Inside Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Inside RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Best PS4 Platformers to Play on PS5 https://www.gameskinny.com/njha2/best-ps4-platformers-to-play-on-ps5 https://www.gameskinny.com/njha2/best-ps4-platformers-to-play-on-ps5 Wed, 23 Dec 2020 15:45:43 -0500 Ethan Anderson

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Rayman Legends

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Last, but not least, we have Ubisoft's platforming mascot, Rayman. Rayman hasn't gotten a new mainline game in nearly 10 years, so sometimes this platforming great isn't as talked about as others.

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That shouldn't be the case, because Rayman Legends knocked it out of the park. It's a vibrant, joyful, and creative platformer that'll have you on the edge of your seat more than once throughout its relatively short runtime.

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The game also features some of the best couch co-op platforming that you can find on the PS4, so don't miss out if you're a fan of the genre.

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As you can see, there are more than enough top-notch PS4 platformers that should be played on PS5. And we can't wait to see even more games get added to the PS5's library in the years to come.

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Are there any platformers that you'd like to see added to the list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/501c6693d57643e197114d9baf59661b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/501c6693d57643e197114d9baf59661b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13560","description":"

Sonic Mania Plus

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Sonic the Hedgehog is a household name at this point. With Sonic Mania, SEGA and developer Headcannon brought the series back to the 2D platformer roots that made it so popular.

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The "Plus" version adds DLC, allowing players can speed through levels as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, or Ray. It also features new zones, updated classic stages, and a four-player multiplayer option.

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This game is a must-play for any and all Sonic fans, and it's also a great entry point for anyone curious to see what the blue hedgehog is all about.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e67ad28778e1016adb93a89cb01ae4f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e67ad28778e1016adb93a89cb01ae4f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13557","description":"

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove

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Shovel Knight started out as a Kickstarter campaign that slowly became more and more successful. Developer Yacht Club Games has managed to deliver on everything promised and more.

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This is another platformer that successfully captures the magic of retro games in the genre while still adding enough present-day flair to stand out on its own merit. Arming the player with a simple shovel and a few movement options seems odd at first, but you'll grow to love it in no time at all.

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The Treasure Trove edition contains all four DLC campaigns, as well as a multiplayer Battle Mode and co-op for the main campaign. This is a platforming experience that absolutely shouldn't be missed out on.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/59190d5ebd20e5904a9a6e47e44147ee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/59190d5ebd20e5904a9a6e47e44147ee.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13555","description":"

The Messenger

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The Messenger is a love letter to old-school Ninja Gaiden fans with its retro sounds/soundtrack, visuals, and overall feel. It even has an unexpected amount of humor, which is just a bonus, since it's already excelling in other aspects.

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You assume the role of a ninja who must deliver a scroll to save his clan after his village has been attacked by a demon army. You'll be jumping, swinging, slashing, and warping between 8-bit and 16-bit worlds on this journey.

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The level of nostalgia here is simply unmatched. The Messenger really does have everything that you could ask for as a fan of old school platformers.

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Spelunky/Spelunky 2

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Spelunky is a platformer with an endlessly fun roguelike gameplay loop. The first game launched on consoles back in 2012, and Spelunky 2 was just released in September for PS4.

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The sequel piles on the exploration as players are tasked with avoiding traps while searching for treasures and missing family members on the moon. Each run can reveal new items, NPCs, and paths through the game. As you venture deeper, your home base will grow, leaving you more prepared to make those deep runs into the unknown.

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This treasure hunt can be completed alone or with friends online, so there's plenty of randomized platforming to go around.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52e435832ace73cf765a9a180cb7e005.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/52e435832ace73cf765a9a180cb7e005.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13556","description":"

INSIDE

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INSIDE is another entry on this list that's able to mix genres effortlessly. It's a relatively short narratively driven puzzle-platformer that'll keep you gripped through your entire playtime.

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Those who played Playdead's previous platformer, LIMBO, will no-doubt love INSIDE just as much, if not more. It takes what made its predecessor great, and improves upon that already winning formula.

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You're once again playing as a young boy, but this time, you seem to be heading towards the main cause of the danger around you.

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The dark atmosphere, mysterious plot, and creative obstacles will be sure to leave you wanting more by the time the experience comes to a close.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/410e816111b17c0c5475bbaa08477491.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/410e816111b17c0c5475bbaa08477491.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13554","description":"

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

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For most players, the first genre that comes to mind when thinking of Hollow Knight is probably Metroidvania. That said, there's still plenty of challenging platforming to overcome here.

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It isn't easy, but if you can master the movement, timing, and control needed to traverse Hollow Knight's world, you'll find that it contains some of the best platforming experiences that the genre has to offer. You'll be finding secrets, tackling tough bosses, and enjoying that sweet satisfaction of improvement as you progress.

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The Voidheart Edition is essentially the console version that contains all of the content added to the PC version of the game before it came to consoles. It was free on PlayStation Plus back in November but is $14.99 otherwise. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c64c83fda3c07e2ff575b24e4f423c09.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c64c83fda3c07e2ff575b24e4f423c09.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13553","description":"

Ratchet & Clank

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Like Crash Bandicoot, Ratchet & Clank is also a classic platformer. The difference here is that it's fully 3D and a lot more action-oriented, containing some of the most oddly unique weapons found in any game in the genre.

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It's also technically a game based on a movie, based on a game. That sounds confusing, but trust me, it makes sense.

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The Ratchet & Clank movie was coming out around the same time as the game, and this soft reboot is a retelling of the very first game. This means that all newcomers to the longstanding franchise are welcome to give this one a shot.

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You'll get to see how Ratchet and Clank start out, going from humble beginnings to intergalactic heroes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c2412b97903f576442d18a960ed6f182.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c2412b97903f576442d18a960ed6f182.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13552","description":"

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

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This classic platforming franchise made its return to relevance in 2017 with the N. Sane Trilogy, and as it turns out, Crash and Coco have a lot more to give to the genre beyond the original trilogy and a few spin-offs.

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Crash 4 manages to bring back the feel of the original games while adding plenty of twists to keep things feeling fresh.

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This time around, there are five playable characters and new masks that provide special powers to shake up the platforming. This is one that both newcomers and series veterans should check out.

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Celeste

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While all of the entries on this list are undoubtedly worth playing, Celeste can be considered one of the best platformers of the generation. It won both the Games for Impact and Best Indie Game awards at The Game Awards in 2018, and for good reason.

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The game has tight, responsive controls, a fantastic soundtrack, and a plot that can be relatable to so many of its players.

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Celeste is able to meaningfully tackle the topics of anxiety and mental illness while still making sure that its platforming stays enjoyable throughout the entire experience. It truly is one of the best in the genre.

"},{"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/p/l/a/platformers-67667.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/p/l/a/platformers-67667.jpg","type":"slide","id":"217300","description":"

The PlayStation 5 has finally arrived, but there aren't a ton of brand-new launch games to pick from. That's doubly true if you're a fan of platformers. Sure, Sackboy: A Big Adventure released alongside Sony's new console, and it is a fantastic game by our account, but overall, genre choices are currently thin on the PS5.  

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The good news is that plenty of PS4 titles are available to play on PS5 through backwards compatibility, including plenty of must-play platformers.

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It's not too late to look back and find a few games that you may have missed — or may be hiding in your backlog. Here are some of the best PS4 platformers that you should definitely play on PS5, as we wait for games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Balan Wonderworld

"}]]]>
Celeste and Inside Now Free on Epic Games Store https://www.gameskinny.com/n7szq/celeste-and-inside-now-free-on-epic-games-store https://www.gameskinny.com/n7szq/celeste-and-inside-now-free-on-epic-games-store Fri, 23 Aug 2019 11:46:44 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Epic Games Store is back to its recent pattern of releasing two free games per week. Now through September 4, Celeste and Limbo are free on the EGS.

All you have to do to snag them is have an EGS account and add them to your library in the week they are available. Any free games downloaded to an EGS account will remain free and on that account for the lifetime of the account. 

Celeste

If you've been following the indie scene over the past couple of years, Celeste probably doesn't need much introduction.

Lauded as one of the best platformers in recent years, Celeste combines razor-sharp level design with tight controls and an intriguing story in a package that's probably going to enthrall you as much as it makes you want to scream and walk away.

It offers a definite challenge, in other words. But it's also forgiving, letting players respawn in the same room where they met their demise and providing an easier path for those who don't have a compulsive need to collect all the strawberries.

That means it's a good PC game for any member of the family too.

Inside

One might be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that Inside and Celeste are rather similar. Both have bone-crunchingly difficult puzzles and platform action, and both revolve around an existential plot.

However, Inside provides a much moodier, more atmospheric adventure, one where the protagonist is almost always in the dark — quite literally, at times. The mystery of not knowing is what spurs even latecomers to the game on to completion. And it's not nearly as speedy as Celeste

Those looking for a darker, shorter but nonetheless gripping puzzle game would do well to check Inside out.

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From the looks of it, Epic will continue it's two-games-a-week course, at least for next week. The End and Abzu are up next week. 

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7 Indie Darlings with a Switch Release on The Way https://www.gameskinny.com/bxjoi/7-indie-darlings-with-a-switch-release-on-the-way https://www.gameskinny.com/bxjoi/7-indie-darlings-with-a-switch-release-on-the-way Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:21:02 -0500 buymymixtape123

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These are just a few of the many nindies that are coming to the Switch during this year. This is a great time to own a Switch as we already have blockbuster games such as: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and DOOM, and now have these nindies to look forward too. It is great to see the Switch getting a large amount of support, therefore keeping fans interested and more people investing in the console.

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It will be great to see how these nindies play on the Switch when they arrive. I can't wait to try out Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Moonlighter when they drop. Which nindie are you the most excited for?

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba8d843c6354060855961377e28b3cb7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/ba8d843c6354060855961377e28b3cb7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11875","description":"

Moonlighter

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Release: TBC 2018
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Moonlighter is an RPG that is reminiscent of the old school Legend of Zelda games and will be arriving on the Switch this year. Moonlighter expands on the original Legend of Zelda's formula, as you can talk to villagers and take on quests for them which will reward you with equipment and other items. You can also own a shop, which you will be able to manage and make money off of. Crafting also plays a big role as you can make better equipment to help you complete dungeons. Moonlighter promises to be an interesting port to the Switch and is well worth checking out. 

"},{"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-awayjourneytotheunexpected-image1600w-3188b.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-awayjourneytotheunexpected-image1600w-3188b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"180341","description":"
Away: Journey to the Unexpected
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Release: TBC 2018
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Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a first person adventure title where you try to get recruit different people in the world to join your side to try and help you throughout your adventure. There is a negotiation mechanic which is highly reminiscent of trying to negotiate with personas in Persona 5. What really stood out for Away is the graphics. The game is set in a  colorful 3D world, but the characters are cartoonish and are in 2D. This unique graphic choice makes the game look even cooler than it already is. The protagonist of Away wields a stick which allows you to use melee attacks or magic spells. Be on the lookout for this game as time goes by!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a879cbf139b9cb9f465c360f6616591.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a879cbf139b9cb9f465c360f6616591.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11874","description":"

Crypt of the NecroDancer

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Release: Feb 01, 2018
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Brace Yourself Games' rhythm like dungeon crawler is coming to Switch on February 1st. I never heard of this game until my friend showed me it last summer, and I, for one, was quite shocked at the intriguing take on an older genre. On the surface Crypt of the NecroDancer looks like a regular dungeon crawler, but it is so much more than that. This game's movement and combat is based off a rhythm movement, similar to Dance Dance Revolution's rhythm controls. So lets say you want to move around in the dungeon, you would have to time your movement to the beat of the background music. If you do this you will gain a score multiplier, and if you are unable to the move to the beat then enemies will be able to attack you and you lose this multiplier. This game is incredibly fun and is a great fit as a nindie for the Switch. This game is also out now so go ahead and get it when you can.    

