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Breaking Psychonauts photo
Breaking Psychonauts

Speedrunner hilariously breaks Psychonauts as its developers watch in horror


'Ooooooh, whoops'
Jan 29
// Jordan Devore
More fun times from Double Fine's Devs Play series. This episode, if you've seen the exceptional Lion King and Doom videos already, is centered on the studio's own baby, Psychonauts. Double Fine founder Tim Schafer and co. f...
Grim Fandango photo
Grim Fandango

Scythe of relief: Grim Fandango's great, celebrate with a trailer


Buenas días, indeed
Jan 27
// Brett Makedonski
Día de Muertos typically comes around at the end of October, but it's a semi-annual event in 2015. That's because adventure classic Grim Fandango releases today, ensuring that you'll pay your respects to both the...

Review: Grim Fandango

Jan 26 // Steven Hansen
Grim Fandango (PS Vita [Reviewed], PC, PS4) Developer: Double Fine Publisher: Double FineReleased: January 27, 2015 MSRP: $14.99 Manny Calavera is a grim reaper, which in this art deco Land of the Dead means he's a travel agent, sending dead souls to their final resting place through a variety of fine travel options. Most prized is the Number Nine, an express train reserved for those who've led sterling lives. Manny isn't one of them, which is why he's working off his sins as a reaper, but a string of bum, low-commission clients has him treading water in this literal limbo.   I've never felt more emotionally connected to a videogame character than when Manny picks up a ceremonial Day of the Dead baguette and sticks the whole thing in his inner jacket pocket. And then another. And then another. And then another. Dios mio. Why is it letting me pick up infinite bread. I need boundaries. Surely all these breads aren't going to show up as individual inventory items I'll have to scroll through--oh, they do. Fine. I made my bread and I'm going to rye in it. I love bread--okay, I knead to stop with the bread. Grim Fandango is so playful, though, it gets me into a good mood. This is a world of travel-agent skeletons, giant cat races, and biting birds that comes off so comfortable you almost wonder why anyone is making miles towards the afterlife. Of course, it's an easier stay for the enterprising Calavera than the poor souls trekking for years on a walking stick. Then again, it's all about the journey. Grim Fandango is stuffed with sharp dialogue and you're encouraged to go through all the options, a bit of quick unlearning needed if you've been on a "he will remember that" diet of choice-heavy adventure games. Nothing feels throwaway, though. It's gags, pertinent information, or, more likely, a mix of both. The economy is impressive. Ancillary characters will reappear over the lengthy journey and it feels like seeing an old friend. It is not massive in the open-world, "you can walk to those mountains" sense, but it manages to feel both full and intimate, like a warm dinner in small, friend-filled kitchen. Tony Plana deserves enormous credit for voicing Manny and making even repeated item description lines feel natural.  About the only thing in Grim Fandango that isn't bleached-bone smooth is its puzzles, which are bound to trip you up eventually. For me it was a mix of my failed lateral thinking (stupidity) and the means of interaction. On the Vita, point-and-click with the touch screen works best in puzzle-solving situations, though I still ran about mostly with traditional controls. One puzzle had me using my scythe and in doing so with the X button, Manny just kept waving it around in the generally correct area. Clicking on what must have been a slightly different spot with the touch controls and opening the UI allowed me to progress. Wildly tapping until the UI pops up is also the best way to take stock of what you can interact with in an area, rather than relying on button clicks and Manny's neck craning towards objects of interest. PS4 users might face an added challenge sans touch controls. On the technical side, I did experience a couple crashes on Vita and one instance of Manny getting locked in place that necessitated a restart, so remember to save often. Figuring out how you're supposed to interact with something probably falls somewhere in between stupidity and means of interaction. Having to replace an item you might have picked up before essentially combining it--without any sort of traditional inventory screen and "combine" option--broke my brain a bit. Luckily the game is 17 years old and you can do a little cheating if your conscience can take it.  The comedic beats Grim Fandango hits in the opening cinematic alone are delightful. Reminds you how rare "funny" is in games. Some adventure game puzzle logic and Glottis' chunky orange polygons aside, it doesn't feel dated. It's well-written, rich, heartfelt, funny, and I'm glad as heck it's readily available for everyone to play. [This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the developer.]
Grim Fandango reviewed photo
Spooky scary skeletons send shivers down my spine
Grim Fandango didn't need a remaster as much as it needed a re-release. Many, myself included, have found it difficult to track down a copy to play. We've had an entire digital catalog--GOG.com--devoted to getting good, old g...

