Impressions: These Robotic Hearts Of Mine

By John Walker on December 13th, 2011 at 10:45 am.

They sure are hearts.

Having garnered some attention on its mobile release, These Robot Hearts Of Mine has found its way to PC via Newgrounds. A puzzle game combined with a story of young lovers and robots, Alan Hazelden’s game aims to create an emotional tone to a more traditional puzzling idea. Does it work?

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Mud, Sweat And Gears: Dirt Showdown

By Adam Smith on December 13th, 2011 at 10:07 am.

I wanted to make a reference to Dustforce and it ended up here

Dirt! I’ve always thought it was an odd name for a series of racing games no matter how you choose to muck up its capital letter placement, although I quite like the idea of a snooker game called Chalk. Here is the newly announced Dirt Showdown, a spin-off from the main series that has more of the destruction and less of the speedy driving. It’s the kind of game that the press release informs me will be ‘uncaged’ in May 2012 rather than just released. That should tell you something about how off the hook Showdown is going to be. Cars spin around for your pleasure in the trailer below and I’ve also included some easily digestible details.

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Rock And Road: Bust-N-Rush

By Adam Smith on December 13th, 2011 at 9:25 am.

Scorbs are great. You'll definitely want some scorbs.

Almost everything is procedurally generated these days. When I look in the mirror every morning, the non-Euclidean angles to which my hair terrifyingly conforms are different every time but always unhelpful, being a clear result of sloppy and overambitious coding. Bust-n-Rush’s levels are also variable but they look a lot better than the mess atop my head and they make more sense as well. It works like this: you are a large man running along a series of tunnels/tracks, dodging certain obstacles and smashing through others. If you can jump, sidestep and hold down a ‘rush’ button, you’ll be fine. Try the demo here (or on Mac), or watch a trailer below. Maybe even do both!

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A Switch In Time Saves Line: Swift*Stitch

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 6:02 pm.

Aha! Sensible Sophie Houlden, of Sarah’s Run, BoxGame and The Linear RPG fame, has sensibly done the sensible thing for her new, vector-y maze navigation game Swift*Stitch and sensibly released a free demo. It runs in a browser, and you should absolutely play it – it’s (very) loosely in the vein of Snake, but all controlled with two mouse buttons. One makes your right-angular character immediately move downwards, the other temporarily slows it down so you’ve got time to move downwards before you smash into a wall. And then it builds quick-thinking puzzle-complexity from there thanks to gradual additions to the environment.

It’s very clever, a little bit fiendish, I’m really quite fond of it and you can buy the full thing for $7 if the demo rings your bell. There’s also a video below if you can’t/won’t run the Unity plugin for the demo.
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And Also: Free Empire Earth On GoG

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 5:10 pm.

Aw, Transform and Lighting. Those were the days, etc.

The thing that I posted about last week, with the free copy of Empire Earth Gold and the 50% off most everything in the Good Old Games back catalogue, is happening right now. So if you somehow have any money left after having been repeatedly mugged by indie bundles, here’s where to go. Off you go. Why yes, I am watching as you walk. That’s a nice wiggle you’ve got there, lad.

I remember Empire Earth quite fondly. I think I scored it 80-something percent in one of my earliest PC gamer reviews. Wonder how it holds up today? The game, not the review. The review is almost certainly terrible.

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An Indie Bundle Before Dying

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 4:59 pm.

Boogaboogaboogaflibblraaargh

The pay-what-you-want indie bundles are out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity for your bank account, or remorse, or fear that gaming sites will stop posting about them. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you can’t read any more news.

So, Indie Royale 4, the Xmas Bundle: The Blackwell Trilogy: Remastered (now with brand new voice acting, which is a pretty good reason to be interested in this bundle), Eets, Dino D-Day, The Oil Blue.

You know how all this works by now. I am so very tired.

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Stalker 2: A Light In The Wasteland

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 4:51 pm.

