Tag Archives: id@xbox

Tix’s Day Out at EGX Rezzed 2018!

It was a beautiful sunny day as my son and I caught the train to London to check out the latest Indie games on show at EGX Rezzed, which as usual was being held at Tobacco Dock in the heart of the city. This venue is the polar opposite of the large open spaces of the NEC in Birmingham, as it is an open air venue with lots of small rooms. My previous visit there in 2016 left me disappointed, as there were lots of people crowded into these small rooms, and with no queuing system in place there was more than a small amount of mayhem! Apparently feedback has been taken on board by the organisers, so let’s see what they have to offer.

With over 100 Indie titles on show, including a large presence from the folks at ID@Xbox, I knew we were never going to see everything on show, so a list was made whilst on the train, and our priorities were set. Here are my thoughts on some of the highlights of the day.

ONRUSH

The newest racing game from Codemasters and developed by the team previously known as Evolution Studios, who were responsible for Driveclub on the PS4. ONRUSH is not your usual racing game where the winner is the first one to reach the chequered flag. This is an all-action team based car fighting game, where your aim is to takedown the opposing teams cars whilst racing around an off-road circuit. First impressions of Onrush is that it is quick, frantic and immense amounts of fun! We had an absolute blast on the four games we played, all on the Countdown game mode which require you to gain extra time by driving through highlighted gates. I was intrigued with what I had seen in previews, but after playing I am now really excited by what Onrush will deliver. Releasing on 5th June this is definitely one to watch.

The devs have been busy since Rezzed and have released new videos detailing the other game modes available. Check them out on their official YouTube page and on Facebook and Twitter.

We were also lucky enough to snag a goody-bag in one of their giveaways, which made my son’s day!

Strange Brigade

This is the one I was most hyped about going into Rezzed after seeing it and watching the dev session at EGX 2017. Strange Brigade is a Boys-Own style adventure game, with up to 4 player co-op. Each level sees you battling the undead, mummies and statues that have come to life. The areas are set with traps to help you destroy the hordes of enemies, and there is nothing more satisfying than luring the undead into one of them before shooting it and watching the blades scything through them. This is possible my most anticipated game of 2018, assuming it comes out this year!

The devs have been actively promising more news soon and commented that the playable demo was an old build, and that the new build is looking and playing much better. I cannot wait for Strange Brigade!

Check out the official website and their social media channels here – FacebookTwitter.

Insane Robots

This one came as a suprise to me as I knew nothing about it before the show. Anyone visiting the room they were located in couldn’t fail to miss the colorful stand and stop to see what Insane Robots was all about. Developed by Playniac it is a single player and multiplayer card battling game which eschews the deck-building element so frequently found in the likes of Hearthstone. Instead, all cards are randomly allocated during the battle and these must be used to attack and defend, along with additional bonus multiplier cards in order to defeat your opposition.

Insane Robots was colourful and full of energy, and will be released in 2018 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.  Check out the official website.

Tyred

Visitors to previous EGX events will remember the buzz around Gang Beasts, with huge crowds watching as well as playing. Well, Tyred had that same buzz. The premise is simple. You take control of a Tyre and battle against other tyres in a series of mini-games. Fans of the TV show Wipeout will be very familiar with Tyred and a massive amount of fun was had by all. It does need some tweaking as some of the games were over-long, but there is definitely a diamond in here. Developed by the UK team at SekritGames, Tyred is only currently available on Steam Early Access.

Big Crown Showdown

Yet another game that I knew nothing about, and another that caught my eye based on its graphical style. Big Crown Showdown is a four player battle game where you have to battle against three other players whilst also navigating a treacherous world with traps and chasms. Great for family get togethers and drunken couch co-op but will also have online capabilities added for launch. The graphical style is medieval inspired but also very cute and pretty as well, with lots of charm. Big Crown Showdown is developed by Hyper Luminal Games and coming out soon for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Check out their official website for more info.

