Chaos ride featured at Indie Game stand

Indie Game stand is an oasis of goodness in an otherwise unforgiving and boring internet. Check out the promotion they’re running on Chaos ride.

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Pay What You Want for Chaos Ride on IndieGameStand! $1+ for Desura Key and Steam key when available, BTA for Android
Indie Game Stand is running a promotion for Chaos Ride

Featured Deal

Chaos Ride is a futuristic arcade racing game, influenced by all the insanely-fast arcade racers of the early 00’s (think Wipeout, Ballistics, Extreme G, Outrun 2 et al). Players pilot their neon hover-cycles through nine different locations at speeds of up to 800mph.

 

Set entirely inside tubular-shaped tunnels, the game uses a unique method for navigating the tracks. Racers primarily build speed by gaining momentum, which they acquire by angling their vehicles at optimum trajectories as they race. As with any other racing game, it’s all about finding the best racing lines to shave seconds from your lap times – only in Chaos Ride, this happens at jet-engine velocities while things explode around you. Imagine piloting a rocket-powered bobsled, while avoiding and competing against nine other rocket-powered bobsleds, at 800mph, and you have a rough idea of the core gameplay experience!

The game includes 18 tracks, 90 events, a vehicle customisation system, a 15-hour single player campaign, split-screen multiplayer for up to four people, and full support for the DK2 Oculus Rift.

 

Check it out at IndieGameStand!

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‘Square Heroes’ from Gnomic Studios preview

I'm square and ready to make combat with your friends via cross-platform mayhem.
I’m square and ready to make combat with your friends via cross-platform mayhem.

Square Heroes is a game that I’ve been looking forward to for months now. Although I’m mainly an RPG guy, with interests in RTS and some sports games, my eyes have been opened by some great indie games lately. Many of my regular readers know that even though we report on big companies like Ubisoft and Marvel comics, our love is independent comics, games and music. So, when I found Square Heroes while trolling through Twitter for goodies to review, I was pleased to find this quirky looking indie game.

Cartoon shooter with cross-platform play

Cross platform was one of the features that was supposed to change games as we knew them. Windows and Xbox 360 promised this feature last generation, but it never truly materialized. It seemed like one of those features that would fall by the wayside. Like Smartglass , Cross-platform took a bad seat to features like twitch integration and a renewed focus on VR like Oculus Rift. Luckily, Indie companies don’t always follow the trends and do what they want. That’s the case with Gnomic studios and Square Heroes. Being able to play with friends that have Windows while I fire up my Mac laptop is important. I can’t even count the amount of times I was disappointed to find out I couldn’t play a game with friends because they’re still playing on Windows based PCs. It’s a missed opportunity in my opinion, and I’m pleased to be able to soon encourage my pals to play Square Heroes with me. The co-op options and arena format lend themselves perfectly to this game.

Speaking of teaming with friends, another feature that has been ‘Left 4 Dead‘ is couch co-op. This type of play hasn’t been a hallmark of PC/MAC games, but it’s offered in Square Heroes. Not only can you play LAN or online if you happen to find yourself in a friends living room or bedroom, but it looks like you’ll be able to snuggle in closer than comfortable on your pals futon and really smell those Doritos he had for dinner. I’m not certain about how the couch co-op works with PC/MAC yet, but I’ll find out soon once I take a look at the MAC version that Gnomic provided to me.

Features

I pointed out a few, but here is the full list of features provided by Gnomic.

  • Online and local multi-player, at the same time. AKA couch vs couch gaming.
  • Cross platform multi-player.
  • Unique arms-race gameplay mechanic where chosen weapons are earned during each round by collecting loot.
  • Unlockable weapons and hats with stat-buffing perks.
  • Various game modes including Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Gnome Hunt, Team Gnome Hunt and Survival.
  • Numerous challenging Achievements.
  • Seven stylish 2.5D arenas of doom.
  • Originally scored music and professionally crafted sound effects. ( I really want to start reviewing sound effects and music for games, so I’m going to be paying extra attention to this in Square Heroes)

The Appeal

What do you mean I need legs to be in an arena combat game? Wait, I don't have legs?
What do you mean I need legs to be in an arena combat game? Wait, I don’t have legs?

Again, this isn’t typically my kind of game, but I’m willing to take a look at a game by hard-working indie companies. So, what’s the appeal to me other than it’s independent? I’m a big fan of Castle Crashers, and Square Heroes reminds me of that in a way. The visuals are closer to Super Meat-Boy, but the semi-side scrolling nature and the possibility of co-op mayhem looks fun to me. Collecting “Mountains of loot” as the trailer points out is always a fun time too.

The ability, though apparently simplistic, to customize a character is always a huge draw for me. Creating a custom Nord in Skyrim or creating a neanderthal in NHL 2014 was fun for me, and there’s something personal and engaging about making my own character. I’ll never forget my characters in Fallout-3 and Fallout New Vegas either. My time with my character in New Vegas helped provide me with part of the name of this blog too.

