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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
GameTunnel's July Monthly Round-Up was recently posted. Greg Costikyan (of Manifesto Games) and Derek Yu (of Bit-Blot and TIGSource) are guest reviewers.

Immortal Defense RPGCreations 9, 10, 8 [27/30] GA, GM, EC
Urban Legend ELENS 6, 8, 9 [23/30] SA
Prof. Fizzwizzle 2 Grubby Games 7, 7, 8 [22/30] SA
Kudos: Rock Legend
Positech 5, 8, 8 [21/30] SA
Pathstorm CaveBug Games 4, 7, 7 [18/30]
Membrane Massacre * HopeDagger 3, 6, 8 [17/30]
Alice Greenfingers Arcade Lab 4, 2, 8 [14/30]
Meanwhile * Peter Brinson 4, 5, 5 [14/30]
Turret Wars Sector 3 Games 2, 5, 4 [11/30]
Lunar Domination Valen Games 3, 3, 5 [11/30]

* - Freeware
N - Not Rated
GM - Game of the Month
EC - 27 and above (Editor's Choice)
GA - 24 and above (Gold Award)
SA - 21 and above (Silver Award)
 

Exactly two years after its first release, Sword of Jade has been updated to work in Windows XP.

Sword of Jade, by Fyrewulff and Charbile, is an NES/SNES style RPG. It's pretty difficult, especially at the start, but if you don't give up, you'll be rewarded with one of the best freeware RPGs.

Hints: save often, talk to everyone, and after you get Mi'la on your party go back to the town, search behind houses, and use the money you find on training (especially training your defense stat). And choose your enemies wisely (run when they're too powerful), and gain at least five levels before attempting the first dungeon.

It's about 25 hours long, and what the characters do (as well as how strong the monsters are) changes by the time of day. There's also a time limit -- the Jade countdown -- your hope and will power gradually decrease, and performing different side quests will raise the counter a little bit so that your party doesn't lose its determination and give up the quest forever.

CONTROLS: ctrl or enter to talk/use, alt to cancel, hold escape to escape from battles. To play the game in a window rather than full screen, use alt + enter.

Name: Sword of Jade
Developer: Charbile / Fyrewulff
Category: RPG
Type: Freeware
Size: 5.5MB
 

Monday, July 30, 2007
Return to Sector 9 is the long awaited sequel to Ambush in Sector 9. Featuring nine game modes, fifteen ships to pilot, plenty of weaponry, and plenty of aliens to use it on.

Each of the fifteen ships has its own special weapon. Once you have unlocked the ships and their weapons, learn which game modes they're best suited to.

Submit your scores to the online high score charts to see how you compare with the rest of the world.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007
Pekka Kana 2 is a charmingly old-school platformer where you must help Pekka the rooster save his friends after they were abducted by an evil crow. The author cites other platform classics such as Super Mario and Jazz Jackrabbit as his inspiration for the game.

As you journey across each of the 24 levels looking for the exit, a healthy array of bonuses, secrets and pickups are scattered across the landscape for you to make use of.

Name: Pekka Kana 2
Developer: Janne Kivilahti / Piste Gamez
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 7MB

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Saturday, July 28, 2007
Nigoro's Rose and Camellia has been translated to English.

Petri Purho's A Tribute to Rolling Boulder can be acquired from the Gamedev entries download page, along with a number of games from other participants. [source: the2bears]

The results for SourceForge.net's 2007 Community Choice Awards are out. [original story]

This week's GGE indie game feature showcases Cave Story, Polychromatic Funk Monkey and R.

Platformers/Applications

We won't be seeing N+ on the Wii or PS3 until it's out for the Xbox Live Arcade for at least a year. Metanet's platformer is still set to appear on both the Nintendo DS and Sony's PSP.

Boss Arena updated.

Jun Fujiki's Java web toy Individuality gets a new English manual. [earlier mention, OLE Coordinate System]

Shooters

Kevin Glass' beta version of Interferon (arena shooter) is available to play using any Java-enabled browser.

The lead programmer of S├Âldner-X (Play-Asia's horizontal shooter) was recently interviewed by Press Start. The million-dollar question was asked as well, and here is the response:

What platform(s) are you looking into releasing S├Âldner-X on?

