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Have you ever been transported to a faraway planet after your particle accelerator melted down and become best friends with a giant mud alien? If you have, call me, we should talk, because that is too cool, but let’s be honest with ourselves, you’re probably never going to do anything that cool.

If you want to pretend, though, you should maybe play Another World, because it has all that, a pterodactyl creature, and more. A refresh of the 1991 game, called Out of This World in North America, the 20th anniversary edition of Another World has all the charm and unexpected comradery that made the original so poignant. But is Another World still worth another look after all these years? (more…)

Video games are becoming much more about art, and while gameplay will always remain an important aspect, the look of the game can weigh as heavily. That’s why I was excited to find Draw a Stickman: EPIC, because the artstyle and the gameplay seemed equally inventive, both relying on your own drawings to work.

That’s putting a lot of pressure on the player, though. Can my little stickman shoulders bear the weight of all that responsibility? We’ll get drawing and see how I — and the game — hold up.

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Puzzle games are a dime a dozen, and to set itself apart, a puzzler is going to have to be pretty special. More than just exchanging pigs for birds or coins for jewels, a great puzzle is more than a gimmick. It challenges how you think.

A great puzzle game will also challenge how you see games, and that’s what the developers at Cipher Prime are working on. Their newest offering, Splice, isn’t just a great puzzle, but it may also change your definition of what a game can mean. Don’t get me wrong, all of the great puzzling fun is there, but it’s more than a place to sink a few minutes. Splice will create an experience that frustrates you but also surprises you with its beauty and genius. (more…)

Snapshot tells the story of a clumsy robot who finds himself lost and alone, left nothing but an abandoned world full of dangers and his trusty camera. His camera provides him the ability to photograph objects, removing them from the world completely and pasting them back into the world via that very same camera.

This ability in turn affords you the opportunity to solve Snapshot’s collection of increasingly difficult puzzles. Along the way you’ll encounter and interact with a number of objects both helpful and harmful, everything from dangerous spikes to bouncy elephants. If these adventures sound like a challenge you’re ready to take on, stick with me to learn more about Snapshot.

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“Do I need the light on or is darkness the key to my salvation?” After my latest Humble Bundle download, I spent many long, late nights pondering that question as I slowly but surely worked my way through my latest favorite, Closure. It’s is an independent puzzler that found its start as a Newgrounds flash game. Closure has since been released for Mac and is available via a Steam purchase.

In Closure the name of the game is the manipulation of light, balancing lightness and darkness to suit your needs. Will the spots of darkness allow you to pass through a seemingly solid wall or will they cause you to tumble into the abyss, falling to your inevitable death? If these questions pique your interest, stick with me to learn more about how Closure works.

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Porting a physical board game to a digital platform is far from an easy task. The essence of the original game can sometimes be lost in translation as the very fabric the game lies with the board itself. Most major boardgames have been drawn in by the touchscreen revolution to largely tepid reviews. So, how do classic board games translate on traditional point and click devices? Conquist 2 has it nailed.

Strategy games, both digital and physical, have always been my favourite from childhood right through to adulthood. Risk, Command & Conquer, Age of Empires—you name it, I own it. Conquist 2 takes its inspiration directly from Risk whilst daring to best the classic at its own game. Adding its fair share of original content, Conquist has the potential to upstage its ancestor, but how does it fair on OS X?

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Point-and-click adventure games pretty much come in two varieties: comedy or serious. There are exceptions of course, like The Longest Journey or Police Quest, but the two seldom mix. You either laugh your way through absurdity and silliness or puzzle out a story of mystery and intrigue where the only irony on show is of the dramatic variety.

A New Beginning – The Final Cut falls squarely into the latter camp. It has a few laughs and some clever witticisms, but its core plot points, characters, and underlying themes are deadly serious — concerned as they are with the very ground on which we walk. If you can see beyond some rough touches and needless melodrama, it convincingly portrays a world with a bleak future — our own — that needs radical action to save its inhabitants from devastating climate change. It’s a journey worth taking, but you’ll need a lot of patience to reach the end.
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It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of resource management sims. I like buying cows with just the wheat I can grow in my flash-based farm and building entire cities out of the wood my tiny computer minions chop themselves. And boy, do I like Christmas. Put the two together, and I’m sold.

That’s how construction management simulation Trade Nations: North Pole found its way onto my computer. Not only do I get to build Santa’s home town, but since developer Z2Live has teamed with Child’s Play, I can also help out a good cause. There’s nothing like doing a good deed at the holidays, and hopefully the gameplay of Trade Nations: North Pole will leave you feeling just as warm inside.

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Looking for a new indie game to try out? Released this September, Subset Games’ FTL: Faster Than Light is an indie spaceship simulator/RPG that has garnered a lot of praise among the indie game community. FTL’s fresh take on old strategy games is finishing out the year at the top of several Best Of lists. Does the gameplay stand up to the hype? (more…)

“This is proof of extra-Tennesseean life,” says Rochard’s main character John Rochard, Skyrig employee number 90210, after learning that aliens do indeed exist. His wise-cracks are a special highlight of what at first seems a fairly generic — if well-executed and humorous — side-scrolling shooter/platformer-hybrid game, which soon bends you to its will. Rochard doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s silly from start to finish, making no attempt to dress its ridiculous plot in fancy clothes, and this filters through to the light-hearted, entertaining action set-pieces.

We’ve got free download codes to giveaway to two lucky readers. Check out the review, then see how you could win.
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