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  1. Welcome to another week of Weeklong deals on Steam. There were none last week (thanks to their focus on a trio of important announcements) but now we've got another set of games for anyone who had been suffering for sale deficiency. There's also a non-game program available (articy: draft SE) if you're into that. Here are the various discounted games on Steam this week: Fist Puncher - $4.99 Hamilton's Great Adventure - $1.99 Ignite - $2.50 PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate - $9.99 Renegade Ops - $3.74 SpeedRunners - $4.99 Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory - $2.37 Sword of the Stars: The Pit - Review - $2.50 Victoria II - $4.99 Warlock - Master of the Arcane - $4.99 Wasteland Angel - $2.49 As usual, we've got a good mix of indies across various genres that have been selected. Roguelike fans might want to check out Sword of the Stars: The Pit. Those interested in puzzles might enjoy the super cute Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory. Really, it seems that you could find a lot to grab here, or just wait for new sales to crop up in a week's time.
  2. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: Topware Interactive Library

    Steam has been bustling with new games a lot more lately. This is due in large part to the acceptance of the Early Access program, as well as finished games rolling out through Greenlight. Throw in the fact that the holiday season is fast approaching and you'll see this creates the perfect storm for games to swarm the marketplace. Case in point, a boatload of titles were released on Steam this week. It seems publisher Topware Interactive has dumped a mass of their properties up for sale, and then there's everyone else. Because there are way too many games to write about, I will simply post their official Steam descriptions so you can get a taste for what each title has to offer. Please note that some of these prices are launch discounts and therefore will not remain the same. Finally, because there are so many titles, the most notable will have their titles bolded. Alien Rage - Unlimited - $19.99 Unleash a fury of powerful weapons as you blast your way through armies of Alien forces hell-bent on taking you down! Battle through 14 intense levels and prepare to face a barrage of beastly-sized bosses that will test your every skill. Each of your 10 weapons comes with two firing modes and you“ll need all of them! Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain - $6.99 Cast down from power by a mysterious warlord centuries ago, Kain reawakens in a world he barely recognises. His armies slain, his vampire brethren nearly extinct, Kain is one of the last of his kind. With an agenda of vengeance, Kain shall unleash a wicked wrath to uncover the plot that threatens the land he seeks to conquer. Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils - $8.99 (Review) From the creator of the Gundemonium Collection comes a thrilling new 2D action-platformer! Help Bunny escape the Devils“ Labyrinth and defeat the 7 Devils in this hilariously over-the-top action-platformer game. Battle through a large, connected map filled with unique enemies, traps, and puzzles. Day One: Garry's Incident - $17.99 Explore a vast hostile environment while crafting new tools to help you survive. Discover intriguing puzzles and the mystery behind the strange remains of artifacts left in the Amazon Jungle. Key Features : Start with nothing and craft, hunt, fish and fight to survive. Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos - $4.99 (Review) From Dischan Media, creators of the highly acclaimed Juniper's Knot, comes Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos. Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel series featuring Winter Harrison, a student mediator from a utopian world. What is a mediator? Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord - $4.49 Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord is a blistering platformer with morphing worlds, featuring seven brand new levels, a new boss and new gripping tracks from Chris Hülsbeck and Machinae Supremacy! Dash through tricky levels and transform the whole world at will in this fast-paced platformer. Gorky 17 - $2.49 November 2008. NATO intelligence services report that, for reasons unknown, the Russian military has destroyed GORKY 17, one of the old Soviet "Secret Cities". A year later NATO takes over a former Russian secret base built on Polish soil. Diggers discover a laboratory complex in the completely demolished town. The Inner World - $11.24 A 2D-Point“n“Click Adventure Robert is a novice, a bit clueless, but with a heart of gold. He lives a peaceful life as a court musician in Asposia's largest wind monastery. Contrary to the laws of physics, Asposia is an enormous, hollow space surrounded by an infinite expanse of earth. KnightShift - $3.49 Do you like Real Time Strategy? or are Role Playing Games your preference… Why not try both genres in one? … or even both separately? … In one game: KnightShift! In a mystical world beyond fantasy and imagination, where corruption and disaster go hand in hand, not all is as it seems. Legends of Aethereus - $23.99 The planet of Aethereus is an ancient and mysterious world filled with majestic forests, misty swamps, deep caves and ancient ruins. Devastated by three large astronomical events, the Three Great Skyfalls, it is a world just coming out of chaos and ruin. Omikron: The Nomad Soul - $9.99 "I have many things to tell you and very little time… I come from a universe parallel to yours. My world is desperately in need of your help. Only YOU can save us." Responding to the desperate pleas of a mysterious character from another dimension, your soul must enter the dark and futuristic city of Omikron. PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ - $9.99 It's time to gear up! Get ready for more ghost chain gobbling and frantic action in PAC-MAN® CE-DX+! The award-winning chomping game makes a shattering debut on Steam with even more content and a refined user-interface to compare high scores with your friends! Rise of Venice - $39.99 Venice was at the peak of its power during the Renaissance and was viewed as a city of decadence, beauty and intrigue. Renowned as the linchpin of civilization and the cultural centre of Europe, Venice was the most important trading post between Western Europe and the eastern stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. Scrriblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure - $35.99 In Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, Maxwell unites with Batmanâ„¢, Supermanâ„¢ and the rest of The Justice Leagueâ„¢ to restore order to the DC Comics Universe. Challenge your imagination as you battle the mightiest villains in an exciting, action-filled adventure through GOTHAM CITYâ„¢, METROPOLISâ„¢, ATLANTISâ„¢ and other iconic locales from the DC Comics Universe. Septerra Core - $2.49 At the very heart of Septerra lies the Core, a huge Biocomputer. Seven continents at different elevations, each with its own unique people and culture, orbit around the Core. According to an ancient prophecy, Septerra's continents will one day converge and join in orbit together on one level - this is the Legacy of Marduk, the Creator's... Shadow Warrior - $35.99 Shadow Warrior is a bold reimagining of the classic 3D Realms“ shooter from independent developer Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset) starring the legendary and quick-witted warrior Lo Wang. Combine the brute force of overwhelming firepower with the elegant precision of a katana to annihilate the merciless armies of the shadow realm in an exhilarating and visually stunning transformation of the classic first-person shooter. Timelines: Assault on America - $14.99 July 20, 1942, Berlin, Germany The United States“ Office of Strategic Services (OSS) take advantage of information provided to them by the underground German resistance against the Third Reich. The OSS launch operation ”Wolf“s Head“, where top marksmen hide among a rally given in honor of Adolf Hitler. Train Simulator 2014: Steam Edtiion - $56.99 Train Simulator 2014 delivers everything you love about trains with the exhilaration of speed, stunning graphics, a variety of trains, real-world routes and challenging assignments. Whether you love driving trains, creating new routes or just watching the landscape fly by, your journey starts with TS2014. World War II: Panzer Claws - $2.49 WORLD WAR II: PANZER CLAWS [aka Frontline Attack: War over Europe] pushes back the boundaries of real-time strategy gaming! Take control of the Allied, German, or the Russian in the harsh reality of the battlefields of World War II. World War III: Black Gold - $2.49 Actual Armies. Actual Weapons. Actual Political Issues. World War III - Black Gold takes the player to the near future. The political crisis has been going on for months, leading to worldwide turmoil. A secret conference of the UN Central Geological Commission reveals that worldwide oil reserves have reached dangerously low levels.
  3. Marcus Estrada

