GOG release: “Cosmic Star Heroine”

Zeboyd Games is known for their quirky retro RPGs after the release of the tongue-in-cheek Cthulhu Saves the World, and JRPG Cosmic Star Heroine continues the tradition with the DRM-free release on GOG.

This time it’s not the horror fantasy genre the developer uses as inspiration, as the story about top secret agent Alyssa L’Salle who uncovers a conspiracy in her own agency and has to save her reputation and head as well as the galaxy focuses on sci-fi themes. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s any less humorous or unique with 3 exotic planets to explore that feature aliens, robots, magic, forbidden technology in addition to ruined worlds and ghosts.

Gameplay revolves around turn-based combat, although a bit of management is also required, because one can recruit new agents to help one’s own spaceship to grow. Despite the obvious influences of Japanese role-playing games, combat is different, as it takes place directly on the exploration maps without any separate battle screen. So no random battles ensue with everything being predetermined and some battles being optional, as they can be avoided if one sneaks past enemies. There’s also no MP (magic points) system, so that most abilities can only be used once until one uses a defend/recharge move to restore everything. With character style scores going up and abilities becoming more effective, this demands more strategic thinking and rewards different play-styles. 2D graphics as well as animated cutscenes are reminiscent of the 16-bit era and look great, while the soundtrack composed by HyperDuck SoundWorks who did the amazing Dust: An Elysian Tail adds to the nice atmosphere.

The game was already released in April this year on PC and PS4, but it’s now on GOG with a 33% launch discount that will last until July 24, 1PM UTC.

Buy the digital version for PC on
GOG

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

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Game release: “Serial Cleaner” (PC)

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a psychopath in the 70ies with a penchant for cleaning up murder scenes, then iFun4all stealth-action simulation Serial Cleaner should give you a good idea.

For those who have a problem with lots of blood and 70ies music, this is definitely not the game, but for those who don’t take the idea of a man disposing of bodies, covering up blood stains, hiding murder weapons and other incriminating evidence too seriously, should give this a try. Clearly inspired by bloody and humorous movies like Pulp Fiction or the Fargo TV-show, but at the same time referring to actual 1970s murder scenes, it’s certainly not a game for everyone.

However, if one accepts the fact that the mix of realism and humorous over-dramatization gives the cleaning-up gameplay a less serious tone, then this could be a seen in the same spirit as Hotline Miami, sharing the arcade points system requiring strategy and fast reflexes. As real-world data modifies gameplay according to the time of day in a player’s location, a bit of luck and adaptability is also necessary to survive the levels in which one tries to scrub floors full of blood and throw corpses into trunks or chutes. How far the story and character development is engaging remains to be seen, but for the cool graphics and fun soundtrack, it’s a game worth trying out.

The game is out now for PC with a 20% discount that will last until July 21, 5 PM UTC. Please check out the (anti) early-access promo parody trailer that’s pure genius as well if you’re not sure about the kind of humor or portrayal of violence.

Buy the digital version for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

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GOG release: “Beholder”

If Antihero was too comical for you, then the GOG release of Warmlamp Games’ totalitarian strategy/adventure mix Beholder should surprise you.

Being a State-installed manager of an apartment building, one doesn’t only follow the daily routine of making it comfortable for tenants to live in, because the main goal is to spy on them. Watching them and eavesdropping on conversations is one thing, but bugging their apartments, rummaging through their personal stuff in order to find something than can threaten the authority of the State is all a preparation for finally profiling tenants and reporting them if necessary, which obviously results in brutal beatings or other more violent punishments. While this all sounds like immoral business, one has to take into account what would happen to one’s own family. Much like Papers, Please, it’s not all black and white in this satirical strategy adventure game.

