Wednesday, 31 July 2013

One Man's RTS

Meridian: New World is a Real-Time Strategy game for the PC programmed by a small, independent developer, Elder Games.  So small in fact, there's only one member, Ede Tarsoly. Despite its humble origins, the game impresses with its graphics and promised features. In collaboration with Headup Games the official website has opened and the first trailer was published, providing more information about the planned content.

Dream of Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz

A short exploration platform game of dreams and nightmares utilizing a minimalistic atmosphere and impressive gameplay variety. That's all you need to know about this free game just released by Digital Synthesis, Saint Heiser's den of creation, before you watch the trailer.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Retro-Modern Wings of Saint Nazaire

Wings of Saint Nazaire is a unique game using outdated techniques in combination with modern technology. The science fiction world it offers has elements from games that now seem ancient, yet it is attractive in a retro-modern way.

Its three creators are obviously longing for the good old days of the genre, which for them translates to a time travel one or even two decades back, when games like Wing Commander and Χ-Wing reigned supreme in the hearts of gamers.

Monday, 29 July 2013

KickBack Studios' Lost Echo Revealed

KickBack Studios places itself squarely on the map of independent developers with the reveal of its upcoming Lost Echo, a traditional adventure game with impressive 3D graphics and a focus on engaging story telling.

Taking control of Greg players are to find out the meaning behind his girlfriend Chloe's disappearance, only possible by exploring varied areas, interacting with characters and solving riddles. The trailer shows the game's atmosphere which is enhanced by an original soundtrack.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Locomalito Unveils Gaurodan

Locomalito is a Spanish independent developer you should pay attention to as the titles under his belt include Hydorah, Maldita Castilla, Verminest and other freeware gems you shouldn't miss. His next game was just announced as Gaurodan, a unique side scrolling shooter inspired by titles like Defender and Choplifter. In a twist you'll actually play as the monster yet as expected it employs beautifully retro visuals. The game should be coming soon as Locomalito usually doesn't show anything too long before launch, but for now enjoy the trailer.

The Logic Behind Monstro: Battle Tactics

Retrocade's first commercial game will be one seemingly made as a result of the developers' own frustrations with the random elements often encountered in strategy RPG titles. Monstro: Battle Tactics completely eliminates such elements in order to provide pure tactical turn based gameplay where each battle resembles a hard puzzle and requires expert use of the available units, the terrain and the enemy weaknesses to overcome. The game also won't be lacking in content as it's currently set to include two campaigns for a total of 48 levels, while an additional hard mode will essentially double the amount.

Overgrowth Continues to Impress

Wolfire Games just published another development video showing many of the recent additions that have been integrated into the early alpha version of Overgrowth, the successor to the old and equally bizarre Lugaru. This highly skill based melee combat game continues to impress with realistic animations and extreme attention to detail, for example with how the detailed warrior rabbits (and other animals) smoothly change their fighting stance based on the distance between them.

The Goat Escapes Again

The surrealistic puzzle platforming world is set to return bigger, better and a lot more beautiful as Escape Goat 2 boasts HD 2D graphics instead of the charming yet low fidelity pixel art of the original game (which you can still purchase after trying the HTML5 demo here). Players will once again take the role of the agile goat and immerse in frantic puzzle solving that requires both brains and dexterity, as well as the help of returning friends like the mouse. Make sure that you watch the glorious trailer.

F.E.A.R. Returns, Online

F.E.A.R. is a cult classic series of horror themed first person shooters known for great visuals, creepy atmosphere, solid enemy A.I. and thrilling gameplay. F.E.A.R. Online's announcement by Aeria Games might not be what every fan wanted to hear but the new title's first trailer shows the soul of the series could still be there under the features expected in free to play games.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Balrum, an Indie Sandbox of Retro RPG Delight

Balcony Team's Balrum started as two students' university project but has since expanded into a role playing game of surprising scope where players will not only follow a non linear storyline and battle monsters in turn based combat but also engage in side tasks just as deeply integrated in the experience. These include building settlements, maintaining a farm, extensive crafting, gathering and hunting as your character will essentially lead a complete life in a fantasy world that includes but exists for more than great adventures.

