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 31, 2016

Proximity Alert: Double Dragon IV

Bimmy and Jimmy, er... Billy and Jimmy are back! Arc System Works is revisiting the series with Double Dragon IV. Now, this title may be a big confusing since there was already a crappy 1:1 fighter called Double Dragon V on the SNES, Genesis, and Jaguar (we own it; it's terrible), but this is an all-new game in the series that takes place after the events of Double Dragon II, using the series' original sprite art. A number of team members form the original arcade release have joined the team as well. Players can go it alone or team up with a friend to bash in some faces, spin kick gang members, and pummel the occasional Abobo.

The game is set for release on PS4 via PSN and PC via Steam on January 30, 2017. 2017 also marks the 30 year anniversary for the series.




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

December 27, 2016

Target Acquired: Gunmetal Arcadia Zero

Gunmetal Arcadia Zero was just released by Minor Key Games, the developers behind You Have to Win the Game and its follow-up, Super Win the Game, as well as the Lovecraftian roguelike Eldritch. The game is a standalone precursor to the studio's upcoming roguelike Gunmetal Arcadia which is slated to release on February 7, 2017.

Unlike the developer's previous works, Gunmetal Arcadia Zero is largely linear, offering six distinct areas for the player to explore as he works to defeat the creatures of the Unmade Empire. Combat is in the style of Zelda II, with a short-range sword that can be used to attack enemies while standing or ducking, or turned downward to repeatedly smash enemies while bouncing on their heads. Along the way, the player encounters numerous shops offering new weapons, keys to locked doors, movement and combat upgrades, and increased capacity for secondary projectile weapons and bombs.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, ad Linux on Steam, Humble Store, and Itch.io. Check our coverage here.




December 22, 2016

New Blip: Aggelos

Aggelos is currently under development by Storybird Games, the studio behind the Finding Teddy series. The game is a traditional action-adventure where you play a sword-wielding hero on a quest to defeat an evil villain and rescue the princess. Along the way, you'll stab the hell out of bears, birds, hermit crabs, spiders, and other wildlife that stands in the way of your victory. Along the way, you'll learn new sword attacks and projectile-based spells to defeat your enemies and reach new areas, and you can level up to increase your strength and defense. Per retro adventuring standards, a number of friendly NPC's await you in a village to help point you in the right direction.

The game is coming to PC via Steam sometime around February of 2017. A demo is available via Itch.io.




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

December 20, 2016

Target Acquired: Wild Guns Reloaded

The cult classic shooter Wild Guns, from Natsume, has returned with a modern-day iteration more than two decades after its SNES debut. The new game features four playable characters, including Clint and Annie from the original, as well as Doris and Bullet the dog and his hovering drone. While the original game offered 2P couch co-op, the new game boasts 4P online co-op. Also new to the experience are several new stages - but the original levels are in there too - as well as new weapons and bosses. Unlike most shooters, players are positioned in the foreground and move a cursor around the screen to blast away at enemies in a robot-filled Wild West environment, while dodge-rolling to avoid incoming fire.

The game is now available for PS4 via PSN, or as a physical release.




December 18, 2016

Target Acquired: Even the Ocean

Analgesic Productions, the studio behind the pixelly action-adventure Anodyne have returned with a narrative platformer. Even the Ocean (site) features light and dark energy, which impact your abilities depending on how much you’ve absorbed. Dark energy is associated with horizontal energy, allowing you to run faster and jump farther, where light energy is associated with vertical energy, allowing you to jump higher. However, if you absorb too much of either kind of energy, you will die. You also have a shield that allows you to block energy to manually adjust your meter in certain situations.

Even the Ocean is now available for PC and Mac via Steam, GOG, Itch.io, Humble Store, and Green Man Gaming. Check our coverage here.




December 15, 2016

Proximity Alert: Rise & Shine

2016 was another great year for 2D game fans, and 2017 is getting ready to kick off with some colorful shooty action from Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team. Rise & Shine is about a kid named Rise and his gun named Shine. All around him a war is raging against the Space Grunts, gigantic musclebound interplanetary soldiers who have invaded Rise's world. But Rise is a sharp kid, and he has a weapon capable of firing of many different kinds of ammunition, including radio-controlled bullets that he can steer around corners, allowing him to defeat enemies, avoid detection, and solve puzzles... and occasionally face off against the Space Grunts on his own. Taking a cue from classic video games, Rise's dilapidated world is filled with life and color, rather than the browns and greys so often seen in modern 3D titles.

Rise & Shine is coming to PC via Steam and Xbox One via Microsoft Store on January 13.


