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Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 19th – Day 8

Just a couple days left of indie discounts, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing some surprises in the final stretch.  It’s the eighth day of Summer sales 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:

  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent75% off – One of the scariest horror games ever made. Low on monsters and jump-scares, high on tension and atmosphere. A Lovecraftian trip through a cursed mansion, your only safe response to encountering the twisted creatures stalking the halls is to run and hide and hope they don’t see you – there’s no combat here, and no feeling that you’re anything but an unprepared, terrified man, alone and defenseless. It also got an impressive free addon entitled ‘Justine’ during the Portal 2 promotional deal a while back, and is host to a huge number of excellent mods, several of them full-game-length. It’s the horror game that keeps on scaring.
  • Gratuitous Tank Battles66% off – Tower defence and offence in one with this rather flexible take on the genre. An in-depth TD game where you can construct your own defensive and offensive units, equip them and test them on the battlefield, and then turn the tables and play the role of the aggressors. While I’m personally a bit burnt out on the entire genre concept now, I’ve heard a lot of happy things said about this one from TD fans, as it offers a huge amount of replay value and depth via the ever-shifting variables and units in play.
  • Krater50% off – A quirky action-RPG set in post-apocalyptic Sweden, of all places. I’ve not played this one myself, but have been meaning to. Rather than control a single character, you’re in constant tactical control of a party of three, built to your specifications, and each unit has a very different role in combat. While I’ve heard word that the game had a raft of bugs and technical issues at launch, it sounds like post-release support have been good so far. The game is almost brand new, hence the lower-than-average discount. Might be worth a shot if you’re still starved for a challenging ARPG after Diablo 3.

Today’s Flash Deals – They’ll Be Gone Soon!

  • EYE: Divine Cybermancy75% off - 6 hours and counting down on this one. – The sheer number of times this one has been on sale over the past six months suggests that it really shifts units when discounted. A good thing, as I really think more people should experience this ridiculously ambitious FPS-RPG. It falls well short of where it’s aiming, but it was aiming higher than any AAA studio dared to begin with.

Today’s Indie Bundle (75% Off When Bought Together):

  • Demolition Inc. - Cute physics-driven puzzle game. Playing as an alien demolition engineer, it’s your goal to clear out entire city blocks on Earth. Each level, you’re given a certain number of targets and a limited number of tools. Want to destroy a building on the cheap? Check around it for explosive objects, then place some glue on the road to spin cars in the direction of the Boom. Also features exploding cows. Not a great game, but solid.
  • Hoard - Arcade dragon sim, almost Bomberman-like in its pacing. Best played with buddies, you get to hoard gold, kidnap princesses and set thatched-roof cottages on fire. Been on sale a whole bunch of times – a solid game, but fairly forgettable once you’re done playing. Good fun while you can rope some friends/potential enemies in though.
  • SOL: Exodus - Short and sweet space dogfighting action here. Not nearly as in-depth as Freespace or I-War 2, but pretty, polished and focused action. Jet around space in a high-tech fighter, hunting capital ships and intercepting wave upon wave of enemy craft. It was a bit of a mess when it first launched, but the developers have been hard at work on this one – it’s a more robust game than before, and looks beautiful.
  • Swords & Soldiers HD – Charming and silly 2D RTS fun. Previously a big hit on the Wii, this is the logical evolutionary conclusion of most of those ‘buy units, watch them walk across the map to fight, hoard goal, repeat’ flash games you’ve seen over the years. Three civilizations to play as, each with quite different play-styles and a fairly lengthy campaign mode. Good fun in multiplayer too, if you can rope in a friend. Great 2D art and a good sense of humor too. Not going to win any grand awards, but entertaining strategy-lite gaming.
  • Wings of Prey - One thing this game most certainly isn’t: Indie. It’s easy to recommend, though. A spinoff of the excellent IL-2 Sturmovik flight sim franchise, aimed at a less hardcore audience. At the highest realism settings it approaches simulation levels of fidelity, but you work your way up to that from a simplified starting mode that feels like Ace Combat in WW2. Great stuff if you’ve ever wanted to learn a flight sim from the ground up, so to speak.

A solid day here, with an unusual but likeable bundle-du-jour. Not the greatest, but some solid deals available for indie bargain-hounds. 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?

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 19th – Day 8


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Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 13th – Day 2

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 Isaac75% 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!

  • Hoard75% off4 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.

Today’s Indie Bundle (75% Off When Bought Together):

  • 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?

