Bugs. People hate them. The theory is that the circle of life would unravel completely without them providing one of the lowest ends of the food chain, but most folks can’t resist the urge to smash them on sight. Some go so far as to say they would eliminate them for good if they could. An opportunity to do just that, at least digitally, came up way back in the 80s with Centipede but it didn’t last. In fact, bugs are still one of the most common video game enemies around, coming in just behind zombies, red barrels and ‘terrorists’. Now the bugs are invading again, this time through Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games service in Fun Infused Games’ Bad Caterpillar, a modernization of Atari’s classic hundred-legged game.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: Bad Caterpillar does nothing to hide its inspiration. If you’ve ever played, nay, even seenCentipede then you’re familiar with what this game has to offer. As with most shooters it’s you and you alone against an entire army of enemies, so don’t expect any back up, soldier. Grip that trigger and let the bullets fly. The game’s titular enemy descends from the top of the level and it’s your duty to blow each and every segment of its body to Kingdom Come, lest you explode at its mere touch. You move onto the next level once you’ve successfully smashed each and every thorax. Read more
The king is dead. That’s how Nostatic’s newest Xbox Live Indie Game Ascent of Kings starts out. It’s a somber beginning what is otherwise a breezy and carefree exploratory platformer. Your quest to become the new king is a fun, albeit short one despite this.
The journey begins much to the chagrin of your father, who believes you to be too young to handle the rigors ahead. Youthful confidence prevails and you set out on a quest for kinghood in the footsteps of your recently-journey-bound brothers. Each of your kin was equipped with a special item to help them with the road ahead. While you have none to start with, you’ll eventually acquire them all. It’s a good thing, too, since you’ll need them to reach your destination. Read more
It appears that no one can escape the “Wrath of the Dead Rabbit“, not even the studio that developed it. Our brothers in “arms”, Arkedo Studios, has announced that they’re closing their doors.
The indie studio, who was also behind the beloved Arkedo Series and the DS’ Big Bang Mini, will be splitting up and moving on to other projects. Studio head Camille Guermonprez is already working on a “publishing project”, while Aurelien Regard is working on starting a “mini-studio”.
Regard did lay out a couple reasons for the studio’s departure in his goodbye blog post. A desire and inability to make smaller games without a publisher was chief among them. The studio feels they are now too big to have success with that model. They also felt that they reached their limits with Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit.
The studio was careful to leave things on a “See ya” than a “Farewell”, so there’s a possibility that they’ll group back up in the future. But for now, at least, Arkedo has been put to rest.
If Xbox Live Indie Games was Santa and I was a prospective present recipient, you’d think I would have been judged ‘naughty’ with all the coal I’ve received this year. Suffice to say, 2012 hasn’t been a banner year for the service. But after playing Bleed, it might have all been worth it. Bootdisk Revolution has put together something truly special and any gamer with a love for the classics would be remiss to pass it up.
The objective in Bleed is simple: Defeat the world’s best heroes to become the newest member of the Hall of Heroes. Your quest takes you through the home bases of each of the world’s six champions, plus one final stage afterward. Each one has a theme that matches the style of its owner. The extravagant and creepy mansion belongs to the gelatinous slime ball with the googly eyes and fly wings. The security-intensive high rise houses the defense robot with a penchant for homing missiles. Read more
There’s no denying that Wayforward has solidified themselves as one of the go-to development studios when it comes to higher profile, retro-styled 2D games. Some of their projects have turned out to be fantastic, like the wonderful Mighty Switch Force on the Nintendo 3DS. Others, like Bloodrayne Betrayal, are a bit behind on the quality curve. Double Dragon Neon is their latest effort to recapture the shine of decades-gone-by. Any reservations the studio’s varying quality may have caused should be dismissed — this is a great revival of a truly influential property.
Neon is about as over-the-top as a game based on an established property can be. It feels like a caricature of the late 1980s in many ways. The Dragon Twins — Billy and Jimmy — are a couple of carefree, wisecracking karate experts. The amount of puns that come out of their mouths, clever or embarrassing, recall the spirit of a quartet of fighting reptile siblings. The villain is in the running for my favorite enemy of 2012, and while he feels like he’d be more at home on Eternia he seems to fit in almost perfectly here as well. Read more
What can possibly be fun about assembling electrical circuits? Placing resistors to reduce electric current to power components? Can that really make an appealing game? Guess you just have to watch the video and find out. Enjoy!
Management simulators have seemingly fallen out of favor in recent times. It used to be you’d see new theme park managers or train simulators on what felt like a weekly basis, but that’s not so much the case these days. Firebase Industries’ upcoming Arcadecraft is the newest member of that genre, though it evokes the spirit of a sadly long-dead chapter in the gaming industry: the American arcade.
The build shown at PAX Prime 2012 showed off what Arcadecraft is about pretty well. As an aspiring arcade owner in the year 1980, you’re given a loan from the bank to start your business. The space you find is perfect — a nice corner spot in a decent part of town. There are two pillars slightly offset from the center of the room and a desk. Otherwise, the room is entirely empty and ready to become a fully-fledged arcade in ways only you can imagine. The first step to lining your pockets quarter by quarter, of course, is buying your first arcade machine. Read more
Microsoft has revealed the winners in this year’s Dream.Build.Play competition, and the studio that won only needed one finger to rise to the top.
Silver Dollar Games’ One Finger Death Punch is this year’s grand prize winner, and recipient of $40,000. CSR’s Dead Pixels, Team Devil’s Ninja Crash and Smudged Cat Games’ Gateways took first, second and third respectively.