Kerbal Space Program Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Kerbal Space Program RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Family-Friendly Fun: 9 Best PS4 Games for Kids in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/s7ccf/family-friendly-fun-9-best-ps4-games-for-kids-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/s7ccf/family-friendly-fun-9-best-ps4-games-for-kids-in-2018 Wed, 24 Oct 2018 10:36:58 -0400 Littoface

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Overcooked 2

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Price: $24.99
Rating: 5/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended age: 8+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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The Onion Kingdom needs your help again! Work together in local or online co-op to cook up dishes and serve them up to save the world.

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This standalone sequel is a fun and frantic dash to get things done. Children can have fun and hone their communication skills, while the game's requirement of teamwork, as well as simple controls and gameplay make it a perfect game to play with kids.

"},{"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/u/n/r/unravel-3d38b.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/u/n/r/unravel-3d38b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189916","description":"

Unravel Two

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Price: $19.99
Rating: 8/10 on GameSkinny
Recommended age: 7+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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This sweet game captivated players with the original, and the sequel adds the ability to play with a friend (or a parent). Make your own Yarny, then embark on an adventure that promotes teamwork and friendship.

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Guide your Yarnies through an adventure in a side-scrolling puzzle world that's buzzing with life. Playing together, each player controls one of the characters; alone, you can switch between them at will.

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It's heartwarming and fun, but it can also be challenging in a great way at times, all of which makes it a perfect game for little gamers to cut their teeth on!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/m/bomberman-53bbd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/m/bomberman-53bbd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189915","description":"

Super Bomberman R

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Price: $39.99
Rating: 4.5/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended Age: 11+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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Everyone's favorite little bomb-spewing guy is back, and he's got all his friends with him! The classic gameplay returns in this great game, which is reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons.

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Bomberman and his friends are up against some tough opponents this time, and each baddie comes with his own special skills (a la Megaman). Blast your way through stages, gather powerups, and take down the enemies.. but try not to blow yourself up while you're at it.

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This game receives a higher than usual recommended age because, while the idea is simple, it can get tough! It also, quite obviously, features exploding bombs and some silly violence in the cutscenes.

"},{"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/y/o/k/yoku-785ce.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/y/o/k/yoku-785ce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189914","description":"

Yoku's Island Express

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Price: $13.99
Rating: 4.5/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended Age: 10+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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In this game, you play Yoku, a little dung beetle postmaster tasked with making some important deliveries and saving the day. Cue the poop jokes.

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Okay, aside from the unfortunate nature of the main character (and hey, the ball he rolls around is white!), this fun little game is an odd mix of Metroidvania platforming and pinball.

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That means that it's challenging, at times to the point of frustration. Yoku can't move much on his own, so he just rolls around and relies on the player to use pinball flippers to fling him around to new destinations.

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The game is rated 10+ for cartoon violence and crude humor (see: poop jokes) but it's the challenge that really makes this one better for slightly more seasoned little gamers.

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The Swords of Ditto

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Price: $19.99
Rating: 4/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended Age: 11+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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The Swords of Ditto isn't perfect, but it's a fun little game in the spirit of the Zelda games that's definitely more fun to play co-op.

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Upon pulling a magical sword from a grave, you're tasked with becoming stronger so you can take on the evil enchantress Mormo and bring peace back to the land.. at least for the next 100 years.

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The game is procedurally generated and technically uses permadeath, but is set up in such a way that you're able to enjoy it without frustrations. Kids will enjoy the whimsical cartoon-like visuals, the literal "toys" that the characters attack with, and the cute kazoo-based soundtrack.

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We set the recommended age a bit higher for this one (it's rated ESRB-10) because despite the cutesy visuals, some of the puzzles are not always clear and there's a bit of reading. Also, you pull swords out of children's graves. It's kind of morbid in that regard, but not much else.

"},{"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/c/r/scribblenauts-1b959.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/c/r/scribblenauts-1b959.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189912","description":"

Scribblenauts Showdown

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Price: $39.99
Rating: 4/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended Age: 8+
Get it on: PlayStation Store

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Scribblenauts meets Mario Party in this party game, meant to be played by families together. Some reviewers were disappointed in the game's repetitive nature, but as a family-friendly "together time" game, it's definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon.

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The game marks a stark departure from the usual style of Scribblenauts and instead uses 25 mini-games to pit players against each other in a race to the finish.

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The game does retain certain aspects of the Scribblenauts franchise, though, like the ability to write practically anything to life. This makes it a good way for kids to practice their writing skills and outside the box thinking.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/blob-be685.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/blob-be685.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189911","description":"

De Blob 2

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Price: $18.51
Rating: 3.5/5 on Metacritic
Recommended age: 9+
Get it on: Amazon

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Enter the whimsical world of De Blob with this fun sequel. The sequel is a great standalone game that holds its own without needing to play the first, though you may want to after playing this second installment.

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In this 2D platforming puzzler, you play as the titular Blob, who is on a quest to restore color to his home of Prisma City. It's like finger-painting on a video game: leave color wherever you touch and write your own adventure.

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Split-screen co-op means a sibling, friend, or parent can hop in and play along.

"},{"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/k/e/r/kerbal-9edc8.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/k/e/r/kerbal-9edc8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189910","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

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Price: $39.99
Rating: 4.5/5 on PlayStation Store
Recommended Age: 8+
Get it on: Kerbal Space Program Website  

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Kerbal Space Program is not a kid's game. In fact, it's a pretty complex physics and science-based space exploration simulator that encourages strategic and critical thinking.

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But that's what makes it so appealing to kids: They're free to discover it however they want, without it being oversimplified for a younger audience. Get this one for kids who welcome a challenge and like to analyze and really think about things.

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Based on reviews from actual kids, this game not only teaches concepts like physics, problem-solving and task management, but it's also actually really fun!

"},{"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/c/incredibles-f173e.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/c/incredibles-f173e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189909","description":"

LEGO The Incredibles

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Price: $49.99
Rating: 8/10 on GameSkinny
Recommended Age: 6+
Get it on: Amazon

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This fun couch co-op game is perfect for playing with the kids. The open world offers plenty of side-quests and tons of things to find, collect and do, with all the usual silliness we've come to expect from LEGO games.

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Kids will love the chance to replay the events of the Incredibles movies as their favorite characters from the franchise. Other familiar faces from the Pixar family make an appearance, as well, making this extra fun for the adults playing along, and for young Pixar fans.

"},{"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/u/n/r/unravel-5743c.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/u/n/r/unravel-5743c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"189908","description":"

Despite the word "game" in the name, video games are largely created with adults in mind. But more and more, some fantastic games are coming out meant to be played by a younger audience — or even for adults and kids to play together.

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This year's already brought us many awesome games kids can enjoy and even learn from. We went through the year's offerings and brought you the best of the best in video games for kids (presented here in no particular order).

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For each game, you'll find its price, rating from a reputable source, a link to buy it, and a recommended age. We based the recommended age on ESRB ratings, ratings from kids and parents, and this writer's own personal experience as a parent.

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So cook up some fun, run your own space station, and, always, save the world with these nine 2018 games perfect for kids!

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Don't see the game you're looking for here? Check out our other best games lists here: 

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Can Adulting and Video Games Really Go Together? https://www.gameskinny.com/s3gd0/can-adulting-and-video-games-really-go-together https://www.gameskinny.com/s3gd0/can-adulting-and-video-games-really-go-together Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:29:47 -0500 Allison M Reilly

Although video games have been around for nearly 60 years, and the average American gamer is 31 years old, many people still believe that video games are just for kids. No responsible adult would waste time playing video games when there are more important things to do, right? It doesn't help that a recent study out of the University of Chicago found that men between the ages of 21 and 30 not only had more leisure time than a decade ago, but are spending more of that time on video games. The authors also claim that young men are dropping out of the labor force because games like World of Warcraft are much more rewarding than jobs.

Sure, the hullabaloo is not the first instance of old timers worried about the youth rotting their brains away with new technology. It's also not the first time non-gamers speculated about society's demise over video games. But as video games (and beloved titles) get older, many gamers don't stop playing video games. Can adulting and video games really go together, or are video games something responsible adults have to give up to be productive in society?

Of course not! Not only can video games and adulting coexist, but video games can contribute to one's growth the same way other leisure activities build character and offer challenging experiences.

What Is Adulting?

Adulting, according to the top definition in Urban Dictionary, is "to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals." Examples of adulting include paying your credit card bill, going to work on time, and choosing not to throw shade on social media. Too bad we can't play video games to pay off our credit card bills, but there are games that can help us remember our daily tasks.

Habitica can be one of those games. It's a productivity app that gamifies your to-do list, so it's not really a video game. However, Habitica helps you turn your life into a game.

Users have three separate lists: habits, dailies, and to-dos. Habits are anything you'd like to build into a habit. You get points for doing your habit, and you lose points and health if you fail to do your habit. Dailies are essentially to-dos on a schedule. For example, some of my dailies are tasks that I need to complete each day at work. Similarly, users get points for completing their dailies and lose points and health if they don't complete their  daily that day. There's no penalty for failing to complete a to-do item. Users level up after hitting a points milestone. Lose all health, however, and users die and go back down one level.

Add "pay credit card bill" as a habit, get it done, get the points, and you're rewarded for adulting! Tools like Habitica show how video games help us to practice and reinforce positive behavior in our lives.

Video Games Encourage Perseverance

Some have pushed back against the word "adulting," arguing that celebrating getting the laundry done on your own minimizes your actual accomplishments. I'd like to add that adulting by itself is often treated as an end goal. You've done your laundry. You've cooked a dinner more healthy and complicated than opening a can of soup. You're adulting now, and you're done. Combine adulting with video games, and people can learn to keep trying, to look for new challenges, and to never settle with current results.

Sure, earning an S rank in every single boss level in Cuphead is way cooler than finishing your laundry, but the achievement isn't nearly as cool as, say, coming up with the creative new ad campaign at work. However, earning an S rank takes a level of perseverance and determination not necessarily needed for laundry. Yes, there's another day to do your laundry or another opportunity to come up with the next best thing. However, there's only one Cuphead. There's only one way to get an S rank. And even the very few who do manage to earn an S rank for every boss level in Cuphead don't just stop there

On the one hand, going for S rank on every single boss level is essentially adulting. It's a very time-consuming accomplishment. It can be very easy to say you'll take a break once you get the S rank on Rumor Honeybottoms. On the other hand, very few people who do earn an S rank for every boss level don't just stop there. They may stop with Cuphead, but they don't stop looking for the next challenge. Even if they do take a break after Rumor Honeybottoms, the quest doesn't necessarily stop there.

Overall, adulting and video games don't operate in silos. One can positively influence the other. If we can put our minds toward crushing Cuphead with perfection, then we're able to accomplish anything.

Video Games Teach Practical Life Skills

Adulting, according to the definition, primarily involves the quotidian, mundane tasks of adulthood. Paying bills, cooking dinner, cleaning up, and going to work are not the most exciting aspects of life. They also aren't the only aspects of adulthood or life. It's easy, and rather lazy, to view video games as irrelevant to real life. The relevance is harder to spot in a game like Mortal Kombat than in a game like Kerbal Space Program.

I'm not necessarily talking about educational games and the benefits of introducing video games into the classroom, although educational games do present opportunities to learn practical skills and knowledge. I mean the less obvious instances of learning, like learning how the scoring works in tennis through any tennis game. Or learning geography and history in Mario is Missing! or Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Or learning about different wildlife and climates in Sim Park. The possibilities are endless.