Marcus Pukropski: I am afraid that I am currently not entitled to answer this question. The game is scheduled for release in late 2007, platforms are likely to be announced during the next couple of weeks...

Pictured below, the first screenshot from DHC's 3Punge competition entry entitled Sonic Ironstorm. The game will be released in two weeks' time. [more DHC games]

 

A recap of the games mentioned this month, July 2007:

Action/Arcade
Too Many Ninjas
Synaesthete
Strict Machine
Rose and Camellia
IMA
Android
Bound Bear
Sound Energy
Marippy
Barbarian

Adventure/IF
Fighting Fantasy
Infinity String
Earl Mansin
Platformer
Pekka Kana 2
Hurrican
Ninjah
Valdis Story
Secret Agent Dorito
Rick Dangerous
Muon
Boss Arena
Rakker
Metroid Cubed

RPG
BattleMachy
Eschalon: Book 1
Crypts of Despair
Puzzle/App
Mollerhoj
Linx
Enigma
Application
OLE Coordinate..
Four Color Problem
Coaster Rider




DS
Dicewars DS
Cave Story PSP
Lemmings DS
Shmups
Return to Sector 9
Burn the Trash
Mountain of Faith
Carnage Nebula
Magical Cannon Girl
Trouble Witches
Banshiryuu
Zillion Beatz
Blazing Wings
Doppelganger
Uchuforce 2





Articles
Debate: Arthouse Games vs. Ebert
Gamers Eloquently Posit Games as Art...
Independent Gaming on Yahoo
Freeware Indie Games for Linux
Kenta Cho, Nigoro Interviews
Blast Works to Include rRootage
Top 100 Indie Games
PopCap Acquires Retro64
GBAX 2007 Coding Competition Entries
Weekly Freeplay
Sourceforge Annual Community Awards
VirtualNES.com
The Best 100 Games Ever
Flash Feature in Edge

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Ninjah is a fast paced action-puzzler by Chris Raz, developer of Pogo Fred. The general idea is to get from A to B as quickly as possible with the help of an elastic ninja rope and your ability to move into slow motion.

You may only come into contact with blocks the same colour as your belt. To help combat this strange allergic reaction to the evil blocks, you can change the colour of your belt by hitting the corresponding checkered blocks.

Use the W, A and D keys to move. Hold the left mouse button to shoot, and press the right mouse button to use your rope. Use the space key to activate the slow motion mode.

Name: Ninjah
Developer: Chris Raz
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB

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Rashomon Can games be art?

It all started back in October of 2005, when Ebert reviewed the film Doom and gave it one star. A few days later, a gamer wrote to Ebert and insisted that he had missed the point---Doom wasn't supposed to be a good, watchable film; it was supposed to be a tribute to a seminal video game. The Kurosawa film Rashomon was mentioned as comparable in terms of---shall we say---seminality to the game Doom. In response, Ebert planted the seed that would eventually grow into the vine that we are all still climbing. He wrote, "As long as there is a great movie unseen or a great book unread, I will continue to be unable to find the time to play video games."

A few weeks later, Ebert expanded on that point, claiming that books and films are better mediums than games. A few weeks after that, Ebert dropped his first explicit "games can't be art" bombshell, citing the lack of authorial control, due to player choice, as the hurdle that would forever keep games from catching up with art-capable mediums like literature and film.

Ebert kept quiet about games for a year or so after that. Then along came Mr. Clive Barker, who, somewhat clumsily, claimed that games can be art (a video of his full keynote would be nice---anyone got it?). Just last week, Ebert responded to Barker in mock-dialog style, somewhat revising his former position: games can be art, but not high art, as he understands it. Kotaku just posted a worthwhile feature that responds to Ebert's latest.

It's time for me to chime in here, and I'm going to continue the mock-dialog style. I don't know Ebert, but I feel like I do, because I've been reading his reviews for years. This man knows film, and I respect him deeply.

Read the full debate over at Arthouse Games.

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Warning Forever. Fraxy. Both abstract shooters. Both centered around boss battles. Both very good games. But only one can win.

