Latest Publications

New release: Legions of Ashworld

legions_of_ashworld_BEver heard of Legions of Ashworld? No? It’s cool–up until just now, I hadn’t either! I just happened to stumble onto this one by sheer chance. Developed by “Jugilus,” LoA combines first-person exploration of the Might and Magic variety with large-scale strategic battles.

The narrative premise:

The game is set in a ancient fantasy world of kings, wizards and fearsome creatures. When a powerful empire invades the lands governed by humans all the realms are plunged into a great conflict. It is the player’s task to organise the opposition to the invading forces, uniting the kingdoms into an alliance and ultimately in taking the war back to the invaders.

As the various characters encountered across Ashworld are recruited to the player’s cause, the player can then move them around the lands, having them performing a variety of activities, such as hiring mercenaries, buying goods and provisions, and attacking hostile forces. The lands of Ashworld contain many places of interest – especially noteworthy are various temples, from those occupied by servants of wizards’ orders which provide magic services, to ancient abandoned ruins where valuable magic items can be found. Outside the territories where humans reside other races live who may become important allies if persuaded to join the war.

Among the game’s features:

- an open-world environment where exploration supplements strategic planning and tactical decisions
- easy management of resources
- hand drawn graphics in the style of classic, golden age, illustration
- designed to cater for custom scenarios/modding

I particularly like the golden age illustration style–it’s very classy. And hey, what do you know: there’s a trailer!

Legions of Ashworld is now out on Windows and Mac. You can snag it direct from the developer for €9.99 (approximately $13.62 as of today). Checks Out Tales Of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf

Riva Celso, the man behind the proverbial curtain at Winter Wolves Games,was good enough to provide me with a beta build of his upcoming jRPG Tales Of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf (last covered here). The results, as per usual, are documented in video form below:

So! What did I think?


Tales Of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf announced

Seasons of the WolfWinter Wolves Games, prolific creator of such titles as Planet Stronghold and Loren the Amazon Princess, has announced a new jRPG called Tales Of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf.

The premise:

In this role-playing game, set in the same fantasy world as the award-winning Loren the Amazon princess, you’ll play as Shea or Althea, twins from the far-away village Ninim. In just the course of one year, you will experience many storylines and sidequests; situations and events where your own choices influence the very end of the game.

The twins’ tale starts on a day like many others, when one of the siblings finds a young wolf and decides to take it with him/her. Thus begins the long journey which will take the siblings from the ice-shrouded Ninim to the desert-wrapped city of Dingirra to the storm-shrouded port of Shacklesplit. Explore the-corruption riddled halls of Dingirra, and contest with the crimelords who claim it as their own domain. Sail the high seas, battle mighty pirates, and discover their hidden treasures!

The feature list:

  • Fantasy RPG set in the world of Aravorn, like Loren The Amazon Princess
  • Play as male (Shea) or female (Althea)
  • Four characters to romance: Krimm, Riley, Jariel or Chalassa
  • 8 unique party members each one with different skills
  • Advanced isometric tileset maps for a bigger world to explore

Riva Celso, the main guy behind Winter Wolves Games, has created a video showing off various aspects of the game:

Every Winter Wolves title I’ve seen is for Windows, Mac and Linux, and this one is no exception. Celso has estimated that Seasons of the Wolf will most likely be finished and released some time in the next 3-4 months (though it may take a few more months than that). While we wait, I think I’ll be giving the beta version a look to see what I can see! You can currently pick up the beta version for $24.99 direct from the official page. Checks Out Deity Quest

So! Deity Quest. I’ve posted about it a couple of times now, and with the developers generously forwarding me a copy of the game, I figured it was high time I tried it out for myself. The results follow:

So, what’d I think?


Aeon of Sands announced

Aeon of Sands The TrailWord reaches me that there’s a new first-person dungeon delver in development by Two Bits Kid (a two-person team consisting of Marco Pedrana and Florian Fischer). The game is Aeon of Sands, and its first chapter is called “The Trail.”

The premise:

“The Trail” is the first chapter of the Aeon series, in which you follow a young city clerk on his adventures in a world under two suns, between the life they nurture and the ruin they bring. The clerk Setrani is unwillingly sent on a critical mission, searching for a missing diplomatic caravan in the most dangerous territory. Will he track it down in time to save his precious dome city and its sacred tree, or will this prideful outpost of humanity be claimed by the sands, and by what lurks in the desert’s hot dark heart?

The developers state that Aeon of Sands will be real-time and story-driven, with unique (presumably branching) role-playing choices. The devs compare the overall experience to something like Eye of the Beholder or Dungeon Master.

AoS is planned to have hand-painted visuals, more than 20 dungeons, more than 30 monsters and bosses, more than 300 item types, and “more than 150 illustrated scenes for plot nodes.” You can see what they’re going for graphically in the screenshots below.

