Indie

Darkest Dungeon gameplay footage and demo from PAX 2014

Evan Lahti at

Darkest Dungeon continues to be one of the games I'm looking forward to most. Red Hook Studios has cherry-picked its favorite aspects of XCOM, roguelikes, and turn-based strategy, and wrapped Darkest Dungeon in a gloomy fantasy art style that's evocative of Dark Souls while still feeling inexplicably cute. It also has one of the most fitting mechanics I've seen featured in a roguelike partly inspired by Lovecraft: a "stress" meter for representing the mental health of your party members.

The demo that Red Hook walked me through at PAX Prime this weekend was the first glimpse of Darkest Dungeon's town metagame, as well as four new classes, of the planned 16.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Spotted in the free games safari this week: a game about listening and bartending and CYBERPUNKS and liquid ratios, the new game from them what made A Dark Room (be excited), cat puns and an interactive space toilet. Today I watched a jettisoned pixel poo pirouette into the infinite, and so can you. Enjoy.


Miegakure trailer explains how to walk through walls using the 4th Dimension

Phil Savage at

Yup. This is... well... it's an example of the systems underlying the game Miegakure. I definitely understand it all.

What do you mean explain it? Um... Just watch the video.


Magicmaker trailer shows build-your-own spell system, customisable wizards

Phil Savage at

An email comes in for 2D RPG-platformer Magicmaker. In it appear phrases like "total wizard customization," and "poisonous exploding suns". Also a number: 2,193,360. That, according to developer Tasty Stewdios, is how many spell combinations you can potentially craft in game. Naturally, I am powerless to resist.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Free games are amazing, and the wide world of gaming is a wildly better place for all the wonderful interactive stories and goal-based games and exploratory oddities I've encountered over the last couple of years. While angry types grumble about 'walking simulators' and interactive fiction and having to look at games featuring pixel art, those of you with open minds may join me after the break. Read on for strange climbing, a different kind of haunted house, a dusty city, extreme berry-picking and more.


Fistful of Gun to be published by Devolver, is a top-down, co-op Western shooter

Phil Savage at

Fistful of Gun is a Western primarily in setting. As a top-down arcade shooter, it's a little lacking in some of the fundamental themes of the genre; like sweeping landscapes, local power-struggles or Clint Eastwood staring at a man until he gets bored and dies. Instead, its the weaponry and hats of the era, implanted into a frantic bullet-hell assault.


Due Process has been picked up by Indie Fund, is a "very alpha", very tactical shooter

Phil Savage at

There's something about drawing on a map that plugs directly into the fantasy of games. It's a bit silly and, at the same time, incredibly serious—a small stretch of role-playing before you get to the execution. Due Process is a tactical multiplayer shooter that seems to understand the joy of planning. Its trailer shows friends methodically guessing and second-guessing; but the actual action appears to be over pretty quickly. It's all about the act of marking that map.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Welcome to the blitmaze. It's a tetrachrome dungeon filled with noise and green—lots and lots of green—and it's joined this week by a game of light and bats and darkness, another reliably good Nifflas adventure, Planet of the Petunias and more. If that sounds like a pleasant way to spend your Saturday—spoiler: it does—stick around to sample this week's crop.


Below trailer brings a moment of ethereal calm to Gamescom

Shaun Prescott at

Sick of suited up guys yelling into mouthpieces, incendiary shooter sequels and stuff that's Only On Xbox? This Below trailer provides a calm respite from the brouhaha of Gamescom. There's no new information (ie, we still don't know when it's coming out), but this Capybara developed top-down adventure roguelike is looking prettier than ever.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

The VR/flight stick/oh-my-god-I'm-in-a-spaceship approach to space games might be a particularly bloody exciting one, but that doesn't mean you need to re-mortgage your cutlery to experience the wonder of that huge expanse of darkness up there. This week's Even the Stars offers a universe of beauty, haunting emptiness and low-poly spaceships, and to experience it you won't need to spend a dime. Read on for exactly that, plus a game about falling, video killed the horror star, and a deep, deep, deep, deep sleep. Enjoy!


