Archived News:

Thursday, Jan 21, 2021

Get Galactic Civilizations III for Free

Epic Games Store now features Galactic Civilizations III as their latest giveaway, offering the chance to own this 4X space strategy game for Windows for free. You have a week to pick up a copy, and after that the new giveaway of Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition will take effect. Here's word on GalCiv3, which now includes two expansions and some add-ons:
What if one day, humans woke up to find that they weren’t alone in the galaxy? They make their way into space and discover other alien civilizations with their own histories and motivations looking to make a name for themselves. Choose your race - Human, Drengin, Altarian, and so many more - and lead your civilization into a golden age in one of the largest 4X strategy games ever made!

Research new technology, design starships, and colonize new worlds as you face threats and conquer challenges from new and mysterious sources. Negotiate trade and treaties, wage wars, spy on your enemies, and promote outstanding citizens. And when you've finished that, play again as one of the many included alien civilizations each with its own history, technology tree, ship components, and more.

Galactic Civilizations III now bundles in the Crusade and Retribution expansions, plus the Mega Events add-on content for an even greater gameplay experience! Join the ranks of galactic leaders today, and answer the question: how will you rule your galaxy?

Play Endless Games for Free

Amplitude Studios announces the kickoff of AMPLIFIED, the new name for the event formerly known as the Endless Day. This offers the chance to sample all of their games, including the Endless series and Humankind (hence the name change). This is not endless, however, it just runs through the weekend, and they are also offering sale prices and free content, including some on games2gether where you can pick up a free copy of Virtua Fighter 2. Last but not least, they're releasing new Endless Definitive Editions and opening up preorders for two new DLC packs. You can find links to all the games on the Amplitude Studios Steam Page and get a look at what's going on in this Endless Universe Franchise Trailer. Here the plan:
Today we're excited to be releasing the Definitive Editions for the Endless games! We're also debuting the new Endless™ Universe logo with an Endless™ Universe franchise trailer and launching pre-orders for 2 new DLCs. These quest-focused packs are perfect for lovers of the Endless universe who want to dive further into its lore:

  • Endless Space 2™ – Dark Matter: 12 new quests that view the Endless Universe from the underbelly of events and discoveries that have, on occasion, been dark indeed...
  • Endless Legend™ – Monstrous Tales: 20 new tales are enriched with monsters and myths from the depths of Auriga's mysterious and menacing history; a tapestry of friends and foes, hope and horror.

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New AMD Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new version 21.1.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition Drivers (despite the fact that it is now 2021). These offer support for HITMAN 3, Quake II RTX, and fix some issues:

Support For

  • Hitman 3™
    Up to 10% increase in performance in Hitman 3, @4K Ultra settings, with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.1.1 on the 16GB Radeon™ RX 6800 XT graphics card versus the previous driver edition 20.12.1
  • Quake II™ RTX

Fixed Issues

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Supreme Ruler Ultimate Goes There

Battlegoat Studios announces the release of an Inauguration Week Content Update for Supreme Ruler Ultimate adding Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as world leaders. This politics simulation is not afraid to dive into the contentious topics, and the update includes a scenario featuring the US on the verge of a civil war. They also announce they will be removing the free Trump Rising DLC from the store, albeit four years after they originally planned. Here's word:
In addition, the Supreme Ruler Trump Rising DLC, which was released during the 2016 Presidential Election campaign, will finally be removed from the Steam storefront. The Trump Rising DLC was released in 2016 as a parody of Making America Great Again, and our intention was to remove it from Steam after Donald Trump lost the election - Instead his rise to the Presidency extended the life of the DLC, and had us releasing new content in 2017 and 2018 as well.

The Inauguration Week Update features a brand new Sandbox, "Are We Great Yet", which features a divided America on the brink of civil war on July 4th, 2021. With competing regions of the United States led by Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Liz Cheney, players must use whatever resources are at their disposal - diplomatic or military - to re-unite America and restore its status in the world.
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The Big Adventure Event

Independent publisher Hitcents has launched The Big Adventure Event, offering a showcase for indie adventure games between now and Monday. This showcases about 85 games, and features sales, streams, and free demos. This is all being operated through this page on Steam. Here's more:
Taking place across Steam, with a central hub via a dedicated event page, the event will feature two upcoming titles from Hitcents' own roster plus an expansive library of indie adventure games across the genre. Among the many fellow publishers and developers featured are Whitethorn Digital, Toge Productions, Joe Richardson, Fellow Traveller, and Raw Fury - the latter of which will be bringing a big announcement as part of the event.

