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

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.