Grim Fandango  photo
Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango Remastered will be $15


DRM-free on GOG, good for a formerly disappeared game
Jan 13
// Steven Hansen
Grim Fandango Remastered is available for pre-order on a few digital storefronts ahead of its January 27 release. With that comes pricing, hitherto unknown. The remaster of the classic adventure game will be $15. You ca...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Broken Age to get retail release in Spring 2015


That's (double) fine by me!
Jan 07
// Mike Cosimano
Today, Double Fine and Nordic Games announced a retail version of Broken Age, the Tim Schafer-led adventure game funded through Kickstarter. The boxed copy will launch alongside Broken Age: Act 2 in Spring 2015 for PC, Mac, a...
Ah-gay photo
Ah-gay

Broken Age coming to PS4, Vita alongside Act 2 PC release


Early 2015
Dec 10
// Steven Hansen
Rounding out the trend of Double Fine games coming to Sony's consoles just short of Massive Chalice, which you should all be playing, is Broken Age. It began as the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter that exploded, the first ...
Local multiplayer photo
Local multiplayer

I doubt you have 4 controllers, but Gang Beasts is coming to PS4


Fun with physics
Dec 10
// Steven Hansen
Over the weekend, Double Fine announced that the drunkard-on-ice-skates brawler would be making its way to PlayStation 4 next year, the same day it launches on PC (getting out of its current Early Access availability). Gang ...
Oh heck yeah! photo
Oh heck yeah!

Remastered Grim Fandango looks great, out next month


January 27 to PS4, Vita, PC, Mac, Linux
Dec 10
// Steven Hansen
I know a skeleton of people are waiting to play this, what with it being a chore to track down a playable copy of the classic adventure game. And now we get an even more playable, modernized version with nicer textures and s...
Day of the Tentacle photo
Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle: Special Edition announced


Partnership between Sony and Double Fine
Dec 06
// Chris Carter
Today at Sony's PlayStation Experience event, Double Fine announced a joint collaboration between the two. Day of the Tentacle is coming to the PS4 and Vita in the form of a Special Edition release. As PC fans know this is a pretty huge deal, as it's one of the most beloved adventure games of the 90s and beyond.
Layoffs at Double Fine photo
Layoffs at Double Fine

Double Fine lays off twelve staff members


Unannounced title canceled when publishing deal falls through
Nov 24
// Rob Morrow
Double Fine Productions confirmed with Games Industry International last Friday that it had to lay off twelve staff members due to a publishing deal falling through on an unannounced title. "One of our unannounced p...
Costume Quest 2 photo
Costume Quest 2

Costume Quest 2 knocks on Xbox's door today


Moseys on over to Wii U tomorrow
Oct 29
// Brett Makedonski
As it turns out, the duration of that Costume Quest 2 timed-exclusive on PlayStation wasn't all that long. Like, one day. But, that's okay because it means that everyone will have it in time for Halloween. That's s...
Costume Quest 2 photo
Costume Quest 2

Treat for Sony fans: PlayStation gets temporary Costume Quest 2 exclusivity


And an exclusive costume
Oct 24
// Brett Makedonski
This ain't no trick -- things are lookin' pretty sweet for PlayStation owners that want to do battle with some Grubbins just in time for Halloween. Sony's announced that it has a temporary console exclusive for Costume ...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Double Fine ceasing development on sci-fi sim Spacebase DF-9


Costing more money than it brings in
Sep 24
// Steven Hansen
Double Fine is ending its development of Spacebase DF-9 with a somewhat sudden final build of the game next month. Double Fine intends to stick around for bug fixes, but many of the game's initially planned features will...
Hack 'n' Slash photo
Hack 'n' Slash

Double Fine's Hack 'n' Slash 1.0 has been released on Steam


Now games in Steam Early Access that have actually been finished are numbered in the tens
Sep 10
// Brittany Vincent
Hack 'n' Slash by Double Fine Productions had its beginnings during Amnesia Fortnight 2012, in which it received the most votes of any concept to be made into a full game. Now, it's finally complete, having left Steam Early A...
Gang Beasts photo
Gang Beasts

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


Early Access
Sep 02
// Steven Hansen
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...
Grim Fandnago: Remaster photo
Grim Fandnago: Remaster

Here's Grim Fandango running on PS4


Aiming for 1080p, but keeping the 4:3
Sep 01
// Steven Hansen
Double Fine has the original Grim Fandango running on PS4, with some joystick tweaks so it controls smoother. In the development video, they talk about things they want to address, like the compression, and things they ...

Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging

Aug 29 // Steven Hansen
[embed]280362:55487:0[/embed] I was starting from the beginning of the game, so the fights may ramp up in intensity, but I was able to make it through the first area on auto-pilot, just using the attack of whichever costume I felt like wearing. Still, I didn't mind the basic JRPG battles, either, as I was taking in the colorful world. Down in the starting bayou, I smacked alligators to retrieve pieces for a clown costume. You can zip around on what I'm pretty sure are Heelys, which someone recently told me still exist. One of the starting enemies had a digital clock in its chest and they were all set to 4:20 (you know, the weed number), though that's going to be changed to 2:30. 2:30. Tooth hurty. The main antagonist is a dentist. At the start of the game, a rip in time brings you to the dentist-ruled, terrifying, authoritarian future. He's collaborating with some evil witch. You're then rocketed back in time to stop him after a cyborg ninja crow teaches you how to fight. Also, there's a Thomas Jefferson costume. Its special move is the Declaration of Destruction. He throws it dramatically at enemies, who will put on reading glasses and look at it closely before it explodes. And Jefferson's out of battle ability, Diplomacy, is great, even though I never used it properly. I was only chastised, "This doesn't seem like the time for diplomacy," which amused me endlessly. You also duel a little, fiddle-playing boy in a devil costume using your goofy clown horn. Costume Quest 2 is just precious.
Preview photo
New costumes, from Thomas Jefferson to a pterodactyl
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...

I have a feeling Massive Chalice is going to be great

Aug 29 // Steven Hansen
[embed]280358:55485:0[/embed] Massive Chalice is structured like recent wonderful game XCOM: Enemy Unknown. There is the boots on the ground layer, which involves action points, movement restrictions, and killing monsters -- the Cadence -- on an isometric plane. Your troops will be one of several types. The Hunter is basically carrying a personal ballista on their shoulder. The Alchemist has a bladed hook used for melee, but is mainly meant for slinging explosives. The last has a giant battering ram of sorts. What you want to do is escort your gaggle of fighters throughout levels without getting people killed because if they're killed, you don't get to continue to use them (permadeath). Because of the melee focus, there's no cover bonuses, so you'll want to unlearn that XCOM tic. It's all line of sight and numbers. I got through the demo losing one soldier too many (that is, one), which then opens up to the overarching strategy screen, which is where things get interesting. Your goal in Massive Chalice is to make it through 350 years of encroaching Cadence. Your characters will die, eventually. Lineage and generations become key, like Fire Emblem: Awakening was mixed with XCOM, but stretched out. You can advance the chronology in large chunks between significant events (or battles) in the same way you'd run a few days on the world clock in XCOM's mission control. There are a lot of systems at play. You appoint Regents in ten or so kingdoms on the map to stymie Cadence spread and then you give them a partner to continue the bloodline. This detracts from your pool of warriors, however, as Regents can't fight. It's a sort of retirement spot, then, for your best fighter, but you have to weigh considerations like their age, risk of losing them in battle, and their genes. Some characters carry positive characteristics that can be passed down. Some are cursed with things like asthma, which reduces movement if you exhaust both AP in one turn. The accumulated experience points of a Regent and partner can affect the growth of the child. A parent could die of old age before the child grows up. The child would have the same genes, but have a different growth trajectory based on the stats of the replacement Regent.  One of the choices you'll make is what to research using the titular chalice. 15 years for improve health. 23 years for a global fertility boost. Adoption is possible too, through later chalice research, and that child can go to same sex or hetero couples. If your two strongest characters are of the same gender, you might want them to raise an adopted child (ages 0-15) to gain 40% experience from each of them during the raising process. Maybe you just appoint a Regency and partner for two characters whose unwanted traits you're trying to weed out of your lineages (asthma is pretty crippling).  Muir said it's "like a long form roguelike," in that you can lose the game. You can fail to contain encroaching cadence and have your kingdom slowly devoured. I love it. I liked XCOM for letting you lose. In that sense, it is divergent, replayable. Your starting soldiers are always different, and the soldiers you'll have to use throughout the entire game will inevitably be different as they age and die. Narrative bits come in the form of random events, like choosing whether or not to send Bella Black to retrieve her uncle, The Walrus, who refused to move from his home near encroaching Cadence. I did. It took nine years, but Bella came back stronger. The team is working on cranking these up, including some nastier ones where, "we just come around and spit in your soup, I guess."  Massive Chalice does have a more defined narrative, but it's mostly in the endgame, should you survive for that many generations. 350 years. I'm excited to try and get there. I'm excited to fail, and to try again. And I'm always down for playing digital matchmaker (by way of horrible eugenics scientist). 
Preview: Massive Chalice photo
Already in love, already fearing it'll devour my time with an XCOM-like fervor
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. Jus...

