Latest Publications

Open Beta: Rogue’s Tale

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image-3700‘s aptly named roguelike RPG, Rogue’s Tale, has entered open beta after being in development since 2009. This the second phase of the game’s open beta, which will end sometime in January 2013. Even though the game is in beta, it is playable from beginning to end and is in the very final stages of development. The game’s creators hope to release the full version of Rogue’s Tale in early 2013.

Rogue’s Tale is freeware for now and while it is a single-player game, it does require an in-game registration in order to play. You can download the stand-alone client, but you are also able to download and host a server of your own in case the the server goes down.

I just want to add that I have really been enjoying this game personally. It has some pretty graphics and silky smooth gameplay with deceptive amounts of depth to it. However, let me warn you, this game is hard. I don’t mean that Rogue’s Tale is difficult because it is a roguelike either. Rogue’s Tale is hands-down one of the toughest roguelikes I have ever played. Still, none of my deaths in the game have felt particularly unfair and I feel that Rogue’s Tale is certainly worth a look.

Download the Rogue’s Tale beta here to get started and feel free to report any bugs to!


New release: Spellshard: The Black Crown or Horgoth

Hello there indie RPG fans! My name is Jordan/jackal27 and I’ll be helping Craig out with while he’s handling his Kickstarter this month! Craig has been gone for a few days now and if you’re anything like me, you’re already slobbering for a new indie RPG to sink your teeth into. Well, have I got a (free) treat for you.

While Spellshard: The Black Crown of Horgoth may not exactly be a brand new game (it was released over a year ago), it has received very little attention from what I’ve seen. Spellshard is a post-apocalyptic NES-styled console jRPG that was developed over the course of 9 years and built using the OHRRPGCE construction engine.

Your knee-jerk reaction might be to write Spellshard off as yet another “8-bit” indie RPG ripping graphics and music from the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, but you would be sorely mistaken. Everything in Spellshard is built from the ground up. From its graphics and music, to the monsters and loot, Spellshard is a completely original game.

The story:

After 1000 years of peace and prosperity, an ancient evil arises once again… The land has been stricken with an evil curse and the eight Lords of Decay have returned to undo millennia of scientific progress… In order to restore the lost technology, a group of young heroes have come forth to challenge the Lords of Decay and their daemonic hordes…

Developers Shizuma and KF Harlock (who also developed the recent Dungeonmen: Men of Dungeons) describe Spellshard as offering “…around 30-40 hours of gameplay, a robust branching class system, and hopefully, an all-around fun and engaging experience.”

Spellshard certainly has that NES-era Final Fantasy feel to it, but the game really stands on its own as well. It’s a shame that Spellshard hasn’t received more attention, especially given how much time and energy went into it. This one was built with a lot of love. Spellshard: The Black Crown of Horgoth is currently available for Windows at the low, low price of free! Download it and give it a try.


A short hiatus

Hello, folks! I’m posting to announce that I’ll be taking a short hiatus from

I didn’t want to do this, but guess what? It turns out that developing a game, working full time, running a Kickstarter campaign, and being the only person running this site daily are simply too many things for me to handle at once. (It’s hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.)

To tide you over until my triumphant return, please enjoy some articles and reviews I’ve written in the past!

Meanwhile, if you (or someone you know) is interested in contributing new content while I’m on hiatus, please shoot me an email.




Dark Scavenger soundtrack released

Kyle Perry of Psydra Games writes in to announce the release of the Dark Scavenger original soundtrack:

Featuring music from Harmonix’s Joe Kelly and alumni Alex Gold, the Dark Scavenger soundtrack boasts over 15 original songs, including an exclusive bonus medley!

Dark Scavenger, for those of you who missed our original coverage of the game, is a profoundly (and delightfully) bizarre sci-fi RPG / adventure game mash-up.

Truth be told, I recall little about the game’s music except that much of it was ludicrously upbeat. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed the boss battle theme; I seem to remember that one being pretty solid. I also recall being mildly annoyed by the regular battle theme–it combined sparse instrumentation and MIDI-ish string samples in a fashion that inflamed the Music Critic portion of my brain in a most disagreeable way.

In short, I suspect that this one will be a mixed bag, with both worthwhile tracks and at least one song that will not be making it onto the playlist. Frankly, I’ll have to properly listen to the thing and refresh my recollection before I can make a recommendation one way or the other. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for me to do that: Bandcamp allows you to listen to the album and decide for yourself whether you like it before you buy!

