Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Money, No Problem: Boson X

Title: Boson X
Developer: Mu & Heyo
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, IOS
Price: Free
Boson X is described as a "rotational runner" but that quick description doesn't do justice to this polished reflex testing platformer. You play a man trapped inside a particle collider, running down a procedurally generated path that looks like someone mixed a warp drive with a Super Hexagon-induced nightmare.
Catchy music plays in the background as platforms materialize before you, giving you only seconds to jump left or right or over gaps. Hazards abound and all require quick reflexes to evade: falling platforms, crackling lasers, walls, and more. There are six stages, each with its own unique music, visual scheme, and obstacles.
Like the games that inspired it, Boson X is an addictive, challenging adrenaline rush. You can download the game for free and a mobile version is coming soon as well.

PC Spotlight #5: Door Kickers

Title: Door Kickers
Developer: Killhouse Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Windows
Price: 9.99 (Lowest beta access tier)
At first glance, Door Kickers may bring to mind games like Frozen Synapse. But while they may share similar perspectives and controls, Door Kickers stands out due to its grounded premise and myriad of SWAT tactics.
Each level, you're presented with a location and a SWAT team. Your team mates can only see and shoot what's in their line of sight, so checking corners and covering angles is of paramount importance. You can strategically pause the game to plan out your assault, time simultaneously breaches with go-codes, utilize snake cameras, flashbangs, and breach charges to your advantage. Maps range from simple warehouses to cartel houses to cargo ships and air fields.
Door Kickers was updated to Alpha 4 in early August and was recently Greenlit on Steam. Features planned for the full release include multi-story locations, trooper and inventory customization, non lethal options like melee, arrests, and surrenders, and more enemy types such as guard dogs. You can purchase beta access to Door Kickers for $9.99 and the full release is planned for late 2013.

The Watchlist: Gods Will Be Watching

Title: Gods Will Be Watching
Developer: Deconstructeam
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, IOS, Android
Release planned for Early 2014
"Gods Will Be Watching is a game about hard decissions and moral dilemmas in order to survive. A series of dramatic puzzles where not only the mathematic outcome counts but also the ethical approach to the problem. There's also no good or evil, just decisions, with only you as the judge of your actions. Is eating your friends the best way to stay alive, or just the easier?"
The original Gods Will Be Watching was a short minimal project created for Ludum Dare. You and five others had to survive forty days in a cold barren landscape, where your choices decided who lived or died (or was eaten) and your actions mended or destroyed relationships, fended off bandits, sacrificed others for the good of the group, and more. It was like a bleak, dark game where every choice was grey, either bad or worse. Thanks to tons of critical acclaim and an incredibly successful Indiegogo campaign, Deconstructeam will be taking that grim premises and expanding it into a full fledged release.
This expanded version will consist of six scenarios, ranging from the forty-day survival challenge of the original to controlling a hostage situation to withholding information while being tortured. The game will be fully animated and include a New Game Plus mode, unlockable cinematics that will flesh out the story, and online leaderboards.
Gods Will Be Watching will be released in February 2014. You can play the Ludum Dare version here and learn more about the game on its Indiegogo page.

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Money, No Problem: Perspective

Title: Perspective
Developer: Digipen
Platforms: PC
Price: Free
The students at Digipen Institute of Technology are perhaps some of the most promising up-and-coming developers out there. Their work has inspired and influenced both Portal games and have given us great games like Nitronic Rush and TAG The Power of Paint. Released in 2012, Perspective is another fantastic game from Digipen, a challenging puzzle platformer that gives point of view a whole new meaning.
Blue platforms are your floor and ramps, orange platforms are dangerous. You have to reach the exit. But getting there is not so simple because Perspective is a 2D platformer in a 3D world. Rotate your view till distant objects are touching. Zoom out until that impassable wall is a small ledge. Think of it like Fez without camera limitations.
Perspective explores its mechanic in so many incredible and mind bending ways, that revealing more would be a disservice to the game's challenging levels. Give a Perspective a try, it won't cost you a cent.

