PEGBRJE: Paranautical Activity and Little Comet

Uh, hello there giant skull person!

Paranautical Activity is a roguelike FPS made by Code Avarice, a duo indie team who’ve made a handful of titles. In this particular one, players are fighting through 8 floors of the paranormal, encountering terrors in the hopes of reaching the final destination.

Taking inspiration from Doom and Binding of Isaac, Paranautical Activity combines them to create a cube-based room system in which players need to enter and clear before moving on to the next room. These rooms contain randomly spawned enemies based on the floor currently on, and can vary from simple cult fellows to sharks that can swim through the freaking floor. This is where the Doom-esque action appears, for players need to be quick on the trigger and aware of their surroundings as the horde will stop at nothing to destroy them. The only ammo needing to be worried about is the special weapon and bombs, so hold that M1 button and get murdering. Upon completing a floor, the doors reopen and the adjacent rooms appear on the minimap to indicate what they are, such as a dollar sign for rooms to purchase things. Upon defeating a boss, an upgrade item will be given to alter the gameplay, and the elevator up to the next floor will be ready and waiting; just remember, everything is lost upon death.

Destroying all of these horrors requires a loadout, which players will decide before starting their run; each loadout comes equipped with a standard weapon and special weapon, along with their stats of speed, health and damage. Whatever loadout chosen is up to the playstyle that players wish to emulate, either between fast and frail, slow and powerful or a mix of both. Personally I went with the grenade launcher which came with a bonkers sword, balancing between speed and damage with the slow projectile speed of the bombs. These loadouts can be further augmented during each run thanks to those items dropped as well as with power ups, items dropped randomly that can assist in a multitude of ways (and seen on the right hand side of the UI).

Add in an electric soundtrack full of heavy riffs and tones and a cube-based art style for flair and you’ve got a fantastically compact experience. It takes a bit to understand the flow, as is usually par for the course with roguelikes, but once the groove has been achieved it’s easy to sink a few hours into only getting halfway through the game. If you’re looking for a Doom rogue-like with a possible upcoming sequel (pending of course), then this title might be exactly what you’re looking for.

I can’t, this game is too cute.

Little Comet is an adorable physics puzzle title made by Outgunned Games, an indie team out of Finland. Players follow a cute little star-shaped comet on her long journey around the sun, where she can collect candy, meet new friends, and return back around to her mom at the other end.

To get our bubbly little spacefarer all the way around, players will be utilizing the ‘drag to fire’ system to send her across the level and to the next wormhole. This means that players will be dragging the force in the opposite direction, like a slingshot or the golf games, and release it to send her in the direction of the pointed arrow. The larger the force, the faster and farther she goes while also scaling out the screen to help with understanding the surroundings. This physical interaction is also how players will introduce the little comet to her friends, the local planets within the area. The bigger the friend, the larger their gravitational pull in terms of radius — this means utilizing gravity in order to whipshot past certain areas to get past levels, or to simply go straight to the planet and see their happiness as the two become friends. Of course, going in too ‘hot’ will cause a bruise on the planet, so try to be a little gentle when zipping across space.

Now, as she travels across this little part of space players will need to keep an eye out for a few things, namely the turn counter and candy. See, each level is scored based on how long it takes turn wise to beat, as well as if all of the candy is collected while escaping to the wormhole. It feels very similar to golf in this regard, as there is a ‘par’ that players must reach in order to gain the star associated with time, while still acquiring the candy to gain that star as well (also because she likes candy, and I don’t want to be mean to her). Players will automatically gain one star for getting in to the wormhole, so no worries about that at least. Of course, the cosmos aren’t always so simple, as for some reason the pathways become much more difficult as we traverse the stars. These occurrences include soccer nets, buttons, electric fences, and more strange oddities that one wouldn’t normally associate with space, but I’d also not associate a shooting star with an outgoing happiness so it evens out.

There’s a bunch to do while traversing the stars with the Little Comet, and it’s just oozes with an adorable aesthetic that I couldn’t help but be happy whenever I finished a level simply because of how happy she looked. It’s fantastic for all ages, easily controlled as there is only the singular input to worry about and nothing overtly complex about how it approaches the space minigolf style. It even is available on android for those of you on the go or wanting to play with younger individuals who play best on a tablet device (can confirm, it’s much easier for them). If you want to cross the stars in an adorable fashion, this is definitely the title for you.

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