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  1. It might be hard to recall, but there was a time when a program by the name of Steam was detested by gamers. Alongside Valve“s release of Half-Life 2 was a new requirement that players needed Steam in order to access the title. However, the software barely had any functionality at all and was prone to crashing. This was in 2004. Today, invoking Steam“s name results in a very different opinion. Many gamers flock to Steam as their number one choice for purchasing digital PC games. In fact, there are many out there who go so far as to state they won“t buy a game until it has come to Steam. Yes, you can add your own game files to the program and launch through it, but that isn“t the same. There“s something to actually owning a game on Steam and increasing that collection amount. Of course, then there“s the much-loved Steam holiday sales which through copious deals around day after day, some of which price games at incredible discounts. Valve has had a very good last few years thanks to Steam. But it seems like it might soon begin to fall out of favor with its massive user base. A handful of policy changes have been rolling out over the past few years which are now becoming a large portion of the store. These include the Steam Greenlight and Early Access initiatives. Both seek to allow more titles onto the service without having to go through Valve“s slower and one at a time approach of the past. But shouldn“t more games being made available be purely positive? Yes, it is exciting that any game has the chance at Greenlight success. However, there are many issues with the program (that Valve itself acknowledges). As long as Greenlight stays as is, however, these issues will remain as sticking points. One of the biggest issues is the fact that it ends up being a popularity contest. Games that best know how to market themselves, have an existing fanbase, are able to bribe users, or happen to be from a popular genre (horror) always take the lead. Well, the point of Greenlight is to let the players choose, isn“t it? The main problem with that is the majority audience is simply unaware of what they“re voting for in droves. Sometimes it“s obvious, such as a well-known mobile game or indie success outside of Steam. Then there are other games that provide gorgeous screenshots or cool concepts that get voted up into being Greelit quickly. And then they come out and… it“s not pretty. Many Greenlight games are excellent and add a much needed facet of the Steam Store. However, there are other games that are absolutely broken or horrendous in other ways that make it through. Managing to fool players is rewarded and Steam isn“t able to say no. After all, they can“t exercise quality control as that goes against the rules of Greenlight. While this is a great positive for small games that otherwise would never get past Valve, but also lets in drivel. Without mentioning names, I have already wandered into many Steam Communities to see players distressed, annoyed, or rightly angry at developers for not fixing their clearly broken titles. There were some questionable games on Steam before, but at a lesser amount than there are now. Alongside this trend is the Early Access program. Steam devised it as a way to get currently in development games onto the store. By doing so, the developers may speak more directly with fans, gauging their desires as well as getting reports on glitches. At its core, it is a very helpful service for developers and a neat way for players to feel like they“re helping shape a product. What could go wrong? So far, very few games have made it out of Early Access so it“s hard to tell where this will lead, but right now there“s a lot of trouble. Some developers seem keen on squashing any criticism on their respective Steam Community, completely voiding the point of being on Early Access. Others have in the past asked for egregious amounts of money. There“s no guarantee that these games will even ever reach a finished state. As no one has outright stated they quit development, we can“t tell how Valve will or will not choose to reprimand them. Some games are progressing nicely, while others appear to have gone live at super early states and not gotten far since. On one hand, it is an exciting prospect that Steam will eventually be a very “open” storefront. However, thanks to many poor quality games arriving, users are becoming more cautious with their purchases. Getting burned by a purchase once might not deter a user, but after a few stinkers who knows? Steam“s audience is vast and has been built up by the promise of good games at (often) great prices. With an increasing amount of broken projects though it is aiming to hurt that image which took so long to build up. Will as many users purchase Steam titles because they simply like the synopsis, concept, or selected screenshots? It seems this will not be as frequent as it has been so far. Then again, what can be done about it? The concept of Steam being open to all developers is fantastic but proves to be much harder to manage in reality. We“ll have to see how everything continues to evolve. We“ll also have to see whether the current diehard Steam users will continue to lavish blind affection onto Valve. As a user, be sure to do your homework before buying any new games on Steam. For all the great new releases coming out, there are always going to be a handful that don“t deserve your money.
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Indie Gala Greenlight Bundle Offers 8 Games

    The Indie Gala people have been slowly expanding their empire by running multiple bundles at once. The newest is a Steam Greenlight bundle which offers a handful of indie games. Some have already been greenlit while others still require upvotes. Here's all eight titles: Deep Eclipse Frederic Resurrection of Music The Girl & the Robot alpha Hunter's Trophy 2 America Inescapable Loot Hero Rush for Glory Sinister City Currently purchasers can redeem all of these titles on Desura. Of course, each developer has also promised that Steam keys will be coming. Hopefully that proves to be the case once the games launch. Finally, if you're reading this post early enough, all games can be had for $1. The price is set to increase in a few hours, though.
  3. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: Continue, Driftmoon, Unearthed

    Thanks to the Steam Holiday Sale, very few games were willing to have a PC launch over the past few weeks. Now that the sale has ended and the gaming world is returning to normal, a few publishers have decided to bring their titles to the forefront. Of course, there's only a few this week. Continue?9876543210 - $7.99 "You are a dead, failed video game character wandering through the recesses of the Random Access Memory, trying to find peace in the final moments of your existence before being deleted forever... ...but forget that. The real story is that Continue?" Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle - $5.94 "A place where pirates roamed the seas looking for treasure, and where one innocent 8 year old girl grew up to become the most famous Pirate of the Caribbean! From an early age, Morgane Castillo was a confident and feisty girl, playing with her friends and getting into scraps on Bounty Island." Driftmoon - $10.49 "The beautiful, enchanted world of Driftmoon trembles in the shadow of a forgotten evil, for the dark King Ixal is again gathering his forces. Hope lies in an unlikely alliance: A young man joins forces with a little firefly dreaming of stardom, a panther queen with the ego of a moon whale, and a very determined fellow who's lost..." Gunman Clive - $1.99 "In the year of 18XX, the west is overrun by thugs and outlaws. A group of bandits have kidnapped Mayor Johnsons daughter and are spreading havok across the land. Only Gunman Clive can bring order to the west and save the girl! Jump and shoot your way across 16 diverse and challenging levels and fight massive bosses." Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta - Episode 1 - Gold Edition - $3.99 "When fortune hunter Faris Jawad and his sister Dania receive a call to visit Morocco they embark on an exotic adventure throughout the middle east on the trail of the famous Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta." Currently, every single one of these games is on discount. For the most part, they're pretty cheap! Aside from Continue?, each title also was available previously and have just finally made the jump to Steam (thanks in large part to Greenlight). We should see Steam releases resume their massive output in the coming weeks.
  4. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Greenlight Crowns Another Hundred Titles

