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Feature: Ring-a ring-a walnuts, a pocket full of owl guts

Ring Of Pain is a solid card crawler featuring the grimmest owl in games

Deckbuilding and dungeon crawlers: two great tastes that go well together. Cards, it turns out, are a great tool for abstracting the collection of vaguely synergistic loot from monster corpses, and then seeing how far the resultant combinations will get you through fast-paced, sudden-death runs through a gauntlet of further monsters. Slay The Spire is arguably the defining masterpiece of the card crawler subgenre, and…

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Feature: Worth the space it takes up on your PC

Have you played… Call Of Duty: Warzone?

I consider myself quite the all-rounder when it comes to playing games. I've sampled a little bit of what sometimes feels like every game ever made during my five-squared years on this earth. And yet somehow, inconceivably, before last year's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare I'd never played a CoD game before. I've no idea how it happened (or didn't happen), but it did (or…

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16 hours ago

Feature: Is this real life?

Podcast episode 109: the living a normal life special… live!

This week, we at the Electronic Wireless Show were digital innovators and did our podcast live and on camera as part of PAX X EGX. It went really well and there were no slight technical hitches where my camera kept resizing itself on screen for a bit near the start. Our theme was simulation games, partly so I could talk about The Sims a lot,…

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23 hours ago

Feature: I swear, officer, we only had a few bubblegum flavoured vodkas

Watch me interrogate a teenage perv in cyberpunk detect ’em up Gamedec

For the week that's in it, and this week has huge gaming digi-vent PAX-X-EGX in it, Gamedec has a free demo for you to try. Which I have, in several times. Gamedec is, y'see, a) a detective game that is b) a text heavy RPG without combat and c) offers multiple routes to solutions. As a Venn diagram of my interests, it's almost a perfect…

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1 day ago

Feature: Have you seen THIS before?

Have you played… Contradiction: Spot the Liar?

Contradiction: Spot the Liar! is an absolutely wonderful, hilarious, campy romp. If you haven’t played a full-motion-video (FMV) game in a while, or ever, this is the perfect starting point.Designed by Tim Follin and starring Rupert Booth as Detective Inspector Frederick Jenks, you’re tasked with getting to the bottom of the mystery behind Laura Palm- I mean Kate Vine’s death. She’s a student who has…

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2 days ago

Feature: It got weird after my friend was turned into a statue of my other friend

I cannot adequately explain Starstruck, but I like whatever it is

Starstruck: Hands Of Time is a cutesy adventure game about going back in time to help some kids save the world.No, that's not right.Starstruck is a rhythm-action game about a guitarist trying to make it big.No, no. Starstruck is a silly rampage game about taking control of a giant hand as it smashes up little model neighbourhoods. Wait, it's actually a slightly dark story about…

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Feature: Eight legs but nowhere to run

Terminating spiders in Kill It With Fire has turned me into a monster

I don’t like spiders. Ever since I watched a documentary on TV about the leggy nasties lurking in the rainforest when I was but a high-pitched, impressionable Ed, I’ve become one of those people who scrambles for a paper and cup when a spider’s lurking about. So yes, arachnids raise my blood pressure. Every now and again I consider getting one of those cowardly spider…

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Feature: Talk radio

Have You Played… Oxenfree?

If your friend asked you a question – innocuous or not – they wouldn't just sit there, quietly, waiting for you to answer. They'd continue the conversation with a follow-up query or statement, or they'd change the topic. The point is: they wouldn't just... wait. But that's what video game characters regularly do when players are given dialogue options. NPCs shut their traps, eagerly awaiting…

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3 days ago

Feature: Some place for cowardice

I like everything about No Place For Bravery. Except the combat.

I've been banging my head against the PAX X EGX demo for No Place For Bravery for a while now. It's a very stylish action RPG where you, a warrior with adorable stick-thin legs holding up a big meaty-boi body, are out to rescue your daughter Leaf from grim monsters. You get to execute your enemies after defeating them, and lots of blood gets splashed…

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4 days ago

Feature: Words to maybe not live by

The official Crusader Kings 3 house motto awards

One of the strange things about Crusader Kings 3 is that the sheer size of the world means that even the mightiest empire will still operate in perhaps a quarter of the map at most. When you're a small realm, or one squished into a corner like Ireland or Kham, you can spend the entire game without proof that most of the world even exists.It's…

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Feature: Take the bunny out of the box

The free demo for Unpacking is good enough to make you enjoy moving house

There are two stages of packing for a move, as everyone knows. The first stage happens when you have loads of time before you have to leave, and is when you box things up in a way that makes sense. You slowly wrap up all but one of each piece of crockery in old wrapping paper and copies of The Metro, and put them in…

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Feature: Truly divine

Have You Played… Heaven’s Vault?

Heaven's Vault is one of those games that manages to occupy every waking moment of your life as soon as you start playing it. It's an archaeological linguistics mystery that sees you hop between planets and sail across vast, serene space rivers as you work to uncover the secrets of an ancient civilisation through the power of translation, deciphering age-old hieroglyphics so you can understand…

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5 days ago

Feature: Read more

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for going to a socially distanced picnic, as a goodbye to parents and children from nursery before our kids all start school on Monday. What a strange time.The former staff of Deadspin have formed a new sports and culture website, called Defector. They tell the story of how they got to this point here, from the mass resignation from G/O Media to the…

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6 days ago

Feature: Well?

What are we all playing this weekend?

PAX X EGX kicks off today, nine days of demos and streamed sessions and things to replace big games events that, y'know, didn't happen. Should be lots going on, so see its website. Myself, my weekend is dominated by reckoning with the concept that we're less than two weeks from the start of autumn. It doesn't seem right - factually or morally.What are you playing…

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7 days ago

1 week ago

Feature: Making you feel good about exploiting the planet

Have you played… Satisfactory?

Satisfactory is a factory-building game. Which means that, by its nature, it has been fighting an uphill battle. Why? Because Factorio exists.And yet you have to congratulate Coffee Stain on what they've accomplished against these odds. They've put together a surprisingly robust and extremely fun factory-builder in a 3D environment, which in itself is enough to prove wrong my predictions when I first heard about…

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Feature: Print the myth

Immortals Fenyx Rising is like if Assassin’s Creed had a Zelda baby and Ubi got custody

I'm going to get this out of the way, because every outlet with a hands on preview of Ubisoft's action-adventure Immortals Fenyx Rising (which used to be called Gods & Monsters) is going to say it somewhere. Immortals Fenyx Rising is a proper Breath-Of-The-Wildalike. It's one themed around Ancient Greek myths, yes, but you've got yer horses you can tame, yer open world to explore…

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