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11:30 AM on 09.22.2014

Poncho is a cute robot in a lovely open-world platformer

It always hurts my heart a little bit to see what looks like a great game failing to gain traction on Kickstarter. Certainly, the crowdfunding community is more cautious these days than it used to be, and with good reason in...

Darren Nakamura



Here's a full playthrough of the second Mighty No. 9 beta stage photo
Here's a full playthrough of the second Mighty No. 9 beta stage
by Chris Carter

The second Mighty No. 9 beta stage focuses on the female No. 2 boss, who is a master of ice and water. In addition to my playthrough of the first stage here, you can also get a better look at the next phase of the beta above in my second playthrough.

I actually liked this level a bit more. While the first stage (No. 5) was a standard romp throughout, I like how No. 2's level mixed things up with a water section as well as an ice portion, and seeing the fire-based No. 1 in the background was a little more interesting than No. 2's appearance in the original beta stage.

My main concern at this point is the art direction, which can look a bit drab in terms of the level design (the two are very similar) and the enemy models themselves, despite the fact that they have great base mechanics. Since this is a beta the full version will no doubt have a bit more flair, but how much flair is yet to be seen.

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8:30 AM on 09.22.2014

Mighty No. 9's beta just got a new level

Some time ago the Mighty No. 9 beta hit Steam. It consisted of one level, and the developers weren't sure if they were going to add anything more to it. Well that day has come, so boot up your game and you'll find yet a...

Chris Carter

1:00 PM on 09.19.2014

Nice! Housemarque's Outland is coming to Steam

Back in 2011, Super Stardust HD and Resogun developer Housemarque released an action-platformer called Outland for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. It's coming to Steam on September 29, priced at $9.99/£6,99, ...

Jordan Devore

12:30 PM on 09.19.2014

Thomas Was Alone hopping on over to PlayStation 4

Thomas Was Alone is making the leap to PS4 later this year, Curve Studios announced this week. The PS4 version will feature cross-buy compatibility with the PS3 and Vita iterations, so veterans will be able to upgrade at...

Kyle MacGregor

2:00 PM on 09.18.2014

Ori and the Blind Forest looks crazy good

I keep forgetting that Moon Studios' platform adventure game Ori and the Blind Forest is coming to PC as well as Xbox One, despite being published by Microsoft Studios. Big thing to forget! My takeaway from Brett's preview o...

Jordan Devore





10:30 AM on 09.18.2014

Sonic Boom dashing to Wii U a week early

In a year when so many titles have been delayed, Sega is bucking trends. The rogue publisher has announced plans to actually hasten the release of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Quelle surprise! The Wii U action platformer will now cross the finish line a week early, launching on November 11 alongside its Nintendo 3DS companion, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal.

Kyle MacGregor

12:00 AM on 09.17.2014

Thomas Was Alone jumping to Wii U, Xbox One

Thomas Was Alone appears to be hopping over to Wii U and Xbox One, according to a pair of listings from the USK, Germany's software ratings board. The indie platformer from Mike Bithell launched on PC in 2012, and has since c...

Kyle MacGregor



Shantae and the Pirate's Curse launches next month photo
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse launches next month
by Kyle MacGregor

WayForward is targeting a mid-October release for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse in the United States, the developer announced this week via Twitter. No word on a specific date just yet.

The studio also indicated the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS platformer will have a later arrival across Europe and Australia due to the localization and submission processes. Please understand.

WayForward [Twitter]

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2:00 AM on 09.12.2014

Dying Light makes leaps and bounds in January 2015

Dying Light will release worldwide in January 2015, developer Techland has announced. The zombie parkour game is hurtling to the Americas on January 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.  It will then jump on over to Australia and New Zealand the next day, prior to landing in Europe and Asia on January 30.

Kyle MacGregor

8:00 PM on 09.11.2014

There's a Donkey Kong Country mod for Doom

I sometimes forget just how crazy Doom modders can get. Here's a firm reminder. This is a total-conversion mod by DooMero that, well, you see ... it's the Donkey Kong Country experience rebuilt in GZDoom. Which is to say it'...

Jordan Devore



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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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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5:00 PM on 09.10.2014

Joylancer, the love letter to the Game Boy, will hit Early Access in October 26th

[Update: the Steam listing page is live right now.] Joylancer has been on my radar for quite a while now. It's an independent production that seeks to recreate the great feeling of the Game Boy era, with a solid platforming ...

Chris Carter



Never Alone may have stolen the show at PAX photo
Never Alone may have stolen the show at PAX
by Brett Makedonski

If Upper One Games’ Never Alone sticks out to you as one of the best examples of storytelling in recent memory, don’t be surprised. It sort of has an unfair advantage. You see, the tale it tells has only been passed down throughout several generations’ time. But, while its roots are in the past, the way it’s being told is unique and wholly original.

Never Alone is a puzzle platformer that’s about an old folktale of the Inupiat people -- one of seven major indigenous groups in Alaska. The project actually came about because the Inupiat’s tribal council wanted a way to pass their heritage down to the youths, who had become more enamored by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and of course videogames than they were with their own history. They reached out to E-Line Media to see if the educational game company would be interested in helping develop a game that would share a bit about them. The result was the creation of Upper One Games.

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10:45 AM on 09.02.2014

Here's a look at Mighty No. 9's multiplayer

Yesterday I posted a full hands-on with Mighty No. 9, detailing its ins and outs, as well as showing off the Military Base stage that was included in the beta version of the game in video form. I bet you didn't know that the...

Chris Carter