    For most of Steam Greenlight's existence, it has been a painfully slow process for developers to see their games climb the ranks of popularity. Over the past few months though we've seen Valve continually select hundreds of games at a time to be greenlit. It has happened again! Now with 100 more titles successfully through Greenlight we will continue to see them flood into the market over the following months. Since there is such a large amount, only some notable ones will be listed. 99 Levels to Hell Aqua Kitty - Milk Mine Defender Driftmoon Frogatto & Friends Narcissu 1st & 2nd Out There Somewhere Potatoman Seeks the Troof Stasis TowerClimb Wyv and Keep Buried among some of the cooler titles are others that are complete but not quite ready for primetime. I'm not naming anything in particular, but exercise caution when buying anything off Steam, Greenlight (and Early Access) or not!
  5. Did you know the Steam Store has over 2,000 games available on it? Thanks to the ever-increasing amount of titles being published on the service, it won't be long before there are zillions of titles. This week saw over a dozen game releases, with some being classic and others being new. Let's take a look! 9:03m - $1.99 "9.03m, is a short, first person, art/empathy game for PC. Not a game in the traditional sense of the word; it aims to humanise, and remember the victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami. The media is quick to put figures to death tolls in such disasters, and 9.03m tries to remind people of the individuals behind those figures. 9." Adventure Time: Explore hte Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! - $39.99 "Princess Bubblegum summons Finn and Jake to the Candy Kingdom to investigate a rash of thefts and kidnappings that have plagued her kingdom. She thinks the cause lies within her Secret Royal Dungeon, where only the nastiest monsters and criminals are locked up. If they“ve found a way to escape, the Land of Ooo will be in danger!" Ashes Cricket 2013 - $20.99 "THE RIVALRY RETURNS! Ashes Cricket 2013 brings a brand new authentic gaming experience to Cricket fans. Celebrating the most intense and long standing international Test rivalry. - Brand new engine - Totally realistic gameplay - Changing pitch conditions - All new batting, bowling and fielding controls ." Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - $59.99 "The year is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established their own lawless Republic where corruption, greediness and cruelty are commonplace. Among these outlaws is a brash young captain named Edward Kenway." Barbie Dreamhouse Party - $29.99 "Time to Party! After Raquelle accidentally switches the helpful house butler "Closet" to "Party Game" mode, Barbie and her friends must party and play their way through the Dreamhouse to switch Closet back to "Normal" mode." Beast Boxing Turbo - $4.99 "An artfully designed first-person boxing game with freestyle arcade action in which you punch a turkey in the face. Beast Boxing Turbo is a challenging first-person boxing game with fast-paced freestyle boxing action. You play a secret human boxer in a beastly world. She's outmuscled, undersized, and in way over her head." Bloody Trapland - $7.99 "Bloody Trapland is a fast-paced multiplayer platformer where the levels are filled with dozens of dangerous traps and tricky jumps that stand in your way! Play co-op with your friends or take on the challenges on your own. With support for up to 4 players at once, local and/or online. 100+ levels. 1-4 Players." Bridge It Plus - $11.99 "Bridge It is about building a bridge that doesn't break, although watching your bridge creation break and plunge a train into the watery depths below can be half the fun. Set in the picturesque surroundings of sparse deserts and dense forests it is your task to strategically design and construct an engineering masterpiece." Bus-Simulator 2012 - $9.99 "Catch the bus and let it take you to a detailed, virtual world. Are you ready to explore a picturesque German city behind the wheel of a realistically modeled, freely accessible bus? Then take a look at “Bus Simulator 2012” by the well-known developer studio TML! Every technical detail of the original bus has been reproduced true-to-live." Carnage Racing - $8.99 "Strap in, gun your engine and go full throttle into the most turbocharged, hi-octane combat racing game to hit Steam. From the developers behind the epic Midnight Club series, Carnage Racing combines seat-of-the-pants driving, tricks and stunts with explosive vehicle combat in a no-holds-barred race for the chequered flag." Dead Sky - $9.99 "Dead Sky takes place admist the chaos of a mysterious outbreak where you will fight tooth-and-nail through hordes of undead creatures in order to escape the epidemic and survive. At its core, Dead Sky is an action-packed survival shooter that ties in several strategic tower defense elements." Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive - $3.74 ""Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive" is the first strategy game ever to combine a movie-based and story-driven atmosphere of an adventure game with the intellectual challenge of a real time tactic game. In this western-style title, discover a game of strategy and tactics played out in exceptional real time." Eryi's Action - $3.99 "One fine day, Eryi went to eat the melon that she had been SO looking forward to... but it was nowhere to be found! Then she noticed a note on the table. She picked it up and read: "Your melon looked delicious, so I took it. From Farta X" Fuming with rage, Eryi set out from her house to get her melon back from Farta." Gimbal - $10.04 "Gimbal is the multiplayer shooter with buildable vehicles. Craft the perfect ship, and then take to the skies with other pilots in real time combat. Cap flags, race ships, and blow each other up in a social multiplayer environment. Gimbal is the shooter you've been waiting for." The Last Express Gold Edition - $5.24 "Step aboard the 1914 Orient Express in this award-winning mystery adventure from Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner. Described as one of the best adventure games of all time, The Last Express is an intrigue-filled adventure set aboard the luxurious Orient Express." Montague's Mount - $7.49 "Montague's Mount is disturbing psychological thriller set in the bleakness of an abandoned Irish island, featuring exploration and challenging puzzle solving. This game is part one of a two part story, some questions are left unanswered and open to interpretation." Mutant Mudds Deluxe - $8.99 "Love pixels? Fond of platformers? Is there a special place in your heart for the 8-bit and 16-bit era? Want to have fun? Yes!? Well, you“ve come to the right place, my friend. Mutant Mudds Deluxe is a “12-bit” action platformer full of pixels and platforming fun!" The Mysterious Cities of Gold - $11.24 "Play Esteban, Zia and Tao through numerous tricky levels full of puzzles, traps and infiltration phases in a wide variety of diverse gorgeous settings. Explore every nook and cranny of China, and escape Zarès“ hostile men, searching for the local City of Gold." Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages - $8.99 "Ring Runner combines the fast-paced action of space combat with the rich story and skill variety of an RPG. Trek across the universe in a 30 hour long story-driven campaign based on a companion Sci Fi novel, or challenge 6 scenarios alone, cooperatively, or competitively through local or online multiplayer." The Shivah - $4.99 "Russell Stone is a Jewish Rabbi at a poor synagogue in New York City. He is a devout man with a problem. Membership is way down and he lacks the funds to keep his synagogue open. Things are looking very bleak, and he has grown progressively more cynical and bitter with the passage of time." Signal Ops - $11.99 "Greetings Officer-Cadet o249, Are you ready to be put to the test? If deemed worthy, you will be assigned as an officer in the shadowy halls of Facility 7C. You will remotely lead a squad of operatives on daring espionage missions to plant evidence, steal secrets, assassinate targets, and perform sabotage for the glory of the Dark Father." Tank Operations: European Campaign - $9.74 "Tank Operations: European Campaign is a turn-based, tactical wargame featuring a dozen nail-biting historical scenarios set on the diverse battlefields of World War II. With more than 50 faithfully-rendered, authentic military combat units, along with sabotage options and the need to manage your supply chain" World Basketball Tycoon - $8.49 "WBM Tycoon is a fresh look in sports strategy games that combines the classic manager game with the financial management and development of a Tycoon type game. As the Club Owner you must generate (or loan) the necessary funds in order to expand the club's facilities, raise the financial level and improve the team's roster." Young Justice: Legacy - $29.99 "One Will Rise. One Will Fall. One Will Die. Experience Young Justice like never before. The creative forces behind the smash hit TV series have joined forces with Little Orbit to bring the ultimate in fan service – an interactive bridge for Seasons 1 & 2."
  6. Marcus Estrada

