Blood Bowl 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Blood Bowl 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Board Game Adjacent: Top 12 Steam Games For Tabletop Fans https://www.gameskinny.com/k37tc/board-game-adjacent-top-12-steam-games-for-tabletop-fans https://www.gameskinny.com/k37tc/board-game-adjacent-top-12-steam-games-for-tabletop-fans Sun, 15 Dec 2019 10:20:37 -0500 Ty Arthur

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What did you think of top board-game adjacent picks, and are you going to pick up any of the games we listed here?

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Sound off below, and don't forget to leave a comment if you've found any other killer board game-style titles on Steam we should check out.

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If you've already played all our picks, don't forget to take a look at the companion list of direct board game adaptations here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/7/5/975fa7b6be347452e677476c5ecba355910d91cd1920x1080-304a8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/7/5/975fa7b6be347452e677476c5ecba355910d91cd1920x1080-304a8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204959","description":"

Wargroove

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Buy it on Steam here

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Wargroove is essentially the fantasy counterpart to Tiny Metal, and an even more faithful successor to the Advance Wars style from the Game Boy Advance days.

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The overall strategy and tactics clearly draw on board game design, and while there is a single player campaign, this is a game that's super fun to play in multiplayer matches. Despite the cutesy sprite graphics, there's also a surprising amount of depth going on here.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-tinymetal-image1600w-b5a41.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/2/x/h2x1-nswitchds-tinymetal-image1600w-b5a41.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204957","description":"

Tiny Metal

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Buy it on Steam here

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With Japanese anime characters but very western-influenced unit and vehicle design, Tiny Metal is an odd little hodgepodge of a strategy title that takes clear influence from Advance Wars.

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If you want a tactical, modern-day style game that's simple to jump into, Tiny Metal gets the job done, and the top-down view with turn-based combat gives it a clear board game flair.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/6/8/26803e9dd0f85ce45babf465d23e65330e6dcf6f-053fe.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/6/8/26803e9dd0f85ce45babf465d23e65330e6dcf6f-053fe.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204956","description":"

Slay The Spire

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Buy it on Steam here

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Take a roguelike and sprinkle in a little deck building and you've got Slay The Spire, which manages to hit just the right combo of randomness and difficulty to become truly addictive.

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You'll die, a lot, but have a ton of fun doing it, and there's a different layout every time of course so you'll want to keep trying again and again.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/3/d/b3d7269dd760099bdbf90e5e17c79d7d7386d27ed45b06c2c1e6563f64b3-71719.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/3/d/b3d7269dd760099bdbf90e5e17c79d7d7386d27ed45b06c2c1e6563f64b3-71719.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204953","description":"

Book Of Demons

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Buy it on Steam here

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This has got to be one of the most unique, interesting twists on the classic ARPG style in quite some time. At first, Book of Demons seems exactly like Diablo: we're picking one of three classes and heading beneath a church to start killing skeletons by the dozen, but then things take a turn.

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Rather than free movement, your hero moves down pre-determined board game style paths, and both combat and leveling are handled via a card system.

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This is all reinforced by the paper mini art style. It literally feels like playing a board game where you have to stick your paper tokens into plastic bases.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/r/warhammer-quest-review-470368-09317.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/a/r/warhammer-quest-review-470368-09317.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204951","description":"

Warhammer Quest

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Buy it on Steam here

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Want a tactical fantasy game that draws heavily on tabletop rules but not crazy about D&D? Warhammer Quest is the game for you, and as an added bonus it actually utilizes a top-down view and token pieces just like a real board game.

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It's a classic loot 'n sell title where you get random quests to clear out dungeons of goblins, skaven, and so on, sell all the goodies you found to the merchants in the next town, and then do it all over again!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/image-cover-6d12c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/m/a/image-cover-6d12c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204950","description":"

King's Bounty Crossworlds

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Buy it on Steam here

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Stripping out everything extraneous and focusing on what players really want, the original King's Bounty and follow-up Armored Princess scratched a very specific itch.

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The series combat is along the lines of Heroes Of Might and Magic, but there's no city or resource management beyond building up your armies and leveling your hero.

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An extreme focus on turn-based combat makes this a very satisfying series for board game fans. If you're looking to jump in, I recommend picking up Crossworlds, since it has both the expanded version of Armored Princess and the DLC.

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A full-fledged King's Bounty 2 is also currently in the works and due out sometime in 2020.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/e/51e0bcac52a2c0ff49debed37a48c7935ba14cc91920x1080-92891.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/e/51e0bcac52a2c0ff49debed37a48c7935ba14cc91920x1080-92891.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204949","description":"

Blood Bowl 2

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Buy it on Steam here

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And now for something completely different! Yeah, those are orcs in jerseys facing off against humans and undead on the football field. Obviously, the rules of football get a facelift in Blood Bowl 2, since these players like to kill each other.

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Even if you don't care for sports-balling (and boy, I really, really don't) this is still a fun series for board game fans. Its complex, hard, and features a ton of strategy to learn.

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Unlike most of the rest of this list, Blood Bowl is actually an adaptation of a specific existing tabletop game, but it's changed enough to be its own thing in the PC version, and the animations definitely take it to a new level.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/5/18516ca8ab428529e58c73c72e10f14cb6a93f46-d6787.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/5/18516ca8ab428529e58c73c72e10f14cb6a93f46-d6787.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"204960","description":"

Warhammer 40,000 Gladius: Relics Of War

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Buy it on Steam here

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Considering the impact Games Workshop has had on the tabletop industry, from war games to board games and even card-based titles, it shouldn't be much of a surprise they've got a huge number of PC crossovers as well.

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While a lot of the Warhammer universe is pretty lackluster in video game form, there are some hidden gems. Gladius sees a massive shift away from the real-time strategy of classics like Dawn Of War and towards a very board-game focused take on the 4X genre.

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If you like a slower-paced game where you have to sit and think about your strategy, this is the one to pick in the Warhammer 40,000 series.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/6/186193-edccc.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/8/6/186193-edccc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204963","description":"

Dicey Dungeons

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Buy it at Steam here

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Most board games feature polyhedral dice in some capacity, but this one actually has you playing as the dice! Other than taking on the role of some d6s, the schtick here is that you need to constantly adapt to rules changes and new characters.

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While its wildly random, and it can be very hard, the end result is something like a cute and funny version of Darkest Dungeon but with a gameshow aesthetic.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/0/8/40890-d9ec7.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/4/0/8/40890-d9ec7.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"204948","description":"

Age Of Wonders: Planetfall

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Buy it on Steam here

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I don't think anyone saw the announcement trailer going the way it did for Planetfall, as the developers announced a surprise switch from fantasy to sci-fi in the long-running Age Of Wonders series.

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Although this is a turn based strategy game with heavy 4X elements, if you really boil it down, Planetfall basically plays like a complex board game with animations.

