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

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Steam Helps You Get Your Midweek Hump On

Two Midweek Madness sales are going on right now through Steam, with both focused on indie games. Each bundle contains five games for the price of one, and their sale has less than 48 hours remaining.

One of the bundles is aptly titled the Indie 2D Bundle and have some of the best 2D games all rolled into one from Gaijin Games, Nicalis, Over the Top Games, Ronimo Games, and 2D BOY. This bundle is $9.95, which makes each game less than $2!

The 2D titles are the following:

  • Swords & Soldiers HD (RTS)
  • World of Goo (puzzle)
  • BIT.TRIP.RUNNER (action platform)
  • Nightsky (action-puzzle)
  • Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits (platform)

The Indie Strategy Bundle also works out to being less than $2 a game, with hits from 11 Bit Studios, Hidden Path Entertainment, Puppygames, Cadenza Interactive and Coffee Stain.

The five strategy titles are the following:

  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening
  • Revenge of the Titans
  • Sanctum
  • Sol Survivor

$20 for ten games!? I hate to sound like an old fart, but that was unheard of in the olden-timey cartridge/retail only generation. Thank Asura for indie bundles!

Source: IndieGames


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La-Mulana: Wii Edition due ‘Soon’. Bosses revealed.

One of the weird and wonderful main bosses from La-Mulana Wii.

One of the weird and wonderful main bosses from La-Mulana Wii.

Things were looking up late last year for the Wiiware port of Nigoro‘s classic PC platform/adventure/puzzle/exploration game La-Mulana, but things fell apart at the 11th hour as issues were discovered, and Nintendo rejected the submitted version. It’s been a few months, but the developers seem confident that they’ve got the kinks worked out. In a recent development blog post, they proudly proclaim ‘We will finish soon!’.


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Nicalis’ Latest, NightSky, is Now Available

NightSky_Review_03

Feeling the need for a unique, puzzle platformer that is both critically acclaimed and very atmospheric? Well I’ve got great news for you then! Nicalis’ first original game since Cave Story WiiWare was released has been officially released today via the developers website for a scant $10.

For those of you interested in what the game is about here’s a brief description from the developer’s own website:

NightSky is an action-puzzle game that offers an ambient gameplay experience unlike any other—cerebral challenges fill uniquely designed picturesque worlds. Each of these worlds is broken into different areas in which the player must maneuver a sphere by using realistic physics to advance. There are no enemies, no bosses and no violence in NightSky.

Our own Erik Johnson reviewed the game recently and came away very impressed with the overall mechanics of the game.

No word on a Steam or other digital distribution platform release just yet so if you want it you’ll have to head directly to the developer’s website. Enjoy!

[Nicalis, NightSky]


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Pinball Wizard… NightSky [Review]

NightSky_Review_01

Ahead of its PC/Mac release this Thursday, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Nifflas’ roly poly puzzle platformer NightSky.

The game has you rolling around as a mysterious orb through ten twilight-filled worlds, solving different physics-based challenges and uncovering secrets along the way. So how does the latest title from Nicalis stack up?

NightSky_Review_02

After watching the beautiful intro, I felt right at home from the get go with the game and how it played. Similar to other puzzle platformers, NightSky offers individual one-screen challenges (occasionally more than one) combined together by variations of the title’s core gameplay mechanic to form the playable worlds. Each new level seemingly brings in another layer to this relatively simple mechanic, refreshing the player with new methods of completing puzzles.

The controls are solid and you really get a feel for controlling the sphere right away. Advancing through, the sphere obtains new powers that you’ll have to implement to progress to the next screen such as picking up more speed, becoming much heavier or even defying gravity — in some cases using these powers were actually enforced, which brought about its own set of challenges.

NightSky_Review_03

The game offers a normal mode for more casual players that includes a tutorial and hints and an alternative mode with more complicated puzzles and no hints for those looking for a tougher challenge. Running through both I can say that I’m glad I made the normal run first as suggested. There’s a certain ambiance that’s lost in the alt mode behind my shouts and curses (the good “oh, you tricky bastard” kind.) Though if you do find yourself getting bored with normal mode, I’d suggest making the switch. It’s really a matter of preference, and a nice touch that the option was provided.

I may just be a victim of being to into the title’s genre, but I did notice a familiarity with almost every aspect of the game; that is, I feel like I’ve been through it all before. The game does an excellent job measuring up with any of the better puzzle platformers out there, but I never felt it presented me with anything mind-blowingly new when drawing comparisons to them. That said, the puzzles are still wildly creative in places and plenty of fun, it just never struck that “woah this is different” chord with me.

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As far as style, the game makes a conscious effort to soothe the player with both sights and sounds. The artwork is a treat for the eyes, using backgrounds with calmer, cooler colors and silhouetting the foreground including the surrounding wildlife and the sphere itself.

It’s also not hard to understand why the game received an honorable mention for Excellence in Audio in this year’s IGF as the diverse soundtrack, by composer Chris Shlarb, is quite excellent. At times the music is treated as a kind of reward upon completion of an area or by activating a puzzle’s solution, with the absence of music filled by the ambient sounds of ocean waves crashing against a shore. The result is an extremely harmonious buffet for your ears and really adds a tremendous amount to the overall experience of playing through the game.