    Greenlight Adds 40 More Titles

    Yup, right on the heels of some 100 new Greenlight successes come more games. Valve announced that forty more titles (most of which are video games) have made it through the process and will arrive on Steam in the coming weeks and months. A great deal of genres are covered and a refreshing amount of lesser-known titles have been selected. Here is the complete list, which is also available on Steam: 9.03m Black Gold Online Bollywood Wannabe Bot Colony C-RUSH Castles in the Darkness Chuck's Challenge 3D Clang Crimsonland The Dark Phantom Death Road Freedom Fall Grimind Gunman Clive Harvest Hypovolemia Kopatel Online NaissanceE Liege Little Racers STREET Lords of DIscord Lords of Xulima Ludwig MechKnight Chronicles: Knightfall Motor Rock ORBITOR Paradise Lost: First Contact Pixel Boy - Ratz Instagib - Smooth Operators Sokobond Stick 'Em Up 2 Super Chain Crusher Horizon The Tale of ALLTYNEX Toki Remake Undead Overlord Wheels of Destruction Wilson Chronicles It's a good thing all these Greenlight games don't come out at once or the Steam Store would be absolutely swamped with dozens of new games. Are there any games on Greenlight that you're rooting for? Feel free to link them in the comments so maybe they'll be part of the next batch!
  7. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Greenlights Another 100 Titles

    The first time Steam Greenlit 100 games in one go was pretty shocking. Before that, they'd only really done so with smaller bunches. However, we do know that at some point Valve would love to grant developers even easier access to their storefront. Perhaps this means we'll be seeing even more massive game batches in the future. Here are all the latest Greenlight successes: 12TailsOnline 3079 - An Action RPG 99 Spirits A Mass of Dead A.N.N.E. After Reset RPG Ballpoint Universe: Infinite Battle Fortress Tortoise Beast Boxing Turbo Cannons Lasers Rockets Cardinal Quest II Castaway Paradise Cloudbuilt Colonies Online Cornerstone, The Song of Tyrim Dead Sky Deadly 30 Doctor Who: The Adventure Game Drifter Enamel Epic Battle Fantasy 4 Eryi's Action (Review) The Escapists Eschalon: Book III Estranged: Act I Everworld Island Fading Hearts Festival of Magic Finding Teddy Fistful of Frags Flowstorm Frozen Hearth GoD Factory: Wingmen Half-Life: Before Hero of the Kingdom Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead I Shall Remain iRacing.com Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery (Review) Jets'n'Guns Last Knight Loren the Amazon Princess Lost Saga Luminesca Magicite The Mandate Mines of Mars Molten Sky Montas Nightrealm Tales Nimble Quest OddPlanet Oozi: Earth Adventure (Review) Orc Attack: Flatulent Rebellion Paper Monsters Parallax Particulars Pirate Galaxy Private Infiltrator Probability 0 Pulse Purge Race to Mars The Real Texas The Red Solstice Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages Risk of Rain Rogue's Tale Rollers of the Realm Savant - Ascent Science Girls Shaun the Sheep - Home Sheep Home 2 Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe The Somme Spintires Sub Rosa Suguri Collection Survivor Squad Tales of Maj'Eyal Tower of Guns Trash TV Two Brothers Vanguard Princess Void Destroyer Will to Survive Wings of Vi Worlds of Magic World Shift XING: The Land Beyond Xsyon: Prelude The Yawhg (Review) You are Not the Hero Zigfrak Zombeer Platformines There were also a couple non-game software additions as well. In any case, this set in particular features a great deal of genres from well known as well as less known developers. In particular, Winter Wolves and Hanako Games (best known for visual novels) have both seen some of their titles make it through.
  8. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Greenlight Adds 37 More Titles

