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4:00 PM on 11.11.2014

Telltale's Game of Thrones is all about the trees, man

Telltale's outlined the plot for the SIX episodes of its take on Game of Thrones, and wow, it sounds like the best lumberjack simulator in years. There are a whole bunch of trees (motherf*cking IRONTREES), and you have to dec...

Brett Makedonski

7:00 AM on 11.11.2014

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's Jack the Doppelganger is too sexy for his shirt

I frown on the idea that additional Vault Hunters are being offered for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's season pass in place of story DLC (rather than in addition to it, as Gaige the Mechromancer and Krieg the Psycho were in B...

Darren Nakamura



Mushroom 11 is the next great puzzle-platformer photo
Mushroom 11 is the next great puzzle-platformer
by Jordan Devore

Everyone I know who's tried Mushroom 11 won't shut up about how good it is. After clearing the first two levels today in a preview build, I'm joining them. 25 minutes well spent.

This is a puzzle-platformer unlike any I've seen before. You guide a green blob through a post-apocalyptic world -- up cliffs, through tunnels, over toxic sludge -- by erasing parts of it. Each time you click on the ooze, you'll trim its cells and fresh replacements will pop up somewhere else; do this enough and it'll start to move (though not always in the exact direction you want).

It's fun to aimlessly "push" the blob forward across the ruined world, but traversing obstacles requires careful planning, quick improvisation, or both. In one puzzle, I anchored the organism to the perimeter of a cave suspended above lava and chipped away at it in such a way that a makeshift limb stretched down and left toward solid ground without falling straight to its fiery doom.

A later section, a boss fight against a giant mutant spider, involved launching the blob off a seesaw and navigating up and around the creature's jabbing arms. Sequences like this are frenetic. You have to rapidly erase cells to maintain momentum but you can't overdo it; the blob won't rematerialize mid-air. Brute-force attempts at puzzle solving proved futile by the second level.

All that said, I'd recommend watching footage or, better yet, playing the game yourself next year on PC/Mac/Linux (pre-orders come with a preview). It's tough to convey what makes Mushroom 11 such a treat in text, but pick it up and you'll understand the appeal in seconds. Tell your friends.

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2:45 PM on 11.07.2014

Hearthstone expansion Goblins vs Gnomes coming this December

This trailer for Goblins vs Gnomes, an expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft hitting next month, sure is fun. I like it when videogame trailers are basically just songs. The expansion will add more than 120 cards, in...

Jordan Devore

1:30 PM on 11.07.2014

Convoy: if FTL were about driving through the desert

Back when consumers were more willing to put money toward projects on Kickstarter, FTL: Faster Than Light was one of the first big indie videogame success stories on the crowdfunding platform. It set a modest goal of $10,000...

Darren Nakamura

10:30 AM on 11.06.2014

This seems like a bad title for a game, but it's Snot

I'll admit: I very nearly deleted the email about Snot without a second thought. How could a game named after nasal mucus be worth even a few seconds of my time? Still, I did my due diligence and played the video attached, a...

Darren Nakamura



Your Sims can now 'accidentally' drown in the The Sims 4 photo
Your Sims can now 'accidentally' drown in the The Sims 4
by Jordan Devore

The Sims 4 was notably missing pools at launch, though something tells me many of us weren't playing the game then. As an on-again, off-again Sims player, I passed. If you're waiting for The Sims Studio to flesh out the game with more updates, take note: pools are in.

Today's free update adds pool building (diagonal blocks are in), customization options for swimwear, and a bunch of fixes related to performance, graphics, and Build Mode.

Remember, ladders are optional.

Rejoice! Pools are Now in The Sims 4! [The Sims]

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12:45 PM on 11.04.2014

When You're Gone tells its story of love lost in painted comic style

In life, everybody deals with love, loss, and regret. When You're Gone's premise is built on the relatability of its story: A middle-aged man reflects on his life and comes to terms with "the one who got away." Protagonist S...

Darren Nakamura



Madden Crusade was made in under an hour photo
Madden Crusade was made in under an hour
by Jordan Devore

Did you remember to adjust your clock(s) on Sunday? I just slept in as always. Some game designers used the end of daylight saving time as an excuse to, get this, be productive.

There's this thing called the 0h Game Jam in which developers make a game in under an hour. There isn't a theme. No real rules, either -- "just make a game, quick!" The results are strange.

Frog Fractions creator Jim Crawford made Madden Crusade for the jam and the concept cracked me up: "Guide your football team on a crusade across Eurasia to retrieve the Holy Grail and drop it into the Atlantic Ocean before time runs out! Your team will follow God's Truth, i.e. your mouse cursor, unless you are clicking in which case they will avoid God's Wrath, i.e. your mouse cursor."

Frankly, I'd like to see a big-budget adaptation. The industry could use more weird sports games.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel illustrates the danger of nebulous season passes photo
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel illustrates the danger of nebulous season passes
by Darren Nakamura

Over the weekend, details came out of PAX Australia regarding the first downloadable Vault Hunter for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At first, it looked to me like a commendable gesture for a series that receives a lot of criticism on its downloadable content policy. To include a new character in addition to the originally promised content for those loyal enough to buy a season pass seemed worthy of applause. However, that image was based on a misinterpretation of the official blog post's line that references "all four of the upcoming add-on content packs," and a few other (incorrect) assumptions.

As it turns out, the Handsome Jack Doppelganger Pack is DLC #1 for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (November 11 is upcoming, after all), and I could only feel more disappointed by that revelation if I had actually purchased this iteration's season pass. My condolences go out to those who did.

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7:30 PM on 11.01.2014

Jack's doppelganger in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will fight using digital clones

2K announced at PAX Prime that one of Jack's look-alike bodyguards would be the first DLC Vault Hunter for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, but information past that was scant. Pieces of his back story can be found via semi-hidde...

Darren Nakamura





8:00 PM on 10.30.2014

Steam's Halloween sale isn't just spooky games

What timing. I'm wrapping up my replay of Monolith's hobo smash-'em-up / survival horror game Condemned: Criminal Origins and while it's not nearly as scary as I remember it being in 2005, it's sure worth $3.73. Hoping to sha...

Jordan Devore

11:30 AM on 10.29.2014

Concrete Jungle combines city planning and deck building

As diverse and varied as games have become (particularly the independent scene), it can be easy to fall into a routine of only trying out titles with established gameplay. Part of what caught my eye about Concrete Jungle is ...

Darren Nakamura

8:00 PM on 10.28.2014

Wow, a Humble Indie Bundle I'm going to buy

It's been some time since I've last gone in on a Humble Indie Bundle. These days, if a game is around long enough to wind up packaged at a discounted rate, it's already made its way into my library, or I'm just not interested...

Jordan Devore

7:30 PM on 10.28.2014

Laser Fury looks like Diablo but neon and radical

I do not mean to suggest that Diablo is not good, but the dreary look never really grabbed me, even with Diablo III's improvements in that respect. Laser Fury, on the other hand, takes a hold of my eyes immediately...

Darren Nakamura

3:00 PM on 10.28.2014

Particulars explores the subatomic world next month

I always appreciate seeing science represented in games, outside of the typical "heroes need to clean up the mess these mad scientists made" trope. Videogames can be so powerful as tools for learning, and that potential is s...

Darren Nakamura