Archived News:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Get Steep for Free

If you are interested in Steep, but find the price too steep, you'll be happy with Ubisoft's announcement that this winter sports simulation is free to download and keep from Uplay between now and May 21st. They illustrate the news with a giveaway trailer and offer the following details:
Steep will be free to download via Uplay between May 16 and May 21, giving players who don't already own the PC version the chance to hit its open-world slopes at no cost, and experience what more than two years of updates and improvements have brought to its extreme winter-sports playground. Better still, Steep is yours to keep after the free period is over, so don't sleep on this one.

The giveaway comes on the heels of Season 6: Carve the Curve, which marks the beginning of a monthly schedule for new seasons. Season 6 also changes up Steep's live events, adding new weekly challenges; shifting the Steep World Tour events to weekends and tweaking their difficulty; and introducing new season-long (read: monthly) challenges centered on specific areas of the game.
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Get Guacamelee! for Free

A spring sale is now underway on The Humble Store, offering discounts on thousands of games. They also offer a Humble Freebie, as you can get Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition for free just for signing up for their newsletter (this also works if you are already subscribed). To catch you up on this free avocado-free game, here's a trailer, and here's more:
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is provided via Steam key for Windows. For key redemption, a free Steam account is required.

Carlos Calaca has kidnapped El Presidente's Daughter, and he plans to sacrifice her in order to merge the World of the Living with the World of the Dead.

Juan Aguacate, an agave farmer who stumbles upon a Legendary Luchador mask, must find the strength and courage to become the Hero he's always dreamed of being and put a stop to this.

Guacamelee! is a Metroidvania-style action-platformer set in a magical world inspired by traditional Mexican culture and folklore. The game features melee combat, parallel dimensions and same-screen co-op. The original Guacamelee! received wide critical acclaim and was a finalist for both IndieCade and the Independent Games Festival's Excellence in Visual Art award.

  • Non-Stop Fighting Action. An extensive move list, advanced combo engine, and anti-gravity grabs
  • Multi-dimensional Platforming. Instantly swap between the Worlds of Living and Dead to traverse impossible terrain
  • Combat moves double as movement, uniting platforming and fighting in a way never seen before
  • Diverse, detailed world containing lively towns, dark forests, flowery canals and fiery volcanoes
  • Drop in/out 4-Player local co-operative play, featuring independent dimension swapping
  • Multiple boss characters (each with unique back stories), wide range of foes, and elite-class enemies
  • Spectacular player abilities: The Rooster Uppercut, Frog Slam, and “Intenso” turbo-combat mode
  • Create new custom costumes and share these with others via Steam Workshop
  • Steam leaderboards, achievements and trading cards, support for multiple save slots, persistent cross-save-game costume unlocks
  • Chickens. Lots and lots of chickens.

*** Please note that the ‘Super Turbo Championship Edition’ of Guacamelee! is an updated version of the previously-released Guacamelee! Gold Edition. ***

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Get Stories Untold for Free

The free game mentioned in today's news about the Epic Mega Sale is now available, so now's your chance to pick up Stories Untold for free. Here's word on this adventure game:
Stories Untold is a narrative-driven experimental adventure game, that bends the genre into something completely unique. Combining a mix of classic text-adventure, point-and-click and more, 4 short stories are packaged together into a single mysterious anthology that has been described as “a fantastic, fascinating example of interactive visual storytelling” and earning widespread critical acclaim since release.

The game pulls together 80s retro nostalgia, innovative and experimental genre-defying gameplay, and tense, psychological horror to create “one of the most fascinating and unique tales you can play this year.”

