Wraithkal: The Indie Gaming Corner
Remember to update your bookmarks, wraithkal.info is now wraithkal.com.

itch.io Does Discounts by Seasonally Scratching That #itchsummersales

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware of how Steam's annual summer sale is alive and kicking, featuring thousands upon thousands of discounted titles - some as heavily as 90% off! Impressive to say the least, although itch.io's attempt at a sizeable summersale is nothing to sneeze at either, even if the scale is somewhat smaller. Oh, and we mustn't forget about the DRM-free aspect, of course. Something that Steam... well, doesn't really do. Not entirely anyway.
Continue reading…

Eskimo Bob: Starring Alfonzo Aims to Scratch That Puzzling 8-bit Fish Catching Itch

These days, it's not exactly uncommon for a new indie game to claim it'll bring players back to the 8-bit days. Days from many, many, many... many... many... (and now I feel old!) years ago. But just how many of them have actually seen a NES release, prior to hitting PC? Yeah. Eskimo Bob: Starring Alfonzo is definitely a rarity in that regard, fishy platforming and all. (Get it? Because... Bob collects fis-- aw.)
Continue reading…

Console Developers Rejoice: GameMaker Studio 2.0.7 Brings PS4, Xbox One Support

It's been a couple of months since GameMaker Studio made the rather significant leap to GameMaker Studio 2, and YoYo Games haven't simply been kicking back, watching the money roll in either. Quite the opposite almost, as shown by this recent update - one which adds PlayStation 4 and Xbox One export, among other lovely new things. Also, something something GameMaker Studio Ultimate...
Continue reading…

Interplanetary Tags On ‘Enhanced Edition’ This Summer With a Huge Update

Waging war in a planet-against-planet setting certainly sounds like a good time to me, and while Interplanetary is mostly about multiplayer, the team did eventually add AI opponents prior to leaving Early Access. But that was then, this is now, and earlier this month we got a peek into the future of said title. A future which is looking mighty bright, what with a rather significant Enhanced Edition overhaul/update set for launch this very summer!
Continue reading…

SABRE Is the Slashiest Four Color Score Chaser, and a Great One at That

Have you ever played a twin-stick shooter and wondered what it would be like if instead of spraying bullets, missiles, and other crazy weaponry, you were instead... armed with a melee weapon? Probably not, but even so, SABRE is a perfect example of just that. Nothing but you and a very short-range blade between you and an infinite swarm of pink balls. Oh, and you'll be playing as that cyan ball in the middle of... a cyan circle.
Continue reading…

A Room Beyond’s Finale Awaits With Pixellated Lovecraftian Inspired Horror

Like The Fog, John Carpenter's 1980 classic, A Room Beyond revolves around an evil entity looming in that very smoke-like, thick entity, an entire village troubled by a so-called fog wanderer (translation: creature on a murderous rampage). Nothing mysterious about that, really. As for why you are here, or how, on the other hand - now that's significantly more puzzling. Were you summoned to vanquish said evil, saving so many innocent souls, or was it mere coincidence? My money's on the former.
Continue reading…

Cognition Episode 2: The Wise Monkey Review

When last we stepped into the shoes of supernatural FBI agent Erica Reed, in Cognition Episode 1: The Hangman, things were bad. Really bad. Her ability to sense, or perhaps even see things that no one else could was causing her headaches, and with friends and colleagues alike becoming targets of a ruthless killer, she needed to remain focused now more than ever. Try as she might though, in the end, things did not go her way... and in Cognition Episode 2: The Wise Monkey, a whole slew of brand new trouble is brewing. Oh boy.
Continue reading…

Tap, Slide, Kill: Slayaway Camp Now Murdering On Android Devices

It may have taken Blue Wizard Digital a couple of months, but Android fans can finally partake in the fun that iOS users have been ranting about since February, as Slayaway Camp has finally arrived on Google's mobile OS. And what fun! As noted in my review, while it is a slide puzzler at its core, the complexity of later levels, coupled with a lovely art style, still makes for a very enjoyable experience (even I'm awful at it).
Continue reading…

Steam Greenlight is Dead! Long Live Steam Direct?

As foretold, June 13 is upon us, and with it, the end of Steam Greenlight. In its place we find Steam Direct, Valve's new system for submission curation on their digital store. Not gonna lie, I am actually hopeful that this is going to improve the groovy-to-rubbish ratio on Steam additions, even if it does seem like... just about anything goes. Anything that's both playable and isn't harmful in any way, that is. Oh, and no pornographic content, and a couple of other things. Still, just about anything seems to go?
Continue reading…

Formicide Exits Early Access With a Slew of Ant-vs-Ant…ics?

"Think Worms meets Team Fortress 2", they said. "It'll be fun", they also said. Well, I don't know about the former, but Formicide does look like a good time. One of 2D team-based blow-everything-up... with ants. The promise of short matches didn't hurt either, as certain other 2D war games have a tendency to take much too long in this day and age, honestly. Oh, and then there's the fact that Formicide is not turn-based. No waiting for everyone to make a move - here you either shoot or get shot/blown up/fried/etc.

Become the Pirate You Were Meant to be, as Depth of Extinction Enters Ear– FIRST Access?

