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Sin Vega

Unknown Pleasures: Wanderers Edition

Ten more of the best gems in Steam's rough

22

Unknown Pleasures: Adventurer Time

Unjustly under-played indie games on Steam

10

Unknown Pleasures: It's a Mystery

The best indie games on Steam

15

1 year ago

Feature: Auspicious cargo

Star Traders: Frontiers is the best space game I’ve played in ages

Pirates! Can we outrun them? Damn! Well, would they accept a bribe? What? They won't even consider it? Okay, well, drop the cargo. No? Give them the ship and they'll let us live? Oh, they're not actually pirates, they're just mindless omnicidal monsters pretending to be pirates? Well... I guess I'll just reload an old save, then. That's how some games treat pirates. It's stupid,…

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Feature: Basquiat loves empathy

Unknown Pleasures: A five-course menu of great new games

You're lucky, readers. It's an optimistic time of year, even for sour-faced mopes like myself, and I damn nearly opened with some lyrics. What can I say? The sun is singing, the birds are shining, and the latest selection of Unknown Pleasures is a zingy blend of drama, carefree fun, and creativity. I for one am feeling inspired. Fooling us into thinking Summer won't be…

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Feature: Solo adventures are optional

Unknown Pleasures: About four to six great new Steam games

It's been a strange week here at the Pleasuredome. Once again, a bud of the Hivemind prepares to detach and spread in-jokes and sinister, fungaloid thoughts about user interfaces to a new, unsuspecting host. And I'd only just confirmed he's real, too. Bye bye, Adam. Subvert from within, yeah? Still, on the plus side, I high fived Aby Wolf the other night. And now it's…

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Feature: Off the fatta the lan

Unknown Pleasures: The five best new games on Steam

Infants. Infants everywhere. Ooh, look at me, I'm like a human but smaller and I'm allowed to scream and climb on stuff if I want to, oooh. End of term holidays are when you're supposed to be indoors playing games, not studying or going outside like some sort of peon. Bah. Wake me up when they're all back in school juggling cats or bouncer baiting,…

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Feature: You think you have a backlog

Unknown Pleasures: A doughty dozen new Steam games

We're back! Unknown Pleasures has been on unplanned hiatus as I have been grotesquely ill. The lack of communication or cover was entirely my fault, and I apologise for that unreservedly (and extend further thanks to the Hivemind for their extraordinary patience). I'm sorry. Wait, hang on, Adam's leaving. I can blame him! It was Adam, everyone! Shake your indignant fists. There's a bumper of…

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Feature: Missed Connections

Unknown Pleasures: Almost six of the week’s best Steam games

It has been a trying week, pleasure seekers (Okay, we're not using that one again - Ed). A lovely weekend in Wales did not prepare me for a week of kafkaesque negotiating with my PC and router and whatever transdimensional demons were squatting in between them. And of course, this week everyone agreed to stop releasing tiny platformers made in Paint in favour of 5Gb…

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Feature: From the steam of our own clams

Unknown Pleasures: This week’s pick of new Steam releases

Winter has finally arrived in force in London, bringing with it some questions. Whose idea was it to live on the surface? Why would anyone wear a fleece without arms? What kind of monster thinks it's okay to make a coat with fake pockets, and why didn't everyone immediately kill him with spears? Alas, these are not questions that Unknown Pleasures can answer. But if…

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Feature: I'd rather have a piece of toast

Unknown Pleasures: Five more of the best new games on Steam

Overwhelming though Steam's catalogue may be, it can be a hell of a tool for testing your assumptions. I pitch this to nobody in particular: a free week of everything on Steam. Not just one or two games, but the whole lot, free to everyone. Play something you'd normally hate, I say. See also: food, music, relationships. Anyway. In the meantime, there's always Unknown Pleasures.…

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Feature: Enough space to swing a shotgun.

