Dojo Arcade, an indie studio set up by three former Masters students from the University of Glamorgan, have announced Creature Battle Lab – a creature battling game for iOS. As an intern at the famous ‘Creature Battle Lab’, it’ll be your job to experiment with DNA and create a team of battling creatures. These teams can be unleashed in the lab arena, with the ultimate goal being to work your way through the leagues and to prove that you’re truly a “Pro”-fessor.
Creature Battle Lab will be free-to-play when it mutates into a full game and is released to the world sometime later this year.
DeNA and Hasbro have today announced Transformers: Age of Extinction, the official mobile game for the film of the same name. The game is the second title in an exclusive three-year agreement between the two companies, the first being the online CCG Transformers Legends. Unlike Legends, Age of Extinction is set to be a ‘3D combat runner’, with players taking out enemies also featured in the movie as they run, dash, and change form in a variety of environments.
Barry Dorf, vice president of partnerships and alliances at DeNA, had this to say about the project:
The TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION mobile game will deliver an explosive interactive entertainment experience on mobile devices for TRANSFORMERS fans and consumers looking to extend their movie experience after the credits roll. This isn’t your typical runner game; this game puts the player in the middle of an action-packed Hollywood blockbuster where it’s destroy or be destroyed!
Transformers: Age of Extinction is set to be available later this year. If players pre-register on the official website with their Facebook account, they will receive a Rare Transmetal Rocket Launcher for the game when it launches.
Krosmaster Arena, the online version of the board game from Anakama and Japanime Games, is getting a mobile version coming in early 2015. This miniatures-based board game has had its online version available via browsers for some time now, but now mobile players will be able to play from anywhere. As well, it will allow players to bring in the figures they already own into the mobile version of the game.
InnoGames has announced their new cross-platform strategy-MMO Rising Generals, designed with the help of Bruce Shelley of Civilization and Age of Empires fame. Built around player-versus-layer combat, players will command planes, tanks, and armored automobiles in worlds that will span 40,000 players each. The game will be cross-platform between iOS, Android, and browser, with support for the same account on different platforms for those who aren’t loyal to one electronics company.
Craneballs is returning to the Overkill well that has helped put them on the map. Where previous games in the series were futuristic alien-shooters, this one takes place in a past version of Chicago, where violent, fedora-wearing, gun-toting criminals roamed the streets shooting at each other and innocents occasionally getting caught in the crossfire. Thankfully such a world no longer exists: there are far fewer fedoras now. So, with the game currently soft-launched in Canada, I made sure not to put ketchup on my hot dog for this edition of It Came From Canada!
As stated earlier, the setup is very similar to past entries in the series in that this is a shooting gallery game. Players are in a stationary position, trying to take out enemies as they come in. The left thumb is used to move the gun by dragging around the screen, and there are fire and reload buttons in the lower-right corner. This is a Prohibition-era setting, so all the weapons are based on that time period, like a Colt 1911. Don’t expect any high-powered assault rifles here, but perhaps a tommy gun or two.
The meat of the game is the level-based progression, where players must survive multiple waves of enemies without dying, earning cash along the way. There are hundreds of levels promised, and interestingly enough, no energy system. At least yet. Right now, it’s possible to play to one’s content.
Along with the fixed levels, there are also reputation battles – such as the game’s endless mode, which also serves as a kind of asynchronous play where players attempt to get higher scores by lasting as long as possible, with more powerful enemies coming in as time goes on. Leaderboards track who’s doing better than whom. This is where buying better clothes comes into play: they grant character upgrades but also reputation multiplier bonuses. These bonuses naturally make it easier to get higher scores. They also serve as lives since every time the player ‘dies’, their multiplier lowers.
Guns can be upgraded with cash, with wait timers for upgrades to be delivered that can be skipped by spending liquor. Liquor is earned occasionally through level-ups, though there’s plenty to spend it on – including health and power boosts in the game itself. The game steadily gets harder, and it’s easy to see where the desire can be cultivated to spend real-world money on more cash and liquor to be more powerful; at least to catch back up to the game’s increasing difficulty.
