Local Games on the Horizon
Releases to purchase, look forward to, and KickStart
By James Renovitch, 2:37PM, Mon. Jul. 23, 2012
Can't keep up with all the local games to buy, support, and/or anticipate? Me neither, but here's a few nuggets from local studios that are putting the finishing touches on projects or trying to get something new off the ground.
Probably the biggest title on the horizon is Darksiders II from Vigil Games. Set to hit consoles and computers in August, the game puts you in control of Death, a rather intimidating, hacking and slashing horseman of the apocalypse. The studio recently laid employees off due to the fiscal woes of its publisher THQ. Hopefully the game does well and Vigil can avoid further layoffs.
The debut offering from local indie White Whale, God of Blades, is getting some finishing touches and plans to be released in "late summer" for iPhones and iPads according to Studio Director Jo Lammert. The team recently previewed a version of the game at the Juegos Ranchers meetup at the HighBall and impressed the crowd with stunning 70s-inspired fantasy visuals and easily accessible controls. Enjoy this story on the fledgling development team from late last year to tide you over until the game's official release.
Renegade Kid's small team develops games and very silently releases them for Nintendo's handheld systems. The well-reviewed Mutant Mudds, for example, came out this past January on Nintendo's sparsely populated E-store for the 3DS handheld system to little fanfare. For those of you who don't have a 3DS, but love to virtually run and jump, Mutant Mudds is currently being ported to PC and, according to Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham, should be out in the next two months.
A little farther down the road we have Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two from Warren Spector and Junction Point Studios. It's a sequel to the original which came out during the holiday season of 2010 to mixed reviews. The main difference, in case the title doesn't spell it out for you, is that the game is two player. Play as Mickey or Oswald the Lucky Rabbit as you paint and zap your way around another exquisitely rendered world. The last game was released exclusively for the Wii and had some problems with the controls. Hopefully these issues will have been worked out when the sequel is released this November for all three consoles as well as PCs and Macs. Believe it or not the studio is hiring, too.
On the KickStarter front we have a project by the well-established Red Fly Studios that has made originals and a few reliable ports of popular titles to the Wii system. Games like Thor: God of Thunder and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II have been keeping the studio busy. They've recently been spending more time on smaller, casual titles, but resurfaced with a KickStarter for a AAA game called Bad Planet. The game, if funded, will be based on the comic of the same name. The series was created by Thomas Jane's (yup, the guy who played the Punisher in the movies – the one who isn't Dolph Lundgren) and illustrator Tim Bradstreet's studio Raw Entertainment. The game has a long fight ahead of itself to meet the $575,000 goal with only 23 days to go. Check out the KickStarter page and feel free to fund. Not sure you trust these guys with your money? Check out the feature we did on Red Fly a few years back and try not to fall in love.