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Updated: 3 hours 1 min ago

Event Horizon (Tower of Time) show off the first gameplay from their next RPG Dark Envoy

Tuesday 20th of August 2019 09:27:59 AM

Tags: RPG, Upcoming, Indie Game, Video

Ah Gamescom has arrived, which means tons of games will be shown off over the next week. Event Horizon (Tower of Time dev) are getting in on the action, to show off footage from their brand new RPG called Dark Envoy.

For those who missed the previous article, it is already confirmed to be coming to Linux. To save you a click, when asked they said "We spent a considerable effort to make Tower of Time run well on Linux - so now, being more experienced with it, we also plan to release on Linux at the same time as PC launch.".

Check out the brand new footage for Dark Envoy:

Watch video on

Feature Highlight:

  • Non-linear RPG with turn-based combat accompanied by a real-time pre-combat phase where tactics and party power are equally important.
  • Player choices impact the world: it can be destroyed or saved, and the stories that unfold will lead to multiple endings reflecting the characters’ personalities and decisions. 
  • Co-written by Michael Chatfield, an Amazon Top 100 Science Fiction / Fantasy writer.
  • 15 unique character classes to discover - with the ability to mix skill trees - including some rare classes which can only be found in remote locations or through chained quests.
  • Combat animations recorded using the studio’s own mocap and a kung-fu master acting out various fighting styles. 
  • Can be played solo, two player co-op, as well as a new mode called Player vs World where Player 2 acts as the final boss seeking to destroy Player 1 before they become too powerful. 
  • High-replayability factor due to large pool of quests and world events. One cannot uncover all of the content in a single playthrough. 

You can wishlist/follow it on Steam. Just make sure you've set your platform preferences correctly, to show as a Linux wishlist.

Not tried their first game Tower of Time yet? It's worth a look! Find it on Humble Store, GOG and Steam.

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Underworld Ascendant's Linux port has now been released

Tuesday 20th of August 2019 09:16:55 AM

Tags: RPG, Dungeon Crawler, Action, Steam, Humble Store

Get ready to dungeon crawl! After many delays, the sequel to the classic Ultima Underworld games has finally seen a Linux release.

First off—to address the elephant in the room—Underworld Ascendant was absolutely savaged during its initial release. There were bugs aplenty and I saw complaints that it felt like an unfinished product. It’s been about nine months since its original release and, since then, there have been several major updates to the title. I haven’t followed development closely enough to assure you that all of these concerns have been addressed but the patch notes since read like rather major changes across the board.

From the hour or so that I’ve spent with the game, the Linux port seems to be a solid one. Performance was steady and there were no stability problems. The only real issue I’ve noticed is that the brightness slider doesn’t seem to do anything. Judging from forum posts, however, that may well be a cross-platform issue introduced in this latest patch and will hopefully get sorted out soon.

Underworld Ascendant is otherwise a first-person dungeon crawler that sees players deal with all sorts of obstacles and enemies. There’s a heavy emphasis on lateral thinking with the physics and elements of the areas being possible ways to deal with adversity. As an example, wooden doors can be burned down or bashed in lieu of using a key and enemies can be coaxed to walk into traps.

I haven’t played enough to be able to tell you more than just the basics of the system but I did notice that the AI reacts to things like illumination and how stealthily you approach it. There’s also a robust magic system and no preordained classes when it comes to character building so you can build up the kind of character that you prefer as you go along. From what I’ve seen thus far there’s plenty of room for experimentation in how areas and enemies can be approached.

That said, I did notice a few less-than-stellar issues with combat and the AI that make me think that not all the issues have been sorted yet. Combat feels a bit clunky and not as smooth as I may have liked, judging from my first couple of encounters. It’s not sufficient to turn me off from the game yet but things like silly clipping and enemies attacking from the other side of a closed door certainly haven’t left a particularly positive impression upon me.

I’m cautiously optimistic about what I’ve seen so far and look forward to sinking in more time with the game in the coming days and weeks. It’s an ambitious game for sure and the long wait we Linux gamers have had to endure may be well worth the price for all the balance and polish the game has gotten since launch.

You can pick up a copy of Underworld Ascendant on the Humble Store or Steam.

