Borges ‘Em Up: Intimate, Infinite

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

If I were to recommend one author to people wot like games, it’d be Argentine short story writer Jorges Luis Borges. Oh sure, video games crib from loads of fantasy and sci-fi authors, but that’s all set dressing. Borges is closer to what games are. His stories are often systems–rules, puzzles, and riddles–and concepts as much as they are narratives, all supporting each other. And, like the best games, his stories end once they’ve satisfactorily explored their ideas. Many devs I know dig him.

Intimate, Infinite might be a mite puzzling if you don’t know Borges, but I liked it. Released this week by Robert Yang (who did splendid interview-o-game-make series Level With Me for us), it’s an experimental collection of games adapting a Borges story or trying to capture some part of it.

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Freeware Garden: Comedy Quest

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 20th, 2014.

Enjoying some fine comedy. Thank you for asking sir!

If it weren’t for the obviously spoileriffic title, I’d have loved to present you with a riddle. A riddle that’d probably go a bit like this: “What looks like an early Sierra adventure, plays like a late Sierra adventure, smells a bit of Lucasarts and does stand up comedy?” I am certain that nobody would have cried “Comedy Quest!” to that and that’d be sad. Hence, this post’s title and, frankly, this very post itself.

Now, you see, you know.

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Build-A-Youth: The Sims 4′s Character Creator Demo

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

That's what young people look like nowadays, isn't it?

No matter what’s removed or added or changed or bro-ised with The Sims 4, we can be fairly certain it’ll allow one thing: making goofy-looking folks. But lawks a lummy, Maxis have only gone and released that part for free! The ‘Create A Sim’ character creator has been yanked out of the full game to make a demo (or we can treat it as simply a cool toy for everyone to play with). Nab it from Origin. This came out last week, but we overlooked it in all the fuss and bother of Gamescom. Luckily, pulling silly faces is timeless.

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Brawl Of The Wild: Double Fine To Publish Gang Beasts

By Adam Smith on August 19th, 2014.

Gang Beasts, even in pre-release form, is one of the best games I’ve played this year. It’s a multiplayer brawling game, with elements of Dreamcast classic Powerstone in among the wrestling and clumsy acrobatics. Whether you’re struggling to roll a momentarily unconscious foe out of a ferris wheel carriage, or stumbling headfirst into a meat grinder, Gang Beasts is a wonderful combination of applied skill and improvised farce. The next update, which will coincide with a Steam Early Access launch, places the game under the Double Fine umbrella. Details below.

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Freeware garden: Americano

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 19th, 2014.

A typical text-adventure screenshot.

They don’t merely dream of electric sheep these days. They have actually reached the point of loving old books and lusting over good looking if vacuous boys. Yes, today’s androids are indeed different. More sophisticated*. More mature perhaps and definitely more interesting as characters in and of themselves than as intriguing sci-fi concepts to be explored.

Evidently, they are also perfectly capable of enjoying cheery tunes during storms of melancholy and, of course, of savoring an Americano.

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Games Journo Sim: Always Sometimes Monsters Demo

By Alice O'Connor on August 18th, 2014.

For all the jokes about Doritos, the slider is actually the official snack of games journos.

“Brilliant but flawed” is how Ben described Always Sometimes Monsters, an RPG which sprawls and branches and reacts in squillions of ways depending on who and how you play. You’re a struggling writer making one desperate lunge at life, out of money, kicked out your apartment, and pining for a lost love. It’s perhaps a hard sell, so last week developers Vagabond Dog released a demo with an extra framing narrative to perfectly fit that horrible loser theme: you play a games journo who goes to the launch event, plays Always Sometimes Monsters, then writes a review.

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Freeware Garden: Space Goblin In A Land Of Jello

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 18th, 2014.

Awwwww, a cute little space-ship! Awwwwww, again.

Oh no, said Gelaga of Gelatos. Not again! It hasn’t been a 1000 years already, he whiningly added. But, the truth is he was wrong. It was exactly a 1000 years since the hideously horrible Moussaka abomination had last invaded the planet of the Jelly-creatures and promptly consumed its inhabitants, for it had always been an abomination that craved all that’s squishy and yummy.

Thankfully though, this time things could be different, for this is the time of the Space Goblin in a Land of Jello and Windows-only planet saving.

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Freeware Garden: The Wizard

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 15th, 2014.

All wizard's live in castles; it's a well known fact.Running into a freeware browser game that feels like a full-blown, commercial indie production isn’t something that happens every day, but, happily, it does happen. Mostly when the stars are either right or confused. Occasionally even via the divine medium of turn-based dungeon crawlers; games like The Wizard by Hypnotic Owl.

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Freeware Garden: SanctuaryRPG

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 14th, 2014.

Ah, the glory of high fantasy: a wasp is also a nymph.

Describing SanctuaryRPG as a huge, hilarious and most honorable devourer of free time would be an understatement. Also, a rather vague statement too, as this freeware beauty also happens to be a proper, full-fledged text-based RPG with some terrific ASCII illustrations and outrageous bosses, that lets you fantasize about being anything from a burly barbarian or a pious paladin to a roaming ranger or a wicked wizard. Or, well, just an assassin or a druid.

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Unreal Tournament 2014 Playable, Free To All

By Ben Barrett on August 13th, 2014.

Want to play the new Unreal Tournament for free, right this very second? Cor blimey and OMG you totes can! Hero of the people ‘raxxy’ on the Unreal Forums is compiling Epic’s builds and releasing them as small, playable packages that anyone can run, with multiple updates per week. The maps are untextured, the weapons unbalanced, and things change rapidly as everything’s still “pre-alpha” but it’s playable and – more importantly – fun.

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Freeware Garden: Ronin

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 13th, 2014.

The sun. The glorious EGA sun. Let us all salute it!

Looking for an excellent, stealthy murder simulator? Lucky you, then, for here’s Ronin to cater to your every (virtual) killing whim; a game that’s pure of heart and doesn’t really bother with formalities. Or a plot. A game that simply wants to entertain you and help you hone those subtly tactical mouse and keyboard skills.

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Freeware Garden: Nekra Psaria

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 12th, 2014.

Welcome to the very first Freeware Garden comedy alt-text. No comedic bits whatsoever have been inserted here, but I'm slowly getting there.Nekra Psaria means “dead fish” in Greek, which, frankly and regardless of language doesn’t conjure up the best of images. Not that fish or death can ever be avoided, mind you, but escape-the-room browser games used to come with way cuter names back when the internet was young.

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Steam Free Weekend-o-rama: Jets vs. Vampires vs. Soldiers

By Alice O'Connor on August 8th, 2014.

Video games!

A trio of free weekend trials on Steam mean that all and sundry can enjoy what are, as I understand, three figures and ideals important to PC gaming: soldiers, vampires, and jetplanes. They all, naturally, do fighting. Not each other, mind–others of their kind. None of these games will let you e.g. pilot a fighter jet battling winged vampires. More’s the pity, really.

Multiplayer futureplane game Strike Vector and realish FPS Insurgency have respectable sales to accompany their free weekend trials, and technically human vs. vamp arenakiller Nosgoth does too but that’ll be free-to-play at launch so it’s less special.

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