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The Witness photo
The Witness

The Witness is already almost outselling Braid's entire first year


I hope Blow can afford piss breaks now
Jan 31
// Joe Parlock
After being in development since what feels like the dawn of humanity, Jonathan Blow’s The Witness is doing pretty dang well for itself. Not only did it get almost universal critical praise (nabbing a 10/10 in Destructo...

Pro Tips: American Truck Simulator

Jan 30 // Patrick Hancock
Always remember to use your blinker 100 feet before turning. When driving down a steep downgrade hill, you should shift into a lower gear than one you would use to go up the same grade. You can avoid highway hypnosis by not focusing on a single object for more than two seconds. Remember to turn off your high beams when you are within 500 feet of another vehicle. Good drivers, according to the California manual, look ahead 12 to 15 seconds. This could be up to a quarter mile at highway speeds! On wet roads, reduce speed by one-third. Because we all know how much it rains in California. When backing up, turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction you want to move.  To go along with that, always back in as straight as possible. Correct the wheel as soon as drift starts to occur. Pull forward to make corrections when needed. Stopping distance = perception distance + reaction distance + braking distance. When well below the speed limit on a highway, turn on your hazard lights to warn vehicles behind you.
Truck Sim Tipz photo
Be a lean, mean, money-making machine
There are a lot of dangers out there on the road and a lot of things to keep in mind if you're going to carry cargo across state lines in the United States of America. I mean, they don't force drivers to take CDL tests for nothing!  So, being the helpful guy I am, I've decided to lay out some very important tips and tricks for anyone looking to perform well in American Truck Simulator.

Contest: Win a copy of Slain! and an Alienware Alpha!

Jan 30 // Mike Martin
[embed]336684:61996:0[/embed]
Contest photo
Freebies of a custom nature
Thanks to the amazing folks at Wolf Brew Games, Digerati Distribution, and Alienware, we have an awesome contest for you to enter. The prize? A hand-painted Alienware Alpha and a copy of Slain! (on its March 24 release). You can find the entry form, just below these words. If that isn't showing for you, please scroll down to the link below and enter there.

Stardew Valley photo
Stardew Valley

Harvest Moon-like Stardew Valley is out on February 26


Let's go live there
Jan 29
// Darren Nakamura
It seems like it's been forever since we last checked in on Stardew Valley, a pixel art farming life simulator/role-playing game that evokes memories of Harvest Moon in those fortunate enough to have played it in its prime (o...

