New Release: Furwind

A colorful platformer starring a fox on a quest to save his village from an ancient evil, from Boomfire Games

New Release: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

A modern take on the classic 8-bit Castlevania formula, from Inti Creates and ArtPlay

Upcoming Release: Log Jammers

A modern take on Windjammers, a mid-90's alternative sports game, from Mega Cat Studios

New Release: To Leave

A flying door, a drug-induced fantasy world, and a story of mental illness, from Freaky Creations

New Release: Jolt: Fully Charged

A colorful platformer inspired by 16-bit classics, from Darkera Studios

December 29, 2015

Signal Lost: Everworld Island

Everworld Island has dropped off the 2D RADAR. The game's Steam Greenlight page has a planned release date of 2014, and points to a website that no longer exists (the domain redirects to a site advertising "facial massagers"), and the developer's Twitter hasn't been updated in over a year. Here's what we originally had to say about the game:


Everworld Island | PC via Steam | Release Date TBD
Nijumi Games invites you to experience Everworld Island, a place of pastoral platforming and coin collection. The game may be enjoyed as a single player experience, with up to four players in local or online co-op. You can also create and share your own levels to play with friends or on your own, and you are able to purchase new objects to place in your levels by collecting coins in the main game. There are multiple character classes, each with its own set of abilities, so it benefits you to go in with a diverse party in the multiplayer mode. For instance, the wizard can use spells, the diver can swim, and the mechanic can fix broken objects.




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

December 27, 2015

Target Acquired: Castle in the Darkness

Matt Kap, the lead artist behind The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and artist/animator for 1001 Spikes, has created Castle in the Darkness, a game he developed in his spare time over the course of a couple of years.

The game is a retro-style action-platformer-RPG inspired by classic NES games like Castlevania and Metroid, particularly in regards to its dark tone, but it's chock full of references to other games which are sure to tickle the nostalgia bone of longtime gamers. You play the part of the lone survivor of the royal guard who sets out to rescue the princess by battling his way through hordes of monsters and dozens of bosses. The game offers what seems like a straight path from beginning to end, but there are a number of branching paths leading to optional areas and bosses, offering up some of the game's best weapons and equipment.

The game is currently available for PC via Steam. Check our full coverage here.




December 23, 2015

New Blip: Holobunnies - Hologram Bunnies Space Adventures

Holobunnies - Hologram Bunnies Space Adventures is an unwieldy but descriptive name for this title from q-bit games. The game is an action-adventure platformer where the player takes on the role of one of several holographic bunny siblings: Danielle the witch, Leenox the hunter, Roméo the bard, Mephisto the ninja, or Avril the catcher, each of which comes equipped with a projectile weapon and a jetpack. The bunnies' ultimate goal is to find a new planet to inhabit as they freely cruise through space in their ship. Tracking down a new home requires tangling with the local residents of various stellar bodies, speaking with NPC's, and collecting treasures that include starship upgrades, new items, and pieces of a mysterious door. Bunny buddies can also team up for some local 2P co-op.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam in 2016. You can try the PC-exclusive demo from the game's Kickstarter page.




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

December 21, 2015

Target Acquired: Skelemania

Skelemania from developer Benal is a bite-sized metroidvania with a limited color palette. The game offers a sizeable world to explore and a number of moves to unlock, each allowing the player to reach new areas. The skeleton's moveset includes some metroidvania staples, such as a dash and a higher jump, but also the ability to bowl his head through narrow passages. However, he has no offensive abilities and must find ways to avoid enemies. There are a number of secrets to find for enterprising players, as well as a very unusual Hard Mode.

Skelemania is available for free on itch.io. Check our full coverage here.




December 17, 2015

Arrival Delayed: Below

Developer Capybara - known for Sword & Sworcery and Super Time Force - has announced that the expected release date for Below has been pushed back to 2016. The game was originally expected to release before the end of 2015 for PC and Xbox One.

In Below, you play a lone character who heads out into a dangerous world with a sword and shield to battle his way deeper and deeper into the unknown. While you will be able to acquire new weapons, you will be very limited in what you can carry, which forces players to learn the combat system in order to survive. The game features realtime combat and random environments, and it is meant to be very challenging. Death will come frequently, and is permanent per roguelike standards, but you will learn more about how to survive on your future runs and go even deeper. The game is built primarily around single-screen dungeons where your player character is very small and surrounded by darkness. The talented Jim Guthrie (Sword & Sworcery, Indie Game: The Movie) returns to compose the music for the game.



December 13, 2015

Target Acquired: UmiharaKawase

UmiharaKawase was originally released as a Super Famicom exclusive in 1994. Since then, the game has gone on to see a number of updates and sequels, eventually leaving its home country of Japan. Gameplay is centered around the use of a grappling hook, but it works unlike any other game, offering a wildly bouncing elastic grapple instead of a rigid one. This opens up a number of gameplay possibilities and allows for some advanced techniques... which comes with a steep learning curve. Players are expected to grapple up walls and around corners, and perform high-flying leaps with very little margin for error, all while dealing with infinitely spawning enemies and bottomless pits. There are 49 levels to experience, and a number of branching paths that let you skip ahead, but you'll need to get good at the game in order to see them all.

