Trailer Roundup: Many D’s and lots of variety

noct.gif

This trailer roundup features a unique mystery life sim, a puzzle platformer set in a crumbling world, a runner with lots of personality, a 2D adventure about self-acceptance, a 2.5D platformer with action and transforming levels, a 4D puzzle platformer, a Lovecraft-inspired multiplayer survival horror game, a robotics sandbox/adventure game, an action adventure in which you're a zombie-controlling zombie, and a 3D point and click adventure out of Spain.

24 Killers
Windows, Mac, Linux | $10+ | Kickstarter (Funded) | 7DRL original

This game looks really unique. Developer Todd Luke describes it as "a weird monster life sim with a strong ludonarrative that takes place in a secluded island town." The game was born as a 7-Day Roguelike entry which is also worth checking out, though it seems the game has come a long way since then. It's already reached its humble $4,000 funding goal, and if you like games that are different, you might wanna check this one out.

Almightree: The Last Dreamer
iOS | $1.99 | Available now

This puzzle platformer has you follow a young man who seems to be the last person alive in a crumbling world. He must outrun the destruction, seeking the sprouts of the Almightree to revive them and hopefully save the world. The aesthetics are great and the mechanics are simple, yet versatile enough to provide good variety in puzzles. There are three difficulty levels, ranging from casual with no time pressure, some challenge with mild time pressure, and a hectic race against the clock with extra challenges available on hard mode. It's well worth the price; even though it has an on-screen d-pad, the whole environment is grid based and the controls work well.

Boogey Boy
Windows, iOS, Android | $ TBA | Release TBA | Demo

From the developer: "Boogey Boy is a 3D side-scrolling runner. Escape the boogeyman by collecting batteries to activate your flashlight. Play through the boy's dreamworlds, dodging strange and bizarre enemies. Activate special powerups to help the boy escape from the terrors of the night." It has a lot of personality and there's a demo for Windows.

Desolate
Windows, Mac, Linux | $10+ | Mid 2-15 | Kickstarter | Greenlight

Desolate is a hand-painted 2D adventure game about self-acceptance. The story starts with mysterious shadowy figures invading your village and will proceed through seven acts called Desolation, The Desolate, Deception, Corruption, Consumption, Depression, and Realisation.

Exception
Windows, Mac, Linux | $ TBA | Late 2015

An action-packed platformer in which the level itself spins in different directions when the player reaches certain points. That's been done before, of course. This one spins the levels in 3D, though, and just looks like good fun.

Miegakure
Windows, Mac | $ TBA | Release TBA

This is less a trailer and more the developer explaining how his puzzle platformer is 4-dimensional. Nonetheless, it's a compelling argument for being interested in this game, which also looks beautiful. It's been awarded and selected for things on numerous occasions, but there's no word yet on when it will be released.

Noct
Windows, Mac, Linux | $10+ CAD | Mid 2015 | Kickstarter | Greenlight

A Lovecraft-inspired game in which your character's line of sight constrains what you, the player, can see. From the developer: "Noct is a 2D top-down multiplayer survival horror game that blends arcade combat with RPG survival elements. You are a survivor of the apocalyptic purge that formed the desolate wasteland now known as Noct."

Principia
Windows, iOS, Android | $3.99 | Early Access | Greenlight

Lego Mindstorms meets Little Big Planet? Sounds pretty awesome. It's coming to Linux next.

Ray's the Dead
Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4 | $15+ | Kickstarter (Funded)

I'm thoroughly sick of zombies, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to play this game. One day, Ray awakes from his grave with a strange device stuck in his head and the ability to raise and control other zombies. It's to be an action-adventure game with puzzles and 80s-inspired cartoony mayhem. They've already hit funding and still have 19 days to go on their Kickstarter.

