Gadget Show 2014

Mighty Tactical Shooter on Kickstarter

Mightly Tactical Shooter Cover

Mighty Tactical Shooter While at this year's Gadget Show Live, the team managed to play a small indie 2D shoot 'em up entitled Mighty Tactical Shooter, by Sock Thuggery. I'm happy to announce that the turn based shooter is now on Kickstarter and I highly advise all of you to chip in and help make this game reach it's goal.

I was a little skeptical at first, I mean, a turn based 2D shoot 'em up, how could that work? After some hands on time with the title though I was quickly converted. It's a fantastic take on the age old genre, adding a whole new tactical edge to a title with hints of classic R-Type gameplay. Challenging yet incrediably enjoyable.

We interviewed 'The Mighty Git' himself (aka Johnny Marshall) during our visit to the Gadget Show. You can watch the interview below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ARyJVZ-Dt4&w=560&h=315]

If you are unsure if the game is for you, then why not try out the Alpha Demo?

For more information check out the official webpage for Mighty Tactical Shooter.

GSL 2014: TerraTech Preview

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First and foremost, an apology. During the course of the video interview with the guys behind the next title I’m about to talk about, and during conversations on Twitter I’ve gone and called this wonderful little indie game Terra Tanks. It isn’t called Terra Tanks, it’s TerraTech. My bad! Right, on we go...

I’m going to throw a little equation that’ll hopefully give you an incline of what to expect from the folks at West London Games.

(LEGO + Robot Wars) + Space Exploration = TerraTech

The concept of the game is quite simple. Gather the planets natural resources to improve your base and fleet. Conquer your enemies and you can even pinch their parts to further develop your base, and more importantly, your tank! And in updating your tank lies the key component to why I enjoyed this game so much.

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As you battle other tanks they’ll start to fall to pieces. These pieces can then be used by you to add to your tank. Everytime you play you start off with a little block sized vehicle with a basic gun, but within moments once you’ve defeated other small tanks you’ll have enough ‘bits’ to start making some very oddly designed beasts. Its very easy to do, with no extra building menus or anything like that, you simply use your mouse to click and drag components on and off your tank. Want to see a couple of examples? Below you’ll see a video posted by the TerraTech creators with some of their favourite creations by various people who visited the stand during the course of The Gadget Show Live. Processor Mat’s tank can be spotted at the 1 min 33 second mark, or here. Neil also has a short video of his creation thanks to the devs Vine page too.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2zNE60mv_g&w=560&h=315]

While the version on display didn’t really feature the planned base development gameplay, based on what I’ve played thus far I can only imagine the base building to be just as fun. With large generated worlds and a vast selection of components and such to customize your tank, this is one little game that is firmly planted on my radar. Look for a review in the future!

Kris Skellorn is one of the game’s designers and he kindly allowed us to interview him at the stand. The video is up to watch below. Make sure you follow TerraTech via Twitter and Facebook, not forgetting to bookmark the game’s official site, terratechgame.com.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXRb_9jFA_I&w=560&h=315]

GSL 2014: Ether One Preview

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ether-one-cover1 Moving on from Salvaged, the next game I got to get my paws on was Ether One, a first person adventure game from the small studio White Paper Games.

Ether One, from the off, is all about discovery. Continuing the recently popular theme of slow paced discovery titles started by games such as Myst all those years ago (we’ve had titles like Gone Home and such more recently) you find yourself walking around the small town of Pinwheel piecing together the game’s story.

The stories in this genre of games are somewhat more important than in over the top feasts like Battlefield and such, however from what I’ve heard and played thus far Ether One seems to be more than up for the task. The game centres around a dementia patient and the plot revolves around the fragile nature of the human mind. I’d love to go into further details however it would be very unfair for me to do so.

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You can play though the game without touching a single puzzle if the story is all you're interested in. However, for those seeking a little more of a challenge you can instead try to work out the many complex puzzles dotted about the game, all of which play a part in piecing together the many events of the main character’s history. The studio are fond of the old traditional pen and paper required note-taking puzzles of old, so ensure you have them on standby for the harder to complete puzzles later in the game.

Visually the game looks great, as the lighting reflects the calm nature of Pinwheel (at least, on the section of which I was playing). From what I’ve heard so far of the soundtrack it matches the genre of this game perfectly.

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Ether One supports the Oculus Rift, which I managed to bag some time with. The VR headset works perfectly, allowing you to look around at your own pleasure. After speaking to NJ (see the video towards the bottom of this article) it is clear the team enjoyed working with the headset and also found it relatively straight forward to include as an option in Ether One. Personally, and also bearing in mind it was my first time using the Rift I sadly found myself getting a headache after only a few minutes worth of play. I struggle to see the 3D aspects in 3D films, so perhaps that played a part in me having to remove the headset after a short amount of time. The other members of the team (specifically Mat and Mike) enjoyed using the headset more than me. I’ll be speaking more about the Oculus Rift in an upcoming preview of Fortresscraft Evolved in a few days time.

