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Found 91 results

  1. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive just announced an ambitious adaptation of the French graphic novel series Blacksad. The striking multi-volume string of mysteries and adventures from authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido follows the exploits of John Blacksad, a dedicated independent investigator who gets wrapped up in something bigger than another easily solved missing persons case. The series relies heavily on the hardboiled and noir genres with unique spins on tropes that should be instantly familiar to anyone who has watched films like John Huston's The Maltese Falcon or Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. It's a rare genre to see in video games, with the only notable examples being LA Noir from Rockstar and another graphic novel adaptation, The Wolf Among Us. Blacksad: Under the Skin takes place in an alternate version of 1950s New York City populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. A strange series of disappearances and deaths take place around a boxing club in town. Joe Dunn, the owner of the club, is found dead in a possible suicide. The club's premier fighter, Bobby Yale, can't be found. With these two mysteries looming over the gym, Sonia Dunn, Joe's daughter, turns to John Blacksad to get to the bottom of whatever is going on. How players wish to pursue the answers they need will have lasting consequences in this narrative adventure game. Depending on decisions made over the course of the investigation, the outcome could be wildly different. Characters will react differently to Blacksad if he chooses to play hardball instead of by the rules of the ever-shifting underworld he's about to enter. Sometimes to get to the bottom of nasty business, someone might have to get a bit dirty. Honestly, Blacksad: Under the Skin looks really cool and fresh. There aren't a ton of games tackling this sort of subject matter, especially not through an anthropomorphic lens. It's interesting that the game, despite the silly visuals seems to be playing it all straight. The deadly serious tone of the game really makes it come together as an interesting project. Even though I haven't heard of either of the developers behind this adaptation of Blacksad before, it looks really competently made and boldly different. No matter how you cut it, that's exciting. Blacksad: Under the Skin will be releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC later this year on September 26. The game will feature full voice support for English, French and Spanish along with subtitles in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch. A collector's edition of the game will be available at launch that includes the base game along with an artbook and a resin statue of John Blacksad himself. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Slime Rancher is a farming sim/adventure game from indie developer Monomi Park. It released back in 2017 after spending over a year in Steam Early Access. With a colorful and friendly open-world and some subtly intriguing narrative hooks, Slime Rancher thoroughly charmed players. It offers a unique first-person perspective on the farming sim genre with the twist on the genre by making the central commodity the excretions of adorable and voracious slimes. Could Slime Rancher be one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Chrono Cross 'If I Could... (Synthwave Mix)' by Jorito and JoyDreamer (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03888) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Slime Rancher is a farming sim/adventure game from indie developer Monomi Park. It released back in 2017 after spending over a year in Steam Early Access. With a colorful and friendly open-world and some subtly intriguing narrative hooks, Slime Rancher thoroughly charmed players. It offers a unique first-person perspective on the farming sim genre with the twist on the genre by making the central commodity the excretions of adorable and voracious slimes. Could Slime Rancher be one of the best games of all-time? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Chrono Cross 'If I Could... (Synthwave Mix)' by Jorito and JoyDreamer (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03888) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. Way Deep Down's Half Past Fate aims to combine romantic comedy with the adventure game genre with delightful style. Published by Serenity Forge, the company behind games like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine and The King's Bird, Half Past Fate tells the story of three relationships, some forming within hours and others maturing over years. "To answer a big question we've been getting, yes you do get to play a very wide cast of characters. Imagine if you mash Love Actually (film) with To the Moon (game), that's pretty much our main inspiration," said Zhenghua Yang, the founder of Serenity Forge. Half Past Fate follows six different characters as their stories interweave with one another, making connections full of joy, comedy, love, and heartbreak. The story is careful to touch on people from all walks of life; Half Past Fate might rely on some rom-com cliches, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve to give those tropes a unique spin. Half Past Fate takes place in a gorgeous world that combines the classic look of 2D sprites and charming 3D environments that mesh well together. It basically looks like a game following in the endearing aesthetic footsteps of Paper Mario and Octopath Traveler. Way Deep Down conveys the story via text and adorable pixel portraits that do quite a bit of work characterizing the cast of colorful personalities. It's important to clarify that Half Past Fate doesn't appear to be a dating sim. Instead, it is a structured, linear narrative designed to tell a cohesive story, much like To the Moon. The core conceit of the game aims to show how love takes on many forms and can come out in unexpected, heartfelt, and occasionally hilarious ways. With that central ethos, expect the unexpected, especially if it relates to spilling tea or exploding coffee makers. With a year of development time under it's belt, Half Past Fate will be making its official debut at PAX East at the Indie Megabooth later this month. PAX East will run from March 28-31, so more information is nearly upon us for this intriguing indie game about romance. If you're going to be at PAX East, be sure to check it out! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. Way Deep Down's Half Past Fate aims to combine romantic comedy with the adventure game genre with delightful style. Published by Serenity Forge, the company behind games like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine and The King's Bird, Half Past Fate tells the story of three relationships, some forming within hours and others maturing over years. "To answer a big question we've been getting, yes you do get to play a very wide cast of characters. Imagine if you mash Love Actually (film) with To the Moon (game), that's pretty much our main inspiration," said Zhenghua Yang, the founder of Serenity Forge. Half Past Fate follows six different characters as their stories interweave with one another, making connections full of joy, comedy, love, and heartbreak. The story is careful to touch on people from all walks of life; Half Past Fate might rely on some rom-com cliches, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve to give those tropes a unique spin. Half Past Fate takes place in a gorgeous world that combines the classic look of 2D sprites and charming 3D environments that mesh well together. It basically looks like a game following in the endearing aesthetic footsteps of Paper Mario and Octopath Traveler. Way Deep Down conveys the story via text and adorable pixel portraits that do quite a bit of work characterizing the cast of colorful personalities. It's important to clarify that Half Past Fate doesn't appear to be a dating sim. Instead, it is a structured, linear narrative designed to tell a cohesive story, much like To the Moon. The core conceit of the game aims to show how love takes on many forms and can come out in unexpected, heartfelt, and occasionally hilarious ways. With that central ethos, expect the unexpected, especially if it relates to spilling tea or exploding coffee makers. With a year of development time under it's belt, Half Past Fate will be making its official debut at PAX East at the Indie Megabooth later this month. PAX East will run from March 28-31, so more information is nearly upon us for this intriguing indie game about romance. If you're going to be at PAX East, be sure to check it out! Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. Have you ever wanted to own the source code to Leisure Suit Larry? Well, you can for the low price of $2,225 (as of this writing). Al Lowe, one of the leading figures at Sierra On-Line, has begun putting his vast collection of game dev memorabilia up for auction on eBay and people are going wild over it. The legendary Al Lowe worked at Sierra Entertainment during they heyday of adventure gaming and took leading roles programming and creating music for games like King's Quest III, Space Quest, and became the guiding hand of the lovable loser Leisure Suit Larry's failure fraught quest for love. The 72-year-old legend invited game collector YouTuber Metal Jesus Rocks into his home to help determine what might bring in some money and go to loving collections. According to Lowe, Sierra never bothered to keep backups of its code or even copies - so his collection of source code for the Leisure Suit Larry games, Kings Quest III, and more are the only copies that exist on the planet. Currently, there are four items up for auction, though there's a strong possibility that more could be on the way. So far, the source code for Leisure Suit Larry I and II are up for sale and are going for over $2K apiece. Lowe also put up the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry, an obscure Sierra game called Softporn. Finally, interested parties can bid on a Christmas card from the Sierra offices. Of course, all of these items come on floppy disks, even the company Christmas card. Keep an eye on the collection for more being added in the near future. UPDATE: Lowe has added two items to the offering, both extremely rare Apple II games that are likely some of the last of their kind. The first is Dragon's Keep, the first game Al Lowe ever created. It comes from an age when games came in bags instead of boxes. He created the game out of his own home with the help of his wife and sold it out of his home before Sierra bought the rights (and began packaging it in boxes). If you can get it running, it's an adventure game about overcoming a dragon's keep. Currently, Dragon's Keep is going for $1,225. The second item has attracted a great deal of attention. Bop-A-Bet is another incredibly rare game, one of only 200 in it's bagged form. The game helps teach kids the alphabet by having kids go through a maze while bopping letters in the correct alphabetical order and then bopping a bunch of punching bags after the round is over for additional points. The bid for this item is currently lounging at a cool $10,000 so... someone out there really wants this educational game from 1982. Finally, the bids for both of the Leisure Suit Larry source code bundles have each topped $10,000, too, putting them out of reach for many out there. The Christmas card and the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry are both still within biddable reach for dedicated game history aficionados. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. Have you ever wanted to own the source code to Leisure Suit Larry? Well, you can for the low price of $2,225 (as of this writing). Al Lowe, one of the leading figures at Sierra On-Line, has begun putting his vast collection of game dev memorabilia up for auction on eBay and people are going wild over it. The legendary Al Lowe worked at Sierra Entertainment during they heyday of adventure gaming and took leading roles programming and creating music for games like King's Quest III, Space Quest, and became the guiding hand of the lovable loser Leisure Suit Larry's failure fraught quest for love. The 72-year-old legend invited game collector YouTuber Metal Jesus Rocks into his home to help determine what might bring in some money and go to loving collections. According to Lowe, Sierra never bothered to keep backups of its code or even copies - so his collection of source code for the Leisure Suit Larry games, Kings Quest III, and more are the only copies that exist on the planet. Currently, there are four items up for auction, though there's a strong possibility that more could be on the way. So far, the source code for Leisure Suit Larry I and II are up for sale and are going for over $2K apiece. Lowe also put up the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry, an obscure Sierra game called Softporn. Finally, interested parties can bid on a Christmas card from the Sierra offices. Of course, all of these items come on floppy disks, even the company Christmas card. Keep an eye on the collection for more being added in the near future. UPDATE: Lowe has added two items to the offering, both extremely rare Apple II games that are likely some of the last of their kind. The first is Dragon's Keep, the first game Al Lowe ever created. It comes from an age when games came in bags instead of boxes. He created the game out of his own home with the help of his wife and sold it out of his home before Sierra bought the rights (and began packaging it in boxes). If you can get it running, it's an adventure game about overcoming a dragon's keep. Currently, Dragon's Keep is going for $1,225. The second item has attracted a great deal of attention. Bop-A-Bet is another incredibly rare game, one of only 200 in it's bagged form. The game helps teach kids the alphabet by having kids go through a maze while bopping letters in the correct alphabetical order and then bopping a bunch of punching bags after the round is over for additional points. The bid for this item is currently lounging at a cool $10,000 so... someone out there really wants this educational game from 1982. Finally, the bids for both of the Leisure Suit Larry source code bundles have each topped $10,000, too, putting them out of reach for many out there. The Christmas card and the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry are both still within biddable reach for dedicated game history aficionados. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. It's truly a great time for indie games. The adventure genre was long dead, but the current state of the industry has allowed the classic style of game to experience a phoenix-like resurrection, exposing an entirely new generation of gamers to the thrill of storytelling and puzzle-solving many of the old guard of gamers were able to experience in Space Quest or even Zork. HomeBearStudio, a small Dutch game development studio has just released a beautifully illustrated adventure game, Nairi: Tower of Shirin, on both the Nintendo Switch and PC to delight both young and old gamers alike. Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the story of Nairi, a girl from the upper crust of a society populated by both humans and animals. Losing everything she has, she winds up in the criminal underbelly of Shirin, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. In this new, seedy life of crime, she meets Rex, a former gangster who left his old life behind to become a scholar. Together, the duo work to unravel the enigmatic mystery of the tower that sits at the center of their city. Buoyed by an adorable cast of characters all lovingly drawn and animated, players will need to use their creativity and smarts to solve puzzles in this modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure genre. The Switch version allows players to play it traditionally or take point-and-click extremely literally and point their joy-cons at the screen to interact with the game. Overall, this game looks sweet and cute beyond words - plus it retails for $9.99. Check it out if you need some more indie spice in your gaming library. Nairi: Tower of Shirin is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  10. It's truly a great time for indie games. The adventure genre was long dead, but the current state of the industry has allowed the classic style of game to experience a phoenix-like resurrection, exposing an entirely new generation of gamers to the thrill of storytelling and puzzle-solving many of the old guard of gamers were able to experience in Space Quest or even Zork. HomeBearStudio, a small Dutch game development studio has just released a beautifully illustrated adventure game, Nairi: Tower of Shirin, on both the Nintendo Switch and PC to delight both young and old gamers alike. Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the story of Nairi, a girl from the upper crust of a society populated by both humans and animals. Losing everything she has, she winds up in the criminal underbelly of Shirin, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. In this new, seedy life of crime, she meets Rex, a former gangster who left his old life behind to become a scholar. Together, the duo work to unravel the enigmatic mystery of the tower that sits at the center of their city. Buoyed by an adorable cast of characters all lovingly drawn and animated, players will need to use their creativity and smarts to solve puzzles in this modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure genre. The Switch version allows players to play it traditionally or take point-and-click extremely literally and point their joy-cons at the screen to interact with the game. Overall, this game looks sweet and cute beyond words - plus it retails for $9.99. Check it out if you need some more indie spice in your gaming library. Nairi: Tower of Shirin is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  11. Yasuhiro Wada, the designer behind the Harvest Moon franchise and Story of