Updated: Jul 24, 2024 11:43 am EDT (GMT -04:00)

Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024 National Tequila Day (USA)

Tales & Tactics Leaves Early Access Next Month

Yogscast Games and Table9 Studios announce Tales & Tactics will officially launch on Steam on August 15th after almost exactly one year of Early Access. The previous Early Access Launch Trailer takes a look at gameplay from this roguelike auto-battler. Here's the tale of the tactics this supports:
Tales & Tactics blends roguelike strategy with a squad-based autobattler, creating a deep and rich one-of-a-kind experience tailor made for a single player adventure. No time limits and no pressure means you have all the time in the world to take in the game's mechanics and characters, and to strategize correctly for the fight ahead of you. With a quick and easy tutorial, and mechanics that start off simple and approachable, anyone can learn to play. The mechanics will only get more complex if you want them to, with our unique "complexity at your own pace" unlock system.

The Grand Tournament awaits every eager hero, the annual ultimate test of skill. And every up-and-coming hero has their own story to tell on the path to glorious victory. Take a seat at the table, and begin your own Tale.
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Dungeons & Kingdoms Announced

Camlann Games and solo developer Uncle Grouch Gaming announce Dungeons & Kingdoms, a medieval/fantasy management sim/dungeon crawler/RPG coming to PC "soon" via Steam. This promises "highly customizable structure building, terrain manipulation, deep colonist management and rewarding third-person dungeon delving combat" (related reading: Why “delve” is the most obvious sign of AI writing). A Reveal Trailer shows off some extremely polygonal gameplay, and here's more:
Take control as leader of a small group of refugees fleeing from an unlivable homeland. Make landfall in a new world and start a new life. Build everything yourself. Or lay down blueprints and give orders to your loyal settlers. Build infrastructure, manage needs, gather resources, farm crops and hunt wild animals. Do whatever it takes to survive.

Then dive into dangerous dungeons and face the monsters within. Explore every room, test your combat abilities and defeat the dungeon bosses to reap the rewards, unlock new resources and advance your tech.
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Hollow Survivors: Prologue Released

Hollow Survivors: Prologue is now available for Windows on Steam as a free sample of Hollow Survivors, a rogue-like dungeon crawler in the works at Danny Deer, Gameparic, Games Incubator, and PlayWay. Word is: "Following the success of our initial demo, we're excited to give you a deeper look into the world of Hollow Survivors with this new release." Here's a Prologue Trailer, and as expected, the description is quite hollow:
Hollow Survivors is a rogue-like dungeon crawler where you play as one of the few remaining sane Hollows. Slash through hordes of horrific creatures and fight your way to the top of the Tower. Discover new weapons and upgrades, and confront the evil cult that turned you into a Hollow.
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Aztecs The Last Sun Announced

663 Games and Play2Chill announce Aztecs The Last Sun, a city-builder coming later this year to PC via Steam. If Play2Chill's name and Polish headquarters have you suspecting PlayWay is involved, you are correct. For a look at the game we have a New Demo Developer Walkthrough Video walking us through some of what to expect. Here's a description:
Prepare to be transported back to the time of the Aztecs, a Mesoamerican culture that flourished for three great centuries, dominating vast stretches of land in the area and creating a society unique in world history. It was a gifted and wise nation, rich in complex traditions and beliefs. Now, in Aztecs: The Last Sun, you will become a leader and strive to make history remember you and your people.
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Game and Mod Development

Out of the Blue

When the crew removed the circular saw from right outside my office last week I thought the most disruptive part of their ongoing re-siding project was over. But now that they've wrapped back around to the front of the building their efforts seem to mainly consist of hitting it with a sledgehammer. I'm sure this is for some productive form of destruction, but it's certainly not quiet. In fact, I'm sort of wishing the circular saw was back at this point. The bad news is they're not even onto our unit yet, so this will probably persist for a while. The good news is that this is no-maintenance siding, so hopefully there will be no reason for such disruptions going forward.

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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024 World Whale and Dolphin Day - Max Payne Released (2001)

Humble Games Restructuring

Publisher Humble Games states it is "restructuring" in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz in a denial that it is shutting down. This follows reports of extensive layoffs, which some accounts say comprised the entire staff. The company calls the decision to restructure "difficult," but says that "upcoming releases are not affected" and that the changes have no impact on the operation of Humble Bundle. Here's word:
"In these challenging economic times for indie game publishing, Humble Games has made the difficult but necessary decision to restructure our operations. This decision was not made lightly; it involved much deliberation and careful thought, with the goal of ensuring the stability and support of our developers and ongoing projects. Additionally, the restructuring of operations at Humble Games will have no impact on operations at Humble Bundle.

