Latest Publications

Lords of Xulima hits paid beta, taking pre-orders

LOX_GameLogoWord reaches me that upcoming wRPG Lords of Xulima , previously covered here, has hit beta.

Specifically, Spanish developers Numantian Games have made the beta version available with pre-order of the game–however, at $45, it’s a bit on the pricey side. Windows only for now. Checks Out Unrest

Indie developer Pyrodactyl Games recently provided me with a pre-release build of Unrest, a wRPG based in a sort of mythological version of ancient India. I’ve been intrigued by the sound of this one for some time, so naturally, I gave it a first look. Here is what I found:

My thoughts?


The Wizard release date announced

The WizardJan Lachnit of Hypnotic Owl has written in to announce that The Wizard (previously covered here) is going to be released on July 23, 2014 as well. Anyone else feel like releasing their game on that day? Anyone?

Unrest release date announced

UnrestPyrodactyl Games writes in to announce that Unrest, the RPG set in ancient India that we previously covered last year, will be released on July 23, 2014. It will be available on Steam at that time.

Back to Back: indie RPGs to fund

It’s been a few weeks since our last Back to Back–let’s see what’s new in the world of indie RPG crowdfunding!

Of the games we posted about last time, Beloved Rapture, Omori, Shiness and Witchmarsh met or surpassed their funding goals; Celestial Tear: Demon’s Revenge, Deadrock Divide, and Endless Fantasy The Goddess Story were not so lucky. (I’m still surprised that Deadrock Divide didn’t make it, frankly–I’m not sure what to make of that.)

As for new projects, things seem to have calmed down from previous months, but we definitely have a few promising ones in search of funding and glory! (Mostly funding, really.)


Medieval Story announced

Medieval StoryDaniel Olofsson of Swedish indie studio OddGames writes in to announce Medieval Story, wRPG / Zelda-alike hybrid he’s developing.

The narrative premise:

You are a local peasant (Edmond) from a small village called Mosscroft. Everyday seems ordinary and dull until you are set on a mission by the village noble which leads to unexpected adventures.

He is given the task to travel to the neighboring village called Fairbridge to find new seeds for sowing. Eager to find some change in his life he gladly accept the task; anything to get away from the farming shores and errands. However, Edmond quickly realizes that life is not so easy on the road. Bandits raid the country side, attacking supply caravans and unproven travelers. He must build up his skills if he is to survive in this unforgiving world…

Medieval Story features isometric graphics, an open world, non-linear progression and branching dialog. So far, so wRPG. However, Medieval Story does not feature experience points or levels; progression occurs through buying better equipment and finding hidden buffs and abilities scattered throughout the game world in true Zelda style.

Olofsson describes the game’s combat like so: “Combat is played in real-time. Each attack and block has to be timed to be successful. However, equipment also plays an important role in the outcome of a battle. Insufficient armor or a dull sword is not advised.”

Here is a trailer showing how all of this looks in action:

Some of the game’s planned features:

  • Story driven action.
  • Puzzle and exploration.
  • Control movement with either mouse or keyboard.
  • Use, drop, push or pick up objects.
  • Interactive character dialogs with hand drawn NPC portraits.
  • Simulation of time, night and day.
  • Dynamic shadows and lighting.
  • DRM-free.

Medieval Story is in alpha right now; there is an IndieGoGo campaign running right now to help fund the remainder of development.

Medieval Story is being developed for Windows, with a planned release date of early 2015. In the meantime, there is an alpha demo available if you want to try the game for yourself.

New release: Star Traders 4X Empires

Star Traders 4X EmpiresWord has it that the Trese Brothers have released a sequel to Star Traders, called Star Traders 4X Empires.

The premise:

The great Exodus has ending and the splintered Star Trader Factions are lost, tired of the endless travel, or too slow to keep pace with the main fleet. Alone, and without the protection of the mighty Templars, you must step into the position of leadership to guide the Factions to their new homeworlds among the stars. You must take command and help carve out a new Quadrant, and lead the refugees from near-extinction to prosperity in a turn-based empire building game. As a political and military leader, the you must use all of your diplomacy, spy-craft and economic savvy to build a winning strategy. Facing both internal and external threats, the player defends the empire from infighting political factions and hostile alien creatures.

