Ever wanted to do something, found out how unbelievably overwhelming the task would be, then decided it'd be a better idea to stay home and have a sandwich? Our hapless knightly protagonist in Climb to the Top of the Castle knows that feeling all too well, only in his case, sandwiches probably haven't been invented yet, and he's got a king breathing down his neck pretty much forcing him to haul his armored rear to the top of the castle and save the princess. Did we say "castle"? Because really, it's pretty much a mountain!
It is up to a green cosmic wanderer with a chain grapple arm to rescue some grounded birds from certain destruction in this retro adventure grapple game. Ladd Spencer (think classic grapple game...) may have had it rough, but the Chain Champ here has to swing over boiling lava pits, dodge pitfalls, and focus on collapsing grapple surfaces. A quick casual game packed with loads of gameplay, chiptune sound effects, and helpless birds to keep you swinging during a lazy afternoon.
If you grew up in an age where dithering was a a common graphical trick to get around color limitations and were excited when CGA was succeeded by EGA which gave way to VGA, just seeing a screenshot of You Have to Win the Game will turn you mad with nostalgia. The exploration platformer from Pirate Hearts shares a lot of design elements with Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV, Lyle in Cube Sector, and Celestial Mechanica, though its main trick is emulating the computing environment of a decades-old PC. But even if you don't get excited by 16-color CRT monitors, You Have to Win the Game is a thoroughly enjoyable ride!
Become a mare of action in this crazy but colourful homage to the classic bullet-hell shooter series. Playing as Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash, blast your way through fields of bizarre enemies, mini-bosses, and more with frantic action you'll need to be at least 20% cooler than most to pull off. This free download might be simple, but it's an excellent source of shooter gameplay to make you feel like a boss and get your heart pounding.
We are not alone. Life has been discovered on Mars, but it's nothing like we ever expected to encounter. In this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind moody action adventure game for iOS, you'll journey deep into the red planet and uncover the secrets buried within its soil. Discover new life forms and challenging puzzles that force you to use the environment to your advantage as you help the planet grow... and ultimately decide its fate.
The best games are ones that make you believe you are a part of one story, while another story plays out quietly behind the scenes. In The Ultimate Celebration, a poignant indie platformer from Brian Soulliard, you play a jolly little Party Dude who's only desire is to throw a party for all 20 of his friends. In the real world, you would just call them up on their cell phones and invite them, but where's the fun in that?!
Imagine yourself serving as a communications officer in the German Wehrmacht, during World War II, doing your duty in an underground bunker. After developing a mysterious sickness, you are quarantined in solitary confinement. That was a few days ago, and you haven't heard from anyone (including the mysterious Dr. Klein, who put you here in the first place) since. Sound intriguing? It is, and with the release of Escape The Bunker: 1944 by LeviW, you can experience it firsthand. But, you know, in a non-terrifying-life-ending sort of way.
A lonely, lost robot wakes up to find itself floating towards a strange island. It has no memory of where it came from or what it's doing, but as the little raft touches stable ground, it does what any amnesiac creature might do: runs forward to see what's out there. Gear World may not be the most original concept this side of Cave Story, but the hyper-difficult platforming action and carefully designed levels more than make up for the conventional setting.
Bam! Caught ya! Being stealthy is something we all do when creeping around the kitchen at night, going for that last piece of cake before anyone else in the house gets a crack at it. In Stealth Bastard, a stealth platform game from Curve Studios, moving around unseen is what it's all about. Instead of getting busted and forfeiting half a slice of cake, though, you get blasted to pieces by a robot laser the size of your torso. Ouch!
Yahtzee is back, and this time he's offering his take on Metroidvania in Poacher, an action-adventure platformer. Join wabbit-hunter Derek Badger as he stumbles into an ancient conflict far below the Earth's surface. Expect some killer difficulty in this effective combo of humor and horror.
