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Gillian Pemberton

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  1. We’ve covered a few popular virtual reality games here at Gamenader. Dead Ground: Arena and Arizona Sunshine are both excellent games with lots in common. They have different but well-realized virtual reality gameplay, action-packed FPS mechanics, and lots of zombies. These games lend are a perfect fit for the virtual reality gaming landscape, but it turns out there’s more to VR than gruesome violence against the murderous undead. Sea of Memories and Paper Valley are two new VR games coming to the Steam Store in June. There are no zombies, no shooting, and no life or death survival situations. It’s just you, your VR headset, and beautiful, immersive landscapes and puzzles. After all of that murdering, a more casual experience is a welcome respite. Coming June 1st to Steam is Sea of Memories, a visually stunning optical illusion puzzler. Use creative thinking to tackle 100 puzzles with no apparent structure or logic. Move the primary object and find the perfect angle to reveal the puzzle’s solution, discovering increasingly challenging puzzles as the game progresses. Allow yourself to be swept away in the peaceful atmosphere, complete with original soundtrack and sound effects. 100 puzzle levels based on optical illusions. Original soundtrack. Unique graphics and setting. Simple and mechanical control for relaxed gaming. Compatible with HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality. Next up is Paper Valley. At some point, nearly everyone has folded a sheet of paper into the shape of an airplane then thrown it gently, watching it glide through the air. It's a soothing, relaxing experience addition to the world of virtual reality gaming. From VITEI Backroom: “Paper Valley immerses players in a lush green world of mystery, filled with crumbling monuments, and an unspoken narrative inspired by the works of ThatGameCompany. Now both HTC VIVE and Oculus Rift owners on Steam will be able to experience the world of Paper Valley on June 6th... Paper Valley tasks players with bringing this world back to life by using VIVE controllers or Oculus Touch to throw, curl, and glide paper planes into targets. With each successful throw, you add color and life to the world. Skillful throws bring beauty back to the environments and unlock the hidden secrets of the valley, tapping into ancient forces to unveil the truth held within the ruins.” The one-of-a-kind game is the winner of the Famitsu Media Highlight Award at BitSummit in Kyoto, Japan 2017 and features a unique soundtrack, which will also be available on Steam on its own or as part of a bundle. Alex May from VITEI Backroom composed the soundtrack that was influenced by 90’s ambient electronica and artists like The Future Sound of London. It was crafted using all 90’s Japanese hardware synthesizers, sampled and sequenced in Renoise, a tracker style sequencer. Paper Valley will be available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Sea of Memories and Paper Valley require a virtual reality headset to play.
  2. The most recent installment of the AAA franchise, Call of Duty, took us back to the game's roots and put players in the midst of World War II. But, it’s time to move on and Activision has announced the newest installment in the Call of Duty series, Black Ops IIII. We’re not entirely sure why it’s titled Black Ops IIII and not Black Ops IV, but I can assure you that it’s not a typo. Here's everything we know so far: Black Ops 4 is set between Black Ops 2 and Black Ops 3, so it’s a modern game that takes place in the near future. That means modern weapons and advanced, or at least current technology. Speaking of weapons, Black Ops 4 employs an all-new weapons attachment and a modding system that will benefit players that like to pick their favorite weapon and stick with it. Investing the time to master your weapon of choice will be a necessity. There are other, seemingly small game changes that are likely to have a big impact on overall gameplay. Most notably, healing is no longer automatic. Players must use a dedicated button to instigate healing, leaving themselves vulnerable. There will also be a medic class that specializes in healing. The popular Pick 10 system is also returning to the game, to the delight of many players. In addition, Black Ops 4 offers some major changes in the overall experience. First, and perhaps most notably, the single-player campaign has been nixed completely in this installment and the multi-player game has expanded with Battle Royale style competition, titled Blackout. Blackout features the largest map ever in a Call of Duty game, 1,500 times larger than Nuketown. Clearly, the game’s developers are looking to tap into the overwhelmingly popular Battle Royale market. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Call of Duty's Zombies, the game has expanded the on the concept. At launch, there will be three fully realized zombie experiences: IX, Voyage of Despair, and Blood of the Dead. Black Ops 4 Zombies features new systems for creating and completing community challenges, social systems designed to connect players, as well as the popular Easter eggs. Difficulty levels and in-game tutorials have been reintroduced to the zombie universe. Finally, the PC version of Black Ops 4 is being fully optimized for Battle.net, thanks to co-developers Treyarch and Beenox’s collaboration with Blizzard. An uncapped frame rate, 4K resolution and HDR, and easy customization for each player’s hardware, as well as Battle.net’s social systems, security, and server stability are thanks to this partnership. “Black Ops 4 is by far the most ambitious title our team has ever created,” said Dan Bunting, Co-Studio Head, Treyarch. “At its core, Black Ops has always been about challenging convention and boldly taking our gameplay in new directions. With Black Ops 4, we’ve designed an experience for all play styles and skill levels from casual to competitive. It brings a layer of tactical depth that rewards players for mastery, and just feels so good to play.” Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is coming October 12, 2018. Watch the Call Of Duty Black Ops 4 multiplayer reveal trailer:
  3. "Rescue your pets. Eat pancakes. Fight pirates. Fall in love. Hundreds of levels spread across 7 colorful worlds. A puzzle adventure about love, death, pets, and pancakes." Pets, pancakes, pirates, puzzles, love, and... zombies? It sounds like a lot to take in, but the upcoming Love Is Dead promises a unique puzzle adventure with roots in a popular webgame series from 2012 — Love Is Dead began as the I Saw Her series of flash games, which started with I Saw Her Standing There and was followed up by I Saw Her Too (With Lasers), and I Saw Her Across the World. Though each game in the series requires its own set of mechanics, they share a common thread in the overall tone of the games. Despite a post-apocalyptic setting, the entire series, as well as the upcoming Love Is Dead, remain lighthearted and romantic. Over the years, millions of players have enjoyed the original, award-winning casual games and Armor Games hopes to bring those fans along in this latest part of the journey, and gain new fans along the way. From Armor Games: "[Love is Dead] features over 200 levels and the ability to choose your pronouns and those of your sweetie for a personal experience. You and your lover have returned from beyond the grave and go on a globetrotting adventure to find your missing pets, Dogface and Catface. Collect photographs and pancakes as you traverse the seven distinct worlds filled to the brim with ghosts, zombies, pirates, secrets, and the occasional carnivorous plant." Players control two freshly dead zombies as they traverse the bouncy, responsive world, visiting graveyards, an art gallery, a volcano, and more exciting environments on a quest to save their beloved pets. Encounter interesting characters throughout 300 levels and enjoy the bright, crisp graphics and upbeat music. Experience the brand new story in single-player mode or play with the one you love in local co-op mode. As a fan of entertaining and addicting co-op games like Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime and Overcooked, I have high hopes that Love Is Dead will fit in as another couch co-op game to play with my friends or my significant other. I tend to be an overly-competitive player and have been known to ruin a game night with friends when playing more competitive games. It's bordering on cliché, but I'm an unapologetically brutal Mario Kart player. If I want to continue any romantic relationships or friendships, it's important that I mix things up with friendly, upbeat co-op games. Working with a partner to conquer a particularly difficult level is not only satisfying but somehow manages to bring people closer. We need more whimsical games like Love Is Dead — there's enough divisiveness in the world, already. "Love conquers all... including death and well-established zombie tropes in this colorful puzzle game!" Love Is Dead hits the Steam store on May 31st and will be available for Mac and PC. Watch the teaser trailer below:
  4. Way back in 2016, an enormous amount of hype surrounded an upcoming Sci-Fi game, titled No Man's Sky. It promised a game that would delight fans of classic science fiction, as well as players of exploration and survival games. Upon its release, we were to be gifted with a revolutionary open-world gaming experience in the form of the best game of the year. Except it wasn't. Players would travel to distant galaxies, encountering unique lifeforms and planets, as they chose the type of player they wished to be. But, it turned out to be boring, overly complicated, and expensive. Perhaps it was a case of too high expectations, or it may have just been a legitimate failure. Like most flops, the game faded into the background as bigger, newer games were released. We may have forgotten about No Man's Sky, but the developers and a small handful of players didn't. In fact, the game has been continually changing with the major updates Foundation, Pathfinder, and Atlas Rises, along with many smaller patches. Basebuilding, vehicles, and even a new storyline and mission system were added. Players agree that long after its release, the game is finally starting to become the game it should have been. Now, Hello Games has announced the biggest update yet, due out this summer. The upcoming update, called 'NEXT' will not only bring No Man's Sky to Xbox One but will also add multiplayer. The major update is free for existing players and the Xbox One version will include all previous updates. “Multiplayer completely changes the No Man’s Sky experience, it’s emergent, fun and intense in ways we always wanted it to be. I’m so happy this is finally happening,” said Sean Murray, founder, Hello Games. “It is genuinely exciting to be able to fully realize the potential so many people could see in No Man’s Sky. This will be our biggest update yet and we’re pumped to be bringing Xbox players along on the journey with us now too.” Since its release, No Man's Sky has been on a quiet upward trajectory, but the release of 'NEXT' is a rebirth of the game and will hopefully bring new players, drawn in by a promising multiplayer experience: Explore the infinite universe with your friends, or bump into random travelers. As you voyage together, friends will help you stay alive, or prey on others to survive. Build bases from tiny shelters to complex colonies that you create as a team and can be seen by the community. Be a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and foes. Race exocraft across weird alien terrains, create tracks to share online. I had a lot of hope for No Man's Sky when it first released, and I will admit that I'm excited about it all over again, if cautiously. However, the developer has an uphill battle as they attempt to remake the game into the hit it could have been and overcome the game's negative reputation. I want nothing more than for them to succeed, and for this to be the brilliant game we were all so anxious to play from the beginning. No Man's Sky is currently available on PC and PS4. It will launch on Xbox One on Tuesday, July 24 in North America, and Friday, July 27 in Europe. The 'NEXT' update will launch simultaneously for PC and PS4 players. What do you think? Will you be playing No Man's Sky this time around? We'd love to hear from you!
  5. Like usual, events and updates to Fortnite Battle Royale and Save The World are coming fast and furious. With the release of Season 4, we moved on from space and into the world of superheroes and villains. The Battle Pass available for 950 in-game V-Bucks, or roughly $10 and offers the opportunity to complete challenges and reap the rewards. Rewards are available to Free Pass and Battle Pass members, but of course, some rewards are only for paying players. Rewards include V-Bucks, gliders, and more. Season 4 means map changes brought about by a comet, 100 tiers of new rewards, including new cosmetic items, emotes, and Sprays. The Weekly Challenges reset with the start of Season 4; the weeks have flown by and Week 3 Challenges are now the focus. The Week 3 Challenges are: Deal damage with pistols to opponents (0/500) Search chests in Lonely Lodge (0/7) Search Rubber Duckies (0/10) Follow the Treasure Map found in Salty Springs (0/1)(HARD) Sniper Rifle Eliminations (0/2)(HARD) Eliminate opponents in Tilted Towers (0/3)(HARD) Revive players (0/5) (HARD) This week, Epic Games released the 4.2 update, with patches, improvements, a couple of new weapons, and for Save The World players, the Item Perk Recombobulator. For full update and patch notes, click HERE. Let's start with the highlights of the update: First off, the *new* Epic and Legendary Burst Assault Rifles Can be found in Floor Loot, Treasure Chests, Supply Drops, and Vending Machines. The Epic version does 32 damage while the Legendary does 33 damage. It uses Medium Ammo and has the same damage fall-off ranges of other Assault Rifles. 4.2 also offers a new foraged item — apples, which are scattered around the map. Eating an apple gives 5 health. Bugs have been fixed, standard gamepad configuration is now called 'Old School', and the Suppressed Machine Gun's damage has been increased by 3. In 4.2 Save The World Players get and new weapon, the Quad Launcher, and the addition of the Item Perk Recombobulator, a way for players to customize their items to suit their play style. From Epic Games: "The Perk Recombobulator is unlocked when you complete Plankerton Storm Shield Defense 2. At that point, a sequence of two side-quests will become available that, upon completion, reward you with a large number of brand new resources to use in the Perk Recombobulator. Be sure to complete these quests to get a head-start with your item customization! To access the Perk Recombobulator, visit the item upgrade screen, and navigate to the new ‘Modify Perks’ option." Finally, in addition to the improvements and upgrades included in 4.2, Epic has announced a New Limited Time Mode called the Solo Showdown in Battle Royale. Solo Showdown is unique in that it doesn't change how you play the current Solo Mode. Players who want to compete live in the "ultimate test of survival" must enter the contest by May 21 (the contest is open from May 17-May 20), and your first 50 matches in the Solo Showdown mode will be tracked and how you place will determine your rewards at the end of the event. With countless high-level players out there, it will be a challenge to reach the top 100 needed to earn the big rewards, but anyone who enters and completes 50 matches will earn a Spray. Here are the rewards: 1st Place: 50,000 V-bucks 2nd - 4th Place: 25,000 V-Bucks 5th – 50th Place: 13,500 V-bucks 51st – 100th Place: 7,500 V-bucks Getting started in Fortnite, Battle Royale or Save The World, can be a daunting experience, with such a huge array of game options, weapons, cosmetics, and contests. However, with so many options, there's something for everyone to enjoy. I recommend choosing a mode you like, focusing on it, and building a collection of in-game items that suit your tastes and play style. Stay tuned to GameNader for more Fortnite news.