    Ready to see the latest batch of games Greenlit through Steam? Today Valve revealed another series of titles that have just made the cut and will arrive on the Steam marketplace in the weeks and months to come. There's a handful of big names in there alongside more obvious indie efforts. Here's all the latest video game Greenlight successes: Alien Swarm FP Blood of the Werewolf CastleMiner Z Elder Sign: Omens The Fall Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold The Fifth Day Fotonica Fortress Forever Fran Bow Half-Life 2: Capture the Flag Hot Tin Roof Ikaruga Infinity Wars J.U.L.I.A. Enhanced Edition Metal War Online Montague's Mount Neighbours from Hell Compilation Neverending Nightmares Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart Portal Remake Mod Ravensword: Shadowlands Real World Racing RimWorld Starship Corporation Steam Marines Tiny Barbarian DX TowerClimb The Sparkle 2: EVO (un)Lucky7 Underhell Universum: War Front Violett Wrack There were a handful of non-gaming software titles also Greenlit. Those include Aartform Curvy 3D 3.0, Axis Game Factory Pro, and InkFish. Hopefully we'll see games that have already released be made available on Steam quite soon.
  9. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Greenlights Even More Horror Games

    Steam Greenlight is one heck of a service but far from the ideal way of getting games onto the Steam marketplace. Case in point, many users seem keen on voting for projects that are already very similar to existing ones. Other times, we see games that look great but end up being fairly poor but there's little that can be done to combat that aspect. Regardless of how you feel about Steam Greenlight, it's always important to see more indies making their way in front of a large audience. Today a batch of new games and applications passed through and will be available soon. Check out the list of games: A-Train9 AdventurOS Age of Wushu CABAL Online Claire CRYSTAL KINGDOM Death Road to Canada Dysis E.T. Armies Eldritch Fibrillation Haunted Hyper Light Drifter Iron Soul Lost Sector Online McDROID MouseCraft Nihilumbra No Heroes Of Guard and Thieves PULSAR: Lost Colony Race the Sun The Sandbox Skyscraper Simulator Slenderman's Shadow Vox WIldfire Worlds Zombies. Are any of these games ones you've been hoping to see come to Steam?
  10. Marcus Estrada

    25 More Titles Greenlit on Steam

    Last time there was a massive batch of 100 titles Greenlit and now there are 25. Sure, it might seem paltry in comparison to the last set, but it is still far more than what Valve would usually do. This time around there are actually a large amount of titles that aren't horror focused! Here are all the latest Greenlit games (so we are excluding the software): Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game Candle Dusty Revenge DwarfCorp Eden Star Gimbal Grimm Higurashi When They Cry Humans Must Answer Lacuna Passage Long Live the Queen Monochroma Mount Your Friends Postmortem: One Must Die SeaCraft SUPERHOT Syder Arcade theHunter U55 - End of the Line Valdis Story Abyssal City Warsow World of Diving WWII Online: Battleground Europe Zombie Tycoon II Most excitingly, we see that the Greenlight community has managed to scrounge up enough attention about visual novels to vote for two of them! This is after the last batch of games which included one as well. Hopefully Higurashi and Long Live the Queen will get more players interested in the genre.
  11. gaiages

    Review: Megabyte Punch

    Developer: Reptile Games Publisher: Reptile Games Platform: PC ( Download, Desura, Gamers Gate, Steam) Release Date: August 6, 2013 ESRB: N/A (E recommended) Megabyte Punch is a special little game. It's a bunch of different unique titles mashed together. I mean, what would you think if you heard of a title that took a healthy helping of Custom Robo, added mechanics and elements from the Super Smash Bros. series, and added some Metroid-styled exploration to boot? That sort of mash-up just doesn't seem as though it'd work out--but that's what Megabyte Punch is, and it does it very, very well. In a virtual world, you gain the control of a Megac (a robotic creature) that is tasked by the Heartcore of the Megac village to protect it from an oncoming evil. It's a very simple story, and one you won't hear much of throughout the game. Still, it works well enough as a plot device, and gives you enough of a reason to traverse the title's six sprawling levels. When you enter a level, you have three stages to explore and a boss fight at the end of it. The stages themselves are pretty big and have plenty of nooks and crannies to explore... and exploring is also worth the effort, with a bunch of parts and colors to collect to customize your Megac with. Getting new parts will help you to get past the multitude of enemies the game will throw at you. You can customize every part of your robot, and give it combat abilities and other enhancements like increased speed and defense. Some of the 150 parts you can find are repeats, offering only cosmetic changes, but there are still a variety of choices available. When you run across enemies, it's then that the game's Super Smash Bros. influence comes in. Enemies don't have a static health bar; instead, the more damage they take, the easier it'll be to launch into the air and into walls. If you can hit them with enough velocity, they'll go flying and smash into bits (64 give you an extra life in the stages) and parts. Obviously, the same goes for you, so you want to make sure not to take too much damage, and if you do, make sure not to get hit with a powerful attack. While in the stages themselves, you don't have to worry about the damage mechanics too much, but during the boss fights, strategy become paramount. Bosses are one-on-one fights in an open arena, and depleting the boss's lives while staying alive is important. Boss fights tend to be the more challenging part of Megabyte Punch, but thankfully if you fail during a boss battle, you can warp back to the fight without going through the stages again to minimize frustration. For the most part, this game is challenging, but isn't frustrating. I've died multiple times in my journeys through the game's six stages, but for the most part I never really thought Megabyte Punch was being unfair. However, when I got to the final stage and boss, that changed. A new hazardous threat and some harsh level design changed the game from 'challenging' to 'frustrating' very quickly as I was thrown about like a pinball while trying to wall-jump. The final set of bosses felt a little cheap in their tactics too (though not as much the final boss as the ones before it); this is upsetting because the final area is marred by what was otherwise a near-perfect experience. Another thing (though it's more of a note than a negative) is that this game is best played with a gamepad or 360 controller plugged in to your computer. While the title does allow for keyboard control, it's pretty difficult and cumbersome to actually play the game with them, especially when considering that you do special moves by inputting a direction plus the special moves button. It's certainly possible to play without, but Megabyte Punch is really meant to be played with a controller, and trying to do otherwise will put a damper on the experience. Really though, Megabyte Punch is a pretty impressive game, and certainly worth the $14.99 entry fee for the regular edition. The Special Edition, which for five more dollars comes with the soundtrack, extra versus stages, and other little goodies is harder to recommend, so unless you really want the soundtrack, I'd only recommend the regular edition. But, give the game a download--you won't be disappointed! Pros: + Challenging skill-based gameplay is fun and feels rewarding + Large number of collectable parts and colors to find Cons: - Last level turns from challenging to frustrating - Hard to play without a gamepad, which can deter those without one Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Megabyte Punch is a great genre mash-up that everyone should give a try.
  12. Marcus Estrada

