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Sunday - September 11, 2016
Saturday - September 10, 2016
Friday - September 09, 2016
Thursday - September 08, 2016
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Avadon 3: The Warborne

2016-09-22

Avadon: The Warborn Review

Forgottenlor ventured into the third game of the Avadon series to see if he could continue his enjoyment of Spiderweb games.
» Continue reading the article...

Morning Men

2016-09-20

Morning Men Preview

We heard about Morning Men just before Gamescom and scheduled an appointment to check it out.
» Read the article

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Expected Releases

Sep: Earthlock
Sep: Rogue Wizards
Sep: Dungeons & Darkness
Sep: Final Fantasy XV
Sep: Masquerada

Sunday - September 11, 2016

Zenith - Release Date: September 20

by Hiddenx, 13:34

The Action RPG Zenith (with lots of humor in it) will be released at Steam on September 20:

Zenith Trailer 1: Wizards

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Zenith Trailer 2: Adventurers

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Wizards and adventurers have one thing in common: they'll happily start messing with any ominous glowing artifact they find in a ruin if they think they can gain something for it, be it knowledge on the arcane powers that forged the world, some shiny new sword or, god forbid, the power of friendship. No matter how many skulls are engraved on the thing.

Sure, mages may be more prepared and do it for the right reasons... sometimes. But that doesn't change the fact that they're toying with dangerous powers, and when they fail, they fail big. And most times those failures reshape the world around them. Generaly in the form of a smoking crater. Or something with a lot of tentacles.

Well, Argus windell was a pretty good wizard, an Arcanologyst to be precise. He knows everything there is to know about ancient artifacts, but I guess an apocalypse unleashed in the middle of a war has a way to change your views on the whole “unveiling the mysteries of the universe” thing. So he retired, looking for peace and quiet.

But that’s not easy to get in a world full of spike-haired buffoons who drag their giant swords around and mess things up with their chosen one complex. Specially when you’re trying to keep one of those dangerous devices out of the reach of their greasy heroic hands.

Key Features

  • Explore a world of possibilities in a fully-realized fantasy realm. And one of those world map things we used to love.
  • Face huge bosses, dangerous foes, and angsty teenagers.
  • Find tons of parodies and pop culture references. Let's see if you can recognise them all.
  • Save the world. Sorta. Granted, it's a bit of a cliché. But hey, it works.
  • Unlock special abilities and upgrade basic combo movements with an all-powerful "final blow"-type move.
  • Evade the cruel and overrated real world with a long single player campaign. Well, not as long as that one with the guy with the white hair, SURE, but we're an indie studio, dammit!

Zenith

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Shock Tactics - Available First Quarter 2017

by Hiddenx, 12:56

The Strategy RPG Shock Tactics will be available in the first quarter of 2017:

Trailer:

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Writing Bull Preview [German]:

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Shock Tactics is a single player turn-based sci-fi strategy game with tactical combat, exploration, squad management and base building. It is inspired by the space western style of Firefly and tactic games like Jagged Alliance and X-COM.

You are a trailblazer for the first wave of the free Space Pioneers that are exploring an ancient alien homeworld. In their centuries-old struggle with the dictatorship of the Imperial Consortium, this planet is the first real hope of finding a new home for their people.

  • Challenging squad tactics combat: Lead your strike team against smart enemies that employ a large array of tactics. Know your enemy, build a strategy, rule the battlefield.
  • Exploration is key: The world map is full of mysterious landmarks containing alien technologies and ancient secrets that you can unravel to become strong enough to tip the balance of fate.
  • Procedurally generated world map: You never know what you will find when exploring the world. This makes strategic decisions unique for each game session and leads to a high replayability.
  • Strike team progression: Harness the power of the alien artifacts, unlock unique abilities and build your group of soldiers into a fierce strike team as you explore the planet.
  • Base building: Expand your base with structures to build advanced weapons, develop sophisticated healing capabilities and research alien technologies.
  • An immersive story woven into the open world: You are dragged into the struggle for the New World’s future while trying to stay alive in the middle of an escalating war between the Space Pioneers and the Imperial Consortium.

Shock Tactics

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Planet Explorers - Beta Update 0.51

by Hiddenx, 11:37

The Early Access sandbox adventure game Planet Explorers got a beta 0.5/0.51 update:

This build came out a little earlier than expected, because we pushed the adventure mode and balancing changes to the next build, due to several issues in story that just couldn’t wait (namely the Allen Carter getting ported back to the colony issue at the Martian colony). We also did some tweaking to the start of the story mode so that players can get into the groove of the game much faster (by having Gerdy give out the bow and arrow and Allen give out a motorbike). Next build should be out around the 14th.

