Have You Played… Stunt Car Racer?

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

Sometimes I think FlatOut 2 is my favourite racing game and sometimes I think it’s Carmageddon 2. Maybe even Fatal Car Racing or one of the early Colin McRae games. Ohhh, maybe Hard Drivin’ or Rollcage? There are lots of good racing games. Stunt Car Racer is the best though, isn’t it? Yeah.

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Introversion’s Scanner Sombre surfacing on Wednesday

First-person spelunker Scanner Sombre [official site] will launch this very Wednesday, April 26th, developers Introversion Software announced today. They’re sending us to explore a deep and dark cave network with the aid of a LIDAR scanner that visualises the world with squillions of coloured dots. It’s a curious game to see from Introversion, who are known far more for exploring systems than places in games like Prison Architect, Uplink, and Defcon. I like the concept and look but I have premonitions of lurking horrors and do not want to know. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: What Remains Of Edith Finch

Whatever the screenshot above might have made you think, What Remains of Edith Finch [official site] doesn’t have very much in common with Dear Esther at all. It has a great deal in common with a lot of games I’ve played, but in the end doesn’t feel very much like any of them. It’s a walking simulator for about ten minutes, and then it becomes all manner of other things, including one of my favourite games in years. Here’s wot I think about this extraordinary family saga.

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Friday the 13th’s 1v7 teen horror slashing into May

1v7 horrorshow Friday the 13th: The Game [official site] will launch on May 26th, developers IllFonic announced over the weekend. I’m not saying it’s illegal for them to not wait until Friday the 13th of October but it is immoral and we should have laws against this. IllFonic have turned the slasher movies into an objective-oriented slashfest where a team of teens at summer camp need to avoid and fend off Jason Voorhees while they try to secure an escape route or get help. The initial release will be multiplayer-only, with singleplayer due to follow this summer. Here, having a look at these stabbings (and burnings, headcrushings, carpunches…): Read the rest of this entry »

Watch wizards: Dota 2’s Kiev Major is now go

Monday can be a slow, quiet day but I’m certainly invigorated by the yelling and explosions of competitive Dota 2 [official site]. Valve’s second big tournament of the season, the Kiev Major, kicked off its Group Stage this morning. This is two days of Swiss group battling to determine brackets for the Main Event, which will start on Thursday. How’s it going so far? Well! I can tell you that there were wizards, then the wizards fought other wizards, then there were fewer wizards. As ever, the competition is streaming on Twitch and Dota 2’s ace in-game spectator system. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: The Quick and the Dad

Dads are a notoriously angry species, we all know this, we’ve seen the documentaries. But what is it like to be a dad? What goes on in those strange, otherworldly minds? Washing up worries? Beer? I can’t answer that question, for I am but a humble games journalist, and thus banned from procreating. But maybe I have something here that can help us decode these dadly mysteries. That’s right, the dadification of videogames continues in this week’s roundup of free games.
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What are we all playing this weekend?

Ah, the weekend! Little-known fact: the word “weekend” comes from “we can d-“, the start of many an argument as couples started to discuss their weekend plans with “we can do…” then realised their partner had some damn fool idea that ruined their hopes and dreams OH GOD what a mistake what am I doing FINE fine we’ll go to the market then visit your brother-in-law and then no, no it’s fine that we won’t have time to… and I can’t… why do I still try this. Those relationships did not last but their frustration lives on in the word. May your weekends fare better.

What are you playing this weekend? Here’s what we’re clicking on. Read the rest of this entry »

Guild Wars 2’s art style passes from father to son

Horia Dociu various concept art for Guild Wars 2

Recently I had the chance to talk to ArenaNet (and thus Guild Wars 2) art director Horia Dociu about his work at the studio. One of the interesting things about his promotion to the role is that he succeeds his father, Daniel. As a result there’s a lot in our Q&A which is actually just a touching account of a partnership/mentor/mentee relationship across two generations of a family which was nice to read. I particularly love the point about making sure people have a place where it’s safe to try and to fail. Beyond that we talked via the email questions and answers about the art of the game which has been the most personally satisfying for Dociu The Younger, how to keep an art style from looking dated in a living game and the relationship of concept art to in-game assets… Read the rest of this entry »

Expeditions: Conquistador free weekend heralds next week’s Viking launch

Turn-based strategy RPG sequel Expeditions: Viking [official site] will launch next Thursday, April 27th, we’ve not mentioned before. I suppose I have now. Our Alec quite liked it when he played a preview version last year so I thought you might want to know. And now you do.

What’s all this historical expeditioneerating about? If you fancy finding out for yourself, hey, you can play the original Expeditions: Conquistador free this weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

N++ Ultimate Edition update adds gobs more levels

Super-focused platformer N++ [official site] already had over 2,000 levels but pssh, that’s nothing. Today sees the launch of N++’s huge ‘Ultimate Edition’ update with almost two thousand extra levels as well as a new ‘Hardcore’ mode and some new pretties. Yes, the Ultimate Edition is a free update and not a separate new release. Yes, I too wish they had named it N+++. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Repton?

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

There are games of which I can see screenshots years later and remember them fondly, or otherwise. And then there are the ones where a screenshot tears me asunder. Time and space lose their usual meaning, as my present and past selves collide, and my mind struggles to accept the decades of separation between them. Repton is one of those.
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