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2:00 PM on 09.11.2014

Adam Freeman's Berzerk-influenced Hazard is pretty snazzy, also completely free

What if Berzerk were reborn as a first-person shooter using the DarkPlaces engine? What if the soundtrack were crafted by electronic music producer Wolfgun? What if you could be playing this game, right now, fo...

Rob Morrow

6:00 AM on 09.11.2014

Revolver 360 RE:ACTOR shoots up PC tomorrow

Revolver 360 RE:ACTOR launches its attack on PC tomorrow for $9.99, Playism announced today. The shoot-'em-up comes by way of doujin studio Cross Eaglet, and is most notable for its eponymous swivel mechanic. The t...

Kyle MacGregor



Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness photo
Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness
by Jordan Devore

After checking out The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth at PAX Prime, I spent a decent chunk of time with another upcoming Nicalis project, Castle in the Darkness. It's a challenging platform-adventure PC game that feels all too appropriate given the company's prior involvement with 1001 Spikes.

Admittedly, words like "challenging" and "difficult" get thrown around often -- too often -- when describing games that aren't afraid to test players. But good lord, Castle in the Darkness was tough. I must have died 50 times during my playthrough, and that's being conservative.

Part of that has to do with your limited health -- a few hits is enough to do you in, at least early on -- and your knight's movement, which takes getting used to. He's quick, super quick, and his initial sword attack doesn't extend very far. It was frustrating at first to come to terms with all of this, but I suspect the fast pace will feel great with sufficient practice and muscle memory.

The game's structure is exploration-based in that you'll hit switches and acquire items that will allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas. There's also going to be a ton of bosses, based on what I played. That damn owl from the trailer gave me hell. Expect gear upgrades, too.

Castle in the Darkness is rather clearly inspired by NES classics in the genre, particularly Castlevania, which I don't consider to be a negative. Maybe you do. Either way, I'd suggest getting your hands on it before casting any final judgments. Could be pretty cool at the right price.

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Neverending Nightmares is eerily evocative, and set for release on September 26 photo
Neverending Nightmares is eerily evocative, and set for release on September 26
by Alessandro Fillari

It's certainly an exciting time to be an independent game developer. With the rise of Kickstarter allowing anyone with the knowledge, the skills, and an idea to find support, we're seeing a larger breadth of games come out that try something a bit different. One such game is Neverending Nightmares, and last year Jonathan Holmes wrote up a nice post about its Kickstarter campaign.

After a few ups and downs, the Kickstarter for this evocative horror title managed to make its funding goal. With release set for September 26, the developers are finally ready to unleash their survival horror game that's far more personal than most would realize. At PAX Prime 2014, I got the chance to check out an updated build and chat with some of the talent behind the game.

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Tharsis: Commit cannibalism, save humanity photo
Tharsis: Commit cannibalism, save humanity
by Kyle MacGregor

Destructoid recently caught up with the folks at Gaijin Games Choice Provisions to check out the studio's next Bit.Trip game completely new project, Tharsis.

The turn-based strategy game follows a team of astronauts on a mission to Mars. Of course, things quickly go awry for our intrepid heroes, because nothing good ever happens in space.

An asteroid strikes the vessel carrying the explorers, which proves to be quite the problem. Fires erupt all over the ship. Objects become unfastened, transforming into deadly projectiles in a gravity-free environment. Other stuff happens too, probably. Oh, and people start dying. This certainly isn't a joyride.

They can't just go home, though. The fate of the planet hangs in the balance. It's pretty much Mars or bust. You see, there's some sort of singularity on the red planet, one that might allow someone to send a message back in time, and so the crew presses ahead, hoping to warn people in the past of impending calamity and avert disaster before it's too late.

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7:00 AM on 09.09.2014

Extrasolar Season 2 is being funded through Kickstarter

I do not envy Lazy 8 Studios with the balancing act it has trying to market Extrasolar. By revealing too little, only a relatively small demographic will ever try out the exoplanet rover simulator. By revealing too much, a t...

Darren Nakamura

5:30 PM on 09.08.2014

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is everything I hoped it'd be

One of my favorite parts of PAX Prime this year was an appointment with Nicalis. Not only was the meeting away from the crowded, noisy Washington State Convention Center, it was an opportunity to get sucked into The Binding o...

