‘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

 

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Deathtrap Early Access available on STEAM

The much anticipated Deathtrap has finally made its way to STEAM early access. It’s available for a pittance at $19.99. There’s a ton of information including a video links and other goodies below provided by Neocore Games. Give your wits a test and give the game a shot.

Deathtrap Early Access Out Now on Steam!

Deathtrap Early Access Out Now on Steam!

Be clever, be quick – and show no mercy.


Budapest, Hungary – October 22, 2014 – 
Deathtrap Early Access is finally out on Steam for $19.99. Come and take part in the development, grab the Sorceress’s staff, dive into the campaign and use the map editor to create and share your own ideas of a deadly maze. The game will be updated every other week with new content so you’ll never get bored.

We believe that Early Access allows us to make Deathtrap the best possible game it can be – with the help of the players.” – says Zoltán Pozsonyi, Producer of Deathtrap. “This is our first game to feature user-generated content, so we’d like to ask for your assistance.”

Click to see the video!
http://youtu.be/qdou5WOjkO0

Deathtrap is a tower-defense game with strong action-RPG elements, a game of vicious tricks, killing machines, rotating blades and splattering blood.

Fast Facts and Links

Name: Deathtrap
Genre: Tower-defense
Developer: NeocoreGames
Publisher: NeocoreGames
Release date: Q1 2015
Price: $19.99
Platforms: Steam (Windows, Mac);
Xbox One, PS4 (coming later)
Multiplayer: Co-Op, PvP
http://deathtrapthegame.com/Facebook Facebook: /DeathtrapTheGame

Twitter Twitter: @DeathtrapGame
NeocoreGames DevBlog: devblog.neocoregames.com
twitchtvlogo
 Twitch:/neocoregames

NeocoreGames Forums: forum.neocoregames.com
YouTubelogo
 YouTube: NeocoreGamesVideos

Steam Store: /app/310510< /a>


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.

Saturday Morning RPG Review for MAC

I’m not sure how other generations deal with nostalgia, but I know mine is pretty crazy for it. The unnamed, or generation X is pretty serious about reliving its younger days. Re-makes and de-makes and rehashed material is rampant in Hollywood and dominates the indie scene as well. I’ve ranted and gone on about my own spending sprees to acquire random crap from my childhood, and once I thought it was through and dealt with, I came across Saturday Morning RPG.

The game released not too long ago on Steam for Mac, and I was allowed access to a review copy and immediately went to work. I have to admit that I played it pretty steadily for a few days for enjoyment and wasn’t taking notes for the review. I’m okay with that, the same thing happened with a couple other games that I’ve reviewed and enjoyed.

You play as Marty Michael Hall (Marty McFly and Anthony Michael Hall anyone?) and Marty is granted a serious power, and as a high school student, has serious issues dealing with it. With great power comes great…yeah, once he gets the power he draws the attention of some serious 80’s villain and his minions. Saving the world, stopping the Commander and getting Molly Ringwald free and able to fall in love with him are all in order here.

The callbacks and outright patronage of the 80’s, and even the early 90’s are all charming and not at all overbearing. I laughed out loud the first time I opened my trapper keeper, and had a blast riding around on my hoverboard. Over the top 80s styled guitars scream and wail and you can nearly feel the chill of the cold war emanating from your screen when you play.

The game has almost a Zelda feel when traveling in between locations and battles play out in JRPG fashion. Charging up and picking the correct power to  use is important. You can select form several different powers Marty can use, some with hilarious effects. I can’t get enough of charging unicorns personally. Traveling in the over world is also very JRPG, and is reminiscent of games like Final Fantasy. The battles are initiated when you venture close enough to enemies, and thankfully random encounters are excluded.

You move from episode to episode, building your power as you go and unlocking cutscenes with speech bubbles. It’s truly everything you would want from a game from guys who truly love the 80’s. I only wish Saturday Morning RPG was available when I was a kid. It really makes all of the little improvements that needed to be made with games you enjoyed as a kid.

It is so hard to keep from pointing out all of the charming elements and the callbacks to the 80’s. This game is chock full of clever quotes and things that bring you back to Fast Times at Ridgemont, Back to the Future, Transformers and other.

The Verdict

finalgrade 8

Saturday Morning RPG is a fun jaunt through memory lane, but is also deep and engaging enough to pull in others who weren’t raised in the decadent 80’s. An accessible but deceptively battle system, great music and writing all combine to make Saturday Morning an 8/10. We’re looking forward to bigger things from Mighty Rabbit Studios in the future. Pick it up when you can.