Latest Publications

Jester’s Quest announced

image-9175
Fendi of Slovakian indie studio Cybernautic writes in to tell me about a new metroidvania he’s developing called Jester’s Quest.

The premise:

Jester’s Quest is metroidvania pixelart platformer where you have to save the kingdom with the pixie helpers and a killer unicorn. Jester’s main weapon – pogocello can smash enemies into bloody parts in easy two button combat system and you can also upgrade himself, weapon and pixies.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering what on earth a “pogocello” is right about now–so I’ve saved you a few precious seconds by Googling it. Go on, read. Got it? Okay, now back to the game.

Despite the fact that Jester’s Quest’s graphics will consist almost entirely of pixel art and frame-by-frame animations, Cybernautic are creating the game in Unreal Engine 4.

Fendi states that there is not a single word written anywhere in Jester’s Quest–all communication occurs iconographically through sequences of symbols, in a language he refers to as “ikontalk.” You can see a bit of that in the game’s teaser trailer:

The game’s official page describes other planned features:

  • Jester with his main weapon – pogocello, can attack enemies with two buttons combo style combat system. You can link primary attack (damage dealer) with secondary (radial damage or block breaker) and mix them together with multiple secondary weapons like magic cards or “jack in the box” bombs or with special fairies attacks.
  • Pixies are small fairy tale fairies which will help jester on his quest. They have special abilities like lockpick, repair or summon light and also special attacks like fireball, lightning or poison. They can also charge jester’s pogocello up to five tiers so he can unleash all the energy in it with a devastating blow.
  • And did I mentioned that jester can ride a killer unicorn? Oooh yeah. This fantasy beast beats everyone with its magic horn. But will be jester able to tame it?

So yeah. Suffice it to say that this game looks quirky as all hell. Jester’s Quest is being developed for Windows; it’s currently planned for release sometime in the second quarter of 2018.

IndieRPGs.com Checks Out The Tenth Line

Well! It’s been a little bit since I last posted one of these, hasn’t it? My backlog hasn’t grown any shorter in the interim, but I figured I should get back to it. As such, I (somewhat arbitrarily) selected The Tenth Line from among those games that had been sent to me as the subject of this newest episode.

Per custom, I recorded the screen as I played, the results of which you can see below:

So: what did I think?

(more…)

Children of Zodiarcs announced

image-9153
You may recall the 3D tactical RPG Children of Zodiarcs from some of our Back to Back coverage in early 2016. In development by 9-person Montreal team Cardboard Utopia, Children of Zodiarcs went on to rack up about $195,000 in funding, and has been in development since that time (and, indeed, before it).

The premise:

Nahmi and her companions go on a mission to steal a priceless relic of a decadent noble, but what awaits them is more than anyone bargained for …

Relentlessly pursued by city guards heavily armed with deadly Zodiarc weapons, they are forced to make a desperate escape through gilded palace chambers, sun-drenched slums and dank underground catacombs.

As they city guards, battle rival bandit gangs, and even a clan of subterranean cannibals, it becomes clear that they have only each other to depend on. To emerge victorious, they will need to trust one another and use everything at their disposal, making choices that no one should have to make.

Can a motley crew of outsiders survive this vicious world without sacrificing their own humanity?

Children of Zodiarcs employs a deck system for character actions, with personalized decks you build for each character, as well as what appear to be loads of virtual dice thrown visibly on the screen to determine the effectiveness of each action a character takes. You can see how this looks in this teaser trailer:

Children of Zodiarcs is planned for Windows and Mac release through Steam, as well as release on Playstation 4. Release is scheduled for sometime in 2017.

A quick note about the indie-ness of this game: a PR guy from Kartridge, Craig Stephens, got in touch with me to let me know that the Square Enix Collective is now publishing Children of Zodiarcs. This is no doubt good news for the team–but of course, this also immediately put me into detective mode, as I am sworn to only post about games that are indie! According to Stephens, “SEC avoid any interference [in development] and instead offer support where needed.” This is what I needed to hear to feel assured that this publisher arrangement does not violate the cosmic laws of indie-ness. As more and more indie games get signed to “indie publishers,” I’ll be building up a sort of “white list” of such companies that have an official hands-off policy. For now, Square Enix Collective is on that list.

New release: The Tenth Line

image-9147
Elliot Mahan of Sungazer Software writes in to announce that platformer/jRPG hybrid The Tenth Line (previously covered here) is now out for PC!

