Oh, Deer! In the Headlights, Sideways, Somewhat Allegorically

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Current mood:


 

Oh, Deer! is apt enough and more than fast enough for these testy times that I can recommend it even though I’ve yet to actually play it. Scoreless swerving past or through lines of poor digital deer is an odd metaphor for the daily careening many of us do while glued to a news source, real or “alternative facts” based, eyes wider than usual. While this may not seem all that deep, developer Necrosoft Games is proudly stating this is indeed a beta that will end up as a more fully polished product. Initially released as a 49-cent PlayStation Mobile game (I missed it on the Vita? Noooooo!), it got bumped up to subscription-only freebie beta build for Humble Monthly subscribers where it caught fire and careened into a game a lot of folks want to see get completed.

So, yeah. Get this if you’re cracking up or something. Amusingly priced at an apocalyptic $6.66, that entry fee also gets you whatever ends up being the final version of the game whenever the fine folks at Necrosoft get to completing it. Hey, the world may end before that happens or it may not. No matter what, you’ll be able to swerve past or slam sideways into all the deer you choose without guilt or incurring and insurance fee increases.

-GW

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Apocalypse Now: Well, in 2020 (but as a PC game)

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“The horror… the horror…”

So… this is indeed a thing you can put money towards… and it looks as if it’ll be worth it. Yes, I spit out my coffee when someone sent me this link. But after reading it and soon after, reading the entire Kickstarter page… I guess I’m in, as I’m watching the funding until the final 48-hour push before deciding whether to pledge. It’s NOT a shooter (good!), Coppola in indeed involved (better!) and with a three year production window, the team of industry vets isn’t rushing this to market (best!). granted, the planet still kind of needs to be here so those of us buying that ticket can actually enjoy the fruits of this labor. But we’ll deal with those D20’s as they’re rolled.

– GW

Yooka-Laylee Capital Cashino Trailer: Playtonic’s Platforming Playhouse Arrives In 2017


Well, the really good news is this Rare-inspired platformer now has a release date and more great-looking screens to go with that trailer above. The sort of bad news is the Wii U version has been sent to the glue factory, but the silver lining is it’s headed to Nintendo Switch at some point. Screens you want, screens you get thanks to my handy YouTube channel you should probably subscribe to now that I’ve figured out how to use the darn thing. I don’t monetize, so fear not – you’ll get no spam or even a slice of stale bread to have that spam on.

Press release perusal? Jump down, watch for spikes.

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BEVONTULE Hands-On: Liminal Effort = Maximum Results

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So, what’s a BEVONTULE, you ask? Well, first of all… you’ve very likely pronounced it wrong, so let’s go get that sorted. It’s Bay-von-chu-lay, and you quick thinking speed reading link clickers already know it’s an in-progress Unity 3D engine tactical RPG by a very dedicated team of two Portsmouth, OH natives, Derek Bradley and Andy Fenton. The Unity-powered game has been in development for a while and the recent demo kept me quite busy for a few hours. “Wait, a few HOURS?” you ask? Yep. As no save system was implemented and the gameplay was pretty solid, I kept at it and kept my laptop humming away for about four hours or so.

Granted, the demo can be completed in less time if you’re good at leveling up properly and can survive a pretty nasty boss battle. But my play style leaned heavily on hoofing it all the way back to a village you might not discover when playing the demo unless you turn around and make a beeline for it before you venture too far into danger. The spot has a few shops, an inn to heal up at and some nice treasures to find that help the cross-map journey considerably. You’ll also be able to pick up and turn in a few item fetch quests that make hoofing it back to worthwhile. Finally, heading to town resets the enemies outside, which means you can choose to fight or flee from them.

Yep, more often then not I chose to fight. Hey, a guy’s gotta level up, right?

