For this week’s Indie Roundup, we take a look at a spiritual successor to one of the seminal dual-stick shooters of the 90’s in Temple of Rust, a weird mashup of medieval aesthetics and sci-fi spaceship combat in Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime, and Enigma Prison, a tool-based puzzle exploration game that pits you against a bizarre mind prison.
Temple of Rust (Dev Zoo)
Remember Smash TV? Of course you don’t, you were still in diapers in the 90’s. Ok, so maybe you weren’t, but for those of you were were, Smash TV was a crazy arcade game (and eventually released for various consoles of the time including the NES and Super NES) that was one of the premier top down dual stick shooters of the time. Frankly, it’s a bit criminal that it hasn’t received a remake in modern times as the tight gameplay and interesting premise of a bloody, futuristic gameshow were quite the hit at the time.
Well our first game this week, Temple of Rust, isn’t exactly that remake, but it borrows heavily from Smash TV to make a game that feels similar while delivering a unique premise and some updates for the modern age.
Temple of Rust is a procedurally-generated game, meaning each arena-like area you fight in will be different every time you play, keeping gameplay fresh. With a focus on tight controls, the game looks to deliver on that retro aesthetic of the old dual-stick shooters of the day like Smash TV and the original Gauntlet.
Temple of Rust offers procedural generated top-down arena action. Control a young demon hunter through his proving ground utilizing a growing set of collectible abilities. The game is notable for its replay value by re-creating the whole game world on demand. It resembles a modern Smash TV-like game.
Follow the game’s devlog here and on Twitter. Be sure to check it out on Steam Greenlight and, if it’s your cup of tea, give it a vote. There isn’t an official trailer out yet, but you can watch some early alpha gameplay below.
Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime (Spiritus Games)
Spiritus Games’ Fabular: Once Upon a Spacetime is a self-described “medieval space-folktale indie game.”
Intrigued yet? I know I am.
How can a game be both sci-fi and space-farming and still be medieval you may ask? Well, the “medieval” aspect is more of a theme with ships and weaponry having a very dark ages aesthetic to them. The vessels in the game look like something a knight of the Crusades might design and those very same ships might alternate from shooting lasers to smacking around enemies with giant swords or axes attached to their plate armor-like chassis. The ships are customizable and upgradable, so you’ll be able to really play around with this unique and frankly bizarre aesthetic.
The game is top-down and physics based, so piloting your vessel through the minefield of enemy ships, asteroids, and other hazards is almost as perilous as the combat itself. And it’s a rogue-like, so there’s no memorization here. The rogue-like aspect of the game doesn’t just stop there. There are text-based random events that help to drive home that medieval feel, often having very archaic scenarios for you to decide how to deal with.
Here’s what the developers have to say about the game:
You explore an abstract, storybook-like universe as a young space-knight in your trusty ship that functions as your armour, your figurative warhorse and your mobile home as well. You need to manage your resources, upgrade your ship, be skillful in combat and make the right choices during encounters. Only then will you be able to defeat the dreadful League of Black Knights who terrorize the realm as if they were a Seven-Headed Dragon.
Enigma Prison (Gustavo Rios)
Finally, we have another game vying for your votes on Steam Greenlight: Enigma Prison.
Explore a scientific facility using advanced technology tools that will mold the world according to your mind. Your play style will shape your adventure in this world full of mysteries to uncover. Learn with your mistakes and evolve to escape from this unique mind prison.
The gameplay in Enigma Prison revolves around four tools: the cube tool, which creates platforms to get to hard-to-reach places in the game world; the aptly-named teleport tool, which obviously teleports the player; the shadow clone grenade, which creates a shadowy doppelganger of the player; and the “explosive RC drone,” which is a remote-controlled drone (obviously) that can access small areas that the player can’t reach themselves. In addition, each tool plays differently with the others – for instance, the teleport tool will allow you to swap positions with your shadow clones. This means that you’ll not only have to learn the uses of these tools on their own but find out how they interact with each other to solve the various puzzles in the game.