Casual Game News

Luftrausers profitable after only two days

Mar 21, 2014

After just two days, developer Vlambeer’s latest game, Luftrausers, is already profitable according to a tweet from the company’s official account.

Luftrausers is a 2D aerial combat game that launched on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita that spent two and a half years in development The game will eventually cost $9.99, but launched (and remains) at a 10% discount on Steam and a 20% discount on PlayStation Network for PlayStation Plus subscribers, making the fast turnaround on profitability just that much more impressive.

Nearly a year ago, the game was cloned on the App Store long before release. The story caused a bit of a ruckus as Vlambeer’s previous game, Ridiculous Fishing, went through a major cloning ordeal itself.

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Vlambeer is also the studio behind Super Crate Box and the upcoming Nuclear Throne (formerly Wasteland Kings) for PlayStation 4 and PC. You can currently pick up the prerelease version of Nuclear Throne through Steam Early Access.

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5 Games You Can Finish in Under 10 Minutes

Mar 21, 2014

Games today are cheaper and more plentiful than they've ever been. That's great news for players, but finding the time to actually complete something -- to find that sense of finality -- can be a challenge.

Luckily, the independent game scene is often less interested in 20-hour campaigns and repetitive score-chasing. There are plenty of great games out there offering a complete experience in the time it takes to install most big-budget action titles.

These are five such games.

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This 2004 Tetris documentary is the best thing you’ll watch all day

Mar 20, 2014

Few games have a story behind them quite as riveting as Tetris. I first learned about the strange and storied history of the game when reading Game Over, David Sheff’s insanely detailed book on the history of Nintendo.

The story of Tetris is really the story of the end of the Soviet Era, Cold War Politics, and dirty business. For years I’ve said that it would make a brilliant HBO miniseries, and while we don’t have that, this BBC documentary from 2004 is the next best thing.

Sit back, make some popcorn, and spend the next 59 minutes of your day with Tetris: From Russia With Love.

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Papers, Please wins top honors at Independent Games Festival

Mar 20, 2014

2013 was a pretty great year for games, and when it came down to picking the best of them, we here at Gamezebo had our hands full last December. Above all of the others, though, there were three games that stood out as simply amazing: Papers, Please, Device 6 and Kentucky Route Zero. These games made up our top 3 picks for the year, and while there was a definite #1, #2, #3 order to them, really, any would have been fair to call our Game of the Year.

It looks like the annual Independent Games Festival Awards (a great indie celebration that takes place at GDC) happens to agree. Last night, Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please took home the Seamus McNally Grand Prize for Best Indie Game (as well as two additional awards: Excellence in Design and Excellence in Narrative).

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New and improved Oculus Rift VR headsets available for preorder

Mar 19, 2014

Oculus Rift, the company leading the charge on virtual reality headsets, announced today during the Games Developers Conference that the second development kit version of their product is available for preorder. The headset costs $350 and will be available in July on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if you actually want to get it by then, you had better be quick. 

The new development kit (DK2) features enhanced positional tracking, which reduces the lag between movement of the user's head and the display inside the device. Reporters at the conference are saying this virtually eliminates input lag and nullifies the motion sickness some users have reported previously.

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Just as impressive are the new screens. The new kit uses OLED screens (the same sort found on the first generation PlayStation Vita) and displays at 960 x 1080 in each eye.

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Midnight Castle is coming to the iPad tomorrow

Mar 19, 2014

Love Midnight Castle, but wish you could take it on the go? Good news, Big Fishers – Big Fish Games has just confirmed with Gamezebo that their popular free-to-play hidden object game is heading to the iPad this Thursday.

It’s an interesting twist, when you think about it. Previous free-to-play titles from Big Fish, like Found and Dark Manor, have started life on iOS, only to make their way to the main site later, after they’ve had some time to prove themselves. With Midnight Castle, they’ve turned that formula on its head. And it seems to be working, too: a Big Fish Games representative told us that the game’s PC players are averaging 70 minutes in game per day.

And if it counts for anything, we liked it quite a bit too.

To celebrate the launch, they’ll be giving away an iPad Mini on Midnight Castle’s Facebook page. The sweepstakes opens tonight at midnight, and closes in one week, on March 26. For more details, be sure to visit facebook.com/midnightcastle after the clock strikes 12 tonight.

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Could Amazon’s game machine be a dongle made for streaming?

Mar 18, 2014

Ready yourself for the most interesting rumor of the morning. We all know that Amazon is getting into the games hardware business. I’m not keeping score, but it seems safe to say that this is the worst kept secret of the year. What’s been a rather well-kept secret, however, is what this gaming hardware would be.

Now it looks like we have our first hint.

TechCrunch is saying they’ve learned from multiple sources that the device is going to look an awful lot like the Chromecast, Google’s $35 streaming device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port.

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There’s also the very real possibility that the device will be more of an “all-in-one” unit than a dedicated games console. With a variety of instant services already in-house – Prime customers can stream unlimited movies, TV shows, books, and soon music – offering a set-top box to bring it all to your living room is just good sense. Think AppleTV meets Chromecast meets Spotify meets Netflix, but with games.

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Creator of the original X-COM launches Kickstarter for Chaos Reborn

Mar 17, 2014

Prep your Gollop Chambers! Julian Gollop, the creator of X-COM: UFO Defense (or UFO: Enemy Unknown for those outside the United States), has just launched a Kickstarter for his new game, Chaos Reborn.

The game is a successor to Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, which was published in 1985 by Games Workshop. In his pitch video, Gollop says the game “stands out with unrealized potential.”

 This new version seems to be a hex-based, turn-based strategy game from the man who created one of the most influential turn-based strategy games of all time. That’s certainly exciting.

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The Kickstarter campaign is asking for $180,000 and, at the time of this writing, sits at just over a sixth of that goal only a few hours after launching. There don’t seem to be any announced stretch goals as of yet, but obviously that could change.

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RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 is (probably) getting a proper PC release too

Mar 17, 2014

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When word broke earlier today that a new RollerCoaster Tycoon was in the works, we were elated. When we discovered that it was RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile – a game whose trailer bears a striking resemblance to Zynga’s CoasterVille, we were… surprised, I guess? Disappointed isn’t the right word. We liked CoasterVille, after all. But putting a big “4” in the title seems to suggest “a direct sequel that should deliver on fans expectations.”

If you were just as surprised as we were about today’s announcement, you can breathe a little easier – Atari sensed the panic in the gaming community and has confirmed on Facebook that a PC entry in the series is scheduled for later in the year.

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“RollerCoaster Tycoon is back and it's coming to mobile (first)!,” reads a status update on the official RollerCoaster Tycoon fan page. “Rest assured, there is a PC experience in production now for release in Fall 2014. This is just the first step in bringing the series back to its fans this year! We are excited and hope you are too!”

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Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing sequel arriving less than a year after the original

Mar 16, 2014

Less than a year following the release of the first game in the series, Neocore Games is releasing The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 on April 17th for both Windows and Mac. Pre-orders are currently open, granting buyers instant access to the Beta test on Steam. Setup similarly to Kickstarter backer-rewards, pre-orders are available in set price tiers which offer buyers certain in-game perks to accompany the amount paid for. These tiers range from the base, $15 "magic pack" tier, up to the $1,000 "leader of the pack" tier. Pre-orders are available on Neocore Games' website.

With the first game releasing May 22, 2013, and the sequel following less than a year later, the amount of time in between releases may concern some. While Van Helsing I had batches of DLC released up through late September of last year, the real questions are if the Neocore team has had enough time to work on the sequel and whether Van Helsing II will attain enough support to financially support the third, and final, game in the trilogy.

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