In Depth of Extinction, someone - or something - is out to destroy humanity. Again. Hardly the most original plot, ya know? That said, even if it doesn't turn out to bring a slew of fun twists and turns, I suspect the tactical aspect will make for an enjoyable experience still. One which makes promise of crazy things like... oh I don't know... permanent death! Yeah! Because your squad in this game is way too badass for retries. Either they get the job done or die trying. Simple as that.
Continue reading…

Let’s Get It Kickstarted: Eon Break

Remember that time Nikola Tesla fought the nazis, while also battling mushrooms? Me neither. Probably because, to the best of history books, that never happened. Oh, but it will. It most certainly will... and in 2017 no less! That said, the experience will be limited to the confines of a video game by the name of Eon Break, but it's certainly better than nothing. Also, this version of Tesla is pretty bad-ass to say the least, which only makes it all the more groovy.
Continue reading…

Fight the Good Fight or Add Fuel to the Fire? Time to Choose a Side In… The Frankenstein Wars!

Back in 2015, The Frankenstein Wars were little more than a glimmer in the eye of interactive fiction fans (such as myself), barely slaying the mighty Kickstarter beast. But fortunately it did emerge triumphant, which brings us to the present where the game awaits with an uncanny war to be waged. A war which takes us all the way back to 1827's France, during which the Zeroiste movement - well, they pretty much brought back the dead, Frankenstein style. And here's the thing: you don't have to play the hero in this interactive tale! Your adventure, your choice(s), your... potentially disastrous outcome.
Continue reading…

The Journey Down Chapter Two Review

Last we heard from Bwana and Kito, The Journey Down's two protagonists, they were tracking down some ancient place with some ancient book, aided by a mysterious woman - you know how these things go. Unsurprisingly, this second chapter - of three - picks up pretty much where the first ended, you-know-what having hit the proverbial fan, our uncanny trio in trouble. No challenge is too great for the mighty Bwana however, and it isn't long before... well, more trouble comes their way. Trouble which seems to follow these guys wherever they go. Trouble with the law, trouble with pirates, trouble with - wait, I'm spoiling. Suffice to say, there was trouble… and of the best kind, too!
Continue reading…

Greenlight’s Days Are Officially Numbered and Can Almost be Counted On One Hand

I know. I couldn't believe it myself either when I read the news, but it's true: come June 13, almost five years (August 30, 2012) later, Greenlight will be but a thing of the past. While I have been a long-time supporter of the system, in spite of its flaws, honestly… even I believe this to be good news. Mostly due to the amount of absolute rubbish that has dominated submissions in recent weeks, and as such, here's to Steam Direct, its successor, faring significantly better. Time will tell if that ends up being the case.
Continue reading…

Speculating Screenshots (3rd June 2017)

For most, weekends means two days off work with some much-needed R&R. But for game developers, it’s also a time during which they get to show off what they’ve been working on. I am of course referring to Screenshot Saturday, which involves tweeting screenshots with the #ScreenshotSaturday hashtag. Screenshots which I will be critiquing some of every single Tuesday, in Speculating Screenshots.
Continue reading…

Let’s Get It Kickstarted: The 2017 Procedural Generation Jam

Make something that makes something. Sound familiar? It should, seeing how The 2017 Procedural Generation Jam is not exactly the first of its kind (remember?). And like 2016, 2017 will also play host to a jam during which participants... get random. Doesn't matter if it's a game, art, audio, or even text, so long as it is... wait for it... procedurally generated. Oh, and this year's edition is looking to Kickstarter for funding of several groovy things.
Continue reading…

Thoughts on the Steam Direct Fee Reveal and Upcoming Store Changes

Like a lot of other people, I too have been sceptical regarding the Greenlight replacement, Steam Direct, ever since the original announcement. How will it be curated, if at all? How much will each submission cost? When will the switch be flicked to shut down Greenlight, and will Steam Direct be put into motion immediately following said event? A lot of questions and only a handful of answers. Or only one, rather: the submission fee, and quite frankly… their decision is both good and bad.
Continue reading…

At a Glance: E3 2017 Indie MEGABOOTH

While the main focus of E3 most certainly is not indie games, at least they haven't been entirely forgotten, thanks to IndieCade (remember?), and of course the always lovely Indie MEGABOOTH. As for which is more awesome, well, that's not for me to decide. I'm just the messenger in this case. That said... a lot of those that are part of this year's E3 Indie MEGABOOTH are 'by appointment only', so in terms of volume, I suppose IndieCade wins E3?
Continue reading…

Back to the 80’s, Back to BASIC(s): ZX Spectrum BASIC Jam Has Begun!

About time we got another ZX Spectrum game jam, ya know? It may not be directly related to the Speccy Jams, but that doesn't matter. What does is, more ZX Spectrum games will be made over the course of the next 12 days. A lot more actually, if all 76 who have signed up at the time of writing end up with something playable. While that would be undeniably great, time will tell who masters the art of BASIC...
Continue reading…

At a Glance: E3 2017 IndieCade Showcase

Unless you've been living under a rock, chances are you're aware of how E3 2017 is only little over two weeks away. While I'm not super excited at the prospect of Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and other big AAA developers showing off upcoming games (perhaps even hardware?), something about E3 does still manage to raise my spirits. A little something called the IndieCade Showcase, and this year's lineup is looking mighty groovy!
Continue reading…

Speculating Screenshots (27th May 2017)

For most, weekends means two days off work with some much-needed R&R. But for game developers, it’s also a time during which they get to show off what they’ve been working on. I am of course referring to Screenshot Saturday, which involves tweeting screenshots with the #ScreenshotSaturday hashtag. Screenshots which I will be critiquing some of every single Tuesday, in Speculating Screenshots.
Continue reading…