Voting is now closed, thanks for participating!

Vote count: Warning Forever 27 - 29 Fraxy

Winner: Fraxy

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
Articles

Both Clean Asia and Fractal Fighter were recently mentioned in Download.com's The Daily Download section.

(Everyone who donated recently will get a complimentary copy of Akuchizoku, full version. I've already paid cactus using part of the money received, so he will send it to you guys when the game is completed)

The latest edition of 1UP's Weekly Freeplay features Orisinal, Nitrome, Rose and Camellia, Nanaca Crash, Uchu Force and Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space.

Here's a special one: Oddbob's picks, namely Inyou Douji Monogatari, Rose and Camellia, Blue Wish Resurrection and Burn the Trash.

Remakes

Ishi is working on a platformer for the DS. [pictured right, Ishisoft's web site]

smila's IO remake is out; Devlin's Losted gets a colour version.

Miscellaneous

A number of cropped screenshots from Wiebo's upcoming shooter can be found over at his development journal.

Postman (Shoot the Core) and Hunter's Quarter Munchers' blog is up.

Mr. Robot/Moonpod

Moonpod's Mr. Robot was chosen as the first title to be featured on Kotaku's Game Club. A discount for the game will be offered during this period.

There is also a lengthy interview with Nick Tipping of Moonpod posted here, as conducted by Max Geiger. Nick reveals that War Angels will be their next release (outdated info), and Elite as his favorite game of all time.

XNA

Gameplay video recorded from a Dream-Build-Play (a Microsoft XNA Game Studio contest) competition entry, which one of Moonpod's forum member described as a Raid of Bungeling Bay remake.

Gameplay video of a Catchat remake developed using Microsoft's XNA by Wes Ehrlichman.

Announcements

Registration for the fifth Pyweek competition is now open. The contest is scheduled to run for an entire week, starting from September 2nd 2007.

DHC will be participating in the next 3Punge (Three Minutes Game Contest) with their entry entitled Sonic Ironstorm. The vertical shooter is expected to share many similarities with Demolition Gunner.

Nigoro's next game announced. The post seems to indicate that the latest project in development is a shmup. [rough translation]

 

Endless Fluff's Valdis Story was recently updated to version 3.0. This Castlevania-like platformer is now Vista-compatible, and comes with two new techniques (dodging and parrying).

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An official demo (160MB) for Mountain of Faith is now available from Team Shanghai Alice's web site. [direct download link]

The 120MB trial version for Trouble Witches gets a new update. The game should work on all PCs now. [direct download link]

A 60MB demo for Nanoha Taiken 2nd Chu is available from Musume. Controls: [direct download link]

[source: Danmaku Gata]

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Just looking at the gameplay video should make you want to give your computer a bath. Anyway, here's the gameplay instructions:

Z: Fire beam against enemies
X: Fire beam against bullets
Z + X: Fire strong beam against enemies (depletes time)
C: Change ship
F1: Toggle motion blur
F2: Launch highscore table
F3: Toggle random mode

Don't fire for too long, you'll overheat and explode! Don't let the time run out or you die. Killing enemies adds more time to the counter.

The game needs to be extracted before playing. There is an online highscore table too, so don't worry if it freezes up for a few secs, it's just sending your scores.

Use joy2key for joypad support!

Name: Burn the Trash
Developer: cactus
Category: Shmup
Type: Freeware
Size: 1.8MB

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I've always found film critic Roger Ebert to be a tremendously engaging writer when he's in his element (film, primarily). This is why I get particularly annoyed that he turns into a reactionary curmudgeon whenever anyone suggests that games are also a form of art, even when (by his own admission) he's wholly unfamiliar with the subject.

