Gallery: DARQ

logo

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

With indie and AAA horror games being a dime a dozen these days, it’s going to take something really different to get some gamers jumping out of their seats and diving under their beds. Unfold Games has taken up the scare you halfway to death challenge with DARQ, their upcoming PC/Mac/Linux game that as you can see, certainly seems to have it going on in terms of delivering the frights.

So, what’s this stylistic and creepy psychological horror game about, you ask? Well, here’s what the official site says:

DARQ tells the story of Lloyd, a boy who becomes aware of the fact that he is dreaming. To Lloyd’s misfortune, the dream quickly turns into a nightmare and all attempts to wake up end in failure. While exploring the darkest corners of his subconscious, Lloyd learns how to survive the nightmare by bending the laws of physics and manipulating the fluid fabric of the dream world.

In DARQ, sound plays a very important role. There are sections of the game that take place in absolute darkness and in order to navigate the environment, Lloyd has to rely on the location of sounds.

 

Yep. If you’ve ever had those nightmares where you know you’re sleeping, but wake up all sweaty looking around the room only to have something bizarre take place as you realize you’re having a nightmare inside that nightmare, DARQ will be right up that dark alley you don’t want to travel through. Of course, you’ll be going thataway because that thing chasing you is keeping you from going backward. Oops.

Some imagery to keep you awake nights. As if that trailer didn’t get all crawly under your skin enough:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

 

While the game is still in development and doesn’t yet have a set release date other than TBA 2016, it sure is worth keeping an eyeballed peeled for. Let that image stick with you for the day (eww!). I’d say “have a good night”, but it’s early on a Friday morning. Still, you have to go home and sleep at some point, correct? My work here is done, then.

RIVE: Two Tribes’ Final Title Looks Like a True Treasure


 

15 years in the game development business is a long enough time to do a lot of different things and Two Tribes has indeed done just that and then some. The indie developer has decided to pack it (at least as far as making new games) in after a decade and a half of console and PC titles with what looks like a dangerously fun arcade-style romp called RIVE. The game has the look and feel of a classic Treasure game but with that even more notorious European difficulty scale that makes for a supremely challenging and highly replayable slice of nostalgia. If there’s a ‘Metal Wrecking, Robot Hacking Shooter’ sub-genre, my money is on RIVE being among the best of the best.


 

These guys at TT are going to be missed, but at least RIVE is coming out on multiple platforms so console and computer gamers who need their big meal bang-boom-boom fix can get in on the fun at a glorious 60fps soon-ish. PC/Mac/Linux (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One are all supported here, but I’m betting Vita owners are hoping for some Cross Play action because this looks as if would be perfect on the road. Then again, the game also looks as if one would need to have at least one extra controller handy just in case one “accidentally” busted their main gamepad. Hard walls and game controllers are a poor mix. Padded walls on the other hand – those get the DAF seal of approval every single time.

Enter The Gungeon: Take Your Best Shots Soon In This Pixel Perfect Dungeon Crawler

ETG_banner

So, I’m hitting myself in the cranium with a day old baguette (ow!) because I’ve been ignoring Devolver Digital and all those great games they’ve been putting out for some time. Let’s see if we can remedy that with a nice post on Enter the Gungeon, which is set to land on Steam and (so far, one) selected console at some point this year. “April” seems like logical time frame if you watch the entirety of that rather amusing gameplay video below. PC, PS4, Mac, SteamOS, and Linux (sorry other platforms, although a Vita version would have been REALLY appreciated. By me, at least).


Anyway, the game takes the lovely pixel graphic dungeon crawler I’m a huge fan of, adds 2000% more guns, couch co-op fun and so far, looks like yet another crowd pleaser from those guys I should have bugged a while ago about getting preview code (bats eyelashes at Devolver Digital). Developer Dodge Roll Games (or is it Dodgeroll Games? It’s hard to tell on the internet how things are properly spelled, isn’t it?) has got a winner here that’s guaranteed to eat up even more of your free time and yep, you probably need this game in your library just because it will keep you indoors and out of trouble.

Of course, if you’re getting into THAT kind of trouble, you probably shouldn’t be playing many video games. The other kind of trouble? That’s okay. Another one for the want list? Yes indeed.

