Season

A gorgeous take on the “walking game” genre, Season’s main themes  are “Travel” and “Preservation”.

A stylized game rendered in nostalgic colors, it looks like a fairytale painting. Explore a dying world and collect what remains of a world of life and wonder.

From the offical site:

Document, photograph, draw, and record life. Through a solitary bicycle journey, form your own memories, your own vision of the world around you. Your goal? Protect these treasures from being forgotten. Your quest will lead you to discover a new world; unknown, yet familiar. You will be immersed in different societies that will make you discover the mysteries of the world of Season; a surreal version of the mid-twentieth century, where thousands of years have passed without any progress. Find out what caused the last collapse and what might cause the next one…

By Scavengers studio, due to be released this year on PC and Playstation.

 

Robinson Crusoe; Board Game

Trapped on our own islands of loneliness, we seek a way out. In this game, you can sate that desperation by escaping the clutches of wilderness. I first heard about Robinson Crusoe the board game from my friend’s history professor. He, like many others, was looking for games to play at home.

One of the several draws of this board game is the ability to play by yourself. Robinson Crusoe has a Single Player option and a Multiplayer one, up to 4 players total. The Game is Published by Portal Games, and is available here.

The Game is based off of the classic book Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719.

Resource-gathering game that included cards, dice and tokens. There are many different paths to victory, which allows for replayability, especially if  you have a dislike for repetitive games.

Get through the scenarios and escape the island! From coopboardgames.com

Hacker vs. Corporation: the Card Game a.k.a. , “Android: Netrunner”

While researching Magic the Gathering (I had heard it was a fun play), I came across something else that piqued my interest: an extinct game by the name of Android: Netrunner.

At the Brain-dead hour of 4 am, the fast-paced commentary on the Netrunner U.S. Nationals 2019 The Cut was a pleasant listen. From what I’ve gathered on a brain full of sleep soup (probably better known as melatonin), I’ve gathered that it’s a combination of Magic the Gathering and Poker.

The game runs as follows: You and another player oppose eachother; one plays a corporation, and the other plays a hacker. Each team has to get 7 “agenda points”. Hackers gain them from taking the cards from the corporation, and the corporation from completing agenda card requirements.

Entertaining, or at the very least, compelling!

This game involves Resource management, and much like our own monetary system, there is some complexity. The game involves 6 kinds of tokens, most of which are double-sided to signify different things.

The Artwork is lovely as well!

An Example of the art
“The Personal Touch” Card Art

For those who want a true cyberpunk experience, this is the game for you.

Since it was cancelled in 2017, there’s no chance of getting new cards, but there is an online deckbuilder/play site here.

Art and Horror in Mundaun

Explore Alpine mysteries in a Puzzle based Horror with Mundaun! This game has a focus on Art and storytelling, and its overwhelmingly positive reviews rave about the vibes this art piece gives off.

The art of the game has a combination of Two and 3 dimensional aspects, and is entirely in black and white. The overlay of 2-d textures heightens the uncanny valley often seen in 3-d video games.  The consistent  art style provides a feast for the eyes and increases the spook factor when a monster fades into view.

The atmospheric ambience  is achieved through the use of  rough textures of the mountain , while things like plants and animals are carefully detailed. By making the sky light grey and the mountains dark, there is just enough contrast to distinguish the two as you traverse the map.

The simplified human shapes of the characters lend credence to the appearance of the monsters. Having a simple style throughout  lets the player maintain their suspension of disbelief.

The story-book-esque style contributes to the games easy-going gameplay, with minimal stats to keep track of an the ability to run or avoid monsters. The game only has  a few jump scares, relying on psychological horror to keep you on the edge of your seat.

A pleasant vista
From the game’s STEAM page

Dungeon design in DnD: The Rooms, Hallways, and the bits between your players and the Boss

A home is not an empty house; even the most neat space still has stuff in it. In Dnd,  the problem is how to describe a space without tripping up your players, while maintaining the atmosphere you want.

Where is this place going to be? Will you build the building around the location? Will you develop the building based on its occupant? Both?

Think about what people would need to live in your chosen location. For example: A Cult that lives below ground; where do they get their food? What do they do for entertainment? What do they find important in their cult, and what kind of space does that occupy? In that case, you could add in pantries, game rooms, a few sacrificial alters in front of a statue with it’s own room, a space for priests in the cult, a space for digging tools, an area for certain building or support materials, and some sort of path to remove dirt that’s been freshly dug.

Even with just this, there’s already a map being developed.

To build a place around its occupants can be more complex than just location-based design. For example, If you have archers in your castle, you’d want the tall, thin windows and battlements that will protect them; however, non-European cultures tend to use mounted archers (those on horses) more often, so the buildings in those areas don’t account for defense-based archery.

More simply, you can examine the origin and design of your boss, and what pieces of architecture would accentuate those traits. an Eldritch beast would call for a dark and imposing building, with heavy materials, the tall ceilings oozing with foreboding shadows, and stained glass windows alluding to something far beyond the Players’ knowledge. There is also a need to consider the atmosphere you’re trying to create, and creating a moodboard (a selection of images associated with what emotions you want to convey) can help.

