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!
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!
Mos Speedrun 2 is a precision platformer recently released by Physmo. Sure, there are plenty of platformers out there, but Mos Speedrun 2 brings some unique game features to the table that makes it stand out. Fans of precision platform should definitely give it a look in, so let’s check it out!
This cute, colorful, pixel-graphics game offers 30 levels of challenge. Guide your little creature through the map, jumping over enemies, picking up coins, capturing way-points, bopping around moving platforms, and avoiding the plentiful environmental hazards.
In typical precisions platformer style, one hit will send you back to the start of the level. The only respite are way-points that can be found at various points throughout the levels. They’re only good for one use though, die twice and you go back to the beginning regardless. Get to the end to unlock the next map! Simple idea, but the play isn’t as easy as it sounds.
You can make getting to the end of the map your goal, but if you want to challenge yourself to be the best, you can beat the level in the lowest time possible, collect all the coins around the map, and also discover the gold skulls hidden in various, dangerous spots. There is definitely a lot of replay value for those who want to improve their previous score and earn badges for completing goals.
Another cute aspect of this game is the costume feature. By finishing levels, you can unlock new items to wear on your adventures, which mix and match. Lastly, one unique option is to have “ghosts” turned on, so you can see your previous runs, best run, and friends’ runs in that map while you play.
I used a controller for this game. Obviously, the major action in platformers is jumping. Moving the joystick up created one type of jump, while hitting a button created another. This took some getting used to, but generally, the controls are intuitive. (Although I’m still trying to get used to wall jumps)
I waste a lot of time trying to get this platforming just right, and often wind up killing myself anyways! It definitely takes a lot of patience and can be very frustrating, but successive runs will help you get better at each level and eventually pass it. Then you start all over on the next one!
Tl;dr – This game is everything a precision platformer needs: basic graphics, tight controls, a learning curve, and plenty replayability. Dive in as deep into mastering this game as you want, it has plenty to offer for any type of platforming player.
Reign of Bullets is a side-scrolling 2D shoot ‘em up from Critical bit, a small indie studio based in the Netherlands. They have quite a line-up of games under their belts. Reign of Bullets is their latest, and it’s hitting Steam today. Let’s take a look.
What would you do if a big-ass corporation steam rolled through your house, and didn’t offer as much as a sorry? Well, when the Titan Corporation rolled through Troy’s garage, he wants revenge. As most garages do, he has an old jet in the corner, so puts it to good use by launching his own assault on Titan.
Gameplay is classic 2D shoot ‘em up goodness. Enemies come at you from the right, and you have to dodge and shoot as you make your way through section of level. As well as fighting flying enemies, ground units and civilian vehicles move along the road beneath you, adding more targets. Each level last 1 minute 30, and if you survive that long you beat the level.
Each level is also graded, so depending on how many enemies you killed, and how much health left, you will get a score which helps determine how much scrap you get from the level. Each 10th level is a big boss battle and will allow you to move on to the next area.
Throughout the game your ship can be upgraded as you please. As you fight through the levels you will collect both scrap and weapons. If you go back to your hangar, these can then be purchases to upgrading your ship and weapons. Your ship has 5 attributes that can be levelled up using scrap; Autogun, Weaponslots, Luck, Hitpoints, and Shield. Also, each weapon you unlock can be upgraded using special pickups that are also dropped as loot. You can increase a weapons damage, and range for example, amongst other things.
Weapons are applied to your ship however you like. There are no set weapon positions, so to a certain extent, the design of the ship is up to you which is a cool little feature. Smash through levels, spend your scrap upgrading your ship, and repeat.
You can use either a mouse or gamepad to control Reign of Bullets. I started with pad controls. When actually fighting, the pad feels great. Nice and responsive, and the controls are self-intuitive. This all goes to pot when you enter the hangar menus however. The pad control scheme in the menus feels incredibly sloppy and not self-intuitive at all. I was having a hard time understanding why it felt so weird until I tried the mouse and keyboard controls. It appears to me that Reign of Bullets was built and tested using a mouse first.