A Rite from the Stars
Windows, Mac, Linux, Wii U, OUYA | $15+ | Kickstarter | Demo

A point and click adventure from Spanish developer Risin' Goat. The developers are pulling from both early and modern point and click adventures for inspiration, but the setting and story are uniquely theirs and it looks like the game will have nice atmosphere. There are demos available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Kickstarter Pick: Mark of War (Warpforged Games)

MarkOfWar.pngI've been waiting for a game like Mark of War ever since I quit Warhammer Fantasy Battles (probably the most expensive tabletop wargame known to humankind), though I never really expected to see Gav Thorpe be a part of it. Nor did I believe it would try its best to feel like a proper miniatures game, complete with virtual tabletops, digital minis on stands and a brand new fantasy world to conquer. It all sounds pretty exciting I have to admit, though reaching the Kickstarter funding goal of $500,000 might end up being a tad too difficult.

Mark of War will be released for Windows and Mac and a $20 contribution will secure you a copy of the game upon release.

Rural mystery Firewatch gets a moody first trailer

The first trailer for Campo Santo's Firewatch aired at PAX Prime this weekend, providing an introduction to its lead characters and a gorgeous glimpse at the rural American wildnerness in which their story is set.

In Firewatch, you play as Henry, who has taken the secluded job of fire lookout in the Wyoming mountains as an escape from his troubled life. He's alone in his watch tower overlooking the forest, except for a handheld radio he can use to speak with his supervisor, Delilah.

As evidenced in the trailer, Henry is an anxious man, who has recently let the dangers of his job and tensions in his relationship with Delilah wear him down. When Delilah advises Henry to remain in the tower, he does not cooperate, instead letting "something strange" draw him out to the mysterious wild below.

According to the developers at Campo Santo (composed of talent from Double Fine, Telltale, and 2K Marin), Henry's experience in the woods will have the player "facing questions and making interpersonal choices," the exact nature of which have yet to be revealed.

firewatch-7.jpgEven so, an introspective mystery set in a remote, woodsy countryside is enough to grab my attention, not to mention the perfect marriage of dramatic lighting and low poly graphics seen in some of these screenshots.

A release date for the game hasn't been confirmed, but Campo Santo hopes to see it out in 2015 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Read more about Firewatch on its official website.

Hexcells Infinite is the next evolution of Minesweeper


I wish I'd had a copy of Hexcells Infinite back when I was at university. I used to sit and play Minesweeper on an old Nokia during particularly boring lectures, and it was good... but it was no Hexcells.

Hexcells is all about poking hexagons to make them pop. Numbers tells you how many need left-clicking, and which ones you should be right-clicking. There's also some Picross elements involved, and well, this is just my perfect style of puzzle game, to be perfectly frank.

If you like numbers in your puzzlers, Hexcells Infinite is going to be a game you'll want to pick.

Ludum Dare 30: Some interesting mechanics, some well-executed concepts

ld30mosaic.jpg

Here's another batch of seven Ludum Dare 30 games, all made about a week ago for the theme Connected Worlds. Some of these have interesting mechanics, some are just well done, and all are at least worth a look. Have fun! If you like these, you can find more on the Ludum Dare web site.

Binary System by rogueNoodle
Browser (Unity), Windows, Mac, Linux | 72-hour Jam | Colorblind friendly

21449-shot1.jpgThis game is simple, but not easy. The player is in control of two planets which move in tandem. They can be rotated in either direction or moved in toward or out away from the center of the window. Asteroids fly in at random and the player must avoid letting either planet get hit.

Capsule by PaperBlurt
Browser (Twine) | 48-hour Compo

capsule.pngThis is a Twine game which makes good use of graphics and CSS to craft a really good atmosphere. There aren't that many branches, but it's a really good story.

