New Release: Source of Madness

A roguelike actioner set in a dark Lovecraftian world, from Carry Castle

Upcoming Release: Moo Lander

A colorful action adventure where you pilot a milk-powered UFO and abduct cows, from The Sixth Hammer

New Release: GB Rober

An anti-capitalist actioner with a low resolution, fast action, and big explosions, from Mokkograd

New Release: Fallingstar

A Breakout-style game where you play as an angel who has been cast out of heaven, from Harley Wilson

New Release: Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX

A remake of the Sega Master System classic with a few new enhancements, from Jankenteam

October 13, 2021

Target Acquired: GB Rober

GB Rober is an anti-capitalist action-platformer inspired by the Mega Man series, from Eric Merz and his Mokkograd label, the developer behind Splinter Zone. You take on the role of a robot who is fed up with being exploited for the upper class, and so he takes his fight to the landlords, each of which acts as a boss encounter. Like the Mega Man series, defeating each of these bosses unlocks their special weapon, which may be turned against other bosses or used against regular enemies. What really sets the game apart is its "critical mode" which increases damage output when you're almost dead, and "hyper mode" which also increases damage output and allows you to restore some health based on how many enemies you kill, creating some high risk / high speed explosive action in a chunky low-rez world.

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

October 2, 2021

Target Acquired: Gearshifters

Gearshifters, from Red Phantom Games, represents a heretofore unseen amalgamation of genres with its arcade-style car combat roguelike shoot 'em up action. You rip down the highway in your weapon-equipped vehicle blasting enemies ahead and behind, smashing through obstacles, and dodging return fire. You have a variety of weapons and defenses at your disposal - with upgrades purchased by taking on dangerous jobs to earn money - and you're able to skid to the side so you can blast enemies at angles. You shoot your way through enemy vehicles, trucks that absorb more damage, and huge bosses in the form of construction vehicles, jet-powered hot rods, and various transforming machinations. And yeah, the game is fully 3D, but it's got the spirit of a souped-up adrenalized horizontal Spy Hunter, so here it is!

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

September 30, 2021

Target Acquired: Unsighted

Unsighted, from Studio Pixel Punk, is a cyberpunk action-adventure set in a world that was once filled with a great population of androids. But now their energy source is nearly depleted, threatening the continuation of consciousness for those few androids who remain. Now, a once great city is overgrown and stands on the brink of ruin and machines have become corrupted, causing them to turn against you. You must solve puzzles, overcome environmental challenges, and defeat enemies in a nonlinear world. Along the way, you can equip numerous melee and ranged weapons, level up to increase your strength, and learn new abilities that allow you to explore further. The game features sexy pixel art and some lovely environmental effects.

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

Target Acquired: Aeon Drive

Aeon Drive is the latest from 2Awesome Studio, who most recently developed Dimension Drive. Aeon Drive is a follow-up to Dimension Drive and takes place immediately following the events of that game. The space pilot Jackelyne - or Jack for short - is shot down and crash lands in the dangerous crime-ridden city of New Barna (Barna being what the locals call Barcelona). This is a cyberpunk parallel universe version of Barcelona and there are lots of folks who don't take kindly to Jack's presence, but she must fight her way through them lest her disintegrating dimension drive destruct and wipe out this entire alternate reality. This time around, Jack sets out on foot, leaving her trusty ship behind, but she becomes more adept at environmental navigation and combat as she gains the ability to teleport and manipulate the flow of time. Her primary tool is a dagger that lets her fight enemies, but she can also toss the dagger and immediately teleport herself to its position, allowing for unique combat and traversal.

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

September 29, 2021

New Blip: Moo Lander

Your planet is in desperate need of milk, and only you can save the day in Moo Lander, from The Sixth Hammer. In this action-adventure, You pilot a milk-powered spaceship that has crash landed on a planet rich in resources... namely gigantic cows ready to be beamed back home. Unfortunately, you lost all of your weapons and defenses in the crash, so you spend the game exploring colorful environments, solving puzzles, and dodging enemies until you eventually encounter a milk shield that lets you deflect enemy shots, and a milk gun that lets you shoot projectiles of your own. There are loads of ship upgrades to be unlocked as you play, including non-lethal weapons for dealing with cows, which act as the game's bosses.

The game is planned for release on PC in Spring of 2022, but a playable demo is available now on Steam. Check our coverage here.

