Author: Rowen Cameron

Freelance writer, performer and content creator. Goes pretty much nowhere without colourful attire and floral headwear. Known as 'Pixie Poison' on YouTube, Twitch and most socials. Obsessed with indie games, pixel art games, RPGs & point-and-click-adventures. Can thrice-yearly be found consuming countless Steam Next Fest demos with copious glasses of Pepsi Max Cherry.
Cats and the Other Lives – PC Review
PC Reviews

Cats and the Other Lives – PC Review

The overwhelming success of Stray back in July showed that the gaming world is hungry for more feline-centric adventures. Turkish studio Cultic Games’ latest release is one to further whet the appetite by bringing a more mature cat adventure to the realm of pixels. Part point-and-click adventure, part interactive fiction, Cats and the Other Lives is a 2D pixel art experience that tells the story of a fractured family through the eyes of a stalwart family companion. And good news for Steam Deck owners: this title is fully compatible and can be played on the go! When eccentric patriarch Bernard Mason dies, the estranged Mason family are brought back to their childhood home once more. As beloved pet cat Aspen, players uncover painful truths, suppressed memories and desiccated aspirations t...
Beacon Pines – PC Review
PC Reviews

Beacon Pines – PC Review

Changing fate and becoming a master of one’s own story is something everyone longs to be able to do. Indie developer Hiding Spot Games puts this front and centre with a blend of childlike inquisitiveness and dark, complex machinations only the adult mind can comprehend. Enter Beacon Pines. A BRANCHING TALE While visual novels aren't a big draw, adventure and choose-your-own-adventure games are soft spots for me. Beacon Pines is both. Being one of my Steam Next Fest highlights, I feverishly kept up with all updates on it. So like the art-loving, narrative-absorbing bibliophile I am, I was ready to get lost in the pages of a good book! Gameplay Beacon Pines tells the story of… well… a story! You are both the reader of a self-narrating book and its protagonist, young jackalope Luka VanHo...
Batora: Lost Haven – PC Press Preview
Gaming, PC Reviews

Batora: Lost Haven – PC Press Preview

Team 17 and Stormind Games team up for a quest of interplanetary proportions releasing on October 20th. Batora: Lost Haven is an isometric action RPG that combines fast-paced, skill-swapping combat with a choice-driven story spanning a vast cosmos. After a cataclysmic event, Earth was driven to the brink of complete destruction. The remaining inhabitants are forced to carve out a way to survive as best they can. You play as Avril, a thrill-seeking teenager with a troubled past, chosen to be the vessel of the deities Sun and Moon and wielder of their supernatural powers. With these new abilities and the support of best friend Mila, Avril must journey across alien planets to save her home. Duality Shaping Destiny Isometric action RPGs are a sizeable (and ever-growing) section of my gaming ...
Indie Arena Booth Hybrid 2022: The Best of What’s Next
Features, Gaming, PC Reviews

Indie Arena Booth Hybrid 2022: The Best of What’s Next

For the first time since pre-pandemic, Gamescom celebrated a bold return to physical form in 2022. Hosted in Cologne, Germany, from August 24th - 28th, the event showcased over 1000 exhibitors worldwide to hundreds of thousands of eager visitors. Unable to physically attend? They had you covered. Gamescom also showcased a hefty virtual program of livestreams, gameplay trailers and panels for gamers to sink their teeth into. But of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the return of one of its popular features. With a 1500 SQM space and the ‘Indie Arena Brawl of Love’ theme, Indie Arena Booth Hybrid hosted over 130 indie developers with playable demos and interactive experiences. Some debuted their demos exclusively at Gamescom. Heavyweight publishers such as Daedalic Entertainment, Ra...
Outstanding Orchestra – Retro Playstation Games With Surprising Soundtracks
Features

Outstanding Orchestra – Retro Playstation Games With Surprising Soundtracks

It's easy to see why video games are now generally regarded as works of art. The blending of many different mediums to create a unique interactive experience is truly astounding. And with the advancements in technology and media, people are now more freely able to explore and appreciate them. One that has gained significantly more attention is music. Video game soundtracks have garnered more attention from both players and critics over the years and it's now easier than ever to listen to your favourite game’s musical offerings. Because of this, there is now also a certain level of musical expectation in video games. Nowadays, it's no surprise that a video game showcases a grand, multifaceted soundtrack, often using a wide variety of instruments. Even a full orchestra. And most players w...
Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit PC Review
PC Reviews

Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit PC Review

Following the footsteps of the classics and indie darlings that preceded it, Crowns and Pawns: Kingdom of Deceit from Tag of Joy is a modern point-and-click adventure that brings lesser-known European history to the forefront and throws in a good helping of mystery and intrigue. UNCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE KING NEVER CROWNED Crowns and Pawns delves into what all vintage adventures do best— mysteries, relics and conspiracies—while still putting its own seal on the point-and-click parchment. Being an unabashed point-and-click and adventure nut in general, this was speaking my language. Naturally, I had to get my hands on it and dive in headfirst. Gameplay The story centres around Milda Kovas, a woman living in Chicago who receives a letter informing her that her grandfather in Lithuan...
Flynn: Son of Crimson Review
PC Reviews

Flynn: Son of Crimson Review

The third project and first major title from California developer Studio Thunderhorse, Flynn: Son of Crimson is a 2D pixel art platformer channelling the vibe of the SNES/Sega Mega Drive era. The project was successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter back in 2017 and published by Humble Games. Feel the Power of Crimson! Pixel art platforming has another great to add to its ever-growing library. Flynn: Son of Crimson takes the best elements of late ‘80s/early ‘90s platforming and takes players on a nostalgic yet new adventure. In the fantasy nation of Rosantica, the veil between civilisation and the dark entity known as The Scourge is growing thin. Twisted creatures have begun to break through and spread their malevolence. The only thing standing in its way is young hero Flynn, a boy wit...
Best of the Fest – Steam Next Fest Feb 2022
Features

Best of the Fest – Steam Next Fest Feb 2022

The calendar of an indie gamer can be quite a robust one. Every month will have a plethora of news updates or upcoming releases to look forward to. But you can be sure that one event will be highlighted in thick bold colours and with many exclamation marks: STEAM NEXT FEST. A thrice-yearly celebration of indie talent spanning 7 days, Steam Next Fest hosts hundreds upon hundreds of game demos from both new and established devs and a wide variety of genres. Players also have opportunities to join dev streams and Q&A sessions and learn more about the wealth of games on display. And it’s not just for indie lovers. AAA fans will easily find plenty to enjoy and if you’re looking for a place to start with indie gaming, then you’ll find no better starting point than right here. Spring 2022 ...
Dexter Stardust Review
Switch Reviews

Dexter Stardust Review

An enjoyable debut from newcomers Dexter Team and published by Flynn’s Arcade, Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space is a point-and-click adventure game set in the world of tomorrow and inspired by the greats of yesteryear from LucasArts and Sierra.  Get Ready For Some Familiar Space Adventures! Indie point-and-click adventures have seen a tremendous boost in popularity in recent years, even with those new to the genre. And classic fans have found those elements that give them the adventure fuzzies come back with a bang. Dexter Stardust: Adventures in Outer Space is a love letter to all of those elements: kitschy 4th wall breaks, on-the-nose in-jokes and all. Space exploration is now an everyday occurrence for humanity. But the discovery of ‘Planet X’ or ‘Vrees’, the 10th planet...
Pixel Art Powerhouses Coming in 2022
Features

Pixel Art Powerhouses Coming in 2022

In what seems like a heartbeat, 2022 is now in full swing and already filled with ample gaming promise. Titles like Horizon: Forbidden West and Elden Ring already have gamers aboard the ray-traced and perfectly rendered hype train, eagerly waiting to see what modern marvels are in store this new year. But down the quirky and colourful virtual tracks of indie gaming, there’s a different hype train rolling by. No less intricate in its design, but with a more ‘92 than ‘22 kind of flair. The pixel art hype train! Pixel art indie games have seen a tremendous surge in popularity in recent years. And if this year’s release schedule is anything to go by, they show zero signs of slowing down yet. And we at Thumb Culture are all kinds of here for it and ready to jump aboard! Here are just a f...