Sunday 28 July 2013

Elansar Cartridge Available! (Jaguar)

"Welcome to the Island of Elansar. Will you uncover its mysteries?"

After two years in development, Orion's Myst-inspired adventure has migrated from its PC/Mac/Linux and Atari Falcon roots and has finally arrived on the Atari Jaguar in 4MB cartridge format (limited to 75 copies)! Explore the beautifully rendered tropical island, taking in the sights and sounds, solving logic puzzles and making good your eventual escape in this classic-style first-person perspective point-and-click adventure.

Heavy Recoil - Convoy Chaser (Ouya) (2013)

System Requirements

* Ouya console & controller (wired USB Xbox 360 pad also supported).
* HDMI compatible TV/Monitor preferably connected to a loud sound-system.

Despite being an Android .apk, this particular version of Heavy Recoil - Convoy Chaser only works on the Ouya console.


You can either download the game direct on the Ouya via it's Discover store, or as a standalone .apk from it's page at Total Ouya. Initially, the game is in demo form (playable up to the first boss) but can be unlocked for $0.99.

BONUS! The OST is available to buy from Hasse Axəlsson's Bandcamp page HERE.


Wide Pixel Games' Heavy Recoil - Convoy Chaser takes the run 'n' gun genre back to the coin-op golden age of the 1980's, when you hadn't really beaten a game unless you'd done it on a single credit.

Lead your auto-cannon wielding robot deep behind enemy lines and smash tanks, gunships and fearsome bosses with your awesome arsenal of deadly weaponry! Rescue prisoners of war and blast everything in your path like a REAL hero!

* No Nonsense! No Continues!
* Horizontal Firing Only!
* Abilities and Upgrades!
* Secondary Weapons!
* Good/Bad Endings!

Lights On (C64)

I'm obsessed about turning off the light when I leave the room. The laundry room, bathroom, and especially the closet; the light always has to be turned off. Now with this new Commodore 64 game from Avatar, I can role play and be the one who always leaves the light on.

Lights On is a puzzle game in which the objective is to light all the tiles on each of the 24 single-screen levels. Using a joystick, you control a character that moves around the grid of tiles lighting each tile it touches, and landing on a tile that's already lit turns it off again. Some levels take advantage of this mechanic, requiring you to move back and forth over tiles several times to turn them all on. Also scattered around the grid are arrow tiles that push your character in the indicated direction and teleporters can be used to instantly move to another corresponding tile. But we warned, this isn't a leisurely stroll of reckless lighting; a timer counts down at the start of each level. If you run out run of time you lose one of your five lives. Fortunately, some levels include a tile that add seconds to the timer - and you will need it, as there isn't much room for error.

Friday 26 July 2013

Heavy Recoil - Convoy Chaser Available! (Ouya)

Due to some weird circumstances too tedious to explain here, RGCD ended up coming into possession of not one, but TWO Ouya consoles earlier this month. Coincidentally, our good friends at Wide Pixel Games were toying with the idea of porting across some of their XBLIG titles, and were more than happy for us to send our spare over to Sweden as a form of sponsorship. And today, like about 30 minutes ago, our first collaborative game went live on the Ouya store!

For those of you unfamiliar with the XBLIG original, Heavy Recoil - Convoy Chaser takes the run 'n' gun genre back to the coin-op golden age of the 1980's, when you hadn't really beaten a game unless you'd done it on a single credit. Lead your auto-cannon wielding robot deep behind enemy lines and smash tanks, gunships and fearsome bosses with your awesome arsenal of deadly weaponry! Rescue prisoners of war and blast everything in your path like a REAL hero!

Featuring multiple endings, brutal no-continues/no-nonsense gameplay, horizontal firing only (like a robotic Green Beret), abilities, upgrades and secondary weapons, Heavy Recoil isn't just NES hard, it's COIN-OP hard! Luckily though for you it won't eat your quarters, instead costing only $0.99 for the full game (the F2P part is simply the game up to the first boss battle).

Grab your copy now on Ouya (at the end of the 'Sandbox' section), or as an .apk file from the games' page at Total Ouya.

