Author: Angie | Backlog Crusader

Creature in the Well (Switch) Review – the “pinbrawler” we never knew we always wanted

When I first saw the announcement trailer for Creature in the Well during the Nindies showcase earlier this year, it immediately piqued my interest with its derelict setting and intriguing pinball-based gameplay. When I tried the Creature in the Well at Flight School Studio’s booth at PAX West recently, I loved it and figured it would be a hit upon release. Now that it’s out and I’m going to double down on that opinion. Put on your dungeon spelunking gear and get ready to delve into the darkness of Creature in the Well, one of my favorite indie releases of 2019!

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Vambrace: Cold Soul Review (Switch) – icebound dungeon crawling

Vambrace: Cold Soul, is a roguelike that caught my interest because of its highly stylized, graphic novel-esque art style and grimdark atmosphere. You play as Lyric, a young woman searching for clues about her late father’s mysterious past, who ends up trapped in Icenaire, a city surrounded by enchanted walls of ice that kill anyone who touches them…

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Field Report – PAX West 2019!

PAX West was a blast! My better half and I flew in on Thursday afternoon and spent each of the following four days at PAX from open to close and beyond. I played so many games and met so many people, some of the days are a bit of a blur, but I’m certainly not complaining. This will be a general experience overview and I have another post coming that will focus purely on all the demos I tried. Spoilers- They were fantastic!

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Quantic Foundry Gamer Motivation Profile

I saw this fascinating Gamer Motivation Model by Quantic Foundry over on Krikket’s blog and instantly thought the topic would make for a GREAT new gaming blogger tag! You can take a thorough survey about your gaming preferences on Quantic Foundry’s website that will map out the motivations behind your video game preferences and gaming behavior.

I took the survey myself and was interested in the accuracy and articulation of the descriptions for each type of motivation. I’ve created a set of questions for the gaming blogger community and answered them using my results to get things started!

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Binge-Worthy YouTubers – Video game design, analysis, and critique

In the spirit of content creator appreciation week, I’ve put together a list of my favorite gaming YouTube channels about game design, critique, analysis, development, and industry issues (even some comedy) to help inspire your video game writing! Let me know which you like the most and please share any channels like these that you watch in the comments. I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to!

Extra Credits Gaming

Extra Credits is most well known for its history series, but they have great videos about gaming too! Most Extra Credits gaming videos are around 10 minutes and focus on game design, development, or the game industry, complemented with adorable hand drawn graphics.

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Upcoming PAX West Exhibit Dev Chats – Collecting reader questions!

Dear Readers,

I expect to be meeting with a number of developers at PAX West to discuss their upcoming or recently released games, and I want to include interview questions from you! I’ll happily incorporate as many questions as I can in any time I have with the devs for these awesome indie games.

Below, in no specific order, I’ve listed each of the respective studios and the games they are showing that I’ll be trying to speak with a representative about. You can look forward to eventual reviews for almost all of them!

Haven – The Game Bakers

Haven is one of the games I’m probably most excited about at PAX West. I’ve had my eye on it from the moment it was announced by the team that made Furi.

“Like Furi, Haven is about fighting for freedom. 

Haven is about two characters, Yu and Kay, a couple in love. They escaped to a deserted planet to stay together. You play both of them, you live with them, you explore fragmented planet Source with them, gliding over the tall grass.

It’s a completely different pace. It’s a game that aims at making you feel relaxed, making you laugh, making you fall in love with Yu and Kay. It feels good for all types of players, skilled and less skilled. It’s a solo game that’s welcoming for another player to tag along, so you can explore and progress together.  “


– The Game Bakers

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Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark Review (Switch) – hunting truth and justice

Launching a strategy square tactics Switch game hot on the heels of the newest Fire Emblem release is a bold move, but Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark holds its own quite well! It is important to remember that this is not a triple A studio title, so I won’t evaluate it as such. Fell Seal is a solid entry in the genre, presenting an interesting story, a generous amount of customizable features, a memorable soundtrack, and a unique, beautiful, art style that appears as if hand drawn.

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark is a great game that will appeal most of all to nostalgic Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre fans and may be the successor they have been waiting on. Having not playing either of the games that seem to have inspired it, I enjoyed Fell Seal very much and would wholeheartedly recommend it to any lover of strategy-tactics games.

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My Time at Portia (Switch) Impressions – two patches post launch

Released on April 16th, the Switch version of My Time at Portia was originally met with heavy criticism for its poorly optimized, well, everything. Compared to the PC version, there were widespread reports of texture pop-in, cut features, missing quests and items, input lag, frame rate skips and stuttering, and overall game slowdown. The game looks lovely and I wanted to try it so I was saddened to hear of these issues. After two patches have been released for the Switch port, one in May and one in June, let’s check out how things are going at Portia on the Switch.

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Field Report – Super Smash Con 2019!

Super Smash Con is widely considered to be of one the definitive Super Smash Bros. events in the global competitive scene. With over 2,700 tournament entrants for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate singles tournament alone and hundreds more spread across the 9 other major SSB tournament categories, Super Smash Con is one of the largest Smash Bros. events and tournament series in the world. If you have ever thought about making the trip to attend Super Smash Con in Chantilly, VA, I would highly recommend adding it to your 2020 convention schedule!

Note: Above billboard art in front of the Dulles Expo Center is by @TheFunkyEngineThatCould.

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HUGE Blog Update – 300 followers, 10 patrons, press passes, new writer, and web design revamp

I have a number of exciting updates to share with everyone about the state of Backlog Crusader today! This is a little long, but please bear with me.

Traffic and Followers

Backlog Crusader is three and a half months old and I am happy to report it has just passed the 300 WordPress and email follower milestone! On average the site is getting over 100 views a day, with spikes up to several hundred to over 1,000 depending on how well my post sharing strategy goes on social media.

Totals since day one on April 25th: 70 posts, 18,127 views, 9,678 unique visitors, 1,321 post likes, and 535 comments.

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