More info and the Blah Blah Blah

Here’s more information on Square Heroes that includes their website and even a video for the game. Please check back here for the latest on the game and for my review that’s coming soon. The game released already on Linux and PC, and I’m waiting anxiously for my MAC version to post so I can dig in. Spread the word about the this blog too, where we make it a point to give unvarnished reviews, news as soon as we get it and some opinions and more fun quirky per square inch than any other game/comics/nerd site anywhere.

Developer:
Gnomic Studios
Based in Perth, Western Australia

Release date:
Oct, 2014

Platforms:
PC / Mac / Linux
Steam Greenlight

Website:
squareheroes.com

 

Instant Indie Halloween Edition

Hey Everyone. Here’s another Instant Indie-A quick look at some great Indie products. In our Halloween Edition we look at a Motion Comic with music, a Kickstarter comic based on H.P. Love Craft called Kidthulu, an addictive iOS game and some early information on a Zelda-esque game in its early stages. All of the information is straight from the developers’ mouths, and it’s not my spin. It’s what they want you to know about their products, except for my opening commentary on each. Enjoy, and thanks for supporting independent goodies.

 

Re:creation

I’ve been talking with Elias Daler for awhile for an upcoming interview on being an Independent Developer. Look for that article soon. The concepts Elias is using and the gameplay his game will have are all things I’ve been wanting to see for awhile. I personally loved the Legend of Zelda games as well as early RPGs like  Final Fantasy. Here’s to hoping this game fills my desires for an old school experience.

Here's a cool gif from re:creation. I cannot wait to play this game.
Here’s a cool gif from re:creation. I cannot wait to play this game.

Re: Creation is a hobby gamedev project being made by Elias Daler. Re:creation is an action rpg inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Earthbound.You play as an undead knight who can become people he kills and get their abilities to progress in the game and solve various puzzles.

Have a look at Elias’ blog to keep up with his progress.  

Story

The main hero is an undead knight who was betrayed by his partner, Necromancer, during a fight with a giant demon. When the hero raises from the dead, he realizes that lots of time has passed since his death. The Great War between humans and undeads is being fought for several centuries. Necromancer is still alive. He actually became a Lich. He has lots of power and uses undeads as a cheap working force. The hero explores society of undeads and finds out that they don’t actually want to kill humans. They just want people to use them for training and steal their treasure! The hero decides to stop the war and prove that undeads are not that evil as it seems.

Kidthulu

Kidthulu looks fun and creative. It's a quirky gamble. Let's hope it pays off.
Kidthulu looks fun and creative. It’s a quirky gamble. Let’s hope it pays off.

I found Kidthulu while trolling Kickstarter for cool projects I could write about. How can you not get behind a cartoony version of the H.P. Lovecraft classic.?

 

Maryland based writer Martin E. Brandt II and Baltimore area artist Charles C. Dowd in cooperation with Raven Warren Studios are launching their new comic book mini-series Kidthulhu: Tales of Madness on Kickstarter Thursday October 16th, 2014. Along with the help of Jess Boudrie, Courtney Hahn, Gaston Pacheco, and Martinho Abreu they plan to release a 32 page full color first issue.
Kidthulhu is the tale of the world as seen through a 10-year-old monster of madness accompanied by this faithful Shoggoth Shog and his best friend Capi, The Albino Goat of the Woods with 999 siblings. Kidthulhu: Tales of Madness is a ridiculous reimagining of the Lovecraft universe that you can share with kids.

Come join in and be a part of the genesis for this new series on Kickstarter and help them reach their $2,500 to fund the initial print run. There are plenty of awesome incentives for backers to show thanks for their support. Starting October 16th you can find more information on Kickstarter at: http://www.kidthulhu.com/kickstarter, spread the madness.http://www.ravenwarren.com
Additional Media can be found here: http://www.ravenwarren.com/kidthulhu-media-page/

 

DARK MOON

I took a look at Darkmoon in the first ‘Instant Indie’ and looks like it’s finished and ready to experience. Follow the link and watch/listen. It’s a great Halloween experience.

Dark Moon is an exciting new comic that features an original soundtrack designed to be listened to while reading.  You can stream the music while reading the digital versions, watch our youtube series, or download the soundtrack to listen to while reading our print copy!The story is about Dante, a scientist in the late 21st century, who is working on teleportation technology when a cataclysmic event, a meteor strike near his hometown of San Francisco, causes him to have to use the transporter to transport him and six others to safety.  They make it to a distant moon, but they find out their problems are just beginning.

Check out the motion version here. Dark Moon Motion comic.

Well, at least there aren't any monoliths here.
Well, at least there aren’t any monoliths here.
I don't think scientists were taught to shoot monsters on distant moons. At least, not at MIT.
I don’t think scientists were taught to shoot monsters on distant moons. At least, not at MIT.

About Tiny Grave

I actually reviewed this game and really enjoyed it. Have a look at my review here. My girlfriend is actually still playing it and loves it.  It has really addictive gameplay and surprising depth.

