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

March 22, 2017

Signal Lost: Grapple Knight

Lovers of grapple-based games have had to deal with years of disappointment and a slow draw from a shallow well... and yet another game has lost its grip and fallen into the abyss. Grapple Knight showed a lot of promise as a retro-styled grappler, but the developer's website has vanished, their Steam Greenlight page still shows an expected release of 2014, and their final tweet was our own announcement that their game had been added to 2D RADAR... and that was in 2014. Comments on the Kickstarter page consist entirely of people trying to get the developer to respond or refund their money. Thanks to one of our readers for the tip on this deceased game.

Here's what we originally had to say about the game:
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… The world needs more grapple-based action games! Red Knight Games steps in to assist us with our goal/fantasy with Grapple Knight, an action adventure game featuring an axe-wielding knight who can swing through the environment and pull himself toward enemies with the use of a grappling hook. As you play, you unlock new abilities to assist you in your adventure. The game is inspired by classic 16-bit games and features colorful environments, numerous enemies, and the occasional boss creature.



March 21, 2017

New Blip: Remnants of Naezith

We've said it before, and we'll say it again... there just aren't enough grappling hook games out there. Fortunately, Tolga Ay is here to help with Remnants of Naezith, a high-speed precision grappler that makes Radd Spencer look like Nathan Spencer. One day, a treasure-hunting adventurer named Kayra is grappling his way though some caves and finds himself possessed by Naezith the Thunder Dragon. As it turns out, Naezith needs the Kayra's skills to escape the cave, promising him great treasure in return. In the bargain, the adventurer finds that claws have been permanently attached to his hands, allowing him to fire them off and create a grapple beam. Players must swing their way past spinning saw blades, burning lasers, and pools of water while maintaining momentum, with gameplay inspired by Super Meat Boy and Dustforce. In addition, player have the ability to air dash, wall slide, wall jump, and double jump in order to make their way through the extensive array of caves.

The game is headed to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and will be out later this year.



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

March 19, 2017

Target Acquired: Hollow Knight

Team Cherry presents Hollow Knight, an action-adventure platformer set in the ancient subterranean land of Hallownest. The horned knight must traverse a large nonlinear world and battle dark insect-based foes with his trusty sword-like nail as he uncovers the mysteries of the land and searches for artifacts and treasure. Along the way, the knight gains new abilities, including a double jump, air dash, and energy blasts, allowing him to defeat enemies more easily and access new paths. Various NPC's offer aid - for a price - by providing maps of each region, crests that grant passive buffs, and a number of mysterious items.

Hollow Knight is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, GOG, and Humble Store, and is also planned for release on Nintendo Switch. Check our coverage here.




March 17, 2017

Arrival Delayed: Sonic Mania

Sonic has veered into the slow lane for a bit (must be caught between bumpers). Sonic Mania has been pushed out of its Spring release window and is now set to arrive sometime this summer. The game is still headed to PC, PS4, and Xbox One as originally announced, and it's also coming to the Nintendo Switch.

It's no secret that Sega's most fondly remembered Sonic the Hedgehog titles were the 2D iterations from the Genesis era, and now - 25 years later - the company has decided to revisit these classics with Sonic Mania, an all-new game showcasing some of the finest moments from the series' 2D history, along with some entirely new areas for Sonic, Tales, and Knuckles to explore. The game is being developed in collaboration with Christian Whitehead and Headcanon, who worked on several modern re-releases of 2D Sonic titles, as well as Pagoda West Games. In addition, a new move has been added to the mix, called the "drop dash" which allows Sonic and pals to drop out of the sky and hit the ground with a burst of speed.

To tide you over, here's a first look at the new Green Hill Zone:




March 14, 2017

News: Momodora Coming to PS4 and Xbox One

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, from Bombservice, will be arriving this week on PS4 and Xbox One! This is actually the fourth game in the Momodora series, but is a prequel to the original freeware games released on PC... and they're all great, so you should go and play them.

The latest adventure features Kaho, a priestess whose village has come under attack by evil spirits, but when she sets out to seek an audience with the queen in the Kingdom of Karst, she finds that it too has fallen under the curse, as the world of the living is being merged with the world of the dead, and spirits wander the streets. As in the previous games in the series, the player interacts with NPC's who are on quests of their own, occasionally crossing paths with Kaho... and sometimes getting in her way. This is an open-world action adventure with light metroidvania elements, and offers a longer quest than any of the previous games in the series, with numerous enemies and bosses to face along the way, and an array of active and passive buffs to aid Kaho in her quest.

You can check our full coverage of the game here, and get caught up on the first three games in the series here.




March 12, 2017

Target Acquired: Four Sided Fantasy

Four Sided Fantasy is being developed by Ludo Land, headed by designer Logan Fieth, who previously developed The Fourth Wall, a puzzle platformer that played with the idea of wrapping around the edges of the screen. Four Sided Fantasy is a continuation of that vision, allowing Logan and the team to experiment with a wider range of puzzle solutions in a larger, more fleshed out world. As the player moves through the game world, the screen scrolls along with him, but the player is able to stop this scrolling at any time and make the edges of the screen wrap around. So, moving off the right side of the screen will return you to the left, and falling off the bottom of the screen will make you fall down from the ceiling. This mechanic, used in combination with a number of other mind-bending abilities, is used to overcome various platforming challenges.