"We are acutely aware of the profound impact this decision has on our team members at Humble Games and deeply empathize with everyone affected. Our team's contributions have been world-class and invaluable, supporting the launch of our games since we started publishing in 2017. We are committed to navigating this transition with as much empathy and understanding as possible.
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Exophobia Released

Exophobia is now available digitally for Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X|S, offering a first-person shooter from Zarc Attack and PM Studios. The Windows edition is on Steam, while physical console editions are delayed until next month. To call this a good old-fashioned FPS feels like an understatement, as the Launch Trailer shows off the game's extremely retro sensibilities. Here's word:
Dive into the heart-pounding action of Exophobia, the newest first-person shooter paying homage to the classics while carving out its legacy with Metroidvania-style action. In Exophobia, players navigate the twisted corridors of a crashed human spaceship, now a breeding ground for alien nightmares. With each step, the threat intensifies, but so does the arsenal at your disposal.
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Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Purgatory Released

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Purgatory is now available for PC, console, and iOS, kicking off a sequel to 2020's Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest said to blend a fantasy thriller, visual novel, and tabletop RPG. The PC edition is on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com,* and Steam, and all three list Windows and macOS support, but only Steam and GOG.com list support for Linux. There's also playable demo which is only on Steam. Here's a new Official Trailer and here are some deets:
Meet Samira, an Afghan werewolf and refugee. Follow her story as she flees her homeland and gets struck by a life-changing tragedy. Play in a world where evil comes in both human and supernatural shapes, and investigate the horrifying secrets hidden across the city of Warsaw. Will she sink into despair, overwhelmed by the tragedies of her past? Or will she give in to her rage and fight for a better future? The choice is yours.
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Été Released

Été is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a relaxing painting game from developer Impossible (thanks Rhialto). This is set in Montreal and offers the chance to capture the city's vistas regardless of your level of artistic talent. Check out this recent Gameplay Trailer for a look and read on if you want to brush up on the details:
Été [pronounced /ay·tay/, French for "summer"] is a relaxing painting game made for people who love exploration and creativity. Step into the shoes of a budding painter who travels abroad to Montreal for a summer. Unleash color with your paintbrush to freely explore the city and capture its everyday wonders on canvas. Befriend locals by fulfilling their inspiring commissions or prepare an original expo in your very own art studio.
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RAWMEN: Food Fighter Arena Released

Food fight! RAWMEN: Food Fighter Arena is now free-to-play on the Epic Games Store, offering the chance to weaponize food better than a Chipotle. The Launch Trailer shows the forecast is cloudy with a chance of meatballs, and developer ANIMAL and publisher tinyBuild offer the following thoughts on the project:
Enter the arena in an online 4v4 competition and battle it out to see who can survive the longest using specially concocted dishes. Skirmish against random opponents or alongside friends through a delectable assortment of food-themed maps. Dish out damage in style, sliding across maps and bouncing away from adversaries. Cook up a spicy dish of agony, from tasty dumplings to pan-fried sausages, and launch it at foes’ faces.

Dash around in an eclectic array of messy food-based game modes. Compete in different locations around the globe with a weapon of choice, from slappin’ mackerel swords to rapid brat-ling guns. Participate in the Sudden Death mode where players can fight alone or with friends in an all-out brawl!
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Ubisoft on Assassin's Creed Shadows Controversy

A post from Ubisoft addresses controversy about the subject matter of Assassin's Creed Shadows, the upcoming installment in the action/adventure series set in feudal Japan. The new game was announced earlier this year, including the chance to play as "Yasuke, the powerful samurai of historical legend." Yasuke is a real figure of African origins, and while the Wikipedia says he served as a samurai, this is disputed. The post addresses criticisms of the game's historical accuracy, and explains that none of the games in the series are especially factual. There's an outline of the creative inspirations and creative liberties behind the depiction of Yasuke, and a bit on the debate over his role in Japanese society. The main message is an acknowledgment of concerns, an apology, and, along with a request to lay off the harassment of its team and partners, word that Ubisoft is making unspecified "efforts" to address some of these criticisms:
Our team extensively collaborated with external consultants, historians, researchers, and internal teams at Ubisoft Japan to inform our creative choices. Despite these sustained efforts, we acknowledge that some elements in our promotional materials have caused concern within the Japanese community. For this, we sincerely apologize. All game footage presented so far is in development and the game will keep evolving until launch. Based on the constructive criticism we have received, we will continue our efforts until we put this game into your hands - and beyond.

We also want to clarify that while we have been consulting with many people throughout the development process, they are in no way responsible for the decisions that are taken by the creative teams in the interests of gameplay and entertainment. Consequently, we respectfully request that any criticism not be directed at our collaborators, both internal and external.

