The Other 99 Returns: Killing Time Gets A Few Good Tweaks

 

It’s baaaaack… Thanks to input from its Early Access player base and critics, UK developer Burning Arrow has been hard at work fixing up its survival game The Other 99 with a number of big changes to the formula and a brand new opening that reveals a bit more about how your character ended up on that deadly island:

Corrections and improvements include :

– New Starting Area.

– Massively reworked Balancing.

– Better interaction for survival with the world (e.g. now you can drink water from rivers, etc..).

– Rework of the Survival Guide (Hunger & Thirst related).

– Overhauled the island with new props populating the environment.

– Rework of the combat.

Hmmm. It looks as if I’ll be diving back into this at some point soon, as those improvements were needed and publisher Deck 13 has been great at keeping me posted on these updates. My poor backlog is killing me, but this one is getting pushed up a few notches because it’s got some decent replay value going for it.

-GW

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Happy Halloween From Robo Pixel & Gunnihilation!

 

The fine and dandy run ‘n gun meets bullet hell arcade shooter Gunnihilation is easily making my “best of 2016” list and it’s not even 100% done yet. The completely fun, completely chaotic, completely “shut up and PLAY IT” Early Access game has gotten some excellent and FREE Halloween-themed content called Witches and Boomsticks that adds, well, witches and boomsticks (and more, oh my!) to the game.

The first major update for Gunnihilation called “Witches and Boomsticks”, is out on Steam for FREE and has more content that you can shake an angry skeleton at.

Included in this release;
– More levels (a whole new mission comprised of three full and a handful of new Survival levels)
– New enemies (including LASERBATS)
– Spooky overhaul of all the levels for Halloween
– A new weapon (why should the Green Goblin have all the fun?)
– Achievements
– Trading cards
– Balances and fixes

And as if that wasn’t enough, we’re not going to leave you like the classic skeleton at the disco (with no body to go with) and strip your spoopy content from you after release. All the content we’re putting into Witches and Boomsticks will stay in the game after Halloween is over, accessible from a menu in the game level hub.

Today’s jury duty craziness has me a bit worn out, but I say go grab this game and that free update, get a few friends to come over (you’ll need a controller for each) and go have a blast!

-GW

Gunnihilation: Yeah, It’s A Blast

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The ONLY thing “wrong” with Robo Pixel Games‘ brilliant bullet hell on steroids Gunnihilation is there’s no online play, and this is coming from a guy who dislikes online play in most of his games. The “shut up and play it!” Early Access game is so much fun as a local co-op experience that it BEGS to be shared with as many friends as possible, which in this era of “friends” meaning “many people you and I solely know through social circles” is a bit impossible. But that also leads me to believe Robo Pixel is smarter than I am because that simply means MORE of you who should play this need to just buy it ASAP.

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Radical Heroes: Crimson City Crisis Hands-On: Punch-Drunk Love Fest

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POW! Fans of Downtown Nekketsu/River City Ransom and other beat ’em up classics have a new game to kick sand in their faces in the form of Radical Heroes: Crimson City Crisis, currently in Early Access on Steam and worth every dime. Brought to you by Mad Unicorn Games (aka, the VERY talented Moses and Noah Doyle) and Apogee Software (yeah, THAT Apogee!), the game takes the old sprite-packed beat ’em up into the 21st century with dazzling, colorful pixel art that makes for environments that pop off the screen.

The enemies you deliver beat downs to pop off the screen as well, but that’s because you’ll be the one sending them onto that parking orbit with your avatar’s fists and feet. POW!

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Seraph: Demons Die Faster On A Lead Diet

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Pretty much what would happen if a side-scrolling version of Diablo had its way with The Matrix. This is, yes, a good thing.

Two things almost stopped me from trying out developer Dreadbit’s super fun and challenging Seraph ($12.99). One was the claim of not needing to aim in a side-scrolling shooter (What?!), and the other was the use of the words ‘Gun Fu’ (Geshundheit!) in the game description.

