Windows, OSX, Linux | $TBA | April 27
I honestly have no idea how a competitive multiplayer dating sim is supposed to work, but Monster Prom's trailer seems to promise good / occasionally bloody-and-gruesome-but-always-kinda-cute fun.
Windows, PS4, Switch | $24.99 | already released
Despite being a survival horror game, recently-released Infernium looks rather lovely... when those towel monsters are not trying to chew your face off, that is.
Windows, OSX, Linux | $TBA | Summer 2018
This interactive graphic novel looks magical in every sense of the word. Shamans? Check. Myserious horned ladies? Check. Nice trailer music? Bonus check.
Windows, OSX, Linux | $19.99 | May 31
Cultist Simulator promises fun (or rather: apocalypse and yearning) for the whole extended family - brainwashed followers and alien gods included. Its sleek and sexy card game interface actually feels great to use and all those little timers ticking down add a sense of urgency to the whole thing. Appropriate, considering its sinister themes.
When your heart finds someone to love, you have little power (if any) to change it. Unfortunately for the protagonist in Ceress and Orea, the one she's fallen for has been, unwittingly, her death sentence. However, players can change their fate in this doomed love by venturing through the abyss and solving puzzles, pleasing a deity so that the two heroines may finally find their happily-ever-after.
Players will act as Ceress, a woman sentenced to death for falling in love with the wrong person. Thrust into the abyss, Ceress is still unaccepting of her fate, and with your help, she just might change it. To do that, players will need to solve puzzles and work through an old deity's underworld realm. Doing this, while also progressing through the story and exploring this gloomy place, will eventually carry players through to the game's single ending.
Ceress and Orea offers players a narrative of lost memories and hope despite the realm of death, pushing them to find a solutions to the game's challenges so that they can eventually make it back to the world of the living. What's a better motivation than returning to the one you love?
If you've ever found yourself attracted to something you just drew, Doodle Date, a game of romancing your own drawings no matter what they are, may be for you.
Doodle Date will have players drawing the people they wish to date, the movies they go to see, the food they eat, and more, creating their own activities and romance options as they work their way through their budding romance. Flirting, seduction, and eventually marriage will eventually come from your connections to your own drawings, so expect to build a loving, touching relationship with that picture of a merman or piece of toast that you drew a few minutes before. If only all artists could be so in love with the things they created.
While creating your romance options and activities, players will also be able to take their lives down two different routes, offering multiple ends for you and your piece of art. There may even be a secret ending to unlock through the game's short, hour long playthroughs, so it will be worth digging deep into the life you're now sharing with that spandex-clad fish you created.
Doodle Date is available for $4.99 on Steam.
With just a bat (and the occasional explosive) and a good dog, can you channel your protective instinct long enough to keep your faithful friend safe? In The Tragic Tale Of Bark Scruffalo, a tower defense-style game, you'll have to do just that! Luckily, he's a good boy and worth braving this storm of monsters.
The name of the game is protecting a precious pup. The things that stand in the way of that mission will come at you from all directions. Use your trusty bat to smack them back to wherever they came from - or just straight up smack where they came from by beating down the Enemy Spawn Monoliths. Do enough damage and you'll stop production of the nasty fiends momentarily. Defeating these enemies will yield core crystals, which you can turn into mines and plant them as traps to stop waves of monsters from overrunning you and your trusty dog pal.
Keep that good boy safe and smack some baddies!
JRPG-like turn-based combat, roguelike relentlessness, and tabletop maps to traverse. If you're looking to prove yourself as a tactician, For The King is your challenge. With procedurally-generated maps full of ruthless monsters and rewards, you'll have to make every move count.
The kingdom of Fahrul is in complete distress. The King has been assassinated and the assailant is at large. The Queen, desperate to quell the growing chaos, requests a call-to-arms for all adventurers to fight off the horrors that lurk in the dark corners of the kingdom. That means you'll have to gather a group of party members of all different classes and put your thinking cap on to make best use of them.
Strategy is the key in For The King. You'll have to make choices, such as whether you'd like to keep your party group tightly-knit to tackle tremendous foes and obstacles, or split up and sever the smaller underlings. You may even simply want to gather herbs or set up camp for the night. Feel confident? Tackle dungeons filled with traps and bosses to bask in the light of a treasure chest for your efforts! If you're not feeling up to par, grab a buddy and try out the local or online co-op.
Avenge the King and take down some beastly adversaries at the same time in For The King!
The people of your village have graciously volunteered you and your dog to make your way through a vampire's castle and defeat it in Castle Agony, a mixture of adventure game and RPG that will have players combing the halls for useful tools they can use to overcome the bats, spiders, and ghosts within.
