Indie roundup: Herodes, Cyber Citizen Shockman & Little Disaster

With a shooter, an arcade action game and a precision platformer, we’re checking out a diverse trio of recent indie releases today. Here are Herodes, Cyber Citizen Shockman and Little Disaster.

Herodes review (PS4)

Herodes, developed by TecnoloGils and published by QUByte, takes players on a journey through the depths of the human body in a bullet hell shoot ’em up experience that evokes memories of the CD-ROM classic Microcosm. With its setting, engaging gameplay mechanics, and interesting visuals and audio, Herodes manages to stand out among other small-scale bullet hell shooters.

Herodes embraces the concept of shrinking down to a microscopic level to combat infections, offering a power fantasy in a not-too-distant future. The game’s pixel art graphics bring the human body to life, while the level designs and attention to detail enhance the overall experience. However, framerate issues may occur when using certain upgraded weaponry – rare and unnecessary for games of this type.


The gameplay in Herodes is a highlight, allowing players to tackle levels in any order and face diverse objectives set within different infected organs. This approach keeps the gameplay fresh and adds depth beyond standard shooting galleries. While the game’s initial difficulty might be off-putting if you don’t have a lot of bullet hell shooter experience, investing in upgrades through in-game currency called Genoma improves the experience over time.

While the soundtrack in Herodes doesn’t stand out, it complements the gameplay and contributes to the overall ambiance. Despite its initial grindiness and technical hiccups, Herodes finds its stride once upgrades are obtained, offering an enjoyable experience for fans of bullet hell shooters. Despite its initial challenges, the game’s premise, coupled with the freedom to choose levels and upgrade mechanics, make it a worthwhile experience for genre enthusiasts.

Cyber Citizen Shockman review (PS4)

Cyber Citizen Shockman, a retro arcade action platformer developed by Shinyuden and published by Ratalaika Games, makes its long-awaited debut in the West after being originally released on the PC Engine in Japan. This iconic title from over thirty years ago offers a nostalgic experience with some notable improvements, capturing the essence of the genre that made it a niche favorite among retro game enthusiasts.

The game features two playable characters, a boy and a girl, embarking on an adventure through 18 platforming stages filled with multiple routes to explore. With a plethora of upgrades to unlock, Cyber Citizen Shockman presents a fun and challenging gameplay experience. However, control issues, with sluggish movement and infuriating inertia, significantly hinder the overall experience – especially when compared to similar games, both classic and modern.


Despite the control setbacks, the game offers interesting design features such as a two-player simultaneous mode and a shop for upgrading abilities. The visual and audio aspects of Cyber Citizen Shockman showcase its early PC Engine roots, with cute graphical stylings, attractive boss designs, and a chiptunes soundtrack. The game provides a range of image filter options, rewind/FF functions, and a gallery with hand-made scans, adding to the overall retro charm.

While Cyber Citizen Shockman may appeal to diehard retro enthusiasts and fans of the genre, its control inertia and subpar jumping mechanics make it difficult to recommend to a wider audience. Despite its flaws, the game still holds some enjoyment for those who are willing to invest time and effort into mastering its mechanics, but ultimately Cyber Citizen Shockman serves mostly as a nostalgic trip back to the past that falls short compared to its subsequent entries in the series.

Little Disaster review (PS4)

Little Disaster, developed by Petite Games and published by Ratalaika, is a new precision platformer that takes players on a fantasy journey as Elanor, an elf tasked with retrieving stolen Life Fragments from mischievous goblins – though you’ll find there’s little in the way of a story, as with most games in this genre.

This 2D platformer offers over 100 carefully designed levels filled with cute and colorful pixel art. Players must master Elanor’s bow and arrow, which possesses magical powers, to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. The gameplay strikes a satisfying balance between challenge and enjoyment, providing a nostalgic experience reminiscent of classic platformers, but with its own twist, as you control your character using momentum and charged ‘explosions’ that propel you while destroying the environment.

little disaster

Little Disaster’s pixel art visuals bring its vibrant worlds and unique mechanics to life, creating an immersive and visually appealing environment. Collecting crystals throughout the adventure allows players to unlock fantastic outfits for Elanor, adding a touch of customization to the experience.

With an accessible trophy list and an affordable price, Little Disaster is an excellent choice for both achievement hunters and budget-conscious gamers. Petite Games’ expertise in precision platformers (they regularly collaborate with Ratalaika on them) shines through in this new adventure, making it a worthwhile addition to any platforming enthusiast’s library.

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