Starting off the top with a driving game, Distance is the spiritual sequel of the free game ‘Nitronic Rush’, that made its debut into the gaming industry as a college project which quickly gained popularity due to its simple story but captivating mechanics. Clearly having TRON as the muse, in both games you are a vehicle that has to cure a virus infection inside a server. The story mode deploys as a get from Point A to Point B type of mission while avoiding the obstacles.
Not So Easy
The road will not be straight nor simple as various moving or static obstacles will be deployed in front of you like stairs, rotative blades, vertical roads and not even roads at all. For almost each situation you will get an on-spot tutorial teaching you how to get over it. Your car can jump and even fly as well as using propulsors spread all around the car in order to do simple stunts like front and backflips and barrelrolls.
Distance uses a simplistic HUD portrayed on the rear window of the vehicle which shows the current speed, time elapsed, and a compass. The compass can be changed with the score points if the gamemode requires it.
Besides a story mode, Distance also contains an arcade mode in which you can play alone, in a local co-op or even online. In Solo and Co-op mode you can choose several gamemodes available to play:
– Sprint – Basic run in which you have to reach the finish line in the shortest time possible. Beating preset times rewards you with either a bronze, silver or gold medal.
– Speed and Style – Sprint with a twist: Every stunt you make will help in reducing the time it took you to complete the race. Like the previous mode, the shorter the time, the flashier the medal will be.
– Challenge – Raw and brutal style: Reach the finish line as fast as you can, but there’s a catch: The track contains a lot more obstacles than normally and you cannot respawn but only restart the entire map. Fortunately, the maps in Challenge aren’t too long.
– Stunt – Stunt arenas: Jump, flip, barrel roll, walk on walls and ceiling to score points and show your e-peen on the leaderboards. Time is limited.
– Trackmogrify – A mode where the map is procedurally generated with a catch: You can input a word or string of words in order to alter the content of the map. For example: You can add the word America to have the whole path colored in the red-white-blue colors, or Twist to have more curves on the track than a curly hair.
Besides these modes, co-op features some extra few, while Speed and Style has been eliminated from it. Co-op mode supports up to 4 players; 1 keyboard player and 3 gamepads:
– Reverse Tag – A Capture the Flag renamed. But, instead of the flag, you have a sphere around you. The point of the game is that whoever reaches a total of 3 minutes at holding the sphere wins the game.
– Soccer – Doubt that it needs any description. You have a ball, you have your car, score the goals. But if you want to actually play this kind of game, do try Rocket League (It will be covered soon).
The game is still in Early Access so the game’s description is based on what has been developed so far. The story might change in time or be extended.
I doubt that there are anything but a few people who have not heard of this extremely popular game. Started out as an indie game, it has been acquired a few months ago by none other than Microsoft. Starting out as a simple Java-scripted game, it expanded exponentially over the course of years with the help of the developers that kept being added into the originally one man team and of course, the modding community.
You play as Steve, a simple man meant with the insane task to survive in the world filled with zombies, spiders, skeletons and even more supernatural enemies like Endermans. Unlike another survival game, ‘Amnesia’, you are able to craft, build items and houses, raise your own farm; be it with animals or vegetables. You can pick up your pickaxe and find underground tunnels or make your own, in search for riches like coal, iron or even gold and diamonds, you can be outside equipped with an axe and chop off trees to make torches and crafting tables. Each material is precious in its own way and can be used to craft multiple items like swords, bows, tables, beds, ovens and so on.
The world is always procedurally generated, meaning that there will never be 2 of them the same. In every map though there will be met every kind of nature, including desert, tundra, as well as jungles and forests. Every kind of terrain can also be meet, from flat areas to entire mountains.
Due to the game’s structure, the player can build everything that crosses his mind, from treehouses, to skyscrapers. I’ve been able to create myself a huge floating garden accessible through a waterfall.
There are several enemies that you need to defend against like gigantic spiders, zombies, skeletons with bows and one of the most annoying kind, the creepers, which tends to explode right when they’re near you leaving you in most cases dead, and with a big hole in the ground. Opposite to the creepers, there’s usually a harmless mob, called Enderman, which disappears if you look straight in his eyes. He also tends to steal blocks from wherever he is so try to not get him in your house; he will not attack unless you do.
