Monday, 30 September 2013
'Lovecraftian cosmic horror meets 1960-70's science fiction' sets the scene of Inescapable, the debut release from Tokyo-based one-man indie studio Magnetic Realms, a dark tale of routine spacefaring mission gone horribly wrong in the guise of an exploratory platformer.
An unexpected rendezvous with the ominous sounding Templeman Industries in orbit above a mining colony results in you and your fellow crewmates crash landing on alien world, and after making your way to the dig site it soon becomes clear that the miners have found something a little more interesting than the usual minerals and ore. Before long you'll be exploring cyclopean ruins deep beneath the planet's surface, fighting your way through an endless army of monstrosities and solving a variety of item-based puzzles.
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Heroes of Loot is the latest OUYA title from Orange Pixel, developers of the superb Gunslugs. Whereas the latter is their take on the run 'n' gun arcade genre, Heroes of Loot is described as a Rogue-like with extra helpings of Gauntlet.
Monday, 23 September 2013
Doppleganger has recently been released on PC, five years after making its debut on Xbox Live Indie Games and six years after we first previewed the game back in RGCD issue #03. Originating from a simpler time before the current day indie-scene explosion, the game is essentially a mash-up of Jeff Minter's Iridis Alpha and the coin-op classic Defender - and as that would suggest, it's a ton of classic retro-style twitchy-shmup fun. Also, in contrast to the XBLIG release the pc version is completely free - which is always a good thing.
Thursday, 19 September 2013
Is there anyone out there doesn't like beer and Vikings? Commodore Amiga owners are in for a booze-fuelled Nordic treat because Paradise/a1k.org's Asgard Met Vikings features beer in abundance and some Vikings thrown in for good measure!
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Gravity Beam tips its second hand hat at classics such as Thrust or Lunar Lander, and as the old adage goes, 'Good artists borrow and great artists steal'. There are more stolen bits in this game than your local Cash Converters store but unlike the aforementioned pawn-shop, Gravity Beam won't empty your wallet to enjoy its wares.
There are tons of clones out there, but very few are willing to try something new with the concept. Gravity Beam's gimmick is its namesake, you have a gravity beam which allows you to tow objects to their destinations. If only modern games were so honest with their titles, we'd all be waiting for the upcoming release of 'Murder n' Drive' or 'Army-Shooter: Quick Time Event Cut-scene Watcher'.
Monday, 16 September 2013
With just about every tech-savvy gamer on the internet voicing their opinions on the Ouya's shortcomings, it can be a struggle trying to convince yourself (let alone others) that it's a device worth having in your everyday gaming set up. However, here at RGCD we're sticking by the Ouya because despite the fact that the micro-console has the most self-destructive marketing team in the history of videogaming, it is actually a neat little piece of kit and home to many equally neat little indie games - with the über-stylish, Ouya exclusive Mrs. Dav VS Körv being a perfect example of exactly what the machine is best at.
Decent Ouya shoot 'em up releases have been a little thin on the ground lately, so I was pretty surprised when I turned mine on the other day and discovered Sector Strike sitting in the sandbox. With the official blurb boasting that the game 'combines the mechanics of old school shooters and the aesthetics of modern 3D games' it had to be worth checking out. And now, several hours later, I'm rather glad I did.
A little Google research on the developers (Clapfoot Inc.) offered more information on this hitherto unknown release - namely that the game was originally released for Android and iOS devices back in 2012. My heart sank a little; as a follower of the shmup scene, surely I would have heard of the game if it was any good?
Friday, 13 September 2013
Droidscape: Basilica is one of the most interesting games I've come across in a very long time, breaking ground with some truly unique ideas and gameplay twists. The folks at Kyttaro Games have dubbed Droidscape: Basilica as a 'sci-fi, stop motion animated action puzzler' and I couldn't have described it better myself.
Let's start with sci-fi. Droidscape takes place in a pretty dark-sounding universe in the year 4057(!), a time when humanity has been plunged into a second Dark Age. Apparently, one of the last remaining 'Chronomancers', who must be responsible for saving said humanity in some capacity, has been taken hostage on the Basilica space station. Of course, as is usually the case in these situations, only a lowly little droid named Bishop 7 can save him.
This adorable little bipedal android is controlled by none other than you, the player. He, in addition to all the characters in the game, was hand-created in clay and brought to life with stop-motion. I have a deeply rooted love of stop-motion animation, fueled by childhood evenings huddled around the measly tube TV watching Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger with my father. Thus, the graphic presentation of Droidscape charmed me immediately. Characters and enemy androids really pop on the screen with colour, personality, and life. All of this is accentuated by ace, satisfying sound effects and an atmospheric soundtrack - when played with headphones as the game recommends, you won't be disappointed.