    Valve Announces Steam Controller

    Alright folks, the final big announcement from Valve came today. What did we know prior to this? Simply that each and every announcement would have something to do with the "living room". First, there was Steam OS, and then announcement of Steam Machines to utilize said OS. Now, what can someone do in the living room with a Steam OS-running Steam Machine in their living room? Obviously they need a controller. Although it probably still support Xbox 360 gamepads, Valve has announced their own controller which will interface especially well with Steam games. This is because it isn't just a knock off of an existing controller but something more creative. The controller has keyboard/mouse mappings by default which means even Steam games without controller support will work. Basically, they won't realize that the controller is even being used. Most notably, the controller has no joysticks or d-pad at all and instead has two large trackpads on the front. It's certainly odd but we'll have to get it in our hands to see exactly how well that works. There is also a touch screen in the middle a la PS4 or Ouya controllers. Let's hope it's more PS4 than Ouya though. The controller is also open to modification for users who wish to fuss with it.
  4. DrPixel

    Pixel Reviews: MirrorMoon EP (PC)

    Developer: Santa Ragione Publisher: Santa Ragione Platform: PC Release Date: September 4th, 2013 Can endless content justify a repetitive game? Well, in most cases, sure! There's plenty of randomized games out there that are forced to seem somewhat repetitive due to their generation system having a limited number of stuff to chug in. However, if the core gameplay that makes up a randomized game isn't very fun, the satisfaction of achieving something is lost quite a bit. MirrorMoon EP makes this huge mistake, and though it is satisfying to contribute to something larger, which is the game's "cool" feature, the path getting there is filled with either confusion, utter ease, or boredom. MirrorMoon EP is a game about exploring....solar systems! Players pilot their spaceship (don't worry, it just automatically flies there for you, after a delay depending on how far away your destination is) to whichever star they want to embark upon. After they finish, the player is allowed to name the star whatever they want. Sounds pretty neat, right? Unfortunately, this game gets stale fast. If you aren't initially confused for hours like I was, you're probably wizzing by, naming every blank star in sight, and by the time you get to my playtime I would assume you are bored. Each "puzzle" consists of the player collecting items or moving over certain checkpoints for the end goal of finding some sort of egg-like device you merely have to touch. Each star is randomized of course, so some have really tough puzzles and others are incredibly easy. On my 4th star I visited I actually had the egg right in front of me and I essentially finished the star in just a few seconds! However, I'm not completely against the game's basic puzzle system. It also luckily incorporates some certainly unique manipulation of light in the puzzles. I absolutely loved that you could move the moon adjacent to your planet/star to provide light or darkness so you can see certain things you need. It's something I think that's never been done before in a game and it's very fascinating! Another thing to mention is that the game gives you extremely minimal instruction and you are left to your own curiosity to discover what to do to progress and achieve the end goal of leaving your footprint in dozens of stars. As I said earlier, I was completely confused as to how I actually got to other stars for quite a while and so I almost gave up on the game entirely! Going back to give it a second and then later third chance was probably a good idea though. MirrorMoon EP really does have some very interesting ideas in place that would be neat to check out later down the road. In its current state though, this is an explorative game of discovering new content through player co-operation, just not in the traditional sense. You don't physically encounter anyone else in the vastness of space, but seeing that they already did some of the work for you is very neat. Aesthetically, MirrorMoon EP is a curious one. The game's setting of....well, the unknown reaches of space causes the graphical style to take on a much simpler form. Using shapes and structures that even small children could recognize really shows that we as humans know next to nothing about the great space beyond our humble planet. The colors aren't strict reds, blues, or yellows, but more so blends and shades of these. It's also worthy to note that the game's randomized style also involves each planet/star's appearance. There can be odd plant-like things swaying in the wind, rays of light all over, or even rain. I would have loved to see more different variations in each locale, but unfortunately I will admit my patience was lacking so I didn't explore more. The music shows a sense of new, unknown thoughts. Using ambient, peaceful tunes was a good idea on the musician's part. Since the game is about exploration and discovery, this fits pretty much perfectly. The player really has no clue how huge or small each star is and because of that they don't know what native sounds may be in the background. It isn't overly impressive, but the soundtrack for this game is fairly good at capturing a sense of ambient exploration. I wasn't a huge fan of MirrorMoon EP, but I'm sure there are those out there who adore it. If exploring very basic planets and trying to solve randomly-generated worlds primarily via item collecting and manipulating light sounds fun to you, this is the perfect game for you. For casual puzzle or adventure fans though, this might be a tough game to grasp. It certainly was for me, and I just couldn't really get into it as others really have. Bold creativity and some neat ideas sadly did not hold up to the somewhat dull gameplay, in my opinion. I give this game a: 6.5/10
  5. Marcus Estrada

