PEGBJR:E Miasma Caves and Bazookrash

Exploration and Explosion

Hello little fella.

Miasma Caves is an exploration adventure made by Windy Games, an indie studio based out of the United States. As the draconid Lesath, players will dive in to the local cave systems to discover the source of a dangerous gas known only as the Miasma so that she can save her village, and possibly find some treasure along the way.

Miasma Caves is predominantly a game of searching, exploring and returning to the surface to do it all over again. In fact, it might be easier to reference titles such as the old MotherLoad and SteamWorld Dig for their gameplay style similarities; searching for items that only assist in upgrading the player’s abilities to search even deeper. Players enter the cave with a limited ‘health’ bar represented as oxygen and need to maneuver through the cave systems and make it back out alive all while searching for glowing items to appraise and sell. There aren’t necessarily monsters that will attempt to harm Lesath, as the title aims more for non-violence as players cannot attack the creatures back and many will run away in fear. The environment however does not harbor feelings such as those, and has no qualms causing cave-ins and poisonous gases to cause harm. Thankfully there is ample warning for cave ins to be avoided and the gasses can be mitigated with items (or just run through with some loss) so it isn’t until the later dangers that serious planning is required.

So with all of these items found and appraised, what exactly are they for? Well, all appraised items can be traded for currency, which is then used to buy items to assist in the exploration, or can be used to upgrade the town Lesath calls home. As expected, these permanent upgrades are much more significant to assisting Lesath delve deeper than the consumables, such as the extremely coveted upgraded storage for our protagonist cannot carry many items at first. There are the family and friends that reside within the village as well, giving helpful hints and well-wishers before diving back in, and once the Inn is built players can find travelers staying within as well.

By far the most interesting aspect is that players can dig. That may seem implied based on the games I referenced as similar, but at first I simply thought this was a title centred around exploration. Instead, thanks to the voxel-based cave systems, players can dig throughout the caves to find hidden secrets and carve their own pathways towards better treasures and secrets that may not be found otherwise. It also helps to alleviate the pressure that cave-ins would’ve caused if there was no ability to. Lesath’s draconid heritage allows her sharp enough claws to dig without the use of tools, but pickaxes can be bought to speed up the process once the necessary buildings are added to the town.

Miasma Caves is a deceptively immersive title; just like harvesting games and the digging exploration titles mentioned earlier, many players will start playing and find themselves suddenly 12 hours deep without realizing it. The ‘one last dig’ mentality is definitely real, and can suck you in thanks to the curiousity of discovering what’s down there while constantly upgrading the town. Plus, if things go sideways, a certain individual can reset the entire cavesystem for you if need be, which is quite nice if something happens during exploration. If you’re a fan of this style of title, avoiding combat in favour of exploration, this is definitely one to try out.

Bazookrash is an FPS railshooter published by Shinyuden, a Japanese indie publishing company. Players are a simple bear that has been unable to sleep due to the constant blaring of sirens; instead of just knocking themselves out however, the bear has decided to knock out the sirens. Violently.

Within 7 minutes, players will utilize three weapons in order to delete the hordes of pink cars with blaring sirens as they make their way to the bear’s apartment complex — most of them responding to the destroyed cars. To do so, players are given the choice of a simple rifle, a bazooka and a Gauss rifle; each with their blast pattern and approach that is required. After each destruction, a multiplier is added to a circular timer that decays over time, so stringing together multiple car explosions will quickly ramp up those sweet points. The disclaimer is that each car destroyed is to also fill the sleep gauge, meaning that if that gauge isn’t full by the end of seven minutes players will fail. There’s also the catch that blue cars are civilians, and blowing them up gives absolutely nothing of value. Ensuring that time isn’t wasted blowing up civilians is crucial, especially since how dark it is.

I don’t have much else to say, as Bazookrash is meant to be a cathartic release within 7 minutes. It even plays the Bolero to add to the orchestral flair, almost like a movie of sorts. If you are in need of some of this release through the act of just shooting some cars, then this is definitely one to try out.

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