2022-02-01 19:06:29 (edited by pitermach 2022-02-01 22:37:27)

2022 has been with us for a month now, and hopefully it started off well for you. With New Years come new beginnings and ideas. What you’re reading is one of those ideas. Inspired by news letters, these monthly digests will try to gather interesting accessible game news from this forum and occasionally other parts of the internet in an easy to navigate format.

Each item will be proceeded with a heading as well as a link to the relevant thread on our forum or external site, followed by a short description about it. The entries in this article are in no particular order and have been placed in the order they were discovered.

A lot of things have either been released or discovered this month, so it’s very likely I missed something while putting this together, especially taking into consideration things like updates. If you think there’s something others should know about, please post about it, have a look around the forum for more stuff, and let us know if you find something cool yourself! With all that being said, have fun reading!

Genesis a mud with lots of questing and crafting

Starting off this “January 2022” digest with a Mud that started in 1989, which was just discovered by Dark. In his words:

It's a fantasy themed mud spanning a large number of continents and islands, some places are familiar from literature, EG earthsea, the shire and gondor, some seem completely original.
Gameplay wise, the game is very much in the same category as two towers, indeed I suspect one borrowed from the other. Combat is slower than in most muds, and fairly straight forward, however unlike in two towers, combat seems on the hole faster with an emphasis  looting and slaying enemeis, plus while the game has reboots it doesn't seem as imperative as two towers to need to go and keep resetting your eq, the inventory limit is also much higher than in two towers as well, meaning grinding isn't so painful, since you can kill more quickly and carry more loot.
the game  features paying to advance skills at a number of trainers, and stats that increase as you play, particularly the game has a really interesting system of guilds with a lot of customisation, wherebye your character can be a member of one occupational guild, Eg societies of wizards, warriors, clerrics etc, one ley guild, and one crafting guild, all of which have skills to train.
Actually the fact you can both have essentially a primary class in terms of profession, and a secondary class in terms of a ley guild membership which you can also advance skills in but not as far, is really unique.
the game is rather grindy, but the combat moves at a good pace.
what the game exelles in are quests! and interesting ones.
This probably has the single best tutorial I've played of any mud ever! Honestly, it took me over three hours to finish alone, and was virtually a single player, self contained rpg game in itself with skills to learn and raise, several subquests leading to a larger quest and even a new guild to join, and that just in the tutorial area! once you get into the game propper you still have quests to do.
The game also has a few nifty little systems, for example I really like the way you get two adjectives when describing your character, and until you learn someone's name, pc or npc, they're always described in your view as "the stone faced, round eyed human", or "the "Stout, green eyed dwarf", or the like.

The games' quests mostly seem logical, a matter of examining everything that's not nailed down, and of getting used to type "ex thing", rather than "look thing", though I do wish it were possible to have a quest journal or some way to remember which step of a quest you're on before talking to the npc again.
The game definitely has three crafting  guilds including gardening, smithing and sailing, and I'm eager to find out what those involve, since if I have one issue with two towers, it's the lack of relevence craft skills have to the rest of the game, where as here, I can tell just by looking that skills like herbalism are hugely important.

The Bard's Tale - Warlocks of Largefearn]

Brought to us by Wanderword, the masters of using your smart speakers to take you on fantastic journeys:

The Bard’s Tale, Warlocks of Largefearn is an Interactive Audio RPG developed by Polar Night Studios.
Developed for Smart Speakers and Mobile Phones (iOS and Android) – this new addition to The Bard’s Tale franchise leads players from Skara Brae, to the growing settler town of Largefearn. Where rumours of missing citizens abound.
Features:
Four unique classes; Bard, Fighter, Rogue and Practitioner – with an additional 2 subclasses to unlock for each
Multiple companions to aid you in battle and to assist you on your adventures
Turn-based combat system that rewards strategic thinking
Large degrees of player freedom, due to contextual interaction between the player and the world

Nocked: True Tales of robin Hood

Nocked! is a lushly-illustrated, story-driven role-playing game. Define the deeds and identity of Robin Hood, outlaw of Sherwood Forest; recruit allies, forge alliances, find love; and chart a path between war, negotiation, and dangerous magics. Your choices are remembered and your actions shape the world, but you can’t do it alone.

