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  1. Jack Gardner

    Review: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

    The latest arcade flight sim with narrative aspirations from Project Aces, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown exists as a bit of an odd duck. The last couple attempts to bring the series into the modern day after its PlayStation 2 heyday fell flat and failed to gain much traction. This left Ace Combat in something of a limbo, only receiving support for the PSN exclusive and microtransaction-heavy Ace Combat Infinity. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown seeks to bring the series back to its roots by setting itself up as a canonical sequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, one of the most successful Ace Combat games to date. Despite that positioning, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn’t require players to be familiar with its predecessor or the history of the fictional world of Strangereal. There are certainly nods to events and characters that veteran fans will recognize, but for the most part, these moments aren’t necessary to enjoy the larger story. That story details a war between the countries of Osea and Erusea stemming from economic and political contention regarding a space elevator constructed using Osean funds on Erusean soil after Osea devastated Erusea in a previous war. Into this situation are thrown all manner of crazy twists and plot threads including: Prisoners forced to pilot aircraft in the war, the assassination of a former head of state, the future of unmanned drone warfare in the skies, and a survival behind enemy lines narrative. If all of that sounds interesting, it should! Unfortunately, it never comes together into one cohesive entity and then just ends. One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of a protagonist. This was somewhat solved in Ace Combat 5 by allowing the player to participate in radio conversations with pilots in their squadron. Allowing for a little bit of character development that wasn’t just, “Golly gee, [player] is really the best pilot!” And that’s a huge problem in Ace Combat 7 because the player is framed for the assassination of the former president of Osea and sent to an island to fly junk planes as a distraction for the enemy. He just happens to be such a good pilot that eventually everyone seems to forget that they all think he assassinated a former president for no apparent reason. Ace Combat 7 squanders the unique opportunity it has with the concept of prisoner pilots by very quickly hand waving away that aspect. A bunch of criminals flying airplanes sounds like it should be a great mix for the series, but it never has a tangible effect on the gameplay outside of one mission where players are denied the ability to repair and reload weapons mid-mission. Limiting the choice of planes, putting players against hopeless odds, heck, maybe having the planes the prisoners are flying literally start falling apart mid-mission – there are so many interesting ways that Ace Combat 7 could have handled the disposable prisoner-soldier aspect. Eventually, the war progresses and leaves Osea overly dependent on the squadron of prisoners – until a late-game twist cuts the squadron off from those higher up in the chain of command. This could have been a great opportunity to put the game into the player’s hands: Will the prisoner-pilots stay loyal to Osea of maybe they join the losing Erusean forces. Ace Combat 5 had several missions that diverged based on player choice and gameplay decisions. Instead, it becomes a story about survival behind enemy lines; admittedly still cool, but it doesn’t do much to revitalize the story. Many of these interesting narrative beats ultimately fail because of the disconnect between them and the main focus of the story: Unmanned drones. Ace Combat 7 really wants to be a story about the dangers of drone warfare. All of its cutscenes and several of its missions deal directly with that theme and threat. It’s the only one that actually feels tangible in the gameplay itself. The threat of coming up against an AI-controlled aircraft that can outmaneuver a human pilot feels more real than anything else the flight sim presents players. It’s unfortunate that the game that the game doesn’t then focus itself entirely on that danger, flooding the player’s airspace with mass produced drones or recurring encounters against a squadron of AI aircraft that learn from the player’s maneuvers. If prisoner-pilots and being lost behind enemy lines weren’t going to help build the story around the threat of drone warfare, they should have been cut or reworked to include them. Instead, we have a bunch of half-baked ideas that lack full function or resonance. Something odd must have been going on behind the scenes of Ace Combat 7’s development to have led to the narrative being a hot mess. The game just ends with everyone realizing that the disagreement over the space elevator was based on a misunderstanding. The campaign stands at 20 missions long, shorter than Ace Combat 5 by 7-12 missions depending on how one counts them. It’s possible that many of these lingering questions or half-formed ideas will be expanded upon in future DLC that will be supporting the title, but not enough is known about the eventual DLC to say for sure. We do know that it will touch on story content, but we can only judge based on what’s there now and it’s not a terribly satisfying narrative package. On top of that, there’s no arcade mode like previous entries in the series possessed, which featured a series of flight scenarios designed to challenge players. The only thing that makes sense is that due to budget or time constraints much of the single-player content had to be axed out of the core game. Or, to be a bit cynical, it’s possible that it was cut out to serve as DLC later down the road. Ace Combat 7’s story might be a mess, but the visual design for the aircraft, skies, and even the detailed models of structures and vehicles on the ground absolutely nail what the series has always been about. For all of the craziness of its Metal Gear-like flying drone carriers, the realism and attention to detail instantly convey that this is Ace Combat. It’s so beautiful, I often wanted to simply fly and look to at the swirling clouds, missile trails, explosions, and gorgeous chaos going on in missions. Each mission has a recap camera that follows the entire mission from a variety of angles centered on the player’s airplane and I’d often watch that for several minutes after concluding a sortie. The replay feature could be improved by the ability to fast forward through the mission at more than just 2X speed. The soundtrack created by longtime game composer Keiki Kobayashi does its best to replicate the music of Ace Combat, succeeding in some respects while falling short in others. Kobayashi has been composing since 2001 and worked in the music departments of all the Ace Combat games since Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies. It makes sense that he would be able to nail the ambient background soundscapes of the Ace Combat series for Ace Combat 7. However, Skies Unknown desperately lacks a central theme to rally around. Even at its best, it manages to convey frantic or dramatic energy, but possesses little memorable thrust of its own. It’s good experiential music to fly to but not so much to remember after the fact. The gameplay remains largely true to the Ace Combat formula of loading up a plane with an impossible number of missiles and sending it out to do battle against a variety of air and ground targets. The mission design feels tight with every mission offering a number of exciting and unique challenges. Whether it’s altitude restrictions, flying through canyons, a time limit to do as much damage as possible, getting close enough to identify a wide field of unknown potential targets, or finding smuggling trucks in a dust storm, players should expect the unexpected when gearing up for the next mission. Dealing with a number of flying quirks on missions adds another unique wrinkle to the gameplay. High winds can make flying close to the ground or staying on target difficult. Flying through clouds can help block missiles while also threatening to ice over the engines. Rain can obscure vision in the cockpit view. The most dangerous weather condition of all stands out as lightning which can fry electronics and send a plane into a deadly tailspin. Instead of a lengthy campaign or an arcade mode, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown boasts an online multiplayer mode with a couple different rule sets, pitting players against one another for intense aerial combat. The mode is… fine. It’s fine. It’s not fantastic due to the lack of gameplay modes and rule sets for players to choose from. This might be some player’s jam and it’s certainly necessary to include in a modern Ace Combat game. However, most people aren’t playing Ace Combat for the multiplayer and there’s not much beyond replaying the campaign for people who value that single-player experience. Conclusion: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown feels like a game that’s not sure about what it wants to be. It wants to be a gritty war story, but lacks the punch necessary to follow-through on that desire. The gameplay frequently feels disconnected from the story itself. It’s incredibly short, clocking in at only 2/3 the size of its PS2 predecessor. However, despite these narrative shortcomings, its ultimately nails the feel of classic Ace Combat. It’s a blast to play and part of the disappointment in the shortness of the game stems from the desire to play more of it. As a starting point for relaunching consistent Ace Combat releases, Skies Unknown feels like solid bedrock on which to build. For those who love multiplayer or want a unique VR experience (yes, the VR is cool, but you probably shouldn’t buy PSVR just to experience Ace Combat 7), Skies Unknown caters directly to those cravings. It certainly isn’t the perfect Ace Combat game that sets a new standard for the franchise, but Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown stands as an enjoyable entry that fans will appreciate. Maybe just wait for it to go on sale and see how the DLC roll out goes before you buy. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, 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!
