Latest Publications

New release: Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode II

Chronicles of a Dark Lord Ep 2
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Okay! We’re several months late with this one, but we’ll chalk this one up as a “New to Me.” Word reaches me that there’s now finally a follow-up to 2012’s anti-hero-focused jRPG Chronicles of a Dark Lord Episode I.

Developed by Kisareth Studios, Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode II War of The Abyss is an RPG Maker game in which you play–what else?–a dark lord:

A year has passed since Anto Calias fused with the essence of the dark god Xe’on and the War of The Abyss began. The forces of The Abyss are relentless in their campaign to annihilate the world of Cora. Magus Lee must unite with allies both old and new to prevent the coming apocalypse…but what will be the cost?

Sooooo, here’s the release trailer:

I’m…just…gonna ignore the fact that all of the game’s dark magic spells are apparently preceded by a neon purple Star of David. Not sure whose idea that was.

The devs state that CoaDL Episode II is over 30 hours long, and list the game’s features as follows:

– All new high-resolution artwork and lush landscapes will immerse you into the world of Cora like never before.
– New to the series is the inclusion of the Scion Grid for greater skill customization.
– The Active-Time Battle system returns with new features and enhancements.
– Professional-quality soundtrack, featuring independent artists such as Morte Mcadaver, Marielle Thomas, zero-project, and two tracks from acclaimed Youtube artist Eric “Erock” Calderone.
– No random battles. Enemies are visible on the map.
– Screen resolution options up to 1920 x 1080
– Enemies adapt and change tactics during combat.
– The choices you make have even greater impact and may even affect the final outcome and much more!

You can snag Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode II for $9.99 via Steam or Aldorlea Games. (It’s on Desura, too, but given that they haven’t been paying developers these past few months, I’d advise against buying games there.) Windows only.

Cogmind enters paid alpha

Cogmind
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Word reaches me that there’s a new roguelike in town: Cogmind. Developed by the Taiwenese one-man studio Grid Sage Games, Cogmind is a sci-fi affair–you play as a robot that can reconfigure itself using parts scavenged from the shattered bodies of its enemies.

The premise:

Experience sci-fi tactical combat and exploration in a procedural world that combines traditional roguelikes with an immersive modern interface like no other. Build yourself from components found or salvaged from other robots. Attach power sources, propulsion units, utilities, and weapons to become a slow tank bristling with weapons, or a fast-moving flier zipping past enemies before they even have time to react, or a stealthy sword-wielding assassin/hacker, or whatever else you can come up with from the salvage you find. The situation can quickly change as you lose components and rebuild yourself from enemy remains. You are the Cogmind. Discover what that means as you explore a living, breathing world ruled by robots.

As you can see from the trailer, Cogmind employs ASCII graphics, though it does so with a panache that one doesn’t generally see in traditional ASCII roguelikes:

The feature list:

  • Build and modify a unique robot from parts found, or enemies defeated
  • Dynamic character development without XP/grinding
  • Procedurally generated world combined with hand-crafted content
  • ASCII evolved: Most advanced terminal interface ever
  • Thousands of particle effects and SFX
  • Fully destructible environment

The developer posits this as something analogous to a full, version 1.0 release, but he wants to continue working on the game, so he’s calling this an alpha. (This is, of course, par for the course with roguelikes, which can be complete and playable and yet subject to further development for decades.)

You can snag Cogmind direct from Grid Sage Games for $30. Windows only.

Telepath Tactics demo released

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Turn-based tactical RPG Telepath Tactics (last covered here) recently (and by “recently,” I mean “a few weeks ago”) released a free demo.

The demo contains the first handful of battles and cut scenes in the game, plus a small taste of the local multiplayer mode (you’re limited to the same 5-member army on a small 1-v-1 map, fighting against the computer). The demo runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux; you can nab it here.

Space Rogue enters paid alpha

Space Rogue
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Artur Diodorov of Ukrainian indie developer Red Beat writes in to announce Space Rogue, a sci-fi outer space roguelike in the FTL style that has just entered the paid alpha stage.

The premise of this one is pretty simple:

You’re in a command of a little spaceship with a crew of few members. Fight, gather resources, upgrade your spaceship and crew in order to become space adventurer #1.

