Kickstart This: Darkest Dungeon

By: Alehkhs

On: February 10th, 2014

Darkest Dungeon 01

Red Hook Studios’s gorgeously gothic RPG Darkest Dungeon went live on Kickstarter just nine hours ago, and is already looking ready to slay its goal of $75,000. Boasting the traditional roguelike staples of procedurally-generated levels, permadeath, and turn-based combat, Darkest Dungeon also promises an “uncompromising, unforgiving, and unconventional” approach to the classic dungeon crawler. Drawing influence from the creeping terror of H.P. Lovecraft’s literary works, Red Hook Studios hopes to implement an “Affliction System,” forcing the player to contend with “paranoia, abusiveness, fear, irrationality, and a host of gameplay-meaningful quirks” as they lead a team of heroes ever deeper into the dungeon.

With the game set to meet its funding goal within the first day, and with a long list of stretch goals promising ever more content and polish, Darkest Dungeon is a project I will certainly be keeping my eye on. To learn more, jump on over to the game’s site, or head straight to the game’s Kickstarter page to get on board.

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In Beta: Frozen Endzone

By: Derek Yu

On: January 15th, 2014

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.

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Nidhogg

By: Derek Yu

On: January 13th, 2014

After what seems like forever on the exhibition circuit, Mark “messhof” Essen’s fighting game Nidhogg has been finally released, on Steam. In it, two players face off in a fencing duel across one of four surreal arenas. Death is temporary, but comes swiftly and gives the other player a brief opportunity to race towards the “goal-zone”, thereby winning the match (and receiving the honor of being devoured by a dragon). Early versions of the game let you attack, parry, jump, and throw your sword, but the release adds some new moves, like sweep kicks and jumping off walls.

Nidhogg offers local and online multiplayer, a single-player mode, and a tournament mode that supports 3-8 local players. The dynamic soundtrack is by electronic musician Daedalus.

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Announced: Subnautica

By: Alehkhs

On: December 16th, 2013


 
Following their namesake, indie studio Unknown Worlds (Natural Selection 2) has decided to explore new ground with their next project and will be taking a plunge into the unexplored depths. Titled Subnautica, the game “will combine elements of role playing, sandbox, exploration and cinematic games” in an underwater setting. Players will be able to construct and customize submersibles that they will then pilot into the unknown as they explore an alien ocean. Not much is known yet beyond these outlined gameplay goals just yet, but Unknown Worlds plans to keep the public up-to-date with a widespread social presence, including an official project website, blog, Twitter, and YouTube.

Samurai Gunn

By: Lorne Whiting

On: December 13th, 2013

0Space creator Teknopants has released a new game focusing on local multiplayer, Samurai Gunn.

You play a samurai wielding a sword and a gun in a small arena, and the first player to 10 kills wins. The fast paced gameplay will feel familiar to anyone who has played Towerfall’s versus mode, though Samurai Gunn is more focused on close-ranged combat as your bullets are limited and easily deflected.

There’s not a great deal of content for the 15 dollar price tag, with nothing but the basic versus mode and a co-operative survival mode. However, the game has a great deal of polish put in to it and part of the fun is discovering the subtler mechanics, like changing stances or playing dead– or just tapping the up button in the post-game scoring to make it look like your character is laughing.

The game also has phenomenal sound design, with excellent music by Doseone (which was released as an EP with added vocals), and a different voice for each character.

Desktop Dungeons

By: Derek Yu

On: December 9th, 2013

Desktop Dungeons, by QCF Design

Desktop Dungeons was finally released on Steam a month ago, after a long beta period. The roguelike-inspired puzzler was first introduced as a freeware game in 2010, when its popularity led South African studio QCF Design to turn it into a larger scope commercial title with numerous improvements, including a fully-realized town and, of course, more dungeons, monsters, character classes, and all that good stuff. The visuals and audio are completely new, as well.

