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Reactor 9New screenshots posted for Bernie's Reactor 9, a work in progress.

Updated version of ScummVM released.

Amanita Design releases Samorost 2 original soundtrack and full game on CD. Also available on iTunes.

Joakim is hard at work on a new game which will be released in two month's time. [Noitu Love review]
 

GrowWing is an excellent 3D horizontal shmup only available on the Vector web site. The game features excellent use of 3D objects and backgrounds, but the current build does not seem to include any sound effects or music.

Press the C key to shoot, or hold the X key to charge your special weapon.

Name: GrowWing
Developer: Unknown
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB
 

Space Giko Harriya-n is a decent Space Harrier remake by Adove Project, available for both Windows and OSX platform. Featuring a new set of sprites, it follows the original very closely in terms of gameplay and enemy flight patterns.

Click on the SDL link to access the download page.

Name: Space Giko Harriya-n
Developer: Adove Project
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB
 

Thursday, June 29, 2006
Trilby's Notes is the latest effort by Ben Croshaw, featuring his best work to date in terms of graphics and writing. There are considerably more locations to explore this time around, but a strange addition is the use of a text parser for interaction commands.

All actions must be typed into an input box, and some guesswork is required to figure out the exact sentence that the game accepts in certain situations.

Name: Trilby's Notes
Developer: Yahtzee
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Fashion Fable is the new release from Creatrix Games, formerly known as Grim Inventions. It's standard matching fare save for one difference. The coins you collect can be used to purchase pieces of apparel, which can then be worn by your character for a distinct look every time.

There are over a hundred clothing items, and these can be colored in any of your favorite shades. As usual, Greg Tice's artwork is simply amazing and quite unlike anything else done by other designers. Available for both Windows and Mac platforms.

Name: Fashion Fable
Developer: Creatrix Games
Category: Puzzle
Type: Demo
Size: 20MB
 

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
reviewed by dessgeega.

it is a joy to play a shooter that rewards me for something as straightforward as shooting enemies. if the title of studio siesta's soldier force didn't tip you off, the caesar and the star brain are a blatant admission that the game was conceived as a star soldier remake. it doesn't aspire to be much more, but fortunately it is very faithful to hudson's benchmark shooting game. everything you'd expect is in there.

if you're not sure what to expect: star soldier is a score-oriented famicom shooter, the first in its series. the focus of play is on clearing waves of enemies, and as fast as possible - the faster you finish them, the bigger a bonus you get and the faster the next wave appears. there are other hidden bonuses for crafty players, like destroying a mid-boss before it finishes forming or destroying two stone eyes simultaneously, which depend on your ability to collect and maintain power-ups, and the uncovering and shooting of hidden Z tiles for ever-larger point sums.

these are all faithfully reproduced in siesta's remake—you can even hide under terrain as in the original, only now your craft actually disappears under the cover. so what else is different? the power-up smart bomb changes enemies to orbs that give more points. there's an overdrive meter called the "soldier trip", which (when charged all the way) fully powers-up your craft instantly. it really helps to keep the momentum of the game. also, autofire, at last.

the biggest change is that you now have two starcraft to choose from. the caesar controls like you'd expect it to, and if you choose it the star soldier theme will play for you (and the caesar theme when you power-up). the other craft is the "noah", which has positionable weapons (in addition to a fixed forward shot). scoring bonuses with the noah is trickier, but surviving seems easier. while you pilot the noah you'll get to hear original music.

so here's a lingering question: how to justify a doujin remake of star soldier when hudson themselves released their own not too long ago (first for gamecube and playstation 2, then for the psp)? i think the answer is that hudson's is not a straight remake, but more of an attempt to bring star soldier closer to a modern shooter, with boss parades and bullet curtains. soldier force on the other hand is a dedicated recreation of the famicom original: at the end of each stage it's a star brain you'll face, and if you don't kill it in time you'll have to repeat the stage. losing your ship means you'll have to start over from some ways back. siesta did add notation of the bonuses you earn, and autofire - conspicuously absent from hudson's release.

there is much for a star soldier fan to love in soldier force. there's no demo as of yet, but the game is carried at himeya shop. if you're a fan of the original, or would like to play a shooter whose focus is on shooting rather than dodging, soldier force may be worth the purchase.

Name: Soldier Force
Developer: Studio SiestA
Category: Shooter
Video: Yes
Reviewer: dessgeega
 

As a journalist working for a nature magazine, your objective in Wild Earth is to take enough snapshots of various African animals in order to compile an article. Sounds fairly mundane, that is until you consider that the entire game is rendered using beautiful 3D graphics and lifelike textures.