Huenison Reviews Incoming!

In case you missed the news earlier this month, Retream and RGCD teamed up to bring the genre-blending retro puzzle-shmup Huenison to PC's (and AmigaOS 4 machines) across the globe. Well, at long last the reviews have finally started to come in, and so far the feedback has been extremely positive. Cast your eyes over some of our choice quotes, and if you've £2.99 to spare, hit our online store to buy your DRM-free copy today!

"Take Arkanoid, Decathlon, Dyna Blaster, Impossible Mission, Oil's Well, Pac-Man, Pang, Qix, Slam Tilt, Space Invaders, Tetris and Vital Light, mix them up with some glowy retro visuals, throw in some decidedly C64 tunes, add a splash of classic arcade mentality and lo and behold Huenison will be born."

"Huenison perfectly captures the essence of addictiveness and gradual mastery that retro games are so famous for, but it does so without pounding you over the head with it or making you feel like a failure."

"Being what it is, Huenison isn't about progressing through a story or any of that nonsense; it's all about racking up high scores and surviving the onslaught of bricks."

"It's chaotic, challenging and so much fun! Welcome to HUENISON!"

"A riot of dot matrix retro graphics, synthetic sounds from the Commodore 64 and mechanics taken from an era still magical for many retrogamers." (Italian)

"In short, when it comes to new ideas in the world of indie games inspired by the old glories of the past, it is not always easy to match the giants of the genre but there is a lot of innovation in Huenison." (Italian)

"Huenison we liked." Retromaniac Magazine (Spanish)

"The musical theme of Huenison is very good, elevates the intensity of the game, and it sounds like it has come out of the SID chip of Commodore 64." (Greek)

"You need eyes of a chameleon to track everything that happens on the screen at the same time. And with the price of chameleons eyes implants nowadays, Huenison is hard game to beat..." (French)

C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition - Status Update #1

Ok, ok! I know that I should have posted a status update on our 16KB C64 game competition at least a month ago, but things have been stupid busy here at RGCD. So, without further delay, let's have a look at the progress made by the entrants so far.

Competition Entry #1: The Blob (Working Title)
Developer: David Eriksson
Status: In Progress

David Eriksson (he of the C64 Spike Dislike port and Driar fame) has returned to working on his tentitively titled 'blob' game, and already the current preview is miles ahead of where he was last year. Planned as a huge (for 16KB) metroidvania platformer, this flick-screen game already features a variety of beautifully presented enemies, wonderful animated landscapes, unlockable abilities and even checkpoints! With most of the work done, it seems that there is just the level design left - without meaning to sound too enthusiastic, I have incredibly high hopes for this one!

Maximus Action Carnage (PC)

Every now and then I encounter a game that kicks the living shit out of me, yet I can't help but to keep coming back for more. Maximus Action Carnage by Bruneras is one such game - and when I say it kicked my ass, it kicked so hard I tasted leather. Built as a stunning example of what Bruneras' Arcade Game Studio is capable of, as a standalone game Maximus Action Carnage doesn't exactly bring anything new to the shmup genre; a heroic army bloke shoots everyone, everyone dies, the end. This is a super tough vertically scrolling shooter made in the same vein as Ikari Warriors or Commando. There is a backstory, but whatever - we didn't come here for the reading.

Anodyne (PC/Mac/Linux/iOS)

From the moment you start Anodyne, its creators Sean Hogan and Jonathan Kittaka send you on an imaginative journey where the feeling of isolation runs rampant and the need to connect in a disconnected world where fantasy and reality exist adjacent to each other drives you to the truth. Your quest starts as you play a boy named Young and follow his progress through The Land to get to the Briar. Aided by the Village Elder, armed with a trusty broom (only real men use brooms), you traverse many lands solving puzzles in dungeons a la Zelda and unraveling the mystique that shrouds the world while ethereal sounds punctuate your footsteps.

