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Stick Shift photo
Stick Shift

Mechanophiles rejoice, Stick Shift is on greenlight

The joke is its penis is the gearstick
Jun 24
// Joe Parlock
Remember that time Laura jacked off a car? Yeah, it’s the reason she’s banned from every Kwik-Fix and car dealership in Britain. [Editor's Note: I was only banned from a couple of Michelin Tyre Centres, ...
Contest photo
Win one of 10 bundles!
Our friends at Groupees are back again, and have the Be Mine 20 Bundle going! To celebrate they've given us 10 codes to hand out to the Destructoid community! The Be Mine 20 Bundle is a game and music bundle which helps sup...

Review: Sym

May 30 // Caitlin Cooke
Sym (PC)Developer: ATRAX GamesPublisher: MastertronicReleased: May 7, 2015MSRP: $7.99 You are Josh, a teenage boy battling social anxiety disorder which manifests itself through an oppressive and dangerous maze where dark creatures and objects lurk. Josh exists through two alter egos -- on the upside he’s a black, lanky humanoid and on the underside, an oblong alien-like figure. Both creatures represent a different side to Josh, yet at the same time act as opposing gameplay agents. Your goal is to switch between both sides to make Josh reach the door, signaling the end of the level. In doing so you must avoid various ghastly obstacles, which differ depending on which side you’re standing on. For example, when Josh is standing upright, he is susceptible to walking creatures and giant human-eating plants, but when he flips he is confronted by spinning saws of death. This interesting use of the environment allows for an additional layer of puzzle solving, and in some cases there are many ways to reach the end of the level. However, as the game progresses the levels are much more strict and to complete them, you must master speed and timing. There’s also a symbol mechanic within the levels that can change spaces from black to white and back again depending on the type of symbol, which side you’re standing on, and when you decide to activate certain switches. This adds another tricky element to the gameplay. Josh’s thoughts are riddled everywhere, sometimes giving hints to the player on what to do next such as “Run!” “Fall!” “Wait!” -- but most of the time, displaying projections of inner conflict like “Lies," “Miserable person," “Please don’t stare." Inner demons come out of the woodwork to work against the player, full of stress and dread: “The bogeyman is coming for you, pray and cry tonight.” These  thoughts combined with the jagged, monochromatic visuals instill a constant sense of being on-edge. While the art style is intriguing, the gameplay can be downright frustrating at times. The logic of the symbols and switches aren’t very intuitive, and I often found myself just jumping around the level versus intentionally trying to solve what was supposed to be done in a particular situation. Luckily, this tactic seemed to work against itself since fast reflexes and timing tend to win over anything else that Sym presents. The controls also could have stood to be a bit tighter. Getting caught between spaces or sticking to walls when trying to maneuver through smaller gaps were common occurrences. I also found the pacing of the character’s movements to be loose and difficult to adjust to. This would result in an extra layer of difficulty, which was frustrating especially in intricate, long levels in which death was not welcome. Sym can be plain confusing at times -- but I think that’s part of the intended nature of the game (if it wasn’t, the creators may be secret geniuses). Levels twist and turn, obstacles block and re-open paths, and just like life it’s never clear where you’re supposed to head. Trial and error are ever present, along with the notion of failure hanging over your head. Sym ties these concepts together well. There is also a subtle beauty to this game, and one that I can relate to. The constant battle of light versus dark, of fear and loneliness, building yourself back to where you need to be -- these are struggles that most humans face at some point, and Sym allows you to play through that emotional roller coaster in a visual way. I enjoyed its thoughtful nature and its ability to evoke feelings that I only thought were available in darker moments. However, Sym’s atmosphere transcends its loose gameplay and controls, which unfortunately creates a frustrating experience and stifles the impact of its message. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Sym review photo
Sadness distilled
Forget games as art -- games as emotion is the new wave of the indie industry. Exploration of inner feelings and thoughts manifesting through a screen and a keyboard is probably one of the most difficult things to build, ye...

Aquatic Adventure photo
Aquatic Adventure

The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human has awesome underwater boss battles

Shadow of the Colossus of the sea
May 18
// Ben Davis
It's starting to feel like underwater adventure games are set to become the next big thing. With upcoming titles like Subnautica, ABZÛ, and Neptune, Have Mercy, it looks like we're going to be spending a lot of time di...
Kill The F*ggot photo
Kill The F*ggot

Skaldic Games refuses to remove VAs following anti-LGBT game

Kill The F*ggot dev refuses request
May 12
// Joe Parlock
[Update #2: In a tweet by Cruachan, it has been revealed that Skaldic Games have agreed to no longer use Cruachan's or Rachel Lally's contributions in The Shelter.] [Update: Destructoid have been provided with copies of the ...
Greenlight photo

Homophobic and transphobic game pulled from Greenlight

No more 'Kill The Faggot'
May 06
// Laura Kate Dale
Congratulations, we have a new winner for most offensive game to appear on Steam Greenlight! Skaldic Games, run by christian game developer Randall Herman, yesterday put a game up on Steam Greenlight called Kill The Faggot. I...
We Are the Dwarves! photo
We Are the Dwarves!

