Latest Articles (Page 2)

  • A customer of your potion shop in Potion Tales, who sort of looks like a giant suspicious purple daisy with eyes. A square logo of geometric shapes and stars, with white words reading MAGIC WEEK is overlaid on the top right corner

    Potion Tales is a creepy magical puzzle game with no wrong answers

    The freeze potion is also good for making iced coffee

    I hesitate to call Potion Tales a shop sim or retail management game, because the economics of running a figuratively and literally underground magic potion shop seems a secondary concern next to making the potions and deciding whether you want to screw people over or not. If the answer to that last part is yes, you need to move on to the question of how.

    In practice, Potion Tales is a 3D puzzle game. People come to you - I use the term people broadly because the tutorial level involves helping a fire spirit and soon after you're approached by what appears to be an aggressive daisy who is the local gravekeeper - and present you with a problem. They ask for a potion to solve the problem. That's all the steer you get. It takes some getting used to, but the Steam demo shows an impressively flexible game with a good sense of humour.

  • The words Magic Week, in letters of different graphic styles including bubble writing and pixel art, against a black background on which there are different coloured star shapes, and an eye shooting lightning

    Cower, brief mortals! Wait, that's a halloween thing, isn't it. Welcome to the magic circle, pals! Not the actual one, just, like, thematically speaking. Starting today until next Friday, February 17th, it's Magic Week here at RPS, where we aim to highlight all manner of fabulous games about magic, witches, wizards, general sorcery and other spell-adjacent tomfoolery. We're also putting special emphasis on magic games made by trans developers, too. Join us for a glimpse of what's coming up.

  • Image for The Sunday Papers

    Sundays are for folding away your clothes horse carefully, so it doesn't snap shut on your fingers. Before you struggle, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

  • Hexy puzzling in a Hexcells Infinite screenshot.

    Steam Puzzle Fest will offer discounts and demos on puzzle games in April

    Who will solve the puzzle of where your money went

    Steam offered discounts on builders last month, and is is due to offer cheap mysteries from February 20th-27th. They've already announced the next genre-specific sale, though: Steam Puzzle Fest is coming in the last week of April.

  • A huge mech in the back of a train undergoing re-fitting in Phantom Brigade.

    Tactical mech shooter Phantom Brigade has been held by the twin prisons of early access and the Epic Games Store for a couple of years now, but it'll soon be set free. Developers Brace Yourself say it'll hit 1.0 and arrive on Steam on the same date: February 28th.

  • A masked maniac takes a swing at you in Sons Of The Forest.

    Sons Of The Forest will release into early access after all

    Still coming this month but no longer 1.0

    Cannibal and arboreal survival 'em up Sons Of The Forest was due to to launch later this month, and it has not been delayed. It's developers have announced that they've decided to release into Steam Early Access, however, after initially intending to head straight to 1.0.

  • Beardy man Joel and young girl Ellie gaze out towards the camera, over an unseen cityscape, in The Last Of Us: Part 1.

    The Last Of Us: Part 1 has been delayed by a few weeks on PC

    It'll now arrive at the end rather than start of March

    HBO's The Last Of Us television series has reportedly increased the player count for The Last Of Us on console, years after its original release. It stands to reason that there might be increased interest in the looming PC release, too, but you'll have to wait a few extra weeks. Naughty Dog announced yesterday that their shroomy shooter has been delayed.

  • An illustration of snowdrops from 'The Juvenile Verse and Picture Book'.

    The snowdrops are out! This is still a sign of winter, but it's a sign of winter progressing, and the progress of winter inevitably leads towards spring. Then we'll have the crocus, and iris, and bluebell, and oh spring! I'm overwhelmingly excited by the realisation that come Thursday, sunset in Edinburgh will no longer fall during working hours. Ah, light! Life! But until then, what are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on!

  • A screenshot from Duke Nukem (1991) showing Duke Nukem looking towards the player

    Have You Played... Duke Nukem?

