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.
You may have already seen Monday’s announcement of the forty-eight submissions received by the Experimental Gameplay Project in response to their recent competition. The task, set back in December, was to design a game to be played in its entirety using only five buttons – no more, no less. Well, results have followed and thirteen lucky finalists are now guaranteed to have their games played through – and judged – at the imminent Stattmedia Game Contest at the Stattbad Gallery in Berlin on 17th February. Ten more runners up have also been given the honor on the condition that they make minor changes to fit in with the contest criteria.
It must be bundle season again as we’re, very suddenly, inundated with bundles once. While currently the only ones running are the Humble Indie Bundle for Android and the Indie Gala 2 bundle, we already know that an Indie Royale Valentines Day bundle is coming soon and, along with it, a new Groupees bundle which actually seems like it might be worth it this go around.
Kot-in-Action Creative Artel is one of the more talented indie studios I’ve seen in recent years. Their Steel Storm series is quite good for a top down shmup that offers a bit of extra depth than what we’re typically used to. Still, I think they’ve outdone themselves with their newest in-development game: Tomes of Mephistopheles (ToM), a game that allows you to just explode your way through obstacles… if the need arises.
Digital scarcity is an interesting concept. There should be no logical limit on how many times you can copy a file or generate a key, some places seem to just run out of stock anyway. That’s a deliberate decision on part of the Indie Gala managers for this pay-what-you-want (kinda) sale, as rather than have a time limit, this particular sale will end with 50,000 bundles sold. In addition, there’s three different bundles available here, offering 3, 5 or 11 games respectively. Oh, and like the enormously successful Humble Bundles, a chunk of the takings goes to charity. Lots of choices. Hit the break for a quick run-down of what each bundle and game offers.
Four men, a sack-full of Boom, a spaceship full of mutant alien beasties and a high-energy chiptune track to keep you moving. What’s not to like? Pineapple Smash Crew – the first game by one-man outfit ‘Rich Make Game!’ (with help from chiptune musician Syphus) – has been one to keep an eye on since it’s debut at the Eurogamer Expo last year, where folks played and enjoyed it a lot. Now it’s out and available to buy from Steam, Desura and other stores – so, the big question: How does it hold up to long-term scrutiny?
The Japanese indie scene is finally making it’s presence known to the English-speaking world. Hot on the tail of Fortune Summoners, Nyu Media (who released Satazius late last year, with additional backing from Capcom) are gearing up to release a full trilogy of gothic-themed vertically scrolling shmups to all standard digital distribution platforms – Steam included, presumably – for $10. Keep an eye open for Tennen-Sozai’s eXceed collection in the coming weeks. Gameplay footage and some thoughts after the break.
Update: A playable demo of eXceed2nd is available now, with a demo of eXceed3rd ‘coming soon’.
Some good news for those of you who consider yourselves fans of both Minecraft and Call of Duty (or any other FPS multiplayer game really) as it looks like Brick-Force is opening up just a little bit later this month for those of you who have signed up for the closed beta. If you haven’t yet done so, you can still get in on the action, although I’m not 100% sure if you’ll get in on February 28th.
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.