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Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor photo
Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor
by Abel Girmay

There's a new game coming out based on everybody's favorite television show, Adventure Time! You know what that means right? Go on and grab your friends, because we're going to some very distant la---actually, you might want to rethink going on this adventure.

Adventure Time Game Wizard's biggest strength is in its content creator. Using the iPad camera, you can scan in any level you've drawn out on a piece of graph paper, or you can draw directly in-game. From there, you can choose a themed backdrop based on the show including the Snow Kingdom, Candy Kingdom, and others.

There's a set of simple shapes and outlines you can draw, each corresponding to a type of platform. Want a lava pit? Just make two vertical shafts with zig zags in between. Need a moving platform? Just sketch out a striped rectangle.

There are a good number of platform types you can draw and combine to create your own levels, and Game Wizard offers an intuitive guide for all the shapes you can use. They never get more complicated than what you can trace on graph paper, and even when I didn't draw perfect lines, the scanner was always capable of translating past those errors.

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Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show photo
Titan Souls is my PAX Prime 2014 game of show
by Abel Girmay

Confession time: I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to the indie game scene. I love me some Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, and Crawl, but it's not uncommon for me to have only heard about these games just before release or later. With that track record, you won't be surprised to hear that I knew nothing about Titan Souls before sitting down with it at PAX.

I am so glad that I did, though. Between the music, art, and the brilliantly challenging combat, Titan Souls is far and away one of my most anticipated releases.

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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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After two straight hours of Fortnite, I'm a fan photo
After two straight hours of Fortnite, I'm a fan
by Jordan Devore

When Epic first announced Fortnite, I was on board based on the premise of defending player-made forts from monsters. But that was a couple of years ago. Things change.

My interest had been waning up until recently, when I got to spend two hours with the "action building" game during PAX Prime. Mechanically, it's like a mix of the third-person shooting and trap-laying defense of Orcs Must Die! with the scavenging and construction of Minecraft.

Pretty damn good combination, then.

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You’ll play Skullduggery greedily, whether fast or slow photo
You’ll play Skullduggery greedily, whether fast or slow
by Brett Makedonski

Flick, flick, flick. That’s all you’ll be doing in Skullduggery. Flicking to collect treasure. Flicking to outrun bosses. Flicking to line up stealthy headshots on unsuspecting enemies. You can play the game however you want (usually) -- fast or slow; just know that you’ll be flicking the whole time. And, if the build we saw at PAX Prime is any indication, it’s a flicking good time.

Skullduggery’s a title developed for tablets that borrows liberally from the simple mechanic that Rovio (maybe) popularized. By pulling back and letting go, players launch a skull across the screen. Do this ad nauseum, and you have Skullduggery. However, instead of an interspecies vendetta against pigs, this game’s protagonist has a goal that’s much easier to empathize with: riches.

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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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You already know you want it but here's a Persona Q preview anyway photo
You already know you want it but here's a Persona Q preview anyway
by Dale North

It was almost surreal to be playing Persona Q in English for the first time this past week. It came out of nowhere late last year, a fantasy game mixing Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters in a new 3DS game that uses Etrian Odyssey's engine and dungeon play. I didn't believe the game was real after first hearing about it -- it sounded more like fan fiction! Now I'm playing the very first English language build, just ahead of the North American release.

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Co-published by Devolver, Breach & Clear: Deadline isn't just another zombie game photo
Co-published by Devolver, Breach & Clear: Deadline isn't just another zombie game
by Rob Morrow

Something about the video I posted on Gun Media and Mighty Rabbit's title Breach & Clear: Deadline didn't sit well with me. I kept thinking about it the day we ran the story.

After revisiting it that night, it still didn't hit me as to why Devolver Digital had decided to co-publish this game. I just kept feeling that I was missing something important here. So, the next day I decided to reach out to Mighty Rabbit to see if I could take a look at the game in person.

To my surprise, co-founder Josh Fairhurst was nice enough to set up an appointment for me to meet the team on Labor Day. After arriving at Mighty Rabbit's studio, I was given a hands-off walkthrough of the same gameplay segment recently shown at gamescom.

In the team's own words, Deadline is a "strategic tactical action RPG in a modern day setting, featuring Special Forces weapons, tactics, and equipment vs. horrific monsters."

