Swimming Upstream: Twitch Sells, Funds Indie Games

By Nathan Grayson on April 17th, 2014.

I've got those millions-of-random-Internet-kids-screaming-in-my-head-at-all-once blues

Twitch has its fair share of problems, but there’s no denying the utter ubiquity of the massive videogame streaming service. Heck, I use it for two separate shows here on RPS, and I’m sure plenty of you stream out your cursing-and-bad-joke-ridden exploits as well. It’s interesting, then, to see what Twitch has decided to do with the powder keg of potential influence sitting right beneath its purple buttocks. Its latest decision? A move into game sales and – in one special case – funding. You can now purchase Vlambeer’s madly addictive Nuclear Throne from Twitch. Meanwhile, the Twitch Plays Pokemon inspired Choice Chamber is having its Kickstarter funding matched dollar-for-dollar by the streaming goliath.

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Gracilevania: Heart Forth, Alicia

By Adam Smith on April 17th, 2014.

I think the title is an instruction – ‘Let your heart go forth, Alicia!’. A bit like ‘Chin up, Alicia’, ‘Put your best foot forward, Alicia’ or ‘Flying elbow drop, Alicia!’. The game behind the instruction is a gorgeous Metroidvania sort of thing, starring a warrior-wizard lady with a whip and a collection of spells. The graphics aren’t ‘retro’ simply in the sense that they look dated. Take a look at the video, being sure not to turn off the sound during the odd voiceover, and you’ll see a side-scroller that looks and sounds as lovely as many nineties console greats. Alicia’s heart has led her to Kickstarter, of course, and with 29 days left to go there’s already just shy of $15,000 in the bank. $45,000 more to go.

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More Like Wargame: Rad Dragon

By Ben Barrett on April 17th, 2014.

Yay! Explosions!

I’ll admit that I don’t often know what the hell is going on. This is a blanket statement that applies to many areas of my life – games, meals, showers – I’ve had confusion during all of them. But it’s not often that a trailer will leave me with quite the same pleasant non-understanding as finding a surprise Terry’s Chocolate Orange in my bed. The latest from the amusingly named RTS Wargame: Red Dragon managed that and, as I’ve discovered in researching this post, seems to have done the same to Graham. There’s just something about its collection of modern military hardware and explosion addiction that numbs my brain into quiet, happy appreciation. Hopefully you’ll see what I mean below.

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Tactical Terraforming: Imagine Earth

By Adam Smith on April 17th, 2014.

Imagine Earth’s demo reminded me of Project Godus, which is a bit like having a face that reminds me of the kid who used to bully me at school and showed up a decade and a half later in the toilets of a dingy nightclub, horribly drunk and tearfully apologetic. In both situations, the unintended reminder inspires a mixture of anger and pity that I’m choosing to call ‘angety’. Initially, Imagine Earth was a catalyst for ‘angety’. I played on though, clicking and collecting resources through the tutorial, and soon enough I was enjoying myself. The playfields are smaller than those in Godus and rather than expanding simply for the sake of it, Imagine Earth’s colonies must be balanced and controlled. Take a look, or try the demo now.

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Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is Going To Be Amazing

By Ben Barrett on April 16th, 2014.

Quick, the RPS hivemind has retired to a snoozing chamber in London to absorb more knowledge into the glorious whole, so let’s have a party. It’ll be full of blood and guts and dead animals and religious subtexts! Not your sort of party? You probably haven’t played enough Binding of Isaac, the gory 2D roguelike from way back in the mists of time, 2011. It was one of the first in the long line of every-run-is-different action games from the past few years and (particularly with the DLC) is fucking brilliant. Since we last heard from dev Mr. Edmund McMillen, he’s been hard at work on a remake/expansion and putting updates on the game’s blog. The main purpose is to get away from its Flash trappings so it will run acceptably on a larger number of machines, plus allow some console ports. However, there’s also been music, item and enemy reveals, the best of which I’ve hunted down, cried at until they died and hung the corpses of on the wall below.

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Fixed: Second Episode of Broken Sword 5 Slithers Out

By Alice O'Connor on April 16th, 2014.

What costume shall the poor girl wear?

