GOG release: “I am not a Monster: First Contact”

Cheerdealers’ and Alawar Premium‘s turn-based strategy game I am not a Monster: First Contact lands with a retro trash vibe on GOG.

I am not a Monster: First Contact is a game that can sell itself with its presentation alone, as it immediately brings back memories of classic sci-fi adventure fare like Flash Gordon, Star Trek, or Battlestar Galactica. The premise is as silly as it can get, with the Albatross space liner being overrun by lizard monsters that can infect humans and turn them into their own. So it’s up to eight heroes and heroines to save the passengers and fight back the aliens.

One plays eight characters and see the game’s story unfold itself from their different points of view in the course of more than 30 levels. Presented in a fun cartoon style that leaves room for lots of well-drawn characters and backgrounds, this looks like a great throwback to times that always raise a smile, probably for the wrong reasons (acting, special effects, etc.). But as the developer is clearly in on the joke, too, this can only be a good thing. Of course there’s also a great game hidden behind all the nostalgic coating that clearly takes inspiration from titles like the classic X-COM series (see GOG release news).

I am not a Monster: First Contact was originally released in September 2018 and is now available DRM-free on GOG with a 55% launch discount that will last until November 22, 2 pm UTC.

Official website

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Game release: “Sparklite” (PC,PS4,Xbox One,Nintendo Switch)

Red Blue Games‘ and Merge Games‘ action-adventure Sparklite provides plenty of nostalgia with its pixel art style and gameplay.

The titular life force of the planet is what holds the world of Geodia together, but it has to be handled with care, as can be seen with people learning how to use the energy for either good or evil. The “Baron” is thus planning to mine the world’s Sparklite core for himself, i.e. using it to fuel his war machines. This obviously has a very negative effect on the surroundings, with animals turning into monsters and everything becoming corrupted and rotting away. So it’s up to mechanic Ada to stop the baron and bring the world back to its natural glory.

The world is presented in five procedurally generated biomes where one has to battle monsters and solve puzzles, which can only be done by inventing weapons and gadgets. Featuring a lovely pixel art style and some fantastic music inspired by Gamecube titles of yesteryear, this looks like a great throwback to the good old but also new action-adventure times, with The Legend of Zelda or Rogue Legacy (see my review) being some examples. If one feels like doing the adventure all on one’s own can become too troublesome, then it’s also possible to play a local assistive co-op with a friend after one has rescued Ada’s robot sidekick.

The game is out now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch with a 15% launch discount that will last until November 21th, 4 pm UTC.

Buy game for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the game for PS4 on
the PSN store

Buy the game for Xbox One on
the Xbox store

Buy the game for Nintendo Switch on
the Nintendo eShop

Official website

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Game release: “Blacksad: Under the Skin” (PC,PS4,Xbox One)

Pendulo Studios‘, Ys Interactive‘s, and Microids‘ adventure game Blacksad: Under the Skin adds animals to the film noir template.

Pendulo Studios is known for some quirky and always quite unique titles, as could be seen with the Runaway series, Yesterday games or The Next BIG Thing (see GOG release news). Now their newest title can actually be the next hit due to its ingenious idea of putting animals into characters one expects in a film noir. Taking place in New York in the 50ies, corruption and crime is at an all-time high, especially after Joe Dunn, the owner of a boxing club, is found dead and the new boxing star Bobby Yale has also disappeared. Of course as it’s the case with every film noir, a private detective (John Blacksad) is hired by a woman (Sonia Dunn, Joe’s daughter) to investigate. It soon becomes a dog eats dog or cats or any other antropomorphic animal world.

Blacksad is actually a Spanish comic book series, so it’s fitting that it’s presented as one. Pendulo Studios are certainly no strangers to the art style, as their games have always featured lovely hand-drawn characters and backgrounds. This time despite having a few puzzles to solve, the company goes in a much more action-heavy direction, so expect something akin to The Wolf Among Us: Season 1 (see my review) with lots of quick time events and not-so-kid friendly violence and drama scenes. The game certainly looks and sounds fantastic thanks to great voice acting and the jazz score.

The game is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, but will be available on Nintendo Switch as well, although you have to check if it’s available in your country. Right now the digital versions can only be bought for PC, while all the retail console as well as PC versions can only be bought in Germany, except for the PS4/Xbox One version that is sold in the UK. Expect the other retail/digital versions to arrive soon. Anyone who buys the game on GOG before November 21, 4 pm UTC, will receive Yesterday Origins for free.

Buy the digital version for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the retail version for PC on
Amazon Germany

Buy the retail version for PS4 on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK

Buy the retail version for Xbox One on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK

Official website

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Game update: “This War of Mine: Final Cut”

11 bit studios‘ anti-war survival simulation adventure game mix This War of Mine celebrates its 5th anniversary with the free Final Cut update.

The title has gathered lots of attention of the media outside of the gaming community due to its realistic subject matter it has handled so well: trying to survive as a civilian during wartime. Now it seems that the development team has reached the end of adding features and story content, improving on the original vision. The Final Cut includes all updates and free expansions, but also expands the scenarios with locations from the Stories DLCs. There are new quests and events plus a brand-new character to play as.

Classic locations have been graphically remastered, 21:9 aspect ratio support has been added, and one can choose to play both the 64 and 32 bit version. In addition to a new main menu, adjustments have been made for a 4K UI system, while a number of other smaller bugfixes and tweaks should make the whole experience even smoother. So this might just be the perfect way to start play the game for the first time or replay it.

This War of Mine: Final Cut is now available as a free update for anyone who owns the game on PC.

Buy the game for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

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GOG release: “Tower Hunter: Erza’s Trial”

IceSitruuna’s roguelite action-platformer Tower Hunter: Erza’s Trial with an anime touch arrives on GOG.

The concept of Tower Hunter: Erza’s Trial is rather simple: following the ordeal of other warriors to climb a tower and overcome the trials of the mysterious building’s lord. Defeated bosses grant the player cards, and the rarer they are, the more power and a higher status they represent. Heroine Erza has the advantage that she bonded with a demon in her childhood who gives her another chance each time she dies, so that she can explore even more of the tower.

Being a roguelite, the game presents a challenge to the player that there isn’t any checkpoint which saves one’s progress, so dying means losing everything. Learning by doing or rather acquiring more skills and developing one’s character is essential to survive. It all looks a bit like Castlevania, only with a few colorful levels thrown in, which look quite beautiful in a 2.5D toon style. Expect a lot of jumping and dodging around, slaying many monsters, and solving puzzles while admiring the environments.

Tower Hunter: Erza’s Trial functions as the prologue to Tower Hunter that still has to be released. Originally out in October, it’s now available DRM-free on GOG.

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