Over The Top Games has announced the release of their beautiful 2D action adventure game NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, available now on PC/Mac and WiiWare.
As Nyx, you’ll fly across the ruins of ancient Greece in search of dearest friend (and perhaps main squeeze?) Icarus. You’ll employ the power of the Gods to perform tasks and defeat monsters across 12 trying levels complete with real physics based puzzles and interactive scenery.
The title runs $10 and can be purchased on WiiWare and through the developer for PC and Mac. A slightly enhanced Steam version is also available offering 20 achievements.
A multiplatform demo for the title is available as well, grab it through the developer’s site or on the game’s Steam page linked above.
Round-Up is back today with plenty of odds and ends from the world of indie. Awards and inside information aplenty, as well as an early review on a potential GOTY candidate and some excellent interviews. Have at it.
Technology without direction is nothing [A developer's rant on XBLIG's Flawed Infrastructure] (MStar Games)
“I’ve said repeatedly, here and in interviews and on the XNACCO website, that Microsoft deserve credit for the XBLIG project in general, and the XNA Framework in particular. It’s an excellent framework – flexible and powerful, relatively easy to comprehend and work with, and when used right it gives great results…What is less certain however is the supporting infrastructure in place around XBLIG releases. The sales stats and dashboard lists are glitchy and prone to failure.
AI War and the hidden cost of indie games (Graham Smith/PCGamer)
“Earlier this month Chris Park revealed that his company could be bankrupt by November. His company is Arcen Games, the developer of popular space strategy game AI War. Despite that game’s excellence, it wasn’t a surprise to find he was struggling: most indie games developers do.”
Super Meat Boy review: Into the grinder (Richard Mitchell/Joystiq)
“There was a time when I thought I was pretty good at video games. I’ve brought down the likes of Earthworm Jim, Rocket Knight Adventures, Ninja Gaiden (2004), Mega Man 9 and many others without much trouble and only the occasional spurt of profanity. Having completed the story (but not nearly all of the levels) of Super Meat Boy, I can soundly declare that it trumps them all. As of this writing, I have died 1,792 times and several hundred of those lives — at least — were spent trying to conquer the last level.”
RPS Indie Awardoramarama (Alec Meer/Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The Eurogamer Expo has been and gone, but RPS’s brain-dumps about the games therein will continue over the days to come. YOU WILL LISTEN AND YOU WILL BELIEVE AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. One of the things we did at the Expo as well as play games, however, was judge some games. Specifically, the 12 splendid titles selected with the help of the good folk of Mudlark to form the Indie Games Arcade.”
The Song Of Onionbog, Pt 4: Fascism & War (Quintin Smith/Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Onionbog is booming. Booming like a stinking, sulphurous deep-sea crater, emitting stinking hot burps on a regular basis. But I’m no fool. That’s why I’m building defenses. To keep my lovely hole in the ground safe. I love this place. I hate this place. I’ll hate to see it fall. I’d love to see it fall.”
Belated Weekly Report #3 (Paul Eres/TIGSource)
“This is a new feature where I’ll be covering ten notable releases and newly posted games in production of the past week.”
What videogames lack: Deeper Intent (Frictional Games)
“Tonight a [sic] watched a fantastic documentary called Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father, and it was a true emotional roller-coaster ride. It is an experience, straight from reality, that swings you between laughter and heartbreaking despair. I urge you all to see it. The reason why I want to bring this up, is because this movie has something that video games lack: it has been made with the intent to share something deep and meaningful.”
As the holidays get closer and closer there are, arguably, tons of games getting released. This is the time of year when all of the larger publishers’ heavyweights come into the ring to duke it out in a contest of marketing and publicity. But we don’t cover those games here, instead we focus on the little guys. While the big companies are unleashing hoards of money to get people to pay attention to their games and make sure you know when they are released, allow us to guide you through the indie releases for this upcoming holiday season… you know, so you don’t miss ‘em.