An early-release demo of a game that's been in production for several years and is still a work in progress, Vertex is on track to be the next massive-hit metroidvania. Inspired by the likes of Cave Story, Chrono Trigger, Spelunky and Super Metroid, Vertex drops you in a world that encourages exploration with multiple branching non-linear paths, upgrades, an RPG-like equipment menu, item shop, and much more. The game already looks and sounds fantastic, and the demo is nice and meaty, so you won't feel sleighted when it ends. You will, however, want more, and with any luck, that dream will come true soon enough!
Slightly abstract, visually mesmerizing, easy to play, challenging to master. Waveform is just the sort of arcade experience you would expect from an indie developer. Eden Industries has created a captivating game using little more than a controllable waveform. As you weave through each level, your goal is to nab the highest score possible by manipulating a wave as it bounds through space, gathering light particles and growing stronger with each leg of the journey.
The latest in the "absolutely amazing" sub-category of platform adventures, Out There Somewhere from MiniBoss puts you in a world of not-so-intelligent aliens (well, there are a few smart ones), falling blocks, massive pits of lava, mysterious sky-facing beams of light, and seemingly impassable corridors, all standing between you and the pieces you need to fix your ship. Explore a non-linear world filled with puzzles and passageways, using your teleportation gun in some very crafty ways.
What happens when you give Mario a portal gun? A mish-mash of two extraordinarily recognizable games — Super Mario Bros. and Portal — with a whole lot of extras. Mari0 puts you in control of our favorite pixellated plumber as he goes on his famous adventure from the mid-1980s, only this time, he's got the power of portals on his side!
The Lost Vikings is a great game; one of the best puzzle platformers ever. But haven't you ever wished that it had more... zombies? Well good thing for you Gentleman Squid has come along and developed just that. In Three Dead Zed, you play as a zombie who has three forms, each with its own abilities. Your job is to jump, climb and attack your way to the end of the level to rescue some defenseless beings.
Arche is worried about fitting in. Her family has just moved to the little hamlet of Tonkiness to open an item shop, and it turns out her dreams of learning magic may be short lived once she discovers she needs an expensive elemental stone to even practice at her new school. But a simple rumour might lead her on to a much bigger adventure than she ever imagined in this beautiful but difficult action platforming RPG.
Originally released in mid-2011 by indie game creator E. Hashimoto (Buster), Hydra Castle Labyrinth is an old school-styled platform adventure that was previously only available in Japanese. A brave soul recently translated the game to English, and now the cute metroidvania title is available for a much wider audience to enjoy. And enjoy it ye shall!
Dustforce is a speed-centric acrobatic platform game from Hitbox Team. A demo first appeared back in 2010, showing off the concept and basic design. Since then, the game has undergone some silent but effective changes, improving upon the controls and adding loads of content to sweep through. It's a fast, combo-centric arcade experience that emphasizes speed and perfection, and thanks to the online highscore boards and per-level badges, you'll be strangely compelled to keep playing until everything is just right.
Rarely are there arcade shooters as epic, gorgeous, playable, and steeped in story as Jamestown. A release from Final Form, Jamestown combines stunning pixel art with a vertically-scrolling top-down shooter (shmup), all set in a 17th century colony on Mars where Spanish Conquistadors have teamed up with native Martians to keep the new settlers away. What you end up with is a superb arcade game that's easy for beginners to get into but still a challenge to master.
A crazy, multiplayer romp through a visually lush game featuring three moderately-mad fantasy characters with their own unique abilities? Show us where to sign and we'll be there! Actually, now that you mention it, Trine 2 happens to be all of the things described above, plus a whole lot more. It's got action, it's got physics puzzles, it's got both single- and online multiplayer modes, and it's got a sense of humor that will probably remind you of Magicka. It's a modern-day version of The Lost Vikings, and any gamer will be proud to experience the world Trine 2 has to offer!
Q.U.B.E.: Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion is one of those special games you don't get to see as often as you would like. It's a first person puzzle game, which is rare enough in its own right, but then you combine that with a stark method of storytelling, creative use of environmental puzzles, and an interface that's as smooth as the shiny blocks that make up the levels. What you're left with is a thoroughly satisfying game with masterfully designed puzzles from beginning to end.
