Posted in December 11, 2013 ¬ 9:44 amh.Craig Stern2 Comments »
A bit of digging around reveals to me the existence of a relatively new jRPG called Riders of Arylide. Created by Phantasos Games, Riders of Arylide was made in RPG Maker.
When their guardian sets sail for the Red Mountains and never returns, Allegra and Thaddeus are forced to travel across the lands of Erinyeth following the clues he left behind.
As soldiers in the Royal Erinyeth Army, they are about to learn the secrets he has kept from them about their true past.
Follow your destiny as you learn magic, battle monsters and try to save the land you love from being destroyed.
The feature list:
● Over 30 side quests
● Integrated walkthrough and strategy guide
● Quest journal
● Pirate Mini Game
● Mouse play
One thing the list doesn’t mention: encounters are visible while exploring, and can be dodged. That’s a pretty huge plus. I’m not sure why “Tutorial” is a feature and that isn’t, but hey–who am I to say what should be in their feature list?
Riders of Arylide is an RPG Maker game, so that means it’s exclusive to Windows. You can nab it for $6.99 direct from the developer; there is a free demo available as well if you want to try before you buy.
You may recall that we last covered this game back in February, where we gave a very thorough run-down of the game’s premise and mechanics. What we didn’t have, though, was the game’s release trailer. Check that out here:
The feature list for the finished game is as follows:
The game’s pricing deserves a bit of discussion. Heroes of Steel is evidently divided into four episodes, and four of its eight characters are “premium” characters. The four base characters are free; access to all each of the game’s additional four episodes costs $0.99 per episode, with an additional $1.99 to access the game’s four premium characters.
There will be an Elite version dropping sometime early next year with additional episodes; that version will contain all of the game’s content, and will be available for a flat $3.99; it will containing the game’s four episodes, but the premium characters will remain a separate purchase.
NOTE: If this pricing scheme confuses you as much as it evidently did me, consult this handy guide the Trese Brothers have created to clear things up.
Would you believe that there’s another Choice of Games title out? It’s true! The latest in their ever-expanding line of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-styled RPG hybrids is the sci-fi epic Reckless Space Pirates, written by Rachel Zakuta.
You have a choice: join a crew of space pirates to steal priceless slime from a nest of mushroom-like aliens–or hoodwink the pirates and team up with the mushroom colony to prevent an interstellar war!
Will you survive the infamous space-slime pits? Will you earn the respect of the crew, or even start a romance with a space pirate? Can you negotiate with the fungoid aliens, despite linguistic and cultural barriers? Or will you blast their rubbery guts, plunder the slime pits, and retire in luxury?
Posted in December 5, 2013 ¬ 1:54 pmh.Craig Stern2 Comments »
If you’ve been reading this site for a long time, you may remember me mentioning Oryx and his highly popular roguelike sprite sets back in 2011. After years of enabling roguelikes from other developers, it looks like Oryx has finally stepped up to the plate with a roguelike of his own!
The game in question is called Famaze. Which makes me wonder: is this game, in fact, f-amazing?
Well. It features some very nice art by Oryx, and has an original soundtrack by Disasterpiece. So those things are good.
Beyond that, though, I admit that I wasn’t overly taken with it based on a brief playthrough. Famaze takes the spatial dimension out of combat, minimizes the player inventory almost to the point of nonexistence, and separates the spatial navigation and graphical representation of the game world into two distinct panes (which means a constant choice between either seeing an attractive representation of the game world, or seeing where you are actually going).
Still, it’s hard to complain too much about a free game, and Famaze is as free as they come. Famaze isn’t even embedded in a page: the SWF is simply made available as a standalone file to be played in-browser or nabbed from Oryx’s Dropbox. Try it out here.
Posted in December 4, 2013 ¬ 10:42 amh.Craig Stern2 Comments »
I admit, I had been deliberately holding off on covering Festival of Magic. The developers stated publicly they they’d spent $1 million on making the game, and that they needed roughly another $1.15 million to finish it. These figures made me suspect that they might actually be a mid-sized development house trying to pass as a small indie team. Well, apparently not–after emailing the devs, they told me that their team is only 9 people, and that their budget is so huge because (a) they live in Norway and (b) jRPGs take forever to make.
After hearing that, I felt a little bad for doubting their indie credentials, so I resolved to sit down with their Kickstarter demo and see what Festival of Magic is about. (And, of course, to record the whole thing with commentary!) This was the result:
As with the iOS version, the Android port is free to play. Witching Hour Studios are supporting themselves with ads and in-app-purchases; notably, you can disable the ads by purchasing the “Collector’s Edition” IAP.
Here’s a 12-minute long gameplay video from the developers showing how the game works:
set in a post apocalyptic wasteland where women are nowhere to be found. It’s a world full of drugs, violence and the decay of human intelligence… A game about sacrifice, survival, and perverts!
The list of planned features:
Visible character sacrifices that effect your stats (removing arms, eyes, scratches)
Recruiting new party members in towns and camps.
Giving up locations of towns and camps to gangs for profit, but they will pillage and destroy that town forever.
White knuckle shopping cart races.
Expending party members in Russian Roulette for huge profit, but perma death if they lose.
Countless hidden secrets in the world for you to explore.
A strong narrative about the unloved people in the world.