Planet Earth is at saturation point with zombies. It would take forever to list the legions of zombie related franchises laying waste to all the world's media even as we speak. Zombie related novels are going straight to the slush piles of most major publishing houses, apparently, and big budget Z-movies are being critically panned. People are getting sick of the world's sickest people.
A game that can cut through the fog of media overexposure and fly in the face of the desensitisation to the hordes of walking dead shouldn't be allowed to pass by without this reporter popping his head up from behind the parapets of zed-besieged RGCD Towers and taking an extended look at it, and Shambles certainly warrants a good shufti.
It's been a while since I posted one of these general RGCD news updates, and to be honest so much has been going on here that it is hard to know where to start! There are new C64 game projects to be announced, recent developments and updates on the Android based Ouya micro-console, an RGCD Steam Greenlight channel - the list just goes on and on. We've also brought on board a few new writers lately who've been keeping the game reviews rolling over whilst I've been frantically trying to keep up to date with other projects, so you've them to thank for the fact there isn't virtual tumbleweed rolling by on the front page of this website.
Ok, so join me in grabbing a coffee/tea/beer and let's have a catch-up...
[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editors permission].
Locomalito and Gryzor87 are on fire right now. It seems like only yesterday that Gaurodan came swooping down onto PC and Ouya screens and now they've released a four-player follow-up-of-sorts to They Came From Verminest. Inspired by the likes of Wizard of Wor and Battle City, Verminian Trap has the player (and up to three friends) stranded in an alien bug nest with zero chance of escape - the only option open to you is to take out as many of the little critters as you can before you ultimately end up as their lunch.
Thursday, 12 September 2013
As a StepMania veteran, I like to think that rhythm games are my thing. Mind you, I'm no Guitar Hero or Rock Band star but I can at least move my fingers to a beat. I also enjoy my roguelikes; Dwarf Fortress, Realm of the Mad God, POWDER - all of which are games so difficult that you are left with a real sense of accomplishment by simply making it through the first or second floor alive. Brace Yourself Games's Crypt of the Necrodancer however, is a whole other ball game. It's a roguelike in foundation... that is, until you try to move. At that point, the game pats you on the head, says "Nice try", and displays a little [MISSED!] on the screen. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen; believe it or not, Crypt of the Necrodancer is a roguelike rhythm game.
Friday, 6 September 2013
Time for a bold announcement. Towerfall may well be the top multiplayer game on the Ouya, but Wesley Paugh's 100 Rogues is hands-down the best single-player game available for the console - at least in this humble reviewer's opinion. More Rogue-lite than Roguelike, with its SNES-era production values and console gameplay, not-to-be-taken-seriously bestiary, boss battles and tongue-in-cheek humour, I'd probably go as far as to say its my favourite classic-style rogue game released to date.
It's not often I can claim that my second playthrough of a game resulted in me dying in the pits of hell, mercilessly butchered by a clown and a pack of gummi-rats shortly after defeating the pope. In 100 Rogues that very fate was realised. Another epic encounter saw my luckless crusader almost vanquished by a rocket-launcher wielding robot, barely surviving close combat, yet ultimately winning the battle by throwing an arrow at the fiend whilst bravely fleeing the scene. Neat, huh? But it has to be said that nothing beats the time I slayed Satan by biting him in the groin whilst in the guise of a giant dinosaur. Oh yes, this game is full of these moments.
My mother always told me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." If I followed her advice, This review would end after the next paragraph or two.
To many aspiring game developers, creating a shoot 'em up (shmup hereafter) may seem like the obvious choice for a first project. On the surface it's one of the simplest concepts, only needing a few collision detection routines to tell if your bullet has connected with an enemy or an enemy bullet has collided with you, and some simple scoring logic. Add to that some brightly-coloured graphics, some shooty-bangy sound effects and a repeating background track. Bang. Job done. Add a price tag and you have one shitty-shmup ready for retail release on XBLIG or the portal of your choice.
What many developers don't realise, is that under the surface of a good shmup, there needs to be much more than just shooty-bangy sounds and enemies to kill. There needs to be some method in the madness, be it in the form of intelligent scoring systems, interesting mechanics, or even just intricate bullet patterns that players need to learn and master to navigate through unscathed. In addition to this, a cleverly considered colour palette to easily differentiate bullets and destructibles from the backgrounds they fly over helps - as does working collision detection and tight controls.
Sadly, Pester falls firmly, squarely, and awkwardly into this shitty-shmup category, breaking both of its ankles upon impact.