Epic Warrior: The Sword of Light is a tale of a young warrior that sets out to find the Sword of Light and vanquish the evil that has poisoned the land.
So, you know, your basic jRPG premise. Nothing too fancy there. The game reportedly features upwards of 40 types of monsters and the sort of old-school sensibility that requires you to canvass the townsfolk to get clues on where to go next in your journey.
Epic Warrior is free; you can nab it for Android over on Google Play. It has been submitted to Apple for approval, and will be up on iTunes for iOS devices soon as well. and for iOS over on iTunes.
Posted in November 18, 2013 ¬ 10:38 amh.Craig Stern1 Comment »
Since its announcement in March of this year, it seems like King Voxel has been in nearly every Back to Back article I’ve written. Given the number of times I’ve mentioned the game, you would think that I had some notion of whether it is any good or not–but up until the past few days, I’d been flying blind.
No longer! Developer Phillip Meyer of Lecker Clecker was good enough to provide me with an alpha build of the game; this video is the result:
Overall, my first impressions are positive. It nails the things about the original Zelda that made it special, and adds in some new twists that improve the experience. The procedural world / dungeon generation algorithm could use some tweaking, but it’s already a great feature that gives the game loads of replayability.
The biggest flaw I saw in my time with King Voxel concerns the nature of the boss sequences. They aren’t bad in and of themselves, but they perhaps hew a bit too faithfully to the design of the original Zelda. The fact that the player can simply walk out of the room after initiating a boss fight means that the stakes never feel particularly high during these encounters. Having unique boss music would help give these exchanges some tension as well. (Locking the player into boss fights would mean extra design work to prevent unwinnable situations against certain bosses, but I still think it would be worth the trouble.)
In any event, these complaints are relatively minor. I had a great time playing King Voxel, and given that the game is in alpha, there remains plenty of time to address its weaknesses. What there isn’t plenty of time for, though, is funding the game; head on over here to contribute to the King Voxel Kickstarter and try the demo for yourself.
In case you don’t: Isle of Bxnes is a Stone Age Diablo-alike with a highly stylized pixel art aesthetic and a brutish primeval setting.
Survive the brutal trek east with your tribe in this bloody stone age action role playing game. Judge every encounter in these foreign lands and plan your attacks against beasts, cannibals and warring tribesman. Meanwhile, allocate resources to build a backup army of your offspring, knowing that just a few hits can leave you a lifeless pile of meat.
In practice, it would seem that this involves a lot of exploration, dodge-rolling, and beating the hell out of things with your club:
Here’s the feature list:
- Permadeath. Your tribe dies without you as their hunter.
- Reincarnation through your sons (who have randomly chosen skills, attack dmg and stamina)
- Level randomization each play session with a huge variety of enemies, non-hostiles and boss battles
- Unique tribes to choose from with a variety of skill paths to upgrade as you progress
- Tons of art and variety in inventory items and weaponry
- Choose how you want to allocate the limited resources you find while exploring islands
- No iap or pay-to-win. Ever.
Isle of Bxnes is out now on Google Play; you can grab it for $2.99. It is also currently under review by Apple, and should be out for iOS shortly. (If you’re super-impatient, I’ve spotted it up on the Czech Republic’s iTunes store for 2,69 €, which I think is works out to something like $3.62 in US dollars.)
Posted in November 14, 2013 ¬ 11:41 amh.Craig Stern2 Comments »
Word has reached me that there is a new side-scrolling cyberpunk action RPG in development. The name? Dex. (And no, it’s not a game about the White Pages.)
Dex is being developed by Dreadlocks Ltd. from the Czech Republic. The premise:
The main protagonist – a young woman leading an ordinary corporate life – is approached by a legendary hacker Raycast. She is asked to play her part in the events surrounding the enigmatic AI called Kether. The reason is her innate ability to move freely through the cyberspace, without a “jack” or any kind of implant. The whole story is a grinding stone between the heroine (Dex), the low-life and hackers (The Grid) and the corporations (The Complex) and the AI Kether struggling to reach the Singularity. The corporations want to rule Kether, the hackers want it to free itself and lead mankind onto a next evolutionary stage – but noone knows what would the real outcome will be.
This trailer shows off the game’s cyberpunk aesthetic, with some combat, stealth, and dialog to boot:
The developers state that Dex will feature multiple solutions to in-game problems, and–in a move that makes me think just a bit of Bloom: Memories–you’ll be able to visible “enter cyberspace” to interact with otherwise hidden features of the current area. As the developer puts it: “it takes place in two planes: physical reality and cyberspace. Cyberspace is omnipresent – you can go there anytime for an alternate take on things.”
According to the developer, you will always start the game as Dex, but you’ll be able to customize her by putting points into developing her skills in combat, stealth or hacking as you play.
As you progress through the game (XP rewards for missions, takedowns/kills, exploration etc.), you level up. This is very similar to Castlevania actually. The XP-driven advancement allows you to put skillpoints into skill lines (similar to Shadowrun Returns and Mass Effect). Plus you can purchase/unlock cybernetic implants, which alter the gameplay in some way – higher jumps (allowing to reach new places), silent movement, health regeneration, gas/EMP/projectile resistance etc.
Dex is currently on Kickstarter, where it’s having a bit of a slow start–head on over there if you want to help it along. (The developers assure me that development will continue if the campaign fails, but they’ll have to find an outside source of funding or else diminish the game’s scope and suite of planned features, with voice acting first onto the chopping block.)