Here’s the trailer:

The list of features includes:

  • Build a vast and mighty empire among the stars, manage a complex economy as you install mines, Spice Halls, Exchanges, Palaces and more
  • Defend your Quadrant from one or more Alien races bent on your eradication. Engage in massive fleet on fleet battles with hypersonic Torpedos, mass-driver Guns, Boarding and Planetary Invasion
  • Design and build endless combination of starships to ply deep-space and fight the Alien onslaught
  • Research and rediscover 100+ lost technologies on a sprawling tree
  • Strive to manage the Factions with a robust political system, using espionage and diplomatic power to end conflicts, foster treaties and enhance trade
  • Explore strange and dangerous anomalies among the stars to advance your civilization
  • 5 rich difficulty settings from easy, to realistic, to nearly impossible challenges

Star Traders 4X Empires follows the usual Trese Brothers pricing scheme, with a free basic Android version , a free basic iOS version, and a $4.99 “Elite” Android version.

A desktop release for Windows, Mac and Linux is planned for the future. To that end, Star Traders 4X Empires is on Steam Greenlight; you can upvote it there if you’d like to see it come to Steam.


New-ish release: ADOM

ADOMADOM is not new. In fact, ADOM has been around for literally decades. According to creator Thomas Biskup, ADOM (short for “Ancient Domains of Mystery”) is one of the Big Five roguelikes in existence, notable in large part for being the first roguelike to add to include “vibrant towns, NPC dialog, and quests” to the traditional, straightforward dungeon crawling that was the focus of its predecessors.

The narrative premise:

Deep in the mountainous ranges of the Drakalor Chain, Chaos has broken through into Ancardia and it’s up to you to decide the fate of the entire realm. You control a single character with a wildy varying set of skills, talents, spells and other abilities. Customized equipment makes each race/class combination a very different experience. Explore a mostly randomized underworld, fight monsters, loot treasures and uncover the many secrets lurking in the world of Ancardia.

So what’s “new-ish” about this? Well, y’see, ADOM had a successful Indiegogo campaign back in 2012 that allowed Biskup to expand it with lots of neat new features, including graphical tilesets and 3D support. You can see the fancy new graphical presentation in ADOM’s new trailer:

So that’s that–this game is old as dirt, but the new version is, y’know, new. What’s more, after a whopping 20 years of active development, Biskup has just successfully concluded his campaign to get the game onto Steam, where it will presumably be available in short order. In the meantime, you can download the latest version of the game for free from this page. It comes in Windows, Mac OSX and Linux flavors.

Also, one last thing: even though I am manifestly terrible at roguelikes, I will be trying this one out in the near future! (And probably dying. And recording it. Sigh.) Checks Out Boot Hill Heroes Part One

Dave Welch of Experimental Gamer was kind enough to send a build of Boot Hill Heroes Part One my way. As I tend to do, I sat down to play it for 30-55 minutes, and recorded what transpired. You can see it below:

My thoughts?


New release: Boot Hill Heroes Part One

Boot Hill HeroesIt has come to my attention that the spaghetti Western-themed jRPG Boot Hill Heroes (which we previously covered here) was released by developer Experimental Gamer a couple of months ago.

The narrative premise:

After an alleged attack by the Chepakwik Indians, the people of Bronco County are on the brink of war. Only a farm boy who knows the truth can stop it. Together with his three friends – a gunslinging desperado, an Indian princess, and a calamity jane – he must expose a conspiracy by bringing to justice the six outlaws of the notorious Saints-Little gang.

Their journey will take them through cowtowns, Indian villages, ranches, gold mines, prisons, and into the very heart and soul of the American Wild West. But on their epic adventure to right the wrongs of the past, will they see justice done or discover an even darker secret lying in wait behind the scenes?

As the narrative summary indicates, Boot Hill Heroes depicts a charming, cartoonish version of the American Wild West, complete with OK Corral style shoot-outs. The game’s graphic style reminds me of Earthbound, and it’s hard to imagine that that was anything other than a conscious decision on the developers’ parts. Boot Hill Heroes employs a particularly brisk active-time battle system with action points and support for 4-player cooperative play. You can see all of this in action in the trailer below:

You may notice that this release of Boot Hill Heroes is designated “Part One”–the developers explain that this is a full game of 12 hours length, not just an episode, and that it will be followed up by two sequels in the next year or so. (Part Two is planned for release this fall.) You can pick up Boot Hill Heroes Part One direct from the developer for $7.49; for now, it appears to be out on Windows only.

You can help Boot Hill Heroes Part One get onto Steam via the developers’ Greenlight page. For my part, I’ll be posting an Checks Out episode on this one shortly!