Archived News:

Saturday, Jun 08, 2024 World Oceans Day

The Talos Principle 2 Road to Elysium Next Week

Devolver Digital and Croteam announce plans for Road to Elysium, an "epic" coming to The Talos Principle 2, the first-person puzzle sequel for PC and consoles. The on-ramp to this road is pretty short, as this is slated to launch on June 14th. This is described as a three-part "coda" for the game, but the listing seems to indicate it will all arrive at once, a premise supported by the Reveal Trailer, which outlines the different acts: Orpheus Ascending, Isle of the Blessed, and Into the Abyss. Here's more:
Road to Elysium is a three-part coda that allows you to dive deeper into the world of The Talos Principle 2, reunite with beloved characters, and put your puzzle-solving skills to the test through a series of thought-provoking new stories.

Following the events of The Talos Principle 2, Road to Elysium continues the evolution of the robot world, providing you with a new perspective on some of the key moments from 1k’s journey, and challenging you in new ways with puzzles built around familiar mechanics.
Continue here to read the full story.

Cricket Captain 2024 and Demo Released

Cricket Captain 2024 is now available for Windows on Steam, offering a new installment in this sports management series (thanks Frans). In addition to the full version of this sports simulation from Childish Things, there is a playable demo, oddly described as "Cricket Captain 2024 Demo & Internet Game." There is also a warning that playing this on Steam will also require a "Childish Things Online Play Account." Here's a trailer and the pitch:
Build your own dream team in Cricket Captain 2024. The 20 Over World Cup takes centre stage at the start of the 2024 season and, with our Score Predictor making its debut, you can manage run chases and set targets with a clear indication of expectations for the match conditions. With feedback from last year’s game, and simulating thousands of matches from every situation, we have rebalanced scoring rates across the board, with focus on both First Class and limited over scoring rates and AI. Daniel Norcross brings his inimitable style to the commentary box this year, for the first time on Cricket Captain.
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Tenjutsu Announced

Deepnight Games and Devolver Digital announce Tenjutsu, a top-down shooter from the designer of Dead Cells where you play as a renegade yakuza (are those a thing?). The release window is "to be announced" on the game's Steam Listing, and the Reveal Trailer is here with a first look. Here's more:
Tenjutsu is a gritty combat roguelike set within the confines of the densely packed yet vibrant Secret Garden City under the grip of four crime syndicates. Trapped in this purgatory, use your martial arts mastery and weapon expertise to wipe the slate clean for yourself and people of Secret Garden by dismantling each of the unique syndicates one at a time, in whatever order you wish.

Tenjutsu blends roguelike mechanics with intensely fast melee combat and demanding tactical precision. Wield the brutal brawling systems as if each encounter could be your last and master a diverse arsenal of weapons, upgrades, and techniques to break the crushing hold the syndicates come to maintain.
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Possessor(s) Announced

The Possessor(s) Reveal Trailer is here with a moody first look at Possessor(s), a side-scrolling action game in the works at Heart Machine. The launch is listed as TBA on Steam, where the developer calls it "'sony-walkman retrofuturism' in a game." This is from the folks behind Hyper Light Drifter, but while it "shares" DNA with the prior game, they are different stories set on different worlds. Read on for a bit more:
Possessor(s) is a fast-paced action side scroller with combat inspired by platform fighters, a story told through dangerous characters, set in a deep interconnected world ready for exploration.

Play as Luca, the host, and Rehm, her less-than-cooperative counterpart, as they explore a quarantined city ripped apart and flooded by an interdimensional catastrophe. Their only hope of survival is by learning to co-exist.
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Metaphor: ReFantazio in October

ATLUS and SEGA offer details about Metaphor: ReFantazio, saying this RPG will launch on October 11th for Windows on Steam and on Xbox. A trailer titled AWAKEN accompanies the news, showing off that release date, cinematics, and gameplay that's either very similar to, or very different from, the Persona series (depending on whom you ask). Here's word:
From the creative minds behind Persona 3, 4, and 5 comes Metaphor: ReFantazio, a unique fantasy world, where your protagonist will journey alongside his fairy companion, Gallica, to lift the curse from the kingdom’s lost prince. Control your destiny, face your fears and awaken magical "Archetype" powers that lie dormant in your heart. By awakening to an “Archetype,” you will unlock the power to channel and combine the abilities of unique job classes. Strengthen your bonds and build your party to take down powerful foes and discover the kingdom’s true nature.
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Tides of Tomorrow Announced

