Former Stalker, Survarium lead designer joins Areal development team

Andy Chalk at

The Kickstarter for the Stalker "spiritual successor" Areal looked like a sure-fire train wreck after it launched, as serious questions about its legitimacy and the bona fides of the team behind it seemed almost certain to bring it down. Yet it continues to persevere, and today the former lead designer of Vostok Games' Survarium, who also worked as a designer on the original Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl, posted a video message confirming that he's joined the Areal development team.

Mighty No. 9 launches new crowdfunding campaign for English voice acting

Andy Chalk at

Keiji Inafune's Mega Man follow-up Mighty No. 9 was one of the most successful videogame Kickstarters ever, pulling in $3.85 million last year, more than four times its original goal. Combined with money earned through a separate PayPal campaign, the total funding amount broke $4 million, enough to nail every stretch goal the Comcept development team could cook up. But full English voice acting wasn't included among those goals, and so now a new crowdfunding campaign has been launched seeking another $100,000 to get it in there.

Dieselpunk RPG InSomnia returns to Kickstarter, and it's not an MMO

Andy Chalk at

InSomnia's first go-around with Kickstarter came to an unhappy end in November 2013 when the developer, Studio Mono, pulled the plug after raising a little over $5000 toward a $70,000 goal. Now it's back, with a tweaked campaign, a playable demo and a clear message that it is not an MMO.

Dreamfall Chapters trailer shows returning characters and upcoming choices

Phil Savage at

As previously announced, Dreamfall Chapters—the crowdfunded sequel to Dreamfall: The Longest Journey—is being split up into five parts. The newly episodic adventure's first episode, Reborn, will arrive this Autumn. In preparation, Red Thread have released a new teaser—one that offers a fresh look at returning characters Zoe and Kian. Of course, if you're a The Longest Journey fan, you'll probably be too busy searching for any hint as to the fate of April Ryan to notice.

Official Stalker Facebook page extends, then retracts, support for Areal Kickstarter

Andy Chalk at

The official Facebook page of GSC Game World, the now-defunct creator of the Stalker series, issued a statement over the weekend calling for an end to disparaging comments about Areal, the "definitive spiritual successor" to the Stalker games that's now on Kickstarter/a>. That led Misery Developments, one of the most prominent critics of Areal, to remove all such criticism from its Facebook page; yet now GSC has reversed course and removed all mention of Areal from its own Facebook page.

Dreamfall Chapters becomes episodic, will take place over five parts

Phil Savage at

Dreamfall Chapters news was heralded this morning by the arrival of a talking crow. As an homage to the series' most enduring sidekick, it landed on my monitor, announced that, "Dreamfall Chapters will now be an episodic adventure," and spent the next ten minutes flapping wildly, unable to find an open window. It was still less eventful than the time Ubisoft sent us Far Cry 3 press releases written on the side of a live tiger.

Areal studio claims Kickstarter complaints are "addressed," but Vostok Games says otherwise

Andy Chalk at

The team behind the Stalker-inspired Areal said in a recent Kickstarter update that it has worked things out with Vostok Games and cleared up all the complaints against it. But a Vostok representative says that's not really what happened at all, and that it's been forced to let the matter drop because it can't actually do anything about it.

Vostok Games claim Areal Kickstarter campaign's use of STALKER assets is "not right"

Phil Savage at

Areal is a post-apocalyptic, open-world shooter that claims to be the "definitive spiritual successor to the cult hit S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series". Another claim: that its creators, West Games, are a team mostly "composed of former senior GSC Game World staff members". It's currently on Kickstarter, and it's looking for $50,000.

That's the basic starting point, but things get a lot more complicated. Vostok Games—a band of former GSC Game World staff and creators of the STALKER-inspired MMO Survarium—have taken umbrage to these statements, saying that West Games are fraudulently promoting themselves as core STALKER developers.

Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows offers 'old school' third-person stealth, needs your help

Shaun Prescott at

Described as a mix of Tenchu, Mark of the Ninja and Dishonored, Twin Souls: The Path of Shadows is a third-person stealth action game in need of Kickstarter funding. You play as 'spirit of vengeance' Aragami, whose key pursuits in life are to “sneak past guards, teleport between shadows, create [--] areas of darkness and strategically assassinate targets.”

Luxuria Superbia studio Tale of Tales announces Sunset, a first-person war game without guns

Andy Chalk at

Tale of Tales is a two-person development team known for making some very unusual games—interactive screensavers about magical forest animals with human faces to peppy, or abstract arcade sex adventures. Calling the work "experimental" is putting it mildly, but it's also oddly compelling if you're into that sort of thing. I am, so I'm pretty excited about Sunset, a narrative-driven game set during a violent revolution in 1970s South America that hit Kickstarter today.

