run-and-gun ‘Blast Brigade’ leads march of new game releases

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Here is a roundup of three recent game releases:

BLAST BRIGADE VS. THE EVIL LEGION OF DR. CREAD

Armed with a witty script as well as an impressive variety of firearms, “Blast Brigade vs. The Evil Legion of Dr. Cread” is full loaded to take aim at your Metroidvania itch.

Full of hidden areas and branching paths, the “Contra”-style shooter has you leading a band of misfits through run-and-gun adventures. Outrageous creatures, tricky grunts and platforming obstacles stand in your way.

Developer Allods Team Arcade delivers a polished, lively effort filled with action flick references and bizarre non-sequiturs.

While the 2D shooter is somewhat one-dimensional, the secrets and hidden areas make the journey worthwhile.

DANDY AND RANDY

A puzzle-laden action-adventure, “Dandy and Randy” focuses on a pair of archaeologists who seek out a lost stone on a remote island in order to pay off their debts.

Developer Asteristic Game Studio emphasizes clean, lively visuals and intuitive challenges that don’t often leave you stuck in bottlenecks.

The game excels in local co-op, lending itself to family gaming sessions in which experienced players help guide beginners through the stages.

The slim effort offers a few levels, a dozen bosses and loads of hidden unlockables.

While there isn’t much replay value, the slim, accessible game is a worthwhile quick-hitter.

SOURCE OF MADNESS

Joining “Blast Brigade” in the exploding Metroidvania genre, the roguelite is set in a haunting realm pulsing with Lovecraftian horrors.

With procedurally-generated monsters, an elaborate set of upgrade trees and a brooding tone that dares you to risk your gains for one more raid, “Source of Madness” is surprisingly therapeutic in its comfortingly consistent ebb and flow.

See also  Pay for PS5, PS4 Platinum Trophies Is Rampant on PS Store Right Now

You venture up twisting towers, plague-ridden loam lands and a labyrinthine citadel in search of ability augmentations and clues as to where to head next.

While the array of beasts are creepy, the game tends to give you just what you need to tame them with minimal stress.

Much of the game’s charm comes in the way it parses out the nuggets that comprise its backstory, in bits and pieces from dialogue boxes and outpost signs.

Publisher provided review codes.

——-
Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of “Phil on Film” seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star, where he was a movie critic, columnist, and reporter. He has penned three books: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, Stormin’ Mormon and Zeta Male. A University of Arizona business graduate, he has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.