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  1. Developer/Publisher: Mooneye Studios Genre: Adventure, Exploration, Narrative Price: £25.99 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble) Console (PS4, XBOX1) TBA (SWITCH) Official Website Breathtaking Before playing this game, all I had seen was the trailer and it was absolutely gorgeous. The visuals and lighting were inspiring, and the music a beautiful melody. What struck me most is the concept of the game. Giving me the chance to not just run through fields of grass on four legs, but fly through the skies, trample down canyons and swim in underwater worlds. No time was wasted, soon as I could I jumped into this world. The story is told through memories of the past Reincarnation seems to play a role in this world as you are wolf now but was once a human in an ancient lost city. Your companion tells you as much and you learn a lot about the story and world through him while exploring. This floating light explains the memories you find and gives you an insight into the cultures and beliefs of the ancient civilisation. I won't go too into the story as I feel it's brilliantly told and has a beautiful message that is best experienced first hand. Fly, dig, crawl, climb, swim and run Lost Ember sure give you a lot of options when exploring its vast world. Now, this isn't an open-world game, it is a linear story. However, the world designed is so large and diverse, you would be forgiven to think otherwise. There are parts where you are directed to follow a pre-determined path or follow a cool fast-paced scene (some of my favourite parts). Those are only occasionally. A large swathe of the game is very open and I found myself getting lost constantly and finding secrets and collectables. This is where clever level design comes in, for even when I was lost in my exploration and curiosity, there are visual cues such as flower paths and light. I have great respect for when a game uses the environment to guide me, it feels so natural and freeing. Freedom of exploration is the big selling point of the game and Mooneye have succeeded brilliantly. To repeat an earlier statement... Breathtaking The music is wonderfully orchestrated and fits all the scenes and emotions you will feel as you learn more of the story. The final song at the end is the winner and a favourite of mine. You will want to buy the soundtrack (or at least listen to it on Spotify), trust me. There are not satisfied with just having beautiful sounds resonating in your ears, they have to create these awe-inspiring environments too. I will admit, the first half of the game was beautiful but repetitive in terms of colour, design and overall feel, but boy does it escalate. You will be leaving those lush greens behind to brave duststorms in the desert and canyons that evoked memories of Lion King (STAMPEEDDEEEEE), there's freezing blizzards that will white-out your screen and serene underwater worlds. The variety was very surprising and unexpected, which made me even more blown away. A nice touch was seamlessly blending the ruins of the lost civilisation into the environment. You truly felt like you stumbled on something great, it was organic. Replay Value Being a linear story there isn't too much reason to replay the game. However, I am sure many of you will be like me and would love to just dive back into the world and explore freely, jumping from animal to animal and experience true freedom (hmm I wonder if there is a free roam mode? I'll have to check). There is one thing that will keep you playing after finishing the story, all you completionists out there have a heap of collectables to find from mushrooms to lost relics. Final Thoughts This will probably be very predictable considering my use of words throughout the review. It's a beautiful, gorgeous crafted world to explore and live in. My expectations were met and then exceeded when I hit the midway point, the change of environments really did it for me. Music was consistently good and the story kept my attention with intrigue and curiosity and finally heartfelt and meaningful moments. I cannot recommend this game enough and implore you to go out right this minute and buy it. You will not regret it. FULL DISCLOSURE: Game was provided free for review purposes. I thank Mooneye Studios for trusting me in providing an unbiased and thorough review and for the wonderful experience. If any devs want to get their freshly made gems- I mean games- fully reviewed, drop me a message on here or on my email [email protected] I will check out your page and see what article or video I can make for you. Also can help with creating Presskits and Promotions for those that need it (whether being released soon or in the far future) Signed:
  2. Game: Cats in Boxes Developer: LineartLemur Release Date: November 14 2019 Play the game in browser for free here! Genre: Action Strategy Shooter 2019-12-14_18-44-30_online-video-cutter.com.mp4 Cats in boxes is a bit different from most games I review, just because of how short it is, and, well, it naturally is since it's a game jam game. It would honestly be more appropriate to think of this game as a quick little flash game you find on all those free-to-play sites, especially since you can play it from your browser, which is a really nice touch. But that's not a bad thing at all! For a few minutes of your time, it's a fun little experience! It makes you think strategically as to when where and how to place and use all your units, without overwhelming you and giving you just enough of a challenge to keep you engaged. The artstyle had a very childish hand-drawn aesthetic to it, and it just adds to it's silly and nonsensical. The cats do look kinda off but for such a simplistic and short jam game, it really wasn't an issue for me when I was playing. If anything the style just grew on me as I played, it just seems fitting for such a goofy game. There's also a brief introduction storyboard type sequence which introduces the artstyle and the very simple story. The story is virtually non-existent, it's really just a mario type story, a simple motivation to add some quick context to what you're doing. There's also a choice to play as a "Hero" or "Villain". There's no difference between them gameplay-wise, it just gives you slightly different text to read at the beginning and the end of the game. The music of Cats in Boxes is equally simple. It's just one short looping sound bite, it got a little annoying for me towards the end, but ultimately it wasn't much of a problem. The music did all it needed to do, and without it the game would feel weirdly silent. The sound effects are equally serviceable, they never got annoying for me though. Now, while there's not much to say about visuals, story or music. The real fun of the game comes from the gameplay. The way it works is that you and the opposing team have a big fish you need to defend. Whoever has the fish with the most health left by the end of the round wins, and you move onto the next of 5 levels, where I enjoyed experimenting with different strategies to defend my fish. To defend, you have 4 different feline units, a shield using cat that can block attacks from enemy cats, a knife cat that can attack by charging with it's knife, a cat that can shoot tiny fish, and a healer cat. The really interesting mechanic that Cats in Boxes uses pretty well is how deploying units works, which is pretty much the one thing that makes this game a really fun quick experience. It allows for very interesting strategies to emerge and for you to think proactively in really unique ways! So anyway, yes, this is a very short review for a very short game, but I figured it was worth it for this unexpectedly well made jam game. So go over and give the game a try for a few minutes! Tell me what you thought of Cats in Boxes in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
  3. Publisher: Decemberborn Interactive Release date: 31st of October 2019 Genre: 2D-platformer Price: 13.99€ Steam link Pre-words My intention was to review this several weeks ago, even pre-release... But, that sadly didn't happen due to a number of different reasons. Firstly, my October was really busy with all of the horror games I was trying out. Secondly, the weekend I had planned to dive deep into the game I got really sick. Lastly, after several attempts at playing the game I realized that this game was simply not for me... Which really doesn't mean that the game is bad or anything, in fact there are so many things I can really appreciate with it despite not enjoying it myself. I'll do my very best to describe why I think it's a well-made game and also why it didn't suit my palette. Kind of a different review this time, eh?! Gameplay Cathedral is another of those "character wakes up not remembering much and gotta explore the world to escape from current location" kind of games, which works well considering the premise of exploring up to 600 rooms that will feature different kinds of challenges. Some rooms feature challenges in the form of enemies, or a boss, some got some puzzles to solve, others have some kind of platforming related issues to tackle and yet some contain a bit of everything. The controls are relatively easy, but hard to master, and as such there is no big tutorial (it's not really needed). The game is heavily inspired by good old platformers like Castlevania and Metroid (not the modern versions) and does remind me a little of games like Shovel Knight and The Messenger (both are also retro style platformers). Even the music is retro style, using absolutely brilliant 8-bit music throughout the experience, which I personally really appreciated! They've been going in heavy with the contrast in the color scheme, which did add to the nostalgia but also was something my eyes didn't appreciate that much. The world is supposed to be huge, at least 600 rooms to discover after all, and features different kinds of NPCs... Sadly I never got to meet up with any and cannot comment on dialouge, eventual side quests and so on. You are also going to get better weapons, armor, abilities etc that will make your progress easier and also change up the gameplay a bit. Once again, I didn't get very far and thus cannot really comment on what the abilities are like, the fairness of weapons etc. The enemies are pretty varied and there is also plenty of them, adding something unique to each room you pass through. Final Thoughts At first glance I really thought Cathedral was going to be a game that I would really enjoy, seeing as I really loved Ori and the Blind Forest and Hollow Knight. Note that I never really played many platformers, such as Metroid, as a kid. Challenging bosses, puzzles, etc are all things that I really appreciate in games... Yet I just didn't enjoy this one. I remember a specific room where you have to hurry up and unlock parts of the room while a roof with spikes is crashing down and I died so many times and just didn't want to continue.Your jumps are really high in this game and most of the time I died because I jumped straight into the roof and couldn't choose to jump a little bit lower. I just didn't like that and there was a similar situation when I played Incubo which resulted in me never finishing the game. I'm all for hard boss fights, but when the fight is against the environment I just loose interest. I guess I'm more into boss battlers than hardcore platformers! Because Cathedral is definitely a hardcore platformer game. Just because I struggled with this particular game doesn't mean it's a bad one, it simply didn't suit my taste. There are so many things that I can appreciate with it, such as the retro style music and graphics that they completely nailed. It feels like you're getting warped back in time to the 90s when you play it, and in a good way! The controls are simple and didn't experience any glithes or bugs, overall it was a smooth experience and it truly feels like a polished and well-made game! I can definitely recommend this game to people that enjoy games such as Shovel Knight, old Castlevania, Metroid and similar. It will be a pretty nice challenge for you!
  4. CROGGS

    KnifeBoy - A strange MetroidVania

    Game: KnifeBoy Developer: Karl Rune Peter Fredriksson Release Date: October 18 2019 Buy the game on Steam here! Genre: MetroidVania Adventure So! KnifeBoy! It's a weird-ass game (as you can see from its screenshots) made by Karl Rune Peter Fredriksson , it has a very strange atmosphere to it with surreal visuals and music that makes you feel like you're in some alien world and lends itself to a very unique experience, but beyond that, it's honestly just a mediocre MetroidVania. Now, I don't consider myself a huge fan of the MetroidVania genre, but if you put a good MetroidVania in front of me, I'll have a dandy ol' time. I grew up playing lots of games that had you accessing new areas with new abilities and stuff, like The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and even more recent games like Shovel Knight I love finding secret areas with some kind of new ability or item I have. When done well, the sense of progression in these games feels very deserved and satisfying when you finally see what's behind those boulders you've passed like 50 times now. Doing this well isn't the easiest thing in the world though, a lot of things have to go right to have the player really get that feeling. What this game excels at though is the whole strange, surreal look and feel of everything. I really like games like this, games like LISA and artists like Jack Stauber, do an incredible job of just making people revel in the absolute chaos and 'what the fuck is happening' of it all, and at many points, KnifeBoy does just as well. Karl's creativity really shines through in a lot of really shocking and unexpected ways, nothing was off-limits, and he just did whatever the hell he wanted, and I just loved it. That said though, it did still suffer from a lot of problems. The visuals, which I can only describe as strange, is the first thing you'll notice. It has an admittedly amateurish feel to it, but that doesn't mean it looks bad, not at all! A lot of the visuals look great and fit the theming of the game perfectly! They create a chilling atmosphere of a weird alien world with intrigue and oddities everywhere. The game seems to have a solely comic book style to it at the beginning, it mostly retains this style, but noticeably diverges from this in many parts pretty effectively, only adding to the chaos of it all, with some assets being pngs of actual real-life rock faces, which I thought was pretty funny. The use of light is also used especially well to just keep building that odd atmosphere. The character designs are pretty much strictly comic book looking, which Karl's done a good job with! The designs themselves range from strange, to typical comic book supervillain, to gorey, to delightfully absurd, to sexual (if there's any rule 34 artists reading this, you'll have a field day with this game). The most confusing design of all though in my opinion is that of KnifeBoy himself, like, there's some pretty weird stuff in this game, but I still genuinely have no idea how Karl came up with the idea of having a giant blade coming out of a guy's forehead. It fits the weird theme of the game alright, but the giant blade as next to no real purpose, it's never used and rarely mentioned, with the only time it ever becomes relevant being with his spin attack and overdrive attack. And I've always wondered, how is going through doorways with his head? How uncomfortable is it to sleep? And wow that musta been hella painful for his mom. WE WANT ANSWERS KARL!... or at least I want answers Alright, anyway, the story in KnifeBoy is one thing that, at least the steam page seems to pride itself on, which is weird to me, because in my opinion, the story was probably the weakest part of the whole game. The biggest problem, at least for me, is how overwhelming the game is with introducing new characters, organizations, and places. The opening cutscene just name drops 8 different things within less than a minute, then just throws you into the world, and it continues to do this kind of thing throughout the game, making following the plot really hard. Or maybe I'm just a big dumb idiot who can't process more than 2 things at a time, I dunno, but that was my experience. Anyway, the plot basically comes down to "save girlfriend from the big bad", with an even more generic evil shadowy organization, which is anonymous for some reason, I thought it would be some social commentary about the dangers of hackers or something, but I didn't see any of that in my playthrough, the fact that the big bad is anonymous never plays into the narrative or gameplay at all during my playthrough, it could have just as easily been the lamp fan club or something. The ending was also really unsatisfying and made no sense to me, it just abruptly ends out of nowhere, with nothing being resolved and almost nothing being revealed. Something else that is supposed to add to the story are comic book pages which you can find throughout the game, which reveal KnifeBoy's past, and there is a full legitimate comic which serves as in interesting look into the past, and although it is at times unnecessary, not giving insight into the game itself, it is an interesting read. I just wish there was more done within the game since it was an admittedly boring change of pace to sit down and read an almost full-length comic. The game does shine with storytelling in a few spots, and it isn't usually with dialogue or cutscenes, but with the world itself, with boss designs, environments and secrets. Little sprinkles of lore that made me intrigued by who the bosses are and why they are where they are, it made me imagine what their stories could possibly be. My favourite character is actually one that you can only briefly meet twice, Karl Skandal, but whose personality, knowledge, location and design made him really interesting to me. The gameplay of KnifeBoy is pretty standard Metroidvania punching and jumping with some abilities thrown into the mix. However, the level design can sometimes be frustrating, with platforms being just too short to reach with a normal jump, but feel like overkill to use a double jump on. Then there are other platforms with spikes that are just awkward to get through. But the worst of this is the overworld, where unnecessary obstacles and platforms are just placed around at what looks like random, which makes going from place to place in the overworld frustrating and unsatisfying. The attacks are also pretty unbalanced and lead to some pretty repetitive fights, one ability you have from the beginning, the "overdrive" ability is treated like a super-powerful burst of energy you can only use a few times. But in practice, you have to be really precise with how you hit things with it, it forces you to stop making you unnecessarily vulnerable, and was completely useless in boss fights since it did just as much as your standard punch attack. The punch attack is also pretty overpowered, especially for your first attack given, you can stay suspended in the air for a while just by spamming the punch button and it seems to do more damage than the overdrive in boss battles, I always end up resorting to just punching since it's easy to control, does the most damage, has no cooldown and has a relatively generous range. Using other attacks and abilities you get just open you up to getting hit, with no benefit in damage, speed or controllability, with the dash you get near the beginning being a small exception. Overall, fighting just got boring for me, cause the best way to do it was to just spam the punch button with no strategy involved. On one other small note, there is a day/night system in KnifeBoy where certain areas are inaccessible during the day or night, this was just really annoying in my experience, and didn't add anything to the game. Although the game looks beautiful at night. Boss battles, however, were pretty fun, they were a highlight of the whole experience for me, boss battles in this game are a culmination of all the stuff I like about this game! Bat shit crazy stuff happening, you wondering what the lore behind each boss is with their weird designs and environments, fun and satisfying platforming, and secrets which, if found, let you straight up skip some boss fights. My only problem with them though is the same issue I was talking about in the last paragraph, they all just devolved to spamming the punch button, cause nothing else was worth the effort or risk. I also wish that bosses had more plot relevance, and had some build up so that I at least had an idea of who I would fight before getting there, but that's a relatively small problem. The music, OH THE MUSIC! The music is probably the most well-done thing in this game, I don't know if it's just my weird-ass taste in music, but, like 90% of the songs either fulfill their purpose perfectly in setting the atmosphere and feel of an area, or are just straight bangers. Karl can make you feel paranoid, scared, intrigued, excited, whatever he wants, the music in KnifeBoy is one of the reasons I kept playing and was excited and determined to continue despite all of its problems. Karl should definitely upload or release the soundtrack for the game because I would honestly add some of the tracks to my playlist. Now, the biggest problem by far in KnifeBoy is how unpolished and buggy the whole game is. Bugs were so frequent that I sometimes honestly wonder if Karl even playtested the game himself. From being warped inside of walls when going through doors, to straight-up losing abilities you need to beat the game forever for no reason, to parts of the map that are straight-up incomplete, to buggy and jittery movement on awkward terrain, to dying by going through doors, to being able to go through objects when paused, to being able to walk around on loading screens, to tons of grammar and spelling problems, to crouching being buggy, to certain abilities being buggy in certain areas. There are so many problems, I've had to restart my playthrough from the beginning 3 separate times because of softlocks to do this review. After losing an ability I needed to finish the game which I lost for good out of nowhere again, I even tried contacting Karl, which was very hard to do (open up your dms on twitter man pls). I needed to press F7 which brought the ability back for some reason? There was no way that I saw, that the player would know to do this, so, if unless you're lucky and know about the F7 thing, beating the game would literally be impossible, to no fault of your own. Overall, KnifeBoy is a really interesting game for its weird atmosphere alone, but doesn't really hold up otherwise, with its many problems outweighing the good things about the game in my opinion. My experience with KnifeBoy was frustrating and unsatisfying, but it definitely still has value in its unique feel, kick-ass music and occasional nice little moments. Tell me what you think in the comments! If you've played KnifeBoy, do you agree? Thanks for reading! You can follow Karl on twitter @KarlKaze
