Indie Showcase … – Super Axe Boy

Super Axe Boy is a platformer from independent developer Matthias Falk. Featuring a mix of 2D and 3D gameplay, Matt hopes to bring something unique to the genre with Super Axe Boy, and has turned to Kickstarter to make it happen. Looking for €25,000, and with stretch goals extending to €60,000, the campaign has reached 20% of its goal with 22 days left.

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Super Axe Boy sees you play as Axe boy, a humble lumberjack. One day however the Earth is invaded by Beaverians … a race of sneaky alien beavers, hell bent on building an intergalactic burger franchise … I appreciate a weird and quirky story as much as the next gamer, I just hope it’s presented in the correct manner and isn’t just there to retroactively add some kind of forced meaning to the platforming.

Speaking of platforming, one of the most unique feature of Super Axe Boy is the mix between 2D and 3D gameplay. The following is taken from the games press page:

“Levels will switch back and forth between 2D sections (emphasis on: precision, timing, fast movement, countdown sections) and 3D sections (emphasis on: sense of freedom / branching-off level paths, exploration, puzzle solving, cinematic sequences).”

The game is also promising a huge variety in gameplay, a retro chiptune soundtrack, and a nice low-poly aesthetic. Check out the games Kickstarter video to see this in action!

Here’s the full feature list from the press page:

Features

  • Unique mix of 2D and 3D gameplay
  • Cool indie/chiptune soundtrack
  • Huge gameplay variety
  • Fresh axe chopping mechanics
  • Unique graphical aesthetic
  • A silly story (but hey, still a story)
  • Memorable characters

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There’s not much to view of Super Axe Boy yet, but fans of platformers might want to stick it on your watch list! If you want to support the project then head on over to Kickstarter! If you want to learn more about the game head to its official site here!

Indie Showcase … – Industry Giant 2

Originally released back in 2002 by JoWood Entertainment, Industry Giant 2 is a well-loved business sim. Well, thanks to developers Fancy Bytes and Reactor, and publishers UIG Entertainment, the title has been re-vamped and re-released on Steam with a host of new features!

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Industry Giant 2 is a business sim with a focus on economics and produce. The goal is to build your empire in its entirety, starting with raw production and ending with your goods in stores. As ever the economy is a fickle mistress, and there will be economic booms, stock market crashes, oil crises and more that will need to be overcome in order to succeed.

The game begins in the year 1900, you have little money but big ambition. It’s up to access the markets, decide which products are most profitable. Where they should be grown? Where should they be sold? It’s all up to you, and with over 150 products at your fingertips the possibilities are vast!

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IG2 has a number of game modes available including a set of comprehensive tutorials, campaign mode with a selection of pre-defined scenarios, and endless mode where the goal is to create the biggest empire you can. I jumped into campaign mode to give it a go and immediately failed. I spend all my money on farms and storage, without leaving enough money to set up the rest of the supply chain!

One of the most charming things about IG2 is also one of the things that may turn off newer players: the game is very much from 2002. While the Steam page states it now supports HD resolution, don’t expect updated graphics or UI design. It feels very much like OpenTTD, and while that may appeal to gamers familiar with the original, for newer gamers it may feel outdated when used to sims that haver newer, more intuitive interfaces.

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If you’re into your business sims, especially the older ones, you should check IG2 out on Steam. The updated version brings everything was players loved about the original along with:

  • Full HD resolution
  • Steam Achievements
  • Steam Cloud Save

The rating are almost unanimously good, with an average of 7/10 across most sites. A great blast from the past! Here’s the trailer!

Indie Showcase … – De Mambo

De Mambo is a fast-paced single-screen action platformer currently in development by The Dangerous Kitchen. Supporting up to four players, De Mambo is “kinda Smash Bros, sorta Breakout and somewhat nothing like either of these since it has its own swing”. Interested? Yeah. Me too!

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The aim of the game is to knock you opponent off the screen with the three attacks available to you. Controls consist of the D-Pad and a single button to perform all three attacks depending on how you use it. Head here for a tutorial on ‘How to De Mambo’. The environment around you is also destructible, so as you smash through your opponents, the level will start crumbling around you!