    Valve Announces Steam Machines

    On Monday, Valve announced SteamOS. By design, it is meant to be a snazzy Steam-focused operating system for "living room machines". Many predicted today's reveal would be the SteamBox. And in a way, it is! But, just like Gabe Newell has previously stated, there is not just one machine but a whole host coming out. Valve is creating a prototype themselves, but also allowing various manufacturers to create living room hardware based around SteamOS. A multitude of new Steam Machines should be ready for purchase in 2014. What if you want a Steam Machine immediately? Well, Valve is set to release 300 prototypes to Steam users for free before this year's end. There's a handful of requirements to be eligible. You need to be a part of the Steam Universe community group, agree to the hardware terms and conditions, have 10 Steam friends, make your Steam profile public, and play a game with gamepad in Steam's Big Picture Mode once. Got that all done? Make sure you've also checked your eligibility on the badges page. It might be a super unlikely chance to win, but it's fun to try anyway!
  6. Marcus Estrada

    Valve Announces SteamOS

    Last week, Valve drew a great deal of attention to itself by promoting three announcements on this page. Today, the first reveal of three was unveiled and is SteamOS. If you've paid any attention to what Valve has said over the past year then you were already aware they were working on this, it was just a matter of when and how it could come to fruition. SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system. It will be free, of course, and is tailored around Steam usage specifically. The creation of SteamOS was spurred similarly to that of Big Picture Mode, because it is tailored for living room TVs. Apparently, there are significant performance increases when running games on SteamOS as opposed to Windows. You're meant to use it with a living room PC, not necessarily by lugging or connecting your current machine to a special TV. Why? Because of the features SteamOS brings. For one, only with SteamOS will you be able to use in-home streaming. As long as your main gaming PC is running Steam, you can then launch and stream the games to the living room PC and play from there. Family Sharing is also to be integrated, which makes a lot of sense since multiple PCs might have access to Steam within the household. Finally, Valve stated they are bringing "music, TV, and movies" to Steam which could be very interesting. What do you think about SteamOS? Is it exciting or are you just waiting for the other announcements?
  7. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: A Train, Cognition, and More

