Updated: Apr 11, 2024 7:33 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Thursday, Apr 11, 2024 National Pet Day (USA)

Get Ghostrunner for Free

Ghostrunner is now available for free on the Epic Games Store as the store's latest weekly giveaway. This is not the first time the sci-fi cyber-ninja game has been on the giveaway pile, so you may already have this. If not, you have until next Thursday to snag it and it will be a permanent addition to your transitory game library. At that point the store will begin handing out free copies of The Big Con and Town of Salem 2. If you need to be sold on a free game, here's the sales pitch for Ghostrunner:
As the most advanced blade fighter ever created, you’re always outnumbered but never outclassed. Slice your enemies with a monomolecular katana, dodge bullets with your superhuman reflexes, and employ a variety of specialized techniques to prevail.

One-hit one-kill mechanics make combat fast and intense. Use your superior mobility (and frequent checkpoints!) to engage in a never-ending dance with death fearlessly.

Ghostrunner offers a unique single-player experience: fast-paced, violent combat, and an original setting that blends science fiction with post-apocalyptic themes. It tells the story of a world that has already ended and its inhabitants who fight to survive.

Fallout 76 Free Week

Presumably in celebration of the launch of the Fallout television series, Bethesda Softworks is offering everyone the chance to play Fallout 76 for the next week for free. You can check out the Windows edition on Steam and the PlayStation and Xbox editions are available through their respective stores. If you enjoy your time with the RPG prequel you can pick it up with an 80% discount and continue on in the wasteland. Here's a refresher:
Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of Skyrim and Fallout 4, welcome you to Fallout 76. Twenty-five years after the bombs fell, you and your fellow Vault Dwellers—chosen from the nation’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America on Reclamation Day, 2102. Play solo or join together as you explore, quest, build, and triumph against the wasteland’s greatest threats. Explore a vast wasteland, devastated by nuclear war, in this open-world multiplayer addition to the Fallout story. Experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.

Fallout 4 Update Plans

The fallout of the new Fallout television series continues to settle, as Bethesda announces free updates coming to Fallout 4 on April 25th. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S owners will get current generation support for the 2015 installment in the RPG series. Owners of the PC version are also getting some newer graphics features in an update that will also bring the game to Steam Deck and the Epic Games Store:
We are also releasing a free Fallout 4 update for PC players! Experience Fallout 4 on your next-generation PC with widescreen and ultra-widescreen support, as well as fixes to Creation Kit and a variety of quest updates.

Players with PC versions of Fallout 4 on Steam, Microsoft Store and GOG will receive stability, mods and bug fixes. For Japanese and Chinese language players on PC, Bethesda.net login issues have been resolved, fixing access to mods.

Alongside this exciting update, Fallout 4 will be available to purchase on the Epic Games Store.

Fallout 4 will also be Steam Deck verified.

Shadow Game Store

The Shadow Game Store is live, offering a hybrid game store accompanying a cloud gaming service based on the assets of the bankrupt Shadow service. This is not a rental dealie, the store sells catalog of discounted games, and there is the option of subscribing to the service and playing online through the cloud. Here's word:
On the Shadow Game Store, games are not rented like in other streaming services; on the contrary, users become full owners. This approach gives gamers total freedom: they can enjoy their games however they like, whether on their Shadow PC or on other devices, without any restrictions. This full ownership ensures a constraint-free gaming experience, allowing players to maximize the use of their game collection.

With the launch of its Game Store, Shadow reaffirms its commitment to offering added value to its community. This new platform promises to open up new possibilities and enhance the gaming experience for Shadow users.

