New Release: Cannon Dancer - Osman

An enhanced edition of a bombastic arcade actioner, from Mitchell Corporation and ININ Games

New Release: Hazard Saviour

An open world platformer inspired by Crazy Taxi, from Sinclair Strange

New Release: Ginsha

An open world action-adventure that takes place across multiple planets, from PolarityFlow

New Release: Haunted Lands: Burial Grounds

A tough and bloody DOS-style shooter, from Alexey Goryachev

New Release: Curse of the Sea Rats

An open world action-adventure featuring 2D animation and 3D environments, from Petoons Studio

March 31, 2020

New Blip: LAZR - A Clothformer

Have you talked to your kids about clothforming? What started out as a cool-looking tech demo from Garrick Campsey has become a for-real video game called LAZR - A Clothformer. The game takes place in Alpha City in the year 2666 and stars Lazr, an artificial intelligence who transfers herself into a nuclear-powered robot body that allows her to climb through various destructible mesh environments and also shoot lasers out of her eyes. Since her body is basically just a shell, it's fully moddable, allowing players to activate auto-fire, reduce the shell's weight to make it more acrobatic, or make it impervious to explosions. The world is run by megacorporations, and players may make decisions about which missions to take on, leading to multiple endings. What sets the game apart are its overblown neon visuals and a focus on ascending through environments by way of malleable rope ladders, mesh nets, and other cloth-like substances, which may be sliced and burned by flying lasers and explosives, resulting in a high overall difficulty level. Skilled players may stay aloft by jumping, air-dashing, and frying enemies before they can return the favor.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, Linux, Swtich, PS4, Vita, and Xbox One later this year. A demo is available on Itch.

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

March 30, 2020

New Blip: Unbound: Worlds Apart

Unbound: Worlds Apart, from Alien Pixel Studios, is an atmospheric puzzle-platformer set in the world of Vaiya, which was recently ravaged and corrupted by an evil force. You take on the role of Soli, a wizard who managed to escape the attack... but his brother wasn't so lucky. Now he uses magic to open portals between parallel worlds to learn more about the catastrophe by exploring these alternate realities. The world is a dangerous place, filled with traps and dark creatures who mean you harm, but by creating a portal around yourself, you open a window into a world with different properties, potentially opening a blocked path, transforming a monster into something more innocuous, or even reversing the effect of gravity. Per puzzle platforming conventions, you will be pushing and pulling heavy blocks, activating switches to open doors, and avoiding many pits of spikes.

The game is coming to PC via Steam in May. If you'd like to give it a try, you can check out the free playable Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue via Steam. A port is also planned for Switch at a later date.

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

March 26, 2020

Target Acquired: 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 now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam and Humble Store, and Switch via eShop.

March 25, 2020

New Blip: Outrider Mako

Outrider Mako (a.k.a. Outrider Mako ~露払いマコの見習い帖~), from Asamado Games (game tweets), is a top-down actioner set in a cute and colorful and world. You take on the role of Mako, and she has made a deal with a strange entity called Bumon, who operates Bumon Delivery Corporation. In exchange for making deliveries and carrying out other tasks around Mayoi, the world of the gods, she will be allowed to return to her own world. As items are requested by clients around Mayoi, Mako must venture out, gather them up, bring the materials over to a workbench, package them up, and ultimately deliver them... while also contending with enemies along the way. Mako can defend herself with melee slashes, hop on top of enemies and spray them with purple goo to stun them, or go rolling through town on a pagoda/tank, blasting everyone in her path during on-rails shooting segments.

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.

March 24, 2020

New Blip: Castle in the Darkness 2

The original Castle in the Darkness was a retro-style action-platformer-RPG hybrid inspired by the classic Castlevania and Metroid games. Now, Matt Kapp has returned with fellow Binding of Isaac: Rebirth developer Simon Parzer under the new LABS Works label to deliver Castle in the Darkness 2. The new game starts things off by putting more H in your D with higher definition visuals, and also offers a faster pace with a protagonist that moves more quickly and has a wider array of moves at his disposal. The sword-wielding hero can slash enemies with great speed, perform dodge rolls to avoid projectiles and get behind foes, fire off powerful blasts of magic, perform lunging strikes, perform shield blocks and sidesteps, and even toss some weapons. The new game includes an inventory system, allowing players to store potions, keys, spell cards and other helpful items. The game also includes a metroidvania map for navigating individual areas and an overworld map when moving from location to location.

The game is coming to PC and possibly other platforms, but does not yet have an announced release date. Check the announcement trailer below, which also shows off some footage from the studio's other in-development title, Astalon: Tears Of The Earth.

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

March 23, 2020

New Blip: Eldest Souls

Eldest Souls, from Fallen Flag Studio, is a tough-as-nails boss rush game where you battle against the powerful Old Gods, who have returned to take their vengeance upon humanity for imprisoning them. The vengeful deities turn the once verdant lands of the humans into deserts, taking away everything that humanity has gained since the Old Gods were locked away. Taking a page from games like Titan Souls or Jotun, the player takes on the role of a lone hero and faces off against impossibly large monsters that are seemingly impossible to defeat. The player explores the Citadel, prison of the gods, searching them out one by one, doing battle, and - if the player is skilled enough - killing each of them. Each god presents a unique combat scenario, and defeating them allows the player to gain access to some of their power, acquiring new abilities in the process.

