Here comes trouble, and there goes your free time!
Way back in 2016, I saw a trailer for a wild little 2D game from an independent developer and I was pretty excited because it captured a few nostalgic vibes from both some older games and plenty of crazy action flicks:
Skip ahead to the next year, and the game went through some changes that made it look even better. I was able to sign up and test out an in-progress version on Steam, and it was pretty great even though some parts were in need of a little refining (as any work in progress would – a demo of a game is NOT a full game experience). Even with the parts that needed work, what was there was such a huge improvement that it was clearer this was going to be even more amazing when it was completed:
Vendela and Kim over at Morgondag have been busy getting their next game up on Steam and if you love quirky puzzle games, Imprint-X will be right up your alley. A few minutes spent with a build of this unique hacker clicker puzzler reveal it’s quite engaging in its wordless presentation that opens gameplay up to anyone. Actually, all you need to know is in the description on the game page:
A robotic virus is raging! Nano Bots called Wardens are enslaving people! You are one of the hacker clones, saving intellects by hacking into infected brains and defeating the mysterious Wardens; figuring out their correct button sequences.
There’s both a smart simplicity and hefty challenge awaiting you puzzle masters as the game goes from simple switch clicking to more advanced patter memorization and faster clicking needed to ‘catch’ moving parts of some puzzles. As with Morgondag’s stellar, strange Rymd Resa, the visual style is clean yet beautifully stylized with an intriguing soundtrack that adds to the atmosphere. I’ve only sunk a solid half hour into this so far, but my brain is getting a workout already. As reviews are embargoed until the 26th anyway (the game’s release date), you’ll all have to hold your collective breath until then. Back in a bit.
Well, well. What do we have here? A game called HUNTDOWN by a studio with a temporary name ‘Huntdown HB (Handelsbolag)’ initially set for a mobile only release (where it would have no doubt blown gamers away who think ALL mobile games are awful tapper timesinks or cutesy kid games), now headed to mobile, PC and (hopefully) console? Let’s take a look and some screens, art and even a few GIFs now shall we?
There’s a nice, striking image, no? Oh, just wait until you see what’s below the jump…
Relaxing yet somehow terrifying, Morgondag‘s RymdResa is one of those great game experiences open to all who give it a shot. The atmospheric space exploration game where no combat is s key feature is also one of the more compelling games you’ll ever play and at $5.99 for the next week, an even better bargain. If you stopped reading this here and went to check the game out, my work here is done. Everyone else, keep reading.
Gameplay is both zen-like and creep upon you intense as monitoring dwindling resources and shields while trying to survive everything from asteroid collisions to ominously massive space creatures of assorted origin trying to stop your travels cold makes for a great means of killing a few hours at a time. The game is also great for shorter play sessions as well, given that one can level up relatively quickly (within a few minutes), save, quit and pick up later on with no trouble.
Also, Morgondag is working on a new game called Imprint-X, a cosmic-themes puzzler where players need to solve what’s on screen in as few moves as possible. It looks pretty neat and yes you should go sign up on the game’s page when you can.
Well, the eyes aren’t really lying at all. Morgondag’s stellar space rogue-like exploration game RymdResa is out now on Steam at a temporary 10% discount off its $11.99 price tag ($10.79). The game is a beautiful blend of retro visuals, languid pacing and slyly terrifying moments where your ship is about to run low on resources often at the wrong moment. Toss in a disembodied voice spouting seemingly random poetic musings along with a gorgeous ambient score and you get an instant classic with wide appeal.
I’ll have a review up over the weekend, but if the demo I’ve been playing on and off between other things (a demo that’s been taking time away from other games and stuff, mind you) is any indication, this one’s a keeper or a sleeper. The good thing is the developer is getting their great little game onto a few other platforms (Xbox One, Wii U, iPad and Linux), so some of you out there using those will soon be able to experience the same cold space and give your zen-like reflexes a total workout.
“We didn’t want to create yet another space-shooter, with laser-beams and exploding aliens. In RymdResa the game play is peaceful, passive and relaxing.”
That’s a nice, bold statement from Stockholm, Sweden-based Morgondag, a pair of developers (Vendela Carlberg Larson and Kim Gunnarsson) whose upcoming game RymdResa sure fulfills on that quote quite well. With the space simulation sub-genre packed to the gills with demanding 4X and real-time strategy games focused on deep exploration and and blowing fleets of ships into space dust, RymdResa is a mellower mood trip that’s a laid back welcome from all that blasting. That’s not to say you won’t get blasted by something if you’re careless, mind you.
As you’ll see in the videos above and below, the game’s retro scan line look and lovely sound mix (by Tom Croke and Pat Jacobs) are blended quite well and there’s even a computer-y voice (Eric Reed) that talks to you as you slip through the stars like a more friendly (but abstract) HAL 9000. The gameplay in the build so far is interesting, mixing arcade-like controls that are easy to pick up with a (so far) intentionally languid mission structure that has you collecting resources and “spacepoints” and avoiding trouble while trying not to run out of said resources. There are nods to Computer Space, Asteroids, and other classics, but the game’s mix of poetic quotes as you drift about and discover are quite interesting.
Thanks to a busy set of things to do this past week, I’ve only spent about a half hour or so with the game so far. But I’ll be going back in to this deep space delight for more because what I’ve played so far has been quite compelling. That half hour got me close to two years in space, two levels and a near destroyed ship when I floated too close to the sun after dinging off a stray asteroid. Memo to self (and other players): RED outlines and highlights around objects mean stay away or else. While currently Steam-bound on August 20, 2015, the game is also set to land on Xbox One, Wii U, iPad and Linux at some point in the future. I’ll be wanting to check out the Wii U version just because that console is getting a load of cool indie love but people seem to be ignoring those games for some reason.
I’ll run a big 40+ screenshot gallery over the weekend. I’d do it NOW, but I need to tackle some personal stuff. I’d do it sooner than the weekend, but I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in space before that with a nice little indie game you absolutely need to play. Back with more in a bit.
While Machine Games toils away on its new game, Wolfenstein: The New Order, Bethesda (and YOU) get a little more cultured in this latest update that actually features no game footage at all (whee!). OK, OK… stop panicking, people. You see soon enough that the game is definitely in good hands (I’ll post a gallery after E3 is over and done). Think of it this way: the lighthearted travelogue and studio tour going on above and below is just fluff to keep your eyes and ears in shape for the upcoming shooter.
In plain English: giving you too much candy now will just ruin your appetite for dinner, you know… that’s your free lesson of the day.