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!


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!


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.

elle 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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Monkey GO Happy Turkeys> Dora It's Thanksgiving day! But how can you celebrate without a feast! Help the monkeys look all over town in this point-and-click puzzle game from Pencil Kids to find everything they need, including a whole lot of apples, and the bird of honor!  ...
Hoverboard> Dora Webcomic xkcd has been around for over a decade, and to celebrate the release of his new book, creator Randall Munroe has created a very simple piece of platforming interactive art. But venture beyond the small playing field, and you'll find a much bigger world than you thought that's full of surprises.  ...
Rock 'n' Roll Escape> Dora Pine Studio serves up a short but rock-worthy escape in your browser or free on iOS and Android as you try to find your way out of a cozy, abandoned little concert venue. But with a soundtrack this catchy, will you be able to resist air-guitaring long enough to escape?  ...
Weekday Escape N°103> Dora This week on Weekday Escape! no1game gets inside your computer and asks if you WANT TO PLAY A GAME? (Maybe you should call Matthew Broderick?) MayMay isn't letting you go anywhere until you get these snails out of the yard. And Vitamin Hana turns you right 'round baby, right 'round.  ...

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