Unknown Pleasures: The best five unsung games on Steam this week

Studies say that this week is the best week of the year to move house for gillionth time, attempt the thirteenth Herculean task of speaking to the one human in a Royal Mail call centre, then injure your back. Anti-frustration, then, would be a perfect theme for this week's Unknown Pleasures. Washing down an inadequate course of ibuprofen this week: artificial mortality, shotgun-based exploration, and…

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Feature: A non-zero quantity of kings

Unknown Pleasures: Five more of the best new games on Steam

It's that time of the year when joyless, faintly plastic robots insist that you forego the few pleasures January has to offer, calling you a big lazy drunk and demanding you join their dull, weight-obsessed ranks. But not here, friends! This is where we find new joy. It's Unknown Pleasures. This week we finish off the knock-off Baileys with button-mashing Empire management, queer aristocratic romance,…

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Feature: Some pleasures are more unknown than others

Unknown Pleasures: 5 fine forms of fun from Steam

Revolution! Rise up, comrades, and join me, your mighty new host of Unknown Pleasures! No more shall we labour in the asset flip mines. Our days of languishing in the fields of the Plunkbat clone are over. Never again shall we line the trenches of pages 1 through 7 of the new releases list. Well, I will, obviously. The first question for the new regime:…

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2 years ago

Feature: Trudge Dread

Why I fell out with Fallout-inspired indie RPG Underrail

Underrail [official site] is a game that wants to be Fallout. That's okay! That's a legendary game for several reasons, and some are even good. There's definitely room for an RPG to be to Fallout what Xenonauts is to UFO: neither remake nor clone, but a new game that does all the same stuff we've missed, only without an interface from the Stupid Age. Underrail,…

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Feature: Carebears dare

EVE Online’s free to play update might change your mind

I almost uninstalled EVE Online partway through the oddly crashy character creation process. Somewhere out there is a parallel universe in which my only experience with the game is a distant memory of an unpleasant and rapidly abandoned free trial. What a terrible world that is. For you see, I was wrong about EVE. I suspect a great many people are, as perhaps do its…

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Feature: A tower defense game that's not boring

Creeper World 3 has the best monster of any game

What's the best video game monster? Stop and think. You've probably thought of something bristling with claws, which snarls as it rushes to bite you, or some skittering horror that lurks in the shadows. Perhaps it's a shiny robot or a soldier with particularly fiendish AI. These are all understandable choices. They are, however, wrong. The best monster is in Creeper World 3 [official site].…

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3 years ago

Feature: 5 lives to convince you to play

Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead: A roguelike you could play for the rest of your life

I don't like roguelikes and, like all real people, I was sick of zombies years ago. Plus, somehow in just a few years we've gone from having next to no survival games to having so many of the godforsaken things that you can barely move without tripping over a hunger bar. All this and the keyboard-heavy ASCII affectation would, you'd think, make for my nightmare…

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Feature: Despite the very real flaws

Friendless Space: Why Master Of Orion 3 Is Important

Games are either good or the worst thing to ever happen. That's just how it works. Oh, sure, there are divisive games, but once the consensus has been reached that a game is bad, that's it. Cast it away into the pit of 1 star reviews, the lair of the Thumbdown, to be spoken of only with frothing hatred and contempt. Never to be touched.…

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Feature: Before Offworld Trading Company there was...

Fragile Allegiance & The RTS Formula That Never Was

The youngest of you won't remember The Before Times. One of the minor side effects of the millennium bug killing off 90% of the Earth's population was that not long afterwards, strategy games stratified into a tiny handful of highly formulaic subtypes. There's a downside to the unquestionably better standards of design we've enjoyed in the last decade or so. It's rare to find a…

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Feature: Imperial strategy

How Imperialism 2 Took The **** Out Of XXXX

Epic grand historical strategy! Ugh. Look, I'm not bashing the genre - I had to quit Crusader Kings 2 cold turkey as it took over my life - but when things become fashionable in games, we really overdo it, and something always gets lost in the desperate pursuit of the zeitgeist. Lately, it's regular old historical strategy that's felt the neglect. Not insanely complex, not…

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Feature: A Cameroonian fighting RPG

Aurion: Legacy Of The Kori-Odan review

Like most of you (be honest), I know almost nothing about Cameroon. I also know precious little about communing with ancestral spirits, launching fireballs, or punching dudes in the face. How fortunate, then, that Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan exists. Released in April this year following a successful Kickstarter by Kiro'o Games, Aurion is many things. It's a fusion of a side-scrolling beat'em up with…

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Feature: Lessons in world design from 2001

Why Gothic Is More Believable Than Modern RPGs

One of the many nebulous concepts that spring up when writing about games is "a sense of place". We talk about worlds and locations and settings, but often these boil down to unusual geography or art direction – surface details and imagery rather than a real identity. Gothic, by contrast, wasn't particularly pretty. Its setting wasn't the singular underground world of Arx Fatalis, nor the…

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