De Mambo will feature: (The ones in bold are yet to come)

  • One Button Action – easy to learn, hard to master gameplay designed to use one action button and a D-Pad/keys
  • Multiplayer – roughhouse up to four of your friends/enemies in Mambo
  • Loser Rail – the feature designed to give you a second chance, for those of you not good enough to win
  • Flimsy Architecture – Breakable environment for reactive gameplay
  • Single-Player – A lone wolf mode that that we like to describe as ‘Zelda 2 meets WarioWare’
  • Challenge Mode – Replay challenges from single-player with multiplayer functionality and also send custom challenges to friends.
  • Multiplayer Stages – a wide variety of new multiplayer stages
  • New Gameplay Modes – Same core Mambo gameplay, new ways to play

De Mambo has been shown at various events over the last 12 months, and will be taken to EGX and Tokyo Game Show this September. Currently slated for release on: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux, The Dangerous Kitchen are currently running a Kickstarter to fund the last stages of development.

With 27 days left of the campaign, they’ve already reached 42% of their £15,000 goal! De Mambo is also on Greenlight, so if make sure to drop a vote over there if you want to see the title on Steam. Last but not least, there’s a free demo available so you can get first-hand experience with De Mambo.

I’ll leave you with the trailer as usual. Mark my words, you’ll be seeing lots more of De Mambo once it approaches release, it’s a perfect party-title to play and have fun with friends!

Indie Showcase – Overfall

Time for another Indie Showcase! Overfall is a seafaring RPG with a rich backstory, and gameplay that is determined by the player’s actions. Recently greenlit, and with a Kickstarter campaign at 56% of its goal with 11 days to go, let’s take a quick look at the title from Pera Games.

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Overfall is a tale of redemption and retaliation. After being caught in the act stealing a powerful artefact, the artefact’s guardians (the Vorn) rush back to your world in retaliation. With two of the Everking’s nine heroes (Fighter, Cleric, Monk, Guardian, Druid, Rogue, Warlord, Ranger, and Wizard), your mission is to find your missing ruler, and save the world from imminent destruction.

Dys is a rich and bountiful world, with a number races, each with their own political backstories and agendas. With everything in the world being the result of player decision, your actions will determine the alliances, and enemies, that will be forged throughout the game. If you decide to help a Dwarf early in the game for example, the Goblins might not appreciate it and cause trouble later down the line.

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Combat is presented in a turn-bases system with three distinct phases: mobility, utility, and attack. With each class having unique abilities, which can be chained for devastating results, there’s plenty of combinations and strategies to be taken into combat. Be careful though, death in Overfall is permanent, with only your unlocks surviving between runs.

To check out the game in more detail you can visit the Greenlight page, and if you wish to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign you can find its page here. Also, here’s the Kickstarter trailer so you can check the game out for yourself.

[Disclaimer: The goal of the Indie Showcase is to give indies exposure. Most content comes from press releases, and is not the personal opinion of anyone from IGUK.]

Indie Showcase … – Netw0rm

Netw0rm is a 3D action/runner game by indie studio Cuddly Zombie Games. We were recently given access to a build, and was pleasantly surprised! It’s a fun little action game, with a great premise, but has a few flaws. We were originally going to review the title, but given the fact that it’s not yet available, we’re going to bring it to you guys via the showcase, then we’ll conduct our review upon release.

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Netw0rm is an action shooter surrounding hacking. Yeah, how cool is that! You play the role of what I presume is a systems admin, and you have control over a system called the mothership. You can buy parts for your system, upgrade its hardware, and buy tools to help you hack. The game interface is pretty simple, and it looks like you’re working on an old computer terminal. It’s minimalistic and fits the mood and theme of the game well.

Gameplay sees you hacking into servers of multiple companies and instituted in order to steal data. What you do with this data is up to you. Leak it, or sell it on the black market for more credits in order to upgrade your PC. The hacking mechanic involved travelling down a tube, with multiple obstacles in your way. The steam page states:

“The game is inspired, in part, by the hacking sequences from 80’s sci-fi films and TV shows. In various films, hacking into a computer was represented in a very videogame-like way, navigating along a series of wireframe environments, dodging enemies and barriers as they attempted to break into the heart of the system.”

 The developer achieves this, and the game feels very much that way. You play the hack, you have to keep a certain space otherwise the trace will find you, and the obstacles in your way and things like ICE blockers, for which you need a certain type of program to overcome. But be careful, programs require both RAM and CPU cycles, so you need to manage your system carefully.

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The premise to the game is great, but unfortunately I feel there are problems with the fundamentals. The movement during gameplay feels … sluggish and flawed. It’s not as fun as it could be. The developer states that the game is ready to launch as soon as Greenlit, but I’d like to see some more time spent polishing the feel of the controls, and I’m sure others will agree.

