Developer: Extend Studio
Publisher: Origo Games
Wouldn't it be useful to have seven clones at your beck and call? That way you could attend four different day jobs and still have doppelgängers left over for a full house of Mario Kart multiplayer. Decades of science fiction tells us that nothing can possibly go wrong with that plan. No sir.
Anyway, as a certain maniacal Agent once famously said: "the best thing about being me... there are so many MEs." In this case I'm a small green blob called Filo, tasked with saving a cheerful cartoon world in puzzly platform style. Foes need stomping, switches need pressing, bottomless pits need jumping and collectibles demand snaffling; a daunting task for a tiny gelatinous globule.
Or at least it would be if a run-in with a mysterious cosmic entity hadn't granted Filo the ability to control a small army of clones and transform them into useful platforms. And dinosaurs. And rocket-launching hovertanks.Click here to read more...
Platform: PC (£6.99, Steam Early Access)
Henk used to be the fastest toy in the toybox, at least before the rigours of age and an astonishingly vast pie supply turned him into a flabby plastic shadow of his former self. The nineties now a distant memory, along with his toy line, our corpulent hero sets out to prove that he's still got what it takes in 2014 by sprinting and sliding through a collection of twisted tracks at breakneck speed.
Such is the premise of Action Henk, a new Early Access title from Dutch developer RageSquid, which throws players headlong into an increasingly ridiculous gauntlet of loops, jumps, platforms and hazards. Boosting over a chasm one moment and sliding on Henk's ample behind the next, you'll need nerves of steel and a sense of humour to shave a few precious seconds off your friend's best time.
In effect it's a lot like Trials, a little like classic Sonic and a whole load of speedrun fun. To the extent that I found it physically difficult to prise myself away from its stand at the Develop Conference despite a pending appointment and Project Morpheus demanding my attention on the other side of the room. Sometimes you just know that an early access project is on the right track, and Action Henk is definitely one of them.Click here to read more...
Platform: PC (£8.99)
"I love the idea behind Concursion" is a nasty little backhanded compliment, but it must be paid. This astoundingly ambitious indie project is built around a sensational premise: exploring five different classic genres that continually bleed into and feed off one another as the barriers between them collapse. One moment you'll be jumping on nasties and leaping over pitfalls, the next you'll be piloting a spaceship or racing through a Pac-Man maze, experiencing completely different mechanics and combining multiple gameplay styles in increasingly imaginative ways.
It's the sort of radical Big Idea™ that can turn a modest little boutique title into a cult classic, and make an indie experiment more than the sum of its individual parts.
This will be paramount for Concursion, unfortunately, because its individual parts don't hold up under scrutiny. What can charitably be described as a deliciously inventive genre hybrid could equally be labelled as five rubbish games bound together in a uniquely fascinating way.
Click here to read more...
Woooo-ooooo! DuckTales: Remastered is an impressively faithful revamp of the original platformer, complete with all of its enjoyable pogo-stomping gameplay and annoying flaws that stand out in the 21st century. However, at £11.99, it was simply too expensive when compared to any number of superior download games.
£3.18 seems more than fair for nostalgia hounds, courtesy of Green Man Gaming's QUK706-XWFKI6-8UK3NL voucher code. Thanks once again to dealfinder general jaystan @ HUKD!
Rogue Legacy | The Humble Store | £2.99 (save £9!)
Rogue Legacy wears its inspirations with pride -- you know, the 'Rogue' bit -- but actually presents one of the most intruiging twists on the familiar formula we've seen in some time. I.e. it's not a Roguelike. Ghosts 'n' Goblins-esque platforming goes hand-in-hand with a genealogy system that lets you create a lineage, not just a character.
You can also save £9 by picking it up on the Humble Store, which is a smart little bargain. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD, who tirelessly rounded up these deals yesterday!
Developer: Capy Games
There's nothing more satisfying than watching a Super Time Force replay. A massive army of crazy heroes rampages across the level, annihilating legions of evil robots, dying by the dozen yet eventually destroying the boss in sixty seamless seconds of glorious pixelated ultraviolence. From futuristic cops and angelic cherubs to dinosaurs and Atlantean fishmen, nothing can stand in the way of your chronological cohort as they fill the screen with ruinous firepower.
However, only you know what really happened in that mad minute. Every one of those heroes was you; constantly dying, rewinding, multiplying, changing the future and iterating on a timeline fit to burst with paradoxes. An Army Of YOU.
Yes, Super Time Force is built around a time-shifting mechanic that makes Braid seem simple... but it plays like Metal Slug on adrenaline and looks like a violently explosive collision between a SNES and a Saturday morning cartoon.
So it's ruddy marvellous, then.Click here to read more...
