HomeMake is a superbly stylish platformer currently in development by two architecture students and it is in serious need of funding on Kickstarter. The visuals are gorgeous, the music is a super hip mix of hip-hop and soulful jazz, and the concept is wonderfully unique.
HomeMake takes place on an inverted planet in a neon electric playground city environment. Players can switch between bodies on the fly - each one controlling differently than the other. Some jump higher, some run faster, some see the world more vividly, and some have a softer sense of sound. The cool part is, even though you’re changing bodies, you’re still playing as one character - one consciousness or soul floating in and out different vessels to achieve a goal.
In HomeMake, as the player swaps bodies, your desires are handed off to the new character. The same goal is required but now must be continued with a different body. The game character inhabits a new body, maintaining self mentally, but losing self physically. Commenting on the meaning of self and identity, when you finally achieve your desires, are you truly the same person you were when you started? Or have you become someone new? Is the act more important than the object in a world where something as precious as the body is discarded?
No Man’s Sky from Hello Games looks interesting for a number of reasons. There’s a strong emphasis on isolation and exploration that reminds me a lot of the Metroid games, but the combination of vivid colors and rich textures looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a game before.
It’s also an indie game by a small studio with some pretty ambitious goals.
See, when each player starts up a new game, they start all alone on a single planet that is entirely unique to them, complete with creatures unique to that world. The creators claim that game is infinite, with limitless worlds and creatures.
Check out the No Man’s Sky E3 2014 gameplay trailer below for a taste of the craziness.
Quite possibly the most visually interesting looking gaming shown so far today, Cuphead is a run-and-gun shooter with a 1930’s cartoon art style reminiscent of such classics as Felix the Cat, Popeye, and Betty Boop. The game is being developed by StudioMDHR for Xbox One and Steam. All the art is hand drawn, all the music is original jazz recordings, and it even has co-op.
If you hate FPS games, you’ll love Super Hot. If you love FPS, you’ll love Super Hot. The concept is simple: shoot guys, don’t get shot. But there’s a catch: time only moves when you do. It’s like the Bullet Time mechanic from games like Max Payne and F.E.A.R. mixed with the mind-bending time mechanics of Braid with a slick, Rez-like presentation. The tutorials are pretty sexy too.
Humble Indie Bundle 9: Fez, Brutal Legend, Mark of the Ninja, More
Humble Indie Bundle 9 is out as of today. Like previous entries, it’s a pay-what-you-want bundle of PC indie titles for charity and small developers alike. This Indie Bundle features: Brutal Legend, Trine 2: Complete Story, Mark of the Ninja, and Eet Munchies, with FTL: Faster Than Light and Fez being bonus games if you pay more than the average donation for the bundle (which at the time of this post is $4.43). Don’t be stupid and miss out on these great titles for literally less than $5.
For the first time ever, the popular IndieCade festival of independent games made its way to East Coast this past weekend. IndieCade has been going on over on the West Coast since 2009 and is considered by many to be the Sundance of video games, so I was pretty pumped to see it for myself.
It wasn’t quite the spectacle I was expecting. It was basically an open rec-hall sized room with a bunch of tables with computer monitors and iPads on them. Very few of the games on display were accompanied by anyone attached to the projects, so I started wondering just how badly these indie devs wanted people to know about their games. I also started wondering if I wasted a perfectly good Saturday and $200 in bus/taxi fare.
Thankfully, after doing a few laps around the main room and eyeballing computer monitors and TV screens from over people’s shoulders, I discovered a few gems.
Below are two videos of developers who were bodacious enough to answer some of my dumb questions and talk about their games.
This is definitely a game that should be experienced at least once by anyone who appreciates video games as an art form. Huge thanks to Brendon Chu from Blendo Games for taking the time to speak with us for the vid. Be sure to keep an eye out on his upcoming retro cyberpunk game, Quadrilaterial Cowboy. If the official description doesn’t have you sold, I don’t know what will:
When you have a top-of-the-line hacking deck armed with a 56.6k modem and a staggering 256k RAM, it means just one thing: you answer only to the highest bidder.