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From managing resources and diplomacy to exploring the map and dealing with randomized elements, there's a ton here for board game fanatics to love.  The recent Revelations DLC also just added a host of new elements and enemies, with another faction due to arrive in the next expansion down the line.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/m/armello-cover-1024x576-a8916.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/m/armello-cover-1024x576-a8916.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204947","description":"

Armello

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Buy it on Steam here

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What you get here is essentially a board game built from scratch as a PC strategy experience. It's too complex and animation heavy to work as a real board title you'd pick up as a hobby store, but it works great as an online title. The clear Redwall / Mouse Guard flavor doesn't hurt either!

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Combining several different styles all at once, Armello is part turn-based strategy, part card-based random mechanics, and part RPG. Although it has a single-player campaign and AI missions, keep in mind Armello is very much meant to be played online against other players.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/7/b/27b01129a6ad12e3af9f11a8dfe09ea90b868c371920x1080-0b0ec.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/7/b/27b01129a6ad12e3af9f11a8dfe09ea90b868c371920x1080-0b0ec.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204945","description":"

Hand Of Fate 2

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Buy it on Steam here

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I'm honestly surprised there haven't been more games like Hand Of Fate and its sequel, because the core concept is such an obvious winner for tabletop fans who want a PC game.

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There's a literal board with a digital card-dealer sitting across from you to pull from the deck and see where the story goes. In a way, Hand Of Fate is like a single-player advancement of those old VHS-based board games.

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To keep things fresh, Hand Of Fate 2 switches to real-time action during the combat segments for a satisfying blend of video and board game styles. Of course, RNG plays a huge role here, as you can end up with devastatingly difficult or very easy encounters depending on what hand you are dealt. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/a/boardcov-48803.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/a/boardcov-48803.jpg","type":"slide","id":"204961","description":"

As the library of titles at Steam continues to grow at an exponential rate, its become clear that a game doesn't have to be a huge budget AAA affair to warrant dozens or even hundreds of hours of play. 

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There are plenty of games with tried and true board or card mechanics that can suck you in and never let go, whether you prefer fantasy, sci-fi, modern day tank combat, or anything else.

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Ready to ditch the first person shooters and try out something more tactical? Let's take a look at the the top 12 board game-adjacent entries currently available!

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Most of these picks aren't direct 1:1 translations of an existing board game, but are rather tactical strategy entries with board and card elements added into the mix.

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In other words, if you dig in-depth board games but want to play something on PC instead of at your dinner table, you'll love these Steam titles.

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Looking for direct adaptations of famous board games instead? Check out our list of the 12 best Steam board games currently available -- from Zombicide to Ticket To Ride and everything in between -- over here.

"}]]]>
Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition Review: A Bone Headed Attempt https://www.gameskinny.com/tysou/blood-bowl-2-legendary-edition-review-a-bone-headed-attempt https://www.gameskinny.com/tysou/blood-bowl-2-legendary-edition-review-a-bone-headed-attempt Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:18:29 -0400 Skrain

Recently, Cyanide Studios released the Official Expansion for its Warhammer Fantasy game, Blood Bowl 2. This expansion is available as a standalone add-on, or as part of the Blood Bowl 2 Legendary Edition that launched earlier this month. 

This game is a brutal mock parody of American football, where various teams made up of different races such as Humans, Orks, Goblins, and Dwarves collide in head-to-head matches and smash each other into bloody pulps. And after putting quite a few hours into this brutal game, I've found it to be an enjoyable experience that's undermined by a few glaring flaws and a disproportionate price tag. 

Note: This review is focused on the single player experience in Blood Bowl 2, and is not entirely reflective of the multiplayer aspect. Once I've spent more time in that mode, I'll update this article accordingly.  

New Blood for the Blood Bowl

The Official Expansion adds eight new races that can compete in the Blood Bowl -- the Elven Union, Ogres, Goblins, Vampires, Amazon, Underworld Denizens, and the Kislev Circus (plus their Tame Bears). Each of these new races has a solid set of strengths and weaknesses that differentiate them from each other and allow you to engage in a variety of match-ups. 

Bloody Balance Issues

In spite of the fresh experience they offer to players, the addition of these new races highlights a long-standing issue with Blood Bowl 2: its balance. Blood Bowl isn't really a balanced game -- but then again, it never claims to be. Some teams are simply better than others, and can beat other teams even when those teams are at their best. Halflings are a prime example -- they generally suck, but their one saving grace is that they're packed with cheap fodder you can send out to die. 

This might be a major turn-off for players who are expecting a "fair" challenge, but players who can look past that and take the imbalances in stride should still have a fun time playing around with these new teams. 

That said, some of these teams feel like an outright chore to play. The Halflings are once again a good example here, but so are the Ogres and the Kislev. The Ogres and their boneheads are a pain, and the Kislev have a constant need for re-rolls -- so these additions don't feel quite as fun to play as some of the previously released teams. 

Brand New Features on the Field

The Eternal League

The Eternal League is probably my favorite addition that the Official Expansion/Legendary Edition adds to Blood Bowl 2. It offers a dynamic single-player league that simulates seasons as they go by. Tournaments in the League generate rewards for the winning teams. 

I think many Blood Bowl fans have been waiting quite a while for a single-player experience like this, and it's been executed well. I particularly enjoy the fact that the AI develops as the League progresses, and will even suffer from the same effects of injury and death as the player team.  

This simulated, semi-dynamic, single-player League is certainly a welcomed addition, but it could use a little more polish. Cyanide could have added more to team management in this mode, which feels a little lackluster in some areas. 

Challenge Mode

Another new feature is the Challenge Mode, which offers a variety of challenging situations and predetermined scenarios that task you with finding the best way to solve them. The dice rolls are predetermined and visible to the player, forcing them to find the optimal way to use their dice rolls and complete the objective. So if you want a Blood Bowl experience that will make you think, this is where you'll find it. 

Currently, there are only ten challenges to choose from. This number is smaller than I would have liked and simply doesn't feel like enough content for players to really sink their teeth into. But I'm hoping that more will be added in the future.

Bugs Are Still a Big Problem

The bugs that have infested Blood Bowl 2 since its release are still rearing their ugly heads in this edition. Several times while playing, I ran into a bug where the AI would freeze and sometimes take up to three minutes to begin its turn. Additionally, turn timers would run down to zero without shifting the turn to the other team. These were just a few of the strange hiccups I ran into -- but they were present in nearly every match I played. 

The game also crashed on me twice in the most curious way possible. The AI froze and refused to finish its turn and the timer ran down to zero, but I could still select players, read pop-up tool tips, open the menu, and move the camera. I simply couldn't end the turn, and I couldn't concede or return to the menu. So I was forced to close Blood Bowl 2 through the Task Manager.

I've never had a game allow me to use in-game functionalities like that while stopping all other functions. And I actually laughed at it -- until I realize I'd just lost two hours in a match I was winning.

Verdict

To put it bluntly: if you didn't like Blood Bowl 2 before this, you won't like it anymore. There are some nice additions for those who did enjoy it that will probably make it worthwhile if you pick it up. But you should do so with the understanding that many of the problems in the base game persist in this expansion rather than being fixed.

