Have You Played… Gorogoa?

By Philippa Warr on November 13th, 2014.

Storytime

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

When was the last time you moved beautifully drawn tiles around to unfurl a charming interactive story world? Be honest with me. I won’t judge you.

Oh who am I kidding? I’m judging you incredibly harshly. To stop this from happening/worsening I’m going to prescribe Jason Roberts’ illustration puzzler, Gorogoa. The full game is still a work in progress but there’s a delightful demo on the website which you can and should play.

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Freeware Garden: Over My Dead Body

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on November 13th, 2014.

The ghosts, the gunmen and the zombies.

Noel Brody worked for the evil Mortiga Consolidated, but never suspected that protesting the weaponization of her research would lead to her being murdered. What she further failed to imagine was that her death would also transform her into both a zombie and a ghost and get her to star in her very own game: Over My Dead Body.

Noel must now fight her way through Mortiga’s lovely-yet-deadly isometric corporate headquarters and exact horrible, bloody revenge on all the immoral bastards who killed her and are apparently about to kill more people for money. Finding a cure for her doubly-undead affliction, or possibly reclaiming her work for the good of humanity, should be considered an added bonus.

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1, 2, 3, 4: ThumbderDome Wrestling

By Alice O'Connor on November 13th, 2014.

SLAM!

Perhaps a small frisson of sexual energy runs between the you and the person you’re considering thumbwrestling, but it needs time to grow and you fear holding hands might snuff it out. That’s one reason why you choose to instead play local multiplayer thumber ThumbderDome Wrestling.

Perhaps you’re so physically mismatched that your mighty mitts engaging in thumb wars would dishonour the noble and technique-driven sport. Perhaps your opponent is a bit sweaty and gross. Perhaps you don’t have full use of a hand. Perhaps you lack a special move. Whatever your reasons, ThumbderDome is a real game you can play and free for you to grab from itch.io.

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Lego Batman 3 Launches, Heads For Outer Space

By Philippa Warr on November 13th, 2014.

Two people I actually recognise! Green Lantern and Spiderman

And in “opportunities to teach your child more about vigilante justice using playthings they know and love” news, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham launched yesterday – you can take it for a spin with a free demo.

I confess I’ve not kept up with all the recent Lego releases. At this point it feels less like a franchise and more of a brick-based pop culture library. Lego are basically the modern equivalent of a monastic scriptorium, where the Lego monks transcribe plots and concepts from television, movies and books and then add illuminated letters in the form of construction flourishes.

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What’s Cracking? Plingy Plongy Pair ‘Em Up Egg Boss

By Alice O'Connor on November 13th, 2014.

Eggs.

I have a few questions for you. Do you like bright colours? Do you like chill electronic music and noises? Do you like cute weird animals and the eggs they hatch from? Do you desire to fill several minutes of your existence with something pleasant? If you’ve answered yes to at least two of those questions, you might well enjoy Egg Boss. It’s a free browser-based take on ye olde pair-finding games, where you’re trying to match eggs based on the sound they make when you tap them. Some squawk, some chime, some warble, some burst static, some bubble, and it’s all very nice.

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Unofficially Micro Machines: Toybox Turbos

By Alice O'Connor on November 12th, 2014.

Splash-splash.

It might not be called Micro Machines, but Toybox Turbos is clearly Codemasters following up on their vintage top-down toy car racing series. Taxis and buses race around kitchen tables, ramping off slices off cake, popping up out of toasters, skidding on spilt milk, and taking a shortcut through a drying rack, oh, it’s so very Micro Machines. It seems quite pleasant too. Toybox Turbos launched yesterday, and a demo’s out too with a fair few tracks to zip about on.

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The Witcher 2 And Mount & Blade Free In GOG Sale

By Alice O'Connor on November 12th, 2014.

We said 'Prices so low they're practically free', witcher. PRACTICALLY. Put the sword back.

You know those games GOG sell, yeah? Mostly old ones but a fair number of new things too, right? Those games. Most of them are on sale. GOG launched their autumn sale, with discounts on over 700 of their 860 games. Most seem to be half-price, while bigger discounts come in flash sales and daily deals and bundles and those other sorts of things. They’re also throwing a few freebies out, giving the original Mount & Blade to all and sundry for the next two days, and offering the splendid Witcher 2 free if you visit the site on seven days over the sale. Video games!

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Freeware Garden: One After Another

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on November 12th, 2014.

This is as spoiler-free as a screenshot can get.

Looking for an incredibly short, but highly effective and beautiful horror game? Well, that’s lovely and you are in luck as one after another is the game for you.

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When Did This Get Here? Five Nights At Freddy’s 2

By Alice O'Connor on November 11th, 2014.

I never thought I'd be so unhappy to see vents in a video game.

The last time we looked at Five Nights At Freddy’s 2 on our security camera feeds, the animatronic horror was standing quietly still on Steam Greenlight. And now it’s here. It’s here on Steam, before us, released properly for real, and we didn’t even notice it leave Greenlight. It’s all very convenient for me, writing this now, as that’s the basic setup of the game: a Chuck E. Cheese’s-ish restaurant’s frightful animatronic animals come alive at night when not watched, and will try to sneak up and murder you. You can have a crack yourself in the demo.

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The Gothic Revival: Off The Map

By Adam Smith on November 11th, 2014.

The Off The Map competition is my favourite part of GameCity. Admittedly, I might enjoy the actual event if I ever managed to drag my self to Nottingham while it was happening, but the delights that Off The Map produces would still be fairly high in the rankings. The competition “challenges higher education students based in the UK to create gaming software inspired by the British Library’s collections.” CryEngine is the weapon of choice. This year, the library’s collection of gothic literature was the focus. No, not the Robert Smith/The Crow slash fiction you left tucked between the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey – we’re talking sunken abbeys, old Poe-face himself and Whitby.

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Freeware Garden: Teddy Tea Leaf

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on November 11th, 2014.

Teddy is the yellow thing.

Do you remember how the awkward controls enhanced the atmosphere of ZX81 classic 3D Monster Maze? Well, probably not, but you can happily find out just how effectively tense controlling Teddy Tea Leaf via your keyboard’s Q,A,O and P keys can be by, shockingly, actually playing the thing.

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Boo: The Uncle Who Works At Nintendo

By Adam Smith on November 11th, 2014.

Michael Lutz made My Father’s Long, Long Legs, which just so happens to be one of my favourite Twine games, and his latest release is right up in the top ten as well. The Uncle Who Works At Nintendo is a horror game that plays on schoolground jealousies, feelings of inadequacy and experimental Nintendo hardware. There are multiple endings, some of which aren’t quite as alarming as others, and the whole story takes place in the few hours leading up to midnight during a sleepover. Best played with headphones on, although sound is atmospheric rather than intended to startle in screamer fashion.

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Mournful Meandering: Press E To

By Alice O'Connor on November 11th, 2014.

If you’re jacked into the ludosphere, you’ll probably have seen folks tittering about a funeral scene in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with the button prompt “Press F to Pay Respects”. Yes, it’s an absurd prompt from a daft story with the emotional depth of a bedpan, but is the idea entirely unworkable? Starting with a similar prompt, Leo Burke has created a sad and wonderful little game trying to recreate actual feelings of mourning. It’s named Press E To, and it’s awfully pleasant.

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