New Release: 1 Screen Platformer

A single-screen platformer with four playable characters, from Return to Adventure Mountain

New Release: Metaloid: Origin

A colorful action-platformer with three playable characters, from RetroRevolution

Coming Soon: Reventure (formerly Lonk's Adventure)

A humorous open-world platformer with 100 endings, from Pixelatto

New Release: Boxboy + Boxgirl

A lighthearted puzze-platformer starring cute boxes, from HAL Laboratory

New Release: Shakedown Hawaii

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

May 23, 2019

New Blip: Xeno Crisis

Xeno Crisis, from Bitmap Bureau, is an arena shooter where you play a space marine - or a pair of them in 2P co-op - blasting through waves of alien baddies and rescuing survivors along the way, taking design inspirations from Smash TV, Alien Syndrome, and other arcade actioners. The game is comprised of seven themed areas, dozens of enemy types, grotesque end-level bosses, and plenty of weapons to destroy them all, including rifles, spread guns, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers, among others, along with upgrades to increase their damage output and ammo capacity. Procedural layouts mean the player will encounter different rooms on each run, and two difficulty modes let players choose their level of challenge (but you need to play on "hardcorps" to get the good ending).

The game was originally developed for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, and ported to Dreamcast and Neo Geo, and it will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, 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.

May 16, 2019

New Blip: Raider of the Ruby Chest

Raider of the Ruby Chest, from Cacareco Games, is a Game Boy Color-esque action adventure that takes inspiration from the Indiana Jones films. You play the part of a whip-wielding adventurer - although you're a young boy rather than a professor of antiquities - who dives into booby trapped ruins to seek out great treasures... and the mysterious Ruby Chest. Along the way, you'll travel through five themed areas, solve puzzle-platforming challenges, and face off against enemies and bosses. As you explore, you'll discover new tools and abilities that allow you to reach previously inaccessible areas metroidvania-style, including a block-bashing hammer, the ability to climb certain walls, and the ability to swim.

A demo in development for PC, Mac, and Linux, but it does not yet have an announced release date. A demo is available on the game's Itch.io page.




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

May 14, 2019

New Blip: Whipseey and the Lost Atlas

Whipseey and the Lost Atlas, from Daniel A. Ramirez (game tweets), is a platformer starring a boy named Alex who finds himself in a strange world and transformed into a cute pink thing called Whipseey. Whipseey can hop-and-bop like many other platforming heroes, or he can use his whip to smash enemies or swing back and forth on grapple points, or he can spin it above his head like a helicopter to slowly glide to the ground. He travels through a number of colorful environments, including forests, deserts, frozen wastelands filled with toys, and even underwater caverns as he tries to make his way home.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch this summer.




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

May 12, 2019

Target Acquired: Boxboy + Boxgirl

Have you been following Hal Labs' charming Boxboy puzzle-platformer series? It's well worth a look, as the existing trio of 3DS-exclusives are simultaneously excellent and inexpensive. If you aren't familiar, be sure to check our coverage of Boxboy, Boxboxboy, and Bye-Bye Boxboy. In any case, the series is quite inviting, so even if you missed out on the others, or don't own a 3DS, you can still check out the newest game, Boxboy + Boxgirl. It's much bigger than its predecessors, weighing in at 270 levels, and it also includes a number of cooperative 2P stages for people who wish to team up. Per series conventions, there are some unlockables, including a playable character called Qudy, who is rectangular instead of square and will therefore create new gameplay challenges.

The game is now available on Switch via eShop. Check our coverage here.




May 9, 2019

New Blip: Spleen

The spleen is a part of your body that you don't think much about, but it serves an important function... and maybe you'll live a bit longer if you have a pamplemousse for breakfast (and maybe not). Spleen, from Pamplemousse Games, has nothing to do with any of that, and stars a young man in an action-RPG who hopes to recapture the excitement of his youth. As an adult, Johann interacts with his friends and coworkers, but as a kid, he wears a long scarf and carries along an oversized anime-style sword through a colorful hand-painted watercolor world, fighting tentacle monsters and other creatures on his way to defeat Spleen, a dark force that grows from the gloom of adulthood.

The game is coming to PC, with console versions following, 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.

May 8, 2019

Proximity Alert: GunLord X

Unless you're a really big Turrican fan, you might not have heard of GunLord, and that's because developer NGDEV released the game exclusively on the Dreamcast in 2012 (way beyond that system's official end of life)... but you haven't missed your chance to give it a try. GunLord X promises to bring "eurostyle" running, shooting, and exploration to your Switch console, with 11 stages and 60+ enemy types. You play the GunLord himself as he blasts his way through colorful baddies on a mission to rescue his wife, leaving explosions, chunky particles, and smoking husks in his wake. You also take to the skies in horizontal shmup sequences that see you blasting through enemy ships and other hulking monstrosities. You have a Turrican-esque beam weapon and an array of other armaments that you can cycle through, as well as a very strange Turrican-esque roll (really, it's a good idea to study up on Turrican before you sink your teeth into this), and you face off against some grotesque screen-filling bosses along the way.

The game is coming to Switch this month - May 22 to be exact - which is pretty exciting given that it was just announced today... and there's a five-and-a-half minute trailer to get you up to speed on the insanity that awaits your tender fingers.