Muhammad Ali once said, "A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." Adulting is important, but if all you ever did was adulting, then what have you done to expand your worldview? Video games offer valuable opportunities to expand our worldviews and learn about topics we may not otherwise learn through our careers or everyday lives. Learning about ancient Chinese history through Mario is Missing! is not the same as reading a history book, or visiting China, or talking to a Chinese history scholar. But, the latter three ways aren't the only ways to learn about them. And let's not forget exposure through video games can lead to someone picking up a book or talking to someone they might not have without the initial exposure.

Overall, video games are perceived as a waste of time partially because the player doesn't move. Hobbies like playing basketball or reading books are not viewed with the same denigration. Yet, all three can build character and allow people to grow as human beings. Just because video games aren't "adulting," that doesn't always mean video games are the opposite or that they get in the way of functioning as an individual, responsible person.

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These Are the Very Best Space Exploration Games You Can Play on Steam Today https://www.gameskinny.com/tc1yi/these-are-the-very-best-space-exploration-games-you-can-play-on-steam-today https://www.gameskinny.com/tc1yi/these-are-the-very-best-space-exploration-games-you-can-play-on-steam-today Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Marc Hollinshead

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Space travel isn't just a dream anymore. It's something we can all experience in the comfort of our own homes. We're rather spoiled for choice, but there's bound to be a title in this list that everyone will enjoy.

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Which of the games in this list have you tried out? Are there any that weren't mentioned that you love to play? Let us know in the comments below!

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-mass-285e6.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/s/z/rsz-mass-285e6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155967","description":"

Mass Effect

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Price: $19.99
Buy it on Steam

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Out of all the titles mentioned, this series is more than likely the one everyone has heard of, as well as the odd one out.

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Rather than acting as a space simulation game like many of the previous mentions, Mass Effect creates an entire universe and story based on the technology and species that inhabit the galaxy. Exploring space both physically and through the lore in which the series is tied to is fascinating. It is the closest we, in this age, will ever get to experiencing the reality of galactic life, and while it is heavily influenced by the culture and anthropomorphism of the human race, it has enlightened many gamers on what could happen in hundreds or thousands of years.

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While exploration itself is limited to roaming tiny pockets of the galaxy, each of these serve a story purpose of some kind, whether it’s major plot points or small portions of dialogue. It’s this story that has caused Mass Effect to gain such a huge following, and if you’re yet to try them out, it is one such series that acts as a great starting point on your intergalactic 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/e/n/g/engy-7efac.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/e/n/g/engy-7efac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155966","description":"

Space Engineers

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Price: $24.99
Buy it on Steam

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Another early access title, Space Engineers combines a multitude of space faring and adventuring aspects into one game.

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After building your own spacecraft, your very own engineer will travel the stars in order to claim spots for outposts of different uses. Getting this far does have its dangers, though, as another facet of the game is survival. The engineer will face many trials and tribulations as they use their trusty jetpack to travel from A to B, but it’s the vessel with which you travel that will be your main means of defence.

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Construction and resource gathering are of high importance in Space Engineers so they play a part in your success just as much, if not more than the spaceflight. Exploring space on foot is surprisingly enjoyable, but be careful not to let yourself be subject to an unfortunate death due to lack of oxygen or other fundamental resources. Considering it’s still in early access, the developers appear to be hard at work in adding as much as possible to the full game experience.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-kerb-55885.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/s/z/rsz-kerb-55885.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155965","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

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Price: $39.99
Buy it on Steam

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Space exploration and simulation titles show off a lot of what we can actually do in the stars, but they often leave out how we got there in the first place. Kerbal Space Program works to solve that problem.

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Using realistic physics and rocket building techniques, you are tasked with sufficiently leaving the atmosphere of Kerbin, the Kerbal home planet, to then reach the vastness of space. This is much easier said than done, however, as it can be extremely tricky to gain enough thrust to achieve safe orbit. A catastrophic crash landing is very possible, and there is no shame in saying that many of your failed rockets have experienced this.

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An exploratory segment of the game is also available once you make it to space. Visiting various moons, setting up your own space station base, and going on the offensive on asteroids are all options -- among many, many others. But the game takes a more minimalist approach in this regard. It’s a game that may look insignificant and almost childish, but behind the facade lies an extremely in-depth and sophisticated title.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-starpointgemini2-e9230.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/s/z/rsz-starpointgemini2-e9230.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155964","description":"

Starpoint Gemini 2

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Price: $34.99
Buy it on Steam

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Starpoint Gemini 2 manages to meld space exploration and RPG tropes into a game that awards progression and fulfills specific role requirements. Unlike other space exploration titles, this particular game is host to a campaign that follows a specific character, Adrian Faulkner, the son of the hero Gabriel Faulkner from the previous Gemini war. This option provides players a little extra context and purpose for their space travels, but the free-roam option still remains, alongside the campaign.

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Versatile careers pander to wide range of player interests, and the focus on capital ships in free roam is a refreshing take on exploration instead of the smaller vessels that many players are used to controlling. The initial class that is picked upon character creation also adds that RPG depth, so similar to the campaign, gamers that satiated by clear progression, Starpoint Gemini 2 is a great starting point when delving into space exploration.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-eve-babe-82730.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/s/z/rsz-eve-babe-82730.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155963","description":"

EVE Online

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Price: Free to Play
Get it on Steam

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EVE isn’t new by any means. As one of the most popular MMOs of all time, EVE Online has garnered a huge fanbase since its initial release -- and it has gained quite the reputation, too. 

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EVE Online allows players to create their own unique character, play with friends, and head out into a hugely rich universe that is set thousands of years in the future. Five thousand star systems lie in wait for players of the MMO, each with plenty of possibilities. With the choice of many ships at a player’s disposal, natural advancement of skills, and an open, player-driven economy, this is an MMO that has been defined by its players.

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However, be sure to be vigilant in the world of EVE Online, as every player essentially dwells within the same version of the world. Battle can commence at any given moment, so epic starship battle fantasies will no longer be well, fantasy. Underprepared players may have to face off against a battalion of vicious dreadnaughts. If you want to sink an abundance of time in a space-filled adventure, this is the game you want to seek.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-hellion-56700.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/s/z/rsz-hellion-56700.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155962","description":"

HELLION

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Price: $24.99
Buy it on Steam

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HELLION takes a different approach to space simulation and exploration and demands that you focus on survival above all else. As you begin to establish yourself as a space faring adventurer, dangerous hazards such as a decompression, temperature fluctuation, and the harsh vacuum of space will be quick to envelope you.

Many games denote the exploration of space as a constantly exciting and marginally safe affair – not HELLION. Watch your oxygen, keep one eye on your fuel, and look out for any hostile faces that may spare no expense in tossing into that deadly vacuum.

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HELLION is also currently in early access, so the game’s developer is regularly engaging with the community for feedback as to where the game can and should go next. Many features are already in place, but plenty more, such as ship-to-ship combat, ship modification, asteroid mining, and gas giant harvesting, are in the works. It’s shaping up to be something interesting indeed.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-elite-b0266.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/s/z/rsz-elite-b0266.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155961","description":"

Elite: Dangerous

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Price: $29.99
Buy it on Steam

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Elite has been around longer than some of us have even been alive, but its latest iteration has managed to recapture many wannabe astronauts’ imaginations.

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The entirety of the Milky Way galaxy is opened up in Elite: Dangerousand you are free to explore it at your leisure. Of course, it is impossible for just one person to sail the stars, so one of the many attractive aspects of the title is the satisfaction gained from discovering a star system amongst billions -- and with friends. 

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Along the way, you will engage in frightful space pirate battles, acquire new ships that will allow you to travel even further into the unknown, and eventually reach the center of the galaxy itself. There is much to be seen and discovered in Elite: Dangerous, and for those of you who are willing to take the time to tackle the game's steep learning curve, a rich experience most definitely awaits.

"},{"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/s/z/rsz-planet-0d208.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/s/z/rsz-planet-0d208.jpg","type":"slide","id":"155960","description":"

We insignificant humans crave to explore and discover the unknown. Things that are alien to us are just all the more tantalizing to our exploration-centric brings. In short, we are desperate to uncover the mysteries of what lies beyond.

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As gamers, space exploration games are the closest we are ever going to get to that dream of discovery. We may be in the comfort of our own homes, but there are some gems out there in gaming land that allow us to reach for the stars without our backside leaving that comfortable recliner.

If you’re after a space faring adventure on your PC, here are the best ones currently on offer.

"}]]]>
10 Sandbox Games on Steam That Stand Out Above the Rest https://www.gameskinny.com/fpodx/10-sandbox-games-on-steam-that-stand-out-above-the-rest https://www.gameskinny.com/fpodx/10-sandbox-games-on-steam-that-stand-out-above-the-rest Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:00:01 -0400 Damien Smith

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Those are my top ten sandbox games on Steam. From 2D worlds giving players the freedom to adventure and build, to surviving strange and harsh worlds to building constructs of demolition. There is a title to suit everyone's appeals. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go help Wilson not starve.

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What do you think of the list? Are there any other games you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/n/kenshi-a1bcc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/n/kenshi-a1bcc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137836","description":"

Kenshi

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Price: $14.99
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I couldn't end this list without including Kenshi. The world of Kenshi is one of the biggest non-infinite worlds since the Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It has a staggering 870 square kilometers for you to explore. You can be a trader, thief, warlord, farmer, adventurer and more.

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To survive the harsh world, you will need to construct and base and gather together a squad. There are no heroes; each character is equal and has their own story to tell. As a character gets stronger, so too does their physical appearance.

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You can join or oppose the various factions throughout the game. You will have to use realistic methods of healing injuries and carrying the injured to safety. Much like RimWorld, this is only the tip of the iceberg for what the game has to offer.

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It truly is an outstanding and in-depth game that comes from a small indie developer. If you like playing games with massive and harsh realistic worlds full of danger but want something a bit different, then Kenshi is worth checking out.

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Get Kenshi on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/empyrion-galactic-survival-33a8f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/e/m/p/empyrion-galactic-survival-33a8f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137831","description":"
Empyrion - Galactic Survival
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Price: $19.99
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Are you still feeling the pinch of No Man's Sky? Perhaps Empyrion may help you out with that. You must travel through a hostile galaxy full of danger, building, exploring, fighting, and (of course) surviving.

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Throughout the game you will be building space ships and bases, mining and resource gathering, crafting, hunting, farming, and forming the terrain as you see fit. You will have to fight against the wildlife of the many planets you will visit, along with robot drones, alien soldiers and their guardians. All of this can be done both in single player and multiplayer alike.

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There are two game modes to suit everyone's play style: Survival mode and Creative mode. Despite being in Early Access, Empyrion already has plenty of features to keep you busy for hours on end.

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Get Empyrion - Galactic Survival on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/m/rimworld-76421.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/m/rimworld-76421.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137825","description":"

RimWorld

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Price: $29.99
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RimWorld is the creation of Tynan Sylvester, who was previously a designer for BioShock Infinite. It released in Early Access back in July this year and is already one of the most promising titles in Early Access since Darkest Dungeon.

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You take control of a colony of survival attempting to start anew on a strange planet. The game is driven by an A.I storyteller that decides how events happen such as bandit raids and disasters. To survive, you will have to fight, craft, trade, build and gather resources -- all the while tending to your colonists' needs.

