Screenshot Saturday Featuring Geneshift, Airheart, Twelve More

Screenshot Saturday comes and goes on its regular weekly schedule, dumping new information by the truckload into the world of gaming.  Each image and animation is something new, but there’s hundreds to sift through so this feature trims the volume back to about a dozen or so, plus a bonus image.  The selection process is arbitrary, based primarily on a combination of factors that are evenly weighted between how something caught my eye and how often it’s shown up here before.  Certain developers are really good at showing off their games, making it hard not to include them every week, but given the choice between “New and Interesting” or “Awesome but Rerun”, New takes it almost every time.  There’s a joy in discovery in Screenshot Saturday, and while not everything may turn out as fantastic as it looks there’s always hope that, like any trailer from smallest indie to biggest AAA, it will pay off exactly as promised.

Night Lights-  Puzzle-platformer where the light reveals what’s hidden in shadow, but the shadows are perfectly solid if you don’t ruin it by stripping away the mysteries with illumination.  The design of the night world, with its blues, shadows, and sylized trees, makes this one to keep an eye on.

Airheart: Tales of Broken Wings-  Go fishing in the skies between the floating islands of a dieselpunk world where danger is, of course, always waiting to make every flight your last.  The main character, Amelia, actually appeared in the iOS game Cloud Chasers in a much younger version.  She may be stuck living an adventurous life.

Unnamed-  Run and grapple and fling yourself across the level with as much force as possible, because speed is your very best friend.  Those lined red areas are force beams and they won’t wait peacefully for you to cross their path, and there are plenty more hazards waiting in other levels to make life even more difficult.  You’ve got a grappling hook, though, so there’s no such thing as danger any more other than as a side-effect of imperfection.

UnderRaid-  Fast-paced but turn-based multiplayer game where one person leads a group of heroes into a dungeon while another uses the monsters to stop them.  Even cute little toothy puppy-flower monsters get thrown into the fight, becoming little more than enthusiastic cannon fodder no matter how adorable the pink skulls on their collar of petals may be.

Neuropunch-  Side-scrolling platformer/brawler set in a neon cyberpunk city.  While the gameplay is still very early and in need of a lot of work, the art design on the city is coming together nicely.

Unnamed-  While I’ve got no idea what this is, exploring the murky depths of a 3D fractal while piloting a submarine, shining light into its hidden crevices while finding whatever ends up hidden in there, sounds like just the best idea of exploration.

Vox Machinae-  Giant mech VR combat.  Stomp away in a giant metal behemoth that would rule the battlefield if it wasn’t for all those other pesky mechs doing the game thing.  Fortunately you can dismember them one limb at a time, although that does leave open the possibility of a nasty headbutt once their rocket-launcher arms are removed.

AI-KA- Side-scrolling run & gun with properly grainy lasers.  So often the beams of light are solid, directly out of Star Wars/Trek, and it’s refreshing to see red laser death look like it came right out of a supermarket scanner.

The Pedestrian-  A little stick-figure guy runs across the levels painted on a series of street signs, zipping from one sign to another and back again depending on how you’ve connected the entrances and exits.  Levels can have a number of signs connected in various ways, frequently not even on the same walls, and the minimalist designs contrast nicely with the more detailed environments the signs are found in.

Second Hand: Frankie’s Revenge-  Junkyard Wars has gotten incredibly out of hand.  Frankie was a robot left to rot in a junkyard but all that scrap lying around could be salvaged to create a new, more powerful body.  Sure, the torso might be a refrigerator, and the arms baseball bats, but it beats rotting away.  As it turns out the junkyard is filled with other hostile AI that had the same idea, such as Cardinal Flamethrower here who’s made from a coal furnace and wearing a pointy recycle-symbol hat.

Axis Descending-  Fast-action combat Metroidvania that’s currently putting its time in over at Greenlight.  It’s got more than a touch of Dark Souls in there, but not in terms of being oppressively dark and moody.  It’s impossible to be too serious when you’ve got a happy, dorky corgi trailing along, after all.

Hastilude-  Multiplayer fantasy combat game with more than a little Smash Bros. in its DNA.  The important thing, though, is that Zin is deeply unimpressed with you, me, and everyone everywhere, always.

Geneshift-  Top-down action shooter where you create a character from a number of abilities, combining them in ways that, hopefully, won’t let you die too easy.  The single-player game is against zombies and rebels, but the main focus is on mulitplayer brawls against other players, whether in teams of free-for-all.  It’s been in development for eight years now under a couple of different names, but as it closes in on release it’s not Geneshift forever.  The latest version is 0.995, only a month old and available as a free download at the website.

Bonus Image

RYM9000-  2nd phase is a violent thrust into the sky setting the air on fire with the fury of acceleration.  Whatever 2nd phase may have to offer, it’s got a lot to live up to if it wants to match the effort required to reach it.