Still, Waiting for Half-Life 3? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Half-Life 3 is becoming to be folklore in the same vein as UFOs and the elusive Bigfoot! While there have been some sightings, no one can confirm -or deny- that the HL3 development is still being worked on.

Ever since the original Half-Life debuted in 1998 and Half-Life 2 in 2004 players from every corner of the gaming world have been feverishly waiting for the trifecta to happen. But it hasn’t and Valve has been very tight-lipped on its long-term plans for the franchise.

Without any current information coming out from the Valve team, one has to wonder why a game that can guarantee to sell in the millions isn’t a priority to them. We take a look now at our Top 3 reasons why Half-Life 3 will never see the light of day and why gamers would be better off forgetting about it…for the time being anyways.

 #3 Procrastination

Still, waiting for Half-Life 3?! Well, don't hold your breath waiting for it. Here are three reasons why.

You know that famous saying, “Good things come to those who wait?” Well, Valve seems to take that quote to heart. In general, Valve takes its sweet time on every game they develop and publish. The Time between HL1 and HL2 was almost 6 years – which in the gaming world is considered a long time.

Another first-person survival horror game, Left 4 Dead debuted in 2008 and its sequel one year later. Counter-Strike was released in 2000 and Counter-Strike 2 Global Offensive in 2012; a total of 12 years not counting all the installments in between.

While I commend Valve for taking the time to polish up their games, they go beyond the average wait time to do it. As gamers, we forgive them because it’s Valve, and their games rock, but they should not take advantage of our patience. We can wait but not forever.

#2 Valve Is No Longer a ‘Game’ Developer

Still, waiting for Half-Life 3?! Well, don't hold your breath waiting for it. Here are three reasons why.

Yes, folks, Valve is no longer a game company. There I said it. They use to be…but not anymore. Why? Because they don’t need to develop games to make money. Their digital distribution platform is their bread and butter and as long as that pays the bills (and a few homes in several exotic islands) there’s no reason to do anything else but lay back and soak up the sun.

Their most recent job posting had over 70% looking for an IT specialist in systems analysis with less than 10% in game design. What does tell you? It means more resources are being allocated to Steam than to their internal game studios.

#1 Steam

Still, waiting for Half-Life 3?! Well, don't hold your breath waiting for it. Here are three reasons why.

This 5 letter word is the real reason we aren’t getting Half-Life 3 anytime soon. Steam is so successful that it is considered to be the largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming and was estimated by Screen Digest to have 75% of the market space since 2015. I’m no math guru but when you own so much of the PC landscape you’re almost forced to not do anything else.

While I can’t fault Valve as a company for solely focusing on Steam I will place some blame on Gabe Newell for not licensing Half-Life 3 to a developer who actually wants the game to be released. Look I understand the reasons Valve is in no hurry to complete the game, but it’s the players that are wanting it. And when I last checked, it was the gamers who made Valve and Steam the juggernauts they are today.

Indie Recommendation: Moons of Darsalon

Early Impressions

The moon is always full in Darsalon! So party it up with your friends, and don't forget to bring a picnic blanket and a compass since you'll be going where no man has gone before. A telescope and some courage are welcome too since you might catch a glimpse of some intergalactic shenanigans as you traverse upward toward the skies or down deep into the caverns of the underground.


Koochy, Koochy, Koo!

Moons of Darsalon, by indie developer Dr. Kucho! Games is the next installment in the Darsalon series, (the first one being Pilots of Darsalon) and presents players with the task of rescuing a mining team lost on one of the moons orbiting the foliage-rich planet of Darsalon. The premise, as you can imagine might sound easy, until you realize the group you have to save have a combined IQ of a doorknob. But hey, that's what makes the game utterly fun and hilarious at the same time.

The first time I booted up the game, I was eerily reminded of the first few levels of Earthworm Jim, with its pixelated graphics and soft hues in colors. The actual gameplay, however, feels reminiscent of classic platforming and puzzle-solving games like Lemmings where the game challenges players to think strategically and use their abilities in creative ways to bring the mining team back safely.

But beyond just being an entertaining and charming experience, Moon of Darsalon also evokes feelings of nostalgia with its retro graphics and brilliant musical score. In a sea of big-budget blockbuster games, this one took me by surprise and it stands out as a refreshing and unique achievement in indie gaming. While the demo has its quirks, like resolution and controller issues, I still found the experience to be quite addicting, leaving me wanting to play more.


Bring Me Home, Baby!

Playing Moons of Darsalon not only brought me loads of fun, but it also gave me a sense of nostalgia for those classic games that I loved growing up. I would highly recommend this game to anyone looking for an exciting platforming and puzzle-solving experience. With its addicting gameplay and throwback feel, Moons of Darsalon is definitely a title to keep your eyes on.

We'll have more on Moons of Darsalon as it gets closer to release.


FAQ

Is Dr. Kucho! Games the real name of the developer?

Yes! According to his bio, Dr. Kucho! was/still is a well-regarded Spanish house DJ who is now tinkering in the world of video game design. How cool is that?

You said Moons of Darsalon reminded you of Earthworm Jim, I think you meant to say Abe's Oddysee, perhaps?

No, pal. Aesthetically, the game reminds me a lot of Earthworm Jim. Gameplay-wise, it does have elements of Abe's Oddysee with its command prompts. So, yeah, you're half right.

The game looks cool, When is it scheduled for release?