From what I saw during my time with it, I'd say it could be described as having a combination of elements from Rainbow Six, Left 4 Dead, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and a pinch of Diablo's loot grinding for good measure. 

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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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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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Mistwalker's new RPG is unlike anything we've seen before photo
Mistwalker's new RPG is unlike anything we've seen before
by Kyle MacGregor

Hironobu Sakaguchi is best known as the creator of Final Fantasy; a man responsible for some of the most influential and well-respected role-playing games of our time.

His sprawling worlds and epic adventures have touched millions of people, many of whom may be surprised to discover how significant a departure Sakaguchi's latest endeavor is compared with the titles we typically associate with his name.

Destructoid recently met with the living legend in Seattle to see that new project, Terra Battle, and believe us when we say you haven't seen anything quite like this before.

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [9/6] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [9/6]
by Steven Hansen

What are you going to cook this weekend? I've been on point. Parmigiana di pollo, arroz y salsa verde para tacos, carne asada tacos, guacamole, pesto, roasted chicken and bell pepper, burgers. Going to do up some more fresh pesto this weekend because I don't want the pine nuts to go south ($20 for a bag!)

You should cook something, too.

Lot of post-PAX previews and general clean up this week, along with a follow up piece of ace investigative reporting. 

Here's last week's post. Let's begin anew.

[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]

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Fortified is a fun 1950s sci-fi take on base defense photo
Fortified is a fun 1950s sci-fi take on base defense
by Jordan Devore

Leading up to PAX Prime, Clapfoot released a trailer for its base defense shooter Fortified. It caught my eye for a few reasons, notably the '50s sci-fi movie theme and its general resemblance to Double Fine's Iron Brigade (formerly Trenched). There aren't too many games like it.

The build playable at PAX was fairly early in development but offered a decent enough idea of what to expect. Aliens are invading the city and you and up to three friends need to shoot them down, one wave at a time. I selected the character class with a jetpack, while my co-op partner had the unique ability to command soldiers around the battlefield. I think I made the right call.

We had the freedom to place defensive structures like machine gun turrets, a slowing device, and sandbags wherever we wanted within reason, and the shooting felt good -- surprisingly good. My favorite weapon was the rocket launcher, because it sent robot invaders flying all over the place. The physics were wobbly, exactly as you would hope. Again, think lo-fi science fiction.

With some proper maze-building techniques, we managed to funnel robotic spiders into a single lane so we could concentrate fire on flying saucers and other stragglers. The boss, a hulking robot, must have been inches away from our base before he went down.

I wasn't able to see the two remaining characters, upgrades, or any other levels -- I'm told they will more than likely all be set within a city -- but I liked what was playable enough to keep Fortified on my radar. The game isn't releasing on PC and Xbox One until next year, so there's time for more features and polish. In speaking with art director Adam Garib, it seems like the studio has a solid grasp on what's needed to flesh out the experience. Fingers crossed.

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker shows off the pros and cons of the GamePad photo
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker shows off the pros and cons of the GamePad
by Brett Makedonski

Anyone who has played Super Mario 3D World knows what to expect from Nintendo's upcoming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. That's because Captain Toad made an appearance periodically in his own levels throughout 3D World to lend a slower, more methodical style to the cat-suited platforming that mostly defined the game.

Nintendo realized that it may have a hit on its hands with the Captain, and thus Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was born -- a game comprised solely of those bits where the protagonist hunts his way through puzzling levels for coins and gems. It's a simple concept, and one that our own Darren Nakamura covered in depth in an E3 preview.

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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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I didn't think Dreadnought's hulking ships could be as fun as they are photo
I didn't think Dreadnought's hulking ships could be as fun as they are
by Brett Makedonski

A very specific connotation pops into your mind when you think about spaceship fighters. Your brain's flooded with thoughts of dogfighting ships zooming around, barrel rolling, and flipping end-over-end to fire unceasing space lasers at equally nimble opponents. That's not what Dreadnought is; not even close, in fact.

Dreadnought -- which is currently only slated for PC -- is a thinker's game, a title for those more adept at thinking two steps ahead rather than those that rely on their twitchy fingers. It's a chess match in space -- a chess match that trades in kings and queens for lumbering, massive ships that actually feel like they have weight to them.

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