Do you want the good news, or the bad news? Well, unfortunately, this week on Link Dump Friday you're getting both, but we'll get the rotten bit out of the way first. The good news, however, is actually really, really good, ranging from one very impressive milestone, to the long-awaited third installment in a classic point-and-click adventure series, and more! If that's not enough to turn your frown upside down, well there are cures for that.
News and Previews
This is the End, My Friend A fighting game starring Lauren Faust's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic sounded bizarre, but after two years and a ton of promising progress, the talented folks of Mane6 were doing a lot to convert neighsayers. (Heh heh.) Unfortunately, as of this February 8th, Hasbro served the team a cease and desist, and now development on the game has been stopped for good. (Despite a surprisingly generous offer by Lauren Faust herself to provide them with some original characters to work with.) It's important to remember that this is less about greed and more about legality, as outlined in this editorial on the matter by Equestria Daily, so the amount of angry mudslinging at Hasbro for the move is sort of pointless. Understandable, though? Sure. Fighting is Magic may have been an odd concept, but the sheer amount of high quality work that went into it was inspiring and exciting, and it's a shame to see this one put out to pasture.
That's a Lot of MacGuffins Quested Ready for a shocker and to suddenly feel really, really old? Kingdom of Loathing, one of the first and arguably most popular and creative free comedic turn-based RPGs from Asymmetric Publications has turned a whopping ten years old! The game, which features a supremely bizarre sense of humour and is packed with references to anything and everything, has grown significantly since its first release (three zones and "a handful of items", according to the press release), but what's really impressive is how the game continues to be updated and supported by its creators after all these years. If you have a sense of humour and love parody on top of some surprisingly in-depth gameplay, quests, and puzzles, then you seriously need to give this game a try. Congratulations to the team for ten long, wonderful years of disco banditry, dictionaries, Holy MacGuffins, and more... and here's to another ten!
Pay Money to Scream Yourself Hoarse It's coming. On March 26th, Parsec Productions and Blue Isle Studios will release Slender: The Arrival, their hotly anticipated commercial reworking of the concept behind their free download game and internet phenomenon Slender, but you don't have to wait to play it. Pre-orders are now live, and paying up front not only allows you to pick it up for $5.00USD (half-off the release price of $10.00USD), but also allows you to instantly access and play the Beta version! This version of the game is, of course, more than a little buggy since it isn't final, with a lot of players reporting framerate issues as of this writing, but the team is working amazingly hard to get everything all ironed up and perfect to provide the best nightmare fuel possible.
Classic Point-and-Click Fantasy Gets a Revival The Longest Journey is one of the most underrated, fantastic point-and-click adventures of all time, delivering a compelling narrative rich in fantasy, imagination, and ridiculous puzzles. Now's your chance to fund the third chapter in the celebrated series with Red Thread Games' Kickstarter for Dreamfall Chapters. The series weaves a tale that takes you through a dystopian cyberpunk future, of sorts, and the strange magical world it's unknowingly linked to, as well as the heroes being led to save it all. There is some amazing talent behind this one, but most importantly, some serious passion and drive too, making this the sort of game fans of the series have been longing to see. Since the first two games in the series were made by Funcom, you might fear that a shift in developers would bring drastic changes, but in fact much of Red Thread Games is made up of the original team including the creator himself! If you've never played the games before, this is the perfect time to start, and fans? Start getting excited.
Reaping Ain't Easy Ambient Studios knows what you love... namely, collecting souls from the folks you've unleashed horrifying plagues and suffering on! That's why they've set up this Kickstarter for their planned PC, Mac and Linux release of their strategic sim Death Inc. You are Grim T. Livingstone, a freelance Reaper, looking to grow and expand his business (the business of death) by unleashing the plague in 17th century England. Souls you gather from inflicting various terrible unfortunate events on people can be spent in the Nether to expand your operations, upgrade your abilities, buy new hirelings, and more. The style looks great, and with a tongue-in-cheek (does the specter of death have cheeks?) sense of humour and approach to its morbid gameplay, this one could be a real winner, so be sure to check it out if quirky strategy is your thing.
Is it Still a Prison if it Has Infinite Treasure? Pixelscopic is ready to through their hat into the roguelike ring with their Kickstarter for Delver's Drop. Planned for PC and Mac as well as iOS and Android (hooray!), the game is all about playing as a scoundrel trying to escape the towering dungeon he's been imprisoned in, with randomisation, tricks, traps, monsters, and "sinister secrets" in the way. It sounds a bit conceptually like the premise behind Legend of Grimrock, but the infinite replayability and oldschool 2D action RPG gameplay could make this one a huge winner. What's interesting is that the game promises a deep, dark narrative, which isn't something you might expect from its cheery, colourful design, but if you're a fan of roguelikes, this one should definitely be on your radar.
Oh, and don't worry about your little ponies. I think I still found a place for some of them to earn their keep. Can you get a Cutie Mark in game reviewing?
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!