On The Horizon: Distance

By Ben Barrett on October 18th, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

Today in ‘games that desperately need to be out I mean come on already you kickstarted it in 2012 for goodness’ sake’: Distance. I’m not quite sure how this one slipped under my “rad neon games” radar (I have a lot of radars) but it’s probably for the best I wasn’t waiting for it all this time. From Refract Studios, formed by the team behind the ostensibly similar Nitronic Rush, it’s a flashy, fast and fantastic-looking arcade racer. You’re only sometimes trackbound, taking to the air at opportune moments to jump over obstacles or even reach full flight. It’s pretty much the game we all thought up as kids, only with slightly less plasma cannons. New trailer below.

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The RPS Bargain Bucket: Cat-llergical Problems

By Cassandra Khaw on October 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

I love cats, but their luxurious coats disagree with my nose. I am writing this from behind a mountain of soggy tissue paper, even as kittens attempt to use my toes as props in play. I should probably run away, but they’re too cute. Help. (On the bright side, this much sneezing has to qualify as a workout, right? Right?) Because I’m currently located in the Pacific North-West and must prepare this earlier than I normally would, there’s a chance that this week’s Bargain Bucket might have more inaccuracies than normal. I hope not. I don’t know. I’m too busy sneezing my lungs out in the service of cute, fuzzy things. Regardless, enjoy today’s collection of discounted video games. (Ah-choo!) Also, this week’s plushie is an old submission from Lemming because I’m too sick and too far away from home to take my own photos.

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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

By Ben Barrett on October 18th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Lucky you, RPS readers – there’s a whole other weekend that started just today! I know, only five days after the last one! What a time to be alive. And what’s it for? World peace? Scientific research? Reading?! No: games. Much like last week I’m interested in what you’ll be taking your keyboard-hammer and mouse-sickle to over the next 48 hours and whether it’s the good, the bad or the 480p. If you’re unsure what might be worthy of your time, I’ve got some suggestions, plus a quick glance at what’s going down in the world of streaming this weekend.

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Swimming And Quitting

By Alice O'Connor on October 18th, 2014 at 11:30 am.

Again.

Hallo chums! I went swimming in a pond again this weekend — twice, even. Saturday’s swim was in the pouring rain, just me and three dozen ducks bobbing about. The water was a pleasant 16.7° C. Quietly stalking a mandarin duck, I decided to commit to making the traditional Christmas morning swim. A lot of conditioning and a little stiff upper lip and it’ll be fine, I was sure. When I returned on Sunday, the temperature chalked onto the board was down to 15° C. Fine, that’s fine. Stepping down the ladder, I froze as my foot entered water that unexpectedly felt bloody freezing. I cussed under my breath, remembered my pledge, and plunged in.

Which makes me wonder: when are we happy to stop pushing ourselves? When do we quit a game?

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Not For The Weak Minded: Soft Body

By Ben Barrett on October 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

I really can’t deal with going in two directions at once. Give me a complex 3D space to navigate or an army to command and I’m fine. Two dots that need to be moved simultaneously? Blubbering, writhing mess of confusion. Soft Body, awkwardly, relies on just that but manages to be stylish enough to make my flailing more pleasant. In it you control two parts of the same creature on a 2D plane, one analogue stick each. They’re able to interact with the world in different ways and the “ghost” half returns to you if it’s inactive or killed. Take a look at the trailer and thoughts on a preview build below.

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Gentlemen, Start Your Raging: Fenix Rage Demo

By Ben Barrett on October 18th, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Fenix Rage got a “hey, this might be alright” out of me back in July, reeling me in with its rock soundtrack and bastard-hard platforming. I thought it looked like my sort of thing, but wasn’t positive it’d be able to compete with the meaty works that have come before. It’s now out with a demo, which I jumped into last night. I was delighted to discover that it’s expertly made, slick to control and easy to learn but nigh on impossible to perfect. You can give it a shot now or read on for some more thoughts.

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Dark And Handsome: Calvino Noir

By Ben Barrett on October 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

I’m a well dcumented sucker for a pretty art style, but Calvino Noir is just gorgeous. Drawing on the black and white genre expertly, it’s filled with beams filtering through grates and flashlights illuminating long corridors. It oozes class right up to the late 20s setting and spy-thriller plotline. It’s from the team behind the remarkably colourful Morphopolis, presumably in some sort of second album rebellion. A stealth game at heart, lead Dan Walters doesn’t want to rule out a gung-ho option, but has made it clear this will make the game far more difficult.