Phogs

Located in the same room as Double Fine – which due to the nature of the game was quite apt – Phogs is an interesting game where your have to control a dog with two heads using a control system very reminiscent of OctoDad. Developed by Bit Loom Games, Phogs is a puzzle platformer where the two dogs heads can attach to items by licking them, and then dragging them to a desired location. The body between the dogs can be stretched as well, and provided great moments where one head grabbed a light ball to allow the other head to function like a long stretchy torch. I smiled my way through this demo and look forward to what the devs will bring in the full game. Phogs was developed in conjunction with Coatsink and will be released in 2019.

Below

Ah, the long awaited Below. This was one I was most excited for. Originally debuted at E3 2013 before disappearing in order for Capybara to concentrate its efforts on finishing the game, Below is now resurfacing with extended gameplay trailers and demo’ing at both PAX and EGX Rezzed. I hate to say it but I wasn’t as blown away as I thought I would be. But that’s not intended as a negative as I believe that Below is not a game you can immerse yourself into for 5 minutes on an Xbox with other gamers queuing behind you for their shot. Below will need time and concentration in the peace of your own home.

Below is an action-adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective with your character being a “tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island”. The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character’s survival. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer described the game at E3 2013 as a “creative take on roguelike gameplay” in a “mysterious world”. The environments are randomly generated.

Below is still a huge one-to-watch for 2018, and I for one cannot wait to immerse myself in the world that Capabara Games has invented.

So, thats my review of EGX Rezzed. Was it better than my previous visit? Yes, without question it was loads better! There was plenty of time to chat to the wonderful developers, and minimal queuing for games. The game rooms felt larger than previous, although finding the games you wanted to play in these rooms was sometimes difficult. We did come away without seeing at least one title that was on our wish-list. But it is safe to say that Rezzed is on our to-do list for the coming years and my 13 year old son now prefers it to the larger main EGX that takes place in the larger venue.

ID@Xbox bringing Below and 23 more games to EGX Rezzed

EGX Rezzed is being held at Tobacco Dock in London on 13th to 15th April and the ID@Xbox program have announced that they will be bringing 24 playable games to the show including the long, long awaited Below by Capybara.

“We’re excited to be back at EGX Rezzed with our biggest line-up ever. It’s incredibly humbling to see how the ID@Xbox programme has grown over the last five years to the point where there are now almost 800 games released from 477 studios around the world.”

“Over that time, gamers have spent more than 4 billion hours – more than 450,000 years of time – playing ID@Xbox games, and we can’t wait for players to come and try out some of the newest games at EGX Rezzed”, said Agostino Simonetta, ID@Xbox EMEA Regional Lead.

The total list of games are;

Below – Capybara Games – BELOW is a procedural terrarium filled with life, mystery and death. Explore. Survive. Discover.

Bomber Crew – Runner Duck Games & Curve Digital – Bomber Crew is a World War 2 strategic bombing sim, where completing the objective is just as important as keeping your crew alive, as death is permanent! Choose and train your crew, customize your Bomber, go chocks away and return victorious!

Children of Morta – Dead Mage & 11Bit Studios – Become a member of the Bergson family as you hack and slash your way through endless hordes of enemies in this procedurally generated, narrative driven roguelike either alone or cooperatively. Experience not only what it means to be a hero, but to be part of a family.

Descenders – RageSquid & No More Robots – Descenders is extreme downhill mountain biking for the modern era, with procedurally generated worlds, and where mistakes have real consequences. Will you lead your team to glory and become the next legendary Descender?

Flipping Death – Zoink Games – Possess the living, aid the dead and flip between the worlds of Flipping Death – a puzzling adventure platformer where you find yourself filling in for Death. Maybe your new powers will help you solve the mystery of your own demise?

Frostpunk – 11Bit Studios (Windows 10) – Frostpunk is the first game of society survival. In an ultimately frozen world, people develop steam-powered technology to oppose the overwhelming cold. The city ruler has to manage both the inhabitants and the infrastructure the citizens live in.

GRIP – Caged Element Inc. & Wired Productions – GRIP is a high octane, hardcore combat racer, packing ferocious speed and armed to the teeth with heavy weapons. Evolved from the age of street racing, the world of GRIP is brutal and cut-throat to the core. To win the race is never enough, greatness comes from the journey and the trail of merciless destruction you unleash upon your rivals along the way.

