Pixel Scribe Hype Train 2016
With PAX East behind us, there has been a lot of light shone on a lot of upcoming new titles. I usually try to stay away from list posts because I always feel like I’m phoning it in when I do but I’ve been off of here for a while and am excited enough about some of these to get the motivation to regularly post on here again. So I apologize for the inconvenience and the lack of content. Life gets in the way and I’ve already talked a lot about stagnation on here, but you gotta keep moving along as much or as little as you can. Anyways, it’s nice to be back. Here’s some upcoming titles to keep your eye on in the foreseeable future.
A point and click adventure game kickstarted by Bit Byterz in a magical reality setting that promises to be quite the visual and metaphysical experience. Directly inspired by the works of acclaimed Japanese fiction author Haruki Murakami, Memoranda follows the strange journey of a girl seeking to recover her name. Along the way, she finds out that many others are dealing with lost things (and concepts) as she explore the weird, half blurred line between may be real and what may not. The game seems like it will be vastly narrative driven, however there has not been too much revealed about the practical gameplay or the story itself. According to the kickstarter page they are close to release and should be putting the game up on Steam for pre-order soon. If you are a fan of Murakami’s eclectic style or if you’re simply looking for an interesting and somewhat whimsical story, then Memoranda may be one you’d want to keep on your radar.
Cyberpunk is over, right? It’s gotta be. Since Blade Runner there have been quite literally thousands of different takes on the style in countless different iterations. RUINER, by Reikon Games, seems to be looking to prove that convention wrong by taking the same sleek, die-and-retry combat from the Hotline Miami series and dropping it into their own rusted future world. And this combination of things looks like its gonna be choice. Part of what makes the setting interesting is the inspiration that Reikon appears to be drawing from the current Virtual Reality technology that already exists. Played from a top-down perspective, RUINER is an isometric hack/slash/shooter that looks to deliver fast paced, flashy gameplay with a wicked difficulty curve and a technoir aesthetic. Guided by a mysterious hacker, players will finds themselves tracking down their brother’s kidnapper and seeking the truth behind it all. The art style looks to remain colorful while keeping the dark feel of the setting and a pulsing, futuristic soundtrack ties the atmosphere together. Those who love the cyberpunk style, and are a bit of a glutton for punishment, should keep a lookout for when RUINER releases this year.
This game just looks straight up joyous. In this rogue-lite from Tribute games, you’re Captain Flinthook; a space pirate with a hookshot and a laser gun. Pixel art, slick-looking gameplay, and an unbeatably charming concept come together in what looks like one of the year’s breakout hits. Navigating through bullet-hell levels with a versatile grapple-gun seems easy-to-learn, hard to master, and fun all around. I got tinges of Rogue Legacy when watching the gameplay, and as a result found my hands shaking and eyes twitching with residual trauma that game caused me, but I can’t say I don’t love a challenge.
So, I cheated here, this game has actually been out for some time now. I played during the beta and just now have come back to it but that just means you can take my word for it when I say that this one’s gonna be making waves for some time. Duelyst is a digital CCG which distinguishes itself from the established juggernaut of Hearthstone in it’s tactical battlefield. So, while you draw cards, summon creatures, and play spells just like your run-of-the-mill card game, but also have to manage where those units are and what they’re doing on a battlefield grid. This adds a fresh twist and also adds a good amount of outplay potential based on something other than card choice. Plus the animation features some of the most well-designed an gorgeously animated sprites that I’ve ever seen. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s free. Go play it.
Supergiant games looks to try and bottle lightning again with their third game, and by golly, I’m pretty confident that they’re gonna do it with the absolutely gorgeously animated Pyre. As the master world builders they have proven themselves to be with Bastion and Transistor, Supergiant has gone with more of a straight fantasy approach for Pyre, but have strayed away from their action-rpg roots. Even more interesting is the movement the studio has taken away from combat in general. Pyre‘s gameplay looks like it can be separated into two different categories. First off is a management portion where the player decides where to travel, characters to talk to, abilities to invest in, and upgrades to level up. Second is a no holds barred game of WIZARD BASKETBALL. Controlling all three of their unique team members, one at a time, the player must outmaneuver a group of opponents and bring a spark (ball) to the opposing team’s pyre (goal.) This is, of course, a gross oversimplification and the nuances of the game look to be exciting, interesting, and engaging all around but I haven’t been looking too deep into how things work so that I can figure it out for myself when I definitely buy this game. Check out the first 20 minutes of gameplay to see for yourself!