Sunday 25 August 2013

Gommy Medieval Defender (MSX)

"Let's rock!" The sampled voice at the beginning of early nineties Amiga coverdisk game Ork Attack plays in my head every time I fire up Gommy Medieval Defender. I used to play Ork Attack to an eye-bleeding extent and to see a game very similar to it appear on the MSX is exciting indeed!

There's something primevally satisfying about belting enemies on the head with a rock as they try to scale the walls of your castle. Like a hard-coded impulse in the mind to really get jollies from defending a huge pile of masonry. Maybe that's why we're such territorial dicks at times. Retroworks' Gommy Medieval Defender, which recently came fourth in this year's MSXDev coding contest, has a direct line to this ancient butthead sector of the human brain and is a clobbering good laugh.

The Agent: Glory to Moscow (PC/Mac)

Developed in nine hours for Creative Assembly's "The 80s" game jam, Bristol-based Force of Habit and Clockwork Cuckoo's The Agent: Glory to Moscow is modelled after a fictitious lost Russian arcade game of the 1980's, with influences including cold war propaganda, Soviet aerobics videos and esoteric Russian technology.

Friday 23 August 2013

Gunslugs (Android/iOS/OUYA)

Gunslugs is a run 'n' gun title that is decidedly retro in its approach and the concept will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played, well, pretty much any action arcade game from the 1980s and early 1990s. Advance your gun-toting hero onwards to the right, blasting anything and everything that stands in your way. Rinse and repeat.

Our friends at Wide Pixel Games recently paid similar homage to the 80s arcade era with their Ouya release, Heavy Recoil. However, where Heavy Recoil focused on delivering a genuinely authentic vintage arcade experience, Orange Pixel have instead opted to infuse Gunslugs with a modern twist; random level generation. After all, this is 'retro' gaming as viewed in 2013, not 1986.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Headblaster (PC)

We live in a golden age of electronic entertainment, everywhere we turn there are hundreds of fully interactive, deep, challenging experiences full of three dimensional characters with heavy hearted back-stories pursuing their goals within vast, realistic and realized worlds.

In contrast, Headblaster by Loud Noises raises a middle finger salute and screams out "fuck it - let's take some drugs!" before exploding onto your screen in a short-lived yet riotous cacophony of fun.

Thursday 15 August 2013

rymdkapsel (Sony Vita/iOS/Android)

Martin 'grapefrukt' Jonasson has been making flash games for a decade, and his latest creation, rymdkapsel, is a little gem. The minimalist space-station construction real-time-strategy tower-defence game has been out on Sony's Vita for some time (the console on which I've been playing it) and was just released for Android and iOS, for which it's likely an even better fit due to its touch-heavy interface.

So what's it all about? No plot or back-story to mess around with here. The player is stationed on a floating island of sorts, with a few minions available to do their bidding. Using touch controls, one must place 'rooms' to expand their stronghold. The trick is that these rooms are much like Tetrominos in that they are randomly selected, you get what you get, and they must be rotated and manipulated to achieve the finest configuration.

Friday 9 August 2013

Savant: Ascent (PC)

Holy shit. It isn't often a game makes me say that. Out loud. However, Savant: Ascent by D-Pad Studio, did exactly that.

Inspired by the album covers and artwork created for - and music created by - EDM/dubstep/glitch hop artist extraordinaire Savant, this game is truly unique. It storms onto your screen with the presence of the horned child of a lusty Skrillex after a sweaty three-way romp in a motel with Castlevania: SoTN and a bullet-hell shooter.

G-Force (PC)

Back in the early days of RGCD, before Death Ray Manta, before SYNSO, and even before War Twat, we previewed a work-in-progress game by a chap called Oddbob (aka Rob Fearon). That game was G-Force, essentially a remake of a ZX Spectrum game of the same name by Boris Baginski, a niche and "untypical" shmup that was described by Crash magazine in 1984 as a "hard game to describe as it fits in with no known categories and resembles no other game we have seen".

Well, that just goes to show how useless Crash's review staff were, because in a nutshell G-Force is Atari's coin-op classic Tempest realised in 2D. And to that note, if the original ZX Spectrum G-Force is no more than Tempest in 2D, then Rob's remake is arguably the eye-popping Atari Jaguar exclusive Tempest 2000 in 2D, complete with an extra serving of psychedelic Jeff Minter-sauce.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Cropky (Amiga)

Yikes! There aren't many games that will get me screaming at my monitor in pure frustration at my lack of skill. Ladies and gentlemen, this game is one of them. Cropky by C&A Fan is an Amiga port of an 8-bit Atari game released in 2011, which itself was an adaptation of an old pen and paper game that is commonly known as 'Dots', but with a little twist.

Starting with an empty grid of dots of varying shapes, two players (either human or AI) take turns to add a single line between two unjoined adjacent dots. These lines can be in any direction, including diagonally, but must not be longer than one square in length, and must not cross other lines already on the playfield. This continues until no more moves can be made. Whoever cannot make a line during their turn loses the game. Simple, right?

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Malaika (MSX)

Created as an entry for the MSXdev 2013 competition, Revelo Videogames' Malaika was particularly well received by the judging panel and was awarded second place in the final results. Karoshi's Shouganai may have beaten it to the top of the winners podium, but as far as I'm concerned, Malaika was the real winner. Why? Well, its simply because I LOVE Bubble Bobble, and Malaika is an MSX exclusive love-letter to Taito's masterpiece, sharing many of its mechanics with the classic and the feel isn't too far removed either as a result.

Gaurodan (PC/Linux/Ouya)

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

A mere five months in development, Locomalito's homage to Choplifter, Defender and the classic monster movies of yester-year has been unleashed into the wild! Destroy the puny armies of mankind, battle collossal creatures and lay waste to the sleepy towns of the sun-drenched Canary Islands, all in glorious vintage coin-op-o-vision whilst Gryzor87's thematic chip tunes blast out in the background! Oh yes, there is a whole lot of authentic 1980's fun to be had in Gaurodan.

However, the big reveal - and indeed the reason why this particular release is so special - is that Gaurodan is the first Locomalito game to be released on a console as well as PC. Enter centre stage... the Ouya.