Latest Publications

New release: Neighbourhood Necromancer

Neighbourhood Necromancer
One Choice of Games release that I forgot to post about a few months ago is Neighbourhood Necromancer, a choose-your-own-adventure / RPG hybrid with a sort of reverse “Zombies Ate My Neighbors” plot, written by Gavin Inglis.

The premise:

Command the undead to take revenge on the suburbs! Oh, everyone at school laughed at you, but no one will laugh when your minions seize control of critical local infrastructure. Perhaps you’ll start by taking over a convenience store.

Will you rule suburbia openly or skulk in the shadows? Will your necromancing impress the cool kids at school? Will you use your dark powers to destroy your home town, or save it from the secret industrial/military operatives who have come to destroy you? The choice is yours.

Your stats include Control, Energy, Luck, Corruption, and Humanity, each of which can be influenced by your choices in the game.

There is a short demo available; the full game is available for $2.99 for iOS and Android; you can also nab it for Windows, Mac and Linux via the Chrome Store.

New release: Yeti’s Parole Officer

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Folks, I have a confession to make: I’ve been slacking a little. Choice of Games has been releasing RPG / choose-your-own-adventure hybrids for months, and yet I’ve been continuously neglecting to post about them. Well, that streak of fail ends today with Yeti’s Parole Officer, written by KT Bryski!

The premise:

The Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Chupacabra, and Mothman are aliens, sentenced to prison on Earth by the Pan-Galactic Prisons Bureau. As the Yeti’s parole officer, you must defend the galaxy from these convicts, unravel their criminal conspiracy, and bring them to justice!

As an officer of pan-galactic law, you’ll travel around the world to wipe all memory of alien activity on Earth, battling extaterrestrial smugglers and rival PGPB agents alike to save the world from nefarious cryptids.

Will you play as male or female? Gay or straight? Will you throw the book at the alien scofflaws messing with your planet, or will you betray your allies for personal gain? The choice is yours!

So basically, it’s a reinterpretation of the plot of Men in Black in game form. You’ll have stats at your disposal such as cash, clearance level, resolve, persuasion, combat skill, stealth, and observation, with the game also tracking your reputation on justice-versus-mercy and rule-bender-versus-by-the-book continua.

As with all Choice of titles, there’s a short demo available; the full game is $1.99 for iOS and Android; it is also available for Windows, Mac, and Linux via the Chrome Store.

New release: Lethal RPG: War

Lethal RPG War
I did a double-take when the words “Lethal RPG” appeared on my computer monitor. “Wait a second,” I said. “Lethal RPG? Isn’t that a friggin’ enormous series of somewhat rudimentary Flash RPGs from approximately a zillion years ago?” Five seconds of Googling later, and behold: this is indeed a jRPG in that very same lineage, albeit looking much more polished and sophisticated than the titles I played so many years hence.

Lethal RPG: War is a mobile jRPG developed by Ben Webb, a.k.a. EyeSpyda Games. The premise:

Journey on an epic quest with Lethal and his elite party of warriors through a huge fantasy land. Play as Lethal and his companions in exciting turn based battles against a variety of fantasy creatures.

So, uh, a little light on narrative details there. (I can only assume that a war is somehow involved somewhere.) Luckily, the game’s feature list is decidedly more informative:

  • 8 playable characters, all with unique abilities, armor and weapons.
  • Turn-based combat featuring a diverse and engaging battle system.
  • A huge world with 13 areas to explore, all with unique enemies and quests.
  • Craft powerful armor and weapons from materials gathered from intense boss monster encounters throughout the kingdom.
  • Over 50 story quests to complete.
  • An arena that lets you put your abilities to the test, where you face off against more difficult versions of past encounters.
  • Loads of pets to find that have special abilities to help you face your enemies in battle.
  • New Game Plus mode that lets your bring all your characters and items into a new game, creating an all new experience.

You can snag the game for $2.99 for Android or iOS.

A Simple Roleplay Adventure announced

A Simple Roleplay Adventure
I have received word of a new jRPG in development. In what has to be the most literal naming of a game since “You Have to Cut The Rope,” it is being called “A Simple Roleplay Adventure.”

The premise:

ASRA, a simple roleplay adventure, is a 2D RPG game with basic graphic. You will explore a vaste world in the shoes of a quirky hero, with the help of many bizarre characters and facing hundreds of really badass enemies. Beyond the adventure, Peter will be forced to change his heart to something deeper, discovering that money, fame and cute chicks aren’t life’s most relevant things.

ASRA uses character sprites from Oryx’s ubiquitous lo-fi fantasy sprite set, and features simple turn-based combat in the Dragon Quest vein.

There is a free demo playable in-browser via the Unity plug-in; check it out here. No word yet on a date for the full release, or which platforms it will be out on.

Steam curation!

Some of you may have heard yesterday that Valve has unveiled a new automated suggestions system to assist with game discoverability on Steam, telling people about popular games similar to titles they’ve spent a lot of time playing.

At the same time, Steam has also received a new curation function, allowing people with Steam groups to compile lists of recommended games with short blurbs explaining what makes them worth trying. As the internet’s primary evangelist for little-known indie RPGs, I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I didn’t take advantage of this moment to recommend indie RPGs that I’ve played. To that end, here is the List of Recommended Indie RPGs!

Now, a few caveats are in order here:

  1. This list is not final; I will be adding games to it as time goes on.
  2. Some of my favorite indie RPGs are not on Steam; and unfortunately, this necessarily means that they are not available for Steam curation.
  3. I am only adding RPGs which I have played enough of–and in a complete enough state–to recommend with a reasonable level of confidence. Needless to say, games which I have not played are not going to be on this list; if you have a game you’d like me to play, please email it to me.