    We're in the lull before the storm of new video games come flooding through the gates. After all, who would seriously want to release a game on the same week that Grand Theft Auto V dropped? In any case, there were still a handful of games launched on Steam... Let's take a look at the brave souls. A-Train 8 hopes gamers remember playing some form of A-Train in the past. The game focuses around managing a railway company, but (unlike some train simulator games) does not have a boatload of DLC. It is currently 30% off for $20.99. Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator is a game that probably sees very little competition from GTA. Interestingly, this title is multiplayer only so don't pick it up if you don't intend to play with others. It costs $6.99 for yourself or $34.99 for six copies. Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller is an episodic series which began last Halloween. Now the fourth and final episode for season one has gone live, meaning now is the perfect time to dive in. The complete first season costs $22.49, which is a 25% discount. Beat 'em up lovers might want to check out Foul Play. Although it allows for two player co-op it is only available to local players. Buying the game also secures users a digital copy of the soundtrack. You can pick it up for $14.99. Hot Wheels World's Best Driver is the latest game in the Hot Wheels world. This racing game allow syou to customize your little race cars and then race in single or multiplayer. It is available for $29.99. Fans of rolling balls around may like InFlux. No, seriously! The puzzle/exploration hybrid has you controlling a ball around beautifully rendered environments. Such an experience can be had for the measly sum of $8.99, which is 10% off regular price. Zachtronics have released their latest game Ironclad Tactics on Steam. The strategy title utilizes an innovative card system to battle. It costs $14.99 or $39.99 for Digital Deluxe Edition which adds a few others games, and eventual add-on campaigns. Urban Trial Freestyle has already made its way to Sony platforms but now it is time for PC owners to . It is definitely riffing off Trials so if you like that game then perhaps this will be worth it to you. The game can be had for $14.99.
  8. Sega and Disney Interactive recently revived, remade, and released an HD version of the beloved Genesis classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. Does it hold up to the fan-favorite game everyone knows and loves, or is greatness just an illusion for this high definition Mousecapade? Keep reading to find out! Developer: Sega Studios Australia Publisher: Sega/Disney Interactive Studios Platform(s): Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, PC (via Steam) Released: September 4, 2013 ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the PSN version Before I start this review, I need to be honest - I've never played the original Genesis version of Castle of Illusion. Or, more specifically, I have played it, but only the first few levels. There's certainly nothing wrong with the game, but something about it just never captivated me. Still, due to an unhealthy obsession with all things platformer, I knew I had to give the HD remake a shot. Surely, with the graphical prowess of current-gen consoles, they could capture the whimsy and wonder that the original version always should have had but couldn't process? The good news is, yes, they did, very much - this is, through and through, a vibrant, wonderful journey through Disney-inspired lands starring everyone's favorite mouse in red shorts. The journey starts with Mickey and Minnie, having a serene picnic, as one often does in the bright and happy Disney universe. Their picnic, however, is ruined when a witch named Mizrabel snags Minnie away with plans to drain Minnie of her beauty, which will then be transferred to Mizrabel to make her attractive, because apparently there are a lot of warlocks out there that need courting. Anyway, Mickey naturally responds by following Mizrabel to her Castle of Illusion, where he must traverse several distinct areas in and around the castle in search of the Rainbow Gems, which will form a bridge to Mizrabel's tower where his dear Minnie is being held. Mickey's quest takes him to a number of strange locales, aptly demonstrating the "Illusion" part of the castle name. Mickey runs, jumps, and bounces his way through forest trees, crumbling temples, and lands made of candy and sweets in his search for the Rainbow Gems. The mechanics work much like the original game, where enemies are dispatched by bouncing off of them - which has been tweaked to only require a regular jump rather than two button presses - or by throwing items collected through the levels at them. Thrown items are tied to the theme of the level, such as apples in the forest, which is a nice touch. Still, the bounce is the main method of dispatching enemies, mostly because bouncing off enemies is the only way to reach higher ground, resulting in simple level progression or even finding secret areas of the level. One place where the remake really deviates from the original are sections where the camera shifts to allow MIckey full 3D movement throughout a certain area. This is used to great effect in some boss fights, as well as the Castle itself and small sections of other levels. If you have any experience with platformers, none of this will be new or even particularly challenging, at least at first. Some of the secret areas do throw some curveballs at you, but failing to navigate these areas usually just results in getting booted back to the main area of the level. It's not really until the later levels that the challenge ramps up pretty considerably, which is a bit jarring, but admittedly a welcome change for those who found the early stages lacking. Of course, the reason that the change in difficulty is so jarring is because the game is so short - it can be beaten in as little as 2-3 hours, with only the challenging final levels and possibly the quest for secret collectibles (which unlock new costumes and statues depicting enemy characters) adding a little extra playtime. There is also the option of running each level in Time Attack mode with leaderboards, though this will really only appeal to a certain subset of players. But, while the adventure may not last long, it certainly provides a host of great visuals along the way. While the game is rendered in full 3D, it's done in such a way that most everything looks like it's out of a particularly detailed cartoon. Mickey himself appears like he was plucked straight out of a drawing, looking quite like the mouse we all know and love rather than the serviceable but slightly off-putting rendition from the Epic Mickey games. The soundtrack is also wonderfully whimsical as well, with newly re-arranged music by Grant Kirkhope (composer of numerous soundtracks for Rareware games) complementing the visual stimuli with some great tunes. Or, if that doesn't take your fancy, you can always revert back to the original Castle of Illusion soundtrack at any time, to give your adventure a more retro feel. All in all, the game comes together to form a package that is sure to appeal to not only fans of older Mickey Mouse games, but to anyone who has an itch for a light-hearted platformer that needs scratching. While the game is short and offers limited reasons for replayability, this is one of those games that players will want to come back to again and again, whether to challenge themselves to complete the game 100% or just to have another fun romp through the Castle. Where most developers are content to simply port an older game to new systems and call it a day, the developers at Sega Australia have done an amazing job crafting the game with love and reverence to the source material while updating it for a modern audience, and the end result is no mere illusion - it's bona-fide magic. Score: 8/10 TL;DR comments: If you're looking for a fun, whimsical platformer, look no further. The $15 price tag may be a little hard to stomach for such a short game, but it's highly unlikely you'll want to just play the game once and forget about it - you just might find yourself returning to the Castle of Illusion to deliver another bouncing beatdown on Mizrabel, just for the fun of it. The game looks great and plays great, and offers tribute to its past not only in the original Genesis game, but classic platformers in general.
  9. Marcus Estrada

