I need to play more of what French developer and publisher Goblinz Studio is cooking. I’ve tried two games of theirs so far and both have been quite enjoyable. Now that the developer has branched out into publishing other titles, this is one I’d really like to try as well. Goblinz and Maple Whispering Limited have indie developer Seenapsis Studio’s nice looking turn-based strategy game A Long Way Down in Early Access on Steam, as it looks right up my alley – take a look:
Designed as a fast-paced twin-stick shooter, Project AETHER puts you in the pilot’s seat of the prototype mecha Aether as you face off against a robotic alien force bent on the destruction of mankind. Aether features a customizable loadout of ranged and melee weapons as well as an EMP Burst system, allowing you to detonate weakened enemies in a devastating chain reaction.
Toronto-based Sleepy Spider Studios is nicely time-warped in the 2000’s, but I like that a lot. Their first game was Legions of Tyrandel, a PC deck-building turn-based strategy game made for two players (although single player challenge maps are available), and now we’re getting Project AETHER: First Contact, which is coming to Steam on February 24. There’s a free demo to try here, and it’s pretty good stuff that blends twin-stick arcade shooting action and some nice visuals in what’s shaping up to be an excellent game.
I used to play a lot of sports games a long time ago on a number of systems I own or have owned. I don’t these days save for assorted racing games I like and some “extreme” sports games, but Netamin’s Hockey Manager 20|20 does look somewhat intriguing with all those charts and graphs to peruse and use. The trailer isn’t at all that exciting unless anything about the sport automatically gets you cheering, so here you go – a little test, followed below the jump by a slew of screenshots and some game info.
I did a double take at first because I hadn’t seen the trailer when I found this out and thought for a second this was a new game with both characters in it. Nope, but it’s still thrilling news here for PS4 fans who didn’t pick these games up when they came to PC or when they debuted earlier on certain consoles. To be frank (Hi, frank!), I know I’m going to prefer the new console versions over playing on PC if the frame rate is stable and I don’t need to sit there and tweak settings to get something acceptable. That said, I may need a PS4Pro at this point just for the performance upgrade alone, *sigh*.
Ah well, we’ll see what happens with that particular wallet fight. In the meantime, PlatinumGames, you keep on what you’re doing – I’ll see you in February.
Got five bucks and about an hour to spare? Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard (also available here) will have you letting out a few much needed laughs as you solve the aforementioned case but good. It’s the first game I’ve played from Worm Club (@gracebruxner and @thomasbowker) and it won’t be the last, as I see Grace has an itch.io page and this is a good thing. Anyway, the game is short and simple, charming and droll, two tastes that taste great together, as it were. Oh, and it has LOBSTER COP in it, but don’t tell the Detective this, as he’s the real star. Don’t tell him that either (he’ll figure it out, as he’s a detective).
“Wait, there’s a Frog Detective 1?” He thought, as the press release hopped out of his inbox with a loud croak, knocking over a cup full of pencils of assorted size in the process. “Huh, so there is… interesting” he noted, looking at the Steam page, a grin spreading across his face. Those pencils were a bit annoyed, as they had been napping, but oddly enough, now that they were laid out, they dozed right off without a second thought.
“Well, that’s cool because I think I need to play it as well”, he said out loud (but quietly enough to not disturb the pencils). The frog was gone, but he was probably in the living room, as the TV was now on and there was the sound of channels being changed.
Here’s the trailer to the sequel, which just so happens to be called Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard, is now on Steam and itch.io, for $4.99, so go get it. I guess I now need to play it too at some point, right?
Okay, I want this because it’s perfect or I want it to be perfect and hey, a film noir-themed classic adventure game with an all animal cast seems to be a big thing again (as you’ll see in a few posts today). Here are the trailer and some nice screenshots for indie developer The Wild Gentlemen’s upcoming Chicken Police: Paint It Red, set to be published by Handy Games sometime is 2020 on PC, PS4. Xbox One and Switch. I want this in a physical edition at some point just to whip out and show people I wasn’t hallucinating if the game ever vanishes from digital stores.
Here’s the wonderfully amusing and quite eye-popping trailer, Game info and screenshots are below the jump. Tell me you’re not wanting to see more, even (or especially) if you’re not a gamer because you’re into noir and now suddenly wanting to see how this film noir-inspired adventure turns out (Yeah, I know male chickens are called roosters, but I’ll give it a pass this time):
So, I wrote a poem as a game review again, or a game review as a poem. Cover your ears or something:
It took a while, oh yes, it did.
