Frank Streva

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Frank Streva last won the day on February 13 2015

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  1. Pictured above: Battlerite I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd and haven't received a lot of media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Hand of Fate 2 Defiant Development $29.99 The unique card-driven/board game roguelite Hand of Fate returns with a vastly improved sequel. The core premise of Hand of Fate 2 remains the same, but features tons of new quests, challenges, items, and mechanics. Develop your character in a board game controlled by the mysterious Dealer by collecting cards that represent weapons, gear, and abilities. Recruit new allies that can aid you in battle or manipulate the board game's rules. Combat is where Hand of Fate 2 has changed the most, abandoning the rather weak Arkham-style system of the original in favor of more traditional hack and slash action combat. You can also find Hand of Fate 2 on GOG, Xbox One, and PS4. Space Pirates And Zombies 2 MinMax Games Ltd. $19.99 Space Pirates And Zombies is another cult hit indie title that had a sequel release this week, although its technically been out for over a year now via Early Access. Much like the original, SPAZ 2 allows you to explore a vast galaxy full of AI factions and rival captains that you can turn into enemies or allies. The events of the original game have decimated the galaxy's infrastructure, so resource management and scavenging play a larger role in the sequel. Much like Hand of Fate 2, SPAZ 2 has made rather drastic changes to the game's combat system, and has swapped the original's top-down view to a third-person perspective. Space Pirates And Zombies 2 is also available on GOG. Battlerite Stunlock Studios Free-to-play Battlerite is the latest game from the developers of Bloodline Champions, and just exited Early Access several days ago. Much like its predecessor, Battlerite distills the MOBA genre down to its most exciting part: The team fights. Matches are played in large arenas without minions, towers, or farming, and rounds usually take about two minutes. Besides some pre-game tweaking that allows you to customize your champion by choosing five cards, Battlerite is wholly focused on character knowledge, positioning, and team composition, with nearly every ability being a skill shot that needs to be aimed. As a free-to-play MOBA-style game, Battlerite is monetized via loot chests that contain vanity items and champions, along with a weekly hero rotation. Alternatively, you can spend $30 to unlock all current and future champions. Mutant Football League Digital Dreams Entertainment LLC $24.99 The classic Sega Genesis arcade football game Mutant League Football has been resurrected with modern mechanics and graphics with a spiritual successor made by the original's lead designer. In Mutant Football League, choose one of 18 teams made up of killer robots, alien monsters, and mutant freaks ready to (literally) smash the competition. Recruit All-Star players to give your team an edge on the trap-laden gridiron, and play dirty tricks like shotguns or chainsaws at the right moment to turn the game in your favor. Spintires: MudRunner Saber Interactive $29.99 Remember Spintires? It was an Early Access driving sim about using enormous all-terrain vehicles to navigate the muddiest "roads" you've ever seen. It gathered a sizeable following, but unfortunately development was permanently suspended after the one-man dev team was screwed over by a shady publisher. Luckily, Saber Interactive kept the rights to the IP and made a new deal with Focus Home Interactive. MudRunner is the ultimate version of Spintires, and features improved graphics and physics, new vehicles and environments, and full Steam Workshop support. You can also find MudRunners on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One, though I hear that the console versions aren't particularly good. Heliborne JetCat Games $19.99 MudRunner isn't the only new release that recreates heavy equipment in near fetishistic detail. Heliborne is a helicopter combat game that lets players fly 40 of the most famous gunships from the 1950s to modern day. Relive historic battles from Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and other conflicts in single player, co-op, and competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players. You can also find Heliborne on the Humble Store. Card Quest WinterSpring Games $9.99 Finally we come to Card Quest, a card-driven, dungeon-crawling RPG roguelite. Choose one of four classes, each of which has three specializations, and delve into dungeons to battle monsters, defeat bosses, and earn loot. Combat comes in the form of a card game, with the various items and abilities you earn by questing and leveling up forming your customizable deck. Rid a cursed city of an undead plague or explore a dwarven mountain stronghold, each of which has 12 potential areas to visit during a run. Which of these games caught your attention?
  2. Pictured above: AER Memories of Old I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd, most of which haven't received any real media attention. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. The Mummy Demastered WayForward $19.99 We have officially entered the Bizarro Dimension with this release. The Mummy Demastered is a retro-inspired Metroidvania "demake" based on the recent Mummy movie, and was developed by the guys behind the excellent Shantae series. We've heard of movies spawning terrible licensed games before, but this is a rare reversal where an awful movie lead to a pretty solid game. Navigate jungles, tombs, and the streets of London as an operative for the secretive Prodigium group. Fight through Ahmanet's legions with a variety of weapons and gadgets, and discover hidden areas to unlock ancient relics and abilities. You can also find The Mummy Demastered on the Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. High Hell Terri Vellmann, Doseone $9.99 The developers of Heavy Bullets and Enter the Gungeon have teamed up to spawn High Hell, a fast and nonsensical arcade FPS. Blast your way through a maze-like office building full of syndicate thugs with the help of your trusting shotgun and powerful, well-toned legs. Burn stacks of ill-gotten cash, destroy drug labs, and rescue sacrificial lambs on your quest to destroy the criminal underworld. High Hell can apparently be finished in around 90 minutes, but the game is loaded with secrets and designed to be played multiple times as you compete with your friends to get the fastest speedrun. High Hell is also on the Humble Store. Bionic Battle Mutants Monkeynetics $9.99 Bionic Battle Mutants is a turn-based tactics game inspired by classics like X-COM and Jagged Alliance. Build a team of criminals-turned-gladiators on the prison planet Cerberus 7. Improve your gladiators between matches by crafting weapons, upgrades, and bionic limbs. Win your matches by either slaughtering the opposition, or scoring objectives. Bionic Battle Mutants features both a 21-mission single player campaign and competitive online matches against other players. AER Memories of Old Forgotten Key $14.99 AER is a relaxing, minimalist exploration game that lets you freely transform into a bird and soar amongst the clouds. Embark on a pilgrimage to the Land of the Gods as Auk, one of the few remaining shapeshifters in the world. Travel to vibrant floating islands and explore massive temples full of puzzles and mysterious to solve. AER Memories of Old is also available on the Humble Store, GOG, PS4, and Xbox One. Debris Moonray Studios $19.99 Leave the open skies behind and dive into the terrifying depths of the Arctic Ocean in Debris. You are part of a film crew sent to make a documentary about meteoric debris found in the ocean that imitates a mysterious power that could put an end to Earth's energy problems forever. A disaster during filming leaves your crew scattered and stranded in the deep, and to make matters worse, you are being hunted by creatures of unknown origin. Explore a hauntingly beautiful bioluminescent ocean in a game world that promises to be the size of Manhattan. You can also find Debris on the Humble Store. Golden Krone Hotel Vulgat $9.99 Finally we come to Golden Krone Hotel, this week's obligatory roguelike release. You play as Sorina Arobase, a famous human war hero and monster hunter seeking vengeance against the vampire prince Fane. Navigate the procedurally-generated hallways of the Golden Krone Hotel and slay supernatural enemies. Also, you're actually a vampire in disguise. Cast spells and fight from a distance as a human, then transform into your vampire form to become a melee bruiser. Manipulate sunlight to your advantage to defeat your bloodthirsty foes, and destroy man-made lights so you can skulk around in the shadows. You can also buy Golden Krone Hotel on the Humble Store. Which of these games caught your attention?