    25 More Titles Greenlit on Steam

    Last time there was a massive batch of 100 titles Greenlit and now there are 25. Sure, it might seem paltry in comparison to the last set, but it is still far more than what Valve would usually do. This time around there are actually a large amount of titles that aren't horror focused! Here are all the latest Greenlit games (so we are excluding the software): Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game Candle Dusty Revenge DwarfCorp Eden Star Gimbal Grimm Higurashi When They Cry Humans Must Answer Lacuna Passage Long Live the Queen Monochroma Mount Your Friends Postmortem: One Must Die SeaCraft SUPERHOT Syder Arcade theHunter U55 - End of the Line Valdis Story Abyssal City Warsow World of Diving WWII Online: Battleground Europe Zombie Tycoon II Most excitingly, we see that the Greenlight community has managed to scrounge up enough attention about visual novels to vote for two of them! This is after the last batch of games which included one as well. Hopefully Higurashi and Long Live the Queen will get more players interested in the genre.
  10. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Papers, Please

    Developer: 3909 Publisher: 3909 Platform: PC (Steam, GOG, Web) Release Date: August 8, 2013 ESRB: N/R (M suggested) A download code was provided by the publisher for this review. Video games are a marvelous medium that allow you to jump out of your life for minutes or hours at a time. You can be a pilot, god, anthropomorphic animal, and a whole host of other roles. One thing“s for sure, though; it“s very unlikely that the gaming population has ever wished for a game where players get to be border patrol. And yet, that“s what Papers, Please provides. It“s not an experience anyone wants but we“re stuck dealing with it all the same. This is basically how the story begins as well. Your character was chosen by the Ministry of Admission to man the Arstotzka border turnstile. It“s not as if he had any special skills either, it was just a lottery-based decision. Players quickly realize this Communist state is imposing a host of new rules about who can gain entry and it“s their role to either keep in line or show some compassion. As you might expect, admitting or restricting people from entering your country isn“t exactly the most exciting work. This is your new job and that“s where nearly the entire game plays out. One by one, you ask someone to your stop and look over their documentation. If they have the proper forms and they appear to be legitimate, then they can be on their way. If, however, they are missing parts of documentation or something looks suspicious then you can make the decision of letting them pass anyway or turning them away. Often you may think that simply turning them away is the best choice. After all, admitting people who shouldn“t be tends to result in your pay being docked. However, some characters who crop up have sob stories that it“s easy to empathize with. Should you trust anything that they say as true? Everything is up to you which makes the game feel much stronger than just a matching-focused puzzle game. When not dealing with moral quandaries, the main gameplay of Papers, Please focuses on checking every form presented to your desk. It starts off very minimal, but quickly IDs, passports, tickets, and other goodies must be taken care of as well. You need to check obvious parts such as expiration dates, but also match names and numbers across forms. Of course, you also need to consider that the photos on IDs match the person in front of you at least somewhat. At times, you“ll feel the need to either detain someone or simply get a scan of their body. Detaining seems cruel, but the full body scans are full-on TSA-style and are likely to make players feel bad. They serve a purpose when people have bombs or other contraband but otherwise it feels like a grave misuse of power. It“s strange how such a simplistic game can cause players to seriously consider security restrictions and their implications - but Papers, Please does it. The visual style definitely meshes with the rest of the game. Colors are primarily very low-key and bland, just like our protagonist. Characters have dark grey faces which only compounds the feeling of sadness about the border checkpoint. Documents, too, have very specific looks which you can familiarize yourself with. When a stamp is missing or lines are crooked, you know something“s up. After each day at work, your salary is totaled up against charges for rent. On this screen you must also delineate between paying money for heating of the apartment, food, or medicine for your family. If you“re lucky (or playing on easy) it is not impossible to pay for everything at once. However, most players will regularly have to decide between who to provide medicine to, or what their family can do without until the next paycheck. There are 30 days to progress through to “finish” Papers, Please. However, you can definitely find the game ending before then. Although a month might not seem like a lot of content, avid players will find that there are a ton of endings to discover. Working toward getting each of these easily adds on more hours of play. As it stands, the game only costs $10 anyway, so it“s pretty packed with value. The overall experience provided by Papers, Please is incredibly addictive but also depressing. It“s rare to see these two aspects combine but that's what makes the game seem like something extraordinary. There“s no doubt that some people just won“t be able to get into the monotony of checking forms, but for those that do, you“re going to see this is one hell of an experience. Pros: + Changing border rules keep players on their toes + Branching paths and multitude of endings + Graphics/audio completely mesh with gameplay Cons: - Gameplay could easily be considered tedious if it“s not your thing Overall Score: 9.0 (out of 10) Fantastic Papers, Please is the kind of game that is so ingenious in execution that you can“t help but want to play it for hours at a time.
  11. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Week Long Deals for September 16-23

    So, did you think last week's Steam Week Long Deals were dull? What about those other publisher deals going on over the weekend - were they also poor? A whole new batch of goods are up for sale this week and maybe one of these will catch your attention instead. Here's the list of games available this week: Dead Pixels - $1.00 Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge - $2.50 Exodus from the Earth - $3.74 Iron Warriors: T - 72 Tank Command - $1.24 La-Mulana (Review) - $3.00 Lucius - $8.49 Making History: The Calm & the Storm - $1.24 Pacific Storm - $3.74 Rochard - $1.99 Of the list, it looks like there are at least a few cool choices. La-Mulana is a steal at that price as it normally costs $12. Rochard is also great although it has seen a great deal of sales and bundling in the past. Lucius might make an interesting choice if you're looking for more horror games prior to Halloween.
  12. Marcus Estrada

