Spelunky SD mod introduces online co-op to the classic roguelike platformer

Phil Savage at

Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.

Super Time Force Ultra headed to Steam this season

Shaun Prescott at

Super Time Force will throw off the shackles of Xbox exclusivity soon and make its way to Steam. The sidescrolling shooter will release for PC this "summer" (or winter in Australia) in an Ultra edition, which developers Capybara Games says will add "some very cool (but presently very secret) stuff".

Mighty No. 9 footage shows boss battles, obligatory ice world

Phil Savage at

A confession: my Mega Man knowledge is somewhat limited. Normally that's not a hindrance to my day-to-day work on, only now, there's new footage of Mighty No. 9. And, so while there's likely a myriad of subtle differences packed into this minute-and-a-bit teaser, to my untrained eye it all looks extremely similar to Capcom's venerable platforming series. Then again, as a 'spiritual successor', that is entirely the point.

Thomas Was Alone updated with free Benjamin's Flight episode

Phil Savage at

At this point, we should all be used to Steam's auto-updating. Even so, it can be a little unsettling when it happens to a game about emerging autonomous AI. Quadrilateral platformer Thomas Was Alone has received just such an update, supposedly adding Benjamin's Flight—a free chapter of levels originally exclusive to the game's Playstation release. At least, that's what creator Mike Bithell claims it adds. My advice? Keep an eye out for rogue squares.

Battleblock Theater review

Chris Thursten at

Flash games aren’t the crucible of indie talent that they once were, but Battleblock Theater carries the legacy of those halcyon days. The technology might have changed, but this is a game from the culture that produced Meat Boy and N+. It’s by The Behemoth, the guys that made Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, and it marks a sea change in how much indie developers are capable of achieving with a single game. It’s a platform adventure, a co-op and versus multiplayer game, a creative suite and a comedy revue.

Trine Enchanted Edition coming as a free update on Steam

Andy Chalk at

Trine was pretty fantastic when it came out in 2009 but Trine 2 was a major overhaul in just about every way, offering dramatically improved visuals and cooperative multiplayer that allowed the game's three lead characters – the Wizard, the Thief and the Knight – to be controlled simultaneously. Frozenbyte described those features as "missing" from the original game, and that's where the newly-announced Enchanted Edition comes into play.

Juju announced, a lighthearted platformer for kids from the Shadow Warrior team

Andy Chalk at

The name Flying Wild Hog, if it means anything to you at all, probably invokes images of blood-soaked, over-the-top first-person shooters. This is the studio that gave us Hard Reset and the wildly entertaining Shadow Warrior reboot, after all. So why is the studio's next project a colorful, kid-friendly platformer about a shaman panda named Juju and his lizard sidekick Peyo? I can't even begin to guess, so instead I'll just show you this trailer.

Limbo dev reveals new game, Inside, during Microsoft's E3 press conference

Ian Birnbaum at

A new game from the developer of Limbo, developer Playdead, was just revealed on-stage during the Microsoft briefing event at E3. The side-scrolling puzzler is back with Inside, set in an oppressive, dystopian environment full of guard dogs, camera drones, corpses, and citizens walking in lock-step.

Crystal Catacombs procedurally generates neon sci-fi, roguelikey platform exploration

Tom Sykes at

Nobody would blame you for having had your fill of sidescrolling, procedurally generated platforming roguelikes, but Crystal Catacombs might be worth a curious glance before you swear off the sub-sub-genre forever. For one thing, it's gorgeous, employing tiny yet detailed and colourful (but not garishly so) pixel art to bring its neon cavey world to life. It's a slightly different breed of game to something like Spelunky - the physics are nowhere near as delightfully precise - but you should find something to enjoy here if you traversed your way through Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night back in the day. Details and demo link after the break.

Kero Blaster review

Wes Fenlon at

Kero Blaster's chiptune soundtrack is a perfect analogue for the game itself: effortlessly upbeat and cheery one moment, dramatic or laid-back the next, but always sounding like it could've come from an NES if a composer had spent the past 25 years mastering its sound chip. Kero Blaster is a throwback 8-bit shooter without an ounce of waste: its minimalist story sends a hardworking frog through a viney forest, a tumbleweed-swept mesa, and other charming levels filled with somehow more charming enemies.

Mighty No. 9 is looking solid but uninspired (and very blue)

Tom Sykes at

The first proper bout of footage for Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9 shows that, yes, it looks a lot like a certain Capcom series, but let's put the obvious comparisons to Dino Crisis aside for a moment and focus on the Mega Man creator's latest game. After a wildly successful Kickstarter last year - people really like to put their money behind familiar concepts, huh? - we've been afforded our first non-prototypey glimpse of the platformer in action, and while it's a video that holds few surprises, Mighty No. 9 does look like the sort of safe, largely unambitious game I might enjoy on a rainy day.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham announced with brooding and (not very) serious trailer

Phil Savage at

LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO Batmaaaan! Sorry, '60s Batman TV theme-tune references are the last thing the brooding, super-serious Bruce Wayne of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham needs, especially when confronted by a DC cast more concerned by his shiny new spacesuit. The next game starring the plastic protector takes his vigilante justice to outer space, and, as such, he's come dressed for the occasion.