Changelist Beta 0.5

  • Fixed scrambled adventure map
  • Fixed “destroy and see” mission not counting correctly in multiplayer
  • Fixed Allen Carter teleporting back to the colony during the rescue mission
  • Fixed character skin and hair color changing
  • Fixed aim issue in 4K
  • Fixed world map not showing completely in 4K
  • Fixed mouse position being off in 4K
  • Fixed colony change armor UI changing the shapes of characters or deleting them
  • Fixed some trees not shining when being planted
  • Fixed Chen shooting animation sliding
  • Fixed some NPC skills icons being wrong
  • Fixed after a switch to the Mari currency fast travel still using meat
  • Fixed adventure skill tree appearing in story mode
  • Fixed birds not being deleted in multiplayer even when the AI turns off
  • Fixed NPC ragdoll issue
  • Fixed NPC following doing back and forth sometimes
  • Fixed adventure difficulty changing to normal upon loading
  • Fixed vehicle weapons aim
  • Fixed follower robot not attacking ranged foes
  • Fixed Creation tooltips
  • Fixed ISO beds not working in multiplayer
  • Fixed NPC eye problems
  • Changed name of pivot to hinge in scripts
  • Changed Puja salad to native salad
  • Changed block textures
  • Tweaked Tariq mission so that players can fight the Pujans
  • Tweaked Peter mission so that players can fight the Pajans
  • Tweaked monster beacon animal spawn types
  • Tweaked McTalk structure placement distance
  • Tweaked the level of ambient sounds
  • Tweaked Andy ingame aid
  • Tweaked fatigue animation so that it’s further apart
  • Tweaked ISO weapon aim
  • Tweaked building UI so that icons grays out when in voxel building mode
  • Added prompt UI for when something is in the way of building
  • Added sound effects
  • Added cave pathfinding points in story mode
  • Added simple controller support
  • Added Kayla’s song
  • Added more NPC voiceovers
  • Added ISO motorcycle to Allen Carter mission
  • Added wooden bow and arrow to the weapons Gerdy gives

Changelist Beta 0.51

  • Fixed Allen giving out multiple motorbikes
  • Fixed Peter confrontation mission

Planet Explorers

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Masquerada - Impression - PAX West

by Hiddenx, 11:12

RPGamer checked out Masquerada: Songs and Shadows at Pax West. The game will be released on September 30:

Witching Hour Studios' Masquerada: Song and Shadows is inspired by cRPG classics and set in a world where magical power is bestowed by mystical masks. Anna Marie Privitere got the chance to check the game out at last weekend's PAX West event.

Not being a big fan of WRPGs, I walked into Masquerada: Song and Shadows with a bit of trepidation. Hailed as an action RPG inspired by games such as Dragon Age and Baldur's Gate, yet streamlined, I jumped in and ended up having a really good time.

[...]

There’s no experience, no levels, and no inventory. Instead, skill points determine how you build your character; in addition, weapons can be customized with inks and engravings for a streamlined character progression experience. Combat is also fairly streamlined, players have four skills that can be activated with number keys on the keyboard (controller support is also available); other characters auto-attack when not being directly controlled. Combat looked hectic and at first I panicked, until realizing that I could pause the combat at any time with the space bar, look around the battlefield, and decide what attacks to run next.

[...]

Masquerada

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

We Happy Few - Surprise Update

by Hiddenx, 10:50

We Happy Few got the September update one week earlier:

Hey everyone,  

In our schedule we had planned to release the September update next week but it is stable to enough to be released today, so, surprise!  

The update is currently on the main branch of Steam, and on GOG. We have submitted the update to Microsoft as well and it should be up in the next few days on Xbox One. You can read the patch notes here!   

Keep in mind that you should start a fresh new game after every update or it will create a lot of random issues. This isn’t ideal but it is temporary, at least until we can finish working on the compatibility system.

[...]

We Happy Few

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Quest for Glory 1-5 - So You Want to be a Hero?

by Silver, 05:17

The Digital Antiquarian looks back at Hero's Quest (aka Quest for Glory) and analyses what made the Coles different from other developers at the time.

So, while Corey programmed in Sierra's offices, Lori sat at home with their young son, sketching out a game. In fact, knowing that Sierra's entire business model revolved around game series rather than one-offs, she sketched out a plan for four games, each taking place in a different milieu corresponding to one of the four points of the compass, one of the four seasons, and one of the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. As was typical of CRPGs of this period, the player would be able to transfer the same character, evolving and growing in power all the while, into each successive game in the series.