Having a hard time visualizing this? Not to worry! Here is a gameplay video showing what this looks like in practice:
Lisa is in development for Windows, with a planned release of late summer 2014.
In the meantime, there is a pre-alpha demo you can check out right here. Lisa is on Kickstarter; it has already met its funding goal, but you can still throw money at it for another 12 days if you so desire.
Posted in November 27, 2013 ¬ 9:27 pmh.Craig Stern3 Comments »
Hey guys! My parents have flown in from the far-away land of Nashville to come visit with moi, and so I am going to be taking a short break from updating the site in order to spend time with them. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you all again soon!
“But wait!” you say. “I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving / don’t like my family / want to learn about more indie RPGs during this period of time. What do I do?!” Well, don’t panic! It turns out that there are a ton of Kickstarters going on right now; this is the perfect opportunity to dig into some of those and learn more!
From our last edition of Back to Back, Confederate Express raised nearly four times its target funding goal; You Are Not the Hero raised nearly eight times its funding goal; and Project Swordsmith made it just over its goal. Of the projects that have finished since then, only Lords of Discord went down to ignominious defeat. Here are the games left looking for funding, including a few fresh faces:
After Reset — a post-apocalyptic wRPG modeled very closely on the original two Fallout games–arguably, just a little bit too much so. It cribs everything from the vault-dweller motif right down to the font. On the plus side, this game has raised $40,000; on the minus side, its funding goal is a ludicrously over-the-top $900,000. 13 days remain.
Approaching Infinity — I mentioned this one here; it’s a sci-fi roguelike with the sort of scope that calls to mind classic games like Starflight. What’s more, it’s only seeking a measly $5,000, and it has a playable alpha demo available to boot. This has 13 days to raise another $850.
Astral Terra — I described this as Morrowind meets Minecraft in our last Back to Back. It has made some progress since then, but not nearly enough for my liking–17 days remain to raise $43,000.
Astrobase Command — a sandbox sci-fi RPG with AI-generated stories and the ability to customize your own space station. This strikes me as a close cousin to FTL; it has $125,000 left to raise and 22 days to do it.
Bloom: Memories — I’ve covered Bloom a few times now; luckily, its second attempt at Kickstarter is going decidedly better than the first. Bloom has only $6,800 to go with 12 days left on the clock. Also, there’s a pre-alpha engine demo available now.
Deathfire: The Ruins of Nethermore — Guido Henkel’s baby has raised the significant sum of $122,000 and counting, but given the project’s astronomically high $390,000 funding goal, things are starting to look a bit dire. 9 days remain to fund this promising-looking first-person party-based RPG.
Graywalkers: Purgatory — a strategy RPG with sort of a motley-heroes-versus-the-demons-of-hell motif. Unfortunately, it has 12 hours left to raise 58% of its $100,000 funding goal; but on the plus side, the developers have already emailed me with assurances that they are going to try running a second campaign in the coming months.
King Voxel — did you watch this video? No? Watch this video. And then, when you’re done watching the video, throw money at this game. It’s delightful! There’s 6 days left to turn things around for King Voxel to the tune of $18,600 or so.
Lisa the Painful RPG — I’m kind of excited, guys; I think this might be the first surrealist jRPG to show up on Kickstarter! It’s not quite as batshit as OFF or Middens, mind you, but it’s still certainly pretty odd. Perhaps on the level of Space Funeral. Watch this video if you don’t believe me. Lisa is $500 away from its $7,000 funding goal with 16 days remaining.
The Mandate — for a while there, I was seriously worried about the fate of this 3D sci-fi RPG. But it looks like I needn’t have fretted! The Mandate is now $31,000 past its funding goal with 4 days remaining.
The Memory of Eldurîm — previously covered here, The Memory of Eldurîm is an Elder Scrolls-style RPG that aims to have better combat and co-op support. There is a pre-alpha demo available. The game has raised a healthy $25,000, but unfortunately its goal is a hulking $150,000 (roughly one-third of which seems to be for licensing the Crytek engine). There are 10 days left to make up the difference.
Posted in November 26, 2013 ¬ 10:45 amh.Craig Stern1 Comment »
You may recall that Ultra Runaway Games released a new first-person dungeon delver earlier this month by the name of Paper Sorcerer; developer Jesse Gallagher has since sent me a copy of the game so that I can check it out. Behold!
In the mood for something text-based? Choice of Games has a new game for you to choose: Showdown at Willow Creek, a Western-themed choose-your-own-adventure style RPG hybrid written by Alana Joli Abbott.
Saddle up and defend the town of Willow Creek from nefarious outlaws and city slickers! It all starts when a rancher’s daughter goes missing, and it ends at the showdown at Willow Creek, where greed, lust, science and Mother Nature will face off at high noon.
Gamble, seduce, brawl, or shoot your way through Willow Creek, where gunslingers make the laws, and everybody has secrets. Will you romance the gambler or the soiled dove (or both)? Will you side with the scientists bringing electricity to the Old West, or with a tribe of native American Utes? Will you unravel the conspiracy that threatens to tear the town apart, or will you light the fuse to blow it all sky high?
With stats such as Brawlin’, Gamblin’, Shootin’, Sweet Talkin’ and Investigatin’, I think this might just be the second properly Western-themed RPG I’ve seen (the first, of course, being The Real Texas, though that one’s really more of a Zelda-alike).