Indie roundup: Shukuchi Ninja, Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story & Steel Defier

We return to the indie scene once again with a look at three recently released productions from smaller studios. Here are reviews for Shukuchi Ninja, Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story and Steel Defier.

Shukuchi Ninja review (PS4)

Shukuchi Ninja is an action-packed platformer that has made its way to the PCs and consoles, offering fast-paced gameplay, challenging levels, and stylish visuals. Developed by Fossilized Games and published by 2Awesome Studio, it features fast and fluid gameplay with a ninja protagonist who is incredibly agile and able to run, jump, and dash with ease. The controls are intuitive, allowing for precise movements and attacks, making for a smooth and accessible indie platformer – though not an easy one.

The game’s levels are challenging, featuring a variety of enemies, traps, and obstacles that require players to use their ninja skills and wits to overcome. The different environments, from bamboo forests to icy mountains, provide a visually stunning backdrop for the action and the pixel art is detailed and vibrant, bringing the game’s world to life while you focus on precise movements and quick reflexes.

Shukuchi 2

One potential issue with Shukuchi Ninja is its relatively short length, though its short campaign regularly introduces and emphasizes different mechanics that keep the game interesting and its brevity is offset by a very pleasant price point. Combine that with charming visuals, and it’s a game that platforming fans can’t really go wrong with.

Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story review (PS4)

Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story, developed by Katsu Entertainment LLC and published by Hound Picked Games, is a lovely tribute to classic arcade shooters. Released on multiple platforms including Xbox Series, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, and PC, the game offers a nostalgic experience with hand-drawn sprites and painted backgrounds.

The game takes place 10 years after the end of the Sausage War, where the Sausage Bomber Corps must protect the world from a new terrorist organization, the Vega Nation. Players choose from different pilots with unique planes and abilities and battle through nine distinct environments, each with its own enemy types. The game also features over-the-top mega bosses, adding to the overall challenge.


Dogfight: A Sausage Bomber Story offers players a variety of gameplay options with four difficulty levels and a speedrun mode that dynamically scales the intensity of the game. The game boasts over 250 weapon combinations, providing plenty of replayability as players experiment with different loadout combinations. However, the game doesn’t feature a tutorial to help you get introduced to the subtle differences between all these – leaning a bit too much into its arcade inspirations that way.

A definite highlight is that the game also offers 4-player drop-in/drop-out cooperative play, making it a great option for couch co-op sessions – something that’s way too rare in this genre and adds a lot of replay value to the game. Also noteworthy is the game’s soundtrack (by composer Dale North), which helps makes this a fun throwback to classic shooters that genre fans will definitely enjoy. One downside is that the game is priced a bit higher than similar titles, especially considering its short campaign, but what you get here is pure quality and there’s lasting appeal in its game modes.

Steel Defier review (PS4)

Steel Defier is a fast-paced, action-packed shooter game developed by Viridino Studios and published by Ratalaika Games. The game boasts a retro-style aesthetic and gameplay that is both challenging and rewarding. But is it worth your time and money? Let’s find out.

One of the positives of Steel Defier is its arcadey gameplay. The game is accessible but challenging, and requires quick reflexes and precise movements. The enemy’s obstacles come at you in waves and the player must avoid all of them in order to survive. The controls are responsive and intuitive, which makes it easy to get the hang of things, and different power-ups available throughout the game add variety to the gameplay.

steel defier

The retro-style aesthetic in Steel Defier gives the game a unique and charming look, meshing 3D environments with pixel art and vibrant colors. The game’s simple arcade-like approach does lack variety though, which can make it repetitive after a while. The obstacles you’re trying to dodge are often very similar in design as well, making the levels feel a bit samey – especially with no story or plot in sight. It’s a fun and accessible arcade concept, but Steel Defier is lacking in content and you won’t quickly go back to it after you complete its trophy list. Short-lived, but worth picking up during a sale.

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