Looks quite impressive. Hope Nintendo doesn't...intervene.
I really enjoyed stepping into Angvik, as small of a game it is. A peaceful, fantasy, perma-death platformer, set to an idyllic score. Make your way through 5 levels, picking up loot from chests and fallen foes, with a few secrets to be found here and there. Even has weapon modification by way of potion additives. The weapons deteriorate from use, and your character ages from beginning to the end of each level, eventually dying if you don't complete the level in time (age resets at the start of new levels). Short, but sweet, and the increasing difficulty of the play+ gives a reason to keep coming back, not to mention that you can opt to wear fluffy sheep armor.
Available through Steam and the developer website ( http://angvik.us ) for under $3.
One of the things that struck me as most interesting was that the game was made in Construct 2, an HTML 5 game engine (which is also available on Steam). Anyone interested in getting their feet wet with basic game development should definitely check it out. The community at Scirra.com are quite helpful, and they are making very cool things with the Construct engine.
Construct 2 - https://www.scirra.com/construct2
The Special Edition footage follows the aftermath of the film, and looks to fill in more details around the events that took place with each individual story.
Head over to the site for details, and get those orders in!: http://shop.indiegamethemovie.com/
You are a Conan-esque barbarian, muscling through dungeons and temples, and an amazing amount of snakes, to rescue the girl from a quite powerful wizard (who seriously has a thing for snakes…). Gold coins are collected and enemies slain to increase your high score, while a timer haunts from the top right of the screen, measuring your progress, or mocking it, as the case may be. There is no leveling, no gained abilities, no upgrades, none of that RPG nonsense here. No, its just your phalangeal dexterity, a trusty sword, and a mean elbow drop.
The thing that I love to hate about these types of murder platformers, I mean games, is that I get this feeling like they really do know me. They know that I secretly love to fail a lot in my interactive experiences. Like, A LOT. Try to jump from that chain to the ledge, and there's an incoming snake ball. Dodge the snake ball next time, then there's the flying spear. In one area where I had already spent way too much time memorizing patterns of flying death, and changing strategies in some vain hope of moving forward, I had managed to make it to the checkpoint. With one block of health left, a short sigh of relief turned bitter when I hadn't gauged that final leap, and I landed right into a pit of spikes, the exit a mere few blocks away. Now that's the childhood agony I remember! My successful play through netted a total of 73 deaths. I think I started swearing out loud at around 46, unless it was death by snake which usually triggered it's own set of expletives. Thankfully, Michael Stearns knows how to make it all worthwhile. Even in my many deaths I couldn't wait to see what was coming next.
I played through with a gamepad, and while support for that is a recent feature, the controls were tight, which is essential in any platformer, but more so in one that punishes players who lack precision in their execution. There were one or two instances where I thought there was an issue with not being able to move or attack how I intended to, but I don't know how much of that is bugs, or just my rusty hand eye coordination. I noticed it most in the brief animal riding sequences, which I didn't much care for anyway.
I need to say a quick word about the soundtrack, and really the sound design of the whole game. Good, good stuff here. Jeff Ball is working some serious magic, and I totally dig it.
There is a lot of fun to be had with this first chapter of Tiny Barbarian DX. It's beautiful to look at, and fun to play, with a good amount of challenge. While it is a short ride, there's a king-of-the-hill style Horde Mode to keep us busy until the next chapter comes (how long can you survive?). Three more chapters are planned, part of the game purchase bundle and downloadable when available. They have a great foundation here, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the experience. One request for the future: Please go easy on the snakes.
Check out the interview that jdodson had with designer Michael Stearns, if you haven't already.
Official website: www.tinybarbarian.com
Jeff Ball music: www.jeffedwardball.com
Cheerful Ghost dev interview: www.cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/1392
Lack of presentation aside (seriously, could they have made it more boring to look at?), it's interesting to see Amazon kind of try to support independent gaming, even if it does feel tacked on and non-committal. Cheap games are always nice, too.
Amazon Indie Game store: http://tinyurl.com/m8y42fc
Stumbled on this Kickstarter project when perusing the Massive Chalice, and was surprised I hadn't heard of it yet. One of the fellows that worked on Skyrim (Alex Fundora) is making his own game, that revolves around hunting all forms of dinosaur in a massive 3D world. What he's put together so far looks fantastic, and the first stretch goal has been reached, which is allowing him to bring in other designers to add polish and depth.
I've never played Monster Hunter to any real degree, so I don't know how this would compare, but the realism alone has me hooked. Forming and defending tribes as you go out and hunt dinosaurs, without massive swords or rocket launchers, sounds extremely dangerous. I'm so glad this is happening.
The first time I got to play Card Hunter was at PAX Prime last year, and it was a polished treat. Turn-based, tactical RPG, designed as a board game, but played in your browser. It runs on Flash, and it's silky smooth. The team at Blue Manchu have been in closed beta since January this year, and are currently accepting beta applications.
I love the digitization of physical board games, but only when developed with great care. Card Hunter isn't a physical game (yet, I'm assuming), but it has that same tangible presence. The hand drawn, 3-Dimensional game pieces, and the pen & paper RPG adventure styling give it a depth that you won't find in many browser games. The same feeling I got when I first played Puzzle Quest. Highly recommended.
I'm assuming most people have at least sunk a few balls in these games, and if you haven't you simply must try it out. It's about as real a pinball experience you'll find outside of dropping quarters at your local Shakey's Pizza.
$14.99, and doesn't require the purchase of the original Far Cry 3. May 1st release, on all the usual suspects.
The charm of this game comes from the individual character personalities - action heroes from different genres - expressing themselves in exclaimed, cliched one-liners while dusting opponents in all manner of breakneck repertoire. In Showdown Mode, environments are affected at the end of the 5 minute round to reflect the "showdown", a sudden-death phase of kill or be killed, leaving only one standing as the world falls in ruin behind you. For awesome, indeed. The beta includes two levels - a fish market in Neo Tokyo, and a medieval castle - cut from the two main environments, which appear to be the larger Neo Tokyo and Medieval landscapes. Interactive to a degree: glass shatters as you dive through windows, elevators can take you between floors, and weapon pickups are scattered all around, for improvisation. The games description references that "four levels across two different environments" will be available in the full game, so if you are in the beta, and you like what you see, expect twice as much of exactly that. Announced game modes so far include free-for-all (Showdown mode) and team elimination. Dev diary videos seem to indicate testing with a capture-the-flag type game mode, which I would love to see.
When it comes down to what makes or breaks a platformer, its usually the control mechanics. Movement here is fluid and precise; a real sense of tangible footing, and the timing in your responses is trustworthy, barring latency. Maneuverability within The Showdown Effect quickly becomes a natural reflex, freeing you up to focus on turning foes into headless, limbless victims, like extras in a Tarantino film, in the all glory of a John McTiernan film. Targeting these poor souls is a matter of precision as well. The reticle has to be on target, not behind or in front, otherwise it's a no-hit. Takes a little getting used to, but ultimately satisfying. This would also seem to deny any support for gamepads.
One cool little feature is integrated Twitch.tv streaming, to premiere to your hordes of adoring fans just how you get it done. No third party software required.
Really, the only frustration that I've come across in the ten hours I've logged is latency issues, which are unavoidable. Granted, this is still beta, but even at this stage of the process, I don't regret the money I dropped to join in. You can participate by pre-ordering on the Steam page or at the official website:
Prices are $9.99 for the standard edition, $19.99 for deluxe edition, both come with cool extras. According to developers, there is no option yet to upgrade from standard to deluxe, but it sounds like they are trying to work something out. The Showdown Effect is due out March 2013.