Players will be invited to join as developers stream their work live, offering a chance to share behind the scenes information, answer questions and showcase what may become their next favourite adventure game! Players can expect developer broadcasts of a mixed range of titles including Unforeseen Incidents, Inspector Waffles, Tangle Tower, and Lord Winklebottom Investigates.

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Dyson Sphere Program Early Access

Dyson Sphere Program is now in Early Access on Steam, offering an intergalactic space factory simulation that sounds like a new model of vacuum cleaner. The game recently completed a successful Kickstarter and launches with a 10% discount. The recent Release Date Announcement Trailer shows off gameplay, and the announcement outlines what to expect from the game and the Early Access process:
Dyson Sphere Program is a sci-fi sandbox with space exploration and factory automation elements. In the game, as engineer of the space alliance COSMO you are tasked with constructing a Dyson Sphere – a megastructure, first theorized in the 50s by physicist Freeman Dyson, capable of harnessing the energy output of a whole star. But developing such a project is not an easy task – no planet has enough resources on its own to build one…

Thus, on board of the mecha Icarus you will have to explore a procedurally generated universe, build facilities on many planets to extract their resources, and connect them with an interstellar logistic network in a galaxy-wide production empire. You will have to research new technologies, both to improve your mecha and learn now techniques with which to gather more energy – all in order to get to your ultimate goal: the construction of a Dyson Sphere.
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Puzzle Quest 3 Announced

505 Games announces Puzzle Quest 3, a new installment in the puzzle/RPG series that became inevitable after they recently acquired developer Infinity Plus Two. This will launch later this year on multiple platforms and like its forebears will be free-to-play. "After an overwhelming demand from fans over the past decade for the next installment of Puzzle Quest, we're thrilled to finally reveal the development of Puzzle Quest 3," says Steve Fawkner, CEO and Creative Lead at Infinity Plus Two. "The vision for this latest project has been years in the making, and like any good Puzzle Quest game, it's a delicate balance of gameplay, story, and strategic puzzle-solving while introducing something unexpected that will appeal to both old and new fans. We can’t wait to share PQ3." Here's the Announcement Trailer and the details:
Puzzle Quest 3 returns to its origins, recalling the deep RPG mechanics and signature heroic storylines that made the original a standout hit within the Match-3 category. Now featuring a twist on traditional puzzle gameplay, PQ3 offers an intense 1-versus-1 battle system realized in a 3D game world. Taking place 500 years after the original Puzzle Quest, players will embark on a heroic journey across Etheria to discover the meaning behind the ancient Red Dragon's dying words.

Puzzle Quest 3 features an all-new adventure to become the ultimate hero, battling and building a legacy in thrilling head-to-head combat. The game includes an immersive battle system where players unleash torturous spells and paralyzing attacks through the power of gem-crushing in an enhanced turn-based system. Puzzle Quest 3 once again pushes the genre limits by introducing new and imaginative gameplay mechanics. The game will be available to fans worldwide, across a wide variety of mobile devices and PC later this year, with additional platforms to be announced.
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Skul: The Hero Slayer Leaves Early Access

Skul: The Hero Slayer is now officially available on Steam following an Early Access run where the action/platformer completely slayed it, garnering well over 8,000 "Very Positive" reviews. This will carry a 20% launch discount for the next two weeks. The Official Launch Trailer has a look at gameplay and the announcement explains what's changed for version 1.0:
The 1.0 features the final two chapters and several dozen new playable characters each with unique skills and looks via the newly-implemented upgrade system. There have also been major changes made to the overall level design and countless QoL improvements. Several extensive cutscenes were added as well to fully tell Skul’s story and deepen the game’s lore.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to finally launch our 1.0 and show everyone what we’ve been working on the last five months,” said Sang Woo Park, CEO of SouthPAW Games. “The Early Access period was an invaluable experience because we were able to gather so much feedback and connect with our community, but we’re ready to take the next step and think that Skul is finally ready for its full release.”
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Ocean's Heart Released