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dce770e990b7177c995ad3819c246039.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dce770e990b7177c995ad3819c246039.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11873","description":"

Layers of Fear: Legacy 

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Release:  Feb 21, 2018
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Layers of Fear: Legacy is also becoming a nindie, and it will become one of the first horror games that is being ported to the Switch. Layers of Fear first came out in 2016, and it received heaps of praise from critics and fans for its immersive horror experience. In Layers of Fear, you are a painter traveling through a mansion while trying to finish your masterpiece. While trying to finish this painting you go on a journey full jump scares and puzzles, all while finding out more about the painter and how he come to be where he is. Layers of Fear may not have the same frightening build-up as games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard or Outlast, but it still provides a tense atmosphere alongside an abundant amount of scares and a mysterious plot that will keep you interested throughout the game. The game is out now so if you haven't tried it, go try it now!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0eb76eaea345ed71a01b6361029373d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0eb76eaea345ed71a01b6361029373d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11872","description":"

Terraria 

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Release: TBC 2018
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Terraria - developed by Re-Logic - is a 2-D make your own adventure sandbox game which has very similar mechanics to Minecraft and could have been influenced by this popular game. Re-Logic first announced that the port for Terraria would be coming out on the Switch last year, but they pushed the release back for 2018. This was disappointment to many Switch owners as many fans were looking forward to exploring the world of Terraria on the new console. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd3b957d7c331cd6ae0a4cf8367b5dff.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd3b957d7c331cd6ae0a4cf8367b5dff.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11871","description":"

Inside

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Release: TBC 2018 
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Playdead's critically acclaimed Inside is now making its way to the Switch, and it will be bringing its darker, eerie visuals and story with it. Playdead's first title - Limbo - earned renown throughout the gaming scene in 2010 as Limbo was a beautiful yet fatalistic and depressing puzzle game. Inside is no different, with sombre themes and puzzles being in the forefront of the game. Furthermore, both titles are driven by their bleak and desolate tales which will shock and amaze you throughout the game. There are no new features arriving with this port of Inside, but being able to play it anywhere because of the Switch's portability is going to be a massive plus for the port.

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/860fb75a62d9d05ec2ff1477171ae420.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/860fb75a62d9d05ec2ff1477171ae420.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11870","description":"

Shovel Knight: King of Cards

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Release: TBC 2018
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Yacht Club Games' fan favorite indie game is now coming to Switch as the last piece of standalone DLC called King of Cards. Shovel Knight was a Kickstarter funded plat-former that is reminisce of old 8-bit plat-formers of the late 80s. In the follow-up DLC you're the "King Knight," who is trying to lay their claim on the monarchy by taking on the "Three Kings" who are currently ruling. Other than a new protagonist and 30 new levels, King of Cards will have a new built-in mini card game too.  

"},{"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/n/i/n/nindiesnews-shovelknight-dcd31.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/n/i/n/nindiesnews-shovelknight-dcd31.jpg","type":"slide","id":"178846","description":"

Since the release of the Switch last year we knew that the console was going to get a lot of the indie games ported or released onto the eponymous device. Games like: Stardew Valley, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Yooka Laylee and Retro City Rampage DX have already been ported to the Switch, and these games fit the console like a glove. Nintendo is going to keep up with the ports and new releases of indie games - or nindies - throughout the year with a plethora of nindies coming out soon. So here's 7 nindies you should look out for that are heading to the Switch. 

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"}]]]>
10 Indie Games You Can Play in One Sitting https://www.gameskinny.com/unsp5/10-indie-games-you-can-play-in-one-sitting https://www.gameskinny.com/unsp5/10-indie-games-you-can-play-in-one-sitting Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:22:12 -0500 Kengaskhan

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Nex Machina

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Time to Beat: 1.5 hours
Platforms: PC & PlayStation 4
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The shoot 'em up genre may not be as wildly popular as first-person shooters, MOBAs, and digital CCGs are these days, but one of the strengths of indie game development is that they're willing to tackle a broader variety of games, and every now and then, you wind up with a game like Nex Machina.

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Housemarque's Nex Machina is an arcade-y, twin-stick shoot 'em up set in a vibrant and colorful cyberpunk world where AI machines have all but exterminated humanity. The game has more or less the same fast-paced core gameplay loop that most other shoot 'em ups have, but it's packaged in a highly detailed and stylish world with a fantastic soundtrack, beautiful visuals, and great enemy and weapon variety.

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In short, if shoot 'em ups are your thing, then Nex Machina's your game.

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Hopefully, you found a game or two in this list that piqued your interest. If you know of any other short but awesome indie games that could fit on this list, let us know in the comments!

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Or, if you're interested in what we have to say about other indie games, you can find some of our other indie content 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/g/o/n/gone-home-a22ca.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/g/o/n/gone-home-a22ca.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177676","description":"

Gone Home

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Time to Beat: 2 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
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Gone Home is a walking simulator -- a really good walking simulator. While Gone Home may not transcend the genre the same way The Stanley Parable might, it's definitely much more representative of it.

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Playing the role of Kaitlin Greenbriar, the player will return home from a semester abroad in Europe, only to find the house empty. The player will have to explore the house in search of clues that'll help them figure out where the rest of Katie's family is, which more or less constitutes the entirety of Gone Home's gameplay.

\n

Gone Home isn't exactly the most groundbreaking game ever, but it's short, it's sweet, and it's got a great story and atmosphere. You can't really go wrong with that. (Although you might want to pick the game up at a discount if you don't think two hours of entertainment is worth $15.)

"},{"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/l/o/n/lone-survivor-511ea.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/l/o/n/lone-survivor-511ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177675","description":"

Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut

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Time to Beat: 4 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U
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Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut is a post-apocalyptic survival horror game where the player controls an unnamed, masked survivor (referred to simply as "You") who must wrestle with both the mutant horrors that roam the city and his deteriorating mental state.

\n

Lone Survivor bears many similarities to the Silent Hill series, with many likening it to a 16-bit SNES Silent Hill game. One of the most prominent features that Lone Survivor shares with the Silent Hill series are its multiple endings. As the player explores the surrounding area, they'll encounter various NPCs and objects that they'll be able to interact with, and how the player chooses to carry themselves in the post-apocalyptic world determines which ending they'll get.

\n

There aren't many indie survival-horror games on the market, but if that's what you're looking for, then you're in luck: Lone Survivor is a fantastic instance of that niche.

"},{"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/t/i/t/titan-souls-30d58.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/t/i/t/titan-souls-30d58.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177643","description":"

Titan Souls

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Time to Beat: 3 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Android, PlayStation Vita
\n

Part Shadow of the Colossus, part Dark Souls, Titan Souls is a game that’s all about boss fights in a beautifully imagined fantasy world.

\n

In a way, Titan Souls is like a puzzle game, though instead of having to solve quaint little environmental riddles, the player has to identify and figure out how to exploit each boss’s unique weakness while simultaneously dodging everything thrown their way (because you die in one hit).

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Boss fights tend to be the highlights of many action-adventure/RPG games, and if you're one of those players who prefers quality over quantity, then Titan Souls is definitely worth checking out.

"},{"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/m/o/o/moon-55216.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/m/o/o/moon-55216.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177642","description":"

To the Moon

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Time to Beat: 4 hours
Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
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To the Moon is an adventure game developed by Freebird Games, where the player takes on the role of a doctor employed by Sigmund Corp., which offers a wish fulfillment service using a futuristic piece of tech that can create artificial memories. There's just one twist: the doctors have to use the machine to explore their patient's memories Inception-style.

\n

In To the Moon, the player must use the machine to fulfill the last wish of a dying old man: to fulfill his lifelong dream of going to the moon. However, aged as he is, he doesn't remember why, and it's the doctors' job to delve backwards in time through his memories to discover why he wanted to go to the moon before they can fulfill his dream.

\n

If you're looking for one of the best stories that gaming has to offer, then To the Moon is the game you're looking for. You might want to hold off playing it, though, if you're not in the mood to shed a few tears.

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(Also, Finding Paradise, To the Moon's slightly lengthier sequel, is now available!)

"},{"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/n/s/inside-0797a.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/n/s/inside-0797a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177641","description":"

Inside

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Time to Beat: 3.5 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS
\n

Puzzle games, platformers, and puzzle-platformers are some of the most popular indie game genres, and it can be overwhelming trying to pick out the polished gems from the rough. Playdead’s Limbo was one of those gems -- but it’s also a seven-year-old critically acclaimed title, so chances are you’ve probably already played it. (And if you haven’t, well, you may as well stop reading now.)

\n

However, if you’ve been looking for a new indie game to scratch that puzzle-platformer itch, then you might be happy to learn that Playdead delivered on that front a second time.

\n

Inside, like Limbo, is an atmospheric puzzle-platformer set in an unsettling, washed-out world. Inside's excellent sound and visual design really help bring the world to life (as alive as a dystopia can be), and while the puzzles are challenging, they should rarely ever frustrate the player. Better yet, the puzzles tie into the narrative in a way that helps to drive the story forward as the player solves them.

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Whether you're looking specifically for a puzzle-platformer or just a great game in general to play, you can't go wrong with Inside.

"},{"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/s/u/p/superhot-16f9f.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/s/u/p/superhot-16f9f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177638","description":"

SUPERHOT

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Time to Beat: 2 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
\n

SUPERHOT is one of the most innovative shooters released in years!

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Most, if not all, AAA FPS games that feature bullet time only offer it as a tool that the player can use to enhance their fighting ability, generally no more than once or twice per firefight. In SUPERHOT, bullet time is always active -- time moves when you do, and it slows to a near halt when you stand still.

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This incredibly stylish first-person shooter proves that there’s a lot of design space to be explored in gameplay mechanics that we more or less take for granted nowadays. You probably won’t find any other first-person shooters that encourage you to plan out your moves like you’re playing some sort of strategy game the same way SUPERHOT will.

"},{"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/e/r/her-story-09c5e.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/e/r/her-story-09c5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177636","description":"

Her Story

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Time to Beat: 2 hours
Platforms: PC, iOS, Android
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Given how popular crime drama is in film and television, it’s a little strange that games rarely ever touch the genre. Maybe the scarcity of crime games explains why game designer Sam Barlow took such an unconventional approach to Her Story, which many might consider to be more of an interactive film than it is a game.

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Her Story delivers a non-linear narrative through the screen of an old computer from the '90s, with a database containing several police interviews with a woman named Hannah regarding the death of her husband. The twist is that the interviews were somehow corrupted, and the player must find and sift through the fragmented interview clips in an attempt to piece together the whole story and to discern what actually happened to Hannah’s husband.

"},{"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/s/t/a/stanley-parable-01e34.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/s/t/a/stanley-parable-01e34.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177635","description":"

The Stanley Parable

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Time to Beat: 1.5 hours
Platforms: PC
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Many indie games innovate by iterating or expanding upon gameplay and narrative elements found in AAA titles. The Stanley Parable challenges them.

\n

The Stanley Parable is a short narrative game that calls into question the nature of choice and player agency in gaming. With a Gla-DOS-like narrator as their guide (at least in terms of humor), the player takes the role of Stanley, navigating an office complex, following the narrator’s commands ... or disobeying them.

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What sets The Stanley Parable apart from more or less every other game in existence is the way in which the narrator will account for every one of the player’s choices, making it a very thorough investigation of the limits of interactive storytelling.

"},{"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/f/i/r/firewatch-8be94.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/f/i/r/firewatch-8be94.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177634","description":"

Firewatch

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Time to Beat: 4 hours
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
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Say what you will about “walking simulators”, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a mystery game with a story as riveting as Firewatch’s. The game takes place in the Shoshone National Forest, with the player guiding Henry, a forest ranger recruit, through both the forest and his conversations with his supervisor Delilah.

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One of the things that elevates Firewatch above many other walking simulators is the game's focus on dialogue as a way to keep things engaging for the player. The majority of the game's dialogue happens between Henry and Delilah by way of walkie-talkie, giving the player ample opportunity to grow attached to them as the mystery unfolds.

"},{"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/n/d/indie-gaming-header-1d099.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/n/d/indie-gaming-header-1d099.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177633","description":"

Whether you're an indie game aficionado, you're dissatisfied with the state of AAA gaming, or maybe both or even neither, independent games have a lot to offer the medium as a whole.

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Indie game devs have a bit more freedom in how they approach development compared to AAA devs, and sometimes that'll result in games with innovative new mechanics, unusual approaches to storytelling, or even both.

\n

However, indie games are also typically shorter than many AAA titles (most likely due to budget constraints), which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing -- where some players may prefer games that last for dozens of hours, others might be looking for games they can finish in one sitting.

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If you're part of the latter group, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the indie scene -- and here are some of the best games it has to offer.

"}]]]>
How Indie Devs Are Filling the Platforming Void https://www.gameskinny.com/eeg5b/how-indie-devs-are-filling-the-platforming-void https://www.gameskinny.com/eeg5b/how-indie-devs-are-filling-the-platforming-void Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:37:06 -0400 Dan Roemer

The platforming genre -- outside of Nintendo's offerings -- has fallen from the mainstream as of late, but thankfully we have indie developers filling that much needed void. So much so that in recent years we've seen some of the best the genre has to offer thanks to the indie scene. Today I'll be breaking down my favorite sub-genres of platformers and what indie games within these genres truly stand out and that you should check out!

Puzzle Platformers

Braid

 

The puzzle platforming genre is more alive than ever thanks to the indie-scene, with incredible games such as Jonathan Blow's Braid released back in 2008, originally for the Xbox360. From its time manipulation mechanic based puzzles and platforming, to the odd obscure story and the many different unique worlds with their own time manipulation rules, Braid is one of the best puzzle platformers of all time.

