Review: The Guide to Retro Indie Games Vol. 2
The main focus of Hardcore Gaming 101’s “Retro Indie Games” book series are games that look, feel and/or play like old-school games from the 1980s and 1990s, but that are much more recent indie titles. (See my review of the first volume.)
The second volume covers both old titles that didn’t make the cut last time (e.g., Papers, Please! and Fez), and very recent games like Helltaker, Paradise Killer and Lair of the Clockwork God.
The format is largely the same as before: each game is richly illustrated and described in detail, with heavy focus on gameplay and story, and little emphasis on any other aspect such as the developers or how the game was made. As before, games are grouped by developer.
With 67 individual games, every reader with any appreciation for indie games is likely to discover at least one or two to add to their backlog. For me, that included Katana Zero (the time manipulation mechanic sounds super-interesting) and The Binding of Isaac (it just seems like a wild ride).
As with the first volume, I still feel the series could do better at being an actual guide to genres and developers. As an effort to catalog and describe some of the greatest retro-styled indie titles of the last decade or so, it is without equal.
The full list of games in the second volume follows (grouped by developer):
Fight ‘n Rage
Touhou Luna Nights
Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth
The Binding of Isaac
Saturday Morning RPG
Cosmic Star Heroine
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust
Into the Breach
Digital: A Love Story
Don’t take it personally babe, it’s just not your story
Analogue: A Hate Story/Hate Plus
Ladykiller in a Bind
The Low Road
Ben There, Dan That!
Time Gentlemen, Please!
Lair of the Clockwork God
Return of the Obra Dinn
Back in 1995
The Count Lucanor