It will be interesting to see how well people take to another entry in this series, and to one with a different theme than the ever-popular “shoot aliens” motif. And of course, will this make money? Time will tell. I imagine this one will be available worldwide soon enough, but it’s difficult to tell sometimes with soft-launched games. Some take months despite feeling ready, others feel half-baked but are soon available everywhere.
Dynamite Jack, from Galcon and BREAKFINITY creator Phil Hassey, is getting a new free version on May 22. This version will be the same as the paid version, but with ads. Every time that players continue they will see ads, though it’s possible to buy ad-free continue packs: 50 for $0.99, 250 for $2.99, or unlimited for $4.99, which is the same as the full version.
Yael Cohen, founder of the “let’s not mince words” Fuck Cancer organization, has announced a new app help caregivers get the people they’re taking care of the actual day-to-day help they need. StandWith will allow caregivers to help dole out tasks like getting groceries, picking up the kids from school, and anything else that needs to be done. These tasks can be assigned to friends, family, and acquaintances, with people able to be brought in by Facebook, email, and Google+.
Panzer Tactics HD, bitComposer Games’ upcoming World War II turn-based strategy game, has had its price and release date announced. The iPad version will cost $8.99 and release on May 22. This updated version of the DS original will boast three campaigns, over thirty missions, and over 150 total units across the land, sea, and air.
Gameloft has announced further details for Modern Combat 5: Blackout, the latest installment in the popular first-person shooter series.
Like previous games in the franchise, the game will feature both a singleplayer and a multiplayer mode. In a first for the series however, progression in both modes will have an impact on each other. Experience points gained will carry over to both modes, unifying progression through the game. Every mission or multiplayer match played will also increase your weapon score, ultimately ending up in the mastery of individual weapons. Better weapons will also unlock as you play and will be available to use in both modes.
Both modes will feature four different solider classes. These classes each have unique augments that can be unlocked using Skill Points earned whenever you level-up. Each class is defined by what weapons they can equip, which can be seen in this short breakdown of each class:
Assault – Aggressive fighter that is effective at medium range combat. Equips assault rifles and pistols.
Heavy – Resilience is the main advantage of this class. Equips shotguns and RPGs and feels comfortable in close to medium combat.
Recon – Focuses on fast action and exposing enemies. Equips SMGs and pistols. Efficient in close range combat.
Sniper – Obviously, focuses on sharpshooting with a stealth approach. Equips sniper rifles and pistols. Efficient in long distance combat.
Details on Modern Combat 5: Blackout are scarce, but we’ll be sure to share more when we receive them.
N-Fusion, developers of Deus Ex: The Fall and Air Mail, have released screens and a trailer for their upcoming game Space Noir, published by Unity Games (the publishing arm of the popular 3D engine). N-Fusion promises to mix the standards of space combat with the noir aesthetic usually reserved for hard-boiled detective stories.
Space Noir is planned to release this summer for PC and for tablets.
Ubisoft has announced ANNO: Build an Empire, the first mobile entry for the city-building strategy series. The controls have been built from the ground up in order to make building cities compatible for the iPad, and like its predecessors the game will require strategic planning that will force players to weigh the pros and cons of their city planning.
Players will start off with one island, building it up to ensure that its citizens are both happy and healthy. Once skilled enough, they will be able to use their city-planning abilities on additional islands and manage trade routes with nearby neighboring islands. Social elements from previous games in the series will also be brought in, giving players the chance to challenge friends and foes alike.
ANNO: Build an Empire will be compatible with iPad 2 and higher and will require at least iOS6 and a connection to the Internet in order to play when it releases.
Wargaming has one of the biggest games on the planet right now, and it’s one you might not have played: World of Tanks. This free-to-play tank warfare game has had over a million concurrent players on PC, and it’s starting extend its tendrils out beyond the PC to include mobile. World of Tanks: Blitz takes the formula of putting tank-driving players on to the battlefield, with the objective of capturing points or wiping out the other team, in small maps with fast-paced gameplay. The game is in a soft-launch phase in Europe, including Denmark. So, I whipped up some frikadeller and rugbrød for this It Came From Canada: Denmark Edition!