And really, it's a beautiful example of how indie developers are taking old tricks and making them new -- keeping the platforming genre alive, well, and diversified. 

Inside

 

2016's INSIDE, from developer Playdead, has an incredibly haunting atmosphere. This game is a testament to what a platformer can achieve in terms of horror, puzzle solving, and environmental storytelling. It's not hard to see why puzzle platformers are alive and well thanks to indie developers like Playdead. Garnering an overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam, INSIDE is also on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Hardcore, Challenging Platformers

Indies have also given us platformers that will simply kick your ass and possibly make you destroy a controller or two. Harkening back to the days of the arcade quarter munchers, you will absolutely die in these games, but you'll still keep coming back for more punishment because of their addictive nature.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy, from developer Team Meat, is without a doubt one of the most challenging platformers out there. Whenever you die (which will be a lot), you'll know it's purely your fault. Why? Because the controls are dead-on precise, making every move you make not only intuitive but highly reactive. Stack over 300 levels on top of that, and you'll end up dying a hell of a lot and keep coming back for more.

N++

 

If you thought 300 levels was insane, N++ from developer Metanet Software features well over 2000 levels.

The N series started off as a flash game released back in 2005, which you can play and download here for free. I remember sinking countless hours into it in the public library of my high school during lunch hours and talking with my friends about how far we could get in each episode. 

I'm proud to say N++ was one of the games I was excited for when I originally bought my PlayStation 4; it's also available on PC now as well. With the endless levels, competitive local multiplayer, local co-op, and a level creator with an active community. N++ is the accumulation of over 11 years of work for developer Metanet Software, and it clearly shows.

Pure 2D Platformers

By “pure” I mean basic in design, or games that take inspiration from titles that made the genre what it is today. Games such as Mario, Sonic, Mega-Man, Donkey Kong, etc., would fit into this category. Once again the indie scene has absolutely given us games that take us back to the platforming roots of the 80s and 90s.

Freedom Planet

 

Prior to the upcoming release of Sonic Mania, it almost seemed like we'd never get a tried and true return to form to the original 2D Sonic games of the early 1990s. Some could say we did get Sonic the Hedgehog 4 -- but I'd say that was more of a dumpster fire than an actual return to form.

But the indie developer GalaxyTrail filled that void for many with Freedom Planet.

Successfully Kickstarted and released in 2014 for PC and just last month for the PlayStation 4 in North America, Freedom Planet contains the loops, speed, and boss fights you'll remember from the original Sonic games and the high octane of platformers of years past. The name itself is inspired by the 90s Sonic OVA movie in which the main setting was called “Planet Freedom."

In fact, the game itself started off as just another Sonic fan game, but the developers wanted to give the game its identity; which is exactly what they achieved.

Shovel Knight

 

From developer Yacht Club Games comes Shovel Knight -- probably one of the most iconic indie platformers of all time. It has been released on just about everything, from the Nintendo Switch to the PC. And chances are that if you have a console made after 2005, you can play Shovel Knight on it, which you should. 

Shovel Knight takes modern design cues from the Dark Souls series while taking heavy inspiration from Mega-Man and Castlevania. With an incredible soundtrack, challenging but not unfair level design, a unique life sytem, bright, vibrant retro stylized visuals, and free DLC that expands the game even further, Shovel Knight is an indie platformer that needs to be played by everyone who wants to experience what 1980s platformers were like in their heyday.

3D Platformers

Unless it's Mario, Sonic, or Ratchet and Clank, the heyday of 3D AAA platformers seems to have come and gone (unless you're Snake Pass!). However, the indie scene is also just now budding with potential for quality 3D platformers. And although I still feel we haven't fully reached the heights of what the other sub-genres have accomplished, there are still some great games out there. 

Yooka-Laylee

 

Developer Playtonic Games successfully kickstarted and released Yooka-Laylee only a couple of days ago, with the Switch version right around the corner. Despite the mixed reviews it's been receiving -- and not being exactly indie -- I think it's an important step in the direction of filling the void for 3D platformers from the indie-scene and shows what a non-AAA company can do within the platforming genre. 

Playtonic Games, for those who don't know, is made up of former RARE employees, and Yooka-Laylee itself is a throwback to the 3D collect-a-thon' platformers of old -- especially in terms of design. Running on the Unity engine and featuring a soundtrack from none other than Grant Kirkhope, I think it's a game that Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie fans are really going to appreciate.

Poi

 

Coming from developer Polykid and released on Steam earlier this year, Poi is another game that hearkens back to the N64 era of 3D platformers. But more specifically, it is heavily inspired by 3D Mario games in terms of design, including more recent games like Super Mario Galaxy.

In Poi you collect medallions that act the same way the stars do in the 3D Mario titles. It's a bit lacking in polish overall, but if you're a fan of 3D Mario games and need something to fill the void until Super Mario Odyssey this December -- then I can't recommend it enough.

---

So as you can see, if you're a platforming nut and looking new, innovative platformers to sink your teeth into, the indie scene is ripe with casual and hardcore offerings to satisfy your every need. 

From 2D platformers to 3D platformers, indie devs are easily filling the platforming void left by AAA developers. 

But what do you guys think, what are some of your favorite indie platformers? Let us know the comments below and for everything platforming and indie related, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

]]>
10 Best Reviewed Games of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ofkn2/10-best-reviewed-games-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/ofkn2/10-best-reviewed-games-of-2016 Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:40:28 -0500 Curtis Dillon

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And there you have it! 2016 is officially in the rear view mirror and, after a list like that, we can agree it was a heck of a year.

\n

From blazing the trail in Madagascar with Nathan Drake, to building your own world in Stardew Valley -- with a few sausages in between -- 2016 offered up some pretty amazing experiences.

\n

If nothing else, this list proves the sheer diversity in video games these days, what with a racing game, two sports titles, a VR experience, and several indie games. There really is something for everyone on this list and that's representative of gaming as a whole these days. We're spoiled with variety like no other time in history and maybe we should remember that the next time we get mad about Assassin's Creed's next location, or Death Stranding being many years away.

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We gamers like to gripe about the little things sometimes, but every now and then it's nice to sit back and take a look at the truly amazing adventures we partake in. Developers spend hundreds, thousands, of hours toiling away on some of these titles and they deserve our thanks every now and then. So hop on to Twitter and send a nice word the way of Naughty Dog, or Playdead, or Increpare. Of course, before you do that you should let us know what your favourite game of 2016 was! And, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

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1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

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Metacritic Score: 93 (User Score: 7.9)
\n

Ahhh Naughty Dog, the unquestionable rulers and masters of the video game universe. Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny often says that Naughty Dog operates on a level that no other developer even comes close to, and I'm inclined to agree.

\n

The Uncharted series is among the very finest in all of video games, with 2 and 3 being both genuine masterpieces (and the original no slouch either). Then came The Last of Us which, for all of Uncharted's plaudits and achievements, cemented Naughty Dog as a step above everyone else in every way. The Last of Us is one of the greatest pieces of art and storytelling ever, in video games, movies, TV, whatever. It's that good.

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So with Naughty Dog returning to Uncharted, and calling it Nathan Drake's last adventure, it's fair to say expectations were high. Well, Naughty Dog proved to everyone once again, that pressure and expectations mean little when you have a story to tell and the chops to make it good. And that it the biggest difference between Naughty Dog and many other developers, they don't just make a video game for the sake of it, they tell stories with compelling characters, the finest dialogue around, unparalleled graphics, and awe-inspiring set-pieces.

\n

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End had all of those elements and more. Naughty Dog presented us with a more mature Uncharted; one we weren't sure we wanted but made total sense when we played it. Gunfights were scaled back in lieu of more exploration, driving sequences, and environmental storytelling. It was the perfect marriage of Uncharted and The Last of Us.

\n

Nathan Drake's final adventure was a thrilling, emotional journey that cemented him, and Uncharted, as gaming royalty. I don't believe we've seen the end of Uncharted but, for now, Nathan Drake bows out on the highest of high notes. What more can be said about another masterpiece from the best developer in the industry? Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the very best game of 2016, bar none.

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2. Inside

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Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score:7.9)
\n

We waited 6 years for the next game from Limbo developer, Playdead, and boy was it worth the wait.

\n

It can be very hard for a game to live-up to the expectations of a wait like that, especially an indie game because they are smaller games that tend to only last an hour or two, so that makes it even more impressive when they exceed those expectations. Inside did just that.

\n

Receiving absolute critical acclaim, Inside evolved the formula of Limbo and, some would say, perfected the puzzle platformer. The visuals were perfectly artsy, the animations were highly-impressive, clever puzzles, and the story intriguing and just the right amount of vague. Some could argue that the puzzles in the game left a little to be desired but they weren't the focus of the game, Inside is about narrative, and the tale it weaves will leave you reeling for some time.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/out-park-baseball-27y0jov2rzzu1qkuudmprk2vf-6def0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/u/t/out-park-baseball-27y0jov2rzzu1qkuudmprk2vf-6def0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148305","description":"

4. Out of the Park Baseball '17

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Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score: 3.2)
\n

Just like last year, Out of the Park Baseball '17, ahem, knocks it out of the park and scores high on the year's best list.

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Simply put, OOTP Baseball series is the go-to game if you want a baseball simulator. I mean, just look at the amount of information on screen (as seen above). The game puts you in the shoes of a baseball GM and tasks you with rising through the ranks, managing finances, trading/scouting, negotiating contracts, and all the standard GM mode affairs. However it's the insane amount of depth that OOTP '17 really shows-off.

\n

For example, you can play as any team, from the major league to the minor league... or any team from the past 150 years. Yep, any baseball team in the frickin' history of the sport. The game doesn't feature any new modes worth mentioning, so unless you were a huge fan, you could stick with '16 and be fine. But for the hardcore fans out there, OOTP Baseball '17 is yet another entry in the finest sports sim around.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/5/c/95c5302d-5a6f-4e9a-aa2f-ec3a5f1715a5-b2b80.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/5/c/95c5302d-5a6f-4e9a-aa2f-ec3a5f1715a5-b2b80.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148306","description":"

4. Forza Horizon 3

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Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 7.4)
\n

Every year Microsoft releases a new Forza game, be it Motorsport or Horizon, developed by Turn 10 or Playground Games, respectively. And with every passing year, Forza has slowly but surely replaced Gran Turismo as the King of the racing genre -- on consoles anyway.

\n

Forza Horizon 3 is the latest instalment in this amazing franchise, and it genuinely took the series to new heights. Horizon is the more open of the two series', allowing players to drive a variety of vehicles and race in wide open environments. This time around, the fast-action was taken down under to the land of Australia where players got to race in beautiful, exotic locales.

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The sheer breadth of activities, tracks and vehicles gives the game a ton of replay value but really the fun gameplay and stunning visuals are the real reason to go on this trip. Playground Games reminds us that driving games can be simply fun for those who aren't masters of the genre. You're up Turn 10, let's see what 2017 brings.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-4k0-dbc6b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-4k0-dbc6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148307","description":"

5. Overwatch

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Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 6.8)
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I think we all know what Overwatch is; a stylised team-based shooter from Blizzard. And we all know that it's pretty much unrivalled in the genre.

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2016 was looking to be the year of the "hero-shooters," what with Battleborn, Paragon, and Overwatch duking it out for the crown. Now, at the start of 2017, I think we can all safely say that Overwatch wiped the floor with its competitors.

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Featuring fantastic characters, slick visuals, and an addictive one-more-match mentality, Overwatch set itself apart from the other hero-shooters. Sure those games tried the same thing but they lacked that special Blizzard-level of polish and swagger. Overwatch is as good as it gets right now on the competitive multiplayer scene, and was voted game of the year by many an outlet.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/8/8/b887651a93b0525739049eb4194f633de2df75be600x338-3e1f1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/8/8/b887651a93b0525739049eb4194f633de2df75be600x338-3e1f1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148309","description":"

6. Stardew Valley

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Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 7.5)
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You would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Stardew Valley. Releasing in February of 2016, Stardew Valley slowly spread like a forest-fire via word of mouth. The groundswell around this little title was reminiscent of Undertale last year.

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What seems like a fairly innocuous farming simulator with charming graphics, Stardew Valley repeatedly peels back layer-after-layer of story and new gameplay elements. Like a cross between Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, this game created solely by Eric Barone, is a heartwarming life-simulator that threatens to eat-up hundreds of hours of your life.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/b/a/nba-2k17-review-screen-962a6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/b/a/nba-2k17-review-screen-962a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148310","description":"

7. NBA 2K17

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Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 6.0)
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Sometime in the past 5-6 years, 2K's NBA series snatched the crown of the best sports game and refuses to give it back. The series boasts unmatched graphics, career mode, commentary, and pure gameplay.

