Collapse

Collapse is a 3rd-person apocalyptic combo-based shooter-brawler from Kiev-based Ukrainian chaps Creoteam (no, not the Croatian fellas Croteam! A one-letter difference in typing makes for 1,500km in distance) that has oddly succumbed to deafening radio silence after a bit of a media blitz in late 2008.

“In year 2013 a terrible catastrophe happened in Europe, with a cause remaining unknown still. The major part of the continent turned into a huge abnormal zone. Great numbers of people died or disappeared, and those who survived were telling unbelievable things…”

Odder still, the game had already gone gold as early as September ‘08. The announcement was further reinforced with the release of a playable demo (that can still be acquired from http://www.collapse-game.com/sadm_files/collapse-demo.exe – do be warned that the demo is in Russian, though neither the menus nor the game are hard to navigate) only shortly afterwards.

“The anomaly couldn’t be viewed from a satellite, and all attempts to study it gave scant results… After ten years of silence that followed the catastrophe, an event happened, later called the ‘First Aggression’ – the anomaly started growing swiftly, claiming the territory of Europe and begetting thousands of bloodthirsty creatures.”

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Small Worlds

Thanks to @SorenJohnson for the heads-up on this lovely little game. Small Worlds is a pixely exploration game with the most rudimentary graphics and controls, created by David Shute for the Casual Gameplay Design competition. You play as a three-pixel-high sprite that could pass as a human if you squint hard enough, moving him around an environment that slowly reveals itself as you progress.

Small Worlds Small Worlds Small Worlds Small Worlds

At first there is nothing remarkable about finding the way forward, with indistinct backgrounds and no clear goal. But as you play the black fog of war clears away, and view pulls out, making the pixels smaller and more defined. At a certain distance you realise that the three pixels are enough to describe your protagonist and the low-def world has a charm all of its own.

The way the game leads you along a path that winds back and forth and up and around and over things, makes the deliberate revelation of the background more evident. Stepping into a flashing object sends you to a new place, and completing that area brings you back, now with a goal in mind. The haunting and thematic music complements the quiet and atmospheric environments, and you feel there is a story being told even if it’s not quite so straightforward.

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Slowdown Slowdown

While you have probably noticed the tell-tale signs of a steady stream of “Quote of the Day” posts (as fun as they are to post…!), I would just like to take a moment to clarify the situation somewhat: Richard, Nabeel and I have all been beyond busy lately. I’m telling you, it feels so good to be able to write that down, even if it doesn’t change a thing: Busy!

(Kinda dig the earlier one – it doesn’t read “TORMENT” all over it…)

To write about games, you have to think about games. To do that, you do have to read and discuss them, too. Doing that properly means you have to play them first. The problem? The above chain of events simply never even gets rolling when you’re pressed for time! We try to take each and every post seriously and this sometimes means more work and delays.

Right now, our @slowdownvg Twitter feed is slightly more active than the front page, as is my own @martynzachary – if only barely.

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Grassroots Renegade

Jools Watsham is a dude with a broken heel (do get well soon!). He’s also the owner and creative director of Dementium the Ward and Moon developers Renegade Kid. Three weeks ago, he posted a video titled “YOU CAN HELP!” on his YouTube vlog:

Check out some fresh (if diminutive) Dementium II screenshots and my take on the video after the jump!

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