  2. The latest arcade flight sim with narrative aspirations from Project Aces, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown exists as a bit of an odd duck. The last couple attempts to bring the series into the modern day after its PlayStation 2 heyday fell flat and failed to gain much traction. This left Ace Combat in something of a limbo, only receiving support for the PSN exclusive and microtransaction-heavy Ace Combat Infinity. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown seeks to bring the series back to its roots by setting itself up as a canonical sequel to Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, one of the most successful Ace Combat games to date. Despite that positioning, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown doesn’t require players to be familiar with its predecessor or the history of the fictional world of Strangereal. There are certainly nods to events and characters that veteran fans will recognize, but for the most part, these moments aren’t necessary to enjoy the larger story. That story details a war between the countries of Osea and Erusea stemming from economic and political contention regarding a space elevator constructed using Osean funds on Erusean soil after Osea devastated Erusea in a previous war. Into this situation are thrown all manner of crazy twists and plot threads including: Prisoners forced to pilot aircraft in the war, the assassination of a former head of state, the future of unmanned drone warfare in the skies, and a survival behind enemy lines narrative. If all of that sounds interesting, it should! Unfortunately, it never comes together into one cohesive entity and then just ends. One of the biggest problems is the complete lack of a protagonist. This was somewhat solved in Ace Combat 5 by allowing the player to participate in radio conversations with pilots in their squadron. Allowing for a little bit of character development that wasn’t just, “Golly gee, [player] is really the best pilot!” And that’s a huge problem in Ace Combat 7 because the player is framed for the assassination of the former president of Osea and sent to an island to fly junk planes as a distraction for the enemy. He just happens to be such a good pilot that eventually everyone seems to forget that they all think he assassinated a former president for no apparent reason. Ace Combat 7 squanders the unique opportunity it has with the concept of prisoner pilots by very quickly hand waving away that aspect. A bunch of criminals flying airplanes sounds like it should be a great mix for the series, but it never has a tangible effect on the gameplay outside of one mission where players are denied the ability to repair and reload weapons mid-mission. Limiting the choice of planes, putting players against hopeless odds, heck, maybe having the planes the prisoners are flying literally start falling apart mid-mission – there are so many interesting ways that Ace Combat 7 could have handled the disposable prisoner-soldier aspect. Eventually, the war progresses and leaves Osea overly dependent on the squadron of prisoners – until a late-game twist cuts the squadron off from those higher up in the chain of command. This could have been a great opportunity to put the game into the player’s hands: Will the prisoner-pilots stay loyal to Osea of maybe they join the losing Erusean forces. Ace Combat 5 had several missions that diverged based on player choice and gameplay decisions. Instead, it becomes a story about survival behind enemy lines; admittedly still cool, but it doesn’t do much to revitalize the story. Many of these interesting narrative beats ultimately fail because of the disconnect between them and the main focus of the story: Unmanned drones. Ace Combat 7 really wants to be a story about the dangers of drone warfare. All of its cutscenes and several of its missions deal directly with that theme and threat. It’s the only one that actually feels tangible in the gameplay itself. The threat of coming up against an AI-controlled aircraft that can outmaneuver a human pilot feels more real than anything else the flight sim presents players. It’s unfortunate that the game that the game doesn’t then focus itself entirely on that danger, flooding the player’s airspace with mass produced drones or recurring encounters against a squadron of AI aircraft that learn from the player’s maneuvers. If prisoner-pilots and being lost behind enemy lines weren’t going to help build the story around the threat of drone warfare, they should have been cut or reworked to include them. Instead, we have a bunch of half-baked ideas that lack full function or resonance. Something odd must have been going on behind the scenes of Ace Combat 7’s development to have led to the narrative being a hot mess. The game just ends with everyone realizing that the disagreement over the space elevator was based on a misunderstanding. The campaign stands at 20 missions long, shorter than Ace Combat 5 by 7-12 missions depending on how one counts them. It’s possible that many of these lingering questions or half-formed ideas will be expanded upon in future DLC that will be supporting the title, but not enough is known about the eventual DLC to say for sure. We do know that it will touch on story content, but we can only judge based on what’s there now and it’s not a terribly satisfying narrative package. On top of that, there’s no arcade mode like previous entries in the series possessed, which featured a series of flight scenarios designed to challenge players. The only thing that makes sense is that due to budget or time constraints much of the single-player content had to be axed out of the core game. Or, to be a bit cynical, it’s possible that it was cut out to serve as DLC later down the road. Ace Combat 7’s story might be a mess, but the visual design for the aircraft, skies, and even the detailed models of structures and vehicles on the ground absolutely nail what the series has always been about. For all of the craziness of its Metal Gear-like flying drone carriers, the realism and attention to detail instantly convey that this is Ace Combat. It’s so beautiful, I often wanted to simply fly and look to at the swirling clouds, missile trails, explosions, and gorgeous chaos going on in missions. Each mission has a recap camera that follows the entire mission from a variety of angles centered on the player’s airplane and I’d often watch that for several minutes after concluding a sortie. The replay feature could be improved by the ability to fast forward through the mission at more than just 2X speed. The soundtrack created by longtime game composer Keiki Kobayashi does its best to replicate the music of Ace Combat, succeeding in some respects while falling short in others. Kobayashi has been composing since 2001 and worked in the music departments of all the Ace Combat games since Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies. It makes sense that he would be able to nail the ambient background soundscapes of the Ace Combat series for Ace Combat 7. However, Skies Unknown desperately lacks a central theme to rally around. Even at its best, it manages to convey frantic or dramatic energy, but possesses little memorable thrust of its own. It’s good experiential music to fly to but not so much to remember after the fact. The gameplay remains largely true to the Ace Combat formula of loading up a plane with an impossible number of missiles and sending it out to do battle against a variety of air and ground targets. The mission design feels tight with every mission offering a number of exciting and unique challenges. Whether it’s altitude restrictions, flying through canyons, a time limit to do as much damage as possible, getting close enough to identify a wide field of unknown potential targets, or finding smuggling trucks in a dust storm, players should expect the unexpected when gearing up for the next mission. Dealing with a number of flying quirks on missions adds another unique wrinkle to the gameplay. High winds can make flying close to the ground or staying on target difficult. Flying through clouds can help block missiles while also threatening to ice over the engines. Rain can obscure vision in the cockpit view. The most dangerous weather condition of all stands out as lightning which can fry electronics and send a plane into a deadly tailspin. Instead of a lengthy campaign or an arcade mode, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown boasts an online multiplayer mode with a couple different rule sets, pitting players against one another for intense aerial combat. The