The Doctor and his assistant need help creating their monster. Experience their story with this new twist on the puzzle genre featuring a story mode with 17 levels of game play, spoken dialog, and immersive music. To aid your matching efforts the Doctor has created powerful potions that you can use to get out of dead end situations. Hone your matching skills or play a quick game by playing in Endless mode. But don’t worry; your progress is saved so you can continue your game at any time. Tiny Grave may be inspired by puzzle games of the past but it has a style and game play all its own. Download it today and experience Tiny Grave for yourself.

Watch the Trailer

Screenshots

Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.
Use your explosive vile to open up a dead board.
Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.
Acid clears out an area, opening up new body parts to collect.

Screencheat Launches on STEAM

Surprise attack Games releases Screencheat on Steam.
Surprise attack Games releases Screencheat on Steam.

Cheaters Sometimes Win

I just got this press release from Surprise attack games, distributor and purveyor of fine #indiegames. I’ve played a few of their great games, and reviewed Snip and Chu awhile back (read about it here.) I’ve had my eye on Screencheat for a while now and hope to be reviewing it soon. There are loads of information on this indie game, so dig in and have  look below.

Screencheat Launches on PC, Mac and Linux

Oct 21st, 2014 – Cheaters never win? Cheaters never prosper? Tell this to Samurai Punk and Surprise Attack Games! They’ve just launched Screencheat, the first person shooter where everyone is invisible and the only way to murder your friends is to look at their screen to know where they’re standing. Return to the glory days of lying to your friends that you totally didn’t know they were camping and your grenade was “just a lucky guess.” Consider this game your self-help guide for your cheating addiction and write it off as a medical expense at http://store.steampowered.com/app/301970/.

Click to watch, or download the trailer here.
Everyone is invisible, but what does it matter since you were looking at your best friend’s screen the entire time anyway! This is the premise behind Screencheat, the revolutionary split-screen first person shooter that tells you that it’s ok to be a louse, a rat, a cheating… well, you get the idea. Screencheat has you covered by color coded map areas and many unique landmarks. Yes, you, I see you there hiding near that Woolly Mammoth in that red room. The name of the game in Screencheat is to never stay still and let your opponents get a bearing on you. Just don’t take your eyes off your screen for too long or you may find yourself walking right off a cliff.

Eight unique and crazy weapons, combined with a heap of game modes and maps keep Screencheat fresher than eating watermelon in a field of summer blossoms.

King of the Hill has never been more dangerous, as once you step foot on the capture point in “Hillcampers” mode every player will know exactly where you are.

The more unique “One Shot” game gives you a blunderbuss and only one bullet. Be fast and be accurate or be dead and… well… dead.
For those of us who loved Madeline Kahn and Tim Curry, “Murder Mystery” mode gives you a mansion and a set of objectives.  Green with the Candlestick? It’s a party and someone’s going to die.

“Capture The Fun” has one player holding a confetti-spreading pinata with everyone else trying to blast it (and the player) to smithereens. Fun for the whole family.

Finally, the good old fashion Deathmatch, where the only thing that matters is fragging people as fast as possible, because what would an FPS be without it?

Screencheat is giving all of us legitimate cheaters out there a shot at redemption, to show that all those hours of split screen GoldenEye and Mario Kart Battle Mode weren’t wasted, they were just training for the ultimate split screen showdown.

Find out more at www.screencheat.com
Other stuff to know:

  • Screencheat will be available for PC, Mac and Linux on October 21st, 2014
  • Price: US$14.99
  • Screencheat is being developed by Samurai Punk and published by Surprise Attack Games
  • Visit screencheat.com for more information

 

ABOUT SURPRISE ATTACK GAMES

Surprise Attack Games is an independent games label focused on partnering with Australian game developers to provide marketing, distribution, and strategic assistance in taking their games to global audiences on any and all game platforms. For games that operate as a service, the label also provides monetisation strategy, design guidance and operational analytics.

Football Seasons for iOS review: Stuck on the end of the bench.

The Artwork for Football seasons, I can easily say, the very best thing about this game. By far.
The Artwork for Football seasons, I can comfortably say, is the very best thing about this game. By far.

Football seasons is a game created by Makeitapp, look them up if you have time.

I’m not a big soccer fan, or a card game player, so I wanted to start with that admission. I have, however, gained an appreciation and respect for both in the past few years. I picked up Football seasons because of my desire to switch my main focus of the blog to independent games, comics and literature and I was provided with the link by the makers of Makeitapp. Since I love sports, baseball mainly, I’m going to try to take you through a play by play of my experience with the game. An unboxing of sorts. Hope the new format works.

As soon as I start up the game, there is a prompt to upgrade. I Assume to a paid version. I choose not to upgrade. (Edit: I’ve gone back and checked for the upgrade and it must be a message for people that already had the game, asking them to download a patch. I have the most recent version) I notice right away the music is extremely loud, even on a two setting on my iPhone 5s. I notice a bit of bad grammar right away also. I believe it’s translated from Italian, and I believe the developer is Italian, so it’s not that big of an issue. Not until I reach the tutorial, where I am learning about my cards and there’s a glaring omission. “Inly”, instead of only. The article I am writing as we speak won’t even allow me to type that word with simple built in spellcheckers. So that’s a big red flag for me. A misspelled word in the very first section of a game where they’ve already asked for money.