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The caveat with the NBA series is that it's far from easy to just pick-up and play. The controls for the game are deep and quite complicated, unlike EA's Fifa, and that can be a barrier to entry but for those who take the time, find incredibly diverse gameplay that offers many hours of replay value.

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The devil is in the details, as they say, and NBA is unrivalled. Every team plays exactly like their real-life counterparts, the crowd looks fantastic, guest-commentators keep things fresh, and many new and tweaked gameplay modes, are the reason NBA 2K17 retains the crown of best sports game.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1da4e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1da4e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148308","description":"

8. Stephen's Sausage Roll

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Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 5.6)
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Let me guess, you haven't even heard of this one. Well don't feel bad, neither had I. Stephen's Sausage Roll was definitely not a title I expected to come across in the Metacritic best games of 2016 list, and yet here it is.

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The gist is; you roll a sausage around a map until you reach the cooking area, and attempt to keep it there, without burning it, until done. Pretty straightforward stuff but if you've played, or watched, I Am Bread or Surgeon Simulator, you'll know it's anything but. The game gives you little in the way of instructions and forces you to figure certain things out on your own, a nice breath of fresh air in the days of over-complicated tutorials.

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The ingenuity of the level design and the way the game teaches you things without you even realising are where this game succeeds most. It's a difficult game, but not an unfair one, and you'll be shocked by how very long it is. The game costs $30, which may sound a little much, but there is dozens of hours of content and the game consistently reveals new things and upends your expectations. It was a surprise that Stephen's Sausage Roll made this list but the real surprise is just how damn good it is.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-ps4-review-dd246.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/r/dark-souls-ps4-review-dd246.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148313","description":"

9. Dark Souls III

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Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 8.6)
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Dark Souls was born from the ashes of Demon Souls -- a game that Sony had exclusive rights to but didn't see any potential in -- and what a spiritual successor it turned out to be. I for one would have considered the art of being relentlessly killed to turn many gamers off, but apparently we are gluttons for punishment. Dark Souls was a big success, then Dark Souls II released to less fanfare. Soon thereafter, Sony, releasing the error of its ways, rekindled its relationship with the studio to make Bloodborne. The PS4-exclusive was another huge hit and proved that lightning could strike twice.

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Which brings us to Dark Souls III. Once again rising from the ashes, the From Software team resurrected the series from the limp corpse of Dark Souls II, added what they learned from Bloodborne, and created their finest adventure into madness yet.

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Dark Souls III is a masterclass is world design, boss battles, visuals, and character progression. Sure the frame rate can wobble here and there, and the difficulty spikes are egregious, but those are two small complaints in what is a fantastic game. From Software, and creator Miyazaki, say that Dark Souls III is the end of the series -- although we will get more Bloodborne -- thus the series leaves us the way it came in; with a mighty punch in the face.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/z/rez-infinite-7d3c2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/z/rez-infinite-7d3c2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148312","description":"

10. Rez: Infinite

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Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 7.2)
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Here we have the only VR game that makes the top 10 list. Rez: Infinite almost didn't make the list however because it is technically a revamped version of the PS2 game, Rez. However Infinite is a significantly improved and changed version of the game that's more than just a remaster.

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Rez is an on-rails shooter that pits you as an AI in a computer system, with humans as the enemy injecting viruses into the system to destroy you. Making use of a lock-on mechanic and bombs, you blast your way through many levels of electronica-infused colour spasms that threaten to induce you in a coma.

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Indeed Rez: Infinite is an experience like few others; don't get me wrong, many have tried but none have succeeded. Somehow the Rez formula still holds up to this day and just so happens to find new life inside a PSVR helmet.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/n/landscape-1481544497-best-xbox-one-games-collage-acb0e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/n/landscape-1481544497-best-xbox-one-games-collage-acb0e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148314","description":"

It's January 2017 and that means it's that time of year when we all get nostalgic for the year that was. We like to take a look back and remember what we played, list our favourite games of the year, and even have a chuckle at the very worst the year had to offer.

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So that brings us to the very best 2016 had to offer. It's fair to say a lot of people left 2016 feeling a little disappointed -- at least on the AAA front -- especially when you glance back at the star-studded 2015. However, once you dig a little deeper and look past the Mirror's Edge's, Mafia 3's, and No Man's Sky's, you'll find a lot of great titles that surpassed expectations, or came out of nowhere to blow us away!

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Before we dive in to this list of greatness, the games are listed by their Metacritic score. Several games scored the same average, and are therefore ordered by their user score. There is no bias on this list, it's all based on the compiled reviews of critics, but don't be afraid to jump into the comments and let us know what your favourite games of 2016 were!

"}]]]>
The 10 Best Indie Games of All-Time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time https://www.gameskinny.com/us8ll/the-10-best-indie-games-of-all-time Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Curtis Dillon

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-indie-games-2016-247dd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/s/4/ps4-indie-games-2016-247dd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"157688","description":"

Well that's it for our list, and I'm sure you're all happy and agree with every game on here. All jokes aside, we want to hear what your favourite indie games are. Feel free to drop your personal Top 10 in the comments below and let us know where we went horribly wrong!

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There are so many amazing indie games it was super difficult to narrow this list down to 10 - hence the overlong honourable mentions. It pained me personally to leave out games like Oxenfree, Rogue Legacy, and Guacamelee, but that's part of the fun. The gaming world is so vibrant right now, with amazing titles coming out on a weekly basis. It's incredibly encouraging that six of the games in this list, came out in the past three years!

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Gaming is alive and well in every spectrum, the least of which is the indie scene. Games like Shovel Knight prove that what's old can be new again, while Everybody's Gone To The Rapture show immense beauty and a narrative that can only be told in a game. There's so much breadth and diversity that everyone can find something to love. And on that note, we also want to hear which of those 10 is your favourite! So get chatting in the comments and be sure to stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your gaming coverage!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/z/s/gzsf4r8-009db.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/z/s/gzsf4r8-009db.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148190","description":"
Honorable Mentions:
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  • Bastion
  • \n
  • Limbo
  • \n
  • Dear Esther
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  • Braid
  • \n
  • Super Meat Boy
  • \n
  • Hotline Miami
  • \n
  • OlliOlli
  • \n
  • Spelunky
  • \n
  • Rogue Legacy
  • \n
  • Oxenfree
  • \n
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • \n
  • Don't Starve
  • \n
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • \n
  • Actual Sunlight
  • \n
  • Three Fourth's Home
  • \n
  • Guacamelee
  • \n
  • Her Story
  • \n
  • Nidhogg
  • \n
  • The Beginner's Guide
  • \n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot3-dbdc6.png","type":"slide","id":"157674","description":"
Stardew Valley
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Stardew Valley is a phenomenon. Similar to Undertale, it has a rabid fan base and everyone that plays it falls in love. And there's a very simple reason why: it's addictive.

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I'm not a fan of farming simulators, games like Animal Crossing never appealed to me. Yet I kept hearing reverent praise for Stardew Valley, so eventually I picked it up on a PSN sale and figured I'd play a few hours before deleting it. 94 hours later I finished Stardew Valley.

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Why? Never before had I played a game with a better carrot on the end of the stick. Every day cycle in Stardew Valley lasts one hour, and in that hour you might water your crops, chop down some tree's, run into town and go fishing, and go to the bar to talk to the locals. Of course you could turn it off there but tomorrow you want to go to the blacksmith and crack open an ore, run down to the forest to see if the gypsy with the travelling cart is back, then maybe go up to the mines where you accidentally run out of stamina and pass out. You wake up the next morning and someone stole your money, so now you have to make it back, as well as check out the community centre, and maybe you have your eye on a villager so you'll want to bring them a gift. That's a quick example of how you could easily lose three hours to Stardew Valley.

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Stardew Valley is a really special game that is every bit as charming and fun as it is life-consuming. It's so much more than a farming simulator; Stardew Valley is like Animal Crossing meets The Sims, with a dash of Zelda thrown in. Even now that might not sound like it's for you, but I bet if you give it a couple of hours, you will be caught, hook, line and sinker.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-1ebd6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148191","description":"

Shovel Knight

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Shovel Knight was a game funded on Kickstarter and one of the true success stories to emerge from the platform. Carrying-on the lineage of classic platformers like Super Mario World, Mega Man, and CastleVaniaShovel Knight didn't reinvent the wheel but it might have perfected it.

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Of course, in the world of gaming it comes as blasphemy to say anything is better than those that pioneered the way, those that people hold the most nostalgia for, but the reality is that Shovel Knight combined the best elements of all of those classic games to make the perfect action platformer. Even though it is an amalgamation of those games, taking the world map, inventory, and combat from NES classics, Shovel Knight was a success because it has a personality of its own.

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With whimsical characters, fairytale setting, and flawless mechanics, Shovel Knight did was so few other modern platformers were able to achieve: originality and peerless quality. Available on pretty much every platform imaginable, there's no excuse not to play Shovel Knight. Personally I played it on the PS Vita, where it feels right at home. Furthermore, Yacht Club Games, developer of Shovel Knight, has released two full-length DLC's, the most recent being a brand new game from head-to-toe, and there's more to come. Oh, and all of it has been free if you already own the game. That's fan service like no other. So, what are you waiting for?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/u/journey-21161.png","type":"slide","id":"148179","description":"

Journey

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Journey is often considered the crown-jewel of indie games. A break-taking voyage through a scorching desert in order to reach the shining peak of the mountain ahead; a deceptively simple premise.

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Journey celebrates the majesty of nature and offers-up an adventure that is as unforgettable as it is beautiful. The game clocks-in at around two hours and takes you through the full spectrum of emotions, from the awe of climbing your first dune and seeing the vista ahead, to the dread you feel when traversing the dark underground locales.

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And, perhaps most importantly, along the way you might meet a friend. As you play Journey you can encounter another traveller, who joins in your trek to the mountain top. This partnership formed the core of many Journey experiences, especially when the game ends and you realise it was another player and not just an AI. In all the online gaming house I've played, none has been as unique and touching as my solitary Journey playthrough.

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There's a reason Journey is revered to the extent that it is. It is a masterpiece of storytelling and visuals that manages to tug on all the right strings while not uttering a single word. When people say video games cannot be art, point them in the direction of Journey.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/o/n/gonehome0814131280jpg-88281b-1280w-607e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148186","description":"

Gone Home

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What can I say about Gone Home that hasn't already been said? The game launched in 2013 on PC and set new standards for environmental storytelling and progressive topics in gaming.

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Gone Home, from The Fullbright Company, tells the story of Katie, a college student who returns from a summer abroad to her family's new home in Oregon, set in 1995. The family is still in the process of moving, so there's a lot boxes and disarray around the home, and her parents and sister are nowhere to be found. Once again it's hard to say much more without spoiling the game for anyone.

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Gone Home, in a way, put "walking simulators" on the map. Even though the term is often used in a derogatory fashion, the sub-genre is alive and well, in large part thanks to the brilliance and success of Gone Home.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-010-02026.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148182","description":"

Inside

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Playdead was always going to have a very hard time attempting to follow-up its smash-hit Limbo. However it did something much, much better; the team eclipsed every single element of Limbo and crafted a game so stylish and weird that it demands to be played. They crafted Inside.

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Not quite as grayscale as Limbo, Inside added a little red to the proceedings and some excellent lighting, to create a really stunning game. It's difficult to talk about the plot, or even mechanics, of Inside without delving into spoiler territory in some fashion. I will say that it plays a lot like Limbo but much improved, and I guess that kind of sums-up everything about Inside: it's Limbo on steroids.

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In short, Inside is a fantastic game that you should play. It's the modern evolution of the puzzle platformer, which uses all the facets of the genre to perfect it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/e/everybodys-gone-rapture-screen-ps4-30jan15-aa6b8.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"148181","description":"

Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

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Set in a perfectly recreated 1980's English village, in which every single person has disappeared, Everybody's Gone To The Rapture tells a story of everyday life coming to an abrupt end.

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As a voiceless wanderer, you are guided through the picture-perfect village of Yaughton by an ethereal ball of light that seeks to reveal to you the mystery of what happened to the locals. The people have left behind literal traces of themselves, which, when prompted, take form and act out some of the last moments of their lives like a message from beyond the grave. You can follow these particular people and watch exactly what they did: who were they with? Or were they alone when they met their demise? Did they at least get a goodbye?

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The answers to those kind of questions are what pushes you through the game, while unravelling the much-larger mystery at hand. You become connected the the villagers, while never actually meeting any of them. Everybody's Gone To The Rapture is a testament to well-written dialogue and a perfectly created setting. These elements come together to weave a story that will tug at your heart strings as much as it makes you scratch your head and wonder.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/r/i/friends-loser-833fb.png","type":"slide","id":"148185","description":"

Undertale

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When you talk about beloved video games, you think Pokemon, Zelda, Skyrim, but you can definitely add Undertale to that list.

