Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’



But! There is a sequel to Robot Unicorn Attack, the most important videogame ever to feature an Erasure soundtrack. No, scratch that, the most important videogame ever. I discover this within the same hour that I discover there is to be a new, and faithful adaptation of Space Hulk, which makes today The Day Of Days. Or at least it would if…

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Calm Down, Everyone: You Can Play Farmville 2 Now

You can see it too, right? There's death in that tiny man's eyes.

I know you – probably better than anyone else. Yes, you. Everyone else thought nothing was amiss, but I could see it. Underneath your cool, put-together exterior, you were sweating bullets. “Maybe Farmville 2 will n-n-n-never launch,” you fretted through a mouthful of chewed-off fingernails. “Maybe recent financial woes and legal troubles will improbably bring Zynga to its knees over night! Nooooooo.” Now, though, you can rest easy. Farmville 2 has descended upon Facebook in all its Flash-powered 3D glory. But before you rush off to tearfully reunite with your secret shame, let me give you an idea of what you’re in for.

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In Your Facebook: Outernauts Out Now

Grid-based asynchronous battles await in Insomnia’s first Facebook game, which is now available to play. I like every word in that sentence except ‘Facebook’, although I also dislike ‘first’ if it appears below one of my posts, orphaned from the rest of the English language. I didn’t get on with Resistance but Ratchet & Clank was a fun time and Outernauts’ character designs have more in common with that series. Nathan dubbed the game “space Pokemon” and that seems accurate, with alien creatures to capture, train and pit against one another. It looks quite decent, but takes the approach of having players pay or wait to take action, which means that now I’ve run out of energy I’ll probably forget to ever go back. Trailer and brief thoughts below.

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SimCity Social Casts Net Wide, Ends Up Simple

Roving herds of giraffe are, of course, quite common in suburban America.

SimCity Social‘s open beta first really started bothering me when I stopped playing it. And not for the reason you might think. Someone called me on the phone while I was poking around and still mourning the fact that “OppressionVille” was too big for the city name field, so I looked away from my burgeoning burg for, oh, 15 minutes. When I returned, nothing had changed. No tornadoes had struck. Nothing caught on fire. Yes, SimCity Social is a turn-based game, but that only partially robs it of the gleeful insanity that so characterizes’ Maxis’ most-famed of llama-loving city builders. After all, that structure could work if given proper treatment.

Here, though, it’s symptomatic of a much larger problem: SimCity Social is about as easygoing as they come. There have been (at least, after a few hours) no downsides to my actions – no tension or intrigue. Sure, neat things (like a UFO crash) occasionally happened, but they largely served to stuff more Simoleons into my jingling mayoral pockets. Well, until typical social game stuff took center stage, anyway.

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EA Closes The Book On Dragon Age Legends

The Darkspawn have fewer hearts because they can't actually understand the power of love.

Alec didn’t care for Dragon Age Legends too terribly much, and apparently, neither did most of you. As such, to be perfectly honest, it’s no great tragedy to hear that the Facebook-friend-unfriendly spin-off is headed for the big server farm in the sky. Unsurprisingly – especially given EA’s previous track record with these things – the legend of Legends has hit the end of the line because it “doesn’t make enough revenue to sustain itself.” So then, nothing to see here, worth a throwaway mention and little else, move along, etc, right? Not entirely. There are some potentially far-reaching ramifications here – many of which spring from an incoming single-player standalone version EA’s releasing to compensate.

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Gaikai Lets You Shoot A Man In The Face On Facebook

I’m writing this in one tab as a tractor is idling away in another, and it’s not even a webgame: right now I have Farming Simulator 2011 running on Facebook, via Gaikai. That’s kind of neat. The cloud-streaming service is hosting seven demos of PC games, with five available in Europe and (Magicka, Sniper – Ghost Warrior, The Witcher 2 – Assassins of Kings, Orcs Must Die!, Farming Simulator 2011) the US, and two (Saints Row – The Third, Dead Rising 2 – Off the Record) only playable to US Facebookers. You get 30 minutes of gametime to test out potential buys, before you need to return to update your status as “Farmboy”.
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Impressions: Prom Week

I just got Chloe a date with Doug, and now I’m manipulating the emotions of a high-school Prom judge. This is sick. Prom Week’s plots are raging, emotional torrents of cruelty, humiliation and, if you’re inclined, affection. If you’re old enough to look back on youth as a learning experience, making a teenager insult someone so their enemy becomes your friend has that horrible air of familiarity to it, but one that you can eventually (hopefully) look back on as an ugly fact of life. I like Prom Week, but there are times when its social strategy just made me feel bad about myself.
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Microtransacting The Fridge: Indy Facebook

Social networks. Why'd it have to be social networks?

I was nosing at Uncharted 3 on the playbox last night (professional curiosity!), marvelling at its graphics and likeable characters but becoming exasperated at its extreme train-track constraints, and its acrobatic adventures had me yearning for another good Indiana Jones game. A character who doesn’t say too much but when he does it’s gold; a character who doesn’t immediately die if he jumps from the wrong place because he’s got a whip to save him; a character who doesn’t say ‘crap’ every two minutes. When did we last get a proper, decent Indiana Jones game? There were, of course, two Lego Indiana Joneses, but I’ll discount those because, while joyful, they’re pastiche in many ways. Sensibly, there wasn’t a specific one for the Doohickey Of The Crystal Thingum, as no-one wants to play a game about four old people shuffling around a CGI temple while Shia LeBeouf trails along doing his best plank of meat impression.

Could FarmVille overlords Zynga resurrect Indy’s gaming legend? They’ve just rebranded – apparently permanently – their Facebook game Adventure World as Indiana Jones Adventure World. Does this mean that if adventure has a name, it’s micropayments? Let’s take a look.
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Are There Any Good Facebook Games?

I had a fun weekend blowing the minds of distant relatives by showing them that the PC can actually run games better than the Xbox. They were pretty sceptical, but a brief trip through hi-resolution land later and they were nodding along amiably. I tried to show my teenage cousin the stealthy, choice-rich excitements of DXHR, too, but he wasn’t convinced. “I just use my laptop for Facebook games,” he said. Sigh. But that reminded me that that I wanted to ask you lot if there are actually any good Facebook games now. Stuart has been insisting that gaudy retro-remakes of games like Pacman-S and New Rally-XS are actually worth visiting Facebook for, and he’s probably right, but I suspect there’s probably some more RPSy games out there.

I mean there has to be, right? Anyone?

To Arms: King’s Bounty Legions Open Beta

No sign of riots here yet.

King’s Bounty: Legions, the “the fighting bits” Facebook version of the King’s Bounty series, is now in open beta. Which means if you weren’t one of our lucky subscribers who got access to the closed beta, even you can play. Yes, we instinctively sneer because of the word “Facebook”, but the day is coming when a perfectly decent selection of games will be on it, and some of them might not be begging for your change every few seconds. Legions is still begging for change, of course, but it actually seems a pretty decent effort. It does seem a shame to have KB with all the in-betweeny stuff removed, but after my quick go the battles seem just as good.

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