Space Gladiators is finally on consoles

Space Gladiators

Space Gladiators from Thomas Gervraud was first released on Steam in 2021 and has finally been released on consoles!

Space Gladiators is a side scrolling game where you must run through a gauntlet to reach an arena where you fight a boss wave. Each wave gives you options of prizes like extra gold or new abilities to choose to determine what foe or foes you’ll face. The tutorial you start with covers the full range of controls quite thoroughly and does it in a way that is simple to follow without neglecting any of them. The only thing missed is to tell you what the importance of the blue butterflies are- I still haven’t figured that out for myself. My guess is that they feed some of your abilities and help you charge them up faster.

The art style reminds me of the early works from The Behemoth and their later Battle Block Theater but without the chicken they are so fond of. Thomas Gervraud is known for BrotatoSpace GladiatorsLost Potato and Potato Tactics. This game includes a space potato as well. I feel like there is an underlying obsession with potatoes going on here. Thanks to a well made tutorial and smooth controls the game is easy to play but due to my own panic I still died. A lot. Overall I found the game chaotic, but in a fair amount of challenge kind of way, and a great deal of fun. The $14.99 price tag is a little on the steep side but not unreasonable either.



Gematombe is an Action-Puzzle-Versus game from Ratalaika Games that is a hybrid of several classic puzzle titles.

What happens when you take a fighter like Street Fighter Puzzle Fighter and blend in controls from Bubble Bobble? You get Gematombe from Ratalaika Games. Controlling one of six Greek entities, referred to as the daemons along with a hidden seventh character. Working alongside Pandora you are sent to help capture all of the evils in the world.

The game plays like Bubble Bobble in terms of controls and stage layout but with a slight twist. In BB you would shoot bubbles of a specific color to pop similarly colored bubbles that were already there or add additional colors to existing ones. With Gematombe, the bubbles you shoot hit and bounce off of different bubbles or blocks and as long as you hit two or more it will pop all connected bubbles of the same color. Each stage is a battle between you and one of the evils. Winning is done by either clearing your board OR banking enough combos to generate extra bubbles for the evil you’re facing to deal with.

Conceptually the game is quite simple as are the controls. Quickly planning combos though is where the real skill lies and I don’t have it. I was fast enough to clear my board on each level but could never bank the high points and deal damage effectively. The game is a fun game that is easy to play in small doses or longer runs. I feel like most games these days strive to increase the time needed to play a single level and draw out that conclusion. This is definitely not one of those games. In a matter of 10-15 minutes, tops, I was able to complete the first two stages. This game is perfect for my wife who is great at recognizing patterns quickly and I am excited to see how well she fares.

Cannon Dancer – Osman

Cannon Dancer

Cannon Dancer is a side scrolling action fighter from ININ Games and has taken 30 years to make it to consoles!

The original creator of Strider had a very unique style and applied that to at least one other game- Cannon Dancer. The game has made a resurgence thanks to the efforts of ININ Games. Even better is that they not only ported the game to consoles but also added additional features to it. Those features include customizable controller mapping or vibration settings along with adding double jump.

Strider was one of my favorite games to play when it came out and the game looks and feels exactly like I remember Strider playing was. The game feels insanely difficult, not from a gameplay or controller perspective but in terms of the actual difficulty against enemies. I can’t help but feel that if I was more patient with my actions though it would become much easier.

Visually it feels like returning home to one of my favorite classics but due to an unintuitive menu system it leaves much to be desired. Once you get the game started though the controls are much easier to master, if only my patience was better. Overall if you are looking to replay this classic than jump right in but if you are looking for a proper Strider experience then I would suggest going to the remake they did a few years ago.

Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story


Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story is a side-scrolling aerial combat game by Houndpicked Games and is a pun filled battle full of food.

Do you like puns? Do you like fast paced action? Do you like food based jokes? Do you enjoy explosions? If you said yes to any of those questions then you should take a look at the latest game we had the pleasure to review from Houndpicked Games– Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story. The game is a pun filled side scroller full of over the top bosses and weapons. The enemies range from single shot jets to massive tanks full of turrets and many variations in between.

Visually the game is crisp with each sprite hand drawn and it really shows. Controls are quite simple to learn but as the screen gets closer to being overwhelmed panic may ensure which results in the wrong attack button being hit on occasion. Myself and my family are connoisseurs of puns and loved the abundance contained within the game. Overall we had a great time and look forward to trying some of the levels again to try to score the full five stars on them.

Ultra Pixel Survive

Ultra Pixel Survive

Ultra Pixel Survive is a two dimensional side scroller that looks and plays more like Minecraft than it does Terraria.

Ratalaika Games brings us Ultra Pixel Survive, a game about crafting and survival. When most people think of games like Minecraft they typically think of Terraria. Terraria is also two dimensional but has always felt like it was more about the survival aspect than the building a world. This game is more of a happy medium between the two. Unlike these two titles though your tools never break.

Players choose between one of close to two dozen characters, each with their own abilities. You must unlock almost all of these characters though. You unlock them by purchasing them with red gems which are earned by opening chests. Chests in this game were the bane of my existence, at first. You see, there is an achievement related to opening one that I was trying to get since the beginning. The trick here lies in the house you have. STAY OUT of the house. This resets the period of time you must survive to earn the daily chest. That means you have to stay outside and remain there for 24 in game hours straight to have the chest appear. When it does appear though it is almost always offscreen.

Graphically the game is quite simple, leaning into the traditional 8-bit look and feel. Controls are quite simple and feel organic. I loved the simplicity of the game and had an absolute blast playing. I want to see what some of these other characters are capable of too. My only complaint is on the chest mechanic; I feel that going into the house should only pause the time and not reset it, other than that, the game was great.



