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PREVIEW | A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is cuddly & cunning

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Alan Hazelden, Benjamin Davis, Games previews, Indie Games, Mobile games, PC games, Puzzle games

PREVIEW | A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is cuddly & cunning

A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build lives up to its name, but you wouldn't know it at first glance. In fact, it looks positively adorable.

Sokobond designer Alan Hazelden and Game Jam veteran Benjamin Davis have conspired to create something truly lovely; a soft, warm and decidedly festive little puzzler starring a loveable lonely monster. All it wants in life is to create snowmen by rolling up snowballs, which become new friends to hang out with and cuddle, like Tanya above. Cuddling is already directly coded into the game -- just flick the stick to initiate a big old bear hug. Playing it is therefore much like drinking a great big mug of Horlicks on a bitterly cold day, making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

"It's a puzzle game about being a monster and making snowmen," Davis told me at the Develop Conference last week, lulling me into a false sense of security with the simple pitch. Right before A Good Snowman started spanking my brainpan.

PREVIEW | A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build is cuddly & cunning

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Assassin's Creed: Unity trailers retcon the revolution

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PC games, PS4 games, Ubisoft, Xbox One Games

Assassin's Creed: Unity trailers retcon the revolution

Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men? No? Good, and that's just how we like it. Russell Crowe has been forcibly gagged and dragged out of the Parisian streets for a double bill of Assassin's Creed Unity trailers, which will probably make a reasonable substitute for actual news on what's shaping up to be another painfully slow week.

You'll see some intriguing exposition that blends real events with Assassin's Creed canon (which will be enough to tell you that my limp Les Mis joke is chronologically flawed!), followed by a gameplay trailer showing off fluid animations and enormous crowds.

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Antichamber only £1.99 on the Humble Store today

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Antichamber, Indie Games, PC games, Puzzle games, Steam

Antichamber only £1.99 on the Humble Store today

Antichamber | Humble Store | £5.09 (RRP: £14.99)

Mindblowing price for a mindblowing game. Ends at 18:00.

Thanks and credit to jaystan @ HUKD!

Get ClusterPuck 99 for 59p on IndieGameStand

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Indie Games, PC games

Get ClusterPuck 99 for 59p on IndieGameStand

Clusterpuck 99 | IndieGameStand | £0.59 minimum (RRP: £4.68)

Local multiplayer-loving PC owners should make a beeline for this utterly ridiculous party game, which is a little like twinstick battle pong... to the extreme! Eight players can get involved, but you'll only need 4 for a game on. Well worth picking up, and remember that its RRP is £4.68 when it comes to choosing your price.

Codemasters Flash Bundle contains DiRT Showdown, DiRT 3, Flashpoint Red River & more for £3.51

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Codemasters, PC games

Codemasters Flash Bundle contains DiRT Showdown, DiRT 3, Flashpoint Red River & more for £3.51

The Humble Codemasters Flash bundle runs until 18:00 today, giving you a decent amount of videogame for £3.51. You can pay what you want for Overlord
Overlord & DLC, Operation Flashpoint: Red River, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and Rise of the Argonauts, or beat the magic number to also receive DiRT 3, DiRT Showdown and Overlord 2.

Thanks to chyllyphylly @ HUKD!

PREVIEW | Myriad makes & breaks worlds, reinvents the twinstick shooter

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Erlend Grefsrud, PC games, PS4 games, SHMUP

PREVIEW | Myriad makes & breaks worlds, reinvents the twinstick shooter

Myriad: Make The World/Break The World is the most drool-inducingly gorgeous videogame I've seen in quite some time.

Inspired more heavily by Kandinsky than Bizarre Creations, this impossibly handsome shooter resembles the mad offspring of Rez and a lava lamp at first glance. I could have stared at it all day during the Develop Expo last week, transfixed as a configuration of striking circles danced and organically evolved before my eyes. As an art installation, it's astonishing.

What's more astonishing, though, is that it's also one of the most innovative twinstick shooters out there. Games are meant to be played, after all, and Norwegian games journalist-turned-developer Erlend Grefsrud has managed to cook up one hell of a Big Idea.

PREVIEW | Myriad makes & breaks worlds, reinvents the twinstick shooter

Chances are that you've probably played a twinstick shooter (or twenty) before. The left stick moves. The right stick aims and shoots. Once again we find ourselves controlling an angular minimalist spaceship, blasting constantly-spawning enemies in claustrophobic arenas. Powerful cannons and recoil initially confounds, but on a basic level, Myriad feels comfortingly familiar.

