Nintendo Switch

Accessibility Is Cool!

Accessibility Is Cool!
Gamer Heroes

 
 
00:00 / 68:59
 
1X
 

Up on deck for today includes Thomas’ thoughts on Forager, Kam’s continued thoughts on Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Control, and we get into a discussion about how wonderful Celeste’s assist mode is and why games should be for everyone!

Big shout-out to our hero of the week for this week: Clint “Halfcoordinated” Lexa!

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Zug Zug

Video games!  We talk a whole lot about World of Warcraft Classic, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Control!  Oh yeah, and I guess there was a big Nintendo Direct this last week or something.

Big shout-out to our hero of the week for this week: The twitter account “Can You Pet The Dog!

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Do Review Scores Matter?

Episode 99 is here!  We’re getting closer and closer to 100!  Up for discussion today includes some early impressions of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, as well as diving into whether or not we feel that review scores are even relevant anymore!

Go check out your Hero of the Week: Matafe!

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Lethal League ReMARStered

We got some HOT NEW GAME REVIEWS and a BRAND NEW SEGMENT this week y’all!

Kam’s been checking out Red Faction Guerrilla ReMARStered and Lethal League Blaze on Switch and provides his thoughts!  Thomas has been playing…Minecraft?  We also talk the DeepMind AI bodying Starcraft II players and that Nintendo is releasing the 2DS of the Switch!

Go check out your Hero of the Week: https://bluemaxima.org/flashpoint/

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show! Feel free to give us some love on our socials! You could even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Lethal League ReMARStered

RTX 2019 Indie Roundup!

What’s happening everyone? I’m fresh back from RTX 2019 and boy howdy was it great. There were some incredible panels, lots of things to do on the show floor, and I made some wonderful memories with some wonderful friends. But you aren’t here to talk about how much fun I had; you’re probably here to read about some VIDEO GAMES.

(Also shout-out to my friends at Pack O’ Geeks for letting me tag along with them while they took a look at these games. Go check ’em out!)

Without further ado, presenting my new, 1-part segment:

THE GAMES AT RTX 2019 THAT WERE PRETTY FUN TO PLAY AND THAT I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY MORE OF WHEN THEY RELEASE


Agent Reverb (Diogras Inc)
Android / iOS | Available now!

hexagons with lines closing down on them to the beat

Image from Agent Reverb Google Play page

As I walked up to the booth for Agent Reverb, the staff welcomed me with a warm greeting of “Welcome! Do you like rhythm games?” and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I actually didn’t get a chance to really play this game on the show floor; there were some audio/visual latency issues since they had the phone playing the game mirroring the display and sound to a TV, so everything was out of sync. They handed me a card with the phrase “agent, we have reports that a dragon has staked a claim on the Washington Monument…will you accept this mission?” written in comic sans, and pulled out my phone right in front of them and downloaded the game.

Agent Reverb is pretty neat. It’s about 70% touch-screen rhythm game, 20% idle game, and 10% action B-movie, but it seems to work out! The story is ridiculous and silly, but the game absolutely knows this. Seriously, just take a look at the incredible website. You earn volts for hitting notes, which can be used to unlock new stages and songs. Those same volts can also be used to buy robots that passively generate volts for you over time. The base game itself is free, with ads after every stage you complete, but you can kick them $2.99 USD to remove those ads, gain some premium currency, and gain a permanent volt generation bonus. Some of the songs do feel like they go on a little bit too long for my tastes, but overall I’m enjoying Agent Reverb as a fun little thing to check in on every few hours.

Swimsanity! (Decoy Games)
Switch / Xbox One / PS4 / Steam | Available Summer 2019! | Trailer

a 4-player cooperative game in progress

Image from Decoy Games press kit

As far as the indie games at RTX goes, this one was always a packed house; for good reason too. Swimsanity! is an incredibly fun 4-player local multiplayer madhouse.  The game is a pretty floaty twin-stick shooter, but the floatiness really worked well here. I always felt complete control of my character, but it did take a second to get used to the feel. The demo we tried had both the local competitive and cooperative multiplayer options available. We started up with the competitive multiplayer, and true to its name, it got insane fast.

Before each match every player picks an ultimate ability they can use, and the game turns into this flashy madhouse with abilities and power-ups firing off constantly.  From there we moved to the cooperative mode, which was hands down my favorite. Each player picks their ultimate as usual, but you’re able to stack them if multiple players fire them off at the same time. Doing so earns your team bonuses towards your next ultimate, which really encourages communication within your team. Each wave of the horde of enemies you’re fighting off only has a 1 minute timer, meaning that in order to progress you have to defeat all the enemies in the allotted time. It was really cool to see the various ultimate abilities and power-ups work in concert with each other. Swimsanity! is an absolute blast and manages to stay afloat in the busy sea of local multiplayer games coming out lately.  I simply cannot wait for this to release.

