22 Indie Games Are Launching On Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft pulled out all the stops during their E3 2019 Press Conference showcasing a total of 60 games.

Twenty-two of those games are indie titles, all of which will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.

A handful of the games really stood out to me. Which? Well, Blair Witch, Blazing Chrome, Riverbond, Star Renegades and AfterParty which I covered a while back here on Nitchigamer.

The full list can be found below:

ID@XBOX Games Shown at E3 2019

  • Dead Static Drive
  • Star Renegades
  • Afterparty
  • Way to the Woods
  • Creature in the Well
  • Killer Queen Black
  • Undermine
  • Pathologic 2
  • Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game
  • The Good Life
  • Blazing Chrome
  • Spiritfarer
  • TABS: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
  • Secret Neighbor
  • Supermarket Shriek
  • Blair Witch
  • Unto the End
  • Night Call
  • Riverbond
  • Felix the Reaper
  • Ikenfell
  • Totem Teller

It is important to note that both Riverbond and Supermarket Shriek are available on Game Pass right now! The other titles are set to release later this year.

As a Game Pass subscriber, I will add more than a few of these to my library. I hope you do too!

Next up, of course, is Nintendo’s E3 Direct. We’re hoping to see some rather unique games on show there.

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Into The Dead 2 Switch

Into The Dead 2 Is Bringing The Apocalypse To Nintendo Switch

Versus Evil has announced that it will publish Into The Dead 2 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Developed by PikPok, Into The Dead 2 started as a mobile-only title and this will mark the first time that the game will release on a video game console. The franchise has been downloaded over 100 million times on mobile phones.

Into The Dead 2 Nintendo Switch

Known for its exciting gameplay and visually stunning graphics, Into The Dead 2 puts you in the middle of an endless zombie apocalypse.

You must journey through to save your family. Unlock and upgrade various types of weapons to show those zombies who’s boss. The game comes complete with seven chapters, sixty stages and hundreds of challenges to complete. Multiple endings mean multiple ways to own zombies.

Into The Dead 2 has not received a release window at this time. For now, check out the original announcement trailer below:

Fork Parker’s Crunch Out For SNES Shows The Pressures Of Video Game Development

Devolver Digital, Mega Cat Studios and Take This Inc. have come together to release a brand new SNES title to raise awareness about time crunching in game development.

All of the proceeds from the game will assist Devolver Digital and Take This in combating mental health issues.

The game follows Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker as he does whatever it takes to hold onto his indie gaming market share. A new indie publisher comes forward, and Fork must motivate his team to meet deadlines by any means necessary.

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Features

Crunch Out looks to portray a fun story with an even deeper meaning. Check out the following details below:

  • Furious task management and questionable motivation tactics are your tools. Coffee, discipline, and shock treatment are all in play if your team slips off their production schedule.
  • Spend your profits from each game wisely – do you invest in a new espresso machine to keep your dev team happy, or buy some winged wingtips to help you zip around the office?
  • Deploy strategic power-ups, like unpaid interns working for exposure and mandatory overtime to stay on track and hit that release date.
  • Take executive action in exciting and intense mini-games to keep the office in order. When the internet drops out, or your beloved wife calls in, only Fork and his pet piggy bank, Pork Farker, can save the game and the bottom line!

Crunch Out 4.jpg

Fork Parkers Crunch Out is limited to just 1,000 copies and is available now from The Mega Cat Studios website.

It comes complete with a playable cartridge, a full-colour manual and classic SNES-style box. It retails for $49.99.

Hit The Slopes In Snowboarding The Next Phase

The developers at Session Games have teamed up with Red Bull to bring Snowboarding The Next Phase to the Nintendo Switch.

The game was created by developers that previously worked on SSX and Skate on past consoles. This marks the first snowboarding game to release for the hybrid console. And to top it all off, it’s available right now.

Across the game’s 11 locations, you beat missions while earning equipment and gear from your sponsors. The game is backed by Red Bull so expect product placement.

You complete tricks and push for high scores on your way to becoming the best snowboarder in the world. Game modes include arcade mode, career mode, split-screen multiplayer and photo challenge.

If you’re a fan of classic snowboarding titles like SSX and 1080° Snowboarding, you should consider Snowboarding The Next Phase.