IOS Spotlight #4: Wipeout

Title: Wipeout
Developer: Activision
Platforms: IOS Universal
Price: $0.99
For the most part, movie and show tie-in games are pretty bad. Good tie-ins are few and far between and for that fact alone, you may have ignored Wipeout, based on the hit ABC show. But that would be a mistake, since this tie-in is actually a fun platformer that's worth a try.
As in the show, you jump and dive through various themed courses, avoiding (or trying to avoid) obstacles. The touch controls are simple and responsive, allowing you to dodge spinning poles and jump from swinging platforms with ease. And like the show, every wipeout is quite amusing and a replay feature allows you to re-watch each one in slow motion and from different angles. There are several outfits and ability-adding helmets to equip as well.
Wipeout isn't the best IOS platformer, but it's far from the worse. For $0.99, you get a decent game that'll provide fun and humorous failures for those short waits or bus rides home.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Quick Fix: Some Broforce GIF Goodness

I talked about Broforce and its over-the-top action movie craziness yesterday. Now enjoy some GIFs of iconic heroes doing what they do best: blowing things up and blowing bad guys away.





Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Watchlist: Death Road to Canada

Title: Death Road to Canada
Developer: Rocketcat Games
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac, Linux
Release planned for fourth quarter 2013
Keep your randomly generated survivors alive as you flee cross-country from unstoppable hordes. PC, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Rocketcat is the developer behind acclaimed mobile games Punch Quest, Mage Gauntlet, Hook Worlds, Super QuickHook, and Hook Champ and now they've revealed their most ambitious game yet. Described as a "Randomized Permadeath Road Trip Simulator", Death Road to Canada follows your group of survivors through a zombie ravaged America.
Gameplay will be a mix of roguelike elements, exploration, group management, and Choose Your Adventure-style choices and events. Zombies may be slow but they attack in overwhelming numbers so stealth and distractions are key to surviving. Every character and every town is randomly generated and permadeath will add tension to every action. Other planned features include:

  • Tons of replay value, with a focus on rare events, unusual situations, and Easter Eggs.
  • Survivors have their own random names, appearances, personalities, and other traits.
  • Robust Interactive Fiction segments, influenced by the personalities of your group.
  • Randomly generated cities you can explore for supplies, but watch out for hordes.
  • Rare Unique Survivors with their own appearances and special events.
  • Survivors keep track of their relationships in the group. It's up to you to prevent them from tearing each other apart.
  • Find and recruit dogs. Rare special event where you can teach dogs how to drive the car.

Death Road to Canada is set for a late 2013 release. You can back the game on Kickstarter or vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

PC Spotlight #4: Broforce

Title: Broforce
Developer: Free Lives
Platforms: PC (Mac, Linux at full release)
Price: free public alpha, $10 (lowest pre-order tier)
Broforce is not the most sophisticated game. A story is non-existent and there's not much motivation beyond rescue the hostages and kill the bad guys. But that's not much of a negative at all, because the gameplay blows away any wishes for a story or deeper motives. Broforce set out to be an ode to 80's and 90's action movies, the Expendables in video game form, and it succeeds on every possible level.
The biggest selling point is the characters, all pixel-art parodies of 80's and 90's action movie heroes. Rambo, Commando, Walker Texas Ranger, Snake Plissken, John McClane, The Terminator, Judge Dredd, and more are available to play as and each with their own unique weapon and secondary explosive. You start each level off as a random hero and can switch to another by rescuing hostages, similar to the weapon swapping mechanic in IOS/PC game Super Crate Box.
Concept art
Each level is a fully destructible playground filled with explosive barrels, propane canisters, and many many enemies ranging from simple goons to suicide bombers to guard dogs and mini-gun wielding mini-bosses. The stylized graphics are nicely detailed, with blood, dirt, smoke, and fire flying with every explosion. The destructible environments adds an layer of depth, allowing you to tunnel beneath enemies to flank them or collapse the ground under their feet or crush them beneath trucks and heavy debris. All those tricks and fast reflexes will be needed because the game is not easy. You die in one hit.
Broforce supports four player local co-op, allowing for quadruple the chaos onscreen. Right now, only a free "Brototype" is available here, playable in a browser or as a download; this isn't a short demo but a fully featured version of the game with the latest updates. The lowest pre-order tier is $10. With even more characters (Hell Boy, Conan, Indiana Jones), more environments (space, steampunk, city), a level editor, a fort creator mode, online multiplayer, and more coming in later updates, Broforce is shaping up to be an action arcade shooter to be remembered.

Quick Fix: 100 games Greenlit by Valve

Great news for indie developers: Valve just gave 100 promising indie games the Greenlight. Congratulations to those games that made it through the Greenlight process!
Among this current batch are the puzzle platformer Teslagrad, the abstract exploration game Against The Wall, the Mega Man/Super Smash Bros.-inspired platformer/brawler Megabyte Punch, the voxel-graphics FPS roguelike Paranautical Activity, the Road Rash spiritual successor Road Redemption, the turn based fighting game Toribash...and many more.