Connecting LD30 to the Real World by Will Edwards
Browser (Non-Unity) | 72-hour Jam

ld30real.pngSome people won't consider this a game. It tracks which users have submitted games to Ludum Dare 30, which games they've commented on, and who has commented on their games. When a user loads the game up for the first time, they are asked to identify themselves and then shown a map which starts out having only country outlines but fills in with color and pictures of animals and things depending on the user's activity on the Ludum Dare web site. People without Ludum Dare accounts can probably choose a random Ludum Dare participant and see the map from their perspective. Will Edwards is also responsible for the creation of the mosaic at the top of this article, which includes screenshots from all 2500+ games in Ludum Dare 30.

Mushroom Connects by fcpfoof
Windows, Mac, Linux | 48-hour Compo

28932-shot1.pngThis adventure game just asks the player to find a macguffin, the pursuit of which requires the player to go back and forth between two connected worlds. The second world can get annoying because it requires the player to retrace a lot of the same territory multiple times, but the game still has a lot of charm to it.

Our Worlds by Davi Santos
Browser (Unity) | 72-hour Jam | Accessible

10464-shot1.pngA puzzle platformer in which the goal is to get each of the two characters, a girl and a boy, to the telephone. Both characters can do things like push buttons in their own world to activate moving platforms in the other world. It's really well executed, having good graphics and sound on top of being colorblind friendly and having rebindable controls.

Pulley Planet by Lonebot
Browser (Non-Unity), Windows | 72-hour Jam | Colorblind friendly

6685-shot1.pngIn Pulley Planet, you have a ridiculously large pulley that can pull elemental planets over to hover just above you, changing the weather conditions and allowing you to punch elementals to death. And punch them you must, because they want to attack and destroy the pulley. They come in waves, and although the game starts out too easy, it does get more difficult.

World Absorber by crneumre
Browser (Flash) | 48-hour Compo | Colorblind friendly

22848-shot0.JPGThe tutorial for this game is terrible, but once the mechanics are understood, it's a brilliant sleeper of a puzzle platformer. Each puzzle has two or more connected worlds which have the same platforms in the same places, but which may have different physical laws or items than do the others. In the first puzzle, for example, one of the worlds has the level exit, but the player can't jump high enough to get to it; the second world allows the player to jump higher but has no exit. Absorbing world 2 into world 1 allows the player to jump high enough to reach the exit.

Giving the World of Diving Early Access a try

worldofdiving.pngThough I generally do try and avoid early access offerings, I had to give World of Diving a go, as it would immediately become the very first diving simulator I'd have played on a PC. And it was. That and an utterly soothing thing of beauty.

Like all things scuba diving this is a game meant to help you relax and enjoy the many wondrous sights hiding below the sea's surface. A wonderful 3D world where you can interact with all sorts of underwater life, explore sunken ruins and photograph anything that catches your fancy while embarking on simple quest and treasure hunts.

World of Diving is still far from finished, but already looks and sounds great and is an exploration offering anyone with even a passing interest in diving should enjoy. Apparently, it also supports the Oculus Rift virtual reality thingy, but I've yet to get my hands on such a contraption.

World of Diving can be early-accessed over on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Ludum Dare 30: Throw things around to get off a deserted island in Driver’s License

4159-shot0.png
In Driver's License, a freak car accident has left your character stranded on a deserted island. He is a muscley fellow who can pick items up (even large, heavy ones) and throw them at each other to combine them and try to make what he needs to get off the island. The simple animations and grunting noises the character makes make this funny enough, but the multiplayer element that ties the game to the Connected Worlds theme adds a great touch.

Although the player is alone on this island, they can throw any objects -- basic or crafted -- into the water with a note attached. That object and its note will float to shore in another person's game, and the more items a player throws into the water, the more they'll get back. The multiplayer interaction is indirect, but it's fun to see what messages people send with their items.

Driver's License is available as a Windows download.

Ludum Dare 30: Throw things around to get off a deserted island in Driver’s License

4159-shot0.png
In Driver's License, a freak car accident has left your character stranded on a deserted island. He is a muscley fellow who can pick items up (even large, heavy ones) and throw them at each other to combine them and try to make what he needs to get off the island. The simple animations and grunting noises the character makes make this funny enough, but the multiplayer element that ties the game to the Connected Worlds theme adds a great touch.

