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Found 44 results

  1. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the 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!
  2. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the 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
  3. Jack Gardner

    Unravel Two Announced and Released Today

    EA both announced and released Unravel Two today in a fun twist on how long it usually takes E3 games to reach the consoles and PCs of the general gaming community. The sequel to the well-received indie platformer aims to foster a spirit of friendship and adventure with its new focus on co-op/dual character mechanics. Coming to us courtesy of Coldwood Interactive, Unravel Two takes the physics platforming from the first game and adds in an interesting wrinkle with co-op. Having lost everything in a terrible storm, Yarny manages to connect with another creature like itself and the duo set out for adventure. This connection allows the two Yarnys to fuse together or split apart to accomplish tasks independently. If you're not a fan of co-op, don't worry - it's not mandatory to play the game with someone else. EA assured everyone that solo players will be able to enjoy the game, too. The stage demo showed the two yarn creatures helping one another to traverse a wilderness setting while pursued by a wild pheasant (it might not be a pheasant, but I'm not on an expert on those fowl creatures). The co-op feature was used to distract the pheasant while one or the other Yarny navigated a puzzle or escaped to safety. The game will support both online and local co-op play. And, again, this is one E3 announcement that's available right now for about $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  4. EA both announced and released Unravel Two today in a fun twist on how long it usually takes E3 games to reach the consoles and PCs of the general gaming community. The sequel to the well-received indie platformer aims to foster a spirit of friendship and adventure with its new focus on co-op/dual character mechanics. Coming to us courtesy of Coldwood Interactive, Unravel Two takes the physics platforming from the first game and adds in an interesting wrinkle with co-op. Having lost everything in a terrible storm, Yarny manages to connect with another creature like itself and the duo set out for adventure. This connection allows the two Yarnys to fuse together or split apart to accomplish tasks independently. If you're not a fan of co-op, don't worry - it's not mandatory to play the game with someone else. EA assured everyone that solo players will be able to enjoy the game, too. The stage demo showed the two yarn creatures helping one another to traverse a wilderness setting while pursued by a wild pheasant (it might not be a pheasant, but I'm not on an expert on those fowl creatures). The co-op feature was used to distract the pheasant while one or the other Yarny navigated a puzzle or escaped to safety. The game will support both online and local co-op play. And, again, this is one E3 announcement that's available right now for about $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  5. We've known four player co-op has been on its way to Stardew Valley for a while now. Back in January, Eric Barone, the game's developer, tweeted out that he had been experimenting with a co-op build of the game with friends and found it a really great time. The reveal of that potential feature coming in the near future was exciting, but there wasn't any general timeline of when to expect the feature to make its way into the game. Now we at least have an idea. Eric Barone, who tweets under the handle Concerned Ape on Twitter, announced that development of the co-op update has been going well and that if squashing bugs continues at the current rate the update should release in about a month. That's by no means a hard timeline, but it at least gives us all an idea of when we might expect to see our friends in our digital fields. The update will bring a bunch of additional features, too, though what all of those might be remains unknown. At the very least we will get the ability to put hats on horses. That's right. Hats. On. Horses. And that's pretty awesome.
  6. We've known four player co-op has been on its way to Stardew Valley for a while now. Back in January, Eric Barone, the game's developer, tweeted out that he had been experimenting with a co-op build of the game with friends and found it a really great time. The reveal of that potential feature coming in the near future was exciting, but there wasn't any general timeline of when to expect the feature to make its way into the game. Now we at least have an idea. Eric Barone, who tweets under the handle Concerned Ape on Twitter, announced that development of the co-op update has been going well and that if squashing bugs continues at the current rate the update should release in about a month. That's by no means a hard timeline, but it at least gives us all an idea of when we might expect to see our friends in our digital fields. The update will bring a bunch of additional features, too, though what all of those might be remains unknown. At the very least we will get the ability to put hats on horses. That's right. Hats. On. Horses. And that's pretty awesome. View full article
  7. Armor Games Studios, publisher of indie gems like Sonny and Pinstripe, and developer Massive Monster have announced that The Adventure Pals will be releasing early next month. The zany co-op platformer sends a pair of kids off on an adventure to save their grandpa from being turned into a hot dog. Players take on the role of one of the kids, either solo or in co-op, and ride off to do battle against the forces of wackness on the backs of their trusty giraffe steeds. Over the course of their adventure, they'll give semi sentient cupcakes to cats, make friends with rocks, and do battle against a whole host of strange baddies. The Adventure Pals features over 100 levels spread across five worlds. Each world holds a variety of quests and characters that range from zombie pirate cats to hot dogs that squelch out land mines to a very large and very insecure whale. Completing quests will level the adventure pals up and open ever more powerful abilities. As part of the announcement, Armor Games Studios and Massive Monster have released a 10-minute gameplay preview that you can view below: The Adventure Pals releases on April 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a Switch version coming soon after that date. View full article
  8. Armor Games Studios, publisher of indie gems like Sonny and Pinstripe, and developer Massive Monster have announced that The Adventure Pals will be releasing early next month. The zany co-op platformer sends a pair of kids off on an adventure to save their grandpa from being turned into a hot dog. Players take on the role of one of the kids, either solo or in co-op, and ride off to do battle against the forces of wackness on the backs of their trusty giraffe steeds. Over the course of their adventure, they'll give semi sentient cupcakes to cats, make friends with rocks, and do battle against a whole host of strange baddies. The Adventure Pals features over 100 levels spread across five worlds. Each world holds a variety of quests and characters that range from zombie pirate cats to hot dogs that squelch out land mines to a very large and very insecure whale. Completing quests will level the adventure pals up and open ever more powerful abilities. As part of the announcement, Armor Games Studios and Massive Monster have released a 10-minute gameplay preview that you can view below: The Adventure Pals releases on April 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with a Switch version coming soon after that date.
