Archived News:

Thursday, Apr 02, 2020

Get Hob, Gone Home, and Drawful 2 for Free

This week's free games are now live on the Epic Games Store. As promised last week, these include Hob and Gone Home, and like last week there's also a surprise bonus giveaway, which is Drawful 2. And don't forget that yesterday's surprise giveaway of Totally Reliable Delivery Service is also still available, for a total of four giveaways. These are all yours to keep if you claim them between now and next week, when they will begin giving away Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments. Here's the pitch on this week's freebies:
Hob is a vibrant, suspenseful action-adventure game set on a stunning and brutal world in disarray. As players delve into the mysteries around them, they discover a planet in peril. Can it be mended, or will the world fall further into chaos?

June 7th, 1995. 1:15 AM. You arrive home after a year abroad. You expect your family to greet you, but the house is empty. Something's not right. Where is everyone? And what's happened here? Unravel the mystery for yourself in Gone Home.

The team behind the hit party games Fibbage, Quiplash, and YOU DON’T KNOW JACK presents Drawful 2, the game of terrible drawings and hilariously wrong answers!

Lux Delux Giveaway

The Lux-Down the Lock-Down is giving away free copies of Lux Delux, Sillysoft's Risk-style strategy game. All you need to do is subscribe to their newsletter before the 7000 copies they've earmarked for this are handed out or seven days have passed, whichever comes first. Here's the plan:
Many of us have extra time on our hands in the midst of this global pandemic. Video games to the rescue?

As our contribution to fighting the virus, we are giving away free copies of Lux Delux: the Game of Universal Domination! We hope this helps you and your friends stay inside.

Lux Delux is the Mac, Windows, and Linux version of our world domination game Lux. It includes online multi-player, so you can get some socializing in at an appropriate distance.

If you already have a copy of Lux Delux, please forward this offer to some of your friends so they can join in the fun.

Modern Warfare Multiplayer Free Access Weekend Begins Tomorrow

Activision Blog announces that a free multiplayer weekend for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare begins tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT, allowing Call of Duty: Warzone players to compete in the premium game without paying a thing, like the cheapskates they are. They offer details on the maps this will include, tips for success for new players, and the following overview of the battle plan:
Ready for some weekend warfare? Starting at 10AM PT on April 3, free-to-play Warzone players can jump into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer for free. That’s right: all Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone players can square up together in a varied and fast-paced Multiplayer Moshpit, all weekend long.

If you haven’t played Modern Warfare Multiplayer, now’s the chance to see what you’ve missed. Experience the world-class gameplay, deep weapon customization, and gritty, photorealistic environments that make Modern Warfare Multiplayer the ultimate online playground.
Continue here to read the full story.

Epic Games Store Spring Sale [Updated]

The Spring Sale 2020 on the Epic Games Store is underway between now and May 1st, offering discounts on loads of games. Update: There is a note there reminding users that any $10 Epic Coupons they received during the 2019 Epic Holiday Sale will expire on May 1st. We initially caused undue confusion by reporting this as a new coupon offer, which is not the case. Apologies for the error, and thank you to our sharp-eyed readers who discovered it.

BAFTA Winners

The winners of the 2020 British Academy Games Awards are now revealed, with Outer Wilds taking the honors (or honours) for Best Game. Here are all the winners:

