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

September 29, 2015

Target Acquired: Jotun

Jotun, from developer William DubĂ©, stars Thora, a Viking who has died an ignoble death and finds herself in purgatory. There, she must prove herself to the gods by fighting gigantic elemental beasts known as jotun, with the hopes that her victory will prove her worth and allow her to pass into Valhalla. The scale of each jotun is immense in the same way as Shadow of Colossus, with towering enemies that can smash the life out of you, but instead of a 3D environment and colossi, this is a top-down action adventure with hand-drawn animations. Fortunately, your relatively small size allows you to dodge their attacks and use your hefty 2-handed axe to move in and strike quickly, slowly whittling down the monsters’ long life bars.

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

September 27, 2015

Target Acquired: Curses 'n Chaos

Tribute Games, the studio behind Wizorb and Mercenary Kings, has revealed its latest sprite-packed action game. Curses 'n Chaos is an arena-based brawler where you beat up craploads of monsters, collect coins, and buy powerups that make you more effective in the beating up of craploads of monsters. Purchasable items include bombs that you can toss at enemies, arrows and stones that fly in from offscreen, and cannonballs that can smash through rows of enemies. Battles are timed, and if you don’t clear out all of the baddies before the counter reaches zero, Death will be summoned and chase you around the playfield, taking one of your remaining lives if he manages to slash you with his scythe. Play alone or with a friend in online or offline 2P co-op.

Curses 'n Chaos is now available for PC and Mac via Steam, and PS4 and Vita via PSN.

September 26, 2015

Target Acquired: Extreme Exorcism

Golden Ruby Games presents Extreme Exorcism, a game whose difficulty increases due to your own actions. Mae Barrons is a ghost hunter exploring a large haunted mansion. The trouble is, the ghosts can copy her actions. So, when you start out, you have only one ghost to fight, and you just need to run over and grab a weapon from a spawner and kill it. But in the second round, the ghost follows your previous movements exactly, even running over and grabbing the weapon. Still, you will have remembered your movements, so this is not terribly difficult… but after several rounds and several ghosts imitating all of your previous movements, things can get pretty crazy. Even more so when you consider that the game offers 4P co-op. The player has access to more than 20 weapons with which to eliminate the ghosts of their former selves, and you can stack up to three weapons and use them simultaneously.

Extreme Exorcism is now available for PC via Steam, PS3 and PS4 via PSN, Xbox One via XBLA, and Wii U via eShop.

September 23, 2015

Target Acquired: Mommy's Best Action Pack

Mommy's Best Games, developers of high-octane shooters and co-founders of 8 Bit Horse, have unleashed Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compendium of their classic blastfests. The company's more recent releases include the 2D Contra-style entry in the Serious Sam saga, Serious Sam: Double D XXL, as well as the completely mental touch screen horse racing derpaganza Finger Derpy.

Now players can explore the company's history with Mommy's Best Action Pack, a compilation of four games originally released on Xbox Live Arcade: Weapon of Choice, Shoot 1UP, Explosionade, and Game Type. Each game has been re-tuned for its Steam release, with support for keyboard and mouse or gamepad controls, as well as the requisite cheevos and other such Steamy accouterments.

The bundle is currently available via Steam, or games may be purchased individually from the following links:

Weapon of Choice features bizarre and over-the-top weapons, aliens, and bosses, branching paths and multiple endings, and hand-drawn art and blaring guitar riffs to accompany you on your gut-spilling journey to deliver liquid pain to every xeno-bastard you can lay your sights on.

Weapon of Choice is a high-octane 2D side-scrolling action game where you take one of 7 operatives – each with his or her own unique weapon of choice – into battle against hordes of monstrous alien beasts and huge boss creatures, all of whom are bent on destroying you and everything else on Earth.