I expected gamers would react to his latest uninformed salvo, but what I didn't expect is the responses (the printed ones, at least) to be by and large so lucid and articulate.
The key issue, I think, is the difference between freedom and liberty. Sure, there's no art in freedom -- in being able to do anything you want at any time. Liberty, though -- an allowance of choice, within a limited scope of options -- now we're getting somewhere. Especially if, within that narrow web, there is real, meaningful consequence to every action.
More than one writer points to independent games as examples of the medium's promise as an artform, including the Danish simulation 3rd World Farmer. (Some may take issue with the mention of a certain notorious RPG Maker game, however.) I doubt any amount of discussion will change Ebert's mind -- he appears too insistent on judging the medium by means of contrast to others with which he's more comfortable -- but it's nice to see such intelligent defenses out in front of the general public browsing his site.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Well, technically. According to Jesus, I mean Nifflas:

"I don't want to get into the mess of charging for them (expansion pack for Knytt Stories). Having worked so much on the expansion levels though, I really want to do something special with them. I'm starting to think something more towards a request at the download page that an amount of $10 or something is donated to some charity organization (Amnesty, Save the Children, etc.), in order to download Knytt Stories - but of course without any kind of verification (I'll just hope that people will be kind enough to do that)."

"Someday I really do plan to sell my games. I still want to give everyone who helped me with Knytt Stories something extra for their effort, but it might end up being a free registration of my next game, when I feel more ready to sell things online..."

"Anyways, I've recently been contacted about a few magazines who would like to write articles about my games. Releasing something really huge like Knytt Stories for free might be very good for my reputation, and open up for things in the future, who knows?"

Read the announcement here
 

A new interview with James Whitehead, developer of Satan Sam and the upcoming Tormishire, can be found at Clickzine.

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Linx is a simple yet challenging puzzle game created using Game Maker. Your objective is to link all of the similarly coloured nodes together. However, as you progress, the number of link pieces you are allowed to use is lessened, and nodes start to get in each other's way forcing you to think carefully how to connect them.

Click a node with the mouse to select a link colour, then drag across the play area to drop link pieces.

Once you've completed the included levels, you can make your own with Linx's in-built editor. A number of user-created levels are also available from the Linx homepage.

Name: Linx
Developer: MZ Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB

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Monday, July 23, 2007
Retro Remakes is back. Also don't forget to grab Graham's latest podcast episode.

From Shih Tzu: Pixel has revealed on his BBS (untranslated) that for his next project, he wants to make an RPG. No real details yet, other than that it will take a long time to finish. A sampling of comments:

"I'd always steered away from working on an RPG, but now that I think I've finally got the requisite know-how, I've decided to give it a shot. But already it's more of a challenge than anything I've done before..."

"There are all kinds of RPGs. I'd like to avoid anything too large-scale, yet still make it fun to play... somehow. Thanks for your support. I apologize in advance if I never finish it..."
Interviews/Articles

The creator of Chalk and Noitu Love, Joakim Sandberg was recently interviewed by Freehare. Yes, he's only twenty years old. [konjak.org]

Joakim's abandoned works mentioned are from this page.

There's a seven page article about game design on Gamasutra written by Daniel Cook (Lost Garden) that could possibly be of interest to rocket scientists.

This week's GGE indie game feature showcases Battleships Forever, Battle for Wesnoth and Glest.

Schedules/Release Dates

The next 3Punge (Three Minutes Game Contest) is scheduled to start on the 29th of July.

Matt Thorson's (Jumper series) An Untitled Story will be released on the 27th of August.

Updates

You can now purchase the GBA cart version of Motocross Challenge from the RGCD shop.

Fren-ze (bob's Game of the Year) was recently updated with several new features.

Gish is now on Steam; GamePure releases a Frogger clone called Juicy Street.

Miscellaneous

Here's a rather interesting casual clone creator by Andrew Wooldridge. [original post]

200 bad comics. Compared to just about every other web comic out there, they're actually pretty good. [original challenge, Nedroid's web site]

Probably a whole bunch of typoes in this post, sorry!
 

Enigma is a brain-stretching puzzle game similar to Oxyd and Rock 'n Roll. The aim is to use your marble (controlled through the mouse) to open all matching pairs of the Oxyd stones scattered across each landscape, solving various puzzles and avoiding traps as you go.

Occasionally you will also encounter "meditation" levels where you must control two or more marbles at once, your task being to manoeuvre each one into small pits on the floor.

The game has a large (1000+) library of levels split across various styles so there's sure to be something for everyone. The download page has links to versions for Windows, MacOS and some flavours of Linux.