  3. Pictured above: ELEX I'm back with another batch of recent indie and AA releases that may have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not here to personally recommend any of these games- I'm just highlighting some new releases that stood out from the crowd. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Grim Dawn- Ashes of Malmouth Crate Entertainment $17.99 One new release I actually can recommend is the Ashes of Malmouth expansion for Grim Dawn. This massive expansion adds a ton of new content to an already excellent action RPG, including two new classes, 14 new Constellations, an increased level cap, and two story chapters set in the fallen city of Malmouth. Ashes of Malmouth also includes a wide variety of quality of life improvements, such as an Illusionist that can change your gear appearance, an expanded item stash, and several ways to respec your character. Grim Dawn and its expansion are available on GOG and the Humble Store too, but the base game is currently 66% off on Steam until November 1st. Dungeons 3 Realmforge Studios $39.99 The Dungeons series returns for its third installment, and its apparently a fairly major improvement. The Dungeon series takes the dungeon building and management aspects of Dungeon Keeper, but gives you more control over your units like in an RTS. Build an elaborate dungeon to attract all manner of evil creatures before launching raids on the overworld, bringing corruption and ruin to the peaceful kingdoms of the surface-dwellers. One of the biggest new additions to Dungeons 3 is the inclusion of randomly generated level layouts to ensure that each session is unique. You can also find Dungeons 3 on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. ELEX Piranha Bytes $49.99 The developers of the cult classic Gothic series are taking their first steps into a new science fantasy universe with ELEX. In the post-apocalyptic world of Magalan, a war is being waged over a new resource that gives people immense magical abilities, but slowly drains them of their emotions. Explore a massive open world completely devoid of loading screens, with a jetpack that can be used to reach the game's many vertical locations. ELEX promises to deliver deep, interconnected quests and difficult choices as you either cling to your humanity, or allow your new powers to consume you. You can also find ELEX on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. Freaky Awesome Mandragora $9.99 Team up with three friends and explore a procedurally generated factory full of deranged mutants in the action roguelite Freaky Awesome. Consume mutagens to regain health and mutate yourself into various freaky creatures with unique special abilities and attacks. Luckily, the co-op in Freaky Awesome is both local and online, giving it an edge over many similar indie titles. Brawlhalla Blue Mountain Games Free-to-Play The highly anticipated Smash Bros.-style multiplayer brawler, Brawlhalla, has left early access. Choose from over 30 unique fighters and battle up to eight players online or locally in this platform fighter that emphasizes slamming your opposition off the map. Levels are dotted with various items and gadgets that can be used to turn the tide of battle in your favor. The game has been in beta for a long time now, and already has a fully featured ranking system and leaderboards based on player feedback. Brawlhalla's business model is free-to-play with a weekly rotation of six characters. You earn in-game currency that can be used to buy new characters, or you can spend $19.99 on the All Legends Pack to gain immediate access to every character, both current and future. Brawlhalla is currently only available on PC, but it's supposed to make its way over to PS4 eventually as well. Overgrowth Wolfire Games $29.99 After nearly a decade in development, the anthropomorphic animal fighter Overgrowth has finally hit version 1.0. This open sandbox game seeks to replicate stylized martial arts brawls through the use of free-flowing combat and a physics system that sits somewhere between "hilarious" and "wonky." People seem a bit divided over just how well the final product turned out, with many recent user reviews saying that Overgrowth still feels very unpolished and has a mediocre story. The game is also available on the Humble Store. Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! Daylight Studios $7.99 The Holy Potatoes series of quirky management games is back for a third installment. In What the Hell?!, you participate in a bizarre cooking show in Hell as you try to absolve yourself of sin and ascend to Heaven. Create your kitchen staff from a collection of fellow sinners and build delicious dishes to appease the Gods. Compete against rival teams in cook-offs to prove that you are the best chef in all of Hell. In a refreshing change of pace, What the Hell?! actually has a demo, so why not give it a try? Bomber Crew Runner Duck $14.99 Finally we come to Bomber Crew, a strategy sim that can best be described as "FTL with WWII bombers." Recruit your crew and engage in daring bombing missions over German airspace. Swap your crew between stations and desperately try to keep your bomber in the air as you encounter enemy resistance from fighters and AA installations. Bomber Crew has mostly positive reviews thus far, but the one frequent complaint I keep seeing is the lack of a tactical pause feature, which makes the game a bit too hectic for some people's tastes. Which of these new games caught your attention?
  4. Pictured above: Heat Signature I'm back after a lengthy hiatus with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't received a lot of press and look like they might be worth checking out. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. A Hat in Time Gears for Breakfast $29.99 Originally slated for a 2013 release after a surprisingly successful Kickstarter, the "cute-as-heck" 3D platformer A Hat in Time is finally available on PC. You play as a space-faring little girl that has been left stranded on a nearby planet after a catastrophe leaves her ship out of fuel. The ensuing adventure takes a lot of cues from classic 3D platformer collect-a-thons from the N64 and GameCube, and features five massive worlds to explore. Despite the numerous delays, A Hat in Time seems to have been well-worth the wait, and has received positive reviews from critics and gamers alike. You can also find A Hat in Time on GOG and the Humble Store, with Xbox One and PS4 versions coming later this year. Battle Chasers: Nightwar Airship Syndicate $29.99 Battle Chasers is another anticipated title that was successfully Kickstarted some time back. Like A Hat in Time, Battle Chasers takes its inspirations from classic console games, but in this case old-school JRPGs. The game is actually based on a comic from the '90s, and features a gorgeous hand-drawn art style. Build your party based on characters from the comic series and delve into dungeons full of traps, monsters, and bosses. Opinions are a bit mixed regarding some of the game's mechanics, however, with late-game grinding being a frequent complaint. Battle Chasers is also on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch. Hob Runic Games $19.99 Runic Games is back with a new game called Hob, and it's quite the departure from their previous titles. Instead of being a loot-driven action RPG like the Torchlight series, Hob is a narrative-focused action-adventure full of exploration, puzzles, and dangerous bosses. Use your character's mechanical glove to fight enemies and traverse the environment on your quest to repair a broken world. You can also find Hob on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4. Ruiner Reikon Games $19.99 Ruiner is a challenging top-down cyberpunk shooter that had the misfortune of coming out right before Cuphead. Cleanse the corruption destroying the metropolis of Rengkok with an arsenal of futuristic weapons, cybernetic enhancements, quick reflexes, and bone-shattering violence. Just don't expect an easy time, as Ruiner is a game that prides itself on not holding your hand. You can also find Ruiner on GOG, the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. JYDGE 10tons Ltd. $14.99 Speaking of challenging futuristic shooters, JYDGE is the latest title from the developers of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome. Clean up the mean streets of Edenbyrg as a JYDGE, a cyberware-enhanced super-cop ready to dispense justice from the barrel of your heavily modified Gavel assault rifle. Customize your JYDGE with a variety of cybernetic enhancements and weapon mods that cater to your preferred play style. Tackle missions alone or with fellow JYDGEs in local co-op. Road Redemption Pixel Dash Studios, EQgames $19.99 After a successful Kickstarter and years in Early Access, the spiritual successor to Road Rash is finally done. In Road Redemption, players fight and drive their way across a post-apocalyptic world ruled by cartels and motorcycle gangs. Engage in brutal races and high-speed vehicular combat with guns, melee weapons, grabs, and kicks. Complete missions to gain loot and experience to upgrade your character and bike throughout the game's single player campaign. Road Redemption features online and local multiplayer as well, both competitive and cooperatively. Console owners will have to wait until next year to get their hands on the game. Ogre Auroch Digital $24.99 Ogre is the official digital adaptation of the classic Steve Jackson wargame. In the near future, armies clash in an endless world war. The battlefields of tomorrow are dominated by the Ogres, massive AI-controlled mobile fortresses that pack the firepower of an entire tank battalion. More than just a mere digital adaptation, Ogre comes packed with new single player campaigns, scenarios, skirmish modes, and online multiplayer. It's also available on the Humble Store. Winged Sakura: Endless Dream Winged Sakura Games $19.99 The latest Winged Sakura game looks like it can adequately be described as "Dungeon of the Endless with waifus." You'll directly control one of four playable characters on a mission to escort Mimi to each random-generated floor's exit. Much like Dungeon of the Endless, you'll also have to deploy towers to survive against waves of enemies. The waifu part comes in the form of Sakuras, cute anime girls you'll collect and level up during your adventure. You can bring six of them into each battle and assign them support roles to enhance yourself and your towers. Owners of the previous Winged Sakura games gain access to some extra waifus as a loyalty bonus. Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates Coin Operated Games $29.99 Empyre is a strategy RPG set in an alternate 1911 Manhattan with neo-Victorian aesthetics and steampunk technology. In 1899, the world's oceans began to rise unexpectedly, leaving many coastal cities flooded. Most people fled, but some remained behind and formed independent city-states in the last patches of dry land. The Manhattan city-states are on the verge of collapse as supplies of fresh water begin to dwindle, and everyone is looking for a savior to deliver them from the coming crisis. Gather a party of adventurers and explore the drowned ruins of New York as one of four character classes. The handful of reviews I can find give Empyre a cautious recommendation, stating that its full of interesting ideas and great world-building, but with uninteresting combat and poorly implemented mechanics holding it back from greatness. Heat Signature Suspicious Developments $14.99 Finally we come to Heat Signature, the latest game from the developer of Gunpoint. Use your tiny spaceship to sneak up to larger vessels to engage in a bit of space thievery. Use a mix of stealth, gadgets, and weapons to complete your mission and escape with the loot. All the missions and ships are randomly generated, with a handful of key heists you'll unlock as the game progresses. The environments are also fully destructible, allowing you to take out a roomful of enemies with a well-placed explosive charge on the ship's hull. Heat Signature is also available on the Humble Store. That's all for now. Which of these games caught your attention?