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

May 7, 2019

New Blip: Space Outlaw Alice

Space Outlaw Alice, from Hissatsu Studios, stars Alice (a space outlaw) who is on the run from the corrupt Earth government in the year 2378, so she runs, jumps, and shoots her way through a colorful array of baddies. On top of traditional action-platforming, she also gets to pilot a huge mech suit that lets her fly around and blast baddies in horizontal shmup sequences. The game is influenced by games NES/Famicom games and classic mecha anime, as evidenced by the game's straightforward mechanics, limited color palette, chiptune soundtrack, wacky character designs, and retro-style cutscenes.

The game is coming to PC this fall. A playable demo is available via the developer's website.




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

May 2, 2019

New Blip: Sparklite

Sparklite, from Red Blue Games, is a lighthearted action-adventure set in a procedurally-generated landscape, but without that cut-and-paste feel you see in other such games. This game is set in a varied and vibrant world and features adorable animations... and it's filled with airships, swordplay, gunplay, colorful enemies, hidden treasures, and unlockable gadgets. You take on the role of an adventurer named Ada who goes up against The Baron, who is mining a material called Sparklite to power his war machines, polluting the land in the process. Ada travels the world to take out his defenses, fighting enemies and bosses before facing off against The Baron himself.

The game is coming to PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One this Fall.




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

April 30, 2019

New Blip: Panzer Paladin

Tribute Games is the studio behind Wizorb, Mercenary Kings, Curses ‘n Chaos, Flinthook, and technically Ninja Senki - all of which are chunky retro-style action games - and they're back with Panzer Paladin... a chunky retro-style action game. You take the role of the titular paladin who clunks around the world in power armor, slashing baddies with a sword, but it wears down as he deals damage. But he can collect weapons from fallen enemies and swap between them, or sacrifice them to cast spells or activate checkpoints, and he can block incoming attacks with his sword. The pilot of the power armor is comparatively small and is able to eject and run around on his own, reaching areas that the armor cannot fit, and even doing a bit of grappling along the way. He's not all that handy in a fight, but fortunately, he can teleport his armor back to his location using special devices called launchers.

The game is coming to PC in Spring of 2020.




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

April 25, 2019

Target Acquired: Yuppie Psycho

Baroque Decay, the developer behind The Count Lucanor, returns with Yuppie Psycho, an adventure set in a modern day office building run by an evil corporation. The game features some lovely chunky pixel art for its gameplay and cutscenes, and lots of pixellated blood and gore. You play the part of Brian Pasternack, the new guy who's just trying to survive his first day on the job... literally. His first task is to hunt down a witch whose powers drove the company to success but who now torments its employees. Along the way, he'll learn more about Sintracorp, meet his strange office mates, and flee for his life from creatures who stalk the halls, lurk behind cubicle walls, and slink through the ventilation ducts. Brian must uncover clues, solve riddles, and make decisions that affect the outcome of his story.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and Utomik, and it's also planned for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One at a later date.




April 23, 2019

Proximity Alert: Shakedown Hawaii

Vblank Entertainment, the studio behind Retro City Rampage, is back with Shakedown Hawaii. It's another open world top-down action game, but this time themed after the 16-bit generation instead of the NES era, and features a substantially larger world map. The game takes place 30 years after the events of the original game and is set in Hawaii (as you may have guessed from the title), thus offering a more colorful tropical locale. The game once again stars "The Player" from the original game as he comes out of retirement to rebuild his empire by attending meetings, coming up with crazy ideas to defeat the competition, and of course, shooting the hell out of everything. Maximum destruction is in store with machine guns, rocket launchers, flamethrowers, and an array of driveable vehicles for running down pedestrians and fleeing the Five-O (see what we did there?).

The game is coming to PC, PS4, Vita, and Switch on May 7, and 3DS at a later date.




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

April 21, 2019

Early Arrival: Lonk's Adventure

Lonk's Adventure, from Pixelatto, is an open-world retro-style platformer starring a fellow named Lonk who must rescue the kidnapped princess... but this is no ordinary adventure. The trick here is that the game features 100 different endings, and most of your major actions lead to one of these endings. Walk into a cave and pick up a sword from an old man who says "It's dangerous to go alone!", and then plunge the sword into the old man's chest to get Ending #1. Of course, you'll go to prison for a few years, but when you get out, the adventure continues, and you can look for the next ending. While the premise is simple, there is some strategy involved with exploring the world and finding these different endings, since each piece of equipment lets you do different things, but the more you're carrying, the lower your jump height. Throughout your adventure, you'll find a sword, shield, hookshot, bombs, and a chicken that lets you glide through the air (there are lots of Legend of Zelda references in case you haven't figured that out), among other things, and loads of silly humor to encounter along the way.

The game has been available on PC via Steam Early Access for about six months while the developer makes tweaks and adds new endings... and the 100th ending was added just a couple weeks ago, so it's all hot and fresh. Check our coverage here.




April 18, 2019

Target Acquired: Katana ZERO

Katana ZERO is the latest from developer Askiisoft, featuring fast-paced acrobatic melee combat in a dark neon-lit world. It's tough to take down a whole slew of bad guys on your own, but fortunately you have access to a drug called Chronos, which allows you to manipulate time, reversing your mistakes and slowing things down to the point where you can knock an enemy's bullet back at him. Players can dash and slide quickly through the environment, dodging lasers and getting behind baddies before slicing them into bloody shreds, and they can hop between buildings by extending cables between them for some ninja-style rooftop running in the dark of night.