With his established tabletop-RPG designer still not having turned up, Ken finally relented and brought Lori on to make her hybrid game. But the programmer with whom she was initially teamed was very religious, and refused to continue when he learned that the player would have the option of choosing a "thief" class. And so, after finishing up some of his porting projects, Corey joined her on what they were now calling called Hero's Quest I: So You Want to Be a Hero. Painted in the broadest strokes, he became what he describes as the "left brain" to Lori's "right brain" on the project, focusing on the details of systems and rules while Lori handled the broader aspects of plot and setting. Still, these generalized roles were by no means absolute. It was Corey, for instance, an incorrigible punster - so don't incorrige him! - who contributed most of the horrid puns that abound throughout the finished game.

Less than hardcore though they envisioned their hybrid to be, Lori and Corey nevertheless wanted to do far more than simply graft a few statistics and a combat engine onto a typical Sierra adventure game. They would offer their player the choice of three classes, each with its own approach to solving problems: through combat and brute force in the case of the fighter, through spells in the case of the magic user, through finesse and trickery in the case of the thief. This meant that the Coles would in effect have to design Hero's Quest three times, twining together an intricate tapestry of differing solutions to its problems. Considering this reality, one inevitably thinks of what Ron Gilbert said immediately after finishing Maniac Mansion, a game in which the player could select her own team of protagonists but one notably free of the additional complications engendered by Hero's Quest‘s emergent CRPG mechanics: "I'm never doing that again!" The Coles, however, would not only do it again - in fact, four times more - but they would consistently do it well, succeeding at the tricky task of genre blending where designers as talented as Brian Moriarty had stumbled.

Quest for Glory 1-5

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Regalia - Gameplay & Details @Gamescom

by Silver, 04:35

MMOSite provided coverage of Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs at Gamescom and finds that it plays like a tactical RPG inspired by games like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics while adding a dose of humour and fun references.

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Game Features

  • A Disgaea meets Persona formula with a western twist on the classic strategy JRPG genre.
  • A robust turn-based combat system with the right balance between complexity and fluidity.
  • An attractive look and feel, with hand-drawn 2D backgrounds and a soundtrack produced by Game Audio Factory (Endless Legend, Endless Space).
  • Light 4X elements - build your own village, conduct diplomacy, send your companions on expeditions for resources and treasures.
  • A huge cast of characters to meet, recruit and befriend through Social Links.
  • Lots of replayability with procedurally generated content, New Game+ and Ironman modes.

Regalia

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Saturday - September 10, 2016

Earthlock - Review @ High-Def Digest

by Hiddenx, 12:48

High-Def Digest has reviewed the Xbox version of Earthlock: Festval of Magic:

Earthlock: Festival of Magic


[...]

Introduction

Earthlock: Festival of Magic was developed by Norwegian studio Snowcastle Games and has been in development since at least 2011. Its first Kickstarter in 2013 was snowed in by the new console releases, but a second one in 2014 passed its $150,000 goal. It is available now for Xbox One (and soon, the PC,) and at a later date for PS4 and Wii U.

The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Although I have long since abandoned the genre, I have fond memories of the JRPGs of the late 90s and early 2000s: the Breath of Fires, Dragon Quests, Final Fantasies, and so on. Snowcastle remembers them too, as it was from these games they took inspiration for Earthlock. It is a turn-based RPG in the classic style, complete with an overmap, turn-based battles (no ATB here), and a leveling system not unlike those found in Final Fantasy X and especially Final Fantasy XII.

[...]

Final Thoughts

This homage to the seminal days of RPGs is quite successful at what it set out to do. The strong points include character advancement, the village, and enemy variety, while I was let down by a slow plot and inconvenient save system. The Xbox One isn't exactly a haven for this genre, but in nostalgia value alone it's a welcome treat.

Score: 3,5/5

 

Earthlock

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Siralim 2 - Review @ Touch Acrcade

by Hiddenx, 11:19

Touch Arcade has reviewed Siralim 2:

Siralim 2 Review - Have Another Scoop of the Good Stuff

No matter how you slice it, making a sequel to Siralim [Free] was always going to be a tough job. The original game is essentially an overstuffed endless pit of RPG joy, densely packed with enough systems, side content, and additional challenges to keep any genre fan busy for dozens of hours or more. In hindsight, it was almost an impossible achievement. It was developer Thylacine's first stab at the genre, and it was extremely unconventional. Mixing elements of monster-catching, base-building, and roguelikes, it was like someone made a delicious Shin Megami Tensei - Romancing SaGa - Rogue sandwich and somehow pulled that blend off with only a few minor hitches. Excellent post-release support ironed out just about all of the game's issues, leaving one to wonder what exactly a sequel could accomplish.

[...]

That leaves us with a bit of dilemma. Siralim 2 is not going to be enjoyable for everyone. Even among RPG fans, I think it will leave a large percentage cold with its mechanical complexity and lack of attention to things like characters and plot. But those who can get into it will find a limitless bounty, gameplay measured out in not just dozens of but more than a hundred hours. So I again reiterate: go and try out the free portion of the first game. If you like it even the smallest bit, go pick up Siralim 2 right away. You're not likely to regret it.

