Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IOS Review #88: Joinz

Title: Joinz
Developer: Noodlecake
Platforms: IOS Universal
Price: $1.99
Tetris-inspired games are nothing new. Many games have put their own spin of the classic formula. Joinz stand out through its polished presentation and interesting twist of the gameplay.
While Joinz does feature tetromino shapes, the game is more akin to Threes than Tetris. Colored tile appear on the grid and you must maneuver and combine these tile to form the indicated shapes. While the controls are as simple as swiping, earning a high score is a challenging endeavor as the screen grows cluttered with tile and more colors. Each move also spawn a new tile, so you must plan ahead, be economically in your movements, and predict how tile will combine. Power ups allow you to clear tile with bombs, separate connected tile, and more, providing a strategic element as you decide when and where would be the opportune moment to use your power-ups.
Joinz is a challenging fun puzzle game that's equally viable for a quick game or a careful methodical attempt to top the leaderboards. While I do feel the game would benefit from aspects such as knowing what color tile would spawn next or having tile spawn more predictably (i.e. if the game was more like Threes), those are personal gripes that doesn't lessen the quality, fun, and polish of the title. You can purchase Joinz for $1.99.

IOS Review #87: Phantom Rift

Title: Phantom Rift
Developer: Foursaken Media
Platforms: IOS Universal, Android
Price: $2.99
I'll be honest, I'm somewhat biased towards Foursaken's games. From Block Fortress and Heroes & Castles to Bug Heroes 2, I've enjoyed all of their unique genre-blending experiences. I didn't think Bug Heroes 2 would be topped any time soon, but I was wrong. Phantom Rift is an excellent mix of twitch action and tactical strategic gameplay.
You're a wanderer among the tiles of the Rift, journeying across its portals to defeat the powerful bosses that control each realm. Phantom Rift is a sprawling adventure, its hub world alone fraught with danger and secrets and merchants to purchase new gear and magic. Each area feels unique, with new enemies to face and environmental features, from the misty darkness of the Rift itself to the deserts, lava, ice fields, and more of the other levels.
But Phantom Rift's strongest element is its combat, providing challenging action that's both twitchy and tactical. Upon encountering enemies, you're whisked to a grid divided into your half and the enemy's half. Enemies are varied and diverse, offering a strategic challenge as they're able to steal tiles on your side and encroach your territory or perform attacks that affect certain tiles. Knowing how enemies behave and avoid their attacks is the twitch side of Phantom Rift, dodging arrows as hulking beetles charge onto your side and spear-wielding goblins steal tiles.

The tactical side is even more engrossing, and makes every battle of Phantom Rift a test of timing, positioning, and smart use of your spells. You're presented a selection of five spells from your spell pouch at certain intervals, allowing you to tailor your strategies to the foes you're facing and the play style you prefer. Would you rather steal tiles and attack up close? Or use range attacks that effect certain tiles? Or summon phantom helpers? Or buff your armor and deflect projectiles? And these strategies are possible with only a fraction of the myriad spells available in the game. Gear you equip, from gauntlets and helmets to robe and staffs, add more diversity, allowing you to improve your stats and grant you new abilities.
Phantom Rift impresses not only on a mechanical level, but visually as well. While the game certainly isn't the next Infinity Blade, it's charming and loaded with great details, from the lighting to the effects of your spells. My main gripe with the game - the slow walking speed that made exploration a slog - was addressed in the latest update and even that issue couldn't diminish Phantom Rift's strengths. You can purchase Phantom Rift for $2.99. (Android)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quick Fix: Screenshot Saturday 9/27

Developer: Area Effect
Izle is an online cooperative action-exploration game. Starting your journey on the magical land of the Moon Princess, you take control of a character following an old legend to save the kingdom from the shadows. To uncover the island's mysteries, you will have to cooperate with others to progress in this vast, unknown world. Experience real-time action combat, find mythical chests and hidden secrets, craft, build, and explore to finally gather new abilities, and bring balance back to the world of Izle.
Learn more here