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 13th – Day 2


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Pounding, Soulful Hearts Afire and Alight – Indie Royale Returns for Valentines

It seems that so long as people keep buying them, then indie bundles are going to keep coming. Indie Royale is back again with a bundle of five games, a couple of them being former XBLIG exclusives, and once again, there’s very little to grumble about in terms of content and value. As usual, it’s ‘pay what you want, above a minimum’, and especially generous purchases push that base figure down for everyone else. Hit the break for some gameplay trailers and a few thoughts on each game.


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The Top 10 Best Selling PSN Indie Games of 2011

So here’s some interesting, non-bundle related news for you. Over on the official Playstation blog Sony has released the top 10 best selling PSN indie games for the entire year and, well, I wouldn’t call it too surprising although the way they have it broken down can be a bit confusing.


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Big Sandwich Games’ Hoard Now Has Free Demo On PSN [Preview]

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Big Sandwich Games, indies in Vancouver, British Columbia, have been making (fire) waves with their latest action-strategy hit, Hoard. Its PlayStation Network free demo is live now. At 160MB, it’s a quick download for those who are impatient. Stripped of all its glory and ingenuity, Hoard could be labeled as a tower defense game. Players control a dragon with one primary directive: to hoard more gold than its fire-breathing competition. Players navigate the dragon with the PS3 controller, flying with left analog stick and exhaling fire breath with the right analog stick.

The dragon’s breath destroys just about everything on the map, and almost everything drops some amount of gold the dragon must return to its hoard to build its score and level up. Players choose between leveling the dragon’s speed, fire breath, carrying loot ability, or defense. During play, a bar limits the dragon’s breath. The wagons, towns, princess carriages, and more have life bars that will regenerate slowly if the dragon fails to burn them completely. Archers are weak adversaries alone but deadly in groups. They are unique in that they later become the dragon’s allies if it instills enough fear in the town the archers protect. This fear involves damaging the entire town, except for the town center. Once in fear, the town will offer monetary tribute, as long as it remains standing.

No dragon, like the rest of the items on the map, is invincible. While the dragon’s score multiplier increases over time, it will reset when the dragon’s health bottoms out. The dragon must return to its hoard to heal.

Like a certain anti-heroic spiked turtle/dragon king (whatever Bowser is), kidnapping a princess is heavily encouraged and rewarded in Hoard. She turns into a healthy ransom if she is kept in the hoard long enough. Other dragons may steal her, just as thieves may attempt to steal gold. The score multiplier also resets if either form of thievery occurs. Defense. Defense.

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The game has two thorough tutorials to cover all of the offensive and defensive strategies (there are more than this preview covers). The first walks gamers through basic gameplay, and the second expands skills to reach high scores. These tutorials are both necessary to succeed in the main mode. Hoard mode, a survival mode with picking up princesses as the only healing mechanism, and Princess Rush mode, being the first to ransom 15 princesses, unlock with full purchase. The full game includes 4 game modes, over 35 maps, leaderboards, and trophies.

Up to four players can compete online, and up to two locally. The thieving, burning gameplay will ensure maximum insults and anger among players. During the demo, I had equal parts fun and frustration. I was pleased walking away with NOT achieving a gold medal for score my first attempt, as most games seem bent on patting gamers’ backs undeservedly. A lot of the game happens off-screen, so reading those icon clues of what is heading where is a vital skill I have not yet refined but could see myself enjoyably honing.

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If gamers like the demo, the game is for purchase now at $14.99 on PSN. Hoard‘s PSP, PC, and Mac versions are said to follow. This free demo should entice even more gamers who may have otherwise been disappointed that a game called Hoard from a company named Big Sandwich capitalizes on overindulging in gold and not food. However, those who try out Hoard will most likely overindulge in addictive, tower defense gameplay that will make them work hard for the money and the medal achievements that seem to add many hours to the already lengthy base game.

Hoard Official Site | Facebook


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PSN-Bound Hoard Heading to PC and Mac

HoardBig Download’s investigatory work brings news that Big Sandwich Games’ upcoming top-down action title Hoard, originally in development only for PS3 and PSP as a downloadable title, will also see a release on PC and Mac as well.

The fantasy title has players taking on the unusual and awesome role of the dragon, as you burn knights to a crisp, siege castles and kidnap princesses and of course hoard all the treasure you can get your greedy dragon hands on. The game will pack support for online multiplayer up to four players as well.

The title is currently set for release in September via the PSN, with no word as of yet on when we can expect the PC/Mac versions. Check out more on the official Hoard website.