2024 BAFTA Games Awards

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its 2024 BAFTA Games Awards. It turns out Baldur's Gate 3 is not yet done adding to its impressive list of game of the year awards, taking home Best Game. Here's a rundown of all the winners:

  • ANIMATION - HI-FI RUSH Development Team - Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks
  • ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT - ALAN WAKE 2 Development Team - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • AUDIO ACHIEVEMENT - ALAN WAKE 2 Development Team - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • BEST GAME - BALDUR’S GATE 3 Development Team - Larian Studio/Larian Studio
  • BRITISH GAME - VIEWFINDER Development Team - Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing
  • DEBUT GAME - VENBA Abhi, Sam Elkana, Shahrin Khan - Visai Games/Visai Games
  • EVOLVING GAME - CYBERPUNK 2077 Development Team - CD PROJEKT RED/CD PROJEKT RED
  • FAMILY - SUPER MARIO BROS. WONDER Development Team - Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
  • GAME BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT - TCHIA Phil Crifo, Marilou Lopez-Aguilera, Thoanë Thomadra – Awaceb/Kepler Interactive
  • GAME DESIGN - DAVE THE DIVER Development Team – MINTROCKET/MINTROCKET
  • MULTIPLAYER - SUPER MARIO BROS. WONDER Development Team - Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
  • MUSIC - BALDUR’S GATE 3 Borislav Slavov - Larian Studio/Larian Studio
  • NARRATIVE - BALDUR’S GATE 3 Development Team - Larian Studio/Larian Studio
  • NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY - VIEWFINDER Development Team - Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing
  • PERFORMER IN A LEADING ROLE - NADJI JETER as Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - ANDREW WINCOTT as Raphael in Baldur’s Gate 3
  • TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT - THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TEARS OF THE KINGDOM Development Team - Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
  • EE PLAYERS' CHOICE AWARD (voted for by the public) - BALDUR’S GATE 3 Larian Studio/Larian Studio

Evening Patches

Official patches.

Evening Multiplex

↑ Official trailers. ↓ Content creator videos.

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Headquarters: World War II Released

War is declared on Steam, where Headquarters: World War II is now available for Windows, offering a turn-based strategy game set in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. A new Video Trailer shows off gameplay. Developer Starni Games and publisher Slitherine Ltd. are also hosting a live launch event right now, and this post has details on how to attend. Here's word:
Headquarters: World War II is a fast paced turn-based strategy covering the Battle of Normandy in the three plot-driven campaigns and a number of skirmishes. Choose your side, form your force, assign heroes, level up your units, and use Headquarters skills to overcome the enemy.

Face a real tactical challenge
The game's combat system is based on an easy to learn - hard to master approach. Deceptively easy at a first glance, it offers lots of possibilities:
Continue here to read the full story.

Revival: Recolonization Released

Revival: Recolonization is now out of Early Access and version 1.0 of this 4X strategy game is now available on Steam with a 20% launch discount. This tests your tactical skills in a postapocalyptic setting where you must overcome the "despotic entity" that's taken control. Here's the Full Release Date Trailer with a look at gameplay, and here's word on what to expect:
Set in a post-apoc version of Earth, Revival is a 4x strategy game where the world and its rules can change at key moments, creating a deep and highly replayable experience. Explore a transformed planet, negotiate or conquer new territories and bring the light of civilization to regressing human colonies in order to prepare mankind for war with a despotic entity.

Revival generates a vast possibility space for you to play around with. From sudden weather changes to zombie infestations and bans on certain weapon types – boy, you are in for a surprise.
Continue here to read the full story.

Goons: Legends & Mayhem Released

Goons: Legends & Mayhem is now available for Windows on Steam and for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. This is an arcade hockey game that looks to add more action and violence to the sport, which is no small task. Word is: "The game mixes cartoon brawling action, frantic PvP and PvE modes, a raft of outrageous special abilities, ice rinks on pirate ships and a full campaign." You can check this out in the new Launch Trailer. Here's more:
Supporting 1-6 players, Goons: Legends & Mayhem is a hockey action game offering 1 vs 1 up to 3 vs 3 matches with a variety of PvE and PvP modes, including a full story campaign. Players can choose from one of eight characters divided into 3 classes - the attack focused sharpshooter, the defense oriented enforcer and the wingman, a wildcard that can either focus on supporting their team, or act as a constant pain in the neck of the opponents. Each character has their own special ability, including explosive mines, freezing opponents in a cube of ice and teleportation, adding an element of cartoony brawling to this hockey title where teamwork is the key to success.