There are four starting modes on the main screen. Solo, Online, pass and play and local. Only the solo option is available to begin with. You must win season 7 to advance to online mode naturally. That is without paying for credits. The pass and play mode costs 50 credits to buy. (note: I came back to edit this because I played through three seasons, and won 3 championships, and only earned 20 credits. That’s after sitting through ten pop-up adds at least, and watching 2 videos. To give you an idea of how much credits are, 1000 credits are $7.99. The store credits option starts with 190 credits for $1.99. The structure seems weird, and I’m not going to do the math, but it looks ridiculous. The best “deal” looks to be 3500 credits for $21.99. It don’t like that it is even possible to spend that much money, unless there are some really cool uniforms and other cosmetic stuff. That’s absurdly high for an App. You also have the option to remove adds for $1.99. Also, each of the first two “seasons” were one game long. The third was a couple of games at least.)

The fourth game mode is local, and if you can believe it, it costs 100 credits. Keep in mind, I’ve only earned 20, and it costs $1.99 for 190. That’s gouging in my opinion. It costs you nearly 2 clams to play locally…on your phone. I’m not a believer in paywalls for content that’s included.

So, I exit to turn down the still blaring theme music that is reminiscent of a baccarat or poker game. I could swear that the music is turning itself up, because I have my phone set to nearly zero, and the in game music set to barely registering, and it is still piercing through.I get the music worked out, but I’ll be darned if the audio sound effects aren’t killing me.

Never saw this card or player in my time with the game. He seems to be calling to me with those "Come bring your money or you can't really play this game" eyes.
Never saw this card or player in my time with the game. He seems to be calling to me with those “Come bring your money or you can’t really play this game” eyes.

I put together my squad by assembling my deck of cards. Ok, that was quick, I get to move on and play! I get to figure out the wonderful nuances of the world’s favorite game. Wait, I need to edit my team, I don’t know who’s playing what position. No dice. I can’t edit the selections once I’ve made them. So, I am quickly prompted to the go to the season screen, which tells me that the highest ranked team wins a match…um, ok. No skills, no abilities, just the highest deck wins? Ok, so I click the prompt, and it takes me to a screen that asks me if I’d like to earn free credits? I only have to sit through a video…ok. I put down my phone, and I assume an ATT commercial plays. I pick up my phone, and there’s now a pop up add.

Yawn, ok, finally a game now. Well, I X out of the pop up, and apparently I’ve won the game…and my season is over. There are no scores, no chance to do anything. I’ve only assembled a deck of random cards, of which I have no clue what they do. So, here we are at the end of a “season” and I’m told I’m the coach for Tuna city for next year.

Apparently my team did much better with me as coach. Obviously! Did you see the way I stacked those random cards together? I pushed that prompt, and I watched that video. I’m headed for the Hall of Fame. One “game” played, I start a new season, and I’ve reached a pivotal moment. Keep in mind that i’ve made it through the tutorial, and I’ve seen nothing remotely resembling soccer except for a soccer ball shaped prompt, and men in soccer clothes on cards.

Ok, a new tutorial screen, where I get to know about the draw icon, it lets me know how many cards Ill draw by playing the card. Great, I’m learning. I’m able to put together my deck of seven once more, and I notice a new card! It shows what looks like a train or bus terminal, with a bag left unaccompanied near the seats. Someone really needs to notify TSA. Moving on, I assemble my deck once more. This time, I notice I can look at my cards and see their information, so I look at this apparently all new deck, and I pull up the most plentiful card of them all. A grumpy looking Italian player named Difensore. Creative! He’s Italian.

I’m liking that the game isn’t taking itself too seriously, because, I’m not either. It has an old-school feel that reminds me of those games in the 80’s and 90’s that skirted using real teams and inserted humor into their games. Ok, so good old Difensore doesn’t have any special abilities, so I move on to other cards in the deck to assemble my unstoppable one-game-wonders. After figuring out that I can look at my cards, I find out that my TSA bag is actually a bench…with no abilities. Shame, that. Nothing worse than an empty bench with no abilities. I select another card, with a rather smug looking player named Attaccante. I have no idea where these names are coming from, but I’m going with it. Attaccante has no special abilities either, so I move into just filling the rest of my cards. Attaccante and Difensore both have card rankings of four, so I fill my deck with a couple of them. Oops. Looks like my draw is full after 4 cards, so I remove that worthless bench card. Stupid bench. Wait,  can’t edit my squad. But, I’m the coach. I only find a prompt that lets me move to the next screen. I tap the screen a few times and nothing. Has my team gone on strike? No…looks like the game has frozen…already. Ugh, back to the drawing board maybe? I’ll skip ahead to save you all from the drama of the details, and get past the play-by-play that I so dearly love.

 

Going back to the main screen, I notice on the first screen, a medal in the top left corner, which says Cadet, and under it “Showcase sad!!” Yeah, the showcase must be REALLY upset to use two exclamation points. I get through the menu to turn down that crowd noise again, and get back to trying to play. Now, I get to play season 2, and I’m told the first season needs to be deleted. Ok, that’s fine. Maybe that’s why the last session bugged out.