  5. Pictured above: Aarklash Legacy If you haven't noticed yet, GOG has been running a sale for around a week now. There's over 200 games being sold at ridiculously cheap prices, with the most extreme deals reaching a staggering 95% off. Needless to say, there's a lot of games worth checking out here. I could ramble all day listing great indie games at historically low prices, but I'll keep it down to 10 for brevity's sake. Here's 10 games you should consider buying before the sale ends tomorrow: Bionic Dues Arcen Games $0.99 (90% off) Anyone who reads my sales articles knows that my fanboyism for Arcen Games is near fetishistic, and I always highlight at least one of their titles when they are discounted. This tiny indie studio produces some awesome, quirky games that rarely ever live up to their full potential, but always offer an extremely unique experience you can't really get anywhere else. One of my personal favorites is Bionic Dues, a mecha roguelike that sadly never achieved the same success as some of Arcen's other games. You have somewhere between 30 and 50 days to liberate a city that has been overrun by robotic death machines before your higher-ups turn to their last resort: Nuclear annihilation. Each mission consumes one day, and successfully completing your objective can weaken the robotic forces in one way or another. However, the robots strengthen in other ways after each level, regardless of your success or failure. The campaign features around 120 missions, and you don't have enough time to complete them all before facing a gigantic final assault by the robot forces. Some missions might delay the assault, but you can never prevent it from happening. It's definitely not a game for everyone, but I urge anyone mildly interested in the concept to at least give it a try. Arcen's other games are on sale too, so if roguelikes aren't your thing then you should consider The Last Federation or AI War. Ziggurat Milkstone Studios $4.49 (70%) Ziggurat wasn't the first game to merge roguelike procedural generation and progression with FPS gameplay, but I personally feel that it was the first that really felt good to play. It's a fairly solid and mechanically sound old-school-inspired arena shooter that uses procedural generation and randomized loot to spice things up. It avoids many of the pitfalls of this subgenre of roguelites by giving the player several guns at the beginning of a run, so it doesn't suffer as much from the early game repetition other titles in the genre have. Unfortunately, while early game variety is pretty nice, you'll eventually find that there isn't a whole lot of content overall; you'll probably only complete a handful of runs before moving on to another game. It's still fun enough to blaze through on a lazy weekend though, and the current sale price is just right. Apotheon Alientrap Games $3.79 (75% off) Apotheon isn't Alientrap's first game, but it was the one that gained them some fleeting mainstream attention. This 2D action puzzle-platformer is set in Ancient Greece and features a gorgeous art direction inspired by pottery and paintings from the time. The combat is fast and skillful, with a really nice variety of both traditional Bronze Age weapons and mythological abilities bestowed upon you by the Gods of Olympus. The controls are a bit janky at times, particularly during the game's platforming segments, but they aren't so bad that they prevented me from finishing the game. There's some light Metroidvania elements too, as you'll occasionally backtrack to reach new areas after completing certain tasks. While Apotheon is the better of the two games, you can grab Alientrap's previous title, Capsized, for only $1. Cryptark, which is their latest game, is also on sale for 50% off. Aarklash Legacy Cyanide Studios $1.99 (90% off) Aarklash Legacy is a great party-based RPG set in the beloved (but defunct) Confrontation miniature game universe. You control a group of mercenaries that have been wrongly accused of treason, and are now on the run from the Lion of Alahan's forces. While the story and voice acting aren't incredible, the combat and interesting character designs make Aarklash Legacy a worthy addition to your CRPG library. Combat is real-time with an active pause system, and in many ways it almost feels like a single player MOBA where you control multiple champions at once. Micromanaging the positioning of your party is a huge part of the game, and even many of the healing abilities need to be aimed. While the skill trees and character customization aren't quite as deep as some other isometric RPGs, you still do get to make some pretty meaningful choices when leveling up your characters, including mutually-exclusive skills that can alter the way the character plays. Age of Wonders 3 Triumph Studios $7.49 (75% off) In some ways, Age of Wonders 3 is a downgrade from its classic predecessors. The empire management isn't as complex as other 4X games, but at the same time the fun tactical combat, charming unit designs, and interesting approach to factions make it a game I still managed to put hundreds of hours into. My favorite aspect is how you can customize your faction. When building your leader, you choose their race, class, and three schools of magic or technology. While the core aspects of empire management are always the same, the combination of these choices alters your play style in more subtle ways. Races have their own set of units and preferences, your class gives you access to unique units and upgrades, and finally the schools of magic determine what your tech trees and spell books look like. There's some minor RPG elements to Age of Wonders 3 as well, including stat and ability customization for your heroes, items, and dungeons you can raid for loot and resources. The entire Age of Wonders franchise is on sale right now, and you honestly can't go wrong regardless of which game you pick. Lichdom: Battlemage Xaviant Games $1.99 (95% off) I have to be honest here, Lichdom isn't exactly a great game. It's a fantastic IDEA for a game, but its execution is pretty flawed. The concept of Lichdom is that it's a first-person RPG about being a ridiculously overpowered mage. There are no mana bars, cooldowns, or other limits to your face-freezing, flesh-sizzling magic. In theory, at least. In reality, Lichdom is more of a fantasy FPS where you shoot lightning bolts and fireballs from your fingers, and it's a damn pretty one too. The biggest problems with the game come down to boring level design, a loot-based spell crafting system that isn't as deep or interesting as it could have been, and a general lack of meaningful character progression. Like I said, it's by no means a bad game, it just didn't live up to its potential. Despite my complaints though, at 95% off you can still have a decent amount of fun blowing people up with fireballs in gorgeous HD graphics powered by CryEngine. Door Kickers KillHouse Games $3.99 (80% off) As far as game titles go, Door Kickers is pretty lame and comes off as a bad meme. Luckily, the actual gameplay of Door Kickers is pretty freaking awesome. If you are disappointed that the Rainbox Six franchise abandoned the planning phase ages ago, then Door Kickers is the top-down strategy game you need in your life, because that essentially what this game is. Control a squad of SWAT operators through dozens of deadly scenarios featuring hostages, suicide bombers, and other terrorists that have barricaded themselves inside of buildings and won't go down without a fight. Once you breached your way through all the premade scenarios you can dive into the random level generators, or even make your own missions with the game's built-in editor. Xenonauts Goldhawk Interactive $6.29 (75% off) While I do really enjoy the modern XCOM titles, gamers looking for an experience closer to the original UFO Defense need to check out Xenonauts. You play as the commander of the Xenonauts, a multinational coalition formed to repel alien invaders. It really does look and feel like what you'd expect from a straight modernization of the original X-Com, and features many of the fan-favorite mechanics that Firaxis removed. In some ways, Xenonauts manages to surpass its larger budget contemporary, particularly in regards to the UFO interception mini-game, better base construction, and a deeper inventory system for your troops. It's not quite perfect, and still lacks polish and balance in a few areas, but for the most part Xenonauts is closer to what I wanted from a modern interpretation of X-Com, even if the real reboot still turned out pretty good. Stories: The Path of Destinies Spearhead Games $3.79 (75% off) Stories is an action roguelite with some genuinely innovative ideas. It blends a pretty basic (though generally fun and well-designed) action combat system with a choose-your-own-adventure narrative that can lead to many possible outcomes. As with all roguelites, its designed to be replayed many times, but the choice-driven approach to the narrative makes it very unique in an otherwise saturated genre because of the sheer number of bizarre and tongue-in-cheek ways you can mess up. And you will mess up a lot, as the entire narrative is based around learning from your mistakes and trying something different next time...and that next time will undoubtedly also end in failure. Rebel Galaxy Double Damage Games $4.99 (75% off) Finally we come to Rebel Galaxy, a space RPG that shouldn't be confused with Rogue Galaxy from the PS2. Rebel Galaxy allows you to live out your Firefly fantasies by traveling across dangerous border systems on the edge of civilized space as you trade, mine space debris, hunt pirates, and navigate your way through the power politics of the galaxy's rival factions. The core gameplay loop of entering a new system to grind for resources so you can upgrade your ship does get repetitive after a while, but the game's fun ship-to-ship combat and excellent soundtrack will keep you busy for at least a few dozen hours. If the customization was deeper and the late-game gear was more interesting then Rebel Galaxy could have turned out to be something really special, but as it stands its merely a pretty solid space RPG. You still have around 20 hours to snap up any deals that catch your attention. Make sure you browse the sale's page though, because there are tons of other good games being sold at bargain bin prices right now.