mode is… fine. It’s fine. It’s not fantastic due to the lack of gameplay modes and rule sets for players to choose from. This might be some player’s jam and it’s certainly necessary to include in a modern Ace Combat game. However, most people aren’t playing Ace Combat for the multiplayer and there’s not much beyond replaying the campaign for people who value that single-player experience. Conclusion: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown feels like a game that’s not sure about what it wants to be. It wants to be a gritty war story, but lacks the punch necessary to follow-through on that desire. The gameplay frequently feels disconnected from the story itself. It’s incredibly short, clocking in at only 2/3 the size of its PS2 predecessor. However, despite these narrative shortcomings, its ultimately nails the feel of classic Ace Combat. It’s a blast to play and part of the disappointment in the shortness of the game stems from the desire to play more of it. As a starting point for relaunching consistent Ace Combat releases, Skies Unknown feels like solid bedrock on which to build. For those who love multiplayer or want a unique VR experience (yes, the VR is cool, but you probably shouldn’t buy PSVR just to experience Ace Combat 7), Skies Unknown caters directly to those cravings. It certainly isn’t the perfect Ace Combat game that sets a new standard for the franchise, but Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown stands as an enjoyable entry that fans will appreciate. Maybe just wait for it to go on sale and see how the DLC roll out goes before you buy. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, 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
  3. Nightdive Studios has been quietly working on a remake of System Shock since their successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. Their mission is to bring the forward-thinking 1994 PC title into a recognizable, but modernized, form. And, to be honest, it looks fantastic. System Shock originally released on PC back in 1994. It offered players the chance to play a first-person science fiction role-playing game with a rich and detailed world that could be tackled in a wide variety of unique ways. It rewarded creativity and established many of the conventions that games still make use of to this day and directly influenced the creation of games like BioShock, Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid. Looking Glass Interactive received critical acclaim for the game, but the games it created were ahead of their time, leading to lower sales compared with the straight-forward and immediately rewarding Doom. That brings us to the present day as Nightdive Studios works to bring a completely rebuilt version of System Shock to modern systems. Nightdive cut their teeth on revamping retro titles to play on new hardware. They are responsible for reviving I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, System Shock 1, and System Shock 2, and also played a part in creating modern titles like Skyrim and BioShock Infinite. The studio has been transparent with their development process, posting videos and screenshots throughout the creation of the new System Shock. The latest update showcases a number of the finished and finalized art assets in action. The System Shock remake is scheduled to release in 2020, so this video is still pre-alpha. However, seeing a small section of what will be included in the finished game is really exciting. You can check out the video below. The next development update will apparently show off the combat mechanics of the System Shock remake, which will be really interesting. One of the drawbacks of the original was the complicated control scheme that doesn't feel great if you go back to experience it. Modernized controls and mechanics would go a long way toward making the remake a success. 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. Nightdive Studios has been quietly working on a remake of System Shock since their successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. Their mission is to bring the forward-thinking 1994 PC title into a recognizable, but modernized, form. And, to be honest, it looks fantastic. System Shock originally released on PC back in 1994. It offered players the chance to play a first-person science fiction role-playing game with a rich and detailed world that could be tackled in a wide variety of unique ways. It rewarded creativity and established many of the conventions that games still make use of to this day and directly influenced the creation of games like BioShock, Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid. Looking Glass Interactive received critical acclaim for the game, but the games it created were ahead of their time, leading to lower sales compared with the straight-forward and immediately rewarding Doom. That brings us to the present day as Nightdive Studios works to bring a completely rebuilt version of System Shock to modern systems. Nightdive cut their teeth on revamping retro titles to play on new hardware. They are responsible for reviving I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, System Shock 1, and System Shock 2, and also played a part in creating modern titles like Skyrim and BioShock Infinite. The studio has been transparent with their development process, posting videos and screenshots throughout the creation of the new System Shock. The latest update showcases a number of the finished and finalized art assets in action. The System Shock remake is scheduled to release in 2020, so this video is still pre-alpha. However, seeing a small section of what will be included in the finished game is really exciting. You can check out the video below. The next development update will apparently show off the combat mechanics of the System Shock remake, which will be really interesting. One of the drawbacks of the original was the complicated control scheme that doesn't feel great if you go back to experience it. Modernized controls and mechanics would go a long way toward making the remake a success. 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. Jon Shafer has been quietly working on a new game for the past seven years, and At the Gates is finally set to release next week. Shafer served as the lead designer on the critically acclaimed and BAFTA winning Civilization 5. Now, he and his small indie studio have prepared a roguelike strategy game completely focused on the single-player experience. One could say At the Gates is at the gates. Development on At the Gates began in 2012 shortly after Jon Shafer left Firaxis to found Conifer Games. Shafer worked on the project largely himself with the help of a number of contractors and freelancers pitching in to make it a reality. He was able to pull it all together thanks to a Kickstarter launched in early 2013 that raised over $100,000 to fund future development on the At the Gates prototype. At the Gates will release on January 23 for PC. It will retail at $29.99 and be made available through Steam, the Humble store, and the At the Gates website. During launch week, the strategy title will be available for 10% off normal price. In At the Gates, players take on the role of a leader who will forge a mighty kingdom out of the ruins of the Roman Empire. Using tactics, wit, and some luck, players will build up their clans, subjugate or negotiate with their neighbors, and eventually strike the killing blow against the Roman Empire itself. All of the action takes place from a point of view that should be immediately familiar to fans of the Civilization franchise. However, the design decisions behind the game are very different. Perhaps most notably, At the Gates has been designed to be a completely single-player experience. The reason behind this according to Shafer is to allow for an element of asymmetry. In other words, the design will sometimes be unfair, either for the AI or for the player. The randomized roguelike elements make each playthrough unique. That randomness can be increased when taking the design decisions multiplayer necessitates. Random factors include the appearance of various characters, their unique traits, the seasonal weather that can open or close opportunities. Winter in particular can lead to devastating situations if a kingdom hasn't properly prepared. Overall, At the Gates looks to be a real labor of love made by one of the best strategy designers in the business. If you have any interest in strategy games, check it out when it releases next week on January 23 for 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!