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That is only scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the depth and content of RimWorld. It is also moddable and is integrated with Steam Workshop, allowing for easy installation of mods to change up the gameplay any time. It may feel pricey for an Early Access title, but its depth and gameplay make it all worth it.

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Get RimWorld on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/besiege-15de2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/s/besiege-15de2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137728","description":"

Besiege

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Price: $7.99
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There is nothing else out there quite like BesiegeAs far as creativity and uniqueness go, this entry in the list sits at the top. Essentially Besiege is a game where you construct machines of doom from the ground up. Your goal is to conquer each land one by one using them.

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As to what kind of machines you build to accomplish this, is entirely up to you and your imagination. From battering rams with circular saws on them to giant spiked catapults of demolition or a flamethrowing cannon firing machines of destruction, the possibilities are endless.

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All that stands in your way is your imagination and the enemies defenses as you lay each land into ruination. Despite being in Early Access and having limited levels, it is worth playing for the fun and the experience.

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Get Besiege on Steam.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-valley-cfc83.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stardew-valley-cfc83.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137726","description":"

Stardew Valley

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Price: $13.99
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Do you like games like Harvest Moon yet want to play them on your PC? Well then, look no further than Stardew Valley. In this game, you inherit your grandfather's farm, or should I say, what is left of it. You must build the farm back up to its former glory and learn to live off the land.

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You will need to grow crops, start an orchard, raise animals and craft useful machines. As you progress through the game you begin to become friends with a community consisting of over 30 different characters, each with their own dialogue.

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There is more than just farming to be done in Stardew Valley, however. You can go fishing, donate artifacts and minerals to the museum, cook, craft items, explore a mysterious cave with monsters in it and decorate your house to how you like it.

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If this is the sort of game you like, you can kiss your social life goodbye. Once you start playing, you won't be able to stop.

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Get Stardew Valley on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/r/kerbal-space-program-e5ec1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/k/e/r/kerbal-space-program-e5ec1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137722","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

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Price: $39.99
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This is easily the zaniest of the games on offer here. In Kerbal Space Program, you must build a spacecraft that is capable of sending its crew into space without getting them killed. There is a huge collection of ship parts at your disposal, each with their own functionalities.

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There is a total of three modes to play. Sandbox allows you to create anything freely. In Science mode, you must perform research to advance the knowledge of Kerbalkind and further available technology. Finally, there's Career mode, where you must oversee every aspect of the program.

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With three different play modes, plus various activities like mining resources, constructing bases and space stations along with building all kinds of ships, the fun is never-ending. Not to mention that the outcome of building crazy spaceships at times is hilarious. 

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Get Kerbal Space Program on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starbound-4c568.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/starbound-4c568.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137718","description":"

Starbound

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Price: $13.99
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At first glance, it is easy to assume that Starbound is nothing more than a Terraria clone. Don't make its appearance fool you. Starbound takes things to a whole new level with its gameplay. You start off in the game with a damaged ship in need of repairs.

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You beam down to the planet below to begin gathering resources to repair it. Once repaired, you are able to explore the vast infinite cosmos. You can land on various planets, creating anything you wish... or simply just explore. On your travels, you can capture monsters and train them to fight alongside you.

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There are thousands of craftable items, three difficulty modes to suit everyone's play style, customizable space ships and seven different races to choose from. There is also a storyline to follow if you wish to do so. The biggest thing that separates it from Terraria is that it is fully moddable with Steam's Workshop, resulting in endless fun and possibilities.

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Get Starbound on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/cities-1032d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/t/cities-1032d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137689","description":"

Cities: Skylines

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Price: $27.99
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Is the latest installment in the SimCity series not quite giving you everything you hoped for? Cities: Skylines may just scratch that city-building itch. As the mayor of a new city, you must construct it from the ground up. How you design and run the city is entirely up to you.

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As you build up your city, you will need to balance out the essential needs of your citizens, such as education, water, electricity, police, firefighting and health care. You will need to designate various parts of your city as districts too.

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As if all that isn't awesome enough, it looks absolutely breathtaking with modern graphics that allow day and night cycles. It's wonderful watching as the night sets in with the buildings lighting up and citizens' schedules changing. As far as city builders go, you don't get much better than this.

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Get Cities: Skylines on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-d1d7a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-d1d7a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137686","description":"

Don't Starve

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Price: $14.99
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As far as sandbox games go, there are few that could ever be considered more brutal than Don't StarveThat brutality, however, is a case of having to learn how the game works over it being purposely punishing. Once you figure out how everything works, Don't Starve becomes one of the most addictive games out there.

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You play as Wilson, a genius inventor who finds himself on a strange and unexplored world, full of weird creatures, dangers, and surprises. You will need to gather food and resources and construct inventions to help you craft new items, all the while staying sane. 

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Most importantly, you must make sure you have light at night time. Within the darkness, an evil awaits to consume you. There is a roster of different and crazy characters to unlock, each with their own advantages and disadvantages that change up the gameplay.

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With addictive gameplay, a unique art style and a world like nothing you have seen before, Don't Starve is an absolute must play.

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Get Don't Starve on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/r/terraria-a1883.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/e/r/terraria-a1883.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137682","description":"

Terraria

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Price: $9.99
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I might as well start off with the obvious one on this list. Terraria, to date, has sold a monumental 18 million copies across all platforms. At its heart, Terraria is a 2D Minecraft, but it goes a few extra miles to create an identity of its own.

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While it gives the player the ability to build anything they want in 2D, its gameplay also features RPG mechanics. You will need to defeat monsters, explore dungeons and face bosses to gain better equipment and progress in the game. 

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You need to explore various biomes and build a town with various NPCs that you will have to protect from monster raids. With over 1,000 items including crafting materials, weapons, armor, clothing and spells the possibilities with Terraria are near endless. 

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Get Terraria on Steam.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-9dae9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/e/a/header-9dae9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"137680","description":"

Since the indie boom began, Steam has seen a huge amount of new and varied sandbox games. From 2D builders to galactic adventures and surviving in mysterious and dangerous worlds, there's just about every kind of sandbox game imaginable.

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With so many now available both on Steam and in Early Access, it can be difficult to choose what ones to buy. So which sandbox games go that extra mile and deliver an experience worth the pricetag? Quite a few, it turns out.

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Here is my list of ten sandbox games on Steam that stand out above the rest.

"}]]]>
Join the Star Rangers today! Early Access available on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/nyz7e/join-the-star-rangers-today-early-access-available-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/nyz7e/join-the-star-rangers-today-early-access-available-on-steam Thu, 07 Jul 2016 08:39:41 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Awestruck Games released Star Rangers into Early Access this week on Steam. No press release, fanfare, or blaring trumpets preceded its coming. It slipped in under the radar.

It may have come in quietly, but the developers are hoping it will make a big bang. That's a science joke folks, roll with it.

In the footsteps of games like Kerbal Space Program and Take On Mars, comes Star Rangers. The title sings of pulp sci-fi, and the developers are playing that angle pretty well. The game takes place in the near future -- roughly 2035. Players are asked to join the titular Star Rangers and learn to become interplanetary explorers. 

The game is still in a very early alpha state, but it is definitely playable. Players can get their first taste of space at the Earth bound training camp called "Lagoon Island". There, they will learn the basic controls and some of the features of the game. Also included are a number of test maps on the Moon, Mars, even the oceans under Europa's ice. Players can explore these maps and even build bases on some of them. 

Although not fully implemented yet, there will be a character role system adding a bit of an RPG element to this sandbox solar system exploration game. Players will choose a role for their character including Commander, Pilot, Applied Scientist, Engineer, Geologist, and Biologist. Characters will earn experience for completing missions, which will make them better able to tackle more difficult missions later on.

Awestruck Games has worked in conjunction with numerous developers to build the game up to its current state. They have also worked closely with NASA to make sure the science is accurate. They even received an unofficial blessing from Bill Nye...The Science Guy (sorry Bill it's just how I remember you from my childhood). 

Take a look at the game's Early Access page on Steam where the game is currently 40% off for a limited time. For more details check out the official website. Have fun, explorers!

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Six games with the most supportive, least toxic communities https://www.gameskinny.com/fyvfs/six-games-with-the-most-supportive-least-toxic-communities https://www.gameskinny.com/fyvfs/six-games-with-the-most-supportive-least-toxic-communities Mon, 07 Mar 2016 17:22:23 -0500 Ty Arthur

A recent article on the top 5 worst gaming communities got me thinking about my own experiences interacting with players in various genres, from shooters to MOBAs to fantasy MMOs.

There are certain multiplayer games you know ahead of time to just mute-all from the start. Any given Call Of Duty game (or really any popular FPS) is one example. If you don't want to hear a 12-year-old calling you racial slurs and describing what he did to your mother last night, you hit mute as soon as the match gets going.

Aside from the garden variety name-calling, MOBAs in particular tend to have insular communities that are abrasive towards anyone new and learning the ropes. Those games also tend to foster toxicity by how they are designed, with players working against each other as often as they work together.

I've been lucky in that regard on Heroes Of The Storm, and have had a mostly positive experience playing with total strangers. I can't say the same for trying out League Of Legends, where nearly every match is a nightmare of negative players.

Two MOBAs with very different communities

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there exists a burgeoning class of games that specifically revolve around a teamwork experience, like the Oculus Rift indie experiment Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. The early access title Squad is another interesting example, directly incorporating verbal communication between players into the gameplay and essentially requiring everyone have a headset.

We all know what games to avoid if you don't want to deal with an obnoxious player base, but what games have the most supportive communities? I've found it isn't always restricted to one genre or even platform, with some of my best multiplayer experiences coming on both console and PC in games with player bases both large and small.

As with any online game, your mileage may vary depending on which server or time you play, but in general, these are the games where the communities are worth interacting with and getting to know.

Gears Of War 3 Horde Mode

I'm a big fan of all the games in this series and regularly go back and play each of them, but easily the pinnacle of the Gears experience is horde mode. When you've got a group of players dedicated to hitting wave 50 (or at least making a valiant effort to get up higher in the double digits), this is one the most addicting and straight up fun multiplayer options around.

Despite its age at this point, horde mode in the series' third entry still has a thriving community, and it frequently seems like there's more people playing Gears Of War 3 than the newer Gears Of War: Judgment.

Since you only succeed in horde mode if everyone is working in tandem towards an effective strategy, it's in everyone's best interests to be team players and help each other out. Obnoxious players don't tend to last long here.

Sure, every now and again you might get the person who thinks they know how to play best and assumes everything that goes wrong is everyone else's fault, but for the most part, horde mode is an excellent place to meet other Gears enthusiasts and have a great time.

 

Guild Wars 2

I had the good fortune to jump into Guild Wars 2 early and watch the community grow, and I can say without hesitation this is truly one of the best MMORPGs for newbies. The unique PvE setup of Guild Wars 2 encourages people to work together and doesn't give any particular benefit to standing in the way of another player's success.

As I mentioned in my look at the state of the game today years after launch, there does unfortunately seem to be fewer people logged on these days, but the base that's still there is overall very friendly to new faces. Log in, find an an on-going event, and join the fun. You're pretty much guaranteed to have someone helpfully explaining what players need to be doing in the in the larger, multi-stage boss battles.

When you win a hard fought battle, expect a lot of back-patting from the regulars and invitations to join groups or hook up with a guild. If you have trouble finding hidden points of interests or figuring out how to finish a renown heart location, help is just a chat message away, with only the occasional bout of trash talk clogging up the screen.

