Indie Bin 1

From the embers of the Push Square Podcast rises Indie Bin – a feature that draws attention to some of the smaller games in PlayStation's busy release schedule. Once the Indie Bin is full, we'll put it out for collection in these consolidated articles featuring several pint-sized reviews. The metric here is simple: games we don't like stay Indie Bin and games we do like get taken Outdie Bin. Without further ado, let's crack on.

Home Sweet Home PS4 Review

Home Sweet Home (PS4, PSVR)

Taiwanese horror seems to be all the rage nowadays. After Detention frightened PS4 players silly this time last year, another pre-Halloween release throws us into yet another labyrinth of terror in the form of Home Sweet Home. Told from the first-person perspective, you’ll join Tim in his search for his wife following her recent disappearance. Things don’t go smoothly though. All manner of monsters are on hand to greet you as you explore the depths of seemingly abandoned buildings, blocks of flats, and the classic primary school setting. Full to the brim with jump scares and a little girl who refuses to stop stalking you, and you’ve got the set up for a couple of hours filled with dread. Add in PlayStation VR support and the chills keep getting colder. LC

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Mark of the Ninja Remastered PS4 Review

Mark of the Ninja Remastered (PS4)

Mark of the Ninja never made its way to a PlayStation system last generation, meaning that many Sony supporters missed out on what was considered to be a 2D stealth classic. The wait to experience it is over though, and it’s one you won’t want to pass up. The remastered version packages together the base game, a prequel DLC, and 4K assets, but the excellent stealthy gameplay remains. It’s sort of like Metal Gear Solid mixed with Ninja Gaiden. There’s vision cones to avoid, darkness to sneak about in, and unsuspecting enemies just begging to have their throats ripped open. A large assortment of items will allow you to achieve all of that too, with darts that can take out equipment, smoke bombs to obscure the sightlines of foes, and traps to keep them in place. Multiple paths will have you darting all over every level, while a grappling hook makes those perches up top a breeze to get to. It’s intense action that we thoroughly recommend. LC

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Speed Brawl PS4 Review

Speed Brawl (PS4)

This fast-paced brawler melds together speedy platforming and simplistic single-screen bouts, and it does so fairly well. Either with AI or friends, you can compete in races across 2D landscapes, with the winner being the team or player with the lowest overall time. This includes fighting a bunch of typical enemies using basic combos and special moves, so you'll need to throw punches accurately and quickly to keep your time down. The action's a bit stop-start, which can be a little jarring, but the action is intense and a slew of upgrades and different characters keep things interesting. If you can forgive a hint of input lag, this is an interesting blend of racing and scrapping that could be worth a shot with some pals. ST

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Think of the Children PS4 Review

Think of the Children (PS4)

Another chaotic co-op experience in the same vein as Overcooked, Think of the Children tasks you and up to three others with carrying out mundane tasks like setting the table and cooking some burgers while keeping an eye on your offspring. This is easier said than done, of course. These kids have a knack for finding danger, and things can quickly spiral if you're not careful. Unfortunately, it's very easy to lose track of children as they freely explore the level, and the blocky graphics and zoomed-out camera exacerbate this. If you like this breed of co-op, Think of the Children could be worth considering, but there are far superior alternatives. ST

Verdict: Indie Bin

Valthirian Arc PS4 Review

Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story (PS4)

A simplified management sim with role-playing elements all wrapped up in an anime aesthetic, the awkwardly named Valthirian Arc: Hero School Story is fun in short bursts. Its gameplay loop, while basic, can be addictive, and guiding your cutesy little students to success at the academy is rewarding. That said, repetitive missions take the edge off things after a few hours, and the management side of the experience -- which is all about enhancing your school's facilities -- fizzles out before it ever really gets going. Valthirian Arc gets a passing grade, but only just. RR

Verdict: Outdie Bin

Words: Liam Croft, Robert Ramsey, Stephen Tailby