Free Loaders: Flipping the bird in Helping Hand

Humans are great communicators. We’ve developed not only spoken langauges, but reams and reams of written ones throughout history. Not to mention Braille and sign language. Truly, the human ability to express emotions, needs and desires is an unparalleled proof of our shared greatness as the planet’s most wonderful species.

Hey! Quit doing that rude gesture! Stop it! I mean it!

Sigh. Here’s some free games.
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What are we all playing this weekend?

I don’t know about your corner of the world, but mine is being brightened immensely by these lengthening days. Three minutes a day really adds up. That three minutes to cherish each day. The little things, yeah? Gosh howdy, get me with this folksy twinkle. Let’s talk video games: what are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on!
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Best Cities: Skylines mods

Cities: Skylines [official site] is one of those games that if given the chance will swallow you whole. Like any simulation game worth its salt, it’s comprised of so many moving parts that only by digging deep into its systems, mechanics and quirks can you hope to scratch its veneer and begin to understand what makes it tick. It’s a wonderful game once you do, but getting there can be a daunting task – even for the most tenacious of players.

User-made mods, of which there are now thousands, make this process a wee bit easier. It’s been the best part of two years since Alec shared his favourites (which are absolutely worth checking out), however the following list gathers the ones I’ve come to find essential in crafting my own homegrown cities and keeping my populace happy.

That last part might be a lie, but I swear that’s not my fault. (It totally is.)

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Wot I Think: Urban Empire

Urban Empire [official site] is a city-building strategy game about politics and people rather than residential zones and monuments. Placing you as successive members of a dynasty, each acting as the mayor of a city developing against the backdrop of the previous two centuries of European history, it’s about votes and influence as well as taxation and construction. But how does this more personal and political approach to urban management work? Well, it’s unlikely to win the popular vote. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think – Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach

The never-ending conflict between Warhammer 40K’s Orks and the greatest warriors of the Imperium of Man, the Space Marines, is an ouroboros that’s already trapped us all inside it. An infinite war, spawning an infinite number of smaller digital wars on our PCs, making sure we can never, ever escape.

Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach [official site] is the latest snapshot of the war, a turn-based strategy affair that, of course, pits Space Marine against Ork over a planet that nobody in their right mind would want to live on anyway. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Cannon Fodder?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

This was the first videogame controversy I was ever aware of: the British Legion were cross about the use of the poppy in Cannon Fodder, and the tabloid newspapers were slamming the game as a result. I didn’t have a complete grasp of the issues at the time – I didn’t know much of anything about World War I aged 8 – but I did know that Cannon Fodder was excellent.

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The Flare Path: Propliner Perfection


The DLC page for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition doesn’t do the alleged Best Simulation Game Ever Made any favours. Littered with the unambitious, the mediocre, and the aged (the listed ‘release dates’ are highly misleading) it suggests a third-party development scene short on craftsmanship and almost completely devoid of excellence. I fear there are users out there who assume that the tired selection of admittedly fairly affordable add-ons is it when it comes to enhancing gaming’s most rounded and richly provisioned pilot-em-up. My heart’s Nagging Nora mutters ‘SINK RATE! SINK RATE!’ when I picture the FSX aviator destined never to encounter masterworks like A2A’s Lockheed Constellation. Read the rest of this entry »