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Emerging from obscurity in 2015, there was a long ground swell of devotion and fanfare for Undertale. It seemed that everyone who played it, fell in love with it, and rightfully so; Undertale masterfully created a game that weaved typical RPG elements with original Pokemon-style graphics, and a fairly simple story. Then it took all of those elements and flipped them on their head; the story twisted into something much darker and revelatory (while still making you laugh), and the battle system changed, continuously kept you on your toes.

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Undertale is the perfect storm of mechanics, characters, art-style, plot, etc., melding together to create a masterpiece. It's an example of every single element of a game being utilised to further the experience and keep players engaged. Undertale is an adventure like no other and one I implore everyone to take - and you can play it on your standard laptop for $10!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/f/unfinished-swan1-212ca.png","type":"slide","id":"148180","description":"

The Unfinished Swan

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Giant Sparrow is a games developer that was signed by Sony literally out of college, and the first thing they created was a plain white room, in which the player would splash black paint around. Eventually, after years of development, that rudimentary idea formed into The Unfinished Swan.

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Standing toe-to-toe with Journey as the best indie game on the PS3, The Unfinished Swan portrayed the adventure of Monroe, an orphan, who was only allowed to retain one painting from his mother's collection, after she sadly passes away. One night, Monroe wakes-up to find the swan missing, and so he leaps into the canvas and finds himself in a completely white world.

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The mechanic of the game sees Monroe throwing paint, which splashes on surfaces to reveal the world and help you navigate. The sheer sense of wonder that comes from throwing every blob of paint to find a mundane object, such as a park bench or a wooden crate, is equalled by the touching story of Monroe searching for place in the world. The game is a beautiful, serene journey, narrated by a soothing voice, that will stick with you long after it's over.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-review-screen-dacf1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148183","description":"

Firewatch

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The first game from developer Campo Santo, Firewatch had lofty expectations ahead of its release in 2016. With a development team that worked on The Walking Dead and Mark of the Ninja, and art courtesy of Olly Moss, it's easy to see why this game was so highly-anticipated.

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Firewatch puts you in the shoes of Henry; a middle-aged man who needs a break from his difficult life, so impulsively takes a job as a forest lookout in the Shoshone National Park, Wyoming. The game takes place in 1989, a year after the horrible Yellowstone Fires. Playing as Henry, you have a walkie-talkie that connects you to the other nearest lookout, Delilah, who guides you through the first days on the job.

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Firewatch is sheer beauty. From the jaw-dropping art by Olly Moss, to the emotionally-charged voice acting, Firewatch is everything a narrative-driven experience should be. The gameplay aims to serve the story, and the overall package is so finely crafted that it's impossible not to become immersed in the gorgeous world that Campo Santo has created.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/e/z/fez-010-d9bf6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148187","description":"

FEZ

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Fez was arguably the first big-hit of the indie scene. Created almost entirely by Phil Fish, Fez is a marvel of game design.

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With mind-bending level design, in which you rotate the levels to progress, beautiful pixel-art, and pleasant sound design, Fez is simply a joy to play. Sure it might look like a Super Nintendo game but your SNES would have a stroke if it tried to play Fez.

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Fez begs you to explore its world at your own pace and it's a testament to the design that you can do so without getting frustrated. The first time you jump into the blocky world and the entire perspective shifts, you'll have a smile on your face and be hooked to the brilliance of Fez.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indies-a3c57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"148189","description":"

What defines an "indie game"? That is the question... that I will not be answering here today. That's right: I'm not about to answer the tired debate of what actually constitutes an indie game and what doesn't. Truth be told, the word has lost all meaning in the current development landscape of Kickstarter and Steam Early Access.

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For the sake of this list, we can agree that indie simply means downloadable title made on a low budget by a small team of developers. That, too, is redundant considering all games are available to download -- but I digress.

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Anywho, the world of indie games exploded onto the scene way back in 2008, with Braid. Back then, downloading a game onto your console was still a foreign concept and few gave the idea a second thought. Fast forward almost a decade and these games are making up two-thirds of the games released on PS4 and Xbox One.

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It took a long time, too long, for these games to get the recognition they deserve, with a lot of gamers clinging to the ignorant idea that if it isn't on a disc, it isn't worth their time. Thankfully that mindset is all but gone today, and most gamers use the valuable time between AAA titles like Resident Evil 7 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, to catch-up on many smaller games that can be completed in a single sitting.

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The best thing about the "indie" games, is that they are filling the void left by mid-tier developers like THQ. Such B-level video games have been replaced by passion projects that don't have the same requirements as a full-release title would -- for example, had Outlast released in 2007, it would have been 10 hours longer, you would have had a gun, and it would have been less impressive.

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The "indie" scene allows developers to be artistic and branch out, spreading their wings without pressure. Furthermore, we may have once considered an indie to be a side-scrolling, 2D game that could run on an SNES, but now it can be anything from Limbo, to Firewatch. There is no pigeon-holing or defining this aspect of gaming and I for one love it.

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So here we are, about to celebrate the ten best indie games you can possibly play. This list is in no particular order and it's important to remember that there is always a level of partiality, so do not be offended if your favourite title is merely an honourable mention. So, without further ado...

"}]]]>
Missing the Zeitgeist of Inside Wasn't an Issue for Me https://www.gameskinny.com/fh9qa/missing-the-zeitgeist-of-inside-wasnt-an-issue-for-me https://www.gameskinny.com/fh9qa/missing-the-zeitgeist-of-inside-wasnt-an-issue-for-me Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:16:55 -0500 Cody "Slannxe" Bolster

Inside is a side-scrolling puzzle adventure game that follows a young boy just trying to survive in (what seems to be), a post-apocalyptic world.

When Inside was first announced several years ago, I was somewhat interested, but since I had never gotten around to actually playing Playdead's first game, Limbo, I didn't understand the pedigree these developers had.

Fast forward to when the game released last year. Many people were swooning over Inside, with many saying it was amazing, and that it was a GotY contender. I was surprised, but I didn't feel like paying $15 on the Xbox One to play it. So I waited, thinking it would go on sale in the future, or perhaps come to the PS4.

And that it did. It was released on PS4 about a month later, and it was immediately back on my radar. But seeing as I still had a significant amount of games just from 2016 in my backlog, I had to abstain from getting it.

Luckily, Sony decided to slash the price during its Holiday sale. It was only $5 cheaper than normal, but I had gotten a gift card for Christmas, and that was all it took.

Inside is a great game, full of difficult but rewarding puzzles and super interesting secrets. There are only a few things the boy can actually do. Move, jump, and an action, like pressing a button or grabbing a box.

Without going into too much of the spoiler zone, most of the puzzles you will do are simple. Like dropping a safe into broken floor boards or using gravity to your advantage. None of the puzzles you will do are unrealistic. They all make sense. My biggest suggestion is to always look for the yellow power cables.

The entire time I played I was constantly wondering, "what am I doing? Where am I going?" The game tells you absolutely nothing, with no dialogue at all, so you have to slowly piece things together yourself, and even then, there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer.


Inside is also a brutal game. The amount of different ways you can get the young boy killed is crazy. Without getting into spoilers, there are dogs, guns, electricity, and even drowning. There was even one point in the game I gagged because a death was pretty disgusting. But this really just added to the world of this game; it really had me sucked in.

With all this being said, I finished Inside and all I could say was, "what the hell? What just happened? What is this game?!" I was actually frustrated. The game felt relatively grounded for a majority of the time, and out of nowhere, it gets so absurd I couldn't stand it.

Even after getting the secret ending to the game, I was still confused. Luckily, I decided to look up the ending and was able to come across a great explanation that made me feel so much better about playing the game. Everything made (relative) sense.

But overall, Inside is great. It does everything a good puzzle game should do. It is top shelf material and really should be played by anyone who calls themselves gamers. You can beat it in 4 hours, and feel like you accomplished something amazing. It can get incredibly weird at times, and actually intense and frightening.

I can see why everyone has been loving on it, and it's never too late to jump in and play.

What do you think of Inside? Did you love it, or did it freak you out? Let me know in the comments below!

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Co-founder of Playdead Resigned After Intense Power Struggle https://www.gameskinny.com/3u3ob/co-founder-of-playdead-resigned-after-intense-power-struggle https://www.gameskinny.com/3u3ob/co-founder-of-playdead-resigned-after-intense-power-struggle Tue, 17 Jan 2017 23:23:11 -0500 Nam T. Bui

Back in July of 2016, Dino Patti, co-founder of indie studio Playdead, left the company after working there for nine years. He was reported to have sold his shares and granted full company ownership to fellow co-founder Arnt Jensen, stating that he wanted "to seek new challenges." However, a recent report from Danish financial newspaper, "Børsen," has revealed a messier side of the story with power struggles and buy-outs within the company.

According to the report, the conflict between Patti and Jensen started back in 2015 with Patti's frustration of the slow development progress of their projects, with each game taking four to six years to complete. The disagreement also extended to the ownership of Playdead's game rights.

Since then, their conflict has escalated to the point that the two only communicate with each other via lawyers and emails. On November 10th, 2015, Arnt Jensen expressed his dissatisfaction with working with Patti, as well as his desire for "other ways to continue my creative activities."

Jensen's statement prompted a removal of Jensen as the director of Playdead's Central Business Register (CVR) in Denmark. This act was conducted by a shocked Patti since he interpreted Jensen's statement as an intention to step down from the company. However, Jensen's lawyers claimed that it was all a "misunderstanding" and Jensen only intended to resign from the position of "creative director", not co-owner of the company.

Sometime later, the Danish Business Authority decided that Patti must leave the company due to continuous disagreement between two parties. Jensen was reported to have paid 50 million DKK (~7.2 million USD) in order to buy out Patti's shares in Playdead, thus giving him complete ownership of the company. After that, Patti believed his received amount was undervalued and attempted to trade in the money, hoping that in exchange, he could be granted back his old position at the company.

At this moment, Arnt Jensen has refused to comment about the conflict, while Dino Patti has said that he considers this all to be very personal. He has even compared the questions about the disagreement to questions about a breakup with a significant other.

Do you think this will affect the studios output? Or can Playdead weather the storm? Let us know in the comments below!

]]>
The Top 11 Games of 2016 as Reviewed by GameSkinny https://www.gameskinny.com/u4xkc/the-top-11-games-of-2016-as-reviewed-by-gameskinny https://www.gameskinny.com/u4xkc/the-top-11-games-of-2016-as-reviewed-by-gameskinny Fri, 30 Dec 2016 07:00:01 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck

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And that's it folks! These aren't the only great games of the year though. There were plenty of titles to choose from when making this list but in the end, these are our stand out's.

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2016 was an amazing year for games and I can't wait to see what is in store for 2017.

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What games do you think were the best this year? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-6b8e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overwatch-6b8e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146011","description":"

Overwatch (PC)

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Rating: 10/10

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Full Review by ChrisDeCoster

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I don't think anyone will be surprised to see this game on the list. Overwatch is hands down one of the best shooters I've ever played. It's unique cast of characters, fantastic gameplay and emphasis on teamwork have made for a truly fantastic game. I have found myself coming back to this game time and time again only to have a hell of a lot of fun with my friends. This is to be expected by a Blizzard title.

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"Overwatch is a must play game. If you like shooters, it won't take long for you to find a character to play as and a role to fill in any team. If you're one of the few people who haven't played the game in beta or already bought it, you owe it to yourself to pick it up and play. I can guarantee you you'll be playing this one for a long time."

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- ChrisDeCoster

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planetcoaster-19446.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/a/planetcoaster-19446.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146010","description":"

Planet Coaster (PC)

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Rating: 10/10

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Full Review by Autumn Fish

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When I was a kid, I used to waste hours and hours building roller coasters in Roller Coaster Tycoon. In recent years, that franchise has taken a bit of a nose dive and what used to be the golden standard in theme park sim games, has fallen by the wayside. Enter, Planet Coaster.

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Planet Coaster has easily been one of the best games I've played in a long time. If you've been itching to play a good theme park sim, you owe it to yourself to get this game.

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"Simulation games have never seen this level of creative freedom before. If you're a fan of both Sandbox and Simulation genres, Planet Coaster is a must play. Even if you're only a fan of Sandbox games, you're likely to get dozens or even hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of it."

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- Autumn Fish

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanfall-063a5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/i/t/titanfall-063a5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146009","description":"

Titanfall 2 (Xbox One)

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Rating: 10/10

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Full Review by Synzer

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Titanfall 2 is one of the best games I played all year. It just did so many things right. It's campaign was one of the best shooter campaigns I've ever played. The multiplayer is some of the best you are going to find. If you haven't played this game yet, you owe it to yourself to pick it up.