 

So back to build my deck. Follow hints, one swipe up moves your player into the cue, two fingers switches between players, and a double tap gets you the info on the bak of the card. Which by the way, features no stats or information. Ok, same deck it looks like, with that bench again. Guess where you’re going, bench? Straight to the…oh. Moving on. Now, season 2, I can select competitions. Even though I’m told it’s a pivotal time in May, I get to the game screen, and there are no big matches in May. But…you told me this was important.

So, I’m sent to use the remainder of my deck from the manage screen, and I’m told that all of the strength points in the league turn into points in the standings. Ok, isn’t that why we play the game and not just on paper? Or is this playing the game on paper? Ugh, mind melt here. There should be at least some kind of..match, or competition, shouldn’t there be? Even though they are cards? My remaining cards are made up of BENCH, and a scrub whose name I can’t check, because I can’t edit my selections after I’ve put them into the cue, and I have three copies of said scrub, and good old grumpy Difensore. At least he has a four ranking.

 

After all of this, I load out, and I’m told to blow the whistle, which leads me to the league screen, which is a cute old school radio TV hybrid, it looks like? I’m prompted to touch a channel button. The main screen shows there are still no big matches in May, and the previous screen shows fans cheering, a logo for Brazil…and no results. Ok. Here we have the cup final screen? Tuna City is taking on Milano. Awe!? No sweet play on words for the Milano Mascot? Why are all the other teams named after real cities, and I have to be Tuna City? Ok, here we go. I have two Difensores going for me and my, what’s his name? Oh yeah! Attaccante. Time to play some soccer. Wait…before I can press anything, it shows…a total? 2-nil? With the shot totals. This can’t be right. Now what? Is it simulating? There’s a channel button for plus, minus and power. I push the minus button because the plus is blacked out. On to the power button…ok…more “free” credits. I can gain three if I simply watch a video. Sure. A video for Boom Beach, which looks like a game where you can actually, you know, play? So, I X out of my pop-up add and find that I’ve “Hit the double” and I’m coach of the year. Why wouldn’t I be? Hello? My team is so good that they can win while I’m watching videos for other games. I’ll jump ahead some more for your sake now, because I have a feeling I know where this game is going.

 Continuing the chase

Ok, gotta jump in here. I’ve started my third season, played two games and the game does seem to be getting deeper, in a sense. There are three teams competing for the cup, and the team with the most fame wins. That’s a new metric. I’m told via prompts that I can view the teams to view their stats, or points. I cannot. At least not this first season, because the hints are active. There are well drawn logos and numbers there next to them that I can see. Yay, pretty pictures. That seems to be the theme with Football Seasons. Nice things to look at, but nothing to do. Videos, other game videos, really well drawn cards, but no actual…game. So, now the fame system has been implemented and I get a couple of new red cards with an arrogant looking ponytailed man named “Leader”. No special abilities, but he does have “talented” as his home country. Wow. I have two of those and play them, and at this point I’m honestly trying to get through to where the inevitable pay wall is that won’t let me advance until I spend some money. Looking at the pay structure for the in-app purchases in the app store earlier, they are pretty steep.

Ok, league screen now, and I’m told to push the “above ball icon” and there is no “above ball icon,” there are two below. No more walk through and play-by-play, I should’ve learned my lesson last time. I’m moving on to impressions, the good, and what I’m loathing. It’s clear that the cards are stacked against me in winning coach of the year with the same cards as last year. No way to get new cards, or change the results. This is where I get frustrated and buy credits. At least I think that’s what the game wants. It’s in my head.

 

Impressions

I’ve found a game with little purpose, and a whole lot of components that do not work. Prompts that tell you to click them, and they don’t work. Systems that are implemented, but don’t make sense and aren’t used again, and some shoddy language implementation. The sound, while solid and good quality, is ear splitting and impossible to set to a reasonable level without muting. There are also sounds in the game that sound familiar, like basic game assets, which, is understandable, this is supposed to be an indie company.

I played through, or tried to play through, the rest of season three, and even though some of the options open up with the hints off I win the season on my second try. I win the cup pretty handily after actually being able to play a couple of games with my deck, and I’m unable to advance because I didn’t win coach of the year. I was met with a pop-up add after nearly every screen, and even though I wasn’t offered another video, I have to think that my team was penalized because I didn’t watch it. The game has an annoying tendency to default to the start screen when the phone goes to sleep mode as well, as it is prone to do while I write my review.

 

I get an overall feel of, simply put, a money making opportunity here. The way the in-app purchases are set-up, and the lack of polish on this game, it can’t be anything more than a chance to funnel money. And even though I won the championship in the third year, I need to play it again? That makes zero sense. I won, shouldn’t I need to go the the 4th year? And one more note. For some ridiculous reason, even though I’ve assembled a deck of my best cards, after season two, your remaining cards, which are your worthless ones, are playing in what the game deems “big matches” against teams that show no visible cards. I lost 5-0 to the Horns Town, which had no cards showing in the default game screen in my second play-through of season 3. The next play-through I won.