According to the Steam page, the target release is aimed at the 1st Quarter of 2023.


Horror Investigative Game "My Work Is Not Yet Done" to be Published by Raw Fury in 2023

Is Your Work Done Yet?

Raw Fury and Sutemi Productions have announced a collaboration to publish Sutemi's debut novel, My Work Is Not Yet Done. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the investigative horror game with disturbing visuals will be released next year. The announcement trailer debuted exclusively at The MIX Next 2022 and shows off the game's distinct style.

My Work Is Not Yet Done is a narrative-driven investigative horror game with survival-simulation elements and a dense, nonlinear plot. The final days of the inquisitor Avery, the last surviving member of a doomed scientific expedition into a remote and unfathomable stretch of sinking country, are followed by the players. They must navigate, survey, and survive an eerie, ever-shifting landscape reclaimed by nature — and something stranger — in order to find the source of a strange transmission believed to have originated somewhere within the region.

My Work Is Not Yet Done aspires to be a distinct and innovative take on the survival-simulation genre, accurately reproducing the physical and psychological experience of being alone and lost in the wilderness. The game takes place in an expansive open-world environment, seamlessly blending procedurally generated locations with a variety of handcrafted points of interest to provide a distinct sense of disorientation with each playthrough.

Features

Raw Fury and Sutemi Productions will release My Work Is Not Yet Done in 2023. The game is now available on Steam.

Get Your Scream On! Steam's Scream Fest Starts Today and Through 11/01/22

Are you ready for some ghoulish gaming this Halloween? Look no further than Steam's annual Scream Fest sale! From October 25 to November 1, all your favorite scary video games will be on sale.

Steam scream fest gaming sales

Do you dare wander the halls of a haunted mansion in Resident Evil 7? Will you survive the night in Dead by Daylight? The possibilities are endless and the scares are abundant. But beware - these discounts won't last forever. So don't wait until it's too late, grab those Horror titles now at Steam's Scream Fest sale! Happy haunting!

Check out Steam's entire lineup of spooky fun here!

It's a Keeper! Dome Keeper (Steam) Review

A Mining We Will Go

It's not supposed to happen this way. There's no way a small indie developer should create a unique game that runs circles around bigger AAA titles. From the opening shot of a ship crashing down to an unknown landscape, Dome Keeper places us more firmly within its postnuclear world than ever before. 

A Dome Away From Home

The story starts, as I can surmise, some years into the future. How many, it is hard to say, but far enough that mining for resources and minerals to forge makeshift weapons and other bizarre creations becomes the norm, and far enough in years to know that the old world is gone and that new world order is taking shape.

Dome Keeper, by indie developer Bippinbits, is an immersive rogue-like survival miner game where you must defend your dome against waves of alien attackers. As you mine and process resources you can use them to purchase upgrades to strengthen your shields, your weapons, and your dome, and to improve your character’s overall mining abilities. I recommend early on to focus on your drill strength, speed, and jet pack so that you can carry more supplies faster and quicker to your re-processing area.

When the alarm sounds, quickly head back up to defend your dome

The Dome, as you can guess, is a giant upside-down framework bowl that players must defend from alien attacks. These attackers come in two forms: the slow lumbering types that make their way by foot and those that fly and scurry up the sides of the bowl with the intent of smashing it into tiny bits. Regardless of which type you encounter, both do a tremendous amount of damage if left unchecked.

Fortunately, there’s an early warning indicator that alerts you to any pending attacks. When the alarms sound off, you must scurry your miner up to the dome and get into fight mode to blast away at the alien scum. At the start of the game, all your abilities are at their weakest, leaving you vulnerable so it’s important to prioritize your skill points to those categories that will keep you alive the longest.

Invest points in your miner early on so he can gather and carry more resources.

Get Your Hands Off My Dome

To keep your dome formidable, you must mine resources for it. As you mine the underground, every decision becomes more weighty as you navigate through narrow tunnels, unsure of what dangers or valuables may lurk around each corner.

Oftentimes, you'll have to dig deeper underground for the good stuff but this will often leave you helpless to attack as you try to make your way back up to your command center. It's this dichotomy of risk and reward that makes Dome Keeper such an interesting little game.

The graphic style also adds to the immersive gameplay experience, drawing the player deeper into this harsh underground world. Overall, while simple in design, the graphics in Dome Keeper serve an important purpose in reinforcing the game's tense atmosphere and sense of claustrophobia.

The Skills Tree. Use it wisely.

Cracks in the Dome

If there is a kink in the game's armor, it is most notably in its balance. You see, Dome Keeper is good but feels that the balance is off between mining and defending. For example, I found myself spending more time defending my dome than gathering resources for it.

Other players I've spoken to have the direct opposite experience, which can be attributed to the core gameplay. Still, it doesn't take away from the fun as these two contrasting experiences help with Dome Keeper's longevity, which is a good thing since each playthrough will be slightly different from the one before it.

There's No Place Like Dome

Overall, Dome Keeper is a fantastic little title for anyone that likes rogue-like games. The simple but effective graphics, controls, and music create quite a unique experience.

As I've mentioned earlier, the core gameplay is solid and with a few more tweaks can transform Dome Keeper from a very good game to a great one. If you're looking for a new title to sink your teeth into, Dome Keeper should definitely be on your list.


