Posts Tagged ‘Excalibur Publishing’

Tracks – The Train Set Game challenges you to pick up tiny wooden commuters from your furniture

Tracks - The Train Set Game

I’ve been entranced by Tracks – The Train Set Game [official site] – a game about laying a wooden toy train track – since Brendy first brought it to my attention.

Back then it was pretty bare-bones, reminding me of my first Brio set before we got some of the fancier bits like the bridge which would lift up and the level crossing so that our plastic dinosaurs could get past safely. Now there’s all manner of fanciness as the devs prepare for the 28 September Tracks early access release including a passenger mode which will have tiny wooden commuters! Read the rest of this entry »

Choo choo! Toy train builder Tracks chugging into early access in September

Tracks header

All aboard the nostalgia express! Free toy train set builder Tracks [official site] is getting a proper commercial release later this year, hauling a carriage-load of new features into the Steam Early Access station. Arrival date: September 28th.

I’m buying a ticket early for this one. The free version (which you can get here) is a pretty great, serene experience but lone developer Dr_Whoop (or Tom, if you prefer) is clearly been hard at work preparing new goodies for the full release. There’s pretty decorations, new music, mechanisms to play with and objectives to complete.

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Jalopy’s Turkey update adds backstory via licence plates!

Priscillaaaaaaaaaaa!

I’l admit I entirely forgot that Jalopy [official site] getting a Turkey update meant the country and not, e.g. the bird. I was conjuring up all kinds of adventures I could take a turkey on while we played the roadtrip ‘n’ car maintenance adventure. Just me and my feathery friend, the wind in our wings, the radio set to some bangin’ choons, the turkey in charge of map reading… The turkey is called Priscilla and has replaced Jalopy’s Uncle character in my head.

In the real version of this update that doesn’t involve Priscilla and me Thelma and Louising it off a cliff or doing Carpool Karaoke, the Turkey update has added that country as a new environment/route in the game. Behold the trailer! Read the rest of this entry »

Parp parp! Roadtrip ’em up Jalopy rolls into Bulgaria

As Jalopy [official site] continues to trundle on through early access, the roguelikelike roadtrip ’em up has added Bulgaria in an opt-in beta. It’s not perfect but if you fancy pootling over the holidays, it should see you right. Along with adding the twisty and hilly new land, the update adds different road conditions and different tyres to go with them, plus new hazards like oil spills, and pot holes. Read the rest of this entry »

The Flare Path: Is Lost For Words

I’ve been robbed! I got up this morning to find my office ransacked and my mahogany word cabinet agape. Among the items taken were the words listed above. In the circumstances, covering this week’s wargame releases could be tricky. Perhaps I should stick to sim-related news, interviews and observations today.

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The Flare Path: A Ponce In A Ponsse

Forestry was one of the industries the Industrial Revolution forgot. The tools used by a British forestry worker at the start of the Twentieth Century would have been instantly recognizable to a forestry worker of 1700. It would be another two decades before the oil dripping, smoke breathing dragon of progress appeared in the UK’s pine stands and oak woods. First came the lumbering tractor, then the chainsaw, an increasingly portable petrol-fuelled marvel that quickly saw off the crosscut saw and eventually banished the axe too. Finally, in the 1990s, something truly remarkable arrived. A machine that, in favourable terrain, made a hard-working chainsaw flourisher look like a hopeless slacker, an anachronism, an irrelevance. Read the rest of this entry »

Street Cleaning Simulator: Diary Of A Street Cleanin’ Man

Hello, ladies.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the the best moments from the archive. This week, another Jim road trip, only this time he’s cleaning up the mean streets of Street Cleaning Simulator. This article was first published on July 8th 2011 with the title, “Street Cleanin’ Man”, an age before we were all au fait with labour sims.

Discovering that this game existed was a moment of perverse joy for me. I knew that it would be deeply boring – it really is – and that I would have to play it extensively for no reason other than to take joy in being quite deliberately boring. It’s the kind of non-challenge I relish, and I gleefully set about compiling a diary of the events – or lack thereof – in the life of a simulatory street cleaner.

Read on to find out how I got on with that.

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Hallelujah: Chemical Spillage Simulation Is Real

Nondescript warehouse boxes are a leading cause of radiation.

Fact: 52848202102395 chemicals spill every hour. Another fact: said spillages have resulted in the near-extinction of humanity on countless occasions. Third fact: one such spillage recently caused me to forget the meaning of the word “fact”. Fortunately, Chemical Spillage Simulation will soon be on the scene to save the day. Or teach me to save the day, anyway. It’s about stopping oozing, multi-tendriled sludgetastrophes before they ever happen, but instead of going about it the normal way (time travel), you use meticulously calibrated analysis vehicles, tools, and robots. Be still, my beating heart. Oh wait, that’s just my Geiger counter.

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Night Drive: Euro Truck Simulator 2

Manchester to Sheffield, Sheffield to Swansea, Swansea to Stuttgart. I’ve been haunting the highways and low roads of Europe as I aim to build a freight empire the likes of which the world has never seen before. My convoys will convey powdered milk from Berlin to Paris, and machine parts from Edinburgh to Frankfurt. Or, failing that, I’ll just fill my playlist with electronic ambience and watch the world roll past the window. This is Euro Truck Simulator 2.