Aeon of Sands is planned for release early next year for Windows, Mac and Linux. Checks Out Secrets of Grindea

Some of my more veteran readers may remember me posting about a very exciting-looking cooperative aRPG with some strong visual influences from The Secret of Mana. That was some three years ago, about a game is called Secrets of Grindea. Recently, SoG developers Pixel Ferrets reached out to me with a beta build of the game. After I finished shrieking in delight and frightening all animals within a three-block radius, I immediately decided that I must play it and record the results. My first impressions follow:

So! What’d I think?


New release: Deity Quest

Deity QuestRemember when I posted about Deity Quest last month? David Maletz writes in to announce the game’s release.

The premise, in case you’ve forgotten:

Deity Quest is a light-hearted, pokemon-inspired RPG where you play as an ambitious young god, recently assigned to a world – Aberos – to convert followers and gain power. Your goal is to become the Overgod, the highest position among the many gods of Aberos. Develop your divine magic, support your followers in fast-paced 6 vs. 6 battles, adventure through locations, and compete with other deities in your quest to reach the top!

Though the game is inspired by Pokemon, battles are 6 versus 6 rather than the 1-on-1 affairs Pokemon is known for. You can see how this looks in the trailer:

As you progress through the game, the developers state that you’ll gain new magic based upon your character’s alignment, as well as converting new followers to your cause. (There are reportedly 128 different follower types to convert, so that should keep you busy for a good while.)

Deity Quest is available for PC in two flavors: basic and extended (the latter of which has multiplayer and trading features). You can snag the basic version for $8, or the extended version for $10, for Windows, Mac, and Linux direct from the developer. There is a free browser demo available on Newgrounds. You can also get the game on Android for $5; the Android version has a free demo available here.

Back to Back: indie RPGs to check out

Welcome once again to Back to Back, our periodic review of all that is indie, RPG, and in search of crowdfunding!

Of those games whose campaigns ended since our last edition, Apexicon succeeded, as did  Legends of Persia, Serpent in the Staglands, and (thanks to an impressive last-minute rally) Treachery in Beatdown City. Only Flying Hamster II, The Great Gaias and Prisonscape failed to hit their goals.

Already, we have a new batch of challengers up and ready to go:


Courier announced

CourierAdam Prack writes in to announce Courier, a Zelda-alike in development by curiously Biblical-sounding company Adam Creations.

The premise:

The Kingdom of Veilend (the land of Courier) has fresh memories of a war they fought against a neighboring kingdom to defend their lands. Attacks start surfacing that appear just as the attacks that led to the previous war, so tensions rise and a lowly mail carrier attempts to find the real truth behind it all.

Courier reminds me a bit of Bloom, in that the main character has no attacks, only defensive abilities. In the words of Prack, it eschews combat in favor of “environmental obstacles, puzzles, and helping people.” He specifies:

You’ll have the ability to block and dodge as the adventure goes on (both are unlocked abilities), but attacks are not available.  There are no random battles, no menu-based battles, and only a small amount of enemies.  These play out more as mini-boss or boss battles.  These range from defeating the enemies with the environment or making them inadvertently defeat themselves.

You character collects stamps to increase his maximum health, and in true Zelda fashion, these are scattered throughout the game world in hidden locations.

Here’s a trailer that should hopefully get the idea across:

Courier is currently planned for release on Windows, Mac, Linux and WiiU in 2015. Courier is on Kickstarter–Prack still plans to releasde the game if it fails to secure funding, though the development will be significantly delayed.

DracinMorte announced

DracinMorteGregory Johns writes in to tell me about DracinMorte, a gothic 3D action RPG in development by Mad Labyrinth Studios.

The premise:

The story revolves around the main character who is a Necromancer King that runs one factions of many in the underworlds. The other factions band together and remove him from his throne leaving his powerless and near death. The souls that he cares for being a king and a necromancer save his life and offer him aide throughout the game. He now has to forge new alliances with new undead summons, who are your companions throughout the game, as he fights to regain his throne.

Design-wise, it seems that the lion’s share of the thought lavished on DracinMorte so far has been focused on skill systems. Skills feature Diablo 2-style “synergy,” in that points put into lower-tier skills will still effect marginal improvement in higher-tier versions of that skill. Disarming traps gives you materials that can be used in crafting, and quests will have branching paths based upon dialog choices–and certain dialog-focused skills, such as Sense Motive, will give you more options in that arena.

The game can be played in both first and third person modes. The pre-alpha combat demo mostly just shows it in third person, however:

Dracinmorte is on Kickstarter; the developers assure me they’ll be sticking with development (albeit much more slowly) if the campaign fails. Given the game’s enormous $120,000 funding goal, I think it’s good that they have a Plan B in place.

Mad Labyrinth hope to have the game out for Windows, Mac and Linux by late summer 2016. In the meantime, you can play the game’s pre-alpha demo to try it out yourself.