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




Target Acquired: Hell is Other Demons

Hell is Other Demons... ain't that a fact. Hannes Rahm is here to show you just how nasty Hell can be, as you blast hundreds of demons in the face with a huge array of weapons. The game is a sidescrolling arena combat actioner in a 4-color palette that is continuously populated by waves of terrible demons waiting to milk your raging arsenal for its sweet hot bullet juice. As you destroy demons, and face off against terrible boss creatures, and keep your buns out of the burning lava below, you unlock new weapons and abilities to aid in your quest for destruction, and leaderboards await those who rack up a huge score. Plus, the tunes were composed by SoulEye, best known for the VVVVVV soundtrack.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Kartridge and Switch via eShop.






April 16, 2019

New Blip: Rawal Rumble

Rawal Rumble, from Anarkade, an 80's arcade-style beat 'em for up to 4P. The game takes place in Barcelona following a civil war that was ended after someone accidentally dropped a nuke near the airport. As a result, the people allowed themselves to be repressed and subjugated. 100 years later, a new force rises up to face this corrupt government, led by a foul-mouthed badass in a muscle shirt whose girlfriend was arrested, and he promises to make them "lick [his] big golden balls"... which is all you need to kick off a brawler. The game features the usual punches and kicks from the days of old - along with optional scanlines - but adds in considerably more crass humor and blood sprays. Players make their way through ten metropolitan locales, bashing faces, grabbing discarded weapons, and beating the stuffing out of powerful bosses with extended life bars.

The game is planned for PC but does not have an announced release date. A demo is available on Itch.io, which includes one level and an unlockable survival mode.




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

April 11, 2019

Early Arrival: Hades

Supergiant Games is known for several top-notch action-adventure games, all with solid mechanics and gorgeous artwork, including Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre... and now they've returned with another beautiful action-adventure game with a single word for a title: Hades. In this game, you play the son of Hades as he defies his father and attempts to battle his way out of Hell. There's only one downside; dying just sends him back home. The game is a hack-and-slash roguelike that offers something new with each run. Players can attack hellish creatures with ranged and melee weapons, and supplement their abilities with perks that come in the form of divine assistance from Zeus and the other Olympian gods.

The game is currently available for PC via Epic Store Early Access.




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

April 9, 2019

New Blip: Faeland

Talegames presents Faeland, an action-RPG set in a medieval fantasy world. The game stars Sam, a blonde-haired boy wearing a green tunic who is able to wield a short sword, a shield, and a bow and arrows (remind you of anyone?). Sam is able to hunt for food in the wildlands, fight enemy creatures in dungeons, complete platforming challenges, learn new abilities to reach previously inaccessible areas, solve puzzles, and take on gigantic bosses. The game world is open, so you are free to travel from place to place, speak with NPC's to discover new information, and purchase new weapons, equipment, and health restoratives.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux but does not have an announced release date.




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

April 4, 2019

New Blip: Lapis x Labyrinth

Lapis x Labyrinth, from Nippon Ichi Software (NIS), is a feverish hacky slashy dungeon crawler starring a cast of colorful characters. The game offers eight character classes that you can literally stack - one character on top of the other - to attack enemies and unleash a flurry of gems in return. With a stack of four characters, you can swap between their abilities or team up to take down baddies, and defeating enough enemies lets you unlock Fever Time to unleash even more damage and get more gems. Fight your way through more than 100 monster types and a bunch of bosses in a labyrinth filled with treasure.

The game is coming to PS4 and Switch on May 28 (it's already available in Japan), and there's a limited edition physical version coming to the Switch as well. Check out utter sensory overload in the trailer below:




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

April 2, 2019

New Blip: Bushiden

In Bushiden, from Pixel Arc Studios, you take on the role of a martial arts master whose sister has disappeared, possibly at the hands of the evil Goah and his cybernetically enhanced army. You travel through eight themed areas taking down enemies and bosses on your way toward your ultimate enemy, all the while gaining new abilities, upgrades, and magic spells to aid you in combat and exploration. The game wears its arcade style on its sleeve with its colorful environments, detailed character designs and animations, and flashy attacks and death animations. But unlike straightforward arcade actioners, you must explore a large interconnected world and make use of a metroidvania map to track your progress, revisiting previous areas with new abilities to access alternate routes.

The game is coming to PC in 2020.




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

April 1, 2019

Arrival Delayed: Super Meat Boy Forever

Super Meat Boy Forever, from Team Meat, has been delayed beyond its intended April 2019 release window. Tommy Refenes made this statement in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun (which was apparently a totally real conversation and not some made up April Fools garbage):
"Oh yeah, I think it’s in a good place. We were originally going to hit April, but we’re not going to hit April, so now we’re going to say after April, because I don’t want to say May and then have to go ‘Oh, I didn’t hit May.’ The next thing we’ll announce is the day you can actually buy it, rather than ‘around here’ because that’s really a lot of pressure to be like, ‘Oh crap, now I’ve got to tell everybody.’ I’m glad I don’t have Kickstarter backers or have taken money from anyone because oh man, that would be terrible."
The game is a sequel to Super Meat Boy, and once again features Meat Boy and Bandage Girl... only this time, they have a child named Nugget, and Nugget has been kidnapped by Dr. Fetus. So, the duo splat into action and try to rescue their sweet baby. This time around, instead of venturing through pre-made levels, the game world regenerates itself dynamically into harder and harder versions of itself, but built out of pre-made chunks to avoid sending the player into a hell of random objects. Also, instead of just being able to jump, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl can now punch their enemies in the face, and perform a jump attack, dive, and slide to deal with enemies and navigate quickly around saw blades and other obstacles.

