What’s this? Can it be? Another Indie Spotlight right after the last one? Indeed it can be! AR-K was meant for January but due to some overly troublesome technical difficulties, it was unfortunately delayed. The delay however did not detract from the enjoyment I received from playing the game. Today’s Indie Spotlight is being written up perhaps a little bit early but for a special reason. The game just came out today! You are likely thinking to yourself, if it just came out today how did he have time to do up the Indie Spotlight for it? Well the answer to that is quite simple. I had access to the Closed Beta before it came out. I played it some more to see any changes that may have been made between the Beta and the final product and then proceeded with writing this post. Without further delay, it’s time for the Indie Spotlight to shine on Isbarah from Leikir Studio.
As you likely gathered from previous spotlights, such as the AR-K one, I have a certain soft spot for classic style games. One classic game style I always enjoyed were the platformers that were made back in the 16 bit era (before the 3rd dimension made some jumps and aiming difficult due to terrible camera angles). Jumping between platforms and making your way to the boss was usually a lot of fun although the best part was always the boss fight. After a couple playthroughs the level before the boss most likely became a bit boring. You may have started to wish there was a way to just skip it and get straight to the boss fight. Hold that thought!
The University I attended had a small Arcade on campus. One of the machines in the Arcade introduced me to Bullet Hell games. Bullet Hell games were pretty much designed to eat your quarters as rapidly as possible while giving you a massive challenge. Bullets and other things seemed specifically designed to swiftly kill you so you would need to speedily insert yet another coin as you worked yourself up to the main coin gobbler, the Boss. Again that was the best part of the game. Overcoming the massive spammy boss before you lost all your lunch money was a real challenge. I played that game as often as I could. I was lucky in a way that arcade machine didn't always work quite right. It often wouldn't accept coins properly and just let you play it. You might be asking yourself, why are you talking about Platformers and Bullet Hell games rather than talking about whatever Isbarah is? It’s the Isbarah Spotlight isn't it? Well that’s the thing. Isbarah is a Bullet Hell Platfomer! What a unique combination!
Isbarah sets itself apart from other Bullet Hell games due to being built on a Platformer base. It sets itself apart from a Platformer because it skips the lengthy pre-boss stage and throws you straight in to the boss fights. Best of all, it doesn't eat your quarters so you can save your lunch money! It’s kind of a win-win-win. Also you don’t have your own gun to shoot back with, so that adds a novel quirk to the fun.
You play as the daughter of God. You are basically up against anyone who is foolish enough to stand in your way. Each level consists of a boss, and a little bit of an intro area to get a feel for the level. Nothing else! Pretty much straight to the boss, which as I mentioned before, is always the most fun and best part of any game. So there you are, up against a massive boss that is spamming attacks at you. The majority of the time you will spend dodging attacks. Like was mentioned earlier, you have no gun to fight back with. Depending on the phase of the battle there are two things you basically have to do. Phase one, you get to a railgun turn it on and then stay near it as it flies around until it fires. Do that enough times and the boss drops its shields more or less, then you enter the next phase. Phase two is basically to stay alive long enough. The attacks get fiercer and you must stay within a certain area or else the battle will just be prolonged. Eventually you will get the opportunity to attack the boss and reduce some of its Health. Then the cycle resets. The cycle keeps resetting until you have managed to take out all of the Boss’ Health and it falls. That pretty much sums up every single battle.
Each boss battle is unique. You will have to pretty much go in to the fight blind and most likely die multiple times… even on the easiest setting. The game actually knows it is going to kick your posterior. This is based on the fact that a number of the achievements are for failing to the same boss multiple times in one play session. Assuming you can learn from your mistakes, you will eventually figure out the patterns the boss falls into and be able to plan your defence accordingly. This isn't a game where you can go in and just spam moves and win each time. You need to figure out how best to use the powers available to you. Your dash ability can be used to climb up to higher platforms that are too high to jump to. Dash can also be used to dodge attacks. Your barrier ability can be used to momentarily defend yourself from an attack long enough to get out of the way or can be used to make a platform to help you get up even higher. If the game is moving too fast to give you time to think, you can actually slow time momentarily to get your bearings or to execute a quick double dash to get out of the way of something that was coming at you very quickly. You get the idea I am sure. This game will make you think. In fact it will make you think very hard indeed and will punish you very quickly if you lose focus or fail to plan your next move in advance.
The graphics of the game are very nicely done and are reminiscent of the old school 16 bit era with more modern flair added to flesh it out. The sound fits this game quite well and helps keep you in the zone. The story is told with comic strip style dialogue and images. The story itself seems to be well laid out; I have yet to finish the game to see how it resolves, mostly because the bosses are kicking my posterior without mercy. The basic idea is that God is sending his daughter to fight those that violate the laws of the world. The battles themselves are in 2D thankfully as I don’t think I could handle this game in 3D, it’s so very hardcore as it is. There is a ton of unlockable content and 18 bosses to contend with. With multiple difficulty settings, this game should pose a challenge to anyone. The game forces you to play with a mouse and keyboard simply because you need to be so fast and accurate with your moves that a controller likely wouldn't be able to cope.
Quote from: From the Steam Store Description:
About This Game Isbarah is a cross-genre of bullet hell and platformer style, it's a hardcore 2d game and each level is a duel boss fight.
In Isbarah, you have the standard platformer game controls and bosses will fight like in bullet hell games.
To survive, we have added three abilities to the gameplay:
Slow Motion : Will enable a time slow down in order to give the player time to analyze the situation around them and to make a wise move. Dash : This ability allows you to make fast moves to any direction with perfect precision. The Barrier : you can use it as a shield or a platform, whether to protect yourself or to help you climb higher.
Players will need to fully understand the boss patterns. It’s built on smartly managing your powers and using them wisely to survive - everything in our game involves dodging and making smart movements.
Live through the story of Isbarah with short comic strips in each level.
Playing Isbarah, you will be following Iria's journey through her lineage.
Iria is a goddess and in order to prevent this world from falling into chaos, her father rules it with an iron fist - and Iria is his only weapon and shield; he uses her to harshly punish anyone that bends the law, and there is no mercy granted.