  6. Jon Shafer has been quietly working on a new game for the past seven years, and At the Gates is finally set to release next week. Shafer served as the lead designer on the critically acclaimed and BAFTA winning Civilization 5. Now, he and his small indie studio have prepared a roguelike strategy game completely focused on the single-player experience. One could say At the Gates is at the gates. Development on At the Gates began in 2012 shortly after Jon Shafer left Firaxis to found Conifer Games. Shafer worked on the project largely himself with the help of a number of contractors and freelancers pitching in to make it a reality. He was able to pull it all together thanks to a Kickstarter launched in early 2013 that raised over $100,000 to fund future development on the At the Gates prototype. At the Gates will release on January 23 for PC. It will retail at $29.99 and be made available through Steam, the Humble store, and the At the Gates website. During launch week, the strategy title will be available for 10% off normal price. In At the Gates, players take on the role of a leader who will forge a mighty kingdom out of the ruins of the Roman Empire. Using tactics, wit, and some luck, players will build up their clans, subjugate or negotiate with their neighbors, and eventually strike the killing blow against the Roman Empire itself. All of the action takes place from a point of view that should be immediately familiar to fans of the Civilization franchise. However, the design decisions behind the game are very different. Perhaps most notably, At the Gates has been designed to be a completely single-player experience. The reason behind this according to Shafer is to allow for an element of asymmetry. In other words, the design will sometimes be unfair, either for the AI or for the player. The randomized roguelike elements make each playthrough unique. That randomness can be increased when taking the design decisions multiplayer necessitates. Random factors include the appearance of various characters, their unique traits, the seasonal weather that can open or close opportunities. Winter in particular can lead to devastating situations if a kingdom hasn't properly prepared. Overall, At the Gates looks to be a real labor of love made by one of the best strategy designers in the business. If you have any interest in strategy games, check it out when it releases next week on January 23 for 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
  7. MINImax Tinyverse releases on Steam Early Access today offering players a unique competitive experience that manages to find its own creative niche. The game itself plays like a cross between a guided NPC puzzle game a la Lemmings, a dash of the tower defense mechanics seen in games like Kingdom Rush, and the competitive sensibilities of League of Legends. This strange and intriguing hybrid of game genres comes courtesy of O'ol Blue Inc. Up until this point O'ol Blue has only released games for iOS and Android (RPG Mighty Quest) and casual Facebook games (RPG Hunters League). The small South Korean studio's MINImax Tinyverse will be their first PC release. MINImax Tinyverse pits two players against one another with the goal of conquering their opponent's towers. Players can capture enemy towers by using soldiers spawned by their base, mighty champions that can be picked up and dropped to various locations on the map, and fantastical miracles that can change the course of battle. Before battles, players can customize the build order of their troops, choose which miracles to bring into battle, and which champion will take up arms in their name. Once the fray begins the environment of the map becomes very important as players can direct the flow of their troops (or the enemy's) by placing barricades and ramps in an attempt to subvert their rival's strategy. “We wanted to make a competitive PvP gameplay version of Lemmings when we began creating MINImax Tinyverse,” says Kim Nam Seok, O’ol Blue's CEO & executive producer. “Warcraft 3 also helped us to crystallize some game mechanics, and we were inspired by the gameplay simplicity in Clash of Clans, too.” It's gratifying to see that not everyone out there has forgotten Lemmings. Those old PC games were the best! The premise of MINImax Tinyverse holds enough appeal to me as a novel concept that also happens to scratch some nostalgia itches that I went and downloaded it. It is, in fact, downloading as I write these words. Impressions will be coming in the next few days. In the meantime, if it sounds at all interesting, you can download the game on Steam for free to check it out for yourself. This is the kind of game that lives and dies based on the strength of its gameplay and the extent to which the microtransaction economy feels intrusive. 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. MINImax Tinyverse releases on Steam Early Access today offering players a unique competitive experience that manages to find its own creative niche. The game itself plays like a cross between a guided NPC puzzle game a la Lemmings, a dash of the tower defense mechanics seen in games like Kingdom Rush, and the competitive sensibilities of League of Legends. This strange and intriguing hybrid of game genres comes courtesy of O'ol Blue Inc. Up until this point O'ol Blue has only released games for iOS and Android (RPG Mighty Quest) and casual Facebook games (RPG Hunters League). The small South Korean studio's MINImax Tinyverse will be their first PC release. MINImax Tinyverse pits two players against one another with the goal of conquering their opponent's towers. Players can capture enemy towers by using soldiers spawned by their base, mighty champions that can be picked up and dropped to various locations on the map, and fantastical miracles that can change the course of battle. Before battles, players can customize the build order of their troops, choose which miracles to bring into battle, and which champion will take up arms in their name. Once the fray begins the environment of the map becomes very important as players can direct the flow of their troops (or the enemy's) by placing barricades and ramps in an attempt to subvert their rival's strategy. “We wanted to make a competitive PvP gameplay version of Lemmings when we began creating MINImax Tinyverse,” says Kim Nam Seok, O’ol Blue's CEO & executive producer. “Warcraft 3 also helped us to crystallize some game mechanics, and we were inspired by the gameplay simplicity in Clash of Clans, too.” It's gratifying to see that not everyone out there has forgotten Lemmings. Those old PC games were the best! The premise of MINImax Tinyverse holds enough appeal to me as a novel concept that also happens to scratch some nostalgia itches that I went and downloaded it. It is, in fact, downloading as I write these words. Impressions will be coming in the next few days. In the meantime, if it sounds at all interesting, you can download the game on Steam for free to check it out for yourself. This is the kind of game that lives and dies based on the strength of its gameplay and the extent to which the microtransaction economy feels intrusive. 