The visuals, though, are like nothing you've seen before. Your ship is the only angular entity in a world of perfect circles and soft curves, angrily disrupting the equilibrium by throwing out a jagged torrent of straight lines. Seemingly furious at your unsightly intrusion, an army of rounded foes constantly attempt to chase you down, harassing you and forcing you to weave through the tight confines of an arena consisting of a haphazard array of overlapping circles. It's a visually arresting aesthetic that, once you've wrapped your brain around it, begins to hint at surprising hidden depths.

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Huge Focus Home Interactive Sale hits Steam today!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Focus Home Interactive, PC games

Huge Focus Home Interactive Sale hits Steam today!

Focus Home Interactive have tipped us off about a massive Steam sale starting tonight at 18:00, so consider yourself forewarned and forearmed. Though they're definitely not the most consistent of publishers, they're certainly willing to take a punt on plenty of genres, meaning that everything from RPGs to MOBAs, shooters, puzzlers and RTS games are all up for grabs at differing discounts.

My personal highlight would be EYE: Divine Cybermancy at a 90% saving, which I still rate as one of the most ambitious FPS games ever made since Deus Ex. Yes, it was far too ambitious for the engine and dev team, but worth playing to see how indie studios can push boundaries in loads of weird and wonderful directions. Aarklash Legacy will also be available for less than £4, which is a hidden gem of the first order.

Game Night Extra | More Noobish Supraball

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
eSports, Game Night, PC games, Supra Games, Supraball, Videos

Supraball has just had a rather hefty update that's shifted a whole of mechanics around, such as removing the ability to instantly steal the ball (you now have to take a player below 60% health first), and you can find out all about the new stuff in the official changelog over here. The keybindings have also been reset, so you might have to rebind the mouse functions before you step on the field after the update.

We will be starting up regular community matches shortly, but for now the public server is up and running, and we had some leftover footage from last week's Game Night, so if you want to reminisce about the chaotic frenzy of the good old days when you could steal the ball away instantly, check out the video above.

Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition £5.87 at Mac Game Store

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Borderlands 2, FPS games, PC games

Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition £5.87 at Mac Game Store

Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition | Mac Game Store | £5.87
PC price comparison | Borderlands 2 Review / Video (PC) Review

Missed out on the definitive Borderlands 2 experience in the Steam Sumer Sale? Don't worry, you can still pick up the Borderlands 2 GOTY Edition for just over a fiver at the Mac Game Store, and because it's a Steamworks title the code will also work on PC.

So what do you get? Most of the major DLC packs released so far, which includes Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, both Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Packs, the Mechromancer and Psycho characters, Creature Slaughterdome, Collector's Edition Pack, Premiere Club, and a number of character customisation skins and heads. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

Enemy Front Review – An Inglorious Bughunt

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Enemy Front, FPS games, PC games, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

Enemy Front Review – An Inglorious Bughunt

Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | X360 | PC

Developers: CI Games

Publishers: CI Games

I wanted to love Enemy Front, I really did. As a big WWII FPS fan, I’ve been starved for years and have only recently got a taste of the genre coming back with the ‘what if the Nazi’s won’ Wolfenstein on PS4 and the ‘let’s shoot Italians in Africa for a change’ of the recent Sniper Elite III. Enemy Front could have been another game to show that WWII is still one of the best settings for FPS titles; instead, it’s probably buried it.

The game’s ambitions are pure enough, but CI have struggled to cope with the CryEngine and basic gameplay design, producing one of this year’s biggest messes. The frame-rate crashes into single-digits whenever you go indoors, especially when moving up the stairs of any of the multiple apartment buildings. The checkpointing seems intent on making you relive the worst parts of the game whenever you bite the dust after the increasingly random number of perforations deemed acceptable is reached.

Enemy Front Review – An Inglorious Bughunt

Glitches see enemies that can only be sniped get stuck behind pillars. You can be shot by enemies through several buildings, leading to the impression you’re being shot by ghosts. Your own shots frequently fail to register in some of the worst hit detection I’ve ever seen. You’re pretty much forced to rely on sniper weapons as the close range lunacy of the jitteriest MP40 in existence suggest the lead hero has wrists made of jelly. Sometimes weapons sink into the ground when you put them down for a sec to use a rocket launcher. Stealth melee takedown animations are so lengthy that you’ll be seen by another soldier every time. The ultimate slow clap award though goes to those gifted flying Nazis that seem to get skyhooked away from the battlefield. It gets to the point where all you can do is laugh through the rage.