Every decision affects the way the story plays out. So blackmailing people to receive money for oneself has consequences as much as how one interacts with each of the tenants outside the spying business. Deciding who deserves what treatment or who doesn’t is morally ambiguous, but intriguing nonetheless, so unlike many stealth or strategy games, this is one with a message and an open-ended gameplay that warrants multiple playthroughs. It’s certainly depressing material and the black and white faceless character designs with bleak backgrounds do their part in addition to foreboding music.

The game was already released last year with a DLC follow-up in 2017 on other digital platforms, but it’s now DRM-free on GOG with a 57% launch discount for the base game and 32% off for the DLC which last until July 18, 4 PM UTC.

Buy the base game for PC on
GOG
Steam

Buy the DLC for PC on
GOG
Steam

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).

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GOG releases: “The Humans Bundle”

GOG offers another blast from the past with the exclusive puzzle-platformer The Humans series in one nice little bundle.

The digital DRM-free service GOG isn’t simply known as an alternative distribution platform that features indie projects or bigger games, as there are always some surprising releases that can’t be found anywhere else. So Imagitec Design’s The Humans, The Humans 2: The Jurassic Levels, and The Humans III: Evolution—Lost in Time… fit this forgotten classic formula perfectly. These are games I kind of remembered playing back in the days, or at least the first one, but I can’t say in what form, if it was on a friend’s Amiga or on a cover disc (maybe even floppy!). Still, this is a series that deserves to be discovered and experienced by everyone.

The main goal of all games is to bring a group of humans to the end of a level, which isn’t easy, as it plays in an age where wild beasts and dinosaurs populate Earth and want to kill the player. Switching between characters and using their abilities for the right purpose at the right time, even making human ladders in order to reach higher places, makes this a spiritual sequel to the popular Lemmings series, but with a Neanderthal or Shaman magic twist. Using the environment to one’s advantage or even beasts like a pterodactyl that can be ridden further sets it apart from other imitators. Losing humans on the way shouldn’t happen, but if it does, then it’s possible to rescue others during stages and add them to one’s tribe, as the number of humans is carried over from level to level. The game still looks rather pretty with fun comic animations and hand-drawn backgrounds, clearly showing the early 90ies heritage, but also bringing with it its charm.

The first game sets the stage, while the second one adds new tools in the form of fire, weapons, the wheel, or deodorant. The third and final instalment goes even more bonkers, as it tells the story about Earth’s greatest historical figures being captured by alien zoo keepers and the humans having to find six pieces of a time machine to bring them back to their appropriate time periods. All these games with their many levels and challenges can now be experienced DRM-free on GOG in a single bundle, and it’s really worth it if you want to travel back in time yourself and see that the 90ies weren’t simply dominated by a group of suicidal lemmings.

Buy the digital version for PC on
GOG

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

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PC game “Jotun: Valhalla Edition” free for a limited time + “Sundered” pre-order

Waiting pays off with Thunder Lotus GamesJotun: Valhalla Edition being given away for free to celebrate the imminent release of Sundered.

I won’t go into detail with the hand-drawn action-exploration game Jotun, as I already covered it in the game release article, but as it’s now available for free until Monday, 4 PM UTC, there’s really no excuse to miss out on it. It might not be suitable for summer, but maybe the icy levels will cool down those who suffer from the outside heat that crops up time and again. The game can be added to the libraries of both GOG and Steam and will stay there, no matter if you decide to buy the developer’s new game or not.

Official Website

I’m not a big fan of previews or hyping games before they’re actually out, but I’ll make an exception here, because if a developer gives away a game for free, that’s always a good thing. I’ll definitely write about Sundered when it’s finally out on July 28, 2017 in more detail, so this is just a quick rundown of what to expect when pre-ordering it with a 10% discount and the soundtrack. Unlike Jotun, this is a metroidvania action-adventure that is much more open-world, but features the same beautiful art design. It’s also a side-scroller and requires more platforming skills, so it might be more accessible than the slower-paced winter adventure game. So if you want to support the developer, make sure you’ll either get the GOG or Steam version.

Official website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG link and buying the product also helps ;).

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