Story and strategy collide as your reputation spreads and Merry Men join your band: Build and expand a base in the hidden deeps, manage your earnings from raids on tax collectors, and prepare for the coming of the Sheriff of Nottingham. There is no sure and easy path to victory, no one decision that will save your resistance; will you fall beneath the Sheriff’s boot heel, or will you build a movement to last the ages? The choice is yours.

Experience a lush and vibrant Sherwood Forest on desktop with art inspired by Lotte Reiniger - an early animator/director/artist - combined with traditional watercolor techniques; and original music drawn from medieval sources.

Features

Over 20 hours of gameplay incorporating more than a million words of text. No single playthrough is the same; this is interactive fiction on an epic scale!
Play as male or female Robin.
9 romanceable characters, including both same and opposite-sex relationships.
5 unique backstories that change the way the world responds to your actions.
4 difficulty levels. Resource management can be an afterthought or a vital element in your decision-making.
3 customizable bases, each with a unique look and play style. Build your base and see it reflected in the art and story.
300+ pieces of hand-drawn art by Amanda Spaid.
Over an hour of medieval-inspired music by Ivan Oberholster; and featuring a new recording by Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden!
Dozens of different endings. See the culmination of your choices and their effect upon the world.
Play for minutes or hours at a time. A robust autosave keeps track of your progress.
Adjustable text size.
Built-in Twine and adapted for both desktop and mobile by Unmapped Path, specialists in narrative experiences, co-founded by Twine’s creator, Chris Klimas.
Originally launched on iOS in 2017, Nocked! has been lovingly expanded and refined for PC and Mac, with overhauled mechanics and additional art, music, and text.

The game is available on both PC and iOS. The iOS version, while lacking the music, appears to currently be more accessible though workarounds for the issues on the PC also exist. Check the forum thread above for details

System Fault, an arcade-like shooter inspired by Berzerk

If you remember the No Video Jam II which took place early last year, you might remember a little game called Rampage. System Fault is the continuation of that project, with vastly more features!

I'm pleased to announce that System Fault is now available in early access for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
It finally happened. The robots took our jobs. But for every hundred robots cheerily folding laundry or serving meals, there were a handful of misfits. And among those outcasts and defects, an even smaller handful grew and evolved into something twisted, dark, and mildly ridiculous.
Battle waves of self-styled hyper-intelligent killer robots in System Fault, a tactical, audio-only shoot 'em up inspired by Berzerk. Explore their warrens, learn their secrets, and help rid the world of the robot scourge.
Fight through infinite, expanding mazes of enemy robots and turrets.
Play the way that suits you best. Advance stealthily and strategically, or blaze a trail with explosive results.
Enjoy a dynamic, cinematic soundtrack that changes based on dramatic tension.
Use powerups to sneak, fight remotely, or draw enemies into traps.
Experience immersive, binaural environmental audio. Headphones are strongly recommended.

2MB Games releases Haunted House!

Haunted house is an eerie dream-scape like series of challenges. Sometimes, the dream can turn into a nightmare. There you are, bobbing for apples, when suddenly skeletal hands grab you and hold you under water. You are an evil witch, capturing trick-or-treaters using your magical golem when suddenly you get too close to the forest and crash into the trees. You suddenly awake in a cellar and have to escape before the deranged killer who put you there gets back. It doesn’t sound too difficult until you discover very restless undead who don’t want you to leave… ever. You can help a skeleton with its desire to become a world famous bard, and a lot more.
The game will keep evolving over time with more packs released for it from time to time. Once again, members in the $5 and higher tier will get these updates for free.
Haunted House will work on all platforms Linux, Mac, and Windows. As with all 2MB products, haunted House is open source.

The game can be either purchased individually or picked up with all of 2MB’s other releases if you become their patron. Links to all of that and more in the thread above.

Ct mayor

Jianfeng Wu, a developer of iOS apps and games, has recently been updating some of his games to be VoiceOver friendly. This game, and the one you’ll see below, are based on very famous and famously inaccessible mainstream games, so they’re a great way to experience them!


Start the CTMayor APP and take control. You are the Mayor and City Planner with complete authority. Be the undisputed ruler of a sophisticated real-time City Simulation. Create your own dream city from the ground up. The city may be a bustling megalopolis, lots of people, lots of cars, tall buildings: high-energy, high density living. Or it may be a small rural community, or a linked group of small communities providing slow-paced country living.