The menus when using a mouse are a lot easier and can seemingly do more things. I had no idea you could rotate weapons on your ship until I used the mouse. Maybe I missed it when I used the pad, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there. It’s not a major issue if you use the pad. But it does take some getting used to the seeming arbitrary key mappings. I often accidently nearly scrapped a weapon when using the pad.
Reign of Bullets features 10 difficulty levels, ranging from Rookie to Legend. I fancied my chances and choose Legend straight away, and just got owned. It’s clear I’ll have to work my way through the lower difficulties first, develop an epic ship, and then come back to Legend difficulty for retribution. There’s also plenty of levels to go at. 4 distinct areas, each having 10 levels, provides 40 tough battles to get through in the campaign. There’s also an endless mode available for those who may want to spend some time mindlessly destroying the Titan Corporation, or grinding to upgrade your ship.
Reign of Bullets is a solid 2D shoot ‘em up and implementation of the genre. I like the graphics and the character of the game, the story is novel and has funny moments via the twitter messages, and ultimately I had fun smashing through the Titan Corporation. Apart from the sloppy feeling pad controls in the menus, Reign of bullets doesn’t do anything wrong in my opinion, but on the same token it doesn’t do anything particularly ground breaking. A solid entry into the genre, which fans will pick up, play, and then move on.
Tl:dr – Reign of Bullets is a solid implementation of a 2D shoot ‘em up, which a nice aesthetic style and novel story. I had fun smashing through the Titan Corporation, and once complete I’ll have no problem moving on.
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!
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.
If you like what Alchemic Jousts could bring, then be sure to head over to the Greenlight page and cast your vote!
Caves of Qud is an early access science/fantasy rouge-like, created by Freehold Games. The best way to describe Caves of Qud is as a massive simulation in which you can play either as a “True Kin” (a human) or a mutated human (More on that later). You play how you want. Want to be a strong mutant with horns who can fly? This game has that covered. Want to be a normal boring human that is awesome with a sword? This game also has that covered. Forge your own path! You can dig through anything. Melt walls into lava and so much more. Seriously, its friggin awesome what you can do in this game.
Before I go any further, I feel it’s fair to say that I don’t play a lot of rouge-likes. I loved Dwarf Fortress and have played that hell out of games with rouge-like elements to them, so this is a bit of a new experience for me. So with that in mind let’s continue onwards my fellow Indie Gamers!
The first thing you’ll notice when you fire up the game is a complete lack of audio of any kind. As someone who works with audio on a regular basis, I feel it’s an important part to any game. However, I’m more than happy to let that slide for the time being given the game is in early access. The graphics are very reminiscent of oldschool 2D RPG’s and have a similar feel to Dwarf Fortress without the harshness of ASCII art. The graphics are simplistically beautiful for a game of this type and can’t fault them at all. If you are used to Rouge-Likes you will pick the mechanics of this game very quickly. However, Caves of Qud is horrifically brutal, especially if you don’t know quite what you are doing.
I spent a short while trying to figure out the controls, but they are easily learnt and once you have them sussed you’re good to venture out into the land. For example, Crtl + Numpad is how you attack, and pressing “L” is how you look at objects. Just don’t look at the “Watervine farmers”, whatever you do, don’t look! My first hour involved me dying not once, but four times from looking at “Watervine Farmers”!
The first character I created was a mutant human called “Garkun the Badass”. I feel it is only fair I tell you his story so his death wasn’t in vain. I loved him like Dr Frankenstein loved his monster. He had massive horns that could impale even the biggest giant, big wings, night vision and massive muscles that could stun even the most stubborn watervine farmer.
Garkun spawned into the world at a place called “Joppa” along the far rim of “Moghra’yi, the Great Salt Desert.” His first mistake was looking at the locals. They don’t like to be looked at. They really should put a signs up around Joppa about how offended the locals get when you look at them. Or maybe it was because he was a hideous looking mutant, I don’t know. The farmers came at him and he ran south towards a great plain. A small pond with two glowfish lay before him. So he did what any self-respecting mutant would do. He jumped into the pool and eviscerated those fish, then ate what remained.
