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.

Metroid-inspired Ghost Song: A Journey of Hope gets first gameplay video

Wes Fenlon at

The last Metroid is in captivity. The galaxy is at peace. Wait--this isn't Metroid! It's the first gameplay video for Ghost Song, a Kickstarted 2D action game that isn't shy about its influences. The Super Metroid vibe is heavy in this first 10 minutes of footage, from the main character's arm-mounted weapon to the spooky atmosphere and music. There's a bit of Dark Souls mixed in, too—the first NPC encounter bears more than a passing resemblance to the very first NPC encounter in Dark Souls' Undead Asylum.

King Arthur's Gold enters beta, brings shark riding to Medieval war gaming

Patrick Carlson at

2D war game King Arthur's Gold has entered its beta phase, boosting considerably its castle-building, ballista-slinging quotient. The multiplayer indie game by developer Transhuman Design looks to be filled out nicely with catapults, sword duels, and of course, bison taming.

Indie fighting game Skullgirls coming to PC next month

Tom Sykes at

Extravagant, cel-shaded fighting game Skullgirls is heading to PC next month, as announced on the game's Facebook page. That's the 22nd of August, between you and me and Skullgirls' bizarre kicky/punchy cast, though Steam pre-orders will begin earlier on the 1st.

Win a copy of Limbo! International giveaway

Tom Hatfield at

It's competition time again! Atmospheric platformer Limbo recently came out on PC and, to celebrate, we've got 20 Steam codes to give away.

Not only that, we're opening up this competition to everyone! That's right, this giveaway is open to all regions. So if you've missed out on our competitions before due to unfortunate geography be sure to check inside for the chance to get yourself a free game.

Shank Review

Phill Cameron at

Shank’s fatal flaw is that it does nothing besides look pretty and be excessively violent. You might think that those two things would be enough, but no.

This is a 2D brawler that takes the linearity the genre requires so seriously that it gives you nothing else to do but go from left to right. It’s like reading a two-panel comic that’s repeated ad nauseam. And those two panels are just: Fight these goons. Do some platforming. Fight these goons. Do some platforming.

Super Meat Boy Review

Tyler Wilde at

Imagine a bouncing cube of raw meat sliding into the teeth of a whirling saw blade. Spludge! Now picture thousands more—as many as there are letters on this page—all going splat and splot as they disintegrate into an ocean of juicy beef-stuff. Gross. But your mental slaughterhouse still has nothing on my Super Meat Boydeath tally. I flung the game’s lovable, protein-based hero to his demise over 3,000times just to beat the main levels of this relentlessly difficult 2D platformer. Include the search for collectables, the retro-themed Warp Zones, and the unlockable “Dark World” levels, and the number of exploded meat-bodies I’m responsible for is genocidal—but it’s the fun kind of genocide.

How to play Half-Life 2 in 2D

Jaz McDougall at

Some clever clogs at Reddit has discovered how to get Steam to install Codename: Gordon, the 2D flash game originally bundled with Half-life 2.