“As the newest kid on the crowded post-apocalyptic gaming block, Ravaged has a lot to prove if it wants to stand out among the heavily entrenched first-person shooters (Borderlands, Fallout, Rage, etc.) out there that cater to players’ Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fetishes. Indie studio 2 Dawn Games’ strategy for its online multiplayer-only FPS debut is to open up the throttle with massive, vehicle-centric battles that unfold across sprawling wasteland locales. My time in the beta delivered many “Eff Yeah!” moments, but piling up a crew of 32 teammates into a deadly motorcade of gyro-copters, machinegun-mounted dune buggies, and ATVs, then crashing en-masse into an enemy base with guns blazing put a whole new spin on post-apocalyptic killing sprees.”
“Chasing after a little dude wearing only a pair of dirty tighty-whities on his head generally isn’t my idea of a good time, but Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is the one exception. This funky indie puzzle platformer hinges on a wacky quest to reclaim a pair of ancient magical underwear before it’s used to destroy the world. Awesome premise aside, the fact you spend most of your time using a portable doom laser to slice and dice the beautiful hand-drawn terrain to overcome obstacles is the real draw here.”
“Finn “Tiy” Brice is eager to point out his next big project, Starbound, is not a sequel to the million-selling indie hit Terraria — a game for which he crafted the Super Nintendo-style pixel art. That likely won’t stop players from drawing some obvious comparisons between the two, but as the head of new collaborative studio Chucklefish Games, Brice is pushing upwards and onwards to take his new sci-fi-tinged 2D sandbox RPG in a very different direction. “
“The darkest reaches of deep space are colder and more merciless than any dungeon, and in Faster Than Light (FTL) — a rare sci-fi roguelike set in a star-filled realm of intergalactic turmoil instead of a dank subterranean dungeon — death awaits anyone foolhardy enough to rocket into the void. With a well-armed fleet of rebel star cruisers always nipping at my heels, playing FTL feels a lot like walking the plank. I’m doomed no matter how I look at it. But fighting to stave off the inevitable destruction of my ship and crew as we make a mad dash through the cosmos gets my blood pumping every time.”
“A celebration of the hard work of both bedroom coders and smaller established studios alike, the annual Independent Games Festival shines a much-needed spotlight on the boldest, most innovative, and most creative projects from indie developers around the world. In this first installment of our two-part piece highlighting the competition’s 2012 PC game finalists, we poke and prod the noggins of the developers behind this promising batch of upcoming releases.”
“It’s rare when a game’s sheer beauty and elegance has the power to hook me from the very moment I start playing. Toren’s story-driven puzzle adventure follows the tale of a young girl trapped inside a crumbled tower guarded by the doom-inducing gaze of a horrific monster who watches from afar. But it’s far more than that. Every facet of her meticulous ascent through the ominous spire — from her initially playful outlook to the way time rapidly ages her as she climbs higher — has a poetic grace to it that simply captivates. The early stretch of this indie held me transfixed to my PC screen, yet one niggling question remained: Can immaculate style and storytelling keep bare-bones gameplay afloat? “
“Drawing a wealth of knowledge from the good book of 1980s-era dungeon crawling 101, the folks over at Almost Human, Ltd. know their chops when it comes to exploring dank corridors, sticking it to drippy-mawed beasts, and scavenging for scraps of gear needed to survive. The indie studio’s upcoming Legend of Grimrock is absolutely awash in old-school nostalgia, channeling the spirit that made classics like Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master so hard to step away from as a kid. But pushing deep into the monster-filled innards of the game’s ominous subterranean realm during my hands-on time revealed much more to this dungeon crawler RPG than mere retro charm.”
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