    I'm going to bounce on your head and somersault down your neck

    When Duke Nukem 3D burst onto the FPS scene in the Nineties, young CJ was a bit confused. This Duke wasn't the purple-shirted acrobat I'd known from Apogee Software's pair of platformers earlier that decade. He was brash, crude, and and didn't side-scroll anymore. It wasn't for me, so I moved on to other games. I still occasionally loaded up those earlier platformers though, wistfully remembering a time when Duke presumably used actual toilets when he needed to answer a call of nature.

  • A functioning gaming PC housed inside the NZXT H5 Flow case.

    Gather round, children, and I’ll tell you of something magical: the NZXT Source 340 compact mid-tower PC case with side window, product code CA-S340W-B1. Good gravy, did I love that case. Tightly proportioned without being too cramped for a full-size graphics card, maturely designed without looking dull, and hewn from some of most gorgeously textured matte steel I’ve seen on a piece of computing hardware. Don’t even get me started on the upgraded Source 340 Elite. It’s been years since these cases disappeared from sale and ascended to Component Heaven, and although it’s taken a few tries, there’s finally a new chassis that’s worthy of the legacy: the NZXT H5 Flow.

  • A sea of repeating RPS logos.

    Supporters only: Letter From The Editor #010: Ask RPS anything you like

    Plus more details on the rest of our supporter program plans for 2023

    Hello folks. Earlier this week, we unveiled some of the cool things coming up for RPS this year - many of which revolve around you, our lovely readers and supporters. If you haven't had a chance to check that post out yet, I'd love to hear what you think of it. And yes, fixing our comments nesting is still very much on the agenda as well. Our tech team have a lot of websites to take care of these days, and they're working as fast as they can to sort things out. As soon as I have an update I can share, I'll let you know.

    But enough about techy bits. I wanted to use this Letter From The Editor to talk about some of the more supporter-oriented things mentioned in that 'What's coming up' post. Specifically, I want to kick off the inaugural Ask RPS - your chance to ask us, the editorial team, questions about games, the site, the way we do things, and other things we like.

  • An aerial shot of the mental health centre form Midnight Scenes: From The Woods

    You might recognise developer Octavi Navorro’s pixel art in Thimbleweed Park, 2017’s detective point-and-clicker. But since then, Navorro has been releasing surreal 2D horror games on an almost annual basis. Navarro’s series Midnight Scenes has been the highlight, having disturbing premises and Twilight Zone creepiness. The newest episode, Midnight Scenes: From The Woods is due on February 9th and it looks as chilling as ever.

  • A group of friends in a car being in Raptor Boyfriend. The driver is the player character, a normal human. The front passenger seat is a Black woman with pink hair and dragonfly-ish wings, and in the back is a raptor in a backwards baseball cap and a wolfman

    I really do not play enough visual novels these days. Raptor Boyfriend has been sat on my hard drive for at least a year, and it won't be the last. Historically, I have fallen hard for two kinds of VN: emotionally probing character dramas like Eliza and Watch Me Jump, or gentle and slightly silly comedies like Laura Silver and Camp W. The jokey dating-sim-but-everyone's-a-talking-table type vein never quite grabbed me. Unless Monster Prom counts? Hmm.

    Raptor Boyfriend is more the lighthearted comedy kind, but with through lines on social anxiety and navigating confusing coming-of-age relationships. It is also not actually about having a raptor boyfriend.

  • Image showing various characters that represent their factions in Age Of Empires 2.

    This year, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution for the first time in my life. I’m 21 and my knees click, which means I must be turning into stone faster than someone having a staring contest with Medusa. So, I vowed to exercise a few times a week. Then, during my first week back at work, vid bud Liam told me to try Age Of Empires II. Never before has a New Year’s Resolution been abandoned so fast. I really wanted to stick with it. Promise.

    But! After my first match, the following 30 hours vanished quicker than the Galaxy Caramels in a box of Celebrations. I became obsessed. I mastered AOE II's low AI difficulties and quickly used the Advanced Techniques tutorial to learn build orders. Before I knew it, I had a Google Doc filled with step-by-step plans for various playstyles, the perfect strategies for any scenario. But that Google Doc ended up ruining everything for me. If that recent Xbox release with the good gamepad controls has you tempted to revisit Age Of Empires II on PC, do not make a Google Doc. You’ve been warned.

