Nuclear Throne

If you're looking to expand that insurmountable gaming backlog still further, then perhaps you might like to glance in the direction of the Epic Games Store, where once again a bony finger beckons through the crack in the curtain with the promise of more free games. And this week your freebie options are Ruiner and Nuclear Throne.

Nuclear Throne, of course, is developer Vlambeer's acclaimed rogue-like top-down shooter, in which bullets, and a procession of gun-toting post-apocalyptic mutants, reign supreme.

Eurogamer's Christian Donlan called it, "Vlambeer's most luxurious game" when he took it for a spin back in 2014, describing it as "perhaps the team's most demanding and multi-layered, too, throwing a tactical, almost strategic element into the mix behind all that shooting."

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I hope you remembered to pick up Costume Quest and SOMA for free from the Epic Games Store, because if you didn't, you missed your chance. The good news, as the old saying goes, is that when one window closes, somebody throws a big rock through another one, and so it is that Nuclear Throne and Ruiner are now up for grabs for the week.

Vlambeer's Nuclear Throne is an outstanding top-down roguelike shooter about mutants doing high-explosive battle for the titular throne. It's a few years old now, but one of the advantages of retro-style graphics is that they tend to age well, since they're effectively pre-aged at release—and it's final update was actually just released near the end of 2017, only a couple of years ago.

The second selection, Ruiner, is also a top-down action game, but bears a far more modern visual style, with a color palette that "reaches deep into the cyberpunk spectrum of neon-hued primaries and oversaturated artificiality." It's a different sort of violent experience—a katana rather than a Dushka—but the bottom like is the same: Kill until you die.

Nuclear Throne and Ruiner are yours for the taking from the Epic Games Store until November 14. Next week's freebie will be the retro ninja platformer The Messenger.

RUINER - (Craig Pearson)

If you like your violence from the perspective of a duck, or of a child who held onto their kite during a gale, then the two free games on Epic Games Store this week are very much for you. Both Ruiner and Nuclear Throne are top-down shooters, given freely as long as you grab them before next Thursday. Then the cycle of free stuff begins anew.


SOMA - (Craig Pearson)

The Epic Games Store has a little Halloween treat for you, with both dress ’em up RPG Costume Quest and grim depths survival game Soma free for the next week. If you’re going to grab a freebie for your kiddy-winks, I urge you to be very careful with your clicks or prepare for some long nights ahead. Epic also just announced a few new additions to their storefront, so let’s take a look at that as well.


RUINER - Ruiner_Dispatcher
Hello Puppies,

Wow, time goes by fast! But, in a cyberpunk future, time can be very relative. It’s pretty hard to believe that Puppy started his journey through the streets of Rengkok over two years ago.

That’s right! Today marks exactly two years since we released Ruiner! And, during these two amazing years, we’ve been continuously working to make Ruiner even better. Additionally, we’ve started development on our new title that we will reveal next year. But, before that happens, we've still got a couple of aces up our sleeve.

To celebrate Ruiner’s second anniversary, we have a little gift for you… a special birthday outfit for Puppy! Download the latest update and celebrate his birthday with some juicy kills while wearing a sweet birthday cake on your head. After all, it’s 2093. It’s called fashion.

All the best,
RUINER - Ruiner_Dispatcher

How many times have you lost to TrafficKing? How many times were you running too low on energy to escape death? How many times have you missed a gun and never unlocked it until the end?...

Lament no more! RUINER: Cheater Update lets you sit back and enjoy all of the game’s flavours to the fullest. Use [F8] to preview cheats and press the corresponding key to gain the upper hand.

  • God mode - [1] - become immortal. Not recommended by the Church of Disorder.
  • Conserve energy - [2] - stop worrying about the skills’ cost. Instantly renew 100% of energy.
  • Add Karma - [3] - Puppy’s unparalleled strength and quick reflexes now boosted to the max. Gain 25 cores and many points of Karma to instantly unlock all skills.
  • Unlock all guns - [4] - enter the carnage festival overpowered, guns blazing.
  • Unlock all weapons in the Supply Drop's radial menu.
  • Unlimited ammo - [5] - recycling guns is a hassle. HEAVEN Corp. decided to drop the costly Grinder project and instead put all its resources in UAT (Unlimited Ammo Tech). What a time to be alive!
  • Unlimited melee durability - [6] - let’s be honest: recycling melee weapons is a hassle. Now slice your opponents - not a scratch on your shiny sword.
  • Explosive melee kills - [7] - Puppy’s a cool guy and he enjoys explosions. A lot. Kill enemies to make them go boom!
  • Ghostbreak them all - [8] - you thought three was a crowd? Hack’em all. Make’em all your friends.
  • Unlimited Dash - [9] - Dash like crazy ‘cause charges are not used up.
  • Spawn a Creep - [Insert] - no need to venture alone. Your little loyal Creep friends are there to serve you.
  • Unlock all clothes - [Home] - make a fashion statement. Blend in or stand out.

All critical resources at your disposal. Slash mercilessly through enemies to your heart’s desire. No limitations. No rules. No regrets. No future.*

* Beware or be aware! Once you go hack, there’s no way back. Most of the achievements will be locked if even one tiny cheat is used. Also, cheats will be reset when you close the game.