Killing Floor

Pretty much the exact opposite of the Left 4 Dead communities, the ultra-gory zed-hunting phenomena that is Killing Floor has an overall excellent player base. Teamwork is an absolute must in this co-op horror FPS, and with many shooters that would normally mean a constant stream of VOIP harassment.

For some reason that doesn't tend to happen as much in Killing Floor, where finding a great team that works well together and helps each other out isn't a tall order at all.

If you've had nothing but awful experiences with Battlefield or COD online, give Killing Floor a few hours of your time and discover what it's like to actually have helpful teammates. The fast-paced dismemberment of demonic zombie creatures is also a hell of a good time to boot.

Kerbal Space Program

This may be the one and only game in the entire world where the reddit community is legitimately nice to one another and the toxicity level is at nearly 0%.

The learning curve on this space engineering simulator is high, and you'd think that might breed elitism and a disdain for those who haven't mastered the mechanics, but somehow the exact opposite occurred here.

Seriously, go to any KSP message board or social networking page and look at how people treat each other. There's more high fiving over minor accomplishments here than anywhere else in all of gaming. Somebody needs to do a scientific study on how this occurred and how it can be replicated with other games.

Destiny

This one comes with a caveat: there absolutely are negatives to be found in the Destiny community. For the most part it's divided into two segments though: people complaining about problems within the game itself, and the fanboys who don't like criticism of the game or developer.

What you'll notice outside those two factions is that people generally aren't attacking each other at all, and the actual in-game experience with a group of friends is solid gold.

When you find a good group to play with who work well together, Destiny absolutely develops a “band of brothers” feel over time, and there are people here making real-world friends for life in raids and strikes.

Lord Of The Rings Online

Unlike with Guild Wars 2, I got into this Tolkien-inspired MMORPG quite late - way past its hey day unfortunately. But I've actually found the reduced player base to be friendly and willing to lend a hand.

LOTRO tends to have a very laid-back community these days, so you are rarely going to experience people screaming at each other on the global chat. And if you ask a question, you'll usually get an excellent answer without people looking down on you.

There's also the bonus here that many players are fanatics for Tolkien or fantasy literature in general, so it's not tough to find someone who wants to chat about anything fantasy related, so making friendship beyond the game itself is a natural and easy extension of exploring Middle Earth.

These six games all have communities worth joining, but there are easily more out there where the level of discourse doesn't devolve into screaming racial slurs.

What games have you had the best online experiences with, and what genres do you think tend to have the most supportive communities?

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Best Reviewed Games of 2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/99j17/best-reviewed-games-of-2015 https://www.gameskinny.com/99j17/best-reviewed-games-of-2015 Tue, 29 Dec 2015 06:21:02 -0500 Curtis Dillon

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There you have it, the very best 2015 had to offer! With each passing year the industry becomes more and more diverse, in both representations and game types. That list of 10 games includes 2D platformers, a physics engine, an interactive drama, a gothic action/adventure game whose soul (get it) purpose is to kill your spirit, and 5 RPGs of vastly varying styles, scopes, and mechanics. It's a very diverse list that shows how wonderfully varied the industry has become. There really is something for everyone.

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But as is customary, we must now look ahead to 2016 and become giddy with excitement, or, as is the case with too many people, bemoan and criticise everything.... whatever floats your boat. Regardless of how full your glass is, 2016 looks amazing. Truly. It looks like it has the potential to blow this year out of the water, and that is saying something. So be sure to check back soon for a list of the most anticipated games of 2016!

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What was your favourite game of 2015? Do you think Metal Gear Solid was a worthy winner? What is your most anticipated 2016 game? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned to GameSkinny! Happy new year!

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1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Metacritic Score: 95% (User Score: 7.1)
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It's hard to disassociate Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with the absolute disaster that is the Konami/Kojima break-up. Thankfully the drama that it was is all but over, although I dare say Konami's troubles are not, and we can get back to just focusing on the games. That being said, MGS V presents a challenge to us gamers, do we praise the game and celebrate its creator, therefore lining the pockets of the horrid Konami? Or do we shun the game, therefore snubbing Konami but also ignoring the lifetime accomplishment of one of the best creators ever? It's a conundrum, but given the love for the game and the impressive sales figures, I think it's the former.

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Regardless of all that crap, Metal Gear Solid V really is an incredible game. It might not have the insane story beats of the previous instalments, or the classic boss battles, but it marries gameplay, side stuff, and level design, like few others can. This isn't even really a Metal Gear game, it's a completely different kind of game that shows Hideo Kojima's growth as a game developer and an auteur.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a fantastic return for the series but also a fitting send-off to the man who started it all. Regardless of everything that went down with Konami, Kojima can rest easy knowing he put out the very best game of the year and one everyone will be talking about for years to come.

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There have certainly been sandbox action games that have given me a bigger world to roam, or more little icons to chase on my minimap, but none have pushed me to plan, adapt, and improvise the way this one does. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain doesn’t just respect my intelligence as a player, it expects it of me, putting it in a league that few others occupy.

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                                                                                                      - IGN

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2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Metacritic Score: 93% (User Score: 9.1)
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The Witcher series started life as a PC game. With the second instalment it found its way onto the Xbox 360 as well. The games had a ton of clout amongst those that played them, but that number was too few to make a big splash. For whatever reason then, when The Witcher 3 was revealed, and announced for PlayStation as well as Xbox and PC, all gamers suddenly turned their heads and stared wild-eyed at the insane-looking RPG.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was all the talk when it was first shown off at E3 2013, winning Game of the Show from numerous outlets. Bear in mind, E3 2013 was just a few months after we were told PS4's and Xbox One's were even real, so when The Witcher demo was shown off, the visuals on display blew everyone away.

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Thankfully, the game actually lived up to, and exceeded, all of the lofty expectations we had. It is a gigantic, beautiful RPG, with colourful, believable characters, great story, and consistently enjoyable mechanics. The level of detail, the depth of content, and the overall quality of the package puts every other RPG to shame. The Witcher 3 is quite possibly the best role-playing game ever made. 

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One of the best role-playing games ever crafted, a titan among giants and the standard-setter for all such games going forward. Where the Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game's quiet denouement.

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                                                                                          - GameSpot

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3. Undertale

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Metacritic Score: 93% (User Score: 8.3)
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An unabashed love-letter to Nintendo classic, Earthbound, Undertale is an amazing 8-bit RPG with real emotion, humour, and a memorable story. What starts off as a fairly standard game, which you think you've played before, turns out to be so much more and teaches you to love all over again.

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In a year when we got role-playing games like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and Pillars of Eternity, it would be very easy to overlook the somewhat childish looking Undertale, but that would be big mistake. The game plays with your expectations at almost every turn, and so keeps you on your toes throughout, while delivering a really heartfelt, memorable story.

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The gist is that you play as a young man who falls underground and must find his way out, to get away from the monsters that lurk there. Sounds fairly straightforward and familiar, but don't be fooled. There's not a whole lot I can say without spoiling elements of the game that are better left unsaid, so go play it for yourself and experience a very different type of RPG.

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You wouldn't know it with a passing glance, but it's one of the most progressive and innovative RPGs to come in a long time, breaking down tradition for the sake of invention, with great success.

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                                                                                      - GameSpot

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4. Bloodborne

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Metacritic Score: 92% (User Score: 8.6)
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Ahhhh Bloodborne, we had a very love/hate relationship didn't we? I never did finish Bloodborne, I played for around 30 hours and decided to call it quits for the sake of my psyche and my liking of the game. That's to say, Bloodborne is a crushingly-hard game that will punch you in the face until you think you can't get up. But then you do, and you kick its ass and there's few better feelings in all of gaming.

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I say that as someone who gave up, but I most certainly had those moments; be it beating Vicar Amelia, or the god-damn Blood-Starved Beast. My 30 hours with Bloodborne were very memorable and I will certainly return to the haunting streets of Yharnam someday, cause apparently I like abuse.

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In all seriousness though, Bloodborne is the absolute peak of the "Souls" formula, marrying it with more enjoyable mechanics and some of the best graphics/atmosphere you can find anywhere. If Dark Souls decided to procreate with CastleVania: Symphony of the Night, this would be the result, and holy crap is that one beautiful, albeit evil, baby.

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Bloodborne is one of those experiences that totally consumes you when you're involved in it and working to see all that it has to offer. In that sense it's the digital edition of a round-the-world trip to foreign continents, each turning of a corner providing equal helpings of excitement and trepidation. 

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                                                                                           - Telegraph

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5. Tales From The Borderlands

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Metacritic Score: 89% (User Score: 8.2)
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When Telltale Games revealed its partnership with Gearbox and Borderlands it was largely overshadowed by the announcement of a Game of Thrones game on the same dayFast forward to the end of 2015, both series' are finished and there's only one that people are talking about, and it isn't Game of Thrones.

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I won't waste time or space by stating why Game of Thrones was not good, and it really was not, I'd much rather spend that time gushing over how good Tales From The Borderlands was.

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Playing as both Ryhs and Fiona, gamers got a very different look into the world of Borderlands, and it was amazing from start to finish. Rhys, a scorn Hyperion stooge who sets out to screw over his new boss, and Fiona, a fast-talking con artist who aims to screw over Hyperion, come together in unlikely circumstances and set off on a hilarious, action-packed journey to find the treasures of a Vault. The voice-acting from Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson, Chris Hardwick, Laura Bailey, Erin Yvette, Patrick Warburton, and Nolan North, were all sublime, making the journey that much more fun and immersive.

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Every episode begins with an awesome musical intro that always sets the tone for what is to come, and throughout five episodes the pace never lets up. Without spoiling anything, Episode 5: The Vault of the Traveler, is one of the best episodes Telltale has ever done, and home to one of the very best fight scenes I've seen in years.

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I don't even care about Borderlands, but I cannot recommend this enough, to fans and non-fans alike. This is Telltale Games at its best.

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Tales from the Borderlands concludes with some series-defining moments and choices, solidifying it as one of Telltale’s best, if not the strongest offering the studio has put forth in several years.

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                                                                                     - Gaming Trend

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6. Pillars of Eternity

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Metacritic Score: 89% (User Score: 8.4)
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A game that is very much a callback, and yet evolution of, classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, and Neverwinter Nights, Pillars of Eternity is a fantastic isometric RPG that shows the genre still has a place in today's world.

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A huge, sprawling world, rich mythology, detailed graphics, and involving story, Pillars of Eternity is everything an old-school RPG lover could ask for, while being a great starting place for those looking to finally take the plunge. Developed by Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth) made Pillars of Eternity with the love and influence of all the classics, while putting its stamp on the genre forever. Sadly, it seems the game will never find its way over to consoles, according to Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart.

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Pillars of Eternity is a masterclass in role-playing game development, recapturing the essence of the genre's past triumphs and repackaging them for a universal audience.

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                                                                                          - Digital Spy

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7. Fallout 4

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Metacritic Score: 88% (User Score: 6.0)
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To say Fallout 4 was a highly anticipated game is, like saying people enjoy Star Wars, a gross understatement. This time last year we didn't even know if Fallout 4 was a thing but here we are, almost two months after the game released and, despite some warranted and unwarranted backlash, it was a resounding success.

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Fallout 4 brought back that familiar style of gameplay, zany characters, massive world that begs to be explored, and yes, the glitches. Everything that made the previous games great were abundant in Fallout 4, but Bethesda also added settlement building - making use of all the junk you incur in the wasteland - far better shooting mechanics, vastly upgraded power armour, weapon and armour mods, a lot more verticality to the map, and much better visuals. All in all, Fallout 4 was more Fallout but with fantastic additions to the formula. More please!