Retro Racing (PC/Mac/iOS/Android/Ouya)

In a lot of ways, Retro Racing is exactly what I wanted. A top-down 2D racing game with simple, clear graphics and a perfect feeling physics model. Those who remember Nitro on the Amiga will likely start drawing some direct comparisons, and as well they should, because Jamie "Mr Qwak" Woodhouse was also the author behind that classic. With its engine roaring at the start grid alongside other releases trying to keep the cult genre of top-down racing alive, despite all its efforts Retro Racing is just not quite substantial enough to beat the competition.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Rogue Legacy (PC)

I forgot long ago how many generations have passed, how many flame-ring-tossing wizards I've slain, how many chests I've opened and how many spike-filled corridors I've traversed, how many times my IBS-ridden children have farted in midst of a dangerous battle. Rogue Legacy can do that to you.

Founded in 2009, the creator of Rogue Legacy, Cellar Door Games were already pretty well known in the indie scene for their portfolio of flash games - in particular the cheekily named "Don't Shit Your Pants", but their past successes are nothing in comparison to the mass exposure that they have received following the release of Rogue Legacy. And this exposure is well deserved, as Rogue Legacy is one of the most, if not the most, enjoyable 2D platformers I've played in a very long time (save for the superb Spelunky).

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure (PC/XBLIG)

Gritty reboots are the in-thing for cinema these days. Man of Steel recently reforged the camp-as-Christmas-and-twice-as-festive Superman franchise into a love poem to fatalism and duty, the Christopher Nolan Batman films did away with such marvels as the Bat Credit Card (never leave home without it) and there's a similar trend in video games, with the latest Tomb Raider excursion being more a bit grimy. But what is to be done with a game already brutal and unforgiving? A game that for thirty or more years has been chewing people up and spitting them out?

I speak of The Oregon Trail, the merciless edutainment game of watching settlers die horribly and uselessly. Often of dysentery. And the answer to the question is: go in the opposite direction and make a wagon-based migration game that is an absolutely unhinged and dirtily, filthily fun shoot-em-up. Welcome to the stage of history, colonist. This is Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. This is How The West Was FUN. Let's get edutained!

Thomas Was Alone (PC/Mac)

Games rarely balance humor whilst asking life defining questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Am I defined by my actions or by who I associate with? Mike Bithell is willing to rectify this with the wonderful Thomas Was Alone.

The game revolves around a rectangle called Thomas who blips into existence one day with no comprehension of what he is and why he is here. During his travels he encounters more individuals who are equally confused but seem to have inherent abilities that are useful to Thomas and continuing his journey through the unknown. The relationships the tiny blocks develop are hilarious and also heart warming - so don't hit Wikipedia before playing as you'll ruin half the fun.

Monday 22 July 2013

Request In Peace (ZX Spectrum)

As far as I can tell, there isn't a videogame genre called 'firefighting'. Well, I'd like to propose one. It'd include those action games where you are just trying to stay on top of things; Oil Panic (Game & Watch), Tapper (Arcade), Pssst (Spectrum) et al. would reside under this sub-heading. Happily, Request In Peace would proudly sit there amongst them, as a fine example.

R2-D2 (ZX Spectrum)

R2-D2 in brief: A traditional platform collect-em-up, where the diminutive Star Wars droid takes an unlicensed holiday in a Manic Miner-style world; avoiding baddies whilst collecting nuts. The reason for this isn’t desperately clear, but I'm assuming he is going to use them to build something from Meccano whilst C3PO looks on and chides him.

Interestingly, game author 'kas29' (a.k.a. Алексей Кашкаров) has used Jonathan Cauldwell's Arcade Game Designer to make R2-D2, and although a polished effort with nice sprite design, the end result is somewhat 'by the numbers'. Had this been a 1983 Mastertronic release it would have been considered reasonably good, but Speccy owners have somewhat spoiled for choice since then, and unfortunately this fails to stand out amongst a crowd of similar titles.

Bruce Lee II (PC)

It's hard not to love Bruce Lee. His style, his talent and his powerful aura turned a man of physically small stature into a pure giant of the silver screen.