Now feeling full from those lovely fish, Garkun decided to head west. This was a big mistake as more watervine farmers (two of the scum) were there. Garkun looked at them and tried to communicate but just like the locals in Joppa, these watervine farmers weren’t nice people. They struck Garkun with their steel vine reapers. Garkun the Badass struck back with ferocity and badly wounded one of the farmers, but it was too late. The second farmer had hit Garkun in the back which bought him crashing down. And there he died at the hands of those evil watervine farmers. Those are the trust monsters of this game. Don’t let Garkun’s death be in vain. Always remember, don’t look at the locals, they don’t like it and they will hunt you down and kill you with their vine reapers.
If you have as much imagination as I do and you love RPGs/Rouge-Likes then you will truly fall for Caves of Qud. It holds such depth and immersive character building that you can play it any way you want. I don’t think I even remotely scraped the surface of the game having only done a few quests. But I do know that I will be playing it a hell of a lot more for weeks to come. I can’t wait to see how this game progresses as extra things like music and sound effects are added that give it even further immersion. A game to certainly watch out for in the upcoming months!
TL:DR – Caves of Qud is a truly immersive early access game with lots of depth and harsh difficulty. Any lover of Rouge-Likes will experience pure joy from playing this. The graphics are reminiscent of Dwarf Fortress without the harshness of ASCII art. There is currently no audio in the game but doesn’t detract from the immense depth and size Caves of Qud brings to the table. Keep an eye on this game in the next coming months. Screw watervine farmers, they killed my friend! R.I.P. Garkun the Badass
Rating – 7/10 (Will easily be 9/10 when it adds music and audio)
The feisty elderly residents of a retirement community weren’t going to just accept the Grim Reaper’s threat to come collect them in three days, challenging him instead to mobility scooter races to escape his grasp. This amused Death, so the top 7 residents take to the town streets in this amusing kart game by Milky Tea Studios.
Story mode begins with you choosing one of the 7 quirky characters, each with a unique back story. 13 races are divided among 4 areas of increasing difficulty, the Village, Town, Farm, and Graveyard, with the final race (the Showdown) combining all areas. In order to advance between areas, you must rank above your elderly competitors. If you wind up at the bottom of the pack, your soul will be taken. Higher placement in the pack also means more rewards, which gives you the ability to upgrade your scooter. Better engines, weapons, and other perks are available for the right cost, helping you advance through the more difficult environments.
Gameplay is typical of traditional kart games. During the race, you need to avoid environmental hazards and have a good handle on your acceleration and braking to manage the many curves in the road. Each lap offers several chances at picking up items to help you protect yourself, speed up, or attack other racers. Oil spills, rocket boosts, shields, guns, and more are available if you drive through the item marker in the road. You can only carry one at a time, so timing is important. You also have a melee attack available, which can be charged up. If someone is aiming for you, you will see warning symbols to give you the chance to avoid the attack. Survive four laps around each track and advance to the next race, upgrading your scooter along the way.
Other game modes are available including time trial, quick race, and open world options, including exploration and a game where you have to find an item in the map within a set time. Multiplayer has both online lobby and local multiplayer options. Unfortunately, the game is too new to really have anyone else available in the lobby, but maybe that will change as more play the game.
Controls are sensitive. I tried playing both with a controller and keyboard, and keyboard is impossible for me. Some of the attacks are hard for me to coordinate, but generally, the controls are as-expected for this type of game. Graphics are simple, colorful, and cute with maps that are bright and cartoony. I’m a bit of a grammar-nazi and found a type-o in the opening story, which annoyed me a little, but overall, the game is well-polished.
One complaint I have and saw that the others have, is for the cost ($10.99 on Steam), this is a bit of a short game. Especially since online multiplayer is dead in the water right now, there isn’t too much to offer once all the races are beaten. If this goes on sale, though, it’s worth a buy if you like kart games.
