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20 Jun 03:38

Stuff under a fiver in the Steam Sale I like

by Rob Remakes

Under £2.50

Trine 2 Complete: £2.09
Shatter: £2.09
Glorkian Warrior: £2.09
Bejeweled 3: £2.12
Nidhogg: £2.19
Rymdkapsel: £2.23
The Polynomial: £2.24
Luxor Evolved: £2.37 (still not sure how this ended up not-shit)
Pix The Cat: £2.37 (also in this weeks Hundle Weekly so…)
Proteus: £2.37
Joylancer: £2.37
Mount Your Friends: £2.39
Quarries Of Scred: £2.39
Swarm Arena: £2.44
Knock Knock: £2.44
Super House Of Dead Ninjas: £2.49
OlliOlli: £2.49
Life Of Pixel: £2.49
Joe Danger: £2.49
Unrest: £2.49

Under £3

You Must Build A Boat: £2.67
Pacman CEDX: £2.71 (whyyyy do you not already own this?)
Fract OSC: £2.74
Jamestown: £2.79
Luftrausers: £2.79
Heavy Bullets: £2.79
Solar 2: £2.79
Super Win The Game: £2.79
Soundodger+ : £2.79
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe: £2.79
Derrick The Deathfin: £2.79
The Charnel House Trilogy: £2.89 (also with Richard & Alice for £3.62)
Iron Fisticle: £2.99

Under £3.50

Gunpoint: £3
Aces Of The Galaxy: £3.42
Ikaruga: £3.49
Ratz Instagib: £3.49
Steamworld Dig: £3.49
The Floor Is Jelly: £3.49
10 Second Ninja: £3.49
Magrunner: £3.49
Weird Worlds: £3.49

Under £4

Roundabout: £3.62
Costume Quest 2: £3.73
Steam Marines: £3.73
Sir, You Are Being Hunted: £3.74
Eidolon: £3.74

Under £4.50

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: £4.01
Vektor Wars: £4.24
TRI: £4.41
Shadow Warrior: £4.49

Under £5

Beeswing: £4.50
The Indie Mixtape: £4.68
Warlock: £4.74
Droid Assault: £4.89
Dishonored: £4.99 (what, it’s fine! I can give it up anytime…)

04 Jun 18:55

Steam Machines, Controller, Link hit 16 October

The first wave of Steam Machines, console-like computers designed to run Valve's Steam software and its thousands of PC games, will be in some pre-order customers' hands on Oct. 16 and in stores on Nov. 10, Valve announced today. The Steam Controller and Steam Link will also hit on Nov. 10. Not sure what to make of SteamOS at this point - it's just a Linux distribution that launches Steam, and you can even close Steam to go to a desktop... On your TV - but the Steam Link is definitely interesting, so I pre-ordered one straight away.
13 May 18:00

The 50 Best FPS Ever Made

by Alec Meer

Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.

Your favourite game is at number 51.

… [visit site to read more]

20 Apr 09:00

Run Through The Internet: Free Platformer 404Sight Out

by Alice O'Connor

Hack the planet!

“Auntie Alice! Auntie Alice!” the younglings cry, tugging at my skirts of badger pelts and kingfisher feathers. “Tell us again about before The Crash! Tell us again about being an Internaut.”

Ah, little ones… pure white landscapes stretched out before me, angular shapes floating in datafog, datapaths branching and merging, and I sprint down these, jumping, rolling, choosing the quickest path to deliver my precious packets while dodging and smashing The Man’s obstacles.

Well, describing free run-o-platformer 404Sight [official site] excites the younglings more than the sorry truth could. I don’t have the heart to spoil their dreams.

… [visit site to read more]

26 Mar 11:00

Freeware Garden: Fork Parker’s Holiday Profit Hike

by Konstantinos Dimopoulos

Fork Parker’s Holiday Profit Hike may just be one of the best known freeware games recently released, being a little something by indie mega label Devolver. It’s also, yes, a holiday-themed game, but that’s okay – I’m pretty certain there’s a blizzard waiting to happen somewhere in the coming months. It’s too good to ignore, anyway.

