IGF 2013 Excellence in Design nominee Starseed Pilgrim was released on Steam today (Steam releases were offered to all the nominees this year). This unassuming and enigmatic puzzle platformer has become a hit with a number of indie game developers, including Bennett Foddy (QWOP) and Braid creator Jonathan Blow, who called it his game of the year for 2012. Since so much of the enjoyment from Starseed comes from figuring out how the game works, it’s hard to describe even the basic goals without spoiling it. If that sounds fun to you in and of itself, you should probably give it a go.
Like Hydorah before it, Locomalito’s Maldita Castilla stays very close to its inspirations, in this case the venerated platformer series Ghosts n’ Goblins. From the overall look to the invariable jump, you’ll feel very much like you’ve stepped into the greaves of Arthur’s Spanish cousin.
So how does it stack up to its forebears? I’ve played through the game once and I think that it’s a mixed bag, although one worth trying if you enjoyed the GnG games. Compared to the best of that series (Ghouls n’ Ghosts, Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts, and Ultimate Ghosts n’ Goblins), Maldita Castilla lacks variety and charm. The rather dreary mythological theme doesn’t quite compare to Capcom’s colorful fantasy world, and while many of the levels will have you cursing like you’re playing a Ghosts game, they’re also more one-dimensional.
None of this is to say that Maldita Castilla is a bad game, only that it sticks so closely to its source material and falls a bit short in comparison. As I said, it’s still worth your time… but perhaps more as a highly-polished fan game than something that stands alone. As reminiscent of Gradius as Hydorah was, it was still enough of a mélange as to feel unique (the branching stage design and limited save concept also helped separate it).
Here’s a new trailer of Joakim Sandberg’s Iconoclasts to whet your appetite. Although nowhere near finished, it does look as though the game is progressing nicely.
Droqen‘s first commercial game, Probability 0, is out now for five dollars. Also available is a bundle offering three other games, including an extended version of Fishbane and Starseed Pilgrim, which was first announced on the TIGForums nearly 2 years ago.
Probability 0 is a platformer roguelike where you have to descend an infinitely long dungeon, with your score measured in the depth you’ve reached. You do have an incentive to murder things, however, in order to gather the orbs enemies drop for new skills and more ammunition. You’ll have a lot of opportunities to experiment as you die over and over, in true roguelike fashion.
The game is pretty damn addicting if you get in to it; I’ve easily gotten more than my money’s worth out of the game, so if the game interest you it’s well worth trying the demo. And punching and headbutting everything.
Steam Greenlight: Probability 0
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.
Snapshot is based around storing objects in photographs which can then be placed in the world at will in order to solve puzzles, but a video is worth an indeterminately large amount of words so the trailer above shows the mechanics far better than I can describe them. The game was designed by Kyle Pulver, who began working on it all the way back in 2008 after finishing the excellent Bonesaw, and will be coming to several other platforms– Linux, Mac, Playstation 3, and PSVita –in the near future.
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.
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.
Retro-inspired platformer and puzzler La-Mulana will be returning to its PC roots next week.
Priced at $15 USD, the PC version of this remake will include the Hell Temple and Attack Mode features that were made available as DLC on the WiiWare version, as well as support easy modification of the game.
La-Mulana will be available at the launch of Playism’s new English site on July 13, 2012. The original game can still be downloaded for free however, so be sure to check it out in the meantime!