Posts from ‘Freeware’ Category

Bloodlands

By: Derek Yu

On: April 18th, 2012

Bloodlands, by Maxim
Screenshot taken from Free Indie Games.

Booting up Bloodlands, you’re met with a warning screen that indicates the level of action the title is aiming for – the screen that greets you is a tribute to Cave’s famous shoot ‘em up DonPachi. It’s a tall order for any game, but especially one that’s made in the ANSI-based game creation tool Megazeux! But Maxim, who developed Bloodlands over the course of two years, has managed to squeeze a lot out of the aging engine, offering some pretty intense “dual stick” arena shooting with a full complement of cutscenes and special effects.

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Verminest

By: Derek Yu

On: April 8th, 2012

Verminest '83, by Locomalito

Classic 80′s arcade games like Galaga and Centipede were the inspiration for Verminest, the latest release from the prolific Spanish developer Locomalito. The game features a simple scoring system that offers bonuses for killing enemies up close or taking out wave leaders early on. Large bosses and scrolling sections are also welcome additions to the Galaga formula.

The original release in February was black and white (with an optional “3d mode” for viewing with 3d glasses), but recently Locomalito put up a colored version called Verminest ’83 (pictured above). The gameplay remains exactly the same as before.

Also, now you can receive boxed versions of the Locomalito games for donating over a certain amount (~30 euros for each game or ~90 euros for all five). It’s not clear from the website whether the boxes include a printed version of the games’ PDF instruction manuals, however.

TIGdb: Entry for Verminest

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LabChirp

By: Paul Eres

On: March 17th, 2012

LabChirp by Labbed is, like Bfxr (which we posted about previously), a tool for synthesizing sound effects. LabChirp is lesser-known than Bfxr/Sfxr, and each program has options the other program doesn’t. I’m not an expert in sound generation at all (although I have used both programs quite a bit, and create the sound effects for my games using them), so here’s my ignorant appraisal of it:

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Ao Oni

By: Derek Yu

On: March 17th, 2012

Ao Oni, by noprops

A group of teenagers enter an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of town to see if it’s haunted… an unimaginative set up for a horror tale, but thankfully it’s not indicative of the rest of the game. Released in 2009 by the Japanese developer noprops, Ao Oni has since gained a cult reputation for its inventive scares and challenging puzzles. Given that it’s made in RPGMaker XP, the game’s not Amnesia-levels of scary, but it squeezes a lot out of the aging engine to provide a suitably creepy backdrop for the puzzle-solving.

Everything you need to play Ao Oni is available at its homepage, including the RPGMaker XP runtime. There are Japanese, English, and Italian language editions of the game – just download your preferred translation, unzip, and run (after installing the runtime, of course). Keep in mind that different versions of Ao Oni vary greatly in terms of plot and design… older versions are available from other websites if you’re interested (but beware of spoilers).

TIGdb: Entry for Ao Oni

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup v0.10: “Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus”

By: Paul Eres

On: March 5th, 2012

TIGSource hasn’t covered Crawl since 2007, back with Linley’s Dungeon Crawl, and it’s changed a lot since then. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is the living branch of Linley’s Dungeon Crawl (the original branch hasn’t been updated since 2003). Most fans of roguelikes have played it or at least know about it, but for those seeking to get into roguelikes this is a good place to start. Ortoslon got me into this particular game, and it became the first roguelike I ever finished (albeit as a┬áMinotaur┬áberserker, one of the easiest combinations to beat the game with).

The new update added (among many new features) a new species, octopodes, which can wear eight rings, but can’t wear armor except hats. In Crawl, species matters a lot more than starting class, class just determines which skills and items you start with, but is non-binding because you can always learn other skills and find other items: so you can begin as an elven fighter but then find a spellbook and decide to focus on magic anyway. Your species determines how fast you can increase different skills (varying from -5 to +5 learning rates), your movement speed, body size, metabolism, whether you have horns or claws or other features, and so on. If you get into the game you’ll probably try out all the species at least once, but then stick with a few favorites.

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Coming to Steam: Realm of the Mad God

By: Alehkhs

On: February 18th, 2012

Realm of the Mad God, the free-to-play, bullet-hell MMORPG will soon arrive on Steam.