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. The deep sea survival game Subnautica is free for a limited time through the Epic Games Launcher. This follows closely on the heels of Epic's announcement of an Epic digital distribution service that begins with their launcher. And even better? Epic says they will be releasing a free game every two weeks until the end of 2019! Subnautica debuted to the world four years ago as an Early Access title through Steam. After years of additional development, the seafaring title released fully in January of this year. The game places players in a dire survival scenario: Their spaceship has crashed, seemingly with all hands either lost or dead. Players end up having to fend for themselves on an uncharted ocean world. Securing resources, salvaging gear, upgrading equipment, researching upgrades, and constructing a base of operations all become engrossing activities. It only recently launched on consoles, and unfortunately the free version seems to be exclusive to PC for now. Announced via Epic Games, the company has launched its year-long free game service with Subnautica, an offer which will disappear on December 27 to be replaced by a new free title. The service itself is free - all that you need to do to download the free biweekly game is to download the Epic Games Launcher and download the free title from there. From that point on, it's yours to keep with no strings attached. While a schedule of the games coming to the platform have yet to be announced, we do know that the next game heading to Epic users for free will be Team Meat's classic platformer Super Meat Boy. This move to distribute free games doesn't come out of the goodness of Epic Games' heart, however. The company is making an effort to capitalize on the 200 million people who play Fortnite through their service, a number that absolutely dwarfs juggernauts of the industry like Steam, which boasted a record 18.5 million users in January of this year. If even 10% of Epic's user base begins to use Epic Games as their go-to digital platform of choice, things could really begin to shake up in the slowly crowding digital distribution market. Undoubtedly, the allure of free games for an entire year will keep people opening up the Epic Games platform and building a collection of titles that could potentially include a few games they picked up on the storefront beyond the free games. It's a perfect way to rope in people who are already playing Fortnite and bring in new blood who want free games. Overall, this will likely accelerate some degree of competition between the biggest digital storefronts like Steam, Good Old Games, and Origin. With free games bringing in users and a better cost sharing arrangement than other platforms, Epic really does have a shot at securing a spot as not one of the most used but the most used digital games platforms in the world. This could be the beginning of an entirely different digital ecosystem. Be sure to grab Subnautica on PC before December 27! 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. Jack Gardner

    PSA: Grab Subnautica for Free

    The deep sea survival game Subnautica is free for a limited time through the Epic Games Launcher. This follows closely on the heels of Epic's announcement of an Epic digital distribution service that begins with their launcher. And even better? Epic says they will be releasing a free game every two weeks until the end of 2019! Subnautica debuted to the world four years ago as an Early Access title through Steam. After years of additional development, the seafaring title released fully in January of this year. The game places players in a dire survival scenario: Their spaceship has crashed, seemingly with all hands either lost or dead. Players end up having to fend for themselves on an uncharted ocean world. Securing resources, salvaging gear, upgrading equipment, researching upgrades, and constructing a base of operations all become engrossing activities. It only recently launched on consoles, and unfortunately the free version seems to be exclusive to PC for now. Announced via Epic Games, the company has launched its year-long free game service with Subnautica, an offer which will disappear on December 27 to be replaced by a new free title. The service itself is free - all that you need to do to download the free biweekly game is to download the Epic Games Launcher and download the free title from there. From that point on, it's yours to keep with no strings attached. While a schedule of the games coming to the platform have yet to be announced, we do know that the next game heading to Epic users for free will be Team Meat's classic platformer Super Meat Boy. This move to distribute free games doesn't come out of the goodness of Epic Games' heart, however. The company is making an effort to capitalize on the 200 million people who play Fortnite through their service, a number that absolutely dwarfs juggernauts of the industry like Steam, which boasted a record 18.5 million users in January of this year. If even 10% of Epic's user base begins to use Epic Games as their go-to digital platform of choice, things could really begin to shake up in the slowly crowding digital distribution market. Undoubtedly, the allure of free games for an entire year will keep people opening up the Epic Games platform and building a collection of titles that could potentially include a few games they picked up on the storefront beyond the free games. It's a perfect way to rope in people who are already playing Fortnite and bring in new blood who want free games. Overall, this will likely accelerate some degree of competition between the biggest digital storefronts like Steam, Good Old Games, and Origin. With free games bringing in users and a better cost sharing arrangement than other platforms, Epic really does have a shot at securing a spot as not one of the most used but the most used digital games platforms in the world. This could be the beginning of an entirely different digital ecosystem. Be sure to grab Subnautica on PC before December 27! 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. Today marks the official release of Capybara Games' Below, which first appeared at E3 2013 and then went dark for years. Between the official announcement and Below's release, the studio released Super Time Force and OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes, but now their highest profile game is out in the world. Capybara Games made a mark for itself when it released Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP for mobile and PC back in 2011. The title wove a magnificent soundtrack by Indie Game: The Movie composer Jim Guthrie into a mysterious RPG adventure that just felt great to play. Below seems to follow in those footsteps while relying on a set of roguelike dungeon-delving mechanics that include punishing combat and perma-death. The tag line, according to the developers, is, "Explore. Survive. Discover." Players take on the role of an enigmatic explorer of The Isle, a small island in the middle of the ocean that holds the entrance to an underground ruin and cavern system that spans an unfathomable distance into the earth. The long abandoned ruins are home to all manner of perilous traps, deadly monsters, and rich rewards. As players proceed, they'll pick up many scavenged materials that can be used to craft tools and elixirs that could prove the difference between life and death. No one knows what awaits at the bottom of The Isle's ruins, but perhaps your journey will be the one to make it there in one piece. Below has launched on Xbox One and PC. While there are no announced release dates for PlayStation 4 or Switch, it's safe to assume that those will be coming sometime in the future as Capybara has only signed a timed exclusive deal with Microsoft for the game to release on their platform first. 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. Today marks the official release of Capybara Games' Below, which first appeared at E3 2013 and then went dark for years. Between the official announcement and Below's release, the studio released Super Time Force and OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes, but now their highest profile game is out in the world. Capybara Games made a mark for itself when it released Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP for mobile and PC back in 2011. The title wove a magnificent soundtrack by Indie Game: The Movie composer Jim Guthrie into a mysterious RPG adventure that just felt great to play. Below seems to follow in those footsteps while relying on a set of roguelike dungeon-delving mechanics that include punishing combat and perma-death. The tag line, according to the developers, is, "Explore. Survive. Discover." Players take on the role of an enigmatic explorer of The Isle, a small island in the middle of the ocean that holds the entrance to an underground ruin and cavern system that spans an unfathomable distance into the earth. The long abandoned ruins are home to all manner of perilous traps, deadly monsters, and rich rewards. As players proceed, they'll pick up many scavenged materials that can be used to craft tools and elixirs that could prove the difference between life and death. No one knows what awaits at the bottom of The Isle's ruins, but perhaps your journey will be the one to make it there in one piece. Below has launched on Xbox One and PC. While there are no announced release dates for PlayStation 4 or Switch, it's safe to assume that those will be coming sometime in the future as Capybara has only signed a timed exclusive deal with Microsoft for the game to release on their platform first. 