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
How long has it been since you played a game of Arkanoid or any of its numerous modern-day children? A year? Five years? A billion-dy hundred years? Thought so. Tribute Games wants to fix that egregious error with Wizorb, an 8-bit-styled Arkanoid clone that adds a little bonus fun on top with the addition of magic spells, a shop, and some minor RPG elements. Sound awesome? You bet your slow-moving paddle it is!
Mining. Building. Fighting. Constructing. In the real world, all of these things are rough, painful sorts of jobs that most people aren't very interested in doing. In the gaming world, they're the Holy Grail of entertainment. Enter King Arthur's Gold, a multiplayer (with some single player, too) construction and combat game similar to Terraria, Minecraft, and hempuli's miniature masterpiece Masjin. Teamwork is the central focus of the game, and while some players will be busy mining and building, others will head out for direct combat with the enemy. How much more exciting could it get?!
Roguelike, The Legend of Zelda, a dual stick shooter, and the twisted mind of Edmund McMillen, part of the team behind Super Meat Boy. Put them all together and you've got The Binding of Isaac, a game that is as unhinged as it is entertaining, as good-looking as it is, well, disgusting. Even still, it's the kind of game you'll play through again and again, just to collect every item and explore every corner of the game's randomly-generated world.
Celestial Mechanica is a quietly impressive platform adventure (a.k.a. "metroidvania") game along the lines of Knytt Stories and the Robot Wants series of games. Created by Roger Hicks (author of rComplex) and Paul Veer (animator of Super Crate Box), it's the sort of game that sits quietly off to the side, never begging you to play it, but once you do, you'll be hooked 'til the end.
Blocks That Matter, an indie game from Swing Swing Submarine, likes to do things a little bit differently. It likes to break the rules, mix up genres, tear down that fourth wall, and borrow the best from some of the most popular games ever released and turn it into something new. Blocks That Matter is part Tetris, part Minecraft, part Dig Dug, part platformer all wrapped into one, with a cute main character leading the whole thing up that serves as the perfect gateway to a game you won't be able to get enough of.
Owners of iOS devices have been enjoying Mobigame's isometric arcade/puzzle game EDGE for over two years now. The game survived legal battles and multiple removals from the iTunes App Store to win a number of awards for mobile gaming excellence. Now, Mac and PC can come to the party! EDGE has arrived on Steam, carrying with it all the content of the mobile release with updated visuals and a new interface.
A great Calamity rocks the world, wiping out all of civlization in an instant and leaving behind only a handful of floating islands in a vast void. As the Kid, along with your ever-present Narrator as a guide, search the remnants of the world for something that might rebuild it, uncovering the truth about the Calamity (and human nature) as you do. Featuring stunning visuals, an engrossing story related in a unique, immersive fashion, and fast-paced combat with upgradeable weapons, Bastion is a top-notch indie action RPG players looking for another realm and a good story will definitely want to investigate.
Several years in the making, the darkly atmospheric (and strangely realistic) platform game LIMBO has finally migrated from console download to the PC ecosphere.Crafted by Danish studio Playdead, LIMBO drops you in a shadowy world filled with dangers, immensely difficult puzzles, and more ways to die than you would really want to count. It's an incredibly stylistic and engaging game, one that just about any player can pick up and enjoy from beginning to end.
Life isn't easy for fairies. You have to shop in the newborns' clothing section, you leave messy dust everywhere you go, people think that by shaking you around and sprinkling your dandruff on themselves that they can fly. It's a tough life! This is a situation that our heroines Chante and Elise are learning about firsthand in Chantelise: A Tale of Two Sisters, a new action-RPG developed by EasyGameStation and published by Carpe Fulgur.
Robots, man. They're the worst. Always pulling you out of your workplace and forcing you to battle them in a series of psychedelic levels, blowing you up, killing your cows. It's ridiculous. Luckily, we have Deepak, representing the everyman in the daily struggle against robo-baddies. Deepak Fights Robots, from Run-Man: Race Around the World creator Tom Sennett, is loaded with mind-bending levels, quick arcade action, more colors than a rainbow drowning in a crayon factory.
