To The Moon Minisode 2 Is Really Very Good

By John Walker on February 19th, 2015.

To The Moon [official site] remains one of RPS’s favourite games. If all the tears this game has caused around the world were put in one place, that place would be a new ocean. Saltier than the Dead Sea. A lovely, charming, and deeply moving thing, about a pair of scientists who change a dying person’s memories to give them the life they’d always wanted, it has already been followed by one “minisode”. A free extra bit, simply called Holiday Special Minisode, it intelligently explored the relationship between the original game’s lead characters, as well as shining new light on the ethics of the company for which they work.

And now there’s a second free minisode, Sigmund Minisode 2.

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Freeware Garden: Iron Snout

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on February 19th, 2015.

One of the most important thing we have all learned on the internet is that pigs are both smart and awesome. Now Iron Snout is here to teach us they can also make for excellent fighters, and it does so by being a lovely, fast-paced, vividly coloured and cartoon-y fighting game pitting a single heroic pig against countless wolves.

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Hotline Miami 2 Gets Into The Sequential Art Business

By Alec Meer on February 18th, 2015.

the cover is my  favourite bit tbh

It’s difficult to accept that Hotline Miami – the sound of the future – was three long years ago. It’s more difficult still to accept that there might not have been anything which put quite such a fire under me since. This foul-mouthed ‘guide‘ is one of my favourite things I’ve ever published here, and I’d love to know how to commune again with the part of me which made it. I can’t see Hotline Miami 2 [official site] doing it, because despite controversial content the surprise factor probably isn’t going to be there. I’m sure it will be an interesting evolution of HLM’s rhythmic brutality, but can it manage OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS again?

Anyway, there’s a free prequel comic out on Steam. I probably should said that to start with instead of picking fluff from my navel.
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Puzzling Personalities: Pillar Released (And Has A Demo)

By Alice O'Connor on February 18th, 2015.

That's a tree.

I dislike the notion that people have fixed, easily-reducible personalities. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What’s your Meyers-Briggs personality type? These questions, and more, I dread in polite conversation. They’re behaviours, aren’t they, rather than a fixed core? Attitudes we can, and regularly do, flit between. But trust an INTP like me to use my dominant introverted thinking in such a way, yeah? (I don’t know what that means.)

This waffle is brought to you by noticing the release of Pillar [official site], a puzzle game where each puzzle revolves around a particular personality type. It has a demo too.

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Freeware Garden: Rocket Smash ex

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on February 18th, 2015.

Though obviously an homage to Ultimate Play The Game’s classic Jetpac, Rocket Smash ex is far from a straight retro remake or a Commodore 64 port of the venerable shoot-‘em-up. It is instead a brand new and excellently arcade-y shooter with contemporary design sensibilities that’s been coded for the C64 and repackaged for Windows thanks to the 8-bit focused efforts of (the wider) team RGCD.

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You’re Not Going Out Like That: (Try To) Dress Up

By Alice O'Connor on February 18th, 2015.

We have, somehow, ended up on the mailing lists of several browser game sites aimed at children and tweenagers. Each day brings new terrifying surgeries and new dress-up games. Those are virtual paper dolls, the fun of character creation without the tedium of then killing ten rats. I play a few, both rubbernecking for Disney characters in gruesome accidents and, well, enjoying dress-up.

Nivetha Kannan has made a game based on her experiences with dress-up games growing up, using them as a fantasy space where her parents couldn’t control what she wore. It’s called (try to) Dress Up [official site] and it’s free to play in your browser. It’s nice.

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Train Station Curation: Alice And Pip Explore Off-Peak

By Alice O'Connor on February 17th, 2015.

Alice and Pip have been playing Off-Peak [download], a free game by Cosmo D. It’s quite nice.

Alice: Pip, what’s the best bit of the train station in Off-Peak? Is it the model blue whale suspended from the ceiling or the celestial fresco it seems to swim in?