What this expansion adds is some pretty fun content, but I'm not exactly sure that it's worth the $24.99 price tag (or $44.99 for the Legendary Edition). Players might find some amusement in this perverse parody of football -- and I'll be the first to admit that it's a hell of a lot of fun to slaughter a field full of Halflings with a team of Orcs. But eventually the single-player experience and its rampant bugs do get tedious, just like the base Blood Bowl game did before the expansion. 

Overall, I'd say the Official Expansion and the Legendary Edition of Blood Bowl 2 is a pretty average addition to the base game. Long-standing fans will likely have a good time, but it's not going to entice new players to keep bloodying the field. 

If you want to pick it up for yourself, you can do so over on Steam

[Note: A copy of Blood Bowl 2 was provided by the developer for this review.]

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The 5 Best Board Games Based on Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/00jci/the-5-best-board-games-based-on-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/00jci/the-5-best-board-games-based-on-video-games Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:00:01 -0500 SarahKel

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/s/boss-header-4b850.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/s/boss-header-4b850.png","type":"slide","id":"145065","description":"

There as some fantastic board games out there that are inspired by video games – we are really excited about the future releases of Dark Souls and Bloodborne table top games. Games like Boss Monster clearly show the power of video games and how they influence our cultures. And sometimes video game developers see a game that they imagine working perfectly for a video game. Long may all this continue and as Wil Wheaton says -- play more games!

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Let us know in the comments below what your favourite video game influenced board games are.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2016-bloow-bowl-86aa3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2016-bloow-bowl-86aa3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145064","description":"
Blood Bowl
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Originally a table top miniatures game, which inspired both a video game and a card game version. Bad news, the card game is discontinued, but the good news is that the miniatures game is back!

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The miniatures game, developed by Games Workshop was originally a parody of American Football, but with a fantasy themed twist. It is set in an alternate universe of the Warhammer Fantasy world, populated by characters such as humans, orcs, goblins and dwarfs.

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It is a 2 player, turn based game that utilises 28mm miniatures to represent the players on the field. Using a combination of cards, dice and counters, each player tries to score higher than the other by entering the opponent’s end zone with a ball carrying player.

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Each team have their own abilities, to balance the game. For example, elves are agile, but dwarfs are more physical. Within the teams, there are a number of player types, ranging from the most basic linesman, to the more specialists, such as blockers. Teams can gain elite star players after gaining experience points.

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It is quite normal practice to injure or maim the opposition, to make scoring easier by reducing the number of opposing players on the field.

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The game has recently been re-released and is priced at $99 from Games Workshop.  For all those who want to play the video game version, 2015’s Blood Bowl 2 is available on Steam for $44.93.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/a/14a1-boss-monster-dungeon-building-card-game-parts-7ac23.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/a/14a1-boss-monster-dungeon-building-card-game-parts-7ac23.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145063","description":"
Boss Monster
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This is a dungeon crawling card game. While not specifically attributed to any one particular video game, its art work and themes clearly shows a love of classic video games.

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The game pits 2-4 players in a competition to build the ultimate side scrolling dungeon. Players assume the role of the dungeon master who lures unsuspecting heroes into their dungeon, with the objective of the most enticing, loot filled dungeon of all.

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The objective is to be the first to amass 10 souls from defeated heroes. Bosses can lose health if the hero entering the dungeon survives. Playing the game requires juggling the two main priorities: the need to lure heroes more quickly than your opponents and the need to kill heroes before they reach the boss.

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Players build one room each per turn, each with its own damage and treasure icons. More attractive rooms tend to deal less damage, so a greedy boss can soon become inundated with deadly heroes. If a player has more treasure icons of a certain type, for example money, than the other players, then the hero would automatically be sent to that dungeon. As such, different heroes seek different treasure icon types and as rooms are built simultaneously, this leads to a bidding war. Spells are instant-speed effects that can benefit the player playing the spell or can disrupt other opponents.

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The artwork on the cards is all 8 and 16 bit pixel style, so looks fun and retro, reminiscent of games such as Dungeon Keeper.  The box contains everything needed to play and there are now two expansions, where the box’s art work resembles a Game Boy box!  The game costs $17.99 from Amazon and is now available on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-bb35b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-bb35b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145062","description":"
Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game
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So, Aperture Science has re-opened its doors, resuming its testing and a team of test subjects have entered the lab. They are ready for important, dignified and dangerous testing procedures, all in the pursuit of cake. Scientific progress is the objective of this game, despite of all the death and dismemberment around you. Read about what we love about Portal 2, right here at GameSkinny.

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It’s a funny and fast paced finish to the end, in the hope that you’re still alive.

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The game is full of constantly shifting game area control and card play, where players send their test subjects, via Portals into test labs. At the end of each player’s turn, one of the chambers at the end of the lab gives way and all test subjects on it fall into oblivion. Should the test subjects have numbered greater than all the others in the falling chamber, they earn some amazing parting gifts, which include cake.

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The tile based game system means there is a great deal of replayability, as they are selected at random and create a lovely 3D effect. 

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 The Portal gun allows players to place two pieces in two chambers, covering larger distances. The companion cube distracts other player’s characters, stopping the player from earning rewards.

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The player with the most cake when a team has lost its last test subject wins and can prove the cake was not a lie.

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The best thing is it’s a game developed by the makers of the infamous video games, so the knowledge, fun and game mechanics are absolutely true to the original source.

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The game is $41.96 from Amazon and includes a free Steam code for Portal 2.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-ca946.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-ca946.png","type":"slide","id":"145061","description":"
XCOM: The Board Game
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Another Fantasy Flight Games product, where players are immersed into an elite and secret military organisation, known as XCOM.  Players are humanity’s last hope, tasked with repelling an escalating alien invasion. The video game sequel XCOM 2 was reviewed here on Game Skinny.

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The dice rolling mechanic and companion app immerse players deep into the tension and uncertainty of a desperate war against an unknown foe. The app makes the game work more smoothly and allows for a more dynamic turn structure and perfectly coordinates the alien invasion. The app also times players in real time, forcing players to think quickly and strategically. The app automatically selects one of five locations at the beginning of the game.

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Human civilisation is on the brink of collapse. It is a desperate and unequal situation, as life spirals out of control. Players must destroy UFO’s, research alien technologies and uncover the alien’s plan, with the objective of defeating the aliens.Yet simultaneously, players must prevent the collapse of the government that is funding this secret organisation. Time is very much a luxury, as the threat level increases.

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Play as one of four characters, including Commander and Squad Leader, each of which has different abilities that are all important to the world’s defence. Spend resources to roll dice and the number of successes affects what happens next -for example a good success could mean a completed mission.

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This game is available for $43.89 on Amazon.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/o/doom-26190.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/o/doom-26190.png","type":"slide","id":"145059","description":"
Doom: The Board Game
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A board game, made by powerhouse Fantasy Flight Games, that brings the epic battle between elite marines and Hell’s most threatening monsters to the table top. Game Skinny has reviewed the game here!