  6. Pictured above: 3030 Deathwar Redux I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't received a lot of press. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Tooth and Tail Pocketwatch Games $19.99 Tooth and Tail is a streamlined RTS by the developers of Monaco that hopes to deliver a deep strategy experience without focusing on the high APM and micromanagement requirements that make more traditional games in the genre so daunting. The world of Tooth and Tail is what you'd get if Redwall was set during the October Revolution, and features an art style reminiscent of WWI imagery and early Soviet propaganda posters. Years of famine have forced once-civilized animals to resort to a carnivorous diet, and now four factions are embattled in a civil war to determine who has to be the food. Tooth and Tail features both a campaign mode and competitive multiplayer, with matches designed to last around 5-to-10 minutes. You can find the game on the Humble Store, GOG, and PS4. Hiveswap What Pumpkin Games $7.99 Hiveswap is an episodic adventure series inspired by the old LucasArts classics. The series is set in the Homestuck universe, long before the webcomic actually starts, and will be compatible with a companion series called Hauntswitch. You play as Joey Claire, a teenage girl that has been abducted from her home in 1994 and dropped on an alien world in the far future. Explore the game's hand-animated environments and solve item-based logic puzzles, albeit without the moon logic of most '90s adventure games. Be aware that this is only the first act in a four-part series, with no confirmed release date for the other episodes yet. Hiveswap is also available on the Humble Store. 3030 Deathwar Redux Bird in Sky $14.99 Speaking of adventure games, 3030 Deathwar Redux is a strange mix of a Space Quest-style narrative point 'n click with an open-universe space combat RPG. It's actually an extensively reworked version of a game from 2007, and features tons of extra content, enhanced graphics, and a major gameplay overhaul. 3030 Deathwar has comedic story-focused sequences where you solve puzzles and interact with characters like you'd expect from an adventure game, but you also have the freedom to explore the galaxy and carve your own path. Become a mercenary, haul cargo, mine asteroids, or engage in a life of piracy to afford new upgrades for your vessel. Warbands: Bushido Red Unit Studios $7.99 Warbands: Bushido is a digital miniature skirmish game that recently exited Early Access. Collect units and cards to construct your army, then challenge other players online in skirmishes on grid-based boards designed to look like tabletops, complete with animated dice rolls and paintable miniatures. Warbands features some single player scenarios, but according to many user reviews they are poorly designed, meaning that you should only consider the game if you want multiplayer. It has received mixed reception since leaving Early Access, but as a miniature gamer myself I think I'll keep an eye on it. Samurai Riot Wako Factory $14.99 Samurai Riot is a 2D brawler designed primarily with co-op in mind. Choose between two warriors, Sukane or Tsurumaru, in a branching story with eight possible endings. Players will need to choose between difficult moral choices that affect the outcome of their story, and should they disagree on a choice, they'll need to resolve their differences via a duel. Other features include upgradable character traits, new moves to learn, and co-op team attacks for taking down tougher enemies. Oriental Empires Shining Pixel Studios $29.99 Oriental Empires is a 4X strategy game where players get to shape the history of ancient China. Starting with a single tribe, players will advance through the ages by expanding their territory, researching new technology, building armies, and eventually unifying all the warring nations into the first Chinese empire. The game features 24 playable factions, covering the beginning of Chinese history through the Seven Kingdoms era. The management aspect of Oriental Empires is fantastic from what I've heard, and includes tons of authentic Chinese units, technologies, and edicts based on historical events. The combat is consistently brought up as the most lackluster element of Oriental Empires, however, because you don't directly control your forces and must rely on AI with questionable tactical prowess. Also available on the Humble Store. A Robot Named Fight! Matt Bitner Games $9.99 The new Metroid might only be available on the 3DS, but PC gamers have what looks to be a solid alternative with A Robot Named Fight! Explore procedurally-generated levels and collect randomized power-ups and item sets in this 2D Metroidvania roguelite where no play-through is ever the same. A Robot Named Fight! also features co-op, though its only available as local multiplayer. Red Obsidian Remnant Red Obsidian Studio $8.99 Finally we come to Red Obsidian Remnant, our last roguelite title this week. This cute dungeon crawler combines the procedurally-generated items, levels, and enemies that you'd expect from a roguelike, but features a fairly deep action combat system. Air juggling, swapping weapons mid-combo, blocks, parries, and cancels all play a big role in Red Obsidian's brawler-inspired combat. The biggest downside seems to be the poor English translation, which remains an issue even after almost a year in Early Access. Online multiplayer is on the way too, though there is no set release date yet. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more indie release highlights.
  7. Pictured above: Absolver I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some recent titles that haven't been receiving a whole lot of press. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. 20XX Batterystable Games $14.99 Mighty No. 9 might not have been the Mega Man successor that everyone hoped it would be, but luckily we have 20XX, which just recently released from Early Access. 20XX is everything you'd expect to see in a modern Mega Man-style action platformer, but with roguelite elements. Levels shift as you play and there is an element of randomness to the special abilities and bosses you'll encounter, with more options getting unlocked the more you play. There is a permadeath element like all games in the genre, though there is a more lenient difficulty setting that gives you three lives. Also available on the Humble Store. Darkwood Acid Wizard Studio $14.99 Another anticipated indie title that recently exited Early Access is Darkwood. This atmospheric, top-down survival horror game places a big emphasis on scavenging for materials during the day and finding a place to hunker down and defend yourself at night. You can improve your character by injecting the essence of Darkwood's flora and fauna into your bloodstream, but be weary of unintended side effects. The world also changes as you play, adding an extra layer of eeriness to your exploration. Darkwood is available on the Humble Store and GOG. Sky Rogue Fractal Phase $19.99 Our next roguelite this week is Sky Rogue, an arcadey aerial combat game. Each in-game day gives you a new randomly generated level and objective, and you only have one chance to complete it. As with many roguelites, you'll earn experience, new playable fighters, and new weapons as you progress. Enemies aren't just limited to waves of fighters and enemy aces, as Sky Rogue takes a page from Ace Combat's playbook and features massive super weapons too. Sky Rogue is also available on the Humble Store. Absolver Sloclap $29.99 Absolver is a fairly unique melee-focused MMORPG dripping with martial arts combat and mechanics. The player interaction in Absolver is especially interesting, and goes beyond the usual making friends or rivals aspect that you'd expect in any multiplayer game. Players can become mentors or students to other players, thus allowing each other to use different move sets they might not have learned yet. The user reviews are pretty mixed so far, though leaning a bit more towards the positive end of the spectrum. The biggest issues with Absolver seem to be the lack of adequate servers for gamers outside of North America and Western Europe, making the game largely unplayable to anyone living outside of those regions. You can also find Absolver on the Humble Store, GOG, and the PS4, though apparently the console version is pretty buggy. Nidhogg 2 Messhof $14.99 Speaking of melee-focused multiplayer games, the sequel to 2014's hit 1v1 sword dueling game has arrived. Nidhogg 2 abandons the original's more minimalistic aesthetic for some fairly detailed pixel art, though your mileage may vary when it comes to which style you prefer. The sequel's biggest new features include additional weapons, a revamped combat system, new maps, and modifiers that can be used to spice up your duels. Be aware that some Nidhogg fans aren't too thrilled about the new direction, citing simplified combat and questionable weapon balance for the new gear as problems they have with the sequel. Nidhogg 2 is also on the Humble Store and the PS4. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger & Boulder ACE Team $14.99 The surreal, historical tower defense/giant rock bowling series returns with Rock of Ages 2. Besides the usual features that you'd expect from a sequel, Rock of Ages 2 runs on UE4 this time around, ensuring that the destruction physics have never been better. The multiplayer has also been greatly expanded upon, including 2v2 team battles with intersecting tracks. You can also grab Rock of Ages 2 on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. X-Morph: Defense EXOR Studios $19.99 X-Morph: Defense is another interesting tower defense/action hybrid that recently came out on Steam. You play as an X-Morph, a highly advanced alien species that has invaded Earth to strip mine it. Defend against humanity's counterattacks by building mazes of towers and jumping into one of several alien fighters to take a more direct approach to planetary conquest. These aerial dogfights are also how you will deal with the massive boss mecha that the humans will throw at you as they get increasingly desperate. Each mission is designed to be played co-op as well, though the multiplayer is split screen only. Also on PS4 and Xbox One. Distrust Cheerdealers $11.99 Distrust is a top-down survival game inspired by John Carpenter's The Thing. You control a group of explorers stranded in an arctic base following a deadly helicopter crash. If the frigid weather and dwindling food and resources weren't enough, bizarre entities stalk the night, feeding on the life energy of sleeping survivors. As your characters become increasingly hungry and sleep-deprived, they begin to hallucinate until they can no longer tell what is reality. You can also find Distrust on the Humble Store. Project Remedium Atomic Jelly $14.99 Finally we come to Project Remedium, a story-driven FPS where you control a heavily armed nanobot injected into a young child's bloodstream to save them from a mysterious illness. Fight your way through their heavily infected body to cure and repair the six major organs that are currently under siege. You'll find other nanobots to aid you during your journey, and can craft upgrades to your weapons and abilities to increase your antibiotic capabilities. That's all for now. I'll return soon with more overlooked release highlights.
