GOG Spring Sale: 90% Off of More Than 500 Indie and AAA Games

spring sale for video games

What a great news! Wait, what is GOG you ask? GOG, a subsidiary of CD Projekt, is a software distribution platform serving DRM-free video games and movies. They have a kit if games ranging from critically acclaimed indie games to big and awesome triple-A video games. Guess what, their prizes range from as low as $5 to $10 for old games and for newer games, they can range from $5 to $30. You can get The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for only $30! Can the prices go any lower? Oh yes! Enter, Spring Sale.

All Hail the Spring Sale (March 6 – 12, 2017)!

Adorable...Here, take my money!
Adorable…Here, take my money!

If you’re wondering which games do they have in store for us this Spring Sale, let me give you a sneak peek. For the indie game lovers out there, here are some of the indies they have for Spring Sale:

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – $2.24
  • Undertale – $4.99
  • World of Goo – $2.49
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer – $3.74
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – $3.74
  • Braid – $3.74
  • Bastion – $3.74
  • Invisible Inc. – $6.66

If you are not an indie game lover and more of a triple-A kind of a gamer, these games might be right in your alley:

  • Mirror’s Edge – $4.99
  • Metro 2033 Redux – $4.99
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (GOTY) – $29.99
  • Deus Ex GOTY Edition – $2.99
  • Dragon Age: Origins Enhanced Edition – $4.99
  • Dead Space – $4.99
  • Tales from the Borderlands – $6.24

…And a lot more!

Personally, I’m planning to buy Divinity: Original Sin, Invisible Inc., World of Goo, Bastion – yes, I know. I’m more of an indie-loving guy – then, for the triple-A games, Witcher 2 and 3, and I’m still thinking about getting Medal of Honor or Hitman. Definitely Hitman. There are also some story-rich games like Gemini Rue, Alan Wake, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and a lot more.

Want to link your Steam Library?

Want to connect your Steam library with GOG? They got you covered with GOG Connect. With this tool, you can permanently import your games in Steam to your GOG library. But, a little heads up, my dear gamers. They only have a limited number of eligible games and are for a limited time only. This is because not all developers and publishers agree with the whole DRM-free idea.

I believe that this is a great opportunity to try out games that we weren’t able to play in the past. How about you guys? Which interesting games are you planning to but? We are curious and are eager to hear from you, guys. Comment your games down below and let’s have a fun conversation.

Shovel Knight Will Appear in Yooka-Laylee

Playtonic Games, the new independent studio formed by several former members of Rare, has released a new trailer for their upcoming Kickstarter-funded game, Yooka-Laylee, focusing on the various characters that will be appearing in the game.  This includes major characters like the main antagonist Capital B and Trowzer the Snake (heh heh) who will teach you important techniques.  The one that’s captured the most people’s attention, however, is a special guest character hailing from another crowdfunded game.

Shovel Knight, the titular hero from Yacht Club Games’ sidescrolling action game, will appear in Yooka-Laylee as an NPC.  This isn’t the first time that the hero of shovelry has made a cameo in another game, as he is also making an appearance in SWDTech Games’ detective-based RPG Pixel Noir and will be a party member in Lab Zero’s RPG Indivisible.  The game Shovel Knight had it’s own fair share of cameos with the Battletoads appearing exclusively in the Xbox One version of the game and Kratos from the God of War series in the Playstation 4 version.

Yooka-Laylee is being built as a revival of 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie that the team was famous for as a part of Rare.  The Kickstarter campaign raised over £2,000,000 for the development of the game.  It’s set to release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Wii U, and Playstation 4 in early 2017.

The Hero Trap Cancelled After Undershooting Kickstarter

Despite reaching its Kickstarter funding goal, SMASHWORX’s Gauntlet-inspired rougelike game, The Hero Trap, will not be seeing released and has had development cancelled.  This is the result of the developer intentionally asking for less than with its funding goal than would actually be required to develop the game.  SMASHWORX released a statement regarding the cancellation, but has set it so that only backers can view it.  However, some have already transcribed the announcement and you can read the contents of the postmortem here (if any of the backers of the project can confirm or deny that this transcription is completely accurate, please let us know).

According to the transcription, SMASHWORX undershot their goal in the hopes that they would either make their project appear more enticing to backers and garner the actual funds they needed through stretch goals or, failing that, could use what they did raise to entice a publisher into covering the remainder of the costs.  Neither of those ideas came to fruition, and so the entire project was scraped.  SMASHWORX has promised that it will refund all of its backers, but they’ll have to do so without assistance from Kickstarter as the campaign is no longer their concern and there are plenty of potential problems that can occur as a result of that.