ETG_screenshot6 ETG_screenshot1 ETG_screenshot2 ETG_screenshot3 ETG_screenshot4 ETG_screenshot5

PC Review: MOVE OR DIE

MOD_Thumb3Platform: PC (also on Mac/Linux)

Developer: Those Awesome Guys

Publisher: Those Awesome Guys

# of Players: 1 – 4

MSRP: $ 14.99

ESRB Rating: N/A

Official Site

Score: A- (90%)

Can’t type… playing…

Okay, I had to drag my tired self away from my ongoing battle with MOVE OR DIE just to drag myself back to the computer and bang out a quick review. This game is a total blast and pretty much everything it’s cracked up to be in one package. Simple enough for the kids to pick up, but only the best and most clever and cheap players will survive… that is until they get bested by someone or some random element that’s smarter or faster. The name of the game says it all. If you don’t MOVE, your little avatar will DIE, period. If that wasn’t impetus enough, you’re tasked with a number of randomly rotating mini-games, all of which last a mere twenty seconds each and consist of trying to stay alive longer than the other players whether AI or live.

Between the chainsaws, falling block walls, time bombs and other hazards, this is a game where everyone dies at some point and the key to survival is dying less than anyone else you’re playing against. This simplicity plus the intense speed of each round keeps the game fresh even if the currently limited number of game modes randomly loops back on itself multiple times. The greatest thing about the game is it allows anyone who can hold a controller and keep moving to play and win (and lose).

1

This one’s a game where the cute factor of those avatars only vaguely mask the title’s dedication to keeping players in a constant state of tension and/or hilarity. You can win a match with a split second remaining and lose the next one in the same manner. That “friendship destroying” element the trailer promises isn’t really a good selling point because the players you’ve beaten are going to not want to quit playing until they get some payback. Continue reading

Dungelot: Shattered Lands – A Cuter, Stabbier Minesweeper

Dungelot_Screenshot-2015-06-23-19.47.08 


 

Dungelot 0Another of tinyBuild Games‘ upcoming titles is Dungelot: Shattered Lands from Red Winter, a two man studio based in Russia. Shattered Lands is their third game, but unlike the much maligned Dungelot 2 (which got lots of guff for its micro-transaction heavy gameplay), it’s available on iOS now and coming to Steam later this year as a single player game worth keeping an eye peeled for.

While I’m not a big Minesweeper fan in general, it’s the super cute art style and familiar rogue-like RPG aspects that have my interest piqued. Hey, who doesn’t like loot drops and increasing difficulty? Well, that and it’s got a rather large and unholy cow as a beefy boss that needs to be taken down:

dungelot-shattered-lands-gif Moo! Of course, that means that Cow from Hell above is udderly a female fiend (last time I checked, bulls are udderless), but hey – equality goes as good for evil as it does for good when all is said and done. If that sentence made no sense it’s because I’m still zonked out from the snowstorm we had two days ago. I could use some hot milk right about now, so that bovine behemoth-ess (MOO!) is looking mighty attractive about now.

But I digress. Go pick up the game if you have an iOs whatever to play it on or slap it on your Steam watchlist and go hide in a corner until it appears in that store at some point down the road. Here are some screens to ogle below while I nap through the rest of this post:

Dungelot_1 

dungelot3 dungelot4 dungelot5 dungelot6 dungelot7 dungelot8 dungelot9 Dungelotcast2
 

Lovely Planet Arcade: The Unknown Known Gets A Fast Followup


 

LPA_headerI’ve heard about, but actually NEVER played Lovely Planet (*gasp!*), so I guess I now need to, thanks to developer QUICKTEQUILA and publisher tinyBuild Games announcing this maybe it’s a sequel? return to the colorful pastel world of the first game. If the zippy and amusing videos of the first game are any indication as to what’s in the second, players can expect a load of challenge and even more good times when the game jumps out of the developer’s talented hands and lands on Steam later this year. Hey, don’t trust me on that last sentence at all – just go read about the game using on of the links above.

I think by the time LPA is released I’ll have played the first game. I hope. My backlog is a mountain of code that needs to be scaled and the clock is always ticking…

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

HIDEit: Get Your Gear In Order But Good

HIDEit_BA1 

I have to go fishing through my spam folder at least once a month because it sometimes catches email that demands to be read and passed on. Case in point: the one I got from HIDEit Mounts a company that makes a number of really awesome storage solutions for gamers, computer owners or anyone else who has to deal with assorted tech with wires that tend to tangle. I actually laughed out loud as I was reading the email and looking at the photos attached because yes, I suffer from the horrible affliction of owning a ton of consoles (at least 25!) and having all those wires dangling in front of, behind, and to the side of my jury-rigged entertainment center. Yeah, it’s pretty bad, folks. Actually, I only keep six systems around my 32″ HDTV at a time while the rest take naps in assorted storage bins until I need to dig the up for research


 

As you can see (or can’t see because they’re so well hidden) HIDEit makes simple but highly functional wall mounts for current gaming consoles, small form factor PC’s and Macs, cable boxes and more. They also have controller mounts and even an optional theft deterrent solution in case you want that extra security. If you’ve got sturdy walls and a TV mounted on one or more of them, you’re an easy HIDEit customer in the making.

