Bevontule Update: Going Greenlight (With Some Help From You)

So, yep. Bevontule is still going strong as a work in progress and as you can see above, looking even better than before. Thanks to feedback on the multiple demo builds they’ve posted for about a year as well as a wealth of general improvements made over time, Multithreaded Games LLC (or the dynamic duo of Derek Bradley and Andy Fenton) is on target to make quite a memorable first game certain to garner a loyal fan base. Nitpick time! If you want to get really picky, calling it a “JRPG” is a *tiny* bit misleading. Both Derek and Andy hail from Portsmouth, Ohio here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Still, as the game does take some of its inspiration from a few classic turn-based strategy JRPGs, I’ll gracefully let them slide on that. The new typeface, even more polished visuals and what’s so far tighter gameplay makes this one a game to keep an eye on and hope it gets enough attention to get ported to consoles at some point.

(Cue Derek and Andy screaming in unison and calling up a local hit man to get me for wishing port work on them before the PC version of game is actually completed… Heh, sorry, guys!)

What’s clear about the outstanding visuals (that draw distance is amazing, isn’t it?) is the boys know how to make the Unity engine sing. Of course, the usual “Unity sucks!” naysayers will never be convinced, but I think Multithreaded isn’t listening to those know-littles (none of whom knows how to make a game, I’d wager). One of the more amusing things about the game going Greenlight is the comments section on the Greenlight page.  It would seem (in proper internet commentary fashion) that SOME so-called gamers don’t even know the game has not one, not two, not three, not four… but FIVE different demo builds to try out, all from different periods in development and all worth a play. You’d think someone would go as far as to post those links in something like a blog post so people can take the older builds for a spin, but noooooo… (heh).

Oh, that video above is me sneaking up on some hapless cranky Steam user on the way home to NOT play a game, but negatively comment on games they’ll never play because they’d rather be THAT guy stinking up an otherwise decent community with stinky s#!tposting galore. What happens next? Well… you’ve got those links above, correct? Go find out, you (all those builds are FREE, by the way!). Bevontule isn’t due until sometime in 2018, so you have PLENTY of time to see what’s what. That said, go vote it up on Greenlight while you’re waiting, please.

 

-GW

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Pathologic: Ice-Pick Lodge’s Re-Invention Looks Mysteriously Magnificent

Pathologic Logo
 

Back in 2005, Russian developer Ice-Pick Lodge released Pathologic, an unsettling horror/adventure/RPG hybrid that garnered excellent reviews at home, decent to fair reviews in the west, and gathered somewhat of a “cult” following for its unusual, creative art direction, extreme difficulty and distinctly bleak tone. The game’s fan base grew with its gog.com release and subsequent 2012 HD remastering (both of which come with the purchase of the HD Classic version). With a successful Kickstarter to re-imagine the game in 2015 for PC (and possibly consoles) Pathologic’s new path has added even more fans to this weird game’s potential player base. Ahead of Gamescom, IPL has released a nice set of screenshots that show off some lovely, haunting images from the new version.

Let’s take a look now, shall we?


 

Pathologic Artwork
 

While gameplay videos have yet to surface, this 2014 Kickstarter video should give you an idea of what to expect. As the game has no set release date, the waiting period between information drops will no doubt keep fans begging for more. It’s a good thing there’s a board game coming to make that wait less frustrating.

Speaking of more, click below the jump for more about the game (in handy cut/paste/corrected form)…

Continue reading

Dragon Bros Hands-On: One Small Bite Helps Make This Little Indie a Big Deal


 

So, yeah. I’m buried under games even more so than usual, but when something cool and FUN like UK-based Space Lizard StudiosDragon Bros pokes me in the eye (ow!) with a free demo I read can be completed in five minutes or less, I have to stop, drop and roll away from my backlog and get some quick hands-on time. That five minutes and twenty-seven seconds it took me to finish the demo build was pretty invigorating to say the least. Yes, they got my vote on Steam Greenlight and I want to see this one get done up right.

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Dragon Bros is a super-charged cute run & gun very much like you’d be playing on the Sega Genesis or SNES (minus that console’s better color palette). Your little dragon with the big gun is out to rescue his mom (in solo play, the game will be solo or co-op), and those robotic dopes shooting back aren’t going to stop him. well, unless you’re lousy at these types of games. As with many old-school games, this one’s a side-scroller where you can’t back up if you’ve missed a weapon pickup or dropped coins. Still, the action is fast paced and a slider on the options screen lets you choose difficulty on the fly. There seemed to be a few secrets just out of reach easily lost when the current screen slid over to a new one. But replaying the map and paying attention to spots where one can jump up to or down from helps out a great deal.

As the game is still early, there are some obvious tweaks that need to be done. The options menu needs some character sprite love for sure. The developers note on the Greenlight page that the game is still a WIP and has a ways to go before completion, but so far, they’re well on the way to making an instant classic in my bookIm.

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Go click away above, try that demo out and see for yourself what’s what. I think this team and these Bros. deserve a shot as well a space in your game library. That, and snapping up the Bros when they hit Steam means THIS can probably get made sooner. Wow.

UPDATE: Okay, I played a bit more and Got my time down a bit, but I need to slide away from this and get back to work. That backlog is staring at me and tapping its fingers waiting. Back in a bit.

