6 really promising alpha/student games

In the mood to try some games still in alpha? Here’s our list of six you should try!

1 Right Click to Necromance

Like playing weird and wacky games? A fan of creating an army? Then this game is highly recommended.

You start off with a small army of five, holding a shield and a sword – these are the basic characters you will be using and fighting against. The idea of the game is to fight against these characters and then, after defeating them, you right click on them to necromance them. Hence the title of the game. You slowly start to beat these basic starting characters, which helps you build up your army.

necro

The more people you necromance on your side, then the bigger and badder characters you’ll face. The end objective of this game is to try and defeat all the huge rock trolls at the bottom of the map and create the biggest army possible with these trolls.

This game might sound like a simple click-and-move game, but in all honesty you have to know when you face these enemies, and know when too much is too much. You can’t have four people in your army and go face 10 other people, or it’s game over. Make sure you know who and what you face to win the battle.

I liked this game as it’s unique, but with a simplistic style. Once you get going you’ll start to enjoy it, and you’ll want to create that big following.

necro2

This game is a free-to-play game, but the developer has said he does accept donations to help make the game better. Play the game by clicking here.

By Adam Reeson.

2 Bound By Fate

bound

If you’re a lover of the fantasy genre in video games, I’m almost certain you’ll enjoy this title in one way or another.

Developed by Mayhem Makers, Bound by Fate is a charming addition to the world of visual novels. Although it is currently in alpha, Bound by Fate doesn’t disappoint, gripping players almost immediately through its intricate art design and humourous plotline.

It follows the story of Khi and Cyrus, a Little Devil and a Paladin on opposite forces who have found themselves in jail and are fated for execution in a week. Bound together by a String of Fate, their life forces are now connected, meaning that if one of them dies, so does the other. It is even more unfortunate that they have been captured by the very being they were both set on putting a stop to: the evil Overlord of Veldien, FATE.

FATE’s life source is the extremely powerful Izil Stone, which grants almighty force to whoever owns it. Knowing this, Khi had hatched a ‘foolproof’ plan to try and steal the Stone and become the Overlord herself, although it is soon rumbled by The Order, Veldien’s protectors. This leads them to send a Paladin, Cyrus, to try and get the Stone before Khi does . . . Unfortunately, it ends up with both of them being captured by FATE and thrown in jail. Will they find a way to escape?

Although Bound by Fate promises to be a visual novel you won’t want to miss, the Alpha demo does have a loop bug which I sadly encountered, rendering the end of the demo useless to me. But why have I given it such high praise when I haven’t even finished it? The answer—simply because the time I spent with it was amazing. It made me laugh countless times, the sound and art design was great, and it had me hooked completely throughout.

cyrus

The Bound by Fate alpha is available to download for free from indie game site itch.io right now. You can, of course, donate a small amount of money to the developers to help them fund the game, but you don’t have to. I personally will because I think this is a title that definitely deserves to be made into a full game. Let me know what you think of it in the comment section below.

By Meg Bethany Read

Frauki and the Mother Prism

frauki

Frauki and the Mother Prism is a promising Metroidvania developed by a creator under the name of Preece using PhaserJS.

Upon loading up the alpha demo, I was immediately impressed by the beautifully crisp pixel art and the smooth animations. The environments are a joy to traverse while accompanied by gorgeous chiptunes and satisfying sound effects.

After spending a short amount of time with the alpha, you’ll grasp a good idea of how the gameplay works – and it’s incredibly varied from the get go. You use an arsenal of moves including a jump, slash and roll to explore the world, defeat monsters and solve puzzles. There is also a functional health bar and energy meter to give you a nice taste of the combat mechanics.

It’s pleasing to see the framework in place for what looks to become an extremely stunning, engaging and fluid title. In these early stages, it’s clear to see some kinks have yet to be worked out, such as the slightly nauseating camera which moves around with the player, as well as a steep learning curve with difficult enemies. Despite this issues, the world has been incredibly fun to explore, the combat is satisfying, and the demo version includes a surprising amount to see and do. As the icing on the cake, there is even native gamepad support!

