Author Archive

Worlds Of Magic On Early Access Of Steam

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

Worlds of Magic isn’t the first game to return to Kickstarter for a second round of funding and the effort can be worthwhile. Often, after a failed attempt, devs who’ve had six months more to read up on crowdfunding strategy and secure private funding return to the dream machine for another crack at the prize after a failed first attempt. Such was not the case for Wastelands Interactive and their Master of Magic spiritual successor. They reached their goal at the first visit and decided they wanted seconds, using another campaign as a stretch goal funder. Now the fantasy 4X is in a playable state, though an Early Access one, eight months after the originally planned release date. Naturally, there’s a heavy metal trailer to go alongside.

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Ultraworld Is Ultrapretty Wandering Inside A Computer

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

Dammit. Ultraworld was going to be the name of my stunningly beautiful neon landscape filled with mystery and wonder. Ex-Crytek James Beech pipped me to the post with his first-person explorer (a term he prefers to use over ‘walking simulator’, or my personal invention ‘Feels ‘Em Up’) about helping a video game character come to terms with existence. Sort of. In the style of the genre it’s a story to be explored and to say much more would spoil the experience. Having played the first twenty minutes, I do have some mechanical thoughts though and there’s a supremely pretty trailer below.

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Platforming Inside The Walls: The Sun And Moon

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

The Sun and Moon is the latest game to go from Ludum Dare entry to fully released title. It was the overall winner of the 29th iteration of the 48 hour game jam, developer Daniel Linssen impressing with his platforming interpretation of the theme “beneath the surface.” In it you control a ball of light with the ability to phase through walls, reversing gravity while inside. Momentum is retained when transitioning and can be used for acceleration into large jumps. It’s the sort of one-mechanic puzzle platforming I love and an updated version is coming to Steam on October 31st. You can still play the Ludum Dare prototype for free, if you like.

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Extreme Loveliness In Space: Gravity Ghost

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

Oh you, giant space deer

Chill out, RPS. Get mellow. Mellower than that. Mellower. There you go. Now you’re ready for Gravity Ghost, a 2D game about floating around in space, using orbits to solve puzzles and progress. As you manoeuvre around planets you grab various powerups, which affect your motion and abilities. Small indie studio Ivy Games have made a game that has no possibility of death or failure, “just hours of blissing out.” It’s absolutely gorgeous and has a brill soundtrack from FTL’s composer. The team recently announced that the game will be coming to Steam on January 26th.

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How Divine! Divinity: Original Sin Gets New Companions

By Ben Barrett on September 16th, 2014.

Divinity: Original Sin is at the very top of my “ooo, RPGs” teetering stack, making it actually significantly more difficult to reach than if it were in the middle somewhere. It’s nice, then, that while waiting for me personally to get around to it, Larian Studios keep updating their Kickstarter-funded hit. The latest update comes along with some free DLC that adds two new companions. They are Bairdotr (pronounced “Bear Daughter,” awesomely), a ranger who is seeking the druid that raised her, and Wolgraff, a mute rogue who’s been stealing from a wishing well. Also updated are the systems for listening to the conversations being had by your co-op partner and a number of minor fixes, which are listed over on Steam. Update video below.

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Don’t Knock It Till You’ve Tried It: Don’t Starve Together

By Ben Barrett on September 12th, 2014.

FUN FACT: it’s quite difficult for two or more people to starve in close proximity, because inevitably one will begin to eat the other. With that cheeriness in mind, I’m here to tell you that sign-ups are now open for the closed beta of top-down survive-’em-up Don’t Starve‘s to-be-free multiplayer component. You don’t even need to own Don’t Starve to apply, as those accepted will be given a limited version of the client that only allows for multiplayer. All you need to do is fill in this form and hope fate smiles upon you.

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Building Spaceships Like I’m Seven Again: Reassembly

By Ben Barrett on September 12th, 2014.

My love of video games partly comes down to not owning enough Lego when I was younger to build spaceships to fight each other. Thankfully, digital Lego is plentiful and cheap. Reassembly has lots and lots, letting you use a variety of pre-constructed spaceship sections to build ever-increasing sizes of ship and destroy others, harvesting their pieces for yourself. It’s a cool concept, a bit like an expanded Captain Forever, and its blueprint-y look particularly caught my eye. Creator Arthur Danskin is looking for $28k (~£17k) on Kickstarter to finish the game up.