    Review: Teleglitch: Die More Edition

    Developer: Test3 Projects Publisher: Paradox Interactive Platform: PC (Steam, Web) Release Date: July 24, 2013 ESRB: N/A (T suggested) A download code was provided by the publisher for this review The roguelike genre has seen an amazing resurgence over the past few years, thanks in main part to smaller studios delving into the gameplay style. Gamers are responding positively to this new era of tough titles and, as such, another roguelike title has recently arrived - Teleglitch: Die More Edition. Does this game offer an addicting, if perilous, journey for players? Of course! Teleglitch is most simply described as a top-down twin stick shooter. As we“re seeing with many of these games lately, it also happens to make use of a pixelated art style. However, it isn“t harkening back to the attractive SNES/Genesis style. That“s not to say the game is ugly, but it does have a very distinct style of pixel art. That, combined with the menu, makes it all feel like an older PC title. In any case, the visuals do not hinder the gameplay. From this perspective, you can zoom in somewhat or zoom out, but are still relegated to what your sprite can see. Basically, if your character is in one room, they won“t be able to see what is beyond the walls. You can see only as far ahead as your character can see which makes this an even tougher experience. Why might players desire to see adjoining rooms and hallways? Because, without knowledge of what“s in the next area, you could very well walk into a den full of enemies. Of course, this is something which happens often. Players must stay on their toes if they have any hope of surviving. At the start, you have only a weak pistol, some ammo, and an empty can. What you collect from there is based on a mix of skill and luck. As with other roguelikes, the levels are randomly generated. This random chance also applies to the loot boxes scattered throughout the world. Sometimes you“ll be lucky enough to find great loot with little danger, but often that is not the case. There are a great deal of weapons, medical aid, and other goods to collect. Some items can even be combined to form stronger weapons. With ammo, a restricted resource, you should always make the best of what you“ve got. Panicking is the worst thing you can do in Teleglitch as it wastes ample bullets. Early levels are difficult but only until you really get the hang of it. After all, the main foe you face in the beginning is a goofy little creature. Of course, once you head into the third or fourth level, things become far more difficult. There are not only a greater frequency of larger and stronger enemies but ones who even shoot their own guns at you. If you haven“t become adequate at the game prior to this then you“ll quickly learn. In each level you are always seeking to find a warp which leads you to the next area. However, as has just been described, this is a far tougher task than it seems. If you can manage to survive through to the next area though then your character keeps all the goods that have been accumulated so far. This is another reason to become skilled with shooting only when necessary (and hopefully hitting each time), and using your combat knife in tough situations. Although the title is certainly solid gameplay-wise, it offers little in the personality department. It“s not particularly hilarious or frightening, but instead a murky, pixelated shooter. This would not be a problem if there weren“t a huge amount of roguelikes all vying for gaming attention. Unfortunately, there is little that stands out as special here. If you“re determined, then you can survive the cruel world of Teleglitch. You just have to remember to repeat those words to yourself time and time again as there will be many deaths in your immediate gaming future. The difficulty will turn some people off, but then again, that“s exactly what roguelikes are all about! Give Teleglitch: Die More Edition a try if you“re feeling daring - or masochistic. Pros: + Great deal of items to find and combine + All goods collected carry over to next level + Interesting pixel art that isn“t simply copying an existing style Cons: - Itty bitty enemies can be hard to shoot accurately - Lacks a strong personality Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good Teleglitch: Die More Edition offers exactly what the name implies. Giving this roguelike a go is fun as long as you“re prepared to invest hours and tons of deaths into it.
  13. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: Amnesia, Arma 3, and More

    There are a few very notable releases that hit Steam this week! This is just the start though as we begin to head into the holiday season. Once we're in the middle of that we should expect a great deal more titles to show up on our favorite digital storefront. Aarklash: Legacy is a new, Diablo-esque game. If you dig Diablo, Path of Exile, or Torchlight, then you might also find this title appealing. There is a 10% discount applied to Aarklash right now if that's enough to sway curious buyers. Said discount brings the price down to $18.89. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is the long-delayed horror sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This time around it was developer thechineseroom, known for Dear Esther, who did their best to present a spooky but intriguing experience. The game is available for $20. Arma 3 is another big launch of the week. The game has been in beta for a while but has now removed that marker from their official Steam page. More updates are still set to come, though. The title can be purchased for $60 although a Digital Deluxe Edition increases the price slightly to $65. If you think you've heard of or already played Dominions 3 before then you'd be right. This is not a new release but simply the emergence of this classic strategy series on Steam. For now the game has a 20% discount, making it $15.99 until September 17th. Legend of Dungeon is a highly-anticipated indie title that has finally arrived on Steam. The action RPG has some distinctive pixel art, loot, and monsters to battle. Interestingly, it also offers up to 4 player local multiplayer. Legend of Dungeon is priced at $9.99. Back in the early 90s, there was a computer game by the name of Superfrog. Fans have never forgotten the platformer and as such Team17 finally made Superfrog HD available on Steam. It contains new levels and new cartoony graphics. You can give it a shot for $9.99. Finally, Wizardry 6, 7, 8 all made their way onto Steam. These classic RPGs are part of a much-loved series and cannot be purchased completely separately. Wizardry 6 and 7 cost $4.99 together while getting all three games cost $14.99.
  14. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Family Sharing Beta Begins This Month