Developer: Dean Razavi
Vidar is a top-down RPG-puzzler where everyone dies. The game takes place in a struggling town beset by a Beast, and every night, a villager is killed. Explore Vidar's past in four unique settings, each filled with puzzles which blend nostalgic dungeon-exploration mechanics (like frictionless ice, mirrors which reflect light, adjustable water levels, and more) with new twists. With random puzzles and random story telling, Vidar brings a new challenge in every playthrough. The only certainty is that everyone will die.
Learn more here

Developer: Ackk Studios
Y2K is a modern day(ish) RPG, inspired by Earthbound and Pokemon. The game contains action and platforming elements, as well as meticulously designed story-based dungeons. In addition to these story-based dungeons, Y2K will feature randomly generated dungeons called “The Mind Dungeon“ that contain puzzles, story elements, and opportunities for the characters to level up beyond the standard leveling experience that is expected from battle.
Learn more here

Developer: Laura Shigihara
Rakuen is a story-based adventure, but there are no battles. It functions like a mix between Maniac Mansion, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (in terms of layout, not in terms of fighting). The hospital itself has a lot of little puzzles and mysteries that evolve throughout the course of the game, and you can gradually help improve the quality of the place as you progress. And of course, a big part of the game is uncovering the stories behind the patients in the hospital, and the secrets of the world around you.
Learn more here

Friday, September 26, 2014

PC Review #109: Magicmaker

Title: Magicmaker
Developer: Tasty Stewdios
Platforms: PC
Price: $9.99
You might not expect much adventure as a lowly security guard, but in Magicmaker's colorful world, you find yourself in a realm-spanning mystery, battling a variety of dangerous creatures and foes. Magicmaker is an action platformer; armed with your mystical gear and abilities, you set out on your quest to protect Dörwall Community College. Bosses and enemies of all kind await, across worlds brought to life in a vibrant, papercraft-esque style. 
What makes Magicmaker so fun is its titular concept: making magic. The player is equipped with a wand, spell, and robes and each can be customized in myriad ways, such as the colors and hues of each attack, but the most engaging part is how varied and diverse the magic is. You collect various elements on your quests, and then at certain academy stations, can stack abilities. For example, fire, feather, and rock creates fireblast that knocks enemies and burrows through walls. With slime and electricity, you'll fire an arcing attack that causes a damaging area of effect on surfaces. What's more impressive is that each element as two uses, one when equipped for your wand or spell and one when equipped for your robe. So electricity cause a shield when you walk. Slime lets you walk on walls. Metal creates a turret ally. Katana gives you a short range dash. These combinations offer so many possibilities, so many abilities, and modifiers, to use in combat; while the actual platforming can feel slow at times, without the flair and celerity of other games in the genre, the enjoyment of finding new powers to use and combine offers great motivation to venture into the dangerous lands 
Between the humorous story, the charming visuals, and deep customization that allows for myriad abilities to play around with, Magicmaker offers a fun challenging experience. You can purchase the game on Steam, GOG, and Shiny Loot.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quick Fix: Kickstarters to back, Sites to follow

A few current Kickstarters worth a look
I've been managing the 2014 Kickstarter thread on NeoGAF since Feburary, so I tend to be aware of a lot of interesting project. 2014' s been pretty great, with a lot of successes (Rain World, Kingdom Come, DUELYST, Hover, and many more) as well as many Kickstarters coming to fruition and finally releasing (most recently Shovel Knight, Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2). Here are several on-going campaigns that I feel are worth checking out:

Flagship is a single player real-time strategy game set on a galactic scale, played from a first person perspective.
Spaceship building and combat game. Dynamic spaceship ecosystem. Explosions.

That Which Sleeps is a re-imagining of the God Game. Take the role of an awakened evil and manipulate a living, reactive world.
An old school, endless horror game with new school technology where every playthrough will be a guaranteed unique experience.

Great sites to follow
Cue Indie Review - This blog regularly offers well-written impressions; I've been sold on more than a few games thank to the reviews here.
Warpdoor - Perhaps the best piece to find intriguing freeware games to play.
Pixelated Paradise - An excellent source of IOS indies, with daily articles listing under-the-radar and notable releases. 