Comic Jumper – October 9th (XBLA)
If you’re not already familiar with this game, or it’s amazing developer — Twisted Pixel — then, well, to be honest I’m not really sure if you can consider yourself a gamer at all given the sheer amount of excitement surrounding this game. This is Twisted Pixel’s third marquee title since they began developing their own original IPs which features a unique hero called Captain Smiley as he traverses 5 completely different and unique comic book worlds.
Who’s That Flying?! – October 12th (Playstation Minis)
Who’s That Flying?! is the second premiere Playstation Minis title coming from famed indie developer Mediatonic who recently released Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess for both the Playstation Minis and, later, Xbox Live Indie Games. Their new game is a side-scrolling shooter combined with a sort of tower defense game with some delicious courtroom drama thrown in for good measure. Sound awesome? That’s because it is.
Super Meat Boy – October 20th (XBLA)
Where to even begin when describing Super Meat Boy? I mean it’s arguably the largest indie game to get released in 2010 and is absolutely going to be a success merely based on the quality gameplay, attention to detail, and the massive amounts of coverage the game has steadily been receiving since early this year. Now, in just under three weeks time we’ll finally be able to wrap our minds around everything that this challenging 2D platformer has to offer, which is far more than either of us know at this point.
Under Siege – November (PSN)
Under Siege, by Seed Studios, is a brand new IP being brought to the Playstation Network that attempts to, once again, bring a playable RTS to the console atmosphere. Something that has only marginally been done by Halo Wars. The game comes with multiplayer, the ability to create and edit your own maps and, probably most importantly, Playstation Move support, something which I’m sure will make any RTS that much better.
Retro City Rampage – December (WiiWare)
Retro City Rampage… there’s absolutely nothing to not love about this game. I mean, we gave it our Editor’s Choice award for PAX and that was against stiff competition like Super Meat Boy, and Bastion. Anyway the game is set to be released later this year onto the WiiWare. If you all have thought how awesome it would be to take the GTA styled gameplay and mix it with 8-bit graphics in a hilarious world that at every turn takes a jab at the video game industry then this game is for you. Don’t miss it.
Frobot – Q4 (WiiWare)
Frobot, by Fugazo, is a game that we’ve been covering since last year and was actually intended for release earlier this year. However, after a complete redesign and recoding, Frobot is back, bigger than ever, and ready to go right upside your Wii’s head. The game features extensive Zelda-esque temple puzzle levels wrapped in a unique style. Obviously you play as a the Frobot who is attempting to complete these puzzles with a large and unique arsenal of weapons at your disposal. This is definitely one of the Wii’s premiere indie titles this year.
Raskulls – 2010 (XBLA)
Raskulls, by Halfbrick, was a game that was also originally supposed to be out earlier this year but was, instead, pushed back to later this year. The game features unique platforming elements that are combined with a sort of racing game to almost give you a sort of Super Mari World meets Mario Kart feel to it. It’s a unique experience wrapped in a colorful/adorable style, in typical Halfbrick style.
Cave Story – 2010? (DSiWare)
Chalk this one into the “maybe” pile, but, according to Nicalis, the next variation of the incredibly popular indie platformer Cave Story is due to land on the DSiWare sometime soon. While the developer hasn’t nailed down a final release date, they did say the game was in “final testing stages.” That being said, we can only assume the game would make it out sometime within the next three months. Unfortunately, there are no images or videos of this one. The above image is a painting commissioned by Nicalis.
Fowl Space – 2010? (PC)
Fowl Space, by Pixelante, is another game that we covered quite extensively at PAX earlier this month. The game features a unique “Space Cock” character that is attempting to destroy the sun. While the game’s unique art style and sound gameplay mechanics are an instant draw, the real reason why you’ll be playing this game is due to all the comedic innuendo… dick jokes. While the game doesn’t have a solid release date just yet, the developer has said the game is nearing completion, and rumor has it the team is looking to sign a deal with Steam for release. If true we expect this game out fairly soon.
