Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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PAX East First Impressions – Revolution 60

It takes some serious balls to promote your indie game as “Heavy Rain meets Mass Effect“, but that’s precisely how the team at Giant Spacekat is describing their debut project, Revolution 60. Well, perhaps “balls”..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX East First Impressions – Revolution 60


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PAX East First Impressions – There Came an Echo

Shifting gears, but staying within the realm of RTS titles – I guess it’s one of those days – a new project by Iridium Studios drummed up a significant amount of buzz on the show..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX East First Impressions – There Came an Echo


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Screenshot Weekly – Alaska, Iubes, The Last Federation

Welcome back to Screenshot Weekly! Every Tuesday, IGM brings you exclusive early looks at upcoming games in various stages of development. The featured image introducing each game will always be original, and made especially for..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Screenshot Weekly – Alaska, Iubes, The Last Federation


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Kenshi Gives Us Freedom After The World Ends

It’s the end of the world as we know it, Samurai, hope you’ve got some friends to spend it with…. Kenshi is an upcoming post apocalyptic, survival sandbox indie game from Lofi games where you..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Kenshi Gives Us Freedom After The World Ends


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Abyss Odyssey, 2D Action platformer with Complex Fighting Mechanics

Abyss Odyssey is a great looking new multiplayer 2D side scrolling action-platformer (whew!) with impressive fighting mechanics, roguelike elements, and randomly generated environments. As is to be expected from the makers of Zeno Clash, the..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Abyss Odyssey, 2D Action platformer with Complex Fighting Mechanics


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‘King Voxel’ Preview – A Quest For Queen And Country

King Voxel title

Do you pine for the golden days of the Atari 2600 and the original Nintendo Entertainment System? If retro gaming is your calling, check out Lecker Klecker’s upcoming debut release, King Voxel. Harkening back to the days of Adventure and Legend of Zelda, this nostalgic PC tribute to 8-bit questing is a call to arms for fans of ye olden days.

The premise is as straightforward adventure as you can get. King Voxel’s kingdom of Voxelot is overrun with fearsome foes, and his beloved queen has been kidnapped by the evil Lord Hellion. With sword drawn, and crown stubbornly glued to his head, it is up to King Voxel to conquer his enemies, take back his realm, and rescue his monarch-in-distress.

The gameplay follows the traditional pattern; King Voxel progresses one quest at a time, sometimes searching for specific items, other times simply going all-out on his enemies until only the king himself is left standing. In between quests, shops can be visited in order to purchase new items and equipment, and according to the official site a fortune teller will eventually be added in as a hint-giver to aid progress. In addition to the generic up-down-left-right movement, the game also features dynamic camera controls, which greatly reduce navigational frustration.

What stands out the most about this voxel-based take on 8-bit fantasy is the world generator. With a fully randomized experience, no two playthroughs will be the same, and the questing capacity dial is turned up to infinity. No more post-game depression, -the adventure never has to end. On the other hand, this could be bad news for the King and Queen; the lack of closure implies that the kingdom will never truly be completely free of invaders. Such is the life of a virtual ruler.

Along with infinite quests (and thus, infinite treasures to be found!), King Voxel also features a wealth of monstrous enemies for your vanquishing pleasure. The designs are every bit as colorfully trippy as the baddies of yore. One moment you might find yourself facing a giant jumping spider, the next a disembodied skull of doom. Of course, any king worth his mettle must be ready for anything – even psychedelic-pink pig monsters.

King Voxel 01

Luckily, King Voxel also seems to incorporate the healthy sense of humor so often missing from more gritty modern adventure games. Between the neon-bright cartoonish graphics and odd cast of characters, trying for a deadly serious tone would have been suicide. Instead, Lecker Klecker tossed in quite a bit of content ‘just for fun,’ including drolly anachronistic collectibles (such as a pair of sunglass or a saxophone), a casino, and the Voxelot Royal Art Museum, which features random images (submitted by the backers as well as the developer) and serves no grander purpose than players’ amusement.

At its core, King Voxel is a labor of love – the respect and admiration for old-school adventure gaming is evident in the magical atmosphere (which owes its beauty in no small part to Mike O.K.’s epic-fantastical soundtrack) and the attention to detail that appears to be going into every voxel. If you, too, are a warrior poet at heart, check out the official site to learn more, or visit the Steam Greenlight page to show your support. No specific release date has been announced as of yet, though currently the developer is looking at an early 2014 release. In the meantime, be sure to check out the free alpha demo available on the Indiegogo page.

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘King Voxel’ Preview – A Quest For Queen And Country


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Device Spotlight: Woojer – Feel The Sound

As a PC gamer who pretty much gets all my gaming done through a mouse & keyboard, or on my tablet, I have forgotten what it’s like to feel the rumble of an outgoing artillery round, or the impact of a crash in a racing game. Short of hooking up a console controller to my PC, I receive absolutely no physical feedback.

