Screenshot Scrutiny – 20th January 2013

Screenshot Scrutiny

Something rather beautiful in the game development community is Screenshot Saturday. Developers simply take a screenshot of what they’re working on, and then tweet it with the #screenshotsaturday hashtag, and it immediately appears on the website. It’s like magic, or something. In Screenshot Scrutiny, we select some of the more intriguing screenshots and delve into the information they hold!


Fran Bow

Last covered in Screenshot Scrutiny for their rather amusing (and NSFW) free game Pixxxel, Killmonday return with a look at their upcoming Burton-esque horror-themed point-and-click adventure Fran Bow. The screenshot is pulled from Chapter 2 of the game in which the wide-eyed protagonist, Fran Bow, has a meeting with some rather strange creatures.

The plot of the game is absolutely fabulous, and I kind of fear that attempting to relay it to you would just be confusing and would not do it justice. As such, I’m taking the admittedly lazy route out and copy-pasting below, but it’s really best taken in its raw form.

“You play as Fran Bow, a little girl with a unique perception of the world around her. Her parents are brutally murdered and the only thing she has left is her cat and aunt Grace, who takes care of her. But something happens; her cat vanishes and she is taken to an asylum for mad children where she loses her memory. One day the cat appears outside her window and she starts to plot her escape… During her way back home she will unlock fragments of her memory about the murder of her parents and finally discover who did it.”

Contrary to most developments, Killmonday have a very precise date that they’re aiming to release the game on, which is probably very good for motivation. The plan is to release Fran Bow on PC and Android on July 25th 2013. Hope that’s possible!

Soulfinity

As covered by us way back in November, Dogo Arcade’s Soulfinity is an interesting foray into killing yourself on purpose, just so you can make further progression in puzzles and battles. The game itself is an interesting mix of Ancient Greek mythology and, well, the future, pretty much. You play as Odysseus after he awakens from a multi-millennia slumber and is tasked with taking down the Titans once and for all. The game’s namesake comes from the Soul Chambers which you’ll appear in with your previous selves when killing yourself. Die involuntarily and your previous souls will be erased. Will be very interesting to see how this one plays out as we wrack our brains for the solution.

The screenshot, I’ve been informed, is a part of one of the game’s later puzzles. Why are there planes smoking through the sky? Apparently, we have to wait until the game is released to find out. Bugger.

STINGOUT


STINGOUT

Don’t get too excited! As wonderful as that gif is, it’s not truly representative of STINGOUT, but it’s a rather spectacular thing to watch about 10 times over before getting bored of it. In which case, let’s pull out another one just to over-indulge ourselves – there’s nothing wrong with enjoying clips of a comic prologue, is there?

STINGOUT

STINGOUT concerns the survivor of a wrecked colonisation ship that was attacked and ended up crash landing on its destination planet, DYMOS. Luckily, the survivor – an engineer called Morris Brigman – finds an accomplice in a surviving service robot known as M.A.N.T.I.S 7. On board the ship a “shapeless menace” begins to tear each deck apart, so it’s up to the two survivors to fight back against this alien presence. The game is intended for iOS devices and is played with both thumbs – one to move a mobile turret around its rail and the other to shoot with your arsenal of machine guns, rocket launchers and others that M.A.N.T.I.S 7 upgrades for you. Lots of polish and some meaty sound effects make the game seem enticing already. It’s best to check out the gameplay video below for more information.

DOT

Sticking with the space theme, albeit in a totally different aesthetic, DOT is a 2D sidescrolling shmup in which your task is to reclaim the eponymous character’s stolen stardust. DOT is a simplistic shmup with an extensive upgrade system that makes use of bonuses and rewards rather than purchasing from an in-game shop. Most outstanding is the character of the game, lived out through the artstyle mostly, but I have to also mention the sound effects – the “pewpewpew” is always gratifying, but that popping sound that plays upon shooting an enemy already seems satisfying, and that’s withoug having even played the game. Gameplay below to find out what I mean:

Sub-mission


Sub-mission

One of my favorite cheeky Australians, Ben Chandler, is working on another game, and this time it’s not one of his distinct brand of point-and-click adventures; instead, it’s an action game. He’s dumped some information about this latest project of his, but not all that much. However, just from the screenshot you can see that there’s an armored hover vehicle that I presume you’ll drive around shooting…squids and other enemies and turning them into fiery explosions. The more detailed information from Ben is that it’s an underwater shooter with adventure elements, with four playable characters that each come with their own story. It’s being programmed by @NihiLStarcraft (Jan Simon) and is controlled with mouse+WASD in Java. The focus, Ben says, is on telling each character’s story in order to complement the action.

Retro Arcade Adventure Remade

Retro Arcade Adventure was released last year on XBLIG, but I expect that not many of you would have heard of it before, so a brief overview would include mentioning that it’s a retro-style (well, duh) “one against many” type arena battle game. The developer, SIACTRO, planned to port it to PC after another project fell through, but in doing that they’ve ended up doing a full remake of the game for the PC, and so far it’s looking superior in every way. The pixel art has improved most noticeable since the original game, and if you want a glimpse of the gameplay, which has pretty much remained the same, then you can download an alpha demo to do just that. I chose this screenshot just because everything contained within looks outright wacky and bizarre, which I love. If downloading the demo is too much effort and you haven’t got the time, then maybe consider checking out the video below:

Dillo Hills 2

I absolutely love the original Dillo Hills, mostly because it takes all of the best parts of Sonic and twists the gameplay so that it’s a little more accessible. Basically, the idea is to go as fast you can so that you increase the happiness of the character, collecting as many gems as you can and having a bloody good time while you’re at it. The skill is in sliding down the slopes and not coming to a stop by hitting them at the wrong angle – it can be trickier than it looks.

Dillo Hills 2 is going to be even better. There’s no question about it. Not only are there more characters and more diversity across the levels, there’s also realtime multiplayer, so you can race against friends. It seems that the developers are also looking to bring the game to OUYA with LAN multiplayer too. Can’t wait! And you can find out why by watching the gameplay below:

Folk Tale

Look at that guy dance! The recently Greenlighted Folk Tale is a game I’ve been following for quite a while, even more so after interviewing Games Foundry and finding out their intentions with the game. Folk Tale is an strategy game in which you attempt to lead a village of idiots to fight against the forces of evil while maintaining their crop and clearing up after their tomfoolery. The fresh injection of comedy is what turns the game into something worthy of your eye – how many games do you fight against gangsta goblins and were-fu monks? Exactly – none. And if you’re not a fan of the laidback overhead view of RTS titles, then Folk Tale has you covered as you can also play in third and first-person views should you wish. Not sure how well that will work out for you, but it’s worth a shot. If you’re interested in checking the game out for yourself, then you can sign up for beta access.

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  • http://www.stingout.com Chris Hoppe

    Thanjs a lot for the mention of STINGOUT! It’s much appreciated!

  • Wonkyth

    Screenshot Saturday is like a weekly trip to the library. You see all these new books in the catalog you’d never heard of before, but they’re all still in processing or something. Can’t wait for a taste! :D

    /me now goes to squee in Ben Chandler fanboyism.