Indie Royale’s Latest Bundle Is All Arcen

By Jim Rossignol on June 7th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.


The Arclight Bundle over on Indie Royale is a single-studio special from Arcen. That means it includes: AI War, Tidalis, A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 and Shattered Haven – basically everything other than their latest, Skyward Collapse. They’re even throwing in the new AI War expansion, Vengeance of the Machine, which has just gone into beta. The $8 buy-in unlocks soundtracks for all, too. Not bad at all.

Some more details below.

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28 Comments »

  1. Izkari says:

    I have so much trouble finding people to play AI War with, it makes me sad. Is it because it’s just too niche for most? I love Arcen’s games. I really wish they were more popular.

    • dE says:

      It seems to happen primarily via their Forums. The built-in online system is a bit… wonky so be prepared to use Hamachi or something like that.

    • Rollin says:

      I tried AI war with some friends. The tutorial was so buggy we got exception stack traces in the message windows instead. After an hour of playing, I was the only one who could grasp the basics of the game, the others were just confused. Overall it just felt like a mess and we didn’t go back to it.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Sometimes the tutorials don’t get updated as the game gets developed, since AI War is still in constant development there can be phases where the tutorials don’t work. Might be worth trying again and seeing if it’s working currently. If not just let the devs know, they usually patch things within a work day or two.

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        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        AI War is one of the most rewarding games to get into. It remains challenging right up to the point of victory. It is also the only game that I can think of that doesn’t just ask you “can you win this fight?”, it asks “is this a fight you can win, and is winning worth it?”. It is entirely possible to lose the game by achieving a crushing military victory in the wrong system, bringing down retribution on a scale you can’t even comprehend.

  2. MondSemmel says:

    I love AI War but hated Shattered Haven. Or rather, played Shattered Haven and found it not quite dull enough to stop…when mobs started to repeatedly get stuck in walls, which made levels unbeatable. I shelved the game for good when the game hadn’t received any updates 1-2 months later.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Valley and SH probably burned a lot of their reputation, Skyward only has a single review on Metacritic so far (a 90% from Gamesbeat), no WIT, seems like there’s very little interest in it.

      • AvistTorch says:

        That really is a shame. I couldn’t get into AI War or AVWW, but I’ve found AVWW2 to be enjoyable and Skyward Collapse (which is only $5, btw) to be quite awesome.

        • KDR_11k says:

          Did you try Tidalis? Match three doesn’t sound interesting but it’s a great game.

      • Caiman says:

        AVWW is probably my backlog game of 2012, I played it for weeks and loved it, although it took several hours to go from “I don’t really like this” to “oh my, I get it now”. I think that initial “what the hell is going on?” plus the somewhat crude (but loveable) graphics generated a lot of this dislike for the first game. AVWW2 is sitting in my Steam folder looking at me, taunting me, I want to play it but I just don’t want to get addicted just yet – I have too much work to do. :(

    • Shadowcat says:

      I’d never heard of Shattered Haven, but the trailer is quite enticing, so I was hoping it would be complemented with more enthusiastic comments than that. Does anyone else have input on the gameplay?

  3. pandora says:

    There is no link to the bundle in the article for some reason, or am I missing it? :P

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    Terics says:

    This is a pretty good deal for AI War alone. A year ago I had a 40+ hour campaign going with some friends. It was super fun,except the part where we argued and ended up never finishing. Still one of my gaming highlights. I can’t speak for the other games here, but AVWW2 is also pretty fun.

  5. Jupiah says:

    A nice bundle, too bad I already own all of it except for the new A.I. War expansion.

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    Cross says:

    I’ve never had much love for Arcen. More like Arsen Games.

  7. illway says:

    Can anyone give me a brief synopsis on AI War and A Valley Without Wind? Is the former like a real time Master of Orion 2 and the latter like a Castlevania-based game?

    • malkav11 says:

      In AI War, you play the last remnant(s) of the human race trying to wage guerrilla war on the AIs that wiped everyone else out. You have to be very careful about how you do this because the AIs have essentially infinite forces in the rest of the galaxy and if you seem like a big enough threat they will stomp you flat. On the other hand, if you pick your targets carefully, you can build up a powerful armada of ships with which to assault AI core worlds without drawing fatal levels of attention. Essentially, by default the AI will passively wait and guard its systems, occasionally reinforcing them by a few ships, and every so often (with about two minutes of warning) each AI will pick a system of yours to assault with a wave of a specific ship type, with numbers and quality based on your threat level. These waves normally warp into a neighboring AI-controlled system, and so you can defend that particular wormhole with turrets and other defensive structures or move in a defensive fleet, etc.

      There’s a vast variety of units and AI defenses, with each expansion adding dozens more as well as alien remnants, superweapons, various subfactions, a faction that triggers an optional campaign, hero-class superships that level up and constitute an entire player’s worth of forces by themselves, and so on and so forth. That said, when you start a game the randomized galaxy seed will only import a fairly limited subset of these options and you can tweak what sort of units, factions, and other expansion content get used. AIs can also have a variety of different behavior patterns and a range of difficulty settings.

      And, of course, there’s coop.

      The original A Valley Without Wind is a game of drilling down through huge, mostly empty randomly generated levels for particular resources and spells and such with the long term goal of defeating an evil overlord’s lieutenants and then the overlord himself. It’s a strange game and while it has its fans it felt kinda overstuffed and empty simultaneously to me.

      A Valley Without Wind 2 is kind of Actraiser-ish – you send various survivors to do turn-based strategic level tasks while you the player drop into short randomly generated sidescrolling levels to accomplish particular objectives that only you can do. The overlord comes out after a brief head start, and spends his time summoning monsters and chasing down your survivors to personally murder them, all in the strategic level.

  8. Sic says:

    I want to buy this bundle simply because A Valley Without Wind is such a brilliantly awesome name.

  9. Sigh says:

    How is A.I. War’s single player mode? Is it a worthwhile experience? That would probably be the only way I would play it. Thanks in advance.

    • malkav11 says:

      That’s pretty much the focus of the vast majority of the design. The coop basically just dumps extra players onto the map with commensurately smaller ship counts and resource sharing. About the only thing that seems gauged specifically for coop are Ancient Shadows’ hero ships.

  10. Memphis-Ahn says:

    I hope this means I won’t have to post “RIP in peace Arcen” anytime soon.

  11. Shodex says:

    People complain about AVWW a lot, but I really enjoy it. I think there’s a lot of fun to be had jumping around a cave shooting magic at robot skeletons, especially with friends.

  12. Erzerpel says:

    After having finally tried AI War, a game I am sure to be exceptionally bad at, AVWW 1 all of a sudden makes much more sense. The arbitrary hit-points, resources, etc; the numbers, statistics etc. I wonder how the game would have turned out, had the Arcen-boys been able to get AI War out of their system? Shattered Haven is pretty good as well. A solid story-driven puzzler, but the stand out title for me is Tidalis. I just love it!
    By the way there is another bundle-in-a-box on offer, which also includes “Lune” alpha access. Come on RPS write something about it! Last time it was just hours before it expired.