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EVERSPACE 2 announced, with more of a focus on exploration and it will release for Linux

Monday 19th of August 2019 07:02:49 PM

Tags: Upcoming, Indie Game, Action, Simulation, Exploration, Unreal Engine

EVERSPACE is probably one of my absolute favourite space shooters from the last few years, so I'm extremely excited to see EVERSPACE 2 be announced and confirmed for Linux.

For the Linux confirmation, I reached out on Twitter where the developer replied with "#Linux support scheduled for full release in 2021!".

It shall be continuing to use Unreal Engine, with a release on Steam first in Early Access next year. So while we won't be getting the early builds, we will at least see it at the final release which is awesome. Take a look at their trailer for it:

Watch video on

A key different between this and the first game, is that it's ditching the rogue-like die and repeat mechanics. Instead, it's going to be a full open-world exploration based story experience. Seems the combat it going to be very much like the original though, which makes me happy as it was intense!

Get ready to open your wallets, as they need a bit of funding. They're going to be heading to Kickstarter on September 9th.

Even though it's nowhere near finished, I think it looks pretty incredible.

You can now wishlist and follow it on the Steam page.

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Google reveal more games with the latest Stadia Connect, including Cyberpunk 2077

Monday 19th of August 2019 06:42:21 PM

Tags: Google, Game Streaming

Today, Google went back to YouTube to show off an impressive list of games coming to their Stadia game streaming service, which we already know is powered by Debian Linux and Vulkan.

As a reminder, Google said not to see Stadia as if it was the "Netflix of games", as it's clearly not. Stadia Base requires you to buy all your games as normal, with Stadia Pro ($9.99 monthly) giving you a trickle of free games to access on top of 4K and surround sound support.

Focusing on some newly announced games that will be coming to Stadia, along with fresh trailers for previously announced titles, today's Connect event packed quite the punch. Here's some more titles that were mentioned:

  • Attack on Titan 2 Final Battle - Omega Force
  • Borderlands 3 - Gearbox
  • Cyberpunk 2077 - CD Projekt
  • DOOM Eternal - id Software
  • Darksiders Genesis - Airship Syndicate
  • Destroy All Humans! (remake) - THQ Nordic
  • Farming Simulator 19 Platinum Edition - Giants Software
  • GRID - Codemasters
  • Gods and Monsters - Ubisoft
  • Kine - Gwen Frey
  • Mortal Kombat 11 - NetherRealm Studios
  • Orcs Must Die 3 - Robot Entertainment
  • Samurai Showdown - SNK
  • The Elder Scrolls Online - ZeniMax Online Studios
  • Watch Dogs Legion - Ubisoft
  • Windjammers 2 - DotEmu

You can see the cut-down recap below:

Watch video on

Or if you prefer it, the full 40 minute presentation is available here.

Stadia is going to launch in November, with access being granted to around 14 countries. Currently, the only way to actually get in is to purchase the Founder's Edition with everyone else getting access next year. The Founder's Edition comes with a Chromecast Ultra, three months Stadia Plus, an exclusive Night Blue Stadia Controller and more. It's not cheap though, at around $129/£119.

How do you feel about Stadia currently, will you be giving it a go? Since it will work on Linux in any Chrome browser, I remain quite interested to try it out even if I have plenty of reservations about the service itself. Either way, it's yet another way to play AAA titles on Linux.

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Cthulhu Saves the World has an unofficial Linux port available

Monday 19th of August 2019 02:54:14 PM

Tags: Retro, RPG, Steam

The comedic retro-inspired RPG has been brought to Linux thanks to porter Ethan Lee and FNA. You can now aid the horrifying Cthulhu in his quest to save the world in order to ruin it properly later.

In response to an announcement to a sequel to Cthulhu Saves the World, Ethan Lee AKA flibitijibibo has made a unofficial port for the original and a few other previously Windows-only games. As a quick reminder FNA is a reimplementation of the proprietary XNA API created by Micrsosoft and quite a few games were made with that technology. We’ve gotten several ports thanks to FNA over the years though Ethan himself has mostly moved on to other projects like working on FAudio and Steam Play.

To get your copy of Cthulhu Saves the World working on Linux you’ll need to follow the instructions and download the files posted by Ethan here. The steps are fairly simple:

  1. Extract the version for your OS

  2. Copy 'CSTW.exe', 'CSTW.pdb', and 'Content' from the Windows version to the executable directory. On Linux it's the 'CSTW/' folder, on macOS it's ''.

