hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Donut County is a feel-good physics toy with flashes of Katamari Damacy

May 26 // Jordan Devore
Creator Ben Esposito describes his game as a "whimsical physics toy," and that's apt. A racoon chucks donuts from an airship and also rides a scooter, sometimes. Objects and animals topple when you trip them (and you will trip them). Puzzles feel organic, not forced. [embed]292754:58669:0[/embed] Early on, you'll discover that consuming fire and corn will cause popcorn to shoot back out of the hole (which you can then eat, obviously). Later, nabbing two rabbits results in lil babies spilling out of the pit. Another level involves interrupting an ant picnic with fireworks. The more I played, the more I didn't want to stop. The hungry hole is one of those mechanics that instantly makes sense but never seems to lose its energy or appeal. It just feels right. I wish I could've beaten the whole game in one sitting, right then and there, but this was only a preview. Donut County wont be ready for PC, Mac, and iOS until later this year. I'll be waiting. [embed]292754:58668:0[/embed]
Donut County photo
Unwinding: The Video Game
In Katamari Damacy, you roll up stuff. Small stuff, to start. Then cars, ships, buildings, mountains and, eventually, entire worlds. In Donut County, you slide an insatiable hole around to help it eat anything it can fit inside its maw. The more the hole consumes, the bigger it becomes. Where does it end up? How big can the hole grow? I'm not sure. But damn do I want to find out.

PS4 horror photo
PS4 horror

We won't have to wait until Halloween for Until Dawn


Everyone can die
May 26
// Jordan Devore
Oh, hey, that's digital Peter Stormare! How eerily accurate. He's going to be in Until Dawn, the upcoming choice-driven survival horror game for PlayStation 4 in which pretty young people are stranded at a remote lodge with ...
Cyberpunk 2077 photo
Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt RED keeping quiet about Cyberpunk 2077 for a couple years


It's the Witcher's time to shine
May 26
// Jordan Devore
I last spoke about Cyberpunk 2077 over a year ago and noted that the game felt so far off, I couldn't even visualize it despite the cool, seedy, world-building promotional images and trailer. I'd say the project was announced...
Old Doom 4 photo
Old Doom 4

Doom 4 used to look nothing like Doom


So this is why it's taken so long
May 18
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of its full reveal next month, Bethesda let out a couple seconds of footage for the new Doom. It looks cool to the extent that a snippet like this can look cool. Also, crucially, the footage is evocative of the series. ...
Splatoon water gun photo
Splatoon water gun

Target's throwing in a squirt gun with Splatoon


#synergy
May 18
// Jordan Devore
So far, I've missed every single opportunity to try Splatoon. Folks who made an effort to participate in the time-restricted Global Test Fire demo have had encouraging things to say about the game, which has me simu...
Nintendo TV photo
Nintendo TV

That time Sharp built an NES into a television


Cool controllers
May 15
// Jordan Devore
A television set with a built-in Nintendo Entertainment System sounds like the sort of extravagant purchase I'd make if, as a youngster, I was nearly run over by a bad man and he handed me a blank check that I could then pro...
SEGA posters photo
SEGA posters

This Jet Set Radio print is unreal


Sega classics reimagined
May 15
// Jordan Devore
Nothing like a jolt of awesome art to wake you up on a sleepy Friday. Art dealer Cook & Becker has teamed up with Sega for a series of poster-sized prints based on some of our old favorites from Jet Set Radio to Phantasy ...
Square Enix @ E3 photo
Square Enix @ E3

Square Enix won't run up against Nintendo at E3


Damn straight
May 15
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo will hold its E3 2015 Digital Event at 9:00am Pacific on Tuesday, June 16. Square Enix had the exact same date and time in mind for its E3 2015 press conference. Uh, guys? Can we not? Thankfully, Square Enix budged. ...
Evoland 2 photo
Evoland 2

Evoland 2 is part shmup, part platformer, part RPG, part puzzler...


Cute little microcosm
May 14
// Jordan Devore
After watching this debut trailer for Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder, I regret missing the first game. The basic concept of an adventure that evolves from 2D to 3D and spans multiple genres is the s...
LEGO photo
LEGO

LEGO Jurassic World releases alongside the new movie on June 12


Walk the dinosaur
May 14
// Jordan Devore
Jurassic World opens on Friday, June 12. I'm skeptical, but I'll probably wind up seeing it anyway for the trained raptors. TT Games' LEGO Jurassic World, which spans the four films, releases the same day for all major conso...
Microsoft @ E3 photo
Microsoft @ E3

Yup, Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference is Monday, June 15


9:30am Pacific
May 14
// Jordan Devore
Who's ready for E3 2015? I'm sure not! As ever, Microsoft will hold its media briefing at 9:30am Pacific on Monday, June 15. We'll cover all of the news and weird moments to come out of the event but you can watch along with ...
Mario Virtual Console photo
Mario Virtual Console

New Super Mario Bros. returns on Wii U tomorrow


I'd like Elite Beat Agents, please
May 13
// Jordan Devore
In 2006, many of us were desperate for another 2D Mario game, and Nintendo finally came through with New Super Mario Bros. for the original DS. From what I remember, it was a good game. Perhaps not great, but certainly suffic...

