Explosions and Bright Lights and Flaming Hammers

Or, games I’ve been playing recently. The first two are Windows-only; Stone Soup’s properly cross-platform.

Hydorah
A fantastic pixelly side scrolling shootemup. A game which has clearly had so much love poured into it that it actually glows. Also, bastard hard.
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SYNSO Championship Edition
I am deeply in love with Robert Fearon’s arena shooters. This is the latest (his first being the awesomely-titled War Twat). With each game he’s refined his aesthetic more and more, and this is just one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, hear or play. It’s derived from the pixellated goodies of the arcade’s heyday, but never feels like simple nostalgia; everything’s turned up and streamlined in ways that would never have been possible before. I’m actually making a game heavily inspired by SYNSO2, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to match it.
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Crawl Stone Soup
This is the one I’ve been really hammering lately. It’s a roguelike with certain aspects considerably streamlined (item identification) and others greatly expanded (race, class selection, gods); well, compared to nethack, which is the only other roguelike I’ve sunk a lot of time into. Like any decent roguelike, there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff in here, as well as a ridiculous number of ways to die (which is probably the link between these three games – you will die repeatedly, and often, and each time you’ll want to start the game over straight away).

The devs recently released v0.60 of Stone Soup and holy crap did they increase the difficulty – my highest score in the previous version was 14000 odd; in 0.60 it’s 400 odd. I’m hoping they ease it off a bit, because I was just starting to think I might have a handle on the game before this latest release. Still can’t stop playing though.

I’m going to do a post documenting one of my plays soon, so look out for that.
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