  8. Pictured above: Phantom Trigger I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that stood out among Steam's weekly releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Sudden Strike 4 Kite Games $49.99 It's not quite indie, but obscure enough that some people may have missed it. The Sudden Strike series finally returns after a seven year hiatus, though the reception so far has been pretty mixed. Fight through over 20 famous WWII battles as the Allies, Germany, or the USSR using an arsenal of historical units. The most notable new mechanic is the Commander system, which allows you to play as one of nine historic figures that have their own play style and unique abilities. Unfortunately, long-time Sudden Strike fans seem divided over this new installment, mostly due to its more simplified mechanics, poor unit pathfinding, and high price point for the amount of content at launch. Sudden Strike 4 is also on GOG, Humble Store, and the PS4. Time Recoil 10tons Ltd $13.99 The developers of Crimsonland and Neon Chrome are back with another top-down shooter that features an interesting take on bullet time. Instead of just having a "press X to bullet time" button, in Time Recoil you must score kills to activate your slow motion powers. Subsequent kills extend your slow motion murder spree, and unlock the use of special powers, like a dash move that allows you to phase through walls. Time Recoil can also be found on the Humble Store. Cat Quest The Gentlebros $12.99 RPG fans looking for a cute and casual way to entertain yourself over a weekend might want to check out Cat Quest. This open world action RPG is set in a whimsical fantasy realm full of cat people and feline puns. Set out on a quest to rescue your kidnapped sister from a dark lord threatening this peaceful kingdom. Combat is in real time and consists of hacking, slashing, dodge rolling, and the odd magic spell or two. Character customization mostly comes in the form of gear sets that amplify particular combat styles. You can also find Cat Quest on iOS. Graceful Explosion Machine Vertex Pop $12.99 Graceful Explosion Machine is a colorful 2D shooter that originally made its debut a few months back on the Switch, to positive critical reception. You pilot the GEM, the most advanced and ridiculously overpowered fighter in the galaxy as you wage a one-ship war against an alien armada. Combo together your ship's four distinct weapons to maximize your score in each of the game's 30 levels. Also available on PS4. Phantom Trigger Bread Team $14.99 Phantom Trigger is the latest indie game to be picked up and published by tinyBuild. It has drawn a lot of comparisons to Hyper Light Drifter for being a stylish top-down brawler with pixel art graphics, though based on the Steam reviews the public reaction has been a bit more mixed. The combo-driven combat system places a heavy emphasis on stuns, freezes, interrupts, and traps, all of which can be cast mid-combo to avoid enemy counterattacks. You can also find Phantom Trigger on GOG, the Humble Store, and the Switch. Evil Genome Crystal Depths Studio $14.99 Another recent stylish brawler to find its way onto Steam is Evil Genome. It bills itself as a Metroidvania loaded with gear and special abilities to discover, but based on the reviews I've seen, Evil Genome is much more linear than most games in the genre. The Steam reviews are a bit mixed as well, with commonly cited issues being bugs and poor translation, but Evil Genome still looks promising enough to keep an eye on. Peregrin Domino Digital Limited $14.99 Peregrin is a narrative puzzle adventure published by Green Man Gaming's new publishing arm. You play as Abi, a scavenger living in the wastelands of a ruined civilization. She embarks on a journey to find a better life in the unknown world beyond the wastes. She has the unique gift to temporarily possess the bodies of the creatures around her, and will need to use their abilities to solve environmental puzzles and sneak past the deadly lost technology that remains scattered around the world. You can also find Peregrin on the Humble Store and Green Man Gaming. Lost Technology Studio 4D $2.99 Finally we come to Lost Technology, a strategy game that is essentially a mod of a mod that got expanded into its own game with the help of the original mod's creator. Players choose from around a dozen factions vying for control in a fantasy world experiencing a resurgence in technological development. The overworld map where you develop your kingdom, negotiate with other races, and move your troops is turn-based, but battles play out in real time. There are also story events, though only three of the factions are currently translated. You can still play as the others, but they don't have story events just yet due to the limited time and budget of the game's small Japanese dev team. Even though the game is technically still unfinished, it's hard to argue with a $3 price tag. That's all for now. I'll return soon with more overlooked indie game release highlights.
  9. Pictured above: Super Cloudbuilt I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that stood out among Steam's weekly releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Pyre Supergiant Games $19.99 First up we have Pyre, a game that probably doesn't need much in the way of introduction. The latest title by the developers of Transistor and Bastion may retain Supergiant's signature aesthetic and focus on music and storytelling, but takes a fairly radical departure in the gameplay department. This time around combat comes in the form of a sports RPG, where teams of three have to grab a ball and score on the opponent's goal, the titular "pyres." Another interesting departure from previous Supergiant games is the addition of a pseudo-open world with a branching storyline that contains no real failure states. Pyre is also available on PS4. Slime Rancher Monomi Park $19.99 The hugely popular and adorable Slime Rancher recently released from Early Access. You play as Beatrix LeBeau, a young rancher that has decided to travel to the distant fringes of the galaxy and make her living as a slime wrangler. In practical terms, Slime Rancher is a first-person sandbox where players capture slimes with their handy vacpack, place them in pins, care for them, and sell the fruits of their labor for profit. The challenge comes from learning the various properties of the different slime species, and figuring out the best ways to contain and care for them. Slime Rancher is also on GOG, the Humble Store, and Xbox One. Sundered Thunder Lotus Games $19.99 Sundered is a 2D metroidvania featuring gorgeous (and terrifying) hand-drawn graphics from the creators of Jotun. Explore a ruined world of shifting caverns and cosmic horrors where you must choose to embrace or resist the whispering temptations of ancient eldritch artifacts. Sundered promises multiple endings to discover based on how much of your sanity you sacrifice to harness the dark powers of its world. You can also buy Sundered on GOG, the Humble Store, and PS4. The Shrouded Isle Kitfox Games $9.99 The Shrouded Isle is another recent title about ancient powers better left forgotten. This story-driven light management game places you in control of a village of fanatical cultists that worship a slumbering Lovecraftian god. According to your village's prophecies, the god will soon reawaken and lead humanity into a new era. Survive for the next three years as the high priest of your religion by making allies, rooting out heretics, and offering sacrifices to your god to maintain his favor. Also available on the Humble Store. Solstice Chronicles: MIA Ironward $19.99 Solstice Chronicles is a top-down tactical shooter where you play as a corporate marine stranded on a dead Martian colony. The mutagenic virus that decimated Earth has spread throughout Tharsis, and you must find a way to stop it from reaching the last bastions of humanity. Accompanying you is an advanced AI-controlled drone full of useful features, and is the source of the game's interesting risk-reward mechanics. The drone can be used to unleash tons of powerful abilities against the mutant hordes in Tharsis, but using your drone too much raises the alert level and attracts more enemies to your location. You can also bring along a co-op partner, but the multiplayer is local only. Immortal Planet teedoubleuGAMES $14.99 Immortal Planet is the latest in a long line of challenging action RPGs that contain self-proclaimed "Souls-like" mechanics, such as methodical combat and losing experience upon death. Each level in the game's unforgiving world contains shortcuts back and forth to the central hub where you can cash in your experience for new abilities and gear. You can also buy Immortal Planet on GOG. Redeemer Sobaka Studio $14.99 Redeemer is a brutal new brawler that allows you to murder your enemies with everything from your fists to their own severed limbs. You play as Vasily, a former operative for the world's biggest cybernetics manufacturer that narrowly escaped after the company decided that they no longer needed him. After 20 years they have finally managed to track Vasily down, giving him a final chance to atone for his dark past. In addition to your standard combo-based brawling, you can also tackle missions with a stealthy approach...or just disarm a guard and go on a shooting spree with their assault rifle. You can also grab Redeemer on the Humble Store, and the developers worked out a deal with Devolver Digital so that owners of Mother Russia Bleeds can get the game for 10% off. Aztez Team Colorblind $19.99 Finally we come to Aztez, a black and white Aztec-inspired brawler with...turn-based strategy elements? Move and deploy your Aztec warriors across a map of the empire in the turn-based strategy metagame, then engage in frantic and brutal 2D brawler sequences to resolve combat. Face off against historic figures and mythological monsters to change the course of history. The campaign features random events and items to ensure that each play through is slightly different. You can also find Aztez on the Humble Store. Still craving new games? Why not check out one of these other recent titles as well: Fidel Dungeon Rescue, a puzzle-driven dungeon crawler where you play as a dog trying to navigate each level in the most efficient way possible. Galaxy of Pen & Paper, the sci-fi follow-up to Knights of Pen and Paper. Tragedy of Prince Rupert, a surreal 2D shooter inspired by the 1958 movie The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. Super Cloudbuilt , a speedrunning-focused parkour shooter That's all for this week. I'll return soon with more indie release highlights.