September 28, 2021

Target Acquired: Steel Assault

Steel Assault, from Sri Kankanahalli (game tweets), is a sidescrolling actioner set in a dystopian America (is there any other kind?) 20 years after the nation's fall. You take on the role of a resistance soldier named Taro Takahashi who infiltrates Washington D.C. to take down an evil army in a vibrant retro-style world filled with lovely pixel art. Takahashi is a versatile melee-based fighter who is able to slide along the ground to close ground on enemies or dodge through them, perform a jetpack-assisted double jump, and extend a cable that allows him to grapple onto platforms to jump up onto them, or walk hand-over-hand across the cable to cross gaps or ascend through narrow passageways. Enemies are colorful and varied, with bosses and minibosses that are over-the-top in all the ways you'd expect from the console classics that inspired their designs.

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

Target Acquired: Nykra

Nykra, from Endesga, stars a young woman named Keu who is exploring the universe's first galaxy, Nykra. Keu is accompanied by a hovering drone called Eo, which helps to defend her and open new paths as she uncovers the mysteries of this galaxy, starting with a strange black cube on a pastoral planet, reminiscent of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Her adventure takes her across seven planets and several small moons and offers nonlinear gameplay, puzzle solving, hacking, a loot and crafting system, and a customizable and upgradeable weapon system.

The game is now available for PC via Steam.

September 22, 2021

Early Arrival: Source of Madness

Source of Madness, from Carry Castle, is a roguelike actioner set in a dark Lovecraftian world... but not Lovecraftian in the typical video game sense of over-tentaculated monsters looming in the distance, but rather true eldritch horrors that are made up of amalgamations of flesh that twitch and scurry and slither and sometimes break into gibby bits as you furiously cast spells to blast them into oblivion. As an acolyte, you set out across a dangerous landscape overrun by ancient horrors as you attempt to open a pathway to the moon. Your odds of survival are quite low, but fortunately there are many other recruits who will unwillingly follow in your footsteps when you fall. Permanent upgrades unlock as you make progress, including new character classes with different spells and abilities, and you can pick up or purchase useful items on each run. Do you have what it takes to die many horrible deaths in service to the cult of the Tower of Knowledge? Yes you do. But can you learn from your deaths and fight your way through the lurking terrors?

The game is now available for PC via Steam Early Access, and is also planned for release on Switch. New character classes will be added during the early access period. Check our coverage here.

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

September 16, 2021

Target Acquired: Eastward

Eastward, from Pixpil Games and Chucklefish Games, is an action-adventure set in a post apocalyptic world. You take on the role of John, a digger who discovers a mysterious girl in an underground facility. John must guide the girl through the wasteland, interacting with colorful and unusual NPC's, solving puzzles, and doing battle with dangerous creatures and rampaging machinations along the way. The game is styled after 90's anime and features gorgeously detailed environments as imagined by pixel artist Hong Moran.

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

September 15, 2021

Target Acquired: Flynn: Son of Crimson

Flynn: Son of Crimson from Studio Thunderhorse, is an adventure-platformer where players explore a colorful nonlinear world, fighting monsters, uncovering secrets, and speaking with NPC's. The game stars a redheaded hero named Flynn, who was orphaned as a child, and he must uncover the secrets of his past and uncover the mysterious power that lies within him. Flynn will find himself smashing through obstacles and enemies with an axe, blasting them with a bow and arrows, and slashing them with a sword, and as he unlocks new abilities, he'll be able to smash through stone barricades, climb walls, and grapple across gaps. He also has the ability to summon his doggo friend, Dex, and then use her to traverse the environment, smash objects, and fight enemies.

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


September 9, 2021

Target Acquired: Webbed

Usually when spiders appear in video games, they're there to be spooky, but that's not the case with Webbed, from Sbug Games. Here, you play as a cute and cuddly spider on a mission to save her boyfriend from a menacing bowerbird. Fortunately, you've got plenty of spider skills to help you on your journey. For one, you can swing on your webs like Spider-Man (well, I guess Spider-Man swings like a spider), allowing you to quickly traverse the environment and fling yourself up to new heights. You can also weave webs to suspend yourself in the air and avoid enemies and obstacles, trap some tasty flies, and more fully explore the interconnected environments. And you can talk to bugs and get some of them to help you... or just party down and do a little dance with them. You can do whatever a spider can, and more, with some atypical arachnid activities such as factory work, skateboarding, and cave diving.

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

September 2, 2021

Target Acquired: Weapon of Choice DX

Man oh man, here's a history lesson for ya'! Weapon of Choice was originally released by Mommy's Best Games in 2008 on Xbox Live Community Games (later called Xbox Live Indie Games), kicking of an entire generation of indie games published on consoles. The game is a throwback to run-and-gun classics like Contra, but it features branching levels and seven playable characters... most of whom you rescue by killing your way through those nonlinear paths. The game is packed with hand-drawn art, grotesque creatures, huge bosses, wailing guitars, and insane firepower, with zany weapons like a jet engine gun and a bomb-blasting cannon that's totally not a huge bong (bomb-bong). Every playable character has his or her own unique weapon and abilities that change how you engage enemies, and when one dies, a 400 kiloton "vengeance missile" shoots another character into play, obliterating everything in a huge explosion. If that's not enough, you've got death brushing, a wall-crawling spider-pack, and a branching narrative with four endings. Full disclosure: that branching narrative was written by none other than me (Hi, I'm AJ!), so beware that you'll be filling my pockets with fat wads of two dollar bills if you choose to buy this game!

