2D Survival Shenanigans: MiniDayZ

By Alice O'Connor on November 23rd, 2014.

Survive-o.

Look, we can’t put this off much longer. I’m putting up a dado rail in the sitting room and if I have to go to B&Q on a Sunday afternoon, you have to go to B&Q on a Sunday afternoon. No lone person deserves that grim hellscape. If it’ll help you steel yourself, here, have a play of MiniDayZ for free. It might not prepare you for a couple furious that the paint-mixer’s out of a particular pigment, but a top-down 2D take on Bohemia’s zombie apocalypse survival sim comes close to the experience.

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Sunday Morning Cartoons: S For Surfing

By Alice O'Connor on November 23rd, 2014.

Gnarly.

Back in my day, cartoons were slow, drab, and tedious things. Uninteresting stories would span entire seasons, characters would have no redeeming qualities, jokes would fall flat, and that’s the way we liked ‘em. I pity the youth of today; their entertainment is so fun and colourful they’ll never discover the value of boredom. Just look at S for Surfing – a free first-person platformer about riding cubic waves high into the sky, bouncing off dolphins and pulling sikk tricks.

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Saturday Afternoon Reading: The IFComp Winners

By Alice O'Connor on November 22nd, 2014.

Dad, look, just use the ice wand.

Right, five o’clock. Early Saturday afternoon. You’ve watched your cartoons, you’ve had your walk – haven’t you? – and a nice big lunch, so it’s time to settle down for a spot of reading. I say this as someone you trust to guide your personal development, of course. You’ll draw today’s reading material from IFComp, the interactive fiction competition, as it wrapped up this week and winners were declared – presenting a recommended reading list.

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Musical Wandering: Porapora

By Alice O'Connor on November 22nd, 2014.

Pretty.

Come on, that’s enough. You’ve had enough. It’s noon. Get up. Get out of the house. I’m going for a swim, and if you’re still there when I get back, I’ll be sorely disappointed. We follow a strict Victorian physical code here, you know: a brisk walk, a dunk in some nice cold water, then a seven-course lunch once we’re all back. Don’t pout. Oh, at the very least, do go for a virtual walk. It’ll still enrich you, and might help you shake your grumps off if you’re playing the delightful Porapora.

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Bloody Days – Chivalry: Medieval Warfare’s Free Weekend

By Alice O'Connor on November 21st, 2014.

He is both armless and harmless, do you see?

Hey, it’s the weekend: relax. Kick back. Kick your shoes off. Treat yourself. Have a banana. Have a cup of good, hot, black coffee. Have a beer. Take a nice long shower. Soak in the bath. Read a little. Stab a man. Sit under a tree in the rain. Go for a nice walk. Stomp over the corpses of your conquered foes. Chat with a close friend. Swim in a pond. Swim in rivers of blood. Crack a man’s skull with a maul. Murder. Mutilate. Conquer. Kill.

First-person meleer Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is free to play this weekend on Steam, see.

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Have You Played… Pool Nation?

By Adam Smith on November 21st, 2014.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Pool Nation is my favourite felt-top ball-bothering game since I spent a summer with Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker back in my Amiga days. This weekend, it’s free to play on Steam and can be purchased during that time for £1.04 thanks to an 85% discount. If you enjoy pool and your answer to the question in the headline is ‘no’, this is the perfect time to take a look.

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Freeware Garden: ESC Ape

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on November 21st, 2014.

Comrade Ape is now free!

You’d think that creating a retro FPS in the vein of Wolfenstein seems like a simple thing to pull off, what with the power of today’s tools and all the game design experience of the past 20 years. Yet ESC Ape is one of the select few first-person shooters of this type worthy of your attention.

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The Tentacles Of Time: Kelvin And The Infamous Machine

By Adam Smith on November 21st, 2014.

How pleasing that a game about time travel should have such a perfect sense of timing. Kelvin and the Infamous Machine is a point and click adventure in which an inept research assistant must skip through time, inspiring great inventors and artists to fulfil their historical roles. It arrives on Kickstarter shortly after we cast our eyes over Thimbleweed Park, the Lucasarts throwback from the minds of Maniac Mansion creators Ron Gilbert and Garry Winnick. Time travel? Pointing and clicking? Where are the tentacles? Seek them in the demo and trailer below.

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Recreating Crimescenes Virtually In Photobomb

By Alice O'Connor on November 20th, 2014.

Was it you, Red?

You only have one shot in Photobomb, but you might not have had enough time to identify which suspect is guilty before firing it. Justice is swift and crowd-pleasing in the dystopian future.

Photobomb’s a free game created by Milkbag Games for both 7 Day FPS and the Procedural Generation Jam. As a Media Peace Officer, we roam around virtually reconstructing a bombing scene using government tracking data and photos scraped from social media, trying to identify the bomber. And then we execute someone. It’s a fine game. Look, I’ve made a video explaining it:

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Section Nein: Ghost In The Shell Online

By Adam Smith on November 20th, 2014.

The trailer for (deep breath) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: First Connection Online gave me that Syndicate feeling. Not the same Syndicate feeling that Satellite Reign gives me, alas, but rather the troubling memories of the 2012 FPS-capade. All of the details seem to match. A beloved cyberpunk entity translated into a first-person team-based shooter, in which various classes of modified humans use their tech to murderise one another while gathering points to upgrade the rocket launchers implanted in their knuckles. That said, if you can accept the fact that everyone is shooting everyone else all of the time rather than starring in a post-human Alpha Protocol, it doesn’t look entirely terrible.

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Slot Together Wooden Insect Models In Zen Build

By Alice O'Connor on November 20th, 2014.

Why won't the head go on? I must be missing a part.

“Enter the exciting world of insects with Exciting World of Insects, a new biweekly magazine about the exciting world of insects. Build one of the insect kingdom’s deadliest hunters issue-by-issue with real wood parts for a praying mantis! The first issue’s only 50p!”

The TV commercials downplayed that later issues cost far more than I could ever afford, leaving my childhood shelves covered in jigsaw-cut wooden mantis limbs, T. rex skulls, stag beetle carapaces, and Eiffel Tower crowns. Twenty years later, I might finally complete one, thanks to Zen Build. It’s a free puzzler about assembling wooden models, and I cannot finish this mantis.

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Freeware Garden: Jet/Lag

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on November 20th, 2014.

Procedural dungeons weren’t created solely for the RPG-style hacking and slashing of monsters and that’s why Jet/Lag is being labeled a hyper minimal rogue-like-like-like. It might take place in some of the noisiest, most randomly generated dungeons possible, but there’s nothing here to remind you of roleplaying or of turn-based mechanics.

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Gothic Americana Adventure: Fallow

By Alice O'Connor on November 19th, 2014.

Oh. Sure.

‘Music I enjoy persisting on my desktop once I’ve alt-tabbed out’ isn’t at the top of my Official List Of Things I Look For In Games which guides my every professional decision, but I certainly do appreciate it. Playing Fallow’s demo, I’ve left sonambulist Isabelline standing in front of monuments to the families who died to a mysteries ancient danger that swept the Americas, because it’s playing twangly guitar with soft wailing (musical saw, perhaps?) over crickets chirping. The adventure game’s stirring up ace eerie and mournful gothic Americana, you’ll see (and hear).

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