Archived News:

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016

Samorost 3 Released

Samorost 3 is now available for Windows and OS X on the Samorost 3 website as well as, Humble Store, and Steam, offering a new installment in this puzzle series from Amanita Design, the makers of Machinarium. In keeping with the game's general vibe, there's almost nothing about the game on the website, thought they offer this recent release date trailer which shows off gameplay and some of the game's unusual and beautiful environments. Here's word on the release:
Amanita Design, the independent developer of award-winning puzzle games like Machinarium and Botanicula, has launched Samorost 3 on Windows PC and Mac platforms. This point-and-click exploration adventure is a loose follow-up to the original indie hits Samorost (2003) and Samorost 2 (2005). It follows a curious space gnome who uses the magical powers of a mysterious flute to travel through the cosmos in search of its origins.

Samorost 3 is Amanita’s most ambitious experience yet, combining the intricate logic puzzles of Machinarium with Botanicula’s more relaxed gameplay and tone. Players will journey across nine uniquely alien worlds, each a distinctive ecosystem teeming with colorful creatures, characters, challenges, achievements and surprises to discover.

Brought alive by detailed artwork and expressive animations, Samorost 3’s surreal landscapes and lifeforms draw a balance between stylishly bizarre and believable. The game’s eclectic audio and soundtrack –composed by inventive musician Floex – are both abstract and atmospheric, frequently playing key roles alongside environmental clues in the game’s puzzles and mini-games.
Continue here to read the full story.

Medal of Honor Pacific Assault Free on Origin

The latest game offered through the Origin Games On the House program is Medal of Honor Pacific Assault, meaning anyone with an Origin account is entitled to download the World War II shooter for free (thanks Allen). Here's word on the game, which no longer offers multiplayer support due to the shutdown of GameSpy:
Step into the boots of Marine Private Tom Conlin, as you fight your way through the iconic battles of World War II. Work alone and with the help of squad members to complete missions. As squad members gain experience, they develop their own personalities and fight more efficiently. This first-person-shooter features incredible missions, weapons, and vehicles that put you in the middle of the fight.

Total War Battles: KINGDOM Launches

Total War Battles: KINGDOM is now available on Steam for Windows and OS X. offering a free-to-play installment in the Total War strategy series. Here's a launch trailer, and here's word from the announcement:
Today, you can take on leadership of a new realm in Total War Battles: KINGDOM, now available as a free download on Steam for PC and Mac, the Apple App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; as well as digital download on Google Play™ for Android devices. For more information visit:

Forge your land into a mighty kingdom through the smoke of industry, diplomacy and war, transforming your territory from a raw wilderness into a refined, powerful, prosperous realm. Expand, conquer, and explore a persistent world across multiple platforms while training and customising your very own army. Take your troops into battle against AI and other players in realm-time battles.

The time has come for you to seize a hold of your destiny. What will your legacy be? Watch the Launch trailer here:
Continue here to read the full story.

Street Fighter V Cash Shop Delayed

CapCom Unity has details on the March update for Street Fighter V, saying the first of a two-part release will take place on March 28th, and outlining all that it will add to the fighting game. They also have details on what will not be coming, as plans to open the cash shop are being postponed. They also inform anyone disappointed at not being able to purchase the new DLC character that all characters will be provided to all players on a trial basis until the ability to buy them with cash is worked out. Here's word:
One feature that will not be making it into the March update will be the Zenny (real money) functionality of the in-game shop. We have taken a long hard look at this part of the store, and after much review, have decided it is not ready to launch just yet. As Zenny is purchased with real money, we wanted to be extra careful and make sure it’s fully tested and optimized before launching it. There is currently no ETA on the Zenny store and we will release it as soon as it’s ready.

We realize that this causes an inconvenience to fans who want to purchase the DLC characters, such as Alex, but do not have enough Fight Money or own the Season Pass. To address this, we will be making Alex available for free as a trial period to all players, until the Zenny shop launches. This also will apply to any future DLC character that releases prior to the Zenny shop launching. Once the Zenny shop launches, the free trial for any DLC characters that released prior to the Zenny shop opening will end, and players will need to either use Fight Money, Zenny, or the Season Pass to access those characters.

Any DLC character related content (such as costumes) that is purchased with Fight Money during the trial period will remain in your account once the trial period ends, but you’ll need to purchase Alex to use that content. The same goes for colors and character progress, etc. that are earned during the trial period; everything will be saved, you’ll just need to purchase the character to resume your progress once the trial period ends.

As a special bonus to our Season Pass users, they will be the only ones who will be able to access the premium costumes of the DLC characters until the Zenny shop launches, and they also get to keep character access once the free trial period ends. Additionally, we will be giving all Season Pass users a free, brand new stage in the near future!

Game Tycoon 2 Official Launch Delayed

Game Tycoon 2 remains in early access on Steam, which is news simply because publisher KISS Ltd and developer Sunlight Games intended on making today the game's official launch. They now plan on releasing this on April 8th, saying the additional time is required to make the best game they can about making games. "We took a last minute call to give extra time to deliver the best possible game play experience," explains Marco Sowa, CEO of German based indie dev studio Sunlight Games GmbH. "Instead of the game leaving Early Access, we will be issuing a further code update today and a final update when the game moves to a full release on Friday 8 April."

