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Matt Cox

3 weeks ago

Feature: Why candles and demons are best friends

Every roguelike can learn from Monster Train’s clan combos

I am still very much riding the Monster Train. When you write a review as positive as the one I did for Shiny Shoe’s stupendous Slay The Spire-like, you do end up doubting yourself. Oh God, you think, what if it isn’t all that great, actually? What if this was one of those times where a game really specifically catered to my preferences, and my…

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Apex Legends new event adds mobile respawn beacons and loads else

Everyone in Apex Legends is a treasure hunter now, and Crypto has a moustache. I clearly haven't been paying enough attention, but this is the backdrop to the "Lost Treasures" event and I'm happy to roll with it - not least because that event adds mobile respawn beacons. It goes live at 4pm BST (8am Pacific), and it's bringing loadsa new cosmetics along with a…

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Feature: I'm so sorry, Bina

Griftlands review (early access)

Christ, I'm not sure what to make of Griftlands. At first I was close to adoration. It's an unusually story-focused deckbuilding roguelike - and it's from Klei, of Oxygen Not Included and Don't Starve fame. That sounded wild to me even before I learnt that it's about moseying around as a bounty hunter in an alien city, doing odd jobs for the locals and building…

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FDA approves marketing a videogame as medicine for the first time

In a historic first, the US Food And Drug Administration have approved the use of a videogame as medicine. It's for a specific, "prescription-only game-based device, called EndeavorRx", which is intended to help children with ADHD. Kids have to fly a sci-fi plane around alien environments, in theory helping them learn how to keep their attention focused.The FDA say it's "the first digital therapeutic intended…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for socially distancing at the park while mucking about on your housemate's slackline, and realising that slacklines were the main thing your life was missing. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week. This is a little old now but more than a little important, so: here's Imran Khan's Kotaku piece on why video games have to reckon with how they…

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4 weeks ago

EA announce Fifa 21 via chilling transhuman hivemind

"I want that sweat-dripping, shin-splitting, hair-raising... FOOTBALL". So says the terrifying hivemind in this Fifa 21 and Madden NFL 21 combo-trailer, which you really must watch even if you have no interest in either game.Fifa 21 is coming out for PC (and current gen consoles) on October 9th. I will not play it, because I am scared.

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Feature: A strategic interpretation

The best Steam Festival demos: strategy games

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “strategy” as “any game that centres puzzle-solving or cerebral thought”. I’ve taken that surprisingly liberal definition, ran off to the Steam Summer Games Festival, and come back with an armful of videogames that vaguely fall under that umbrella. Some of them are definitely skirting the edges and getting their feet wet, but you should play them anyway.Below you’ll find a…

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Team Fortress 2 is cracking down on racist bot invasions

AI bots are technological marvels. To think! We've imbued blips and blops with a semblance of sentience, turning code into pseudo-autonomous agents that can chat as they run around a virtual world. Unfortunately, people have been using this power to spew racist bots into Team Fortress 2. Players report seeing these bots enter their games, deploy game-breaking hacks, and spam the chat with racist slurs.…

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Valorant’s ranked mode is “likely” to shoot out next week

Valorant is great, but it's sorely lacking a mode where you get to make a number go up. Riot's guns 'n' wizards FPS launched two weeks ago, but the developers have held off on adding a ranked mode until non-beta players had a chance to find their feet. Not for much longer, though - Valorant game director Joe Ziegler has announced that ranked mode will…

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Gearbox are suing 3D Realms over Duke Nukem, again

Law. Law always changes, and it's honestly a bit of a nightmare. Last Friday, Gearbox Software filed a suit against Apogee Software, the owners of Duke Nukem 3D developers* 3D Realms. Gearbox bought the Duke Nukem franchise off 'em back in 2010, and now they're accusing 3D Realms of failing to mention that they didn't own the copyright to some of the game's music. This…

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1 month ago

Feature: Good robits

Hex Gambit: Respawned is a board game where Into The Breach meets American football

Does anyone remember Greed Corp? It's a neat digital board game about harvesting the earth beneath your feet in order to destroy your enemies, and hoping they're the ones who wind up in the abyss. It came out a decade ago, but I hadn't played anything that mashed up computers and cardboard in a way that scratched the same itch until this morning. Hex Gambit:…

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The Sunday Papers

The Papers are a bit different this week. The ongoing protests in America, and now elsewhere, have resulted in the widespread and overdue realisation that many people (me amongst them) need to improve their understanding of structural racism, and to take steps to help that go beyond tokenistic support. Below you'll find various resources, aimed at white and non-Black allies, that I hope you'll find…

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Valorant has a great bug where you fuse into other players

Oh, Valorant. If you read my Valorant review, you'll know that the main emotion I associate with it is anguish. Playing in a group is grand, but playing by yourself is miserable, because of the internet. I think that feeling is crystallised in this video, where a bug fuses two players together and they get cross rather than becoming debilitated by laughter.

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Rust’s new companion app lets you activate traps from your phone

I am glad that Rust is embracing its role as a game for wannabee Bond villains. The social survival game already let you build giant metallic fortresses from which to harangue new and naked players, but now you can take the next logical step and remotely activate traps from your telephone. That's thanks to the new app, which also lets you chat with your team…

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Feature: Sad shooty wizards

Valorant review

Valorant is Riot's newfangled hybrid of CS:GO and Overwatch, where teams of five run around shooting very deadly weapons while deploying character-based abilities. It's very, very similar to CS:GO, right down to the round structure and individual weapons. If you've ever defused a bomb in Counter-Strike, there's a good chance you'll already be a crack shot here. It's basically the same, but with more mind…

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Warzone players are exploiting a glitch that turns them into cheating snakes

War is all fun and games, until a bunch of people figure out how to turn into snakes. By exploiting a glitch in Call Of Duty: Warzone, it's currently possible to appear as if you're lying prone when you are in fact standing up, letting you hide behind a wall while invisibly shooting people. It is a bit funny, but also frustrating and game-breaking. The…

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2 months ago

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for honing your juggling skills. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week.For Paste, Natalie Flores wrote about how If Found subverts the concept of erasure into an empowering, self-directed practice. This gave me chills, in a good way.

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A big Escape From Tarkov update just wiped your characters, soz

You'd have thought people would have escaped from Tarkov by now, but they're still at it. Escape From Tarkov is a brutal, sandbox-ey shooter about scavenging for loot in a warzone where everyone has better guns than you - except for right now! A big update to the current early access build has brought a load of changes, but one of the most significant parts…

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Darkest Dungeon launches PvP today, alongside a free weekend

Roll up, roll up, The Butcher's Circus is (about to be) in town. Merciless RPG Darkest Dungeon is set to launch its PVP mode later today, letting you pit your band of stressed out adventurers against those of a stressed out person in the real world. The new mode is completely separate to the singleplayer campaign, and comes with new trinkets and reworked Heroes. The…

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