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Fallout 4 has all the ambiance and history that made its predecessors such wonderful places to get lost for hours at a time, with a much more coherent set of stories within it. That Bethesda has integrated a major building and crafting tool while finally building a great-playing game almost feels like a bonus.

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                                                                                               - Polygon

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8. Super Mario Maker

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Metacritic Score: 88% (User Score: 8.7)
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2015 was not a great year for Nintendo; mediocre games, uncharacteristic delays, and the sad passing of a legend. But 2015 was also the 30th anniversary of the company mascot, Mario. It was with this anniversary in mind that Nintendo gave us its most creative and unexpected game to date, Super Mario Maker.

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In Super Mario Maker, you are the creator. Nintendo have given you the reigns to create your very own Mario levels, with a tool-bag that expands over the course of 9 days. You'll start by creating fairly straightforward levels based on what you've known of Mario but after a short while you'll be throwing Goomba's into blocks, putting wings onto Boo's, and generally making life hell for whoever is foolish enough to step into your twisted vision of Super Mario. This is an addictive experience that showcases the zany creations of players worldwide, it's just a pity it comes out on a system that is likely to bite the dust next year.

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Brimming with positivity and encouragement, Super Mario Maker's brilliant toy box gives you everything you need to easily create and share some truly fantastic levels.

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                                                                                  - GamesRadar

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9. Ori and the Blind Forest

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Metacritic Score: 88% (User Score: 8.6)
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Ori and the Blind Forest was a highly anticipated Xbox One game coming into 2015, but I don't think anyone knew just what they were getting into. Ori looked like a fun, charming platformer that you'd breeze through in an hour, maybe two. However, it turned out to be a heart-breaking game with soul-crushing difficulty.

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The first few minutes of Ori and the Blind Forest are truly very sad, and done so in a way that isn't ham-fisted or overtly tugging on those heartstrings. Then the game begins and it's a straightforward 2D platformer. A couple of hours later though you're still playing and the gameplay has gotten significantly deeper to reflect the increasingly complex level design. Simply put, Ori is a very hard game that lures you in with its cuteness.

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A terrific blend of story, gameplay, and graphics, Ori and the Blind Forest is an unforgettable debut for indie developer Moon Studios.

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                                                                                              - EGM

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10. Kerbal Space Program

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Metacritic Score: 88% (User Score 8.0)
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Who would have thought a silly little game about rocket physics would have been so dang fun? Kerbal Space Program was presumed to be another I Am Bread, Octodad, or Goat Simulator, but where those games wore out their welcome pretty quickly, KSP just became more addictive.

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Building a rocket ship out of random parts proves to be a tricky hurdle at the start of the game, but the first time you get it off the ground it makes it worthwhile. Of course, it comes crashing down in a blaze of horror just seconds later, but that fleeting sensation of hope and accomplishment make you start all over again.

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A perfect blend of science and slapstick, and a robust and compelling sandbox of possibility. Simply outstanding.

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                                                                                           - PC Gamer

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2015 is the year the PS4 and Xbox One really matured. There have been excellent games on both systems this year, far eclipsing everything from 2014.

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We got the long-awaited finales to blockbuster series' like Batman and The Witcher, we got impressive debuts with Bloodborne and Life Is Strange, and we got highly anticipated returns in the form of Fallout and Metal gear Solid.

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All in all 2015 was a seminal year for gaming.

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At this time year of year we're all looking to 2016 and impatiently awaiting the likes of Uncharted 4 and Gears 4, but it's also the time of year to look back on what made 2015 great. And this list compiles the very best of the year in question.

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The following 10 games are the highest rated games in 2015, as per Metacritic. The list will not contain remasters, ports, or re-releases, so don't expect to see GTA V on PC, or Shovel Knight on PS4/Xbox One. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's jump in and reveal the crème de la crème.

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Over 70 indie games appearing at this year's IndieCade Festival https://www.gameskinny.com/fgio9/over-70-indie-games-appearing-at-this-years-indiecade-festival https://www.gameskinny.com/fgio9/over-70-indie-games-appearing-at-this-years-indiecade-festival Wed, 14 Oct 2015 08:03:05 -0400 Daniel Williams_2179

Over 70 indie games are appearing in this years IndieCade Festival. Great games like Axiom Verge, Kerbal Space Program, and more will be shown during the event. 36 of these 70 games have also been nominated for the IndieCade awards. These nominations have been picked over a range of indie video games as well as tabletop and card games.

Stephanie Barish, Chief Executive Officer of IndieCade, said:

"The Official Selection are an esstialial part of the IndieCade Festival. They let us push boundaries and demonstrate some experimental, adventurous and surprising games."

The games shown at IndieCade Festival will be broken up into mutable categories. These are Digital Games, eSports, Night Games, Virtual Reality, Tabletop, and Big Games.

IndieCade is an event that supports independent game developers around the globe through a series of international events that highlights the artistic and diverse nature of emerging independent community's. They are dedicated to discovering and developing independent artists and developers around the world. IndieCade Festival is a three-day conference that is known as the "Sundance of the video game industry." It is being held in Culver City, California this year on the weekend of October 22th.

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Kerbal Space Program is Landing On Wii U https://www.gameskinny.com/dm81i/kerbal-space-program-is-landing-on-wii-u https://www.gameskinny.com/dm81i/kerbal-space-program-is-landing-on-wii-u Fri, 28 Aug 2015 19:35:48 -0400 Jason Green

A new trailer for Kerbal Space Program, the cartoony space simulator for the Wii U is in orbit.

A launch date or pricing is yet to be announced but this comes after a year since developer 50 Unity Games said they were making a Wii U port. Kerbal Space Program is now on Steam and is lauded as a very cheerful and fun game that doesn't take itself to seriously.

The gameplay involves the player taking control of a race of green humanoid type beings, Kerbals, while they're drifting through space on a ship. The player must construct rockets and other machines to get into space, and then once that is complete they must maintain the spaceship while it's in orbit. Going beyong that, landing on other planets and moons is encouraged. 

It was announced at E3 this year that another developer by the name of Tiger Entertainment is developing a PS4 port, and a Xbox One edition was announced as well.

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Kerbal Space Program coming to Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/nhoqg/kerbal-space-program-coming-to-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/nhoqg/kerbal-space-program-coming-to-xbox-one Sat, 22 Aug 2015 13:46:34 -0400 Anthony Jondreau

While video games have been trending toward being more competitive (see: just about any game with multiplayer) or just plain hard (see: Dark Souls), there's still something out there for not just the casual console gamer, but the casual console gamer who has very little interest in being constrained by silly things like rules.

The popular Steam game Kerbal Space Program has been announced for the Xbox One, joining games like Goat Simulator in bringing some lighthearted insanity to the console. While there are real physics to deal with (much more real than Goat Simulator), it's a game designed to take trial-and-error to the extreme. Orbits, gravity, and atmosphere are all things that will have to be taken into account, in much the same way that actual astronauts have to. The difference is that it won't cost several hundreds of millions of dollars, and watching your rocket blow up can be undone with a simple button press. The goal of the game is successful spaceflight, but it's also a lot about "what happens if..." and then watching a spaceship blow up.

There's been no release date announced, nor have there been any changes announced, but the fact that the game is coming to Xbox One is exciting enough. Just try not to lose too many of the little green astronauts as you navigate through space.

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Transparency: 5 things developers really mean by "it's too hard" https://www.gameskinny.com/27y8e/transparency-5-things-developers-really-mean-by-its-too-hard https://www.gameskinny.com/27y8e/transparency-5-things-developers-really-mean-by-its-too-hard Fri, 14 Aug 2015 11:21:17 -0400 Larry Everett

I’ve had it. I’m done with letting developers tell me that something is too hard. It gives me zero insight into why something isn’t being done in a game. On top of that, it makes the developers look like idiots and it makes interviewers look like idiots for taking "it's too hard" as a real answer.

Readers should not take “it’s too hard” as a legitimate answer from a developer. There is always more to it; there is always a limitation on the development team that they are just not revealing.

Of course, I’m not trying to say that every game should have everything we want in it. Nor am I saying that there aren’t things that developers can’t do. Saying that things are too difficult or too hard not only doesn’t paint a true picture of what’s really happening, but it also makes it sound like the developer just isn’t skilled enough to pull off whatever it is the interviewer is asking. That might be the case, but you don’t want to tell people that! (Note: that’s not usually the case.)

In case you’re confused by why Assassin’s Creed Unity didn’t have a female multiplayer character model or why the PC port for Batman: Arkham Knight released unplayable, let me give a list of five things developers could really mean by “it’s too hard.”

1. Doesn’t fit within the limitations of the engine

Engine choices are obviously made early on in the design process. More often than not it’s simpler to license an existing engine when designing a game now because it takes a lot of developer time to create an engine from scratch. On top of that, many of the existing licensed engines are robust and highly customizable. I completely understand the cost-effectiveness of not reinventing the wheel.

However, there are sometimes limitations in tech within the engine itself. Of course, developers can usually rewrite the code of the engine, but if the game is already built, then rewriting something core to the game could easily break the game to a point where is it unplayable.

Instead of “too hard,” developers should reply something like: “We have assessed the ramifications of implementing this feature in the game’s engine and have concluded that adding it would cause irrevocable damage to the gameplay.”

2. Would require more man-hours than we can allocate

The ultimate idea behind making a video game is making money. And I don’t begrudge people from all levels of development for wanting the game to make money. Of course, there is a line where making money supersedes making a good game, and that is bad.

Regardless, when you make a game, producers have to keep in mind how much time is being spent on certain features. And if too much time is being spent on one feature that doesn’t benefit the game’s bottom line as much as spending time on another feature, then it’s understandable that the resources had to be allocated to another part of the project.

A better, although equally unwanted reply, could be: “There are many features that we wanted to implement into the game, but our allotted man-hours didn’t allow us to work on that feature.” That could be followed up with “But we hope to implement that in the future” or “If our sales of the game reach beyond our projected threshold, then we can work on implementing that.”

3. Would require hiring extra staff

This particular reason for not implementing something in a game is similar to the last one, but usually this means that they would have to hire staff that has a skillset that the current team doesn’t have. Think about it like this: It takes a completely different style of design for Kerbal Space Program than making Call of Duty. That also means that different designers are required.

Sure, there is overlap because they are both video games, but I think you can understand that from a more narrow perspective that different games will require different people to make them successfully.

If the current team doesn’t have the background to implement the feature an interviewer is asking about, the developers should state that. For example: “That feature does sound great, but our staff consists of a different type of developers. If we wanted to implement those features, we would have to hire a different team, and unfortunately, that is not in our current budget.”

4. Will not fit in the client-side minimum requirements

One of the biggest limitations on game developers is the platform it’s being developed for. Everything from the controls, to the GPU, to the amount of storage required for the game all weigh against the choices behind what is or isn’t implemented in a title.

Sometimes, certain features have to be scaled back so far because of the console limitations that it’s not even worth implementing. For instance, Elder Scrolls Online didn’t bother implementing a chatroom on its console version because the keyboards for consoles are just plain awful and are rarely used. There was more benefit in implementing a built-in voice chat.

If this is a reason why something hasn’t been implemented in a game, simply say: “We had to scale back that feature because it didn’t work on this platform.” As the PC master race, it’s sometimes hard to accept that, but understand that it's often better for business to cater to console and low-end PC users.

