PC, Mac, Linux • World-class style isn’t just reserved for the catwalk in Milan. Going by the likes of Mixed Bag, Santa Ragione and now Antab Studios, Milanese game development is about matching substance with impeccable visual kung fu. Having had my senses tickled by the likes of forma.8 (currently on sale, you know what to do), Futuridium (first-person or bust) and FOTONICA (PC or iOS; a personal pick for endless runner), it’s time to stir a little Last Starfighter into Lawrence Angelo’s coffee. Behold, the freshly-released GRIDD: Retroenhanced.
PC, Mac, Linux • The current go-to city builder on my laptop is Paradox‘s Cities: Skylines. Looks like it’s getting some competition, and soon, from…Paradox? That’s right, Paradox is publishing another city builder in the near future, but set in the distant future, and I think both will coexist peacefully on my hard drive. It’s called Surviving Mars and it looks pretty freaking great.
iPad, Android Tablet, PC, Mac, Linux • While you’re probably familiar with the fact that, last year, HexWar published a digital version of Academy Games‘ wonderful 1775: Rebellion, you might not be aware that 1775 isn’t the only game in the series. It’s actually only one of three games dealing with early American warfare with the others covering the French and Indian War of 1754 and the War of 1812. The games aren’t clones of each other, but they do share several similarities, so I had been wondering if HexWar would be porting the others to digital at some point down the line. We aren’t sure about 1754, but today they did confirm that 1812: The Invasion of Canada will be coming to in June.
PC, Mac, Linux • I remember talking with Owen back in the day and listening to him gush over Empire: A Deck Building Strategy Game as if it were the second coming of XCOM. Was his love for Empire a tad overzealous? Perhaps, but just a tad. Designed by Keith Burgun, Empire and his other titles, 100 Rogues and Auro, have all been the cream of the App Store crop since their release. Thus, you’ll be happy to hear that Mr. Burgun is working on another title and he’s currently funding it via Kickstarter. You’ll be less happy to hear that there’s no plan to bring it to mobile.
PC, Mac, Linux • NEXT JUMP: Shmup Tactics has my number something fierce. Do you like shmups, this Brazilian indie effort asks. YES, I proclaim. But do you suck at them, it continues. YES, I admit. If you find yourself in this quandary of unquenchable thirst, Post Mortem Pixels has your back.
PC/Mac/Linux • Nostalgia is a tricky beast. Some creators will use it like bad wallpaper, covering the cracks of their leaky foundation while trying to remind us of the wallpaper in our childhood bedroom as if that would make us ignore what’s underneath. Other creators will use it to enhance the story or characters by dropping us deeper into whatever it is they’ve crafted. Last year’s X-Files reboot was the former, Stranger Things was the latter. Nostalgia can only take you so far, and if the product isn’t good to begin with then nostalgia won’t suddenly make it worth your time. Thimbleweed Park drips with nostalgia. In fact, they could have called it “Nostalgia: The Game” and I would have nodded and thought it was a good choice. Thimbleweed Park exists solely to remind you of classic point-and-click adventures from the 80’s and 90’s, especially those from LucasArts, but it does it with a deft hand and excellent new mechanisms, making it far more Stranger Things than X-Files. This is nostalgia done right.
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • On Monday we wondered about the timer that Beamdog was winding down on a site that just happened to be named “Planescape”. When the timer went off yesterday revealing that, yes, it does indicate a new, enhanced version of the Infinity Engine classic, we were right there to post all about it. We were, our site was not. Turns out we had some issues on the backend that were preventing posts from appearing on the front page and, although he had absolutely nothing to do with it, I blame Kelsey. We’re back now–the issue self-corrected, which doesn’t inspire much hope for a problem-free future–and we’re ready to talk about the only digital RPG to feature the Lady of Pain.
PC/Mac • Aristotle’s ontological legacy can be summed up in a single, irrefutable truism: Man can never have too many mech games. No such state exists. Such sagely observation continues to ring through the ages. The battlesuit-besotted have a lot to look forward to. Tetragonworks’ Phantom Brigade (which is utterly ace), Valkyria Chronicles-dated-Armored Core Dual Gear by Orbital Speed Studio (also ace), Harebrained Studios’ Battletech (should be ace) as well as a bunch of other titles like Bombdog’s Chromehounds successor, MAV and the tungsten-tough isometric magic of Stellar Jockeys’ Brigador. And so on and so on. The god of iron and autocannon continues to smile upon us, as Armored Freedom gears up for Steam Early Access.
PC/Mac/Linux • Nearly three years after its release on iPad, FTL: Faster than Light is still one of the greatest games on the platform. Not only is it one of the most perfect roguelikes ever made, its port to touchscreens set the standard for all ports from that point on. Since then, the forge at Subset Games has been silent, but today we learned [Hat tip: Matt Thrower and Kotaku] that their next effort is well underway. It’s a turn-based strategy game called Into the Breach and it’s coming for PC/Mac/Linux.
Swanning through the aisles of Valve’s recent Steam Sale, I happened upon an ingenious little multiplayer title by the name Of Guards And Thieves. With nothing to lose but the dregs of my credit injection, I prodded Subvert Games‘ compact title through the checkout and went in blind.