  3. Get the md5sum of 'Content/Movies/CSTW_intro2.wmv'.

  4. Extract, merging the Content folder with the one that already exists from copying the original game. The password is the md5sum from step 3!

  5. The game should now run! Run ./CSTW on Linux, open on macOS.


I got it working without much fuss and played some of the heroic Cthulhu’s quest. The game itself is a few years old and is directly inspired by the RPGs of an earlier era. That said, there’s a few twists that set it apart from its inspirations. Battles are generally faster and have a very Cthulhu-esque twist as inflicting insanity upon enemies has both up and downsides. It doesn’t require much of a grind either; battles in areas become optional after a number of encounters. This coupled with the ability to save anywhere and health restoring between battles makes players able to take the game at their own pace.

As you might also expect, the game has a very tongue-in-cheek tone. The story is silly and Cthulhu only wants to become a hero to unseal his powers and then destroy the world. The cast of characters you encounter and join your party are also odd—you have to have a few screws loose to join up with Cthulhu, after all. Enemies also have creative short descriptions and varied abilities and if you’re into the parody aspects then it’s a fun and engaging ride.

I reached out to the developers of Cthulhu Saves the World, Zeboyd games, to see if there was any chance of making this and Breath of Death VII ported officially and distributed. I have not heard back from them as of the time of publishing this article.

Still, it’s an impressive port and one that underscores just how important it is to have quality cross-platform tools available. It’s good to see Ethan Lee back to porting titles and hopefully he’ll work on more official ports in the future.

If you need a copy of Cthulhu Saves the World to play the unofficial port you can get one on Steam.

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Don't Starve Together has a big free update adding in boats and a strange island

Monday 19th of August 2019 02:29:17 PM

Tags: Steam, Indie Game, Update, Survival

Klei Entertainment have given the gift of new features to their co-op survival game Don't Starve Together, with the Turn of Tides update now available.

Taking a little inspiration from the Shipwrecked DLC available for the single-player version Don't Starve, this new free update enables you to build a boat to carry you and other survivors across the sea. Turn of Tides is the first part of a larger update chain they're calling Return of Them, so I'm excited to see what else is going to come to DST.

Given what they said back in May, things are going to get weird. Well, weirder anyway, Don't Starve Together is already pretty strange. Something about a mysterious entity in the sky?

New feature Highlight:

  • New Boat Mechanics: Don’t sink together! Build and deck out a boat large enough to carry you and your fellow Survivors across the sea.
  • New Seafaring Crafting Menu: Craft everything you’ll need to hit the high seas.
  • The Lunar Island: Explore a strange lunar landscape filled with bizarre creatures.
  • New Lunar Island Biomes: Discover 3 new biomes loaded with valuable new resources, craftables, and fearsome enemies.
  • Enlightenment: See the world from a new perspective as your Sanity is replaced by an all-new Enlightenment meter.

See more on the Steam page.

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GOG are celebrating their Community Wishlist feature with a big sale

Monday 19th of August 2019 01:36:24 PM

Tags: GOG, Game Sale

The DRM-free store GOG are currently doing a bit of patting themselves on the back with a sale celebrating their Community Wishlist feature.

Allowing gamers to suggest, discuss and vote on games they want to see come to GOG it's a pretty fun feature for a curated store to have. GOG say they have completed "over 2 million wishes" and they have "no plans on slowing down" with it. They of course can't fulfil every wish, but it's a good way for them to see what classics people want revived.

For Linux gamers, there's not a massive amount on sale but right now here's a few choice picks for you:

To see all Linux games on sale, tap this link here.

GOG's Games Come True Sale runs until August 26th, 1 PM UTC.

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Open-world vehicle-based survival game Project 5: Sightseer has been officially released

Monday 19th of August 2019 12:37:25 PM

Tags: Survival, Sandbox, Open World, Steam, New Release

Set on a huge procedurally generated world, Project 5: Sightseer from the developer of Windward is a sandbox open-world survival game where you pilot various vehicles.

Instead of running around as person like in other survival sims, Project 5: Sightseer is more about technology. Starting you off in a rather crap land vehicle, you eventually build up an outpost and research much better transportation including those that enable you to fly vast distances easily.

