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7:00 AM on 09.09.2014

Extrasolar Season 2 is being funded through Kickstarter

I do not envy Lazy 8 Studios with the balancing act it has trying to market Extrasolar. By revealing too little, only a relatively small demographic will ever try out the exoplanet rover simulator. By revealing too much, a t...

Darren Nakamura

7:00 PM on 09.08.2014

Humble Store celebrates the end of summer with a sale

Summer? I think I must've slept through it... oh wait, I was watching the World Cup. Oh well, there's always next year and until then The Humble Store is settling me in for autumn and winter by having daily deals on some grea...

Alasdair Duncan

5:30 PM on 09.08.2014

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is everything I hoped it'd be

One of my favorite parts of PAX Prime this year was an appointment with Nicalis. Not only was the meeting away from the crowded, noisy Washington State Convention Center, it was an opportunity to get sucked into The Binding o...

Jordan Devore

5:00 PM on 09.08.2014

GOG.com celebrates its sixth birthday with a sale

GOG.com, the online purveyor of classic and indie PC games is celebrating its sixth birthday and in typical fashion, that means a sale. The site always tries to put a neat twist on its promotions, so for the rest of the week ...

Alasdair Duncan

7:00 AM on 09.08.2014

2D survival horror Uncanny Valley has a demo out now

Way back in April, we first heard about Uncanny Valley, and we all had a nice juvenile moment of pointing and snickering at pixelated medical diagrams of human genitalia. The trailer also showed slightly less funny stuff: da...

Darren Nakamura







Review: Halfway photo
Review: Halfway
by Darren Nakamura

One of the things that is so appealing about science fiction is that it deals with situations that seem fantastical, but are ultimately plausible. Technology today would look like magic to those from years past, and so the technology of the future might seem incredible to us now.

Good science fiction brings up not only these possibilities, but the questions that would show up alongside the possibilities. The nature of these questions can be ethical, social, psychological, philosophical, or just technical. Halfway asks: What happens if you spend too much time in the "in-between" when making a faster-than-light jump?

Halfway answers: "Aliens show up and you shoot them a lot."

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If you ever get to play Upsilon Circuit, the world will be watching photo
If you ever get to play Upsilon Circuit, the world will be watching
by Jordan Devore

At PAX Prime, I got my first and what could be only opportunity to try Upsilon Circuit.

You see, once it goes live, eight people will be able to play at any given time. That's eight people, total. And the "permadeath" here is actually permanent. You lose? Your turn is done.

While everyone else watches, waiting for their coveted chance in the spotlight to hack away at monsters and explore, they can directly influence the direction the game takes. The audience has control to, say, spec out players' skill trees, or spawn a deadly trap.

Legend of Dungeon creator Robot Loves Kitty is billing this as part online game show, part action-RPG. At PAX, I saw more of the latter than the former, but Upsilon Circuit's Max Headroom-esque digital host Ronny Raygon was set up on a nearby television to talk smack to attendees. He got into an argument with some kid about whose glasses were cooler.

Before you ask who would pay for something like this -- for a chance, maybe, to play once -- know that it's going to be free. In speaking with Robot Loves Kitty's Alix Stolzer, it sounds as if a large part of the monetization will be geared toward trolls or audience members who otherwise want to screw over the player characters, not help out. I told her that was a good idea.

It's still early days for Upsilon Circuit and there are a lot of unknowns, but what was shown at PAX gave me confidence in this somewhat crazy, definitely ambitious project. If the game catches on and finds a stable audience, it's going to be a fascinating experiment to take part in.

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3:30 PM on 09.03.2014

The Dark Phantom hits up Kickstarter for funding to complete game

The Dark Phantom is a neo-noir comic-book influenced third-person shooter about a man calling himself the "Dark Phantom" as he hunts down criminals across the city. Sound familiar? The Dark Phantom is reminiscent of Rorschac...

Brittany Vincent

10:30 AM on 09.03.2014

Warlocks takes its cooperative fantasy brawling to Kickstarter

Risk of Rain was pretty cool, so anything that reminds me of that catches my attention. Warlocks looks to have a similar feel in some ways, bringing frantic 2D battles to a fantasy world. I typically shy away from fantasy in...

Darren Nakamura

1:30 PM on 09.02.2014

X-ray hands and digital immortality in Soul Axiom

The idea of replicating human consciousness within a computer program has fascinated me since I was first introduced to the concept. Living on, existing only in cyberspace without the need for a meat body seems lik...

Rob Morrow

11:30 AM on 09.02.2014

Gang Beasts out on Steam, fight your friends like a drunk on skates

Gang Beasts is fun as heck. That's probably why Double Fine picked it up. And now you can pick it up as it's come to Steam on Early Access.  I played it for a good while last week. Laughs and cries of exaltation we...

Steven Hansen

7:00 PM on 08.31.2014

Italian indie title The Town of Light is haunting

Italian independent game studio LKA.it's Greenlit project The Town of Light is described as a first-person psychological adventure that is set in a notorious former psychiatric hospital. Part historical documentary...

Rob Morrow



Fire watch with me: Firewatch gets first, mysterious trailer photo
Fire watch with me: Firewatch gets first, mysterious trailer
by Steven Hansen

I am into this. It's a bit inscrutable, sure, but a mystery game needs to be mysterious. I was into Firewatch as soon as I heard of the talent involved. Artist Olly Moss, whose work we enjoy regularly, along with Mark of the Ninja designer Nels Anderson, and season one The Walking Dead writers and designers Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin. 

You are alone in the Wyoming wilderness, save for the voice on the other side of your radio. And clearly there's some impropriety going on between Henry and his supervisor Delilah. Also, stuff spookier still. 

There are a few more screenshots on Campo Santo's Firewatch website. The game is aiming for a 2015 PC, Mac, and Linux release. I'm pretty okay going in knowing not much more than we do now.

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2:30 PM on 08.30.2014

You've got 4 days to buy 35 games from GOG.com before they're gone

One of the assumptions of buying games digitally is that you assume they'll always be available. That's sadly not the case, but GOG.com is offering discounts on 35 games that it will be removing from its catalog on Septe...

Alasdair Duncan



Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging photo
Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging
by Steven Hansen

Costume Quest, like every Double Fine game, is charming. It's a fresh-feeling, low stakes take on the JRPG genre, more Earthbound than Final Fantasy. Though, as Chad put it in his review, it's "RPG Lite," accessible for all ages.  

Double Fine doesn't want to sacrifice that, but does want to make Costume Quest 2's combat a bit more engaging. I was engaged with Paper Mario (or Final Fantasy VIII) style timed button presses that help your attacks do a bit more damage. Similarly, a well timed tap on defense will reduce the damage you take. This engagement, though, make things a bit easier so long as you can hit those button presses. 

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I have a feeling Massive Chalice is going to be great photo
I have a feeling Massive Chalice is going to be great
by Steven Hansen

We've heard little from Massive Chalice in the year and change since its successful crowdfunding campaign that took in over a million dollars following Double Fine's even more successful campaign for Broken Age.

Just like that, though (imagine I snapped my fingers), it exists. It is at PAX and playable if you're there. If you're not, the video below features Brad Muir walking you through the PAX demo. Third option: I played the dang thing myself last week and will tell you all about it. It is good. 

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