Supernatural pest control isn't a glamorous job, but at least your dog gets to come along!
In Castle Agony, players will guide their character through the halls by clicking around, moving through haunted corridors filled with challenging puzzle mechanisms and irate hauntings. As they explore, players can find an array of odd parts and tools, which they can then combine into stuff that might be useful like molotovs and healing potions. Although the fact that you've come to the castle to steal anything that isn't nailed down might be part of why the vampire doesn't much care for your village and its inhabitants. Food for thought.
Monsters will often show up, likely upset by the player's brazen thieving, which players must overcome through turn-based combat system, which also makes use of Action Points to make players consider the cost of taking any particular action against the monsters. Powerful moves might cost more and dispatch enemies quicker, but will they leave you vulnerable as you wait to get some points back? At...
Barbarians and lanky warriors wage battle on a hand-drawn hex map, over a dying world where the once great Giants have gone extinct and a mutating pestilence sweeps the land. This is the world of Urtuk:The Desolation, an upcoming turn-based strategy RPG.
You play as the titular Urtuk, an escapee from the infamous Sanatorium on a quest to find a cure for an affliction that's slowly killing him. As you travel across the world map, other characters can be recruited into your party, from the crossbow-wielding Hunter to the hooded Warmonk, among others. Along their journey, Urtuk and his companions will also collide with various events and encounters, and your interventions and outcome of battle can influence them, such as defeating a bandit camp that terrorizing an area.
Combat looks reminiscent of Battle Brothers, with a large focus on positioning and different stacking effects due to where your units are in relation to foes. Height advantages, flanking, and manipulating enemy position with shield bashes and other attacks can be just as crucial as damage dealt, while environmental objects like rocks, spikes, muds all cause different status effects that can be used against enemies to overcome overwhelming odds.
Urtuk:The Desolation is still early in development, and doesn't have a release timeframe yet. You can find more details and an overview...
... in fact, it's the most thankless job in any RPG party. We all know you're the one doing the heavy lifting, keeping your buddies from dying, and yet, nobody takes you serious. It certainly doesn't help that said buddies are the worst.
But then, you've got to make do with the hand you've been dealt, and you're stuck with the idiots for good, so better keep them healthy. The game is structured like your typical RPG - with one crucial difference: you only have direct control over the healer.
While your buddies are happily hacking away at the enemy without regard for their own well-being, you need to focus your healing spells and buffs on them. In the beginning, this can prove pretty tricky, but once you leveled up a bunch and put some points into that skill tree of yours, things are actually getting manageable without half the party dying every time. Just make sure that your wand doesn't overheat. Yes, that's a thing.
Healer's Quest is full of self-referential humor that just doesn't break the fourth wall, it tears it down and stomps on the remains. Characters are chiding the game designer, wondering what some buttons do, or complaining about various RPG tropes ("Rats and bats... how bland!").
What I've played so far...
Might & Delight's Shelter series has been out for a while, but a recent port to the Nintendo Switch warrants another look, thanks to some very subtle new features and the chance to quite literally carry these lovely games close to your heart - which is where they belong.
Shelter Generations collects Shelter 2 and its spin-off Paws and their soundtracks, as well as the "living books" Fables From the Den and The Lonesome Fog in one nice package. Alas, the first Shelter's badger family gets left out but still, this is a very good collection.
Shelter 2 puts the fate of a lynx family in your hands. Playing as the mother, you have to nurture and raise your cubs to adulthood. However, the world outside can be a scary place and lots of dangers await. The game feels fairly open, with a variety of terrain to explore. It basically lets you play however you want and tugs on your heartstrings whenever one of your cubs is in danger.
Paws, on the other hand, is a self-contained, fairly linear little story of a lynx cub getting separated from its family and having all sorts of adventures on its way. It is sweet and sad and features some very light environmental puzzle solving. But you're mostly here for the...
Waking up besides a dead family, armed with your father's revolver and a strange cat, Itta sets you out on a journey of revenge across the island of Jigoku, in a far-future fantasy bullet-hell adventure inspired by the first Zelda and Titan Souls.
The former inspiration means Jigoku is a sprawling environment filled with mysterious characters, different areas to explore, secrets to uncover, and weapons to unlock. From the remnants of cities filled with odd monoliths to overgrown temple ruins where strangers lurk, Itta promises a colorful and unique world to discover on your journey.