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It is a strategy board game, immersing players in a battle between demons, controlled by one invader player, and a cooperative team of up to four marines. The marines must complete a number of objectives to fully fulfill the two operations, such as manning expeditions. Meanwhile, the invader commands their minions to destroy not just the marines, but the whole of humanity too.

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Each marine has a different ability, strengths and unique actions. Players are dealt various action cards which can be played during the course of the game to bolster their chances of defeating the monsters. The invader controller attacks using their card deck and has a great deal of power.

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Within the operations, there are 6 missions, each with a different map for the game to play out in. There are also threat, invasion and event decks that the invader player uses to hamper the players missions and are shuffled into the main player card deck.

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The game has a particular order for the marines - status and activation.  The status section relates is the organisational phase and the activation phase actions are reliant on what card is drawn from the deck.

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The game has just been released on 15 December, priced at $79.95 Amazon.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/s/boss-header-6d67a.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/s/boss-header-6d67a.png","type":"slide","id":"145056","description":"

Board games, developed with official licences from video game studios are extremely popular and have exploded onto the market. No, we’re not talking about World of Warcraft themed Monopoly reskins, but actual fully fledged board games that officially set within the video games universe.

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There are a huge variety out there and even a couple of board games that inspired video game developers! The board game takes the essence and themes of the video game, but makes their own experience. And with many games now offering a companion app with rules, enemy movement and to create atmosphere, the entire experience is more immersive.

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Here are some of the best board games based on video games.

"}]]]>
Blood Bowl 2's World Cup Grand Final is live now. https://www.gameskinny.com/94i7b/blood-bowl-2s-world-cup-grand-final-is-live-now https://www.gameskinny.com/94i7b/blood-bowl-2s-world-cup-grand-final-is-live-now Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:33:14 -0400 Joshua Potter

Blood Bowl 2, Focus Interactive's game that puts actual fantasy in fantasy football, is hosting a stream of their 2016 World Cup final right now. The final is the result of 50 matches between pro players in their Steam group community, and has culminated between players Mallak and Guinness.

The stream is being cast by Crendor of the Cox N' Crendor podcast and cKnoor who runs the largest Blood Bowl Steam group out there. 

This tournament is not without its prizes. Being sponsored by companies Republic of Gamers and ASUS, the winners have a large amount of rewards awaiting them: including computer equipment, licensed Games Workshop products, gaming PC's, and a $10,000 prize pool.

For the grand prize winner, they will be receiving an exclusive Blood Bowl 2 branded gaming PC and monitor, as well as multiple games and accessories.

The final match is taking place between the Skaven, a race of vicious rat-men and the Lizardmen, who are exactly what they sound like.

In celebration of the World Cup, Focus Interactive has a sale going on, with Blood Bowl 2 being sold at 60% off on Steam, and the former game Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition being sold at 75% off with all DLC included.

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The Norse hit the field in Blood Bowl 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/9910j/the-norse-hit-the-field-in-blood-bowl-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/9910j/the-norse-hit-the-field-in-blood-bowl-2 Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:03:54 -0400 Joshua Potter

Blood Bowl 2 is a fantasy football game, and I don't mean fantasy like, "who are you going to draft this season?" It's more like, "this orc is punching my face in really hard" fantasy. Part of the fun of the Blood Bowl franchise is the players play rough. Some strategies in the game involve outright killing your opponent's team since it's a lot harder to run with the ball if they are... you know... dead.

That being said, a whole new playable race will be joining the Blood Bowl 2 roster on May 3rd. The Norse armies of the frozen wastes of Norsca are lending their players to the pitch to wreck havoc among the other teams.

Another change includes a revamp to the matchmaking system, which currently is set up where players join a league and then search for an opponent who is close to their player's stat level manually. The update will also feature a number of bug fixes, and new Starplayers, who are characters recognized in the Blood Bowl universe as particularly skilled or otherwise dangerous individuals.

The Norse will be a returning playable race from the previous iteration of Blood Bowl, and the above screenshot showcases one of their unique race characters: the Norse Werewolf, or "Ulfwerener". Norse have typically been one of the more violent races in Blood Bowl, preferring to knock out their opponents instead of actually running with the ball, and they typically have a lower armor value than most brawler races.

They do have fairly inexpensive units, however, and can get to be pretty fierce if you level them up correctly. A good choice for someone who thinks the Human race spends a little too much time actually trying to play the game instead of just bashing out their opponent's brains.

The release of the Norse marks the first of four announced DLC classes coming to Blood Bowl, all of which were previously confirmed as free for players who already own the game.  The other three races will be the Undead, Nurgle, and Necromantic teams, planned to be released one after the other on a regular basis.

It should be noted the Norse were originally slated for release late February 2016. There is no word yet as to when the other races are scheduled for release. The game is also 75% off for Xbox One players who don't already own it, until April 25th.

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Top 10 best strategy games of 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/up5aa/top-10-best-strategy-games-of-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/up5aa/top-10-best-strategy-games-of-2015 Sun, 13 Dec 2015 15:56:55 -0500 Sergey_3847

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1. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

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Released: November 10, 2015
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Battle.net link

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This final chapter in the StarCraft saga is well designed for both newcomers and veterans of the series. For those who haven’t played the previous games at all or simply have forgotten what happened in the previous episodes of the story there is a great introductory cutscene in the Legacy of the Void, covering all the twists and turns of the plot, bringing everything together in the storyline of the Protoss.

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Throughout a single campaign walkthrough you can change the types of units and their abilities in each mission.  Also, the side objectives are now as important as the main missions and at times these side missions are even worth taking due to the rewards you receive after accomplishing them.

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Of course, the single-player campaign is a true pleasure, but what makes Legacy of the Void really stand out is an excellent multiplayer mode. The first thing worth noting is Archon mode, an additional function for cooperative battles in Ranked and Unranked games. It only works if you play with a friend on the same team. Another important feature of the multiplayer is random tournaments. Every two hours throughout the day players are invited to participate in any tournament with a pre-specified set of rules. This adds an extra fun bit to an already perfect game.

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Legacy of the Void lifts the whole series to new heights. StarCraft II is once again above any other competitor this year, and it continues to grow offering players an excellent storyline and interesting co-op mode that improves with every expansion. Therefore, since the best RTS has now become even better there is every reason to check it out.

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What is your favorite strategy game of 2015? Which one you think does or does not deserve to be in this top 10? Which strategy game has the best multiplayer in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below.

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2. Homeworld Remastered Collection

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Released: February 25, 2015
Developer: Gearbox Software
Steam link

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Gearbox Software has done some impressive work on this remastered collection of the first two Homeworld games, originally released in 1999 and 2003. Everything from models and textures to rendering and effects was adapted for high definition screens. On top of that, Gearbox implemented a multiplayer mode, which can handle up to eight players online.

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The developers didn’t limit themselves to the visual side of things, but carefully reconfigured the basics of the game mechanics. First, the new unified interface is now much more convenient than the previous versions. Second, the basic gameplay of the original Homeworld has been shifted to resemble Homeworld 2, which entailed a number of significant changes.