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. The musician and producer deadmau5 and his team won a charity gaming tournament this past weekend giving all $20,000 to Extra Life. This isn't the first time deadmau5 has supported Extra Life. Last year, he placed the winning bid on a coveted McDonald's Szechuan sauce being sold to benefit a number of charities, one of which was Extra Life! The tournament was put together by a partnership between eSports broadcasting network OGN and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. OGN designed the event to bring fans and influencers together for charity while also commemorating the opening of OGN's Super Arena, one of the largest eSports arenas in the United States. The stage holds the unique distinction of being the only eSports arena in the country that can accommodate battle royale style competitions. Over the weekend, deadmau5 led his team of fans into battle at the OGN Supermatch: Alpha against fan teams captained by the professional gaming team Cloud9, streaming personality Jericho, YouTube stars The Try Guys, and more. Team deadmau5 came out on top in three of the four PUBG matches to secure the tournament win. The teams performed in front of a sold out crowd of about 400 people as they duked it out on the digital battlefields. You can watch the full broadcast below. OGN also took the opportunity to launch an ongoing partnership with PUBG called the National PUBG League. The league will keep tournaments going year-round while OGN moves part of its operations from South Korea to the US. The Super Arena will play a major part in their plans for the future, allowing them to have an exclusive, professional stage from which to stream large competitive titles like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. “With this event, our U.S. launch is now official and we are very excited to be able to unveil our new arena and studio for fans here and around the world,” said CJ E&M America (the parent company of OGN) CEO DJ Lee. “We can’t wait to show everyone the next phase in this journey.” It's so rad to see prominent people out there using their powerful platforms to rep for Extra Life. It's even more awesome when they are able to go out there and fight for the kids in such a public-facing way that gets people wondering about how they can play games and heal kids, too. You're amazing deadmau5, thank you! 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
  14. The musician and producer deadmau5 and his team won a charity gaming tournament this past weekend giving all $20,000 to Extra Life. This isn't the first time deadmau5 has supported Extra Life. Last year, he placed the winning bid on a coveted McDonald's Szechuan sauce being sold to benefit a number of charities, one of which was Extra Life! The tournament was put together by a partnership between eSports broadcasting network OGN and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds. OGN designed the event to bring fans and influencers together for charity while also commemorating the opening of OGN's Super Arena, one of the largest eSports arenas in the United States. The stage holds the unique distinction of being the only eSports arena in the country that can accommodate battle royale style competitions. Over the weekend, deadmau5 led his team of fans into battle at the OGN Supermatch: Alpha against fan teams captained by the professional gaming team Cloud9, streaming personality Jericho, YouTube stars The Try Guys, and more. Team deadmau5 came out on top in three of the four PUBG matches to secure the tournament win. The teams performed in front of a sold out crowd of about 400 people as they duked it out on the digital battlefields. You can watch the full broadcast below. OGN also took the opportunity to launch an ongoing partnership with PUBG called the National PUBG League. The league will keep tournaments going year-round while OGN moves part of its operations from South Korea to the US. The Super Arena will play a major part in their plans for the future, allowing them to have an exclusive, professional stage from which to stream large competitive titles like Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. “With this event, our U.S. launch is now official and we are very excited to be able to unveil our new arena and studio for fans here and around the world,” said CJ E&M America (the parent company of OGN) CEO DJ Lee. “We can’t wait to show everyone the next phase in this journey.” It's so rad to see prominent people out there using their powerful platforms to rep for Extra Life. It's even more awesome when they are able to go out there and fight for the kids in such a public-facing way that gets people wondering about how they can play games and heal kids, too. You're amazing deadmau5, thank you! 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!
  15. Players can now get their hands on 2084 a new first-person shooter with horror elements from the newly formed Feardemic development studio. The game follows the exploits of junior researcher Laura Lofi as she navigates an ever more deadly maze of horrors at the behest of her employer, Chiron Incorporated. Laura relies on hacking, gunplay, and her wits to stay one step ahead of the crazed hordes of infected civilians looking to nibble on the surviving members of society. Imprisoned by Chiron, possibly for her own safety, Laura will have to overcome the world of 2084 for a chance to see the outside world once again. 2084 delivers an aggressively bleak vision of the future. Set in the Fifth Polish Republic, a horrible plague has swept through the country and decimated the population. Even worse, the infected become violent killers willing to sacrifice their own lives just to rip apart those still untainted with the disease. The futuristic cyber enhancements the majority of the population has installed in their bodies compounds the issue, making modified humans even more dangerous in their delirious state. With Cyberpunk 2077 looming on the horizon, the dystopian techno-future has become all the rage. Feardmic's FPS, only now entering Steam's Early Access development phase, hopes to capitalize on that trend with a slick action experience and psychedelic, beautifully messy imagery. The team expects to fully release the commercial version sometime in 2020. That might seem like a long way, but the Feardemic will regularly update the game with more content, story, and gameplay expansions in the time between now and final release. The title will be discounted 15% for a limited time to encourage people to give it a shot during this Early Access period. Feardemic burst onto the scene last year and exists as a wholly owned property of Bloober Team SA, the company behind the critically well received Observer and Layers of Fear. The studio initially developed 2084 as part of a 72-hour game jam held within the company. The central hacking mechanic captured the team's attention since it forced players to think quickly and react when given the small window to gain the upperhand while blasting away at the zombified masses. The CEO of Feardemic, Martin Kawa, made a case for how far the game has come and where it will go saying, "The Early Access version of the game is fully functioning and we have been receiving great feedback from players on both the story mode and on Chiron’s endless training arena mode. In the latter, foes are numerous and ammunition is scarce, forcing players to hone their shooting skills and reaction times to gain an advantage and climb up the leaderboard.” The television-headed zombie-like enemies, the hacking in-combat mechanics, and the presentation of the story scenes in the Steam Early Access trailer all come across as incredibly compelling. Those touches put 2084 on an elevated playing field compared with the conga line of arena shooters that have released onto the Steam store over the years. There's effort and skill on display, though whether that pays off in a refined gameplay experience and cohesive narrative remains to be seen until the final release. Until then, Feardemic seems to have a solid grasp on a vision for 2084 and have added yet another worthwhile digital game to 2018's amazing year of video games. 2084 is available on PC through Steam Early Acce- oh, 2084! Like 1984, but a century ahead! I get it now! Neat. 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!