FAQ

Who is the Developer of Dome Keeper

The developer of this cult classic is none other than bippinbits, a solo indie developer who spends their free time designing and creating games. As far as I know, Dome Keeper is their initial offering– but it's definitely a good one and will, in time, be a fan favorite, with its unique blend of strategy and resource management.

So next time you're playing Dome Keeper, remember to thank bippinbits for all the hours of entertainment they've provided. And if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? It's available for purchase on Steam right now! Trust me, your inner miner will thank you.

What is Dome Keeper About?

Dome Keeper is an addictive and compelling indie PC game where the player takes on the role of a miner tasked with defending his Dome against waves of enemy attacks. As the game is rogue-like, each round offers new challenges to face as players try to survive as long as possible.

With upgradable weapons and power-ups at their disposal, Dome Keeper offers hours of action-packed strategy gameplay. Despite its indie origins, this game brings a level of excitement that rivals even the biggest AAA titles. So grab your trusty drill bit and prepare for battle.

What Type of Gamer was Dome Keeper Made For?

If resource gathering, fighting monsters, and strategically building up your defenses are your idea of fun, then Dome Keeper was made for you. This PC game puts players in the role of a stronghold defender, tasked with gathering resources and using them to upgrade and fortify their base.

And don't think it's going to be easy - the game boasts challenging gameplay and an extensive upgrade tree to keep even the most seasoned gamers on their toes. So if tower defense style games are your thing, grab your mouse and dive into the world of Dome Keeper.

Where Can I Purchase Dome Keeper?

If the Internet is your palace then Steam is your kingdom. You can purchase Dome Keeper for $17.99. I know some of you will say the price is too high, but trust me when I say that the game will provide hours of entertainment for your dollars as you strategize, expand, and upgrade your dome in countless ways.


Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway Is Out Now on PC and Consoles

Hit the gas! Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway races home today on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam for $49.99. This fast-paced, action-packed racing game is the biggest entry in the series yet, with a cast of 40 iconic characters from Nickelodeon’s huge roster of fan-favorite franchises, as well as 36 outlandish tracks sporting new watercraft sections, massive customization options, and more.

Fans can also grab Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway – Turbo Edition on digital stores today for $59.99, featuring the full base game plus a variety of exclusive content, including:

Key Game Features

The Eternal Cylinder Rolls onto Steam and Consoles Today

Good Shepherd and ACE Team have released the award-winning, critically acclaimed The Eternal Cylinder today on Steam, PlayStation®5, and Xbox Series X|S. PlayStation®4 and Xbox One owners can upgrade to the next-generation versions of this completely original and surreal open-world survival adventure game for free on their respective consoles. Owners of The Eternal Cylinder on the Epic Games Store will receive an identical update to the release on Steam.

Stellar? Not Quite, But Close - Stellar Warfare (Steam) Review

If anyone would ask me what Stellar Warfare is about, I would tell them it's an interesting real-time strategy wave defense game about a colony of celestial survivors set adrift in deep space. The definition of 'Stellar' is defined as a relationship with the stars, and with that particular meaning weighing heavy on me the more involved and deeper I got into the gameplay.

Stellar Warfare, by developer Tense Game Studios, offers a tactical situation with logistic resource gathering and base building. From your main ship, you can deploy harvesters to gather goods that are needed to sustain and maintain your fleet. You'll also need to build power stations, refineries, factories, as well as habitats to help increase your population. There are dozens of units to build including offensive strike crafts, frigates, and defensive structures.

The base building, while robust, isn't overly complex or complicated; you select what you want, place them in the best position possible and let them do their thing. One neat feature is that you can discover blueprints from destroyed enemy ships or from abandoned structures that will allow you to design unique strike crafts, structures, and weapons.

These blueprints can be used to specifically create a fleet catered to your personal play style and with over 60 ships to build, 50 weapons, and 25 modules to find, I'm fairly certain you'll have a unique experience each and every time you play.

We know, from our own history that our civilization has routinely attacked legions of people through conflicts large and small, for reasons as simple as ideology, religion, and territory. Stellar Warfare places those conflicts right in front of us and challenges its players to create their own stories and destinies.

Stellar Warfare doesn't come with an extensive tutorial, at least not from what most RTS players are accustomed to. Instead, instructions for the game are laid out in contextual dialogue. From its onset, the game is a voyage of discovery and exploration, thanks to the fact that the manual or tutorial gives nothing away.

There are no in-depth explanations of the different alien life forms, discordant races, or mentions of the great battles in front of you; just a few details of chaos that has spread across the galaxies. There is, however, a brief prologue regarding The Light that seems to have been the cause of all this disarray. While this lack of information ensures a wealth of surprises for the story arc, it also guarantees, however, an unhealthy dose of frustration as you try to figure things out yourself.

But because the core of the gameplay consists of surviving wave after wave of enemy fleets attacking you from all sides, Stellar Warfare, I would surmise, doesn't need to bother with such details because the game's meaning involves much more than just space battles, showdowns, struggles, attacks, hyperspace journeys, and discovery.

We know, from our own history that our civilization has routinely attacked legions of people through conflicts large and small, for reasons as simple as ideology, religion, and territory. Stellar Warfare places those conflicts right in front of us and challenges its players to create their own stories and destinies.

At times you'll feel hopelessly lost, at others captivated by the unfolding moments when you've survived near death only to persevere on the final attack wave. Its presentation is unique and its scope admirable. To be honest, Stellar Warfare is not an RTS triumph, not in the traditional sense, but it is a triumph of vision, special effects, and pragmatic programming.