Check out the trailer below and get ready to hit the slopes:

Nail The Perfect Line In Future Grind

Future Grind is a futuristic stunt bike platform game developed by Canadian developers Milkbag Games.

In this title, you ride a stunt bike that allows players to chain together massive combos from floating rails. The rails are colour-coded to match the colors of the bike wheels. Land the wrong color and the bike explodes at first contact.

Future Grind comes with a story mode that follows you as you perform for sponsors. As you progress you earn new bikes and access new tracks. The story takes a turn when you realize that things aren’t as they seem. Riders are being closely watched and it is up to you to find out why…

With multiple games modes and an original soundtrack, Future Grind looks to challenge even the best of gamers.

Future Grind releases for PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch on January 22nd. A 4-track Future Grind EP is also available for download at bignic.bandcamp.com

Become The Greatest Underwearrior In Brief Battles

Australian based developer Juicy Cupcake has announced their first major game release. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Brief Battles has come to life. The title will release for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2019.

In Brief Battles, you choose from six wobbly characters who battle with super-powered underwear. With names likes buns of steel and flaming hot pants, this game is going to create some laughs.

Juicy Cupcake has created 50 unique arenas for the game across 5 different regions. Each arena has its own unique interactive elements. Players can battle their friends in multiplayer mayhem.

Friends who can get along can team up and take on co-op play. Solo players can just go it solo. There is even something in there for the achievement hunters.

Check out the announcement trailer below and just remember that it is all about the undies!

Everspace: Stellar Edition Set To Launch On December 11th

The official Nintendo Switch release date for Everspace: Stellar Edtion has been set. The digital version of the game will release on December 11th 2018.

Rockfish games have also announced that a physical version of the game will release early next year. Both versions of the title will include the Encounters DLC, a soundtrack and an in-game art book. If you pre-order the game digitally, you save 20% off the full price.

Everspace is a single player space shooting adventure. The game is challenging, and part of its allure is that you need to die to succeed. Each death provides you with power-ups to upgrade your ship for the next playthrough. Can you uncover the story of your existence?

Check out the official Nintendo trailer for Everspace running on Unreal Engine 4 below:

Best Buy To Sell Physical Copies Of Select Limited Run Titles

Could be a turning point for indie games…

Best Buy will begin to carry select Limited Run Games in physical stores and online. According to a press release, Best Buy initially reached out to Limited Run to show interest in selling Yooka Laylee.

This led to the beginning of a partnership that not only includes Yooka Laylee but also Golf Story and a title yet to be announced. These copies will come from the same limited print count that LRG uses for each release.

All three titles are being released for the Nintendo Switch and will sport a variant cover different from those sold on the LRG website. It was announced that some stores may only see 1 or 2 copies. When they are sold, they will not be restocked.

Limited Run Best Buy 2

Depending on the success of this partnership, this could be a turning point for indie games. With the help of a mass retailer like Best Buy, this could bring indie games toward a larger audience. This is also a remedy for those who prefer to have a physical game in their hands. I often read about the dreaded error pages and timeout screens that LRG customers can sometimes endure.

I for one am intrigued to see how this all plays out. As long as developers can make a decent profit from a partnership like this, I think that more publishers will begin to follow suit. As a gamer who grew up in the brick and mortar days, I am more than happy to hop on this train.

Both Yooka Laylee and Golf Story are up for pre-order on the Best Buy website. You can check them out here.

What Type Of Gamer Are You?

You could be a console warrior.

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A study carried out by Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) sheds some light into how research companies classify gamers. Their 2018 Gamer Segmentation Survey gives interesting information on gaming trends and habits.

EEDAR was founded in 2006 and holds a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of video game facts and information. Today they are a part of NPD Group which is one of the largest research companies in the world.

What intrigued me most about this report is how they chose to classify gamers based on their behaviours. It is worth noting that this study is based on US gamers only and may not be representative of habits in other countries.

Gamers Were Split Into Six Categories:

Super Gamers (13% of gamers) – Gamers that are super invested and super engaged. This audience reflects the broadest and deepest gamers on the market.

Console Warriors (14% of gamers) – These gamers keep up with the latest gaming trends and enjoy action-packed multiplayer experiences.

Transitionals (11% of gamers) – These are the invested adult gamers whose stage of like means shifting from HD-centric gaming to more flexible mobile gaming.

