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Indie Roundup 3.7 – Fictorum, Postcard from Capri, Dad by the Sword

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Welcome back, single players, to our weekly Indie Roundup. This week we have three games for you to keep an eye on. In Fictorum, you play as an all-powerful mage that can lay waste to his enemies as well as the landscape with his mighty magic. In Postcard from Capri, you explore a picturesque, exotic island without speaking a word of the native tongue, and Dad by the Sword is a dad joke made into a game. Oh, and there’s a sword and “tactical dismemberment.”

Enjoy!

Fictorum (Scraping Bottom Games)

WebsiteFacebook / Twitter (@Scraping_Bottom)

Getting ready to hit Kickstarter this year, Fictorum is a game in which you play a wizard.

Hold on, there’s more.

The power fantasy in Fictorum seems to have been ramped up to 11. In typical fantasy settings, wizards are frail powerhouses, glass cannons that are restrained by their need for mana and their poor constitution. But not in Fictorum. “Launch your foes and topple structures from the realistic explosive impacts of your arcane might, without being crippled by low energy, resting to relearn spells, or a frail constitution,” the game boasts. As a powerful mage, you’re able to fight hoards of lowly, armor-clad brutes and wreck havoc in a fully-destructible environment with a wave of your hand, wielding dynamically-shaped, upgradable magic that you can alter on the fly. You’ll equip artifacts to empower your character and “traverse a broken world to fulfill your vengeance.”

The story follows the legendary (and titular) Fictorum, a powerful wizard that was “born with the talent to master all offensive schools of magic” in a world where most magicians spend their whole lives mastering only one. But talent breeds contempt and the mage orders banded together to attempt to wipe out the Fictorum and nearly succeeded. You are one of the few remaining Fictorums and it’s up to you to save the world that wants nothing more than your very destruction.

So far there isn’t a trailer for Factotum yet, but there’s some pretty killer gameplay videos on their website. You can check out one of them below.

Postcard from Capri

Devlog / Instagram

Postcard from Capri is a first-person narrative experience with a twist. As an investigative journalist, you receive a mysterious postcard – and a ferry ticket – from the picturesque island of Capri . It’s up to you to unravel the game’s story by interacting with the exotic locale’s inhabitants…all without being able to speak a single word of the native tongue.

The game is somewhat of an experiment where I will try to avoid traditional, wornout gameplay but still make it enjoyable through mood, characters etc. It’s like a classic textbased adventure game at an exotic place (Capri), but, it’s first person, and the inhabitants of Capri doesn’t speak your language. So in order to communicate, you´ll have to use the pictures you take with your simple vacation camera.

Though Capri is a real place – an Island in the Gulf of Naples, just off of Italy – the game’s Capri is not meant to be a faithful representation of that place but rather a composite of the feel of an exotic locale. The game’s creator said “I used Capri in the title since it symbolizes a typical exotic place to me, as well as being an inspiration.”

So far, not much else is known about the game besides these little tidbits and some of the screenshots (which you can see below), which show a beautiful and colorful setting for the titular isle of Capri, but it’s pretty clear from those screenshots that Capri is a place I’d like to go on vacation.

Dad by the Sword (Rocketcat Games)

Website / Facebook / Twitter (@rocketcatgames)

Dad by the Sword is both a game and a terrible, terrible dad joke. It’s a tongue-in-cheek adventure about “YOUR DAD running around in jean shorts as he slays anti-dads with a claymore and various other dadcessories” from the mad geniuses over at Rocketcat Games.

I can’t make this stuff up, but if I could I’d be a millionaire.

It’s like Gone Home meets The Walking Dead meets Heavy Rain meets Twin Peaks except you’re decapitating or otherwise chopping through armies of worm-wizzards and Shorts-men and evil hot dogs. Or it’s like Skyward Sword + Binding of Isaac except you get to be a dad in this.

I’m pretty sure that description is as tongue in cheek as the game itself, but the gameplay looks pretty solid with honed melee combat allowing you to attack and disarm opponents – both by removing their weapons and armor as well as literally removing their arms with the game’s “tactical dismemberment” mechanics – with your mighty sword (which is also your dad, apparently). You can also find the aforementioned “dadcessories,” which are alternate weapons that you can use along with your primary weapon. The game also features procedurally-generated dungeons and “dad perks,” which allow you to personalize your in-game dad, perhaps in case you want to make him more like your real dad.

All this combines to a solid-looking experience that is expected to be out in “early 2016” for PC. You can check out the (rather gorey) trailer below to see the game in action. I know I’m excited.

“Hi Excited, I’m dad.”

