Showing posts with label Reaperi Cycle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reaperi Cycle. Show all posts

Fragmented Almanac: Unique Dreamcast Puzzle Collection goes up for Pre-order!

One of my favourite memories from when I first got involved with The Dreamcast Junkyard happened towards the end of February 2020, when I played the demo for "Reaperi Cycle" in preparation for an episode of our podcast, the DreamPod. Interesting extra tidbit: I'd got engaged to my now-wife just the day before! 

Upon booting up the Reaperi Cycle demo, I was met with a point-and-click game in an isometric style, with really compelling pre-rendered graphics indicative of 90s PC titles, such as Sanitarium. This was not a style of game I ever expected to hit the Dreamcast, but something that I'm so glad I played. The mission of the demo was to solve puzzles in an alchemist's study to try and unlock a strange floating cube in the middle of the room. Not being that smart a puzzle game aficionado, I found some of the puzzles quite tricky to solve, which had me turning to fellow Junkyarders Tom, Mike and James for help, as they were also playing the game in prep for the podcast. 

Reaperi Cycle

In this age of instant information, even if we'd tried to look for a walkthrough to this demo, we would've come back empty handed, so what followed was something I'd not experienced in a long time: we started exchanging hints and tips with one another about what we'd each managed to figure out. With everybody's help (particularly Mike's, if I recall correctly), I eventually managed to get that cube open and complete the demo, and it felt awesome. It took me back to my playground days of yore, when my friend who was a year older than me would effectively function as a walking walkthrough guide, helping me out with advice whenever I got stuck on Pokémon Red. Reaperi Cycle reminded me of that, and it was amazing to feel that same buzz once again of utilising the advice of friends to finally beat a game. 

So then... why did I share this sentimental little tale? Because developer of Reaperi Cycle, ANTIRUINS, is finally releasing definitive versions of not only Reaperi Cycle (now known as The Hideout), but also Summoning Signals, another excellent demo that they also showcased back in 2020. And what's more, they're both combined into one release, called the Fragmented Almanac, with enhanced visuals and audio. That's two really unique games for the price of one, and you can pre-order them today, for an expected release date of March 2024.

Fragmented Almanac will be available digitally for $14.99 (for play on emulator, ODE, etc), with disc copies costing $29.99. The physical game comes in two editions with different cover art, and they both look absolutely sick. You'd be forgiven for mistaking them for some underground band's short-run release on some boutique indie label's Bandcamp. "Dude, I really hope they release Fragmented Almanac on vinyl next!"

On ANTIRUINS' store page for this release, the collection is described as follows:

"The Fragmented Almanac is a strange document, an oddity even amongst Dreamcast games.  At the junction of video games, art and alchemy, this project is the culmination of 7 years of Dreamcast development, spread over 5 different games. The Fragmented Almanac re-unites two of these experimentations under a multifaceted and complex timeline."

And the games contained within:

"THE HIDEOUT : This place is filled with alchemical knowledge, old tales and mystical symbols. It's the hidden path in the forest, seen by very few. Can you unlock its secret?

"SUMMONING SIGNALS : Sprinter-2 crashed on an Unknown Planet. Help the Pilot and figure out a way to leave the labyrinth. Discover this strange world where new technology and old ruins coexist."

The games also boasts such features as a "new Almanac system [which] guides you through the complex world", an "eerie soundtrack composed by Gabriel Ledoux" and the useful extra of "hints [being] displayed on the VMU". Nice.
The developers of Fragmented Alamanac are Canada-based, but did confirm in our Discord that they are currently working to try and get a distributor arranged for Europe, although $11 to get one of these sent to the UK (where I'm based) isn't too bad a delivery cost. Once again, you can pre-order the game here.

Are you going to check out The Hideout and Summoning Signals as part of the Fragmented Almanac? Let us know in the comments below, or on our socials.

Summoning Signals now has a website and a demo for Dreamcast

Summoning Signals represents one of the more mysterious upcoming releases for the Dreamcast. A point and click adventure in which the player must locate the scattered parts of a crippled spacecraft, the photogrammetry graphical style is unlike anything we've previously seen on the Dreamcast.

Coming from 12db.soft and Retro Surge Games, Summoning Signals is aiming for an Autumn 2020 release (that's Fall for our American readers), and the game now has a dedicated website and a demo available. The demo is interesting as it's not actually a demo of the main game, it's more a vertical space shooter where you have to kill a two-headed dragon with a penchant for Soul Calibur quotes...but this just fits the whole weirdness vibe lead developer Magnes is aiming for:

"I see Summoning Signals like a strange trip to a vaguely familiar planet. Some people say it reminds them of the Myst series or Lack of Love. We're inspired by Kentucky Route Zero for its visuals and storytelling, Hyper Light Drifter and Elemental Gimmick Gear for their worldbuilding and Seaman for its wierdness to name a few. Summoning Signals is a game for those who like to discover strange worlds.

"I've always wanted to contribute to SEGA's last console library. This console (and its community) is what got me into programming and hacking 15 years ago, so it feels right to give back. Also, working with retro console has this hacker-tech-charm vibe to it.

