Archived News:

Monday, Apr 22, 2024 Earth Day

Tales of the Shire: A The Lord of the Rings Game Announced

Private Division and Wētā Workshop announce Tales of the Shire: A The Lord of the Rings Game a Hobbit life-sim set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. This is expected to arrive later this year for PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch. To help keep up with this its official website and Steam Listing are live. Here's the Official Announcement Trailer reveling in the game's lack of stakes, and here's more:
In Tales of the Shire, experience the storybook return to Middle-earth’s most inviting region by living life as a Hobbit in the idyllic town of Bywater. Unwind in the breathtaking pastures, visit the townsfolks’ local shops, or even enjoy second breakfast. Help bring the community together and achieve official village status by throwing the greatest Bywater Festival the Shire has ever seen!

Create and personalise a Hobbit with an array of customisations to experience the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved Middle-earth universe your own way. Settle in and decorate a cosy Hobbit home, choosing from an array of furniture and home décor to create your unique, humble abode. Then head outdoors to Bywater for plenty of cooking, fishing, foraging, gardening, and more relaxing activities in the Shire. Toss your lure to catch trout from the glistening waters of Bywater Pool, gather wild mushrooms, and then use the collected ingredients to bake a succulent pie to serve for luncheon. With a full belly, stroll back outside to explore the Shire and build relationships with the Bywater locals by helping them to build a garden, sharing one of the many daily Hobbit meals, and more.
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Sweet Transit Officially Released

After racking up mostly positive reviews in Early Access, Sweet Transit is now officially available on Steam. This railway simulation for Windows carries a 40% discount for the next week. Word is: "The 1.0 update introduces new Civic Buildings, Production Chains, newspaper stories, and a new population tier, along with a collection of quality-of-life changes and bug fixes, adding on to the four previous major updates since its launch into Steam Early Access in 2022." Train your eyes on the serene Launch Trailer for a look at the game's chill vibe and read on for the details:
Sweet Transit is a unique city builder where the railway is king and trains are the best means of expansion and transportation. Create intricate production lines and grow humble villages into thriving metropolises while moving through prime eras such as the introduction of steam power and the invention of the combustion engine. Become a pioneer of industry and work to keep your citizens happy through the interconnected world of the railway.
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The Whims of the Gods Announced

PJ Games announces The Whims of the Gods a city-builder with co-op support coming to Early Access on Steam in Q3 of this year. Set in ancient times, this tasks you with creating a city and protecting its inhabitants from the elements, enemies, and, of course, the whims of the gods, which can be notoriously capricious. Take a look at what to expect in the Announcement Trailer and read on for more:
In The Whims of the Gods, players are primarily tasked with creating production chains, utilizing their citizens to gather resources and move them to places where they can be processed. This starts from constructing simple gathering spots and warehouses but expands to growing plants, breeding animals, supplying energy to buildings, maintaining armies and trading with the gods.

Monsters will periodically emerge from the volcano at the heart of the island, threatening to damage the players' city. The implemented combat module is based on auto-battler mechanics and features escalating levels of threat. Players will have to train soldiers and maintain their army to fight back. To further influence the course of the battle, players can activate special abilities such as mass healing or increased attack damage.
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Evening Patches

Official patches.

Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: Trap - Official Trailer. Isn't the typical M. Night Shyamalan film a trap? Thanks RedEye9.

Embracer Group Splitting Into Three Companies

Embracer Group announces it's splitting into three separate companies called Asmodee Group, Coffee Stain & Friends, and Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends. This trisection is the latest maneuver to stop the bleeding that began when the company's lavish acquisition spree came to a crashing halt last spring. It's been shedding studios, IPs, and employees since, so hopefully this is the turnaround point. Here's the structure expected to take form over the next 12 months:
The three separate publicly listed entities are expected to consist of:

  • Asmodee, a global leading tabletop games publisher and distributor with an extensive studio network and IP catalogue.
    • Net Sales of SEK 14.8 billion and Adjusted EBIT of SEK 1.9 billion on a pro forma basis as per LTM[2] December 2023
  • “Coffee Stain & Friends”, a diverse gaming entity with a dual focus on indie and A/AA premium and free-to-play games for PC/console and mobile, with a high degree of recurring revenues.
    • Net Sales of SEK 10.9 billion, Adjusted EBIT of SEK 2.8 billion on a pro forma basis as per LTM December 2023.
  • “Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends”, a creative powerhouse in AAA game development and publishing for PC and console, as well as the stewards of The Lord of the Rings and Tomb Raider intellectual properties, among many others.
    • Net Sales SEK of 14.1 billion, Adjusted EBIT SEK 2.0 billion on a pro forma basis as per LTM December 2023.