PAX photo
PAX

The Costume Quest 2 PAX Collector's Challenge sounds fun


It wouldn't be PAX without buttons
Aug 26
// Jordan Devore
Midnight City is hosting a Costume Quest 2 'Trick or Treat' Collector's Challenge at PAX Prime later this week and it's going to be worth setting some time aside for if you're looking to score swag. Essentially, you'll need t...
Multiplayer photo
Multiplayer

Double Fine picks up goofy multiplayer brawler Gang Beasts


Coming to Steam Early Access next week
Aug 18
// Jordan Devore
Gang Beasts is hardly new at this point, but we've been given another opportunity to talk about it now that it's a part of the Double Fine Presents line. I'll take it. The funny multiplayer brawler will be playable later thi...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Double Fine embarks on new publishing venture


Sounds (double) fine to me
Jul 24
// Brittany Vincent
Double Fine Productions has decided to point its talents in the direction of helping indie game studios with publishing and marketing. In an interview with Tim Schafer, it was revealed that although Double Fine won't be a pub...
Maniac Mansion photo
Maniac Mansion

Ron Gilbert releases original design document of Maniac Mansion


Meanwhile, I can't contain my excitement
Jul 22
// Brittany Vincent
I absolutely love the SCUMM period of Lucasfilm Games (later LucasArts) development and this document gives insight into the game that started it all. It's interesting to see that although the Edison family stayed much the sa...
Grim Fandango photo
Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango is headed back to PC in all its remastered glory


I can't wait to dive back in
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
It seems like it should have been a no-brainer, given the game's original success as a PC adventure games, but the remastered version of Grim Fandango has just been confirmed for PC as well. Additionally, it'll be headed ...
Broken Age photo
Broken Age

You can play Broken Age now on your iPad


Now's the best time to check it out
Jun 12
// Brittany Vincent
Double Fine's latest adventure game Broken Age has made its way to the iPad, and it's just as gorgeous as a mobile game as it was upon its original release. It's split up into two releases, and right now, you can catch Broke...
Grim Fandango remaster photo
Grim Fandango remaster

Yes! Grim Fandango remaster for PS4 and Vita!


Yesssssssssssssssssss!
Jun 09
// Steven Hansen
I always complain about how hard it is to find a copy of Grim Fandango, which I desperately need to play. Well, Grim Fandango is getting a PS4 and Vita exclusive remaster. Of all the remasters, reboots, remakes shown off thus far at E3, this is by far the best.  Thanks you based Schafer.