You like Dino Run SE, right? And Nanotube? Well, imagine a game that's nothing like either of those games but co-created by the makers of each. Imagining that? Now stop and check out Super Space Rubbish, a game that satisfies the wildest fantasies you've had since starting this review, and does so with a fantastic retro style. Super Space Rubbish looks a lot like the classic Asteroids game on the surface, but really it's a mining/upgrading sort of experience where you customize your ship using materials extracted from asteroids smashed with your turret.
Terraria, a new action/adventure/creativity game from Re-Logic, is perfect for a sand emperor like myself. It offers the thrill of discovery mixed with the chance to meticulously construct your own little village, city or empire. And before you think it: yes, it's a lot like Minecraft, only in 2D!
A space ship. An explosion. An escape pod. A crash. It's just you and an alien planet replete with jungle creatures who aggressively attack you, lone guy in a well-equipped spacesuit. Capsized drops you in an unfamiliar world and gives you just a few tools to survive. Fortunately, a grappling hook and a number of guns happens to be amongst these tools, the former of which is handy not only for swinging around and pulling yourself up ledges, but for grabbing and moving obstacles. Other than that, you really have to rely on your wits in this gorgeously-illustrated but challenging physics/action game.
The first time I saw my velociraptor avatar trying desperately to outrun the scary wall of doom, I was completely sold. Three years have passed since the release of that Pixeljam racing platformer, and I find myself returning to its charms again and again. However, with time comes change, modification, upgrading, evolution. So is the potent rationale for the release of Dino Run: SE... And from what I've seen so far, it won't be going extinct from my hard drive any time soon.
BIT.TRIP RUNNER is the latest in a series of loosely-related retro-styled arcade games from Gaijin. You take on the role of CommanderVideo, a blocky little guy who can run, slide, and kick like nobody's business. Work your way through over 50 stages, using rhythm-based platforming as you nail every jump, grab every pile of gold, and avoid every obstacle in your path. Because you're just that awesome.
Life in the Gemini galaxy isn't easy; war has left its mark on the lives of the people within it, but most of them are more concerned with the all-seeing eyes of the Boryokuden, a crime syndicate that seems to operate outside the law and swiftly deals with any opposition. In this top-notch adventure game, you play as Azriel Odin, a detective on the streets of New Pittsburgh, and Delta-Six, an amnesiac test subject stuck in a sinister training facility, and attempt to stay alive while you uncover a conspiracy that might hit closer to home than you suspect.
It's more than an action game meeting a role playing game. It's more than an amazing co-op experience. It's more than a collection of hilarious dialogue and geek culture references. It's Magicka, and it's the next game that will claim hours of your life. From Arrowhead Game Studios comes a hybrid title that emphasizes teamwork, alchemy-like spellcasting, and gaining an invincible knowledge of how elements work in relation to each other and the environment. Oh, and there are moose. Lots of moose.
Atom Zombie Smasher is a game about zombies. It is not, however, your typical game about zombies. Where other games about zombies might have you playing as the heroic survivor who somehow escaped infection via genetic anomaly or dumb luck, Blendo Games' latest release does not. Instead, this ridiculously innovative tower defense-like real-time strategy game will put you in the role of faceless commander charged with the evacuation of his fellow citizens. This time, you get to be the one who orders the orbital nukes!
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda is a new platform shooter from Extend Studio that's heavy on the fantastic sci-fi art as well as the action. Its gameplay is reminiscent of classic sidescrolling arcade shooters mixed with a little modern-knowhow and Metroidvania-style level design and progression. While it may feel old school in concept, the game is anything but outdated, and the heavy dose of action and exploration you'll receive will keep you in a trance for many hours.
In spite of my overwhelming lack of talent for the platform genre, I'm completely smitten with Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits, a side-scrolling platformer by Over the Top Games that proves lovely visuals do not always have to come with over-the-top full-motion videos.
