This month definitely seems to be something special if you like your worlds procedurally generated, your tunnels filled with loot and monsters and your deaths sudden, violent and educational. In addition to major updates to TOME and the graphical re-launch of Doom: The Roguelike, there’s been no shortage of other notable releases in the past few days and weeks. Here’s the best of the rest – a trio of more complex titles – just in case those other games haven’t quite got you hooked yet.
It’s a match made in heaven. Tense, randomly-generated dungeon crawling, and dark martian corridors filled full of flesh-eating demons and fancy high-tech weapons to use on them. It just sounds silly when you say it – Doom: The Roguelike. One of the simpler (but arguably more addictive) games in the genre, ChaosForge’s fan-game DoomRL has been ASCII-based up until now, but with the help of Aquaria/Spelunky developer Derek Yu, it now has fancy 16-bit style graphics, a mouse-friendly UI and is available now for Windows, Mac & Linux. What are you waiting for? Some hellspawn need serving up an all-lead supper.
Tales of Maj’Eyal (also known as TOME 4) is a relative unknown, but we wrote a bit about it earlier this year. Despite seemingly emerging from the shadows, it won a major ‘roguelike of the year’ audience award at the end of 2011 – beating out even Steam-borne favorite Dungeons of Dredmor, and back-to-basics masterpiece Brogue – by offering a more story-driven and consistently tactical experience than most games in the genre. It didn’t hurt that the presentation in general is among the best out there. Not resting on it’s laurels, a major new version was released just yesterday, bringing a raft of bug-fixes and a sexy new UI.
It seems that so long as people keep buying them, then indie bundles are going to keep coming. Indie Royale is back again with a bundle of five games, a couple of them being former XBLIG exclusives, and once again, there’s very little to grumble about in terms of content and value. As usual, it’s ‘pay what you want, above a minimum’, and especially generous purchases push that base figure down for everyone else. Hit the break for some gameplay trailers and a few thoughts on each game.
Missiles tumble wildly through space as automated point defense guns desperately try to intercept their flight. Hulls buckle and burn as energy beams cut deadly arcs, slicing ships asunder. Space combat is intense business, especially when you’re at the head of a fleet, and doubly so when you have to play the long game, balancing books and making sure that each fight leaves you better off. Fractal Softworks have let us have an early peek at the first build of their upcoming action/strategy hybrid Starfarer to include the sandbox campaign/RPG mode. Here’s what preordering folks have to look forward to soon.
Game jams are probably my favorite place to find new games. I mean, how amazing is the environment of creation? You’ve got talented, motivated designers get together and try to make a game in a short time span, coming up with ideas as quickly as possible and trying to implement them. I’m not that well-versed in the demands of game design, but I imagine one’s creative process would be chaotic in a situation like that.
Analogue is an anomaly – a glitch in the system. A ‘visual novel’ almost without visuals, or an adventure game without an inventory or an avatar. Putting you in the far-future shoes of a lone researcher sent to the fringes of known space to investigate the circumstances behind a recently-rediscovered Korean colony-ship’s disappearance hundreds of years ago, you’re tasked with interviewing the on-board AI’s and cross-referencing the crew’s logs to unravel the mystery. It’s a fascinating concept, but does it work as well in application as it does on paper?
It looks as though the guys at the Humble Indie Bundle aren’t content with merely offering games that work on PC, Mac and Linux as today they’ve announced a brand new bundle that’s also Android compatible. This is especially interesting because Android doesn’t employ a Steam-like service and downloading non-market apps can be a bit tricky for the uninitiated.
FTL. Even the acronym spurs a lot of great memories within me from various Sci-Fi shows and games that use it as a means of conveying “faster than light” speed. In fact, I’m surprised it has taken this long for a game to finally be named for the acronym as it really does make a perfect sci-fi exploration/RPG/what-have-you type game name. In any case, right now I’m going to gush just a little bit over the game… so please bear with me.
Good news tower defense fans! One of the most lauded in-development TD games has finally seen a release. Defender’s Quest is now available to the masses of indie gamers who want something a little more advanced than their basic TD or RPG game. Even better if you input the code “DIY” when buying the game you’ll get $1 off through January.