Also there are some scenarios prepared for you. Become the master of existing cities such as San Francisco, Hamburg and Bern, to solve horrible planning issues or rescue citizens from a natural disaster. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. There are a million stories in each city, and you write them.

Like a real mayor, focus on planning, layouting, budgeting and disaster rescuing, you do not need to do microtransactions like maintaining houses or factories, AI citizens manage zones themselves.

The simuation strategy logic and user interactive concept are inspired by the classic SimCity game from Will Wright. Most graphics, music, map and text materials come from public domain licensed by Creative Commons License or General Public License.


BC4000 - Civilization

The BC4000 APP is a turn-based strategy game. You take on the role of the ruler of a civilization, attempt to build an empire in competition with other civilizations. The game begins in 4000 BC, before the Bronze Age, and can last through to AD 2100 with Space Age.

Along with the larger tasks of exploration, warfare and diplomacy, you have to make decisions about where to build new cities, which improvements or units to build in each city, when to expand your empire by new settlers, and how to transform the land surrounding the cities for maximum benefit. From time to time your cities may be harassed by units from other nations or barbarians. You should protect borders and maintain zones of control.

You can gain a large advantage if your civilization is the first to learn a particular technology and put it to use in a military or other context. Since only one technology may be researched at any given time, the order in which technologies are chosen makes a considerable difference in the outcome of the game and generally reflects your preferred style of gameplay. Please carefully consider about forms of government, tax rates and research priorities.

You can also build Wonders of the World after obtaining the prerequisite knowledge. These wonders are important achievements of society, science, culture and defense, ranging from the Pyramids and the Great Wall in the Ancient age, to Copernicus' Observatory and Magellan's Expedition in the middle period, up to the Apollo program in the modern era. Each wonder can only be built once in the world, and requires a lot of resources to build, far more than most other city buildings or units. Wonders provide unique benefits to the controlling civilization. For example, Magellan's Expedition increases the movement rate of naval units.

The game can be won by conquering all other civilizations or by winning the space race by reaching the star system of Alpha Centauri.

The strategy logic and user interactive concept are inspired by the original Sid Meier's Civilization. Most graphics, music, map and text materials come from public domain licensed by Creative Commons License or General Public License.

Succubus Draining Maze (NSFW!)

Another discovery from Dark with another excellent description:

From elizzyviolet the developer of slime girl caverns, is this new, erotic text based game of dungeon diving with lusty demons.
Before going on, be aware that this is again an erotic game and features descriptions of sexual intercourse (well all the enemies are succubae).
the descriptions here are pretty minimal imho, even less so than in slime girl caverns, still since basically this game is full of demons all trying to have their wicked way with you, people should be aware of what they're getting into.
Okay disclaimer over, what is this game about?
The game features you, a male mage, waking up after a drunken night out to find that you've been teleported to the succubus draining maze of the game's title.
your mission is to escape before the succubae beat you into submission, or drain all your levels from you.
yes levels!
Even though the interface, gameplay and elements will be very familiar to anyone whose played slime girl caverns, the execution here is quite unique.
You begin as a level 40 mage, with an arsenal of different spells of different casting levels available to you. The higher the level the spell, the fewer times you can cast it (fifth level spells you can only cast once).
You also have chaos spells which are free to cast, but have unpredictable effects or random damage.
Manner potions will let you get more mana points to cast different level spells, but not many.
The catch however, is that the succubae want your mage levels.
Often, a succubus will offer you a free pass, if you give her some of your mage levels.
the problem of course, is that as you lose mage levels, you lose access to higher level spells.
combine this with a randomly generating dungeon, and chaos potions which have unpredictable effects, and you've got the recipe for a very unique game requiring some quite tactical decisions.

EamonCS - Eamon in C#]

This is a modern port of the famous Eamon adventuring system to C#, which allows you to play it in a command prompt/linux terminal/android phone on almost any modern device and experience all that Eamon adventures have to offer.

Aliens - a unique twist on audio space invaders

James Teh (of NVDA and OSARA fame) just released a small browser audio game which I found out about through his Twitter. It's called Aliens and is a modern port of a game originally released for the Eureka A4 note taker.
The objective unsurprisingly is to shoot down alien ships with your gun. However, unlike most other audio space invader games that need you to use stereo panning, this game uses exclusively differently pitched tones. If you're a fan of the crazy party minigames that need perfect pitch, you're going to love this game, otherwise you might find it mildly infuriating, especially in the later levels where you have to deal with multiple ships.