Seasons returns for a brand new title from TOYBOX Inc. Published by Aksys Games, Little Dragons Café has players managing the day to day affairs of a struggling café on the edge of civilization. Initially, players control one of two twin siblings, either a boy or a girl. Their working mom keeps them afloat by tending to their out of the way café, until one day she comes down with an illness that leaves her in a deep, unshakable sleep. Distraught, the children are visited by a quirky itinerant wizard. The strange old man presents the pair with a large egg and tells them that they must raise a dragon to adulthood to obtain the rare ingredient needed to wake their mother from her slumber. However, two kids can't really give a dragon the quality of life it needs to thrive without money! In order to support the business, the dragon, and themselves, the brother and sister have to take the reins of their little capitalist enterprise and turn it into a true tourist destination. To do that, they'll need all the help they can get between the abilities of their dragon, the wizard, a the motley crew of misfits who, for one reason or another, begin pitching in to make the café a success. While the other members of the team serve vital functions in the day-to-day running of the café, the dragon steals the show in terms of usefulness. Players can use the creature to discover new recipes in the wilds around their café as well as reach rare and delicious ingredients. Players will be responsible for raising their dragon. Feed it properly, nurture it with kindness and love, and it will grow larger. With each growth, the dragon gains new abilities, more stamina, and abilities - even flight. All of these a enable players to reach distant parts of the land to discover the rarest of ingredients and even long-lost legendary recipes that will bring more customers to the out-of-the-way little dragons café. With enough money, players can expand their cafe's facilities in a number of ways to better serve the ever increasing demands of the clientele. Every new recipe, if used correctly and made with the best ingredients, can help leave customers delighted and satisfied, helping to bring in more customers in the future. To get your hands on the freshest ingredients, players will have to grow produce themselves. Farm the land for fresh friends and veggies. Fish in the ocean to catch fish both common and rare. In these activities, it's really easy to spot the Harvest Moon influence. To get more clients, players have to ensure that not only their service is up to the task, but also that they show kindness and compassion for their neighbors. Little Dragons Café takes this quite literally by adding a popularity mechanic where if players help their neighbors, they (and by extension their cafe) becomes more popular. With enough money, effort, and time players will be able to unlock the secrets of their island home, cure their mother, and run the best gosh darn dragon café in all the lands! Little Dragons Cafe will release on August 24 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  12. Yasuhiro Wada, the designer behind the Harvest Moon franchise and Story of Seasons returns for a brand new title from TOYBOX Inc. Published by Aksys Games, Little Dragons Café has players managing the day to day affairs of a struggling café on the edge of civilization. Initially, players control one of two twin siblings, either a boy or a girl. Their working mom keeps them afloat by tending to their out of the way café, until one day she comes down with an illness that leaves her in a deep, unshakable sleep. Distraught, the children are visited by a quirky itinerant wizard. The strange old man presents the pair with a large egg and tells them that they must raise a dragon to adulthood to obtain the rare ingredient needed to wake their mother from her slumber. However, two kids can't really give a dragon the quality of life it needs to thrive without money! In order to support the business, the dragon, and themselves, the brother and sister have to take the reins of their little capitalist enterprise and turn it into a true tourist destination. To do that, they'll need all the help they can get between the abilities of their dragon, the wizard, a the motley crew of misfits who, for one reason or another, begin pitching in to make the café a success. While the other members of the team serve vital functions in the day-to-day running of the café, the dragon steals the show in terms of usefulness. Players can use the creature to discover new recipes in the wilds around their café as well as reach rare and delicious ingredients. Players will be responsible for raising their dragon. Feed it properly, nurture it with kindness and love, and it will grow larger. With each growth, the dragon gains new abilities, more stamina, and abilities - even flight. All of these a enable players to reach distant parts of the land to discover the rarest of ingredients and even long-lost legendary recipes that will bring more customers to the out-of-the-way little dragons café. With enough money, players can expand their cafe's facilities in a number of ways to better serve the ever increasing demands of the clientele. Every new recipe, if used correctly and made with the best ingredients, can help leave customers delighted and satisfied, helping to bring in more customers in the future. To get your hands on the freshest ingredients, players will have to grow produce themselves. Farm the land for fresh friends and veggies. Fish in the ocean to catch fish both common and rare. In these activities, it's really easy to spot the Harvest Moon influence. To get more clients, players have to ensure that not only their service is up to the task, but also that they show kindness and compassion for their neighbors. Little Dragons Café takes this quite literally by adding a popularity mechanic where if players help their neighbors, they (and by extension their cafe) becomes more popular. With enough money, effort, and time players will be able to unlock the secrets of their island