Sunday, 4 September 2011

Retro News Update

I've been away for a week and am currently trying to catch up with work, so yet again I'm afraid I've only got time to post another compilation of byte-sized news snippets and links. Hopefully some full reviews will follow shortly ;)

Perihelion Released For Free (Amiga)

How's this for some retro news? Psygnosis' cyberpunk 1993 role-playing Amiga classic has been released for free by the designer and artist, and can be found here (along with a load of other game-related info). Perihelion is a graphically stunning and very in-depth RPG with some great ideas that have stood the test of time well, and it's a real shame that it didn't become a franchise in it's own right. Definitely well-worth checking out; especially as Edvard has included the UAE emulator set up for people unfamiliar with the Amiga.

Note that it's not legally freeware (although Psygnosis haven't stopped the release), and should really be considered as an abandonware game.
Arvoesine Released For Free (PC)

And here we have another freebie - the full version of a considerably more recent game; the sword-swinging and spear-throwing retro-style platformer Arvoesine, from Alastair John Jack. Previously a 2010 commercial release (albeit only from the developer's homepage and for the pocket-money price of $5, then later $3), Alastair has now made the game free to download so that more people can enjoy it.

Arvoesine is a solid little platformer featuring what appears to be a time-travelling Roman soldier, and although it isn't the best example of the arcade-platforming genre I've seen in recent years, it's still certainly worth a play or two. Of course, if you do enjoy this little release, please consider sending the developer a message (or even a paypal donation) to help support his future projects.

Locomalito Releases Maldita Castilla Demo (PC)

Now this is something rather special. We're all *big* fans of Locomalito's games here at RGCD, and this obvious tribute to the Ghosts 'n' Goblins series looks set to become his best release to date. A short yet action-packed demo of Maldita Castilla is now available for download, and our resident writer Ruari O'Toole is currently writing a piece about the game (and I'm hoping for a developer interview too).

D-Pad Studio Releases Owlboy Demo (PC)

I have to confess that I've not had a chance to play this one yet, but D-Pad Studio's Owlboy certainly looks like the sort of epic exploratory shmup/platformer/adventure that I'd enjoy. After years of development (I still recall reading about the game in 2008), it's great to see a playable demo finally released to the public - and according to my sources, it's already shaping up to be something quite amazing. Could this be a Cave Story beater?

Vandalism News #57 (C64)

The popular and widely acclaimed C64 scene diskmag recently saw it's 57th issue released, and notably features a few supportive words regarding our 16KB C64 Cart Development Competition. Full of the latest news, reviews and stories, Onslaught and Wrath Designs have compiled another great magazine. Download your copy of Vandalism News from CSDB now - your C64 deserves it.

Horace Goes to the Tower (ZX Spectrum)

The Mojon Twins were recently at a loose end, so it seems, and threw together this little homage to the infamously crap Horace games in a single afternoon. There's no ground-breaking design here, and truth be told the gameplay is a little on the sluggish side, but it's certainly better than some of the other recent ZX games I've played. As you can probably imagine from the screenshot, Horace Goes to the Tower is your typical 'avoid the baddies and collect the goodies' flick-screen platformer - so if you're not into that sort of thing, forget it. The rest of you, zip over to the game's page on the Mojon Twins website to grab a copy.

Boulder Dash (Atari 2600)

Unbelievably, Andrew Davie and Thomas Jentzsch (both established and respected 2600 developers) have somehow managed to get a faithful port of First Star Software's Boulder Dash running on the humble Atari 2600. I really cannot get my head around how they've managed to get such a complex game working on the woefully underpowered hardware, but there's already an impressive two level demo of the game available to download from the AtariAge forums, and it seems that the programmers are currently negotiating with the original publisher to try and come to an agreement to let them commercially release the full game on cartridge.

For those of you lacking an Atari 2600 (or the cash to buy the cartridge), the game will of course be available for free download when it is complete. This is definitely a release to look forward to.

Shifted (Vectrex)

Finally, this last news post today is regarding Shifted, a new Vectrex game cartridge. Unfortunately it seems that there is currently no downloadable version of the game, and as I don't possess a Vectrex I very much doubt that I'll be buying a copy. I couldn't find out much information on the game itself, but from the few comments I did find on various forums (and of course from the rather telling screenshots) it would seem that the previously hardcore-only Vectrex is no longer free from the curse that is casual match-three gaming.

Vectrex owners can sell their souls and buy the game from Revival Studios for just under 25 Euros.

And that's your lot for now. More news soon.