Costume Quest 2 isn't for the hardcore, but it's for the hardcorn

Jun 02 // Brett Makedonski
This time around, the action's set to pick up almost immediately after the original's add-on Grubbins on Ice ended. While the timeline's a bit fuzzy at this point, one thing is evident, and it's that Reynold and Wren are eager to get back to what they love most - Trick or Treatin'. Beyond that, Rice was hesitant to reveal anything about the narrative, giving the frustratingly boilerplate "We're not talking about that yet." The demo took place in the game's first area, a bayou that segues into a French Quarter part of town. It was a sample size that was adequate to show off what it has to offer, and it was all so wonderfully Costume Quest. The bayou had a kid that wanted us to find pieces for a pterodactyl costume. The French Quarter was filled with bustling NPCs that were itching to assign sidequests as jazz music filled the air. Houses by the swamp had doorbells that were begging to be rang -- some occupied by adults that were dishing out candy, others by Grubbins looking to ambush our pint-sized protagonists. Upon being attacked, we got a look at how the combat system has been altered. While Double Fine's touting Costume Quest 2 as having a "deeper and juicier" battle system, don't expect that to translate to increased difficulty. One of the defining traits of Costume Quest that made it so beloved was its accessibility, and that hasn't changed -- it's just gotten tweaked a bit to make things more interesting. One of the biggest moves was lending itself toward making combat more action-oriented. Now, when attacked, a perfectly-timed button press will result in increased defense and a counter-attack. Likewise, when on the offensive, the original had prompts flash on-screen that needed to be executed. Costume Quest 2 utilizes a system reminiscent of Super Mario RPG where coordinating a button press to the exact moment a strike lands will result in extra damage. It's not the most revolutionary of upgrades, but it makes combat feel more involved than ever before. Of the many costumes that are sure to be on display in the full game (which is coming to PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, Mac, and Linux), we were only shown three. Two of those were a clown that has some truly bizarre animations, and a superhero. The third was a humorous salute to the unplayable candy corn costume in the first game. This time, you can wear it into battle, but it does absolutely nothing, effectively reducing the team size from three to two. Rice commented that the nod is for players looking for an extra challenge, and those that complete the whole game with the corn costume in the party will unlock an Achievement called "Hardcorn Mode." Truth be told, that feat probably won't be all that difficult to achieve. Even though health doesn't automatically replenish after every fight in this installment, there are water fountains located around each map that fill your party's HP up. When I asked Rice if these would be a pain to get to between encounters, he didn't think so, but that he always wants to try to get one more fight in before retreating to a fountain. However, maybe the most welcomed modification of all has to do with the traversal of the locales. In the original, only the robot was able to zoom around thanks to the use of rollerblades, leading most to play with that costume equipped at all times. Now, rollerblades are always available by default, making getting around much more convenient. That's probably a good thing too, because according to Rice, the maps are going to be bigger and more involved than in Costume Quest. For all the changes that are going into Costume Quest 2, honestly, the biggest takeaway might be that it still feels so much like Costume Quest. That's a revelation that any fan of the original will be elated to hear. And, if you fall into that category, Costume Quest 2 has probably already won your heart and your sweet tooth.
Costume Quest 2 preview photo
Mo' candy, mo' problems
If there's one thing that the folks at Double Fine aren't known for, it's being pigeon-holed into making the same game. In fact, almost all of its titles are wildly different from one another. From the likes of Brüt...

Day of the Tentacle photo
Day of the Tentacle

Watch Tim Schafer play through Day of the Tentacle after a 10-year lull


Yes, I squeed like a little girl
May 14
// Brittany Vincent
This glorious video before us is a Let's Play of Tim Schafer himself playing Day of the Tentacle. The 40-minute video features Tim narrating a playthrough and sharing little tidbits of information regarding production, voice...
 photo
I hope the final boss is the Gibson
Max recently sat down with Brandon Dillon of Double Fine, Programmer and Project Lead on Hack 'N' Slash. Brandon walked us through a demonstration of the game, which allows players to manipulate the actual code of the game with the protagonist's USB sword, and we all learn some lessons in critical thinking.

 photo
Max interviews the creator of this dark future
Max sat down with Sam Farmer, the creator of Last Life. Being developed in association with Double Fine, Last Life is a point-and-click adventure game set in a cyber-noir future, where death doesn't always mean the end. Check out the Kickstarter for this game here.

Hack N Slash PAX photo
Hack N Slash PAX

I hacked a bush in Double Fine's Hack N Slash


Take that, stupid bush
Apr 14
// Patrick Hancock
With a name like Hack N Slash, it’s easy to assume exactly what’s in the package and dismiss it. Then people hear it’s from Double Fine and expectations immediately change for the better, as they should. Hac...

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