Fork Parker’s platformer is built around Devolver’s balding CFO mascot’s attempts to climb a snowy and rather festive mountain of money in a cunning bid to help raise his company’s revenue. Among the lovely pixelated graphics, happy enemies and spiky spikes, Mr. Parker will try to collect wads of cash and avoid any falls that might lead to ludicrous medical bills.

… [visit site to read more]

26 Mar 10:00

Pretty 17 – Half-Life 2: Update Comes To Steam

by Alec Meer

a 620 wide image probably not the best way to demonstrate this stuff, eh?

Oho, ‘Half-Life 2: Update‘ is an extremely cheeky name for a mod. Write it on the internet and a few thousand ears will immediately prick up. “Is more Half-Life? Means Half-Life 3? Check file structure! One file will have a 3 in its name! Is Half-Life 3! Rabble rabble rabble!” So no, this is not an official Half-Life 2 update, but it has got the nod for a free standalone Steam release tomorrow.

Designed to take fuller advantage of what more recent updates to the Source engine can do, this apparently final version of the community-made mod includes graphical updates and ‘countless’ bug fixes, plus a new fan commentary mode. You’re probably going to want it.
… [visit site to read more]

13 Mar 03:14

Rendering a Frame of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

by samzenpus
An anonymous reader writes "Video games are among the most computationally intensive applications. The amount of calculation achieved in a few milliseconds can sometimes be mind-blowing. This post about the breakdown of a frame rendering in Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes us through the different steps of the process. It explains in detail the rendering passes involved, the techniques as well as the algorithms processed by a computer — 60 times per second."

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

24 Nov 14:39

JavaScript Template Strings

by David Walsh

Read the full article at: JavaScript Template Strings


Seemingly every language has a template string enhancement, and within JavaScript we’ve written our own to allow more seamless development without the need to concatenate everything.  Some of these template helpers even allow for looping, iteration, and conditional support.  Native implementations always start small but I’m excited about template strings in JavaScript!

The JavaScript

The template format is very simple:  backticks(`) instead of single or double quotes, and a $ for interpolation wrapping:

// Basic interpolation
var name = 'David';
console.log(`Hi, my name is ${name}`); // Hi, my name is David

// Math :)
var one = 1;
var two = 2;
console.log(`Your total is: ${one+two}`); // Your total is: 3

// More math
console.log(`Another total is: ${one + two * 2}`); // Another total is: 5

// Object properties
var obj = { x: 1, y: 2 };
console.log(`Your total is: ${obj.x + obj.y}`); // Your total is: 3

You can also use template strings for basic new line acceptance:

var myString = `Hello

I'm a new line`; // No error!

The JavaScript template string feature is a nice add, and will first become available in Firefox.  This template string feature isn’t groundbreaking but it’s a nice enhancement and something long overdue, if only for multi-line strings.

20 Nov 21:00

How iOS 8.1.1 Affects Performance on Older Devices

by Thorin Klosowski

How iOS 8.1.1 Affects Performance on Older Devices

Apple released an update to iOS 8 earlier this week that promised performance increases on older devices like the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. Ars Technica took a look at the numbers and found some disappointing results.


24 Oct 09:00

Show Me Your Moves: Toxikk

by Ben Barrett


I’ve been keeping one of my infinite eyeballs on arena FPS Toxikk while the rest stare at Unreal Tournament, Blizzard and my own naval. It’s a genre I’m convinced only needs a small push to skyrocket in popularity now that we live in an age of Twitch streams and YouTubers. Much like MOBAs it’s a genre ripe for spectating and competition in equal measure but just needs that one uber-popular game to gather a following. Will this be it? Time will tell, but for now Reakktor have revealed how they’re planning for movement to work. As discussed in the video below, this is the starting point as all other balance – weapons and map size particularly – revolves around it.

… [visit site to read more]

13 Aug 16:00

Unreal Tournament 2014 Playable, Free To All

by Ben Barrett

Want to play the new Unreal Tournament for free, right this very second? Cor blimey and OMG you totes can! Hero of the people ‘raxxy’ on the Unreal Forums is compiling Epic’s builds and releasing them as small, playable packages that anyone can run, with multiple updates per week. The maps are untextured, the weapons unbalanced, and things change rapidly as everything’s still “pre-alpha” but it’s playable and – more importantly – fun.

