It’s Been A Long Time: Iconoclasts

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I’ve been waiting for Iconoclasts for a long time. I first found out about Konjak’s games around 2007 or so, playing through Noitu Love, Legend of Princess, and some of his unfinished projects like Mina of the Pirates and Ivory Springs — the latter of which was his first attempt at the concept which eventually became Iconoclasts. Later, I enjoyed Noitu Love 2 (and wrote about it), as well as Konjak’s playable teaser for Iconoclasts (back when it had a “The” in front of the name) which arrived way back in… actually I’m not sure when it appeared, but I mentioned it in my 2012 post about Noitu Love 2, so it was sometime before that. Iconoclasts has been in development since 2010, you see, and given that Konjak had released a few unfinished and abandoned games before, I feared Iconoclasts had followed suit. I was wrong. Iconoclasts finally appeared in January, and I’ve finally played it.

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Going Inside

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Inside is Danish developer Playdead’s follow-up to Limbo, which was released way back in 2010. I wrote about Limbo in the early days of this blog. Looking at that now, I see that I honored the stylized all-caps naming for that game, but I cannot bring myself to do so here, for Inside or Limbo. Sorry.

Inside has obvious similarities to Limbo. In both games, players control a small boy in a dangerous and creepy environment, presented through highly stylized art. Inside has evolved that artistic style, translating the visuals into a 3D, flat-shaded style that is predominantly — but unlike Limbo, not entirely — monochrome. The boy is also more realistically proportioned this time around, without the exaggerated large head from Limbo. But the art is similar enough to be recognizable, and in both games the boy begins in dark woods, with no explanation. Players can move left or right, jump, and perform context-sensitive interactions with the environment, and must use these simple controls to explore and survive.

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The Mysteries Of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP

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Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP is one of those games that I picked up not long after release but never got around to playing, until now. Its distinctive art style made an impression on me at the time, and I recall seeing lots of discussion surrounding it after its 2011 release, but somehow I never read much about it, and when I finally decided to play it I went in knowing almost nothing. Having everything be a surprise was a real pleasure, so I have tried to write about it without revealing too much.

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The Future Sound Of Mushroom 11

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When I first heard about Mushroom 11, I was intrigued by its core concept: players control a strange amoeba-fungus creature by erasing it, using a glorified version of the eraser tool found in most graphics editing software. Erasing the creature causes it to regrow itself from the opposite side, so the creature can be made to move around and change shape. A puzzle platform adventure based on this idea sounded interesting. But what really got my attention was when I watched a trailer and recognized the music. It was The Future Sound of London, one of my favorite electronic music artists. Some quick searching online revealed that The Future Sound of London provide the entire score for the game, mostly in the form of previously released tracks, but also with a few that can’t be found elsewhere.

Well, then.

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The Complete Infernal Medicine

At long last, the epic Solium Infernum diary known as Infernal Medicine is complete! There are links to each portion of it below. I’d like to extend the warmest thanks to my contributors Anonymoeba, Baleygr, and Codename Duchess for making this possible. They are fine, upstanding citizens… er, I mean vile, conniving fiends.

Part 1 (Turns 1-10)
Part 2 (Turns 11-20)
Part 3 (Turns 21-30)
Part 4 (Turns 31-40)
Part 5 (Turns 41-49 and the epilogue)

Solium Infernum is available directly from developers Cryptic Comet. If you like what you see, and you think you’re ready to step into the inferno, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to host a new game.

Read on for a few (spoiler-free!) final thoughts on Infernal Medicine.

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Infernal Medicine: Another Solium Infernum Diary (part 5)

Readers unfamiliar with Solium Infernum may wish to read my original post about the game, as well as my first, massive Solium Infernum diary, Hell Or High Water, before continuing. And you should definitely read part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 of Infernal Medicine to get up to speed. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.

Last time, Hell was rocked by scandal. First, Kivah made an audacious and unexpected move: a suicide run at Pandemonium, using the Orb of Oblivion to level the capital city. The Infernal Conclave survived, but now no one can try to take the throne by force. Kivah was excommunicated for his crimes, and Anonymoeba and Baleygr moved in to conquer his holdings. Baleygr lost his legion to ill luck in combat, and Anonymoeba took it all, banishing Kivah to the Abyss. Later, Codename Duchess managed to win a second vendetta against Anonymoeba, one that they had mutually agreed to via a behind-the-scenes deal. On turn 39, Codename Duchess revealed his Playing For Keeps perk (conspicuously not reported by Anonymoeba’s spies) by declaring Blood Feud on Anonymoba with only two (instead of the usual three) vendetta victories under his belt. He held initiative advantage, so there was nothing Anonymoeba could do, and on turn 40 Codename Duchess captured Anonymoeba’s stronghold, banishing him to the Abyss.

Only four archfiends remain.

Codename Duchess is poised to take Anonymoeba’s former territory and Places of Power, which include those that used to belong to Kivah. But Baleygr, who had all but given up on the game, saw another chance to capture some of Kivah’s old Places of Power. And the Magistrate’s plan to win through wealth is finally paying off; he’s taken the lead in Prestige. But he’s been hit with curses and thievery from Beowulf, including the theft of his star duelist praetor, Morax. Now The Magistrate faces a duel against his former champion, but he’s sending in Vassago, a praetor he stole from Anonymoeba (before his banishment) and trained with powerful combat moves.

Here is what happened.

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Revisiting Adelpha: Outcast 1.1

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A few months ago, I posted the news that Outcast: Second Contact — a high-resolution remaster of the 1999 game Outcast — had been released. This was exciting news, since the original Outcast was the subject of one of my first ever History Lessons posts; a game I played for the first time in 2009 and absolutely loved. Before trying the new version, however, I wanted to revisit the original, this time taking advantage of the 1.1 update that developers Appeal / Fresh3D released in 2014, which allows for modern resolutions (the original’s awkward 512×384 is difficult to display on today’s monitors), improved performance, and fixes issues relating to processor speed. It is, in theory, the ultimate way to play the original game, and I’m planning to directly compare it to the Second Contact remaster.

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