Harold Halibut – Slow Bros. – Harold Halibut is a modern adventure game about the daily routine on a spaceship stuck undersea. Slip into the tiny shoes of Harold and enjoy the stop-motion feeling in this world made entirely out of craft materials like wood, clay and metal.

Huntdown – Easy Trigger Games & Coffee Stains Studios – In the future, the police have lost control to the mighty gangs who now rule the streets. Where crime is king, the authorities put their trust in hired guns to solve the problem. A price is set on the gang leaders´ heads. It´s time for the Bounty Hunters — It´s time to hunt ´em down.

Insane Robots – Playniac – Card battling HACKED! A riotous robot rebellion fought with fiendish card battles in survival arenas. Can you defeat The Kernel and save robotkind? Play the deep single-player campaign or compete in intense local and online multiplayer in Insane Robots.

Jump Gunners – NerdRage – Jump Gunners is a 2D retro styled battle arena game for up to 4 players, matching fast paced hilarious recoil jumping mechanics, with tight arcade twin stick gameplay. Described as the beautiful child of Towerfall and Worms, Jump Gunners brings back the glory days of battling your friends around the TV! Featuring over 20 weapons, destructible environments and tons of hats, Jump Gunners is the definitive couch competitive game.

Kingdom: Two Crowns – Noio & Raw Fury – In Kingdom: Two Crowns, players take on the roles of two monarch working cooperatively to build their kingdom up from nothing and securing it from the returning threat of the Greed. Building upon the award-winning minimalist strategy of the Kingdom franchise, only by working together can you ensure a lasting peace for your loyal subjects!

Moonlighter – Digital Sun & 11Bit studios – Moonlighter is an Action RPG with rogue-lite elements following the everyday routines of Will, an adventurous shopkeeper that dreams of becoming a hero.

My Time at Portia – Pathea Games & Team 17 – Start a new life in the enchanting town of Portia! Restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory, grow crops, raise animals, befriend the towns quirky inhabitants and uncover the mysteries this charming post-apocalyptic land has forgotten!

Nippon Marathon – Onion Soup Interactive & PQube – Nippon Marathon is a multiplayer-focused, physics-driven party racing game set in Japan. Supporting one-to-four players, contestants race across levels themed around different areas of Japan; or take part in gameshow-themed party games designed for two-to-eight players.

Nothing To Fear – Dlala Studios – Nothing To Fear is a trap-setting, scare-creating, object-mimicking, target-terrifying, puzzle-filled adventure game. Find creative ways to complete your missions and witness fear being restored as your victims share their spooky stories across social media. Take control of Mush, the heir to the Boogieman’s throne, as you scare your way across a hand drawn world featuring character designs by Mike Dietz (Earthworm Jim/The Neverhood).

PLANET ALPHA – Planet Alpha & Team 17 – PLANET ALPHA is an atmospheric side-scrolling platform adventure game. Combining fast platforming, creative puzzles, stealth mechanics and a unique art style to create an unforgettable experience.You awake on a strange alien world that is home to many mysterious, exotic flora and fauna. As you explore the world around you, you’ll uncover the ability to rotate and control the planet. Is this world really as tranquil and serene as it first appears and what more will you discover?

Robocraft Infinity – Freejam – Build, drive, fight! Create fully customisable robots block-by-block that can drive, hover, walk and fly in the multiplayer combat game, Robocraft Infinity. Equip weapons from the future and jump into the driving seat as you battle for supremacy in multiple 5 vs 5 game modes (Battle Arena and Team Deathmatch) against players from across the world.

Starbound – Chucklefish – In Starbound, you create your own story – there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.

Strange Brigade – Rebellion – Egypt, the 1930s. Erased from ancient history and buried in a nameless tomb for 4,000 years, Seteki the Witch Queen has risen once again. Only one troop of daring heroes can stand against the fearsome power of Seteki and her army of mummified monstrosities: The Strange Brigade! Explore remarkable ruins, solve perilous puzzles and uncover tantalising treasure while blasting your way through an array of undead enemies in thrilling third-person action that’s certain to bring out your inner adventurer!

