New Releases Category
1st Dec 2011
Denathorn Games have released this sweet little retro-remake: Croco Magnet. Based on an Amstrad CPC original you control a blue ball that bounces left/right (rebounding off any wall it hits) and must clear the level of radiation, while avoiding the “nasty green blob things”. I really like the fact that the game flip-screens when you hit the edge, it means you need to really remember several screens worth of placement in order to angle the ball just right. Works very well!
29th Nov 2011
“The owl men are here, and they’re so very hungry.” – Gary Mason, former head of security.
A distress call wakes you and your crew mate from C-Sleep. A suspected rad leak at the nearby Outpost space station needs investigating. Don’t worry, it should just be a quick jump in, jump out job…
This is how Outpost starts. With you and your buddy exploring a space station. Ominous sounds coming from every corner, flickering lights making you feel as uneasy as possible, and a tense sense of foreboding hanging heavy in the air.
But wow, what a way to start! Outpost:Haven is the latest Flash game from our good friends at Gaming Your Way. Inspired heavily by Alien Syndrome and the Amiga classic Alien Breed you get to crawl around a gloomy space station, trying to discover what happened while blasting the hell out of the aliens who’ve infested the place. Info-cards are waiting to be collected revealing a surprisingly deep story. Weapons can be customised via the terminals situated around the station, and new ones bought including the obligatory Aliens homage Pulse Rifle.
14th Nov 2011
In these days of Flash doom and gloom it’s nice to bring you something as sweet as this little game. Infinivaders is now up on Newgrounds and is a Stage3D / Flash Player 11 shoot-em-up. Graphics and level patterns are procedural generated. Coded using the ND2D library for visuals and Flod for that lovely chippy soundtrack.
Plays smooth, fast and furious here. Not a great deal of challenge until later on. But as the game is only 50KB in size I’m not going to complain. Stuff that one in your pipe OccupyFlash and smoke on it.
18th Oct 2011
Bad Eggs Online is a new game from John and Rob Donkin. Think of it as a multi-player Worms clone. Only with eggs, an amazing range of weapons, and the kind of humour and sillyness that Worms should have evolved in to by now, but totally hasn’t.
It takes advantage of the multi-player services provided by Player.IO and the registration and login process is seamless and cross-site. I registered when I tested the game on Newgrounds, but you can login anywhere – and now I mostly play on the official web site.
There are various game modes including a classic 1-vs-1 duel right up to 6 players with 3 per team. Teams are split into Red and Blue and you never quite know who you’re going to fight against in a public match. You can make your own private battles too, and it gives you a code you can share via IM. There is much fun to be had playing with people you know, especially if they are in the same room – as Chris and I did in the Aardman office today, because there is a slight delay between your move and the other players witnessing it. So you can hear their evil cackle of glee several seconds in advance of watching your impending doom unfold on-screen.
21st Jan 2011
For days Chris from HyperDuck SoundWorks has been tweeting that the new indie platformer shooter A.R.E.S. by Extend Studio would be available from Steam January 19th. Tonight he was kind enough to throw a Steam code my way, and I just had a total blast of an hour playing it!
Despite having the same name as a popular torrent client (not great for SEO guys!) A.R.E.S has a very similar game mechanic to the classic PC exploration shooter Abuse. You run with the WASD keys and aim/shoot with the mouse. If you’ve got an Xbox 360 controller you can plug this in instead, and actually the 360 roots of this title are evident everywhere, from the options menu to the control set-up. That’s probably because A.R.E.S was the XNA Dream Build Play 2010 first prize winner, and will be released on XBLA soon.
A quirky intro story about rescuing hostages starts things off, but to be fair you’d be forgiven for skipping this and diving right into the meat. The first few sections train you up. The double-jump feels a little strange, and I can’t help but feel that the duck and roll should be more automatic (probably feels more natural on an xbox controller), but within minutes you are happily running, blasting and collecting drops.
Along the way your guide will introduce new features to you at a pretty rapid pace. When shot baddies drop 3 different types of collectibles (think Mario coins). You can spend these creating new items, such as grenades, or upgrading existing weapons. This is a nice touch, as it forces you to hoover up the liberal spillage that spews from downed opponents. Work your way through enough of them and soon you’ll encounter a boss. There are smaller mid-way bosses, and giant end of level endeavours that require some serious blasting to complete. I particuarly liked the first boss (below) which reminded me a lot of the boss from Contra: Alien Wars that rips its way through the walls at you.
There are lots of aspects of A.R.E.S that offer gentle nods to gaming in general. From the screen shakes, glow effects, roaring mechanical beasts, to the manga characters and detailed scoring system – old-school console gaming blood runs deep in its veins. Graphically it’s a quirky style. Levels are built in blocky 3D, but traversed in a very 2D manner. Backgrounds are detailed and animated. Where-as the main character and enemies often appear very vector / Flash in style. Yet the boss characters look decidedly hand-drawn, with all the texture you’d expect that to give. And on-top of this is a glowing, blooming, rippling sheen. So it’s quite a mixed bag, but most of the time it manages to gel.
Special mention has to be given to the music. It fits the game perfectly. Think Japanese style synth rock! and you’ll be close. There are so many tracks, and they really pump-up the atmosphere in-game. Hopefully the soundtrack will be available to buy once the game has had a chance to settle. In the meantime there is a great interview with Chris over at DIY Gamer (and 9 tracks to listen to).
I’ll wrap-up by showing you this video. That should be convincing enough
A.R.E.S. is available to buy on Steam (with a 10% discount at the time of writing) and should be on XBLA soon.
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