… [visit site to read more]

21 May 13:00

Astoundingly, Total Chaos Is A Doom II Mod

by Nathan Grayson

Doom II? Did you get a haircut? And also plastic surgery and a name change and a new home and a new family and Silent Hill's fog effects?

Remember Doom II? Remember how it came out in 1994? I’m going to go ahead and assume the creators of Total Chaos don’t, because otherwise they would understand what they’re doing is impossible, and it would immediately poof into non-existence. Oh, and it gets better: the mod’s biggest inspiration is apparently STALKER, which has my gamerly Geiger counter crackling with thunderous glee. Or maybe that’s my regular Geiger counter. I should probably check on that. In the meantime, there’s a very impressive trailer below.

… [visit site to read more]

12 May 19:00

Rubik’s Surface: Flip

by Adam Smith

Take me out for a romantic meal and you’ll have to order that fourth bottle of wine before I reveal an emotion and even then it’s likely to warp into a desire to find a dark underground club that plays music sucked from the scabby centre of the nineties. A bellyfull of Pinot Noir and a blast of Longpigs, and I’m done – vanishing into the forest of bodies on the dancefloor. Not a cheap date, or a particularly satisfying one.

When it comes to puzzle games, I’m the cheapest of cheap dates though, as Flip proved to me a few moments ago. The free version of this attractive and perplexing perception-troubler contains ‘more than 20 puzzles’ but I recognised the potential limits of my patience after around fifteen. It’s clever stuff though and the full version, which is $2.49 (50% discounted) at present, offers more than a thousand conundrums.

… [visit site to read more]

12 May 17:00

A Story About My Uncle I Guess But Mostly Grappling Hooks

by Alice O'Connor


Hey gang, and welcome back to another exciting round of Judge A Game By Its Name! Today we’re looking at A Story About My Uncle. You’re thinking 2D puzzle-platformer, right? Monochromatic palette, perhaps accented with red. Lots of slow walking sections with quiet introspective narration, surely? If that’s your final answer, then I’m sorry to say you haven’t won today, as it’s actually a first-person puzzle platformer based around a zappy grappling hook glove. You won’t take home the Jet Ski and Royal Doulton plates but on the bright side, we’re all getting a new grappling hook game.

It’ll arrive in a few weeks, on May 28, publisher Coffee Stain Studios has announced with a new trailer. (Yes, it now publishes as well as making games like Sanctum and Goat Simulator.)

… [visit site to read more]

14 Apr 19:00

On A High Speed Rail: Half-Life 1 Finished In 21 Minutes

by Graham Smith

These guys don't stand a chance.

Like any form of competition, speedrunning generates arguments over authenticity. Does a speedrun count if it relies on a bunny-hopping mod, in-game glitches and different runners tackling different parts of the game in short segments? I’m not sure I care either way. No matter the methods, Half-Life 1 being completed in 20 minutes and 41 seconds is an accomplishment of endurance, skill and effort. More importantly it’s a beautifully entertaining video, full of ingenuity and grace and physical comedy. The new record time is embedded below. You must watch it.

… [visit site to read more]

04 Apr 17:00

The Bytes Fantastic: Mind – Path To Thalamus

by Adam Smith

The trailer for Mind: Path To Thalamus is a dream-like series of beautiful landscapes, with a backing of melancholy piano and sorrowful synths. Promising environmental manipulation as well as a jolly good stroll through the corridors of memory and (of course) regret, it reminds me of Linger in Shadows, the demoscene project that broke through onto PS3. It all begins with a voiceover, which I managed to ignore, but it ends with another snippet of monologue that croaked out of my speakers, along with the mental image of a beatnik sitting on a windowsill and sucking on a Gauloises while contemplating the shape of the smoke, and pondering how fascinating he must look from afar. Mind is heading to the Rift.

… [visit site to read more]

24 Mar 19:00

Browser Pick: Don't See Me (ABA Games)

by Tim

dontseeme.pngDon't See Me is Kenta Cho's attempt at crafting a simple stealth game with enemies that have a visible field of vision. You can sneak behind an enemy and kill them for points, but you'll have to do it before an enemy turns around and sees the player. Should this happen, the enemy will give chase until they either capture or lose sight of you.

