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Gameverse | February 25, 2017

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Greenlight Spotlight Vol. 7

Frank Streva

Greenlight

Wow, so Valve has been busy since my last article. There were two normal sized batches over the last few weeks, then Valve went crazy and released a mega batch of 100 games today. I’m happy to see that Paranautical Activity has finally been Greenlit after all the controversy surrounding it being snubbed previously. I see a lot of games I’ve highlighted in previous Greenlight Spotlights on these lists, but many of them still haven’t made it, so go check out some of my previous articles to find more games that could use your help getting on Steam.

Needless to say, even with this massive batch of 100 games being Greenlit, my work here with the Greenlight Spotlight series isn’t done. New games are being added to Greenlight every day, and there are still interesting games that have been sitting there for months that need your votes. Most of today’s highlights are relatively recent submissions, so it’s no surprise that they were omitted from today’s big Greenlight batch.

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Eschalon: Book III by Basilisk Games

Eschalon: Book III is one of those games that shouldn’t even be on Greenlight. The first two games have been on Steam for years, so why is the third chapter being forced to go through Greenlight? I honestly don’t understand Valve’s reasoning for forcing games by companies that have already sold previous titles on Steam to go through the Greenlight process. In any case, Book III is the final game in the Eschalon trilogy of isometric, turn-based RPGs. The Eschalon games are very traditional, old-school experiences, like CRPGs from the ’80s and ’90s, featuring an open world and nonlinear storyline. Book III promises a whole host of improvements, many of which were requested by fans of the series, in addition to bringing the story to a close. I must admit that, despite owning the first two games, I’ve never actually played them. Such is the nature of Steam Summer Sales.

RogueShooter

Rogue Shooter by Hippomancer

Rogue Shooter popped up on Greenlight just over a week ago and is aiming for a release later this year. As you might expect from the title, Rogue Shooter is a mix of FPS action with roguelike elements, such as randomly-generated levels, weapons, and permadeath. What really got my attention was the charming, cheesy graphics style and gameplay. The game obviously looks and plays just like a shooter from the ’90s. From the aesthetic to the clunky animations, the level design to the mighty boot melee attack, the game just screams Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, and Shadow Warrior. As someone who grew up with those old shooters, and has a new appreciation for roguelikes, Rogue Shooter looks like just the sort of game I could get into.

Candle

Candle by Teku Studios

Candle has been getting some attention lately after its successful Kickstarter, reaching 130% of their goal. The game is set to be done early next year, and Teku Studios is aiming for a $12-$15 price point. Candle blends elements of both point and click adventures with some platforming and puzzles. The main mechanic is based around your character’s candle, which is vital to solving many of the game’s puzzles. You must also fight to keep your candle lit, or else you may find yourself unable to solve some puzzles or find secrets. One of the big draws of this title is the gorgeous, hand-painted graphics style. All the backgrounds and characters are drawn and painted using watercolors and inks before being scanned into the Unity engine. Likewise, all the animation is done via traditional, frame-by-frame methods before being imported into the engine; none of the art or animation is done digitally.

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Monochroma by Nowhere Studios

A number of major sites and gaming personalities have been excited about the upcoming monochromatic puzzle-platformer Monochroma. We even have an interview right here on Gameverse about it. Often described as a blend of Limbo and Ico, Monochroma  follows the tale of two brothers in a dystopian, alternate 1950s. You must carry your injured little brother around with you, but doing so limits your mobility and capabilities to solve many of the game’s physics and light-based puzzles. This requires you to find safe places to put him down before coming back after you’ve cleared the path ahead. The characters are also silent, meaning that the story is told entirely through the environments and nonverbal interactions between the characters.

Aaru'sAwakening

Aaru’s Awakening by Lumenox Games

Continuing the theme of games with great art assets, here’s Aaru’s Awakening, a fast-paced platformer where you play as a rooster-gorilla thing on a quest to stop an evil entity. Much like Candle, Aaru’s Awakening‘s environment and animation are done entirely by hand before being imported into the game engine. The game is themed around the balance between Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Night, with visuals and music designed to evoke an ethereal, dream-like vibe. Your character, the rooster-gorilla thing named Aaru, has two movement abilities. The platforming is all based around using these two abilities, charge and teleport, in different combinations to navigate the various obstacles and enemies in your path. Lumenox is aiming at a late 2013 release date for this one.

Now go out there and get to voting! The surge of 100 Greenlit titles today was a pleasant surprise, but there are still many, many games sitting in Greenlight limbo that need your help. Until Valve comes up with a better way of getting these promising indie titles on Steam, all we can do is show our interest in them by voting and discussing them on Greenlight.