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Now, there are plenty of resources in space and there is no need for a massive thievery of the enemy ships. Research now requires investments, and small ships like the fighters and bombers no longer require constant refueling, as fuel is completely eliminated from the game. All this means that both Homeworld games are now more alike than ever before.

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Homeworld and Homeworld 2 are two great games that are really noteworthy. They rightfully earned the place in the video gaming history alongside such iconic titles like C&C and Starcraft.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b1f452cc3a44c086421902616700b9fa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b1f452cc3a44c086421902616700b9fa.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7331","description":"

3. Total War: Attila

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Released: February 17, 2015
Developer: Creative Assembly
Steam link

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Total War: Attila, also jokingly known as Total War: Rome 2.1, is a new game from Creative Assembly enriched with new mechanics designed to convey the specifics of the migration and the formation of the hordes. They also enhanced siege mechanics and diplomatic and political opportunities.

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Since the Total War games have a huge community of fans, it was an obvious choice for the developers to continue the series after they successfully released Alien: Isolation. The new game is set in the Dark Ages, the period after the Roman Empire split into two parts.

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There are ten factions to choose from and you need to manage their relationships by waging wars or keeping the peace for as long as possible through diplomacy. Concerning gameplay mechanics there's not much that has been changed, as you still have two basic interfaces for turn-based strategy and real-time combat.

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This may not be the best game for new players to start with, as the campaign requires controlling a huge amount of different aspects of politics, diplomacy, city building and sustaining armies. Other than that, the challenging campaigns will fully satisfy the needs of those already familiar with the game.

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4. Age of Wonders III - Eternal Lords

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Released: April 14, 2015
Developer: Triumph Studios
Steam link

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Those who are familiar with Age of Wonders series know that this game is similar to Sid Meier’s Civilization where players focus on building cities and finding resources, but in a fantasy setting filled with dragons and magic powers.

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This year’s expansion for Age of Wonders III - Eternal Lords adds a lot of new features, such as three new characters in the form of Frostling, Tigran and Necromancer bringing the total to seven (if you have both original game and the previous expansion - Golden Realms), treasure sites, new equipment, bonus abilities, diplomacy, etc.

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It is especially fun to play as a Necromancer, as his undead ghouls don’t care about reputation and, most importantly, don’t reproduce naturally. So, the most reliable way to increase the population is start a war, you know, to keep the flow of fresh corpses coming. Everything else, like set of spells, skills, and units are very impressive and original, as well.

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Age of Wonders III - Eternal Lords is a true fantasy kingdom simulator in the form of 4X turn-based strategy. And, we really hope this is not going to be the final expansion for the game.

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5. Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

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Released: October 9, 2015
Developer: Firaxis Games
Steam link

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Rising Tide is a huge expansion to Civilization: Beyond Earth, a part of an already well-established strategy games series – Sid Meier’s Civilization. Last year’s Beyond Earth was a critical success, but not all players appreciated the game as much as the critics. So, the developers decided to fix the inconsistencies in the gameplay that fans were so concerned about.

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The title Rising Tide derives from the main focus of the DLC – a colonization of the seas through the naval battles. Now, you can build your cities on the surface of the water and even move them to the desired locations.

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The new diplomacy system is also quite intriguing. It includes alliance management and diplomatic capital. Of course, this adds a whole new layer to the gameplay experience, but also creates more pressure. The AI has become more responsive and really gives you a sense of cooperation with your neighbors.

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Overall, if you liked Civilization V, but were not intrigued by Beyond Earth, you can safely try Rising Tide, as this is exactly the kind of Civilization game the fans have been waiting for. It fills a significant number of gaps in the gameplay.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5eacc06c54ca9a4fef4218ae668cb26d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/5eacc06c54ca9a4fef4218ae668cb26d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7328","description":"

6. Mordheim: City of the Damned

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Released: November 19, 2015
Developer: Rogue Factor
Steam link

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Mordheim: City of the Damned is another Warhammer board game adaptation. Here, you can switch between two view modes: you can play your character from a third-person perspective and manage everything else as a turn-based strategy with the help of an overhead camera.

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There are four warbands in the game; each band has its leader, heroes and henchmen. Respectively, there are four campaigns dedicated to each warband, including various side-quests. The main objective of the game is to eliminate all enemy units.

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It’s a hard game and requires a lot of focus. Make one wrong move and you'll have to start again. In this respect, Mordheim: City of the Damned sticks closely to the roots of its board game original. The visual side of the game, albeit its limited characteristics, is quite atmospheric and provides a sense of constant dread.

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If you enjoy the universe of Warhammer and yearn for a new tactical strategy that is demanding and unforgiving, then check Mordheim out.

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7. Grey Goo

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Released: January 23, 2015
Developer: Petroglyph Games
Steam link

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This year started with the release of an excellent real-time strategy game - Grey Goo. The players are presented with three diverse races, the ability to develop bases, mine resources, build armies and fight in epic battles.

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The game takes some of the core ideas of the Command & Conquer series and introduces some of its own concepts as well. The pace of gameplay depends on the chosen tactics and the level of intellect of your opponent.

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Finding resources on the map may become a bit of a chore, as there aren’t that many spots with really valuable stuff. Usually, the side that disposes of their resources in the most effective way wins. The sense of control increases drastically throughout the game: in time you will be able to manage a whole army and not just individual units.

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Unfortunately, Grey Goo has too many competitors this year that are better. But it offers challenge and complexity that every old-school strategy fan is looking for.

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8. Blood Bowl 2

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Released: September 22, 2015
Developer: Cyanide
Steam link

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Blood Bowl 2 is a fantasy version of American football and the PC version of the famous two-player turn-based board game Blood Bowl by Games Workshop that involves the characters from the Warhammer universe.

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The original Blood Bowl was released in 2009 and since then the developers have significantly upgraded graphics and made a big step toward attracting new players by introducing a training mode with the plot. The game has a total of eight races to choose from and an excellent PvP multiplayer mode.

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The gameplay is fairly simple: you need to manage players and try to score as many touchdowns as you can. On top of that, you are allowed to hit and kill your opponents on the field, bribe judges, etc. Each of the playable races has its own attitude and tactics .

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The developers promise to add more new races, fix errors, and generally support the project for a long time. Blood Bowl 2 is a unique game - you will either fall in love with it and become a huge fan, or absolutely reject the unusual gameplay mechanics. It’s a niche product and that is why it is so valuable to its core audience.

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9. Satellite Reign

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Released: August 28, 2015
Developer: 5 Lives Studios
Steam link

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Satellite Reign is an ideological follow-up, a modern remake of Syndicate and Syndicate Wars – tactical cyberpunk classics. The basic principles and mechanics of the game have not changed. Besides tactics there is also a strategic component: saving money, kidnapping prototypes, hiring scientists to conduct research, and obtaining new types of equipment, weapons, gadgets and various implants.

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You control four characters from an isometric perspective and each character has its own specific abilities. Satellite Reign features an open world that is rich and detailed with impeccable cyberpunk aesthetics.