There clearly wasn’t enough play testing done with the game, as there is no screen for the settings where you’re preparing your deck, you cannot exit or go back to rearrange your deck, and the game freezes if you click on the screen a couple of times. While technically not broken, and mostly playable, it skirts the line of playable and not playable. Even the default loading screen is set to the wrong proportions and the players featured are stretched taught across the screen. There are currently not enough reviews on the English or American version in the App Store. The game actually doesn’t even show up when you search for the title Football Seasons either.

Good:

Artwork is very well done. The team name was kind of cool, like your starting club, which is called Tuna City FC. Did I mention the artwork yet? The cards, while lacking in information, have great character design. I hope that most of the proceeds of this game go to the artist.

 What I’m loathing.

I could almost cut and paste most of the article into this section to be honest. I’m pretty upset at this game and about putting it in with other true indies in my ‘Instant Indie’ as well. But, I’ll go over the items again.

  • You can’t edit a deck once you’ve placed your cards
  • On screen “tips” that don’t let you read them because your screen moves too fast to next screen
  • Systems introduced, then not used again
  • Constant pop-up adds
  • Seasons that consist of one game
  • an obvious pay-wall that is gated and won’t allow you to progress through season 3. You have to make it through 7 seven seasons to unlock the next mode
  • A ridiculous pay structure
  • Little value and no real deck, no collection of cards. Unless I was able to unlock a different deck or better cards after buying something, or getting past a certain year.
  • Outside of a short tutorial that wasn’t spellchecked, you really don’t know what’s going on. One second it’s your cards’ skill, then it’s a fame system, then it’s neither? How do you get more cards when you’re doing the solo game?

Final verdict?

For what you need to spend to unlock everything for this game, I’m pretty sure you could buy a better game. You could definitely buy an older copy of Fifa for a console. It’s a shame that this game was made and wasn’t designed better. It really is. I hate to call something a money grab, because independent developers have it hard, and their job isn’t easy by any stretch. I spend a few hours researching and writing an article, and some games take years. But this game doesn’t give you a game. It gives you ways to spend money to play that game, and their methods are not new or clever. Give a decent game, make upgrades and cosmetic changes and perks available. It’s been done before and there is a template for it, and just because you’re supposedly small, which it doesn’t seem Makeitapp really is, doesn’t mean you can price things this way and be sly and sneaky in the way you make your in-app purchases. So, I don’t make the claim lightly. When the only thing that works in your game, is the in-app purchases, and the revenue generating pop-ups and videos, then what else can the game be. Stay away from Football Seasons. Far away.

Writers note:

I have a backlog of indie games that just didn’t cut it, or weren’t finished, so instead of bashing them mercilessly like a cynical ass, I didn’t write a review. I’m okay with that. Some games don’t make the grade. Sometimes indie games have quirks, or a lack of polish and it’s okay too. This is the first time that I’ve actually been frothing and loathing about a game through my blog. I planned initially to put the good and the bad, what makes me angry, but many of my games that I review, don’t make me angry, so I’ve left off the “loathing” aspect of my reviews. It’s back.

I reached out to Giulia Sergi for clarification on their in-app purchases before writing this article, and did not receive a response at the time I published. I let her them know that if an in-app purchase structure was annoying me, that it would annoy my readers as well. It’s never a good sign when developers or their PR people outright ignore your requests for information.

I also featured the app in my new article ‘Instant Indie’ along with some other games, comics etc. I also asked for the name of the phenomenal artist that worked with them, and was able to find the name Flavio Fausone and a translated interview with him here. That’s all for now kids!

Soccer fan? Have you played Football Seasons and have a different view of the game? Let me know.

Follow Richard on twitter for the latest game news and articles.

‘Instant INDIE’ or ‘Too indie this’

The instant-indie independent thought collection by Indie-and-a-jones
The instant-indie independent thought collection by Indie-and-a-jones

I’m trying out a sort of round-up via various feeds, mostly Twitter. I scour my feed and send out a call for submissions to be included. The submissions include indie comics, indie books and of course indie games. Most of what I include I’d read or play myself, and the rest some of my friends and fans should  dig. Hmm, maybe ‘Indie Dig’ would be a better title. I’ll likely do this in addition to the news/reviews/previews I’m doing, just to make sure some of the great independent content doesn’t get over looked. Remember to share with your friends to help the cause, and use the hashtag #wernd. It stands for unity-We are indie. Thanks, and read on.

Imaginary Cities

Inspired by the surreal accounts of the explorer and ‘man of a million lies’ Marco Polo, Imaginary Cities charts the metropolis and the imagination, and the symbiosis therein. I’d love to focus more on writing and literature. This is creative non-fiction.

http://www.influxpress.com/imaginary-cities/

Tales of Maj’Eyal and T-Engine4

Topdown tactical RPG rogue-like game and game engine

Cashstronauts

Another creative Canadian based Developer. Cashtronauts is a twin-stick space capitalist game with one simple goal: get rich. Sounds good to me. 16-bit-ish Borderlands meets Contra? Yeah, I’m down.

World Zombination.

“As if Pixar wrote a love letter to the zombie craze of the oughts.”

