Games I Need to Play 4: Chernobylite


Well, well… I guess I really need to play this game, too. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Chernobylite, a 3D scanned “science-fiction survival horror experience” from developer The Farm 51, who deserves some sort of award for exposing themselves to the probably still very irradiated location of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where some of the photo-realistic visuals and locations were derived from. I haven’t touched the Early Access build yet because I’m swamped with stuff to do and my backlog is somewhat long, but that sort of attention to detail makes me want to see what the heck this is all about from a few perspectives. If that trailer is doing its job on you, you can go pick up the Early Access version of the game either on Steam or gog.com.

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Just out for a little walk in the (radioactive) park…

I’ll shut up here and let you ogle more some screenshots and other media on the game’s official site, as I’m I’m the middle of a few reviews and today is extra busy for a Monday. This is also console bound at some point but as far as I can tell, it’s headed for PS4 and Xbox One only.

-GW

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Lornsword Winter Chronicle: That Certain Something Piques My Interest (Again)

 
(Thanks, zbencz2!)

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You know, it figures.

Here I was, about to slip away from some of the busier genre games that involve some hybrid elements in favor of more streamlined gameplay and here comes indie dev Tower Five’s Lornsword Winter Chronicle popping up on my radar. Great. Not only is it a brand new game make by former Creative Assembly folks, it’s got that lovely mix of ARPG and strategic elements going for it and as a final kicker, it looks really great. Actually, the kicker for me is even though it’s headed to Steam soon, it’s also coming to PS4 and Xbox One at some point and that’s going to be something I’m dying to see because yes, consoles are my platform of choice these days. Let’s take a look at that trailer, shall we?

(thanks, Lornsword!)

Hmm, maybe the real kicker is the game supporting drop in-drop out co-op play?  That’s also certainly more than enticing to me.  Maybe it’s my ears and eyes perking up and being thrilled to see something like this doing things in a somewhat different manner? Or perhaps it’s just that oddly poetic text that accompanies that trailer that sounds like a song if you think about it long enough? Okay, that’s a smaller but welcome detail more than a selling point. Still, it’s a good sign for what’s ahead, I think.

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Well, not that I’m back IN, I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays, so yes indeed, I’ll be checking out the Steam version and hoping the PS4 port can keep up because this sure looks like a game that I’ll be playing for a while. Yeah, go wish list it, I say.

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-GW
 

Shortest Trip to Earth: Early Access Sim’s a Tough, Tasty Nut to Crack Into

(Thanks, Iceberg Interactive!)

I tend to sway between not playing too many Early Access games and playing too many at once, but while a bit of a daft thing to do in practice, in theory, the best games rise above that “Oh, it’s ANOTHER incomplete beta” to “Hey, hey… this one’s pretty darn solid!” Into the latter category goes Shortest Trip to Earth, developer Interactive Fate and publisher Iceberg Interactive’s new game now available on Steam Early Access for $19.99. Described as “a roguelike spaceship simulator focused on exploration, ship management and tactical battles”, it’s indeed all that as well as providing a decent level of challenge, some unusual ship designs and what’s looking to be plenty of replay value.

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Pick one… and try not to break it this time, pal!

The opening tutorial is fairly simple as you learn the ins and outs of your starter ship. This isn’t an easy game if you attempt to play outside the tight rule set you’re given, so paying attention and following directions as closely as possible. From putting together the propulsion system, firing up the engines and right down to picking the proper crew members to man the weapons, pilot the ship and other tasks, the game packs in a ton of pre-exploration setup that’s going to appeal primarily to simulation fans. I guess you can call it a somewhat more fussy version of a Star Trek episode if you like. But I don’t think you’ll be Kirk-ing green skinned alien babes much here unless that situation pops up in one of the procedural maps.

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“Um… B-7…” HIT! Well, it’s a lot more complex than Battleship, so expect the enemies here to always fight the good fight.

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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

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