Thank Jah: The Journey Down Halves Its Price

So I enjoyed The Journey Down, SkyGoblin’s remake of their classic-style point and click adventure. But I was so hesitant about the price. Charging £10 for a game that lasted a couple of hours seemed problematic. But worse, this is the first chapter of an unknown number, meaning it’s impossible to know just how much you’d be investing to see the series through. Rather brilliantly, the developers have just announced they’re halving the price, bringing it to $7/£5, which is exactly where I think it should be. There’s a fun video explaining this below.

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Beware And Be Square: Zombox

Sometimes I spend my days in the company of mythical creatures, devious kings and diplomats from distant stars. Other times it’s just zombies from dawn until dusk, broken up by the occasional yet-living survivor to exchange words and supplies with. Today is shaping up to be one of those days, with the last half hour having been spent watching videos of Zombox, a sandbox game with crafting, barricading and horticulture. It’s not available yet but the informative development footage has me imagining grotesquely under-appreciated freeware game Survival Crisis Z, except with more of everything. There’s also a bit where an NPC says ‘buzz off!’ in response to being clobbered with a baseball bat.

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Miaow Miaow: FreeIndieGames’ All-Cat Spectacular

RIP, Terry's cat

I live in fear – true, cold, debilitating terror – of my cat dying, even though she’s surely got anywhere from 5 to 10 years still left on the clock. These strange, joyful, fearful, psychopathic creatures can achieve such a hold on our lives and affections. Maybe it’s just the toxoplasmosis speaking, but young Ripley’s chirruping presence in my house makes for a tangible improvement of my days. So I can offer the most enormous condolences and sympathy to Distractionware’s Terry Cavanagh, whose long-term pet Thomas P. Cat passed away last week. Terry has offered the greatest of tributes to his dearly departed Tom – by swamping his ever-vital blog with over 20 weird and wonderful cat-based games.
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Don Your Sweatbands, It’s Oniken

Ladies and gentlemen, the Eighties.

Twas on Saturday that I found myself boasting on Twitter about how great RPS is, even on the weekends. Because it is! But there was one thing missing. As Thais Weller pointed out, Danilo Dias and Pedro Paiva’s sprite platformer Oniken wasn’t mentioned. It was a gross oversight, and I can only apologise. You have to give this trailer a view.

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Pirate Download: Risen 2 Does The Demo Dance

hat-based dlc also available. Nnng

Piranha Bytes’ spiritual, Pirates of the Caribbeany Gothic sequel Risen 2: Dark Waters made its somewhat deflating presence known last month, but if one man’s one thousand words on wot he thought about it aren’t enough to cement your buying decision one way or another you can sample a demo now.
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Day Z Developers Putting The ‘Z’ In Rezzed

Which way is the pub?

What would a celebration of all things wonderful in PC and indie gaming be without the sensational Day Z mod? Lacking, that’s what it would be. The story of Day Z and its effect on Arma II’s sales is a fascinating one and the experience of playing creates more tension than Alfred Hitchcock juggling chainsaws on a unicycle. Brighton-based Rezzed, powered by Eurogamer and our good selves, shall host Dean “Rocket” Hall and Matt Lightfoot who will run a developer session on Saturday (7th) at 2pm and the game will also be playable on the show floor. Click for tickets and more details.

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Awake Into Dreams: TRIP

I could have sworn I’d already mentioned TRIP, which seems like what would happen if gentle, musical exploration game Proteus poured hallucinogenics all over its cereal in the morning and shovelled the whole lot into its mouth using a delicate crystalline spoon carved out of frozen absinthe. ‘ART GAME’, says the trailer in brightly coloured letters that desire to be taller than buildings, before proceeding to show various creatures slowly jiving in luridly lucid landscapes. Maybe I dreamt that I wrote about it or nearly wrote about it but assumed I shouldn’t as it had been a dream rather than a PC game. Or I just misplaced a tag or two. It’s out now, on PC and Mac, priced at £7.29. Launch trailer below, impressions when I’ve formed them.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for waking from dreams about how international finance is an abstract mess based on superstition. Thanks, unconscious, we already knew that. What do you want me to do about it, exactly? But perhaps we can divine some truths among the entrails of another pseudo-science, that of writing about the strange family of activities we call games.