You can get Weapon of Choice DX on Switch via eShop, PS4 via PSN, or Xbox One via Microsoft Store. Check out my article from the 2008 release here with its blurry Xbox 360 capture card screenshots and some lovely development artwork.

August 30, 2021

New Blip: 9 Years of Shadows

9 Years of Shadows, from Halberd Studios, is a metroidvania featuring a young noblewoman wielding a halberd (hey, that's the name of the studio!) who must end a curse to save the land. You take on the role of Europa as she begins her journey in a mechanical construction called Talos Castle, using her halberd to fight its dark inhabitants. Along the way, she meets a floating teddy bear named Apino, who uses ranged magic, and together they protect each other while they rid the world of corruption. Using elemental armors named for Helios, Gaia, and Poseidon, you are able to use their powers of fire, earth, and water to reach new areas. The game offers retro visuals and a soundtrack composed by Michiru Yamane (Castlevania series), Manami Matsumae (Mega Man series), and Norihiko Hibino (Metal Gear Solid series).

The game is coming to PC "soon", and is also planned for release on Switch.

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

August 20, 2021

Target Acquired: Arietta of Spirits

Arietta of Spirits, from Third Spirit (game site), stars the titular hero, a plucky redhead who finds herself on an adventure leads her to explore the mysteries of the Spirit Realm. Arietta revisits her grandmother's cabin a year after her passing when she begins seeing ghostly beings, one of whom becomes her companion. Arietta explores the forests and caverns of the island, slowly uncovering its secrets as she interacts with NPC's, earns new abilities, and fights monsters and boss creatures.

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


August 19, 2021

Test Flight: B.I.O.T.A.

A playable demo for B.I.O.T.A. is now available on Steam and GOG.

The game is a sci-fi actioner set in the year 21XX from developer Small Bros. You are in charge of a commando unit sent on a mission to investigate a mining colony located on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter after communication with the colony is lost. Apparently, some kind of biological agent is running amok and taking control of every living thing it comes in contact with, including the miners, who have now mutated into monstrous creatures... but you may still be able to rescue the scientists and save the investment of your employer, the mining company that owns the mineral rights to the asteroid. Swap between 8+ playable team members to shoot their way through the mutant menace, unlock new weapons, and make use of a number of vehicles, including a mech suit, submarine, and fighter ship. The game offers chunky-pixelly 8-bit visuals with dozens of 4-color palettes to choose from.

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

August 17, 2021

Target Acquired: Greak: Memories of Azur

Greak: Memories of Azur, from Navegante, is a sidescrolling action platformer where a single player alternates between three characters. You take on the roles of Greak, Adara, and Raydel, a trio of siblings who attempt to escape the Urlag Invasion by assembling a zeppelin. Each character has their own abilities, with Greak taking on the lead role - even though he is the youngest - and he starts out on his own before meeting up with his brother and sister. Greak can slash through enemies with his sword, and his small size allows him to reach areas that his siblings cannot. Adara uses projectile magic to hit enemies from a distance, and her ability to levitate makes her ideal for environmental exploration. Finally, there is Raydel, the oldest of the three, who is the brute of the bunch with a longsword and shield, as well as a hookshot that allows him to overcome the weight of his equipment to get around the environment. The game offers some nice lighting and particle effects, as well as lovely animations for the characters and enemies... which may be sliced in half or smashed into goo.

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

August 15, 2021

New Blip: BIOMASS: Growth

BIOMASS: Growth is the latest from BRAIN0S, the developer behind Saving Princess and Space Cortex. The game originally started as a 72-hour game jam effort (our coverage), which explored the concept of your equipment degrading over time, which ran counter to most metroidvania titles where you grow increasingly stronger. This adds a sense of urgency as you fight your way through a space station that is slowly being overtaken by an ever-growing biomass. The core concept remains in place here, but the game is expanded (fleshed out if you will) into a greater adventure aboard a larger space station, with more detailed visuals and more grotesque abominations to fight. You take on the role of a clone who awakens in a lab, defenseless against the growing biomass that has already infiltrated much of the station. You must search around to find a weapon and an armored suit, fighting your way through enemies and biomass-controlled crew members as you attempt to learn what happened... and hopefully escape with your life.

The game is coming to PC soon.

