Hands On: Renowned Explorers

By Adam Smith on August 26th, 2014.

Renowned Explorers was like an oasis of calm and colour in the cavernous halls of Gamescom. It’s a game about travelling the world in search of impressive artifacts to show off at the World Expo, but rather than making the journey into a nightmare of scurvy and resource management, developers Abbey Games have opted for a sort of turn-based tactics adventure that combines Tintin, Indiana Jones and Jules Verne. It’s a game in which scientists wield Tesla guns and the Mexican contingent of the expedition is a lady Luchador who can pin pirates to the ground while her buddies charm the peglegs off them.

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Impressions: Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary

By Richard Cobbett on August 26th, 2014.

Turns out the Sins of the Fathers was having a whole lineage devoted to burning witches and still never inventing smores. Luckily Gabriel is more prepared. If only there was some lava or something around to add that extra sulphur kick. Also, more witches at around 3AM when the munchies really strike.

Reluctant shadow hunter Gabriel Knight returns to the scene of his first case soon, and we’ve played through the first few days (though for this one, we’ll be talking just about a recent build offering a polished up version of Days 1 and 2). Will history repeat itself both inside and out of the game and turn a 90s adventure classic into a modern one too? Here’s some impressions.

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Impressions: Mini Metro

By Alec Meer on August 26th, 2014.

Sounds like an old British car, is in actual fact about designing underground rail systems. Basically, if you’d rather not play anything to do with transport, walk away now.

No, no, hey, come on, I didn’t mean that, let’s sit down and talk about this. I didn’t really want to play anything to do with transport either, but I’m glad I did. Mini Metro is about subway systems, but it isn’t really about subway systems.
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The Lighthouse Customer: Dex

By Christopher Livingston on August 25th, 2014.

I will punch out all of your elbow-blood! All of it!

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week: thugs, drugs, and alpha-induced amnesia in side-scrolling cyberpunk RPG Dex.

Behind one door, someone sells me noodles. Behind another, someone tries to punch me to death. I buy pornographic magazines and toilet paper, then walk down the street and pay for a stranger’s organ transplant. I upload a computer virus into a vending machine that sells condoms, then buy myself a set of cybernetic legs and visit a prostitute. Who am I? Where am I? Why am I doing these things? I’m Dex, I’m in a cyberpunk world, and I have absolutely no idea.

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The Sunday Papers

By Graham Smith on August 24th, 2014.

Sundays are for remaining steadfast, even as all common sense suggests otherwise.

  • Writing for the New York Times, Chris Suellentrop salutes the underappreciated women videogame pioneers, and discusses the need for exhibitions which celebrate their work.
  • The first commercially released game designed by a woman is believed to be Ms. Shaw’s 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe for the Atari 2600 in 1980. That year, Dona Bailey programmed the colorful arcade shooter Centipede for Atari. Ms. Shaw designed River Raid, a game I spent countless hours with as a boy, for Activision in 1983. Roberta Williams wrote, among other pioneering computer games, King’s Quest in 1984.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Black Saturday

By Cassandra Khaw on August 23rd, 2014.

Here, in Malaysia, Hungry Ghost Festival is slowly creeping towards the end and soon, it will once again be safe to gallivant through dark alleys. Or something. (You shouldn’t visit dark alleys anywhere, folks. It is a Bad Idea.) This week has been a turbulent mess, for more than one reason, and I apologize for the lack of caffeine-driven cheer. It rather doesn’t help that today has been declared a national occasion for mourning. But where there is life, there is hope! At least, that’s the idea. Enjoy this week’s bucket of bargains, and Mike Luard’s Sonic the Hedgehog Plushie.

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Wot I Think: Metro Redux

By Christopher Livingston on August 22nd, 2014.

Many Artyoms died to bring us this screenshot.