The full list of Greenlit titles can be seen here.

IOS Spotlight #3: Penumbear

Title: Penumbear
Developer: Taco Graveyard/ Bulkypix
Platform: IOS Universal
Price: $1.99
Don't be fooled by the images of a teddy bear and his firefly companions; Penumbear is not a platformer for casual gamers. It's a challenging puzzle platformer that requires precision and quick thinking.
You awaken in the basement of a dark monster-filled castle. Over 100 levels stand between you and freedom. And these levels are not the usual thirty second duration of some other IOS platformers; they're large, filled with different routes, hidden collectibles, traps, and enemies. Your primary goal in each is to find the keys that unlock the exit (which also act as checkpoints) and then locate the exit itself. A task easier said than done.
Your bear is fragile. One missed jump, one fall into spikes, one encounter with an enemy, and you're done. You only have one ability to aid and guide you: turning lights one and off. You can walk along the area where light and shadow meet (known as a penumbra) and the developers wring that mechanic for all it's worth in countless intensive ways. The light can act as a bridge or a ramp or an elevator, can be a projective barrier against enemies or an impenetrable wall blocking your path, or it can reveal hidden platforms and traps. The complexity only increases when flashing lights, switches, objects that only appear in shadow and vice versa, and more are added.

Penumbear has enough content to last for many hours and I haven't even mentioned the boss battles, the well hidden bears and golden bears that require extra platforming to collect, the video recording feature, the finely tuned touch controls, or the Game Center achievements. If you're looking for a quality game that emphasizes exploration ad challenging platforming, then Penumbear deserves a spot on your device.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Watchlist: Neverending Nightmares

Title: Neverending Nightmares
Developer: Matt Gilgenbach
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, Ouya
Releasing Late 2013 (Ouya), 2015 (PC)
"Neverending Nightmares is a psychological horror game inspired by the real horror of my battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. It features a truly interactive narrative structure allowing you to shape the outcome of the game."
I first learned of the upcoming Neverending Nightmares from a compelling Polygon article about its developer Matt Gilgenbach  and his struggles as an indie developer and with obsessive-compulsive disorder. His life-long struggle lead him to pursue the deeply personal, disturbing psychological horror game Neverending Nightmares.
Inspired by games like Silent Hill and Amnesia, Neverending Nightmares revolves around a protagonist trapped in a cycle of nightmares where grotesque hallucinations and creatures terrorize the player. The story is built around branching narratives and multiple plauthroughs; your actions result in different nightmares and different endings.
Stealth and exploration are key game mechanics. Your character is weak and enemies are unable to be hurt. Hiding and fleeing are your only options. Neverending Nightmares also sports a striking 2D art style, in which dynamic lighting, shading effects, and the contrasting use of color give the game an eerie unsettling look.
The demo. which has you exploring a mansion's halls at night, shows great promise; a sense of dread and tension is quickly established and maintained throughout and the slow pace only adds to that tension. The art style is particularly effective at setting an unsettling and disorienting tone. 
If you're interested in Neverending Nightmares, download the demo, vote for it on Steam Greenlight, or back the game on Kickstarter.

The Best of Seven Day FPS - Part 2

Last week, I recommended eleven fun, interesting games from this year's Seven Day FPS (or 7DFPS). But there are so many promising entrees that I decided to recommend some more.
Here are ten more 7DFPS games you definitely should try

This four episode entry is all about time, The faster you move, the faster time moves. Stand still and the world is in slow motion, allowing you to sidestep between bullets and approach your enemies. Each of the four episodes grows more puzzle like, as you only have a few bullets before having to disarm another enemy. An awesome concept, cool minimalist visuals, and fun gameplay makes SuperHot stand out.

Survive as long as you can in this eerie underwater shooter. Descend into the dark depths, lit only by your flares and lasers, as enemies emerge from the murky blackness around you. 

Death Smashers
A hectic arena shooter. Feels very polished (for a 7DFPS game) and the three weapons have great heft. Expect a lot of jumping and backwards shooting while evading hordes of enemies and projectives.