Isbarah is bound to the imaginary world that all humans fantasize of - encapsulating all their dreams and nightmares into. Every single thought made by human beings contributes to the shape and size of this world, creating an ever-changing universe full of creatures and landscapes. These creatures are called The Designed; they all have different shapes and their behaviour depends on the people who have created them. Alongside these creatures, live also the Designless. These creatures are only concepts, they haven't been fully created by humans. These Designless creatures are desperate to evolve and become full designs, therefore, they are constantly infecting other full designs to become more powerful and eventually takeover their shapes.
If you are a fan of Bullet Hell games and want a change of pace from the auto-scroller style, then give Isbarah a try. Do you like a good challenging boss fight in your platformer? Give it a try as well! I know I am once again hooked and plan to fight this game to the bitter end.
After having a video card fry out just before starting this spotlight and then waiting on a backordered power adapter for the new video card, this Indie Spotlight has been a bit delayed. Sometimes things are just worth waiting for though. Without any further delay, it is time once again to shine the Indie Spotlight, this time on AR-K!
AR-K is a game that was successful on Kickstarter (on its second attempt, so that just goes to show you, if you fail once, dust yourself off and try again!). I say was successful, but really it just squeaked by its goal. Anyway, you have to admit squeaking by the goal is much better than falling a few dollars short! I have to say, AR-K is a game I would have definitely backed had I seen it back in 2013. There was a floppy disk copy of the game I would have absolutely loved to own. It isn’t just an ordinary floppy disk (does anyone even have one of those drives in their computer anymore?) it’s really a transformer, robot USB drive in disguise! It would have looked great next to the floppy disk copies of a similar game series I have….
This might come as a complete shock to some of you, and I would imagine some of you probably do not care at all, but one of my favorite game series of all time are the Point and Click Adventure games of the Monkey Island series. Guybrush Threepwood is a Mighty Pirate. He often mentions a three headed monkey as a distraction or offers to sell a person a fine leather jacket as an excuse. Sometimes he just finds himself in a nice battle of insult sword fighting all while on a quest that covers the tri-island area and invariably winds up on Monkey Island. When he encounters something large, he will always remark that that is the second biggest (whatever it is) he has ever seen. The game is loaded with comedy, joke answers, and stuff to poke at and explore. There are items to combine and puzzles to solve. Now you might be scratching your head and wondering, why did I start talking about Monkey Island. Isn’t this supposed to be about AR-K? Well right you are!
What first drew me to AR-K was the fact that it was a Point and Click Adventure game with a comedy tag. Since I have been waiting ages for a new Monkey Island game, heck I would even settle for a Monkey Island movie at this point…. Hollywood take note, make that happen. I just had to try AR-K. Most of the Point and Click Adventure games I have played to try and fill the Monkey Island void have left me disappointed. Sure the point and click action was there, the Adventure was there and there might even have been some jokes, but they were just not what I was looking for. There I go, talking about Monkey Island again and there is actually a good reason for that. Almost instantly when I started playing AR-K and ran in to Frankie, a bovine bar owner, I felt like I was in the Monkey Island universe again. The comedy was there… the wacky quests that make you think and give you something to puzzle over were there. Having to figure out how to make a Corpse Reviver for a Princess Bride-esque mostly dead person with only four clues to go by… I knew I had probably found my Monkey Island fix. When I seen the girl jam something obviously way too big into her tiny little fanny pack, I knew I had found my fix. This game was definitely inspired by Monkey Island, check out the screenshot.
Those would go nice with my Fine Leather Jackets…
Yes I know that line originated in an Indiana Jones game before Guybrush pirated it.
AR-K is a fully voice acted, episodic game with the first two episodes already out and a couple more in the works. The episodes are each only a few hours long if you don’t know what you are doing, a little shorter once you do, but it looks like there will be enough of them to probably give you quite a bit of play time. You play as Alicia Von Volish (voiced by none other than Ash Sroka, the woman who voiced Tali’Zorah vas Normandy in the Mass Effect Trilogy). Alicia is a kind of sarcastic and “passionate” young woman who was a promising police cadet. This ended when she found a mysterious golden orb in her locker and was kicked off the force. She opted to cut her losses and go back to University to become a Journalist instead.
You start out the game with a wicked hangover and no memory of what (or who) you did last night. Missing your purse, your bracelet and joined by your faithful dog Ambar, you set off on a quest to figure out what you did in your drunken stupor as well as get the final assignment for your class. You figured your roommate might have an idea of what happened but he is out cold at Frankie’s Bar. This starts you off on your first real quest which is to collect the ingredients for the Corpse Reviver. With your new quest in tow, you head off to the University to see your professor about your final assignment. Unfortunately, you are running late and that rat of a professor decides he will not give you your assignment to teach you a lesson. Enter your second main quest, figure out a way to get your assignment. Without realizing it, this will set you off for the main story arc of the game.
So what do you do in this game? Well basically you carefully look around the environment and find things to interact with. This can be items to collect, people to talk to, or machines to interact with. Using your fanny pack and PDA you are able to collect and store items and information. Are you stumped as to what to do next? Well why not try asking one of the NPCs! Need something more specific, such as the feelings or thoughts one of the characters has about another character but you don’t see that in the question list? Well use the portrait from the PDA to ask the NPC about that specific person. With a little pressing you can find out a lot of information about someone and it can give you clues about what to do next.
Unlike Guybrush, who relies on his wits (and at times his clumsy/carelessness) to get around and obtain what he needs, Alicia is willing to use her “natural talents” and her destructive tendency to get what she needs. There is another comparison to be made here as well, but this time it isn’t Monkey Island! It’s POSTAL 2. That’s right, a Point and Click Adventure has something in common with POSTAL 2. Who would have thought it! No, it wasn’t a reference to POSTAL 2, it’s a pure co-incidence. Both POSTAL 2 and AR-K have a real life dog digitized and added as a companion to the main character. POSTAL 2 has Champ and AR-K has Ambar. Check out these pictures of Ambar!
That’s one nice looking dog.
