Category Archives: Site News

Tomorrow For Sure

Hey readers. Are you familiar with the classic Spongebob Squarepants episode Rock-a-Bye Bivalve? The long and the short of it is this: Spongebob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop and play house, with Spongebob as the stay-at-home mom and Patrick as the working-class dad. Spongebob really wants Patrick to come home from work early so he can help with the baby, but Patrick keeps showing up late, then promising that ‘tomorrow’ will be the day. This is punctuated by a series of narrated flash cards, most with some variation of “Tomorrow”.

This one always stuck with me the most.

I was told my new university laptop was set to arrive Monday last week. I figured that, if that was the case, I should wait with playing any new games until it got here — would have been a hassle to start over or swap save files. Then I got the email on Monday. Updates were being difficult. It’d be done soon. Tomorrow.

I’m sure you see where this is going. It turns out it’s hard to get anything started when you’re stuck in perpetual limbo.

If all goes well, which is to say if my life isn’t completely a comedic farce, I should be all set up laptop-wise today. That means reviews should resume next week.

Next week for sure.

– Jarenth

Indie Non-derland, Or: Where The Hell Have I Been

Update: I contracted a minor flu hours after initially posting this. So you can imagine how well that worked out for me, week-wise. But I’m better now, actually honestly for-real, and working on the material for next week’s First Indie Wonderland of 2018. Its theme will be the colour green: Stay tuned to find out what the hell I’m talking about!

Hey readers. Jarenth here. Wow, I’ve just up and not posted anything for a whole month, huh?

Those of you that follow me on Twitter may already have seen this, but the long and the short of it is: I moved from the Netherlands to Boston, Massachusetts in the first week of January 2018. Work-related, I got a research opportunity at a cool university there. Now, I was planning to post some more reviews during the Christmas and New Year’s periods, and I was planning to pick my stuff back up as quickly as possible. But here’s the fun thing about plans: Sometimes a bomb cyclone happens, and then a mild flu attack. Don’t ask me how I know these things.

At any rate, I’m currently typing this on a decent laptop. I’m going to try and see if I can run some games on this thing, and if so, try to write about these games — either next week or the week after. Should that not work, I have a more dedicated laptop in the pipeline that should hopefully be here around February; between that and all my acclimatization nonsense playing out, I should be able to get back to something like regular posting soon enough.

Thank you for your understanding.

New Site Logo

Hello, everybody! I’m Ninjustin and I haven’t posted here in a long time, huh. Yeah, the streaming is going well, thanks for asking. I’ve got an exclusive Twitch emote and everything! But anyway, I’m posting here to announce that you may notice our Discord server, our Twitter account and/or this very website all have a new logo.

This was commissioned by our friend Flailmorpho, who makes lovely vector art that you can commission. We are looking into update art for our site, and this is step 1. Stay tuned.

Indie Delayland

Hey readers.

So, my job ended last week. Temporary contract, planned end, I knew it was coming. I already have a new job lined up for January 2018 (with some 95% certainty), meaning I’ll be home free and on unemployment benefits for the next two months. So far, so ‘good’: You’d probably expect this gives me plenty of time to review a whole bunch of games.

Complication, though: My job ended halfway into last week. Between wrapping that up, preparing the new job, and a general sense of routine-busting panic (I am not a person who deals with change well), I haven’t had a lot of time to think about game reviews. I’m alright now, so the rest of November and most of December should go well. Just wanted to let you know that today isn’t going anywhere. Thanks for understanding.

As for late December… Well, we’ll get to that when we get to that. Again, I appreciate your patience and understanding, and I’ll try my best to get some good reviews going for these closing months of 2017. Twenty serpentine, indeed.

Hah, 'Traveler'. That's gonna be real funny in a month or two.

Allegations that most of my gameplay time this week went into the gun-shooting adventures of a space-age robot wizard remain, as always, scurrilously unfounded.

Indie Wake Me Up When September Ends Land

Hey readers.

You might have noticed that Ninja Blues is still fairly borked, what with the missing images and matte background and terrible load times. We’re still looking into it, but with limited success: Our best guesses at the moment oscillate between ‘WordPress is doing a thing’, ‘Cloudflare is doing a thing’, or ‘rampant computer gremlins’.

Between this and some personal stuff (figurin’ out my future), I’ve decided to take the rest of September off from Indie Wonderland. This should give me the time to figure out the site’s maladies, get my personal work done, and build something of a review backlog for later months (which may also get more hectic than I’d prefer).

I'll have none of this completely true slander

“And this’ll let you get ready for the upcoming Guild Wars 2 expansion” Now listen here

Let’s say that we meet back here… October 2nd. Have a good September, everyone!
– Jarenth

Indie Delay Land

Heya, readers and friends and friends who read. Stress and high workload over the weekend have culminated in a painfully overloaded writing arm today, so I’m delaying typing Indie Wonderland until tomorrow. Thanks for understanding.

– Jarenth

EDIT: In light of the website’s recent troubles, I’m postponing this week’s column to next week entirely. No sense rushing out work if the site won’t let anyone read it.

A Brief Newsie

Hey, readers. Happy holiday period!

It’s Wednesday, so you might at this point be wondering where this week’s Indie Wonderland is. I’m wondering that myself, too. I usually try to have these things up by Monday, consistently, but… Let’s just say that Christmas interfered. I had plans to write a review in-between dinner sessions and then that just didn’t happen. Sorry about that! The final VNADS will instead go up next Monday, January 2nd. My first review of 2017. It’s going to be a great one to lead in the year, I can just tell.