Visually, Stellar Warfare is aesthetically balanced. The ships are well designed and yet simple enough to be PC friendly in large numbers without slowdowns. Bright explosions adorn the darkness of space, and distant nebulas, planets, and space debris cast their eerie glow against the illuminating backdrop.

The game has an almost hypnotic effect at times, especially when viewing it from the cinematography mode which is perfectly in sync with the action taking place. Again, the bright flashes are not for everyone, but for the space enthusiast, frustrated by the lack of space games, Stellar Warfare throws you into an alien universe rich with life and awash with atmosphere.

At times you'll feel hopelessly lost, at others you'll be captivated by the unfolding moments when you're near death only to persevere on the final attack wave. Its presentation is unique and its scope admirable. To be honest, Stellar Warfare is not an RTS triumph, not in the traditional sense, but it is a triumph of vision, special effects, and pragmatic programming.

Stellar Warfare is a game that owes itself more to the X Frontier series than to Homeworld. In my opening sentence, I mentioned the word 'stellar' weighing heavy on me, and I think it is because there is so much potential to be had here if the developers can focus on opening the story a bit more and improving certain parts of the gameplay.

Currently, there are only a handful of game modes available, but even the Wave Attack mode will challenge even the hardiest players. Is the game stellar? Potentially, yes. The game is still in Early Access which gives me hope that the final outcome will surpass all our expectations.

Neo Geo Pocket & SNK Vs Capcom Compilation (Steam) Review

One of the things most (if not all) young adults today believe is that their parents were never gamers when they were younger. Their parents were, kids today would acknowledge, children once, but gamers? No way.

But SNK is hopeful in bringing facts to that myth: It argues that you can travel back in time to the years when your parents were teenagers and young adults, and capture the games and systems that were available to them. The NEOGEO Pocket / SNK vs Capcom Compilations proves to all the millenniums out there that, yes, before we were parents, we were gamers too.

But there's a bigger investment here than just playing games. The entire premise of these compilations isn't to ask which games should we play, but to choose a moment in our gaming lives that we treasure the most.

Compromising a handful of NeoGeo Pocket games and a version of SNK vs Capcom games, each one can be played via a virtual NG pocket console on a true monochrome display screen just like the original. The games themselves are great-looking and are exactly how I remembered them. SNK has done a convincing job of replicating each sprite even in extreme closeups. And every game, even the mediocre ones, sparkle with personality and presence.

Some of the better games of the bunch include Samurai Showdown 2, Metal Slug 1&2, Fatal Fury, King of the Fighters, Dark Stalkers, and of course, Street Fighter vs. Capcom, amongst others bring all the classics back to life better than ever.

Keep in mind that I am reviewing two (2) separate entities together although you can purchase the NEO GEO Pocket and the SNK VS Capcom: Fight of the Millennium separately.

One of the things most (if not all) young adults today believe is that their parents were never gamers when they were younger. Their parents were, kids today would acknowledge, children once, but gamers? No way.

While the compilation itself isn't new (the Switch version has been out since the start of the year), the Steam version is just coming to fruition. Because this is a brand new conceptualized way of bringing past games to the eyes of present-day Steam players, each game has a reference description page as well as a pictorial so you can show your kids how games were manufactured in cartridge form before the introduction of CDs and digital downloads.

Once in, customization is at your fingertips. You can change skin colors, add/remove scan lines, and zoom in or out to play the game however way you want. All these options are of course, arbitrary as the real focus is on the games themselves. And here, SNK does a phenomenal job of recreating these classics to fit our modern-day needs.

But there's a bigger investment here than just playing games. The entire premise of these compilations isn't to ask which games should we play, but to choose a moment in our gaming lives that we treasure the most. I sit attentively browsing at the game selection screen as fond memories play through my mind as if I'm moving the dials of my own personal time machine.

It has value, re-playability, and talking points to start a conversation over; especially to the younger crowd who never got a chance to own, let alone experience, a NEO GEO pocket. This is one purchase you'll definitely be happy with.

The games, in fact, resemble the who's who in the SNK library more than any other throwback compilations that tug at the human need to relive some of our past memories. SNK promises additional games and modules will be available as regular downloads and upgrades. So the audience SNK is targeting is out there, but the big question is there enough of us out there for this type of business model to succeed?

This question places SNK in a unique position but on quality to dollar value, this compilation is worth the investment if you, like me, grew up with these classics. It has value, re-playability, and talking points to start a conversation over; especially to the younger crowd who never got a chance to own, let alone experience, a NEO GEO pocket. This is one purchase you'll definitely be happy with.

Unlike Anything You've Played - UnMetal (Steam) Review

UnMetal, a parody of the Metal Gear series, begins like Rambo, plays like Escape from New York, and ends like Alien, and in today's gaming industry, that's creativity as most games are inspired by only one gameplay element. The game stars a gruff and grizzled Jesse Fox, an American who was shot down while piloting a Russian plane. Yes, you read that right.

Captured and subsequently interrogated by faceless operatives, Fox starts to reveal his fantastic tales of his harrowing adventures through cut scenes and humor. Some will say that this kind of storytelling idea is old, but if it's done well, as it is here, then who cares?

