Developed by a group of students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during their Spring semester, Zineth is a non-linear action game that mostly lets you skate around, but also gives you the option to fiddle around with fetch quests, races, Twitter, and a strange Pokémon-esque minigame that’s accessible through the player’s mobile device. The main draw, however, is the skating, and it feels fast and fun. It’s complemented by a cool aesthetic and an expansive world that offers plenty of opportunities to grind, glide, and wall jump across huge distances.
Dean Dodrill’s beautiful brawler Dust: An Elysian Tail was released this week on Xbox Live Arcade. In development for four years, Dust was the winner of the 2009 Dream.Build.Play competition. Impressively, Dean (a professional animator) is responsible for almost all of the animation and programming for the game. The soundtrack was created by Hyperduck SoundWorks, who also did the OST for Iji.
This is a trailer for an upcoming horizontal shoot ‘em up called Heaven Variant, by the three-man team at Zanrai Interactive. Zanrai has made it clear on their FAQ that the game will not be bullet hell, but nonetheless aims to appease both hardcore and casual players. It currently has no release date.
Note: this video was released in February, and since then the developers have made some changes to the basic game mechanics, including dropping mouse control for precise 360-degree aiming. In the latest trailer you can see that weapons now lock to a few set angles:
This is a video that mashes up quite a few trailers for doujin games that will be available at this year’s Comiket (Comic Market), a Japanese self-published comic book festival (and the largest in the world, with half a million attendees last year). The video was put together by Edelweiss, a doujin game developer that created Ether Vapor and is attending Comiket 82 with a new shoot ‘em up called Astebreed. The festival is taking place this weekend on August 10-12.
Links to each of the games featured in the video are available here on Edelweiss’s website.
A Nation of Wind is an action sim where the goal is to control obelisks in levels composed of floating islands. To control an obelisk, it has to be surrounded by four temples, which are expensive in resources – you’ll have to start by building an infrastructure that includes farms, saw mills, and mines. Enemies will attack your colonies by land and air, however, so you’ll also need walls and turrets to defend. Direct attack is possible with your airship, too, using a variety of weapons that are fired with the mouse.
In a system that evokes god games like Populous, temples enable four elemental magics, each with a major and minor spell associated with them. Earth magic, for example, allows you to create new land masses or level mountains. Fire lets you dry up lakes or attack the enemy with devastating meteors. There are also spells to speed up time or heal your units.
The game’s website touts it as a cross between “arena shooters” and “real time strategy games”, but the action is fairly tame compared to Geometry Wars or Starcraft. Instead, it should appeal much more to a fan of Populous or the simulation portion of Actraiser. If that’s you, I recommend a look, as among management sims I think it may rank fairly highly. Just be prepared to spend some time getting to grips with how everything works – this game could really use some mouse-over help or at least a better tutorial.
TIGdb: Entry for A Nation of Wind
Endless Forms Most Beautiful is a Locomalito remake of a fairly recent (February 2012) ZX Spectrum game by David Hughes. Spanning 15 levels, the goal of the game is to collect all the imps on each level while avoiding various monsters. Moving around takes a bit of getting used to as it defies convention – you can travel up and down on teleport pads but only if you’re standing on top of a pad. Also, by leaving the screen you’ll end up either on the row above (if you went left) or the row below (if you went right).
Once you get a hang of the controls, though, EFMB becomes a fun little “coffee break” action game that offers a relatively large amount of variety from level to level. Two-player co-op and versus modes round out another polished gem from Locomalito and the guys at RGCD (and David Hughes, of course).
TIGdb: Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is a new 3d action title from Black Pants Game Studio. The protagonist is Tiny, a little bean-shaped dude with an impressive laser gun that can cut through solid objects at any angle. The heart of the game involves using Tiny’s laser, grappling hook, and jetpack to solve puzzles throughout its six stages.
Special mention should be given to TnB’s art style, the brainchild of comicker Sebastian Stamm. Characters and environments are detailed with black lines and stippling. Likewise, the game’s dialogue and sound effects are all conveyed using Stamm’s unique word balloons and lettering. Looks quite cool, in my opinion.
You can get the game for $10 on Steam, GOG.com, and GamersGate.
[This is a guest post from Offal]
Developer Calvin French has released long awaited action-adventure game The Real Texas,
presently purchasable at a discounted early-release price. In the game, you follow the story of a vacationing cowboy who finds himself on an unexpected journey in a land full of strange happenings and peculiar personalities. You solve puzzles and explore the boundaries of a well developed overworld, and the deep challenging dungeons that lie beneath.
StarForge is an ambitious 3d action game that’s currently in development. According to the game’s wiki, it’s inspired by “Halo, Warcraft 3, Borderlands, Terraria, and Minecraft”, and features a number of modes that let players build bases and wage war across randomly-generated alien worlds. Player movement is entirely physics-based and body parts react (somewhat) realistically to every impact.
The first public alpha was released earlier this month and is free-to-play, although you can purchase “Hatch Points” to spend on player models and other assets to use within the game. The developers have warned that this alpha is unoptimized, may have performance issues, and does not include every feature shown in the trailer.
Punch the possum for a fan-made video which explores the alpha in more depth:
Shadow Break (direct download) is fun freeware action game with a unique take on Breakout – ninjas and other opponents are trapped in the blocks and can be released to the ground to slay with your sword. Aside from slashing and jumping, your character also has an invincible dash and ninjitsu techniques that let you, for example, freeze the ball in place. After defeating all the enemies in a level, the remaining blocks are converted to coins.
Quite a polished little Japanese indie title. I like the variety in the enemies and bosses.
(Source: Free Indie Games)
TIGdb: Entry for Shadow Break