  5. kyathil

    Song of Horror - Episode 1

    "I am not going to play more horror games until after New Year's Eve" - Kyathil pre discovery of Song of Horror Publisher: Raiser Games (devs Protocol Games) Release date: 31st of October 2019 Genre: Third-person survival horror adventure Price: 7.99€/episode (season pass 21.99€) Steam Pre-words First of all, I really didn't have the intention of reviewing yet another horror game... But, I really couldn't resist this one. I'm kind of amazed since this game somehow dodged my radar until shortly before the release. Song of Horror has been under development since 2014, by the Spanish based studio Protocol Games, with a whole lot of ups and downs in the process. They attempted to fund the game using Kickstarter twice, but both attempts were unfortunately unsuccessful which obviously had a big impact for the future of the game (in fact many considered it cancelled since nothing seemed to be happening for quite some time). There was also a change of publisher along the road. I personally really admire the decision to keep on going with the development, finding new ways to make their dream game come true, despite these bumps in the road. Yay for not giving up! On Halloween they released the first 2 episodes of the game, with more to come in the future! Story The famed writer Sebastian P. Husher has gone missing, along with his entire family. Worried, his editor sent an assistant to his house in order to look for him – but he never came back… These disappearances spark a set of events that will soon reveal something dreadful: a nameless, eldritch entity known only as the Presence seems to be responsible – and it’s still somewhere, out there, lurking in the shadows, awaiting you… You may die, but the horror continues – others will pick the investigation up from where you left it until you all find out the origin of The Presence and put an end to this nightmare. Visuals&Sound Most of the eerie atmosphere of the game comes from the sound and visuals. Visually the game looks very realistic to the environment, with great lightning and shadows, which helps the player immerse themselves into the game. However, the characters themselves look a little bit off in comparison and not nearly as realistic with pretty wonky facial animations in cut scenes. This might be intentional, can't really tell, and it doesn't have a huge impact on the game and didn't remove the spookiness , but it was something that stood out as I was playing. The sound effects are absolutely fantastic, with realistic noises from doors, clocks and what not and the sound track features some really creepy, but cute (?), melodies. Gameplay A famous author has gone missing, his assistant who was supposed to find him never returns and the only logical conclusion is for you to follow in their footsteps. Survival instincts are never great in horror games! The game is very story-driven, with the character(s) investigating what's going on at the house of previously mentioned writer. You're off to discover what kind of horror lurks around, but also a bit about the people affected by it. Before the episode starts you get to choose between a couple of different characters, with different associations to the house and the missing people, that will serve as your investigator. The characters have different backgrounds, personalities and personal possessions that will have a certain impact on your game experience. If any of the characters die, you will get to choose a new one that will pick up the torch from the deceased one. I did read that deceased characters might return at a later point, probably in a future episode, but how or why that would happen I cannot tell! Paying homage to the 90s, A Song of Horror uses a third-person perspective and a semi frozen camera angle which definitely gave some cosy, nostalgic, flash backs to old classics like the original Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The third-person perspective did make the game a bit less scary for me personally, but not in a bad way. It actually felt really nice not having jump scares served in your face every now and then, like so many modern horror games do! Not that the game won't provide you with some scares at all, mind you... Some were so clever and unexpected that I almost jumped. H. P. Lovecraft 's work has also been a big inspiration for the story and mechanics of the the game. There is, of course, the Presence... A mysterious entity that seems to be chasing the characters and for some reason resides in the house you're investigating. Several people are missing, most likely connected to this entity. There are objects that seem to resonate with the otherworldly and paranormal events that will send chills down the spines of yourself and the character you play as. But, in order to really convey this fear to the players themselves they cleverly added things such as a heart beat, vibrating with your controller, whenever your character is unnerved. I'm convinced that sometimes this was added just to spook the player, while everything being perfectly safe in the game itself! However, tread carefully as you investigate this mystery. You never know what lurks behind a door or corner and carelessness will punish you.... There are two things that the devs high lighted a lot in this game, the behaviour of the Presence and that the actions of your characters will affect future events. Apparently the AI for the Presence will note how players tackle obstacles in the game and adapt accordingly, making the game experience a bit different depending on your play style. This was not something I reflected upon a lot as I was playing, but when I watched other people play the game I did notice a some differences! It actually made me wanna give the game another whirl with a character I haven't played as, yet, and try to change my own play style a bit in order to see how different the game experience will be. Needless to say, I really love this aspect! With regards to actions potentially affecting future events I cannot judge, since I only played one episode so far, but looking forward to see if my actions so far will affect future episodes! Bugs I didn't encounter a lot of bugs as I was playing, but there were a few and I do think they are worth mentioning. A few times it seemed like the marker for interactable objects glitched out and either didn't disappear after doing one-time interactions or you could see a marker, but not interact with it. Additionally I got stuck in stair cases a couple times, it was almost as if the characters simply tried to nope out from the game. Definitely not judging them for wanting do that, would do the same! It even caused me some stress during a tense situation, where I wanted to quickly get away but was quickly very stuck instead. Final Thoughts Most of the controls and mechanics worked smoothly, but a few were a little clunky such as a certain heart beat mechanism... This and the bugs could definitely be improved. All in all though, this is a really well made horror game. I absolutely loved the focus on solving a mystery, the story, the 90s vibes, the characters and their quirks, and most of the puzzles. It's spooky and creepy, sometimes also pretty darn scary, without being downright terrifying as some other horror games are. It offers plenty of replayability, both with the adaptive AI and the different play styles of the characters. It didn't feel like a haunted house experience, where you simply wait for the next scare, instead every puzzle piece you put together invoke a curiosity for the next one and a determination to solve the case! Looking forward to playing the next episode and want to thank Protocol Games for providing Indie Forged with a key!
  6. Game: Shadow Developer: Grit Release Date: Early 2020 Play the demo for free on itch.io! Current Version: D1.15 Genre: Spooky open-world survival I've never been a huge fan of indie horror games, they usually rely very heavily on jump scares and are usually really boring and generic. Relatively simple games like Five Nights at Freddy's and Slender: The Eight Pages have inspired a lot of games copying only the most surface-level parts of these games, making games that have little to no effective atmosphere, or suspense. They decide to use an overabundance of gore, jump scares and a lot of pointless walking around, ignoring world-building, exploration and building that sense of dread and suspense only the best games can truly conjure in most players. And although Shadow is just a demo, in that simple 10-minute experience, this game never used jump scares or gore, which have become, in my opinion, very overused in games today, instead intentionally leaning more towards creating a sense of paranoia and an atmospheric unease in the player as they explore the island. With the developer, Grit promising to only expand on these ideas in the final build, with a bigger world, more things to interact with, and a smarter monster. The art style of the game is very simplistic and low poly, the style is executed well and looks professional. This simplistic style serves the game well, it was obvious to me what is what, making navigation and recognition very easy. This simplicity also made exploration, the main game mechanic, a lot more satisfying, as special attention has been paid to make sure each area of the island is distinct and can be told apart, with the easily accessible map only adding to this fact. This art style did take away from the suspense and dread I assume I was supposed to feel with the non-threatening textures and shapes around me, but it seems to be the feel the game is going for, and if that's the case, it does its job well there too. The game itself is very simple in what the objective is. You have to find green cubes to power a battery, which powers a boat, which lets you leave the island. Doing this just involves walking around the island and look for the many green cubes around the map. They can be found throughout the unique parts of the island, either behind rocks, in the middle of some trees, in a house, and on bridges. The fact that there are more cubes than you need to collect scattered across the map lead to each playthrough being unique, one person who plays might find the village, while another might never see that area, but find the winter area, or the rocky cliff, or the cabin in the woods, or the forest. Exploration is certainly rewarded here, and even thinking outside the box with one certain area. This also allows for multiple playthroughs, where you can explore the entirety of the island, this concept will surely be expanded on in the full version. My hope is that more varied and interesting locations will be added, where little pieces of lore may be hinted at through the environment and more interesting environments, or even more of a sense of direction when you first start, since when I first started playing and wandering around, I found myself getting bored, and almost had to force myself to continue. Having an engaging beginning is key to any game, and if not done right means that players won't see the majority of the game. One thing that this game has that many other similar indie titles lack is multiplayer! Multiplayer can be a great extension to your experience or alternative play-style, experiencing horror type media with friends transforms into a new comedic experience that only other people can offer. Combining this with a system that requires both people to work together can also amplify your enjoyment of the game altogether, but only when executed properly. And Shadow certainly doesn't do a bad job of integrating multiplayer! In single-player, your left and right hand have different functionalities, it would be quite difficult, or impossible to play without one of your hands. The game uses this concept and gives each player the function of one hand, therefore rewarding cooperation and staying together. This dynamic did a good job at mimicking everything single player does well, but with a friend (or maybe they're not a friend, I dunno who you play with). It also allowed for some fun, playful situations to ensue between me and my friend. It does, unfortunately, require you to have a controller, which not everyone has, limiting who can play multiplayer. There should be some other way to split the keyboard to accommodate a second player like a lot of flash games do. The monster that chases you is a basic generic monster with red eyes, the simplicity of the monster complements the simplicity of the overall game though, and its appearance alone makes it obvious that it is something to be avoided. It also has a weakness you can exploit, where you charge up a beam of light to temporarily stun it. This basic mechanic seemed fine enough at first, but as I played through the game more, I realized that the monster was unfairly hard to see coming at times. When I looked around me to see if it was near me, I sometimes wouldn't see it, even though it was relatively close, but it was facing away from me or behind a tree or rock or house, giving me a false sense of security, then suddenly dying to it without enough time to react. This got especially frustrating with closed quarters in the village, with me dying over and over and over with seemingly no way to stop it. Changes for the monster are planned for the final build though, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Overall, Shadow is a game that's fun to play and has a lot of promise, with many of the problems in the demo planned to be fixed in the full version. I, personally am looking forward to the future of Shadow and what it'll have in store with these mechanics and the great sense of exploration Grit has already made, a more polished version of this demo with more content sounds awesome. Tell me what you think about the demo in the comments below! I know the developer would love all the feedback he can get! Thanks for reading! You can follow the developer on twitter at @GAMEdevOVER
  7. There are always indie games on sale. If you spot one, post it here!!
  8. CROGGS

    Afterfall - An RPG Maker Gem

    Game: Afterfall Developer: AllyJamy Release Date: October 15th 2019 Play the full game for free on itch.io! Genre: Action-Adventure RPG I've always loved story driven RPGs with unique game mechanics like Undertale, Oneshot and the to the moon series. When done well, games in this genre can concoct an immersive and exciting world, with fun challenges and puzzles along the way. RPG Maker games do have many games like this, but I usually find myself having to sift through piles of games that can be filled with boring grinding and generic surface level stories and characters. Because so many other people have the same experience, RPG Maker games usually get a bad wrap for being lazy and boring. As an RPG Maker game, it's hard to overcome this stereotype and get the attention of gamers, especially with the increasing amount of games competing for your attention online. It's because of this stereotype that I like to give RPG Maker games a fair shot, and i'm glad I gave this game a play, because it blew me away right from the start with how it sets itself apart from the average RPG Maker game. Although it's not perfect, it still does a pretty damn good job at immersing the player into the tumultuous and intriguing world of Afterfall. The 4 years of work that went into this game definitely show. The game begins with a little bit of exposition explaining how you ended up on this alien world and pictures showing off the game's unique artstyle. You, like myself, might think that the art style is a little off at first, looking amateurish and incomplete, but the artsyle grew on me, and I came to really like it as the game went on. It's very simplistic, but gets the point across. Faces which appear in dialogue boxes aren't proportional though and distract from the expression they were likely intended to have, even being comically off at times. The lack of depth and shading can also make some objects and structures in the game look unnatural, and take away from the atmosphere being attempted. Some of the bosses and sprites which suffer from this problem can also totally take away the intensity or seriousness of a situation. But these problems are relatively small, and become less and less prominent as the game goes on, with majority of the environments and moments in the game still retaining a good amount of the emotional and atmospheric weight they need to provide a fun experience. But even where the art falters sometimes, the music consistently pulled me back into the game, with ominous, intense, fun and atmospheric music in every part of the game. I have absolutely no complaints about the music; it does its job very well and never got old. The game has two main mechanics that it uses throughout the game: exploring, and fighting. Both mechanics work virtually identically to your average Legend of Zelda game. You gain abilities and items which allow you to access certain areas, and you can swing or shoot a weapon at enemies that appear in the overworld - no turn based battles here! One thing Afterfall does differently with its exploration from Zelda though, is with scavenging. Your character in the game is a scavenger, and this fact plays quite well into the gameplay, with most items being things I've scavenged from the diverse environments I explored throughout the game, with a few quests needing you to go scavenging for certain items. This is usually a pretty straight forward and rewarding mechanic, but when searching vehicles, you have to check every single tile to make sure you scavenged everything from it, and you have to wait a few seconds at each tile to check if there's anything there. On screens with several vehicles, this can become very tedious and lead me to skipping several potentially useful items out of boredom. Apart from that, the scavenging mechanics encourage exploration, which is rewarded with several secrets that reward you with currency or rare items, or interesting new character interactions, which have some of the most interesting and compelling dialogue and characters in the whole game. I also found the fighting mechanic really fun! It's easy to understand, with the game teaching you how to use it seamlessly. With an easily understandable hotbar and weapon specs, it's easy to start engaging in fights, but it's very hard yet rewarding to master, which becomes especially true during boss fights which test you with mechanics you've already fought against before. My only complaint is how small the hitboxes are for bosses with large sprites. As someone who used to use RPG Maker in the past, the problem is understandable, but still caused some frustration when I had to experiment with each boss to figure out exactly where to hit them. In general though, both game mechanics are well done and satisfying, with a clear sense of progression making it all the more rewarding. When I first began playing Afterfall, I was pretty overwhelmed by how big the world was, how many characters there were to keep track of, all the little quests to keep track of, and all the lore and information about the world I was given at the start. I couldn't keep track of everything in my head without writing a lot of stuff down, even though that much information was not needed to understand the basic gist of what was happening plot wise in the beginning. The beginning of the game lacks focus in this way, and it made the game quite confusing up until I completed the first dungeon and was the part I enjoyed the least, which is a shame because the rest of the game afterwards is a lot better, and does not have this problem, meaning that some players might quit without even experiencing the good parts. All the extra lore and intricacies of the world should be left towards the end or hidden in secret areas for people who already have a solid foundation of understanding of the world, since after revisiting the beginning of the game after completion, everything made a lot more sense. Simply put, at the beginning, there are too many names, places, groups and characters to remember right out of the gate. After the first dungeon though, the game has a focus on certain characters and groups, making it much easier to understand what is going on. The quirky, compelling and relatable characters in Afterfall is one of its biggest strengths, especially towards the latter half of the game. Every character has something to say or do, from the key players to characters you only ever interact with twice. Their dialogue can range from funny, to mysterious, to heart warming, and left me having to question the character's true intentions, only adding to how entertaining it is to talk to the characters. However, there is the rare typo, although, they aren't major typos, and can easily be skimmed over or ignored. The only thing lacking about the characters is in their designs. Some of the characters look almost the same, and are not very distinctive or representative of their personality, with only a few exceptions. But despite these draw backs, the game had me regularly looking forward to engaging in dialogue. With some of the game's narrative moments having me at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what would happen next. Now, I had a blast playing this game, and although it has several small problems already, the most notable problem I experienced in almost every screen of the game were bugs. By far the most common bug in the game is collision problems with the tiles. I can't even count how many times I walked through a wall or window tile. This is still a pretty small issue, just like everything else I've mentioned since nothing I've found breaks the game, with the most major issues regarding this being boss battles where the main character and the boss go right through what were probably supposed to be obstacles like there's nothing there. But, despite Afterfall's drawbacks, for a free game made mostly by one person, it still shines through its unique world and characters which will only grow more and more enjoyable as the game goes on. I would definitely say that it's worth a play. Tell me what you think about this unique and interesting RPG in the comments below! Thanks for reading!