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Get Over Yourself: Bridge Project Demo

“Are you ready for the next bridge building challenge?” The website for Bridge Project lists other works, including Bridge It, Bridge Construction Set, Pontifex and Gish. One of those is not like the others. The Bridge Project is out now and, with the release, here’s another Tuesday afternoon demo for you. As your shoddy physical constructs tremble and collapse think of them as the hope for togetherness and bipartisanship on the most crucial issues of our time. Then try again. Try harder. There are some bridges below for you to look at.

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All The Fun Of The Fear: Circus World

The horn is glued to his face every morning

I think Circus World is trying to be a bit like Theme Park, except with alcoholic clowns and depressed animals instead of joy. The trailer makes the entire circus look smaller than a reasonably sized back garden, with four or five vagrants rounded up and forced to attend and applaud wildly lest a sad-eyed harlequin eats them. An elephant teeters, balanced on a wheel in a tiny ring as onlookers gasp in terror and amazement. The inevitability of a dead family being scraped from beneath his fallen flank is already evident in the tears that roll down the imprisoned pachyderm’s wise cheek. A corpse is fired from a cannon. The circus does not care. The circus is a caravan of dreams. Available now, trailer below.

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This Rocks: Stone Quarry Simulator

Haha, this rocks. I am a funny.
Our work is complete, here at Castle Shotgun, when we receive the latest news from simulation impresarios Excalibur. This week’s transmission informs us of the unlikely-sounding Stone Quarry Simulator, in which you can use digging machines and/or explosives to drag the hard bits from the guts of the world. Excalibur implore us to “Embark on exciting excavations where only the most enterprising engineer will become king of the quarry!” King of the quarry. That sounds awesome. And I am also betting it’s not an actual feature of the game. If it is, then I will very pleased indeed.

It also features what seems to be the theme tune from an American teen-drama, as you can see in the trailer below.
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Grand Theft Organ: Emergency Ambulance Simulator

A flotilla fit for a Health King

Crazy Taxi was half of a decent game. The driving about at silly speeds in order to pick up a fare and ferry him to his destination had the potential to be extraordinary good fun. What youngster doesn’t dream of being a taxi driver? A crazy taxi driver no less? But despite flirting with perfection and even caressing her cheek, Crazy Taxi had a serious flaw. The people waiting for your services weren’t bleeding, vomiting, broken wretches, shivering and wracked with agony. Thankfully, Emergency Ambulance Simulator has arrived to correct that severe oversight.

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Airport Firefighter Simulator

What the Pyro gets up to on weekdays

What, you thought I was going to put a gag in the headline? You think that those three words are not beautiful and perfect enough on their own? How you sicken me, you artless philistine.

Yes, the latest in a long line of labour machinery-based sims you would never dream existed is Airport Firefighter Simulator, in which you are all that stands in front of certain, explosive disaster. Quotes like this are simply amazing: “Even the most routine duties of aircraft refuelling and cargo management carry the chance of conflagration so you must always be on your guard to prevent a minor incident becoming a major inferno.”
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My First Day On Patrol With: Police Force


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to able to really get stuck into any kind of municipal simulation in my day job, so I was delighted to realise that there was nothing better to do today than crack open my copy of Police Force and “experience law enforcement like never before”. Join me for the first day on the beat with Marc Angel and his implacable sidekick, Susan. (Yes, that is actually what they are called in the game.)
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Street-Cleanin’ Man: Street Cleaning Simulator

Hello, ladies.
Discovering that this game existed was a moment of perverse joy for me. I knew that it would be deeply boring – it really is – and that I would have to play it extensively for no reason other than to take joy in being quite deliberately boring. It’s the kind of non-challenge I relish, and I gleefully set about compiling a diary of the events – or lack thereof – in the life of a simulatory street-cleaner.

Read on to find out how I got on with that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bare Bones: Surgery Simulator Out 25th Feb


Excalibur Publishing are diversifying a bit from their line of transport and utility-vehicle simulators to bring us, uh, Surgery Simulator. The announcement blurb explains that that the game features the following operations – see if you can spot the odd one out: “Cataract, Varicose veins (varicosis), Gall bladder removal (laparoscopic cholecystectomy), Hernia (herniotomy), Treatment of a lower leg fracture, Tonsil removal (tonsillectomy), Appendix removal (appendectomy), Traffic accident.”

Hmm. Also of relevance: “Attention! This product is a computer game and not for training or tuition purposes!!! The product is NOT suitable for conveying specialist knowledge in medicine or surgery.” Aww.

4000 Metres Down: Dive To The Titanic


Huh, not sure how we missed this before now. PCG points out that Excalibur – those kings of random simulation publishing – released Dive To The Titanic, or DIVE to the TITANIC, to give it the proper formatting, which is a game about piloting a deep-sea mini-sub to explore the wreck of the Titanic. The trailer (in the depths below) is ludicrously hyperbolic, and the game looks pretty full on. Vicarious claustrophobia feelings, ahoy!
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