The indie gaming world has seen no end of space adventures in recent times, but Questverse, a newly-announced RPG from Portuguese developer Lunarts, might just be the dose of schema refreshment that hurls the genre into a whole new direction.
Even though it’s a straightforward space RPG on the surface, Questverse carries clearly defined connotations of another form of cultural media – that of Japanese animation. As such, the game’s art style is highly reminiscent of the cult Oriental cartoons that have both delighted and baffled global audiences in equal measure over the few decades, with the storyline piggybacking the conventional traditions of science-fictional lore in order to blend together two distinctly separate game moulds into one definitive pastiche.
Vlambeer, the studio behind the widely heralded Super Crate Box, has announced that Luftrausers, an action flight shooter, is currently in the pipeline.
The game appears to be heavily based on Luftrauser, a free browser-based game that utilised a simplistic control scheme and graphical design to deliver what ultimately became a somewhat understated high score pursuit with a very basic focus on airborne combat. From the little we know about its spiritual sequel, Lufrausers, it looks as though Vlambeer is upping the ante substantially.
“Luftrausers is basically Luftrauser redone from scratch, with everything ten times as spectacular,” claims Vlambeer’s Rami Ismael in an interview with Joystiq. More specifically, he notes that players will now be able to construct their own Luftrausers, aircrafts presumably derived from the German Luftwaffe air force. Various aircraft components, including engines, wings and homing missiles, can be customised to the player’s content, serving up a purported total of 255 unique air vessel combinations.
Vlambeer is also promising “realistic water effects” and a soundtrack composed by DJ Kozilek. But perhaps the most eye-catching piece of information that can be gleaned from Vlambeer’s initial statements is the employment of a “WWII meets Thunderbirds presentation.” How exactly that’ll end up will arguably be as intriguing as any gameplay mechanics could ever be, but a self-deprecating supermarionation aesthetic certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
To find out more about Vlambeer, creators of one of a handful of indie games that managed to permeate into the mainstream gaming market during 2011, take a look at their official site.
After a year and a half of silence surrounding the game, Oxeye Game Studios have updated their RTS title, Harvest: Massive Encounter, and it’s also available on Linux now!
Though many of you will know Oxeye for their work with Mojang – mainly Cobalt and the Mojam event – they return to an older and great title of theirs from 2008 to bring not one update but two. The 1.17 update for the game was last mentioned a year and a half ago and since then never actually came to fruition. To make up for it, Oxeye have added a few more fixes and updates and released a 1.18 version of the game – you can see the full change log on this page.
Thanks to the work of Tommaso Checchi, Harvest is now available on Linux too (he also helped with the Mac port). To celebrate the work of this great Italian, Oxeye are offering a 50% discount to anyone who uses the coupon code “TOMMASO” when purchasing the game from the store up until April 29th.
You can purchase Harvest from Oxeye for PC, Mac and Linux or you can grab it on Steam and GamersGate for PC and Mac (not Linux). There’s also a demo if you want to get a feel of the game before making a purchase.
More information on Harvest: Massive Encounter over on the game’s official website.
Remember when we reported that Brian Lunduke was developing Linux Tycoon, quite possibly the only Linux Distro building simulator in existence? Well, it turns out he’s taking things a step further with the news that the game will now feature online play.
So, as of midnight last night, those who paid $4 to join the game’s Beta phase can now access the Linux Tycoon Server free of additional charge. That means that current buyers, along with those who decide to purchase the game in the future, can launch their own private ‘worlds’ alongside a huge main online server, not to mention the pre-existing capacity for individual play that launched in tandem with the original game.
Oh, and best of all? It’s free. That’s right: no subscription fee and no plans for micro-transactions. Essentially, you’re getting the full package right from the get-go, fully DRM-free to boot. It’s truly an MMOLDBSG (Massively Multiplayer Online Linux Distro Building Simulation Game) fan’s dream, and one that you can be part of by purchasing the game through its official site.
While that’s all well and dandy, it’s not all she wrote. Linux Tycoon is now also slated for release on iOS and Android, allowing players to bring their plans for operating system-based global domination to the mobile platforms. They’ll be fully compatible with online play as well and, in yet another classy move on the part of Mr. Lunduke, Beta purchasers of the game’s PC version will gain access to the Android edition at no additional expense.
To celebrate the release of Amanita Design’s new game, The Humble Botanicula Bundle has been launched which contains Botanicula and some other titles at a pay-what-you-want price.
Well here’s a new one – the Humble Bundle launching with a brand new game! Not just any old game either, the mighty fine adventure game Botanicula which we gave a lot of praise to in our review. As this is a Humble Bundle, all of the games that are part of it are available for Windows, Mac and Linux, are DRM-free and you can pay-what-you-want for them. If you want Steam keys though, and we know you do, then you’ll have to pay at least $5. You can also choose to donate your money to the World Land Trust to save trees – obviously in with the theme of Botanicula.
So here’s the line-up for The Humble Botanicula Debut:
THEORY32, the developers behind the psychedelic 3D platformer Tiny Cthulhu, have popped up to say “Hi” and announce their love of colors.
When developers turn out to be utterly barmy we find ourselves overwhelmed with joy. The developers behind new 3D platformer, Tiny Cthulhu, fit the rainbow colored bill perfectly and we’re finding it hard to restrain from our lustful eyes’ demands.