Review: American Truck Simulator

Jan 29 // Patrick Hancock
American Truck Simulator (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: SCS SoftwarePublisher: SCS SoftwareRelease Date: February 3, 2016MSRP: $19.99  Euro Truck Simulator has quietly worked its way into the lives of many gamers over the years, myself included. I'm not sure why or when I thought I'd enjoy it, but I'm certainly glad the decision was made. These types of games are many things for many people; some enjoy the serenity, others enjoy the realism, and I'm sure there are those who turn their trucks into a replica of Darkside from Twisted Metal and ram into anything that crosses their path. For those veterans, American Truck Simulator is more of the same but in a new region. Calling it "American" seems a bit disingenuous at the moment, since players can only drive through California and Nevada. That's a lot of area to be sure, but hardly represents America. Many will envision a coast-to-coast trek from New York to Los Angeles, or traveling on Route 66 from state to state, but neither of these are possible at the moment. I say "at the moment" because, like Euro Truck Simulator before it, players should understand that they are buying into a platform. Nevada is technically free DLC at launch (and is included in this review), and the development team is working on Arizona as future free DLC as well. As of now there's no definitive DLC roadmap, but SCS Software has stated that "it will take us years to cover the continent," if it is financially viable. For newcomers to the series, or those simply curious as to how this is a real thing, here's the deal. Players assume the role of an American truck driver, making cargo deliveries in California and Nevada. Early on, taking jobs from various companies, using their trucks, is a steady income. As profit increases, players can afford their own trucks and even hire other drivers to carry out jobs. There are only two trucks available at the moment, which is a bit of a bummer. There are, of course, plans to add more, but as of now there are a Kentworth T 680 and a Peterbilt 579. There are variations of the two and plenty of  customization options, which help make them stand out more, but it's still only two models of truck at launch. Drivers will also gain experience and level up as deliveries are completed. Upon leveling, stat points can be distributed to categories like fuel economy, long-distance deliveries, and unlocking new types of cargo. As if making an expensive delivery wasn't nerve-wracking enough, think about delivering explosive or chemical cargo! Increasing these statistics will net the player higher rewards for completing assignments under those categories. The benefits are very detailed to the player, allowing them to make informed decisions when leveling up. While driving, it's important to remember the rules of the road. Running a red light will result in a fine (damn red light cameras), as will speeding. While Euro Truck Simulator utilized speed cameras, here in America things work a little differently. Cops are constantly on patrol, and if caught speeding near one, a fine will instantly be deducted. There's no car chase or even getting pulled over, just cop lights and sirens and $1,000 removed from your bank account. Along the way, players may need to stop for gas, rest, get weighed at weigh stations, or get repairs. These must be done at certain locations and have corresponding meters on the HUD. The biggest concern with these is the time invested, since each assignment has a window in which the recipient expects their items to be delivered in. Just a heads up: if you're driver starts yawning, stop at a rest station! The traffic AI seems to be vastly improved in American Truck Simulator. Cars will stop early at intersections, making those wide turns that much easier. They also rarely pull out in front of your giant truck barreling down on them, though I have had that happen once or twice. Hell, they'll even slow down if your blinker is on to let you move over! Well, sometimes. There are a few different control methods, ranging from very simple to complex. Steering can be done with the keyboard or mouse, and of course the game supports both console and steering wheel controllers. I found myself most  comfortable with the Steam Controller and gyro controls. The biggest gap between the simple and the complex is changing gears manually, though even at its most complex it's not exactly a "hardcore" simulator. There's definitely a lot to manage, especially for me, but people who were looking for more depth in this entry won't find it here. Is it difficult? Well, it's as difficult as you want it to be. Making the controls complex is an easy way to make the game more engaging. Personally, I think the most difficult aspect is parking. When delivering cargo there will be three options. The hardest option yields the most experience, and will ask players to pull some fancy backing up and maneuvering in order to place the trailer where it needs to go.  The second option is much more achievable, while the third option is to skip it entirely and earn no bonus experience. It's a great to be able to say "you know what? I really don't feel like parking this explosive gas tank right now." To help pass time, a good amount of radio stations are available to listen to while on the road, and it is also possible to input a personal music library by relocating some files on your computer. I enjoyed listening to some classic rock stations while "working." I must say, listening to Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" while driving a big rig at night into Las Vegas is something that will stick with me probably forever. That's in part due to the beautiful engine. The scenery is quite a change of pace compared to the European scenery, which helps make this feel like something fresh, despite the mechanical similarities. Cities are also fleshed out more and feel more "alive" than ever before. Google Maps has been used to help create a realistic recreation of the Golden State, so many areas will be immediately recognizable to those familiar with them. Yes, players will begin to see repeat storefronts over and over again, but it hardly detracts from the overall immersion. American Truck Simulator caters to a wide array of people. There's something to be said for the serenity of cruising down a highway at night and obeying all the traffic laws. It's also a great opportunity to enjoy some audiobooks or podcasts while somewhat-mindlessly growing a trucking enterprise.  Those looking for vast mechanical or design improvements in the series won't find them here. The map is relatively small, considering the size of America, but the tradeoff is worth it: the scenery is fresh, accurate, and varied, while cities feel much more realistic. With two trucks and two included states, and another one on its way, American Truck Simulator is an investment into the series' future, but it's not a steep one and easily earns its value with what is already presented. So, while it may not be possible to go from Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma, it is possible to go from Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down. And that's just fine. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] 
American Truck Sim Review photo
California love
I live in New Jersey, so I think I know a thing or two about California. After all, I've listened to plenty of N.W.A. and Tupac, plus I've seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Oh, and I've been to California a whole lot to visit my brother and for that one E3 I attended. Does this make me an expert? Yes. Yes it does.