  • ANIMATION: LUIGI’S MANSION 3 Development Team - Next Level Games/Nintendo
  • ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT: SAYONARA WILD HEARTS Development Team – Simogo/Annapurna Interactive
  • AUDIO ACHIEVEMENT: APE OUT Matt Boch - Gabe Cuzzillo, Matt Boch, Bennett Foddy/ Devolver Digital
  • BEST GAME: OUTER WILDS Development Team - Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive
  • BRITISH GAME: OBSERVATION Development Team - No Code/Devolver Digital
  • DEBUT GAME: DISCO ELYSIUM Development Team - ZA/UM/ZA/UM
  • EVOLVING GAME: PATH OF EXILE Development Team - Grinding Gear Games/Grinding Gear Games
  • FAMILY: UNTITLED GOOSE GAME Development Team - House House/Panic
  • GAME BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT: KIND WORDS (LO FI CHILL BEATS TO WRITE TO) Ziba Scott, Luigi Guatieri, Clark Aboud – Popcannibal/Popcannibal
  • GAME DESIGN: OUTER WILDS Development Team - Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive
  • MULTIPLAYER: APEX LEGENDS Chad Grenier, Brent McLeod, Carlos Pineda - Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
  • MUSIC: DISCO ELYSIUM British Sea Power - ZA/UM/ZA/UM
  • NARRATIVE: DISCO ELYSIUM Writing Team - ZA/UM/ZA/UM
  • ORIGINAL PROPERTY: OUTER WILDS Development Team - Mobius Digital/Annapurna Interactive
  • PERFORMER IN A LEADING ROLE: GONZALO MARTIN as Sean Diaz in Life is Strange 2 (episodes 2-5)
  • PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: MARTTI SUOSALO as Ahti the Janitor in Control
  • TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT: DEATH STRANDING Development Team – Kojima Productions/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
  • EE MOBILE GAME OF THE YEAR (voted for by the public): CALL OF DUTY: MOBILE Timi Studios/Activision

Days of War: Definitive Edition Free Weekend

A free weekend is now underway on Steam for Days of War: Definitive Edition, a close-quarters online first-person shooter set in World War II. Here's a trailer showing off some gameplay, and here are details on the game, which is also on sale if you want to pick it up after trying it out:
Experience the heart-pounding, bullet-flying action of World War 2 like never before with Days of War. In this competitive, team-based first-person shooter, you will dive into nonstop combat across several theaters of WW2. Play online in 32-player multiplayer or hone your skills offline against bots and in the gun range.

Customize and share your experience by creating custom maps with integrated Steam Workshop support.
Continue here to read the full story.

Endzone - A World Apart Early Access

Early Access to Endzone - A World Apart is now available on GOG.com and Steam, offering first crack at this post-apocalyptic survival city-builder from publisher Assemble Entertainment and developer Gentlymad. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here's the depressing storyline:
Endzone: A World Apart follows a group of refugees who, more than a century after a devastating worldwide nuclear powerplant eco-terrorist attack, are leaving their underground bunkers and rebuilding society on the surface. After 150 years dwelling underground in bunkers called ‘endzones,” Earth’s surface seems like a breath of fresh air, though that couldn’t be any further from the truth! Players will face the likes of toxic rain, dangerously radioactive surroundings, raging sandstorms, and a hostile climate. Master and overcome the brutal environment head-on while spearheading the rise of humanity itself— men, women, and children will need protection from threats of all kinds, and there’s no telling what each new day will bring on the forsaken planet from which they’ve emerged.
Continue here to read the full story.

Windbound Announced

Deep Silver announces Windbound, an exploration/survival game planned for release on PC and consoles on August 28th. They say: "Taking the survival genre in a new direction, Windbound features nomadic hunting and exploration combined with custom boat building and an immersive sailing experience. Windbound provides endless rogue-like replayability options thanks to the procedural world, dynamic wildlife, and modular boat crafting." This new IP is in development at Australian indie developer 5 Lives Studios, which includes "five industry veterans who have worked on a wide variety of genres and properties." The Windbound Website is online offering this trailer. Here are some details:
The Forbidden Islands are calling, unlock their secrets. Separated from her fellow warriors, Kara finds herself alone and without resources on a mysterious and picturesque island paradise. With no boat, food or tools, just the will and skills to survive, Kara will uncover this beautiful island’s rich resources and deeper mysteries. Scattered ruins reveal secrets of the past and glimpses of the future Unravel the mystery behind them all and you may find more than just your way home.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rollercoaster Mechanic Announced

Forestlight Games announces Rollercoaster Mechanic, an upcoming installment in the burgeoning mechanic genre where you save broken-down fairs by repairing the rides, rather than bribing inspectors. The game's Steam Listing is online, and says this is coming sometime this year. The announcement trailer shows this will be nightmare fuel for anyone afraid of rollercoasters, heights, or carnies. Here's the description:
In Rollercoaster Mechanic, you save destroyed and broken funfairs. A small company, two brothers Leo and Noah, each with different skills and a great challenge: starting up broken rollercoasters and other attractions. Diagnose damage, repair, clean, test. And finally, enjoy every repaired attraction.

