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Quick-fire August 2021, Part One

Ayo the Clown
Developed and published by Cloud M1, Ayo the Clown got released on the 28th of July 2021 for PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch. It is an action-adventure platformer telling a story about reuniting a missing dog, Bo, and a clown, Ayo.

In Ayo’s hometown, things are generally peaceful. Accompanied by his talented circus dog, Bo, Ayo juggles in the park, hangs out at the carnival and longs after the Shoemaker’s granddaughter. Until one day, Bo goes missing! You play as Ayo, your not-so-average clown, in search of his best friend and beloved dog who has mysteriously disappeared. What happened to Bo? Will they ever juggle together at the park again? Or set up that circus act they’ve always planned? You’ll find out along this incredible adventure as you strive to reunite clown and dog. Like all good adventures, you won’t be all on your own. Ayo’s world is full of friendly people and interesting creatures that are willing to lend a helping hand.

Ayo the Clown is a great looking game with beautiful and smooth, yet simple graphics, and the gameplay does not fall back on its brilliance either. It is not complicated or too hard, and it periodically hands us new mechanics so we never really get bored of it. The game is enjoyable to play and you will not get frustrated by unfairness at any time in your playthrough. Its story is simple and probably made with children in mind. Besides the usual platforming it also offers more “complicated” mechanics like slope sliding and wall jumping, but if you are a veteran platformerer (what the hell?) you will get used to those very quick. Ayo the Clown can be played with a keyboard or a controller, but I recommend the controller more, if you own one, of course. This 2.5D platformer also takes a lot of inspiration from retro platformers, and that is not a bad thing at all, some of them are masterpieces and still hold up to this day. There are different locations you will explore and they each differ from the previous one, so you will not get bored from this perspective either. Each stage has a unique theme to it, and the platforming is done nicely in all of them. In them, you will encounter lots of enemies and also stage bosses, which you will overcome with the help of many different weapons, from helicopters to water balloons. Some of them will also help you uncover hidden places or places you could not reach when you first saw them. On top of the main story line there are also a lot of side quests that will bring you different rewards, and collectibles to collect if you want to 100% the game’s achievements. I wholeheartedly recommend Ayo the Clown to kids that are new to gaming or this genre, and also to platforming veterans, because I assure you that you will have lots of fun hours with it.

Despotism 3k
Konfa Games’ Despotism 3k was already released on Steam in November 2018, but was made available for PlayStation 4 on the 26th of June this year. Humanity is enslaved by an AI… which is awesome, because we’re on the right side of the conflict. Exploit puny humans to extract power and build your own empire!

Despotism 3k is a dark humour 2D indie strategy and a resource management simulation with rogue-lite elements. It is randomly generated so every of your walkthroughs will be unique, but every failure will be fatal and you will have to start the game over. It is supposed to be easy to learn and hard to master, since the game’s mechanics are easy to grasp, but using them optimally is what you will need, and that is not an easy endeavour. In the game you will need to produce food for your humans, power with your humans running a hamster wheel, and humans by having two humans having sex. You will need to watch out that all of them do not run out of stamina because they will die if that happens. There are two campaigns and an endless mode, and you finish a campaign by lasting till day 25. Despotism 3k is pretty short in that aspect, but you can always go and replay the endless mode if you wish to. We anticipated that being an evil AI master would be easier than it is, but with some training and by that we mean replaying, you might get the hang of it and be the most evil exploiter. You will need to learn when and where to put your humans for your machine to be the most effective and produce most of your resources. The downside of it is that it gets quite repetitive quite fast, as all you do is click to move your humans around, so there is no real depth to the game. It might be fun for a little while, but you might as well enjoy only one sitting.

Indigo 7: Quest for Love
Indigo 7: Quest for Love by Dolores Entertainment was released on the 7th of July for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Indigo 7 is a fast-paced multiplayer puzzle game for up to 4 players, with a cool and fun single-player story mode plus more than 6 different play modes. Get the best score, conquer the territory before your opponent and don’t run out of moves in this amazing adventure! Easy to learn hard to master!

Indigo 7: Quest for Love is a puzzle strategy game in the category of Puyo Puyo and Tetris. It is not copying them but offers a fresh new take on similar puzzle games. It also has a story mode which is comprised out of 32 episodes and is presented in comic book style. The game has eleven playable characters with six different play modes and can be played alone or with three more friends. The play modes are VS CPU – battle against a computer controlled opponent, Conquest – set number of moves and time limit, Conquest VS CPU – get more than 50% of the board to win against the computer, Time Attack – race against the clock and Color Attack – you are given a set number of each color. Gameplay is simple: you select a color and all of the tiles of that color that you are touching will change to the new color. Makes sense? If it does not, I strongly recommend you checking out videos of its gameplay on YouTube before considering buying it. You will need to learn how to combo the colors together and that will bring you more points which will be needed for you to beating the CPU. The new elements will be shown periodically, so you will not feel overwhelmed by new features that game will offer. As mentioned, the game offers a multiplayer mode where you will be able to play against friends in VS or Conquest VS game modes. The graphics and art style are good and the gameplay is okay. It will surely make you play something different than your beloved Tetris.

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos
Developed by Artefacts Studio and published by Dear Villagers, The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos was released on the 17th September 2020 on Steam, and on the 24th of June this year on consoles – it is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Step into the wacky heroic fantasy universe of the Dungeon of Naheulbeuk. Lead a team of unlikely and clumsy heroes in an epic and challenging tactical RPG. Live an adventure filled with humor, surprises and silly encounters.

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos is a video game adaptation of French audio series from the beginning of this century. It is a parody of the more well known Dungeons & Dragons game in which you will take over the roles of seven different characters that are the Ranger, the Elf, the Dwarf, the Barbarian, the Magician, the Ogre and the Thief. They all complement each other with their different types of skills, and every character has its own upgradable skill tree for upgrading their abilities and different equipment. The game relies on its great voice acting which is filled with humour and different profanities that are bleeped. You are cursed by the Amulet of Chaos which results in many misfortunes that you encounter in your way to escaping the dungeon in which you are trapped in. The dungeon is huge and in it you will need to solve puzzles and escape many traps that will reward you with different treasures. The gameplay consists out of turn-based battles that include a support mechanic between all members of your party. There are more than hundred different enemies which will make you approach your battles tactically to complete them with a victory. Game also serves you with many boss battles that will, besides good tactics, require a lot of strength. The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos is overall a well polished and quite fun turn-based strategy game. Its dungeon crawling is not boring as you will encounter many different challenges and enemies. It is not the cheapest, but you will get enough content to make up for a 45€ price mark. I recommend the game to all that wish to play a fresh and cheeky turn-based tactical dungeon crawler.