Win a copy of Civilization: Beyond Earth
As was mentioned yesterday Civilization: Beyond Earth was released for purchase and download on Steam, the Mac App store and on GameAgent. Also announced yesterday was that we will be running a giveaway. So, without further ado we are pleased to announce that we have obtained 4 redemption codes for this game to give away to our readers.
Charming roguelike dungeon-clearing game brings a touch of Finnish legend to the genre
Because of the accessibility of game design tools, independently-produced games are springing up on every platform. There's certainly no shortage of dungeon crawlers, roguelikes, or turn-based strategy games today. That doesn't mean, though, that Sproggiwood, by Freehold Games, should be overlooked. This turn-based roguelike has the player explore dungeons inspired by Finnish mythology, bringing peace to the land of Sprog.
Civilization: Beyond Earth available for OS X today
Firaxis and Aspyr have announced that Civilization: Beyond Earth will be available later today for purchase and download on Steam, the Mac App store, and on GameAgent. The game requires OS X 10.9.5 or greater, an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, 8GB of drive space, and at least the Intel HD 4000 with 256MB of VRAM. Civilization: Beyond Earth retails for $50. Look for a MacNN giveaway of the title soon.
Hit the gridiron with the Peanuts gang
Cupcake Digital is a well-known name in the ring of games for elementary-age children. To date, they've created games for children's entertainment titles such as Yo Gabba Gabba, Wow! Wow! Wubbsy, and Strawberry Shortcake. The company is now tackling two American classics, Peanuts and football, in Snoopy's All Star Football. Is the game worth handing to your little ones, or is it the digital equivalent of Lucy pulling the football away at the last minute?
Cash, credit payments up to $50 going to early buyers during three month period
In a release from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier today, the agency announced that Sony Computer Entertainment America would be paying out settlements to those that were misled by a PlayStation Vita advertising campaign that started before the handheld console released in February 2012. Under the settlement, Sony will pay out $25 in cash or $50 in merchandise credit for select games and services -- but what sort of impact will this cause for Sony? Electronista dives into the numbers to look at the potential $28.7 million the company will need to pay out.
Advertising promised 'game changing' features in ads, Sony never delivered
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Sony Computer Entertainment America reached a settlement today over advertising promises that were made for the PlayStation Vita leading up to its launch in February 2012. According to the FTC, Sony and advertising agency Deutsch LA promised "game changing" features in a 2011 ad campaign that misled consumers.
If you're looking to relive the 80s arcade culture, give this a try
Vintage gamers and arcade cabinet enthusiasts are likely to remember Arkanoid, which was a riff on a game called Breakout. The aim of the game was to clear a board of all of its bricks by using a paddle to bounce a small ball against them. At first, the game primarily showed up on arcade cabinets. The various remakes have shown up for just about every platform since. One such game is Acky's Breakout Reloaded by Isotope 244.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 24, 2014
Welcome to the second installment of Monday Deals, which we will be running throughout the holiday shopping period. While it is just four more days until shoppers become uncivilized and argue over who gets to buy the last of a heavily-discounted product, we are listing various deals you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, can take advantage of now. As usual, all prices are correct at the time of publication, but may not be valid at a later reading, so check before purchasing. Also, check back on this post in the coming days, as more deals will be added as time goes on.
Console-style gaming PC from Alienware ships with Xbox 360 controller
Alienware has started to ship its attempt at creating a Steam Machine. Pre-orders for the Alienware Alpha will be heading to customers today, and the computer designed based on Valve Software's concept for console-style PC gaming will also be available to buy from various online retailers, with some configurations able to be picked up from some retail outlets.
News from the video game industry for the week of November 16
Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer up a one-stop article for some of the happenings in the video game industry over the past week. In this week's edition of Weekly Game Replay, we look at Double Fine layoffs, Call of Duty reaching $10 billion in sales for the franchise, World of Warcraft recapturing 10 million active subscriptions, Sweden considering a sexism label for video games, Activision settling its shareholder lawsuit, and more.
