New to Consoles: CrossCode

A retro-style action-RPG with fast combat and clever puzzles, from Radical Fish Games

New Release: Resolutiion

A stylish actioner set in a beautiful and surreal world, from Monolith of Minds

New Release: Plokoth

A short precision platformer set in a beautiful world, from a student development team

New Release: Ultracore

A legitimate retro shooter brought back from 1994, from Digital Illlusions and Strictly Limited Games

New Release: Inexistence Rebirth

A retro-style metroidvania expanded from the original Inexistence, from Jonathan Brassaud

July 12, 2020

News: CrossCode Console and Physical Release

In 2018, Radical Fish Games released CrossCode on Steam, and two years later the game has not only received a digital release on consoles, but a physical release as well. The game is now available on PS4 via PSN, Switch via eShop, and Xbox One via Microsoft Store, with physical copies for PC, PS4, and Switch available via publisher ININ Games' website.

CrossCode is a colorful retro-style action adventure inspired by the classics of the 16-bit generation. The game takes place in a fictional MMO of the future called CrossWorlds where players use their avatars to explore a physical location on a distant moon. The game stars Lea, a player who has become trapped in the game and lost her memory, and only by playing the game and revisiting locales can she hope to recover it and learn the mysteries of CrossWorlds. Lea is able to battle enemies using melee attacks and projectiles, and the game is filled with clever puzzles to challenge the player's spatial reasoning. Check our coverage here.




July 10, 2020

Target Acquired: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is the follow-up to the original Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, which was an homage to Castlevania III that was created as part of the campaign for Koji “Iga” Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Well, Iga is back and has once again teamed up with Inti Creates (Azure Striker Gunvolt, Blaster Master Zero) to create a new game starring the demon-slaying exorcist, Zangetsu, this time with an all new set of allies. Joining him in his quest are Dominique, a spear-wielding healer; Robert, an assassin with access to guns and grenades; and Hachi, who brings the fight to baddies with a magic-powered mech suit. As before, you can choose to go it alone or add any of these folks to the roster of playable characters to fight your way through gothic creatures and gigantic bosses, now with 100% more Konami solar flares.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, PS4 via PSN, Switch via eShop, and Xbox One via Microsoft Store.




July 9, 2020

Target Acquired: Elden: Path of the Forgotten

Elden: Path of 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 now available for PC via Steam and Utomik, and Switch via eShop.




Target Acquired: Primal Light

Primal Light, from Fat Gem Games, is a melee-based action platformer. The game stars a nearly naked blue creature - named Inhabit Krog - who travels through brutal lands filled with traps and monsters. You must contend with crumbling platforms over pits of spikes, pillars that crush you into a spray of bones, and sundry swinging pendula and spike traps, as well as a variety of nasty enemies that toss projectiles, swing swords, and use magic to bring you down. Along the way, you learn new movement abilities to aid you in combat and environmental navigation, and you unlock some passive abilities as well. The game takes place across 10 linear levels, done up in a 16-bit arcade style, with each ending in a challenging boss encounter.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and Itch.




July 5, 2020

Target Acquired: Inexistence Rebirth

Inexistence Rebirth, from Jonathan Brassaud is an expanded and updated version of the original Inexistence, released in 2016. The new game is built on a faster and more powerful game engine, and it offers a graphical overhaul, gameplay and level design tweaks, an interconnected world with a metroidvania map, and new post-game content. You take on the role of Hald, whose sister has been imprisoned in a stasis field by the evil Claos, so he ventures across the world to build his strength and learn new abilities so he can defeat Claos and break the spell. The game offers sword-based action supplemented with ranged magic, and lots of hidden treasure chests containing gold and equipment to help you on your quest. By defeating certain bosses, you gain access to a double jump and other abilities to help you access new areas, eventually allowing you to enter the castle and take on Claos himself.

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




July 2, 2020

New Blip: Morbid: The Seven Acolytes

Morbid: The Seven Acolytes, from Still Running, is a horror-based soulslike action-RPG featuring grotesque monsters and brutal bloody kills. You are on a mission to defeat the Seven Acolytes, individuals who have gained incredible power by allowing themselves to be possessed by malevolent deities... but these deities cannot act without bodies, so destroying the hosts will rid the world of them. But being a soulslike, death means that you begin the game from the start, with all of the acolytes reborn. You slash your way through enemies and bosses, spilling buckets of blood and looting corpses for items that will allow you to unlock perks and equipment. The game features dozens of weapons, from the melee variety to a number of different guns, allowing for a lot possibilities during combat.

