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Detached Skulls Make Excellent Exploration Tools in ‘Bone Voyage’

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 03:00

A ship to the afterlife is not without its mysteries and puzzles, but it’s nothing an adventurous skeleton can’t figure out by setting their bones free in Bone Voyage.

You’ve been fished from the sea by the crew of a ship headed to the world beyond. Thing is, getting there is going to take some time, so you may as well get to know the rest of your bony cabin-mates. A crew of charming dead will be sharing this vessel with you, and it will make for a much quicker journey if you wile away your hours chatting with these fleshless friends.

Not that the people are the only thing of interest on this ship. There’s many puzzles and mysteries on-board, so you can also put your time to use figuring them out as well. Although, if you were alive, these puzzles might be a bit much for you. As a skeleton with detachable bones, though, you can set your limbs free to use their unique abilities to figure things out. Let’s just say that a skull can get places a large, bulky body can’t. Plus, you’ve still got a pretty mean headbutt, all things considered. And wait until you see what your other limbs can do on their own.

Bone Voyage is set to release in chapters, with the first being available now and the second currently slated for release in July. So, if you like crafty adventures and skeletons wearing clothes, there’s a lot to look forward to over the coming months.



Bone Voyage is available now on Steam Early Access.

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Publisher Profile: Raw Fury

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 15:00

Johan Toresson of Raw Fury spoke with us for this week’s Publisher Profile, talking about the publisher’s search for developers with unique visions and bold ideas, and what they intend to do to help them succeed.

Who are you?

Johan Toresson, Raw Fury: Johan Toresson, Chief Say That Again Officer. I keep watch over what comes in and make sure that we sign games that make us mouth “DOPE” silently into the air when we play. Or stuff that makes me cry and question my reality. Anything that makes us really feel what the game is going for.

Can you tell us a bit about your company?

Raw Fury is a boutique publisher, which basically means that we’re like the people who would find cool unknown bands and bring them to whatever small town you were living in. It all started out with Jónas, Gordon, and David back in 2015, and now we’re a bunch of happy weirdos trying to help developers make the games they want to make and ideally make enough out of it to keep on making games.

What work do you do to help developers reach an audience? How do you make developers’ lives a little easier?

We have a bunch of amazing people in-house that can handle the whole shebang, from social media to writing copy that will make Mona Lisa look wryly uninspired. Sometimes we work with partners to run campaigns, sometimes we run them ourselves but, regardless, it is all based on the soul of the game. Figuring out what the developer wants the game to be and figuring out how to talk about it is a collaborative effort.

As for making the lives of developers easier, we basically try to take away all the things that are not directly related to making the game itself so that devs can focus solely on making their projects be the best that they can be. That can be anything from QA to porting to helping figure out the production schedule of said game, etc etc. It’s all based on what the developer wants.

What is it that you’re on the lookout for (genres, content, etc.)?

We don’t have a portfolio strategy. We have a feelings strategy. Any game that can blow our minds is welcome. That being said, I can tell you what we are not looking for. Generic things, asset flips, and stuff that isn’t out to be meaningful in some way, shape, or form. A niche publisher for niche devs making niche games for niche audiences. Did I mention we want powerful experiences that, through meaning and emotion, make us feel things?

What do you look for in the games you choose to publish? In the developers you want to work with?

Integrity, boldness, and a willingness to build the specific game that only these developers can build. Nothing more, nothing less.

Is there anything developers do to make themselves more appealing to publishers? Anything they do that makes them less appealing to publishers?

Don’t try to make someone else’s game – build yours. That doesn’t mean you must invent the wheel, but you must make the thing that is inside of you. If that’s a Dungeon Keeper-inspired game about romance in the early 90’s Norwegian Black Metal Scene, then that’s great (call me).

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‘Smile For Me’ is an Adventure in Getting Your Grin Back

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 09:00

Life got you down? Why don’t you check into The Habitat, a place where those who are frowny can start smiling again? Sure nothing sinister will happen there among the kindhearted oddballs.

