Casual Game News

The Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Mac Bundle

Mar 5, 2014

Mac

Assassin’s Creed fans with Mac love in your hearts, rejoice! The first two chapters in the saga of Ezio Auditore da Firenze – aka everybody’s favorite 16th century assassin – can be grabbed together in the latest Gamezebo Deals bundle for just $14.99.

Both games, Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, are included in their “Deluxe Edition” format, which means more maps, more characters – more everything. You’ll even get the complete movie Assassin’s Creed Lineage.

What are you? A Templar? Quit stalling and click “buy” already!

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Gods Will Be Watching you, this June

Mar 1, 2014

This isn't your grandmother's point-and-click adventure. Ever since I played the original Ludum Dare 26 build of Gods Will Be Watching, it’s a game that’s stuck in my memory. I was almost haunted by how well Deconstructeam was able to portray emotions through a handful of moving pixels. Gods Will Be Watching is a post-apocalyptic leadership simulator where the player has to make the tough choices that no one else wants to make.

The game was originally developed during the 2013 Ludum Dare 26 game jam, and went on to receive second place in the jam in both the Best Overall and Mood categories. After the success of the jam, the team went on to launch an IndieGoGo campaign, looking for €8,000 to develop Gods Will Be Watching into a full game. The campaign was a large success and resulted in €20,385 worth of funding.

Now, six months after the campaign, Deconstructeam has announced that Gods Will Be Watching will release this June for PC, Mac, and Linux, on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store.

The Ludum Dare 26 build of Gods Will Be Watching is available for free, in its entirety, on Deconstructeam's official website. Follow Deconstructeam on Twitter.

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Game of the Month: Threes!

Feb 28, 2014

Even though February is always the shortest month of the year, this one brought us more amazing new games than we could possibly handle. With Valentine’s Day sitting smack-dab in the middle of it all, we have a lot of love to share for some of the best games to capture our attention in all of their shiny new glory. And could that possibly be another early Game of the Year contender I see sitting at the top of the list?

I know it must seem like I say this every time, but I really feel like February had some of the best new game releases that we’ve seen in quite a while. From a hopelessly addicting and charming number-based puzzler, to the most hilarious game you’ll play in ages, to a breathtaking pop-up book world that you can play in real life, our top picks for the month are not only all innovative in their own unique ways, but they’re all just a breath of fresh air for video games everywhere today (and the ongoing sea of Flappy Bird clones).

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So did you happen to fall in love with any of the same games that we did this Valentine’s Day? I know I’ll personally be giving flowers and chocolate to all of our favorites. But be sure to hit the replies and let us know if you agree with our top gaming picks for the month of February, or if there were any other great games that managed to steal your heart away!

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Free Games and Sales: Detective Grimoire, Post Mortem and more!

Feb 28, 2014

Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like looking up great gaming deals online to help distract your mind from other things that might be going on. I’ll be honest right now: about 10 minutes ago I saw this ENORMOUS centipede crawling on the wall right above my desk, and I don’t know where it went, and that’s all I can think about, and I’m kind of freaking out about it. I swear it had like 500 legs.

But you know what? I’m not gonna think about that giant centipede anymore or what he might be up to, because now I have all of these amazing free games and sales to think about instead! While there may not have been too many new bundles to find this week, the iOS App Store sure made up for that in a big way, with an insane amount of acclaimed mobile titles going on sale all at the same time. And if that’s not your thing, well there’s also big savings on point-and-click adventures and indie darlings as well!

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And as always, if I may have missed a great deal or two due to being distracted by things I don’t need to mention here again, then be sure to hit the replies and let everyone know about them!

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Free-to-play games under the regulatory microscope in Europe

Feb 28, 2014

The reaction to free-to-play games that monetize by the use of in-app purchases (or IAPs, for short) depends on where you ask about them. They’re a normal part of the gaming culture in Asia and looked upon with skepticism but warily accepted in North America.

In Europe, though, they’re now under the microscope. Eurogamer.net reported this morning that the European Commission is huddling with consumer protection groups in multiple nations to get some clarification on parts of the free-to-play model it finds troubling.

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The Commission’s concerns include protecting children from IAPs (and preventing them from bugging parents to buy for them), games that opt-in players for IAPs without their consent, free games that aren’t really free, and companies that don’t provide a way for players to contact them by email for customer service purposes.

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Notch confirms Warner Bros interest in Minecraft movie

Feb 28, 2014

Late Thursday evening, Markus "Notch" Persson confirmed on his Twitter account that he has been discussing a potential Minecraft film with Warner Brothers.

"Someone is trying leak the fact that we're working with Warner Brothers on a potential Minecraft Movie," Persson posted. "I wanted to be the leak!"

