No Time To Explain was tinyBuild's first project on a very low budget on outdated technology. After panning from critics for technical issues, tinyBuild has been able to rebuild the game for proper release. The remade No Time To Explain was built using Unity and features the player chasing after future selfs through time and alternate realities while fighting monsters, collecting hats and eating cake. The remake also features four player local multiplayer, redesigned boss fights and redesigned soundtracks. A quote provided by the game sums everything up in a nutshell, "I Am You From The Future! No Time To Explain, Follow m-OH CHRIST!"
No time to explain, look at the trailer from E3 below.
Mega Coin Squad was developed by Big Pixel Studios and published by Adult Swim Games on Xbox One. It was released on May 20, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Big Pixel Studios for review purposes.
You know you’re playing a special game when you are actually standing up out of your seat and cursing out loud at the creature that just killed you, but you can’t wait to hit continue and try again. Mega Coin Squad made me do that — a lot.
Big Pixel Studios' platformer distills everything you like about platformers down to the bare essentials. You run and jump, you shoot, you dash, you collect coins and you die. A lot. And it’s also a lot of fun.
Rogue Legacy was developed and published by Cellar Door Games on Xbox One. It will release on May 27, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Cellar Door Games for review purposes.
Have you thought to yourself that games have been too easy recently? If you answer yes, Rogue Legacy may be for you. Here is another throwback to the old school era featuring tough enemies with fair tells and many mean and sometimes unforgiving deaths. Levels are randomly generated with death undoing progress made by the player. Heralded as a "rogue-lite," developer Cellar Door's game undoes some of the frustrations of rogue-like games by letting players unlock skills and upgrade stats permanently. Many surprises are in-store for players, and you'll never know what is around the next corner. Through trial and error, you'll gradually grow stronger and wiser and eventually achieve success. Or not. Welcome to Rogue Legacy.
Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark was developed by Italic Pig and published by Team 17 on Xbox One. It was released on May 12, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
On May 17, 2015, I had a chance meeting with developer Italic Pig over at the XBLA Fans Twitch channel while streaming Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say I happened to learn quite a bit of the making process of Schrödinger's Cat. The message I took away from the impromptu discussion with Italic Pig is that the developer had a vision and set out to create a game around a passion for physics. In Italic Pig's eyes, each portion of the game was designed with a specific purpose to test players in different ways. Most things in the game have a reason for being there, but not every reference or purpose is obvious. Still, the developer believes there is something for everyone here. Do I fully agree with all of the design implementations? No, but I respect the decisions made during the process. Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark took two years to make with an estimated 60-70 percent of the effort coming from Italic Pig alone. Meanwhile, I spent about eight hours across three different days to play through in its entirety. Let's see how it stacks up.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China was developed by Climax Studios and published by Ubisoft. It was released on April 21, 2015 for $9.99 on Xbox One. A copy was provided for review purposes.
Going from a game that helped to define the open world genre to a stylized 2.5D side-scroller, the Assassin's Creed franchise takes a sidestep with the Chronicles spin-off series. Its first game, China, fully embraces both the mechanical and stylistic shift. Set in 16th century China, the game stars Shao Jun, who returns to her homeland seeking revenge for the near elimination of her brotherhood many years ago. Her main goal is to assassinate members of the Tiger Templar group, but since she has little to no support in the region, stealth is more important now than ever.
Aaru's Awakening was developed and published by Lumenox on Xbox One. It was released on April 21, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided by Lumenox for review purposes.
Despite having cleared every level and obtaining all gold medal times in a day, a strange sense of self-doubt looms about my opinions on Aaru's Awakening. Indeed, this title contains some fantastic features and tries a few things differently from many other games on the market. However, Aaru's Awakening holds questionable design choices that have left me disgusted and passively angry. After all the trials and tribulations, I'm fed up with this game. As a platforming experience, this title falls somewhere between too difficult for casual play but easy enough for enthusiasts.
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, the 2.5D action game coming out later this month, will not be the only entry in the Chronicles series. Ubisoft recently announced two future titles that will take place in India and Russia; these games will feature new protagonists and distinctive settings. Stylistically, the games will stand on their own. The setting in China, for example, is heavily influenced by 16th century China melded with a more modern ink aesthetic, creating what Art Director Glenn Brace calls a "romantic, impressionist vibe." He goes on to discuss the importance of rich, bright colors in India and how Russia, which takes place in the 20th century, makes use of the advent of "photography, graphics, poster art, [and] constructivism."
Shiftlings was developed by Rock Pocket Games and published by Sierra. It was released on March 4, 2015 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
The Xbox One is already home to an increasingly diverse range of game genres thanks to the ID@Xbox initiative, and it's encouraging to see even crazier games like Shiftlings adding to the rich catalogue that already exists. Essentially, Shiftlings builds upon the existing range of puzzle-platformers by adding a unique twist on cooperative play along with stunning cartoon graphics and a slightly dark sense of humour.
Shiftlings is a game about two unfortunate aliens who happen to perform maintenance duties across a range of space installations whilst being watched by a reality TV audience. Why, you might ask, would anyone want to watch the Shiftlings at work? Well, apparently because the hazards involved in performing space installation maintenance are many, varied and often hilarious. The hilarity for the TV audience is presumably heightened by the fact that both Shiftlings are connected to each other via a pipe — a fact that plays a key role in the gameplay for us as players. The question is, can the beautiful visuals, strong humour and lure of cooperative play overcome the inherent challenges and frustrations that not arise in all puzzle-platformers, but also those that are specific to Shiftlings (such as the fact that both characters are literally connected throughout)?