“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.”
“Imagine what Minecraft might be like if it had been made with pixel art sprites and released in the SNES era. That sums up the overall vibe of Terraria pretty well. It also explains why I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the darned thing. This devious little indie sandbox title borrows so many ideas from Notch’s game that it essentially is Minecraft in 2D, but it also beefs up the familiar gameplay in exciting ways. There’s a lot more creepy crawly stuff to kill, and the staggering number of doodads you can MacGyver together into deadly weapons to slay them with is mouth-watering. Say what you will; there’s some gnarly fun to be had in these uncharted depths.”
Hey, there’s a meteor. Eff that! Kidding. Effing Hail was awesome. Effing Meteors is event more awesome. It was also my Free Bytes installment over at IGN for last week. Yeah, I’m still behind on posting stuff. Here’s the linky: Effing Meteors. Wooh!
I’ve played tons of different Space Invader clones, but this one has got to be the coolest. Chaos Invaders riffs off the general idea and pixelated graphical style from the original, but the gameplay itself is a wild and wooly mix that goes from crazy, to crazier, to craziest. You should really check it out in my latest Free Bytes writeup over here at IGN.
Technically, this is last week’s Free Bytes, but since I’ve been trying to get caught up on posts and a new column won’t be going up this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I figure it’s better to post it up late than never. I’ve got some REALLY hot and wacky games coming up in future installments that kick off again next month after the holidays, so stay tuned for the next batch with new installments appearing each Thurs. in the PC section of IGN.
“Toronto hasn’t always been the indie game development Mecca that it’s grown into today. Just under a decade ago, studios in the city were scarce, and many budding developers had to leave Toronto to find solid work. Sick of competing for the meager handful of game dev job openings in town and unwilling to relocate away from home, a group of enthusiastic game makers set out to change things. After a few years of working on a slate of mobile phone projects, indie studio Capybara Games has settled into a steady groove crafting offbeat games about rainbow-puking critters, puzzle jousting combatants, and pixilated touchy-feely warriors.”
“If you were to take a videogame’s concept and condense it into a snappy newspaper headline, “Psychokinetic Nudist Trapped in the Void” would pretty well sum things up for Nudo — a platform puzzler with a pretty nifty gimmick.”
“What do a dude in a mining cap, a stuffy old prude, and a trigger-happy, corn-cob-pipe smoking general all have in common? Nothing, really, except that they all seem to have some sort of serious candy-related issues to work through in this week’s freeware indie game. While a trip to the shrink might be the only reliable method of curing their individual sugar-induced mental roadblocks, spinning hypnotic candy orbs that are being whittled down by incoming gunfire is possibly the next best form of therapy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth for weirdness, then Sugarcore is just the thing to satisfy your saccharine gaming-related cravings.”
“On their own, individual pixels seem small and insignificant, but when you put hordes of them together, their value becomes readily apparent. No, we’re not talking about retro videogame art – this is war. It’s a war fought by throngs of tiny, pissed-off glowing pixels. It’s a war that will draw you into its fold and completely annihilate any chances of escape. Thought you were going to get some work done today? Think again. Pixel Legions is calling.”
“These days manually shooting at enemies to make them explode into a fiery ball of awesome death is so passé. It’s way cooler to make them collide, causing a similarly delightful eruption of flame, annihilation and twisted metal. Tetraform is an odd little arcade space defense game that has you taking out take out entire armadas of ne’er-do-wells without laying a finger on your trigger. The lack of pew-pew-pew doesn’t disappoint, because it’s a hell of a lot more fun to fling them at one another.”
“Rather than scrutinizing body counts, the number of villages burned to the ground, or the gruesomeness of accumulated battle scars, they say an evil overlord can measure his true worth by the amount of shiny gems he’s amassed. There’s nothing more undignified than having these precious baubles wrenched from your clawed grasp along with the fond memories they represent of victorious conquests long past. No, you’ve worked too hard for your treasure to let it go so easily. When greedy heroes come swarming towards your lair with a little smash and grab in mind, they must be punished most severely.”