Winner of three IGF awards in 2003, it has taken Super X Studios another three years to polish the product into what it is today. Take pictures of the wildlife as they go about their daily routines. All photos are saved but only the best ones are picked for the column that will be automatically generated when the assignment ends.

The direction finder shown at the bottom right of the screen will direct you towards the main objective at all times. The animals won't harm the protagonist, but disturbing them too much does jeopardize the mission.

Name: Wild Earth
Developer: Super X Studios
Category: Adventure
Type: Demo
Size: 50MB
 

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Cave Story Remix ProjectCave Story Remix Project released.

Beautiful World updated to version 1.02. [Beautiful World review]

Michael Stearns, developer of Sky Puppy interviewed. [Sky Puppy web site]

The sequel to Spooks is currently in production. [Spooks review]

Latest screenshots from upcoming AGS games can be found in this thread.

Noteworthy pictures include The Hatmaker's Tale, Drug Bust and the sequel to Spooks.

Fun-Motion interviews the creator of Armadillo Run. [Armadillo Run review]

New version of Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth to be released this week. Voice pack coming soon. [Fountain of Youth review]
 

Touhoukokuhuugi is a pretty good Shoot the Bullet clone developed by President Room, requiring impossible bullet dodging and photography skills just to get past the first few levels.

Take pictures by holding the Z key when your camera is ready, indicated by a percentage shown above the crosshair. Use the X key to make your character move slower, or press both buttons to charge your weapon faster. Only photos with bosses are considered valid. Still early in production, the game is very playable even without any background music or sound effects.

The download link can be found at the bottom of the page.

Name: Touhoukokuhuugi
Developer: President Room
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

Moral Minus is an excellent one level 3D shooter demo by Akatora Corporation, but unfortunately the full version can no longer be purchased as the developers have moved on to greener pastures.

Controls are fairly basic, press the X key for rapid fire and use the C key for a wide shot. Tap the Z key when your ship's special weapon is fully charged to activate the red laser beam.

Name: Moral Minus
Developer: Akatora Corporation
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 10MB
 

I've uploaded a video capture of Soldier Force, Studio Siesta's latest shmup.

No demo available at the official web site yet, but you can purchase the game from Himeya Shop.
 

Monday, June 26, 2006
NaaC is a pretty good Smash TV clone with all the action focused in one room for the entire game. Aliens will barge through walls from the top of the screen, then left and right. Fortunately better weapons occasionally appear out of thin air, although ammo conservation is vital since they run out pretty fast.

Name: NaaC
Developer: Bloody Monkey
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 10MB
 

Puff Ball is basically a remake of Pong with an underwater setting and a few power-ups. The objective is to score five points in each round before your opponent does.

Hold the left mouse button to charge your special ability, then release at the right time for a stun move. Missing an online high score table but otherwise a decent first effort.

Name: Puff Ball
Developer: Merciless Games
Category: Action
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Sunday, June 25, 2006
Mogura 2 is an excellent shmup by Krobon Station, featuring two characters with different abilities and weapons. Both gets a standard shield which can be activated using the X key. Hold the Z key to shoot, and tap the C key to initiate a special attack. Press the left control key to change the way your weapon operates.

A tutorial can be accessed from the main menu by selecting the third option. The second offers a difficulty setting. After picking a character, you can choose to either start from the first level or continue from the last stage attempted.

Installation can be a bit of a hassle but the effort is worth it. Rename the largest executable and cca file to the same name, then repeat for the smallest file. For example mogura2.exe, mogura2.cca, config.exe and config.cca. Click here to download the game.

Name: Mogura 2
Developer: Krobon Station
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
 

Retroblast looks like a Geometry Wars clone but that's where the similarities end. The controls take a bit of getting used to, since keyboard and joypad configurations are absent. Left click to rotate your ship in a counterclockwise direction, and right click for the opposite action.

Shooting is automatic. The bullets move rather slow at first until power-ups are earned. Not a bad shooter although it will have difficulties finding an audience used to dual analog gameplay.

Name: Retroblast
Developer: JGOware
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 5MB
 

Saturday, June 24, 2006
Ocean Commander is a pretty good Heavy Weapon clone, where your shots can be directed by using the mouse. Since most areas are submerged underwater, your ship can move upwards and down in addition to horizontal movements.

