Cardboard Children – Jamaica

By Robert Florence on July 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Hello youse.

Every home should have a good family game. What is a family game? It’s a game that the whole family can play, obviously. Can’t you work any of this stuff out for yourself? If I have to explain every single concept to you we’re going to be here all day! Anyway, a great family game is something that mum, dad, the kids, granny and the weird lodger in the basement can play. It is easy to explain, plays quick, and great fun. It also helps if it looks beautiful. Sadly, a game with all these qualities is as rare as rocking horse shit (which is even more rare nowadays – jeez, when was the last time you even saw a rocking horse?). Oh, but, anyway, point is, I got a family game for you. Read on.

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Downloadable Coronet: Dark Souls II – Lost Crowns DLC

By Adam Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Hats are a core part of the gamer experience. Team Fortress 2 knows how strong the craving for sweet skull-socks truly is. Dark Souls takes itself a bit too seriously to join in with the hat hunting though. Like the sneering monarch that it is, From’s not-quite-as-much-of-a-masterpiece-as-the-previous-two is usually seen wearing a helmet in place of a hat. It anticipates an assault. Occasionally it’ll upgrade to a crown, which is essentially a very expensive hat that is too heavy to lob onto a hatstand. A DLC trilogy covers the retrieval of Dark Souls’ favourite posh hats and the first part is out today.

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Wot I Think: Dynetzzle Extended

By John Walker on July 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Dynetzzle Extended may be the worst name of a game I’ve ever seen, but the puzzle is interesting. I took a look at the free 10 level version back in March, and now the full 25 level version is released, for a mere single dollar. Does it expand nicely into a larger puzzle game? Here’s wot I think:

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Viking Versus Giants: Jotun Now Kickstarting

By Alice O'Connor on July 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

You won't see Thora Hird doing that.

Say the name Thora and I’ll think of dear Thora Hird or Thora Birch, entirely missing its origins as the feminine version of Thor. Seeing Jotun makes this smack-bang blindingly obvious. Not one to give an Alan Bennett monologue or act precocious, she’s more into slaying giants. Giant giants.

“Imagine the mysterious romantic mood of Journey mixed with the scale of the boss fights in Shadow of the Colossus in top-down 2D,” developers Thunder Lotus Games suggest. Don’t mind if I do! If you enjoy imagining that enough, you mighty fancy helping make it unimaginary. Thunder Lotus are running a Kickstarter for Jotun, do you see?

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Editorial: Game Names Are Almost Universally Terrible

By Graham Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

This book should exist.

NEW SINGLE PURPOSE CONSULTING FIRM TARGETS GAME INDUSTRY
Don’t Name Your Game That, Ltd. Has One Piece Of Advice And You Can Have It For Free

Bath, EnglandJuly 21, 2014–Don’t Name Your Game That, an internet-based consulting firm today announced that it would lend voice and cheap jokes to the internal screams of followers of game news everywhere. “It’s time to put an end to forgettable, unsearchable, derivative, non-sensical and downright awful names everywhere,” said company founder Dr. Stephen Farts.

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A Team Won Dota 2′s International, Plus Misc. Thoughts

By Alice O'Connor on July 22nd, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Newbee lift the Aegis, a shield inscribed with the names of winners.

So, The International 2014 is over. Newbee gave fellow Chinese team ViCi Gaming quite the drubbing on Monday to win $5,028,174. Competitive Dota 2 was broadcast on the ESPN cable sports network. Are digital sports now mainstream? Is this It, is this The Moment? No, of course not.

This year’s International has widespread attention because of that honking great prize pool of $10,930,814, the spectacle, and the novelty. Minor details like who won only matter on the day to most. So today, any old Tuesday, why post about it? The International 2014 will still matter in days, weeks, or months because of where loads of that moolah came from: fans. Valve are crowdfunding arena-filling tournaments and gamifying fandom. And somehow making that not awful?

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Offworld Trading Company Prototype Now Available For $80

By Graham Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

Offworld Trading Company, the “economic RTS” being developed by Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson and Mohawk Games, now has a playable prototype available. The catch: it costs $80, its under NDA, and there’s no publicly available screenshots, videos or comments to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The game’s FAQ explains that they “intend the $80 Founder’s Elite Edition to cater to people who want to get their feedback into the design process as early as possible, either out of love for the concept of Offworld Trading Company or respect for Soren Johnson and the rest of the Mohawk team’s previous work.”