  9. Stardew Valley's developer, Eric Barone, has long promised a multiplayer mode for the popular farming/life sim. Chucklefish, the game's publisher, pushed back the release to the nebulous time period of "early 2018" stating that the multiplayer functionality needed more polish. On Sunday, Barone gave an update on the status of co-op, tweeting a screenshot of four people playing Stardew Valley. When it does launch later this year, some features of the multiplayer addition have been confirmed. First, the update will not require players to create a new farm and existing saves will be open to co-op. Though the tweet references LAN gameplay, co-op will also be available via online play. Given that the LAN connection is currently functional, we might reasonably expect to see Stardew Valley co-op sooner rather than later. View full article
  10. Stardew Valley's developer, Eric Barone, has long promised a multiplayer mode for the popular farming/life sim. Chucklefish, the game's publisher, pushed back the release to the nebulous time period of "early 2018" stating that the multiplayer functionality needed more polish. On Sunday, Barone gave an update on the status of co-op, tweeting a screenshot of four people playing Stardew Valley. When it does launch later this year, some features of the multiplayer addition have been confirmed. First, the update will not require players to create a new farm and existing saves will be open to co-op. Though the tweet references LAN gameplay, co-op will also be available via online play. Given that the LAN connection is currently functional, we might reasonably expect to see Stardew Valley co-op sooner rather than later.
  11. Nintendo announced a new Kirby game coming this March titled Kirby Star Allies. The new adventure pits Kirby and co. against the forces of a new sub-space enemy with a bunch of new abilities and opportunities. Kirby Star Allies thrusts players into a new world with enemies armed with crazy abilities that can be turned against them. Star Allies adds the spider and artist abilities, allowing Kirby to wrap his enemies in big balls of silk and summon artistic creations to do battle on his behalf, respectively. On top of that, players can now toss their companions around as a new way of getting the drop on enemies. Perhaps the most exciting element of Kirby Star Allies lies in the possibilities it presents with 4-player co-op. Up to four friends can team up to take on the forces of evil that threaten Dream Land. In addition to the tossing mechanic, players can combine their abilities in unique ways, like using a water-based ability and a freezing ability to create ice projectiles. Players can even find group-specific abilities that allow them to combine their strength into a friend train or a friend star, opening up new paths and opportunities in certain areas. Kirby Star Allies releases on March 16 for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
  12. Nintendo announced a new Kirby game coming this March titled Kirby Star Allies. The new adventure pits Kirby and co. against the forces of a new sub-space enemy with a bunch of new abilities and opportunities. Kirby Star Allies thrusts players into a new world with enemies armed with crazy abilities that can be turned against them. Star Allies adds the spider and artist abilities, allowing Kirby to wrap his enemies in big balls of silk and summon artistic creations to do battle on his behalf, respectively. On top of that, players can now toss their companions around as a new way of getting the drop on enemies. Perhaps the most exciting element of Kirby Star Allies lies in the possibilities it presents with 4-player co-op. Up to four friends can team up to take on the forces of evil that threaten Dream Land. In addition to the tossing mechanic, players can combine their abilities in unique ways, like using a water-based ability and a freezing ability to create ice projectiles. Players can even find group-specific abilities that allow them to combine their strength into a friend train or a friend star, opening up new paths and opportunities in certain areas. Kirby Star Allies releases on March 16 for the Nintendo Switch.
