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Alice Bell

4 days ago

Feature: Also I'm about to start taxing everyone

Turns out I was the one starving my Foundation villagers all along, my bad

Regular readers will know that for a while now, I have been quietly playing Foundation, a lovely medieval citybuilder in early access, and every so often I pop in to give you an update. The last update was a stroppy one, because as part of my food production chains I was pumping out more bread than Jesus and his miracle, and yet the villagers were…

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5 days ago

Feature: Lit

Ninja has a Fortnite skin and I cannot mentally parse it

I am watching Ninja stream Fortnite as Ninja and it is like being caught between two mirrors, except I am not looking at a void filled with my incrementally smaller versions of myself, I am looking at the endless reflections of a man, roughly my own age, and in each reflection he is more athletic, his hair is more blue, his hype is more real.…

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Feature: Whoever built Rome didn't have cheat codes

The Sims 4 Tiny Living got me to play The Sims again

When I was a kid I was really, really into The Sims. The first one came out around the same time that my big brother went to university, which meant I got to move into his room - the big room, which had the computer in it. I stayed up way past my bedtime making versions of the adult my 11-year-old self wished to be…

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6 days ago

Feature: If you're tired of London...

Failbetter on the unlikely success of Fallen London’s first ten years

Last year, Failbetter Games moved to new offices near London Bridge. To the incautious, the building is a maze of identical white corridors and glass walled office rooms, punctuated by sleek break areas with helpfully labelled cupboards. I kept thinking it would be a terrible place to get stuck with a serial killer, especially because I only had a visitor pass and couldn't open most…

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7 days ago

Feature: Splash splash, he was takin' a bath

Exclusive: The Witcher TV show’s bathtub Geralt vs. The Witcher 3’s bathtub Geralt. Which bath is best?

Corr, remember when we were all making fun of Henry Cavill's wig? It seems only yesterday. And now we're all humming that stupid song. Can't get enough of that there The Witcher on Netflix. Recently, VidBud Astrid walked over and was like "We should have an analysis of the bathtubs in The Witcher TV show and The Witcher 3," and for a moment it was…

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Feature: Click to very slowly move

The first week of The Longing: depressing royalist art and talking walls

You may recall that for some time now I have been quietly longing, lol, for The Longing, a "sad Tamagotchi" game where you, a small servant to a subterranean rock king, must hang about while he has a nap for 400 days. 400 real time days. This game takes over a year to finish. And it has multiple endings, which include reaching the surface, or…

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1 week ago

Feature: Work work!

Have You Played… Warcraft 2?

A lot of my HYP entries end up being games wot I watched my big brother play and then cautiously experimented with myself. Warcraft II (colon Tides Of Darkness) was, to an eight year old, amazing, especially with the Beyond The Dark Portal expansion. I don't much dip my toe in the RTS genre these days, but when I was little they were the majority…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Get out of my dreams, get onto my cool motorbike

Sayonara Wild Hearts review

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a sort of rhythm action arcade game, and as I played I kept getting flavours of different things. In terms of video games I felt Thumper, then (less obviously) Fe, plus SuperHot and Persona 5. Oh, and that mine cart level in the first Harry Potter game. But Sayonara wild hearts is also the drag race scene in Grease, the "Get…

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Feature: Well?

What are we all playing this weekend?

Happy 2020, everyone! New year, new you! Sweep away the vast heaps of sweetie wrappers and try and stand up from the sofa, where no doubt you've been living for the past two weeks. But while you and the year might have changed, the video games haven't! They're still all here! Much like the leftovers from Christmas day that your mum insisted were still totally…

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1 month ago

Feature: "Go go gadget QTE!"

Detroit: Become Human review

The most fun reviews to write are the ones where you either have loads of good things to say about a game, or loads of bad things. Anywhere in between, and you have to start introducing nuance - and who has the time or inclination for nuance in this workaday world? Not me. So let's review Detroit: Become Human! Part adventure game, part sweeping morality…

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Feature: Only a list deals in absolutes

The 5 best and worst things about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

The Star War is the only thing I have been playing outside of work for weeks now. I am becoming intimately familiar with its workings: the push and pull combat, and also of the Force Push and Force Pull powers. It is a brilliant game that I love, but that I also find full of contradictions. Here are my five best and worst things about…

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Feature: License to hexagons

Globesweeper: Hex Puzzler and my associated spy fantasy

I have a lot of clicky little games on my phone, and one of them is called Globesweeper, which I got after John (RPS in peace) raved about it at some length. It's Minesweeper, right, but instead of squares there are hexagons, which tessellate into a 3D sphere. It is very good, and after a few games to get my eye in, I can play…

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Feature: Bird is the word

BioShock 4 should let you fire an albatross from your hand

What is the true hallmark of a BioShock game? According to the press release about the new 2K-founded studio Cloud Chamber, wot is making a brand new BioShock, it's "iconic, first-person shooter gameplay". Before Binfinite came out, original series lead Ken Levine said in an interview that it's the "incredibly detailed world" each game lets you explore. Or maybe it's the PoLiTiCs? BioShock, famously, includes…

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Feature: Beasting up

Have You Played… Gang Beasts?

A lot of my friends from school have done things like have children or move to other countries now, but in the wilderness years of 2010-2016 we still all returned to our home town every Christmas, primarily to see our families, but also, secondarily, to get absolutely destroyed on Christmas eve. A tertiary reason was that my friend Tim, who has now both had a…

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2 months ago

Feature: Forceful fun

Can’t Stop Playing – Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Let's not pretend that Star Wars isn't good. Answer me this: if Star Wars isn't good, how come they got away with having BB-8 branded oranges?? Less reliably good are the official Star Wars video games. Despite throwing out some absolute bangers in the LucasArts days, or stone cold classics like Knights Of The Old Republic giving us big Force energy, the more recent quality…

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Feature: They're eating muddy berries and whining

My furious idiot villagers will not eat their bread, and now they’re starving

Last time I wrote an update on my town in Foundation, a very sweet medieval city builder, I had described said update as "biannual". I am upgrading that to "quarterly", having checked in on it again today and found that I need to reassess several things I claimed in aforementioned previous update. I claimed, will what I now view as ill-deserved confidence, that "once you…

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Feature: Hacks on, hacks off

Operator has the basis of a good hacker game, if only it made sense

I'm still struggling with what, exactly, Humble Originals are meant to be, and I think Humble might be as well. They're only available through Humble's monthly subscription service, and the official gubbins says they're "brand new games" that are "a little risky, a little experimental, and a lot of fun!" In practice, results seem to vary. Sometimes you get solid, polished things, like Wilmot's Warehouse…

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