Blitz is an apt subtitle for this, since it puts players into the game pretty much immediately. Once players register with either Game Center or a Wargaming.net account, the tutorial starts. This lets players get an idea of the movement, aiming, and firing controls, before players are set off into their first real battles.
The tutorial actually does a great job at briskly setting up the game and showing how the mechanics work: a single joystick controls movement, with buttons for turning in place and arrows around the tank indicating where it will move to.
Though players do start off playing in real battles, this doesn’t mean that the learning is over. As players progress, the game introduces ammo buying, tank upgrading, and more. It just does so in a way that is spread out over time, and doesn’t overwhelm players with information all at once. Importantly, it lets players actually play and learn for themselves.
Even playing with non-US players via both wi-fi and LTE the game has performed exceptionally well, with latency having little effect. While the game does manage to put players into games with more experienced and better-equipped opponents, I didn’t feel helpless. The game does require some intelligence built-in since there’s not really any voice chatting, and with such a diverse international audience playing, having just a text chat option might be better anyway.
There’s no actual energy mechanic, but tanks can’t be used until a battle ends – though players do have multiple tanks. Credits (the soft currency) can be spent on more ammunition, and gold (the hard currency) can be spent to buy different kinds of ammunition, additional tank slots, and more along with premium accounts, which grant more experience and credits for certain amounts of time. How well this model works on mobile as far as money-making remains to be seen. There are at least enough credits handed out to keep ammo supplied, but just how ‘free’ this game will be remains to be seen. As well, will the more casual market be willing to jump into such a gamer’s game, even if it’s fast-paced? These are interesting questions I’m curious to see the answers to when the game is eventually released worldwide.
Slothwerks have announced that their upcoming puzzle RPG, Tales of the Adventure Company, is set to release on iOS this June. Here is a description of the game from the developer themselves:
In a nutshell, Tales of the Adventure Company is a small puzzle/RPG game in which players follow the story of the Adventure Company across 5 episodes. Players will travel from undead crypts to icy wastelands, slaying enemies along the way. As players progress, they’ll unlock new heroes to join the Adventure Company, building their team during each quest.
The developer has also stated that the game will contain no ads or in-app purchases, will have Game Center support, and will be updated with additional episodes after release.
Tales of the Adventure Company is set to release on iOS sometime this June for $1.99. For those to you who can’t quite wait until then, a sample version of the game is available to play in web browsers now.
A new game starring Tony Hawk, famous in gaming circles for the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, is coming to iOS.
Tony Hawk’s Shred Session takes after lane-based runners such as Subway Surfers, having players swiping to do tricks in skatepark levels across two different game modes. Six real-world skaterboarders, including both Tony Hawk and his son Riley, will be available. See more about the game in this hands-on video of Tony Hawk playing the game with Hodappy Bird protagonist Eli Hodapp.
Tony Hawk’s Shred Session is planned for this summer, with a soft launch in the coming weeks.
Perfect World Entertainment has announced their new MMORPG coming to iOS, Dawn of the Immortals, releasing this summer in North America and Europe. Players will fight through dungeons, teaming up with fellow players to take down their opponents in both PvP and PvE (player vs. environment) arenas. There will be guilds, parties, group chat, and more social features, including cross-platform play with the Android version.
Dawn of the Immortals is planned for this summer, and players who pre-register can get a free mystic pet summoning card when the game releases.
Gameloft has announced some new details for the upcoming Modern Combat 5: Blackout, the latest in their long-running military FPS series. Players will begin in Venice, Italy as protagonist Phoenix, travelling around the globe to Tokyo and other locales. While few other details are known, we do have this concept art, the trailer from E3 2013, and the promise that more will be announced in the coming weeks.
Harmonix, creators of the Rock Band series, have soft-launched Record Run on to the Canadian App Store. You will likely not be surprised to learn that it’s a rhythm-based game, but in a mobile-friendly endless runner format. So, I put on my athletic boogie shoes for this edition of It Came From Canada!