5. It’s outside the scope of the vision for the game

Lastly, games have to have a solid vision to work out well. If it attempts to do too much, then it enters the dreaded sea of feature-creep, meaning that the things that the game does will not be done well. Sometimes, developers have to choose.

Of course, that will mean potentially losing players, but it’s better to satisfy the players that you do have than to satisfy no one.

A developer can say here: “We had considered that feature at one point when designing the game, but we felt it was beyond the our vision for the game.”

When we live in a world where CGI is better than what we can see with our eyes, there is nothing that is impossible or “too hard.” It all has to do with the limitations that developers have placed. I just wish developers were sometimes more forthcoming with their reasons why.

]]>
Kerbal Space Program coming to PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/s19wc/kerbal-space-program-coming-to-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/s19wc/kerbal-space-program-coming-to-ps4 Wed, 17 Jun 2015 19:38:43 -0400 Ford James

Kerbal Space Program, the popular space engineering simulator in which you send Jeb to space and leave him to die, is now coming to PlayStation 4.

Maxmaps, the Producer at Developer Squad, the company behind Kerbal Space Program broke the news on his Twitter.

Developer Squad also made an announcement on their blog and had this to say about their decision to bring it to PS4:

As the fanbase of our game has grown, we’ve received a constant influx of pokes and requests from people asking us to bring our game to PS4. With the power of current generation PS4 and the flexibility and ease of use of the Unity engine, bringing KSP over to the PS4 is simply a no brainer. Space is for everyone, regardless of how you prefer to play.

They've also confirmed it'll be Flying Tiger Entertainment handling the port rather than doing it in-house. They have supposedly made the building aspect of the game work just as smoothly as the PC version. Developer Squad have also guaranteed this won't affect the development of the PC version, and due to the Unity 5 upgrade it's in fact sped it up.

Kerbal Space Program launched as an unfinished game on Steam Early Access in June 2011, but didn't see a full release until April this year. There's no confirmed release date for the PS4 version of the game yet,

]]>
Steam Summer Sale: Top 15 Games You Need To Wishlist Now https://www.gameskinny.com/q3s92/steam-summer-sale-top-15-games-you-need-to-wishlist-now https://www.gameskinny.com/q3s92/steam-summer-sale-top-15-games-you-need-to-wishlist-now Mon, 08 Jun 2015 20:10:49 -0400 Autumn Fish

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Careful not to lose yourself during the Steam Summer Sale!

\n

Keeping an updated wishlist is a great way to keep on your toes and make sure you miss nary a deal during the Steam Summer Sale. While your at it, check out our list of 15 more games you need to wishlist!

\n
What fills your wishlist in anticipation for the Sales?
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Let us know in the comments below what games you have sitting in your wishlist as we await the Steam Summer Sale!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/8/7/687a45cf036cca11055a9abe7aa9962a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/8/7/tiny_687a45cf036cca11055a9abe7aa9962a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69297","description":"

Pillars of Eternity

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Steam User Rating: 91% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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If Pillars of Eternity fails to show up in the Steam Summer Sale I'm sure I'm not the only one who will be cross with it.

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This quickly renown classic RPG that pulls inspiration from games like Baldur's Gate demands to be played by its own rules — literally. They created a completely new game system just for Pillars of Eternity instead of pulling from Dungeons and Dragons for the calculations.

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Nothing is quite like a great RPG in a fascinating setting, which is why I have Pillars of Eternity wishlisted going into this year's Steam Summer Sale.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/f/5/2f5debde32a4a088b1fce8896ea49d92.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/f/5/tiny_2f5debde32a4a088b1fce8896ea49d92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69234","description":"

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

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Steam User Rating: 83% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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I know Dark Souls gets a lot of bad rep — yes, bad rep — for being a terrifyingly difficult game. Personally, I would never recommend a game that's hard for the sake of being hard. That's just plain brutality.

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After sinking many hours into the first Dark Souls in recent weeks, I have come to adore the unparalleled sense of immersion found in From Software's titles.

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The game world is so organic it can make you believe in it almost as much as you believe in the real world. If you've played Bloodborne, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

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Wishlist Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin — and Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition — for the Steam Summer Sale if you're a nut for immersive gameplay, stories and worlds. You can thank me later.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/9/ed96e7a12ba56e4ce7809d761bdd670a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/9/tiny_ed96e7a12ba56e4ce7809d761bdd670a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69278","description":"

Divinity: Original Sin

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Steam User Rating: 91% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Divinity: Original Sin proved to be one of the best RPGs in 2014, and since then the developers announced an Enhanced Edition.

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This top-down classic-style RPG blew fans of the genre out of the waters when it launched, and deserves the attention of modern gamers.

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An RPG nut would do well to wishlist Divinity: Original Sin. Not only will we score a ridiculous discount during the Steam Summer Sale, but owners of the PC game will also receive the Enhanced Edition as a gift upon release.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/6/f/d6f42453e69b912a1ab90eebf7ef12f9.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/6/f/tiny_d6f42453e69b912a1ab90eebf7ef12f9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69305","description":"

Game of Thrones - A Telltale Games Series

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Steam User Rating: 87% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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The award-winning book and HBO show finds itself in yet another form of digestible entertainment, this time in the form of an episodic video game, similar to Life is Strange.

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Game of Thrones from Telltale Games delivers an interactive experience in the most deceptively devilish world possibly imagined. You play as five members of a northern family loyal to the Starks of Winterfell, and ride the descent into madness as all hell breaks loose in Westeros.

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If you enjoy making critical decisions in tense situations, this is definitely a game to have on your wishlist this upcoming Steam Summer Sale season.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/1/f61d8d1876511dae0ba56e10659aa3d2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/6/1/tiny_f61d8d1876511dae0ba56e10659aa3d2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69269","description":"

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

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Steam User Rating: 93% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Still in the mood for slaughtering orcs? Good, because Shadow of Mordor offers up orcs that are actually interesting to fight.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is renowned at this point for its incredible faction system. I mean who doesn't want to fight orcs in the middle of a bunch of warring orcs?

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If you haven't already picked up Shadow of Mordor, the GOTY edition just recently released, making the Steam Summer Sale a prime opportunity to pick up a good AAA game at a great price!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/d/7/3d7093b05d98feb84c0138b6d898d5c4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/d/7/tiny_3d7093b05d98feb84c0138b6d898d5c4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69249","description":"

Orcs Must Die! 2

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Steam User Rating: 96% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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With Orcs Must Die! Unchained on the not-so-distant horizon, there's no doubt they'll bring the Orcs Must Die! franchise back to the Steam Summer Sale this year!

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With many dozens of traps, guardians and weapons at your disposal in Orcs Must Die! 2, your tasked with keeping the onslaught of orcs from reaching the gateway to the outside world.

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If you've never played Orcs Must Die! 2, the 2015 Steam Summer Sale is definitely the time to nab it. The mixture of trap and weapon style combat is satisfying, if a bit challenging for newcomers, and the sprinkle of humor is a nice touch.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/c/57c446e5bce985fb457f71f2094dbfb8.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/7/c/tiny_57c446e5bce985fb457f71f2094dbfb8.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69276","description":"

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

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Steam User Rating: 88% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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While it may not look like much, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a surprisingly well made action-fantasy RPG with an enjoyable combat system and just an overall fun experience.

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Unfortunately, the story and characters of Reckoning are not especially memorable. Everyone else simply seems to take a back seat to you.

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Despite this, the gameplay is incredibly enjoyable and has its special quriks. Make sure to wishlist Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning if you get that action-fantasy RPG itch!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/7/2d75c23b33fa57d899db0f4ed1b9241e.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/d/7/tiny_2d75c23b33fa57d899db0f4ed1b9241e.png","type":"slide","id":"69270","description":"

Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition

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Steam User Rating: 97% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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With Batman: Arkham Knight scheduled to release the day after the Steam Summer Sale ends, what better time to discount the previous Batman: Arkham games?

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If you're unfamiliar with the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a really great place to start.

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What is known as arguably the best Batman game released to date is about to dip below the cost of a milkshake. Prepare your wishlist, for these sales will zip by fast!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/9/a/49aacaa1c980ffb0e671c908a40fd444.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/9/a/tiny_49aacaa1c980ffb0e671c908a40fd444.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69251","description":"

Darksiders 2

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Steam User Rating: 90% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Darksiders is an interesting franchise — I once heard it described as Zelda with darker themes, although that's not entirely what I got out of it.

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Darksiders 2 is an incredibly fun action-adventure game where you play as Death, a member of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who is working to free his brother War from a terrible fate.

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The combat is engaging, and the "dungeon" environments that Darksiders 2 sends you through are beautifully beset with their own interesting mind-puzzlers to keep your neurons firing. Well worth a wishlist if you like beautiful worlds and fun combat.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/8/f/18fdd967f28de51655a5d196bf557292.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/8/f/tiny_18fdd967f28de51655a5d196bf557292.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69246","description":"

Life is Strange

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Steam User Rating: 97% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Similar to The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, Life is Strange is an episodic, story-driven game set in a young woman's final high-school years. She discovers she has the power to rewind time, which allows her to play with situations and see how they immediately play out.

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Most choices that you make begin to feel morally gray, to the point where you aren't really happy with any situation. Life is Strange is tense, and realistically touches on all walks of life wherever necessary.

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If you love realistic characters and well thought out stories that pull at all the right/wrong heartstrings, wishlist Life is Strange. We hope Square Enix jumps on the Steam Summer Sale bandwagon with this horse leading the charge.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/d/4/bd4f2ac6d1e6920e11fe5955d5ecd33c.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/b/d/4/tiny_bd4f2ac6d1e6920e11fe5955d5ecd33c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69245","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

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Steam User Rating: 98% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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I can't talk about the latest simulation games without bringing up Kerbal Space Program. This ambitious project aims to realistically recreate space physics for space craft.

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You can build and rebuild your space craft, watch it crash fifty times before it breaks the atmosphere and watch it explode when attempting re-entry.

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There is a steep learning curve to be had in Kerbal Space Program, but if you are as dedicated to astronomy as these adorable little Kerbals, than you will be making supply trips to space stations you placed among the stars in no time.

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Couple it all together with a lovely community and some great mods, and you have a must-watch for the Steam Summer Sale.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/6/9/269786cd77b7756b62c60a8de0b9c314.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/6/9/tiny_269786cd77b7756b62c60a8de0b9c314.png","type":"slide","id":"69241","description":"

Don't Starve / Don't Starve Together

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Steam User Rating: 97% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Klei Entertainment just released Don't Starve Together to all previous Don't Starve owners last week. Two million veteran players are finally able to starve with all their friends.

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Don't Starve is a densely thematic survival game with quirky characters and an interesting world to explore. The art-style and overall feeling the game invokes are very specific and niche at heart.

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It's worth it at full price, but Don't Starve is bound to be ready for the Steam Summer Sale.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/9/9b9c802d32af9097ece998d0f04c904a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/b/9/tiny_9b9c802d32af9097ece998d0f04c904a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69238","description":"

Cities: Skylines

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Steam User Rating: 95% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Cities: Skylines is the newest city builder on the block that all the Sim City fans are raving about. This game makes some incredibly necessary leaps in the genre that pulls itself together remarkably well.

