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4:00 PM on 12.19.2014

Review: Kalimba

Games built around co-op have always had a place in my life. When I was younger, I had a lot of friends who were gamers, which made it easy to pick up and play multiplayer titles. As I grew up, I attended college, met more ga...

Chris Carter


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Mistwalker Announces Upcoming Terra Battle Concert

Terra Battle concert planning is now underway as the popular mobile-RPG surpasses 1 million downloads in less than a month. For more information on upcoming milestones and recently unlocked milestones, please visit Terra Battle's Download Starter.




10:30 AM on 12.11.2014

The Talos Principle is out on Steam today, here's a launch trailer

Croteam's sharp departure from running and gunning The Talos Principle is out on Steam today. I think it is great, and I am not alone. It is probably the best puzzle game to come out this year, and it is certainly the game t...

Darren Nakamura

1:30 PM on 12.08.2014

The Witness is coming 'not that late in 2015, hopefully' and looks great

Playing a puzzle game in front of a developer is a nerve-racking experience, let me tell you. At some point, your brain will betray you. You'll get stuck. And since the game is still being made, the developer won't want to p...

Jordan Devore



Review: The Talos Principle photo
Review: The Talos Principle
by Darren Nakamura

While playing The Talos Principle, much of my time was spent sitting at my desk, chin in hand, deep in thought. I can only imagine the puzzled look on my face as I considered options, ran scenarios in my head, and generally did a lot more thinking than most games ask of players.

The Talos Principle consists of two largely separate interactions: physics-based puzzles and philosophical discussion. The real strength of the title is that while each could reasonably exist without the other, both elicit the above response in equal measure. The demand that the player really think is the thread that ties the whole game together.

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11:30 AM on 12.01.2014

Get a better look at Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's bonus levels

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is coming soon! Although we aren't 100% on what the amiibo content will be, we do know what some of the secret levels are, and the Nintendo Minute is back to give you a heads-up, with a new vid...

Chris Carter



Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker photo
Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
by Chris Carter

From the moment I played the Captain Toad minigame in Super Mario 3D World, I thought to myself "this would make a great downloadable title." It seems as if Nintendo can hear my thoughts, because it did just that.

Priced at a budget level, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a natural expansion from the levels found in World, with more complex concepts and that same beautiful art style. It may not be enough to warrant full price for some, but for those seeking more Toad, it delivers.

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4:30 PM on 11.24.2014

Need something free to pass the time? 0h h1 is sort of like binary sudoku

I have always been an unapologetic fan of Minesweeper. I have been playing it for longer than any other single game, and I will be playing it as long as I can imagine. It never changes in any fundamental way, but it always wo...

Darren Nakamura



Review: Sneaky Sneaky photo
Review: Sneaky Sneaky
by Darren Nakamura

Stealth is a tricky game mechanic to pull off well. If it is too slow it can be dull, but if it is too fast it is more action than stealth. If it is too predictable it becomes mundane, but if it is too random it requires more reaction than planning. If it is too strict it can be frustrating, but if it is too forgiving then it lacks tension.

Sneaky Sneaky is all of the above. At times, it hits all the right notes, providing smart, satisfying stealth puzzles. At others, it is an unfair slog through rooms built around ideas that add variety in theory but are not any fun in practice. In the end, Sneaky Sneaky has some redeeming qualities, but it is just as easily passed on.

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10:00 AM on 11.19.2014

The Jackbox Party Pack looks like it'll be fun with friends over

Jackbox Games (formerly Jellyvision Games) was responsible for my favorite quizshow videogame of all time -- You Don't Know Jack -- so I'm always anxious to see what they can do in the current era. Recently they've ...

Chris Carter



Review: Never Alone photo
Review: Never Alone
by Brett Makedonski

A cursory glance at Upper One Games' Never Alone, while sure to impress, won't do it justice. Its appeal is obvious, but its intention is buried shallow under a light dusting of snow. But, it's that intention that transcends Never Alone from another gorgeous 2D platformer to a game of great importance.

Never Alone is the rare example of a title that aims to bring culture to its audience without forcing it upon them. It skirts the oft-annoying "edutainment" category by being a game first and foremost, but is nevertheless adept at instilling a sense of curiosity about history and beliefs of the people on the screen. The execution is undeniably flawed at times, but not enough so as to undo what it strives for -- to teach, and to make that process enjoyable.

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The Talos Principle makes me feel smart and dumb photo
The Talos Principle makes me feel smart and dumb
by Darren Nakamura

Back at E3 2014, I got a brief chance to get my hands on The Talos Principle while talking to one of its writers Tom Jubert (FTL: Faster Than Light, The Swapper). In the presentation, Jubert explained the intended approach to discussing philosophy with the player, but I was only able to get through a few puzzles.

With its retail release scheduled in less than a month, I have had some more time to spend with Croteam's first-person puzzler. So far, it has made me think hard, both about the solutions to puzzles and its thoughts about sapience.

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9:00 PM on 11.11.2014

Screw with gravity in neat PS4 puzzle game Relativity

First-person puzzler Relativity is a PlayStation 4 game in which you can jump off the edge of the world, a floating platform, and land right back where you started. Or, presumably, you can keep falling continuously if that's ...

Jordan Devore



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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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

10:45 AM on 10.28.2014

Play free puzzler Transmission and maybe learn a little

At first, Transmission looks like a pretty standard Eulerian path-based puzzle game. That is not a bad thing; I was pretty hooked on Lyne for a while. But as Transmission progresses, it follows the history of electronic commu...

Darren Nakamura

4:30 PM on 10.14.2014

Ethereal is a puzzle platformer with pretty polished pixels

When developer Thomas Finch first showed bits of Ethereal, I almost wanted to share it simply because of how pretty it looked (especially in motion), but at the time, there was not a lot of other information to go on. It is ...

Darren Nakamura