Welcome back to our Steam Sale indie roundup! We’re on day 2 of Summer sale season over on Steam, and this means that a metric ton of indie games are going to be very cheap, although usually for only one day at a time. IGM are here to help you pick out the wheat from the chaff while the daily deals are active.
Today’s Individual Deals:
- The Binding Of Isaac – 75% off – Dark, twisted humour and massive replayability are the hallmarks of Edmund McMillen’s nightmarish action-roguelike. Randomly generated dungeons and loot, but with gameplay that stands halfway between The Legend of Zelda and Smash TV, this one is an easy recommendation if you’ve got a strong stomach, and don’t mind the idea of a naked, abused cartoon child slaying a basement-full of nightmare creatures with their bloody tears (and other bodily fluids). Also cheap is the recent expansion, Wrath of The Lamb, which almost doubles the amount of content in the game.
- Payday: The Heist - 75% off – Questionably indie, admittedly, but worth a look nonetheless. Imagine Left 4 Dead meets Heat. A co-operative FPS where a team of four players take up the role of masked thieves tasked with breaking into a variety of heavily defended buildings, grabbing the goods, and getting out without getting cut down by the ridiculously numerous police force. Not too hot when played solo, but it comes into its own when played with friends. Also recently got a small free add-on, including a level that acts as an official prelude to the events of Left 4 Dead.
Today’s Flash Deals – They’ll Be Gone Soon!
- Hoard – 75% off – 4 hours and counting down on this one. Eff You, I’m A Dragon: The Game. Simple, retro arcade fun, where you play as a dragon, and do dragon things. That means burninating villages, kidnapping princesses and sitting on an enormous pile of gold to make other, rival dragons (and greedy kings) jealous enough to step up for a go. Fairly limited as a singleplayer game, but multiplayer with friends is competitive in a particularly brutal bomberman-ish way.
- EYE: Divine Cybermancy - Very strange and divisive, but a personal favourite. Recently updated and expanded, this is what happens when a tiny French indie studio attempt to make a massive, ambitious non-linear FPS/RPG hybrid that mashes together a half-dozen popular sci-fi styles. In short, they don’t quite make it, but the resulting game plays surprisingly well anyway. The plot is half incoherent by design, half crippled by poor translation, but there’s a lot of fun to be had solo or with friends playing as a magical cyborg ninja space-monk with a minigun.
- Botanicula - Absolutely beautiful point-and-click adventure from the creators of Machinarium. It’s simple stuff, but the sound, art, music and general feel of it are unmatched. It’s one of those games that will put a big dopey smile on your face, just so long as you’re not crashing headlong into a particularly obscure puzzle.
- Splice - Not played this one myself, but our resident puzzleologist Mike Gnade did, and reviewed it. To quote: “If you’re looking for hours of gameplay, twitch action, or straight forward puzzles, you will likely be disappointed with Splice. But if you are open to discovery, experimentation, and something unique and beautiful – Splice is for you.”. So, rather good, then?
- Oil Rush - A 3D RTS that looks much more complex than it is. Essentially a blend of traditional strategy gaming and Galcon-esque number-crunching. It’s faster and more arcadey than most strategy games, although less involved, too. Reviews for this one were decent-to-middling. Entertaining enough, but nothing to write home about.
- Universe Sandbox - Not really a game, so much as a software toy. Play around with gravity fields, asteroid belts, ping-ponging planets and orbital collisions on an interstellar level. Entertaining for astrophysics geeks, although of limited appeal for those who like their fun to have goals and structure.
Not quite as good as yesterday, but still a respectable bunch of games, and probably worth a few of your precious currency units. As with the previous Winter sale, the previous days core deals are available for a few hours more, so snap them up if you missed any you wanted.
A bit of advice: As with all big Steam sale events, if something you want isn’t a daily deal today (or you missed out on the day that it was) then put it on your wishlist and hold onto your cash until the final ‘encore’ day of deals. You never know what’ll be featured! Shop smart, and you’ll come away from this with a fat sack of games to last you until Winter. And then the cycle begins all over again. Ain’t gaming great?
Japanese development studio EISYS, Inc. have announced their intentions to bring their dual-pronged adventure bundle, Almight, to the PC and Mac platforms, having already unveiled free trial versions on iOS and Android devices.
The title will bring together two separate adventure titles, entitled Maid Detectives Dille and Elle and Play Time. The former puts players in control of Saito, a schoolboy who’s managed to find part-time employment at a maid detective agency in a move that’s certain to result in the administration of numerous pummellings at the hands of testosterone-pumped adolescent meatsacks. He’s apparently burdened with the task of sending Dille and Elle, two detective extraordinaires decked out in snazzy maid uniforms, into the heat of a peculiar mystery as the pair attempt to bring a measure of justice to a world of deceit and unflattering dress codes.
