Is anyone out there? With Torchlight 2 finally releasing this week, we expect dust to be gathering on everything that isn't monster-slaying related, but that doesn't mean the news stops coming!
The World is Just Awesome Though not actually a game, webcomic xkcd's homage to the vastness and complexity of our world is too cool not to share. Titled Click and Drag, you need to do just that on the last panel, and in doing so uncover an absolutely massive map filled with tiny details that range to the ordinary, to the sublime, to the frightening, and even the heartbreaking. Scrolling through it all will take you a long time, and if you like, you can check out this fan map to save time, but it really is worth going through and checking out all the little details. Remember, gang. The internet and video games are great, the world is just awesome. Boom-de-a-da!
Even More Amazons and Adventures If you enjoyed the lengthy visual novel RPG adventure Loren the Amazon Princess from Winter Wolves, you've got another excuse to play it again with the recent release of The Castle of N'Mar, an expansion that adds more quests, romance, and even some vampire excitement! You do need to own Loren to play, and the content unlocks past a certain point in that game, but if you're a fan of text-heavy adventures with strategic battles, you'll definitely want to do yourself a favour and check this one out. I haven't played this yet myself, but I personally enjoyed Loren the Amazon Princess a great deal, and am still looking forward to that heavily implied sequel that's far off on the horizon!
Hey, You Got Your Dungeon Crawling in My Platformer! Lone Survivor creator Jasper Byrne has a new game in the works... so new it doesn't even have a name! It wants to combine elements of dungeon-crawling, science-fiction, and even "whimsical" platforming... or, as he puts it, "Zelda/Demon's Souls". Further details are still sketchy and vague, but given the creativity and talent of the creator, you can bet this is going to shape into something special. More details as they come!
Set Sail For Awesome Coming July of 2013 for PC, Mac, and Linux, Clairvoire's sea-exploration simulation adventure Sealark is already funded on Kickstarter, but looks so neat we'd be remiss if we didn't tell you about it. Inspired by Earthbound, Homestuck, Cave Story, and even Harvest Moon, it follows a girl named Dove who is one of the last fishermen in the world, and discovers a strange boat while out at sea one day. In addition to sailing the seas, fighting bosses, shaping the evolution of the story through the friends and rivals you make (or even date!), and, y'know, fishing, the game also wants to include seasons and such that will impact the game at various times. It looks and sounds absolutely captivating, and if you love quirky simulations, then this is a project you need to keep your eyes on.
Your Heart Can Kill You Up for funding on IndieGoGo, Erin Reynolds' proposed horror adventure game Nevermind is at once both a great idea and a hard sell. As an employee of the Neurostalgia Institute, you go into the minds and memories of traumatised patients to try to help them, while confronting and trying to make sense of the nightmares inside. The kicker is that the game asks you to wear a device that monitors your heart rate, and as that speeds up, the game becomes more difficult and nightmarish, so controlling your stress and fear is key to survival. Sounds neat, right? Well, considering that you'll need to buy both the GARMIN device and its USB connector yourself for around another $70.00USD total on top of the cost of Nevermind itself, it kind of requires a financial commitment beyond just having a computer. It's a great idea, though, and a creative use of technology to help immerse you in the game, so if you want to know more, hit up the official website.
All That is Good and Pure About Role-Playing Games Ask any RPG fan over the age of 25 about their favourite games, and chances are they might trot out Planescape: Torment or Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale with a dewy gleam in their eyes. So you'll have to forgive us for being a tiny bit excited about the upcoming Project Eternity on Kickstarter by well-known developers Obsidian. It promises to be a return to classic Dungeons & Dragons-style RPGs, and considering much of the team behind it were responsible for those very games, they can probably pull it off. The project is already completely funded to the point where it will be available for Mac as well as PC, but for more information or to help contribute, you should check out its official page. (And, yes, it will also be available on Good Old Games DRM free when it launches in 2014.)
FALSE ALARM Well, that's a bit of a buzz-killer. Originally due to release earlier this week, the release of the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition has been pushed back to November 30th. While we'd obviously rather have the game be the very best it could be and it isn't the end of the world, it's still a bit of a downer, especially considering the announcement came so close to the original release date. Oh well! They say time waits for no man, but I'm pretty sure the world will still need saving when November rolls around. Mostly because Imoen can't do anything by herself.
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!