Undershooting crowdfunding campaigns has been a serious problem with the practice for some time.  SMASHWORX has certainly shot its own reputation in the foot with this fiasco and will have an uphill battle with any future projects they might pursue.  Not only that, undershooting in general makes crowdfunding more difficult for studios that are actually honest with their projections.  It makes their projects appear cheaper than they actually are and warp peoples perceptions on how much studios should expect for their base funding goal.  Compare The Hero Trap‘s $25,000 goal to Lab Zero’s $150,000 campaign simply to add a single new character to their already-completed game, Skullgirls.  When the specific costs of creating a character for a fighting are broken down, Lab Zero’s goal is perfectly reasonable, but just taking a casual glance at those two numbers paints a very unrealistic picture in someone’s head.

What are your thoughts on the cancellation of The Hero Trap and the practice of undershooting?  What other caveats of crowdfunding do you think deserve attention?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Red Little House Closes Studio, But Continues Development

Red Little House, a Spanish development team consisting of only seven people, shared some sad news in its latest monthly progress report.  Due to financial constraints, they have been forced to close the doors on their studio after working there for two and a half years.  However, they are still continuing development of their next game, Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel, from their individual homes.  The title has had its share of financial woes since its failed Indiegogo campaign in 2013, only raising €6,693 of its €29,ooo goal, but the team has continued to press on.  At this point, they have completed the entire first act of the game as well as the general story and mechanics.

Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel is an isometric adventure-puzzle game heavily inspired by 1930’s animation, complete with a fully monochromatic art style.  The story centers around Cherry (pictured right) on a quest to rescue her boyfriend Fleish (pictured left and named after the Fleischer Studios that created the Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons) from the villainous Mr. Mintz (possibly named after Charles Mintz who infamously held the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit instead of Walt Disney).  While exploring Hotel Hyperion, Cherry will take advantage of cartoon physics to solve puzzles.  She can inflate herself like a balloon to travel over gaps and be flattened with an anvil to enter tight spaces.

If you want to check out Fleish & Cherry in Crazy Hotel for yourself, you can find downloads for the free alpha demo here.  You can also check out Red Little House’s official website here.  The game has already been greenlit for release on Steam and the developers hope to have it completed before the end of this year.

Rogue State Review

So, you think that building a democracy – or being the ultimate jerk / dictator the world has ever seen is a breeze? Hahaha (that’s my evil laughter here). You know nothing! Not when your own brother is trying to sabotage you and install his behind on your chair and send you to meet your maker. And you can’t even assassinate the poor soul, because the people love him and you need the people to rule. Not to mention money, resources, great relations with your neighbors, the US, the EU, the fundamentalists, the liberals, the capitalists and those pesky journalists who have the guts to remember that you promised modernization of the education system – and remember that exactly when you have no money left to do it.

This is Rogue State. This is fun!

If my first paragraph made absolutely no sense, let me try to clear things out: you start the game as the revolutionary leader and new president of a fictional middle eastern country and it’s up for you to rebuild the great nation of Basenji, gain the love and trust of the people, build up the relationships with your neighbors through democracy and keep your brother, Farouk, from throwing you off your chair and install himself as president. Rebuild infrastructure, intelligence agencies, adopt and change policies and do everything you can to keep on playing. Because in the “democracy” you’re building, you will eventually fail. Eventually!

rogue state review 02

This political simulation game with a big dose of humor (one of the neighbor states, for example, is ruled by a chicken!) proves to be extremely complex and offers so much depth that every new playthrough will feel like a brand new experience – and you’ll love to see that you’re getting better and better.

A turn based game with each turn offering you the chance to perform four actions, Rogue State surprises and amazes even though at first it might seem a bit too difficult and random. Your main role in the game is to find the perfect balance in the policies you adopt (and there’s quite a few of them) to try to keep your people happy. You have liberals and fundamentalists, capitalists and patriots as the four distinct categories in the countries: and you must keep them all happy otherwise they’ll start rioting and eventually overthrow you. This is done by adopting the right policies, but also by building special infrastructures for your great nation. Also, special events are triggered every time you end your turn and the way you decide to handle them will have different effects on your people, neighbors and nation’s partners. The fun part? You can’t really know what the effects will be until you’ve made your choice. And that’s fun!

