Not much has happened since we last spoke, as far as Greenlight is concerned. The service has been trucking along as per usual and is, so far, staying sane. Which is a good thing. There hasn’t been any noticeable changes/improvements either but Valve hasn’t given any indication they’ve given up on their experiment. I also think that game submissions have slowed down (or its my imagination) because I left my queue alone for nearly a month due to real life events. When I came back, the amount of games I had to go through wasn’t that much compared to usual. I’d give you numbers, but I don’t keep a very good track of that sort of thing ;). I probably should, but I have a feeling it would only depress me as I looked at how much bad games I’ve had to go through. Yikes.
Earlier this week, January 15th, Valve selected 10 games and two software titles that were approved thanks to the effort of the community. 10 games is a smaller pool than last time around which is disappointingly low. Also, they approved only two software titles which is slightly amusing , to me anyway. I haven’t paid any attention to that area and it may be due to lack of popularity that software isn’t showing up much on the store. Steam is, after all, known for its games. Not application like Mac App Store or Linux’s store. On a side note, I’m still hoping Valve will be a little bit faster on approving games or increase the amount of games they accept each time. Its also interesting to note that “Faceless”, the Slender-like clone, has still not been approved. Apparently copyright is currently getting in the way. Anyway, let’s get on with the games…
- Mak – A great looking game that attracted my attention as I was browsing through Greenlight. The cover picture is a bit odd/deceptive though but it apparently has something to do with the game’s campaign that they don’t say much about. Mak is a 3D physics sandbox with various different modes in it. You explore these twisting, shattered islands in the depths of space for parts to make these odd robotic Lego-esque contraptions. However, my only concern that they got Greenlit when their game didn’t get its funding on Kickstarter last year. So I have to wonder if they got enough funding from somewhere else or not. I wasn’t able to find out. Still, looks like an interesting amount of fun. It will be cool to see how it is towards the end of the year.
- DLC Quest – This is an amusing game. Its a 8-bit platformer that parodies how DLC is sold in games these days. From what I’ve heard, it isn’t a long game either but I suppose you couldn’t really make this game much longer without the joke getting old. It will also be getting more DLC (haha yeah) when it gets published onto the store. All I can really say is, this is just a weird game.
- Incredipede – A great looking physics puzzler game. The game developers clearly show that they poured a lot of heart and soul into this game as the game just glows of polish. I am quite glad to see a game like this one on Steam as it definitely seems deserving. It is a bit icky to watch the game’s main character. I don’t know why but the movement of this multi-legged creature makes my stomach turn a bit. I think that’s just me though. This game is already available so you can check out the online demo on the website. If I were more into these kind of games, I think I would have picked this one up already. This one got approved for Steam because it got into the IGF Finalists, just like Kentucky Route Zero did.
- Kentucky Route Zero – This is a game I…should know about but don’t know anything about. No demo doesn’t help my lack of knowledge much either. This is a 2D adventure game that you on adventure about magic and a secret highway in the caves beneath Kentucky. Oddly enough, this is being sold in multiple parts similar to how TellTale sells their games. Part one should be out soon with the rest following as the year progresses. Besides that, I can’t say much. This one doesn’t give you a ton of information on it.
- Asylum – This one is a first person horror game that tries to scare you by putting you in a very big and very creepy asylum building. By what the press have said and the trailer shows off, it has a chance of doing that. The graphics look solid while reminding me of Amnesia just a little bit. The game features list off that its one of the biggest virtual buildings ever created with over 100 rooms and around 15 hours of gameplay. I’ll probably give this one a look whenever it comes out. Because I like torturing myself on horror games. (I can be silly like that).
- War For The Overworld – This game got Greenlit surprisingly fast considering it was announced only a short while ago. The game achieved its Kickstarter funding earlier this month. War For the Overworld will be a mix of the RTS and god game genres. Its inspired by Dungeon Keeper and I hope they didn’t take too much inspiration from “Overlord” as that game was…well, inadequate. Still, it reminds a lot of people of Dungeon Keeper and that is apparently a good thing. I only recently got Dungeon Keeper 2 so I don’t have much knowledge to draw on as far as this “genre” is concerned. Still, it loooks promising so here’s hoping this is something really good!
- Unepic – I got a chance to try the demo on this game and what I played didn’t inspire me much. Its a 2D Metroidvania/RPG? game with a bunch of humor. However, I’m a bit dubious of the quality of the comedy of the game based on what I found in the demo. It was full of geek references to the point that it lacked any funny impact. The writing felt very flat from what I saw and didn’t make me want to play the game. However, humor is subjective after all so maybe someone else will find it funny. But I didn’t. I’m also a bit concerned at the perma-death mechanic. Maybe I missed the save button, but a few mistakes could get your character killed permanently and then you’d have to start all over. Having to start all over and go through the same dialogue was not a fun prospect. So I quit the demo after the second death. I will give it credit, the graphics aren’t too bad. But…its first impressions leave a lot to be desired.
- Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards: Reloaded – Ridiculous name aside, this is the remake of the original Leisure Suit Larry with updated graphice, voice acting, humor and much more. I don’t know much about this game but it was apparently a really big hit back in the day and there is plenty of excitement surrounding this remake. This point-and-click adventure will be available on a lot of hardware platforms surprisingly and features a lot of enhancements compared to the original. Other than that, I don’t have much more to say about Leisure Suit Larry.