And now for videos that I didn’t take, but trust me, these games are awesome.
Rob Davis from Playniac was awesome enough to speak with us about his iPad racing sim that’s actually way more about micromanaging your finances and racers than actually racing. At first glance I expected just your standard Mario Kart ripoff. What I got instead was something more akin to Game Dev Story.
It would actually be pretty interesting to see this game’s financial system implemented in other genres - RPG’s for example: buy some weapons and armor using your credit card, and if you can’t make your payments on time, your gear gets repo’d mid-battle! Okay nevermind, that actually sounds terrible.
I fell in love with the PS Vita version of this game when I played it at NYCC last year and was pleasantly surprised to find a PS3 version on display at IndieCade East. This is from Drinkbox Studios, the guys behind one of my favorite Vita titles, Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! It’s a MetroidVania style game that requires a certain finesse in stringing together melee attacks to navigate through levels. You can also bounce between dimension a-la Mighty Flip Champs. Mix that all up with some sweet mariachi chiptunes, amazing character designs, witty dialogue, and multiplayer co-op and you have an instant recipe for me not getting anything done ever. Sadly, no one from Drinkbox was around to talk to while I was there. Bummer.
This was hands-down the game that drew the biggest (and loudest) crowd. Sleek minimalist multiplayer sports action. The kind of game that makes players yell at each other while onlookers cheer them on.
This was the game that stole the show for me. You basically just have to manipulate a puzzle on a 2x2 grid by zooming in & out and interacting with the levels. The artwork, the level design, the intricate precision of thought that went into each puzzle design - it’s brilliant and you should probably just stop whatever you’re doing and go download and play the free demo.
There were a buttload of other cool games on display, but there were a zillion other people crowding around and waiting in line to play them, so I had to squeeze in whatever I could before catching the bus back home. Head on over to the IndieCade site for a full list of games that were on display.
Hopefully I’ll be able to stick around for all three days next year as I can definitely see this sort of thing growing over the years. Plus, we really just need more cool geeky shit to indulge in on the East Coast.
Indie Royale is hosting another one of those name-your-price (with a minimum amount of price-naming) indie game bundles they always host, except this is the special Valentines Bundle edition. And what says Valentines better than Serious Sam?
In this game bundle, simply pay the minimum price (currently at $5.81), and you get six indie games for way less than they would usually cost. The games are:
Serious Sam 3: BFE, the ridiculous FPS game from Croteam
Amazing Indie Space Sim Kerbal Space Program Gets a New Demo
For those of us who would love to explore space and build rockets, we usually are struggling to find something that focuses on that concept with as much intricacies as we want. Sure, there are a ton of great 4X games out there like Endless Space and even great indie hits like FTL, but there isn’t really anything out there that lets us feel like pioneers. Until now.
Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is becoming a bit of an indie juggernaut. The game lets you build rockets and planes however you want and launch them into space. If you did a bad job, your rocket will explode or your plane will fall from the sky.
However, that is just scratching the surface. Not only can you go from launch-pad to space (with no load times) but you can also pilot your ship across a complete solar system. You can even land on planets and explore them. However, you have to keep fuel and energy in mind. Luckily, you can also launch space stations that can help you refuel your ship.
KSP is a game unlike any other. The opportunities for creation are endless and it is a blast toying around with different ideas. The game is as complex or simple as you want it to be.
If you have ever wanted to try out KSP, you’re in luck. The devs just released a new demo that features the current version of the game. You can download it on the KSP download page. The game is still in Alpha but it being updated regularly. It is a fantastic game that had me addicted for hours, much like another popular indie sensation…
Tower of the Gorillion is a two player game for one (or two!) where you control two characters by either switching between them on the fly or co-opping it up with a friend. Levels are split up into a foreground and a background layer and each character can only stick to their own layer, so you’ll have to work together to make it out alive.
What’s also interesting is how the characters control. There’s a thief-y, mage-looking, hooded Jawa dude who has a super high/floaty jump who can only attack by throwing daggers mid jump, then there’s the typical warrior dude who can only attack while on foot by slashing fools. It definitely mixes the combat up and forces you to think about how to approach each enemy - enemies which consist of things like foxes and giraffes. You know, basic bad guys.