DigixArt Studio announces Tides of Tomorrow, another game set in a postapocalyptic, if unlicensed Waterworld. The Reveal Trailer shows off what to expect in what's described as "in-engine footage." The Steam Listing is live, saying this is "coming soon." Here's a small flood of details:
Tides of Tomorrow is an adventure game set on an ocean planet, Elynd, where a deadly disease is threatening all life. Players must explore the various floating towns and villages across the world, deal with threats as they pop up, and try and find a cure.

Across this aquatic world players will encounter three different factions, each with their own distinct personality. Pick your allies carefully, as every decision has the potential to create new adversaries.

In addition, decisions players make will have consequences for others following in your footsteps, with the game’s unique asynchronous system allowing players to follow the path of their friends and other players, experiencing the fallout of their choices.
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WOLFHOUND Announced

Bit Kid announces WOLFHOUND, a science fiction metroidvania set during World War II coming to PC and consoles. In this you must overcome the Bermuda Triangle and Nazis as a one-man army in the grand tradition of BJ Blazkowicz. The Announcement Trailer shows the setting and gameplay, featuring pixel art that can be customized to your tastes (as well as a protagonist who looks suspiciously filled with tiger blood). Here's word:
When a clandestine Nazi base is discovered in the otherworldly heart of the Bermuda Triangle, there’s only one soldier for the job…

Capt. Chuck “WOLFHOUND” Rossetti, a wise-cracking, one-man army who never leaves a pal behind, is no stranger to war but his war is about to get stranger. After an Allied vessel vanishes, Chuck is deployed to infiltrate an uncharted island, discover the enemy’s secrets, and bring our boys home.
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CUFFBUST Announced

Two Star announces CUFFBUST, an action game set in a penitentiary populated by paradoxically cutesy anthropomorphic critters coming to PC next year. It will feature single-player play as well as PvP and co-op. It's shown off in the Announcement Trailer where we see the adorable inmates riot, plan escapes, and even drop the soap. The clip also features a murder, explosions, and the chance to chill on the beach and spark up a giant spliff. Here's word from the Steam Listing:
Break through doors, vents, and weak walls using explosives and other tools, to reach restricted areas. Dig an underground tunnel using your trusty spoon, for a stealthy escape.

Environment is everything. Check the cameras to locate guards, or hijack the intercom to communicate with teammates across the prison. Destroy the generators to cut the building's power, disabling anti-aircraft guns and phone lines.
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Stormforge Announced

Roboto Games announces Stormforge, an open-world survival game for up to eight players that's coming to Steam with a TBA release window. The Official Trailer is here with a look at gameplay featuring cel shaded animation. This post on Steam discusses the announcement, and here's the description:
Stormforge is a fantasy open-world survival crafting game for 1-8 players set in a procedurally generated world filled with magical storms.

Survive in deadly magical storms filled with key resources but fraught with danger. Harness the storms’ power to save the world of Sorana.

Wield a variety of melee, ranged, and magical weapons to battle against sinister foes who are draining the land of its lifeforce. Tread carefully around dangerous enemies who draw strength from the storm.
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CliffyB Teases the SAPPENING

Cliff Bleszinski Xs that he's been working on a game pitch. Details are scant, but the former Epic Games designer known for his work on the Unreal and Gears of War series does offer some form of title as a hint, presuming there's more than just randomness in the term "SAPPENING." Maybe it's got to do with exposing the private camera rolls of trees? Here's word:
WELL, just sent over the latest slide deck for a new game/IP that I've been noodling on for some time, we'll see where this goes.

The marketing slogan for it?

"Welcome...to the SAPPENING."

I'll let y'all figure that out.