Tl;dr – Coffin Dodgers is a unique twist on kart games where your elderly scooter racer avoids Death’s grip by ranking high in races around town. Upgrade your mobility scooter to help you advance through harder races and show the Grim Reaper who’s boss. This game has potential but the price is a little on the high side for how short it is.
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.
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.
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!
Great news for indies and modders! Gamer Network, the company behind some of the UKs best gaming events, and the world’s leading network of indie game sites, has announced that it will be adding Mod DB and Indie DB to its network.
With over 29 million monthly page views, Mod DB is the world’s leading modding website. It’s also officially a teenager, having been started 13 years ago! As modding took hold, and mod developers started creating Mod DB profiles to promote their indie games, Indie DB was born to provide a home for the emerging community.
Both sites are based upon the idea of user generated content, and put indies in the driving seat. I’ve personally used Indie DB to promote an indie game, and it’s a great first step for indie developers to get their game in-front of an audience, so I’m thrilled it will now have the might of Game Network behind it. With their background the site’s and in safe hands and will no doubt just grow bigger and better than ever.
So a nice bit of news for the indie community. Mod DB and Indie DB have found a comfortable new home and will be all the better for it. Winners all around!
Enola is a horror adventure game by indie developer and publisher The Domaginarium. First released on Steam back in September 2014, it recent received an update implementing ‘Nightmare mode’ which made the already frightful story deeper and darker.
In Enola you have no weapons in the traditional sense, just your wits that you’ll use to solve puzzles and uncover the disturbing mystery of the nightmare you find yourself in. Let’s take a look.
Be warned that this game does cover dark and twisted themes that might turn some players away.
The story revolves around a female protagonist, Enola, sifting her way through the macabre world created by Angelica, her lover, learning more about her history and story as she does so. The Steam page states ‘SOME PARTS OF THIS GAME ARE DISTURBING OR CRUEL’ and that warning should not be taken lightly. Enola’s themes are indeed very dark, and touch upon issues of abuse, rape, and a woman trying to find the ability to love and trust again. While I enjoy a compelling story, the material was very descriptive and dark, making it challenging to continue in places. I sometimes found myself detaching from the experience due to its very mature nature.
As you wander through areas like old houses, factories, a cemetery, etc. you have to navigate death traps like floor spikes, and revolving blades that will kill you instantly. Be sure to save often as there are no defined save points. You will always go back to the place you last manually saved. Memory banks appear throughout the game and provide more of the story through snippets of written text. A good portion of that is spoken word which was nice to see the developer take the time to add as it fuels the immersion of the game. It can however sometimes be hard to understand exactly what is going on because you can find these out of order, learning something further in the story before you should have. It’s not game breaking, but it does confuse the timeline a little bit.
Enemies appear in the form of black mannequins, and need to be pushed off with a series of quick button presses so that you can continue your journey. I’d be lying if I said they didn’t make me jump as they come at you startlingly. I was walking through a garden maze and noticed a black form was following me. Even though they usually won’t kill you, just knowing that you are being hunted, and every time you look back there is something still chasing you, fills me with a sense of unbridled fear that I can feel in my bones. I really appreciated this part as sometimes the game lacks instances of true terror.
Getting down to the look and feel of the game is where everything falls apart for me. The game is mostly linear in terms of where you need to go next, but each area is littered with doors and rooms that are completely pointless and have nothing of interest or value in them. You find yourself looking for “item 1 of 3” in a very large area with multiple doors, some you can go in and some you can’t, and the majority of the environment holds zero information or items of importance. It’s extremely frustrating and was actually my biggest issue with the game; the size of the rooms and corridors. While this might seem trivial, it felt like nothing was built to scale in relation to the character. Everything was so large and exaggerated that it felt rushed and not thoroughly thought out.
