How an amputation saved Quadrilateral Cowboy’s life

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they underwent to make the best bits of their games. This time, Quadrilateral Cowboy [official site].

Quadrilateral Cowboy is a firstperson puzzle game about a group of hacker friends who stage heists across a set of increasingly challenging missions. Together they tell a surprising and affecting story of professionalism, friendship and rising threat through Blendo Games’ distinctive tight cutting between interactive scenes, flipping the action from a hoverbike chase to the gang’s return to their hideout. It’s clever, pacy, and rich in detail and nuance. Pretty much, in other words, what you’d expect from Blendo Games.

But it’s not what Blendo Games – which is to say, Brendon Chung – expected to make. Quadrilateral Cowboy’s entire structure and form is completely different to what he originally envisaged. The way in which his game changed over the course of its development is a model for how a game is shaped by the realities of production, and how ideas can be far too big for their own good. Read the rest of this entry »

Bite your pal’s face off in Normal Human Face Simulator

Let’s be clear: Normal Human Face Simulator is not a game about eating your friend’s face. No, that would be weird. In this new free local multiplayer game, after you’ve lunged forward, latched onto your mate’s cheek with your teeth and gnawed down through the flesh to reveal the muscle then bone underneath, you let the strip of flesh fall from your teeth to the floor. You’re simply trying to bite their face off while they try to bite your face off until one of you succumbs to bloodloss – a gesture of normal human friendship. Read the rest of this entry »

Steelseries Siberia 800 review: A great wireless headset let down by its microphone

Steelseries Siberia 800

For a wireless gaming headset, the Steelseries Siberia 800 sure does come with a lot of cables. Open up the box and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve bought the wrong headphones, as there’s a whole other mini box crammed inside it with more cables than you know what to do with. This is mostly because, unlike a lot of wireless headsets, the Siberia 800 uses a dedicated transmitter box that can be connected to a variety of different devices instead of a traditional USB dongle. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels like a slap in the face when the whole point of wireless headphones is to get rid of said wires, but there is method to this cable-hogging madness.

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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will have four-player co-op and full mod support

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This time last year Piranha Games announced MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries would release in 2018, but we haven’t heard much about the game since. Until now. At last weekend’s Mech_Con, developer Piranha Games revealed MechWarrior 5 will feature four-player co-op as well as full modding and Steam Workshop support. They also revealed MW5 is due to launch in December 2018. Only a full year to wait!

The newly announced four-player co-op allows players to add up to three friends into their campaign universe, from there you can can embark on missions as a mean-machine unit of savage mercenaries – and probably Dave from accounting. Read the rest of this entry »

You Must Be 18 Or Older To Enter banned from Steam, daftly declared porn

You Must Be 18 Or Older To Enter is a fine free horror game for the digital age, a tale of looking at pornography for the first time and fearing your parents will catch you.
Logging onto AOL, we click through porn sites showing murky ASCII art porn while jumping at every creaking door and passing car. It is good horror, Olivia White and our Brendan have previously told you and I’ll third that. It is also, supposedly according to Valve’s standards, pornographic. Valve have pulled the game from their store and oh, that’s so daft. One of the game’s creators has written a good response to this, using the opportunity to call for us all to break the cycle stifling unconventional games. Read the rest of this entry »

Vacation Simulator is a sandy sequel to Job Simulator

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We should have seen this coming. Job Simulator devs Owlchemy Labs have announced Vacation Simulator, which brings the slapstick VR work ’em up to Vacation Island. Job Simulator was all about trying and failing to perform mundane tasks while being jeered at by robots, so Vacation Simulator will probably be about trying and failing to relax while being jeered at by robots. Don’t confuse that with the non-existent Vatican Simulator, which this news post was almost all about thanks to a typo.

You can soak up some virtual rays in the trailer below.

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A Way Out’s online co-op is playable with just one copy of the game

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There’s good news for those anticipating the upcoming cooperative prison break A Way Out – you only need one copy of the game to play online co-op with a friend.

A Way Out is coming from the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and tells the tale of two prisoners (Leo and Vincent) making their daring escape from prison. However, the game must be played cooperatively, with one player taking on the role of Leo and the other as Vincent. As a pair, you must work together to make your great escape. Read the rest of this entry »

Opus Magnum whirs out of Early Access

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The age of machines has begun. I’m not talking about world conquering, human enslaving robots from the Matrix or what have you, nor the warped logic of paperclip-producing AIs. I’m talking about clunky factory lines producing wizard-viagra (‘stamina’ potions), and cobbled together contraptions that eventually churn out stain-removers. Now that I think about it, those were two unfortunate examples to use next to each other.