It is hard to talk in detail regarding games based in a genre that is powered by the sense of discovery, and while it isn’t a game for all tastes I’ll be personally looking forward to playing this one in my own time.

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As mentioned earlier, below you can find a video interview with NJ, the audio lead for Ether One. He talks about the game and of course the Oculus Rift. Further below is the latest trailer for the game. You can purchase Ether One now directly from the developers, GoG or The Humble Store. Links and more information can be found at the game’s official website, ether-game.com. You can also follow them on Twitter, @WhitePaperGames.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXh-2cSQSts&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us4la1ghbRg&w=560&h=315]

GSL 2014: Salvaged Preview

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sal2 Gadgets and gizmos, we all love them, and this weekend hundreds and thousands of people are flocking to Birmingham’s NEC to get hands on with some of the latest technology at this year’s Gadget Show Live. Created off the back of the popular Channel Five TV series, The Gadget Show Live is a fantastic opportunity for technology enthusiasts to get hands on with current and future tech.

This year the show is also home to a selection of independent videogames. Myself, Mike, Matt and Neil were all given the chance to get hands on with the following eight titles:

Salvaged Ether One Terra Tanks Space Farmers Mighty Tactical Shooter Tiki Taka Soccer Magnets Fortresscraft Evolved

Over the course of the next few days I’ll be writing up about each of these games. To begin with I’ll start with Opposable Game’s tactical action title, Salvaged.

Salvaged was the first title to grab my eye as we approached the indie games stand. With a tablet in hand a member of the development team was controlling a squad of 4 crew members, or in other words acting out the part of the commander, issuing orders to his salvage crew members. The galaxy has become over-run with long dormant, abandoned starships, ripe with items (loot) that can be used, sold or upgraded for future deep space salvage missions.

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The main draw to this title is the use of a tablet as a controller. It displays the layout of the current ship you’re on along with the location of each of your crew members. By touching either the ‘dot’ that represents each person or by selecting one of the 4 character profiles on the right hand side of the screen allows you to then tap to where you would like that person to move too. On the monitor connected to the PC running the game were 4 screens, one for each of the crew members, showing their perspective on what was in front of them.

Be warned however, for out in space, you are never alone. While searching for loot you’ll encounter alien lifeforms that aren’t too pleased by your appearance on their new home. Combat is automatic, but it is up to you how you deploy and position your crew members. When I sat down to play Salvaged for the first time I went and made the ultimate alien movie mistake by separating my team into two groups. The first group positioned themselves by a corridor ready to face a couple of menacing aliens, only to find themselves without the time and space required to shoot the aliens dead before being torn to pieces. I managed to negociate the other team a little better, but between the two of them they didn’t really last that much longer.

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During the course of your wander around the starship you’ll encounter the previously mentioned loot. As again already mentioned they can be sold, traded or used to upgrade your items and such. The full game will feature some RPG elements to allow your crew members to progress to better weapons and gear. Permadeath is a thing in this game though, so be very cautious with your team, otherwise you may end up losing your geared up salvagers.

It is clear the studio has been inspired by the likes of Space Hulk, Syndicate and of course XCOM. Having the benefit of two viewpoints was refreshing, both the top down perspective for tactical precision and the first-person view of each member of the team so you know exactly what you are facing. I did however find myself looking far too much at the tablet. From a tactical point of view I think it is much better to try and split your attention equally between the two.

Opposable Games take great pride in the technology that allows them to used the tablet with the PC. ‘One Touch Connect’, created in-house, allows multiple devices to discover and thus connect to one and other. All would be for nothing if not for the fact that the technology is supported across all major formats (PC, Mac, iOS and Android).

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Nintendo and Sony are both playing with similar play styles with the Wii U and Vita respectively. While the use of two screens can sometimes be heavily debated between gamers, for tactical games such as this having the option to use a touch screen device (of which many households now have some form of Android or iOS tablet) makes perfect sense.

I enjoyed my time on Salvaged, (albeit resulting in the un-timely death of my crew) meaning this will be a title I’ll be keeping an eye on. It will be heading to Kickstarter in the very near future, of which us here at Blast Process will keep you all posted about. I’d recommend for further up to the minute updates regarding the status of the game, including any news regarding Kickstarter by following them on Twitter (@SalvagedGame). You can also check out the game's official website at salvagedgame.com.

During the show we managed to grab a few minutes with James Parker, Design Director of Salvaged. The video can be found below. Further below you will also find a teaser trailer for the title.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49x1GYhNhnc&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nubPn6GzLbc&w=560&h=315]