It’s maybe easiest to compare Antichamber to Portal, but it actually reminds me more of The Manhole, an old children’s adventure game where a boat ride down a river might take you into the teacup of a character you were chatting with earlier. Like that game, Antichamber is constantly subverting your expectations about what is possible, especially with regards to physical space, and gives you a relatively large amount of freedom to explore its interconnected world. However, whereas The Manhole was goalless and sometimes completely random, Antichamber has a logic behind it – a method to its madness – that makes it such an interesting puzzler (and a technical marvel, as well).
There’s no story to speak of in the game and barely even any text. Instead, proverbs are found on posters as you play, encouraging outside and inside the box thinking in life and acting as simple metaphors for the game’s puzzles. Antichamber is almost self-referential in this sense, since, according to its press page, the development got its start 7 years ago through “a series of naive programming mistakes” made by its creator, Alexander Bruce. And just as Bruce must have undoubtedly felt surprised, frustrated, and ultimately elated during his development of the game, so should fans of puzzle games that end up playing this terrific title.
Rocket-construction and space-exploration game Kerbal Space Program celebrated its two-year anniversary tonight, and version 0.18 has just launched.
The jump to 0.18 is the largest update KSP has seen and brings with it many new additions, including new resource and flight-planning systems, new parts like solar panels and unmanned probes, the ability to dock ships together, two new celestial bodies to explore, and more.
On a two-year anniversary stream, the team behind KSP also unveiled Kerbal SpacePort a new community hub for the sharing of user-created content. Future development plans were discussed as well, including aspects like weather, resource-mining, and rover creation.
Desperate Gods is an open source “digital board game” developed by Wolfire Games for Fuck This Jam, a week-and-a-half-long game jam based around making games in genres you generally dislike. In his design overview, Wolfire’s David Rosen describes how he enjoys board games but feels that their video game counterparts lack a lot of what makes them fun. Check out the video above to see how he and artist Aubrey Serr tried to overcome these problems while developing a unique board game from the ground up.
Sui Generis is the name of a new RPG from Bare Mettle Entertainment. Well, it’s really just a tech demo at this point, but the engine and toolset behind it look extremely promising, offering powerful physics simulation and impressive procedurally-generated terrain at the click of a button. Combat is also physics-based and while it currently looks quite wobbly (drunken is perhaps more accurate), it looks like great fun, too.
RPG players have a lot to look forward to these days from the indie game development community, with lots of small developers bunkering down for the long-term to develop their dream games. Dwarf Fortress, Age of Decadence, Grim Dawn, Kenshi, Starfarer, and the candy-coated Cube World all show a lot of potential. Hopefully Sui Generis will join them in seeing a successful release some day.
Also, this is probably as good a time as any to announce that Kickstarter has finally opened its doors to the UK.
Colin Northway’s physics puzzler Incredipede came out last week. In this unique game you guide a little cyclopean creature named Quozzle to the sunbeam at the end of 60 pre-made levels or a potentially infinite number of user-made levels (currently there are over a hundred in the in-game level browser). The challenge arises from controlling Quozzle’s legs, which are built out of long bones and squishy muscles. Some levels will give you a pre-made body and task you with the movement only, whereas others will let you place musculature or even bones. Needless to say, solutions to Incredipede’s levels can be quite varied and the free-form nature of the puzzles are a big part of the game’s appeal.
Overall, the production values are quite good, with attractive woodblock-style visuals by Thomas Shahan and sound effects by Super Meat Boy’s Jordan Fehr. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the game’s interface, which is quite intuitive, whether you’re adding legs to Quozzle or developing your own level to share with other players online. This is especially important given how often you’ll be tweaking your creations, which, if you’re anything like me, will veer toward the break-dancing, as-many-legs-as-possible variety.
Fans of Colin’s first title, Fantastic Contraption, will feel at home with Incredipede, as they are similar games at heart. Incredipede is available for $15 direct or from GOG.com. An 11-level demo is playable on the game’s website but does not include any of levels where you get to design your own Quozzle.
Steam Greenlight: Incredipede
I’ll be honest, part of me was expecting that we’d all be brains in jars before Cortex Command reached 1.0. But no! After almost a dozen years in development, Dan Tabar’s opus has hit that milestone and is now available on Steam. Players who have already purchased the game, either directly or through a Humble Indie Bundle can get a Steam key here. A Linux build is still in development, according to Dan’s announcement post.
The release marks the completion of the game’s campaign mode or “meta game”, which allows players and CPUs to engage in large-scale warfare, building bunkers and attacking one another across the face of a planet. To find out more about this new mode, check out Dan’s latest playtest video below. And if you’re new to Cortex Command, this is also a good way to see the game’s impressive physics and AI in action.
Congratulations to Dan and the rest of the team on the release!
This is a new trailer for Colin and Sarah Northway’s Incredipede, which features artwork by Thomas Shahan. Slated for a late October release, Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control Quozzle, a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. According to the game’s website, it will come with 60 levels and a level editor.
Today marked the 43rd anniversary of the first lunar landing and the first steps taken by mankind on the surface of the Moon. In celebration of this grand scientific achievement, the team at Squad has released the newest alpha version of their outstanding space game, Kerbal Space Program. Version 0.16 allows players to direct their Kerbal explorers to leave their vehicles for the first time and travel around on foot or even by jetpack. Will it be a momentous occasion for the annuls of history, or a embarrassing failure of aeronautical mishap? It’s up to you.
Intrusion 2, a run n’ gun by Aleksey Abramenko, was released this week for Windows. The game features a sweet physics engine that lets you blow apart ragdolls and scenery while you ride around on wolves (among other things). It’s quite enjoyable.
The full game costs $10 and a demo is available.
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.