Until I’m Gone – 2010? (PC)
Until I’m Gone, by Faraway Studios, is a unique 2.5D, third person point and click adventure that has horror and psychological subtext within. The game promises a unique story with an incredibly detailed style. And the best part? This is all going to be completely freeware upon release. The game was initially set top be released last year, but was instead pushed back to later this year. No solid release date has been offered but the developers assure us that it’s still coming.
So that’s it for the major indie games. Naturally, these aren’t all of the indie games getting released this holiday season, these are just the ones we could find that have solid or somewhat solid release schedules. There are tons of XBLIG, iOS, Android, PC, and browser indie games that absolutely will get released sometime with the next three months, so keep checking those channels for awesome games.
Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list! Please include a link to where we can find the release date.
Indie Links are back, and more eclectic than ever. Around the web, people are really starting to take stalk on the rise of the indie. Is it just a natural development in the cycle of video gaming as we know it, or a sign of the times? Read up and react.
Small video games offer big, easy fun (Scott Steinberg/CNN)
“From the ultraviolent side-scrolling brawler “Shank” to the tomb-raiding adventure “Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light” or the trigger-mashing blaster “Monday Night Combat,” there’s been no shortage of enticing video games lately. But as a recent binge revealed, many share an unexpected common thread. Each of the above is a digital download: a reminder that many of this season’s most intriguing titles aren’t found at your local GameStop.”
What Indie Developers Can Learn from Minecraft (Mode 7 Games/IndieDB)
“Like most indie devs, I’m a bit tired of hearing about Minecraft at the moment! I thought I would collate my thoughts on it in order to put the issue to bed. I’ll be viewing everything through a commercial lens rather than focussing on the design, although in this case I think the two are almost symbiotic.”
Indies not sold on Kinect (Fred Dutton/EuroGamer)
“Following news that Microsoft will soon be releasing Kinect development tools to independent studios, Eurogamer has asked a number of indies whether they are interested in developing for Kinect.”
Interview: Saltsman, One Year On From Canabalt (Simon Parkin/GameSetWatch)
“This week marked the first anniversary of Adam Saltsman’s one-button Flash game, Canabalt, whose stylish visuals and ‘outrun the carnage’ concept made it one of the signature indie titles of recent times. We caught up with Saltsman to talk about life after Canabalt, a period which has seen the developer assist in porting Japanese indie-darling Cave Story to the Wii and become a regular feature on the conference circuit.”
Amensia: The Dark Descent Review (Jeff Mattas/Shacknews)
“Unlike most other titles waving the banner of “survival-horror,” Amnesia isn’t another dimly-lit shooter filled with monster closets. In fact, it’s more of an adventure game with action elements…easily one of, if not THE scariest game I’ve played in years.”
Fantastic Arcade (Derek Yu/TIGSource)
“Hey, guys! Apologies for the lack of updates. Aside from bein’ busy game-makin’, I’ve been moving around a bit. This week I’m in Austin, attending Fantastic Arcade, a video game spin-off of Fantastic Fest, the horror/fantasy/sci-fi/cult movie festival that takes place here every year. True to its name, Fantastic Arcade does feature an awesome indie game arcade with custom-built cabinets for games like Enviro-Bear 2000, Norrland, NIDHOGG, Every Day the Same Dream, and Monaco.”
Currently we’re going through an Indie games boom, how did it start? (Reddit Discussion)
“The indie games community is booming today with hundreds of dedicated developers making top class titles like Minecraft, Spelunky, Super Meat Boy, and so on…I don’t know the history of the scene but I’m sure its a rich one filled with vibrant tales of FlyWrenches and Deathworms. Who made the first move? Who first inspired others to start making games?
Student Postmortem: Igneous (Ben Gable/GameCareerGuide)
“What if you were on a bridge while it was exploding? WHAT IF THIS BRIDGE WERE INSIDE AN erupting volcano? And what if one wrong step sent you to a horrible fiery doom? Well, you would have Igneous, a junior/senior-level student project at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA.”
