Colourful platformer De Blob 2 squelches onto PC

de Blob 2

We all know the saying: you wait a decade for one jazzy paint-based platformer starring a big blob of colour and then two come along at once. Or something like that.

De Blob arrived on PC in April, 9 years after the original release on the Wii, and this week the sequel arrived on PC a mere 6 years after it first hit consoles. Somebody’s in a hurry.

Read the rest of this entry »

868-HACK expansion coming in July

Remember 868-Hack [official site]? It was a grid-based strategy/puzzle mash up released on PC in 2015 in which you control the avatar of a hacker trying to break into a system full of nasty viruses. There’s been no updates since it wormed its way onto Steam, and I had no inkling that one was coming until creator Michael Brough tweeted than an expansion is coming next month.

Read the rest of this entry »

There’s a great new site showcasing speed-runs and I can’t tear myself away from it

speedrun

“Hey! We got a world record!” is a phrase I’ve heard a lot today. I’ve been browsing Speedrun World Records, and I’m finding it hard to stop. It’s a new site dedicated to showcasing some of the more obscure world-record speedruns: you just click the ‘new run’ button to watch the fastest play through of a random game in a random category. The idea is that you’ll discover new games and runners you like, and keep track of them in the future.

I’ve spent a good number of idle hours clicking through speedruns on YouTube, but I think I prefer the random nature of this site. It’s like a Revels bag for speedruns: most of the videos are great, and then there’s the odd one where I have absolutely no idea what’s going on (or why coffee-flavoured chocolate tastes so bad).

Read the rest of this entry »

TumbleSeed patch makes game easier as developer dissects slow sales

TumbleSeed banner

TumbleSeed [official site], the colourful arcade game about rolling a seed up a monster-packed mountain, has been updated to make it less difficult.

In a very thoughtful blog post, developer Greg Wohlwend has written about “what went wrong” with the game’s release last month, and addresses feedback that the game was just too hard to be enjoyable (although the Steam reviews remain positive). He writes that sales have been slow, and the game may never recoup its costs. The whole thing is worth a read not just for a take on TumbleSeed, but on the dilemmas of development in general.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for trying to make a videogame. I’ll be honest, that’s what they’re always for, I just don’t mention it. But they’re also for rounding up some games writing from across the week.

At Gamasutra, Bill Borman did some statistical analysis to try to discover ‘hidden gems’ within Steam. It is, by his own admission, not a perfect method, but it does turn up some interesting results. Read the rest of this entry »

Gigantic launching in July, escapes Windows 10

Gigantic header

Five-on-five third-person brawler Gigantic [official site] will launch in full on 20 July, developers Motiga have announced.

We first caught wind of the free-to-play game way back in 2014, and since then it’s been chugging along under the watchful eye of James Phinney, the lead designer of both StarCraft and Guild Wars. So far the ongoing open beta has only been available on Windows 10, but it’s now broadened its horizons onto the Arc Games platform, so you can play it before release on Windows 7 and 8 too. The final version will also be available through Steam.

Read the rest of this entry »

Choo choo! Toy train builder Tracks chugging into early access in September

Tracks header

All aboard the nostalgia express! Free toy train set builder Tracks [official site] is getting a proper commercial release later this year, hauling a carriage-load of new features into the Steam Early Access station. Arrival date: September 28th.

I’m buying a ticket early for this one. The free version (which you can get here) is a pretty great, serene experience but lone developer Dr_Whoop (or Tom, if you prefer) is clearly been hard at work preparing new goodies for the full release. There’s pretty decorations, new music, mechanisms to play with and objectives to complete.

Read the rest of this entry »

Quake Champions will bunny hop onto Steam too

Quake Champions

I’m eagerly following the progress of free-to-play shooter Quake Champions [official site]. I spent a good year of my life in the browser-based Quake Live bunny hopping, insta-gibbing and failing to rocket jump over the smallest of obstacles (seriously, I can’t rocket jump in any game), and had a blast. I haven’t had the chance to play the beta yet but I’ve watched a few streams and the feedback seems to be positive, including from Rick Lane, who was pleasantly surprised with it.

