Swedish development studio Might and Delight has revealed that its mesmerising pseudo-2D platformer, Pid, is likely to be see a commercial release this August.
In an article over at Joystiq, it was confirmed that the game, originally slated for a December 2011 launch, is now targeting a summer launch through the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network console services, along with a Steam release on PC. A price point, however, has yet to be decided upon.
Roguelikes are becoming quite the hot thing to develop at the moment, and why? More than likely because they can offer players a high dose of replayability and they are something that small developers can put can adequately achieve. It’s all about the procedural generation folks. Even more so with the dungeons. Combine both of those things together and that is exactly what The Crystal Catacombs has to offer. Though it’s a lot more than just that too.
Rendered in those familiar, but colorful, big pixels and in a 2D form, The Crystal Catacombs has you taken up the role of treasure hunter Captain Vasil Ravencraft. He encounters the fabled catacombs and it is you who needs to guide him through them, over and over and over again. But you’ll never have the same experience twice, and thus reveals the beauty of the roguelike. The Crystal Catacombs contains seven Crystal Realms to travel through altogether; each unique due to their random concoctions of enemies, traps, hazards, treasures and bosses.
Essential to this type of game are those all-important magical artefacts, which can offer you some extra powers to aid you. The Double Jump Boot, Dragon Armor, Crystal Skull and Grapple Spikes and many more are yet to be found. You won’t just rely on these alone though – choosing your class from the start will affect your playing style and gaining experience points to level up with will cause you to become a force to be reckoned with. Well, maybe not.
Unfortunately, as great as all of this sounds, The Crystal Catacombs is only about 40% complete and you’ll never guess what – the developers are looking for funding on Kickstarter. This is actually the second time the game has been submitted to Kickstarter as last time it failed – sad face. Maybe this time we can make it work though, yes?
The funding is to recruit people to make the game sound, look and play even better. Plus you can secure yourself a copy of the game or help design it, be in it and so on. More information over on the Kickstarter page and the game’s official blog.
After much teasing from the folks at Gaijin Games, they’ve finally decided to drop the news that Runner 2 will be coming to the Wii U. Can’t say it’s much of a surprise really, considering the original game was released on WiiWare to much success. It will be released as a launch title of all things, offering first time buyers of Nintendo’s new console a chance to run across the screen with Commander Video, dodging the obstacles and obtaining his all important rainbow cape.
Of course, with the announcement comes a few more details that should most certainly interest you. For a start, Runner 2 will come with a number of retro levels which will be playable on the Wii U Game Pad itself. As announced at the Nintendo conference at E3, the game will also be able to utilize HD graphics – a first for one of their consoles. On top of that, music will be provided by none other than Disasterpeace, who most recently scored Fez.
That up there is presumably one of the retro looking levels that Gaijin mention. Another cute detail is that there will be 10 unlockable characters in this sequel, including CommandgirlVideo, Unkle Dill and Whetfahrt Cheesebörger. The one thing we’re looking for is a release date but of course that hasn’t been revealed due to Nintendo keeping their mouths shut on the release date of the console. Slow clap Nintendo.
If you want to find out some more information on Runner 2 then you should head on over to the official website. Don’t expect to find out too much more yet though. Otherwise, why don’t you check out some alpha gameplay below if you haven’t already.
As part of the teasers leading up to the initial alpha release of Exodus, Gahlmac Game Studio have released yet more screenshots and, most impressively, an alpha gameplay trailer. If you read our previous post on the game, you should remember that we somewhat half-seriously compared to the game to the first two games in the Oddworld series, and quite rightly so. After having watched the first dose of gameplay though, we find ourselves not joking about the game at all – this really does look like Oddworld!
If you didn’t catch it, that comparison is a good thing. A very good thing. What you can see in the gameplay trailer is basically what we seen in the screenshots…but in motion. World’s Most Obvious Sentence Award goes to…! Seriously though, the art looks much better with some movement added and the animation on top of that is very clean, smooth and pleasing to watch. The actual gameplay itself, though based in a much brighter setting than Oddworld, is very much like it through and through. First up is the ability to sneak and in very much the same way as Abe used to do – tippy toes! With this you’ll be able to sneak past various creatures which would otherwise give chase upon hearing the thuds of your footsteps.
