Wraithkal: The Indie Gaming Corner
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Weekly Indie Update (Week 7 of 2012)

A while back, in my post about adventure games, I took a look at the current state of the genre. Last week, Adventure Gamers did something similar by taking on the task of describing what defines the genre! A very interesting read, which can be found here.

The next topic may not be all that interesting, but it’s something that is badly in need of  some attention: Why are Microsoft almost trying to hide XBLIG on the 360 dash? Since I have not had access to that section for more than a few weeks now, I hadn’t realized just how bad it was, until I saw a post about a petition on the topic. A quick glance on the official page, reveals comments on the situation from the developers behind the XBLIG hits, Blocks That Matter and Fortresscraft.
Sure, a recent dash update did help somewhat (source), but it’s definitely a case of too little and way too late.

But enough about Microsoft’s lack of indie focus, it’s time to update!

A Valley Without Wind and AI War
Just like last week, we’re kicking off with plenty of updates for these two, including one I somehow managed to completely miss: A Valley Without Wind 0.574. Not sure how that happened.. and that’s far from all the updates this title saw in the past week, as both 0.575, 0.576, 0.577 and 0.578 were released. Sadly I still haven’t been able to find time to play it enough to give my impressions, so I’ll simply leave you to follow the links for the changelog(s). But wait, there’s more than simple patchnotes from the developer this week! A set of “before and after” screenshots were released, to mostly show off changes to the sky design, but also the HUD. Not quite satisfied yet, even after all those updates within one week, Arcen Games also put Vol. 1 of the soundtrack up for sale!
Moving onto AI War, only two patches were applied, but I bet that 5.025 and 5.026 were still important for those playing the game!

Again, like last week, next we have an update for the Minecraft/Diablo/Terraria themed free game, as it saw an update to alpha 21. I know. It’s free, so why haven’t I tried it? Lack of time.. it’s not that the game doesn’t look interesting, after all.

This one hit 0.5a and I must say, it certainly sounds like another one to keep an eye on, especially as it’s 50% off during alpha, putting it at $20 $10. The game is described as.. well, here’s the quote from the FAQ:

Starfarer is a single-player sandbox style space role-playing game with strategic elements.  That’s quite a mouthful, though, so here’s what it boils down to – fly around with your highly customizable fleet, explore, build stuff, blow stuff up, advance your character.  The goal is to give you lots of meaningful choices in a malleable world.

“Malleable”? Strange word to use.. but let’s move on.

Legend of Grimrock
Another update on my favorite upcoming dungeon crawler, that for some reason always makes me want to play Eye of the Beholder again! This time it was a tweak week and that brought both changes to gameplay, enemies and the GUI. Check out the entire thing here!

Dwarf Fortress
Not sure how I hadn’t heard about this one until now, but it seems that the 0.34.01 is something that’s been a long time in the making, so maybe it’s time to take a look at it. Fans seem to be really hyped about it after all, so.. maybe. In any case, the wiki describes it as “an ASCII game which includes both a roguelike adventure mode, and the more popular Dwarf Fortress Mode, which focuses on the creation and survival of a small dwarven settlement” – oh and it’s free! Doesn’t get better than that, as I’m sure some of you remember how addictive “ASCII” combined with “roguelike” can be. Good times..

That’s it for updates, which means it’s time for the noticeably longer release list, so grab your favorite beverage and get ready to demo it out with these.

Amp, Watts & Circuit (PC, demo, $5.99)
It’s finally out! I brought this one up last week, when only a demo was available, but now you can purchase the full version from both IndieCity and Indievania. Not convinced? Game Twonk has a review for ya then.

Oozi: Earth Adventure Ep. 3 (XBLIG, 80 MSP)
I did not find the first or second game in this series all that exciting and sadly, the newly released third entry was no different; doesn’t mean it’s not a good game though, just not something that caught my interest for more than a few minutes, before it got rather boring. If you want to a second opinion, Indie Gamer Chick has a review on it.

Chester (PC, $6.95)
Seriously?! Seven bucks for the PC port, when it’s $1 on XBLIG? Oh look.. it’s also only $6.95 currently, because it’s 30% off. I’m honestly not sure what made the developer force PC owners to pay that much more, but that’s one game I won’t be getting, as there’s no way I’m supporting such obvious greed.

Unstoppable Gorg (PC/Mac, demo, $9.99)
As you can tell from the link (where the demo can also be found), the game itself was actually released way back in January, but the demo didn’t come out until recently and trying it definitely made me put the game on my list of titles to purchase. It was in my review list last week, and it can best be described as “tower defense in space, with a unique 50’s theme”; a great way to mix things up, in what is quite frankly a very oversaturated genre today.

Rune Masters (PC, demo, €7.99 pre-order)
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve played enough match-3 (or 4) games to last me a lifetime. That doesn’t mean CodeDaemons Studio‘s upcoming title should be ignored by those who still have that itch however, as a demo is now available and it can be pre-ordered from Desura (note: pre-ordering gives you access to alpha/beta releases).

Telepath RPG: Servants of God (PC, $24.95)
While its pricetag is unfortunately a bit high for my gaming budget, at least there’s both a trailer and a demo on the website, so those interested can give it a look. It’s described as “a hybrid western RPG / strategy RPG set in a unique Middle Eastern steampunk fantasy setting”, which certainly sounds appealing but I have a lot of RPGs in my gaming backlog already, so I’m gonna have to pass on this one.

Wretcher (PC, demo)
Seriously? Just a link to the English and Italian versions of the demo, along with a “Coming soon” website? Talk about not revealing much.. I’m just gonna come back to this one, once it’s been released instead.

UBERZOMBIE USA (PC, demo, €2.99)
LAST BUT NOT LEAST.. yeah, let’s just leave the caps madness to the developer of this quirky zombie filled tower defense title. As I mentioned earlier, with Unstoppable Gorg, this is clearly a genre with plenty of games to choose from already, and unlike the 50’s twist that one had, the addition of zombies doesn’t really set this one apart from the rest – especially with Plants Vs. Zombies dominating the genre, far as the undead goes. Those still interested, can either give the demo a go, or purchase the game from its Desura page.

Wrapping up another WIU, as always, are the lists.. so here they are!