Smile For Me has you spending some time at The Habitat as you strive for that happy smile again. What will make you happy, though? Who knows, but maybe you’ll enjoy getting to know the other folks who are spending time here. They’re a friendly lot, even if they all seem to have really strange problems that they could use some help solving. Maybe helping others would have you grinning again, though.

You might have some trouble cheering up as you’re not exactly as talkative as the other people here. You can only nod or shake your head to communicate, for the most part, so you’ll have to make your intentions known with those gestures. As you do favors for the people you’ll gain new ways to communicate like kissing, touching, and punching things and folks. It’s up to you whether the situation merits it. Just make sure you don’t upset the other guests, as you’re all supposed to be getting happier here.

A place so dedicated to happiness. Surely there’s no dark side to this. And you certainly won’t find out about that dark side by digging around The Habitat and using your unlocked abilities to find secret paths and information. No sir. It’s all charming folks and finding the meaning of friendship, here.



Smile For Me is available now on Itch.io and Steam.

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‘Jamsterdam’ Has You Surviving Through Busking

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 03:00

Being able to make a living doing what you love is easier said than done. In Jamsterdam, you are attempting to make enough for your bills by busking in the streets.

You and your friends live on a busy road in a very nice town. Looking to stay alive while doing what you love, you all meet up by the road to perform in hopes for enough tips to pay your bills. You are the singer of the band. As you have no instrument to play, it’s also your job to collect rogue coins.

You see, various individuals passing by on the boat behind you, walking in front of you, or riding their bike will toss coins at you. These coins rarely make it into the hat you use for tips. So, you’ll need to stop singing when people aren’t around to then collect the tips and make sure they are safely stored.

When your bills appear at the top of the screen, they will only take money out of your hat. Over time, you’ll watch documents appear about increased bills at the bottom of the screen, forcing your hat to drain at a much faster rate. The world will start to go gray if you are unable to pay your bills, so you’ll need to quickly collect fallen coins in time to get them paid. After a while, it’s just impossible to keep up, but you can try for as long as you’d like.

Jamsterdam is a very simple game done to a high standard, especially as it was made for the Ludum Dare 44. You can see how long you’d make it as a busker out on the streets.

Jamsterdam is available for free on Itch.io.

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Puzzle Platformer ‘Plasticity’ Strives for a Better, Less-Polluted Future

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 15:00

It’s hard to face the truth sometimes, but Plasticity urges players to overcome it. Play as a curious girl, striving for a better, and livable, future.

Plasticity targets the overwhelmingly large issue of pollution. By putting a puzzle-platformer lens on the issue, it allows its message to reach a unique audience. What’s a story without a moral, after all?

Players will take control of a girl named Noa who is leaving home. She’ll encounter both beauty and destruction along her journey, as well as decisions that need to be made. These decisions may lead the way to a brighter future or a bleaker one. Try to do good on your journey in this world where happiness and health have fallen to the wayside.

If you’ve ever wondered what the future may look like, you should try Plasticity. Without change, it could very well be accurate.



Plasticity is available for free on Steam.

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Be the Wind Beneath Someone’s Wings in ‘Wisper’

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 09:00

Fans of atmospheric type games like Flower or Journey may find Wisper to be a breath of fresh air. Set in a colorful island, you will be the gentle breeze that lifts up inhabitants.

You’ll help them with overcoming challenges, no matter how large. Well, so long as those challenges need wind in some way.

You are the wind – a swirling gale or a cooling air, depending on what the situation calls for. Your objective is to help these islanders with their lives.  You may need to dust off an old relic or provide a forceful gust to push a lonely child on a swing. Your reward are shards of a cursed storm, broken into pieces to save the island from certain doom. Collecting all the shards will help ensure the safety of the beautiful island.

With a lovely land to explore and adorable shell-people to help, who could want more?

