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5:00 PM on 03.16.2015

Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries is a dark reinvention of classic fairytale fiction

Over the last three years, Kickstarter has totally changed the game for many developers. With the option to crowdfund projects, cut out the middle-man (publishers), and communicate directly with fans to help create the game, ...

Alessandro Fillari

10:00 AM on 03.13.2015

Let Ashes of the Singularity change your notion of large-scale RTS

Real-time strategy titles often feel large-scale by design. There are a whole bunch of units on the battlefield, and the player's tasked with directing them all simultaneously. Even if there aren't that many actual parts in t...

Brett Makedonski

8:00 AM on 03.12.2015

Mortal Kombat X brings back some familiar faces for Story Mode

It's been less than a year since its reveal, and we're already rapidly approaching the release of Mortal Kombat X. After its predecessor essentially rebooted the franchise with a return to 2D-style combat, many fans got a new...

Alessandro Fillari

4:30 PM on 03.10.2015

Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC

Gunpoint ultimately had very little to do with guns. It was a smartly designed puzzler with an immensely satisfying core set of mechanics and witty dialogue. But the title never came into play; pointing guns at people always ...

Mike Cosimano

1:00 PM on 03.10.2015

3D Realms: Bombshell is the only one who could kick Duke Nukem's ass

3D Realms is keenly aware of what players know it for. Sure, there are plenty of titles in the publisher's history that should stand out, but for all intents and purposes, the company might as well re-name itself The Duke Nuk...

Brett Makedonski

5:30 PM on 03.09.2015

Windows 10 makes it even easier for gameplay videos to go viral

The latest generation in gaming has brought with it an emphasis on sharing. Screenshots and gameplay videos can be relatively easily captured and uploaded for anyone's audience to see. It's a smart way to drive interaction --...

Brett Makedonski

5:00 PM on 03.09.2015

Firewatch has topless teens, meaty hands, and mystery

I've been firewatching out for Campo Santo's new 'exploration mystery' since hearing about the talent behind it. Artist Olly Moss, Mark of the Ninja designer Nels Anderson, and season one The Walking Dead ...

Steven Hansen

4:00 PM on 03.09.2015

Hands-on with Cuphead: Equal parts charming and challenging

Cuphead has existed in a state of unreality to me since its E3 reveal. Despite seeing footage of the game, it remained in my mind a concept. One that I was in love with, mind. 1930s style animation. A character whose head is ...

Steven Hansen

10:30 AM on 03.06.2015

Soul Axiom is a cross between Journey and Tron

Everything you could say about Soul Axiom feels reductive. It looks like Journey mixed with Tron, except when it looks like Tron mixed with Tron. It’s a puzzler that evokes The Ta...

Mike Cosimano

8:00 PM on 03.05.2015

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection shines in some spots, has problems in others

Traditionally, Game Developers Conference is a very busy show. After what seems like a three-month hibernation, the game industry slowly creaks back awake and GDC is the first time everything's in full gear again. As always, ...

Brett Makedonski

6:00 PM on 03.05.2015

Dyscourse is a survival game that's light on survival

Owchemy Labs’ Alex Schwartz is one of the bravest men I know. In the midst of GDC, perhaps the most inside baseball-heavy of all conventions, he told a member of the press that Dyscourse was a "survival game." Of c...

Mike Cosimano

5:30 PM on 03.05.2015

Volume is a more thoughtful approach to Metal Gear Solid VR Mission-like stealth

Volume is a fitting name for a polygonal, Metal Gear Solid VR Missions-looking stealth game with enough rectangles to feed a geometry class for the entire year. In the case of Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone follow-up, howeve...

Steven Hansen

11:00 AM on 03.04.2015

Smash Bros. dev bringing blocky puzzler BOXBOY! to 3DS

HAL Laboratories (Super Smash Bros., Mother) has been busying itself with a couple Kirby games recently, but it looks like someone over there had an idea for a lil puzzle game and rolled with it. BOXBOY! (already released on...

Steven Hansen

6:15 PM on 03.03.2015

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide goes all in with hectic co-op action

I've long been an admirer of the Warhammer franchise. While a lot of people seem to put more of their attention towards the 40K universe, the high-fantasy setting of the former is so rich and features such...

Alessandro Fillari

8:30 PM on 03.02.2015

The Flock is an intense, scary game of flashlight tag

With so many horror titles out, it's difficult to keep things interesting for players. While some focus on throwing countless monsters at you, others seek to make players feel nearly powerless against a limited number of foes...

Alessandro Fillari

6:30 PM on 03.02.2015

Megaton Rainfall is superhero action on an epic scale

Last month, we got a tease from an upcoming indie action title that will put players in the role of a superhero during an alien invasion. The trailer certainly inspired a lot of interest, as it was more somber and earnest, no...