Then you have the jumping around part of this metroidvania game, which is quite clearly much more intuitive than anything Abe was able to offer back in the day. Quite frankly, that’s only a very good thing. We also get a glimpse of the game’s minimap too, which should help us all navigate the luscious environments; a vital aid given that the game offers freedom of exploration providing you have the right tools to overcome the obstructions in the way. The only other thing we see in the gameplay is the first signs of combat, in this case it’s just a basic slash from the arm, whether this will evolve with weapons or through other means we’ll see. We’re hoping that the game will encourage players to use their brain to bypass enemies rather than sheer force though.
The release of this gameplay only further increases our enthusiasm in the release of the game’s alpha version on June 15th. Gahlmac seem to be on to a winner with Exodus, simply for capturing some long lost sidescrolling gameplay and by giving it a modern and fresh feel. Let’s hope it only gets better from this point onwards.
You can keep up with the updates and ongoings of Exodus over on the official website.
To start us off with our first Indie of the Week article, Peter decides to trek through the shadowy paths of LIMBO. Ideally, you should have played the game already, but if you haven’t then now is a fine time to.
Ever wondered what it would be like to suddenly wake up in a world with no color without a clue as to what your purpose is in this strange place? That’s how I felt upon starting LIMBO for the first time and it didn’t take long to realize one important fact: I was not in Kansas anymore and Toto was nowhere to be found.
But just like in The Wizard of Oz, LIMBO also placed the main character in a strange world where nothing was quite as it seemed, although this place was far more hostile than anything found in Oz. Danger lurked around every corner and since I decided not to be overly cautious, Death himself become an all but too familiar face during my journey. The experience was both terrifying and incredible at the same time, because with each failed attempt at passing a certain obstacle – which often resulted in my untimely demise – it was almost like there was someone there, telling me to get up and try again and again until I got through it.
That said, I was in fact entirely alone in this strange world which was completely devoid of color, and more than once did I face off against horrors likely to make some people hide under a blanket, but I knew the boy whose life I had been put in charge of had a mission to complete and that it was up to me to see it through to the bitter end, so I pushed on through one area after another and eventually there was a light at the end of the tunnel. The light was a double-edged sword however, because while lighting up my path it also shone upon a huge buzzsaw that was racing towards me! And that was just one of countless hazards lying in wait, lurking in the darkness.
It’s a good thing I was so determined though, because after getting cut to pieces by buzzsaws, drowning and even having my body crushed by boulders once or twice, I reached the end of my journey and honestly it was not a second too soon. While I was a bit sad to part ways with the nameless boy after all that we had experienced together during his time in LIMBO, it felt good to be able to close the book on it once and for all.
What happened in the end, you ask? Play the game yourself to find out. Luckily for you, LIMBO is included in Humble Indie Bundle V right now so you could potentially get it for very cheap – or you could be generous.
Frogatto & Friends is a great free game. Solid controls, smooth movement, great art and music and plenty of charming, whimsical dialogue. First released a few years back, it’s still worthy of attention and praise even now. But the handfull of dedicated coders behind it aren’t satisfied with just releasing a single platformer, and recent development builds of the game not only include a bundle of new features (such as achievements and more robust powerups) for the game itself, but an incredibly powerful editing suite that allows you to change levels and even re-write code in realtime.
Over the past month, the Frogatto & Friends development blog has been taken over by several sprawling pieces detailing the basics of creating content in the Frogatto engine, real-time code debugging, adding new characters and rewriting physics, and even delving into the strange new frontier of the game’s own scripting language. In short, a guide on how to create whole new games using this (very solid) foundation as your starting point. For a consumer – such as myself – rather than a creator, it’s a baffling breadth of options, but I’m sure that anyone with a foundation in something like Game Maker might be able to get quite some use out of all this.
The focus of Exodus is its “strange and fascinating world” as opposed to its modest 2D platforming roots; probably for the best considering how many games fit into that genre. The gameplay does have at least one unique aspect though, in that the alien creature you play as called Zoulux, can evolve on the fly to surpass any environmental challenges.
Further details to entice us to the gameplay are lacking but we do have some new gameplay screenshots, courtesy of GameSideStory. The game’s art style was summed up by our staff as looking “vectorised” and if “A Valley Without Wind had a baby with Dustforce” – you can kind of see that in there. What seems more appropriate when discussing Exodus is its similarities, at least in the tone of the game, to the Oddworld games, particularly the ones feature Abe.
