Space Wars Are Go: Sci-Fi RTS Etherium Out Today

By Alice O'Connor on March 25th, 2015 at 4:00 pm.

While some folks clamour for real-time strategy games, I’d quite fancy a spot of real time strategy, divorced from the laughable human ‘linear’ time. Show me everything, all of it, all at once, forever unfolding and forking down infinite paths. Show me how even one single move – or no moves! – will end in countless tragedies, let me become paralysed with indecision, realise only one moral move exists, and so let me stop the entire universe from even starting.

If you’re one of those real-time strategy lot, though, hey, look: Etherium [official site] is out today.

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Top-Down Terror: Noct, Teleglitch And Darkwood

By Adam Smith on March 25th, 2015 at 3:00 pm.

Noct [official site] is a top-down horror game in the tradition of Teleglitch and Alien Breed. It’s grainy, thermal-imaged satellite-view is the antithesis of a sedate bird’s-eye-view, stripping away tactical oversight and contemplation. Noct is one of several recent games to create a tense and claustrophobic experience by twisting a typically expansive, liberating and distancing viewpoint. We covered it when it arrived on Kickstarter and since then it’s been picked up by Devolver and is preparing to enter Early Access. It looks splendid, as you can see for yourself in the embedded footage and teaser trailer below.

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Wot I Think: Worlds Of Magic

By Alec Meer on March 25th, 2015 at 2:00 pm.

I do like the big beetles, though

Given how spoilt for choice we are for fantasy strategy/roleplaying games, opting for Worlds of Magic [official site] over an Age of Wonders III or Endless Legend feels a bit like choosing to take home the one-eyed, geriatric dog with bladder problems instead of one of the cute puppies at the pound.

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Virtual Nose Could Help Battle VR Sickness

By Philippa Warr on March 25th, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

Nothing even remotely approaching what this would look like

Virtual noses. That’s what researchers at Purdue University are proposing as a potential solution to that sickness you might experience when playing games on Oculus Rift or similar virtual reality headsets.

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Fan Film: An Alternative Reality – Football Manager

By Adam Smith on March 25th, 2015 at 12:00 pm.

I attended Ole Gunnar Solskjær's testimonial in which he unsurprisingly came on as a substitute. In my ideal world, Berbatov , Solskjær and Juan Mata all retire from football and run a top notch delicatessen together.

Last year’s Football Manager [official site] documentary, An Alternative Reality, appeared on Steam’s video streaming service last night. The purchase is for streaming only, with no downloadable files available, and the standard price is £7.99 (there is a 30% launch discount at the moment). The documentary is already available on other digital video services, some of which do allow downloads as well as streaming, but its appearance on Steam caught my eye and I ended up watched it while cooking my dinner last night. Brief thoughts below.

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Freeware Garden: Serious Dave

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on March 25th, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Compared to iOS gamers we are tragically short on runners, so it’s a good thing we get to play the unfinished but generously freeware Serious Dave. As is traditional, you move your onscreen avatar moving up and down between three lanes and either avoid or shoot enemies – provided you’ve bought a weapon bought with the in-game currency that is, which is earned by gathering of beer for the shop-keeper.

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Lively: H1Z1 Has Sold Over 1 Million Copies

By Alice O'Connor on March 25th, 2015 at 10:00 am.

Not very cosy.

“That’s nice, dear,” is my usual response to boasts of big business numbers. They rarely reveal much interesting unless you’re really into the nitty-gritty of #business (in which case, fair play to you). Why do I raise an eyebrow at news that H1Z1 [official site] has sold over one million copies?

Well, while many (me included, probably) have muttered that the Early Access open-world zombie multiplayer survival genre is overcrowded with folks leaping on DayZ‘s bandwagon, it’s evidently vibrant enough for a million folks to pay at least £15 for a game which will be free-to-play when it eventually launches. I’m surprised.

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Safe: Payday 2 Gets Two More Years DLC, Updates

By Philippa Warr on March 25th, 2015 at 9:00 am.

