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

April 25, 2023

Target Acquired: Afterimage

Afterimage, from Aurogon Shanghai (game site), is an action-RPG set in an open fantasy world known as Engardin. You explore this beautiful hand-drawn landscape as an adventurer who faces off against hostile creatures, dangerous traps, and environmental challenges. You are able to equip a variety of weapons with their own attack styles, make use of magic spells, and upgrade your abilities along a skill tree to change the way you fight enemies. Per metroidvania conventions, unlocking new movement abilities allows you to see more of the world and uncover its secrets, and venture into more dangerous areas to face terrifying boss creatures.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, Switch via eShop, PS4 and PS5 via PSN, and Xbox One and X/S via Microsoft Store.

April 20, 2023

Target Acquired: Wild Dogs

Wild Dogs is the latest from 2ndBoss, the studio behind Biolab Wars, which was an alien-blasting run-and-gunner inspired by 8-bit classics like Contra and Shatterhand. Wild Dogs is set in the same universe and takes place before the events of Biolab Wars. The game stars Frank "Pumpkinhead" Williams and his trusty companion, Freddy, the dog from the previous game who wore a mech suit. This time around, it's not all about running and shooting... shmupping and stealth puppering are mixed in with the sidescrolling shooter action as the player takes control of a jet, a motorcycle, and a dog-driven mech suit. Blast alien soldiers, shoot down powerful spacecraft, and obliterate gigundus bosses.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, Switch via eShop, PS4 and PS5 via PSN, and Xbox One and X/S via Microsoft Store.

April 19, 2023

Target Acquired: Moons of Darsalon

Moons of Darsalon is a retro-style rescue-based actioner from Dr. Kucho! Games that is set in the same universe - and in some of the same environments - as their previous release, Pilots of Darsalon. However, instead of piloting a spaceship down into caverns, you play as a "darsanaut" who must rescue lost miners. You have a laser gun for blasting enemies, a jet pack for environmental traversal, and a pair of tools that allow you to destroy or create terrain. You'll need to give the miners some direction to help them get back to safety, so you can issue commands to make them follow you, wait, or head in a specific direction. In addition to the on-foot action, you pilot some vehicles, such as a flying personnel carrier and a 6-wheel all-terrain transport truck. You must blast enemy aliens, spaceships, and vehicles while dodging projectiles and watching that you don't fall to your death in one of the many chasms. There are some modern lighting effects and a physics engine that impacts how characters, vehicles, and liquids interact with the environment, but the game leans hard into its gritty 8-bit computer aesthetic with retro-style filters, music, and speech synthesis.

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

April 17, 2023

New Blip: Toxic Crusaders

Toxic Crusaders, from Retroware, is a beat 'em up starring everyone's favorite 90-pound-weakling-turned-toxic-avenger as he takes to the streets of Tromaville with his trusty mop to bust some ugly heads before anyone busts his ugly head. The city is under siege from Dr. Killemoff and his mutated thugs who plan to pollute the world... more than we already are. Toxie teams up with his fellow crusaders, including No-Zone, Junkyard, Major Disaster, and Headbanger, plus his girlfriend and his mother, each with their own moveset and special attacks. You can go it alone or bring in some of our demented friends for 4P local co-op as you battle your way through Troma's colorful B-movie world and enjoy some cheesy comic-style cutscenes.

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.

April 16, 2023

Target Acquired: Cannon Dancer - Osman

Back in 1989, Capcom released Strider to arcades, which was later followed up by Sega's Gensis port on the system's first 8 megabit cartridge, thus cementing Strider Hiryu as one of the great action heroes of the era. In 1996, Mitchell Corporation released Osman, a.k.a. Cannon-Dancer, to arcades, with former Strider developer Kouichi Yotsui taking the lead. The result was a Strider-esque experience set in a futuristic version of the Middle East, and starring a very acrobatic hero who was able to perform somersault jumps, climb walls and ceilings, and run quickly down sloped surfaces.

Unlike Strider Hiryu, Osman (Kirin in the Japanese version) uses his bare hands to fight, requiring that he get in a bit closer, but he is supported by up to four after-images that hover in the air and deliver extra damage to enemies and bosses. Environments are extremely colorful, the world is packed with detail, and bosses are big and beautiful... but it's very much a quarter muncher. Players who grew up with the Genesis version of Strider will find this to be much more difficult experience. Fortunately, ININ Games - who partnered with game designer Kouichi Yotsui and artist Utata Kiyoshi on this release - have added some enhancements to ease players into the experience. Cannon Dancer - Osman includes options to enable a double jump, increased attack speed, several invincibility modes, and the ability to rewind time.

The game is now available for Switch via eShop, PS4 and PS5 via PSN, and Xbox One and X/S via Microsoft Store. Physical editions are available via Strictly Limited Games. Check our coverage here.

April 11, 2023

New Blip: Abathor

Abathor, from Pow Pixel Games (game tweets), is set in the ancient city of Atlantis... a city whose people have incited the wrath of the gods, and now they are being punished for their sins. You take on the role of a hero – or multiple heroes in 1P-4P co-op – who must save the city and close the Gates of Abathor. You must defeat the creatures that have been unleashed upon the land, and fight off demons and the gods themselves if you hope to win the day. Gameplay is reminiscent of sword-and-sandal arcade actioners like Rastan and Magic Sword, where you travel through single-plane environments using swords to slash enemies, the occasional projectile to strike from a distance, and magical transformations to beef up your strength. In multiplayer, players assist each other in combat but also compete to crack open chests and collect the treasures within.

The game is coming to PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, and Xbox, but it 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.

April 7, 2023

New Blip: Sessions

3D horror games crossed over into action years ago, but 2D horror games have tended toward atmospheric narrative adventures. Sessions, from Robson Paiva, is ready to give you some monster bashing to go along with your creepy hallways... and it's set in same the dark cyberpunk world as the developer's previous game, Redo. You take on the role of a synthetic human exploring an interconnected world filled with mechanical monstrosities and mysterious organisms. You can slash mechanoids with your sword, blast them in their face-like protrusions with a variety of guns, and upgrade your weapons – and your body – to become a more efficient killer. Explore nonlinear environments, meet NPC's, and wade through the horrors of a posthuman world.

The game is coming to PC at the end of the year.

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

April 6, 2023

Target Acquired: Curse of the Sea Rats

Curse of the Sea Rats from Petoons Studio, is an open-world action adventure featuring traditional 2D animation and 3D environments. The game takes place in Ireland in the year 1777 and focuses on a group of pirates who have all been turned into rats by an evil witch (who was also transformed by her spell). You take on the role of one of four playable characters - or multiple characters in 1P-4P local co-op - as you attempt to defeat the witch's minions, rescue the admiral's kidnapped son, and hopefully break her spell so you can return to your former human self... and the game features multiple endings based on your actions. Combat is melee based, but you can use magic as well, with each character having different abilities and upgrades, and more powerful spells are unlocked as the game progresses. The game world is huge, with lots of branching paths and multiple themed areas to explore.

The game is now available for PC via Steam, Switch via eShop, PS4 and PS5 via PSN, and Xbox One and X/S via Microsoft Store. Check our coverage here.