Some Thoughts about our Submission Process (IndieFund)
“Many times when you do a submission to a publisher, reviewer, sales channel, or game contest, you never hear about what could be done better if you aren’t accepted. As we’ve just looked at 100+ submissions, we’d like to share some things we’ve learned about what made some submissions stand out and others blend in. Hopefully this extends to other submissions you’ll do in the future, not just for Indie Fund.”
Geoff and I dubbed Retro City Rampage our Editor’s Choice from PAX this year. So you know we’re going to be paying attention to any updates it has and you should too.
In RCR, you take control of PLAYER, a familiar protagonist of a bygone era that battles his way through a pixelated city. Think 8-Bit Grand Theft Auto, but with a tongue deeper in the cheek.
We just got in a few new materials from the game including two new screenshots of a familiar-looking plumber, though now he’s radioactive and hungry.
Check out the second screen as well and you’ll get an idea as to just how PLAYER nabs this new special ability. I’m excited to see how high people get their Chain Stomps.
But to really get a feel for what this power is check out the brand new gameplay trailer:
For more information, check out the official Retro City Rampage site. You can also follow the game on Twitter and Facebook. Retro City Rampage hits Wii first later this fall then will be moving on to other platforms, though we don’t officially know which ones yet.
Everybody’s favorite indie platforming adventure romp, Cave Story, is heading to Nintendo’s own portable DSiWare digital download service. GoNintendo actually broke the story yesterday after they found an odd listing in the most recent issue of Nintendo Power concerning the game.Today, Nicalis has responded with the following information regarding the title, including it’s confirmation:
- Yes, there is a forthcoming Cave Story for DSiWare
- Yes, it’s really awesome and has Pixel’s blessing; he recently played it a few weeks back and loved it
- Yes, the EU version for WiiWare is still scheduled to be released; we commissioned Orioto to create this AWESOME Cave Story painting (above) in celebration of both: Bang Bang
- And the game is actually DONE, we’re currently in final testing internally
So, yeah, this kind of came out of nowhere, but is incredibly exciting nonetheless.
I tend to think of the DSiWare as kind of the step child of the mobile digital distribution channels so it’s actually really exciting for me that a game of this caliber is getting a mobile release. Now let’s just hope that Nicalis isn’t planning on stopping there. I’d love to see Cave Story on the PSP, iOS, Android, and whatever other digital download location so long as Pixel, the original developer, allows it.
Developer Tons of Bits emailed me early this morning to let me know that their delightful looking WiiWare game, Chick Chick Boom, has been sent to Nintendo for final approval and will hopefully be released — fingers crossed! — later this month. And this is all before we even got an introductory article about it up! Here’s the details:
The first thing that you’ll notice about Chick Chick Boom is its adorable style. I don’t want to be presumptuous and invite comparisons that might not necessarily apply, but I don’t believe we have seen a WiiWare game that has looked this adorably cute since World of Goo or, possibly, Max and the Magic Marker. As we all know, the Wii doesn’t get quite as many indie games as the other platforms so when does come out that looks this good, we tend to get pretty excited about it.
Beyond that, however, the game sounds pretty amazing in its own right. Each game starts out in a sort of dodgeball-esque arena with five chicks on each side, i.e. your team and their team. From there it’s a simple matter of attacking and defending.
Like with any self respecting arena based combat game, Chick Chick Boom is not without its own unique arsenal. Being a game about adorable chicks fighting other chicks you can probably imagine that some of the weapons are pretty unique. I don’t have many details yet, beyond the fact that one of the special weapons is a giant Sumo Chick. What I can tell you, however, is that weapons are divided into five categories: bomb, weight, plant, lightning, and special attack. By using a combination of these maneuvers you’ll slowly, but surely, turn their chicks into — lame joke alert! — chicken nuggets, unless they defend, of course.
Defending in Chick Chick Boom is an interesting affair that utilizes the WiiMote’s pointer feature. If, for example, the attacking player sends a bomb your way, you have the opportunity to draw a line in order to deflect that bomb. I don’t have any specific details regarding whether or not that bomb will then deflect or simply be explode out of harm’s way, but, in either case, this should make for an interesting defense session.
