From what I've heard, DeadCore is an excellent parkour-inspired speedrunning FPS platformer that flew under the radar last year. It's good or great by all accounts, and better yet, it's 50% off on GamersGate for those who like their PC games cheap as well as quality.
If you're looking for some great platforming on the move (and didn't buy Rayman Origins/Legends on Vita for some reason), Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is an excellent makeover of the legendary game complete with stereoscopic visuals and lots of bananas. You can choose how tough you want it to be, too, either newly rebalanced or authentically brutal. £19.99 is the cheapest around by a country mile.
Abyss Odyssey is a crazy and gorgeous sidescrolling platforming brawler from ACE Team, one of the most bonkers studios on the planet. Better yet, it's also 50% off on Bundle Stars, which is cheap and blows the socks off its recent game deals on Xbox Live and PS4 recently.
Reviews are all over the place for Abyss Odyssey, but I'd personally recommend it for a great combat system, compelling character progression and procedurally generated levels that make for unique runs each time. It's totally insane, and that's fine by me.
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Curve Studios
Stealth Inc 2 is adorable. Playing as a cute cuddly clone, we'll scamper around a toy factory and frolic with a host of lovably rounded robots, all while trying to save our friends and equipping some silly outfits. On Wii U, no less. Aww. Ain't it precious?
No. Don't be fooled, because under Stealth Inc 2's winsome premise beats the sadistic ruthless heart of a Bastard.
A Stealth Bastard to be precise. Curve Studios' flagship franchise may have been renamed to appease the console censors, but the sequel is no less brutal, murderous and punishing than its predecessors. Thrown into nightmarish challenge rooms stuffed with lasers, security bots, cameras, crushers, saws and intricately designed traps, we'll die and die and die in an attempt to overcome the odds, using both fast fingers, on-the-fly brainpower and bona fide stealth skills to eventually triumph.
Half brutal execution challenge a la Super Meat Boy and half devious puzzle platformer, Stealth Inc stands out from the crowd by being a genuine stealth game too, underpinned by light, shadow, evasion, sound and grappling mechanics that quickly become second nature.
Having spent years helping other developers get onto consoles, the indie angels at Curve are back for another round, and it's bigger and tougher than ever.Click here to read more...
Epic Mickey 2 failed to set the gaming world on fire, but its colourful stylings and co-op focus make for a decent stocking family filler (so long as you've played all the LEGO games, that is!). £5.95 is a very good price for it nevertheless. Thanks to Ninbox4 @ HUKD!
As the name suggests, Castle Of Illusion HD is an attractive and fairly faithful adaptation of the legendary platformer. I say "fairly" because it introduces some 3D sections -- heresy! -- yet they work well and the package reminds us why we fell in love with gaming back in the day without cracking the rose-tinted specs. GetGames' cheap £2.49 price is the de-facto "deal" level, but still worth a go.
Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!
Developer: Brightside Games
Labour of love or dastardly cash-grab?
That's the question surrounding Team Indie, a new platformer from Brightside Games (who previously brought us the solid if underwhelming Zeit² back in the day). The enterprising studio managed to convince fellow indie developers to lend out their characters, meaning that what would have been a decidedly generic platformer now boasts one of the most incredible playable videogame casts since Super Smash Bros. CommanderVideo, Tim from Braid, Dustforce's Dustgirl, Awesomenauts' Clunk, the Super Crate Box Guy and more share the billing and bring their signature mechanics to the table.
It's a tempting prospect for indie gaming aficionados, but also sounds too good to be true, if not a barefaced attempt to separate fans from their money. So I'm delighted to report that there's a decent little puzzle-platormer in here, even if it doesn't come close to making the most of its source material.
Click here to read more...
Call me crazy, but I don't think I'm in Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2's target audience.
As far as I can tell, it's aimed at fans of an animated television show that turned Pac-Man into a totally radical 90s mascot even though it's now 2014. Whoops. Our spherical yellow pal now has arms and legs, lives in a town called Pacopolis, fights the evil Betrayus and hangs out with a disposable cast with names like Spiral and Cylindria. He's basically Sonic, then. You'd therefore expect a tie-in to be a fairly simple 3D platformer with a basic hub town and some rail shooting segments, but in an incredible twist that's exactly what Pac-Man & The Ghostly Adventures 2 is.
However, never let it be said that I won't give a game a fair shake. It's not going to set the gaming world on fire and we've seen the same licensed template hundreds of times -- Scott Pilgrim this ain't -- but it does at least make eating things really, really satisfying.
Click here to read more...
If you're looking for a brand new challenge with a high skill ceiling, Cloudbuilt might be one of the smartest buys this year. It's a superb speedrunning platformer with glorious cel shading and serious speed courtesy of being strapped to a massive rocket mech suit, but this insane velocity takes some serious getting used to. It's all there in the review -- and Gamefly will save you a few quid.
Risk Of Rain really is a superb little game, offering frenzied old-school run & gun platforming with compelling Rogue-ish progression. Deployed onto a hostile planet as one of a bevy of unique classes, you'll race to blast through hordes of foes in procedurally-generated levels as the difficulty inexorably mounts up over time, constantly weighing up grinding with the need to keep pushing forward. Loads of unlockables and sensational replayability make it an absolute steal, as we explain in our Editor's Choice review.
Super Mario 3D World is definitely the 'go to' Mario game on Wii U, but platforming fans should definitely check out New Super Mario Bros U if they have a gap in their schedule. And have played Rayman Legends to death. This launch title isn't designed to be a tech demo, rather it's a familiar yet tightly-designed experience with a few cheeky surprises along the way, not to mention a whole mess of levels. ShopTo's £18.81 price tag is seriously cheap, so be sure to use the FBFAN5 voucher code. Thanks once again to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed) | PC
Developer: Mimimi Productions
Publisher: Loot Entertainment
It’s a little sad that I begin most of my platformer reviews by stating what a shame it is that the genre has all but disappeared from modern console line-ups, with only Ratchet & Clank doing their best to keep it alive. But with Insomniac aligning their studio closer to Xbox nowadays, it may be a while before the duo return. Let’s not talk about Knack either.
So, when browsing this week’s releases I was pleasantly surprised to see a new IP amongst the PSN releases and a quick trailer search later revealed it to be a new platformer. One download later and I’m in the world of The Last Tinker: City of Colors.
But, where’s the jump button? I just hold R2 to run and I’ll just ‘platform’ automatically? What!? So much for rekindling the platformer genre. To be fair, I should have known this game was aimed at a very young audience thanks to the mega-bright hyper-coloured visuals. We’ve nothing against games aimed at the younger kids though here at Dealspwn, as anything that eases new gamers in should be applauded, which is certainly the best way to look at this action-sort-of-platformer.Click here to read more...
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...