Canada Route Zero: Highway Of Tears Demo

Digging through the RPS archives can be rather alarming. Highway of Tears looks like the kind of game our keen eyes may have spotted so I dutifully typed the first few letters into the ‘tag’ search – ‘h-i-g-h-way To The Reich’, the form completed itself and waited for my approval. No. Bad form. Bad RPS. I’ll deal with this situation right away. I wonder what other innocent words produce a single disturbing response?

Highway of Tears caught my eye because it has a strong set of influences, including Kentucky Route Zero, True Detective and ‘the mythology of the Haida aboriginals’. That already makes for a more attractive point and click prospect than ‘comedy anti-hero’ or ‘rubbish [insert job title]’. A demo is available.

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H2O: Chemical Puzzler Sokobond Now On Steam

Bond those chemicals!

Now, let’s be clear. When I say “Hey, Sokobond has been out since September but now it’s on Steam,” I don’t mean to imply that you should refuse to buy games not on Steam, and I don’t want to encourage people who do. But a game being on Steam always draws more attention, and launching on Steam can reintroduce it to a larger audience. A Sokoban-y puzzler shifting and bonding atoms to form chemical compounds is a quiet and unassuming sort of game, after all. But a good one.

Hey, Sokobond has been out since September but now it’s on Steam.

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Bird-Brained: Nelly Cootalot’s On Greenlight

The extremely lovely point and click adventure Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy appeared when RPS was but a fledgling chick, not sure how to arrange text and images. The game, however, knew exactly how to arrange such things, the sweetest love letter from boyfriend to girlfriend, and a damned funny little adventure too. Last year saw a sequel, The Fowl Fleet successfully seek funding on Kickstarter, and in the time since creator Alasdair Beckett-King has teamed up with Application Systems to complete the game. There’s a new trailer, below, and a Greenlight campaign.

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Awkward Zombie: A Gaming Webcomic About Games

The best type of joke.

There is an arc to popular videogame webcomics: they start off being about videogames and then they drift, as the creator and audience change and develop, to being more about the characters contained within the comic. It makes sense that as people become more invested in their own creative world, they’d shift slightly from solely making jokes about other people’s.

Praise be for Awkward Zombie, a videogame webcomic which has been open in my browser for three weeks. As I’ve sat here, clicking through its years and years of archives, reading its jokes about PC games (and Nintendo games) instead of working, a thought occurs. If I share this fun with other people, it becomes work. These hours wasted were research.

So there we go. You can click the link and start reading for yourself, or you can step below for some examples and some prattling about joke forms.

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Stikbold & The Beautiful: ’70s-Styled Dodgeball With Whales

John and Alec in the early '90s!? What are you guys doing in this game!

Local multiplayer games seemed a frustrating shame until recently: I’d see a cool art style or neat idea and then discover that I could only play it if I had people around my house. I hate having people around my house, because that’s where I store the evidence. But then Nidhogg, Gang Beasts and Towerfall happened and I had a gang of folks whose houses I could visit, and so Stikbold, a 1-6 player local multiplayer dodgeball game with colour, humour, and whale-based bossfights seems like an extremely enticing prospect.

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The Lighthouse Customer: Robocraft

War never changes. It just rearranges.

Each Monday, Chris Livingston visits an early access game and reports back with stories about whatever he finds inside. This week, building, driving, and flying robotic cube-tanks in the free-to-play Robocraft.

My robotank, Killdeathinator — named for all the killing and deathinating it’s been dishing out — has just entered its 5th iteration. Killdeathinator Mk 1 had four wheels, a couple guns, and was made of weak plastic cubes. Mk 2 added more wheels — ones I can steer, which I’ve found to be fairly important — and a radar dish to track enemies. Now, lined with gleaming copper armor and bristling with cannons, its become a fairly durable ground assault vehicle. Time to kick it up a notch. Killdeathinator wants to fly.

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Training Wheels: Train Simulator 2015 Introducing School

Trouble with the thermic syphons, I see.