The Watchlist: Absolute Drift

Title: Absolute Drift
Developer: Funselektor
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
In development, demo available
Absolute Drift is a car drifting/gymkhana game set in a minimal 3D world. The core-mechanic is simply controlling the car while it is sliding sideways. The aim is to increase your skill to the point that you are a master driver by competing in events where you must perform tricks around obstacles and demonstrate your driving skill.
Think back to 2011 for a moment, and you might remember the release of Dirt 3 and the Gymkhana mode, with its incredible drifts and vehicular stunts. Absolute Drift hones in on that focus, delivering a top-down, minimalist game all about the art of skidding sideways through the tightest turns and hair-breath gaps.
The current demo of Absolute Drift offers several race tracks and freestyle levels, all presented in contrasting red and white, black serpentine skid marks in your wake. The game can be played with either a gamepad or keyboard, but the controls feel more responsive and precise with the former. And you need every ounce of precision when playing Absolute Drift, as you slide around corners and turns with barely inches to spare. The freestyle levels offer an even greater and more creative challenge; achieving a high score means weaving between poles and under gates, performing donuts and spins, barrel-rolling off ramps and crashing through boxes. It's a game that requires skill and practice to achieve the best times and scores.
Absolute Drift is still in development, with new tracks, gymkhana courses, and challenges being worked on. You can download the demo and follow Absolute Drift's progress on IndieDB.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quick Fix: Screenshot Saturday 9/20

Hunter's Tale
Developer: BadTemperedDev
Hunter's Tale is an old fashioned action RPG in pixelart settled in a world filled with strange looking creatures. Our challenge was to have a sidescrolling game that would have focused on tactical fights and exploration: using depth allowed us (and the player) to move freely around the environment, and areas are designed to contain also hidden areas and paths.
Learn more here

Absolute Drift
Developer: funselektor
Absolute Drift is a car drifting/gymkhana game set in a minimal 3D world. The core-mechanic is simply controlling the car while it is sliding sideways. The aim is to increase your skill to the point that you are a master driver by competing in events where you must perform tricks around obstacles and demonstrate your driving skill.
Learn more and download the demo here

Shadow Puppeteer
Developer: Sarepta Studio
Manipulate light and darkness in this co-op puzzle platformer Shadow Puppeteer combines platforming with puzzle-solving in a play of light and shadow. Having a truly Nordic yet original art style, the game tells the story of a boy and his shadow.
Learn more here, also on Steam

Developer: Hey Kiddo Games
Ingonga is about exploration and immersion in unfamiliar environments - blighted, rotting swamps, an old decrepit mansion in the bayou, and ancient, crumbling catacombs. Your means of defense are limited, hiding and running are your best tools. Enemies are inspired by creatures and stories from the Vodoun and Yoruba culture
Learn more here

Developer: René Rother
RK3000 is a city destruction game inspired by Godzilla and Megazords. Two of the key freatures are local multiplayer (up to four players) and a map editor.
Learn more here

The Watchlist: Noct

Title: Noct
Developer: Chris Eskins
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Releasing 2015
Noct is a 2D top-down multiplayer survival horror game that blends arcade combat with RPG survival elements. You are a survivor of the apocalyptic purge that formed the desolate wasteland now known as Noct. Explore a ruined world filled with ancient nightmarish creatures from a time long forgotten.
Seen through the grainy muted display of a thermal imaging satellite, Noct tasks you with traversing and surviving procedurally generated landscapes filled with monstrous beasts. It's a survival horror action game; while you may be armed with guns and melee weapons, the roaming creatures are relentless and ruthless and fleeing may often be the better option. Elements such hunger, hydration, and fortifying locations will also play a role, as the player scavenges for food and supplies. The developer plans to not have a heavy focus on survival mechanics, but rather for supplies to act as currency for trading. You won't have to face Noct's terrors alone; the game will feature online co-op so you can explore and fight enemies with a friend.
But even a friend may not be enough to protect you from Noct's nightmarish otherworldly creatures. Personally it's the creature designs that drew me to the game; the slow predatory movements, the washed-out glow of the eyes, the hulking size compared to your small human. From swarms of spiders and burrowing worms to creeping sinewy...things lurking within building interiors and massive room-filling bosses, Noct's bestiary promises a diverse array of monsters to flee and fight.
Noct will be released mid-2015. You can learn more about Noct on its official site, and support the game on Kickstarter (currently 117% funded with 70 hours left) or vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

