Editorial

Indie Roundup 2.7.2016 – Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire, Streets of Rogue, and Knights and Bikes

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Welcome back to the Indie Roundup, single players. I know what you’re really here for, so I’ll forgo the lengthy introduction this week and jump into the trio of outstanding titles I’ve drummed up: Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire, Streets of Rogue, and Knights and Bikes.

Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire (L’avant d’Après)

First up we have a game that is significant particularly for its genre…or blend thereof: Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire is the story of Red, a young university student just trying to make ends meet. So like most college students she gets a job.

Unlike most college students, however, she gets a job as an underground masked fighter.

Honey Rose: UFE tells the story of Red, a young university student with dreams of making it big at the masked fighting tournament. She needs to balance her studies with her training, so she can bring home both the champion’s belt, and her graduation! The game is a life-management simulation, presented as a visual novel, with beat’em-all elements. In short: some reading, some fighting… and lots of planning!

HR:UFE is a unique blend of visual novel and beat-em-up brawler. You must juggle your studies and personal relationships during the day with the visual novel-style gameplay that’s making a resurgence again while making a go at the underground masked fighting tournament at night. It’s a unique take on both genres as you have to try and achieve both goals simultaneously. Who needs sleep anyways? During the daytime visual novel segments, you’ll do your best to increase Rose’s academic and physical stats, which do what you expect: academic helps our plucky protagonist perform better during school hours and physical makes her a better fighter. Your goal, of course, is to pass all of your tests and become the champion of the masked fighter tournament. Of course, there might be some hiccups along the way that require you to fight outside the ring too…but you can handle it, right?

The fighting segments are presented as simplistic 2D beat-em-ups, more similar to Streets of Rage than they are to Street Fighter. And while player skill will be a factor, the fighting portions will be largely stat-based. So if you’re not great at fighting games (like yours truly), between training segments with your Rosey avatar that teach you the ins and outs of the game and increasing her stats to make you statistically stronger than your opponents, you should be able to succeed either way. Of course, a little bit of skill might help too…particularly if you want to slack on your physical training to get an edge at school.

It’s all about balance.

You can check out the trailer below that shows off some of the gameplay and the basic premise of the game, or read up on the website here. You can also follow the devs on Twitter (@Lavantdapres) and support the game on PatreonHR:UFE is aiming for a late 2016 release on PC.

Streets of Rogue (Matt Dabrowski)

The best way to describe Streets of Rogue is with the developers’ own words. So here you go, I’m going to go make a sandwich:

Streets of Rogue is a rogue-lite about player choice, freedom, and anarchic fun. The game takes inspiration from fast-paced top-down rogue-lites like Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne, and adds free-form, experimentation-driven, emergent gameplay elements of RPGs like Deus Ex.

Yum.

The game takes place in a procedurally-generated city that you are tasked to explore, deviating from the usual rogue-like game that takes place in a dungeon or some kind of fantastical environment. Citizens utilize “complex AI” to live their day-to-day life around you as you try to accomplish certain tasks using your unique skillset. The beautiful thing is, the game will let you complete your tasks your way. Do you want to go in guns-a-blazin’ to bust your target out of prison? Go right ahead. Would you rather maintain the delicate thread of civility this dank and dirty city clings to? Go a more pacifist route. Feel like being a bad-ass computer hacker? Knock yourself out. With 40 different playable characters – from bartender to scientist to hacker to shopkeeper to hyper-intelligent gorilla (wait, what?) – Streets of Rogue promises an incredibly personalized game experience with heaps upon heaps of delicious replayability.

Basically, I want players to be able to play through this game however they want.  With a large number of options at your disposal for dealing with the game’s challenges, complicated AI patterns, and procedural generation, it’s inevitable that players will get themselves into all kinds of situations that I would have never dreamed of.

For example: Maybe you need to sneak past a group of rival gangsters, so you pay a street musician to create a distraction.  One of the gangsters spots you anyway and tells his friends, who all give chase while firing their pistols at you.  But one of their bullets hits a water fountain, creating an explosion of water that drenches a nearby soldier.  He fires his rocket launcher at the gangsters, turning a couple of them into piles of giblets, and spurring the others to fire back at him.  Rather than engage, you run past the carnage onward to your destination.  The rules that govern the world are constantly playing off each other in interesting and unpredictable ways.

Though there is a form of the ever-popular (and ever-maligned) perma-death mechanic, each run will serve to progress you further and further in the game. You’ll unlock features for your home base that allow you to progress further and further with each run.

The game truly sounds like what the devs describe as a “virtual playground” and all the freedom it affords you certainly promises to let you tell some interesting stories.

You can check out the devlog with much of the information about the game (and a playable alpha version) here. The game also has a bare-bones website here. The game doesn’t have an official trailer, but you can check out the dev trying out an early build and giving you the rundown of the game below. The dev is also on Twitter (@MadGuy90).

Knights and Bikes (Foam Sword)

Founded by veterans from titles like Little Big Planet, Tearaway, and Ratchet and Clank, the developer Foam Sword launched their first title to Kickstarter last week: Knights and Bikes.

In Knights and Bikes, you will play as Nessa and Demelza on their quest for the truth behind the medieval legends of Penfurzy, an island on the fast track to financial ruin and literal destruction. Recruit a party of creatures from all walks of life, enlist and inspire deflated islanders, and embark on an adventure to find the hero the island so desperately needs.

Drawing inspiration from games like Secret of Mana and EarthboundKnights and Bikes seeks to draw from nostlagic childhood adventures (alla movie Goonies, which the game is also inspired from) and to exploit a sort of “magical realism” to deliver an adventure unlike any other.

Inspired by memories from our youth, we want to create a great adventure about a band of kids for whom imagination knows no limits and friendship is king. We remember a time when games were something that you would play with your mum, dad, brother, or neighbor and together you could join forces and defeat the ultimate baddie.

We wanted to capture the feeling of forming a group, being part of something bigger, but also finding out who you are and where you fit into the world. Of course, a game about friendship wouldn’t be complete without the ability to play with friends. We hope that we can give our players an experience that brings them together like so many video games anchored some of our best childhood friendships.

The setting of the game is a land torn between tradition and progress. The island of Penfurzy has a long and almost mystical history and its natives, in many ways, adhere to the old traditions of yore. But it is also a tourist destination and a place that is bursting at the seems to grow into a more modern setting. The story begins with one of the island’s ancient relics being proven to be false, casting Penfurzy’s entire history into doubt.

As Nessa and Demelza begin their search for the truth behind the island legends, they unleash mysterious spirits that possesses many of the island’s inhabitants, human and animal alike. It’s up to our heroines to figure out what these spirits want, where or even when they’re from, and ultimately how to stop them.

You’ll split your time in the game between rescuing the imperiled islanders from the “dungeon-like” areas of the game and completing the “noble requests” of said islanders. During your journeys, you’ll find various treasures that you can return to town to improve the plucky Demelza and mysterious Nessa’s abilities as well as their trusty bikes, which will allow them to access different areas of the island and the story. The girls will fight utilizing their improvised arsenal (like Nessa’s trusty Frisbee) as well as by relying on their companions including Demelza’s pet goose, who is named Captain Honkers (because of course he is) and the preserved head of the “Pickled Knight.” The game can be played with friends via local co-op or alone with AI companions alla the aforementioned Secret of Mana.

You can learn more about and support the game on Kickstarter here and follow the developers on Twitter (@FoamSwordGames).

Reid Gacke
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.

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