  9. Key Info: Developer/Publisher: Gabe Cuzzillo/Devolver Digital Genre: Top-Down, Action, Smash'em Up Price: £10.99 PC (Steam, GoG, Humble, Itchio), SWITCH DEMO AVAILABLE Official Website Ever have those moments of pure anger where you run away into your mind, turn into a huge ape and brutally pulverise everyone in the building into a pulp during a mad run to the exit? No?... Well if you did, it would look like this. - Pros Intense Bold Beautiful Art I could just watch for hours. Punch in the face Jazz Orchestra that is procedurally generated by how Apeshit (sorry) crazy it is getting. Simple Controls. Move. Grab. Punch. That's it. Satisfyingly Hard. It has that 'Just one more try' worm that burrows in your head, telling you, you can do it. Shakes it up every level. Enemies change, surprises come into play, your strategy must evolve as you progress. Angry Violent Ape (good stress reliever). - Cons Too Short (only took me 2 hours to complete). Ape in Cage. Ape Mad, Ape break out and go on a violence-induced sprint to exit This isn't really a narrative game and that's ok. It's not meant to be and I wouldn't expect it to. However, between the bloody corridors and guards running on fire, there is a very loose visual narrative. You start in a lab, you've been experimented on and later in the next few stages, there is a progression of sorts with each of the 4 stages occupying a different environment. All these stages (presented as Vinyl Albums, so cool) work as 4 different vignettes or slices of a great Angry Ape who just wants freedom... at any cost. You would think it is just a smash, grab, have a nice day kind of game But let me tell you about my first play-through. I was immediately engrossed in the carnage and the completionist in my head said to get revenge on every single one of these men for imprisoning me, hunt them down, rip them apart and be rewarded by the satisfying cymbal crash... But no, as I picked up a dismembered arm to fling at another incoming enemy, a spray of bullets from a shotgun burst towards me, and then it hit me. I'm meant to escape. In the beginning, I thought the game frustrating, but when I started actively trying to escape, it became the mad rush it was meant to be. New levels brought more surprises, in one level lingering close to a window meant getting shot by snipers, soon I encountered explosive experts, flamethrowers, mortars falling from the sky, the variation kept coming and made everything fresh, constantly pushing me to re-evaluate my strategy. "In most games, procedural generation is there to add replayability and add very divergent outcomes. In this game, it's about forcing you to improvise. - Gabe Cuzzillo You can't rely on knowing the layout of the building or position of the guards, you have to take each moment as it comes. For those that know me, I normally get turned off a game at the mention of procedural generation, there's no authorship to the design and structure, but in the case of Ape Out, it is for a reason and a reason that works for me. You've got to admit, the music is pretty fantastic So it's no wonder that during production, it became a linchpin and focus that Gabe Cuzzillo latched onto. "You've Got to Have Freedom" by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, THAT is the linchpin that drove it home. "It really spoke to me on a deep level" - Gabe Cuzzillo But we're here to talk about the music in Ape Out, an algorithmic masterpiece of a score by Matt Boch. Double time drums set the pace and the rhythm of your heartbeat, growing louder and more intense as violence escalates. Loud cymbals crash into the track with every man you smash, ratatat of guns and explosions and the wet squishing sound of carpet drenched in blood. This is a symphony of carnage and the urgency to escape, blended into a head-bobbing jazz track that you control. Does it all fit and work? It most certainly does and it gives you the satisfaction that it was your rampage that created this soundtrack. On top of this amazing soundtrack, we've got the sharp colours and shapes that pull you in and compliment the harshness of the saxophone. The inspiration for the art style sits heavily with Saul Bass, who is famous for strong colour, simplicity in shapes and lack of tonality that creates a striking image. This was brilliantly re-created by Bennet Foddy. The tall parallel walls give that vertigo feel and tightness, making you feel like a rat, trapped in a maze as you scurry around looking for the exit and avoiding the dangers. This little detail took me a while to notice, but when I did I loved it. There is no health bar telling you how weak you are, but instead the more damage you take, the bigger the pool of blood that trails behind you. This is the kind of game design I love. When the visuals and music don't just look and sound good but work to make the game better. As mentioned in the Pros and Cons, this is not a very long game and depending on your level of skill, you could complete this game in a very short time. Thankfully there is an arcade mode that scores you for how far you can get without dying and a harder difficulty mode too. For me, those modes don't interest me. For others, it will add maybe an extra hour or two to your fun. Final Thoughts Ape Out is a hugely enjoyable game, it lived up to what I wanted and it gave me plenty of pleasant surprises that kept the repetitive gameplay fresh and interesting. The music is amazing (I'll be buying the soundtrack right after this) and the visuals were pure art for my eyes to drink up. My only con is that the game was too short, but in actual fact, its a double-sided coin for me. Yes, it did not take long to finish the game, but at the same time, if it had lasted any longer, it would have risked becoming stale. The game was exactly as long as it should be, despite the brevity. Still, I can't help but want more. More Albums and more music to smash people to the rhythm of. Highly recommend the game to anyone with anger problems, a love for jazz, or just wants a short game to enjoy. Or anyone really... I mean who doesn't like Apes, Jazz, and Violence?
  10. kyathil

    My Indie Horror Top List!

    Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate it than with some spooky horror games? I've been a big fan of Halloween since a kid and have been playing a variety of horror games on Twitch the last couple of years, with a heavy focus on them during October. Thus I wanted to share with you my 5 top pick of indie horror games! However, I will not add some great well-known titles such as Layers of Fear, Amnesia or Outlast due to them already being classic horror games and the goal of this article is to introduce something new to the table. Also, I haven't played every single horror game out there and some are not included because of that (such as Devotion and Home Sweet Home). When I compiled this list I took several things into consideration and will add ratings reflecting these aspects: Scare factor - This one is given, I think. This is my biased opinion and they are rated in comparison with what I've experienced so far. Gameplay - How smooth the gameplay is Story - Is there any deeper story or just something to justify all them scares? More aspects could definitely be considered, but don't want to write a long, tedious, novel! Without further ado, here are my top picks for indie horror games: 5. Pacify Publisher: SKH Apps Release date: 29th of February 2019 Genre: Co-op puzzle haunted house fun times? Price: 3.99€ Steam On fifth place comes the only multiplayer game on this list, which might also be part of the reason why it's actually on the list too! You can choose to play solo or together with up to 3 other unforunate souls, in either co-op mode or PVP. If you play solo, which is most of my personal experience of the game, it will be a whole LOT more difficult and scary... So beware! The game takes place in a house which you and your comrades, for some reason, are set to investigate. This is not just any house though, but one of those happy houses haunted by a happy little not-at-all-creepy ghost girl! After a short time in the house it becomes clear that it was a very bad idea to enter and the goal is set to simply escape. But, it's not as easy as just running towards the exit and pray to any eventual diety that you get out safe and sound. You have to solve puzzles, with tools such as dolls, matches and keys... And keep a constant eye out for that happy little girl, because if she detects you she will politely ask you to join her games and you will politely not want to participate in that. One advice, do read the notes you find... It will make everything much easier! What I really like with this game is that it is a scary game to play with friends, but it's not like many other scarier multiplayer games such as Dead by Daylight which is basically a hide-and-seek game set on a pretty big map. Sure, there is a bit of hide-and-seek in Pacify too, but how you get out is a bit different (and pretty hard to nail, especially solo) and the map is not very big... It's just a house after all. It is also really fricking scary, much more so than Dead by Daylight. I'm pretty sure I browned my pants at one point while playing... It's also not a very expensive games and considering how many hours you can spend with it (it's quite replayable) I really think it is the game with the best price vs play hours on this list! If you and your friends enjoy some spooks, preferably as a team, I can warmly recommend giving this gem a spin. Score: Scare factor - 8/10, Gameplay 8/10, Story 5/10 4. Narcosis Publisher: Honor Code, Inc Release date: 28th of March 2017 Genre: First person survival, horror Price: 12.49€ Steam You are an industrial diver about to do everyday work on the bottom of the sea... And about to experience the absolute worst work day of your life. You put on your dive suit, doing your normal routine... Only this time something goes awfully wrong and you are left alone in your half-ton, high-tech dive suit described as a "walking coffin", trying to get back to your base and figure out what exactly happened. And whether anyone else survived. All this while carefully monitoring your oxygen level and defending yourself against hostile creatures. The sea hides many beautiful beings, but also lethal dangers. Navigation is slow in that heavy suit, your tools are few and the depth is very, very dark... You need to be clever in order to survive and return to the surface. Narcosis features many familiar horror game concepts, such as the oxygen/sanity level which can be somewhat compared to the light source mechanism in games like Amnesia. The oxygen level will naturally deplete with time and you will need to find refills in order to not suffocate and die. Additionally, if you encounter hostiles or experience horrors it will start depleting more rapidly due to the protagnist breathing more rapidly (as you might expect a stressed person to do). I personally think this is a nice and realistic detail and makes the game feel more real. There are a couple of jump scares, but not that many, and some horrifying events that will increase that spook factor with quite a few notches. It's about as scary as SOMA, mostly relying on atmosphere and sounds to provide the horror elements (but not only). The suit is really clunky to steer, which bothered me at times, but also added to the overall claustrophobic atmosphere of the game. Yes, you do a whole lot of exploration in the deep vast sea and yet you feel trapped and smothered due to this suit. I did read that some people found the graphics outdated, but I didn't think so myself and thought the game was realistic and at times really beautiful. Fantastic soundtrack to increase that abyssal ambiance too! The whole concept of Narcosis is to get a glimpse into how traumatic it would be to be put into a situation like the one the protagonist experiences. How he reacts to the events and surroundings feel realistic, most of the time. His desperation to find someone, anyone, increases the sense of despair and loneliness... And the constant fear of what lurks in the dark, but also in his own mind. The fight for survival is not just to survive foes but also to keep sane and not fall into utter despair. It also features some really nice plot twists that left me bamboozled for days! I really do hope that the protagonist got a BIG glass of some good whisky after his adventure. I definitely enjoyed my play through of the game and want to thank the developers who kindly offered a key to it! Score: Scare factor - 6.5/10, Gameplay 7/10, Story 8/10 3. Apsulov: End of Gods Publisher: Angry Demon Studio Release date: 8th of August 2019 Genre: Future viking horror Price: 16.79€ Steam When I first saw a trailer of Apsulov I thought it looked a little bit like Alien:Isolation, and me being a huge fan of the latter just had to check it up some more. It is described as a first person dark adventure/horror game where Norse mythology is mixed with sci-fi! At least I thought that sounded pretty cool, not that I had any idea whatsoever just how these developers planned to intertwine these concepts. Just like a lot of other games, especially horror focused ones, you wake up without having a slightest idea as of who you are, where you are or when you are... However, it really does sound like you are in deep need of some water and perhaps a mint! Unlike Pacify where you choose to investigate a haunted house (bad idea), in Apsulov you for some reason wake up in the middle of this nightmare and thus we cannot really blame her for having bad survival instincts by entering obviously bad places! At first it looks like the game takes place in some sort of space station, hence the Alien: Isolation vibes, but is actually some kind of underground science center. Humanity was digging deep into the ground on a quest to find Norse artifacts, but something went wrong and the result was chaos and suffering. The protagonist's personal quest is to explore this underground facility and figure out her place in all of this. But, her surroundings are very dark and in the darkness lurks less friendly entities... There has been quite the evolution since the studio's previous titles, Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn. The graphics are fantastic, including the human models, and the gameplay is really smooth even though it introduces more complex elements versus the older game. Just like in Unforgiving, there is voice acting and I suspect they have the same voice actors for the Swedish and English language options... Partly due to the pretty obvious Swedish accent for some of the characters. One thing that I did miss in Apsulov is the choice of having one spoken language and another as subtitles. It's a very minor thing though. What is scary in Apsulov is, mostly, the atmosphere, the plentiful amount of hostiles, and the overall darkness of the environment... There aren't that many jump scares and the ones I encountered did make me almost fly off the chair! Pretty good ones! The environment is pretty dang dark, but you do have a kind of special vision that will make navigation possible in dark places (and find hidden things!). Some cut scenes are pretty creepy and/or gory, so do keep that in mind if you decide to try this game out! I don't think this game is near as scary as Alien: Isolation, would put it on a similar level as Dead Space, but it doesn't make the experience any less enjoyable. In fact, I had a hard time putting this game down and started it right after finishing Blair Witch! There are plenty of puzzles, some more complex than others and the mythological lore is brilliantly woven into the story line. As you may have noticed there are many familiar concepts from other horror games in here, but the developers have also included their own unique twists and turns of things! Once again I feel like I could write so much about my experience of this game, but this article is not supposed to go in depth about the games mentioned and thus I have to stop! Seriously, if you're into horror games, JUST PLAY THIS! I truly enjoyed this game, not just as a horror game but as a game in general, and am proud of what the studio has achieved! Well done and thank you for providing me with keys for your games Score: Scare factor - 7/10, Gameplay 9/10, Story 8/10 2. SOMA Publisher: Frictional Games Release date: 22nd of September 2015 Genre: Sci-fi horror Price: 27.99€ Steam (heavily discounted during sales) On second place is my favourite horror game of all time, SOMA. I played it for the first time a few months after it's release and despite this being a couple of years ago by now and having played many horror games since, it is still my absolute favourite. Not because of the horror factor, it might be the least scary one on the list, but because of the amazing story! That's right, a horror game featuring a deep and thought provoking story! How odd! While Narcosis explores how a traumatic event can affect a human, SOMA explores what it means to actually BE human. Also, the game tackles this topic in an absolutely brilliant fashion! The game was developed by Frictional Games, also known for their masterpieces Penumbra and Amnesia (which in a way made horror games popular again). There are some elements to the game which are very similar to their previous titles, such as monster chasing scenes and the mechanics of the hostiles. A huge difference is the focus on figuring out what has happened to you and the location you are currently on, instead of focusing on scaring the living crap of you (there are some occurrences of that too, of course, but not that many in my opinion). I sincerely wish the worst to a certain Akers. It is still really scary, with many dark areas and terrifying sound effects! The areas you discover are also vastly different from those of Amnesia, parts are inside of a science center (ish?) and parts are taking place in the deep sea, while in Amnesia you are stuck in a big mansion. I have to mention that I found the sea levels absolutely gorgeous while playing, really beautifully done! While playing Narcosis and Subnautica I did get flashbacks to the sea parts of SOMA, which makes me think that these games took some inspiration from SOMA for their own sea levels. Might be wrong though! Still, fantastically done. The soundtrack to SOMA is also absolutely amazing and have been adding my favourite tracks to my "work mode" Spotify-list, game music is fantastic in the background while coding. As previously mentioned, I do think that the story is what makes SOMA unique and where it's absolutely brilliant. The journey that the protagonist makes, the characters he encounters (and the fates of various people in the world) and the difficult choices he has to make are all so fantastically well done that it left me slightly traumatized. But, just slightly. It's amazing how real the characters feel, partly due to excellent voice acting and how affected I got by the events. In order to progress in the game you have to solve puzzles and use stealth to avoid threats, in classical Frictional Games manners, but you also have to make choices that will affect those you've encountered. Some of these choices left a very bitter taste in my mouth and some might have also produced a tear or two. It is a very heavy game and as such might night be suitable for all, it is also a pretty scary game even though it's not on the same level as Outlast or Amnesia. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience to get through and might pick up again in the future! Ps. I really want something new from the studio! It's been 4 years, please give us some new horror game Frictional! Score: Scare factor - 6/10, Gameplay 9/10, Story 10/10 1. Visage (Early Access) Publisher: SadSquare Studio Release date: 2nd of October 2018 (first EA chapter) Genre: Psychological horror Price: 20.99€ Visage on Steam On the first place is what I personally think is a spiritual successor of the infamous PT and despite it being still in early access, with just two chapters released, it is one of the scariest gaming experiences you can get! Oh boy, how I screamed while playing this masterpiece! Thus, make sure you bring extra pants if you decide to give this game a try and remember that it is not for the faint-hearted. Also, keep in mind that it is still in early access and you might detect a few pesky bugs along the ride! Visage is a PT-inspired horror game taking place in a very old, seemingly haunted, house. Many families have lived here in the past and while many families lived there in peace, some faced a horrible fate. You are Dwayne (a little unclear so might be false) and for some unknown reason you decide to live in this, ill-rumored, house. Maybe Dwayne is there to investigate paranormal activities? Maybe he got a secret death wish? Who knows?! At least I would never even set a foot inside a house like this, because I very much enjoy living. Dwayne will quickly discover that there is definitely something, or someone, haunting the house and some of the inhabitants of the past will pay him a visit... In some ways, Visage reminds me of another PT-inspired indie game - Layers of Fear. Just like Layers of Fear, it features a super realistic looking house that will sometimes change appearance as the stories progress. There will be some jump scare scripted scenes, but they are few and far in between. It's a bit more focused on puzzle solving compared to Layers of Fear and we are not investigating the fate of just one family, but several, and they are split up in chapters that you unlock in different ways. The chapters themselves differentiate quite a bit from each other as well. For example, Lucy's chapter is following a rather linear path, classic horror game style, while Dolores's is less so and much more focused on puzzles. What is unique with Visage is the random events that will occur throughout the game, they can be things such as suddenly switching off the lights or a little peek-a-bo of a previous inhabitant... During one play through you will not experience all of these events and thus every play through will be a bit unique. This in combination with the fantastically eerie music and sound effects, the realism of the environment and the super creepy stories are what really made utterly terrified as I was playing through the 2 released chapters. I can't even described in words just how scary I found this! If you're looking for a game that might scare you beyond imagination, then this game is certainly for you! Score: Scare factor - 9.5/10, Gameplay 7/10, Story 7/10
  11. Coming in today with a Full Released game and an Early Access game. Big cannons, jet-propelled feet, some awesome riffs playing in your speakers and cheesy as hell English subtitles. This is an anime mecha game, Hardcore Mecha. You get to feel the weight of controlling a huge giant robot with cannons, the recoil and animation are on point for combat and cut scenes that flash on every now and then. Although released as a finished game, the devs are still working tirelessly to bring in more content and game modes for all you lovely people. Crawling robots are beginning to normalise how we feel about creepy crawlies, or is it just me? Creepy crawl along the walls, ceilings and pretty much any surface as you sneak your way around the levels. In Code S-44, you play as... Code S-44, searching for his best friend S-12. Be warned though, this is only Episode 1 and you may not get closure at the end of it. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? HARDCORE MECHA (http://www.rocketpunchgames.com/) Genre: Action, Dual-Stick Shooter, Mecha Price: $16.99/£13.16 (15% off till July 9) Developer: RocketPunch Games Publisher: RocketPunch Games Release Date: 26th June 2019 Available on PC and PS4 ►Steam Store The Campaign mode offers rich gameplay and seamless in-game cut-scenes for an immersive experience. As a professional mercenary, you are gradually caught in between a conspiracy of insurgency during the missions. In the face of the enemy with all intentions and the continuous battles, you start to think about what you are fighting for in this overwhelming warfare. It's like playing an anime, a Mecha Anime. The designs and animation for this are top-notch, compliments all around for an awesome job. Can you imagine having each one of these mechs as a figurine on your desk? Your little army would be the envy of all. I'm not here to talk figurines though, let's move onto the game. Combat is fluid and fun to play with each of the mechs having different strategies and styles of play. It's mainly a dual-stick shooter with varied movement as you can walk, dash and fly making Boss fights incredibly fun and almost play out like a brawler. Utilize all your different attacks and sharp reflexes to win the fight. This game contains several modes (a few still in development, but I'll get round to that). Right now the two biggest and most important modes are available. Campaign and Local/Online Multiplayer. The campaign is pretty rich and gives several nods to the anime community with well-known tropes and cliches, but it works because we love it. The over the top reactions and cheesy lines, brilliant. Between mission you are given the opportunity to spend points on new parts and skills, developing your character the way you want to fight. Up until recently, there have been a few (just a few) bad reviews concerning missing content. This is mostly coming from those that have been along the journey since Kickstarter and remember what was promised. Well with patience, we have gotten an update and the developers have not forgotten, in fact, they have been working tirelessly everyday including weekends to get all this content available to create the game they are so passionate about. I commend you for your hard work and communication. Don't break your backs, you already have an amazingly detailed game that is great to play, I for one can be patient to get all the extra content you are creating. EARLY ACCESS Code S-44: Episode 1 (https://twitter.com/Code_S44) Genre: Adventure, Puzzle Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer: Little Bot Studio Publisher: Little Bot Studio Release Date: 26th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store You are S-44, a pretty cool spider-bot able to climb everything. Sneak your way from the deepest slums to the highest heavily guarded buildings in order to save your best friend in the fantastic but dangerous town of New Bot City. You know a game is good when it can be challenging but still fun. What makes this game work so well is the use of stealth and puzzle-solving to create levels that give you a big sense of achievement when you complete them. The art style is beautiful, a sort of cell-shaded comic book style that is becoming popular these days and music that will keep the atmosphere tense as you sneak around the environment. Now it's not a very long game, but as the title says, it is just Episode 1. There is a story that runs through and I look forward to finding out more in coming episodes and how they expand on these mechanics. This game may work well for a short first episode, but I'll need to see more if I am to keep coming back in future episodes. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “There will be new cinematics, polished levels and, if possible, a whole new level that would work as an introduction to Episode 2.” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tomorrow.
  12. TOP 3 NEW INDIEGAMES JULY 15TH-21ST I will be posting once a week with my Top 3 New Releases every Monday and my Top 3 Early Access games every Tuesday. Meet a carpenter wolf, large giants, and stags with bling, Summer Catchers is a very interesting runner game with an adventure to 'catch the sun' as the title suggests. Its crowning achievement has to be the adorable and charming art style. Probably my favorite of these three is Horace, the story has so much heart and it has left me with a mile-long smile. He is an astonishing character that I've grown to love and the world Horace lives in is one I want to learn more about, the characters he meets I want to meet. Come explore this world through the eyes of a robot that wants to clean the world. I've waited a long time Nowhere Prophet, the art style and theme of Desert Punk or Sand Punk or any other variation of punk (or diesel?) that has been thrown around. It's unique and different, the only thing left that the game needs is a brilliant card mechanic. It's almost there. So close. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Summer Catchers (http://summercatchers.com/) Genre: Action, Adventure, Racing Price: $10.19/£7.89 (-15% until July 23) Developer: FaceIT Publisher: Noodlecake Studios Release Date: 16th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Steam Bio "Take control of Chu, a young girl who lives in the frozen north and has never seen summer, the ocean or anything but the snowy forest. With her trusty wooden car, you must travel to distant lands full of mystery and strange creatures who ready to both help and stop you from completing your quest of finally seeing summer. The journey won't be easy though. On your way through shadowy forests, dark swamps, vast valleys, and underground cities you will encounter obstacles and larger than life situations you will need your trusty travel bag to help overcome. By equipping the right tools at the right time, you can work your way through these uncharted lands and just like in real life, find a few friends and secrets along the way." Review The first character you meet is a wolf in a sweater doing a bit of carpentry. If that strikes you as odd, just you wait to see what else this game has in store for you. So it starts off with the wolf building you a cool little buggy and taking you through a short tutorial to teach you to jump, smash and boost. Sounds simple, you can buy these between runs at the store with... well, mushrooms. Now here comes the little kicker, the wolf has swindled you, for you can buy as many items as you'd like, but beware the tricksy RNG. Mr wolf never told me about the RNG (Random-Numerical-Generator). Lots of fun still had on this game, more interesting characters met such as a crystal disco stag and a rude yeti that would not leave me alone. It's only the start of the game and I believe there is lots more to be enjoyed and experienced. The music and pixel art blow me away, the colour palette is gorgeous and I really really do want to see more... but this RNG, it makes it tiring. Playing a game should not be tiring or a chore, it should be fun. Looking at other reviews of the game it seems to be a common observation from bad as well as good reviews. I'm conflicted. I do really like the game and enjoy it... but can I recommend it when an aspect (a big aspect) of the game is bringing it down? Horace (https://twitter.com/horacedev) Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer Price: $14.99/£10.99 Developer: Paul Helman, Sean Scaplehorn Publisher: 505 Games Release Date: 18th July 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Steam Bio "Learn how to master your strongest robot abilities and reunite Horace with his long-lost family. Adventure across the world - and time and space - to save mankind from total destruction. Run and jump your way through a comical but touching story told by the charming robot protagonist and use your wits to overcome classic 2D platforming challenges, all whilst cleaning up the mess left behind from the Robot War! Experience tons of variety along the way with parodies of classic mini-games ranging from rhythm action to FPS." Review I was expecting a standard platformer, similar to many others that I have played, but after several deaths and my unwavering determination to push forward, I soon realized its almost morning and I have been playing for too long. It grabbed me, it has that perfect just one more feeling and tickles my need for tidiness as Horace (the robot) is striving for his life long mission to clean 1 million items. A herculean task that will surely keep you playing for a long time. Anyone out there a completionist like me? The story is brilliantly written with characters I adore, from the Old Man to grumpy Dent and the mischievious Silton. Obviously cannot forget the charming daughter Heather. There are twists and turns and plenty more interesting characters along the journey with hilarious British humour and pop culture references that had me pointing with nostalgic glee. Running through all this is something much darker though, the world changing and a war that had started while you were 'asleep'. This mystery kept me intrigued and searching for more clues to what happened. As a platformer, you have to do more than the standard run and jump and the mechanics introduced in here are really well done. The antigrav shoes make for really good puzzles (and dizzying runs... don't play when sleep-deprived, you've been warned), they were challenging but not impossible and although I got frustrated, I never felt like giving up, especially when it gave me extra lives for dying so many times. Finally the music, ooooh the music. It's gorgeous. You know that face he makes when Horace plays games for the first time? Oh right you haven't played it yet, you're reading this first. My face people, when the music dropped for the first time. Mozart but played in retro chiptune, it was a whole new symphony to my ears and fit the aesthetic of the game perfectly. So go buy the game, trust me, it is worth every penny. You'll be playing for hours... Just don't blame me if you lose sleep. Nowhere Prophet (http://www.nowhereprophet.com/) Genre: Strategy, Card-Based, Rogue-Lite Price: $22.49/£17.54 (-10% till July 26) Developer: Sharkbomb Studios Publisher: No More Robots Release Date: 19th July 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Steam Bio "Take on the role of a powerful leader and mystic. Empowered with the gifts of technopathy, the ability to sense and affect electrical currents. You are the last hope to a band of outcasts and refugees. Lead them across the randomly generated wastelands. Pick fights with greedy slavers and crazy machines using the turn-based card combat. Can you survive long enough to reach the mysterious Crypt?" Review It's good being a powerful prophetic leader, especially when the world has been reduced to a wasteland. So as I traveled with my entourage of followers, seeking out justice for myself, it became a constant thirst for more power. You would guess correctly if you assumed my playthrough was the opposite of altruistic. Now it may be that I haven't played enough of the game to learn more, but the story isn't so deep yet. The little mission dialogues are cool and give a sense of a harsh world, but they haven't given me signs of a grand scheme. The lore of the world expands and yet I am a wandering man with followers foolish enough to join me. Maybe I'll get more story as I move forward in the game. So the FTL aspect of the game works and is enjoyable, the navigation is smooth and the UI is very readable and easy to follow. However, there is one game mechanic that falls short and it's a big one... The deck building and the combat AI. It's not terrible, but it could do with a lot of improvement. Let us start with deck-building. You need to be able to create a deck to suit your strategy with cards that synergize and this isn't always the case. There are over 300 cards to pick and yet the most effective deck is an agro deck, its worked for me many times almost too easily. Getting the battle over quick is better than suffering repeated damage chipping away at my health, so throw away those long strategies just brute force it instead. Which brings me to the combat AI, their choices seem to be at times really bad or pretty good. It's a constant see-saw that confuses me and makes it seem incredibly random, and with this randomness, you'll be lucky to face an enemy that knows the meaning of strategy as no moves seem to be thought ahead. This puts me in a predicament. I love the game and have had hours of fun, its addictive and I want to keep playing it, but I'm not sure why. The art style and music is really awesome, maybe that is what's keeping me playing... I'm not sure. I'll cautiously recommend the game in the hopes that some changes will come to the Enemy AI and maybe even changes to how the deck is built. It has huge potential and I'm not sure it's there yet. Check back every Monday for my Top 3 New Releases. Thank you and till next time.
