Explore 10 unique dungeons scattered throughout a massive randomly generated world.
Take advantage of many different items and weapons.
Improve your skills, become a legendary warrior, and vanquish the Evil God.
Defend your flock of sheep against hordes of enemies in Survival mode.
Something about the game’s visual appearance makes me think of it as a much more ambitious, RPG version of Gauntlet, albeit minus the monster generators and constant weapon throwing. Take a look:
Shepherd Slaughter has been out since last year, but was recently updated with a variety of improvements. You can grab a free Windows or Linux demo to try it out–the full game is $3.00 through the developer or on Desura.
Now this is a game to watch. See that map to the right? That’s procedurally generated. But that’s not even the half of it.
Cult: Awakening of the Old Ones is ridiculously ambitious. Not only does this roguelike procedurally generate the entire world, the developer also aims to procedurally generate all of the characters and narratives that populate it. Here is how the developer describes it:
Cult is an open-ended role-playing game set in a user-generated world with a strong focus on storytelling, exploration, and environmental interaction.
Dialogue, the personal stories of the various characters you meet, cultural anecdotes, and even the mythology of each world will be generated from scratch. Conceptually, it’s fairly simple – I plan on writing many, many different possibilities for each different thematic element of the game to explore, so that each character, story, and personal exchange you make will seem organically unique.
The developer cites Dwarf Fortress as an influence, but he’s clearly aiming for hard narrative with comments like, “I want Cult to be something of a combination between playing a game and reading a fantasy novel.”
I admit to some skepticism. This sort of procedural storytelling has eluded the games industry for many years; legendary developer Chris Crawford has chased that white whale–without success–for decades. So I don’t believe for a fraction of a second that there’s anything “simple” about doing this. With that said, however, I’m highly interested to see what this developer comes up with. Here is where he’s at as of his last developer video, released last month:
Posted in June 11, 2012 ¬ 9:30 amh.Craig Stern1 Comment »
I could have sworn I’d posted about Cardinal Quest before, but I can’t seem to find it in the archives. Shame on me! But hey–better late than never, right?
I’m not going to quote the developer’s description here, as it’s really inaccurate (he compares the game to arcade games like Gauntlet and Golden Axe, which I can assure you it bears no resemblance to.)
No, friends: Cardinal Quest is a polished but decidedly lo-fi graphical roguelike with streamlined inventory management (read: your items and equipment largely manage themselves without the need for your constant intervention). Cardinal Quest features permadeath, but it’s deferred–you get a second chance the first time you screw up. Beyond that, it’s a standard turn-based, grid-based dungeon crawl that happens to sport some very satisfying sound design.
See for yourself:
Cardinal Quest has been out in free browser-based form for the better part of a year now, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is a $5.00 paid version of the game on Windows, Mac and Linux, now joined by $1.99 mobile versions with yesterday’s simultaneous release of the game on Android and on iOS.
Doom & Destiny is a conventional Japanese style RPG with an unconventional mood. It tells the adventures of four nerdy friends trapped in a fantasy realm populated by cliché, strange characters and weirder villains. Mistaken for heroes they will take a long journey through dangers and mysteries to reveal the evil plot of Unnamed and his shady lieutenant. Will our heroes be able to find their way home without losing themselves in laughs and bad jokes?
Fight alongside Johnny, Nigel, Mike and Francis in many different locations from lava-filled dungeons to icy peaks : the new battle system encourages new game strategies giving the player the possibility to choose the party leader and simple battle tactics. Cast powerful fireballs with Nigel, quickly backstab unaware enemies with Francis, summon powerful Noodle Gods to heal your friends with Mike or slash your opponent to pieces with Johnny’s powerful sword. The fate of Destiny’s empire is in your hands.
As you can see from the trailer below, Doom & Destiny uses RPG Maker’s generic tile and character sets, but it seems pretty well-justified by the plot.
Two Fedoras strongly recommends this game, comparing it to the well-received Breath of Death VII and Cthulu Saves the World. Doom & Destiny costs 240 points on XBox Live Indie Games, with a free demo available in case you feel the need to try it out before dropping those three measly dollars. There is no PC release at present, but perhaps that will change? co-developer Benjamin Ficus confirms that a PC version is scheduled for release by the end of summer.
James Pawliuk, the man behind developer Wispora, has created an iOS-exclusive, sci-fi tactical RPG by the name of LostStar Tactics. The premise is nothing if not simplistic:
Crashed on a dangerous planet, your small band of brave warriors must use their tactical cunning to survive as they explore this mysterious world.
That’s pretty much it, narrative-wise. The mechanics, however, hold a lot more interest. Characters are subject to a stamina system, replenished by resting for a turn. Most units have a set of skills determined by their class, but your commander draws moves at random from a customizable deck of cards within each battle.
You can get LostStar Tactics on the Apple App Store. It appears to be on sale for $0.99 right now, though there’s no mention of what the game costs normally. Here’s a TouchArcade review to assist you in deciding whether to buy, as well as a 12-minute gameplay video:
If that wasn’t enough, consider grabbing the game’s free demo to try it out for yourself.