Review: Action Henk

May 13 // Jordan Devore
Action Henk (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: RageSquidPublisher: RageSquidReleased: May 11, 2015MSRP: $14.99 Action Henk, who I desperately want to call Action Hank, is past his prime. He's a toy, and a middle-aged, beer-bellied one at that. If you played this game back when it was on Steam Early Access, you can dress him up as a certain ring-carrying blue hedgehog. More than just a fun nod, it fits. There are hints of Sonic the Hedgehog in how Henk builds up his speed, how he roars through loops, and also in the chipper, infectious music. But for as fast as Henk moves, and he is always moving (or you're messing up), it's not hard to follow him, and he doesn't get lost in the chaos. Ghosts are a big help in that regard. Even on your first time through a level, you can race alongside an AI ghost, allowing you to see precisely what it takes to achieve a bronze, silver, or gold medal before executing the winning strategy yourself. This cuts out a fair amount of guesswork and, as a result, unnecessary (see: cheap-feeling) failures. [embed]292039:58519:0[/embed] It's not just running across wooden blocks and vaulting over the (lava) floor of a messy kid's bedroom. Crucially, our aging action hero can slide down ramps to pick up extra speed. Knowing precisely when to start and stop sliding makes all the difference on the leaderboards, as those fractions of a second add up rapidly. It's hard to put into words how enjoyable the movement system is, so I'll just say this: some 70 levels later, it doesn't let up. I'm still digging it. Eventually, Henk comes across a Hookshot, though it's only usable in select levels. Which makes sense, given that the device demands bigger, more open-ended environments to accommodate its huge range. It fits in so well with the existing physics and feel of Action Henk. Flying off a ramp and firing the shot at the exact right moment to fling Henk directly forward is a never-ending joy. The way the device is introduced partway through the game led me to believe there might be more abilities or items later on but, sadly, there aren't. There are more characters to unlock, though. Stages are capped off with a head-to-head race against another toy -- beat them, and they'll join your side. By earning every gold medal for a stage, you'll unlock a coin collection level. These are more compact than the standard fare but they're also less linear. The challenge is primarily in figuring out the best possible route to grab every coin within the time limit. Clear these levels, and you'll earn a new character skin (including one reminiscent of Michael Jackson from "Thriller"). Even if I didn't have the goofy Sonic outfit for Henk, I probably would've stuck with him anyway. I found most of the other characters grotesque. Besides racing against AI and player ghosts, there's also a separate multiplayer mode complete with a chat room. Here, you're competing against other people in real time. You can redo the course as often as you'd like until you're satisfied with your score or the clock runs out. While it's the same old levels from single-player, there's a greater sense of urgency and competition. Finally, there's a level builder with Steam Workshop support. The editor is quick and intuitive to use thanks in large part to the simplicity of the user interface and building blocks. Just drag, drop, copy, and paste pieces onto the screen until you've cobbled together an obstacle course. It's that straightforward. Making something worth sharing will take more time, of course. Barring the final, post-credits set of levels -- which is absolutely brutal -- it shouldn't take more than a few hours to get through Action Henk with decent rankings. Although the game doesn't outstay its welcome, that can be difficult to appreciate. I was left wanting more, particularly in terms of level variety, but the essence of the game is great. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Action Henk review photo
Toy story
Going into Action Henk, a time-trial platforming game starring action figures, I expected to grow frustrated. I figured that once the training wheels came off, the challenge would rise to a point where perfection, or somethin...