  13. TOP 3 NEW INDIEGAMES JULY 8TH-14TH So as the title suggests, I am doing things a little different from before. Instead of posting most days about releases as they come, I will be posting once a week with my Top 3 New Releases and my Top 3 Early Access games every Monday. Short, sweet and gorgeous. Atma is a game to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace with a casting mechanic to truly make you feel the magical abilities running through your veins. Life is breathed into the whole environment leading to your final choice... to save the village or to save your most loved. Far into the stars, we have a different story, less love and more death at the jaws of cute cuddly creatures with sharp teeth, its Professor Lupo and his Horrible Creatures to be precise. You're not even meant to be there, you hate this job, but alas the intern has no say and must follow instructions... until things went horribly wrong and now your top priority is your survival. Use your knowledge of the creatures to solve the puzzles and escape. I'm not sure what I am doing in this game every time I load it up, but I find myself constantly looking between two items in my hand and mashing them together to see if it does something. Or play around with air filtrations or drugs. Streets of Rogue can get pretty crazy, I've seen giants trample houses and werewolves maul someone to death, whilst not too much later I started a block party with my boombox. Like I said... I don't know what's going on, but I like it. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Atma (https://twitter.com/atmagame) Genre: Action, Adventure, Puzzle Price: Name Your Price Developer: Team Atma Publisher: Rubika Supinfogames Release Date: 10th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store ►Steam Store In a world where spirits and humans coexist, Shaya, guardian of the unseen, keeps the safe balance between the living and its spiritual entities. She once was Atma’s eternal love, but as he passed away, she became the next Guardian. As she communes with herself at her beloved's tomb, Atma tries to reach out to her through her powers. He never met the spirit world and has been oscillating between life and death ever since, where he couldn't find peace. He asks one last thing from her: recollect his fragments of memory he shared with his relatives... But, In order to offer him the chance to return among the living, Shaya will have to make dangerous decisions. Here begins her desperate quest for resurrection. Will she betray her vows as a guardian to be reunited with the one she loves? Vibrant colours and gorgeous world designs coupled with lovely atmospheric sounds and music, all this makes for a recipe for a beautiful experience. Exploring this world and meeting the most interesting characters was a joy. Everywhere you go there is life breathed into the environment. Well placed light rays, wildlife just going about their business and leaves blowing in the wind. Truly remarkable. I'll have to also mention there was some familiarity with the art and that's when I remembered Aube and discovered they share devs (https://pataya.itch.io/aube). I could gush more about the art and music but let's move on to the gameplay. It's primarily a puzzle adventure game with very little in the way of combat (except for an awesome boss fight). You solve puzzles and traverse the environment by using different Mantras, this mechanic is so well done. You hold a button down to focus and then draw your mantra to cast spells. It may seem convoluted but the more I did it the more it felt right... like if I really was concentrating and casting spells like the character himself, adding visual interaction to immerse you. Loved the game and hope to see more. Seriously I want more, half an hour of this wasn't enough for me, you gave me a slice of the cake and now I want the rest... pleeeaase. Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets (https://www.professorlupo.com/) Genre: Puzzle, Adventure Price: $12.74/£11.46 (-16% till July 18) Developer: BeautiFun Games Publisher: BeautiFun Games Release Date: 11th June 2019 Available on PC and SWITCH ►Steam Store Professor Lupo is a space scientist who’s been traveling around the galaxy on the Aurora Space Station, gathering the most impressive collection of aliens: his Horrible Pets. Adorable and harmless at first sight, these aliens turn into nasty, lethal creatures once they sense a human being close by. The Professor is on his way back to the Earth to sell them to the highest bidder for weaponization. But something has gone terribly wrong, the Aurora Space Station is under attack by unknown forces, and now the aliens are roaming free! Your job as the Professor’s Intern has always been to act as bait for these creepy critters. Now, you will have to add a new task to your to-do list: find a way to escape, or become the aliens’ dinner! On your way, you’ll unravel the secrets hidden deep inside the Aurora Space Station, and if you’re lucky, maybe even learn something about your own past as well. I'll be honest, the creature designs are what brought me to the game and made me fall in love with it. Not just the detail in the art but the detail in the creature bios, this kind of attention is amazing and shows me the developers had a lot of fun creating them and a lot of passion and love. Playing as the disposable intern you now have to escape this space station full of cute but oh so deadly critters. With each alien type having it's own attack pattern and personality, it adds a nice layer to the puzzle solving. Most of the gameplay consists of opening and closing doors but behind every door is a surprise and challenge to handle. It may sound simple, but trust me, you'll die a few times before the eureka moment hits you. Being a puzzle game, that eureka moment is important. You don't want it to easy and yet it needs to be attainable. The developers have given a great balance to this making many of us feel smort when completing a level. All dialogue is fully voiced and the story seems to take as many turns as the corridors you navigate. This is one space adventure you'll want to be a participant of. Streets of Rogue (http://streetsofrogue.com/) Genre: Action, Adventure, Rogue-Lite Price: $19.99/£15.49 Developer: Matt Dabrowski Publisher: tinyBuild Release Date: 12th June 2019 Available on PC, PS4, XBOX1, and SWITCH ►Steam Store Streets of Rogue is a rogue-lite about player choice, freedom, and anarchic fun. The game takes inspiration from fast-paced top-down rogue-lites like Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne, and adds free-form, experimentation-driven, emergent gameplay elements of RPGs like Deus Ex. Rather than taking place in a dungeon, the game is set in a functioning, procedurally generated city, where complex AI informs denizens from all walks of life, who are just trying to get by in their daily activities. In order to progress, the player will need to accomplish specific mission goals in any way they see fit through the use of their special character traits, items, and the environment. I can not play this game too much for fear of being sucked in. It has that addictive just one more vibe to it and my curiosity at how crazy the game can get. The procedural creation of each level is brilliantly done with great attention to detail in the tasks created and the levels populated. It never feels the same and each NPC is completely different from the last. What truly blows my mind is the amount of space given to be creative, discovering things like combining drugs with a watergun, or sticking cigarettes into an air filtration system. When the limit is your imagination, then the game is really onto something. The humour only adding to the incredible fun I've had and I could honestly play this forever. Just as fun as playing it, is reading about other peoples playthroughs, the insane adventures they have gone through. This game is nuts and I love it. Check back every Monday for my Top 3 New Releases. Thank you and till next time.
  14. Closing off June with some nice casual games, just slowing it down after all those crazy fast-paced shooters we've been bombarded with lately. Slip into the past and lead your clan in taking over Japan. A Turn-Based strategy called Shoguns Empire: Hex Commander. Destroying your enemies armies one turn at a time and gaining honor in battle. 15 Clans are at war, but only one will be left at the end. Not every hero has a sword at hand to use, sometimes, you just have to grab the nearest thing and start swinging. Ponds, bookshelves, trees, corpses... anything in The World Is Your Weapon... is your weapon. Heck, you can even step outside your own house and pick it up to swing around. You'd think someone with that kind of strength wouldn't need a weapon right? Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Shogun's Empire: Hex Commander (https://www.homenetgames.com/) Genre: Historical, Turn-Based Strategy Price: $9.99/£6.99 Developer: Home Net Games Publisher: Home Net Games Release Date: 27th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store The Empire of Japan is tearing itself apart. Fights are constantly breaking out between its provinces. The reign of your clan begins — become Shogun, the ultimate ruler of Medieval Japan. Shogun’s Empire: Hex Commander is a turn-based strategy game from the creator of Earth 21XX series. I'll start by saying that if you're looking for a deep and complex strategy game, this is not it. Think Total War Lite, you have the historical setting and 15 different clans to choose from. The combat is turn-based with different units acting in a sort of Rock-Paper-Scissors style strategy. I've yet to see any unique unit abilities to add variety. The economy is pretty simplified as there are only two resources to keep an eye on. Diplomacy is merely an afterthought, as creating an alliance will more often than not lead to betrayal. Now there is a reason for it's stripped down mechanics, having been brought over from the world of mobile gaming. If I was reviewing this as a mobile, I would be pretty impressed with what's on offer, but as a PC game, it needs an upgrade. I'm not saying it has to be as complex as Total War or Civilizations, but it needs more oomph. Like I mentioned before, combat needs to be more interesting and diplomacy has to be expanded a bit too. The base game is there and I can see the potential for it to be a great casual game to play, but right now? It's too casual for me. The World is Your Weapon Genre: Action, RPG Price: $9.99/£7.19 Developer: Kagaya Publisher: DWANGO Co Release Date: 28th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Wells, pitfalls, houses, villagers, monsters (!?), anything around you can be a weapon! An action RPG that you've never seen before, you can fight with all the objects you see in the game. There are more than 300 kinds of weapons. Aim to complete the weapon gallery! All I had to see to be sold on this game is the character swinging a fridge at a monsters head. This game takes it's namesake literally as everything can be used as a weapon. That bookshelf? yup, That house right there? Yup. The innocent bystander? Yuuuupp. You get the idea and with that in mind, this isn't a game to take seriously, its a really fun light-hearted story with great anime-style art and clean UI. Anyone looking for some casual fun, this is a great game to pick up. It doesn't cost much and you'll be entertained for many hours. Just poked my head into the reviews, it seems some have felt bad about accidentally picking up 2 children and their father, then swinging them... Make what you will and go get all 300 'weapons'! Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks every weekend.
  15. A trio of games very different from each other, but all good fun and worth having a look at. Dive into your childhood memories, the happy ones, and the bad ones. Un Pas Fragile is just that, The sweetest art taking us through a story of struggle and how dance helped our frogerrina stay strong and come out on top. With no spoken words, it's truly a visual story that can be understood internationally. Or if a story isn't your thing and you would much rather hack and slash your way through a Rogue-Lite game, Zengeon is probably what you'll want to grab. Over 6 characters to choose from, each with their own style. The game doesn't cut too deep, but it's a fun little romp. Ok, I get it, not interested in the story? The game doesn't have to be complicated at all, you just want to mess around, see how far the game can be pushed? Or maybe annoy a friend who thinks Ragdoll Games need to be taken seriously? Totally Reliable Delivery Service is the adventure you need, whether solo or in co-op, you can be the best delivery man or woman... by any means necessary. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Un Pas Fragile (http://opalgames.fr/) Genre: Casual, Adventure Price: $1.99/£1.69 Developer: Un Pas Fragile Team Publisher: Opal Games Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC, Android, and IOS ►Steam Store Follow the journey of Camille, a frog who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer! "Un Pas Fragile" is a short interactive experience. This narrative game is designed for all ages (no text) and features slices of life chaining in an unexpected way. For a game that is only 10minutes long, there has been a lot of praise heaped in its direction and its not hard to see why. The simple hand drawn art has a sweet innocence to compliment the little frogerrinas young memories, while at the same time acting as a sharp contrast to the hardships she had to overcome as the story progressed. Fitting perfectly with all this is the music, all in unison giving you a great game. It's 10 minutes worth playing, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 神明在上(Zengeon) Genre: Action, Adventure, Anime, Rogue-Lite Price: $8.09/£5.57 (10% off till July 9) Developer: IndieLeague Studio Publisher: 2PGames Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Master, feel free to give us any suggestions and we love to make some progress. A blessed land, a Celestial place where masters live. For centuries, Celestial Academy guarded the enhancement for protecting human away from Dark Emptiness. But, every story has the end.. When lunar eclipse, the sky-fire strike through the enhancement. Now, Dark Emptiness come to earth and bring the Demon God back alive… You, One of the students of the Celestial College start your journey bringing the anima and fix the crack in the Blessed land! I'll be honest, the story wasn't what captivated me into having a look at this game, it was purely visuals and action that had baited and pulled me in. Very much an anime game through and through, so if that's not for you then you might want to give this one a miss. However, if you stay for the ride, you'll get an action-packed rogue-lite game that quite a few reviews have compared it to an Anime Risk of Rain. I'm not sure if it is worthy of that comparison, so I'll let you be the judge of that. Totally Reliable Delivery Service [BETA] (https://www.trdsgame.com/) Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Ragdoll Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer: We're Five Games Publisher: tinyBuild Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Buckle up your back brace and fire up the delivery truck, it's time to deliver! Join up to four friends and haphazardly get the job done in an interactive sandbox world. Delivery attempted, that's a Totally Reliable Delivery Service guarantee! Well to start off, this is a FREE BETA, whether you agree with me or not, no harm in trying it out yourself. Grab your buddies, these games always get extra fun and crazy when you're attempting to help (or sabotage) each other. The idea is to deliver goods and sometimes people through any means necessary. I take it there are no fragile boxes or anything? Some methods include but not limited to Helicopters, Vans (duh), canons (huh), boats, treadmills and... fire extinguisher. Still here? Well, go on then. I said FREE and people canons, right? Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks all on this website.
  16. Three games for ya today, two of which have entered Early Access and we can expect more from them in the coming months. Fizzy Corp is pushing their agenda on us, trying to get us to take their pills and watch 'contestants' (or dudes as they like to call them) fight mutants for the peoples' enjoyment. Well, I for one am not having it! Turn up that killer soundtrack and let's blow the top off this joint. The revolution starts here with Freakout: Calamity TV Show! Two hugely different games entering Early Acces but both excellent at what they do. A successful Kickstarter campaign under their belt, we've got A.N.N.E. Lovable, charming story about the unbreakable love between two robots and how no one will get in the way of that. Explore a planet where these poor bots are decommissioned and dismantled, flay a spaceship, learn to make a box and ultimately save your one true love. On the other side of the coin, we have It Stares Back. The very name itself denotes something unnerving and odd. There's nothing lovable here, just a cruel world with haunting sounds and hauntingly beautiful art. It's said the world was colourful once... That would be nice to see again. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Freakout: Calamity TV Show (https://twitter.com/immaterialstu) Genre: Action, Dual-Stick Shooter Price: $11.89/£8.91 (15% off till July 9) Developer: Immaterial Studio Publisher: Immaterial Studio, Plug In Digital Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Freakout: Calamity TV Show is a juicy Top-Down-Dual-Stick-Shooter inspired by old school arcade games and more recent Die & Retry shooters. In a disturbing dystopia filled with mutants and killing machines, you’re the star of a reality show which might get a bit too real. Fight your way through the deadly enemy waves, join the revolution, and try to take down the evil Fizzy Corp. There isn't much going for the game, if you've played Dual-Stick shooters before, this one isn't much different from the norm. It doesn't bring anything new and its not graphically outstanding, but what it does excel in is the soundtrack. I kept on the game for a while, all because I really dig that music, just sitting here, bopping away while casually shooting and dodging mutants on a game show. It's worth a try if you have time to kill and spare cash. By no means is it a bad game, I enjoyed it... but I wasn't impressed. EARLY ACCESS A.N.N.E. (https://www.gamesbymo.com/) Genre: Metroidvania, Action, RPG Price: $14.99/£11.39 Developer: Gamesbymo Inc Publisher: Gamesbymo Inc Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store In this world, robots live amongst humans. They are programmed to serve and follow strict laws…One of these laws states that robots infected with the love virus must be decommissioned. To prevent further spread of the virus they are disposed of on planet Gomi, a remote frozen world, where they are dismantled by the Federation guards, powerful robots that will let nothing stand in their way. After chasing them for many years you are finally within striking distance of the Federation space fleet. A violent asteroid shower threatens the federation fleet. This might just be the perfect time for a rescue attempt... Your mission is simple: retrieve A.N.N.E and escape. Who knew robot love could be so adorable. Can't we all just get along? In case you couldn't tell, I am loving this premise and it's got me wanting to play it more and more. Taking the very much loved and common genre of Metroidvania, they have added onto it with the use of your ship. This trusty little vehicle can move heavy objects for you as well as flying around shooting enemies while dodging asteroids in a shooter like game-style. The world is large and many of the characters are interesting and charmingly designed. For an Early Access game, I gotta say it ticks my boxes and definitely worth grabbing. Even if it's to only fight for robots freedom to love! How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “The Early Access version cannot be cleared yet. Content has been gated and as we release major updates and unlock additional areas and content the A.N.N.E sale price will go up. These are the current main points that we are still improving on: Areas 4 and 5 and ending will be unlocked in upcoming updates. Additional game balancing Additional Level design adjustments Additional Art and tilework polish Additional enemy variations Missing sounds will be added More stable, 99.01% bug-free Additional mode(s) if time permits” EARLY ACCESS It Stares Back (http://lightarcstudio.com/) Genre: Real-Time Strategy, RPG, Adventure, 4X Price: $5.99/£4.79 Developer: Light Arc Studio Publisher: Light Arc Studio Release Date: 24th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Enter The Great Tapestry: Once a candy-colored realm of dreams and fantasy, now a corrupted death-scape of perilous ruin. Will you gaze into the void to learn the fate of this tattered land? Be wary, traveler… IT STARES BACK Play as the Noble Guide, a fabled commander with the power to conjure lost spirits that might join the ranks of your undead army. Explore the Four Kingdoms to discover new heroes, armor, soldiers, and structures much needed in your campaign to restore the Great Tapestry to its former brilliance. An ambitious game wearing many hats, but from what I've seen, the fusion is pretty seamless. Taking the mechanics from each that serve the purpose of the story. RTS and 4X already go hand in hand pretty easily. When there is a need to Explore, Exploit, Expand and Exterminate... an army of mindless minions works pretty darn well. What's blown me away and many can echo my feelings, are the sound and visuals. Fully voice acted from what I've seen so far with brilliant performances and standout music that will haunt and chill you with its atmospheric melodies. The art is a bit trippy, but the handpainted character designs are amazing and really give life to the personalities shown in the voices. Perfect match. The only thing that is more chilling the art and sound, may well be the story. From the intro scene cut of someone being disturbingly taken over by 'The Player' and the premise that this horror-scape that you're traveling was once a 'candy-coloured realm of dreams and fantasy'. I mean what the hell? I need answers, and to get them, I guess I gotta play the game. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “All Four Kingdom chapters added to the core game narrative. Campfire system for hero, weapon, and armor selection to customize your army. Looming Tower Leveling system. Dynamic world map. New game-play level types and features.” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tomorrow.