UmiharaKawase was ported to the PC by Studio Saizensen, including work by the game's original developer, and is now available on Steam. Check our coverage here.



December 10, 2015

New Blip: Armed with Wings: Rearmed

Armed with Wings: Rearmed is a follow-up to Sun-Studios' original 2008 freeware release, Armed with Wings, and its follow-ups. This time around, Daniel Sun's one-man studio is working on a full-fledged commercial release, offering many improvements over the previous releases. The player takes on the role of a resurrected warrior wielding a sword imbued with the power of electricity who must defend the world of Black Mist and ultimately defeat the tyrannical King Vandheer. The player engages foes in sword-based combat and can control an eagle that scouts ahead and solves environmental puzzles. The player works his way through more than two dozen levels filled with enemies, bosses traps, spikes, and platforming challenges.

The game is coming to PC and is currently available via Steam Early Access.




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

December 8, 2015

Target Acquired: Downwell

Downwell, from Ojiro "Moppin" Fumoto, is a vertical descent platformer where the player uses his gun boots to shoot downward through a procedurally generated well to destroy blocks and enemies below him. Jumping and shooting are tied to a single button, but there is some strategy involved... Repeated blasting allows the player to slow his descent and line up targets below him, and blasting destructible blocks and enemies reveals gems. When the player strings together a series of gem collections, his overall damage output increases, allowing him to blast through enemies more quickly. Gems can be traded in to shopkeepers for powerups. Players can also find rooms containing caches of gems, as well as new gun types such as shotguns and lasers that allow for faster shooting, increased damage, and wider sprays of projectiles.

We highly recommend Downwell for PC and tablet gamers looking for some fast action. The game is now available for PC via Steam and iOS via the App Store, and it's coming soon to Android. Check our coverage here.



December 5, 2015

Target Acquired: Nuclear Throne

Nuclear Throne (formerly known as Wasteland Kings) is the latest game from Vlambeer, the 2-man developer behind Super Crate Box, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Ridiculous Fishing, and Luftrausers. Artwork for the new game is being provided by Paul Veer, the man responsible for the chunky art style and pixelly explosions in many of these games, as well as those in Celestial Mechanica. The game is a roguelike actioner featuring numerous mutants blasting their way through a radioactive wasteland. In addition to heavy firepower, the mutants can also… mutate their limbs to develop new abilities. The game will feature numerous playable characters fighting their way through bad guys and bosses in a quest to reach the titular Nuclear Throne.

Nuclear Throne is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, and PS4 and Vita via PSN.



December 3, 2015

New Blip: Crossing Souls

Developer Fourattic presents Crossing Souls, an action adventure game set in California in 1986 when a group of kids discover a mystical pyramid-shaped stone that lets them see people and creatures long since dead. Using the stone leads to unexpected consequences, and the unassuming children find themselves in a fight to save the world. Each of the five kids has a different ability, with one having greater strength that lets him lift objects that the others cannot; another has greater agility which allows him to move more quickly; and another is able to use stealth to hide. Players must combat enemies in action-based sequences, as well as solve puzzles by interacting with people from different time periods.

Crossing Souls is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam in March of 2016, and possibly headed to PS4 and Vita via PSN.




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

December 1, 2015

New Blip: Butcher

Butcher, from Transhuman Design, is a gritty low-rez sidescrolling actioner inspired by 90's era corridor crawlers with a strong focus on loud blasts of gunfire, huge sprays of blood, and the pained screams of fallen enemies... with a deep thudding guitar hammering away beneath it all. The game world consists of open industrial environments with spinning saw blades and pits of acid, and the walls become soaked with blood as enemies are taken apart by shotgun blasts, machine gun fire, flamethrowers, and RPG's. Players are able to move and aim independently with keyboard and mouse controls, similar to Abuse and a number of modern day twin-stick sidescrollers. Oh, and you can kick enemies around - and they scream when you do it - allowing you to knock them back into acid, toss them upward for some midair shotty action, or just kick their corpses around. As the game states, "Meating people has never been so fun."

Butcher is murdering its way to PC and Linux. No release date has been announced, but a short prototype demo is available on the developer's website.




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

November 29, 2015

Target Acquired: There Was a Caveman

There Was a Caveman, from developer Aamatniekss, is a retro-styled action-platformer inspired by Castlevania, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, and Shovel Knight. In a world of dinosaurs, one caveman finds himself alone, with his entire kind apparently killed. He must battle his way through deadly dinos and avoid traps on a quest to find a female caveman (cavewoman?) with which to repopulate the world. Fortunately, the loincloth-wearing hero is trained in the art of platformery as he jumps, double jumps, dashes, and swims through the world, occasionally encountering objects that may be hurled at enemies, including rocks and bones. Javelins may be thrown as well and then used as platforms, Völgarr the Viking-style. Of course, nothing conks better than the caveman’s trusty club.

There Was a Caveman is now available for PC and Linux via Steam. Check our full coverage here.