The game comes with multiple arenas, modes, teams, and other goodies as well. Here’s the feature set:
Single- and Multiplayer: 1-4 (coop or against each other – in all variations, for example 2 vs 1)
Offensive Moves: more than 20 entertaining attacks
3 Arenas: City, Ship and Haunted Wood
15 Teams: 5 available immediately and 10 others to unlock
3 Game Modes: Duel Mode, Time Mode, Pro Mode
Records: Your best scores will be saved… for you to beat
Sound like something you might be interested in? Good, then it’s just a little while longer before you can get your hands on the game. I don’t currently have a price or trailer to give you guys, both of which I’m working on acquiring. Once I do get those details I’ll be sure to update, or create a new post about em. Until then, enjoy these adorably delicious screenshots.
Round-up is back with so much good stuff to share from all across the indie line. Popular indie titles being picked apart, notable indie developers talking about anything/everything and of course, lots of free games to discover and play. Thank you, come again.
The Weekly Report #1 (Paul Eres/TIGSource)
“This is a new feature where I’ll be covering ten notable releases and newly posted games in production of the past week. A couple of people suggested I call this “The Eres Report” but it’s really just as much Ortoslon, who suggested most of the games here. These are all good games so try them all out, the numbering is just in the order of my preference. I’ll also include a weekly classic (2+ years old) game that was never covered in TIGSource.”
The Arena Shooter Tribute (Pixel Prospector)
“This Video showcases 6 sec clips of 93 enjoyable Arena Shooters that all happen to be free…Lean back, enjoy the show and then have a good time by checking them out afterwards.”
In(die)credible: Best New Indie Games You Haven’t Played (Tim W/IndieGames)
“At PAX 2010 there was an awesome panel that highlights a couple of indie games which you may not know about. This video features indie superstars like Robin Hunicke (thatgamecompany), Eitan Glinert (Fire Hose Games), Nathan Vella (Capybara Games), Dylan Fitterer (developer of Audiosurf) and Andy Schatz (Monaco) recommending some of their favorite indie games to the audience.”
Interview: Carpe Fulgur’s Dice Talks Recettear, Indie Charm (Kyle Orland/GameSetWatch)
“New import publisher Carpe Fulgur has brought quirky Japanese ‘item shop’ indie RPG, Recettear, to PC digital distribution services, and talks to our own Kyle Orland about localization challenges and plans.”
In-Depth: RedLynx On Life After Trials HD (Simon Parkin/GamerBytes)
“Trials HD developer RedLynx tells our own Simon Parkin about MotoHeroz, the studio’s recently-announced stunt racing game for WiiWare that “has as much in common with Super Mario Brothers as it does Trials HD.”"
Review: Tidalis (James Murff/Big Download)
“The folks at Arcen Games have been hard at work continuing AI War. Once of the sleeper hits of last year, it’s a stellar strategy title that builds design around cheating AI, as opposed to simply having it there. However, they are not just working on AI War’s expansions. Recently, they released a new game that is far outside of what one would expect from an indie strategy darling. The game is Tidalis, and it is a casual puzzle game in the same rough ballpark as Bejeweled. Tidalis is not just for casual players, however. Under its simple match-3 exterior hides a game of incredible depth and complexity that will intrigue players from every camp.”
Indie Game Challenge Deadline (IndieDB)
“Only 1 month remains to enter the indie game challenge and have a chance to win over 200,000$ in prizes. On October 1 2010, entries will close to the 2010 indie game challenge. With two prizes worth $100,000 each it is well worth your time to have a crack. Just ask last years winners COGS how it worked out for them.”
I’m going to attempt to talk about platform-puzzler And Yet It Moves without making a single rotation-based joke – you know, the likes of ‘this game spun me right round’ or ‘the concept flipped me on my head’. This will be quite the challenge, as I do love a terrible pun.
