An email from David Pittman after my article on Eldritch the other day alerts me to Minor Key's Super Win the Game, sequel to their 2012 freeware title You Have to Win the Game. If you can't recall it, or you've never heard of it, YHTWTG is a platformer with a curvy, scanliney visual filter reminiscent of the chunky monitors of yore. It looks absolutely lovely, as you can see here. Sequel Super Win the Game retreats even further from HD, by sporting an (optional) CRT TV effect. It's a warm, nostalgic-looking game, with a trusting, open-ended structure that reminds me of the NES Legend of Zelda titles. I'm pretty damned excited about it.
It's good that platformers can provide work for mis-shapen game characters. If their 2D pixel levels didn't require such easily parsable protagonists, where else would these proportionally big-headed, tiny-legged square-people find work? Super III hopes to be one such refuge – a puzzle-platformer with an emphasis on teleportation and screen-wrapping. Think Velocity-Ultra's insta-shifting, combined with a dash of VVVVVV's tower section.
What next for 1001 Spikes developers Nicalis? 100...2 Spikes? Tom: please don't give them any ideas. Nope: next on the agenda is Castle in the Darkness, a platforming Metroidvaniay RPG thingy, and one with a trailer reminiscent of that of a Falcom game. By which I mean: wailing '80s guitars. Castlevania, Mega Man, Zelda, Kirby, and Falcom's Ys games have all been mentioned as inspirations, and I'd say they've been represented pretty well.
Do you like statistics and exclamation marks? Yacht Club Games has posted a breakdown of sales for its recently released platformer Shovel Knight, and it's a surprisingly interesting read. The Kickstarter-funded title released for PC, Wii U and 3DS on June 26, with 64 per cent of pledges coming from the PC community. The game sold a whooping 75,000 copies during its first week on PC and Nintendo's eShop, far exceeding the studio's expectations of between 30,000 and 60,000 copies. 38 per cent of sales in that first week were on PC: a close majority.
In my review of Lovely Planet, I criticized it for not including global leaderboards outside of one nameless world record per level. It just makes sense that a game built for speedrunning would show off the best speedrunners—and with today's update, it now does. And now that I can etch my name on a bragging wall, I have to replay every level 100 times to make sure my name is in the top 15.
In case you missed it: Lego Batman 3 is totally a thing. Except it's less Lego Batman and more Lego DC Comics, what with it including Superman and Wonder Woman and The Flash and all their many pals and enemies. Adam West is also in the game, because wishes do come true after all. This latest trailer shows a decent chunk of action, including Supes being his traditionally smugly indestructible self. Keep an eye out for robots and even scrolling shoot-'em-up bits too.
I’ve criticized games for making me memorize every level. I rarely find it more fun than solving problems on the fly, or with premeditated strategy. There are a few special games, though, that loop past that criticism, wind through furious delirium, and land among my favorites. Super Meat Boy is one, Hotline Miami is another, and Lovely Planet now joins them. It’s not quite of the same caliber, but it’s fantastic.
Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.
I know what you're thinking. Why, with all the visually incredible games around today, showcase an indie puzzle/platformer from half a decade ago? The answer is simple: this is a public service. Until now there's never been a single 4K shot of Braid - now there are 15. Think of me as a less skillful restorer of paintings. Here are 15 shots worthy of any museum—or failing that, your desktop wallpaper.
Spelunky HD earned our Game of the Year award last year, thanks to its systemic difficulty and new Daily Challenge mode. But, should its smooth and unpixelated graphics feel like an afront to the almighty retro gods, you can now enjoy a modification to the game's original (and free) incarnation. Called Spelunky SD, the mod not only offers fixes, but also introduces a 2-player online co-op mode.
Super Time Force will throw off the shackles of Xbox exclusivity soon and make its way to Steam. The sidescrolling shooter will release for PC this "summer" (or winter in Australia) in an Ultra edition, which developers Capybara Games says will add "some very cool (but presently very secret) stuff".
