New Release: Hollow Knight

A dark insect-filled metroidvania, from Team Cherry

New Release: Salt and Sanctuary

A Dark Souls-inspired action-RPG, from Ska Studios

New Release: Nefarious

A game that places you in the role of a princess-kidnapping villain, from StarBlade

New Release: Bleed 2

An acrobatic shooter starring the purple-haired hero of the world, from Bootdisk Revolution

New Release: Double Dragon IV

A beat 'em up in the NES-series Double Dragon continuity, from Arc System Works

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.