Watch video on

The start of the game is a little painful due to how slow it is, but if you do stick with it once you get some upgrades going it's quite relaxing. Seems like it's come quite a long way since I last played, with a reasonably good tutorial in place now too.

It's not really a game if you're into anything fast-paced. Project 5: Sightseer is more for those who enjoy exploration, mining for resources, building up a base and perhaps a little bit of combat here and there.

Our community has graciously provided a server for Linux fans to play with each other, look for GamingOnLinux in the server list.

You can find Project 5: Sightseer on Steam.

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System76 announce their own graphical Firmware Manager

Monday 19th of August 2019 11:42:31 AM

Tags: Distro News, Misc

System76, the company known for their Linux hardware and the Pop!_OS Linux distribution recently announced their new Firmware Manager.

Supporting their own Pop!_OS as well as other Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu, their firmware tooling is aimed at easing the update process for users. Developed due to a "lack of options for graphical frontends to firmware management services", since previous tools for LVFS (Linux Vendor Firmware Service) relied on GNOME Software or KDE Discover "which is not viable for Linux distributions which have their own application centers, or frontends to package managers".

They've created a GTK application for other distributions to use, as well as widget library with it integrated into GNOME Settings. They do say that the core of the framework is "toolkit-agnostic", enabling frontends to be written in any toolkit. System76 said their new Firmware Manager project supports updating from both LVFS and system76-firmware, along with being compatible with Wayland.

You can see the full blog post here.

Talking about it on Twitter, the System76 CEO Carl Richell said "This work continues our transition from a hardware company shipping a distro to a hardware company providing an integrated, holistic hardware and OS product. Still a lot of work ahead of us but manufacturing, open firmware, and Pop!_OS are pulling together.".

What are your thoughts? Seems pretty handy to me.

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Based on the classic FPS Warsow, the new Warfork is now live in Early Access

Monday 19th of August 2019 11:23:38 AM

Tags: FPS, Steam, Free Game, Open Source, Early Access, New Release

Fast-paced arena shooter Warsow has been forked, updated under the name of Warfork and it's now in Early Access on Steam.

If you're curious why they forked it and put it on Steam, according to the team behind Warfork the owner of Warsow is apparently opposed to a Steam release (see the additional notes below on that). Not just that, but until recently Warsow saw very little in the way of updates and seemed a bit dead overall. In addition, the developers of Warfork are planning lots of work to make Warfork more easily adjusted with mods.

Now that Warfork is up on Steam, they've outlined their current main objectives as:

- Modernize the engine
- Make the game mod-friendly and Steam Workshop friendly.
- Establish our own visual style in-game (weapons, models, sounds, music and textures).
- Give people a reason to come back with matchmaking and weekly events.
- Establish a friendly community of fellow AFPS lovers.

You can see a much longer list of all their plans here.

It's going to be interesting to follow this one, since it's free and open source (with no micro transactions) and it has Linux support right away which is something of a highlight of course. They said they won't be doing any real marketing until they're ready to leave Early Access, which is fair enough.

After checking it out myself, as expected the Linux version runs beautifully. I ran around and got instantly killed as soon as people saw me often—yep, that's a fast-paced arena FPS alright. I continue to be terrible at such games but they're still a huge amount of fun.

Find Warfork on Steam. Why not give it a try, since it's free you've got nothing to lose but time.

Just recently, Warsow itself has seen somewhat of a small resurgence in development with multiple beta releases starting from June this year. It's currently on Beta 2.5 you can find here, which seems to have a bunch of sound work, bots, user interface improvements and so on. As for a Steam release of Warsow, according to one of their team it is actually planned.

With both Warsow and Warfork now competing for your attention, what will you be picking?

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Planetary Annihilation: TITANS still seeing updates, Mesa issues on Linux being looked into

Monday 19th of August 2019 10:48:19 AM

Tags: RTS, Strategy, Steam, Update

Celebrating one year since Planetary Annihilation Inc took over development of Planetary Annihilation: TITANS from Uber Entertainment, the team have given an update.

The post goes over what they've been able to achieve and it is quite impressive. Before Planetary Annihilation Inc appeared, it did seem like the game was left on life support so they've given it a big boost. A fair amount of Planetary Annihilation: TITANS was getting old, so their first point of action was to upgrade the underlying tech to be more modern. Along with that they also upgraded the AI, put a fair amount of effort into their servers to improve performance, gave it more multi-threading and so on.