The inclusion of a shop for purchase of upgrades is probably it's most prominent feature. Any ship modifications will carry over from one stage to the next. A decent shooter and a rare find among casual puzzle releases.

Name: Ocean Commander
Developer: CyberPlanet Interactive
Category: Shooter
Type: Demo
Size: 30MB
 

Iconien is an alright action game made by Japanese developer f1ash. Your objective is to protect the eye in the middle of the screen from enemies which explode on contact.

Destroy circles, bugs and rockets by drawing a square around them, or drag any object around by left clicking. You will experience a shot delay after each time a box is drawn, and having the eye inside the square damages it as well.

Collect power-ups by dragging and dropping them onto the eye. The easy and normal mode ends when the tank is beaten.

Name: Iconien
Developer: f1ash
Category: Action
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Submachine 2: The Lighthouse is a sequel to the original flash adventure game by Mateusz Skutnik, in which the objective is to find an escape from the lighthouse you're trapped in. Uses the same formula but with more rooms, unfortunately quite a number of them are part of a maze.

Name: Submachine 2: The Lighthouse
Developer: Mateusz Skutnik
Category: Adventure
Type: Flash
Size: 10MB
 

Grow ver.2 is another puzzler by Eyezmaze, in which the objective is to click on items in the right sequence to solve the puzzle. Unfortunately, this version only features six objects but the isometric view is back at least.

Name: Grow ver.2
Developer: Eyezmaze
Category: Puzzle
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Friday, June 23, 2006
Exelisis may look like a shooter from the 8-bit era but it's surprisingly just as good as any other Japanese freeware shmups.

The secondary shot direction can be controlled by moving your ship around and holding down the Z key when you're comfortable with the aim, much like Robotron: 2084.

Enemy projectiles will be sent back towards their direction if the X key is pressed when the reverse bomb gauge is full. Using the same button at any other time only launches the standard bomb.

The 60MB file is the actual game package, while the smaller version is just an update which can be used to overwrite the unzipped contents.

Name: Exelisis
Developer: TKSOFT
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 60MB
 

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Gambare Natsuki-San is an excellent puzzle platformer by Alpha Secret Base, borrowing a few elements from an obscure PSX game called Umihara Kawase Shun. The rope has been replaced with a metal gadget, able to extend and grab on to walls and ceilings.

Press the Z key to activate it, and use the directional keys to move around while holding down the same button. Jump using the X key, and tap the C key to bring up the pause window. Selecting the third option from the main menu will take you to the tutorial, complete with demonstration regarding controls and advanced techniques.

The objective of the game is to collect all food items, while avoiding water and contact with spikes. It's entirely possible to finish all fifty levels in one sitting. Very addictive and highly recommended.

To download, click on the Ver1.02 link, next to the word 3.8MB. When you've accessed the Vector site, select the gray tab. Click on the link containing the word HTTP, then the first link in the box to grab the file.

Name: Gambare Natsuki-San
Developer: Alpha Secret Base
Category: Platform
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

Begemed is a puzzler made by Dylan Fortune that uses sprites and sound effects from PopCap's Bejeweled series. This effort is nowhere as polished as the original but still very playable in it's current state.

Some missing features include a shuffle option and continues. With a new set of sprites and a little more work it could actually match the quality of a few commercially available casual games as well.

Name: Begemed
Developer: Dylan Fortune
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Slime Pod is an excellent puzzler by Kaeshirodai, in which the objective is to make eight or more connecting slimes disappear thus creating a Giganto combo.

The number of combos needed for level progression are shown at the bottom left of the screen. Gems count as three slimes, and combos made with the evil eye are rejected outright. You can lose the evil eye by making it fall off the bottom of the screen. They can also be destroyed if you rapidly click on them, although this will cost you five magic points.

There is no penalty for clicking on any number of slimes, but you have to create the number of Giganto combos required in each level before time runs out. Energy can be replenished by making a Giganto combo of any color.

Name: Slime Pod
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

In Wanwaran, your objective is to guide two dogs running down on separate roads to the end of the level safely. Click on either one to make them jump over safety cones, mines and weights.

Bones can be collected for combos and bonuses.

Name: Wanwaran
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
In Cosmobullet, you control an arrow which can shoot at enemies appearing from the top of the screen. Your will lose health if any adversaries are allowed past you, but fortunately power-ups replenishing health and bombs do appear occasionally.

Use the left or right arrow key to move the arrow, and press the Z key to shoot. Tap the F1 function key to play in full screen.