Dead Island 2 on Steam

Dead Island 2 is now available on Steam following a year of Epic Games Store exclusivity for the zombie sequel set on the land-locked island of Los Angeles. The debut carries a whopping 50% discount for the next week. The Dead Island 2 SoLA Launch Trailer is a reverse tourism ad, showing you reasons not to visit. But for those not heeding that advice, here's what to expect:
A deadly virus is spreading across Los Angeles, turning its inhabitants into ravenous zombies. The city is in quarantine and the military have retreated. Bitten, infected, but more than just immune, you learn to harness the zombie inside of you. Only you, and the handful of other swaggering assholes who happen to be resistant to the pathogen, hold the future of Los Angeles (and humanity), in the balance.

As you uncover the truth behind the outbreak you’ll discover the truth of who – or what – you are. Survive, evolve, save the world – just another average day in Hell-A.

Crab God in June

Chaos Theory Games and Firesquid announce a release date for Crab God, saying this crustacean strategy game will scuttle onto Steam on June 20th. The previously released Teaser Trailer takes a brief look, and, appropriate to Earth Day, the announcement includes word on the game's ecological bent:
Crab God provides players with an opportunity to make a difference beyond their own little crab family. Having integrated dots.eco, in-game actions have a direct impact on the real world, helping to clean up our oceans and protect aquatic life. The developers, Chaos Theory Games, are dedicated to creating games that enact positive change and Crab God is no exception. Players can learn about aquatic wildlife and habitats as they play, discovering new flora and fauna, all while revelling in the knowledge that they’re doing their bit for the planet from the comfort of their computer.
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Mecha BREAK Testing This Week

Closed beta testing of Mecha BREAK gets underway on Friday, kicking off a weekend where the large-scale mech combat game will be put through its paces. Prospective pilots aged 16 or above should fill out the Closed Beta Recruitment Survey, and testing will conducted through Steam and Discord. Here's a Closed Beta Trailer from last month, and here are some details:
Oozing with hi-tech style and full of fast-paced battles, Mecha BREAK puts players in the pilot seat of their own customized mechs as they dive into a clash of steel and plasma unlike any other. Players will suit up alongside a squad of 3-6 allies in 3v3 or 6v6 co-op game modes or dive headfirst into the new 60-player Mashmak PvEvP mode, which they will experience for the first time during this Closed Beta Test phase.

Mecha BREAK puts players in control of expert mech pilots as they fight across the land and sky alike. These mechs are the pride and joy of any accomplished pilot, with weapons, armor pieces, chassis, and even the paint job being fully customizable. With these options, mechs can be customized to fit any playstyle and function, from fast-moving scouts to lumbering artillery batteries with dozens of options in between.
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Uncover the Smoking Gun Announced

A Steam Listing reveals plans for Uncover the Smoking Gun, a detective adventure coming to PC this quarter. The Official Trailer is here with a first look. These days the question of whether a game uses AI can be a touchy question, but this project wears its ChatGPT roots proudly:
It’s time to pour a cup of coffee as it's going to be a long night at the Investigation office. Uncover The Smoking Gun features a rich narrative that will allow you to delve deep into conversations as you question your suspects using dialogue systems driven by ChatGPT. Get creative as your robot suspects have a mind of their own, leading to a vast number of possible outcomes for each conversation. Explore crime scenes and decide how you want to approach each scenario, leading your own interrogations how you see fit to solve the mystery at hand.
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Hatsune Miku : The Planet Of Wonder And Fragments Of Wishes

Hatsune Miku : The Planet Of Wonder And Fragments Of Wishes is now available for Windows on Steam with a 20% launch discount. The title of this puzzle/adventure from Crypton Future Media and KOMODO says it all, but if you're left with questions, here's a trailer clearly showing the game's Switch roots, and true to that, this has verified Steam Deck support. Here's more:
Miku and friends crash land on a mysterious planet during their space journey... There they meet many unique characters! Play all kinds of games to grant everybody's wishes!
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Virtual Reality Check

Out of the Blue

Happy Earth Day, the annual celebration of all of our home. Of course if we celebrated better this wouldn't also be an annual reminder that we may not be fully living up to our responsibilities as stewards of the planet. I often quote my elementary school principal as saying, "every day should be Earth Day." And though we do try to be responsible in the BlueTower, I can't honestly claim to live up to that. So I can use this as a reminder to try and do better myself and hope against hope that doing better at this becomes a higher priority for the major forces who have the greatest influence on the situation.

Earthly Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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