Werewolves and Vampires on Most Everything Incoming from Bigben Games

Well, this is a fine thing indeed. It’s soon to be raining werewolves, vampires and other creatures of the night thanks to Bigben Games and a few developers hard at work on a few titles. On the werewolf (there, wolf!) front, you’re getting this:

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“You better stay away from him – he’ll rip your lungs out, Jim!”

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is in development with Cyanide Studio at the helm, and while only this art below and the animated image on the official website have been shown, both it and that teaser trailer give off a nice vibe of what to expect. The developer has been pretty good at delivering solid gameplay that’s gotten better with each game they make, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye peeled for screenshots and actual gamepay as this moves closer to completion, This one’s coming in Summer 2020 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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As for those other creatures of the night…

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It’s Back: R-Type Final 2 Gets a 2nd Funding Run

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Click me for more info. You know you want to.

It’s baaaaaack… (which is a good thing, folks).

Here we go again, because the original Kickstarter only ran for a week and left a few folks out of the loop. Now you have a second chance to get in on this crowdfunding action thanks to a new push to get in those folks who felt left out. Head below the jump for the press release and a few more screens.

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Cyber Protocol: Moving the Future Fast in This Hybrid Retro Puzzler

RedDeerGames‘ interesting looking mash-up Cyber Protocol ($9.99) had me at the cool neon aesthetic and what looks to be some tough retro arcade gameplay. 100 levels await and the game’s visuals certainly have some nice nostalgic vibes appreciated by my old ancient self. Take a peek at the game’s trailer and some screens below:

A little game description goes a long a long way, right?:

Cyber Protocol is an arcade puzzle game set in a Cyberpunk scenario with strong and dynamic gameplay. You play as the main hero, whose mission is to bring his Android friend (G0X6) back to life by activating the protocol to revive him.

That looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? As for screens, see for yourself:

-GW

Fight N’ Rage: Retro Punch, Right Where It’s Needed

Fight N Rage logo

F. Norris

POW! From publisher/port home BlitWorks and solo developer SebaGamesDev (or sebagamesdev) comes this fun-looking throwback that’s landed on Switch and Xbox One as of the 26th (and is also set for a PS4 release) for a mere $19.99. Here’s the trailer, but try to keep from grinning broadly so much because it really brings back memories of the old arcade days:

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Review: Space Cows (Switch)

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What are you doing to that cow, man? Oh, never mind…

cq5dam.thumbnail.319.319Ha. I remember a little game called  Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure that got a few major censorship issues way back in 1994 on the Sega Genesis because it was deemed too crude until a few odd edits were made. Walkabout Games’ hilarious Space Cows ($12.99) laughs at the very idea of censors as it farts at every chance and is pretty funny and weird for a hardcore twin-stick shooter. Let’s just say expect psychics will come into play somewhat and you’ll need to work within the game’s control scheme if you want to fully enjoy the ride.

As Best Regards, a farmer who’s cows have been swiped by aliens, it’s all up to you to get then back with a handy toilet plunger as your main weapon and a bit of gassy propulsion to keep you aloft. Don’t try to pretend this makes any sort of sense, though. Other than the well-implemented physics system that makes the game tougher, this isn’t exactly rocket science.

Or is it? (roll trailer, please):

That said, between the main game proper and the wealth of short mini-games, there’s a heck of a lot happening here and your sense of humor needs to be tempered with a sense of understanding that the game is doing it’s darndest to offend at every turn (which is a good thing). The 20 levels take a bit of work to complete, but expert players can expect around three or so hours to complete everything. Still, with three play modes, only the best of the best will experience every difficulty level.

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Review: Everdark Tower (Switch)

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Collins’ powerful skills make mechanical foes no trouble.

everdark towerThe second in Kemco’s quick play RPG series, Everdark Tower ($4.99) is a tougher game overall in terms of most battles and the inclusion of puzzle elements, yet still an easy time for veteran players. Granted the game is, like Archlion Saga before it, made to cater to novice players new to the genre. That said, expect to lose a few battles until you level up and unlock skills that make most fights in the final chapters somewhat of a cakewalk.

While the game is meant to (and can be) completed in about three hours, there’s one puzzle in Chapter Two that’s somewhat of a head-scratcher that pads out the running time a few minutes or more unless you look up how to solve it. Even then, it’s a weird bit of business because the helpful fairy that you can use to solve a puzzle earlier is nowhere to be found, leaving you high and dry unless you know the solution. I more or less stumbled on the solution after about half an hour of trying, but your time will vary (hey, I’m older and slower than most people!).

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Well, most of the puzzles are easy-peasy stuff.

As with Archlion Saga, health is pooled and based on equipped gear, so the best gear you can get will help. The enemies starting in Chapter Three onward can be a hassle, but aren’t impossible to defeat with skills your team will acquire (or using stars to restart if you’re beaten). The game isn’t complicated at all save for that aforementioned puzzle, but search where you can when you can as there are a few items off the pathway you’re (optionally) meant to follow.