Score: 4,5/5

 

Siralim 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Ember - Video Review @ ACG

by Hiddenx, 11:00

Angry Centaur Gaming has reviewed the Action RPG Ember:

Ember Review "Buy, Wait for Sale, Rent, Never Touch?"

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Karak reviews the isometric RPG Ember for the PC. Out on Steam.

Ember

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Main Characters Revealed

by Aries100, 10:52

IGN writes that Bioware has revealed the main characters in this game. Mark Walters, Bioware's creative director, revealed this when commenting on the gameplay in this game:

We're seeing our male character, at E3 we got to see our female character. A little surprise here: These two are actually brother and sister. “They both exist in the game world at the same time. If you're playing as the female Ryder, your brother is out there somewhere in the universe.

Source: IGN

Mass Effect: Andromeda

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Original Sin EE - 50% off on Steam

by Silver, 09:28

To celebrate the imminent early access release of Divinity Original Sin II, the original game is on sale for 50% off on Steam until the 16th September.

Original Sin EE

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Starbound - Version 1.1 Released

by Silver, 08:40

The latest patch for Starbound brings it up to version 1.1 and introduces some new features.

Hey, everyone! It's patch day!

Version 1.1 is our first content patch since the full release of Starbound -- we've added a fishing game, item collections, Novakid villages and more! Check the changelog below for a list of major/minor changes and bug fixes, and then go relocate some Fluffalo!

Major Changes

  • Fishing
  • Two tiers of fishing rods are now craftable from the Foraging Table and can be used to fish on ocean planets (including arctic, toxic and magma oceans)
  • Added 48 unique fish types to catch
  • Rare fish can give valuable rewards, including reel and lure upgrades to enhance your fishing rod

Collections

  • New Collections interface tracks various kinds of collectables including captured pets, figurines, fish, cooking recipes, fossils, and bugs
  • Added the Relocator tool, which allows non-hostile creatures such as critters, fish, bugs, and farm animals to be moved
  • Added friendly Novakid villages including a variety of new Novakid-themed furniture and objects

Minor Changes & Bug Fixes

  • Saloon furniture previously sold at Frogg Furnishings is now available in Novakid villages, and has been replaced with the Pastel set (which has its own unique tenant)
  • Novakids can now be generic tenants or guards
  • Added Novakid NPC dialogue
  • Implemented party chat and local (planet) chat
  • Acid rain now applies poison instead of direct damage
  • Console objects are now available as themed tenant rewards
  • Added option for "borderless window" style fullscreen mode
  • Improved sound effects for Staff abilities
  • Improved sound effects for several unique boss weapons
  • Adjusted which bugs appear in Midnight, Mutated and Giant Flower biomes
  • Shockhopper Mk I and Dreadwing now have a chance to drop their respective action figures
  • Mother Poptops on starter worlds now drop enough Core Fragments to complete the initial gate quest
  • Added chance for Snuffish to appear in ocean biomes
  • Kelp now unlocks the Rice Cake cooking recipe when picked up
  • Reduced moon threat level from 10 to 1
    ...

Starbound

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Kingdom Come - Backer's Portraits and Interview

by Myrthos, 00:02

If you want to learn how some of the higher tier backers are going to be immortalized in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, watch the below video:

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This video is from the latest update were you can also find an interview with Game Designer Ondřej Bittner.

You can see him also, together with PR dude Tobias Stolz-Zwiling in a game play session video:

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Kingdom Come

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

For the King - PAX and Beta

by Myrthos, 00:00

In the latest update for For the King, some feedback from PAX is given and also that the beta keys should be going out by the end of next week.

While we were in Seattle we got the go-ahead from Steam to upload our game! So that's what we've been doing the past few days. It's already up and working on Steam as I write this, and there are just a few minor fixes to implement before we send out the beta keys! We're aiming for end of next week so keep a lookout for an email from BackerKit. Also, our website store is back online for any Super Slacker Backers wanting to get in on the beta. So if you know of anyone who missed out on the Kickstarter, let them know it's not too late!

A special thanks to everyone who came and visited us. Getting to meet some of you in person was super cool. I gotta say, we have an awesome little community here. You have been so supportive of us throughout this entire endeavor an we really appreciate it. Especially considering how toxic some game communities can be, it blows our minds how friendly and positive everyone of you we've interacted with have been. THANK YOU!

For the King

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Friday - September 09, 2016

RPGWatch Feature: - Eisenwald: Blood of November Interview

by Myrthos, 22:21

Aubrielle caught up with Alex Dergay, creator of Legends of Eisenwald, to talk about Aterdux's new sandbox adventure, Eisenwald: Blood of November, for which a Kickstarter is currently runing.

