Qasit al-Wasat is a 2D overhead stealth action game set in a palace out of the Arabian Nights. You play as an invisible demon, summoned by a sorcerer to slay three people in the palace, with the magical and poisoned weapons they carry as your reward.
Since you are invisible, you are represented as a sort of distortion at screen center; so long as you remain in stealth mode and avoid getting too close to the humans of the palace, you are safe... and can kill them instantly by sneaking up and attacking. However, blood often spatters on you, making you visible to the guards; and at times, there are traps that spray powder on you, with similar results. And you are quite vulnerable; a single sword-slash from a guard kills you. However, you can find water and cleanse yourself, if you are quick about it.
The Legend of Edgar is clearly inspired by the original Legend of Zelda, both in terms of graphic and gameplay. Your Dad has gotten lost in the forest, and you must get through quite a lot of levels to rescue him.
While it's a platformer, and many of the challenges are typical of such, it's also a fighting game, with left-CTRL triggering use of your current weapon and left-ALT your current shield. Most levels have some sort of puzzle aspect, if only in terms of figuring out how to navigate to certain areas, and an inventory system is used to increase the number and type of challenges. For instance, one of the first things you do is pick up a bag of chicken feed, and drop feed in front of chickens to lure them to a trap.
Rake In The Grass has been making very meaty, very polished fusions of arcade spectacle and thinking optimization. The best example was the immortal Jets'n'Guns, which has gotten plenty of replay even though its myriad combinations suffer from some balancing issues. Larva Mortus gives you a similar dish: repetitive action fused with RPG elements, mixed with a horror aesthetic that comes off somewhere between H.P. Lovecraft and the Vincent Price monologue from Thriller. As your revolver bullets tear into zombie flesh, faces of demons flash over screen, psychologically interesting the first time, then eventually an obfuscation challenge. It feels badass like Jets but without the tongue-in-cheek satire; the procedurally generated levels put you in a Sisyphean loop while you earnestly send demons back to hell.
Mechanically the RPG elements suffer from balancing issues but unlike the issues in Jets, the number of components aren´t as numerous so the gaps are more noticeable. You have seven skills that can be upgraded each time you gain a level: health, health regain rate, time affected by status ailments, probability of item drops, damage dealt by the melee weapon, walk speed, and the XP bonus. Now, I´m a finance geek; when I play Tower Defense games and I see bonuses for like a Tesla Tower, a Flamethrower Tower, and then a 10% interest bonus, I´m like "hey, let me at that 10%". The first time through I went for the deferred trade-off of more skill dependence early on for greater power later. The problem is that XP pay-offs don´t scale much between enemies, while the amount of XP you need per level gain grows in a logarithmic fashion (technically it moves in a graded steps, but the regression is logarithmic). So if you invest a lot of skill points into more XP, you can´t really get ahead and end up wasting most of your bonuses. Luck and regeneration are similarly disposable; since the odds can be churned and you can wait to heal for as long as your patience allows, they´re mostly conveniences. The melee weapon is the only one whose damage scales, but it also carries the most risk, so you need to invest the majority of your points into it to get a real balance there. There is therefore a dominant strategy in putting all your points in walk speed and health with a few in status resistance.
Still, the basic gameplay is pretty satisfying, the pathy map generators keep tickling some basic maze-crawler left over from paleolithic evolution, and the leveling and items are compelling enough to keep you trucking. If you´re in the mood for these kind of grind-fests then you regret the trek into the underworld.
On November 19th, Microsoft launched "the New XBox Experience", which included a lot of big changes to the XBox 360 dashboard, including "avatars" (think "Miis"), Netflix movie streaming, and the ability to dump games from disc to your hard drive, making them run faster (but still requiring the disc to launch the game).
A feature of the New XBox Experience that flew under the radar of most game websites, however, is "XBox Live Community Games" -- a subset of XBox Live Arcade games created exclusively by hobbyists and tiny companies, using a free programming framework provided by Microsoft.
Cactus is, it appears, unstoppable. He's a craftsman, and a living testament that it only takes a short time to design a game. In the indie game community, the 22-year-old Swede is looked upon as the gold standard of agility and style, with many being periodically infected with a disease known as "Cactus Envy". Now is an interesting time to review his work in that light, since a wave of content creation engines will allow less multi-talented designers to be cured of their Cactus Envy, and make similarly idiosyncratic games on similar time-scales.
Sure, we all complain about the periodic gluts of movie licensed games that hit the market, but how often have you seen one based on a film by a director like Andrei Tarkovsky? This isn't exactly what you would call a mainstream inspiration or a quick cash-in opportunity. The film was made in 1979, and was in turn based on a short story by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.
Aquaria is a special game, and one of the best games released in 2007 on any platform, at any level of funding or production. It's up there with Portal, Everyday Shooter, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Mario Galaxy. It's a game that is both fun and meaningful. It is a world. It is a work of art.
Deleuze once wrote a chapter in one of his books called "Be Like The Pink Panther", and Ben Croshaw has internalized this idea, consciously or not, in his excellent stealth-adventure game, Trilby: The Art Of Theft. When you play this game, you feel like a fucking slink, I mean it's really something. Film noir meets your fingertips; the outlaw within paced down to taps and leers. This general aesthetic is that of Croshaw's adventure games, but Trilby is the embodiment of noir, a perfect flicker of stark white on black. The game is a happy marriage between platforming and adventure gameplay, wedded in a dark chapel where all the gifts got ganked.
Tempo is a third-person adventure game where you play a psychic in a wheelchair. Coming fresh out of España, the work of Cristian Pastor, who collaborated with Pat and Jesus and Alex, Tempo is one of the most technically furbished freeware games you can find on the net. Winner of the game award at the Creanimax Festival 2007, a showcase of Latin American student art. Since it's a university-funded game, the creators had the freedom to come up with anything they wanted, the result is both inspiring and limited.
When you’re first acquainted with Twilight Heroes, it may seem a bit...well, average. In all respects, it looks a bit like a low-fi ripoff of Kingdom of Loathing. After a little while with the game, though, you learn that this isn’t true at all.
The basic structure is the same. You use up adventures/turns in different areas, fighting monsters with neat pictures and funny text. The similarities stop there, though. Twilight Heroes has a much darker and more serious feel to it; there are still jokes, of course, but your avatar and his enemies take themselves much more seriously-which isn’t a bad thing. The art is different, too; instead of relying of simple art to convey things, Ryme, the creator and admin of the game, takes ordinary photos and warps them in Photoshop, creating images that can, at times, be downright creepy.
Adslife is a ad-agency management sim browser game, written in HTML5. You run a one-person, fictional ad agency in the 1970s but you get to make ads for real companies. You scour the Internet and input urls into an in-game web browser looking for clients. What size of a company you can take as a client depends on your reputation. You have to work your way up from small organizations to bigger ones.
The game has crude in-game desktop-publishing software and you take clip art from the web to create a your on ads. When you submit an ad, another player competes for the contract and a third player judges who wins the contract. When you win the contract it gets published in the game's newspaper.
...when you Log In or Register. Gives you the ability to post to the forums and your own blog; to rate games and receive recommendations based on your ratings; and to bookmark games for later reference.