If you never played the original, don’t be thrown off by its name and inspirations: aside from the fantasy theme and randomized levels, Desktop Dungeons bears very little resemblance to a traditional roguelike. The tightly-packed, single-screen levels, static monsters (who only attack when attacked), and transparent rules make the game feel more like a puzzle game than a dungeon crawl. But that’s not a bad thing – the freeware version was so fun that I made my own tileset for it, and this one is better in all respects.

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Teaser: No Man’s Sky

By: Alehkhs

On: December 8th, 2013

Boldly making its presence known last night during the Spike VGX Awards, No Man’s Sky is the latest project by indie studio Hello Games (Joe Danger), and the latest title to emerge in the apparent Space-Sim Revival of 2013. Alongside the gorgeous combat of Enemy Starfighter and the trade-and-fleet management of Limit Theory, No Man’s Sky looks to focus primarily on planetary discovery and exploration, offering the player endless solar systems of procedurally-generated planets that they can seamlessly land on and explore by foot.

I’m getting strong Noctis vibes from the concept and trailer, and I’m pleased to see yet another amazing-looking space sim coming from the indie community. It’s a good time to game.

Kickstart This: Catacomb Kids

By: Lorne Whiting

On: December 6th, 2013

FourbitFriday’s game Catacomb Kids has just under 5 days left for it’s Kickstarter campaign. The game is a platformer roguelike with a heavy emphasis on the roguelike elements when compared to similar games, with random enchantments on equipment, the ability to chop limbs off of your opponents (or have your own cut off), and deep interactions between objects in the game.

Though its reached its goal already, Catacomb Kids is worth checking out if just for the depth shown in the short video above.

Sui Generis: Pre-Alpha Gameplay

By: Derek Yu

On: November 18th, 2013

Bare Mettle Entertainment has released the first public footage of Sui Generis since its Kickstarter began a year ago. This video was announced to backers with the following message:

Somewhat later than promised, here finally is a new public video!

During development it’s easy to dismiss many glitches and other issues due to things being unfinished and as you know we are developing all technology in house. As we endeavoured to make this video we became determined to solve every issue we encountered rather than avoiding them or using temporary workarounds. We are after all making a game, not just videos. The game is now very stable, the performance is solid and we removed every glitch we could find.

While the game still deserves many tweaks and improvements, and we want to continue improving it almost indefinitely, we feel we’ve reached a good level of quality and functionality. We’ve avoided showing some aspects of the game that we don’t feel are complete enough yet but we tried to convey the spirit of the game in the video’s narrative. Hope you enjoy it!

The physics-based combat (which looks a little more stable now) has rightly drawn a lot of attention, but Bare Mettle has promised a lot of things for Sui Generis: a detailed and highly-interactive open world, non-linear storytelling, and deep customization. Time will tell whether the game lives up to those ambitions, but even if the team quit now, at least we’d still have the best “medieval tripping on furniture” simulation out there. In all seriousness, though, good luck to them – I’m really looking forward to this one.

(Source)

868-HACK / 86856527

By: Derek Yu

On: November 6th, 2013

868-HACK, by Michael Brough

Michael “brog” Brough’s 868-HACK is a hacking-themed roguelike on iOS that eschews exploration for focused, single-screen tactics. In the game, the player must traverse 8 levels, called “sectors”, filled with data – either points, which are used for scoring, or progs, which are used for defense against the enemies that are summoned to stop your intrusion. Enemies come in four types and move in simple patterns that are easy to exploit in small numbers but quickly become deadly in diverse mobs.

There’s a lot to like about 868-HACK, like the fun theme, the obvious risk/reward mechanisms, and the innovative zapping attack that hurts and stuns enemies. Figuring out how to use zapper and prog to clear out large groups of enemies is extremely satisfying. In many ways, 868-HACK distills the roguelike experience down to the parts where you’ve been dropped into a room full of monsters you’re not fully prepared for and each move is potentially life-threatening.

The free, Windows version that was made for 7DRL is called 86856527 and is still available for download, but the changes for iOS are well worth the $5 price tag, in my opinion. A port of 868-HACK to PC is also planned, but there’s no release date yet.