DOOM Trailer

Another new trailer from the new DOOM game is up on, offering a look at the demons, power weapons, and power-ups in the shooter remake. The accompanying article fills in a lot of details about all these elements, kicked off by the following introduction:
For more than two decades, the DOOM marine has shot, smashed, blasted and chainsawed his way through heaving hordes of hellspawn. But come May 13, when DOOM releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, the demons will finally have their day. For the first time in the history of id’s seminal shooter, players can actually become a demon and wreak all kinds of havoc in intense multiplayer matches.

But that’s not all. Along with the newly playable demons, combatants can also grab hold of devastating power weapons and unique power-ups that enhance the intensely fun multiplayer mayhem. For a look at just a few of the demons, power weapons and power-ups in DOOM multiplayer, watch our new video.
Continue here to read the full story.

Homefront: The Revolution Trailer

A new Guerrilla Warfare 101 trailer from Homefront: The Revolution offers some basic training for the upcoming shooter sequel, showing off combat in an effort to liberate an occupied Philadelphia. Here's word on the clip, which is said to be the first in a series:
The first in a series of new gameplay trailers, the “Guerrilla Warfare 101” trailer for Homefront: The Revolution is now available, showcasing the type of gameplay and combat variety you can expect in the game’s single-player campaign as well as the online co-op Resistance Mode.

Faced with the technologically superior forces of the KPA who are occupying Philadelphia in 2029, the Resistance needs to fight their war for liberation on their own terms. Urban guerrillas use their knowledge of the environment, their custom homebrew weapons, and their Guerrilla Toolkit to their advantage to even the odds.
Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Next Month

Focus Home Interactive announces an April 21st release date for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, the Warhammer 40,000 real-time strategy game in development at Tindalos Interactive. They also offer a new trailer showing off some Ork action, celebrating the addition of this new race to the beta. Word is you can gain access to the beta by preordering the game, and doing so will also gain you two factions that will be presumably sold separately to non-early adopters. Here's word:
There's another important thing we'd like to announce. Currently, the Space Marines fleet is offered for free to all Early Adopters. With the support of our publisher Focus, we've decided to develop another faction that we'll unveil soon. This new faction, available in a few months, will also be offered for free to all Early Adopters - people who pre-ordered the game or purchase it during the first two months after release. We wanted to show you, the community, that we're passionate about supporting this game and its players. We're always paying attention to your feedback, and this is how together we'll make the game we've all dreamt about."
Continue here to read the full story.

Steamship Ahoy - PolyRace

PolyRace is now available on Steam, offering a futuristic racing game for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Here's word on the game and its procedural level generation:
PolyRace is a fast-paced futuristic racing game with a procedural level generator. Choose between 4 different hovercrafts with each of them having its own physic properties and a unique sci-fi hull. Run on generated terrains shaped with valleys, hills and mountains, mixing long straight lines and narrow curves while paying attention to your shield.


  • Hurtle through randomized tracks (using procedural algorithm) with four difficulty levels and three landscape environment: desert, continental, arctic.
  • Challenge your friends in a turn by turn multiplayer and race against your opponent’s ghost.
  • Which kind of racer are you: a Time Attack girl, Distance type of guy or an endless person?
  • Race against the developer’s ghost in the Missions, and challenge the rest of the world in the Race of the Day.
  • Choose between four hovercrafts with their own physics.
  • Playable on keyboard and gamepad with insanely fast-paced music.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

Trendy Entertainment Files Ark Lawsuit

Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment has filed a lawsuit against Studio Wildcard, the startup behind Ark: Survival Evolved, the early access survival game. Kotaku reports on the situation, saying this centers around Jeremy Stieglitz, and whether Trendy's former creative director violated a non-compete clause in working on Ark and poaching Trendy employees. They accuse him of "tortious interference" and argue that Ark competed for both audience and developers with Dungeon Defenders, and word is that Wildcard has called these accusations "irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous" in asking that the charges be dismissed. According to the story, this will all hit the courts late next month when the court will decide whether the game can remain for sale while all this gets sorted:
The lawsuit, which is ongoing, is filled with allegations about Stieglitz and his involvement with Ark: Survival Evolved. Wildcard’s leadership has denied that Stieglitz played a major role in the game’s creation, but Trendy argues otherwise, and they’ve filed for “injunctive relief and damages” in the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida. On April 27, the court will hear arguments on Trendy’s most recent motion, which asks for a temporary injunction until the case is settled. If granted, the injunction could temporarily halt development on Ark: Survival Evolved and even force Wildcard to pull the game from Steam as the lawsuit continues.