  16. Players can now get their hands on 2084 a new first-person shooter with horror elements from the newly formed Feardemic development studio. The game follows the exploits of junior researcher Laura Lofi as she navigates an ever more deadly maze of horrors at the behest of her employer, Chiron Incorporated. Laura relies on hacking, gunplay, and her wits to stay one step ahead of the crazed hordes of infected civilians looking to nibble on the surviving members of society. Imprisoned by Chiron, possibly for her own safety, Laura will have to overcome the world of 2084 for a chance to see the outside world once again. 2084 delivers an aggressively bleak vision of the future. Set in the Fifth Polish Republic, a horrible plague has swept through the country and decimated the population. Even worse, the infected become violent killers willing to sacrifice their own lives just to rip apart those still untainted with the disease. The futuristic cyber enhancements the majority of the population has installed in their bodies compounds the issue, making modified humans even more dangerous in their delirious state. With Cyberpunk 2077 looming on the horizon, the dystopian techno-future has become all the rage. Feardmic's FPS, only now entering Steam's Early Access development phase, hopes to capitalize on that trend with a slick action experience and psychedelic, beautifully messy imagery. The team expects to fully release the commercial version sometime in 2020. That might seem like a long way, but the Feardemic will regularly update the game with more content, story, and gameplay expansions in the time between now and final release. The title will be discounted 15% for a limited time to encourage people to give it a shot during this Early Access period. Feardemic burst onto the scene last year and exists as a wholly owned property of Bloober Team SA, the company behind the critically well received Observer and Layers of Fear. The studio initially developed 2084 as part of a 72-hour game jam held within the company. The central hacking mechanic captured the team's attention since it forced players to think quickly and react when given the small window to gain the upperhand while blasting away at the zombified masses. The CEO of Feardemic, Martin Kawa, made a case for how far the game has come and where it will go saying, "The Early Access version of the game is fully functioning and we have been receiving great feedback from players on both the story mode and on Chiron’s endless training arena mode. In the latter, foes are numerous and ammunition is scarce, forcing players to hone their shooting skills and reaction times to gain an advantage and climb up the leaderboard.” The television-headed zombie-like enemies, the hacking in-combat mechanics, and the presentation of the story scenes in the Steam Early Access trailer all come across as incredibly compelling. Those touches put 2084 on an elevated playing field compared with the conga line of arena shooters that have released onto the Steam store over the years. There's effort and skill on display, though whether that pays off in a refined gameplay experience and cohesive narrative remains to be seen until the final release. Until then, Feardemic seems to have a solid grasp on a vision for 2084 and have added yet another worthwhile digital game to 2018's amazing year of video games. 2084 is available on PC through Steam Early Acce- oh, 2084! Like 1984, but a century ahead! I get it now! Neat. 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
  17. Back in 2015, a small, four-person team based in France launched a Kickstarter with the modest goal of raising $44,000 to create a game in the classic JRPG mold. Their pitch for their dream game wound up bringing in almost four times that amount and development on Edge of Eternity began. Three years later and a team of nine people, Midgar Studio has released the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity along with a development road map - and the game certainly looks impressive as heck. Though released to the public, the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity remains very much in its alpha stages. It only includes the first chapter of the story that will bring players on a journey through the first major area of the game built around the hub city of Herelsor. The first portion of the Edge of Eternity's Early Access includes six self-contained sidequests and a number of procedurally generated quests alongside the main story. It will also contain a portion of the soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the man responsible for the soundtracks of Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade, and Shadow Hearts. The actual gameplay in Edge of Eternity combines classic open world roaming with turn-based tactical battles that rely on an innovative hex system. Players will explore, level up, and unlock new abilities by using a system that seems similar to Final Fantasy X's ability grids. With each major update milestone, the gameplay systems will be expanded upon and deepened with new abilities, items, and more. Edge of Eternity takes place on the fictional world of Heryon, a planet in turmoil following an invasion of technologically superior outsiders known as the Archelites. In order to survive, the nations of Heryon banded together under an organization called the Consortium and managed to trap the invaders within their mobile fortress by turning to the powerful magic found within the crystals native to their lands. The war entered a prolonged stalemate for decades until the invaders released a new weapon: The Corrosion. The plague ripped through the cities rendering those afflicted with it to develop strange mechanical mutations while slowly going mad from the agony of the disease. In an effort to combat the incurable sickness, those who brew too close to technology or made unauthorized use of it would be labelled as criminals and sent to their deaths. Edge of Eternity follows Daryon, a soldier for the Consortium who receives a fateful letter from home telling him his mother has fallen ill with the Corrosion. That knowledge spurs Daryon down a path at odds with the forces around him. Through a twist of fate, Daryon meets the renegade Selene, a young woman on the run after being found guilty of illegal use of technology. The two will need to rely on one another to survive in a world of war and monsters. Interestingly, Midgar Studio will also be including a set of modding tools for Edge of Eternity called The Eternal Forge that will come with a built-in mod manager. I wouldn't typically think of JRPGs and extensive modding, but the possibilities mixed with the solid foundations of the game itself. Following this initial release, here's what to expect coming as free updates in the near future, bearing in mind that each major update will include new zones, sidequests, monsters, items, and abilities. The Plains of Solna - Late February 2019 - Another section of the open world with a new city named Old Herelsor, the devs describe a farm "sheltering a very, very special creature," too. The Reunion - Spring 2019 - A new segment of the open world with an entirely different environment biome, a dungeon, and a continuation of the main story The Man who survived the Corrosion - Summer 2019 - A new city with expansive quest support and a new party member (it is a JRPG after all!) “As a small indie team of nine people, making an epic JRPG adventure is a huge and work-intensive task. We believe that the labor done so far and its results are already quite an achievement, but we’re still a long way away from getting the game to where we want it to be,” said Jeremy Zeler, founder of Midgar Studio. “Following on from our successful Kickstarter campaign, launching Edge of Eternity into Early Access allows us to further involve our community through the development. It allows us to get direct feedback on new story content, new areas of the game world, the general feel of the game as we expand and build towards the full, polished release our fans and followers are expecting us to deliver.” Edge of Eternity is currently available for PC players through Steam Early Access. People who buy it now will be able to help squash bugs and offer the team suggestions to shape development as the title heads for its full release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 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!
