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Jetboard Joust

Due to a bit of a distractingly nightmarish month or so, I completely forgot to mention I wrote a short piece for Epic about the joys of Jetboard Joust. I’m definitely out of practice at writing like a perfectly normal human being and not a Rob but I appreciated – and took – the chance to write about a game I adore that no doubt has been overlooked.

Having had pretty much the pick of the store for stuff to write about, of course I’m going to go for the arcade roguelike that’s a sequel to an old and largely forgotten (and fun) Speccy game. That’s what you get when you leave me unsupervised! In my defence, it’s a great game and nowhere near enough people have cast eyes on it. There’s console versions too, by the way. I’ve been playing the Switch version and it’s a corking little handheld game.

Usual getting excited about a game stuff aside, it’s nice to see Epic trying something people have been asking Valve to do for as long as indie games have been on their store – giving over store space to writing and recommendations about the games on the store. When it’s so difficult to get people to even be vaguely aware a game exists, it’s good to see steps being taken to try and surface the good stuff.

Having a cracking set of writers (and me) rummaging through the store isn’t a perfect solution in itself but it’s part of the solution. An eclectic bunch at it with tastes ranging from the usual to the esoteric is a necessity and for now, that’s something they’re trying over at Epic.

Given the neglected and messy curation on Steam which I’ve spent years wishing Valve would overhaul, I’ll take this. I doubt it’ll be a kingmaker when it comes to translating into sales but if it gets a few more people to buy a bloody great videogame and gives someone the chance to be visibly excited about it too, yeah that’s lovely.

Jetboard Joust | Deku Deals
Find the best prices for Jetboard Joust, see the full price history, and be the first to find out about its next big sale at Deku Deals

(usual reminder that I link to dekudeals for console stuff solely because it’s a nice, no fuss aggregator and there’s no affiliate links or hoodwinkery involved)

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Hyper Meteor

I know Playdate touching folks have had their grubby mits on a version of Hyper Meteor for a good while now but given my hand cramps up just looking at pictures of the thing*, it’s been a case of waiting it out for me.

Which is another way of saying “Yay, a Switch version” because I can use one of those comfortably and I get pretty colours and everyone knows by now how much I love pretty colours.

(There’s a Steam version too if that’s your bag.)

Long time readers of my nonsense will no doubt be aware that I’m a fan of Vertex Pop’s stuff, pretty much every single game they’ve released has been solid gold so far, from the twin stick brilliance of WE ARE DOOMED (I still stand by the quote on the game page there too) to the excessively, wonderfully, pink Super Crush KO, just a bunch of fantastic games and I absolutely adore them.

So, Hyper Meteor. It’s Asteroids. Kind of. Sort of. It isn’t really.

Ok. Let’s try that again, it has asteroids and at first glance looks like Asteroids but there’s no fire button (there’s a smartbomb, thassit) so to clear the asteroids off the screen you have to smash into them. So, it’s the bit in Asteroids where you would normally die except you don’t die and instead that’s how you get points.

Whilst throwing you into an arena and just letting you crash through asteroids to make a number go up would be entertaining enough for me, it probably wouldn’t make for the most challenging arcade game ever so enemies have areas you can hit safely and areas you can’t. The trick, obviously, is to collide with the safe bits so you don’t explode yourself. As you’d expect, this is easier said than done.

As the game progresses, more fiendish enemies find their way into the arena requiring a bit more cunning to take out, causing the arena to gradually flood with enemies and bullets. Combo up with the fragments from the asteroids you’re smashing up and oof, it certainly keeps you on your toes. Sure, it’s typical arcade stuff but it’s very deftly done leaving the game sitting somewhere between the quickfire restarts of something like Super Hexagon and your more traditional coin-huffing videogame.

As ever with Vertex Pop’s stuff, what could be a far more throwaway game in less practiced hands turns out pretty sweet and one I’ll definitely be keeping round to play fairly often. Oh, and the bloopy chip disco soundtrack is a stonker too.

HYPER METEOR for Nintendo Switch – Nintendo Official Site
When your ship’s weapon systems malfunction in deep space, surrounded by hostile forces, your only hope for survival is to fly head-first into danger! Ram your ship into enemy weak points to survive, keep the hits coming to maximize your combo, and get a high score!◼ Four Game Modes, each with its own unique twist!◻ Endless mode: Classic arcade-style survival mode with three lives◻ METEOR mode: Trigger detonations to survive the meteor storm!◻ Countdown mode: A rush to maximize your combo in 3 minutes◻ Waves mode: 40 hand-crafted waves of enemies◼ Two Player Co-op (local only) for every game mode!◼ A bold audio-visual experience featuring minimalist pixel art, 25+ vibrant colour palettes, and a pulsing electronic soundtrack◼ Extras & Unlockables: 50 achievements, online leaderboards (worldwide and friends), detailed stats, and more!

*No shade on the Playdate here, I have terrible cramps and tremors and that thing would be accidentally flung across the room in no time.

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Link: After 23 years, Starfield’s ancestor Noctis is still a vision of the future (Eurogamer)

Sometimes thick cloud cover plunges you into total darkness, and sometimes you’re treated to mountains and valleys chopped and chiselled by a sun that resembles a huge mural on a temple wall. Having touched the earth, you slide through the lander’s glass walls and head towards one of the terrain features you’ve identified, glancing back now and then towards the light beam rising from your landing site.


I always have time for people writing about Noctis, it’s an incredible feat of videogame making years ahead of its time, a breathtakingly singular and wonderful thing. A game of pure exploration and community logging, a gem that’s really unlike anything else still.

Nearly a quarter of a century on and it remains an awe inspiring videogame for me, much like Dwarf Fortress it’s one of the finest arguments there is for accessible and affordable routes to making and distributing games.

It’s hyper niche but all in, completely committed to its vibe and just so much the kind of thing that could never land out of a big studio, it’s just too weird, too intensely focused.

Ok, you caught me — I don’t just like Noctis, I’ve spent years admiring the fact that it ever came to exist at all and that it’s so uncompromising and focused on being what it is.

After 23 years, Starfield’s ancestor Noctis is still a vision of the future | Eurogamer.net
A retrospective article about PC and MS-DOS videogame Noctis, created by Alessandro Ghignola, in which players explore …

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