One lingering issue on Linux, is that it doesn't work right on AMD GPUs with Mesa and hasn't done for a long time. They're fully aware and it seems it hasn't been forgotten about, as they said "We are aware of the Linux Mesa issues so please hang tight, we’re working on it!".

They also just recently put out another small update which updates Naval units speed, since naval battles could end up far too slow along with even more AI improvements. They also noted that "It has been a great year and we look forward to an even better one to follow.", so it sounds like they have more fun stuff to come.

Additionally, they have a really interesting development timeline up that's worth a little look, giving a little history behind it all.

Really glad to see such effort being put into TITANS, as it remains a seriously fun grand-scale RTS. I've got a lot of hours in it personally and I come back to it often. There's just something incredible about hundreds of units flowing towards each other, explosions everywhere and just when you think you've won, another player crashes an entire moon into you—ouch.

You can find Planetary Annihilation: TITANS on Humble Store and Steam.

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Incredibly stylish twin-stick shooter Devader is launching next month

Monday 19th of August 2019 10:37:51 AM

Tags: Action, Twin-stick shooter, Steam, Indie Game, Upcoming, Demo

With some really wild enemy designs and action that just don't stop, Devader is a damn fun game and it's releasing officially next month.

Play this original arcade game and fight wave after wave of cruel, challenging and ever changing enemies. Wield powerful weapons as you strategize to find the best method to defeat the invaders while protecting the core. With many upgrade paths to choose from, various endings and secrets to unlock, Devader offers a wealth of possibilities and hours of game play.

Announced on Twitter, the developer mentioned September 2nd as the date. Exciting, since it's possibly one of the most interesting twin-stick shooters I've ever played. You're tasked with protecting the Core, against wave after wave of ever-changing enemies called the Krin. Some of the design work going on here is wild too, the bosses in particular are insane. I took it for a spin recently, check out the footage:

Watch video on

With thanks to the developer, I do have a full copy ready so I will hopefully have something up around the release date on September 2nd. I've already played a fair bit and it's looking good, incredibly fun too and I think you're going to love it.

You don't have to play it alone either, as it has support for up to four people to play together in local co-op.

There's a demo on Steam so do check it out.

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wsPublish, an open source Steam Workshop Interop Library released

Monday 19th of August 2019 10:35:12 AM

Tags: Open Source, Steam, Game Dev, Toolkit

How about a little open source news to get your Monday flowing? Game porter Ethan Lee recently announced the release of wsPublish, an open source Steam Workshop Interop Library with a little history.

Give it to me straight, what's it supposed to do? In the wise words of Lee:

The main intention is to allow users to integrate wsPublish into their own tools to allow for built-in Workshop support, without the need for an additional program to manage their uploads.

Originally developed by Lee, under contract with General Arcade for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition and Shadow Warrior Classic Redux. Lee said that while other tools exist and have been released in some form, "there isn't a portable, dependency-free, multiplatform tool yet".

After speaking to Gennadii Potapov, the co-founder and CEO of General Arcade, Lee has been allowed to release wsPublish for others to use. Find it on GitHub.

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Spacebase Startopia is the next title from Realmforge and Kalypso Media, coming to Linux

Monday 19th of August 2019 10:20:30 AM

Tags: Strategy, Simulation, Steam, Upcoming

Set Phasers to fun sci-fi fans, as Realmforge (Dungeons 3) and Kalypso Media just announced Spacebase Startopia and it's confirmed to be supporting Linux.

From the press release sent over by Kalypso Media, they confirmed it's "an all-new take on the 2001 cult classic" Startopia from Mucky Foot Productions. So they're going for the spiritual successor route by the sound of it.

In Spacebase Startopia, manage your very own space station, maintaining the three unique deck types, accommodating eight different alien races and defending against enemy invaders while also contending with the station’s sharp-witted and sarcastic narrator AI, VAL. Take on the final frontier by yourself as you strive to create the best trade and tourist destination in the galaxy in the challenging single player campaign and the versatile battle mode, or link up with up to four friends/frenemies in competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes.

