Archived News:

Thursday, Jul 16, 2020

Get Torchlight II for Free

Torchlight II for Windows and macOS is now available for free, as promised, on the Epic Games Store. As usual, their latest freebie will be yours to keep if you claim it over the next seven days. After that it will be supplanted by another giveaway. Or giveaways, as they reveal their next gratis games will be Next Up Hero and Tacoma. Here's a quick refresher on Torchlight II, the action/RPG sequel from Runic Games:
Torchlight II is filled to the brim with randomized levels, enemies and loot. Capturing all the flavor and excitement of the original, Torchlight II expands the world and adds features players wanted most, including online and LAN multiplayer.

Beyond a Steel Sky Released

Beyond a Steel Sky is now available for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering a rush-job sequel to Beneath a Steel Sky, the 1994 cyberpunk point-and-click adventure. For those who can't get their floppy drive working, they say there's also a bundle with the original game, but we can't find it at this time. Not to worry, though, it's is available for free on GOG.com. The game carries a 20% launch discount and you can get an additional 10% off if you have Broken Sword 5 in your Steam library. Here's word on the game and its pedigree:
From Charles Cecil, creator of the Broken Sword series, with art direction by Dave Gibbons, legendary comic book artist behind ‘Watchmen’, comes ‘Beyond A Steel Sky’, the long awaited sequel to the cult classic ‘Beneath a Steel Sky’.

You are Robert Foster. A child has been abducted in a brutal attack. You have vowed to bring him home. The trail has led you to Union City, one of the last remaining mega-cities in a world ravaged by shattering wars, and political meltdown.
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Dead Age 2 Early Access

Early Access to Dead Age 2 is now underway on GOG.com and Steam, offering a survival/RPG sequel for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here's the Early Access Launch Trailer and here's word on this return to the zombie apocalypse:
Dead Age 2 follows a group of determined survivors who have fled to Freedom City in search of a cure for the plague that triggered the zombie apocalypse ten years ago. Join them on their journey for survival as they complete quests, scavenge valuable resources, and build up their base to live long enough to see the world at peace.

Tense turn-based tactical combat against gangs of looters and hordes of brain-devouring monsters can result in death for their character — permanently — while unlocking persistent upgrades can bring hope for the future of the weary group of survivors. With a branching story-line and six unique endings, every decision made counts as the player’s group must befriend other survivors, navigate difficult choices, and maybe even find romance along the way.
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American Truck Simulator Idaho Rolls Out

It's been a little dry lately. But I hear it's raining cats and dogs in Idaho. The SCS Software Blog announces the release of the Idaho expansion for American Truck Simulator. This is now available for Windows, macOS, and Linux on Steam Here's a recent trailer showing off the highways and byways of the Gem State, and here's word on the pack:
So what exactly does Idaho have to offer? This new expansion features:

  • Over 3,300 miles of new roads to discover and explore
  • 11 new cities - drive through downtown Boise, Coeur d'Alene set on a gorgeous lake or Idaho Falls with a lovely touristic center
  • A brand new viewpoint feature that gives you a new perspective of the world
  • Expanded fan-favorite industries such as farming, timber harvesting or wood processing
  • Visit the famous Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
  • Over 40 recognizable spots from the Historical Highway Marker program
  • State-specific geographical landmarks such as canyons, valleys or basalt rock formations
  • Many familiar truck stops and rest areas that truckers will know from the real world
  • Finely-tuned road layouts and true-to-life signage
  • Idaho-specific achievements to unlock
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Destiny 2 Beyond Light Delayed

Bungie announces that development of Beyond Light for Destiny 2 is destined to go beyond its original planned September release. Word is this first-person shooter add-on is now expected on November 10th:
We have made the decision to move the release of Destiny 2: Beyond Light to November 10.

As the first chapter in a new trilogy of expansions, Beyond Light is the beginning of a new era of Destiny 2. We have a powerful story to tell and incredible new features that we're really excited for players to experience. As always, our goal is to make the coolest, most entertaining expansion we can possibly make for our fans. To that end, we are doing what’s best for the game and moving the launch date.

