Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 15, 2012
Okay, I’m way overdue in doing this, so it’s gonna be quick and to-the-point. Well, okay, maybe not as quick as I’d like, because I’ve got a hairy backlog. Hopefully my next installment will release news while it is still new. But in this world of indie RPGs, so much is “undiscovered” that what is or isn’t ‘news’ can be pretty subjective. But here are some interesting things happening in indie RPGs over the last *cough*threemonths*cough*:
The Legend of Grimrock – This game just makes me happy. I hope it is as good as it looks. It’s a modern-tech throwback to the Dungeon Master / Eye of the Beholder style RPGs of around 1990. An April release is planned, and the first release candidate just entered testing. This one is a day-one purchase for me.
Demise: Volume 2 Ascension is now in pre-release. All purchases of this first-person perspective single-player and multi-player RPG include a copy of the original Demise: Rise of the Ku’Tan.
Wasteland 2 – It’s being funded through Kickstarter. Just over two days in, and they’ve met their $900k funding goal, and are (as of this writing) just crossing the million dollar funding threshold.
The Book of Legends – Just released from Aldorlea Games. I have to admit, Aldorlea’s titles have really shifted to higher quality over the years. This one looks quite impressive. And large. The Demon of Fear is awakening in the land, but the alchemists have constructed an impressive artifact to put him back to sleep. Unfortunately, it gets stolen…
Victim of Xen – Another JRPG-style game from new (to me) indie studio Smolders, Victim of Xen is a story about a young man named Will who is turned into a woman by a witch. Apparently Will isn’t so happy about this turn of events, and embarks on a quest to find a way to break the spell.
Sword & Sorcery: Underworld Gold – Word from developer Charles Clerc is that this game seems to be heading into its final stages. From the sounds of it, it went from being a graphics revision to a pretty significant overhaul of the entire game. It’s heavily based on the earlier Might & Magic titles for flavor, so those of you familiar with those classics will feel pretty much at home with Underworld. I’ve played (but not completed) the original release, but put it on hold awaiting the massive upgrade. I can’t wait.
Tomes of Mephistopholes – New indie RPG in development, from the makers of Steel Storm: Burning Retribution. Tomes of Mephistopholes is a first-person action-RPG with randomly-generated persistent worlds. It looks more like an FPS with RPG elements to my eyes. But then again, so does the Mass Effect series…
Darklight Dungeon: Eternity – Have I mentioned recently that this game has been released? It’s been out a few weeks. I’m still playing, though I have only gotten a little over a tenth of the way through this 50-level dungeon crawler. And I’ve been slaughtered by Asmodeus. Yeah. That’s old-school. It’s a great little game to just do some hacking and slashing with for fifteen minutes at a time.
Blood Rune – In the style of the old “Gold Box” D&D games, this indie RPG switches from first-person view to an isometric view for combat. It’s taking the approach of using smaller adventure “modules” rather than a single, giant campaign. I like the idea a lot. I’ve considered something like that many a time. I have high hopes that this one will see the light of day.
91 – A “New Old RPG,” this is a roguelike set in the modern era with some “modern” game design sensibilities.
A Sirius Game – This cute, “piratey” adventure with strong RPG aspects was recently released.
Verlies – A recently-released, hopefully frequently-expanded RPG seems to be a straightforward hack-and-slash dungeon crawler. It features a first-person perspective and random dungeon generation.
Age of Fear: The Undead King – Version 1.4 of this fantasy turn-based strategy game was recently released. If you are into tactical, turn-based combat, this is something you should really check out. It takes a more free, open-ended approach to the battlefield than most other games, so you don’t move by squares or hexes. Also, the sequel, Age of Fear: The Chaos Lord is currently well into development. The picture to the left is a sneak-peak of a bit of it.
UnderRail – formerly “Timelapse Vertigo,” this futuristic dystopian RPG taking place mainly in the subway tunnels underneath the no-longer-habitable surface of the world. Some of the latest updates include computer use and hacking. It’s looking pretty dang interesting. You can get a lot more information (and screenshots) in this thread on the Rampant Games forums (you’ll need to contact me in order to get posting permissions on the forum).
March to the Moon – This is another game that is more “action” than RPG, but I’ve been playing the betas (though not nearly as much as I’d like), and having a blast with this very goofy shooter with “RPG Elements” as you level up and gain new powers. And costuming options.
Pitman – A recently-released roguelike with 3D graphics and a board-game aesthetic. It looks cool. I’m just gonna direct you to the video:
Telepath RPG: Servants of God – It’s out, it’s been recently updated, and it’s plenty of fun. If you like your combats tactical, and get really pissed off when the dice go against you, you should check out this RPG. It has an unusual setting, sort of a steampunkish alternate reality Middle Eastern setting, voice acting for many roles, and a solid soundtrack. But the focus of the game – besides interesting decisions – is really the tactical combat. There’s no randomness – you hit what you attack, and the damage is fixed. It’s all in how you manage your team and manipulate the opposing AI.
Neo Scavenger – This is a web-playable post-apocalyptic indie RPG from Blue Bottle Games, where the human race is struggling to survive in a world torn by warfare and supernatural threats.
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land – this Lovecraftian iOS turn-based strategy/RPG by Red Wasp Design is doing quite well and garnering some great reviews. I was told that they are hoping to port it to the PC soon.
I know I’m missing some new / recent activity on the indie RPG front, so I’ll start collecting more tidbits to talk about quite possibly before the month is out. I would also like to note that this is something of a big deal, as JRPG-style games are in the overwhelming minority for a change. It’s probably my own fault, as I have probably missed a dozen or so that were recently released.
UPDATE: Changed the developer for Victim of Xen. The actual developer is Smolders.
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