They also sent along the announcement trailer:

Watch video on

Considering Dungeons 3 was pretty good and Realmforge did well with the Linux version, I'm pretty keen for this. I'm also a huge sci-fi fan, so this is exactly the kind of title I want to see.

Here's some screenshots Kalypso provided:

Interestingly, this is a title that Kalypso said is being "financially supported by the FFF Bayern", a company to promote media in Bavaria. Realmforge Studios are based in Germany, so it makes them a good match for it.

It's not due to release for some time though, as it's currently scheduled for Q3 2020. You can wishlist and follow it on the now live Steam page.

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The situation with Blood: Fresh Supply getting a Linux version is looking a little unclear

Monday 19th of August 2019 10:02:57 AM

Tags: FPS, Misc

Blood: Fresh Supply is the revamp of the classic 90's first-person shooter Blood, released by Nightdive Studios in May this year.

In the most recent update on Steam, the team mentioned "For future issues, we will have to recommend contacting Atari about them.". Their wording is interesting, which seems to indicate that Nightdive will not be making any further additions to Blood: Fresh Supply. Presumably then, this would mean the Linux version they previously confirmed back in May will not be happening either.

From what I understand about it, Atari contracted Nightdive Studios to make Blood: Fresh Supply and the contract is done. It's now completely down to Atari on what goes as far as updates and future ports are concerned.

That's not actually the end of the story though. Speaking in their Discord a day after the original announcement, their Producer actually mentioned that "Official things will still come", "I have stated that the game is not being abandoned" and "Atari still want us to do things with the game". I have reached out to Nightdive to see if they will comment about the Linux version, will update you if/when they reply.

Worth reminding readers that the open source NBlood project exists, which is based on EDuke32. Looks like NBlood is being updated to search for Blood: Fresh Supply data files too.

Hat tip to dreamer_ in our Discord Channel.

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Not quite time to wine down yet, with Wine 4.14 released to lift your spirits

Friday 16th of August 2019 10:42:00 PM

Tags: Wine, New Release, Open Source

Ah yes, one of my favourite days of the week. The day I get to unleash more glorious puns about Wine with another release now available for those of you wanting to run Windows games and applications on Linux.

Highlights of the 4.14 release:

  • New version of the Mono engine with upstream updates.
  • PE dlls no longer rely on the MinGW runtime.
  • Exception handling fixes on ARM64.
  • Various bug fixes.

As for bug fixes the usual applies: some are older bugs recently getting noticed and ticked off the list. Mentioned this time are 18 fixes in total including issues solved with World War Z, Star Citizen, Star Control Origins, The Sims and other miscellaneous bugs.

You can find the full release notes here.

The Wine team also recently announced the next WineConf, the Wine Project's annual conference. Taking place in Toronto, Canada between October 12th - 13th. You can see the full details on it here.

I heard through the grapevine that some people say I do a pour job at this pun business, I'll deal with such things on a case by case basis. *checks notes*, nope haven't used those before. I'll see myself out.

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Hunt down beasts, take their power and possibly save the world in Mable & The Wood, releasing soon

Friday 16th of August 2019 05:54:54 PM

Tags: Metroidvania, Steam, Indie Game, Upcoming, Action, Adventure

Mable & The Wood is a Metroidvania that's possibly nothing like any other. One with multiple endings and it's possible to do it without killing anything.

I've been excited about this game for so long, after discovering it a while ago and it was announced today that it's going to be releasing on August 23rd! It captured my interest due to the unusual heroine, who carries around a sword too big to swing and it's how you use the sword that makes it truly sweet. You stick it in the ground, then use your powers to recall it as it slices its way back to you.

Watch video on

When you take down various beasts, you're then able to take their shape and transform giving you some advantages. However, the developer said there are secret paths to complete the game without killing a single thing which makes me even more curious about it.

Feature Highlight:

  • Your choices matter - The cult wants you to kill everything, but it's up to you whether or not you listen to them or find your own path and unlock the multiple endings
  • A rich story with a diverse cast of characters who have their own take on this whole 'end of the world' thing
  • Combat is movement and movement is combat - Mable can't lift her magical sword, so she has to use it in unique ways to move through the world
  • A large and varied fantasy world, brought to life with state-of-the-art pixel technology and a beautiful original soundtrack
  • Multiple endings, different routes to take through the world and secrets to discover

You can wishlist/follow it on Steam.