Super Meat Boy Forever is planned for release on PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, and Android.






March 31, 2019

Target Acquired: Metaloid: Origin

Metaloid: Origin, from RetroRevolution, follows up on the developer's previous Mega Man-inspired actioner, Metagal, but delivers a much more polished experience. The game stars one of three robot cat ladies, each with a different set of weapons and special attacks, and you choose one to take into battle. From there, you can purchase and unlock new firing types, special attacks, movement abilities, and passive buffs to help you take down bad bots across nine themed areas. The game is a fast-paced combat experience at its core, but it rewards exploration, and it changes things up a bit with the occasional environmental puzzle or gameplay-altering vehicle combat sequence. The game also features numerous boss and miniboss encounters, each with unique behaviors that require you take full advantage of your weapons and special abilities to bring them to their fiery demise.

The game is now available on PC and Mac via Steam, and is planned for consoles at a later date. Check our coverage here.




March 28, 2019

New Blip: Gravity Ace

Hey, if there's one thing everyone likes, it's gravity... and nobody knows that better than John Watson, the developer behind Gravity Ace. There aren't a whole lot of gravity-based spaceship games on the market, but there have been a few standout examples over the years, including the seminal classic Gravitar, along with classics like Thrust and Oids, and a few modern takes on the genre, including the Gravitron and PixelJunk Shooter series. Of all these games, Gravity Ace seems to most closely mix elements from Thrust and the PixelJunk Shooter series.

Like Thrust, you must descend into caverns, taking out dangers along the way, and retrieving a reactor core from deep within... and then fight to escape the planetoid's gravity in time. Whereas Thrust was a fairly slow and methodical experience (but still harrowing, mind), the PixelJunk Shooter series is more fast-paced, features much more shooting, and the need to rescue stranded astronauts. In the end, the game borrows from its predecessors but definitely stands on its own, offering a chunky explosion-heavy world with the ever-present danger of smashing into a wall of rock and meeting your untimely demise. The game offers multiple interconnected levels across three worlds and even some boss encounters to spice things up.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and Itch.io later this year.




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

March 26, 2019

New Blip: Elden: Path to the Forgotten

Elden: Path to the Forgotten, from Onerat Games, is a dark action-horror game set in a medieval landscape and filled with Lovecraftian beasties and boss creatures. You can hack through these monsters using a selection of melee weapons or take down from a distance with a number of magic spells. The game features creepy chunky pixel art, lots of blood, and wordless hi-rez pixel cutscenes to further emphasize the horror tone.

The game is coming to PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One later this year.




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

March 20, 2019

New Blip: Steel Sword Story

Do you even know the level of wackiness that 8bits Fanatics brings to the table? You may have heard of Aban Hawkins and the 1000 Spikes, or the updated version called 1001 Spikes, but even stranger than that is their samurai-meets-US-president zombie slayer The Tempura of the Dead (which still needs a Steam release, please!)... and now they're back! Teaming up with Kadokawa Corporation and Playism, the studio is bringing more ninja action with Steel Sword Story. This time you're plying your ninja skills in a dark fantasy world while fighting enemies, performing platforming feats, and taking down big bad bosses. Use your sword to slash enemies and your magical powers to toss fireballs while seeking treasures and avoiding spikes.

The game is coming to PC soon, but does not yet have an announced release date.

No trailer yet, but here's some footage from the demo:


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

March 17, 2019

Target Acquired: 1 Screen Platformer

1 Screen Platformer, from Return to Adventure Mountain, is exactly what it sounds like... a platformer that takes place on a single screen. Fortunately, you can also zoom in on the action and play the game in a more traditional fashion, similar to the gameplay offered in Platformance: Castle Pain and Platformance: Temple Death. While the small game world makes for a short experience, there are a number of reasons to replay, such as going back in for a faster time, a better rank, or to try the harder difficulty setting which adds faster obstacles in higher numbers. But the main reason to replay is to try out each of the four playable characters. Not only do some characters offer new abilities, like a double jump, each has different mission objectives, with one simply tasked with reaching the end as quickly as possible, another that collects glowing orbs to activate checkpoints, and one that has to reveal the area by clearing fog-of-war-style shadows.

The game is now available for PC and Mac via Steam for 99 cents. Check our coverage here.

For some reason, the developer has no trailer for the game, so here's a video of some guy playing it for a few minutes:


March 14, 2019

New Blip: Iron Meat

Hey, you got your iron in my meat! Hey, you got your meat in my iron! That's likely what you'll be yelling when you play Iron Meat from Razz, a game that features two great tastes (iron and meat) that taste great together to deliver Contra-style shooting action against baddies and bots. The game features run and gun action, 8-way fire, a somersaulting soldier, and a variety of weapon pickups and powerups to help you shred everything that enters your line of sight. Weapons include machine guns, lasers, and heavy explosives, which you'll need to take down popcorn enemies, mechanical minibosses, and over-the-top level bosses across eight themed areas.

The game is planned for PC 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.

March 12, 2019

New Blip: Operation ECHO

Operation ECHO, from Green Legacy, is set in 21XX and stars an action hero named M16... well, he wasn't always an action hero. M16 got his start as a butler-bot, but then there was a Mutant Armageddon that put everyone's lives in danger, and his creator, Dr. Miller, gave him some heavy armaments and ordered him to hop into action. Armed with a plasma cannon and an array of other weapon types, including machine guns, shotguns, and rocket launchers, M16 runs through colorful levels blasting goo-spitting slugs, grotesque insectoid creatures, and other monstrosities until they explode... eventually facing off against giant disgusting boss monsters that require equal treatment.