Hotline level editor photo
Hotline level editor

We'll soon be able to make tiny levels in Hotline Miami 2


The level editor is almost ready
May 12
// Jordan Devore
One of the common complaints for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is its large levels. Were they too large? I didn't mind them. Sure, it felt bad to die from the last guy on the floor after pulling off a miraculous string of exe...
Last of Us standalone photo
Last of Us standalone

Standalone Last of Us: Left Behind out now for PS3, PS4


$9.99
May 12
// Jordan Devore
Naughty Dog has sliced apart The Last of Us. If you're curious to try Left Behind, the prequel story starring Ellie and her best bud Riley, you can now do that without committing to the larger story (or Factions multiplayer)....
Swery photo
Swery

Publishers think Swery's next game idea is 'perverted'


It sounds amazing
May 12
// Jordan Devore
I'd be perfectly content with a conclusion to Dark Dreams Don't Die, but Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro's idea for a new game sounds bizarre, original, and worth exploring. Here's how he described it in an interview with GameCentra...
The Black Glove photo
The Black Glove

Ex-Irrational developers shelve The Black Glove


So long, space minotaur
May 11
// Jordan Devore
Steven told us about The Black Glove, a surreal first-person game from former Irrational (BioShock) developers, a couple of times. That was several months ago. The Kickstarter didn't make it. Determined, the team at Day for N...
Yooka-Laylee snake photo
Yooka-Laylee snake

Yooka-Laylee has a shorts-wearing snake named Trowzer


Lovely
May 11
// Jordan Devore
You just knew someone in Yooka-Laylee was going to rock shorts. If not the titular chameleon and bat duo, then a side character, surely. Today, Playtonic Games gave us the goods. "Trowzer is a business-snake whose career neve...
Witcher 3 on Xbox One photo
Witcher 3 on Xbox One

The Witcher 3 looks decent enough on Xbox One


Our review goes up tomorrow morning
May 11
// Jordan Devore
On Xbox One, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt runs at 900p and 30 frames per second. On PlayStation 4, 1080p and 30 frames per second. On PC, uh... how much disposable income do you have? This official footage of the Xbox One versio...
Xbox One update photo
Xbox One update

You can now send voice messages on Xbox One


And, uh, listen to them too
May 11
// Jordan Devore
With today's Xbox One update, users can now send and receive audio messages -- and there's cross-platform support, meaning Xbox One folks can correspond with Xbox 360 people, and vice versa. If you're wondering what the holdu...
Towerfall Ascension photo
Towerfall Ascension

TowerFall Dark World has one hell of a trailer


Releasing this Tuesday for PS4
May 08
// Jordan Devore
More TowerFall Ascension news is good news. There isn't any word on the PlayStation Vita port other than that it's still happening -- comforting to hear, I suppose -- but there is a release date for the game's Dark World exp...
Killer Instinct photo
Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct's final Season 2 character is a CEO


Send in the drones
May 08
// Jordan Devore
Season 2 of Killer Instinct gave us a golem, a sorcerer, and a Japanese ghost, among other characters. Who's next? The CEO of UltraTech. ARIA may be an artificial intelligence, but that's not about to stop her from getting ph...
DMC4 Special Edition photo
DMC4 Special Edition

This Devil May Cry 4: SE footage of Vergil is hypnotic


He's learned some new tricks
May 08
// Jordan Devore
Got that summertime sadness? Not with Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, you don't. I mean, it's not out yet, but we're getting there. Here's Capcom demonstrating Vergil's moves in the revamped game for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. With Chrome, you can see the footage (which uses Special Edition's 20-percent-faster Turbo Mode) in all its 60FPS glory. Concentrate!
EA Access photo
EA Access

FIFA 15 now included in EA Access


NHL 15, too
May 08
// Jordan Devore
Electronic Arts' Xbox One game subscription service, EA Access, has added FIFA 15. Subscribers can play the full game and save 10 percent on Ultimate Team Points (be strong!). Good opportunity to link to that glitch where eve...
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine


#whip
May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
Carpe Fulgur photo
Carpe Fulgur

I've never seen anything like Carpe Fulgur's new project


This Starry Midnight We Make
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Carpe Fulgur introduced Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale to hundreds of thousands of players in the West and, last we had heard, was helping XSEED Games localize The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter. Now the ...
Wasteland 2 photo
Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2's Game of the Year Edition will be a free update on PC


Target individual body parts!
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Come this summer, you won't want need a PC to play Wasteland 2. inXile Entertainment is bringing its harsh post-apocalyptic role-playing game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with an expanded Game of the Year Edition. Existing p...
Games Workshop photo
Games Workshop

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada continues to look cool


No touching
May 07
// Jordan Devore
There are a bunch of upcoming games set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Many of them look less than stellar, assuming you can even keep up with them all, but a few manage to stand out. One is Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, wh...
Arma 3 free weekend photo
Arma 3 free weekend

Military sim Arma 3 free to play this weekend, DayZ on sale


Let's get all ghillied up
May 07
// Jordan Devore
Now through Sunday, Bohemia Interactive is hosting a free weekend for its open-world tactical military shooter Arma 3. Excluding the second and third campaign episodes, everything in the game is playable for free during this ...






Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
What is the meaning of life, and do you have any more pizza rolls?
You may remix all content on this site under Creative Commons with Attribution
- Living the dream, Since 2006 -