There is one issue with all point and click games (even Monkey Island) sometimes you have to think so far outside the box to solve a puzzle you may end up just doing trial and error rather than actually doing it properly. As with all things in life, there are three ways to do something. The Right Way, The Wrong Way and The Max Power Way (which is the wrong way, but faster). If you do it properly, the game will give you strong hints at what you are supposed to do, which of course is the right way. You can do it the wrong way, which is just randomly clicking on things until something, happens, or you can look it up in a guide.
Why a The Simpsons reference? There is a phone outside the University that lets you make prank calls!
Are you a fan of Monkey Island like I am, but can’t find your fix? Give AR-K a try! Do you love Comedy games? Give AR-K a try! Do you love Point and Click Adventure games? Give AR-K a try! You know what, just give AR-K a try! It has its faults as all games do but there are usually ways to get around just about anything. For example, sometimes the hit box is a little smaller than you would like so you might try an idea and it will fail even if it was the right idea. I tied a rope to a shelving unit and tried pulling on it myself with no luck then I tried having Ambar help me, again with no luck. After trying everything I could think of, I cheated and looked up what to do which was to have Ambar pull on the rope! I tried that once again with no results but then I found the sweet spot and it finally worked. Sometimes when I attempted to interact objects with other objects I would be told it was wrong, but I knew it had to be right, so attempting it again did in fact yield the expected correct result. These kinds of problems can be easily forgiven; you could say they make the game even a little more interesting. There is also the chance they may frustrate you a little if you lack the patience to find the sweet spots. These kinds of games are for problem solvers who might enjoy the thrill of the hunt or a bit of a challenge!
The second chapter adds a little more flavor to the game by adding the narrator. He is generally much more polite and is quite judgemental of Alicia’s actions to the point where she hates him, but he does offer her some insights. It also adds a fast travel system, which means you get to skip over some of the transition zones, which is quite nice since you will be doing a lot more walking in the chapter. This chapter is considerably more complex than the first chapter as well, at least in my opinion, so if you found the first chapter a bit too easy, well then, chapter two just might offer the challenge you need. I know I will be waiting patiently for the third chapter to be release to see where the story is going to go next.
Well there you have it, the much-delayed Indie Spotlight that was mentioned in January! AR-K is definitely a game to check out if you are looking to kill a few hours and would enjoy a good laugh. I mean how many games are out there where you can feed someone your dogs vomit (Hint: That is part of aforementioned the Corpse Reviver)? Or scare said person into falling out the second story window so you can use that as a distraction to get what you need (Don’t worry; I’m sure he is fine, that space motorbike surely broke his fall)? AR-K is a game that has something for everyone! Still not convinced and have an Android or Apple product? You can play the first chapter for free so go right ahead and try it out now!
Okay people this is the time you have been waiting for all year. It’s time to score big time with that special someone. Maybe you've had your eye on her/him for a long time but have been too shy to make an approach or maybe you are already hooked up but just need a little boost to the relationship. Whatever it is, now might be just the time to make your move.
February 14th otherwise known as Valentine’s Day was named after an olden days Roman priest who was killed for performing weddings for soldiers at a time when marriage was forbidden. This guy was really put through the ringer for such a simple seeming act. He was first beaten then he was stoned before finally getting his head cut off. Wouldn't thinking of all that torture and anguish put thoughts of love in your head. You could say he did die for love though.
It is now the day of romance when fresh flowers, chocolates and jewellery (especially diamonds and gold) are gifted to the ones we love in the hope that the feelings are reciprocated. Nowadays instead of a beheaded priest we have a little guy called Cupid flying around and shooting arrows at the heart of the person we want to impress. Hmmm that doesn't sound all that loving either but somehow the arrows are supposed to work. Maybe it’s because Cupid is cute and there are usually a lot of pretty red hearts floating around him that gets people smitten. Maybe it’s the fact that except for a ribbon or his bow and arrows he is usually naked that is supposed to fill people with thoughts of love. Even Krotchy looks like he was hit pretty hard. Look at those hearts around his head. I hope he is not coming after me.
On second thought, the 14th might be a day when you should hide out somewhere until it’s all over. It might be better to skip the possibility of being beaten or beheaded or shot with arrows just for trying to get lucky in love. Is it really worth the risk. It might be the wisest move and a whole lot safer just to give the flowers to your Granny and eat the chocolates yourself.
Don't forget that they celebrate Valentine's Day in Paradise as well. Don't have anyone to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year? Well, grab $5 and head on over to the Kissing Booth to get your self a nice Valentine's Day kiss!
Tournament of the Tortured Gem Dealers. Now isn’t that a title to catch your attention. What it represents is actually far less sinister than its name makes it sound. It is a very worthwhile annual charity-bowling tournament held at The Golden Pin Lanes in Tucson Arizona. The games are sponsored by the Pueblo Gem Show Dealers during their annual Gem and Mineral show, hence the rather unique name.
The tournament is the primary fundraiser for Kids Animals Life and Dreams (KALD). KALD is a local non-profit organization working with teens in foster care. It helps to give teens some of the experience needed to help them in finding and keeping suitable employment. Without organizations like KALD, teens might not get the chance needed to make a good life for themselves.
Our own Mike Jaret and his team took home the spectacular winning trophy from this year’s event. Mike bowled a 681 series in three games to help the team win the 19th annual tournament plus Mike bowled a winning high game with a score of 244. Anyone who bowls knows that is a score to be proud of.
Our congratulations go out to Mike and the rest of the team. The team name by the way is something you might expect coming from someone from RWS. The guys are known as” Boner Ring Toss”. You are triple winners. Not only do you have such an exceptional team name, you brought home the trophy. Even better yet and what really counts is through your contribution to KALD you helped out someone who may otherwise not have had a chance. It is always a bonus when you can help someone out and still have a lot of fun while you are doing it. I expect we will see you next year defending your title at the 20th annual Tournament of Tortured Gem Dealers.
