Latest Publications

Coin Crypt Sea and Sky Expansion released

Coin Crypt
We’ve had a couple of expansions for existing indie RPGs drop this week; first up is Greg Lobanov’s “roguelite deckbuilding adventure game” Coin Crypt with a new Sea and Sky expansion.

He writes:

A new cast of characters land on the island, including a retired air pilot and intrepid submarine captain, opening up new paths and regions to explore in the sky and the sea. Rubo, the seventh deity, returns from hiding with a new set of coins poised to prove his dominance once and for all. And the monsters on the island grow stronger as the lootmancers uncover more secrets about the origin of the magical coins and the ancient civilization that was wiped from the island centuries ago…

There’s actually a new trailer released just for this expansion, so you can take a peek at some of the new stuff:

My impressions of the original release are here; I’m not sure if this expansion addresses any of the issues I had with Coin Crypt’s mechanics, but it definitely adds more content, including (per the developer):

  • 7 new character classes!
  • 100 new coins!
  • Unlock Sea and Sky world to have a choice between 3 different worlds each time you start a new run!
  • 9(!) new bosses to find within the levels or at the game’s end!
  • A new 7th deity to help build your perfect deck: Rubo, the deity of copy coins!
  • HARD MODE for the truly HARDCORE
  • An extended metagame–spend your savings on new equipment and unlockables after you’ve bought every class!

The expansion is $4.99 on Steam and Humble Store. Windows and Mac.

New release: Jotun

Word reaches me that the Norse mythological Zelda-alike Jotun (which we’ve covered a few times) is now out!

Developed by Montreal indies Thunder Lotus Games, Jotun borrows the explore-boss-explore-boss structure of Shadow of the Colossus, albeit with the chance to gain brand-new “god” powers through exploration.

The premise:

[Y]ou play Thora, a Norse warrior who has died an inglorious death and must prove herself to the Gods to enter Valhalla.

I have to imagine there’s at least slightly more to it than that, but that’s all the developers have on their site. The main selling point here, though, is the game’s lovely 2D cel-shaded art and animation, on full display in the release trailer:

Jotun features 5 jotun (read: bosses) to defeat. You can fight them in any order, but there aren’t any fights other than the jotun. The devs describe Jotun as short, though they do say there’s a New Game+ if you want to try it on a harder difficulty.

Jotun is $14.99. You can snag it on Steam exclusively; Windows, Mac and Linux.

Shiny Gauntlet announced

Shiny Gauntlet
Glen Henry writes in to announce Shiny Gauntlet, an action roguelike-like in the Binding of Isaac vein.

In development by Jamaican indie studio SpriteWrench, Shiny Gauntlet features a pretty straightforward plot premise:

Select your champion and explore the Gauntlet. Collect weapons, enchanted rings, bottle and/or consume the mysterious remains of defeated foes, all the while chasing the Wily Cultist who has stolen your Shiny Shard!

Here’s the reveal trailer:

Among the game’s planned features:

  • Fight your way through a randomly generated death labyrinth!
  • 20 playable classes!
  • 60 enchanted rings!
  • Bottle the remains of your foes and consume them later for powerups (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Shiny Gauntlet is planned for release on October 1 (yes, that’s 2 days from today) for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Sunday Dreams announced

Sunday Dreams
Milo Han writes in to announce Sunday Dreams, an “action platformer roguelike” set in the protagonist’s subconscious.

The premise:

To help Sunday cope with her debilitating insomnia, players must guide her safely through her dangerous, fantastical dreams and avoid an abrupt awakening.  The story is non-linear; players will piece together Sunday’s backstory by exploring her dreams and interacting with quirky NPCs.

As with all roguelike-likes, the game will feature procedurally generated environments and permadeath, but as with recent roguelikes, this one will also feature some persistent progress in the form of unlockable abilities.

Here’s a teaser trailer:

Planned features include:

  • Hybrid combat: Fight in real time with “Active” abilities and pause the game to employ powerful limited-use “Lucid” abilities.
  • Loot! Collect abilities, stat-enhancing items, scrolls, and more as you progress through the game.
  • Risk/reward upgrade system: Use scrolls to apply randomly generated upgrades to your abilities. If the upgrade fails, your ability will be destroyed.
  • Dynamic difficulty: If you’re looking for a challenge, enter “Nightmare” Doors to ramp up the difficulty and boost your rewards.
  • Explore: Interact with quirky NPCs and uncover secret locations. Try to figure out what’s going on in your head.

Sunday Dreams is being developed solely for Windows; there is no estimated release date as of now.

New release: It’s Killing Time

Its Killing Time
Eric Bonholtzer writes in to announce the release of It’s Killing Time. (It was released in mid-June. What can I say? I’m late on this one.)

A new text-based hybrid RPG / Choose-Your-Own-Adventure that weighs in at 140,000 words, It’s Killing Time puts you in the shoes of a killer for hire.

The premise:

Ever dream of what it’s like to be an assassin, travel the world driving an exotic car with outlandish weapons in the trunk and live a life of high-intrigue, action, and suspense? Well, now you have the chance to fulfill that fantasy.

Select your characteristics and set off on a tense thrill-ride where you won’t know who to trust or just who wants to put a target on your back.

IKT features character creation with “a multitude of options,” and multiple styles of play. Bonholtzer writes: “Build a career as a ruthless assassin or be a spiritual hitman or hitwoman who avoids collateral damage and everything in between.”