    100 Titles Greenlit Today

    So you know how Valve have been posting updates every once in a while with 5-15 new Greenlit games? That's been working fine and all but they wanted to stress test their new system of developer tools. To that end, Valve decided to Greenlight 100 titles all in one go so their tools could get seriously tested. There are so many games that we can't post them all. Here's the link to check them out and here are some of the highlights: Armikrog Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils (Review) The Cat Lady Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos (Review) Escape Goat Gray Matter Knytt Underground (Review) Megabyte Punch Oniken Paranautical Activity Ray's the Dead Shantae's Risky Revenge Toribash Unerrail Zafehouse: Diaries Of course, there are many more games listed as well. It's exciting to see some titles finally getting Steam recognition. Here's hoping this clearing out of the top 100 also leaves room for slightly more "niche" games to get their chance in the Greenlight spotlight soon.
  13. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Early Access Adds Three New Games

    Are you so interested in video games that you need to play ones that aren't even fully released yet? That's where Steam Early Access comes in and it looks to be presenting a constant stream of new games weekly.This week, we're graced with the likes of three new games, as well as the graduation of Electronic Super Joy from Early Access to release! Insurgency is one of the new Early Access games and looks to already be a fairly polished game. The multiplayer-focused FPS is currently in alpha. Developer New World Interactive is using their spot on Steam to make sure the community's voice is heard in the direction Insurgency is updated. For a few hours more, it can be had for $9.99, which is 50% off. Might & Magic X - Legacy is one of the first "non-indie" titles available through Early Access. Coming from Ubisoft, this single player turn-based RPG is attempting to call upon old school traditions of the genre. Bugs and balancing issues are the main reason the game isn't complete yet. Players can pick it up for $29.99. Finally, we've got Sir, You Are Being Hunted which has already drawn a fair bit of interest from gamers. In the game, you are a character being pursued, or hunted, by robots. Their pursuit could be considered silly or scary but overall this seems like a neat new survival game. However, it is a single player only experience. Feel free to jump into Sir's world for $19.99.
  14. Game Dev Tycoon will soon be available for purchase on Steam... very soon, in fact. You can grab the game making simulator next Friday on the digital distribution service. After being Greenlit for Steam back in May, developer Greenheart Games decided to spruce the title up a bit before putting it up on the Steam storefront. This updated version of the game includes: A longer story line, extending the playtime and adding new story elements as well as new platforms. New artwork (by our original talented artists). Ability to unlock multi-platform games. Rebalanced topics and platforms to make choices more interesting and results more understandable. Rebalanced review system to address sudden spikes in difficulty. New game mechanics (Post-release game reports and company expertise) to provide more feedback to the player. Small but often requested changes such as support for longer game names and ability to edit game name before release. That's a lot of changes for this new release! Also, Game Dev Tycoon will release with a 20% launch discount, bringing the title down from $9.99 to $7.99. You can check out the full announcement from Greenheart here. Will you grab Game Dev Tycoon for Steam?
  15. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Early Access Adds Three Interesting New Titles

    Despite how many games are currently available on Steam Early Access there are always more to come. This week we see the addition of three more games - each with their own unique style and gameplay. First up is Betrayer by Blackpowder Games. The distinctive black and white visuals play into the story as players must discover what sapped color from the land to begin with. Right now, only an introductory area and a level are included. Players can buy into the beta now for $13.49. Dream is another game now available thanks to Greenlight and the Early Access program. Right now you can jump into the alpha build, which developer HyperSloth acknowledges is incomplete and has bugs. All the same, it looks like quite the intriguing adventure/puzzle title. Dream is currently $14.99. Full Mojo Rampage is the final new Early Access game for this week. It's a cartoony, voodoo-themed roguelike. Developer Over the Top Games have committed to bringing out updates for the game every few weeks until it is finally ready. You can buy into it now for $17.99.
  16. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: Guacamelee, Spelunky, and More

    Those looking for a great new game to play today are in massive luck because Steam has added a handful to their library during this week. Many of these titles have been long-awaited and with good reason. First there is Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians which connects action and puzzling gameplay with the beat of background music. Threaks' game might not be all that familiar to you but it has made its way around the indie world. In fact, it has been nominated for and won various awards. Now it is available at 10% off for $13.43. Next up is Divinity: Dragon Commander which infuses real time strategy with the awesomeness of making dragons fight one another. Both single and multiplayer are included, with multiplayer working via local or online. The game is $39.99 but if you own Divinity II: Director's Cut on Steam you can it at 10% off instead. Guacamelee! is a game that PSN or XBLA gamers may have already experienced but is now available to PC owners. In fact, we're treated to Guacamelee! Gold Edition which includes all the fancy things associated with Steam (Steam Trading Cards, Workshop Support, etc). For the first week you can buy it at 10% off for $13.49 and get a free copy of Mutant Blobs Attack! Infected: The Twin Vaccine is next on the list. This is the most "casual" of the releases but it's nice for the library to be rounded out with all types of genres. In any case, this is a hidden object game which takes place during a mysterious outbreak of a new disease. For the first week the game is 15% off which makes it $11.89. Then we've got Inquisitor which is an independently developed RPG. The three playable classes include paladin, priest, and thief. While hte game can be had for only $8.99, you can pick up the Deluxe Edition for $11.99 which includes two novels, an artbook, and 38 track soundtrack. The most important release this week to some gamers is the launch of Papers, Please. The title plunges you into the fictional world of Arstotzka where you live your days out as an immigration inspector. It might sound weird but the game has gotten tons of attention because of its strangely addictive nature. You can pick it up for $9.99. Finally, we've got Spelunky on Steam. No, this is not the original PC game which was free but is instead a port of the enhanced port that came to XBLA. It's a tough 2D exploration game but is a great deal of fun in single or multiplayer. Interested explorers can try it for 10% off ($13.49) this week. Is there anything you're interested in picking up from Steam this week?
  17. Marcus Estrada