Frontiers celebrates one-year Kickstarter anniversary with big progress update

Phil Savage at

Ambitious exploration-based RPG Frontiers is celebrating its anniversary. A year has passed since it raised $150,000 on Kickstarter, and successfully became a game that will one day exist. Since then, the project has entered full scale development, and now, today, is... still a game that will one day exist. To mark the passing of this auspicious milestone, creator Lars Simkins has released a big update video, explaining where he's at with the game.

Catlateral Damage brings cheerful destruction to Kickstarter

Phil Savage at

Catlateral Damage is a game about interior decoration, but also about the irreconcilable differences that separate cohabiting species. On the one side are humans, who largely believe that objects should be placed neatly on surfaces. On the other, cats: furry agents of destruction and chaos, who reject concepts of ownership, property and TVs that aren't lying smashed on the floor.

It's a big topic for a game, and as such, requires a lot of exploration. The free browser version is an admirable attempt to capture this maelstrom of violence, but there's more that can be done. Step forward a Kickstarter campaign, and an attempt to transform the game into a more complete simulation of the household pet experience.

Torment: Tides of Numenera slips to late-2015 due to Wasteland 2's Early Access success

Phil Savage at

2015 is currently plump with games, as upcoming releases abandon the frail and pallid 2014 in favour of fattening up next year's calendar. But even within the confines of that game-heavy year, release dates are subject to shift. Torment: Tides of Numenera—the highly-anticipated Planescape successor—is one such game. In light of InXile's success with Wasteland 2, the release schedule of the Kickstarted Torment has shifted to 2015's end.

Sheltered looks like a cross between FTL and Fallout, and is scavenging for Kickstarter cash

Phil Savage at

Time to take a break from hyper-expensive, lavish games, and come back down to earth. No, further than that. We're going down under the earth, deep into a seemingly impenetrable nuclear bunker. Okay, we should be safe here. Except, do we have enough food? Are those air filtration systems on the blink? Oh gods, there's someone outside! Do we shoot them in the face?

These questions and more form the basis of Sheltered, a new project that combines FTL-like disaster management with a post-apocalyptic twist. It's on Kickstarter now.

Road Redemption adds split-screen multiplayer, gets an E3 gameplay trailer

Andy Chalk at

Once, when I was younger, I rented a Sega Genesis console for a week, just to play Road Rash. I was never particularly good at it, but there was something about rocketing down the highway on two wheels, blowing past oncoming traffic at a thousand miles an hour and clubbing my fellow riders into next week that I just could not get enough of. So when Road Redemption turned up on Kickstarter last year, you better believe I was excited.

Former Irrational employees form new studio and ask, "What is The Black Glove?"

Andy Chalk at

Game studios come and go, but few of them manage to put together a catalog comparable to Irrational's. So it was even sadder than usual when the studio closed its doors earlier this year. But some small good may come out of that, as a group of former employees have formed a new outfit, Day For Night Games, and are working on an unusual first-person game called The Black Glove.

Witchmarsh reaches its Kickstarter target, sets sights on stretch goals

Phil Savage at

The gorgeous looking Witchmarsh has worked its 1920s rural magic, charming enough Kickstarter backers to secure the £50,000 it needed to raise. Which isn't to say the developers aren't hoping that the promise of a side-scrolling ARPG mystery can't attract more funds. Inglenook say their "dream target" is £160,000, and so naturally they have some stretch goals prepared.

Tangiers trailer teases the strangest stealth you've ever seen

Andy Chalk at

The new trailer for Tangiers, the surreal stealth game that was successfully Kickstarted last summer, uses alpha footage and is thus liable to change, so the disclaimer states. I hope it doesn't change too much; I have no idea what's going on here, but whatever it is, I really want to play it.

Be a creepy robot in The Fall, first episode on Steam this month

Emanuel Maiberg at

Sentient robots really need to rethink their public relations strategy. The mainstream media will have you believe that they’re all T-800s, IG-88s, chrome skulls, and glowing red eyes, but as Metroid-inspired indie game The Fall proves, not all killer robots are evil. They’re all pretty creepy still, but some of them kill on our behalf.

Wasteland 2 launches at end of August

Omri Petitte at

Brave badlands explorers have scrounged around Wasteland 2's, er, wastes since its Early Access beta rode in from the dust last December. After a record-setting Kickstarter campaign, bug-bashing updates, and gradual expansions of playable areas, inXile feels the time is nigh for some post-apocalyptic ranging mixed with a little justice. Pin your sheriff's badge on the last weeks of August, because that's when Wasteland 2 launches in full.