UnMetal is a first-rate, slam-bang action thriller with a lot of style and heaps of witty one-liners. It's made out of pieces of other games, yes, and not much in it is really new, but each element has been lovingly polished to a shiny gloss.

Games like this develop and progress over time from one action sequence to another so one really has to invest time with the title to get the most impact from it. Sometimes it doesn't even matter much how they fit together, just as long as it flows cohesively. Consider, for example, in the beginning scene where Fox explains that he had to write a note using a broken wire as a pen and his blood for ink on a piece of toilet paper. But to obtain the toilet paper, Fox had to demolish the entire toilet. Pretty strange if you ask me. But in the world of UnMetal, it makes sense.

Afterward, Fox ends up having to escape the prison complex he's been sent to. Level by level, he tip-toes, cowers and shields himself from guards who take a shoot first-ask-questions-later mentality. The game is viewed from the top-down perspective and it works well since many of the game's stealth and interaction elements require a full 360-degree view of the surrounding.

But without a doubt, UnMetal's greatest strength is one of spirit. I live in a corner of a vast world, and what makes me human is my ability to wonder about other real-life adventures happening outside my realm of imagination.

The retro-pixel look was a good choice since it frees up the developers, @unepic_fran, to focus on gameplay mechanics rather than on technical 3D jargon. The game does a rather good job of visually conveying its message through convincing cut scenes that eerily display much of the narration in shadowy darkness.

Item drops are placed strategically around each level and after successful completion, you'll be faced with the obligatory end-boss. Some of these encounters can be brutal. Luckily, Fox will have access to bandages early on which can be used routinely as bleeding is one of the main injuries that will take down even someone as hardcore as Fox.

There's also a nifty RPG-lite component to the game in which you can decide which abilities you want to endow on. This decision-making aspect of the game impacts certain scenarios and changes the gameplay environment while adding a deeper layer of re-playability to the game.

UnMetal, to my surprise, is a game whose dreams go beyond the boundaries of traditional gaming. And for a title that literally came out of nowhere, that's saying a lot.

Despite all the Metal Gear parodies you'll find here, UnMetal provides more humor compared to Gears' more serious overtones. Is this a mere copycat? Not a copycat so much as a salute. Personally, I like all this ridiculous stuff, at least when it's done well.

But without a doubt, UnMetal's greatest strength is one of spirit. I live in a corner of a vast world, and what makes me human is my ability to wonder about other real-life adventures happening outside my realm of imagination.

Since I do not know what goes on beyond the horizon, the stories that are created serve only to inspire my dreams. UnMetal, to my surprise, is a game whose dreams go beyond the boundaries of traditional gaming. And for a title that literally came out of nowhere, that's saying a lot.

Help Aliens Escape Rural Germany in Plan B From Outer Space: A Bavarian Odyssey

There’s nothing worse than your car breaking down in some backwoods, out of the way village far (really, really far) from home — especially when that car is actually a flying saucer! Plan B From Outer Space: A Bavarian Odyssey, a new interactive adventure from publisher Assemble Entertainment and developer RobotPumpkin Games, is headed to mobile platforms and PC on October 28th, 2021! In the game, players will hop into the space-boots of a shipwrecked shapeshifter as they experience Bavarian hospitality first-hand — or tentacle — and try to repair their ship and get the heck off the planet before the cockpit permanently smells of lager and pretzels.

Set in the style of an interactive book — similar to previous RobotPumpkin games like the popular The Innsmouth Case — Plan B From Outer Space: A Bavarian Odyssey is a classic tale of culture shock between two very different demographics. The game will see players designing their very own custom space creature who will attempt to navigate this strange, archaic land filled with lederhosen and lager where every decision can change the outcome of the story! Inspired by old-school science fiction stories and with a hefty dose of poking fun at German village life, players can look forward to beautiful, hand-drawn art, endearing characters, and hilarious encounters, along with19 different endings — the tiny Bavarian town of “Unter-Hinterobersdorf” is waiting!

Key Features of Plan B From Outer Space: A Bavarian Adventure

Developed by Robot Pumpkin Games and published by Assemble EntertainmentPlan B from Outer Space: A Bavarian Odyssey will launch on Steam, iOS, and Android on October 28th, 2021. Learn more and add the game to your Steam wishlist here.

Tiny Buildings, Big Heart -Tinytopia (Steam) Review

I want to watch my steps while I write this review, and not because I might step on and crush a seven-story building but because I want to explain who Tinytopia is for, and who it might not be for. Similar in gameplay mechanics to that of SimCity and Cities: Skylines, but smaller in scale, Tinytopia nudges us to ponder the question of "..what if?"

Tinytopia, from developer MeNic Games, is a charming little simulation about tiny homes that occupy tiny neighborhoods in tiny communities. And because of their small size, the tiny residents that inhabit this tiny little world have very small and tiny needs: One factory or store, for example, is enough to employ an entire block and one solar panel can keep an entire stadium lit for an exorbitantly long time.

The gameplay, and there's a lot more of it, is simply a way to lead us from one wonderfully imagined world to another. Like SimCity or Skylines, the residents live in a world where everyday items look gargantuan by comparison. Some of the effects will remind you of Skylines but the charm comes in the way Tinytopia makes its world look like a coloring book. You can start a free play mode where you build to your heart's content or choose from a number of pre-fabricated locations and attempt to build a thriving community from there.