  6. Joining the ranks of games like Terraforming Mars and Surviving Mars, that allow players the opportunity to transform Mars into a habitable planet, is Mars Horizon — a space agency management and mission simulator inspired by real science and engineering. It focuses on the reality of space exploration and is due out later this year for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Interestingly, Mars Horizon has received support from the UK Space Agency, in the form of a grant, plus advice and information on space exploration and the running of an actual space agency. In reality, humans are likely to reach Mars in the first half of this century. Mars Horizon wants to make that upcoming leap forward in human technology a reality that is accessible to everyone, even if it's just in the form of a video game. Auroch Digital, the game's publisher, recognizes that video games have the ability to provide entertainment, but also have the opportunity to address real-world issues and ideas in an easily digestible format. “We wanted to distill the wonder, drama, and the galaxies of possibility that space offers us as a species, into game form. Mars Horizon is our love-letter to the race into space and the challenges and triumphs of humanity on the way to becoming a multiplanetary species,” said Auroch Digital’s Design Director, Dr. Tomas Rawlings. From Auroch Digital: "Mars Horizon is a strategy game in which players control a government space agency. Picking between the space agencies of either Europe, Russia, or the United States, the players then control the agency to collaborate or compete in a decades-spanning campaign to expand humanity’s reach further into space. With each game an alternate history begins to be shaped and guided by the player’s actions, building iconic rockets, probes, and satellites that transmit crucial scientific data back to your customisable Earth HQ, all the while researching, investing in, and bolstering your space flight capabilities. During the player’s version of the space race, perhaps Europe work with Russia, sending satellites into orbit? Could it be that the US get this first satellite into space but that Russia achieves the first moon landing? Who will be best poised to venture to Mars because of learnings from earlier missions? Players will research new tech, expand their agency base, build rockets, send satellites into orbit, and launch a variety of missions throughout the Solar System. The game culminates in the first crewed mission to Mars, setting the stage for humanity to become a multiplanetary species." It's going to be a while before Mars Horizon hits consoles and PC, so in the meantime, enjoy these other games that put humans on the red planet: Surviving Mars — Primarily a building game, players work to create the first functioning human colonies on Mars. Similar to Mars Horizon, a space agency is chosen. Use supplies and resources to build your ideal colony from the ground up. The primary objective is to keep colonists alive, but gameplay focuses on infrastructure, research, and settlement expansion. 39 Days To Mars — A couch co-op game (think Lovers In A Dangerous Space Time or Overcooked) in which two players have unique roles in an expedition to Mars. Pilot an unreliable spacecraft into space in this charming game. Mars 2030 — Produced in collaboration with NASA, Mars 2030 uses virtual reality to explore 40 km of Martian terrain. Actual NASA satellite data was used to produce the maps and models for this open world exploration game. Watch the Mars Horizon teaser trailer:
  7. Spring is heating up, which means Summer is right around the corner. That means soon it will be pool days, barbecues, and trips to the beach. Short shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits are the wardrobe of the season. It's time for road trips, adventures, and stargazing under the Summer sky. Okay, maybe Summer is like that for some people, but not for me. I don't like the sun, shorts, or hot weather. I don't really like pools and the beach is all sandy. If you're one of those folks who loves Summer and the oppressive weather that comes with it, I think that's awesome. But, I'll be in my hoodie, playing games in the air conditioning. The beginning of the Summer season is marked by Memorial Day, which since 1971 has been on the last Monday of every May. Just a little history lesson: The first national Memorial Day was in 1868, but was called Decoration Day. It was started to memorialize those who died in the Civil War, but later the name was changed and it became a day to honor those who died in all wars. Though we celebrate with barbecues and a long weekend, it is a somewhat solemn occasion. So, to recognize the soldiers who died defending our country, Shrapnel Games, a premier publisher of war games and strategy games, is having a Memorial Day sale, but only on their war games. The sale has already begun and lasts through May 28th. In addition, Shrapnel Games always offers a 10% discount to active duty and retired military members. Visit their website for more information . Here's a sample of the games included in the sale: Air Assault Task Force for $33.95. "Who doesn't like helicopters? Even better, helicopters swooping out of the sky and creating havoc?" A realistic war game featuring helicopters from Vietnam to Afghanistan. ATF: Armored Task Force for $22.95. Tank action throughout the world, with real-time gameplay and high-fidelity maps. Battle Group Commander: Episode One for $9.95. ProSIM title featuring a British Battle Group facing off against Soviets. Episode One is a mini-game from ProSIM, focusing on four scenarios that have a high level of replayability. A mini game with of the features that ProSIM is known for. BCT: Commander for $14.95. A hyper-realistic simulation of modern ground combat. The Falklands War: 1982 for $33.95. A "fascinating" simulation from ProSIM, focused on infantry. Intricately detailed modeling in the historical campaign and hypothetical variants. Raging Tiger: The Second Korean War for $33.95. A hypothetical look at what would happen if another war started on the Korean peninsula. An open campaign system allows players to jump to any battle they wish. Salvo! for $33.95. Send your opponents to Davey Jones' locker in this thrilling wargame of 17th through 19th century Age of Sail combat on the high seas. The Star and the Crescent for $33.95. ProSIM takes on the Middle East — focused on hypothetical wargaming between the Israelis and the Arabs. War Plan Pacific for $34.95. This revolutionary wargame covers the entire war in the Pacific from US entry until the atomic bomb, playable in a single session. Simple mechanics, historical strategy, with single and multiplayer games. winSPWW2 and winSPMBT Main Battle Tank Enhanced Editions, each only $34.95. Based on the classic Steel Panthers engine, winSPWW2 and winSPMBT together provide gamers with almost a century of turn-based land warfare. With hundreds of scenarios, campaigns, and the ability to generate quick battles, both games have extensive replay value. World Supremacy for $21.95. Board game feel in a computer game, this game is, in fact, a battle to take over the world.
