Long story short, each week I am awarding two games (new releases from that week) the "Try It Or Die" award. The award will go to two games that I think you need to try because they are standout titles - cream of the weekly crop.
(week of March 7th 2010)
Mega Monster Mania Review (80MP)
I nearly overlooked this one because like some of you I judge a book by it's box art (cover) and am not the most patient soul on the planet. Thankfully I stuck with it because this one grew on me. My first impression was, "this looks weird" and "my character is moving too fast." But that's mostly because we've been trained to expect certain traits within standard genres.
What I soon learned is that MMM has some very appealing features. First of all, it's co-op and who doesn't love some co-op dungeon crawling? I mean seriously. Also, there's tons of loot/treasure to find and upgrade your character with, boatloads of various enemies to fight, and once you get used to the fast movement, combat is pretty damn fun.
In other words, it's a much deeper game than it appears at first. And for 80MP ($1), any fans of the genre should get some entertainment from the looting/upgrading and quirky style/gameplay.
SoulCaster Review (240 MP)
SoulCaster is one of those games that will probably not make huge sales but will be well-received and generally overlooked by thousands of people who will never know it exists. That makes me sad, but to make myself feel better I eat cupcakes.
SoulCaster is one of those latenight "cool idea for a game" brainstorms that actually made it to a virtual shelf. It's a mash-up of genres that looks like Gauntlet, has elements of mobile tower defense, brings out nostalgia from Zelda 1, and follows some pretty standard but always enjoyable fantasy/RPG style story and characters. However you end up describing it, the fact is it works and the combined elements means it feels different.
Players control a character than collects soul orb type thingies that allow you place warrior allies on the map - sort of like you're carrying around your party. These immortal warriors will fight for you and have strengths/weaknesses that will govern how you use them and when. You set them up on the fly as enemies navigate towards you and can 'call' them back at any time. You can upgrade their abilities by collecting gold and visiting shops as you make your way though the lands collecting treasure and beating up baddies.
The graphics are retro (for better or worse - I like them) and the cost is 240 MP (about $2.50). Knowing a little about game development, and because the end product is solid, I think the price point is where it should be. It would certainly be an easy impulse buy at 80MP, but I like that not all devs are bending under the weight of the price pressure.