Latest Publications

Skullstone announced

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

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

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

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

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.

Site policy change!

Hey gang! It’s been a while since I last had time to post about new games here on The reasons are myriad–life is busy, I’m hunkering down to develop a new game, blah blah blah–but more than that, it’s that one of my own past decisions about this site has become incompatible with my increasingly limited free time.

At some point early in this site’s history, I decided to implement a policy against posting about speculative games–that is, about games with a planned (or current and ongoing) crowdfunding campaign, whose continued development depended upon them successfully obtaining said funding.


New release: Andoran Skye XD

Chadrick Evans of One Man Army Games, the indie developer working on WarRab: Veteran, writes in to announce that he’s released an older game of his set in the same universe: Andoran Skye XD.

The narrative premise:

Within each planet, at the very core, legendary entities are harbored. They are youthful, full of power and in dire need of protection. These entities are known as Skyes.

In Andoran Skye XD, you play as a teenage jokester who accidentally ends up in the vast world of Andoran. Due to a shortage of true warriors, you are persuaded to take on an interesting task: become the “Staff Wielder” and, ultimately, tame your Skye.

As you explore regions, you will face many obstacles and, in time, the evil tyrant who is ready to steal control of the Skye before you do.

The game features side-scrolling exploration in combination with turn-based battles. Evans writes that the game’s combat system features “chain techniques” that allow you to cut off enemies or deflect attacks in real time. Here’s a trailer showing off some of this stuff:

According to Evans, Andoran Skye XD features:


  • ​The most unique story you will EVER experience filled with twists, turns and one tough bunny.
  • Comedic dialogue and colorful characters that are a little too self-aware.
  • New Keepsake items that allow you to boost your stats in battle.
  • Two different game modes that allow you to play the game as it appeared in 2013 and now
  • A new approach to your typical RPG: fusion between 2.5D platformer, real-time strategy and side-scrolling games.

Andoran Skye XD is available for Windows and Mac OS; it’s currently $9.99 on Steam and $7.99 on


Downspiral announced

Word reaches me that Ontario developer Matt Gunter of Hey It’s That Dog is working on a new first-person dungeon crawler by the name of Downspiral.

At first glance, Downspiral looks like an exceptionally goofy Dungeon master clone; and indeed, Gunter describes it as “a satirical action-adventure RPG set inside a now defunct dungeon.” Here’s the premise:

[E]xplore what was once a dynamic theme-park attraction. Now dilapidated and in complete disrepair, you’ll enter the dungeon seeking fame and fortune just like all the adventurers who came before you. Although none before you have ever returned to tell the tale, you’ll search for treasure, fend off well-trained monsters, and seek to uncover the secrets of the now run down dungeon.

You’ll create a team of four adventurers choosing from quirky and unusual classes of races or varying powers and abilities. Enter the dungeon armed as a Land Dolphin, Tomato Person, an Accountant, or a plethora of other characters as you search to uncover the truth about the now abandoned dungeon and what happened to the adventurers who were brave enough to enter Downspiral’s dungeon.

Enter into the Downspiral dungeon… If you dare.

Here’s the trailer:

I, personally, eagerly await the opportunity to play this with an entire party of nothing but Dumpster Elves. Downspiral is planned for release in early 2017.

The Tenth Line announced

Elliot Mahan of Sungazer Software writes in to announce The Tenth Line, an RPG with side-scrolling platforming exploration and turn-based battles.

The premise:

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.

Here’s a trailer letting you know what you can expect. The exploration bits remind me a fair bit of LISA, even though the author seems to be aiming for something more like Trine. Meanwhile, the combat appears to bear some similarity to Darkest Dungeon in that characters are arranged in a line, and attacks can hit different ranks (or, indeed, all of them):

The list of planned features includes:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Play “Quad Pro Quo” (an in-universe collectible card game) against multiple characters and inhabitants of the world to win unique prizes and complete your collection!

The Tenth Line is currently on Steam Greenlight, and is planned for release for Windows, Mac, Playstation 4 and Xbox One in March 2017 at a $12.99 price point. In the meantime, there’s a free Windows demo available to try right here.

Path of Scion announced

German indie devs DigiPig Studio write in to announce Path of Scion, a “dark fantasy” RPG in which you play as a demi-god.

The interesting thing about this is, you’re non-corporeal: without any body of your own, you must cultivate (and inhabit the bodies of) various prophets to extend your power and influence. The devs write: “For this task using fellow Prophets (NPCs), sacred powers, political cunning and even military is needed. Your rule will solidify gradually as you progress through the game.”

The bulk of the game is real-time, but the devs state that it switches into turn-based mode when you enter combat using one of your prophets.

There is apparently also something of a light empire management layer to the game:

Even a demi-god needs a place to manage his empire. We call this place the Nexus, which is your stronghold. Here you can train your followers, shape your divine powers into form and decide on the fate of each conquered territory.

There’s an early teaser trailer out so you can see how some of this looks in action:

It looks to be rather early in development to me, particularly so given the ambitious design plans announced for it. The developers provide the following list of planned features:

– RPG core with everything you’d expect from this like stats, skills, classes, spells etc.

– At least 3 main characters representing  different playing styles

– A handful of factions, whom you can interact with using a reputation based system, that describes your relations with them

– Hundreds of NPCs to get in touch with, get quests from or aid/harm – Diversified quests and chain of events, that will shape the outcome of the game or the fate of an area

– Turn-based combat system where you have to plan your moves to take down the enemy, using terrain and external factors as tactical advantages

– A semi-manager game mechanism where you improve and take care of your base to get stronger and advance in the main plot

Path of Scion has a planned release date of December 2017, though I would personally be rather impressed if they managed to accomplish all that within the next year. In any event, the game will be Windows only.