  • Overwatch 2's Mei firing her ice blaster

    Overwatch 2's Season 3 introduces an Antarctic map with fishing (sort of)

    Mei's backstory is the focus of the Antarctic Peninsula

    Overwatch 2’s third season is right around the corner and, as always, that means we’re getting a new map. Blizzard have treated us to our first look at the Antarctic Peninsula, an icy-themed control map launching alongside Season 3 on February 7th. The Antarctic Peninsula is a big deal since it’ll delve into Mei’s backstory, it’s the first natural environment in an OW map, and it lets you fish. As in catching fish. At an ice hole. As in, you can catch fish at an ice hole in Overwatch 2.

  • The Day Before is a zombie-ridden survival MMO developed by Fntastic

    The last few weeks have been messy for The Day Before, the survival MMO that was Steam’s most wishlisted game for much of 2022. Last month, The Day Before’s Steam page was quietly removed from the storefront following a trademark dispute. Developer Fntastic also delayed the game from March 1st to November 10th at the same time, just days before they promised to show some raw gameplay footage of it in action. The whole debacle led to accusations on Reddit and Discord that the game didn’t even exist, but at long last, that promised gameplay video has arrived. And... it’s merely fine.

  • A top down view of WW1 cities on hexagonal tiles in The Great War: Western Front

    C&C Remastered devs' new WW1 RTS is arriving on March 30th

    The Great War: Western Front is also getting a Steam Next Fest demo next week

    The makers of Command & Conquered Remastered have announced their new WW1 RTS The Great War: Western Front will be releasing on March 30th 2023. It's also getting a Steam Next Fest demo next week on February 6th, which gives you access to its chunky tutorial and the early portion of its campaign, plus the Historic Battle of The Battle Of Passchendaele, which is the mission I got a chance to play at the end of last year. As it turns out, I've also had a sneak peek at the Next Fest build, too, and there's a heck of a lot to sink your teeth into. Here's a small glimpse of what to expect.

  • screenshot from Dredge's date reveal trailer, showing the sailor walk thing through a port with the sunset behind him.

    Fishing mini-games make just about any game better. There’s something meditative about being close to the water, waiting in silence for a catch, and mashing buttons to reel them in - plus I don’t need to deal with the horrendous smell from behind the safety of my desk. The indie game Dredge subverts what I like about fishing games, with an eerie eldritch horror waiting beneath the ocean’s surface. We won’t need to wait long before we see what's under there as Dredge releases on March 30th.

  • key art for Knockout City showing a dodgeballer dunking a shot

    Developer Velan Studios have announced that their team-based dodgeballer is being, well, knocked out. Season 9 of Knockout City will be its last and online services will be shut down on June 6th at 12PM GMT/6AM CST/7AM ET. Dodgeballers won’t be able to play Knockout after this date, but Velan have promised that a standalone, private-server version of the game will be coming to PC sometime after.

  • Geralt sits atop his steed Roach in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

    While the patch notes for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s 4.01 update claim it "improves the overall stability and performance of the game", if you’re not using the recently added ray tracing settings, it might well do the opposite. I gave the patch a whirl to try out its PC-specific changes – namely a new 'Performance' setting for RT global illumination and a fix for the broken screen space reflections setting – only to find that non-ray-traced, DirectX 12 performance has been utterly knackered. Again.

  • Image for This rhythm action game about a cute onion wearing a tracksuit is brutal

    I tend to find that a lot of rhythm games hold back from going completely beast mode. It definitely comes from a place of accessibility, where an onslaught of timed bars and coloured symbols can be intimidating for casual players. But what about the rest of us who want to be pummelled to death in time with a catchy beat?

    Good news! TinyBuild's new action-adventure game Rhythm Sprout: Sick Beats & Bad Sweets does not hold back. I'm not even halfway through the game and I’ve had my butt completely kicked by its barrage of oncoming beats, and all in perfect time to its soda-pop EDM.

  • amd ryzen 7 7700x cpu, shown in its retail packaging.

    Deals: AMD's Ryzen 7 7700X has dropped to £312 at Amazon UK

    A great price for the best value Zen 4 CPU for gaming.