November 27, 2015

Target Acquired: 12 is Better Than 6

12 is Better Than 6 isn't exactly Hotline Miami with sombreros, but it is a top-down action game with lots of guns, huge sprays of blood, and occasional bouts of running and screaming and cursing (in Spanish) while shooting everything you see and going out in a blaze of glory. Developer Ink Stains Games (game site) presents a game that stars an escaped Mexican convict running from his pursuers in the lawless lands of 1873 North America. Backgrounds are presented in a blue and white pen-and-paper style, in stark contrast to the rampant flow of red blood that covers it when enemies are blasted in the face... or you can take a stealth approach if you choose. Players have the freedom to choose whether they want to be a good guy and help the innocent or a bad guy who robs banks and shoots on sight.

12 is Better Than 6 is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.




November 24, 2015

Target Acquired: Mighty Switch Force! Academy

Mighty Switch Force! Academy is the stage for Patricia Wagon's latest adventure. Patty has just entered the academy, which consists of a virtual training ground where she attempts to track down and arrest all of the Hooligan Sisters, just as she did in Mighty Switch Force. This time around, however, the action takes place from a zoomed-out perspective, and the player is able to see the entire stage at once. In addition, the environment wraps around on the edges, allowing the player to move off the edge of the screen and emerge on the other side, or fall down through the floor and pop out on the ceiling. And the game features some classic levels from the original game as well as 4P co-op.

Mighty Switch Force! Academy is currently available for PC via Steam. Check our full coverage here.



November 22, 2015

Target Acquired: Nubs' Adventure

Nubs' Adventure, from IMakeGames, is an open-world platformer starring a little fellow with a boomerang who embarks on a grand adventure in the attempt to rebuild his home. Along the way, he visits a number of themed areas and tangles with the local wildlife, as well as the pair of ne'er-do-wells who destroyed his home to begin with. In addition to platforming, Nubs also has the ability to communicate with a couple of different creatures that allow him to complete specific challenges. One of these creatures is a giant snake that burrows quickly through the earth and bursts forth when emerging from the ground.

Nubs' Adventure is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, as well as iOS and Android. Check our full coverage here.




November 21, 2015

Target Acquired: Poncho

Poncho, from developer Delve Interactive (game site), may have missed its 2014 Kickstarter funding goals, but thanks to publisher Rising Star Games, it's still on its way to release. The game is an open world puzzle platformer that takes place centuries after mankind has gone extinct, but robots have lived on. A robot named Poncho searches for his maker in the overgrown ruins of the world. Environments are built around multiple layers, and Poncho is able to move between foreground and background layers to navigate around obstacles in his path, solve puzzles, and uncover hidden treasure. Players are free to explore the world as they like and speak with its citizens, as well as purchase upgrades that allow the robot to move into new areas.

Poncho is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, PS4 via PSN, and it's also planned for Vita, as well as Wii U via eShop.



November 19, 2015

New Blip: Aurion

Most role playing games take place in vaguely European locales, but Central African developer Kiro'o Games is creating a tale based on African fantasy. Aurion stars a prince who is betrayed by his brother-in-law on the day of his coronation. The would-be king and his bride are exiled in the coup d'etat, and left to wander the land. Using ancient arts called Aurionics, the pair are able to use the powers of their ancestors to achieve great strength, allowing them to take down enemies and bosses as they seek to regain their thrones. As players travel across six continents, they will interact with people of different ethnicities, discover the struggles of their day-to-day lives, and even recruit allies to fight alongside them as support characters.

Aurion is headed to PC via Steam early next year.




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

November 17, 2015

New Blip: Fossil Echo

Fossil Echo, from Phil Crifo, is an adventure platformer inspired by the Oddworld series, as well as Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The game stars a young boy who must climb a giant tower jutting up from the sea. The character’s backstory is told through wordless interactive flashbacks where the player must tackle platforming environments. The lead character is physically weak, so he must generally avoid contact with enemies and use stealth in order to elude them. The game is presented in an illustrative art style with pre-rendered backgrounds set in a fantasy world.

Fossil Echo is headed to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam in 2015. UPDATE: The developer has reached out to inform us that the game will be releasing in early 2016.




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

November 15, 2015

Target Acquired: Cataegis - The White Wind: Ziggurat Chapter

Cataegis - The White Wind: Ziggurat Chapter is here to Shinobi your pants off. Ácido Cinza has crafted an 8-bit retro actioner with melee-based combat, a restricted color palette, and a bit of sprite flicker. There’s even an elevator sequence! Players can jump, double jump, and ground slide their way through several challenging environments, avoiding spikes and other obstacles along the way, all while doing a bit of precision platforming. The player faces hordes of enemies and some tough bosses with an arsenal of selectable weapons and limited-use special attacks.

Cataegis is now available for PC via Steam. Check our full coverage here.



November 14, 2015

Early Arrival: The Bug Butcher

The Bug Butcher is an arcade-style shooter from Awfully Nice Studios, inspired by the classic Super Pang (a.k.a. Super Buster Bros.) where players run around and pop bouncing bubbles that split into smaller bubbles when destroyed. In The Bug Butcher, the bubbles are now represented by slimy bulbous bug creatures. As in the game that inspired it, the hero can only shoot upward, requiring that players use the proper tactics to avoid enemies as they bounce off the ground, and then move quickly under them to blast them away. The player has a number of destructive powerups at his disposal to supplement his basic pellet-chucker, with a strong laser, a rapid fire bullet spray, explosives, and an electrical pulse with a wide area of effect.

