Hey, You Got Your Tower Defence In My Shmup! Excubitor

By Alice O'Connor on September 12th, 2014.

Kaboom!

Part of why shoot ‘em ups are great is explosions. Massive fancy explosions everywhere. Kerblam! Foosh! Splode! Tower defence games are also great at spewing fire, debris, and particles: that’s how you know you’ve defended that thing real good. Sprang! Clonk! Fsssh! Combine the two and you’d surely have fire, lasers, missiles, and explosions just everywhere. Looking at Excubitor shows yep, that’s about right. The shmup/TD has come to my attention by popping up on Steam Greenlight, but it’s got a public alpha version we can play right now too. Blammo!

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Freeware Garden: Sun God Star Bridge

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 12th, 2014.

Sun Gods are delicate, subtle creatures. Never, ever shock them.

Back when I was young and impressionable I considered Space Harrier to be the apex of both 3D and shoot-’em-up gaming despite it, well, not being exactly 3D. Then again, when everything looks amazingly and thrilling a seven-year-old rarely cares for details. I cared only for blasting weird alien things.

I seem to have not quite outgrown my Space Harrier obsession and that’s why I downloaded Sun God Star Bridge the moment I saw it.

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Alice’s Daily Walk: Abstract Ritual

By Alice O'Connor on September 11th, 2014.

Abstract, yes.

Maybe Alec and Ben were taking the piss in suggesting this. I certainly don’t intend to back down on rhetoric, though. We’ll see who starts a regular (?) series about walking simulators, shan’t we?

Welcome to Alice’s Daily Walk! Isn’t walking great? I hugely enjoy wandering semi-aimlessly, looking at stuff and thinking about things. Now modern technological advancements mean we can compliment walks with virtual walks from the comfort of our own homes. What times we live in!

Today, let’s take a stroll in Abstract Ritual. Purists might object to it having an objective, sprinting, and a mighty jump, but hey, let’s not bicker! You know what’ll help shake that stress out? A nice walk.

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Freeware Garden: S.W.A.P.

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 11th, 2014.

Dancing the diversity dance with this week's second FPS! Who said Freeware Garden doesn't do first person arena things?

You may have not noticed it, but I try to keep the Freeware Garden as varied as possible. No, really, and the fact that I haven’t mentioned any multiplayer FPS games yet has been completely coincidental and not at all the result of my being hysterically bored of anything even vaguely resembling Quake.

Besides, here’s the lovely, lovely S.W.A.P.. The S.W.A.P. is very much an FPS, though refreshingly one that doesn’t come with a shoot-to-kill mechanic. Yes, it’s a pacifist’s dream. Should you actually click your left mouse button when an opponent is in sight, you’ll simply exchange bodies.

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Freeware Garden: This Little Piggy…

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 10th, 2014.

I had to play through a hundred or so Ludum Dare vignettes to discover This (particular) Little Piggy, but it was a little piggy worth caring for. A gorgeous first-person game in which you, a space hermit, must make a potato salad — though gathering that tasty, tasty bacon may be harder than it first appears.

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Real-Time Tactical Action: FIFA 15 Demo

By Alice O'Connor on September 10th, 2014.

He's feeling down because we lost 5-0.

Our Adam often writes posts about EA’s FIFA games, but as he’s off on holiday this week (sitting in a quiet, dark room, for all I know), I’ll have a crack at this one. Hey there, FIfans! (I imagine that’s the term.) EA yesterday released a FIFA 15 demo, so we might finally answer the question on all of our lips: have they managed to keep the action lively for the fifteenth game (fifteen! can you imagine?) in their real-time tactical series? I strapped on my leg armour to find out.

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Point ‘n’ Click ‘n’ Laugh ‘n’ Kickstart: Paradigm

By Ben Barrett on September 10th, 2014.

Paradigm and its demo brought the LucasArts adventure classics to mind immediately. It’s got its own strange world, set in a ’70s vision of the future with massive computers and chunky machinery the backdrop to a dystopian, mutated landscape. The titular main character is a genetic experiment gone wrong. Supposed to be the perfect child, he instead came out as “the ugliest protagonist in gaming.” Likely the mildest of the cast, he’s joined by a computer addicted to Internet chatrooms, a beatboxing egg plant and a drug-addled astronaut. It’s the wacky work of solo dev Jacob Janerka, who’s taken it to Kickstarter looking for $14,000 Australian (~£8,000).

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Surreal Sneaking: Sample Somewhere With Rituals

By Alice O'Connor on September 9th, 2014.

Taking the ritual of brushing your teeth before bed a bit too far.

A first-person explore-a-stealth-o-chat game about stepping into books and other people’s heads to see different sides of a story sounds right up oh so many of my alleys, so I’ve been keeping an eye on Somewhere. I cooed and gushed about how pretty it was looking in July, and today I heartily enjoyed poking around that surreal house myself. Developers Oleomingus have released a free “early alpha” build under the name Rituals, showing a separate area to their earlier “pre-alpha” standalone Fictions. It is a game to be curious about and toy with. It is pleasant.

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Freeware Garden: Capsule

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 9th, 2014.

A starship the size of Wales looks a bit like this.

I am slowly yet surely discovering that I adore illustrated interactive fiction. I believe I could take the thing and live with it on a desert island, where I’d fish and cook and it’d provide me with stuff like Capsule. Ah, yes, it would be a lovely exercise in calm, enlightened misanthropy.

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Android Nightmare: 2D Horror Uncanny Valley’s Demo

By Alice O'Connor on September 8th, 2014.

Nothing uncanny about it--that's just plain awful.

We’ve had a gander at the android nightmare of Uncanny Valley before, at its dark laboratories draped in synthflesh and filled with mannequins and metal skeletons. Now you can wander those frightful places, ducking behind servers and fleeing from horrible things, as developers Cowardly Creations have release a demo for their 2D survival horror. Boo! Don’t worry, that was just me attempting to startle you with onomatopoeia, not a robot trying to assume your identity… this time.

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Freeware Garden: Shattered

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 8th, 2014.

Awwwwwwwww! Just look at the little rascal.

Shattered comes with a plot. Something about a world consuming dark power that has already shattered a planet in two and about you being there to rob said planet of its artifacts, but, yes, you couldn’t possibly care about such things, could you? Not when you get to control an impossibly cute black blob, you can’t.

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Free As A Bird: Altitude For All

By Alice O'Connor on September 5th, 2014.

Nyoooom!

When I let slip that Altitude was one of the games I was hiding in my Steam library, I was called, perhaps rightly, a monster. “Such a great little indie multiplayer game (which still has regular players even after a few years. That’s pretty rare)” said commenter Gnoupi. “That was a cracking little game” added LionsPhil. I’m sorry. I am a monster, though at least I have fewer games to scroll through now.

If you are not a monster and also fancy the sound of multiplayer 2D aerial combat (or is that how we define ‘not a monster’?), good news: Altitude is now free for everyone to download and play.

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Freeware Garden: Red Entity

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on September 5th, 2014.

Clearly a plot-heavy offering.Red Entity is a game about a bunny girl, her giant mech and a couple thousand baddies out to get them and yet it makes sense. Or, well, not. Truth be said, this is all about shooting everything that comes your way, dodging stuff and surviving long enough to make it to the next wave.

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