We Are the Dwarves! searches for stars in the depths of the earth

I don't think that's how astronomy works
Apr 28
// Darren Nakamura
I kept coming back to the We Are the Dwarves! email that was sent in to Destructoid a few days ago. On the one hand, it isn't especially clear what kind of game it is or how it plays. The Steam Greenlight page lists action, ...
Little Devil Inside photo
Little Devil Inside

Little Devil Inside Greenlit, gameplay details slip out

Please be as good as you look
Apr 22
// Zack Furniss
Little Devil Inside's sudden appearance on Kickstarter was a pleasant Early April surprise. What isn't a surprise is how quickly people supported it on Steam Greenlight. Steven had a hard time tempering his excitement&nb...
Earthtongue photo

Earthtongue lets you grow shrooms on April 27

Have you ever licked dirt? It ain't all that bad.
Apr 22
// Joe Parlock
Games are often too hectic with all that blood, gore and babies crawling out of a dead woman’s nipples (thanks, Dante’s Inferno). Sometimes I consider taking up another hobby like gardening, or magic mushrooms. Un...
Circa Infinity photo
Circa Infinity

I'm trying to wrap my head around Circa Infinity

With marginal success
Apr 21
// Darren Nakamura
At a base level, I think I understand what's going on in Circa Infinity. While on the outside of a circle, the player character needs to get to a wedge to move inside. While on the inside of a circle, the player character ne...
Steam Greenlight photo
Steam Greenlight

Garbage Day does the ol' Groundhog Day time loop

Commit crimes without consequence
Apr 20
// Jordan Devore
Garbage Day is an open-world sandbox title on Steam Greenlight that sticks players in a seemingly endless time loop that can in fact be broken. (But how?) The basic premise is similar to the hit Bill Murray comedy Groundhog ...
Next Top Modders photo
Next Top Modders

Battlefield's top modders making 100-player hardcore shooter Squad

America's Next Top Modders
Apr 07
// Steven Hansen
The folks behind popular Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality, which my Arma and Battlefield-loving lawyer assures me is super cool, are making their own original online, team-based military themed first-person-shooter, Squad. ...
Myriad photo

Whoa, Myriad looks like no other twin-stick shooter

Not your everyday shooter
Mar 30
// Darren Nakamura
It takes a lot for a twin-stick shooter to get my attention these days. I like the genre just fine, but it's so saturated that it's hard to muster any excitement for the next one that looks just like the last one. Thankfully...
Shower With Your Dad Sim photo
Shower With Your Dad Sim

Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 washes up on Steam Greenlight

Wanna scrub that dad
Mar 10
// Ben Davis
Laura first reported on Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 last week, but we didn't know many details about the game yet. A few days ago, the dad-showering simulator went up on Steam Greenlight with a trailer and new info, ...

Planet of the Eyes is a treacherous place for Polaroid robots

Mar 06 // Darren Nakamura
Indeed, the most striking element of Planet of the Eyes is its art direction. The vivid blues and purples and the sharp edges look amazing. In a conversation with Destructoid, writer Will O'Neill described the art design as retro futuristic, which is evident from the protagonist, a robot whose head resembles an old Polaroid camera. The planet itself is more organic, featuring the titular eyes on tendrils that just seem to want to watch the havoc. Early on in the demo, the robot finds an ominous audio log from a gravelly-voiced man. Addressed to the robot, it hints at the bot's function and at what the player might find on the adventure. It ends with an apology, perhaps in advance for all of the horrible deaths awaiting the robot. The environment is hostile, and survival requires the player to be alert. A lot has been put into making the traps feel ominous, where a pillar teeters for a few seconds before crushing the robot or the ground slowly sinks away. With enough wits, the player can react and push through, but the tension of an imminent death is special in its own way. [embed]288688:57638:0[/embed] The puzzle section featured fairly standard gameplay. I found myself pushing and pulling on objects to circumvent deadly obstacles, and sometimes setting in motion the very things that would crush or maim me. The more action-oriented half of the demo focused more on precision timing over bottomless pits or spikes that seem to take pleasure in skewering hapless passersby. It betrays slightly loose control, where the robot seems slow to respond at times. With constantly toppling platforms it got pretty dicey toward the end. Cococucumber has been quietly working on Planet of the Eyes for a couple years, and the studio is closing in on a final release. The puzzle platformer blazed through Steam Greenlight in just four days, and is set to come out in summer or fall of this year.
Planet of the Eyes photo
I always feel like somebody's watching me
Crash landing on an alien planet is the worst. There's hazardous flora, deadly fauna, and even rock formations that seem to have some sort of blood lust. That just piles on top of the existential crisis of being a robot with ...

