Satellite Rush Demo Is For The ’80s TV Generation

I have these memories of a movie called Arena; Paul Satterfield, a guy who fellow late-night TV viewers should know best for his role in the’80s masterpiece Creepshow 2, becomes a competitor in an intergalactic boxing sport in the year 4,000. It’s a classic story: a space station short order cook beats the odds and is revealed to be Earth’s greatest warrior.

It’s the sort of bolshy space fantasy that can only work in two formats: weird ’80s movies relegated to the Netfix afterlife and video games. Satellite Rush [official site] is in many ways the long-lost twin of Arena. It’s a roguelike shooter where you play a normal schlub and alien abductee who is at the center of an alien sport where the aim is simply to get to the other side of the corridor. Players get thrown items to assist them, with the added option of dedicating Boss victories to alien sponsors for power-ups.

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Have You Played… Passage?

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

Passage, Jason Rohrer’s small game about life and death, suffers for having become more renowned than it was perhaps intended to be. It was a small thing and an experimental thing, not a signpost to an entirely different future for games.
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Kasketball Is Basketball With Cars, Obvs

Not coffins or anything.

Kasketball [official site] looks broadly like Rocket League with basketball, though with fewer rockets. It’s a four-player local multiplayer basketball ‘em up where, er, you race around in a car and dribble the ball with one hand out your window as you speed towards your a net and pull the car into a drift to shoot. Sounds splendid, that. I don’t think you can dunk, mind.

Alas, I’ve recently moved and am without the usual giant tangled ball of Xbox 360 controllers I usually keep at hand for local multiplayer antics. If you have a few controllers and pals nearby, though, you can grab it from Itch to play for free.

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No, League Of Legends’ Gangplank Ain’t Dead

Just the other week, the guys at Riot Games implied they were killing off one of the League of Legends [official site] characters: a piratical dude called Gangplank, whose storyline got turned on its head for an event called Bilgewater: Burning Tides. The idea was that Gangplank had been murdered by Miss Fortune, he had been blown up in the new League lore and was no longer available as a playable character.

Which in and of itself is a big deal for my fellow LoL alumni; except that as it turns out in the recently released epilogue to Burning Tides he’s not a goner afterall. Gangplank’s still alive and kicking, although missing an arm now, and his new character design reflects that. Our Gangplank will be playable again with the new patch, 5.15, which is coming out this week.

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Warframe Expansion Adds Parkour And Undersea Action

Warframe [official site] already looks like a game about sealife thank to its exotic power armour designs – with hammerhead helmets, lobster armour, unspeakable many-eyed horrors from the depths, and pearly nacre coating everything. Actual underwater combat was inevitable, I suppose, or all those watery warframes would get crabby. Crabby. Like a crab. That’s a joke.

The latest expansion, Echoes of the Sentient, has added underwater action in new levels and, for land-lubbers, new parkour moves. It’s all out in the free-to-play co-op shooty dungeon crawler now.

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So Far, So Good – Airscape: The Fall Of Gravity

Aw man, this is one of the best physics games I’ve seen, if only half-glimpsed in trailer form. And O the things these crusty, jaded eyes have had to clock their gaze on. A game in which gravity is so changeable I legitimately don’t understand what is going on. That’s Airscape: The Fall of Gravity [official site].

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Going Going Gone: Race The Sun Is Free For One Day

Zoom zoom.

That there Race the Sun [official site] is a fine game. You skim across abstract landscapes in a solar-powered vehicle, trying desperately to outrun the impending sunset while not smashing into the odd architecture like a ruddy great fool. It’s fast and exciting. I’d recommend you pay money for it, and I’ll certainly recommend you snag it for free.

To celebration the launch of an iOS version (and its new chillout DLC on PC), developers Fippfly have made Race the Sun free for one day. Head on over to Steam to nab it and it’ll be yours forever.

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Where Babies Come From: Deabirth – Real

“The experience of an event begins for its audience when they first hear about it and only finishes when they stop thinking and talking about it,” says Tassos Stevens of interactive theatre gang Coney. I dig that. Many small games I like are big on that extended experience.

I suspect the best way to first hear about Deabirth – Real is to spot this freaky animated gif while looking through new releases on Itch and notice the game’s made by someone named LOVE MERCHANT DEAD GHOST (their capitalisation). Eagerly click on through to its Itch page and enjoy the fine description there. Then download it – it’s free – and oh gosh definitely read its readme file. If you read on through to the rest of this post, you’re only spoiling your own fun.

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Have You Played… Digital: A Love Story?

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

There’s a moment in Digital: A Love Story [official site] when your (in-game) computer starts to crackle. Lines of pixels run across your screen and obscure your view. You’re under attack! Your attacker has manipulated a vulnerability in your system. But… didn’t you upgrade? Didn’t you patch this very vulnerability? Why hasn’t the upgrade been applied? That’s when you realise there’s a simple solution to your hacker problem: turning it off and on again.
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Ooh, Tanks! Tokyo Warfare’s Free Multiplayer Prototype

Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' - remember that man with a hat, aye?

Tanks rolling through the streets of Tokyo, big seats with wheels and pedals, polygonal 3D graphics (three dimensions! three!), big bassy booms, and networked multiplayer left early teen me fascinated by Namco’s Tokyo Wars in arcades. I only ever had the money to play it twice (we were a penny falls family), but it’s stayed in my mind all along. I like games doing unlikely things in otherwise-serene modern cities. Well, today’s my lucky day, as folks are making a game which looks awfully similar.

Tokyo Warfare [official site] is an arcadey tank battler rolling through the streets of Tokyo, and has a free work-in-progress version you can download and play today.

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The Ballast Of Tom Jones: Tough Love Machine

Gosh, how I’d love to tell you about the later levels of pay-what-you-want puzzle Tough Love Machine [official site]. Because I’d love to be clever enough to have reached them.

Controlling two hands on gradually extending arms, one via WASD, the other on the cursors, you must push two hearts until they meet. Awwww. Except, good gracious, it’s tricky.

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10 Minute Barbarian Is Exactly What It Sounds Like

Some people say that Hemingway’s short poem “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” is great because of the enormous size of a story it hints at in such minimalist prose but I think we all know it’s actually good because it’s really, really fast. In this mile-a-minute world of vines and GIFs I just don’t have time for anything that requires more than seven seconds of recollection.

Enter 10 Minute Barbarian [official site], which is exactly what it should be.

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Chess With Boobytraps: Chesser

From Chess 2 with its new armies to Bennett Foddy’s Speed Chess [official site] with 16 players and simultaneous turns, a lot of ideas are floating around to make chess new and weird and exciting and silly. Add to the list Chesser [official site], a free arcadey take on the turn-based tactical classic.

What’s different here? Well, Chesser goes down a smaller grid: 6×6. Units can move in more directions and each side has a smaller lineup: four pawns, a king, and a queen. Oh, also squares can drop off the board and trigger traps to explode enemies.

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