Casual Game News

BlackSoul backpedals its way into Steam Early Access (and that’s worrisome)

Mar 5, 2014

PC

BlackSoul: Extended Edition is available on Steam. At first it was labeled as a complete game, but now it’s made the jump – retroactively – to Early Access. What happened?

 According to the developer, as well as the Steam community, the game was released in a rather dire state.

The developer stated in an email that “we are receiving a lot of feedback and we found the game still need some more work to make it more enjoyable, so our decision is to keep supporting it with further updates...”

The email was apparently sent to multiple publications that received review codes for the game. It goes on to say the game “might also switch to Early Access,” although it seems they chose to do so rather quickly, as the game is now listed as such on Steam.

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Orion: Dino Horde avoids extinction, sells 500,000 through a Steam event

Mar 4, 2014

PC

When Orion: Dino Beatdown launched in 2012, it was a developer's worst nightmare. The critics tore the game apart, some even ranking the game as one of the worst games of the year. Orion: Dino Beatdown released as a buggy, broken mess, and Spiral Game Studios knew they had to do something in order to fix their reputation. In 2013, Orion: Dino Beatdown was rebranded Orion: Dino Horde and the game went on to receive a number of free content updates and plenty of patches to ensure the stability of the game and a future for the brand.

To entice players apprehensive about giving the remodeled game a try, and breathe life back into the game's community for existing game owners, Spiral Game Studios promoted Orion: Dino Horde on Steam through a weeklong, free-to-play event. Between February 20th and the 27th, Steam users could give the game a try at no cost. The game itself was heavily discounted to $1 (from $14.99) during the duration of the event as well.

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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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Lumini - the most relaxing game you'll play this week

Mar 1, 2014

PC

It isn't often that I call a gameplay experience relaxing. In fact, short of 2013's InFlux, I am hard-pressed to recall the last time I described a game as relaxing. For a game to be relaxing for me it needs to be easy to play, require minimal controls, and have a smooth soundtrack. But most importantly, it has to be engaging.

I am happy to say that Speelbaars' Lumini, is all of the above. I played the game's pre-Alpha demo earlier in the week and, even so early on in the game's development, it is clear to me that Lumini is well on its way to being the most relaxing game of 2014.

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The Lumini demo has players guiding a flock(?) of creatures that resemble flying fish through a sunken cavern. Players familiar with the mobile hit Badland will feel right at home guiding the creatures through the game. But where Badland was full of shadows, sharp objects, and a sense of urgency, Lumini is full of color, rounded corners, and tranquility.

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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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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is now in open beta

Feb 26, 2014

PC

Remember last month when we told you that the hilariously awesome The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot would be entering an open beta phase at the end of February? Well guess what? It’s officially the end of February now, and the outrageous fantasy battling game has officially started its open beta!

So not only can you get in on all of the fun multiplayer action right this very minute, but you’ll also get to do it with a brand new character who is making her debut in the world of Opulencia this week: the Runaway, who steals the show with her incredible speed and devastating axe attacks. In addition, five new Diamond packs are being made available for players to get a head start on playing the game, with the Runaway being used in the Attacker Pack, the Trio Combo, and the Ultimate Pack.

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And as if all of that wasn’t enough, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot open beta will also be bringing unlimited creative possibilities with its Open Creation tools, so you’ll be able to shape the kingdom of Opulencia to your liking over time. So what are you waiting for?! You can sign up for the open beta by clicking right over here!

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