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Indie Roundup 11.22.15 – Megasphere, Bit Up, the Last Shore, and Killers and Thieves

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This week, we’re feeling a bit scattered with the holidays sneaking up on us and all the delicious controversy in the games media. So our titles for this week’s Indie Roundup are similarly all over the place: first, we have a sci-fi, end-of-the-world scenarios in Megasphere, a side-scrolling hack-and-slash with a little pixel samurai in Bit Up, an ancient adventure tale reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda and Shadow of the Colossus in the Last Shore, and a rogue-like about rogues in Killers & Thieves.

Megasphere (AKGames)

The first game we have for you this week is Megasphere, a stylistic platforming shooter from AKGames that is now available on Steam Early access in its alpha state. In Megasphere, you play as a special ops soldier in a “post-cyberpunk” universe. Your goal: to find out why stars across the galaxy are going dark. The game sells itself as being something of a rogue-like with randomized maps every time you play, difficult and intelligent enemy AI, upgradable weapons, physics-based platforming and, of course, permadeath with checkpoints.

You can check out the trailer below, which shows off the game’s over-the-top, stylish action, or check out the early access page here.

Bit Up (Cosmogonia)

Next up is Bit Up, a game that really runs away with the “games are pixels” concept. In Bit Up, you play as Bit, a little pixel samurai in a gorgeous (albeit slightly blocky) world. The game is hack-and-slash, so it’s up to you to…well, hack and/or slash your way through a side-scrolling adventure, fighting against invading forces and killing them for their sweet, sweet pixels. Pixels can be used to “build new gear, manipulate the environment and even open pathways to secret areas.”

In the story, it’s your job to help Bit uncover the secret of the world while protecting his home from invading hordes.

Bit Up is still in the early stages of development as well, but there’s already plenty to see over at the game’s website. Or check out the teaser trailer below.

The Last Shore (Pulpo Games)

Hearkening back to the Odyssey and other tales of old, the Last Shore tells the story about a girl looking to save her family by challenging the very gods that threaten it. A top-down, adventure-style game with little narration, you play a nameless girl who is “scared but determined, young but capable” in an adventure that is reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda and Shadow of the Colossus. Like Zelda, you’ll find multiple tools to aid you on your quest, two of which are the bow – which deals a great amount of damage from range – and the sword – which deals less damage than the bow but can cut through multiple enemies at once like a chaff through wheat. And like Shadow of the Colossus, the creators of Last Shore hope to evoke a feeling of calm serenity between bouts of intense action.

You can support the game on Kickstarter here and watch the trailer below.

Killers & Thieves (Candle & Key)

Have you ever felt like you got the raw end of the deal in a world of corruption and wickedness? Ever feel like you just wanted to go out and take what you think the world owes you? Then Killers & Thieves might just be the game for you. In the game, you control a thieve’s guild in a feudal, medieval world. You’ll recruit randomly-generated meat from the street and turn them into the most skilled and devious thieves and assassins the city has ever seen. Or not seen, depending on how well you train them, I guess.

Portions of the corrupt city are procedurally generated as well (would that make this a rogue-like about rogues?) and you’ll plan heists and control multiple thieves in real time to collect as much swag as you can. All the while, you risk losing your highly-trained operatives for good. This is a rogue-like, after all. You’ll have to steal enough money to cover your expenses and, of course, to expand your influence throughout the city while you pick it clean of all the shinies that catch your eye. But watch out. Rivals lurk in the shadows as well and you’ll have to carefully play to stymie their growth while making yourselves the most devious and dastardly band of killers and thieves around.

The game’s developers have stated that the game may still be out by 2016.

You can sneakily keep an eye on the game over at the website here.

Writer, journalist, teacher, pedant. Reid's done just about anything and everything involving words and now he's hoping to use them for something he's passionate about: video games. He's been gaming since the onset of the NES era and has never looked back.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

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