A really great feature on Steam is the Workshop. It’s probably the easiest way to find and submit your own homemade mods for your favourite games. In the olden days, you had to do a considerable amount of random Internet searches to try to find mods to add a little extra interest to your game. After a lot of time consuming searches, it’s most likely that you would find only a handful of the countless mods that were actually available for your games. With the Steam Workshop you can now find those mods very quickly. You can also share your opinions on the mods with other gamers. The more popular the mod gets, the easier it will be for others to find. Again, way back when, you used to have to follow complicated instructions to get the mods to work. Sometimes you had to trust executables that looked a little shady just to install the mod properly. Other times you had to use a third party mod manager to try to make them work properly. In any case the results might not have turned out to be quite what was desired. We all know how frustrating it can be when something we are trying to do repeatedly goes wrong and we have to start all over. Steam Workshop has taken all the annoyance out of trying to find and install a mod. With the Steam Workshop all you have to do is press one button and Steam will handle the downloading and installing of the mod. Once you launch your game, the game will see the workshop content and finish preparing it for you. All that remains for you to do is select the mods you want to play and you are good to go. Couldn’t be easier and keeps the fun in the games.
While everyone waits patiently for PARADISE LOST to make its grand entrance, we thought we would highlight some of the mods currently available for POSTAL 2. These are listed in no particular order. Being listed first doesn't make it the best one of the mods just like being listed last doesn't make it the worst one. (There really are no worst ones. In our opinion they are all great!) They are mainly just presented in the order in which they were tried. After filtering though quite an extensive number of mods, this list has been narrowed down through necessity to those that have something extra unique about them, are a lot of fun, or are just really worthy of mention for other reasons. Without further delay, let’s get to the mods that we decided to feature.
The First mod that we tried that is worth a mention is Retribution Plus (Final Version) which is an expanded version of Retribution. This particular review is based on Retribution Plus simply because Retribution crashed each time it was tried. It’s not really the Mod creators fault though, user comment show that only around 30% of the users experience this error. Either way, Retribution is kind of a total conversion mod. In this game, you don’t play as the Dude and you do not play in Paradise. You are Michael, a man that has been mortally wounded and who is now out to seek revenge for the murder of your family. It’s fully voice acted by a man with a rather thick Russian accent. It lacks the free roam of POSTAL 2, making it kind of linear like the Weekend, but it has a unique feature, or at least unique so far, perhaps other mods will use that feature as well. Bullet Time! The first game that I remember having Bullet Time that I played was Max Payne. When things start getting too overwhelming, Bullet Time could be activated to save your life. It slows everything but you down allowing you to better dodge bullets, take more time to aim, and various other tweaks to tip the odds in your favor. You have to manually bind it to a button, but the instructions on how to do that are clear. It looks like a lot of work went in to making the city the game takes place in. My only real complaint is that it is so short.
Another great mod is actually a very old mod too, The Thing. Dating back to around 2005, it stars the Dude after he crashes his car in to a pole. He sees a building over in the distance and walks to it. Once inside he sees that something isn’t quite as it should be in there. He also spies the parts he needs to fix his car to get out of there. With no other choice available to him, he ventures into the depth of the building. On his way he encounters all sorts of freaky things. It features a POSTAL version of the Skulltula from the Legend of Zelda too. It has a fairly decent length and has a few Easter eggs to discover.
Another Total Conversion mod is the SpaceCity + SpaceFighter mod. What’s the one thing that POSTAL 2 has always been missing? No, not that. Not that either. That’s right! POSTAL 2 has always been missing drivable Spaceships… or anything drivable really, but in this case Spaceships! This is really more of a multiplayer mod than a single player mod because there isn’t that much to do in single player. You can explore the Space City in the low gravity environment using teleporters to get between levels. When you get bored of doing that, you can hop in to the Space Fighter and fly around blasting at things. There are no bots so really that’s about all you can do in Single Player. In Multiplayer, you and your friends can have battles in the Fighters or just mess around in the low gravity. Either way it could be quite fun…. Sadly, I had nobody available to really test it out with at the time of trying it. Visually it’s quite nice looking!
There are a number of mods that add interesting elements to the game; new weapons, special armor just for Champ, new outfits and quite an assortment of different types and styles of add-ons. There are too many to choose from in one go. Rather than highlighting just a few of them, why don’t you just add them all to POSTAL 2 and see which ones you like best. That’s exactly what I did! There are also quite a few sandboxes for you to fool around in. New areas to explore, some of them even have drive-able vehicles. A user by the name of Shawn took a lot of the old classic mods for POSTAL 2, fixed them up a bit with a few new features and uploaded them all to the workshop for you to try. Go ahead and try them all out!
Besides Shawn, there is another Workshop user that should be followed. Many of you loved Oagh’s classic A Very POSTAL Christmas level, well awgsknite has been working very hard on this mod and keeps expanding it. Due to file size limits, awgsknite had to break it into multiple parts just to be able to upload it all to the Workshop. It’s the biggest mod for POSTAL 2 on the Workshop currently. There is so much to do in this mod that it’s quite hard to summarize it all. Just go install it now, you will be glad you did! awgsknite also released a Halloween themed Trick or Treat map for you to enjoy as well.
Last in the round up, and certainly not least, is our Workshop Contest winner, A-Mod’s Pigeons Hunter Mission. It integrates itself into the weekend where the video mentioning the cut Pigeons Hunter Mission is usually played. Right after the cow pasture you launch right into the mod. You can also run it directly from the Workshop launcher in the game if you want to skip playing the weekend up to that point. It’s basically what it says. You hunt down all those pesky pigeons but it doesn’t stop there. Unlike in certain other games where they have you hunt a bunch of pigeons or other hidden objects, there are plenty of diversions to keep you going! A factory, a secret tunnel, a random monkey to chase, plenty of things to do!
Well that’s about it for this Workshop write up. As much as I would like to, there are plenty of mods out there that I haven’t even had a chance to try yet. Keep checking out the Workshop as you never know what you will find. With all the talented gamers out there, plenty more mods are being added almost every day. We certainly appreciate the considerable amount of time and effort that goes into making these mods so make sure to check them out. You can’t really tell what they are like until you try them. They may give you a whole new spin on an already great game and if not...well you know what to do. Just keep trying and we know you will find a lot of winners.
Well known as a friend and fan of Running With Scissors, Alisa Bogodarova is a versatile young lady on her way up in the world. She is a talented artist, author, inventor and fitness model. Alisa has paid us a very great compliment on her web site by listing as her inspirations: God, The Universe and that awesome video game POSTAL.