  17. What a busy day, I have six games here to show you, all of them brilliant and all Full Releases. Most of these will be either digging up fond memories of the past or leaving you scratching your head. Let us go back to 1980 something. Synthwaves, leather jackets and the much-missed arcade scene of our youth (or is that just me?). 198X embodies this and plays as a commentary on what life was like. Although short, it is Part 1 of a series I very much hope gets completed, so I can enjoy it to the fullest. Pixel art at its finest and a kick-ass soundtrack. Skip forward a decade and we've got My Friend is Pedro... well the old flash version at least. Today the talking banana continues to be a bad influence by manipulating you into causing mass murder on a scale that would make Deadpool cry bravo with enthusiasm. Roll, dive, climb or skate through the ballet of violence. When Pedro says shoot, you shoot, no questions asked. I feel like my game choices are getting darker and darker. In Amid Evil, another world needs you as their champion to fight evil and push back the darkness. The main draw of this game is the retro appeal. Many reliving their days of Doom and Heretic with a fast-paced, run and gun gameplay. Total darkness now, visually and thematically. Super Pig X basically forces you to send pigs to the slaughter in order to see where you're going. That... is pretty dark and messed up, but makes for a very interesting gameplay mechanic I haven't seen before. Expect to die more times than Dark Souls, but you know, on purpose this time. What does this do? Oh, what happens if I press this? That's odd, Whoops. These will be common phrases for all who play VICCP where you're given an incomplete manual for a complicated computer. I'm sure nothing can go wrong in that situation. Probably the happiest game on my radar this day is BonVoyage. No killing, moody lights or evil, just nice casual puzzles to have fun with. Slide islands around to create a path for the Knights while drinking a nice tea and relaxing on the sofa, or wherever you enjoy relaxing. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? 198X (https://198xthegame.com/) Genre: Retro, Adventure, Racing, Shooting, Beat'em up Price: $9.99/£8.99 Developer: H-Bit Studios Publisher: H-Bit Studios Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC (Coming to PS4, XBOX1 and SWITCH ►Steam Store Welcome to Suburbia, just outside the City, sometime in 198X. This is the journey of Kid, a teenager stuck between the limitations of innocent youth and the obligations of inevitable adulthood. The story unfolds when Kid discovers the local arcade – finding new worlds, and new meaning, in video games. For every visit to the arcade – every game uncovered, every move mastered, every demon defeated – Kid grows stronger. And the lines between game and reality starts to blur… PART 1. I'll repeat again, this is a PART 1 of a game series. Something that has been lost on a few people despite the devs transparency on their steam page. It's also not a very long game. A player making no mistakes or continues would probably find they can finish the game with an hour. Another aspect of the game that might deter others is the extreme linearity. This is in all its form, an interactive fiction with different vertical slices of games from the 80s, some of which work better than others. It may seem like I've listed many negatives about the game, but I still found myself enjoying it. There is a big nostalgic element pulling at me with the retro graphics, fond memories of the games they parodied and even the story about the arcade scene and what it meant for people. So ye, I enjoyed the game and thoroughly recommend it. But I recommend with caution as I feel it may not be for everyone. The few bad reviews I read commented on this linearity and in my opinion this isn't a fault of the game, it is a fault partly on how it was sold or promoted to people. So get the game, but be aware of what kind of game it is... also the price may be a little high... just a smidge. My Friend Pedro (http://www.deadtoast.com/) Genre: Action, Shooter, Parkour Price: $16.99/£13.17 (15% off till July 9) Developer: DeadToast Entertainment Publisher: Devolver Digital Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC and SWITCH ►Steam Store My Friend Pedro is a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana. The strategic use of split aiming, slow motion, and the ol’ stylish window breach create one sensational action sequence after another in an explosive battle through the violent underworld. Not many would know (including myself till recently) that this game started as a free to play flash game, way back we had nothing better to do than mess around on the computer during class. It was much the same, a talking banana telling you to kill people but it only lasted for 20minutes. Fast forward to today and we have a much meatier experience with improved parkour animation and bullet-time mechanics. The gameplay can be repetitive, a lot of the weapons are very similar and you are literally shooting and jumping for the whole game. Although a very pretty game, it doesn't really live up to the hype for me. I see this as a more casual game to enjoy, as I did have a lot of fun, but I kept sideglancing at some of the other games waiting for me to enjoy. Sidenote... one of the most kickass trailers I have seen in a long time. Would absolutely be behind a tv series or movie based on this idea and animation. Amid Evil (https://newblood.games/) Genre: Action, FPS, Horror Price: $16.00/£12.39 (20% off till June 27) Developer: New Blood Interactive Publisher: New Blood Interactive Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store A retro FPS for the ages! Once branded a HERETIC. Now YOU have been chosen as our champion! Reclaim our sacred weapons. Take back our ancient lands. If you can stand... AMID EVIL. This is pure retro shooting in the vein of Doom, Hexen, and Heretic. Echoing the brutal and fast gunplay action of old. I won't comment too much on the story, as there isn't much of one and to be honest if you're playing this game, you are more interested in shooting (very well designed) enemies in the face. Like a lot of the games it is taking inspiration from, they have gone as far as adding secret rooms, unforgiving traps and a cheat menu for when you're not feeling particularly honest and just want to revel in the mayhem and gore. To quote Conan on what is best in life. "To crush your enemies and see them driven before you" VICCP (http://quasardeep.com/) Genre: Casual, Simulation, Puzzle Price: $8.49/£6.11 (15% off till June 27) Developer: Quaserdeep Publisher: Quaserdeep Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store VICCP is a Very Important Central Control Panel. Brainstorming / Puzzle / Quest / Point Click. You are using a mysterious remote panel that you can control. Find out how it works, make decisions, solve puzzles. The game has a lot of endings that you have to find yourself. When you're told not to press the button but you still do, this game is for all of ya. Boasting multiple endings where your choices have consequences brings fond memories of several other classics that achieved cult status amongst many. Games like Papers Please and Please Don't Touch Anything. There's definitely a pattern here, of games that prey on our idle minds and curiosity, then punish us in hilarious different consequences. Most people I've watched on Youtube (and I'm a victim too) have gotten one of the endings within a minute of playing. That's the first taste of what's to come and it hooks you immediately. Highly recommend the game for those easily tempted by shiny buttons and those with stronger willpower... are you sure you don't want to press the buttons? Super Pig X (http://superpigx.com/) Genre: Puzzle, Platformer, Gore Price: $4.79/£3.83 (20% off till June 27) Developer: Sos Sosowski Publisher: Sos Sosowski Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Super Pig X is a platformer about a pig stuck in total darkness. The only way to see the level is to die and let blood cover the playfield. Avoid spikes and dangers and maneuver your way through the levels to get to the other pig before you lose all your lives to win! Easier said than done! This game will make you swear, sweat, and want to flip your desk. Not seeing the level is not the only setback as the game is packed with traps, mazes, and puzzles that you will never see coming. Make your way through dark levels so hard, that sometimes they even make you exploit in-game glitches. Extremely bloody content would be an understatement. The very fact you have to die and platter your guts everywhere to even SEE the level, pretty much sums up what you are getting yourself into. Besides the gore, the game actually presents some really fun and challenging puzzles with every level completed giving you that 'just one more' feeling that many games strive to achieve. For those of us with a more conscientious thought, or you just don't like the sight of huge amounts of blood, you can play in 'Vegan Mode' as Super Falafel, same game but with no pigs harmed in the process. BonVoyage Genre: Casual, Puzzle Price: $4.49/£3.59 (10% off till June 27) Developer: Boris Zapotocky Publisher: Boris Zapotocky Release Date: 20th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store BonVoyage! is a drag tile puzzle game variation where you need to drag tiles to reconstruct path for stranded knights in levels varying in gameplay rules and complexity. Engage in a beautiful cartoonish style and beat the best scores. Help lost heroes find their way home! I love seeing solo developers go from strength to strength. Coming from their last game Car Puzzler, there have been many improvements graphically and in the puzzle designs. In this game, he has taken a very commonly known tile puzzle game where you slide pieces to make an image and created something new and interesting. The art design and music is lighthearted and compliments how relaxing it is to play this little gem. Over 70 levels to enjoy, with more promised to come and if that still isn't enough, there is a level generator to keep you happy for hours to come. Nice casual game, definitely worth its price. Slide into the steam store and grab your copy. Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks all on this website.
  18. Very eagerly anticipated releases for the 18th all from varying genres. Hitting like a freight train when first released onto Early Access, everyone talking about the challenging gameplay and that one zombie that always managed to slip past to where your tents are. We've got They Are Billions. Now we're hit with the 1.0 and a new Campaign mode, but the reception isn't quite what it was before as the community is a very even 50/50 divide on the review board. Coming out of the shadows after almost 5 years in development, the second biggest funded video game of all time on Kickstarter, it's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. If there's anyone who knows how to make a spiritual successor to Castlevania it's Koji (one of the directors of the acclaimed Symphony of the Night). The release has been amazing with fans happy they put their money into it. Quickly, this is becoming as popular if not better than... dare I say... Symphony of the Night. Time to bring the mood up, away from the death and blood and darkness. Let's splash bright colours and put a smile on for Citizens of Space. Light-hearted and fun RPG where the huge planet Earth has gone missing and it is your job to find it. Hopefully, it's not going to be an embarrassing case of "did you check behind the moon?" Come one, we've all been there. Our Early Access game of the day is Littlewood, on the surface, it would appear to be like many other generic farming sim games, but the premise on this one is intriguing. Good has prevailed, the evil wizard has lost. Not a story about triumph but about the aftermath. Trouble is you've lost your memory and need to get it back. (Maybe along the way, you'll find Earth too) Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? They Are Billions (http://www.numantiangames.com/theyarebillions/) Genre: Strategy, Base-Building, Survival Price: $26.99/£21.59 (10% off till June 25) Developer: Numantian Games Publisher: Numantian Games Release Date: 18th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store They Are Billions is a strategy game in a distant future about building and managing human colonies after a zombie apocalypse destroyed almost all of human-kind. Now there are only a few thousand humans left alive that must struggle to survive under the threat of the infection. Billions of infected roam around the world in massive swarms seeking the last living human colonies. Does this game need an introduction? I mean it's been hyped and played by some of the biggest content creators and streamers already. Well, let's talk about something new in the final release. The hotly debated Campaign mode dividing players between what's difficult and what is game-breaking. I can see both sides of the discussion with equally valuable points. It IS a game famously known for its challenging aspect, its unforgiving survival in a hopeless world, so its no wonder one side is confused at the negative reviews concerning the difficulty. However, looking at opposing argument for the campaign, there is a discussion on an underwhelming story with repetitive missions that look all too similar to each other. Now me personally, I agree, the campaign could do with some improvement, but I am one of the many who greatly enjoyed and praised the game during Early Access, to reward extra FREE content with negative reviews would be a bit backward of me. The game hasn't gotten worse, and to judge it on the campaign instead of the game as a whole is unfair. The most important thing I have taken away from this is that the devs HAVE listened to both sides and have tried their best to balance the issues with a speedy update. This commitment and interaction with the community are amazing and I for one respect them for it and look forward to further updates that have been promised. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (https://505games.com/games/bloodstained/) Genre: Metroidvania, Action, RPG Price: $35.99/£31.49 (10% off till June 28) Developer: ArtPlay Publisher: 505 Games Release Date: 18th June 2019 Available on PC, PS4, and XBOX1 (SWITCH June 25) ►Steam Store Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is an exploration-focused, side-scroller action RPG by Koji Igarashi. Play as Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist’s curse which slowly crystallizes her body. In order to save herself, and indeed, all of humanity, she must battle her way through a demon-infested castle summoned by Gebel, her old friend whose body and mind has become more crystal than flesh. The road to completing this game has a story in itself. We've got Koji Igarashi, an original director to what many claims to be the best Castlevania game ever made, "Symphony of the Night", even appearing on many lists all over the place of The Greatest Games Ever Made. This kind of talent and reverence lead to a record-breaking Kickstarter, raising $5.5million, the most ever raised for a video game (until a few months later when Shenmue 3 raised $6.3million). Can you see how much of a hype train this game running on? Steam is billowing everywhere. What makes all of this even more amazing is that even with the hype and the high expectations from loyal and long-standing fans... it still impresses. People are still blown away with what has been achieved and has called this a true spiritual successor to the Castlevania name. Citizens of Space (http://games.sega.com/citizensofspace/) Genre: TurnBased RPG Price: $14.99/£11.99 Developer: Eden Industries Publisher: SEGA Release Date: 18th June 2019 Available on PC, PS4, XBOX1, and SWITCH ►Steam Store "Representatives of the Galactic Federation, thank you for having me here tonight to celebrate Earth's acceptance into this noble organization! It is an absolute honor to act as the Ambassador of Earth, a most honorable role, and... what's that? Earth is... missing!? And it's up to me to find the missing pieces? And I can recruit citizens of space to do battle for me?" You pretty much get what you expect from a game about solving the galactic mystery of "where the hell has Earth gone?" It's not like we lost some car keys or spare change, but here we are, having tonnes of fun, adventuring through a light-hearted story with a surprisingly well-designed arc. Side missions fit well with the main plot, giving extra flavour to the different citizens you can hire. The combat itself is a bit simple, but it is far from being a button masher as the abilities require you to evaluate the costs to cast against what will work better in a given situation. High praise has to go to the voice-overs and the music, which many, including myself, have found extremely enjoyable. EARLY ACCESS Littlewood (https://twitter.com/seanyoungsg?lang=en) Genre: Casual, Adventure, RPG Price: $14.99/£11.39 Developer: Sean Young Publisher: SmashGames Release Date: 18th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store You defeated the Dark Wizard. The world of Solemn is finally at peace, but at what cost? You can't quite remember... The world has already been saved. Now it's time to rebuild your town along with the hearts of those around you in this peaceful and relaxing RPG. Often you get games about good triumphing over evil and dark lords or crime bosses getting their comeuppance because every story has a happy ending. You just wish you remembered what that happy ending was... or if this evil wizard is actually gone. This small quaint innocent looking game actually has a lot going for it. The list of features is long and it doesn't get less interesting as I read through it. You have some pretty standard things you would expect from this game like fishing, farming and cutting down trees. All of that resource gathering goodness. Then you find out that all the monsters that use to exist are now trapped in a friendly competitive card trading game that is played by many in the town (no millennium puzzles or blue eyes white dragons included), well that sounds like some fun. You also build the town however you'd like, but rewards are given if built to the demands requests of the townspeople. So lets recap, you gather fruit, mine for stones, cut wood, go fishing, do some farming, cook meals for the town, run a shop in the market, craft monuments and furniture for citizens, build buildings... You basically do everything because all the other townsfolk are laughing at your overly good manners. Thankfully you can kick their ass with card games, so everything evens out. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “I'm aiming for the full version of Littlewood to have more Seasonal Events, more Townsfolk dialogue, the Grand Library location, and the Tarot Monster card game, with all pesky bugs, crushed! There will also be the addition of various animations and audio effects to reach the level of polish that's expected of a game out of Early Access on Steam.” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tomorrow.