The game is a completely over-the-top tribute to all of the things you loved about the 2D shooters of old, with numerous modern gameplay enhancements, including Death Brushing, where time slows down when the player is inches from death; the Spider Pack, which allows you to walk up walls and across ceilings, leaving your hands free for blasting aliens in their tender spots; and the Vengeance Missile, which lets you to launch a 400 kiloton rocket at whatever is left on the screen after your last death. Or, you can take the game on in a higher difficulty that requires you to play at high speed with no Death Brushing.

In most games, when you earn a 1UP, it goes into the lower left corner of the screen, coming into play once your ship (or whatever) has been destroyed. But not here. In Shoot 1UP, you play all your ships at once, including your extra ships as you earn them. You start out with the standard 3 ships, but they are all in play, firing all guns at once. And after you earn a 1UP, you’ll have 4 ships flying and shooting at the same time. Then you’ll have 5, 6, 7, and so on. Eventually, you can have a squadron of up to 30 ships on the screen at once!

Getting additional ships also earns you additional abilities, such as being able to shoot to the left, right, and down, skills you’ll desperately need as the alien forces begin to come at you from all directions. Of course, the more ships you have on the screen, the bigger a target you become, and losing some of your ships means that you’ll start to lose some of those special abilities as well. But sacrificing a ship causes it to explode and absorb incoming enemy bullets, giving you a temporary reprieve, and the explosion gets even bigger based on the number of ships in your armada.

You also have direct control over how compact your phalanx becomes. Expanding your phalanx does place your ships in harm's way, but it also alllows you to fire the massive Plasma Auger. The beam gets bigger the further you spread, growing to a maximum size indicated in the HUD.

You can even grab a powerup that tosses ghost ships into play, which mirror your movements and double your on-screen firepower. And you can go into the game in 2 player co-op for up even more insanity, with up to 60 ships on the screen at once! Not since Galaga Legions have you seen this kind of reckless disregard for the number of friendly projectiles on the screen at once. Tired of bullet hell shooters? In this game, you’re the one weaving the bullet curtain, and it can be a joy to watch a wave of enemy ships succumb to the flow of your wide and mighty bullet stream.

Explosionade falls into the 2D mech combat sub-genre along with a handful of other outstanding titles, such as Cybernator, Metal Warriors, and the Bangai-O series. In these games, the player takes control of a huge mech that is represented onscreen by a relatively small sprite, but which has huge amounts of firepower.

Navigation tends to be a bit slow and deliberate, with a focus on pressing forward, defending your position, and choking your enemy with mouthfuls of bullets, missiles, bombs, and whatever else you have stashed away in your arsenal. And, in Explosionade, you can actually double the firepower with some same-screen 2P co-op.

Taking a cue from those games, the mech in Explosionade has a low movement speed, a jetpack-assisted jump, a shield, a machine gun, and an unlimited supply of grenades. That’s right, unlimited grenades. Actually, the grenades are called Meganades because they’re a bit oversized, as are the explosions that they leave behind.

As you might imagine, grenades blow up a lot of stuff. You’ll be demolishing your way through 40 challenge room-style levels blowing holes in the floors, walls, and ceilings, usually with the sole purpose of getting to the other side so that you can blow up even more stuff. Of course, you’ll also be delivering flaming death upon the heads of your enemies, including several varieties of flying critters, hovering sentries, walking soldiers, and mounted turrets. When life gives you explosions, make explosionade!

Game Type is both a a looping horizontal shmup and a send-up to how hard it is to find indie games buried under heaps of ads and nigh unnavigable dashboards. The game stars "Hoodie Girl" as she uses the powers of parkour to destroy advertisements and earn cold hard cash in the process. This is a high score challenge offering a single player experience or 2P couch co-op, and the game speeds up with every loop you complete.

Fortunately, you have a limited-use Time Pulse weapon that you can use to slow down time, during which you can shoot enemy projectiles and turn them into even more money. Learn the loops and chain your attacks to grow your score and earn a place on the leaderboards.