Friday, September 19, 2014

PC Review #108: Super Time Force Ultra

Title: Super Time Force Ultra
Developer: Capybara Games
Platforms: PC
Price: $14.99
Fans of side-scrolling shooters should be quite pleased as of late. Between Broforce's chaotic action and Mercenary King's massive arsenal to Viktor's teleportation-heavy shooting, there's a nice variety of platforming/shooting experiences out there. Enter Capy's Super Time Force Ultra, a PC version of the lauded Xbox title, and its unique over-the-top take on the genre.
In Super Time Force Ultra, you play as the titular Super Time Force, an time-traveling organization that sends agents through time to stop the reign of Dr. Infinity and save the present. Choose your hero, from the sniper rifle-wielding Aimy to the enemy-shredding Zackasaurus, and face the robotic legions...and then die. You will die, it can't be avoided, either from an enemy's bullet or the ever-present clock reaching zero. In most other games, this would mean a level restart, but Super Time Force's most enjoyable moments and mechanics lies in what happen after you die.
With the tap of a button, you can rewind time to any point and then return to the action with a new character. Your previous playthrough(s) occur simultaneously, opening the door for a surprising amount of tactics and depth through singleplayer co-op.. Lay down a protective shield in one life, and then use your sniper to wipe enemies from behind cover in the next. Combine a massive array of firepower to defeat bosses, distract from one angle and then flank from behind. It doesn't take long for the already hectic action to become a screen-filling spectacle as firepower and special attacks from various lives converge. Super Time Force Ultra is challenging, frenetic, a test of precision, speed, smart use of your heroes.
Between the varied levels that range from the ruined future to prehistoric and medieval era, the charming humor, and diverse characters to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses to mater, the challenge levels, Super Time Force Ultra delivers a complete package, You can purchase the game on Steam, Humble, and GOG.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

No Money, No Problem: Terrance The Flying Eyeball

Title: Terrance The Flying Eyeball
Developer: Aiden Bains
Platforms: Browser
Terrance The Flying Eyeball is the first indie project from developer Aiden Bains. It's a short fun precision flyer that's worth a try.
You control the titular airborne eye, as it weaves through four stages of varied hazards. Narrow corridors, lasers, turrets, and more combine in devious patterns and configurations to test your timing and skill. The developer's focus was on teaching mechanics organically through level design and color, and to that effect, there are no tutorial or tips; you learn how obstacles and hazards behave through trial and error and simply playing through the stages. I found the controls finicky in some spots, but overall Terrance was an enjoyable experience for the 30-40 minutes it took to complete.
The developer is looking for feedback and impressions so I recommend giving Terrance The Flying Eyeball a try. It doesn't take long to complete and remains challenging throughout. You can play Terrance The Flying Eyeball here.

Quick Fix: Screenshot Saturday 9/13

Magenta Sunset
Developer: Impromptu Games
A currently-mysterious immersive, atmospheric first-person adventure game with a focus on minute interactivity.
Watch the trailer here

One Heart
Developer: 2 Hit Studio
Neon samurai deatchmatch game, Nidhogg meets Bushido Blade
The goal is to KILL! Striking another player's sword will deflect both your weapons momentarily, strike their body to win. The slashes (hi, mid, low) all have different characteristics, use the best attack for the situation and stand atop a pile of your foes!
Local multiplayer, Xbox controllers only
Download the game here

Sign Motion
Developer: Midnart
The story of the kid from the school crossing sign.
For a long, long time they have been bound by rules and assumptions. Trapped within the boundaries of signs. Until one day, the kid from the school crossing sign is thrown out – unleashing a new world – the world of Sign Motion. Where will the kid go now? Will others follow, help or envy?
Learn more here and on Greenlight

Cell Tune
Developer: Niklas Riewald
Cell Tune is a life simulation game. You have to design your own creatures and let them compete in a struggle for survival. The game demonstrates that complex life forms can emerge from only a few, simple elements (five cell types). It’s very fun to watch the evolutionary process in real time!
Learn more here