Weapon shop game photo
Weapon shop game

Cuuute: A weapon shop game about potatoes

There's even a potato pup
Feb 25
// Jordan Devore
Games about managing weapon shops are still novel enough conceptually and satisfying enough mechanically that they don't need much window dressing to draw me in. Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! has a cutesy art style and offb...
Don't be Patchman photo
Don't be Patchman

Hahah what: Don't Be Patchman is a 'sneak-and-grow' game

It makes less sense the more I watch
Feb 25
// Darren Nakamura
As I watched the first video of Don't Be Patchman (below), I thought I had an okay feel for what it is. Plant apples, get an apple tree, shake it for more apples. Got it. I'm no Animal Crossing slouch. Next video, ...
Alphabeats photo

Teddy Diefenbach's Alphabeats is up on Steam Greenlight

Slurp up the Alphabeats soup
Feb 13
// Darren Nakamura
Last year when Alphabeats was originally announced, I lamented that it was only on iOS, with no word of an Android release. Though it might not have ever released for the superior mobile operating system, it looks like the r...
Steam Greenlight photo
Steam Greenlight

Sorry, Greenlight developers, no more offering Steam keys for votes

Valve puts a stop to this practice
Feb 10
// Jason Faulkner
It seems as though developers pushing games through release via Steam Greenlight have been promising keys as a means of amassing votes from prospective buyers. Not that this notion is surprising in any way, but it's certainly...
Windward photo

Windward: RPG lootin' on the high seas

Feb 10
// Darren Nakamura
To a sailor, a ship represents freedom. It grants the ability to go anywhere and do anything. In Windward, players take on the role of a captain, dropped into a tropical archipelago sandbox. True to theme, there are many opt...
Portal: Outside Influence photo
Portal: Outside Influence

After five long years, Portal: Outside Influence nears completion

Morris' labor of love also features some of my favorite industry personalities!
Feb 08
// Rob Morrow
It seems like we were just posting about Portal mods the other day, doesn't it? Well, we've got another one for you to look at today, but there's a quite a bit more going on under the surface of this stel...
Impact Winter photo
Impact Winter

Impact Winter's post-apocalyptic squad survival goes to Greenlight

Don't starve, freeze
Feb 06
// Darren Nakamura
Impact Winter looked cool when it showed up last year on Kickstarter, but potential backers gave it an icy reception; it only made about 22% of its initial funding goal. Any who were worried that it may not see the light of ...
Luckslinger Kickstarter photo
Luckslinger Kickstarter

Luckslinger blends 2D shooting, westerns, and hip-hop

With an interesting luck mechanic
Feb 05
// Darren Nakamura
Luck is a concept rarely addressed directly in games. Sure, there are tons of games that use random number generators for everything from environment generation to damage calculation, and luck does factor into those. But the...
Besiege photo

Medieval contraption builder Besiege looks splendid

The incredible death machine
Jan 27
// Jordan Devore
Word of Besiege has gotten to me slowly, but now that it's here, I feel obligated to pass the message on. This is a physics-driven medieval puzzle game about building killer contraptions, like this ingenious windmill on wheel...
Aerobat photo

My brain can't handle this 'absurdly high-speed arcade shmup-like'

Let's get this through Steam Greenlight
Jan 23
// Jordan Devore
Not ten seconds into watching this video for Aerobat, a shoot-'em-up about "reckless self-endangerment," I fired off a staff email to call dibs on posting it. Holy shit! Gimme. Your pilot's ship doesn't have enough power to ...
Dungeon crawling photo
Dungeon crawling

Smack a naked mole rat in the face in Slasher's Keep

Cel-shaded dungeon crawling
Jan 22
// Jordan Devore
This isn't what I would have expected to see from the developer of Double Hitler, but consider me pleasantly surprised. Slasher's Keep is a first-person dungeon-crawler up on Steam Greenlight for user feedback and voting. I'm...
Space Beast Terror Fright photo
Space Beast Terror Fright

Space Beast Terror Fright is my new drug

Nornware's FPS manages to distill the intensity of Aliens
Jan 18
// Rob Morrow
Space Beast Terror Fright is Johannes "johno" Norneby's interpretation of the sci-fi first-person shooter: take the artful tension-building and high-octane muzzle flash from James Cameron's Aliens, add in the corridor c...
Anoxemia photo

Anoxemia finds horror at the bottom of the sea

Add drowning to the list of things to be terrified about
Jan 13
// Darren Nakamura
The thought of dismemberment and/or mutilation freaks me out, for sure. The thought of instead being stuck at the bottom of the ocean with a dwindling oxygen supply evokes a different kind of terror. Sure, there will probabl...
Path to the Sky photo
Path to the Sky

Path to the Sky teaser debut, game details revealed

It's been a long time coming, but it's been well worth the wait
Jan 11
// Rob Morrow
I've been talking with Berlin-based solo developer Johannes "Dek" Märtterer since early September of last year. Some of you may already be familiar with his work. He's the creator of the charming neo-retro-sty...
A Quiver of Crows photo
A Quiver of Crows

A Quiver of Crows looks lovely, seeks Greenlight approval

Flying skeletons and laser-firing birds can have all of my votes
Jan 10
// Rob Morrow
Although I'm not a shmup aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, I do enjoy playing them from time to time. The ones that I tend to go for are typically on the unusual end of the spectrum. They either stand out du...

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