The past few months have been a challenge and will continue to be during this pandemic. We’ve learned to create together in a new way, by having to work apart from one another. Despite these hurdles, we’re still committed to the same level of quality that our fans expect.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be unveiling more of what we’re working on for Beyond Light and what that also means for Season of Arrivals, which will now extend to November 10. Beyond Light sets the stage for an incredible future in Destiny 2 and, though it’s coming later than we originally anticipated, we’re excited to continue that journey with you this November.

Surgeon Simulator 2 Next Month

Bossa Studios announces an August 27th release date for Surgeon Simulator 2, their medical malpractice sequel. They also announce a closed beta for the game will run from August 7-9 for those who preorder it from the Epic Games Store. Finally they reveal that it will offer a Creation Mode, highlighting the news in a new Creation Mode Trailer. Here's more on this chance to play doctor:
After pulling back the hospital curtains on upcoming operation sim, Surgeon Simulator 2, last month, Bossa Studios has today unveiled yet another medical marvel in the form of the Bossa Labs Creation Mode. A secondary gameplay option, playable alongside the title’s story mode, it will provide players with a set of easy-to-use tools with which they can create any number of levels and experiences, ready to upload and share with the wider community. In addition, the brand new Creation Mode Trailer also confirms that Surgeon Simulator 2 will launch on 27th August 2020, with players able to access a Closed Beta weekend (7-9th August) by pre-ordering on the Epic Games Store now.

Surgeon Simulator 2 is the gut-busting sequel to the original bonafide operation sim, Surgeon Simulator. Released in 2013, Surgeon Simulator was notorious for its chaotic gameplay and hilarious disregard for medical accuracy. For the sequel, Bossa Studios has prescribed a double dose of physics-based pandemonium and a full course of unbridled creativity, providing players with all the tools they need to doctor their own chaos, thanks to the Bossa Labs Creation Mode.
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It's #Time for #Funtime

#Funtime is now available for PC and consoles, offering a twin-stick shooter from OneGuyGames. The Windows, macOS, and Linux edition is available on Steam. For a fun time check out this trailer and these details:
The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild releases #Funtime with OneGuyGames today. #Funtime is a twin-stick action shooter featuring bright lights and space fights! Blast your way through grids of multicolored madness while changing color to adapt to your environment and overcome the digital hordes. Persistent ship upgrades will keep you going further and longer into the great unknown. Buy it this week on any platform for a special launch week discount of 25% off!

OneGuyGames singular employee Brandon Robinson describes #Funtime as "all about action. It's a high-score chasing twin-stick shooter with a color swapping mechanic thrown in to keep things fresh. Match the color of lasers or fire to avoid taking damage. Color background tiles to destroy similarly colored enemies and receive triple the points. Take cover in safe zones of the same color. Each of these simple color interactions stack together to create a unique, yet familiar arcade shooter experience."
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Monster Train Gets Free Wild Mutations DLC

Good Shepherd Entertainment and Shiny Shoe announce that Wild Mutations has left the station, offering free new DLC for Monster Train, their roguelike deckbuilding game for Windows. This trailer offers a look at this and here we have a description:
“Wild Mutations” improves Monster Train’s endgame and competitive play experiences with over 35 new mutators to use across all run types, plus advanced challenges, balance updates and more. Battle your friends and the community on a rotating series of challenges with new mutators that’ll turn your knowledge of the game’s existing mechanics upside down. And it’s just the beginning, as the Monster Train team continues to develop new content for the game with community feedback for future updates.

Set on a train ride to hell, Monster Train brings a new strategic layer to roguelike deck-building games with three vertical battlegrounds to defend at a time in solo play and competitive multiplayer. Construct a deck of spells and minions from over 220 cards and position your champions carefully to win!
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We should talk Released

We should talk is now available for PC and consoles, offering a conversation game that allows you to capitalize on your eloquence with word thingies. The Windows, macOS, and Linux edition is available on Steam. Here's the official website which offers this trailer from last year, since a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's more on this game that rewards you for choosing your words wisely:
Using a unique narrative choice mechanic, you'll craft sentences in response to the in-game characters in We should talk. Through this careful choice of words, you'll be able to express yourself as you discuss ongoing problems about life and romance with Sam, your in-game partner, over text messages, while also chatting with friends and strangers at your favorite local bar about what’s on your mind.