Being born to a destiny of studying at the local Aztec temple isn't the most exciting of fates. But when a sacred artifact is stolen, a grand adventure quickly ensues. Our hero Huitzilo is up for the job in Aztaka, an indie action/RPG platform game from Citeremis.
Ready for another game of ambiance and intrigue from Nifflas? NightSky is the latest release from the designer/artist known for creating enchanting atmospheric settings in his games, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. It's simpler and more streamlined than Knytt Stories, but there's no shortage of challenge or variety to be had!
Meat Boy is back in his first commercial release! When the evil Dr Fetus absconds with Meat Boy's beloved Bandage Girl, he leaps to the rescue across more than 300 levels, braving saw blades, syringes, mutant blood clots, toxic waste, and much, much more. As twisted as it is charming and devious, Super Meat Boy is a fantastic and fantastically hard platformer that is tremendous fun.
Mark your calendars and set your bookmarks, Mission in Snowdriftland is back to entertain us once again with its joy-inducing classic-style platforming gameplay set against the backdrop of a cheerful holiday advent calendar. Beginning today and continuing right up through Christmas Eve, a new level will be unlocked to play each day as we march closer to that most joyous of holidays filled with presents, friends and family gatherings.
A shoot-em-up game without guns is like a library without books, or an office chair without wheels. Sure they might have some other purpose, but what fun are they without these essential little elements? Fortunately, Super Crate Box is a retro-styled platform shooter that has more guns than you can shake a stick at in the time it takes to play. (Or a katana.)
For some reason, everyone loves collecting things that are smaller than they are. We're not so much interesting in gathering buildings as we are looking at them, but if buildings were pint-sized, you can bet they'd fill our pockets like lint-covered jellybeans. Tasty Planet: Back for Seconds plays on this compulsion and puts you in control of a blob of gray goo that can eat anything smaller than it is. As you can guess, this is a dangerous thing to let loose on the Earth, but give it a time machine and all of the past and future could be in quite a pickle.
And Yet It Moves, the simple but marvelous indie release from Broken Rules, will reignite your love for video games. That, or it will cause you to shake with anger as you replay the same part of the game for the tenth time. It might even do both! The physics-centric platform adventure employs the familiar "world tilting" mechanic that allows you to rotate the entire game environment in 90 degree increments. And Yet It Moves then proceeds to do crazy and wonderful things with this, allowing you to explore a universe as strange as it is satisfying.
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
Caster is a third-person action-shooter with distinct influences from the glory days of console gaming; it cooks up some of the most-enticing features of high-energy, super-powered shooter action and serves it up on a silver platter.
If you're a fan of first person skydiving games with lots of vowels in the title, Aaaaa! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity by Dejobaan Games is right up your alley. Your goal is to make it from Point A (generally assumed to be somewhere above you) to Point B (somewhere below point A) without crushing every bone in your body. Unfortunately the skies are littered with airborne buildings and architectural oddities. And birds. And cars. And large glass plates with numbers on them.
RunMan: Race Around the World, by Tom Sennett and Matt Thorson, is a full-fledged follow-up to the RunMan series of speed-centric platform games. You control the titular RunMan who's really, really good at running. He's so good, in fact, he's entered a race to run around the world. Too bad everybody else quit when he showed up. RunMan is also an HonorableMan, however, and before he'll accept the winner's crown, he's going to earn it by running around the world on his own two little yellow feet.
Developed back in 2003 by Moonpod Games, Starscape may be considered an "oldie" by the gamer crowd, but it's a goodie. Launched as a shareware game without the distribution support that it has today, Starscape flew under the radar, gathering a respectable following slowly but surely. Today, it's been finally starting to hit the major distro sites and people are either discovering or taking a second glance at this little space shooter/strategy game created half a decade ago.
Stardrone is a genre mashup download game, featuring a mix of elements including arcade action, pinball, breakout, gravitational physics and collect-the-objects. Although it might sound a little confusing, the game simply boils down to you (a ball) lighting up stars to reach an objective, and it's remarkably fun to play!