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

It’s Almost Time For PAX West, Which Means… Indie MEGABOOTH and PAX 10!

With September creeping ever so nearer, tickets to Seattle are flying off the digital shelves. Or something along those lines. What I'm trying to say is that it's almost time for this year's PAX West, and based on the Indie MEGABOOTH and Pax 10 lineups, attendees are going to have a grand time. Yes, I know that there are other things to experience at PAX West. But as you may have guessed, this isn't really about them (sorry, other events/exhibitors).
Continue reading…

Not Enough Steam Reviews! February ’17 Edition

Ah, February of the lovely year 2017 (depending on who you ask, of course). Winter was starting to show signs of retreat, developers returning from hibernation... and other fun nonsensical things. It was also exactly six months - and a week or so - ago, at the time of writing. What that last bit means is that it's time for me to check another month's titles on Steam, picking personal favorites from the lot. Oh, and as always, Early Access and Virtual Reality stuff won't be on the list.
Continue reading…

Steam Direct: 2 Months and 1000+ Games Later… (Wait, What?!)

It's been less than two months since Steam Direct launched (remember?), and if nothing else, developers are certainly embracing Greenlight's replacement. I mean, the first week of August alone saw no less than 215 additions to Valve's digital storefront, and in total, more than 1,000 games have been added. So... crazy? Ridiculous? Insane? All of the above, without a doubt? I'm going with the latter, quite frankly.
Continue reading…

Get Into a Colorful Speedrun Groove With Super Lovely Planet

Super Lovely Planet is a 3D platformer, one completely void of boss fights, guns to shoot, and collectibles. No wait, that's not quite right. It does actually have collectibles. Just not any of that other stuff, and yet, it looks like a game overflowing with fun times. Provided you enjoy going fast, being restricted to moving and jumping, and of course, don't mind platformers in the third dimension. Because for some reason, a lot of people really do. Big time. Their loss, though.
Continue reading…

Door Kickers Set to Gun Down 2D Terrorists In Door Kickers: Action Squad Spin-Off

I love when developers post weird announcements. An example: the latest from Door Kickers developer Killhouse Games, Door Kickers: Action Squad is going to be a pixellated affair and in 2D no less, complete with suicidal terrorist bombers. Quite a change from the main game, which was a lovely, deeply tactical title with, well, fewer pixels and a lot of shooting. I think there was some exploding too. Doors were definitely kicked, though.
Continue reading…

Go Small or Go Home: Make a Game Sized 13kb (or Less!) for Js13kGames

These days, video games tend to take up absolutely ridiculous amounts of precious hard drive space. Take 2016's DOOM, for example: darn thing clocks in at well over fifty gigabytes! Completely bonkers and not really the reason for Js13kGames to be a thing, but the two are still related. Kinda. That said, what sets the two even further aside is that, well, Js13kGames is about making games in HTML, JavaScript, CSS and such. Small games. Incredibly small games. Bite-sized games, some might say? Eh? Eh? Anyway...
Continue reading…

Graceful Explosion Machine Might Make a SHMUP Fan Out of You Yet

Graceful Explosion Machine. Is it simply the name of a game, or perhaps something more? Spoiler: it's that AND the name of the ship you'll be piloting in said game. Oh, and according to the developer, it packs a "ludicrously overpowered quad-weapon array". Which, if you ask me, means it's already a pretty darn great shoot 'em up experience. And then there's the colors... the music... so groovy. So relaxing. So very... EXPLOSIONS!
Continue reading…

Scale It Down Once More: #LOWREZJAM 2017 Has Begun

64 by 64. That’s the core of #LOWREZJAM 2017, much like last year’s iteration. 64 by 64, as in, the resolution of whatever game you may end up making as part of this particular game jam. Yes, I am referring to the completely bonkers concept of making a game that’s only 64 pixels wide and 64 pixels tall. Not 1920 by 1080, or whatever that 4K nonsense everyone’s spouting these days is. Just plain ol’, super low-res 64×64. Why? Well, why not?
Continue reading…

In Celebration of Interactive Fiction, the 2016 XYZZY Awards Go to…

It's amazing how the XYZZY awards continue to, well, amaze... every single time. Been following this particular celebration of all things interactive fiction since 2014, and even when the entries were a slightly mixed bag, there were still a wealth of really interesting tales among them, just waiting to be read/experienced. One thing in particular that stood out this year was Abigail Corfman's Open Sorcery, mostly for its unique blend. But do continue reading as that is merely one recommendation among many potentially thrilling finalists (and winners, of course).
Continue reading…

The Time For IGF 2018 Submissions Is… Right Now!