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




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

July 1, 2020

New Blip: Spinch

Some games are colorful, and then some games are colorolorolorful... like dropping acid and watching Scooby Doo while mixing Fruity Pebbles with Smurfberry Crunch and listening to no-holds-barred clown wrestling. And that is Spinch, a psychedelic precision platformer from Queen Bee Games, the studio behind Onion Force. You take on the role of the eponymous Spinch who is on a mission to rescue his missing offspring, often while being chased by Spinch-eating monsters. Fortunately, Spinch is quite agile and can jump, wall jump, and dash his way through the environment, and he'll want to search out as many of his children as he can, because Spinch fights bosses using his children as ammunition, which are the kinds of antics not seen since Offspring Fling. The game features art and animations by cartoonist Jesse Jacobs, and a retro electronic soundtrack by James Kirkpatrick.

The game is coming to PC and Switch on September 3. It's worth watching the trailer to see what kind of madness you're in for.




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

June 30, 2020

New Blip: Rogue Legacy 2

Rogue Legacy was a pretty big hit, so what do you do when that happens? You make another one! Cellar Door Games, the studio with the euphonic name, returns with Rogue Legacy 2, a game where you play as a line of descendants - each with different abilities - as they fight through a procedurally generated world. You never know what you're going to get, but you do control how you tackle the world, so you can take things slow and easy to build up your character for the current run, or go bananas and try to get as deep as you can. While each player character is lost forever when they die, you can upgrade certain stats to give your child a better chance at survival. The new game offers an enhanced visual style, a new selection of weapons, and more environmental variety... as well as metroidvania elements that let you unlock new abilities to expand your exploration.

The game is coming to Steam and Epic Store early access for PC on July 23.




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

June 28, 2020

Target Acquired: Ultracore

Ultracore is a eurostyle shooter created by Digital Illusions (now known as DICE) that was originally intended for release on the Amiga, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD back in 1994 under the name of Hardcore, but it got cancelled in a nearly-finished state and sat on a disused hard drive until it gained new life in 2019 thanks to ININ Games and Strictly Limited Games. Using a Genesis dev kit and collaborating with some of the original developers, the game was finally released as a pack-in ROM for the Analogue Mega SG before finally receiving a physical Sega Genesis release from Strictly Limited Games. And now the game is also available for other modern platforms with some control tweaks to allow for dual analogue shooting action. You must blast your way through five huge levels filled with robotic baddies and bosses, turning them into exploding sprays of particles as you try to find Captain Vance's secret hideout and stop him from destroying your homeworld. Along the way, you'll encounter numerous upgradeable weapons to help you deliver maximum firepower while you hunt through branching levels for secrets.

The game was originally released for Sega Genesis and is now available for PS4 via PSN and Switch via eShop, and a Vita version is in development as well. Check our coverage here.




June 23, 2020

New Blip: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is the follow-up to the original Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, which was an homage to Castlevania III that was created as part of the campaign for Koji “Iga” Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Well, Iga is back and has once again teamed up with Inti Creates (Azure Striker Gunvolt, Blaster Master Zero) to create a new game starring the demon-slaying exorcist, Zangetsu, this time with an all new set of allies. Joining him in his quest are Dominique, a spear-wielding healer; Robert, an assassin with access to guns and grenades; and Hachi, who brings the fight to baddies with a magic-powered mech suit. As before, you can choose to go it alone or add any of these folks to the roster of playable characters to fight your way through gothic creatures and gigantic bosses, now with 100% more Konami solar flares.

The game is coming to PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One "soon".




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

June 22, 2020

New Blip: Gonner 2

Gonner 2 (a.k.a. GONNER2), from developer Art in Heart, is a follow-up to the original Gonner, a procedurally-generated platformer -slash- roguelike. The first game was good - and hard - so if you enjoyed that one, and you want something else that's good and hard, then you'll probably want to check this out. You once again take on the role of Ikk in a procedural/roguelike world, and this time around, Death's lair has been overrun by... well, by something worse than Death. Levels are filled with fast action, pretty explosions, psychedelic colors, chaotic bombardment by enemies and projectiles, and wackadoodle bosses. Just be careful not to lose your head, because that's a thing that can totally happen, and you'll probably die quickly if it gets knocked off.

The game is coming to PC later this year.




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

June 21, 2020

Target Acquired: Plokoth

Plokoth is a precision platformer created by a team of four student developers: Jan Gihr, Sam Rassy, Juli Kralik, and Jonas Ellermann. The game stars Plo on a mission to save his girlfriend, Oth, from a terrible disease that has overcome her... and many other members of their tribe. The game centers around performing jumps, wall jumps, and air dashes to maneuver through three dangerous environments. As the game goes on, the air dashing mechanic is permuted upon in a variety of ways, granting additional dashes in midair as the player touches floating fruits, along with fruits embedded in gelatinous blocks, and eventually hitting moving targets. The game is designed to be completed in a single play session in under an hour.