Eisenwald: Blood of November

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 17:22

Larian talks about Pax West, Divinity: Original Sin II Early Access, sales and more:

[...]

Hi, welcome to Kickstarter Update #27!  

It's been a pretty crazy week for us, and it's only going to get crazier. Check out what we've been doing at Pax West, and what's coming up.

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Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Update 27: How did PAX West go?

[...]

 

Divinity: Original Sin II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Ember - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 11:18

The RPG Ember will be released today:

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Back in the earliest days, there was no sun and the world was dark. The heavens opened up and stars fell like beacons into the pitch black world, and they were known as “Embers”. Powerful and wise druids of a primordial race, “the Lightbringers," roamed the land searching for this luminous matter. They performed a ritual of awakening to call the “Embers” out of their deep sleep. Suddenly the world became bright, and the veil of darkness was lifted. The Embers were the embodiment of magical flame, light, and life, but as word spread about the sheer power of the Embers, they came to be hunted and captured…and so the War for Ember began...

  • Classic-style RPG with 30+ hours of epic adventure
  • Epic storytelling filled with diverse gameplay enabling players to choose their path
  • Engaging party-based real-time combat system with tactical pause
  • Over 65 combat skills for the player to use in customized battle party strategy
  • Encounter hundreds of NPCs with their own tales to tell
  • In-depth crafting system, from baking bread to forging magic weapons
  • A seamless world with over 20 handcrafted environments and dark dungeons that are fully interactive and feature movable objects, weather changes and day/night cycles
  • Adventure with different companions with their own backstory quests

Ember

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Halcyon 6:SC - Released

by Hiddenx, 09:59

The Strategy base building RPG Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander has been released:

On the edge of Terran space lies Halcyon 6, a derelict starbase left behind by a mysterious precursor race. Your mission is to reclaim the derelict station and rebuild it.
A mysterious alien force is making a beeline towards Earth and this starbase is the best chance for the New Terran Federation to establish new alliances, research new technologies and otherwise figure out a way to stop the impending invasion.

Using only the resources you can salvage from the derelict station and gathered from nearby star systems, it’s up to you to rebuild the starbase to lead the Terran Republic’s scientific research, exploration and diplomatic efforts on the edge of known space.

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Halcyon 6 is a passion project who’s design is inspired by our years spent playing classic games like Star Control, Master of Orion, X-COM, Civilization and new classics like FTL.

Features:

  • Base Building: spend resources to build station facilities (rooms) to enhance your production and technological capabilities, or build ships to help you control more territory
  • Exploration: assign your fleets to nearby star clusters, where they can handle emerging enemy threats, do missions for alien factions or secure bonus resources
  • Crew Management: assign crew to station facilities to greatly improve their output efficiency, or to ships where they can contribute in unique ways to combat, missions and events
  • Deep Tactical Combat: fight tactical ship or ground battles to resolve hostile events, create a foothold in the sector and ultimately defeat the enemy mothership!
  • Story Events: based on game criteria like rooms-built, alien diplomacy scores or officer traits/skills, the game will produce story events (often with multiple choice outcomes) that can lead to combat, time-related applied bonuses/negatives, officer attribute changes or any number of crazy in-game stories.

Project Goals:

Unlimited Replayability: Each playthrough has players dealing with a new randomly generated derelict station, surrounding galaxy, crew recruits, and alien factions

Motley Crew: Each crew member has unlimited potential for acquiring unique behaviours, traits and abilities, for better or for worse. Making the best use of your dysfunctional crew will be one of the keys to success. Who should be your main Science Officer? The insomniac that works insane hours but has an addictive personality or the agoraphobic mad genius?

Encounters of the Weird Kind: There are 6 alien factions in Halcyon 6 and they are all quite different with varying objectives and personalities. Only your wit and your crew’s skills will help you navigate the diplomatic waters to gain them as key allies or valuable trading partners.

Halcyon 6: SC

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Earthlock - PC Release postponed to September 27

by Hiddenx, 09:01

PC/Mac fans have to wait a little longer for Earthlock: Festival of Magic:

Steam Launch postponed to September 27th

Bad news and good news

Bad first: Steam (PC/Mac) release has been pushed to September 27th.

The good news is that reception on the Xbox version has been totally overwhelming for our little team of developers. Mostly it has been very positive, as you can see from the early reviews link[www.snowcastle.no].

With the large number of players on Xbox we have also uncovered bugs we want to fix, both in the Xbox and Steam version. We simply do not have the capacity to do it all and do it well at the same time.

So we would rather take the heat for pushing the release now, rather than releasing a game on Steam we are not happy with.

