Author Archive

The Hive Mind: Ant Sim Formicarium Kickstarting

Ants are pretty fascinating creatures to just sit and watch. The ease with which they coordinate themselves to accomplish things no single ant could manage alone and their apparent sense of purpose are remarkable. Wouldn’t it be interesting to experience what it’s like to be the one trying to orchestrate that organisation. Fancy being the hive mind ant god and seeing if you can keep a colony of ants running with as much precision as an actual colony seems to? Well, Formicarium is the game for you, so long as you don’t mind seeing copious amounts of legs skittering everywhere.

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Tiny Questing: Attack Of The Labyrinth Demo

Attack of the Labyrinth

Grand music and tiny adventurers have always been a thing for me; I absolutely love seeing adventurers dwarfed by the scale of their quest. Zoomed-out cameras, sweeping music with a sense of doom, a hero who seems far from a match for his surroundings… Attack of the Labyrinth was not on my radar whatsoever until this morning, but I’m now really interested in seeing more from this miniature adventure. Thankfully there’s a playable demo out now for the game as it launches into paid beta.

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Into The Unknown: Interstellaria Gets Beta Trailer

When I was growing up, I dreamt of going to space for the isolation. I was one of those weird kids who thought the idea of being somewhere quiet, undisturbed and far away from the world was quite appealing. Then I played Mass Effect and realised space is much cooler when you and a group of friends grab a ship and head off into the unknown together, exploring unexpected worlds and changing lives as a big happy space family. With that in mind, this beta trailer for Interstellaria really made me stop and take notice. My life definitely needs a more avenues for building a cool team of space buddies to kill stuff and explore worlds with.

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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

This weekend I am scratching my BioWare itch by playing copious amounts of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Who needs a real social life when you have BioWare making so many virtual people for me to make friends with?

Truth be told I was not going to bother with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Don’t get me wrong I love the Mass Effect trilogy for all of it’s obvious flaws, I just never really got into either of the past Dragon Age games. The only reason I started digging into playing Inquisition was because someone on Twitter drew my attention to a character who I now really want to see in context. Minor character spoilers for DAI incoming. Nothing plot related, but there are some character backstory details coming. You have been warned.

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Elaborate Safety Measures: Defense Grid 2 Gets a Demo

DF2

Alec reviewed Defense Grid 2 in September, a game about building elaborate techno mazes to try to keep waves of enemies away from magical power cores. While the first Defense Grid was a great experience wrapped up in a quiet solitude, Alec was unfortunately pretty put off by the new narration, which came a little too close to zany for his comfort. However, maybe you don’t mind a little over-the-top weird with your tower defense? Maybe you want to see if it’s really that irksome? Maybe you enjoyed the first Defense Grid enough to want to give this new one a try? If that’s the case, this is the news story for you. Defense Grid 2 now has a demo on Steam. Hooray!

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Marie Curie Won’t Eat Her Meat: The Curious Expedition

My first few moments with The Curious Expedition were almost misleadingly delightful. Set in the 19th century, I was told to pick from a selection of charming pixel renderings of historical figures and dropped into the world, with the only stated goal of exploring the strange new randomly generated land I had found myself in. It was welcoming, colourful, and hiding a whole host of things that wanted to kill me.

After almost two years of development, The Curious Expedition is entering paid alpha on November 27th at $12 (£7.50). Developers Maschinen-Mensch gave me a little early look, so I’m going to tell you how I felt about my first trek through the jungle as Marie Curie.

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The Marvellous Miss Take Sneaks Onto Steam Next Week

It’s a bright and sunny day in London, which should be your first clue that something is amiss. You come home to find your home has been ransacked and a lifetime of collecting priceless works of art is now reduced to nothing but a memory. The only solution? Don a large and fabulous hat, walk confidently into your artwork’s new home and effortlessly grab armfuls of your belongings to a bouncy jazz soundtrack.

Welcome to The Marvellous Miss Take, which sees the stylish Sophia Take trying to reclaim her collection of magnificent artwork from a number of central London art collectors. It’s clear it’s a game about thieves, as its November 20th release date has popped up out of the shadows and caught me completely by surprise.