The latter also means that your journey is one fraught with danger, from myriad challenging bosses. The trailer shows a few - a relentless stranger blocking your shots with a huge blade, a transforming blob of a beast with a wide-fanged grin, a cloaked warrior orbited by twin pillars - but all will test your skills and evasion with bullet-hell chaos. Dodging bullet patterns and using the right weapons in your arsenal will be key to surviving Itta's battles.
"I've always been interested in telling stories about connection - to land, to a person, to a thing, even to a point in time. Exploring connection is the focus of so many areas of creativity - especially film, art, and music - but much less so video games. Why is that, I ask myself." says Katie Gall of The Blushbox Collective, a group promoting the exploration of intimacy, love, and sex in games.
Games possess a unique power to place the player into a different headspace, having them become the role of another for a time. There is a special power to empathize in this, tasking the player with feeling what that other person is going through as they go through their actions and live out their lives. Like a form of acting, the player becomes this other avatar and exists as them for a time, and in this action they are brought into intimate connection with the thoughts and feelings that come from living these lives.
This unique ability to live and empathize with, moreso than books or movies or other forms of passive media, can make the player truly feel what the characters are going through. Gall's work with The Blushbox Collective, as well as their annual Heartbeat Symposium - a three-day event where they seek to bring developers together for days of game jams and speakers from various...
Lovecraftian horror and interactive fiction have a long history, from the 1998 text adventure Anchorhead to the charming creepiness of Fallen London. Tiny Bull Studios' Omen Exitio: Plague continues that legacy, both of the horror of the dreadful unknown and of the gamebook, presenting players with myriad choices to make, stats to manage, and nightmares to confront.
Dr. Jake Huntington is following in the wake of unknown disease across Zanzibar in the 1890s, a journey that soon descends into places beyond sanity and reality. Prose and illustrations, presented with the aesthetic of aged journal, describe the dangerous adventure, offering you choices along the way. Your version of Jack has a number of skills that define success or failure in various situations - Fighting, Observation, Medicine, Agility, Speechcraft - which, combined with the weapons and equipment in your inventory, can take you down different narrative branches.
But your decisions affect more than just the direct path of the story. Your sanity is an ever-present concern looming over the story (as expected in any Lovecraftian tale) and this can influence how your companions react to you and how you can react to choices. Your stats play a role as well; being very observant might make you notice more details...but of course knowing more eldritch knowledge is usually not...
For those of you who miss the many shades of green, the chirpy sound effects, and the simplistic (yet challenging) gameplay of the Game Boy era, Squidlit is the answer to your prayers. A Game Boy-inspired platformer, Squidlit aims to create a nostalgic experience through simulating the limitations of the handheld with their title.
In their interview with IndieGames.com, Alex Barrett and Samantha Davenport talked about the challenges that came with designing a game for the classic system.
What drew you to create an authentic Game Boy experience 15 years after its discontinuation?
Samantha: We are, first and foremost, people who really enjoy playing video games. To that effect, we have a collection of a few hundred games that spans back to the late 1970's. When Alex came up with the idea of creating our own video game, it seemed to make sense that we start, essentially, at the beginning with a console we know well and love. The first console Alex played was the Nintendo DMG Game Boy, so it was a natural choice.
When we looked at other games that sought to capture the nostalgia of a previous console, we always noticed that while capturing the look of a console like the GameBoy, it's hard...
Fast-paced action, some catchy tunes, and typing exercises come together in the death-packed Exit84. Play as K415, an clumsy subordinate to the King sent them to a dangerous planet, B-84, to retrieve a special item. Type in the coordinates as they appear (and make sure it's safe) to navigate the debris-filled air and try to survive!
Revolving around your keyboard, your typing skills and speed are what is going to keep you alive in this game. You'll be shown a sequence of letters that will have to put in correctly, and if you do that then hit enter, you'll be transported safely.
However, while transportation via typing may be safe, the destination might not be, as B-84 is chock full of danger in the form of lasers, cannons, falling blocks - the works. You'll have to keep your head on your shoulders while making sure your keys are input correctly and your destination is clear in order to get through the level safely!
A mystery grips an town lying within the vast desert, with the player at its surreal apex in horrifying text adventure Desert of Vice.
Inspired by the works of Kafka and Lovecraft, Desert of Vice takes players to a realm of supernatural monstrosities as they work to unravel the surreal events that grip the town. Based on the interactions they type out as they explore the steadily crumbling reality, they'll reach one of six endings, although they might not exactly offer happy ending to the unsettling events.
Desert of Vice uses a minimalist art style to back up the text-based play, as well as an eerie soundtrack to amp up the discomforting mood of the game's world. For those looking to get lost in a realm where their sanity will be tested as they work deeper into an intriguing story, it offers some otherworldly mysteries to unravel. Assuming they don't unravel the protagonist's mind first, that is.