Alluris (562 Interactive)
Steam / Xbox One | Available Summer 2019! | Trailer

event card showing The Kraken attacking, with the player leaning towards the decision

Image from Alluris Steam Page

Now Kam, you might ask, what if I love a good text adventure game AND the meaningless anguish of endlessly swiping on my dating app of choice? Are there any video games out there for me? Enter Alluris, a self-described “swipe-your-own-adventure” game that I think is going to be a real problem for me when it comes out. The game starts with you choosing a gender (male, female, and non-binary are options, which was great to see), race, and class. I rolled with a non-binary Dwarven wizard because I wanted how the game handled it and I was pleasantly surprised to see my choices come up quite frequently in my various adventures. For instance, I won every single drinking contest I came across because I chose a Dwarven character.

The choices you make and paths it can open up go even deeper than that; I found a lute during my adventures and about 50 or so days later paid for some lessons so that I could learn to play it. Since I had that musical skill, every single inn that I would stay at going forward was half-price since my character would perform for a discount. I absolutely wish I had some more time with this game. My demo session was around 45 minutes, but I kept thinking about wanting to try out a different race or gender tp see what types of things I could get up to. Alluris is currently set for release on Steam and Xbox One, but the developer working the booth told me they were targeting mobile platforms as well, which sounds absolutely perfect.

Swapette Showdown (3D Generation)
Steam | Available 2019!

four boards filled with puzzle blocks during a 4-player match

Image from Swapette Showdown Steam page

Hey, remember Pokemon Puzzle League and Tetris Attack? So does 3D Generation with their spiritual successor, Swapette Showdown! For the unfamiliar, you swap blocks left and right in order to match three of the same block together. Making matches and chaining them together sends blockers over to your opponents. Once the blocks in a board reach the top that player is knocked out, and last player standing wins! I never spent a ton of time with this type of puzzle game, I was always more into to Tetris or Lumines, but I did see some high-level play from some other convention attendees and was really impressed with the height of the skill ceiling.

The demo I played had five playable characters, each with a different offensive and defensive ability. One character in particular that I didn’t get the chance to mess around with too much, actually rotated four blocks at once instead of swapping two, which does have me excited about possibilities for other characters and how they could change the game. The staff member I spoke with mentioned they’re currently only actively working on a PC release for this title, but would eventually love to bring this to the Nintendo Switch, which I think could do this game a lot of favors. I enjoyed my demo with it and will definitely be picking this one up, if anything to try and improve my game.

Black Ice (Super Duper Game Company)
Steam / itch.io | Available now in Early Access!

first-person viewpoint of the neon shape-filled overworld

Image from http://superdupergc.com/

Y’all, this game is really cool. Black Ice is a first-person looter-shooter, shlooter???, set in an open-world cyberspace where you hack terminals and fight off the programs trying to stop you. I spoke to the developer before my demo and he told me that he played a whole lot of Quake 3 and it absolutely shows in Black Ice. The movement is very fast and frantic, the enemies are many and relentless, the environments have lots of versatility and encourage exploration. Every weapon, skill, or item you find can be bound to any of the hotkeys listed, so you can really customize how you want to play. The weapons that were available in the demo felt great to use and ranged from a burst assault rifle, to a shotgun, to a disco-ball shoots lasers everywhere. Seriously.

Ever since I was young, I always thought that a first-person shooter hacking game would be just the coolest thing. I’m one of the dozens of people that really enjoyed playing Coded Arms on the PSP, and while that game had the style I wanted, it was a nightmare to control with the limitations of the platform. Black Ice is an absolute blast and is definitely the game I have been wanting and thinking about for years, I just didn’t know it yet. I loved the demo so much that I immediately bought a Steam key from the developer, and I highly recommend that you do the same.


That’s gonna do it for me! Did you go to RTX and check out some of these games? Are there any on this list you’re looking forward to?  Let us know!

Have a great day friends!

Kam really likes video games and being excited about things. When not talking into a microphone for strangers on the internet, you can find him organizing his Pokemon card collection like a huge nerd, perpetually coming in third place at Dave Grohl look-a-like contests, or in a drive-thru for any Taco Bell or Raising Cane’s in the Kansas City Area. Check him out on twitter @TheKamdyman or at his website kamraderie.com.

RTX 2019 Indie Roundup!

