Ice Hockey Meets Minigolf: ClusterPuck 99

By Alice O'Connor on January 29th, 2015 at 8:00 am.

What fresh hell is this?

For all my previous gushing about reimagined sport games, I entirely missed ClusterPuck 99 [official site] when it first came out last year. It looks like ice hockey stripped down to the essentials of one puck, two goals, and up to eight players, but then built back up with wackiness borrowed from a minigolf course rather than any field or rink I’ve seen. Mazes! Spikes! Bumpers! Boosters! Perilous drops! Spinny bits! Silliness! ClusterPuck comes to my attention now through its release on Steam, where a launch discount brings it briefly down to £5.94.

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Dote Night: Learning To LoL

By Philippa Warr on January 28th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

RUN

I said a little while back that I wanted to open up Dote Night to include interesting things across the MOBA spectrum. It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten Dota 2 in any way, shape or form, nor does it mean there won’t be Dote Nights about Dota, but I’d like to try out a few things and see how they go. To introduce this week’s article: I’ve spent the last year following competitive League of Legends but I’ve never played more than a handful of games. I feel like a football fan who’s never really had a decent kickabout in the park. That’s why this week is about getting to grips with League of Legends [official site]:

I refuse to surrender. Point-blank refuse. WE CAN STILL DO THIS! We can still… oh, I see. No, not without our nexus, no.

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Kerbal Space Program 1.0: Preparing To Leave Beta

By Philippa Warr on January 28th, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

Let's go!

Kerbal Space Program is leaving beta with the next update.

KSP [official site] will continue to be a work-in-progress – the developers say as much – so what does leaving beta actually mean in this situation?

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Early Impressions: H1Z1

By Alec Meer on January 28th, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

boo!

Why is Sony’s unfinished multiplayer zombie survival game H1Z1 (official site) proving so popular? On paper, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Initial reports were negative; we’ve already got DayZ; even if we wanted a less hardcore DayZ with more crating, we’ve got 7 Days To Die already.

So what on Earth is H1Z1 for? And why am I enjoying it even though I really feel as though I shouldn’t?
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Offworld Trading Company, The Fighting-Free* RTS

By Alec Meer on January 28th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

It’s impossible not to be interested in whatever Civ IV designer Soren Johnson is up to, despite a disconcerting dalliance with wait/pay/spam social games at EA a while back, but even so his next project, Offworld Trading Company, is pressing even more of my buttons than I’d already expected. A real-time strategy game which isn’t at all militaristic, but instead focused on colony expansion and economy, and the Machiavellian manipulation thereof? Gimme! While a prototype has been available since July to anyone who feels comfortable throwing $80 at speculative projects, Mohawk have just now broken cover with first footage for everyone. It looks out of this world no no no I’m so sorry, I mean it looks like a very interesting and attractive game from this world.
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Command, Conquer, Calculate: Act Of Aggression

By Adam Smith on January 28th, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Following the success of the Wargame series, Act of Aggression [official site] sees Eugen returning to a more traditional form of RTS. Retaining ideas from the studio’s previous Act of War titles, as well as the clever confusion of R.U.S.E., it’s a game that aims to fill the gap left by the disappearance of Commander & Conquer Generals 2. Based on the forty five minutes I’ve spent in its company, I reckon it might be more than capable of filling that gap.

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Shelter 2 Trailer: Cute Not Red In Tooth And Claw

By Philippa Warr on January 28th, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

In my day snacks were seen and not heard

“Pip, I don’t want to stereotype, but a trailer titled ‘Cuteness in Shelter 2′ seems right up your street,” said Alice, stereotyping furiously.

Thing is, this is a stereo-typo because I am not there for anything cute or parental. I’m interested in Shelter 2 [official site] because I want to defeat my cubs and to see how the savage indifference of nature manifests. Further reading of this news story will contain spoilers for Shelter…

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Have You Played… Lucius?

By Adam Smith on January 28th, 2015 at 3:30 pm.

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

The Omen: The Game. Antichrist simulator. Hitman: Blood Magic. From the outside, Lucius [official site] looks like a sandbox of Satanic slaughter, in which you play the spawn of the devil in the form of a young boy who has a permanent sulkface. Tasked with killing the staff and residents of a large, bland mansion, the game allows you to indulge in patricide, matricide and priesticide, which is, I suppose, another form of patricide. However, as is the case with the titular character, the game isn’t what it seems to be*.

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Victory Achieved: Petroglyph’s Army Arena Battler Reborn

By Alice O'Connor on January 28th, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

I hope it's... great. Aye? Right? Yeah? Great? Great victory? Remember the Internet yeh?

Cast your mind back to the distant year of 2013, when developers Petroglyph failed to Kickstarter multiplayer arena-o-RTT-ish game Victory. The Grey Goo gang dreamed of 5-on-5 multiplayer online arena battles between combined arms armies composed and customised by players, but didn’t get anywhere near their $700,000 goal. They did, however, say several publishers had shown interest so they might get to make it after all. And so they have!

The free-to-play game now named Victory Command [official site], and now co-developed by South Korean F2P folks Neoact, has been re-revealed and opened beta signups.

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Ubisoft: Cancelled Keys Bought Fraudulently From Origin

By Alice O'Connor on January 28th, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

Satire, yeah? The mission area represents... a thing and the bow is... another thing?

Ubisoft last week deactivated copies of games including Far Cry 4 and Watch Underscore Dogs for a number of folks who had bought them from game key resellers, later briefly explaining the keys had been “fraudulently obtained”. Now they’ve said a bit more. The keys in question were bought from EA’s digital store Origin with fraudulent credit card details then sold on by resellers, Ubi have explained. EA confirmed this, and have also removed Ubi’s games from Origin to somehow “protect against further fraudulent purchases”, which seems a bit weird. Ubi are directing folks to their resellers to get refunds, and at least one plans compensation.

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Impressions: Out There Ω Edition

By Alec Meer on January 28th, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Out There is a pacifistic take on FTL, yet arguably even more brutal. As a lone, lost starpilot, jump from system to system, simply trying to stay alive and trying to gather replacement resources as the journey steadily eats away your fuel, oxygen and hull integrity. Don’t worry about weapons, don’t worry about crew members: just don’t die. Out There Cleaves a little closer to Choose Your Own Adventure than FTL did, in that it is almost entirely based on chance rather than requiring any particular strategic nous from the player. In other words, it’s completely unfair. But hey, surely being cast adrift in endless, unknown space with no idea what awaits you on the other end of your next lightspeed jump would be pretty unfair, right?
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Shock: Levine’s New Game Is Open Worldish Sci-Fiish RPG

By Alec Meer on January 28th, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

Sometime BioShock boss Ken Levine has opened the first tears to his new development dimension. He effectively closed his long-time studio Irrational last year in favour of working on smaller-scale projects, but still within the protective fortress of 2K. At the time he talked about making narrative-led games with more replayability, and while last night’s sudden flurry of updates is nothing like a reveal, he has a least given out a few big hints, together with a pledge for more open development than was the case on the spoiler-vulnerable BioShocks. What he’s got planned is a open worldish (“but not necessarily outdoors”) RPG, sci-fi, PC, probably first-person, chapter-like structure, brand new setting, add “ins” rather than add-ons, and a Passion System. Missus.

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Freeware Garden: Mango Blue

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on January 28th, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Not an isometric monkey.

I know there are hundreds of brand new, great and absolutely wild games to be found over at the latest Global Game Jam, yet, having played through more than a hundred, I couldn’t help but urge you to take a look at just one for now. The short but excellent Mango Blue is well worth your time.

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