[PAX] Dungeons, Runners, and T.I.M.E.

I really liked what I saw at the Indie Mega Booth. There’s really no other way to say it other than that simple sentence. Every year at PAX, the best of the best indie offerings are showcased at the Indie Mega Booth and every year this particular exhibition never fails to amaze. PAX 2012 I got the chance to see three games that had me buzzing after witness. Hit the jump and run down a dungeon with me…through time.

Delver’s Drop

Delver’s Drop is a rogue-like dungeon crawler shrouded in a mysterious aura. Level design is similar to the original Legend of Zelda and the more recent Binding of Isaac in that our hero must navigate through a maze of dungeons fighting from one room of evil to the next.

What drew me to the game in the first place was the dark, abyss like aesthetic of the dungeon design though I’m told that more varied levels will be available further in the game. Fine by me I say, but these dark, lit up chambers aren’t comically grotesque like Isaac but rather the dark fantasy of the original Zelda brought to the modern age. I feel especially drawn to the muted neon blue glow of the dungeon design. Almost as if one were at the bottom of the ocean.

Originally built around a physics engine, the elements around the dungeon react fairly interestingly to the player whether its boxes sliding across floors or enemies rebounding off walls, I’m told that this is Pixelscopic’s take on the dungeon crawler. Randomized dungeons, multiple classes (so far only the rogue but other classes like wizard, etc. will be worked into the game), and bosses make for another amazingly pretty, intricately designed dungeon to conquer.

Expect Delver’s Drop sometimes next year on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.


Runner 2

One of my proudest accomplishments as a gamer was beating Bit.Trip. Runner, Gaijin Games’ insanely difficult running game. Imagine my excitement and accompanying dread when I hear that the game was to receive a sequel in the form of Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien.

For the most part, and for those of you who’ve already played the game on a regular controller, Runner 2 is very much the same gameplay wise. You duck, you jump, you kick, you block, and you run! There’s really nothing that changed control-wise between the sequel and the first. This is good.

Controls of the first Runner game were just about perfect. Simple, clean, addicting rhythms, almost nothing needed to be added to the sequel in the gameplay department. But tight gameplay isn’t all that Bit.Trip.Runner was known for. Aesthetically Runner 2 is quite a departure from the first. While the pixelated world of Bit.Trip.Runner had its alien charms, Runner 2’s LCD induced fever dream looks to take things to a whole new level. Things have…depth. In this alien world, polygons, not pixels, form this rainbow fever dream and it looks brilliant.

Have I also mentioned how difficult the game is? Because the sequel looks to make people cry in joyous frustration. Tears of joy upon completion and tears of bitter sorrow when victory just narrowly slips through your fingertips. Oh I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about tackling the new challenge.

Expect new challenges, new obstacles, and a few surprises when Runner 2 drops for XBLA, PSN, Steam, and WiiU later this year.



Super T.I.M.E. Force

A few gung-ho mercenaries go back in time to save the dinosaurs because they thought it would be cool, would you think it was a good idea? If you thought yes, I have bad news for you.

However if you thought “No, but it’d make a great video game.” then have I a hands-on impression with your name on it. Super T.I.M.E. Force is the new game from Capy Games (Super Brothers: Sword & Sworcery) and it is balls to-the-walls insane. A throwback sidescrolling shooter reminiscent of Contra, STF (as I decided to shorten it) (I’m so original) has a time traveling mechanic that makes all the difference. Well, time traveling and style. Lots, and lots of style.

Let’s start with the basics. You’re a team of mercenaries and each of your four members have unique abilities. The explosions expert, the bullet dispenser, the sniper, and the shield. With your band of misfits it’s your job to shoot everything in sight. Suddenly, you get shot/blown up/evaporated and what are you to do? You travel back in time, of course!

After your death you start at the beginning of the level but your previous self (the one that was doing so well until their untimely demise) replays the exact moments of his life before his date with the fishes. This means the enemies he killed he kills again, the obstacles he jumped over get jumped over again… You get the picture. It’s essentially co-op with your past playthrough and if you manage to change the course of history and save your previous incarnation then you’ve earned yourself a checkpoint where he died and level completion is that much closer.

The game is fairly difficult (as I embarrassed myself and showed off my lack of skill clearly in front of a crowd) and is as hard as the games it derives its influence from, but it’s fun. STF is loads of style, loads of action, and loads of bullets and it deserves all the buzz surrounding this downloadable game.

Expect this title sometime next year.


Check out all the other Indie Mega Booth Games here!

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