Posts with ‘cactus’ Tag

Hotline Miami

By: Lorne Whiting

On: October 25th, 2012

Hotline Miami is out now! The debut of Dennaton Games, composed of Jonatan Soderstrom (aka Cactus) and Dennis Wedin, Hotline Miami is a fast paced and violent overhead action game. It’s also pretty damn great, and very difficult. The game has a lot of atmosphere, sitting somewhere between Drive and Scarface, with constant 80’s inspired techno blaring over your murderous rampage.

The crux of the game is killing dozens upon dozens of gangsters, but you’re on even footing with them, dying in a single shot (or swing). Hotline Miami’s hyper aggressive nature and near instant retries create an addictive loop of shooting and getting shot until you finally hit everything just right, everybody dies but you, and then you feel pretty dang good about your ability to brutally murder virtual people. It’s extremely cathartic and that feeling of being a golden Floridian god of death drives the whole game.

While it’s easy to gush about how good the game is, the release is hindered somewhat by a large amount of bugs, though the majority of the crashes have already been patched out. It’s still frustrating to not have achievements unlocking in Steam or getting a mask that doesn’t seem to do anything. The game’s controller support was also removed in the first patch after release due to it causing some severe issues– hopefully its absence is only temporary.

Live action release trailer after the cut:
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Trailers: IGF 2012 Edition

By: Derek Yu

On: October 22nd, 2011

Some of the new trailers made for the IGF 2012 submission:

The Iconoclasts (Konjak), a non-linear platform game (demo is available from the website).

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Hot Throttle

By: Lorne Whiting

On: February 18th, 2011

Hot Throttle, by cactus

A little late, but cactus recently released a new game through Adult Swim’s Flash portal [With the help of Mark Johns, aka Doomlaser. -Ed.]. Hot Throttle is a surreal racing game where you unleash your carsona, racing against fellow nude carsonas while avoiding garbage cans, hobos, and robots. The graphics are all simple and pastel, lending the game a simultaneously cute and unsettling look, with the numerous cutscenes definitely contributing to the ‘creepy’ aspect of the races.

In other cactus-related news: he posted a teaser image for a new Mondo game on his blog. Alas, one of the only series of games that actually uses the 3D part of Game Maker.

IGS 2010: Abusing Your Players Just For Fun

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: April 13th, 2010

Cactus v. Non-Programmers, photo by Rebekah Saltsman
Photo by non-programmer Rebekah Saltsman

I was planning to simply summarize the various IGS sessions this year, but instead wrote up every single note I had for my previous post. Today I shall exercise some restraint!

IGF Nuovo Award winner and indie mastermind Cactus’ first talk this year, Abusing Your Players Just For Fun, was ostensibly about designing games with obfuscated interactions, bizarre themes, trippy visuals, a high level of difficulty— the kind of stuff Cactus is known for— but really, to me, seemed more about encouraging people who would otherwise not develop games to try, about the desire to see an even greater variety of creative output from the indie games sphere. (I’m sure we’ve all wondered at some point what types of games Bowie might make! Or that baby.)

The session opened with a legitimate seizure warning (though, his talk last year was probably more dangerous in that regard) and, for the most part, he discussed various artists in other fields, like film and music, who bring a singular, unique creative vision to their work. He even stopped for a spell to show this scene from David Lynch’s Lost Highway.

But that’s not to say game designers didn’t get their due! Cactus went on to show the work of a few indies that inspire him, “punk rock” game developers as he called them: Matt “TheAnemic” Aldrige, creator of the surreal La La Land series of games (and most recently Uin); Mark “”" title=“Messhof’s Site”>Messhof" Essen, in particular his games Punishment, Flywrench, and Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist; the multi-talented Jph Wacheski; and even Jon Blow. (He probably did, but I would also have to point to Stephen “”" title=“increpare games (Stephen Lavelle”>increpare" Lavelle and his ever growing portfolio of mind-bending works!)

If you’d like to read a description of the session by someone who, you know, actually knows how to write, I recommend this post Scott Sharkey made to his 1UP blog— he really nails it!

GDC 2010: The Games of Gamma IV

By: Derek Yu

On: March 17th, 2010

Gamma IV marked a nice interlude at the midpoint of GDC (following the Independent Games Summit). I’ve never been before, but I left feeling more than ever that games are work great for shows, galleries, and parties when they’re created for those spaces. Here are the six games that won the chance to be in the show:

4Fourths – That’s got to be the sickest trailer for a game ever (by John Likens). Anyway, Mike and Greg’s 4Fourths is a 4-player game where teams of two cooperate to destroy nukes before they fall onto a city. In each team, one person controls the thrusters and one person controls the laser. You can also shoot the other team, which is easy to do accidentally or on purpose. Great fun, and it looked fantastic projected big.

Faraway – Far and away (h’yuk) the game I played most at Gamma IV, Faraway is an addictive highscore game from Steph Thirion, who created Eliss for the iPhone. Like Eliss, Faraway has a great minimalistic audio-visual design. The game, which has you playing a comet trying to make constellations, requires a lot of skill and practice. You can be seriously good at this game, as was evidenced by Colin Northway’s “constellation domination” throughout the conference. I wish I was playing it right now!

Poto & Cabenga – There’s no video for Honeyslug‘s Poto & Cabenga, unfortunately. In this game, you control both Poto & Cabenga at the same time, with one button. The way it’s handled is really clever (you can read about it in more detail here), and the character designs are great. I can’t wait until they release it on the internets.

