Nitronic Rush was easily one of the best indie games of last year. The fact that it was free was just an enormous layer of icing on the cake. Unlike most DigiPen graduate projects, Team Nitronic have continued to expand and improve the game, and the latest update is a doozy. A new car based on the Back To The Future’s DeLorean, 2 new official tracks, 7 of the best fan-made tracks (the game is moddable, too!), 4 new music tracks (including a couple of dynamic ones that change with the action) and more. Here’s a trailer:
Old-school hardcore gamers may have felt their blood turn to ice during that. Some deep-seated memory thought forever purged, bubbling back to the surface? Yep, one of the new official levels is a glorious full-3D remake of BattleToads’ infamous Turbo Tunnel, complete with remixed music. There’s also a bunch of new silly things for the narrator to say, and a bunch of new components for community members to add to their custom tracks.
With all the updates the game has received since launch, it’s safe to say that it outstrips many premium retail games in terms of content on offer. The fact that the price-tag remains a consumer-friendly $0 makes things all the more delicious. Go on, treat yourself. Download the new build, dust off your (highly recommended) 360 controller and play with crazy neon rocket-cars some more. And if all this isn’t enough, then there’s always fan-made levels to be found on the official forum.
You know how we keep waxing poetic over Fez and its barnstorming soundtrack? Let’s just say we’ve got yet another reason to raise our eyebrows. Avid Fez fans, having purchased the official soundtrack today, are currently in the process of unearthing a whole host of Easter eggs from beneath Disasterpeace’s 26 tracks from the game.
Basically, the process works through the means by which it’s possible to hide images and text into audio spectographs, as detailed in the video below:
Yes, Notch tweeted about this game. Yes, it uses pixelated graphics. Yes, it’s inspired by Ultima Underworld. We all good now? Then let’s talk about Delver!
Taking on the sheen of an 80s dungeon crawler, Delver is a first-person roguelike intended for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. It’s still in development and as such, features like randomly generated dungeons are not present, however you can still play it! We kid you not.
Before we get to the download link though, let’s go into the basics of Delver. It’s first person and movement is controlled via the WASD set-up. Your mouse clicks will be interpreted as an attack which obviously varies according to which weapon type you have equipped. The only other things required to know is that E will pick everything up, I grants you access to your inventory and the number keys will cycle through your hotbar at the top of the screen. However, if that does feel too clunky then pressing C will give you mouse control around the screen so you can manually sort items by discarding them, placing them in your inventory or hotbar.
Being a dungeon crawler, you’ll be finding keys, beating up skeletons, goblins and mages; as well as going up and down the various levels with each descent increasing the difficulty as well as the quality of the items to be found. It’s standard stuff but we haven’t met a person who doesn’t appreciate a well-executed roguelike dungeon crawler – so make sure to give it a go.
You can download Delver with this link for your desktop computer – this is an early alpha version of the game though of course.
Andrew Yoder has released his short but very interesting game, Hubris, for free, this is one for those solemn moments or if you’re just in the mood for something different.
Focusing on level design and art, Yoder created Hubris after a university term to try and stretch his skills and imagination. The result is an exploration of color, space and abstraction and one that should be enjoyed when the player is completely relaxed. We’re not going to pitch this as something extraordinary, but Hubris certainly falls into a growing niche of experimental games that play with form and design.
Yoder describes Hubris as “a short, atmospheric game like Dear Esther or The Funeral. There is no interaction or narrative, simply a world to absorb and (I hope) emotions to experience.”
Hubris is apparently inspired by the overwhelming sense of scale in Shadow of the Colossus and the serene creations of Robert Yang. Yang actually discovered Hubris and responded with, “It’s like Ico HD on acid.”
You can get a feel for the game in the video below or you can go straight for the download and discover the environments first hand.
So continues the slow drift of indie games to the mainstream download channels. Following the high-profile Wii ports of indie heavyweights such as Cave Story and La Mulana (and indeed the announcement of Diamond Trust of London for DS, several of Jason Rohrer’s early opuses will soon be bundled for play on the Nintendo DSi.
The Latin America based Sabarasa is publishing an anthology of 2007′s influential-yet-controversial Passage, forced-cooperation game Between, and Passage semi-follow-up Gravitation, the latter two both from 2008. Available separately will be Primrose, his iPhone puzzle game from last year.
To editorialize a bit, anthology releases like this, rather like a collection of short stories or short subject films, may soon be an important consumer model for showcasing unusual design concepts. Witness the success of Valve’s Portal, a critical darling (itself based on an indie game project) that many would have overlooked if not for its inclusion in Valve’s Orange Box. With the strict pricing models and content expectations of the commercial market, it’s hard for a small, original title to hold its own. But arrange several games around a theme, or an individual voice such as Jason Rohrer, and you’ve got the basics of an intriguing package.
Sabarasa has yet to confirm a release date; for now the Anthology is simply listed as “upcoming”.
Good stuff. Indie dev Infinite Ammo has released a set of video tutorials designed to ease newcomers into the Unity3D Toolset, which was recently given a free release. Even better, Infinite Ammo has the resume to fulfill the task as the developer’s titles thus far–Paper Moon, Heroes + Villains and Marian–were all created using the software.
The tutorials are there for those a bit taken aback by the daunting tasks of learning how to use the software and then using it to create the game envisioned. Alec Holowka really does a good job of breaking everything down step-by-step. Hopefully it will encourage a wider audience to give the game development process a try.
Looking for something new/free? In Ben Chandler’s Featherweight the player assumes the role of Thadd, a scout for a rebel faction fighting against robots who are out to capture all humanoids. When Thadd discovers that a fellow spy has been captured by the machines, he embarks on a mission to rescue her fully understanding that chances of success are slim.
The unique adventure game has players solving puzzles through figuring out combinations to open locks and doors as well as the standard point-and-click method of advancing through.
The freeware title weighs in at 15.1 MB and is available for download here.
Torchlight players will be pleased to hear that Runic has released the ‘TorchED’ editor for the hit action RPG. With the editor, modders will have the ability to create new levels, quests, monsters, items, adjust AI even create custom skills. Additionally, if you have experience using 3D Studio Max, or are willing to get some, you can make your own animations and modify textures. That’s one accessible editor!
Frozenbyte has released an update for their puzzle platformer Trine. The patch brings the game to v1.05, adding several fixes and additions to the game including reducing difficulty in the last level on all settings.
The update is available now for all versions (Steam released the update earlier in the week) and can be downloaded on GamersHell.