Cult of the Lamb Adding Co-op in August

Alliterative allies Massive Monster and Devolver Digital announce an Unholy Alliance Update is coming on August 12th to action/strategy game Cult of the Lamb. As the title suggests, this will add co-op support to the previously single-player game. This is for local co-op, which Steam supports playing non-locally. The Teaser Trailer includes a look, and here's word:
Summoned by blood and born in corruption, a wicked new ally can join the holy Lamb in LOCAL CO-OP! Crusade through dungeons, slay heretics, build your cult, and seek new powers together... But that's not all!

If you find yourself alone in this vast, dark plane of existence - fear not. There is much, much more in this update for you too 😘

We will share more soon. We haven't revealed everything just yet.
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Demos & Freebies

  • The Crush House on Steam (Windows). "Film and produce 1999's hottest reality TV show: The Crush House! Select a crush-worthy cast, satisfy voracious audiences and keep the show on air to uncover the sinister secrets behind this darkly comic thirst-person shooter."
  • Enotria: The Last Song on Steam (updated demo) (Windows). "Enotria: The Last Song is a soulslike set in a beautiful sun-lit world inspired by Italian folklore where the brightest sun casts the darkest shadow. Wear unique role-altering masks, face formidable foes and alter reality with the power of Ardore to unravel the secrets of Enotria."
  • GUNTOUCHABLES on Steam (Windows). "GUNTOUCHABLES is a hardcore co-op action roguelite for 1-4 players. You play as a gun-toting group of 'preppers' trying to reclaim the world from an ever-evolving horde of mutants, constantly working to develop new unique ways to kill you."
  • Into the Emberlands on Steam (Windows). "Venture out into the Emberlands and uncover an ever-changing world filled with surprising encounters and mystical creatures! Save villagers who got lost in the Miasma, collect resources and rebuild your village to create a safe haven for your people."
  • Tiny Bookshop on Steam (Windows, macOS). "Leave everything behind and open a tiny bookshop by the sea in this cozy narrative management game. Stock your tiny bookshop with different books and items, set up shop in scenic locations, and run your cozy second-hand bookshop while getting to know the locals."

Out of the Blue

Well not-E3 is rolling right along. Hopefully everyone's enjoying the festivities. It's certainly lacking in the pomp and ceremony. On the other hand, parking is a breeze, concession prices are reasonable, and there's no line for the bathroom.

Obituary: Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders dies in plane crash at 90.

Breezy Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science

Media
Thanks VideoSift.

The Funnies

Friday, Jun 07, 2024 National Donut Day (USA)

Sid Meier's Civilization VII Announced

Following the news leaking early, 2K Games officially announces Sid Meier's Civilization VII, saying it will be fully revealed in a showcase in August and an official launch for PC and consoles will come next year. Here's an Official Teaser Trailer for the new installment in the beloved turn-based strategy series that's caused more than a few sick days over the years after inadvertent all-nighters caused by its addictive one-more-turn gameplay. Here's what the official website has to say about this for now:
Join us for the full reveal of Sid Meier’s Civilization® VII and its exciting new features and innovations in August 2024.

The award-winning strategy game franchise returns with a revolutionary new chapter. Sid Meier's Civilization® VII empowers you to build the greatest empire the world has ever known!

Rule as one of many legendary leaders from throughout history. Establish your civilization, construct cities and architectural wonders to expand your territory, conquer or cooperate with rival civilizations in pursuit of prosperity, and explore the far reaches of the unknown world. Will you build an empire that stands the test of time?
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Alan Wake 2 Night Springs Tomorrow

Remedy's Sam Lake took the stage at the Summer Game Fest 2024 to announce physical releases for Alan Wake 2, including a Collector's Edition. He then announced a new Night Springs expansion for the survival/horror sequel before springing the surprise that this will be released "in less than 24 hours." It will arrive tomorrow, and it will be free for owners of the Deluxe Edition. Here's the Launch Trailer that also part of the above clip, and here are the details from the description:
The first expansion for Alan Wake 2 brings three new episodes featuring some familiar characters as they experience the unexplainable. While similar to previously known characters, they are different—Night Springs versions of themselves.

