Out Now: Call of Cthulhu, Infested Planet, Sword of the Samurai and more

You start to freeze as horror looks your right between the eyes. You're paralyzed!

Those Philippine prison inmates are at it again.

It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark. That’d be Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, the Lovecraftian tactics game that Owen said was “pretty dope” in its 2012 mobile incarnation. According to the devs quite a bit has changed: better graphics, extra missions, and a more period-accurate WWI setting. But according to the mostly negative Steam user reviews, the interface sadly has not changed–it still feels like a mobile game. Some users report mouse-click detection problems, too.

The PC port has been kicking around for a while on lesser venues, but Call of Cthulhu is out now on Steam for $4.99–if you dare risk its malign power. That and other trailers await below.

Infested Planet is an RTS/tower-defense hybrids that’s heavily inspired by Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. I note the game studiously avoids calling itself tower-defense–which whether true or not, is a good sign that the devs have striven for depth. Perhaps it’d be better to compare it to Gauntlet. For the next week it’s $11.99 on Steam.

GOG turns up yet another gem from the Microprose back catalog in Sword of the Samurai, the game that some say paved the way for Shogun: Total War. It was released in 1989 and shares a lot in common with its better-known predecessor Sid Meier’s Pirates. It’s great to see GOG hasn’t forgotten the 1980s, even if every other digital distributor has. Sword of the Samurai is $5.99. Here’s a Youtube review.

Many people dismiss the gory 1996 adventure game Harvester as pulp, but a few argue for its relevance. One GOG reviewer writes, “It came out when games like Mortal Kombat were thought to breed serial killers. This game had the BALLS to basically say ‘yeah, the point of this game is to desensitize you to violence and start killing people.’ It is one of the few anti-games, and it is a masterpiece.” It’s $5.99 on GOG, and it looks like this.

Incoming Forces is by all accounts a middling action game from 2002. Someone dredged it up and tossed it on Steam for $4.99. I guess if Harvester has its advocates, why not this? Oh and hey look, it comes with the first game in the series, Incoming, too.

Year Walk is an adventure game set in a 19th-century Swedish town on New Year’s Eve–and that’s the least strange thing about it. It just made the jump from iOS and costs $5.99 on Steam. I’m going to go check the credits for David Lynch.

Gigantic Army is a run-and-gun game that follows the proud sprite-based tradition of Metal Slug. I wouldn’t worry too much about telling friend from foe in this one. If it moves, you can kill it. $5.99 is the price.

There isn’t much by which to distinguish Diehard Dungeon from the last dozen action-roguelikes to cross my desk. The details are what matter in this genre, and maybe it’s got just the right mechanics, the right difficulty, the right balance of combat and discovery. Or maybe not. $3.99 to find out.

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