We’ve just written up a post about the Develop Conference Indie Showcase which highlights the 10 finalists fairly and squarely, because that’s the right thing to do. However, out of those familiar games comes a DigiPen student creation that we’ve never met eyes with before but its blown some minds around here, thus making it very worthy of its very own post. Remember the first time you saw Fez in action and the 2D world suddenly became 3D? Well, take that to the next level and that’s what we’ve got going on here.
Perspective takes what would otherwise be a fairly typical 2D platformer and once again shoves it into a 3D world. This one isn’t confined to the four faces of a cube though, instead, the player is given control of the camera from a first person perspective. While doing this, the screen 2D character is locked in place and once the perspective has been shifted, they can then be unlocked and travel across the world. It’s basically like walking through a 3D level but having to bring a little 2D person with you, sort of.
As usual, these kinds of things always come out like nonsense when futilely explained with words such as this, so you better watch the trailer. You really should!
Impressive, no? We’ll pursue the student developer of Perspective if we can to find out how they pulled this rather marvellous feat off, and to see when are where it might be playable. It is a DigiPen student project which have a good track record of releasing excellent games for free, so we can’t see this being any different.
Either Defrost Games have installed the TP-205 brain-stem implant and taken us all back in time, or they’ve entered Project Temporality into the Dream.Build.Play competition again. Of course it’s the latter and why shouldn’t they? Project Temporality features time warping in all manners possible – multiple selves, time acceleration, rewinding, parallel realities; all of that stuff that your brain can only sneeze at. The important thing is that these complex maneuvers translate well to your thumbs, and judging from the glimpse of how the controls work in the game we can presume that it’s going to be easy to operate at least.
In this third person puzzler in yet another sinister testing facility, you’ll be playing as yourself…or rather, your avatar. You can see that in the character design too and it’s the only thing that we’re not all that happy about. It’s the shape of those Xbox avatars we think – there’s something odd about them. Apart from that slight displeasure, this is one of the finest XBLIG titles we’ve ever seen, in all honest, presuming the game’s puzzles are genuinely thought inducing of course.
With the entry into the DBP 2012 competition comes a new trailer and what is new this time? Defrost say that the demo contains six entirely new levels with some extra mechanics to show off, though they did want more to be included but the tight deadline made that an impossibility. Lasers and mirrors make a debut as well as puzzles built around “temporarily fielded objects”.
Interested? Confused? Either way, check out the official website and catch up with the game’s development. Who knows – maybe this is Defrost’s year to win?
You know what today is? No? Maybe you should combine your long term memory with today’s date…getting anything? That’s right! It’s Resonance launch day people and the game is now available to buy, download and play everywhere! Okay, not quite everywhere – it’s not going to be on Steam until July, the reason wasn’t specified.
If you’ve been playing the available demo of Resonance then you should have a pretty good idea of what the game is all about. If not, go fetch some cocoa and sit on the carpet right there. Now, Resonance is a point and click adventure game, like the ones you’re so familiar with, yes. It does feature a pretty innovative use of interface though, as you can pull things from around the screen into your short memory to then be brought up and combined with items and events later in the game. The long term memory is also used as a means to unlock puzzles and give the player a hint as to what they may have to do next – it all comes together inside this virtual, disembodied memory bank.
The plot concerns the following of four playable characters who are trying to get back a dead physicists piece of technology before it falls into the wrong hands and bad things happen. You know – the usual near-disaster, saving the world kind of thing. There seems to be an unknown connection between these four people as well, something you’ll inevitably find out the further you delve into this game’s intricate plot.
So there you have it! If you’re a fan of point and click adventures, this is a must-buy, if not then it’s still a must-buy dammit! Just play it. That’s all that needs to be said. The game has been in the making for about five years, following its developer, Vince “Twelve” Wesselmann, as he moves countries and tries to live life as a part time developer. This guy really needs to catch a break and make it as a full time developer. It just has to happen.
Look at the nice things he says:
“After so much hard work, it’s unbelievable to finally reach the finish line and share Resonance with the world. I’m grateful for the support of an amazing team of artists and musicians, not to mention the great folks at Wadjet Eye Games, without whom Resonance would have never come this far. And I’d like to give a special ‘thank you’ to all of the fans and backers who motivated me to work late into the night for five long years. I sincerely hope Resonance has been worth the wait!”
You can purchase the game from Wadjet Eye Games and GOG. More information if you want it can be found on the official website.
