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Alice Bell

Today

Feature: Deep roots

Have You Played… Mutazione?

Despite my grand plans to get more, right now I still only have one houseplant. But I do love it. I move it around to give it different amounts of light and carefully check the soil. Growing plants seems to have both a creative and a protective element to it. You can get a sense of that from Mutazione.It is a game about the relationships…

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3 days ago

Feature: We have one demand and one term

Podcast: our most wanted games this summer

The big physical summer expos all got cancelled, but instead we have a whole load of great digi-vents to replace them. Looking at the schedule, it seems the Summer Of Games is going on until approximately next January. We're in a bit of a hopeful mood for this week's podcast, so the gang discuss their most anticipated upcoming releases, as well as their most anticipated…

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4 days ago

Feature: Pick up game

Have You Played… Thimbleweed Park?

I know as much as the next gal that classic adventure games aren't for everyone. But if you were thinking of dipping your toe in the genre, Thimbleweed Park is a great place to start - because you're starting at the finish, almost. The game was created by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, who worked on some of the most famous adventure games to come…

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5 days ago

Feature: Legally distinct from the bird hole

I am going to become a battery chicken farmer in Stardew Valley

I am not a very good Stardew Valley farmer. Really experienced players, who take their farming seriously, they know what's up. They make their own almanacs, they intensively farm pumpkins or sunflowers to get the best yeilds, and they know how to place sprinklers for peak watering efficiency. I do not know any of those things. My cruel predicament in Stardew is that really I…

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Feature: Holmes is where the heart is

Have You Played… Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter

I am a particular fan of the title of this game, because it sounds like Holmes himself is the daughter in question. Like it was his nickname when he played rugby at school or something. Despite that, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is a thoroughly enjoyable entry in Frogwares' saga of third-person detect 'em ups, notable for having good detecting elements, and also never having…

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6 days ago

Feature: Tag is not husband material

The 5 best but most terrifying Sims 4 challenges

My guess is that when you were a kid, right, you were one of two types. You either used your action figures to play out imaginative (if potentially weird) stories, or you picked one of them up and went "I bet I can make Lion-O's legs go in the splits so far that they fall off", before proceeding to test your hypothesis.Players of The Sims…

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1 week ago

Feature: The hand of God

Have You Played… From Dust?

The god game genre hasn't had many breakout hits, and it's hard to argue From Dust is one of 'em. But despite a load of hoo-ha about DRM when this first released on PC, back in 2011, it's probably the most meditative god games I've ever played. You're not omnipotent, you see. You don't actually have a lot of powers. You can move sand around…

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Feature: Post-industrial

The new Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle gameplay trailer has made me very excited to eat bugs

A few years back I went to a theme park in the UK - I think it was Thorpe Park - and at lunchtime we had a burger at a jungle themed food stand. I think it may even have been I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! themed, somehow. The point is that for whatever reason, each meal came with a portion of…

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Feature: Toss a cake to yer Witcher

Podcast: happy birthday, Geralt of Rivia!

Technically it should be happy birthday to The Witcher 3, but it's always better to put a face to an event, don't you think? Yes, this week we all celebrated the fifth anniversary of CD Projekt's most favoured baby (until later this year, at least). Join Alice Bee, VidBud Matthew and Nate as they discuss how Geralt would do on Come Dine With Me, if…

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Feature: Third Street will never die

Saints Row The Third: Remastered review

Getting remastered games feels like a bit of a monkey's paw at this point, doesn't it? The finger has curled, and we get remasters of all the old games we loved - but we have to play them a decade after their original release, and not as the person we were when we loved them. And I did really love Saints Row. It has this…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: Oh, Icarus

Have you played… Close To The Sun?

Readers may know by now that I am a fan of first-person games where you walk around a lovely environment and get creeped out. Close To The Sun is not only one of those, but it also has a fun weird-alt-history plot where Tesla kicked Edison's ass and created a giant floating ship-state of scientists in international waters.

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Feature: It's all academic anyway

Old Gods Rising review

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that any veteran of BioWare who has been there in excess of a decade, must be in want of their own indie studio. Bad Blood Studios is one such independent venture, set up by a former BW art director named Hayden Duvall, and Old Gods Rising is its first game. It's a creepy (if not outright horrific) first-person mystery…

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Feature: Plot, what plot?

The Witcher 3 is most fun if you ignore almost all of The Witcher 3

It has taken me a long, long time to figure out how I, personally, can enjoy The Witcher 3. It got recommended to me loads because it's a big flouncy fantasy RPG, which is my type of thing. But playing it was like running into a brick wall. Or a wattle and daub wall. Or maybe the planks of a grim, windowless wooden hut? Basically,…

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Feature: The hand you're dealt.

Signs Of The Sojourner review

Language: it's a funny old game, innit? I don't mean the languages of different countries, either, I mean the different ways of communicating within that. From all the different regional names for this small but noble beast, to whatever your family calls the TV remote control (ours was "iffer-offer"), to the fact that UrbanDictionary is a thing that exists at all, it can be hard…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Back with a bang

Podcast: the triumphant return, and Gears Tactics vs XCOM: Chimera Squad

We've been away from podcasting for a while, ever since Bungus Humongous (who used to record and edit it) fell off his skateboard and exploded into a pile of coins. But now we're back! And because we all need a chat with mates at this difficult time, we're just having a nice chat about the games we're playing every week. This time: Gears Tactics vs.…

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Feature: When life gives you in-engine lemons

The best bits from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla no-gameplay gameplay trailer

I would not characterise Assassin's Creed Valhalla's new gameplay trailer as being chock full of gameplay. Being real: it is clearly mostly cinematic sequences made in the game engine, i.e. they are all scenes that we may encounter during the course of playing the game, and on that basis we can't have 'em under the Trades Description Act. But I couldn't spot a hot second…

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