New Release: Running VoltGun

A colorful run and gun inspired by 16-bit actioners, from Sinclair Strange

New Release: A Robot Named Fight

A roguelike metroidvania heavily inspired by Super Metroid, from Matt Bitner

New Release: Graceful Explosion Machine

A stylish arena-based horizontal shmup, from Vertex Pop

New Release: Phantom Trigger

Fast-paced combat across a neon world, from Bread Team

New Release: A Bloody Night

A brutal and bloody actioner featuring fast sword-based combat, from Emanuele Leoncilli

August 30, 2017

Early Arrival: Sunless Skies

Failbetter Games, the studio behind Sunless Sea, set in their Lovecraftian Fallen London universe, returns with Sunless Skies, a game set 10 years after the original. The game plays similarly to its predecessor as you dock your skyship in various ports and unravel the stories of the game's universe - and even take a side in the conflict - all told in the series' trademark early 20th century Victorian dialect. Outside of ports, players engage in ship-to-ship battles, and explore mysterious locales, and you can upgrade your ship and recruit crew members to better your chances in the wilds. As before, your very sanity is at stake, and you have to avoid running out of food and falling to mutiny... but if you're feeling peckish, you may consider eating your crew.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam Early Access and GOG's Games in Development.

August 29, 2017

News: Shantae: Pirate Queen’s Quest DLC Released

Last year, WayForward released Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, a hybrid sequel -slash- soft reboot for the indomitable Shantae series. The release promised not only a return of Shantae and her friends, but also new playable characters, and that promise has been realized with Shantae: Pirate Queen’s Quest DLC, which places Risky Boots in the hands of the player as she experiences her own journey to find items that will allow her to conquer Sequin Land and its half-genie protector. The new adventure allows players to tackle levels in any order, fighting enemies with Risky's sword and pistol while unlocking pirate gear in the form of a bomb shot, grappling hook, and hat glide... which may be familiar to players who experienced Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, where Shantae and Risky teamed up, and Shantae used Risky's pirate gear in lieu of her genie transformation powers.

The DLC pack is available for $9.99 on Switch, Wii U, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and PC.

August 27, 2017

Target Acquired: Phantom Trigger

Phantom Trigger, from Bread Team, is a neon-lit hack and slash starring The Outsider, an individual who may or may not be the alter ego of a man named Stan who has found himself in the hospital. In the neon world, The Outsider uses a whip, a sword, and giant pink fists to pound his way through enemies and bosses, while the visuals occasionally glitch out, revealing a bedridden Stan who seems to recall some of these events. Using each of his three weapons causes them to level up individually, slowly unlocking various spells that are initiated with button combinations, such as the ability to dash through enemies to slow them down, a freeze attack, and a ring of fire that causes continuous damage... but some elemental-based foes are immune to these attacks.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and Switch via eShop. Check our coverage here.

August 24, 2017

New Blip: Super Hydorah

Locomalito is the developer behind Hydorah, Maldita Castilla, The Curse of Issyos, and numerous other titles mirroring the styles of classic arcade games. For many years, the developer released all of his games on PC for free, but recently he has been working with Abylight Studios to release enhanced versions of his games, with the first being Maldita Castilla EX (a.k.a. Cursed Castilla). Now his first breakout hit, Hydorah, is being released as Super Hydorah, with enhanced visuals and several entirely new levels, enemies, and bosses. This is a horizontal shmup modeled after 80's arcade games like Gradius, R-Type, and Darius, featuring a variety of weapon types, waves of enemies, huge bosses, and 2P co-op. The game also features numerous branching paths as well as multiple endings, encouraging players to replay the game to see everything that it has to offer.

The game is headed to PC via Steam and Xbox One via Microsoft Store but does not yet have an announced release date. Players looking to check out the original game may download it for free from the developer's website.

To find more promising 2D games currently under development, be sure to check out our Master List.

August 20, 2017

Target Acquired: Graceful Explosion Machine

Graceful Explosion Machine, from Vertex Pop is a colorful arena-based shmup with horizontal wrapping levels, similar to those of Defender or Fantasy Zone... although there are no humanoids to be rescued, and no bulbous floating shops. Instead, the game features loads of enemies spawning in from all sides, while you control a ship with four different kinds of weapons, each available at the touch of a button. You need to decide when it's best to use your infinite-ammo blaster that tends to overheat, or a concentrated laser blast, spinning sword attack, or a swarm of homing missiles. Different enemies are more easily dispatched with certain weapons, and this game is all about crowd control and threat assessment, as you may find yourself surrounded by dozens of enemies at any given time. This is an arcade-style game where the primary focus is on racking up a big score, which is done by stringing together long combos.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, PS4 via PSN, and Switch via eShop. The game originally released in April as a Switch exclusive. Check our coverage here.