Indie-licious is a show of hand-picked indie games for play on our weekly livestream. As the guy who sifts through steam and emails each week deciding what looks cool, I think every game that I bring to Indie-licious is excellent and worth the time of our viewers. However, I do also think that some are more excellent than others. I was looking back at the Indie-licious episodes so far this year and thought I'd go ahead and put together a small list of my favorite Indie-licious episodes at this mid-point of the year. Check it out below!
#5: Mad Streets
This game was recommended to me by one of our Shack Staff and what a recommendation it was. Somewhere between Gang Beasts, Mario Party, and Gekido, Mad Streets tasks you with beating the bejeebers out of fellow high school students. It has a lot of funny vibes to it whether it in the context (the whole cast feels like a MAD Magazine take on the whole cast of Revenge of the Nerds) or in the gameplay. We punched a lot of groins a lot of times as we fought our way through each faction's campaign. I would absolutely bust this one out if I had a friendly get together and we wanted to play some games.
I. love. Castlevania 2. I love it. I don't care what anyone thinks about that game. Annoying bits aside, it still holds some of my favorite memories of the Castlevania series. So it should come as little surprise that I also love Infernax. Its gameplay is a refined version of a lot of retro games, but the Castlevania 2 vibe stands out the most, including the tough-as-nails challenge of some levels. I also really dig the over-the-top gore of the game. It's hilariously ridiculous what kind of murders you can inflict on monsters and, conversely, they can inflict on you. The game overs are outright bombastic with skeletons chopping you in the head, demon heads plowing through your torso, and abominations setting your flimsy body aflame. If Evil Dead and Castlevania 2 had a baby, Infernax is it, and I love it in every way.
#3: Tavern Master
I don't always need my games to be action-packed. Anyone who has watched Indie-licious knows I can get down on a good business or civilization management sim, and Tavern Master is one of the coziest I've ever played. In this game, you play the owner of an inn in fantasy-fiction trappings. Your job is to provide comfort, food, drink, and entertainment to all travelers that pass through your establishment. What begins as a very modest little watering hole expands little by little into a bigger and more lavish business as higher profile customers come in asking for bigger and better comforts. I really liked Tavern Master's escalating progress, but more than that, I really just do enjoy good food, drink, and music in a very cozy setting, even if it's supplying all of those goods to virtual peasants and patrons.
#2: Buck Up And Drive!
I miss good arcade racers. We don't have enough good ones these days. Buck Up And Drive! does a great job of scratching the itch though. This game is freaking ridiculous in so many good ways. First off, it's pretty close to Outrun in its core gameplay. You need to make checkpoints as fast as possible while avoiding other traffic on the road. Here's the twist. Your car can do f***ing rail grinds and spinny tricks off of jumps. You can also use a spin attack to knock out other traffic and are incentivized to do so, culminating in road battles with the cops and rival racers. This game was freaking ridiculous and I think every fan of old-school arcade racing owes it to themselves to check this one out.
#1: OlliOlli World
It's a funny thing. I wasn't even the one to play on one of my favorite episodes of Indie-licious. The OlliOlli World Indie-licious episode is just a great example of having developers and colleagues joining in on the fun. We got developers from Roll7 to join in on this episode as we played and our community manager Denny was the one to play this colorful skateboarding adventure. It helps that OlliOlli World is definitely my favorite in the series. It oozes personality and style and features a ton of wacky and fun levels while still featuring that stylish gameplay that has made OlliOlli a blast. Denny played it great, it was a great conversation with the devs, and just an altogether fun time. Put all of that together and OlliOlli World was just a blast and my favorite Indie-licious episode this year.
Honorable Mention: Rogue Legacy 2
There are, again, no games in Indie-licious that I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend, but it was very hard to keep Rogue Legacy 2 off the edge of my list. It's so good and I really enjoyed how Cellar Door Games upped their game in its sequel. It's gorgeous, it's silly, its combat and mechanics are dang fun, and its levels and bosses are tough as nails. I happily gave Rogue Legacy 2 a high score in review and it just continued to be fun in Indie-licious, making for a fantastic episode that just barely missed the cut after all of the stellar examples above.
That covers my favorite Indie-licious episodes of the year at this mid-point. These all made for some stellar fun, but there are plenty of more cool Indie-licious episodes from this year too. Be sure to check them out and see it when I go live on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. PT / 4:30 p.m. ET on the Shacknews Twitch channel! There's plenty more to come.