Another potential issue I see is with repetitiveness. Given what I’ve played, I’m not sure how long it could hold the attention of the player without becoming too repetitive.

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Despite some concerns, I think Netw0rm is a fun game. The premise is great, I just feel the controls need some TLC to reach their maximum potential. If you want to check out the game, head over to its Greenlight page and drop your vote!

Here’s the trailer so you can get a feel for gameplay.

Indie Showcase … – 1000 Heads Among the Trees

1000 Heads Among the Trees is a first person exploration/adventure game from Aaron Oldenburg. Originally called Cachiche, it tells the story of someone who travels to Cachiche, a small town in Peru, in the hope of capturing paranormal activity on camera, and presenting it to the locals. Currently on Greenlight, and set for release on September 1st, 1000 Heads Among the Trees has promise.

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First impressions are key, and unfortunately 1000 Heads does not have a good one. The art is incredibly outdated, and even the content on the Steam Greenlight page paints the picture of a lacklustre, unfinished project. It drastically needs an image make-over. Push that aside and play the game, and the promise starts to show through.

You start in a strange town, with just a camera in your hand and a handful of context. You’re a paranormal photographer, and you’ve come to Cachiche to try and capture something and present it to the public in order to hear those stories. You will meet many people, and hear many individual stories, that gradually come together to form a bigger narrative.  You are not being hunted, you are the hunter, and it’s a refreshing change in the genre.

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I’ve only played the game for 15 minutes, just to get an idea of how it plays before writing this showcase, and honestly, I expected to dislike it based on the screenshots and media available. But the story is intriguing, the environment is sinister, and there’s just an atmosphere that it carries that draws you in.

It’s just a shame about how it’s presented because I think it’s going to put a lot of people off of a game that could be great. The models are very low quality, the UI looks like programmer art, and the textures are very low res, but under all that is a great narrative, and great potential.

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Set for release on September 1st 1000 Heads Among the Trees is an interesting game, with great potential should it get the work it needs. Personally, I’d push the release date WAY back, like 12 months+, and really put work into the title as it could be something great. I just hope the potential isn’t squandered by the seemingly premature release.

You can check the title out for yourselves at its official website, or on its Greenlight page. Let us know what you think of it!

Indie Showcase … – WATER : THE WORLD IN CHAOS

WATER : THE WORLD IN CHAOS is a challenging, beautiful and amusing 2D sci-fi action game set in space. The story of this is brilliant: Foolien, the boss of the aliens, is watching Earth TV one day, and sees a huge waterpark. Envious of the brilliant time use meat bags seam to be having, he decides he wants to build his own. Problem is, Foolien’s planet has fallen short of water, so he looks towards Earth to sort that.

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To thwart Foolien’s plans, you play the role of an astronaut determined to save the world from the onslaught of water-stealing aliens. The key features of the game are:

  • Challenging and exciting gameplay in over 80 various levels
  • 4 awesome heroes with jetpacks capable of different power and speeds
  • Different types of enemies such as crazy robots, strange creatures
  • Spare your life by collecting drops of water Obstacles such as laser, propeller blades …
  • Easy control and amazing art with fun combat.
  • Fight again and again to get the best time possible and a glorious three star rating!
  • Break your keyboard or controller out of anger!
  • Battle your friends down to the mini second on the leaderboards

To defeat the aliens you will need to complete a vast range of levels that require both skill and mental capacity. The quicker you complete the levels, the more starts you get, and the more worlds you unlock.

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WATER : THE WORLD IN CHAOS is currently on Steam Greenlight, and has an active Kickstarter campaign that could use some love. If the game looks like fun, then make sure you head over to the Greenlight and Kickstarter pages and show your interest; I’m certainly looking forward to playing it!

Indie Showcase … – Alchemic Jousts

Alchemic Jousts is a casual strategy game from Player 2 Game Studios. Their debut game, it’s currently on Steam Greenlight and looks like it could be fun. It’s a strategy game where you send a line of your enemies into a line of your opponents, and the strongest enemies break through. Your units are elements, so choosing the right element at the right time is crucial. Send fire elements into your opponents water units and you’re going to have a bad time!

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Water beats fire; fire beats earth; earth beats water, and air flies. From here things get more complicated. As elements mix they form new elements that bring with them fresh abilities and spells to help your own elements, or harm your opponents. With 180 combinations to be found, and a number of different game modes available, Alchemic Jousts looks like it could a fun little casual title.