September 22, 2015

Target Acquired: TowerClimb

Not unlike Spelunky, TowerClimb from Davioware is a procedurally generated platformer with roguelike elements, although it goes an extra step in the RPG direction by including permadeath and the ability to upgrade your character’s abilities. Your character has access to a wide range of abilities with which no navigate the ever-changing and deadly platforming worlds, including running, jumping, double jumping, ledge grabbing, wall climbing, swimming, and even the ability to fly and toss limited use projectiles. The player must venture ever-upward, avoiding enemies, pits of lava, and spikes while hunting down treasure chests and grabbing powerups that grant some of the aforementioned abilities. The player must also be careful to manage resources and not be wasteful, lest they warrant their own doom.

After five years in development, TowerClimb is now available on PC via Steam.

September 20, 2015

Target Acquired: Olympia Rising

Olympia Rising, by developer Paleozoic, features an undead girl named Iola who must fight her way through the Underworld to eventually escape and reach Mount Olympus. The heroine is quit agile and is able to perform great aerial feats, jumping from walls, double jumping, spin attacking enemies, and dashing from one foe to the next without setting foot on solid ground. She can also use magic to cast fire, water, and air-based attacks to take down various baddies and creatures of Greek myth. However, in order to pass from one realm to the next, she must earn enough coins to pay the ferryman...

Olympia Rising is now available for PC and Mac via Steam. Check our full coverage here.

September 18, 2015

Target Acquired: Aerannis

Aerannis, from developer Ektomarch, stars a trans individual named Ceyda, who is a trained assassin in a world where government-sponsored assassination has become the common way of dealing with troublesome people, particularly women. The developer hopes that players experiencing this 2D action adventure will gain insight into gender identity and oppression. The game features an open world and focuses on stealth as Ceyda sneaks into facilities, and even takes hostages to access secure areas. Ceyda has tools with which to distract enemies, set traps to destroy them from a distance, or get up-close for a silent execution, as well as some traditional shooting.

Aerannis is now available for PC via Steam.

September 15, 2015

News: Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir

Vanillaware is known for some truly striking 2D visuals, having developed such games as Dragon’s Crown and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. The company made a big splash in 2007 with their PS2 releases of Grim Grimoire and Odin Sphere, especially given that the industry had temporarily forgotten about 2D gaming at that time. And now Odin Sphere is making a return in a remastered HD version entitled Odin Sphere: Leiftrasir, which features not only updated visuals, but also new enemies and bosses, as well as some unspecified gameplay enhancements and a "classic mode".

The new version of the game is coming to PS3, PS4, and Vita, but so far it has only been announced in Japan (releasing January 14, 2016), with an art book included in the first printing.

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

September 13, 2015

Target Acquired: Mute Crimson+

Iced Lizard Games has released an enhanced version of the Xbox Live Indie Games classic, Mute Crimson. Despite its basic visuals, the game offers a deep action platforming experience, on par with the seminal 8-bit classics, and it is essentially a study on 2D platformer design. The game features a ninja who must fight, jump, and climb his way through many areas of escalating difficulty and face off against a boss at the end of each. The new version of the game features enhanced visuals and music, and an all-new seventh area, featuring an even tougher set of final levels and a new end boss.

Mute Crimson+ is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam. Check our full coverage here.

September 12, 2015

Target Acquired: Airscape: The Fall of Gravity

Developer Cross-Product (game site) presents Airscape: The Fall of Gravity, a gravity-focused platformer starring an octopus on an alien world. As the octopus explores oddly-shaped planetoids, it is affected by odd gravitational pulls. Jump upward toward another surface and gravity pulls you up toward it, climb a curved surface and the world spins around you, ride a tumbling block downward and jump away at the last moment to pull yourself toward more solid ground. The octopus remains at the center of the screen for much of his adventure, with the world spinning around based on his perspective of the downward force of gravity, and forcing the player to consider how his movements affect his abilities. The game also features swimming sequences through floating bubbles of water intermixed with the gravity mechanic.

Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is currently available for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam.

September 10, 2015

Target Acquired: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, from developer Asteroid Base, is an odd little 2P co-op experience that places players in a pink space station facing off against an onslaught of invaders. Players run around the inside of the station, manning various control panels to operate turrets and lasers to destroy the attacking ships, using shields to defend the station, and activating thrusters to push it away from danger, frantically dashing from one control panel to the next as the situation outside the station changes.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store, as well as Xbox One via XBLA.

September 8, 2015

Proximity Alert: Castle Crashers Remastered

The Behemoth is known for a number of whacked out 2D video games, including Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers, and BattleBlock Theater, and now the studio is revisiting their hit brawler with the release of Castle Crashers Remastered on Xbox One (and eventually PC). In addition to the multiplayer antics featured in the original, the updated version offers higher resolutions, a 60fps framerate, various performance enhancements, and the inclusion of a new minigame called Back Off Barbarian. The new minigame has up to four players hopping around a grid-based playfield to avoid a constantly growing number of enemies.

Castle Crashers Remastered is coming to Xbox One via XBLA on September 9, with a later release planned for PC as an update to the existing version on Steam. If you've already purchased the game on Xbox 360 - and you have an XBLA Gold account - you can download the remastered game for free through September 20 (or for $5 thereafter). The developer has also announced that the original Xbox 360 version of the game will be made backwards compatible for Xbox One owners (without the enhancements found in the remastered version) sometime this Fall.

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

September 6, 2015

Target Acquired: A Mini Falafel Adventure

A Mini Falafel Adventure from developer Beadybox, is a short metroidvania adventure about a falafel on a quest to rescue his friend who was abducted by aliens. As you can tell from the premise, this is not a game that takes itself seriously, and the silly humor pervades the experience. While the adventure is not long, the game is packed with boss encounters, including such whacked out creations as a critter with a sentient afro and a tomato boss that you have to kill and eat in order to move underwater (because you're made heavy by the weight). Add in a unique combat system, and you have a strange little game that is unlike anything else out there, which you can sit down and enjoy in a single sitting, and which costs you a total of zero dollars.

The game is available for PC via the developer's website. Check our full coverage here.

September 3, 2015

New Blip: CrossCode

CrossCode, from Radical Fish Games, is a 16-bit style action adventure set within an MMO in the far-flung future. While the game may look like it stepped out of the cartridge slot of a SNES - and the puzzle sequences are certainly in line with what you would expect from that console - the action is considerably faster. Unlike modern sci-fi action games, CrossCode is filled with life and color, as well as a variety of fantasy-themed locales, thanks to its MMO setting. Gameplay mixes exploration with traditional puzzles involving switch flippery and box pushery, as well as some fast-paced combat against swarms of enemies and huge bosses. In these action sequences, players must dodge attacks while paying close attention to enemy movements and weaknesses, and unleash well-timed sprays of gunfire in their direction.

The game is expected on PC in Q2 2016, and is currently available via Steam Early Access. It has a playable demo on the game's Steam page.

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

September 1, 2015

Arrival Delayed: Hyper Light Drifter

The very promising Hyper Light Drifter, from developer Heart Machine has been pushed out of its 2015 release window. The game will be releasing on Steam for PC and Mac in spring of 2016, followed by planned console releases on PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.

Hyper Light Drifter is a colorful action-RPG constructed with chunky pixel art. Drifters explore the ancient depths in search of knowledge and technology that has been lost to time, and this particular Drifter is looking for answers to stop a terrible disease that has infected him. Players slash through enemies, upgrading weapons and discovering new equipment as they explore a large world filled with treasure and secrets. Your primary weapon is a sword made of light, although you’ll discover a number of limited-ammo projectile weapons as well. You also have a shield to absorb direct attacks and a dash move to evade enemies, avoid traps, or charge forward to bash baddies in their hurty places. Players can go it alone or team up in 2P local co-op.