Bonus points are awarded if you taunt an enemy just before you kill them. To do this, you'll have to sneak behind an enemy for a couple of seconds before taking them down with a swift ambush. It's a risky move, but delaying the kill does reward you with more points to add to your score.

Don't See Me is available to play at this link.

29 Mar 03:00

ZX Spectrum Pick - Ninja Twins: Going to Zedeaks

by James Monkman


Genuine 8-Bit conversions or remakes of modern indie releases are always fun, but even with the best-known examples of backwards-ported games there are always design sacrifices that have to be made due to the limited target hardware. For this reason an indie game running on a retro platform that actually improves on the original is a real rarity - yet that's arguably what the team behind Ninja Twins: Going to Zedeaks have seemingly achieved with their unofficial ZX Spectrum tribute/clone/sequel of KronBits 2013 freeware puzzler.

Ninja Twins is a tile-based puzzle game featuring ninjas (unsurprisingly), with the player navigating the two simultaneously-controlled titular twins through 30 challenging single-screen levels in their quest to steal treasure. You only have a limited number of moves at your disposal and there's often only a single solution to each screen - making the wrong move almost always involves a sticky end thanks to the deviously positioned array of spikes and other sharp pointy things.

To be perfectly honest, perhaps the single addition of high-contrast colour over the grey-scale original is pushing it in terms of 'improvement', but after playing through the 25 all-new levels on real hardware this cute little game won me over with its charm. In terms of level design and difficulty the port is pretty much on par with the original, with some allowances made for the smaller play area, and completion of the game even rewards players with a neat little end sequence.


Despite the Spectrum being limited to only two colours per 8x8 pixels, the presentation of the game is fantastic, with a really nice parallax scrolling effect behind the play area and a short lo-fi chip soundtrack that compliments the ninja atmosphere perfectly. Progress is saved via a password system and the keyboard controls are set to the good old QAOP combination that practically every home computer game used in the 1980's (after all, these were the days before cursor keys were standard and WASD would have blown our minds back then). Additional keys include Enter to confirm a selection, 'R' to restart a level (very useful) and 'H' calls up the main menu.

Much like the original game, Ninja Twins: Going to Zedeaks is a great little puzzler - and if you're not afraid to work through an emulator I totally recommend that you give it a go. Oh, and if you have a PC, Mac, Android device or even an Ouya you can grab the official KronBits version from the link below.


Download the ZX Spectrum port here.
Download the original game here.

[If you don't already have a ZX Spectrum emulator, I recommend FUSE. To load the game, install and run the emulator, press F9 and select 'Spectrum 128'. Then press F3, select the Ninja Twins tape file and the game will start automatically. Increase the size of the window by selecting Options -> Filter.]

10 Mar 17:02



19 Feb 19:10

Browser Pick: Delirious Bird (Ryan Melmoth)

by John Polson

delirious bird.pngIf your Wednesday is going a bit slow, I recommend trying Ryan Melmoth's Delirious Bird, an entry for the Flappy Jam. The basic gameplay is still Flappy Bird (auto-flying through two structures while tapping a button to stay afloat); however, the music rocks pretty hard, and the visual effects increase in trippiness as you play.

You become more delirious as you hit the red and yellow pills, causing the visuals to distort. Your sanity is restored if you get the white pills, but to enjoy the game is to revel in its audiovisual masochism, I find. Accompanied by some wonderful guitar riffs, maximum deliriousness makes each second you survive that much more intoxicating.

[Delirious Bird on Game Jolt]

24 Feb 00:00

FreeFixer Removes Unwanted Programs from Your PC

by Mihir Patkar

FreeFixer Removes Unwanted Programs from Your PC

Windows: Over time, your Windows PC will have accumulated a whole bunch of unwanted programs, services and other things that slow it down. FreeFixer sorts and lists everything on your hard drive and offers more information about each to help decide whether it's needed.


30 Jan 22:30

Radio Search Engine Instantly Searches Every Live Radio Station

by Thorin Klosowski

Radio Search Engine Instantly Searches Every Live Radio Station

There's no shortage of apps that'll play any song you can imagine at any time, but Radio Search Engine is a webapp that does it by searching out what's playing live on the radio right now. From there, it can build a playlist of other live streaming tracks for you.


