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Indie Pogo (PC) Review

For as long as there have been heads…people have wanted to jump on them. Finally, with Indie Pogo our dreams can come true. And we can jump on Commander Video’s big head.

Indie Pogo has set out to become the ultimate indie crossover fighting game. Featuring Indie superstars such as Shovel Knight and Orcane, as well as up and coming Indie characters, the roster has quite a number of unique fighters to choose from. Indie Pogo takes a lot of inspiration from Source Gaming’s favorite series, Smash Bros., so the game has huge shoes to fill.

Quick note: Several members of Source Gaming have supported Indie Pogo’s KickStarter campaign, and we’ve previously had Lowe Bros. Studios on for the 24 Hour Source Gaming live stream. For this review, I’ve tried my best to remain as unbiased as possible.

So…does Indie Pogo succeed or is it just a cheap ride? This is PushDustIn from Source Gaming bringing you this review.

 

Gameplay

The way that Indie Pogo differentiates itself is through its auto-jump mechanic. Characters are always jumping which provides a unique and fresh take on the character fighting genre. Fighters usually have 5 attacks — an Up Arial, a Down Arial, a Neutral Arial a ground attack and a Super. Some fighters have additional moves or unique traits. Players can also speed up their jump by jumping while the jump squat animation is occurring.   

The game encourages players to chain jumps on their opponent’s heads in order to collect gems. Landing two attacks in a row without landing will net the player 1 gem. However, if the fighter is hit or falls off the stage, the gems are not collected. My heart was racing every time I was going for a high gem combo as I had to decide if I should continue attacking, or just land and collect the gems. Once 5 Gems are collected, players can unleash a super move which ranges from buffs to the dance party of the century.

The focus of Indie Pogo is the fighters themselves. As of launch, there are 14 fighters to choose from, each with their own unique trait. For example, Welltaro, with his gun shoes, will need to shoot players while he’s above them while Shovel Knight can bounce off the ground and enemies with his shovel. Even though there are a limited number of moves, the characters all feel very differently, which is a remarkable achievement. What’s more is that there are more characters coming through DLC such as Gunvolt and Octodad.  

The characters all feel true to their original source material. For example, when Shovel Knight is knocked out, money bags will appear just like his game. The Runbow stage perfectly represents its’ game, and Viridian from VVVVVV has that gravity switching mechanic in his moveset. This might be a bold claim, but if Masahiro Sakurai were to make an indie fighting game, it might be very similar to Indie Pogo. Inde Pogo has truly captured the essence of Smash.  

Since Indie Pogo is a fighting game, there isn’t that much emphasis on a story. Indie Pogo takes a lot of inspiration from Smash 64 and Melee in particular. The 1 player arcade mode plays very similar to how the Classic mode was in Smash 64 — for better or for worse. When playing through the story mode, players will fight the same 11 fights with every character. I wish the arcade mode had random battles, but hopefully, this will be something that will be fixed in future updates.

In addition, all the characters have challenges — both normal and hard variations. These challenges range from eating apples, to simply completing a match against a rival. Some of these challenges can be very challenging, requiring a lot of skill to pull off.

There are also trophies that can be earned. Completing the arcade mode with both the normal and hard variations will unlock the character specific trophies. There are other trophies that can be obtained through the game’s gacha, which takes inspiration from Melee’s Coin Lottery. It’s a bit too difficult to get those last few trophies, as the maximum number of coins that can be put in is 20 meaning for the last couple of trophies, players will have to spend quite a bit of money, or rely on pure luck.

The great thing about the trophies is that you can go directly to their respected games’ Steam page right from the trophy page. This means if you are interested in checking out the source material for Indie Pogo, it’s very easy.

Coins can also be used in the shop. This is how characters, stages, alts and taunts are purchased. Coins are gained by completing the arcade mode, challenges, or by playing online. A side note, I found Fishy’s Hard Challenge to be a particularly good way to farm coins as it can be completed in less than 40 seconds.

  

Presentation

The game looks and sounds fantastic. The track that plays during the credits and when selecting the modes are by far the standout tracks for me. The characters all look great too.

It does feel like there aren’t enough stages. A lot of characters don’t have their own unique stage, while other characters such as Viridian or Commander Video do. In lieu of that, some games are only represented by stages such as Flappy Bird or Runbow. The stages also have only one music track, which can get tiring. I hope in future updates more stages and songs are added in order to increase the number of options players have.   

Normally, the game runs well. I’ve found a couple of times when I have video recording software running that the game lags. Having the game in window improves the frame rate. However, when playing the game normally it runs fine.

For Indie Pogo you absolutely need a controller to use with your PC. I had some issues getting the Official GameCube adapter to work, but eventually I was able to resolve it. Unfortunately, players can’t even map controls until they finish the tutorial, which made troubleshooting my controller issue very annoying. If you have a May Flash adapter, I’ve heard that it’s very easy to setup and get running. Instructions on how to get the Official GameCube adapter working will be posted in the article version of this review.   

Verdict

Indie Pogo is everything I wanted out of an indie crossover fighting game. While it’s not as competitively focused as Rivals of Aether or Brawlout, it’s an incredibly fun party game and one that I will be showing to all my friends. It’s very easy to get into, and it has introduced me to a lot of great indie titles. I strongly encourage any fan of Smash to go play Indie Pogo.

Indie Pogo is available on Steam right now for the low price of 15.00 USD.  


*In order to get the GameCube official adapter working with Indie Pogo you will need to download the x360ce, and Wii U GCN Adapter Plugin. First, download and install the Wii U GCN Adapter. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY ON THE WEBSITE. Afterward, download and install x360ce and put it in the Indie Pogo Installation folder. You will need to use the 32-bit version, even if your machine is 64-bit. Ru x360ce from the Indie Pogo installation folder, while the Wii U GCN Adapter plugin is running. Here is my set up.

 

Best of luck!