home, cure their mother, and run the best gosh darn dragon café in all the lands! Little Dragons Cafe will release on August 24 for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  13. State of Mind presents a vision of 2048 that feels equal parts neat and unsettling. Robots dominate society, acting as household servants and even make up a fully autonomous police force. Citizens have augmented reality implants that display basic information for every person they come into contact with. Virtual reality has evolved into fully immersive worlds that many people prefer to spend their entire lives within. Technology can be wonderful, but should it advance at the expense of our humanity? State of Mind presents meaningful transhumanistic questions, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. Daedalic Entertainment’s narrative adventure has much in common with Life is Strange in terms of its third-person design. The meat of the experience involves exploring compact hub areas and interacting with characters, with additional elements sprinkled on top. These include puzzle-solving, stealth sequences, and even light shooting segments. The plot centers on technophobic journalist Richard Nolan. His life gets flipped on its head when he’s involved in a near-fatal car accident. As he gradually picks up the pieces, he realizes his accident may have been anything but. Worse, his family has also gone missing. In his search for answers he uncovers a conspiracy revolving around a secret virtual world. Despite his reservations with tech, Nolan must cooperate with forces in both realities, including a digital copy of himself, to rescue his family and squash a grander scheme. Nolan’s overwhelming unlikability holds back the story in a big way. Granted, much of this is by design. He’s tangled in an affair despite being married with a kid. His paranoia, both tech-related and personal, causes him to regularly fly off the handle, often irrationally. Nolan’s glaring flaws play into one of the game’s themes: escapism. Many characters turn to the virtual world to escape real world pain or imperfection. Richard has every reason to do the same, but he detests the idea of an artificial existence. That’s fine, but Nolan’s sheer abrasiveness made it nigh impossible to get behind him as a sympathetic character–something State of Mind clearly tries to accomplish. Nolan and the most of the cast suffer from cheesy, wooden performances that often rob serious moments of their emotional weight. A character death, for instance, doesn’t hit nearly as hard because of the rough acting. The story periodically drops players into the shoes of other supporting characters. Some tales land better than others–the story of a robot gaining freewill feels uninspired. However, these scenarios do a solid job of providing backstory and tying together different plot threads. Experiencing the troubled life of Nolan’s mistress Lydia became my favorite tale. She has easily the most fascinating history as well as the most genuine performance. Even though it features player choice, State of Mind tells a largely linear plot. Most choices lead to minor changes in tone, like choosing to respond angrily or passively. The only decision of significance comes at the flat conclusion. Those hoping to see branching paths for everything they do will be disappointed, but I personally didn’t mind the more focused approach. What did bother me was how the hokey, somewhat pretentious writing got in the way of State of Mind’s otherwise intriguing themes of transhumanism. The game sometimes feels like it tries too hard to be profound and can get up its own butt with its philosophy. State of Mind clicks best when those themes simply prop up the relatable human drama; an estranged father attempting to rebuild his family, for example. Other scenes feel outright dumb. In one unintentionally hilarious moment, I met a character infiltrating the virtual world undercover. He reiterated his need for secrecy, then immediately denounced the beliefs of the society he’s supposed to blending in with by making a loud scene in public. Well-worn archetypes (e.g. the messiah with a god complex, the self-righteous hacktivist) could have been stronger if they were written with more subtly. They can be over-the-top to the point being cartoonish and are painfully one-dimensional. In terms of presentation, the sharp, polygonal art direction gives State of Mind a cool style. I especially love the slick camera framing that adds to the cinematic feel. Unfortunately, scenes that abruptly switch to the loading screen and occasionally wonky angles (such as from within a character model) mar the production values. State of Mind’s gameplay can be hit and miss, as well, but I admire its variety. More involved mechanics include using a drone to navigate a maze of ventilation shafts while avoiding rogue bots. Sifting through notes to find correlating intel offers cerebral fun akin to a classic adventure title. An interactive art exhibit allowed me to manipulate music and visual effects for no real purpose but was neat diversion nonetheless. Best of all, only a few mechanics repeat themselves. Recurring activities are simplistic but mostly inoffensive. For example, piecing together jumbled AR scenes like a virtual puzzle. Others, such as a hacking mini-game, feel too easy. Players must position the analog sticks in the right spot but exacts solutions worked repeatedly, sometimes even consecutively. Conclusion State of Mind presents interesting ideas wrapped around solid gameplay and a good look. However, the questionable writing and performances bring everything down. It has some bright spots, but State of Mind ultimately boils down to an ambitious yet average sci-fi thriller. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  14. State of Mind presents a vision of 2048 that feels equal parts neat and unsettling. Robots dominate society, acting as household servants and even make up a fully autonomous police force. Citizens have augmented reality implants that display basic information for every person they come into contact with. Virtual reality has evolved into fully immersive worlds that many people prefer to spend their entire lives within. Technology can be wonderful, but should it advance at the expense of our humanity? State of Mind presents meaningful transhumanistic questions, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. Daedalic Entertainment’s narrative adventure has much in common with Life is Strange in terms of its third-person design. The meat of the experience involves exploring compact hub areas and interacting with characters, with additional elements sprinkled on top. These include puzzle-solving, stealth sequences, and even light shooting segments. The plot centers on technophobic journalist Richard Nolan. His life gets flipped on its head when he’s involved in a near-fatal car accident. As he gradually picks up the pieces, he realizes his accident may have been anything but. Worse, his family has also gone missing. In his search for answers he uncovers a conspiracy revolving around a secret virtual world. Despite his reservations with tech, Nolan must cooperate with forces in both realities, including a digital copy of himself, to rescue his family and squash a grander scheme. Nolan’s overwhelming unlikability holds back the story in a big way. Granted, much of this is by design. He’s tangled in an affair despite being married with a kid. His paranoia, both tech-related and personal, causes him to regularly fly off the handle, often irrationally. Nolan’s glaring flaws play into one of the game’s themes: escapism. Many characters turn to the virtual world to escape real world pain or imperfection. Richard has every reason to do the same, but he detests the idea of an artificial existence. That’s fine, but Nolan’s sheer abrasiveness made it nigh impossible to get behind him as a sympathetic character–something State of Mind clearly tries to accomplish. Nolan and the most of the cast suffer from cheesy, wooden performances that often rob serious moments of their emotional weight. A character death, for instance, doesn’t hit nearly as hard because of the rough acting. The story periodically drops players into the shoes of other supporting characters. Some tales land better than others–the story of a robot gaining freewill feels uninspired. However, these scenarios do a solid job of providing backstory and tying together different plot threads. Experiencing the troubled life of Nolan’s mistress Lydia became my favorite tale. She has easily the most fascinating history as well as the most genuine performance. Even though it features player choice, State of Mind tells a largely linear plot. Most choices lead to minor changes in tone, like choosing to respond angrily or passively. The only decision of significance comes at the flat conclusion. Those hoping to see branching paths for everything they do will be disappointed, but I personally didn’t mind the more focused approach. What did bother me was how the hokey, somewhat pretentious writing got in the way of State of Mind’s otherwise intriguing themes of transhumanism. The game sometimes feels like it tries too hard to be profound and can get up its own butt with its philosophy. State of Mind clicks best when those themes simply prop up the relatable human drama; an estranged father attempting to rebuild his family, for example. Other scenes feel outright dumb. In one unintentionally hilarious moment, I met a character infiltrating the virtual world undercover. He reiterated his need for secrecy, then immediately denounced the beliefs of the society he’s supposed to blending in with by making a loud scene in public. Well-worn archetypes (e.g. the messiah with a god complex, the self-righteous hacktivist) could have been stronger if they were written with more subtly. They can be over-the-top to the point being cartoonish and are painfully one-dimensional. In terms of presentation, the sharp, polygonal art direction gives State of Mind a cool style. I especially love the slick camera framing that adds to the cinematic feel. Unfortunately, scenes that abruptly switch to the loading screen and occasionally wonky angles (such as from within a character model) mar the production values. State of Mind’s gameplay can be hit and miss, as well, but I admire its variety. More involved mechanics include using a drone to navigate a maze of ventilation shafts while avoiding rogue bots. Sifting through notes to find correlating intel offers cerebral fun akin to a classic adventure title. An interactive art exhibit allowed me to manipulate music and visual effects for no real purpose but was neat diversion nonetheless. Best of all, only a few mechanics repeat themselves. Recurring activities are simplistic but mostly inoffensive. For example, piecing together jumbled AR scenes like a virtual puzzle. Others, such as a hacking mini-game, feel too easy. Players must position the analog sticks in the right spot but exacts solutions worked repeatedly, sometimes even consecutively. Conclusion State of Mind presents interesting ideas wrapped around solid gameplay and a good look. However, the questionable writing and performances bring everything down. It has some bright spots, but State of Mind ultimately boils down to an ambitious yet average sci-fi thriller. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  15. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  16. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  17. It has been long requested and finally done: The Life Is Strange episode is here! Naomi and Jack dive into all things Life Is Strange, from the theories to the story and how meaningful it can be, warts and all. Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me and the recently released Vampyr, really did well with their sophomore effort - did they do well enough to make a game that transcends greatness to be considered one of the best games of all-time? Play it, listen to the show, and judge for yourself. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Glitterbomb' by LongBoxofChocolate and Philippe Delage (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  18. It has been long requested and finally done: The Life Is Strange episode is here! Naomi and Jack dive into all things Life Is Strange, from the theories to the story and how meaningful it can be, warts and all. Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me and the recently released Vampyr, really did well with their sophomore effort - did they do well enough to make a game that transcends greatness to be considered one of the best games of all-time? Play it, listen to the show, and judge for yourself. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Undertale 'Glitterbomb' by LongBoxofChocolate and Philippe Delage (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  19. EA has made a habit of including a few smaller scale indie projects in its E3 press events over the last few years. This year they highlighted both Unravel Two and a completely unknown game from Berlin-based studio Jo-Mei. The studio's creative director, Cornelia Geppart took to EA's stage to announce Sea of Solitude, or SoS for short. "When humans get lonely they turn into monsters - this is the core of everything you will see, hear, and feel in SoS," said Geppart as footage of Sea of Solitude rolled in the background. Alternating between cheery scenery of a flooded town and a world of shadow inhabited by horrifically mutated humanoids, SoS seems like a combination of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and I Am Alive (a gritty indie disaster game set after a natural apocalypse that released in 2012 - maybe this comparison wasn't great since not many people played it). The story focuses on Kay, a young woman who has begun turning into one of the monsters that surrounds her. Why is this happening to everyone? How can she reverse the process? Players will have to brave the open seas and scavenge for supplies among monster infested towns to uncover the answers. Expect to see Sea of Solitude ship out in early 2019 for PC and consoles.
  20. EA has made a habit of including a few smaller scale indie projects in its E3 press events over the last few years. This year they highlighted both Unravel Two and a completely unknown game from Berlin-based studio Jo-Mei. The studio's creative director, Cornelia Geppart took to EA's stage to announce Sea of Solitude, or SoS for short. "When humans get lonely they turn into monsters - this is the core of everything you will see, hear, and feel in SoS," said Geppart as footage of Sea of Solitude rolled in the background. Alternating between cheery scenery of a flooded town and a world of shadow inhabited by horrifically mutated humanoids, SoS seems like a combination of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and I Am Alive (a gritty indie disaster game set after a natural apocalypse that released in 2012 - maybe this comparison wasn't great since not many people played it). The story focuses on Kay, a young woman who has begun turning into one of the monsters that surrounds her. Why is this happening to everyone? How can she reverse the process? Players will have to brave the open seas and scavenge for supplies among monster infested towns to uncover the answers. Expect to see Sea of Solitude ship out in early 2019 for PC and consoles. View full article
  21. Frog Fractions will not teach you how to fraction. Developed in 2012 by Jim Crawford, Frog Fractions began its life as an in-joke between himself and his friends. That joke evolved into an indie release that has been hailed as a mix between the best and worst game ever made. It's highly recommended that you play the game before you listen. It should only take about an hour to complete depending on how quick you are at discovering its tricks. You can play it for free on Twinbeard's website. Can a free indie comedy game stand as one of the best games period based on its originality alone? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 'Epic Steps' by Tonalysis (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03699) You can follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusStewart7 where you can find his thoughts on Dragon Ball Super, wrestling, and video games! He also writes at Marcus Writes About Games, Extra Life (hey, that's here!), and hosts Carving Gaming Rushmores. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  22. Frog Fractions will not teach you how to fraction. Developed in 2012 by Jim Crawford, Frog Fractions began its life as an in-joke between himself and his friends. That joke evolved into an indie release that has been hailed as a mix between the best and worst game ever made. It's highly recommended that you play the game before you listen. It should only take about an hour to complete depending on how quick you are at discovering its tricks. You can play it for free on Twinbeard's website. Can a free indie comedy game stand as one of the best games period based on its originality alone? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 'Epic Steps' by Tonalysis (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03699) You can follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusStewart7 where you can find his thoughts on Dragon Ball Super, wrestling, and video games! He also writes at Marcus Writes About Games, Extra Life (hey, that's here!), and hosts Carving Gaming Rushmores. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  23. The Stanley Parable originated as a mod for Half-Life 2 made by Davey Wreden. The mod proved to be relatively popular for its unique sense of humor and the way it played with gaming interactivity in novel ways. As a result, it became a fully fledged title that released at the tail end of 2013 with revamped graphics and additional content. Falling into that adventure game sub-genre of games that are sometimes derisively called "walking simulators," The Stanley Parable focuses on exploring interactivity in a digital medium by posing an iconic choice to the player: If you enter a room with two doors and someone tells you to go through the door on the left, but you are fully capable of going through the door on the right, which do you choose? With humor, minimalist design, and some brilliant voice work by Kevan Brighting, is The Stanley Parable one of the best games period? Outro music: Lunar Pool 'Looser Tool' by Harmsing (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03704) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  24. The Stanley Parable originated as a mod for Half-Life 2 made by Davey Wreden. The mod proved to be relatively popular for its unique sense of humor and the way it played with gaming interactivity in novel ways. As a result, it became a fully fledged title that released at the tail end of 2013 with revamped graphics and additional content. Falling into that adventure game sub-genre of games that are sometimes derisively called "walking simulators," The Stanley Parable focuses on exploring interactivity in a digital medium by posing an iconic choice to the player: If you enter a room with two doors and someone tells you to go through the door on the left, but you are fully capable of going through the door on the right, which do you choose? With humor, minimalist design, and some brilliant voice work by Kevan Brighting, is The Stanley Parable one of the best games period? Outro music: Lunar Pool 'Looser Tool' by Harmsing (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03704) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  25. You might not remember much about Kursk, an adventure game announced two years ago. Jujubee, the studio developing it, has been largely silent about the project after the reveal generated a considerable amount of criticism for its focus on the tragic sinking of the titular submarine in 2000, which resulted in the loss of all 118 sailors. The studio responded to those criticizing Kursk with the following statement: We would like to clarify a few things about our upcoming game "KURSK", because we see that there are some concerns. We are fully aware that this tragedy was a very painful topic for the Russian society and we can assure you that the game will be made with all the respect. There are many movies and books about current, very often painful events and we feel that games are now also a form of art and that the time has come for our industry to talk about serious and real topics. "KURSK" will be a game for the mature audience that can appreciate a deep storyline and our main goal is to do it right, without offending anyone. We hope that the final game will put all concerns to rest and that players will realize how much bravery it takes to live and work on a submarine. Many critics remained unconvinced, however, which may explain why the studio has been silent for two years. But now they're back with more information on their secretive project. Their announcement dubs Kursk the first "adventure-documentary game" in the history of video games. The claim that Kursk will be the first game ever to focus on a historical event is inaccurate, but Jujubee does seem to be aiming for historical accuracy with some embellishments. The additional details about Kursk's storyline reveal that it focuses on a character who didn't exist. Kursk will put players into the shoes of a fictional spy tasked with obtaining information on the Shkval supercavitating torpedoes, real torpedoes that the governments of the world had taken a keen interest in around the time of the incident. Players will be able to explore the submarine, Moscow, and the town of Vidyayevo, all locations which played pivotal roles in the lead up to the tragedy. Jujubee has implemented a variety of mechanics throughout the game to help bolster its narrative and help it stand out from what it sees as more conventional, repetitive games. Kursk's expected length sits at about ten hours. Michał Stępień, CEO at Jujubee, expressed his belief that Kursk would be a complex, nuanced story that would leave people better educated about the event and honor those who lost their lives saying: We think that the time has come to tell true stories. It’s fascinating how much our industry has evolved over the last dozen or so years. Games are becoming more and more complex, they offer an incredible audiovisual experience and let us immerse ourselves in virtual reality, but we should expect something more from them. As developers, we realize how much time users spend with our products, but we often fail to remember the responsibility connected to it. We can make games something more than just exciting entertainment. Games can become a tool not unlike books or films. They can help us develop, educate us, broaden our horizons, and provoke discussions that go far beyond the world of video games. We believe that KURSK will be precisely that kind of creation. It’s a game that brings the Russian submarine crew’s tragic story to the fore while maintaining all the advantages of sandbox gameplay. We’d like players not only to feel an integral part of the world we’re creating, but also to be inspired by the facts of this fascinating, if not dramatic story. The game will look at the story of the Kursk in a very comprehensive way. We aim for realism and as much immersion as possible. The player will not only have the opportunity to feel like a member of a submarine crew, but they will also be able to influence the story through their choices, including moral ones. The decisions they make will have a significant impact on the ending of the game, and there’ll be several of them Following the release of Kursk later this year, Jujubee has announced two expansions for the game. The first will be titled Kengir and will detail the events of the Kengir labor camp uprising in 1954 and the escape of one of the prisoners held there. The choice of subject matter for the DLC shows that Jujubee will not be shying away from potentially touchy topics going forward. The second DLC brings VR support in 4K and beyond. Kursk has no set release date, but it will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018.
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