Latest Publications

New release: FreeCell Quest

FreeCell Quest
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Bryan Livingston of indie house Legend Studio writes in to announce the release of FreeCell Quest, which is basically an RPG that employs the famous solitaire variant in place of combat.

The premise:

When an archmage takes control of the entire continent of Selvarin, the world’s most powerful wizards try and fail to defeat him in battle. You are a young wizard, a master of cards, and you may have what it takes to outwit him.

The better you play, the stronger you become. Get heroic loot and collect cards to unlock new free cells. Level up to become more powerful and gain amazing skills. Travel across a vast and mysterious land, playing game after game as you prepare for your final battle.

Here’s a trailer:

Livingston lists the game’s features as follows:

  • Play free cell battles with up to 8 suits of cards.
  • Gain rewards and experience from your victories.
  • Find and buy awesome loot to become more powerful.
  • Learn spells to help you with the difficult challenges.
  • Collect cards to unlock more free cells.
  • Dodge attacks coming from buried cards by uncovering them.
  • Enjoy exploring a huge world with over 500 unique towns on your epic quest of card sorting!

“Epic quest of card-sorting.” Sure, why not?

FreeCell Quest is available for Windows on Steam at a $4.99 price point (there’s a 15% discount during launch week in case $5 somehow strikes you as too steep). FreeCell Quest also comes in a free-to-play mobile incarnation for Android and Windows Phone.

Zombasite enters early access

Zombasite
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Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment writes in to announce the early access release of Zombasite, his take on the azombie apocalypse through the lens of an evolving, dynamic, procedurally generated fantasy world.

The premise:

Zombasite is a nasty, voracious, all-consuming Zombie Parasite. It doesn’t just reanimate the dead into mindless zombies. It is intelligent, insatiable, and unstoppable—infecting and killing the living, spreading faster and in more ways, helping the dead utilize many of their original skills, and mutating the dead with new powers. Dark elf zombies are terrifying!

So what does this have to do with you? You are the leader of a clan trying to survive the apocalypse. This is easier said than done. When a follower dies, they can’t be saved by any means. The Zombasite is highly contagious and zombies are quickly ravaging the world’s surface. Food is a critical resource that must be obtained. Vendors are rare and have limited supplies. Some of the stronger monsters have survived and are as dangerous as ever. Clans of humans and monsters are fighting over what few supplies are left.  Even within your own clan it isn’t safe. Humans living on the edge are even more unstable than usual. So yeah, survival isn’t easy.

And in case you missed it from last week, here’s the latest trailer:

Peeler summarizes the game’s features as follows:

* Survive the zombie apocalypse in a fantasy world
* Experience uniquely created worlds for every game, with different areas, monsters, items, and quests
* Explore a dynamic, evolving, living world
* Lead a clan of followers who have their own personalities and skills
* Navigate relationships with rival clans using diplomacy, trade, war, and raids
* Adventure with your friends with co-op multiplayer
* Your choices truly impact the game!

You can pick up the current version of the game direct from the developer or on Steam early access for $14.99. (The game will increase in price to $19.99 when it sees its final release.) Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Darkest Dungeon release date announced

Darkest Dungeon
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Word reaches me that Darkest Dungeon–available on Steam Early Access for some time now–has finally gotten a firm date for its official release.

That date is January 19, 2016. So now you know!

New release: The Age of Decadence

Age of Decadence
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Iron Tower Studio has at long last released The Age of Decadence, one of the most highly (and lengthily!) anticipated indie wRPGs to come down the pike in quite some time.

The premise:

The Age of Decadence is not a game about killing monsters or exploring mystical lands, but rather, surviving amid the greed and brutality of your fellow humans and carving out a name for yourself. Good and bad are purely relative. It’s a world of scheming and backstabbing in which your words and actions have the potential to forge alliances and sow discord, and your path is never certain.

You get to play with seven different factions: three Noble Houses and four ‘professional’ guilds: merchants, assassins, thieves, and the army, all fighting for power or influence; over 100 named characters, over 750 ‘generic’ characters with unique IDs taking part in violent take-overs, assassinations, and power grabs, and over 600,000 words of dialogue: a well-developed and thought through world, believable characters, realistic motivations, but no elves, dwarves, magic, and wizards in fashionable, pointy hats.

As you may recall, I checked out a beta version of the game almost a year ago–this should give you a pretty good sense of what to expect. Or, if you want something quicker and less in-depth, this release trailer should do:

The Age of Decadence is $29.99; you can snag it direct from the developers, from Steam, or from GamersGate. Windows only.

New release: Royal Bounty HD

Royal Bounty
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Remember Palm Kingdoms 3 (covered here)? Three-man Bulgarian studio iosoftware Ltd. hasn’t released it yet, but they have released an entirely different fantasy strategy game by the name of Royal Bounty HD.

“Royal Bounty?” you say. “Heyyyy, waitaminute, that sounds just like–” Yeah, it does! And as it happens, the developers are quite up-front about being inspired by the old 1990 classic King’s Bounty.

The premise:

You are an adventurer named Jim, just out of the island prison. How you ended up like this is unknown. You have no gold and no army. Angry Cell Guard is chasing your heels. What a difficult situation! Your first quest is get away from the maze and find a ship. But it is just a beginning of the story. Your road lies across four huge continents, inhabited by a variety of monsters. You are going to visit a desert, frozen lands, go through woods and towns, and in the finale meet your old friend, The Master. En route you’ll have to earn money and gather an army to face him fully equipped. Nevertheless, you will still need a helping hand from Dragons.

Sounds like as good an excuse to run around, building up an army and laying waste as any! Frankly, though, I don’t know how I feel about the conqueror of the known world being named “Jim.”

