What is a Slugcat? What are those crazy creatures trying to devour the Slugcat? What is going on in this harsh alien world? Just looking at the trailer for Rain World has left me with all these questions that fill me with intrigue about this universe, and that is setting aside the gorgeous visuals. I have a great love for mysterious universes like this, leaving you desiring what is coming together in the world created for you. I find it rare these days that a game fills me with a feeling much like I had the first time I played Metroid as a child.
Within this unique universe Rain World offers the story of a nomadic Slugcat trying to obtain food to survive a hibernation cycle in a vicious land of intense, uninhabitable rain only letting up for short periods. While your Slugcat hunts, gathers, climbs, and crawls you must keep safe while other creatures attempt to do the same often relentlessly hunting for you. This is all done through some seriously beautiful animation that moves fluidly like they found a way to rotoscope made up creatures. It reminds me of Out of This World/Another World or Flashback from the 16bit era but with even more frames of animation and if it plays even half as smooth as it looks it should be a joy to traverse your Slugcat through it’s many perils.
Project Rain World is currently in the process of being Kickstarted to help fund through the rest of development so it’s a bit of a way off, but you can also find it on Steam Greenlight (where it was recently Greenlit) or follow the whole process over at the TIGSource Devlog.
Elliot Quest from Ansimuz Games begins with with an unfortunate set of circumstances. The wife of the protagonist, Elliot, disappears. He then falls ill and, upon attempting to take his own life, discovers that he cannot perish. He is instead cursed, and is slowly becoming a demon. So, as the title entails, Elliot begins a quest to seek help from one of island’s guardians in solving his plight before the curse consumes him.
Fortunately the story is where the ill words end on this adventure RPG. Ansimuz Games, a development team ranging from all over North America, has created a smooth playing, free-roaming adventure and filled with beautiful pixel art. They have gone with the tagline of being “inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” though I feel though it downplays the excellence found in the demo, which is available over at the Elliot Quest webpage. Although I can see the inspiration from the overhead map and through the sidescrolling action, it provides its own interesting spin on combat through use of a bow and arrow. This weapon even has assignable stat upgrades as you level up. To add to the intrigue, the stages are expansive and wonderfully varied, bosses are interesting requiring some strategy to take down instead of mashing your weapon into it, and the platforming throughout the levels control superbly.
Ansimuz moves forward on the back of a successful Kickstarter campaign and toward a closed beta, meaning it won’t be long before you can get your hands on it through PC, Mac, Linux, or an Ouya. So, if you itch for more 2D adventure, follow the progress or preorder the game for $4.99 on the official website or help move toward a Steam release by giving them a vote on Steam Greenlight.
The people who brought us last year’s surprise gem, Expeditions: Conquistador, are at it again, but this time, they are working on something entirely different. Clandestine, a game about international espionage in the post-Cold War 90s is a departure from the turn-based strategy RPG genre. Here, players are given the opportunity of playing alone as the spy, but if you venture into co-op, one of you can play as Mission Control. Right now, all we have is a trailer and some screens, so it’s unclear what each player is capable of, but my interest is definitely piqued. Stealth is one of my favorite genres, and this is one of the few instances where I’m extremely intrigued by the co-op.
Season 2 of The Walking Dead has started! Is it any good though? Please join us for a look at the newest entry into the series as Armless Octopus shakes the video review stick in the direction of The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 1. Please enjoy.
On the fifth episode of the Indie Dev Podcast, I interview Charles Cox of 4Gency. Follow along as he illustrates how he made the transition from working for Sierra, helped lead Microsoft’s indie push with XNA, and his tips for becoming an entrepreneur in the software industry.
If you enjoyed what you heard here today, or found this show to be helpful, please consider donating to Gamer’s Outreach Foundation, which is organized by fellow Xbox MVP, Zach Wigal.
You may have thought that XBLIG was long forgotten, based on the decreasing number of titles being released each week, but Cashie Brothers still have something to say on the platform. Their upcoming title, IOTA will be their first title on XBLIG, but if the trailer is any indication of how things are shaping up, then we’re in for treat with a game which holds distinct aesthetic on the indie channel .
Much like the color switching mechanic IKARUGA popularized nearly ten years ago, IOTA’s protagonist can absorb the power of colored orbs when it makes contact with one. That power is then used to offers the capacity for the protagonist to perform various maneuvers, including hovering briefly and dashing through obstacles.
Development team run by siblings out of Nova Scotia, Canada, Ruben and Dermot Cashie, claim that we’ll be able to give this 2-5 hour experience a go by the end of the holiday season on XBLIG, and a Windows release is to follow shortly after. Not a newcomer to the industry, before working on IOTA, Ruben had experience working on titles such as the FIFA and NBA Live franchises.
You can find out more about IOTA at the game’s home page, here.
The Swapper is an interesting title because it is as derivative as it is unique. For every element it has borrowed from other games or movies, it introduces something completely fresh and new, and wraps it all up within a brilliantly subtle epistemological and ontological treatise on the nature of gaming. It is a product of an industry that uses focus groups as design tools while simultaneously boldly going where few titles, mainstream or indie, have ventured.
The major industry tropes are definitely present here, with scripted events, one-sided conversations between our mute hero (let’s call him “Jack”) and supporting characters, a platforming object collectathon, and a game world that gradually opens up, but it is all presented so smartly and beautifully that the first few hours of The Swapper are absolutely magnificent. Read more