Pip: You mean the best bit of the decor or the people?

Alice: Any of it. All of them. The station is made for its people. Maybe the eerie triplets are best.

Pip: My favourite bits of architecture are the digital tunnels that bleep and flash as you walk through them near the main platforms. My favourite clumps of people are the two giants playing Netrunner – ACTUAL NETRUNNER! – and the lady looking down at the whole station from a viewing platform on the roof.

Alice: Wait. My favourite thing was an action: stealing and eating everyone’s pizza. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crusader Kings II Is Three Years Old And Free For A Week

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

Crusader Kings II [official site] is three years old, which means we’ve delayed too long. The little blighter should have been married off to its own cousin at least a year ago and is probably plotting to have us all killed even as I write this.

To celebrate the occasion, Paradox are allowing people to play the base game for free on Steam, from now until February 23rd. It’ll also be discounted by 75% throughout that period, so if you finally decide to take the plunge, you can buy in for £7.49. It’s my favourite game of the last five years and quite possibly my favourite game of all time. Here’s my review. Thoughts on its growth over the last three years below.

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Freeware Garden: Aero Chimera

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on February 17th, 2015.

Aero Chimera is one of the most bullet-hellish bullet hell shoot-‘em-ups one can currently find for free on the PC. It’s possibly as tough as a vertically scrolling shmup can dare to get; which makes me thankful that the game offers three difficulty settings that render it playable even for the likes of me, and that it goes even further by allowing players to test each of its six, frantic stages and eventually master them. Persisting will after all allow you to attempt an impressive high-score, as Aero Chimera has definitely been built with competitive players in mind.

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Explode Your Face: Strafe Demo Released

By Adam Smith on February 17th, 2015.

The headline refers to the trailer for procedurally generated Quake-a-Like Strafe [Kickstarter page], which is entering its final hours on Kickstarter. At the time of writing, “the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person shooter of 1996″ has $35,000 to raise with less than three days left on the clock. To win over the masses, developers Pixel Titans have released a Speed Run Zone to the world. Playable on PC or Mac, it was previously available exclusively to streamers. Now you can play it even if the world isn’t watching.

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A Walk In The Woods: Way To Go

By Alice O'Connor on February 16th, 2015.

What... who's that, and what are they doing?

I don’t want to tell you much about what Way to Go [official site] is, how it works, what happens, or what to do in it. Click this link and go for a pleasant walk in the woods. Or whatever it is. You know, do whatever. It’ll run in your browser and is HTML 5 with various trickery so it’ll work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is something quiet and delightful and that’s exactly what Monday afternoon calls for. It supports Oculus Rift too, if you’ve got it.

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Monstrous Investigations: Walkerman Demo

By Alice O'Connor on February 16th, 2015.

I like my monsters to follow weird rules and have irrational fears, quasi-human urges which seem familiar in concept but are so odd it makes them all the more strange and tragic. You know the sort of thing: vampires must sleep upon their native soil; werewolves only attack people with gaudy jewellery; ghosts are compelled to come out of hiding if you offer a high-five; skeletons get grossed out if you wave a bone at them and will pause to explain how that’s well out.

Walkerman [official site] is an upcoming adventuring visual novel about monster hunters who learn and exploit those rules, and you can see a little in a free demo.

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The Sound Of Space: Sputnik Dog Simulator

By Alice O'Connor on February 16th, 2015.

This one sounds great.

Space, the final frontier. We boldly go, desperate to escape this rock we’ve despoiled, after boldly blasting up a few animals to see if they get turned-inside out or become psychic or develop space-cancer that seems miles of flesh burst and stream and reach out of a little monkey. I’d be a lot bolder knowing none of those would happen to me.

We have plenty of games about spacepeople, but what about spacedogs? Here, have a go at Sputnik Dog Simulator [official site], a free audio-driven game about drifting through the void. Pop your headphones on.

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