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Matt Cox

2 months ago

Feature: ...and the decks of my enemies with mushrooms

Legends Of Runeterra’s mushroom man fills my heart with glee

There is a man in Riot's new card combat game whose job is to throw mushrooms into my opponent's deck. He is really, really into it. "Have a mushroom!", he shouts. "Have three!" Whenever my opponents draw a card with a mushroom attached, their nexus takes direct damage. This is a sneaky and deplorable way to win matches, as evinced by the smug expression on…

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Dota 2’s International 2019 documentary lured me in as a non-sports watcher

"They're like monkey business men", says Team Liquid member Kuroky, "they will GO". Liquid are gathered around for a quick smoke before the Dota 2 International 2019 finale, about to face Team OG. They're visibly nervous, despite Kuroky's repeated insistence that they should "feel free", and treat this like a scrim. Another team member insists that it IS a scrim, and Kuroky immediately reneges on…

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Feature: Wait for more toppings

Might & Magic: Chess Royale review

I'm used to autobattlers giving me a headache. They're a swirl of intense decision-making - puzzle boxes you've got to pry open and reassemble, while your opponents do the same thing. My first dozen hours with Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords were painful, but rewarding. I remember hacking away at an edifice of shifting understanding, slowly mastering the nuances of gold and wizard management. It…

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Bethesda repatriate Fallout 76 theft victims through in-game clone meetups

Last month, hackers stole Fallout 76 items from player inventories while they were inside the game, literally pinching the shirts from their backs. Bethesda's solution has been to create clones of affected players with their pre-theft inventories intact. If victims want to keep the gear they've gained since the hack and not switch to a month-old backup, Bethesda are offering an unusual experience: they'll log…

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Feature: Bug-eyed moansters

Journey To The Savage Planet review

My clone wakes up in the hell pod for the dozenth time, and I am immediately desperate to leave. Martin Tweed, proud president of the universe's 4th best space exploration company, yells at me from inside a cheesy company FMV memo. The ship's computer lectures me about our dwindling supplies of resurrection goop. The Grob machine will not stop bleeting. Fortunately, there's a planet out…

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Rumour: EA are bringing back Knights Of The Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic was the first big boy game I played, so the possibility that EA are working on a remake/sequel/some sort of sequelley remake does make me go a bit tingly. One of the two tipsters claiming to be in the know has been right about Star Wars goss before, and they say it's a straight up remake. Another source…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for starting violin lessons. Seriously. You should all be very glad you don't live near me. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week. For Vice, Cameron Kunzelman took a look at a book where an academic tries to figure out what indie games are. In this confusing and ever-changing world, it is easy to forget that indie games are the…

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Vermintide 2 adds a new map and starts selling hats for money

Roll up, roll up, Vermintide 2 has a spooky castle and more hats. The castle is a free remade version of the Drachenfels level from the first game. This is just the opening salvo of Season 2, and two more levels will be coming for free later down the line. You can earn some of the new hats through playing, and buy separate ones with…

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Feature: Planestyle Royale

Getting a chicken dinner with PUBG’s new planes is harder than it looks

Today in Playstyle Royale, the series where I head into a battle royale game and try to earn my chicken dinner while adhering to arbitrary rules, I will run someone over in a plane. They were added to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds servers last week, opening up a new frontier of aerial murder. I'm not going to give myself any additional handicaps, because I anticipate this will…

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Half-Life: Alyx will let you put buckets on headcrabs and the buckets will move around

In Half-Life: Alyx you will be able to trap headcrabs, the prime nemesis of footlobsters, inside buckets. "It'll move the bucket as it crawls around", confirmed the Half-Life: Alyx team in yesterday's Reddit Q&A, adding that "playtesters all keep reporting it as a bug". I hadn't given all that much thought to Half-Life: Alyx but this is honestly a game changer. It's a little crystallisation…

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Pokemon-inspired MMO Temtem is out now in early access

If you've spent the past two decades fantasising about enslaving wild creatures to do your bidding, boy howdy, do I have good news. Temtem is a Pokemon-inspired MMO for PC that came out on early access yesterday. Everything you know and love from the Pokemon games you were never allowed to play is here. Gyms are dojos, trainers are tamers, and your menagerie of adorable…

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Hearthstone solo adventure Galakrond’s Awakening awakes today

I'm a big fan of fantasy names that sound like someone choking. Ghisteslwchlohm. Zeddicus. Tolo Ogule Thermalamerkanerat. The first chapter of Hearthstone's new adventure, Galakrond's Awakening, is out today, with a story following on from the last couple of solo adventures. As usual, you fight a series of singleplayer matches against bosses with game-shaping powers. Less usual is how you get to play as either…

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Feature: May the best wiz win

Have You Played… Battlerite?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. I am partial to top-down wizards. It's a perspective that makes plans as important as reaction speeds, where every spell and step is clearly visible to everyone. Battling in Battlerite isn't about who gets the jump on who, it's about who can bait out a jump…

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Roguelike deckbuilding meets board-based battles in Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop

Long ago, Duelyst pioneered the magical game combination of deck and board. You'd build up an arsenal of tricksy monsters, then move them around while thinking about abilities and adjacency bonuses and the safety of your 'you' character. That was against online opponents, but Spellsword Cards: DungeonTop takes the same idea and runs with it through Slay The Spire-like dungeons. The roguelike deckbuilder came out…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for finally figuring out how much money your pals owe you, after recoiling from the task for the past six months. Never buy Edinburgh Fringe tickets for your friends, kids. Here's the best writing about videogames from the past week. For PC Gamer, Chris Livingston convinced Santa from Sim 4 to move into his horrible raccoon house. I'm a bit late to the…

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The Apex Legends Grand Soirée lacks for wholesome bonding activities

The Apex Legends Grand Soirée has arrived, and it's all a tad familiar. Yes, the trailer pleasingly revealed Pathfinder's true nature as a Teletubby. But planned events for the two weeks include 'fighting at night' and 'fighting with shotguns and sniper rifles'. This is a perfectly acceptable use of people's time, but it's also a missed opportunity for Respawn to peel back the masks behind…

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The Elder Scrolls Online is heading to Skyrim to deal with pesky vampires

In the land of Skyrim, it turns out, you're never more than a hundred feet from a vampire. The Elder Scrolls Online has planned a series of updates dubbed "The Dark Heart Of Skyrim", where you'll spend the rest of the year rooting out the bastards from the land of the Nords. That starts with the Harrowstorm dungeon DLC at some point in February, to…

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Feature: Things that go thump in the night

Have You Played… Thumper?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. Thumper leaves no room for anything but itself. It floods from your eyes to your ears to your brainstem, dissolving conscious experience into grinds and jumps and failure. The rhythm won't release you. You'll have to earn your freedom.

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Rocket League modders are making prop hunt, pool, and more weird and wonderful things

Football is so 12th Century. Thank God for Rocket League, which took football and transformed it into flying rocket car daftness. The onward march of human progress didn't stop there, however. Modders have since transformed Rocket League into flight combat sims, obstacle courses, and Quidditch. It's all impressive, but I'm most enamoured with the work of pro player "Lethamyr", who moonlights as a modder turning…

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