Sound like a way you’d kill time? It’s Killing Time is available for Android on Google Play or iOS on the Apple App Store for $3.99. It’s also available for Kindle and on the Chrome Store. As with all Choice of Games titles, there’s also a free web demo available here.

New release: Fantasy Dimension

Fantasy Dimension
Piotr Dziki writes in to announce that Fantasy Dimension (first mentioned in Back to Back here) has been released, unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign notwithstanding.

Fantasy Dimension is a tactical RPG with turn-based combat and a rather evocative ink-and-paper visual style. The premise is a bit light on story specifics:

Fantasy Dimension is an alternate world, created by dreams of humankind. Unfortunately, within human nature exists a duality – a good side and a dark side. This brings neverending warfare.

This description of the game’s overarching structure, likewise, makes things seem pretty open-ended: “Complete tasks for town residents, take part in arena tournaments, play mini games, increase your fame rank, and discover the many ways of acquiring coins.”

Luckily, the developer has provided a gameplay video giving the gist of how combat works, so we do have that:

(Note that this is a pre-alpha video; the developer informs me that the game’s sound and interface have been improved since this video was made.)

Fantasy Dimension’s features include character creation “allowing any combination of traits, skills and spells to create your own classes”; customizable difficulty; and experience point-based character development with customized traits, skills and spells.

Fantasy Dimension is a completely free game, playable in-browser. If you like what you’ve seen so far, you can give it a go right here and right now.

Back to Back: indie RPGs to fund

Greetings backers, would-be backers, and silent gawkers!

News out of the crowdfunding dimension is unusually good this week: since we last visited, CivCraft: Legends of Ellaria, Exoplanet: First Contact, Overfall, Pauldron: Shield of the King, and Trial By Viking have all succeeded; none have failed!

Will this trend continue? Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh…probably not. There are a lot of projects that look like they’re going to succeed, but as we’ll see, a 100% success rate probably isn’t in the cards:


Jotun release date announced

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Bruno Tiburcio writes in to announce that Jotun, the Norse mythological Zelda-alike we last covered here, is getting released in just over a week.

The finished game will be dropping on Steam on September 29, 2015 at a $14.99 price point.

As a bit of a bonus, the developers have also included a trailer teasing one of the game’s bosses, the fire jotun. Enjoy:

Voidspire Tactics announced

Voidspire Tactics
Sean Hayden writes in to announce Voidspire Tactics, a turn-based tactical RPG from one-man indie studio Rad Codex. Hayden has labored on Voidspire Tactics for the past 2 years; he describes the game as an indie tactics RPG with a focus on exploration, party creation and character development.

The premise:

Just after stepping off the boat from a long voyage, the player is mistakenly abducted – along with the entire dock of Solport – into the Spire, a towering fortress comprised of chunks from other realms. Now they must fight to survive and discover the secret of the Spire.

Here’s a trailer:

Planned features include:

  • Open-ended exploration – traverse a nonlinear world full of secrets
  • Refined tactical combat fit for beginners and veterans alike – easy to learn, hard to master
  • Destructible terrain and elemental interactions – flood the battlefield, then shock everyone with lightning!
  • Abilities are good for more than just combat – freeze a river to cross it, or grow seeds into vines to scale mountains!
  • Choose from 4 playable races, unlock up to 17 classes, learn & upgrade 100+ abilities, and equip your choice of 50+ passive abilities
  • Atypical fantasy setting – not one elf, orc or goblin in sight!

The graphics may look a wee bit rough, but VT’s feature set sounds quite appealing–I find myself looking forward to checking this one out.

Voidspire Tactics is being developed for Windows, and that’s actually mostly done; according to Hayden, the game should be out in the next month or so at a price yet to be determined.

New release: Skyshine’s Bedlam

Skyshines Bedlam
Word reaches me that Skyshine’s Bedlam (previously known merely as Bedlam) has now been released into the world! Developed by 3-person studio Skyshine, Skyshine’s Bedlam is a squad-based roguelike set in the post-apocalypse.

The narrative premise:

As the technological marvel of Bysantine falls victim to overcrowding, class distinction, corporate conflict and organized crime, there comes word of a hopeful place beyond Bedlam, somehow unblemished by the Barren Age: a distant utopia called Aztec City!

You are the mysterious Mechanic, last of a once-thriving guild of intrepid explorers dedicated to charting the blasted wastes in their Dozers — massive metal titans specifically designed to traverse the hellscape. With the reconstructed Dozer called Boneshaker, it is now possible for people to travel from Bysantine… through the savage lands of Bedlam toward a new future!

This game looks a bit like what I would expect if Mad Max: Fury Road and Wasteland 2 got married, then produced a child by way of The Banner Saga. “The Banner Saga?” you ask. Yeah–this game actually uses The Banner Saga’s engine, and as you can see below, they’ve mostly stuck to the whole 2D rotoscoped animation paradigm (at least for the combat):

Speaking of combat: combat in Bedlam is chess-like, in the sense that it is both turn-based and lacking a set turn order–you and your opponent trade off making moves, but any unit can move at any time.

The game is a roguelike, so you can expect a procedurally generated world, random encounters, and (of course) permadeath. There are four enemy factions to contend with in the game world: marauders, cyborgs, mutants, and AI. (If this page is to be believed, it is possible to make allies of some of these groups, or at least individuals who come from them.)

You can snag Skyshine’s Bedlam on Steam (and seemingly nowhere else) for $19.99; Windows only.