Developer: SS64 Games
Sature is an innovative board game of color designed for mobile platforms. Place cards onto the board, mix with your opponent to desaturate their colors, and control the brightest colors at the end of the game. Every game board ends as a unique palette.
Learn more here

Saturday, September 13, 2014

IOS Review #86: Doppler

Title: Doppler
Developer: My Go Studio
Platforms: IOS Universal, Android
Price: $1.99
Doppler is a multi-touch twitch game for IOS, that stands out by delivering a unique mechanic that's more than the usual dodge left, doge right style of gameplay seen in the genre.
Doppler asks you to place your fingers on the screen. Do so and two gears appear beneath; your goal is to guide them along the undulating line between them for as long as possible. The catch is that you must keep these gears in close proximity to each other without touching the line, so they're linked by crackling energy. Stray too far apart or collide with the line and the energy dissipates. Your playthrough ends once the energy bar runs out. Doppler's multi-touch gameplay requires focus and synchronization, as you must maneuver both fingers carefully to thread the curves. It's more challenging than it sounds, especially once the speed increases. You can test your skills across three modes: Infinite, Extreme, and increasingly fast Time Attack levels.
Doppler offers a different and interesting take on twitch evasion and makes smart use of the touchscreen to create a challenging arcade experience. You can purchase Doppler for $1.99.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

PC Review #107: Velocibox

Title: Velocibox
Developer:Shawn Beck
Platforms: PC, Mac
Price: $4.99
When you break down twitch games to their base elements, they tend to revolve around the same basic concepts: fast gameplay, and dodging things at high speeds. Some excel in their simplicity, like the classic flash game Vector Runner or the more recent Super Hexagon, while others add more complexity, such as Pivvot, Wave Wave, and Duet. Point is, that since the core elements are generally similar, it takes something more, something exceptional for games in the genre to stand out. Velocibox is one of those games, and it's perhaps the most addictive twitch game I've played since Super Hexagon.
Expanded and improved from an entry for the current "Connected Worlds" Ludum Dare, Velocibox is unforgiving. In fact there aren't any checkpoints, when you fail (and you will), you start over from the first stage. Initially, I disliked this lack of checkpoints, but once I played more, I came to appreciate how the game was set up. Success relies on practice, learning the quirks and obstacles of each stage and surmounting them. It's more than twitch reflex but also adaption and gradual improvement, not just "one more go" but "I know these obstacles. I can do better". It's incredibly satisfying to race through stages that had defeated you countless times before.
But what makes Velocibox exceptional, because that's a pretty strong word? Well, it's more that all the game's aspects merge into a excellent whole rather than any individual element. It's the sense of speed, the feeling of racing forward at some extreme velocity, blasting off from stage one without a moment to catch your breath. It's the gravity-defying gameplay, as you flip between floor and ceiling and ride the walls. It's how the gravity flip mechanic opens the door for a wide variety of obstacles that wouldn't be possible in other twitch games, forcing you to deftly maneuver around and across all sides of these corridors. It's the vibrant visuals and effects, the great music, the no-frills presentation that lets you jump into the action in seconds.
I've only reached stage four out of nine, and beating the initial nine stages unlocks an even more insane Super Velocibox mode, so there's a hefty amount of content here. Velocibox is an easy recommendation for fans of the genre. You can purchase the game on Steam.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Watchlist: Human Extinction Simulator

Title: Human Extinction Simulator
Developer: Machine 22
Platforms: PC
Releasing late 2014
Human Extinction Simulator is a turn-based tactical space combat game designed as a "training program" against the inevitable alien invasion we all know is coming. The game focuses on tactical decisions made on the battlefield and each move can make the difference between victory or defeat.
Mankind has made contact with extraterrestrial life, and the odds aren't looking very good for us. Thankfully we have the ultimate tool at our disposal, allowing us to simulate the coming invasion and encounters and prepare fleets for battle. Human Extinction Simulator is a turn based tactical strategy game, set across hexagonal maps as you command your ships against attacking aliens. There really isn't any guessing here. You always know which hexes will put you in harm's way, where enemies can move, what you can accomplish from any possible maneuver. This knowledge places the focus on positioning and movement, as you stay out of your enemy's range while maneuvering into the best positions to attack. The variety of vessels to deploy, from heavy slow cruisers to fast but weaker fighters, offer a wide array of strategies against the alien threat. Playing the beta, I enjoyed the slower pace and methodical, Chess-like gameplay, and definitely want to see the developers expand on and improve Human Extinction Simulator in the coming months.
You can try Human Extinction Simulator for yourself; the beta is available here. Machine 22 plan to release HES later this year; you can learn more about the game on its official site and vote for Human Extinction Simulator on Steam Greenlight.