Trials is as punishing and perfect as ever. It's a game of ludicrous excess and controlled restraint, as you scream over a ludicrous gravity-defying jump one moment and deftly feather the throttle to make it across a nasty gauntlet of overhangs the next. The interplay between speed, power, weight, balance, gravity and physics is one again spot-on, challenging us to excel through skill and perseverance, all while desperately attempting to shave miliseconds off our par time, beat our ghost and humiliate our friends.
Trials Fusion should be everything we want from a Trials sequel, then, but some new features and window dressing deserve a closer look.
We're in the future now, and Trials Fusion won't let you forget it. From the first second you boot it up, an annoyingly brain-worming theme song proudly proclaims "welcome to the future! Man! Machine! The futuuuuuuuuure!" while displaying a shiny armour-clad rider atop a slick skyscraper. It'd be a great excuse to introduce some futuristic new technology, but no, it basically boils down to a somewhat forgettable storyline involving two AIs (which features a few fun one-liners that you'll hear repeated ad nauseam each time you restart a checkpoint) and a vibrant colourful new aesthetic to punch up the tracks. We've come a long way since Trials HD's uninspiring collection of brown crates and grey pipes.Click here to read more...
BROFORCE is utterly outrageous in all the best ways. This rambunctious sidescoller puts us into the boots of over a dozen legendary action heroes, homages to everything from Judge Dredd and Commando to Men In Back, Machete, Rambo, Robocop, Terminator, the A-Team and Die Hard for starters, then runs us through an orgy of huge guns, massive explosions and gore aplenty in a quest to bring peace to the world through gloriously over-the-top ultraviolence. It's outstanding - and it isn't even finished yet.
Having caught our eye ever since its reveal, we made a beeline for BROFORCE at EGX Rezzed... where it managed to turn two bro-fessional games writers into fist-bumping, whooping, hollering reprobates in only a few short minutes.
Now that it's available on Steam Early Access, it's high time we took a closer look Free Lives' patriotic blast'em up and explain why it's handily one of our most anticipated games of 2014.Click here to read more...
Here we go. I shouldn't have to tell you how brilliant Rayman Legends is (*cough*betterthanMario*cough*) , and though the last-gen version already ran at 1080p 60FPS, the next-gen port is still a treat... and nice and cheap at £17.99. Is this the sub-£20 level you've been waiting for?
Thanks to Rory Joe @ HUKD!
What a classic. I still have fond memories of Superfrog on my Amiga 600, and this excellent remake does a great job of sharpening things up, smoothing things out and basically making sure the rose-tinted specs stay intact. We've seen it slightly cheaper on Vita before, but Team 17 are currently selling Superfrog HD's PC version at £2.38, directly from their online store.
I do miss all the Lucozade. Perhaps they should have replaced it with Mountain Dew as a sign of the times?
Flushed with success from addictive Vita skateboarding game OlliOlli, Roll7 have revealed that their brand new title is a very different kettle of fish. Not A Hero blends cinematic cover-based shooting with two-dimensional platforming, casting players as a washed-up failed hero who performs increasingly bizwetworks to further his boss' political career.
His boss being a "giant purple rabbit from the future" called Bunny Lord. Because... why not.
Keen to learn more, we grabbed Roll7's John Ribbins for an interview at EGX Rezzed, during which we discussed Not A Hero's setting, gameplay, stern difficulty level and inspirations. With our site's official mascot -- Toby The Dealspwny -- overseeing the proceedings from his shoulder.
You can watch it all in the video above, or on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for our video preview at 17:00!
Rayman Legends is a fantastic platformer and one of the finest games of the last generation, absolutely Though the new-gen version doesn't have much to improve upon, seeing as it already looks amazing at 1080/60 on Xbox 360 and PS3, it's still well worth playing if you missed it the first time around. GAME are currently retailing at £19.99, saving you £4 vs the nearest contenders and undercutting the RRP by a tenner.
Platform: PC (£7.99)
Developer: Magiko Gaming
Publisher: Namco Bandai
It's here! It's finally here!
Excuse my excitement, but Platformines has been on our radar for years. Halfway between Spelunky, Contra and Borderlands -- Borderconky, perhaps? -- this retro-themed platformer has been in development for an eternity, promising us seed-generated mines full of traps to overcome and enemies to blow up with enormous guns. Looting, shooting and exploration beckoned to us way down in the depths, and I've been beside myself with anticipation. We covered Platformines extensively since 2011 until it fell off the radar, only to be reborn and finally playable on Steam. I feel giddy and silly like a kid at Christmas.
Ooh, actually, Contralunkerlands might sound better.
The problem with excitement, though, is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations... and Platformines has a lot to live up to. Maybe a little too much as it turns out.Click here to read more...