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

August 11, 2021

Target Acquired: Axiom Verge 2

Axiom Verge 2, from developer Tom Happ, is the sequel to Axiom Verge... or possibly a prequel... or possibly even virtual reality, the afterlife, or a dream... at any rate, it's the second game in the series, and Mr. Happ is keeping its place in the Axiom-verse to himself for the time being. The game takes place in what appears to be an alternate Earth, with its own variety of ecosystems and the remnants of some ancient civilization... all of which was somehow tucked within a cargo lift in Antarctica. As strange as all of that is, things still aren't quite what they seem. You take on the role of a billionaire named Indra who sets out across this alternate Earth to discover its secrets. She explores the open world, fights mechanical beasties and bosses, and uses her hacking skills to turn the odds in her favor.

The game is now available for PC via Epic Games Store, Switch via eShop, and PS4 via PSN.

August 10, 2021

New Blip: Moonshell Island

Moonshell Island, from Cheekynauts Entertainment, is a throwback to the colorful isometric action-adventure games of yore, drawing its gameplay inspirations from The Legend of Zelda series. Moonshell Island has come under attack from creatures called nomsters, and you must not only fight back this onslaught of critters, but also save the people by recruiting them into Crabby's Cabana Club, the island's safe haven. As club membership grows, you'll need to upgrade it using resources from the island, and the more people you rescue, the more services there are to assist you in your quest. Along the way, you'll solve puzzles, take on side quests, learn more about the mysterious island, and even defeat giant killer tomatoes with your trusty whisk.

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 2D Watchlist.

August 9, 2021

Early Arrival: Anew: The Distant Light

Anew: The Distant Light, from Resonator Games (game site), is an open world action adventure featuring a child on an alien moon. The world is dangerous, and you must battle your way past enemies, solve environmental puzzles, complete platforming challenges, and explore otherworldly landscapes to discover new items and upgrades to help you on your journey. Though young, the boy is not shy about using heavy firepower as he runs down aliens with saws, blasts them with homing missiles, and lays down heavy machine gun fire with independent movement and aiming. He can also hop into vehicles to tear across the terrain and deliver even more destruction to his enemies, making use of a moon buggy, a UFO, a mech suit, and... an even bigger mech suit.

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


August 5, 2021

Early Arrival: Death Trash

Death Trash, from Crafting Legends (game site), is an action-RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world that mixes sci-fi and grotesque horror to create disturbing scenes accompanied by dark humor. Various factions are struggling for power and fighting for resources, and something about the "Evergrowing Heart pounds for the Flesh Hive"... yeah, no idea what that means, but it should give you some idea of what you're in for. Gameplay focuses on blasty-shooty combat enhanced by item crafting and psionic powers, with a focus on dialogue - with options that provide some pretty nontraditional choices - and the ability to kill any NPC. The game supports 2P local drop-in/out co-op if you and a friend want to get weirdly uncomfortable together.

The game is now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam Early Access, Epic Games Store Early Access, and Itch Early Access, and it's also planned for release on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S.


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

July 30, 2021

Target Acquired: Blaster Master Zero 3

Inti Creates has returned with a new - and final - entry in the Blaster Master Zero series, entitled Blaster Master Zero 3. As you may have guessed, the game follows the events of Blaster Master Zero 2 and the original Blaster Master Zero, which itself was a reimagining of the original Blaster Master on NES that incorporated the events of the Worlds of Power novella. For all of this blastering and mastering, the series never really told a compelling story, so it's doubtful that many people are awaiting the gripping conclusion to this paper-thin narrative... but at least there will be more of the series' trademark gameplay. You'll get to blast baddies in your tank during sidescrolling sequences, hop out for on-foot top-down action, and this time around, you'll get to travel to another dimension.

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

Target Acquired: 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 now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, and Switch via eShop, and it's planned for PS4 and Xbox One at a later date.

July 27, 2021

New Blip: Sea of Stars

Sabotage Studio, the developer behind The Messenger, has returned with an isometric RPG entitled Sea of Stars. Combat is turn-based but with active input on the part of the player - along the lines of Paper Mario - allowing for timed attacks, combos, and defensive abilities that can interfere with enemies as they charge their attacks. Gone are the JRPG trappings of random encounters (and grinding!), as players encounter enemies in the field while traversing the world by jumping, climbing, swimming, solving environmental puzzles, and even doing a bit of platforming. The game centers around two main characters, each with different abilities, but the player encounters dozens of other characters, interacts with their storylines, and occasionally adds new party members. Oh, and there are some really pretty sprites!

The game is coming to PC and consoles in 2022.