It’s clearly Bundle Season. The Humble Bundle just ended, Indie Royale is still running, Indiefort has just started, and now Indie Gala has jumped in, looking for a piece of the action. To be perfectly honest, I can’t see this one shifting too many units, as the base price games are all for Android – not exactly the most widespread of platforms in this iDevice-dominated world, sadly. Still, there’s a couple interesting bits in the ‘pay above average’ section for us PC types.
Not having an Android device of my own, I can’t really say much about the core lineup, although it does look fairly solid overall. Great Little War Game looks like a fairly polished Advance Wars style game (with hexes), although the art style does look about as generic as possible. Smiles HD is a simple block-switching/color-matching type casual puzzle game, although those are ten a penny these days. Cardinal Quest is a pretty solid ‘light’ Roguelike, and it looks like it includes both Android and PC (via Desura) options, which is always nice. Legends of Yore is another, even lighter Roguelike, apparently using the same free art-set that was so effectively used by Realm of The Mad God a while back.
For those that pay a bit higher, there’s three PC games. Turba (available via Steam) is a musical block-matching puzzle game, but I can’t say I’ve heard much good about it at all. Manor of The Damned (Desura) is a cute Zelda-like action RPG about vampires and all things grimdark and gory – not too sure if the washed-out aesthetic works in 16-bit style, but it looks fairly solid. Last, and probably most notable, is Pitiri 1977. Activated via Desura, this platform adventure caught my eye when the first trailer was released some time back, but I regrettably never got the chance to play it. There’s some beautiful hand-drawn art on show, and some interesting concepts. Maybe the pack is worth it just for this?
So, brave and richer-than-me readers, I pose a question to you: Is this bundle worth the money? An especially big question to those with Android devices. Share your thoughts in the handy comment box below – it’s what it’s there for, after all.
Non-linear 2D action platformer A Valley Without Wind now has a 1.1 update and people, come here…no, closer…THE RELEASE NOTES COME IN AT 48,500 WORDS! That’s a crater-sized update right there. What could they have added and changed to have release notes that comes in at that ridiculous number? There better be dancing penguins in stockings and on stilts at the very least!
Okay, first disappointment – no penguins. However, the game must have almost doubled in size looking at what has been added. Let’s just reel off the first few bullet points: over 160 new room maps, 15 new regular enemies, 8 new minibosses, 16 new “elite” enemies, 5 classes of infestations, a new “craggy highlands” region/biome type, 8 new music tracks, 5 new classes of player enchants, 3 new player spells…it goes on!
The additions listed above have occurred after the developers had so many people asking for more enemies, but the biggest and most confusing thing they had to tackle was eliminating the need to grind which players and reviewers had claimed, despite their beta players saying that the game felt like an RPG without the grind. Chris Park actually addresses of all this feedback and complaints and how the studio handled it all with the 1.1 update over on his blog.
Chris concludes in his post that with the 1.1 update, A Valley Without Wind is almost a different game now. The reason was simply having so many players having the game in their hands, and many of them not really knowing much about the game prior to playing it. He also reckons that there is a lot of work to be done still, even though the studio has learned a lot about their own game already and has tried to react to player feedback.
Arcen Games can certainly be commended for their effort and care for their players. If you want to give A Valley Without Wind a go then certainly check out the game’s demo and make a good old purchase if it clicks with you.
While sounding like the average Saturday night out for some of you, Drink, Shoot Survive is actually about surviving the wild west in a shirt and tie. Maybe it’s about a Sunday morning hangover then> Or a trip to work on a Monday morning in which you took a shortcut which ended up being a completely wrong turn? How else does a man get lost in the wild west, with a gun and in a shirt and tie?
Whatever the back story to this may be, we’re grateful for the resulting game due to its testament to the survival genre. With only six bullets in your revolver and a lack of water, things are going to start off pretty tough, but start mixing with the locals and you may luck out. There are small towns to find with small civilians to poke your gun at, and bandits who you can enter into a gunfight with (at your own risk) or attempt to initiate a peaceful negotiation.
We are getting a little ahead of development now though, as can be read on the development blog, most of what we outline exists only as an ideas list rather than having been implemented in game already. Still, we do love a good romp around the wild west, trying to find water, carrying out dangerous tasks for people and horses! Please let there be horses!
Keep up to date with all things Drink, Shoot Survive by following the developer on .