B.U.T.T.O.N. – I had no clue what B.U.T.T.O.N. was about when I started playing, so I was holding a drink in one hand with the notion that I could play a one-button game with the other. Then the screen instructed all the players to do five push-ups. Thankfully, being me, I did twenty push-ups, finished my drink (whiskey and snake’s blood), and still won (sorry, there were no witnesses!). You can’t tell from the above video, but the game actually has pretty nice graphics! Fun party game.

GAMMA IV – The GameIGF Nuovo Award Winner cactus released a really fun, trippy Gamma game, aptly titled Gamma IV – The Game. It was projected behind the DJ, which was a good idea. It will make you think of swastikas and then you will have a seizure.

Silent Skies – I didn’t get a chance to try Michael Todd’s Silent Skies, unfortunately. But I enjoyed watching the planes do loop de loops from afar.

None of these games are playable as of writing, but a lot of the games that didn’t make it are. There were around 150 entries this year, so plenty of great ones didn’t make the cut. You can check them out at the Gamma IV forums.

IGF Award Winners

By: Derek Yu

On: March 12th, 2010

Andy Schatz

Former IGF Awards host Andy Schatz (pictured above) got to take the stage again tonight, only this time it was to accept both the Seumas McNally award and the Excellence in Design Award for his 4-player co-op stealth game Monaco. Other winning games included the long-lost Limbo, which won awards for Visual Art and Technical Excellence, Closure, which won Audio, and cactus’s Tuning, which won the Nuovo Award.

You can view the entire show here.

Seumas McNally Grand Prize:

  • Joe Danger
  • Monaco
  • Rocketbirds: Revolution!
  • Super Meat Boy!
  • Trauma

Excellence in Visual Art:

  • Limbo
  • Owlboy
  • Rocketbirds: Revolution!
  • Shank
  • Trauma

Excellence in Audio:

  • Closure
  • Rocketbirds: Revolution!
  • Shatter
  • Super Meat Boy!
  • Trauma

Excellence in Design:

  • AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard For Gravity
  • Cogs
  • Miegakure
  • Monaco
  • Star Guard


Nuovo Award:

  • A Slow Year
  • Closure
  • Enviro-Bear 2000
  • Today I Die
  • Tuning

Technical Excellence:

  • Closure
  • Limbo
  • Heroes of Newerth
  • Joe Danger
  • Vessel

Student Showcase:

  • Boryokudan Rue
  • Continuity
  • Devils Tuning Fork
  • Dreamside Maroon Student Version
  • Igneous
  • Paper Cakes
  • Puddle
  • Puzzle Bloom
  • Spectre
  • Ulitsa Dimitrova

Cactus gave the best IGF acceptance speech I’ve ever heard!


By: Derek Yu

On: January 18th, 2010

Here’s the first official trailer for Tyler Glaiel and Jon Schubbe’s Closure, which is coming to the PC and Mac (and possibly other platforms) in 2011. The game is up for 3 IGF awards this year: Excellence in Audio, Technical Excellence, and Nuovo.

I realize I haven’t posted anything about cactus’s Tuning, a psychedelic platform game. Tuning has been nominated for the Nuovo Award at this year’s IGF and has won an award at Indiecade for “Sublime Experience”.

Finally, here’s an old trailer for an abandoned game by Joakim “konjak” Sandberg, the esteemed creator of Chalk and Noitu Love 2. Mina of the Pirates is a Metroidvania that was much-anticipated in the Klik community back in the day (we’re talkin’ circa 2003), and was apparently quite close to becoming a finished game before it got canned. Well, never say never, because here it is! Thanks, Joakim, for releasing this bit of indie gaming history into the wild.

Now if only Ben Berntsen would release Chaos Gate, all the old Klikkers would be satisfied…


By: Paul Eres

On: November 16th, 2009

Dungeon is a game by a powerful tag-team: Mr. Podunkian (of The Underside fame) and cactus (of dozens of games per year fame). To quote Zarathustra in the forums: “a horribly hard platformer with bad graphics? This is indie people”

My favorite part of the game was the room titles, which I think were a great way of adding an interesting background story to a game without dialogue. It’s a short game, took me about 10 minutes to get to the end, while playing in a window and having a conversation with two people at once (one of them Podunkian). A good indie game snack.

“Dungeon is a tragic platformer about what can happen in a
castle, and how it affects people like you and me.” -cactus

EDIT: cactus has an update for us!

Sorry about the radio silence, we felt it was necessary to let this experiment live its own life for a while.

Anyway, this should pretty much make everything clear

And here’s a bugfree version of the game

Previews: That Bloody Gushy Stuff

By: Derek Yu

On: September 22nd, 2009

Some bloody good trailers:

Klei Entertainment (Eets) takes a step in a decidedly more brutal direction with its upcoming XBLA title Shank. I had a chance to try it at PAX, and it’s really fun. The controls are fluid and you can pull off some Desperado-like moves very easily.

Super Meat Boy was shown at a Nintendo press event in London recently, where it was met with acclaim. But honestly, you can’t say anything bad about two guys who look like this.

The cactusquid is having another fevered dream.

I realize there have been a lot of previews and trailers and expo stuff lately. But they are cool, no? Don’t worry, more great playable games are coming!

Trailer Crazy

By: Derek Yu

On: May 30th, 2009

I know we’ve been going crazy with the trailers lately, but what the hey. It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had much time to play. Playable games coming soon!

Let’s start it off with a little cactus. Trailer music by The Death Set.

Dean Dodrill’s Elysian Tail: Dust is an XNA fighting game with some really gorgeous animation. And furries. Currently in alpha state.

Here’s a preview of the next Blurst game, which is coming out next month. Music by Alec Holowka.