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

July 22, 2021

New Blip: Carpathian Night

Carpathian Night, from Tezcatek (game tweets), is a sidescrolling actioner that wears its Castlevania influences on its sleeve, but it's more classic-vania than metroidvania... closer to something along the lines of Super Castlevania IV. As with the adventures of the Belmont clan, you find yourself facing Lord Dracula himself, along with his monstrous minions as you battle your way across the Carpathian countryside and various gothic structures. You take on the role of a warrior monk named Abbot Dorin, and his vampire companion named Irina Dracul (three guesses who she's related to) who possesses the power of pyromancy. The two characters play somewhat differently, as one uses a whip and the other uses a spear (hints of Castlevania Bloodlines), and as expected, they use their melee weapons to dispatch enemies, break torches that drop hearts (for health not subweapons), and discover secrets behind breakable walls.

The game is coming to PC next year, but a playable demo is available now on Steam.

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

July 11, 2021

New Blip: Mission in Snowdriftland

In 2006, to celebrate the games coming to their newly-launched Nintendo DS and Wii platforms, Nintendo offered a playable advent calendar entitled UPIXO in Action: Mission in Snowdriftland, developed by extra toxic (game site). The game was a platformer starring a snowman named Chubby Snow who wore red shoes and a bellboy cap as he journeyed across four themed areas. The game included 24 levels, with new levels unlocking every day between December 1-24 to count down the days to Christmas. However, the game was only meant to be available for a limited time, and it was taken offline in January of the following year, only to reappear briefly for another event in 2010. Unfortunately, the Flash-based game was almost lost to time as it remained unplayable for many years - and now Flash is no longer supported by any of the major browsers - so it seemed likely that Chubby's adventures were doomed to be forgotten. But thanks to some passionate fans, especially documentarian Nick Robinson, the game is getting a second life in the form of Mission in Snowdriftland, created under extra toxic's development label tons of bits. The remastered game includes the original 24 levels and final boss battle, presented in widescreen HD at 60fps.

The game is coming to PC at the end of the year, but the first 3 levels are playable now via a special "Snowlogue" on Steam. If you're curious all of the details, scroll down past the trailer and check out Nick Robinson's documentary on the history of the game, discussions with the developers, and the reveal of the new remaster.

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

June 24, 2021

New Blip: B.I.O.T.A.

B.I.O.T.A., from Small Bros, is a sci-fi actioner set in the year 21XX. You are in charge of a commando unit sent on a mission to investigate a mining colony located on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter after communication with the colony is lost. Apparently, some kind of biological agent is running amok and taking control of every living thing it comes in contact with, including the miners, who have now mutated into monstrous creatures... but you may still be able to rescue the scientists and save the investment of your employer, the mining company that owns the mineral rights to the asteroid. Swap between 8+ playable team members to shoot their way through the mutant menace, unlock new weapons, and make use of a number of vehicles, including a mech suit, submarine, and fighter ship. The game offers chunky-pixelly 8-bit visuals with dozens of 4-color palettes to choose from.

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 23, 2021

New Blip: Gearshifters

Gearshifters, from Red Phantom Games, represents a heretofore unseen amalgamation of genres with its arcade-style car combat roguelike shoot 'em up action. You rip down the highway in your weapon-equipped vehicle blasting enemies ahead and behind, smashing through obstacles, and dodging return fire. You have a variety of weapons and defenses at your disposal - with upgrades purchased by taking on dangerous jobs to earn money - and you're able to skid to the side so you can blast enemies at angles. You shoot your way through enemy vehicles, trucks that absorb more damage, and huge bosses in the form of construction vehicles, jet-powered hot rods, and various transforming machinations. And yeah, the game is fully 3D, but it's got the spirit of a souped-up adrenalized horizontal Spy Hunter, so it's on the Watchlist!

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

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

June 22, 2021

Target Acquired: Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX, from Jankenteam, is a visually-enhanced remake of the original 8-bit classic from the Sega Master System. The game is close to a screen-by-screen remake of the original, but with a few key differences, primarily in the snappier controls for Alex. In addition, the game features new levels that are seamlessly integrated into the experience, several new music tracks, and somewhat more complex miniboss encounters... but the same old rock-paper-scissors stuff for the main bosses. Players who want to avoid the frustration that comes with old-school difficulty and cheap deaths can enable an infinite lives option. Purists can go in with limited lives and unlock a classic mode and boss rush mode.

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

June 21, 2021

Target Acquired: ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights

ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights, from Live Wire (game tweets), stars a girl named Lily who awakens to a world that has fallen into ruin due to a cursed rain that transforms living beings into undead creatures. The game is an open-world metroidvania with multiple paths of travel available, and new skills unlocked by defeating creatures known as the Blighted. Lily begins her journey in the basement of an ancient church, emerging into the rain-soaked Kingdom of End. This gloomy landscape holds beauty, as nature has overrun the workings of mankind and bloomed into lovely flora, but the world is now inhabited by deadly beasts that Lily must fight as she uncovers its mysteries. Throughout her journey, Lily defeats bosses to free the spirits of long-dead warriors that aid her in her quest, allowing her to attack with swords, bows, magic, and more, and granting her new environmental traversal abilities.