Joining the long list (and always getting longer) of games inspired by Portal is Vicinity: Warp Reality which takes many elements from the infamous puzzle platformer, including a female AI assistant and a room-based design. Chell is swapped out for Claire and the Portal Gun some physics manipulating gloves referred to as the Dynamic Force Manipulator. There are portals, but they merely act as a means to travel from level to level.
The plot goes that Claire seeks to claim the Control Cube and to do so she needs to pass through a facility full of puzzle rooms. I’m not sure what kind of security system that is, apart from an entertaining one, but it does seem to be popular when protecting artefacts of scientific interest. Aiding Claire is an AI called A.D.A; an awkward anagram which stands for AnDroid Assistant. She likes to point out the obvious but doesn’t do much else, unfortunately.
Though the inspiration is Portal, the puzzles are fairly different, though use a similar mechanic. Maybe. If you consider using a portal a method to teleport yourself, then what you end up doing a lot of in Vicinity isn’t so far away. When there’s an unreachable platform, it usually means there’s a means to teleport yourself, which is done by casting a digital equivalent of yourself to where you want to go. There’s also some ball work to be done at times, which is quite reminiscent of The Ball, unsurprisingly. Pushing and pulling huge spheres around to open up exits – pretty standard stuff.
You have to give it to the student group of five who made the game though, they’ve not done a bad job. Though their inclusion of what are presumably hidden pies is a bit odd and exists to only reference Portal further, it would seem. You can try out Vicinity: Warp Reality for yourself by downloading the game from this link. More information can about the game can be obtained from the official website.
Giant red robots, detailed fiery backgrounds, industrial settings and smoky orange explosions. Ain’t it gorgeous? We’re suddenly back in the 90s with outrageous lime green clothing and fizzy drinks with actual sugar in them. Retromite’s focus on 16-bit pixel art renders many with a sense of nostalgia, and for that reason it should certainly not go amiss. Hence why we’re making up for it now – look at it and drink it in!
Retromite first hit it off with A.R.C.S for mobile devices as well as a free browser based game on BigDino, as well as other portals. It’s an attempt to take the simple gameplay of traditional castle defense games and offer a little more depth via a soft vs hard target system and a clever multi-kill system. Can’t say we’re a massive fan of the soundtrack, or even some of the sound effects in the game, but visually it’s bloody stunning!
A.R.C.S is also available on Desura, the Mac App Store and the official store now, for a price, oddly enough. What does this add? It’s described as a “deluxe” version which takes away the adverts and supports fullscreen. To those turning up their nose, you’ll be supporting an indie developer remember? That feels good.
The follow up to A.R.C.S is a slightly more shameful 2D action title by the name of RobotRiot. Shameful merely because it re-uses many of the art assets from Retromite’s previous game, and somehow looks a little worse. That’s mainly the fault of the backgrounds and the not-so-hot sound effects. As a fun bit of robot shooting action though, it’s quite adequate and it only pales in comparison to Retromite’s previous title.
Now, what’s all this about teasing a new game? Well, it looks the robots are being chucked out of the proceedings for this new title. Luckily the 16-bit pixels are still very much present and looking gorgeous as ever. In fact, maybe even more so because they’re depicting nature rather than the destruction of civilisation. Not to get caught up in petty admiration, but the detail in the grass, rocks and trees is something worth pointing out.
The game is teased on the official website with the above image only, which fortunately does mean that a release should be soon if we’re to make the assumption that “Summer 2012″ is reliable. But we do have more details, courtesy of a lovely interview conducted over on RGCD. Those of you who jumped up in joy at the sight of an elf-like person riding a wildboar, you better hold on to the ground while your legs flail in the air once again.
“…it will be a game where you play a test-driver for new fantasy mounts. Different worlds, Monster chases, many mounts and a tragic 32
Helping people help themselves. That, apparently, was the loosely followed doctrine of the somewhat ill-fated UK Liberal Government of the early twentieth century, but it’s now a more pertinent ideology for veteran indie developers John and Ste Pickford, who have unleashed Games We Like, a developer-driven site dedicated to the promotion of independent games.
The site encourages developers to pick a handful of indie games that they’re willing to recommend to both fellow developers and regular gaming customers, with their choices gaining pride of place on the site’s front page. Moreover, participating developers are urged to grant further publicity for their recommended games by promoting them through their own personal websites, blogs and social media outlets.
Participants are forced to abide by only two rules imposed by the Pickford’s avuncular iron fist. Firstly, all promotion given to fellow developers must be done so for free, with bribery and financial carrot-waving being frowned upon from a great height. Additionally, promotions made under the site’s umbrella do not have to be reciprocated, theoretically avoiding the imposition of guilt-driven pressure for developers to recommend the products of those who gave them a glowing reference of their own.
