Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Sci-fi noir puzzle game, True Legacy, coming to iOS on 8th February 2018

True Legacy is a text-driven puzzle game and dystopian sci-fi noir thriller about politics, AI and genetics in the 21st century.

In development since autumn 2016, True Legacy was funded by Failbetter Games’s Fundbetter scheme and the Wellcome Trust. The True Legacy team have previously released Calvino Noir (noir stealth), Morphopolis (art puzzler), and Peregrin (sci-fi puzzle adventure).

Inspired by Blade Runner, classic noir fiction, Syd Mead’s art and Device 6’s puzzle gameplay, True Legacy takes the player on a gritty journey through the tech dystopia of Hong Kong 2084.

Players follow homicide investigator, Claire Thornhill, through a politically-sensitive murder case, navigating the world of True Legacy via interactive text, immersive 3D scenes and forensic puzzle gameplay. Both morality and puzzle-solving skills are tested along the way.

True Legacy will be released for iPhone and iPad on February 8th, and is available for pre-order now.




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My Time At Portia - Preview

My Time At Portia is a free-roaming adventure that puts you in a post-apocalyptic world - but it's anything but bleak!  With beautiful surroundings and friendly people to meet, you have multiple paths to follow - builder / farmer / brawler / quester - people to meet and make friends with (some easier than others it seems, and the fact that giving animal poo as a gift can obviously turn some people off you!  Fortunately you can give them nicer gifts instead...), and a huge world to explore (which, apparently, contains its fair share of mysteries too).


If you liked Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles you should feel right at home here, but everything in My Time At Portia seems much more detailed - the people actually really talk to you, the graphics are certainly more detailed and less stylised, inter-character relationships have more depth, etc.  The game is backed up by some beautiful mood music.

It's currently in Early Access but already it's difficult to grasp just how massive this game is. There's so much to see and do here, and it feels like love and attention have been poured into every aspect of it.  Most definitely one to keep an eye on, or of course get it while it's still in Early Access - you might encounter the odd bug while it's being developed, but even in this developmental stage its enormously impressive.


(Needless to say, my kids love this game and it was difficult for me to get enough time to give it a proper test!!)




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Monday, 29 January 2018

Review - Legend of Hand

I’d been looking forward to playing Legend of Hand ever since seeing it showcased at Adventure-X in 2014.  I was immediately drawn to the unique art style  and the fact that the graphics reminded me of classic martial arts games such as International Karate; also it seemed to have genuinely different ideas thrown into a melting pot rather than being a fixed genre.

Reader, I was not disappointed.

Legend of Hand is a rather unique game.  Without revealing too much of the plot I will say that you are a well thought of student who wins a martial arts competition, and is sent on an important quest.  This quest will involve visiting several islands, then finding and challenging the champion of each island.  Along the way you will learn new skills, stances and be able to upgrade certain stats if you complete tasks or find opponents to challenge.
 
Takes a while to get into this tent... but it's worth it.


The game combines elements of adventure and RPG, and takes you on an epic quest involving numerous locations and several memorable characters.  Perhaps with a wink in the direction of The Karate Kid, many of the tasks you will need to undertake involve mundane tasks such as cooking, fishing, even dancing.  The game is constantly fun and relatively easy to progress through – although one or two puzzles will have you scratching your head for a while.  There is – perhaps intentionally, given the subject matter – a slight over-reliance on timing-based puzzles at some points, although some of these can be skipped.  Certain possibilities for building up your stats are there but I think the game is designed in such a way that you don’t especially need them – they just make it a little easier / faster to get past certain opponents.  You can also earn money and buy items to build up your stats in some places - but beware, some of the traders are rather less than honest in the descriptions they give of their wares!

Don't let this chap's intuitive size fool you, he's not to be messed with!

The art style is unique and excellent – a line-art style which in parts greyscale, in others coloured.  Although the art is quite simple in style, it’s always eye-catching and detailed enough for the visual clues to come through.  My only real criticism is that the backgrounds sometimes lacked animation – especially scenes where there were a lot of people, but no movement, this spoiled the mood just a little.  There is no speech, but ambient sound effects were used effectively and the music, despite not seeming “right” for a martial arts themed game, were somehow perfect for Legend of Hand.  It all added to a wonderful atmosphere of unbelievable believability. 