Easy Accessors (17% of gamers) – Younger gamers whose choice of platform is constrained by access, leading them to play primarily on mobile.

Daily Dabbers (19% of gamers) – Older gamers who regularly set aside time to play familiar games on PC and/or mobile.

Incidental Players (26% of gamers) – Non-gamers who play mobile games because they are convenient and provide another way to use their device.

After reading over the report, it made me think about how we see ourselves as gamers in this more niche space. Are we “console warriors” or maybe we are transitioning into a “transitional”? One thing is for sure, games are more accessible than they have ever been.

You can download a free copy of the report here. There is useful information on current gaming trends. Where do you fit in?

Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Announces New Diablo III Console Bundle

Fully unlocked…

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There will be a new bundle to coincide with the launch of Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch.

Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch
Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

Revealed yesterday, The Diablo III Switch bundle will launch along with the Switch game on November 2nd 2018. This will follow in the footsteps of the previously announced bundles of Pokémon and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The bundle will include a Switch console, a download code for Diablo III: Eternal Collection, a themed Switch dock and a themed Switch case. The bundle will also be exclusive to Gamestop.

Diablo III: Eternal Collection was originally announced for Nintendo Switch back in August. It will include all previously released downloadable content along with exclusive The Legend of Zelda items.

If you were ever on the fence about playing Diablo III, this would be a great time to hop in: the game runs at 60 frames per second and supports multiple controller configurations. It also takes advantage of the Nintendo Online cloud saves feature, which is welcome considering the size of the journey you’ll have on the go.

Diablo III lives again on the Switch.

Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

Gamer Debate: Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

Is digital the way to go?

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I can honestly say that gamers are some of the most passionate people on the planet. We like what we like, and rarely do we fail to voice our opinions. With the rise of social media, our voices are louder than ever. Because of our strong opinions, we tend not to shy away from a good debate. Casual debates among gamers, however, can become very heated in nature. One of the biggest ongoing debates is the one over physical vs digital games.

Physical games have been around for decades, but a change is on the horizon. Digital gaming is here and it’s here to stay. I’ve noticed over the last few months, I’ve bought more games digitally than I ever have. Games like Fire Pro Wrestling World, Dead Cells and Oddworld: New N Tasty round out my recent digital downloads. I can’t deny how convenient it is to just buy a game from the comfort of my own couch. Kids are growing up in a world where they don’t need to go out and do anything. I literally had to beg my granny to take me to the video store every weekend as a kid.

Digital gaming has also led to the influx of awesome indie games over the past few years. Smaller companies are now able to push their own titles without the need of massive publishers. My stance on digital gaming is positive. I think it fills a lot of voids, but it may come at a cost. Let’s look at digital gaming and how I feel it affects the gaming landscape.

Physical Space

Physical space is an issue when collecting especially with retro gaming enthusiasts. Can you imagine trying to store a complete collection of Sega Genesis or Sega Saturn games for that matter? Going digital allows you to do away with that space to make room for other important things. (As if other things are more important.)

Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

Time Saver

Digital games save you time. You no longer need to drive out to a physical store for a game disc. It even beats having games shipped to you through the mail. Anyone can play their games right away on their favourite console. Sometimes you can even pre-load your games and play at the top of the hour. That’s a sweet deal.

Shipping and Handling

For game companies, it’s in their best interest to avoid shipping and packing costs. Companies can save costs on discs, cases, inserts, and the shipping for millions of copies at a time.

Blocks Resale Market

The resale market has long been an issue for video game companies. Places such as Gamestop allow gamers to buy and sell games while the game companies see none of those profits. Going digital can change that outlook while changing the entire resale landscape. Who knows, companies could create their own digital exchange program in the future.

Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

It’s Unlimited

With games being digital, who wants to worry about something being out of stock? Stock problems are non-existent in the digital world.

But…

You Buy it, you Own it Forever

As of right now, there is no way to sell back a digital game. For people who choose to buy this way, you own that game forever. You can’t transfer, share, or sell that game to anyone else. Often, it’s the trade value from old games that add to the sales of brand new games. Think wisely before making that $60 purchase online.

Internet is Needed

To install digital games, you need to have an internet connection. Not only do you need internet but, it needs to be fast enough to handle a large download. The Internet is a common luxury in 2018, but there is still a population out there without it. This population would be out of the equation.

Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

Servers

I cringed at Microsoft when they first announced the “always online” aspect for the Xbox One. They made things right although games are becoming increasingly dependent on their online connections. Games such as Fortnite, PUBG and even the upcoming Call of Duty Blackout need online connections to even start the game. What happens if a company decides to pull the plug on their game? Suddenly, our games are gone, and we have no control over it.

What Special Edition?

Out goes the special editions and in comes the Deluxe Digital Editions. Special Editions come with physical items that you can either display or keep for collecting purposes. Deluxe Digital Edition games come with extra digital goodies in the form of a code. This may be added bonuses such as skins, weapons, or in-game currency, etc. This could mean no more Fall Out Pip-Boy Editions.

Is Digital Gaming Best For Us?

Gaming is once again going through changes but, as gamers, we roll with the punches. Regarding physical vs digital, I stand firmly in the middle. I believe in preserving video game history with physical items. At the same time, I believe in decreasing the footprint of unnecessary games.

I imagine that 10 years from now this will probably be a non-issue among us. Let’s just hope that there is still a market for these old physical game cases for us old folks.

5 Reasons Why Video Game Collecting Has Lost Its Luster

5 Reasons Why Video Game Collecting Has Lost Its Luster

It isn’t uncommon for me to sit in my game room and complain about not having games to play – you hear it frequently on the web. The irony of that statement is that I have over 500 video games staring me in the face.

Despite having a huge library of games, I often find myself struggling to pique my own interest. This past weekend I sat back to reflect on my video game collection. Mixed with classic retro titles, indie releases and triple AAA smashes, I pretty much have it all.

So why am I losing interest in my game library? Here are five reasons why I feel that video game collecting has lost its lustre.

1. There are too many games

There are too many games being released and not enough time to digest them all. This was covered in another article here on Nitchigamer back in February.

The author (Stephen) felt the same as I do: that we are always playing catch up. As a collector, I have to have the physical game copies. That doesn’t mean that I don’t buy digital games but, 99% of my library is physical.

I look back at the games I purchased over the holiday season and most of them are still sealed. Many of them are a fraction of the cost I paid for them as well. As much as I try to keep up with the new releases, adult life kicks in. I just don’t have the time.

Mobile Gaming

2. Mobile Gaming

Mobile gaming has grown immensely over the last few years alone. Every company is looking to get in on the mobile craze. I also play games on my mobile device. You could even say that I sometimes spend as much time on mobile as I do on console.

It’s just so easy to sit on the couch and swipe at my screen. It’s pretty lazy when you think about it, but it brings me joy.

3. Indie Influx

In some of my earlier articles, I covered how indie titles were being brought over to consoles in physical form. Sites such as Limited Run Games and Strictly Limited to name a few. All releases are created in small print numbers which becomes a pit for collectors who feel like they may get something valuable.

It started as a release every few weeks and today it’s multiple releases on a weekly basis. I can’t blame the companies for running a business but, it makes me think about a time where things were more simple.

4. Collector’s Edition

Collector’s Edition games are just devilish. Let’s briefly look at an upcoming AAA – Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for example. There are 8 different versions of the game. Starting with the base game, each tier adds something additional. For any huge Assassin’s Creed fanatic, they would have to spend hundreds of dollars to collect each version.

I personally enjoy seeing what companies come up with next, but I can no longer justify spending the cash. Whatever happened to just a standard and a deluxe?

Lootboxes

5. Microtransactions

I must make a small confession before I begin. I spend $5 here and there on my mobile games for a little edge. However, I am reluctant to pay for additional goodies for console games. I grew up during a time where video games were released complete. I never had to pay for DLC or cosmetic items. You would beat the game and everything would just unlock.

Today kids can pay their way to the top of the rankings. It’s just a sign of times where things just get easier and easier – where’s the skill? My parents always told me that I had things easy and now I know what they meant.

Wrap-Up

In conclusion, I feel that I need to backtrack 20 years and go back to a time before the internet took over gaming. A time where kids hung out together in one room to enjoy games.

As my age grows I become wearier that everything I loved about gaming will just wash away. With that being said, I have decided to collect retro games only. I will still buy the triple AAA titles that really stand out to me, but with retro at least I know what’s out there. I may even take a leap forward and just buy many of them digitally.

It’s time to do what really makes me happy as opposed to playing what I feel everyone else is. It only took me 31 years to realize this.