It’s the sense the familiar inside the alien that invites us to make that comparison, though the visuals make it seem much less hostile and certainly more vibrant than the smog-filled factories and surrounding areas of Abe’s Oddysee and the sequel, aptly titled Exodus too. Another tie with Abe’s adventures is that you’ll be finding relics from Zoulux’s past, as dictated by the game’s narrative.
The title Exodus actually refers to a mythical being which adopted the name. Underneath it were a city full of people who founded great advancements in technology, but all of it was unfortunately lost to the Cataclysm. It will be this forgotten past that you’ll be digging up in your sidescrolling adventure.
You can view the screenshots below and anticipate the release of a playable alpha version on June 15th.
Living up to his developer name, Michael Hicks (also known as MichaelArts) has been developing an “art game” in recent months – a dangerous term that comes loaded with a lot of expectations. He’s announced Sententia with a trailer and revealed that it will soon be on its way to the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace.
The game itself seems to be a sidescrolling action-platformer with some puzzles thrown in for good measure. Nothing too arty so far. This comes in only through the game’s narrative it seems. You play as a small creature with a purpose, though we’re questioned whether we’ll be able to hold on to it. Sententia is said to explore the challenges we face as our imagination and “creative spirits” grow.
You’ll start inside life’s forest, clearly a metaphorical as well as a physical place within the game, and your task will be to progress though it. This is made difficult by having to solve puzzles and defend your ideas with your own sententia. We’re not sure what to make of it all but the trailer is just below so see if how you feel about it for yourself.
Look out for more information on Sententia over on the developer’s official website.
Heros come in all shapes and sizes, most unlikely of all though may be completely round…unless Karl Pilkington is your hero of course. Well, in Flack, you literally play as a sphere whose ability to travel without rolling had us scratching our heads, then we learned to accept the little blighter and remain joyous in his existence. This is going all sorts of directions except the right one, and that is detailing the game, a platformer in fact.
Due to the simplicity throughout Flack this shouldn’t take long. There is a land where people (probably spheres too) live and upon this land evil has stepped. There is a leader, a root, to this evil and that is The Hand. Of course, many minions have been rolling around and causing trouble which is where the hero and you, the player, come in to play.
Flack doesn’t stop just at the campaign though, players can design their own levels and even share them with people so they can try them out too. You can downloadFlack to play right now with no installations, though it should be noted that the version that is available isn’t the final one, though the developer assures everyone that it shall be soon.
Check out the new trailer below:
More information on Flack can be found over on the official IndieDB page.
A few weeks back, Nicalis revealed their decision to not publish the WiiWare version of Nigoro‘s highly anticipated 2D platformer, La-Mulana. They gave some fair reasons as to why – the market for the Wii had substantially declined since the contract’s initiation – so fans were left to nod along with the change of plans.
It seems that Nigoro completely disagree with the reasons given though, writing the following over on the official blog:
“The market of WiiWare may not be active. But it doesn’t concern people who was waiting LA-MULANA.”
Due to this viewpoint, they are still hoping for a North American and European release for La-Mulana on WiiWare, and say that they have even been contacted by some publishers who are willing to help them do it. This is more than just getting the game to the players who want it and on the platform they had set their eyes on for it though. This is about setting an example to the Japanese gaming industry.
They noted that no interest for their game has been shown in Japan at all, so their only choice has been to cater to overseas where the interest does reside. They note that this is true for all indie game developers in Japan, saying that there is a severe lack of interest in its native indie game developers. They’re hoping that if they can get La-Mulana published overseas then they may have a chance of starting to change the situation around.
“We want to release LA-MULANA overseas. However, to tell the truth, Our primary reason for it is to set a example that Japanese indie game can be released.”
Their cause only brings up the words of Phil Fish at the IGF this year, where he said that most modern games from Japan “just suck”. It seemed harsh but they shook up some realizations in the Japanese game developers, some of them reflecting on the state of Japanese game production at the moment, more or less agreeing with what Fish said. Maybe they’ll start looking towards the indie game developers, that’s what Nigoro certainly hope for, as they remarked, “Japanese indie games world is untouched vein of gold.”