That’s all for now. If you have a Steam account, make sure to follow the list for my up-to-date recommendations!

Back to Back: Indie RPGs to fund

Welcome back to Back to Back! Of the games that ended since last time, Data Hacker: Reboot and Legend of Lotus exceeded their funding goals by a fairly wide margin; Mark of War was canceled; and everything else is still ongoing. We also have a bunch of new games joining the fray, which means that our list is going to be even longer than last time!

So what’s the latest in indie RPG crowdfunding?


Age of Grit announced

Age of Grit
Andy Morrison of IQ Soup writes in to announce Age of Grit, a Wild-West-themed steampunk airship RPG he’s now developing.

The premise:

[Y]ou play the captain of a beat-up, old, steam-powered airship exploring a large, cowboy-themed, steampunk world. You’re looking for whatever work you can find–bounty hunting, smuggling contraband, running guns…maybe even a little train robbery if you’re so inclined. ‘Bout anything to pay the bills, keep the guns loaded, the boiler stoked, and keep your ship in the sky.

The game revolves around the crew, their adventures, and the part they play in the larger universe that surrounds them.

Having read that, you will no doubt be precisely 0% surprised to learn that this game’s premise is drawn largely from the Joss Whedon series Firefly.

Combat will be turn-based and ship-to-ship, but your crew members will have an impact on the proceedings, supplying you with various skills, buffs, and debuffs. Morrison elaborates:

For example, the Gunner character might have an ability where he lets loose with all the ship’s weapons for a massive barrage.  The Mechanic might have an ability that “heals” the ship.  Each character will have complex skill trees with lots of different abilities to choose from as they level up and progress.  Certain abilities will have effects outside of combat–relating to things like buying/selling, crafting new gear, or traveling faster.

You can see a little bit of this in the game’s teaser trailer:

According to Morrison, the game will be largely open-ended, with the player free to accept or turn down missions from various factions, as well as a main quest line that the player can choose to advance or ignore. Each city will be navigable in a first-person perspective point-and-click fashion similar to that found in old adventure games, complete with characters and dialog trees.

Age of Grit is being developed for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS, and is tentatively planned for release in late 2015 at a $15 to $20 price point. Age of Grit is now in the last week of its Kickstarter campaign, where it has just met its funding goal.

New release: 500 Years Act 1

500 Years Act 1
Do you ever get an email, then completely forget that it exists before you have a chance to do anything with it? That evidently happened with the subject of today’s post. Poor Will Games wrote to me back in May to announce the release of their real-time space exploration RPG 500 Years Act 1 on PC; and now, roughly 500 years later, I am posting about it.

The premise:

The Earth was dying and humanity boarded ships to colonize the stars. These ships were named after the wonders of the ancient world: The Giza, The Alexandria, The Rhodes and finally, The Artemis.

The Artemis landed and set up a colony on an Earth-like moon. Then the Ants, an insectoid species, came and enslaved the colony. All hope was lost.

Years later you were born in the Artemis colony and joined the resistance against the Ants.

One day the Ants suddenly left your colony for unknown reasons. The Proctor of your colony tasked you with finding the ancient Artemis colony ship. Among the wreckage you found the captain’s yacht; and it still works! You and your crew take to the stars to find the other humans, if they are still out there. 500 years after the destruction of Earth…

If the plot seems a smidge reminiscent of Homeworld, the game’s trailer gives the strong impression that this game is in fact much more influenced by Starflight:

Per the developers, the 500 Years Act 1’s features include:

  • Story driven space adventure
  • Explore solar systems
  • Meet alien races
  • Arcade style combat
  • Equip your ship based upon the type of enemy
  • Fight huge bosses

500 Years Act 1 has apparently been available for $0.99 on Android and iOS since March, with the Windows port available for a mere $2.99.


Hunter’s Tale announced

Francesco Segala writes in to announce The Hunter’s Tale, a new action RPG he’s developing as part of the studio “Bad Tempered Dev.”

The premise:

You’ll face a fantasy world in which animals have taken over the world and humanity lives in small villages. You are a hunter just arrived in the village and his job is to supply food to those people wandering around the wildlands and hunting all sort of different beasts. Crafting new weapons and armors will be fundamental to go forward.

The developers describe Hunter’s Tale as an “old-fashioned action RPG,” though many of the elements they relate (a lone character trying to survive in a hostile world consisting mostly of wilderness, and crafting items to that end) are really quite modern.

There’s a trailer out, from which we can get a sense of the aesthetic and some of the basic mechanics:

The developers have not supplied any information about when they plan to release Hunter’s Tale. It is being developed for Windows.

If you want to follow progress on the development of Hunter’s Tale, Segala is documenting said progress on a developer blog. A demo is reportedly due to come out sometime this month; in the meantime, the developers are trying to drive traffic to this page.

New release: Madam Extravaganza’s Monster Emporium

Madam Extravaganza
There’s a new jRPG in town courtesy of John Wizard Games. The name? Madam Extravaganza’s Monster Emporium!

The premise is a little vague, but it’s all we’ve got, so here it is:

Located in Monsterville, the town in the woods…

Do you ever wish you had more? That you could leave it all behind and start over? Well thanks to Madam Extravaganza, you can!

Treasures await in the forests for any who are brave enough to seek them out. Just bring your life savings and come stay at our inn, open for all.

We welcome all guests to try to defeat the monsters in battle, then you will return safely home, richer than you ever imagined.

There is a free demo available; the full game costs $13.99. Windows only.