Name: Enigma
Developer: Daniel Heck and Co.
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 15MB
Download page: http://www.nongnu.org/enigma/download.html

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Sunday, July 22, 2007
There's a four page article on independently-developed games which was on the front page of Yahoo.com on Sunday. A couple of games were mentioned in this piece, such as:

PS3: Flow, Everyday Shooter, LittleBigPlanet
XBox: N+, Space Giraffe, Eets
Others: Dwarf Fortress, Desktop Tower Defense, Cloud, De Blob, Outpost Kaloki

Read it here [source: GameSetWatch]

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GarageGames, GreatGamesExperiment and www.mygmgame.com are sponsoring the first Game Development Competition, which will run for a duration of two months starting from July 18th until September 18th 2007. The Grand Prize Winner will receive the entire Torque Suite, while winners from each category will receive a Torque Game Engine license from Garagegames. A list of all prizes are listed here.

Contest rules are stated in this forum thread. All games should have some sort of comedic element to qualify.

The theme is a rather iffy one, as I remember that Ginger Monkey Games ran a similar competition in the past but produced disappointing results. No idea if one of the judges is the person who ran the defunct site linked in that post or not. Destined for success, or doomed to failure?

Read more
 

Muon is a short platformer by Kvalsternacka with simple rules and controls. Complete ten levels in the quickest time possible to earn a decent score, but avoid falling off the screen as this will incur a time penalty.

Boosters can be collected and used in two different ways but with the same method. Press down to either smash a block underneath the moving object or jump higher in the air. Multiple jumps can be performed for as long as you have a booster stock in your possession.

Name: Muon
Developer: Kvalsternacka
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

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Boss Arena is an action game based of boss fights, unlike the heavy reliance on platforming skills as demonstrated by Lazrael's earlier release entitled Poyo.

Use the D or V key to attack. Hold the C of F key to jump. Push the F4 function key to switch between windowed and full screen mode.

There is only one boss battle to contend with at the moment, though the author has promised several more in the coming weeks.

Name: Boss Arena
Developer: Lazrael
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB

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A rather short interview with the creator of Everyday Shooter, Jonathan Mak during the recent E3 convention. [thanks to cactus]



I know Jon himself drops by quite often, so we'll just keep posting about Everyday Shooter until he informs us of a PC/Mac/Linux version! And it's also quite funny how they got the name wrong.

"And what was your name?"
"Jonathan Mak. It still is my name."

Not nearly as humorous as the Jenova Chen/Derek Yu story though.
 

Magical Cannon Girl is a vertical shooter developed by KIT Station which features decent 3D graphics and two playable levels in this trial version. Your character has a very basic shot which can be upgraded by collecting red gems, though bosses do take a while to beat especially when your weapons are only capable of inflicting minimal damage.

A life gauge indicates her current health, and the number of hits an enemy can take before going down is shown with a counter that appears every time a bullet connects.

Hold the Z key to shoot, and tap the S key to absorb coins or collectibles. The X and A keys can be used to turn your character around. The special beam will begin to charge when the S key is depressed for a prolonged period.

Can be rather taxing to play at times due to the ineffectiveness of power-up items. The game is also slightly buggy when all options are turned on.

Name: Magical Cannon Girl
Developer: KIT-Station
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 30MB
Download page: http://www.kit-station.com/mcg/download.html

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2D Boy has a rather interesting post about the results of their Human Brain Cloud experiment, a massively multiplayer word association game.

Postman (of Shoot the Core) and Hunter launches a new webcomic entitled Quarter Munchers. [original post]

Joakim has updated his site with pictures from several of his abandoned projects.

 

Saturday, July 21, 2007
Thanks to Nifflas for the first four minutes worth of gameplay footage from his upcoming platformer - Knytt Stories.



- Nifflas' web site
- Paul Eres' preview article
- higher-quality video, streaming WMV format (right-click to save)
- higher-quality video, ZIP format
 

the2bears informs about a new Kenta Cho interview (by Siliconera) which reveals his thoughts on the upcoming Tumiki Fighters Wii port by Majesco entitled Blast Works, while mrkwang interviews Samieru - a member of the Nigoro development team responsible for the release of Rose and Camellia, Death Village and La-Mulana.

