TxK

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TxK

I am going to go against the grain here and write about a current gen video game. It’s no ordinary game, it has it’s roots in the arcades dating back to 1981. The game I speak of is TxK. What praises can be written here that haven’t already been lavished on this beautiful game by the great Yak, Jeff Minter (Llamasoft).

TxK

 

For starters, this is no ordinary update on Dave Theurer’s original arcade smash hit Tempest, or Jeff’s own Tempest 2000 on the Atari JaguarTxK brings Tempest well and truly into the 21st century. This tube shooter captures your attention and gobbles up a lot of your free time, not just the PS Vitabattery. Words like mesmerising, sublime, frantic, nail-biting and intense come to mind when describing TxK.

TxK

 

For those that have just arrived on this planet, TxK is a tube/web shooter, where your ship is attached to the top edge (rim) of a web playfield, shooting at enemies approaching from the background into the foreground. Your mission is to clear each of the 100 playfields and not allow the enemies to shoot you down or capture your ship. To assist you in getting further into the game, each level provides power-ups that can unleash screen-clearing bombs or provide you with an AI Droid which is handy in clearing enemies that have jumped up on the rim.

TxK

 

Coupled with the gorgeous psychedelic visuals, Jeff Minter has also thrown in some catchy, rave-inspired soundtracks. With an ingenious save system and modes of play, TxK is clean, perfectly designed and bristling with high energy.

Verdict: If there is one game that will convince you to buy a PS Vita, it is TxK. It has ‘killer app’ written all over it.

Tempest 2000

Tempest 2000

Format: Atari Jaguar
Year: 1994
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Llamasoft (Jeff Minter)

It has been a long time coming. Nineteen years to be exact. Nineteen years to finally take Jeff Minter’s game for a proper review spin.

Tempest 2000, the beefed-up remake of Dave Theurer’s 1981 arcade classic, was Atari’s  killer game that helped it shift lots of Jaguar’s upon its release in 1994. This game was never going to be a straight ‘pretty up’ by Jeff Minter. The great Yak added his usual quirkiness to this seminal favourite. What he produced was nigh on perfection.

You may ask, what is so damn good about Tempest 2000. Well, if you are patient for one second, I will let you know. Yak (Jeff Minter) took a first generation arcade game and injected crisp 3D polygon graphics, an awesome techno soundtrack and oodles of new enemy types and obstacles.

Don’t think that Tempest 2000 is just an audio visual enhancement to the original – Yak also added 100 varying webs (levels), new opponents, collectable power-ups like the particle-blaster/laser, jumps, and A.I. Droids who destroy anything that gets too close. Thrown in this awesome gaming mix was the new ”Melt-O-Vision” transition effect – very psychedelic (very Jeff Minter) indeed. Add the different types of play options – two-player cooperative and competitive play modes and you got yourself one awesomely gorgeous masterpiece.

No game, no matter how great it looks and sounds is complete without a complimentary control system. There is only one way to play Tempest 2000, and that is with a rotary controller. You could use the standard Atari pad, but it just doesn’t do the game justice. The rotary control enhances the enjoyment of the game and it definitely helps in achieving those lucrative high scores. Tempest 2000 is a an incredibly great title which was released on an incredibly obscure system. This game is the jewel in the Jaguar’s crown. If you haven’t played it, you are missing out big time!

GraphicsSuperbly crisp 3D polygons that only the Yak can produce. Yes, the Jaguar can handle it.

90%

SoundA perfect techno soundtrack. Light-synthesizer tunes throughout with very meaty sound effects. It is an awesome aural pleasure. Turn it up!

95%

PlayabilityGetting into the game is quiet easy – spin around on the web and blast away the encroaching enemies. To truly experience this game, it must be played with a rotary controller.

90%

LastabilityConsidering there are 100 levels to complete, this game will last forever.

91%

OverallJeff Minter can seriously do no wrong. The Yak knows how to produce brilliant games. This one is no exception. Even Dave Theurer approves of it (I made that up)! Get it and play hard.

91%

 

Deep Space Bundle: Pay What You Want for 8 Space Themed Games

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In space no one can hear you bundle. In Deep Space, on the other hand, you can definitely enjoy eight excellent indie games for a pay-what-you-want price as the second bundle by Kyttaro Games , Bundle In A Box: Deep Space, was released today. It’s the only thematic bundle around, will last for 14 days and offer all games as DRM-free downloads (but not exclusively so; most games are also available on Desura and/or Steam ).

Bundle In A Box 

Bundle In A Box is a thematic pay-what-you-want gaming bundle, that helps new games debut, supports charity and directly strengthens creators via the Indie Dev Grant. As more people buy it the minimum price drops and extras get unlocked.

Game List

Space Giraffe

Space Giraffe

By Llamasoft

Jeff Minter’s Space Giraffe is an abstract action arcade style game that takes place in a succession of dizzyingly beautiful environments generated by advanced graphics synthesizers. It presents itself as a shooter, but the more you play the more you discover the hidden depths and strategies that make the gameplay satisfyingly rich and rewarding.

This is the boldest evolution of the trance-shooter, created by the company that helped to define the genre with the groundbreaking “Tempest 2000”. Expect 200 levels of trance-tastic action, beautiful abstract graphics that respond to audio input, two remixes of the same game, and deep gameplay that rewards strategic and tactical play. Space Giraffe is accessible enough to entertain a novice player, but also deep enough to satisfy the arcade expert.

Death Ray Manta

Death Ray Manta

By Rob Fearon

Death Ray Manta is an attempt at finding the videogame equivalent of the perfect 2 1/2 minute pop song. A flashing, glowing exploration of the history of arena shooters condensed into the now. It’s a game about finding and embracing the moment, celebrating everything videogame and being videogame. It’s also an arena shooter where you blow stuff up and flash lights in your face.