December 13, 2016

News: Feist Comes to Consoles

The award-winning Feist first landed on PC, Mac, and Linux last year, and today it arrives on PS4 and Xbox One... depending on your region. The Xbox One version and European PS4 versions have been delayed.

The game is presented in a silhouette style reminiscent of Limbo, with floaty jumps and a strong sense of style and atmosphere. The physics-based navigation and combat is occasionally problematic, as we outlined in our coverage here, but the game does offer an organic universe with unique creature interactions that set it apart from other atmospheric platformers.




December 11, 2016

Target Acquired: Way of the Red

In Way of the Red (game site), you play the role of an accomplished swordsman who comes from a race of birdmen, and he is one of the last of his kind. Setting out on an adventure to find purpose in his life, he is shot out of the sky and captured by humans who turn birdmen into slaves. You soon discover that the human king is obsessed with something called "red seeds", which contain a mysterious power. Escaping, you fight your way through enemies using fast-paced sword techniques and projectile attacks, along with your ability to glide and climb walls. Discovering red seeds allows you to gain new abilities - at the cost of mutation - giving you additional tools to fight your way through the humans and beasts that stand in your way.

Way of the Red is now available for PC via Steam. Check our coverage here.




December 10, 2016

Proximity Alert: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

It has been pushed back a few times, but the Kickstarter-backed Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, from WayForward, is now less than two weeks away! The game is set to release digitally on December 20 for PC, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U, but there are some physical versions on their way as well... the Risky Beats physical editions are coming to PS4 and Vita December 20, with the Wii U version hitting a week later on December 27.

This newest release in the Shantae series will retain the core mechanics of those previous, with Shantae whipping her hair to kill enemies, exploring colorful platforming worlds, and doing the occasional bit of belly dancing. Shantae will use magical animal transformations to explore the land and even return to previous areas to access new paths, metroidvania-style. Like the studio's own DuckTales Remastered, this game features 2D characters and enemies with 3D objects and environments. Check our full preview here, or get caught up with WayForward's other 2D releases with our extensive coverage of those games linked here.



December 9, 2016

News: LaserCat Hops onto Steam

Believe it or not, before Steam, the Wild West of game development was on the Xbox 360, in a little known marketplace called Xbox Live Indie Games. Over the years, many of the best games from XBLIG have made their way onto Steam, but others have been lost to time... and will be lost forever when Microsoft terminates the service in 2017. But one more game has been saved from oblivion, and it's one of our favorites.

LaserCat, from MonsterJail, is now available for PC via Steam. This is an open world action adventure game that borrows its aesthetics from VVVVVV, but offers more basic gameplay. You're a cat - a laser cat - who must rescue your owl friend from a magical space frog by navigating a giant 225-room structure. You may travel in any direction you like, collecting keys that will allow you to access new sections, and answering some basic (and often humorous) trivia questions along the way.

This was a 99 cent game on XBLIG, and it still is, so there's no reason to pass it up. It's pretty no-frills, but that doesn't mean it's no fun, and its simplicity is half the charm. And just so you don't accidentally stumble across some old SNL sketches, we included the actual game trailer below.




December 5, 2016

Target Acquired: In Extremis

In Extremis, from LNDFRR is a vertical shmup with a unique set of aesthetic qualities. The game offers branching paths, allowing the player to select from several possible level choices, each themed differently. For instance, one area sees the player blasting through ASCii characters over a background of computer code, another has the player destroying musical instruments, and another has the player floating through an Electroplankton-style underwater area. Players may spend one level destroying demons and giant slugs, and another taking on teddy bears and cars in a giant toy box. By achieving high scores, the player is able to unlock new weapon types and unlock additional continues. Players may elect to take the game on in Easy Mode for a more casual experience, or crank the difficulty up with Hard Mode for a faster-paced bullet hell experience.

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




December 1, 2016

Early Arrival: Orange Moon

Moon Resources Corp. wants to offer you a job on the moon... but mining for resources can be dangerous with its harsh landscape, hostile wildlife, raiders, and the occasional ancient alien technology. Fortunately, you're well armed for the task with access to a machine gun, shotgun, flamethrower, rocket launcher, and minigun, each of which can be upgraded and loaded with specialized ammo types that allow them to pierce armor, burn enemies, or explode on contact. In Orange Moon, from Betelgeuse Zero, players move through a dangerous underground world, exploring the environment, defeating enemies and bosses, and gathering resources to upgrade their firepower and other abilities, including their grenades and jetpack-assisted jump.

The game available PC via Steam Early Access. Additionally, a demo is available on Indie DB.




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