The story and dialogue are full of humour although there are deeper subjects touched on.  I found the ending is a little difficult to understand, particularly as it seemed to happen so quickly.  Still an enigmatic ending seems fitting for this game – it was a wonderfully surreal experience throughout, walking the tightrope between mundane believability and absurd unreality without even threatening to fall off.  Your character keeps a diary which gives you some storyline and information about the fighting stances, a map (honestly I never found this actually helpful, it just seems to show an outline of the island you’re currently on, I may have missed something!) and a handy task list in case you forget what you’re supposed to be doing.  There are several mini-games along the way, most (/all?) of which are either optional or can be skipped if you find them too difficult.


Overall Legend of Hand is unlike anything else I’ve ever played.  It’s adventure-lite, added to RPG-lite, with its own unique brand of humour and style.  Appropriately enough ethics, honourability and nature all play key roles in the game too.  If you like your games a little different, you’re definitely going to enjoy this one.


Available from Itch and Steam(At time of posting this review it’s on special offer too!)

Okay so is this an NPC or a Twitter user?!?!?


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Saturday, 27 January 2018

In development - Snowicks: Snow Battle

Snowicks: Snow battle is a fun action game with RPG elements, in which you need to prove to everyone that you are the best in the game of snowballs. To do this, you will need to collect a team of the best of the best players, gain experience, arm to the teeth and punch the way to glory through the mountain of battles.

The main action of the game takes place in a fabulous place Snow Valley. The inhabitants of the valley - Snowicks - great dreamers, humorists and inventors. Because in the valley there is snow all year round, the main fun of the snowmen is playing snowballs - they really like this activity and have already grown into real competitions.

The main tournament for the snow battle takes place in the Ice Castle, but not everyone can take part in it. To qualify for a victory in the tournament, the team of snows should participate in small tournaments, gain experience and collect stars. Each snowick wants to win the tournament Ice Castle, so they invent different snowy weapons that help them to victory over the other participants in the competition



Before the launch, the dev team (Snowpard Groupwant to gather around the game a community of people who could share their ideas and suggestions, become beta testers and then grow into regular players  If this is of interest to you, take a look at their various community channels:







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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

My Time at Portia Out in Steam Early Access Today

23rd January 2018, UK – Award-winning international games label Team17 and China based independent developer Pathea Games have today launched their charming sandbox simulation RPG, My Time at Portia, into Steam Early Access.
 
Arriving in the enchanting town of Portia, you’ll set up shop in a derelict workshop left to you by your Pa. It’s down to you to gather resources and put his trusty, old workshop handbook and workbench to good use, as your craft your home back to shape and make it your own. Then convert the empty woodland around your new residence into a quaint little farm, where you can grow your own crops using clever planter boxes and cultivation techniques!
 
As well as developing your own workshop, you’ll be able to take on daily commissions and villager requests which enable you to craft your way into the hearts of the local community. The town of Portia is filled with a vibrant cast of unforgettable faces all with exciting stories to share, energetic personalities and individual behaviours. Make sure you take the time to get to know them all - who knows, maybe romance could be in the air!

On the outskirts of town, you’ll discover ancient ruins and dungeons to explore. Here you can mine for resources and face fearsome monsters and bosses that stand between you and the secrets of Portia.
 
The Early Access version of My Time at Portia already contains many key features and hours of engaging gameplay, but there are plenty more planned on the journey to full release.
 
My Time at Portia will be available for PC via Steam Early Access from 4pm GMT today for £15.99/$19.99/19,99€ and will be heading to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch™ later this year.
 
To keep up to date with all the information on My Time at Portia please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and join us on Discord.


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SpecialEffect Announces £446,000 Raised During One Special Day 2017 fundraising event



SpecialEffect, the UK charity that specialises in helping people with disabilities enjoy the fun and inclusion of video games, has announced the total amount raised from its One Special Day 2017 fundraising event on 29 September 2017 is £446,000.

The charity’s largest fundraiser of the year, where partners from the games industry gave either 100% of UK or worldwide sales on 29 September, will help its team of occupational therapists and technology specialists to meet the increasing demand for their experience and expertise over the coming months.

