Ever wanted to have complete control over your ship in an epic space-shooter? Welcome to Ring Runner, an action packed RPG Space-Shooter that borrows its play style from classic space arcade games, while adding tons of enhancements in the forms of customizable ships, weapons, an epic storyline, three different multiplayer modes.
These features aren’t just tiny add-ons though, they are fully fleshed out. Ships can have over 300 abilities, including: stealth, sabotage, and time manipulation. The ship customization system gives you 65 different hulls that can serve as templates for your own, personalized ship, with each hull falling into one of five pre-defined archetypes.
Not only is the level of customization in this game amazing, but so are Triple B Titles’ implementation of highly intricate systems, such as their beautiful, procedurally generated backgrounds (which allow for more than 2 billion different star systems), their procedural AI (which yields billions of possible enemies), a solid implementation of Newtonian physics, and a seamless network system that allows for easy adaptations to multiplayer during game play.
In true RPG fashion, Ring Runner offers hundreds of hours of game play with tons of possibilities for vertical and lateral expansions and customization. Included in this is its 20+ hour main story that takes you through an epic (and funny) storyline leading to unexpected locations (like a space trailer park).
Look out for Ring Runner on Xbox and PC soon; and if you want to know more about this great RPG Space-Shooter, make sure to check out their official website.
The Basement Collection is the latest project from notable indie developer Edmund McMillen of Team Meat, best known for his work on Super Meat Boy along with his most recent success The Binding Of Isaac and contains his previous flash endeavors now remastered with heaps of additional content going live on Steamthis Friday for both PC and Mac. I have been keeping an eye on the development of this bundle over the past couple of weeks and well it seems almost daily the content of this collection has been growing but it seems to of finally hit critical mass.
The Basement Collection is going to include some notable fan favourites originally created as flash games online the collection will include:
Time Fcuk (With a new exclusive 33 level sequel chapter and updated level editor)
Aether (With improved graphics, physics, controls and extra bonus content)
Spewer (With a new exclusive 10 level bonus chapter, improved physics and controls)
Grey Matter (the 1st Team Meat game)
Triachnid (With improved mouse controls)
Meat boy (With improved controls P.S this is not super meat boy)
Along with two additional currently unnamed games the collection will have steam achievements for every game in the collection for all of you achievement hoarders out there. This collection also includes four audio Question and Answer sessions along with over 60 minutes of audio from Edmund McMillen which will no doubt make for an entertaining listen giving a bit more insight into his genius. If this is not enough the list keeps on growing with a 20 minute video included; Over 30 pages of development documents and character sketches; six playable tech demos; an hour of audio interviews and a huge soundtrack that includes Laura Shigihara, who is most notable from her role as the lead composer and sound designer for the smash hit Plants Vs Zombies.
For all this content probably the most surprising thing is the price and at only $4 for the entire collection it is hard to see any downside in getting this collection, especially if like me you came to the Team Meatwork later on and missed playing a lot of these earlier games this collection is the perfect excuse to experience them. This bundle does offer a great deal of content, so much so it is going to be impossible to actually decide where to begin with all of these games and extras making the decision impossible but one I am eagerly anticipating. The Basement Collection is being released on Steam for PC and Mac on Friday August the 31st for the low price of $4.
One of the greatest tragedies of indie gaming is just how easy it is for a clever, pretty, well-produced game to fall through the cracks. As far as I can tell, Star Stealing Prince was released last year, with a final updated version released just a few months ago. Still, until today, I’d never heard of it and that’s just sad, as this is a wonderful little surprise. Developed using the much-maligned RPG Maker, but you shouldn’t hold that against it; this is a remarkably well produced pseudo-JRPG with a remarkably creative setting and story.
The world of Star Stealing Prince is a strange one. Set in a kingdom where everyone is happy but vengeful ghosts wander the wilds, and where it snows constantly but nobody is cold. It’s a world where the snowmen are happy but the scarecrows speak of fire and death and of repeating tragedy, and where there always seems to be something sinister and wrong lurking just beneath the surface. You play as the young crown prince, Snowe, who sets off on a quest to right wrongs after discovering that his beloved (and deceased) parents might have had a few dark secrets. Ones they locked up in a tower to the east.