31 Jan 10:00

Freeware Pick: pointing-and-clicking for the lost Serena

by Konstantinos Dimopoulos / Gnome

Agustin Cordes, the Argentinian gentleman responsible for Scratches and the kickstarted horrors of the forthcoming Asylum, has assembled an adventure gaming all-star team and created something comfortably gruesome and kindly freeware: Serena. A wonderfully atmospheric, node-based adventure game.

Sporting the talents of Jan Kavan of CBE Software, Sierra's Josh Mandel, indie adventurer Ben Chandler, Scott Murphy of Space Quest fame and many more genre stalwarts, Serena is a short, dark and emphatic testament to what close-knit communities can achieve. It will satisfyingly disturb you in less than an hour.

Apparently, Serena is also a showcase of what the Dagon engine can do on Windows, Mac and Linux and one of the few actually touching horror games I have ever played.

08 Jan 21:45

Top 10 indie game devs' favorites from '13, industry wish list for '14 (part duex)

by John Polson

rami fishing.jpgstanley parable devs.jpgdroqen sharecart.jpgsteamworld brjann.jpg

IndieGames follows up with more of the devs behind the top 10 indie games of 2013, asking what they hope from the industry in 2014, along with what their most memorable games were. Today's collection includes members from The Stanley Parable HD, SteamWorld Dig, Sharecart1000, and another from the fabulous Ridiculous Fishing team.

rami fishing.jpgRidiculous Fishing developer Rami Ismail of Vlambeer

2013's top games:

Let's get the obvious picks out of the way first. There's no way of overstating just how important games like Papers, Please, Gone Home, Antichamber and The Stanley Parable HD were to the mainstream acceptance of our little corner of gaming. On mobile and handheld, Device 6 made a big impact on me, and The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Persona 4: Golden all weaselled their way into my daily ritual in ways I haven't experienced since I started making games at Vlambeer.

We had a wonderful year for Local Multiplayer, with both Samurai Gunn and Towerfall likely to have caused many game developers favourite moment of the year. I want to mention The Last of Us if only for that tremendously impactful introduction, and I loved the fluidity of combat in DMC: Devil May Cry. On the other end, I think the jam scene had an amazing year. Ludum Dare 28 spawned both The Day The Laughter Stopped and Titan Souls, the first being perfect as is and the second leaving so much room to grow into a full project.

Earlier this year, Vlambeer's co-hosted 7DFPS game jam led to SUPERHOT, which I still think has potential to be something really interesting. And is The Iconoclasts out yet? No? Maybe next year then. With how that game is shaping up, it is going to be on one of my end of years lists, I can promise you that.

2014 wish list for the industry:

I argued a week ago that 2013 was a year of buildup, a year of positioning pieces in a way that allow the industry to really make progress in 2014. We'll see a new wave of indie games launch on all platforms, ranging from phones to consoles, platforms that are all increasingly accessible for developers - and hopefully the platforms continue to evolve in the direction of inclusivity. While I expect AAA games to become even more overwhelming, defining themselves more and more by a set of defined content rather than just graphical prowess, I do also believe that larger indie studios will become increasingly capable of competing with them directly. I think indies will become more confident, hopefully somewhat reverting the race to the bottom of yesteryear, but I also think the term 'indie' has become so fragmented that it's usability is about to expire or evolve.

I also hope that we'll find a new platform that can handle all the up- and coming indies now that other platforms are focusing on the more experienced develoeprs. seems like it might be that platform, essentially being a Bandcamp for games, and I expect great things of the service. Finally, my hopes are that there will be more progress regarding the topic of diversity, whether it is gender, race, or sex-related, but also from a socio-geographical perspective - emerging territories in the Middle East, South America, Africa and Asia deserve a larger podium as well.

And for all that talk in 2013 of an indie bubble? If they mean that ongoing changes in the industry mean that some established developers are going to have to adapt or disappear, and that others will have the ability to create new and wonderful things, I'm all for that. We've seen what stagnation brings, and the worst thing that could happen is that at the end of 2014 we look back and think 'wow, nothing really happened this year'.

stanley parable devs.jpgThe Stanley Parable's Davey Wreden (top) and William Pugh of Galactic Cafe

2013's top games:

Limits and Demonstrations, The Entertainment: Kentucky Route Zero is an amazing game, but I'm particularly compelled by the two interlude pieces they've created between central Acts of the game. These interludes do not simply exist on their own, they occupy a nebulous liminal space between Acts, which are themselves liminal spaces between spaces. The fact that these games can contextualize and support a bigger game while still being utterly compelling as games on their own is a remarkable feat of narrative design.