Alessandro Fillari

4:30 PM on 03.02.2015

Mushroom 11 is a very different game than we saw in 2014

We haven’t gotten a look at Untame’s Mushroom 11 since we gave it a Best of PAX East award in 2014. It captured our hearts at the Boston show, with its approach to kinetic energy proving absolutely entrancing...

Brett Makedonski

3:00 AM on 05.29.2014

Armored Warfare is a videogame about armored warfare

Advanced Armored Warface Frame Fighter is the new tank game from Obsidian, which I guess means it plays a lot like Resident Evil 1-3, except that it's free-to-play and has a less good name. Armored Warfare is so vague yet st...

Steven Hansen

8:00 AM on 04.11.2014

A head in the poles: Project Totem is platforming fun

Press Play proved it can make a platformer with Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, but it wasn't meant to test your muscle memory and invite speed running. It was a colorful adventure with some charm and plenty of stopping for...

Steven Hansen



Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play photo
Preview: Armello combines board games, trading card games, strategy RPG play
by Dale North

I met League of Geeks' Trent Kusters at GDC a few weeks back. We just missed each other at Bitsummit just a week before, but I'm glad we were able to finally meet up as I would have missed seeing a really cool game. 

Kusters' elevator pitch: imagine a game that mixes Magic the Gathering and Final Fantasy Tactics...

I stopped him before he could finish and told him that this game sounds right up my alley. Like, right up my alley.

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To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC photo
To Leave is one of the neatest games I played during GDC
by Steven Hansen

GDC is full of neat games. There are sentai management sims. Body building cats. Hyper Light Drifter. But one of the neatest games I played during GDC is To Leave, which creative director Estefano Palacios says is the first indie game out of Ecuador. It's definitely the first one coming to PS4 and Vita. (Incidentally, check out the promoted cblog from last year, Gaming in Latin America).

Sony discovered the 12 person team's game as part of its Latin America, Incubation Program and has been "instrumental" in getting it exposure, flying Palacios out to GDC to rep the game, and technology, giving the team dev kits.

Palacios discovered me, hustling to take advantage of his good fortune, while I shambled, eyes glazed over, trying to remember where I was going and where I had been. I'm glad he did, because chatting with him and playing To Leave perked me right up.

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The Perils of Man brings an adventure across time to iOS photo
The Perils of Man brings an adventure across time to iOS
by Alessandro Fillari

The adventure genre has seen a bit of an upswing in recent times. With Telltale Games and Double Fine's recent efforts helping to revitalize the genre, a new generation of gamers are experiencing a type of game that was once relegated to a niche audience. The adventure genre has also proven to be a natural fit for the mobile space, which sees many ports and recreations of classic titles. But now, we've got brand new title to keep an eye on.

During this year's Game Developers Conference, I got the chance to check out an upcoming adventure title, The Perils of Man, from former LucasArts developer Bill Tiller, who worked on such classic titles as The Dig, Full Throttle, The Curse of Monkey Island, and A Vampyre Story. And this one seeks to recreate and renew the wonder from the genre's past.

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5:00 PM on 03.25.2014

Zombies Monsters Robots is ridiculous, cheesy, and so much fun

Hey you, what if I were to tell you about a free-to-play shooter that has you fighting against zombies. Not impressed? Well, I don't blame you. Zombies are kinda all over the place now. Fine, what about a free-to-play shooter...

Alessandro Fillari

11:00 AM on 03.25.2014

Obsidian's Armored Warfare takes a spin at the tank genre

Obsidian is probably the last company you'd expect to make anything like Armored Warfare, a free-to-play MMO tank shooter. It's certainly different than anything the company has brought us in the past, that's for sure. I got ...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved photo
Making multiplayer music in Fantasia: Music Evolved
by Dale North

Harmonix revealed a multiplayer mode for Fantasia: Music Evolved at GDC last week alongside some new songs and levels. I jumped in front of a Kinect sensor to try out the new mode, and it wasn't long before I was flapping my arms to the beat. 

Can't you hear that boom, badoom, boom, boom, badoom, boom, bass?

 

 

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Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing photo
Monochroma will remind you of Limbo, and that's an amazing thing
by Brett Makedonski

With all the cool tech demos and innovative ideas on display at GDC Play, it's a bit surprising that a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is one of the most worthwhile things to check out. But hey, good games are good games, and that's exactly what Monochroma look like it is.