The beautifully bleak first-person shooters Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light have both been retooled and are being resold: a bit weird since the latter only came out last year. Is Metro Redux worth the dough if you already own the original games? How about if you don’t? How about if, like me, you own one but not the other? Well, here’s whut ah thank, y’all! (Note: I’m an American. We all talk like that.)

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The Flare Path: And The Battling Bastards Of Charlie Sector

By Tim Stone on August 22nd, 2014.

Those creatures perched on the finials of Castle Shotgun? Pigs. The headline on the front of today’s Hell Gazette – “HITLER AND STALIN WIN FIGURE SKATING GOLDS IN INAUGURAL WINTER GAMES”? Totally true. Pour yourself a stiff drink and schedule an emergency meeting between your eyebrows and hairline. You’re about to read a late but heartfelt billet-doux to Wargame: Red Dragon on RPS! Read the rest of this entry »

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Week in Tech: Bent Screens, Reversible USB, AMD SSDs

By Jeremy Laird on August 21st, 2014.

I’ve been dreading this moment for some time. But inevitably, inexorably, irresistibly it’s happened. LG has announced a curved LCD monitor. Specifically, we’re talking 34-inches of bent IPS panel in the super-wide 21:9 form factor that had me gushing like an idiot the other week. Admittedly I haven’t seen it first hand. But curved HDTVs are an appalling gimmick conceived to exploit the most base consumerist tendencies. I suspect bent PC monitors will be just as bad. Meanwhile, you might think the requirement for correct orientation of USB connectors upon insertion is hardly the most onerous threat to humanity’s collective well-being. But the finalisation of USB Type-C looks set to put an end to it, regardless. Oh, and I have a little – but only a little – more on the Intel Haswell-E uber platform I mentioned last week, Freesync monitors are said to be coming soon and, whaddya know, AMD is doing SSDs… Read the rest of this entry »

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An Hour With: Shadowgate

By John Walker on August 21st, 2014.

Shadowgate is back. The 1987 RPG adventure, probably the most fondly remembered MacVenture and a distinct entry into the NES’s catalogue, has been remade and expanded. It’s out now, and I’ve played it for an hour or so. I grumble.

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Impressions: Galactic Civilizations 3

By Brendan Caldwell on August 21st, 2014.

Gal Civ 3 has warped from Early Access alpha to Early Access beta, and brought with it more (but not all) features to the famous, 4X strategy game. Is it worth your time or money yet? We sent Brendan to investigate.

Picture the scene. You are a peaceful, religious race of extra-terrestrials, but you are inexplicably at war with the three rival civilisations that surround you. Your people love you for your mindfulness but they are upset that they don’t have more money to spend. Your desert planet full of shopping centres is deeply unhappy. Your planet full of scorpions is booming. Huge lettering drops from the sky! GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS III.

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Dote Night: How Did I Spend £215 On A ‘Free’ Game!?

By Philippa Warr on August 20th, 2014.

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Confession: I have spent approximately $357.38 on a free videogame. Three hundred and fifty seven dollars and thirty eight cents.

Second confession: Actually it’s a little more than that.

The figure Valve gives you is related to the badges you earn by collecting sets of trading cards in the game. To find out how much you’ve spent in Dota 2 just go to the badges section of your profile, look at Dota 2 and then click on “How do I earn card drops?” The card drops in free-to-play games are linked to the money you spend in-game and so Steam will tell you how close you are to earning your next card drop. It also tells you how much you’ve spent but only in the period since they introduced card drops.

For me that’s just north of £215 and I’m going to try to answer the question “Why?”

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Hands-On: Pillars Of Eternity

By Adam Smith on August 20th, 2014.

After publishing my thorough conversation with Pillars of Eternity lead designer Josh Sawyer, I realised that I hadn’t actually expressed an opinion about the game. I was curious and hopeful but hadn’t had a chance to play it, and see how well all of the elements came together. The backer beta, which launched yesterday, is a huge relief. Pillars is shaping up to be worthy of its inspirations, and intelligent and bold enough not to be bound to them.

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