We are at that lovely time of year where it feels like the time has flown by, but then you stop and think about it. Mortal Kombat X only came out four months ago, and yet that seems like an eternity. On the flip side, the year in games has barely begun, with huge releases like Mad Max, Fallout 4, Halo 5, Metal Gear Solid V, Just Cause 3 and tons more getting ready to attack the free time of every games enthusiast over the next four months. In any case, 2015 looks to be a banner year in AAA for the first time in a long time. Still, I have no doubt that this upcoming winter will not deter smaller developers, as there are always new projects, game jams, and just random pixel art flooding Twitter every week. Let's look at a few examples of titles that wont take players hundreds of hours to conquer.
First up on the Screenshot Survey, we have Wishmere, a side scrolling beat-em-up from the three man team at Crayder Studios. The game promises four player co-op, and those players can choose one of six teenagers brought together by an ancient force to take down an old rival. It is unknown at this time how much attitude the teenagers possess. The game seems to be progressing nicely with great looking backgrounds and animations, and the character models all have a River City Ransom sameness to them that is somewhat charming. The game has only been in the public eye for a little over a month, so there will be plenty of time to catch up with it later and see what else the developers can accomplish.
From a game that is just beginning development to a game that is wrapping up, here is Jump Jack. It's a runner coming to iOS later this month, and its levels have a nice arcade sensibility to them. The robots you stomp on and shoot down all blow up in a satisfying manner, and the soundtrack in the clip up above really brings everything together. Not bad for a time killer made for an iPhone. Here's hoping for enough success that an Android version makes sense, I still haven't found a game in this genre on phones that has really captured my interest. Always open to new stuff though.
The above image depicts a snowman wielding a fish against another snowman in a field that is partially covered in grass instead of snow. Video games facilitated the writing of that sentence, and I love it. This is Snowman Scuffle, a local multiplayer game based around snowman combat. Their attract video in particular is something to see, it goes places thematically and also shows off cool terrain destruction on a few of the levels. Pun unintended. The game is scheduled for release in Winter of 2016, which I assume means that the impressive number of modes and levels that are already included will be joined by even more stuff. This reminds me a lot of the early days of Gang Beasts, and I look forward to seeing it when it is playable.
If fish wielding snowman is a bit too bizarre for your tastes, here's a game that is going for a more classic vibe. Slasher's Keep is a first person dungeon crawler like many games before it. What is unique, as with many games featured on Screenshot Survey, is the art style. It's a bit of cel shading and a bit of what Drawn to Death is going for, all contributing to a look that pops off the screen. The game looks to have plenty of variety in its weapons as well as randomly generated dungeons, so it certainly looks like a good time to a classically minded rougelike fan. Slasher's Keep already passed through Greenlight and is on its way to Steam sometime in 2016.
Finally, we check back in on Ancestory, a card based tactics game out of Finland. TechRaptor last covered the game last year on To The Green, and I'm pleased to report that it has since smashed through the Steam gates and is on its way to the storefront. The mixture of trading cards and turn based gameplay seems to be on the rise, as we had DICETINY on the survey a few weeks ago, and I just recently had more fun with Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf on mobile than I have had with phone games for a good long while. It's a great mixture, as it adds more strategy to Fire Emblem-type games without necessarily making them more complex. Ancestory looks like one of the most put together entries in the genre yet, and I look forward to testing the category's boundaries in the months to come.
Do you know of a game in development that is active on Twitter? Do you enjoy mixing your Magic: The Gathering and your Advance Wars? Is the fish just really big or are the snowmen kind of miniature? Answer all these questions or don't in the comments below!