ExoCross Released

ExoCross is out for PC and consoles, and the Windows and Linux edition of this off-road racer from iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations is now available on Steam. Word is this is built on the shoulders of DRAG: Outer Zones, and those who bought that in Early Access are automatically entitled to a copy: "ExoCross is the culmination of multiple years of game development. Its roots lie in DRAG: Outer Zones, a Steam Early Access title which iRacing acquired as part of the purchase of Orontes Games in late 2021. All players who purchased the Steam Early Access version of DRAG: Outer Zones have automatically been upgraded to the completed ExoCross upon its release today." A new Story Trailer accompanies the news to amaze you with the complicated background behind a straightforward motorsports game. Here's a bit:
Nestled within galaxy NGC 43324 lies the earth-like planet Proteus, the home of ExoCross! Take on a (literally) out-of-this-world racing challenge featuring wild off-road terrain, powerful open-wheel vehicles, slipstream-powered boosts, and unparalleled handling, and see if you can become the greatest off-road racer in the galaxy!

4CPT physics: Fully-simulated chassis and suspension components and a soft-body tire model create realistic weight transfer and understeer/oversteer. Bring your rallying and off-road skills to Proteus and you’ll be rewarded!
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Wild West Dynasty Leaves Early Access Next Month

Toplitz productions announces Wild West Dynasty will depart Early Access on August 22nd with the release of version 1.0 of this wild west strategy game developed by Moon Punch Studio. It's available on Steam, where there's this post covering the news. As the title states, this lets you to stake your claim on the American frontier to create a family dynasty, which would make you the villain in about every western ever made except Yellowstone. Early Access reviews are not positive, and the announcement includes a bit on how the release edition will change:
After a long arduous journey through Early Access and with the help of invaluable community feedback, Wild West Dynasty is ready to settle down and captivate gamers with its unique mixture of gameplay elements that will cater to a variety of playstyles.

Since the original release in Early Access virtually no stone has been left unturned to improve or revise the game on all fronts, rebuilding it from the ground up, starting with visuals and performance to features and UI. Wild West Dynasty Version 1.0 is also adding new elements, a fresh story and a multitude of management options to control the workforce and resources in your settlements, making this a fully new gameplay experience.

Weyrdlets Released

Weyrdlets is now free-to-play on Steam, offering a virtual pet game that gives you a companion on your desktop to add some harmonious relaxation to your work and play. The Official Launch Trailer shows off the game and introduces gameplay. There's no DLC listed, so the "content" section is the only hint at the game's business model: "In-game purchases, Online interactivity, In-game chat." Here's a bit on what raising your own Weyrdlet will add to your life:
Embark on a heartwarming journey with Weyrdlets, where joy meets productivity. Adopt a lovable companion in this community-driven virtual pet simulator. Interact, decorate and bring joy to not only your gaming but also working experience.

Experience adopting a unique virtual pet with quirky abilities. Just like in reality, engage in lifelike interactions - pet, grab, feed and play with your companion both in-game and on your desktop!
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Linkito Released

Steam now features the release of Linkito, a logic/puzzle game for Windows and Linux with a title that sounds like a URL shortener. For the first week this carries a 10% discount. Your work at solving the game's mysteries includes code-breaking, bomb defusing, and hacking into robots and other systems, all with the aim of taking down a totalitarian state. There's also a level editor allowing you to create and publish your own puzzles. The RELEASE TRAILER shows off gameplay, and here's more:
In Linkito, players have to defeat the plans of a totalitarian company-state one puzzle at a time to regain freedom. They start by repairing basic electronic devices, but as the story unfolds, they face more complex systems like breaking secret codes, controlling robots or diffusing bombs. Players can also build their solutions through open puzzles, using what they learnt from previous challenges and the trial-and-error gameplay.

The game’s intuitive level editor allows the creation and publication of custom puzzles online, fostering a community where creations can be shared and played via an in-game browser. With open puzzles and a built-in level editor, creativity is encouraged, and mind-bending challenges can be shared with players worldwide.
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Out of the Blue

Aurora alert- Possible geomagnetic storm could bring northern lights as far south as New York - Space.com. This is upon us again! The previous run of southern northern lights was a disappointment around these parts, as it was too overcast and rainy to experience them in the slightest. And of course it's pouring rain here right now. But I'll remain optimistic it may work out that we get to experience this phenomenon without having to head up near the Arctic Circle. We shall see.

As noted in the date bar, today is the 23rd anniversary of the release of Max Payne, Remedy's brilliant third-person shooter. To celebrate we're sporting our Max Payne-themed logo in our desktop view. This is the work of Walter "2" Costinak, updated to our present format by Scott, so thanks to them both.

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