- Magnes, via summoningsignals.com

From the game's itch.io page:

Summoning Signals is a experimental narrative game. 

You are Bertholet, an antique collector with a passion for old technology. As you are making a delivery across the galaxy, your ship starts behaving erratically and crash on an unknown planet. Get to know the planet's strange inhabitant, repair your ship and escape before the fabled Minotaur finds you.

Radio Exploration
Use your radio to call for help and communicate with the galaxy's inhabitant. Make sure to charge your battery and keep the signal alive! 

Repair system
Bertholet will need to find spare parts on this new planet to repair his ship. Break apart old machines and dig for circuits in computers! Make use of your tools to get your ship running again.

Poetic Puzzles
The world inhabitant like to speak in riddle. Are you wise enough to understand them? Use your wits to find the clues and progress through the game.

We have covered Summoning Signals in the recent past, and waxed lyrical about the interesting photogrammetry technique used (think the Google Maps 3D modelling style). I for one am pretty intrigued to know more about this indie offering, and after enjoying the outright oddness of the Reaperi Cycle demo 12db.soft released earlier in 2020, I think I'm qualified to consider myself a fan of this developer.


Keep an eye on the Summoning Signals website for updates (you can sign up to be alerted when new demos are available) and also grab that annoyingly difficult shooter demo. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one...and you should too.

Excited for yet another new Dreamcast release in 2020? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below. Oh, and follow 12db.soft on Twitter here.

Retro Surge Games announces new Dreamcast title Summoning Signals

Remember the awesome Reaperi Cycle demo we looked at recently? If not, check it out here. Well, after we were wowed by the clever puzzling elements shown in that game we were quickly brought back down to Earth when it was revealed that Reaperi Cycle is actually on hiatus. But all is not lost - the reason for the hiatus is that developer 12db.soft is currently working on another Dreamcast exclusive puzzle game: Summoning Signals.
Summoning Signals is pencilled in for a Winter 2020 release on Dreamcast, and will be released by Retro Surge Games, the publishing arm of online retailer The Bit Station. From the press release:

Summoning Signals is an experimental narrative game. You play as Bertholet, an antique collector with a passion for old technology. As you are making a delivery across the galaxy, your ship starts behaving erratically and crash on an unknown planet. Get to know the planet's strange inhabitant, repair your ship and escape before the fabled Minotaur finds you.

Use your radio to call for help and communicate with the galaxy's inhabitant. Make sure to charge your battery and keep the signal alive! Bertholet will need to find spare parts on this new planet to repair his ship. Break apart old machines and dig for circuits in computers! Make use of your tools to get your ship running again.

The world’s inhabitants like to speak in riddle. Are you wise enough to understand them? Use your wits to find the clues and progress through the game. The game's unique world is made using photogrammetry, a technique used to create 3D models from pictures. The result are unlike anything you have seen on the Dreamcast.
- Summoning Signals press release
The visuals on show are looking quite fabulous even at this stage, and as described in the press release, it will be the first game on the Dreamcast that employs photogrammetry. I suppose the best current analogue to this visualisation technique would be something like Google Maps' ability to turn flat 2D satellite images into fully rendered 3D locations when you zoom down to ground level. Below is a Google Maps 3D mode shot of Manchester, the Greatest City on Earth™to show what I mean:
Imagine if this tech had been available to Shockwave Assault's devs back in the day; those flat pixellated landscapes would've looked so much less like you were flying over a bowl of vegetable soup while blasting alien invaders. Pretty sure my 3DO would have melted into a pile of black plastic though. I'm waffling, let's get back on track. Photogrammetry is certainly an interesting technique and will definitely give Summoning Signals a unique look on Dreamcast.
We'll bring more info on Summoning Signals as we get it, and you can follow 12db.softRetro Surge Games and The Bit Station on Twitter for updates as they happen.

What do you think? Are you intrigued by Summoning Signals? And did you play the super cool (and brain meltingly difficult!) Reaperi Cycle demo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.

Reaperi Cycle Reappears With A Playable Demo

Remember Reaperi Cycle? We covered it back in 2018 and since then it's all been mysteriously quiet. Until now, that is. I won't lie - I thought Reaperi Cycle was nothing more than vapourware. How many other Dreamcast games have we seen come and go over the years? A flashy announcement, a teaser...then nothing. It's happened multiple times so forgive me if I'm a miserable old cynic. That doesn't appear to be the case with Reaperi Cycle though, as a fantastic playable demo has recently been released on itch.io.
The demo, which allows you to play the opening sequence of Reaperi Cycle casts you as the disembodied soul of the protagonist, mooching around a mysterious study trying to unlock the secrets of a strange floating cube. The demo is offered as a .cdi file that can be played either in an emulator or burnt to a CD and played in an actual Dreamcast console. It's advised that you employ the latter method of sampling this delightfully curious little demo though, as there's nothing better than seeing a brand new game playing on the old warhorse in the year 2020.
Taking the form of a point and click adventure, you initially control the ghostly form of said protagonist, but because you have no physical body you are only able to glance at hints that are already presented to you - no opening of books or sealed scrolls. It's a nice touch. Also, the atmosphere afforded the game through the poignant background music and the incredibly esoteric clues should be applauded. Visually, the world (what I've seen of it) looks lovingly built, full of little details and lots of references to the dark arts and ancient magic - a tone that's right up my street. From the Reaperi Cycle itch.io site:

"Reaperi Cycle is a SEGA Dreamcast game filled with alchemical knowledge, old tales and mystical symbols. It's the hidden path in the forest, seen by very few. Are you one of them?  