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.

March 22, 2020

Target Acquired: Kemono Heroes

Kemono Heroes is the latest from Mad Gear Games, the studio behind the dark retro-style gravity-flipper A Hole New World. This time around, the studio offers a much more bright and upbeat game, which features four furry ninja masters on a quest to defeat the Moon God who has turned all of the villagers into stone. The game can be played alone or with a group in 4P local co-op, with each character equipped with a sword and an infinite supply of kunai, offering a flurry of furry action as the screen fills with enemies and projectiles. Players venture through four themed areas, with gameplay alternating between horizontal platforming, vertical ascent, a small bit of shmuppery, and several boss encounters. The game is presented in a 16-bit style and is steeped in Japanese folklore, but the overall tone is lighthearted and fun.

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

March 21, 2020

New Blip: 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 coming to PC, Mac, and Linux on July 9. A demo is available on the game's Itch page.

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

March 20, 2020

New Blip: Transmute

Transmute, from Evan Tor Games, is as metroidvania as metroidvanias get, taking direct inspiration from the Metroid series in its environments, atmosphere, and enemy designs. A year ago, an explosion rocked a scientific outpost, which has since been marked off limits. You take on the role of Mute, daughter of one of the scientists aboard the station, as she is sent in to investigate, determine what happened, and return home with any research she can find. Fortunately, Mute is no slouch in the adventure-platforming department, as she's skilled in combat and can acquire a variety of upgrades (all of which are entirely optional) in order to fully explore the station. She can wall jump, dash, perform spinning attacks, reprogram a drone to fight alongside her, call forth tentacles to block incoming projectiles, and blast creepy creatures, adversarial artificial intelligence, and vicious bosses through a large open world. Along the way, Mute uncovers more information about what happened at the outpost and, more importantly, what happened to her mother.

The game is coming to PC this spring.

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

March 19, 2020

New Blip: Renaine

Renaine, from Octosoft, stars Aine, a Phoenix Knight who has the power to resurrect herself, who is on a mission to defeat a legendary dragon and avenge the death of her friend, Ren (Ren+Aine=Renaine). Each time she resurrects herself, the layout of the world changes and she loses her items and abilities, but some things remain unlocked for future runs. Aine travels through five themed lands of Lineria, a chunky pixellated landscape with a low color palette, and Aine herself is notably low on colors, mainly appearing in yellow with black highlights and an orange plume. While the palette may be that of classic 8-bit games, her animations are more robust, giving her a bit of charm as she slashes her way through enemies, stops to help NPC's, hops from platform to platform, and occasionally stops to quaff a potion. Aine can also purchase items in shops that grant her new abilities, such as tossing fireballs, grappling to enemies and walls, and even picking up a cute little pet chompy that follows her around and attacks enemies.

The game is coming to PC, Mac, and Linux later this year, followed by a version on Switch. A demo is available on the game's Itch page.

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

March 18, 2020

New Blip: Dragon Blazers

Dragon Blazers (formerly known as Arcade Battlers), from Sylph embraces the over-the-top antics of the 16-bit arcade era by delivering a colorful beat 'em up with Toriyama-inspired visuals. A team of martial artists battles against an army of cyberninjas - and cyberbats and cybertigers, because that's the kind of stuff we got up to in the 90's - using punches, kicks, and special dragon powers as they fight to save the world. Players can go it alone or team up for local 2P co-op, with three playable characters available from the start, and three more unlockable. Players beat down basic enemies, bigger minibosses, and hulking end bosses through 20+ levels, and along the way, they can stop into shops to purchase new items and weapons. There's a bit of platforming as well, and a fair amount of humor with some silly enemies and animations.

The game is coming to PC on July 17, 2020.

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

March 17, 2020

Target Acquired: Exit the Gungeon

Remember Enter the Gungeon? It was a gun-themed bullet hell roguelike dungeon crawler with an oddball sense of humor, where the ultimate reward was a gun that could kill the past. Well, Dodge Roll is back and teaming up with Singlecore for a follow-up -slash- spin-off called Exit the Gungeon. ("Just when I thought I was in, they pull me back out!") So the past got erased at the end of the first game (um, spoilers), creating a paradox that is causing the Gungeon to collapse, and your goal is to get out (in case you hadn't guessed that from the title). Instead of an overhead dungeon crawler experience, this is an ascent-based shooty platformer, which retains its roguelike bullet hell roots. Players must ride up elevators of various sorts, hover on top of balloons, and ride a number of mechanical contraptions on their way to the top of the ever-shifting Gungeon. Along the way, players must blast baddies, dodge bullets, and take on menacing bosses that would like to see them plummeting to their doom.