You won’t get an argument from me against NightSky being a good game. The physics-based gameplay is tight, the songs are splendid and the art is simple yet gorgeous. If you’re a fan of platformers with a little more thought involved like Braid, VVVVVV and LIMBO, they’ll be plenty for you to like here.

NightSky arrives January 6 for PC/Mac and is pinned for WiiWare sometime down the road.

[NightSky]


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‘Niff Said: NightSky Hits PC/Mac January 6

Nifflas

Nifflas has announced via .png file that its upcoming 2D platformer NightSky will arrive for PC and Mac on January 6. Mere days away from this very moment.

The game was originally scheduled to hit WiiWare first (stop me if you’ve heard this before) and while it’s still on schedule for the service and potentially other consoles, Nicalis twerps that the dev “can’t keep fans waiting. So PC/Mac first followed by everything else.”

They hope to see the Mac version on the new OSX App Store (set to debut the same day), while no digital retailers have been named for the PC version as of yet. No pricing details either, but we’ll find that out no later than Thursday.

Here’s a short trailer showing off the title’s physics-based gameplay, looks like some fun and familiar mechanics with great artwork – specifically the silhouette in front of ambient background look.

[Nifflas]


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Cave Story DSiWare Released Today

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Heads up for all of you who own a DSi (not DS Lite) Cave Story has been released for the system. While I can’t vouch for how good it is, if it’s anything like the WiiWare version this is certainly a title you’ll be interested in checking out. Also… it’s Cave Story. Come on.

The game should be available right now (or very soon) for 1000 DSi points or $10, if my Nintendo points to USD conversion is accurate.

[Nicalis]

Trailer


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LA-MULANA for WiiWare is Complete

La-MulanaOn Saturday, the developers of the WiiWare version of LA-MULANA announced that the game is officially complete. They’re now in the process of submitting it to Nintendo and anticipate a release on the download service before the end of the year.

While we wait to get some further information and discover whether or not it will successfully pass review with Nintendo, here’s the last gameplay video they released several months ago:


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Enjoy This Wonderful Cave Story DSiWare Trailer

CaveStoryDSi001Cave Story is a great adventure platformer. I don’t think there’s a single person who can argue that point. It has an interesting plot line, interesting characters, and very solid platforming elements. For so many years it was hampered by being available strictly on the PC which, let’s be honest, isn’t exactly the best platform for a side scrolling platformer. Luckily for us there was a little-known developer called Nicalis that had grander plans for the game.

While Nicalis wasn’t the original creator of Cave Story, they were able to get permission to make both a WiiWare version (read our review) and now a DSiWare version. Portable Cave Story is a dangerous thing and it might be the first truly “must have” DSiWare game to get released.

A release date has not been set yet, but the game looks to be fairly far along which is encouraging. My guess is that it’s up to Nintendo to figure out when to release it.

Also, and this is a note to Nicalis, where’s the PSN version? I’d love to be able to play this game on my PSP, especially since I don’t have a DSi.

Trailer


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Cave Story Packing Up and Heading to DSiWare, WiiWare for Europe

CaveStorypainting

Everybody’s favorite indie platforming adventure romp, Cave Story, is heading to Nintendo’s own portable DSiWare digital download service. GoNintendo actually broke the story yesterday after they found an odd listing in the most recent issue of Nintendo Power concerning the game.Today, Nicalis has responded with the following information regarding the title, including it’s confirmation:

- Yes, there is a forthcoming Cave Story for DSiWare
- Yes, it’s really awesome and has Pixel’s blessing; he recently played it a few weeks back and loved it
- Yes, the EU version for WiiWare is still scheduled to be released; we commissioned Orioto to create this AWESOME Cave Story painting (above) in celebration of both: Bang Bang
- And the game is actually DONE, we’re currently in final testing internally

So, yeah, this kind of came out of nowhere, but is incredibly exciting nonetheless.

I tend to think of the DSiWare as kind of the step child of the mobile digital distribution channels so it’s actually really exciting for me that a game of this caliber is getting a mobile release. Now let’s just hope that Nicalis isn’t planning on stopping there. I’d love to see Cave Story on the PSP, iOS, Android, and whatever other digital download location so long as Pixel, the original developer, allows it.

[GoNintendo, Nicalis]


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The Nintendo Channel Talks to Pixel about Cave Story

Cave Story, Art by Sam Miller Cave Story is finally being released on WiiWare next week, so The Nintendo Channel talked to the port’s producer, Tyrone Rodriguez, and the game’s creator, Daisuke Amaya, better know among Cave Story fans as Pixel. Pixel explains where Balrog came from and what he hopes new players get out of the game.

The interview is pretty amusing, in part because Pixel still seems incredulous about the fact that his game is going to be on a modern day console. And I think it is doubly interesting for anyone else who’s played through the game recently, as I’m sure I’m not the only person who went through the Cave Story again in anticipation of the WiiWare release.

Watch the video below.

[via Nicalis]