The combination of words you choose impacts the conversations you have, how genuinely you can connect with your partner, and whether your relationship can survive the night. It's up to you how you respond -- depending on how you communicate, you'll see one of many possible endings.
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tinyBuild Acquires Hello Neighbor Team

Publisher tinyBuild announces the acquisition of the Hello Neighbor development team from Dynamic Pixels. This presumably also includes the Hello Neighbor IP, as they say they are investing $15 million in the franchise. Word is the team will be named Eerie Guest Studios and will work out of Hilversum, Netherlands. Here's more:
Today, publisher tinyBuild announced that they have acquired the development team of Hello Neighbor from Dynamic Pixels. The new team will be called Eerie Guest Studios and based in Hilversum, Netherlands. Overall, tinyBuild plans to invest over 15M USD in the franchise, the acquisition being part of this sum.

“We are working on more acquisitions to strengthen the brand and investing heavily into cross-media,” - says Alex Nichiporchik, CEO of tinyBuild. - “We just announced Hello Neighbor board game, there’s a graphic novel coming in October, and our internally produced Hello Neighbor Animated Series pilot hit 12M views on YouTube”
Continue here to read the full story.

DJMAX RESPECT V Gets Double DLC

Steam now offers a new Deemo Pack and Cytus Pack as DLC for DJMAX RESPECT V, the latest installment in this series that keeps giving birth to new games despite using the rhythm method. Each carries a launch discount and there is also a bundle of both for even more savings. Here's word:
Today, NEOWIZ announced that it’s hit rhythm game DJMAX RESPECT V is receiving two brand new DLC: The Cytus Pack and the Deemo Pack. Both are available for $14.99, with a week-long launch discount to celebrate their release. These two DLC are collaborations with the hit rhythm of the same name from renowned development studio Rayark.

The Deemo Pack includes 10 tracks from Deemo games, as well as a unique UI skin and Special Gear. Meanwhile, the Cytus Pack includes 12 tracks, a unique UI skin and Special Gear. Both packs will be on sale for a week at a 15% discount.

On Sale

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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Ryan Holiday's 33 Favorite Pieces of Advice for Life. Thanks Max.

S.C.A.R Early Access

Early Access to episode one of S.C.A.R is now available on Steam, offering the chance to play this first-person shooter also known as Simulating Carnage And Rockets. This recalls the early days of first-person shooters with retro graphics and old-school features such as rocket jumping. You can see this in action in the recent Weaponization Trailer. The game carries no launch discount, but it's priced at only USD$4.99. Here's more:
S.C.A.R is a retro inspired shooter where the relentless hordes of demonic creatures have only one thing on their mind, your untimely demise. To avoid becoming a red stain on the wall, you’ll look to gain the advantage over your relentless foe armed with an assortment of ridiculously devastating weaponry in the form of shotguns, grenade launchers and death dealing rocket launchers.

S.C.A.R is a nostalgic throwback to the epic shooters of yesteryear, its fast paced and unforgiving nature means that you’ll need to stay frosty as you blast your way through the relentless hordes of demonic beasts.
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Hunting Simulator 2 Released

Is it rabbit season or duck season? Either way, Nacon announces they've let the dogs out and released Hunting Simulator 2 for Windows on Steam. This follows the release of the console editions of Neopica's, well, hunting simulator. The previously released Launch Trailer shows off Shia LaBeouf taking out Bambi along with scenes of nature, wildlife, aiming, and yes, how you can pet the dog. Here are some details we tracked down:
In Hunting Simulator 2, you explore bigger, more varied and more spectacular natural environments thanks to completely redesigned graphics and sound effects. The game provides many hours of challenges and immersion among the flora and fauna of some of the most beautiful areas of Europe and the United States. There are over 33 animal species to find in Hunting Simulator 2. The artificial intelligence for each species has had significant work put in to recreate their unique and realistic behaviours.
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No Man's Sky Desolation Update