The gist of the game is to dodge obstacles and make it to the end of each level, but that’s oversimplifying things. See, each obstacle is meant to be dodged in time, with more points scored and more of a multiplier boost for timing the jumps, slides, and sideways movements properly. Of course everything is set to music, and players can import their own music to listen to while they play, with the game’s levels synchronized to the music. This does tend to work better with tracks that have a consistent tempo to them: the Animals as Leaders tracks I tried didn’t work so well, but electronic tracks worked a lot better.
Essentially, much like Rock Band, Record Run becomes about maintaining success in order to get high scores and the elusive five-star rating. In particular, continued success is necessary: getting and maintaining high multipliers is key. And they can get really high, I’ve seen as high as 10x, so repetition becomes important. Figuring out when to make swipes is harder once the 3x multiplier is reached, because that’s when the world shifts to its extremely-colorful mode – where the main character transforms into a creature of some sort (the first one available transforms into a flaming skeleton), and the world dances to the music. But most importantly, the indicators for when to swipe go away, and players are on their own as for when they have to.
Record Run is monetized through the standard two-tier currency, with records being used for upgrades, and backstage passes as the hard currency used for unlocking additional song slots and additional characters. It will be interesting to see how well the game monetizes: when I spoke with Harmonix at GDC, they gave off the attitude that they were just jumping in feet-first with this sort of free-to-play game, so balancing everything could take some time. I expect some sort of daily challenge incentive to be added as well, along with perhaps an energy system – the game is fairly simple and would be most rewarding perhaps through a system that conditions the game to be played in short bursts. So, before it launches worldwide, it could have a long way to go, and could still change a lot.
Gear Jack: Black Hole, the endless runner follow-up to 2012’s Gear Jack, is coming to iOS this Thursday, May 1. Published by Crescent Moon Games, players will control the eponymous Jack as he travels through portals, endlessly running forward trying to stay alive through the myriad hazards his alien opponents have laid out. There will be all the standard bullet list features that you expect from an endless runner: missions, power-ups, multiple worlds, even video sharing.
For more on Gear Jack: Black Hole, check out the hands-on video from GDC 2014 below.
Forever Entertainment is resurrecting their presumably-fictional Frederic Chopin with Frederic – Evil Strikes Back. This sequel to 2012’s Best App Ever nominee in the Music Game category, Frederic – Resurrection of Music, has players tapping out tunes on Frederic’s powerful keytar in order to defeat the forces of evil who want to commercialize music. Also, he has a sports car now.
Frederic – Evil Strikes Back releases on May 8 exclusively on the App Store, with other platforms coming later. Check out the teaser trailer.
Sega’s Crazy Taxi City Rush is an interesting game: it takes Crazy Taxi and manages to turn it into a more casual-friendly lane-based auto-runner, akin to Subway Surfers, or even Sonic Dash, developed by the same team. The game is currently out in Canada, and we grabbed our keys and set out to make some crazy money in this edition of It Came From Canada!
While the game is more of an auto-runner now, it still has that Crazy Taxi spirit, and it’s not just straightforward. Players swipe between different lanes, collecting Crazy Throughs for close calls with traffic, drifting around corners and into turns, and even side-swiping cars at high speed. The gear-shifting and braking is gone, as is picking up passengers, which all happens automatically. It rally does manage to feel like a more casual Crazy Taxi while still feeling like, well, Crazy Taxi. There’s even a punk soundtrack, but no Offspring or Bad Religion.
The thing that is a bit concerning with the game is the rigidity. The original game played things very fast and loose, and that was part of the fun. The lane-based gameplay makes weaving in and out of traffic in two lanes a lot harder, and makes more slow-down crashes happen at a much higher rate. Certainly the spirit of chaotic driving is still there, but it isn’t perfectly represented. I certainly understand the simplification, though.