    A Bunch of Horror Games Survive Steam Greenlight

    Steam Greenlight continues to march onward! No matter how unfair of a metagame it may be for independent developers, they must all now go through it if they want to send their game to Steam. Fifteen more games were greenlit today and there's a good mix of alpha, Kickstarter, and horror goodies. Here are all the games (no non-game software this time around): 7 Days To Die The 7th Guest Crashtastic The Dead Linger Door Kickers INFRA Maia Nekro The Novelist Paranomal Satellite Reign Stranded Deep Strike Vector Viscera Cleanup Detail Wayfarer: The Outer Reaches Some of these games are still in progress while others are probably going to jump onto Steam shortly. The 7th Guest, for example, is a classic point and click title from the early 90s. As you can see, there's a big trend toward horror, but then there always seems to be. As we head to October you can expect that even further attention will be paid to horror titles (if they aren't all sapped out of Greenlight by then).
  18. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Rogue Legacy

    Developer: Cellar Door Games Publisher: Cellar Door Games Platform: PC (Desura, GamersGate, GOG, Steam, OnLive, Web) Release Date: June 27, 2013 ESRB: N/A (E10+ suggested) Roguelikes have seen a serious boom over the past year. Despite Rogue having not been on most players“ minds since the 80s, developers have decided to reign back in on the genre. With that we have seen many excellent games come forth. The latest of this bunch is Rogue Legacy from Cellar Door Games. Is this roguelike another gem or is it one that can easily be avoided? Unfortunately for your wallet, Rogue Legacy is the next must buy. It starts out with the same blueprints we expect of any roguelike. You“ve got one character and once they die then that“s it for them. From there, you begin anew journeying with your heroic character into a castle. With each life comes a new castle (unless you pay gold to keep the layout from changing). So far, it seems about the standard fare. Where is it that this game diverges from existing entities? One of the most unique features in Rogue Legacy is the idea of your family tree growing infinitely onward. Although your hero will always die, they are also always going to have multiple children. These children serve as your next hero, and from then, so too do their own children. It continues infinitely as you can play through the game over and over with a new randomized hero. Each character has a great deal of variety between them as well, which leads into the next interesting gameplay element. Each character has a series of traits. Some of these will make your hero bulky and hard to push back, but also very slow and unwieldy. Others make your hero incredibly small, or fast, or a host of other physical abnormalities. Then there are the traits such as color blindness, tourettes, and more which tweak the gameplay sometimes. For example, dyslexia causes all text on the screen to appear with letters in the wrong place. Some of these traits are beneficial, some are meaningless, and others are a detriment to your play such as ones that blur part of the screen. Although you have genetic traits for each character, they are not passed down by your parents. In this way players are spared the cruel fate of going down a line which often inherits something unfavorable. On the opposite side though, you can“t use character selection to try and create the ultimate lineage of heroes with the same set of traits honed a million times over. There are still ways to carry strengths over throughout generations. Every time you adventure into the castle you are collecting money. This gold is inherited by the next hero, where they can choose to spend it on upgrades for their family“s future. Players can buy armor, weapons, and runes which carry over to each following character. Another method of strengthening the future is to spend higher amounts of money to unlock new classes, general increases to stats, and more. In this way, players can still enforce some “natural” selection. Of course, money“s not all you“re working for in the castle. There“s also the need to see it to completion. It won“t be easy though as rooms are packed with varied enemies as well as puzzles. The very first section of the castle is not tremendously difficult, but does require a lot of careful play. Monsters such as flying eyeballs who shoot fire, bulky knights with equally large swords, and even haunted paintings will try to stop you. At times, there are even boss encounters which are much harder than standard enemies. Beating them is well worth it though as you“ll receive a great deal of monetary compensation. As far as the player is concerned, they have only a few ways to fight back. There is a main attack, a magic attack or effect, as well as other things which are added on later such as blocking, sprinting, or the much loved double jump. Beyond that, it“s really up to you to quickly maneuver through enemy projectiles, swords, and spikes. Things quickly get tense and you“ll find yourself running through generation after generation. Despite the difficulty, the relative ease of play compels one to keep playing. Often, you“ll often have the feeling of wanting to play “one more time” just to prove to yourself that your hero can make more money or explore further. Although Rogue Legacy is tough it also manages to be quite humorous. For example, some of the traits are silly like ones that make the world sepia tone because you have some sort of nostalgia trait. Then there are things like a random clown inside the castle who offers you prizes upon completion of his varying minigames. Much of the humor is conveyed without a single line of speech. The visuals which take on a retro aesthetic are a great carrier of it. You“ll see adorable little heroes, goofy massive heroes, and ones with bows atop their suits of armor. There are women with elegant white beards, and (once equipped) characters with mismatched suits of armor. Even enemies are cute despite their deadliness. Alongside the attractive visuals is a nice soundtrack as well. The two work together to create a nice environment for you, which is important considering players will spend a lot of time dying in it. There is so much that Rogue Legacy does right it“s hard to say anything negative about it. Where I do wish there could be more done was the family tree. Although it could cause trouble, I really would have loved to see the gene pool being tweaked depending on a parent“s various traits. There would still be room for randomization due to the other parent“s contributions (who you never see) but also a higher frequency of certain traits could be possible too. Who knows if this would work out, but it would be an interesting way to make each choice more important. Then there is the matter of traits which I personally deliberated with throughout play. No, it isn“t their effects or lack of effects, but their presence in the game. On