Jordan Devore



SoundSelf with Oculus Rift is the ultimate trip photo
SoundSelf with Oculus Rift is the ultimate trip
by Alessandro Fillari

It's no secret that gaming conventions are fertile ground for developers to try out their new creations. Back in April, Jonathan Holmes got the chance to check out SoundSelf with Robin Arnott, the creator of the unorthodox horror title Deep Sea, and saw first hand the impression it had on players. Utilizing virtual reality, players are taken for a ride through their own personal odyssey of light and sound.

During the hustle and bustle of PAX Prime, I got the chance to go on a special trip of my own, and it was clear that SoundSelf made quite a name for itself on the show floor. I also got some time to speak with Robin Arnott about his creation and the desire to create an existential experience that brings players to a state of zen and wonder.

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7:00 AM on 09.08.2014

2D survival horror Uncanny Valley has a demo out now

Way back in April, we first heard about Uncanny Valley, and we all had a nice juvenile moment of pointing and snickering at pixelated medical diagrams of human genitalia. The trailer also showed slightly less funny stuff: da...

Darren Nakamura



Review: Halfway photo
Review: Halfway
by Darren Nakamura

One of the things that is so appealing about science fiction is that it deals with situations that seem fantastical, but are ultimately plausible. Technology today would look like magic to those from years past, and so the technology of the future might seem incredible to us now.

Good science fiction brings up not only these possibilities, but the questions that would show up alongside the possibilities. The nature of these questions can be ethical, social, psychological, philosophical, or just technical. Halfway asks: What happens if you spend too much time in the "in-between" when making a faster-than-light jump?

Halfway answers: "Aliens show up and you shoot them a lot."

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If you ever get to play Upsilon Circuit, the world will be watching photo
If you ever get to play Upsilon Circuit, the world will be watching
by Jordan Devore

At PAX Prime, I got my first and what could be only opportunity to try Upsilon Circuit.

You see, once it goes live, eight people will be able to play at any given time. That's eight people, total. And the "permadeath" here is actually permanent. You lose? Your turn is done.

While everyone else watches, waiting for their coveted chance in the spotlight to hack away at monsters and explore, they can directly influence the direction the game takes. The audience has control to, say, spec out players' skill trees, or spawn a deadly trap.

Legend of Dungeon creator Robot Loves Kitty is billing this as part online game show, part action-RPG. At PAX, I saw more of the latter than the former, but Upsilon Circuit's Max Headroom-esque digital host Ronny Raygon was set up on a nearby television to talk smack to attendees. He got into an argument with some kid about whose glasses were cooler.

Before you ask who would pay for something like this -- for a chance, maybe, to play once -- know that it's going to be free. In speaking with Robot Loves Kitty's Alix Stolzer, it sounds as if a large part of the monetization will be geared toward trolls or audience members who otherwise want to screw over the player characters, not help out. I told her that was a good idea.

It's still early days for Upsilon Circuit and there are a lot of unknowns, but what was shown at PAX gave me confidence in this somewhat crazy, definitely ambitious project. If the game catches on and finds a stable audience, it's going to be a fascinating experiment to take part in.

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8:00 AM on 09.04.2014

A statement from Phil Fish

Full disclosure - I have met Phil Fish on one occasion. We bickered a little bit about if Fez would be a good fit for Nintendo 3DS, (I thought it would be good, Fish disagreed) but there was no hostility there. I was exc...

Jonathan Holmes

3:30 PM on 09.03.2014

The Dark Phantom hits up Kickstarter for funding to complete game

The Dark Phantom is a neo-noir comic-book influenced third-person shooter about a man calling himself the "Dark Phantom" as he hunts down criminals across the city. Sound familiar? The Dark Phantom is reminiscent of Rorschac...

Brittany Vincent

10:30 AM on 09.03.2014

Warlocks takes its cooperative fantasy brawling to Kickstarter

Risk of Rain was pretty cool, so anything that reminds me of that catches my attention. Warlocks looks to have a similar feel in some ways, bringing frantic 2D battles to a fantasy world. I typically shy away from fantasy in...

Darren Nakamura

12:15 PM on 09.02.2014

Band Saga looks like the Audiosurf of isometric shooter action

Generating gameplay using music might be one of my favorite things to happen in videogames in the last ten years. Though Audiosurf released six years ago, there still are not many games that utilize the functionality. Soon e...

Darren Nakamura

11:30 AM on 09.02.2014

Gang Beasts out on Steam, fight your friends like a drunk on skates

Gang Beasts is fun as heck. That's probably why Double Fine picked it up. And now you can pick it up as it's come to Steam on Early Access.  I played it for a good while last week. Laughs and cries of exaltation we...

Steven Hansen