Please bear with us, and if the response from the Xbox players is something to go by, all you Steam, PS4 and Nintendo gamers waiting for Earthlock: Festival of Magic have something to look forward to!

Earthlock

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

The Mandate - Second Producer's Letter

by Myrthos, 08:57

In this update for The Mandate, we learn about why the team will not talk about features anymore until they are sure they will be in the game.

I know that you want the information and to be honest we also want to tell you much, much more about our game and why we are excited to do it and what cool feature we are working on right now.

Unfortunately, this is somewhat counter­productive since after all we want to surprise you and give you the experience we think you will enjoy when playing the game. Also of course, in the past this behaviour led us to talk about things that we really loved but later figured out wouldn’t fit the vision or that it wouldn’t be possible to include for technical reasons.

That’s why we decided to do the following:

When it comes to features, we will talk about it in more detail only if we are sure that’s where we want to go and that we can deliver.

When it comes to story and lore, we are now incorporating the updates as part of the game’s narrative, as you will see when the first instalment of our web comic is uploaded next week. It will not be directly related to the player’s story but it will give you a feeling about the universe; and as it progresses will reveal some of the key players and cabals in the Mandate universe.

On top of that this update does provide some answers to more higher level questions, like this one about story driven vs. sandbox RPG.

We have had some questions concerning story driven vs. sandbox RPG. We are building a single player, story driven roleplaying game with a fair amount of sandbox elements. If anything the roleplay elements in the game have increased, as well as the meaning and importance of the story. When we reviewed what we had back in April, we saw a huge lack of player motivation and we decided that it is absolutely necessary to give you guys a personal reason to be out there.

Also we wanted to give the crew/officers a big boost. They won’t just be cannon fodder that you assign a name to and give you a tactical advantage in combat (basically a bunch of Redshirts if you think in Star Trek terms). We want you to be able to interact with the crew, to learn about their motivations, fears and points of view ­­ and if they trust you enough they might ask you for help, this means crew related missions. It is about forming a team out of a bunch of cutthroats :)

What can you expect in terms of “Sandbox”? Now, this is a huge word to begin with and everyone has a different definition in their head. In our game, what we describe as sandbox elements is, in my opinion, best described as player freedom. The changes concerning the universe are also tied to the player interaction, which means for example if you attack Romanov ships (which you can do) – they won’t like you and at some point hunt you. We want you to be able to be a trader or a pirate or just roam the galaxy killing pirates – if you like you could do just that in the game – for hours. When it comes to exploring you can find loot of course – but there will also be lore, trigger events and encounters to discover on the way.
There also will be resource extraction and some crafting elements. You are going to need resources to buy upgrades for your ship.

The Mandate

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Legends of Ellaria - Update and Video

by Myrthos, 08:50

A new update for Legends of Ellaria is available, bringing it to 0.5.30. It also comes with a new gameplay video showing some of the game's features.

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Legends of Ellaria

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

The Dwarves - Released on December 1st

by Myrthos, 08:46

In a Kickstarter update for The Dwarves a bunch off pledge rewards are shown and a release date of December 1st is mentioned.

Our plan was to release the game end of September. And the game is ready to go. So the release date will be… December 1st.

Wait, what?!

Yes. It sounds weird, but we hope that ultimately you will support this decision. There are three reasons why we think this is the best date for the game.

  • When you want to release a game on consoles, it first has to be inspected by Sony or Microsoft. Since there are many games in the so-called "submission" at the moment, we didn’t get a date as early as we wanted. This pushes back the earliest possible release date to October. But October and November are the busiest months in gaming. Most of the big sites, YouTubers and bloggers won’t have time to play and review anything else than the big AAA games. We want "The Dwarves" to be as successful as possible; hopefully successful enough to enable us to start working on "The Dwarves 2". For that we need attention and media coverage. And we won’t get that in-between all the big releases. It’s un-dwarfish but we’re basically chickening out and waiting until the big wave is gone.
  • We do a lot of testing at the moment and we’re still finding some bugs and ways to enhance the balancing a little. It’s mostly small things, so we could release the game and then make a launch patch. But if we put more work into the launch version, we might not need a launch patch.
  • Releasing the game December 1st gives us the opportunity to send out the physical rewards in advance, so for once you’ll actually get your physical Kickstarter rewards at the same time everybody gets the digital version of the game.

Therefore we think December 1st is the best date for “The Dwarves” and their future. Hopefully you guys agree.

To reduce the waiting time we’re going to release an updated beta version (featuring new characters, enemies, quests and battles) next week. This beta will be available for Mac & Linux as well.

The article finishes with some fresh screenshots.

The Dwarves

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Necropolis and Gamescom

by Myrthos, 08:41

Now that both Gamescom and PAX West are over, a new update for Torment: Tides of Numenera showed up, about those two shows, the Necropolis and a trailer introducing the world of Numenera.