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




June 18, 2020

Target Acquired: Something Ate My Alien

Something Ate My Alien, from Rokabium Games, is a digging-based puzzle platformer that appears to take inspirations from the Steamworld Dig series (which is totally fine given that those are the best digging-based puzzle platformers you can buy). You take on the role of an AI-infused robot named Antalasia who travels from planet to planet digging up treasures for a pirate who has hijacked it. Along the way, you blast your way through the local fauna, solve block-pushing puzzles (yeah, that's a bullet point), and avoid environmental hazards like corrosive substances, falling rocks, and flame traps, all while dealing with an ever-depleting oxygen supply (because robots needs oxygen?). You have six weapons at your disposal and you can collect items and energy to build and upgrade guns, mining equipment, oxygen tanks, and jetpacks.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.




June 17, 2020

Target Acquired: Alwa's Legacy

In 2017, Elden Pixels released Alwa's Awakening, a metroidvania done up in the graphical style of the 8-bit era. The game stars Zoe, a heroine who is summoned from another world to save the land of Alwa from the evil Vicar by using her magical powers. Alwa's Legacy marks the return of Zoe - who doesn't remember visiting Alwa before - and she must once again save the land with her magic, but this time her spells can be upgraded for new effects. As before, the world is open and players can use magic to combat enemies and to navigate the environment, such as creating blocks that can be knocked into enemies, or creating bubbles that can be ridden upward to reach high platforms. Of course, Zoe can smack enemies with her magical staff to cause melee damage, which can also be enhanced with magic. The visuals have been given an overhaul as well, with the new game appearing more in line with the 16-bit era.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and GOG, and it will be coming to Switch soon.




June 15, 2020

New Blip: Gestalt: Steam & Cinder

Gestalt: Steam & Cinder, from Metamorphosis Games, is a steampunk action-adventure starring Aletheia. She is one of many adventurers who are exploring the dark secrets of Canaan, a steam-powered city that is home to the last remnants of humanity. You battle your way through robotic contraptions, strange creatures, and huge bosses as you attempt to subvert the schemes of the city's overlords, with humanity's fate hanging in the balance. Aletheia navigates the environment and tackles enemies using double jumps, dodge rolls, and dive kicks, as she slashes through foes with melee strikes and sometimes makes use of a revolver to strike from a distance. The game offers story-driven gameplay, an upgrade system to improve your stats, and a colorful world filled with detailed sprite art and animations.

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




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

June 14, 2020

Target Acquired: Resolutiion

In Resolutiion, from Monolith of Minds, you take on the role of an amnesiac assassin accompanied by an artificial intelligence in a surreal world packed with baddies and dangerous creatures. You slash through enemies, take on bosses, and occasionally run away from gigantic subterranean kittens. Along the way, you discover new weapons and items that allow you to attack enemies from a distance and open up new routes for exploration.

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




June 12, 2020

New Blip: Cogen: Sword of Rewind

Cogen: Sword of Rewind (a.k.a. COGEN:大鳥こはくと刻の剣), from Gemdrops Game Studios, is a melee action game starring Kohaku Ootori as she fights robotic enemies in Cogen City, and uncovers its mysteries. As the title suggests, Kohaku wields a sword (a talking sword to be more precise) that has the power to rewind time, allowing her to reverse time to correct mistakes or save her own life. The sword is also her primary means of dealing with enemies and obstacles, as she can smash through certain blocks, slash baddies and bosses, and deflect enemy projectiles back at them. Music for the game was composed by Motoi Sakuraba, who previously composed for several games in the Tales of series and Dark Souls series, and numerous other games, with credits going back to the late 80's.

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




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

June 11, 2020

New Blip: Linked Mask

Linked Mask, from Spoonman Games, is a Game Boy-style platformer set in a wasteland where six grand towers have been erected, each of which is home to a deity that is worshiped by the people below. Each tower also contains a mask that grants control over one of the elements, and it is up to you to acquire each of these masks, defeat the deities who guard them, and free the masses from their rule. Each time you acquire a mask, you gain a new weapon and environmental traversal skill, which allows you to revisit previous towers and discover new areas. Players can jet through the air between electrical nodes, jump up along vertical surfaces, and smash through blocks.

The game is coming to PC this Fall. A demo is available on the game's Steam page.


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

June 10, 2020

New Blip: Foregone

Foregone, from Big Blue Bubble, is an action-platformer set in the city of Calagan, which finds itself under siege by legion of reanimated dead known as the Harrow. You take on the role of a super soldier who must protect the city while investigating the Harrow's origins. The game mixes melee and gun-based combat - and even a bow and arrows - for fast action through a world filled with deadly enemies and huge bosses, which feature smooth 3D-to-2D animations. The player acquires new weapons along his journey and is able to unleash powerful overdrive attacks, as well as upgrade his abilities through a skill tree.

The game is coming to PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One on October 5. 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 2D Watchlist.