While the annual Indie Game Festival is a pretty big deal in and of itself, this year is undeniably extra special, seeing how it's the 20th iteration of said event. That's a lot of winners, a lot of celebrations, and of course, a lot of indie games. Because that's what it's all about, and IGF 2018 will be no different - indie games front and center! Oh, and submissions are open as of... right now!
Continue reading…

Embark on a Grand Adventure to Disperse an Evil Entity In Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

At first glance, Gemea may seem like quite the lovely place, what with its lush beaches, snowcapped mountains, and everything in-between. But unfortunately, all is not well here as an evil entity - murk, according to the locals - is wreaking havoc across the land. An entity only you possess the ability to vanquish. Only you can save Gemea from certain doom, in Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles! Uh, with the help of the locals, that is...
Continue reading…

The Time For Submitting to This Year’s Unity Awards Is Finally Upon Us

As anyone with a calendar handy can tell, 2017 still has several months in it, and yet here we are, Unity preparing their annual celebration of recently released projects made with the popular engine. There's method to the madness though: the 'recently' bit in this case actually refers to projects that came to be (as in, made publicly available) during the 2016-2017 school year (October 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017). Some pretty groovy awards up for grabs too, and not just for the game dev folks either.
Continue reading…

Space Tyrant Gets You All Grim and Evil in the 5X Depths of a Wartorn Future

In space, no one can hear you scream - or so they say. Chances are whatever enemies you choose to make in Space Tyrant will be screaming plenty, as they feel the wrath of an absolutely ridiculous army. One so powerful it just might be enough to conquer an entire galaxy! Muahahaha. I mean, what good is war if you're not on the winning side? Not that it's a guarantee in this case, but if you play your cards right - maybe? Also, 5X, because 4 is not enough. Or something.
Continue reading…

6DoF Shooter Sublevel Zero Becomes Sublevel Zero Redux With Massive Overhaul Patch

Remember how much fun it was to blast through narrow corridors in classics like Descent and Forsaken, each encounter a thrillride leading to the next fun laser-and-missile bout? Well, even if you don't, Sublevel Zero - now Sublevel Zero Redux - looks like a game that packs a lot of such old-school 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) fun, albeit with a few modern twists. Oh, and it's a roguelite, which means... wouldn't get too attached to my save if I was you. Among other things.
Continue reading…

A Winter’s Game Wants to Wage War With the Power of… Obsolete Technology!

Somewhere, at some point in the 20th century, war is being waged in A Winter's Game... from a concrete nest. Or rather, orders are given from said nest - the actual army, however few in numbers, is out there running and gunning the best they can. All while you sit safely in said area, barking orders by way of a command line interface. How's that for mixing the old with the new?
Continue reading…

Ashworld is “95% playable” With Scarce Resources In a Mutated Post Apocalyptic World

Welcome to the ragelands. Hope you brought plenty of food and water, because here, those things pretty much the equivalant of money (like in so many other post apocalyptic worlds, ya know?). Needless to say, surviving means playing it smart, so... probably best not to piss off the Ragers, as that lot won't think twice before putting you six feet under. Who? Oh, just the jerks who's in control of this particular part of Ashworld.
Continue reading…

After the Massacre: Grab Your Mop to Work for the Mob in Serial Cleaner

Little known fact: Serial Cleaner's protagonist is a ninja! Just kidding, although he is pretty good at avoiding detection and... well, his work does involve murder. Even if it's an after-the-fact thing, rather than him actually, you know, doing the killing. See, in this game, you're working as a cleaner for the mob, tasked with removing blood, bodies, all that nasty stuff - while avoiding the cops. Also, the whole thing takes place in the 1970s (or at least, it's straight out of the 70's). Groovy.
Continue reading…

Once Upon a Timeline: the Unity 2017 Cycle Is Upon Us With the Release Unity 2017.1

As time goes by, software - and hardware - changes. Sometimes it's minor stuff, things most are unlikely to even notice. Not quite so for the release of Unity 2017 though, as this is a pretty big deal, and one that'll have quite the impact on video game development as a whole, given the popularity of this particular engine. Oh, and it's also the first step on the road to (finally?) deprecating Direct X 9.
Continue reading…

Show the Restaurant World How a Top Chef Operates In Cook, Serve, Delicious 2!… Soon

"Mash your keyboard to cook delicious dishes! It'll be fun! It'll be easy!", is how a friend described Cook, Serve, Delicious! to me way back. Well, he was mostly right, but it certainly wasn't easy and I suspect the upcoming sequel will feature a nice difficulty curve too as you cook all kinds of crazy foods. From apple pie to piz-- okay so maybe not super crazy, and I'm not sure apple pie made the cut (get it?). But what I do know is that Cook, Serve, Delicious 2! looks amazing, and...
Continue reading…

Let’s Get It Kickstarted: AdventureX 2017

I know what you're thinking, and you're right: AdventureX isn't specifically about indie games, which means an article about it on my site might seem a tad odd. But it [AdventureX] is about point 'n click adventures, interactive fiction, visual novels and similar stuff, all of which I do enjoy a great deal. So... let's get this seventh iteration kickstarted!
Continue reading…

Be a Crazy Risk-Taker as You Glide Through Void Wisp to Rack Up Points

Void Wisp, being a score chaser and all, is not the most complex thing out there. But hey, that's quite alright because I have a feeling it's still fun, and at the end of the day, the fun factor is - or should be - what really matters. That and with only two things to remember in terms of gameplay, it also ticks that all-important pick-up-and-play box: staying close to an obstacle will increase your score, while the opposite will, well, slowly decrease it. Also, don't crash...
Continue reading…

Not Enough Steam Reviews! January ’17 Edition

Remember how, once upon a time, getting your game onto Steam was considered an accomplishment in its own right? Because if you do, my goodness, your memory's a lot better than mine! Considering the amount of shovelware that is added to Valve's digital storefront on a daily basis, I'd say times sure have changed, and not necessarily for the better. Time will tell if Steam Direct is going to change that, but for now, what say we focus on... the hidden gems? Or rather, titles with barely any user reviews.
Continue reading…