one hand, it is exciting to see characters with disabilities all presented as possibly heroic. On the other hand, it seems a way to have a laugh at these conditions which are presented in silly ways in game. Of course, there is also the trait of “gay” which has caused a great deal of contention online. I“m personally of two minds on it, where it seems good to show being gay changes nothing about you, but also should not necessarily be compared to some form of genetic disadvantage. With all that said, there is a great deal more to like about Rogue Legacy than to dislike. It stands as an excellent addition to the roguelike genre and is a lot of fun to play in either short bursts or for hours at a time. As you slowly strengthen your family and characters the rest of the game begins to open up. Further locations to explore as well as new monsters and bosses to beat keep the game fresh even after you“ve played it with 10, 50, or even 100 different heroes. If you choose to pick up Rogue Legacy for $15 it will provide you with far more value in the long run. Pros: + Weapons, runes, armor, and skills are carried to each new character + Mix between easy and difficult enemies to always keep you on your toes + Various classes and traits mean you are always experimenting with different play styles Cons: - Genealogical aspect could have been taken further - Thinking critically about the traits can cause some mental anguish Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic Rogue Legacy is both familiar and different enough from existing roguelikes to rope in a host of new fans while also attracting the hardcore audience. Check it out if you“re not afraid of dying continuously!
  19. Developer: a jolly corpse Publisher: a jolly corpse Platform: PC (Desura, Web) Release Date: June 14, 2013 ESRB: N/A (E suggested) A review code was provided by the publisher for this review. Sometimes, I want to play games where your main goal is to destroy everything in your path. Other times, it is to inhabit the shoes of some new, intriguing character and help them save the world. Then there are the times when all I want is to challenge my brain to creative, difficult, or even incomprehensible puzzles. Although puzzle games are often tough they make me feel incredibly smart afterwards. So when it came time to review Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol I was pretty pumped. Thankfully, the game doesn“t disappoint (much). It“s a cute tale of two characters, named Wyv and Keep, who have decided it“s a great idea to search through various tombs, forests, and otherwise very Indiana Jones-esque locations in order to secure more and more treasure for themselves. Of course, if you were promised heaps of treasure just by solving puzzles wouldn“t you do the same? Wyv and Keep is a 2D puzzle platformer with attractive pixel graphics and an equally lovely soundtrack that gets you in the mood for adventuring. Although this sounds like a lot of indie games out there these days, it manages to chart its own course via gameplay mechanics. You see, this game is one that can be played by either one or two players simultaneously. However, even if you play alone, you still must control the two characters because they are both integral to solving each puzzle. Playing with a friend locally is likely the best way to play, although if you“re the type who prefers to have everything perfect then you“re probably going to prefer going it alone. All the same, each puzzle is made to require both of the team members to push blocks, jump to specific areas, light fuses, and a host of other things. It“s basically impossible to have only one of the characters carrying out all actions simply because it wasn“t designed for this. With another person by your side, it“s likely you“ll quickly come up with solutions. Although there is online multiplayer included, I was unable to try it out. This is due to two reasons. For one, there are not a ton of people playing this game. Secondly, many players have documented the fact that multiplayer just plain doesn“t work for them! A fix is on the way, but so far if you want to play with friends then local co-op is the way to go. So far, a jolly corpse have proven themselves they want to fix Wyv and Keep by already providing a handful of patches that went up very quickly after issues arose. Whether you choose to play alone or with a friend you“ll likely find that Wyv and Keep is one tough game. Sure, it might have adorable pixel graphics and animations, but it will leave you scratching your head on a multitude of occasions. Even though things feel as though they should be simple, smart level design helps puzzles need exact accuracy for completion. At times, I found myself searching for the proper solution only to have it finally flash in my mind after repeated failures. Moments like these are great fun and will likely happen a lot over the 60 main game levels. At the end of each level you are ranked on multiple criteria, one of which is speed of completion. In particular, speedrunners may find this a fun new challenge. With just the levels provided Wyv and Keep is still likely to keep you busy for hours. But that“s not all there is thanks to a level creator included with the game. You can do a whole lot with the tools, even going so far as to adding in your own custom sprites. Or, if you“re not the creative type, you can always simply browse and download the maps that others have created online. Although the community is not massive, there are regularly new levels being created thanks in part to the developer hosting level-making contests. Even if the gameplay features weren“t top rate, the visuals and soundtrack most definitely are. This is a game that has been in the works for years and it shows. The sprite characters are bright and lively, backdrops are interesting and detailed, and everything comes together to make it look fantastic. The music is also supremely well done. Luke Thomas, the composer, has put together one great selection of music that is a joy to listen to and to have getting stuck in your head. Wyv and Keep is such a fantastic product that it“s amazing it is not on Steam. In years past it is likely the game would have gotten onto the digital distributor no problem. If you purchase the game right now you will even get a Steam key later if it does get through Greenlight, meaning you might want to upvote the title. In the meantime, definitely get Wyv and Keep: The Temple of the Lost Idol if you dig puzzle platformers and are in the mood for co-op! Pros: + Tons of interesting puzzles + Extremely well done visuals + Soundtrack fits the world perfectly Cons: - Online multiplayer still causing issues for many - Various smaller bugs have plagued the game although most are now patched Overall Score: 9.0 (out of 10) Fantastic Wyv and Keep is just the kind of product that encompasses all that is great about puzzle platformers. If you have a co-op partner it becomes an even more entertaining experience.
  20. Marcus Estrada