Currently the beta is only available through the Bethesda.net launcher, but Bethesda have now confirmed that it will come to Steam too when it launches properly later this year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Titanfall 2 adding two new maps free next week

Titanfall 2 War Games

Titanfall 2 pilots – you’re in luck. The game’s getting a free update next week (27 June) called The War Games, which adds two maps and a few new features.

If that DLC title sounds familiar then that’s because it’s named after a map from the original Titanfall, War Games, which will now be available in the sequel. It’s a simulated high-rise city where you can scamper across windows and on top of huge garages. I have fond memories of wall-running around the buildings in the first game, so I’m excited that it’s coming back.

Read the rest of this entry »

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds sales pass 4 million

PUBG header

The incredible rise of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] continues. The early access Battle Royale ’em up has surpassed 4 million copies sold, developers Bluehole Studio announced yesterday, which is… er… a lot. The game hasn’t even come out yet and it’s sold more copies than Zelda: Breath of the Wild (that’s at 3 million, and Link had a 20-day head-start). Pretty staggering.

Bluehole also boast that the game has hit $100m of revenue, 230,000 peak concurrent users on Steam, and 350,000 simultaneous viewers on Twitch. In case you didn’t realise, these are BIG NUMBERS.

Read the rest of this entry »

GTA publishers are leaving OpenIV alone after all

GTA V

Grand Theft Auto V [official site] developers Rockstar Games appear to have talked parent company Take-Two Interactive out of shutting down OpenIV, a modding tool for GTA IV and V. This is good news. The makers of OpenIV received a cease-and-desist letter from Take-Two earlier this month, prompting outrage from players, but Rockstar have confirmed that Take-Two will now focus their ire only on mods that affect GTA Online in an attempt to crack down on hackers.

Open IV has just been updated with a new version, too, so it definitely lives. Read the rest of this entry »

What are we all playing this weekend?

An illustration from 'The Ingoldsby Legends'

June is bustin’ out all over, wrote Rodgers and Hammerstein, and bustin’ makes me feel good. If summer could hold out just a little longer and last the weekend, ooh that’d be grand. And if it doesn’t, hey, we can shelter indoors playing video games.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

Thimbleweed Park gets in-game hint hotline

null

I’m constantly getting stuck in Thimbleweed Park [official site], the old-school adventure game from the creators of Maniac Mansion, Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick. I always seem to have an inventory full of loose popcorn, soot, a t-shirt and some dynamite with no clue as to how to combine them in order to get ice cream cake to a hungry ghost.

I thought I was just being dense, but it turns out that I’m not the only one who’s had issues. Fans and critics have remarked that the game needed a hint system and the team has, somewhat reluctantly, obliged. And not just any old hint system: a proper hint hotline you can call from the in-game phones, reminiscent of the real gaming hint lines of the ’80s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered standalone release coming

Love a duck and stone the crows, Activision are finally going to sell Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered [official site] seperately. Because they’re a gaggle of silly sausages, they originally launched the revamped version of 2007’s wildly popular Call of Duty 4 only as a bonus included in expensive editions of the wildly unpopular Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Seven months later, Activision have announced they’re putting an end to this foolishness and releasing Modern Warfare Remastered separately. Oh, but it’s never that simple. The June 27th release date announced today is only for PlayStation 4, with other platforms to follow. What are you like! The silliest sausages. Read the rest of this entry »

Has Assassin’s Creed managed to find itself during its gap year?

sliding down a pyramid is probably a lot like falling down a hill

During the Assassin’s Creed: Origins [official site] demo I played at E3, I pressed the wrong button and thought I’d broken the game. I was trying to switch to my bow while sneaking and I accidentally meditated, causing time to fast forward. The sun wheeled around the sky, sank below the horizon, and night fell. The developer guiding me through the experience – an environmental artist – was slightly taken aback, but we rolled with my mistake and I got an accidental peek at the nightlife of Ptolemaic Egypt. Colour me intrigued.

Read the rest of this entry »