If I had to level one complaint at this game, it’s that the combat – while solid – is fairly standard turn-based JRPG stuff. Presented in first-person Dragon Quest style, the heroes and monsters take turns exchanging blows, using magic, chugging potions and all that familiar stuff. There’s also some balance issues in the very early game, including a part where you’re stuck controlling just one character, but encounter pairs of enemies with sleep-inducing attacks capable of stun-locking you into submission. Save often, just in case. It’s not revolutionary, but it is solid, and there’s a good range of skills and powers each character gets giving the combat a respectable bit of depth.
That’s about all I can really complain about – Star Stealing Prince is a very solid package all round. The sprite-art is good, the environments are detailed and there’s lots of flavour-text when exploring, and the character are an interesting and well-written bunch. The non-sprite art is of impressive quality, too. Every single NPC has their own portrait art, and while it’s not the greatest you’ll ever see, the art style reminds me a little of Final Fantasy Tactics. The enemy art during the first-person battle scenes is detailed and consistent too, even if there are perhaps a few too many palette-swapped fodder enemies.
The most interesting aspect is probably the world itself, though. There’s not much in the way of fantasy cliche here, and the core cast are all 18 or older, even if prince Snowe is a little immature and liable to run off with half a plan. It’s an interesting, non-standard fantasy story with great presentation, decent writing and an interesting mix of childlike wonder and fear of some hidden unknown. There’s even a decently atmospheric soundtrack, although a quick look at the file tagging reveals it to be mostly stuff taken from public domain sources such as the Newgrounds music library.
I’ve not completed this yet, but estimates suggest that it’s a respectable 10-12 hours long depending on how thoroughly you explore, which means a good few days of fun for the tasty price of $0. If you’re not already tied up with a rather more high-profile and high-budget RPG at the moment, you could do a lot worse than downloading Star Stealing Prince. It weighs in at around 218mb, and is for Windows PCs only, although I don’t believe that newer builds of RPG Maker have any issues with the usual routes that Linux & Mac gamers use to run Windows games.
Well, this is a bit more like it. Another indie discount bundle steps up to bat, and this one has a cause behind it: Getting a better distribution deal. 8 games, most formerly iOS/Android releases, all bundled together with an eye to raising interest in them for when the Greenlight indie fast-tracking system launches on Steam later this month.
It’s a two-tier kinda deal here. Four games for $1 or more, another four if you pay $5 or higher. It’s a generally solid bunch, even if none particularly set my world on fire. In the $1-$4 bracket, we’ve got one-button puzzler Ichi, shamelessly Super Crate Box-ish Muffin Knight, cute time-attack platformer Dino Run SE and Syder Arcade, which is a pretty polished attempt to bring Amiga-style shooting back to PC.
The second-tier of games is all formerly-iOS releases, I believe. First is arcade hack n’ slasher Samurai 2: Vengeance, monochrome platformer Gunman Clive, rather more colourful 3D platformer Paper Monsters and twin-stick shooter Guerilla Bob. Solid games one and all. No timeless classics, but an enjoyable lineup.
All eight games are for both Windows & Mac PCs, and are all DRM-free. There’s no charity tie-in here – this bundle is entirely focused around increasing the profile of these games in order to help bump them up the public rankings once the Greenlight service launches. While there’s a great many digital distribution sources out there these days, it’s a sad fact that a lot of gamers have a ‘No Steam, No Purchase’ policy, so getting your on Valves ubiquitous storefront is a major boon to commerical viability.
The Green Light bundle is available now, and the Steam Greenlight service launches soon. Share your thoughts on the games below, and do make sure to vote for them once you can if you like them. Indie developers need to eat to make games, y’know.
StarLife is an upcoming 4X (a space empire type of game, standing for explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate), by Purple Orange Games. We got our hands on the Alpha 0.4 version of this game, and it was pretty good. The only dialogue in the game occurs between you and your computer / menu (who has a fairly good sense of humor), which you use in a DOS command prompt style to decide what to do. There isn’t a ton to do at this point in the game, since it is only an early Alpha build, so you essentially just start your game and play through the two levels provided within StarLife.
The gameplay itself is a top-down, turn-based, hexagonal style of play, reminiscent of Warhammer (for those of you who have played the table top game 40K). Currently the game isn’t great to play, but it has tons of room to pan out as its development continues. You control your ship just as you might expect from a turn-based strategy game, first moving within your ship’s movement radius, then choosing an enemy within range to attack. After completing all of your available moves, you then end your turn, and your enemies turn begins. The graphics are solid (and in some cases, such as the main menu, exceptional), and the concept art that I’ve seen looks even better.