The Bug Butcher is currently available for PC and Mac via Steam Early Access, and it's coming to Android and iOS.




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

November 9, 2015

New Blip: Splasher

Splasher, from the similarly-named Splashteam (game site), is an action-platformer that is all about splashing liquid. The player takes on the role of a Splasher who has escaped from the evil Inkorp, and now he's going back in, fully equipped with his Splasher gear, in order to free his companions. In addition to liquid-based projectiles, the player can also use liquids to splash onto walls and climb them, and he can release a spray that lets him jetpack high into the air. Players must blast enemies, dodge lasers and saw blades, escape rising pools of slime, and free his fellow Splashers imprisoned around the complex.

Splasher is planned for release on on Steam for PC and Mac in 2016. The developer has already released a playable demo.




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

November 8, 2015

Target Acquired: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows

Last year, Yacht Club Games released Shovel Knight to much acclaim, starring a blue shovel-wielding knight in a retro-styled platformer inspired by 8-bit classics. The knight uses his shovel to uncover treasure and to defeat enemies with downward strikes. Now, one of his former foes is being showcased in Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows a free expansion to the original game starring Plague Knight in his own adventure.

Rather than a simple re-skin of the Shovel Knight character, Plague Knight has an entirely new moveset, requiring that he tackle previously-visited levels in a very different way. Plague Knight uses his bombs for mobility in order to boost high into the sky and to deal with enemies at a distance. Throughout his adventure, he acquires a number of bomb upgrades that have different properties, allowing him to toss bouncing bombs, send them high into the air, extend their fuses, etc. For a detailed look at the Plague of Shadows expansion, check our coverage here.

Shovel Knight and the Plague Knight expansion are available for your platform of choice: PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and GOG; PS4, PS3, and Vita via PSN; Xbox One via XBLA; and Wii U and 3DS via the eShop. You can also grab the game at retail for PS4, Wii U, and 3DS, with the original game and expansions included on the disc/cart. And if you're in Europe, you can get a boxed copy of the PC version as well.




November 5, 2015

New Blip: Poncho

Poncho, from developer Delve Interactive (game site), may have missed its 2014 Kickstarter funding goals, but thanks to publisher Rising Star Games, it's still on its way to release, and some new platforms have been added. Originally announced for PC, Mac, Linux, and OUYA, things have changed a bit... The OUYA version has been scrapped due to the system's low processing power. The game is still headed to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, but now it's also coming for Wii U via the eShop as well as PS4 and Vita via PSN sometime later this year.

The game is an open world puzzle platformer that takes place centuries after mankind has gone extinct, but robots have lived on. A robot named Poncho searches for his maker in the overgrown ruins of the world. Environments are built around multiple layers, and Poncho is able to move between foreground and background layers to navigate around obstacles in his path, solve puzzles, and uncover hidden treasure. Players are free to explore the world as they like and speak with its citizens, as well as purchase upgrades that allow the robot to move into new areas.




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

November 3, 2015

New Blip: Starr Mazer

Shmups and RPG's have intertwined on a few rare occasions, with such titles as The Guardian Legend, Wing Commander, and Sigma Star Saga, and now developer Imagos Softworks (game site) is merging genres again with Starr Mazer a combination of shmup and point-and-click adventure. The developer promises a seamless integration between the two genres with players engaging NPC's to inquire about ship upgrades, or learning new routes that may be taken during shmup sequences. Attacking non-hostile enemies during shump sequences may also impact future NPC conversations and have serious implications. You play as Brick M. Stonewood (and apparently, the "M" stands for "metal", making his name a combination of four types of building materials) a mercenary who emerges from a long hypersleep to pilot the Starr Wolf and possibly become the hero of the galaxy.

Starr Mazer was successfully funded via Kickstarter and is headed to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, but does not yet have an announced release date.




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

November 1, 2015

Target Acquired: Pink Heaven

Before the release of Kero Blaster, Studio Pixel released a free prequel entitled Pink Hour, starring the pink office lady on a mission to locate a missing document. Now the the pink office lady returns in a direct follow-up to the original game, entitled Pink Heaven. This time, she sets out to rescue the blue shopkeeper after he is abducted by a UFO. This is another short adventure, offering just two levels (one more than the original game), with a couple of boss fights, a couple of different powerups, an unlockable Hard Mode, and multiple endings.

The new game is available for free on iOS and PC. The iOS version is available from the App Store, and the PC version can be downloaded from Playism.




October 29, 2015

New Blip: Aerobat

Looking at the Aerobat title, you may be forgiven for thinking that this is some sort of a new-wave take on the Aero the Acro-Bat series... but there is no bat-platforming going on here. Instead, the game takes a page out of Luftrausers' design manual by offering a fast-paced over-the-top shooter where the player has the ability to fire his engines or his weapons, but not both at the same time. However, unlike Vlambeer's sepia-toned blast-fest, developer Thew offers vivid colors, realistic backgrounds, and even more graphical effects to its adrenaline-fueled shootery. Players can dodge around the screen and get up close to the baddies or blast off into the sky and take them out while free-falling. The madness of the gameplay is a bit difficult to describe, so it's probably best to just check out the trailer (below).