  18. Back in 2015, a small, four-person team based in France launched a Kickstarter with the modest goal of raising $44,000 to create a game in the classic JRPG mold. Their pitch for their dream game wound up bringing in almost four times that amount and development on Edge of Eternity began. Three years later and a team of nine people, Midgar Studio has released the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity along with a development road map - and the game certainly looks impressive as heck. Though released to the public, the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity remains very much in its alpha stages. It only includes the first chapter of the story that will bring players on a journey through the first major area of the game built around the hub city of Herelsor. The first portion of the Edge of Eternity's Early Access includes six self-contained sidequests and a number of procedurally generated quests alongside the main story. It will also contain a portion of the soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the man responsible for the soundtracks of Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade, and Shadow Hearts. The actual gameplay in Edge of Eternity combines classic open world roaming with turn-based tactical battles that rely on an innovative hex system. Players will explore, level up, and unlock new abilities by using a system that seems similar to Final Fantasy X's ability grids. With each major update milestone, the gameplay systems will be expanded upon and deepened with new abilities, items, and more. Edge of Eternity takes place on the fictional world of Heryon, a planet in turmoil following an invasion of technologically superior outsiders known as the Archelites. In order to survive, the nations of Heryon banded together under an organization called the Consortium and managed to trap the invaders within their mobile fortress by turning to the powerful magic found within the crystals native to their lands. The war entered a prolonged stalemate for decades until the invaders released a new weapon: The Corrosion. The plague ripped through the cities rendering those afflicted with it to develop strange mechanical mutations while slowly going mad from the agony of the disease. In an effort to combat the incurable sickness, those who brew too close to technology or made unauthorized use of it would be labelled as criminals and sent to their deaths. Edge of Eternity follows Daryon, a soldier for the Consortium who receives a fateful letter from home telling him his mother has fallen ill with the Corrosion. That knowledge spurs Daryon down a path at odds with the forces around him. Through a twist of fate, Daryon meets the renegade Selene, a young woman on the run after being found guilty of illegal use of technology. The two will need to rely on one another to survive in a world of war and monsters. Interestingly, Midgar Studio will also be including a set of modding tools for Edge of Eternity called The Eternal Forge that will come with a built-in mod manager. I wouldn't typically think of JRPGs and extensive modding, but the possibilities mixed with the solid foundations of the game itself. Following this initial release, here's what to expect coming as free updates in the near future, bearing in mind that each major update will include new zones, sidequests, monsters, items, and abilities. The Plains of Solna - Late February 2019 - Another section of the open world with a new city named Old Herelsor, the devs describe a farm "sheltering a very, very special creature," too. The Reunion - Spring 2019 - A new segment of the open world with an entirely different environment biome, a dungeon, and a continuation of the main story The Man who survived the Corrosion - Summer 2019 - A new city with expansive quest support and a new party member (it is a JRPG after all!) “As a small indie team of nine people, making an epic JRPG adventure is a huge and work-intensive task. We believe that the labor done so far and its results are already quite an achievement, but we’re still a long way away from getting the game to where we want it to be,” said Jeremy Zeler, founder of Midgar Studio. “Following on from our successful Kickstarter campaign, launching Edge of Eternity into Early Access allows us to further involve our community through the development. It allows us to get direct feedback on new story content, new areas of the game world, the general feel of the game as we expand and build towards the full, polished release our fans and followers are expecting us to deliver.” Edge of Eternity is currently available for PC players through Steam Early Access. People who buy it now will be able to help squash bugs and offer the team suggestions to shape development as the title heads for its full release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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!
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. If you're interested in turn-based 4X strategy titles, Praxis Games wants you to know about Interstellar Space: Genesis entering into alpha. The devs have touted the title as "virtually feature complete" and noted that they worked with Neon Dolphin and Grant Kirkhope, composer of such classics as GoldenEye 007, Banjo Kazooie, and Civilization: After Earth, on their space-faring soundtrack. Interstellar Space: Genesis follows much the same premise of other space 4X strategy games (the four Xs stand for Explore, Exploit, Expand, and Exterminate) - players take on the role of a leader on a galactic scale and spread out into an unknown galaxy. There are tons of unknown dangers, both from alien empires and random events left by past or present civilizations across the sea of stars. Players will have to decide to pursue either peace or war when dealing with rivals. Will you rule the galaxy through bloodshed or with a gentle, guiding hand? The title features turn-based tactical combat augmented by the ability to go in and customize ships to fine-tune them to suit different needs. Players will be treated to a Grant Kirkhope musical score; something that's always a treat. Interestingly, each civilization will be given a random tech tree to spice up the different playthroughs, just one part of the many ways Interstellar Space seeks to differentiate itself. Players will be able to create custom alien races with their own unique needs and leaders. Colony management takes up a large part of the game, as does terraforming and diplomacy. Corner the market in asteroid mining or space tourism and use those funds to push even further into the unknowns of space. Praxis Games was founded by the duo who run Space Sector, a website dedicated to sci-fi strategy games, Adam Solo and Hugo Rosado. Mr. Rosado even worked for the European Space Agency as well as the private space sector. He commented on reaching the alpha stage of Interstellar Space: Genesis saying, "Space has been my passion since childhood. I was lucky to have a professional career in the space industry – at both the European Space Agency and private aerospace space company Elecnor Deimos. Now, I’m still in the space industry – but the venue is quite different: We are developing our first 4X title, and our launch is just within reach. Hopefully, everyone who gets to play this Alpha build will love it as much as we’ve been enjoying the development process itself!” People who pre-order will gain immediate access to the latest build and help shape its future with their feedback. However, pre-orders will only be available through the Humble Store through December 16. Praxis hopes to release Interstellar Space: Genesis for PC during the second quarter of 2019. 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
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