It was less than two months ago that top Spelunky streamer Bananasaurus_Rex smashed through Spelunky's $3,000,000 barrier to take the high score world record. It's an achievement I thought would hold, thanks to the incredible luck of finding a plasma cannon and jetpack on the first two levels. It wasn't to be, as now YamaYamaDingDong has broken that record by just $3,975. More impressively, he did the majority of the run without the level-blasting power of the plasma cannon.
The very first thing I notice when I start playing Below is how tiny I am. Noticing this makes Kris Piotrowski, Creative Director at Capybara Games, extremely happy. "That's the point," he says. I'm supposed to feel vulnerable, miniscule, and alone. Even in a crowd of gamers who are getting their first taste of Capy's upcoming roguelike, I do feel alone.
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.
This week saw a surprise new Pixel game, a celebration of unsurprisingly good interactive fiction, several smart games that play around with their boundaries, and the sad news that the wonderful Free Indie Games has posted its last after over two dedicated years highlighting excellent and/or interesting free games across the globe. What better way to keep the fire alive than by playing some clever, profound, beautiful or plain fun free games released over the last week or so? Read on for mirror images, multitasking, words arranged in a pleasing manner, and missing presidential documents that can only be retrieved by shooting stuff. Enjoy!
We previewed the seemingly pretty cromulant Citizens of Earth way back in January 2013, but the short version is that it's an Earthbound-ish indie RPG that puts you in the role of Vice President of the World, a position currently held by Noel Edmonds I believe. It's obviously not the usual elvey prophecy-laden fantasy affair, so it was sad to see its Kickstarter campaign fall so short of its admittedly rather steep target back in October. Thankfully, Atlus have stepped in and offered to publish the game (they're doing a similar thing with the new Tex Murphy, although that game did reach its KS target). Citizens of Earth is now on track for a September release, and has a new, Atlus-emblazoned video as proof. See it with your own eyes after the break.
What with its controversial launch parity policy, Microsoft hasn't exactly done a bang up job of wooing indie developers onto the Xbox One thus far. That said, one of the more promising projects which it has managed to sign up is Below from Capybara Games. Previously billed as an Xbox One exclusive, the latest trailer for the game reveals it will also be coming to the PC. I mean, of course it is. Capybara seem like bright people. Why the hell wouldn't it be?
Strike Vector is a damn good game. As I said in my review, it’s an old school arena shooter like Quake III and Unreal Tournament, but with quick and brutal aerial dogfights. One of my biggest problems with the game is that it didn’t do a very good job of explaining how to play it. The latest free update might help address that issue.
You wouldn't know it by looking at it, but Source started out as an iPhone game. As indie developer Fenix Fire explains, it grew from a simple mobile idea to a full-fledged metroidvania, which is now headed to Steam Greenlight. It has a unique and beautiful look that reminds me of something between Tron and Descent. If that doesn't sound interesting to you, I bet the trailer will change your mind.
As consumers, we’d prefer to get content updates for free rather than pay for them. Yesterday, Coffee Stain Studios announced that it will patch more content into Goat Simulator for free in May, and according to the developer’s game designer and PR manager Armin Ibrisagic, that's not only great for us, but also good for business.
The bad news is that Coffee Stain Studios, developer of Goat Simulator, has announced that it’s not planning to sell any DLC for its not-quite-a-simulation game. The amazing news is that the team plans to add a bunch of free content to the game some time in the middle of May.
If this trailer for Pixel's long-awaited follow-up to Cave Story doesn't lift you up, then I'm sorry but you might be a soulless husk - either that or you aren't overly fond of platforming, chiptunes, or Pixel's expressive yet simplistic art style. One of the two. We've known about Gero Blaster for a while now, but it's recently been renamed Kero Blaster and been given a brand new video, which affords us our first proper gawp at the soon-to-be-released sidescrolling platform shooter.
Oh, so you like free games, do you? Here, have all the free games in the world. Or at least, quite a lot of them – this week's column has over 100 gratis goodies for your perusal. Read on for a non-dodgy game torrent, some very metal gear, a particularly frightful house, and two other things, the details of which have been withheld for reasons of intrigue. Are you suitably intrigued? Good, then I'll join you after the break.
After years of development, and years of post-development, Pocketwatch Games have finally stopped tinkering with their stylish top-down heist-'em-up Monaco. The fourth and final free update, the aptly named Fin, adds a "brutally difficult" new eight-level campaign to the game, as announced on Steam a couple of days ago. To celebrate the end of a brilliantly heisty era, Monaco's price has been slashed by 75% for the next two days. If you'd rather experience the game over one beautiful weekend instead, it's also currently (temporarily) free.
It's been a while since we've had a proper Enemy Starfighter video and the latest trailer doesn't disappoint. The new footage puts you behind the stick of the game's interceptor starship for a series of hostile encounters in deep space.
As a roguelike, Dungeon of the Endless gives players more than one way to die. But it's also a mix of squad-based exploration, tower defense, and RPG-style upgrades, so there's also more than one way to stay alive, too. The game's newest trailer shows how these different genres work together to make the game cohesive.
Cellar Door, the developer behind the excellent Rogue Legacy, has already started working on its next project. The team's not ready to say anything concrete about it yet, but it's notoriously against working within the same genre twice. Does that mean we won't see a Rogue Legacy 2? A recent interview indicates that the game's creators might just make an exception.
Odditie-s, a small indie games blog curated by @moshboy, has assembled The Pirate Bay Bundle, a torrent that offers 101 indie games. As @moshboy explains, they are “small, weird, free (mostly ignored) video games that you probably haven’t played made by well over one hundred passionate game makers.”
This week we sample the highlights of the 7-Day Roguelike and Procedural Death jams, which ran simultaneously a week or so ago. (They presumably did this in an effort to get the whole procedural generation thing over and done with in one fell swoop, so we can get back to the business of painstakingly handcrafting levels instead.) Stick around for vamps, lamps, goats and sliding, plus two bonus games with no random bits at all (well, unless you count the fairly random penis door). Enjoy!
Tim's already told you why The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks as good as it does. But as impressive as their photogrammetry looks in still pictures, it's the raw scans that really show how absurdly realistic the method can be. As proof, you need to see, admire and play with the collection of scanned 3D models released by dev team The Astronauts and embedded below. I guarantee it contains the sexiest moss you'll see all day.
For strategy gamers, Julian Gollop is a name of hallowed reverence. His Belt of Achievements includes pre-millenium classics such as Laser Squad and Chaos. Most notably, he created the X-COM series of turn-based tactical alien fragging and directed 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense—widely considered one of the best strategy games ever made. The franchise spent some time in the engineering bay before returning in 2012 with Firaxis' excellent Enemy Unknown, but Gollop has lately turned to crowdsourced funding with a small team to develop his multiplayer wizard-em-up reboot Chaos Reborn. In an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit last weekend, Gollop answered questions on his take of the current state of strategy games, alternate funding, and the rise of early access.