The game is coming to PC but does not yet have an announced release date. A demo is available on Itch.io and Game Jolt.




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

March 10, 2019

Target Acquired: Touhou Luna Nights

Touhou Luna Nights is an officially-licensed spinoff of The Touhou Project (東方), a series of Japanese bullet hell shooters developed by Team Shanghai Alice which has endured for more than two decades. The new game was developed by Team Ladybug, the studio behind KonoSuba God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! Revival of Beldia and Shin Megami Tensei: Synchronicity Prologue, both of which featured solid action combined with stunning sprite art... and this game is no exception.

Touhou Luna Nights features several characters from the main Touhou series, and stars Sakuya Izayoi, the head maid of Scarlet Devil Mansion, who is able to manipulate time. Sakuya can slow down time to bypass obstacles and enemies, or stop it completely, and she can even use her bullet hell grazing techniques to get close to enemies and projectiles to earn back health or magic. Along the way, she unlocks new special attacks and new movement abilities that allow her to reach previously inaccessible routes, per metroidvania conventions. Players will need to stay on their toes as enemies require them to employ an array of techniques, and bosses are even tougher. Even the environment reacts differently to time manipulation later in the game.

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




March 8, 2019

Proximity Alert: BoxBoy + BoxGirl

Have you been following Hal Labs' charming Boxboy puzzle-platformer series? It's well worth a look, as the existing trio of 3DS-exclusives are simultaneously excellent and inexpensive. If you aren't familiar, be sure to check our coverage of Boxboy, Boxboxboy, and Bye-Bye Boxboy. In any case, the series is quite inviting, so even if you missed out on the others, or don't own a 3DS, you can still check out the newest game, Boxboy + Boxgirl. It's much bigger than its predecessors, weighing in at 270 levels, and it also includes a number of cooperative 2P stages for people who wish to team up. Per series conventions, there are some unlockables, including a playable character called Qudy, who is rectangular instead of square and will therefore create new gameplay challenges.

The game is coming to Switch on April 26. Check out the gameplay presented during last month's Nintendo Direct:




March 5, 2019

New Blip: Hollow Knight: Silksong

Are you one of the folks who spent some quality time in the insectoid world of Hollow Knight? If you're a fan of dark metroidvanias and somehow missed out on this one, stop reading and give it a play, because it's downright engrossing, and the developers, Team Cherry, released loads of free content updates over the last couple of years... and now, they've returned with a sequel. Hollow Knight: Silksong stars a character named Hornet, who was formerly an adversary, but now she has her own standalone adventure where she clambers upward from the depths of Hallownest to explore new and colorful environments, and make some new friends. The game features fast-paced combat with aerial tactics against more than 150 new enemy types and a bunch of new boss creatures. The game features the same lovely art style as before, along with musical compositions by Christopher Larkin.

The game will launch on PC, Mac, Linux, and Switch, but does not yet have an announced release date. The first game also released on PS4 and Xbox One, so those platforms are possible as well, at a later date.




March 3, 2019

Target Acquired: Tiny Dangerous Dungeons

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons, from Adventure Islands is a bite-sized greenscale metroidvania starring an adventurer named Timmy, star of the original Dangerous Dungeons game. Timmy explores ancient ruins with nothing but a high jump keep him away from the dangers posed the by bats, spiders, and frogs that threaten his life. Along the way, he gains new abilities that allow him to reach new areas, attack his foes, and reach hidden treasures. The entire game can be completed in a single sitting in less than an hour (it is tiny, after all), but players can also hunt for optional health extensions or take on the time trial mode.

The game was originally released on browsers in 2013 and is playable on Newgrounds, Kongregate, and Stencyl, and mobile versions are also available for iOS and Android. However, the PC/Mac Steam version contains extra content, including the aforementioned time trial and hidden health extensions, as well as a new area. Check our coverage here.




February 24, 2019

Target Acquired: Gunpowder on the Teeth: Arcade

Gunpowder on the Teeth: Arcade, from Gunpowder Team, is a greyscale run-and-gun action platformer with hints of Metal Slug and Broforce. You begin the game with a single soldier, but you unlock several more during the course of the game, each with his own secondary explosive weapons, allowing them to unleash grenades, mortars, and missiles on top of to spraying machine gun fire and planting bombs. In addition to soldiers, the player must contend with environmental hazards in the form of bottomless pits, patches of razor wire, and land mines for those who enjoy punishing difficulty.

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




February 21, 2019

New Blip: Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX

Inti Creates - the developer behind, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Blaster Master Zero, and lots of Mega Man games - returns with the latest chapter in the ongoing Gunvolt saga: Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX. The game focuses on the exploits of Copen, who is the arch rival of Gunvolt, the hero of the main game series. Similar to the Blue Bomber, Copen is able to copy abilities from his defeated foes and use them in combat. Copen is able to move quickly around the environment and tag enemies, after which he can unleash a barrage of missiles, and he also makes use of a gun and electrical attacks.

The game is coming to Switch 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.

February 19, 2019

Arrival Delayed: Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Showdown

Developer Yacht Club Games has announced via their website that the upcoming expansions to Shovel Knight - entitled King of Cards and Showdown - have been delayed by several months. King of Cards stars King Knight in a prequel to the main game, and Showdown allows up to four players to pick their favorite heroes or villains to fight each other and tackle some other game modes. The delay is promised to ensure top quality for the new expansions (the Plague of Shadows and Specter of Torment expansions were both excellent) and to complete the Switch and PS4 physical editions. All of these expansions are free to owners of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove except 3DS and Vita versions where Showdown will be a standalone release. This will also impact the amiibo 3-pack tie-in that includes the stars of each expansion: Plague Knight, Specter Knight, and King Knight.