  • What does Quintin Smith do these days? Well, he writes odes to in-game menus: “I love this stuff. And if you do pore over it like some bizarrely specialised future archaeologist, it loves you back. The range and depth of talent packed into Arkham City’s menu, where characters are caught mid-fight, in the rain, as the camera pans past them, got me more excited than anything in the game’s marketing. There was no risk of disappointment anymore. The game would be a tour de force from start to finish.”
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Cardboard Children: Fortress America

Hello youse.

I missed Fortress America first time round. It was originally released as one of the MB Gamesmaster series, alongside games like Axis & Allies and the brilliant Shogun. For years, I’ve heard it called one of the purest examples of the “Ameritrash” style. It’s a game that features a map of America, lots of little plastic units, and a handful of dice. It’s one of those games I’d always hoped to find in a charity shop one sunny day, on a shelf alongside the Aliens board game and a working Dark Tower.

Fantasy Flight Games has spoiled that dream by releasing a new edition of the game and making it available in shops all over the place. And not a penny goes to charity. There’s no charity in Fortress America. Only ruthlessness. Let’s rock.
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Bwah? Valve Teams Up With Adult Swim

This image is probably unrelated, but I just really wanted to use it because it's perfect in all ways.

Ready for something to come out of nowhere and hit you right in the nose? OK, here it comes. Get ready, brace yourself, and… it still hit you. Because that’s how things that defy the law of conservation of energy to suddenly materialize on our plane of existence work. I believe a more succinct term for it is “surprise.” Anyway! Turns out, it’s an announcement – as things we report on often are. Something Valve-related is making its way to famed purveyor of cartoons with curse words, Adult Swim. But what could it be? WHAT?

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Turbo Edition

Have you been good boys and girls this week? Do you think you deserve a treat? Why not use your pocket money to purchase some of the many varied and delightful cheap bits of digital entertainment software that have been put on sale across the internet’s digital distribution retail outlets this fine weekend? As usual, in addition to my regular duties charting the best prices for games across all formats over at, I’ve been sorting through the special offers on PC games to see which offers are the specialist, and thus deserve your attention. And look, here they are now: Read the rest of this entry »

Valve On Why Games Could Very Well Fix Education

The first time I ever played Portal was damn near magical. Each room I walked into held promise of some diabolical new assault on both my brain and the laws of physics, but I made them look like child’s play. At the time, I was certain it proved I was a genius with an IQ so huge that even my bulging genius brain couldn’t count that high. Of course, I soon came to find out that everyone experienced Portal that way. So I wasn’t a genius. But the puzzle designers at Valve were.

To this day, Portal stands as the most masterful example of invisibly intuitive teaching I’ve ever discovered. It slowly builds upon itself – sneaking new techniques into your repertoire until you’re snoozing through puzzles that would’ve short-circuited your synapses maybe 20 minutes earlier. Is it a fit for classrooms, though? My first inclination would be to think not. I mean, it’s not exactly a hyper-accurate physics simulation – even with science jokes making up the bulk of both Portal 1 and 2’s brilliantly witty dialogue. That, however, is precisely the point, according to Valve director of education Leslie Redd and designer Yasser Malaika. It’s how Valve games teach – not what they’re teaching – that could help save a rusty, way-behind-the-times education system.

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Kickstarter Katchup – 23rd June 2012

The URL for this one is in April. Imagine if I actually updated it.

Oh dear, this is getting out of control. With 28 tabs open on one screen, and a blank page on this one, Kickstarter Katchup is getting busy. Do keep sending in suggestions to the email linked in my name above. That doesn’t guarantee they’ll be featured, of course. And being featured here doesn’t mean we endorse the projects. It’s your call what you choose to fund. Lots of new games added this week, with just one previous mention finishing unfunded, and three success stories.

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