Unrelated, but mildly related, it’s almost time for another Josh And Jarenth Wrap Up The Year stream-a-vaganza. We’re still locking down the exact time and place for this one, which is a fancy way of saying Josh hasn’t fully decided / written it down yet. Once we’re sure of the whole thing, I’ll post the exact times and streaming channel here as well.

And any suggestions for what we should play on stream are, of course, always appreciated.

– Jarenth

Update: the stream times have been decided. 3:00 AM Central European Time, 2:00 AM GMT, or 10:00 PM East Coast time, whichever denomination works for you. It’s one hour earlier than previous streams; blame Josh, as I do.

VNADS 2016

Heya, readers! It’s November again, which, if you’re a long-time reader, you know what that means: it’s Visual Novels And Dating Sims month here at Indie Wonderland!

If you’re not a long-time reader, then hello! My name is Jarenth, and for reasons I can’t accurately recollect, I decided two years ago to devote every November (and sometimes December, too) to playing exclusively visual novels and/or dating sims. Hence, Visual Novels And Dating Sims month, or VNADS. I know, the acronym is terrible. It fits the games I tend to play. You can find them all under the ‘VNADS’ tag in our tag cloud. Here’s a link.

“Oh, boy, VNADS! I can’t wait to see which terrible Sakura games Jarenth is gonna review this time around!”

Yeah, see, that’s… kind of the main reason I’m writing this intro post. I know my Sakura reviews are popular, for reasons I’ll never* understand; I can look at my traffic plugin and see all of them climbing the ‘most ever read’ rankings, Sakura Spirit still squarely on top. But I can’t do another whole month of these. Because a) I’d go mad, and b) there are other, more interesting visual novels that I want to play. Trust me! I’ve got one or two good ones lined up already. And the field is so large. To arbitrarily restrict myself to Sakura novels just for fleeting website hits… that’s just not what I do.

So, a compromise. Since my last Sakura game review, four new of these weeds have sprouted in the marketplace. Sakura Shrine Girls, a game about hosting a Japanese shrine while also dealing with two sexy cat girls. Sakura Space, a classic Sakura adventure where the lack of atmosphere and gravity will in no way hinder all the near-naked pool parties. Sakura Nova, an academy for aspiring knights that can’t seem to decide if it’s past-themed, present, or future. And Sakura Maid, the one that didn’t even make it to Steam, because Winged Cloud decided that putting in hardcore Patreon-only sex scenes was too juicy a proposition to let pass.

I’m going to review one of these. And I leave the choice of which one to play up to you, the readers. Cast your vote in the comments, with as much or as little explanation as you care for. Or, alternatively, go over to the Twitter poll I made for the purpose, which — from today — stays up for seven days. I’ll collect data at the end of the week, and then review the chosen game in the last week of VNADS. Something to look forward to, for all of you!

Now, in the meantime, why not take a look at the first game I actually reviewed for VNADS, Rose of Winter? You can find the review by scrolling just a little further down, or by following this handy hyperlink

Notice Of Service Resumption / Indie Tinyland: Dragon Sweeper

Heya, readers! After three weeks of being utterly adrift in the United States of America, I am finally and once again back in the Netherlands. Which is to say, back at my PC, which has all my fancy games on it. Expect regular Indie Wonderland service to resume from next week onward. I’d say I have some good ones lined up for you, but that would be lying; I don’t even know what I’m going to play right now, as I’m writing this. I still don’t know! Life is a mystery sometimes.

But as a small nugget of ‘thanks for your time and patience’, let me tell you just the smallest bit about Jesse Freeman‘s Dragon Sweeper.

Just a bit.

Dragon Sweeper is what happens when Minesweeper is also an RPG. Yes, I know that doesn’t make any sense. And yet.

You play Dragon Sweeper by clicking semi-randomly in a field of covered squares, slowly revealing parts of the field as you do. And then using the revealed information to fine-tune your searching. Your goal is to locate and neutralize several particular squares in as little time and as little clicks as possible. So far, so familiar, right? Sure, the ‘grid’ is actually an (irregular) island, and instead of numbers, you uncover open fields and forests and mountains, all conveniently surrounding and pointing to ‘monster lairs’.

There are two more monster lairs in this image. Can *you* guess where they’re placed?

But Dragon Sweeper diverges from Minesweeper in that you actually want to click on the monster lairs. Because that takes your character into the lair. Where you then fight the associated monster.

Using a simple, but not necessarily ‘easy’ rhythm game.

Oh yeah, you have a character. A Knight, Cleric, Thief, or Wizzard (sic). Each with their own special attack. And then there are levels, and hit points, and skill points, and gold, and towns where you can spend that gold…

There’s slightly more to it than meets the eye.

Dragon Sweeper is name-your-own-price to download, which means you can technically get it for free. Don’t do that, though. But for a few bucks, it’s a neat little twist on an established formula. Might get you through a boring hour or two. More if you share your computer with others, in which case there’s the scoring element to take into consideration. Less if you’re, like, really good at Minesweeper. And even if that’s the case, this game still has dragons in it — don’t count it out just yet.

Jarenth has eaten almost nothing but greasy American food for three weeks straight. Empathize on Twitter or hang out with him on Steam. And if you dig Indie Wonderland and Ninja Blues in general, why not consider supporting our Patreon campaign?