The sudden apparent closure of GSC GameWorld and death of Stalker 2 is, for me, the saddest gaming news of this year, and a whole lot of other years to boot. Jim eloquently summed up why over the weekend. The waters of explanation remain deeply muddied however, so all we can do is hope that some glimmer of life emerges from the ruins. We got a small hint of that earlier, with the GSC Twitter account suddenly offering “We will do our best to continue. However, at this moment, nothing is certain.”
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Diggle Deities: Dungeons Of Dredmor DLC

By Adam Smith on December 12th, 2011 at 4:30 pm.

I'm thinking of an alternative and more terrifying ending for Ring right now

It was announced in the recently expired month of November and now, on what should be the day before release, Dungeons of Dredmor’s first expansion has been trailerised. As well as containing graphic closeups of the most formidable eyebrows in gaming, the video provides details on the contents of Realm of the Diggle Gods. New enemies, areas and equipment are present, as one would expect, but did you expect a Werediggle skill line? I didn’t because my imagination is clearly limited and limp. How about eye lasers and the ability to create a character who is a “Vampiric Pirate Hunter-Vegan that dabbles in Demonology”? Oh, and belts! Sounds good. Watch below.

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Void: A Potential Idea For A Portal 3?

By John Walker on December 12th, 2011 at 4:04 pm.

I kind of wish it were a time torch, looking at this screenshot.

I really don’t think I’m exaggerating. In the same way that Narbacular Drop made you sit back and go, “Woah!”, so too does Void. It’s certainly not the first time manipulating time bubbles in the world has been done, but it’s certainly the best I’ve ever seen it, and it’s the first time it’s just felt right.

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“Theoretically”: Garriott On Ultima Comeback

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 3:27 pm.

Can they put the Ultimas on the Chrome Web Store thingy please

It’s no secret that Richard ‘King English’ Garriott is working on a spiritual sequel to Ultima, having left the series’ rights locked in an EA basement somewhere. It’s no secret because he’s said so, repeatedly. But what’s more surprising is that he apparently isn’t resigned to never getting them back – and he’s even talking about working with EA again. The lion and the lamb! Cats sleeping with dogs! THE END TIMES.

More specifically, he told Eurogamer that “We’ve had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property [and]…a possible marketing and distribution relationships and things of this nature.”

Which is rather promising, presuming he’s not just making wild public declarations in the hope of changing minds. More below.
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The Games of Christmas ’11: Day 12

By RPS on December 12th, 2011 at 2:33 pm.

I simply must go
(but baby it’s cold outside)
the answer is no
(but baby it’s cold outside)
your welcome has been
(how lucky that you dropped in)
so nice and warm
(look out the window at that meteorite storm)

Shelter with me inside the ramshackle construct behind door number twelve.

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A Life In PC Gaming: My Shame

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm.

I have, at least, never broken a monitor

I’ve been playing games on computers for the vast bulk of my life. From BBC Micro to Spectrum to 486 to assorted Athlons to the quad-cored radiator I used today, I’ve rarely been far from a keyboard. I have seen much, I have played much, I have learned much. But learning so often comes from failure. There have been many, many failures: these are but a few.
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Scavengers Assemble: Fortnite

By Adam Smith on December 12th, 2011 at 12:48 pm.

A Primark store prepares for the January sales

Fortnite’s reveal trailer suggested that the game could be borrowing ideas from Minecraft, Fort Zombie and Team Fortress 2, along with many other things. Now that details are beginning to emerge, Epic have admitted that Mojang’s block ‘em up was indeed an inspiration. Lead designer Lee ‘Unscratch’ Perry took time to broadcast the following messages through his personal Tweet-o-Tron: “Minecraft lets you build ANYTHING, we are focusing on constructing ‘buildings’ specifically”. A later tweet contained this: “Minecraft was an inspiration for sure”. With that out in the open, the obvious thing to do was to ensure Notch backed our demand that the game come to PC. A few more details about the game await below.

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