A race of interstellar cephalopods need your help
It's not unusual for everyone to be looking for the next popular iOS game. We've seen it with the many clones of Angry Birds, FlappyBird, and 2048. While no one will deny that these games are fun, sometimes a user might crave something with a little more thought and care behind the design. That's where Hungry Squid by Michal Malewicz comes in, promising to enchant those who play it.
A mobile game that exudes charm
While more commonly known for its full-scale action-puzzler series Trine, Frozenbyte recently made its first foray into the mobile game space with the release of Splot ($2). A charming platformer designed to be played in short, sporadic bursts, Splot carries a fairly simple story, which is presented at the beginning as a short series of comic panels. Two groups of aliens -- the Splots and the Blobs -- are struck by an asteroid, and then marooned on a foreign planet populated by the Birdlings. The Blobs look to take advantage of this situation by making a quick lunch out of these little birds, while the Splots vow to protect the Birdlings.
Match-3 game with RPG elements makes for enjoyable casual game
It's not unusual for games to try and break out of being confined to a single category. More and more, we find games that try very hard to incorporate the best of two or more types of games. We tend to see this in Real Time Strategy games (RTSs) a lot, as they combine rogue-like or RPG elements. But there are other games that are making headway in the cross-genre arena. Gunspell, by Ino-Сo Plus, touts itself as a cross-genre title, combining elements of both RPGs and puzzles.
Bite-sized strategy title makes users breach and clear bad guys' lairs
Frequently, players' allegiances to strategy games fall in one of two categories: either real-time strategies or tactical turn-based play. But what if there was a game that aims to please both sides? Potentially, now there is. Door Kickers, by KillHouse Games, is a real-time strategy game that gives players the ability to undergo tactical interventions while leading their own SWAT team. While the game itself is in fact a real-time strategy, the tactical elements and the ability to pause are likely to please gamers who enjoy more tactical play.
The gut-wrenching toll of war is put on display, forcing brutal choices to grasp at hope
Stepping into This War of Mine speaks a lot about the experience a player should expect, as there are no frills or explanations. The stark, desaturated palette explains everything about the world people are thrust into -- it's void of the color and spirit of life, with choices living in shades of gray. It tells a tale of people, stranded in the middle of a city devastated by war, forcing them to press on until a ceasefire is secured. This War of Mine isn't about entertainment or escape. It's about the elasticity of human nature and the will to survive.
News from the video game industry for the week of November 9
Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer an all-in-one report for some of the major happenings in the video game industry during the past week. In this week's edition, we look at the issues with the launch of World of Warcraft's latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor; the problems with Assassin's Creed Unity; Xbox sales numbers; Robotoki ditching the free-to-play model for Human Element, and Wildstar's content launch and raid size shrink.
Ever want to be a rampaging Capra aegagrus hircus? Now's your chance.
When most people think of video game protaganists, chances are a goat isn't the first one that comes to mind. Generally, we tend to think of mustachioed plumbers, camo-covered commandos, or spiky blue hedgehogs with a penchant for hoarding gold. However, Goat Simulator by Coffee Stain Studios has, through the cult status of its previous releases, changed all that. In this game, a player takes control of a lively goat, and is set free to do whatever they wish in this quirky sandbox simulation game.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 14, 2014
Slowly, like a creeping predator intent on a meal, Black Friday approaches -- but it is not this day! This Friday, like every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later date, so check before you buy. Be sure to check over the weekend, as it is likely more deals will be added to the list.
Android Lollipop update dated for Nvidia Shield Tablet among other updates
Nvidia is finally going to offer its Grid cloud-based gaming service to customers later this month. Nvidia Grid will allow gamers to stream a selection of PC games from its servers over the Internet, similar to PlayStation Now and OnLive, though the GPU producer will only allow owners of the Shield Tablet access initially, before a wider launch of the service to other devices.
PlayStation Vue to offer around 75 channels, cloud storage of shows
Sony has unveiled its rumored Internet TV service, one which will launch this month in the United States as a beta. PlayStation Vue will allow owners of Sony's game consoles to watch a variety of locally-available television channels, along with on-demand and catch-up functionality, and the ability to store some television programs on the cloud.