  13. Jack Gardner

    Metal Gear Survive Coming Next February

    The first Metal Gear project without the guidance of series creator Hideo Kojima finally has an official release date. Konami's Twitter account made the announcement and revealed the list of pre-order bonuses players can receive should they buy before release. Metal Gear Survive shifts the focus of the series from single-player stealth to four player co-op. Taking place in the aftermath of Ground Zeroes, the followers of Big Boss are sucked into a dimensional portal to a new world inhabited by zombies. Four of the survivors of this incident fight to scrabble out a living and perhaps find a way home. Survive is different, to be sure. The departure from the series roots following the unamicable split between Hideo Kojima and Konami led to an outcry from fans deriding the title. However, what has been shown of the title shows promise - not necessarily strong stealth gameplay, but perhaps still as a solidly constructed, respectable game. The pre-order bonuses consist of the following: 4 gold plated weapons: Bat, Sledgehammer, Survival Machete and Survival Spear 4 metallic colored survival scarves: Green, Blue, Pink and Silver The thumbs up and happy gestures Mother Base nameplate The BOXMAN [THE ORANGE] accessory Kabuki face paint Metal Gear Survive releases on February 20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  14. The first Metal Gear project without the guidance of series creator Hideo Kojima finally has an official release date. Konami's Twitter account made the announcement and revealed the list of pre-order bonuses players can receive should they buy before release. Metal Gear Survive shifts the focus of the series from single-player stealth to four player co-op. Taking place in the aftermath of Ground Zeroes, the followers of Big Boss are sucked into a dimensional portal to a new world inhabited by zombies. Four of the survivors of this incident fight to scrabble out a living and perhaps find a way home. Survive is different, to be sure. The departure from the series roots following the unamicable split between Hideo Kojima and Konami led to an outcry from fans deriding the title. However, what has been shown of the title shows promise - not necessarily strong stealth gameplay, but perhaps still as a solidly constructed, respectable game. The pre-order bonuses consist of the following: 4 gold plated weapons: Bat, Sledgehammer, Survival Machete and Survival Spear 4 metallic colored survival scarves: Green, Blue, Pink and Silver The thumbs up and happy gestures Mother Base nameplate The BOXMAN [THE ORANGE] accessory Kabuki face paint Metal Gear Survive releases on February 20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  15. A big, sturdy box can make any game look intimidating, and Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift is no exception. The tabletop dungeon crawler from Dragon Dawn Productions offers players the chance to dive into a cooperative adventure that will test them to the breaking point and beyond. Abyssal Rift takes players into a hive of cultists intent on summoning forth their insectoid god. Drawn by visions and hallucinations, a number of adventurers have come together to put a stop to the dark deeds taking place in the cult’s lair. The base game comes with six heroes to choose from, though more can be obtained in expansions or on the company’s shop. Each champion comes with a backstory and motivation which can be used to roleplay the characters as they fight through the swarms of the insectoid cult. The various champions all have their own stats that affect what they can do each turn and a unique special ability. In order to survive Perdition’s Mouth, players will have to be clever and collaborative. Danger lurks around every corner in Abyssal Rift. Enemies and their ever increasing level of viciousness hammer home the very real possibility of death. In one playtest, four characters entered the first level and only one made it to the exit of the floor alive – and from the first floor onward, encounters only get more challenging. Players accumulate wounds as they take damage and damage effects each character’s abilities. If players fail to stop certain enemies from accomplishing certain objectives on each floor, then the global threat level rises, increasing the number of enemies that spawn whenever they are able to call in reinforcements. That threat level also carries over into subsequent levels. The base game contains eight levels which can be played in a variety of ways to increase difficulty. Each character can be given a special weakness, alternative scenarios can play out over the various maps, and decks can be stacked to include better bonuses… for both players and for monsters. Even on the easiest settings, Perdition’s Mouth presents a fantastic challenge for a dedicated tabletop crew. Don’t confuse Perdition’s Mouth with your run-of-the mill dungeon crawler, though. The rondel stands as the biggest deviation from comparable co-op dungeon crawlers out there. Instead of rolling dice to see what their character can or cannot do, players spend action points to make tactical choices during their round. Selecting an action to perform on the rondel takes a certain amount of action points and then performing the action consumes action points. The switch from dice to rondel might seem small, but it changes everything. What previously would have been left up to luck now relies entirely on the skill and cooperation of the party. On the player round, heroes can move in any order, so coordination becomes paramount in order to succeed. Some characters have fewer action points or unique skills and using them at the right moment or maneuvering around the rondel to set up for a future strategy could mean the difference between life and death. The element of randomness still makes an appearance, however. Each hero possesses a deck of cards from which they draw while performing certain actions on the rondel. They can use these cards to provide themselves with bonuses while attacking, defending, or performing special actions. While each enemy has a set value for their attack and defense, they also have access to a reaction card, which more often than not will provide a bonus to their attack. That means players must always weight their options. Do you spend a precious bonus card from your limited hand to bolster your attack or do you hope the reaction the creature draws isn’t enough to save it? If you spend that card, you might find yourself defenseless at a critical moment. Of course, this being a dungeon crawler, players can find all kinds of items and treasures on their hellish journey to defeat the insectoid god. Many levels include the opportunity to obtain these helpful pieces of equipment, but they might put heroes at risk or be balanced against certain objectives. Do you go for the treasure chest or do you save the innocent victim on the other side of the level? Do you commit the sin of splitting the party to attempt both at once? The treasure or item in the chest might prove to be the party’s salvation, but allowing the prisoners to die or enemies to escape could become lethal as the party makes progress. These are the tactical questions with which groups will have to wrestle. The initial setup for the game can seem a bit daunting. A thick rule book and a plethora of quality miniatures, tokens, and boards initially feel overwhelming for a new player. Luckily, the basics can be mastered with just a few practice rounds on the first stage. It helps to have someone involved in the first session who has played the game before, but if at least one player has looked at the rule book before launching into the game setup and gameplay learning, things will move along relatively quickly. A number of comprehensive overviews of the game exist out there, too; perhaps the best being Catweasle's multi-part series. People looking for a short game will not find it in Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift. The first level with inexperienced players might take two hours to complete. A full playthrough (assuming players survive) spans at least six levels, so if you want to make a stab at finishing one full attempt in a single sitting, be sure to set aside a full afternoon and evening. For people who don’t have that kind of time, the game also comes with cards to keep track of progress so players can resume next time they come together. Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift feels like a long overdue evolution for tabletop dungeon crawlers. The strategy of using the rondel over dice makes every move feel much more personal and when your character falls victim to a wound or falls in battle, it genuinely feels like you were responsible, not the whims of fate. Though certainly difficult (you might want to take the first floor through a trial run before going through the dungeon in earnest), the difficulty feels fair for a game that pits a rag-tag group against the forces of a god. If you're looking to add a spicy new game into the mix of your board game night, Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift is certainly worth a try.