I sometimes fancy visiting the countryside in the driver’s cab of a virtual train, especially now I’ve seen the new Japanese DLC route inspired by Spirited Away, but know I’ll never put the time into teaching myself to drive one from manuals and tutorial videos.

Almost as if they knew train simulators appear terrifyingly complex from the outside, Dovetail Games have announced they’ll tackle that with Train Simulator 2015. This year’s refresh will bring a train-driving academy teaching how to make choo-choos chug-chug, along with new base routes and trains–including a train from the future.

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Of Guards And Thieves Is Like Tom Clancy’s Monaco

I don't think this is the same camera angle as the video.

Sure, you could watch six rounds of Rainbow Six: Siege being played to get your daily fix of asymmetrical multiplayer, but that game isn’t out yet. Of Guards And Thieves meanwhile is a multiplayer stealth game which as seems as inspired by Clancy-ish infiltration mechanics as it is Monaco’s camera view and Team Fortress 2’s character classes and art design. It’s in Early Access on Steam as of a few days ago and there’s a trailer below.

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Devil’s In The Draw Distance: Into The Gloom

Gloom is a fantastic word, too often ignored in the gaming world because a certain FPS takes all the ‘oom’ attention. Loom deserves some of the ‘oom’ love, of course, and perhaps a little should be spared for Into The Gloom as well. It’s a first-person horror game with puzzles to solve and darkness to flee from, and it has the sort of old-fashioned grayscale (+red) graphics that will cause some observers to roll their eyes in exasperation. There’s a reason for the style though – and it’s not just the lack of a huge art team. The gloom uses a short draw distance and simplistic visuals to conceal…something.

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Editorial: Why Steam Needs To Give New Releases A Chance

Valve can’t win. And Valve always wins. That’s a fair starting point for any discussion about Steam.

From their vastly dominant position, with a concerning grip over the online PC marketplace, they’re both the bane and the boon of PC developers. If Valve makes a decision, you can guarantee that there will be more voices screaming dissent than those declaring joy (alongside those trying to work out how it’s a covert announcement of Half-Life 3). So you can see why they might start to form a habit of making changes, then stuffing wadding in their own mouths, refusing to talk about it. However, I think it’s time for the company to start taking notice of a mistake I think they’re consistently making with their Store page: hiding new games.

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Liberty City Nights: A NFS Underground-y GTA 3 Mod

Neon Nights

Races have consistently been my least favourite activity and mission style in Grand Theft Auto games, but here I am downloading Grand Theft Auto III so I can play a mod dedicated to the blighters. Liberty City Nights’ creator amibitiously describes it as “the best racing mod GTA III ever saw,” which also implies “the least horrible racing GTA III ever saw,” but that’s not why I’m interested. See, I’m interested in mods which try to recreate or crib from games and series which are no longer made, and Liberty City Nights is after the neon night racing of EA’s Need for Speed Underground subseries.

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DevLog Watch: Super III, Prune, Book Of Dwarf, More

ffs i wish every game wasn't an fps about violent dudebros gawwwwwd

Last week I was in Switzerland on holiday, which meant I wrote a devlog watch but every update was about the mountains I hiked, the cowbells I heard, and the fresh baked bread I ate from my sunbaked patio. It was glorious. Can videogames compete?

Probably not, but devlogs featuring alien platformers, nuclear strategy, puzzling trees and simulated dwarves give it a good try below.

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Unscripted Sieging: 6 Rounds of Rainbow Six Siege

He's upside-down.

We were quite excited about the defence-building, wall-exploding, hostage-rescuing, man-shooting action of Rainbow Six Siege during E3, but the demo Ubisoft showed was ever-scripted and poorly-acted silliness. We’ve been waiting to see actual gameplay since, and last week Ubisoft showed it off with six supposedly live rounds during a livestream. You may be surprised to learn that unscripted Siege contains fewer dramatic twists and less emoting than the demo. Come watch the games yourself and see what you make of it now.

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