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Clowns, Dinosaurs, Aliens and Screaming Sausages: VGG news for 11-10-2013

Daleks stole my lunch box
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• New games for two popular franchises: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy was released on Nov 8th for the 3DS. Rayman is also back, this time on mobile platforms. Rayman Fiesta Run was released this week for Android and iOS devices. I haven't seen it in action but the screenshots look impressive.

• Notable releases next week: the fondly remembered post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland makes a comeback thanks to the successful Wasteland 2 kickstarter. The game will be released on November 12 (but Wasteland 2 backers can already play it, at least the gog version) on Steam and and includes usability enhancements (such as in-game help and paragraph text, no more fiddling with the paragraph book) and some graphics changes (which can be switched off). Another awaited release is XCOM: Enemy Within, the first expansion for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which will add, among other things, new enemies, new research and squad customizing options and a sizable number of new maps.

• The big AAA event of this week is of course Blizzcon. The big announcement was a new World of Warcraft expansion called Warlords of Draenor, which will add new content such as player strongholds but also give a graphical facelift to familiar faces, raise the level cap to 100 and bring back many personalities from the past of the Warcraft franchise. They also detailed Heroes of the Storm, their upcoming MOBA (no release date yet but their open beta program have started, see the website for details) and Hearthstone, their free to play tablet card game. There's no release date yet for this one either, but open beta testing is scheduled to start next month, and they're working on a version for the iphone and android. Blizzard also more or less confirmed working on updated versions of the Warcraft games.

Indie News

• There have been a large number of interesting kickstarters lately. Among those that caught my eye are Dino Run 2, the sequel to the popular escape-the-extinction-event endless runner Dino Run, Stasis, a 2d isometric sci-fi horror adventure game with beautiful graphics, and Dropsy, an open-world surreal adventure game with a clown protagonist.

Splot has been in development for years (it was offered as a preorder in an April 2011 Humble Bundle). Frozenbytes published screenshots this week as well as a short video of someone playing the game on a tablet, stating the lack of updates was due to the many changes in gameplay and graphics during development. The game is still scheduled to be released this year.

• Some indie releases of note: Neocolonialism, a strategy game of ruthless exploitation (whose creator was interviewed for boardgamegeekTV at PAX East 2013), Mush, the cooperative browser game of alien infestation, Desktop Dungeons, a fast-playing puzzle roguelike, Intake, psychedelic arcade shooter, the typography platformer Type:Rider, and King Arthur's Gold, the multiplayer medieval mayhem game inspired by Worms and The Lost Vikings.

Seltani Age has entered beta. The text-based multiplayer exploration game is launching a game jam to celebrate. Seltani is "an online, shared, text-based, open-source fan project based on the Myst series of games. In this environment, players can create and share explorable worlds." World creation is entirely text-based, through the browser.

Around the web

• Rob Fearon on indie games pricing.

Live-action Rayman!

• An interview of Nina Freeman, one of the co-founders of the Code Liberation Foundation, a non-profit which offers free game development workshops for women in New York.

Around VGG:

• The theme for this month's review contest is "top 200", review a game in VGG's top 200. As usual, head over to the geeklist for details and deadlines.

• If you're a Doom player, go play Cynical's map!

Recommendation of the week

Thanks to Duncan for the screenshot

Zaga-33, one of the many games by prolific designer Michael Brough is a roguelike that manages to pack a lot in a small format. The randomly generated levels occupy only one screen, clever use of the few different items can mean the difference between success and a lonely death in the alien jungles of Zaga-33. At 28 levels the game won't take an afternoon to complete, unless you're prone to analysis paralysis. It can be found here (windows and mac, the windows version can be played under linux with Wine), and it's also available on the iOS appstore.

All game images in this post come from their respective press kits.
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