In a late-night post on its Facebook page, Rocketcat Games officially announced that Wayward Souls will hit the iOS App Store on April 24th. This isn't entirely unsurprising—the game was submitted to Apple earlier this month, after all—but it's nice to have a firm date after a longer-than-expected development cycle.

Here's the kicker: Wayward Souls will start off at $4.99 and increase in price by a dollar each time a new content update is released. Rocketcat has struggled with pricing issues before, so it's great to see them investigating other revenue models.

Another Facebook update details first three planned updates (which would bring the price to $8): a new area to explore, an Endless Mode, and a new character. This pricing plan is designed to reward early adopters who feel burned when they buy a game only to have it drop to $0.99 or free soon after. This plan also keeps in-app purchases out of the game.

But, back to Wayward Souls. It's a randomized dungeon crawler: you'll pick from six different characters, forge new equipment, and sling spells in an attempt to survive long enough to cleave through some zombies and goblins. If that sounds familiar, it may be because Wayward Souls uses the same engine and gameplay ideas as Mage Gauntlet, Rocketcat's breakout action-RPG from 2011. You can call it a spin-off or a spiritual successor, but lead designer Kepa Auwae calls it "how we wanted Mage Gauntlet to be, now designed for extreme replay value."

Wayward Souls has two things going for it, as detailed in Jared's 20-minute sit down with Auwae during GDC last month (embedded above). For one, it dispenses with virtual buttons (having more than three gets "goofy," Auwae says) and relies on swipes, drags, and flicks on the left and right sides of the screen. For another, the sheer volume of characters, enemies, weapons, skills, and environments should (hopefully) lead to some interesting interactions. Each character's final ability, for example, gets applied to the five others as well, which should allow people to mix and match enough to find a build and playstyle they like.

(As an aside, Rocketcat has totally nailed that chunky, slightly-fuzzy pixel art look. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something visually distinctive about all of his games that I really like.)

Now that development on Wayward Souls has presumably finished, hopefully Rocketcat can start throwing its weight behind Death Road to Canada, the Kickstarted collaboration with Madgarden Games. It hit a nasty delay earlier this year, but programming pugs that can drive a car is probably a little tricky, so I guess they get a pass.

Again, Wayward Souls launches on April 24th, and if you buy the game during opening weekend, you'll get a set of in-game hats from Super Quickhook gratis.

[Facebook]

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson
  • darkprophet2088

    cannot wait for Wayward Souls. I loved Mage Gauntlet and have been waiting painfully, for this one

  • LousyHero

    So excited. Rocketcat games are always day one purchases for me. Been looking forward to this one more than most.

  • iVaro

    Sad to know that this May be one of RC's last mobile games for a while

    • Rocketcat Games

      We'll still port where it makes sense to (and it will for a lot of our games). And we might still do the occasional iOS first game. Just makes a lot of sense to do PC first, then port to iOS right now.

      • Slothwerks

        Interesting approach; is this because the bottom has fallen out of the iOS paid app market, so to speak?

        Seems like people are willing to pay $9.99 for a great game (FTL) but I feel like this only worked because the value of the PC game is propping it up. FTL is worth every penny, but I question whether FTL would have sold for $9.99 if it were iOS first.

      • Rocketcat Games

        Oh definitely not. Not just FTL, but Minecraft and especially Xcom definitely are selling the fact that they're ports of popular PC games, not "native to iOS games". The perception of value is really skewed.

        We're doing this for two reasons. One is to see that we can. Two is that we're not going to have much competition in the field of "randomly generated action-adventure that has two years of content in it". If it succeeds, it'd make big projects like this more sustainable.

        Edit: Oh woops the second paragraph doesn't make sense given your question haha. Yeah, we're doing PC first because of the perception of value, and also because it's easier for our programmer to develop on PC.

      • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

        Cool! So, if not touch UI first, will you implement MFI control support in all your games? Hey, could have it as one of the features when you raise the price of your bsck catalog by a buck :)

      • Rocketcat Games

        Not sure. Depends on what the numbers are for people that use the controllers in Wayward Souls, after we do the second update.

  • alex13111

    Well that's cool

  • spader623

    I like their idea of price increase with each update, though idk how good or bad this will work. Also, SO. MANY. HATS.

    • Rocketcat Games

      We have no idea either.

  • Klonis

    We must kick all the in-app idea out of mobile gaming and support games like Oceanhorn and Wayward souls!

    • nini

      All? I question that, some IAP I like and I think Mage Gauntlet got it right with their optional bag of stuff so I'll miss that at least because those inferno items really saved my ass more than once.

  • NeonGreenKermit

    Been waiting for this since MG. Premium pricing model is a win.

  • Ryan Holowaty

    I have been playing the beta for this for a while. The release build is amazing and I know you guys wont be disappointed!

  • Amenbrother

    Man I cant wait!

  • HansKaosu

    Great.. Now take my money

    • https://www.youtube.com/HansKaosu HansKaosu

      How annoying. The site app made a disqus account with the same name.

      • Design by Adrian

        Disquception.

  • Design by Adrian

    The Warrior looks like George Clooney.

    • Rocketcat Games

      pls don't sue us mr clooney <- me writing to George Clooney's lawyer

      • Design by Adrian

        Distract him with a cup of Nespresso.

  • Rocketcat Games

    Thanks for the write up! But one thing: Death Road to Canada is a separate team, it's me and Paul Pridham (Madgarden). The Wayward team is going to be working on something else. You were right in that Death Road was delayed mostly because we keep adding new dogs.

    • DeLtAg1An9O

      Ok, I am looking for a instabuy in death road to canada because it looks cool

      +

      ALREADY PLAYING WAYWARD SOULS AND IS AMAZING!!!

  • ImJPaul

    Absolutely cannot wait for this one. They really outdid themselves this time.

  • Shifaan

    Am I dreaming... HECK YEEEAAAHHHH!!!! YYYAAAAAYYY!!!!!!!!!

  • Kugiro

    Yessssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!! DAY ONE PURCHASE!!!!!!! Or now if Apple would just hurry their fat, collective butts up. OMG!

  • ste86uk

    I'll pick this up and give it a go on day one for now I'm very happy with Dungeon Quest which in really can't believe is free! Also really can't wait for Battleheart Legacy.

  • daniel schroeder

    This seems to be a growing trend with indie games. And while I don't agree with some of the reasoning (not Rocketcat's, but other devs doing this), I don't really mind since I know I'll be getting this at launch.

  • Shifaan

    Tomorrow guys! TOMORROW!