The biggest challenge is working at heights. Here, the cooperation of the brothers will be the basis of success. You will often have to scale the heights just to unscrew one tiny screw that can cause tragedy during the rollercoaster ride. Going between clouds, don't forget to bring the right tools.
Continue here to read the full story.

etc., etc.

Starborne Open Beta

The promised open beta for Starborne is now underway, offering the chance to check out this MMORTS set in space, where no one can hear you mutter. If you want to participate there's still time to head over to the Starborne Website and register. Here's the new Open Beta Launch Trailer and here are details on the game and the beta:
With over five years of empire building, political intrigue and galactic warfare under its belt, Starborne is about to enter the next exciting stage of its development cycle including a brand new game map based on the lessons learnt from past Alphas, as well as dedicated safer starting zones and higher resource yielding areas that will incentivise expansion and make the game more dynamic.

For the first time ever, there will be three unique ways to win a game of Starborne; Military conquest deep in the galaxy, industrial superiority, or domain by controlling the most amount of space. Additionally a core focus has been put on making the game more robust and new player friendly.

Speaking about the Open Beta launch, Stefán Gunnarsson, co-founder and CEO of Solid Clouds said, “I’m so proud of the new map design. It really manages to condense all the lessons we’ve learned over the past 5 years. With it, we are both catering to more play styles and also able to supercharge the deeply player-driven political side of the game.“
Continue here to read the full story.

Sea of Thieves Stealing onto Steam

There's now a Steam Listing for Sea of Thieves, saying Rare's buccaneering action/adventure will go on sail there "soon." Both the minimum and recommended system specifications call for Windows 10, so it doesn't appear this aspect of the game will change. However this post does explain that those who pick this up on Steam will be able to share the adventure with their mateys who play on Xbox One and the Windows Store version:
For two years, pirates across the globe have set out in their droves to uncover the mysteries of the Sea of Thieves. Brave buccaneers have taken on Megalodons, repelled the killer Kraken and looted skeleton-filled Forts, forging their names into legend. More than 10 million unique players have already embarked upon this search for adventure, treasure and glory, and soon we’ll be opening the gilded gates to welcome in Steam users!

If you’re seeking the full, glorious sweep of the pirate life, you can dive head-first into Adventure mode where you’re sure to find a wealth of secrets and plunder, guarded by more enemies than you can shake a blunderbuss at. For those looking for a more PvP (Pirate versus Pirate) experience, the Sea Dogs are waiting in The Arena, where you can test your skill against other aspiring champions.
Continue here to read the full story.

Free Steam Key for Fallout 76 Owners

When the Wastelanders expansion for Fallout 76 launches on April 14, the entire game will also be coming to Steam. Now Bethesda announces that for the next 10 days, owners of the game who link their Bethesda and Steam accounts will receive a key for the Steam version. They do warn that Atoms will not carry over, though items purchased through the Atomic shop will. They also have a bonus in store for Steam users, saying those who pick up the post-apocalyptic RPG during the first two weeks (including these free keys for existing Bethesda users) will receive the Fallout Classic Collection, in case they have not picked up one or more of the three original Fallouts over the years. So to recap:
Of course, many of our PC fans who have played the game through the Bethesda.net Launcher would also like to have the option to play on Steam, so we have a special offer just for you. From now through 11:59pm ET, April 12, if you have already purchased Fallout 76 on Bethesda.net, you have the opportunity to get the game on Steam, including Wastelanders.

All you have to do to get your free Steam copy of Fallout 76 is go here and link your Steam account to your Bethesda.net account before 11:59pm ET, April 12. When the Steam version is available, you will automatically receive your Fallout 76 entitlement.

