From strategy to adventure to puzzles we've got you covered! And by "we" I of course mean the developers who actually do all the hard work and effort, myself existing solely to caper along behind them for your amusement. With everything from deliciously engineered empires to a real life escape scenario, Link Dump Friday is ready for your perusal!
News and Previews
Giving Terror the Thumbs Up Fans of things that go bump in the night, rejoice! After narrowly missing the mark last time, the upcoming indie horror adventure Huntsman: The Orphanage has finally been Greenlit by the Steam community! The game has had a wild ride, originally beginning life as a Slenderman game before being radically re-imagined by its team of creative developers, and if you love horror that's big on actual fear and mood instead of blood and violence then you should definitely be excited to check this one out. The Huntsman can't wait to meet you either!
Now With Extra Madness! Klei Entertainment's gorgeous indie survival adventure Don't Starve just keeps getting better. Focusing on learning the rules of and surviving in a hostile and surreal environment after you're teleported into it by a demon with only the clothes on your back, it's a difficult but rewarding game that's by turns both freaky and hilarious. As it inches towards its official full release date of late March, it continues to get substantial content updates, such as the recent "A Winter's Tale", "Insanity", and "Progress" packs that make it even bigger and better than before. If you love survival simulations but always wanted one with a twist, be sure to check this one out... especially since buying now at the discounted price nets you TWO copies, so you can give one to a friend!
Pussycat, Pussycat We Love You "A cross between The Sims and Pokemon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi". Never before has one phrase made so many hearts leap with giddy anticipation... especially considering that the person who said it was Edmund McMillen, finally describing at length his upcoming and long-teased game Mew-Genics! The game is, essentially, about cats, in a "simulated cat lady environment", where you're trying to create the best kitties by taking in strays and the like to breed for the best traits... apparently to win top prize at cat shows. It's more than that, of course, with a heavy emphasis on behavioral conditioning, pet care, and genetic manipulation as detailed by the moderately horrifying yet intriguing gameplay tale contained in the announcement post. While there's no specific release date yet, you can look for it later this year on PC, iOS, and Android, so start stocking up on scratching posts now.
Butt Heads, For Free While we wait for the single-player campaign for Stoic Studio's upcoming stunning indie RPG/strategy game The Banner Saga, you can get a little taste for what it's all about now on Steam. The Banner Saga: Factions is a completely free-to-play multiplayer game for PC/Mac about leading a house of Vikings to glory. It looks absolutely, jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and if you're a fan of turn-based strategy you'll want to fire up Steam and give this one a try pronto!
Flans Are More Fun With Friends Leap Day is a fabulously addictive free browser multiplayer engineering logic puzzle game masquerading as an adorable strategic simulation where you build a kingdom of loyal Flans to save the land from frigid darkness. This most recent update adds the ability to invite specific friends to play games with you, which will doubtless come in handy when you're trying to secretly evaluate which of your friends and family will be suitable to help you rebuild your post-apocalyptic utopia. If you haven't already played it, you really need to give it a try, because this is one of the smartest, cutest, funnest-est games around, and there need to be more "free to play" titles like it.
The Sweet Thereafter Puzzle adventure games have been around forever, captivating people around the globe. Now White Lotus Interactive wants to throw their hat into the ring with XING: The Land Beyond, conjuring up impressions of Myst and Dear Esther in the process. It's a first person experience as you travel through the afterlife, using powers to manipulate the environment around you to help you proceed. Interestingly, XING (which I'm having fun pronouncing as "Zing!" and "Ex-ing") says it will have no dialogue, no subtitles, no narrative whatsoever beyond some "poetry and cryptic inscriptions", which means this might be one of those games where the meaning is what you make of it. Head on over to its official Kickstarter to learn more!
A Dream is a Puzzle Your Mind Makes Dreams are weird, and Bedtime Gaming wants to take that to the next level with Back to Bed, a 3D puzzle game for iPad/PC/Mac/Android/Linux/OYUA about manipulating bizarre environments to help a sleepwalker get safely back home. Bob has narcolepsy and a habit of falling asleep in dangerous places, but his subconscious, Subob, played by you, can help protect him both in dreams and the real world. It's a clever concept and makes for a gorgeously gonzo little game, as you can see by playing the free browser demo! While the demo is just twelve levels, the new version is planned for thirty, with stages taking place in both dreams and reality. This could be the wonderfully quirky little puzzler you've been looking for, so be sure to check it out.
In Real Life, There Are No Changing Cursors Ever wanted to see how you would do in an escape-the-room scenario in real life, only without being trapped by a murderous madman and winding up a Lifetime Original Movie? Well, thanks to Escape from the Mysterious Room, you can! A real-life escape game set up in San Francisco's Japantown and put together by SCRAP, you and ten other people will be put into a locked room full of devious puzzles and clues you'll need to use your deductive reasoning to solve. It's not free, with tickets $33.00USD at the door, but kids six and under are free when accompanied by an adult, so this sounds like something the whole family could enjoy.
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!