Quite unfortunate that both interviews are rather short and contains very little information that we are actually interested in finding out (e.g. upcoming developments, etc).

- the2bears
- Siliconera interviews Kenta Cho
- Samieru/Nigoro interview
- Nigoro's web site
- MTV interviews Kenta Cho

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Friday, July 20, 2007
Application is a new web toy from Jun Fujiki, originator of the idea behind the upcoming PS3 and PSN puzzler named Echochrome. This particular creation is an attempt by the author to recreate a paradoxical environment best illustrated by M. C. Escher's lithograph print entitled Relativity.

The standard blocks, stairs and portals seen in Fujiki's works appear here as well. Robots can be placed on any side of the blocks and even on top of the wall or floor. Requires a browser capable of running Java applications.

Name: Application
Developer: Jun Fujiki
Category: Puzzle
Type: Browser

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Dicewars DS is a multiplayer version of a popular Flash based strategy game for Nintendo DS. Both single and multiplayer game modes with up to eight players are supported.

Your task is to conquer the whole game field by rolling dice. Each turn you may attack any opponent's territory from one of your adjacent territories as long as your territory has more than one die on it. A battle is won when you roll more than the defender during an attack. [thanks to Caffeinekid]

Name: Dicewars DS
Developer: Matti Palosuo, Reko and Jari
Category: Strategy
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
Direct download link: Click here

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
The trial version of Trouble Witches features two playable levels and cartoon graphics not unlike some of the stuff seen in Konami's Parodius series. Pets act as options, while temporary upgrades in the shape of spell cards can be bought from the shop. These appear periodically, tied to a hot air balloon in the shape of a pumpkin head.

The shopkeeper can be touched in strange places, though the results from such actions are unknown. Coins are be collected automatically when the shoot button isn't held down. Tap the X key to cast a protective spell, or press the C key to use a spell card if one is bought from the shop. The V key serves as a pause button.

A choice of three difficulty settings are shown after the character selection screen, with the one at the top being the easiest. [source: Danmaku Gata]

Name: Trouble Witches
Developer: Studio SiestA
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 120MB
Direct download link: Click here

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Voting is now closed, thanks for participating!

Vote count: Dwarf Fortress 73 - 21 The Kingdom of Loathing

Winner: Dwarf Fortress



"Kingdom of Loathing is hands-down the greatest web-browser game ever created. Dwarf Fortress can not compete with that. Can anyone even tell me why I would play DF over NetHack?" - Sebastian

"Dwarf Fortress is a clear winner. It's the best game I've played in a long time. A huge amount of detail, rapid development. The perfect mix of Dungeon Keeper, The Sims and NetHack." - VeaaC

"Not going to lie, KOL is pretty rockin' with its humouristic D&D going on, but DF has stolen so many hours of my life it's ridiculous." - anonymous

"Never even heard of Dwarf Fortress... so, I vote KOL." - Jonathan Ellis

"I've deposited quite a few hours into DF, and having to tell my dwarf lackys specifically what jobs to do, what things to pickup, where to put things you pick up, gets tiring. It's like its not a god game, its a mothering simulator..." - anonymous

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Banshiryuu is an upcoming Comiket release from Syunsatu Sare Do, featuring three levels packed with enemies, bullets and the obligatory boss battles. Four difficulty settings are presented to the player before the character selection menu is shown, with the easiest option located on the top left of the screen. The girl with a kimono has a primary weapon which practically obliterates most bosses at quick speed, and is perhaps the best choice for beginners seeking to play longer than a couple of minutes.

Hold the Z key to shoot, and press the X key to launch a bomb. Hold the shoot button and left shift key together to use your secondary attack option. [source: Danmaku Gata]

Name: Banshiryuu
Developer: Syunsatu Sare Do
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB

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Zillion Beatz is a new vertical shooter by RezetiA, featuring one short level but with five different difficulty settings. The needless configuration and armory shop from Pladzma has been ditched, allowing folks who don't speak Japanese to sample some of the gameplay on offer with little hassle.

