Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Psyboarfunk / The Game Is Apaw! Poster Set Available!

The first of a planned series of posters from a variety of C64 artists, RGCD present two stunning limited edition A2 prints of Ilija "iLKke" Melentijević's recent artwork; Psyboarfunk and The Game Is Apaw!

Originally released in an unfinished state at the Syntax 2013 demoparty in Melborne (where it achieved 2nd place in the Mixed Graphics compo), Psyboarfunk is a C64 multicolour rework of an old four-colour piece by Ilija. The final version used here was completed a week after the party.

The Game Is Apaw! was Ilija's entry in the 2013 Plain PETSCII Graphics Competition held over at CSDB, where it achieved 5th place out of over 100 submissions. The Game Is Apaw! was composed entirely using the standard CBM ASCII character set, and is based on an 8-colour cat avatar he pixelled back in 2011.

This set includes both A2 posters (420mm x 594mm in size), created from screen captures then optimised and converted into CMYK format by Steve Day. The posters are numbered individually on the reverse side and are sent rolled together in a reinforced poster tube. Only 100 sets will ever be available for sale.

The Psyboarfunk and The Game Is Apaw! set is available now from our online store, priced at £15. Shipping is £5 for UK (because of the crazy parcel-size rules), £4 to mainland Europe and £5 for the rest of the world.

Rubble 'N' Strafe (PC/Android/Ouya)

[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editors' permission].

Based on an ancient Amstrad CPC 'classic', Rubble 'N' Strafe from one-man studio Far From Sleep is a near-perfect example of rose-tinted nostalgia done right. An endless flier/shmup hybrid (yet refreshingly NOT a Flappy Bird clone), RNS clearly draws its inspiration from Durell's Harrier Attack, bringing the 8-bit gameplay up to date by adding the unpredictability of procedural generation and some heavy duty explosive action to the mix. Oh, and the crashes are awesome, almost to the point where you'll want to nose dive into the enemy troops to see how much destruction is caused by your hopeless plane as the wreckage tumbles through watch-towers, skyscrapers and ... flocks of incendiary sheep.

Monday, 21 April 2014

FTL: Advanced Edition (PC/Mac/iOS/Linux)

We already reviewed the incredible FTL (Faster Than Light) a while ago so there is no point in waffling on, safe to say it was incredibly well received and if you don't own it already then go and see the ships medic. Immediately.

FTL: Advanced Edition is an expansion to the original release with new technologies, story elements and music. To sum it up so simply does the game a huge disservice. Subset have given the content to their existing customers for no additional charge (take note EA), in fact if you have Steam installed and you have this game in your list it has most likely already updated to this version (take note EA). Should you have purchased this game elsewhere simply download the latest version from your account page, and well... it's not rocket science.

Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender (PC)

It's fair to say that if you put something cat-centric on the internet people are going to go absolutely nuts for it. Combining the notoriously arrogant yet loveable pets with the gameplay of Defender makes for a game that I'm surprised hasn't already taken over half the planet and made us its slaves.

Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender is shockingly cute. Throwing all "man's man" tendencies to one side I just want to fuss its fur ALL DAY LONG. Tiny little kitties underwater mining milk while a kitty submarine fighter-craft zips overhead flying topcover and blowing the shit out of robotic fish submarines? It's up there with unicorns puking rainbows over each other in the "d'awww" stakes.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

RGCD Easter Eggs: Hidden Games, Screens and Glitches

Happy Easter! Today not only have we announced the launch of a new game, but we're also giving away the secrets to activating the many Easter Eggs we've hidden on our cartridges. Here at RGCD we love hiding stuff in the last few remaining bytes of ROM space at the end of a game release, so expect more of these to come in the future. Previously only known by a select few and never officially published before, here is a full list of them all!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Phase Out Cartridge Available! (Commodore 64)

"For countless aeons you've waited in exile beyond the limits of the universe, but now your time for revenge is at hand. In your possession are the ancient stones of the Eternal Ones - and with them the power to overthrow the Gods and eradicate all of creation!

50 Phase-Out sequences are all that stand between you and the end of the universe, your one and only chance to undo all the work of your ethereal oppressors and to rebuild the Cosmos to your own design..."