Dr Mick Donegan, Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect said, "The money raised from One Special Day is a huge financial boost to SpecialEffect. It will enable us to take on the extra staff we need to help even more severely disabled people all over the world to play the games they love. Being supported by so many games industry partners like Supercell, SEGA, Seriously, Unity Technologies, Codemasters, Playdemic and Rovio is not only a tremendous funding boost but also a terrific morale boost to our passionate and dedicated team here at SpecialEffect."

"The money raised from One Special Day 2017 will go towards employing two additional clinical staff to join our growing team of occupational therapists and technology specialists. It will also help pay for vital modifications to SpecialEffect’s national accessible games room where people with disabilities can visit to try out a huge range of hardware and software modifications."

The One Special Day event, which attracted worldwide attention and very positive publicity including a tweet out from reality mega-star Kim Kardashian, is set to take place again on 28 September 2018 with a significant number of the One Special Day 2017 partners already committed again this year. 

If you’d like to find out more about how your company can take part in One Special Day 2018, contact Nick Streeter at nick@specialeffect.org.uk or catch up with the charity at PGC London and Games Forum London.

SpecialEffect are an award-winning charity that enables people with physical disabilities to benefit from the fun, inclusion and therapy of video games. They support people of all ages through personalised assessments, equipment loans and equipment modifications.

SpecialEffect
The Stable Block, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3EH
Office: 01608 810055
Twitter: @specialeffect
Charity no 1121004



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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Tangledeep Steam Launch Date set for February 1

Editor's note - I haven't had much time to play my review copy of this one but from what I've seen it's extremely promising.  Lovely retro aesthetics and simple to use but quite detailed gameplay mechanics.  I have to admit I've barely even scratched the surface with what little playtime I've been able to give it so far.



Fulton, MD - January 19, 2018 - Independent game developer Impact Gameworks today announced that their 16-bit inspired roguelike dungeon crawler, Tangledeep is looking to bid farewell to Early Access with an official release date set for February 1 on Steam for Windows PC, Mac, and Linux. Tangledeep will also be available to download from the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch™ in Q2 2018.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Impact Gameworks has released two stunning new pieces of artwork and an all-new pre-launch trailer highlighting some of Tangledeep's exotic environments and strategic combat.

Tangledeep pre-launch trailer:


Featuring a high level of replayability with dozens of hours of gameplay through procedurally-generated maps, memorable characters, 12 unique job classes, hundreds of items to collect and use, and over 50 otherworldly monsters to battle and tame, Tangledeep weaves a truly magical experience for adventurers of all skill levels.

What challenges await? Find out by exploring the ever-changing labyrinth of Tangledeep on Steam.

About Tangledeep
Tangledeep is a dungeon-crawling tribute to the golden age of RPGs, inspired by the lively visuals and music of such classic games as Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. Its strategic, turn-based gameplay combines the accessibility and polish of these games, and draws from a rich history of roguelikes from NetHack to Shiren the Wanderer and even modern dungeon crawlers like Diablo. Players can approach the titular, ever-changing labyrinth in a myriad of ways, using the game's robust character job system and huge assortment of equipment to create a unique experience with each playthrough.
The Tangledeep soundtrack is also highly notable, featuring two styles: an authentic, retro SNES version, and a modern version with beautiful orchestration and live-recorded instrumentalists. Largely including music written by Andrew "zircon" Aversa (the game's programmer and designer), the Tangledeep soundtrack will also feature guest contributions by legendary composers such as Hiroki Kikuta of Secret of Manaand Seiken Densetsu 3 fame, Grant Kirkhope, composer for games like GoldenEye 007 and Banjo-Kazooie, and Norihiko Hibino, who has worked on such series as Metal Gear SolidYakuza, and Bayonetta.
A deluxe edition of Tangledeep, including the game's soundtrack will also be made available on Steam at launch.