That’s my quote btw @rpdgame 🙂

Football Seasons

Football seasons is an IOS card game based on the world’s favorite game-soccer. It’s a pretty deep experience and I’m not sure there is another game like it. It’s from Italian developer Make it App, which is also a game dev. tool.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/-auKwTPyqXE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Gamercamp 2014

Great for noobs and has some great ticket prices. Seminars and some great conversation. Toronto, Ontario INTERACTIVE & GAMES FESTIVAL OCTOBER 17, 18, AND 19, 2014.

IndieGameStand 

‏@IndieGameStand 

I’m getting this and installing this today hopefully. Grim’s Journey looks fun and well done. Hoping it’s easy to put down, because I REALLY need to get some reviews done. Go now and download.

On Sale! – ‘Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey’ for PC, Mac + DRM-Free! Save 20%! https://indiegamestand.com/store/1133/letter-quest-grimms-journey/ … #indiegame #gamedeals

Follow Richard on Twitter and Facebook to get more news and exclusive game content.

“Nindies” showcased by Nintendo at IndieCade

 

 

 

Fans gather around one of the newest "Nindie" Games "Sportsball"
Fans gather around one of the newest “Nindie” Games “Sportsball”

 

It seems Nintendo is paying more attention to indie games than ever before. Nintendo has promised to be more competitive when it comes to its online store, and the games featured at the Culver City, California event Oct. 10-12th are a prime example of them following through on that promise. Nintendo brought 15 games to the event. Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s vice president of Licensing, had this to say about Nintendo’s approach to independent games.sportsball-box-art-print

“These Nindie developers are currently making some of the most exciting and imaginative games out there, and Nintendo is pleased to offer them multiple platforms to bring their creative ideas to life.”

Nintendo is definitely taking indie game makers more seriously than Microsoft has, and is working to make it easier to get good games into the hands of its customers. Making these games available to their fanbase not only enhances the number of 3rd party games, which Nintendo has been seriously lacking for years, but it also gives creative game makers a new market their games. Many of these game have been forced to compete with the vast sea of games available on Steam. It also enhances the types of games Nintendo is known for. Wii and Wii U owners are typically thought of as casual gamers, and most of Nintendo’s offerings as a game maker have been cartoony and family oriented. With darker and quirkier games sometimes aimed at gamers with different tastes, Nintendo can possibly add more games that appeal to hardcore gamers. This is essential to future success for the Wii U, which is actually a fantastic and under-appreciated console.

He doesn't wear white after Labor day. Or any other day. Meet the Black Knight from "Shovel Knight."
He doesn’t wear white after Labor day. Or any other day. Meet the Black Knight from “Shovel Knight.”

 

Here are some of the “Nindie” games that were featured by Nintendo at IndieCade 2014. You’ll notice on the list one of my personal favorite games of the year, “The Fall.” you can read my review and impressions here The Fall Review by . I’m interested to see if ‘Over thY Moon’ games was able to utilize any of the Wii U’s second screen features. Let’s hope so, because More of “The Fall” is certainly a good thing.

Fall into the dark and thought provoking world of "The Fall."
Fall into the dark and thought provoking world of “The Fall.”

There are also a couple of other games of note that I’m interested. “Sportsball” looks really quirky and charming, while I’ve been wanting to get my hands on “Shovel Knight” too. Affordable Space Adventures looks like it could be fun also.

I’ve added also added random pictures for Shovel Knight and other games through the post for your viewing enjoyment.

This is the strange looking Treasure Knight featured in "Shovel Knight" for Nintendo Wii U
This is the strange looking Treasure Knight featured in “Shovel Knight” for Nintendo Wii U

 

Wii U
  • Affordable Space Adventures from KnapNok Games: A 2D side-scrolling spaceship simulator. Players use the Wii U GamePad controller as a “Heads-Down Display” in the spaceship cockpit. Play it alone, or fly as a crew of two or three players. Exclusively on Wii U.
  • The Fall from Over the Moon Games: The Fall is a unique blend of adventure-game puzzle solving and side-scrolling action. Players take on the role of ARID, the artificial intelligence onboard a high-tech combat suit.
  • Costume Quest 2 from Midnight City: Pick a fight with demented dental soldiers in Costume Quest 2, the sequel to the hit original RPG, Costume Quest. Includes a range of new features and game-play improvements.
  • Stealth Inc. 2 from Curve Digital: Players step into the role of a clone escaping a sinister and high-tech testing facility in this puzzle-platformer. The game tests brainpower and reflexes in more than 60 levels linked together by a detailed world. Exclusively on Wii U.
  • Swords & Soldiers II from Ronimo Games BV: Like its predecessor, Swords & Soldiers II is a side-scrolling strategy game that allows players to buy units, cast spells and build structures to overwhelm their enemies on a 2D battleground. Exclusively on Wii U.
  • Runbow from 13AM GamesRunbow is a party action game for up to nine players. Platforms and obstacles appear and disappear as the background color changes, so players have to think fast, stay alive and make it to victory in Run, King of the Hill and Arena modes. Exclusively on Wii U.
  • Sportsball from TOO DX: Up to four players take the reins of exotic birds that flap, tackle and dunk balls into the net for points and glory, leaving their opponents as feathery tarred balls of shame. Exclusively on Wii U.
  • Chariot from FrimaChariot is a physics-based co-op platformer in which a brave princess and her suitor carry a funeral wagon through ancient caves to bury the King’s remains in a gold-filled tomb.
  • Beatbuddy from THREAKS: The action-adventure Beatbuddy combines puzzle solving and enemy vanquishing with exploration, set to an original soundtrack.
Nintendo 3DS
  • Woah Dave! from Choice Provisions: In Woah Dave!, players gun for digital glory by slaughtering aliens, stealing their loose change and racking up the highest score possible.
  • Xeodrifter from Renegade Kid LLC: A story of an interstellar drifter traveling the stars on a simple mission of exploration, Xeodrifter offers classic 2D platforming, shooting and exploration game play that will test players’ skills. Exclusively on Nintendo 3DS.
Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
  • Shovel Knight from Yacht Club Games: A sweeping classic action-adventure game with intense platforming, memorable characters and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. Play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest!
  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse from WayForward: Set sail for adventure with Shantae, the belly-dancing, hair-whipping half-genie. When Shantae loses her genie magic, she must team up with her arch nemesis Risky Boots and become a pirate in order to save Sequin Land from an evil curse. Exclusively on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