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The game's mechanics just feel fantastic.

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"Titanfall 2 is an amazing sequel and worthy of everyone's attention. There are many big games out and coming out around this time, but this game is definitely worth it.

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If you liked the first game at all, you'll love this one. If you wished there was a story mode in the last game, this one makes up for it tenfold.

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Overall, I was highly impressed with what Respawn has done, and hope they continue this franchise for many years to come."

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- Synzer

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-7f3a6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/s/inside-7f3a6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146008","description":"

Inside (PS4)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Jeremy "Digit" Brown

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Fans of the game Limbo have been waiting with bated breath to see what developer Playdead would do next. This year we got that answer.

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Inside is a side-scrolling, horror game where you play as a young boy trying to escape from a dystopian society. Using an interesting aesthetic, engaging gameplay and unique storytelling mechanics, Inside is definitely a game that you shouldn't miss.

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"Inside fulfills Limbo's aspirations in becoming a seamless, near-flawless experience. It took six years to craft this game; but just from its mysterious beginning to a literal jaw-dropping ending, Playdead has made a true work of art."

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- Jeremy "Digit" Brown

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/c/uncharted-9a85a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/c/uncharted-9a85a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145935","description":"

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Chris Bowring

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This year saw the end of the PlayStation's finest exclusive series', Uncharted. Developer Naughty Dog has grown since it released it's first installment of the series. After releasing the critically acclaimed The Last of Us, people were excited to see what the developer had learned. According to reviewer Chris Bowring, Naughty Dog has found their voice and are using it to create some real works of art.

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"Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the swan song this series deserved. From stunning visuals, to awe inspiring set pieces, grounded moments of weakness, and fluid and organic gameplay. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is one of the greatest experiences games can offer. Coming from someone who never truly resonated with the series, you owe it to yourself as a gamer to experience this."

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- Chris Bowring

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sun-pokemon-moon-439aa.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-sun-pokemon-moon-439aa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145934","description":"

Pokemon Sun and Moon

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Synzer

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I remember being given Pokemon: Blue Version when I was a kid. I played it non stop and fell deep into the Pokemon rabbit hole. That was back in 1996 and I've been playing Pokemon ever since. 

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Pokemon Sun and Moon are the latest installments to the Pokemon franchise and according to our reviewer, they are possibly the best to come out.

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"Pokemon Sun and Moon is one of the best, if not the best, Pokemon games ever made. It mixes up the formula and changes enough to be a fresh experience, while keeping the core of the game intact.

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Veteran and new players alike will have plenty to do and enjoy in these games to keep them busy for a long time. I look forward to the future of Pokemon and these games show great promise."

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- Synzer

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefield-ec956.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battlefield-ec956.png","type":"slide","id":"145933","description":"

Battlefield 1 (PC)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Sergey_3847

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2016 was a year where your common military shooter was kind of turned on it's head. Battlefield 1 definitely fits in this category. As someone who misses the days when Call of Duty was exploring battles of old wars, Battlefield 1 was a breath of fresh air. 

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While the combat is much more fast paced and aligned with what people are used to in a modern military shooter, Battlefield 1 brings back the historical aspect of a military shooter that I definitely missed. And bringing the Battlefield formula to World War I just makes sense.

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"Battlefield 1 is a true successor of the Battlefield series and one of the best games of the year. Bringing the experience of a hundred year old war is not an easy task, but DICE made it work. However, the game is not perfect and will not receive the highest possible score due to some bad enemy AI and less than stellar design on some of the maps.

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On the other hand, Battlefield 1 has given us all an opportunity to dive into one of the most brutal wars in the history of humanity -- and this is something you don’t try every day."

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- Sergey_3847

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-cbb5c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/y/p/hyper-light-drifter-cbb5c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145932","description":"

Hyper Light Drifter (PC)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Jeffrey Rousseau

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The image above still gives me chills every time I see it. Hyper Light Drifter was a game that sucked me in with it's engaging gameplay and gorgeous art. From the moment you boot the game up, you know you're in for a treat.

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"Hyper Light Drifter is a very well-made and well-executed game that succeeds in constantly challenging you forward. No adventure fan should miss out on this experience."

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- Jeffrey Rousseau

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-eba85.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/n/final-fantasy-eba85.png","type":"slide","id":"145931","description":"

Final Fantasy XV (PlayStation 4)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Synzer

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This is another game that fans have waited a long time for. After the mess that was Final Fantasy XIII, fans were clamoring for a return to the world an mechanics that made them love Final Fantasy.

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What originally started as a game called Final Fantasy XIII Versus, Final Fantasy XV released to pretty great reception. Fans loved the journey that these four guys were taking and the trouble they got into.

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"Final Fantasy XV is a dream come true for fans of the series and a fantastic RPG regardless of the name. This is a game that I'm sure any RPG fan will enjoy -- and even those that may not usually play the genre."

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- Synzer

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-31b57.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-31b57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145930","description":"

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbox One)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Ty Arthur

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Adam Jensen returned this year in the sequel to the the 2011 hit, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Eidos Montreal refined what they presented to us in that game to bring us this wonderful sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

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"If you dig games like Crysis but prefer more tactical, cover-based combat with a less confined world, then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will hit the spot. There are some flaws here and there however -- repetition in level layout elements, spotty dialog, and getting overpowered if you work the augmentation system.

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That being said, there's a ton of fun to be had here and lots of exploration to do outside the main quest line."

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- Ty Arthur

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/last-guardian-dfeae.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/last-guardian-dfeae.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145928","description":"

The Last Guardian (PlayStation 4)

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Rating: 9/10

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Full Review by Ashley Gill

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This was a game that was announced almost ten years ago for the last console generation. Fans of Team ICO's work waited with bated breath for the successor to the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Colossus. Finally, that game was released, but was it worth it? According to reviewer Ashley Gill, it most definitely was.

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"An emotional journey from start to finish, The Last Guardian shows that Fumito Ueda and the Team ICO staffers now at SIE Japan Studio still have the ability to create a mini-universe you can completely immerse and invest yourself emotionally into without even realizing it. It's a triumph, with its only detractors being some technical issues that, should you be invested enough, are easy to overlook and completely forget about once it's all over. And if you want to play it again once it's over, have at it -- there's replay-only content to be found that Team ICO fans should be tickled by."

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- Ashley Gill

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameskinny-reviews-3839e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/m/gameskinny-reviews-3839e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"145799","description":"

Life as a gamer was pretty good this year. We got a slough of great games over the course of the entire year. And I do mean over the entire year. From beginning to end, I was playing a new game that was pretty darn great all year long. My reflexes and patience were tested in Dark Souls III. I was introduced to a new world of unique characters and extremely competitive gameplay in Overwatch. I was allowed to rip and tear my way through the hordes of demons in DOOM.

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Yeah, I'd say that this year was pretty good as a gamer. But, before we welcome 2017 with open arms, we need to take a look back at the best games of this year. Yes, folks, it's time to go over the top 11 games of 2016 as reviewed by GameSkinny. This list isn't so much a counting down of the best but more a collection of what we determined to be the best games of the year. So without further ado, let's get into the list!

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5 Haunting Indie Games to Play on Halloween Night https://www.gameskinny.com/nj18r/5-haunting-indie-games-to-play-on-halloween-night https://www.gameskinny.com/nj18r/5-haunting-indie-games-to-play-on-halloween-night Sat, 29 Oct 2016 11:02:56 -0400 Jared Elliott

The age of indie titles is upon us, and if the horror genre as it exists today is of any indication, the timing couldn't have been better. Indie developers are doing most of the heavy lifting these days when it comes to innovative and, most importantly, terrifying horror games.

And it shows -- nearly every popular horror title today is the product of talented, ever-blossoming indie studios. With so many great choices on the market, we've cherry-picked a very special few which are guaranteed to make your Halloween night even more haunting. Be warned: These five indie horror games will likely shave a few hours off of your sleep schedule.

5. Claire (2016)

Imagine a choose-your-own-adventure, 2D side-scrolling Silent Hill game, and you'll probably think of something like Claire. Psychological terror and ever-shifting environments create a wonderfully crafted horror experience that caters to fans of traditional survival-horror fare with its puzzle-solving, area maps, and emergent storytelling.

Claire amounts to a success for indie developer Hailstorm Games at creating a better Silent Hill-like game than the series itself has produced in several years. Whereas Silent Hill began to suffer when its focus shifted from pensive, psychological horror to fast-paced action, Claire takes the opposite approach by leaving the player defenseless from the various monstrosities found within. Peppered throughout are some vaguely Dark Souls-ian elements, namely encounters with crestfallen weirdos who serve to enhance the plot and atmosphere.

Though Claire tops out at a few hours (and that's a liberal estimate), it is a surprisingly deep thriller that is easy on the wallet and perfect for some casual Halloween gaming. If you're in the mood for a quick horror fix and an early bed time, you won't be disappointed here.

4. Slender: The Eight Pages (2012)

It's rare to watch a mythical figure akin to Bigfoot and La Chupacabra rise to prominence before your very eyes -- and that's what makes the legend of Slender Man truly remarkable. Appearing first in a post on the Something Awful forums, Slender Man became an instant phenomenon, with internet-goers across the world expanding his lore and "validating" real life sightings. The figure's influence grew rapidly in a matter of years, even compelling two young Wisconsin girls to lure an unsuspecting "friend" into the woods, where they attempted to murder her. When questioned about the incident after their arrest, the attackers admitted that they had attempted to appease Slender Man.

Slender: The Eight Pages, released by indie studio Parsec Productions in 2012, capitalized on the ghastly lore of Slender Man to the fullest extent, situating players in a dark forest with nothing but a flashlight as they are stalked by the titular creep. The goal is to explore the forest and the abandoned facilities within in the search for cryptic pages, all of which have something creepy drawn or written on them. As more pages are amassed, Slender Man stalks the player more aggressively, and soon, the heat is on...

Every corner is suspect in Slender, and looking over your own shoulder is never advised. Before you've discovered any pages, you might catch a glimpse of Slender Man with the rays of your flashlight as he watches you from a distance, only to disappear at a second glace. By the time you've gathered a few pages, Slender Man follows closely, appearing around the corner when you least expect it.

Then again, the horror of Slender is best when you do expect Slender Man to appear suddenly before you. The feeling of being stalked helplessly by a terrifying monster is heart-pounding and very intense, and no number of jump-scares could ever match the terror you will experience during this short, simple game. 

3. Among the Sleep (2014)

Childhood is scary -- period. When you're three feet tall and clueless about your surroundings, every bump in the night is an omen, and every shadow in the closet wants to snatch you up and take you away. Krillbite Studio captured this sensitive and universal fear in Among the Sleep, a disturbing journey into the imagination of a troubled and fearful toddler.

Among the Sleep is a surreal, suspenseful experience throughout each of its four hours, peppered with notable moments of sheer terror that I still can't shake. In a world where kitchen counters look like mountains and coats in the closet look like monsters, tension is omnipresent. The environments take their shape from the child's imagination, which creates a warped, unpredictable reality in which anything can happen.

While the experience is almost too short, Among the Sleep is commendable for achieving exactly what it set out to do, which is to create a new landscape for the horror genre and inject it with some real imagination. It accomplishes both of these feats with great success, and maintains a cogent narrative all the while. If you're looking for a great horror experience that won't take all night to complete, this game fits the bill. Oh, and it will scare the shit out of you repeatedly.

2. Inside (2015)

While there may be some debate about Inside's place (or lack thereof) in the horror genre, there is still no doubt that the world of Limbo's successor is deadly, oppressive, and fear-inducing every step of the way. I wrote about Inside a few weeks ago and mentioned that the hallmark of suspense in any medium is uncertainty. For Inside, Playdead Studios captures this element and amplifies it to heart-pounding extremes. There were countless moments during the game in which I felt hopelessly doomed, only to escape death by the skin of my teeth.

Atmosphere is this game's greatest strength, and it uses it with cutting precision to immerse the player into the cold, bleak world. Mastery in this department serves to intensify the many panicked and dreadful moments that players will encounter, especially where snarling dogs and violent explosions are involved. Virtually everything and everyone wants to kill you at all times, requiring the player to be on guard constantly as they navigate the fatal universe of Inside

Rather than referring to Inside as an incredible horror game, it's probably fairer to refer to it as an incredible game with substantial horror elements attached to it. Horror is not the primary theme, but it looms forebodingly, striking the player during moments of helplessness and panic. This is a game that should be played at any time, but if you've never experienced the horror that Inside has to offer, Halloween is a perfect opportunity.

1. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2010)

Due to its success, it's easy to forget that Amnesia: The Dark Descent was developed by a fledgling indie developer -- Fractional Games -- based in Helsingborg, Sweden. Following the conceptually-similar Penumbra series of titles, Fractional Games delivered a new level of sophistication and polish to their unique brand of survival-horror with Amnesia. The world took notice in a big way, with the game now receiving top choice in a staggering number of "Best Horror Game" lists.

And you bet your asses that its reputation is well-deserved. Amnesia is one of those games that gets under your skin and stays there. Armed with little more than a lantern and scant oil supplies, the player must navigate a mysterious mansion with all manners of horror lurking within. Battle takes place not between the player and the aforementioned horrors, but between the player and his or her own sanity as reality shifts and wavers, leaving nothing sure in the mind except the terrible darkness which surrounds everything.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a game to play in doses -- it is far too stressful to experience the constant twists, turns, and genuine freak-outs for long periods of time. For veterans of the horror genre, however, this is one indie title that can (and should) be finished in a Halloween gaming marathon. 

Do you agree with our picks? What's your favorite horror game to play on Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

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After the Hype: Reviewing Inside https://www.gameskinny.com/m14sf/after-the-hype-reviewing-inside https://www.gameskinny.com/m14sf/after-the-hype-reviewing-inside Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:29:59 -0400 Jared Elliott

I'll come right out and say it – I love platformers. There is a corner of my heart which is still home to games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Jak and Daxter, which I played as a young lad more than fifteen years ago. Sadly, the platform genre suffered somewhat after that golden age, at least until 2010, when Playdead's Limbo revitalized the genre by offering players a novel, atmospheric, and unforgettably creepy experience. Remember being chased around by a massive spider, tearing off its legs, and using its thorax as a platform to reach the next area? Yeah, me too.

One of the many delightful experiences of Limbo

With Inside, Playdead has crafted an experience which is fundamentally similar to Limbo, albeit with improved gameplay, polished graphics, and new environments which create a perpetually eerie and sometimes downright scary atmosphere. Inside succeeds in delivering every element that players loved about Limbo in a new, decidedly fresh package while simultaneously tweaking the elements which some regarded less favorably. The player character, for example, knows how to swim in this edition, and does so gracefully and with ease. He is able to hold his breath for a reasonable period of time and provides ample warning to the player when his oxygen runs low, allowing Inside's breathtaking underwater settings to be explored at length. This is a notable improvement over Limbo, whose protagonist dropped like a dead sack of potatoes as soon as he stepped into a deep puddle.

Pictured: A near-death experience

Overall, Inside's controls feel smoother than those of its predecessor. The protagonist moves in a natural and realistic way without being cumbersome to navigate – a perfect and rarely executed combination of traits for platforming games in general. This realism in motion is used to great effect during Inside's numerous moments of suspense, such as when vicious dogs give chase with appropriate and frightening speed while your character trips over stray branches and slogs through knee-high water. The hallmark of suspense in any medium is uncertainty, and there were countless moments during Inside in which I felt hopelessly doomed, only to escape death by the skin of my teeth. Leaping over a bottomless chasm to escape the jaws of those aforementioned canines, even during my second playthrough, is something that will take years to forget.

Not friends

This luck runs out occasionally, however. Retained from Limbo are the many instances of trial-and-error gameplay, which means that death and repetition are guaranteed in the world of Inside. The deaths themselves are particularly gruesome, yet satisfying, and serve as a macabre reward to the player in and of themselves. Thankfully, the obstacles which players encounter along the way rarely necessitate more than two or three attempts to surmount, and repetition of the game's more difficult challenges is smoothed over by forgiving restart placement. In the event that your character dies, the game deducts a few seconds of progress and sends you along your way with an encouraging pat on the rear. This eliminates the unneeded frustration which plagues some other platforming titles and ensures that the pace never screeches to a halt.

And what a treat it is to keep a steady pace, because the environments which the player will explore during Inside are as astonishing as much as they are varied. No area is boring to look at, thanks to Playdead's incredible art design, and subtle clues peppered throughout the world reward careful eyes with new mysteries to solve and deep lore to contemplate. The musical score is notably well-composed and enhances the game's atmosphere to the extent that it is inseparable from the environments themselves, masterfully punctuating experiences ranging from the most panicked to the most awe-inspiring until the very end.

There are no friends in this world

For all that it does right, Inside is sadly lacking where its plot is concerned. This is nothing new for Playdead, who are no strangers to ambiguity – however, the impenetrable mystery and forced speculation that was once charming in Limbo becomes tedious when transplanted into a game with significantly more complex and interesting environments. The secrets of Inside are captivating and beg to be revealed, yet most are discarded and ignored in the very same moment that the credits disappointingly roll. I finished the game knowing almost nothing more about the setting than I did when I started. Instead, I was left with many more questions than answers and nary a hint to speculate.

I discovered after my first playthrough that there is a secret ending which can be unlocked by uncovering various hidden areas within the game. This ending reveals critical details of Inside's story, but it is nearly impossible to achieve without consulting online resources. To achieve the secret ending and therefore get the most out of the story, one must discover a total of thirteen secret areas, some of which are so deeply tucked away that my concerted effort to uncover them failed. Then, one must find another secret area with an entrance which is literally impossible to see. Finally, one has to input a specific musical pattern into a device to open the final door and unlock the ending. The pattern in question can be heard within a total of two hidden areas of the game, with no indication of its importance granted to the player whatsoever. There's captivating mystery that is a delight to uncover, and then there's drudgery. Inside features more of the latter as far as its plot goes, and unfortunately for Playdead, drudgery almost never makes a good story.

All things considered, Inside is a well-crafted and beautiful game, and its flaws are lost in the multitude of superb moments which ultimately define it. It is an interactive work of art, and all that Playdead needs to improve at this point is their storytelling approach. If they nail that next time, they will have the right to claim the title as one of today's greatest development teams. Until then, I'll keep playing Inside and hoping for more of the same.

   

 After the hype is gone, what's left? For Inside...

9/10 - Deserved the Hype

 

 

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GameSkinny Spotlight // Fallout 4 Nuka World, Overwatch Free Weekend https://www.gameskinny.com/4jwm9/gameskinny-spotlight-fallout-4-nuka-world-overwatch-free-weekend https://www.gameskinny.com/4jwm9/gameskinny-spotlight-fallout-4-nuka-world-overwatch-free-weekend Fri, 02 Sep 2016 15:31:07 -0400 BlackTideTV

This week on GameSkinny Spotlight we're joined by special guest, Pierre Fouquet! The articles covered range from indie game Hue to AAA Fallout 4 DLC news!

Check out the original articles here:

If you're reading this, you're watching on GameSkinny! Come on over to BlackTideTV and see what we're all about! Hit that like button and don't forget to subscribe!

You can follow me on Twitter (@BlackTideTV), here.

Until next time, STAY TUNED! 

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Inside Review - Down The Rabbit Hole https://www.gameskinny.com/dxalk/inside-review-down-the-rabbit-hole https://www.gameskinny.com/dxalk/inside-review-down-the-rabbit-hole Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Jeremy Brown

In many of my favorite games, there are minor dull moments. Perhaps going through a section just talking to NPCs while you get to the next area, or a stealth section that's too easy for any real challenge. But the memorable parts soar above and beyond what expected, leaving me satisfied as a player. In this world, with its awe-inspiring visuals and surreal sounds Playdead's Inside does something that almost no game can achieve -- there is actually never a dull moment in the game.

It starts off similar to Limbo, Playdead's previous title from 2010, with you controlling a young boy in a forest. But this time around, there's a major difference- your character goes on a journey into horrific abstraction, one that brings me closer to feeling like I'm in some terrifying dream I can't awake from. This is much more complex than its predecessor in its themes -- it throws you into a world where scientific exploration has ruined animal life, and made a horrifying dystopian society. It reminded me very much of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, with people living in a state that you know has no chance of truly being changed. When the ending arrives, no amount of plot-twist guessing will save you -- it's ridiculous, it's insane, and you won't see it coming.

Much of the praise I give the dreary story...

...is thanks to the fantastic, perhaps flawless art direction for the game. The lighting effects of the shadows, and stark contrast between your character's red shirt and the bleak grays that surround him. Character animations are incredibly fluid, from the dogs, to the boy, even down to the more demented things that wait as you progress. It all gives a shocking sense of realism, even though the people don't even have faces. Like I said, it's an oddly striking balance that makes you feel as if in a dreamscape.

But what makes this so much better is that the animations also work so well with the controls; that every movement I made was so perfectly responsive. Everything flowed well, but not at the cost of making good gameplay for platforming, something that was an issue for me when playing Limbo. But it doesn't stop there, as the art direction actually also fixes all of my other minor complaints with Limbo. For instance, in that game, if you had a box fall on you, the kid will die because of the blunt force trauma to the head. But because Inside is set in a '3D world' now, the boy simply steps into the foreground to avoid injury. This is just one example, but the small quality of life improvements are so important to the flow.

Puzzles are also very intricate, adding new elements to a mechanic; as long as it can be creative. The level design so concise that you always use something to its fullest before leaving an interactive object behind. They also lead to my only problem with the game- dying is a common thing when solving them, but the idea behind many of them is that they want you to fail on the first try, see the boy meet a gruesome fate, then try again. These become more streamlined if you go back into the game again, as you've gained more knowledge of the level, but it creates times where trial-and-error takes hold. Because of the context of these puzzles, they come to life as stealth, action, and set-piece moments that fuel back into the game's narrative, and vise versa.

That's what really makes the journey special

Inside, on my first playthrough, was 4 hours long, then my second two times were only 90 minutes. It's not a long game, so the $20 price-tag might scare off more frugal players. But the game is dense in its creativity. Everything that matters comes back into itself. The story, the puzzles, the action, the presentation; they all flow so seamlessly back into each other that it doesn't just feel like a game anymore. Inside fulfills Limbo's aspirations in becoming a seamless, near-flawless experience. It took six years to craft this game; but just from its mysterious beginning to a literal jaw-dropping ending, Playdead has made a true work of art.

The Good:

  • Fantastic visuals and animations
  • Great atmospheric sound design
  • Pitch-perfect playability
  • Shocking, astonishing story

The Bad:

  • Puzzles can lead to some trial and error moments
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10 PC Games That Are Worth Playing When Ported to Console https://www.gameskinny.com/lccrm/10-pc-games-that-are-worth-playing-when-ported-to-console https://www.gameskinny.com/lccrm/10-pc-games-that-are-worth-playing-when-ported-to-console Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:22:37 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Gaming has suddenly become a place where PC-only experiences have been finding new homes on the current generation of consoles. Games like XCOM, iRacing, little indie games, and experimental ARPGs, are now moving over to consoles.

This isn't a bad thing, it's great, but what are the 10 best PC games which are being ported to console in the coming months? I'm counting them down. Because I think it's time for gamers to unite under a love of games -- or just keep shouting at each other, it really is quite amusing.

1. Superhot

Released way back in Feb 2016 for PC, Superhot was later released for Xbox One. "Time only moves when you move," is the tagline -- it's a bit of a lie, because when you don't move time still moves, just very, very, very, almost imperceptibly slowly.

It's a perfect example of a game which works on both console and PC. The range and fluidity of motion a pad allows makes for some great Matrix moments. I actually play it by aiming with my mouse, and doing everything else with my pad.

Superhot also has a mind bending story. While not revolutionary, it asks some very interesting questions. But mostly...you look badass all the time -- so just get it, alright?!

2. Inside

Yes, I know Inside was on Xbox One first, but I just had to put this here. Breaking the rules for such an amazing game can be forgiven, right? Released in June, and July of 2016 for Xbox One and PC respectively, Inside was brought to PS4 on the 23rd of August -- which is why I can stand here and say it belongs on this list.

In this side scrolling puzzle game, you control a boy as he moves through a dystopian, maybe future world. Inside is a must have for anyone who loves a good atmospheric game (like Limbo).

3. Project Cars (pCars)

The cheekiest thing I could possibly do right now is put pCars on this list. And as I never aim to disappoint, I will do just that! Released back in 2015, pCars received a Game of the Year (GotY) edition back in May. This is when I consider the game to have come out fully...not because of any principles, but just because then I can put another racing game on this list.

pCars is a simulation racer by Slightly Mad Studios. They are indeed slightly mad, as they not only crowed funded the budget for the game, but also the development. The result is pretty much the best racing game ever released -- not the most realistic, but the most realistic feeling. pCars is a must have for any car fan, racing fan, or fan of things which make the sounds of heaven and go in speeds which are quick.

pCars has VR support, as well.

4. Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally was released on PC right at the end of 2015, and was in Early Access before that. Just like the game above it, it's pretty much the best rally game ever made (matching the likes of Richard Burns Rally, and the Colin McRae Rally games). It feels more real than it is -- not that it's even close to being an arcade game. A simulation at its core, Dirt Rally is another must-have for any car, racing, or fast thing lover. It came to consoles in April of 2016, and... just get it.

It, like pCars, has VR support. But it's absolutely terrifying.

5. Mounts and Blade: Warband

Mount and Blade Warband released all the way back in 2010 for PC, but is trotting its way onto the PS4 and Xbox One on September 16th, 2016. Working out why it's taken 6 years for one of the best ARPGs to make it onto consoles is like wearing a melted full face helmet into battle -- you ain't gonna see anything, you ain't gonna hear anything, you ain't gonna find anything out. But I digress.

Mount and Blade has always had a 'make your own story' type gameplay. You start as a randomer, pick a side, and well... make your own story. You can go from useless arsewipe, to leader of the free people of Westeros... I mean Calradia. Slash some mercs, fire some of them pointy arrow things, and do some other stuff that makes you the best, on Xbox One and PS4 pretty soon!

6. Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon released on PC right at the start of 2016 after a long, but successful, Early Access stint. Your merry band of skilled fighters must march through a dungeon, vanquishing foes for glory -- or, you're depressed band of terrible shamblers, will die.

Darkest Dungeon is a phenomenal side scrolling roguelike dungeon crawler -- literally --  where you must manage your band of heroes through the murky depths of your new mansion. Like with many of these games, you must manage pretty much everything everyone does -- from stress levels, to when they can relieve themselves (Disclaimer: you don't need to do that last part.)

The game is a turn-based, real-time hybrid -- you move around in real time, but take combat in turns. Coming to the PS4 and Vita at the end of September 2016, Darkest Dungeon is made special because of its roguelike nature, the aesthetic, the art style, and above all the tightness of the game's mechanics. Each system interlocks, and they all work in perfect unison. If that sounds like a pleasant stroll in the park, then get the game...you'll love it!

7. Verdun

Released on PC after an Early Access period, Verdun (named after the battle of the same name) is a World War 1 (WW1) FPS. Unlike the upcoming Battlefield 1 -- which I call 1916 -- this is not a happy-go-lucky, run-and-gun look at WW1. It's a much more methodical, slower-paced FPS. As is the case with games like Insurgency or Day of Infamy, you can't go in guns blazing.

Verdun is an exceptional FPS, which will shamble onto your PS4s and Xbox Ones right at the end of August 2016. If I have not convinced you of its brilliance, it's because the game even downplays itself. It's a grueling game, one which captures the essence of trench warfare. Just bring your trench gun and gasmask, because Verdun will run right at you with mustard gas and all sorts of weapons.

8. X-COM 2

XCOM 2 released way back in February 2016. I's a turn-based, squad-focused strategy game. You play as an elite squad of the now basically dead XCOM defense force, after earth has been taken by aliens and a military dictatorship has taken hold. Battle aliens and the government, in a futuristic world -- but you can only shoot in turns. Your aim is to save earth, starting from nothing, and building XCOM back to what it once was -- an organisation of the baddest, meanest, most elite alien arse kickers on earth (and everywhere around it).

XCOM 2 is the 2nd game in the reboot series, based on the classic franchise of the same name. And it's coming to Xbox One and PS4 right at the end of September 2016. Do you want to kill all aliens, and dictator scum, or do you want to brutally murder everything? The lack of choice is yours, because of course you want to save earth by killing everything... right?

9. Halo Wars 2

Releasing for Xbox One and PC in Feb 2017 (but being made for PC, just with controllers in mind) Halo Wars 2 will be the 2nd in the spin-off Halo RTS series. This time developed by Creative Assembly (of Total War fame) Halo Wars 2 continues what Halo Wars started semi-successfully with bringing the RTS to controllers.

If you want to kick alien or human ass in real time, Halo Wars 2 is your only bet. You can play as Brutes (giant hulking beasts who are more walking boar than anything else) or humans (who as we all know are just the worst). But the only question remains: will Halo Wars 2 improve on the mixed reception of the first or only match it? We will find out on the 21st of February, 2017.

10. Assetto Corsa

Released on PC in Dec 2014, after a year-long Early Access stint, Assetto Corsa sits right next to the likes of rFactor and iRacing as pure simulation excellence. But it is also outstandingly pretty. Every detail of how a car behaves is meticulously handled -- unless you can't handle it, and then it's meticulously crashed. And every track is laser-scanned perfection. 

Assetto Corsa releases for Xbox One and PS4 on the 26th August 2016. If you can control a car perfectly, while driving at around 150mph going up the famous Eau Rouge of Spa, then I declare you a driving god. (Until you try driving the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Dirt Rally with the Peugeot 208 T16, once you master that you are a driving titan.)

I counted to ten, and now we are out

There you have it -- the best of the best PC games which have made it, or will make it, to console in 2016 and early 2017. There is a massive range of experiences being ported this season, and I hail the day that there is almost full software parity between the PC and consoles. That day, when it comes, will be known as "the day the gamers won." (Both because I love puns, and also because we did.)

If there are any games I left off this list that you would love to talk about, then go ahead and tell me about them in the comments below!

Header image credit: hexus.net

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Inside comes to PS4 on August 23rd https://www.gameskinny.com/h9fuq/inside-comes-to-ps4-on-august-23rd https://www.gameskinny.com/h9fuq/inside-comes-to-ps4-on-august-23rd Thu, 04 Aug 2016 07:45:03 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

Inside launched as an Xbox One exclusive a little over a month ago, but it turns out PlayStation fans won't have long to wait until they can experience the acclaimed 2D puzzle platformer.

Developer Playdead has announced the game will make its way to PS4 on August 23rd. This marks a vast improvement over the studio's previous game, Limbo, which took a year to release on a Sony console.  

Despite having hefty boots to fill, Inside received rave reviews when it launched on Xbox One, with many suggesting the follow-up not only lives up to, but surpasses the brilliance of its predecessor. 

Inside bears a striking resemblance to Limbo both visually and technically; it stars a young boy exploring a primarily monochromatic world where failure to correctly traverse the gloomy, puzzle-filled environments results in a certain and traumatically gruesome death for the tiny hero. 

The news of the inbound PS4 version was also accompanied by a new trailer, which you can check out below:

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What the Hello Kitty is Going On in INSIDE? https://www.gameskinny.com/wedq9/what-the-hello-kitty-is-going-on-in-inside https://www.gameskinny.com/wedq9/what-the-hello-kitty-is-going-on-in-inside Fri, 15 Jul 2016 07:08:57 -0400 Dennis Adame

First off, if you haven't read my review of INSIDE I suggest you do. There I go over what I like about the game, here I am only talking about my views on the story. Just like with Limbo, Playdead pretty much leaves it up to the player to figure out what's going on in the game. I personally enjoy that, because it makes me think for once when playing games. The internet is full of ideas about what people think is going on in the game, but I am going to give it a good old college try and tell you what I think is happening.

[Note: There are spoilers ahead. Tread carefully.]

First things first, when does this take place?

Well, I think that this game takes place in the same world and before the events of Limbo. Two major things point to that -- the first of them being the mind-control worm things. The little white worms were featured in Limbo and they can be seen early on in INSIDE attached to a pig. The pig is very aggressive until you make him run into a wall and you pull the worm off him. Once the worm is off he is a lot more calm (maybe the worm was being tested on pigs before it was tested on humans).

The other factor that leads me to believe that the games takes place before Limbo is that the number of people the player encounters and the state of the buildings. In Limbo, pretty much the only person that you will see is yourself and the little girl at the very end of the game. Aside from those two people, no other humans are seen. So the fact that there are people in Inside makes me think it's earlier on the timeline in the same world.

Up next, what the hell is going on?

Well, this may be weird..but bear with me for a second. The blob thing from the end is the one in control the whole time. Think about it -- you break out of the facility at the beginning and hide from the guards, just to make your way all the way through the game to end up back at the facility and free the blob. The blob wants you to help it get its freedom.

This is also enforced through the alternate ending of the game. The ending shows the boy walking into a room that has a mind control helmet plugged into the floor. When the player pulls the power plug he collapses into the same position the other "zombies" fall into when not being used. 

Now, what's the objective of the game?

Well, it could be one of two things. The first possibility is that you goal is to have the blob to escape the facility, which is achieved. Or it's for the blob to leave the facility and go somewhere else, which doesn't happen. Either way, it's pretty depressing, since it seems like the blob dies in the ending. 

Well there you have it, my thought on INSIDE and what's going on. Much like Limbo the game is pretty depressing, but it's a great game regardless. What do you think is going on? Let me know in the comments.

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INSIDE is a breath of fresh air https://www.gameskinny.com/1fhwk/inside-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air https://www.gameskinny.com/1fhwk/inside-is-a-breath-of-fresh-air Fri, 15 Jul 2016 07:17:47 -0400 Dennis Adame

In an industry where it seems like every other game released is a shooter with insane amounts of blood, gore, and language, it's nice to have a game that is a little toned down -- one that actually makes you think a little and doesn't spell everything out for you. It's nice to have a game that is just fun. INSIDE from Playdead, the folks that brought us Limbo, does just that.

The game is very simple graphically, using only black, white, and red. But the environment itself beautiful and rich. It almost speaks to you with a story of its own.

INSIDE also has very little voice acting, other than grunts (from jumping and falling), but you can understand what the character is feeling based on his body actions.

Playdead does not tell you much about the story, or really anything for that matter, but instead leaves it up to the player to figure out on their own which I really enjoy. (I will write a separate article about what I think is going on). The main character is a boy who seems to have escaped some kind of testing facility, and he is on the run. Along his journey he is chased by dogs, guards, a creepy water lady, and even gets to drive a submarine type ship. 

Much like Playdead's Limbo, the game is very creepy and unsettling. During my time playing, I always had the feeling like something bad was about to happen, or that another gross/depressing scene was waiting for me in the next room.

For example, in the picture above you can see the main character and a group of people following him. Those people are almost like zombies that the player can control with his mind. They are brainless bodies that follow the player and do whatever he wants them to do. When he is done with them they just fall lifeless to the ground. 

The gameplay is simple -- walk, jump and grab are the only controls that you will use are you make your way through the three or so hour story. The game is only $19.99, and even if you feel that three hours isn't worth the money, the joy that this game brings will be well worth it.

If you want a game that will make you think not only about the story but about the games many puzzles, then this is a game that you need to pick up. Since it can be beaten in about three hours. I would also suggest playing it all in one play through. It will keep you immersed and make it a more rewarding experience.

 Essentially this game is a lot like Limbo -- which is a great thing, because Limbo is an amazing game like INSIDE. The only thing that stops this game from being a perfect ten out of ten is the fact that it is only three hours long. It could have just been a little bit longer, and it was so well done that I wanted much, much more. 

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Inside Looking To Be One of the Greatest Games of 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/cknnk/inside-looking-to-be-one-of-the-greatest-games-of-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/cknnk/inside-looking-to-be-one-of-the-greatest-games-of-2016 Wed, 29 Jun 2016 05:52:13 -0400 cactusjudy

2D-puzzle adventure game Inside comes out on the Xbox One tomorrow (and on PC July 7th), and the reviews are already rolling in. Spoiler Alert: they're spectacular. 

The second game from Danish indie developer Playdead, which gained critical acclaim for its 2010 title Limbo, Inside follows a nameless boy as he struggles against forces who are trying to take over the world through experimentation on human bodies. The game starts off in a dark woods where the playable character is being hunted by guards, and soon continues into a military factory where the majority of gameplay occurs.

The boy must complete a number of puzzles and avoid death as he continues through the factory, uncovering secrets about his world. The only actions available to the player are "jump" and "interact," limiting the boy's movements and adding to the atmosphere of terror and mystery surrounding the game. Additionally, no dialogue or text instructions exist in-game, forcing the player to enter the game clueless as to the backstory and details of its characters, locations, and conflict.

Inside is being hailed as a masterpiece by numerous gaming magazines and websites due to its detailed, bleak visual design, stellar use of sound and camera work, and intricate, engrossing plot. The game is certain to provide a number of tense moments as the boy continuously escapes death by the skin of his teeth. Or doesn't... leading to a number of gruesome death scenes that add to the game's thrilling and mysterious experience (and don't punish the player too harshly, given the generous number of save spots).

For all of these reasons and more, Inside is already proving to be one of critics' top choices of the year, earning a perfect 10/10 from both IGN and VideoGamer.com (and 9.5s from most other review sites) and holding a score of 91 on Metacritic. Though not for the young or the squeamish, Inside should be on the radar of every gamer this year as it continues to win accolades and aims to become one of the greatest titles of 2016. 

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PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for exclusives....so what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.

Endgame

I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

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