June 8, 2020

New Blip: Haak

Haak, from Blingame, is a dark post-apocalyptic metroidvania. The game features a focus on fast combat and acrobatic movement as the cape-wearing protagonist performs jumps, air dashes, and ground slides to navigate the environment and fight enemies. His unique weapon is an electric hook that he can use to attack enemies, deflect projectiles, activate switches, and grab onto floating grapple points to fling himself into the air. Enemies come in mostly robotic forms, and there are dangers in the environment as well, including crumbling platforms, electrical beams, and crushers. Along the way, he interacts with NPC's to learn more about the world and take on various side quests.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, Linux, and 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 2D Watchlist.

June 4, 2020

New Blip: Lords of Exile

Lords of Exile, from Squidbit Works, is an action platformer set in the Far East during an ancient period when dark creatures still walked the land, ruled by the evil Galagar. You take on the role of a cursed knight named Sir Gabriel, who must fight back the oncoming hordes and avenge the death of his wife, who was killed at Galagar's hand. Gameplay takes place across eight linear levels, each ending in a boss encounter. You are able to strike with your sword and use a number of throwing weapons, in addition to dashing, jumping, and performing downward stabs. Furthermore, your curse allows you to summon the shadows that possess you, offering protection, healing, or a screen-clearing attack. The game offers a reduced color palette and chiptune soundtrack, offering an aesthetic that falls somewhere between the 8- and 16-bit console generations.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Switch later this year, and may be ported to PS4 and Xbox One at a later date.




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

May 28, 2020

Target Acquired: Pilots of Darsalon

Pilots of Darsalon, from Dr. Kucho! Games, is a gravity-based spaceship game where you must manage fuel resources as you dive into subterranean passageways to collect cargo and bring it back to the surface, occasionally blasting enemy turrets before they have a chance to do the same to you. The game is inspired by the classics of the genre, such as the foundational Lunar Lander and Gravitar arcade games. In particular, the game employs the rigid tow cable system employed in Thrust and Solar Jetman, where you haul your cargo up while being mindful of the pendulum motion created by tugging a heavy object behind your ship. The game takes place across 15 levels of increasing difficulty, and while environmental navigation is challenging (a keystone of the genre), the game offers multiple difficulty levels, a life bar for your ship and cargo, and a generous checkpoint system that will see most players through to the end. The game also stands out aesthetically with a Commodore 64-style color filter, multiple CRT display options, and music based on the C64’s SID chip.

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




Target Acquired: Shantae and the Seven Sirens

Developer WayForward presents the fifth entry in the Shantae series, entitled Shantae and the Seven Sirens. Everyone's favorite half-genie hero returns with Rottytops, Risky Boots, and her other and pals for a new adventure far away from their hometown on Scuttle Island. Apparently, there are other half-genies around the world, as Shantae discovers when she meets the eponymous Seven Sirens in a nonlinear action-adventure that takes her across a large interconnected world populated by villages, enemies, and bosses. As before, Shantae can dance to transform into animals, with a focus on aquatic forms this time around, and the game includes animated cutscenes.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and GOG, Switch via eShop, PS4 via PSN, Xbox One via Microsoft Store, and iOS via Apple Arcade (Parts 1 & 2). Check our coverage here.




May 27, 2020

New Blip: Super Cable Boy

In Super Cable Boy, from Sørb Games, you take on the role of a sentient handheld gaming device who is on a mission to defeat an entity known as The Glitch before it can destroy the world. You are able to jump, dash, and wall jump, and you can also use your power cord to get through the levels. Spin your cord around to fling yourself into the air, grab onto the ceiling to grapple and swing, and latch onto conveyor belts or moving platforms to be pulled along. You can even use it in boss encounters to grab pieces of the boss and unplug them, or impact other elements of the arena. Over the course of your adventure, you find game cartridges that grant you new abilities, and you'll eventually be swapping between dimensions and flying through electrical currents.

The game is coming to PC later this year. The game is a greatly expanded version of the original game jam entry, which you can check out on Itch.




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

May 26, 2020

Target Acquired: Wildfire

Developer and stealth-focused website Sneaky Bastards wants you to sneak around and play with matches in Wildfire. The game is a stealth-based platformer where the player is able to use fire to his advantage. The protagonist is able to sneak through tall grass and use smoke to hide his movements, and he can also use fire to frighten enemies and even cause them to be killed as they try to escape the blaze... which you must do as well, lest the flames burn out of control and consume you. Players must use fire strategically or they run the risk of being discovered as long grasses are burnt away, or the glow of the fire may alert nearby enemies in dark areas. Eventually, players will be able to do more than start fires; they will gain the ability to propel themselves to higher platforms with jets of flame and use smoke clouds to cushion landings from greater heights.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, GOG, and Humble Store.




May 25, 2020

New Blip: Bzzzt

Bzzzt, from Karel Matejka (a.k.a. KO.DLL), is a colorful platformer starring an artificial intelligence named ZX8000. After acquiring a robotic body, you must prove your abilities across dozens of testing chambers filled with enemies and hazards as you try to help your friends defeat the dastardly professor Badbert. Your primary goal is one of avoidance, since practically everything in the environment can kill you. Mechanized baddies fly around, patrol back and forth across platforms, and hop around the screen firing lasers, and you must escape these perils while also dealing with spiked crushers, spinning balls, spike pits, sawblades, and beams of electricity.