TerraTech – Payload Studios – TerraTech is an open-world, sandbox adventure game, where you design and build your own creations through a mix of crafting, combat and discovery. Explore a hostile alien landscape, or design with creative freedom. The choice is yours.

Tormental – Gungrounds – Mental, destroyer of worlds, builds a powerful portal on Earth which he uses to manifest his deepest, most violent thoughts into the real world. Enter the portal and blast your way through the worlds of his mind inhabited by hordes of monsters that you’ll have to face off in order to reach and defeat his ego. Let the showdown begin!

Trailmakers – Flashbulb Games – Building a car, airplane, helicopter or walking robot in Trailmakers is as easy as playing with toy blocks. Take your machines on exciting expeditions, race them against your friends, or build the craziest contraptions you can imagine in our huge sandbox.

Wargroove – Chucklefish – Wargroove is a turn-based strategy game for up to 4 players. Each player takes control of an army and its commander unit to wage war on their enemies! Wargroove is extremely easy to pick up and very difficult to master, with deep gameplay mechanics that complement strategic play.

PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds will be 30fps on Xbox One

We are mere days from the long-awaited launch of PUBG on the Xbox One, and there has been a great deal of chatter on the internets about it’s performance, especially on the Xbox One X. However this week, the developer took to Twitter to confirm that the game will be locked at 30fps at launch. They also stated that they are exploring options to improve. But at this point it obviously runs more smoothly at 30, and will give the best experience for us console gamers!

Playdead’s ex-CEO announces ‘Somerville’

One of the minds behind Limbo and Inside has announced the formation of a new Guildford based studio: Jumpship. Their debut project is Somerville, a “sci-fi action adventure” telling the stories of people caught up in the midst of a catastrophe spanning the entire planet.

Beyond that, we don’t know much else yet. Jumpship has shared an initial teaser trailer for the game and its moody, mysterious setting, underpinned by a composition from Virginia composer Lyndon Holland.

Director Chris Olsen had been working on the project since 2014 until subsequently collaborating with Dino Patti, the ex-CEO of Playdead who left the company last year.

Playdead, meanwhile, are currently hard at work on their next major project following the launch of Inside.

No word yet on platforms or a release schedule for Somerville, although the studio very much seems to be in the early stages of the game’s development. We’re intrigued to see more when they’re ready!

10tons announce Time Recoil for Xbox

Time Recoil

10tons Ltd have been making games for a few years now. They have slowly but surely developed a definite style and have seemingly improved with every release. The developer behind Neon Chrome, Sparkle 2, Baseball Riot and King Oddball have revealed a new title, to be released through the ID@Xbox program, Time Recoil.

Time Recoil is a top-down twin stick shooter featuring slow motion gameplay. You are a member of the Recoilers. Your mission is to locate and kill Mr. Time, who controls a time-based weapon of mass-destruction and you will need to stop him in the past, or the future is over. To do this, you must use the wormhole at the rebel base to travel into the recent past. Along the way you’ll have various missions to complete, ranging from assassinations to rescuing scientists. Always expect the unexpected.

To aid you in your missions, you have a very special super power. You can slow down time by killing. Any subsequent kills will give you more time slowdown and will allow you to conduct unbelievable slow motion feats. Dash through walls to make them crumble, chalk up more kills in slowdown to grant special moves, with the more you gain, the more devastating the move. You can even combine slowdown and special moves to form a devastating chain.

Time Recoil is a story of rebellion and revenge. You are the last hope of a rebel organisation who wants to free the world from the grip of an evil mad scientist dictator. Charge your special move, start off with a simple dash and build it into a devastating psy-weapon to defeat Mr. Time.

If friendly competition is your thing, try the Speedrun mode and beat your friends into submission.

Time Recoil is scheduled to release on Xbox One in the summer of 2017.

