Watch The Night Drift By In Night Tune

By Alice O'Connor on January 30th, 2015 at 9:45 pm.

I had meant to tell you about Night Tune [official site] when it came out two weeks ago, but its dreaminess interfered. Every time I load it up, my eyes get heavy, my focus fades, and soon I’m held trancelike as the night drifts by. It’s a free little treat where we’re driven endlessly, aimlessly through the night, the passenger of a phantom driver. Road lights, car lights, and warning lights illuminate and silhouette buildings we can’t quite make out, and our bleary head lolls over while the radio plays MP3s we feed it. Look, I’ll show you.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

5 Comments »

Arx Again Later: How Arx Fatalis Blended RPG Eras

By Sin Vega on January 30th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Confession time: I don’t like dungeon crawlers. The very name says it all. Why would anyone want to go to the non-sexy kind of dungeon? And crawling – the form of movement reserved for times of serious injury and distress – around a dungeon? It’s a recipe for a dreary, ugly casserole, served by a skeleton archer in a rusty slime-edged prison bucket with a bowl of kamikaze rats.

But then there’s Arx Fatalis [official site], released in 2002 by Arkane Studios. I should hate it. It’s made of brown tunnels echoing with ambient dripping and distant wailing. It’s full of goblins and trolls and spiders and rats. You start in an Easily Escapable Prison, naked, with amnesia. It should bore me rigid, but through some arca… through some recondite formula it turns these uninspiring tropes into an imperfect, but unique and underappreciated brew.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

20 Comments »

Can’t Craft, Won’t Craft

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Crafting requires commitment. How does a person wary of settling down survive in the barren worlds of Minecraft, Terraria and Starbound? A tale of tourism, travel and cooperative tension.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

17 Comments »

Viking Space Program Is Exploding With Awesome

By Cassandra Khaw on January 30th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

Yes, little Kerbal. At least, there's that.

Long ago, before the seduction of fast food and motorized vehicles, there resided vikings in the land of Kerbin. It was not an easy time. These fearsome Kerbals lived and died with their colossal ships, which spat flame like the behinds of dragons. But like their eventual descendants, they persisted and grew from strength to strength. Their endless quest for naval perfection was known as the Viking Space Program and it was, like everything else in Kerbin, kinda cool.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

9 Comments »

Pac-Python: Pix The Cat

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Pix the Cat [official site] is a score attack arcade game that mashes Pac-Man and Snake together. Pix runs through mazes, boosting by selecting a direction before he hits a junction as in Pac-Man DX Edition, and collects eggs. The eggs hatch and a trail of ducklings follows Pix – the longer the trail, the greater the risk of colliding with it, and the greater the speed at which Pix moves.

Oh, but Pix the Cat is also a puzzle game in which every egg must be collected before Pix hits the drop-off point. In this mode it’s about calculating the outcome of every move, across tightly designed levels. There’s also a multiplayer mode with missile-launching catbots.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

5 Comments »

Watch Magical Procedural Trees Grow In Starboretum

By Alice O'Connor on January 30th, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

Sooner or later, we all make the little flowers grow.

At the intersection of three of my greatest passions – plants, wandering, and watching plants grow – sprouts a new work-in-progress look at the tech behind Starboretum [official site]. Also trees. Lots of trees. They sprout, rise, branch out, and spread their leaves, powered by magical procedural generation. Starboretum’s made by Alex May, one half of the duo behind arboreal RTS Eufloria. As an expert virtuatree-watching wanderer, I must say this video is just the ticket for a Friday afternoon.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

13 Comments »

Have You Played… Mini Metro?

By Alec Meer on January 30th, 2015 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.

None-more-minimalist railway management game (or is it?) Mini Metro is relatively new (I last wrote about it in August, even), but it’s tended to hum away in the background rather than ever quite find the limelight, so permit me to praise it anew. When it comes down to it, railways (in this case, underground ones) are lines, right? Whoever’s designed them thus surely worries primarily about lines.* Someone else can sort out the money and the elevators and the timetables: the railway designer’s job is devise the most efficient route between A and B, and then again to C, D, E, F, G, H and oh come on, you know what I mean, I don’t have to write out the whole alphabet, do I?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

9 Comments »

Over $57 Million Paid Out To Steam Workshop Creators

By Alice O'Connor on January 30th, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

It's the Steam logo.