  19. A lot of the games today have personable attractive qualities ranging from Nostalgia to relatable fond memories. Anyone (as old as me) will remember that frustrating annoying hunting dog that snickers at you when you miss your shot on Duck Season, well now you can take your frustration out on him by shooting him in the face, but wait... why is he looking at you in that way? Something very odd about this game, but even stepping away from the console, your world still begins to take a darker turn. It's a cursed game it seems. Not this game, the game in the game is- you get the idea. Following on we have a much more charming game with humour shooting out of more places than a sinking ship full of holes. The adventures of Chooks and Sosig! (Definitely check out their other previous adventures, they are gold... Oh look at that, someone left the link here https://tookipalooki.itch.io/... Don't worry, I'll still be here when you come back). This time the cat and chicken duo are playing a tabletop game of pirate goblins. This is gonna be so much fun. Getting cuter and safer as we go down the list (or is it?), we have a young girl traveling the galaxy in an Ice Cream Truck Spaceship, collecting ingredients to sell and help Mama Bunny. Could that sentence be any cuter? Bunny Business is an adventure game full of different fun activities like fishing and bug catching, with the day ending in a big reunion party. But can you trust Mama Bunny? Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Duck Season PC (http://www.stresslevelzero.com/) Genre: Horror, FPS, Atmospheric Price: $8.99/£6.47 (10% off till June 24) Developer: Stress Level Zero Publisher: Stress Level Zero Release Date: 17th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Duck Season is a throwback to the golden age of 1980's gaming and movies with a hint of horror in a Spielberg-ian universe. A first-person experimental narrative uncovering a story with multiple branches. Re-live a slice of childhood as you transported to an eerily familiar memory and play out the dark story that unfolds over a single day/night as your imagination takes over. Not a completely new release as the game had already been made available 2 years ago, however, until now it had only been available in VR. If you're only playing it for the nostalgia, you will be in for a surprise when things start taking a turn for the worst. In between sessions of hunting ducks, you have a chance to explore your home and remember all things from the past such as VHS tapes and the kazoo kid... but something is very odd and you can't help but feel it has something to do with the game cartridge and no amount of blowing is going to save you. Chook & Sosig: Walk the Plank (https://armorgamesstudios.com/games/chook--sosig-walk-the-plank/) Genre: Adventure, Point and Click, Puzzle Price: $8.99/£6.47 (10% off till June 24) Developer: TookiPalooki Publisher: Armour Games Studio Release Date: 17th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Chook & Sosig: Walk the Plank is a mischievous, charming and character-driven adventure. Along with a few friends, Chook & Sosig get creative while roleplaying as pirates. When you need to hunt for fabled treasure, you need some weird pals to join your quest! Join a ghostly chicken and a wobbly spaghetti cat as they seek fabled treasures, solve puzzles, wear dashing hats, and who knows what else! Can't recommend this game enough. I just fell in love with the characters immediately. It's not just because I can relate to the roleplaying jokes, but it is genuinely a charming game that must be played. Cannot believe that this is made by just one person as it is thoroughly fun and she deserves all the support and monies to continue giving us more adventures to play. I mean the cat is called Sosig! How cute is that!? Bunny Business (https://twitter.com/TeamPutty) Genre: Adventure, Story-Rich, ShopKeeping Price: NAME YOUR PRICE Developer: Team Putty Publisher: Team Putty Release Date: 17th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store Bunny Business is an adventure shop game about traveling around the galaxy in your magical "Ice cream Truck - Space-Ship''. Look for your friends, to bring them together for a big reunion party, and at the same time earn new friends as you go. On your journey, you will get help from your Mama Bunny, as well as the people you meet. How you deal with them is up to you. Such a cute game, you can't stay mad a cute game can you? Taking a lot of influence from cel-shaded anime games in art style and gameplay brings an adventure through the galaxy, exploring planets, catching bugs, mining and fishing. All while you help this mama bunny... who I am now getting suspicious has an ulterior motive... Nah, let's stay distracted by the growing number of bunnies instead and the Ice Cream Truck space ship (what the hell?). I'm sure everything will be alright. Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tomorrow.
  20. It's all about your side game today. How good are you at sidescrolling adventures? Well, scroll down to discover what I have for ya. Opening this post I have Descent, a truly breathtaking game with its high contrast visuals and colour palette. How deep can you go and what dangers will you find? Hopefully nothing as scary as the movie of a similar name, instead be amazed at the visuals and keep those flares handy. Going deeper underground we have the aptly named Diggerman with its simple gameplay, colourful art style, and one super angry mole. I have no idea why he is angry or why he took your sweetheart, but hey, life kicks ya and you just gotta dig. Join on this mighty quest and watch out for spiderwebs, bats and the inevitable lava. My Early Access game today is a pretty nifty one. Orcs are always getting a bad rep from games to movies as the bad guy. But they need food, sleep and a home to live in just like the rest of us. They can't help it if one of their favourite past times is pillaging human settlements. Keeps them active. Idle minds are not good. So create the best darndest Orc Colony to rival your dads (The Orc King)... just don't do it better, he gets jealous. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Descent (https://twitter.com/StuartWDesign) Genre: Casual, Platform Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer: Stuart.W.Design Publisher: Stuart.W.Design Release Date: 14th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store Descent is a platformer game about a young girl venturing downwards through a world of cold treacheries. With nothing but flares to provide light and safety, she searches for a warm and secure shelter from winter. You can see the beautiful atmosphere in that screenshot, right? Nothing compared to how it sounds and looks in motion when you play it. There are still some kinks to work out like checkpoints and certain readability, but my oh my it looks gorgeous and once those are implemented, I'll be playing the heck out of it. The way the lighting works when you chuck a flare is a great mechanic and works really well for a game where you need to fight back the darkness to see where you're going. I suggest to try it yourself and enjoy the visuals, keep an eye on it too for any updates, it's free to grab at the moment, so what have you got to lose? Diggerman (https://www.digitalmelody.eu/games/Diggerman) Genre: Action, Casual Price: $4.49/£3.59 (10% off till June 21) Developer: Digital Melody Publisher: Forever Entertainment Release Date: 14th June 2019 Available on PC, SWITCH, Android, and IOS ►Steam Store The world was beautiful some time ago. We lived together in our lovely cottage digging some mud every day. Suddenly everything has changed. HUGE ANGRY MOLE has come and kidnapped my beautiful sweetheart. Will you support me? Will you dig with me and help me saving my beloved? This reminds me of an awesome puzzle game where you had to dig deeper, but also make sure you don't dig under any boulders... For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of that game... Anyway, moving on because this game is so much more than that one. It has a loose but fun story to go along with why you're digging, some extra features like TNT, spiderwebs and different workers to hire. You'll help save his sweetheart from the evil mole right? Say you will, please? EARLY ACCESS Orc Colony (https://luzongames.itch.io/orc-colony) Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy Price: $8.99/£6.47 (10% off till June 21) Developer: Luzon Games Publisher: Luzon Games Release Date: 14th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store The Orc King has finally decided that you are ready to start your own colony. You are given a single Builder and a goblin plus some crowns and stones to get you started. There is also a working silver mine so that you can get your economy up and running. Take command of your first colony as the Orc Prince. Dig, Build and Expand your colony deeper underground. Never seen a side view builder like this before. Closest I can think of is Kingdom, but this has levels to work with and a lot more control on infrastructure. Start raiding parties with your Orc champions and wreak havoc on the human world... not too much trouble though, or the kings' armies will come for you, both the human and your pappas. I would make a few suggestions but it seems the devs already know what they are doing as one look at what they have planned in coming updates leading to its full release, answered a lot of my questions about combat and more rooms. One thing that may be of use, is a short tutorial, just to ease you into the game without killing half your colony in the process. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “A more dynamic combat is needed other than the automatic system that exists right now. The map also has to be developed for the Human and Orc kingdoms to raid/conquer other regions on their own, so that the world would be ever-changing. A new combat system is needed, I'm leaning towards a turn-based Panzer General type or a JRPG side-by-side system. The champions themselves could use more fleshing out, simple perks and penalties would give them more identity. In the base-building side, a few quality of life features will be added (working on those right now). Some additional features planned include: Research rooms before you can upgrade Points of interest in the base that needs a researcher or a champion to exploit (monster lairs, ancient shrines, a hidden way to the surface, etc.) More options on reworking your base like removing elevator shafts without killing off your orcs Events that dynamically happen like an Orc King's visit, an orc who wants to change jobs, goblins want higher pay, etc.” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tonight.
  21. Releases still running slow this week, but I've managed to find some gems that are worth checking. Two releases on Steam and two on Itchio with a running theme of addictive gameplay. You know the kind that leaves you wondering why you're now sitting in the dark and the clock is mysteriously wrong. One of those, just one more games, with leaderboard in the corner teasing you to get better. I have Fungi, take part in a war as old as time a battle of the survival of the fittest and become the biggest and baddest microbe under the microscope. Very simple controls, very easy to learn and hard to master. Moving for the fight for your life to another... well fight for your life in Seeds of Resilience. Survive on a deserted island with natural disasters an abundance and the occasional game with asshole inhabitants who don't want to work and eat all the food. They must be exiled (is there an exile button?) Had a big release during E3 but resulting in a small number of reviews (only 10 so far). Healers are truly a thankless job. The game I'm talking about is Looking For Heals, no I'm not looking, that's the games name. The calling shouts from falling allies that we hear all too often in MMO (or in my case, Overwatch). Probably the only game on my list here not to do with survival, or at least not wholly, is the lovely and tasty Gourmet Legacy. For a game still in Alpha, it has ambition and great plans with a lot of features already implemented. It's not just action where you hunt down ingredients, it's not just tycooning it up with your restaurant and handmade dishes and its not just an RPG where once you die, your heir takes over the shop... its all of these (mind blown). Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Fungi (https://twitter.com/nonlinestudios) Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Casual Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer: NONLINE Publisher: NONLINE Release Date: 11th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store fungi.game is a strategic online multiplayer game in which you battle the rest of the world. Grow from a single cell into a multicellular fungus by leeching mass from other players. Try to make it into the top 10 and immortalize your name in the hall of fame. With the right strategy even smaller fungi can be a threat, so watch out! The oldest war in history, predating humankind, is also the molecular kind. Come under the microscope with me and take a look at this deceptively challenging game, where only ruthless strategy prevails. Can you survive and swallow up the competition in this multiplayer game? Seeds of Resilience (https://seedsofresilience.com/) Genre: Simulation, Survival, Turn-Based Strategy Price: $11.19/£8.79 (20% off till June 20) Developer: Subtle Game Publisher: Goblinz Studio Release Date: 13th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Ready to start anew? Build a village from scratch in Seeds of Resilience. Learn to choose the right items, understand nature's patterns, use real life-based constructions and craft techniques in this turn-based tycoon game. Another of those addictive games that can be argued either way. As is always with survival games, the line between challenging gameplay and unfair handicaps is very thin. The reviews can be seen as an example of this with some complaining of unfair mechanics and others telling stories of their accomplishments. I believe the randomness of the island and the inhabitants you start off with is the source of the divide, with it sometimes swinging too far into the handicap. Fun game, and with more tweaking, it will bring me the same pleasure as Rimworld (but in Turn-Based... that could be interesting). EARLY ACCESS Looking For Heals (https://twitter.com/lookingforheals?lang=en) Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy Price: $12.74/£9.68 (15% off till June 17) Developer: Blue Bomber Games Publisher: Blue Bomber Games Release Date: 11th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Command your squad of warriors while keeping them from an early grave in the only rogue-lite where the healer calls the shots. Heal, shield, and resurrect your way through a world filled with tough choices, powerful items, and elaborate boss fights inspired by MMO dungeon raids. Not big on MMO games, but I have suffered the thankless rewards from being a healer in Overwatch. You have to be everywhere at once, keeping the team together and if something goes wrong, it is your fault... But if everything goes right, Huzzah for the warrior obliterating the enemy. In this game, you'll receive the thanks you deserve and call the shots while you explore dungeons in a rogue-lite fashion. Huzzah for the healer! How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “Planned Features Include: 4-Player Local Co-Op: Experience a 20-person raid with your friends on one screen! Boss Fights: Put your raiding skills to the test with tactical boss fights 5 Healer Classes: Each requires a different strategy for supporting your team Over 100 support items to collect and upgrade Over 8 floor types to explore 20 enemies to master Daily Challenge Runs Leaderboards Achievements " EARLY ACCESS Gourmet Legacy (https://gourmetlegacy.games/) Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer: Red Koi Box PublisherRed Koi Box Release Date: 11th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store This game is in an early stage of development - so everything you see here is in a super early pre-alpha stage. “Gourmet Legacy” is a Roguelite/ Hack-n-Slash RPG with cookery simulation-styled mini-games and restaurant management in 3D bird-eye view. In 10 words: “Hunt ingredients and cook them all in the family restaurant.” So as mentioned, it is still in super early stages, not even quite early access but I've enjoyed it enough to include on here. The action still needs a little work, but I like the abilities you can use and the combat is simple and fun. With different ingredibeasts and veggiemals to hunt down and collect, each with different attributes and attacks, it keeps the game varied. That's only the first half of the gameplay. Once you have your ingrediants, now its time to open the restaurant, create interesting menus. Every dish is taken through minigames, where you cook, cut and plate the food, resulting in countless different dishes. Plus I love me some puns, gimme some Scorpeanuts, Mawfins and Cream Camel any time! Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tonight.
  22. It has been a slow few days for releases, maybe slow is a poor choice of words, let me start over. With E3 eclipsing all game news, it isn't a surprise that very few games have been released. Better to avoid the busiest days of the world's gaming calendar. A few have braved it and they can be found below. Take it easy, kicks your shoes off and gather some friends and family to play Riverbond. Casual, fun shoot and slash enjoyable for all the family. With a voxel art style that is engrossing with colours that pop and different characters for every personality and nostalgia. Any who have been watching E3 this year probably has seen or heard of Devolver Digital, that crazy studio put on one of the best shows last year and have done it again this year with an intense and entertaining presentation that did not slow down. This is one of the games or bundle of games advertised as a rip off from their published library. The idea is ingenious and for 1% you can be in on the joke too. Nothing in Early Access from these past few days has caught my eye and so I hope to find something in the coming days now that E3 has come to a close. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? RiverBond (https://cococucumber.co/home/riverbond/) Genre: Adventure, Action, Voxel Price: $24.99/£18.99 Developer: Cococucumber Publisher: Cococucumber Release Date: 9th June 2019 Available on PC, XBOX1, PS4 ►Steam Store Riverbond is a fun and frantic couch co-op adventure game for 1 to 4 players set in a stunning voxel world. Embark on a heroic journey to complete missions, battle adorable enemies, and smash everything into tiny cubes! Will you and your friends be the legendary heroes of Riverbond? Not an award-winning game. What it is, is a fun casual game to enjoy with friends and family. Drop in, drop out and bash some things over the head. The art style is vibrant and fun, making it approachable. Not selling it yet? Well, check out the numerous skins giving tribute to other indie games loved by many such as Psychonauts, Shovel Night and Braid to name a few. Devolver Bootleg (http://devolverbootleg.com) Genre: Retro, Action, Adventure, Sports Price: $4.94/£3.95 (1% off till 16 June) Developer: Doinksoft Publisher: Devolver Digital Release Date: 10th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Devolver Bootleg contains eight original rip-offs of Devolver Digital games including: Enter The Gun Dungeon Hotline Milwaukee Ape Out Jr. Shootyboots Super Absolver Mini: Turbo Fighting Championship Catsylvania PikuBiku Ball Stars Luftrousers With a whopping 1% off right now, you better catch this collection of totally legit games. You have all the variety you could ask for from guns in dungeons, cats in armour, killing sprees and ballistic boots, plus much much more. Don't hesitate, deliberate. Add it to your basket and enjoy hours of fun, guaranteed. Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tomorrow.