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 July 2019

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Three Single Player Games (July 2019) - Sea of Solitude, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Wolfenstein Youngblood

July, the middle of winter down here in Australia. Even in the bizarre New South Wales climate, the biting cold makes for a great excuse to stay inside and play games. 

Weirdly for single players, quite a few prestige games this month include additional co-op modes. With acclaimed designers behind them, such games will hopefully avoid the pitfalls of accommodating multiple players, as too many games have done in the past.

Sea of Solitude

Release Date: July 5, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

At first blush, Sea of Solitude looks like yet another story of a young adult struggling with questions of identity and mental health while exploring a beautiful but harsh fantasy world.

Actually, that’s what it is. ‘Quirky, life affirming indie adventure’ is a whole cottage industry these days, but the fact that such games are now more prevalent should never dismay.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a masterpiece of refined design and storytelling, and Sea of Solitude appears be something similar—this time dealing with a fantastical vision of depression that turns ordinary people into literal monsters.

Players take charge of Kay, who has sought out the eponymous Sea—or rather, a flooded city based on Berlin—in the hope that there is a cure for monstrosity. However, despite its name, she is not the only person in the Sea. Avoiding the other monsters of the Sea seems to be a major part of the gameplay. These tense encounters are likely to provide rhythm and variety to the adventure and keep it from being a just walking simulator. (Not that being a walking simulator is inherently a problem.)

Although published by EA Originals, one would do well to remember that EA the company does not actually profit off the Originals that they publish. With a focused story and themes that still are not often explored in bigger games, Sea of Solitude should be of great interest to single player fans in a month otherwise dominated by multiplayer titles.

 

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Almost certainly the biggest single player release of the month, and tied with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as another massive Switch exclusive, Fire Emblem: Three Houses might be exactly what single players need right now.

Lately the Fire Emblem franchise has exploded in both its popular profile and sales success, buoyed by a hunger for both deep anime RPGs and polished tactics games. Three Houses seems to have doubled down on exciting trends and features in both genres: particularly a Persona/Harry Potter inspired magic school setting and an even deeper tactical battle system that ditches the rock-paper-scissors for more nuanced character progression options. As with many Japanese RPGs, the story is also a major focus and hinges upon a time-jump.

The early part casts the player as a teacher at the Officer’s Academy, situated in the center of the game world and attended by students from the three most powerful nations. Five years later, the second and likely larger part concerns the drama between the player’s teacher and their former students, whose nations are now locked in a massive three-way conflict.

As is to be expected for a series finally coming back to consoles after a long time on the 3DS, Three Houses is a massive technical leap over its predecessors. The game boasts better realised battlefields, more detailed armies, and a slick animated style that appears much more consistent compared with the three or four different art styles on the 3DS.

With such improvements, as well as the overall pedigree of the Fire Emblem brand, Three Houses should have no trouble satisfying single player fans looking for a meaty middle-of-the-year RPG.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

The recent Wolfenstein revival series is such a remarkable achievement in traditional shooter design and great, if goofy, sci-fi worldbuilding that the co-op focus of this latest instalment is somewhat disappointing.

Yes, as with F.E.A.R. 3 and Dead Space 3, following a well-received second chapter the Wolfenstein series now pivots to a co-operative focused chapter. Though the game is not a mandatory multiplayer experience, combat encounters and puzzles have been redesigned to accommodate the two player mode, giving single players an AI-controlled partner and bullet sponge enemies.

However, all hope is not lost for Wolfenstein: why else would it be the third game on the list? The narrative has been pushed forward in time, as B.J.’s twin daughters are now in their adolescence, now giving players a glimpse at the 1980s of Wolfenstein‘s skewed universe. Additionally, the level design itself is more freeform thanks to development assistance from Arkane, the developers of the Dishonored series.

Will Wolfenstein: Youngblood successfully deliver more of the series’s goofy charm and crazy alternate reality? Almost certainly. On the other hand, will the game be as fun to play alone as in multiplayer? That remains to be seen. Last month’s E3 demo that raised such concerns was naturally only a snapshot of a game in development, so MachineGames and Arkane have had plenty of time to resolve these potential downsides to a co-op focused game.

Those are our three big single player games to look out for this month. Other interesting titles coming soon include Stranger Things 3 on July 4 and Attack on Titan 2 on July 5, both games hitting Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

On July 12 we will see the sequel to an almost-fantastic Minecraft-like RPG spinoff, Dragon Quest Builders 2 on Switch and PlayStation 4, as well as the Switch port of “anime Monster Hunter”, God Eater 3

The week after, July 19 brings us Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, and at an undetermined time during the month Klei Entertainment’s anticipated survival-sim Oxygen Not Included will finally leave early access on PC.

Have we missed anything that you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and be sure bookmark OnlySP and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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