$57 million US is a lot of money. So’s $58 million, but I mention $57m specifically because that’s how much Valve have paid out since 2011 to folks who made and sold in-game items for their games. It’s over $57 million dollars from hats, knives, guns, staves, and swords across TF2, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. And those last two games only sell cosmetic items. And that’s after Valve have taken their cut. Crumbs!

Now non-Valve games can join in. The first games opening up a ‘curated’ Steam Workshop bringing items to sale are Chivalry: Medieval Warfare and Dungeon Defenders Eternity.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

85 Comments »

Greeting Seasons: Frozen Cortex Adds Singleplayer

By Adam Smith on January 30th, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Mode 7’s simultaneous turn-based future-sport game, Frozen Cortex [official site], has received an enormous update, adding a lifetime’s worth of singleplayer content. Even if you expect your own lifetime to cover an extended period, you should be covered – the update includes randomised seasons, persistent story elements, commentators, a perma-death knockout mode and loads of unique players. I’ve been looking forward to this as much as almost any other game this year.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

10 Comments »

The Flare Path: In Search Of A Sub Title Subtitle

By Tim Stone on January 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

The eyecatching Yellow Pages advert that is currently serving as my bookmark, is tucked between the pages of Bob Whinney’s ‘The U-Boat Peril’ at the moment, a fact that may explain why work-in-progress sub sim Wolves of the Atlantic is on top of this week’s word heap. A mobile game destined for the PC, WOTA seems eminently dismissable until you glimpse the screenshots, peruse the feature list, and realise that lone creator Mark Hessburg is drawn to realism like a GNAT is drawn to propeller noise. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

35 Comments »

A… Match 3 App? Evolve Makes Things So Complicated

By Alec Meer on January 30th, 2015 at 12:20 pm.

noooooooooooooo

I really want to like Evolve (official site). I’ve dabbled a little in the beta, and while it doesn’t have anything like the character or tension of Left 4 Dead, a whole lot about it felt good. I just can’t say the same of what’s happening outside the game. There’s been too much focus on too much DLC before the game’s even with us, and now it turns out there’s a match-3 companion game for telephones, which will accelerate progress in the game proper. It’s free, but you can pay real money to boost your progress in the mobile game. Which will then boost your progress in the main game. And. Well. No. God. Why.

Sometimes a guy just wants to hunt a monster/pretend to be a monster. Why can’t it be that simple any more?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

33 Comments »

The Internet Did It – The Indigo Prophecy Remastered

By Alec Meer on January 30th, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

murder victims who don't scream: the bane of local police

Of all the games to remaster, why this? Of all the games to remaster, this, yes, this, of course. What a thing it is, the action-adventure-murder-mystery-conspiracy-everything game we called Fahrenheit back when it was first released in Britain a decade ago, though you over-ponders insisted on calling it The Indigo Prophecy. And what a talking point David Cage/Quantic Dream’s 2005 oddity was, back when I was part of Bath’s game journalist illuminati.* Its incredible escape-from-a-murder-scene first section, its… troubling depiction of its main black character, its ridiculous sex scenes, its wildly over-zealous quicktime event conceits, its spiralling descent into utter lunacy. How we loved it. How we loved to talk about it, anyway. Little did we know what it would lead to. Little did we know what David Cage games would become.

And now it’s back. Remastered. Out now. Why? Why not?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

54 Comments »

Freeware Garden: Echoes +

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on January 30th, 2015 at 11:00 am.

I am certain I have run into quite a few commercial arena shooters that couldn’t hold a candle to Echoes +. It might work as a replacement for Waves, which is an absolutely excellent game, but one that I’ve been playing for far too long. A new, tense, addictive, glowy shmup was something I needed.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

5 Comments »