  16. A big, sturdy box can make any game look intimidating, and Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift is no exception. The tabletop dungeon crawler from Dragon Dawn Productions offers players the chance to dive into a cooperative adventure that will test them to the breaking point and beyond. Abyssal Rift takes players into a hive of cultists intent on summoning forth their insectoid god. Drawn by visions and hallucinations, a number of adventurers have come together to put a stop to the dark deeds taking place in the cult’s lair. The base game comes with six heroes to choose from, though more can be obtained in expansions or on the company’s shop. Each champion comes with a backstory and motivation which can be used to roleplay the characters as they fight through the swarms of the insectoid cult. The various champions all have their own stats that affect what they can do each turn and a unique special ability. In order to survive Perdition’s Mouth, players will have to be clever and collaborative. Danger lurks around every corner in Abyssal Rift. Enemies and their ever increasing level of viciousness hammer home the very real possibility of death. In one playtest, four characters entered the first level and only one made it to the exit of the floor alive – and from the first floor onward, encounters only get more challenging. Players accumulate wounds as they take damage and damage effects each character’s abilities. If players fail to stop certain enemies from accomplishing certain objectives on each floor, then the global threat level rises, increasing the number of enemies that spawn whenever they are able to call in reinforcements. That threat level also carries over into subsequent levels. The base game contains eight levels which can be played in a variety of ways to increase difficulty. Each character can be given a special weakness, alternative scenarios can play out over the various maps, and decks can be stacked to include better bonuses… for both players and for monsters. Even on the easiest settings, Perdition’s Mouth presents a fantastic challenge for a dedicated tabletop crew. Don’t confuse Perdition’s Mouth with your run-of-the mill dungeon crawler, though. The rondel stands as the biggest deviation from comparable co-op dungeon crawlers out there. Instead of rolling dice to see what their character can or cannot do, players spend action points to make tactical choices during their round. Selecting an action to perform on the rondel takes a certain amount of action points and then performing the action consumes action points. The switch from dice to rondel might seem small, but it changes everything. What previously would have been left up to luck now relies entirely on the skill and cooperation of the party. On the player round, heroes can move in any order, so coordination becomes paramount in order to succeed. Some characters have fewer action points or unique skills and using them at the right moment or maneuvering around the rondel to set up for a future strategy could mean the difference between life and death. The element of randomness still makes an appearance, however. Each hero possesses a deck of cards from which they draw while performing certain actions on the rondel. They can use these cards to provide themselves with bonuses while attacking, defending, or performing special actions. While each enemy has a set value for their attack and defense, they also have access to a reaction card, which more often than not will provide a bonus to their attack. That means players must always weight their options. Do you spend a precious bonus card from your limited hand to bolster your attack or do you hope the reaction the creature draws isn’t enough to save it? If you spend that card, you might find yourself defenseless at a critical moment. Of course, this being a dungeon crawler, players can find all kinds of items and treasures on their hellish journey to defeat the insectoid god. Many levels include the opportunity to obtain these helpful pieces of equipment, but they might put heroes at risk or be balanced against certain objectives. Do you go for the treasure chest or do you save the innocent victim on the other side of the level? Do you commit the sin of splitting the party to attempt both at once? The treasure or item in the chest might prove to be the party’s salvation, but allowing the prisoners to die or enemies to escape could become lethal as the party makes progress. These are the tactical questions with which groups will have to wrestle. The initial setup for the game can seem a bit daunting. A thick rule book and a plethora of quality miniatures, tokens, and boards initially feel overwhelming for a new player. Luckily, the basics can be mastered with just a few practice rounds on the first stage. It helps to have someone involved in the first session who has played the game before, but if at least one player has looked at the rule book before launching into the game setup and gameplay learning, things will move along relatively quickly. A number of comprehensive overviews of the game exist out there, too; perhaps the best being Catweasle's multi-part series. People looking for a short game will not find it in Perdition’s Mouth: Abyssal Rift. The first level with inexperienced players might take two hours to complete. A full playthrough (assuming players survive) spans at least six levels, so if you want to make a stab at finishing one full attempt in a single sitting, be sure to set aside a full afternoon and evening. For people who don’t have that kind of time, the game also comes with cards to keep track of progress so players can resume next time they come together. Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift feels like a long overdue evolution for tabletop dungeon crawlers. The strategy of using the rondel over dice makes every move feel much more personal and when your character falls victim to a wound or falls in battle, it genuinely feels like you were responsible, not the whims of fate. Though certainly difficult (you might want to take the first floor through a trial run before going through the dungeon in earnest), the difficulty feels fair for a game that pits a rag-tag group against the forces of a god. If you're looking to add a spicy new game into the mix of your board game night, Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift is certainly worth a try. View full article