Bruce Lee single-handedly made Martial Arts popular, and his stamp on modern culture has been imprinted deeply in movies and video games ever since. With that being said, it seems so strange that, while his likeness has been imitated often in great video games, titles that officially bear his name have been absolutely awful. In fact, the only game truly worthy of the license (which was simply entitled "Bruce Lee") was released 30 years ago... Yet now, thanks to Bruno R. Marcos of Cavenaut fame, (finally) a sequel - albeit an unofficial one - has arrived.

zX - Hyperblast (Preview) (PC)

Jumping into zX - Hyperblast feels very familar. It's a free-roaming bullet hell style shooter, almost exactly like Daniel Remar's Herocore, but with a weapons system pulled right out of Gunstar Heroes, and a bullet reflecting mechanic to boot. It is at first hard to tell if it feels like a shameless ripoff or not. But after reading developer retroFuture's release statement - wherein they specifically call out Herocore, Gunstar Heroes, and Radiant Silvergun by name as inspirations - and learning that this is the South African dev's first title, it does start feeling like the two man passion project that it genuinely is.

Tiny Barbarian DX (PC)

Tiny Barbarian DX is a bloodline descendant of the 2011 free game Tiny Barbarian, essentially a rich testosterone-heavy blend of Conan the Barbarian, Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Castlevania. Utilizing the same engine as StarQuail's XBLIG exclusive Astroman, Tiny Barbarian DX builds on its heritage to bring new characters, backgrounds and music to this successfully funded 2012 Kickstarter project.

'TinyB' has learnt a few new tricks since his last outing and has new moves, mounts and an improved combo system. The controls are as smooth as butter and the visuals are full of character thanks to the great work by Michael Stearns, who was not only the programmer but also the designer and artist of the game.

tapDancer (Android)

(Editor's Foreword: Let's remove those rose-tinted retro-gaming glasses and be honest for a moment; cassette tapes were a completely shit format for storing data on. And despite being somewhat of an iconic retro item, they are still completely shit today - if not worse, in fact. Unreliable, prone to random crashes, easily damaged and painfully slow (don't get me started on multi-load..!), I personally developed many of the more colourful adjectives and insults within my vocabulary whilst vainly attempting to load games from tape on my ZX Spectrum as a child back in the 1980s. However, with many classic home computer games from the past being available exclusively on cassette, getting your screwdriver out and adjusting datasette heads is a necessary evil - or at least it was until the introduction of tapDancer, an app for Android devices with an audio-out port that promises to make life for tape users a whole lot easier...)

In short, tapDancer is an application for Android that allows you to use a cassette adapter to load a variety of tape images (Commodore 64/128, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Acorn/BBC, MSX, Atari) on retro home computer. Sure, it's not the only solution available for dealing with annoying .TAP/.T64/.PRG/.TZX/.UEF/.CAS files (a variety of new hardware alternatives also exist) but being short of cash I decided to give this free application a thorough test to see if it really is a viable option for retro computer fans.

Canabalt HD (Android/Ouya)

What can be said about Canabalt that has not already been said? The legendary one-button indie has made its way to the Ouya in the form of Canabalt HD, its first appearance on a proper non-mobile games console in the game's much celebrated history.

For those who don't know, the game is a minimalist futuristic 'endless runner' which begins with you leaping from an office block and jumping over buildings and avoiding falling alien bombs and other hazards. The controls consist of a single tap, or button press depending on platform, which causes you to leap - and that's it. The story is never explained, but the background of alien tripods ala War of the Worlds, firing over a damaged city skyline suggests an apocalyptic alien invasion from which you are fleeing endlessly.

This Android and Ouya exclusive 'High Definition' version created by Kittehface includes a number of new gameplay modes, additional music and graphics, achievements and also some basic multiplayer, based around a second runner joining you. Without wanting to go over in detail the basics of the game again – in sum, it's superb – this review will focus on the HD revamp.