  • Four unique stories, with their own settings, gameplay and mechanics.
  • Play mind-bending text adventures, process radio transmissions and conduct experiments on bizarre artifacts
  • Gorgeous retro-aesthetic brings back vivid memories, or a glimpse into what was.
  • Sublime synth-wave horror soundtrack, inspired by 80s horror soundtracks.
  • Achievements to unlock, and narrative secrets to discover
  • Genre-hopping: from psychological horror, to tense mystery and terrifying sci-fi; Stories Untold is truly “4 stories, 1 nightmare”

Created by No Code | Published by Devolver Digital

The Video Game Machine Announced

Stardock announces The Video Game Machine, a sandbox game that allows you to get in touch with your inner game designer. This will allow the creation of actual games that others will be able to download and play. It's hard to imagine how this will work, but we won't have to puzzle for long, as an alpha test will begin on May 29th, offering the chance to dabble in development of adventure games and platformers, with other genres to follow. To check this out you'll need to join their founder's program by preordering. Here's more:
Some of the game genres included are side-scrollers, shoot 'em up, and adventure games. The genre choice takes care of the game's basic game mechanics. From there, the player sets up the game's rules and selects the characters they want in their game such as knights, superheroes, ninjas, cats, and more.

The Video Game Machine includes a host of pre-made games that players can edit or they can choose with a blank slate and start creating. Players can share their games online as well as download games made by others to try them out.

"The game has been designed to be easy enough that anyone can create their own games while still having enough power that savvy gamers can create truly unique games with it," said Tykoski. "We've made the art style match the 1980s/1990s golden age and included a lot of premade graphics sets so players can be up and making their own games in minutes."

An alpha for The Video Game Machine begins on May 29th and will include the first two genres: Platformer and Adventure. Even those who aren't interested in making games will find a host of classic-style games available to play.

Surviving Mars Gets Expansion, DLC, and Free Update

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Haemimont Games announces the release of the Green Planet expansion, the Project Laika DLC, and a free update called Armstrong for Surviving Mars, their planetary colonization sim. One of these releases is highlighted in the Green Planet release trailer and you can pick up a copy of Green Planet here and Project Laika here. Would you like to know more?
Surviving Mars: Green Planet is the second major expansion for Surviving Mars, giving players the power to turn the Red Planet green and open the domes with the introduction of Terraforming Parameters. These Terraforming Parameters add new layers of strategic depth to Surviving Mars and are affected by new terraforming buildings, completing special projects, and seeding vegetation across the planet’s surface in hopes of making Mars capable of supporting human life. Additionally, Mars has become pet friendly with the Project Laika animal pack that brings a variety of pets and livestock to the alien world -- but keep an eye on those pets because some of your colonists’ companions may surprise you.

The free Armstrong update continues the mission to enhance the core Surviving Mars experience for everyone. Armstrong adds a host of gameplay features, including landscaping tools that allow players to change the topology of the planet’s surface to fit their needs.
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Metro Exodus Expansion Pass Preorders

Publisher Deep Silver and developer 4A Games announce details about the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass, which will imbue the first-person shooter sequel with two DLC packs, one coming this summer, and the other due early next year. This is now available for preorder, and you can purchase the PC edition on the Epic Games Store. They offer details, warning these contain spoilers for those who haven't completed the main Metro Exodus campaign, so will place those after the break to help you avoid then if you want. Here's word:
Deep Silver and 4A Games today revealed the details of the downloadable content that will make up the Metro Exodus Expansion Pass.

There will be two major pieces of story-driven DLC for the game, following brand new stories from the world of Metro. Instead of Artyom, players will see through the eyes of a brand-new character and of one of the Spartan Rangers, the Aurora’s only American, Sam. Both of these will be available as part of the expansion pass and will also be available for purchase separately.

A quick word of warning: if you have not yet completed the Metro Exodus campaign, the following contains spoilers.
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Evening Crowdfunding

Epic Mega Sale

The Epic Games Store fulfils recent rumors with the announcement of an Epic Mega Sale, a bit of a play on the company's original name, Epic MegaGames. They are promising bargains up to 75% off and an additional $10.00 USD discount on every game priced above $14.99. They are also doubling down on their free game every two weeks (or fortnite, as it were), to a free game every week during the sale, starting with the upcoming release of Stories Untold. This post has a FAQ to address any lingering questions this raises, saying they are actually offering refunds to match their sale prices for all games purchased between May 2nd and yesterday. Here's more:
How do I get $10 off games in the Epic Games store?
You don’t have to do anything. During the sale, all games priced $14.99 and above are an additional $10 off, courtesy of Epic.