Monday, September 8, 2014

SitRep: Starship Corporation

Title: Starship Corporation
Developer: Ratakari
Platforms: PC
I last posted about the upcoming shipbuilding sim Starship Corporation in March. In this intriguing game, you build a variety of different space-faring vessels and test their effectiveness in diverse simulated scenarios, as well as maintaining your corporation on a macro level through contracts and business connections. Since then the developer has been working on and implementing a plethora of mission types and additions, including everything from alien infestations and mutinies to infiltration by special forces and navigating minefields. Here's a collection of some of the videos showcasing these missions, along with commentary from the developer; the full list of updates can be found here.



Special Forces Attack


Galaxy Map Teaser

Starship Corporation is still in development; you can learn more about the project and preorder the game on its official site.

No Money, No Problem: Colony Assault

Title: Colony Assault
Developer: Dejan Poje
Platforms: PC
Colony Assault is a top down sci-fi tactical action game, as you guide a team of elite soldiers against a deadly alien threat throughout various facilities.
Solo, or with a team, you're equipped with powerful weapons and vehicles and tasked with decimating the alien hordes hallway by hallway, room by room. While I felt the gameplay was a kind of slow and sluggish at times compared to similar games, the variety of gear at your disposal allows for some fun intense fights: classics like flamethrowers and motion trackers to your APC's extraterrestrial-shredding turret, remote guns, and airstrikes. Colony Assault won't wow anyone with its visuals, but they're competent and the game itself is an enjoyable strategic shooter.
You can download Colony Assault for free here; an advanced edition can be voted for on Steam Greenlight.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quick Fix: Screenshot Saturday 9/6

Soul Axiom
Developer: Wales Interactive
Soul Axiom is a first-person sci-fi adventure game that will take you on a journey through the deepest darkest recesses of your soul. Explore Soul Axiom’s rich environments and immersive story to unravel the mystery of your life and digital afterlife. You will be taken on an intriguing voyage of discovery, through beautiful, haunting locations, facing challenges that will take you into danger on your mission to unlock your identity, your story, your mystery. But beware: some mysteries are better left unsolved…
Learn more here

Developer: Freehold Games
Sproggiwood is a story-driven, turn-based roguelike set in a world of mischief and wonder. One moment, you’re a simple farmer from the peaceful island of Clog -- the next, you’re lured through a mysterious portal by a talking sheep. Now you’re the prisoner of Sproggi, a mischievous forest spirit who enlists your help civilizing his realm. Work with Sproggi to grow your civilization, plunder procedural dungeons, and unlock six unique classes.
Learn more here

Dr. Spacezoo
Developer: Smash/Riot
Your mission is to save exotic space animals and get out of the Space Zoo before the Space Zoo AI cracks your ship’s control software and does bad things (mostly explosions). Your ship’s communication signature is coded to look like a sentry bot, but the ruse will be discovered if you make any hostile actions or touch any animals. Infiltrate Space Zoos and save exotic space animals in Dr. Spacezoo, a time attack shoot-em-up jam packed with gibs and grease. 
Learn more here

Last Defense
Developer: Broken Beach
A hectic and colourful shooter inspired by Space Invaders. Shoot enemies out of the sky and juggle them to destroy them, or let them crash through your city and litter the floor with their wrecks.
Learn more here

Inner City Kids
Developer: Jamo Games
Inner City Kids is a street culture themed turn based strategy game that follows a group of kids who, upon discovering that the city's adults are being kidnapped and replaced by robots every evening, team up to fight for their city. Explore the city and discover dangerous robot facilities deep underground. Use the robots' own technology against them with a unique modular weapons system, giving thousands of different weapons and strategies.
Learn more here