Is this a good thing? I can’t decide, so you tell me.

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First Person, Cuter: Lovely Planet

By Adam Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

I spent almost a year of my life lugging a few Lonely Planets around in a backpack but I don’t think I’ve ever had a Lovely Planet to call my own. Gaming often introduces me to dead planets, toxic planets, desolate planets, living planets that eat other planets, and the occasional meat or bone planet, but lovely planets are rare. Quick Tequila’s first-person shooter lives up to its name though, with colours and cuteness aplenty. The aesthetic caught my eye but it’s the running, jumping and targeting that kept the eye from wandering.

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Mode Seven Explain Why Frozen Cortex Left The Frendzone

By Alec Meer on July 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

Frozen Synapse developers Mode Seven have been quietly talking about changing the name of their exceedingly clever but regrettably-titled strategic robo-sports game Frozen Endzone for some time now. Tired of all the friendzone puns and concerned about how much it overstated the American Football aspect, they’ve only gone and done it. Frozen Endzone is no more: as of today we have Frozen Cortex. Or, Frendzone is no more: now we have FroCo.

The name isn’t all that’s changed. As of any minute now, Frozen Cortex also boasts a new, more heavily sci-fi look, revamped AI, a big performance boost and Mac/Linux builds. This is a major update, not a mere rebrand. I had a chat with Mode Seven’s Paul Taylor and Ian Hardingham about why they’ve changed so much after so long – including their reasoning for (and risks of) that rebranding. Read on for that and a glimpse of the new-look game.
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Canada Route Zero: Highway Of Tears Demo

By Adam Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Digging through the RPS archives can be rather alarming. Highway of Tears looks like the kind of game our keen eyes may have spotted so I dutifully typed the first few letters into the ‘tag’ search – ‘h-i-g-h-way To The Reich’, the form completed itself and waited for my approval. No. Bad form. Bad RPS. I’ll deal with this situation right away. I wonder what other innocent words produce a single disturbing response?

Highway of Tears caught my eye because it has a strong set of influences, including Kentucky Route Zero, True Detective and ‘the mythology of the Haida aboriginals’. That already makes for a more attractive point and click prospect than ‘comedy anti-hero’ or ‘rubbish [insert job title]‘. A demo is available.

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H2O: Chemical Puzzler Sokobond Now On Steam

By Alice O'Connor on July 22nd, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Bond those chemicals!

Now, let’s be clear. When I say “Hey, Sokobond has been out since September but now it’s on Steam,” I don’t mean to imply that you should refuse to buy games not on Steam, and I don’t want to encourage people who do. But a game being on Steam always draws more attention, and launching on Steam can reintroduce it to a larger audience. A Sokoban-y puzzler shifting and bonding atoms to form chemical compounds is a quiet and unassuming sort of game, after all. But a good one.

Hey, Sokobond has been out since September but now it’s on Steam.

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Bird-Brained: Nelly Cootalot’s On Greenlight

By John Walker on July 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am.

The extremely lovely point and click adventure Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy appeared when RPS was but a fledgling chick, not sure how to arrange text and images. The game, however, knew exactly how to arrange such things, the sweetest love letter from boyfriend to girlfriend, and a damned funny little adventure too. Last year saw a sequel, The Fowl Fleet successfully seek funding on Kickstarter, and in the time since creator Alasdair Beckett-King has teamed up with Application Systems to complete the game. There’s a new trailer, below, and a Greenlight campaign.

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Awkward Zombie: A Gaming Webcomic About Games

By Graham Smith on July 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am.

The best type of joke.

There is an arc to popular videogame webcomics: they start off being about videogames and then they drift, as the creator and audience change and develop, to being more about the characters contained within the comic. It makes sense that as people become more invested in their own creative world, they’d shift slightly from solely making jokes about other people’s.

Praise be for Awkward Zombie, a videogame webcomic which has been open in my browser for three weeks. As I’ve sat here, clicking through its years and years of archives, reading its jokes about PC games (and Nintendo games) instead of working, a thought occurs. If I share this fun with other people, it becomes work. These hours wasted were research.

So there we go. You can click the link and start reading for yourself, or you can step below for some examples and some prattling about joke forms.

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