On numerous occasions, I found myself comparing the game with Democracy 3 and it does have common points. However, I found Democracy way too random and boring, while Rogue State delivers better quality, seems to make more sense and adds a few visual elements that make everything a bit more enjoyable (even though the graphics are far from perfect). But there’s something about this game that really makes you care about it, challenges you, pushes you to try again to do better: things that make sense and events that can sometimes help, not just try to destroy you over and over again. It’s a lot of randomness here as well, but there are also so many beautiful cause-effect connections that increase the complexity, your strategic approach and offer so many gameplay options that you will never feel bored.

For example, raising the taxes quickly will have a major effect on the mood of all your groups, but the drop in morale will get lower and lower each turn – which makes sense, as more people will accept the new situation. The same goes with dropping the tax rates: people will get really happy for a short while, but then there will be no extra bonus from that, because it will feel normal. Will you raise the wages? The Capitalists won’t like that, but other people will. Will you ban religion in schools? Fundamentalists will hate you, but liberals will love you. Every thing you do in the game will have an effect (and the beautiful thing is that some only have an effect several turns after your actions) and your main goal is to find the perfect balance. You can’t keep everybody happy, you must align yourself with one or two particular groups, but you can’t ignore any of them if you want to be the ruler.

And as a ruler, you have a lot more options on hand: you can and should rebuild the nation by spending money on infrastructure. Each building comes with extra boosts and bonuses, and a good strategy here is required too. Your ministers will have requirements from you every now and then, and you should make them happen if you want to keep your relations in good standing. Your neighbors are always around and you can trade with them or even build a military and attack them. Hell, you can even go completely mad and start a nuclear war if that’s what you want to do!

Then, there’s the humor: sometimes crude, sometimes nuanced and barely visible. We have a country that’s being ruled by a chicken who can’t be understood, there’s the US to whom you don’t have direct access, but can be impressed if you have oil (and they bring you no “freedom” for it) and you have the newspaper that never runs out of puns and jokes. It’s brilliant!

rogue state review 05

Rogue State does have its limitations: it’s an indie game with a lower budget and there are some things that get boring after a while, the most frustrating being the constant need to adjust policies based on the groups of people in your nation. The graphics won’t blow your mind either, but this game still manages to deliver so much fun in its small package that it’s almost unbelievable. And I certainly found it more fun than Democracy which has more polish, but not as much appeal and power of attraction.

So if you’re up for these kinds of games, head over to Steam and get yourself a copy of Rogue Nation. You’ll find out just how fun it is to constantly fail as a leader!

Even Duck Game’s Creator Doesn’t Know How to Impress the Computer

Duck Game

Duck Game

If you’re a fan of the fast-paced, 2D arena shooter Duck Game, you know full well just how difficult it is to impress the AI judge at the end of a match.  No matter what kinds of maneuvers you and your fellow players manage to pull off, you’ll rarely see the computer respond with anything other than “ughhhh”.  Well, you and your friends can stop feeling so bad about your waterfowl skills, because even the man who made the game doesn’t know how to impress the judgmental AI.  In an interview with Youtube channel Super Bunnyhop, Duck Game‘s creator, Landon Podbielski, admits that he can barely figure out how to get the higher ratings that the computer judge has to offer any better than your average player.  For him, even getting the computer to call a match “mildly entertaining” is a rare occurrence despite there being dozens of better results to get.

The issue came from a great deal of tweaking with what it finds impressive and how easy it is to impress.  There are countless bizarre and obscure maneuvers you can pull off to raise your coolness score, but the randomness of the game makes opportunities to try and perform many of those moves, much less actually pull them off successfully, fairly rare.  Podbielski has never been able to get the AI to grade matches in a way he’s comfortable with as it always leans toward being too harsh or too generous.  He settled on the more sarcastic version seen today as it plays more to the humorous side of the game, but he does plan on patching the game in the near future to make the AI ease up a bit.

What’s the best score you’ve gotten on Duck Game?  How do you feel about Duck Game‘s strict computer?  Do you actually enjoy the criticism, eagerly await the expected patch, or just shrug it off entirely?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Here’s 35 Minutes Of Never Alone Foxtales Gameplay

Earlier this week E-Line Media released a small DLC pack for their award winning 2014 puzzle platformer Never Alone titled Foxtales, the two heroes, Nuna and Fox, make their return for three additional levels and a new story.

Nuna and Fox must cross open seas, swim through the ruins of a sunken village and paddle up the Noatak River on a mission to rescue a new friend and defeat a new foe.

Below you can check out 35 minutes of Never Alone Foxtales.

Never Alone was originally released for PC, Xbox One and PS4 in November, 2014 and released soon afterwards on Mac, Wii U and the Nvidia Shield.

