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Combat tennis, artful punchery and axe-based problem solving; the odd games of owch

Here’s a trio of weird little games to start the weekend with from solo developer ‘owch’. Today, they released 10S, a low-fi blend of shmup and tennis. Beat The Art Breaker is a mysterious third-person brawler adventure with satisfying punching and multiple endings. More traditionally, Long Live The Axe is an increasingly surreal platform hack n’ slasher with a bit of a Sinclair Spectrum vibe. All are well worth a look, and all three games share a quiet, dream-like vibe – take a peek below for some trailers, demos and more.

10S is a sports shmup with a light roguelike bent to it. After tennis-ing your way through a random wave of monsters, you’ll be asked to pick from one of three upgrades. There’s bosses to fight, oddly eerie music, and if you don’t like the look of the game you can hand-pick your own colour palette. Personally, I don’t think anything other than soft pastel shades are valid here, but it’s your call. There’s a demo on its Itch page here.

Long Live The Axe is a little more meaty, and oddly charming. It has some odd platforming mechanics (make sure you do the tutorial to learn how to bounce-jump), weapons that shatter casually and individual names for every enemy – even the skellingtons. There’s trees to hit with an axe, as you do. Again, there’s a demo on its Itch page here.

Below is a peek at Beat The Art Breaker, from an earlier build of the game – the full game is somewhat more polished. I’d rather not spoil it beyond this video, but I reckon that unless its combat turns you off, you’ll want to try this one multiple times, seeing what you can do with or without violence. There’s a bit more to it than meets the (black) eye. No demo on this, but, it’s also on Itch.

On top of all those, owch has a repository of game jam stuff, prototypes and experiments here. I’ve not had a chance to try any of them yet, but Adventures looks especially charming. Also in active development and available for pay-what-you-want on Itch is Water’s Fine, a game of undersea exploration – one I’ll be trying for myself this weekend. Here’s a peek at it, too.

You can get 10S, Beat The Art Breaker and Long Live The Axe for the everyday price of $4.20, or in a bundle for $10 here on Itch. There are free demos available for 10S and Long Live The Axe, and Water’s Fine is pay-what-you-want, and can be found on Itch here. You can follow owch on Twitter here.

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Dominic Tarason

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