A little while ago, George told you how we are incorporating backer NPCs into our game. I want to tell you how we're including the largest quantity of backer content: tombs and epitaphs.

First, let me take you back to our Kickstarter planning sessions. We knew from the start we wanted a reward where higher-tier backers could include their name in the game somewhere. In a game about legacy, set in a world built on the bones of forgotten civilizations, it made perfect sense for that reward to be a tomb. We designed a massive gravesite for these tombs, called the Valley of Dead Heroes. In this place would be hundreds of tombs, memorializing heroes of the past and naturally raising the question: "What does one life matter?"

Like our backer NPCs, we wanted the tomb content to feel like a natural part of the world. We also wanted to encourage players to actually read the tombs – not all of them, but some of them at least. And ideally different players would search through different ones. It was a challenge, but one we were confident we could make great... until the Kickstarter broke records, and we found ourselves with nearly four thousand tombs and epitaphs that needed to be in our game somewhere.

As we began designing areas, we did the math. We originally planned for two scenes that would contain most of the tombs: the Valley of Dead Heroes and "Valley Part Two" which would be placed in another zone of the game. But even if we made those scenes enormous, cramming in as many tombs as we could fit on-screen while still giving the player space to walk, it would only take care of half of the required number. We also considered sprinkling the other tombstones throughout the game, but that would still require far too many tombstones to be placed in every single scene in the game. So our algorithm master and all-around guru Joby Bednar had the very Numenera idea of a massive underground storage space, now used in the Ninth World as a burial ground.

The rooms in this space would be accessed by a control panel: the user enters a code and is taken to a room in which lie a subset of our tomb/epitaph markers. Mechanically, the room would be a single Unity scene, but with the props, lighting, effects, etc. swapped out based on the code the player enters. It would take a lot of custom scripting, but it gave us the flexibility to handle all the backers we needed to feature. It was the perfect solution, and with some design constraints outlined, thus was born the Necropolis…

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Torment: Tides of Numenera

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Technofantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Humble Bundle - End of Summer Sale

by Aubrielle, 01:22

Humble's got deals right now on Dragon's Dogma ($18), Stardew Valley ($12), Legend of Grimrock ($6), and tons of others.

And if you're quick, you can get Tropico 4 for free (until 9/10).

Humble Bundle

Details

Thursday - September 08, 2016

RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Expeditions:Viking

by Myrthos, 21:18

It is about time to turn back to our coverage of what I've seen at Gamescom and Expeditions: Viking is the game we continue with. We had this article ready to go just before we became unreachable. Together with the help of Aubrielle, it has been restored into what you can find here.

One of the significant differences between Viking and Conquistador is that you don't draft your crew at the start of the game. A major part of the first campaign is gathering the crew for your ship. As long as you don't have a crew or a ship, your village is under constant attack since it is seen as weak. You can collect crew members from the starting village and from your travels through Denmark. The first two people that join you are your two best friends, which you have known for a long time. One of them is a spear-wielding shield maiden, and the other is a hunter with a bow. The advantage of a spear in the game is that you have a longer reach and you can pass one hex, so you hit someone at a two hex distance. You can even go over the head of standing before you, or over defensive formations. In addition, you don't have any issues with attack of opportunity as that works only for adjacent hexes. You can't dismiss any of your party members during the first campaign, as they are essential to the narrative.

Expeditions: Viking

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Stellar Tactics - Early Access on September 22

by Hiddenx, 08:17

The Early Access version of the Sci-fi RPG Stellar Tactics is available on September 22:

Story Trailer:

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Combat Trailer:

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Stellar Tactics

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Hero's Song - Now on Indiegogo

by Hiddenx, 08:04

Bargeral and Rune_74 informed us that the Action RPG Hero's Song is now on Indiegogo with flexible funding:

 

Hero's Song is a hardcore action RPG and uses the familiar click-to-move and attack controls of classic action RPGs like Diablo III or Path of Exile. Combat takes a more measured pace, giving you time to react to the intelligent tactics of your enemies and to thoughtfully deploy your wide variety of skills and abilities. True to its hardcore nature, combat in Hero's Song is dangerous and has very real consequences including the chance of permanent death. Friendly fire is always defaulted to "on", so positioning and precision are very important considerations. Death will come quickly if you think this is a simple clickfest.

-> Trailer

 

Indiegogo Games

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Earthlock - Early Reviews

by Hiddenx, 07:47

The PC version of Earthlock: Festival of Magic will be available on September 9 - here are two early reviews:

Xbox Achievements:

Hands-On Preview - Earthlock: Festival of Magic

[...]

