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Matt Cox

21 hours ago

Elsinore is Hamlet from the perspective of a time-travelling Ophelia, out now

We are reaching peak Groundhogbut. We've already had Groundhog 'but it's a murder party' in The Sexy Brutale, and Groundhog 'but you're his son, in VR' with Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son. We've got Groundhog 'but the sun keeps exploding' in The Outer Wilds, Groundhog 'but it's 12 Minutes of arguing with your wife' is due in 2020, and Arkane Studios' Groundhog 'but assassins'…

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3 days ago

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for finally visiting old school friends who have the audacity to now live five hours away. I'll be having far too wholesome a time to fit in any reading the best writing about videogames from the past week. For Vice, Dante Douglas dove into the Mordhau mess. Mordhau has a disproportionate number of white supremacist players (it sometimes seems as if every other…

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5 days ago

Feature: Going nowhere slowly

Nowhere Prophet review

I'm a sucker for the future. Give me nanites, lasers, mechs, robots. Then blow them all up. Go further. Tell me stories about those that come after: the post apocalyptic survivors of a world built atop the ruins of the last. I'm a sucker for deckbuilders, too, especially when they're also roguelikes, particularly when they're brimming with clever ideas, and notably when those are woven…

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6 days ago

Dota Underlords patch due to change flippin’ everything this weekend

Oh, I'd missed doing this: combing through reams of arcane patch notes, jointly audibly reacting as you and your friends stumble across change after change that unravels your understanding of a game you're invested in. Valve are upending Dota Underlords this weekend. Neutrals will be nastier, spells will no longer target (most) summons, over half the heroes are due to be rejigged and - most…

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7 days ago

Before We Leave is a city builder with planets plagued by space whales

City builders are neat, but they don't have nearly enough space whales. Fortunately, Before We Leave does. It's a freshly announced "nonviolent city building game" where you can eventually set up an interplanetary network of wooden villages, so long as you can deal with the celestial cetaceans that come along and try to eat your planets. I got a sneak peek at GDC back in…

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1 week ago

Fortnite is building to a monster v. mecha rumble this weekend

You take your eyes off Fortnite Battle Royale for one minute, and the kaiju kicks off. Also a kaiju gets added. And a big mech. The goliaths haven't actually done anything yet, but the timer floating in the sky suggests they're about to. As does the way we're nearing the end of season nine, and how season finales have historically not been kind to the…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for hanging out in a field playing board games. Or for reading the best writing about videogames - although not much grabbed me on that front this week. Here, have something about radically political board games instead. Did you know the suffragettes made a board game about feminism and police violence? Regardless, Renee Shelby's piece for ROMchip is worth checking out. The game…

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2 weeks ago

Research shows Minecraft can make you more creative, but it depends

Researchers at Iowa State University have unlocked the secret to creativity, and that secret is Minecraft. Kind of. The researchers got two groups to play Minecraft, another to play "a NASCAR racing game", and another to watch TV. Then they all drew aliens and had their creativity judged based on how far their drawings strayed from boring human anatomy. The group that played Minecraft without…

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Davey ‘Beginner’s Guide’ Wreden is hiring for a new game

Davey Wreden isn't done making you sad. He co-designed The Stanley Parable and directed The Beginner's Guide, and now he's heading up a new team with the aim of producing games "that are beautiful, meditative, thoughtful, and sad". So like the games he's already worked on, but with fewer jokes. Details about the next game are thin on the metaphorical, 'probably a big allegory for…

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Surreal bird ’em up Vane flaps out on July 23rd

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a bird/child hybrid exploring and shaping a sublime desert. I'm talking about Vane, a surreal explore 'em up with its roots back in 2014, and about that specific flavour of sublime where grand inhospitably makes part of your lizard brain go 'woah' while your more sophisticated brain bits appreciate the aesthetic. It's a whole thing.…

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Come and get spooked at the first thirteen minutes of Control

I've already seen Control, Remedy's upcoming reality-shifting telekinesis-powered shootey RPG, and I liked it. You're about to see the first thirteen minutes, and I think you might like it too. It's got strange triangles and an extended Shawsank Redemption metaphor that doubles as an allusion to Plato's Cave. Come on, come and nod your smug little head along with mine.

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Feature: Lords of luck

Dota Underlords review

I look at my enemy, and I despair. Their army bristles with max-level units, scary abilities, synergies between both. Losing one more fight will knock either of us out of the game. It's do or die. I plunge all my funds into last-ditch recruitment, refreshing the available roster of heroes time and time again in the hopes of stumbling across one - just one, please,…

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Eve Online’s Drifter invasion is mucking with the space telephone

Just over a week ago, thousands of NPC ships descended on Eve Online in an unprecedented invasion, forcing warring players to call off scuffles and defend their territory from the AI hordes. It's exciting, unless you're one of the understandably grumpy players who suddenly has to guard their faction's citadel from an enemy that doesn't sleep. As reported by Eve's in-fiction news show, The Scope,…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for lazing about on your patio, reading sci-fi nonsense. Reading the best writing about videogames from the past week is also acceptable. Mat Westhorpe's piece for the Guardian is beautiful. It's about his nephew, and the Elite Dangerous players and developers that came together to support him during the final days of the 15-year-old's terminal illness. I don't know what else to say.

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3 weeks ago

Ode To A Moon’s free demo is uncannily psychedelic

I'm not rad keen on the word psychedelic. It means too many different things to too many different people. One person might deploy the word as hip shorthand for "unsettlingly colourful", and another might think you're talking about a profound substance-induced journey into the inner machinations of the soul. Both of these imaginary people are being silly. That needed saying, because the free ten-minute demo…

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