Chris Hayes, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, writes on his hands-on impressions of On The Level Game Studios’ action adventure title Boo Bunny Plague.
Boo Bunny Plague is the story of a robot toy bunny gone mad. With his trusty guitar, he must smash his way to happiness. Where the game really hits home is its nods to the past, with nods to both Say Anything and Robocop 3, it leaves you looking for that sense of nostalgia. I was left wanting more, as I don’t think I got the full sense of the game with the small amount of game play I received.
As of present it is a game about a mad robot bunny trying to smash things with its guitar, but I got the sense that there will be more to come and I am looking forward to seeing what is next for Bunny. Here’s our interview with On The Level’s Bunny Rogers and Jamie Daruwala, as well as a look at some gameplay footage:
Boo Bunny Plague is due out Easter 2014 on PC, check out and/or vote for the game on its Steam Greenlight page.
Our PAX coverage continues today with Chromancer, The Started Hare’s free-to-play browser-based strategic collectible card game that — literally just moments ago — hit and passed its $60,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. There’s still a little over a day left for the game’s crowdfunding campaign, so feel free to pour a little gravy on top for them (especially if any of the reward tiers catch your eye).
We caught up with Started Hare’s George Maasry for an explanation on the different mechanics and systems that make up Chromancer, and got a look at the game’s artwork as well.
Congratulations again to the devs for hitting their goal. With funding secured, Chromancer is now officially due out this winter.
Anomaly 2 is a sequel to the critically acclaimed Anomaly: Warzone Earth. Maintaining the core elements of the original, Anomaly 2 adds new features to the single-player campaign and puts player’s skills to a test in a completely unique experience: the tower defense vs. tower offense multiplayer mode!
Yesterday Unknown Worlds decided to begin rolling out their latest patch for their popular asymmetrical online FPS Natural Selection 2. The latest patch addresses many of the bigger issues players have had with the game from the maps to the gameplay. Along with fixing a lot of smaller bugs that have reared their ugly heads over the past few months.
The latest patch will update Natural Selection 2 to build 236 and aims to fix many of the issues that have became apparent in the game. Most notable fixes are:
Improving the hit detection on the skulks when wall climbing.
Decreasing the marine flashlights making it easier to see through your teammates beams in dark areas.
Fire rate bug fixed on systems with low FPS.
Docking map has been reworked to improve the game experience.
Natural Selection 2 is the follow-up standalone title from Unknown Worlds who previously created the hugely successful Natural Selection mod. Natural Selection 2 offers much improved graphics and even better gameplay over the original mod, along with a whole host of other content that fleshed the game out into a fully fledged title.
Natural Selection 2 proved an instant hit on Steam reaching the number one slot is the most popular game purchased on the distribution platform back in Halloween. Since the early boom in sales Natural Selection 2 has managed to maintain its place as one of the most popular games currently available on Steam and has a vibrant ever growing community. If you are interested in getting into a new FPS game on the PC Natural Selection 2 may very well be what you are after. Be sure to check out my review of the game to find out what I think of the game.
There are also a huge number of other fixes that have been implemented into Natural Selection 2. For the full list be sure to visit the official site.
Minecraft clones can go jump off a blocky, procedurally generating cliff for all I care. Codehatch Corp’s Starforge, however, is something else. It’s part of a wave of games that looked at the success of Minecraft and said ‘That’s cool and all, but we can do better’. The first alpha builds of the impressive-looking game were a huge hit and drummed up a lot of positive press, but now the game has fallen out of the limelight. After a change of business model from F2P to regular alphafunding (a pre-order price of $15 right now), a new attempt to draw in development funding has just begun for the game. Here’s the pitch video, featuring gigantic guns, huge aliens and aerial chainsaw duels:
As you can see, it’s looking pretty amazing, and there’s some features in there like procedurally generated guns and stress-tracking building systems that you don’t see often. I don’t need to point out that it looks absolutely lovely too, do I? You can play a free demo build on the official site to get a taste for it yourself, or preorder (ideally via the IndieGoGo funding drive) for access to each new version as it is released, along with the first test-build of their endless voxel-based world.
Personally, I think what really sets it apart from everything else is the movement physics. While not quite as thoroughly simulated as A New Zero, all your animations are tied to the forces applied to your character. What does this mean? Well, I managed to climb backwards up a sheer cliff face in the current demo by firing a high-calibre machine gun – the resultant recoil was enough to let my character’s feet find purchase on the surface and walk as if it was the ground. Playing in first-person can be a disorienting experience, but in third-person you get a much better idea of what your characters body is doing in relation to your facing.