    Recently, there was a rumor going around that Valve were working on creating some sort of game share feature for Steam. As it turns out, this was true as today Steam Family Sharing was revealed. This is an upcoming feature for Steam that will allow users to share their extensive game libraries with family or friends. Basically, the lender authorizes a friend or family member to have access to their account. A lender can authorize up to 10 other people. Those users will have access to the entire library - at least as long as no one else is currently playing. Only one user can access the games of a shared library at any time. But if the lender themselves wants to play a game, then the borrower will always have to be kicked out after a few minutes. What other sorts of restrictions are there? For one, you cannot share a game with someone if it requires some sort of activation key or secondary account. This makes sense, at least. The same holds true if you are trying to share across regions and one game is not available in both. If you're interested in getting into the Steam Family Sharing beta then join the official group. Later in September, 1000 users will be randomly invited to the beta. As of right now, there are more like 100,000 members in the group. Hopefully we will see a larger roll out of the feature shortly after the first beta group gets in.
  15. Marcus Estrada

    Steam Week Long Deals for September 9-16

    The latest weekly sales for Steam have gone up today and feature an interesting mix of titles. The content currently on sale is primarily indie-based, which should appeal to some shoppers. Some of the selections are pretty aged games, though. Regardless, here's the list of games on sale: Afterfall Insanity Enhanced Edition - $3.39 Alien Breed: Impact - $1.99 Anomaly 2 - $7.49 The Book of Unwritten Tales (Review) - $4.99 Dangerous Waters - $3.74 Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes - $2.49 Gumboy Tournament - $1.49 Inquisitor - $4.99 Ironclads: Anglo Russian War 1886 - $2.49 Numen: Contest of Heroes - $4.99 Super Splatters - $4.99 Afterfall Insanity has certainly been seeing a lot of attention on the bundle circuit lately so it's likely most won't need to buy it now. In any case, if you're looking for something neat from this list here are two suggestions - Inquisitor and Numen. Does anything look good this week or will you wait for the next sales?
  16. http://store.steampowered.com/sale/FocusWeekend Looks like Steam is at it again! This time, almost all of Focus Home Interactive's catalog of games is on sale for 50-75% off. There's some pretty good stuff in there, including: Farming Simulator 2013 - $27.99 $9.51 Cities XL Platinum - $29.99 $10.20 Magrunner: Dark Pulse - $19.99 $9.99 The Testament of Sherlock Holmes - $29.99 $10.19 ...and more. Both Magrunner and Testament of Sherlock Holmes were reviewed very positively by our own Marcus Estrada and Harrison Lee; check out their reviews if you're interested.
  17. Marcus Estrada

    Papers, Please Screenshot 3

    From the album: Review Images

  18. Marcus Estrada

    Papers, Please Screenshot 2

    From the album: Review Images

  19. Marcus Estrada

    Papers, Please Screenshot 1

    From the album: Review Images

  20. Marcus Estrada

    On Steam This Week: Brothers, Outlast, and More

    It seems like this week is yet another for some highly anticipated games to make their way to the Steam marketplace. We've also got a great smattering of genres represented which means you just might find a new game this week! So, let's get right to it. Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons was initially console exclusive when it launched last month. The title saw a lot of praise for its interesting story of two young brothers in a platforming/puzzle world. Note that if you buy it the game requires a controller to play. Brothers is available for $14.99. Next up is Castle of Illusion which is a fancy remake of the original Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. It retains the 2D platformer aesthetics of the Genesis version, but appears to also make some tweaks to the formula. It's also available for $14.99. Mirror Moon EP is one of the more interesting titles out this week. Set in space, players are primarily tasked with exploring the alien landscapes. Due to the game's distinctive art style things definitely look otherworldly, too. Right now there is a 10% discount, making it $8.99. Outlast is also out right now! If you can't wait for Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs (which is out next week) then this might be worth your time. It is a horror game where you must run and hide from danger while still figuring out what's going on. You can buy it for $19.99. Many fans have been waiting and now they can finally play Rayman Legends. It is of course available across a multitude of platforms. If you go with PC then luckily it still supports up to 4 player co-op. However, you must use Ubisoft's Uplay. Rayman Legends costs $39.99. Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition may be exciting for aviation buffs. It's a new WWII based flight sim and already includes a fair bit of DLC packs to expand the fleet. The main game is currently discounted to $39.99 but be aware DLC itself is $19-$23 (also on discount). Strategy lovers have been waiting for Total War: ROME II and it has just debuted. The last time the Total War brand visited Rome was back in 2004, so this sequel has been a long time coming. Although there's no sale, you can buy it now for $59.95.
  21. DrPixel

    Pixel Reviews: Shelter (PC)