Sunless Sea photo
Sunless Sea

Sunless Sea celebrates submarines with a free Steam weekend


Sorry, zubmarines
Jan 28
// Darren Nakamura
Sunless Sea is one of those games I wanted to check out last year but never got around to. I guess I should have, because it showed up on a couple of our personal game of the year lists. This weekend, I have even less of an e...
The Witness photo
The Witness

The Witness has no need for impatient players, and that's awesome


Blow won't hold your hand
Jan 27
// Chris Carter
I've been playing The Witness for the past day or so. Although I don't like it as much as Brett (yet, at least) I think it's pretty damn great, and if you even remotely like puzzle games you should get it -- it's like a modern day Myst. In this era of instant gratification I suspect a lot of people are going to be turned off by it, but for me, it couldn't have come at a better time.
Her Story 2 photo
Her Story 2

Another Her Story is in the works, but it's not a sequel


Her Story 2: The Streets, probably
Jan 25
// Brett Makedonski
Last year's full-motion video indie darling Her Story has more yarns to spin. They won't be tales you've already heard, though; the presentation is likely to be the same, but the content won't have any connection. Her St...
FNaF World pulled photo
FNaF World pulled

FNaF World pulled from Steam, refunds being made available for all


Full game will be free on GameJolt
Jan 25
// Nic Rowen
Following last Friday's apology that he rushed to publish FnaF World too early, creator Scott Cawthon has pulled the game from Steam. Unhappy with the quality of the title (despite positive fan reception), Cawthon is currentl...
Mighty No. 9th delay photo
Mighty No. 9th delay

Mighty No. 9 delayed (again)


'Spring 2016'
Jan 25
// Steven Hansen
Mighty No. 9 had a firm February 9 release date after a series of delays (the original Kickstarter estimate for delivery was April 2015) and then a recent promise that there'd be no more delays. Well, about that... A very hil...
News roundup photo
Also included: Kirby's penis
Another week, another wave of gaming news that’s almost impossible to keep up with! Last week we had dog poo, this week we have Jonathan Blow’s wee. I kind of hope that bodily waste doesn’t become a running ...

Contest: Croixleur Sigma (PS4)

Jan 25 // Mike Martin
 photo
Climb the tower for one of 10 copies
If Kyle's awesome write-up got you salivating, then do I have a treat for you! The awesome folks at Souvenir Circ. and Playism have given us 10 codes for Croixleur Sigma on PS4. Why? To gift to you lovelies, of course. What i...

The evolution of doujin brawler Croixleur

Jan 24 // Kyle MacGregor
To say Croixleur has come a long way since I first encountered the game three years ago would be a massive understatement. The original PC release, or at least the localized version boutique publisher Nyu Media released in January 2013, was light on content and rough around the edges. Inspired by Devil May Cry's Bloody Palace mode, the game initially starred the red-haired Lucrezia, a young noblewoman on a quest to fight her way through a gauntlet of arena battles known as the Adjuvant Trial. While the story was largely inconsequential, the experience of fighting my way up the Nitro Towers and racing against the clock (the story mode must be completed in fifteen minutes or less) was a downright enjoyable, arcadey romp -- and one hell of a challenge. While it certainly took me more (much more) than one attempt to successfully complete the main campaign, once I did, I discovered there wasn't much else to the game other than bonus modes, like score attack and survival, to flesh out the package. It left something to be desired. [embed]336428:61974:0[/embed] That situation improved when Souvenir Circ. debuted the initial version of Croixleur Sigma at Comiket 85, introducing a new playable character, more weapons, a second story mode, two-player co-op, a new challenge mode, voice acting, online leaderboards, and mild visual upgrades. Don't get me wrong, it was (and still is) a simplistic game, but that extra content went a long way toward making Croixleur feel less like a severed bonus mode and more like its own game. The recent PlayStation 4 and forthcoming PlayStation Vita versions improve the experience even more, though, giving the game a dramatic facelift, both in terms of content and visuals. Souvenir Circ. went back and gave the game a completely fresh lick of paint, adding shine and detail to what was once a dull-looking game. Lucrezia and friends certainly clean up nicely. Speaking of those friends, the PlayStation version also includes a pair of new faces, both of which come with 30-minute campaigns that make the original game feel like a cakewalk. Between those and the new 50-floor dungeon mode, the game is definitely no longer hurting for content. And on top of that, there's a myriad of useful new equipment to collect, incentivizing repeat playthroughs. Pulling up the original game and playing it side by side with the new PlayStation release, it's nice to see how far Croixleur has come over the years. And I'm happy to have been along for the ride.
Doujin Dojo photo
From Alpha to Sigma
Doujin Dojo is a sporadic column dedicated to spotlighting independent games from Japan and the people that make them. In the years I've been following Comiket, Japan's biannual indie media festival, one thing ...

Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

The masters of Rhythm Platformer design on the art of controlled chaos


Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!
Jan 24
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Recently on Sup Holmes, we...
Dankest Dungeon photo
Dankest Dungeon

Want to hear the narrator for Darkest Dungeon say 'Dankest Dungeon?'


I do, but I'm a child
Jan 24
// Nic Rowen
I've been playing a lot of Darkest Dungeon, and it's been a tense experience. It's a merciless game about horror, stress, and the frailty of humanity. A great deal of the grim tone is established by the grave intonations of i...
Wandersong photo
Wandersong

One more Sup Holmes with feeling, starring Wandersong's Greg Lobanov


Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!
Jan 24
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] [Update: Show's over folks...
Lost in Harmony photo
Lost in Harmony

Here's a snippet of that Wyclef Jean song from Lost in Harmony


Out on iOS today
Jan 22
// Darren Nakamura
Yoan Fanise (Valiant Hearts: The Great War) broke from Ubisoft last year to form Digixart Entertainment, and the studio's first game is out on iOS devices today. Lost in Harmony looks like a decent rhythm game/Battletoads bik...
FNAF World photo
FNAF World

Scott Cawthon admits he released FNaF World too early


Is now working on finishing the game
Jan 22
// Joe Parlock
FNAF World -- the JRPG spinoff that is currently intended to be the final chapter in the Five Nights at Freddy’s series -- was initially announced to be released on February 19. However, developer Scott Cawthon decided ...
Unbox photo
Unbox

The Katamari-like Unbox is coming to consoles


PC, PS4, and Xbox One
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
In the far, far future, the postal service has developed self-delivering cardboard boxes. Wait, that's just the premise for Unbox. Developer Prospect Games has announced that in addition to PC later this year, the game is als...
Updatetale photo
Updatetale

Undertale adds mysterious new content in latest update


New dialogue and other changes
Jan 22
// Jed Whitaker
Undertale has received an update which adds new content and dialogue, even though the patch was said to only "fix bugs and increase compatibility."  Since I've yet to play it, it is hard to discern what is and ...
Lovers photo
Lovers

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime hitting PS4 on February 9


Spreading the love
Jan 21
// Darren Nakamura
Released on Steam and Xbox One in September last year, I had already assumed Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was on PlayStation 4 as well. It turns out it wasn't, but it will be soon. Announced today via the snazzy YouTube vi...
Prison Architect console photo
Prison Architect console

Prison Architect heading to PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One


Time to jailbreak your console
Jan 20
// Darren Nakamura
After a long stint in Early Access, Prison Architect finally saw its full PC release late last year. Wasting little time, developer Double Eleven is now porting it to consoles. It should release in spring on PlayStation 4, Xb...
Slain photo
Slain

Slain delayed again, has a sweet new headbanging GIF


Take the good with the bad
Jan 19
// Brett Makedonski
Good things come to those who wait. This quote extols the importance of patience. We've been taught our entire lives to be patient people, to just wait a little longer for what we want. It'll be worth it. Hopefully that's tru...
Consortium: The Tower photo
Consortium: The Tower

'Deus Ex combined with Die Hard' is probably a stretch, Consortium


Sci-fi talkie mystery hopes for sequel
Jan 19
// Steven Hansen
Consortium is back with a Kickstarter campaign for Consortium: The Tower, a follow up to the 2014 original. In my review I said, "It's a little rough -- with the most recent patch, I didn't experience any bugs, though some...
Knuckle Sandwich photo
Knuckle Sandwich

Knuckle Sandwich is another peculiar RPG


Keep 'em coming
Jan 18
// Jordan Devore
I could have sworn one of us had already touched on Knuckle Sandwich, but I guess not. This latest teaser is as fine of time as any to introduce the surreal role-playing game and its prominent noses. The story, at least initially, has to do with a cult and missing people. Could the two be connected? Playing as a dude who is bored to tears of his new job at the diner, it's on you to investigate.
Janitorial adventure photo
Janitorial adventure

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is nice and odd


A clean spaceport is a happy spaceport
Jan 18
// Jordan Devore
My eyes are feeling melty this tired Monday afternoon, but Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor perked me right up with its striking colors and eclectic style. What a curious game. This is an "anti-adventure," one that's centered o...
The Witness photo
The Witness

