Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Indie Fantasy RTS ‘Circle Empires’ Receives Steam Massive Free Content Update - Linux Support To Be Added


Haarlem, the Netherlands, September 12, 2018 – Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Luminous announce that their hit real-time strategy PC game Circle Empires will receive a massive content update today.

Amongst the many improvements being made, the free update adds new units, buildings and locations to the game. Later this month Circle Empires will also receive full Linux support.

In Circle Empires players must conquer a procedurally generated world made of interconnected circles. Circle Empires was released August 8 for PC and Mac and has been enthusiastically received by the community, with very positive review ratings on Steam. 

The content update adds a new unit, Hammermen. Leaders will now have workers of their respective species. For example, if you start the game as Puck the Pumpkin King, you will now have pumpkin workers. Zombies will now also function as workers.

New buildings which spawn dragons and wizards are also added in this the update. In addition to new buildings, there are now more circle types to conquer, as two new biome variations have been added: Dragon Lairs and Wizard Studies. New rare biome variations with large armies of hostile units are also added in this update.

Difficulty has been increased for Easy and Normal mode. Both modes now have more monsters to fight.

Also included in this update are Korean localization, many bug fixes, unit and leader balancing and UI improvements. For a detailed list of these changes, please visit the Circle Empires Steam forums.

Circle Empires can be purchased through the Steam store page at an SRP of 7.99$.

Din's Legacy now in Early Access on Steam

Gamers who buy Din's Legacy Early Access will receive full access to the latest alpha build, a reduced price of only $14.99 (10% off first week), the opportunity to give Soldak feedback which can influence the game, and of course, the final version when it becomes available.

Din's Legacy is an action RPG with mutating characters, set in a dynamic, evolving, fantasy world for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
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During the Orc Schism, the entire Orc race was violently split into Dark Orcs, Zombielords, and the Mutated. The Mutated are tainted with Orc blood, a zombie parasite, and necromancer magic. This makes people seriously mistrust and even fear them. The fact that they slowly mutate over time makes it even worse. Who is going to trust you when you grow horns overnight?

Despite all of this, the Mutated are actually more closely related to the Elves, both their behavior and physically. They want to prove this to the world, but they are facing a tremendous uphill battle.

The trickster god Din was intrigued by their chaotic mutations and burning desire to prove themselves to the world. Always in need of champions, he made a pact with the Mutated. Each volunteer would become one of his champions trying to save the world wherever Din sends them. In return, each time they die in his service he resurrects them to continue their service.

Din's Legacy, as well as the Mutated's and yours, are all in your hands! Can you be the Champion that is needed?

For more information about Din's Legacy head over to http://www.soldak.com/Dins-Legacy/Overview.html


Features:
* Experience your character mutating over time for good and bad
* Guide your character's evolution (choosing/improving skills, suppressing unwanted mutations, etc)
* Use mutation points to mutate your character towards another character or sub-class
* Uniquely created worlds for every game, with different scenario, win/lose conditions, areas, monsters, items, and quests, give the player a new experience every time
* Explore a dynamic, evolving, living world
* Your choices truly impact the game
* Co-op multiplayer to adventure with friends



About Soldak Entertainment, Inc.
Soldak Entertainment, Inc. is a small independent developer, focused on creating unique gameplay. Soldak was founded by Steven Peeler, a former Technical Director of Ritual Entertainment. Din's Legacy is the sixth Soldak game, joining Depths of Peril, Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse, Drox Operative, and Zombasite.

Galactic RTS/FPS-hybrid Executive Assault 2 coming to Steam Early Access this October

13 September, London, UK - Wannabe intergalactic CEOs: get ready for cosmic domination as space combat/strategy title Executive Assault 2 prepares to make its long-awaited landing onto Steam Early Access this October.

Created by solo indie developer Robert Hesketh of Hesketh Studios, Executive Assault 2 is the sequel to Executive Assault, which was critically praised for its unusual combination of real-time unit command gameplay and fast-paced FPS action as players seamlessly jump into the boots of different units at the click of a button. Executive Assault has garnered a “Very Positive” Steam rating from over 1,000 reviews since launch.


With the Earth destroyed, players must grab their suit and tie as they begin life as a CEO of an inter-galactic corporation whose business objective is to take over planets in a bid to accumulate as much wealth as possible in a galactic wild west of chaos and lawlessness. Gamers can customise their corporation as they see fit, with the emblem and company, unit and product names all set by the player.

