Skyhill: Elevator Inaction In A Descent Through High-Rise Hell


 

Skyhill intrigues me greatly because I missed out on the Indiegogo hype train for it last year when it was a rougher project that showed some major promise and got a lot of attention thanks to a few folks writing it up as a must-play experience. Naturally, Steam came a-calling and after going through the Greenlight process, that old build has since been scrapped and completely redone in Unity with the results seen above. Russian developers Mandragora have made their game a nicer-looking and more polished experience that’s destined to gain even more fans once it’s completed. To me, this looks like the arcade classic Elevator Action meets Silent Hill and Fallout… um, without the elevators, of course.

“What’s it all about?”, you ask. Well, let the official site tell you a bit (with a little rewrite assistance from yours truly):

Three months have passed since the end of World War III. Three months from the end of the world. One of the survivors, hiding in the penthouse in most expensive hotel of the city from from the scourge of biological weapons outside needs to find his way down to salvation. He must search for food and water to survive; find and use better weapons to fight mad mutants and more in the randomly generated world of Skyhill, where each walk-through is unique.

Yep, that sounds like a fine old time to me. In real life, of course. I’d just eat a big meal of whatever is left from that last room service trip, roll over and take a long nap. In Skyhill, you’re in survival mode as soon as you step outside that pricey penthouse. Anyway, this one’s going to be watched here until it’s ready for prime time. In the meantime, I guess it’s a lot of Knitted Deer while I’m waiting. That game needs to come to Steam as well.

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Nintendo Goes Mobile With DeNA: It’s The End of an Era, The Beginning of Another

EDIT! The funny thing is, I just re-read (or more precisely, completed reading) an article on this and it seems that Nintendo IS in total creative control on the developement front with their mobile lineup. DeNA is helping out with the behind the scenes backend production stuff. This bodes well for anyone concerned that Nintendo is shifting their licenses to a company that will slap a pay wall around any fun and sap wallets on a regular basis. My mistake! Oops. Well, let’s see what’s coming when it arrives, right? Right.

 

Yikes, what a big fat news item to wake up to. Anyway, it was pretty much a given that this sort of thing would happen (particularly if you read a few industry sites over the last year or so and started putting pieces of news together), but what does it all mean at the end of the day for longtime fans? More games to play and on platforms they never expected to see them on, most likely. Now, I’m sure Nintendo didn’t “sell out” their franchises to DeNA (or GungHo Online for that matter, see previous post). And I’m sure they’ll have final say in what gets out there. I do know that DeNA’s games, while criticized for their pay walls, happen to do well at getting people to play them and some of the more popular ones emulate gameplay elements found in Nintendo’s Pokemon series (which was created for them by GameFreak). Anyway, I’m just not going to say a peep more about this deal until I see what games are coming and how they’ll get to the fans. I know the most die-hard loyalists don’t want to see the words “free to play” attached to anything Nintendo does. But the sad thing is, this seems to be the wave of the future (yuck) and an unavoidable means of reliable revenue. Ah well…

Marvel Mighty Heroes Teaser: Your DeNA Just Got An Adrenaline Shot

Here’s a BIG kick in the pants for a Monday, courtesy of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. Okay, not really. it’s actually a brand new mobile game on the way from the folks at DeNA and developer ngmoco. Their upcoming F2P game Marvel Mighty Heroes looks to bring fast-paced tactical co-op action to iOS and Android devices soon. That teaser video above should get you fans motivated enough to pre-register for the game, but I’ll drop the press release below the jump if you need a tiny bit more convincing. Continue reading

Review: The Shadow Sun (iOS/Android)

The Shadow Sun boxPlatform: iOS/Android

Developer: Ossian Studios

Publisher: Ossian Studios

# of Players: 1

ESRB Rating: N/A

Official Site

Score: B+ (85%)

 

TSS 15Four years in the making, Ossian Studios‘ first mobile RPG, The Shadow Sun, brings the look and feel of classic PC fantasy role playing games to iOS and Android devices along with a few quirks common to mobile games. It’s a solid enough adventure of a decent length (about 15-20 hours or so if you seek out everything) and for a mere $4.99, it’s a fantastic deal.

While the game is indeed engaging and quite challenging in terms of its combat, it’s also a patch away from being even better than it currently is. You’re certainly getting a heck of a lot more than five dollars worth of gaming here and while in-app purchases are available, none are needed to beat the game.

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Some Monday Year End Bundle Deals to Scoop Up…

if your year-end plans involved spending as little money as possible on games so you can afford an extra few bottles of bubbly stuff, well… you’re in luck this week.

BS Born 2 Race Bundle
 

Like fast cars? Got a fast computer? Great. For a dollar (and ONLY for the next 24 hours!), Bundle Stars is offering up a stupendous deal in the form of the Born 2 Race Bundle. Seven racing games plus a bunch of expansion packs for such a low price that you’d be off your rocker if you passed this deal up. There’s a mix of realism here with a few more fanciful games to dink around with and more than enough content to make this one of the best deals of the year.

IndieGala EMS 12292014 

If driving around at high speeds isn’t your thing, how about some story-driven adventures on the cheap? Well, the IndieGala Every Monday Bundle has got you covered and then some with eight games for a mere $1.89, which is yes, nuts. Fantasy, fake historical, sci-fi and horror genres are represented here in this nice variety of brain-bending games. There’s even a dash of humor here if you like your games with a comical bent to them.

Humble Noodlecake Studios Bundle
 

Whaddaya mean you ONLY play mobile games? Okay, okay… I got you covered. Well, the Humble Noodlecake Studios Mobile Bundle has you covered. Sure, you need to spend a little bit more to get these games. Nevertheless, like the other bundles here it’s worth it because you’re helping support charity. That and you get thirteen games for eight bucks and MORE content that unlocks as more people buy the bundle and break the different targets noted on the game page.