The game is now available for PC via Steam and Switch via eShop, and it's planned for release on PS4 and PS5 on July 6, with a release also planned for Xbox One and Xbox S/X at a later date.

June 17, 2021

Target Acquired: Garlic

Garlic, from Sylph (the studio behind Dragon Blazers), is a fast-paced platformer 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 now available for PC via Steam.

June 16, 2021

New Blip: They Always Run

They Always Run, from Alawar Premium, is a space-western-style action platformer starring a 3-armed bounty hunter named Aiden. The empire has fallen and criminals are filling the void of power, so tracking them down has become big business... and you're out to find the galaxy's biggest offenders, all while working to uncover a grand conspiracy. You hunt your bounties across the civilized central planets, the outlying wild west worlds, and even across planets that were once homes to ancient civilizations. Collect bounties in the form of information and cash, and spend your money on better equipment, stronger weapons, and new abilities. Use your three arms to acrobatically hack and slash your way through enemies while strategically defending and counterattacking, deflecting energy blasts back at enemies, and performing stealth kills.

The game is coming to PC later this year. A demo is available on Steam.

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

June 14, 2021

New Blip: Replaced

Replaced, from Sad Cat Studios, is a gritty 2.5D cyberpunk action-platformer set in an alternate version of the 1980's in a place called Phoenix-City. You take on the role of an artificial intelligence called R.E.A.C.H. that has been imprisoned within a human body. Society has gone to crap after some kind of nuclear catastrophe, and now the streets are ruled by gangs and power-hungry warlords out to harvest your organs. You run, climb, explore, and fight your way through this dystopian hellscape, smashing bad guys with your fists and guns via smooth and stylish combat as you uncover the secrets of the world around you.

The game is coming to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S in 2022.

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

June 13, 2021

Target Acquired: Fallingstar

Fallingstar, from Harley Wilson, is a Breakout-style actioner starring an angel who has been kicked out of heaven. As the angel falls from the heavens and toward the world of man, he has one last opportunity for redemption... he summons a moving platform (basically a Breakout paddle) that he uses to bounce himself upward. In doing so, he can fight back against the angels, killing them to steal their grace. If he manages to restore enough of his grace, he ascends to heaven where he challenges god for his throne in a fight to the death. If he fails, he falls ever further until he faces the ruler of the hell for a chance at becoming the king of hell himself. But if he fails even that, he is damned for all eternity. In addition to breaking blocks and fighting angels, you also collect gems to build your health and cards that give you optional modifiers in the next level.

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

June 9, 2021

New Blip: Anuchard

Anuchard, from stellarNull, is a fantasy-themed action-RPG set in Anuchard, a once-great land that was protected by five guardians... until the guardians abandoned the people, and civilization fell, leaving only a dungeon behind. You take on the role of the Bellwielder of legend, tasked with entering this dungeon to fight the monsters and solve the puzzles within, in order to restore the souls of the Anuchardians. As the Bellwielder, your primary weapon is a huge bell - known as the Audros Bell - which you use to smash enemies and knock them back into each other and other objects, and you can knock objects around to combat enemies and solve puzzles. As you rescue villagers, they will join your cause by building shops and unlocking upgrades and weapon enhancements, allowing you to enter the dungeon to face more difficult challenges.

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

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

June 7, 2021

New Blip: Roadout

Roadout, from Rastrolabs Game Studio, is an action-adventure game set in a post-cyberpunk apocalypse where an artificial intelligence reigns supreme. You take on the role of Claire, a driver/gun-for-hire who works in a desert region known as the DeadZone. By taking on jobs from local gangs, Claire discovers more about the origin of the AI and her connection to it. Gameplay is split between on-foot and in-car combat action. You break into AI-controlled facilities and fight off automated defense systems, slice through enemy bandits, and tune your car for races across the stark desert landscape... and you can equip your vehicle with weapons and defensive items to blast enemies on the go.

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 2D Watchlist.

June 6, 2021

Target Acquired: Mighty Goose

Blastmode offers some honking good times with Mighty Goose, a run-and-gun shooter inspired by arcade hits like Metal Slug, but starring a planet-hopping bounty-hunting goose. Like the games that inspired it, Mighty Goose delivers fast action, screens full of bullets, plenty of enemies to destroy, and lots of beefy explosions. You face off against odd creatures, armored foes, bulky war machines, and screen-filling bosses that come at you from all directions while you take them down with your blaster and secondary weapons like the shotgun and Tesla cannon. And you can gear up in one of several vehicles for maximum destruction, including a mech suit and a tank.