The gameplay is split into two distinct types: real-time, top-down strategy known as Tactical Mode and first-person, fast-paced combat action called Direct Control mode.

In Tactical Mode players leave behind their assault rifle in favour of a control panel as they command their fleet aboard the bridge of their space station. From there, players can research over 60 technologies (with dozens more at launch) and build 14 different units including 12 ships and multiple soldiers – all of which can be upgraded with 28 different skills in the game’s diverse upgrade tree. With their army prepared, players set-out to assassinate multiple rival corporation CEOs in order to take over nine large-scale system while battling against the various environmental factors, including ion and asteroid storms. Once a system is secure, players can then create multiple types of outposts to yield various materials. This includes mining outposts to mine minerals, research outposts for new technologies and defensive outposts for improved fortifications.


In Direct Control mode, players take control of any individual unit, whether that’s a ship soaring over the planet Tarkonis or a high-grade military soldier deployed on an enemy transport ship.  Each unit has a plethora of weapons to equip including blasters, rifles and explosives. Turning the tide in battle is the game’s super-weapon, the Monolith – capable of destroying an entire star-system at the push of a button.

All business leaders need good allies to be successful, and that’s why players can team up with friends and other players worldwide in the game’s PvE multiplayer mode. One player assumes the role of CEO and tactician and the other, a soldier or ship unit, with all the loot split straight down the middle. Those with loftier ambitions can embark in PvP, pitting players against one another in a bid for total planetary dominance.


Check out the Official Website for more details.

Audiogame Jam is back for its THIRD year

Audiogame Jam by James Kyle is back for its THIRD year on Game Jolt!
The challenge, if you choose to accept it is to get creative and make a game that's completely playable without sight!
Audiogame Jam is a game jam that helps raise money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, a charity that provides help and support for vision impaired people across the UK.
Help spread the word with the hashtag #AudiogameJam3

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Indie Game Review - Ole Bunny (Android)

You're a bunny and love to smell the roses.  That's just great, but unfortunately you've decided to do it right inside a bull-fighting arena.  So yes, there are lots of lovely roses to smell, but also lots of bulls charging around ready to trample you.

That's the premise of Sekip Game's new Android release, "Ole Bunny".  It's an arcade style game where you control your little bunny, grabbing roses and avoiding bulls.  The control system is a little odd - you tap the screen to change direction, with your bunny travelling diagonally and changing direction in 90° anticlockwise steps.  This all feels rather unintuitive initially but after a while you get more or less used to it.  Certainly it increases the challenge of the game and means that you probably need to use a little more strategy than you would if you had more fluid controls.  There are some fun power-ups to collect too.

Collect the roses, avoid the bulls.  I mean, just how hard can it be?

The graphics are simple but nonetheless have a lot of character and charm, music is suitably frantic and  the sound effects are quite amusing.  You can customise the appearance of your bunny too.   I've had a few goes and my high score is still only 11! 

Ole Bunny is a fun game that demands a lot of attention.  Given that cute bunnies and suchlike hold a natural appeal to young children, it's a shame that (unless future updates perhaps introduce an easier option)  the difficulty level will probably put younger players off.  The number of ads didn't seem too bad.


Don't worry, that's not bunny blood, it's just rose petals.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Announcing Democracy 4

Development has started on Democracy 4, the latest iteration of the political strategy game by Positech Games. Democracy 3 was released in 2013 and...quite a lot has happened in global politics since then, which we hope to reflect in the new version. We are still very early in the development of the game, so are not ready to show anything yet, but here are the answers to some expected questions:
 
Lead programmer and Lead Designer on Democracy 4 will be Jeff Sheen from Stargazy Studios, who also designed Democracy 3:Africa and worked on the Unicode port of Democracy 3 recently to allow support for Russian & Chinese translations. Cliff will help with design & testing and will be producer.
 
Democracy 4 will incorporate the extra features introduced in Democracy 3 Africa, which simulated corruption, limits to press freedom and other political phenomena from the extremes which are starting to become more common in western politics since the release of Democracy 3.
 
The game will be completely updated to reflect modern issues, so no more worrying about the 'V' chip and other long forgotten issues, and more worrying about fake-news, social media, and other social phenomena driving politics in 2018 onwards.
 
The release date is 'some time in 2019' and we expect to offer an early-access / playable alpha version to players before the games final release. Target platforms are PC, OSX and Linux.
 
