New Release: Courier of the Crypts

A puzzle-based adventure with a focus on light and darkness, from Emberheart Games

New Release: Gato Roboto

A charming metroidvania starring an adorable kitty in a mech suit, from Doinksoft

New Release: Killer Chambers

A projectile avoidance platformer set in extremely confined spaces, from Village Bench

New Release: Steel Sword Story

A sidescrolling actioner set in a dark fantasy world, from 8bits Fanatics

New Release: Shakedown Hawaii

An open-world actioner with colorful SNES-style visuals, from VBlank Entertainment

December 30, 2018

Signal Lost: Skytorn

Skytorn has officially been cancelled, as announced by Noel Berry on the official devlog. Here's a snippet from the announcement:
Having worked on the game for several years we constantly struggled with what the game was. To its core it was a procedurally generated adventure game without permadeath, but the procedural elements always clashed with the Metroidvania themes, and I didn’t know how to design around that. The story & progression slowly became much more linear as a result of being unsure how to tackle an open & randomized world. Taking out the procedural parts felt like it defeated the purpose of what the game was, so as it shifted towards a more linear adventure, the procedural map stayed but simply got more and more constricted, until the proceduralness of it didn’t really mean anything — it was just… there. And this is a LOT of overhead for basically no payoff. Why make a procedural game at all if you don’t really get the benefits of it being procedural?
Here's what we originally had to say about the game:
Skytorn is under development by a team of talented individuals (Skytorn) whose previous works include Celeste, TowerFall, Out There Somewhere, and Aquaria. The game takes place in a world that has been torn asunder by some great calamity, and mankind now lives aboard airships as they scour the lands for artifacts and other survivors. The player takes on the role of an explorer named Névoa as she sets out across a procedurally generated world made of floating islands, armed with only her shovel (might be a trend here), which serves dual roles as a digging implement and a weapon. Névoa is quite nimble, digging her way down into the world, air dashing, ledge grabbing, wall sliding, and clobbering enemies with her spade. The digging implement is also upgradeable, making it easier to take down groups of enemies, or adding secondary effects such as spitting a fireball or draining a foe's life force on contact.

The game had been planned for release on PC, Mac, Linux, and PS4.




December 23, 2018

Target Acquired: Desert Child

Desert Child, from Oscar Brittain begins on a ruined earth and stars a hoverbike racer who is trying to put together enough money to get off this stinkin' planet and get his ass to Mars. His life consists of entering races, customizing his bike, going to work, and occasionally chillin' out with a bowl of ramen noodles to earn him some buffs for the next race. He still has to make rent each month, so he can take on missions to track down bounties or run some drugs to get some extra coin in his pocket. The hoverbike can be customized with different weapons and modifiers, allowing the racer to blast his way through the competition as he works his way up through the circuit... or purposely throw the race for a payoff. The game features chunky pixel art with lots of explosions and special effects as the player rips through the scenery, with sci-fi artwork inspired by Cowboy Bebop, Akira, and Redline.

The game is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, GameJolt, GOG, and Utomik, Switch via eShop, PS4 via PSN, and Xbox One via Microsoft Store. Check our coverage here.




December 18, 2018

Proximity Alert: Double Cross

13AM Games, the developers behind Runbow, have returned with Double Cross, a colorful puzzle-platformer starring Zahra, an agent of R.I.F.T. (Regulators of Interdimensional Frontiers and Technology). She uses her powers to move between dimensions and fight enemies in order to restore peace, while investigating the culprit behind an attack on RIFT headquarters. She has a Proton Slinger that lets her fling herself between grapple points to zip around the environment, but she can also grab objects out of the air and toss them, allowing her to take down obstacles and enemies. Over the course of her adventure, Zahra is able to upgrade her abilities using a substance called Upgradium (hmm...), allowing her to grapple her foes, climb walls, and take down boss creatures.

The game is coming to PC and Switch on January 10.




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

December 16, 2018

Target Acquired: Battle Princess Madelyn

Battle Princess Madelyn is from Causal Bit Games, the developers behind the dark and gritty Insanity's Blade, a game inspired by late 80's arcade games like Black Tiger and Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The game got its start as the developer's daughter enjoyed watching her dad play the first level of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts over and over so she could watch him fight what she called "Green Head", the first level boss. And, while her dad couldn't exactly put her into GnG, he could make her the star of her own GnG-style game, and so Battle Princess Madelyn was born. The game begins as Maddi's village comes under attack, and an evil wizard kidnaps her family and kills her dog, so she heads out to to kill the wizard, tossing projectiles like King Arthur before her (with a very similar running animation). Accompanied by the ghost of her dead pooch, she cuts a swath through the undead and other monstrous creatures, traverses detailed environments, and faces off against huge bosses. The game offers an open world story mode and a more straightforward arcade mode.

The game is available now for PC via Steam and Xbox One via Microsoft Store. The game arrives on PS4 and Switch on December 20, and is also planned for Wii U and Vita later in 2019. Check our coverage here.




December 14, 2018

Target Acquired: Below

Developer Capybara, known for their stylistic adventure title Sword & Sworcery and over-the-top actioner Super Time Force, returns with Below, an atmospheric roguelike with a deep focus on exploration. 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.

After five years in development, Below is available today on PC via Steam and Xbox One via Microsoft Store.




December 13, 2018

Target Acquired: GRIS

GRIS, from Nomada Studio and Devolver Digital is a visually splendiferous platformer starring a girl who is dealing with her own pain and sorrow, which alters the way she sees the world. As her emotional state changes and she begins to grow and heal, she gains new abilities that allow her to tackle the world in different ways and open up new paths forward. There are no enemies to fight or fear of being killed, so the game is more an exploration of emotions and beautiful artwork, with detailed animations and lovely musical accompaniment. The game features minor puzzle solving with optional challenges for more skilled players.

The game is now available on PC and Mac via Steam and Switch via eShop.




December 5, 2018

Proximity Alert: Dragon Marked for Death

Dragon Marked for Death is the latest from Inti Creates, the developers behind numerous retro-style games, including Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Blaster Master Zero, and Azure Striker Gunvolt. Dragon Marked for Death features the studio's pedigree of detailed colorful spritework and dense gameplay variety. The game stars four characters who have returned to find their homeland destroyed, and they cut a deal with the Astral Dragon (as you do) to get revenge. The Empress is able to use a sword and has a dragon's head as her left arm, which she can use to strike enemies directly or hit them with fireball attacks. The Warrior has a heavy axe and uses dragon scales to defend himself. The Shinobi (no, not that Shinobi) has twin daggers, and can make use of the dragon's legs and wings to jump up and glide around the environment. And the Witch uses the dragon's brains to tap into her powers and cast spells. The game is designed for multiple players to team up and take on baddies together, with each selecting a different character for melee-based brawler combat against an array of enemies and bosses.

The game is coming to Switch on December 13.




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

December 4, 2018

Target Acquired: Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom

It has been more than 20 years since the last Wonder Boy game was released, but the spirit of the game lives on in Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. The game is being created by mobile developers FDG Entertainment and Game Atelier in partnership with Wonder Boy series creator Ryuichi Nishizawa. Monster Boy is able to transform into five different animals, each with their own abilities, allowing him to traverse the world, access new paths, and fight his way through baddies and bosses. The new game is getting the HD treatment with colorful high quality sprites as seen in Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap.

The game is now available on PS4 via PSN, Xbox One via Microsoft Store, and Switch via eShop, with physical releases also available for PS4 and Switch. The game will be arriving early next year on PC.




December 2, 2018

Target Acquired: Speed Brawl

Speed Brawl, from Double Stallion Games, is a speed-based brawler (as you may have guessed from the title) set in an alternate 1888 where the British Empire just defeated an army of insect creatures from the moon... and then enslaved them and made them take part in gladiatorial combat. You take on the roles of these warriors as they smash their way through big bad bugs as quickly as possible in order to earn new equipment and upgrade points. You start with two playable characters - which you can tag into battle at any time - and you meet new characters along the way, eventually giving you six characters to choose from, ranging from a sassy speedster, to heavy brawlers, to a laser-blasting automaton. Each player character has unique abilities, and all of them are agile, allowing them to juggle enemies, do crowd control, and line them up to be destroyed by powerful special attacks. Players can also smash barrels into bad guys, dash-kick them by swinging around poles, and watch for telegraphs that allow them to dodge and unleash powerful counterattacks.

The game is now available on PC via Steam, Switch via eShop, PS4 via PSN, and Xbox One via Microsoft Store. Check our coverage here.