- Eador. Masters of the Broken World – A turn-based strategy mixed with an RPG game to have this baby. A very odd game indeed. I’m not entirely sure how I should take this game but the concept sounds intriguing enough. You take the role of a “Master” who fights other masters to take control of shards of land floating in the “Great Nothing”. You can either choose to rule as a tyrant or save the world from destruction. Its up to you. Turn-based hex style games have never really been my favorite genre of games to play so Eador is hard to gauge on how fun it will be. Still, the concept…intrigues me.
- Akaneiro: Demon Hunters – Ok, this is one that I passed over when I heard the terms “free to play” and “multi-player”. Suffice it to say, F2P and I don’t get along too well these days. Oddly enough this is the only F2P/MMO game that is getting approved in this batch of games. Compared to previous ones that had two or three such games, its significantly lower than usual. I can’t say I mind, I’m not really all that interested in games that are like that. Personally, my time is too limited to play on a server and build up a character, only to have it lost when the server goes down because the company couldn’t keep up the payments. But I digress. This a-RPG game has you hunting down demonds around the world. Beyond that, I can’t tell you much more so you’ll have to check it out.
- La-Mulana – A “archaeological ruin exploration action game” or Indiana Jones The Game if I was to say anything about the game based off that genre. 😉 This 2D game has you exploring the depths of an ancient ruin, looking for a “Secret Treasure of Life”. There are monsters, traps and much more to chew on if the page is anything to go off of. I’ve heard bits and pieces of this game and the general opinion is that it was a shame that the game wasn’t on Steam yet. Well, here it is. Not sure if I’ll play it or not but its there now. This is another one I wish I knew more about so I’ll have to look into it whenever it gets published onto Steam in the near future.
- The Age of Decadence – Isometric, turn-based, single-player 3D role-playing game. Or at least, that’s what the page says. I…am not sure how to take this game. Tried to get the demo to work on my machine but it refused to for whatever reason I couldn’t figure out. I’m not sure what is up with that. Anyway, my impressions of the game is that it feels like “just another RPG”. I will grant that the impression comes entirely from the trailer and pics that were on the page so maybe there is something more there. Clearly something more must be there, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten enough support. This is where it would have been nice to get the demo working. It may be better than it looks so I’m hoping my skepticism is off-base. Greenlight is a bit too full of RPG games such as these so I guess its little surprise that one eventually had to rise to the top.
Recommended Games to Vote For…
Here is my list of games on Greenlight I think you should check out. I try and go for the ones that have the most heart in them and contain a lot of promise.
- Distance – Distance is still my #1 recommendation for getting Greenlit. Its a bit of a crime that it wasn’t selected this time despite getting up to #13 in the charts. Still, I have little doubt that they’ll be selected in the next round and you should still check them out! After being fully Kickstarted and then some, this survival racing game could really use some more support to get it on Steam. It features an atmospheric world of intense arcade racing action where you can explore while flying at intense speeds. You control a unique car that lets you boost, jump, rotate and fly through twisty cities with a mysterious past. Its made by members of Team Nitronic who developed the free indie game “Nitronic Rush“. So go check it out, this is the one racing game I am looking most forward to in 2013.
- A Hat in Time – This one has my attention for its Legend of Zelda Wink Waker graphics. I’d like to see the demo before I say its really worth your time, but give it a look anyway. I’m hoping the gameplay matches up with the graphics as I’ve always liked this CGI graphic style that never took off after the Wind Waker. Which I consider a tragedy, that is a really colorful style. Latest information on it is that the demo is coming soon with a release in Q4 of 2013.
- Cradle – Unfortunately, I have to hesitantly recommend you look at this game. I’ve been following these guys for a short time and development on this game is currently in danger of stopping completely. Due to internal strife, the lead designer left the company and the lack of finances seems to be troubling the game’s potential future. I really like what I see in this game though and hope they can pull through. If not, well, that’ll be disappointing.
As of this post, 13 of the 56 games Greenlit have launched onto Steam. I was personally able to try out Miasmata for a short bit before the lack of v-sync and other options turned me off from playing for a while. I’m a bit disappointed that the game launched in such an incomplete state and its been noticed more and more games are showing up to Steam in this state. This greatly concerns me as public perception of Greenlit could change for the worse if games continue to publish on Steam in an incomplete state. Valve really needs to be enforcing some sort of “Alpha/Beta/Incomplete” notice on the Store page so that people know its not finished yet. While Miasmata is not in that bad of a state and could be easily patched up, and the devs have told me that they are working on an update to be out soon, its still unacceptable that the game launched in its current state. C’mon guys. Get your act together. I still have hope for the game though because what I saw of Miasmata’s gameplay, it has me deeply intrigued. I don’t know anything about Euro Truck Simulator 2 that just got pushed to the store other than its a truck driving simulator. It hasn’t created any controversy, yet, so that’s something ;).
Greenlight still remains a bit of a chore fest. Still, I find some enjoyment out of browsing through these games and I still get to see the occasional, brilliant-looking game crop up. I just wish it wasn’t after looking through a lot of crap submissions. I’m seeing a lot more laziness on selling the games and there have been the occasional scam/copyright-violating game show up as well. So, its not perfect and its got a lot of room to improve. But the fact that it hasn’t completely fallen apart and crap-game submissions seem to be slowing down gives me some measure of hope for the service. The lack of demos is also getting more annoying. The fact that only two games on this list had demos is shameful to be honest. Its one thing if your an alpha/beta game, but its another when your a complete game, ready for the Store page. I hope developers put out more demos so that we can try the games.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Greenlight Musing series I’ve got going and what you’d like to see changed about it. Feedback is always appreciated and until next time…