One-man project Song Of The Myrne: What Lies Beneath is a quick-n-cheap little RPG that’s bursting with charm. The pixel graphics may look very familiar, but it adds its own little twists to the format. Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature Spritely
Lasers, glistening biceps, and corrugated labyrinths, oh my! Is there any way to make space marine-driven arena shooters better? If you were Daedalus – No Escape, you’d say something like, “Of course! By turning it into a top-down affair, naturally.” Out now on Steam, Daedalus looks like a slick, violent conflagration where only the best can reign from the top of the leader boards. No feelings, declares the trailer. No crying out for your mommy. None of that rot at all.
Videogames are wandering across the Junk Fields, attempting to reach some exciting new destination. Then a videogame journalist appears, loading Videogames up with words and memories. “It’s retro. It’s old school. It’s Micro Machines meets F-Zero crossed with Ulysses 31. It’s all right here. Everything you’ve ever cared about is all right here.”
It’s all junk! Let’s not do that. Let’s instead create a space in which The Next Penelope can stand aside from its easy descriptions and rise above its obvious influences. This isn’t a game that feels retro; it feels alive, bursting with colour, fizzing with energy. I played it at this year’s Gamescom and its pleasures are simple. That means I don’t have a lot to say about it, but I still feel the need to bring it to your attention.
RPS Feature Head Short
Tower Of Guns, and Paranautical Activity are fun, single-player shooters that I’ve dropped in and out of a fair bit this year. It’s been a surprise, as I generally don’t enjoy games that are mostly about shooting. Perhaps I am maturing? Or maybe I’m getting less mature. The answer is up for interpretation. Now they’ve been joined by Fancy Skulls, a similarly boxed-in gun game that traps you in randomised levels and gives you one life. I’ve played its beta a fair bit this week, and I keep returning to it in quiet moments when my fingers get itchy. The doctor says it’s a good remedy.
Follow me, readers. We shall wander through a metaphorical world of cardboard and shelves, passing things that once were but now are not. Here is one. It is labelled Human Sacrifice. Let us ponder the significance of the metaphor within this metaphor. Look, there’s one that says Leech Therapy. And over there is another that is labelled Whigfield. There is no box labelled War. Do you see? We are getting closer, closing in on the recent past–be careful to not slip on the Pogs–and the box of game demos should be just about… wait. That can’t be. It was here the other day. No! NO! That means we can’t stop game demos from being released. They said this day would come! NoooOooooOOOoo...
Wait. That’s a good thing. Everyone release demos! What’s that, Wadjet Eye Games? You’ve released a demo of The Blackwell Epihpany? Hooray!
Lots of things are improved when done in the nude. Not least replanting the galaxy with life after a cataclysmic event sees all the tiny planets dying. Which is, impressively, the concept behind Cosmochoria. You play a little naked astronaut, seeding planets (ew, no, not like that) while fending off angry aliens. You can play the alpha right now. And the Kickstarter has just gone live.
I am unfrightenable in games. I blame growing up in a place where there was once a riot between primary schools (that’s 5-12 year-olds, and I honestly wish I were joking), and that time a dude chased me through the overgrown wreck of an abandoned power plant and I had a small panic attack afterwards. I’m fine now, but growing up in that sort of environment means the idea of the Slenderman or Doom monster is too ridiculous for me to accept as a threat. I could see the silly dread of Spectre at least making me jump, because rather than having the game toss prescribed scares at you, it’s mainly multiplayer. Trailer and information below.
The few times Mushroom 11 has popped up on my radar, I really didn’t know what I was looking at. There was some talk about shape-shifting fungus, but it all looked a bit formless in the early tech. A smarter man would use that last sentence as a segue, but I am far too dim to link the phase ‘formless’ and the action in Mushroom 11, where you’re a growing mass of mushroom that you have to trim and shape to move through the levels: each cut and slice allows you to grow on. There’s an interesting little puzzle game in all this, and the trailer has spread below the cut.
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John’s at GDC, so when I was looking for a comment on The Blackwell Epiphany trailer, I thrust the RPS Truthdaphone underneath Adam’s nose, demanding to know if he was excited. He responded with: “I love the headbutt on the cop. Who says point and click games aren’t bad-ass?” Adam is from Manchester.
The Truthdaphone registered 12, so he’s not lying. And I’m not surprised: it’s carefully plotted, keenly written, idea-driven, and beautifully animated bad-assery as well. The conclusion to the venerable adventure series about a medium solving spiritual problems with the help of a Jazz-era ghost. Naughty-donkey trailer beckons.
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Here’s a novel puzzle game, with a deeply peculiar name. Dynetzzle – seemingly crafted in a special laboratory to be the most forgettable, irrelevant, and impossible to remember how to spell game name of all time – is based around unfolded dice. Nets of cubes, combined with the magical fact that all opposite sides of a dice add up to 7. Combine those two elements, and you get a rather nice idea for a little puzzle game. One that is, apparently, soon to become a bigger puzzle game. But you can play the 10-level version for free, right now.
It probably seemed a good idea at the time to call a game about cube-shaped planets, Planets³. Before realising that this was the internet, and people weren’t going to open Character Map every time they wanted to search for your game. So Planets3, as even developers Cubical (³ical?) are calling it now, perhaps isn’t going to win any SEO awards. But it might pick up a couple for cuteness. This is a voxel-based universe explorer, in which you fly your spaceship from planet to planet, beating up monsters, gathering tools, building houses and vehicles, and generally being very busy with stuff.