As far as the free-to-play aspects go, there is an energy system and the standard two-tier currency: coins for buying common upgrades, rarer gems for things like energy refills. The energy system feels a bit short, allowing for six level plays before having to spend gems. As well, energy seems silly when one could pass the time by going and playing the original Crazy Taxi. But I imagine this is meant to appeal to more of a casual crowd that might find Crazy Taxi hard to pick up. Sonic Dash launched at a premium price point, and I don’t think that it’s a guarantee that Crazy Taxi City Rush will be free-to-play when it goes worldwide, because it certainly feels like it could stand as a ‘paymium’ game. Of course, time will tell just what gets tweaked and what the final decision for the game’s release is.
It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction from the gaming public will be, at least. Dungeon Keeper certainly made people angry, and as a Dreamcast game, Crazy Taxi has a cult fanbase too. A free-to-play game might not go over well, even though the game itself is more a casualification than anything else.
Cipher Prime’s Inake is coming to iPad on May 1, as exclusively revealed yesterday on our Twitch channel.
This dubstep-fueled action-puzzle game is, according to William Stallwood of Cipher Prime, who joined up for the stream, pretty much a straight-up port of the PC version – in a sense. Some tweaks have been made to the game that will come to the PC version on May 1 as well, but ultimately it’s the same game with the same content. The difference is in the way it’s played: the game supports full multitouch controls on the iPad, so it’s a new approach to a familiar game.
Check out the video below of me going through the first 25 levels, which took some practice to get that far:
Watch some of the special levels, available in Challenge Modes:
At their recent Global Gamers’ Day event, Bandai Namco was largely focused on their console and PC offerings for the upcoming year. However mobile still had a small presence, with some upcoming titles revealed by the company – though few were in a playable state at this time.
Windows screenshot, may not be representative of iOS gameplay
The biggest announcement might just be Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ coming to mobile later this year. The follow-up to the popular take on Pac-Man, which features dynamic levels that change every time a fruit is collected, will feature new game modes, characters, and level designs to try and survive. But it’s still an eat or get eaten world. Expect this one this fall, though it was not playable at the event. Still, the game’s set up for touch controls already on Windows, so it should be a similar experience.
Outcast Odyssey is another upcoming game, though shown only in trailer form. This one resembles Evilibrium‘s tile-uncovering gameplay, and dungeon-crawling is promised, but few details are known beyond that.
Project Unstoppable (working title) is another game that Namco announced with few details available. Check out the teaser trailer below.
Also on tap for the future from Namco include a game called Soul Calibur: Unbreakable Soul, though no details are available for it at all beyond the name. TNA 2, a head-to-head wrestling game based on the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling organization, is expected later this year.
Additionally, Namco is working with Invictus to bring some casual games to mobile under Namco’s label. Froggy Jump 2, already released, is part of this. Froggy Splash 2, a game similar to Burrito Bison and Jumping Finn Turbo is also in the works. A puzzle-RPG called Jewel Fight is also being created by Invictus for publication by Namco, though this one won’t involve cute frogs but rather warriors battling it out by matching gems by twisting around blocks of four gems, similar to Bejeweled Twist.
While details and playable gameplay were sparse at the event, Namco does appear to have a variety of titles planned, and this may not be all – these titles are under the wing of Namco’s American mobile studios, and other international branches may have their own worldwide releases down the road as well.
Rocketcat Games joined our Twitch channel late last week to stream Wayward Souls with us. For the first time, see the first boss of the game defeated, and see large chunks of the second area of the game, the Tower, with a couple of the game’s characters. The game releases on April 24.
We’ve shared YouTube videos of some of the highlights, along with a recap of the entire stream, containing information on the process of the game’s development and what players can expect when it releases.
See the first area of the game defeated with Renee the Rogue:
Renee the Rogue running through the Tower, the second area of the game:
As well, Blythe the Warrior makes a lengthy run through the Tower, but can it be successful? As well, check out some of Wayward Souls‘ hats that will be available, including some of the early adopter hats:
Blizzard’s free-to-play online collectible card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, left beta not long ago. Now its mobile days begin, as they have soft-launched their online card-battling game in Canada ahead of its global launch. So I grabbed my deck and chatted up some pandaren for this edition of It Came From Canada!