Aerobat is coming to PC via Steam, and possibly to Mac and Linux at a later time, although there is no announced release date for the game as yet.




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

October 27, 2015

New Blip: Light Fall

Light Fall, from developer Bishop Games, takes place in a world overrun by darkness where mysterious crystals have begun appearing and razing the land. The player makes use of a magical object called the Shadow Core which serves a variety of purposes, from environmental navigation to puzzle solving, and even as a defense against incoming projectiles. The player can manipulate the core to activate switches, block lasers, and use it as a counterweight, and it even acts as the basis for the player's double jump. Even on his own, the player character is very nimble and can manage platforming and wall jump maneuvers to move quickly around the environment, ascend great heights, and dodge enemies and other obstacles.

Light Fall is coming to PC and Mac, but does not yet have an announced release date.




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

October 25, 2015

Early Arrival: Mighty Switch Force! Academy

Mighty Switch Force! Academy is the stage for Patricia Wagon's latest adventure. Patty has just entered the academy, which consists of a virtual training ground where she attempts to track down and arrest all of the Hooligan Sisters, just as she did in Mighty Switch Force. This time around, however, the action takes place from a zoomed-out perspective, and the player is able to see the entire stage at once. In addition, the environment wraps around on the edges, allowing the player to move off the edge of the screen and emerge on the other side, or fall down through the floor and pop out on the ceiling. The basic gameplay is in place, but a few new elements have been added, and WayForward is collecting player feedback during the game's time in Early Access to determine which new elements will be added to the final product. Oh, and the game features some classic levels from the original game as well as 4P co-op.

Mighty Switch Force! Academy is currently available for PC via Steam Early Access, but it will also be coming to (as yet unannounced) consoles on its final release. Check our full coverage of the Early Access version here.




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

October 22, 2015

Early Arrival: Noct

Developer Chris “c3sk” Eskins presents Noct, a top-down multiplayer survival horror game with a gritty greyscale aesthetic mimicking an aerial thermal vision camera. For reasons unknown, Earth has been plunged into darkness, and terrible creatures known as the Nocturnal now roam the land. Players must blast away these monstrosities with weapons and ammo scavenged in the environment, as well as survive life in the wasteland by ransacking vacant buildings to seek out food and other useful items. While the game is played from a top-down perspective, players are only able to see what is directly in the line of sight for their character, meaning that a lurking terror might be lying in wait around the next corner. The game may be played online with other players or as a solo campaign.

Noct was intended to be released now, but the developer decided it needed a bit more time in the hopper following its closed beta. The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux in January, but it is currently available via Steam Early Access.



October 21, 2015

News: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Demo Expanded to 4 Levels

Following the release of the original 3-level demo for Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, WayForward released an update showcasing a fourth area, which appears to take place in Scuttle Town. Here, a pirate ship moves through the background, firing shells into the foreground. Rather than standard cannon fire, however, these shells are packed with shadow pirates (a.k.a. Tinkerbats).


Six red-hooded creatures pop out of a door on top of the “cannonball” and begin patrolling the environment, and Shantae can whip them into oblivion with her hair. Oddly, the shell itself causes damage when touched, so she must also destroy it before she can move forward.


As Shantae runs through the level, the pirate ship continues to fire, sending projectiles into towers in the background, which break and fall down into the water. Shantae deals with wooden platforms that drop out beneath her feet and send her into the water, as well as a couple of instances where she needs to whip a crate in order to reach a higher ledge, but otherwise the platforming here is fairly straightforward.


Much of the focus is on fighting a continuous supply of shadow pirates that crash down from above, and jump onto your plane from fast moving boats that pull up alongside you.


Check our full coverage of the 4-level demo here, and be sure to check out the trailer below, which shows off areas not available in the demo. The demo is on the game's Kickstarter page and is available to those individuals who backed the Early Access tier.

October 20, 2015

Target Acquired: Mushroom 11

Mushroom 11, from Untame, is an incredibly peculiar game featuring an ever-growing mass of fungi where players control movement by pruning sections of the mass to solve environmental puzzles. Players can push the shroomage through narrow passages by cutting off its back end, forcing it to grow forward, or slice it in half to trigger two switches at the same time, or use it is a prop to manipulate physics-based objects. The game offers a unique art style with strange creatures, dilapidated buildings, and twisted creatures and mechanical creations.

Mushroom 11 is currently available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.




October 18, 2015

Target Acquired: iZBOT

iZBOT is a precision platformer from Ruxar, designed along the lines of Super Meat Boy and Fenix Rage. The game stars a robot who hopes to bring peace to the world by ridding it of a pesky little outbreak of humanity. Typical of the genre, players must complete a series of platforming challenges in order to make it from one level to the next, and failure returns the player to the start of the level. There are 60 levels in total, plus three boss fights, as well as an optional pickup in each level to put expert players' skills to the test.

iZBOT is currently available for PC via Steam. Check our full coverage here.




