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Creator from Alto’s Adventure releases trailer for new coming-of-age adventure

When you’re young, everything can feel like the end of the world. Your crush doesn’t like you back, or you didn’t get selected for the varsity soccer team, or mom embarrassed you in front of everyone at Career Day. The universe seems to collapse under you, the tenuous building blocks that made up your life snapping under their own weight. That’s the basic concept behind Where Cards Fall, a narrative-driven puzzle game by the makers of Alto’s Adventure and and an ex Giant Sparrow designer. The newest trailer sets the release for this fall on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and PC. As a coming of age story, it explores…

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Hidden Folks, released today, offers a delightfully handmade iOS experience

Hidden Folks, which Kill Screen‘s Kathryn Madden originally covered last year, can best be described as an interactive Where’s Waldo? overflowing with personality. With little to no focus on goals, points, or challenge, players simply explore intricate landscapes in search of specific “targets” (or “folks”)  hidden throughout each scene. So much of the digital toy’s charm derives from its handmade feel, with illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg’s heavily inked art style creating lively scenes that feel populated without seeming overly busy. Indeed, the unusual joy of Hidden Folks is just how human and authored it feels, especially when most games (particularly in the free-to-play saturated app marketplace) tend to come…

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Study finds female players may not be into guns, but are still into killing

The Quantic Lab, a survey data-based social science research project investigating the psychology of gaming, recently published interesting findings on players and their motivations. A portion of their research explores difference across gender, diving deeper into stereotypical assumptions about female players. For example, some might point to Quantic Lab’s finding that, out of all the genres, women are least likely to play tactical shooters as proof that female player don’t like violent games. But another recent survey found that, upon further investigation, it’s safer to assume that women just find guns kinda boring and prefer to murder virtual people through other methods. According to the Lab’s blog, by…

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Celebrate what diversity does for games at the Game Devs of Color Expo

For the second year in a row, New York-based indie studio Brooklyn Gamery is organizing a day-long Game Devs of Color Expo at the Schomburg Center on June 24th. The intimate expo, which welcomes creators of all races, genders, and sexual orientations, will include panels, talks, educational workshops, and an arcade. A celebration of game creators from various races could not come at a more welcome time, as America appears to continue its hard reverse into the pre-civil rights era. Bombarded by story after story on the collapse of our republic into a dystopia uninhabitable to any except the lizard people running the oval office (alternative fact: Steve Bannon is a gutter cigarette in human form), it…

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The sequel to Sunless Sea is very much on the way

Less than four hours after its Kickstarter launch, the sequel to Failbetter Games’ dying-at-sea simulator Sunless Sea reached its funding goal of $126,635 (a simpler number, 100,000, in British pounds). Now, one day later, they’ve raised $215,942, achieving every stretch goal but the last. If things continue this way, Failbetter is going to need to come up with a few more. The sequel to Sunless Sea takes players from the dim peril of a subterranean ocean to the final frontier; space! Instead of steering a steam ship through the black expanse, you’re the captain of the bastard child of a…

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VIRGO’s dreamy Water Planet drips to Steam this summer

When we last saw Water Planet in the summer of 2016, the virtual reality game accompaniment to electronic musician VIRGO’s EP of the same name, it had just been ushered through Steam Greenlight. But that was sometime ago, and after hearing nothing but crickets for nearly six months, its release window is finally upon us. Water Planet will be released on Steam for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and even PC in Summer 2017. When listening to VIRGO’s music, it’s hard not to dream up the world of Water Planet on your own, as the synths lend themselves to the…

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Splitter Critters swipes itself to release

Sometimes mobile games feel a bit hopeless, forever trapped to the realm of Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds copycats. But then a really good Match 3 game comes along, or a port of a transportation planning simulator, and faith becomes restored. In the new iOS (and soon Android) title Splitter Critters, the mobile platformer formula is twisted to show what shines in mobile games, rather than forcing in what doesn’t. Splitter Critters is a platforming game from the Canada-based two-person development team RAC7 Games, the same developers behind Dark Echo and Super Surf Bros. In the game, the player swipes…

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Is this Twitter bot the next Bob Ross?

Bob Ross is a man that needs no introduction, but I’ll write one anyway. Bob was a television host from long ago that taught the world how to paint. His signature afro, calming voice, and beautifully hand-painted vistas made him a household name in the 1980s and 1990s, until he lost his battle with lymphoma in 1995. Though Bob has remained a legend, still. And now there’s a Twitter bot paying homage to Bob’s life’s work. Happy Little Painting 594282521-9 pic.twitter.com/2UZt2UNJQ3 — Bot Ross (@JoyOfBotRoss) January 26, 2017 Created by Brent Werness, the Twitter bot generates an endless cascade of new…

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Low-poly puzzles restore light to a dark world in a new game

Virtual reality is still in its early days, and being young, has a lot of issues that need ironing out. But sometimes developers can’t pinpoint everything, which is why the vast majority of developers are releasing games on Steam Early Access—to crowdsource Quality Assurance testing, in a way—before a grander, more polished release. And joining the ever-growing Steam Early Access club for VR is Awaken, a new puzzle slash rhythmic music game from developers Blueprint Reality, Inc. and sound design by BAFTA-award winning composer Jeff van Dyck. At first glance, Awaken looks like cuter, digital version of the board game…