Review of Foxhole and an interview with Community Manager and Level Designer, Max G.
When I agreed to do this review, I hadn’t heard anything about this indie release from Causal Bit Games. But, as a woman who has been playing games since before those pixelated side-scroller NES days, I loved the title immediately. Back in the ’90s, working in the industry at a time when game companies could not figure out what girls wanted (good games with strong heroines, full stop), I waded through plenty of princess-y games that didn’t quite satisfy my need for action. So this game, designed for a real-life young girl who wanted to be in the world of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, comes a touch late for me. But it’s still a fun game, and maybe more suited for my old-school style than that of my more modern gamer son’s (he spent some time grousing about the need for a tutorial).
Battle Princess Madelyn is a side-scrolling platformer that follows a young heroine-in-training as she sets out to rescue her family from an evil wizard, with help from her ghost dog. The game is now available for PC and Xbox One; it’s being released today in North America for the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. It’ll be available in Europe and Australia for the Switch on January 7, 2019; A PS4 date for 2019 has yet to be announced.
If you like that retro NES-style vibe, you’re going to love the art of Battle Princess Madelyn. It really does feel like an old side-scrolling platformer, in terms of look and feel and evocative music. The controls are responsive and mostly easy to use. There’s a nice variety of places to go, adventures to tackle, and creatures to encounter. The 2D art is visually arresting and the environments are diverse and imaginative. Despite the undead, monsters, and other not truly scary obstacles, it’s got a family-friendly vibe. And the familiarity of the simple and straightforward gameplay, for us old-schoolers, is comforting. Two modes, Arcade and Story, allow for plenty of replayability.
On occasion I found it difficult to master talking to people. The game could use a bit more user-friendly direction-providing. I wasn’t always sure what my main quest was. I did a lot of aimless wandering (which, okay, to be honest, is not different from what I did back in the ’80s).
While part of me loves the formulaic qualities of those old platformers, I mean, they had their faults, too. I remember spending a lot of time back in the day trying to figure out what I was supposed to do, and also getting frustrated by knowing WHAT to do, without actually being able to pull it off. Battle Princess Madelyn, in this respect, may aim a bit too close to its 8-bit predecessors. I spent a lot of my Battle Princess Madelyn time stuck in various places, trying to figure out where to go next. If I weren’t writing a review, I probably would have quit – which would have been the wrong thing to do. The game gets better, and less frustrating, as you go on.
The Final Word
I’m fully behind the backstory of this game, as a former little girl wishing to be transported into the world of video games. And as someone who played many of these platformers back in the day, I can tell you this experience feels authentically like that, including all the parts where I threw down my controller and went to clear my head before trying again. But it’s worth getting through, because there’s enough of wonder and interest that you’ll be rewarded for continuing to play in Battle Princess Madelyn’s whimsically ghastly world. Just expect to die a lot, in many different ways.
Get more information on Battle Princess Madelyn here.
Get ready to rage at a really simple game y’all! Chicken Pox is an adorable little mobile game available on iOS and Android that just released today. It’s developed by Nosy Jones, an indie studio based in Australia. This is their first title to release and brings together talented contributors from more than 12 countries – including Australia, France, Germany, Ukraine, Czech Republic, South Africa, England, Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States.
You play as a chicken named Pox and drive around obstacles to pick up eggs. The races are timed and courses make pictures you can share at the end. There’s also hidden blue eggs that turn into in game currency, rude sheep and cows who won’t get out of the way, and unsafe automatic farm gates that like to slam shut in your face (how rude). You’ll also be able to unlock airport and ocean environments later in the game.
You play via just one finger! Just point and Pox follows your finger through whatever path you take. You literally can’t get any simpler controls wise. Only thing you need to do is make sure you give obstacles a little more room because it’s very easy to ‘fat finger’ yourself accidentally into some flowers or a cow.
There are vehicles and character decorations like hats and glasses you can purchase in game to change things up. Yes, that means there’s micro transactions but you can also just get things by finding the blue eggs and claiming achievements to get in game currency. Plus there are daily gifts so you do not have to spend any money ever on this game if you don’t want to.
And of course you can connect this game to Facebook and share the fun with your friends!
So I installed the game before release, late Monday night, so that I could get a good feel for it before writing this. I wanted to be able to tell you about my experience with the game versus just about it releasing. So here we go.
This game is freakin’ adorable. Super easy to play yet tricky enough that I raged a few times last night on a harder level. When you run out of gas taking too long on a map you’re offered the chance to watch an ad or pay with eggs to get more. Your lives, designated by gas cans, are lost if you fail to complete a map and you have a healthy amount of them to begin with that regenerate on a long timer (like 1 per 5 hours).
I’ve played through several levels of the game and am enjoying it. I plan to keep it around and collect all the things. ALL OF THEM! So obviously I recommend you go download and give it a try now.