Posts Tagged ‘indie’

Spooky Adventure Oxenfree Gets New Game Plus Mode

If you’re someone who loved the atmospheric point and click adventure Oxenfree [official site], then I have some good news. Last week Oxenfree received a free update that added a new game plus mode full of new story bits and locations to explore. The new content isn’t substantial, but if you’ve been staring at Oxenfree in your Steam library, wondering if you should give it a second playthrough, now’s the time.

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Shape Abtract Worlds in Mu Cartographer

Mu Cartographer [official site] is the visual equivalent of spending an afternoon playing with an audio synthesizer just to see what absurd sounds you can make. Only here, the dials and doodads you tweak shape a roiling landscape of pretty colours for you to lose yourself in. While it makes for nice pictures, seeing it in action is something else entirely.

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Wot I Think: Oxenfree

I came to play Oxenfree [official site] just after finishing a podcast series called The Message. The Message is essentially an eight-part radio play. Its central mystery involves a strange broadcast, possibly from outer space which seems to carry with it a curse. If you haven’t listened to it I’d recommend it.

The reason I’m bringing it up ahead of telling you anything about the game is that I feel like Oxenfree is actually closer to that kind of unnerving or slightly creepy radio play which is packed with subtle interpersonal stories than it is to other games I’ve played. I also think that part of why I enjoyed it so much was that I was treating it in that same way, letting the characters chatter and the story unfold where I might otherwise have become impatient.

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Wot I Think: Song Of The Myrne – What Lies Beneath

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:

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Glowy Death Abounds In Daedalus – No Escape

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.

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The Next Penelope Hands-On

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.

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Impressions: Fancy Skulls

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.

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Demo Of The Dead: The Blackwell Epiphany

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!

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Naked & Arcade: Cosmochoria

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.

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Spook Central: Spectre Lets You Haunt Your Friends

Just like me growing up!

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.

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Humongous Fungus: A Mushroom 11 Trailer

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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The Blackwell Epiphany Finally Happens On April 24th

What is Joey Mallone's favourite news station? All Jazz-era.

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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Dynetzzle: Terrible Name, Interesting Game

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.

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Explore Every Corner Of The Universe: Planets³

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.

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Blue Sky Fragging: Sky Rogue

BLUUUUE!
Any game described “fwooshy” will immediately take up space on my hard-drive, and if it’s also described as a “feel good flight sim” then I am down with it. That’s what Sky Rogue is: a procedurally-generated arcade flight-sim painted in that happy blue that doesn’t exist in nature (the one that Billy Connolly describes as “Fuckin’ BLUUUUUEEE!”), but the blue that I think of when I think of Sega Dreamcast games. In that bluingest of blues you’ll pick your aircraft, kit out its weaponry, and shoot things.
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Iubes Is Shareware, Also A Kind Of Darwinian Minecraft

Sort of like a Darwinian Minecraft.

Iubes: the game with the name that looks a bit unfortunate in our post title font. Iubes: intelligent cubes, who roam around the inside of a spherical world. Iubes: a sort of speeding god game mashed up with a real-time strategy game.

It’s now available to download as shareware, with a paid version if you want to play the game’s online mode.
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Sax And Violins: Arranger

Sorry.
Whatever Arranger is, and it appears to be many things, it has something in it called a “Turpato Peeler”. That is such a beautiful mangling of the term that I laughed for about a minute. The rest of this strange adventure game seems no less silly and wondrous: it’s set in a world of music and inspired by classic point and clickers, and a game where you fight not with swords or guns, but with the musical instruments that you’ve collected in your adventures. Your goal is to become the best music arranger the world of Musica has ever seen. The trailer below is quite the thing.
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Galactic Princess Is As Pretty As A Thing

If you won't tell George Lucas then neither will we
You know, if you’d told me that my freelance career would coincide with the biggest resurgence in space gaming, I probably wouldn’t left my job. I don’t have time for this. Something’s going to have to give if I want to have time to play all these damn games and pay the bills. Galactic Princess is another game of space exploration and expansion, this time rendered in the sort of high-definition pixel art that makes everything look retro and futuristic at the same time. It’s a “spaceship survival sandbox”, one where you’re the captain of a ship and doing what you can to survive. The bad thing you do rhymes with “bravery”.
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