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Archive For October, 2012

Gradius and Touhou Hybrid Halloween Treat

October 31, 2012 10:00 PM | John Polson

itazura.pngThis Halloween-themed vertical bullet hell shmup from Inatsuka Haru will seem mostly like a Touhou game on the surface, but it offers players a frantic, Gradius-like upgrade system which should help it stand out. Also, excuse my dropping the title formatting convention, as it was a bit long: お菓子くれなかったから、街破壊(いたずら)しちゃうよっ!(romanized as okashikurenakattakara, gaihakai [itazura] shichayo! and translated to Because you didn't give me candy, I'm going to prank you!)

Those who think this Windows freeware is also simply a vertical alternative to Deathsmiles would trivialize the experience a bit. The game has no continues. Let's get that frustration out of the way. However, the game cascades with crackers (even during boss battles) that cash into stronger weapons, a shield, a bomb, and more life. A rank meter that dictates the in-game difficulty also builds with each collected cracker, too. Lastly, I feel I should mention that the pause menu is adorably written in English as tea time!

If nothing else, I think this teaches an appreciation for simpler power-up systems in bullet hells.

[Download link]

You Have to Put the Stake [and the Steak] in the Dracula (Sergio Cornaga)

October 31, 2012 8:00 PM | John Polson

you have to put the stake into the vampire.pngThe Passage and Canabalt hybrid developer Sergio Cornaga returns with a delectable holiday treat that bites back in more ways than one. Spotted on Glorious Trainwrecks, this homophonically clever Windows freeware title actually offers two different scenarios: a maze game and a miniature text adventure. Cornaga thankfully rewards players who take the time to find a way to Dracula's heart.

[You Have to Put the Stake in the Dracula]

Browser Game Pick: The Silver Tree (Failbetter Games)

October 31, 2012 6:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

silvertree.jpg Ever wondered how Failbetter Games' London ended up a subterranean metropolis populated by demons, talking cats and an assortment of other strange creatures? Well, now's your chance to find out. Maybe. Not that it matters, given the variety of other things you can do here.The Silver Tree is the stand-alone text-based prequel to Failbetter Games' Fallen London. Set in the 13th century, it will have you serving as an emissary to the Mongol empire. The writing's excellent as always, though I do find myself missing the gothic overtones of its successor.

Still, if you're interested in checking it out, here's the appropriate link.

Pre-Alpha Trailer of Rebirth

October 31, 2012 4:00 PM | Cassandra Khaw

While alpha footage may be common enough, it's still a bit of a rarity to see pre-alpha stuff. Rebirth is an upcoming survival game that will have you struggling to survive in a chaos-riddled world with a barely breathable environment. The game will apparently have things like crafting, third-person combat, RPG elements and so forth. Most interestingly, perhaps, Rebirth will feature what the developers call 'Full Body Awareness'. Right now, all it does is show what kind of equipment you're carrying but there are apparently plans of having it integrated into gameplay itself. We'll see.

You can keep track of the game here.

Freeware Game Pick: Katabasis (Tyler Snell)

October 31, 2012 2:00 PM | John Polson

Katabasis (Greek for "descent") for Windows and Mac is a frightening first-person adventure where players wander through bizarrely marked environments in a Russian wilderness, "while attempting to understand things that might not be understandable." While the game is light on mechanics and interactivity, the bleak atmosphere helps tell a twisted tale about a father, a son, and some ancient gods.

Release: Blood, Grain and Steel (David Walters)

October 31, 2012 12:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Cruise Racing and Super Box Factory developer David Walters has released his first commercial product: the turn-based strategy game Blood, Grain and Steel for Windows. A free demo version is also available.

Blood, Grain and Steel takes a streamlined approach to the strategy genre, boasting quick battles and speedy gameplay ideal for lunch breaks and other moments in which time is limited. Battles can be waged in over 280 included maps against an AI opponent in a single-player campaign, or with friends in hotseat, LAN, and e-mail multiplayer modes.

"Blood, Grain and Steel was inspired by classic board games such as Chess but I've taken a slightly more realistic approach by incorporating simple terrain types into the board (modelled as if they were physical wooden pieces from a real board game) and used more conventional movement rules for the units," Walters notes. "The units themselves are inspired by the statues that the Gods played with in the original Clash of the Titans movie and are presented as abstract marble figures."

Blood, Grain and Steel is regularly priced at $15, but is available for $9.99 until November 17th.

Release: Vampires! (CBE Software)

October 31, 2012 7:30 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

CBE Software, the refreshingly innovative dev team that has already provided us with the delightfully sui generis J.U.L.I.A., has gone on and finally released its vampire infested save-'em-up for PC and Mac: Vampires. Yes, appropriately on a Halloween, but, no, without the forcing you to actually destroy the undead bit. Or deal with zombies.

Having already played the game for more than my fair share of hours, I think I'd best describe it as pretty wild take on Lemmings with elements of Pipemania. Players are tasked with leading the titular vampires to the exits of each level and the safety of their crypts, mainly by rotating the tiles each level is made up of. Adding all sorts of traps, baddies such as vampire-hunters and tools like garlic-clouds mixes things up quite a bit and provides a beautifully entertaining learning curve and a taxing experience.

Better though try the Vampires! demo out for yourselves. It will make instantly sense and showcase what a great, polished and good-looking game this is.

Interestingly Vampires! is currently only available to purchase via CBE's brand new, DRM-free online store that has also just been launched. Said store allows for unlimited redownloads and will soon be populated with all sorts of CBE games and free goodies, including the exclusive J.U.L.I.A. Untold and more Vampires! levels.

Browser Game Pick: Atticus and Boy Electronic (Bloomengine)

October 31, 2012 5:00 AM | Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

atticus.pngWho said choose-your-own-adventures had to be simple and lack brilliant visuals? Don't know, but that guy was wrong as Atticus and Boy Electronic effortlessly proves, only to go on and be a well-written, beautifully illustrated and downright whimsical offering that does feel a bit like something by Jonas Kyratzes. Definitely worth a look, especially for those interested in exploring fairy-tale inspired worlds.

Indiegogo: Montas (Organic Humans)

October 31, 2012 3:00 AM | John Polson

The developers behind the single-player, Oculus Rift-compatible, survival horror adventure Montas have just launched an Indiegogo campaign, seeking $30,000 to fund their project. While the team teased the opera of horror two months ago, this extended trailer provides more of a look at the varied, rich environments in which the immersive and interactive story takes place. That story changes with player choices and with persistent death, as the game doesn't force the player to retrace progress after dying.

The $10 pledge includes a downloadable version of Montas for Windows or Mac. The $30 pledge includes a limited edition physical copy of the album Montas Sound, with higher pledges netting twin Montas Rorschach shirts or a custom Montas skateboard. Finally, those interested can vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.

Trailer: Year Walk (Simogo)

October 30, 2012 11:00 PM | Danny Cowan

Beat Sneak Bandit creator Simogo offers another glimpse of its upcoming iOS first-person adventure game Year Walk in the newly launched trailer above.

First revealed last month, Year Walk promises to "blur the line between two and three dimensions as well as reality and the supernatural" in a tale that tasks players with exploring the world and solving puzzles in a 19th century Swedish setting.

Year Walk is set to launch early next year.

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