Goons: Legends & Mayhem story campaign takes players on a varied journey across ice rinks nestled in forests, to floating ice rinks on the deck of a pirate ship as they try to stop the Grand Mascoteer’s mission to ruin hockey for everyone. On this epic adventure, players will face epic goaltender bosses, recruit unhinged heroes offering new ways to play, and gather a variety of collectibles and cosmetic goodies.
Continue here to read the full story.

PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs Next Month

Bandai Namco announces a release date for PAC-MAN Mega Tunnel Battle: Chomp Champs, saying this multiplayer take on the arcade classic will start popping pills and chasing ghosts on May 9th. It will waka waka onto PC via Steam, PlayStation5, PlayStation4, Xbox Series X | S, and Switch. A Pre-Order Trailer (Offense Version) is here to a maze and amuse you, and here's more:
PAC-MAN MEGA TUNNEL BATTLE: CHOMP CHAMPS captures PAC-MAN’s insatiable appetite in a game where everything except the maze is edible. In the game, players must eat their way through multiple interconnected mazes to become the Chomp Champ – a.k.a. the last PAC standing at the end of each match. Gain the upper hand on other players or turn the tables against GHOSTS by utilizing a variety of Power Items which give PAC-MAN shields, enhanced speed, and more. Players can also sabotage their competition by using Power Items that help the GHOSTS. Not only will they be able to chomp through PAC-MAN’s regular diet of dots and fruit, but they can also chomp through other players’ PACs in true competitive head-to-head competition.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Happy National Pet Day! And yes, I don't currently have a pet, and no, this is not ideal, but I have not given up on finding a proper critter pal. One thing that makes this state of affairs easier to tolerate is the incredible array of birds that populate the pond we overlook. This has been by far the best year for bird watching here. In addition to at least two pairs of nesting swans (we've only ever had one), the usual assortment of mallard ducks and Canada geese, and the great blue heron that's king of the pond, we've also had a huge influx of crows. This also holds the promise of possibly befriending one of them, which is apparently a thing. I don't know if I have the patience to actually cultivate any of them, but it would certainly be an amazing accomplishment if I could manage it. In the meantime, it's a load of fun to watch their antics.

Obituary: OJ Simpson Dead at 76 After Cancer Battle.
Obituary:
Pioneering Hawaiian-born sumo champion Akebono dies aged 54.

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Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

Slay the Spire 2 Revealed

A Slay the Spire 2 Reveal Trailer does just what it sets out to do, reveal plans for a sequel to Slay the Spire, the runaway hit deckbuilding roguelike. There's no gameplay in the cinematic video, but it does promise Early Access next year, and the description reveals the Steam Listing with the first details. Word is: "Slay the Spire 2 was completely rewritten from the ground up in a new game engine! We're bringing in modern features, incorporating all-new visuals, and expanding moddability." Here's more:
Civilization has waited 1,000 years for the Spire to reopen its doors...
Return to the Spire and face friends and foes in this sequel to the quintessential roguelike deckbuilder. How high will you ascend... and what truths lie at the top?

New slayers join the fray with their own sets of cards, mechanics, and personalities. Try out more archetypes and master them at your own pace. The Spire forever awaits those who dare challenge it...

The Spire isn't what it used to be. New enemies, events, and treasures await as the rooms and items you discover change each time you play... Try risky builds or play it safe as you explore countless different strategies, find yourself in peculiar scenarios, and confront the Bosses of each Act.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Planet Crafter Officially Launches

The Planet Crafter has launched out of Early Access and is now officially available for Windows on Steam. The first-person terraforming/crafting game has already changed the world for developer Miju Games, as it currently boasts over 25,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews. Here's the recent Official 1.0 Launch Date Trailer and there's a playable demo to sample. Here's word on what the fuss is all about:
The Planet Crafter introduces a complex and innovative game system where players' actions directly influence the transformation of the world they are living in. By developing technological equipment and optimizing the space and resources at their disposal, players can observe the results of their interventions and gradually see the terraforming index increase, thus unlocking new possibilities and challenges. As they progress, they unveil the mysteries of the planet and bring life to this arid land, transforming it into a living, lush oasis, offering a rewarding experience for players.