A new device called Woojer, is set to solve that problem for PC and mobile gamers.

Woojer is a small, compact device that gamers hook up through the standard headphone socket that every mobile device sports. PC users simply plug it into their PC’s audio output socket, just as they would with a headset. Woojer bridges the connection between headsets and the device/PC, allowing users to sport their preferred headet while enjoying the effects of the device. The Woojer itself can be placed anywhere on the player’s body, and is silent while in use.

By providing the user the right physical feedback, the Woojer device can completely immerse the user in the moment taking place within the game. The device itself was thought up by a rock concert engineer who was frustrated that he and other music enthusiasts could not have the same physical sensations at home, as they could at live shows thanks to the massive speaker systems that pump out the bone-shaking frequencies.

During Woojer’s testing phases, the designer discovered that the device could benefit the hearing impaired, as it allows hearing impaired users to literally feel the sounds. It was also discovered that many gamers were playing games at dangerous audio levels, in an effort to compensate for their headphone’s lack of ability of producing that desirable deep rumble, iconic of subwoofers. With the Woojer, those gamers found they could play at much lower audio levels, as the Woojer provided them the feedback they wanted.

Currently, the designers of the Woojer have taken the device to Kickstarter, in an effort to generate $100,000 to get the device out on the market.

The Woojer has the potential to revolutionize the game industry’s peripheral scene. If it catches on with PC and mobile gamers, there is a high chance it could be seen brought to consoles as well. A few years down the road we could all be playing Titanfall with five of these devices strapped to our bodies. Taking enemy fire while in the mech suits would set the devices off, allowing players to feel the impact of being hit, while feeling the rumble of their own weaponry going off. The future of the Woojer is certainly full of possibilities.


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‘Core of Innocence’ Preview – Sidequests, And Fanservice, Galore

CoI title

If you ever wanted superpowers (and a super-skimpy outfit to go with them), you might want to take a look at Core of Innocence, an upcoming adventure platformer for the PC from Pudding Hat Games. Sprout wings, turn into a cat, save the world from imminent destruction – all the classic elements are there, along with a fairly charitable dose of fanservice.

Say “hello” to Lila Ashford, a young woman born into a family of archaeologists. For years she has searched in vain for her mother, who mysteriously vanished during an excavation in the Balanceran mines. One day, Lila’s grandfather contacts her with news of a discovery at the mines – a new energetic mineral dubbed Electrum, which could be linked to her mother’s disappearance. But once Lila arrives on-site, a dark force reveals itself, launching her into a dangerous quest to uncover the truth about her mother, her family’s legacy, and her own identity.

While the overarching goal is obviously to defeat the big bad guy and find out what happened to Lila’s mother, even the current version already includes a plethora of optional undertakings and secret locations in addition to the main plot. It seems like every other person in the mines has some random chore they’ve been dying to dump on the new girl. “Could you find my bracelet for me?” “If you see this random laundry-list of items just lying around on the floor, bring them on over, would you?” “Did you find my favorite pair of underwear yet?” (Yes, seriously.) Luckily, Lila doesn’t have to do anything you don’t want her to – except, of course, for the whole main quest thing. That one’s kind of a big deal. But for all you completionists out there, Core of Innocence looks like it could be one heck of a scavenger hunt.

Taking cues from the classics, the game looks to be chock-full of everything fans of the genre could want. Power-ups, collectible weaponry, equipment upgrades, side-quests, magic portals to (eight) other worlds, supernatural legions of evil forces bent on bringing about the advent of hell on earth – you name it, it’s probably there. Highlights include double-jumping, which causes Lila to sprout a rather snazzy pair of black wings in order to grab some extra air, and transforming into a wall-crawling, travel-sized feline.

CoI 01

Personally, I prefer cat-Lila. My natural bias towards felines aside, the potential for fanservice is greatly reduced when your character has neither breasts to animate nor, for that matter, a female human body to show off. And yes, there is a pretty decent amount of fanservice in the game so far, which is probably the main reason why it is stated to be intended for a mature audience.

Lila initially shows up dressed in a conservative pair of overalls and a t-shirt, but once her secret awesomeness kicks in, she immediately changes into a black bikini top and a teeny-tiny miniskirt. Practical? Not exactly, but at least she’s got a top at all, which is more than some of the racier varieties of enemies can say. There are other options in her inventory, but at the current stage equipping these only affects Lila’s stats, not her appearance. With any luck, however, this will be changed in some future update – some of her alternate ensembles, like Witch Hunter, actually look pretty darn cool. Dressing her up as Heather Mason could be fun, too.

Core of Innocence is determined to be an exciting, challenging game of sword and sorcery, and with all the content the developers are packing into it, it definitely has a fighting chance. No official release date is set yet, but according to the Pudding Hat Games blog, a full release shouldn’t be too far away. The final version will be DRM-free, and free to download with a “pay what you want” donation option.