For the individual rooms, you can search up a list of items created in the era you wish (for more historically-inspired pieces), or a list of items found in books or media for the location (for sci-fi or high fantasy). You can also review your list of occupants and wonder about what they might need for daily life, and then scatter about these items.

To spice up the interior, you can add in Furniture! Use words that can describe the atmosphere or boss as well. The furniture a person has can tell you something about them. A “bone-thin chair with a black metal back” has a much different vibe than a “warm, plush couch, made of quilted velvet”. A visible lack of furniture can set up an atmosphere of barrenness, or even when placed in context, an air of suspiciousness.  Furniture can be minimalistic, decorated, homely, and can help set up your atmosphere as well as any sounds made by a you-tube playlist.

The materials used in the room can also give it flavor. Describing types of stone using their textures or appearances, or using the wallpaper to its maximum effect. Add in color-meanings or flower symbology to tell the story of the place or its inhabitants. How well-maintained are the rooms? Do people care about the place they’re in?

You can also Give clues about your Boss in main rooms. Shed skin for scaly beasts, the odd hair or piece of fur, or even a closet with the Boss’ preferred outfits. Does your Boss have a particular diet, or habits that are unique to their species or situation?

All of the above can be used to world-build in a way can be as subtle (or dramatic) as you’d like!

Have fun designing!

Breathedge

Breathedge is a new space survival adventure game that was released for PC on Steam and the Epic Games store. After a run in Steam Early Access with overwhelming positive reviews, it was fully released on February 25th. While the balancing and pacing might not be for everyone, the game has received significant praise for its graphics, story, and humor. Breathedge is the first major product developed by RedRuins Softworks, but it’s published by HypeTrain Digital. HypeTrain is the Russian team behind numerous successful indie PC games, including Police Stories and Stoneshard.

Staying true to Breathedge’s sense of humor, you’ll use a chicken to solve some interesting problems.

A Man and His Chicken

The actual gameplay appears to take a certain level of inspiration from Subnautica. However, Breathedge uses its storytelling to find its own place and separate it from most survival adventure games. You play as a man who wants to carry his grandfather’s ashes to a galactic funeral. But you stumble across a much deeper story than what you appear to be walking (or flying) into. You’ll find out more about your grandfather’s legacy as you fight to survive against the harsh reality of space. As you continue through the game, you’ll be presented with more and more opportunities to craft items that will prove useful to you in the game. There’s plenty of danger in the expanse of space. You’ll need to manage your oxygen levels to make sure you don’t suffocate in the void. You’ll need to avoid hazardous areas to make sure you don’t freeze or burn. You’ll even need to avoid deadly robots.

When navigating space, you’ll often be traveling in a vehicle.

A Trip Through Space

In Breathedge, you don’t just craft small items. You can also assemble multiple vehicles. You can ride in a space car, a small rocket, or even build a large space shuttle. By creating a large space station, you can effectively build your own home that can be personalized and decorated in your own way. You’ll even manage the base’s power and oxygen levels. So many of these features seem quite reminiscent to Subnautica and even the art style looks similar. If you want to make your own comparison, you can pick it up on Steam or the Epic Games store for $24.99.

 

#Breathedge #Indie #Survival #Adventure #PC

EVE Online

On February 4th, CCP Games announced that EVE Online broke the Guinness world record for the most expensive video game battle in history. EVE Online is an enormous free-to-play MMORPG that is set in the expanse of space. The game features hundreds of different spaceships that players can own. The player can use this spaceship to go an endless adventure in a world that they share with a colossal community. While it originally launched for PC in 2003, the game has grown tremendously over the years. EVE Online has also had several free updates over the years that have added a great deal of content for the game’s players. CCP Games tries to make it clear that they are still very committed to the long-term player base of EVE Online, even after all this time.

EVE Online has an incredibly diverse set of ships for you to pilot.

A Community Across the Stars

There are tons of different ways to play EVE Online. Beyond being just an MMORPG with both PVP and PVE gameplay, it’s also an enormous sandbox game. You can be an explorer, a soldier, a miner, a trader, a pirate, and so much more. CCP Games does its best to create an opportunity for players to immerse themselves in a giant breathing world. There is also a vast and expansive lore in the game that you can embrace should you choose to invest yourself in it. While the game is free-to-play, there are various levels of priced starter packs to give a new player an edge. Dedicated players will also often purchase the premium subscription for the game, allowing for faster progression and unlocking more content.

There are plenty of different ways for you to make a name for yourself in EVE Online.

EVE Online’s recent Guinness world record for the most expensive video game battle is the result of the Massacre of M2-XFE. Thousands of players logged into the game and participated in the battle that stretched on for hours. All in all, in the value of the in-game assets that players lost in the battle amounted to over $340,000 USD. Thousands of people had put years of their hard work and in-game progress on the line.  The simple fact that EVE Online has created a world where people can do battle at such a massive scale is an incredible feat. Every player existing in the same massive world allows for incredible events to unfold that you’d never really see anywhere else. So if you’re a fan of MMOs, sandbox games, or space adventure games, then consider giving EVE Online a try.