The music is sweet, the puzzles are super clever, and the graphics give off a heavy Final Fantasy meets Cave Story vibe which is totally a good thing.
It also has a pretty deep backstory. Check it:
In 199X, a tower appeared on the horizon beyond the edge of the earth, from which a strange howl could be heard in the distance. For centuries, human sacrifices would be cast over the edge of the earth to appease the Gorillion - the beast said to reside in the tower. If sacrifices are not sent, it is said that the demons living in the abyss will climb up to where the humans live and destroy them.
One day a wanderer decides to investigate an ancient ruin perched at the which overlooks the solitary tower floating in the clouds below.
This is the story of that man who refused the ideology of his time.
An older version of the game had a monochromatic Game Boy-esque color pallet, but the latest demo has full color graphics. Play the free demo version in your browser here and be sure to support the game on Steam Greenlight and check the devlog over on TIGSource.
Artist and designer Baz Pringle pays tribute to one of the most important and iconic indie games of the past decade with two awesome prints featuring Quote, the games robotic hero, and Sue, a member of the bunny-like Mimiga race.
For those not familiar, Cave Story is the epic retro sidescrolling action RPG in the vein as games like Metroid and Castlevania. The whole game - story, art, music, everything - was developed by one man: Daisuke Amaya, more widely known as Pixel.
Originally released as a freeware PC game in 2005, Cave Story was eventually ported to WiiWare, DSi, and Steam with updated music and graphics. There’s also a version for 3DS with enhanced 3D graphics as opposed to the flat 2D look of prior versions.
It takes a special kind of game to float around for free on the internet for a few years before being upgraded, repackaged, and sold all kinds of different ways and STILL have people buy it.
The Unfinished Swan For PS3 Looks Kind Of Depressing, But Still Awesome
Sony released this new story trailer for The Unfinished Swan being developed by Giant Sparrow and it’s kind of a bummer. When I first saw this game I immediately knew it’d be right up my alley, but I never once considered the story aspect of it. Turns out, it’s about a little boy who’s mother died and left behind a bunch of unfinished paintings, but the jerks at the orphanage only let him keep one of them. He chose the Unfinished Swan.
Holy sadness. Let’s cheer ourselves up by watching the game’s stylish artsy-fartsy gameplay.
Refreshing ideas like this are the reason we love video games so much. There’s no official release date on this downloadable PSN title yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
Is There An Award For Best Video Game Trailer? If So, Super TIME Force Just Won It
Capybara Games (Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Sound Shapes) just posted the trailer for their upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade pixelicious action romp Super TIME Force. This trailer has a huge 90’s Saturday morning cartoon vibe, which we’re totally all about.
If your guts are craving more of this righteousness, check out some gameplay in the vid below.
Seriously, it’s like Contra, Metal Slug, and Gunstar Heroes had an orgy in a bathtub full of drugs at a chiptune rave. I think I’m pregnant.
The New Indie Games Uprising Makes Me Care About Video Games Again
While “hardcore” gamers are stroking their collective boners over every bit of Black Ops 2 info that leaks, people with good taste in things are left wanting more from an industry that seems to be moving away from the audience that’s supported it for all these years. The only games I personally even give a shit about this year are Resident Evil 6 (please don’t suck!), Pokemon B&W 2, Sleeping Dogs, and SoundShapes (which hit PSN yesterday. Go get that shit.). Note how none of those games are online first person shooters.
Thankfully, Microsoft is here to support creativity in gaming with the third annual Indie Games Uprising. Take a look at the games that will be available on XBLA this September 10th-20th in the video below.
Mercenary Kings - It’s Like Metal Slug with Weapon Crafting.
Mercenary Kings is the latest upcoming shootfest from Tribute Games. A lot of the dudes who made the Scott Pilgrim game are involved with this, so you should totally keep it on your radar. Also: Paul Robertson. Check out his rad dog/tank/thing at the end of the reveal trailer below.