Rayman review — June 1996, US edition

PC Gamer at

Every Sunday, Tyler Wilde publishes a classic PC Gamer review from the '90s or early 2000s, with his context and commentary followed by the full, original text from the archived issue. This week, the original Rayman is reviewed in the June 1996 issue of PC Gamer US. More classic reviews here.

In 1989, Prince of Persia on the Apple II made Super Mario Bros' animations look downright primitive, and got me obsessed with the dream of playing as a real cartoon character. Before I ever thought polygonal heroes were a good idea, I sought out the phrase "cartoon-quality animations" and hoped (though I wouldn't have been able to tell you their names at the time) for games to take after Chuck Jones and Tex Avery cartoons instead of ReBoot, that '90s CG-animated cartoon about low-poly computer people.

Never Alone's Alaskan Inuit hero will melt your heart

Emanuel Maiberg at

It’s amazing how far games like Braid and Limbo have been able to push the boundaries of the 2D platforming genre. It seems like at least a couple of games a year manage to make the decades-old tropes feel relevant again with just a slight tweaking to the rules or change of setting. Never Alone, a platformer featuring an Alaskan Native girl and her Arctic fox, looks like it might accomplish that this year.

Blizzard releases classic games The Lost Vikings, Rock N' Roll Racing for free

Emanuel Maiberg at

There was a time, long ago, when Blizzard made other games besides StarCraft, World of Warcraft, and Diablo. Blackthorne, which Blizzard released for free via in November is a perfect example. The Prince of Persia meets shotgun side-scroller is not that bad if you’re willing to forgive its age, but when it was released for free what we really hoped for is that a free release of The Lost Vikings will follow. Today, it finally did.

Monochroma trailer sets the scene on a dystopian puzzler

Phil Savage at

It's hard to know the extent to which this "cinematic" Monochroma teaser reflects the final game—especially as its claimed the finished thing will contain no cut-scenes. Nevertheless, I am smitten with the animation, which is what I imagine South Park would look like had it been made in Arstotzka. And the regular art style is no less striking, showing a grey and red world for the story's two brothers to puzzle-platform across.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Someone must have asciid for an expansive roguelikey JRPG rendered entirely in textart, as we've received one in the form of the delightful SanctuaryRPG. It's a streamlined and grind-free take on Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest and early Ultima and Things Like That, and if I were to hand out badges in this column it would win the coveted Best RPG Featuring Ascii Slimes award (sponsored by that Ghostbusters ectoplasm I used to love when I was a kid). Elsewhere this week: a serene, freeform farming lifesim appeared, along with two very different platformers at opposite ends of the minimalism/maximalism spectrum. Enjoy!

Schrodinger's cat alive and well in new puzzle-platformer from Team 17 and Italic Pig

Tom Sykes at

I was a bit concerned about Schrodinger's famous cat for a while there - being both alive and dead can't be particularly healthy - but he's turned up in the land of the living in Italic Pig's colourful puzzle-platformer Schrodinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. The reveal trailer, below, doesn't give much away, but we can expect "a wacky action-adventure-platformer-puzzler that blazes irreverently through the wild wonders of the Standard Model, combining lateral-thinking multi-solution logic puzzles with Fists-of-Feynman kickass combat action". All of which sounds pretty good to me. Theses puzzles will involve words like 'quantum' and 'quarks' and oh dear my brain has melted already.

Concursion demo offers playable piece of Puuba's strange genre mashup

Tom Senior at

Patches of altered reality drift in bubbles and waves across Concursion's environments, and each reality offers you a window into a different game. One moment you're a space-suited adventurer in a sidescrolling blaster, the next you can fall down a pit into a top-down Zelda-esque adventure. Moments later you might find yourself playing a space shooter, or as a ninja in a forest full of enemies.

Even the Ocean: a contemplative, innovative platformer set in two worlds

Tom Sykes at

My thoughts on Analgesic's Anodyne (which taken out of context sounds like some sort of Victorian miracle cure) were neatly summarised in the form of this review, which used words like "tapestry" and "sentient shrubs" before awarding the enigmatic Zelda-a-like a big fat 84%. You can bet that I'm intrigued by their follow-up, Even the Ocean, a sidescrolling "contemplation of balance" (read: platformer) comprised of two seemingly intermingling halves. A "motion demo" of the in-development game was released a little while ago, a boxy and prototypical build showing off Even the Ocean's unique mechanics without venturing into content found in the actual game. You can find it here.