The plan is to roll content from the existing 4 expansion packs (Extremism, Social Engineering, Clones & Drones and Electioneering) into Democracy 4 where appropriate and relevant to provide a single version of the game.
 More details coming over the next few months :D

Friday, 14 September 2018

Couch co-op Nintendo Switch game Pitfall Planet coming soon

13 September 2018 - Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. Developer Abstraction Games today announced that it is bringing co-op puzzle adventure title Pitfall Planet to Nintendo Switch in Fall 2018.  Featuring the cutest pair of robots this side of the Milky Way, Pitfall Planet’s action takes place on a distant, forgotten mining world. Play as the two astrobots, who after being stranded and separated from their ship, must traverse the subterranean caves of the ruined planet, overcoming its many perils in the process.


In Pitfall Planet, you and your friend are equipped with the latest and greatest in astro-mining technology. Players can use their grappling hooks to pick up objects (including each other!) and throw them over gaps or cliffs. To collect all the ore in each level, you'll learn to master the art of teamwork! With the help of your buddy, activate otherwise unreachable buttons and levers, navigate to higher areas using crates with the help of your buddy, hop across sections with bouncy pads and overcome rockets, tanks, and more!


As if hours of challenging puzzle-based gameplay is not enough, players can then spend their gems upgrading the two protagonists with a range of fancy headwear to make them the best-dressed robots on the planet, perhaps even the galaxy. Originally created and released on PC by Bonfire Games, Pitfall Planet’s gorgeous graphics, challenging gameplay and abundance of humour and charm make it a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch and its couch-based co-op gameplay.


Key Features

  • Two player local co-op for hours of couch-based fun!
  • Gorgeous graphics bring the robots and the vibrant planet to life
  • Play with a friend through a variety of levels with intriguing puzzles and dangerous enemies.
  • Explore a mysterious overworld to discover caverns and secrets.
  • Find hidden gems in every level, which can be used to unlock HATS!
  • Play on one Nintendo Switch using two Joy-Con controllers
  • Throw your friends into pits of lava!
  • Do it again! Don't worry, they'll be just fine.


Heartwarming Adventure My Brother Rabbit Coming Sept. 21

KATOWICE, POLAND – Sept. 6, 2018 – My Brother Rabbit, the heartwarming adventure game from Artifex Mundi, invites players on an emotional trip into the dreamlands of imagination on PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch September 21.

After their beloved daughter falls ill, a family hopes to restore her health with the treatment she needs. Her caring older brother wants to help however he can and turns to the power of imagination and wonder to help take her mind off serious matters. While life appears dreary and cruel, the fantastic and surreal world conjured up by the children offers a wonderful reprieve.


In the siblings’ land of make-believe, a sweet little rabbit takes care of his friend flower, who recently became afflicted by a strange sickness. To reach those who can heal her, he sets out on a journey that requires both a keen eye and smart thinking. Collect hidden objects including butterflies, insectoid lightbulbs, and other items and apply them to the riddles hiding throughout the world.

After observing each area and uncovering secret objects, these items are used in over 30 minigames. Some are as simple as connecting threads in a color-matching game. More complex puzzles involves repairing a fantastical musical machine. Each part adds another musical layer to the song emitting from the device, until a full symphony heralds the rabbit’s triumph.


As the rabbit gets closer to making his friend flower better, the joyful scenery begins to blend with the cold hospital surrounding the children. Though their situation is dark, the children use their creativity as a torch to light their way out. Kids have the incredible ability to explain what they don’t understand. This isn’t a way to ignore what they fear, but to instead both cope and understand the strange ways of an ever-changing world. The game’s designers worked with their own children to better understand they way they perceive our reality.

My Brother Rabbit’s gorgeously bizarre hand-painted landscapes are reminiscent of Dali, and the surreality is underscored further by the music. Arkadiusz Reikowski of Layers of Fear and Seven: The Days Long Gone fame penned an inspiring score that helps accentuate the whimsical delights of this world. Players will delve into their imagination and experience an emotional connection like no other.


“We feel that players will form a bond with the children in My Brother Rabbit because of their enduring spirit,” said Tomasz GrudziƄski, CEO at Artifex Mundi. “Though this story begins with a tragedy, these children always hope for a brighter future.”

My Brother Rabbit will be available for $14.99 on Nintendo Switch, Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One September 21.

