Way To Go is an indie game/interactive film project from Caroline Robert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit and Arcade Fire collaborator, Vincent Morriset. You start out with a paper-thin friend, dropped in the middle of the woods somewhere with a small set of simple directions: press the W key to walk, the E key to run, SPACE to jump and the left mouse button to interact. The rest is pretty much up to you.
“Go on. Make your way. Stop to see the smallest things. No one’s waiting, no one’s keeping score.”
You travel through the woods, across streams and into fields all while following one continuous line. At any time you are able to stop and take a “closer look” at your environment with a click of the mouse button and trust me, it’s worth it. Here are some of the most beautiful moments I captured on my journey through Way To Go.
I love turn-based combat. Maybe it’s the tabletop gamer of my youth speaking, or maybe I just like having the time to work out the best strategy for my squad based on troop positioning and turn order. The frequent and happy mixture of this game mechanic with great sci-fi and fantasy elements certainly doesn’t hurt either. Whatever the case, I’ve had a great line-up of turn-based titles to pick from in recent times, from the strategic nightmare of XCOM: Enemy Unknown to the wonderfully deep and story-driven Banner Saga.
This is why I was very happy when, in July 2014, Creoterra - a small indie studio in Toronto comprised of Joe and Brandy Woynillowicz - announced its upcoming strategy-RPG title Empyrios: Prophecy of Flame. Empyrios promises to focus on tactical, squad-based combat. Players pick from two factions (Mystic Covenant or Shadowlord Pact) and build squads of units from the four races available to each faction – each ofering five character classes (mage, warrior, support, etc.). Your squad is then thrown into battle against another squad in one of 50 detailed and unique environments.
If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, and if there’s something weird and it don’t look good. Then who ya gonna call? Detective Francis McQueen of course. I’m not sure what you were thinking...
Update: The wait is over. The Witcher Battle Arena landed this week on iOS and Android. You can grab the iOS version right here.
Original Story: Considering the size, scope and notoriety of The Witcher series, it’s easy to forget that CD Projekt Red is an indie developer. But indie it is and as someone who has been lucky to meet the team a few times, I have the utmost respect for its indie mentality and desire to serve its diehard community of fans. As the studio builds to the launch of its truly epic The Witcher III: Wild Hunt for next-gen consoles and PC, it is also readying something cool for iOS gamers. We already know about the The Witcher: Adventure Game - designed by veteran board game designer Ignacy Trzewiczek (Stronghold, 51st State). It will exist in both real and digital forms and is expected "soon." Now we can add a MOBA to the list.
Expected in Q4 2014, The Witcher Battle Arena will be a F2P - with a strict rule that everything is unlockable in-game - fast-paced multiplayer online battle arena experience that promises to place an emphasis on skill-based strategy. Six heroes will battle it out at once for control of three conquest points, and you will be able to level-up and customise these characters as you go, experimenting with different item and weapon loadouts. Thus far, the witcher Letho of Gulet, dwarven adventurer Zoltan Chivay and the mighty sorceress Philippa Eilhart have been named.
“With mobile devices as powerful as they are and the graphics they offer being so beautiful, we can finally plunge into mobile gaming and deliver our take on free gaming to gamers worldwide,” said Adam Badowski, the studio's head.
It's a great time to be a Witcher fan and we're stoked to see this talented developer dabbling in bespoke mobile experiences.
In the gameplay video below we get a much better look at what looks like a pretty challenging 2D retro action platformer. We've even learned a little of the justification for pigs having guns. Here is the story in a nutshell from Cascadia;
"In the future, highly evolved pigs battle sentient slaughterhouse machines for survival. Save baby piggies, rescue your squad-mates, and shutdown the machines once and for all."
So that's your mission if you choose to accept it. Ammo Pigs sounds and looks like a lot of fun, and Cascadia is hoping to submit it to iTunes connect this week, so a release should be just around the corner.
Watch this space and remember to check out our exclusive interview with the developer in Episode 5 of Grab It.
Cascadia Games seem to have a couple of plates spinning at the moment. Having acquired the rights to the 1990s MS-DOS classic Wacky Wheels - which you can read more about here and here - we were thinking that would be its next game to follow up 2-bit Cowboy. We were wrong.