  23. Most of my recommendations are found on steam, the great unforgiving beast that holds all our wallets hostage with their constant sales, but there are other websites that champion the indie game community and one of them is Itchio. It is not often I find something brilliant on Itchio, but thunder strikes at some point and it did yesterday with The Hour of the Rat, both wonderfully cinematic and minimalist at the same time. The lightning animations and falling cherry blossoms play the familiar strings in me whenever I watch an old samurai flick. Following from that I have 3 Early Access games that I think are worth mentioning. Heroine Anthem Zero: Scars of Memories is the second installment in a series that plays like an anime, not just the beautifully drawn and rendered scene cuts but the ability to combine cultures and create something completely new to enjoy visually and narratively. There is more anime loveliness today with another game called Eve of Souls, also in Early Access. It brings Horror, Suspension... and cuteness. Not too much cuteness, just 20%, which is all you need for a horror game I'm told. The last Early Access recommendation from me today is Barotrauma. It has been swimming along on my list for a while now, the idea of commanding the crew to control the submarine may seem convoluted, but what you call convoluted I call satisfying my need to micromanage. You control everything on the submarine, not just the thrusters. Oh and there's Jules Verne like monsters in the depths of Europa, who knew? Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? The Hour of the Rat (https://twitter.com/sokpopco) Genre: Action, Side Scroller, Retro Price: $3 or more Developer - Sokpop Collective Publisher - Sokpop Collective Release Date - 5th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store "THE EMPEROR MUST BE KILLED... 3 NINJAS ARE SEND OUT... THE TIME IS NOW... ASSASSINATE THE EMPEROR... DURING THE HOUR OF THE RAT." The simplicity of design makes this very easy to just jump straight into the action and start having fun. As you can see above, it is quite fast paced and the minimalist art style does a great job at delivering an engrossing atmosphere, showing off cherry blossoms in the wind and the path of your sword slicing through the air, all making for a cinematic experience. EARLY ACCESS Heroine Anthem Zero 2: Scars of Memories (https://twitter.com/HeroineAnthem) Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG Price: $9.67/£7.29 (12% off till June 12) Developer - WindThunder Studio Publisher - Skywalker HK Release Date - 5th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Recommended by the developers is to play Episode 1 before this one. It can be found here: Heroine Anthem Zero Episode 1 With a faded promise to fulfill, Shama came to Uzato to find the owner of a lost amulet. The story begins with Shama waking up from a dream, and start this mysterious journey with her companion. Inspired from a mix of Siberian culture, Mermaid Folktales, and Taiwanese tribal legends. That is quite an impressive range that all meld beautifully as you can see in the Art and Story design. A love it or hate it aspect for the game would be how closely it resembles anime tendencies to overblow everything. Something that I love about it, along with the many animated scene cuts that have been lovingly created. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “The completed version will have optimized storyline, a variety of in-game items, and more monsters. Feedback from early access players will be included in the game optimization.” EARLY ACCESS Barotrauma (https://barotraumagame.com/) Genre: Action, Simulation, Strategy, Co-op Price: $25.49/£18.26 (15% off till June 12) Developer - Fake Fish, Undertow Games Publisher - Daedalic Entertainment Release Date - 5th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Overcome crisis and the unrelenting pressure of a frozen ocean. In the not too distant future, where habitable places have become scarce, humanity has arrived on Jupiter’s moon. Europa with its frozen surface is a hostile environment, and life can only be found in the dark ocean beneath the ice – and the small pockets of human habitation are not the only form of life to be found there. Watching the trailer I get strong vibes of Captain Nemo swimming in his submarine and getting attacked by giant underwater creatures. The games' mechanics can be hard to adjust to at first, as you control the submarine from the inside, everything from weapons to sonar to the engines themselves need to be operated by crew members that you direct. When you can spot an enemy, swiftly swim towards it and man the guns without panicking, you know you've made it and the feeling is great. For the moment, the game is in early access, so the narrative isn't all there yet. According to the description on what's to come in the full release, there will be more content in the campaign but for the moment there seems to be a big push for multiplayer battles, which many have said is fun, but not for me... I am far more interested in what can be achieved in the campaign and how far they will take that. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “The full version of Barotrauma will feature a much-improved campaign along with one of our most anticipated features: Physically playable outposts and other campaign locations, allowing us to create a seamless and deep world for both single player and coop games. The full version will also feature a lot more content as well, which means additional creatures, locations, stock submarines, and missions.” EARLY ACCESS Eve of Souls: Static Pod Genre: Adventure, RPG, Horror Price: $1.19/£1.01 (40% off till June 11) Developer - LighTea Fish Studio Publisher - SakuraGame Release Date - 5th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Eve of Souls: Static Pod is a pixel game which is made of 10% of horror element, 30% of adventure, 20% cuteness, 20% suspension, and 20% of the hard-core challenge. [The pod will break soon. Will she survive the nightmare or find the truth? I don't normally go for games made in RPG-Maker, a lot of them feel too alike, but occasionally you come across one that stands out and makes you stop. I like horror games and this one promises to deliver without cheap scares, instead it relies on a tense story to creep you out. I won't be able to say too much about this game until an English translation is ready, but some of the mechanics mentioned give this a fresh feel and I look forward to enjoying it when it's ready. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “We plan to make all chapters available in the complete version and to ensure gamers' experience. We also plan to fully optimize the game to let new gamers instantly play it without any obstructions we also plan to add collectibles and achievements” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks tomorrow.
  24. Quite a few interesting games found today, with two from Itchio and the other four from steam. Starting my recommendations for the day, let's shine a light on a game that has been making a few rounds on Youtube amongst popular channels. Night Lights, a puzzle game where the light and darkness are yours to carve out a path in your journey. Maybe you'll also get a lightbulb moment. Following one puzzle in the night, I bring another puzzle game in the day. Aurore has a peaceful relaxed atmosphere to enjoy as you a journey through a young girl's imagined world. Manipulating the environment as you go, shrinking and growing rocks. Probably one of my favourite full releases today has to be Project Madison. We've all had that one person at work that wronged us or did something to make us hate them. Oh how we have spent hours thinking up schemes of revenge, sweet satisfying revenge, or is that just me?... Well either way, now you have a chance to enact these plans without the trouble of getting fired for poor office relations. Following these recommendations, we've got two brilliant games entering Early Access and need all of your support in helping build it to their full potential. Pixel Noir has been on my radar for a while (beautiful pixel art is my Achilles heel). Get your whiskey and smokes ready. Open them blinds, let in that harsh light and let's get solving some cases. Starting with where that damn cat has gone. I mean eventually, we'll work towards clearing our name, eventually. Most students hardly get by making dinner (still have vague memories of a flatmate burning a jacket potato somehow), but these 23 students have banded together to give us a mad pulp action space adventure complete with space combat, ship boarding and crew management. This is a game worth checking out, especially since its free. So go ahead. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Night Lights (https://nightlightsgame.com/) Genre: Adventure, Casual, Puzzle Price: $8.99/£6.29 (10% off till June 14) Developer - Meridian 4 Publisher - Meridian 4 Release Date - 7th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store A tiny robot faces the quest of illuminating a darkened planet and begins learning how to play with the resources around them. A game with incredibly unique mechanics which manipulate light & shadow which change the surrounding environment, solve intricate tasks and ultimately collect shards to resurrect a fallen star. Be a little robot beacon of light in a dark & puzzling world. Interacting with the environment to solve puzzles are some of the best and most enjoyable games, especially when done well. The light and dark mechanic works nicely in 'sculpting' and 'carving' the environment to get to where you need to. The sense of achievement coupled with beautiful visuals has led many to create masterpieces. Now I'll be forthcoming, I wouldn't put this up there with Limbo and Braid, but it is still incredibly enjoyable and satisfying to play. Aurore (https://twitter.com/Aurore_Game) Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Atmosphere Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer - Reverie Forge Publisher - CNAM-ENJMIN Release Date - 7th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store You play as Aurore, a young girl traveling by train. During her journey, she gets lost in her reverie and imagines her own world, where she has the power to resize objects. You will progress in this inner universe, discover its possibilities and how it evolves as she continues her travel. It's always impressive when I find a student project that manages to wow me. The visuals are beautiful and the puzzle mechanic simple. With the power to shrink and grow items in teh world to traverse the environment. This is a peaceful and atmospheric game that you can enjoy for a half hour (and again if you want to keep enjoying the serenity). Project Madison Genre: Simulation, Narrative, Puzzle Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer - Pauline Martyn Publisher - Pauline Martyn Release Date - 7th June 2019 Available on PC ►Itchio Store In Project Madison, play a disgruntled 1960s secretary determined to enact revenge on Jeff, her nemesis. Use the environment and your work relationships to get Jeff fired from his cushy job! During the day explore, spy on desks and hidden objects, make friends, and get in the boss’ good books by doing all your work. During the night use your limited time for mischief: stealing, breaking locks, or destroying important documents. Jeff’s got it coming, and it’s up to YOU to decide how! Having grown up on a steady diet of 80s movies filled with schemes and plots (can't forget the Pinky and the Brain too), seeing this game put a sinister smile on my face. Doesn't take a lot for me be drawn to any story centered around revenge and from what we can see, Jeff has it coming. For a small game, there are a lot of fo features that have gone into it such as trust/friendship levels and reaping the rewards or consequences of our choices. Would you like some laxatives with that coffee? EARLY ACCESS Pixel Noir Genre: Turn-Based, RPG Price: $14.99/£12.99 Developer - SWD Tech Publisher - Badland Publishing Release Date - 7th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Something happened that night in the hospital - something that cost you your career as a police detective, your sanity and your partner's life. Ten years later, you have the chance to put things right. Are the hallucinations that plague you a key to what happened that fateful night? Everybody loves a noir story right? Hardboiled detectives, countless cigarette packs, harsh lighting, and a troubled past. As well as the intriguing story about clearing your name and avenging your partner, there are several cases to keep you busy and entertained. From missing pets to murder investigations, you'll explore this seedy city with colourful characters and test your detective skills. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “The Early Access version contains the first half or the game (chapters 1-4). In the full game we plan to include more polish, more areas to explore, more quests, and most importantly, the second half of the story!” EARLY ACCESS Captain Starshot (https://www.doubledoorgame.com/) Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG, Space Price: FREE TO PLAY Developer - Doubledoor Games Publisher - Breda University Release Date - 7th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Salute Captain, We are pleased to see you reporting for duty. Now, let us explain to you what you can expect on this mission; As Captain Starshot, you and your space crew are tasked with the mission to explore the galaxy in search of villainous aliens and to defeat their leader. Fly off with your spaceship and face off against the hordes of enemies you will encounter on your mission. Operate with the help of your crew members, who hold various abilities that allow you to overcome any challenge within the mysterious enemy ships. This has got to be one of the most polished student projects I have seen. A team of 23 have created a fantastic looking space adventure with a clean and informative steam page and trailer. The gameplay itself consists of space flight and combat, as well as top-down shooting with your crew when boarding enemy ships. This introduces some rogue-lite elements that work really well. The only complaint is the clunky controls for flying your ship, but otherwise, awesome job. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “We are planning for the full version of Captain Starshot to feature more improvements when it comes to player feedback and progression. This includes but is not limited to new abilities, meta progression and more enemies The amount of content or the type of content we create might change as development continues.” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tonight.
  25. Chefs unite! My recommendations for the day are these tasty games. There are so many simulator games that get released on steam every year, some are good fun and most are "bugs as features" kind of games. Cooking Simulator (although includes a few bugs expected from Early Access) is not a simulator of the latter, which is a plus in my book. Cook like a MasterChef, or get creative with physics and unconventional recipes, all without the mess and consequences. On the other side of the cooking spectrum, we have Dungeon Munchies. Hunt, cook, build weapons and hunt again. The most fun I've had in a game for a long time and this cycle is far from repetitive. Content is filled with unique recipes and a combination of weapons that make for interesting combat and strategies. Lastly, I have Overcrowd, the Commute'em up. Ever stood in a crowded train, summer heat turning you into a smelly sardine while your face is in someone elses' armpit... I definitely have and as you may have, I also thought about how things could be better. Nows your chance to make a better metro station so your little hoomans don't have to suffer as you do. Check them out below and tell me what you think. Any of these grab your attention like it did mine? Cooking Simulator (https://twitter.com/Play_Way) Genre: Realistic, Simulation, Goof Around Price: $17.99/£13.94 (10% off till June 13) Developer - Big Cheese Studio Publisher - PlayWay SA Release Date - 6th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Become the ultimate chef! Take control of a highly polished, realistic kitchen equipped with all kinds of utensils and stands. Unlock and master over 60 recipes or use dozens of lifelike ingredients to cook everything you like. All spiced up with a dash of real-life physics! I love cooking in real life and was curious to see how well this played out. It's all physics based and the food looks nice. It got my interest... what kept my interest and had me recommending it to everyone is how incredibly fun it is to goof around in the kitchen without worrying about cleanup. Try insane combinations, create improvised cookers and become the worlds greatest chef! EARLY ACCESS Dungeon Munchies (https://www.dungeonmunchies.com/) Genre: Action, RPG, Side-Scroller Price: $12.59/£9.89 (10% off till June 12) Developer - MaJaJa Publisher - MaJaJa Release Date - 6th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Recommended by the developers is to play Episode 1 before this one. It can be found here: Heroine Anthem Zero Episode 1 Hunt down monsters to cook and eat them! You’ve been revived in a massive underground complex and you must leave this bizarre facility. Aided by the undead Necro-Chef Simmer, you must stay safe, get fed and find a way to get out. Another cooking game on the same day, but this one being the reverse of Cooking Simulator, there's nothing realistic about this one as you hunt down monsters to get your ingredients before cooking them in unique interesting recipes. It doesn't stop there, although hunting and cooking is the aim of the game, all the parts you don't eat can be used to create weapons. There is so much going for this game and the beautiful Pixel art and Humour is the icing on the cake. Also a side note, it reminds me of one of my favourite Hunter exams from the anime Hunter X Hunter. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “We will be adding more story content with the goal of bringing closure to Simmer's culinary education program. Every major update will have new areas to explore, new creatures to hunt, new bosses to fight, and new foods to cook.” EARLY ACCESS Overcrowd: A Commute 'Em Up (http://overcrowd.co.uk/) Genre: Simulation, Strategy, Tycoon Price: $16.99/£12.99 Developer - SquarePlay Games Publisher - SquarePlay Games Release Date - 6th June 2019 Available on PC ►Steam Store Overcrowd is a tactical management sim set on the metro of bustling city Lubdon Town. Blending base building with pausable real-time strategy, Overcrowd offers a unique mix of spatial puzzling, strategic thinking and split-second choices. Every day, millions crowd the tube in a desperate bid to get to work. Can you build and run the perfect metro station to help them make it on time? And I am one of these millions that use the Lon- I mean Lubdon tube network. Using my first-hand experience I will make the greatest metro station this world has ever seen! Taking a dash of tycoon and a lot of base building mechanics you have what the most part of the game is about. However, considering how a tube network is built in different spatial levels, it naturally introduces some puzzle solving that brings something fresh to the genre, a new challenge that will be very interesting to tackle. How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version? “Currently the game includes a procedural campaign mode, which generates a series of increasingly difficult stations to build and manage. We have also included a sandbox free play mode, and a daily "Commute of the day" challenge. We'll be adding new features that will enable the player the manipulate their station environment with greater precision as well as introduce more commuter types, more objects, and more underlying systems. These features will build on the many already implemented and described in below (What is the current state of the Early Acces version)” Stay tuned for more New Releases and Early Access picks later tonight.
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