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A Valley Without Wind & Alden Ridge

Ooh, it's turning out to be a good week for respected PC indie devs announcing enigmatic new projects. Yesterday we had Arcada Mia, and today we hear about two new games from Arcen Games (of Tidalis and AI War fame): A Valley Without Wind and Alden Ridge.

A Valley Without Wind will essentially be a meaty tower defense game, and Alden Ridge sounds like Dead Rising meets Monaco. You want more details? I've got more details.

Set during a future ice age, A Valley Without Wind has you defending the last chunk of verdant land on Earth, and it sounds... well, it sounds like a tower defense game from the makers of AI War. As in, there'll be an emphasis on AI, a huge diversity of content (40 towers, of which you'll only take a handful into the level in a Plants Vs Zombies stylee) and co-op support. No screenshots as yet, but here's a piece of concept art scanned straight from the developer's notebook. Games journalism doesn't come any more raw than this, gentlemen. Enjoy it. Breathe it in.

So, uh, yes. Alden Ridge sounds pleasingly bizarre. Here's a screenshot that Arcen promise is from before they had an artist on staff:

A top-down project that Arcen peg as "A game of survival", it'll see you completing objectives in areas filled with ravenous zombies that are immune to conventional weaponry, meaning it's up to you to dispatch them using all the random bits and pieces in the environment. To wit:

Iron tacks, one-tined pitchforks, glass jars full of water, spear walls, scythes, bombs, and grenades. Fire is also an excellent weapon.

It sure is, Arcen Games. It sure is.

But wait! Because sometimes you'll want to use those items in other ways.

Sometimes a non-lethal tool can be just as effective at furthering your objectives. Set trees on fire with your lantern to kill enemies -- or use it to power your hot air balloon. Chop smaller trees with the axe or smash down doors with a sledge hammer (if you don't have a key). The mirror lets you see invisible enemies, while the whip lets you cross small gaps or stun enemies. Draw enemies away from you with bait, or reveal a hidden path through an obstacle (marsh, lava pit, etc) with the map.

Again, because this is Arcen the game will have co-op, and a focus on content, not to mention zombie flora and fauna. I'm interested, because botching your way through ambitious zombies traps with a friend sounds like a very good time indeed. Are you interested? Let's be interested together!

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Quintin Smith


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