The more conventionally-titled Play Time appears to be a darker tale of woe and suspense. A young girl named Yui finds herself incarcerated in a hotel basement with her ex-classmates at a junior high school reunion, but before they can settle down with a bottle of Tizer and reminisce about the time Sally stole the teacher’s Jammy Dodgers, they’re greeted by a chilling voice. “Well, now, let’s begin our fun game,” it exclaims, culminating in a frantic quest to survive the twists and turns that inevitably ensue as a result of the frivolities conjured up by the anonymous voice.
Free trial versions of Almight can be downloaded through the App Store and the Google Play Store, whilst the game’s full PC and Mac releases have not yet been dated. For more information, visit the game’s official site.
Point-and-click puzzle fanatics eagerly anticipating the release of Sos Sosowski’s McPixel have been greeted today with the disappointing news that the game has been delayed from its original release date of June 6th to June 25th.
The game, currently in its final development stages for the PC, Mac and Linux computer platforms, apparently needs an extra couple of weeks’ polish before being ready to grace the hard drives of players around the world, according to Sos’s latest blog update. As a result, it’ll be waiting in the wings a little longer, effectively meaning that we’ll all just have to enjoy the Summer sunshine or something.
The shroud on psychological horror adventure Home has been removed as Benjamin Rivers, the game’s creator, has now made the game available for pre-order.
Home, set for release on June 1st, will be available in its standard Windows form for $2, completely DRM-free to boot. Alternatively, those wishing to splash out a little extra dosh can order the splendid-looking Old-School Collector’s Edition, which comes with a town map, full access to the game’s mapping tools, a physical, retro-laden manual and even a gosh-darn floppy disk. Crikey.
For those who didn’t already know, Home‘s major selling point is its promise that the player has almost total control over the manner in which the story – a gritty murder mystery – unfolds. The game world is said to evolve and adapt according to one’s own personal perspective, meaning that, in theory at least, anyone who plays the game through to its conclusion will yield strikingly different consequences to their actions throughout the chilling narrative. Backing up the tense, harrowing atmosphere is a gut-wrenchingly unnerving soundtrack and myriad of nasty little sound effects to scare you silly.
To put down your pre-order, or to find out more about Home, check out its official website.
As was first revealed last week, Fez was to be the latest indie darling to receive the downloadable soundtrack treatment. And now, without further ado, it’s here and ready to rock your world.
Created by Disasterpeace, Fez‘s music is probably best described as a chiptune throwback to the soundtracks of the 8-bit console era. There’s certainly a hint of Mario, Zelda and Contra in there, but there’s enough zing and variety to allow Fez to stand out as a melodious chunk of symphonic goodness in its own right.
Of course, this mesmeric soundscape isn’t the first highly-acclaimed indie game-related musical collection to have been released this month, following on from both Journey and Botanicula. Heck, you could even add the recently released PC port of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and you’ve got quite possibly the greatest month in the history of downloadable video gaming music.
Fez‘s soundtrack can be purchased and downloaded for $7 through Bandcamp right now. It’s available in .FLAC, .mp3 and supposedly “just about any other format you could possibly desire,” so the power of choice is in your hands. You could also check out our review if you’re still in the Fez mindset.
Some people weren’t happy with having pre-ordered Amanita Design’s latest game, Botanicula, for full price to then find out it was released as a pay-what-you-want deal on the day of release as part of The Humble Botanicula Debut. To make up for it, Amanita are issuing a Bonus Bundle for their pre-order customers which contains some free goodies.
Botanicula was released yesterday on a number of online retailers, two of which offered pre-orders to people a couple of weeks in advance. Those who did pre-order received their copy of Botanicula for $9 but with the launch of The Humble Botanicula Debut yesterday, those who didn’t pre-order could get the game at a much cheaper price. In fact, those who do buy into The Humble Botanicula Debut are able to get Botanicula and two other Amanita games at a $1 minimum or for $5 they can get Steam keys and another game plus a short film.
Due to this, a number of people were upset about the deal – having put their money forward before the game’s arrival when they could have waited it out and got the game at a cheaper price and with other games attached too. That’s not to say they didn’t get anything else alongside their copy of Botanicula, well, those who pre-ordered on GamersGate didn’t but those who did through GOG.com received a soundtrack demo, photos, wallpapers and various artworks and sketches. Of course, they also got the game with a pre-order discount rather than paying the full price.
However, there’s no denying that those who pre-ordered got less and for a higher cost. As such, Amanita are aiming to make up for it by releasing a Bonus Bundle today for those who pre-ordered. This will contain the following:
- Full Botanicula Soundtrack
- Exclusive Botanicula art book
In a blog post on their website, Amanita explained the reason for the situation:
“We haven’t [had] much time to take care about business and logistics in [the] last few weeks because we were hard at work on the game fixing hundreads of bugs etc. so we made a mistake and let GOG and GG make pre-orders. We simply didn’t think about it and about the consequences, sorry for that.”
The slight upsetting part of the whole deal is that it has soured the game’s release ever so slightly so hopefully those who have been upset because they made a pre-order will find this apology adequate. The line from Amanita that kind of hurts to read is the following one:
“I hope it’s not that terrible deal for $9 you paid to support us so we can continue making independent games, we are very grateful for that!”
Of course, it wasn’t that those who pre-ordered were given a terrible deal – Botanicula at $9 with all of the delight it offers and with some extras (if bought from GOG) is a good deal in fact. The problem was that the pre-order actually backfired on those who took up on it rather than rewarding them as a pre-order should do (not all the time though of course).
Via Amanita Design
The A MAZE. Indie Connect festival is fast approaching and so the entries have to be whittled down to the 10 finalists. Talking of which, they have just been announced so it’s time to give them a look!
After receiving many entries for the prestigious The Most Amazing Game award which will be presented at the Indie Connect festival in Berlin, April 26-27th, the judges have played the games and gone through the difficult process of narrowing down to just 10 finalists. The winner of the award will received €5000, the chance to attend European Indie Game Days and to distribute the game on Little Indie.
But who are the 10 finalists of which we speak? Scroll down dear and you will see:
“Each player has a keyboard, and the keyboard is mapped to the screen. To fly, hit letters that point towards your intended direction. If you get shot you have a chance to survive by typing REPAIR. To get a highscore you have to keep your plane on screen while shooting down other players.”
“Beatbuddy is the first music action-adventure. Being in control of the music creature Beatbuddy you work your way through a song and bring back the music. Since all the multi tracks of each song are translated in interactive game mechanics you’re able to experience music in
a different way.”
“Botanicula is point’n’click exploration game created by Amanita Design and Czech band DVA. It’s about a bunch of five friends – little tree creatures who set out for a journey to save the last seed from their home tree which is infested by evil parasites.”
“Chasing Aurora is an explorative 2D aerial action game about the dream of flight. Drop from the cliff and ride the wind from peak to peak. Fight for the beacon of light with up to three friends in the hostile environment of the Alps.”
“Flight of the Fireflies is an experimental video game where you guide a swarm of musical fireflies on an atmospheric journey through places and emotions. Unlike most video games, the focus is not on the challenge – but on the experience.”
“ibb and obb is a cooperative game for two. Work together in this non-newtonian world. In the bottom half of the world gravity is reversed, enabling ibb and obb to walk on both sides of the horizon. Find your way surfing on gravity, soulhopping enemies and collecting diamonds.”
“Loop Raccord is a video editing game about synchronizing a chain of video clips in order to create an illusion of continuous movement between them.”
“Proteus is a game about the joy of immersion and self-directed exploration, set on a surreal procedurally-generated island. Ruins and strange creatures draw the player into the four seasons of the world and everything around you adds a voice to the dynamically-mixed soundtrack to your wanderings.”
“You are Tiny, a technophile guy with a ray cutter, a gripping device and a fine attitude towards the world. But now your nemesis Big stole the only heritage your grandpa left you: A nice pair of fine rib underpants! And he‘s surely up to no good, why else would he take them up that haunted mountain…”
“Where is my Heart? is loosely based on Bernhard Schulenburg’s experience of a sunday hike, which he went on with his mom and his dad. They got lost in a forest and confronted with this problem they came to face each other’s negative personality traits.”
More information on the A MAZE. Indie Connect festival can be found on the event’s official website.
Amanita Design’s seminal series, Samorost, will be getting its third entry soon and it already looks great in these first screenshots.
Samorost is actually one of our favorite game series at IGM so we’re always on the hunt for anything related to it. Obviously we all know that Amanaita Design have been working on Samorost 3 for a little while now, as well as Botanicula which will hit us soon. We haven’t saw or heard anything about it for a while now though, but all it took was a little digging and the first screenshots have arisen.
The screenshots were actually found a few months ago in the official Amanita Design forums. Jakub Dvorský of Amanita Design gave a talk at the TEDxBrno Conference in his native Czech Republic back in December in which he revealed three screenshots from Samorost 3. Luckily his talk was recorded so we can all have a look at them.
The only information known about Samorost 3 at this point is that it will take place across seven unique planets and will of course be a point and click adventure with music playing an important part as usual. There’s no release information as of yet.
You can see the screenshots from 13m 50s onwards in the video below taken from Jakub Dvorský’s talk at the TEDxBrno Conference.