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Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, wild west management in 1849.>
How-do, pardner! I know you’re accustomed to a ton of shootin’, lootin’, rootin’ and/or tootin’ in your wild west games, but rarely do they address the real complexities of frontier life. For instance, where did the fabric needed to sew all those enormous calico dresses come from? Who provided the lumber and fashioned the boards to build the O.K. Corral? How did gunslingers acquire olive oil to daintily dip their sourdough bread into? Finally, those head-scratchin’, long-lingerin’ questions have been answered in the early access wild-west management game 1849 from Somasim. Reach for it, cowboy! Not your gun>, your sales ledger!
I thought Shelter was a frustrating experience about shepherding an idiot brood of badgers through bad pathfinding and poorly signposted objectives. It’s wholly possible that you’re a far better person than I, and you saw in it the same touching story of parenthood as Cara and John. If so, prepare to get broody: developers Might And Delight have announced Shelter 2.
Even I have to admit it looks very pretty. Extremely teasery trailer below.
Funcom haven’t had a smooth ride of late. The Secret World performed under expectations (although these were expectations based on their delusionally thinking they could charge a box price and> subscription for a new IP MMO), and in January they were briefly suspended from trading as their offices were raided. That cannot have been fun. However, things appear to be back on track now, and last week they were showing off their next MMO, LEGO Minifigures Online. It could well be a much needed cash cow for the milking. I sat down and had a play of the family-friendly brick-me-do.
I’ve spent half an hour of my afternoon watching the Voxel Quest March update. It’s only fifteen minutes long but I went back in for a second viewing as soon as it finished because I realised I must have nodded off during the most important bit. The video shows a delicious voxel engine, capable of showing fantastically splishy-splashy water as well as lovely, warm cottages and trees which display their age rings when they’re bisected. It’s extraordinary to look at and developer Gavan Woolery talks about Dwarf Fortress, roguelikes and narrative elements in a soothing, world-weary tone. But when I got to the end, I didn’t know who I would be in the game or what I would be doing. I felt like I’d been on quick tour around a world that I might have no place in.
The first part of Vostok’s grand post-apocalyptic shooter plan, Survarium, has now started inviting batches of sign ups to their beta. It’s the multiplayer FPS portion of the game, and as such basically a test of the shooting, running about, and weapon unlocking game systems. It’s an experience that will be familiar to anyone who spent time playing first-person games online in the past decade, although set in the most lavish of Ukrainian apocalypses.
So is that offering going to be strong enough to power the game through to its pseudo-Stalker co-op core? Peer into my crystal lake of toxic weirdness to find out.>
London lot Roll7′s side-on shooter Not A Hero was given a formal announcement and grand unveiling at EGX Rezzed this weekend, perhaps not coincidentally opposite the Hotline Miami 2 booth. Oh, but to compare the two would be lazy. See, while Not A Hero is a point-scoring, man-murdering, pixel-bleeding, die/restart run and gun game, it’s also a cover shooter. Having had a bash myself, I’d say it’s worth keeping an eye on. … [visit site to read more]
Dave Gilbert is, I like to argue, the unsung hero of the resurgence of the adventure game. When things were quiet, he was industriously creating interesting, professional projects in the then-low-key world of Adventure Game Studio. With the likes of Gemini Rue and Resonance he and Wadjet Eye Games have become more prominent, and soon his long-running Blackwell series comes to an end with Epiphany. At GDC this year I caught up with the developer for an impromptu chat about growing up, pixel art, and saying goodbye to loved characters.>
Mighty Tactical Shooter might not be the first turn-based side-scrolling space blaster but I can’t remember ever seeing one before. A friend pointed the game out as we were browsing The Leftfield Collection at Rezzed, wisely recognising that it would be precisely my receptacle of brewed leaves. The easiest way to describe it is by asking you to imagine R-Type if R-Type were turn-based and had fancy physics for debris and tumbling blocks. Orders are given to your ship using a neat radial interface and the short bursts of movement and missile-launching keep the pace at a reasonable clip while allowing for intense brain application.
The first thing I remember from Push Me Pull You isn’t even the game itself. It’s laughter. I’d heard about it all week during GDC, and I finally witnessed people playing it projected on a ceiling at the Unwinnable House. They couldn’t stop giggling. It came in bone-shivering writhes and ribcage-pounding bursts. Upon witnessing the game itself and noting that the whole thing was centered around wriggly sausage tubes with people for ends, I immediately felt two things: 1) revulsion, 2) the truest love I’ve known in all my life.
And then I played it.
After recent updates added bulletproof vests and shotguns, it was probably inevitable that Prison Architect would continue it’s escalation towards more and more exciting additions with each alpha. The trend continues in alpha 19 with a broad revision to the game’s finance systems, which introduces new rules for borrowing, the need to pay corporation tax, and the ability to sell shares in your prison to investors.
Video update below while I try to explain why I’m not being sarcastic.