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Hotline Miami Now Going for 65p. Yes, Really.

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Hotline Miami, PC games

Hotline Miami Now Going for 65p. Yes, Really.

Hotline Miami | Nuuvem | 65p | Review

I've seen a few deals for under £2, but this is getting ridiculous now. At 65p, you really should see what all the fuss is about with the angry little thing that is Hotline Miami. After all, there'll be a sequel for you to get excited about soon too. This is the sort of game that the hacks at The Daily Mail had nightmares about in the 90s. The 8-bit stylings will give older gamers a constant nostalgia rush in this top-down shooter that can be tough as nails, but the frantic gameplay keeps you coming back for more. Don't forget to check out Jon's 9/10 review.

Thief is only £6.79 on PC

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games, Stealth Games, Thief

Thief is only £6.79 on PC

ThiefGet Games | £6.79 | Review

While recently dipping below the £20 barrier on consoles is to be celebrated, PC gamers can smug it up as Thief can now be downloaded on PC for £6.79. Sure, it didn't set the world on fire, but it's a solid enough effort for fans of all things sneaky. Do yourself a favour and turn off most of the guides and other cheaty elements and you'll find the experience all the more rewarding. Be sure to check out the other franchise discounts on the page too.

Thanks to jaystan at HotUkDeals.

The Division 101: new interview explains Massive's anticipated RPG

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Massive Entertainment, PC games, PS4 games, Ubisoft, Xbox One Games

The Division 101: new interview explains Massive's anticipated RPG

The Division caused a massive stir at E3 2013, generating an enormous amount of excitement and an active community despite still being nebulously dated for next year. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, Ubisoft has published a helpful interview with Game Director Ryan Barnard, who explains the premise, mechanics and vision behind the online action-RPG. Watch it below.

The Division looks to be a neat mix between cooperative gunplay and classless RPG customisation. Here's hoping that Massive Entertainment deliver on its potential -- and their promises -- next year.

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Action Henk Is Half Trials, Half Sonic, All Toy Story | Early Access Preview

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, Indie Games, PC games, Platformer, Ragesquid

Action Henk Is Half Trials, Half Sonic, All Toy Story | Early Access Preview

Platform: PC (£6.99, Steam Early Access)

Developer: RageSquid

Henk used to be the fastest toy in the toybox, at least before the rigours of age and an astonishingly vast pie supply turned him into a flabby plastic shadow of his former self. The nineties now a distant memory, along with his toy line, our corpulent hero sets out to prove that he's still got what it takes in 2014 by sprinting and sliding through a collection of twisted tracks at breakneck speed.

Such is the premise of Action Henk, a new Early Access title from Dutch developer RageSquid, which throws players headlong into an increasingly ridiculous gauntlet of loops, jumps, platforms and hazards. Boosting over a chasm one moment and sliding on Henk's ample behind the next, you'll need nerves of steel and a sense of humour to shave a few precious seconds off your friend's best time.

Action Henk Is Half Trials, Half Sonic, All Toy Story | Early Access Preview

In effect it's a lot like Trials, a little like classic Sonic and a whole load of speedrun fun. To the extent that I found it physically difficult to prise myself away from its stand at the Develop Conference despite a pending appointment and Project Morpheus demanding my attention on the other side of the room. Sometimes you just know that an early access project is on the right track, and Action Henk is definitely one of them.

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Game Night | Dealspwn Plays... Supraball

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
eSports, Game Night, PC games, Supra Games, Supraball, Videos

Our video introduction to Supraball went live yesterday, but that wasn't the first time the Dealspwn trio had dived into the upcoming FPSG. Today's episode of Game Night highlights the team's initial reactions and features their first full game of their favourite new eSport.

Highlights include Jon pretending to be John Terry, Matt mispronouncing Carl's in-game name, and Carl proclaiming himself to be the Tim Howard of Supraball. It's an episode you really won't want to miss.