February 17, 2019

Target Acquired: Unruly Heroes

Unruly Heroes, from Magic Design Studios (game site), is an action-platformer for a single player, or up to four players via local co-op, inspired by the famous Journey to the West, which has been loosely used as the basis for numerous video games in the past, including Capcom's SonSon and Ninja Theory's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The game features four (unruly) heroes dashing through beautifully detailed platforming environments and engaging colorful enemies and bosses in melee combat, and each of the characters has different movement and fighting skills, which are emphasized through fluid animations. Players can go it alone, swapping between characters to make use of their special abilities, or team up for 4P cooperative combat.

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




February 14, 2019

New Blip: Minoria

Bombservice is the studio behind the Momodora series. Momodora 1-3 were all pretty sweet, but the developer really hit his stride with the series prequel, a dark and engaging metroidvania entitled Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight. And now, the studio has returned with Minoria, a spiritual sequel to the Momodora series that casts off its chunky visuals in favor of a smoother HD presentation, while offering a similarly dark world with action focusing around melee combat and magic spells. Set in an entirely new universe, the game stars Fran and Semilla, sisters who work as missionaries on behalf of the church as they work to protect the commoners from heretical witches... although the sisters make use of spellcraft themselves.

The game is coming to PC later this year.




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

February 12, 2019

New Blip: One Step from Eden

One Step From Eden, from Thomas Moon Kang, is heavily inspired by the combat sequences in the Mega Man Battle Network series, which featured Mega Man facing off against evil robots on a 3x3 grid, while his enemies stood on their own 3x3 grid, and players had a deck of chips that they cycled through to perform various attacks, all the while moving around the grid to avoid incoming fire, and some chips allowed the player to alter the playfield. One Step From Eden is also a deckbuilding action-strategy game featuring eight playable characters, dozens of enemies, and more than 100 spells and game-altering items. The player and his enemies are each regulated to their own 4x4 grids, and they cycle through spells, dodge attacks, and attempt to deal damage in fast-paced battles. Players can also take part in 2P action with local co-op and versus modes. The game has a roguelike structure with procedurally generated content, encouraging multiple playthroughs, and also offers multiple endings.

The game is coming to PC and Mac in this summer. A demo is available on Itch.io.




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

February 10, 2019

Target Acquired: Klaus

Klaus, from La Cosa Entertainment, was released on PS4 in 2016, but just recently arrived on PC as well. The game features a fellow named Klaus, or at least he believes that's his name. The protagonist awakens with the word "Klaus" written on his arm with no idea of whom or where he is. The player controls Klaus but can also independently manipulate objects in the environment, which Klaus notices... and he makes comments to the unseen player who appears to be helping him. Later, Klaus meets a brute of a man named K1, who appears to be a giant mutant version of himself. The player then assumes control of both characters - simultaneously or separately - to complete puzzle-platforming challenges and open the way forward. Through the course of the game, Klaus questions his very existence, the nature of the player, and the actions of his past.

The game is available on PS4 via PSN and PC via Steam. Check our coverage here.




February 3, 2019

Target Acquired: 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 travels between worlds taking on challenges unique to each area while collecting a substance called Upgradium (hmm...) that allows her to unlock new abilities.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and Humble Store, and Switch via eShop. Check our coverage here.




January 29, 2019

New Blip: Inmost

Inmost, from Hidden Layer Games, stars three playable characters, each with different abilities, and it is set in two different worlds, both of which are dark and foreboding, and both are narratively connected. While one character may be able to rely on his combat abilities, others must use their wits and agility to survive puzzle platforming challenges and escape the dark forces that rise up around them. A portion of the game takes place in an abandoned castle and sees you sneaking about, exploring rooms, discovering secret passages, and springing the occasional trap. In other areas, you must escape rampaging monsters... or fight them head-on, ultimately attempting to defeat a terrible creature that feeds upon human suffering.

The game is coming to PC and Switch later this year.




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

January 27, 2019

Target Acquired: Sun Wukong vs Robot

Sun Wukong vs Robot (a.k.a. 孙悟空大战机器金刚), from Bitca Games, is an open world action-platformer starring Sun Wukong, the legendary Monkey King from the Chinese novel Journey to the West... but instead of 16th century China, the game is set in a sci-fi world filled with killer robots. Fortunately, Wukong carries his famed staff and is able to crush robots to bits, and little by little, he unlocks new abilities and magical powers that eventually allow him to overthrow four evil robots who defeated and imprisoned him 500 years ago. Players are free to travel in any direction they like and unlock new abilities in any order, slowly opening up the world around them. New techniques like the cloud jump allow you to reach new areas, whereas magical powers let you defeat enemies by blasting them with lasers from your eyes, creating clones of yourself, or using the powers of a floating gourd.

The game is now available on PC and Mac via Steam. Check our coverage here.