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Currently Cities: Skylines is more of a sandbox city-building game without any true objectives, even though in normal gameplay you do have to manage funds, among many other things. Nothing disastrous is going to come from outer space and demolish your city, you — the Creator — are the one who determines its fate.

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This is a solid product with an enormous amount of customizable freedom and great modding community to boot. With the developers planning to update and support this game for many years to come, there's no reason not to pick up Cities: Skylines during the Steam Summer Sale if you're into that sort of stuff.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/7/f47a3ae40816983b07a8487f637d469d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/4/7/tiny_f47a3ae40816983b07a8487f637d469d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69230","description":"

Killing Floor 2

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Steam User Rating: 94% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Okay, so the first two entries on this list may be a stretch, but it wouldn't be the first time an early-access/relatively new game made it to the Steam Summer Sale. Killing Floor 2 is a great co-op shooter made to be played with up to five of your friends.

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Fight waves and waves of enemy Zeds as they swarm you and your surviving team-mates. If you're into FPS games, Killing Floor 2 is not something you want to miss this year.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/5/a/05a651038c85c6fab7aa742196b4f6ac.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/5/a/tiny_05a651038c85c6fab7aa742196b4f6ac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69227","description":"

Magicka 2

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Steam User Rating: 64% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Magicka 2 just released a few weeks ago, yet even still we're anticipating it's appearance during the Steam Summer Sale this year, even if only for a 25% discount!

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This game brings all of the humor and non-vampires of Magicka — also expected to make an appearance — to a whole new playing-field, with it's renown spell combination system heading the charge.

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Fair warning: a few changes were made to the spell system, so fans who really sunk their teeth into the first game may have trouble getting into Magicka 2.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/9/509ce6017e28a72ce6f483013c041eed.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/0/9/tiny_509ce6017e28a72ce6f483013c041eed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69214","description":"

The Steam Summer Sale is looming right ahead of us, with only a few short days left before we can get our paws on the games we've been waiting all year to snag! Scouring the Store pages to find what you're looking for is all fine and dandy, but the entirety of the Steam Summer Sale will go a lot smoother if you take your time and prepare while you still can.

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You may not have any friends willing to look at your Steam Wishlist for gift ideas, but that doesn't make the Wishlist completely worthless. The Steam Wishlist shines brightest when you plop a sale down in front of it.

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Steam notifies you (usually via email) when a game on your Wishlist goes on sale. With all of those Flash Sales passing by, you won't want to miss that sliver of opportunity for a fantastic deal on a game you've wanted for centuries.

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So go Wishlist crazy, and check out our top 15 notable games worth holding out on until the 2015 Steam Summer Sale — which is rumored to start June 11th.

"}]]]>
Gamer Gift Guide: Indie Games on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/hhgbl/gamer-gift-guide-indie-games-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/hhgbl/gamer-gift-guide-indie-games-on-steam Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:50:50 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

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Interstellar Marines

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Interstellar Marines will set you back $18.99, €16.99, £13.99.

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Interstellar Marines is a tactical FPS, it will have a full story campaign down the line, as it's in Early Access. But the content is has is well worth the price of admission. The developers, Zero Point Software, love to call this a AAA Indie game. This means it has good graphics and is built to a high quality, and this is reflected in the game. There is a recent addition in the form of a co-op mode, which is fantastic. The goal of the game is to offer a fully story driven tactical FPS experience, with co-op and competitive online play. The game first started as competitive only, so that the server systems and netcode could be built to a high standard and have low ping no matter where you are. And this is exactly what the game delivers. Once again for all Early Access games, please read the Steam page before purchasing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9fd3016c4f863fcd78b023bf7a52059e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9fd3016c4f863fcd78b023bf7a52059e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4866","description":"

Super Meat Boy

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Super Meat Boy will set you back $14.99, €13.99, £10.99.

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Super Meat Boy is a game where you play as a piece of meat. Yes you read that correctly. The game is inspired by Mario, apparently. Well in the way that it's a platformer which you have to dodge traps. One of the games best features is the ability to see all of the times you failed in a when you finish a level. Be warned it is VERY hard!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8abd289bf4d944390cb70e6d78d3f030.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8abd289bf4d944390cb70e6d78d3f030.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4865","description":"

Next Car Game: Wreckfest

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Next Car Game: Wreckfest will set you back $29.99, €23.99, £19.99.

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Next Car Game: Wreckfest is a game all about aggressive driving. This means crashing into other cars to give yourself the advantage. In Wreckfest there are no rules, only the ones you set yourself. With an amazing damage system, where every scrape to massive pileup is reflected on your car. And really good handling mechanics which free real enough but are still very forgiving. Wreckfest is a developed by the guys behind the FlatOut series, Bugbear Entertainment and their skill is onces again shown in this game. This is in Early Access also, meaning the game, as good as it is now, will only get better. Like with all other Early Access games, check the Steam page first.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6c7d81074930c1be2f19b3753dd650d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e6c7d81074930c1be2f19b3753dd650d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4864","description":"

Starbound

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Starbound will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £11.99.

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Starbound is similar to Terraria however with some fundamental differences it's sci-fi for one. It also supports drop in and drop out co-op, making playing with friends a breeze. Also there are multiple planets for you to explore, as well as your own home planet and own Starship. Both your home planet Spacecraft can be decorated and customised. Starbound is a great game in the same way Terraria is but it just keeps getting better due to it being in Early Access, so again see the Steam page for details.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b86f47dc7531db8114324d86f49b0ce6.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b86f47dc7531db8114324d86f49b0ce6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4863","description":"

Terraria

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Terraria will set you back $9.99, €9.99, £6.99.

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Terraria is a 2D side scrolling building, exploration, digging and combat game. Run through the game mining, fighting and building. You might want to go to the deepest darkest parts of the world to find some special items, or you may want to simply build a massive house, or a small town. Be creative or destructive, the choice is yours.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9871f8315c91430bd370944d1e44fd00.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9871f8315c91430bd370944d1e44fd00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4862","description":"

Kerbal Space Program

\n

Kerbal Space Program will set you back $29.99, €29.99, £22.99.

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Kerbal Space Program is a space simulation game where you fly characters called Kerbins off an Earth like planet called Kerbin. But that is not all, start your own space company. Launch your own space ships, which you have designed yourself. I say launch, it will be crash or explode, to start with. You can also set up your own orbits, collect science points, and use them to research new and amazing toys to explode your space ships with. This game is in Early Access which means it is not fully out, and is undergoing constant improvements, see the steam page for details.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9e90cd61f95028fb6a52a97da95894f5.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9e90cd61f95028fb6a52a97da95894f5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4861","description":"

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

\n

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £10.99.

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The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth lets you die a lot. You play as Isaac who has escaped death by the hands of his mother, she wants to kill her son as God has demanded a sacrifice. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has Rogue-like elements, which means death is permanent. The levels are randomly generated. You fight deranged enemies, Isaac's fears, family members and finally Isaac's own mother. The art style and the content of the game contradict each other, due to the art style being very cartoonish but there being a lot of gore. It has a lot of very dark humor, but it's all done tastefully.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fa214d657bccc82eb185c049614eb926.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fa214d657bccc82eb185c049614eb926.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4860","description":"

Transistor

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Transistor will set you back $19.99, €18.99, £14.99.

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Transistor is a sci-fi action game, with light RPG elements. It is by the same guys who brought you Bastion (which is also on this list). And the similarities to Bastion it has are in the narrator. Transistor however has a combat system which merges real time, and turn based.

\n

You play as Red, a singer who has lost her voice. You stumble across a magical talking sword, called the Transistor. Finding previous owners of the sword grants you the ability to use different Functions, which can be chained in combat to change how each Functions reacts.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9b93f9d9f29d963e27ccb23cfab2fc11.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/9b93f9d9f29d963e27ccb23cfab2fc11.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4859","description":"

Bastion

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Bastion will set you back $14.99, €14.99, £10.99.

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Bastion is an action RPG. Well it has light RPG elements. You play as a character who is only ever called The Boy. You fight your way through a world which has just suffered a catastrophic event called the Calamity, you must also find the secrets of the Calamity. Bastion also features a one of a kind narrator. He will narrate every action you take, reacting to what you do. And just look at the art style, gorgeous right?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/338d3c0c790e355284299896ae63f77b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/338d3c0c790e355284299896ae63f77b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4857","description":"

The Fall

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The Fall will set you back $9.99, €9.99, £6.99.

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The Fall is set in a mysterious environment. You start off in a cave, and find your way to a facility for the testing and destruction of faulty droids made by a company called Domesticon. The game is a side scroller with point-and-click style puzzles. You take control of an AI called ARID. ARIDs job is to save the occupant of the suit who is mortally wounded. Read my full review here.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8d3b9c8738a5b03c0db79b1378b31a49.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8d3b9c8738a5b03c0db79b1378b31a49.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"4849","description":"

Limbo

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Limbo will set you back $9.99, €9.99 or £6.99.

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Limbo is an atmospheric side scrolling puzzle game. You play as a boy who enters Limbo to find his sister. Battle spiders using your wits, dodge traps and solve puzzles. The game is simple, yet the atmosphere really pulls you in. Run and jump your way to answers, or will you just have more questions?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/92f736252915ab219df778c02319bca2.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_92f736252915ab219df778c02319bca2.png","type":"slide","id":"54383","description":"

So it's the time of the year again where everyone wants to buy, for others of course. This 'other' is a gamer, and this gamer wants games, naturally. However you already know that they don't like the AAA, or they only like a select few AAA games. So what do you get them?

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Go no further for indie games are here!

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Indie games are all special, but which of them is the best? If this gamer plays on Windows, Mac or Linux there is something for everyone in Indie, especially on Steam.

"}]]]>
You Don't Have to Be an Astrophysicist to Play Kerbal Space Program, But It Would Probably Help https://www.gameskinny.com/gxfyq/you-dont-have-to-be-an-astrophysicist-to-play-kerbal-space-program-but-it-would-probably-help https://www.gameskinny.com/gxfyq/you-dont-have-to-be-an-astrophysicist-to-play-kerbal-space-program-but-it-would-probably-help Wed, 04 Jun 2014 22:04:54 -0400 Derek Paulus

I am a huge fan of simulation games, almost to the point where I find myself having a difficult time playing anything except the simulation genre. One of my favorite simulation games, and favorite games of all time, is Kerbal Space Program, especially when it's being played by a real life astronaut.

One of my favorite YouTubers, Scott Manley, posted a video roughly a year ago in which he guided former NASA astronaut Ed Lu through a session of Kerbal Space Program.

In all honesty, most people will find nothing special about this video. There are no hilarious crashes, no stunningly engineered rockets, and certainly no epic mission where Lu, with all his expertise, manages to land on the outermost planet and travel back all in his first experience with the game.

Instead, what fascinates me about this video, and all of Manley's videos, is watching an expert in the field of astronomy and astrophysics play their video game counterpart. For example, it would be the same as watching FIFA played by a professional soccer (football for most of the world) player, Arma played by a military veteran, or Minecraft played by a... miner, I guess. 

While Lu is no Kerbal Space Program expert by any means, I can't help but find it fascinating how naturally he falls into the game, talking about stages, rocket boosters, and bipropellant engines. It is this type of expertise that can be found in all of Manley's videos.

Manley is not an astronaut but he does have experience in astronomy. In a Reddit AMA Manley informed his fans that he spent 10 years studying astrophysics in college. Further digging reveals that Manley received educational experience at the University of Glasgow and Armagh Observatory.

