death squared

Death Squared Review: Mutual Box Destruction

Posted by | PC, PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox One | No Comments

Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

Portal, and to a larger extent Portal 2, have inspired a new subgenre of puzzle games that emphasize cooperation with a dash of cheeky humor. Death Squared is a shining example of this cooperative puzzler genre, letting one, two, or four players guide little robot cubes around a series of increasingly challenging deathtraps.
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Banner Saga 3 Kickstarter Ends With Over Double the Funding

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A few indie developers have found continued success via crowdfunding over the last several years. Stoic’s Banner Saga series is a prime example. The extra-long 40-day Kickstarter campaign for sequel Banner Saga 3 raised $416,986, more than twice its initial goal of $200,000. A little over 8,000 backers contributed.

“The support from backers and the community has been amazing, and it’s humbling to know that RTS fans around the world really want to support us,” said John Watson, co-founder at Stoic. “The additional funds will be invested into bringing as much of our intended vision to the final game and rewarding our backers’ support with an unforgettable experience to conclude this epic tale.”

Banner Saga 3 will represent the final journey of the harrowing tactical series. The series is set in a world based on Norse viking myths. It’s also a world on the bleak of apocalyptic destruction. The story features many tough moral choices and decisions you make during your journey, many of which decide who lives, who dies, and who joins your party of warriors.

The original Banner Saga was among the first wave of video game crowdfunding successes on Kickstarter, back in 2012. It raised over $700,000 from over 20,000 backers. The tactical-strategy game brilliantly combined Oregon Trail-like structure with grid-based tactical turn-based battles within its uniquely dark setting.  It won Best Debut from the GDC Awards in 2014.

Banner Saga 2 launched last year and was similarly critically acclaimed. Funding for that sequel was made possible by the over-funding and sales from the first game.

A number of Stretch Goals were unlocked during the Banner Saga 3 campaign. Stretch Goals include playable Dredge, Survival Mode, “Ubin Lives,” and an all-new Eternal Arena game mode. Note that the Eternal Arena will be added post launch.

Banner Saga 3 is listed with an Estimated Delivery of December 2018. As always, consider that the extreme earliest date possible.

cosmic star heroine

Cosmic Star Heroine is Launching April 11

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One of my personally most anticipated games of the year has an official release date. Cosmic Star Heroine is launching digitally on April 11 for PC and PlayStation 4, with a price of $14.99. It’s also coming to PlayStation Vita, though not at launch.

“We’re super excited to finally be releasing Cosmic Star Heroine and hope everyone enjoys the finished game,” states the latest Kickstarter update. “This is by far the biggest, most sophisticated game we’ve ever released so we hope it meets the high expectations many of you have for it.”

Two-person indie developer Zeboyd Games specializes in retro RPGs. Games like Cthulhu Saves the World and the third and fourth Penny Arcade games pull together many of the best elements of 90s JRPGs while infusing humorous writing and solid battle systems.

It’s with this track record that Zeboyd Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for Cosmic Star Heroine in 2013. The campaign was successful, generating over $130,000 from over 6,000 backers – including me.

Cosmic Star Heroine was developed as a nostalgic call-back to classic 90s 16-bit JRPGs like Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger is one of the most beloved games of all time and Cosmic Star Heroine inspired much of its style and battle system from that classic 1995 RPG.

cosmic star heroine

The story stars Alyssa L’Salle, an intergalactic secret agent who uncovers a startling conspiracy. Alyssa can recruit ten different companions with their own personalities and power sets.

Cosmic Star Heroine has been in beta since last Fall, using high-tier Kickstarter backers to help iron out bugs. You can order the official soundtrack from HyperDuck Soundworks on Bandcamp. A physical release of CSH is also planned, but will arrive later.