So while it doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel as far as JRPGs go, and I can't promise it will change your mind about the genre or turn-based combat if you weren't already a fan, I can say that it hits all the right notes and provides a wonderfully charming experience throughout. There are enough unique additions on top of all the classic staples that it didn't feel like a cheap imitation, but a true JRPG that can stand on its own. Earthlock: Festival of Magic is out tomorrow. Give it a try.

GamingBolt:

Earthlock: Festival of Magic Review –
Charmingly Average

[...]

RPGs are known for a lot of things: battle systems, characters and story. And right there are the three main focuses Earthlock only dabbles ever so slightly in. The  story of Earthlock is as stereotypical as it can be. I would consider this a “first timers” style of RPG. There are no story elements that are too complicated to understand; no character deep enough to really theorize with, or contemplate their emotions; there are no elements in the game even the most amateur player could not understand and catch onto even without reading the instructions of battle. With that being said, this game is  charming and brings back that sense of childhood when games were at a simpler time.  When you could sit back, relax and just go. And that’s what this game’s legacy will be: a relaxing walk in the park. However, the thing about living in the world of video games is that around that enclosed park are thousands of more exhilarating parks with even bigger and better rides.

Score: 6/10

Trailer:

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Earthlock

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Ray Gigant - Review @ GameSpew

by Hiddenx, 07:26

GameSpew has reviewed the Dungeon Crawler/Visual Novel Ray Gigant:

Ray Gigant Review

The premise for Ray Gigant, told to the player through a series of narrated stills, is that a race of giant dragon-esque aliens – or the “Gigant” –  have invaded, wiping out major cities and leaving the fate of the world in the hands of those special enough to wield a mysterious power known as Yorigami.

“What is advertised as a dungeon crawler JRPG with visual novel elements, is actually a visual novel with dungeon crawling elements”

The story is split into three sections – each focusing on a different protagonist. We start out as Ichiya Amakaze, a young boy who was rescued from a pile of rubble and doesn’t remember much about his past. Intially, Ichiya seems like the perfect anime protagonist trope; young, good-looking, overly powerful, naive, brash, and a bit of a flirt, but as the story goes on it becomes apparent that Ichiya’s character never seems to develop. Even as he learns of his family, witnessing deaths, fighting monsters, Ichiya appears to be emotionally immune to it all, never learning any life lessons or building his character.

That was my first issue.

My second, and the most stand-out feature of the game, is the dialogue. What is advertised as a dungeon crawler JRPG with visual novel elements, is actually a visual novel with dungeon crawling elements. The distinction is important here because the lack of actual gameplay startled me for a while.

[...]

 

Plus:
  • Lovely visuals and animation
  • Delightful soundtrack to match the settings
  • New and unique turn-based combat
Minus:
  • Incredibly long, and often dull, story
  • Far too much dialogue and not enough play time
  • Poor character development

Score: 6/10

 

Ray Gigant

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Champions of Anteria - Review @ GameRant

by Hiddenx, 07:17

GameRant has reviewed the RTS/RPG hybrid Champions of Anteria:

Champions of Anteria Review

Champions of Anteria delivers a light-hearted fantasy romp with solid strategy elements, but a lack of content beneath surface level means the game lacks that special something.

In spite of its status as one of the most long-running strategy franchises on the market, it’s been a quiet time for The Settlers series of late. Indeed, since 2010 and the release of The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom and The Settlers Online, the franchise has been silent. However, when news broke of a spin-off title named The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria, many fans of the franchise were intrigued to see what Ubisoft Blue Byte had in store.

Unfortunately for purists of The Settlers, things did not quite go according to plan, and after a period in beta Ubisoft revealed that the project had morphed into something else entirely. The game has now seen release in the form of Champions of Anteria, and the title does feel like a very different beast in comparison to its franchise origin.

Champions of Anteria blends together RPG and RTS elements, and the core gameplay comes in the form of single player tactical strategy. The player is put in charge of up to three heroes at once, and is tasked with the usual fantasy fare of fighting of ghoulish creatures and bandits. The title has real-time combat but with active pause functionality, meaning that users have a fair amount of control over proceedings.

[...]

Of course, many of the problems with the Fable series are also apparent here – albeit in a strategy setting rather than a full-on RPG. It’s a lovingly crafted world with a cartoonish artistic style, and a great deal of humor and charm. However, when that veneer is stripped away, the core gameplay feels very primitive.

Nonetheless, those after a light bite of RTS/RPG gameplay with a positive attitude will find a lot of fun with Champions of Anteria. It is unlikely to blow any players away, and fans of The Settlers will find little to keep them occupied, but there’s a nice little game here. Without expecting too much, Champions of Anteria delivers a decent injection of fantasy humor into the market.

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Champions of Anteria

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details