Ste Pickford has hastened to reassure the gaming community at large that Games We Like is strictly a means for developers to provide more exposure to games thast hold a particularly ‘je ne sais quoi’ value to them.
“There’s no suggestion that these are the best indie games out there, or a definitive list of important games,” he said in the site’s official press release. ” We’re not critics. They’re just a list of games that have value to us personally, by people we like or locally made, that we’d like to see get more exposure.”
The Pickford brothers’ initial picks are viewable on the Games We Like site, including the likes of Quarrel, Eufloria and Caverns of Minos.
Here’s a must-have for bargain-addicted indie gamers; GamersGate are really set on playing ball with the bundling sites. The recent Humble Bundle and Indie Royale (still running) are impressive packs of games, and so is the Indiefort Bundle 2. It’s a strange set of games with clearly no shared themes or concepts, but that’s what makes this one so interesting. Let’s take a look at what your $6 (or more, if you choose to pay higher) will get you.
First up is 3079. Featured a while back in the Indie Royale Alphafunding bundle, the game is now complete and ready for prime time. It’s an unusual mix of styles – it’s a retro action-RPG set in a very Minecraft-esque procedurally generated world. It’s a bit on the clunky and ugly side, but there’s quite a bit of depth to be found here. What starts out as blind fumbling around the landscape eventually has you grappling-hooking around floating fortresses and shooting down aerial battleships.
Fortix 2 bills itself as ‘Reverse Tower Defense’. It isn’t. It’s Qix, but with Castles. Granted, it’s a bit deeper than that, but it still largely involves careful drawing of lines across the map to trap enemies and open up new paths for you to move across. It’s also a very polished and refined Qix clone, and we honestly don’t get too many of them around these days – it’s a derivative subgenre that seemed to die out in the late 90s when a bunch of strange knockoffs figured that adding porn to the mix would help it sell. Fortix 2 contains no porn, only dragons. Although I guess they are naked, if that’s your sort of thing. I ain’t judging.
Aztaka continues the ‘themeless’ theme by being a side-scrolling Mesoamerican themed platform action RPG. The art is great on this one, no question, although common complaints levelled at it are that the animation is occasionally awkward and the gameplay as a whole gets bogged down too much in RPG tropes and doesn’t really leverage the action/platform parts of the design. Still, it would be silly not to at least try it and judge for yourself if you do grab this bundle.
Fourth, and unquestionably weirdest, is Dark Scavenger. A surreal narrative RPG, reviewed here a while back. The closest possible point of reference would be the obscure DOS RPG Superhero League of Hoboken – a game where everything has a use, even if it’s not obvious or sane, and there’s plenty of offbeat, humorous text to wade through, even in combat. Playing as an alien ne’er-do-well, your goal is to explore a strange planet in search of the gear needed to get back into space. Released quite recently, it’s a surprise to see it in a bundle so quickly.
Fifth in the lineup is Demise: Ascension. Rumored to be in Indiefort 1, but sadly not featured in the first outing, Demise is a labor of love. A Wizardry-style dungeon crawl RPG (with online support) that has been retrofitted, remixed, upgraded and expanded fairly consistently since the 90s. Understandably weak in graphics (it’s unashamedly a 90s game, but upgraded), but enormous in depth. There’s a genuinely complex 3D dungeon world here, and deep character growth, with elements like ageing and physical exhaustion playing into the mix.
They’ve saved the best for last, though. Contra/Abuse mashup Intrusion 2 has officially launched today, and (for the moment) exclusively via this bundle. We previewed it not long ago, and found it to be a generally great and impressively polished bit of platform shootery. There’s strong elements of Metal Slug, Abuse and Contra in here, plus a few new ideas and some absolutely fantastic boss design. Personally, I reckon that $6 is a good price for this one game alone. The fact that you get another five is just icing on the cake.
Interestingly, many of the games in this bundle are one-man projects, which makes every sale go a little bit further to the developers. It’ll be interesting to see whether this bundle moves enough copies to keep the developers chugging for a while longer. The discounts on show are an interesting mix, too. Normally, Demise sells at full retail price – clearly aimed high for a very specific niche audience – and it’ll be particularly interesting to see whether this opens it up to a wider audience. So, what are you waiting for? If nothing else, Intrusion 2 is worth the asking price. It might not have the budget of Konami’s latest Contra outing, but it has the soul.