The game is coming to PC and Mac in Spring of 2021. A demo is available on the game's Steam page.




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

May 24, 2020

Target Acquired: BIOMASS

BIOMASS (not to be confused with Biomass, a completely different game on our watchlist) is the latest from BRAINOS, the developer behind Saving Princess and Space Cortex. The game is a short metroidvania centered around the theme of degradation. Everything breaks down the more it is used... your gun's ammo capacity drops the more you shoot it, your armor becomes less effective the more damage you take, and even the bio-printer that created you breaks down a bit each time you die and need to print a replacement body. With the odds stacked against you, you make your way through a space station, battling the ever-growing biomass that is consuming all life, in the hope that you can wipe them all out before run out of chances.

The game is now available for PC via Itch, and it's also planned for release on Android at a future date. Check our coverage here.




May 19, 2020

New Blip: Street Cleaner: The Video Game

Street Cleaner: The Video Game, from Creaky Lantern Games, is a retro style actioner starring Jack Slade, a motorcycle-riding badass who walks the streets of San Diego delivering vigilante justice the only way he knows how: with a gun and a baseball bat. You smack the bejeezus out of thugs, street punks, ninjas, menacing machinery, and... a giant squid!? The game features a reduced color palette with gritty visuals that hearken back to the NES era, but with a higher resolution, parallax scrolling, and slicker animations. The action takes place across seven stages filled with baddies, bosses, and environmental hazards in the form of fire pits, conveyor belts, and rows of electrostatic generators (because 1980's).

The game is coming to PC this fall.




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

May 15, 2020

Target Acquired: Huntdown

Huntdown, from Easy Trigger, is a 90's arcade-style shooter where each of the major gangs has taken over a section of the city, and bounties have been placed on their heads. You must hunt them down, as the title suggests, blasting your way through baddies on your way to each level's end boss, going it alone or bringing a friend in local 2P co-op. The game features a dark and gritty style with a rundown city covered in graffiti and packed with thugs wielding heavy-hitting shotguns and machine guns. Players smash through glass, blast exploding red barrels, and generally blast sprays of hot lead into everything they see.

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




May 12, 2020

New Blip: Garlic

Garlic, from Sylph (the studio behind Dragon Blazers), is a fast-paced platformer with 1-bit visuals inspired by Super Meat Boy, Celeste, and Gato Roboto. You take on the role of Garlic, a boy with an onion for a head (so wait, that's not a garlic head?) as he attempts to ascend the Sacred Tower and earn a wish from the Cyber Goddess at its peak. Garlic is a capable platforming hero with a jump, wall slide, and wall jump, as well as a multi-directional air dash that doubles as a means of environmental navigation and a tool for fighting enemies and bosses. While the game asks the player to perform many feats in succession, the game also offers frequent checkpoints to alleviate the frustration of failure. Garlic offers some comic emotes as his head embiggens to shows him reacting to things in the environment such as a pursuing enemy or being caught on fire.

The game is coming to PC on August 26.




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

May 11, 2020

New Blip: 1 Screen Platformer 2

1 Screen Platformer 2, from Return to Adventure Mountain, is the follow-up to the original 1 Screen Platformer, which was a platformer that took place on one screen (as you may have guessed). While the sequel still only occupies a single screen, there's more content this time around. First of all, the screen itself is larger, with a higher resolution environment, and eight playable characters as compared to five in the original. In the first game, there were minor changes to the environment based on which character you selected, but here those changes are much more pronounced. There are also online leaderboards for those of the speedrunning persuasion. The game kicks off with Nadia Stormhammer returning to her ship after the events of the first game, only to discover that something has gone wrong. You travel between different sections of the ship using such skills as performing high jumps, sticking to the ceiling, or blasting your gun downward to keep yourself aloft while you avoid popup spike traps, lasers, turrets, and other nasty traps.

The game is coming to PC later this year, and a playable demo entitled 1 Screen Platformer 2: Prologue will be available on Steam in June, offering one level and one character.


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

May 10, 2020

Test Flight: SteamDolls - Order of Chaos

SteamDolls - Order of Chaos, from The Shady Gentlemen, is an atmospheric steampunk game starring The Whisper, a masked anarchist who hopes to shine a light on the corruption of the authoritarian government and spark the flame of revolution... if only he could stop seeing strange visions of things that may or may not be real. The Whisper has a blade attached to each wrist, which he uses to slice up baddies, along with throwing knives to hit them from a distance, but his most powerful tool comes in the form of stealth kills, allowing him to sneak up behind enemies and perform brutal and bloody 1-hit kills... stabbing enemies through the skull with his wrist-blades, or jamming a spear through their backs to leave them slumped over in a heap. The player deals with robotic drones and environmental traps as he explores an interconnected world aided by a metroidvania map. The game is part of a larger universe, which is also taking form via a concurrently-developed graphic novel, and the voice of the main character is provided by none other than David Hayter of Metal Gear Solid fame.