  10. Pictured above: Dungeon Defenders II If you somehow have spare money to blow after the Steam sale, why not consider trying one of these recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar? Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court Red Hook Studios $9.99 The highly anticipated DLC to Darkest Dungeon has finally arrived. This expansion adds new narration and cut scenes focusing on the early days of The Ancestor, all presented in the game's signature grim and macabre aesthetic. A new dungeon has been unlocked in the form of The Courtyard, and its crawling with new monsters and bosses to defeat. You won't have to explore this new dungeon alone, however, as Crimson Court also introduces a new character class and upgrades to improve your hamlet. The new DLC is also on GOG and the Humble Store, while the PS4 and Vita versions will be out at the end of August. Dungeon Defenders II Trendy Entertainment Free to Play After a lengthy stay in Early Access and a major overhaul, Dungeon Defenders II is complete. While it was originally going to focus on a competitive MOBA-style mode, fan feedback forced Trendy to push the sequel to this beloved tower defense game closer towards the original's direction. Join up to three friends and defend the Eternia Crystals from waves of foul monsters. Gain loot and experience after each battle to upgrade your character and take on even greater challenges. The base game is free to play, with various DLC packs that give you access to more levels, exclusive items, and premium currency to spend on characters and upgrades. Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Crackshell $14.99 Several years back, Croteam held a contest to find indie developers willing to make quality spin-offs of the Serious Sam franchise. Three devs were chosen, and the first two games, The Random Encounter and Double D, were released ages ago. The third title disappeared, and remained dormant until it suddenly reappeared during the Devolver Digital E3 Conference with a release date. Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is a top-down, multiplayer-focused, twin-stick shooter interpretation of Croteam's classic series. Team up with three friends to tackle the campaign mode, or battle it out in competitive and survival modes that support 12 players. Also on GOG and the Humble Store. Nex Machina Housemarque $19.99 Nex Machina is the latest arcade shooter by Housemarque, the developer best known for Resogun, which was the only thing worth playing on the PS4 at launch. This twin-stick shooter takes much of its inspiration from arcade classics like Smash TV, and pits the player against waves of robotic foes in destructible, voxel-based environments. Unfortunately, the co-op mode is local only, though the game is full of online challenges and leaderboards to display your gaming prowess to others. You can also find Nex Machina on PS4, GOG, and the Humble Store. Ticket to Earth Robot Circus $14.99 Ticket to Earth is a unique new take on the match-3 RPG formula. In this strategy RPG, the grid-based boards that you fight on double as the match-3 board. This means that you collect power by moving your character around the map to match gems before unleashing devastating special attacks. This is just the first part of four episodes, but the entire experience is covered by the $15 price tag. Ticket to Earth was originally released on mobile, so you can find a copy there as well. Cryptark Alientrap $14.99 Finally we come to Cryptark, the newest title by the developers of Apotheon and Capsized. This 2D roguelite places you in the boots of a privateer that accepts contracts to board derelict alien space-hulks in search of valuable artifacts. Just because the ships are abandoned that doesn't mean they are safe, however, as dormant security turrets and drones guard the empty hallways from intruders. As with most roguelites, the starships in Cryptark are all procedurally generated, and the penalties for failure are severe. You can also find Cryptark on the Humble Store and PS4. That's all for this time. Which of these new games captured your attention?
  11. It's that time of the year again. Valve has blessed us with a buffet of irresistibly cheap PC games that will inevitably haunt our libraries, uninstalled and unplayed, for years to come. While many gamers might be looking to grab last year's hottest AAAs at bargain bin prices, I'd like to remind everyone not to ignore the little guys. I could be here for hours listing awesome games being sold for less than the price of a small fry at your favorite fast food chain, but I'll keep it to 10 for brevity's sake. Here's 10 indie games you might not have heard of for under $5. Expeditions: Conquistador Logic Artists $4.99 Expeditions: Conquistador was one of the first games I ever reviewed, on a site that no longer exists. This strategy RPG places you in command of a group of Spanish explorers searching for fame and fortune in the jungles of the New World. Gameplay is split between diplomatic negotiations with the natives, random events, exploration, and turn-based combat. The core mechanics in each segment are pretty basic, but they all come together to form a solid adventure in a criminally underutilized setting. I hear that Logic Artists have improved the formula significantly in their Viking-themed follow-up, but that title is still way too recent to be heavily discounted. Crimsonland 10tons Ltd $4.19 Do you want to slaughter hordes of monsters with a staggering variety of weapons, but only have a few minutes to spare? If so, you can't go wrong with Crimsonland. This is the 2014 remake of a classic shooter from 2003, and a lot has been added over the years. Pick one of five survival modes and annihilate enemies for as long as you can with dozens of grossly overpowered weapons and power-ups. There is nothing deep or sophisticated about Crimsonland, it's just mindless, gory fun. It's not as good as Nation Red in terms of bloody carnage, but it's still a satisfying way to kill some time. Infested Planet Rocket Bear Games $4.94 Speaking of alien genocide, Infested Planet is everything the Starship Troopers video games should have been. You lead a small squad of space mercenaries against a never-ending horde of alien bugs. The ground is so thick with aliens that each rocket can turn a dozen of them into red mist without even putting a dent in the chitinous swarm. Your kill count after any given mission can easily reach the tens of thousands. To make any progress you'll need to carefully micromanage your squad, positioning each soldier just right to ensure the maximum number of kills with each shot as you slowly grind your way towards the hives. The game may seem pretty easy at first, but later missions introduce alien hives with increasingly tough mutations designed to counter your favorite tactics. Contrast Compulsion Games $3.39 I'll be upfront about this one: Contrast is a very flawed game. The controls aren't very tight, and some segments can get frustrating because of the clunky camera and character movement. The game was also very buggy when I first played it back in 2013, with one puzzle becoming unsolvable because the box I needed to move decided to do its best UFO impression. With all that said, I still enjoyed Contrast enough to cautiously recommend it, especially at the current sale price. If you can get past its flaws, you'll find a gorgeous platformer with a fantastic soundtrack, some genuinely cool puzzles, an interesting world, and a touching story that deals with some pretty mature themes as seen through the eyes of a child. Tales of Maj'Eyal Netcore Games $2.37 Tales of Maj'Eyal is one of the best modern roguelikes on the market. I use the term "modern" loosely, as Maj'Eyal is just the latest iteration of a series that has been around for nearly two decades and can trace its roots back to Angband. ToME is the quintessential roguelike, an unforgiving adventure with a ludicrous amount of depth. You can easily lose a hundred hours to ToME and barely scratch the surface. It's not a game for the faint of heart, but luckily you can test the game for free on the official website. AI War: Fleet Command Arcen Games $0.99 I'm nothing if not a raging fanboy of Arcen Games, so it was just a matter of time before one of their titles made it onto this list. AI War is Arcen's most popular and well-known game, and for good reason. This unique strategy game has been steadily improved and expanded upon for six years, and all the DLC is ridiculously cheap right now as well. The basic premise of AI War is that humanity lost the war with the machines. All that remains is a tiny, insignificant resistance that would easily be slaughtered should the AI learn of its existence. What follows is a guerilla campaign where you must silently take out the AI's subcommanders, steal and sabotage enemy technology, and build your forces without attracting the AI's attention. The game has a fairly steep learning curve, but if you can get past its quirks you'll discover an infinitely replayable and satisfying strategy game unlike any other on the market. Reus Abbey Games $1.99 If a tense and deadly space war isn't your thing, then why not travel to the chill and colorful world of Reus? This god game gives you an empty world and four gods with unique abilities so you can shape it to your heart's content. Each god represents a different ecosystem with its own flora and fauna. The goal is to give humanity the resources they need to build thriving villages by placing plants, minerals, and animals in the most optimum arrangement to generate bonuses. Beware, however, as a village that becomes too prosperous can also become selfish, greedy, and warlike. The core mechanics are easy enough to grasp, but the interactions between the various resources and ecosystems can get surprisingly complex as you progress to later tech levels. Super Mutant Alien Assault Cybernate $3.29 That word salad of a title belongs to a game that pitches itself as "The Citizen Kane of Super Crate Box Clones." While that's a fairly accurate description, I feel that the developers of Super Mutant Alien Assault are selling themselves a bit short. It's functionally similar to SCB in the sense that you pick up crazy weapons and kill hordes of enemies in enclosed, arena-like levels, but SMAA does quite a bit to differentiate itself. Levels alternate between objectives like "kill all enemies" and "bring X number of objects to device Y," with crazy boss fights at the end of each level set. If you loved the core concept of Super Crate Box but wanted to see it expanded further, then Super Mutant Alien Assault is worth adding to your collection. The Swapper Facepalm Games $2.84 I'll admit that I never actually finished The Swapper. The biggest "problem" with this atmospheric and clever sci-fi puzzle platformer is that I'm far too inept to properly play it. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate it, and I highly recommend The Swapper to anyone who isn't as incompetent as I am when it comes to using their brain. The puzzles are all based around cloning yourself to be in multiple places at once, with strict rules on how you can move and place your clones. Best enjoyed with headphones and in the dark so you can really soak in the game's lonely and mysterious world. Intrusion 2 Aleksey Abramenko $2.99 Finally we come to Intrusion 2, a side-scrolling shooter made by a Russian dude with way too much spare time on his hands. Intrusion 2 isn't the most polished, precise, or advanced side scroller out there, but it is a game that oozes charm from every orifice. The physics are as janky and hilarious as they are impressive for a game in this genre, and you'll often get stuck because the giant mecha worm you just killed fell on you, but the game is just so damn fun that you don't care about its flaws. It looks and plays like something dreamed up by a hyperactive child after binge-watching a GI Joe marathon, and that's all part of what makes Intrusion 2 so memorable. So what are you waiting for? Get on Steam and help Gaben buy his 73rd solid gold yacht by spending lots of money on games you'll probably never play.
