Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a game that does most things poorly and everything else even worse. I find it difficult to think of another game that’s as disjointed and confused about itself as Battle Chasers: Nightwar. From the story that the player is thrust into with almost no setup or characterization to the uninspired gameplay that drags on and on, there’s really very little to be said in this game’s favor.
With Steam’s Greenlight (now discontinued in favor of Steam Direct) program allowing so many developers put their titles and ideas onto the platform, it can be difficult to pick out the wheat from the chaff. Spearhead Games is anything but some incompetent indie dev looking to make some money off a quick Unity engine asset flip, though a cursory look at any of their games may understandably not give off the best impression. “Oh, another ‘Action-Adventure RPG’ in some nondescript fantasy land where ‘Choices matter’, joy!” one might say after reading the tags and peeking through the screenshots on Steam, but a deceptively ingenious game and narrative lies hidden beneath the admittedly unappetizing surface.
Heat Signature, developed primarily by Tom Francis (or as I like to call him, Gunpoint Guy), is another resounding hit. While he has created many games in the past, Gunpoint and Heat Signature are his two signature (heh) games that really capture the absolute best of his work so far.
Heat Signature is less story-driven than Gunpoint, with most of the lore being gained through the short dialogue trees of people who’ve left their respective factions sitting around bars. Also unlike Gunpoint, the story is not too important (though Gunpoint does have a dialogue option to admit that you lost track of the story past the second mission) and seems to be much more focused on gameplay and replayability. Most of the humor that was previously covered by dialogue in Gunpoint is put into item descriptions in Heat Signature and in the hilarious situations one gets put into while playing the game.
Slay the Spire is an atypical rogue-lite game cleverly disguised as a card game. While climbing the eponymous spire, you fight monsters and bosses in three acts with your expanding (sometimes shrinking) deck of attacks, skills, and powers. As you fight and die, you unlock new cards and relics to help you on your repeated climbs.