A Dark Room: This year saw quite a few watch-the-number-go-up games achieve popularity, but A Dark Room stood out for us because of the emotional core it brought to this very frivolous mechanic. The number-going-up is not the game's raison d'etre, it is a conduit for a story about discovery, surprise, and loss. A tremendously human experience laid on top of a frivolous mechanic, we love it.

Antichamber is like a big melting pot full of everything we love about games. we think it's pretty profound and smart and very very clever. But where a lot of other very clever games detach you emotionally from their experiences, we felt incredibly wrapped up in Antichamber's sprawling blanket of warmth and genius. Exploring it's twisting hallways felt like a conversation with both a magnificent prankster and a very good friend.

Proteus creates this wonderful space for your mind to live in - even if it's just for a while. It's super rare for a game to provide such a lasting and rich feeling of peace and tranquillity for such an extended amount of time. It's a real adventure for us - it brings us back to going on walks in the woods with my mum. It's so rare that we find a game that really fills us with such child-like awe and joy. Proteus is brilliant!

Papers, Please: We often see discussion about how Papers, Please is a game of oppression, evil, drudgery and hardship. But much to the contrary we personally feel that it's an incredibly hopeful game! It's so bursting with life and humanity, it evokes such a complex range of emotions. It can be harsh and oppressive, but it can also be redemptive, surprising, optimistic, and at times incredibly funny! In yours truly's opinion, a game that so celebrates the spectrum of human emotion could only have been made with genuine love and affirmation for that spectrum.

2014 wish list for the industry:

I'd love to see more promotion done that actually stems from the same design sensibility used to create the game itself. As in, I'd really like to see marketing that is as thoughtful and deliberate as the game it's promoting, for creators to be able to get their name out and make a living without sacrificing the integrity of their design.

droqen sharecart.jpgAlexander Martin (droqen), co-creator of Sharecart1000

2013's top games:

Corrypt: I don't think I have anything clever to say about Corrypt except that its world is beautiful & fascinating, and I wouldn't change it for anything.

It's at the top of my list for a reason, though, so it'd be a shame to leave it at that. When you gain power it's seductive and powerful; a resource to be managed and purchased; collected and not wasted. It's some really potent stuff, granting you the power to break through any obstacle in the game -- or a few at once, if you're really clever about it. That ability's inter-room potential alone has been really inspiring, but once the honeymoon phase of MAGIC wears off... that's when the real Corrypt starts.

FJORDS: Whenever I watch people unfamiliar with platformers play platformers I find myself a little frustrated: most commonly (and most strangely) I see a reluctance to jump and move at the same time, resulting in awkward, too-short jumps. When FJORDS came along it treated me to a thoroughly alien 'platformer' experience. I came into it with certain expectations: I should be able to get around by jumping, for example. Quickly I had to let that one go -- because if I hadn't, I would have never made any progress. Instead I had to throw myself headfirst into its strange modes of moving.

Plus I'm really a fan of maps, and it's one of the few games I fully mapped out this year. For pizza.

Save the Date: You make a choice in a game, and it ends terribly. Game over. Clearly, you made the wrong choice somewhere along the line -- you'll make another choice next time, The Right Choice, and there won't be any ninjas and nobody will die. In most games save-stating or simply restarting the entire game allows you to explore every possibility until you find the best one: the much-desired GOOD ENDING.

Save the Date plays with a lot of these concepts and instead of putting up a facade, it deals with the reality; and it does so very well. It goes beyond being a self-aware game: it affords you the ability to be a self-aware player.

Spy Party: In an entirely different category than the above games, Spy Party is a really unique 2-player competitive game about picking a spy (human) out of a crowd of unaware partygoers (AI). It's weird to me that there might still be people out there who haven't heard of this game, but it's a very involved asymmetric game the likes of which haven't really been seen before. If I could trick myself into making more multiplayer games, Spy Party is one of the first games I'd look to for inspiration.