October 17, 2015

Target Acquired: Animal Gods

Animal Gods, from Still Games, is a top-down action-adventure game featuring swordplay and strange creatures in a stylized Bronze Age world. Players use a sword to strike down up-close enemies, a bow and arrows to hit foes at a distance, and a cloak that allows for quick dashes and the ability to cross open gaps. The game takes place in an open world that allows players to tackle areas in any order they like. The game centers around the ancient Animal Gods who have fallen under the fumes of the burgeoning human civilization, and the player takes on the role of Thistle, a hero who is on a journey to destroy the curse and save the gods.

Animal Gods is available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, and it's coming to the Wii U eShop in the fall of 2016.




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

October 15, 2015

Target Acquired: Broforce

As it says on the (virtual) tin, Broforce, from developer Free Lives, is a patriotism simulator. This run and gun takes its inspiration from American action films of the 80’s and 90’s, and the over-the-top badass characters portrayed in them. The story is America vs. terrorists, kill them before they kill you, I ain’t got time to bleed, I pity the fool, I’ll be back, I am the law, thank you for your cooperation, groovy, get away from her you bitch, Machete don’t text, call me Snake, and yippee ki-yay… And if any of that just made sense to you, then consider yourself the target demographic for this game.

Broforce starts you in the jungles of Vietnam with a muscular machine gun-toting, bandana-wearing dude with long hair and a bad attitude. This fellow is known as “Rambro”, a caricature of Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo character from First Blood and its sequels. Throughout the game, you unlock numerous other characters, each with a “bro-ified” name, but all recognizable as their action hero counterparts.

New characters are discovered by rescuing POW’s from cages spread around the environment. However, rather than simply adding that person into your stock of playable characters, you instead instantly swap to that character and start playing as him. Each POW you rescue represents an extra life, which is quite valuable given game’s 1-hit kills and explosion-packed environments. Also, new playable characters only become available after you have made the requisite number of POW rescues. Read more >>

Broforce is now available for PC and Mac via Steam, and it's coming to PS4 and Vita as well.



October 13, 2015

New Blip: Antipole DX

Antipole a gravity-flipping action game from Saturnine Games, was originally released in 2011, and the developer is returning with an enhanced version entitled Antipole DX. The game centers around a hero with the unlikely name of Johnny Hurricane as he uses his gravity-flipping powers to destroy robots and navigate around spikes, spinning gears, and lasers. What separates this game from the likes of Metal Storm or VVVVVV is that gravity is affected in a circle around the character, rather than flipping the entire environment or just the character. The original game was fairly short, with 20 fast-paced levels and some unlockable challenge modes, but the new game promises additional levels in the main quest and tweaks to the original levels, as well as online leaderboards. Visually, the game sports improved graphics, as well as stereoscopic 3D in the 3DS version of the game.

The game is headed for Wii U and 3DS via the eShop, but does not yet have an announced release date.




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

October 11, 2015

Target Acquired: Master Spy

Developer Turbo Gun presents Master Spy, a stealth-based action platformer. In a dystopian future, you don a prototype stealth suit that lets you turn entirely invisible. With it – and your twitch platforming skills – you sneak past guards, security cameras, dogs, and other obstacles to infiltrate various facilities and uncover a vast conspiracy. Expect to grab a lot of keycards and dodge the occasional laser beam and spinning saw blade, as you run through limited color palette worlds and watch Ninja Gaiden-style cutscenes. The game offers 50 levels across five themed environments.

Master Spy is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam. Check our full coverage here.



October 10, 2015

New Blip: Tasukete Tako-San: Save me Mr Tako

Tasukete Tako-San: Save me Mr Tako, from developer Christophe Galati, is a fittingly odd title for a game with an odd premise. For some reason, war has broken out between humans and octopi, and you play an octopus deserter named Mr. Tako who decides to turn on his former comrades and save the humans. At the start of the game, you can only jump and spit ink to stun enemies and use them as platforms. However, searching the world and discovering treasure chests allows Mr. Tako to find hats that give him new abilities, granting him more health and ink, giving him greater movement speed and jump height, and even giving him access to weapons such as swords, arrows, and bombs. Players run through large platforming environments, attacking enemies, breaking vases to reveal collectibles, and facing off against boss creatures. The game will also feature local cooperative and competitive modes for 2-4 players.

The developer plans to release the game on PC in 2016, and hopes to have a Wii U version available as well.




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

October 8, 2015

New Blip: Wildfire

Developer and stealth-focused website Sneaky Bastards wants you to sneak around and play with matches in Wildfire. The game is a stealth-based platformer where the player is able to use fire to his advantage. The protagonist is able to sneak through tall grass and use smoke to hide his movements, and he can also use fire to frighten enemies and even cause them to be killed as they try to escape the blaze... which you must do as well, lest the flames burn out of control and consume you. Players must use fire strategically or they run the risk of being discovered as long grasses are burnt away, or the glow of the fire may alert nearby enemies in dark areas. Eventually, players will be able to do more than start fires; they will gain the ability to propel themselves to higher platforms with jets of flame and use smoke clouds to cushion landings from greater heights.

Wildfire is coming to PC via Steam in March of 2016.




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

October 6, 2015

New Blip: A Hole New World

A Hole New World, from Mad Gear Games, is a retro-styled action game where dropping down through holes reverses gravity and turns the world on its head. The player takes on the role of an alchemist who tosses potions at his enemies, which adds a bit of extra challenge - especially in upside-down areas - since he tosses them in an arc. Different kinds of potions have different effects on enemies, with red potions igniting them in flames, and white potions bouncing and freezing them. The player also gains a charge attack that allow for a more direct assault on his enemies by firing off energy blasts that penetrate multiple foes in a row.

