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04 January, 2017

Siegecraft Commander for PSVR Confirmed and Delayed, but PS4, PC, XBO Versions Still Coming Jan 17

Exciting upcoming indie strategy game Siegecraft Commander by Blowfish Studios hitting PS4 without PSVR support, for now.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that strategy titles aren’t such a great fit for the visceral experience of virtual reality, but our hands-on session with Siegecraft Commander at PAX AUS proved otherwise. The premise of the game is to take down your opponent’s caste while defending your own. And the way you expand your empire unfolds by hurling new towers out from existing towers into the environment. Doing this automatically forms a wall, adding to your defence. However, strategic placement of towers and the choice of tower – as they each hold different attack and defence units/moves – are key.

As a result the game straddles the divide between more traditional strategy games and tower defence, and has been well received by critics during its run on mobiles.

The game works in both traditional form – controller or mouse and keyboard – and via virtual reality, with the game set to release on January 17 for Xbox One, PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PS4. The latter was hoped to have PSVR support, but it was only confirmed with us this morning. Unfortunately we’ve been informed by developer Blowfish Studios that it won't be available for launch. PSVR support will be patched in post-release, but a representative for the company was unable to confirm a release window at this stage.

While no doubt disappointing for those with a PSVR setup, what we’ve experienced so far suggest the gameplay will hold up in the interim with the Dualshock. And obviously owners of other formats have nothing to worry about. Reviews should land in a couple of weeks, and you can read up on how the experience plays in VR with our hands-on preview.

Those who simply cannot wait to try it out, can dive into the original iOS game, Siegecraft, or can opt for its first iOS sequel, Siegecraft Defender.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below.

Get Every Episode:

- Episode 1 - Includes The Making of République (*free sample issue*)
- Episode 2 - Includes The Making of Oceanhorn
- Episode 3 - Includes The Making of Monument Valley
- Episode 4 - Includes The Making of Last Inua
- Episode 5 - Includes The Making of World of Tanks Blitz
- Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
- Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
- Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
- Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
- Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
- Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

21 December, 2016

BrambleLash Announced as Xbox One Console Exclusive

This co-operative, four-player indie game from Byte Sprite Games is coming to Xbox One gamers in 2017.

There were over 70 Australian indie developers at this year’s PAX AUS, and as you can see from the articles running down the face of our blog, we liked a lot of them. One particular game to catch our attention was BrambleLash by Byte Sprite Games. A couch co-op game, it’s all about working together to chase down various grunts and bosses across a number of colourful landscapes… until it isn’t anymore.

The game allows, or even encourages, you to betray your fellow team member when the stakes are high for a shot at victory. The only way to chase down the enemies is to tether with your friends. This causes a line to appear between the two characters and by moving about the screen you can sweep this deadly line across enemy forces. If your partner is in trouble, or to quick leap them across the screen, you can also use the tether to yank them over a large distance. There are other little environment specific moves you can pull off, like wrapping your tether around a pole to increase your area of effect.

Two teams of two can occupy the play space at once, and every time we walked past the booth, a crowd was laughing at the on-screen antics as they cut through the enemy forces. However, the ability to switch team members allows you to betray your friend when you feel the time is right. Stabbing friends in the back is the hallmark of any great couch co-op game and on this, BrambleLash delivers.

BrambleLash is due in Q1 2017 and has been announced exclusively for the Xbox One on console, while also appearing on Steam for PC. We’ll provide more information as it arrives. For those of you who own a PS4, perhaps check out Symphony of the Machine, which is coming exclusively to that console also in early 2017.

12 November, 2016

Siegecraft Commander - "Opens your eyes to how strategy gaming can unfold in VR"

It might not be what you think of when you're looking to try out VR, but Siegecraft Commander is proof strategy games just might be one of the coolest virtual solutions yet.

Virtual Reality feels right at home in first-person games, where you can walk and interact with hands that are carefully simulating your own movements. At least that's what I thought before I played Siegecraft Commander. I should start by mentioning that I love strategy games - the likes of Warcraft, Starcraft and Total War were staples of my gaming collection growing up. Couple that with city-builders and you've got a pretty great gaming afternoon.

Despite, this, strategy in virtual reality just hadn't occurred to me. Enter Australian developer Blowfish Studios.

06 January, 2016

Infinium Strike Announced as Xbox One Console Exclusive

Indie developer Codex Worlds has revealed that its upcoming tactical space action game Infinium Strike will be coming to Xbox One in Q2 2016.

Previously announced for PC, and even enjoying an open beta late last year, Infinium Strike was announced today to also be coming to the Xbox One. Developer Codex Worlds, founded by ex-Ubisoft employees, expects the game to hit the console in Q2 2016. It’s a positive boost for the console’s indie scene, which is struggling to match the number of indies appearing exclusively on the PS4

Infinium War is set in the far distant future: an intergalactic war with the Wrog – a race of sentient alien ships – is threatening to bring about human extinction. After decades of futile resistance, a last minute saviour appears in the form of a powerful resource called Infinium, which is best described as a living metal. The humans use this Infinium to create a battlecarrier called the Freedom Strike, which looks to be humanity’s last hope.

