The new BattleBlock Theater trailer makes use of a novel and eye-catching innovation: lies. Through these tall-tales, we learn how The Behemoth's action platformer supports a 1,000,000,000p resolution and has won every award for everything ever. Of all the "information" contained in the two minutes of outlandish claims, there is one piece that is verified fact. The game is coming to Steam.
Spelunky, that addictive roguelike that stole our hearts to win our Game of the Year last year, is getting a bit of a facelift. A new update will include an option to enable a smaller, more streamlined user interface, as well as various tweaks and bug fixes. The update is available as of today for download on Steam.
While it's not quite the winner of the award for prettiest gifs on a Kickstarter page (that's Hyper Light Drifter), Rain World is undoubtedly one of the more striking 2D platformers that you'll see. That distinctive visual style has so far been rewarded with $44,782 in pledges, a significant increase on the original $25,000 goal. With eight days to go and a stretch goal to achieve, its creators have released a new video showing their slugcat in action.
For a game still fresh into a beta launch, Starbound already rivals AAA releases with all the stuff you can do in it. It has aliens you can befriend or blow up. It has a grappling hook. It sold over a million copies in just a month. Developer Chucklefish is keeping its starry success going with frequent updates and content additions, but in a post today on the official website, creator Finn "Tiy" Brice outlines Chucklefish's broader plans to transition Starbound into a full release with more diverse progression pathways and an endgame focused on PVP and group activities.
It's no secret that 2D platformers often turn to the past for inspiration. A followup to the famously difficult original, La-Mulana 2 is looking to embrace its own history as well as the "Metroidvania" tag as it hunts down support through a recently announced Kickstarter project. That the first game is sometimes called a 2D Dark Souls should also give us a clue about what to expect from the sequel.
After three years of development, indie platformer Rain World hit Kickstarter this week, seeking additional funding to finalize the game. Set in a 16-bit industrial hellscape, you play as an unnamed slugcat, trying to hibernate your way through life. When you get hungry, you’re forced to get out, stalk, and pounce on things to eat while other, larger animals try to do the same to you.
As if harder bosses were a thing that Rogue Legacy needed. That's the problem with roguelikes: they turn us all into masochists. Someone should chart the number of people who, having experienced the roguelike boom of the last couple of years, now spend their weekends in seedy industrial clubs getting spanked for pleasure. Alternatively, read on to learn of the less literal spanking the 2D dungeon-crawling roguelike will be administering in the next few days.
Apotheon is the game that looks a bit like a Grecian urn - yes it is a bit weird comparing games to pottery - and now a new trailer has been released to remind us that it totally still exists. More than that, it's still one of the most striking indie games on the horizon, and one that looks faintly stunning in motion too. We don't learn a lot from the following trailer, but we do see a bunch of new, neatly colour-themed environments and lots of very 2D, physics-based combat. The open world action platformer (with multiplayer modes) is still on track for an early 2014 release.
Things were so much easier in the days of DOS. Actually, no, they were quite a bit more fiddly, but there is something pure and exciting about giving your computer typed commands, rather than wrestling with a Bill Gates-approved interface. Muri - "a simple DOS-like platform shooter inspired by Duke Nukem and Commander Keen" - takes us back to those halycon days. There's no XP system, no Twitter integration, no micro-transactions. In their place: a Samus-esque main character who looks a bit like a rabbit, an "optional turbo mode", and music that will be stuck in my head all day. Catch the lovely announcement trailer after the break.
Oh phew. After the news drought of the last few days, I'd assumed an evil wizard had cursed digital entertainment, ensuring no new game releases would ever be made. Thankfully, the spell has been broken by the aptly prolific Traveller's Tales and their unstoppable Lego series. Lego: The Hobbit is to be the latest in their catalogue of blocky retellings of all things cinematic.
It is done. In a heart-stopping descent, Spelunky caster Bananasaurus Rex completed a world-first solo eggplant run. The eggplant's purpose was one of Spelunky’s best-kept secrets, discovered only once hackers started digging through the HD PC release. But knowing its power and using it are two different things. One slip, one rogue bat, one angry shopkeeper and your precious cargo is purple goo.
