Welcome to Interesting Indie Investigation Part 1! For the past year or so, I’ve been accumulating a list of super-niche, unpopular games on my phone, like a fridge full of things that I swear I’ll eat at some point but in reality just sit there taking up space. Except in this III series, I'm going to finally go through each of these games and decide whether or not they’re worth your time and money.
The first victim on the chopping block is Far Blade, which I had in my phone as “Fat Blade.” The actual name is about as irrelevant to the game as the name Fat Blade, considering there is absolutely no context whatsoever.
Well, there’s a little context: You play as a knight with a sword and shield who wakes up on a log in the middle of the woods. You walk through a short tutorial that reveals to you that your controller inputs are not working correctly, swiftly reminding you that this is an early access game. You promptly switch to mouse and keyboard so that you can actually block, because this game is quite challenging, and you’re not good enough to finish it without blocking.
Although, by “game” I just mean “boss,” because that’s all this game is. B-Cubed Labs, the solo dev who made Far Blade, said on their itch.io page that they plan on having 7 bosses, but the project is currently “on hold indefinitely,” so I doubt we’ll see those anytime soon.
Luckily, the boss we do have is surprisingly polished and interesting. You have multiple options for how to approach each stage of the fight and have plenty of opportunities to be a cocky idiot and get yourself killed. Struggling and experimenting is fun since the death music is very relaxing and you respawn very quickly right next to the boss fight.
Besides the dodge roll animation, the controller issues, and some weird flickering in places, the overall game is surprisingly polished for an incomplete solo project. The art style, camera movement, and sense of space are extremely compelling, and the boss fight is really well-done. I can see a lot of potential in this project.
If you are as interested as I am in weird indie games, then this one might be worth a shot, even if it is $5 for essentially one boss fight. However, if you would like a top-down, pseudo-3D, restart-heavy boss rush game that’s actually finished, I would highly recommend Titan Souls. The visuals, soundtrack, boss design, and core gameplay are all incredible, and it walks the tightrope of being so hard you want to scream but so quick and easy to restart that you won’t even have time to before you’re already dead again. But that’s just life.
Patrick Fagan is currently working on some small solo game projects and videos. He loves drawing, playing games, watching shows, and listening to music. Before Champlain Arcade, he worked on his middle school newsletter.