“You must send them gifts and make rainbow babies”, the voice inside our head demands. It’s fine though, we’ve learned to ignore it for now, though it is tempting to give in. Let’s just move on the game, shall we? So as said, this is a 3D platformer with lots of color (RAINBOWS), the developer said of this choice, “I’m tired of games that are predominantly a muted grey-and-brownish colour … I want this one to look like an explosion in a migraine factory…A radioactive migraine factory…”
Oh gosh that voice is getting loud…um, moving on. The game is also going to have expanse environments to explore too (“cyclopean, if you will…”) and will feature some elements of third person shooting, apparently a la Ratchet & Clank. As the developer is also a massive Lovecraftian nerd, all of the Mythos elements in the game will be accurate depictions, though we’re doubtful of the degree of this accuracy when the game clearly needs more rainbows.
Tiny Cthulhu has certainly caught our eye for its “mind-blasting vortexes of madness and adorableness” so we’ll be sure ride the rainbow over to the developer every now and then and check for updates. We can tell you this one thing – it’s intended for PC, Mac and Linux people, hurrah? Well, here’s the game’s first trailer – you might want to strap yourself in for this one.
More information on Tiny Cthulhu can be found on the game’s official website.
Psydra Games have announced that they have finished up development on their point and click adventure/turn-based RPG title, Dark Scavenger, plus they say they have made a demo to coincide with the game’s release.
A common thing to do when creating a new gameplay experience is to combine two genres that may not necessarily be associated. Dark Scavenger is just that – a point and click adventure at heart with a turn-based combat system and other RPG traits. The game flaunts some great looking art too and the combination of all this caused it to be included as an honorable mention in the Independent Propeller Awards this year.
The news we bring today is that the game is now complete and the developers are very pleased with it. There’s no release date set of course as they are working on talking nicely to various online distributors. Psydra did say that they have made a playable demo though, which contains some parts of Chapter 1 but unfortunately this won’t be available until the game’s release. On top of that they also considered the likelihood of the Mac and Linux versions of Dark Scavenger, saying the former is probable and the later is possible.
We’re looking forward to see the eventual release of Dark Scavenger and hope it looks even better than it did in this Chapter 1 gameplay from about a year ago:
More information on Dark Scavenger can be found on the game’s official website.
Glass Bottom Games have have announced their forthcoming anti-gravity racer, Gravitaz, which they are also seeking funding support for. Will you make it happen? Is it worth it?
So here’s a thing, I’m not much of a fan of racing games, except when dirty play is allowed, i.e. weapons, ridiculous turbo boosts, head bludgeoning etc. So, if I’m going to invest my time in a genre I am totally useless at, I’m going to have fun doing it. Gravitaz seems to be that kind of game, plus it has the kind of “dirty” future setting I so adore. Let’s get to the nitty gritty though.
Gravitaz is the next project from Glass Bottom Games who are also developing The Savage Garden. Where and how they’re finding the time? Beats me. Focusing on Gravitaz though, this is an anti-gravity racer so it’s set slightly in the future and new technology has brought forth a new sport which is still in its infancy – the big sponsorships and corporations tied to it are yet to arrive.
Some have quoted WipEout as a similarity, but Gravitaz is actually fairly decent, which is why I like the look of the latter and can’t stand the former. Gravitaz aims to be gritty, though these are futuristic anti-gravity vehicles they still “sport dust and scratches, bad welds, and even bits of duct tape”. Even better is that this is combat racing, so there will be some of that head bludgeoning to dish out on occasion.
Gravitaz is still in early development and the developers are looking for funding on Kickstarter. By putting your money upfront, you can grab yourself a copy of the game for PC, Mac or Linux as well as other rewards on top of that. Want to see some pre-alpha gameplay? Be our guest:
More information on Gravitaz can be found on the game’s official website.
The Layabouts have been living up to their name when it comes to the long overdue Here Comes Launchman demo for Mac, but alas, it is here now you non-believers.
First playable at Minecon 2011, Here Comes Launchman is a whizz-and-go 2D platformer with a monochromatic style and a passion for kinesis. You play as a keen space explorer who you can literally launch through the air in any direction…well, that space air that doesn’t exist (duh) and move objects with his telekinetic powers. It’s a standout platformer with unique mechanics to ship so many have taken to it. At least those Windows and Linux users who were able to take to it in February when their demo was released.
What about the people with Macs though? Well, they’ve had to wait a whole two months for their demo, but it’s here now – we promise. Want to grab it now do you? Well then, here’s a link to the official Here Comes Launchman website where you can find demos for Windows, Mac and Linux at last. It’s also worth noting that the Windows demo has now been updated to “revision 4″ and the Linux build will be soon.
The Here Comes Launchman demo comes with a handy tutorial and seven of the game’s levels to trial through – good luck flinging Launchman around, you’ll probably need it.
More information on Here Comes Launchman can be found on the game’s official website.
Chester, an artistically charged 2D-platformer from Brilliant Blue-G, was released last month for Windows PC. Well, if you weren’t quite on board then, there’s now an extra incentive to give this madcap, testosterone-pumped jumpfest a whirl.
Starting from today, the game will be up for sale on Desura at a 25% discount, bringing it down to £4.87 for the weekend. There’s also a free demo available, so the old “try before you buy” gimmick can receive the arbitrary corporate roll-out. Nice.