A confession: my Mega Man knowledge is somewhat limited. Normally that's not a hindrance to my day-to-day work on PCGamer.com, only now, there's new footage of Mighty No. 9. And, so while there's likely a myriad of subtle differences packed into this minute-and-a-bit teaser, to my untrained eye it all looks extremely similar to Capcom's venerable platforming series. Then again, as a 'spiritual successor', that is entirely the point.
At this point, we should all be used to Steam's auto-updating. Even so, it can be a little unsettling when it happens to a game about emerging autonomous AI. Quadrilateral platformer Thomas Was Alone has received just such an update, supposedly adding Benjamin's Flight—a free chapter of levels originally exclusive to the game's Playstation release. At least, that's what creator Mike Bithell claims it adds. My advice? Keep an eye out for rogue squares.
Flash games aren’t the crucible of indie talent that they once were, but Battleblock Theater carries the legacy of those halcyon days. The technology might have changed, but this is a game from the culture that produced Meat Boy and N+. It’s by The Behemoth, the guys that made Alien Hominid and Castle Crashers, and it marks a sea change in how much indie developers are capable of achieving with a single game. It’s a platform adventure, a co-op and versus multiplayer game, a creative suite and a comedy revue.
Trine was pretty fantastic when it came out in 2009 but Trine 2 was a major overhaul in just about every way, offering dramatically improved visuals and cooperative multiplayer that allowed the game's three lead characters – the Wizard, the Thief and the Knight – to be controlled simultaneously. Frozenbyte described those features as "missing" from the original game, and that's where the newly-announced Enchanted Edition comes into play.
The name Flying Wild Hog, if it means anything to you at all, probably invokes images of blood-soaked, over-the-top first-person shooters. This is the studio that gave us Hard Reset and the wildly entertaining Shadow Warrior reboot, after all. So why is the studio's next project a colorful, kid-friendly platformer about a shaman panda named Juju and his lizard sidekick Peyo? I can't even begin to guess, so instead I'll just show you this trailer.
A new game from the developer of Limbo, developer Playdead, was just revealed on-stage during the Microsoft briefing event at E3. The side-scrolling puzzler is back with Inside, set in an oppressive, dystopian environment full of guard dogs, camera drones, corpses, and citizens walking in lock-step.
Nobody would blame you for having had your fill of sidescrolling, procedurally generated platforming roguelikes, but Crystal Catacombs might be worth a curious glance before you swear off the sub-sub-genre forever. For one thing, it's gorgeous, employing tiny yet detailed and colourful (but not garishly so) pixel art to bring its neon cavey world to life. It's a slightly different breed of game to something like Spelunky - the physics are nowhere near as delightfully precise - but you should find something to enjoy here if you traversed your way through Super Metroid or Symphony of the Night back in the day. Details and demo link after the break.
Kero Blaster's chiptune soundtrack is a perfect analogue for the game itself: effortlessly upbeat and cheery one moment, dramatic or laid-back the next, but always sounding like it could've come from an NES if a composer had spent the past 25 years mastering its sound chip. Kero Blaster is a throwback 8-bit shooter without an ounce of waste: its minimalist story sends a hardworking frog through a viney forest, a tumbleweed-swept mesa, and other charming levels filled with somehow more charming enemies.
The first proper bout of footage for Keiji Inafune's Mighty No. 9 shows that, yes, it looks a lot like a certain Capcom series, but let's put the obvious comparisons to Dino Crisis aside for a moment and focus on the Mega Man creator's latest game. After a wildly successful Kickstarter last year - people really like to put their money behind familiar concepts, huh? - we've been afforded our first non-prototypey glimpse of the platformer in action, and while it's a video that holds few surprises, Mighty No. 9 does look like the sort of safe, largely unambitious game I might enjoy on a rainy day.
LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO LE-GO Batmaaaan! Sorry, '60s Batman TV theme-tune references are the last thing the brooding, super-serious Bruce Wayne of Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham needs, especially when confronted by a DC cast more concerned by his shiny new spacesuit. The next game starring the plastic protector takes his vigilante justice to outer space, and, as such, he's come dressed for the occasion.