Link Dump Friday №283


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraI, uh. Had a whole opening planned here. It was pretty clever. Lots of jokes, carefully constructed like a dwarven masterwork, a little cutting pop culture commentary, a truth about the universe that would have changed your life... yeah. It was pretty awesome. But then the first news item on this entry happened and I... uh... bye!

Defender's QuestLike You Needed Another Excuse to Play Again Level Up Labs unleashes with a sword of +10 against productivity with this anticipated Gold release of their smash-hit RPG/adventure/tower defense hybrid Defender's Quest. The game, which strikes a near-perfect balance between serious fantasy and some of the funniest humour around, is one of those rare titles, indie or otherwise, that I find myself drawn back to play compulsively again and again. The update is free, though if you haven't already bought the game, the price is now $9.99USD... and trust me, I can't recommend it enough, so try the free browser demo. The full changelog can be found here, but this is basically a huge update, with tons of new content, artwork, and even a new game mode on top of a bunch of bug fixes. You can't go wrong, and as soon as I'm done with you fine smelling folks, I'm hitting it up myself. See ya!

Sir, You Are Being HuntedRelease the Mechanical Hounds! We've talked before about Big Robot's upcoming first-person open-world survival game Sir, You Are Being Hunted, and now we can finally take a look at the first trailer! Though somewhat light on action, it showcases some fantastic landscapes and really highlights the eerie, oppressive (and somewhat surreal!) atmosphere of the game. About what you'd expect in a title where you're a human being hunted for sport by dapper robots and their hounds! Sir, You Are Being Hunted hits next year for PC, Mac, and Linux, and we couldn't be more excited. Check out the forums for even more details, and start whipping yourself into robot-fighting shape now.

In Verbis VirtusFus Ro ABRACADABRA! Indomitus Games is betting you love yelling at stuff, because they're hard at work on something neat. In Verbis Virtus is a first-person action puzzle adventure where you play as a wizard who speaks incantations to cast spells... literally! You need a microphone to play, since it's your voice that must correctly pronounce and trigger the magic you want to cast. It's a clever idea, and one can only hope someone will eventually mod in a little Hermione Granger to nag us on our proper pronunciation ("It's levi-O-sa, not levio-SA"). If you've got a mic, give the demo a try, and we can just pretend you haven't been waiting all your life to incinerate someone with a word.

Knock-KnockWho's th-OH DEAR SWEET CELESTIA! Ice-Pick Lodge's upcoming survival horror "hide-and-seek" game Knock-Knock has already been successfully funded on Kickstarter, but there's still time to donate, and the game is so neat in concept we had to share it with you folks. You play a hermit with a house in the woods which is, at night, beset by all manner of horrible creatures, and it's your task to stay alive, and sane, until sunrise by finding ways to keep them out, avoid the ones already inside, and maintain the house that you get to build yourself! The style is gorgeous and the concept deliciously ghoulish, and with ports for iOS and Android planned if they reach a certain point, you'll definitely want to invest some time in checking this one out.

Worlds BeyondEverything Old is New Again Like retro RPGs? So does Bridge Unit Orzo, and they're hoping you'll help them make their classic sci-fantasy RPG title Worlds Beyond become a reality! Within the story, the universe has collapsed into nothingness, leaving only a few people trapped in one remaining pocket of existence, wondering if there are others out there... until the day Cody and his friend Kira uncover a conspiracy surrounding a new technology. The vibe is distinctly old-school, with combat and gameplay inspired by everything from the early Phantasy Star series, to Final Fantasy, and even Super Mario RPG, which is kind of like shooting a nostalgia-laden dart straight into the heart of any gamer pushing 30. They're asking for $20,000.00USD, with $1,406.00USD raised and 36 days to go as of this writing, and a donation of $10.00USD is enough to get you a digital copy of the game once it's released. It looks fantastic, so check it out!

Do you know an upcoming indie project or some community gaming related news you think deserves some attention? Send me an e-mail with LINK DUMP FRIDAY in the subject line at dora AT casualgameplay DOT com with the info, and we'll judge it with the all-seeing glare of our own self-importance for inclusion in a future Link Dump Friday article!

3 Comments

FINALLY got to download my DQ Gold upgrade today. Holy moly--how is this thread not pages long by now? This game rocked before--now it's epic. I am replaying from scratch so that I can get back into the story and my day has been sucked away. They did an awesome job!

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I've a serious question that doesn't seem to fit anywhere else on the site, or re: a specific game. (Off the top of my head, Golem and Dr. Stanley's House 2 are examples.) So I'll take a chance and ask it here --

Are raters giving fewer mushrooms for escape/adventure games that they have difficulty solving? As in, the puzzles are solid, the gameplay is smooth, the story is compelling: all else equal. I have noticed over the past few years that some quality games that -- at the height of the escaper craze -- would have garnered five mushrooms easily are now running towards the fours, or even threes.

(When the end-of-year awards came along, that was why I *didn't* stump for some of my favorites, because I assumed the community hadn't overlooked them. I was wrong on several counts. I almost want to ask if it's possible to hide the original mushroom rating or even temp-hide the comments if the game's nominated.)

This just seems counter-intuitive. The point of making a puzzle game isn't always to make it easy. It takes more time and energy to make a quality game, and I just get the feeling that developers aren't being rewarded for that. Like if Submachine 2 had dropped in today with no name-recognition or publicity, would it make the same splash? I don't know... this could just be my own perception. Pick a category and sort by rating -- scroll beyond the first page -- and y'all can decide for yourselves.

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elle Author Profile Page September 15, 2012 5:51 PM replied to Shudog

It does seem that way sometimes, doesn't it? I don't know that answer in general difficulty terms but specifically I see players will rate down a game if the puzzles aren't logical or if the clues are far too esoteric or arbitrary.

As for the escape games: they've improved a lot over the years. Little complaints we overlooked because we just assumed we had to put up with, say, pixel hunting, are now big complaints because, it turns out, there are ways to make escape games much better! So, now we want that better.

You might get a clearer idea why a game is being down-rated if you ask your question on that game's page. Even if it's a general "all games" question, if it's related to that game as well, it wouldn't be considered off topic. At least, not from my perspective as a moderator.

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Crossy Road> Dora Endless arcade action meets classic Frogger style gameplay in this free iOS game where you control a series of hapless unlockable creatures trying to cross some very busy and very deadly roads and rapids. With a sense of humor and vibrant voxel graphics, it's both charming and hard to put down.  ...
Find the Escape-Men Part 126: The Special Property> Dora The apartment in this escape game's rent is suspiciously low, and there's a weird smell here too... so it's probably not a good sign your realtor has locked you inside! Experience a whole lot of weirdness (and a jump scare or two) in this very silly game from no1game.  ...
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Natural Selection 2> Johnny123 Your cute little spider-ball is hungry. Use the mouse to shoot strands of webbing to pull him around each level, catching and ensaring flies and avoiding the angry bees that chase you through each level.  ...
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This War of Mine> Dora In this compelling and grim indie simulation, you control a group of survivors struggling to get by day to day in an increasingly dangerous city that's turned into a war zone. As the days pass, you're forced to push the limits of what you're comfortable with in order to survive, and rather than glorifying war for heroics, This War of Mine humanizes it for its people.  ...

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