Solve the outbreak! (iPad only)

Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to get clues and analyze data to solve the outbreak and save lives! In this fun app, you get to be a Disease Detective. Do you quarantine the village? Interview people who are sick? Run more lab tests? The better your answers, the higher your score - and the quicker you’ll climb the ranks to become a decorated Disease Detective. In level 1, you’ll start as a Trainee and earn badges by solving scenarios — with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective. Unlock Level 2 by mastering all the 12 outbreaks of Level 1. Then earn honors by solving new and more challenging scenarios. Earn recognitions like Surveillance and Treatment Honors. New outbreaks happen every day and CDC's Disease Detectives are on the front lines — working 24/7 to save lives and protect people. When a new outbreak occurs, Disease Detectives are sent in to figure out how the outbreak started before it spreads further. In this app, you'll also: • Learn about diseases and outbreaks in an engaging way. • See how CDC's Disease Detectives save lives around the world. • Have the option to post your scores on Facebook or Twitter and challenge your friends to play!

Announcing the release of Accessible Chess

From Nathantech:

I'm very pleased to be able to bring you Accessible chess, what I've built to be the singularly most accessible Chess program for windows there is on the market. I intend to keep it that way, too!
Saving and loading saved games is a must with any chess program and this one has that but this is just the basics, of course. From listing your moves, to keystrokes for hearing what squares are under attack, navigation and more, the basic features are all what you would expect.
What sets this program apart from the others is that not only does it have built in AI that you can play against, but it also has an online mode so you can play against your friends from all over the world. In addition, it not only supports the standard chess mode, but several others too including but not limited to suicide, crazyhouse, three check and more.

Scramble

Also from Nathantech:

Scramble is a word and number challenge game that takes inspiration from the UK TV show Countdown and theFrench TV show Des chiffres et des lettres.
the main game contains 9 rounds, 6 letter rounds, 2 number rounds and a single anagram round.
Each round has 30 seconds for you to complete the challenge.
Can you beat all three difficulty levels against the computer and have hours of fun in this mentally challenging game?

Courage collector

As a young adventurer on a perilous quest, you must gain enough courage to defeat powerful enemies. On your journey, collect trinkets and artifacts that increase your courage and interact with each other in interesting ways. Come up with unique strategies to succeed and defeat the mighty dragon! Hours of fun with several achievements and new items to unlock!

<Insert passage from "The Book Of Chrome" here>

Thumbs up +4

2022-02-02 16:31:33

Hi Pitchermach,

Great summation there, and thumbs up for putting the news together. This is a good idea that I hope continues.

A couple of extra bits and bobs.
Firstly, in post 82 of This topic, Eamon remastered has received an update, two new adventures, Sam ruby's exceptional middle earth outing the ring of doom, and the silly, partly pokemon inspired escape from mt moon.

then there have been a couple of small updates to several mobile games. Grim quest  got some typo fixes, swordy quest got a premium mode and the addition of player classes, battle fruit got 500 extra levels and some bug squashing, Sonar islands got a fix to the chat mode in tribes to use dictation, and dungeons and such got ring forging and also some general fixes as well.

Btw, these I got through looking at ap store updates on my phone.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

2022-02-02 17:52:19

Thanks for your additions, they're much appreciated! I definitely intend to keep these going - I already made a new file for February and I'm going to write important things down as I discover them on or off forum. I don't have all of these games on my phone so some of these definitely flew under my radar ☺️

<Insert passage from "The Book Of Chrome" here>

Thumbs up

2022-02-03 20:10:22

Hi,
Thank you @pitermach for putting this together, definitely a good idea and an excellent way for people like me to keep up with the going ons in the audiogaming world smile the effort that went into making this digest is deeply appreciated and you have my grateful thanks.
Thank you dark for the updates there as well, SA is one game I was heavily into for a while, and this is news that definitely got past me, will investigate the update to be sure and hope for more fun big_smile
Grryf

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
Follow me on twitter

Thumbs up

2022-02-05 02:39:23

I love this, great job Piter!

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