Although the player is alone on this island, they can throw any objects -- basic or crafted -- into the water with a note attached. That object and its note will float to shore in another person's game, and the more items a player throws into the water, the more they'll get back. The multiplayer interaction is indirect, but it's fun to see what messages people send with their items.

Driver's License is available as a Windows download.

Win free keys for A Wizard’s Lizard, Tidalis, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs

tumblr_static_freekeyfridaylogo05.pngIndieGames and FreekeyFridays bring you another set of free indie games. Freekeyfridays was created as a way to garner exposure for indies through giving away a mix of well-known indie games and up-and-coming titles.

This week's games are A Wizard's Lizard (Steam, Windows, Linux, Mac), Tidalis (Steam, Windows, Mac) and Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (Desura, Windows).

There are two ways to win:

Five sets of codes will be given for the raffle.Enter here:


Three sets of codes will be given for this Twitter contest : How would your favorite game hero celebrate Labor Day?



A Wizard's Lizard




Tidalis




Amnesia a machine for pigs





If you are a developer with an awesome game and want to be involved with Freekeyfridays, fill out this Form.

Help a dwarf grow a beard in Bravada, now on Steam

bravada.jpg

We missed Bravada when it initially released in May, which is a shame; it's one of those games which is hard to pin a genre on because it isn't quite like anything else. Bravada is turn based. It requires strategic thinking. And since it follows the story of a dwarf on a quest to finally grow a beard, it's also an adventure game. But these descriptors, while accurate, don't fully illustrate what makes Ukrainian developer Interbellum's first game so unique.

The player begins the game with just the hero, whose death means game over. He travels forward, away from the player, down levels that are basically straight tunnels. More units join the party as the game goes along, and the player can modify the party's formation on the fly. The whole party moves as one (be it forward, backward, left, right, or diagonally). Every grid-based move or formation change is a turn, allowing any enemies visible on the screen to move. Once all units have moved, everyone, friend and foe, attacks automatically and intelligently. Things move at a pretty quick pace if the player wants them to, but the player is also free to spend as much time deliberating as they wish.

Units gain experience points from battle. When the hero levels up, the player is given three stat upgrade options, though other units must choose from established class upgrade options which affects their range and attack patterns, or even gives them the ability to do other things like healing and buffing other characters. Along the journey, the player will also acquire items that can be equipped to the hero to modify his offensive and defensive stats as well as give him different kinds of attacks.

Although gameplay proceeds forward down a tunnel for the most part, each of the game's environments has not just aesthetic but also gameplay differences. Being chased by a roaring fire through a forest forces the player to keep moving forward rather than dallying, whereas traveling across a beach during a storm forces the player to stick to one side or lose units that get swept out to sea. It keeps the game fresh without making it overly complicated, and all of the boss fights have special mechanics, too.

bravada2.jpg

Humor is not neglected in Bravada. The story itself is funny, the first level has the player fighting off slimes that are hypnotizing chickens, and the equipment and items were all designed with humor in mind.

Multiple difficulty levels, chosen at the beginning of each stage, allow players to take it easy and just enjoy the game, challenge themselves, or prove that they truly have great tactical skills. Checkpoints are frequent enough that a loss isn't a terrible thing.

All of these things come together to make an entertaining turn-based tactical gaming experience with a dash of traditional roguelike combat, but without procedural generation or permadeath. I haven't seen anything like Bravada before, and when I started playing it to review it I ended up playing it for three hours straight.

Bravada was chosen for Best RPG/Adventure in Intel's annual Level-Up competition and will be showing at Intel's booth at PAX Prime. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam for $9.99 or direct from Interbellum with DRM-free and soundtrack-included options.

[Interbellum]