They see me patrollin' they hatin'

Payday 2 [official site] studio, Overkill, have announced that they’re going to be putting out updates and supporting the game for another two years thanks to a new deal with publisher 505.

The devs certainly seem excited about the news (“We love working on Payday 2 and look forward taking care of our game for two more years, making new free updates, paid DLCs and awesome campaigns together with the community”) but I decided to ask Alice as she’s someone here who actually plays it.

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Cardboard Children – Three Kingdoms Redux

By Robert Florence on March 24th, 2015 at 10:00 pm.

“All great powers reunify after long periods of division, wane and break up after long periods of unification.”

Two years ago, in this very column, I wrote this:

“My dream is to design a Romance of the Three Kingdoms board game. What’s YOUR dream design?”

Today I review a Three Kingdoms board game. It’s called “Three Kingdoms Redux”, it’s by two first-time game designers, and I am completely stunned.

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Dwarf Sport-ress: Out Of The Park Baseball 16

By Adam Smith on March 24th, 2015 at 9:00 pm.

Of all the game releases anyone might need a reminder about, an annual sports series seems unlikely to be jostling for a space at the front of the queue. Out of the Park Baseball [official site] is different though. It’s different because baseball isn’t a popular pastime or even part of the cultural background in many parts of the world. It’s different because it’s one of the most in-depth and customisable simulations of anything ever. Out of the Park isn’t the Football Manager of baseball sims, it’s the Dwarf Fortress. To explain why, I’ll tell you about the three games I started when I downloaded the new version last night.

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An Important Update About The Witcher 3’s Beard Physics

By Alec Meer on March 24th, 2015 at 8:00 pm.

That's barely even a beard, Geralt. You'll have to try harder than that

Is a beard growing through the course of videogame physics? I’m not entirely sure: maybe it’s just beard biology? But I’m certain my life has been empty and pointless without the excuse to say ‘beard physics’ on a regular basis, so you can be damn sure I’m seizing the opportunity today.

The reason for this is that good old Geralt’s beard will become steadily longer as you play through the Witcher 3. “Not Gandalf long”, disappointingly, but “really long” is promised. I’m guessing somewhere between Owner Of Hipster Cereal Cafe Long and Brian Blessed Long myself.
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Life’s Too Short: How I Learned To Embrace Easy Mode

By Jon Morcom on March 24th, 2015 at 7:00 pm.

Jon Morcom ruminates – not entirely seriously – on trying to overcome difficulty spikes in games.

“Slick, you dozy prick! How can you miss with a shotgun from point blank range?” I recently shocked myself by saying this rather too loudly at some pixels on my screen arranged into the shape of a nondescript bald man firing a gun very badly. I’d bought Wasteland 2 [official site] off the back of some good reviews and approached it with no real pre-conceptions. Shock, horror I’d never played the original Wasteland, only a few hours of genre stable-mate Fallout and Fallout 2 not at all; please forgive me hardcore gamers (in the interests of full disclosure I’ve also never rolled a hoop with a stick or flicked a juggling diabolo high into the air). But I make mention of my futile, out-loud admonishment of a party member who just happened to miss, as the combat dice rolls in Wasteland 2 will occasionally have him do, to exemplify the degree to which I’d invested in the game.

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In The Trees – Dragon Age: Inquisition Story DLC Released

By Alice O'Connor on March 24th, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

A nice spot for a dip.

Video game forests: yes, more please, thank you. Big trees, dappled sunlight, ferns, moss, lichen, wild flowers, and hidden ponds: ooh twist my arm.

BioWare released the first singleplayer DLC story hunk for Dragon Age: Inquisition [official site] today and while I understand there’s something about Inquisitors and dragons in it, the real take-away is that it has a big forest. With ferns, tree houses, mystic groves, ancient ruins, some huge cliffs with waves crashing at the bottom, and something about an old god and ice dragon, ‘Jaws of Hakkon’ is on Origin for – cripes! – £11.99.

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