But this review’s now just un-hid
It’s for a game named Yaga ($24.99), see,
in some ways, it’s a victory.
Delivered in verse, the story is.
A nice choice, but it’s not for kids
Some blood’s here (you can turn it off)
Plus dark content might make some cough.
The brilliant writing and voices match
the music here, your ears will catch.
Painterly graphics wrap up this show
where myths from Slavic lands will flow.
You play a blacksmith with such bad luck
he’s one-armed ’cause he didn’t duck
and now is cursed to walk the land.
Problems he’ll solve with one good hand.
He’s fated to spend his bad time here
with witches binding moves so clear.
You pick a fate to trouble him
and then you set off with that whim.
That random nature hurts, but helps
you beat the foes, rescue the whelps.
It surely keeps you on your toes
wherever that cursed blacksmith goes.
While fixing things, he’s also tasked
With his Grandma’s most constant ask:
“Go find a wife to share your life”
(As if the Tzar’s decrees aren’t strife).
A black-bird will tell you to craft
So listen well, now – don’t be daft
You’ll make some gear to turn the tide
or be in for a tougher ride
But, weapons break via bad luck curse
Sometimes it seems, the timing’s worse.
Until you see that fate is tied.
All magic makes that meter slide
Now, even with less magic use
That bar will fill, and cook you goose.
Your carried weapon will just break
(and swapping it won’t make it fake).
You learn to deal (well, you’d better fast)
Escape that curse? Nope, that won’t last.
Get Yaga her gifts, aid folks you meet
Or else, it’s doom, right on the street.
Four times, you’ll play this game at least
Four paths to choose, from man to beast.
All these are based on choices made
so pick the path you’ve not yet played.
While levels could be better here
And combat seems to have less flair
The things I liked made this stand out
So buy this game! Oh, yes, I’ll shout.
Bad poetry for a good game alert (I guess that’s a trigger warning for some):
What’s a Yaga you ask?
Is a Q fit to task
Here you go,
so you know
what lies under the mask:
The art is quite lovely,
the music is prime,
that animation is yes, what I’d call sublime
All together, I’d bet it’s a great, super time
(I’ll need to post a review not in rhyme)
So, if you’re in the mood
for great Slavic themes
and want a fine game
That won’t cause bad dreams
Well, this one’s for you- I could call you “dude”
but that’s too exclusive and I’m not that rude!
(Surviving to the end of my lousy verse gets you more screenshots, by the way):
Well, between getting sick a few times and kicking myself back into gear (or restarting things when I get better – “Prowler needs a jump!”), quite a lot of smaller games have been filling my backlog over a bit of time. For most of these, I’ve done notes on them and have even a few incomplete drafts, but it’s been a bit of minor hell in sitting down to complete some of them when one gets into “Hmmm, so what’s going to hurt today?” mode when some of the usual aches get a bit fussier. That said, as I’m currently in decent shape (Whee! Ow.) and sure, you do need to read a bit more on my writing (I guess?), I’ve resorted to a bunch of short form reviews on a bunch of budget-priced games that may interest you if you’re curious and want to expand your horizons.
The Tower of Beatrice: (PS4/PS Vita, $5.99 each) Puzzle-filled point and click adventure, anyone? Developer Fairy Forest and publisher/port house Sometimes You have a pretty basic, short game here where if you’re a fan of these types of games, you don’t want to look up solutions because the fun comes from figuring out what goes with what as the things you need to do get more obtuse. You play a thief in search of a magic book now trapped in the titular tower by a witch who first tests you, then wants you to work for her. The potion making stuff is nice, but a bit underused for my tastes. Still, it’s nice to see used here in a pretty well-done manner.
If you’re and point and click veteran, much of this will be routine stuff that you can play with one eye closed. On the other hand, if you’re just in it for fast trophies (a lot of folks seem to be into that), the game may fluster you into cheating to net everything in a hurry when things get the tiniest bit confusing (some puzzles in the game can be a bit perplexing when they’re not explained well and are counter-intuitive on purpose). The translation is also a bit jarring, as seems to be the norm with so many imports these days, but I liked a few things about this one. Still, it’s more of a time killer between better titles at the end of the day.
Score: C- (70%)