Roguelike FPS
Survive as long as you can in a world stylized to look like a 3D version of old school roguelikes. The interesting visual design makes this worth a try

Infinity Castle
Your only goal is to escape a procedurally generated castle. With nothing but your flashlight, you must find the next waypoints, Don't take too long or you'll soon find yourself on the run from the castle's guardian.

Match-3 Shooter
More of a concept than a full game, but still fun. A 3D match 3 game combined with FPS mechanics.

Cold Curve
You are the projectile. Charge up your jump and smash enemies while dodging hazards. A great sense of movement.

Inspired by Hotline Miami, Transparencies is all about split second planning and attack. Observe your enemies through the transparent walls, pick you weapons (which you can throw to stun), move fast, and fire accurately.

A Cosmic Forest
A visually relaxing experience of abstract exploration. 

Defeat enemies by removing the ground beneath their feet in this interesting FPS.
Another ten recommendations out of 287 submissions. There are still dozens more I haven't tried so I urge you to support these up-and-coming developers and try other 7DFPS games. Be sure to list your favorites in the comments and have fun!

PC Spotlight #3: The Tank Game

Developer: ttgdev
Platforms: PC
Price: 2.99 (Alpha)
So right off the bat, a name  like The Tank Game doesn't inspire much confidence. But behind that unassuming name (which is still being worked on, according to the developers) is a fast paced arena shooter that's incredibly fun to play.

Gameplay trailer here
In The Tank Game, you control...tanks in a various arenas filled with power ups and environmental features like forcefields, either alone against bots or against other in local/online co-operative or competitive modes. But what makes TTG so much fun is the wide variety of offensive and defensive abilities you gain by driving over the pick-ups. The powerful railgun rock your tank back with the force of its recoil and leaves a streak of burnt dirt in its wake. Rockets home in on your targets. Gatling guns, dual beam turrets, EMPs, and more round out your weapons.
The defensive powers are even more fun to use. Shields protect you from fire. Ram boosts you forward, damaging anything in your path. Teleport lets you flank enemies and teleport through barriers. In addition to those abilities, you can utilize equipment like recall beacons which give you a quick escape option (as well as possibly crushing enemies upon landing on the arena).
All together, these elements make every match in The Tank Game a frenetic chaotic affair as rockets and railguns rip through the arena, respawning opponents fall from the sky in drop pods, and others teleport through walls and behind forcefields to outflank and escape. A level editor is also planned.
The Tank Game alpha is available on Desura for $2.99 (as well as a demo). If you'd like to see The Tank Game on Steam, vote on its Steam Greenlight page here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

No Money, No Problem: MTB Freeride

Title: MTB Freeride
Developer: mtbfdeveloper
Platforms: PC
Price: Free
No tracks, no invisible walls, and no limits. Just you, your mountain bike, a completely open mountain, and an awesome sense of speed is all you need to have hours of fun in MTB Freeride.
You could follow the other bikers on a vague path to the bottom but why do that when you can explore on your own, race down extreme drops and attempt (and probably fail) to jump huge gaps. The first person perspective adds to the immersion when you're racing through a gauntlet of trees at top speed. 
The controls take some getting used to, but then again tumbling down a mountain side in first person is half the fun. The landscapes are beautiful and the mountain is quite large; there are tons of jumps and routes to find.
If you're looking for some fast racing fun, some big air, and an open mountain to explore, MTB Freeride is worth a download. And best of all, you won't have to spend a cent.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Q&A with Malebolgia's developer, Jochen Mistiaen

I was able to get in touch with Jochen Mistiaen, the one-man team behind the upcoming horror game Malebolgia, and asked a few questions about his promising project.
What inspired you to get into independent gaming development?

I've been wanting to create "worlds" and adventures since I was a kid playing with LEGO. I started making some Zelda fangames, with GameMaker, when I was around 15 or so. They never really got anywhere, but I picked up very important knowledge on programming, asset creation and production planning. I also started developing a lot of my own ideas for original games, based on media (books, music, film, other games) that I encountered. "Malebolgia" however only started as a concept recently and got into production around early 2013. I have plenty of other ideas and even unused assets, and I hope I can realize some of them in the future. Actually, I've been adapting "Malebolgia" a lot to incorporate some of those older concepts and assets.
Why develop a horror game?