A very brief few seconds of gameplay from the developer's upcoming Ammo Pigs was released this afternoon, and it looks like Cascadia is back in 2D retro platforming mode. That's fine by us as we really enjoyed Game Boy inspired 2-bit Cowboy, and you can read our full review in Episode 5 of Grab It. Pigs, guns and action platforming look to be the order of the day in Ammo Pigs and it looks like a fun mix.
Cascadia is shooting for an early February release on both iOS and Android, with a later release for Mac and PC.
In the meantime you can learn more about the developer by reading our interview from May 2014, in which owner Chris Jorgensen talks about the future of mobile gaming, the popularity of retro visuals on iOS, and more.
We originally posted about Shadowmatic way back in December 2013, and at the time the projected release was for March 2014. Having all but forgotten about this beautiful looking puzzler, it was a very pleasant surprise indeed to see it holding pride of place this morning in the App Store's Best New Games list. Clicking through to the game's page reveals a stylishly darkened background, reserved for games that Apple wishes to shine a particularly appreciative light on, such as Monument Valley on its release.
Shadowmatic looks to be positioning itself as a serene, meditative puzzle experience, calling to mind games such as Zen Bound. A light source shines through surreal, abstract objects onto a wall, and the trick is to turn the objects and combine them in ways that cause the shadows to form a recognisable picture.
This is the kind of experience that might appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike, and based on its sheer visual beauty I can see it as a potential for design award nominations already. Whilst Shadowmatic is Triada's debut game, the studio is no stranger to visually stunning design, as evidenced in its ad work, which is really worth a look.
For more on Monument Valley, check out our world exclusive feature on The Making Of Monument Valley, put together with insights and behind the scenes art from the studio. It was the highlighted game in Episode 3 of Grab It.
One of the biggest surprise hits (at least for me) last year was the criminally underrated, lovable adventure game Doggins. You can read our review here. I can’t stop talking about the game and I would go so far as to say that Doggins was close to my iOS game of the year.
In excellent news, husband and wife team David and Brooke Condolora from Brain&Brain are working furiously on their second project, the folktale adventure Burly Men At Sea. Details are relatively scarce about the game so far, but we do know that it follows a trio of large bearded gentlemen on a fantastical adventure at sea. A few screenshots have surfaced so far, which you can see below. I love the direction of the art style, with a palate of softer and soothing colours being utilised, along with the use of minimal lines. It really does seem to capture that sense of preparing to set off on an epic adventure on the high seas.
We also know that the game will unfold through discovery, with the player being cast as both storyteller and wayfinder. This suggests to me that the player will have quite a significant role in not only pushing the story forward, but also shaping its direction. I wonder if we can rely on our storyteller to provide us with the truth, a la Rhys and Fiona in Tales From The Borderlands (read our review of Episode 1 here).
We won’t have to wait all that much longer either, with Burly Men At Sea aiming for a Spring 2015 release. We’ll keep you posted on any progress as it comes to light. You can also head over to Brain&Brain’s blog for more insights into the development process.
If we’re lucky enough, we’ll see if we can sneak in an interview with these guys to pick up some extra juicy insights.
After a few false starts, indie developer Mad Fellows has assured us that their debut title - SineWave - will definitely be launching on the App Store on January 15. We've been keenly anticipating this release for some time now, so we're pretty happy here at Grab It that there's only two more days to wait. Keep an eye on our site for a link when the game goes live and a detailed review. In the meantime, the developer has offered some very helpful tips on getting the most from its game once it launches. Also be sure to check out the launch trailer below:
In 2010, Tom Happ starting writing his love letter - in the form of a video game - to the 16-bit age of action platforming adventures, aimed in particular at those of the atmospheric, exploratory type (think Metroid and Contra).
Originally Happ's game - Axiom Verge - was a part-time affair, but thanks to a tap on the shoulder from benefactor Sony via its Pub Fund in April 2014, the developer auteur has been able to switch to concentrating full time on his dream project and is planning a 2015 release on PS4 and Vita.
Happ is doing it all; the art, coding, game design and even right down to the music. No stranger to game development, Happ is one of a growing number of developers who have jumped from the triple-A ship (having worked on Tiger Woods and NFL Street) into the independent ocean to follow their dreams.