Dex is planned for release on Windows, Linux, Mac and OUYA in June 2014.
Word has it that Indonesian indie developer Enthrean is developing a dungeon crawler with a jRPG style battle system. That game is called Eremidia: Dungeon!
You play as the chosen Scout of Eremidia mainland, taking your chosen Heroes and the cursed King himself to dwell the deep, dark dungeons filled by Minions and many monsters that are waiting for you. Treasures, challenges, and traps are also waiting for you to be undiscovered in the dungeons. Play as a Summoner, explore the potent of every of available Heroes that you’ve discovered either by help of the Librarian or by your finding in the dungeon, providing myriad playstyle depends on the player’s liking. And at least, find and defeat the Black One to bring the peace back to Grace Island, where the threat itself comes from.
Eremidia reportedly comes with 20 playable characters, 13 quests, 11 runes, and 80 accessories.
Here’s a gameplay trailer showing off (what else?) a bit of the game, including a timed-hit combat system inspired by Paper Mario:
Eremidia is still in development. While you wait for release, you can download pre-release build 1.0RC1 to give it a try; there’s also a patch up to eliminate some bugs in this pre-release version.
I’m not sure what the subtitle is meant to refer to, if I’m being honest; it makes me think of a small waterfall by a farm. The plot premise doesn’t offer much of a clue either:
In this dark, heroic fantasy, you enter the land of Andhere Terrae and charge onto the front lines against the impending Hiristian invasion. Choose your warrior’s style and skills. Are you a Fighter; a strong and fearless combatant? Or are you a Mage; intelligent and cunning with incredible tactical potential? Or perhaps a Rogue; quick and stealthy, focusing on a single target to dismantle it with deadly efficiency and utmost precision. Whichever hero you choose, each promises uniqueness in its play style and skill sets.
The game is mission-based and organized by chapters. Although the game limits you to 3 predefined character types, it does give you the option of assembling a party from a selection of characters, so you’re not solely limited to picking fighter / wizard / thief.
Here is the trailer:
My jaw dropped a little at the female warrior’s walk animation. She’s in full plate armor, and yet she slinks around like she’s in a negligee. On the plus side, she’s not in boob plate or a chain mail bikini, so I guess it could be worse.
As the trailer states, Dimiria is currently in beta; the website estimates a December release for this first episode.
Remember back when I first wrote about side-scrolling action RPG Valdis Story: Abyssal City? That sure was a long time ago, wasn’t it? Well, it just so happens that developers EndlessFluff Games went ahead and secretly released the game at some point between then and now! (I say “secretly” because I didn’t hear so much as a peep about it–I only discovered its release by accident when browsing Steam last week.)
Do we remember the premise? Probably not! Let’s recap:
Over 40 years ago, the goddess Valdis was killed by her daughter, the dark goddess Myrgato. Since this event Myrgato has been at war with her twin sister, Alagath the goddess of light. This perpetual war is fueled by human souls that the gods use to create their warriors; Myrgato twisting souls into demons, and Alagath manipulating souls to create angels. Each day the remaining human population dwindles as they are forced to choose a side or die.
So basically: deicide, matricide, and humans stuck in the middle of a cosmic war between the forces of heaven and hell. Not too shabby.
The actual game takes place in “the ruins of a holy city that was lost many years ago.” You play as a human named Wyatt, but there are other “heroes,” at least one of which appears as a playable character in screenshots.
The game has loads of smooth animations and a nice visual style. Combat is slow and deliberate, as is the game’s platforming. Everything is side-scrolling and action-y, as you can see in the trailer:
Valdis Story is available direct from the developer via their Humble Store widget for $14.99, though you can also find it for the exact same price on such storefronts as Desura and Steam. (GOG.com currently has it for somewhat cheaper.)
And just in case you want a little alone time with Valdis Story before you’ll know if you like it enough to commit, you can snag the free demo right here. Windows only.
I’ve been wanting to check out Steam Marines for quite some time now; and luckily, developer James Seow was kind enough to indulge my desires with an alpha build of the game. This video is the lovechild of that unholy union. Behold!
So: first impressions! Steam Marines is basically what would happen if someone turned Space Hulk into a roguelike, made the Genestealers way slower, and gave the Terminators greater tactical diversity. The cramped spaces and incredibly dire consequences for screwing up are in perfect keeping with roguelike tradition, lending every decision a flavor of risk and an aftertaste of dread.
I didn’t really show the character creation screen much in this video, so you should know that you can actually select the character class of all four of your starting squad members. (Which is good, because if I had this to do over, I would swap out my grenadier for a second shotgun-wielder in a heartbeat.)
I only noticed a few issues during this playthrough, mostly fairly minor ones having to do with missing UI elements. (For instance: the game really ought to provide a visual indication of where a grenade is going to explode before you click it, and a visual indication of which rank your units are currently at on the promotion screen would be welcome.) It probably shouldn’t be possible to spawn directly in the exit to a level, and I question the balance on some of your unit upgrade options (does gaining 0.25 action points actually do anything for you?)
But really? These issues are relatively minor. And considering that the game is still in alpha, I can only assume that these are transitory problems already on Seow’s To-Fix List. In any event, whatever minor complaints I have about this build are far outweighed by the sense of glee I get when a well-conceived series of tactical decisions comes to fruition. Shotgun-blasting enemies into space is a particular delight.
I’m looking forward to the final release of this game. Until then, if you want to try it for yourself, you can snag the alpha for yourself for $7.99 right here.