The game features a complete and diverse immersion experience with over 30 biomes to discover, a storyline with several narrative arcs, various difficulty levels and an all-new multiplayer co-op mode for collaborating together around a common goal. Players can enjoy this epic space adventure in solo mode, or share their exploration with the community.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Rogue Prince of Persia Announced

Ubisoft and developer Evil Empire announce The Rogue Prince of Persia, a return to the Prince's 2D action/platforming roots with a roguelite flair. This is expected to vault into Early Access on Steam on May 14th, but there is also an alpha testing application on the official website if you can't wait. Here's a Reveal Trailer with a first look and here's more on what to expect:
The Rogue Prince of Persia is set in a fictional rendition of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire. The city faces invasion by the Hun's army of possessed soldiers, led by the malevolent Hun chief, Nogai. Players will embody the Prince, who was gifted with a mystical bola that resurrects him each time he dies. This magical artifact has let him take huge risks to perfect the skills of acrobatics & combat in his youth, molding him into a formidable warrior. In attempt after attempt, players must help the Prince explore different biomes, master new weapons, equip new trinkets, upgrade his gears at the Oasis and rally his allies to save the city from destruction.

To master the platforming sections, players will have to use the iconic wall run, allowing them to easily cross gaps, avoid traps and outmaneuver enemies. From the aqueduct to the grand academy, by way of the wild gardens, the Prince must use all his acrobatic skills to safely find a route through procedurally generated levels made of a variety of colorful biomes, inspired by Persian architecture.
Continue here to read the full story.

KILL KNIGHT Announced

PlaySide Studios announces KILL KNIGHT, an arcade shooter/slasher coming this year to Steam. The Announcement Trailer (which includes a flashing lights warning) shows of the breakneck pace of the game's isometric-perspective action. Harvey Dent said: "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." KILL KNIGHT asks, why not both?:
KILL KNIGHT challenges players to master the demon within as they descend through the voids of an eldritch arena and harness a devastating arsenal of armor and weapons against swarms of otherworldly horrors.

Once a loyal knight, betrayed, and banished to the Abyss. A desecrated corpse inside reanimated armor. You rise to an eternal death. Branded KILL KNIGHT, you have one purpose - KILL THE LAST ANGEL.

Players must learn to exploit enemy weaknesses, enact brutal executions, and weave through the Knight’s Arsenal to tactically manage resources - as they dance with death in the Abyss and take the fight to global leaderboards against friends and foes alike.
Continue here to read the full story.

Old World Behind the Throne Next Month

Hooded Horse announces Behind the Throne, a new expansion coming on May 28th to Old World, the historical 4X strategy game. This promises over 350 new events, new character traits, and mechanics for court politics, personal ambitions, and epic rivalries. Just remember that when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. Here's the Steam Listing, a trailer, and more:
This new Old World add-on focuses on character interactions – their wants, needs, and ambitions. New gameplay mechanics include the emergence of powerful rivals – figures with the popularity or authority to challenge your ruler in various ways. Stress mechanics will see characters struggle under the pressures of court life, forcing them to engage in revelry. What revelry you ask? The good old-fashioned kind – gambling, opulence, the usual.
Continue here to read the full story.

Broken Roads Released

Broken Roads is now available for Windows on GOG.com* and Steam, as well as for Xbox One/Series X|S and PlayStation 4/5, kicking off a story-driven RPG where you must lead a party through a postapocalyptic Australian Outback that's trying to kill you even more than the preapocalyptic Outback. The Windows edition is available with a 10% launch discount. You can see this in action in the Launch Trailer and read on for more on the game and its inspirations:
Born of a love for traditional computer role-playing from franchises such as Pillars of Eternity, Disco Elysium, Fallout, Wasteland, Tyranny, Pathfinder, and Baldur's Gate, Broken Roads provides a rich, engaging narrative in which players make their way across a desolated future Australia. Blending together traditional and all-new role-playing elements on top of a classless system offering nearly unlimited character development options, Broken Roads presents players with an original morality system: the Moral Compass. This novel design sees dialogue options and questing decisions influence, and be influenced by, a character's philosophical leaning.
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Reigns Beyond Next Week