  8. The release of the fast-growing mobile gaming company, Netmarble's, newest game is only hours away and the title will sound familiar to many people. Iron Throne is an expansive, MMO strategy game with RPG elements created specifically for iOS and Android. As mobile technology quickly improves, so do the games offered on the platform. Gone are the days of match-three puzzlers and simple platformers — immersive games with intense combat and the increasingly popular battle royale gameplay are taking over the app stores. Iron Throne is not directly related to Game of Thrones, but players are likely to recognize many of the themes. You can't play as Jon Snow or “Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons”, but you do have the opportunity to become a ruler of your own making. The world of Iron Throne is a medieval fantasy realm, complete with murderous rulers, dragons, and a battle to rule the kingdom. With many different game elements, you have the freedom to become any kind of ruler that you want, but you're not going to come out on top without getting your hands dirty in battle. In order to become king, players must win the Capital War, which requires carefully forged alliances and a wide variety of strategies to win various battles. Netmarble promises a new and unique strategy experience that is sure to challenge seasoned players of classic strategy games and bring new gamers to the genre. Strategy is a major part of gameplay in the high-quality, colorful, 3D world, but Iron Throne is much bigger, offering opportunities for different types of players to get in on the action. Players will be able to master RPG elements that include crafting and working through an engaging, surprise-filled storyline of quests that utilize the game's original heroes and crafting systems — the object is to hire various heroes to lead their troops into battle, then increase their power through quests and equipping crafted items. With just strategy and RPG elements, Iron Throne is already a huge, full-featured game, but developers didn't stop there. Battle arena games like Fortnite are becoming some of the most popular and widely played games for the mobile platform, and Iron Throne has added Battle Royale and Team Deathmatch modes for fans of fast-paced, multiplayer, battle action. Perhaps the best part of these modes is that they can be played without losing troops or resources that would affect your strategy and building game. Iron Thrones hits mobile app stores on June 16, but there is still time left to claim some really cool rewards for pre-registering on the game's website (http://www.playironthrone.com). Players who pre-register will be rewarded with 1,000 gold, Dimensional Conqueror Helm, and Dimensional Conqueror Great Sword. At the moment, these rewards are only available to Android players. Iron Throne is likely to grow quickly, so make sure you download and get started on release day, May 16th. To get prepared, watch the trailer below:
  9. "I’m Shintaro Kanaoya, chief important person at Chorus Worldwide, and I hope you enjoy RPGolf as much as I do. Because nothing says golf like clubbing monsters into oblivion.” Chorus Worldwide has announced the RPGolf, previously only available for mobile, has just been released on Steam. I have a confession to make — I am obsessed with golf games. It really doesn't matter which game it is, I will play nearly any golf game until my eyes are crossed, my fingers are blistered, and I have mastered it completely. If it's a multiplayer game, I will lose friends and relationships when no one wants to play with me. For many years, I had a borderline unhealthy addiction to Tiger Woods Golf. Mario Golf, one of the games that inspired RPGolf, is still one of my all-time favorite games. When the Nintendo Switch came out, everyone was enamored with Breath of the Wild, but all I wanted to play was the surprise indie hit, Golf Story, which also happens to be a "golf RPG", but RPGolf takes the idea to another level. "As a brave young golfer armed only with a club and your skills, you must tee off and complete the nine legendary holes, all while slicing, hooking, and clubbing monsters to death. Swing your club and show off your drive in dungeons - connecting with a monster’s head instead of a ball, naturally - and hop into a golf cart to cut across a green. Battling creatures is just par for the course when you’re an eagle-eyed JRPG golfing pro. Of course, you’ll need a bit of FORE-ward thinking if you’re to conquer these challenges. Battling bogeys will level you up, improving your strength and allowing you to hit the ball further. Outside of stats, equipment also plays a role: discover legendary clubs and gloves to improve your handicap on each course and give you the edge in battle." RPGolf take place in a world where people love golf, in fact, they're obsessed, something I can relate to. The citizens play constantly and turned their kingdom into the most beautiful course in the world. Everything was peaceful — until the monsters came. Sadly, no one could play golf anymore. A hero came to the land with the skills to save the golf kingdom. She must play the legendary holes, defeat the monsters, and restore happiness to the people and their land. Players will have to use golf mechanics and skills, as well as retro RPG combat ability to master this 8-bit genre mashup that includes nine holes of golf on a vast, open-world map, dangerous dungeons filled with hidden treasure, and exciting boss fights. Intuitive controls make this game an addictive joy to play and the characters are charming in that recognizable JRPG kind of way. I have absolutely no interest in playing actual golf, a game that requires practice, skill, and even a certain amount of athleticism and body awareness. But, RPGolf is going to the top of the list of golf games that I'm obsessed with. RPGolf is available on mobile and as of yesterday, Steam ($3.99). Watch the *brand new* trailer:
  10. Early news of the upcoming narrative-driven, open world RPG, Smoke and Sacrifice, describes it as a " beautiful, hand-animated story of motherhood and survival". As the game has taken shape and a release date confirmed, it appears to be a stunning gameplay experience with nods to classic survival games. It seeks to take the genre and add to it, offering something that fans of the genre will recognize, but pushing the boundaries to create something fresh and innovative. Every single description of the game speaks of its beauty, intimately told story, and compelling, "storybook" world, but what lies underneath is a much darker theme. From Curve Digital: "Players assume the role of Sachi, a young mother on a quest to discover the fate of her child. The game takes place in a darkly fantastical world where grotesque plantlife and animals roam and harsh societal customs rule... Creatures forage, mate, breed, and prey on one another, creating a living world. Only by taming the game’s wilds can Sachi hope to unravel the mystery at the heart of Smoke and Sacrifice." There's a lot of hype surrounding Smoke and Sacrifice, and the release date has finally been announced. Nintendo Switch and PC players will be the first to get their hands on the game on May 31st, just weeks away. Xbox and PS4 users will have to wait a little longer, with a later 2018 release date to be announced. Many are surprised that Nintendo Switch is a part of the first release wave, but this is just the type of game that lends itself extremely well to the home/mobile hybrid Switch. Having played Don't Starve (Pocket) on an iPad and The Flame In The Flood on Switch, I can attest to the benefits of picking up a survival game and taking it anywhere. Given the opportunity, I would always choose a portable format for this genre of game in the future. Of course, Nintendo Switch offers the benefits of a traditional gaming console, as well. As the release date approaches, the buzz surrounding Smoke and Sacrifice is only increasing, and the early response is overwhelmingly positive. “We’re thrilled to announce the release date for the PC and Nintendo Switch versions of Smoke and Sacrifice,” said Tancred Dyke-Wells, Co-Founder of Solar Sail Games. “Player feedback since we revealed the game has been wonderful, at shows such as EGX Rezzed and GDC as well as online. We’ve been hard at work making this is the most narratively ambitious survival game yet, creating a beautiful, hostile world for the player to explore alongside a deep, robust crafting system.” Last week, a trailer for the game was released, but today, developers have shared a new and exciting video with a glimpse into the making of Smoke and Sacrifice, gameplay footage, and discussions with key members of the development team. In addition, developers have delved just a little deeper and given us more insight into one of the game's strongest elements — the story. "Sachi’s home is the one tiny patch of fertile land which remains, surrounded by icy wasteland. Her farming community survives only thanks to their devotion to the blazing Sun Tree, which replaces the light of the failed sun. After sacrificing her firstborn child to the Sun Tree, Sachi discovers a darker secret - will she discover the truth of what happened to her son, or perish in the swirling, deadly smoke of the underworld?" Watch the *brand new* developer video below:
  11. Take a relaxing vacation to the beautiful United States southwest... wait, that's not it at all. Try to survive the desert during a harrowing zombie apocalypse in Arizona Sunshine, an immersive and gruesome FPS virtual reality experience. Built specifically for virtual reality, Arizona Sunshine is an award-winning game with a Metacritic score of 81. Players must survive the hordes of zombies as they search for other human survivors. A true survival challenge, you must ration your ammo and supplies carefully, searching for more along the way. Even the undead hold on to items that could be useful — you'll have to do some dead zombie body searches. The landscape offers many unique locations, like mines, canyons, and abandoned towns. Coming on May 24, the brand new "Dead Man" DLC adds an all-new environment to explore and if you survive, you get to go nuclear on a deadly zombie horde. It offers a new challenge for experienced players, and with the DLC release, developers hope to bring in a new wave of gamers to fight the neverending waves of undead. From Vertigo Games: "Arizona Sunshine – Dead Man DLC drops you in an infested US missile base where you lead a frantic attempt to contain the expanding zombie outbreak. Playing as Dockson, a US Army Special Forces corporal, the fate of the American Southwest rests in your hands as you fight to launch a nuclear-warhead loaded missile vital to stopping the spread of zombies. Locked away in the close-quarters of the missile silo, even the most veteran of Arizona Sunshine survivors will need to stay on their toes to overcome the undead onslaught and complete the mission." Dead Man DLC includes: An all-new campaign mission telling a prequel story to Arizona Sunshine. Online co-op functionality for up to two players. A range of difficulty settings including the insane Apocalyptic Mode! 6 new achievements/trophies spread across an infested missile base. 3 new weapons: A fully automatic submachine gun, a two-handed shotgun and a tactical handgun. 3 new masks: the military gas mask, the skull mask, and the Dead Man mask. New character customization options that carry over to the base game. The Dead Man DLC will be available for $2.49. Note: release date for Vive, Oculus, and Windows HMD is May 24th, with a PSVR June release date yet to be announced. A virtual reality headset is required. Arizona Sunshine was released in on December 6, 2016, and is still considered to be one of the best virtual reality games available. Now, with the addition of a brand new DLC, it looks like the game is here to stay. Players remain impressed with the compelling campaign and the hordes of zombies keep coming, more than a year after the game's original release. From a Steam reviewer: "This is still a very relevant VR game. It is more polished than MOST other VR games and gives the platform a great example of VR done right." Watch the original Arizona Sunshine launch trailer:
  12. I use blackout curtains because I'm photosensitive, so daytime lights are a must If you liked Claire, Lone Survivor is very similar. It has the pixelated graphics, but also a surprisingly good story. It's probably more survival-focused and less horror, but still dark and creepy.