From what I can tell, this game takes the FTL formula and makes some tweaks. The art style is nicer, for one thing, and it seems to offer some pretty extensive rules customization. From the sound of things on Steam, it also cuts out certain features from FTL (like shunting power to different systems or having each individual member of your crew man those different systems for a boost). You can see at least some of this for yourself in the release trailer:

The one thing that isn’t clear to me is whether you’re permitted to roam the universe at will, or whether you’re constantly weighing the potential benefits of exploration with the risk of being overtaken by an encroaching fleet (as you are in FTL). I’m guessing it’s the former, as early access players have mentioned being able to backtrack to earlier star systems.

The game’s planned feature list reads as follows:

  • Every walkthrough differs from the next – unique game world is generated each time you start a new game
  • 6 races of enemies with distinctive features and battle tactics
  • Fast and exciting space battles
  • More than 200 random events and quests
  • Sandbox mode in which you can fine-tune the game world generation and some core parameters of the game

Space Rogue is available on Steam Early Access for $29.99; Windows and Mac.

Songbringer announced

Songbringer
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Nathaniel Weiss has sent word (or should I say, brought song?) of a new procedural Zelda-alike he and the rest of Wizard Fu Games are developing. In case you haven’t guessed, that would be Songbringer.

You may recall me mentioning Songbringer in our last Back to Back; the game got funded to the tune of 167% of its goal, and now development begins in earnest. The premise:

you journey through procedurally-generated worlds overflowing with recently awakened demons, virus androids and other sullied creatures. Along the way you will uncover long lost devices and combine them into powerful artifacts. If you are skilled with the nanosword you will vanquish giants and save a planet from being overrun.

This isn’t the first procedurally generated Zelda-alike we’ve seen–there’s King Voxel and Lenna’s Inception, to name two–but this might be the most visually rich one to swing around the block thus far:

The planned feature list includes:

  • Procedurally generated – over 300 million possible worlds
  • Deterministic six-letter world seed always creates the same world on any platform
  • 1 world seed uniquely generates: 1 overworld, 9 dungeons, 9 bosses, 25 combinable items and at least 200 secrets
  • Roguelike-inspired permadeath option with extra rewards for players who dare so greatly
  • Online leaderboard highlighting the top players based on completion time, percentage of secrets uncovered and game mode (regular or permadeath)
  • An epic science fiction narrative featuring a spacecutter named Songbringer, its crew of art-warehouse comrades, psychedelic cacti, an ancient evil army, and the Second Great War of Wizards
  • 8-bit pixel art fused with 32-bit shaders and 3D effects
  • Gamepad support

Songbringer is being developed for “PC, Mac, Linux and possibly iOS, Android, PS4 and Xbox One.” Weiss writes that the game is currently about 30% completed; the earliest possible release would be at the end of 2015.

OneSamurai: Dusk announced

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Andrew Sutton of British indie studio Flaming Eye Games writes in to announce OneSamurai: Dusk, an RPG he’s developing set in feudal Japan.

Sutton describes the game as a “tactical RPG,” but you can recruit no more than 3 companions over the course of the game, which pretty clearly indicates that this game does not actually belong to that particular subgenre. Rather, OneSamurai appears to be an open-world wRPG that just happens to have turn-based combat.

The premise:

The year is 1274 and the Kamakura Shogunate is celebrating the 82nd year since its establishment by Minamoto no Yoritomo. The current shogun Prince Koreyasu is also celebrating his 10th birthday under the regency of Hojo Tokimune. But all is not as stable as it seems. Only 16 years earlier the ruling Goryeo dynasty of Korea was forced to swear fealty to Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan and his Mongol Horde. Kublai Khan has aspirations to conquer from the coast of the Atlantic to the coast of the Pacific and his gaze may soon fall east. Inside Japan’s borders itself many different clans vow for land, power and strength and some for the chance to eventually rule the land of the rising sun for themselves. You start as a single man with no clan, land, power or strength but in end may have the potential to divert the course of Japanese history.