Name: Cosmobullet
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Star Eater and Flame Eater are games based on the concept of acquiring high scores. Use your mouse to touch as many green or red balls as possible in three minutes while avoiding white colored ones.

Initiate a combo by making the circles disappear in a quick sequence. This will net you a score multiplier. The game is paused when the window is inactive.

Name: Star Eater
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Monday, June 19, 2006
Frame Eater and Star Eater are games based on the concept of acquiring high scores. Use your mouse to touch as many green or red balls as possible in three minutes while avoiding white colored ones.

Initiate a combo by making the circles disappear in a quick sequence. This will net you a score multiplier. The game is paused when the window is inactive.

Name: Frame Eater
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Uneune is a decent puzzler by Kaeshirodai, where the player's objective is to guess the number of colored balls on screen. Click on a ball color and a number, and if you've guessed correctly all balls of that color will disappear. Proceed to the next stage by removing all balls from the screen.

Name: Uneune
Developer: Kaeshirodai
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Sunday, June 18, 2006
BusterBuster's latest post, as translated by Shih Tzu (thanks!):

"I think I'm actually starting to feel like working on a 3D game. But production of the X-Files cartoon has me frustrated... [Don't ask me what that's about.] I wonder if I could make a simple shooter. I think I'll start on that once BUSTER's done."

Screenshots from The Hatmaker's Tale posted. Still a lot of development to be done but the pictures look sweet. Another adventure game from a girl, followed closely by Spooks and Kaptain Brawe.

King's Quest III remake released.

Dave Gilbert will release a new game entitled The Shivah next week.

Paul Johnson's art for FTG can be found here.

Plenty of work in progress over at the YakYak forums.

Another indie developer closes shop. This time it's VSBgames, developer of Paradoxion.

What is the owner of Home of the Underdogs currently listening to? Find out by clicking here.
 

Babarageo STG Banner is a shmup which utilizes a screen measuring only fifteen pixels high. Use the mouse to move your ship, and hold the left mouse button to shoot.

The background changes for every one thousand points that you earn. The fun part is figuring out exactly where to click on each picture to acquire your power-up. An item shop allows you to change the color of your ship as well.


Name: Babarageo STG Banner
Developer: Babarageo
Category: Shooter
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Great Kung Fu is basically Babarageo's remake of an Irem's arcade classic called Kung-Fu Master. All attacks have been combined into one combo move. Executing a number of punches and kicks successfully on each opponent will double the damage caused.

The famous dragon punch move and fireball can also be found in this game.

Name: Great Kung Fu
Developer: Babarageo
Category: Action
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Saturday, June 17, 2006
Death Vader is an alright shooter featuring sprites from Space Invaders but with variable bullet patterns. You can swap weapons by tapping the left mouse button. A bit like keim's Nomltest FS, actually.

Name: Death Vader
Developer: Babarageo
Category: Shooter
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Uchu Force is a decent Star Force clone, featuring enemy sprites drawn with only two colors. Use the mouse to move your ship around, and hold the left mouse button to shoot.

Options and power-ups can be collected to increase your firepower. A boss encounter is introduced occasionally.

Name: Uchu Force
Developer: Babarageo
Category: Shooter
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Uchuwars is another shooter developed by Babarageo using Flash, featuring power-ups and bombs in addition to standard boss encounters. A full screen mode is available by clicking on the link found above the description text.

The first few levels are not particularly fun to play but the game does get better once you arrive in space. Continues are allowed, just click on the stage or power indicator at the main menu.

Name: Uchuwars
Developer: Babarageo
Category: Shooter
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Friday, June 16, 2006
Navy Mission is another action game by D. Ikushima, simulating mission-based sea battles and intense firefights. The objective is to survive thirty different operations while destroying every ship and plane in each level.

Your ship can be moved around by using the W, A, S and D keys. Left click to fire and right click to swap weapons. It doesn't pay to be trigger-happy because guns and missiles do take a while to reload. Enemy torpedos can be shot at if you happen to have problems outmaneuvering them.

To begin, choose the top left option from the main menu to access a list of all available missions. Click on the left button at the bottom of the screen to confirm your selection. Each stage can be replayed several times to unlock harder difficulties.

Name: Navy Mission
Developer: D. Ikushima
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Hot Layer is a surprisingly playable shooter by Ventricle, featuring unconventional sprite designs and long boss battles. Your ship is equipped with a pod that will follow you around when the shot button isn't pressed.

Only four levels in total.

