Cadence of Hyrule on Switch

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt Of The NecroDancer Is Out Now

The Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda, yes, that’s the full title, is out now.

Developed by Brace Yourself Games, the indie roguelike combines the rhythm-based movement and fighting mechanics with gameplay elements of earlier titles in the Zelda series.

Members of the Sonic Mania art team developed the pixel art style:

The first Crypt of the NecroDancer was both brutal and addictive. The sequel will be aiming to provide that again with the boosted appeal of Zelda.

It’s available from the eShop for £22.49.

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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.

Roadwarden main title

Interactive Fiction Roadwarden Is A Dark, Humble Adventure

Roadwarden is a new interactive fiction title in which the player explores a hostile realm. It’s coming from Moral Anxiety Studio who developed The Tavern.

The game combines complex dialogues and the simplified graphics of visual novels along with an open story structure and the mechanics of RPGs.

With around 10 hours of content, Roadwarden also features an impressive ‘attitude system’.

Whenever the player encounters new characters, they can select one of five attitudes: friendly, playful, distant, intimidating or vulnerable. Their choice impacts the subsequent interaction and changes the mood and the direction of the general conversation.

Roadwarden dialogue system image.

Roadwarden uses isometric pixel art to present areas, items and events, and various sidequests and hidden interactions have been developed to ensure multiple playthroughs for enthusiasts.

It’s due out in the first half of 2020 as a digital download for PC and Linux.

Mice On Venus – A Singular Vision

It’s always day time here, especially during the night. The artificial sun rays saturate my room from the surrounding buildings, displaying all the shades of red, blue and green.

Laying here, I stare at the waltz dance of the swaying dust particles illuminated by the hues; it’s not long until my meditation is broken. A repetitious blinking light protrudes from the corner of my room, begging for my attention like a child to their mother. I quickly stand and move to mother the console, for I have heard the child’s cry, the cry of a job… The only cry I receive.

A cry for a missing package. Let’s hope the destination remains the same. To the bar, I go and speak with the client, see if I get any leads from him.

It’s a methodical job; tracking the civilians of this grand city. The mundane lives brought by the industry – wake up, work, home, pub, mistress; the same day in, day out. Not I, I would rather be dead… hell, I actively search it at times.

Stepping into the sunstroke streets, I inhale the dense fog into my lungs, the damp air solidifying on my lungs. The city glows from the neon lights humming in the fog and reflecting from the rain-soaked pavement. An outsider would say it looks beautiful, like a painting of Valhalla.

Yes, video game Mice on Venus is being developed by Callum Hancock. An ambitious project, it’s shaping up to be something interesting.

It’s a detective simulation game about investigating cases with ambiguous morality.

Mankind has left Earth, setting up colonies floating in the upper atmosphere of the planet Venus. You play as a PI, and you need to solve cases assigned to you by the world’s citizens. It’s up to you how to go about solving each of the cases.

Each case plays out as a routine, where the world’s citizens follow their own simulated schedules throughout each day. The player must navigate these routines to intercept targets, follow leads and gain information.

I can’t wait to hear more about Mice on Venus.

Indie Games Switch Spring

New Indie Games Coming To Switch Spring 2019

To tie in with the Game Developers Conference 2019, Nintendo put on a spring showcase for some exciting indie games coming over to the Switch.

But what were the key announcements from the showcase?

Indie Games On Switch Spring 2019

You can find all of the indie games shown at the presentation below along with their expected release dates:

  • Cuphead – April 18th
  • Overland – Fall
  • My Friend Pedro – June
  • Neo Cab – Summer
  • The Red Lantern – 2019
  • Darkwood – May
  • Katana ZERO – April 18th
  • RAD – Summer
  • Creature in the Well – Summer
  • Bloodroots – Summer
  • Pine – August
  • Super Crate Box –  April
  • Nuclear Throne – Out now
  • Ultra Bugs – 2019
  • Swimsanity! – Summer
  • Blaster Master Zero II – Out now
  • Stranger Things 3 The Game – July 4th
  • Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the Necrodancer – Spring

It wasn’t that long ago, January in fact, that we had a dedicated ‘Indie Highlights’ presentation from Nintendo (they need to stick to one name with these, surely?), so it’s another presentation from the company that wasn’t entirely expected.

Key announcements like Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the Necrodancer and Cuphead are more than welcome, while Blaster Master Zero II, My Friend Pedro, Overland, and The Red Lantern prove that the Switch is becoming a place for more than just a smattering of indie games.