ASA Box Art

The Yawhg Review: an elegant and profound masterpiece

Adventure awaits
Adventure awaits

Many days as a child I spent locked away in a windowless room. Punished for something or another I did as a child with a vivid imagination and undiagnosed ADHD, I found solace in comic books, old books about chivalry and choose your own adventure books. I was able to transport myself to another place through my decisions and the imagination of another. As an adult, those moments are incredibly hard to find. I’m excited to have found one of those moments with The Yawhg.

The Yawhg is a sort of “Choose your own Adventure” tale for Windows. Labeling it as such I’m afraid is to undersell The Yawhg and its innate ability to move in a quiet and disarming way though. It is a co-op adventure fairytale with adornments stripped away. Although magic exists, it often performs in humorous ways and is used sparingly. Although I read somewhere in the materials for The Yawhg that the game is good for sitting in a room full of people and experiencing it together, I found it best enjoyed alone with the sound very loud and played through headphones. The sound as a matter of fact, is something I’ll be expanding upon shortly.Yawhg logo

A tale of 4 different characters in a town like many in the days of yore, you are tasked with day to day life, moving from assignment to assignment and choosing what you would do in certain situations. In between quests you are warned about an impending disaster, but you and your other characters carry on as though it isn’t happening. It’s  similar to how we deal with tragedy that ominously stalks our real lives. We go to the pub or tavern, we pursue gold and other things. The game really took off for me, when it was over, or ending.

 

A Grim Fairy Tale

The atmosphere is really cemented with the playful and understated artwork that graces The Yawhg. It is used perfectly, and the way in which you navigate the world feels perfectly suited for an ebook. The true hero of the tale in my opinion is the sound design by Ryan Roth. The songs are reminiscent of Iron and Wine for the most part, though electronic strings do ebb and surge in parts, and are a pleasant counterpoint to the scratchy and reverb draped acoustic guitars. The wonderful vocals of Halina Heron remind me of a younger, more spritely Beth Gibbons. Subtle, with an ability to sway and nearly explode with little notice. I am listening to her sound cloud as I write this review, and go back and forth between her page and the page of Mr. Roth. I can’t seem to stop playing Oceans. It loops and I am quietly in a state of contented joy.

Though the experience of The Yawhg can be had in a very short amount of time, 20 minutes even, its effects last. I found it a requirement to write Damian as soon as I finished it to tell him how moved I was with it. As mentioned earlier, the game, or experience, truly takes off when it is ending and the life you led up to when The Yawhg arrives, and what you do after is what struck me most profoundly. Your character’s life is summed up in a few sentences in eulogy form.

What I’m Loathing

Nothing. Nothing at all. I do wish there was more of it, but I adore this game.

The Verdict

It is striking in its subtlety, and I wanted more of it. The Yawhg is more of an experience than a game or adventure. It can be enjoyed with others, and should be shared if possible. The Yawhg is a testament to what can be done when a few people with beautiful minds and talents converge. Buy the Yawhg.

 

I will retire to my room with a view now as an adult, and float off to a far away place again thanks to The Yawhg.

I was provided a review copy via Steam by Damian Sommer.

FinalGrade8

Please find the information below and read more about the game and the people that made it.

 

Credits
Damian Sommer
Game Designer, Programmer, WriterEmily Carroll
Artist, WriterRyan Roth
Sound DesignerHalina Heron
Musician

 

Developers:

Damian Sommer
Toronto, Canada

Emily Carroll
Vancouver, Canada

Release date:

May 30th, 2013

Platform:

Windows

Website:

TheYawhg.com

Regular Price:

USD $10.00

Preorder Price:

USD $5.00 until release

Damian’s Website
damiansgames.comEmily’s Website
emcarroll.comRyan’s Website
dualryan.com