The game will feature the following once released:

  • Single Player and Player vs Player modes, including local PvP with a single copy of the game (connecting a second mouse to your computer).
  • Strategic combat system where selecting the correct build is as important as playing it correctly. Button smashing won’t win the game.
  • Discover new Skills by combining the ones you already know. Starting with the 4 basic elements and having more than 180 to discover, it will take you a while to find them all.
  • Unlock passives to improve your active skills and your tower capabilities.
  • Strategically create your build for each game, depending on your discovered skills, your play style, the game mode and its Global Effects. There are millions of possible builds to try.
  • Each game will have a chance to have randomized Global Effects on it, which will enormously change the game conditions for both players. You will be able to see them before starting the game, and adapt your build and strategy in consequence.
  • Several game modes, each one with different objectives and strategies, including Combat, Endless, King of the Hill, Attack, Capture… and more to come.
  • Each game will feature an enemy with a randomized skill set and randomized Global Effects, no game will be the same.
  • Adjust the difficulty according to your needs. Select easy games for a more casual gameplay or hard ones to get better rewards and a challenge suitable for a Hardcore gamer.
  • Smart resource system which will automatically distribute the resources you generate will allow you to forget about resource management and focus on the action.

Here is the game trailer so you can see it in action.

Alchemic Jousts looks like it could be a fun little title. It’s a fairly uncommon genre, I don’t know of any games like this off the top of my head, and looks like it would be a lot of fun to play with friends. With 180 combinations, there’s also scope for those players that want to master the strategy.

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If you like what Alchemic Jousts could bring, then be sure to head over to the Greenlight page and cast your vote!

Indie Showcase … – CaesarIA

CaesarIA is an open-source remake of the strategy classic Caesar3. After making its way through Greenlight, the title is now on Steam in Early Access and is looking to develop a more substantial following as it moves towards a full release. Promising all the greatness of Caesar3 and more, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Community projects like this are fantastic. The game is open-source, and is available freely through Steam, so development is driven purely by a passion for the genre. There is no need to make money, so the entire focus on making the best game possible. According to the Steam page:

‘CaesarIA is a remake of an old-school economic strategy game, Caesar III which is a masterpiece among the games of this genre in our opinion.’

Current game features include:

  • Upload of the map from the original Caesar III game;
  • Construction\demolition of buildings and edifices;
  • Migration of population;
  • Farming and product distribution;
  • Entertainment, healthcare, religion, education;
  • Empire trade network with computer towns;
  • Extraction of raw materials and manufacturing;
  • Prefects, engineers, apprentices, soldiers, etc.;
  • Advisers;
  • Dynamic town modelling;
  • Changing the level of the houses according to the environment;
  • Healthcare and water facilities;
  • Military buildings.

Here is the Steam trailer so you can check it out yourself.

 

I must say, looking at the Steam page the game is currently sitting on Mixed review status with 65% positive reviews. I think this is a bit unfair. The biggest complaint seems to be the lack of content, but given it’s an open-source community project, and is free, I think more patience is needed. You only have to look at something like OpenTTD to see what community projects can bring off the back of classics. Give it time.

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If strategy games are your thing then it’s certainly worth checking out on Steam. Hell, it’s free, so there’s nothing to lose. The team are also always looking for people to contribute to the project, so if you’re a talented artist or programmers etc. then visit their website for more information.

Indie Showcase … – Redemption: Eternal Quest

Redemption: Eternal Quest is a simulation RPG by indie games developer SimProse Studios in which you take charge of a party of 6 adventurers, sending them on adventures across the land to complete thrilling quests and to collect rare treasure and precious relics.

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R:EQ combines resource-management with classing RPG elements to create a challenging and unique randomly generated scenario for each turn and every game session. You have full control over your party, and it’s down to you to lead them to victory. With a variety of lands to be explored, and treasures to be found, it’s important you lead your adventurers with a level head. After joining your guild as novices, you’ll see them grow into legendary heroes as your adventures unfold.

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Adventuring is dangerous work, and your party will come across many who wish to stand in your way. R:EQ features a card-based combat system, with over 200 special minion cards available, each differing in combat strength.

If RPG/simulation games are your thing, Redemption: Eternal Quest is definitely worth a look. The depth of the systems, and number of possibilities that are therefore possible, are vast, and promise to offer a great RPG experience.

Redemption: Eternal Quest is currently on Greenlight, and is 94% to the top 100 at the time of writing, so it’s nearly there! Visit the Greenlight Page to leave your vote if you like the look of the game, and if you do, let them know IGUK sent you!