Impressions

GolfXTRM screenshot 1

GolfXTRM is what you get when you dunk a suit-coated golfer in a jar of ketamine and shove his head in a NES cartridge slot.

Made amid the fantastical Fuck This Jam – whose dashing premise is that something vauntiful will happen if you get people to make games in genres they fucking hate – it’s a surreal golfing sim with procedural woodlands, seasons, and trees that grow in real time. (Read that again.) Continue reading

Asphyx screenshot 1

If you’ve ever wondered what it must be like to drown – what’s more, in mid-air, so to speak – then golly well look no further than Asphyx, a clever little browser game by Droqen.

The premise: have a lookabout. The complication: is bloody ingenious. If your character falls in the water, and fall in the water he certainly will, you (the person, the very you) have to hold your breath. If you suck even a teat’s worth of the oh-two, you have to own up and press escape. Continue reading

monkey

I knew when I woke up this afternoon that today was a day for monkeying about. Which is not to say I flung excrement from the balcony; nay, that is exclusively a Wednesday activity.

Instead, I booted up the latest beta copy of Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery; made by Canadian lone-gun ScaryPotato using GameMaker, it’s a free monkeytroidvania title featuring bitsy pixel graphics, powerups and convoluted Mayan ruins filled with … crustacean-bots, piranhas, a devious eagle, et al. Continue reading

One word: Legend.

Not enough for you? Here’s two more, then: of Grimrock.

Now that we’ve got the requisite suspense out of the way, please look away while I salivate helplessly. I have a syrupy spot for old-fashioned dungeon crawlers, especially when they’re new-fangled, and Legend of Grimrock is tolchocking me directly in the nostalgia sac.

Details of the game’s magic system have arisen, and they’re looking very… runic. But in a good way! I happen to loathe runes in general, owing to a childhood mishap with Vikings, but it seems Grimrock’s take on the matter will allow for some neat combinatorial combat cake. (I say cake not merely for its alliterative benefit, but for its deep symbolic value.) Continue reading

Kairo screenshot

I’m not exactly an abstract puzzle fundamentalist. I tried Myst out because it was pretty and I was young and inexperienced. Our affair didn’t get far: I just didn’t understand Myst, and I like feeling stupid about as much as I like injecting mercury into my aorta.

This experience should have learned me good, but I think my totem invertebrate is the moth. The moment I see pretty things behind glass, I’m sucked forward by a primal urge and my head makes repeated dinking noises.

That’s what happened when I pre-ordered Richard Perrin‘s Kairo, after seeing a tip-off at the indispensable Indie Games. I was warned of the Myst reference, but I was too busy going dink to realise my reptilian brain had cloned my credit card. Continue reading

Screenshot 1 of The Last Stand: Union City

Zombies. We’ve all fought them off at one point or another. I don’t encounter them all that often any more now that people have explained the difference between a zombie and a toddler to me, so life’s a bit less fun.

Still, while we may hope in vain for a real zombie invasion and the freedom to run riot through a mall with a fully automatic shotgun, zombie-themed games have been invading the Interwaves for some time now, and thankfully show no signs of abating.

The latest dedicated undead death-dealing dead-’em-up is another neat browser dalliance by Con Artist Games. Following in the dragging footsteps of the other Last Stand Games, The Last Stand: Union City is a side-on depiction of zombie carnage featuring RPG elements and plenty of pick-ups. Continue reading

Roguelikes, it seems, are finally getting the attention they deserve.

Just lookit Dungeons of Dredmor. At the time of writing it was the third most-sold game on Steam, already having spent some time buffing its nails at the top of that vaporous hill.

Indie developers Gaslamp Games appear a little shocked. And I suppose it is a bit of a shock to see a niche genre so readily embraced. Continue reading