Papers, Please: I think games are great at a lot of things, and until Papers, Please came long I felt like one of those things was definitely not 'convincing interactions with humans'. Clearly the interactions in Papers, Please are limited -- you can stamp a passport with yes or no, and you make a few other choices now and then and that's it, but precisely because of those restrictions I found it to be the most genuine sort of human-human experience I've ever had in a game.

This is such a small part of why so many other people like Papers, Please; but it's the most important part for me. Certainly there are other reasons why it's great, but look up or down and you'll probably find them. I love it for the framing of face-to-face human interaction that made me not pay so much attention to the boundaries themselves.

2014 wish list for the industry:

I save hardly any of my brain for thoughts about "the industry"! - it's an everchanging fabric of games to me and everything I want out of the industry is the games that come out of it. I want people making games to take the leaps we've already made and leap further. The games I mentioned above are good examples (I think!) of interesting leaps that have come out of people who make games this year, but they're not the only examples.

steamworld brjann.jpgSteamWorld Dig developer Brjann Sigurgeirsson of Image & Form

2013's top games:

Year Walk: Everybody's hailing Simogo for Device 6, and rightfully so - it's a masterpiece. But incredible as it may seem, they actually made an even better game in 2013, and this is it. Rich yet lean, atmospheric, understated, enigmatic, beautiful and downright shockingly frightening at times.

Papers, Please: Well, obviously this disturbing and thought-provoking game must make the list. Games don't have to produce adrenaline or euphoria to be great, they can be a joy to play anyway. There's been discussion whether Papers, Please lacks fun, and that's a non-issue. Just get it.

Guacamelee: Beautiful, clever and irresistible, and for some reason pitted against SteamWorld Dig in a lot of handheld GOTY discussions. DrinkBox is picking up just as many of those awards as we are (or more), and those bastards have the audacity to be wonderful guys too. Wonderfulness must be encouraged.

Stick It To The Man!: What, I don't get to nominate yet another Swedish title? I'm afraid that Stick It could fly under the radar for a lot of people, so it must be mentioned everywhere. This crazy, wonderful game is sort of an action puzzle platformer, but that's not relevant. Rather, the game's 100+ insane characters and the marvellous dialogs - and seemingly endless monologs - make it a must-have.

Chess: OK, chess maybe wasn't released in 2013 - or anytime in the past millennium for that matter - but it's my list, and it'll be the best game on the planet any given year. The only game I've played for at least an hour every day for the past four decades, and I always want to play more.

2014 wish list for the industry:

Come on Apple, it's urgent: The App Store may be shock-full of games, but that's not enough. Do one of these things immediately - or both:

(1) Come back to being the most inventive company in the world, and solve the App Store problems of near-invisibility and frozen top charts. Make it easier for consumer to find *great* games, and stop focusing on subpar monetizers for non-gamers! You will not only entice talented indies to return to iOS, but you will also establish yourself as a premium-content platform. I believe the base content for this "shift" is there already. Keep the sales charts as they are, but also establish a genre-specified "best-of" or "gamers' choice" chart, where the highest-rated games (with some pretty high minimum number of user reviews) can be put on parade. Yes, this list will also be quite static, but games already bought could be grayed-out and only briefly described. That way we can tick off that list one game at a time. And with all the great games coming out, we'll never stop buying!

(2) Start moderating the torrent of content for quality. It's *your* platform, *you* should decide which games make it. I don't think developers would be discouraged by raised quality standards. I'm positive your consumers won't be.

24 Dec 18:30

OpenEmu Emulates Nearly Every Classic Console on Mac

by Thorin Klosowski

OpenEmu Emulates Nearly Every Classic Console on Mac

Mac: OpenEmu is an all-in-one video game emulator where you can emulate your games, create collections, set up controllers, and plenty more.


13 Dec 14:31

CFT calendar 2014 by Ruslan Lobanov (by Ruslan Lobanov)

CFT calendar 2014 by Ruslan Lobanov (by Ruslan Lobanov)

11 Dec 14:30

Freeware Pick: Trippy Trippy Bad Bad

by Tim W.

trippyb2a.jpgLuke Rissacher's Trippy Trippy Bad Bad is a puzzle arena shooter in which players have to get their on-screen avatar past a swarm of insects and make it to the exit of every room. You can only avoid the creepy-crawlies in the first few stages, but latter levels will contain guns for you to collect and use in your escape.