Alisa is now entered in the RAW: Visual Artist of the Year Contest. Raw promotes natural born artists. She is asking that you put in a vote for her to be the RAW: Visual Artist of the Year. Let’s help this talented young lady to win her contest. It’s very easy to see some of her work and put in your vote. Simply go to her site and hit the sparkly vote button. You can see some of Alisa’s work on her page, then just click on the large vote sign and you will be taken to the voting page. Let’s show a fellow fan a bit of encouragement and give her a helping hand in getting her work out there for everyone to see and admire. Voting is only open until February 7th so don’t put it off or wait too long or you might miss out. Vote now for Alisa Bogodarova as RAW: Visual Artist of the Year.
We know how everybody likes to win prizes so we want to tip you off about a really big contest you are going to want to get in on. For your chance to win, start right now and send your submissions in before April 1st, 2015. All you have to do to enter is to make a great map for Counter Strike: Global Offensive. You can find the full details of what is required for your map at over on the Nielsgade site.
The prizes for this contest include a number of game packs and collections that are really worth winning. First prize is a very generous 79 video games, Second prize not to be sneered at is 16 games and Third prize will keep you going on your game playing for quite a while with 13 games. Running with Scissors is of course donating a three game collection to all three levels since we want to encourage everybody to have fun. A full list of all the games to be given away is listed at the contest site.
So there you have it. You not only get the enjoyment out of making something unique, you also get the chance to have it pay off big time with a load of really great games. Good luck to all the entrants. We can’t wait to see your winning submissions.
Disclaimer: Running With Scissors is not running or involved in any aspect, legal or otherwise, in the running of this contest.
Did you pick up POSTAL 2 in either of our recent massive sales? POSTAL and POSTAL 2 are still proving they have what it takes to be attention grabbing video games. We knew we were going to get some business but we certainly didn’t anticipate the overwhelming amount of orders our latest sale was going to generate. Without a doubt it was our best sale yet and we are proud to know we still have a lot of loyal fans out there. It makes the hundreds of hours of work, programming, and planning that went into creating and maintaining our video games all seem more worthwhile.
Well now it’s time once again to let your opinion be known to the world (or at least to the other gamers). Go to Steam and give POSTAL 2 a nice POSITIVE vote to help us keep our overwhelmingly POSITIVE rating. You can also let your opinion be known to us. You know Running With Scissors always likes to hear from our fans. We always appreciate tips and suggestions on what you think might improve our game. We welcome any feedback from our fans on how much you enjoyed playing the game or if you came across any areas that you think might need a little attention. Remember, we read everything we get. Whether you are playing the game for the first time or even the hundredth time, let us know what you think.
We are so excited about the reception our latest sale received, Running With Scissors wants to thank you again for making it such a great success. We know we couldn’t have done it without the support of our loyal friends and fans. Already beat POSTAL 2? Well go grab yourself some of the awesome fan made mods in the Workshop and replay it again with all new stuff!
You don't have to take our word for it that it is a POSITIVEly great game though:
Quote from: Project: A.X.O.N
i like this game because i can totally relate to the part where you whip out your ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ in public and all the girls start laughing at you
Quote from: Jacob McJacobson
This game is about you trying to "Pick up some milk", but then after 5 minutes of obeying the rules and missions, you realize you found a shotgun. You think to yourself, "What shall I do with this piece of hardware". Then you accidentally missclick, causing people to run and hide from you.
Quote from: Seaouius
I came, I saw, I peed
Quote from: 0vestel0
Oldskool madness. Just the way i like it. A lot of fun playing with friends online
Quote from: Kvach
Simply put this is the worst game ever at the same time as it is being the best game ever
Quote from: SamiGDaBoss
Tornado cats. Need I say more?
Quote from: Ducks_on_quack
This game is literally the funniest game I've ever played, especially with all the mods. its super addictive and the endless features are really well made. would recommend!
Quote from: iluvuranus33
Delightfully trashy, superfluously graphic, and tastelessly obscene. It seems that the game tries its absolute best to be the absolute worst, and manages to make a pretty good stress relief experience.
Quote from: hromblitz11
Bodily fluids simulator 2003
Quote from: haiden360
just buy it end of discussion
Quote from: Geratcha
This game teaches us the fact that games don't need to have plots at all. It's all about having fun and this game have a great amount of fun in it. You must play this game before you die.
Quote from: 18
Probably the best game of all time.
Full Disclosure: There may be subliminal messages in this POSITIVE…. I mean post.
Since all the big celebrations that usually go on at this time of year are pretty well over and things are getting a bit dull, we decided it might be nice to spice things up a bit. Yup! We are throwing another one of our spectacularly low price video game sales. You are not going to believe it but POSTAL 1 is on sale for 90% off! It just can’t get any lower than that so grab it while you can. Don’t forget to get copies for all your friends, neighbors and even your postman at that price.
Don’t forget both POSTAL 1 and POSTAL 2 now come with Steam Trading Cards. Remember, you can do a lot of different fun things with Trading Cards. You can collect your Cards and use them for crafting all sorts of neat things like badges for your profile, backgrounds and emoticons! You can also sell your Cards for real money on Steam Market Place which makes your game cost almost nothing.
The sale runs until 9:59:59 A.M. PST Monday January 28th, 2015, so order your games now before its too late. If you are buying them as a gift, think of how proud you will feel when you present your friends with one or both of these immensely entertaining games. You don’t have to tell them the games were so inexpensive they were practically free.
I was looking at my Steam Library today and I noticed something perplexing. I have quite a few games that I have never even started. I got them as part of a bundle at some point or another and never gave them a chance. It got me thinking, with the thousands of titles available on Steam how do you choose what to buy or what to play? Do you pick the one that has the best reviews? Do you pick the one that has achievements you can attempt to earn? What prompts you to make that leap to install that particular title and give it a go?
Taking a really good look at my Steam Inventory you can see two distinct trends. Games I definitely wanted get replayed multiple times in order to collect every achievement (yes I have every achievement for POSTAL 2!) but other games are sadly neglected. As mentioned previously, I intend to make a dent in my ever-growing backlog just as soon as I have the time. It should be a little easier to play now that my gaming computer is back in working order.