StarLife is definitely going to be a game to watch out for. While its current Alpha build may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen, if the game continues in the direction talked about in the dev blog and shown within the concept art, then prepare to lose hours of your life into its universe. If you want to find out more about StarLife, make sure to check out their official website.
Perhaps some of you remember the announcement of Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe back in December of 2011 or maybe you have forgotten about it by now. Either way, this is good news — and some good indie game eye candy — as Andrew Morrish has published some awesome new screenshots for the upcoming PC release and they look mighty fine. What exactly is Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe? Well, it’s a game that seemingly combines several things we love: platforming, shooting, and Tetris-like match-3 gameplay mechanics.
Its first iteration, entitled Super Puzzle Platformer, is Flash-based and playable for free in your web browser (CAUTION: It might take you a few minutes or hours, because it can get uncomfortably addicting). I recommend that before you try it, you finish doing whatever else it is you have to do. That’s what I’m doing now: Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is a bigger, badder, and more wholesome version of the original Flash-based concoction, adding things such as multiplayer, new levels, obstacles, characters, guns, and more. Its pixelated and colorful art design bears resemblance to Super Crate Box, but that’s not to take away from its very own unique twist in the match-3 department.
Slated for a PC release, one must wonder where else the game will end up, because it deserves to be iOS and Steam-bound, at the very least. Its multiplayer components (and hopefully achievements and leaderboard support) should fit right at home with Steam and Game Center, but thus far Morrish has only confirmed the game for PC. Stay tuned on this one, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Here’s proof:
Indie developer, Kisareth Studios, is getting ready to launch a revamp of their game, Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate. On August 31st, 2012, this new updated version of the game will be available for Windows platforms. Kisareth Studios assures that Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate, will have a ton of new changes. Included is a complete overhaul of the game’s coding, the creation of brand new artwork for the game, fixes for several bugs, and the creation of a new theme song, titled “Day to Fall”, by singer-songwriter Marielle Thomas (part of the Pittsburgh-based Alt. Rock band, Runway).
Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate is a traditionally styled, turn based RPG, with 8-bit inspired graphics. This game has a unique graphical style (as well as a good story), bringing a dark edge (in the style of Castlevania) to the world of 2D, tile-based RPGs. The revamping of the first game in the Chronicles of a Dark Lord series looks to be what hopefully is a move towards the recreation of all three parts of the series.
If you like old school RPGs with a bit of a twisted edge, then make sure you check out this game when its released. Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate will be available on August 31st from Gamersgate, Gamefly, Indievania, Indiecity, and Direct2Play, as well as being available for download from their website (where you can also download a free demo of the game). A price has not yet been announced.
It’s the little surprises that make indie gaming so fun to write about, and I don’t think there are many things more surprising than 2008′s first-person arthouse spy adventure Gravity Bone getting a sequel. For those who haven’t played the original Gravity Bone, it’s probably a good idea that you rectify that right now. It was an experiment in first-person storytelling. A short spy story with a charmingly minimalist art style, fantastic music and some cleverly used cinematic techniques that don’t really get much use in videogames.
It also ran on a freeware, open-source variant of the Quake 2 engine. Recycling in action! It’s been a long time since Gravity Bone was released, and a sequel just seemed improbable now that Blendo Games have moved on to more commercial outings. Even more improbable is that the Idle Thumbs podcast (recently revived via Kickstarter) would offer to fund a Gravity Bone sequel as a stretch goal. But they did, and here we are. Here’s the trailer:
Thirty Flights of Loving is yet another piece of first-person, experimental arthouse gaming with a sense of humour befitting a Blendo production. A short story (maybe a quarter-hour long) about the events surrounding a grand heist, it’s difficult to say whether it’s worth the $5 asking price but there’s been no shortage of praise for it so far. Those who backed the Idle Thumbs kickstarter to the tune of $30 or more should have received their invitation back to the exotic the intriguing Neuvos Aires, but the rest of you can grab the sequel either direct via the official site or Steam.
Thirty Flights Of Loving is currently for Windows PCs only, and the combination blocky-headed characters and a Quake 2-derived engine should ensure that it runs on just about anything faster than a pocket calculator.
Self described as a “digital collection of tactical puzzles”, The Football Playbook is a clever mix of a point and click puzzler, with the theme of, well, a football playbook (since we have a large American audience, let me make sure to point out that when we talk about football here, we mean soccer). Each puzzle begins as a snapshot of a possible football scenario. The main objective in the game is to get the football from the onscreen goal keeper to the striker (represented in the style of a true football playbook). Essentially, you direct a team of players from a top down perspective, coordinating them in order to achieve the end goal. Everything that you can do is based out of football, including the use of passing, timing, movement, and positioning.