  17. I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for just over a month now, but it’s already my preferred way to play video games. As a father, I have very little time to relax once everyone goes to sleep, so I often have to choose between playing video games and just vegging out and watching Netflix or YouTube. With my Switch, I don’t have to choose, I can do both. I’ve also gotten some use out of the system’s built-in portable co-op, playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my nephews and, more recently, playing Death Squared with my wife – in bed, nonetheless. Death Squared released earlier this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but like so many other independent games, it feels most at home on the Switch. The puzzle game tasks players with moving two or four different-colored robot cubes across grid-based levels from point A to point B. In single-player mode, each joystick on the Joy-Cons controls a different robot (two at a time). Things can get a bit tricky when you have to move both robots at the same time. However, in co-op, with the Joy-Cons detached, each player can naturally control a separate robot independently. It’s simple and intuitive to just pick up and play the game – in a way that only really works on the Switch. Death Squared never over complicates things on the gameplay front. The only input you need to know is how to move the joystick. That’s it. The rest is a matter of learning the various traps and mechanics that are layered on top of that simple premise of getting each robot to point B without dying. The game feels right at home among easy-to-learn but difficult to master Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 and Arms. As the name implies, Death Squared uses death to teach players how the game works – which isn’t always to its benefit. Each new puzzle layers new challenges onto the formula, oftentimes without warning. For example, you only learn about the spikes that pop up from the floor and kill your robot at the very moment they kill your robot. Playing in co-op, dying repeatedly due to your partner’s impatience, incompetence, or mischievousness can be a good time. But in single-player, the trial and error gameplay can feel unfair and quickly becomes maddening as you gingerly try to navigate around each level while the game’s characters – a man named David and his A.I. overseer – mock your poor performance. It’s all much more enjoyable while playing co-op and can become pretty addictive once it sinks its hooks in you. With each level lasting no longer than a few minutes, once my wife and I got into a groove, we didn’t want to stop playing. With each new conundrum, we became better at coordinating and anticipating the game’s dastardly traps. My wife, who rarely plays games, ended up getting sucked into the clever puzzles and every time I suggested we quit, she would plead for just one more level. While a lot of credit goes to SMG Studio for designing the most enjoyable co-op puzzle game I’ve played since Portal 2, I can almost guarantee that my wife would’ve balked at the idea of playing Death Squared on PlayStation 4. The difference comes down to simplicity. Despite the controls being essentially the same across platforms, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons present a far less intimidating form factor than the sixteen different buttons on the Dual Shock 4. It’s not that my wife is a simpleton (in fact, she’s much smarter than I am), it’s just that she isn’t as fluent in the language of video games. Neither are most people outside of the gaming bubble that we often find ourselves in. My three-year-old daughter never showed an interest in actually playing video games until I brought home my Switch. Now she can actually finish a race in Mario Kart 8. She hasn’t beaten me yet, but I look forward to the day when she does. So, even though the game is relatively friction-less for newcomers, some frustration rears its head through odd design decisions and technical quibbles. Each of the game’s test rooms (read: levels) are designed as floating constructs in some seemingly dark, vast warehouse. None of the test rooms have walls, so you’ll often just fall off the side of the structure and die when all you were trying to do was navigate in a straight line, especially in single-player when you’re often controlling both cubes at the same time, similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. So many times, I knew what I needed to do, but actually executing it was not as easy as it should’ve been. This makes simply going through the steps of completing a puzzle more frustrating than it needs to be. This is especially compounded by the fact that the game doesn’t consistently auto-save. Too often, I would load an old save only to find that I had to start a couple of levels back from where I had last stopped. And when simply moving around the environment can be treacherous, that problem isn’t as minor as it would otherwise be. Despite some of its minor issues, I’m still having a blast with Death Squared, and I think my wife is too. We haven’t made it through all of the game’s 80 plus levels (which is why you shouldn’t consider this to be a full review), but we have every intention of going back and seeing what new predicaments we can solve for those adorable little cubes. I can sincerely say, this is a game I’d much rather play on my Switch over any other system - and the list of games I can say that about is rapidly growing in number. A game as simple and accessible as Death Squared just makes more sense on Switch, but the fact that it’s also a smaller indie title that released to very little fanfare on other systems doesn’t hurt either. With less competition, now is the perfect time for games like this to find an audience. Death Squared benefits from being a kid friendly pick-up-and-play game on a kid friendly, mobile console. Though it isn’t a perfect game, it deserves to be seen and played by more people, and I’m glad it might have that chance on Nintendo’s nifty young console.