The premise, in case you need a refresher:

Guide the princess of Easania and her unusual but reliable companions through a world of magic, beasts, and dragons while avoiding the clutches of a mysterious cult in hot pursuit.

This release is accompanied by a swanky new release trailer, which neatly communicates The Tenth Line’s central ideas:

The game’s features, per the developer:

  • Explore the world through fast-paced 2D platforming by controlling three separate characters, each with unique movement mechanics and ways of interacting with the world.
  • Take on dozens of foes at one time through turn-based RPG battles with an active timing element.
  • High quality background and sprite artwork, and a grand, varied soundtrack.
  • Unique progression and ways to level-up: power up combat moves and set up character-specific specialties through training, and gain levels to spend on the puzzle-like Power Flow board to increase stats and learn new attacks.
  • 12+ hours of gameplay, plus post-game challenges and a New Game Plus mode.
  • Optional story-focused mode that removes most enemy encounters and simplifies platforming to allow a player to quickly experience the entire story.

You can snag a copy of The Tenth Line on Steam for $9.99. Meanwhile, a free demo remains available right here. The Tenth Line is available for Windows and Mac only for now, but Xbox One and Playstation 4 ports are still planned with a tentative May release date.

Fort Triumph combat demo released

image-9145
Alert IndieRPGs.com reader Bobz has spotted a playable pre-alpha demo for Fort Triumph posted on GameJolt in anticipation of the game’s forthcoming Kickstarter.

Per the developers, this is purely a combat system demo:

Current version (0.4.5) has a tactical layer demonstration, no strategic layer nor story implemented yet so there’s plenty to look forward to.

For more on what they have planned for the finished game, check out our story from this past September right here.

Skullstone announced

image-9137
Jakub Ćwikliński of 9-person Polish indie development studio Black Torch Games writes in to announce that they have a new first-person dungeon delver in development–a real-time, grid-based blobber in the tradition of Dungeon Master–by the name of Skullstone.

Here’s the premise:

An ancient structure, long buried under Lisenian woods, is slowly rising due to unknown forces. Skullstone stands on top of it – a dreaded entrance into the darkness below. Evil creatures come out of it killing brave men, snatching frail women and helpless children. While local monks waste time praying in their monastery and deciding how to deal with the stream of evil beings, people of the town of Lisentar act on their own by calling for mercenaries who can save them.

As you can see from this trailer, Skullstone bears a certain resemblance to Legend of Grimrock, albeit somewhat lower fidelity:

Here is the planned feature list:

  • Choose from 20 different characters with different active and passive skills
  • Explore vast dungeon levels made in few different visual styles
  • Fight against unique monsters
  • Find best ways to defeat enemies able to curse you and attack you at range
  • Visit the town to receive quests and claim rewards
  • Listen to the impressive ambient and dungeon synth OST

Skullstone is planned for release in the last part of 2017.

Last Stonelord announced

image-9126
Italian indie developer Livio Morganti writes in to announce Last Stonelord, which he says is influenced in part by Ultima Online. It honestly looks rather like a single-character survival RPG to me despite its “with RTS elements” description. Speaking of which–here’s the official premise, such as it is:

Last Stonelord is an Old school Rpg with some Rts elements , awakened in a unknow land, you have to conquer your way towards glory and become a Stonelord ! Gather, craft , build, fight  and raise your empire!

Morganti admits that he is not great with English, so perhaps we should just let this rather attractive teaser trailer do the talking for him?

Here is the planned feature list, straight from the press kit:

  • Start with nothing and try to survive.
  • Huge world with dynamic events.
  • Build and defend your village. Grow it into a big city with lots of NPC followers ready to work for you.
  • Move fast riding mounts, trains and boats, transport more Craft Item with Karts.
  • Explore dangerous places with lots of secrets and treasures.
  • Craft quality items based on your skills levels, almost everythings can be player made.
  • Develop your Avatar as warrior , mage or artisan !
  • No fixed class , exp or caps lavels, only skills to train!
  • Your actions influence your karma, will you become good or evil?

Last Stonelord is presently on Steam Greenlight; Morganti writes that he intends to release the game to Steam Early Access this summer in English and Italian. It’ll be for Windows and Mac, with console support to follow at some point in the future.

