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The Messenger

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Action/Adventure
Developer: Sabotage Studio
Release Date: Aug. 30, 2018

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'The Messenger' Free On Epic Games Store, 'Bad North' Next Week

by Rainier on Nov. 14, 2019 @ 8:50 a.m. PST

The Messenger is a retro-inspired action/platformer with real-time gameplay shifts from 8-bit to 16-bit, for a deep and clever Metroidvania-style adventure.

First presented as an 8-bit action platformer, this epic ninja tale takes the hero forward in time, supported visually by a shift to 16-bit, where the adventure and gameplay mechanics become much deeper than players would expect.

In The Messenger, you play as a young ninja tasked with carrying a powerful scroll, upon which his clan’s survival depends, through his cursed world. As he battles the demon army that besieged his village, what appeared to be a simple homage story and love letter to 8-bit platformers, slowly evolves into a clever time traveling tale, revealing itself as a 16-bit Metroidvania game packed with deep replay value and deadpan humor. Do you have what it takes to decipher the secrets of The Messenger?

The Messenger is designed and developed by a talented team of industry veterans with a love for classically-inspired arcade games and gaming experiences optimized for streaming and speedrunning communities.

Once The Messenger, the current free game on the Epic Games Store, have run its course, it will be up to Bad North: Jotun Edition, which will be gratis starting on November 21 until November 28, 2019.

Bad North is a charming but brutal real-time tactics roguelite where you defend your idyllic island kingdom against a horde of Viking invaders, as you lead the desperate exodus of your people.

Your home is under attack. The king is dead at the hands of Viking invaders. Hope is a distant glimmer in the fog, fading fast with every passing moment. As you rise to take your father’s place as ruler, it will fall to you to stage your defenses. But make no mistake – this is no fight for victory, but a desperate grasp for survival.

Bad North is a charming but brutal real-time tactics roguelite. Defend your idyllic island kingdom against a horde of Viking invaders, as you lead the desperate exodus of your people. Command your loyal subjects to take full tactical advantage of the unique shape of each island. Everything is at stake: fail, and watch the blood of your subjects stain the ground red.

It’s charmingly brutal, with beautiful procedurally-generated islands and adorable soldiers juxtaposed against the blood-stained realities of war. You control the broad strokes of the battle, giving high level commands to your soldiers who try their best to carry them out in the heat of the moment. It’s accessibly deep, with simple player inputs masking a dynamic combat simulation that make it inviting to new players while challenging veterans.

Keep fighting, warriors. Not for power or riches or glory, but for hope of peace to come once again in the harsh lands of the Bad North.

Key Features:

  • Position and relocate your troops to fend off the Vikings, who each have their own counters to the threats you pose. Pick your battles and plan your evacuations carefully! Lose a commander and they’re gone forever; lose everything, and it’s game over!
  • You command the broad strokes of your defenses and monitor positioning — your soldiers do the rest, navigating and engaging intuitively in response to the situation at hand.
  • Each island is both stylistically charming and unique in its layout. Plan your strategies around every nook and cranny, for you only get one chance to save them from the enemy invasion.
  • A stronger, smarter defense leads to greater rewards. Use these to develop your subjects from a ragtag militia into seasoned warriors.

Key Features:

  • The Way of the Ninja: Challenging retro-inspired gameplay with tight platforming controls put players on the path of becoming an ultimate ninja master.
  • Nostalgic Art Design: Travel seamlessly through time with shifts between authentic 8-bit and 16-bit pixel art environments and gameplay reminiscent of fan-favorite NES and SNES games.
  • Colorful, Over-the-Top Characters: The Messenger features a memorable cast of (often silly) villains, bosses and low-level goons. 
  • Catchy Soundtrack: Renowned musician and audio wizard Eric “Rainbowdragoneyes” Brown is responsible for all of The Messenger’s audio, most importantly its trademark chiptune soundtrack. The entire soundtrack was made using Famitracker, providing an authentic and timeless NES vibe.
  • Play, Play and Play Again: Replay the game with all upgrades from previous runs to discover hidden levels and new story arcs.

The Messenger is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC.


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