  13. Indie game developer AIREM and IQ Publishing have teamed up for the nightmarish Play With Me. Despite the friendly name that brings about thoughts of childhood toys and careless, youthful fun, this game is anything but. It's a point-and-click adventure, filled with horror elements and inspired by the Saw franchise. There's even a creepy clown that just might bring back memories (and nightmares) of Billy the Puppet. Currently, Play With Me is available on Steam for PC, but versions are in the works for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and even mobile. The game's protagonist is Robert Hawk, who has mysteriously disappeared, along with his wife, Sara. Their abandoned vehicle has been located, but there are few clues to tip off investigators to what happened and where they have ended up. However, Robert's career as an investigative journalist may be the only thing they have to go on. Along with his partner, Private Investigator Patrick Clark, Robert had been researching and writing a series of articles about a serial killer named "Illusion". He may have gotten just a little bit too close and now he knows too much... and he's become a victim, too. "Illusion" isn't content to simply murder his victims, but prefers to torture them in the process. Trapped in his game, you must guide Robert through a series of challenging puzzles and negotiate the human element of the story. Finding unique ways to use and manipulate objects is key, but so is forming human relationships that could be advantageous. Eventually, you will have to explore your own morality when you are forced to make life or death choices. Play as a cold-hearted survivor and sacrifice others to save yourself, or form bonds and try to help your fellow captives survive. Play With Me is a story-rich adventure with unique, randomized puzzles and a variety of outcomes based on your choices throughout the game. Even though your life is at stake, you're going to have to keep your wits about you to find a way out of the trap. To keep things interesting, there are plenty of non-traditional ways to manipulate items in-game. From the developer: "Get to a higher level of immersion and use real objects to outsmart the harasser. Blow into the microphone to blow out the candles, make a hand gesture to light the match, shake the box (what may be inside?), open the jar (watch out because the eyeballs may fall out!) or attack someone with a hammer! I hope you have a mirror within your reach… And that is only the beginning of the surprises!" Players report that the puzzles are fairly difficult, and being successful requires some creative thinking. Rather than using traditional video game puzzle mechanics, Play With Me draws from the popularity of escape rooms and requires you to use everything at your disposal, not just the obvious items. Everything from the people you are trapped with to the literal "writing on the wall" has the potential to get you one step closer to safety. Not just a single playthrough game, Play With Me has multiple endings and game modes, plus mini-games. It's a terror-filled adventure for fans of story-based puzzle games with traditional horror elements and plenty of references to one of the best horror franchises of all time. Watch the *new* Play With Me trailer below:
  14. I am — During the day, with the lights on. I like a good jump scare, so I'm a Five Night's At Freddy's Fan and I used to play Silent Hill, but these days I tend more towards survival horror like Lone Survivor or creepy, story-heavy point and click adventure games. Recently, I started Until Dawn (haven't finished it) and I've been playing some of the Japanese visual novel style games that are dating sim/horror crossovers like Doki Doki Literature Club. They're wonderfully weird!
  15. Well, at least I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I'll be playing Offworld Trading Company by Stardock and Soren Johnson's Mohawk Games. Offworld Trading Company is the best selling economic real-time strategy game. The free weekend has already started and the game will remain free-to-play until 1 PM ET on Sunday. If you discover that you like it and want to keep on playing, it's 50% until Monday, May 7th. In addition, the Jupiter's Forge expansion, game soundtrack, and Offworld Trading Company: Gold are 65% off during the same sale period. The Gold bundle is an amazing deal. For $25.65 during the sale, you get the full game, soundtrack, and a bunch of DLCs. This pack normally costs nearly $74.00, so this bundle is definitely the way to go. If you're interested in seeing the game played in real-time, Soren, other members of the dev team, fans, and staff will be streaming live on Steam to showcase the game throughout the weekend. From Stardock: "Buy out your competition and take control of the Martian market in a strategy game where money, not military force, is your greatest weapon. The real-time, player-driven market is the foundation of the game, allowing you to buy and sell resources and materials - even the food and water that the colonists need to survive. Build up enough capital and gain access to the lucrative offworld markets so that you can buy out your rivals and claim the Martian economy for yourself. Battle isn't limited to the board room; you can use the black market to employ some more... underhanded methods for victory. You - and your opponents - should prepare to deal with pirate raiders, or hackers trying to disrupt production, or a covert electromagnetic pulse to an opponent's base, and much more." "We're really excited to be bringing this free weekend to players," said Soren Johnson, lead designer and president of Mohawk Games. "Offworld has been my passion project - it's fast-paced, deeply strategic, and is awesome in a multiplayer setting. This event is a great opportunity for new people to try out the game with their friends and play with the community of Offworld fans." Offworld Trading company has single-player campaigns but also multiplayer games with up to eight players. Individual players can also take advantage of "skirmishes", daily challenges, and ranked ladder games. Keep in mind that the ladder games are geared towards serious players and have intense competition. Play as different types of CEOs with unique traits and abilities. "In order to win, you will need to make tough choices on what resources to acquire, what goods to build and sell, how to interact with the planet's thriving underworld, and what stocks to acquire and when. With over a dozen different resources available and a constantly changing market economy, no two paths of victory are alike -- each game holds a different “key” to dominating your competition." This is the type of game that you sit down to play, telling yourself "just one game", only to look up and realize that hours have passed and you've been totally engrossed. The visuals are wonderful, the soundtrack is perfection, and the sci-fi elements are well-executed. It takes a little while to grasp the multi-layered gameplay, but once you get the hang of things, you'll develop your own strategy and system that works for your individual playing style. Offworld Trading company is somehow casual and intense at the same time and it a great way to spend the weekend away from FPS battle arenas.