The game is planned for release on PC, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. A PC demo is available on the game's store page, and also on a dedicated concept demo page. We played through the demo already, and you can find our coverage here.




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

May 8, 2020

Target Acquired: Fury Unleashed

Awesome Games Studio, the developers behind the family friendly platformer Oozi: Earth Adventure, is back to wreck your sauce (ed note: your sauce will be fine) with Fury Unleashed, a fast-paced guns-a-blazin' actioner where you shred enemies across the pages of three comic books that contain randomized elements. You spray enemies with bullets from submachine guns, blast them with shotguns, torch them with flamethrowers, get up close for knife slashes, and warble-dee-doo them with alien weapons and advanced prototypes, and your attacks grow stronger as you string together combos. The game features customizable characters, a selection of weapons to bring into battle, and an extensive upgrade tree, along with 2P co-op for double the destruction as you fight your way through baddies and screen-filling bosses, with a heavy metal soundtrack blaring away in the background... just as nature intended.

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




May 7, 2020

Target Acquired: Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl

Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl is the latest from Interabang Entertainment, the studio behind Super Comboman and the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch, both of which are HD sidescrolling beat 'em ups. Mall Brawl is a companion to its 2.5D big brother, but it takes a different approach with graphics done up in a retro 8-bit style reminiscent of River City Ransom and the Double Dragon series. If you're not familiar with Jay and Silent Bob (then honestly, why are even you reading this?), they're a pair of lovable drug dealers who get up to high-grade antics across multiple films in Kevin Smith's View Akewniverse. Like the last few of Kevin Smith's films, the game is an ode to fan service, featuring multiple cameos from various characters from the films (some of whom are portrayed by A-list actors) as Jay and Silent Bob team up in 1P or 2P co-op to beat the paste out of security guards, the Easter Bunny, a giant poop monster, and mallrat punks who have no shopping agenda.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, Switch via eShop, and in a very uncomfortable place (nooch).




May 5, 2020

Target Acquired: Pushy and Pully in Blockland

Pushy and Pully in Blockland, from Resistance Studio, is a 1P or 2P cooperative arcade-style game, taking place in 50 levels across five themed environments. The game's protagonists, Pushy and Pully, are zipping through space when they have a problem with their spaceship that causes them to land on a planet called Blockland, which is populated by many monsters and even more blocks. The game centers around pushing blocks in an arena, similar to the gameplay of Sega's classic Pengo. Players can push individual blocks into enemies, squashing them against the walls, or press against groups of blocks to break them one at a time. Lining up three blocks of the same color causes them to disappear and also leaves behind special items, such as bombs that can be pushed across the screen to cause explosions. The arenas are colorful, as are their various enemies, all of which must be defeated in order to move from one arena to the next. At the end of each themed area is a boss encounter, and defeating bosses allows Pushy and Pully to collect parts for their broken spaceship.

The game is now available on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, and Xbox One via Microsoft Store. It is also planned for release on Switch on May 21 and PS4 at a later date.




May 3, 2020

Target Acquired: Snake Core

Snake Core, from Orangepixel, is a modern take on the classic Snake, but instead of controlling a slithering reptile, you control a line of soldiers. Throughout the game, you blast aliens, recruit new soldiers, fight snake minibosses, stop the spread of alien infections, and disarm bombs... by shooting them. As you gain new units, your line gets longer, thereby increasing the risk that you'll accidentally cross over your path or slam into a wall, killing your entire squad. Of course, you can also lose units by taking damage from enemy forces. Grabbing plasma pickups lets you purchase upgrades between levels, such as increased health and defense, and new unit types such as armored soldiers, jeeps, tanks, and mech suits.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and Itch, iOS via App Store, and Android via Google Play. Check our coverage here.




May 1, 2020

Signals Lost: Pandemic Edition

You've probably noticed, but there's a global pandemic going on at the moment. Lots of people are spending more time indoors, resulting in more games being played (hey, how's that backlog coming along?), more shows being streamed, and more internet being surfed. So, we thought we'd take some of this surplus time to scrape our Master List and see whether any of these games are actually still in development.

We poke through the list every now and again to look for game dev websites that no longer exist, Twitter accounts that haven't been updated in the past year, or games that have been in Early Access since... forever, and then we take those games off our radar. Will they ever come back? Maybe. Hopefully the early access stuff will eventually reach a final state, even though they're in no hurry to get there. As for the games where nothing seems to be happening, perhaps the developers are so hard at work that they're not posting anything... but probably not. And with no activity to track, their signals are lost.