But beware, building structures does take some planning so you just can't build anywhere you want. Homes need some form of power to function and your tiny residents will clamor for work; hence, adding a few stores and warehouses along the neighborhood grid will keep them happy. The more you build the more blueprints you'll uncover which increases your building possibilities including the ability to stack buildings upon each other.

Overall, Tinytopia is wisely modest in its scope despite its big intentions of being a sim-builder. It sets up the situation, begs the player to build, and has fun with the special effects.

As your city grows, you naturally have to deal with your residents' wants and needs, and that means digging beneath the basic functions and into some of the deeper aspects of the interface. You can click on the icons to see what everyone wants so you have a better idea of what you should probably do next. Tinytopia makes handling this part fairly easy and unlike the clunky interface of the SimCity series, there's almost no guesswork.

There are, however, some issues I have with the game. For one, you never see people walking around the neighborhood or around the community for that matter. Cars are seen but they are merely decorative as they simply cross back and forth on predetermined routes with one never pulling up to a driveway. Despite all the activity goin on, my community oftentimes felt lifeless.

Tinytopia, from developer MeNic Games, is a charming little simulation about tiny homes that occupy tiny neighborhoods in tiny communities.

Overall, Tinytopia is wisely modest in its scope despite its big intentions. It sets up the situation for gamers to analyze, begs the player to build, and has fun with its special effects. If the visuals and the physical humor are designed to appeal to kids, then its scope and complexity will impress adults who know exactly what they're looking for.

And that 'what if' scenario? Consider the possibility, for example, when your thriving little world is suddenly engulfed by flames caused by meteor strikes and you only have one medical response team to put out the fire. It is these types of situations that keep the game somewhat riveting. And oh, watching a Godzilla-like dinosaur trampling your city is something you just don't see every day.

Toyful City-Building Sim 'Tinytopia' Out Now on PC & Mac

As the mayor of Tinytopia, you’ll build flourishing toy towns and cities for your citizens and protect them from all sorts of cute catastrophes. Use toy building blocks to create awesome megastructures and transform charming villages into bustling metropolises. Tinytopia delivers a tremendous experience on a tabletop scale that's as challenging or relaxing as you like.

Tinytopia gives you full creative control of the city-building process. Want to stack houses on top of one another? Cool! A skate park on top of a skyscraper - go for it! Discover Blueprint plans to unlock greater combinations and structures to reach new heights. Tinytopia offers a totally unique range of physics-based gameplay and challenges with inventive builds and scenarios: balance cities on a seesaw, keep a town stable on a spinning turntable, and more!

Key Features:

Tinytopia will also release on the Microsoft Store for PC on September 27. Linux support for Tinytopia will be available in the near future. For more info, visit the game’s website and join Mastiff’s Discord.

The Effects of Human Suffering Up Close and Personal - War Hospital Coming to PC

War Hospital is a  unique strategy and survival game in which the player controls the fate of a British field hospital during the Great War.

In War Hospital players are confronted by the human drama resulting from the terrible conflict that has so deeply marked our recent history. Every day, when barbarity is unleashed, the hospital doctors have to deal with the moral dilemmas associated with the dual nature of their task, which is both humanitarian and military. They fight not only for life but also to maintain their morale and humanity in a world that seems to have rejected them completely.

In the very creative strategy and survival game segment, War Hospital provides a unique experience that blends real-time strategy, survival, and RPG elements, while developing a theme rarely dealt with until now. The game is set in 1917. You play as Major Henry Wells, a British doctor sent to the front to treat the wounded in an attempt to give a glimmer of hope to the troops.

Despite the difficult conditions and the lack of equipment and resources, you must manage how emergencies are handled and develop your hospital. Thanks to the exceptional support that the British Imperial War Museums gave the developers, the game faithfully recreates the context of the front and its trenches, as well as the medical equipment available at the time.

In addition to the deep management gameplay, the game also requires players to make moral choices that affect the soldiers, the situation at the front, and the battles. The player, therefore, undergoes an emotional trial through the drama experienced by the soldiers sent into the carnage. The game broaches the subject of war very differently than is usually the case.

You can check the game out on Steam.

Raw Fury & Toby Gard Announce Expansive Action-Adventure Game Dream Cycle

During Gamescom’s Opening Night Live Pre-show, publisher Raw Fury and developer Cathuria Games revealed a brand-new action-adventure game, Dream Cycle. The project marks the first release from Cathuria Games, an independent venture by Tomb Raider creator Toby Gard. The ambitious game seeks to redefine the scale of “epic adventure.”

On teaming up with Toby Gard on the game, Raw Fury CEO Jónas Antonsson said, “Dream Cycle represented a chance to reshape and reinvent a genre within the games industry, with the person that had done exactly that once before. It holds great promise.”

Dream Cycle is an ever-expanding adventure through a cursed, shattered dimension. Players take the role of Morgan Carter, a modern-day arcane apprentice whose essence has been stolen by her great-great-grand-uncle, the legendary Randolph Carter. After discovering that her path to the waking world has been obscured by dark magic, Morgan must venture into the Dreamlands to purge the realm’s corruption, recover her own powers, and thwart Randolph’s sinister plans to become a god.

While Dream Cycle will launch with 10,000 adventures, players will have the opportunity to collaborate in defining the future of the Dreamlands. During Early Access, the community will help shape Dream Cycle by providing feedback while they play, watching the game grow and change with regular updates to spells, perks, stories, and more.