"You find yourself as a spirit, devoided of a physical body. As you try to recover your original form, you'll meet with an old magician who is willing to help you, in exchange of a few favors. Don't waste any time! The earth spins around the sun and the phenix will appear, once again, whether you're ready or not!"

The environments appear to be using nicely modelled sprites laid on top of some well drawn 2D backdrops - it creates a visually appealing style, quite reminiscent of SNES-era RPGs. In terms of actually playing the demo, there's very little hand holding and I must admit I was left stumped at times. This is a truly cerebral experience, make no mistake. And to be honest, it's actually quite refreshing in this day and age.
The Reaperi Cycle demo - titled The Guild Hideout - is available via itch.io now, and while there's no set price, you can pay what you like for the developer's work. Going from what I've played so far, Reaperi Cycle could be a really interesting new release for the Dreamcast, and we'll be keeping an eye on it after this stellar playable demo.
Find out more about Reaperi Cycle at itch.io. Have you played the demo? What do you think? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

Retro Surge Games - A New Dreamcast Software Publisher


The recent resurgence in the popularity of the Dreamcast shows little sign of slowing down, and a brand new publisher that will deal exclusively in Dreamcast games has recently been launched. Retro Surge Games is a subsidiary of retro game online store The Bit Station, and will be the publisher of upcoming Dreamcast isometric puzzle/RPG title Reaperi Cycle.

"We are so excited to see what this new venture will hold and to have the opportunity to help the Indie Dreamcast community continue to grow and prosper. Over the last 2 years, we have had the opportunity to serve one of the most devoted and friendly communities in the gaming world. If it wasn’t for the support of this community, we wouldn’t be this confident about expanding our involvement with the Dreamcast even further."
- The Bit Station / Retro Surge Games

We looked at the mysterious Reaperi Cycle some time ago, and this new development all but confirms that the Dreamcast will indeed be getting yet another brand new release in the near future. According to the Retro Surge press release, the publisher hopes to start putting out new Dreamcast titles in 2019 so we won't have to wait very long.
This latest addition to the stable of publishers putting out brand new Dreamcast software is encouraging, and alongside Josh Prod, Retroguru and Orion et al we hope Retro Surge Games can continue to breathe new life into the Dreamcast's indie library.

Source: The Bit Station / Retro Surge Games

Reaperi Cycle Developers Want Your Input (Updated)

Remember Reaperi Cycle? It's the slightly odd looking indie title we featured a few weeks ago that - so far at least - has everyone pretty stumped as to what it might be about. Well, things are about to become a little clearer, as the main developer of this enigmatic Dreamcast exclusive is planning to livestream a Q&A session on YouTube very soon.
Not only are the developers of this mysterious game asking for questions, but they'll also be showing off an early build of the game, too. As we stated in the previous reveal, Reaperi Cycle looks like it could be quite an interesting little puzzle title, and that it's coming exclusively to the Dreamcast means it has piqued our interest.
Indie Devs spotted in the wild...
Scattered throughout this article are a few exclusive shots of Reaperi Cycle to whet your appetite. If you'd like to get up close and personal with the developers and see an exclusive preview of the game in action, set an alarm for 14:00 EDT / 19:00 BST this coming Wednesday 6th June and head over to the official Reaperi Cycle YouTube channel to catch a glimpse.

Update: The livestream took place, and here's the video:


Oddly, the Reaperi Cycle official website seems to have been taken down since our last look at this intriguing project, but you can find the game's Patreon page here.

Reaperi Cycle - A New Indie Game For Dreamcast

Another day, another new Dreamcast game is announced. This time, it's the ambiguously titled Dreamcast exclusive Reaperi Cycle from the even more ambiguously titled Ancient Hermetic Developers Guild. This new announcement comes by way of a pretty - you guessed it - ambiguous teaser trailer that appeared on YouTube recently, along with a pretty bare bones micro site.


The trailer doesn't really give much away bar for a few shots of surrealist landscapes and some rather intriguing dialogue, although the website hints that Reaperi Cycle will be an 'isometric alchemical tale about fire, magic, merchants, statues and a temple.' So probably an isometric puzzle game then. With light RPG elements? And some nice statues dotted about the place, maybe a tasteful pot plant? Just an educated guess on my part, and probably totally wrong like most things I hazard a guess at. Either way, it's nice to have another Dreamcast title to look forward to, however ambiguous it seems. Did I mention it's all a bit ambiguous?
We'll keep you updated as and when we learn more about Reaperi Cycle. Not too sure on that name though...you know what I'm thinking, don't deny it. Reappear-y cycle? Why, what were you thinking? Filthy minded urchin.

Source: Pcwzrd on Twitter