Sweet T and Double K

When Kam can’t think of a title, he defaults to a dumb joke that was said during an episode. This is one of those times. Sorry.

This week, your heroes talk about Apex Legends season 2, Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, Slay the Spire, and a few cool games that Kam got to check out on the show floor of RTX 2019!

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Feel free to give us some love on our socials! You could even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Challenge Mode: User Created Content

Challenge Mode time!  This week, the OG crew is back to talk about some genuinely wild things people have made inside games! (psst, also if you’re in the Kansas City area and want to connect with local gamers, join the LFG KC Facebook Group!) Feel free to give us some feedback by hitting up our socials!  Or even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek | Thomas Egan | Jimmy Hart

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music from https://filmmusic.io: “Nile’s Blues” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) Licence: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City

Card Games and Space Magic

Thomas is back from vacation and boy have we played a lot of video games! Join us as we talk about the relentless and undying appeal of card games, the badass combat of God of War, the cool space magic of Destiny 2, and more!

Got questions to ask the hosts?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Feel free to give us some love on our socials! You could even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Kam Konek & Thomas Egan

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music by Lifeformed

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/gamerheroes

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod | @GG_Kansas_City | @tegannotsara1 | @TheKamdyman

Slingin’ Drinks

This week! Kam falls in love with the legendary waifu bartending simulator VA-11 HALL-A and FINALLY commits to playing Stardew Valley!  Thomas talks about a cool game with a cooler name: Astro Bears Party, and gives Kam some welcome advice on proper digital farming.  Xbox talks how to not be terrible on the internet!  VICE Games tells us that Pokemon has probably impacted your brain in a cool way!

Wanna have something to say during the show too?  Hit us up on twitter (@GamerHeroesPod) and we could talk about it on the show!

Shout-out to Ysbryd Games for providing us with a copy of VA-11 HALL-A to talk about on the show!

Feel free to give us some love on our socials! You could even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind. Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Find more about the GGKC folks at gg-kc.com.

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Thomas Egan & Kam Konek

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music Lifeformed

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod & @GG_Kansas_City

Slingin’ Drinks

Kill Your Past

Knock Knock!  Who’s there?  VIDEO GAMES. 

This week, we talk the new Enter the Gungeon and Hearthstone expansions, and more The Division 2!  Thomas is also overjoyed that he can now get rid of his terrible PSN name!  I guess some Star Wars happened too.

Feel free to give us some feedback by hitting up our socials!  Or even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

Don’t forget to subscribe! We’re available on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Google Play, or you can use our RSS Feed to plug into any podcast app. Links are below!

Find more about the GGKC folks at gg-kc.com.

Help support the show by becoming a Patron and get access to our exclusive Patron Lounge on Slack! – patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts.

Not looking for a long-term commitment? No problem. Every dollar truly helps, so buy us a coffee over at ko-fi.com/heroespodcasts!

Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Thomas Egan & Kam Konek

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music Lifeformed

iTunes Link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gamer-heroes-video-games-pc/id1193204259?mt=2

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/show/6x6MugEKoQAgV99OKkZmWp

Spreaker https://www.spreaker.com/show/gamer-heroes

Google Play Link https://play.google.com/music/m/I6qwdjccfc4sxi5urxuebuisatq?t=Gamer_Heroes_Video_Games__PC_Gaming__Console_Gaming_Mobile_Gaming

RSS Feed Link http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/gamerheroes

Social Media @GamerHeroesPod & @GG_Kansas_City

OVERWHELM Game Review

Kam from Gamer Heroes brings you  his review of OVERWHELM for the Nintendo Switch!  A full written version of the review can be found below:


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is overwhelm-key-art.jpg

Developer: Ruari O’Sullivan| Publisher: Alliance| Platforms: Switch, PC (Steam)

In the interest of full disclosure, a copy of this game was provided by popagenda on behalf of the developer for review purposes. The version played for review was on the Nintendo Switch platform.

Every once in a while, a game comes along that makes you appreciate the medium a little bit more. I hadn’t really run across a game personally that nailed the experience of anxiety and hopelessness until I came across OVERWHELM. It’s tense, it’s hectic, it’s even downright scary at times. True to its name, I was unbelievably tense and worried the whole game, but I just kept coming back for more.