As in:

Seraph is a super-slick, skill-based, acrobatic shooter. Take the role of an angel who’s mastered the art of ‘Gun Fu’ as she battles her way through hordes of twisted demons.

Ugh. That reminded me of sitting through the 2002 action flick Equilibrium, one of those movies where you have to throw both your suspension of disbelief (some of those plot points!) and sense of wonder (the film’s dreary tone overwhelms the solid stunts) under a truck before buying a ticket. Thankfully, unlike that Bale-jumping flick, Seraph has style to spare, the screens and trailers showed tons of promise and yes, the game does deliver the goods every chance it gets.

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You play as the titular female angel, a death-dealer trapped in two places: a demon-packed prison and the fragile frame of a human. If that body perishes, so does our agile heroine. Equipped with Olympic-style acrobatic moves and two different weapons from an increasingly powerful selection, the game task players with surviving some pretty hellish enemy types who want that angel pushing up daisies.

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The Other 99: To Live And Die In Hell’s Way

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The Other 99 is a deadly first-person action-survival game. Ripped from your ordinary life you awaken on a desolate, windswept Hebridian island with nothing but a single note that reads, “The only way off the island is through The Other 99”.

The Other 99 will stretch your humanity to breaking point as you fight to gather food, water and weapons on an island where you have nothing, where you are nothing. You are not special.

It is up to you to make yourself into something. Will you brutally murder all those who stand in your way? Or will you move silently through the forests, eliminating anyone that crosses your path? Just remember each person is unique and has their own story to tell and their own pieces of the jigsaw that makes up The Other 99.

How far will you go to survive?


 

Who doesn’t love a good murder mystery? Well, The Other 99 kind of figuratively cuts to the chase by ditching the cheap detective stuff and makes you the one who has to figure out how to get the hell of an island full of other killers and back to civilization. This slice of harrowing, not for the kiddies survival game arrives today on Steam courtesy of UK developer Burning Arrow and publisher Deck 13. Condemned meets Battle Royale meets Manhunt with a dash of And Then There Were None (times ten, minus one), the game changes each time it’s played and if it’s done right, should provide some interesting replay value as well as plenty of conversation fodder.

Somewhat stabbier launch trailer below the jump for those of you not into the painful looking art of digital dispatch.
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Switch ‘N’ Shoot: One Button Masterpiece Well Worth Your Two Bucks

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BUY THIS GAME.


 

My inbox gets packed to the gills with requests to review games and with my current massive backlog it usually takes me a week to sift through a few days’ worth of pitches and press kits. However, that bug-eyed alien art from Matt Glanville’s awesome Switch ‘N’ Shoot jumped right out at me and as soon as I clicked on the link and watched that gameplay video above. My wallet was two bucks lighter. Although it’s still in beta, it’s completely playable and addictive as bacon-wrapped bacon with a side of bacon.

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Dirt simple and a great companion piece to Downwell (I guess you can call it Upwell? No? Hey, I tried!), the brilliantly simple gameplay packs a hilarious level of challenge. You get one ship, one button moves AND shoots, you can only move laterally. Have fun. Zen-like reflexes are needed to keep scoring points, but death comes so quickly that you’ll just jam on the button to restart until you get on that leaderboard. My paltry 17 points is up now, but not for long, I bet.


(Thanks, Awesome Movie Clips!)

Anyway, go grab this one on anything it’s on. If you hate DRM, go get it here. I say pay for it if you can – even as an Early Access title, it’s well worth the cost and then some.

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-GW

Portal Knights Goes BIG So You Can Go Home

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…and stay inside playing a lot longer. 505 Games and developer Keen Games have announced a huge new update to their popular family friendly crafting/action/RPG, Portal Knights that includes many requested features such as voice and text chat for online play, remappable controls, and a ton of tweaks and fixes. The new larger islands make the overall game world even more fun to run around in, and my logging in to check out the changes also revealed the game’s visuals have gotten nicely upgraded as well. 