Graphically this game could have come from the 90’s. It felt uninspired, bland and it gave the impression that someone went into the content manager of a 3D modelling program and just grabbed whatever was there. Items like a ladder or crates felt out of place and were everywhere. It’s confusing as a player when you are trying to find the reasoning of the items placed in the environment, only to realize that they are pointless and are just there to block an area, or just for the sake of it. Considering you don’t want to miss any important items or details, you are almost forced to seek out every nook and cranny only to be moderately rewarded with a piece of story or item.
The music never really felt atmospheric as it sounded the same through most of the game. When you are in a new area, and the music changes, it seems to fit for a short while before inevitably swelling for no reason only to repeat and start over. Your character is rarely in danger when this happens, and there is no real reason for this track to be playing giving you a false sense of fear when there doesn’t need to be one. A counter argument would be that it’s there to keep you on edge, which in places it does, but the issue is when you are exploring an area for 30 minutes. This music keeps playing over and over until you finally realize that no matter what you do you’re safe and the point is lost.
Another big aspect of this game is the choices you have. Let someone live, or let them die. You are given good backstory on the target in question, and you have a choice to either kill them based on hatred for what they’ve done or let them live. It usually comes down to someone who did something terrible, but that terrible thing was not to you or someone you know. They are a bad person, here is what they’ve done, pull the switch or not. While I love this idea, there is no real point to either choice. This is summed up by the final confrontation at the end of the game where you have no other option but to kill, even if you chose to spare everyone else you came across. A choice here would have made more sense. As far as I could tell, the ending is not affected at all by these decisions which made them feel empty.
I remember the first 2 hours or so were quickly becoming boring. To be fair to the game I was determined to finish it – which I did. It does get better and start to get pretty crazy compared to the opening couple of hours. Overall I enjoyed the midpoint of the game and getting towards the end, but that joy was ripped away from me once I finished the game and saw how everything I did didn’t really matter. It was an up and down ride throughout, but overall it doesn’t hit the mark for me. This game had/has promise if it’s every revisited and re-done but in its current state it’s not something I can recommend unless this type of story is more important than gameplay.
Much like Gone Home, if you are playing strictly for the story you may really enjoy this game like many other reviewers have already. If you want a balance of gameplay and story, then I suggest looking elsewhere as this game suffers from many broken mechanics and design flaws.
Tl:dr – Some games give you a solid reason to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and others leave you torn because of the effort or personal story you can see through the games narrative. Enola is such a game where there is heart in the development but it never quite hits the mark. The game can become quite tedious and I struggled to accept the design choices that were made which overall took me out of the elements of this game. Decent story but uninspired gameplay really detracts from the experience that could have been.
Welcome to the first Indie Showcase! We receive lots of game for review, and we’re tight on writers! (If you want to be a part of IndieGamers UK, fire an email to firstname.lastname@example.org) This unfortunately means that some of the smaller titles we receive don’t get any coverage and I don’t like that!
This new series, Indie Showcase, will allow us to put out shorter articles for the games we otherwise wouldn’t be able to cover, and raise a bit of awareness for them as we should be doing. There will be no review score, just us trying to raise some awareness for our Indies. J Think of it as a game suggestion from us!
For the first episode we’ll be starting with Skyline: Garden Defense, a short game from small indie studio Might Studios LLC.
Skyling: Garden Defense is a cute platformer about a race called the Skyling. They built luscious gardens in the sky surrounded by green. But Blight Monsters came and destroyed all the green, turning the gardens to dirt. One brave Skying, Bloom, fought back!
Gameplay is a homage to classics such as Pac-Man, Q*bert and Crystal Castles, making Skyling feel familiar right off the bat. The goal of each level is to step on each square, turning it back to luscious greenery, whilst avoiding the nasty Blight Monsters, solving puzzles, and navigating lazy, sleeping cats!
With a price tag of only ~£1.55, and 30 levels of content, Skyling is a cute little game worth the few pound that you can sink an hour or so into depending on how apt you are at the puzzles.
It’s also available on a whole bunch of platforms! Here are all the stores you can purchase Skyling on: