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

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‘UnReal World’ RPG Is Going Free-To-Play Later This Month

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UnReal World is a roguelike RPG in which you take the role of an adventurer during the late Iron Age in a randomly generated world inspired by ancient Finland. In a world rich with northern folklore, the player becomes a member of one of nine different cultures and creates their own story of discovery and survival.

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UnReal World by Enormous Elk was originally released in 1992, but the team behind it still saw tremendous potential with the system already in place. The game was completely re-written in 1994 as UnReal World version 2.00b. Since then, the game has been continually receiving updates for the last 19 years.

This month, February of 2013, UnReal World will be switching from its current model of pricing to a donation based one. In the past they have given the option to purchase just the current version or buy a subscription to all of the versions. Instead, all of the versions will be free and fans will be able to support the developers with donations.

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The new update will also be adding features such as a completely new item selection dialog which will allow the selecting multiple items, item filtering and listing of  non-player items in groups. Commands for filling containers, eating, drinking and other tasks are more smoothly integrated and hunger is being implemented into the animals so that they react out of their own need for survival.

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Based on the way so many indies gain their community through their game’s beta phase, it would make sense for us to see more games adopt UnReal World‘s model of constantly receiving updates as long as developers are able to support themselves with it. You can purchase a copy now or keep up with the updates on UnReal World‘s official website.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘UnReal World’ RPG Is Going Free-To-Play Later This Month


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Luck of the Draw: ‘Andy’s Notepad (Saucers)’ Debut Trailer Released

Here’s a question for the habitual youthful doodlers out there. Remember when you were scrawling crude, haphazardly assembled drawings of caricatures from your favourite sci-fi entertainment hubs during your history lessons? Didn’t you long, at least momentarily, for your artistic concoctions to spring to life and blast the teacher into a mystifying scattering of smithereens before carrying you into the sunset in a blaze of mercurial glory?

Perhaps, but perhaps not, but that’s still the sentiments that rush to mind whilst taking in the almost effortless innocence with which the first gameplay trailer for Coneware’s multiplayer shooter, Andy’s Notepad (Saucers) has been put together. Featuring a stunningly rendered hand-drawn art style and sprinkled with the professional credibility lent to it by a smooth, well-managed framerate, the game ostensibly focuses around the classic mechanic of tactical space shooting for up to four players.


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Be Water, My Friend: ‘Walter’ Debut Trailer Gets Us Dripping

Walter

Water isn’t cute. It’s probably one of the most un-cute things in the world. You can drown in it. Slap some goggly eyes on it, however, and you’ve got something almost unbearably cute. A little watery friend for you that has no fear; find an obstacle that he can’t find a way around. As Bruce Lee once referred to, water can take any shape and can transfer between three forms of matter – it’s the ultimate…thing!

If you haven’t yet realised how crazy water is, then Blossom Minds’ Walter will help you out with that. The titular watery bundle of joy is under your command as he takes on a wretched oil company. The result is a platformer with a lot going for it. No obstacle is a match for a creature that can be gaseous, liquid and solid if the circumstance is right – how you going to defeat that?! Possibly through diffusion, actually. But who would be so cruel to something so cute?

Walter is due for a release in 2013 on PSN, XBLA and Steam so there’s no use in getting too pumped up about it right now. However, you should most certainly watch the trailer and make “d’awww” sounds at your monitor before getting a little plastic bag, a pair of googly eyes and a tap and making your own Walter toy. Hey, maybe we should sell them as unofficial merchandise… Well if you want the official stuff, you should head over to the Blossom Minds website.


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Highway To The Danger Zone: ‘Spitfire’ Released On XBLIG

If commandeering pixelated World War II fighter planes is what you’ve always dreamt of doing, read on. If not, read on anyway or I’ll sulk.

American developers Utupioneer Games, whose previous projects include Beer Pong and the Hack This Game series, have been working hard on their latest gaming creation, Spitfire. As the title would infer, the game puts players in the virtual cockpit of the iconic Spitfire, the air vessel that helped spearhead the British military efforts during the 1939-45 conflict, otherwise known as the 1941-45 conflict for those uncouth chaps who claim to have single-handedly won the War for the Allies.

Anyway, Spitfire functions as a basic shoot-em-up of the Jamestown ilk, combining top-down flight mechanics with the dodge/blast/rinse/repeat formula that’s come to characterise the genre. The player must use his or her Spitfire to fend off waves of German fighters in a scenic set-up reminiscent of the genuine World War II dogfight experience, offset only slightly by the somewhat less realistic feature that sees collectible coins pop out of the vanquished enemy planes as their pilots presumably plummet to their fiery deaths in the French countryside. Luckily, though, this gold can be used to upgrade one’s Spitfire into a more airworthy death machine and unleash more punishment on the unsuspecting squadrons of Axis Power pilots. Ah, the glories of battle.


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Back For Claymore: ‘Brand’ Pre-Orders Available On Desura

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With a single swish of the sword, Brand has jumped from XBLIG to PC via Desura, where you can now pre-order this sidescrolling action platformer, or try our the free demo if you prefer.

Traversing an ancient castle in order to restore power to a magical sword – not the most original idea ever but certainly a competent one. Initially titled Swordcraft to people’s distaste, you’ll be visiting a Mage, a Chemist and a Smith to upgrade that sword in a number of ways; replays are required to discover them all. Brand, as was said in our review of the XBLIG version, sticks out for its in-game architecture and fantasy fuelled tale most of all, and only slips due to a lack of polish in a some areas of combat and performance in general.

While we can’t confirm whether the extra time since release has caused Nine Dots Studio to invest some extra elbow grease in the game’s mechanics, we can tell you that for a price of £2.99, this PC version should be worth the money. Brand isn’t to be released for PC until May 29th but, like we said, you can place your pre-order now over on Desura.

More information on Brand can be found over on the game’s official website.


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Moving On Up: ‘Helena The 3rd’ Now Available On Desura

Helena the 3rd

It’s taken a little while, but Only Human Games’ Helena The 3rd is now available for download for Windows PC, Mac and Linux through Desura.

Avid fans of the UK/US studio might recall that Helena The 3rd was originally outed last August over on Indievania and through the developers’ official website. Now, however, buyers can get their hands on a universal digital copy of the game for the meagre sum of £2.99.

Helena The 3rd puts players in the enviable role of a jumping tank, which is more than just a smidge useful considering that the game is a platformer. The game features several different points of visual perspective, including sidescrolling mayhem on a 2D plane, free exploration within a 3D space and classic first-person shooter gameplay at certain junctures of each level. Of course, in spite of all these differences, there’s always plenty of room for the typical madcap blasting that we all know and love. You are, after all, a jumping tank, and it’d be a crying shame if a hearty helping of destruction wasn’t on the menu somewhere.


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Mootiful: ‘Beware Planet Earth’ Trailer

Beware Planet Earth

Lightmare Studio have released a gameplay trailer for their saccharine tower defense title, Beware Planet Earth, which is due for release on PC soon.

After seeing the gameplay from Beware Planet Earth, we’ve deemed it ‘Aliens vs. Cows’ as a way to humor ourselves. If you didn’t catch that reference, the game looks a lot like Plants vs. Zombies – it’s immediately noticeable. It’s tower defense on a grid with plenty of bright colors.

We’re not knocking it or anything, in fact, we think it looks quite delightful and are eager to see how it plays. Mostly to see how many differences there are to Popcap’s more famous title, but also because some of the scenarios and animations look like great fun.

In any case, there’s plenty of variation and hard work in Beware Planet Earth by the looks of it so we’re happy to smile and wave as its flurry of colors passes our eyes. Unfortunately, the best we can do for a release date is Q2 of 2012, so it should be soon-ish with any luck. It will be a PC only launch as well. Here’s the trailer:

More information on Beware Planet Earth can be found on the game’s official website.


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It All Begins Again: ‘Reset’ Debut Trailer Released

It’s a sad fact well known that indie games are often regarded by an ill-educated audience as cheap, sub-par comic foils to the bombastic AAA blockbusters. And though we can’t vouch for indie games being universally sub-par by any stretch of the imagination, it’s true that, for better or worse, they’re usually devoid of the spectacular graphical magnificence of their retail brethren.

But along comes Reset to kick that notion square in the groin.

A single-player co-operative puzzle game developed by Espoo, Finland’s Theory Interactive, Reset looks simply stonking, its pseudo-Hollywood production values posing as truly unbelievable markers for what might be in store once the game is finished. And it’s not all smoke and mirrors either. Theory Interactive wholeheartedly guarantees that everything shown in the game’s debut trailer, released today, is raw, unmodified footage extracted directly from the game itself. Pretty ripping stuff from a product that’s not even in its Alpha phase yet, I think you’d agree.


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Help Get The Red Back in the Black: ‘Red Solstice’ Requires Additional Funding

The Red Solstice

Some of our long-term readers might remember our first look at Red Solstice, the team-based tactical shooter from Ironward, back in January. At the time, we noted that a Q1 2012 release date was being targeted by developers but, as the spectre of misfortune reared its head, the studio ran into several obtrusive financial issues.

Rather than settling for a half-baked release candidate, and certainly far from canning the project altogether, Ironward have taken to Indiegogo in an attempt to secure public funding to give the game the polish it needs to secure a satisfactory launch in the shortest possible space of time. The team requires $10,000, almost $2,000 of which had already been raised as of this writing, in order to reach its target, but it’s worth noting that donors will be fully reimbursed if this monetary goal isn’t reached before the May 28th deadline.


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Amanita Apologize For ‘Botanicula’ Pre-Orders With Bonus Bundle

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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:

  • Machinarium
  • 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).

More information on Botanicula can be found on the game’s official website.

Via Amanita Design