The OST is available for $2.99 both direct from the developer and via Bandcamp. (Bandcamp offers a pretty generous revenue split, but I suspect that Psydra Games will see more of the money if you buy direct from them.)

Oh, one last thing: the devs were generous enough to provide a free copy of the soundtrack to give out to one of our lucky readers. Watch Twitter; I’ll be giving it away in a few hours!

Telepath Tactics alpha demo released

Telepath Tactics, the up-coming tactical RPG for Windows, Mac and Linux from Sinister Design, has just gotten a free alpha demo showing off some of the game’s mechanics.

The demo consists of a short tutorial, followed by a fairly large single player battle which involves crossing a river to capture a heavily guarded fort / weapons depot.

You can grab the Windows demo right here; the Mac and Linux version is here. (Note: the Mac and Linux one requires AIR; Linux users should grab that here.)

While I’m on the subject of Telepath Tactics, this trailer was recently released rattling off the game’s features and showing gameplay clips:

Telepath Tactics is currently in alpha, and running a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for additional graphics, sounds, and other content. The demo release is designed to help draw in backers. If you like what you see in the demo, feel free to go back the game.

New release: The Fleet

Jason Hill writes in to announce the release of The Fleet, the latest text-based RPG / Choose-Your-Own-Adventure hybrid using the Choice of Games engine.

Created by Jonathan Valuckas, The Fleet offers the following premise:

Take back your home world from alien invaders! Forge an Intergalactic Alliance (with untrustworthy allies) to reclaim your planet; blast your way to victory with an ever-expanding arsenal. Will you sacrifice civilian lives to exact vengeance on your enemies?

For example, in deep space, you’ll encounter an enemy base, where alien military scientists are building weaponized AI drone ships, in violation of intergalactic treaties. But the aliens are stationed there with workers and their families; if you attack civilians unilaterally, it will jeopardize your reputation with the nascent Intergalactic Alliance. What will you do?

A) Destroy the entire production facility, killing alien civilians in the process.
B) Destroy the shipyard full of drones, allowing the enemy to rebuild the facility.
C) Just defend your own civilians from incoming drones.

The choice is yours. Will you return home as the president of a puppet state, a prisoner of war, or a military dictator? Will you even recognize home when you get there?

It reminds me a bit of Choice of the Star Captain, but much less campy in tone.

You can grab the game for $2.99 on iOS, on Android, or via the Google Chrome store. You can also check out a free demo right here to see if it’s your speed.

New release: Drox Operative

Steven Peeler writes in to announce that Drox Operative has just been released.

For those of you unfamiliar, Drox Operative is a sci-fi, outer space take on the Diablo-alike subgenre. It features procedurally generated galaxies, procedurally generated quests, and ever-evolving factional alliances to navigate in real-time. Here’s the plot premise:

Eons ago the Drox ruled the galaxy through their mighty Operatives. These elite starship captains were trained to accomplish the impossible at whatever cost necessary. Whether employing stealth or brute force, they were always deadly. Using these Operatives, the Drox built a starlane system for quick travel amongst the stars, colonized and conquered millions of planets, and ruled the galaxy with an iron grip for over 100,000 years. Eventually realizing their Operatives were a threat, they attempted to assassinate all of them. They failed. The following Galactic Civil War was devastating.

Thousands of years later, the Drox are extinct, but the secretive Drox Operative guild lives on. They have learned their lesson though: loyalty to any one race is foolish. They now work for whoever can pay. And pay they do! Empires might span hundreds of planets and thousands of ships, but when a critical task arises, they still turn to an Operative.

In the new space race, the major races are scouting, colonizing, and expanding, trying to take over the galaxy by diplomacy, technology, war, or any other means their scheming minds can contemplate.

As a Drox Operative it’s NOT your job to manage all of those annoying people, build thousands of buildings, play nice with your enemies, or balance the budget. It IS your job to pick the winning side and maybe even help them conquer the galaxy if you’re being nice, more importantly though is to rake in as many credits as possible, well that and build the coolest, deadliest ship in the known universe. Not many screw with an Operative captaining a Dreadnaught!

Here is a trailer showing what some of this looks like:

In addition to a near-limitless variety of single player scenarios, Drox Operative offers co-op multiplayer. Pretty cool, all in all.

