Frozen Endzone entered public beta toward the end of last year. This futuresport uses the same turn-based system that was implemented so well in Frozen Synapse, the creator’s first game – instead of players taking discrete turns, there is a planning phase before both players’ moves are executed simultaneously. The sport behind Frozen Endzone bears some small resemblance to American football, with robotic athletes running and passing a ball to reach the endzone, although obstacles (both hand-crafted and randomly-generated) are present on the field.
Mode 7 is planning all the single and multiplayer features that are expected of such a title, but are counting on a successful beta period to help them achieve these goals. So if this type of game sounds like your thing, you should take a look – the developers clearly know what they’re doing with fast-paced tactics titles.
Back in December of 2012, my radar lit up when a prototype gameplay video of something called Enemy Starfighter hit the web. I hadn’t heard of it before then, but I immediately knew it was something I had been waiting my life for: a dogfighting space simulator with an integrated “planning phase” akin to that seen in early Rainbow Six games. Select the ships for the job, customize their weapon loadouts, designate their targets, and begin the assault – then jump into the cockpit of the wing leader and engage the enemy directly. It all seemed like a game I would dream up while playing Wing Commander or Homeworld when I was younger, and it was real.
Today, Enemy Starfighter has come quite a way from that original prototype video. It is still far from complete, but developer Mike Tipul has seen fit to show us its current state in a new teaser trailer and several new screenshots over at the game’s website. Enemy Starfighter is the debut game for Tipul’s one-man dev studio Maurader Interactive, and he has been working on it non-stop for the past year. Both the intense dogfighting and the beautiful planning phase that we saw in the original video have been polished, and larger ships have been unveiled, including capital ships, carriers, and even beam frigates.
For the finished project, Tipul is planning to inject a bit of a roguelike element into the game by means of a procedurally-generated campaign. Players will be tasked with leading the Empire’s Harbinger Fleet from system to system, crushing any and all Federation forces that lie in your way. Every time you start a new campaign, the game will generate a new galaxy for you to conquer with different systems, different enemy forces, different missions, and – hopefully – different emergent stories for you to tell of how you crushed the Federation beneath your heel.
If you like tactical games and free PvP, then you might get as addicted to the Banner Saga: Factions as I have (Factions’ Steam page). It’s much like playing a timed chess game with a greater depth of variety in terms of strategy, which is provided the fantasy elements of the game and its unique battle mechanics.
Mode 7 Games have announced that they’re currently working on Frozen Endzone, a spiritual sequel to their innovative tactics game Frozen Synapse. Endzone applies the “simultaneous turn-based” tactics that were developed for Synapse to a futuristic sports game. Players will square off against one another in a randomly-generated arena and attempt to score points by bringing the ball into their opponent’s endzone.
The game is slated for a 2014 release on PC.
Steam Greenlight: Frozen Endzone
Skulls of the Shogun was released today on XBLA and Windows 8/Surface/Phone. Inspired by fast-paced tactics titles like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem, Skulls promises relatively deep and engaging decision-making based around a simple ruleset and a limited number of units (7 total, including the singular General unit). Also, the game eschews grid-based, menu-based movement – instead, players move their units within a circle that represents the maximum distance they can travel each turn.
On top of a “15-hour” singleplayer campaign and hotseat local multiplayer, Skulls of the Shogun also offers an online multiplayer mode can be played between platforms.
Happy new year! The winner of the TIGSource Sports Competition was announced last month… a huge round of applause for (drumroll, please) Footbrawl Quest, the turn-based American football game made in the style of a dungeon crawler! It’s quite fun – go check it out.
The top 5 games from the competition are:
You can view the voting thread here. Congratulations to anyone who participated! This was a solid return to form and here’s looking to at least one other TIGS competition this year!
I’m guessing most of you learned what dysentery was at a young age, and I’d also bet that your teacher wasn’t the reason why. MECC found a way to incorporate real history and fun gameplay into a groundbreaking educational game to teach players not just what happened, but what it was like to be there. What The Oregon Trail did for the Oregon Trail, Sortasoft’s Meriwether aims to do for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to travel across the United States to the West Coast. They were to catalog and study the plants, animals, natural resources, and geography along the way. They were also charged with establishing trade and U.S. sovereignty over the Native Americans along the Missouri River. Helping them in these endeavors was a small group of volunteers known as the Corps of Discovery.
Gameplay in Meriwether consists of two types of levels. In Lewis levels, the player will be navigating handcrafted levels focused on storytelling and dealing with situations that faced the actual expedition. In the travel mode, players will control the entirety of Meriwether’s Corps of Discovery through procedural wilderness as you gather resources, discover wildlife and ration whiskey. In both modes, Sortasoft seems committed to delivering a historically plausible account of the expedition. They have even gone so far as to have a Lewis and Clark historian involved in the project. However, Meriwether isn’t meant to be just a fun experience for history buffs, but for anyone looking for an entertaining survival/exploration game.
I actually had a chance to play this game about a year ago and found it extremely involving, even at such an early state. From the looks of their Kickstarter page, the game has improved by leaps and bounds since then. Check it out for tons more information on the project and the expedition itself. Who knows, you might even learn something!
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.
Even with the genre showing that it is still alive and kicking with the recent return of two industry names, Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) and David Braben (Elite: Dangerous), it is especially exciting to see new, indie blood enter the space-sim scene.
Limit Theory is the newest space sim to launch a Kickstarter and, though it launches amid a wave of similar games, it has really caught my eye. Having been in development for only three months so far, the footage and screenshots that sole developer Josh Parnell is showing off on Kickstarter are already gorgeous. I don’t know if Mr. Parnell knew when he began this project just how much of a sucker I am for both open exploration in procedural worlds and spaceflight, but I feel like this game is fueled by my fever dreams.
A sandbox RPG/RTS in a procedurally-generated universe filled with procedurally-generated planets and traversed by procedurally-generated ships all fighting and trading across infinity. Limit Theory promises a lot, but also has substance to show and definite passion to drive it into the future. Go check out the project’s webpage for more information, and be sure to drop any questions in the Kickstarter’s comments section, where Mr. Parnell seems quite active in responding to the community.
After six years in development, and on the ten-year anniversary of the original Half-Life mod, Unknown World Entertainment’s Natural Selection 2 has finally been released into the wild.
Natural Selection 2 combines the multiplayer FPS and RTS genres in a showdown of the alien Kharaa vs the Frontiersman marines. Although the gameplay of the two sides differs in units, weapons, and attacks, each is commanded by a single player who views the game from a bird’s-eye perspective while their teammates duke it out on the ground in gun-and-tooth combat. Securing and holding resource nodes, researching (or evolving – in the case of the Kharaa) more powerful upgrades and units, and working as an organized team are key to winning in NS2, and it will be interesting to see what sort of strategies emerge and shift over time.
Speaking of shifting gameplay, NS2 also boasts an impressive suite of mod support, and players have already created new content ranging from new maps to entirely different gameplay modes. This active community element, in combination with steady support, feedback, and events from the development team over at Unknown Worlds, ensures that Natural Selection 2 will continue to evolve well into the future.