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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Impressions: Shadowrun Online Early Access

By Rich Stanton on April 16th, 2014.

The honeymoon period for Kickstarter is long over. There are a number of reasons why but perhaps the most impactful is the failure of several high-profile campaigns to deliver what was promised, or going full Darth Vader: ‘We are altering the deal, pray we don’t alter it any further.’ Such drek leads us to Shadowrun Online – a game that was due for release in May 2013, but on March 31 2014 crept onto Steam Early Access, available for sale to non-backers at the princely sum of £25. So what’s going on?

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Dwarf Fortress: The Detailed Roguelike That’s Easy To Play

By Graham Smith on April 16th, 2014.

Dwarf Fortress is famous for producing anecdotes by the minute. The two-man, twelve-year, donation-funded indie project weaves together procedurally generated geography, civilizations and histories to create a rich fantasy world. It simulates its characters – standard fare like dwarves, elves, goblins, etc. – down to the most minute detail, and when all its systems combine, the results are often hilarious, occasionally tragic, and always surprising.

It’s also blissfully easy to play. The game is free to download and easy to install, the UI comes with a detailed and handy help system, and there’s a community wiki full of guides – not that you’ll need them. I started from scratch last night and was having fun immediately. Let me tell you about my experience.

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R2-Detailed: X-Wing Alliance Resurrected

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2014.

Now that I’ve got a massive and over-complicated joystick, the only games I’m interested in playing are games which are best-suited to a massive and over-complicated joystick. Yes, yes, I’ll get to Freespace and its total conversions, but first I had some unfinished business to take care of. TIE Fighter was my last substantial experience with Totally Games and Lucasarts’ revered series of Star Wars-themed space combat sims, and I had only a dim sense of how the flighty-fighty games had progressed afterwards. I elected to skip X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and go straight to the end, 1999′s full 3D X-Wing Alliance.
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Cardboard Children: Rab’s Top 50 (50-41)

By Robert Florence on April 15th, 2014.

Hey youse.

Please enjoy the first bit of my Top 50 Boardgames of All Time video. I tried to keep it as brief as possible. 50-41 this week. My 7 year old daughter directed it. Please enjoy.

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Wot I Think: Path Of Exile

By Adam Smith on April 15th, 2014.

Sometimes it takes a while to make a judgement. I spent a fair amount of time with Path Of Exile’s beta but hadn’t revisited the release version for more than seven or eight hours in total until I decided to write something about it a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve been back to the grim shores of Wraeclast for a long vacation and have stared deep into the heart of the passive skill tree’s labyrinth depths, I’m ready to tell you wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Moebius

By John Walker on April 15th, 2014.

One of the higher profile Kickstarters in the Great Wave of 2012 was Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s half-million pot for her new Pinkerton Road Studio. The first project to emerge from this, in collaboration with Phoenix Online, is Moebius: Empire Rising. A brand new adventure game featuring a genius antiques dealer and a worldwide, history-spanning mystery. Is it any good? Spoiler: No, it’s astonishingly terrible. Here’s wot I think:

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The Lighthouse Customer: Space Engineers (Survival Mode)

By Christopher Livingston on April 14th, 2014.

This thing better have at least one cup holder.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, space-based gathering, crafting, and dying in Space Engineers’ new survival mode.

There’s a large red and white spaceship, its front end crumpled after what must have been a spectacular nosedive. There’s a tiny yellow space engineer inspecting the wreck, armed with only a handful of tools. There’s the inky blackness of outer space, the comforting glow of a distant sun, and an asteroid field of stationary rocks, chock-full of ore and minerals to mine. As the astronaut floats there, enchanted by the view, he notices a few of the asteroids — quite a few, in fact — have given up waiting for him to visit them and taken a more proactive stance. They’re delivering themselves to him. Well, at him, anyway. In an awful hurry.

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