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11:45 PM on 01.07.2015

Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will make Nintendo a lot of money

Leave it to Mario and co. to get me interested in the Japanese mobile sensation Puzzle & Dragons. I mean, that Fist of the North Star tie-in had my curiosity, but not like this. Nintendo and GungHo Online are bringing Pu...

Jordan Devore



RuPaul on drag, games, and those who fear a changing world photo
RuPaul on drag, games, and those who fear a changing world
by Jonathan Holmes

RuPaul has taken just about every form of media by storm. Film, music, talk shows, reality shows, live performances, comedy, drama: You name it, Ru's tried it. Now she can also scratch game development off the list as well.

Dragopolis 2.0 is a "drag puzzle-action game filled with stunning fashion, challenge, levels, outrageous humor, and more." Yes, in a move that few expected, Dragopolis 2.0 combines aspects of pinball, Bust-A-Move, something akin to Street Fighter X Tekken's gem system, and an evil super villain who hatches a plot to steal all the cutest outfits in town. This may be the closest thing to a Bayonetta puzzle game we ever see.

No one would accuse RuPaul of shying away from self promotion. Thankfully, she was willing to take the time to answer a few of our questions regarding her game, the parallels between videogames and drag, and her similarities with Sonic the Hedgehog. Her answers were relatively brief, aside from the one about Sonic. That one seemed to strike a chord for some reason.  

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5:30 AM on 12.30.2014

Talos Principle pirates trapped in eternal elevator

You bought a new game and within minutes you encounter a bug where you enter an elevator and it eternally loops with no way to escape. What do you do? You obviously go and complain about it to the developers, right? Maybe not...

Laura Kate Dale



Review: Kalimba photo
Review: Kalimba
by Chris Carter

Games built around co-op have always had a place in my life. When I was younger, I had a lot of friends who were gamers, which made it easy to pick up and play multiplayer titles. As I grew up, I attended college, met more gamers, and then met my wife, who also plays games.

As such, I almost always have someone who is down to co-op. Thankfully, Kalimba not only has one of the best cooperative experiences around, but it also has a strong single-player element.

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10:30 AM on 12.11.2014

The Talos Principle is out on Steam today, here's a launch trailer

Croteam's sharp departure from running and gunning The Talos Principle is out on Steam today. I think it is great, and I am not alone. It is probably the best puzzle game to come out this year, and it is certainly the game t...

Darren Nakamura

1:30 PM on 12.08.2014

The Witness is coming 'not that late in 2015, hopefully' and looks great

Playing a puzzle game in front of a developer is a nerve-racking experience, let me tell you. At some point, your brain will betray you. You'll get stuck. And since the game is still being made, the developer won't want to p...

Jordan Devore



Review: The Talos Principle photo
Review: The Talos Principle
by Darren Nakamura

While playing The Talos Principle, much of my time was spent sitting at my desk, chin in hand, deep in thought. I can only imagine the puzzled look on my face as I considered options, ran scenarios in my head, and generally did a lot more thinking than most games ask of players.

The Talos Principle consists of two largely separate interactions: physics-based puzzles and philosophical discussion. The real strength of the title is that while each could reasonably exist without the other, both elicit the above response in equal measure. The demand that the player really think is the thread that ties the whole game together.

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11:30 AM on 12.01.2014

Get a better look at Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's bonus levels

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is coming soon! Although we aren't 100% on what the amiibo content will be, we do know what some of the secret levels are, and the Nintendo Minute is back to give you a heads-up, with a new vid...

Chris Carter



Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker photo
Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
by Chris Carter

From the moment I played the Captain Toad minigame in Super Mario 3D World, I thought to myself "this would make a great downloadable title." It seems as if Nintendo can hear my thoughts, because it did just that.

Priced at a budget level, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a natural expansion from the levels found in World, with more complex concepts and that same beautiful art style. It may not be enough to warrant full price for some, but for those seeking more Toad, it delivers.

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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



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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