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WoW’s 10th Anniversary Brings Nostalgia, Molten Corgis

By Ben Barrett on September 12th, 2014.

This little guy's going to cost me about £50 and it'll probably be my best purchase ever.

Blizzard usually throw a birthday party for World of Warcraft, but are really indulging their love of pomp and nostalgia as the MMORPG hits double digits. WoW’s 10th anniversary celebrations will bring a level-100 version of the classic Molten Core raid and a new PvP battleground based on old favourite murderzones Tarren Mill and Southshore. Having a bash at those will get players special mounts and gear, but even simply logging in during the festivities (between November 21st and January 5th) will get you that adorable molten corgi pet up there.

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Friends Help Friends Kill Shadows: Warlocks

By Ben Barrett on September 11th, 2014.

I'll never tell. -The phantom alt-texter

A good boss theme sells a game more than all the marketing, CGI trailers and press conferences in the world. This is a Game Fact, with which there can be no disagreeing. Final Fantasy VII, one of the most popular and well-known games in history: great boss theme. Advance Wars, the best game on the GBA: godlike boss theme. Warlocks, a co-op wave defense action-platformer which you can play in the demo right now? Excellent boss theme. The demo was released as part of Polish studio One More Level’s attempt to secure $25k (~£15k) in crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

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Stronghold: Crusader 2′s Nefarious AIs

By Ben Barrett on September 11th, 2014.

Smashing castles down must have been bloody great. Look, ignore the horror of medival warfare, the starvation of sieges, the chaos of battle with poor communication. Pull back from the awfulness and it was essentially about blowing up somebody else’s carefully constructed Lego. Finding the largest possible rocks to throw at your enemy’s walls, inventing ever more ingenious ways to apply blunt force to a reinforced door. Plus: elves actually existed back then.

The Stronghold series and particularly its incoming iteration Crusader 2 are all about that (except the elves, for some reason). In the run up to the delayed release on September 23rd, Firefly Studios have been showing off the various AI characters who will command the opposing forces in its singleplayer skirmish and campaign modes.

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Endless Legend’s Early Access Not Endless, Ends Soon

By Ben Barrett on September 11th, 2014.

DRAGONS? I wanna play these guys.

The three-game Endless universe and its interconnecting lore is one of my favourite games-related tidbits right now. Amplitude Studios’ two in-development games, Endless Legend–a fantastical grand strategy–and Dungeon of the Endless–a roguelike dungeon crawling/tower defense–are both prequels to Endless Space. It all ties together wonderfully, with monsters from Dungeon being minor races in Legend, some of whom have become playable factions by Space. While Dungeon is still wandering the halls of Early Access, Legend is launching onto Steam proper on September 18th.
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Death To Spies 3 Infilitrates Kickstarter

By Ben Barrett on September 11th, 2014.

Specifically this spy, one would assume.

When your crowdfunding campaign fails, it’s time to have a good think about what you’re doing. Death To Spies 3 devs Haggard Games tried last year to raise $80,000 to finish their Hitman-ish murder simulator through Indiegogo, but only drew $982. Oof. They went back to work, and a year later released a demo. Now they’re back on the crowdfunding trail, launching a second attempt on Kickstarter. They’re after $85k (~£52k) this time to take the series timeline from its roots in World War 2 through to end and beyond into the Cold War.

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Hack ‘n’ Slash Leaves Early Access, Brings Source Code

By Ben Barrett on September 10th, 2014.

One of the best ideas in videogames today, Hack ‘n’ Slash, has broken out of Early Access and is running amok on Steam proper. It’s a Zelda-like 2D adventure with the ability to modify the code of many of the objects in the world. This is used for, in equal measure, puzzle solving and comedy, able to unlock doors or make NPCs endlessly rotate on the spot. This release version also brings the last chapter of the game, filled with new puzzles and mechanics, as well as updating previous areas with more content. Naturally, a game so meta also shipped with the source code and now has Steam Workshop support, letting us dig deeper into its innards.

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