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Nowadays, it is exceedingly rare for a game to be released without some sort of combat system. While exploration-driven games like Journey may avoid including violent gameplay elements, it is not common for a game without combat to also lack some central gameplay mechanic other than exploration.

In the MMO genre in particular, there is a tendency to accept combat as a sort of given. Developers have taken notice. Australian-born Wander is branded on the company website as the first MMO of its kind: "a non-combat, non-competitive, collaborative multiplayer game."

Interested? Head past the jump for more!

A recent interview with former head of indie relations at Nintendo Dan Adelman revealed his feelings on letting any developer create and publish content to the Nintendo eShop. Adelman, who worked for nine years helping indie developers get their games on Nintendo consoles, feels that the market needs to be open but also regulated to avoid poor content. 

Nintendo's approach has always been on the side of approving developers rather than approving content. The idea is that if you're a trustworthy and capable enough developer to make games for the platform, then beyond that it's up to you. Unfortunately, shovel ware is a very predictable byproduct of an open marketplace. The onus to ameliorate this issue ultimately falls on the platforms. It used to be that the preferred solution was to have a gatekeper model, but that had real drawbacks, because you can miss you on some amazing games. - Dan Adelman 

Look inside to read more on what he had to say! 

Read Only Memories is a cyberpunk adventure game from MidBoss that is slated to release next March, but a recently released free demo can give you a taste of how the game will look and play. The demo contains a "final(ish) version of the game’s Prologue & Chapter 1" and can be downloaded for PC, Mac, and Linux systems.

Click the jump to learn more about the game, as well as to view the trailer to see what it will look and play like.

Red Column, a new Nintendo indie developer, has announced their first game, 3Souls. According to the press release, 3Souls is a 2D puzzle platformer which makes extensive use of the GamePad to "break new ground in how you control your character." This has resulted in the title being a Wii U exclusive. It's certainly nice to see some ambitious use for the GamePad, as it has arguably been underutilized thus far. While Red Column is being tight lipped on their project, they did release a brief teaser trailer. It doesn't explain much, but I'm excited to see where this auspicious enterprise may lead. 3Souls comes to the Nintendo eShop in 2015. You can check out the trailer inside!

The hugely popular action sidescroller Shovel Knight has many cheat codes and special modes, and perhaps the weirdest of them all is the game's "Butt Mode." The mode is activated by typing "X&BUTT" or "WSWWAEAW" into the name entry screen. Once activated, the mode changes all nouns in the game to the word "butt", with predictably hilarious results.

Read more after the jump!

For the past nine years, Dan Adelman has been Nintendo's head honcho when it comes to indie relations, but he recently left the company and went indie himself. Of course, the show must go on, and Nintendo's indie program is still going strong.

Gamasutra recently caught up with Damon Baker and David Wharton, Nintendo's senior manager of marketing in the licensing department and director of marketing and analytics for Nintendo's network business department, respectively. In an informative interview on the state of Nintendo's indie programs going forward, Baker and Wharton revealed how they reach out to developers and choose which games to promote. Check it out by clicking below!

Towerfall: Ascension, a multiplayer archery arena game for the PlayStation 4, will be receiving its first official batch of major additions in the form of an expansion in early 2015. This expansion will add at least four new levels, one character, two types of arrows, power-ups, modes, and a procedurally generated final level.

Make the jump for more information, and a peek at one of the new levels!

Indie developer Tom Happ has been hard at work on the exploration-fueled, action-platformer Axiom Verge for nearly five years now, drawing inspiration from classics like Metroid and Castlevania. All of that work will soon come to fruition when Axiom Verge launches on PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC in Spring 2015. In the meantime, I had the chance to go hands-on with a demo version of the game, showcasing the story intro, two of the nine areas in the game, a boss battle, and more. It was just a small taste of the full adventure, but it was more than enough to leave me craving more. Hit the jump for my impressions!

Mighty No. 9, a Kickstarter project being lead by Mega Man producer Keiji Inafune, received an update this November to really remember.

Mighty No. 9 seeks to offer a classic side-scrolling action experience and has involved fans and "Beckers" (as Inafune refers) in the game's development to a large extent. With the Japanese box art done and even more details regarding this largely-anticipated title here, that April 2015 release date feels significantly closer.

Click on the jump below to learn and view what details have come with November!

Yacht Club Games, creators of indie success story Shovel Knight, spoke with Shack News the other day about the future of their spade-centric adventure. According to programmer David D'Angelo, there is still much to come. After talking for a bit about how Yacht Club got Shovel Knight to where it is, the subject of a sequel came up. D'Angelo's response? "It's definitely too early! We've still got a year of free content to generate."

The Shovel Knight team has a lot planned for the coming year, with extra content including more playable knights and more game modes. They have three more knight campaigns lined up, which should keep the game fresh and add a bit more to the story, and a multiplayer mode to better enjoy the game with friends. Hit the jump for full details.