Either ship is outfitted with two primary weapons, switchable using the C key. Hold the Z key to shoot, and press the X key to launch a bomb. The type of bomb launched depends on the current primary weapon in use, but still shares the same slot. It's possible to orient the option position by moving your ship around, then locking them in their current alignment by holding the Z key.

Only the weapon currently in use will be upgraded when a power-up is collected. Options can be aligned right in front of your ship by holding the W key.

Name: Zillion Beatz
Developer: RezetiA
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 30MB
Direct download link: Click here

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm not sure how much I can reveal, but -- there's an umbrella which slows your descent, and there's (my favorite feature in any platformer) a double-jump! Those two things alone make it play very different from Knytt. There are a few other new abilities as well, but the double-jump and the umbrella were the defining ones to me.


There's also an extremely scary area, we're talking Silent Hill scary. That may have been my favorite scenario, even though it was extremely challenging (I died at least a dozen times) and even though I don't normally like horror. This is the first time I've seen that level of eerieness pulled off in a platformer.


The game is also pretty challenging, more on the level of Within a Deep Forest than the original Knytt, so those who complained about Knytt being too easy will be happier; but for those who liked the difficulty level of the original game, most scenarios also have an easy mode.


I think the best part about it is that it'll include a level editor, it'll be interesting to see the great variety of worlds that people will doubtless make. It's hard not to want to make your own world after playing this, I have a few ideas myself.


There's not much that I could see that would improve the game, which is rare for me. The only thing I really missed was: no glowing light pointing the way to the next item, which made exploring large areas a lot more reliant on memory than in the original Knytt.


One big part of the original game was the mysterious creatures inhabiting the world, acting on their own, which don't talk to you and which can only watched and guessed about -- and that also thankfully remains. Knytt Stories is expected to release by August 30th.

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Actual gameplay video! A two minute preview of four levels from Everyday Shooter. [source: Kotaku]

 

Monday, July 16, 2007
Update: You can save your layout with F3, and load your layout with F2. It saves to the ole.dat file, and it seems you can only have 1 at a time.

There's a pretty complex world as the default, so back it up before you make new levels. Other random key pressing created a capture.rec file, I don't know what it's for, or what key did that.


The Object Locative Environment Coordinate System is an engine that determines and calculates a robot's interaction with the environment based on the camera's current perspective. Gaps can disappear behind a pillar, bridges can be joined just by rotating the camera, and all sorts of weird mind tricks can be accomplished with a little experimentation or plenty of imagination.





Unfortunately there is no save or load feature, presumably reserved for the upcoming PS3 and PSP version which was recently revealed at E3 2007. Still, this small trinket is a strangely amusing toy in itself and portable console owners can get a taste of Echochrome on their PC right now without the wait.

Name: OLE Coordinate System (English page)
Developer: Jun Fujiki
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
Direct download link: Click here

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The Fighting Fantasy Project hosts a collection of original adventures based on the popular gamebook system. Originally devised by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, Fighting Fantasy was a series of gamebooks that played out like choose-you-own-adventure stories. Each gamebook would consist of around 400 short numbered passages of text and the reader would be given options as to how they wanted the story to develop.

The gamebooks featured on the site are played directly through your browser. Game progress can effectively be saved by copying or bookmarking the current page's URL for later recall.

Adventures are typically fantasy-themed and have the reader encountering monsters and collecting possessions throughout the adventure.


Name: Fighting Fantasy Project
Type: Browser

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Sunday, July 15, 2007
Tank Universal released.

Kairos recently pointed out a tool which can be used to convert GM releases (developed with version 6.0 and 6.1) into a file that is compatible with Windows Vista. No more Vista incompatibility issues for GM games! [RR forum thread, download conversion tool]

The Crypts of Despair updated with several new changes.

The XBLA version of Switchball previewed. [PC version download page]

Earl Mansin: The Breakout updated to version 1.1.

Spark Spectra updated. Several screenshots from (possibly) a new bullet barrage simulator were posted on the front page as well. [Spark Spectra review]

Mind Control Software (Oasis) has released Arrrrrr!