The Risen 3 Report, Day 6: The Price Of A Monkey

By Alec Meer on August 28th, 2014.

What price a life? Specifically, what price a simian life? Specifically, what price a helper monkey trained in thievery?
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Wot I Checked: Chess 2 – The Sequel

By Jim Rossignol on August 28th, 2014.

Ah, Chess 2. A joke made real? Seems like it, only they’re not joking. This is a straight up remix and rebalance intended to shuffle the game away from its standard opening/closing moves and to fix the “problems” of the venerable chequered board format. But how can that work? And more importantly: does it work?

Read on for my handful of chess anecdotes and some writing about Chess 2, too. Toooo.
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Dote Night: Does Lore Matter To Online Wizard Fights?

By Philippa Warr on August 27th, 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.

A few days back I was reading through Skeleton King’s lore and picking over his evolution through the years. It pulled me into a wider train of thought about Dota lore and how the game itself doesn’t go in for a particular obvious narrative conceit. You are a team of wizards – some of whom know each other – and you want to kick over the other team’s base. What the base does, what the team does after winning or losing, why the characters are on Radiant or Dire side – none of that gets addressed over the course of a match. But why is that the case, and would Dota 2 benefit from a little more lore?

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Wot I Think: The Journey Down Chapter 2

By John Walker on August 27th, 2014.

Adventure charmer The Journey Down Chapter 2 has come hurtling in only, um, two years after Skygoblin’s first part. However, with a lengthy, well-constructed and rather pleasant game as a result, it seems it was rather worth the wait. Here’s wot I think:

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The Risen 3 Report, Day 5: The World’s Longest Arm Wrestle

By Alec Meer on August 27th, 2014.

The story so far. Now: arm-wrestling.

Four minutes. Four long, boring, exhausting minutes. Am I trolling this guy, or do I just not know how to arm wrestle?
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Lo-Fi Let’s Play: Mystery House

By Leigh Alexander on August 27th, 2014.

[I've been doing a series of Let's Play videos exploring old adventures, text games and lost design forms from the 1980s Apple IIe and Commodore 64 era. In a time when young men shout over new action games, I will talk softly over strange old ones. Come along on a visitation of a different era that's one part meditations on my childhood, one part adventure game criticism, and one part preservation effort. Bonus: Everyone says the quiet talk, lo-fi handmade feel and keyboard tapping triggers ASMR responses. Please enjoy!]

In honor of Activision’s revival of the Sierra label, I decided to revisit the 1980 classic Mystery House, Ken and Roberta Williams’ first “Hi-Res Adventure,” and the first official game by the company that would become Sierra On-Line.

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Cardboard Children – Heroes of Normandie

By Robert Florence on August 26th, 2014.

Hello youse.

War, eh? It’s no laughing matter, really. It seems like every single time a war happens, somebody ends up getting hurt. Since the beginning of recorded history, wars have caused a catalogue of injuries from a little finger boo-boo all the way to a blasted into dust by a mad big bomb. Say what you want about wars – you have to agree that they come with their fair share of inconveniences.

If you want to have a wee war on your table, you’ve come to the right place. Let Grand Side-General of the Ambassador Florence (I don’t know anything about military ranks) tell you all about HEROES OF NORMANDIE.

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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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