The Witness is coming to Xbox One too, according to the ESRB


Due next week on PC and PS4
Jan 18
// Chris Carter
Development for The Witness began back in 2008, and now, we're finally going to see the game in action next week when it launches on PC and PS4. But wait! According to the ESRB, it's coming out on Xbox One as well at some poi...
Frogs photo
Frogs

Beautiful Frog is a game about life as a frog


Rrrrrribbit
Jan 18
// Joe Parlock
Monday mornings are one of the least active times in gaming. Seriously, nothing ever happens on a Monday morning. So instead, kick off your week with Beautiful Frog, a cute choose-your-own-adventure game by developer Por...

Review: Jotun

Jan 17 // Jed Whitaker
Jotun (PC)Developer: Thunder Lotus GamesPublisher: Thunder Lotus GamesMSRP: $14.99Release Date: September 29, 2015 Thora just died an inglorious death and she must now prove herself by battling jotun, giant elementals based on Norse mythology, to enter Valhalla. Along her adventure, players will learn the story of Thora's life, all spoken beautifully in her native tongue with subtitles. Easily one of the strongest and well done female characters I've encountered in a long time, Thora isn't rail-thin, sexualized, or disrespectful of her foes as she cuts them down.  Each level consists of three sections, two of which can be entered and exited at will. These sections each contain a rune that when collected opens up a third area where you'll be battling the jotun. If you're hoping to slay tons of enemies in each level, you may be disappointed, as Jotun focuses on the journey and atmosphere, rather than combat. Most of the time you'll be checking your map and exploring to discover statutes that confer the powers of the gods, health upgrades, and, of course, runes. [embed]333479:61894:0[/embed] A lack of combat isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the levels are drawn beautifully and are well designed. Also, Jotun has some of the best sound design I've heard in an indie game in some time; you'll hear birds chirping, branches crackling, and snow blowing, all while a beautifully-orchestrated soundtrack plays in the background. More so than any other game I've palyed, this attention to detail makes for an atmosphere that sells the "journeying through purgatory all by your lonesome" aesthetic.  If you're hungry for a fight, don't fret, as each level ends with a battle of a gigantic jotun. Jotuns are so large the camera has to pan to the point Thora looks like an ant by comparison. While each battle consists of chopping away at the feet of each jotun with your trusty axe, they all feel different enough to stay fresh. That said, the strategy for taking on each jotun is similar: avoid attacks, look for an opening, attack, rinse, lather, repeat. As there are only six jotun in total to conquer, the formula never gets stale.  Battling these gigantic foes are easily the best part of the game, as each one is hand drawn with an animation style reminiscent of Don Bluth's work from Dragon's Lair. The jotun are as beautiful as they are terrifying.  The difficulty scales well throughout the adventure, as the levels leading up to boss battles ensure each of the game's mechanics is understood and well utilized. The first level requires players to use heavy attacks to bushwhack through a forest level, a skill that is later required to defeat that stage's jotun battle. Another area involves climbing a gigantic tree while a huge bird periodically swoops down at Thora, requiring players to time dodge rolls, which of course is used in the ensuing battle with another jotun.  If you're looking for something laid back, beautifully drawn, and well orchestrated with some intense, but not overly difficult, boss battles, then Jotun is easy to recommend. It's a magical ride that I'm sure I'll revisit from time to time in the future. Even though the whole experience only lasts just over five hours, it is five solid hours. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] Tharsis (PC [reviewed], PS4)Developer: Choice ProvisionsPublisher: Choice ProvisionsMSRP: 14.99Release Date: January 12, 2016
Review: Jotun photo
The opposite of a foot fetish
The response to my review of Freedom Planet was pretty positive, as was the suggestion that I'd be reviewing some older Steam games we may have looked over, so here we are. Jotun slipped us by here at Destructoid when it released late last year, but I'm here to remedy that. This is little game with big heart, big style, even bigger enemies, and strong female lead to boot.

Rocket League crowns photo
Rocket League crowns

Rocket League competitive season ending, ranked players will get crowns


Also adding RNG loot
Jan 15
// Darren Nakamura
The next update for my #2 game of 2015 Rocket League is due out next month. With it comes the end of the first season of competitive play, and the better players will net some snazzy bling to show off during season two and be...

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