon performing a certain action, enemies that move when you move, and so on. But despite those similarities, Imbroglio is its own game, offering a number of different classes (more if you've…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of April 30th

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of April 30th

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour goes hands-on with MMX Hill Dash 2, the sequel to the monster truck-driving, hill-climbing arcade racer. Inspired by the wild tracks of the Trial series, the hands-on showcases the general gameplay loop, truck upgrading, and several challenges. Over on Pocket Gamer, Jon Mundy recommends a number of notable Star Wars games to play in honor of May 4th, aka Star Wars Day. Knights of the Old Republic, LEGO Star Wars, and several others make the list, each touching on classic Star Wars aspects in different ways. Luke F…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Swapperoo

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 2 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Swapperoo

From Fallen Tree Games, developer of the Quell games, Swapperoo evolves the traditional match-3 formula in interesting ways to deliver a surprisingly strategic puzzler. At its most basic concept, Swapperoo follows the same design principle of connecting three or more items on a grid, removing those matched items from the grid, but that is where the similarities end. Most importantly, you can only move specific triangular tiles on the grid, and can only move these triangular tiles in the direction they're pointing. This design choice makes each match a strategic affair, forcing the player to plan several moves ahead. Across handcrafted challenges, randomized stages, and an endless mode, t…

A Steel Media round-up for the week of April 23rd

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 2 weeks ago
A Steel Media round-up for the week of April 23rd

Here’s another weekly round-up of news, previews, and features from Pocket Gamer, 148Apps, and the rest of our sister sites. On our Youtube page, James Gilmour provides his impression of the beer empire business sim Brew Town, highlighting in particular the repetitive nature of the genre present in the game, the creative side of Brew Town in designing bottle icons and beer types, and the well-thought design of the sim gameplay. Over on Pocket Gamer, Harry Slater offers an satricial argument for the strength of the idle game subgenre, especially the wonderful fact that the endless ever-increasing nature of idle gaming means you'll have a legacy to leave behind. Finally, o…

Hidden Gem of the Week: Blown Away

Feature By Christian Valentin, 3 months, 3 weeks ago
Hidden Gem of the Week: Blown Away

Blown Away: Secret of the Wind is a unique auto-running puzzle platformer from Black Pants Studio, that stabds out due to its vibrant art style and clever mechanics. Mother Nature has swept away Hendrik's home and hair;  now he must travel a land of deadly gaps, monsters, and traps to retrieve them, using his pair of teleporting boots to leap past hazards  Those boots provide the backbone for Blown Away's smartly-designed stages; your boots recharge their teleport with each step, and tapping on the screen teleports you to that location, even as you're falling to certain doom. The charging element is what turns a relatively simple mechanic into a puzzler. Your boots only charge w…