Pixel Galaxy
Developer: Serenity Forge
Pixel Galaxy is a fast paced addicting video game where every move you make has immediate benefits and consequences. Inspired by bullet hell shooters.
Learn more here

Friday, September 5, 2014

IOS Review #85: Pentumble

Title: Pentumble
Developer: Helftone
Platforms: IOS Universal
Price: $1.99
Pentumble is a challenging precision platformer, that stands out among others in the genre thanks to its great level design and adhesive mechanic.
In Pentumble, you control a small spherical robot, equipped with a set of suction cup-esque legs that allow you to cling to platforms and travel up walls. Levels are short, usually only around 10 or more seconds to earn the three-star time, but require timing, speed, and precision to succeed; while the stages may start out relatively easy, soon you're dealing with flame jets, saw blades, moving platforms, spikes, and more. These hazards aren't static, but filled with spinning, shifting, moving obstacles, giving the platforming action a dynamic vibe. The 2.5D visuals and responsive controls make each level a joy to play. 
Pentumble may be on the short side, but each of its 36 levels offer a fun well designed challenge for fans of speedrunners and platformers. You can purchase Pentumble for $1.99. (Currently on sale for $0.99)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Watchlist: Rapture World Conquest

Title: Rapture World Conquest
Developer: Tundra Games
Platforms: IOS Universal
Releasing September 2014
Rapture: World Conquest is an upcoming game that blends RTS and god game mechanics as you battle the followers of rival deities to take control of earth and mankind during the Rapture. Across thousands of years, you guide your followers against nations of heathens and crush the unbelievers with your godly powers.
After choosing a nation, your followers begin amassing armies and resources; surrounding countries fall as your forces spread and conquer, collecting resources along the way that allow your scientists to build new technology. Or perhaps you can focus on religion and food to gain more followers and increase your mana production, granting you the power to unleash devastating miracles upon your enemies. Summon earthquakes and volcanoes, call down meteors, decimate their ranks with disease and famine. Control the world and your followers will be rewarded with heaven, while those opposed your might will be banished to hell post-Rapture.
Rapture World Conquest will feature numerous missions and achievements, as well as various world configurations, each offering a unique challenge. You'll be able to control the globe when Rapture releases later this month, as a paid Universal game. Learn more about the game on Tundra Games' blog.

Quick Fix: Screenshot Saturday 8/30

Developer: Campo Santo
Firewatch is a single-player first-person video game where you, as a man named Henry, explore the Wyoming wilderness after taking a summer job as a fire lookout. What is supposed to be a peaceful respite from your complicated life takes a turn when you start to question some of the things that are happening to you. Your only human connection is over a handheld radio, which you’ll use to speak with Delilah, your supervisor, about the things both of you are experiencing.
Learn more here

Nobody's Planet
Developer: New Orbit Games
You are alone in your evacuation pod, your star ship is destroyed and your crew mates are likely lost as well. What is the next step? It's your choice. You could chose to target the massive gas giant nearby, crushing your drop pod and yourself as you traveled through it's atmosphere. Or you could make a less depressing choice and target a small moon orbiting the giant. It might not look like much, but it's your best chance of survival.
Learn more here

Developer: Traxmaster Software
Exception is a 2.5D platformer game that combines intense action and transforming levels to bring a new experience to an established genre. Levels flip, rotate and manipulate themselves to radically alter the landscape in ways rarely seen from a platform game. Battle across more than a hundred inventive levels as you struggle to bring peace to a computer system overrun with invading viruses. Attack or avoid dozens of unique enemy types determined to thwart your progress.
Learn more here

Outland 17
Developer: Grenade Tree Games
Outland 17 is a turn based tactical game that is inspired by the American Revolutionary War but has a Sci-Fi twist to it. It's an RPG set in a world where people live on space stations, carry laser muskets and ride hover ponies. You and your fellow colonists are building stations outside of the Earth’s orbit in the hopes of working off your debt to corporate companies. Working conditions and fierce brutality lead you to rise up with your fellow men to throw off the shackles of oppression.
Learn more here