Grab your Kinect and be an Air Guitar Warrior

Air Guitar Warrior

Virtual Air Guitar Company, an Indie studio in Finland, have announced that they will release what will be their 11th game, Air Guitar Warrior via the ID@Xbox program on Kinect for Xbox One. Strangely, this will be their first game to feature the air guitar play element.

Air Guitar Warrior is part music game, part scrolling shooter. Players will wield air guitars that double as weapons on a quest to find a legendary sword-guitar and challenge Heavy Metal Zeus at the very top of the Temple of the Rock Gods.

A full soundtrack has been specifically created for the game and players will control the rhythm and speed of the lead guitar directly. Musicians, Mika Tyyskä, Mr. Fastfinger and Samppa Siurala have been tasked to create the tunes in-game, throughout the 50 hand-painted levels. These range from post-apocalyptic ruins, to the pits of pandemonium. You traverse across the playing screen on one of 21 ‘vehicles’, including dinosaurs, sharks with frikkin’ lasers, tigers and jet-powered crocodiles. These also vary the gameplay as some of them will fly.

Use one of eight guitar weapons on all 13 of the gigantic bosses. These weapons each have five tactical firing modes to defeat your foes, with the goal to star in one of the 10 custom album covers at the end. The guitar responds to your playing style. Choose slow or fast, rhythm or lead, or bend backwards to trigger destructive rapid fire.

Founder and Lead Designer at Virtual Air Guitar Company, Aki Kanerva;

With Air Guitar Warrior, we wanted to really push the rock attitude. Air guitars that shoot fire, ice and lightning, dinosaur riding, flying flaming demon skulls. It’s going to melt your faces!

Jack Black would be so proud.

Air Guitar Warrior is looking to change rock history and melt your face, from the 29th of March, exclusively on Kinect for Xbox One, priced £14.99 / $19.99 / €18.99.

ID@Xbox title SkyKeepers gets March release date

SkyKeepers

When Microsoft announced the ID@Xbox program, a small part of me rejoiced at not having to go through some of the utter dross of the old Indie scene that contained some incredibly questionable content. Canadian-based Sword Twin Studios are one of a new generation of Indie developers to take advantage of the ID program to release great-looking titles to the Xbox masses. SkyKeepers is one of those titles.

SkyKeepers is a 2D action platformer following the journey of village chief, Tangi. He desperately fights to reclaim both his world and life. Seamlessly chain together various attacks and combinations, launching enemies skyward. When they’re airborne, teleport to your still-soaring foes to relentlessly pummel them in mid-air. Once you’ve seen them off, use the materials left behind to repair the once great SkyKeeper Village. As the village grows, Tangi will unlock new attacks and skills to allow for new and unique fighting styles.

Offering stunning visuals and a unique journey through a fantasy world inspired by Austronesian culture, SkyKeepers is the story of a tragic accident that spirals Tangi into despair, turning him to stone. Unprotected, the village suffers countless waves of hostile spirits attacking it. A year passes before Tangi awakes, emerging from his skin of stone to discover the devastation left behind. Collecting his axe, he must conquer the demons of these lands to rebuild his village and ultimately, himself.

SkyKeepers features a story exploring what it takes to overcome great difficulties and tragedy. This story helps to knit the clever and sharply designed combat that should be fun for everyone from new players to experienced brawlers. Rebuild your village and become stronger, all presented in a distinctive and charming 2D art style.

SkyKeepers will hit the Xbox store from the 28th of March, priced $14.99 or equivalent.

Release date confirmed for Voodoo Vince: Remastered

Voodoo Vince

Way back in 2003, on the very first incarnation of Xbox, there appeared an exclusive title. Voodoo Vince was a quirky puzzle platformer set in the magical underbelly of New Orleans. Sadly, when the original Xbox was mothballed, fans lost access to Vince and he’s been quietly waiting for an opportunity to rise again. Vince’s time is coming.

Developer, Beep Industries have today revealed a release date for the Microsoft-published Voodoo Vince: Remastered. Yes, Vince is set to return in a fully remastered title that aims to keep the quirky nature of the original release. Imagine if you own a voodoo doll, you get to tap into its strange, mysterious powers. If you are a voodoo doll, however, well, that’s when the fun really begins.