The Football Playbook is also extremely similar to how actual soccer is played, making it a great game for players who might want to get some tactical practice (and coaches as well). This game isn’t just for lovers of Football though, with intensely interesting puzzles and a great user interface, fans of puzzle games in general will find entertainment.
The game currently includes over 40 increasingly difficult puzzles for the user to play through, and is only available for the PC currently. It became available on August 13th, 2012, and you can get it for £4.99 on The Football Playback website directly from the developers. There is also a fully playable demo (although with limited puzzles) available from the same site. If you like Football and puzzles, then definitely check this game out.
Seldom has the term ‘Videogame violence’ been so appropriate. Hotline Miami is a game about the kind of stylized neon hyper-aggression that you can only get in videogames. A clean and orderly building becomes a canvas, and in a frenzied burst of activity, you paint it with redder-than-red blood and slightly-too-purple brains layered over turquoise shirts and sharp white suits, all while flashing score indicators leap out of the bodies of your fallen foes, and a score multiplier creeps higher and higher with each brutal, successive murder.
Hotline Miami is the first commercial outing by prolific punk game developer Cactus. Teamed up with graphic artist Dennis Wedin and published under the surprisingly indie banner of Devolver Digital, it’s probably safest to describe the game as a tactical shooter after an all-night cocaine binge. We won’t spoil anything about the rather mysterious storyline, but you can look forward to stepping into the shoes of a very dangerous man with a collection of rubber animal masks, who travels around Miami by night, massacring whole buildings full of heavily armed thugs.
The controls are tight – mouse to aim, WSAD to move and the space bar is all you need – and the gameplay is laser-focused. The current preview build only contains about half the levels and presumably not all of the gameplay elements that’ll feature in the full game, but it’s plenty to get a handle on how it works. Your goal is to kill absolutely everything and everyone that moves across a series of buildings – many with multiple floors – using whatever weapons you can scrounge up on the premises. The big twist is that unlike most action games, you’re just as fragile as the enemies. One good hit and you’re dead, and the enemies are just as fast and twitchy as you are, too.
Your only two advantages are that the enemies move in predictable fashion (each of the handfull of enemy types – white-suited grunts, attack dogs, heavier soldiers, etc – sharing the same AI), and that you’ve got an omniscient overhead view of the level. You’re unarmed, and you know that behind that next door is a medium-sized room with two enemies in. One has a baseball bat, standing in the center of the room, and the other guy is patrolling with a shotgun. If that gun goes off, everyone in the area will hear it and – as there’s three guys with rifles just across the hall – almost certainly kill you, so you time your attack just right.
You wait for the perfect moment and kick the door open, smacking the shotgunner full in the face as he passes by. He falls over and drops his gun, but he’ll be up in a moment. The guy with the baseball bat pauses for a fraction of a second as you charge in, long enough for you to get in a punch. He falls too. You grab the bat, straddle him and smash his skull open. The shotgunner has picked himself up, though, and grabbed his gun. Not having the time to cover the distance, you throw the bat, knocking the shotgunner down again, slumped against the wall. This time, you finish him with a boot to the face.
That’s three seconds of gameplay, spanning just one, simple room, and you’ve got another six ahead of you on this stage alone. Any pause, mistake or hesitation would have meant instant death, and put you back at the start of that floor. It’s hard to be frustrated even when you can die so easily, though – the game drops you back into the action as fast as Super Meat Boy or Trials – and there’s fun to be had in experimenting with different approaches, different playstyles and different routes through each area. There’s very rarely just one ‘correct’ solution.
There’s a complex scoring system, unlockable masks (each with a small but useful character perk attached) for hitting certain point quotas, and some clever variety in the levels themselves. The whole thing is incredibly tightly designed, and held together by an aesthetic that not only works in the games’ favour, but accentuates each kill and death by depicting it in the most garish, lurid palette possible. The music is rather brilliant too, as you can hear from the gameplay trailers.
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Hotline Miami, with it already winning ‘best of show’ and ‘audience favourite’ awards at trade-shows. Now that I’ve had a chance to play it, I can see why people are so excited. Keep your eye on IGM for a full review once we get our hands on the final build.