Hands-on with Aaru's Awakening's 100 percent hand-drawn platforming

When Reykjavik, Iceland-based Lumenox Games revealed Aaru's Awakening last year, its hand-drawn aesthetic was its most defining feature. Aaru's Awakening had graphical creativity on lock from the moment its developers started showing it off. At PAX East 2014, we had the opportunity to see if the gameplay could live up to the high bar its designers set. You play as Aaru, a mythical creature that looks like a hybrid between a human crawling on all four limbs, a long-haired savannah cat and an anteater. In the PC version we played, Aaru moves with standard WASD controls. The mouse serves multiple purposes, the most significant of which is Aaru's teleportation ability. Aaru's Awakening is a side-scrolling platformer with a twist: You're often forced to traverse terrain that you can't...

Heroes of the Storm hands-on: learning to MOBA

I was as excited as I was nervous to play Heroes of the Storm.I know MOBAs, but I have limited experience with the multiplayer online battle arena genre. Developer Blizzard Entertainment calls Heroes of the Storm an "online team brawler," but it's the same idea you'll find in games like Dota 2 and League of Legends. You fight for control of lanes. Players control heroes. Battles ebb and flow as each side whollops other players, their AI minions and towers in a battle of attrition leading to the others' base. I know these games. I've seen these games. I've watched eSports commentary about these games. I've written about these games. What I haven't done enough of is play these games. So at PAX East, when I met to play Heroes of the Storm with the game's director, Dustin Browder, I was a...

Team17's Flockers coming to Steam Early Access in Q2 2014

Team17's new game, Flockers, turns the studio's Worms franchise on its head: Players help sheep escape from years of captivity at the hands of their tyrannical worm overlords, the company announced today with a teaser trailer. According to Team17, Flockers combines the gameplay of Lemmings — guiding animals through a series of deadly obstacles — with a steampunk aesthetic and humorous gore. You can see the gore part of that in action in the "MEat the Flockers" trailer above, in which the sheep's curiosity is their downfall. Flockers is currently in alpha, and Team17 plans to release the title on Windows PC via Steam Early Access in Q2 2014. The studio announced the game, its first new IP in almost 13 years, last month and is currently showing the title at EGX Rezzed. You can check...

Bound by Flame hits PS3, PS4, 360 and PC May 9

Bound by Flame, developer Spiders Studios' action role-playing game, will arrive on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Windows PC on May 9, the developer announced today. The RPG's cast of beastly characters contains individually tailored attacks and skills that players must contend with in the fantasy-themed environments. Bound by Flame will also offer armor, skill and weapon customization for each warrior. You can watch a trailer released in February to see the game in action and browse the gallery below for six screenshots that show what the Alliance faces against the Deadarmy. Majesco Entertainment will distribute Bound by Flame in North America, while Focus Home Interactive will publish the game in other territories.

BattleBlock Theater hitting Steam in 2014, closed beta this month

BattleBlock Theater, the multiplayer platformer from The Behemoth, will be released on Windows PC via Steam later this year, the studio announced today. BattleBlock Theater debuted on Xbox Live Arcade last April. The PC version will be integrated with the Steam Workshop so players can share the levels they create, as well as Steam Inventory so they can trade and sell in-game items. The Steam version also includes other features that the XBLA version didn't come with, including additional Cat Guard enemies in the story mode; the ability to switch weapons and support for keyboard and mouse, XInput and DirectInput. The Behemoth plans to run a closed beta for BattleBlock Theater on Steam from March 24-31. Interested parties can sign up for a chance at a beta key on the studio's website....

Affordable Space Adventures lets you explore on the cheap

A trailer released this week for Affordable Space Adventures teases an atmospheric stealth puzzle game headed to the Wii U with the budget conscious space traveler in mind. Affordable Space Adventures puts players in the cockpit of Uexplore's Small Craft, whose "intuitive and simple Heads Down Display technology offers all the functionality and flexibility of the Heads Up Displays installed in more expensive space ships, but at a fraction of the price," according to the developer. To players in the real world, that's a reference to the Wii U's GamePad, on which your ship's user interface will appear. "It'll be important to pay a lot of attention to the UI," Swedish developer Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren told Gamasutra. "You also get lots of information from it about dangers. There will be...
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