En Guarde!


Badass lady with a sword, Fin, next game

Developed by a student team of 8, this 30 minute prototype sees Adalia coming home from ten years of swashbuckling to find her house overrun by jerks. She’s not really the “talk it through over a cup of tea” type of gal, so a heaping pile of swift fencing is the order of the day.

It’s a prototype so expectations need to be tempered somewhat, but the core combat gameplay shows some promise. The basic moves are a little shallow, but it’s augmented a lot by the furniture being physics-enabled. Kicking over a shelving unit to land on some jerk, then running across it to barrel down on the jerk behind him is very satisfying and the dodge-parry-counter swordplay is frenetic when there’s a lot of enemies to dodge-parry-counter.

Fin or Bin:

It’s over and done with in 30 minutes, and it’s an entertaining first look at a game that could be pretty great. It’s a Fin, and hopefully we’ll see more of it one day.

(Free download)

Song Of The Deep


Ecco The Dolphin and Metroid had a baby, and named it Bastion.

That rather laboured metaphor is to say that SotD is a mish-mash of all of the above. Merryn’s dad is lost at sea so she builds a submarine and goes to look for him in deep, winding underwater caverns, along the way finding upgrades to her sub that let her explore previously inaccesible areas.

It’s presented in a children’s storybook style, right down to the a-bit-too-twee narrator who describes all of Merryn’s thoughts and actions (that’s the Bastion part) as she explores.

In a rather-odd choice for a game like this, the map always shows your next destination, and enough of your surroundings are revealed that you can usually figure out how to get there too. It somewhat diminishes the exploration aspect when you can so easily tell which direction is the right way and it makes the world feel a little less natural as a result. Compare to exploring Super Metroid’s Brinstar, with its directonless caverns to get thoroughly lost in- finding a cool secret is less fun when you know you’re going the wrong way and are bound to find something nice.

Fin or Bin:

The presentation is nice and all, but the gameplay so far has mostly been solving underwater physics puzzles and there’s very little ‘troid to speak of. I’m kind of on the fence- meaning, I’ve decided, it goes to the Bin for now. I’ve got too many games to get through to get hung up on a “maybe”- it gets another chance later on.