Black Witchcraft
Developer Quattro Gear was creating a combo-based action-RPG entitled Black Witchcraft and inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. However, the website has never been updated since the game was originally announced, and last post on the official Facebook page was from 2017. Here was our initial take: The game features high-rez gothic artwork and some dark and twisted enemy and boss designs. Players control a witch with mechanical legs who carries a suitcase with a big red eye on the side. The suitcase is able to transform into a number of weapons, including a spear and a scythe for up-close action, and it can extend into a minigun for long-range asskickery.




Catacomb Kids
This game has been in Steam Early Access since 2015, but it is still receiving regular updates. Developer FourBitFriday, a.k.a. Tyriq Plummer, has worked as an animator on a number of 2D games, including Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! Now he’s offering up a game of his own in the form of roguelike platformer Catacomb Kids. Navigating this procedurally generated world requires nimble fingers and apt use of swords and sorcery to destroy loads of enemies who wish to end you. Weapons include swords, axes, spears, and daggers, while magic powers allow you to freeze your opponents, poison them, or simply burn them alive. Enhanced weaponry can be found by exploring the dungeon and opening treasure chests. The game features 20 floors with four different gameplay-altering themes, more than a dozen spells, numerous character classes, several bosses and minibosses, and local competitive multiplayer.



MegaSphere
This game has been in Steam Early Access since 2015, but it is still receiving regular updates. MegaSphere is an action platformer under development by Anton Kudin. The game puts you and your giant gun up against a bunch of robotic baddies in a procedurally-generated sci-fi environment. Players have multiple weapons at their disposal, including a bouncing energy shot, a flamethrower, exploding rockets, and grenades, which may be supplemented by a number of weapon and suit upgrades. Players can even blast their way through certain sections of the environment to dig tunnels and blast through floors and ceilings in order to reach new areas or search for hidden items.




Möira
Möira, was under development by Onagro Studios, but according to the Steam store page, it's "coming soon" with an expected release in 2017, which is also what the press kit says. Things seemed to have been chugging along with a successful Kickstarter campaign that had ongoing updates, but there haven't been any updates since October of 2019. Oh, and the developer's website doesn't exist any more. Here's what we originally had to say:

Möira is an action platformer that mixes the aesthetics of the Game Boy and the Game Boy Color. You play the part of Rubick, a magician's apprentice on a quest to rescue his kidnapped master. Rubick is able to use his magic to copy the abilities of his enemies, as learning new spells from NPC's and defeated bosses, and he is able to combine the effects of some of these spells for new effects. Players will need to make the most of these combinations, as enemies are resistant to certain spell effects and weak against others. Levels are nonlinear, so players will need to explore them fully in order to move forward and learn the necessary abilities to overcome their enemies.




Noct
This game has been in Steam Early Access since 2015, and it's even got a publishing deal with Devolver Digital. Development is ongoing, with updates being posted on the developer's Twitch, but you wouldn't know that this is an active project by looking at the Steam store page, where the last update was in 2017. Here's what we had to say:

Developer Chris “c3sk” Eskins presents Noct, a top-down multiplayer survival horror game with a gritty greyscale aesthetic mimicking an aerial thermal vision camera. For reasons unknown, Earth has been plunged into darkness, and terrible creatures known as the Nocturnal now roam the land. Players must blast away these monstrosities with weapons and ammo scavenged in the environment, as well as survive life in the wasteland by ransacking vacant buildings to seek out food and other useful items. While the game is played from a top-down perspective, players are only able to see what is directly in the line of sight for their character, meaning that a lurking terror might be lying in wait around the next corner. The game may be played online with other players or as a solo campaign.




Path to the Sky
This one made it to Steam Early Access in 2016 but hasn't received updates in many years, and the developer has announced that work on the game has been halted. Here's what we originally had to say: DekDev continues the recent trend of roguelike action platforming, but flips the old structure on its head. Rather than descending ever deeper into more deadly and dangerous dungeons, the action in Path to the Sky focuses on ascent. As the player climbs ever higher in this vertically oriented procedurally generated world, the enemies become ever more difficult to defeat. The chunky sprites and outdoor environments are reminiscent of Risk of Rain, but focuses much more on climbing, melee attacks, and aerial combat.



Phase Edge
Here we have a case where the name of the game and the name of the developer changed while the game was underway. Originally called zX - Hyperblast under development by retroFuture, the game became Phase Edge under development by Punk Arcade. The game even has a demo up on Itch that was released in 2016 and there's a page on Humble Store where you can pre-order it, but all of the materials there are also from 2016. And the expected release date listed in the press kit? You guessed it: 2016. Here's what we originally had to say about the game:

South African one-man developer Punk Arcade is taking the shmup into action-adventure territory with Phase Edge. Gone are forced scrolling environments, replaced with a series of large caverns that can be traversed at will with your small but heavily armed ship. As in many shmups, your ship’s projectiles can be upgraded, but you also have a melee attack in the form of a pair of blades that emerge from the front of your ship. These blades allow you to deflect enemy bullets while also powering up your special weapon, encouraging up-close attacks. In addition to exploration, players will still face the more traditional enemy waves and bullet sprays while they attempt to avoid lasers, lava, and other environmental hazards.