Blizzard have just added a new game to Battle.net - and it's available to download for free. That's where I'd stop if I was going for a cruel, misleading opening, but luckily for you I have far too much integrity for that. (I also haven't received by weekly bung, of 250 doritopoints, yet.) It's their old (read: classic) platformer Blackthorne! Read on to hear how I totally didn't confuse it with the cider.
SpeedRunners, as you might have guessed, is a game about running real fast. It's also a game about jumping and grapple-hooking, two methods of traversal that go particularly well with the above. tinyBuild's game hit Steam Early Access a couple of months ago, though it's just been revealed that if you wait until release you can get an (offline-only) version for free. Wuh? Guh? It's a positive response to the inevitability of piracy - you can hear tinyBuild's reasons below.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on Aaru’s Awakening, the striking hand-drawn platformer where you play rooster-bear Aaru, the champion of Dawn. It looks slick and very difficult, and seeing this kind of art come out of a small indie studio is a treat. Aaru’s Awakening now has a new trailer for the domain of Dusk and a new playable demo to help them over climb the summit of Steam's Greenlight process.
People prepare for the night of ghosts and goblins in different ways. Some go trick-or-treating, while others get so drunk they start believing they are their costume. Only a select few lock themselves away to craft free Halloween updates for their games, and it turns out Terraria’s developers happen belong in the latter group.
Indie platformer TowerFall may land on PC as early as January, according to comments made by the game's creator Matt Thorson to Shacknews. Previously exclusive to the Ouya system, TowerFall won the Media Choice Award Sunday at the IndieCade Games Festival and still looks set to include at least some of the new content we first heard about back in August.
Have we mentioned Shovel Knight before now? Sort of but not really, so here's a quick precis: it's an old-fashioned 8-bit-style platformer starring - as the name suggests - a shovel-wielding knight. Back in March/April, Yacht Club Games' spade-happy title raised all the money and then some on Kickstarter, and now the game is nearing its release. 'Winter' is the only clue we have to go on right now, but this fab new trailer should help to ease the pain of uncertainty a bit.
Before indie was Indie there was La-Mulana, a terrifically challenging free platformer inspired by ye MSX games of yore. It was recently updated and put back on PC, Spelunky style - in fact, it's currently 80% off on Steam, if you've waited this long to brave its trap-filled ancient temple for yourself. The idea of a sequel had never even entered my mind, but I'm hardly going to turn my nose up at the recently announced La-Mulana 2. This belated follow-up will star the original hero's daughter, and may be less perplexing than its occasionally obtuse predecessor.
"I see a bat. I couldn't be more prepared for this bat if I tried. OH GOD A BAT IS HERE WHAT DO I DO?"
That was the approximate commentary for my first ever Spelunky Daily Challenge - a game mode exclusive to the Steam edition of Spelunky. Every day it randomly generates a set of levels and every day you have just one chance at getting as far as you can. After you die (and you will probably die) you can see how far your friends made it and with how much cash.
The point of the Daily Challenge is to bring out the competitive aspect of the game and to make it social. In single player the competition was either with yourself or with the environment, but apparently if you add a leaderboard and the potential for watching friends die brilliantly theatrical or weird or stupid deaths, the whole game instantly becomes twice as compelling. This newfound potential also explains how I came to join the Spelunky Explorers Club, a collection of dedicated Spelunkers all recording their attempts to complete the Daily Challenge and then posting the videos on the internet to accumulate mockery or praise as deserved.
My first Spelunky Explorers Club video is below. It lasts 24 seconds and has been variously referred to as "pro", "inspiring" and "the alpha and omega of the medium".
I should have been more careful. Having reached the end of one of Spelunky’s procedurally generated levels, I turned my back on the exit, and decided to bomb my way inside a snake pit instead.
Snake pits are one of the game’s most exciting random elements, as they’re level-deep and filled with, yes, snakes, but also precious jewels, mysterious crates and, buried in the rock at the bottom, a mattock. The latter is always too good an opportunity to pass up; with the mattock in my hand, I can mine my way through the destructible blocks that form Spelunky’s world, avoiding traps and gathering gold in my rush towards Olmec, the game’s boss.
I placed a bomb at the bottom corner of the pit’s outer wall. It exploded. The explosion propelled a rock towards me. The rock hit me in the face. I tumbled backwards, stunned, and died on some spikes.