At first glance, Monochroma invites comparisons to Limbo. Hell, executive producer Burak Tezateser said as much as soon as the demo started. For good reason too: the color scheme made up of hues of black and grey, the small boy protagonist, the unsettling environments -- it all positively smacks of the style popularized by Playdead. However, Monochroma has enough going on that it doesn't need to use these comparisons as a crutch.

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Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun photo
Clockwork Empires will make sure you make your own fun
by Brett Makedonski

You know those games where you're responsible for creating your own entertainment -- the sort that drop you into a world and hope that you're creative enough to craft your own experience? They're usually pretty hit or miss. That's more or less what Gaslamp Games is doing with Clockwork Empires, but the developers are taking away this element of chance by ensuring that whatever scenario arises will be entertaining as all hell.

Clockwork Empires is a sandbox colony builder in a Victorian England setting. But, just because you have the theoretical ability to build an empire, doesn't mean it'll actually happen. Rather than assign tasks to the citizens of your township, you can only sort of suggest jobs for them to do. Most of the time they'll go and harvest resources or whatnot, but if they're feeling particularly uppity, they may just mope about.

That's why it's paramount that you keep those little buggers happy. You're responsible for keeping them fed, giving them shelter, and (most interestingly) balancing any social issues that come about. For instance, if two members from different social classes marry, it'll anger some of the townspeople. It may seem backwards now, but it was very much a real issue in the period the game takes place in.

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Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing photo
Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing
by Dale North

Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the lines at their GDC floor booth yesterday, every one of those developers had someone in line to try it out. 

We finally got our faces in the headset late last night to try out the new demos that Sony prepared for the show. We were surprised to find that Project Morpheus is already on a level playing field with Oculus Rift, and even shows it up in some places.  

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Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses photo
Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Along with Push Me Pull You, I got to finally see what Musclecat Showdown was all about. And. It. Was. Glorious.

You and another muscle bound cat have to strike your owners requested poses, and the person that's able to do them the best wins. The only controls are with the analog sticks on a controller, with each stick representing your cats glorious arms. That's it, that's the entire concept. Super simple, and super fun. Essentially think Pokemon, but instead of fighting, you're posing.

The main draw here is the lovely visual style, which was created by Adventure Time and Bee and PuppyCat artist Natasha Allegri. Here's some snippets of gameplay for you to get a better sense of what the game is all about.

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Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF photo
Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Last night I got to play a round of Push Me Pull You during the Venus Patrol party here in San Francisco. It was, without a doubt, the weirdest and best time I've had with a videogame in a long time. 

So here's the basic premise. You and a partner each control one end of the "sports-monster," a conjoined humanoid Catdog like person. You're going up against two other players in control of the same thing, and to win you need to keep control of a ball on your side of the court the longest for multiple rounds. You're able to shrink or increase the length of your body as needed, and you'll be adjusting sizes a lot as you vie for control. 

It's such a ridiculous concept, and it's a little bit disturbing too. It's essentially a f*cked up version of the Tron light cycle battles, expect here you're naked man monsters getting entangled as each team tries to wrap up their entire being around a ball. Videogames are just the greatest. 

I wasn't able to capture any video, but there are these animated gifs that can give you some insight to the gameplay over on Push Me Pull You's website

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Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift photo
Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift
by Steven Hansen

The sensory deprivation the Oculus Rift provides is great for immersion. And immersion is great for moody, atmospheric, scary games like Grave. Though there is a non Rift version coming, so if you haven't sold your eye souls to virtual reality, don't stop reading yet.  

I'm very glad I've put my face in several strange contraptions, including Rifts, this week and I still have my eyes. Someone is going to get their eyes stolen soon.

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Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game photo
Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game
by Steven Hansen

Borne out of Double Fine's yearly Amnesia Fortnight game jam, Hack 'N' Slash (as well as Spacebase DF-9) is getting a full release this summer. The top down action adventure game may look like a Legend of Zelda clone, but that's intentional, because the actual mechanics are different. And weird. 

You actually hack the game, rewriting bits of its code and changing values in real time to affect how you interact with these iconic mechanics. I feel a little dumb and intimidated, too, don't worry.

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Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst photo
Nero: First-person visual novel is part Journey, part Myst
by Dale North

Imagine the exploratory experience of Journey, the first-person puzzle solving of Myst, and the look of the world of Avatar, all mixed together in one new game. That's how Storm in a Teacup's Executive Producer, Alberto Belli, describes their upcoming title, Nero.

They call it a visual novel, though it's nothing like the Japanese text-based titles you might imagine from that label.

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Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350 photo
Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 pre-orders open today, priced at $350
by Dale North

As of this morning at 8 a.m. PST, pre-orders are open for the Oculus Rift development kit 2 (DK2). They're priced at $350, and will ship beginning in July of this year. Oculus tells Destructoid that the kits will be shipped on a first come, first serve basis, so you'd better get that order in now if you're wanting to get yours in July. 