Secrets of Grindea
This one has been in Steam Early Access since 2015, but it is still receiving regular updates. The structure if Secrets of Grindea (site should be familiar to Zelda fans, as the lead character walks through town, chatting it up with NPC’s, hacking hedgerows with a sword, and even scaring off the local chickens. But where Grindea makes its departure from the legacy is in its gameplay focus and character customization. The goal of the hero (or heroine, if you choose) is to become the world’s greatest Collector as he sets off on a quest to collect as many rare and valuable items as he can. There’s also a robust character creation and skill system that allows you to level up and apply points to a number of different attributes, allowing the player to craft a character to his liking. And, the entire game can be played in single player or with up to 4 players in co-op mode. The artwork is notable as well, featuring detailed spritework and animations, and even showing equipment changes on the main character.



Switchcars
In Steam Early Access since 2016, with no new updates since 2018. The developer's work on another project entitled Derail Valley ended up... um, derailing the game somewhat (see what I did there), but the developer has continued to provide updates via the comments section of the store page and intends to see development through to completion. Here's what we had to say about it:

Switchcars, from developer Altfuture, is roguelike arcade-style action game featuring a fellow who is racing madly across the landscape and trying desperately to reach the year 2055. The only problem? Spacetime is a huge mess, and he keeps leaping between locations and time periods while also being chased by gigantic alien space worms. The game offers more than 1,000 driveable vehicles, with different vehicles becoming available as you enter different time periods (from 1950-2055), but not all of them are suitable in all situations. For instance, you may find yourself hurtling down the tracks in a train when a timeslip sends you onto a highway, which quickly grinds you to a halt. The player must switch between vehicles, including cars, trucks, trains, boats, helicopters, and many others while dealing with oncoming traffic, draining fuel, blown tires, and tuckered out horses, requiring the player to make another quick switch or meet his end.




Treasurenauts
This game had been percolating for a long time, originally under development by Renegade Kid, the studio known for Mutant Mudds and Xeodrifter. However, that studio went out of business, leaving development the hands of Atooi, a new studio headed by Renegade Kid founder Jools Watsham. But after releasing Chicken Wiggle to limited success on the 3DS, the studio Kickstarted an HD Switch port called Hatch Tales, for which development is now underway. So that's a lot of time spent on stuff that's not Treasurenauts, basically. Here's what we had to say about the game:

Treasurenauts focuses on a motley crew of adventurers, heroes, and some oddball characters (like a ninja) as they seek treasure. You can customize your character’s appearance and select their weapon, with weapons falling into melee, projectile, and explosive categories, each offering strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the sword is fast but has a short range, whereas the bomb is powerful but has a low speed, and firearms can fire over long distances but don’t do as much damage. Players can go it alone or team up with a second player in local co-op for platforming, boss fighting, and treasure hunting, all the while unlocking new abilities (like a double jump) and entirely new playable characters.



April 30, 2020

Target Acquired: 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 just came out of early access and is now available on PC via Steam




Target Acquired: Streets of Rage 4

Streets of Rage 4 is real, officially endorsed by Sega, published by Dotemu, and developed by Lizardcube, the studio behind the graphically-enhanced Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, and Guard Crush Games, the studio behind Streets of Fury EX. Unless you've been living under a rock, and that rock didn't have a Sega Genesis attached to it, then you know of the Streets of Rage trilogy, and you may also be aware that fans have clamored for a sequel for many years, some even going so far as to create their own versions and unofficial sequels over the years. The game features the series' beat 'em up roots with a fresh coat of blazing neon paint, and allows for 1P or 2P combat with a pumping soundtrack to get your juices flowing... and the juices of your enemies.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and GOG, PS4 via PSN, Xbox One via Microsoft Store, and Switch via eShop.




April 26, 2020

Target Acquired: Terra Lander II - Rockslide Rescue

Terra Lander II - Rockslide Rescue, from DM Media, is a gravity-based spaceship game inspired by genre classics like Lunar Lander, Gravitar, Thrust, and Oids. You must pilot a ship down into the depths of several planetoids and rescue the humanoids trapped below. Along the way, you encounter enemy turrets, proximity mines, and rockslides. Tumbling rocks can hit your ship - which is protected by a shield - or they can block your path and prevent you from reaching the people in need of rescue. Fortunately, your ship is equipped with a tractor beam, allowing you to haul big rocks out of the way to continue your mission. You'll also need to keep an eye on your fuel, which may be replenished by destroying fuel pods spread around the environment, because if you run out... you crash and burn.

The game is now available on PC via Steam. Check our coverage of this game and Terra Lander Remastered here.