Hidden object games don’t usually catch my fancy, to be honest. I’ve never been a big fan of the mechanics, which typically require you to find objects to then reveal other objects, which can then be combined to become actual useful objects. I’ve also never been too taken by the typical romanticized story lines, either.
Pahelika: Secret Legends by Ironcode Gaming Category: Mac Games Works With: Mac OS X Price: $4.99
Big Fish’s new game, developed by India-based IronCode Games, Pahelika Secret Legends has found a way to convince me otherwise,t hough, and I find myself being drawn back to playing it often. There’s a fairly interesting story, and the puzzles are tough enough to provide a challenge without busting a brain.
If you’re like me and have been ambivalent about trying a game like this out, perhaps this is the one to start with.
The turn-based Space Hulk, set in the Warhammer 40,000 sci-fi universe, is a re-creation of Games Workshop’s original two-player Space Hulk board game, itself released in 1989. The new digital version is similar in many ways to the board game, with two-player tactical claustrophobia as a main focus.
The launch of the digital game was a bit rough, however, with lots of bugs and room for improvement. So the team decided to improve the game, squash the bugs, and–as a big “thank you” for the patience of its fans–has released a new three-mission campaign for free.
Robot Loves Kitty is the husband and wife team that lived in a treehouse to save money while they ran a Kickstarter project for the game that became Legend of Dungeon.
It’s out now on Mac, PC, and Linux, and it’s a brilliant combination of high tech, retro-graphics, and a strong sense of irony, not to mention whimsy. When I chatted with Alix Stolzer (Kitty) at PAX this year, she mentioned that she and Caleb Goble (Robot) liked vastly different types of games, so they decided to make one they could play together.
Legend of Dungeon by Robot Loves Kitty Category: Mac Games Works With: OS X Price: $10 for basic game, $15 with soundtrack
From those humble beginnings, they’ve succeeded, at least, in making a game that allows up to four players to explore procedurally generated dungeons together, to fight various monsters, explore environments, and try to stay alive. The game works with keyboard and mouse or console-style controllers, with a real-time battle system. Also, there are funny hats! If you take some time to give this one a play; you won’t be disappointed.
On the other hand, gaming is a massive cultural phenomenon. PAX’s founders, webcomic writers Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, wanted to create a convention that would focus on gamers, whether they play tabletop games, video games, or card games. That there is a massive interest in this convergence of different kinds of gamers, from D&D nerds to arcade geeks, is an understatement, as evidenced by quickly sold-out tickets months in advance of the conference as well as by the huge herds of human beings of all stripe who I saw traipsing from one booth to another this weekend in the Washington State Convention Center.
SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – Picture this: you pull out that old Dance Dance Revolution pad, connect it to your Mac, and then dance your way through procedurally generated dungeons, tapping your feet and bouncing to the beat as you kill monsters, loot chests, and equip yourself with ever more powerful weapons.
Vancouver-based Brace Yourself Games (aka Ryan Clark) has perhaps stumped even the most open minded among us with this new combination, found in upcoming game, Crypt of the NecroDancer.
SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – Robot Loves Kitty is a husband and wife game development team who used to live in a treehouse to save money. They started a Kickstarter hoping to raise just enough money to buy a decent laptop and a copy of Unity to develop the game. They ultimately raised 650 percent of their initial request, making things easier, yet much more complex, than they’d ever planned.
“I can’t believe it’s so popular,” said Alix Stolzer, the wife half of the Robot Loves Kitty development team. She also does some of the artwork, the story, and does PR for the game. The extra funding enabled the team to rent a tiny apartment and pay for internet, but it also requires them to create more features than they initially planned.
SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – We spoke with Josh Glazer, CTO of Naked Sky Entertainment, about the company’s upcoming turn-based tactical game, Backyard Battles. The game, coming to iOS, Android, and the web later this year, pits two teams of children against each other, wielding cardboard tubes, spell books, and their imaginations.
“It’s what kids raised on video games do when they play outside,” said Glazer.
SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – Phobic Studios, the developers behind hit iOS game, Dragonvale, showed off their latest creation, Glare, at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend in Seattle.
The game is made in Unity, which will let the studio release on Mac, PC, and Linux at first, with some vague plans for mobile spin off titles in the future. It’s looking pretty delightful, with gorgeously rendered, faux-2D backgrounds and plenty of lighting and particle effects. That sounds pretty dry on paper, but it produces a lovely effect while playing. Here’s a quick video of the gameplay we saw in the closed-door meeting.
SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – We got to spend some time with Ben, one of the lead designers on the free-to-play multiplayer battle arena (MOBA) game, Smashmuck Champions, currently display here in Seattle at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) 2013. Ben showed us how quickly a match can start and conclude, a far cry from the more typical 30 minutes to an hour of a MOBA like League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients. The match Ben played in while he talked to us was all of ten minutes or so, full of frenetic battle action with fun characters, called champions, jumping around and duking it out across the battle arena.
Here’s the closed beta announcement trailer, though Ben let us know that there should be early access on Steam next week on September 6th. You can see plenty of gameplay in the video below.
The Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX, for the initiated, is an annual gaming conference held in Seattle. It was created in 2004 by the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, who wanted to go to a gaming show that focused on their own passions: console games, computer games, and tabletop games.
PAX got big, fast. Billed as a celebration of gamer culture, PAX, and spin-off conference PAX East, is more of a giant nerd gathering, contrasting nicely with the hard-pounding media-fest of the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) or the academic and developer focus of the Games Developer Conference (GDC). PAX is for gamers, by gamers, of all stripe and affiliation.