I'm not sure. Can't say I consider myself a "creep", but horror is kind of my favourite genre in media. Well, I would pinpoint it to monster design and architecture. I'm a very visual person and the expression of fear through shapes and forms is of great interest to me. Horror media often takes a familiar or classic setting, and then twists it around with unfamiliar scenery, creatures or impossible architecture. HP Lovecraft and Guillermo Del Toro are huge influences to me.
What makes Malebolgia unique compared to other indie horror games like Amnesia?
Lately, almost all horror games originate from Western/European developers. Consequently, staples of Western games, namely first-person view and realistic graphics, are ingrained in this new current wave of horror games. There's plenty of horror games these days, but I felt they were all about homogenous. I wanted to break free from that and create something that is more like the Japanese-developed games that I like. Something with a different art style, something 3rd person and not something that involved you running from one enemy type (like all those Slenderman games). 
Can you talk about the combat and enemies in more detail? 
The majority of the enemies can actually not be fought. Consider them more as environmental hazards that you need (to find out how) to avoid. Since all enemies damage you by being close to them, it's not recommended to fight them at all. Still, you have a basic lock-on and single attack at your disposal. Enemies are strong, but if you hit them while they are vulnerable (usually when they are about to attack you), you can kill them quickly. The most important thing is to not get overwhelmed. Oh, and there are some actual bossfights against big monsters that should be a good challenge. Bosses seem to be a rarity in horror games these days, so I wanted to put them in. "Dark Souls" is definitely an inspiration, though "Malebolgia"s combat is extremely simple and one-dimensional in comparison.

How is Malebolgia progressing? Can we expect a beta? Release date?
Game is still on route to be released October/November this year. It'll depend on feedback from playtesting; if there happen to be any big bugs or if the gameplay needs work, then it could get some delays. I am working on a demo, but I am not sure if I will make that public yet. I am planning a small Kickstarter soon (still need to work out some practical and legal issues), and I will first send out the demo to a select number of people for marketing purposes. If the feedback is good, I may make the demo public for everyone who's interested.
You can read more about Malebolgia here or vote for it on Greenlight.

The Watchlist: Malebolgia

Title: Malebolgia
Developer: Jochen Mistiaen
Platforms: PC
Coming Fall 2013
"Malebolgia is an atmospheric horror action/adventure, set in a 19th century demonic fortress. The game is inspired by modern and classic horror games (from Western and Eastern developers alike), Gothic literature and most of all Dante Alighieri's Inferno."
 I saw Malebolgia while browsing Steam Greenlight and its unique art style and Gothic atmospheric environments peaked my interest. The game will have you exploring a randomly generated fortress, where oppressive darkness surrounds you and otherworldly enemies lurk the halls. You have only your torch, as both a means of illumination and as a weapon. According to the developer, enemies can be killed in one or two hits, but the real challenge is position yourself and timing those strikes.
Other features and game elements include:

  • Explore the dark world of the Afterlife: As a fallen General and commander of the battlefield, you make your way through a vast randomly-generated dungeon. There are several areas to this fortress, with their own atmosphere, style and gameplay.
  • Fend off dreadful foes and monsters: Many enemies make their appearance within the fortress. They each require a different approach, but all are deadly in their own way. It's up to you to find out how to survive.
  • Defeat the Shadow that holds you captive: A grand beast is lord and master of the Afterlife. It will chase and hunt you down throughout the game. Only you can defeat it and finish your quest, but it's not going to be easy.
  • Rest and pick up your strengths: There is room for catharsis and relaxation from time to time, as you reach safe havens within the fortress. Here you can take a breather, listen to Classical music and read from the Inferno.
  • Discover the true nature of your quest: The old General only knows his one goal - to defeat the Shadow. Why and how he finds himself inside the fortress is a mystery. Experience the tragic history of Malebolgia as you venture from the darkness into the light.
Malebolgia has the potential to be an incredible horror experience. If you'd like to see Malebolgia on Steam, vote on its Steam Greenlight page here.

IOS Spotlight #2: 14px

Title: 14px | Ultra fast-paced platformer
Developer: Robert Allison
Platform: IOS Universal
Price: 0.99
Platformers are tough to get right on touchscreen. Without the tactile feeling of buttons, touch controls can make or break a game. Luckily 14px by Robert Allison has the tight controls needed to navigate its hazard filled levels
The game's seventy levels, divided between five worlds, may start off short and simple but soon you'll be switching gravity while avoiding spikes and flying shuriken or timing your jumps to dodge massive lasers across falling platforms. The difficulty is no joke, this game is hard...but also rewarding. Replay value comes in the form of improving your time and collecting special pickups in each level, some which require extra platforming to gather. There is also a level editor, but unfortunately you have to enter level codes to find user content and I haven't been able to find any level codes online. But the 70 levels offer more than enough content and challenge on their own.
For $0.99, I'd definitely recommend 14px. The controls are great, the art style is nice, and the game is challenging.