Desert of Vice is available for $2.99 on Steam, the App Store, and Google Play. For more information on the game and developer Karolis Dikcius, you can head to the game's site or follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
Have you ever wished that you could be a giant sawblade, mowing down everything in your path? I'm sure we've all been there... at least figuratively? Well, Overchunked makes this oddly specific fantasy come true.
But wait! Before you get your good old sawblade whirring, heed this warning: it is a very bad idea to steer into crates full of TNT. There. Now you go ahead, cut some trees and rocks, cause some havoc.
There are a bunch of neat little shaders to unlock that add some variety to the game's simple graphics, but that's about it. It's just you and the saw. Or rather you, the saw. Whatever.
Overchunked is proof that sometimes, the simplest ideas can make for a jolly good time. The game is a pure score chaser with leaderboards, which means that your only goal is to destroy stuff and rack up points. Of course this won't keep you glued to the screen for hours, but given its reasonable price tag, that's fair enough and you'll be - dare I say it? - having a blast for a while.
If you enjoy a good, quick brain teaser, then you might be alien enough to get through the puzzles presented in +iQeI/Q (This Game Is For Aliens). Going from a quiet home to being surrounded by creatures that do not speak your language, you'll be forced to go through a series of challenging puzzles to return back to your sister (and Earth!).
As you wander your house in the game, you can read all sorts of descriptions - nothing is a mystery here. Your sister has made you dinner. You aren't hungry. Life is pretty straightforward, but soon you'll be solving brainteasers to please alien overlords.
Once among the aliens, you'll solve button puzzles, and you may feel confident for a moment before the game whips out a new rule that makes you break out your thinking cap. This might make you think to ask the aliens you meet on your journey, but a language barrier makes things a bit complicated. At least you both share in a love of button puzzles, though.
Dead aims to capture that satisfaction of defeating a tough game boss, doing so through forcing players to balance healing and movement, as well as damage and dodging, making them take risks if they hope to overcome these monstrous, unsettling beasts.
Dead is a top-down shooter that has players tangling with ten bosses with huge health pools and a variety of complicated attacks to get away from. As its soundtrack hammers their ears, players will need to work on blasting the boss, but their dodging ability doesn't recharge so long as the player is attacking, leaving them vulnerable if they focus on offense too much. Should they get hit while being too greedy with damage, they'll need to stand still to regain health, but that means potentially getting hit some more. Balancing these will be key to surviving the battles against these strange, hostile faces.
Should players find this challenge lacking, there is a New Game + mode that will let players customize the challenge of each boss fight. The game features various difficulty options that offer far more complexity than just giving the bosses more health, allowing players to tweak the difficulty of their play session however they like it, although the developers offer little information on what those changeable mechanics are.
Dead looks to challenge and wreck its players, but aims for that...
Stranded on a foreign island, Eirik and his family have to build a settlement from scratch, fend off bad guys, and just try to survive from one day to the next. That last part is actually the hardest, since hunger, dehydration, sleep deprivation, and depression are much more fearsome adversaries than the occasional raider.
Dead in Vinland is, at its very core, a management game, wrapped up in a well-done Nordic narrative and garnished with some turn-based combat that has the tactical depth of Darkest Dungeon. I half-expected to not like it due to its heavy reliance on micromanagement, but it turns out that I cannot help but adore this game.
You start with your family of four, driven from their homes by invading Vikings and stranded on unknown shores. Each day is divided into three phases, two of which can be spent on various activities and the last one for relaxation, nourishment, and sharing stories around the camp fire. During the day, you delegate activities, such as exploring the island, gathering resources or food, or developing new activities.
In order to survive, you need to balance all these things - otherwise you'll starve to death, die of thirst or sheer exhaustion, or succumb to despair. Each one of your characters has different traits and stats which make...
In Whale Rock Games' co-op shooter Deployment, future wars between governments and megacorps have escalated into digital conflicts, within the procedural battlefields of servers.
In this cyberpunk action game, bots created from information data battle the encroaching forces of megacorps, in a ceaseless virtual war to control data. Working with a friend online or fighting AI in single player, you choose between several "infobot" classes - the aggressive Gunner, the damage-absorbing Pyro - and enter hectic dual-stick combat against waves of enemies.
Survival means quick reflex, precise aim, customizing your attack style through skills and perks for each class, and capturing powerful turrets within rooms to turn the tides against your relentless enemy.
Deployment is available for $12.99 on Steam.