Please note, you will not be able to transfer your Atoms or Fallout 1st membership balance between Bethesda.net and Steam. Additionally, Atoms you earn are specific to one platform or the other. However, items you have purchased through the Atomic Shop will be available in both Bethesda.net and Steam.
Continue here to read the full story.

Operencia: The Stolen Sun Rises

Operencia: The Stolen Sun is now out for Windows and consoles, offering a first-person dungeon-crawler that Zen Studios calls a modern homage to the genre (thanks Acleacius). The PC editions are available on GOG.com and Steam with a 10% launch discount. This post announcing the release has a Launch Trailer along with game tips to help you get started. Here's word:
Zen Studios’ modern homage to classic first-person dungeon-crawlers takes you to the land of Operencia, an unconventional fantasy world inspired by a faraway land referenced in countless Central European folktales. An old-school turn-based battle system combines with inspiration from unexplored mythology to offer an RPG experience that feels unique yet also familiar.
Continue here to read the full story.

Circle Empires Rivals This Month

Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Luminous announce development of Circle Empires Rivals has come full-circle, and this real-time strategy game is set to launch on April 15th. A new Release Date Trailer shows off what to expect, and here's some circular logic on the game:
In this stand-alone multiplayer sequel to the award-winning RTS Circle Empires, you and your friends will take control of your own tiny kingdoms and conquer a world made of circles. Each one is overflowing with enemies to fight, monsters to hunt and loot to horde. Watch out though, as friends quickly turn to rivals…
Continue here to read the full story.

Cranked Up Early Access Next Month

French indie developer BBlack Studio announces plans to crank out Cranked Up on May 19th when their platformer launches into Early Access on Steam. This single- and multiplayer game involves doing battle as a rocket equipped donuts so more than a little crank may have been part of the development process. Here's the Early Access Launch Date Reveal Trailer and here are the crank-addled details:
The over-the-top adventure is a challenging and hilarious platformer where animal-themed donuts equipped with rockets try to save Mr. Mug, their favorite cup of coffee from an evil Hawaiian pizza. Yup - it’s not supposed to make much sense...

Featuring a full single-player campaign and even more fun with friends in the 4-player co-op mode (both online and offline), players can expect hours of rocket-boosted fun as they traverse a variety of zany environments and challenges. Cranked Up is set to surprise with a set of unusual and engaging characters and in an offbeat universe that no one really understands (not even the developers).
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

As I commented last night about the death of Adam Schlesinger due to COVID-19, I am a big fan of Fountains of Wayne. I really enjoy a good pop-rock song with clever lyrics, which was the band's wheelhouse. So Adam's untimely passing is sad news in the midst of a time when there's too much sad news to go around. For a reason it will take me a long time to get around to, this reminds me I've been meaning to share a TV show recommendation. On a tip from a friend, MrsBlue and I checked out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix, and quickly fell in love with it. This is despite the fact that it's not in my personal wheelhouse, as it combines two genres I normally have little or no interest in: romantic comedies and Broadway musicals. So, as I say, this would not usually be my thing by a very long shot. I'm guessing it would not usually many of yours either, but this show transcends my biases. It is quite clever, extremely well-executed, and more than a little edgy. We enjoyed every minute of it, and wondered why we hadn't heard of it before. Turns out this originally aired on the CW network, which explains everything. It was the lowest-rated show on TV for three of its four seasons, and the second-lowest for the other one. The Wikipedia says this makes it "one of the lowest-rated shows in television history to be renewed through four seasons by its parent network." So someone really believed in it. And with good cause: It's filled with self-awareness, endearing characters, and super-clever musical numbers, which can be partially attributed to the fact that Adam Schlesinger was its musical director (I finally got around to connecting the dots on this tangent). As I say, on the surface this is not something I or many of you would normally be drawn to. But it really is surprisingly great, and if you're looking for something to binge in this time of social distancing, I cannot recommend it more highly.

Obituary: Son: Jazz great Ellis Marsalis Jr. dead at 85; fought virus.

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