Name: Hot Layer
Developer: Ventricle
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Thursday, June 15, 2006
Sky High is a new shooter released recently by Zenith Creation. The game only features one stage but does have the obligatory boss battle near the end.

The main menu isn't visible, although you can use the left arrow key to choose the difficulty level as indicated by the screenshots. Press the C or space key to confirm your selection. Use the X key to shoot.

Name: Sky High
Developer: Zenith Creation
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
 

Gemini is a decent Zookeeper clone but for the Game Boy Advance.This effort includes a hint button and level progression as well.

Match three or more gems to remove them from the screen and increase the completion bar. Requires the VisualBoyAdvance emulator to play on the PC.

Name: Gemini
Developer: smayds
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Monday, June 12, 2006
Naturally Friendly Air Bubbles is a Game Maker effort developed by newcomer Dan Eriksson in just one week. Your objective is to guide the blue bubble around spikes and burst all pink bubbles on screen to complete each stage.

Health is measured by the amount of air stored inside your bubble, with a circle that shrinks in size over time unless replenished. Click on anywhere inside this circle to make the bubble move in a straight line. Download the stretched version if your monitor does not support any resolution higher than 1024 by 768 pixels.

Name: Naturally Friendly Air Bubbles
Developer: Dan Erikkson
Category: Action
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB
 

Sunday, June 11, 2006
Rainbow Wars is a pretty good arena shooter by Luke Schneider of Volition Inc., responsible for delivering the Descent series among other projects. A dual analog gamepad works well here, although the mouse and keyboard combination isn't too shabby either.

Use the left mouse button to warp, and hold the right mouse button to charge your special attack. A nice addition is the option to continue playing from any stage previously attempted, but the easy difficulty only allows access to the first ten waves. Click on design ideas to begin downloading.

Name: Rainbow Wars
Developer: Luke Schneider
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 2MB
 

Flag is a remake of an old Amiga game called Flag Catcher. Your objective is to find a single hidden flag in each level by overturning as little tiles as possible.

Only a number of moves are allowed in order to impose some form of difficulty on the player. The task is made slightly easier with pointers such as number squares to indicate the distance of the flag from your current guess, or arrows to show the flag's general direction. Uncovering bombs will reset all squares to a condition before any were flipped over.

Collect the moves special item to increase the number of moves you have remaining. Later levels will contain more bombs, but less clues and allowed moves.

Name: Flag
Developer: smayds
Category: Puzzle
Type: Freeware
Size: 1MB
 

Saturday, June 10, 2006
The name Gamma Bros sounds like a platformer but it is in fact a shooter. Use the W, A, S or D key to shoot in any of the four directions. Collect coins to purchase upgrades or health, and get close to an enemy to fire rapidly. You can change characters by touching your partner's ship when it appears on the screen.

A password save function is available, allowing players to continue from the last stage attempted. Access it by pressing the arrow keys while viewing the main menu. There's a Mac version as well.

Name: Gamma Bros
Developer: Pixeljam Games
Category: Shooter
Type: Freeware
Size: 20MB
 

Ratmaze is a decent Flash game in which your objective is to guide a rat as it attempts to collect all the cheese hidden in a labyrinth. Use the arrow keys to move, and press space to turn music on or off.

There's an additional button which is only revealed in a certain area, while another secret room offers an easter egg. Pretty fun to play but only for the first try.

Name: Ratmaze
Developer: Pixeljam Games
Category: Action
Type: Flash
Size: 1MB
 

Friday, June 09, 2006
Warning: Contain strong language.

The Heist is a short adventure game made for the fourth One Room One Week competition. Featuring animated 3D graphics and several action sequences, your objective is to break into a mansion and steal some valuables before making a quick escape.

Items can be bought with the money stolen from unsuspecting park visitors. Multiple solutions exist, and different cutscenes are shown depending on your approach to solving each puzzle. Press the tab key or click on the arrow pointing downwards to access your inventory.

Videos require the installation of a DivX codec, which is a minor hassle considering the rewarding gameplay on offer. Instructions can be found in the text file zipped together with the executables.

Name: The Heist
Developer: AJA and Mad Reizka
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 30MB
 

Warning: Contains graphic scenes.

A Gunshot in Room 37 is another short adventure game made for the fourth One Room One Week competition. Trapped in a hotel room with a crime lord, you must quickly think of an escape plan before the local police arrives.

Interaction choices are limited, and most of the puzzles are logical. Good effort despite it's length.

Name: A Gunshot in Room 37
Developer: Ishmael
Category: Adventure
Type: Freeware
Size: 5MB