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What Did I Just Play? A Weird Free Game About Zambonis

In a world not unlike our own, Zambonis with faces once lived side by side with mankind, until a political faction forced the ice resurfacers onto a single wooden boat to seek safe passage to the Zamboni homeland. They travel through inhospitable mountains, cross bridges guarded by terrifyingly demented stone faces, and stare death in the face. Mortality is rested on a coin flip, mourning is commonplace, and life struggles to continue without reading deeply into meaningless yet cruel acts of nature. This is The Illogical Journey of The Zambonis, one of the most strangely captivating free games I have stumbled across in some time.

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Feverishly Assembling: TerraTech Enters Early Access

How did TerraTech catch my attention when I first saw it earlier this year? It took a selection of Lego style blocks, strapped huge engines and guns to them, then made me fight other vehicles and harvest them of all their juicy wheels, motors and weapons. We’ve had a couple of opportunities to play the game at events since it smashed its Kickstarter goal and now you all can too, as the game has now gone into early access at $30.99 (£19.75).

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Looking Twice At Art: Veracity & Purpose

Veracity & Purpose is a free Twine game and an exploration of the works of fictional artist Robert Ells, told entirely through the lens of someone else describing his art as they experience it. Made by Castles in the Sky writer Jack de Quidt, it initially appears to be little more than a guide book to a retrospective. You read about a piece of art, you take in what you can, you move on. But returning for a second look can prove quite rewarding.

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Satellite Reign Storming Early Access In December

You and your squad find yourselves in a neon alleyway somewhere in a dangerous electro-future and set out into the night. Your hacker hacks doors and cash machines, your infiltrator sneaks through difficult areas, while your support man heals and your soldier does what soldiers do – he shoots things real good. You’re a formidable team, and one with the option to tackle missions in a number of different ways. I can imagine why our Jim had such a good time recently shooting, bargaining, sneaking and hacking his way through the cyberpunk dystopia of Satellite Reign.

It’s a shame that only Kickstarter backers have a chance to try the game out before release. Oh wait! Satellite Reign will enter Steam Early Access some time in December. Here’s a new trailer:

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Totally Fantasy War: Empyrean Rule Announced

I started watching trailer the announcing the existence of Empyrean Rule – Rise of the Ancients without a huge amount of excitement. “I get the idea, this is going to be an indie Total War” I thought to myself. Then, I saw a troll stroll into a human army’s battle formation and stopped to take notice. It’s slightly rough-looking early alpha footage, but Empyrean Rule knows how to press my buttons. That’s some cool-looking enemy armour designs right there for those undead and that wizard-looking guy has some eye-catching style.

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Gooooal! Football Manager 2015 Has a Demo

So, any of you football loving types out there who prefer managing spreadsheets instead of having to actually sprint about a field yourself? You know where this is going if you’re a footie fan, yes I’m talking about Football Manager 2015. Our Adam was fairly torn on this year’s entry, so it’s probably a good thing that there’s a demo on Steam. There has been for a week, actually. Sorry we never mentioned it.

So, what do you get in the demo? Me and my sports-averse brain will try and work that out for you.

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What Are You Playing This Weekend?

[One of these days, Alice... -The Phantom Alt-Texter]

I am going back and playing one of my favourite games this weekend, RPS readers, one of those games I return to once every year or so to remind myself why I play games. I’m going to smile, I’m probably going to cry, I’m going to throw myself back into To The Moon.

To The Moon is one of those games you can just tell was made in RPG Maker. Much of it’s bones are those of your standard RPG Maker creation, from the menus and dialogue boxes to the very core of how the game feels to play. But there’s no battles to be fought, just a world to gently explore, interact with and watch unfold. It’s a game I play for lethargy. It’s there to help me relax, to cleanse the palate and shake off some of that cynicism we can find trailing behind us.

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Game Jam Honours Creative Assembly Programmer

As someone who plays games rather than creating them, it can be easy to forget they’re made by human beings with lives, friends and families. While we only usually pay attention to their work, sometimes we have to stop and pay attention to the human beings behind the games.

This June, The Creative Assembly member Simon Franco unfortunately passed away. Most recently working as a senior programmer on Alien: Isolation, he had stuck with the company across multiple projects and teams for over a decade, dedicating a large number of years to working on the Total War series.

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