Game Releases

Notable game releases this week include:

20th February

  • Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (PC)
  • Metal Gear Survive (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

22nd February

  • Orwell: Ignorance is Strength (PC)

Appropriately for Valentine’s Day, Purrfect Date launched on the App Store for iPhone and iPad last week. [link]

It seems that every week we announce a SteamWorld game is coming to one platform or another and this week it is the turn of the 3DS to get some love as SteamWorld Dig 2 launches on 22nd February. Polygon captions this announcement as “dig on the go” seemingly forgetting that it is also available on the far better Nintendo Switch. [link]

Assassin’s Creed Origins will receive its “Discovery Mode” update on 20th February (also available standalone for $20) encompassing 75 tours to showcase the historical aspects of the Egyptian setting. Each tour has details about the various monuments and daily lives of the people but also a “Behind The Scenes” feature that details how the developers approached the design of each region. I’m certainly looking forward to trying it, not least for the three new achievements the update adds… [link]

Upcoming Games

Physics-based tower building game Mount Your Friends is making the jump from 2D to 3D with Mount Your Friends 3D: A Hard Man is Good to Climb arriving on 23rd February. It is currently only announced for PC but is likely to end up on Xbox given the success the original had on Xbox Live Indie Games. [link]

Mulaka, a low-poly adventure game based on the culture of the northern-Mexican Tarahumara, is set to release on PS4 and PC on 27th February. This will be followed by the Switch on 1st March and then the Xbox One on the 2nd March. Pre-orders are now live with a portion of sales going to charities that work in the area. [link]

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an upcoming indie adventure from Dim Bulb Studios that is most well known for having Sting as a narrator, is set to release on PC on 28th February. There is no word on other platforms yet but a multi-platform release seems likely in the future. [link]

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 will have a public beta on 28th February followed by the full release on 8th March for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. The game has customisable heroes allowing you to take its five champions down 15 differing “Career paths” and a new Heroic Deeds system which are essentially a never-ending list of consumable quests. [link]

Thomas Brush, creator of critically acclaimed Pinstripe, has launched a Kickstarter for Coma, a rebuild of a Flash game he built in 2010. The campaign has already blown past its $28000 funding goal but a $60000 fund will ensure a Switch game is made at some point. The game is due to be launched in October 2018 and based on his previous Kickstarter that seems likely. [link]

5 years after raising $2m on Kickstarter and 3 years after debuting in Early Access, Shroud of the Avatar is finally getting a full release on 27th March. With only 120 or so players on Steam, an out-of-balance economy, and a dated design, this is probably one to miss especially if the $40 price tag increases at launch. [link]

Re-Releases

Android-exclusive (what?!?) platformer Reed is going to launch on iOS later this year. The reason for the Android exclusive? The developer didn’t own a mac and therefore couldn’t run Xcode with which to publish the game. [link]

Oh geez, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality is coming to PSVR on 10th April. There is a limited collector’s edition available that includes the game, a Funko Pop! Rick and Morty vinyl figure, and an exclusive double-sided poster featuring Rick and Morty comic book cover art. [link]

DLC and Updates

The new Tournaments mode for Rocket League is getting a PC beta test this week starting on 21st February at 10am PST. You can opt-in via the beta system in Steam but be aware that you will not be able to play ranked mode whilst using the beta - thankfully it is easy to go back to the stable version of the game should you wish to give it a try. [link]

The upcoming multiplayer update for Stardew Valley is apparently complete and now going through localization and a “serious QA phase”. Developer ConcernedApe is still shooting for a public beta this Spring but for now he has shown off a few new features such as the ability to create signs from any item in the game. [link]

Hardware

On a recent investor Q&A, Shigeru Miyamoto said that “our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person”. Whilst it sounds slightly outlandish, I think the translation is really speaking more about households having more than one Switch device in a similar vein to the 3DS or an iPad over something like an Xbox One or PS4 which is typically shared within a family. He also mentioned a longer hardware cycle than 6 years but again this could be a misunderstanding of translation; he specifically said that they could “prolong the life cycle” which to my mind could be done by some sort of upgrade to the dock to add something like 4K support. Maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part though… [link]