Originally released one year ago, game offers new abilities, weapons, threats, more
One year after its PC release, the XCOM game expansion known as Enemy Within has arrived on iOS as a standalone "sequel" to the original title available on most platforms, and on OS X. Contrary to previous expectations, Enemy Within is not available as an in-app purchase for Enemy Unknown.
Virtual reality headset releasing in December, SDK available now for developers
During the Samsung Developer Conference today, the South Korean electronics company officially announced that the first wave of Gear VR headsets are coming to the market. Consumers looking forward to getting their hands on the smartphone-powered virtual reality (VR) device can look forward to a sale day in early December.
Pixel graphic rogue-like tower defense hybrid offers steep learning curve
Newcomer roguelike dungeon-defense game, Dungeon of the Endless by Amplitude Studios, was released to Steam in late October. Promising to be a challenging game, we took a look at it to see what it really had to offer. Like most roguelikes, Dungeon of the Endless is a pretty difficult game. Players are essentially told just enough to get them started, and then left to figure out the rest on their own. The whole situation mostly revolves around playing, dying, reworking the strategy, playing again, and probably dying again. That doesn't mean that the game isn't any fun -- there's something to be said for a game that makes a player work for the victory.
Avalanche Studios developing open world sequel for next-gen consoles, PC
Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix revealed that they are working on the next entry in the Just Cause franchise. Just Cause 3 is an open-world action adventure game like its predecessor, making its way to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2015. Avalanche Studios Chief Creative Officer Christofer Sundberg said that it will be sold as in physical and digital versions, without hinging on free-to-play models or in-game transactions. After release, the studio intends to look into downloadable content.
Chromecast games use smartphones as controllers for on-TV gaming
The latest wave of Chromecast additions includes a number of family-friendly games, Google has revealed. In time for the holidays, the streaming HDMI dongle now has a wider selection of games available to play, using smartphones and tablets as the main interface, alongside two more channels for streaming movies and TV shows.
App helps to educate users on world geography in quiz-show form
Geography isn't terribly easy subject for most, what with there being almost 200 different countries in the world. Rote memorization can become tedious at best and frustrating at worst, deterring even the most studious of people. Worldly, an app by developer Supergonk, aims to help players learn more about the world around them by making geography a game instead of a chore.
Subscription nets recipient 10 Amiibo figures over three deliveries during the holidays
Nintendo and geek-centric mystery subscription service Loot Crate announced they are teaming up to offer a special type of crate in the near future. In a statement from Nintendo, the company divulged that a series of packages are being put together for the upcoming Amiibo figurines that work with games like Super Smash Bros. and the upcoming New 3DS handheld.
Year-long subscriptions for Office 365 Home, Skype, Xbox Live, Xbox Music included
Microsoft has created a bundle for customers in the United States, collecting together subscriptions for the company's various online services. The Work & Play Bundle, sold through Microsoft Stores in the United States for a limited time, gives users an entire year of usage for its entertainment and productivity-related services at a discount.
Gearbox Software, 2K Australia keeps the manic RPG, shooter fun going in space
If there was a game series introduced in the last 10 years that broke the mold for first-person shooters, it's the Borderlands franchise from Gearbox Software. Generous heaps of role-playing game (RPG) elements, cookie-cutter shooter tropes, and sacks full of humor are artfully baked into a game series that begs for consumption. Gearbox Software and 2K Australia teamed up for the latest tasty morsel in the Borderlands series, releasing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel to bring players to a new frontier of humorous action.
News from the video game industry for the week of November 2
Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN report on some of the happenings of the video game industry during the past week. In this week's edition, we take a look at Microsoft's purchase of Mojang finalizing, Blizzard's new expansions for Starcraft II and Hearthstone, Unity asset development payouts, Grand Theft Auto 5 first-person mode on next-gen consoles, and Electronic Arts terminating its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, Dawngate.