For that $350 you're getting the newest Rift, one that benefits from all the work they've put in since the Kickstarter days of the platform. This kit features OLED displays running at 960 x 1080 per eye, supported by internal tracking that runs at 1,000 Hz and positional tracking that has seen upgrades since the last time we've seen it, which wasn't even that long ago. Oh, and the camera that does the positional tracking -- that comes with the kit, too. 

Oculus were nice enough to give us a sneak peek of DK2 yesterday, so read on for our impressions of the new kit. 

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Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement photo
Sentai studio sim Chroma Squad could be my XCOM replacement
by Steven Hansen

I played a lot of XCOM last year, between running through Enemy Unknown late and Enemy Within. The blend of on the ground, turn-based combat and back home base management simulation hooked me.

Chroma Squad is basically that. Except you're directing a Sentai with actors in colorful spandex dancing around lots of explosions and turtle and plant monsters.

It's pretty great.

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Pig Eat Ball made my butt rumble photo
Pig Eat Ball made my butt rumble
by Brett Makedonski

"Have you guys played the butt rumble game yet?" That's what Dale North and I were asked by a conversational colleague at IGN's indie game mixer last night. The confused looks on our faces probably served as a blatant tell, as he followed his question with "Oh man, you guys gotta play the butt rumble game. Let's go!"

And we did. And our butts rumbled. And the night was exponentially better as a result.

The butt rumble game, or Pig Eat Ball as I'm sure the developers would be more keen on it being called, acted as an experimental competitive multiplayer experience last night. Four players sat down on vibrating pads and partook in round after round of party games. There were plenty of objectives -- from eating tennis balls to making "sammiches" -- but the intention of everyone seemed to be attacking another player causing them to lose progress, and more importantly, causing their butt to rumble.

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Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is an insanely cute platformer photo
Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is an insanely cute platformer
by Brett Makedonski

No, Steven, it's not an octopus kitten; it's just an octopus. But, it's a super adorable octopus that may have some kitten-like properties, and more importantly, it's the protagonist of Airscape: The Fall of Gravity.

Airscape is an action platformer that, as the name implies, has a lot to do with gravity. It's the central theme of the game, as each level rotates and pulls the octopus in such a way as to add a bit of uncertainty to the standard platforming mechanics. It takes some getting used to in order to figure out exactly what Airscape will and won't let you do, but once acclimated, it feels mostly natural.

What doesn't necessarily feel natural is the way that the camera swings around with the pull of gravity. It's somewhat disorienting at times to keep track of what direction you were heading. This is especially true in the levels that seem more non-linear, as Airscape looks as if it'll feature a combination of straight-forward and open-ended levels.

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Barkley 2 developers hope to release in late 2014 photo
Barkley 2 developers hope to release in late 2014
by Alessandro Fillari

It's not often that you see fan games actually go anywhere beyond the initial gimmick. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers at Tales of Games spent the last year and a half hard at work creating the sequel to their cult hit, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden. The announcement of Barkley 2 took many by surprise, especially coming from such humble beginnings. Speaking with Liam Raum, President of Tales of Games, he spoke honestly about how the development has progressed, and why they chose to switch things up for more action oriented gameplay.

At GDC's Indie Mega Booth, Tales of Games, along with several other developers, showed off a playable build of their title. While Barkley 2 is a sequel, this title also works as a stand alone game. Because of this, the developers wanted to make something that set itself apart from the original. "The concept of Barkley 2 actually predated the original game. We always wanted to make a game in this fashion," Liam Raum said. This time around, players take on the role of an amnesiac Cyborg by the name of X114JAM9, who must explore the Cyberpocalyptic Wasteland in search of answers about his past.

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Smaller is better: Hands-on with the 7-inch Wikipad photo
Smaller is better: Hands-on with the 7-inch Wikipad
by Dale North

We met with the Wikipad folks during GDC last week to get our hands and eyes on the newly shrunken Wikipad, coming down from the original 10-inch size to a more manageable (and more affordable) 7-inch version. At 10-inches, this dedicated gaming tablet was attractive, but its price ($499) and size made it less of a real portable gaming device and more of an in-home gaming luxury. You can ask Sweet Brown what I think about that. 

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GDC: Injustice has a Challenge Tower and quicker patching photo
GDC: Injustice has a Challenge Tower and quicker patching
by Abel Girmay

So close, yet so far away! Injustice: Gods Among Us is one my most-awaited games this year. With just a few weeks left until release, Warner Bros. and NetherRealm invited us for one more look at the game's last bells and whistles.

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