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Minecraft In 2014: Community And YouTube

By Duncan Geere on October 17th, 2014 at 9:00 pm.

Minecraft gets more popular every day, but we don’t talk about it much anymore. To find out what the game is like in 2014, we asked Duncan Geere to impart his wisdom. The result is a three-part series. Part one looked at Minecraft mods, part two at servers, and part three is below…

It’s a great time to be a Minecraft fan. The enormous community has built incredible things, created amazing mods and runs brilliant multiplayer servers. But in mid-2014, it was all overshadowed by a bitter, brutal war about an end-user license agreement – the repercussions of which will shape the future of the game for a long time to come.

Nonetheless, Minecraft’s community still seems to be growing exponentially, despite only occasional coverage from gaming sites and the mainstream press. Almost all discussion of the game takes place on YouTube, where people share their exploits and a parallel world of Minecraft celebrities has emerged. I’ve hunted down the best channels you should follow.

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Remembering King Of Dragon Pass

By Sin Vega on October 17th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

King of Dragon Pass was first released on PC in 1999, but its mixture of strategy, management and RPG, and its focus on offering the player meaningful choices at every turn, was sadly overlooked at the time. We asked Sin Vega to explain why you should still play the game today.

We’ve all dreamt about ruling over a tribe, right? And let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s not really about the feasting, the comely milkmaids, or even the apocryphal helmets. No. It’s about the decisions.

There you are, lounging regally and probably inebriated on your throne, and in come some people with a complaint. “Urgrim stole my axe!”, shouts one. “That’s a bastard lie,” screams Presumably Ugrim, kicking over a nearby cow, “you’re just jealous of my fabulous beard!”. Wearily, you motion to your advisors, who tell you all about these two, what’s really going on, what the laws say you can do, and that you could at least limit yourself to only drinking from one flagon at a time when the people are watching.

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Toast In The Machine: I Am Bread

By Adam Smith on October 17th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

I Am Bread’s trailer trundled onto the internet in a miniature clown car, putt-putting toward the big top of YouTube, coughing smoke rings from its tiny exhaust pipe. How the crowds guffawed when the doors clattered to the ground and a lanky harlequin struggled out of the driver’s seat, his oversized shoes flip-flopping against the steering wheel and sending gasping honks out into the atmosphere. And tears streamed down the cheeks of every man, woman and child as they collapsed in hysterics when the passengers spilled out onto the sawdust scattered across the floor. THEY WERE SLICES OF BREAD! THE PASSENGERS WERE SLICES OF BREAD!

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Don’t Panic: System Status 100

By Alice O'Connor on October 17th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

They don't like it up 'em.

“Interstellar panic simulator.” It’s not immediately clear why System Status 100 creator Jonothan Rubock calls his free browser game that. It’s easy-peasy at first, simply giving you a little froggy space robot and a steady stream of space bullets to jump over. Survive for 25 seconds and another box will open on the screen, starting another one-button minigame. Oh. Then another comes at 50. And another at 75. Then you’re experiencing interstellar panic. I’ve never quite reached 100 seconds, so I don’t know what happens, but the game has space for another four games. Crumbs.

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Hands On: Elegy For A Dead World

By John Walker on October 17th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Elegy For A Dead World is undeniably quite a diversion for the developers Dejobaan Games, they behind AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and Drunken Robot Pornography. It’s an extremely sedate concept, that aims to turn anyone into a storyteller.

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Gated Community: At The Gates’ Painterly New Art Style

By Alec Meer on October 17th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

At The Gates somehow feels like a lifetime ago, and I’ve never even played it. It’s the turn-based strategy game that Civilization V lead Jon Shafer turned his hand to after parting ways with Firaxis, and it turned up at the tail-end of the Great Kickstarter Gold Rush of 2012-13. I’m quietly relieved that his Conifer Games are taking their sweet time over it. That suggests care and craft, which is what a turn-based game needs.

Also suggesting care and craft is a switch to a new, watercolour-like art style, as demonstrated in the full hour of narrated footage below.
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