More Ubisoft Versus Vivendi

A report on Bloomberg Business has the latest on Ubisoft's efforts at fending off a hostile takeover by Vivendi, saying the threat of a talent exodus may be the company's best defense against the financial assault (thanks PCGamesN). Some of the story is based on feedback from financial analysts Michael Pachter and Richard Maxime Beaudoux, who often hold views that diverge from those of the hardcore gaming audience, but they do also quote those more directly involved in the situation, including company founder Yves Guillemot. He explains that their dedication to retaining employees is not the norm, and they make a case for how this could work against an acquisition. Here's a summary:
Ubisoft, the third biggest independent game maker, is behind some of the most popular games of today including “Assassin’s Creed” and “The Division.” Guillemot and his four brothers, who own about 9 percent of the company, are on the defensive after Vivendi, the media conglomerate headed by Bollore, started buying into Ubisoft last October. Vivendi’s initial 10 percent stake is up to just over 15 percent now. The company said this month it plans to keep buying shares and seek board representation. Potentially more worrisome, it began a hostile bid for Gameloft SE, another game company founded by the Guillemot brothers.

For 30 years, Guillemot has been running Ubisoft, based in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, as a family business where creatives are given time, space and a little extra budget when they need it. That’s a far cry from the iron fist culture of Bollore, who took control of advertising agency Havas SA and installed his son as chief executive officer.

Vivendi risks turning Ubisoft into an “empty shell” unless it can keep its approach friendly and retain Guillemot as a top executive, said Richard Maxime Beaudoux, an analyst at Bryan Garnier & Co. “This industry’s all about star developers and creatives -- they create the added-value. And at Ubisoft, Guillemot has their support.”

Dark Souls III Trailer

Dark Souls III has launched in Japan, and is coming westward on April 12th. In celebration, Bandai Namco offers a new accursed trailer showing off the action/RPG sequel. Here's word: "A new gameplay trailer for Dark Souls III is now available for download from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. The new “Accursed Trailer” immerses viewers into the darkly beautiful world of Dark Souls III, the gripping and rewarding action-RPG fueled by sinister enemies, lethal weapons and the classic sword and sorcery combat. Contrasting light and dark, life and death, the trailer showcases the grotesque and stunning sights and intense conflicts that have made the Dark Souls franchise hugely popular around the world." Continue here to read the full story.

Way of the Samurai 3 for Windows Released

Steam News announces the release of Way of the Samurai 3, a Windows version of the third installment in this series based on these noble warriors that have gone the way of the dodo. The game is 20% off for the next week, and there are a few DLC packs that carry the same discount. The best description from the Steam page is truncated, saying: "Honour, sacrifice, betrayal… Your choices make you who you are. How will history remember you? Choose your friends and enemies carefully in a game where every decision has far-reaching consequences, and where finishing the game is just the beginning of your..." We're going to guess the missing word is "journey," though it could be "adventure," or even something else. Samurai are mysterious like that.

John Carmack Getting BAFTA Fellowship

The BAFTA website announces plans to honor famed programmer John Carmack with a BAFTA fellowship at next month's BAFTA Awards. Here's word on this honor for the former id co-owner who is now at Oculus:
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games.

Fellowships previously presented for outstanding work in games include David Braben OBE, Rockstar Games, Gabe Newell, Peter Molyneux, Shigeru Miyamoto and Will Wright.

John Carmack is celebrated as a leading voice within computer and game engineering and is one of the pioneers of 3D graphics. For the past two decades, Carmack has driven adoption of many popular techniques that have changed the landscape of gaming, including adaptive tile refresh, raycasting, binary space partitioning and surface caching. He is recognised worldwide as a visionary for the part he played in some of the most popular video game franchises in history.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • Accessory Power Enhance GX-H3 Gaming Headphones on Technology X.
  • Asus Strix GTX 980Ti OC Edition on Overclocked Inside. German.
  • Azza Nova 8000 CSAZ-8000B Full-Tower Chassis on TweakTown.
  • Cooler Master V Series 650 W PSU on techPowerUp.
  • Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum RGB Wired Gaming Headset on TweakTown.
  • MSI Z170A GAMING PRO Carbon Motherboard on Vortez.
  • Mushkin IMPACT 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive on Nikk Tech.
  • Samsung Portable SSD T3 500GB on ocaholic.


Out of the Blue

There's something new here you can help us check out if you have a moment, as thanks to the work (and patience) of Frans, we now have an SSL certificate, which will support secure connections to the site. While we don't store any particularly sensitive information here, it's a much better practice to transmit logins and passwords via HTTPS, so this could be considered long overdue. You can now access the site via SSL, and if you do, hopefully you will see things exactly as you do now. As far as we know, the only hairs at all out of place now are how the images for the Amazon buttons are called via HTTP, which could cause some browsers or security software to warn of mixed content. We're looking into how that can be worked around, but other than that, if you do notice anything odd or different when using HTTPS, please let us know so we can work it out before we make that the default method for accessing the site.

Secure Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Tavern of Heroes.
The Mother of the Bird Men.
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Rapidly Weakening El Niño May Become La Niña Next Fall or Winter.
Man arrested for not returning VHS rental 14 years later.
Science: Adherence to Japanese diet guidelines linked to longer life.
The Harvard Library That Protects The World's Rarest Colors.
Ancient virus found hibernating in the human genome—and it might wake up.
Media: Softball Stereotypes. I think I was almost all of them.
Living in a converted gas station.
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