To learn more, please visit My Brother Rabbit’s official website or Artifex Mundi’s website.






Thursday, 13 September 2018

New Release - Lamplight City

One of the most hotly awaited indie adventure games in recent years was released today, and it looks like it was absolutely worth the wait!

"A steampunk-ish detective adventure from the creator of A Golden Wake and Shardlight! Can private investigator Miles Fordham find justice for his clients and track down his partner's killer before his entire world comes apart?"


Available now on Steam.






Patron Spotlight - Jay Tholen - Hypnospace Outlaw

Jay Tholen, creator of pointandclick adventure game Dropsy, is currently working on one of the weirdest games I've seen for a long time (or perhaps ever).


Hypnospace Outlaw is a a '90s internet simulator, that requires you scour the Hypnospace and hunt down wrongdoers, while also checking out a wide variety of weird and wonderful websites, keeping an eye on your work email, and downloading a plethora of apps that may or may not be useful.


As part of your job as a Hypnospace Enforcer, you'll be watching out for copyright infringement, internet bullying and more, with reports and rewards coming direct from the Hypnospace Patrol Department to your inbox. In your spare time, you can customize your HypnOS desktop however you see fit, with a variety of downloads, wallpapers, screen savers and helper bots to keep you company.


There are few game ideas that you can't say haven't been tried before, but this may just be one of them.  Find out more at the Official Website.


Indie Game Review – Football vs World (Android)

Football vs World - Destructible Environment Game is an extremely simple but oddly enjoyable game where you play a giant football intent on destroying things (because why not?).  There are 2 control methodologies to choose from but by far I prefer tilting the phone to move and pressing the screen to jump.

You have 10 levels (hopefully in the future) with nicely designed voxel graphics depicting a scene, including one imaginative level where you are suspended in mid-air and have a plane to destroy.  Gameplay is as simply as it sounds – move around destroying anything you touch – but with a pretty tight time limit and quite some finesse needed when there’s not much left on the screen, it’s also quite a challenge.  There are a few different ball types to unlock by achieving score totals etc, so there’s some value in replaying levels with a different ball to get a higher score.  The worldwide high score tables are a definite plus for this game. 

The number of advertisements is on the wrong side of annoying for me but they all seem to be skippable after 3-4 seconds, so it’s not really a problem.  The visuals are good and the music is nice.


Currently this is a good little time-waster; with the short time limit on each level it’s a perfect coffee break game.  (Incidentally, it’s also possible to review the game during lunch break!! :-D)   It would definitely benefit from the addition of more levels in the future and perhaps the addition of power-ups would also boost replayability.  

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Sofus and the Moonmachine - A storybook adventure 4+

Explore a magical forest planet, build a spaceship, help your strange little buddy Sofus on a dangerous journey, escape from the prison of the robot king, find your way out a labyrinth and more...

The idea behind Sofus and the Moonmachine is one that has been quite close to my heart for some time - a point and click adventure game for young children (around age 4-8).   It's something I've rarely seen done well and an idea that I've not successfully dealt with myself (yet...?).  Since this game is currently only available for iOS devices, sadly I still won't be able to check out this one, but if you have young children and have an iPhone / iPad, it definitely looks one well worth checking out.


Features:
- Interactive illustrations
- 100+ verses with rhymes
- Fully animated characters
- 3 adventurous chapters containing 19 scenes.
- Unique music and sound effects in every scene.


It's available on the iTunes Store - oh and don't worry, although the info says it's Danish only, the dev assures me that it does support English too!


Tuesday, 11 September 2018

War of Conquest Comes to Steam Early Access September 20th

REHOBOTH, MASSACHUSETTS – 09/11/18 — IronZog LLC announced today that their Kickstarter-funded open world strategy game War of Conquest will be released through Steam’s Early Access program on September 20th.

War of Conquest is a free-to-play massively multiplayer real-time strategy game that puts the player in control of one nation in a vast fantasy world occupied by thousands of other players’ nations. The goal is to build up the nation’s technological and magical abilities, as well as the player’s skills, in order to compete to capture the mysterious Orbs of Power scattered throughout the landscape. The journey will entail battling over land and resources, developing advances, forging alliances, and constructing and upgrading a wide variety of defensive structures.


The Kickstarter campaign for War of Conquest wrapped up in October 2017 and exceeded its goal by raising $8,698. War of Conquest is a reimagining of an earlier game by IronZog that went by the same name. The original War of Conquest ran from 2002 through 2011, had over 200,000 players and developed a cult following that continues to be a presence on social media years after the game went offline. Many fans of the original came back to support the Kickstarter and have been taking part in beta testing over the past year.