Game over, man! The No Man's Sky Website announces the release of a new update called Desolation to Hello Games' space exploration game. Hold the spaghetti, as this will allow you to get in touch with your inner Ripley by offering the chance to explore derelict ships and perhaps encounter hostile aliens. Here are the full version 2.6 patch notes, here's a Desolation Update Trailer, and here's more:
Being a small dot amongst the stars can bring a sense of awe and wonder, but we’ve always wanted to explore a little more those feelings of fear and dread that come from being alone in the depths of space. Terror in the face of the unknown, or the dawning realisation that you’re treading in the footsteps of those who met a lonely end at the edge of the universe – it’s a rich science fiction tradition, and one not really touched on in No Man’s Sky – until now.

The Desolation Update adds abandoned freighters to explore to No Man’s Sky, along with a very different style of gameplay. Alone or in groups, players can breach the airlock and explore the hazardous, procedurally generated, interiors of these derelict capital ships. The only trace of the crew is in logs they’ve left behind, a mix of procedurally generated and hand-written text that means each vessel has its own unique story for you to piece together.
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King of Seas Announced

3DClouds announces King of Seas, an action/RPG set to raise anchor this autumn for Windows and consoles as a new addition to the ever-more crowded pirate game genre. You can get a first look at the concept in this Announcement Trailer which helps reinforce their allusions to Pirates of the Caribbean by gently riffing on Hans Zimmer's score. Here's word:
Scheduled for release in autumn 2020 for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, King of Seas immerses you in a time of pirates, ferocious sea battles, hidden treasure and lost islands, all set in a stunning procedurally generated game world. Embark on an epic journey to avenge the death of your father, navigating through unknown waters and waging battle with other ships as you stake your claim to become the king of all pirates.

King of Seas’ dynamic game world will react to your every action forcing you to evaluate your strategy at every turn and adapt to the new challenges facing you. Naval routes might change meaning you will need to look for new ways to conquer settlements or adverse weather conditions might require new, more dangerous routes to be navigated when heading to islands to trade goods or upgrade your ships. Engage with an intriguing cast of characters who may steer you towards hidden treasures or lead you into deadly traps as other pirates look to plunder your gold. One thing is for certain, there are adventures to be had and battles to fight as you shape your empire on the high seas.
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3on3 FreeStyle: Rebound Released

3on3 FreeStyle: Rebound is now available on Steam, offering the Windows version of this playground basketball game first released on consoles. This is free-to-play, and word is new player rewards are being offered through the end of July. The Launch Trailer offers a cinematic look, and here are some details:
Rebound is a retooled version of the original 3on3 FreeStyle console game with the PC audience in mind. Rebound brings a tailored user interface and experience such as a full-featured chat system added exclusively for PC. It continues the dynamic, strategy infused gameplay of the original, and has a roster of unique characters, each bringing their own unique play styles, a signature feature of the FreeStyle series. 3on3 FreeStyle: Rebound carries over the Unreal Engine foundation of the original game, and the same free-to-play gameplay which made the original release one of the most popular free games downloaded on consoles.
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Line Simulator Demo

And they say all the good ideas are already taken. Steam now offers a playable demo for Line Simulator, which is a virtual reality simulation of standing in line that requires an Oculus Rift headset. As if this idea could get any more engaging, they say: "The purpose of this demo launch is to increase player engagement with the game and begin collecting feedback for refinement and implementation."
Line Simulator is the newest virtual reality experience about standing in line with five exciting levels that will perfectly recreate some of your favorite line standing experiences. Leaving the house no longer needs to be an option, as you enjoy this high tech flawless recreation of standing in line.

Out of the Blue

In the past few days the waterfowl have reemerged on the pond here, as the babies have grown up enough to venture out with their folks (there are ten ducks pecking around outside my door as I type these words). This brought forth something that helped mend how heartbroken I've been since one of the adult swans was killed by a careless driver. Yesterday three adult swans went for a cruise around the pond with three cygnets. So it seems the swan who lost its mate has managed to group up with the other pair of swans to raise all their young together. I already had great affection for the swans for what loyal mates and good parents they make (not to mention their grace and beauty), but seeing this extra level of socialization makes me love them all the more.

Round-up Most Fowl
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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