Drox Operative is available right now for $19.99 direct from the developer; that $19.99 nets both a Windows and a Mac version of the game. There’s also a free demo to try before you buy, available right here.

Pier Solar HD announced

Here’s an interesting one. Pier Solar is a 16-bit indie jRPG with a major Lunar: The Silver Star / Lunar 2: Eternal Blue vibe, created and released for the Sega Genesis on an actual, custom cartridge back in 2010. The developers incorrectly state that it was the only game to do so in the new millenium: in fact, a pair of indie RPGs–The Beggar Prince and Legend of Wukong–beat them to it in 2007 and 2008, respectively. That said, it’s still pretty damned impressive that developer Watermelon Co. managed to pull off an indie Sega Genesis cartridge release.

This post isn’t about the original Pier Solar, though: it’s about an HD remake that has just been announced. Here’s the relevant background: on November 5, WaterMelon Co. launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of an HD remake of Pier Solar. That campaign just today reached its Kickstarter funding goal, which means that the remake is now officially in the works for (and I quote) “Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux & Sega Dreamcast.”

The HD remake hasn’t been created yet, obviously, but you can check out gameplay footage of the original Pier Solar to get a sense of the game:

The HD remake, by contrast, is set to feature an odd mixture of high definition 2D environments and chunky, pixelated character sprites. Here are some screenshots:

Pier Solar HD is planned for a December 2013 release.

Also, worth noting: RPGGamer recently interviewed one of the developers; I suggest you give it a read if you’re curious to learn more about the game and its background.

Caravaneer 2 announced

This is exciting news (if quite late). In a terse post some months back on the News section of Sugar Free Games, Dmitry Zheltobriukhov announced that a sequel to the excellent post-apocalyptic wRPG Caravaneer is in the works. This sequel has evidently been in production since June 18th of this year.

The original Caravaneer has been around since 2007. An intense, open-ended post-apocalyptic survival RPG with solid party-based tactical combat and surprisingly good economic simulation mechanics, Caravaneer was the second game I ever reviewed on this site.

Even without knowing any details of the forthcoming sequel, I believe its announcement would be news well worth posting. However, a bit of digging around on Facebook managed to turn up a few more snippets of information:

  • The (hand-painted!) title screen art is shown above.
  • The dialog system is in-game and working.
  • Caravaneer 2 is planned for a free browser release to promote Zheltobriukhov’s website
  • Zheltobriukhov is exploring the possibility of a crowdfunding campaign to assist with development.

Zheltobriukhov has been a bit cagey about an estimated release date for the game, so for now that remains a big question mark. When I know more, I will share it.

Hat tip: Bryan Cooper.

New release: Partia: The Broken Lineage

Greetings, indie RPG fans! Over the weekend, I learned about a strategy RPG that just recently released for iPhone and iPad by the name of Partia: The Broken Lineage.

The developers don’t quite provide a premise, though they do have a somewhat lengthy history of the game world that hints at a plot:

However to the day of his death, the seething flame of discordance never went out. Neither Gran lords nor Anas lords could tolerate each other. The crown had to make difficult arbitrations all the time. Valdemar II was not a bad king, but not as great as his grand father. A kind man he was, but the kindness gave his enemies time and opportunities. He had two sons. Elder who was being groomed as the heir, was quiet and patient. Younger who has been headstrong from the infancy was passionate and wild. People looked up the elder as the heir to the throne, but gave love to the younger, who even enjoyed mixing with common folks. In streets, he was called the golden prince, for he was often seen with his blond hair running against the wind.

Developers Team Imago describe Partia as a short love letter to the strategy RPG genre, offering “nearly two dozen units for you to select, maneuver and level in a campaign spanning 8-12 missions.” Based on the trailer, I’d go so far as to say that it’s specifically a love letter to Fire Emblem:

Currently, Partia is exclusive to iOS. Programmer and project lead Dustin Kang tells me that a port to other mobile platforms is possible, however:

I have no intention to keep Partia an iOS exclusive, but I am not working on a port right now. One reason I hesitate to start Android port is one, I am not sure if I could handle the variety of phones out there, and second, I noticed pay for app model of business doesn’t work so well in Android. On the other hand, I recently bought into the Microsoft developer program, but I haven’t got the Windows 8 yet.

Partia is currently available for iPhone and iPad; grab it on the Apple app store for $3.99.