Friday 12 July 2013

RGCD Release: Huenison (PC/AmigaOS 4)

Today is a very important day for RGCD. As of 00:00 GMT on the 12th of July, Retream's Huenison is finally available to buy (£2.99, DRM free) for Windows and AmigaOS 4 machines - our debut release in the scary world of PC game publishing. Obviously, to make any impact in the overcrowded indie market it would have to be something really special. Luckily, here at RGCD we've been critically reviewing games on many platforms now for almost a decade - and we think we know a good bet when it comes to a game's potential success.

Huenison has that potential. It's a perfectly crafted combination of a whole plethora of our favourite game elements. Blammo guns and power-ups? Check. Frantic arcade action? Check. Kick-ass chip music, neo-retro visuals, unique genre-mashing game design? Triple check. I mean, come on, how could we not love a game that heavily features samples taken from a 1982 Commodore 64?

We previewed an early version of the game back in March, and fell in love with the concept; here at RGCD we embrace new ideas, and turbo-puzzle-shmups aren't exactly a saturated genre. The listed influences (Arkanoid, Decathlon, Dyna Blaster, Impossible Mission, Oil's Well, Pac-Man, Pang, Qix, Slam Tilt, Space Invaders, Tetris and Vital Light) include some of our favourite games from the past, yet the end result is a shape-shifting hybrid game that feels like it has dropped through a portal from the future. Don't take our word for it though - check out the 5-level demo.

But enough of the hype, what exactly do you get in return for £2.99 of your Earth coinage? To keep things simple, there are two versions of the game available from our store; an executable installer for the PC, and a ZIP archive for AmigaOS 4. Huenison is DRM free and has very basic minimum system requirements (500 MHz, 32 bit CPU, 32 bit graphics card, 16 bit sound card, 12MB RAM, 32MB disk space). Not only that, but our intention is to eventually sell a limited physical boxed CD release of the game - and everyone who buys a copy of the download will receive a £2.99 discount code for the collector's edition when it is released.

So, grab your gamepad, crank up the volume and dive into the chaotic mind-control wells of Huenison...

Thursday 11 July 2013

Mutant Mudds (3DS/iOS/PC)

A moment, please, for the radical kids of videogameland. Where would we be without the likes of Alex Kidd, Ash Ketchum, the infant with the huge head from BC Kid, Chuck Rock's double-hard baby son or even Diddy Kong?

We'd be screwed, because in videogameland the planet's salvation is often in the hands of precocious, occasionally violent kids who do things like hang out with weird unemployed animal trainers (I've got my eye on you, Brock), scour continents looking for Master Swords of Mass Destruction and, in the case of Mutant Mudds' protagonist Max, immediately respond to an alien invasion of Earth by kicking off bigstyle.

Mojon Twins: Cover Tape 2 (ZX Spectrum)

When I initially sat down to write this review I figured I would separate the individual titles on the colossal Cover Tape 2 and assess them on their own merit, however upon playing through them all I came to the realisation that even though they all unique games, many are not actually that different from each other (with a couple of exceptions). For this reason, this article will primarily cover the highlights, giving a passing mention to the rest.

The ever-prolific Mojon Twins have a history of releasing many stellar 8-Bit games, and this collection is no exception. Harking back to the 'good olde days' when you'd pick up a ZX Spectrum magazine from your newsagent with a cassette tape attached brimming with games, Cover Tape 2 is essentially an assemblage of mini-games and prototypes that never really made the transition to full release. Predominantly of the platform ilk with a few maze-types thrown in for good measure, most of the games revolve around collecting items and unlocking doors whilst solving the odd situation based puzzle... However despite their similarities no two are truly alike.

Souls (ZX Spectrum)

Calling Souls by Retrobytes Productions a 'demake' would be a bit of an understatement. Other than gathering souls and saving your game/restoring your life at campfires, this modern retro title bears little resemblance to its majestic inspiration - the mighty, infamous, devilishly challenging Dark Souls by FROM Software. Unfortunately, the limitations of the ZX Spectrum don't translate well to a game attempting to capture this spirit.