Developed by Ernst Neubeck and Simon Quernhorst, Phase Out is a game that will put your puzzle-solving skills to the ultimate test. Play the role of a vengeful banished deity and bring an end to the universe by completing the 50 ancient stone challenges of the Eternal Ones. Fail and you'll remain in exile for ever, succeed and unlimited power will be yours!

Limited to 50 individually numbered cartridges (each box bearing an RGCD COA sticker), these won't last long so grab your copy from our online store today!

Friday, 4 April 2014

End of Line for Unlimited Edition?

This past year RGCD was involved in two of the highest profile C64 game launches for over a decade (Super Bread Box and Bomberland). We've continued to build up an awesome back catalogue of releases, including new titles for the PC, Jaguar and AmigaOS.

Yet this is also the second year in a row that RGCD has made a net loss, despite the fact that 2013-14 saw us selling more units than ever before. Admittedly, compared to 2012-13 the loss was only marginal, but still - a loss is a loss, no matter how small.

So what went wrong? Well, the simple answer is this: dead stock.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Commodore 64: A Visual Compendium (Micro Hexagon Exclusive!)

I don't normally get enthusiastic about Kickstarters, but when Sam "MrSID" Dyer dropped me a line asking if RGCD would like to be involved in the production of his C64 coffee table book, I was hyped. Not only was this an opportunity to be involved in a book about my favourite 8-bit computer, but it also helped solve an internal dilemma here at RGCD towers – to release, or not to release a limited cartridge version of Micro Hexagon.

You see, following the announcement of the competition results Paul Koller emailed me saying that there was no way he could enhance Micro Hexagon any further. There was no CPU time left at all, no possibility of additional wall patterns and the only feasible improvement would have been additional in-game music and sampled speech before and after each play – neither of which would have elevated the game enough to warrant the price-tag of a more expensive 64KB cartridge. So, Micro Hexagon will only ever exist in its 16KB form - and we were both on the fence regarding whether or not people would buy it on cartridge, despite coming second place in the 2013 RGCD compo.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ninja Twins: Going to Zedeaks (ZX Spectrum)

[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editors' permission].

Genuine 8-Bit conversions or remakes of modern indie releases are always fun, but even with the best-known examples of backwards-ported games there are always design sacrifices that have to be made due to the limited target hardware. For this reason an indie game running on a retro platform that actually improves on the original is a real rarity - yet that's arguably what the team behind Ninja Twins: Going to Zedeaks have seemingly achieved with their unofficial ZX Spectrum tribute/clone/sequel of KronBits 2013 freeware puzzler.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Play Blackpool Indies (Part One)

If you're a UK-based indie developer, then the chances are that you've received an email from me in the past few months, inviting you to exhibit your work at Play Blackpool on May 3-4th (TL:DR? Low cost table rates! £150-250 a pop!). If you've not heard from me, my mail is probably tucked away in a spam folder, or perhaps something terrible happened like I put an underscore instead of a hyphen during my 'email crunch' sessions - either way, if its something you'd be interested in, drop me a line :)

But hey, I'm jumping ahead here. This story begins at GameCity 2013 after a drunken 'C64 versus Spectrum' curry night (where I met and chatted with Ed 'Proteus' Key by all accounts - and totally failed to recognise who he was). After gorging on curry and watching in horror as the C64 lost the debate, I ended up drinking with Andy and old-school RGCD-discmag contributor Gordon of Replay Events in some random drinking establishment with particularly dreadful karaoke. We discussed all things indie and retro, and when the topic came up regarding attracting indies to their own events (Play Blackpool in particular) I enthusiastically offered to volunteer for them as their 'indie-liaison' and to help nurture and develop their indie profile.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Protocol (PC)

[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editors' permission].

You've got to hand it to Deviever/Pixel Eyes for organising the Cyberpunk Jam earlier this month. With a single rule stating 'must be cyberpunk related', backed up by an illustration by Filipe Andrade for reference, the resulting 268 games are a chaotic, neon-coloured, retro-future celebration of marauding cyborgs, hacker punks, evil corporations and abstract vectors.