  18. I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for just over a month now, but it’s already my preferred way to play video games. As a father, I have very little time to relax once everyone goes to sleep, so I often have to choose between playing video games and just vegging out and watching Netflix or YouTube. With my Switch, I don’t have to choose, I can do both. I’ve also gotten some use out of the system’s built-in portable co-op, playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with my nephews and, more recently, playing Death Squared with my wife – in bed, nonetheless. Death Squared released earlier this year for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, but like so many other independent games, it feels most at home on the Switch. The puzzle game tasks players with moving two or four different-colored robot cubes across grid-based levels from point A to point B. In single-player mode, each joystick on the Joy-Cons controls a different robot (two at a time). Things can get a bit tricky when you have to move both robots at the same time. However, in co-op, with the Joy-Cons detached, each player can naturally control a separate robot independently. It’s simple and intuitive to just pick up and play the game – in a way that only really works on the Switch. Death Squared never over complicates things on the gameplay front. The only input you need to know is how to move the joystick. That’s it. The rest is a matter of learning the various traps and mechanics that are layered on top of that simple premise of getting each robot to point B without dying. The game feels right at home among easy-to-learn but difficult to master Nintendo games like Mario Kart 8 and Arms. As the name implies, Death Squared uses death to teach players how the game works – which isn’t always to its benefit. Each new puzzle layers new challenges onto the formula, oftentimes without warning. For example, you only learn about the spikes that pop up from the floor and kill your robot at the very moment they kill your robot. Playing in co-op, dying repeatedly due to your partner’s impatience, incompetence, or mischievousness can be a good time. But in single-player, the trial and error gameplay can feel unfair and quickly becomes maddening as you gingerly try to navigate around each level while the game’s characters – a man named David and his A.I. overseer – mock your poor performance. It’s all much more enjoyable while playing co-op and can become pretty addictive once it sinks its hooks in you. With each level lasting no longer than a few minutes, once my wife and I got into a groove, we didn’t want to stop playing. With each new conundrum, we became better at coordinating and anticipating the game’s dastardly traps. My wife, who rarely plays games, ended up getting sucked into the clever puzzles and every time I suggested we quit, she would plead for just one more level. While a lot of credit goes to SMG Studio for designing the most enjoyable co-op puzzle game I’ve played since Portal 2, I can almost guarantee that my wife would’ve balked at the idea of playing Death Squared on PlayStation 4. The difference comes down to simplicity. Despite the controls being essentially the same across platforms, the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons present a far less intimidating form factor than the sixteen different buttons on the Dual Shock 4. It’s not that my wife is a simpleton (in fact, she’s much smarter than I am), it’s just that she isn’t as fluent in the language of video games. Neither are most people outside of the gaming bubble that we often find ourselves in. My three-year-old daughter never showed an interest in actually playing video games until I brought home my Switch. Now she can actually finish a race in Mario Kart 8. She hasn’t beaten me yet, but I look forward to the day when she does. So, even though the game is relatively friction-less for newcomers, some frustration rears its head through odd design decisions and technical quibbles. Each of the game’s test rooms (read: levels) are designed as floating constructs in some seemingly dark, vast warehouse. None of the test rooms have walls, so you’ll often just fall off the side of the structure and die when all you were trying to do was navigate in a straight line, especially in single-player when you’re often controlling both cubes at the same time, similar to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. So many times, I knew what I needed to do, but actually executing it was not as easy as it should’ve been. This makes simply going through the steps of completing a puzzle more frustrating than it needs to be. This is especially compounded by the fact that the game doesn’t consistently auto-save. Too often, I would load an old save only to find that I had to start a couple of levels back from where I had last stopped. And when simply moving around the environment can be treacherous, that problem isn’t as minor as it would otherwise be. Despite some of its minor issues, I’m still having a blast with Death Squared, and I think my wife is too. We haven’t made it through all of the game’s 80 plus levels (which is why you shouldn’t consider this to be a full review), but we have every intention of going back and seeing what new predicaments we can solve for those adorable little cubes. I can sincerely say, this is a game I’d much rather play on my Switch over any other system - and the list of games I can say that about is rapidly growing in number. A game as simple and accessible as Death Squared just makes more sense on Switch, but the fact that it’s also a smaller indie title that released to very little fanfare on other systems doesn’t hurt either. With less competition, now is the perfect time for games like this to find an audience. Death Squared benefits from being a kid friendly pick-up-and-play game on a kid friendly, mobile console. Though it isn’t a perfect game, it deserves to be seen and played by more people, and I’m glad it might have that chance on Nintendo’s nifty young console. View full article