  12. Pictured above: Formicide I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some games that stood out amongst Steam's weekly batch of releases. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Gorescript Sergiu Bucur $9.99 First this week is Gorescript, an FPS inspired by classics from the '90s. Splatter the blood of your voxel enemies across 18 levels with an arsenal of six weapons. The game features five difficult settings, including an optional permadeath mode for extra challenge. Find secrets to upgrade your weapons and compete with other players on the global leaderboard. Pathfinder Adventures Obsidian Entertainment $24.99 Pathfinder Adventures is a digital adaptation of Paizo's Pathfinder card game, and plays exactly like fans of the physical version would expect. Explore the Pathfinder universe as the franchise's iconic characters in this card-driven battle game that emulates a mini RPG adventure. The PC version apparently has some issues to hammer out, but it still might be worth looking into if you like the card game, and Pathfinder in general. There is also a "free-to-play" version on mobile, assuming you are willing to grind countless hours to make any progress. Air Missions: HIND 3Division $16.99 Jump into the cockpit of Russia's infamous "flying tank" in Air Missions: HIND. Load your gunship full of real-world autocannons, rockets, and bombs as you destroy air and ground targets across a 15 mission campaign. The game also features co-op and competitive multiplayer, as well as full Steam Workshop support so the community can make new missions and modes. Grab the $20 Deluxe Edition and get access to the HAVOC, HIP, and HOKUM helicopters. Also on Xbox One. Witchinour Sofuto Geimu $4.99 Witchinour is a top-down bullet hell with roguelite elements and a retro-inspired aesthetic. Explore a randomly generated dungeon as Nour, a novice witch looking for her lost spell book. Clear each floor as quickly as possible to avoid raising your alert level. If your alert level gets too high then subsequent floors will become more difficult as you face greater numbers of fiercer enemies. Flood of Light Irisloft $3.99 In Flood of Light you play as a mysterious girl in a city submerged by torrential rain. Use your light to solve puzzles based around illuminating the city. Gain access to new light powers that will help you solve more advanced puzzles and lower the water level so you can reach deeper levels of the city. Find all of the game's hidden wicks to reveal the mysteries surrounding the flooded city and the unending rain. Art of Gravity Hamster On Coke Games $.99 Art of Gravity is the latest minimalistic, physics-based puzzle game by Hamster On Coke, which is possibly one of the better indie studio names I've encountered. The puzzles in Art of Gravity are, surprisingly enough, based on using gravity to manipulate objects. Drop spheres to destroy abstract voxel figures that, based on the trailer, explode in a fairly satisfying fashion. Zafehouse Diaries 2 Screwfly Studios $6.99 The sleeper hit zombie survival game from 2012 has finally received a sequel with Zafehouse Diaries 2. As with the original, this procedurally generated, text-based management game is told through the diary of a survivor during a zombie apocalypse. Manage the needs of your small group of survivors, each of which have their own personalities and skills. Complete the game's premade scenarios, or survive as long as possible in the sandbox mode. Formicide Rock Wall Games, LLC Free Finally we come to Formicide, a 2D class-based multiplayer game that promotes itself as "Worms meets Team Fortress 2." Pick from eight playable classes and face off in objective-focused battles. Capture power-ups to give your team the upper hand by unleashing special attacks. Many of the weapons and abilities are based around terrain creation and deformation, hence the comparisons to Worms. Matches are designed to be five to ten minutes in length, with an emphasis on easy-to-learn mechanics with a high skill ceiling. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more new release highlights.
  13. Pictured above: Starpoint Gemini Warlords I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that may have slipped under your radar. I'm not personally endorsing any of these games, but merely highlighting some indie titles that look promising. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each game. Last week was a particularly good week for indie releases, especially if you like space games. Everspace Rocketfish Games $29.99 First up we have Everspace, a space combat game with roguelike elements and excellent visuals. Pick one of three starting ships and explore a vast, procedurally generated universe. Find blueprints to craft new weapons and equipment to give you the edge in Everspace's fierce space dogfights. Death is permanent, but you do keep some of your progress so you won't start completely from scratch each time. Everspace launched with full VR support for both the Rift and Vive, and requires a controller for those devices to play in VR mode. Also on Xbox One, GOG, and the Humble Store. Endless Space 2 Amplitude Studios $39.99 Another highly anticipated space game that recently exited Early Access is Endless Space 2. This follow-up to 2012's cult hit space 4X features, among other things, an overhauled random Galaxy Generator to greatly improve the game's replayability. Guide your budding civilization from the early years of interstellar travel to a galaxy-spanning empire. Discover ancient artifacts and unlock the secrets of the Endless, a mysterious precursor race that disappeared eons ago. The game's launch from Early Access was a bit rough at first, but Amplitude has apparently done a stellar job addressing many of the game-breaking issues as quickly as possible. Also available on the Humble Store. Starpoint Gemini Warlords Little Green Men Games $34.99 Let's keep going with our current space theme and look at Starpoint Gemini Warlords, a new installment in another fairly successful intergalactic strategy series. The Starpoint Gemini series straddles the line between space sim and strategy game by not only giving you a massive warship to directly control, but a customizable headquarters and fleet to aid you in expanding your territory. Starpoint Gemini Warlord features full Steam Workshop support to ensure that the game can build a thriving modding scene right from the beginning. You can also buy the game on GOG and the Humble Store. StarCrawlers Juggernaut Games $19.99 Screw it, let's keep talking about cool space games. StarCrawlers is now out of Early Access and hopes to be the sci-fi answer to Legend of Grimrock. This first-person dungeon crawler lets you build a crew of scum and villainy that engage in everything from bounty hunting to corporate espionage, assuming the price is right. Infiltrate procedurally generated dungeons with eight different character classes and randomized loot drops. You can also find StarCrawlers on GOG and the Humble Store. Mirage: Arcane Warfare Torn Banner Studios $29.99 The developers of the popular Chivalry: Medieval Warfare are back with another bloody and brutal competitive multiplayer game. As the name implies, Mirage: Arcane Warfare throws out the more grounded Middle Ages Europe setting for a fantastical Arabian Nights-esque world full of magic. Even with the introduction of magic, Mirage keeps Chivalry's emphasis on visceral melee combat full of severed limbs and decapitations. You can grab a copy on the Humble Store as well. Steel Division: Normandy 44 Eugen Systems $39.99 Steel Division is a spiritual successor to Eugen Systems' Wargame series of multiplayer-focused RTS games set in a 1980s Europe where WWIII has erupted between NATO and the USSR. Surprising no one whatsoever, the appropriately titled Normandy 44 brings the Wargame series' core formula of small unit tactics and attention to detail to the battlefields of WWII. Play 10-vs-10 online matches as one of six divisions involved in the Battle of Normandy, with over 400 historically accurate vehicles at your command. Also available for purchase from the Humble Store. MidBoss Kitsune Games $14.99 MidBoss is a turn-based roguelike where you play as an imp tired of being mistreated by his fellow dungeon denizens. Explore procedurally generated dungeons on your quest to defeat the boss and become the new dungeon king. The core mechanic of MidBoss is body swapping, which allows you to turn into creatures you kill in the dungeon. This gives you access to all their abilities until you swap bodies again. As with all roguelikes, you lose your saved progress upon death, but MidBoss gives you special death cards that can be burned at the start of your next run for bonuses. Caveblazers Rupeck Games $9.99 Finally we come to Caveblazers, a roguelite platformer published by The Yogscast. Go spelunking in a mysterious, shapeshifting cave filled with magical artifacts, deadly traps, and ravenous monsters. Rescue friendly characters to aid you in your journey into the cave's darkest depths. Compete against other players online in unique, one-shot daily challenges. Also available for purchase on the Humble Store. That's all for now. I'll be back soon with more new release highlights.
