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
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:
Cortex Command B27 is out for Windows and Mac. This build is the final public test release before the game hits 1.0, and includes a complete campaign mode that can be played against the AI.
In the following video, which was taken before the release, Dan “Data” Tabar talks us through a campaign as he plays through it:
“Red”, an expansion pack for the turn-based strategy game Frozen Synapse, has been been released and offers two-player co-op, a riot shield unit, a new “kill the hacker” multiplayer mode, three mutators, a 15-mission single-player campaign, 10 single-player challenge missions, new music from nervous_testpilot, and “Red Mode”, which lets you play the game with red environments. The $10 expansion is available from the Frozen Synapse website or Steam (Steam keys are provided even if you buy directly from Mode 7 Games).
On top of that, the game has received a free update that adds Hotseat Mode, timed turns, and non-randomized multiplayer maps for competitive play. See the Mode 7 Games blog for more details.
TIGdb: Entry for Frozen Synapse
Unity of Command, the operational turn-based strategy game set in the Eastern Front of World War 2, has received an update that adds an undo feature for actions and various improvements to History Mode.
Also, a PC and Mac demo has finally been released for the game. It contains the tutorial as well as a single-player scenario to try out.
When graphic designer Jon Caplin found himself with time on his hands while recovering from a broken jaw, he began work on a personal art-design project that drew from his memories of playing the classic god game Populous. What began as a simple hobby project arrives today as a full, completed game. Titled “Reprisal,” the finished product features one of the most gorgeous presentations of pixel art I’ve seen and is free to play in-browser.
Starfarer is a promising real-time tactics RPG that’s currently in development. The latest pre-order build, 0.5a, was released today, bringing the game one step closer to the open-world space opera that its developers have planned. Previous iterations of Starfarer have let you choose from a number of scripted missions, but in 0.5a you can finally tackle a basic campaign map that lets you expand your fleet (through purchase or capture) and level up your crew. No matter how large your fleet is, though, you’ll always control a single character and ship, directing your allies through a detailed tactical map.
The game already offers quite a bit in the way of customization to your fleet, from types of ships (large capital ships to tiny fighters) to weapons and armor, down to even the personality and experience of the crew. The final release, though, sounds like it will be a dream for fans of space combat and trading games like Escape Velocity Nova – whether you want to be an ace pilot, the admiral of a large fleet, or something in-between, there will be plenty of ways to make your (permanent, meaningful) mark on the galaxy. On top of that, Starfarer’s devs seem committed to making the game friendly for modders, with fans already creating their own ships and missions.
The final price of the game is set at $20, but you can pre-order it right now for $10 and receive the current build as well as all future updates.
The long-in-development indie FPS/RTS title Natural Selection 2 has reached an important milestone: The gorilla-like evolution for the alien team, the Onos, and the marines’ jetpack accessory (both of which were important facets of the original Half-Life mod that NS2 is the sequel to) are now in the game. These additions, along with a brand new map, “Mineshaft,” are just some of the over 100 new features, balances, and tweaks for this build, which is now available to all pre-order customers.
Check out the fantastic new trailer that shows just how far this project has come:
Before Warcraft and before Dune 2, there was Technosoft’s Herzog Zwei (1989), a Genesis/Mega Drive game that laid the groundwork for real-time strategy games. Whereas the majority of RTS games that followed put you above the action, Herzog Zwei had you controlling a mech directly. This commander unit could fight, issue orders, and transport units.
Cut to today: Carbon Games is working on AirMech, an RTS game that is a more direct successor to Zwei. The small team comprises the core members of the now-defunct Titan Studios that developed Fat Princess for PS3.
Unity of Command nearly passed under my radar, which would have been a shame – even a casual strategy fan such as myself can tell that the game is something special. For one thing, long-time TIGSource readers may recognize the artist, Nenad Jalšovec, who created Rescue the Beagles and Ablation. Indeed, the artwork in Unity of Command is lovely – a far cry from the low-res pixel art of his previous games, the semi-iconographic style he employed here is much more detailed but nonetheless just as eye-catching and functional.
Set during the Eastern Front of World War 2, the game lets you play as either Germany or the Soviet Union in a campaign that includes the Battle of Stalingrad. You command at an operational level, with the campaign divided into scenarios where you control divisions of soldiers and earn prestige bonuses based on your performance. Supply lines are crucial to victory in each scenario – units quickly lose their effectiveness once they’re cut off. To emphasize this, Unity of Command lets you view supply easily and the AI, which has been praised by sites like The Wargamer, jumps on any chance to starve your army.
Alongside the campaign, UoC offers individual scenarios (including a tutorial), internet/hotseat multiplayer, and replays. It also comes with a 40-page PDF manual that is as well-put together as the rest of the package (just look at how much effort went into the cover art for this digital game!). With the manual, tutorial, and intuitive interface, even newbies can quickly get up to speed and start enjoying the more intricate aspects of the design.
TIGdb: Entry for Unity of Command