It’s worth mentioning that Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a refreshing take on XCOM which released last year, was also announced separately for Switch and is due out June 25th — that’s as well as Castle Crashers Remastered, coming to both Switch and PS4.

We’re also going to see a set of Konami classics heading to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch too. And yes, Castlevania is in there.

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.

Crunch out 2.gif

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.

Indie Highlights Presentation

Indie Highlights Presentation Shows Off Wargroove, Double Kick Heroes, More

Nintendo’s Indie Highlights Presentation showed off some diverting looking independent titles today, including Wargroove, Double Kick Heroes and Inmost.

You can watch the full presentation below:

Personal standouts for this writer? Strategic thinker Wargroove, the atmospheric horror game – which looks like it has quite the story to tell – Inmost, and Image & Form’s latest SteamWorld title, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech.

What appealed to you? Let us know in the comments below.

A Look At Indie Title ‘Obviously Inappropriate Content’

Jack Boyles takes a look at indie title Obviously Inappropriate Content…

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Censorship has always been an issue with the game industry; from the days of Mortal Kombat and Night Trap to Grand Theft Auto and South Park: The Stick of Truth. However, it does feel that video games are another convenient scapegoat, and they always will be if we keep shrugging. Pieces of entertainment that change people into the ‘violent, anti-social demons that are here to corrupt your children and loved ones’.

Yet we don’t question society itself not nearly enough on real issues, the fake news phenomenon, proxy wars, news narratives, religion, politics, governments who in reality couldn’t care less, the complete lack of proper workers’ rights and investment, austerity, appalling homelessness; these things that influence our lives and behaviour; people are defined by their experiences.

Appropriate then, that a game is being developed about censorship in video games…

Obviously Inappropriate Content is an Orwellian 2D Shooter Job Simulator. You play a 2D action game which cuts to a desktop mode in which you receive emails. The emails will give you tasks within the 2D game mode, like to screenshot swear words, for example, that you upload in desktop mode.

Think, ‘Metal Slug’ meets ‘Papers Please’. But why, as the player, are we doing this? Well, I’m going to tell you in the next paragraph.

The government is ruled by ‘The Supreme Leader’, who enforces regulations to encourage a positive lifestyle upon the country. You play as a game tester; your job is to censor the videogame in conjunction with the government’s regulations. Throughout the game, the regulations become more frequent, vaguer and longer. However, the company you work for have their own interests at heart that are in opposition to the government. It’s your job to censor enough to keep the government happy, while still maintaining the trust of your company. Your choices will determine the outcome of the game.

The 2D shooter section is the game you are testing called ‘Ural Death Machine’. You run from the left side of the screen to the right, shooting enemies and throwing grenades; dealing with waves of enemies and boss battles such as helicopters. These sections of OIC could be a standalone game. It may lack the finesse of other run and gun games, it still plays fantastically well. Only for that enjoyment to sap when you come across a ‘glitch’ or something you must censor. It really portrays how I imagine game testing is; a mixture of excitement and tedium.

Then you have the desktop mode, in which you receive and respond to emails or messengers from various staff members and government authorities. It’s here you submit your findings, acquire objectives and sustain feedback from either company or government.

Due to the desktop mode, the game (for now) requires the use of a mouse though for the platforming sections you can use either joypad or keyboard. This could be an issue for console porting if an alternative can not be found.

It’s a rarity that we come across games that try and say something worthwhile. Based on the developer – Shuaiying Hou – his own experience of censorship, with the goal of the game to express the effects of censorship within the industry and society.

In my opinion, the triple AAA industry is still making ‘mature’ games that are actually aimed at children. It’s refreshing to see a culture of developers push the medium in a respectable way.

As a fan of dystopian/political satire/social commentary in my video games such as BioShock, the Oddworld series or Deus Ex; it’s great to see a game put you in the shoes of someone who must make that decision.

Someone who asks themselves, is this right? A playable demo can be found here.

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

Tales From Windy Meadow

Tales From Windy Meadow Launches Today On Steam

Indie title Tales From Windy Meadow launches this very day on Steam. It’s an interactive slice-of-life visual novel about choosing your path and living in a community.

We’ve been told that the developer‘s goal was to create a story blending cosiness and melancholy, exploring anxieties that – he believes – many of us can relate to.

Here’s that trailer for you:

We reviewed the developer’s first game, The Tavern, and said the following:

‘A lone tavern shrouded in mystery, filled with enigmatic characters in the depths of a dark land amidst a war, The Tavern places itself among few others in the adventure category of video games…’

You can find out more about the game on the official site here.