    AMD's Ryzen 7000 processors offer incredible gaming and content creation performance, though high prices have stifled their adoption. Now, these CPUs - and their accompanying motherboards and RAM - are starting to become more affordable, with the high-end Ryzen 7 7700X dropping from a launch price of £440 to just £312 at Amazon UK as of today.

  • Image for The Dell S2721DGF 27-in 1440p 165Hz monitor is down to £287 at Dell UK

    Deals: The Dell S2721DGF 27-in 1440p 165Hz monitor is down to £287 at Dell UK

    This Fast IPS monitor is a firm favourite - and even cheaper with employee/student discounts.

    Dell's S2721DGFA is one of the best 1440p gaming monitors on the market thanks to its use of an LG Fast IPS panel, blending the plus points of both TN and IPS displays. Normally this monitor costs north of £300, but today it's down to £279 at Dell UK, a great price that can be dropped further to £251 if you have a student or Dell Advantage employee account.

  • Holly in Back 4 Blood

    Co-op zombie smasher Back 4 Blood won't be getting any new content. Developers Turtle Rock say that River Of Blood, the expansion which launched in December 2022, was it's last as they're now working on a new game.

  • Image for Dwarf Fortress developers share earnings report after releasing on Steam

    Dwarf Fortress selling half a million copies on Steam in just a few weeks already indicated that its creators, the Adams brothers, were due a windfall. Now the latest earnings report from Bay 12 Games is here to put an exact dollar figure on that success. Here's a tease: revenue in January was up over 462x since December.

  • A squad of dwarven miners pose in front of a threatening robot in Deep Rock Galactic's season 2 artwork.

    Deep Rock Galactic will soon let you play the game as it was at launch

    Celebrating its 5th anniversary with a time warp

    It's great that games are now regularly updated post-release, but it's also common for me to long for those halcyon days when I first fell in love with a game. It's good news then that Deep Rock Galactic is celebrating its fifth anniversary by making it possible to play it exactly as it was at release in early 2018.

    Of course, that's just one way they're celebrating the milestone, alongside an anniversary event and new DLC.

  • Image for Besiege and Skul: The Hero Slayer among Game Pass's leavers this month

    It's a new month, which means there's a new wave of games to join and leave Game Pass. As of today, we know of a new set of leavers, and it includes head-turning action platformer Skul: The Hero Slayer and the wonderfully destructive Besiege.

  • A densely populated galaxy in Stellaris.

    I've never actually finished a game of Stellaris. I doubt I'm the only ardent fan of the game that hasn't done so. The best thing about it, as is so often the case with 4X and grand strategy games, is the very beginning. That opening half-hour of limitless potential and giddy curiosity is utterly spellbinding. I don't know if any strategy game does it better.

  • screenshot from sims 4 growing together expansion showing a family with their baby

    Now that The Sims 4 has babies and toddlers, the family unit is complete. Perfect timing too, as the game’s next expansion is all about growing up with family. The Sim 4’s Growing Together Expansion Pack is out March 16th and it’s planning to expand the way your Sims change over time and relate to other Sims

  • An isometric, top down battle in Battle Brothers, with the mercs fighting a bunch of giant snakes

    Can I tell you a secret? I'm terrible at Battle Brothers. I'm still terrible at Battle Brothers, even after playing it on and off for a few years. It's a bit like Blood Bowl, oddly, in that it's all about mitigating risks. And like Blood Bowl, despite having a decent head for tactics and planning on the fly, I am hopeless at sticking to them when I see a new idea, thus: terrible. At it.

    But since an update last March looks likely to be its last big one, it's about time to get over myself and gave it a proper look as a complete package. It's long overdue, in fact. Although I still struggle to fully enjoy it, Battle Brothers is an unusually good tactical game, and the one to beat for the burgeoning subgenre of mercenary management sims. That's partly because it sticks so resolutely to its guns. Where Bannerlord faltered by throwing extraneous stuff unrelated to the core combat that should have defined it, and other open world games typically take a varied but shallow "do and be everything" approach, Battle Brothers resists dilution of that core concept.