    Greenligt Games on Steam

    From the album: Marcus's Album

  21. Marcus Estrada

    Sixteen More Titles Survive Steam Greenlight

    Do you know what the secret is to getting Greenlit? It's not just having a ton of visitors over a long span of time to vote you up, or even necessarily having an excellent property (although that helps). The main way to succeed simply seems to be having a huge amount of visitors for a short period of time right before Valve selects their next batch. Of course, since Valve never says when they are going to select titles it's pretty much a guessing game. Anyway, a host of highly anticipated indie games were just Greenlit today, including some recent additions: A Hat in Time Among the Sleep BROFORCE Centration Chasm Darkwood Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Divekick Operation Black Mesa Project Awakened Recruits Rekoil Shelter StarMade There are also two pieces of software: Dexster Audio Editor and GraphicEditor openCanvas. As for the games, we see that a great deal of them are Kickstarter successes, which seems the best way to get a community excited for a game. Then we also have Deadly Premonition which was only very recently brought to Greenlight. It definitely looks like a good set so let's hope some of these games are ready to launch shortly! Which Greenlight success are you most excited about?
  22. Marcus Estrada

    Indie Gamer Chick Bundle Debuts via Indie Royale

    Some of you may be unfamiliar with Indie Gamer Chick, and if so, do yourself a favor and check her site out right now. She is one of the most dedicated indie game reviewers out there over the last few years. The focus of her site is XBLIG titles and it is rare to see there ever be a week without multiple reviews posted. With someone so devoted to playing so many indie games you have to expect that their favorite games are really the cream of the crop. That's why the Indie Royale team decided to run a bundle full of Indie Gamer Chick's handpicked favorites (well, the ones that are available on PC!). Here's the list of games: Antipole (Windows, Desura) Chester (Windows, Desura) Dead Pixels (Windows, Steam, Desura) LaserCat (Windows, Desura) Little Racers STREET (Windows, Desura) Orbitron: Revolution (Windows, Desura) Smooth Operators: Call Center Chaos (Windows, Desura) SpyLeaks (Windows, Desura) 1 mystery game Right now the current minimum price is a very fair $4.05. Of course, this will change (and mostly increase) with time so purchase early if this bundle speaks to you. Spending at least $8 adds in Gavin Harrison's Gunslugs album. There are six days left to buy Indie Gamer Chick's Indie Royale bundle.
  23. If you don't already know, Waiting for the Greenlight is a new series that focuses on games currently attempting to enter Steam by way of its Greenlight service. Similar to impressions, I give my overall thoughts on a game, and end with a simple rating (Green = Good to go, Yellow = Needs some work, Red = Too far gone to salvage). I hope you enjoy, and if you have any suggestions or games you want me to check out, don't hesitate to mention them! For the most part, platformers have traditionally tasked you with jumping up higher and higher, scaling seemingly never ending staircases toward whatever your ultimate goal may be. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but it is very uncommon to see a game built in complete opposition to such a tried and true formula. Penned as a down-scrolling platformer, Stirfire Studio's Freedom Fall has you attempting to escape a boobytrap infested tower by descending its many floors whilst dodging saw blades, lasers, giant mechanical sharks, and other deadly creations. On your journey you learn more about who you are and why you've been imprisoned, by way of messages scrawled on the prison wall. Who's telling you these things? A demented little girl of course, and one with some serious parent problems no less. While attempting to cover some rather unpleasant subject matter in this way could have easily gone awry, they actually come across as rather darkly humorous thanks to the fantastic writing. The writer almost seems to channel the soul of Portal's equally demented GLaDOS, striking a near perfect balance between ridiculing you and giving some less than subtle hints about what's next to come. I wasn't expecting much from the narrative, but it only became more engaging the further I got and was surprisingly well planned for a genre not particularly known for telling memorable stories. Although falling down might sound a pretty simple proposition on paper, it isn't nearly so easy in practice. As previously mentioned you'll encounter hundreds of instruments of torture as you get further from your cell, and was it not for the ample checkpoints this would have been an excruciatingly difficult game. As it stands, it's still completely satisfying and never got too hard to put me into controller breaking frustration. Complementing this challenge are some stellar controls. They have a great weight to them that made it feel much more like I was controlling a person (albeit a very floaty one) than a mesh of pixels on the screen, and I was also happy to discover that it works with a controller right out of the box (though using a keyboard also worked surprisingly well). The upgrade system is one area that could use a little work, as right now it feels a somewhat tacked on. You collect bolts as you go and periodically come across workbenches that allow you to purchase different gliders to make traversal a bit easier. The problem is that I wound up collecting more than enough for all three well before the end, leaving me with little reason to seek out secret bolts or try the harder paths. Either more upgrades need to be added, or perhaps scrapping the bolt system as a whole and just giving you the gliders at specific points in the game would be a better option. The artstyle is very pleasing to look at, falling somewhere between american cartoons and japanese anime. The half frame animations are a tad jarring at first, but it didn't take long for me to become accustomed to the effect. The music was the biggest surprise though, with an awesome assortment of guitar riffs, exotic rhythms, and subdued experimentation that is incredibly catchy and matches the overall feel of the world. The only thing I'd like to see improved are the death animations, or lack thereof. The extremely basic "splat" image that pops up just seems odd amidst the otherwise great graphics, and is also a bit uneventful and anticlimactic feeling. I'm not asking for something disgustingly gory, but I would have prefered something that is a bit more in line with the rest of the game and that doesn't make my character seem like a suddenly popped balloon. Freedom Fall isn't particularly long taking only around 2-3 hours to get through, so many might scoff at the $7.99 cost of admission, but price not considered I can easily recommend it. It does something I feel is unique in the realm of platformers, and manages to tell a simple but well written story to boot. The art style really appealed to me, and the music was an equal driving force toward what I hoped was my freedom. It has a couple rough edges, but even in its current state I think it has more than earned a place on steam, and is just a lot of fun to play. The Light is: Green Well designed and polished, there is ample reason to check this game out. There might be a handful of things to knickpick, but by and large it is ready to go on Steam. Definitely worth a look and your support in getting released!
  24. Marcus Estrada

    Wyv and Keep Screenshot 4

    From the album: Review Images

  25. Marcus Estrada

    Wyv and Keep Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images