January 20, 2019

Target Acquired: Ravva and the Cyclops Curse

Developer Galope took a break from working on Meawja to release a short and charming sidescrolling platformer called Ravva and the Cyclops Curse. The game stars a little owl girl named Ravva whose mother, a summoner, was defeated and turned to stone by the evil Cyclops Lord, Now the owl girl summons creatures of her own to defeat the villain and restore her mother's essence. Ravva is able to control four creatures, each with different abilities, allowing her to freeze enemies and objects, launch projectiles into the air, drop explosives, and find secret items like 1UPs, more powerful projectiles, a limited use shield, or caches of coins. The game can be beaten in a couple of hours, but there are a few secrets to be found, and players can make a dedicated score run.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam. Check our coverage here.




January 17, 2019

Target Acquired: Feudal Alloy

Attu Games, the developer behind Toby: The Secret Mine, returns with Feudal Alloy, a game starring a robot controlled by a fish. The robot smashes his way through a hand-drawn medieval landscape with his trusty sword, destroying mechanical creatures, fighting bosses, and interacting with robot NPC's that allow him to choose his path forward. The game features a robust upgrade tree and dozens of pieces of equipment to increase your damage output, defense, and movement abilities.

The game is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, GOG, and Humble Store, as well as Switch via eShop. The game is also planned for PS4 and Xbox One.




January 15, 2019

New Blip: Pepper Grinder

Pepper Grinder is a game about a girl and her drill... which you don't get a lot of in video games. Basically, we have Anna Hottenmeyer in the Mr. Driller series and Jill Dozer in Drill Dozer... but developer Ahr Ech is changing all that. Pepper Grinder stars a girl named Pepper and her drill named Grinder, as she sets out across a fantasy world filled with drillable and non-drillable materials. When drilling through the ground, Pepper moves quickly, and the player can steer her around to avoid obstacles, eject Pepper from the ground to fling her into the air, and even drill up under shelled enemies that are invincible from above. Things get crazier when the grappling hook is introduced, which allows Pepper to shoot out of the ground, swing quickly around a grapple point, and go flying over obstacles and ramming herself back into the dirt at high speeds. The drill can also be used to manipulate machinations that affect the environment, such as turning wheels to open the path forward, or launching Pepper high into the air to reach distant areas.

The game is coming to PC, 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.

January 10, 2019

New Blip: Gravity Circuit

Do you like gravity? Do you like circuits? Then you might like Gravity Circuit, from Domesticated Ants. OK, so the game definitely has gravity, and you fight robots, so there's definitely circuits, but really it's a game about smashing your way through the robotic Virus Army to prevent them from taking over the world. You take on the role of Kai who smashes bots with his fists, dive bombs them, boots around projectiles, knocks robots into each other, and uses a grappling hook to move quickly from enemy to enemy. The game features 12 stages of 1P action where the player unlocks new abilities as he rescues civilians, along with special challenge levels, time trials, and a level editor.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux later this year.




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

January 8, 2019

New Blip: Gato Roboto

Proving once again that anything can happen in indie game development, we have somehow seen a resurgence in super lo-fi and 1-bit action games, with titles like Downwell and Minit standing as some of the finest examples, both of which were published by Devolver Digital... and Devolver is publishing Gato Roboto as well. Gato Roboto, from Doinksoft, features an adorable kitty in a metroidvania adventure. The kitty is on a spaceship and steps on the pilot's keyboard (as kitties do), leading to a crash landing on an alien world, where the kitty hops out and get to platforming. The game takes place in a black and white world inspired by classic Metroid games, with obvious nods offered in its environmental tilesets and bulbous doorways... but the cat is pretty fast compared to Samus Aran. Pretty soon, the cat finds a mech suit and hops inside, using its powers to take down enemies with blaster shots and missiles, destroy bosses, and rocket jump... and the cat can even eject from the suit to run around, swim(!), and climb walls to reach new areas.

The game is coming to PC and Switch later this year.




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

January 1, 2019

Signals Lost: Promising Games You'll Never Play

New Year, New Game... or not. With the dawn of a brand new year, we took a look through our Master List to update release dates and check to see whether these games are actually still in active development. We do our best to cover announced cancellations, as we just did this week with Skytorn and Nightkeep, but more often than not, we find that developers simply go silent as the development process stalls out.

Below is a list of games that will most likely never see the light of day, along with our original comments and links to Twitter or (sometimes nonexistent) home pages and devlogs. In each instance, there have been no new updates from the developer for more than a year. In some cases, the games were successfully Kickstarted and backers have been offered refunds. There is still some small hope that these games will one day return, but for now, they have dropped off our radar.


CoinOp Story
Developer KaMiZoTo harnesses his nostalgia for classic arcade cabinets to create CoinOp Story, the tale of an old arcade cabinet who must collect Jamma cards to save the world. In the not-so-distant future, all of the world’s arcade cabinets have been tossed into a garbage heap, but a generic cabinet gets struck by lightning and comes to life. With the help of his friend, a floating calculator named Professor Delta, he must seek out various arcade cabinets – designed after their real-world counterparts – and collect their Jamma cards. Each card he collects grants him new abilities, allowing him to reach previously inaccessible areas in an open Metroidvania world. For instance, the game begins with his discovery of the Donkey Kong cabinet, which gives him legs and the ability to jump. Later, after defeating a boss, he finds an Operation Wolf cabinet and gains the ability to shoot. The villain of the tale is another generic cabinet who has been loaded with illegal bootleg cards, which drove him mad. The developer plans to have around 30 arcade cabinets to unlock, along with their associated abilities.