OneSamurai is 3D, and graphically speaking, it bears a passing resemblance to Iron Tower’s Age of Decadence engine:

The game’s planned features include:

  • Turn based tactical combat
  • Stats based leveling
  • Open world map with over 50 unique villages, towns, cities & castles.
  • Over 150 quests covering events of Kamakura Shogunate and clan quarrels
  • 3 main different classes with different play styles
  • 3 different companions with different play styles to complement your own or oppose it
  • Decisions system which can change the outcome of the final game.
  • Ability to import character from this game to next
  • Over 30 Different Clan with the chance to help these clans in territorial conflict and increase their personal strength.

OneSamurai: Dusk is the first part of a planned trilogy–Sutton states that “Night” and “Dawn” will eventually follow Dusk, with each reflecting changed historical circumstances later in the Kamakura Shogunate.

OneSamurai: Dusk is planned for release on Windows, Mac and Linux in summer 2015 (which presumably means that the game is already finished and is now in the “fixing final bugs” stage, given that summer 2015 is right on top of us). There’s a free playable demo of OneSamurai’s turn-based combat system available for download right here. The full game is on Steam Greenlight, where it awaits your upvote.

Legends of Eisenwald release date announced

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Alexander Dergay of Aterdux Entertainment writes in to announce that Legends of Eisenwald will be getting a final release on July 2, 2015.

There’s a new trailer to accompany the announcement:

Legends of Eisenwald is currently in Early Access on Steam for $19.99. The developers also provide a purchase link to The Humble Store, where it seems to be priced at $15.00.

New release: Dead State: Reanimated

Dead State Reanimated
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Annie Mitsoda of DoubleBear Productions writes in to announce that they’ve just released a special enhanced edition of the zombie apocalypse-themed wRPG Dead State on Steam and GOG.

You can check out our first impressions piece on the original Dead State release here. The devs state that the new enhanced edition features smarter AI, a new Hardcore mode, rebalanced items, overhauled combat balance, new animations, new sound effects, and new areas to explore. Buildings can also now have alarm systems present for you to deactivate (and which can attract zombies if you accidentally set them off). Here’s the full changelog.

And here’s a trailer:

Dead State: Reanimated is free for players who already own the vanilla release of Dead State–and those who do not will get the update automatically when they buy the game. Dead State is $29.99 on Steam and on GOG; Windows only.

New release: Chroma Squad

Chroma Squad
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Saulo Camarotti writes in to announce the release of Chroma Squad. Created by Brazilian indies Behold Studios (whom you might recall as the developers behind Knights of Pen and Paper), Chroma Squad is a strategy RPG themed after the goofy 1990s TV show Power Rangers.

It’s not merely inspired by the show, however–it’s inspired by the very act of making the show:

Chroma Squad is a tactical RPG about five stunt actors who decide to quit their jobs and start their own Power Rangers-inspired TV show!

Cast actors and purchase upgrades for your studio, craft weapons and giant Mechas out of cardboard. Once the cameras are rolling, you will control your cast of five colored-jumpsuit-clad warriors in dramatic turn-based battles!

It’s an interesting narrative take on the strategy RPG formula, for sure. And in case there was any room for doubt as to how not-seriously this game takes itself, here’s the release trailer:

The developers have provided the following official feature list:

  • Create your own TV studio: hire actors, upgrade your equipment, do marketing, craft weapons, costumes and giant cardboard robots!
  • Tactical RPG combat with a twist: combine your heroes’ abilities with Teamwork maneuvers!
  • In-Depth RPG systems with skill trees, random equipment, crafting, and branching storyline!
  • A love letter to tokusatsu and the Japanese series of our childhood!
  • Deliciously-animated pixel art and a chiptune soundtrack that shines like justice!

Chroma Squad is out for Windows, Mac, and Linux–you can snag it for $15 direct from the developers, on GOG, on Steam, and on the Humble Store. It will be available for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 as well, but there’s no release date for that just yet.

IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Battle Brothers

I bet you didn’t expect two episodes of IndieRPGs.com Checks Out within one day of each other, did you? What can I say–I like to keep you guys guessing!

Today, it is my pleasure to check out the public alpha of Battle Brothers by Overhype Studios. Developer Jan Taaks was good enough to send a copy my way recently. In fact, he’s been offering me copies of this game as far back as February 2014, but I wanted to wait until it was a little more feature complete to give it a look. Now seemed like the right time, and so I sat down with it and recorded the experience. Here is what happened:

So! What’d I think?

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