The game is headed to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and is slated for release in December.




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

October 4, 2015

Target Acquired: Curse of the Crescent Isle DX

Lots of great games (and great developers) got their start on Xbox Live Indie Games, although they may have been a bit hard to find. The service originally launched in 2010 exclusively for the Xbox 360, and saw the release of thousands of games in its lifetime. Since then, Steam has become the king of digital distribution for indie developers, and many of the good games from XBLIG have made their way to the new platform. One of these gems, Curse of the Crescent Isle, is coming back as Curse of the Crescent Isle DX, courtesy of developer Adam Mowery. The original game was already solid, with lots of unique enemies that could be repurposed as environmental navigation tools, but the deluxe edition has improved visuals, a better physics system, and 2P local co-op, as well as boss rush and speedrun modes.

Curse of the Crescent Isle DX is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam. Check our full coverage here.



October 3, 2015

New Blip: Black Witchcraft

Developer Quattro Gear is developing a combo-based action-RPG entitled Black Witchcraft, which is inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The game features high-rez gothic artwork and some dark and twisted enemy and boss designs. Players control a witch with mechanical legs who carries a suitcase with a big red eye on the side. The suitcase is able to transform into a number of weapons, including a spear and a scythe for up-close action, and it can extend into a minigun for long-range asskickery.

The game is planned for PC, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One, and the developer hopes to have the game out for all platforms by the end of the year.




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

October 1, 2015

New Blip: Serious Sam's Bogus Detour

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour is a 2D Serious Sam game from developer Crackshell (devlog), the team behind the top-down dungeon crawler Hammerwatch. While Serious Sam is known primarily for his enemy-spewing 3D outings, this is not his first foray into the land of indie-developed 2D, as he has previously blown up baddies in Serious Sam: Double D XXL, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, and Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack!.

In fitting with the developer's previous work, Sam's latest adventure sees him blasting his way through an isometric top-down environment with his traditional array of armaments, from standard small arms to lasers, rocket launchers, and miniguns. Familiar foes return in the form of Gnaar, Kleer Skeletons, and the infamous Beheaded Kamikazes, spewing forth in large numbers, per series conventions. Players can move and aim independently - although aiming is restricted to 8 directions - and destroyed enemies leave behind sprays of blood and chunky bits when killed. The game also offers 2P cooperative and competitive modes (no word on whether Huff will make an appearance).

The game is headed to PC, but does not yet have an announce release date.




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

September 29, 2015

Target Acquired: Jotun

Jotun, from developer William Dubé, stars Thora, a Viking who has died an ignoble death and finds herself in purgatory. There, she must prove herself to the gods by fighting gigantic elemental beasts known as jotun, with the hopes that her victory will prove her worth and allow her to pass into Valhalla. The scale of each jotun is immense in the same way as Shadow of Colossus, with towering enemies that can smash the life out of you, but instead of a 3D environment and colossi, this is a top-down action adventure with hand-drawn animations. Fortunately, your relatively small size allows you to dodge their attacks and use your hefty 2-handed axe to move in and strike quickly, slowly whittling down the monsters’ long life bars.

Jotun is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.



September 27, 2015

Target Acquired: Curses 'n Chaos

Tribute Games, the studio behind Wizorb and Mercenary Kings, has revealed its latest sprite-packed action game. Curses 'n Chaos is an arena-based brawler where you beat up craploads of monsters, collect coins, and buy powerups that make you more effective in the beating up of craploads of monsters. Purchasable items include bombs that you can toss at enemies, arrows and stones that fly in from offscreen, and cannonballs that can smash through rows of enemies. Battles are timed, and if you don’t clear out all of the baddies before the counter reaches zero, Death will be summoned and chase you around the playfield, taking one of your remaining lives if he manages to slash you with his scythe. Play alone or with a friend in online or offline 2P co-op.

Curses 'n Chaos is now available for PC and Mac via Steam, and PS4 and Vita via PSN.



September 26, 2015

Target Acquired: Extreme Exorcism

Golden Ruby Games presents Extreme Exorcism, a game whose difficulty increases due to your own actions. Mae Barrons is a ghost hunter exploring a large haunted mansion. The trouble is, the ghosts can copy her actions. So, when you start out, you have only one ghost to fight, and you just need to run over and grab a weapon from a spawner and kill it. But in the second round, the ghost follows your previous movements exactly, even running over and grabbing the weapon. Still, you will have remembered your movements, so this is not terribly difficult… but after several rounds and several ghosts imitating all of your previous movements, things can get pretty crazy. Even more so when you consider that the game offers 4P co-op. The player has access to more than 20 weapons with which to eliminate the ghosts of their former selves, and you can stack up to three weapons and use them simultaneously.

Extreme Exorcism is now available for PC via Steam, PS3 and PS4 via PSN, Xbox One via XBLA, and Wii U via eShop.