First new franchise in 17 years announced at BlizzCon, first shooter developed
At BlizzCon 2014, Blizzard Entertainment shocked fans by unveiling Overwatch, a team-based shooter game that is coming to beta in 2015. Overwatch marks the first new intellectual property for Blizzard in 17 years, with the company jumping back into the shooter genre for the first time since it toyed with Starcraft: Ghost in 2002. The title features a wide array of heroes with a loose storyline, giving players a number of options to enjoy.
Quick-play arcade title offers in-game leaderboard, unlockables for animal rescue
In a time where apps attempt to rival today's handhelds, gamers have become fairly used to robust content within an iOS game. However, sometimes a players just crave a simple, straightforward, fun arcade game to occupy their time. With the success of popular games like Flappy Bird, arcade-style apps have a strong foothold again on mobile, often being touted as good "between class" or "lunch break" games. If a player is looking for another arcade game to add to their collection, Meat Factory, by Steve Cable, is a fiendishly fun game that fits the bill.
MacNN and Electronista deals for November 7, 2014
Once more unto the breach! Every Friday, we search the Internet for deals on gadgets, peripherals, accessories, apps, and games for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, and may or may not be valid if you're reading this at a later date, so check before you buy. Be sure to check over the weekend, as it is likely more deals will be added to the list.
Title seeks to give user incentive to run with story, base building aspects
One of biggest problems a new runner faces is the ability to quickly grow bored of the standard running routine. Even listening to music can get boring if someone does it day in and day out. But how does one keep a running routine fresh and exciting? Sure, they could try new music in new places to run, but eventually they might want something different. That's why Zombies, Run!, by Six to Start, aims to keep things exciting by putting the player at the center of the zombie apocalypse.
Nintendo 2DS, 3DS get another 3D remake from Legend of Zelda's Nintendo 64 days
During the recent Nintendo Direct it was revealed that the company is updating another Legend of Zelda game for its 3D handhelds. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - which was originally released on the Nintendo 64 in 2000 - is coming to the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS in spring 2015. Majora's Mask 3D follows 2011's remake of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - another game that was originally for the Nintendo 64.
Old-school dungeon crawler boasts little handholding, relentless difficulty
When a gamer picks up a video game today, they usually can expect the game to offer lengthy tutorials and the occasional helpful hint when they find themselves struggling. Back in the early days of home video games, retro games were fairly brutal to the inexperienced player. The games themselves offered little to no help as to what to do, and even the instruction manuals proved to be vague, at best. Korigame Entertainment attempts to bring back the frustration of retro gaming, for better or worse, with their dungeon-crawler puzzler: Dungeony.
Excalibur RGB gaming keyboard features backlighting in a 16.8 million color palette
Tesoro Technology has announced the introduction of its Excalibur RGB LED backlit mechanical keyboard, featuring a 16.8 million-color palette. Gamers can choose virtually any hue for backlighting their keyboard, and illumination can be set to breathing mode, color loop mode and two gaming modes, where only the gaming keys are illuminated. Its Full N-Key Rollover offers gamers full anti-ghosting functionality or USB 6 N-Key Rollover, and its 512KB of onboard memory allows for recording sophisticated macros without the need for external software. The keyboard's mechanical switches are engineered for 60 million key strokes, and an anti-slip rubberized foot design keeps the keyboard in place. Priced at $120, the Tesoro Excalibur RGB mechanical keyboard will be available in December.
No strangers to games, Avenged Sevenfold has a decent dark fantasy title
Generally, we don't tend to think of bands as being capable of creating much more than music, but Avenged Sevenfold aims to change that with their action-adventure RPG title, inspired by the band's own lore. Hail to the King: Deathbat by Avenged Sevenfold is an overhead dungeon crawler, not dissimilar to that of Diablo. The player takes the role of Andronikos, the King of the Underworld, tasked with reclaiming Hades from the game's main villian, Dark Andronikos. In order to do this, the player moves through various dungeons, collecting items, defeating monsters, and besting bosses.
Filings look to rescue old games from anti-circumvention provisions, five other requests
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed six Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption requests with the US Copyright on November 3 as a part of the three-year process to address revisions to the act. All six requests were filed in an attempt to give users basic access to software and devices, with one request looking to give consumers a way to play games abandoned by developers and publishers.
