Week 7 of the 2024 indie round up is here and I have to hold a little longer for the game I really want to talk about and that has been taking up most of my time. However we have news to report and hells to skate!


DEVELOPER: Phantom Coast
PUBLISHER: Phantom Coast
Platform: Steam
Price: £20.00 (Early Access)
Steam Deck: Unknown (Currently not working at all)

Credit: Gamespot

It took me a hot minute to get to Helskate due to the game not working on Steam Deck a the time of writing. However, the developers are aware and are working on things! So I had to wait until I could sit at the PC. But oh hell, was it worth the wait!

Whilst Helskate is in early access it is definitely one of those early access games that feels more complete than most AAA releases. My time with the game so far has been one of pure joy and it mixes the fluidity of a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with the satisfaction of combat in Hades.

Helskate is in essence a roguelite action combat game, using skateboarding as the traversal mechanic, but in doing so it manages to feel both very familiar and very unique. It has the hook of play, die, learn, upgrade, repeat and runs with it. Yes the levels can get overwhelming but the controls are so tight that going back and starting again never feels like a chore.

I was expecting to play some akin to Rollerdrome and there is a little bit of that mix there, but this is a different beast and one that is instantly more satisfying. It is almost instantly pick up and play and the levels are varied with some spectacular boss fights that use the skateboarding in such a fun way.

The balance between combat and skateboarding are wonderfully balanced and each element compliments the other nigh on perfectly. I can’t wait to see where this goes in the coming weeks and months.

News Tower

DEVELOPER: Sparrow Night
PUBLISHER: Twin Sails Interactive
Platform: Steam
Price: £16.75 (Early Access)
Steam Deck: Unknow (Plays but needs manual editing of controls)

Credit: GameTrailers

Another early access game that shows real promise even at this stage but as far removed from Helskate as you can get. As News Tower is a management sandbox where you are tasked with building and running a newspaper from the ground up to eventually become the ultimate media mogul.

I love games like this that go all in on a focused subject and just make sure you have a great time with it. News Tower does just that with some minor caveats. The setting of 1930’s New York is brilliant as it can use the old school mafia stories to blend in the idea of corruption and the buying and manipulating of the truth in the news.

It mixes that in really well with the general day to day running of a newspaper, but at this stage I don’t feel like the consequences for decisions made a strong enough, but that may change as the game’s development continues.

I do love how you are in charge of everything, from hiring reporters to actually building and maintaining the printing press, using your funds to improve and expand so you can get more news stories printed and make sure your version of the news is the one that gets into the hands of the citizens of New York.

The placement of items within your tower can get a bit fiddly especially on the Steam Deck, so I am hoping someone cleverer than I can create a profile for it. However that issue is somewhat sorted when playing with an actual mouse and keyboard.

News Tower looks set to remain in early access until early 2025, but the roadmap looks promising in terms of what it will add to the experience and I am really looking forward to seeing where this one goes.

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