Become the Time Breaker, manipulating time to rewrite your destiny. Embrace the cosmic mysteries as the North Star and unravel secrets that defy reason. Or channel your inner obsession as the Number One Fan, fighting the shadows in pursuit of truth and love.
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TopSpin 2K25 Free Weekend

TopSpin 2K25 is free to try this weekend for Windows on Steam and for Xbox, serving a sample of this tennis simulation. It's on sale for 25% off if you decide to pick up a copy. This post has more on this effort to court new players. Here's a refresher on the game:
Travel the world as an up-and-coming pro, go toe-to-toe with the biggest names in tennis, and take Centre Court at Wimbledon, Roland-Garros, the US Open, and the Australian Open as you strive to become a Grand Slam® Champion in MyCAREER.

Visit some of the most vibrant courts on the tennis circuit in TopSpin 2K25. From the four Grand Slam® tournaments to larger-than-life international arenas like Indian Wells, La Caja Mágica, Pala Alpitour, Foro Italico, and more.

The Thing Remastered Announced

Grab your parka! Paying off on its recent tease, Nightdive Studios officially announces The Thing: Remastered, saying this game renovation project will come later this year to PC and consoles. This is an updated version of the 2002 third-person shooter that ties in with the classic 1982 film. Here's the Official Reveal Trailer with a look, and here's more:
The Thing: Remastered is a faithful restoration of the cult-classic 2002 third-person survival horror shooter game inspired by Universal Pictures' genre-defining 1982 film, The Thing. Nightdive Studios has upgraded this horrifying classic for the modern era through its proprietary KEX Engine for play on current-generation gaming devices up to a 4K resolution at 120FPS. Improvements to character models, textures, and animations have been hand-crafted by Nightdive Studios, with the implementation of advanced 3D rendering for updated lighting and atmospheric effects — for a suspenseful and disgustingly detailed remaster that reanimates the thrilling game for modern audiences.
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Delta Force: Hawk Ops Testing Next Month

A new Delta Force: Hawk Ops Summer Game Fest 2024 Trailer takes a look at the upcoming free-to-play return to the military shooter series. This comes with word on the game's license to use imagery from the film Black Hawk Down: "An exciting recreation of the classic Delta Force campaign mode sees a return to Mogadishu to participate in the events of the 2001 Black Hawk Down™ movie. Featuring both characters and likenesses from the film, while also serving as an officially licensed remaster of the original Delta Force: Black Hawk Down video game." There are plans for a playtest next month on PC, and this post has details on that. Some players who request access on Steam will be chosen, and there's a way to guarantee access through a battle pass purchase. The post includes the minimum system specifications for the test:
Q: What are the minimum system requirements for the Playtest?
Operating System: Windows 10 64 Bit
Processor: Intel Core i3-4150 / AMD FX-6300
Memory: 12GB
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 960 / AMD R9 380 / Intel Arc A380
VRAM: 2GB
HDD Space: 50GB
DirectX: DirectX 12
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Battle Aces Announced

Uncapped Games announces Battle Aces, a new real-time strategy game that will feature card-based mechanics and shorter battles than typical of the genre for greater accessibility. A Cinematic Trailer introduces the game with a two-minute cartoon. You can add this to your wishlist on Steam and/or sign up for the closed beta test on the official website. This post from developer Uncapped Games explains further:
Combining innovative gameplay mechanics with advancements in UI and control, to deliver an experience unlike any other, at Uncapped Games, we believe in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in strategy gaming, and Battle Aces is a testament to that ethos.

One of the key pillars of Battle Aces is its ability to get players to the fun faster. We understand that in today’s fast-paced world, gamers don’t always have hours to invest in building up their armies or economies. That’s why Battle Aces features unique mechanics that allow players to customize their strategy, even before play and once in a match, dive straight into the action. Whether you’re leading a daring raid behind enemy lines or engaging in epic battles on a massive scale, Battle Aces ensures that every moment is filled with adrenaline-pumping excitement.
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Cairn Announced

The Game Bakers announce Cairn, an adventure game that will give players to climb a mountain from the comfort of home. The Cairn Website and Steam Listing are live, showing this is expected in 2025. Here's the vertigo-inducing Reveal Trailer. The description indicates this is quite straightforward, as the game's challenges reflect those of actual climbing:
Cairn’s realistic simulation allows intuitive climbing: find the best holds and place your hands and feet seamlessly with simple controls. Adapt your posture, effort and balance —if you're not careful, you will fall!

