SUPERHOT is super rad. For years, people have been talking about how to make something out of the first-person shooter, something that doesn't immediately pivot on military themes or ooze 'dudebro' from its meticulously detailed pores. And while stuff like Portal and Robert Yang's Radiator series are clearly indicative of the fact lateral evolution is possible, SUPERHOT, whose time-bending mechanics make it seem like Braid with guns, kind of beats the archetypal shooter at its own game.
What's interesting , however, is how quickly SUPERHOT is stampeding along. People can't stop evangelizing it. Publications can't stop swooning. It's even on Steam Greenlight now and the developers are brimming with ideas: Machine guns. Enemies that can dodge. Slow-mo explosions and time challenges and arenas to last a lifetime.
I'm so okay with this.
Moving on, last week really was good for indies. Legend of Dungeon came out. Volgarr the Viking came out. Card Hunter, a game that will never exhaust my evangelism muscles, also came out. We reviewed the last and were unabashedly impressed. If you haven't checked it out, you should because the damn thing is what free-to-play games should be like: tangibly awesome. A Kickstarter campaign for Hyper Light Drifter also emerged sometime during this week and the outpouring of support it received was like an apocalyptic, civilization-ending flood. Seriously, money came like the wrath of gods. Right now, Hyper Light Drifter is sitting at a solid $188, 838. The developers had wanted $27,000.
But then again, all this shouldn't be surprising. There's a reason as to why Hyper Light Drifter, neon-lit and stylish enough to make Vogue cry, is rolling in virtual currency. I won't go into too much detail because what you should really be doing right now is drinking in their Kickstarter page. For those still giving me the evil eye of finely-honed skepticism, though, here's a blurb to help convince you to pitch money at them:
Visions for this game have been fluttering in my skull for ages; something dark and fantastic, with giant forests to navigate, huge floating structures to explore, deep crumbling ruins to loot, massive throngs of enemies to rend, and behemoths both flesh and mechanical to overcome. I want it all to be as beautiful as possible, forging color with the dark and eerie wastes and intimidating landscapes. It plays like the best parts of A Link to the Past and Diablo, evolved: lightning fast combat, more mobility, an array of tactical options, more numerous and intelligent enemies, and a larger world with a twisted past to do it all in.
On the flip side of the crowdsourced funding coin, we've got CasinoRPG which recently entered open beta. Described as a browser-based, Vegas-themed MMORPG that mixes role-playing, tycoon, city-building 'and your favorite casino games', CasinoRPG intrigues me because it looks like it wants to be a smarter take on the whole 'social casino gaming' business. The team behind it, an Oklahoma City-based coalition named Goldfire Studios, says that they've made the most advanced HTML5 game in the world, a claim that makes me wish I could raise my eyebrows past their physiological limitations. Really? Bold claims, Goldfire. Bold claims. Still, the idea of browser-based games, even those that incite no personal interest whatsoever, evolving beyond their own checkered past is one that I can get behind.
And in lieu of a commercial break, have a gander at this custom character for Don't Starve. It's a sullen, seen-it-all-done-it-all Link that looks like he's tired of breaking pots and now wants to smash skulls instead. If you play Don't Starve, you may enjoy having this gritty version of everyone's favorite pointy-eared hero in your next session.
As always, IndieDB is an amazing repository of indie projects. Some are good, others are great. Eden Star, though rather cheesily named, looks like it definitely falls under the province of the latter. At least, I hope so. Anything this pretty needs to come with competent gameplay. Otherwise, it'd break my heart. A brief run-down for the new arrivals: Eden Star is a dark, science-fiction take on the 'mine, create, survive' gameplay found in voxel-based titles. As such, there's supposed to be 'innovative, combo-driven, physics-based combat', destructible terrain, and 'game-changing graphical quality'. I haven't the foggiest as to what the last bit means but any game that will let me use telekinesis to grab things and swing them around is a-okay in my book. Should Eden Star be successfully Greenlit, it looks as though the developers will be releasing a demo of the pre-alpha (That's a pre-alpha?! I feel faint. Someone catch me) to the public. Well-played, sirs.
Last but not least, The Started Hare LLC's Chromancer is in need of some heavy-duty love. With less than two days to spare, their free-to-play online 'adaptive strategy' Tradable Card Game is cutting it super close. They need roughly $7000 more in order to ensure the campaign achieves fruition, a paltry sum compared to the $53, 226 they've amassed previously. While I'm a total sucker for card games, Chromancer looks like it may offer an unprecedented level of strategy. Instead of simply coercing you to whittle down someone's health pools, Chromancer will have you assaulting this draw deck, their discard pile and resource pool. To quote the Kickstarter page:
If you knock out his Bank, he can't save resources from turn to turn, if you knock out his draw deck (Castle) he can't draw anymore, and if you knock out his discard pile (Graveyard), all the cards he uses like spells leave play forever once they expire.
The developers are also quite vocal about what they do and do not care about. "We care about card players, and we care about what card players care about. Our resources are colorless and there's no mana burn. We don't have pointless chase cards that are stronger than any normal cards. We hate power creep. We hate, hate, hate pay-to-win. That's not us and it will never be us."
Indies Did this is all about cool things that indies have been doing. If you've got a lead on any cool games or have one of your own that we should totally be talking about, don't hesitate to drop us a line. E-mails, comments and tweets work best. Smoke signals and carrier pigeons are more hit and miss.