Salutations, voyager of the web! Welcome to another Link Dump Friday, where we've got more than a thing or two for you this week, and all of them are awesome.
News and Previews
Hello, Old Friends Wadjet Eye's indie point-and-click adventure Blackwell series of games is about as good as you can get, and the next chapter is on its way for a release later this year. Aimed for Fall, Blackwell Epiphany is the latest installment of paranormal mysteries surrounding everyone's favourite ginger psychic and her smart-alec gangster ghost sidekick. Though details are scarce now, it sounds like Joey and Rosa will be going up against their most dangerous foe yet... an unknown force that can actually destroy souls. Stay tuned for more details!
Putting Pain in Your Palms and Living Room I'm not sure how wise it is to put a game so intensely frustrating and twitchy as Hotline Miami in a tiny device you could hurl out a window in a fit of pike, but that's what's happening this Spring as the disturbing smash-hit action adventure heads for both the Playstation 3 console and PS Vita. No word on pricing yet, but if you've been wanting for a game you can break out when company's over and stand a good chance of horrifying everyone in the room, thus testing their awesomeness by crucible of unspeakable violence, you'll get your chance soon.
It Ain't All Fun and Games While games undoubtably entertain, they can be used to deliver a message too, and that's the whole point behind Depression Quest, a pay-what-you-want (or completely free, if you like) bit of interactive fiction from Zoe Quinn and writer Patrick Lindsey. Intended to help spread awareness and understanding about depression, the game leads you through the life of someone suffering from it, showing you through play and character interaction how huge an impact it can have on virtually every aspect of your life, and how hard it can be to pull out of it. While far from the most cheerful game out there, we believe it's important to allow our players to make their own choices about the content they experience, and if something can open your eyes, shine a little light, or just remind someone that you're not the only one out there, then it deserves a mention.
Now Yelling at Your Monitor IS Productive! When he's not busy being part of my ultimate zombie survival dream team, Wil Wheaton does a lot of cool stuff, and the Kickstarter for There Came an Echo, an upcoming PC strategy game you control with your voice, is a prime example. Created by the talented Iridium Studios, the folks behind Sequence, it's a sci-fi game about a young cryptographer whose newest algorithm puts his life in danger when it turns out to hold a shocking secret. Though intended and built primarily for voice-recognition, the game will allow you to play with the keyboard if you so desire... which might wind up being for me unless I can reign in my charming habit of uncontrolled nonsense profanity aimed at pixelated characters whenever I do something wrong. Planned for a mid-2014 release, this is one of those rare strategy games aiming to deliver a punchy story as well, and definitely worth checking out.
Dream On We're not done with Jonas Kyratzes' Lands of Dream just yet, and thank goodness for that! Funding has begun for the next chapter in vivid adventure series, Ithaka of the Clouds, where two trolls in love will journey across the fantastic world of Kyratzes' design seeking the titular city. Promising both crafting and multiple solutions to puzzles alongside the same things you've come to expect from a Lands of Dream game (puns, fantasy, huge adventures, at least SOME tears), this should be a game you should have your eye on immediately and consider donating to if you want to continue to support Jonas' work. With a projected release date 6-8 months after funding and a whole lot of gorgeous incentives for donating, this is an exciting project by a respected developer we can't wait to see completed.
Never Trust a Demon This puzzle RPG hybrid has been out in Japan for a while now, but Fruit Bat Factory wants to localize it for overseas players with their Indiegogo campaign for 99 Spirits. Centering around a girl named Hanabusa in medieval Japan who possesses a magical sword that would let her slay spirits (right up until one claiming to be her father destroyed it), the game combines puzzle mechanics in its battles that will help you defeat enemies as well as a system to train them and use their abilities for themselves. It looks absolutely fantastic, and if you're a fan of bright RPGs that play on Japanese lore, you'll want to check this one out for sure.
The Only Harlem Shake Video That Should EVER Be Apparently something called the "Harlem Shake" is a thing, but I don't know why because I thought we had all agreed to stop that after Gangnam Style. The thirty-second ridiculous dance is everywhere, but one unlikely hero is putting a stop to it in this video... and all he wants in return is to do sanity-shattering things to your mind, body, and soul! Be sure and thank him when you get the chance. Make sure you make eye contact when you do. Long eye contact. He likes that.
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!