Key Features
  • Experience finely-tuned, procedurally-generated and handcrafted gameplay as you fight challenging monsters, complete quests, and collect rare items
  • Master deep, tactical turn-based combat across 12 unique job classes with over 100 skills
  • Choose between three game modes - including Adventure Mode, which removes the pain of permadeath
  • Share progress between characters by using the banking system, planting magic trees, or capturing and raising monsters in the Monster Corral
  • Venture into ITEM DREAMS, randomized mini-dungeons where anything goes
  • Relax to a beautiful soundtrack composed by award-winning composer Andrew Aversa - joined by industry legends Hiroki Kikuta, Grant Kirkhope, and Norihiko Hibino
  • Play with virtually any controller and remap any control, use old-school keyboard-only support, or play using just the mouse
  • Unlock Steam Achievements and craft Badges for gorgeous hand-drawn wallpapers and emotes
Stay up to date with the latest from Tangledeep online by following the game on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tangledeepgame, and join in on the conversation on Discord at https://discord.gg/4q5kjUm.


About Impact Gameworks
Impact Gameworks is an independent game studio formed by game composer and electronic artist Andrew "zircon" Aversa, who is also the programmer and designer of Tangledeep. Previously known for his electronic music discography, remixes, and music work on game soundtracks such as Soulcalibur VRecore, and Tap My Katamari, Andrew created Impact Gameworks to develop charming, nostalgic games rich in tactics and depth. http://impactgameworks.com


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Friday, 19 January 2018

Steam Achievements and Trading Cards - Poll Results

So I ran a poll on Twitter - these are the results.




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Tachyon Project to be released on Switch

The definite version of Tachyon Project will be available on the Switch eShop on January the 25th, 2018



Tachyon Project first released over 2 years ago and is currently available on PC (Steam), Wii U, Xbox One, PS4 and PS Vita. Switch will join the rooster on January the 25th, 2018. Anyway, this version has been improved and treated with extra care to try to fix most of the issues highlighted by reviews and users on the original. 

This is the definitive edition of Tachyon Project. We should've added it to the title we just didn't think of it at the time. Here you have some of the additions to this new version:

  • Improved visuals, particularly in the menus.
  • Support for local multiplayer in story mode (while you could only play local coop in the Challenges).
  • Improved enemy creation FX to make it clearer and avoid 'cheap deaths'.
  • Redesigned many of the first few levels to make them a little bit more interesting.


Tachyon Project is an action-packed dual-stick shooter where we've taken concepts from the classic shoot'em up genre and adapted them. The player will find the gameplay versatility and speed traditional to dual-stick shooters but with the weapons and enemies diversity normally found in shoot'em ups, providing a more varied and interesting gameplay. But gameplay innovations are not limited to weaponand enemy design but you'll also be able to play a new stealth game mode.

In Tachyon Project you take control of Ada, a software program design to hack into the most secure servers in the world. After some rather mysterious events, Ada is thrown out into the internet and she'll have to fight to uncocxzvver the truth about her creators' disappearance.

The narrative is presented through 10 unique levels, each made of 6 progressively challenging waves. Success is rewarded with new weapons and perks that are essential to aid you against increasingly difficult odds and tougher enemies.


Features:

  • Story-driven, action-packed dual-stick shooter
  • 6 different weapons, 9 secondary weapons, and 7 perks provide hundreds of combinations for your ship
  • Over 30 different enemy types, including 4 bosses
  • Over 60 different waves in the 10 levels that comprise story mode
  • Innovative stealth gameplay levels and health system
  • Up to 4 players local multiplayer
  • An interesting story, told through hand-drawn cutscenes, drives the gameplay
  • An intense original soundtrack by Tyson Prince, Kevin Murphy, and Toni Ros
Tachyon Project is available on Nintendo Switch for $9.99/€9.99/£7.99.



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Indie game collective Sokpop invents new funding strategy


Utrecht, The Netherlands, 19 January - Game collective Sokpop revealed their plans to use rapid iteration as a tool to fund their games. The group of critically acclaimed young developers uses bi-weekly Patreon games to fund larger projects.


Check the Patreon introduction trailer: https://youtu.be/0e2VANoiUr0



Patrons who pay $3 a month receive a free Sokpop game every two weeks and gain access to the Sokpop Discord, where they can follow development and communicate with the creators. Patrons who pay $5 get additional early access to big Sokpop projects. People who fork out $10 or more gain exclusive access to the source files of the Patreon games.



Free games for fast patrons



People who sign up for the Sokpop Patreon during the first month will immediately receive two free games:

Jut, a game about collecting trash




Bombini, a game about nature.



