Panic Room: Masked

I don't get it, why's it called Masked?

Mr Lewis Denby, he of Beefjack, occasional RPS postings and, well, all manner of gaming publications the land over, has made a game. It’s called Masked, it’s a room escape game, but it treads where that odd, deathless genre usually fears to – the realm of emotion. “You’re trapped in a room, for goodness’ sake.” he observes. “That must be one of the most emotional scenarios it’s possible to be in!”

Made in AGS, it constitutes a few haunting point’n’click minutes, it’s a creepy mystery with an all-knowing, all-seeing narrator in the SHODAN/GlaDOS vein (but a rather more human connection to to the player character) and, aside from a couple of stylistic wobbles, it’s a confident first effort from Sir Denby. Grab it here.

Ooh, A Game Where You Shoot Many Robots

You win this time, Demiurge.
Shoot Many Robots has a directness I can appreciate. When I eventually make a game, I’ll call it “Craig Make Gun Bangs”: it will have no story apart from a bit that says “he puts a bullet in his gun” in Comic Sans, and then a few seconds later “bang” spelled out in bullet holes. I reckon Ubisoft will pick it up like they have this four-player Borderlands-esque platform game. Sure, mine won’t have pretty graphics, charm, wit, or be anything more than an idea scribbled in crayon on a cereal packet, but then they already have that in Demiurge’s game.
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IGF Factor 2012: Botanicula

Next up in our series of chats with (almost) all the PC/Mac-based finalists, it’s the near-legendary Jakub Dvorský from Amanita Design, creators of Machinarium, Samorost and, soon, Botanicula – which is up for the Excellence In Visual Art and Excellence In Audio awards. Here, Jakub talks indie, experimentation and his answer to the most important question of all.

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Rally Around For Some Dirt: Showdown Videos

The Ghostmobile has fallen on hard times. I’ve deleted the official spelling of Codemasters’ Dirt” three times now. Every time I attempt to write big d small i big r big t my keyboard starts to glow red, smoke comes out of it and I hear a thousand voices screaming. That’s what I get for using Vigo the Carpathian’s old mechanical keyboard. But he calmed down when he saw the smashing cars of this raw footage from Codie’s arcade spin-off of their rally series. His giggle was almost infectious.
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Hard Choices: Graphics Cards

Hello, good morrow and, well, graphics. After my début – and let’s be honest, definitive – dissertation on PC processors last month, this time around we’re talking pixel pumpers. The bad news is that this instalment won’t be nearly as neat as the first. With CPUs, I can point at the Intel Core i5 2500K and bark, “buy it”. Job done. Things are a lot more fluid and complex when it comes to GPUs – but even so, when it comes down to it you only need to trouble yourself with four cards today. The buying decision remains rather easy.
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In Spiritum Sequitur: Sanctum 2 Announced

Imagine this with the astonishing graphics of 2013. Crikey!

Top notch first-person space tower defense malarkey, Sanctum, is going to have a baby! Imagine that. The offspring will take the form of a sequel, which is going to dally with the consoles on the sly but if it’s as enjoyable as the original, I’m sure that won’t stop us from greeting it with delighted ‘awwws’ and dreadful babyspeak. Work has already begun at Coffee Stain Studios, who reckon they sold 300,000 copies of the first, but we shouldn’t expect Sanctum 2 before 2013 apparently. It’s also worth nothing that Sanctum is available for £2.37 on Steam for a few hours.

Thief 2 Is Now On Good Old Games

EDF! I MEAN: THIEF2THIEF2THIEF2THIEF2THIEF2THIEF2!
If I had a Thief 2 commemorative mug, I’d be supping water (because of water arrows, of course), while pondering losing weight just in case I need to use rope arrows. As it is, I just have a hoodie up. Why? Right now “The Making of Thief 2” is playing on my other monitor as the full game is downloading from GoG.com. Given how excited I was when Thief: Gold hit there last week, I’m even more excited that the second game available now. I loved the first game, but the second game’s rangy missions just edge it for me.
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Wot I Think: Pineapple Smash Crew

Oops.

Developed by one-man team RichMakeGame – aka Rich Edwards – Pineapple Smash Crew is an indie take on top-down action shooters that was the winner of our Indie Games Arcade award, and has recently arrived on Steam. I’ve played it through to the end, which makes me Space Captain Walker and able to tell you Wot I Think.

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Not Mushroom to Maneuver: Cloudberry Kingdom

Cooperative mode involves being tied together with bungee ropes, naturally

I don’t have the digital dexterity to be a Super Meat Boy master and VVVVVV took me to my limits, so the sight of a new spike-laden contender for most malicious platformer ever should see me jumping for cover. Cloudberry Kingdom has been in development for three years now, originally placing tenth in the 2009 Dream Play Build Competition, and is almost ready for release on both the MicroBox and PC. The most recent trailer makes it seem the kind of challenge that will have some people flexing their fingers in preparation for. I’m just scared, though intrigued by the brainy brainwork behind this madness.

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Notch Says To Schafer “Lets Make Psychonauts 2 Happen”

Hubbada flubble!

We mentioned earlier that Tim Schafer would love to make a Pyschonauts 2, but can’t get the funding. Well, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson spotted our story and suggested to Schafer that they should work together to make it happen. Multimillionaire Persson clearly has the funds to do this, and everyone in the world with their brain in the right place wants to see a sequel to one of the most joyful games of all time, so this is a thing that might actually happen.

Clearly at the moment this is a tweeted offer, not a signed contract, but it’s a massively exciting one. Tim, say yes!

Plant Life: Meet Botanicula’s Cellulose Chums

I couldn't bring myself to use the word 'exclusive' in the headline

Coming later today, we’ll be posting a chat with Amanita Design (Samorost, Machinarium) mastermind Jakub Dvorsky about new game Botanicula, the IGF et al, but as part of it he passed along a couple of mega-charming (I do like using the word ‘mega'; it reminds me of being young and over-excited about new issues of Look-In) and never-before-seen new trailers that entirely deserve their own post.

If anything ails you today, a glimpse of this beautiful, strange and funny point’n’click exploration game will almost certainly help.
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Chocks Away: MS Flight Flies Feb 29th

Just looking at this screen costs you 200 Peggles
Just like Holly Genarro’s plane had to circle the airport at Dulles Airport in the 1990 classic Die Hard 2: Rudder Me This, Microsoft’s free-to-play air-to-plane sim Flight is still up in the air. But fret not, fokkers, for Microsoft will be getting all John McLaine on its crew section, and exploding a planeful of terrorists to create runway lights on the 29th of February. That’s when everyone will be touching down on the crunchy snow and into Bruce Willis’s comforting embrace. Er, and the game’s out.
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Double Fine Schafing At The Bit To Do Psychonauts 2

His milk *is* delicious

Update: Minecraft-master Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has been publicly trying to get Tim Schafer’s attention today, saying “Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen” and confirming to us that he’s serious. Who knows what, if anything, will come of this – but how exciting, eh?

Ah, the fine art of reporting on non-events: not news as such, but they make us go all misty-eyed and slightly sad. In this case, it’s Double Fine’s Tim Schafer revealing that he would gladly make another Psychonauts game, but no-one will give the studio the money they need for it. Aaaaaaaaaaaargh!
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