Platform: PC (£14.99)
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Cloudbuilt was always going to be great. How could it not be? Here we have a cel-shaded Sci-Fi platformer that straps you into a sleek mech suit, points you at sprawling versatile levels and then lights the blue touch paper under massive rocket boosters. Free to defy gravity and pull off insane jet-powered parkour against the clock, we're loosed into a speed running playground. It's effortlessly stylish, overcoming humble roots with achingly beautiful art direction, set within the unrestrained imagination of a mysterious military operative with time on her hands.
And it's fast. So impossibly fast, quick enough to literally take your breath away and put some windburn on your cheeks. First impressions are like being strapped to a Saturn V and holding on for dear life... but once you've learned how to steer it, you'll point yourself straight up at Cloudbuilt's distant skill ceiling and never look back.
After a lot of vicious and uncontrollable swearing, mind, because Cloudbuilt is made of seriously stern stuff.
Click here to read more...
Rayman Legends is utterly fantastic... and though the Kung Foot multiplayer minigame is worth the price of admission on home consoles, it feels right at home on Vita. Those vibrant visuals and tight controls are a perfect fit for Sony's handheld - and better yet, a copy will only set you back £12.85 thanks to SimplyGames.
Thanks to Jas10 @ HUKD!
Cloudbuilt, the gorgeous and blisteringly fast speed-running time attack platformer from Coilworks, has released today on Steam at a 10% discount - saving you £1.50. As I explain in our hands-on preview (and as mentioned in Steam's store listing), Cloudbuilt presents an intense, technical and satisfying challenge, especially if you're a perfectionist with feline reflexes and saintly patience. Expect fluid parkour, only with enough rocket-powered mech suit action to make Titanfall blush.
Our full review is coming soon, but for now, why not watch our Let's Play video above?
New Super Luigi U may look like pointless DLC at first glance, but it's actually a full rebuild of New Super Mario Bros. U designed to provide a very different (and much more challenging experience). Every level has been torn down and reassembled, putting the focus on crazy speedruns and last-ditch victories. It's not entirely successful, but if you like what you read in our review, you can get a physical copy for twenty quid from Amazon. Thanks to ElectroDragon8 @ HUKD!
Developer: Strange Loop Games
"Vessel is a truly superior puzzler and one of 2012's biggest indie hitters. More impressively, though, it's also destined to be one of the very best games of the year, period. Quality, quantity, innovation and competence abound, making for an essential PC purchase. Get involved and ensure that this surprise success story becomes a sleeper hit." - Vessel Review, 9/10, March 2012
They say that empty vessels make the most noise, and perhaps the reverse is also true. Despite being a true modern indie classic in this reviewer's opinion, Vessel never received the mainstream recognition lauded on many of its peers, instead quietly languishing on Steam and participating an the occasional bundle. The masterful liquid platform-puzzler failed to materialise on either PSN or XBLA, following two years of delays and an arduous porting effort from Overbyte, who had to lock horns with a bespoke engine and complex fluid modelling that even relatively beefy PCs found taxing back in 2012.
Mission accomplished. Vessel is now available on PS3 for a brand new audience, and we're going to give it some fanfare. Since we've already reviewed the game in detail and the PS3 port is 100% feature complete, we'll keep things snappy.
M. Arkwright really is a clever chap. This maverick inventor revolutionised industry by creating Fluros: devices that can animate any liquid into robotic automatons capable of fulfilling simple tasks. Now that the world has an inexhaustible supply of tireless labour, he's free to sit back and enjoy his success... at least until an uncharacteristically mischievous Fluro locks him out of his lab and kickstarts an epic adventure through the bowels of his own production plants. What follows is 12-15 hours of sublime puzzling, in which you'll utilise the differing properties of various types of fluid to overcome increasingly complex physics-based challenges. Wetter is better.Click here to read more...
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is true Kickstarter success story. What could have just been a lazy reboot of a notorious clone revealed itself as an utterly superb platformer, meticulously designed and gorgeously-realised, sporting an innovative reality shifting mechanic. It made me eat my words in our full review, and better yet, its DLC pack is included in Steam's £3.99 deal.
However, since Giana Sisters is no stranger to the occasional indie bundle, be sure to check your backlog. If you already own it then you can buy the DLC separately for 99p. Thanks to theg @ HUKD
After a year and a half of Microsoft exclusivity, indie darling Fez is finally set to make the jump onto Sony platforms in what the developers describe as "the best-looking and smoothest FEZ experience you can get on a TV set." Better yet, you'll only need to pay once to unlock Phil Fish's dimension-defying platformer on PS4, PS3 and Vita, with save files shared across all versions.Click here to read more...