Foxtales is available now for download on Xbox One, PS4, PC and Mac. There were no announcement as to when or if Foxtales would be released on Wii U and the Nvidia Shield.

Why Post Cat Memes When You Can Play Cat Games? Meet Paper Cat!

It’s difficult to resist cat memes and Grumpy Cat don’t let us say the opposite (we tried, but he looked at us and said “NO”). But a cat game? That’s something you don’t see every day, and when you happen to actually find one, it’s the usual pet simulator. But designer Israel Terenzi, from studio Ilusis Interactive Graphics, is working on something different.

Following the adventures of Slick, a cat whose owner lives surrounded by exotic items, you must turn his house upside down just for the joy. After all, you’re a cat! However, this must be done at night, evading the watchful eye of your Frank, the owner.

The game is named Paper Cat, a 2D platformer game with puzzle elements.  Every night you get access to new and special items, only to break them all by provoking a chain reaction. The plot, however, hides a mystery: Slick’s close relationship with the moon may have something to do with his urge to destroy things. Or just because he is a cat that loves some good old chaos.

Ilusis is a studio from Minas Gerais, Brazil. They plan to open a crowd funding campaign to fund development of the game soon. Besides the campaign, the game is being created with an NGO dedicated to finding new homes for abandoned cats. Paper Cat don’t have a release date and did not inform on which platforms might come to, so, stay tuned!

Source: Geração Gamer (in Portuguese)

Frederator Studios Creating Animated Short for Costume Quest

Costume

Frederator Studios, an independent animation studio, has announced a collaboration with Double Fine, an independent game developer, to create an eleven-minute short based on the game Costume Quest.  Costume Quest is a short but sweet RPG themed around Halloween conceived by Double Fine’s former lead animator Tasha Sounart.  It was released digitally in 2010 on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade and later ported to PC, Mac, and Linux to great critical acclaim and a sequel was released across all platforms last year.  The games star fraternal twins Reynold and Wren as they and their friends use empowered costumes to battle super-natural forces.

Frederator Studios is most famous for working on classic Nickelodeon shows such as The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, and My Life as a Teenage Robot, and currently hosts shows like Bravest Warriors and Bee and PuppyCat on their Youtube channel.  It seems more likely that the Costume Quest short will be posted on Youtube rather than aired on television.  The short will be written by Zac Gorman (creator of the Costume Quest comic) and directed by Pat McHale (creator of Over the Garden Wall).  Are you excited to see the Costume Quest animation?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition, ASCII is Alive and Kicking

SanctuaryRPG

You know back-in-the-day when text based adventures were massively popular? Entire worlds came to life with nothing more than text on a screen, and you explored the mysterious world using the power of vigorous typing. SanctuaryRPG is kind of like that, only with graphics… but not as we know it. Curious youngsters and the grumpy old folk who played games like NetHack and Rogue should know what ASCII is, but for the uninformed, ASCII is essentially graphics through the power of letters (and punctuation etc.). In short, it’s old…really old.

Steam has been rather lacking in ASCII games, and whilst they do exist (Tales of Maj’Eyal has an option to switch to ASCII for example), Black Shell Games are the only guys with a game made purely from the old tech, and boy is it a treat. Swords, armour, jewelry, monsters, landscapes and more are all represented, fully constructed from your keyboards repertoire of symbols. They even go as far as having a small, somewhat archaic cutscene just to show off.

Of course, as we all know, you can’t just have style without substance, and once again Black Shell Games show us how it is done. You explore the world by punching in where you want to go from a menu, whether that be exploring the wilderness to encounter monsters, start events, complete quests etc. or simply navigating the town to pick up some new gear. It is all very intuitive, but it is also very deep, and incredibly difficult. Combat in SanctuaryRPG is a turn based affair with a fully integrated combo system, rewarding you for continued assaults on enemies, often ending in devastating finishing moves that obliterate health bars. Adding to this, you have a movement and distance mechanic which resembles something akin to NEOScavenger. Additionally the in-depth character progression system allows you to customize your hero to your hearts content. Of course that is without mentioning the diverse class selection, region and race selection all of which drastically change your play style. Death however, is treated in two ways. It is either permanent or massively punishing, and when nearly every enemy has the potential to kill you if you drop your guard, you will be frequently visiting the game over screen until you get the hang of it all.

What we have here is an experience that, despite its rather unorthodox style, is deeply engrossing and hugely rewarding. And did I mention that the game is hilarious? If this is the kind of game people can produce using a “dated” art style, with some pretty old-school mechanics mixed with some modern conventions, then I want more of it. ASCII is back, and I am hooked.