Developer Nerial and publisher Devolver Digital announce Reigns Beyond will launch on PC and Switch on April 17th, launching a science fiction installment in the Reigns series that's currently only available on Apple Arcade. Here's the deal: "Reigns Beyond takes the series’ famous narrative-driven, card-swiping gameplay to cosmic new heights. Journey across the universe as an intergalactic band, playing shows, recruiting new members and rocking the cosmos." A launch trailer takes a look, and here's more:
But it wouldn’t be Reigns without risk. As you embark on this epic multi-planet tour you have to keep your crew in check and your ship running. One wrong decision can leave you stranded, or worse, in the depths of space.

FEATURES

  • Unlock legendary galactic guitars and rock out in front of your adoring fans
  • Fight pirates, overzealous tax collectors and more in swipe-based dogfights
  • Hang out on your ship for band practice and help out lost space travelers
  • Meet over 60 curious characters, including a know-it-all AI, a space bear, a scholarly mollusk and your manager, Lord Shark
  • Swipe over 1,700 decision cards, offering endless possibilities
  • Original soundtrack by Sam Webster (Grindstone)

Continue here to read the full story.

Sky: Children of the Light Released

Sky: Children of the Light is now available in Early Access for Windows on Steam. Not to be confused with yesterday's launch of Children of the Sun, this is a serene MMOG from thatgamecompany. The Official Steam Launch Trailer is a chance to see the light, and here's more on the game and its peaceful vibe:
Sky: Children of the Light is a peaceful, award-winning MMO from the creators of Journey. Explore a beautifully-animated kingdom across seven realms and create enriching memories with other players in this delightful puzzle-adventure game.
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Underspace Early Access

Underspace is now available in Early Access on GOG.com* and Steam, offering the chance to play the in-development action/arcade offering based on classic space games. This is to the extent that developer Pastaspace Interactive refers to it as the "spiritual successor to Freelancer." Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and you can watch the developers playing the game in a livestream on Steam. Here's word on the game, and the possibility of encountering some eldrich mysteries in the stars:
The spiritual successor to Freelancer, Underspace is an open-world sandbox RPG with a Lovecraftian twist, where every star system is handcrafted, and every star system has something to see or do. Jump into the bizarre galaxy of Croft, step into the role you want, and thrive alone or online with friends (multiplayer on near term Early Access roadmap). But beware! The storms rule the stars.

Be a miner picking through crystallized bones of ancient star beasts, a trader hauling artifacts to far-flung outposts, a pirate robbing spacetrains, an explorer combing through lost stellar cities, or a hunter chasing down unknowable monstrosities that spew forth from the storms. Brave violent weather, eldritch beasts, and the terrors of the unknown as you make your mark in the universe.
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Star Trek: Infinite Support Ending

A low-key post on the Paradox Interactive Forums announces that Star Trek: Infinite is turning out to be quite finite, as the Trekkie grand strategy game will not be getting any updates going forward, just months after it launched last October (thanks Rock Paper Shotgun). This doesn't explain why the game failed, or besides the use of the word "sadly." even admit to failure, making it sound like a six month support cycle is normal. This concludes thanking the community for its unrequited enthusiasm:
Lastly, we cannot express enough gratitude for you, our community, for your support, enthusiasm, and dedication. Your engagement, feedback, and passion have been the driving force behind this adventure. You've built more than just a player base; you've forged a community of explorers united under the banner of Star Trek.

Though our journey in updating Star Trek: Infinite concludes here, the universe we've created together remains. The legacy of Star Trek: Infinite will live on through you, the community, and the adventures you continue to share.

Thank you for being a part of this incredible voyage, live long and prosper.