ASUS has a new mouse within its Republic of Gamers lineup with the confusingly named (being the 3rd mouse in the series) Gladius II Origin. It has 12000 DPI, two detachable cables (rubber or braided), and two Omron switches to change click resistance. There is also a little pouch for you to carry it around with you. You can get it today for $100. [link]

Software

AMD has a new Adrenalin Edition driver package (18.2.2) that optimises Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Fortnite, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with each receiving fairly modest performance boosts. There are no new features or bug fixes. [link]

If you are reading this then you probably already know that Valve launched a big sale on Steam for the Lunar New Year but just in case be aware that it ends today. [link]

The Xbox Insider Program will shortly receive an update that allows the Xbox One X and Xbox One S to output at 1440p in addition to 1080p and 4K. This allows those with 1440p displays to make use of super-sampling without being pushed down to 1080p. [link]

Business

Poundland is beginning to sell video games for up to £5. The refurbished games (which are all sourced from Music Magpie) will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3 with titles such as Fallout: New Vegas and Destiny. [link]

Game Dev Tycoon developer Patrick Klug has revealed that Google removed 77% of positive reviews written by Android players from the Google Play store due to an overzealous automated system that is supposed to remove fraudulent reviews. [link]

Devolver Digital has announced that Reigns and its sequel Reigns: Her Majesty have now passed over 2 million players. To celebrate, they have bundled them together so you can get a substantial discount on one if you have bought the other. This varies depending on region and some of the peculiarities of iTunes Connect but should range from around $1 to being completely free! [link]

Valve has cut ties with developer and publisher Insel Games and removed all of its games from Steam after it was caught trying to manipulate rankings. If you click on only one [link] today make it this one so you can see the fairly terrible email from the CEO to his staff asking them to buy and review a game they had just released. [link]

In “news-that-shouldn’t-surprise-anyone-in-this-day-and-age”, Sea of Thieves will be getting microtransactions three months after launch. Hopefully they’ll just be cosmetic. [link]

THQ Nordic announced today that it has acquired Koch Media, the parent company of video game publisher Deep Silver, in a deal worth €121 million. As part of the acquisition, THQ Nordic - formerly known as Nordic Games - is now the owner of game series Saints Row, Homefront, Dead Island, Metro and more. [link]

Developer and publisher Starbreeze has posted a pre-tax loss of around $22m on revenues of $45m for the 2017 financial year. They expect to keep operating at a loss until the release of Overkill’s The Walking Dead next year which they expect to be a huge success with anticipated revenues of $251m in 2020. [link]

HTC’s Viveport subscription service will increase in price from $6.99 to $8.99 per month on 22nd March. [link]

Politics

The Hawaii state legislature is now considering two sets of bills that would regulate games containing loot boxes in the same way as casino games thus preventing minors from purchasing and requiring odds disclosures and public warnings. [link]

Cool Shit

A heart-warming story from a 14-year old in Massachusetts who enjoyed Firewatch so much he joined the Forest Fire Lookout Association as their youngest member and now gives talks after visiting more than 140 of the lookout structures and helping to save one from demolition in Maryland. [link]

40 Winks, a PlayStation platformer from 1999, is finally hoping to get the Nintendo 64 port it always wanted. A Kickstarter has been set up and funded so that they can do a run of cartridges — the code already existed but the original launch was scuppered after the parent company cancelled it due to financial problems. [link]

Got $500 burning a whole in your pocket? Why not purchase this Assassin’s Creed Origins figurine depicting Sobek, Anubis, and Sekhmet? [link]

Mountains, the developer behind interactive love story Florence, have produced a four-part making-of series that shows how the game was developed from the concept art through to playtesting. [link]

Lara Croft is now a Barbie Doll. [link]

And Finally…

There are plans afoot to launch GAME concessions inside Sports Direct shops. Who would have thought that one day I might go into a Sports Direct? [link]

Chris Columbus, director of Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films, will write and direct the movie adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s. [link]

The Nintendo Switch is getting a fairly weird looking accessory in the form of a microphone cover for a karaoke mic despite there being no karaoke games on Switch yet. [link]


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