September 23, 2015

Target Acquired: Mommy's Best Action Pack

Mommy's Best Games, developers of high-octane shooters and co-founders of 8 Bit Horse, have unleashed Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compendium of their classic blastfests. The company's more recent releases include the 2D Contra-style entry in the Serious Sam saga, Serious Sam: Double D XXL, as well as the completely mental touch screen horse racing derpaganza Finger Derpy.

Now players can explore the company's history with Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compilation of four games originally released on Xbox Live Arcade: Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP, Explosionade, and Game Type. Each game has been re-tuned for its Steam release, with support for keyboard and mouse or gamepad controls, as well as the requisite cheevos and other such Steamy accouterments.



The bundle is currently available via Steam, or games may be purchased individually from the following links:


WEAPON OF CHOICE
Weapon of Choice features bizarre and over-the-top weapons, aliens, and bosses, branching paths and multiple endings, and hand-drawn art and blaring guitar riffs to accompany you on your gut-spilling journey to deliver liquid pain to every xeno-bastard you can lay your sights on.



Weapon of Choice is a high-octane 2D side-scrolling action game where you take one of 7 operatives – each with his or her own unique weapon of choice – into battle against hordes of monstrous alien beasts and huge boss creatures, all of whom are bent on destroying you and everything else on Earth.



The game is a completely over-the-top tribute to all of the things you loved about the 2D shooters of old, with numerous modern gameplay enhancements, including Death Brushing, where time slows down when the player is inches from death; the Spider Pack, which allows you to walk up walls and across ceilings, leaving your hands free for blasting aliens in their tender spots; and the Vengeance Missile, which lets you to launch a 400 kiloton rocket at whatever is left on the screen after your last death. Or, you can take the game on in a higher difficulty that requires you to play at high speed with no Death Brushing.





SHOOT 1UP
In most games, when you earn a 1UP, it goes into the lower left corner of the screen, coming into play once your ship (or whatever) has been destroyed. But not here. In Shoot 1UP, you play all your ships at once, including your extra ships as you earn them. You start out with the standard 3 ships, but they are all in play, firing all guns at once. And after you earn a 1UP, you’ll have 4 ships flying and shooting at the same time. Then you’ll have 5, 6, 7, and so on. Eventually, you can have a squadron of up to 30 ships on the screen at once!



Getting additional ships also earns you additional abilities, such as being able to shoot to the left, right, and down, skills you’ll desperately need as the alien forces begin to come at you from all directions. Of course, the more ships you have on the screen, the bigger a target you become, and losing some of your ships means that you’ll start to lose some of those special abilities as well. But sacrificing a ship causes it to explode and absorb incoming enemy bullets, giving you a temporary reprieve, and the explosion gets even bigger based on the number of ships in your armada.



You also have direct control over how compact your phalanx becomes. Expanding your phalanx does place your ships in harm's way, but it also alllows you to fire the massive Plasma Auger. The beam gets bigger the further you spread, growing to a maximum size indicated in the HUD.



You can even grab a powerup that tosses ghost ships into play, which mirror your movements and double your on-screen firepower. And you can go into the game in 2 player co-op for up even more insanity, with up to 60 ships on the screen at once! Not since Galaga Legions have you seen this kind of reckless disregard for the number of friendly projectiles on the screen at once. Tired of bullet hell shooters? In this game, you’re the one weaving the bullet curtain, and it can be a joy to watch a wave of enemy ships succumb to the flow of your wide and mighty bullet stream.



EXPLOSIONADE
Explosionade falls into the 2D mech combat sub-genre along with a handful of other outstanding titles, such as Cybernator, Metal Warriors, and the Bangai-O series. In these games, the player takes control of a huge mech that is represented onscreen by a relatively small sprite, but which has huge amounts of firepower.



Navigation tends to be a bit slow and deliberate, with a focus on pressing forward, defending your position, and choking your enemy with mouthfuls of bullets, missiles, bombs, and whatever else you have stashed away in your arsenal. And, in Explosionade, you can actually double the firepower with some same-screen 2P co-op.



Taking a cue from those games, the mech in Explosionade has a low movement speed, a jetpack-assisted jump, a shield, a machine gun, and an unlimited supply of grenades. That’s right, unlimited grenades. Actually, the grenades are called Meganades because they’re a bit oversized, as are the explosions that they leave behind.



As you might imagine, grenades blow up a lot of stuff. You’ll be demolishing your way through 40 challenge room-style levels blowing holes in the floors, walls, and ceilings, usually with the sole purpose of getting to the other side so that you can blow up even more stuff. Of course, you’ll also be delivering flaming death upon the heads of your enemies, including several varieties of flying critters, hovering sentries, walking soldiers, and mounted turrets. When life gives you explosions, make explosionade!



GAME TYPE
Game Type is both a a looping horizontal shmup and a send-up to how hard it is to find indie games buried under heaps of ads and nigh unnavigable dashboards. The game stars "Hoodie Girl" as she uses the powers of parkour to destroy advertisements and earn cold hard cash in the process. This is a high score challenge offering a single player experience or 2P couch co-op, and the game speeds up with every loop you complete.



Fortunately, you have a limited-use Time Pulse weapon that you can use to slow down time, during which you can shoot enemy projectiles and turn them into even more money. Learn the loops and chain your attacks to grow your score and earn a place on the leaderboards.