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...
Developer: Double Helix Games
Strider is the best game that Double Helix have ever made.
The bar was admittedly scraping along the ground, since their mediocre past form includes the likes of Battleship, Front Mission Evolved and that shocking Green Lantern tie-in. But be in no doubt: their suitably challenging and respectful remake of Capcom's classic slice & dice platformer is very good indeed, and worthy to bear the name. As soon as master assassin Hiryu goofily cartwheels over a crowd of robotic rifleman, flips off a wall and carves his first foe into tiny pieces, its pedigree is unmistakeable.
When Strider is content to be a faithful reboot, it's really rather brilliant. Having arrived in the sprawling city of Kazakh to murder its evil 'Grandmaster' and bring peace to the world with ultraviolence, Hiryu is as spry and blisteringly fast as we remember, barrelling through the corridors in a blur of precisely-aimed steel and perfectly-timed wall jumps. Packing a climbing sickle that can scale any surface, robotic combat enhancements and even a teleporter, he's a force to be reckoned with, but the Grandmaster's robot army and mercenary henchmen will give him a retro-tough run for his money.Click here to read more...
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.
La-Mulana | Steam | £1.19 (RRP: £11.99)
If you thrive on tough challenges, you'll get a massive kick out of this superb platformer. Exploration, puzzles and bosses await you in the depths, reminding us a little of Spelunky and Demon's Souls. It's an outstanding achievement and a steal for £1.79, since you'll save well over a tenner.
Platform: Xbox One (£11.99)
Developer: Press Play
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood may look like a throwaway kids' platformer at first glance, but it plays like a colourful gameplay hybrid of Trine and Limbo.
After our improbably-coiffured hero banishes his annoying brother to an evil realm with a spell he found on the internet (one weird trick to cast your sibling into another plane of existence?), Max sets forth to save Felix from the evil Mustachio and save a bizarre world in the process. A Saturday morning setup to be sure, but the puzzle gameplay is surprisingly serious business.
Things start out simple, easing players into the extremely basic moveset. Max can waddle at a slow jog, jump over small obstacles and drag objects around, much like the Limbo lad, but is otherwise completely defenceless. A couple of nicely choreographed chase scenes set the tone nicely, before introducing Max to his magic marker, the only object he's thought to bring with him from the real world. As a sort-of-sequel to unappreciated WiiWare puzzler Max & The Magic Marker, Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood uses his Sharpie to twist reality in some excellent brainteasers.
Well, it is a magic marker, after all.
Click here to read more...
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. At £11.99, it was simply too expensive, but fans of the original should definitely consider picking it up at this price.
It was 1p cheaper in the holiday flash sale, if you're interested.
Platform: PC (RRP: £6.99)
Developer: Hopoo Games
Risk Of Rain is madly brilliant and brilliantly maddening.
It was always going to be. Blending the thumb-shredding twitchy action of an old-school run & gun platformers with compelling roguelike elements and MOBA-esque skills results in a seriously addictive proposition. Or in less flowery terms: it's the best of three worlds - and fit to kick your arse even as you beg for seconds.
Controlling one of a selection of Sci-Fi heroes, we'll hare around the surface of a hostile planet as foes rain down from the heavens, desperately attempting to blast our way to safety and fill out an enormous list of items and enemies. Now that the two-person student team has ironed out most of the annoying bugs that shipped at launch, it's high time we gave Risk Of Rain our full and thoroughly deserved attention.Click here to read more...
Free stuff alert! Blizzard has released a totally free version of Blackthorne, their ancient SNES platformer, which you can download and play via your Battle.net account. Specifically at the very bottom of the Game Client Downloads section.
It seems to be a no-nonsense, warts-and-all port job beyond a little optimisation - meaning that it's still a shotgun-toting, rock-hard laugh.
Platform: PS Vita
Developer: Media Molecule
Tearaway is everything we say we want from a videogame. It's a gorgeous, colourful and exuberant burst of creativity that cuts through the Christmas slew of grim shooters like a pair of oversized safety scissors; a papercraft adventure where anything is possible. A whimsical world that impossibly exists right there behind your Vita screen, which grabs you and pulls you into it by way of the camera and touchpad, letting you directly affect the action onscreen with your face and fingers. With Media Molecule at the helm, many Vita owners have been looking to the acclaimed studio to bring some much-needed joy to the system.
Yet I must admit that I had my reservations about Tearaway, despite my colleagues descending into fits of uncontrollable enthusiasm every time its very name was mentioned. In the trailers, I saw little more than a platformer that sometimes swapped buttons for waggles or prods, nothing worth getting particularly excited about.
Now that I've gotten hands-on... so very hands-on... with an extensive preview build, however, I can report that Tearaway is likely to be one of the most creative and downright enjoyable games of Christmas 2013. Regardless of platform.Click here to read more...
I'm currently exploring Tearaway, the much-anticipated PS Vita platformer from Media Molecule. Problem is, though, Sony provided us with one of the most generous preview builds I've tested in a long time, and getting a handle on it is taking an age.
Thankfully the Vita takes screenshots. To tide you over, here's a bizarre photo diary of my journey so far, presented by the inestimable Dealspwn McLogoface. Because he's got a Dealspwn logo on his... well, you know.
Click here to read more...
Thanks to Rhoobarb @ HUKD!
Rktcr | IndieGameStand | PWYW (minimum £0.16, RRP: £6.99)
Stands for "Rocket Car." This intruiging physics platformer is tough as nails, but packs plenty of unique mechanics and eyecatching art design. You'll need to spend a minimum of 16p for a download, or $1.00 for a Desura unlock code. As always, do remember that someone worked hard to make this before deciding how much to pay.
Bit.Trip Franchise Pack | Steam | £4.41 (RRP: £11)
Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend Of Rhythm Alien Review
You can alternatively buy Runner 2 on its own for £4.09. UPDATE: Credit to jaystan @ HUKD, who found this before I did!
Mega Man successor Mighty No. 9 has reached the end of its Kickstarter campaign, closing on a whopping $3,845,170 excluding direct pledges and PayPal. A last-minute 3DS and Vita stretch goal lead to the platformer securing an extra million Dollars in the last four days, an impressive achievement that will now see Mighty No. 9 release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and handhelds in Spring 2015.
Now we wait.
The PS4 has received two new launch titles today, in the form of Pinball Arcade and Putty Squad.Click here to read more...
In one final push to secure even more funding for Mega Man successor Mighty No. 9, Keiji Inafune has announced that they'll develop PS Vita and 3DS ports of the platformer should the Kickstarter total hit $3.5 million.
There's only four days left to secure the lion's share of a million Dollars, but could this expanded audience seal the deal? Either way, Mighty No. 9 has crushed its initial funding target and has entered full development pending an April 2015 release on PC, Xbox 360 and Wii U.
Mighty No. 9, Keiji Inafune's spiritual successor to Mega Man, is all kinds of Kickstarted and all kinds of happening. To celebrate, the team have released a half-hour developer documentary introducing the staff, their roles, gaming experience and vision for the project.
There's still four days to go if you want to get with the programme.Click here to read more...
The latest Sonic: Lost World trailer introduces The Deadly Six, nefarious boss monsters who'll harrass the hedgehog throughout the Wii U and 3DS exclusive. Since they've assumed control of Dr. Eggman's robotic army and pack unique fighting skills of their own, they'll definitely be a force to be reckoned with.Click here to read more...