Game: Vindicator Uprising
Release Date: Jul 3, 2015
There’s a certain trend in the up-and-coming indie games industry where developers purposefully design their games to emulate the old-fashioned, arcade-y gameplay, and aesthetics of the early 80s and 90s. The reason why such games have been so popular can be partially attributed to the strong sense of nostalgia from gamers who grew up in that era; an era, however, when most games managed to keep people playing them by virtue of challenge. The problem with designing this sort of game is finding the right balance of difficulty and developers need to distinguish between making a game that is difficult because it’s challenging versus a game that is difficult for difficulty’s sake. Games that are difficult because they are challenging tend to more fun and engaging that those which are difficult for difficulty’s sake.
Vindicator: Uprising is a Platforming, Shoot-Em-Up with pixel-graphics designed to emulate such old-fashioned gameplay and is developed by Gamephase. Gamephase is situated in Finland and Sweden and currently consists of Mikael “Mick” (Programmer) and Mats “Maz” (Music) Norrgard and Thomas “Bahototh” Finholm (Graphics).
Vindicator: Uprising is a difficult game, much like the arcade games it is inspired by. But does it manage to be a game which is difficult for difficulty’s sake or is it difficult in a challenging way? When you finish a level in this game would it make you feel like you’ve wasted your time and it was all for nothing or would it give you that satisfying feeling that one might get after climbing a mountain? Simply put, finishing a level in this game is a reward in itself. Difficult as it may be, Vindicator manages to balance difficulty and gameplay, creating an death-filled experience which is challenging yet satisfying.
The game does not overstay it’s welcome as there are only 9 levels in the game. However, each level is designed with its own unique element which provides its own unique challenge, whether it be a teleporting boss or an enemy-obscuring fog of darkness. Even after completing the whole game, you might want challenge yourself to replay the levels for achievements.
I have to give credit to Mats Norrgard who composed the excellent soundtrack which accompanies the game. Each level, as it turns out, has its own customized orchestral melody which fits the design of the level itself.
All in all, Vindicator: Uprising is a very solid game which is very good at what it does and accomplishes all that it aims to be, even if it isn’t a very ambitious. It’s an arcade-y platformer and a shoot-em-up and it’s really good! What more is there to say?
I have to put a disclaimer in however, if you are not the sort of gamer who relishes in the challenge of dying over and over again to find the right strategy to a level or if you are easily frustrated, don’t play this game. Certain types of gamers enjoy certain types of games; I for one prefer story-based role-playing games but I still really enjoyed this despite my personal frustrations with the levels. Just keep in mind the type of game you are looking for.