HIDEit_BA2The great thing is installation won’t take a year of carpentry classes or calling up that creepy-looking “handyman” who slid a misspelled flyer under your door as you were opening it to take out the trash last week. Each mount comes complete with hardware = all you need is a good drill and appropriate bits or a good screwdriver. A level and elbow grease are also beneficial for best results, so some of you scrawny-armed types may need an extra strong arm to shift stuff around. Prices range from $11.99 to $59.99 and I’d bet you a hot nickel that your holiday gift list includes at least ONE person (not including YOU) who needs one or more of these mounts.

Okay, you’re up to speed on the HIDEit front, correct? Good. Me, I could use a bunch of them, but I’m in the process of entirely redoing my game cave so I’m still in the “being in awe because I have a ton of games and systems in such a small space and don’t know where to begin” stage. But now that I see what HIDEit can accomplish, it’s a product on my list of things to get once I get myself in gear to tackle a pretty massive project.

Review: Poncho (PC)

Poncho logo

Poncho Banner NewPlatform: PC/PS4/Mac/Linux
Developer: Delve Interactive
Publisher: Rising Star Games
MSRP: $14.99
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site
Score: B+ (85%)

With pixel-packed “retro” games showing no signs of stopping, it’s great to see Delve Interactive shake up the scene with Poncho, a game that’s both new and nostalgic with a side of super challenging for good measure. The open world side-scrolling platformer features multiple layers of parallax scrolling to hop in and out of in order to progress and this is both excellent and a tiny bit frustrating until you get your sea legs. The game’s depth also extends to the minimalist but somewhat deep story of Poncho, a cute little robot who finds himself going where no man has gone before because there aren’t any humans left in the world the game takes place in.


 

Continue reading

Shadowgate on iOS: Castle of Doom Goes All Touchy-Feely

Shadowgate Dread Pumpkin 

Oh joy! Or should I say Zo-Joi! Shadowgate is now available on the iPad. $4.99 gets you this revamped classic that was a PC exclusive now on your tap and slide tablet of choice (well,if your tap and slide tablet of choice happens to be an iPad 3 or better). While not a “horror” game per se, exploring the gloomy deathtrap that is Castle Shadowgate can be a bit frightening at times. Hey, when you walk into a room filled with treasure and see that rather pissed off dragon eyeballing you, you’ll either get smart and get lost or get greedy and roasted up but good. Unless you have a certain item that can withstand a blast of fire or two. Yes, that was a free game tip.

dragon_lair 

The beautiful artwork in this remake alone is worth the five bucks you’ll spend. Fortunately, Zojoi has made the new version of their 1987 classic every bit as devious and challenging as the original with even more to do and some super-challenging difficulty options for you adventure game masters out there. As if this wasn’t a good enough deal, Zojoi has also gone and made iOS versions of its four original MacVenture Series games. For $1.99 each you can play the classic Shadowgate, The Uninvited, Deju Vu and Deja Vu II.

And yes indeed, The Uninvited IS a horror game (and a good one at that):

un_mac5 

I shall leave you with the lovely lady in red above (that’s blood, by the way… YOUR blood!)- go get some yourself cheap classics today and have yourself an adventure (or four).

Second Death Hands-On: Survival of the Bit-test


 

It’s 1958, and Chicago cop David Harris made the tough choice to bring his mobster brother back from Cuba and deliver him to justice, but things get tougher when their home-bound plane crashes on a mysterious island. Now he must save his brother — and learn the truth behind his terrible crimes.

david_artThat mysterious island isn’t something out of a Jules Verne book at all, but a rather interesting PC, Mac, iOS and Android game called Second Death. Created by Evan Wagstaff (design, coding, script) using Game Maker Studio with a small team helping out with art, music and sounds, this retro style “noir Survival RPG” mixes early 16-bit looks, item crafting, JRPG-like combat, a barter system and two game modes (plus a tutorial) to take for a spin. While the game won’t be officially released until January 2016, the demo that’s currently available at that link above (and seems to be titled or subtitled Absolution) seems to be pretty much what the final version will look and play like. Continue reading