As pro climber Aava, you embark on the ascent of Mount Kami, a summit that has never been reached. Along the journey, meet unexpected companions and hear from those left on the ground. Discover the mountain's history and decide what Aava is willing to sacrifice to achieve her dream.

You are free to climb anywhere. Explore the mountain, read the rock face from the ground and plan your route carefully to reach the top. Solve problems while on the wall to navigate difficult sections. You can climb on anything, so choose your path wisely!
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LEGO Horizon Adventures Announced

The PlayStation.Blog has the announcement from Guerrilla Games of LEGO Horizon Adventures, an unexpected mashup that proves you can make anything out of LEGO bricks. It will arrive during this year's holiday season for PC, PlayStation 5, and Switch. Here's an Announce Trailer showing how the two properties fit together. Here's word:
In a distant future, the land is made of LEGO bricks and incredible dinosaur-like machines roam the Earth. Aloy, the game’s leading hero, is found in a cave as a baby and raised by a grizzled huntsman called Rost, who teaches her the way of the wilds. One day, Aloy embarks on a quest to discover her true destiny. Guided by a thousand-year-old hologram of a scientist called Elisabet, Aloy must confront Helis, the leader of a group of sun worshipers who bow to an Ancient Evil shrouded in mystery. There’s much more in store for Aloy and her friends, as their adventure sends them across the tallest mountains and deepest cauldrons — all beautifully recreated in LEGO elements.
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Matchbox Driving Adventures Announced

Mattel and Outright Games announce Matchbox Driving Adventures, a toy/racing game crossover for traditionalists unmoved by your fancy new Hot Wheels. This promises to put you behind the wheel of an "authentic Matchbox vehicle," which doesn't sound physically possible. Here's the Announce Trailer and here's word:
Designed for all styles of play, Matchbox Driving Adventures offers two distinct game modes. In Adventure Mode, players explore Matchbox Adventure Island at their leisure, solving intriguing problems for its inhabitants amidst rich, evolving landscapes. Alternatively, Competition Mode ramps up the excitement by featuring a series of uniquely varied tracks where players can compete for an exhilarating and enchanting racing experience.
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Bodycam Early Access

Early Access to Bodycam is now underway on Steam, kicking off this first-person shooter boasting ultra-realistic graphics. This verisimilitude is on display in the Early Access Release Date Announcement Trailer. Picking this up over the next week is 10% off thanks to the launch discount. For new players, this post lays out the complete roadmap for the rest of this year, while this one has accessibility and performance tips. Here's word:
BODYCAM is an ultra-realistic multiplayer first-person shooter game built using the latest technologies from the next-generation Unreal Engine 5 game engine. Developed by two French video game enthusiasts aged 17 and 20, the game was designed to push the boundaries of realism and photorealism: a truly revolutionary experience for the genre.

With the capabilities and technologies available through Unreal Engine 5, players will experience a next-generation gaming experience that showcases the future of realistic video games - stunning graphics, immersive sound effects, as well as a revolutionary shooting and movement experience.
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Forgotten Seas Early Access

Forgotten Seas has set sail into the uncharted waters of Early Access on Steam. The Bermuda Triangle may be a myth, but this takes you to the Bermuda Void, so pack your Bermuda shorts. It also involves building a ship in a bottle before magically being able to climb aboard, as seen in the Early Access Launch Trailer. The description answers some questions and raises others:
Forgotten Seas plunges you into the Bermuda Void, a mysterious and treacherous ocean realm where your survival skills will be tested to the limit. In this Survival Action-Adventure Base-Builder, players will navigate a world where the ocean stretches endlessly and islands appear and disappear like phantoms. Here's what awaits the brave adventurers who dare to enter this enigmatic realm.
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Dragon Is Dead Early Access

Early Access is now live on Steam for Dragon Is Dead, kicking off this hack-and-slash 2D platformer for Windows from TeamSuneat and PM Studios. A look at this in action is provided in the Early Access Launch Trailer. Here's the quick pitch:
All dragons who have challenged the gods have fallen, except for Guernian. The leader of the Dark Dragons, who has lost all of his kind to the Gods and has embraced evil, is corrupting the world with his rift.