#EVEOnline #EVE #MMORPG

Haven

Haven was originally released for Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Steam, and Playstation 5 on December 3rd. It was also released on the Epic Games Store, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch on February 4th. Haven is an adventure game where you play as two lovers who gave up everything to be together. While the game is designed to be played solo where you control both of the characters, you can also play in local co-op with a partner. Haven stands out when it weaves together its beautiful writing and its intricate gameplay mechanics. There are few games that represent a similar experience.

Combat in Haven incorporates both lovers in every battle.

A Story of Love

You play as Yu and Kay, two lovers that escaped to a faraway planet so that they can be together. During gameplay, you’ll control both characters at the same time. This keeps gameplay interesting during both combat situations and when you control the dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, a huge part of Haven is watching the growth of Yu and Kay’s relationship unfold. They have to sacrifice a great deal if they want to stay together. As the game progresses, you’ll experience the pair’s highs and lows. You’ll be there when they’re quarrelling and you’ll be there when they lean on each other to get through the hardest of times.

Haven does its best to connect the player to the relationship between Yu and Kay.

Through Thick and Thin

The art  in Haven is another big draw for the game. Hand drawn models will appear during dialogue and the rest of the game displays 3D models. The alien planet that our couple finds themselves on is populated by various alien species of plants and creatures. Some aliens are friendly and some aren’t. There are also plenty of other features that keep the player interested in the world of Haven. You can explore the exciting planet, build up your home, cook meals, collect resources, and craft with those resources to survive. Beyond the visual art, Haven also features an original soundtrack from the acclaimed electro musician DANGER. Consider looking into Haven if you want to experience a brand new romantic RPG space adventure. 

#Haven #Space #Romance #RPG #Adventure

Skul: The Hero Slayer

Skul: The Hero Slayer had its Version 1.0 release on January 21st of 2021. The game has been in Early Access on Steam since last February and its developers have finally decided to present its full release. The game is developed in South Korea by SouthPAW Games and published by NEOWIZ. Skul: The Hero Slayer is a rogue-lite 2D action platformer where you play as a skeleton on a mission. You must save your king from the Imperial Army and the Adventurers that took him as a prisoner. But saving the Demon King won’t be easy.

Skul can appear in many different forms.

Switch your Skull Up

Skul has a powerful ability. He has the ability to totally change his form by replacing his skull with another. When he finds a new skull, he completely changes his fighting skills and abilities. For example, he could equip a skull that transforms him into a fighter like Robinhood. With each pre-release update, the developers added more and more skulls and unique looks for Skul. There are now over 50 different skulls that give Skul a unique combination of attack range, power, and speed. You can also carry two skulls at once. That means you can switch forms to take on multiple enemies in the smartest way possible.

The game features a wide cast of enemies.

The Power of Dark Quartz

Skul flips the typical plot of an action game on its head. In this game, you’re actually fighting the demon-slaying Adventurers and you’re trying to save the Demon King. Most of your enemies are soldiers in the Imperial Army or in the party of Adventurers. But the hardest fights come when you have to fight against the game’s massive bosses. Dark Quartz is a powerful material that corrupts life and creates giant monsters that Skul must vanquish. Skull is usually $19.99, but it will be 20% off until February 3rd to celebrate the game’s full release. If you’re a fan of rogue-lite games or 2D action platformers, consider giving this game a try.

#Skul #Indie #2D #roguelite #platformer #action

NUTS

NUTS will be released for Nintendo Switch and PC on February 4th 2021. The game was produced by a small team of indie developers and will be published by Noodlecake Studios. Nuts has a unique aesthetic and stands alone as an experience that you won’t be able to easily replicate in another game. The fully voice acted story and bold visual style solidifies the game as one that will be hard to forget. Meanwhile, the actual plot of the game is also far from typical.

The ultimate goal of NUTS is to learn more about the native squirrel population.

Strange Squirrels

You play as a recent graduate of Viago University. You’re job is to research the activity of the native squirrel population at Melmoth Forest. To do this, you must arrange cameras in the forest and track the movement of the squirrels. As each day passes by, you’ll notice patterns in the movement of the animals. Your ultimate goal is to find the nest. However, the truth behind the strange behavior of the squirrels might be more complicated than anyone realizes. You will need to analyze the recorded footage from your cameras and show your boss what you’ve found. Over time, you might just unravel the secrets of the squirrels in this forest.

The entire game is displayed in vibrant shades of colors.

Keep Watch

What sets NUTS apart is the uniquity in its plot and ambiance. The entire game is displayed with a memorable visual filter. The game wants you to be surprised by the story. NUTS will offer a different type of surveillance adventure that will envelop the player in the immersive forest. There’s a reason that this game ended up on “Polygon’s 50 most anticipated games” list. This will be an experience of its own. If you want to try out an indie game where the developers are exploring a new type of adventure, check back on NUTS in February.

#NUTS #Indie #ComingSoon