The funding drive for the game will last until November 29th, and the devlopers aim to raise a remarkably small $75,000. Given the quality of the game on show already, I really hope they hit several times that target.
Generously large DLC packs are always nice to see. Generously large and completely free DLC is almost unheard of, but that’s just what owners of Smudged Cat’s charming little puzzle-platformer The Adventures Of Shuggy are getting today with the release of Shuggy’s Teleporting Troubles. Another 40 puzzle-heavy singleplayer levels to play, which is an impressive amount when you consider that the original game was 100 stages long.
Perhaps in celebration of Smudged Cat’s newer release, Gateways, the core theme of the Teleporting Troubles expansion is warping space. In this case, by placing teleporter panels on surfaces, and warping to them later. If a block you’ve placed a teleporter on has rotated, then you’ll come out the other end oriented to gravity relative to the new facing of the block… It sounds complex, but makes sense after a few minutes. It also makes for some remarkably complex brainteasers.
Teleporting Troubles is effectively a miniature version of the original campaign. It’s split into 5 worlds, each with their own quirks and themes, and layers new puzzle elements on top of teleportation as you progress. Once you graduate past gravity-related antics, you’ve got elements such as versions of yourself displaced in time as well as space, just in case you haven’t had your recommended daily dose of head-explosion yet.
You can buy Shuggy direct from the developers site for a wallet-friendly $5. As it uses the Humble Store, this means that you get both the DRM-free version (added to your Humble Bundle page, if you have one) and a Steam key, and the developer gets a bigger cut of the profits, too. Everyone wins! Those with the game on Steam should find Teleporting Troubles added to the main menu, while DRM-free folks will have to update the game manually.
It wouldn’t really be Halloween if I didn’t include at least one game with scary weird possesed kids in, would it. Shadow Tag really does like to throw you into a maze (literally) of possessed kids. Armed only with your flashlight you have to find the keys and progressively more items to get the hell out of there.
It really is quite remarkable that the game was created over 48 hours for the Newgrounds Cabin Jam as the end result is so well crafted you would never of known. From the fluid and well designed graphics and animations to the ultra spooky and very awesomely designed audio Shadow Tag really does send a tingle down your spine.
For me even though the graphics are perfect the audio really sold me this game. It is no overdone but being added subtly. You will hear all sorts of ambiance along side creepy kids voices calling to you. It really does an amazing job of setting the scene and to me really sets this game apart from many horror games.
The premise of the game is to find your way around the maze and acquire all your belonging to escape in the car before the children can catch up to you. This can be very difficult as they home in to you continually like little pests unrelenting in their assault.
Even the best prepared person can be quite taken aback by the startling shock you get when the kids finally find you, it is quite… Terrifying.
Average play time – 2 minutes per level
Shadow Tag really does a great job at setting the creepy horror mood via the audio and fantastic visual design. I still find it hard to wrap my head around this game being designed in 48 hours, but the developers must be a very talented bunch. Play Shadow Tag this Halloween on Newgroundshere. Shadow Tag was created by the great bunch at Elvidian.
If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!
Kudos to the sagely Pixel Prospector for spotting this one. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt over the past decade of gaming, it’s that physics make everything better. From the earliest, wobbliest ragdoll death animations to splooshy fluid dynamics and even just small details like sparks from impacts skittering across the floor. I’ve also learnt that retro mash-ups are rad. Frank Force’s Faster Blaster (formerly known as Mother Lover) is doubleplus extra badical, for these reasons. Take one part Metroid, one part Blaster Master and 9.8g’s of physics, shake (not stir) and serve on the rocks.
There’s no plot to speak of here, but let’s just assume that the miraculous super-tank Sophia The 3rd got lost (should’a taken that left turn at Albuquerque) and ended up on Planet Zebes and decided to explore a little and maybe kill Mother Brain. Also, physics. I don’t really know how to explain the lack of abstract 8-bit movement, but let’s not think too hard about that. Faster Blaster is still officially in development, but the current beta build is largely feature-complete and well worth playing. What you’ve got here is a great big non-linear game-world filled with critters to shoot, platforms to jump on and secrets to find. Metroid, really. But with a tank. And physics.