Filled with rage and madness, you must become the Dragon Slayer who can stop Guernian. Slay Guernian and free the survivors from their suffering.
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Neva Announced

Nomada Studio announces Neva, a new "emotionally charged action/adventure" coming to PC and consoles later this year as the follow up to its success with GRIS. Here's a Gameplay Trailer with a first look and the game's Steam Listing is online as well. Here's word:
Neva chronicles the story of Alba, a young woman bound to a curious wolf cub following a traumatic encounter with dark forces. Together they embark on a perilous journey through a once-beautiful world as it slowly decays around them.

Over time, their relationship will evolve as they learn to work together, helping one another to brave increasingly dangerous situations. The wolf will grow from a rebellious cub to an imposing adult seeking to forge her own identity, testing Alba’s love and their commitment to one another.

As the cursed world threatens to overwhelm them, Alba and her courageous companion will do whatever it takes to survive and make a new home, together.
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Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions in September

Warner Bros. Games announces Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions to will launch on September 3rd, giving Harry Potter fans the chance to play the fictional sport on PC and consoles. A new Official Reveal Trailer shows this conflicted crossover between nerds and jocks. Here's more:
Developed by Unbroken Studios and published by Warner Bros. Games under the Portkey Games label, Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions Standard Edition will release worldwide on Sept. 3 for $29.99 (SRP) on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch™ system, and PC (Steam and Epic Games Store). Additionally, Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions* will be available at no extra charge to all PlayStation Plus members from Sept 3 to Sept. 30, 2024.

Featuring iconic wizarding world locations, characters, and references that fans will love, Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions highlights the rush of flying across legendary arenas as either a Beater, Chaser, Keeper or Seeker in a variety of modes. From backyard battles in the Weasley Burrow to high-stakes showdowns at the Quidditch World Cup, players will soar into legendary arenas playing as - or against - iconic characters such as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and many other quintessential characters. And as a special gift, players who own Hogwarts Legacy will receive the Bonus Legacy Pack** when they download Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions and connect to their WB Games account.
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Demos & Freebies

  • Deathbound on Steam (Windows). "Deathbound is a one-of-a-kind party-based soulslike set in a callous world where Faith and Science clash. Dynamically transform between fallen warriors all with their own unique skill sets, combat styles, and rich history. Conquer a brutal reality where Life and Death were never more conflicted."
  • The Big Catch: Tacklebox on Steam (Windows). "Crack open the Tacklebox to show off your platforming prowess and fishing skills in this free prologue to The Big Catch."
  • Farmer's Dynasty 2 on Steam (Windows). "An idyllic farm surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Embrace the seasons to build, farm and feel the country life in the open game world of Farmer's Dynasty 2. Inherit the family farm as the next generation to prosper and create a farming legacy."
  • ONE BTN BOSSES on Steam (Windows). "It's One Button Bosses, it's all in the name. You have one button. There are big bosses to beat. Push, tap, and bash in the handcrafted campaign or in the roguelike rifts."

Dark and Darker Early Access Returns

Here's a new Dark and Darker World Premiere Trailer, as Dark and Darker is now free-to-play in Early Access on the Epic Games Store and back on Steam. The fantasy first-person shooter from IRONMACE was embroiled in a legal battle after Nexon sued the developer claiming the game was created using stolen source code. This is presumably now settled, bringing us to this point. Here's word on the game:
Unfathomable fortunes await the brave and the foolish willing to delve into the devastated depths of an ancient citadel. Band together with your friends and use your courage, wits, and cunning to uncover mythical treasures, defeat gruesome monsters, while staying one step ahead of the other devious treasure-hunters. Once you’ve plundered your riches, now comes the hard part, getting out alive. Find the hidden escape routes before the ever-expanding darkness reclaims your riches and your corpse to her irresistible hoard.
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Into the Black

Last Link of the Day: The Inevitable Downfall Of Westworld. Thanks RedEye9.