Check out the new trailer and screenshot slideshow below.


 


 

-GW

Magical Brickout: Off The Wall Hybrid’s A New Classic in the Making

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Black Shell Media has been publishing a slew of fun indie games for a while (over 60 titles to date) and as I whittle away at my backlog, I’m finally getting around to playing a bunch of them. Magical Brickout won the coin toss and as a fan of Breakout or Arkanoid-style games, this Early Access game had me at the first ricochet. Indie developer Cunning Force Games has whipped up a fun mix of puzzle and RPG-light gameplay that’s addictive and challenging with a circular play field that may remind a few of the well-aged gamers out there a tiny bit of Star Castle played from the perspective of that game’s titular nemesis.


 

There’s a basic plot about an evil wizard trapping fairies in magical bricks and using their powers to keep his castle safe while his kingdom domination plans, but you’d like to know how it plays, I’d bet. Pretty darn good, I say. The rotating play field takes a bit of getting used to, but the replayable tutorial does an excellent job of setting up the game and letting you ease into the controls. Using the A and D keys to rotate the play field and SPACE to launch balls (or the right analog stick and X on an Xbox 360 pad), you’re tasked with freeing all the fairies on each board while avoiding bad status bricks and using assorted power-ups to aid in your progress.

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From what I’ve played so far, complaints are minimal. Sure, mouse control would be a nice addition to the game because some levels get REALLY hectic. But I think  the rotation speed of the board is set to be intentionally methodical for say, billiards and pinball fans looking to line up shots before launching. That and heck, there’s something to be said for LEARNING how to play a game and not expecting it to play EXACTLY like something familiar, right? Yes, the art direction could be described as “hidden object game rustic” (a friend who popped by noted that with a chuckle), but it’s all good that this game rocks that hand-painted style without apologies.

Updates are hitting this one fast and furiously, so there’s a great deal of content to explore that makes the price point more than a reasonable bargain. Even better, there’s also a big sale on Black Shell’s catalog on Steam even as we speak, so I say click on over and buy a few things to add to your library or gift to friends who need more variety in their own collections. Add some Magical Brickout to your life as well – you look like you need to spin this spinner of a game for a spin anyway.

PC Review: Portal Knights

Portal_Knights_LogoHDPlatform: PC

PK_cropDeveloper: Keen Games
Publisher: 505 Games
# of Players: 1 – ?
MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Official Site
Score: A- 90%

Even though it’s still in Early Access on Steam, Portal Knights has become something of a phenomenon among its growing user base. According to 505 Games, to date players have:

– Looted more than 232 million items

– Mined more than 103 million blocks

– Killed more than 23 million enemies

– Crafted more than 19 million items

and yes indeed, I’m one of those players having a blast with the title. While it does start out a wee bit slowly, some literal digging around in that first (and later, every) area will have you soon seeing that there’s a great deal under the pretty surface that really goes a long way in making things even more entertaining. While geared towards younger players (note that E10+ rating above), the RPG elements, often challenging combat, crafting and exploration elements have a very wide appeal for novices as well as hardcore gamers looking for the next big deal.


 

Things kick of simply enough with a character creation screen where you choose your gender and select one of three classes (Warrior, Archer, Mage) before warping into the first randomly generated world. There’s a set of basic tutorial pop-ups that cover a few things and Minecraft fans will probably get wise to what to do a wee bit faster than anyone who’s not played that game. That said, there are enough differences from that game (and the side-scrolling Terraria) that set it apart. For one thing, other than the simplistic character faces and baggy starter outfits, the visuals (which run at a zippy 60fps) are much more appealing and lively here. Rich colors and nifty visual effects abound in each area, making exploration always fun when you make it to new worlds. Monster types are nicely varied as well, changing at night to deadlier varieties once you unlock your first portal. Continue reading