  16. What will the world look like after this storm, what will remain of humanity? There's a lot of buzz surrounding the upcoming release of State of Mind, a futuristic 3D thriller that delves into transhumanism, or "the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology". The game takes place in 2048 Berlin in a world that it finds itself at the edge of a cliff. Society is at a crossroads: resources are no longer readily available, and illness, hunger, and constant war plague humanity. Even though much of this is brought on by the technology that destroyed the environment and rendered the human workforce virtually useless, ultimately causing financial collapse, government and corporations continue to insist that this same technology will solve everything. From Daedalic Entertainment: "In the game, main character Richard Nolan is one of the few journalists openly criticizing this development. When he wakes up in hospital after an explosion and finds that his wife and son have mysteriously vanished, Richard realizes: he and his family have become more than just bystanders in a storm of rivaling ideas pertaining humankind’s salvation between dystopian reality and digital utopia. Instead, they find themselves right at the center of it. This domestic drama evolves into a thriller about a worldwide conspiracy, which at its core aims to determine the fate of humanity: Could a perfect digital utopia be the answer? A virtual paradise not affected by material needs and quarrels? Could a super-AI be our savior – or would it simply declare us as dispensable since it could not be taught the value of philanthropy?" Set in the not too distant future, State of Mind is a timely game. It grapples with questions that affect us even today — how technology and AI impact the environment and our day to day world. Our ever-increasing reliance on automation could be our path to a better future but it could also be our ultimate downfall. In this future, it has had a profound impact on human existence, right down to our thoughts, feeling, and relationships. This may not be our eventual future but one of the things that make State of Mind so gripping is that it could be. Daedalic is known for developing games that are highly story-driven and with a unique visual style. Games like The Long Journey Home and The Pillars of the Earth are dissimilar in their time period and gameplay mechanics, but Daedalic always manages to provide players with a thoroughly engrossing storyline, no matter the time or place the game takes place. State of Mind promises to deliver the same experience — well-developed characters, compelling story, and a game that makes you question your choices and how they will affect not only your character's future but the fate of humanity within the game. State of Mind is now available for pre-order on Steam and GOG, but will expand to consoles, including Nintendo Switch, upon release. Watch the latest trailer:
  17. I'm a fan of Daedalic — so far they haven't released anything that I didn't enjoy!
  18. Funcom’s open-world survival game, Conan Exiles, is ready to launch and arrives on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in less than a week! On May 8th, players will finally have the opportunity to fully explore and attempt to survive in the land of Conan the Barbarian. It promises to be an exciting, but unforgiving world. From Funcom: "Survive in a savage world, build your kingdom, and dominate your enemies in brutal combat and epic warfare. Start with nothing but your bare hands and forge the legacy of your clan, building anything a small home to gigantic fortresses and entire cities. Wage war using swords, bows, siege weapons, and even take control of giant avatars of the gods and lay waste to enemy cities. Explore a vast, seamless world full of challenge and opportunity. Hunt animals for resources, slay monsters for treasure, and delve deep underground to discover the secrets of ancient civilizations." Let's face it — Conan has a much better chance of surviving in his world that we ever would. We'll be able to conquer it in-game and even thrive, but in real life, it's unlikely that most of us would make it very long when faced with murderous beasts, cunning enemies, and the necessity to provide our own food and shelter. That said, Funcom seems to think that the reverse is true, as well. Conan the Barbarian might not know how to handle our world, either. Those modern conveniences that we take for granted? They might just be Conan's undoing! Watch the hilarious videos below to see what happens when Conan encounters our world. First off... Scandinavian Furniture. Here's what Conan had to say about the experience: "I have found a book ten times more diabolical than the Necronomicon or the moldering scrolls of Skelos," said Conan the Barbarian. "It's called Assembly Instructions." The first time I saw a robot vacuum cleaner in action, I was pretty amazed. How do you think Conan feels? Hint: my dog agrees! And finally, an airplane... it's just a magical flying beast, right? By the time Conan Exiles hits PC, Xbox, and PS4 in a few days, it will have spent 14 months in Early Access on PC and 9 months in Game Preview on Xbox One. During that time, developers have made major improvements to the game. The world has more than doubled in size and of course, bugs and issues have been eliminated. Key features such as farming, fast travel, world bosses, legendary weapons, warpaint, new gear have been added to improve the overall gaming experience. Combat has been tested and upgraded with an entirely new combat system, designed to be both brutal and tactical. As a whole, there are high hopes for Conan Exiles to be an impactful game in the open-world survival genre. Even for players in early access, the May 8th is a big day. A huge launch patch will expand the game world even further and PS4 players will get their first chance to play.
  19. Team17 and independent developer Villa Gorilla are gearing up for the release of Yoku's Island Express, coming to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on the 29th of May. After the May release, it will be available as a digital game only, but a physical edition of the game will be in stores on June 19th. Yoku's Island Express is described as a "charming pinball platformer" that tells the story of hero Yoku the Dungbeetle. He has ventured to Mokumana Island to relieve the resident pterodactyl postmaster of his duties. He's looking forward to living the easy life — performing his duties and soaking in the sun, relaxing, and enjoying all the island has to offer. But, it isn't long before Yoku notices that something is amiss on Mokumana island. The islanders, a colorful, quirky cast of characters are the victims of quakes and storms, caused by The Godslayer. He has risen again and disturbed the sleep of the ancient island deity, Mokuma. From Team17: "It’s all down to Yoku to traverse the island using a unique blend of pinball mechanics and open world exploration, in an amazing quest to help those in need! Flip and bump our pint-sized protagonist around the stunning hand-painted island on your quest to rebuild the post-office, discover the mystery of the Fruit Altar, and wake an old god from its deep slumber." Utilizing non-linear gameplay, Yoku's Island Express allows players to forge their own path through the multiple quest lines. From the look of the trailers and screenshots released by Team17, it looks beautifully colorful and wonderfully unique. There appears to be a diverse world and landscape to explore. In addition, a lot of time has been invested in the story, which promises to add depth and richness. On his journey, Yoku encounters characters great and small. As he helps each one, he transforms from postman looking for the simple life to an intrepid explorer, adventurer, and hero. Early reviews are positive and highlight the game's addictive gameplay formula as well as the bright, uplifting overall tone. The collaboration of Team17 and the developers at Villa Gorilla appear to be a match made in heaven. “With Team17 we’ve found a publishing partner that cherishes innovation and style – something we recognized way back when we played Alien Breed on our Amigas. We feel that their commitment to quality and fun gameplay is a perfect match for us, and we are incredibly excited to be working with Debbie and the team to finish and release Yoku’s Island Express.” said Jens Andersson, Co-Founder of Villa Gorilla Debbie Bestwick, MBE, CEO of Team17 added, “Yoku’s Island Express has such a beautiful, distinct style with a unique twist on the platform genre. It’s a true gem, we’re looking forward to working with the very talented Villa Gorilla and welcome them to our growing games label family.” Just in time for the pre-order, there's a new trailer that gives anxious players more insight into the story of Yoku's arrival on Mokumana Island. Watch the latest trailer below: Yoku's Island Adventure is available May 29th for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC .
  20. I agree! I think I'll play it when I need a break from some of the darker games.
  21. Today is an exciting day for player's of Bethesda Games' FPS, Quake Champions. There's a new update that includes a new Champion — and that Champion is Strogg! There's also a new map, a new weapon, and several new features. In addition, players can take advantage of the codes that allow early access to the free-to-play version of Quake Champions. Hurry up and snag a code from PC Gamer or MMORPG. In the future, the free-to-play game will launch for everyone, but early access players will have a definite jump on the competition. From Bethesda: "The Free-to-Play Early Access version of Quake Champions includes all maps and modes, along with one starter Champion, Ranger. Additional Champions are available for purchase or can be earned through playing the game, or players can upgrade to a paid version at any time. The final full release of Free-to-Play mode is scheduled for later this year. Now is the time for players to get a jump on the competition, hone their competitive skills, and customize their favorite Champion." If you don't get a code and want to play Quake Champions right away, you can purchase the Champions Pack which includes early access to the game and unlocks all current and future Champions as well as other exclusive in-game bonuses for $29.99, or the Scalebearer Pack for $4.99, which comes with two starter Champions, Vanity items, cosmetics and more. Quake Champions is set to continue the Quake legacy and become one of the foremost FPS arena battle games. Regular updates are rolling in, including the latest update, which was just released. Here are the new features included in the April update: New Champion – Strogg: Half military-grade metal, half-decaying flesh, and 100% ready to rage, the primary enemy from both Quake II and Quake 4 is back as Strogg fights to be freed from the Dreamlands and reestablish contact with his ruthless warlord Makron. Players will also be able to take control of Strogg’s sidekick Peeker, an airborne AI drone that shoots explosives. Enemy kills are turned into a nutritional paste called Stroylent that provides 25HP, but players need to act fast – other Strogg players can steal lingering Stroylent. New Map – Awoken: Players will find themselves navigating a misty labyrinth of tropical ruins in this month’s newest map, Awoken. The vine-entrenched arena will be playable in Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Duel, 2v2, and Instagib. New Weapon – Plasma Gun: Brace yourselves Quake veterans, the Plasma Gun from Quake III Arena is back as an alternative version of the Super Nailgun, replacing both the model and projectiles with the classic look. This high-powered cannon melts unwitting foes with bursts of pure energy and is sure to shake things up on the playing field. New Features: The April Update also brings other improvements, including Daily Rewards given when players first login for the day and a new player UI guide that helps new players get up and fragging faster. Additional features will continue be added as the game progresses towards full launch. Need some tips on how to play Strogg? Check out this tutorial: Quake Champions is available on Steam and Bethesda.net.
  22. Tactical Monsters Rumble Arena, or just "Tactical Monsters" as it's commonly called, is a turn-based strategy game played on a hex grid. Players place their "monsters" on the board and control their actions during gameplay. Battles last 3-5 minutes each and it's a great game for casual players and players who are willing to put more time and effort will be rewarded with more powerful monsters. Of course, like most free to play games, a bit of money will allow you to collect more and stronger monsters. While there's nothing wrong with this common system, it often means that those that can't spend a lot of money on a game or don't have as much time to commit will struggle to compete with the players who do. When it becomes impossible to win games, those players may simply move on to a different game or quit playing altogether. To keep players and to deal with this common issue, Camex Games, Tactical Monsters' developer, has updated the game with a PvP esports mode. The esports mode caps the level of players to make player matchmaking more balanced and PvP in this mode is more "fair", more in line with the spirit of esports. In my opinion, this is a fantastic improvement to an already strong, playable game. In addition to the PvP modes, Tactical Monsters features a single-player Adventure Mode, a Guerrilla Warfare mode (a series of gauntlet runs against some of the game's bosses), Clans, a Mine Defense mode, and more. It features real-time, online multiplayer competition with a diverse cast of monsters from all over time and the universe. As an added bonus to the new esports mode, Camex has announced three all-new monsters. Players have a FREE chance to win the newbies by participating in the new PvP mode. #1 “HOGGY” The Tunneling Expert (Traditional Worker): "Despite his funny face, Hoggy is a formidable tactician mole. He digs tunnels every he goes! Watch where you step, be careful not to fall into his potholes!" #2 “W51” The Malfunctioning Machine (AI Worker): "W51 is a totally unstable powerful robot, his final self-destruct explosion causes major damage to enemies around him!" #3 “SANKA“ The Forest Drummer: "Sanka is the Big sister of the mysterious forest triplets (along with Hunka and Bunka). The sound of her drums provides her team with extra strength... Be discreet or her cougar will devour you! Use all three sisters together to gain major team benefits!" Collect and strategize your strongest teams with these three new monsters and more than 40 other monsters available in the game. Tactical Monsters Rumble Arena is perfect for players that enjoy turned-based strategy and games with hero collecting and leveling. The addition of an esports mode illustrates the developer's commitment to their players through fair gameplay modes while continuing the popular uncapped PvP mode for players who strive to build the strongest teams of monsters. The monsters themselves are clever and varied, with entertaining histories and unique abilites. Tactical Monsters Rumble Arena is available for Mac, PC, and mobile. Watch the trailer below:
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