New release: Witch Hunt

image-9115
I’m actually a few months late with this one, but hey: it’s new to me! Turns out, Aldorlea Games released another jRPG back in October, mere months after the release of their previous title. This one is a witch-themed jRPG called–you guessed it–Witch Hunt.

The premise:

Welcome to Ravenshire, the land of curses, tricks and undead spirits.  The Devil Witch, a feared scaremonger, has put everybody tightly shut in the warm comfort of their homes, while outside rain doesn’t seem like it will ever stop.

You are Cybel, a witch of noble descent, and you know the Devil Witch is just another tale to keep people in check. But one day, as you’re meeting your boyfriend in the streets of your hometown, the impossible happens, as he is turned into a clucking chicken – one of the Devil Witch’s signature curses.  Could she be real? Do you have what it takes to go after her and reverse the curse on your boyfriend? Do you have the courage to face down terror and evil? Can you deal with all that the Devil Witch can throw at you? Enter a unique, amazing adventure and find out!

Well, there you have it: the classic battle of boyfriend-loving noble witch versus boyfriend-cursing devil witch. Aldorlea promises 25 hours of gameplay, plus the following features:

  • Play up to 9 characters in a unique, enthralling atmosphere
  • Great production values and innovative skills upgrading with levels
  • Mouse control & Auto-Saving
  • 4 modes of difficulty & New Game+
  • 46 legendary creatures to hunt down
  • 16 Relics to discover and 10 Sidequests to complete
  • Aldorlea’s vintage style (The Book of Legends, Laxius Force)

Witch Hunt is $19.99 direct from the developer, with a free demo available. Windows only.

New release: Arcane Raise

image-9105
R3TR1X writes in to announce the release of Arcane Raise, which he describes as “survival JRPG inspired by the Dark Souls series, with a focus on story-telling through the environment.”

Regrettably, Arcane Raise is not about a wizard angling for a pay increase–rather, the premise is that “resurrected hunters known as Shades, fight alongside humans against monsters in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by an infestation.”

Arcane Raise is quite plainly an RPG Maker title, and based on the promotional media I’ve seen of it, it seems to lean quite heavily on the program’s default assets. Given this, I can’t imagine there’s much environmental storytelling genuinely going on. On the other hand, it’s only $2.99 and has a free demo, so there’s relatively little risk of being misled; you can investigate further on the game’s Steam page.

Windows only.

Forged of Blood announced

image-9088
Word reaches me that there’s a new sRPG in development called Forged of Blood, being created by 10-person Indonesian indie studio Critical Forge. (As an aside, I really enjoy the name of the development studio–it makes me think of a talking anvil that’s constantly snarking at its blacksmith owner: “Oh really, you’re going to forge it like that? That’s not what I would have done.”)

Anyway! The premise:

Welcome to the world of Attiras, a fantasy land on the cusp of yet another upheaval in the world order. In this world, magic is fueled by strange stones harvested from mysterious extra-planar creatures and power comes from the blood coursing in your veins.

As the ancient bloodlines that once ruled the lands start waning and new threats loom on the horizon, you enter this world as the second son to the king. Take up arms in your family’s name, fight for the right to rule or for the betterment of the world; your decisions will ultimately forge the future of this world.

Here’s a teaser video showing gameplay–as you can see, Forged of Blood will be attempting another take on the bifurcated strategy-and-tactical-layers approach to things:

Meanwhile, here’s the feature list:

–  Classless Warfare: With 9 unique weapons and a vast magic system, Forged of Blood lets you build your characters any way you want – without being constrained by the typical tank/DPS/healer roles.

–  Science in Magic: Explore the freedom and mysteries of one of the most complex and unique magic systems ever attempted in video games.

–  Kingdom at War: Command up to three parties of heroic characters on the strategic layer in your fight to reclaim the empire you lost.

–  Meaningful Choice: Your choices matter. From character building to your choices in the game narrative, your decisions will reverberate across the Strategic and Tactical layers of the game.

–  Your ends; your means: In a world of grays and unique perspectives, it is up to you to decide what is “right” and “wrong” for the future of Attiras. Forged of Blood will introduce a new Tri-axis Personality Plot system in lieu of the traditional Good vs. Evil scale common in most RPG settings.

Forged of Blood is being developed for Windows, and is planned for release sometime in 2018. It’s currently on Kickstarter, where it now has 51 days remaining in its campaign.