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Twin-stick shooting combined with deck-building, ACardShooter is out now

Friday 16th of August 2019 02:56:31 PM

Tags: Action, Twin-stick shooter, Card Game, Steam, Indie Game, New Release, Deck-builder

Deck-building is all the rage and now it's come to twin-stick shooters too, with ACardShooter now available on Steam with Linux support. Note: Key provided by the developer to our Steam Curator.

It's certainly an interesting idea, we've seen a lot of twin-stick shooters and now a fair amount of turn-based deck-building strategy types but a fast-paced shooter like this is quite different. In ACardShooter, the cards aren't just your abilities as they're also tied directly to your health. Get hit? Lose a card. Heal up from a card? Gain a card slot back and have it filled if you have enough left in your deck.

Watch video on

Quite a lot to appreciate here. Graphically though, it's not great but thankfully it does make up for it with the great and challenging gameplay. Much like other deck-builders, it's a game based about repetition. You will often need to replay the same level, to build up your money to shop for a more powerful deck of abilities.

Something it could have used is a brief tutorial on the card system. It's not complicated at all, but the way it works could have used a simple introduction. I like how they did it though, enabling you to quickly tap a hotkey if you know exactly what the card is or use your scroll-wheel to highlight it and tap space bar to activate. A little frantic to begin with though while you don't know the cards.

Each game of ACardShooter is based on waves, so you have a set amount of enemies that will appear on the small map each time. You also get a small breather between these waves, with the option to skip ahead if you wish. As for the action, it does become a bit of a bullet-hell at times and quite challenging in places with all sorts of enemies jumping around the screen throwing things at you.

One thing I didn't like at all was the constant screen-shake when shooting, it really messed with my eyes. Thankfully you can reduce it or turn it off entirely in the options so that made me quite happy. Other than that, it's pretty fun.

You can find ACardShooter on Steam.

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Cerulean Days, a Visual Novel following the internet being shut down after a biological attack

Friday 16th of August 2019 01:04:46 PM

Tags: Visual Novel, Crowdfunding, Indie Game

Cerulean Days certainly sounds like an intriguing Visual Novel. Set on a small modern island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a deadly biological attack took place so the government shut the internet down, leaving the island disconnected from the world around it.

Following the lethal attack in 2018 which led to the internet being shut down, it's now 2020 and the government has been working to build their own state-controlled Internet.

Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, this is the third Visual Novel to be developed by Cascade of Leaves, who previously made Anomie and Winter's Symphonies. Unlike the first two, Cerulean Days will be available on Linux too.

Cerulean Days is set in 2020, and follows two outliers of society – mellow Michael and competent Séverine – as they discover the true effects of 2018. Amidst tragedy of lost friends and family bonds are grown, solace is found, feelings blossom, truth is discovered, and conspiracies are seemingly unraveled. 

Their goal is just under £10K and with 23 days to go they have about 28% of the funding they require.

If you're interested in trying it out, they do have a Linux demo available, looks like it was made with Ren'Py and it works quite well. Seems like it has some nice writing to it too along with some great artwork.

You can see more on Kickstarter.

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Dota Underlords changes ranking again to be more about skill and less about time

Friday 16th of August 2019 11:55:16 AM

Tags: Valve, Steam, Early Access, Strategy

While in Early Access, Dota Underlords is in a constant state of flux and Valve have again changed the ranking system.

For those good enough to be in the Lord of White Spire ranking, they're now using the well-known Elo rating system, so the number of points gained or lost now depends on the skill of your opponents. Why the switch? As Valve said, the Lords of White Spire leaderboard ended up being a list of who played the most instead of the best so they're hoping this will solve it and be a little more fair to those who don't play all the time.

Other ranks don't seem to be affected by this change, as Valve think they have a good enough balance for those ranked from Upstart through to Big Boss. You can see the main changelog here, with their explanation on the rank changes here.

Dota Underlords still seems to be doing very well on Steam. It's regularly hitting over fifty thousand players a day, although going by SteamDB graphs there's a clear decline over time. That said, it's pretty skewed due to the massive player influx at the start.

What is great, is to see a team at Valve keep in constant communication with the community, I imagine that has helped Underlords quite a lot.

Are you enjoying Underlords? What are you hoping they do with it next? Let everyone know in the comments.

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