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

June 3, 2021

New Blip: Berserk Boy

Berserk Boy, from BerserkBoy Games, is a fast-paced action platformer where you... go berserk. You take on the role of a boy named Kei who is transformed into a powerful hero tasked with fighting Dr. Genos, an evil mastermind who plans to use an army of minions to take over the earth. Your abilities lie in transforming between five different elemental forms: earth, fire, air, ice, and lightning, and by chaining together combos, you fill a Berserk Meter that lets you unleash powerful special attacks. You perform projectile attacks, melee strikes, and dashes while hopping between platforms and bashing baddies, and some powers allow for environmental traversal as well, such as transforming into a drill to tunnel though loose dirt. The game is inspired by classic 16-bit platformers and even has music from Tee Lopes, who previously composed for Sonic Mania.

The game is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, and Switch at the end of 2022.

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

May 29, 2021

Target Acquired: Mutants from the Deep

Mutants from the Deep is the latest from Locomalito, developer of Maldita Castilla, Super Hydorah, The Curse of Issyos, and numerous other titles. Mutants from the Deep is an underwater shooter offering two playable characters with differing stats, one of whom is a human investigating sabotage to a pipeline, and the other is a mermaid whose home has come under attack from an unknown enemy. The story is different depending on which character you select, with their narratives intertwining for a single ending after seven levels. You are able to fire your harpoon in eight directions, and there are three other weapons to pick up, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Fight your way through various sea creatures and bosses, and purchase upgrades between levels to increase your firepower, speed, health, or air capacity. The game is done in the style of the MSX with a limited color palette and choppy scrolling, and it carries an old-school difficulty... you must shoot accurately to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and if you get killed or run out of air, it's back to the start of the game with you.

The game is now available on MSX (via MSX emulation) or PC on Locomalito's website, which also includes some other niceties like a PDF manual, poster, and DVD/case art. The game is available as freeware.

May 25, 2021

New Blip: Nobody Saves the World

DrinkBox Studios, the team behind Guacamelee and Guacamelee 2, has returned with Nobody Saves the World, a colorful action RPG that's lighter on the luchadores but still heavy on the colorful environments and zany characters. You take on the role of Nobody... that's right the character's name is Nobody, and he's the one who is tasked with fighting back The Calamity and saving the world. By completing quests, Nobody is able to unlock new forms, with more than 15 transformations to discover, including a strongman, zombie, ghost, archer, magician, mouse, and slug (!). Each form offers unique abilities that help you destroy monsters, solve puzzles, complete quests, and clear out procedurally-generated dungeons. You are able to upgrade forms by completing quests, and eventually mix and match abilities between forms.

The game is coming to PC, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S "soon-ish".

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

May 24, 2021

Target Acquired: Heidelberg 1693

Heidelberg 1693 is the latest actioner from Andrade Games, the studio behind 1917 - The Alien Invasion and SturmFront - The Mutant War. The studio is known for its gritty art style and throwback arcade action. The game is set in Heidelberg, Germany in 1693 (as you may have guessed) during the War of the Grand Alliance, in which the French captured and nearly destroyed the town of Heidelberg... but things take a turn from historical events as the French turn to forbidden science to resurrect the dead. You take on the role of a musketeer who uses his rapier and musket - with appropriately long reload times - to fight off an army of monstrous creatures and fiendish versions of historical figures. Gunpowder is limited and the undead are tough to kill, so you must use your shots wisely, and even lure enemies to kill each other with friendly fire.

The game is now available for PC via Steam.

May 20, 2021

New Blip: Jitsu Squad

Jitsu Squad, from Tanuki Creative Studio, is a high-octane brawler with colorful charismatic characters and up to 4P co-op. Players take on the role of one of four anthropomorphized animals, each of whom is an expert in a different style of martial arts. The rooster combed raccoon is a shinobi on a mission to get revenge for his father's death, the bunny is a cyber ninja who is also on a mission of revenge following the murder of her twin sister, the afro-sporting frog is a master of kung-fu and fights using a Goemon-style pipe along with magical attacks, and the boar is the beefy (porky?) one of the bunch in his role as dragon slayer, and he carries a sword and has a magical metal arm. The game allows for all of the fast-paced brawler shenanigans you love, with the ability to perform huge combos, unleash over-the-top special attacks, call in assist characters (including Yooka-Laylee), juggle enemies, and perform transformations. You fight your way through vibrant environments and colorful enemies that take the form of other animal creatures, zombies, martial artists, and some big bad bosses.

The game is coming to PC and consoles but does not yet have an official release date. A demo is available on Itch.