Realm of the Mad God

Originally an entry in the TIGSource Assemblee Competition, Realm of the Mad God has continued to gain popularity for the past two years, and was announced as a Main Competition finalist for the 2012 Independent Games Festival. The game’s move to Steam, early next week, shows just how popular it has become and will introduce achievements to the game as well as a stand-alone client (though players will still be able to play in their browsers, if they so wish). The game will continue to be free to play, and it’s almost certain that the team intends to add new content throughout the foreseeable future as the player base continues to grow.

Congratulations, Wild Shadow Studios!

 

TIGdb: Entry for Realm of the Mad God

Dwarf Fortress 2012

By: Alehkhs

On: February 14th, 2012

Dwarven Throne Room

A new release of Dwarf Fortress has arrived from the Mountainhomes!

Release 0.34.01 fleshes out world generation (including massive cities complete with sewers, dungeons, catacombs, marketplaces, and outlying farmland), creatures (including werewolves, vampires, mummies, and necromancers capable of raising the dead), and many other features.

Click here for a more comprehensive list of changes and additions.

(Image Source: Fault, of the Bay 12 Forums)

Review: Katawa Shoujo

By: Derek Yu

On: February 8th, 2012

[This is a guest review by Tof Eklund.]

Katawa Shoujo, by 4LeafStudios
“Everyone wants someone there to pull them up, out of their self-pity.” -Hisao Nakai

Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel that takes place at a school for the disabled. The game’s protagonist, Hisao, arrives there reluctantly after a long hospital stay for life-threatening arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). His first episode occurred when a girl at his school confessed to him, setting the tone of heartbreak, isolation, and the difficulty of human connection for the game. Thus the game’s logo, a yellow heart criss-crossed with bandages: wounded and frightened.

This is a relationship/dating sim game, but it is closer in feel to Evangelion than any of the “harem” anime and manga (Tenchi Muyo, Love Hina) that it may seem, on casual inspection, to resemble. Each of the girls that Hisao can wind up falling in love with at Yamaku Academy has a different disability, and that, combined with the fact that there is (semi-)explicit sex in this game, is the reason some people have dismissed it, unplayed, as a fetish-fest.

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Zelda Classic Quests

By: Derek Yu

On: February 4th, 2012

[This is an overly enthusiastic guest article by vinheim that was originally posted to TIGForums. Zelda Classic is an enhanced remake of the original Legend of Zelda that runs custom quests built with ZC's editors.]

Hey TIGers, prepare your anus for a waaaaall of text.

I bet some of you who’ve played the Legend of Zelda series and enjoyed it are probably thinking “Damn, these are incredible, it doesn’t get better than this!” or “There’s no way a LoZ fan game could compete with these.” Well I’m here to tell you that you are completely wrong and it gets better. Much, much better.

I’d like to introduce two types of LoZ fan games. For the rom hack games, I’ve made some short reviews on [a TIGForums] post. There’s one post near the top and another near the bottom. Don’t worry about the negatives, the gameplay makes up for it.

Second, for the Zelda Classic games, which may as well be the pinnacle of gameplay in the history of videogames since forever. These quests take the core engine of LoZ, add some additional functionality, graphics, and music through scripting and the level editor and let their creativity do the rest. One of the unique functionalities is how people have emulated side-scrolling screens.

Here’s some of the best I’ve played. Assume that graphics, gameplay, sound, and exploration is already awesome and the story is mediocre before reading the additional comments.

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Katawa Shoujo

By: Derek Yu

On: January 28th, 2012

Katawa Shoujo, by Four Leaf Studios

Katawa Shoujo (lit. “Cripple Girls”) is a visual novel that was developed by Four Leaf Studios, an “international team of amateur developers”. Based on a sketch by doujinshi Raita Honjou (who’s also the character artist for Valkyria Chronicles), the game takes place in a high school for disabled teenagers. 4 years in development, Katawa Shoujo was released early this year and the team disbanded soon after.

I haven’t played it, but most of the comment threads about the game seem to start with someone wondering out loud whether it’s as perverted and exploitative as it sounds, to be answered by fans who claim the subject matter is treated tastefully and that the actual sex, which is minimal, takes a backseat to the development of the characters and their relationships.