Kickstarting: The Weird Story of Waldemar the Warlock


Who says that horrors have to be taken more seriously than anything else that belongs in the videogaming sphere? I certainly don't, and that's also why I learned so keenly everything I needed to present The Weird Story of Waldemar the Warlock in the best possible manner. EnComplot is a small spanish studio that's being developing this project from scratch, and in order to do so, they've launched a Kickstarter campaign with the minimum goal set to £ 40.000.

The game is a point and click adventure presented as some sort of mixture made of a Lovecraftian novel and a fine comedy. The Kickstarter video speaks already for itself, showing indeed the complicate balance between an obscure storyline and the heavy presence of dark humor enhanced by a professional voice acting that couldn't have been better. Moreover, in case you're wondering, there's definitely more to see before even considering to join these young developers in their battle to turn this solid foundation into a shining reality. The tech demo available for free, for instance, is what made me definitely realize the potential that lies in this certainly weird story.

Playing as an english lord settled in the old castle of an ancient ruler that was believed to be a warlock, you, together with your butler, will slowly realize that what was known as a mere tale, wasn't exactly pure fiction meant to scare the gullible. The soul of Waldemar the Warlock appears to be still wandering through the hundreds of paintings, and it will soon find a way to directly interact with the main character.

As if it wasn't enough, the demo comes already translated in english, german and spanish, so that almost everyone can give it a go without the effort of reading through lots of very cleverly conceived dialogues written in a language in which they're not fluent. The painted artwork is impressive to say the least, but in the end of the day, I fell in love with the way that the UI has been arranged. A sliding inventory can be accessed at any point in time, and on top of being truthfully classy, it didn't feel too invasive like in most of the adventure games that I've played thus far.

The Kickstarted campaign has now 14 days to go, and considering that the 25% of the aimed total has been already reached, it can only mean that ther's already a huge following hoping that more people would believe in The Weird Stody of Waldemar the Warlock as much as they do. Are you one of these guys?

Pitch Black presents what's left after a nuclear war


It's a pity that I don't have enough following to avoid the fate that this game has unfortunately attracted. In fact, Pitch Black developed by Bowatatoy is slowly falling in the pit of freeware's anonymity with which I fight every single day, and despite Game Jolt being a great place to look for wonderful gems, it seems like the flood of new experiences is becoming really hard to handle even for the most insatiable gamer - let alone for myself.

The game can be labeled as a 2D sidescrolling explorative visual novel, and I won't deny that in the beginning, it's likely that it won't impress you. I actually got the feeling that it was sort of an unfinished project just thrown out in the wild, but with just a little patience, I had the pleasure to find out that the strength of Pitch Black was waiting just a couple of scenes ahead. You're going to be playing as a teenager that has survived a war together with a very little portion of the humanity, the air is poison, and you just can't see anything due to an unknown reaction.

The gameplay, is simply based on walking slowly throughout various scenes where most of the times, just a little particle glowing in the distance will make you perceive your movement. Initially there isn't going to be any sound effect, but upon reaching something that looks like a gigantic generator, the light will be restored, bringing you right into an unique atmosphere filled with a  calm, yet pretty sad soundtrack. From that moment, I couldn't see nothing but art shining all over my screen. The rather colorful scenarios aren't exactly as detailed as you would initially think, but given the combinations of highly contrasting colors enclosed in seemingly geometrical shapes that compose every single entity, I could hardly think of anything that could've been better.

Don't get me wrong though, Pitch Black isn't a joyful experience, but the mere representation of a young man that has to accept a terrifying new world in which he's going to live for the years to come. The story will be unveiled through introspective thoughts that are going to be displayed while walking, and since I hope that anyone of you will be able to bear with the few empty screens put in the beginning, you can now download the game for free over here.

The Rats in the Walls, a short adventure inspired by Lovecraft's titular novel


There's something atrocious about Sundays that I can't seem to understand, I hate every single minute of them, and usually, I keep delaying everything I should do until the night comes. Today, it all started out as expected, but thankfully, playing through the short experimental The Rats in the Walls by developer Shilov, I managed to forget the anxiety related to the new week that's about to start.

I'll be honest, I've never read the novel that originated this game, though in my defense, I can only claim that this short adventure has totally made me want to do it. My lack of literature knowledge is shameful, and I keep realizing how bad it is especially for my position; but let's not digress. The Rats in the Walls is very slow paced, moreover, despite it coming in the form of a standard 2D adventure game based of retrieving the right items in order to proceed, it's incredibly strightforward, and it's been a pleasure to find out that there were no puzzles involved. The color palette used for the simplistic artwork makes somewhat the whole experience way more tense, and the sounds that have been used are very realistic. It was almost disgusting to hear through my headset insects - and obviously rats - moving inside the walls.