You’ve also got a lot more to master, controls-wise. Clearing larger jumps is a matter of building up speed and ramping off ledges, and landing needs to be controlled with your brakes or you can end up overshooting the mark. You have semi-limited ammo for your main gun, too. It continually recharges, and the first shot has a little extra kick to it, but every shell launches in an arc affected by your momentum. Later, you get your standard range of Metroid-style upgrades, from basic health extensions to extra weapons. The classic Metroid missile launcher has been upgraded to a manually guided fly-by-wire design, and there’s an even more physics-oriented ‘digger’ gun to excavate your way into new caverns.
The concept is solid for the most part, although controlling your tank takes some time to master, especially given the floaty (jet-assisted?) jumping, and just how easy it is to snag yourself on the corner of a platform and bounce helplessly off. Still, for every moment of frustration there’s one of equal satisfaction. Nailing a fast-moving flying enemy by accelerating your own shot through movement is strangely reminiscent of Starsiege: Tribes. While the game boasts full analogue gamepad support, it’s probably best to use mouse and keyboard. The extra precision with aiming matters when your ammo is semi-limited and that first shot counts more than the rest.
Faster Blaster is available (in beta) now, weighs in at a tiny 8mb download, and should run on just about any PC from the past six years. The engine the game runs on seems smooth and well-optimized, although that shouldn’t be too surprising, given the retro nature of it all.
Now here’s a question for you eagle-brained (and presumably elephant-eyed) folks in the community: Are there any other retro + physics mash-ups that you can think of? Mario-Portal blend MariO springs to mind, but are there any other notable hybrids that we might have missed? Feel free to share, comment, heckle or otherwise make noise in the comments box below.
It would seem that Nyu Media really are the plucky little localization group that could. Despite a partnership with Capcom (giving them a direct line to Valve), they’ve struggled to get each of their translated Japanese indie games onto Steam. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club was originally released back in April, and it seemed like it would stay relegated to the smaller online retailers – a shame, as our Sarah Bishop quite liked it, according to her review here. Thankfully, the winds of fate seem to have changed, and Nyu Media are happily announcing that the game is due to hit Steam on the 8th of November.
Not quite an adventure game and not quite a visual novel, CTHCC falls into that unusual hybrid genre of ‘life sims’. In this case, the adventures of a high-school girl and her quest to establish a successful comedy club at her school, inbetween juggling day to day goals and the general state of her education. It’s whimsical, fluffy easygoing stuff aimed at a more casual market. Not the usual sort of thing you see localized (hardcore arcade shooters seem an easier sell), but it’s nice to see more of this sort of thing making the leap. Here’s the official trailer, too:
The game is for Windows PCs only, and usually retails around the $8 mark, although this re-launch will inevitably come with some kind of small launch discount. While you wait for the Steam release, you can try the demo on the official site here and see what you make of it yourself..
Divine Space is a whole new take on sci-fi games introducing in a huge range of detailed RPG elements to the genre whilst giving it the flexibility to be played on your prefered device. That is right Dodo Games are planning to make Divine Space available on every platform known on this earth.
Dodo Games are a small indie studio from Russia who have only recently launched their Kickstarter project and have in the very short time already gained much traction. Raising over $10 000 in the first few days Dodo Games are still a fair way off their ambitious $100 000 funding goal however.
An ambitious goal maybe, however the scope of this game sounds quite phenomenal. With a fully customizable ship you really are able to play the game anyway you want. Fitting it with a whole host of weapons and items creating quite the individual experience.
The level of customization of the ships alone seems very detailed and really what you would expect from a Sci-Fi RPG. I really like the way Dodo Games are taking this project as they are going to develop a whole galaxy for you to explore.
You will be able to fight, explore and even mine giving you almost a new EVE like game. Holding a conventional story arch it will contain all manner of interesting twists and turns finding you exploring far flung areas of the galaxy and seeing innovative and new worlds.
Divine Space aims to really reach out into cyberspace and begin to redefine the playing field by creating this highly engaging and exciting new title. Divine Space is going to be a free to play multiplayer title working, eventually on all platforms.
If you like what you see about Divine Space I encourage you to head to Dodo Games’Kickstarter page hereand support this extremely ambitious but totally awesome title. The Kickstarter page also contains a great deal of extra information in case you really need more reasons to back it. Also be sure to check out the official site here.