”Dream Cycle is the foundation of a journey into the endless unknown, an ever-growing portal into adventure,” said Dream Cycle creator Toby Gard. “Join our community of explorers and help us build a new type of action-adventure game, where gods, monsters, and magic filter through the psyche of the modern world.”

Taking the High Ground - HighFleet PC Review

HighFleet cured my pandemic blues. And that's saying alot.

The year is unknown and the surviving population of the old Earth are engulfed in civil war—the type of civil war that enables game developers to keep the ideologies vague and the names sinister-sounding. You play a Tarkhan captain tasked with capturing a key rebellion city in hopes of bringing the rebels to the negotiating table. But it's not going to be easy as generations of mistrust and bloodshed hinder any potential progress. There is a bad feeling all around.

Arriving at the mission objective, the young captain finds survivors, hears their stories and then is led into a virtual reality version of a close encounter of the third kind. Through narration, he is told about the history of the war and the secret of life on what used to be Earth and continues his journey in the most unexpected way.

It’s a game that is not only fun to play, but demands to be replayed for many of its features will be overlooked the first time around. It’s a special game from start to finish and one of the best of 2021 so far.

I watched the cutscenes with pleasure that was frequently interrupted by frustration. The three key game mechanics (arcade shooting, strategy, and an RPG lite component) are very well done. But why does the game amble so casually between these high points? Why must I constantly worry about fuel or have to navigate levers and button pushes to simply get from one point to another?

And why, oh why, in a game where stories of past galactic battles, are we given just one ship to control against an armada of enemy ships? While I enjoyed HighFleet, I can't imagine why I had to go through so much to accomplish what I felt like was so little.

The game misses too many of its marks, especially early on. But I kept going because it had so many extraordinary things in it. It's as if the developer, Konstantine Koshutin, rises to the occasion with its slick graphics and presentations but falls slightly when trying to execute them. An old friend of mine verbalized his simple definition of a good game: "If the game is missioned based, make sure there are more good missions than bad ones" Thankfully Highfleet does more good than bad.

Despite some of these annoyances, the game does breathe new life into the traditional blast 'em up tropes. Highfleet takes a little extra time to show off its laser beams, steering wheels, and hydraulic joints on its spaceships to make piloting one seem unique. And the feeling conveyed when landing a spacecraft goes the extra mile to show the player the emotional stress and natural obstacles that one must overcome while solving physics-based dilemmas. The game may not be the next Homeworld, but on its own, it is pretty darn good.

You play a Tarkhan captain tasked with capturing a key rebellion city in hopes of bringing the rebels to the negotiating table. But it's not going to be easy as generations of mistrust and bloodshed hinder any potential progress. There is a bad feeling all around.

It’s interesting to consider how HighFleet would have fared a decade or two ago when hybrid games like Battlezone and Uprising ruled the roost. I'm sure it would have had limited visibility due to it not being from a big named developer but would have most likely achieved a cult following simply by word of mouth alone.

Of course, access to good games—and this is a good game—is what matters, especially during a pandemic that is forcing many to stay at home, but I wonder if it will get the same traction as it’s buried in an overcrowded Steam service. I certainly hope not.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed Highfleet. The storytelling is rich with a fantastic legacy featuring deep themes and an admirable structure that, at times, immerses the player in a real cosmic struggle. It’s a game that is not only fun to play, but demands to be replayed for many of its features will be overlooked the first time around. It’s a special game from start to finish and one of the best of 2021 so far.

Resurrection Erection - Ghost 'N Goblins: Resurrection

Watch as this nostalgic yet completely reimagined storybook world unravels before your very eyes. Taking cues from both Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts and giving birth to something entirely new, Resurrection is a title worthy of its name.

Watch as this nostalgic yet completely reimagined storybook world unravels before your very eyes.

Taking cues from both Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts and giving birth to something entirely new, Resurrection is a title worthy of its name.

Don't be fooled—this picturesque storybook world, while gorgeous, is a love-letter to the original titles and maintains the same punishing gameplay that fans have come to expect. So go on and test your mettle, for the gauntlet has been thrown!

Just like its predecessors, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection makes use of simple controls that anyone can enjoy. Use them to your advantage as you fight your way through weird and spooky stages filled with unique enemies in this enchanting world brought to life with modern technology and game design philosophy!

Ghosts 'n Goblins is, well, hard. Its unyielding difficulty has been a defining characteristic of the series, and Resurrection pays respect to that legacy. You'll die, and you'll die again, but you'll dust yourself off and get better with every attempt as you learn more about your foes and further craft your strategy. You'll struggle, but you'll also bask in glory once you do eventually emerge victorious. That is Ghosts 'n Goblins.

In Resurrection, Arthur can obtain 8 types of weapons, each with its own unique characteristics. Fell your foes with old favorites such as the Lance and the Dagger, shoot shockwaves with the Hammer to launch enemies, or send a Spiked Ball crashing along the ground to bowl them over instead! Use these—and more—to your advantage as you form your plan to progress through the Demon Realm!

Your Enemies Are Serving Up Destruction and You're the Main Course - Tank Brawl 2: Armor Fury Review

TL;DR: Tank Brawl 2: Armor Fury is a fun blow 'em up game that can offer hours of fun, but don't expect anything to deep.