After only half an hour with the alpha, I feel confident that the final game is going to be brilliant and if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s definitely a project to keep your eye on.

Available to play from here

By Kerry-Lee Copsey

Replaced

You play as Leika Antaris, a female astronaut who has crash landed on an alien planet and must discover a way to escape utilising the bizarre and extraordinary alien technology.

Leika quickly stumbles upon a device that allows her to teleport short distances. This device allows you to swap places with differently coloured glowing orbs, depending on its polarity. Put simply: if the gun is red, you can switch with the red orbs and if it’s blue you can switch with blue orbs.

A lot of the time, however, the orbs simply function as a mechanism for opening doors. The orbs can be used to activate a door if placed in the correct place, meaning that it is often where you are teleporting from, rather than where you are teleporting to, as you swap places with the orbs.

The demo for the yet-unfinished free-to-play (and not in a secret in-game purchases kind of way, too) Replaced is a very promising and very gorgeous first-person puzzle platformer. Although clearly inspired by Portal, and quite possibly Tron, as well, Replaced puts an interesting twist on the genre.

Furthermore, by being powered by the latest and greatest in Unreal tech, it easily stands out in the indie puzzle crowd with its stunning AAA visuals.

Replaced is currently up for vote on Steam Greenlight now and is promising to be completely free when it releases. You can vote on the game appearing on Steam and find the game’s demo on its Greenlight page here.

Dan Hodges

Blast Brawl 2: Bloody Boogaloo

Blast Brawl 2, by Mindseye Games is oozing promise and fun at every corner. From its unique art style to its tense and frantic gameplay, this game is already shaping up to be an enjoyable co-op or single player experience.

Blast Brawl’s gameplay revolves around hit-and-run tactics (along with a bit of taunting here and there) to eliminate the opposition. Games modes available are tutorials for each of the three characters, wave mode, and versus mode.

Wave mode pits you against increasingly difficult waves of enemies who react to your movements accordingly. Against the AI, the game challenges your dexterity and skill, with zombies and robots relentless in their pursuit to rip you to shreds.

However in versus mode, up to two other players can join which cranks up the insanity to new levels. Friends become bloodthirsty warriors out to tear you limb from limb.

The game has a charm that really comes through in the characters. The three characters available are the Ninja, agile and quick, the Sniper, who uses long range shots and mines to control space, and, the most interesting character to me personally; the Pirate.

The Pirate is allowed the ability of flight through his pet parrot, which gives him a bit of a tactical advantage amongst the other characters. I enjoyed soaring above my foes and then swooping down for a vicious attack from my Pirate’s cutlass.

This game is in the top five really promising alpha games because it captures the spirit of gaming; pure fun.

The game’s alpha can be accessed on Steam’s Greenlight page here

By Ebenezer Nkengfack

The Future of Gaming

The Future of Gaming is a platformer that was made for the GJ GDC Jam by a team of three people calling themselves Zombies Indie House.

The aim of the game is to traverse virtual reality and real life and complete the levels whilst avoiding the perils of both worlds. The game requires patience and skill and if you aren’t careful, well then it’s game over and failure can happen often.

The game has a rather unique twist on a platformer. You play as a young man who has received his VR headset and is now immersed in his virtual games. However, your character forgot one thing; how is this going to work alongside your real life?

The game requires you to make progress in the virtual reality level but there is only a limited amount of space in the real world. As such in the real world you will have to advance, backtrack and jump and dodge the dangers that are in the real world; all whilst surviving the level in virtual reality.

This game is rage-inducing, I won’t shy away from that, but that is also part of its charm. With each death/ failure the game is sending a message to you: “learn from your mistakes”. Learning from your mistakes is key into succeeding at this game. Trial and error plays such a huge role.

This game deserves to be in the ‘Top 5 Really Promising Alpha/ Student Games’. Why? Because even though it was developed in a 72 hour Game Jam, it shows real promise and originality. Whether the developers build onto this game or not one thing is for sure, they’ve got my interest.

Try it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Green

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