CoI 02

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Core of Innocence’ Preview – Sidequests, And Fanservice, Galore


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‘Theocalypse’ – A Tale Of Ancient Mythologies Modernized

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“When the gods of religions and days passed return to our modern world, humanity must fight for its survival and future.”

Gamers are all too familiar with the tropes of the apocalypse: zombies overrunning humanity, monsters from other dimensions crossing through rifts in space and time, man-made apocalypses brought on by weapons of mass destruction….we’ve all heard these stories before. Games have leeched on these scenarios for decades, and the developers at 2GZ Studios realized this when they decided to begin working on their first game.

They ended up with Theocalypse, an RPG in which legendary mythologies are modernized in an epic story where deities battle for control of our planet.  Now, forty years into that war for Earth, a mere mortal has risen to become a god and has the chance to end the war, once and for all.

theo

2GZ Studios is working hard to ensure that Theocalypse adds enough to the RPG genre, to warrant player’s time. While the visual style pays homage to the old days, the SNES-era of RPGs, the mechanics working behind the graphics are anything but old-school. The game is based around a mature and philosophical storyline, going so far as to examine the nature of power and question the true differences between man and gods, wherein players are presented with decisions to make which will ultimately determine the outcome of the game. 2GZ Studios promises that these choices will never simply be “black and white” but will be shades of grey. Theocalypse also features a unique combat system where “tech points” are utilized in place of the traditional health and manna resources.

The story of Theocalypse is so in-depth that 2GZ Studios feels that it can only be told in a trilogy, and part 1 of the trilogy is currently being promoted on Kickstarter. 2GZ Studios is looking for $15,000 to cover the completion of episode one. Supporters have the opportunity to get in on the beta tests for the three episodes, as well as have access to posters, the game’s soundtrack, and more.

2013-11-02 03_01_13-Theocalypse - Mythology and Modern day collide in this RPG by 2GZ Studios — Kick

Keep up the the development of Theocalypse by following 2GZ Studios on Twitter, and check out the game’s Kickstarter campaign.

2gzstudios.com


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‘Luxuria Superbia’ – Lots of Luxury, Not as Much Superb

Please, don’t get me wrong, I love weird games. If there’s a game that breaks traditional gameplay techniques and stories, I’d probably love it! Have I ever told you a few of my favorite games? Mirror’s Edge, Jet Set Radio Future, The World Ends With You…all those games do a great job of defying what traditional games in their respective genres do. I love games that are weird like that, but they still have to be a bit grounded. Tale of Tales trippy title Luxuria Superbia is pretty far out there. It’s essentially a beginner’s acid trip.

Luxuria Superbia is a (rhythm?) game that was originally meant to be played on a tablet. In fact, playing with just a mouse is pretty much impossible. You’ll be plugging in a gamepad for this one. You control two cursors (flowers?) inside a tunnel, and each side of the tunnel begins colorless. Through petal collection, each side begins to fill up with color, and you gain points as long as your cursors stay in the colored area. But if you fill up every side completely, the level ends.

Luxuria Superbia Screenie 1

The control of the cursors is really smooth, and I thought it made the game a little more challenging than it would be on a tablet. The sensitivity of the analog sticks is near perfect—you can always predict where you’re going to move to, and that’s essential in a game like this. It’s only detrimental in the later levels, where I noticed some slowdowns and FPS drops during gameplay. That’s weird, considering the later levels are pretty easy. The game has a very easy difficulty ramp, but I have trouble calling it a ramp. It’s more like a very small elevation change, like stepping from the street up onto the curb. This game is really, really easy. The only hard part is having enough time to finish the levels with a high score.

That is, if you’re not too put off to finish the levels. During each one, text will appear in the middle of the screen that’s…disturbing, at best. Phrases like “Touch me.” and “Oh god.” or maybe “Right there.” Might throw you off your game a little bit. Or a lot. I had them on for two levels and then paused the game and found the option to turn them off. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had to keep them on. Thankfully, the visuals aren’t nearly as creepy. They’re mostly nonsensical, with flower petals turning into chairs and other random objects depending on the level you’re on. The music, while well-produced and interesting at times, is pretty experimental. But what did you expect from an experimental game?

Luxuria Superbia Screenie 2

I feel like this game should be judged from a standpoint of visual art/multimedia art, but I’m a game critic, so it’s not my place to look at Luxuria Superbia like that. It really does look beautiful, and I’m just one person; this could be right up someone else’s alley. As a game, however, it’s got a long way to go before I’d pick it up and play again. There are elements of replayability, and there’s a start-to-finish game, but everything else is either missing or just a little bit off. It’s worth a look, and I recommend it to anyone interested in art games or solid control schemes.  Let us know what you think in the comments, too!

Luxuria Superbia will be released on November 5th for  Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Ouya. It is $3.99 for iOS/Android/Ouya and $5.99 for PC/Mac. You can keep up to date with Tale of Tales on Twitter!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Luxuria Superbia’ – Lots of Luxury, Not as Much Superb