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

May 18, 2021

New Blip: Grid Force - Mask Of The Goddess

Developer Playtra Games is partnering with an LGTBQ+ non-profit organization called the It Gets Better Project, which supports LGBTQ+ youth around the world. The studio is developing Grid Force - Mask Of The Goddess, offering an all-female cast with LGBTQ+ representation and diverse cultural backgrounds for its 45 playable characters. Your goal is to befriend companions to assist you in battle, developing their skills and unlocking new abilities along the way, as well as acquiring powerful masks from defeated goddesses. Combat takes place on a grid, Mega Man Battle Network-style, with the player on the left side of the arena and the enemy on the right. Your decisions impact the narrative as well, as it is up to you whether to spare or kill the goddesses you fight, and many characters you encounter have difficulties that you must help them overcome. All the while, you are attempting to save the world from an endless loop of collapse and reboot.

The game is planned for a release on PC and consoles in Winter of 2022.

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

May 17, 2021

News: La-Mulana 2 DLC

Playism has announced a DLC pack for Nigoro's cult favorite metroidvania La-Mulana 2. This new adventure is entitled Tower of Oannes and sees players travelling back to the ruins of Eg-Lana to explore a new area that comes in the form of the eponymous tower. As it turns out, a tribe of people long thought to be extinct is actually still around, and they've unleashed a powerful evil. The DLC takes what is already a difficult experience and bumps it up to give hardcore players an even greater challenge to overcome, from platforming to combat to puzzle solving.

The Tower of Oannes DLC releases later this year.

May 11, 2021

New Blip: 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 coming to PC and Mac this December.

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

April 29, 2021

Target Acquired: 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 now available for PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, PS4 via PSN, Switch, and Xbox One.


April 28, 2021

Target Acquired: Clan O'Conall and the Crown of the Stag

Clan O'Conall and the Crown of the Stag, from HitGrab, is an action platformer set in ancient Ireland and inspiredy by Celtic folklore. You take on the role of three siblings, each with different abilities, as they fight their way through evil spirits and bosses on a mission to save their father. You can swap between the three characters on the fly to make use of the warrior's sword, the archer's rapid-fire bow and arrows, and the brute's raw strength. Between these three, players must overcome environmental challenges and deal with enemies using brawler-style combat. The game leans heavily on its art style, offering stark visuals with pre-Renaissance northern European-style artwork and trees that look like they just stepped out of an Eyvind Earle painting.

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

Target Acquired: Gel-Tank

Gel-Tank (a.k.a. 軟体轟輪ゲルタンク), from Technodot, is... well, it's not entirely clear what it is, because very little about the game is in English, but it looks completely crazy so here we are. You drive around in a little tank that is capable of shooting, jumping, and even flipping upside down so it can shoot enemies below. Your tank can use a variey of shot types, including a single shot, double shot, rockets, flaming explosives, and some non-standard projectiles to blast baddies and build up combos. Defeated enemies drop gems, which may be collected and used to purchase new skills. Oh and your little tank can climb inside a bigger tank and drive it around for increased firepower. In fact, there are multiple controllable vehicles, including a motorcycle, submarine, and helicopter. The game is done up in a 16-bit arcade style and focuses on fast action with a healthy dose of silliness, giving it something of a Metal Slug feel.

The game is now available for PC via Steam

April 22, 2021

Target Acquired: Smelter

In Smelter, from X Plus (game tweets), you take on the role of Eve - as in the biblical Eve - on a mission to find Adam following the destruction of the Garden of Eden. Eve discovers a strange creature named Smelter who is able to transform and fuse with her body to give her new abilities. The game mixes action-platforming gameplay with city building strategy segments, not unlike another biblically-themed game: Actraiser. By building up your empire and taking over enemy territory, you unlock sidescrolling action levels where you fight enemies and bosses, and complete platforming challenges. Throughout her adventure, Eve acquires upgrades and new abilities, allowing her to unleash more powerful attacks, climb walls, and whip herself from platform to platform.

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

April 21, 2021

New Blip: Devastator

Devastator is the latest game from Radiangames, the studio that got its start with a series of stylish Xbox Live Indie Games, including JoyJoy, Crossfire 1 & 2, Inferno, Fluid, Fireball, and Ballistic. Since then, the developer has gone on to create a number of titles for modern platforms, as well as updates to some previous hits. Devastator captures a similar spirit with its stylish neon visuals, pulsing techno soundtrack, and frantic twin-stick shooting. You take on the role of the virus-eliminating Devastator program as it moves from wave to wave and level to level, blasting all manner of nasty buggers as they close in from every direction. Gameplay is fast and fluid with Robotron-style enemy destruction, wide-range explosions, and particles flying everywhere.

The game is coming to PC and unspecified consoles sometime later this year.

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