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Feature

New Processors Give Mobile Gamers a Competitive Edge

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Players who traverse new games like Star Wars: Battlefront, retro games like Horizon Chase or virtual reality experiences are keen on having the best new processors and computing performance they can get. But for many gamers, having a computer that pushes their skills to a game’s limit is no longer enough, according to Mark Chang, gaming strategist on Intel’s performance notebook team. “It’s not just about playing the game anymore,” said Chang. “It’s also about sharing and engaging with the community and friends. That completes the gaming experience.” He pointed to the rise of…

Dear Esther
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More people will soon be able to play The Chinese Room’s poetic videogames

Very soon, thousands more will have the opportunity to get lonely with a videogame in the most beautiful way. Yes, The Chinese Room is bringing both its poetic narrative games, Dear Esther (2012) and last year’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, to new platforms—the former is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, while the latter makes its way to PC. Other than a few pleasant additional touches, like a developer’s commentary for Dear Esther and a few bug fixes, the games will remain essentially unchanged. That means each of these games will, once again, invite you into their virtual…

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Design ridiculous death traps so that your friends cuss you

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Ultimate Chicken Horse (PC, Mac) CLEVER ENDEAVOR Beneath the friendly veneer of party games like Mario Party and Mario Kart lies the murderous need to beat your friends at all costs. Sure, it’s all fun and games—until someone throws a red shell only to pull up ahead of you during the final lap. In that moment, winning becomes secondary. Nothing matters more than destroying your friend/betrayer. Ultimate Chicken Horse drops all pretenses by inviting you to participate in the game equivalent of cutting off your own nose to spite your face.…

Firewatch
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Firewatch: Come for the beauty, stay for the eeriness

Firewatch gets it. Beauty alone isn’t enough to carry an experience. There needs to be some grit, a bit of dirt, conflict even, to elevate a videogame (hell, any piece of art) from the whimsical to something more. I have a problem with 2009’s Flower and 2013’s Proteus precisely because there isn’t anything to offset that serene beauty, their new-age hokum. But in Firewatch, no matter how gorgeous that sunset or night sky is, there’s always a thick sense of dread. Something to unsettle you. Something to make you tense up. I’m not talking bump-in-the-night, Blair-Witch, voodoo nonsense either. Forget…

Eve Valkyrie
Article

How virtual reality will push PCs to their limit

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Today, almost everyone can access entertainment on their PCs, consoles, tablets and smartphones. Anyone eager to own a new virtual reality headset, however, must first find out if their trusty computer is up to the task. Oculus released its computer hardware requirements for the Rift headset last May, which means many people need a new computer if they want to enjoy VR experiences like this thrilling roller coaster ride. “ As a VR device, the Rift (headset) will be capable of delivering comfortable presence for nearly everyone,” wrote Atman Binstock,…

That Dragon, Cancer
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That Dragon, Cancer is coming out extremely soon

A lot can change in three years. It was back then that the Green family and the small team with them started production on That Dragon, Cancer—a heartfelt videogame that passes through interactive vignettes like a dream, depicting the family’s journey with baby son Joel as he battled with cancer. He was still fighting it back then, Joel, that is—still alive and under the care of his parents. The story around the game changed when, in March 2014, he passed away. But he is not totally gone from this world, living on in the memories of those who loved him and inside the game…

pmpy1
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Push Me Pull You is the grossest couch co-op game, and I can’t wait

Delightfully repulsive couch co-op game Push Me Pull You is headed to PlayStation 4 and PC, Mac, and Linux early next year. The game pits two teams of two players each in a literal head-to-head duel, where team members control their own side of a stretchy, noodle-like body conjoined at the midsection. Both players in a team have the power to extend and contract their side of the body at will, helping to coil, twist, and worm their way around an arena (and their opponent) for control of a ball. It’s gross, hilarious, and unlike any other local multiplayer game…