Wisper is available for free on Itch.io.

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‘Dr. Ectomy’ Makes Puzzles of Moving Organs Around

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 03:00

Sometimes, putting organs back into your body can be a messy job. In Dr. Ectomy, it’s more of a tricky, puzzling job than anything else.

Much like a giant puzzle, bodies seem to be gird based, with a specific amount of squares that can be filled with organs! At first, you’re given organs on one side of the screen to put into the body, but as the game progresses, Dr. Ectomy becomes much more challenging.

Your torso crevice has two layers, meaning you can stack organs on top of other organs, but you’ll need to be sure not to hit organs on the top level when trying to place them into the bottom level. Organs need to be fitting into the body so that the patient can go home, after all. You can rotate these organs and move them around, however, bones cannot be moved.

Once you get good at your job, you’ll start to receive organs with a shelf life of X amount of moves. Any organ out of the body while you make a move will lose 1 life point – and when it hits zero, you’ve lost the game. Puzzles become challenging as patients want their organs switched to the bottom layer for more protection, or adding livers in because they don’t have enough.

These people sure have strange requests, but you’re paid to fulfill them, not to judge. See if you’re able to operate on these bodies!

Dr. Ectomy is playable for free on its Ludum Dare page.

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RPG ‘Phantasmata’ Manages Mental Health While Battling Evil Politicians

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 15:00

A cruel mayor seeks to bring nightmares to life, and you’ll be taking them down while managing the daily struggles of your mental health in Phantasmata.

Alice and Drill are just skipping class. Doing some urban exploration. What the rebellious youth weren’t expecting to find was the Mayor’s new toy: a machine built to bring nightmares into the real world. This results in Alice becoming an enemy of the state and her pal Drills gets kidnapped. With the adults all being compliant (intentionally or not) in what’s going on, Alice will have to handle this huge problem herself.

Well, maybe not all by herself. There are twenty possible allies Alice can bring along with her, each with their own unique quest that will help you get to know them and their needs. If you take care of your pals, you’ll find yourself backed up by a crew of teens that have classes like Space Wrestler, Witch, Wereraven, Succubus, and Spaceship. If you don’t want a pal who can be a Spaceship backing you up in a fight, then we may need to have words.

Alice and her gang all have mental health afflictions that they’ll need to take care of throughout the game (which the developer means to implement as ‘Psyche Management’). Meditation, prescription drugs, and cannabis will be available to help manage each character’s mental health, with positive effects helping them live and fight throughout the game. Should you neglect their health, you will start to see damaging effects kick in.

Through this, the developer hopes to show the human side of mental health, and how caring for it is a normal part of everyday life, removing the stigma that can often be around it. “As a person with bipolar and PTSD I would like to give neurotypical players an idea of what it is like to have to maintain one’s mental health for survival while simultaneously showing the player that this is a normal and manageable part of life rather than portraying us as afflicted or broken.”

Which is a pretty lovely message to add to this colorful, surreal adventure in sticking it to some corrupt politicians.



Phantasmata is available now on Steam Early Access.

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‘Gacha’ Collects Cute Little Toys

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 09:00

Sometimes, I’d rather play with a toy than a game. Digital toys and games are quite similar, but Gacha, a game made for Ludum Dare 44, falls more into the toy category for me. And that’s not a complaint.

Gacha shows you one of those coin machines – you put in your money and out comes some random toys. There are three different areas of the machine – sides for $1, $2, and $3. Putting in coins equal to one of those amounts and turning the handle produces a small capsule with a toy inside. You can then open the capsule, click the toy, and get a short description. The toys pile on the side and are added to a sheet to show which ones you’ve collected.

You’ll run out of money fast, so you’ll need to wait a few years (which is done by hitting a button) before receiving more coins to collect more toys with. There is something so lovely about cranking the handle of this cute machine and gaining a toy with its own story. Collecting them all is the goal, but for me, this was a slow and joyous experience that I spent my time with, lining up stuff I thought fit together and seeing new items constantly.