Civilization VII Announcement Leaks

Insider Gaming has word that a now-removed banner for Civilization VII appeared on the 2K Games Website in advance of today's Summer Game Fest. This seems to be the announcement the site previously speculated might be a new Mafia game. Besides the physical evidence of the banner, the new report also says it's an open secret that a new installment in the "just one more turn" strategy series is about to be announced:
The information that Civilization VII would be announced at Summer Game Fest was provided to content creators and media earlier this week. The website does direct users to a trailer and wishlist, which are currently not live.

In mid-May, 2K Games announced it would announce the next iteration of one of its ‘biggest and most beloved’ franchises during Summer Game Fest. Many speculated that the series could be Marfia, Bioshock, or Borderlands, but those rumors have seemingly been squashed.

Tropico 6: Tropican Shores This Month

Kalypso Media and Gaming Minds announce Tropican Shores, new DLC coming on June 18th to Tropico 6, the Windows and console island dictator simulation. Word is El Presidente is finally allowing the citizenry to visit the beach: "In Tropican Shores, players will navigate the ebbs and flows of their paradise as El Prez graciously authorizes the expansion of the glorious nation of Tropico to the bountiful seas." Here's more:
Tropican Shores also brings four new sandbox maps to the game including the map from the Yachts for El Presidente scenario along with options to enhance your sea style including a new Scuba Outfit, with activities galore like Submarine Tours and even Dolphin Therapy to relax from all of your tiresome yet rewarding role in keeping the nation of Tropico afloat. Ride the tide of prosperity as you dive into the new scenario Yachts for El Presidente, that will serve as a guide to assist in navigating the new features and additions in Tropican Shores.

Volgarr the Viking II Announced

Digital Eclipse and Crazy Viking Studios announce Volgarr the Viking II, a 2D action/platformer sequel coming to Steam and consoles on August 6th. Here's an Announcement Trailer to show how this reflects the original, which was already quite retro when it arrived a decade ago. Here's word on the trailer and the game:
More than a decade after Volgarr the Viking’s bloodbath of a debut from Crazy Viking Studios, which sold more than one million copies across PC and consoles, the barbarian king’s adventure continues in an uncompromising new form. Set against the backdrop of new and bigger-than-ever Norse-inspired worlds, Volgarr the Viking II ups the ante on the original’s hardcore 2D side-scrolling action in an expanded odyssey where every playthrough is grislier than the last.

The reveal trailer teases a selection of levels and enemy encounters, underscoring just how many times you’ll die (and die again) — all while progressively learning and mastering movesets, level layouts, and enemy attacks. Volgarr the Viking II’s satisfyingly punishing torment will forge you into a true warrior, demanding precision, strategy, and an indomitable spirit to conquer the unforgiving world.
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BUS: Bro u Survived Announced

Herbarium Games announces BUS: Bro u Survived, a looting adventure game for 1-4 players, though the Steam Listing also lists "massively multiplayer" as a genre. This parties like it's 20 years ago when the "u mad bro" meme arrived, and this Game Reveal Trailer shows off what to expect. There should be a Steam Next Fest demo soon. Here's more:
Get ready for a crazy drive across Fang island! Gather your friends for this 1-4 player cooperative looting action game. Save people from the zombie apocalypse, craft and expand your base and turn your bus into a real beast! Escape the island and uncover its conspiracies in BUS: Bro U Survived.
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Urban Myth Dissolution Center Announced