Join Vince on a wild tear through crawfish-laden swamps, haunted graveyards and the eccentric French Quarter in search of his missing keeper, Madam Charmaine. Utilise over 30 voodoo attacks to show your enemies who’s really boss. Invoke falling safes, prickly pushpins, lightning bolts and many more. You might get your backside kicked, but it’s your foes who’ll feel the pain.

Voodoo Vince: Remastered has been re-imagined in glorious 1080p with full 60fps gameplay. All of the visual effects and rendering have been updated and crammed, almost as if by some dark magic, into 16:9 aspect. Vince literally plays like butter. All of the original puzzle platforming gameplay has been preserved to be exactly as it was in the original release. It truly promises to be a nostalgia trip of epic proportions.

You’ll also be able to select soundtrack updates and remixes by Steve Kirk, the original composer for the original release. Voodoo Vince: Remastered will also promise rumble feedback, Xbox Live integration with Play Anywhere support (as it’s also coming out on Windows 10), and a whole story crammed full of sarcastic humour.

Voodoo Vince: Remastered will be showcased in the ID@Xbox area at PAX East this weekend in Boston, MA, being publicly playable for the for time.

You can get your sticky hands on the game from the 18th of April on Xbox One and Windows 10, priced $14.99 or equivalent.

Spotlightor announce incoming Candleman DLC

Candleman

It’s been out for a little under three weeks, to critical acclaim, but Candleman developer, Spotlightor are not resting on their laurels with the release.

Together with publisher, E-Home Entertainment, they have announced that the game will be getting several updates to add various requested and suggested features to the game. Candleman will also be getting a chunk of DLC in the summer that adds another hour and a half of gameplay.

This new DLC, while full details are not yet available, will give the player three more chapters, 12 more game levels and what Spotlightor have described as the ‘real ending of the game story’. The updates will also look to add online leaderboards and other polish to what is already looking like an impressive title.

Candleman is a 3D puzzle platforming game where the player has to help a small candle find his way through the dark, with only 10 seconds of candlelight available per level.

Travel through nine chapters in the original release, inspired by mythical adventure. Beware of dangers lurking in the dark, beyond deadly falls and running out of candlelight. you’ll need to guide him past raging furnaces, bottomless depths, menacing ghosts, massive machinery and more throughout this journey.

Dripping precious wax from lighting his wick does have one advantage. It reduces his weight and as a result, he can leap higher and he becomes more nimble.

Candleman is available now, exclusively for Xbox, priced $14.99 or your local currency equivalent. There’s no word on whether the incoming DLC will be free or will cost, but we’ll bring that news to you as soon as we have it.

King Oddball wants to rule your Xbox

King Oddball

Do you get excited by physics puzzlers? You know the type. Fling a ball, grenade, bird, rock, whatever, in the hopes of hitting a specific target? If you do, you’re going to love the latest ID@Xbox title to hit the Store, King Oddball.

Developer, 10tons have been producing Xbox titles for a little while now, having delivered Sparkle 2, Crimsonland, Baseball Riot and Neon Chrome recently on the platform. Their latest offering looks just as whacky.

King Oddball is here to destroy the world. The premise of the game is very simple. End the world in a unique skill-based puzzle game. The titular King is suspended in the air, armed with an incredibly long and sticky tongue and three tough rocks. The tongue grabs a boudler and swings. Time your release by tapping a button. How hard can it be?

If your timing is right, you can crush as many targets as possible. Crush more than three of the earth-based enemy with one rock and you’ll be rewarded with an extra one to finish the job. Try to anticipate the roll and bounce of your rocks and aim for strategically-placed explosive crates to wreak havoc on the puny humans.

The game features intuitive, single button gameplay, more than 120 levels with many secret locations to conquer. Marvel at the eccentric art style and original Jonathan Geer music score.

Can you help King Oddball conquer the Earth with your rock-flinging skills, or is this the type of title you’ll end up flinging away?

King Oddball is available now on Xbox One, with a limited-time 10% saving on the normal price of £3.99. Will you be picking this up?