Tripwire Leadership Changes

Tripwire Interactive announces the appointment of Matthew LoPilato as the new CEO of the publisher/developer. LoPilato was previously CFO, and word is company co-founder and former CEO Alan Wilson is transitioning to a new role as a vice president. Word is: "The leadership transition reflects a new era for Tripwire Interactive, as LoPilato will oversee the Roswell-based studio and its 120 employees as they continue to create new game experiences and service their community of fans worldwide." Here's more:
Wilson co-founded Tripwire in 2005, and has held multiple senior positions within the studio before being named CEO in 2021. In his new role as Vice President, he will continue to be involved in activities including the assessment of internal and external developed titles, as well as potential publishing opportunities, business development support and legal assistance.

LoPilato has been at Tripwire since 2016, where he held business and financial roles. He has served as CFO since 2018, and has worked closely with Wilson and other leaders to oversee the studio including its acquisition by Embracer Group in 2022. As CEO, LoPilato will be responsible for continuing to lead the company as they further invest in their tentpole IPs (Killing Floor series, Maneater, and more) as well as grow their portfolio through Tripwire Presents, the company's 3rd party publishing division, and other strategic partnerships.

Intel Star Wars Outlaws Bundle

Intel and Ubisoft announce a collaboration for Star Wars Outlaws. The new action/adventure just got an August 30th release date, and now word is purchasers of an Intel 14th generation CPU will get a copy for free. Here's the plan:
What Gamers Should Look For: Starting today, gamers can take advantage of a special promotion. Gamers upgrading to the new Intel Core 14th Gen HX-Series mobile processors and S-Series desktop processors will receive a copy of Star Wars Outlaws.

This promotion is available across a range of newly released gaming laptops from partners, including Dell Alienware, Lenovo Legion, HP Omen, Acer Predator, ASUS ROG, MSI and Razer – all powered by Intel’s fastest-ever gaming processor.

Gamers will receive a digital copy of Star Wars Outlaws on qualifying purchases made April 9, 2024, through July 31, 2024, and can redeem and download the game until Sept. 15, 2024. For more information on eligible products and participating partners please visit the Software Advantage website.

Master Blaster Demo

Lost Cabinet Games announces Master Blaster, an "aim-and-shoot" arcade game loosely based on air hockey. This low-friction action is on display in this trailer, and there's also a playable demo on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here's the pitch:
Master Blaster is a simple, yet addictive aim-and-shoot chaotic game that combines old-school arcade action with tactical and strategic elements.

In Master Blaster, you find yourself in the shoes of a ultraversal entity, the enigmatic Master Blaster . Engage in sweaty cosmic battles against adversaries known as 'Chaosbringers' - the manifestations of the very forces of universal unpredictability.

Embark on an otherworldly, atmospheric journey where air hockey-inspired physics meets strategy , precision and intense blasting action!
Continue here to read the full story.

Ereban: Shadow Legacy Released

Ereban: Shadow Legacy is now available on Steam, offering a stealthy 3D platformer for Windows. Its rapid pace and science fiction theme are shown off in the Launch Trailer, and this post from Baby Robot expresses excitement over the developer's debut release. Here's more on the game, which offers the choice between playing like a ninja or going full Rambo:
Ereban: Shadow Legacy is a fast-paced stealth platformer game where you become Ayana, the last descendant of a forgotten race. Harness mystical shadow powers, high-tech gadgets and avoid or kill to uncover the truth about your past and the key to saving a dying, morally grey universe. What will your legacy be?

Experience an unprecedented combination of stealth and shadows with the Shadow Merge ability. Dive into shadows and move freely through them to climb walls, reach inaccessible places, attack from cover or advance unseen.

Absorb echoes to learn more lethal and non-lethal shadow powers, craft high-tech gadgets, and combine all this with your agility to infiltrate Helios lines and investigate what they are hiding.
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Even though the groundhogs predicted an early spring, it has only just now finally arrived in these parts, a couple of weeks late (predicting a late spring isn't even an option on Groundhog Day!). This came on so suddenly that when MrsBlue and I ran an errand yesterday, she walked out bundled in a parka. I knew what was coming, but she didn't. Imagine her shock when it was 74°F outside! Surprise!

Overdressed Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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