  • Belarusian language added!

That’s right. HER has improved Puppy’s communication modules by uploading Belarusian localisation files.

Now go and get’em, puppy!

Ruiner managed something few cyberpunk games do. It took some of the most cliched imagery the genre has and made it feel fresh. This was a game with Akira-style motorbikes, sushi stands, neon signs, katanas, ladies in leather, Japanese and Korean text everywhere, all crammed into a dirty Asian metropolis in the year 2091. What elevated it was the attitude, communicated in slow-mo ultraviolence, the excellent soundtrack, snappy one-liners and quotes—whether barked at the protagonist by his hacker handler or displayed on his distinctive helmet—and the manga visuals drenched in red. Ruiner was as slick as blood.

As Ruiner's creative director, Benedykt Szneider was responsible for a lot of that. Have a look at some of his concept art in the gallery below, including early visualizations of the city of Rengkok as well as characters like the cyber-zombified drained hosts and the shirt-averse gangers called the Creeps. You'll see the foundations of what could have been a great Kenji Kamiyama series, or maybe a Warren Ellis comic.

Mechanix the cybernetic repairman pinches a cigarette and the hacker known only as Her strikes a pose. A kamikaze Creep bites down on an explosive canister, while the leader of his gang wields a serrated samurai sword. In the finalized art Ruiner's tone is complete, given the red-and-black palette of a moody teenager's bedroom. Ruiner is a top-down game so we can't see the sky, but it's probably the color of a dead television show host. 

One more treat. Here's the offices of Heaven Inc., the corporation that runs Rengkok City, vertically formatted so that it'll look good if you've got one of those sideways second monitors or you're looking at this on your phone. Hit the button top-right to make it full screen and scroll down from the high-status skyscraper to the grimy undercity beneath.

Ruiner was published by Devolver Digital last year. You can see more of Benedykt Szneider's art here.

RUINER - Ruiner_Dispatcher
Ciao! Merhaba! The second language update for RUINER has just arrived!

This time it’s the long-awaited Italian and Turkish. Both localisations are complete and polished, locked and loaded.

In the name of the whole Ruiner Team and the Turkish and Italian players, hats off and BIG THANKS to the translators, who did the work in their free time, out of sheer goodness of Their Hearts and the love for Ruiner.

Standing ovation goes to:

The Turkish group:
  • AiBell Game Localization

The Italian group:
  • Alessio Patroncini
  • Claudio Lenato
  • Jacopo Cremonesi
  • Marco Mottura
  • Riccardo Di Giovanni
  • Simona Giusti

Thanks again, Puppies <3. It wouldn’t have happened without you. You’ve just made history!
Sizi seviyoruz, Türk Yavrucaklar!
Stateci bene, Cucciolotti Italiani!

Wait, there’s more?

Of course!
We updated our credits with the new translators, duh.
Puppy’s back on the men… I mean, back in the menu. Main menu. (Those of you who experienced the blackness will know what I mean.)
Plus, for the Linux version:
all the cutscenes will now trigger correctly,
bugs that caused sound problems in cutscenes are a thing of the past,
and also, Credits can now be accessed from the menu.

We hope we’ve made you a tiny bit happier today.
Let us know if we have.

Now play dead!
That’s a good boy.
RUINER - Ruiner_Dispatcher

Hello Penguins and Puppies,

Tux Update is now complete and official. No need to switch to the Linux beta anymore! - get it directly from the default branch.

Your invaluable support and feedback helped us:

  • fix the crash,
  • eliminate in-game stuttering and boost performance,
  • added Steam Cloud support,
  • fix cutscenes flickering,
  • improve cutscenes’ quality (WIP)
  • fix cutscenes audio problems.

The cutscenes may still play in lower quality, but we’re working on it.

For gamepads, you can use software of your choice, but we recommend ds4drv, xboxdrv and Xpad kernel driver which we have tested and we know they work.

"The final update has just arrived. Cutscene quality improved immensely, crashes on menus obliterated, performance boosted. Enjoy your smooth ride, Penguin Puppies!"

Enjoy the game and don’t hesitate to send us love letters!

Kerbal Space Program

The Humble Bundlers have unveiled the new Humble Monthly for May, which features Kerbal Space Program, Dead Rising 4, and Ruiner, plus more games to be revealed later, for $12. 

The Humble Monthly is a subscription-based program that offers up a different collection of games each month. A few "early unlock" games are revealed at the start of each month to whet your appetite, while the rest is held back as a surprise: Last month's bundle, for instance, started with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, God Eater 2 Rage Burst, and Mafia 3, and then tacked on Outlast 2, Lara Croft GO, Subterrain, Aer: Memories of Old, Laser League, and Lyric Sonata by the end of the month.

That's not bad for 12 bucks, and you can cancel whenever you want. Any games you've picked up prior to cancellation are yours to keep.   

Five percent of funds raised by the May Humble Monthly will go to support St. Jude's Children Research Hospital. It will be available until May 4, when the remaining games will unlock—which is why they call it the May monthly bundle, even though we're only in early April. 

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.


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