HEROish is a tower defense game from Sunblink Entertainment that features six epic heroes and card that summon troops to defeat your foes.

In the world of HEROish players control a champion and a handful of cards. Each card holds a power or a troop unit and can be upgraded to make them more effective. Sunblink Entertainment are the masterminds behind this tower defense game and were kind enough to share it with us. You start the game with a set number of points and each card you use is worth a set number of points. The main objective of the game is to save the kingdom and defeat enemy heroes. Each hero has a deck of cards to use and depending on how many points they save then put them into sending waves of troops at the other.

Multiplayer can be done with with bots and gets quite hectic as your opponents send waves after waves of troops after you. You will still earn rewards for your fight if it’s only against the bots but that doesn’t mean they are going to go easy on you. They made me work hard for that win.

The graphics are crisp and look like a very similar style to either the Skylanders games or Disney Infinity. The controls are quite simple to learn and feel natural. The game is full of jokes and over the top characters making this perfect for me. I had a great time playing it and spent many more hours than I expected killing everything I could. If you like a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and art that pops like a comic book then you’ll find something to like with this game.

Caverns of Mars Recharged

Caverns of Mars

Atari has given another classic the Recharged treatment with Caverns of Mars where you fly ever deeper into the core of the red planet.

Originally developed by Greg Christensen, Caverns of Mars was the first vertical scrolling game and a smash hit on Atari. Prior to receiving the Recharged treatment I had only heard of the title but never played. The concept of the game is that you are rapidly flying towards the center of Mars and ammo is limited. You must defeat your foes and reach the reactor before your fuel and ammo run out. Conceptually it’s quite simple. The gameplay is less so.

While it is a vertical scrolling game you don’t have much control on the vertical movement other than slowing it with firing your guns. You do have control over your horizontal movement though. As you descend further in to the planet there are more and more enemies and obstacles to avoid. In short time it will become quite chaotic.

Visually the game is crisp and highly detailed for the world around you and the world can be blown away to clear you a path but a slight shift in direction can spell your doom. The game is easily played in short spurts and a hell of a lot of fun despite the frequent dying.

Steel Defier

Steel Defier

Ratalaika Games returns with Steel Defier, a game about escape from a prison ship full of traps and augmetics!

Sometimes a game comes along that sucks you in so much you can’t stop playing it. Steel Defier from Ratalaika Games was one of those titles for me! You wake up aboard a prison ship and manage to escape your cell. The security gets stronger and more aggressive as you progress through the ship. If you manage to escape then you will unlock endless mode and that’s where things get really interesting. Each room you must collect fifteen security cards to proceed to the next. The controls are easy to learn and upgrades you find add further complexity. Some upgrades make gameplay easier like double jump or slowing time. Others feel more like a novelty like the running boost. Running is already fast enough in my opinion, most deaths caused by greed and impatience more than anything else.

Overall the game is fun yet challenging, providing increasingly difficult rooms. Graphics are a blend of the retro 8Bit style we are used to from Ralaika but blended with three dimensional devices that are trying to kill you like spinning blades. At $4.99USD this game is well worth the price tag and is an enjoyable yet easy 1000 Gamerscore!

The Guise

The Guise

The Guise from Ratalaika Games is a game centered around the fall of the All Father and the rise of monsters and orphans!

The All Father has left his children to protect the world but like every story of old gods things eventually devolved to infighting and eventually allowing the world to fall in the process. Ratalaika Games are notorious for their retro-esque titles with a twist, each game looking and feeling like a game from my past. Like how Go! Go! Pogo Girl‘s world was reminiscent of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. The Guise is the first title I’ve played of their that feels entirely unique in terms of story and world. The controls are fluid and easy to learn for the most part. Some actions are not included in the controller settings list and you can’t replay the events where you learned how to do them. I’m specifically referring to the absorption ability which allows you to recover health, on Xbox you tap B repeatedly.

The story starts with a group of kids in an orphanage, the oldest leaves to run an errand, reminding the others to stay out of her room. See this opportunity to snoop in the normally locked room they ignore her wishes. You play as Ogden after he puts on a mask that the older girl had in her room. He is instantly transformed into a spike covered monster set on a quest to turn yourself back into a boy and destroy as many monsters along the way you can. The combat is quite simple where attacks are telegraphed making avoiding them quite easy. If you play like I do though that won’t matter and you’re going to die many times. The game has a world that is full of history and danger with an art style like no other I’ve seen. Overall I found the game to be intriguing and looking forward to the next time I load it up!



Inkulinati is a game about ancient art styles and drawing your troops into place to defeat the foes from Yaza Games.

Yaza Games brings a truly one of a kind experience with Inkulinati. It is a game that plays like a tower defense game but on ancient scrolls with a similar art style. This is a game six hundred years in the making, supposedly. Artistically speaking it feels like I’m playing in the animations from Monty Python’s Holy Grail! That art is one of my favorite things to come from those comedic geniuses so that alone is a major selling point for me.

The ass that is blowing the trumpet with it’s ass (pun intended) gives new meaning to “blow it out of your ass”!

The controls and quite simple but not entirely intuitive, allowing you to easily control the troops and defend your position. Some of the actions are not entirely clear on what they will do without a little trial and error. Like the taps or pushes for example. You choose an object to tap or push on and depending on what it is there are different reactions. If you tap on the oil barrel you will cause it to explode, hurting everything next to it. If you push a character next to an edge they will fall to their death, even if they are at full health. These lessons are quickly learned after one use.

While the game is simple to learn with a great art style I feel like the $24.99 price tag is a bit steep. Gameplay being as simple as it is leads to boredom after a short period, it simply is TOO simple. The game is still in early demo status so there is plenty of time before we see the final build and my opinion may change in that time.