Except for the arrow keys needed to move around the Delapore manor in which you've been allowed to stay for the night, F will let you interact with objects, and the spacebar is going to be used to simply skip the sentence displayed every new interaction. You appear to be a reporter determined to unveil the secrets of the house that was believed to be abandoned. At first, the exploration is going to be smooth, but once you'll descend through the trapdoor while safely carrying your lantern, the atmosphere will change all of a sudden. Creepy events are awaiting, and what lies just a level above, is nothing but a gruesome graveyard.

The ending, however, resulted to be a little inconclusive, almost rushed if I really had to judge what I've seen. But the point of The Rats in the Walls isn't the story in itself, but rather the journey that will take you from a seemingly fine situation to the depths of terror on which the manor has been built. It can be downloaded for free on GameJolt, so, what are you still doing here?

Mudlarks, a rewarding point and click adventure set in London


Scary? Not exactly. Tense, unique and surprising? You can count on that! Today I've spent the most of my free time playing Mudlarks by the amateur development trio Cloak and Dagger Games, and although I'm certainly not the person who usually enjoys slow paced games, I never felt the urge of getting right to the point like I usually do.

Mudlarks is a full length point and click adventure that on top of feeling genuinely new, proposes hours of mind-bending puzzle solving without the risk of becoming just a painful research for the little details. The plot is fascinating, and it will cast yourself in the shoes of a mudlarker named Winston. Mudlarking is that activity where people scavenge river's shores for items of value to resell, and is exacly where the whole adventure for Winston and his friend Vincent will start. The low res artwork appears to be a combination of pictures mashed together with drawn parts, but even though that may sound a little unprofessional, I particularly enjoyed the outcome. Which by the way shows its best when it comes to look at the clunky animations with which the characters will move around.

Mudlarks resulted to be incredibly immersive like no other adventure game that I've ever played, and while most of the merit lies undoubtedly in the storyline, I felt like even the ambience sound played a significant role in this regard. Upon the retrieval of a golden locket in the usual spot near the river Thames, Winston will soon have to deal with a series of mysterious events. Soon enough, the disappearance of his fellow mudlarker Vincent will take place, and even if until that point everything seemed fine and perfectly reasonable, your quest through the paranormal for the sake of finding your friend as soon as possible will start.

What's so special in that locket? Who are the two girls whose photos were stored in there? Your only choice is to find it by yourself by downloading the game for free on its official website or on GameJolt. With a huge variety of unique locations to explore, 40 characters to meet and clever dialogue system that will wrap the adventure together I'm farily sure that your whole weekend can be considered busy from now on.

Mashing up Pacman and horror: Dark Deception


I feel a bit sorry when I think that it seems like I'm covering only previews of games in development, Kickstarters and more in general, unfinished products. But really, it's not my fault if I end up by being so fascinated by such things, and in fact, the concept of Dark Deception looks so great already, that even if I played the web demo that showcases just the first level, I literally had to share it regardless. Glowstick Games is a 2 man indie development studio, and apparently this is going to be their first official game, therefore, we should better show some deserved recognition for the job they've done thus far.

Dark Deception is a first person horror game that undeniably reminds of Pacman in terms of gameplay, but that gives it a brand new 3D look set in the corridors of what looks like an old hotel. The game tells the story of a policeman that ran into what was previously known just as a terrifying urban legend. And although, I'd love to tell you a little more, I'm afraid that I would just make it sound quite unconsistent considering essentially how Dark Deception is. I can't deny it, I'm really looking forward to how will they make the promised exciting story sneak in a game that would be recognized as a straightforward arcade by almost everyone.

The basics are exactly the expected ones, you have 3 lives and a minimap in the upper right corner of the screen. Your goal is going to be the retrieval of all the soul shards that are displayed as purple crystals floating all over the place, so that in the end of every level you'll be granted with a puzzle piece. The scary stuff consists in a huge variety of monsters that will come with different movement pattern and attack moves, and if you really want to understand the potential of this whole project, I believe that the trailer is already a solid warranty. To be fair, the killer monkeys that are featured in the playable demo aren't that fearsome, but bumping into their crazy eyes right after turning back made me change my mind on top of losing one precious life.

Moreover, the devs want the game to come also with some RPG elements including a sort of experience system based on your score. And reminding you all that it's first and foremost a game made to be played on the Oculus Rift, here is the free demo that can be played online. Dark Deception can be found also on Steam Greenlight, where if you're one of the lucky owners of the virtual reality device you'll be able to grab the Oculus Rift copy too!
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