A movie about Minecraft? That'll never work!  Well I'm sure plenty of people said the same about a movie based on LEGO, and now Warner Bros. is currently sitting atop $275,000,000 (and climbing) following the The LEGO Movie's release, earlier in the month.

Details are still scarce, but Hollywood news and rumors website Deadline managed to confirm that Warner Bros. is putting The Lego Movie producer onboard for the Minecraft movie, and that it will be a live-action feature film.

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The news about the Warner Brothers deal comes days after Persson announced that Minecraft has surpassed 100 million registered users.

Don’t want to wait for a Minecraft movie? 2 Player Productions documentary Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is now available for free on YouTube. You can watch the whole thing in its entirety below:

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Introducing Rovio Jr: a new program for educational games

Feb 27, 2014

You might be able to indirectly learn something about physics by playing Angry Birds, but it’s not exactly a learning game. That doesn’t mean the company behind the unstoppable franchise can’t try something a little more high-minded, which is exactly what Rovio is gearing up to do – with the help of some third-party developers.

Rovio told PocketGamer that it is seeking educational games from other developers to publish as part of its new Rovio Jr line. The intended audience of these games would be kids from pre-school to middle school.

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Educational games can be a tricky field, but there’s definite truth in the idea that Rovio can aid developers by promoting their products through its already successful brands. Teaming up would certainly help solve the discovery problem facing smaller studios, particularly since educational titles need to catch the eyes of both children and parents.

In any case, we may not have to wait long to see an announcement about the first fruits of this new program. Rovio and PocketGamer are going to be holding Big Indie Pitch Jr at GDC next month, allowing developers to pitch games they think would be suited for the publishing initiative in person in San Francisco.

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Indie is succeeding because AAA is failing us creatively, says Xbox co-creator Ed Fries

Feb 25, 2014

When it comes to video games, AAA console releases have really grown stagnant over the last decade. That’s one of the many reasons I’m so glad to be at Gamezebo, where we focus on the platforms that give developers the freedom to experiment instead of the latest cut-and-paste first person shooter.

As it turns out, Xbox co-creator Ed Fries seems to feel the same way about the current state of AAA games, and he’s ready to explain why, detailing the creativity-stifling environment that led to his 2004 resignation from Microsoft in a recent GamesIndustry interview.

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Rather than fostering new ideas, Fries suggests that AAA development is run too much like a business – focusing on quantity of dollars rather than quality of game. Instead of experimenting with little things, which Fries says sows the seeds of successful bigger projects down the road, the focus of the Xbox brand during his time there was to stick to what works and sell it better. “In a sense, I fundamentally didn't agree with that because I think the big things come from little things,” Fries told GamesIndustry.

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If you promise Steam keys, you’d better have Steam keys

Feb 24, 2014

By now, it’s no longer a secret that Valve is thinking about killing off Steam Greenlight. Until it actually disappears though, it’s still fertile ground for stories like the one you’re about to read. Call it a tale of how social media can be a double-edged sword when trying to drum up support for your indie game.

The game in question is called Zombies. The period is actually part of the name (hey, it did the job for fun.), though there are no actual zombies in it. Plus it’s changing to Corporate Lifestyle Simulator anyway.

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Like many indie games, this pixelated action-shooter is a part of bundle deals on several popular sites. Some of them promised that buyers would receive Steam keys for the game if/when it was greenlit (or greenlighted, as I never know which way is proper) – a common though not universal feature of these bundles.

The game was greenlit, but there was a bit of a catch: as explained by NeoGAF user chubigans, the developer had no intention of giving bundle buyers Steam keys, regardless of what the deals stated. At issue was his feeling that he should receive the customer data for everyone who purchased his game, unwilling to hand over “thousands of keys” to the bundle sites.

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Steam Greenlight approves another 50, Galactic Princess included

Feb 22, 2014

The latest batch of games approved through Steam Greenlight was announced on Wednesday. Fifty titles were chosen, including Lost Decade Game's A Wizard's Lizard, Rat King Entertainment's Tri, and Cecly's Galactic Princess. Some of these titles have already been released on other platforms or storefronts and are just now making their way onto Steam, while others are still in development. Galactic Princess, for example, is just over a week into its Kickstarter campaign.

"These titles were selected on the same criteria we have been using in the past: Votes in Greenlight give us a hugely valuable point of data in gauging community interest along with external factors such as press reviews, crowd-funding successes, performance on other similar platforms, and awards and contests to help form a more complete picture of community interest in each title," Valve community spokesperson Alden Kroll explained in the announcement post.

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You can use that very same link to the announcement post to view the complete list of all fifty games that made the cut this time around. And when you’re done doing that, why not pick out a few of your favorites and get to gaming?

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