Four Sided Fantasy is now available on PC and Mac via Steam, Humble Store, and Itch.io, and PS4 via PSN. Check our coverage here.




March 10, 2017

Target Acquired: Blink

Blink, from nextReality has a somewhat odd premise in that it is a “second person” puzzle platformer. While the player takes control of the character on the screen, the character is actually being observed by an unseen being. When the being closes its eyes, the world persists, but everything is plunged into darkness. All that remains are the after effects of objects in the world that were illuminated, and these become the platforms on which the player walks. By manipulating light sources, the player can cast light on anything, even something as insubstantial as a patch of fog, and then use it in the darkened version of the world. The player may also use this mechanic to pass through otherwise solid object that cease to have corporeality when the being closes its eyes.

Blink is now available for PC and Mac via Steam.




March 9, 2017

New Blip: Them's Fightin' Herds

Once upon a time, developer Mane6 was working on a fighting game called Fighting is Magic, featuring characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic television series, but development on that game has since ceased (and desisted). Interestingly, one of the television show's creators, Lauren Faust, was following the game's development and offered to join the team and create new original characters for the game. As a result, the newly-titled Them's Fightin' Herds has an entirely new roster of seven four-legged fighters engaged in cutesy 1-on-1 battle against one another, and it has been successfully funded via an Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $500,000. This is a 4-button fighter with light, medium, heavy, and magic attacks, as well as combos, juggling, and super attacks, as well as a story mode for each fighter.

The game is headed to PC, Mac, and Linux and was announced for release in April, although no new relesae information has been posted for some time.



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

March 7, 2017

Signal Lost: Cloudface

So, the cutesy illustrated Cloudface is no longer in development. The site still exists, but recently the developer published a blog post called Is Cloudface Ded? which explained the details. We have a link to the article (http://cloudfacegame.tumblr.com/post/155184545187/is-cloudface-ded) but now the article is ded too, as it seems to have been removed from the site. It was something about how there wasn't much of an actual game there... It's hard to remember. Besides that one vanishing article, the website has received no updates in more than a year.

Here's what we originally had to say about the game:
Cloudface () is a platformer that focuses strongly on its lighthearted aesthetics, featuring animations by Corey McDaniel, programming by Craig Johnston, and music by Calum Bowen. The game stars a cloud businessman who is searching across various pastoral landscapes for his lost documents while avoiding enemies like roly-poly pink cats. Jumps are high and floaty, and – being a cloud – our hero can also sustain long jumps to reach distant platforms for out-of-the-way documents. Animations for the hero are goofy and over exaggerated, giving him quite a bit of character, and this is further supported by colorful and cheerful hand-drawn backgrounds, loads of cute little creatures, and a charming upbeat soundtrack.



March 5, 2017

Target Acquired: Double Dragon IV

Bimmy and Jimmy, er... Billy and Jimmy are back! Arc System Works is revisiting the 30 year old 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 NES-era continuity, taking place after the events of Double Dragon II, using the NES series' original sprite art. 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 across a dozen stages. There's also an unlockable Tower mode where the player fights groups of enemies, unlocking new characters that can be used in the main game, including regular enemies, bosses, and some unique characters.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and PS4 via PSN. Check our coverage here, or get the details in the trailer below, which offers 3½ minutes of obnoxious voiceover.




March 4, 2017

News: A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV is Now Free

A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was originally released as a preorder bonus for Final Fantasy XV, being published by Square Enix and developed in partnership with Empty Clip Studios, Powerhouse Animation, and Mirum Studio. Despite being a preorder incentive, the game was just released for free for PS4 via PSN and Xbox One via the Microsoft Store. The game is a prequel to the events of Final Fantasy XV, with King Regis narrating the events to his son Noctis as a bedtime story, complete with some unspecified embellishments. More than a throwaway bonus, the game is a highly strategic beat 'em up, requiring players to constantly change up their tactics as they face off against a number traditional Final Fantasy series enemies, including cactuars and behemoths. Players can also use series-familiar elemental magic in the form of fire, ice, and lightning, as well as call on Regis' companions - Weskham, Cid, and Clarus - to aid him in battle.

We have, of course, given the game a play and have our coverage here.




March 2, 2017

New Blip: Steamworld Dig 2

Steamworld Dig 2, from Image & Form is the follow-up to Steamworld Dig, a surprising entry in the otherwise overcrowded mining genre, focusing less on crafting and inventory management, and more on metroidvania-style adventuring. The sequel features a new steambot named Dorothy who teams up with a cloaked companion to seek out her lost friend in the deep dark depths. The new release offers similar gameplay to the original with the player pickaxing through dirt and rocks in search of treasure while avoiding pitfalls and traps. Along the way, Dorothy fights enemies and earns new abilities that allow her to move more quickly and access new areas. The new game has been given a substantial visual overhaul as well, featuring more detailed environments and better lighting effects.

The game is coming to Switch via the eShop and other unannounced platforms in 2017.




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