What sets War of Conquest apart from other massively multiplayer nation building strategy games is that all players co-exist on a single game map. In addition to the free-for-all war fought on the game’s main continent, nations can raid one another’s home islands, in a one-on-one matchmaking mode that’s especially geared toward solo and casual players. 


“The game is feature-complete, but there’s no doubt the Steam players will have some great new ideas to contribute and will expose rough spots that still need to be ironed out,” explains Michael Ferrier, lead developer at IronZog. “Early Access will be a terrific opportunity to get feedback from a wider range of gamers, to work toward perfecting the game balance and to work out the final bugs.”

War of Conquest will be released for Windows on Steam Early Access September 20th at 12pm Pacific time. It will also be available for Linux and Android through warofconquest.com. After the Early Access period is complete, the game will be released for PC on Steam, for Android through the Google Play store and for iOS though the Apple App Store.




Patron Spotlight - Shaun Aitcheson of Cloak & Dagger Games - Sumatra: Fate of Yandi

You are Yandi, a villager who works for the Pandang Logging Company deep in the Sumatran jungle.  An accident leaves you stranded and alone in the jungle. You must survive, you must escape. But who knows what you might come across in the process?

Features:
- An old school point and click adventure aesthetic with puzzles galore
- A range of interesting characters, including Kubu tribespeople and creatures unique to the Sumatran jungle
- A variety of unfolding mysteries to keep Yandi on his toes as he tries to escape the jungle
- Playable flashback sequences that paint a picture of where Yandi has come from and how his attitudes have formed
- Original soundtrack
- 2-3 hours of game play


Inspiration?
Old school point and click adventures from the 80s (eg Kings Quest, Quest for Glory). Myths and legends of Indonesia. 

Wait, this looks a little familiar!
Sumatra is an expanded version of our well received free game from 2015, Pendek. While Pendek had around 20-30 minutes of gameplay, Sumatra will feature around 2 to 3 hours of adventuring, with many added situations, plot-lines and characters.


Sumatra: Fate of Yandi should be making an appearance towards the end of 2018, if things go reasonably to plan.  Check out more on the game's development here.


Monday, 10 September 2018

Gameplay video - Unicorn Dungeon

This game is... just a little bit crazy! :-)

Patron Spotlight - Christian Miller of Silverspook Games - Terminus: Cyberstar


Terminus: Cyberstar is a low-poly cyberpunk immersive sim in the vein of late-90's PC games like Deus Ex 1 and System Shock 2. It is a full-length sequel to Terminus Machina, one of the highest-rated Deus Ex mods (9.5/10 on Moddb). It's creative director is Terminus Machina's creator, Christian "Silver Spook" Miller, who is also the one-person developer behind Neofeud, rated "Top 25 Cyberpunk Games" by GamersDecide and "Top 100 Indie Games of 2017".



Indie Game Review - Solbot Energy Rush (Android)

In Solbot Energy Rush by Freakout Games you play an astronaut (or something like that) with trendy jet boots - your mission is to collect energy.  You do this by collecting orbs that are the same colour as your current spacesuit - this changes each level.  There are 50 level in all and the number of orbs you encounter increases each level, and guess what the orbs that are a different colour to your suit do?  That's right, they kill you.  So already by level 10 you start to get quite a challenge from this game.

The controls are nice and responsive - just press either side of the screen to go that way - with both rapid and precise movements easily possible.  You can obtain keys to allow you to continue the game when you die without losing your progress - either by watching a video or viewing an energy fact - so this game might just help you to cut your energy bill as well!

There are power-ups every so often - I've only come across 2 different types so far - there are 5 in total, so I'm assuming a new one is introduced every 10th level.  It really does become quite frenetic at times, and at those times you will be REALLY glad to come across a power-up!   The visuals are sharp and effective.

All in all this is a very fun and challenging game - it's an extremely simple concept that's well executed and the difficulty level progression is pretty spot on.  The energy facts are interesting and useful, so gaining new keys to help you get better scores and complete levels isn't a chore.  Oh and the music is good too!

If you like fast-paced retro arcade games, you will definitely enjoy Solbot Energy Rush - you can get it on the Google PlayStore.  It's also available for iOS at the iStore.