Gacha is just fun to play around with, especially if you’re looking for something to bring you joy.

Gacha is playable for free on Itch.io.

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‘The Migratory Trail’ Helps Geese on Their Journey South

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 03:00

Oregon Trail has inspired many developers to create similar titles that show the cruelty of survival. The Migratory Trail is no stranger to these harsh realities and shows them off with a case of traveling geese.

These goofy geese need your help getting south this winter. You’ll be given a map with certain paths you can take. Each point can be searched for food, since you don’t want your geese friends to be going hungry. Each point comes with its own dangers, though. Is it worth it to find a few breadcrumbs at risk of becoming Duck Hunted?

Even though the journey will be dangerous, it will definitely be hilarious. Look at the picture of our divine avian fellow below if you doubt me. It will be a feat to get South intact, but remember that they are counting on you. Only you can guide these feathered fowl to the bountiful south.

The Migratory Trail is available now on Itch.io.

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Trailer Tuesday – Infected Divination Tools for Sale

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 15:00

Trailer Tuesday has us taking on the role of an AI, constructing strange machines, escaping chilling mansions, and driving folks around in our limousines.

 

Critters for Sale



“Experience death from the comfort of your seat.”

Critters for Sale is currently in development, but you can grab its first episode from Itch.io or add it to your Steam Wishlist.

 

Observation



Observation is a sci-fi thriller uncovering what happened to Dr. Emma Fisher, and the crew of her mission, through the lens of the station’s artificial intelligence S.A.M.”

Observation is available now on the Epic Store and PS4.

 

Tools Up!



Tools Up! is a couch co-op game about renovating apartments in a mysterious skyscraper. Work together against the racing clock: paint walls, move furniture, lay tiles and unlock the secrets of the building!”

Tools Up! is currently in development, but in the meantime, you can add it to your Steam Wishlist.

 

DIVINATION



“A short game where you act as a fortune teller in a futuristic  world. Talk and listen to people’s stories, then foresee their future using the runes they had drawn. The result of your divination will stir the fate of human and robot alike.”

DIVINATION is available now on Itch.io.

 

Infected Shelter



Infected Shelter is a randomly generated rogue-lite post-apocalyptic action RPG shooter / dungeon brawler.”

Infected Shelter is available now on Steam Early Access.

 

AVARIAvs



“In AVARIAvs, players select a party of 3 heroes to battle against an opponent’s party. During battle, opposing players choose their actions simultaneously and then witness the mayhem of their decisions. Combat rages on until one winner reigns victorious by decimating their opponent’s HP to zero.”

AVARIAvs is available now on Steam.

 

The Shattering



The Shattering places you in the mind of John Evans, where you struggle to piece together the fragments of your past and present. Not remembering is one thing, but what happens when your mind leads you down the twisting path of fake memories in order to shelter you from the truth?”

The Shattering is currently in development, but in the meantime, you can follow its creation on the game’s site or add it to your Steam Wishlist.

 

Mechanic Miner



“Put your mechanical skills to the test in a physics-based sandbox where ingenuity and creativity are the ultimate key to survival. Construct fantastical machines, gather resources, acquire new technologies to protect yourself from enemies and use your imagination to shape your own world.”

Mechanic Miner is available now on Steam Early Access.

 

IMMURE



IMMURE is a story driven, psychological horror game. Will, the protagonist, has found himself trapped inside a foreboding Mansion with no exit. To escape, he must travel through strange doors which lead into other dimensions, filled with tormented souls.”

IMMURE: Part One is available now on Steam.

 

Roundabout



Roundabout is a ’70s B-Movie game where you drive a constantly revolving limousine! Pick up passengers, find secret collectibles, take on dangerous missions, and fall in love in an open world puzzle adventure.”

Roundabout is available now on Steam, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, and the developer’s site.

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