Organ Trail: Director's Cut (PC/Mac/Linux/iOS/Ouya)

The zombie apocalypse is (once again) upon us and you must travel across the United States with your band of survivors. America is in poor shape and necessities are in short supply so grab your boomstick and get scavenging! In The Organ Trail hordes of zombies are everywhere... complimented by an (un)healthy dose of dysentery.

The Organ Trail has several key elements of game play which involve a combination of managing your group, repairing your car and other key tasks to keep the danger at bay. The most nerve wracking sections include evading biker gangs and hunting for supplies whilst fending off the many things trying to eat you - and without spoiling anything too much, it ain't just zeds you have to watch out for.

Friday 5 July 2013

Attention Video Game Journalists...

RGCD are looking to add new writers to our current team, so if you've ever fancied yourself as a bit of a games journo, here's your chance to get involved!

Ideally we'd like applicants to be able to commit to writing one 500(+) word game review per week. You'll start off with set assignments, but after a trial period you'll be given free reign to suggest and cover whatever interests you (within the spectrum of retro/indie gaming, of course).

A good knowledge of the history of videogames, arcades, home computers, consoles and the indie scene is essential. Previous experience of writing reviews (for a website, magazine or even on a personal blog) would be preferable.

What can we offer in return? Well, to be honest... not much. For reviews of commercial indies you'll be purchased a free copy of the game and you'll also have access to the occasional pre-release and exclusive title (as well as an invitation to beta test some exciting internal projects). In addition to this, RGCD has become a popular site for indie and retro heads since it's relaunch last year and as such it will also act as a decent platform from which you can further promote your own work.

Drop us a line via our contact page if you are interested.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Sheepoid DX / Woolly Jumper Cartridge Available! (C64)

RGCD in association with Psytronik Software are proud to present a C64 twin-pack of games coded by Richard Bayliss of The New Dimension; Sheepoid DX and Woolly Jumper are finally available to buy on cartridge from our shop!

Sheepoid DX is a specially enhanced version of TND's dual-axis Laser Zone tribute that was originally released by Psytronik in 2011. Planet Earth is under attack from Space Goats and it's your mission to wipe out the strange alien threat and save the Earth from ungulate domination!

Woolly Jumper is the full, enhanced 64K version of the game Richard originally wrote for the RGCD 16K Cartridge Compo. Poor Pepito the sheep is lost in Mindspace, and you must help him escape from this nightmare by guiding him through 16 levels guarded by Green Martians, Space Chickens and Wiggly Worms!

Sheepoid DX and Woolly Jumper are PAL only games, and have been confirmed working on the C64, C128 and C64GS (although a second joystick is required in port one to activate the smart bomb in Sheepoid DX).

The cartridge version is available in two packaging types, a standard card carton and a more expensive 'deluxe version' that comes in a plastic case (a Universal Game Case with a specially cut foam insert to hold the cartridge as shown below). The standard version is priced at £22, whereas the deluxe version costs £27. Shipping is £4 for UK/Europe and £5 for the rest of the world. A digital version of the game will also be sent out to all customers following receipt of payment.

The cover art features illustration and design by Smila and STE'86 and the game comes complete with a printed manual, and vinyl RGCD sticker. The 64KB PCB is housed in classic black cartridge shell.

Please note that Psytronik Software are also selling the game on premium/budget disk, tape and download for £9.99, £4.99, £4.99 and £1.99 respectively (plus shipping) via their Binary Zone Retro Store.

Sheepoid DX / Woolly Jumper (C64) (2013)

System Requirements

* A Commodore 64/128/GS (Limited) (PAL).
* A joystick/joypad.
* A VDU preferably connected to a loud sound-system.


The retail version of Sheepoid DX / Woolly Jumper is currently not available for free download. You can buy the game on cartridge from RGCD here, or as a download, tape and disk from Psytronik Software here.


After two years simmering away on the back burner, RGCD and Psytronik are proud to announce the release of two specially enhanced games from The New Dimension; the graphically-overhauled Sheepoid DX (featuring all new art by Trevor "Smila" Storey) and the final full version of Woolly Jumper (with proper jumping physics added by Dr. Martin "Enthusi" Wendt).