Splitting Broken Sword: The Serpent’s Curse into two episodes may have helped Revolution Software make good on its plan to release the retro adventure revival in 2013, not to mention earn a few pennies sooner rather than later, but unsurprisingly left it feeling incomplete. Though our crack adventure game mercenary Richard ‘Demo Dick’ Cobbett enjoyed the game, he noted that with this split, “The catch is that as well as splitting the raw story in half, Broken Sword 5 has been thematically halved.” He wasn’t overly thrilled about investigating an insurance claim rather than a supposed supernatural curse, see.

The two halves are now united, as the second episode launched tonight. Hopefully it introduces the devilish thrill Richard felt lacking, and right now he’ll be off with George and Nico larking about with a couple of Satans and a few Draculas or whatever it is he wants. I don’t know, I haven’t played it.

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Fallen Falling: Pantheon Development On Hold

By Alice O'Connor on April 16th, 2014.

A castle we might never explore

By now we surely all understand that Kickstarting a game is a bit of a gamble: we rarely have a clear idea of how it’ll turn out, and sometimes if it’ll even be finished. At least Kickstarters have a clear goal to work towards, though, and will only take your money if they hit the sum devs figure will let them finish it. Open-ended crowdfunding is even riskier, as they’ll take your money but may never get enough to finish the game. Which is what has happened to Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen.

The MMORPG headed by former EverQuest lead designer Brad McQuaid has been shaking its own crowdfunding bucket after a Kickstarter campaign fell short, and has now run out of money. It’s hoping it’ll land an investor but the game’s not really going anywhere until hypothetical saviours come along.

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Eternal Sonata: The Music Of Pillars Of Eternity

By Nathan Grayson on April 16th, 2014.

Writing music for an RPG must be such a tricky thing. Especially when you’re working with a project as potentially massive as Obsidian Kickstarter darling Pillars of Eternity, you’ve got to breathe life into lilting melodies that rise and crash at the perfect moments, but drift and meander gently throughout. I mean, these songs are going to be on loop for upwards of 50-60 hours. If one is too loud or too fast or too insistent on taking center stage in an area where the player’s just doing their thing, it can easily break the whole illusion. Fortunately, Obsidian’s got plenty of experience with this conundrum, and it’s debuted a region’s entire song as a proof-of-concept.

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Wake Into Dreams: Grave’s Surrealist Horror

By Adam Smith on April 16th, 2014.

I’ve watched three videos of Grave. The first convinced me that the psychological horror game was precisely my cup of tea, with its shifting scenery and creepy sculptures. That’s the first video I’ve placed below and if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably see some promise in the potential trickery of the narrative voice. I’m reminded of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, one of the great relatively unsung horror games. All three videos are below.

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Cardboard Receives Grim Reminder: Attack of the Artifacts

By Ben Barrett on April 16th, 2014.

This might be the first anime reference in RPS title-joke history

See the little guy in the bottom left of the header image there, excitedly throwing his arms in the air about bits of (digital) cardboard? That is exactly how good new cards being introduced to your favourite game feels. While my personal crack Magic goes through yet another spoiler season for its next release, extraordinarily generous free-to-play RPG/CCG hybrid Card Hunter is conquering new shores as well. For the unfamiliar, it combines a D&D style board game with a paper cut-out aesthetic and collectible elements to create an experience both Adam and Alec have sung the praises of. This first addition promises to bring “tough new campaign battles, bizarre new monsters and powerful new cards” along with some other sweet deets you can find below.

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Aha: Take On Mars Adds Manned Mission

By Adam Smith on April 16th, 2014.

Bohemia have accomplished what real life scientists and government funding bodies cannot – exploration and colonisation sim Take On Mars now features a manned mission. I hadn’t realised that the previous build of the Early Access version only allowed players to send a probe to the puce planet, but that’s no longer the case.

Today’s update lands the first human marsonauts to Take On Mars. With access to a manned science buggy, featuring an interactive 3D GUI, one of their first objectives will be to explore the huge new Cydonia Mensae location, which spans 8×8 kilometer of Martian terrain. A 3D printer enables marsonauts to construct various parts, which can be put together via the Habitat Construction System to form buildings and installations.

The term ‘marsonauts’ dropped in among the other words makes me instinctively shudder, as if I were looking at a sea of human faces and suddenly spotted a Brundlefly.

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