Game developer Nicalis 2016 press event

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Nicalis recently held an event to show off a bunch of its upcoming titles, and there was no shortage of fun to be had with its unique flavor of games. The studio is most known for its cult-favorite indie titles Cave Story and The Binding of Isaac. These titles, along with others they released, have a focus on creativity and challenging yet fun gameplay. The event was a great chance for me to get hands-on time while speaking with developers about each of their respective games.

Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth

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Poor little Isaac has endured so much but his journey is about to get flipped on its side with the new expansion, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth. The newest expansion has added even more to the substantial amount of content in the base game and previous expansion including:

  • 120 new items
  • New game modes (Greed mode i.e. horde or survival mode)
  • New character Lilith: Mother of Demons
  • New transformations and an overhauled weapon combo system
  • New alternate floors and 1000+ new room designs
  • 8 new bosses plus a new final floor and final boss
  • Daily runs for players to compete for the highest score on the leaderboards
  • New challenges and achievements

These are just some of the main components of the new expansion, plus the rest of the additions can easily add up to over another 100 hours of content. After putting some time into it, I got to take quite a few of the new items and transformations and turn the intensity up to 11. I happened to fight a few of the newer bosses and each one fit in perfectly with core principles of the game’s previous bosses such as Greed, Jealousy, etc.

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth releases on PS4 May 10th.

Dimensional Intersection

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Dimensional Intersection felt more like an experience than a game. Just think about one of those music visualizers but controlling the background and viewing it all in virtual reality. That’s right, this was the only VR demo at the Nicalis event, and although there wasn’t much to it, I still enjoyed my time with this one. Become entranced with the visuals while Psytrance, Psydub, and Hyper-chill styled music transport you to a world of music and color. My concern is that I didn’t see much compared to other VR demos that I have played over the past year. One thing I’m keeping in mind is that most of the games at the event were either announcements or very early builds, so this is one I will have to keep an eye on.

Dimensional Intersection will release for Steam, Oculus Rift, and Sony PSVR this fall.

Ittle Dew 2

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If I had to pick a favorite of the event, it would be this one hands-down. This cute looking game titled Ittle Dew 2 just screams of its inspiration from the action/adventure games of the 16-32 bit era. The story even screams haunting similarities to the first Zelda game to release on the Gameboy (Link’s Awakening). Heroes Ittle and Tippsie crash onto an island and must put together a new raft to escape the island. The parts of the raft are hidden across 8 dungeons, the first 7  can be tackled in any order similar to A Link Between Two Worlds. As you explore dungeons, you will find new weapons which will also be your tools to solving future puzzles. The dungeons have a recommended order, however, since you can tackle them in the order of your choosing it lends itself well to fans of speed running.

Ittle Dew 2’s platforms and release date are a 2016 TBA.

Full Mojo Rampage

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Grab your favorite voodoo mask and dolls and get ready to hex everything in sight in Full Mojo Rampage. Full Mojo rampage is a 4 player co-op twin stick dungeon crawling action game akin to Diablo. The differences, however, are the fact that this one is more of a rogue-stylized game. Each run through the maps is different as well as in random orders, with unique rewards upon completion. There are multiple masks (characters) to choose from, each with unique attacks and play styles. While the more simpler characters behave like a traditional twin-stick game with projectiles at limited range and damage, the more advanced may require a sacrifice of health to attack or have a constant laser-styled attack. You can also use currency from previous attempts to empower your masks for permanent bonus stats to make future attempts easier. Along with the 4 player co-op campaign, Survival and Endless mode, there is also 8 player competitive modes featuring Capture the flag, Deathmatch, and King of the Moo.

Full Mojo Rampage’s release date is still TBA but will release for the Xbox One and PS4.

Creepy Castle

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Creepy Castle is a blast from the way past featuring a unique take on old-school RPG mechanics blended with traditional run-and-jump platformers. The game features multiple storylines each with their own unique flavor of gameplay and characters. As you adventure through the worlds, you will need to acquire various tools, weapons, and items necessary to traverse and complete each multi-hour story. Bosses and battles will play out in a traditional turn-based format, however, players will be rewarded for the skillful use of the Duel system, which can prevent your opponent from even attacking at times. A fun feature also allows players to customize their interface to their liking including their health bars, window skins, and character glow filters for both enemies and themselves.

Creepy Castle’s release date is currently set for Summer of 2016 and will release on Windows, Linux, and OSX.

Tiny Barbarian DX

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This 2D side-scrolling action game screams of the old school 16-bit era as you slash, slam and flay enemies through this 4-chapter fantasy epic. Tiny Barbarian DX is one barbarian’s quest for vengeance through 4 unique settings with authentic chiptune music to match the scenery. Tiny the Barbarian will also be tested by larger-than-life bosses in each chapter that will require all of your wit, reflexes and finesse. The controls and gameplay for this one felt extremely smooth and well executed, each and every attack that connected or missed felt rightfully so. This is one game to surely test your 2D action/platforming skills.

Tiny Barbarian DX release date and platform are still TBA.

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