Premature Evaluation: Armello

“This is what the future of George Monbiot’s re-wilding policy looks like,” he typed, realising he would not be able to come up with a less obscure joke by his copy deadline.

Each week Marsh Davies sidles into the shadowy world of intrigue that is Early Access and comes back with any stories he can find and/or a knife in the back. This week, he plugs in his bunny tail and assassinates anthropomorphised animals with an umbrella in Armello, a digital boardgame of machiavellian power plays.

It would take an Australian developer, apparently not content with harbouring the most deadly creatures on the planet, to advocate giving swords to wolves. Real nice, Australia. Real nice. Why not put stilettos into the tiny claws of rats, while you’re at it? How about making bears into deadly wizards? Go on, give rabbits concealed blades disguised as parasols, why don’t you?

Then make them fight. Oh, you did? Oh.

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A List Of 1139 Five Nights At Freddy’s Fan Games

I've seen things.

Update, September 14th: Shortly after this post, Five Nights fan games really took off. At one point, I had hoped to compile a new list of the 2362 games on Game Jolt, but, well, there were 2362 of them. I certainly did start, though, so now I’ve boshed another 922 games onto this list. I know, right? Game Jolt chose to section Five Nights fan games away from the main stream, as they were flooding everything else out, and currently hosts over 4,712 in various stages of completion.

My readme file obsession has tailed off in recent months, replaced by a fascination with fan games for Five Nights at Freddy’s [official site] – a game I’ve only played for ten minutes in the demo. Every morning I check Game Jolt, and every morning I see several new Five Nights games.

I realised how big it was when Fazbear and friends usurped Slender Man as the most popular fan game subject on Game Jolt. As I write this, the host-o-community has at least 217 entries that are clearly FNAF fan games. And that 217 is only on one site. And only since September. I didn’t know what to do with my obsession beyond compile it into one huge list so that’s what I did, okay.

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After Action Report: PlanetSide 2’s World Record Attempt

I’m being flown westwards in a Galaxy dropship transport along with the 11 other players in bravo squad. A couple of dozen friendly fighter planes pass below us, heading north east, moving to support another battle elsewhere. Red tracers begin to fill my screen as we take fire from enemy flak positions supporting a battle in the north. Veering left, our pilot moves to approach our destination from the south.

I ask for a sitrep: delta squad have arrived in advance, and are watching enemy positions for activity. Alpha and charlie squad leaders report that they now have ground support vehicles en route. Seconds later I arrive with bravo and we drop onto our objective; a small building in the east of this base. Alpha and charlie squad begin finding placements for Sunderers (mobile infantry spawn vehicles) and I see another platoon drive up with support vehicles, take up positions and begin assaulting the western side of the same base.

Over half an hour ago we broke the world record for the largest number of players in an FPS battle, but there’s still an hour of laser war left in Planetside 2.

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Prop Hunt With Murderclowns: SoulHunt’s Public Alpha

I can see you! Maybe. Are you a potted aloe vera? That seems like the sort of thing you'd be.

Beyond the age where one can hide inside a cardboard box or under a sofa, hide-and-seek becomes a dangerous game. Rounds are won by people willing to risk terrible damage to property, perhaps climbing up onto the kitchen cabinets, or to their life, hiding inside an airtight fridge.

Video game hide-and-seek is dangerous in the other way: if they find you, you will die. Often one’s hiding in plain sight, pretending to be an NPC or an inanimate object. SoulHunt [official site] is the second sort. One player’s a murderous clown, and the rest are spirits who hide by possessing cups, magazines, brooms, frying pans etc., as you can see for yourself in a free alpha out now.

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Early Access Impressions: Stranded Deep

At first glance, Stranded Deep looks like a halfway point between The Forest and Salt. Well, at first glance it looks extraordinarily like The Forest, as it opens with the extremely familiar idea of a plane crash. Stranded on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, you’re equipped with only a knife, water bottle, and whatever you can scavenge. It’s another survival game! But still, the midpoint between The Forest and Salt sounds like a brilliant place to be. Sounds like. Isn’t.

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Boo! Lucius II Rising On Friday The 13th (Of February)

You got bloody on your straitjacket, you scruffy little urchin!

Halloween. Scareday, they call it. The dream release date of every horror game is October 31st, the one they call The Big Spooker, Boosday, or Satan’s Flatwarming. If that’s too far away, though, developers can always fall back on Friday the 13th. We’ve got three of ‘em this year, and Lucius II: The Prophecy [official site] is looking to make 2015’s first ᴅᴇᴠɪʟɪsʜ. Shiver Games have announced they’ll release the sandbox Young Satan simulator on Friday, February the 13th, and I must say I’m pretty keen to have a crack.

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I’m A Lover, Not A Fighter: 3 Hours With The Witcher 3

I was travelling into the forest with a hunter who had seen a griffin slay dozens of men and women. The ground was still puddled with blood from its most recent massacre, but it was another act of violence that drew my attention. In conversation, the hunter revealed that he was chased from his village because his neighbors discovered that he was gay. Now he lives by himself, away from the judging eyes of his peers. Despite being forced from society, he still helps bring an end to the griffin, to relieve those who shunned him of further suffering.

“Even though it’s a fantasy game, we want to make sure that it feels real,” said Jonas Mattsson, senior environmental artist at CD Projekt Red. Reaching that goal begins with how people are presented in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (official site), the first three hours of which I’ve now played.

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Brian Fargo’s Eighties Disco: The Bard’s Tale IV

Brian Fargo and the inXile team’s next project will be another revival of an Interplay oldie. Following the success of Wasteland 2, the studio is now turning its attention to The Bard’s Tale, the fantasy dungeon crawling series last seen in 1988 (inXile’s own exhaustingly unfunny parody is an official Bard’s Tale game so let’s ignore it). Fargo announced the game at PAX South, where he confirmed that Kickstarter will be used for funding as with Wasteland 2. He has since taken to Twitter to state that development will focus on a PC version and that InXile will be “dialling up” the atmosphere.

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Wot I Think: Song Of The Myrne – What Lies Beneath

One-man project Song Of The Myrne: What Lies Beneath is a quick-n-cheap little RPG that’s bursting with charm. The pixel graphics may look very familiar, but it adds its own little twists to the format. Here’s wot I think:

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Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered Offers HD Cage

When David Cage’s polygonal form walked in front of the camera at the start of the original Fahrenheit demo, it seemed like an unusual, funny thing for a game designer to do. However, it’s a little known fact that David Cage has actually been trapped there, inside his strange adventure game these past ten years. That’s made it difficult to direct actors in his more recent works – explaining a lot – but it’s also given him the time to polish up the game which has become his prison.

Now according to a listing on, Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered is on its way.

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