Anyway, here’s a trailer:

And here’s their feature list:

  • gorgeous, unmatched, top-class pixel art
  • true hardcore gameplay like back in the 90’s
  • 180 creature types in your army
  • long plot featuring several endings
  • tons of quests
  • well polished user interface

Based on screenshots, I’m just going to go ahead and guess that this game features a combat system reminiscent of the older Heroes and Might and Magic titles.

Royal Bounty HD is quite cheap; you can snag it for a mere $5.00 from a number of places: on Steam for Windows or Mac; direct from the developers for Windows, Mac, or Android; or on the Apple app store for iOS. (The devs tell me that the continued development of Palm Kingdoms 3 depends upon whether this game does well, in case that influences your decision to buy.)

Divinia Chronicles: Relics of Gan-Ti enters early access

Divinia Chronicles
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Martin Sander of German developer Team Monkey has written in to announce that 3D over-the-shoulder action RPG Divinia Chronicles: Relics of Gan-Ti (previously covered here) has now been released on Steam Early Access.

The premise, in case you forgot:

A long time ago at the peak of the High Kingdom of Pandura, a group of seers looked into legends of a powerful force believed to be the origin of life; this they called ‘Gan’, though modern peoples know it as ‘Divinia’. The ancients sought to utilize Gan as a weapon; in doing so, their perverse intentions spawned the malignant ‘Gan-Ti’, or ‘anti-life’. Infusing Gan-Ti into artifacts, the godlike High Kings ruled the Panduran Archipelago with an iron fist. Eventually, rebellion arose and the Order of Archkeepers was formed of the most noble warriors to free the people. They managed to capture the relics of Gan-Ti and cast them into the fiery pits of Mt. Suvius near the shores of Oria island. With the evil power of the relics suppressed, the monsters that terrorized the countryside were slain and the old Kings overthrown. Peace had come. As of late, however, rumblings have been heard from Mt. Suvius, and the wise have come to fear an eruption. With a reckless young King having just assumed the throne of Oria, will the powers of Gan-Ti again fall into the hands of the most powerful, or can a new force arise to combat the inevitable?

Here’s the latest trailer:

Sander lists the game’s features as follows:

  • Indie Action-RPG with a story driven campaign, inspired by SNES classics
  • Explore a rich and detailed 3d fantasy world
  • Fast-paced 3rd person combat and magic system
  • Challenging dungeons and puzzles to solve
  • Full game-pad support
  • Original soundtrack
  • Unique, vibrant art-style
  • NO always-online, NO micro-transactions

The game as it now stands features only the first three chapters (one of which is a dungeon and another of which is the prologue). There is clearly still a lot of content left to be made, but the developers are enticing people to buy early by implementing a pricing structure in which the game will cost more and more as it progresses toward completion.

Divinia Chronicles is currently $14.99 on Steam; Windows only.

Movie night: Zombasite

You know what we haven’t had in a while (and by “a while,” I mean “two entire years”)? Movie night, that’s what! Settle in, folks, and let’s watch a  video!

Here’s the first sneak peek at Soldak Entertainment’s up-and-coming zombie aRPG Zombasite (previously covered here):

New release: The Legacy of Isaelius

The Legacy of Isaelius
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Jack Lambermont writes in to announce the release of his new action RPG inspired by Zelda II. Its name? The Legacy of Isaelius.

The premise is pretty damned straightforward:

Take control of Dimitri, and seek revenge for the murder of your best bud, Isaelius.

Lambermont writes that The Legacy of Isaelius features towns, sidescrolling platforming / combat levels, loot, shops, bosses, and so on.

Here’s a trailer:

The game may be a bit rough in its visual presentation, but that’s pretty understandable given that Lambermont began developing this in high school. Moreover, it’s free, so you really can’t complain too much.

Get The Legacy of Isaelius for zero dollars via the game’s itch.io page; Windows and Mac.

New release: Shiny Gauntlet

Shiny Gauntlet
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Hey! Remember that action roguelike-like I just wrote about two days ago, Shiny Gauntlet? It’s out now!

The game’s description and feature set hasn’t changed since Tuesday, so I’ll just let you re-read that earlier post for the basic details.

The new info concerns how and where to get it: Shiny Gauntlet is available on The Humble Store and on itch.io for $7.99–Windows, Mac, and Linux. There’s a free demo available on the itch.io page so you can try before you buy.

In addition to buying the thing, if this game sounds like your cup of tea, you can also vote for it on Steam Greenlight to make it available on Steam as well.

Dungeonsmans Fightamin D Expansion released

Dungeonmans
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Andrew Aversa writes in to announce the release of a free “Fightamin D” expansion for the graphical roguelike Dungeonmans.

In case you forgot, I did a first impressions bit on the game here–but for now, suffice it to say that I like this game a whole lot. This expansion doesn’t add in the particular things that I was most dearly wishing for (namely, dynamic events on the world map), but it does add a whole bunch of other new things that are pretty hard to argue with:

* Steam achievements, trading cards, backgrounds & badges

* New outdoor dungeon type: Fallen Castles

* New monster-crushing implements: bare hands, shortbows, piercing polearms and more

* A variety of new magical, cursed, and legendary items scattered throughout the land

* All-new class – the Psychomanser – with new skill trees and abilities

* Full controller support

* New postgame content: the Amaranth Pandemonium

* Updated and rebalanced abilities across the board

* New artwork, character sprites, and tiles

Dungeonmans is doing the same thing Coin Crypt is, bundling the new expansion as a free update to the core game, which is currently on sale–33% off–until October 3rd. Snag it on Steam, or without the discount via The Humble Store; Windows only.