Finally, you may as well check out Indie Royale for more cool stuff for low prices. Or to be more precise, The Debut Bundle 23 gets you eight indie games for $2.58 with a ninth to be unlocked later. I think that should take care of your gaming needs for the end of this year, right? Well, I kind of hope it does. Don’t forget to get out and get some air every now and then, okay? We don’t want people to think you’ve gone and pushed up some daisies somewhere…

Avernum II: Crystal Souls – Spiderweb’s Tiles & Treasures Classic Gets a Reboot!

Avernum II Crystal Souls logo 


 

It’s same old story, brand new engine time for Jeff Vogel and his small team over at Spiderweb Software, but this is a really good thing for fans of the developer’s work. This time, their classic RPG Avernum II is getting a complete makeover as Avernum II: Crystal Souls, set for release soon on PC, Mac and assorted devices. Spiderweb’s complex and engaging role-playing games have always been unique because of their sticking to what Vogel likes and not what the game marketplace “demands”. This means no flashy 3D engines or “uncanny valley” visuals, dense stories filled with loads of text and some intriguing characters and a simple to learn yet tough to master combat system.

Fully exploring every nook and cranny in a Spiderweb game takes a good deal of time, that’s for sure. But playing through each of their games reveals what happens when people who love what they do get to stick to their guns and make what they want to make with little to no compromise. I can’t wait to take this one for a spin and I’m betting like the company’s recent games, it’ll run on almost any machine that uses Windows XP and up without taxing the hardware. That’s excellent for dinosaur PC users like me who don’t play online or waste too much time being “social” babbling about how Spiderweb needs to finally make a polygon-heavy title that requires the latest 3D card (or two) just to get running. There’s still no school like the old school because you don’t need to blow a hole in your wallet to simply enjoy a damn good game, folks…

Flyhunter Origins: Bugging Off, In The Most Fun Way Possible…

Flyhunter Origins logo_nobackground 


 

Zak_Pose4Busy mobile-plus publisher Ripstone is at it again with the fun old-school games, so I have to chime in with a grin at Steel Wool Games‘ upcoming platformer Flyhunter Origins, is headed to PC, PS Vita, Mac, Android and Tegra-powered devices this December. Sure, it’s not anything revolutionary at all and don’t expect “evolutionary” if you look to every new game you’re interested in as “innovative.”

What you see is what you get with this one: a solid and engaging platformer that plays like a mix of old and new genre classics. For an old goat like me, I’ll take fun and engaging over all-out trying to be the best new kid on the block any day of the week with a title like this. Now, that doesn’t mean I despise developers who break out of the box with surprising new games that do it all differently. Far from it, folks. I love seeing studios stretch their wings and fly like the breeze with new and cool ideas.

zak-home-1 There’s just something to be said for honest to goodness reliability and no-nonsense plop down your money and play enjoyment. Especially in a game such as this where you know you’re getting what you pay for and can show it off to others who appreciate the same thing. Flyhunter Origins is going to land on a device near you soon. Don’t reach for that Raid or comically over-sized swatter, kids – you’ve got some buggy buddies to rescue!

FlyhunterOrigins_Preview_1 FlyhunterOrigins_Preview_2 FlyhunterOrigins_Preview_3

 

The Shadow Sun: Ossian Studios Makes a Mobile RPG Monster…

The Shadow Sun 

I think Ossian Studios must be full of very powerful wizards who just so happen to stay out of trouble magic users get into by making some really wonderful games. The developer, well known by western RPG fans for two excellent expansion adventure packs for BioWare’s Neverwinter Nights 2 (Mysteries of Westgate and Darkness over Daggerford) has a new mobile RPG that’s going to maybe make some PC-only players jealous. Available for Android and iOS platforms, The Shadow Sun is a Unity engine RPG with about 10 hours of content, some really pretty visuals and what looks like fine gameplay in action.

screen01 

The Shadow Sun is packed with features you’d normally see in high-quality PC and console role-playing games. However, given the developer is made up of veterans with experience on Neverwinter Nights and The Witcher, what’s here is just the team showing off their work for all the (mobile) world to see and enjoy. Check out the gallery, game features and teaser trailer below the jump, if you please:

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Ember: N-Fusion & 505 Games Bring a High-Quality RPG to the Mobile Masses

EMBER logo ember_01 New Jersey-based N-Fusion Games’ Ember is probably the best looking and most ambitious mobile RPG to date, period. But is the phone and tablet market truly ready for what will be a visually rich and potentially battery draining game experience such as this? That’s one of the questions that went swirling through my brain as I saw the upcoming game in action at a recent 505 Games event. Sure, there are a digital ton of JRPGs, action, puzzle, card battle and other hybrid role playing games out there. But Ember’s scope is more of the Baldur’s Gate meets Ultima meets Morrowind school of storytelling and gameplay. This will be a massive, deep, and detailed world where anything and everything can change based not only on what each player does, but how the AI interacts with itself as you play… Continue reading

Kabam Comes Out Swinging Hard With a Strong Mobile Lineup…


 

POW! Okay, I’ve kind of avoided most mobile games over the years for a few reasons that paradoxically enough, I still play console titles for. But I’ve been coming around to the 21st century just in time for mobile gaming to be more or less where I’d like it. An invite to see Kambam’s lineup of mobile titles just so happened to zing into my inbox, so it was off to see what they had to offer and if I’d be hooked in by anything that caught my eye. It turns out everything I saw caught my eye (yes, and the other eye, too) and I found myself trying to figure out just when I’d find time to play what I got my hands on that afternoon and into the evening…
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