Do I get $10 off games that are already on sale?
Yes! As long as the sale price is $14.99 and above.

How long does the Epic Mega Sale last?
The sale ends June 13, 2019.

Will I get $10 off DLC, game add-ons, season passes, or in-game purchases, including V-bucks in Fortnite?
No, the promotional offer only applies to qualifying game purchases from the Epic Games store. It does not apply to any nongame purchases such as add-ons (like DLC or season passes) or in-game purchases (such as in-game currency, like V-bucks in Fortnite, or upgrades like Save The World mode.)

I pre-purchased a game before the start of the Epic Mega Sale and that game hasn’t launched yet. Should I cancel my pre-purchase and then buy it again to take advantage of the $10 discount?
No, you don’t have to! Every player who pre-purchased an unreleased game in the Epic Games store prior to May 16th, 2019 for $14.99 and above will receive a $10 refund! You will receive your $10 refund automatically to the payment method you used in the next 7-12 days.

What if I bought a game just before the Epic Mega Sale?
For all game purchases between May 2nd, 2019 and May 15th, 2019 we will refund you the difference in price between what you paid and what you would have paid during the Epic Mega Sale (inclusive of the $10 off from Epic). You will receive your refund automatically to the payment method you used in the next 7-12 days.

Rocket Arena Announced; Closed Beta Next Week

Nexon reveals Rocket Arena, a rocket-centric, 3v3 multiplayer shooter in development at Final Strike with cross-platform support for Steam and Xbox One. A Rocket Arena Website is online offering details about the game, and signups for a one-week closed beta that gets underway on May 23rd. They also promise beta testers free gifts and the chance to earn rewards. If this title sparks nostalgia for the 1990s, its probably because it uses the name of a popular QUAKE mod from back in the day, so it's fitting that the short video introducing the game is set to Tubthumping, the Chumbawamba hit from 1997. IGN took the chance to talk with Final Strike CEO Kevin Franklin about the work going into creating a "shooter where no one dies," since the object is to bounce opposing players off the map with rocket concussions. Here's more:
Rocket Arena is a unique take on First Person Shooters, where the very method you use taking out opponents has an explosive change: Battle is won not by putting enemies into the dirt, but to send them blasting off into the sky!

Every character has their own loadout of bombs, traps, spells and, yes, rockets that send enemies caught within them flying. The more damage they take, the further they'll be hurtled around by each and every strike until they're knocked out of the arena!

With a variety of unique characters with different rockets and abilities to master, rapid-fire matches that keep the energy high and a selection of maps and game modes to shake things up, there's plenty for you to enjoy during the Closed Beta and when Rocket Arena officially launches!
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PC Toki Remake Next Month

Microïds announces Toki is coming to Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on June 6th, offering much wider access to this action/platformer remake. This is an enhanced version of the game that debuted on the Nintendo Switch, adding a new game mode, new graphic filters, and a new jukebox option. Here is the Switch launch trailer along with more details:
After a successful launch on Nintendo Switch last November, Toki's remake is now making its way to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC/Mac with a launch date set for the 6th of June 2019! The game will be available digitally on all platforms and physically as a standard edition for the PlayStation 4. The game is welcoming new features like a speedrun mode and a jukebox, see the full details below.

  • NEW GAME MODE: For the first time, Toki will offer a speedrun mode, accessible from the beginning of the game and available in every difficulty settings.
  • NEW GRAPHIC FILTERS: Rediscover this retro adventure thanks to 5 filters suitable in all game modes. The "cathodic TV" effect will particularly speaks to the most nostalgic players!
    • 32 music tracks in total
    • 24 composed by Raphaël Gesqua
    • 8 compositions from the original game

Initially released in 1989 on arcade, this cult 2D action platformer seduced a whole generation of players with its challenging difficulty. The remake of this arcade classic has been completely redrawn and re-orchestrated by Philippe Dessoly and Pierre Adane, the architects behind the original Amiga conversion of the game back in the 1990’s. « After the Retrollector edition’s success, released on November 22nd, a physical and digital release on the other existing platforms seemed appropriate. We wanted all players to discover both the fun and the difficulty that Toki has to offer. We hope that the remarkable work done on this remake will delight both the old and the new generation! » reveal Elliot Grassiano, Vice-President at Microïds