Players control the chief weapons officer of this ship, and will mastermind not just the weapon systems, but a whole fleet of ships and all the cutting edge technology available in the fight back against the Wrog. Described as a mix of action and strategy, it's a twist on tower defence whereby you need to out think the enemy by upgrading and placing weapons on your ship to deal with incoming alien threats as the emerge. You need to manage many sectors at once and not all of them you can see at the same time, leaving blind spots requiring a constant juggling act or management and scouting for trouble. Infinium Strike was funded on Kickstarter and has been in development for three years. It will feature two main modes; a Campaign that allows you to rise through the ranks from private to admiral, and Deep Space, a galactic-sized Horde mode.

Space is definitely the hot setting for 2016, with a host of big name video games on the horizon looking to change the way we view gameplay in the stars – think Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky and Eve: Valkyrie VR. Where will Infinium Strike sit when it’s all said and done?

If you’re looking for more great underground indies for the Xbox One and own an iPad, be sure to check out Episode 8 of award-winning digital magazine Grab It.

21 November, 2015

The Top 5 Indies on Xbox One You Might Have Missed

The Xbox One has turned two and we take a look at a handful of gems from the indie scene that went under the radar.

On November 22, 2015, the Xbox One had its second birthday. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the crazy stats we assembled in our happy birthday message. One of those includes the fact that 170 games by indie publishers have been released on the format as of that date, which is a lot of choice when you’re browsing the Microsoft store. So we thought we would whittle it down to the 10 gems you simply should not miss.

1. Hand of Fate
This amazing mix of action-RPG, collectable card game and roguelike sees you playing a deck of cards as you move turn-by-turn through randomly generated dungeons, foiled at every turn by the dealer’s random challenges. But where things really differ from your standard indie is during an encounter, as you’re thrown into a third-person, fully 3D brawler and asked to defeat your foes in a landscape determined by the deal.

2. Chariot
If you’re looking for laughs, this same-couch arcade puzzler is a riot. You play a princess trying to take your father’s remains – held in a chariot – to his resting place underground. The 2D levels are full of obstacles to overcome and you must pull the titular vehicle without making too much noise – or you will disturb looters - by tethering yourself to one of the wheels. When a second player joins in and tethers to the second wheel, working as a team is essential, and typically results in many frustrated laughs.

3. Leo’s Fortune
A visually spectacular, momentum-based platformer where you look to get a round hairball called Leo through some intricately detailed levels. It’s a tad short as the game originated on mobile – you can find a making of interview in Episode 5 of Grab It for iPad - but it remains very charming. There is a lot of challenge and variety here making it well worth your time.

4. Super Time Force
This sidescrolling shooter uses a fascinating gameplay mechanic very much to its advantage, allowing you to rewind play after death and then start again as a second version of your player character fighting alongside the ghost of the first. However, that ghost will replay his final steps, interacting with the new version’s world as he goes. You can do this multiple times, and the level design and enemy placement work together to demand you think well ahead and get multiple versions of yourself fighting towards a common goal.

5. Submerged
With no combat, Submerged is remarkably different from the other games on this list. You are one of only two people in this tropical, yet desolate land, and the other being is your dying brother. It’s a game focused on exploration and survival, and one that sticks with you thanks to its atmospheric and unique take on gameplay.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below.

Get Every Episode:
   - Episode 1 - Includes The Making of République (*free sample issue*)
   - Episode 2 - Includes The Making of Oceanhorn
   - Episode 3 - Includes The Making of Monument Valley
   - Episode 4 - Includes The Making of Last Inua
   - Episode 5 - Includes The Making of World of Tanks Blitz
   - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
   - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
   - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
   - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
   - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

21 November, 2015

The Xbox One Turns 2 Today – Celebrate With These Amazing Stats

It feels like just yesterday we were holding a new born Xbox One in our arms for the first time, right?

Depending on where you are in the world, the Xbox One has either just turned two, or will over the course of the next 24-hours. On November 22, 2013, Microsoft’s third machine and its entry into the eighth generation of home consoles, arrived. It would be the last of the big three, arriving exactly one week after closest rival, the PlayStation 4, and one year and four days after the Nintendo Wii U, a console that had struggled to catch fire like its predecessor.

The Xbox One wasn’t the prettiest of the bunch; bigger, louder and with an archaic power brick. It had a rocky gestation, too, with the “always-on” strategy bringing with it a healthy dose of negative press, and the promise of a far more advanced Kinect 2.0 never truly utilised in exciting ways by developers. But it had an excellent controller, 22 solid launch games and a great online ecosystem, which was enough to keep fans smiling ear-to-ear through Christmas.

09 September, 2015

137 and Counting - The Backwards Compatibility List Getting it Right

Predicting which Xbox 360 games are getting backwards compatibility on Xbox One is becoming quite the sport.

We've been following the coming Xbox 360 compatibility feature - due on the Xbox One this November - closely, and it would appear that one site has its finger on the pulse. For a number of weeks, Finder.com.au has been updating a growing list of compatible Xbox 360 games, which currently sits at 137. With the officially announced titles barely over 30, the other one hundred have come from a range of other sources, but these sources appear to be correct. The site already featured Borderlands on its list ahead of the reveal last week, and the Ubisoft titles just teased were on their weeks ago.

Perhaps this list is the best indication of what to expect out there. We'll continue to update you as news rolls in.

Also Read: Splitscreen Gaming is a Culture Not a Mode – How Halo 5: Guardians is Getting It Wrong

Also Read: Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

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