Posted in June 6, 2012 ¬ 8:40 amh.Craig Stern1 Comment »
There’s a fair bit of news about Dungeons of Dredmor this week: a new patch, a sale on the game, and perhaps most importantly, a free expansion that you have to name yourself. I quote:
In celebration of its Steam Workshop support and mod support, Gaslamp Games has teamed up with bold Dwarven Fanlords from the Modding Community to bring you a new expansion pack for Dungeons of Dredmor. Featuring a swarm of new items, enemies, rooms, skills, and things to generally make your life Better and/or More Full of Death, this completely free expansion takes Dredmor, makes it better, and lures you back to your computer with its siren song. Just one more game wouldn’t hurt, would it? And it’s free. The first one’s always free.
The only catch? We couldn’t think of a good title, so we left you some work to do before you start playing.
That’s right. You Have To Name The Expansion Pack.
The continent of Elcaea’s most notable feature – more notable than its beautiful mountains, rivers, and gulfs – is the corruption that stains every cobblestone, runs down every wall, and leaks from every faucet. This is thanks in no small part to national leaders who sweat bile at the thought of doing something venerable.
The citizens of Elcaea detest this corruption, and they’d sooner approach a cloaked, hooded figure wearing a necklace of bones than someone in a business suit. Six of these citizens try to make a difference in a world where the word citizen is a pejorative.
Unfortunately for them, there’s no turning point. There’s no magic spell that’ll make it all better. There isn’t even a villain to murder in the name of justice. These individuals came too late to save a world brought to a slow boil by the blunders of the privileged.
But they’re resourceful. They’ll make up for lost time.
Alcarys Complex features a Secret of Mana-like combat system, as well as a few unique features that help it stand out. Notably, killing enemies does not give characters experience points in this game; rather, characters advance by “speaking to NPCs and progressing in the story.”
Also interesting is this game’s twist on the old dialog tree conversation system. Rather than selecting particular responses in a conversation, you select which character in your party will speak. You won’t know ahead of time who will say what, meaning that you’re forced to make judgments in light of your party members’ respective personalities.
Alcarys Complex already has a beta demo available for you to try (Windows only). While that’s downloading, why not get a load of this tastefully scored trailer?
Alcarys Complex will be seeing a Windows release in July, with a Mac release to follow later this year. The game is set to retail for $20.
Robert DellaFave writes in to announce a new jRPG project by the name of Hiro Fodder: A Blue Hope, in development by Divergent Games. Hiro Fodder is satirical, starring a furious Blue Slime out to avenge the indiscriminate slaughter of his people by a long succession of human adventurers. From the email:
A dramedy of sorts, Hiro Fodder tells the story of a solitary blue slime and his quest for revenge against stereotypical heroes who use his kind as a leveling device. Along the way Hiro parties with three other unlikely heroes including Murmet, a targeting dummy brought to life, Kaemon, mighty warrior of the Guins and Aixyno, a baby, female whelp.
There exists no website for the game yet, only a Facebook page. However, the game does have a trailer out already. Behold:
Hiro Fodder is currently running a Kickstarter campaign (DellaFave intends to eventually finish the game with his own money if the campaign doesn’t pan out–thus, this counts as a proper game announcement). Assuming the Kickstarter campaign goes well, they’re aiming for a Windows and Mac release in January 2013, with the possibility of XBLIG, iOS and Android ports.
Symphony of Eternity is another one of those jRPGs that actually originate in Japan. Another Kemco game, SoE is pretty old by mobile standards, with a copyright dating back as far as 2009. Kemco released an English translation sometime early in 2011 for Android, with a more-or-less contemporaneous iOS release alongside.
The narrative for Symphony of Eternity is…well, just read:
This story mainly includes two factor: One is the quest for a legendary weapon “Regratlute” which makes its bearer’s desires come true.
The hero Kreist is the cool guy who’re willing to get the weapon and take the happy golden years, rescuing his concerned people with the power of Regratlute. His friend Dauturu is the hot-hearted ancient golem who agrees Kreist’s dream.
Another factor is the coup d’etat of Eashtend kingdom. Honesty and kind king, queen, ladies and gentlemen in the royal family are totally killed by the traitor, lady Safario with the dark desire to conquer whole the world.
This two storyline becomes into one stream when Laishutia who says she is the escaped princess of Eashtend royal family encounters Kreist and Dauturu. To get back the Eashtend from traiter’s clutch, they decide to be a party to seek Regratlute and defeat the traitors.
Sooo, uh, you know: this one isn’t going to win any awards for writing. Perhaps the trailer will do a better job of swaying you?
You can pick up Symphony of Eternity for $2.99 on Android via Google Play or Amazon, or for $8.99 on iPhone / iPad via the Apple App Store. (I fully admit to not understanding Kemco’s pricing schema at all.) Gamezebo has a review of the Android version that may help you make up your mind, though you should bear in mind that the game has been patched multiple times since this review went live.