Making fun games, fast


“Getting funding for indie games is hard,” says Tijmen Tio, one of the Sokpop founders. “We needed to find something that would work for us. Something that we are good at. That’s how we came up with the Patreon idea, because we are good at rapid iteration and making fun games, at a high pace.”



Big projects to be released this year



Sokpop will use the Patreon money to fund three releases of full scale Sokpop games as listed on the Patreon page. These games will become available later this year. These titles are: rogue-like farming game Original Hill FarmingBox Friends, an idle gardening game for mobile, and the follow-up to the cult-hit Bernband, titled Bernband.



The collective



Besides Tio, whose student project Bamboo Heart was nominated for an IGF Student Award last year, Sokpop collective consists of the following people:
Aran Koning: who worked on (among others) SIHEYU4N and Hidden Folks.
Tom van den Boogaart: whose Digital Bird Playground was part of the 2016 Mild Rumpus selection at GDC.
Ruben Naus (aka Rubna): who is most known for Lisa (winner of the 2015 award for best Dutch Student Game, IGF Student award honorable mention 2015).




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DATA MUTATIONS

Okay this is a cool idea.  Is it truly indie?  I'm not entirely sure, but it's interesting so I'm going to post it anyway - it's kind of a variation on a theme of game jams, I guess.  Gabriel from Outlands Games got in touch with me about this one.

"During the first phase of the project, each member of the Berlin-based collective AAA created an asset for use in a game engine (a sound, a text, a mesh, etc). All these elements were then brought together into an asset pool. 

In the second phase, each of us created their own game using this same limited number of assets, altered and mutated in unpredictable ways." 





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Friday, 12 January 2018

Text Adventures Live Again with Cleansuit!

Cleansuit is a retro-style graphical text adventure game where you must find creative ways to survive a mysterious serial killer's assault on your home. Use text commands to manipulate the detailed environment and discover all the unique ways to win and die.


Available from Steam and Itch.io 


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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Revealing Logic Dots 2 - Hit iOS & Android Puzzle Game Launches Thurs, Jan 11

Logic Dots 2 is the follow-up to Ayopa Games' award-winning hit puzzler Logic Dots, and is made by the same acclaimed developer Ingames (produced games including Tiny Thief and Logic Traces). A uniquely fantastic combination of Sudoku and BattleshipLogic Dots 2 is easy, addictive and logical to play. Each brain-twisting puzzle consists of a blank grid surrounded by numbers. Players need to use logic and puzzle smarts to find hidden dot lines and now shapes on the grid, making sure each row and column contains the required number of dots. 

Logic Dots 2 launches Free on iOS and Android this Thursday, January 11!




GAME FEATURES
- USE LOGIC TO WIN: Place dots in the grid to create dot lines and shapes to solve each logic puzzle.
- BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION: Gorgeous, colorful levels are now even more of a treat for your eyes. Logic Dots is color-blind friendly as well!
- INCREASE YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Logic Dots 2 sharpens logic deduction and improves cognitive skills in players.
- NO PRESSURE, TAKE YOUR TIME: There’s no time limit and no move limit. Take as many goes and as much time as you want to complete each puzzle!
- RENOWNED FRANCHISE: Logic Dots 2 is made by the lead programmer of the original Logic Dots, Logic Traces and hit puzzle game, Tiny Thief!
- UNRIVALLED DEPTH: Over 200 unique and increasingly complex brain-teasers provide many hours of intellectual challenge and fun. Yet more new level packs will also be released in free updates very soon!
- COMPLETELY FREE: Play all the way to the end with no in-app purchases required!
- LEARN AT YOUR PACE: Seamless tutorials for players of any ability level.
- COMPARE AND COMPETE: Your game score, Game Center achievements and leaderboards will show who’s the most logical of your friends. Surely it’s you?
- FEEL FREE TO MAKE MISTAKES: Any logic errors can be corrected with unlimited undo’s!
- HINTS IF YOU NEED THEM: If you get stuck, tap on the hint button and you’ll be puzzling again in no time!






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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Doc Apocalypse Deluxe

#

Available on Steam and the Screen7 Store

(I voice a mutant in this!  :-D  Go on, admit it - you're jealous.  You've always wanted to voice a mutant too.)


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