The second part of the available enemies can be accessed by going to the Nether realm, which is done by building a portal. When defeating enemies you receive XP points that can be spent on spells for your weapons and tools to make them more efficient. If you die, all that you had on you will be dropped on the spot you died, including the XP points, staying available for only a limited time before they’re lost forever.
The modding community didn’t waste any creativity points and came up with entire new gamemodes like Hungry Games-type tournament or Lucky Block sprints, graphics and user interface complete rehauls, new crafts and spells, character skins and even entire themed maps (like cities).
As a result to this game’s huge success in the industry, lots of clones have appeared over time or even dared to go further by adding various other genres like FPS (Blockstorm, Ace of Spades, Guncraft) or got flattened out into a 2D universe (Terraria, Starbound, Dig or Die).
8. Megabyte Punch
Megabyte Punch is a 2D beat’em up game with some interesting features and definitely nostalgic mechanics that will remind the veteran player of old consoles era.
You start out as a simple robot, in a simple town and your objective is to advance and get to the top in the hierarchy. For that, you will be sent through various quests in gathering certain items. Each level contains multiple paths for reaching the objectives so there is a bit of content that can be explored. Certain areas in every map might keep you locked, and the method of escaping is to defeat the spawned enemies. All maps are completely destructible and damage can be done through various moves or bombs that are placed tactically in them.
Your character has various special capabilities, starting with the default ones like double and walljumps, ending with the ability to create a Frankenstein version out of himself. When you destroy an enemy, there’s a chance that a part of it is dropped. You can pick up that part and place instead of your current arm or leg for example. Each part of you can be replaced, even the head. Each part can give new abilities or increase the basic stats like strength and speed. The abilities can be placed on a customized action bar which looks more like a triangle.
Each of the 4 available slots has a separate trigger, most of them composed as a combo of 2 keys (Directionals + Attack key). However, mistakes can be made when pressing left-right and the attack button afterwards, resulting in the game believing that you pressed the 2 buttons simultaneously, thus executing a different attack. The second reward for killing enemies is the currency, called ‘Bits’. At every 64 bits gathered you receive 1 life. You start with 3 lives as default. Another way to procure bits is by smashing the gathered parts or unused ones to … bits. If you lose all lives you will start the map from the beginning.
Another old-school nostalgia moment is the boss fight. Following the same map style and fighting rules as the old SNES game ‘Super Smash Bros’, you have to throw the enemy a certain amount of times off the map while you remain on it in order to defeat him.
7. Game Dev Tycoon
Game Dev Tycoon is pretty much what the name says: You are a young developer that starts to create games in the similar fashion that almost everyone started before: In the garage. You can create games by choosing the genre, theme, engine and choosing on what your game to excel at (map, gameplay, sound, etc).
At the end of each game, 4 reviewers will grade your game with scores from 1 to 10 (10 being the greatest), which will affect your income and number of fans from the game. If you however build a great game and afterwards a bad one, there are chances that you can lose some of the fans.
When creating the game you develop research points that can be used to discover new game themes as well as creating new engines, training yourself and your future employees. Also, while developing a game, you get technology and design points that shows how polished is your game. Bugs will also be present, requiring some extra time to wait until they’re fixed after the game is finished. Also, while waiting after the game is done, you can receive more Tech and Design points for the game.
Once you decide to publish the game, a pop-up will appear presenting your progress on the developing parts. The greater the level the better the game will become. You can also scrape the game and never publish it if you think it’s a bad combination; however, the money spent on the game will not be received back. Following that is the reviews that you receive from the magazines.
With the time advancing, you will get to work on new platforms like PPS (PSP), mBox (Xbox) and of course, the PC. Each platform will show its marketshare allowing the player to decide on which platform to release for maximum profit. For extra cash the player can take on side missions like test a game or create a database. Later in the game you can create official sequels to the previous games, choose multiple platforms for your game, the target population for your releases as well as creating your own platform and selling it. Other expanding possibilities include getting publisher deals, participating at conventions and ultimately making your own one, as well as other tons of projects.
You can hire employees that will help on creating games, engines, research game themes and so on. Each employee will require his own salary and after each level increase his payment will increase. You can also specialize them in different domains for better quality of your product.
As a funfact, this game has one of the funniest anti-piracy measures: If you have pirated the game, your created games will also be pirated causing you a massive loss of profit.