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The first few hours may seem difficult, as your abilities are extremely limited, but if you can make it past this early stage of the game, you will be immensely rewarded with a huge variety of missions to come. The story is deep and meaningful, as you’re trying to make your way through different obstacles in order to steal the drug of immortality.

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This is indeed a cyberpunk game by-the-book that is worth investing many hours of your free time into -- if that’s what you’re looking for. Let's hope that the developers will keep updating the game and add new features. They have already revealed that they are working on a co-operative multiplayer mode.

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10. Sorcerer King

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Released: July 16, 2015
Developer: Stardock Games
Steam link

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Sorcerer King is the fourth attempt by Stardock Games to release a fantasy-based 4X-strategy and this is their best game yet. This time it’s not just another add-on to Elemental: War of Magic, Fallen Enchantress or Legendary Heroes, but instead is a original game with an updated visual style.

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The game features an asymmetric gameplay with six available characters and an editor allowing you to customize your own skills. The developers managed to combine various game mechanics, achieve a good balance, and still make everything quite simple.

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You start with one city and a couple of soldiers and grow from there. Your main task is to prevent the Sorcerer King’s army from destroying the crystal shards scattered around the kingdom. On your journey you will have an opportunity to explore lots of caves and dungeons, and earn your stats. You will also be involved in diplomatic relationships with other cities, so there’s much more to this game than just pillaging.

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Sorcerer King is a perfect introduction for those who want to discover a turn-based strategy genre for themselves. Probably, veterans won’t see too many interesting things here, but if you like Heroes of Might and Magic series, then this game is worth checking out.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/b/deb6c1e91129f450cc63c0cd37670040.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/e/b/tiny_deb6c1e91129f450cc63c0cd37670040.jpg","type":"slide","id":"96131","description":"

This gaming year has been very productive in the field of strategy genre. There were a lot of really good titles released in all kinds of sub-genres; such as grand, turn-based, real-time, military, economic, historical, fantasy, and even futuristic cyberpunk.

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Every dedicated fan could find a game tailored to their specific preferences, both in single-campaign and multiplayer mode sessions. This article offers a look at the finest tactical-based and real-time strategy games that have been growing in popularity throughout the year, giving you a glimpse at the brightest representatives of the genre.

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So, without any further ado, let’s begin the countdown of the top 10 best strategy games of 2015.

"}]]]>
The Games that made us Love and Hate sequels in 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/a1quh/the-games-that-made-us-love-and-hate-sequels-in-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/a1quh/the-games-that-made-us-love-and-hate-sequels-in-2015 Sun, 13 Dec 2015 14:34:27 -0500 The Soapbox Lord

Ah sequels! Sequels make the world of gaming go 'round. As with every year, 2015 saw a glut of sequels released onto the gaming public. As with any sequel release, some were good; some were not so good; and some could go both ways depending on your feelings. Without further ado, let’s hop to it!  

This list will be separated into three categories: Love, Hate, and Love/Hate. 

Love and hugs!

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles was a Japan-exclusive Wii game that was brought stateside in 2010 with the successful Operation Rainfall, along with The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. Unfortunately, Xenoblade Chronicles was a Gamestop exclusive and quickly became elusive, and the price skyrocketed. Even now, a used copy of the game can go for $65 or more.

Thankfully, the stand-alone sequel Xenoblade Chronicles X has allowed Wii U players to get their JRPG on! Chronicles has received great reviews and has garnered praise for its visuals, scope, and scale of the world compared to the player. The game has received some criticism for its no-nonsense approach to combat and difficulty. This is a game that does not want to hold your hand. EVER. Players have appreciated the game allowing them to suss out the game’s depth without being told how. There’s plenty of JRPG action here for players to enjoy! 

The Witcher 3

The Witcher series has garnered praise for its more mature approach to narrative and world building, delivering games aimed squarely at an older audience. The Witcher 3 is no exception. The game has some fantastic supporting characters. Some are so well-written; they even threaten to steal the spotlight from the main character Geralt. (I’m looking at you Bloody Baron.)

Besides great characters, the game features an interesting combat system. It may not be as in-depth as previous games, but it remains entertaining throughout, especially when Geralt performs a slick finishing move.

Glorious.

The world is gorgeous and full of eye-popping color to behold. Fantastic mythical creatures and wildlife such as griffins, cockatrices, and more litter the landscape for you to slay, claim trophies, and obtain bounties for eliminating.

The urgency portrayed in the narrative doesn’t always match up with the design, and the plot can swerve a bit too far into “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” (i.e. GTA) territory. Regardless, the game manages to remain entertaining, for what I have managed to play anyway. The game is filled to the brim with content, and a large world filled with locations to explore and monsters conquer.   

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

The development of MGS5 has been a tumultuous one to say the least. With rumors swirling of Konami’s employee treatment, Konami removing Hideo Kojima's name from the box and displays, and (worst and most petty) Konami banning Kojima from attending the recent The Game Awards to accept any awards for the game he developed. Konami is the worst and seemingly filled with petulant and petty executives who behave in a manner similar to schoolyard children.

Thankfully, the game seems to have emerged from this hell intact (mostly) and serves as a fine swansong for the long-running franchise, until Konami releases the inevitable cash-ins later or a damn pachinko machine…

The game is set in a huge open-world playground full of distractions for players. There’s a base you can manage and abduct enemy soldiers to staff. There are companions to find to assist you in missions. There’s also the story to play and see what happens to all your favorite characters. You know, if you play Metal Gear games for their story, because no one does that right? Despite Konami inserting microtransactions and the realization some story content was cut from the final release, the game managed to be a success and has continued to enthrall players months after release. 

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 2 was a massive world full of government propaganda to destroy, military bases to capture, and a dictatorship to overthrow. All in a day’s work for a hard-working agent! The game was all about pulling off the most ridiculous stunts you could manage and blowing up everything in sight. You know, a playable dumb/awesome action movie!

Just Cause 3 has delivered more of the same with some tweaks and additions. Rico now has a FLIPPING WINGSUIT along with his magic grappling hook. The hook has some added functionality, and the way it interacts with various objects has been changed. It’s more of what you loved from Just Cause 2 with more content and improvements. What’s not to love? 

Halo 5: Guardians

343 Industries is hard at work on their trilogy in the massively successful Halo franchise and Halo 4 was a solid entry with some issues. The Master Chief Collection has had some problems with the multiplayer not being functional for some players. Needless to say, there was some reason to be skeptical of Halo 5: Guardians before release. However, it seems 343 has managed to mostly pull this one off.

While some reviewers have cited the story as being weak, the rest of the game seems to be solid. The multiplayer has been claimed by some as being as return to the heyday of Halo 2’s landmark multiplayer. The vertical combat and emphasis on mobility shakes up the standard shooty-shooty bang-bang action of the Halo series. The additions of Warzone and Breakout are some great additions to the multiplayer. Competitive Arena adds a multiplayer component focused on twitch gaming reminiscent of the fantastic SWAT mode in prior games. While the game is not perfect and the lack of split-screen is a true shame, Halo 5 seems to be a solid entry in a long-running series that wasn’t afraid to shake things up and try new ideas. 

