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2:00 PM on 04.16.2014

Not a Hero's 2D cover-based shooting killed me about a dozen times

Devolver Digital had a great showing at PAX East this year. Though Hotline Miami 2 might have had the most buzz going in, not long into the show people were shouting about Not a Hero. Developed by Roll7 (of OlliOlli fame), it...

Darren Nakamura


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Music-making game Cosmic DJ has a corgi in it! photo
Music-making game Cosmic DJ has a corgi in it!
by Dale North

This past weekend, I found myself running through the crowds of the PAX East show floor, pushing people out of the way to get to the Indie Megabooth, where Cosmic DJ was waiting for me. As a musician and a fan of music games I would have sought it out anyway. But I found out via Twitter that the game features a corgi, so I took off running.

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Struggling to survive in This War of Mine photo
Struggling to survive in This War of Mine
by Caitlin Cooke

In a sea full of bright, action-packed games at PAX it was a surprise to see such a serious greyscale game like This War of Mine, an 11 bit studios title about life during war. Rather than placing the focus on combat as most warfare games tend to do, this one centers on the strategy and struggles around day-to-day survival for victims.

This War of Mine forces the player to make tough decisions for the betterment of the group. Who gets the last of the antibiotics: is it the person who needs it most or the one who's defending home base? When food is tight, who gets to eat? I struggled with these choices during my time with the demo, and unfortunately nothing got easier as I progressed.

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Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight photo
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime puts two people in a neon spaceship built for eight
by Darren Nakamura

Navigating through the outer reaches of space is hard. There are multiple systems to account for, from piloting to shields to weapons control, each with its own specialized training necessary. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime takes all of those essential tasks and leaves them up to a two-person crew on a mission to save space bunnies and fight constellations.

The result is a frantic dash to man the right stations at the right times, and although it looked dire at one point, it was never completely unmanageable. After it was all over, I got to breathe a sigh of relief, and felt closer to my impromptu space lover after having been through the ordeal together.

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11:00 PM on 04.14.2014

I hacked a bush in Double Fine's Hack N Slash

With a name like Hack N Slash, it’s easy to assume exactly what’s in the package and dismiss it. Then people hear it’s from Double Fine and expectations immediately change for the better, as they should. Hac...

Patrick Hancock



Gods Will Be Watching stressed me the hell out photo
Gods Will Be Watching stressed me the hell out
by Patrick Hancock

I have found myself both playing and looking forward to more and more “point-and-click” games in the past few years than ever before. I didn’t grow up with games like Day of the Tentacle or the Monkey Island series, so there’s no strong sense of nostalgia for games of the genre, but recent titles have offered up more than just obtuse puzzle solving and witty dialogue. Kentucky Route Zero for example has no puzzles, but the atmosphere and mystery of the universe have me highly anticipating the next episode.

Gods Will Be Watching is yet another point-and-click game that has my ears perked up more than ever. This is a game focused entirely on puzzles and micromanagement of characters. It’s stressful in all the right ways, and difficult without being obtuse. After playing (and failing) at PAX East, I’m itching to get another crack at it, and I only played one scenario!

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There Came an Echo does voice control right photo
There Came an Echo does voice control right
by Darren Nakamura

Set up in the Indie MEGABOOTH is one of the few zen locations at PAX East: There Came an Echo's sound dampening booth. In it, Iridium Studios head Jason Wishnov is showing off the tech behind the voice-controlled realtime strategy game.

To pre-empt those who would immediately go to the comments to lament voice control, There Came an Echo does feature more traditional control schemes, but it is hard to imagine players preferring it. The game has been designed from the ground up to work with voice control, and it works impressively well.

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Unlike with most fungi, I enjoyed Mushroom 11 growing on me photo
Unlike with most fungi, I enjoyed Mushroom 11 growing on me
by Darren Nakamura

Mushroom 11 caught our eyes about a month ago, with its unique puzzle gameplay hook: the globular green collection of fungal cells is not directly controlled by the player. Instead, players simply click or tap to "erase" cells, while the mushroom has the curious capability to regrow a new cell for every destroyed cell.

It is one of those ideas that seems so elegant that it is surprising nobody had ever thought of it before. With that core mechanic applied to physics and engineering puzzles, Mushroom 11 is shaping up to be one to watch closely.

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The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/12] photo
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [4/12]
by Steven Hansen

[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.]

It's my birthday today. What did you get me?

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

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Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter where you fight aliens as a janitor photo
Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter where you fight aliens as a janitor
by Brett Makedonski

There's no shortage of weird and unique game concepts at PAX East's Indie Megabooth. That's par for the course, though; show after show it goes that exact same way. Whereas some titles rely solely on their strangeness to make a name for themselves, others pair it with solid gameplay to strengthen their hand. Edelweiss' Astebreed falls into this latter category.