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VOODOO: Stepping Into Man’s Past To Create A Great MMO For The Future

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Italy-based developer Brain in a Box is on a mission to create an online world you’ve never seen, but will be strangely familiar. Welcome to VOODOO:

The game’s official site notes:

Voodoo is a Survival game set in a primal Africa, where godly and earthly are not yet clearly defined, and humankind is on the brink of civilization. Build your village with your friends or other people that you will find around the island, by gathering resources and crafting.

 
And, when the time is right, you will have to vanish your primal fears by fighting giant Izimus scattered around the map, that will make your little civilization advance by discovering new technologies. But Izimus aren’t your only enemy, you will find wild animals from the prehistoric era and other villages, because with civilization comes the lust for power.

 
Will you bring your village to power by being a fearsome warrior, a relentless farmer, or a powerful shaman?

 

Well, challenge accepted! Guess who signed up for the closed beta? No, not that guy over there, you! grrrr. Me! The game does look intriguing and while I’m not usually into MMO’s, the chance to poke around in a work in progress and offer feedback into making the experience better for all is a challenging endeavor as well as a fine adventure to tackle. Well, as a “relentless farmer” for me. AGGRESSIVE CROPPING WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED! Grrrr!

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Lost Ember: Kickstart This Gorgeous Game, Please

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While I’m not the biggest fan of crowdfunding, I’ve participated in a few projects this year that jumped out and bit me because the promise of greatness was more than a pipe dream and a dedicated person or team was at the wheel guiding that vision to completion.

Lost Ember is one of those projects, I’ll more than likely help back because it’s absolutely gorgeous and it looks as if the developer, Hamburg, Germany-based Mooneye Studios is on the right track in creating an indie game for the ages. You can see (and hear) the hard work and passion for the project in every area and hopefully, the game will make its goal with time to spare (and yes, a well-optimized console port down the road, as this one’s too good to be limited to one platform)

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But enough babbling from me. Take a look at this trailer from the developer:

And this gallery of screens and art I put together a few weeks back on YouTube with fingers crossed that the Kickstarter would indeed launch and get going to a fast, steady start:

You’re grinning and reaching for your wallet, right? Well, my work here is done.

-GW

HUNTDOWN Gallery: Enter the Three the Hard Way Blade Running Mad Warriors to the Max

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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?

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There’s a nice, striking image, no? Oh, just wait until you see what’s below the jump…

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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.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap – Blast From The Past Gets A WOW-Worthy Remake

 

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MouseManRunningMuch to the joy of many gamers in the know, there are now two major games on the way from indie developers focused on returning the classic character Wonder Boy to his former glory and both have the blessings and cooperation of series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa.

Sega still owning the rights to the character means Game Atelier‘s upcoming effort had to be redubbed Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (formerly known as Monster Boy and the Wizard of Booze). But as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap has just been announced, it seems that title is staying for the current time. Even if it changes at some point, the game being a beautifully animated remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap is what’s really getting some very thrilled.
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Road to Ballhalla Hands-On: More-Ball Madness

If you make it this far without losing a ball, you sir (or madam) are officially some sort of deity to be bowed down to.

If you make it this far without losing a ball, you sir (or madam) are officially some sort of deity to be bowed down to.

 

tinyBuild Games decided to unleash a little surprise last week and allow some 3000 random Steam account holders to play a six stage Alpha version of Torched Hill‘s upcoming Road to Ballhalla, a game that’s a tiny bit hard to categorize. While it has a few similarities to Marble Madness and the 1998 PlayStation game Kula World (or Roll Away here in the states), Road to Ballhalla is more of a wall-less maze game where reaching the end of each level requires players changing their gameplay focus on a dime often within the same level. I guess you could all it a “puzzle” game if you like based on the simple visual style and rather cool music in that trailer below.


In case you didn’t watch the trailer and that previous sentence connotes “casual” to some of you core gamers who’d normally ignore something like this, you’re in for a big surprise. You can consider Road to Ballhalla the Dark Souls of indie puzzle games (or something *sexy* like that).
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