Each enemy will have its own unique traits for players to discover. Giant beetles chase after you whenever you get close to them, centipedes split into two when you shoot at any part of their body, while ants move in a straight line and will only change direction when they bump into an obstacle.

trippyb2b.jpgMost rooms take less than a minute to play through, and a level skip option is included for players who are having difficulty getting past any of them. There's also a boss fight at the end of the campaign, and you can unlock two extra modes if you beat enough stages under their par time.

The Windows version of Trippy Trippy Bad Bad is available to download now from Quadruple-A's site.

[Download Trippy Trippy Bad Bad]

28 Nov 09:00

Browser Picks: ZX Spectrum jam games

by John Polson

speccy jam 1.pngThe first one-week Speccy Jam, dedicated to creating 8-bit games that would feel at home on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, recently concluded with over 20 entries submitted. There's no need to worry about an emulator, though, as almost all of the games chosen below work in your browser.

firewall 48k.pngToxin Games' Firewall 48K is a four-sided frantic Space Invaders of sorts, with you needing to constantly switch between sides with WASD to shoot enemies as they move inward. If you lose your barrier, you can replenish it by allowing white download chips to fall to the center. Of course, not shooting them when they are next to the enemy virus is a challenge.

water spears.pngJeromBD's Water Spears is a tough deep-sea diving game, where players have to manage their spear count, oxygen levels, and lives while collecting pearls, gold, and air bubbles and avoiding enemies and purple urchins and thorns.

henry hedgehog.pngCraig Moore's Henry Hedgehog and the Haunted House is a solid platformer that has you collecting the letters to spell "Henry" to save his girlfriend. I almost feel like the double jump makes the game too easy and seems not needed.

attack defend.pngDioxin Dump's Attack! Defend! Magic! is a turn-based battle game that makes the shortlist because of its exceptional animated death sequences. They make the fighting feel satisfying, even with the random card element that seems to dictate the strength of your turn.

are you there theseus.pngFreeware here, (yep, you gotta download it), but worth a mention: BeeTLe BeTHLeHeM's Are You There Theseus? is a fantasy roguelike, with the basic features of the genre (permadeath, procedural generation, multiple-level dungeon) and various interactive content (monsters with particular properties, items, shops, tiles with special effects).

Looking for a Bit.Trip Runner-like? Derpman has you covered. A Desktop Dungeons clone? Speccy Dungeons is your game.

If none of the picks sound fun, you can easily go through all the Speccy Jam games online.

20 Nov 11:00

Black Mesa Coming To Steam For Real Moneydollars

by Nathan Grayson

Spare some change? I'm just a poor, hardworking headcrab who's been let down by The System.

Halfy birthday, Hap-Life! Well, I guess it’s technically the day after your birthday now, but an upgraded version of Source-powered Half-Life tribute Black Mesa still counts as a gift, I think. You might remember that the free labor of time, love, and more time was greenlit a while back, but now it’s finally taking the Lab Facility Train Ride of Ultimate Auspiciousness over to Steam. Better still, Gabe and the knights of the Valve table have given it their blessing, allowing the Black Mesa team to earn some especially pretty pennies for their hard work. The Steam version will include new features too, but not Xen. That’s apparently still “a ways off,” sadly.


14 Nov 20:10

Now free to download - AlterEgo: DreamWalker

by Tim W.

alteredw.pngOriginally being sold for 3 dollars on Desura, Denis Grachev decided this week to make AlterEgo: DreamWalker a free download on all platforms that the game is available on (with the exception of Windows Phone). In it, you get to control two characters at the same time, but you're required to switch between both of them in order to overcome the challenges in each level.

The number of swaps allowed per stage will always be indicated above your twin's head. If you make a mistake or run out of switches before all items are successfully collected, the only option left is to restart the level. It's an unnecessary limitation imposed on players, but I suppose the developer's intention was to make each room seem more like a puzzle if you have to stop and think on your approach to gathering all of the pixels.

You can grab the Windows, Linux, and Android versions of AlterEgo: Dreamwalker from the link below.

[Download AlterEgo: DreamWalker]