The game already came out on iOS last year (via App Store), but now it's available on PC via Steam and Switch via eShop. It's also planned for release on PS4 and Xbox later this year.

March 16, 2020

New Blip: Battle Axe

Henk Nieborg and Mike Tucker most recently teamed up on the arena-based sci-fi shooter Xeno Crisis. Now they're back with Battle Axe, an arcade-style actioner inspired by 80's and 90's fantasy adventures games, and it's all backed by music from famed composer Manami Matsumae. The game is set in the land of Mercia which has been held under the tyrannical rule of Etheldred for many years, until finally three champions from across the land rise up to face her: an elf, a wizard, and a marauder. The trio - each of whom have his or her own specialties - hack, slash, spellcast, and fire cannonballs (!) as they work their way through hordes of grotesque creatures and undead warriors, and players can go it alone or team up for 2P co-op.

The game is coming to PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One in the winter of 2021.

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

March 12, 2020

Early Arrival: Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

Record of Lodoss War began as popular series of Japanese novels, and later went on to receive numerous manga and anime adaptations, as well as several video games, and it returns once again in the form of a metroidvania entitled Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth. The game is the result of a team-up between Team Ladybug (developers of Touhou Luna Nights, Shin Megami Tensei: Synchronicity Prologue, and KonoSuba God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! Revival of Beldia) and Why So Serious? (developer of Gensokyo Night Festival), and stars Deedlit, the series' elven heroine, as she awakens in an unusual and unknown place and begins encountering some of her old friends. The game wears its Symphony of the Night inspirations on its sleeve, but increases the visual fidelity with higher resolutions and extremely smooth animations. Deedlit attacks with quick melee strikes using a variety of weapons, and she discovers some ranged weapons as well. In addition, she is able to absorb spirit energy by defeating enemies, allowing her to take advantage of these spirits' powers to increase her attack power, defense, and regenerative abilities.

The game is now available (one day early!) on PC via Steam Early Access. Check our coverage here.

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

March 11, 2020

Target Acquired: Ori and the Will of the Wisps

In case you don't already know, Ori and the Blind Forest is a wonderful game. It's an atmospheric metroidvania set in a beautiful world with well-crafted environments, an interesting moveset, and an emotional yet wordless story... and it was our 2015 Game of the Year. Microsoft and Moon Studios (game site) have returned with a sequel entitled Ori and the Will of the Wisps, which is once again set in a lush and beautiful world filled with amazing creatures, with an adventure-platformer setting where the player explores an open world and gains new abilities to reach new areas. The game stars Ori, this time on a quest to assist a young owl who comes from a tribe of owls that have been wiped out, presumably related to the villainous owl, Kuro, from the original game. This time around, Ori is able to access spells to combat his enemies, and wield melee- and projectile-based weapons, putting a heavier focus on combat over the more platforming-focused original... although there are some new environmental navigation abilities as well.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and Xbox One via Microsoft Store.

March 10, 2020

New Blip: There is No Light

There is No Light, from Zelart (game tweets), is a dark action-RPG set in a world where most of the population has been wiped out by some great catastrophe... but one man takes a stand. Now the world is filled with demons and other grotesque monstrosities that view you as a tasty morsel, and everything is covered in fleshy globs, spider webs, and piles of corpses. With a bit of skill, you can push the demons back and possibly save the world, which reacts to your actions, for better or worse. Armed with a sword and a healthy dodge roll, you fight through hordes of enemy creatures and hellish boss creatures across a nonlinear world, stringing together combos to fuel your rage and unleash more powerful attacks.

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.

March 5, 2020

Target Acquired: Wunderling

Wunderling, from Retroid, is a colorful platformer where you don't play the hero... instead, you control a henchman of the game's boss, and it's your job to stop the hero. You play as the titular Wunderling who has only recently learned the ability to jump, but he's a constantly-patrolling enemy, so he can't stop moving. He just keeps walking back and forth, and it's up to you to use his jumping ability to hop across gaps, avoid obstacles, and grab keys as you work your way through a dangerous spike-filled world. Along the way, you earn new boosting and wall jumping abilities to make you more agile as you try to catch up to the hero and destroy him.

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

March 3, 2020

Early Arrival: Metal Unit

Metal Unit, from JellySnow Studio (game site), is a fast-paced actioner set in a world where humans are fighting for survival against rampaging robots and ancient aliens. The last hope for the human race is Joanna, a warrior who is able to equip the powerful Metal Unit armor and fight against the forces that threaten them... and maybe get revenge upon her sister who has sided with the aliens. Joanna is able perform a wide variety of attacks, firing numerous projectile types, performing up-close melee strikes, unleashing deadly special attacks, and building up huge combos to lay the hurt on baddies and bosses. She is also quite agile and able to mount high platforms and dash quickly out of the way of danger. There is a large world to explore, with hidden areas and NPC's to interact with, and a story that changes depending on your dialogue choices. In addition, the game features roguelike elements, with death resulting in the conversion of items into points that can be used to unlock new skills and items.

The game is now available for PC via Steam Early Access.

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