The New Curiosity Shop: Itch.io Interview

By Adam Smith on April 23rd, 2014.

I visit some strange places during my daily trawls across the vastness of the internet. The search for obscure and eclectic games demands a willingness to look beyond the convenience store of Steam and the archive of Good Old Games, and in recent months I’ve found myself visiting itch.io on a regular basis. I didn’t intend to visit on such a regular basis but interesting games increasingly linked to the site as a download portal. In a reversal of the common high street trend, itch.io is a rapidly expanding independent store, with plenty of freebies alongside the paid goods.

Designed as an open platform, it aims to give developers control over the sale or distribution of their games. I contacted creator Leaf Corcoran to learn more.

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Cardboard Children – Rab’s Top 50: BREAKDOWN 1

By Robert Florence on April 22nd, 2014.

Hello youse.

Never let it be said that I don’t listen to feedback. After the first part of my Top 50 list last week, quite a few people asked that I go into a little bit more detail on the games I selected. So, here’s the plan – the week after each part, I’ll do an analysis piece talking about the games that are in the list. That means that this week I’ll be revisiting last week’s video to look at my choices. Next week – the next part of the list. The week after – analysis of THAT part. The video will be for the reveal and the light description, and the follow-up piece will be for more talk about the games. You dig?

Also, I don’t need to be all PG-friendly in these in-between columns, because my wee lassie ain’t directing them. BOOM!

HEY, IT WAS YOUR IDEA.

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Wot I Think: Trials Fusion

By Craig Pearson on April 22nd, 2014.

I must go, my people need me.

I was ready to love Trials Fusion. Trials Evolution Gold Edition turned out to be the perfect game to play when I didn’t have much time or didn’t know what to play. It filled in the holes of a busy day or fixed a boring evening. I didn’t care that it was only on Uplay, and I didn’t suffer any the bugs that bogged it down a little in John’s review. It’s so good, so willing to be completely OTT, that it charmed the backwheel off me. Can Trials Fusion pull off the same trick? Here’s wot I think.
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A Clash Of Shafts: Three Flight Sticks Compared

By Alec Meer on April 22nd, 2014.

I’ve spent far too long thinking about and researching joysticks lately, primarily as a result of playing Elite: Dangerous. One thing I haven’t established during all that time is whether ‘joystick’ is the right word for a genre of game controller which also throws out terms like ‘flight stick’ and ‘HOTAS.’ I’ve probably offended someone with just the title of this piece, but then again someone like decided that Hot Ass is a perfectly reasonably thing to call a ‘Hands On Throttle-And-Stick.’ Someone also thought that writing ‘VIBRATION’ in enormous capital letters down the shaft of one of the three sticks I’m looking at here was sensible. Basically, the joy/flightstick industry is a place where innuendo goes to die.

In any case, I’m sticking with ‘joystick’, and I’m using it as a term for three very different types (and costs) of stick I’ve looked at in my recent return to space games. Those are, in descending price order, the Saitek X52 Pro, the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro and the Speedlink Black Widow.
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Interview: Gnah! A Windosill-Inspired Game About Heads

By Graham Smith on April 22nd, 2014.

I was in love with Gnah! the second I saw it. Each of this puzzle game’s levels is a hollow head drawn and modelled in a crisp, graphic style. When you sit down to play it, your objective isn’t explicitly stated, and so you just start to spin it around and poke at it. Twirl this cog to make its eyes open, angle this search light to make screens light up inside, twist this nodule to let the water in. By experimenting with each level-headed toy, you discover its logic and unlock progress to the next. There was some non-euclidean trickery in the build I played, but otherwise it’s a gentle experience, more interested in the delight and discovery of playing with heads than in making you scratch your own.

To find out more about the game I spoke to Samuel Boucher, Saleem Dabbous and Nick Rudzicz from developers KO-OP MODE about how each level begins as a 2D concept, the tragedy of each Gnah head, and the inspiration they’ve drawn from Windosill and Polly Pockets.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Viscera Cleanup Detail

By Christopher Livingston on April 21st, 2014.

Really? You couldn't have used a pen and paper?

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, space station sanitation in Viscera Cleanup Detail.

I’ve been picking internal organs off the floor, mopping blood off the walls, cramming severed limbs and heads into an incinerator, and I’ve only just now noticed the shell casings, dozens of them, scattered around the room. In every other game, spent shell casings vanish when you’re not looking. If you ever wondered where they end up, it’s here, in Viscera Cleanup Detail, where they wait to be picked up, one by one. It makes me desperately wish for that Bioshock Infinite vigor that lets you collect bullets into a big hovering mass. Of course, vigors like that tend to lead to scenes of carnage like this. A simple magnet on a stick might be a better idea.
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Impressions: FRACT OSC

By Alec Meer on April 21st, 2014.

FRACT OSC is a semi-open world puzzle game themed around electronic music. It looks like Tron with more dodecahedrons and sounds like some impossibly cool Berlin club only 12 people have ever heard of. It’s out tomorrow, but I spent a few days with it last week.
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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Fluffy Showdown

By Cassandra Khaw on April 19th, 2014.

If it wasn’t obvious already, I have a camera. An actual camera. Not a dinky, built-into-my-phone camera but an actual camera. Obviously, plushie-related images are now going to appear in abundance. (Bargain Bucket regulars may recognize the floppy white figure in the foreground; it’s the first plushie we ever featured on this column.) As always, it’s that time of the week again and it looks like the Bargain Bucket has discounted shinies to spare.

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The Flare Path: And The Long Good Friday

By Tim Stone on April 18th, 2014.

Traditionally, Christian Flareopaths spend Good Friday deep in prayer, while heathen ones spend it deep in brass, brine, or cumulonimbus. A bad case of housemaid’s knee and a dead PSU means I can’t play or pray today. I’m desperately hoping the ten activities detailed below will prove engaging enough to keep boredom at bay until bedtime.

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Wot I Think: Lego The Hobbit

By Adam Smith on April 17th, 2014.

Lego The Hobbit could simply be called ‘There’ because there ain’t no ‘Back Again’. Lacking the narrative content that will form the final third of the swollen and gaseous film trilogy, this is a perfectly acceptable entry in Traveller’s Tales’ Lego franchise but the release comes at an odd time. The disappointing Lego Movie Videogame is barely out of diapers and Smaug has finished his desolation of multiplexes, leaving the game stranded in the wilderness before the final chapter of an unfinished story. Here’s wot I think.

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Impressions: Broforce

By Marsh Davies on April 17th, 2014.

Broforce is a run-and-gun platformer which joyously spoofs the bellicose masculinity of action cinema. It’s available on Steam Early Access for £12/$15, but its featureset punches above its alpha status: singleplayer, online co-op, deathmatch, time trials, a level editor and more are already in a fairly well-polished state with more tweaks and content planned.

Here are three uncharitable assumptions you might have made about Broforce: it’s a ten-a-penny mindless blaster; the whole “bro” thing makes it more ironic meme than game; it’s snoresomely reverent of bygone shooters like Contra. Happily, Broforce dodges all these bullets like a spry Sly Stallone weaving through a hail of preposterously inaccurate Kalashnikov fire. On the evidence of its Early Access release, it’s actually a game of breezy invention and energetic pace which deploys both its nostalgia for action films and pixellated shooters with a lightness of touch. And, though there’s a very good deal of carnage, it enforces some degree of tactical caution – partly because even a single bullet will kill you, but mostly because the levels are wholly and very readily destructible, quickly evaporating over-eager bros in devastating chain detonations or squashing them with falling detritus.

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