Gallery: Niten


 

“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”
– Miyamoto Musashi

That quote from Musashi’s classic The Book of Five Rings is seemingly what Edinburgh, Scotland-based indie developer Donald Macdonald is aiming to convey with Niten, an upcoming first-person exploration game currently available for backing on Kickstarter that blazed through the Steam Greenlight approval process in a mere ten days. Created with Unreal Engine 4 and Speedtree assets, MacDonald’s interactive adventure looks absolutely glorious with an open world beckoning to be fully explored as the story plays out:

In search of the past and the present find yourself lost on a remote island off the coast of Japan. Uncover the mystery where ancient Japanese culture meets breathtaking scenery, blossoming cherry trees and a sky that tells a story in its self. Watch the weather turn and see the sun go down, feel the chill of the morning mist and let the glowing fireflies guide you as you search to uncover the truth of the island.

 

As for that island, let’s take a look at some gorgeous screenshots below the jump. Passports ready? Good. We’re off: Continue reading

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.

Fund This! GRAAL SEEKER: The Final Push is On!

GraalSeeker
 
Okay, folks – Lugludum’s cool-looking retro strategy RPG GRALL SEEKER needs our assistance! Go help fund the project over at Indiegogo and if you’ve got a Steam account, absolutely give it an up vote on its Steam Greenlight page. This is one of those games that needs a bigger audience willing to try something outside their usual comfort zone, so go check out those links and make Lugludum a very happy bunch of game makers!

Hey, Guillaume! Play us out with a little game music, won’t you, sir?

Graal Seeker Update: Extended Campaign + Some Music Lessons For You Potential Backers…

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Meanwhile, back in crowd-funding land…

With only 16 days left in its Indiegogo campaign, Lugludum Game Studios’ work in progress tactical/RPG Graal Seeker is jockeying for a Steam Greenlight spot, so help them out with a vote and a pledge if you haven’t yet. This latest devlog is a total educational hoot, as it shows how the music and some of the sound effects were done (go, Guillaume!). You may want to fund the game just so he doesn’t come after you with some of those weapons he has! Then again, that might make for a heck of a stretch goal – get the sound guy to chase you around a room so he can record screams for the Graal Seeker sequel!

Finally, PR guy Thibaut Trampont wants you to bug the dev team on Reddit tomorrow:

Ask Us Anything (AMA) on Sunday 19th October:
We will be on Reddit to answer all questions the 19th October at 3pm UTC with the guys from Battle Brothers, That Which Sleeps and Dungeon Kingdom. This can be a great opportunity to satisfy your curiosity about how indie developers like us make RPGs. The link will be shared on twitter the day of the AMA.

Follow Thibaut Trampont on Twitter here: @ttrampont – and go get this game funded! It looks like it will be quite a bit of fun and certainly a unique experience for SRPG fans who want something more than anime-based fantasy games in their libraries.

New Rollers of the Realm Trailer: Some Puzzles With Your Pinball/RPG? Sure, Why Not?

 
Rollers of the Realm is getting better and better, isn’t it? Phantom Compass’ upcoming hybrid game set to be published by Atlus in November is certainly looking even more polished (like a gigantic shiny new pinball) in this new trailer and I’m betting PS4 and Vita owners will be more than pleased with the plot, puzzles and play in this game when they finally get their hands on it. I’m still going back to that super aged preview build I have for PC just to get a whiff of what to expect and it’s so clear that the game’s going to exceed expectations on a few key fronts. I’m not sure Atlus needs to run another trailer until the November release, but I won’t complain at all if they do. That’s just one more opportunity to reach out and get a few more sales from potential pinballers who might not have gotten the good word already.

Back with more if more is on the way, as usual…

Monday Means Bundles of Joy All Over (And An Aching Backlog Again)!

Let’s see now, the mailbox is bursting at the seams today, so I guess it’s Bundle time! Here are a few deals to pore over at your leisure, although you kind of want to hurry on those 24-hour deals, folks:

Every Monday Bundle 9222014 

The IndieGala Every Monday Bundle this week is $1.89 and consists of three indie adventure games and three quirky kind of retro-style games. It’s a nice mix of randomness that should keep you entertained in short spurts or for a particularly boring weekend. The nice thing about all of these games is you’re not forced to play them all within a particular time span. Unless of course you’re trying to buy and play games in a specific order or knock them off your backlog as you buy each bundle. Hey! I;m not done yet – two more to go… Continue reading

Pathologic Update: 17 Days To Go. Getting To Its Goal, Body By Body…


 
Slowly but surely, this remake of the 2005 sleeper PC game Pathologic is getting funded via Kickstarter, so hop in and splash around those plague-riddled ponds if you want to see this come to fruition. I love the unsettling vibe this gives off, that slow-loading pistol (and if you didn’t squeak a tiny bit when the camera dipped up and that bird-suited thing was standing there, you’re a better person than I am) and the overall air of gloom that makes this one special. Then again, if this real life ebola thing gets into the country, we’ll all be doing that dance those quirky rejects from Mummenschanz are soon enough. Man, I hate it when reality intrudes on my gaming life. Hopefully this gets funded and finished before the planet goes all 12 Monkeys, ha and ha… *gulp!*