Ocean's Heart is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam, offering what's alternately described as an adventure game and an action/RPG. This is another "Zeldalike" from Max Mraz, who also channeled Legend of Zelda for his Bloodborne homage Yarntown. The previously released (twice) Launch Trailer shows off the game's pixel art graphics. Here are the details:
Finally, Blackbeard’s days of terror are numbered! Join the protagonist Tilia on her quest to defeat the evil pirate as the anticipated pixel-art adventure RPG, Ocean’s Heart, launches on Steam and GOG for $14.99/€14.99/£13.49. Brought to life by the creator of Yarntown, Max Mraz, and publisher Nordcurrent, Ocean’s Heart pays homage to the genre classics, enriching tried and true roleplaying concepts with a modern flair.

Ocean’s Heart is a charming pixel-art action RPG set in a spirited world brimming with secrets, magic, and perilous affairs. As Tilia, a young girl who’s father has been kidnapped by the ruthless pirate Blackbeard, you must set off on a treacherous journey through a vast and dangerous wilderness to rescue him, unraveling a web of pirate conspiracies on the way. Gather items along your journey to craft potions as well as expand and upgrade your ever-growing arsenal of weapons, constantly increasing your skills to fight boss adversaries and survive deadly dungeons.
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Monster Energy Supercross 4 Features and Preorders

Milestone now offers preorders for Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 4 for PC and consoles. The Windows edition is coming to Steam on March 11th, and they promise customers who pre-purchase it a 10% discount and the Customization Pack Patriot. They also outline some features of the game in this trailer and this description:
The latest trailer for Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 4 shows all the new features that will make the game the most ambitious in the series. There is a brand-new Career Mode structure that takes the player from the Supercross Futures to their goal of reaching 250SX and 450SX categories, challenging the most famous Pro riders in franchise history. The skill tree will be one of the highlights of Career Mode, affecting the rider’s performance during all the races. Players can upgrade and manage the skill tree by earning points during races, special events, taking on training and fulfilling of the Journal - a series of special objectives to show who is the best.

The new Compound area is a place where riders may roam free in Solo, or with friends in Co-Op. On this incredibly detailed island players will find challenges and collectibles to discover. Last but not least, the beloved Track Editor is back with more customization modules, created from 2020 Official Tracks. This year sees new cosmetic options aiming to improve realism and express creativity, including Tuff Blox, Starting Gate structures, Finish Lines and Leaders Pillars.
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Real Heroes: Firefighter HD Released

Ziggurat Interactive now offers Real Heroes: Firefighter HD for Windows on GOG.com and Steam. This remake of a remake of the first-person, first responder game carries a 34% launch discount for the first week. This recently released trailer shows off the game's HD(ish?) graphics. Here's more on the game:
Real Heroes: Firefighter HD is a first-person firefighting and rescue action game where players take on the heroic role of a real firefighter. As a newly graduated cadet starting out at a fire station in Los Angeles, the game’s hero must learn the tools of the trade, battle massive fires, and rescue citizens from deadly infernos. It’s time to put on a fresh pair of turnout pants, grab a Halligan, and take to the streets to battle man’s deadliest foe — fire!
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Out of the Blue

Today is the second in a string of 10 consecutive five-digit palindrome dates using the arguably illogical American notation. Yesterday was 1/20/21. This can also be written as 1/20/2021, which is also a seven-digit palindrome. According to Farmers' Almanac this was the first seven-digit palindromic Inauguration date in US history. The next one will be 1/20/3021, so mark your calendars. We'll also nine consecutive five-digit palindromes in December as well as an eight-digit one on 12/02/2021. There will be a total of 22 palindromic dates for the year, which can only happen in years (not centuries, not centuries, oops) ending in 11 and 21. Meaningless, yes, but I find number patterns tickle my brain, so it was fun learning all this.

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