Feel the Hate!

Lego Jurassic World

While Lego Dimensions seems to have been a solid way for LEGO to enter the ever-malicious “toys to life” genre, a bane to parents everywhere, Lego Jurassic World is another tired entry in the normal LEGO series. At this point, the main LEGO games are tired and extremely repetitive. On top of that, it’s an unnecessary licensed movie tie-in to boot.

Honestly, there’s not much more to say about this one. It’s another LEGO game that didn’t add much to the series or do much of anything really. It did add some annoying Compsognathus enemies that proved to be frustrating. This one should have never left the park. 

Star Wars Battlefront

Technically, Star Wars Battlefront is a reboot of the franchise that saw two successful entries fans continue to play to this day. Free Radical had developed the previous entries and was hard at work on the third. Unfortunately, the game was canceled, and Free Radical went into administration while seeking for investors for the company. Instead of the near-completed Battlefront 3 being finished, the game was scrapped, and development was started again at DICE Studios, known for the Battlefield series.

Star Wars Battlefront released on November of 2015. It’s clear the game needed more time in the incubator before hatching. The game released onto the public feeling unfinished and shallower then my daughter’s kiddie pool. The emphasis on multiplayer-only in an AAA title is fine if the lack of campaign is made up for with other content. Unfortunately, DICE didn’t get that memo and has delivered a lackluster experience in all regards. On top of a shallow $60 package, EA has been pushing a $50 season pass. You know, the price of a game itself. To add insult to injury, the DLC in the season pass is filled with content that has no excuse for not being included in the main game. Seriously EA? Characters, game modes, in-game items, and emotes are being held behind a pay-wall in a game with a severe dearth of content.

The Force is not strong with this one. 

Love/Hate Relationship

These are games that have not had a strong response one way or the other. Depending on whom you ask, the feelings on the following games are quite varied, thus, a love/hate relationship.  

Fallout 4

Before you go to the comments to tell me how wrong I am for including this here, hear me out. Fallout 3 was a major departure from the original Fallout games, and many concessions were made to translate the games into what Bethesda envisioned. The game was met with critical success and sold like crazy. The follow-up Fallout: New Vegas was more in line with the original games having a stronger emphasis on RPG elements, narrative, writing, and a more interesting world to explore. Unfortunately, the game was riddled with bugs at launch and suffered as a result.

Bethesda seemed content to ignore all of the strides Fallout: New Vegas made towards making a more interesting RPG experience and instead revert to Fallout 3’s missteps with some minor changes. Fallout 4 has the trademark “meh, it’s there” narrative with no investment from the writers or much payoff for players. The streamlined conversation system is a disappointment that can thankfully be rectified by mods. As with every Bethesda game, the major selling point of Fallout 4 is to drop players in a large world for them to roam and explore. The combat system remains largely unchanged with real-time combat ineffective at times and V.A.T.S. being the way to go. There is an addition of building settlements, but not much else has really changed since Fallout 3, for better or worse.

Since it is a Bethesda game, Fallout 4 shipped with a litany or bugs. Some are game-breaking; some are more innocuous and annoying. Destructoid’s Chris Carter sums it up quite nicely: “A lot of the franchise's signature problems have carried over directly into Fallout 4, but all of its charms have come along for the ride as well. It manages to do a whole lot right, but the story drags at times, and glitches...glitches never change.” 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The follow-up to Crystal Dynamic's 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a perfect game for the tired, "if you liked the first one, you'll like this one" trope. Really though, this descriptor fits the game perfectly. Rise of the Tomb Raider has made some minor changes and added some more content, but it feels like the same game. 

One of the biggest changes in the game is the addition of open-worldish, hub-like areas overflowing with secrets and things to discover. Unlike 2013's Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider actually has tombs for player to explore too. Go figure! Aside from some minor additions of crafting, the hub areas, and more tombs, not much has changed since Tomb Raider. If you were one of those people who didn't care for Tomb Raider, then there's not much here to change your mind. 

Come on Crystal Dynamics. Let's drop this silly "Laura is so serious and gritty RAWR" act and get back to Tomb Raider basics: dinosaurs!

Batman: Arkham Knight

Rocksteady has done what no other development team has managed to do: they made good, no, great, Batman games. While not as good as Arkham Asylum, City was a solid entry in the Arkham series. Arkham Knight is the send-off for Rocksteady’s series, and honestly, the Bat could have done with a better sendoff.

While the game itself seems to be good, player enjoyment seems to vary and many reviews reflect this difference of opinion. What lands this game in this category is the abysmal PC port. To say the port launched in an atrocious state is a complete understatement. The game launched in June in a near-broken state. The port was so awful, Warner Bros. actually pulled it from Steam shortly after release, and the game was added back to the digital storefront in a playable state four months after release. What made this situation even worse is Warner Bros. had shipped another poor PC port earlier this year with Mortal Kombat X. This is completely inexcusable for any game’s launch, especially for a major AAA title. Hopefully other developers take note from this PC port. Or not… 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

Treyarch has shown they aren’t afraid to shake things up with the standard Call of Duty formula. Black Ops 3 is the most ambitious CoD title to date. The campaign has seen a major redesign and emphasis on different tactics from previous games. While the narrative is weak, the campaign has some strong points and memorable moments.

The multiplayer has seen some shaking up with new modes, and elements of free-running and parkour have been added. The zombie mode is bigger than ever before with an interesting and unique setting, Lovecraft noir? Count me in! Dead Ops Arcade has also returned and is also bigger than before.

The reason it’s in this category is that the PC port was deemed fit to ship in a state similar to the recent Batman: Arkham Knight. In other words, completely unacceptable (NSFW link). However, the game has seen furious patching since release and is in a more acceptable state at this point.

What pushes this into a “Love” for me is the addition of Ron Perlman and Jeff Goldblum as playable characters in the Zombies mode. Who doesn’t want some of that?!

There were more sequels released this year such as Rainbow Six Siege, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Blood Bowl II, Tales of Zestria, and Disgaea 5. However, the entries on this list were the ones that stood out to me the most. Of course you completely agree with everything with I said here, but on the off-chance you didn’t, sound off in the comments below.

Which sequels did you love, hate, or just feel “meh” about this year?

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9 games to look forward to in September https://www.gameskinny.com/swtzm/9-games-to-look-forward-to-in-september https://www.gameskinny.com/swtzm/9-games-to-look-forward-to-in-september Fri, 28 Aug 2015 18:41:50 -0400 Bryan C. Tan

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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After almost three decades of innovation, hard work, and success, the story of the greatest stealth series of all time will finally be complete.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be the final chapter of the Metal Gear series pioneered by gaming visionary Hideo Kojima, linking all the games into one cohesive story. As Punished "Venom" Snake, also known as Big Boss, players will traverse through Afghanistan and the Angola-Zaire border in the first open world Metal Gear on a mission to exact revenge on those that wronged him.

