With the recent developments of a few InstantAction-related projects, I thought I’d write a small post about the current situation of the games that once were.
Zap: While the original game is no longer available to play, you do have some other options. One is to download the demo from GargaeGames’ website here. The other is to play BitFighter, a free spiritual successor/remake available for Windows, Linux, and OS X. The last time I checked in on BitFighter it had a small, but active, community. As of writing there doesn’t appear to be anyone playing according to the website, but then again it is 1:00am. The forum seems pretty active, so chances are you’ll manage to get a few hours worth of gameplay each day.
ThinkTanks: A demo of ThinkTanks is available over at ShockWave.com. It pulls up servers and starts the connection process, but I could never connect to a game because I didn’t have the right community files. PlanetThinktanks2.com seems to be a fairly active (but again small) community for the game. The full game can be bought for about $7 from Shockwave, though you might be more interested in checking out this thread for a more ‘reasonable’ price.
Marble Blast Online: As far as I know there isn’t a PC demo for Marble Blast Online, which was actually Marble Blast Ultra on XBLA. Like the majority of InstantAction’s game, Marble Blast suffered from IP disputes and was pulled from…well…everywhere. The only demos I can find are for older Marble Blast games from 2003 or so, however an unofficial PC port of MBU (essentially MBO) was released back in December. Here’s a video showcasing it, along with a download link in the description. As someone who never played MBO, the port is pretty damn slick (except for the Xbox controller menus). If you’re interested, here’s a total conversion mod called Marble Blast Platinum for Marble Blast Gold. While the mod is free to download, you must also have a copy of MBG already installed. But if all you want is some MBO/MBU, the unofficial port should do the trick.
Lore: Aftermath: No demo that I’m aware of. Quite certain this was exclusive to InstantAction and wasn’t available outside of its services. However, it lives on as Dark Horizons: Mechanized Assault. The original developers started uploading videos about the game around 3 months ago. The first one they uploaded was simply their original MAVLab tutorial for InstantAction, except they removed the parts that mentioned IA. It looks like they’re updating the game to the latest version of Torque, which is a pretty significant visual upgrade. More info can be found here. Another WIP mech game to keep your eye on is MAV, which is being built on the Unity engine.
2014 update: Dark Horizons was recently Greenlit on steam.
2017 update: You can buy Dark Horizons for $14 on Steam.
Ace of Aces: Oy vey. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for die-hard AoA fans. Shortly after InstantAction shutdown, Mad Otter stated that they had plans to re-release Ace of Aces, but since then absolutely nothing has come to fruition. The website hasn’t been updated since 2010, nor have there been any forum posts from the devs. Despite this, hope still remains. Damon Slye, the original developer of Dynamix’ Red Baron and Aces of the Pacific, gave this update to the community just last month:
We are still planning to relaunch Ace of Aces, with a new name, but I feel bad making promises since we have not yet relaunched it. I should have some news in February. Thanks for checking!
UPDATE: Looks like Damon is releasing a new Red Baron game.
2017: You can buy the Red Baron Pack on Steam for $9.99
Rokkitball: One of the more popular games on InstantAction, Rokkitball hasn’t seen the light of day since November of 2010. As far as I know IAC still has the rights, along with all the game files hidden away in some Indiana Jones-esque storage facility. However, Project Rokkit is aimed at recreating the game on the Unreal Engine.
Rev: As far as I know this game never actually made it to the public (well, it did…sorta), and has a pretty weird history. Luma Arcade started developing a racing game called Project Match Racer before joining up with InstantAction, which got renamed to Rev after their IA partnership, which was then renamed to simply Racer, and then finally renamed to Blur. However for whatever reason Activision wanted Blur (and got it), and in exchange gave IAC the Tribes IP and other stuff in 2009. Whether or not they were handed the full game or simply the title, I don’t know. So in a way the game sorta did make it to the public, only as Blur developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision. Luma Arcade has “Racer” on their website but no information on when it’ll be available, though according to this it’ll be coming out in Q2 of this year for iOS. I’m thinking this is the project that was formerly Racer/Rev. Older Racer/Rev/Blur picture | ‘New’ Racer for iOS. I’ll let you decide.
2017 Update: I have no idea if this game actually released or not. Some say it’s on Android, some say it never released.
Galcon: Finally, some good news! The Galcon that was on InstantAction lives on as Galcon Fusion, which can be bought here for $9. A free flash version is also available here. Phil Hassey, the original developer, recently started a Kickstarter for Galcon 2 and successfully reached it the other day. Considering I was never a huge fan of the game (not my style), and the fact that it’ll be F2P, the chances of me giving Galcon 2 a shot are slim. But I still wish the best of luck for Phil and the team.
2014 update: Galcon 2 is available for free on Steam.
Screwjumper/Cyclomite/InstantJam: I debated whether or not to include these games, but since I included Rev, why not? Screwjumper was never made available for the PC outside of InstantAction. Like Marble Blast, it was also available on the Xbox Live Marketplace but eventually removed a few short months ago. There’s a download link over at Digiex.net, but I have no idea how safe or legit it is. I’d consider it a lost cause, which isn’t really something to cry home about. For the time being I’m also calling Cyclomite a lost cause since I can’t find any ‘new’ information on it. It was actually developed by the same company that made Stubbs the Zombie (though a different division). There doesn’t appear to be any revival projects or demos available. InstantJam is definitely a lost cause. It had a very short and unsuccessful life, but I had a bit of fun with it. If you’re looking for a similar game, give TubeHero or Audio Surf a go.
Fallen Empire: Legions: Oh Legions. Anyone reading this blog is likely aware of its current state. If not, here’s a brief rundown. Fallen Empire: Legions was re-released as Legions: Overdrive in December of 2010. Since then it’s gotten a number of updates, including the ability to host our own servers and mod them to our liking, demos, new maps, new weapons,
and soon deployables, new gamemodes and public map editor. A big update was released in March of 2013, and was aimed at tiding the community over until Project Z (aka Midair) is formally released (on Unreal Engine 4. Bye-bye Torque).
2017 Update: Legions servers are still up, but entirely empty ever since Midair started the Instant Access phase. I don’t expect the game to ever make a comeback unless someone decides to make a sequel or something. A PUG revival may happen sometime in the future though. Join the Steam group for updates.
Well, that’s pretty much it. I didn’t cover Flipt since it was only for iPhones, and we all know the sad story of PlayTribes.