When And Yet It Moves was released on PC back in spring 2009, I fell immediately in love. Revolving (ouch, strike one) around rotation of levels, it oozed clever puzzles and charm throughout. A WiiWare version was just released, which offers even better control, and once again I am in love. You should be too, and here’s why.
Over a variety of different environments and obstacles, players control a paper cut-out man who is a rather flimsy individual. Get crushed by falling rocks, drop from a great height or mistime a jump and he’ll explode into a crumpled mess.
He’s got a little trick up his sleeve, however, that’ll leave your head spinning (oops, strike two). Holding down button 1 on your Wii Remote, and the entire world will freeze in place, allowing you to tilt the controller and change which direction is down. Soon walls become floors and previously unpassable obstacles are easily navigated.
Make no mistake, it’s a lovely concept and works so damn well. The original PC edition allowed our guy to spin the world through 90 degrees – however, with the Wii version it’s possible to stop the rotation through the entire 360 degrees, adding so much more depth to the idea. It works flawlessly too, with the pausing mechanic so easy to use.
For the first 30 minutes or so you’re brought slowly into the idea, but soon the puzzles really come into their own. Momentum before and after each pause is retained – hence, if you were falling quickly before the pause, you’ll continue to hurtle towards the ground afterwards too, and probably end up going splat. Balancing airtime with momentum is the core trick, and it’s highly enjoyable to see certain puzzles in motion.
It’s fascinating to see just how many different ideas developer Broken Rules has managed to come up with off this one seemingly simple concept. The action never feels too repetitive and is consistently challenging from start to finish. There are tons of checkpoints located throughout each level, so it’s not too frustrating when you find a particular tough section.
If I had to suggest one area that needed improvement, it would be the landing angles. While the new 360 degree rotation is great, it can also be rather harsh at times- land on a platform at too great a slope, and you’ll simply slide straight off it and probably to your doom. Sometimes you’ll land on a platform believing the hero will definitely be able to stand on it, only to watch him slip off the edge.
And Yet It Moves has such a wonderfully unique look to it. The majority of visuals appear to be made of paper, with crumpled backdrops and surroundings with ripped edges. Even the main character is a cut-out black and white sketch. Certain other objects are given lovely texture that appear quite lifelike – for example, I’m pretty sure the rocks and boulders are in fact textured with images of real stones.
There are a wide range of different areas to play through, from leafy treetops to underground caverns. The game stays constantly pretty throughout and is easily one of the best looking games on the WiiWare service.
The soundtrack is at times hilarious, but in a good way! Many of the noises you hear are in fact human noises, from the bop-bops to the strange yet awesome death noise. There’s barely any music as such, but it’s interesting stuff none-the-less.
There doesn’t appear to be a story, although the strange turn the game take around three-quarters of the way through does make you wonder about what exactly is going on. It all gets rather psychedelic… but I won’t spoil that for you.
The game last for around 2 1/2 hours, and after that there are achievements to bag, highscore boards to top and speed runs to attempt. The WiiWare version comes with three extra levels over its PC counterpart, all of which follow suit with everything else on offer.
At 1000 Wii points ($10), And Yet It Moves should have a place on your Wii. If you thought it was great the first time around, prepare to fall in love all over again. Flippin’ brilliant (third strike, you’re out).
Great news everyone, Machinarium is finally coming to consoles. While the game hit a road block trying to land on XBLA and is still in negotiation with PSN, XGen Studios has announced alongside Amanita Design that the ‘about a robot’ title is being prepped for a WiiWare release.
XGen, the team behind the well received WiiWare title Defend Your Castle, will be handling the porting duties of Amanita’s multiple award-winning point-and-click puzzle adventure game. No release date or pricing details were included in the release so we’ll just have to twiddle our thumbs and wait for more info. Ah shucks.
You can check out more on Machinarium on the official site for the game and purchase the title on PC and Mac via Steam. Or stick around and read our interview with Amanita’s Jakub Dvorský if you’d like.