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Besides the usual sneaking elements, The Phantom Pain includes a host of new features to complement its whole new game world, namely, intelligent AI companions and enemies, real-time day-and-night cycles, and a fully customizable Mother Base utilizing the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. Multiplayer will also make a return to Metal Gear with two brand new online modes, so players needn't worry about what to do after they're done with The Phantom Pain's highly-sophisticated single-player.

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V will come to Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on September 1st.

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Mad Max
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Cars, guns, and a whole lot of action - a storied film franchise will be making the transition to video games, but unlike other movie games, this one looks like it's going to be an epic of apocalyptic proportions.

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From the masterminds of the Just Cause series, Avalanche Studios, Mad Max puts players in the shoes of franchise protagonist Max Rockatansky in search of the car he lost, the Interceptor, and to build the car of his dreams, the Magnum Opus. Through canyons, caves, and deserts, Max must survive by scavenging for resources such as food, water, and fuel before War Boys take them away first.

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Max's car can be customized as well as his weapons, while friendly relationships can be formed with strongholds to garner new quests and rewards, and lower the threat level of each region. With radical vehicular combat, dangerous environmental hazards, and a tense expansive story, players will be in for an exhilarating experience in the open world of the wasteland. 

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Get Mad on Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 1st.

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Tearaway Unfolded
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One of the best games ever on the PlayStation Vita will finally be making the big leap to console, with the creators of LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule, reinventing their award-winning platformer for the current generation.

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Tearaway Unfolded is an expanded retelling of the original Tearaway story that puts players on a quest to help atoi, the messenger, deliver an important message. Through a vibrant papercraft world filled with colorful drawings and doodles, the magical adventure of Tearaway has been reimagined for the TV.

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The power of wind can be unleashed in-game by swiping on the DualShock 4's touch pad, and the power of light can be activated by shining the DualShock 4's light bar. Stuff hurled out of the TV can be thrown back in to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, while the mobile companion app lets players customize the wild papery world of Tearaway Unfolded.

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Adventure Unfolded on PlayStation 4 on September 8th.

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Super Mario Maker
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After 30 years of making side-scrolling platformers about an Italian plumber, Nintendo is finally letting go of the reins and leaving the controls to the fans.

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Super Mario Maker gives fans the tools to create their very own Super Mario levels and bring their imaginations into reality using only the Wii U GamePad. Enemies, obstacles, blocks, and more can be combined by dragging and dropping them together, with more parts becoming available the next day after spending 5 minutes creating a course.

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Sound effects and animations can be edited in all the classic environments, and Amiibos can be scanned to add special elements to courses. With a Course World filled with player creations, creators, and challenges, Super Mario fans will be treated with a plethora of crazy iterations of their favorite Nintendo series.

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Become the greatest Super Mario Maker on Wii U on September 11th.

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Forza Motorsport 6
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It's been ten years since the first Forza Motorsport came out on the original Xbox and changed the racing genre forever. To celebrate, Turn 10 Studios looks to do the same again with the sixth instalment in their critically-acclaimed franchise.

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Forza Motorsport 6 will be a wetter, darker, and more realistic affair as rain and night will finally be able to affect cars during a race, all in glorious 60 frames per second at 1080p resolution. More than 70 hours of gameplay will be present in the new career mode called "Stories of Motorsport", along with unlockable Showcase events that relive the greatest moments in motorsport history.

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Split-screen racing will also return to Forza, and feature 24 cars on track in a single race, ensuring a jam-packed experience both online and offline. With over 450 intricately designer cars to collect, customize, and race across 26 world-famous tracks, Forza Motorsport 6 will surely be an all-consuming experience for racing fans.

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Take over Motorsport on Xbox One on September 15th.

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Blood Bowl 2
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Craving for a video game that combines American football with a fantasy boardgame? Well, Blood Bowl 2 might just be the one.

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The sequel to Cyanide Studios' 2009 Blood Bowl, Blood Bowl 2 brings the humor and brutality of the original adaptation into a new graphics engine that fully realizes the character-driven world of Blood Bowl 2 with new cameras and animations.

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The all-new single-player story campaign puts players in charge of leading the human race back to glory, while the revamped multiplayer mode lets players create, manage, and develop their own teams comprised of eight races from the Warhammer world. With the ability to upgrade stadiums, customize jerseys, and transfer players, Blood Bowl 2 is a turn-based strategy game with countless possibilities.

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Reap Blood on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 22nd.

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SOMA
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As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it's only fitting to pass the darkness with some new-found horror.

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From Frictional Games, the creators of the highly-acclaimed Amnesia and Penumbra horror series, SOMA is a first-person sci-fi survival horror game that takes place underwater. In a remote research facility, machines have begun to become human, and alien entities have begun to disrupt the peace.

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Players have to find out what happened to the abandoned facility, and find a way out, without weapons, and without help. Through a futuristic setting, disturbing truths about technology and human nature await to be discovered.

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Escape SOMA alive on Windows, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation 4 on September 22nd.

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5
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After more than a decade, the sequel to the greatest skateboarding game series of all time has finally arrived.

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The tenth installment in the Tony Hawk's series and the first main entry since 2007, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 brings it back to where it all began. Classic gameplay with signature Pro Skater moves mixed with extended trick combinations is brought to life in over 80 unique missions across 8 different environments.

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As a pro or personalized skater, players can shred pavements online with up to 20 people at once, and build and share their very own skateparks using over 250 obstacles for endless creativity. With new items like power-ups and projectiles, leveling up to be the best pro skater around will be a fresh and entertaining experience.

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Go Pro on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 29th, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 10th.

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LEGO Dimensions
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Developer TT Games is back once again with another instalment in their successful LEGO series, but this time they're pulling out all the stops with what is undoubtedly the biggest LEGO game to date.

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LEGO Dimensions bring the colorful worlds of 14 fan-favorite brands such as DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, and The LEGO Movie together in a LEGO Multiverse threated by an evil mastermind. Starting out in the world of Oz with Batman, Gandalf, and Wyldstyle, players will have to traverse the 14 different Adventure Worlds in order to save their friends and their universes from oblivion.

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LEGO Dimensions also marks LEGO's first foray into the toys-to-life arena, with physical minifigures, vehicles, and gadgets available for purchase to be unlocked in-game. Up to seven toys can be dropped onto the LEGO Toy Pad included in the Starter Pack into the game, providing an action-packed experience regardless of whether players choose to play solo or co-op.

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Travel through multiple Dimensions on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 from September 27th.

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Arise for the Fall

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The hustle and bustle of the summer has finally come to a close, and the time has come to settle in for colder winds.

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But while we have to say goodbye to sunny beaches, crowded festivals, and smoky barbecues, we can now say hi to the most exciting, congested, but ultimately fun time of the year for video games: the fall.

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To start us off on the wonderful gaming journey towards the end of the year, here are 9 games coming to a platform near you in the cool, refreshing month of September.

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