Publisher Shueisha Games and developer Hakababunko announce Urban Myth Dissolution Center, a single-player "psycho-detective mystery adventure" coming "soon" to Steam and Switch. Here's a trailer showing the game's retro point-and-click gameplay is supported by equally retro graphics. Here's word on the game and that aesthetic:
A charming 2D pixelated art style hints at the influences that Urban Myth Dissolution Center has taken from, with the point-and-click 90s adventure games the primary source of inspiration for Hakababunko and Shueisha Games, alongside an anime aesthetic that helps maintain a level of charm throughout. A purposefully dull and limited color palette enhances the mystery and uncertainty that the player will find themselves in, while various blurring techniques, horror-inspired camera angles, and clever use of red highlighting add to the atmosphere of the game and the dangers of the urban myths.
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Demos & Freebies

  • Bloodwood Dungeon on Steam (Windows). "Detailed, gritty text-based fantasy RPG centered on dungeon crawling with traps, puzzles, fights and loot. Recreates the gameplay of the old gamebooks. Simple battle system and hassle-free inventory management."
  • Hell of an Office on Steam (Windows). "Hell of an Office is a first-person precision 3D platform game that mixes parkour and speedrun to escape from HellO, the most hellish offices in the (under)world! Be quick and use your stapler to rocketjump and dash. Can you escape before the lava reaches you?"
  • Over The Top- WWI on Steam (Windows). "Over The Top: WWI brings brutal real-time third and first-person combat set in the First World War. Arm yourself with a diverse arsenal, including rifles, artillery, and even tanks, as you navigate the mud-soaked battlefields of the Great War."

Crime Boss: Rockay City Steam Testing

505 Games and INGAME STUDIOS now offer playtesting of the Steam Edition of Crime Boss: Rockay City, the crime game with a Hollywood cast that launched last year on the Epic Games Store. The launch on Steam scheduled for June 18th will bring a host of improvements, hence, the need for more testing. Here's word on rebooting the Heistotron: "Having undergone huge developmental improvements, patches, and eight updates over the past 12 months, Crime Boss: Rockay City, is on a mission to turn the heisting genre around (itself included!), with improvements and feedback taken directly from the ever-growing Crime Boss community and fans." Here's a refresher on the game:
Use a wide range of weapons and equipment to combat police forces and rival gangs while you make off with the score! Go guns blazing or undetected with immersive stealth gameplay in highly randomized heists. Build your squad and successfully rob banks, hold up stores, raid armored trucks and more!

The game comes with numerous big and medium heists, dozens of quick jobs and a variety of turfwar battles. Choose from 3 difficulty options to match your skill level.
Continue here to read the full story.

The Deadly Path Testing

Steam also now offers playtesting of The Deadly Path, a roguelite strategy game from Owlskip Enterprises and Fireshine Games. Word is this is an "open" test, but you still must request access. This is a building game set in the underworld featuring various deities, which should make for some interesting runs to Home Depot. Here's word:
Come to see what all this is about, have you? Right then, I'll fill you in. The Deadly Path is a thrilling building management and roguelike strategy game. It's down to you to do some serious grovelling, gathering and building if you want to survive it. See, you're the Custodian, and you're in the bad books with the fearsome gods of the Dread Pantheon who you're trapped here with.

Office Nightmare Testing

Here's one more playtest, as everyone can head over to Steam and request access to the beta for Office Nightmare, a third-person shooter set in 1998 featuring unconventional weapons and co-workers that are even more zombified than usual. Here's more on this sequel to the obscure Record Store Nightmare:
Office Nightmare is the sequel to Record Store Nightmare. You control Rob as you navigate the floors of the office building. Your Manager won't allow the elevator to take you to the next level until you get some work done, once again proving that when it comes to zombies, humans are the true monsters. You might have to stop in at the Manager Kiosk to get a task, or maybe you just have to defeat a boss; it's all up to the Manager's whims.

Issues & Activism

Danger Zone

Out of the Blue

The early part of the week did not reflect the not-E3 activity I mentioned on Monday, but things are starting to happen now. The Summer Game Fest is today at 5:00 pm EDT, and this will bring more, even if expectations are being lowered. There's more over the weekend, including the PC Gaming Show, so not-E3 now seems to be officially unofficially underway.

Active Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link

Stories

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

Creature Features

Auction

Follow-up

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