The other trend is toward games that give you an incentive to play them continuously. Games such as Team Fortress 2 tend to suck up a lot of my play time. With a little over 1000 hours sunk in to it, it’s the game with the most play time in my Steam Library. The reason for that, although it might sound silly, is quite simple, “hats”. Every time you play the game you have a chance to get free items, sometimes it’s a hat. You don’t get a hat very often though.
Team Fortress 2 started out innocently enough, a friend of mine played it and told me I should get it. A few months later I bought the Orange Box for Portal and got Team Fortress 2 and some other Valve games with it. Unfortunately Team Fortress 2 went free to play less than one hour later. I guess it would have paid to do a little research there, but hey I got my first hat, “The Proof of Purchase” for owning Team Fortress 2 before it went free to play. So word of mouth got me to buy the game in this case and the multiplayer aspect made me try it so I could play with my friend. Then I got my first hat drop and I was hooked on playing in the attempt to get more hats. Hat Simulator 2 … I mean Team Fortress 2 has kept its claws in me for over 1000 hours and only recently did I start to slow down on playing it.
I have bought games and pre-ordered games that I didn’t even really want just to get the pre-order bonus Team Fortress 2 items. Cross-promotional items are another reason I would consider purchasing a game and this also explains some of the build-up of un-played games.
Speaking of Multiplayer games, during my brief encounter with World of Warcraft, I found myself playing it non-stop. I did this for multiple reasons. #1 The game is rather addictive if you are new to it. #2 I wanted to play through the Horde and the Alliance as well as play all character classes and races, explore the various zones and do all the various quests. #3 and this is by far the biggest reason, it cost me $15 a month so I wanted to get the most out of it! Eventually I realized I was just playing it because I paid for it and that I was no longer really enjoying running the same raid for the nth time to try to get rare loot that will only help me to acquire slightly better loot the next day. That’s when I unsubscribed and stopped playing.
Looking at my backlog is a bit overwhelming. I have no idea what game I should install and try next. I can’t blindly throw a dart and pick the one it sticks into so how do I choose? That is what brings us to the Poll question today. How do you choose what game you want to buy/play? Hit the buttons above that apply to you, or leave your logic in the comments below.
Since the planned Indie Spotlight is delayed a bit until I can get some loose wires in my machinery tied up, I figured I would take the opportunity to take the Indie Spotlight in a different direction. This time it is going to shine squarely on generous Developers. Keep in mind I am trying to be neutral here and not take a side. Basically this will be a couple of mini spotlights and some observations. We could talk about ourselves here because we did give away a ton of copies of POSTAL 1 and 2 (and even 3) not too long ago and ran a few contests, but these spotlights are never about us, so we will quickly move on.
Over the holidays one Developer decided to do something nice for all the unfortunate gamers out there who might not be able to afford a lot of new games. They discounted their game rather heavily (90% off), but they didn’t stop there. To those that couldn’t even afford the greatly reduced price, they offered to give the game away for free. That’s right, the game they spent all that time and hard work making, they just gave away free to anyone who may not have been able to afford it. The Developer was very trusting and took everyone’s word on their financial situation. This led to a lot of keys being given out and we can only hope the majority of them went to people who actually wanted to enjoy the game rather than just add it to their accounts as a +1 game count and farm it for cards before simply abandoning it. I bought a copy and played it. For what it is, it is actually quite a lot of fun. Quadro Delta’s Pixel Piracy is sort of what it sounds like. It’s a game where you play as a pixelated pirate. It has a crafting system in it that lets you build and break down a ship to your heart’s content with plenty of customization options so you can make the ship basically however you want it. Pixel Piracy asks you a few questions to set up a bit of a backstory to the world and also defines the various events that will happen in the game. You can design your captain to look and sound how you want and when you are ready, you are placed on an island in your newly generated world.
There are a few things you can do to start yourself off, but the easiest thing I found was to take apart your starting ship. That’s right, smash your starting ship. A true pirate only needs a tiny raft to rule over the seas! Well not quite, but it’s enough to capture a small level 1 ship and the wood you salvaged from your starting ship can be used to enhance your new ship. Alternately, you could smash that ship down too and capture another. Once you have a ship you are happy with, you should probably consider getting yourself some crew. With the money you gained from plundering other ships or perhaps from visiting islands, you can start hiring yourself some crew. You can’t really see what stats they have so I would suggest saving beforehand if you don’t want to deal with bad traits. Once you have yourself a crew, you can set out to capture even better ships and tackle the harder islands. When you have amassed a mighty crew you can then continue your mission to take out the Legendary Ships. After you do all that, there isn’t much else left to do but the game is still being updated and a major update is currently sitting in the beta branch for you to enjoy.
It’s pretty common nowadays that games sitting in Greenlight are offered in bundles with the promise that if it gets Greenlit, you will get a Steam key for it. However, as a consumer, you have to pay attention here. Not all Developers make this promise. They offer the game on say Desura in the bundle, but they make no mention of giving it on Steam as well. The intention here is that people will like it on Desura enough that they may consider buying it for the extras that may be offered on the Steam version such as Steam Trading Cards, maybe Workshop support, extra downloadable content or a special Steam exclusive edition on Steam. You can’t blame a developer for wanting to make a buck off their hard work but a sense of entitlement by their customers/fans can often lead a Developer down the path of PR Hell when they do not just willingly hand out Steam keys right off the bat.
Something like this recently happened to Black Shell Games. They released their game SanctuaryRPG in a bundle that was given away freely by Groupees with a statement that if SanctuaryRPG is Greenlit, it will be free to play on Steam but until then people could use the included Desura key to play the game. SanctuaryRPG was Greenlit and the Developer decided they wanted to make an enhanced version of SanctuaryRPG for Steam entitled SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition to go along with the free version of SanctuaryRPG Classic on Steam (The Classic version is now called SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition Demo but contains everything that was previously promised for the free to play version.)
SanctuaryRPG is a difficult game to summarize but I will take my best stab at it. I’ll also note here that I played the Black Edition and not the Classic. The entire game is made out of text. There is text to read and text (ASCII art) that makes up all the images in the game.