PC Spotlight #2: Electronic Super Joy

Title: Electronic Super Joy
Developer: Michael Todd Games
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, coming to Android and IOS later
Price: $4.99, $7.99
(The game is still $4.99 on the developer site, compared to $7.99 on Steam, but according to the developer, they're waiting for the Humble Store to update the price. So act fast and it does come with a Steam key).
When starting up Electronic Super Joy, a screen warns that the game "may cause seizures! Also, cause motion sickness!" and that's not hyperbole. Electronic Super Joy is at once a psychedelic visual experience and a tough-as-nails platformer.
The surreal landscape spawns trees and other scenery as you approach, the environment is alive with strobing lights and moving colors, all while electronic music and orgasmic moaning plays in the background. The paper thin story is as surreal as the graphics: it's quite simple, you're on a quest to rescue your butt. The game is never static, even the levels are in constant motion.
Each level automatically scrolls left to right, adding a sense of urgency not seen in other platformers. You only have seconds to evaluate what obstacles lay ahead. The controls are simple: arrow keys to move, Z to jump, X to butt smash (also useful for quickly landing a jump and gaining a precious extra second) but are more than capable of overcoming the myriad challenges. Lasers, portals, blade turrets, jump pads, one-use jump pads, swarms of missiles (which follow you relentlessly and can pass through the environment), spinning  blades, rotating levels, bosses, and other hazards all stand between you and the exit. You will die, that's for sure, but there are checkpoints and auto restarts give the game a "one more go" appeal that only the best platformers can provide.
The game's pixel art style is simple but plays smoothly and I doubt any modern computers will have trouble running it. Electronic Super Joy is quite literally a joy to play. If you're a fan of Super Meat Boy or other challenging platformers, I think you'll definitely enjoy this game.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Watchlist: Teslagrad

Title: Teslagrad
Developer: Rain
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Releasing in 2013, Demo available here
"Teslagrade is a 2D puzzle-platformer, where you play as a young lad who suddenly finds himself embroiled in an ancient conflict that will shake the foundations of his enture existence, and bring a gruesome truth to light."
Teslagrad first caught my eye while browsing Steam Greenlight and the recent demo affirmed those initial impressions. Teslagrad is shaping up to be something special. Set in an alternate steampunk Europe, you find yourself in the mysterious Tesla Tower and must solve platforming based puzzles using an array of electromagnetic powers. The lengthy demo offers two: a gauntlet that allows you to switch an object's polarity and boots that allow you to teleport short distances.

These two abilities alone allow for a wide variety of puzzling and platforming challenges and I had a lot of fun with the demo. But what stood out the most in my opinion is the atmospheric art style and the fluid animations. Those two elements make Teslagrad not only a joy to play, but also a wonderful visual experience.
Except for a frustrating boss that killed me more than I'd care to admit, the Teslagrad demo is very promising and I can't wait to see what fiendish challenges and cool powers will be available in the full game. You can find the demo on Desura or vote for Teslagrad on its Steam Greenlight page here.

No Money, No Problem: Outer Wilds

Title: Outer Wilds
Developer: Alex Beachum
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Price: Free 
Space...the final frontier. Famous words, but how many games have allowed you to explore that frontier without limits, to discover new worlds, or even save the universe? Outer Wilds lets you do just that.
A short summary of the game from the developer's site best illustrates Outer World's ambitious nature:
"Outer Wilds is a space exploration game that invites you to embark on a cosmic expedition into a turbulent world driven by forces beyond your control. Let curiosity be your guide as you fly into the heart of a gas giant, meet fellow travelers on quantum moons, and roast marshmallows beneath alien skies."
You only have twenty minutes. After that, it's game over...literally. The Sun goes super nova and the Universe is over. But the potential opportunities in those twenty minutes are astounding. Learn the basics, practice zero gravity flight, fly a remote drone, admire the beautiful planet and star filled sky. Land your craft on unexplored worlds, meet new species both friendly and hostile. Maybe you'll even find a way to save us all.
Outer Wilds is best experienced with a gamepad and may have performance issues on less powerful computers. Give this atmospheric space adventure a try. You won't regret it and best of all, you don't have to spend a cent.