  14. Pictured above: Nongünz I'm back with another batch of recent indie releases that might have slipped under your radar. As always, I'm not endorsing any of these games, just highlighting some titles that look promising. Make sure you read user reviews and search YouTube to find more information on each title. Bounty Train Corbie Games $24.99 First up is Bounty Train, a historical trade sim set in the Wild West of 19th Century America. Design your locomotive, hire your crew, and transport cargo through dangerous territory. Ambushes and attempted train robberies are handled in real-time tactical battles and involve micromanaging your crew to get them to the best defensive positions. Bounty Trains' non-linear story features numerous historical events, and even gives you a chance to alter history. You can also find Bounty Train on GOG and the Humble Store. Portal Knights Keen Games $19.99 The cooperative sandbox RPG Portal Knights has finally released from Early Access. Build structures, craft gear, mine for resources, and explore procedurally generated open world environments with up to three of your friends. Construct portals that bring you to the lairs of the Portal Guardians, and engage in boss battles with the most powerful monsters in the realm. Character classes include Warrior, Ranger, and Mage, each with their own set of special abilities to unlock. Also available on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. Nongünz Brainwash Gang $6.99 Nongünz is a twisted roguelite platformer with some deck building and bullet hell elements. Raid procedurally generated dungeons for the resources you need to upgrade your graveyard, which acts as a central hub for your dungeoneering. As you play you'll gather followers at your graveyard that you can spend money at to upgrade your character. Some followers gradually harvest resources for you, giving Nongünz a few elements typically found in idle games. The deck building element comes in the form of cards you find in the dungeon, each of which gives you a new ability, or can be burned to regain some precious health. Hyper Knights Endless Loop Studios $4.99 Hyper Knights blends fast, combo-based combat against large armies with more traditional strategy elements. Recruit allies and command vast armies of minions to conquer enemy castles and outposts. Massacre dozens of enemies at once with upgradable combo attacks. Between battles you'll get a chance to upgrade your kingdom and move your armies into position for the next fight. Old Man's Journey Broken Rules $7.99 Guide an old man through his final, vibrant years in Old Man's Journey. Primarily a narrative experience about the ups and downs of life, Old Man's Journey does feature some environmental puzzles. Shape the game's hand-drawn landscapes to create the old man's path through each scene. Also available on the Humble Store and mobile devices. Regalia: Of Men And Monarchs Pixelated Milk $24.99 Regalia is a turn-based tactics RPG promising over 30 hours of content and a lighthearted storyline. After passing away unexpectedly, your father leaves you in charge of the faraway Kingdom of Ascalia. Unfortunately, your dreams of running your own kingdom are quickly shattered upon realizing that Ascalia is bankrupt and crawling with debt collectors. Recruit over 20 unique allies and do some old-fashioned dungeon crawling to return Ascalia to its former glory. Also out on GOG and the Humble Store. Mages of Mystralia Borealys Games $24.99 Help Zia master her budding magical talent in Mages of Mystralia. Zia has recently discovered that she has the ability to perform magic, but spell casting is strictly prohibited in her home realm. Curious about her new powers, Zia embarks on a journey to find exiled mages that can teach her how to control her abilities. The main mechanic in Mages of Mystralia is the ability to design your own spells by combining runes in different ways. Create custom spells to overcome enemies and puzzles however you choose. Also on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island Right Nice Games $14.99 Finally we come to Skylar & Plux, a 3D platformer that draws inspiration from the genre's classics. Travel across colorful levels as Skylar and her sidekick Plux as they try to save their home from the evil CRT minions. Use gadgets like the Jet Pack, Magnetic Gloves, and Time Orb to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Also available on the Humble Store, GOG, Xbox One, and PS4. That's all for this week. I'll be back soon with more new indie release highlights.
  15. Pictured above: Aaero I'm back with another batch of indie releases that came out while our site was down. All these games are several weeks old, but most have remained obscure enough that they probably slipped by unnoticed. I can't guarantee that these games are any good, just that they stood out from all the other new releases on Steam. Be sure to read user reviews for more information about each title. Mr. Shifty Team Shifty $14.99 Published by tinyBuild, Mr. Shifty is a new top-down action game that blends stealth with lightning-fast, one-hit kill combat. Think of it as a faster version of Hotline Miami, with far greater numbers of enemies onscreen at once. Luckily, you have the ability to teleport short distances, allowing you to phase through walls, obstructions, and even bullets. You can also find Mr. Shifty on the Humble Store, PS4, Xbox One, and the Switch. Gloom Hunchback Studio $9.99 The appropriately titled Gloom is a 2D action roguelite set in a Lovecraftian dream world. Explore procedurally generated levels full of eldritch monsters as you try to deliver yourself from this nightmare by finding the lost pages of an arcane text. Combat has the usual Soulsian inspirations that you'd expect from the art style, with a heavy emphasis on perfectly timed blocks and counterattacks. Crawl Powerhoof $14.99 Crawl has finally escaped its lengthy stay in Early Access. This pixilated dungeon crawler is focused on its asymmetrical local multiplayer, though you can play alone as well. One player is an adventurer trying to amass enough experience and loot to kill the final boss and escape the dungeon, while the other three are specters that can possess monsters and traps in the dungeon. Whoever slays the hero takes his place, and the cycle continues until one player comes out on top. Crawl is also on the Humble Store, GOG, PS4, and Xbox One. Man O' War: Corsair Evil Twin Artworks $29.99 Another game that recently exited Early Access is Man O' War: Corsair, a PC adaptation of the naval combat miniatures game set in the old Warhammer Fantasy universe. Sail the deadly seas of the Old World as a trader or pirate, amassing wealth and slowly building your fleet. Engage in ship-to-ship combat and board enemy vessels to slaughter the crew and steal everything you can find. The game is apparently still in rough shape, so it might be worth holding off on buying it right away. You can find Corsair on the Humble Store and GOG as well. Shock Tactics Point Blank Games $19.99 Shock Tactics is another game that has received mixed reviews so far, but might be worth keeping an eye on. It's more or less a budget, indie interpretation of XCOM, but this time around you are the colonizer. Lead a team of pioneers scouring the hostile world of Hephӕst for ancient alien artifacts. Establish outposts to exploit the planet's resources, and engage in turn-based tactical combat against aliens, pirates, and other rival factions looking to excavate Hephӕst's secrets. Flinthook Tribute Games Inc. $14.99 Flinthook is a 2D platformer with roguelite elements focused on fast-paced hookshot combat. Use your hookshot to move between golden rings in each level, dodging enemies and returning fire with your pistol. Activate slowmo powers to give you an edge in battle and pull off more accurate shots. Each level is generated by combining hundreds of handmade rooms, each of which is populated by randomized waves of enemies. Also on the Humble Store, Xbox One, and PS4. Asura Ogre Head Studio $9.99 Asura is a top-down action roguelite inspired by Indian mythology. Embark on a quest for vengeance against the God-King Hasirama by fighting your way through all five fortresses of the Daeva empire. As with most roguelites, death is permanent and your loot drops and skills will vary each playthrough. Even the skill tree is rerolled each time. You can also find Asura on GOG and the Humble Store. Krosmaga Ankama Studio Free-to-play Ankama is the latest company to try and capitalize on the digital card game craze with Krosmaga. Krosmaga uses the lore and characters from Ankama's popular Dofus and Wakfu franchises to create a digital card game that is less Hearthstone and more Scrolls. You'll deploy your creatures into lanes, with the goal of destroying structures at the end of each one. Krosmaga requires the use of an Ankama account to play, which allows you to transfer your progress between PC and mobile. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Enigami $29.99 After a moderately successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, the colorful action RPG Shiness has finally released. You play as Chado and his four companions in their highflying voyage across the floating Celestial Islands. The game blends traditional fighting mechanics with magical attacks in real-time combat. Each of the five playable characters have unique skills that are useful both in and out of combat, and swapping between them at the right time is a key gameplay mechanic. Shiness is also on the Humble Store, PS4, and Xbox One. The Signal From Tolva Big Robot Ltd $19.99 Finally we have The Signal From Tolva, the latest first-person action game from the developers of Sir, You Are Being Hunted. In the far future, robotic factions of scavengers fight over the ruins of an ancient civilization. After discovering a mysterious signal from the highlands of Tolva, you set out on a journey to investigate the ruins and uncover the signal's source. Recruit allies and fight skirmishes with rival factions trying to reach the signal before you do. Salvage and repair advanced weapons from long dead civilizations to give you the upper hand in the war for Tolva. The Signal From Tolva can also be purchased from GOG and the Humble Store. Not enough games for you? Here are a few other titles you may like: Spark the Electric Jester, a 16-bit platformer that takes some obvious inspiration from a certain series about a blue hedgehog. Cosmic Star Heroine, a new old school-inspired RPG from the developers of Cthulhu Saves the World. The Wild Eternal, a first-person exploration game set in the wilderness of the 17th century Himalayan Mountains. The Sexy Brutale, a murder mystery puzzle game where everything happens in a continuous 12 hour time loop. Odyssey, an educational science puzzle game where you play as a girl and her family trapped on a tropical island. Aaero, a rhythm shooter similar to everyone's favorite cult hit, Rez. That's all for now. I'll be back later with more new indie release highlights.