It’s turn based, rogue-like with a sense of humor to it. The game revolves around you trying to save the world from the evil Matron. You choose your Class and your background and set off to quest and train yourself to victory. The game doesn’t really have much in the way of special effects. White text on black backgrounds makes up the basics of the game. Color is used for effect and to change up the scenery and monsters a bit. As you quest you encounter various things from enemies and bosses to fight, to chests to loot, choose your adventure style events and more. Upon leveling up you can choose how to spend your points to customize your character stats as well as what specializations you want. You can even try your hand at crafting if you are not finding the right gear you want to use. There is really plenty to see and do in the ASCII world. I’d highly suggest trying the Classic version at the very least to get a feel for the game. It’s also the first ASCII art game on Steam so it has that going for it as well. Wonder if one day we may find Candy Box on Steam…
… So going back to the paragraph before the mini-spotlight featurette, the Developer did everything they promised by releasing the Classic version for free and then also released an enhanced version of the game for those that wanted to support the Developer. All should be well. Those that don’t want to pay don’t have to and can enjoy the Classic version free, and those that do want to support the Developer can. It’s a perfect world! But everyone knows the world isn’t perfect. People picked up the torches and pitch forks demanding they be given a Steam key to the Black Edition because they previously acquired the Classic version of the game freely from the Groupees Giveback bundle (a free bundle if that isn’t clear.) They felt cheated that their free Classic version which of course they acquired freely, at no cost to themselves, wasn’t the paid version of the game. The Developer could have stood its ground with the original idea that they didn’t owe the free bundle folks keys because they never promised them Steam keys, but instead they decided, despite having no obligation to, to upgrade all the free bundle people to Black edition. They just asked that you make the decision for yourself if you feel you are owed the key or not. If you did feel cheated that your Classic version wasn’t upgraded to the Black edition, despite no promise to do so, then all you had to do was just ask them for a Black key and they would provide it so you would be happy again.
On the other hand, sometimes the Developer changes their mind and tries to back out of a deal, such as offering Steam Keys for votes and then changing the rules required to collect the key to something they added later on. Many of the early supporters are likely not habitually watching the Greenlight page especially if there have not been any updates for a while. This means they may miss the new requirements or the narrow redemption windows. Another thing that has been observed is where the Developer changes the title of the game or some minor detail of the game so it is no longer the game they promised to give away. “We promised you Super Awesomeo if you voted for it, but we are not releasing that game any more, now we are releasing Captain Awesomeo and it stars a super powered Captain instead of a Superhero… can’t you see his captain hat instead of a cape?.” I know that’s a slight exaggeration but it’s this sort of act that makes other Developers look bad. Although maybe we shouldn’t be that quick to judge them as many of the Developers may have had an actual good reason to change the deal. Perhaps the response they received was far more overwhelming than expected and they just couldn’t cope with that many fulfilments or possibly it could have been just poor planning on how they were going to do it. Either way, it is how we end up in situations where a Developer gets a black eye for releasing extra paid content that goes above and beyond any promises originally made for their game. It's possible that the Developer didn't realise how overwhelming a reception their offer of a freebie would become and simply didn't possess the means to pour so many resources and time into a project just to release it freely. We here at RWS of course freely added all the updates to POSTAL 2 after our Greenlight campaign just like we promised we would. Sure we had to say the check is in the mail to the Utility companies for a few months, but you know the generator bike keeps the power on long and bright enough that we have no regrets releasing all those free updates to POSTAL 2.
Since we kicked off last year with a similar style post and image as we did for the previous year, figured may as well kick off this year with another comparable one. This time around though it isn't bugs in the software!
Well now it's 2015! Or almost 2015 depending on which calendar you use. Either way this works. So do you do the whole New Year's Resolutions thing? Make some grand plan of something you will do differently in the New Year? If you are like me then you probably had already failed your resolution by the next day. Well for once I can say that this time it isn't entirely my fault for breaking my Resolution this year! My Resolution was to play at least a bit of a new random game from my Backlog each week. Well here we are already a week into January and I haven't done it! There is even an Indie Spotlight lined up which was actually going to be the first game to kick it off. It was meant to be posted next week as the First Indie Spotlight of 2015, but miserable fate had other plans. My video card fried out on me just in time to kick off the New Year. Hopefully it won't be an omen of 2015 being a bad year for my poor computer. Some might say I have a hoarding problem when it comes to old used computer parts, towers and even some of the nicer boxes they came in. I would have been totally stuck without my little hoard though. After a little digging and a lot of dusting, I was pretty glad I still had that old turn of the millennia PCI video card kicking around that I managed with a bit of a struggle to get to work in Windows 7.
So did you make any resolutions? Unlike me, have you managed to stick with them? Have you ever managed to complete your resolutions in the past? Does your culture even make New Year’s Resolutions? Any fantastic plans for this fresh New Year? Things you want to do and this is the year you finally get it done? My plans are obvious, got to get my computer running at full steam again then catch up on my Backlog. I'll just pretend I am being extra multi-cultural and observing the New Year on January 14th (or whenever my new card arrives)! Another resolution is to run more polls this year. Even if they don't always get a lot of votes, I always find polls fun and it lets us know our fans opinions of things. Are polls a thing you would like to see more of? Check the poll above and vote to see if you like voting! Feel free to make comments below if there is anything you would like to be featured in polls. We actually do read all the comments you make even if we don't always reply to them all.
Happy New Year, hopefully 2015 will be a good year for us all. Especially with PARADISE LOST getting ever closer to being released.
As another year draws to a close it's once again out with the old and in with the new. (That still doesn't apply to the POSTAL Series of course) Seriously there was so much going on all the time that 2014 seems to have gone speeding past without us hardly realizing it. We are more than pleased to have had an extraordinarily productive year here at RWS. As 2014 makes way for the new year we thought it would be a fitting tribute to highlight some of events that contributed to our continued success.