Because videogames.

Death Ray Manta is videogames.

Death Ray Manta also happens to be an arena shooter that knows its history. From Robotron to Llamatron to Geometry Wars and on, Death Ray Manta keeps one eye on what works, what’s worked and tries to explore it all. Quickly. In a condensed few moments of pleasure. What’s more, it is a videogame about flashing lights in your face.

Very, very, pretty lights.

The Wreckless

theWreckless

By Duct Tape Games

The Wreckless is a single player space combat simulator, with a sixteen level fully voiced campaign and a simulator that lets the player create their own custom skirmishes. The missions comprise a variety of different styles including bombing missions, dogfights against tough AI opponents and escort missions. The player can research different fighter crafts to use for each scenario, choosing different fighter/bomber combinations to compliment their own play style.

The gameplay is reminiscent of “old school” space combat games like “Tie Fighter” and “Elite” but uses modern WASD controls, some FPS conventions and does not require a joystick. Most levels are comprised of flying with a squadron of allied drones, dodging huge capital ships and stations. The Wreckless also allows players to customize the difficulty of each scenario by altering the number of crafts deployed.

Dark Scavenger

Dark Scavenger

By Psydra Games

Dark Scavenger is an adventure game that combines strategic turn-based combat with unique point-and-click mechanics. Happily, it features twisted dark humor and dozens of quirky characters.

Filling the role of a powerful space traveler, you find yourself stranded on a mysterious planet in the company of three eccentric, yet resourceful aliens. As you desperately seek a way to repair your ship, a massive conflict unfolds around you involving warring factions and a sinister force that threatens to destroy them all.

Will you adopt the problems of this world as your own or will you just save yourself?

Armalyte

Armalyte

By Psytronik

Armalyte, the stunning Commodore 64 shoot -’em-up, has at long last been converted to the PC  and is looking and sounding better than ever! Yes, the massive boss encounters and the 8 tough worlds are still there.

The PC version of Armalyte is based on the classic Commodore 64 game. The gameplay has been precisely replicated on the PC thanks to involvement from the original Armalyte developers Dan Phillips and Robin Levy. The graphics have been specially enhanced for the PC version by Trevor ‘Smila’ Storey and the game features brand new soundtracks by Chris ‘Infamous’ Bailey.

Sol: Exodus

Sol: Exodus

By Seamless Entertainment

Suit up and take on the role of the Lieutenant Commander, ace fighter pilot and 2nd in command of the UCS Atlas, as you search for a new home, battle a mysterious enemy, and rescue humanity from a fiery end in this visually stunning space shooter.

By the year 2500, Earth had become toxic and unsafe for human life. Pollution and overpopulation had ravaged the planet, forcing humanity to the stars. Colonies and settlements soon sprung up across the solar system, but mankind had not left its thirst for war behind. Then, they learned their sun was dying, and everything changed. Only when faced with a threat greater than each other did the nations of man finally come together. The United Colonies of SOL (UCS) was born, its first and only mission: to locate a new home for mankind, safely beyond the doomed borders of our solar system.

Miner Wars Arena

Miner Wars Arena

By Keen Software House

It is the year 2081. Our Solar System is in the aftermath of a total political breakdown. Humanity is fighting over scarce resources on asteroids. Take control of a mining spaceship, hack your way through asteroids, and crush your enemies in a fully destructible environment in this just released sci-fi gem.

Fast-paced arcade game inspired by the PC gaming classic, Tunneler, with state-of-the-art top-down 2.5D gameplay in a fully destructible environment. Enjoy unlimited gameplay variations by adjusting your arena settings, playing skirmishes, fighting at tournaments and even going for some split-screen multiplayer.

Robot Riot

Robot Riot

By Retromite

Bigger than a nanite! Smaller than a trash can! Feistier than a vengeful princess! Jump, puzzle and shoot through spaceships and their systems as vanguard robot ‘SLUG’. Raid vessels for your galactic debt collecting master in pristine pixel platformer perfection.

Robot Riot features 21 action packed levels, tons of enemy types, plenty of gun-turrets and epic bosses, exciting power-ups and weapon-upgrades, classic platform action with unique environmental hazards and a joyous retro style due to its 16bit era pixel art and chiptunes.

Armalyte Extras

Armalyte Extras

By Psytronik

The retro-tastique, interactive extras of the boxed Armalyte version are finally available in downloadable form. Grab them and complement your 8-bit retro remade experience!

This lovely collection includes Mix-e-Load, the JukeBox containing the game’s music in what can only be described as an impressive music demo and a brilliantly interactive Making Of on the Armalyte box art.

Support upcoming game developers.

$10 will be added to our Indie Dev Grant for every 100 sales and the whole sum will be awarded to a developer selected by vote; no strings will be attached as to how the grant will be used.

Donations to Charity

5% of all revenues will be shared with the Hellenic Centre for Mental Health and Treatment of Child and Family.

What’s more, for each 1000 bundles sold new extras will be unlocked for everyone, including the premier issue of the PlaySF sci-fi gaming magazine, the brand new Dark Scavenger soundtrack, the soundtracks of Sol: Exodus and Miner Wars, and an eclectic selection of books, artbooks and storyboards.

Bonus:

Droidcape: Basilica

As an added bonus, all who purchase the bundle will get access to exclusive content for Droidcape: Basilica; KyttaroGames’ own upcoming game for iOS and Android. The top 10 contributors will also get a free copy of the game itself upon release, whereas the Droidscape: Into the Basilica book will be made available as an unlockable extra.