    Developer: Might and Delight Publisher: Might and Delight Platform: PC Release Date: August 28th, 2013 There's just something about nature that captivates and intrigues us as humans. Perhaps it's because nature represents the unknown, with each and every bush or tree potentially hiding an undiscovered species of plant or animal.. Or maybe it's because we can't quite fathom what it is truly like to be a wild creature living in the brush. Anyhow, games about nature as a central theme are very few and far between. The recent game about taking care of badgers who are your children (yes, seriously), Shelter, is one of these extremely rare games dealing with the topic. Certain things happen in nature, and developer Might and Delight captures this to.....an okay extent. I'll explain. So, in this game, you play as a mother badger merely trying to protect her young from harm's way. There's plenty of harm in this game, from hungry eagles to raging waters and even to the "king of rebirth" in nature, fire. If protection of your children is your primary goal in the game, I have one simple question- why isn't the game more open-ended? This game is pretty much near perfect except for the fact that your path is linear and your experience will be the same generally beyond a few certain things you do each playthrough. By that, I just mean getting your badger babies killed. "SPOILER!" you might shout, but really, this is a game about life, just not with humans as we are used to. The only changing element in this is who dies and who doesn't by the end of the journey. Is this a bad thing though, having an extremely linear experience? Generally in games, no! Most modern AAA titles now are 6 to 8-hour romps through the same locales with the same missions each time anyway. Those games aren't panned for being linear, and yet they're panned for other reasons. Unfortunately, I really do regret to say that this game's only downfall in my opinion is not having the option to, well, do MORE! I would have loved to have actually lived as a badger, doing badgerly sorts of things! Even if the game still has the same length, a short-yet-sweet 2 hours or so, I would have been pretty much fine with having more freedom. Instead we get a great, but bland, short, but not outliving its welcome type of game. I'm sorry if that came across as blatant slandering of this game. Truly, I do, because this is a fairly good game still. The crisp, distinct art style and lovely ambient score will keep you fully immersed in the small amount of time you put into Shelter, even if the fairly "point A to point B" gameplay will turn you off. Even the little things like insects flying around or docile animals roaming around really help draw the player in to make them feel like they ARE the badger mother. I know, it sounds weird, but it's great! Truly nothing like this has really been done before and for that I'll give Might and Delight credit. It's a unique experience and if you are someone who likes to play very interesting games this is not one to miss. If spending $10 to feed your children and brave the seemingly vast (yet invisible wall filled) expanse of a typical gorgeous forest and the dangers within doesn't sound like something you'd want to do, I wouldn't blame you. However, take my word when I say that this is a game you will not want to miss at least playing once in your lifetime. It's not something that will come again for a long time I bet, and for that it's very special. A sale would be preferable to get it in as that would be a perfect price to purchase it at. Otherwise, I just wouldn't justify buying it more expensively at $10 unless you think this would be the game for you. Just be aware of its limitations and the length of the experience. Shelter is a good game, but sadly not a great one because of some major gripes present. I give this game a: 7/10
  22. Developer: Michael Todd Games Publisher: Michael Todd Games Platform: PC Release Date: August 7th, 2013 Having my ears blasted by intense electronic music and the occasional......uh......moan(?) is not what I would call an ideal setup for a first impressions of a game. Adding in some flashing rainbow colors might worsen my experience just a bit. However, upon playing the game that utilizes these three very unique elements, Electronic Super Joy, I can certainly say that it kinda grows on you after a while. ESJ (as I shall call it) is a strange and challenging platformer created by a guy named Michael Todd. Nice job MT, you just secured ESJ into the OPHWG (Official Pixel Hall of Weird Games). Now that's a lot of abbreviations! Anyway, on to the game. There's no end to the pumping electronic music and the flashy visuals, but luckily you can alter the moans to a more "PG" option. Definitely a great added touch right before release (the game was in Early Access for a bit). Well, I should quit babbling about the small stuff and get on to the actual game! There's 4 worlds in it, each with generally ~15-20 levels besides the last world, which only has 5 levels I believe. I managed to get to the boss of world 2 and could barely manage to get very far in the level at all after my time playing. However, I got stuck multiple times like this and after going back and trying something new or honing my reflexes almost always I could pass the levels in a try or two. So thankfully, the game isn't too hard for inexperienced platformer players! Every level is very possible to beat once you understand the weird tricks the level design is trying to throw at you. Now, this leads to the inevitable question- is ESJ really as hard as it claims to be? Well......to be frank, I'd have to say no. There's a few levels that will challenge inexperienced gamers, but for the most part I would say anyone can progress far in this game with some patience. Each level can be cleared just by carefully timing jumps, stomps, and horizontal movement of your character (who by the way, is some guy who lost his butt via the despicable Groove-Wizard, that is literally the plot). With so few levels, you may think this game is nowhere near the price, but considering that you can try and get the hidden star on each level, speedrun them, or unlock some difficult achievements may lessen the price tag. If the game ever goes 50% or more off though, this would be an instant buy if you like platformers! One thing that did manage to keep me entertained was the simple, immature humor this game throws at the player. Things in even the description are kinda funny, such as: "The Evil Groove-Wizard rules the world with an iron fist. Captain Lewis, of the 43rd Queen's Disco Troop, has vowed to resist his tyrannical rule! ...And he stole Little Anni McGee's teddy bear! Can you defeat the Groove-Wizard and end his Tyranny? Can you be a hero?" There's also another instance involving the Pope......that I won't speak of. Overall, I'd say I was fairly pleased with ESJ. It provides some great tunes and colorful visuals while very gently tearing your hair out over the moderate difficulty. It's a nice blend, and if you enjoy platformers this is certainly a game you should consider! I give this game a: 7.5/10 Also, you can win a copy of the game (on Steam of course)! Simply comment below telling me what your ideal technical combo (graphics+music) in terms of style would be for a game! An example would be: "Hardcore Rock music with cutesy graphics" I'll be closing this and choosing my favorite combo as the winner this Friday, August 30th, 2013! So get your entry in! Good luck!