Wizardly: Magic 2015 Reworking Microtransactions

By Alice O'Connor on October 21st, 2014 at 9:00 am.

Cards!

Oh, what a rare and wonderful day when Wizards of the Coast admit their pricing is wonky! Well, perhaps they haven’t admitted Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers was a bit of a mess in as many words, but they’re changing it all the same. 2015 brought to DotP the long-awaited ability to truly build your own decks from scratch. The problem was, players faced a whole lot of grind to unlock enough cards (or some ghastly microtransactions), only to discover that they couldn’t get some of the best ones without paying. Many high-powered cards are only available through ‘Premium Booster Packs’, which give you ten virtual cards for £1.49. It’s a mite cheeky. And being changed.

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Ready, Steady, Poe: The Last Door

By Adam Smith on October 21st, 2014 at 8:00 am.

The Last Door is a neat point and click horror game that flirts with Lovecraftian cosmic horror but is in a long-term relationship with the weird fiction of Edgar Allan Poe. Released episodically, it has just entered its second season, following a four chapter debut, and despite a couple of logical leaps in the puzzle department, it’s well worth playing. The price helps with the recommendation – the first season is free. Episode one of season two will be free in the future as well but is currently available to backers, in beta form. Trailer below.

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MISERY Diary: Playing Stalker’s Hardest Mod

By Angus Morrison on October 20th, 2014 at 10:00 pm.

Get to the chopper!

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

Honour is for better folk than I. Honour is for the short-lived. Honour is for the people not playing MISERY. Accordingly, I choose to play as a Sniper. I’ll pick off monsters from the safety of a nice, cosy bush, although odds-on that’ll eat me too.

MISERY is a mod for STALKER: Call of Pripyat, two all-caps games which combine to form an experience which shouts death and despair at anyone who tries to play it.

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How To Make STALKER: Call of Pripyat A Survival Game

By Angus Morrison on October 20th, 2014 at 10:00 pm.

There are lots of survival games, but there are also lots of games which could be survival games with the right mods installed. Over the course of Survival Week we’ll highlight a few of those games and i) write a diary of our experience playing with it ii) explain how to do it yourself.

Evil is nothing if not thorough. Usually I prefer to hone my experience with a series of small mods – other entries in this week-long series will do just that – but no combo comes close to the scope of the most twisted survival retool yet hatched: MISERY.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Windward

By Christopher Livingston on October 20th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Diplomacy in action.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, sailing the shimmering, procedurally generated seas of action RPG Windward.

Glimmering seas and snapping sails. Pirate ships and plundered booty. Factions fighting for control of ports and lighthouses. Cannonfire, ship-to-ship combat, pitched battles and daring escapes. Really, the only thing missing from Windward is a rousing sea shanty. Don’t worry, though. I wrote my own.

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Clockwork Empires Fixes Corpses, Hunger, Fishpeople

By Graham Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

It’s a good day for lovers of silly patch notes. First, Dwarf Fortress – ever the best source for strange bugs and changes – tweeted to say that you no longer needed to soap your eyes. Then an update for Clockwork Empires – a Lovecraftian town management sim with more than a little Dwarf Fortress in its DNA – came with tales of angry fishpeople.

Also some other, genuinely useful new features for the game’s Early Access build.

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The Clothes Off His Back: Neo Scavenger Diary #1

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Neo Scavenger is one of the best turn-based RPGs I’ve ever played. Although still in Early Access, it has oodles of content and has received several hefty updates since I first played it. As part of Survival Week, I decided to document a single playthrough of the game. No quicksaves, no restarts, no chance. Here’s how I died.

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Spelunky’s Creator Is Writing A Book About Spelunky

By Graham Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

I’ve had a copy of ZZT by Anna Anthropy – a book about the game of the same name – kicking around for six months, but I haven’t yet had the time to read it. That prompted me to almost instantly scroll by news that the same publisher was Kickstarting a second series of books in the same vein: small, independently published, and each focused on a different game.

Then I saw that one of the books in the second series is about Spelunky. And it’s written by Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky. And the project is already funded anyway.

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First Of Many? Ultimate General: Gettysburg Released

By Graham Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Ultimate General: Gettysburg is out. The historical real-time strategy game that got The Flare Path’s heart fluttering is now finished with Early Access and available in final form.

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Jetcar Combat-o-racing: Quantum Rush Champions

By Alice O'Connor on October 20th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Nyooom!

While futuristic racing is defined by Wipeout for many, for me it’ll always be dear old MegaRace. My futuristic racing comes as a dystopian TV show starring campy presenter Lance Boyle in reels of reels of full-motion video. Pre-rendered 3D! FMV! Prizes! Even the name is exciting: MegaRace! It’s a bit pants, of course. I recognise I have a problem, and that jetcars are probably my salvation.

Quantum Rush first caught our compound eye last year with its pretty jetcars and wacky idea of Kickstarting a free-to-play multiplayer game (which, obviously, failed). Developers GameArt Studio persevered and in July released Quantum Rush Online, and now have followed up with singleplayer-only jetcar combat-o-racer Quantum Rush Champions. It’s on Steam Early Access for £3.99, which is more appealing to my hovercar hankerings than a F2P oddity.

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Have You Played… UnReal World?

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014 at 3:30 pm.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

This has nothing to do with the popular FPS series, Unreal. It’s much more interesting. UnReal World has been a mainstay on various hard drives that I’ve owned since I first discovered it at some point in the mid-nineties. The first release was in 1992 and to describe the game as being ‘a bit ahead of its time’ would be like describing Usain Bolt as ‘quite fast’. Unfamiliar at the time, the elements of play are now a genre in and of themselves. It’s an RPG about wilderness survival, with borrowings from the roguelike ocean, and an enormous amount of things to craft.

It’s also, quite possibly, the best example of its type.

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Surviving Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure

By John Walker on October 20th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

When browsing through Steam to spot any survival games I might have missed, I discovered there was one that we had woefully overlooked. Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure.

Now, it’s fair to say I could have been a little more sceptical about the tagging, what with its also being listed as both “Family Friendly” and “Nudity”, but that wasn’t going to deter me. I could also perhaps have perceived it as a sign when, midway through installing, the particular hard drive switched itself off.

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Alone In The… Survival Horror 2Dark

By Alice O'Connor on October 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Boo!

Children rarely know when to shut up, even when it’s for their own good. I remember a sibling ‘whispering’ “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BOMB?” while our vaguely Irish-ish family’s car was searched by customs at Dover port in the early ’90s, the week after an IRA bombing. Shut up, children.

2Dark has children who should be quiet too. It’s a survival horror lead by Frederick Raynal, a designer on seminal survival horror Alone in the Dark, about rescuing children from serial killers’ lairs and leading them out safely. Luckily, here you can give them a good shushing. It’s having a crack at crowdfunding.

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