You have to give Tank Brawl 2: Armor Fury from indie developer, Phung Games one thing: it sure does look pretty. Although the game just recently came out, it initially reminded me of the frenzy vehicle shooters from the 16-bit era. The first thing players will notice when booting up the game is the relentless pace of the action with numerous enemies shooting at you from all directions; including missiles raining down at you from the sky. Sometimes, all you can do is hold down the fire button and pray to the tank lords above that you can inflict more damage to your opponents long enough to survive the round.

Your primary assortment of vehicles, ranging from tanks, giants mechs, boats, and others is surprisingly nimble and houses some impressive firepower. Although not exceptionally creative in their design, most of the weapons look pretty cool (like the hammer and death ray) and manages to show off some spectacular-looking explosions and damage effects.

Sometimes, all you can do is hold down the fire button and pray to the tank lords above that you can inflict more damage to your opponents long enough to survive the round.

one rule: stay alive

As you fight your way from level to level, you'll fight against a host of other vehicles and enemy structures in local co-op and multiplayer modes. As I've said earlier, the majority of structures and buildings can be destroyed leaving impressive wreckage everywhere you go. While there are a variety of levels to battle on, they are typically on a small scale which I believe was intentional to make each battle feel up close and personal.

While the graphics are hot and heavy, it's the gameplay that makes the game and unfortunately, several issues come up that prevent Tank Brawl 2 from achieving tank wars superiority. For one, the game is built around the concept of playing with other people. But the challenges of starting up a multiplayer or local co-op game becomes difficult when there are no other players to fight or join up with. Second, as I mentioned earlier, the levels are on the small side making the battles more impulsive than strategic since you only have to move while continuously pressing down on the fire button. I would have preferred larger levels where you can take up shelter, rest, and plan out the rest of your attacks.

Tank You

All in all Tank Brawl 2: Armored Fury is a game that jumps on the popular 'brawl fest' bandwagon with surprisingly good results. The action is fast, the graphics are marvelous, and the gameplay can get addicting once you get the right amount of people to join. As long as you aren't expecting more than what the game has to offer, you should get several hours of enjoyment out of it.

Warning: Deadly Squirrels Spotted Ahead - Mayhem in Single Valley (Steam) Review

TL;DR: Gamers looking for some wacky humor and interesting puzzles will find a lot to like in Mayhem in Single Valley. 

Jack be nimble, jack be quick

Jack is an average kid. He has a pet dog, plays video games, lives with his odd parents, and will always come through to save his town in the time of need. Ok, maybe Jack isn’t your average kid, but he is the person chosen to save what’s left of his hometown.

The story for Mayhem in Single Valley starts as Jack is preparing to leave home to attend Art School. As he is finishing saying his goodbyes to his family a mysterious figure is seen pouring toxic waste into the town's water supply. Jack, being the rather odd kid in the neighborhood is quickly blamed for all the tragic events that befall the town. Armed only with his wits and trusty slingshot, Jack sets out to uncover the identity of the mysterious figure and to restore normalcy back to the town and clear his name. Of course, he has to complete his morning routine first like putting on his shoes, taking his meds, and picking up after his dog, Murphy.

TIP: Sometimes your going to have to get wet to find the good stuff.

Armed only with his wits and trusty slingshot, Jack sets out to uncover the identity of the mysterious figure and to restore normalcy back to the town and clear his name.

jack will kick your butt with an acorn on a stick

Some of the humor in Mayhem is several miles left of center, but the gameplay hits the mark dead-on for the most part. Many games have used resource management and action as an underlying structure of their design, but Mayhem does it above the rest with its variety of play. The game is constantly changing and new surprises are doled out at regular intervals pulling you along like a line of sugary sweets. Rather than having multiple quests open, you can only perform small feats of the larger puzzle one at a time to keep the story flowing.

Graphically, the game takes on an old-school retro look with large polygons and pixels littering the screen. The game has a Zelda-ish feel to it with a 3/4 overhead perspective and many of the puzzles and character dialogue seem to borrow from past NES games which is a good thing since it will attract players of all age groups. Moving Jack around is pretty straightforward, albeit a little slow, and while the controller is an option, I found it best to use the mouse/keyboard combo since you will need to do lots of aiming and the mouse is the best option for that.

TIP: A high picnic table is a great place to be when chased by a bunch of possessed squirrels. Toss them some hot dogs.

The gameplay, music, controls, and storylines are all individually outstanding and each complements the other nicely.

While the puzzles are fairly logical and none are terribly difficult to figure out, the direction you have to take is rather confusing and you'll oftentimes find yourself backtracking because you missed finding an item or two. There are also a few too many areas where a single misstep or hesitation can spell instant death. Thankfully, those instances are few and on the whole, the balance between timing and reaction time is pretty solid.

Taken as a whole, Mayhem in Single Valley is a remarkably well-rounded and very polished game. The gameplay, music, controls, and storylines are all individually outstanding and each complements the other nicely. The story may not be original but the execution certainly is. For anyone looking for a little something different or for those that think games nowadays are easy to beat, Mayhem in Single Valley is one game worth checking out.

Borderlands 3 Giveaway

TL;DR: We're giving away Borderlands 3. Simple.

We're celebrating the birth of our new website look and feel with one of our favorite games of the last few years: Borderlands 3.

Ian Ilano - Borderlands 3

Drawing closes Friday, 4/30 @ 11:59 PM PST. Be sure to register and check-out select requirements in the form below for extra chances to win!