Out of the games I've played so far, none have distilled the dystopian atmosphere into arcade purity quite as successfully as Nik Sudan's Protocol. Based in the same universe as his forthcoming adventure game Tercon Major, a self-aware legion of Lawbots has enslaved their former human masters, ruthlessly hunting down members of the rebellion who fail to comply with their strict protocol. It's a case of shoot-first, ask-questions-later, with the player controlling a pink-haired, laser-cannon wielding motorcyclist, fending off wave after wave of tireless drones whilst racing down an endless highway. There's no explanation as to exactly what you've done to deserve the Lawbots attention, but there's little doubt that this risky escape follows some turning point in the human-robot conflict.

Friday, 7 March 2014

KiloBite (PC/Mac/Linux)

After the experience of extensively playing Hermitgames' amazing qrth-phyl I was convinced that I had seen all that the age-old 'snake' genre had to offer. qrth-phyl totally nailed it; ever changing gameplay, amazing soundtrack, visuals to die for - the game had it all. I felt as though I'd never be impressed by a snake clone again - and then I discovered KiloBite, a modest little debut release from Cake Collective, and the illusion was shattered.

I know that at first glance it appears to be nothing other than a clone of 'inner cube' sections of qrth-phyl - and in many ways I suppose that's a fair analysis. However, whereas qrth-phyl was all about the experience and atmosphere, KiloBite simply takes what was (arguably) the best part of the game, further distils the formula until it is at its most pure and simplistic level, then increases the tempo and gives it a quick-fire, high-score chasing arcade tweak. Add to the mix a dirty, distorted CRT filter and RGB splits, tight joypad controls and a neat scoring mechanic - and the end result is a lightweight yet intense little gaming gem.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Golden Scarab (Ouya)

Did I just get high on meth and LSD? Nope, but I did play Golden Scarab, a healthier alternative to psychoactive hard drugs, but perhaps just as adept at screwing with one's brain. It's a colorful dish best enjoyed tapas style - little bites sure to satisfy one's need for quick, intense single or multiplayer shooting mayhem. I want some of whatever Andrew Perry at OMGWTFGAMES had when he came up with this game.

At its core, the gameplay of Golden Scarab is quite simple. Left stick moves your craft, right stick shoots in the direction you point it in. There are six unique and brightly-plumed alien baddies to destroy, each with varying attacks. Some move slowly, others rush at the player, some fire and others don't. The player can collect small power-ups that increase the score multiplier - if he or she can last long enough.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Nidhogg (PC)

Nidhogg, like its name, is really odd and almost indescribable because it genuinely is unique. The game plays similar to PSX classic Bushido Blade but in a 2D environment. You get stabbed once and your character dies but unlike the aforementioned Bushido Blade, another one pops up in his place to continue the fight. It plays almost like a brutal version of tag, the person who kills first becomes the one able to pass to the next screen, should the victim return the favour he can then proceed to the opposite side.

It's a tricky concept to get across verbally (or in written word at least) but basically you stab, run, hope not to get stabbed, throw your sword, arrive at next screen and repeat until you pass all the screens and are ultimately eaten by the titular Nidhogg - and all while the other player is attempting to do the same. As you can imagine this leads to some insanely quick matches - or ones that seem to go back and forth for ages, depending on how equally matched you and your opponent are - but this is all part of the fun as Nidhogg has such fluid and enjoyable mechanics that any drawn out battles are tense yet massive achievements when won.

Krunel (ZX Spectrum)

The ZX Spectrum is like the 8-Bit equivalent of one of those local punk bands stuck touring the toilet-circuit; it might not be the prettiest or the best sounding act, but the Speccy at least has a spark of independence, defiantly strutting about the stage with its garish palette, ludicrous colour clash and glitchy sounding soundchip. And hey, I love me some punk.

Krunel from speccy.pl, is a simple Puyo-Puyo style puzzle game that neither deviates from the classic formula nor has any stand-out features (other than being a new 21st century game running on arcane hardware). Really, there's no reason for it to exist, but this is a Spectrum we're talking about here - and Speccy developers just do whatever they like.