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Alice Bell

14 hours ago

Feature: Nay, humbly request

5 things I demand from Witchbrook, Chucklefish’s new magical Stardew-like

I'm still struggling to grow a respectable pumpkin in my Stardew Valley farm, and now it seems I'll have more obstacles to contend with, as I've been diverted by Stardew publisher Chucklefish. Last week they released three (3) new screenshots for Witchbrook, their upcoming life sim set in and around a magic school. It has been described by many, not unreasonably, as "Harry Potter meets…

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4 days ago

Feature: Who let the locust out?

Gears Tactics will appeal to XCOM fans and classic Gears Of War fans alike

Show me someone who says I'm not a fan of our excellent VidBud team, and I'll show you a liar. Recently, VidBud Matthew got an in-depth demo of Gears Tactics, a turn-based tactical entry into the Gears Of War series, and my admiration only grew. Set 10 years before the events of the very first Gears Of War game, you'd be forgiven for thinking this'd…

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5 days ago

Feature: The last, long wait

I have finished the sad tamogotchi game that is The Longing

This is the last entry in my diary of playing The Longing, a "sad tamagotchi" game that can take over a year to play. As it turns out, however, it only took me a few months. The first entry in the diary series is here, and you can read all of it here. It has been... emotional. You join us as Burnsy, which is what…

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6 days ago

7 days ago

Feature: Sea to shining sea

In Other Waters review

In Other Waters is a little game about a xenobiologist named Ellery Vas exploring an alien sea, and finding it (unexpectedly) teeming with life. You don't play the biologist, you play an artificial intelligence powering and controlling her advanced diving suit, but you are essential in helping Ellery to observe and classify these new species, to collect specimens, and to navigate the seabed. Despite what…

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1 week ago

Feature: Robots in disguise

Unspottable challenges you to be a convincing NPC

The RPS VidBuds have put up a bunch of let's plays as part of Rezzed Digital, as this year's iteration of the usual Indies Uncovered stream, and they've already found some solid games in the pack. But one of the surprise standouts from the bunch, for me at least, is Unspottable. I hadn't heard of Unspottable before, but after watching VidBud Matthew and Hardware Queen…

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Feature: Fly, boy

Watch a man absolutely lose it because of a duck in this bird board game

As Rezzed Digital continues, I will continue to highlight some of the fine work being done by the VidBuds for Indies Uncovered. Usually a series of livestreams, the VidBuds have adapted to present circumstances by turning them into a series of lovely demo videos on the RPS YouTube channel. Another one I'm keen to highlight is the demo of Wingspan, a digital version of a…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Indies Uncovered

Liberated is an action adventure game in a playable comic book

Rezzed Digital is in full swing, so hopefully you've already got one eye on the event's very fine website, and you may even have checked out some of the streams and talks. In any case, you can watch them all right here on RPS as they go live! But what is Rezzed, without a delicious spread of indie games to go with all of that?…

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Feature: Apples are awesome though?

Modding Stardew Valley to make it feel like Animal Crossing

I am not myself an Animal Crossing fan (or a "Crossie", as I believe they like to be called), but I know the game is big news at the moment, because approximately the entire rest of the RPS staff have been going on about it. They're all at it, and it's like people talking in a secret language I don't understand. Someone please buy and…

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Feature: We built this city! We built this city on bread and cheese!

After its recent update, lovely city-builder Foundation has never been better

It's been a while since I played early access medieval city-builder Foundation (shamed by the unintentional yet embarrassingly forced starvation of my villagers). January brought with it v1.5, probably one of the most substantial updates yet. Increased strain has been put upon my villagers and their supply chains, but I still find it one of the most relaxing city-builders I've ever played - surely worth…

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Feature: Spyder spyder, burning bright

Experience a burst of pure joy at this teeny tiny spider game

We must experience wonderfulness where we can these days, and last night I experienced squealing excitement like I haven't for a while when I saw footage of an in-development platformer about a tiny spider with laser eyes. The video in question was shared by developer Riley Neville, aka Sbug Games. You may have played Sbug's previous game STAB STAB STAB!, a physics-y couch multiplayer game…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: The big standing desk in the sky

Death And Taxes lets you not think about the value of life

Death And Taxes is a fun little balancing act, reminiscent of Papers, Please. It doesn't quite reach the lofty heights of Lucas Pope's excellence in that border crossing simulator, but is nevertheless a good experience in its own right. You play as a newly created (and customisable) Grim Reaper, in a world where death is a bean-counting job in an office. You assign your ultimate…

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Feature: The welcome committee still turn up though

I made an isolated island hermitage in The Sims 4 but it is a complete coincidence

Regular readers will know that I play a lot of The Sims 4 these days, although I don't actually play the game where you puppet a tiny person. I just build homes. My current project is building an ideal home for each of the RPS staffers, having started with a ferny cottage for Alice 0. I've mostly been using the restrictions provided by the Tiny…

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Feature: Distance makes the heart grow socialer

Video games to play while you’re self isolating and social distancing

Unless you're in one of those international versions of Big Brother that are still going on, you've probably noticed that we're in the midst of a pandemic of something called the Covid-19 virus. I can tell it's serious because my dad's American girlfriend isn't allowed to visit him, which means he's bored and phoning me in the middle of the day. Haha, I joke. But…

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4 weeks ago

Feature: Not mushroom to breathe

The deep darkness of caves and mushrooms in The Longing

The Longing is a game that takes 400 days to play. You control A Shade, a little servant to an underground king who's taking a very long nap, and in those 400 days you can... well, you can lots of things. Explore the caves. Build a nice home. Sit and wait. But I have been playing The Longing for about three months now, and my…

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Feature: I cannot even

The new Sims “Play With Life” branding has big boomer energy

I get that if the last instalment in your long running game series came out a whole six(!) years ago, you need to remind new potential consumers that it exists. Especially if it runs on a games-as-a-service sort of a model. Enter, then, a new ad campaign? Branding? Thought experiment? for the Sims (and, more specifically, The Sims 4) called Play With Life.

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Feature: The real murder was the friends we made on the way

Murder By Numbers review

Murder By Numbers, which would seem to be tailor-made for a few of the RPS staff, is a murder mystery visual novel, where you gather clues by completing picross puzzles (also known as nonograms or griddlers). Aided by a small, cute robot called SCOUT, who consists almost entirely of a flying CRT monitor screen with a face, actress Honor Mizrahi falls into detecting when the…

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Feature: Stay a while, and listen

Diablo 2 is actually the best Diablo game

"O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!” Popeye the sailor man once famously said. A few weeks ago Graham messaged me and said we were refreshing our list of the best RPGs. "Which Diablo game should go on it?" he asked me, the Diablo liker on the editorial team. "Diablo II or Diablo III?"

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