What I’m trying to say is that ace puzzler Opus Magnum left early access on Thursday, so you’ve got no excuse not to jump in and start building machines of your own.

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Have You Played… Sportsfriends?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The playful presentation of Sportsfriends [official site] – think alternate universe Nintendo – hides a four pack of viciously competitive multiplayer games. There’s BaraBariBall, which is basically Super Smash Bros meets water polo. There’s Hokra, which is like an abstract version of football. There’s Joust, but you need PS Move controllers for that so never mind.

It’s all about Super Pole Riders. Read the rest of this entry »

The Evil Within 2 free trial lets you play the opening chapters

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If the prospect of spending time with your family this holiday season isn’t horrifying enough you can always download The Evil Within 2‘s free trial, which is available now on Steam. In her The Evil Within 2 review, Olivia White called the game “a definitive, well-produced classic survival horror experience” so it’s worth a go if you fancy a spooking. Read the rest of this entry »

Duelyst launches its Frostfire Festival featuring a special game mode

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There’s nothing quite like Duelyst. Ok, that’s a lie – Hearthstone is a bit like Duelyst, but it’s nowhere near as good. At the heart of Duelyst is the grid that battles take place on, which means every move requires several more layers of thought. I gave it a glowing review last year, and decided to jump back in this morning for a couple of games with the seasonal Frostfire mode.

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Star Wars Battlefront 2’s new trailer teases December plans

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Even setting aside the loot box debacle for a moment, it’s easy to argue that Star Wars Battlefront 2 was incomplete at release given that the singleplayer campaign ending on a To Be Continued screen. That should change soon, as there’s a sizeable pile of content rolling out for the Star Wars shootyfest. The latest trailer details the first season of updates for the game and gives us a good peek at what to expect this December, as the singleplayer campaign continues and The Last Jedi tie-in content rolls out.

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Card-RPG Shadowhand shuffles into release

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Shadowhand from Regency Solitaire developer Grey Alien Games is out now, offering a unique blend of card-battling and corsets. You can take a deeper look at the game below via a short Making Of video, featuring half of the husband & wife duo behind the game in a fetching tricorne hat.

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Path of Exile’s free War for The Atlas expansion is live

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It’s time for the inhabitants of the intensely haunted continent of Wraeclast to do it all again with feeling. Path of Exile has expanded, with War For The Atlas bringing new content and mechanics to the post-story multiverse, and the Abyss Challenge League adding a (literal) fresh hell to explore.

Check out the very extensive patch notes for the update here, or read on for a shorter reminder of what’s in this major two-part update.

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Fantastical Tinder sim Reigns: Her Majesty is out now

Reigns: Her Majesty

Nerial’s Reigns is a simple (if strange-sounding) concept stretched to its absolute limits. Take the UI of dating-for-impatient-people app Tinder, and use it to steer the life of a monarch one meeting at a time, juggling political threats and multiple story-threads all through the simple, binary act of swiping left or right.

Today, you can get a second helping of this strange but compelling formula. The queenly sequel Reigns: Her Majesty is out now, promising an all-new story built around the now-familiar mechanics, plus a few new twists to the tale. Read on for details and the positively charming launch trailer.

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for trying to get out of the house and experience some fresh air around your kid’s extraordinarily long naps. And for staying in and reading (and watching) about videogames for their duration.

Game-related Thing Of The Week is obviously Cool Ghosts: Episode 1, a 25 minute video from Quinns and Matt Lees that wraps game crit in a narrative framing device like Consolevania of yore. It is funny, strange and has the raise the bar. The bar is up there now. Read the rest of this entry »

Mix up some trouble (to order) in Goblins 2 Go

Goblins 2 Go

Based on the Ludum Dare concept of “the more you have, the worse it is” Goblins 2 Go (on Itch.io) is a clever little browser-game from SFB Games the creators of recent Switch success Snipperclips. It’s free and absolutely worth ten minutes of your time, putting you in the shoes of a hard-working witch producing made-to-order goblins through some carefully eyeballed potion-blending.

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