  19. Rebellion, the developers behind the successful Sniper Elite franchise, are trying their hand at something a little, dare I say... strange? They have pulled back the curtain on their newest game titled Strange Brigade, a third-person shooter for 1-4 players to tackle solo or co-op. We don't know much beyond those few facts and what's provided in the reveal trailer. The shooter takes on the decidedly campy tone of a 1930s adventure serial. Players will be exploring a far flung corner of the British empire and come face to face with an otherworldly threat amidst the sprawling ruins of a once magnificent city. Zombies, colossal humanoid monstrosities, and even ancient gods all converge on the Strange Brigade to tear them limb from limb. The one thing that strikes a dissonant cord for me in this trailer is the character design of the black woman. Her design is weirdly exotic and "othering" compared to her companion characters in the ensemble. Maybe the full game provides more context or perhaps I'm being overly critical of a game meant to be taken as a camp throwback, but it struck a sour note in a trailer that otherwise appeals to me. Overall, Strange Brigade appears to possess a great deal of promise as a co-op shooter in a similar vein as the Left 4 Dead franchise. More details will be released next week at E3. At the moment, Strange Brigade is slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  20. Rebellion, the developers behind the successful Sniper Elite franchise, are trying their hand at something a little, dare I say... strange? They have pulled back the curtain on their newest game titled Strange Brigade, a third-person shooter for 1-4 players to tackle solo or co-op. We don't know much beyond those few facts and what's provided in the reveal trailer. The shooter takes on the decidedly campy tone of a 1930s adventure serial. Players will be exploring a far flung corner of the British empire and come face to face with an otherworldly threat amidst the sprawling ruins of a once magnificent city. Zombies, colossal humanoid monstrosities, and even ancient gods all converge on the Strange Brigade to tear them limb from limb. The one thing that strikes a dissonant cord for me in this trailer is the character design of the black woman. Her design is weirdly exotic and "othering" compared to her companion characters in the ensemble. Maybe the full game provides more context or perhaps I'm being overly critical of a game meant to be taken as a camp throwback, but it struck a sour note in a trailer that otherwise appeals to me. Overall, Strange Brigade appears to possess a great deal of promise as a co-op shooter in a similar vein as the Left 4 Dead franchise. More details will be released next week at E3. At the moment, Strange Brigade is slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  21. After spending years and years fine-tuning League of Legends into one of the most played games in the world, Riot Games has released a brand new game, only this time they're targeting the tabletop. Mechs vs. Minions takes place within the League of Legends universe and focuses on a scenario in which Rumble has assembled four diminutive Yordle heroes to teach them how to pilot their very own mechanized suits. Players can choose to take Corki, Heimerdinger, Tristana, or Ziggs into the battles against the roving army of minions that threaten the security of Runeterra. In Mechs vs. Minions, players must work together to put on the best defense they can manage against the oncoming minion threat. Up to four players can battle their way through a ten mission campaign. Each mission lasts approximately 60-90 minutes and can be accompanied by a radioplay to add more of a running narrative to the experience. Riot has brought back the League of Legends voice actors to reprise their roles for the radioplay versions of their characters. The tabletop game includes the following bits: 5 reversible game boards 4 command lines (one for each player) 4 painted mech miniatures Ability and damage decks A sand timer A bomb-like power source miniature 6 metal trackers 4 acrylic shards 4 dice 100 minion miniatures Some kind of large object, trying to break through that sealed box... The initial release of Mechs vs. Minions consists of 30,000 copies. As of this publishing, Mechs vs. Minions has not sold out. If the first wave of the co-op tabletop game sells out, future releases will be coming. Riot will update the Mech vs. Minions section of their store to indicate when those might be coming. With Game Day coming up, anyone think they might be picking up a copy of Mechs vs. Minions? Let us know what you think in the comments!
  22. After spending years and years fine-tuning League of Legends into one of the most played games in the world, Riot Games has released a brand new game, only this time they're targeting the tabletop. Mechs vs. Minions takes place within the League of Legends universe and focuses on a scenario in which Rumble has assembled four diminutive Yordle heroes to teach them how to pilot their very own mechanized suits. Players can choose to take Corki, Heimerdinger, Tristana, or Ziggs into the battles against the roving army of minions that threaten the security of Runeterra. In Mechs vs. Minions, players must work together to put on the best defense they can manage against the oncoming minion threat. Up to four players can battle their way through a ten mission campaign. Each mission lasts approximately 60-90 minutes and can be accompanied by a radioplay to add more of a running narrative to the experience. Riot has brought back the League of Legends voice actors to reprise their roles for the radioplay versions of their characters. The tabletop game includes the following bits: 5 reversible game boards 4 command lines (one for each player) 4 painted mech miniatures Ability and damage decks A sand timer A bomb-like power source miniature 6 metal trackers 4 acrylic shards 4 dice 100 minion miniatures Some kind of large object, trying to break through that sealed box... The initial release of Mechs vs. Minions consists of 30,000 copies. As of this publishing, Mechs vs. Minions has not sold out. If the first wave of the co-op tabletop game sells out, future releases will be coming. Riot will update the Mech vs. Minions section of their store to indicate when those might be coming. With Game Day coming up, anyone think they might be picking up a copy of Mechs vs. Minions? Let us know what you think in the comments! View full article