Shield Tablet getting Android 5.0 by end of November, free Ubisoft game for GPU buyers
While Nvidia teased that the Shield Tablet would be getting the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade on Twitter last month, the company failed to say when. Thanks to a new video teasing Lollipop on the tablet, owners can now expect to see the new mobile operating system (OS) on the device by the end of November. Nvidia also announced today that it's launching a new game promotion for GPU buyers called "Pick Your Path."
Sound dampened Silencio 652S, 352 computer cases coming to North America
Cooler Master announced today that it is bringing two of its PC cases that focus on minimal design and noise reduction to North America. The Silencio 352 and 652S are on their way to vendors now, says the company, meaning the ATX and Mini-ATX tower cases will be made available to consumers soon. Both of the cases make use of sound-dampening panels in various places in the case, including the side panels and front door.
Voodoo PC references appear in HP gaming notebook launch
HP is taking on the Razer Blade and other gaming notebooks, with its own compact effort. The HP Omen packs a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, a Maxwell-based Nvidia GTX860M GPU, and a 15.6-inch touch-enabled 1080p panel into an anodized aluminum unibody design, with the high-specification notebook measuring just 19.9mm (0.78 inches) thick.
Titles from the '80s and '90s run in Firefox, Safari with caveats
The Internet Archive has launched the Internet Arcade, a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated through modern browsers. The library contains hundreds of games, ranging through many different genres and styles, and is intended for "research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade," according to the site.
Joust remake pushes all the right (8-bit) buttons
There's no doubt that retro-gaming is decidedly "in" these days, and the amount of games that have decided to emulate the sights and sounds of the 1980s and 1990s are many. Among those games, few have come across as overwhelmingly successful, but among those titles stands newcomer Woah Dave by Choice Provisions. The game has enjoyed success at PAX, E3, IndeCade, and California Extreme.
Doppelganger Pack lets players step into the franchise's most notable character
The release date for the first expansion pack for Gearbox Software's Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is set for this month, introducing the fifth playable character to the game. The character is none other than Handsome Jack, or at least someone who looks a lot like him and shares some of his personality traits.
Mechanical SteelSeries keyboard with Cherry MX switches stuffed into 18-inch laptop
MSI is looking to blaze a new path in mobile gaming with the announcement of the GT80 Titan gaming laptop. While the computer builder is quiet about almost everything packed into the new laptop, outside of Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics, it revealed that it will feature a SteelSeries mechanical keyboard. The company claims that the GT80 Titan "is the world's first and only notebook equipped with a gaming mechanical keyboard."
Notebook line gets a 15.6-inch UHD model, free game download offered on select models
Acer announced today that it is expanding offerings in its line of gaming and professional graphics notebooks. The Aspire V Nitro series gets another high-end Black Edition, this time with a 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) 15.6-inch screen. Where the previous models offered topped out at Full HD (1080p) options with resolutions up to 1920x1080, the new UHD model bumps the screen up to 3840x2160.
Developer resume gives clues to the APU shrink from 28nm to 20nm
Gamers hoping for a slim version of the Xbox One with a reduced cost could be see something hit the market in the near future. According to a resume from a senior manager at AMD, the company has successfully shrunk the die size of the system-on-chip (SOC) that is included in Microsoft's next-gen gaming console. Based on AMD's roadmap and die shrinks for GPUs and APUs, it could mean a new Xbox One is on its way in 2015.
Educational game teaches Euclidean geometry fundamentals
Geometry is often thought of as a branch of mathematics that kids either "get" or "don't get." If children are unable to master the basic Euclidean elements in elementary school, they often struggle with more advanced geometric concepts in middle and high school. This can put them further behind their classmates in subjects like geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. What is a parent to do when their child isn't grasping these important concepts? DragonBox Elements by developer WeWantToKnow has offered a creative solution.
News from the video game industry for the week of October 26
Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN report on news from the video game industry during the previous week. In this week's edition, we take a look at the dismissal of Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks officially cancelling Prey 2, Walmart starting used game sales, Shadow of the Eternal development, Dying Light dropping previous-generation console development, and a new trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.