INDIE ROUNDUP?

ThatHITBOX Indie Roundup’s are built to cover a broad selection of recent / upcoming indie releases. There will likely be no running theme or connective tissue between any of the titles; just two or three games that stood out to us, and therefore might be worth a look. In much the same way as the rest of our review coverage, each title will be given a final score. In the case of a hands on preview, or future recommendation, no score will be given.

We’re kicking things off with a review of Heave Ho, a delightfully silly Steam and Switch title that revels in physical comedy and rewarding failure. Then, we’re taking a look at the shadow dropped Hotline Miami Collection on Switch, a highly sort after port that absolutely delivers the goods. Finally, we take the Switch version of AER Memories of Old for a spin.

HEAVE HO - If you threw Hohokum and Frobisher Says into a blender, with maybe a dash of Ultimate Chicken Horse, you’d probably get the wonderfully silly Heave Ho. A co-op party game with its tongue placed firmly in cheek, you’ll swing and flail your way through a series of ever escalating challenges designed to encourage maximum chaos. The controls are wonderfully simple, and yet maintaining your grip on the action can be a tall order. You’ll swing from scenery items and dodge hazards in solo mode, but things get decidedly more slapstick when you factor in other human partners. It’s a laugh out loud party game perfectly suited to the Nintendo Switch, and is therefore absolutely worth a look. 4/5

The co-op mode is a pure delight, and will leave you in stitches.

HOTLINE MIAMI COLLECTION - A genre defining top down shooter from Devolver Digital (and a consistent game of choice in my PlayStation Vita), both Hotline Miami titles have now been ported to the Switch, in a re-release that feels like years in the making. Many folks (including myself) have been clamouring for it to make an appearance on Nintendo’s hybrid wonder machine, and thankfully, the full experience of both games has made the jump flawlessly. The same blisteringly fast, tight gun play is present and accounted for, and being able to take this on the go feels like a perfect fit for the pick up and play style gameplay. I cannot recommend these games enough, and every Switch owner should consider jumping in. 5/5

AER MEMORIES OF OLD - There can be no denying the artistry on display throughout the game, but there’s also an inescapable feeling that AER Memories of Old is creaking a little against the strain of its indie budget. It doesn’t run particularly well on Switch, and a lot of the animation and environmental interactivity feels a little basic. Still, it absolutely nails its core traversal mechanic, with the ability to transform into a winged creature at will a liberating and satisfying feature. The over reliance on text to deliver huge chunks of exposition feels clunky, and overall I came away from it feeling cold. It feels more experimental than anything else, with the germ of a good idea needing a few more months of polish. 2/5

HEAVE HO (PC, NS)

The ultimate videogame version of rinse repeat. But it’s also ever so satisfying.

HOTLINE MIAMI COLLECTION (PS4, PC, NS)

The flying is great. They definitely got that right.

AER MEMORIES OF OLD (PS4, PC, NS)

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HEAVE HO, HOTLINE MIAMI, & AER MEMORIES OF OLD
Slapstick madness.


INDIE ROUNDUP
By JAY TEE
09/09/19