Halfway review

Evan Lahti at

2014 has brought us a tiny surplus of indie, turn-based strategy games. And happily, they’ve all been thematically and mechanically different: The Banner Saga (an elegant Viking epic), Xenonauts (a spiritual sequel to old X-COM), Dead State (a Fallout-like zombie sandbox in Early Access). Halfway is less complex and sprawling than these games, which ends up as both a shortcoming and an asset.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

As ever, your humble guide to the world of free games has poked, prodded and evaluated the week's many freebies, shoving the best ones into a handy roundup for your consideration. Read on for ghost wheels, faceless wizards, GTA-style tplosjons (it's not a typo), oh and THE BEST PUN IN GAMES. Enjoy!


Exclusive: Shadowgate release date and new side-by-side comparison trailer

Cory Banks at

Shadowgate was a brutally-hard Mac (and later NES) adventure game, where one failed puzzle could murder you and force you to start all over. The remake that Zojoi Studios has coming updates those visuals for the modern age, but keeps the puzzles difficult and the atmosphere dark. When I spoke to developer Karl Roelofs last month about the game's progress, the team still wasn't sure about its release date. Now that date is set, and Zojoi has exclusively revealed it to us, along with a trailer that shows off Shadowgate's commitment to its history.

The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

In an unusual twist, this week's Best Games don't appear to be have been created with a game jam in mind – but that doesn't mean I don't have some hot, sticky, viscous game jam news to relay: Game Jolt now allows users to set up their own game jams using a seemingly easy-to-use set of tools. Before the Jampocalypse begins in earnest, let's stop to appreciate a handful of games operating under their own specific themes, each with something bold and new to impart. Read on for a splash of colour, a sweary Scotsman, a modern-day maze, an interactive short story and touchy-feely bomb-defusal. Enjoy!


Crypt of the Necrodancer trailer dances to the beat of a Steam Early Access release

Phil Savage at

I can't imagine a combination of words more targeted to my interests than "rhythm roguelike". Maybe "chicken ice cream", but that would be disgusting. Crypt of the Necrodancer, however, is a sublime game—tying turn-based dungeon crawling to the beat of a Danny Baranowsky soundtrack. Even better, it will be available at the end of the month, with the Early Access version launching on 30 July.


Push Me Pull You trailer shows local multiplayer fun (and horrifying worm-people)

Phil Savage at

The competitive local multiplayer scene is in a great place right now. Should you require a way to prove a very specific type of dominance, there are multiple, excellent options: Nidhogg, Towerfall Ascension, Samurai Gunn and Gang Beasts, to name four. Could Push Me Pull You wrestle its way into that list? Really that depends on how much you want to play as bizarre worm-people, grappling and grabbing for possession of a ball.


Wayward Manor review

Christopher Livingston at

If you love puzzle games and Neil Gaiman, I have some great news for you: there are a lot of great puzzle games and Neil Gaiman books out there for you to enjoy! I also have some bad news.

Wayward Manor sounds like fun: a creepy old mansion is full mean, tacky people, and it's your ghostly duty to haunt them until they flee in fright. Throw in a Neil Gaiman story and hand it to The Odd Gentlemen, the studio behind the highly enjoyable The Misadventures Of P.B. Winterbottom, and it sounds like a great game. The only problem is: everything.


Halfway: turn-based sci-fi survival launches on PC next week

Phil Savage at

Most turn-based tactical RPG fans are currently being well served by the excellent Divinity: Original Sin. But if you're the kind of RPG devotee who prefers sci-fi to fantasy, pixels to polygons, and creeping dread to tongue-in-cheek adventure: firstly, that's some very specific taste you have; secondly, Halfway could fit the bill. Its claustrophobic deep space action is being unleashed onto Steam and the Humble Store next week, 22 July.


The Long Dark gets moody trailer and heads for Steam Early Access

Tim Clark at

Good news for those of you looking forward to scratching around for food and warmth in the aftermath of a geo-magnetic catastrophe. And hey, who isn't? There's not too much longer to wait. The Long Dark, which is the hugely promising artsy survival game from debutant studio Hinterland Games is heading for Steam Early Access in September.


OlliOlli PC release date announced

Phil Savage at

If you're a regular player of PC games, it's rare to be struck by indie envy. There's an absurd amount of games out there, of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds – easily more than could be played in a lifetime. Despite that, when 2D skating game OlliOlli arrived on PS Vita, I very nearly bought one. Thankfully, I held off, and now the game is just a week away from its PC release. Rad!