Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!
First-person puzzle title Summertime Madness coming to PC, consoles
When I think of contemporary first-person puzzle games, the first that comes to mind is The Witness. It’s much-loved from critics and players alike but was never quite “me.” Summertime Madness, on the other hand, practically has Lindsay written all over it. An artist trapped in a world of his own making – an idea used before, yes, but it never gets old. Here’s the latest trailer:
The painter has made a deal with the devil, but was cheated and ends up trapped in one of his own canvases. Prior to being trapped, he lives in a war-ravaged Prague, obsessively painting beautiful landscapes to make up for the ugliness outside. One night a mysterious figure arrived, taking their time to look at all the paintings. The figure then offers the artist a deal: he can enter one of his paintings, but would have to find his way out by midnight or would be trapped forever. Once in the painting, the island is ever-evolving but not straight-forward. There are more mysteries than even the artist intended.
Summertime Madness is developed by DP Games and published by Sometimes You. It will release for PC (via Steam) sometime this (Northern) summer; a demo is currently available. Console launches will happen later in the year for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
Move over, Pokémon Snap, a new photography game is here
There are not nearly enough games focused solely on photography. Pokémon Snap is by far the most popular, and others involve things such as photographing dogs (Pupperazzi). Beasts of Maravilla Island focuses on wildlife photography in an island’s magical ecosystems. Here’s a trailer:
The player takes on the role of an aspiring wildlife photography who has come to Maravilla Island with the goal of filling your grandfather’s photobook. There are dozens of creatures and plants to photograph; each has its own appearance and behaviour. The flora and fauna are scattered over three ecological zones: the Singing Jungle, the Glimmering River, and the Painted Plateau. In addition to photography, there are puzzles that require help from the animals to solve (such as finding a monkey find their perfect match).
Beasts of Beasts of Maravilla Island is developed by Banana Bird Studios and published by Whitethorn Games. It is currently set to launch in June for PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, Stadia, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
Lost Ruins launching next month for PC, later for consoles
2D survival action platformer Lost Ruins is nearly ready for its PC release. It’s not as simple as it may appear based on the description, as it has elements that interact with the environment and affect gameplay. There also tend to be many means to each end. Take a look at the latest trailer:
A young girl wakes up, not remembering anything of her life, in a dungeon surrounded by bloodthirsty monsters. A mysterious magician rescues her, and helps the girl has she goes on a journey to unlock secrets of the Lost Ruins – and her own memory, of course. The dungeons are dangerous, and often have elements that can bring death or be used to the girl’s advantage. Combat is real-time, but the style is really up to the player. Those that love magic will be able to cast a variety of spells. Equipment matters, and weapons aren’t enough. Accessories will protect you from certain elements, but finding the right combination may take some trial-and-error.
Lost Ruins is developed by Altari Games and published by Dangen Entertainment. It will be released for PC via GOG, the Humble Store, Itch.io, and Steam on May 13. Versions for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One will launch late (Q4) this year. The game smashed its goal on Kickstarter about a year ago, so I’m interested to see how near-endless amount of stretch goals add to the gameplay.
Beautiful Desolation coming to consoles
Finding authentic games is getting easier as you start to actually look for them, and to me, Beautiful Desolation is as authentic as they come: made by an African developer, set in Africa, fully voiced by African voice actors. And okay, the composer is Australian Mick Gordon (known for his work on DOOM, Prey, and Wolfenstein), but I believe the developers knew what they were doing when he was chosen. The title’s console version will launch late next month. The main difference between the PC and console versions is that the console versions have been revamped for controllers versus mouse/keyboard. This includes altering controls, user interface, and movement. Here’s a console version trailer:
Set in a futuristic, alternate-reality version of South Africa, the location is dominated by alien technology. Humanity isn’t what we know. The lines between technology and real life are blurred. Tribes are at war over power, and mercenaries roam freely. There are religious zealots in the form of mechs, something I never thought I would see. Players will need to solve puzzles and make tough decisions while exploring crumbling cities, mutated forests and dry ocean beds.
Beautiful Desolation is developed by South Africa-based two-person team The Brotherhood and published by Untold Tales. It launched for PC/Mac/Linux via GOG/Steam last February. It is set to be released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on May 28.