First and foremost, Astebreed is a bullet hell shooter, and it doesn't skimp on this aspect. At all times, the screen is full of imminent threats while you reciprocate. The arsenal at your disposal consists of two sets of ranged attacks each with a focused subset such as a conical strike, as well as a melee ability. Enemies constantly keep coming as the scene presented kind of twists and winds along in a "2.5D" way.

The most important aspect that Astebreed gets right is that while everything on-screen is completely hectic, the reference point always stays fixed enough so that you're in control of the character. Often times games like this will move in unpredictable directions, causing a frustrating sensation like it's resisting you. That's not the case here, as it all controls well.

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Below is a hardcore game that you'll want to take your time with photo
Below is a hardcore game that you'll want to take your time with
by Brett Makedonski

Ever since Below was teased at Microsoft's E3 press briefing last year, it's been one of the titles that I've been most intrigued by. The art style and the fact that Capy Games was the developer were the two main reasons for my interest. Okay, those were the only reasons, because pretty much nothing else about Below has been revealed.

Capy's finally showing Below off at PAX East, and it is nothing like I expected it to be. That aside, my excitement remains completely intact.

When I see an artistic indie title, I subconsciously assume that it's an inviting game. It might not necessarily be easy, but something that anyone can eventually get the hang of. Below doesn't look to be like that, as it's a procedurally-generated rogue-like that's meant to appeal to the hardcore demographic.

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The Evil Within isn't looking very evil so far photo
The Evil Within isn't looking very evil so far
by Dale North

A behind-closed-doors play session for upcoming survival horror game The Evil Within wasn't as evil as I hoped it would be. I still have high hopes for the next game from Resident Evil vet Shinji Mikami and his new studio, Tango Gameworks, but the two gameplay sessions I saw today at PAX East seemed to draw a bit too much on his past works, and not enough on the freaky stuff.

Some of the imagery from the new trailer had my hopes up, but we didn't see much of that in our demo today.

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Hyper Light Drifter's co-op mode will have you dying over and over photo
Hyper Light Drifter's co-op mode will have you dying over and over
by Brett Makedonski

Hyper Light Drifter is on the top of a lot of people's lists of most anticipated games. For good reason, too. The quick-paced, action-RPG with a retro aesthetic looks like it's going to be an absolute pleasure to play. If you're not familiar with it, Alessandro wrote a preview of the build we saw at GDC.

Heart Machine has a new experience to show off for PAX East. Hyper Light Drifter has a cooperative mode that we hadn't gotten to try before. It's basically a horde mode with endlessly spawning enemies. However, unlike most co-op endeavors, your partner could very well be more trouble than he's worth.

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I almost collected a half dollar in Woah Dave! and that's pretty good photo
I almost collected a half dollar in Woah Dave! and that's pretty good
by Brett Makedonski

Fifty cents doesn't sound like much, right? You could lose fifty cents in the couch cushion and not think twice about it. Well, I earned -- that's right earned -- almost that much in Robotube Games'Woah Dave!, and I was pretty damn proud of it.

Part of the reason for this seeming like such an accomplishment is because Woah Dave! doesn't just give away money. It's frugal. It makes you squeeze every cent out of it. But, most importantly, the gameplay makes it satisfying and rewarding to earn anything at all.

Woah Dave! is structured simply and familiarly. Set in arenas that are reminiscent of Mario Bros., the player (Dave?) runs around four tiers of broken platforms as enemies slowly swarm. It's the way that everything is a threat that makes Woah Dave! unique.

The items that can be interacted with in Woah Dave! are eggs and skulls. Eggs, after a few seconds on the screen, hatch into monsters. Skulls can be picked up and thrown at the eggs (or monsters) to defeat them, but they'll explode after a bit of time (there's a blinking pattern to forewarn this) making them also dangerous.

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A head in the poles: Project Totem is platforming fun photo
A head in the poles: Project Totem is platforming fun
by Steven Hansen

Press Play proved it can make a platformer with Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, but it wasn't meant to test your muscle memory and invite speed running. It was a colorful adventure with some charm and plenty of stopping for to draw with the magic marker.

With it's newest project, Press Play is dialing up the pure platforming with a minimalist design and some nasty platforming hazards. Nasty meaning cool. The point is I got into a heck of a comfortable groove with Project Totem and maybe you should too when it comes out.

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Impressions: Broforce photo
Impressions: Broforce
by Alasdair Duncan

Whether it's the smartass name or the numerous references to action stars, there's nothing subtle about Broforce. Then there's the seemingly never-ending barrage of explosions and showers of pixelated blood that make the stage look like a particularly frustrating Super Meat Boy level.

Broforce is now on Steam's Early Access service, and whilst there's plenty of features on offer in its current state, there's still some work needed to just nail that core gameplay. 

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