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Valfaris Demo: Merry, Merry, Quite Contra-ry (Slight Return)

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You’re going to want this, trust me.

Well, wow. Valfaris has a demo up on Steam as we speak (but only until December 31st) and hell yes, it needs to be played, especially if you love pixel art and animation wizardry, ear blazing metal soundtracks and so far, very tight ganeplay for a demo build. That video below shows off a bit more of the game, but as you’ll hear, things may change between now and the launch window. As with the meaty, mighty, and metal-ly Slain, what’s here is visually and aurally spectacular and will only get better as development continues.

 

(Thanks, Digital Uppercut Productions!)

 

Uh, that’s all I have to say, as I’ve paused the demo only to bang this post out and will now go back to that demo and rock some more. Keep an eye peeled for Valfaris on Steam and consoles sometime in 2019.

-GW

 

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Okay, we DO need another hero, after all.

Capsule Reviews: It’s A Puzzlement!

Not every game needs to go for epic length status or terminally flashy visuals to be enjoyable. I tend to gravitate to puzzle games when I need a break from other genres  and there have been a few really cool ones this year. Here’s a quick look at a some of the ones I liked a lot:

 

solar flux switchSolar Flux (Nintendo Switch, $9.99): Firebrand Games’ great space-themed puzzler may look simple, but it riffs on classic arcade gameplay with homages to Asteroids, Lunar Lander, Puzzle Bobble, a bit of Star Castle and probably a few other titles my brain can’t recall in a really fun, challenging manner. While it’s at heart, a supremely soothing experience, the reliance on touchscreen-only controls combined with limited fuel and the need for precision movement of your very fragile ship means you’ll be getting a game that won’t easily be mastered in one sitting. Yes, the music is ear-pleasing and completely chill, but if you’re easily flustered by even the tiniest of mistakes, the gameplay can get pretty tense if you’re not able to tip-tap-steer your way out of trouble. Practice makes perfect, folks.

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That challenge ramps up geometrically during the 80 missions set across 4 galaxies, but nice looks and all, you’re not here to do any sightseeing. Getting the best times as things get complicated is somewhat tricky (but rewarding). So expect a few retries and perhaps a few times when you’re just putting the game down for a bit and coming back later if you lose that zen-like concentration. Don’t worry, though. Those assorted suns you need to recharge will be there when you return. All is good in this universe, just relax and it’ll be quite the thrill.

Score: A (90%)

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Review: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots (Nintendo Switch)

ninjin switch cubeHa. less than thirty seconds into developer Pocket Trap’s excellent Ninjin: Clash of Carrots ($14.99) and I’m cackling like Renfield because while it’s being marketed as a “beat ’em up” style endless runner game, it’s more of an arcade shooter/brawler hybrid and a damn good one at that. Of course, you may need to adjust your brain past the clever marketing stuff and your play style from “runner-based slug-fest” to “arcade shmup/beat ’em up”, but trust me, it makes a pretty cool game all the more cooler once you do.

The story is pretty simple, but comic timing courtesy some well-placed jokes and visual gags at every opportunity keep things fresh and funny.  Your character of choice (Ninjin the rabbit or Akai the fox) is tasked with zipping through the game’s super-colorful levels collecting a village’s stolen carrots while taking down waves of enemies and a series of increasingly challenging sub-bosses and bosses. Yes, you can see it as a sort of brawler based on the many weapons and upgrades you’ll recover from downed baddies or in the two shops you’ll discover.  However, switch to playing this as a coin drop arcade shooter and you’ll see those items in a new light.

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It’s either R(abbit)-Type in disguise, a more hallucinogenic Fantasy Zone, or some other old arcade shmup retooled for today’s gamers. At least that what I get from this auto-scrolling and shooting/slicing stuff.

 

Firstly, the constantly scrolling levels and enemy waves are pure shmup, as are things such as recognizing enemy patterns and the necessity of upgrading to better weapons as you go. Granted, the need to tap out moves constantly is more of an old school shmup and fighter/brawler thing , but you also get screen clearing moves, ranged weapons that feel lifted from shooters and an overall sense of fun that’s addictive enough to make one crave more when the experience is over. Yes, you have swords, spears, axes, meat (!) and other weapons to swing away at baddies with. But the non-stop pacing is made to keep you on your toes as enemy speed and ferocity varies from simple to nightmarish, fluctuating a few times as the game progresses.

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Just Doing Some Moonlighter-ing

While I’ve been a bit (too) busy with some side projects but have done some (well a LOT of) gaming and yes, reviews are slowly but surely getting done. Oh, that’s 11 bit studios and Digital Sun’s really excellent Moonlighter above, which is one of the newer games on the playlist (reviews are embargoed until the 28th, but keep an eye peeled on this one). There are a bunch of other games I’ve played, but I’ll keep you all in suspense for a bit. Hokay, back to the stack of urgent stuff I need to complete over the weekend.

-GW