The core gameplay of Hearthstone has players using an increasing supply of mana to play cards they’ve drawn: most are creatures that can be put into the arena, and only played on the next turn, though some have instant effects such as attacking immediately. Players also have hero attacks that cost mana but can be used to attack the other player or their creatures, with the ultimate goal being to take the opponent’s hero down to zero health. Players can battle online with others via Battle.net, take on computer opponents in Practice Mode, and spend their winnings (or currency purchased via in-app purchases) on cards to outfit their deck. It’s fast-paced, but easy to get into.
The game is simple enough that anyone can get into it after the first six tutorial missions, which cover the gamut of battling. Of course, this is where the game shows its origins as a non-mobile title: the tutorials take about 20 minutes or so to get through them before players can even battle online. In a mobile-first world this would likely be a lot shorter, but the slow pace does a great job at getting players to know how to play the game.
After the tutorial is finished players must register for a Battle.net account in order to play online, with this account usable cross-platform. Deck creation isn’t explicitly covered, but it’s possible to just go out with a default deck. Custom decks can be created as well, and there’s a handy guided tutorial for creating a well-balanced deck, where the game recommends three cards of a kind – so players can choose and understand how to build a deck, versus the game just automatically making one.
Once into the online battles, the process is similar to the tutorial missions, except slower. Some players online can be slow to decide their moves, though there’s only so much time that a player has before the game passes it along. Note that unlike mobile-designed titles like Ascension, players must stay in the battle; there’s no jumping to other games.
And really, that will be the interesting thing to see as Hearthstone nears its global release. This is a game that isn’t necessarily unfriendly to mobile, but many of the patterns that have defined mobile card battlers are clearly defied here. And the longer pacing could lead to more drop-outs during matches, which would not be ideal for the PC userbase. But still, this is Hearthstone on an iPad and that should excite many people.
One of the problems with the trend of free-to-play games lately is that many games have been merely facsimiles of great ideas. RPG battling without any actual control over the combat. Build an empire and attack other empires, but without much control of attacking or defending. PlunderNauts does not have this problem: it’s a game about being a space pirate where players actually have a lot of control over the space piracy! Backflip Studios currently is testing the game in Canada, so I put on my pirate hat and sailed to the great northern seas for this edition of It Came From Canada!
Players hop from planet to planet, trying to become the galaxy’s top space pirate by defeating other pirates and plundering their planets for gold and antimatter – the soft and hard currencies, respectively. Antimatter can advance wait timers, refill energy, and buy new starships.
However, the bulk of the actual gameplay is real-time spaceship battling. Players tap and drag to move their spaceship around, which is equipped with multiple turrets. When enemies get in range of the turret, players can select them and attack, with turrets having varying restart times depending on their stats. Players and enemies can summon fighters that not only can attack, but also serve as distractions as the turrets must focus on them instead of the enemy. However, players can only summon their fleets of fighters once per match: other abilities that can be equipped to provide in-game boosts can be used multiple times as they recharge. Combat is a game of positioning: getting out of the way of enemy turrets yet keeping them in range for one’s own turrets is key, and early on the ships are often close, doing their awkward dance with each other.
While antimatter can be earned through completing planets, it feels like many of the battleships will require spending money in order to unlock them; especially as it’s difficult to earn antimatter through grinding like you do for gold. There is an energy system, with 5 bars that refill at 20 minutes per bar. This is kind of a shame as while it does make it so that players are compelled to come back, it doesn’t feel particularly necessary – because, hey, buying items to get better does require grinding. As well, the amount of energy players are given is rather small; I’d prefer longer play sessions even with longer recharge times. But of course, as a soft launched game, this could change at any point.
Still, PlunderNauts has a lot intriguing ideas to it that will be interesting to see as it gets balanced and fully-formed for its final release.