OVERWHELM is a side-scrolling action platformer with some horror elements thrown in. You play as a soldier sent into a heavily-infested series of caverns to combat something ominously referred to only as “the Hive.” The goal is pretty straight-forward from the get-go: collect the five crystals spread around the map, bring them back to the center, and get the hell out. It seems simple, but the game will make you fight and learn for every single bit of progress, only to have you start over again as you inevitably fail. Your entire skill set consists of a dashing punch move, an uppercut double-jump, a single-shot pistol with limited ammunition, and three lives to pull it off. Oh, and you die in one hit. Sounds easy, right?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jewels.jpg

Working your way through the various areas in OVERWHELM for the first time is absolutely harrowing. You never know what’s around the corner and whether or not it’s already lined up an attack. Coupled with the incredible sound design that incorporates some deep bass synth tones, petrifying white noise, and the scariest of all, absolute silence, the developer delivers a truly unique horror experience. Nothing about this game is scary in a traditional horror sense (after all, the regular monsters are just small white bunches of pixels) but the emergent feeling of dread and horror created by the always real possibility of immediately losing your run had my heart pounding every time I picked up this game for a session.

Once you lose your first life, you start to be able to see less of the screen, as if you, the player, is getting tunnel vision from being too freaked out to think straight. That effect is only amplified on your last life, too. The tunnel vision obscures your remaining ammunition and the silence is broken with some of the most unsettling white noise I’ve heard in a while. Almost as if to call you out, the game also flashes “LAST CHANCE” boldly in the center of the screen before you go off to try and survive just a little bit longer. Eventually you make it to a crystal, all of which are guarded by bosses that aren’t terribly difficult, but force you to learn their attack patterns and how they work. Once you throw yourself at it enough to finally kill the boss and grab that crystal is really when the magic of this game begins to shine.

Because, as the game says, the hive grows stronger.

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I absolutely love this game’s twist on typical rogue-like elements. Once you finally beat the boss, you don’t get stronger or get a new power up, but the enemies do. It felt like the hive you’re there to destroy has finally acknowledged your presence and starts to fight back and adapt to you. I don’t want to go too much into it since it should absolutely be experienced, but I felt it absolutely worth mentioning since it felt really earned by the nature of how the world works. You do get the benefit of being able to immediately start a run outside the boss room of any boss you’ve beaten so far, which definitely saves you time, but you still start over from the beginning. Getting 3 or 4 crystals only to die to the last boss was genuinely soul-crushing, but still absolutely exhilarating the whole way through. Every victory felt earned and while I do take some minor issues with how your character handles while in the heat of the moment and the occasional sudden death from the unfortunate enemy placement, they made everything feel frantic and stressful.

OVERWHELM isn’t a very long game technically (I’ve seen some speedruns clocking in at about the 15 minute mark) but the amount of time and effort you’re putting forth helps it stay around a little longer. Plus, once you finish the game, you unlock the New Game+ option, which changes up the paths and makes things have more of a set path.

I also want to give a shout-out to the game’s accessibility and difficulty options, because I think they’re brilliant. The menu literally says “Overwhelm is never easy. It’s hard for some. Impossible for others. If you find it impossible, try this:” and directs you to the assist mode, which lets you have infinite lives, ammo, and aim assist, among other tweaks. Those seem like they could ruin the experience, but they absolutely don’t. It doesn’t take away from the tension of knowing the boss can kill you in one hit or the frustration of throwing yourself at a problem you can’t solve. The assists streamline the process, and allows for people to experience the game when they normally couldn’t.

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Are you the type of person that enjoys haunted houses and a steep challenge? If so, then I absolutely cannot recommend this game enough. It’s equal parts rewarding, punishing, and terrifying. The sound and visual design combines to allow for some unsettling effects that feel designed to get inside the head of the player. Even if you aren’t a thrill-seeker, I would definitely say to give it a try! The assist mode options allows the game to still keep the same challenge while allowing the spirit of the game to remain. I could go on and on about how cool this game is, so I’ll wrap it up here with this: play OVERWHELM.

Kam is one of the hosts of the Gamer Heroes podcast, head of content at GGKC, and a passable Dave Grohl look-a-like. Read more of his pretty okay words at his blog, or keep an eye on his regular attempts at humor on twitter @TheKamdyman.

Music:

  • District Four Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Overwhelm soundtrack, courtesy of popagenda

Overwhelmingly Cool

This week, we dive into Kam’s thoughts on OVERWHELM, the current discourse on accessibility vs. difficulty, and how we’d like to see Borderlands 3 adapt to fit more into the modern games atmosphere.  Also we still find a way to squeeze Apex Legends into there somewhere. Feel free to give us some feedback by hitting up our socials!  Or even just forget we’re playing on your phone all day while your headphones are plugged in at work.  That’s cool too, we won’t mind.

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Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Produced by GGKC

Hosts Thomas Egan & Kam Konek

Editor Kam Konek

Executive Producer Derreck Mayer

Music Lifeformed

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