Don't worry, the Grim Fandango remake isn't just releasing on PS4 & Vita

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Adventure Games, Double Fine, PC games, PS Vita games, PS4 games

Don't worry, the Grim Fandango remake isn't just releasing on PS4 & Vita

Point & click adventure aficionados who don't own a PS4 or Vita can breathe a sigh of relief today, as Double Fine confirms that their Grim Fandango remake announced during Sony's E3 presser is also coming to PC, Linux and Mac at launch.

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The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 - Cry Wolf Review | Leader Of The Pack

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, iOS games, PC games, PS3 games, Telltale Games, The Wolf Among Us, Xbox 360 games

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 - Cry Wolf Review | Leader Of The Pack

Platforms: PCPSNXBLA

Developer: Telltale Games

Decisions, decisions. We've made plenty of them during the last four episodes of The Wolf Among Us, some big, some small, some tough and others seemingly simple, but it's finally time to find out whether any of them really mattered in the long run. Everything rests on whether Episode 5: Cry Wolf can tie up the series in a satisfying and bittersweet fashion, while atoning for the stodgy pacing of the last chapter.

Put simply: it does. Not only is Cry Wolf an emphatic end to Telltale's first Fables collaboration, a stylish, menacing, comprehensive and deeply rewarding experience from pacey start to shocking finish,  but it's also one of the best pieces of interactive entertainment they've ever released.

We've been keeping our reviews free of major spoilers, so you can read our verdict on Episode 123 and 4 to get the measure of the series thus far. Our final verdict is no exception, meaning that the following few hundred words will be heavy on opinion and light on description.

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 - Cry Wolf Review | Leader Of The Pack

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Get Banished for £5.99, Psychonauts for £1.74 & more on the Humble Store today

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
PC games

Get Banished for £5.99, Psychonauts for £1.74 & more on the Humble Store today

The Humble Store sale may not be as huge and complicated as the Steam Summer Sale, but it still offers some great prices every 24 hours. Case in point, huge discounts on compelling city-builder Banished, superb MetroidVania hack & slasher Dust: An Elysian Tale, Lovecraftian roguelike Eldritch and even the inestimable Psychonauts. Deals expire at 18:00, so jump to it!

Android users should definitely look at Out There, too, which is a very different kind of space exploration game. Thanks to jaystan @ HUKD!

Deathball Lives! Supraball is the gaming equivalent of a jumpers-for-goalposts kickabout

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
eSports, PC games, Supra Games, Supraball

Deathball Lives! Supraball is the gaming equivalent of a jumpers-for-goalposts kickabout

...and it's fantastic

I've been a football fan ever since I was small. I used to head down to the nearby rec about five minutes from my house to play little pickup games with other local kids. It was typical stuff, jumpers for goalposts, rush goalies, my next-door neighbour Rich and I would always try and make sure we were on the same team, and we'd regularly beat kids older than ourselves. That often didn't go down too well.

The point is that for every sport there's a backyard alternative, whether that's five-a-side, quick cricket, touch rugby, etc. -- the idea is that as long as you have a ball (and maybe a bat) and some willing players, you can have a great time. Anyone can get involved, you don't need to know the intricacies of the game to play, positions and tactics are worked out on the fly. Sure, some people will be more skilled than others, but the idea is that organisation is minimal -- you just play.

Deathball Lives! Supraball is the gaming equivalent of a jumpers-for-goalposts kickabout

The same idea underpins Supraball -- a fledgling eSport title described as a First-Person Sports Game, that basically plays out like a pickup game of footy, but with gravity guns to propel the ball around rather than kicking it.

Oh, and jetpacks. Because, well, jetpacks are awesome.

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Grab Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for just £11.68 over at Amazon US

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, PC games, Ubisoft

Grab Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for just £11.68 over at Amazon US

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag | £11.68 | Amazon US | Review

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is outstanding. It's a fantastic game that might just be the best pirate game since Sid Meier first let us live out our buccaneering dreams. The PC version has remained a little stubborn in terms of its price point, but you can currentlky nab a digital PC copy for just £11.68 ($19.99) if you pop on over to Amazon US. I would say, however, that you should try and pick up a console version if possible (PS4 ideally) simply because the Anvil engine seems to suffer a little on PC.

If you're not based in the States, all you have to do is fabricate a US mailing address to get the game key. You can opt for either a Steam or Uplay code, but let's face it, who the hell would ever freely choose the latter?

Cheers to Jas10 for the tip.