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Tools Up! Announced

A new listing on Steam reveals plans for Tools Up!, which sounds like an E.D. product, but is actually an upcoming couch co-op game for up to four players who work to renovate apartments in a "mysterious skyscraper." As seen there and in this reveal trailer, this looks a bit like you are doing the work for a Sims player's home improvements. Here's word:
Gather up to 4 players for this fun couch co-op experience for people of all skills! Renovate the apartments in the mysterious skyscraper while the tenants are away. Be sure to follow their wishes left behind on the blueprints. Tear off wallpapers, bring down walls, bust down doors, and cover the floor with vibrant carpets and panels - just be sure to do it in time and clean up after yourself!

“We created Tools Up! with the goal to make the fun couch co-op accessible to players of all skill levels. - says Maciej Jaroszewicz, Project Manager at The Knights of Unity. - This is the game you can play with your children or even grandparents”.

Key Features:

  • Four characters when you start but so many more to unlock and love!
  • Afraid of messing up the game for fellow players? Don’t be! Tools Up! lets you take whatever part you want!
  • Remember that only the person holding the blueprint can change camera angles. Use it for good… OR FOR EVIL.
  • Face other fast-developing corporations: defeat cunning AI players through various victory conditions.
  • Each campaign mission is unlocked in Party Mode for you and your friends to master!

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Morning Crowdfunding

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • 1MORE Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones-I on Nikk Tech.
  • Asustor Nimbustor 4 (AS5304T) NAS on Guru3D.
  • Acer Nitro XV273K Gaming Monitor on TechSpot.
  • Ballistix Sport AT DDR4-3200 CL16 2x8GB RAM on TechPowerUp.
  • be quiet! Dark Rock SLIM CPU Cooler on Guru3D.
  • Corsair Ironclaw RGB Wireless Mouse on Play3r.
  • Crucial BX500 960 GB SSD ON Modders-Inc.
  • Logitech Harmony Express Remote on TweakTown.
  • NZXT HUE 2 Ambient RGB Lighting Kit on
  • Philips 499P9H 49-inch Gaming Monitor on IGN.
  • Razer Hammerhead Duo In-ear Headset on Mad Shrimps.
  • Stormforce Crystal RTX 2070 (Ryzen 2600) PC  on Vortez.
  • Tecware Phantom RGB Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
  • Western Digital WD Black SN750 NVMe 1TB SSD With Heatsink on

Out of the Blue

I wanted to mention my reaction to the second episode of Chernobyl before it came up in the forums here last night, but I was so struck by it I will anyway. I don't think I've ever felt such an impact from any media before this, whether it be a movie, TV show, or book. This was always described as a disaster that could have been far worse, but I was never aware of just how close it came to destroying such a huge chunk of the world. It is truly staggering. The two sides of human nature this exemplifies is also quite striking: The abject incompetence of some of those in charge denying the severity of the problem juxtaposed with the mind-boggling heroism of those who were willing to risk certain death to contain the catastrophe is amazing. Must-see TV indeed.

R.I.P.: Bob Hawke, former Australian prime minister, dead at 89.

Nuclear Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Marvel Boss Kevin Feige Answers Lots Of Avengers, MCU Questions In Reddit AMA.
Stories: After Walking Thousands Of Miles, Mink The Bear Is Almost Back Home. Thanks RedEye9.
Science: Chang'e-4: Chinese rover 'confirms' Moon crater theory. Thanks RedEye9.
Images: "Star Trek: Picard" Gets Title, First Set Photo.
Media: Handstand Workout. In case you are not feeling inadequate.
Record Breaking Dive To The Mariana Trench.
Someone get these Gorillas an umbrella. I didn't see the glass at first.
Follow-up: Craig To Return To "Bond 25" Set Within The Week.
SpaceX scrubs first attempt to launch 60 Internet satellites [Updated].
Zion Williamson could return to Duke after New Orleans Pelicans win NBA Draft lottery.
The Funnies: xkcd- XKeyboarCD.
Savage Chickens.
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