Inspired by classics like Ultima and Gothic, indie hits like Eschalon and Avernum and mainstream giants like Skyrim, the Balcony Team appears to take the best of all worlds. Watch the video for a sample of the detail they intend to include in every aspect of the game.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

SkyTourist Flies to iOS on the 25th of July

SkyTourist is an upcoming iOS game with not only a cute premise but also unique gameplay. Three Legged Egg's inventive design has main character Petey Pendant travel the universe hanging from a rope whose ends are attached to a rocket each. Players don't have direct control of Petey but instead individually adjust the position of each rocket letting gravity take over as Petey slides to the desired location, avoids hazards and interacts with the environment on his way to the top of each level. Watch the official trailer for a better explanation of the gaemplay mechanics then get your phones and tablets ready for imminent action.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Mysteries of Peak Valley Case 2: The White Lady

Sunny Penguin Games have released another chapter in their moody freeware adventure game series Mysteries of Peak Valley. Case 2: The White Lady is the direct sequel to Case 1: The Lost Sonata and players once again take on the role of psychic medium Zack Gellar as he attempts to solve an all new mystery and put another spirit to rest.

Like all of the studio's previous games it's made with Adventure Game Studio and is therefor somewhat limited by its capabilities. However, the production values now include full voice acting, a reasonably well done and welcome addition that helps set the mood. If you're a genre fan or feel like playing ghost detective, Mysteries of Peak Valley is worth a look.

Wanted: Chaos Chronicles

Have you seen Chaos Chronicles? It's one of the few old school role playing games that is neither 100% independent nor funded by as of late fashionable crowd-funding services. Aspiring to be a successor of 80s classics it stood out with an original setting and the chosen gameplay mechanics which include turn based combat on a hex grid utilizing D&D 3,5e Open Game Content rules.

If all had gone well the game would be releasing within months, however, fears over stalling news were reinforced when one of the creators mentioned a legal issue between developers COREPLAY and publisher bitComposer Games as seen here.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Strider Revival Incoming

Capcom's surprises continued at Comic-Con with a sequel to the 1989 arcade hit. Double Helix Games will be taking care of the development while original Strider and Strider 2 staff are the main designers. The game is a side scrolling action adventure with 3D visuals. Traditional levels are replaced by a seamless world with multiple paths, countless enemies and tough bosses, while the hero will be upgrading his abilities. Enjoy the first footage.

Shadowrun Returns in a Week

This game became a reality in part thanks to the crowd funding efforts of fans who took the risk and trusted the developers. While it's also been the target of some controversy due to perceived changes in the plans regarding DRM and some feature announcements that disappointed some, the Harebrained Schemes team is leaving all that behind as it's gearing up for the imminent first release. Today a launch trailer has been published aiming to excite every role playing and cyberpunk fan for the fast approaching 25th of July.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Doorways to Terror

The independent Saibot Studios is trying to put an end to your sleeping habits. Doorways is described as a game of horrifying deception where nothing is what it seems and everything is out to get you. There are few details about the plot since part of the appeal lies in gradually uncovering it but overall it appears similar to adventure games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, always meant as a compliment since it's far from a mere copy cat without merit. The excuse for this report is the latest trailer which does a good job of showcasing newly finished environments and the game's overall tone.

Six Sided Sanctuary Launching in 13 Days

If you think you've seen everything a block puzzle game can offer, think again. Six Sided Sanctuary is a fresh take on the tired genre in which you control an empty frame, attaching different types of panels to its sides to incorporate their unique properties required to get through the levels. For example, passing over wooden floor will naturally result in a cube that floats on water. Other properties include flying and sticking on any surface. The game is said to have over 25 levels and an original 25 minute soundtrack, while future support will be in the form of themed DLC. You may pre-order it with a small discount for  $6.99 (about 5,35).

Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Coming to PC

The eccentric low budget horror game by Access Games became a surprise cult hit on consoles overcoming average critic reviews with word of mouth. Now Rising Star Games, its publisher for Europe, have announced their desire to bring it to the PC platform, worldwide and via Steam for which they're currently running a Greenlight page you may vote through. There's no date just yet but they did list the new features this release will include.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Cradle Shows Imagination Still Exists

This quirky adventure game often intrigues, much like the video just released to show item and character interactions within its imaginative environments. It's not what most might have expected knowing that the developers previously worked on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. yet such inventiveness and attention to detail can't be anything but welcome. I eagerly anticipate losing myself in the excitingly new world studio Flying Cafe for Semianimals is crafting.

Sven Co-op Going Standalone for Free Steam Release

Sven Co-op, the legendary cooperative online Half-Life fan modification, will be released through Steam as a standalone and free game, complete with the Half-Life content it currently requires. The developers have Valve Software's blessings and will be updating the game engine, level editing software and gameplay in order to provide the best version possible, while they plan to continue suppοrting it. Who saw any of this coming?

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Latest InFlux Trailer Charms

Australian studio Impromptu Games' InFlux is about as abstract as a game can get. The main character is a sphere, the environments range from the natural to the impossible and the sole goal is to explore and solve puzzles by use of various powers and your brain. Of course, there have been similar games in the past, but I feel this one has that something necessary to stand out.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Cute DOT Space Hero

The main character looks like a spaceman Kirby and the gameplay combines side scrolling shoot 'em up tropes with a dash of Copter (or Jetpack Joyride for the young ones) but this little game could be more than the sum of its parts. Oozing charm and bite sized potential, the trailer did just about enough for me to wish and share it with you. DOT Space Hero is already available for iOS (and only costs €0,89/$0.99) while the 1Coin team is currently developing Android, Windows and Mac versions to expand the potential user base with. Hit the jump and watch the trailer to form your own opinion.

Avalanche Unleashes First Mad Max Trailer

Known primarily for their Just Cause series, Avalanche Studios have been hard at work on the upcoming Warner Bros. Mad Max title set to release on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Windows. While we can't really see any gameplay in this footage we at least get a better look at the game world and main character than the initial teaser allowed for. Enjoy the view.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Neo-Retro Indie Weekend Continues with Crawl

Crawl is indie studio Powerhoof's upcoming side scrolling hack and slash which I just discovered on the TIGForums. One of the two creators, Barney Cumming, said it's "an arcadey beat-em-up dungeon crawler, except it's multiplayer and the monsters are all controlled by the other players". There's not much more to say at this point, except that it looks kind of rad, the concept is fresh and I really want to play it. Moving images follow.

Another Street Fighter IV Upgrade Announced

In a surprising twist during the Evo 2013 championship, Capcom announced that the Street Fighter IV series (yes, a series out of a single numbered title, that's how Capcom roll) will receive another substantial upgrade, Ultra Street Fighter IV, with not only small tweaks like the expected balance improvements but also new modes of play, stages and more importantly additional playable characters. Five of them in fact, four of which have been revealed to be Rolento, Elena, Poison and Hugo, all of them known from previous classic Capcom titles and/or previous Street Fighter entries. The fifth character remains secret.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

I Heard You Like Castlevania

If that's true, mostly for the old school platforming based 2D Castlevania titles and less so for the new school of God of War style 3D cinematic hack and slash games by one Hideo Kojima, you might also like Odallus, the next game by Joy Masher, creators of Oniken.

Like its predecessor, Odallus is a retro style side scrolling platform game with action that will test both reflexes and patience. The Castlevania vibe comes from not only the overall visual style and atmosphere, but also the chosen game mechanics, given the use of sub weapons, the sadistic placement of enemies or traps and the multiple paths and backtracking required to get through the stages, as it doesn't offer a seamless game world. See for yourself.