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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


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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.






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

10:30 PM on 10.09.2014

Toadette CONFIRMED for Captain Toad!

Toadette is one of those characters Nintendo keeps locked away in its vault until the need arises to flesh out a roster for one of its sports, party or racing games. She's essentially the Waluigi of the Toad species, you kno...

Kyle MacGregor







Captain Toad tracks treasure starting December 5 photo
Captain Toad tracks treasure starting December 5
by Kyle MacGregor

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker launches in North America on December 5.

The Wii U puzzler is based on a minigame from Super Mario 3D World, and sees the eponymous protagonist explore a myriad of locales in search of hidden loot.

Captain Toad will retail for $40 and support select amiibo figures sometime next year. Nintendo has yet to reveal what sort of functionality the toys will add to the experience.

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Review: Tappingo 2 photo
Review: Tappingo 2
by Ben Pack

As someone who has gone through several Picross apps on his iPhone, I was excited to hear about Tappingo 2, a puzzler for the 3DS in the same vein. Maybe this would be the perfect game for my long train rides.

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5:00 PM on 09.22.2014

Create a pharmaceutical empire in Big Pharma

One-man studio Twice Circled has announced a new strategy sim for PC that will put players in control of a pharmaceutical business and, damn, what a great setup that is. Big Pharma is described as "a really tight puzzle game ...

Jordan Devore

3:00 PM on 09.19.2014

Console owners should keep an eye on Nova-111

Funktronic Labs' cool turn-based/real-time hybrid adventure game Nova-111 was originally slated for PC/Mac/Linux first, followed by consoles at a later date, but that's no longer the case. The studio is partnering with Curve ...

Jordan Devore

2:30 PM on 09.18.2014

Spinning limousine game Roundabout is round-a-out today

For those who have been waiting patiently for the 1970s B-movie live action and nonsensical spinning limo gameplay of Roundabout, the wait is over. We knew it was releasing today on Steam and the Humble Store, and now it is ...

Darren Nakamura