Coatsink demoed a pair of their upcoming games at the UK Interactive Entertainment booth at GDC: one coming to mobile now, another more likely for the future. Chip is a puzzle game where players must redirect electricity in order to succeed. Expect this one on iOS and Android relatively soon.
As well, they demoed Shu, a floaty platformer where players must outrun the end of the world by controlling a variety of characters floating and using their various abilities throughout a wide array of worlds. A PC/console release is planned for this with mobile down the road. As well, Superglad, an adventure game based on characters first seen in Fatty, was demoed and likely coming to mobile at some point in the future.
Sets & Settings’ Trestle takes the core combat of Mega Man Battle Network (the Game Boy Advance series of card-battling RPGs), gets rid of the cards, and mixes in some Super Crate Box elements. The game, still in development and planned for mobile down the road, presents fast-paced action built around surviving enemy waves to collect the crates and use a variety of weapons to manage the enemy threats. The game is still well in development, with enemies still being added, and release planned for “when it’s done.”
Fixer Studios is formed of veterans of PopCap Games, a studio that has become prominent because of games that appeal to a very wide demographic. Sinster Dexter, Fixer’s first game, will not be anything like that – and they know this game will only appeal to a certain segment of gamers.
Built around gameplay inspired by multi-user dungeons of the 80s created by Richard Bartle, players will trade spells with players online, comprised of various in-game hand signals. Multiplayer will be asynchronous, and there will be detailed information on how players have acted before, so serious players can study how their opponents have reacted in similar situations before. Sinister Dexter is still early along in development, with some public testing planned soon.
Madgarden, the solo developer label of Paul Pridham, is hard at work on Death Road to Canada, his second collaboration with Rocketcat Games after Punch Quest. According to him, the game’s not really ready to show off quite yet – much of the work being done is under-the-hood stuff that will form much of what will be the actual game. But Madgarden doesn’t just stick to one thing: between quickie projects like Chillaxian and Flapthulhu, he also has a variety of prototypes he works with occasionally.
He showed off a couple of them at GDC: Roguebot, a dual-stick shooter with hacking elements and a chill-out pace. As well, there’s Mars Brutalis, an arena-combat game where players must swing around their fists and sacrifice their weapons to advance. The final existence of the games isn’t a known quantity at this point – he jumps around a variety of projects – but there’s something quite compelling about just what could be.
Crescent Moon Games has a big 2014 and beyond ahead of them, as always: a large slate of releases is planned for the coming month and year across many genres. Josh Presseisen, founder and head of the unique outfit that serves both as a publisher of third-party titles and also develops its own, demoed many of these upcoming titles to us during GDC 2014, including commenting on early footage of some of the games recorded at the show.
Exiles: While still not too far along, Exiles (an in-house title) promises to be an open-world action RPG on an alien planet, mixing elements of titles like Ravensword with Fallout and Mass Effect. Players will have a strange world to explore, and plenty of baddies to shoot – and the twist as to just why is revealed in this video, though it’s planned to be revealed early on in the final game.
Gear Jack Black Hole: This sequel to Gear Jack takes the original’s auto-runner concept and makes it a full-blown endless runner. Players will still jump and roll through levels, but now in a high-scoring context while warping through various environments.
The Deer God: This game is still so early that its gameplay hasn’t even been finalized, but its look is rather intriguing: it mixes the pixel art that Superbrothers made famous in Sword & Sworcery in a 3D environment. While there’s still a lot to be locked down with the game, its concepts sound intriguing, as discussed in the video.
Almightree: This puzzle-platformer has players trying to survive a crumbling world by moving through puzzling layouts of blocks, and moving them around as necessary. Good luck.
Sky Story: Another game still very early in its development, this upcoming title is inspired by Kid Icarus, but going in a different direction from the recent 3DS title by trying to be more of an exploration-driven game. This one will be 3D, though: levels have 2D sections, but the ability to move into depth sections of levels will also be present.
This was only a selection of Crescent Moon’s upcoming titles: there were other titles Josh Presseisen demoed that are either still unsigned or not quite ready to be shown publicly. This could be another jam-packed year for the studio.