PARADISE LOST was announced in time for E3 2014. We didn’t say much about it at the time, and actually we still haven’t tipped our hand all that much. We just don’t want to spoil the surprises we have in store for you. It’s still in the works and coming along nicely. Especially the part with the [censored] and you know about the awesome [censored]. We realize we are going to be pushing the limits with that one cutscene that still has me laughing, I just can’t wait to share it so I will tell you about it now. You see the scene starts with [redacted] and then I said “Oatmeal?! Are you crazy?” Well that's enough about PARADISE LOST for now, I don't want to spoil too much of it so it is time to move on to the next topic.
Due the popularity of our Indie Spotlight, it made a return for 2014. Many games were featured and we even launched our own Steam Curator to help showcase the games we spotlight. Check out and follow our Curator if you are not doing so already. We try to post a game each month for the Indie Spotlight and the Curator. As a courtesy we ask each Developer their permission before we actually post about their game. The majority of the time they are happy for the feature, however a couple of times we have been asked not to post about their game, and we respect their wishes. Unfortunately quite a few developers are quite busy and don’t always respond to our emails so their Spotlights sadly just sit in the shadows.
Something else that was new this year is that our man Krotchy finally found his voice. It’s been requested on quite a few occassions that we release a talking Krotchy doll and of course we do our best to listen to the wishes and demands of our fans. There is still a limited quantity of the talking Krotchy dolls available in our store so if you want one, you should probably order it soon.
A new and exciting feature that was requested, in fact almost demanded by our fans was Steam Workshop. We happily listened and went to work adding Workshop support to POSTAL 2. We were so happy to see the Workshop quickly fill up with all sorts of great mods for POSTAL 2.
We released POSTAL 2 in the Humble Store. This also allowed us to release the Humble Widget so that we can run additional sales!
For those that DRM-Free games, we were happy to say that POSTAL 1 and 2 were made available on the ZOOM Platform in 2014.
Let’s close the retrospective with a return of our loving tribute to the immortal bard that we posted in sorrowful but gentle response to getting snubbed by New Zealand. It’s time to read it once again now or perhaps for your first time.
To pee, or not to pee, that is the question: Whether 'tis Nobler for the body to suffer The burning flames of outrageous napalms, Or to take a wizz against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them or to fry, to lose it all; and by lose it all is to say we drop The Hard collected items, and have to endure the thousand Natural shocks of the homes we need to invade again? 'Tis a conundrum Devoutly to be wished. To die, to pee, To pee, perchance to extinguish; Aye, there's the rub, For in that pee of life, what horrors may come, When we have unzipped and let off this mortal wizz, Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes Calamity of so long life: For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of condemnation, The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's Contumely, The pangs of despised Action, the Law’s delay, The insolence of Office, and the Spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his Quietus make With an unzipped fly? Who would bare, To grunt and sweat under a blazing fire, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered gas can, from whose burn No Traveller returns, Puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have, Than pee on others that we know not of. Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all, And thus the Native hue of Resolution Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of Thought, And enterprises of great pitch and moment, With this regard their Currents turn awry, And lose the name of Action. Soft you now, The fair New Zealand? Nymph, in thy Orisons Be all my sins remembered
It’s time to ring those Christmas Bells. What could be nicer than a Bell at Christmas time? With its smooth and softly rounded curves it is an elegant thing to look at. Since it is Christmas Day, Running With Scissors would like to present you with our own beautiful Bell. This sweet young lady has some of the most luscious curves you will ever want to fix your eyes on. I’m sure you will all agree our Bell is very nicely rounded indeed.
Bell has long dark, sun-streaked silken tresses just the right length for twining your fingers in. Her gold dusted skin looks so soft it begs to be caressed with just the lightest touch. That Krotchy sure is a lucky guy. You are going to want to trade places with him when you see some of the fascinating things he gets up to with this delectable little lady.
Bells glowing smile and twinkling brown eyes can certainly put you in the Christmas spirit. I can bet she will positively get your own bells ringing when you notice that marvelously sexy back view. It would make a man go weak in the knees when he gets his first glimpse of that magnificent behind. Who knew a little pair of jean shorts could look so good both on and off! If you would like to give me a Christmas present you know I do like a nicely shaped bell. Think of how much fun I would have unwrapping it. See more of our Bell in the gallery. Just don’t blame us if your ears start ringing and your bells start jingling.
If you live in North America or in quite a few other countries around the world, you will want to be on your best behavior this week. This is the week Santa Claus (also known by quite a few other names) comes to all the good boys and girls. Hmmm you might want to be careful of someone with that many aliases.
I don’t think he is all that fair in his gift giving anyway. In some places he fills up peoples stockings with presents. It’s lucky I have big feet so I can get lots but what about people with tiny little feet? Anyway, I don’t know if Father Christmas will be able to land here this year though. I just looked out my front window and seen some wild deer chomping on my lawn. Usually there is several feet of snow by now so his sleigh would have a cushy landing but this year if anything it will be a splash down from all the sleet and rain we have been getting. In this unseasonably warm weather the bears will be waking up too early so Kris Kringle better watch out that they don’t make a meal out of Rudolf.
I find it kind of hard to believe that jolly old St. Nicholas actually goes to places that don’t ever have snow at all! You would think his sleigh runners would get all scraped up from rocky, rough and dry landings. I am sitting here with a big pine tree in my front room all decorated and covered with twinkle lights to try and attract Pere Noels attention. Where do people who live in a desert get their pine tree? I have visions of giant cactus in their homes decorated with hanging scorpions and spider silk making up the tufts of fake snow on each sharp little cactus needle. The angel for the top would have to sort of float above it. She wouldn’t want to put her feet down.
Actually I don’t think a lady would allow a live cut tree in her home if she realized she is bringing in thousands upon thousands of insects with it but the tree smells so nice I won’t tell. I think a lot of the bugs die off from the indoor heat and the rest pretty much stay put in the tree until it is taken to the recycle. I do see a slight increase in the amount of spiders around here after Christmas though but since they are not poisonous and Babbo Natale has already returned to the North Pole and I don’t have to be good anymore, a quick squish takes care of them.
Well I am going to add a few more items to my Christmas list now. I figure if I make the list long enough Viejo Pascuero will at least bring half of them, maybe even more, so it is a win-win situation and maybe if I am lucky Kanakaloka will even take me for a vacation back to Hawaii with him.