Copy Girl
Copy Girl, from Henrique "7Soul" Lazarini and Matt "Tokinsom" Gruber, is an action-platformer in the style of the Mega Man series. Copy Girl starts out with a basic pellet-shooter, but she is able to acquire eight more weapon types - complete with a palette swap for her outfit - and each weapon has unique properties that help her to strategically deal with her enemies and several boss creatures. The art is done in an 8-bit NES style with a reduced color palette, and features a number of classic 2D gaming environments, including factories with conveyor belts, underwater areas, and lands of floating platforms.




Delver’s Drop
Developer Pixelscopic is creating a game that combines the dungeon-based stylings of A Link to the Past with roguelike permadeath, loot hunting, and randomized environments. Delver’s Drop features a poor fellow named Delver who must descend into “The Drop” to secure his freedom… or fail and become one of the monstrous Undelver Wights. These Undelver Wights become your enemies the next time you enter The Drop, possessing the items and skills you had at the time of your death. The game features physics-based logic puzzles, boss battles, and cooperative play, and allows the player to grow his character and upgrade character classes, which include fighters, magic users, and rogues.



The End of the World
Developer Izanami GameWorks brings you The End of the World, an overhead car combat game that is less Bump 'n' Jump and more Bump 'n' Murder. In this game, your spend your time ramming other vehicles into oblivion, as well as firing machine guns with wild abandon, and taking on huge shmup-style bosses in the form of limo-riding jerks and huge mutant beasts made of eyeballs and tentacles that chase you through the streets. Smash through ambulances to get more health, cut a swath through busloads of baddies, and even blow off your enemies' heads, all the while racking up a huge combo of endless wreckage.




Infernax
Berzerk Studio wants to take you back to the 80's with Infernax, a retro metroidvania with horrific enemies that are far more gruesome than anything that would have actually been released on the NES. Players must trek across an open world, fighting monsters, gaining experience points to increase their stats, and acquiring new weapons, spells, and abilities. Players also earn money that they can use to buy better armor, as well as health and magic restoratives.




Jack the Reaper
Jack the Reaper (devlog), from developer Dream’s Bell, begins when the moon crashes into the earth. As it turns out, the moon is where all of the world’s souls go when they die, and this recent event has caused them to return to life on Earth. It is up to Jack to restore order by re-killing these creatures and returning their souls to the Afterworld. This action-platformer is inspired by the Kirby series, wherein enemies’ abilities can be used against them – and even combined ala Kirby 64 and Gunstar Heroes – for a number of interesting possibilities. By killing enemies and absorbing their souls, you gain their abilities, including a number of different projectile types, like boomerangs and energy shots, as well as other powerups like increased speed and a shield.



Legend of Iya
Developer Andrew Bado is an industry veteran, having worked on numerous major studio releases, including a number of cult favorites like Phantom Dust, Raze’s Hell, and Psychonauts, as well as several 2D titles including Blowout, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Monster Tale, and NG:Dev Team’s Turrican-esque actioner, Gunlord. Legend of Iya is a Metroidvania title set in a lush, detailed world, featuring gorgeous sprite art and loads of animations. The game centers on the exploits of a 12 year old girl who finds herself transported to a magical fantasy world populated with strange creatures, bio-mechanical beasts, and huge bosses. The game offers melee based combat, as well as numerous upgrades and new abilities which will help her defeat enemies and reach new areas.



Luminesca
Luminesca is an underwater exploration game from developer Matt Glanville. The player controls a small creature called Lum through various dark and shadowy environments, using light to solve puzzles and open up new pathways.



Midora
Midora, from developer Epic Minds, stars a young white-haired girl named Snow who – per fantasy game conventions – sets out on a simple errand and finds herself embroiled in a conflict that spans the world. This is a top-down action adventure title inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana, featuring sword-based combat, as well as shields and bombs. The player adventures across a colorful world map and into the depths of a dozen dungeons to solve puzzles and fight large boss creatures, with over 200 items to discover along the way, as well as a crafting and enchantment system.



ReVen
ReVen, from Varia Games, is heavily inspired by Metroid (as is the name of the studio), featuring a lone android who sets down on the surface of a colorful world whose depths hold mysterious alien ruins and terrifying creatures. As an android, the player is able to divert energy to his various functions, enhancing weapon power, armor, sensors, and movement in real time. This can be used to take down powerful enemies, navigate the game world, or search for secrets and hidden upgrades. New skills can be added to your repertoire by mining for resources on the planet and choosing new traits to construct based on your play style, allowing to hone your skills more toward heavy firepower, exploration, or a mix of both.



Temporus
Temporus is being developed by Firebelly Studios, which promises to deliver a healthy dose of shmuppery and on-foot platforming action in a time travelling sci-fi adventure. In addition to blasting away enemies, you must also research new technologies and manage your resources as you set out to find fuel for your ship and food for your body. You are able to land your ship at various docking points and exit your ship to explore. You can even walk around the interior of your own ship to change weapon settings and make repairs. The developer compares the gameplay to that of Air Fortress and Blaster Master, both of which featured on-foot and in-vehicle segments.



Waldir’s Inferno
Waldir’s Inferno, under development by Jani Peltonen (a.k.a. Argamix) , promises top-down beat ‘em up action with procedurally generated levels and RPG elements. The game stars a sword-wielding badass who hacks and slashes his way through numerous chunky and spritely foes, leaving sprays of pixelated blood in his wake. You can also grab a number of subweapons to up your carnage per second and dodge enemy attacks to keep yourself around a bit longer. Rather than simply increasing your stats, new items grant you new abilities (a similar method was used in Risk of Rain), which adds gameplay variety as players attempt to fight their way through a 30-60 minute dungeon slashing experience… or die trying.