tidalis posts

Feature: Best Indie Games of 2010

2010 was a stellar year for indie gaming. We didn't think that 2009 could be beat, but this year really brought out all the stops. From classical platformers like Super Meat Boy to disturbing adventure games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there was an aboslute flood of excellent indie games this year. From paid to free, players who wanted to try something a little different had a huge selection of titles to choose from in 2010. Here's our favorite picks from 2010 to roll in the new year! Click on the image to check out our gallery feature.

AI War developer selling games for 60 percent off until Wednesday

Tis the season for giving and also for savings and indie games developer Arcen Games is giving folks a chance to save a bunch if they buy games from the company. From now until Wednesday, December 1 the developer has put the space strategy game AI War and its many expansion packs on sale for 60 percent off.

That includes the upcoming expansion pack Light of the Spire which you can pre-order for the 60 percent off price and also access the beta version immediately. The sale also covers Arcen Games' puzzle title Tidalis. Some of you may remember that earlier this year the developer was having some financial problems but those issues, at least for the moment, seem to be on the back burner.

AI War developer provides new update; new expansion in December

Indie game developer Arcen Games launched a major revamp of its space strategy game AI War late in October. This week the developer gave an overall update on the company and its future. First is the expansion pack Children of Neinzul. Pre-orders for the expansion have generated $1,640.80 for the Child's Play charity and Arcen Games' Christopher M. Park states, "We look to be well on our way to hitting our goal of $14,000.00 for the year."

Arcen Games plans to release a new expansion to AI War, Light of the Spire, in the first week of December. However two other planned games, Cayenne and A Valley Without Wind, are "off the table for now" and another upcoming game, the top down adventure title Alden Ridge, will be switching from a hand-made story and levels to one that will generate both via a procedural model. An alpha build of the game is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2011.

Overall Arcen Games seems to be in a better financial position than it was a couple of months ago with Park stating, "In short, we aren't out of the woods yet, but this past week has been hugely positive for us and things are definitely moving in the right direction at long last."

Arcen Games reveals the costs and expenses of an indie game studio

Earlier this month, indie game developer Arcen Games announced that the company was in financial troubles due to lower than expected sales of its game last summer. Now PC Gamer's web site has gotten more info on the company's finances via an email from Arcen Games' founder Chris Park.

The note provides some insight as to both the revenues and the expenses that at least one indie developer has to deal with. In short, sales of the developer's space strategy game AI War were generating solid profits in 2009 and through April of 2010. However, revenues for the company went sharply down in the summer dispite the developer also releasing a new game, the puzzle title Tidalis. Park states that at the moment, "that leaves us with about $15k sitting in our bank account." compared to over $30,000 in the bank since last October.

In the meantime, the official Arcen Games web site has posted up some hopeful news, stating that after its call to arms earlier this month sales have picked up. The site also stated that the company itself is debt free and will still be around; the danger is that the four full time team members might have to find other jobs to support themselves. Finally the 4.0 version of AI War could be going into public beta testing later this week.

Download the AI War: Fleet Command Demo
Download Tidalis Demo (420 MB)
Download Tidalis Mac Demo (432 MB)

AI War and Tidalis game dev Arcen Games in financial difficulties

One of the more well known indie game developers, Arcen Games, has put out the word on its web site that it is currently dealing with some financial issues. In a post today on the company's official web site, company founder Chris Park announced that "if sales don't pick up then we run out of money sometime in November."

What happened? Park says sales of its space strategy game AI War: Fleet Command and its expansion pack have dropped down well below expectations over the summer months. Also the company's most recent game, the puzzle title Tidalis, "has sold only a few thousand copies so far, despite largely euphoric reviews and player response." according to Park. The company currently plans to re-launch AI War using the Unity 3D engine in October along with the previously announced AI War: Children of Neinzul expansion pack. Park says he still plans to donate the proceeds of the expansion pack to the Child's Play charity.

[Via Rock Paper Shotgun]

Download the AI War: Fleet Command Demo
Download Tidalis Demo (420 MB)
Download Tidalis Mac Demo (432 MB)

Review: Tidalis

The folks at Arcen Games have been hard at work continuing AI War. Once of the sleeper hits of last year, it's a stellar strategy title that builds design around cheating AI, as opposed to simply having it there. However, they are not just working on AI War's expansions. Recently, they released a new game that is far outside of what one would expect from an indie strategy darling. The game is Tidalis, and it is a casual puzzle game in the same rough ballpark as Bejeweled. Tidalis is not just for casual players, however. Under its simple match-3 exterior hides a game of incredible depth and complexity that will intrigue players from every camp.

Download the Tidalis PC demo right here on Big Download!
Download the Tidalis Mac demo right here on Big Download!

Download: Tidalis Demo

Tidalis is is an independently developed block based puzzle game that has casual appeal but hardcore depth. The demo runs in trial mode but can be unlocked by purchasing a license key. Most features are disabled in trial mode including editors, custom games, and player created or standalone levels. Quick games are limited to two minutes each and only the first 15 levels in adventure mode are available. The demo is available for both PC and Mac, and can alternatively be played via the mygameIQ client.

"Tidalis is a block-based puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new 'streams' mechanic. The game is brimming over with riffs and variants on that core mechanic with 20 game modes, dozens of special blocks and items, and 115 levels in the adventure mode alone. The basic rules of the game are this: blocks fall down into the board and have a color and an arrow direction. If a stack of blocks exceeds the height of the board, you lose. In order to clear blocks, you must right-click and drag paths through the arrows to set up chain reactions of like-colored blocks."

Download Tidalis Demo (420 MB)
Download Tidalis Mac Demo (432 MB)


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