  23. Founded in 2013 by former executives from the Machinima network along with YouTube personalities, 3BLACKDOT made waves recently by publishing its first PC title to a large swell of public support. That game, Dead Realm, is a multiplayer horror title currently available on Steam Greenlight. With video contributions by partners and co-founders of 3BLACKDOT like Evan Fong (VanossGaming), Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject), and Adam Montoya (SeaNanners), Dead Realm has inspired over 25,000 videos from fans and personalities. What exactly makes this game so engaging? Simply put, Dead Realm is a game of hide and seek set within a spooky mansion. That might not seem like a terribly exciting or novel premise, until you add player-controlled specters and up to eight humans all trying to stay alive and escape the mansion. Dead Realm contains two game modes, three maps, two ghosts, and eight human characters. While the Early Access version of Dead Realm stands a bit bare bones in its alpha state, much more content is being planned for the final release sometime in 2016. One of 3BLACKDOT's co-founders, Evan Fong, echoed this commitment to future support in his statement, "Our intention is to work with the community to constantly develop new content, including ghosts, humans and maps. This early access release is just the beginning of what will be an ever evolving project.” So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Adam Montoya attributes this to the mission statement for Dead Realm, "The original concept for Dead Realm was to create a new game that was simple in nature, but also addictively fun to play with friends." Judging by the community feedback on their Early Access page, it seems like Dead Realm has achieved that goal, even without the features that have been promised looming on the horizon. “When Dead Realm first hit the STEAM early access store, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Tom Cassell, partner and creative director at 3BLACKDOT, “Then the community began to react and the response was overwhelming. Our twitter account hit twenty-thousand followers within the first two days and Twitch created a designated channel on day one --- this all happened without any dedicated marketing dollars.” Perhaps it is no surprise that a publisher with so much social media acumen could manage to organize such a groundswell of public support with one of their first projects. Angelo Pullen, one of the ex-Machinima executives who left to become the CEO and a co-founder of 3BLACKDOT, mentions that tapping into influential YouTubers and streamers is one of their priorities as a company, "This is the first time that a game has been developed in partnership with online influencers with a primary goal of creating content that’s not only fun to play, but also fun to watch, share and stream. Our company’s mission is to produce innovative, high-quality experiences for and with Influencers and their communities." View full article
  24. Founded in 2013 by former executives from the Machinima network along with YouTube personalities, 3BLACKDOT made waves recently by publishing its first PC title to a large swell of public support. That game, Dead Realm, is a multiplayer horror title currently available on Steam Greenlight. With video contributions by partners and co-founders of 3BLACKDOT like Evan Fong (VanossGaming), Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject), and Adam Montoya (SeaNanners), Dead Realm has inspired over 25,000 videos from fans and personalities. What exactly makes this game so engaging? Simply put, Dead Realm is a game of hide and seek set within a spooky mansion. That might not seem like a terribly exciting or novel premise, until you add player-controlled specters and up to eight humans all trying to stay alive and escape the mansion. Dead Realm contains two game modes, three maps, two ghosts, and eight human characters. While the Early Access version of Dead Realm stands a bit bare bones in its alpha state, much more content is being planned for the final release sometime in 2016. One of 3BLACKDOT's co-founders, Evan Fong, echoed this commitment to future support in his statement, "Our intention is to work with the community to constantly develop new content, including ghosts, humans and maps. This early access release is just the beginning of what will be an ever evolving project.” So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Adam Montoya attributes this to the mission statement for Dead Realm, "The original concept for Dead Realm was to create a new game that was simple in nature, but also addictively fun to play with friends." Judging by the community feedback on their Early Access page, it seems like Dead Realm has achieved that goal, even without the features that have been promised looming on the horizon. “When Dead Realm first hit the STEAM early access store, we really didn’t know what to expect,” said Tom Cassell, partner and creative director at 3BLACKDOT, “Then the community began to react and the response was overwhelming. Our twitter account hit twenty-thousand followers within the first two days and Twitch created a designated channel on day one --- this all happened without any dedicated marketing dollars.” Perhaps it is no surprise that a publisher with so much social media acumen could manage to organize such a groundswell of public support with one of their first projects. Angelo Pullen, one of the ex-Machinima executives who left to become the CEO and a co-founder of 3BLACKDOT, mentions that tapping into influential YouTubers and streamers is one of their priorities as a company, "This is the first time that a game has been developed in partnership with online influencers with a primary goal of creating content that’s not only fun to play, but also fun to watch, share and stream. Our company’s mission is to produce innovative, high-quality experiences for and with Influencers and their communities."
  25. Taking cues from Super Meat Boy, Shorebound Studios aims to deliver intense, precise platforming in a friendly package with Bob Was Hungry. The PC title focuses on an alien species called bobs that search the universe for food to sate their ravenous appetites. Instead of being the cataclysm most sci-fi authors would imagine, bobs are hard pressed to find food. They've devoured most of the cheese planets, which are a thing in Bob Was Hungry, and now scour the planets that remain for what scraps they can find. Players will have to deal with insidious traps and deadly environments in their quest for nourishment. Each level contains a collectible condiment which records the player's time and unlocks a harder version of the level. While Bob Was Hungry can be enjoyed alone, up to eight players can join in the platforming across a variety of modes. These include: Co-op, shared death co-op, competitive race, and competitive survival race. Co-op modes have players splitting a baked potato, while leaving your partners behind in a race nets you the last ham bone in the universe. With over 150 levels, it looks to be a platformer that can keep even the most skilled players busy for quite some time. Bob Was Hungry releases for PC (Windows only, sorry Mac users) on August 19. View full article
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