Kerbal Space Program is heavily featured on Manley's channel, with some other games and random science lessons/discussions thrown in. With nearly 100 hours of gameplay, I still struggle with orbital rendezvous and have not yet successfully landed on any body apart from Kerbin's moons. Without Manley's tutorials, however, I think I would still be stuck on the launchpad.

Kerbal Space Program can be a tough game to master, and while an astrophysics background is not required, it is a unique and helpful experience to watch someone who has that background play your favorite game.

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Kerbal Space Program Proves Early Access Can Still be a Fan Favorite https://www.gameskinny.com/weehl/kerbal-space-program-proves-early-access-can-still-be-a-fan-favorite https://www.gameskinny.com/weehl/kerbal-space-program-proves-early-access-can-still-be-a-fan-favorite Thu, 15 May 2014 19:47:22 -0400 Derek Paulus

Most players’ first experience in Squad’s still-in-development space exploration simulator, Kerbal Space Program, will go something like this:

Step 1: Slap several fuel tanks onto your astronauts’ command module.

Step 2: Place a fat engine on the bottom.

Step 3: Put a couple… no, six… solid fuel boosters on the side.

Step 4: Launch the rocket.

Step 5: Point straight up into the sky until your rocket runs out of fuel, assuming it has not yet exploded.

Step 6: Become concerned as your rocket begins to lose velocity and fall toward the planet Kerbin’s surface.

Step 7: Watch in horror as all astronauts onboard your craft die in a fiery impact on the planet’s surface because you forgot to add a parachute.

In seven simple steps you have effectively killed Kerbin’s bravest heroes… Congratulations! You have now completed your first training exercise toward becoming the engineer, physicist, and lead commander of Kerbal Space Program.

After your first failure, you will realize that this game is not as easy as it looks. KSP walks the line between videogame fun and accurate physics, orbital mechanics, and rocketry. This ensures that you will likely kill again, but you’ll have lots of fun doing it.

Although the game can be difficult and new challenges will arise as you progress, what makes KSP brilliant is the way in which it simplifies the science and mathematics behind the game to make it a thoughtfully fun experience. For example, in order to achieve a successful orbit and avoid the fiery death mentioned above, all you need to do is angle your rocket and then follow your prograde vector to reach a reasonable velocity. Once your apoapsis reaches a sufficient height, make a prograde burn at that point until you have achieved an orbit outside the planet's atmosphere.

If you got lost in all the terminology, don't worry. Thankfully, KSP contains an easy-to-use tool that allows players to plan and adjust their orbits by simply dragging an icon. Once your path has been set the game automatically calculates how long you will need to burn to reach your desired destination.

The game provides enough tools that it is not required to be an astrophysicist to be successful in the game, but you want to be sure you take advantage of those tools. If you plan a mission to land on Kerbin's "mun" by simply pointing your rocket toward it, you will find it will have moved by the time you get there. Once you master orbital mechanics, however, you are then faced with the new challenge of building more powerful rockets to reach distant moons and planets.

From PCGamesN.com

There are two game modes, sandbox and career mode. While in sandbox mode you will have the best and most powerful rocket parts available. In career mode you are required to perform science experiments on your home planet and throughout the solar system to earn enough points to unlock new parts on your research tree. This forces you to push the limits of what you can do with the parts currently unlocked and encourages you to explore new areas of the solar system.

Despite this, however, the game currently lacks enough to detail to make exploration a truly immersive experience. Though there are some beautiful moments in the game, such as seeing the sunrise while in orbit over Kerbal, the graphics aren't overly impressive. The game is stunning at times, but with improved graphics could be something on an entirely new level. 

While other planets and moons in the game have unique differences, such as their color, atmosphere, and gravity, the lack of detail on these bodies does not always reward extensive exploration on a single object in the solar system.

Still, the game is in Steam Early Access and things could improve. A more recent addition was the Asteroid Redirect Mission that was developed through collaboration with NASA.

Though $26.99 may seem like too high a cost for a game still in development, the game contains enough to learn and do to warrant such a price. 

After all, KSP may be the closest you ever come to fulfilling your childhood dreams of traveling through space.

 

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Kerbal Space Program Modders Can Show Off on Kerbal CurseForge https://www.gameskinny.com/56h5t/kerbal-space-program-modders-can-show-off-on-kerbal-curseforge https://www.gameskinny.com/56h5t/kerbal-space-program-modders-can-show-off-on-kerbal-curseforge Tue, 06 May 2014 08:20:23 -0400 Game Oracle

The developers of Kerbal Space Program, Squad, recently announced a new agreement with Curse.com to work together on creating a new website, called Kerbal CurseForge.

Kerbal Space Program modders with existing mods on Kerbal Spaceport can transfer their current creations to Kerbal CurseForge, but the old website will no longer be accepting any new mods.

“Modders have helped make Kerbal Space Program a more open, more rewarding game experience for our players,” Squad chief operating officer Adrian Goya said. “Curse is an important partner because their team is passionate and experienced in caring for and growing online game communities, such as our amazing playerbase for Kerbal Space Program.”

http://www.thegamercode.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/kerbal_space_program_desktop_by_timmon26-d66qqlw.png

"We've got a great platform and a tremendous team that will be supporting the amazing modders for Kerbal Space Program," said said Bryan McLemore, Curse's Author Platform Evangelist. "We also expect the millions of gamers who frequent Curse every month to see Kerbal Space Program as a great addition to our existing community."

New and old players can drop by and check out the new website starting today. This is your chance to show the gaming world and hardcore Kerbal Space Program players your latest mods.

Kerbal Space Program is currently on sale on Steam for $16.19!

 
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Building Blocks: Can popular games be used as teaching tools? https://www.gameskinny.com/jmvl7/building-blocks-can-popular-games-be-used-as-teaching-tools https://www.gameskinny.com/jmvl7/building-blocks-can-popular-games-be-used-as-teaching-tools Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:01:33 -0400 RobS_451

The world of gaming is growing. It has stretched far beyond its roots as a fun distraction to permeate mainstream society, tackle complex social issues and assert a cultural identity all its own. The growing power of games to inspire and engage us has also begun to assert itself in a place that, traditionally, has been at odds with their allure: the classroom.

Games in the Classroom

Recently, in a tangent to typical holiday small-talk, I found myself discussing games with a relative who manages a small school district.  What started as a simple question, (he asked why he should care about Minecraft?) became a much longer discussion about the potential to engage students in practical subjects using games that they were probably already playing at home.  Growing up with a family of small-town educators, I have seen first-hand the challenges that smaller schools face when trying to reach students.  That discussion prompted me to look deeper into the potential that some popular titles might have to bridge the gap between recreation and learning, and help teachers get students excited about learning.

Minecraft

You’d have a hard time finding a recent game that resonates as well with so many as Minecraft. The game’s rampant popularity across demographics makes it uniquely positioned to be a fantastic bridge between teachers and their students. This idea is a driving force behind MinecraftEdu, an initiative released by TeacherGaming in 2013 to make the Minecraft universe more accessible to schools. 

By making the game more affordable for classroom use, and providing teachers with resources and ideas for integrating lessons into the game world, MinecraftEdu highlights the best aspects of Minecraft for use as teaching tools. The most prominent example of this is the history-spanning Wonderful World of Humanities interactive tour, which uses a blend of quests and the open Minecraft world to let students explore key historical events, visit landmarks and interact with famous figures throughout history.

Beyond this is a growing network of simple builds and ideas that allow for new levels of student interaction with basic questions, as well as concepts for teaching science and mathematics. With MinecraftEDU’s lowered price point and the game’s inherent low system requirements, the project serves as an ideal opportunity for teachers to bring a new level of interactivity to their lessons.

Kerbal Space Program

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll start to see how other games can become powerful teaching tools.  TeacherGaming is also developing a project, similar to MinecraftEdu, for the popular Kerbal Space Program that aims to get students excited about aeronautics and space exploration.  Using Kerbal Space Program’s core mechanic, where you must build a rocket to get the minion-esque Kerbals to the moon and beyond, the game has great potential to engage students by presenting them with questions similar to those faced by real-world engineers and scientists.

Like Minecraft, the game’s cartoonish, lighthearted tone juxtaposes its complexity to allow for a wide appeal that could serve well with younger and older students easily. 

SimCity

Another great example that has been popular with gamers for quite some time,  SimCity has a lot to teach students about the complexities of city management and planning, including the environmental, structural and social impact of their decisions.

SimCityEDU, from Institute of Play, aims to use the game to directly fulfill learning requirements for “common core and next generation science standards” while still providing a fun and engaging atmosphere for students, and more importantly, giving them a new level of control over their learning experience.

What Makes a Game Great for Teaching?

In using games to teach, especially games not necessarily designed for teaching, the most important factor teachers are likely to consider is the how accurately the game in question adheres to the subject at hand, which presents a unique problem. 

In order to remain engaging, most games have to cut corners on the rules of the real world. 

Many great games are designed to filter the real world through a lense that allows us to break free of its rules and explore the possibilities beyond them. This is likely the reason that games designed to teach are usually boring.  Many older gamers, myself included, remember Oregon Trail fondly.  After playing the game again recently,  I realized that the core mechanics were fairly simplistic, and it cut corners on most of the elements that made adventure games of the time so immersive.  It has it’s moments of tension and complexity, of course, but they pale in comparison to those offered by other games available in the 80’s and 90’s, when computers were beginning to become more common (especially in schools) and video games more popular.

The issue is not that Oregon Trail isn’t a good example of a teaching game, but that it’s arguably the best example of a teaching game we have to this day
nothing is worse than a boring game, except maybe one that’s trying to teach you math

That alone should point out the biggest flaw with learning-focused games: they often sacrifice creativity and depth for adherence to facts. While this approach ensures that what students take away from the experience is accurate, it can serve to alienate those students as well - nothing is worse than a boring game, except maybe one that’s trying to teach you math. 

Today, its likely that every student has a game in their pocket they would much rather play, and probably will as soon as class ends.  In a learning environment dominated by standardized testing and structured lessons, there is a powerful need for creativity in the way that students get the lessons most essential to their development.  Games are everywhere, and for teachers to break through the noise made by grumpy pixelated birds and flashing rows of candy, they may need to consider that bringing bigger, better games into the classroom may bring students back in, too. 

Ultimately, It's Up To Teachers

the vast majority of creative options for using games to enrich learning rest in the hands of teachers themselves

Even with the great examples that some developers are working to bring to the table, the vast majority of creative options for using games to enrich learning rest in the hands of teachers themselves.  By looking to mainstream games as a tool, rather than a distraction, teachers have an opportunity to bring their students closer to the lessons that will serve them in the future.  In addition, they stand to gain a better understanding themselves of how technology is shaping the way that younger generations see the world around them, and how they learn from it.

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Kerbal Space Program Follows Minecraft Into Children's Classrooms https://www.gameskinny.com/wqrmr/kerbal-space-program-follows-minecraft-into-childrens-classrooms https://www.gameskinny.com/wqrmr/kerbal-space-program-follows-minecraft-into-childrens-classrooms Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:32:17 -0500 Stephanie Tang

Who wants to learn about physics and orbital mechanics by stuffing little green aliens into rocketships and sending them off into space to see whether or not they will fly?

Everyone. Obviously.

The award-winning Kerbal Space Program, a sandbox-style space flight sim, has been lauded for its realism (barring, of course, the fact that these little Kerbals can live forever in space with or without spacesuits, all their equipment is perfectly reliable, etc.). Though still technically in alpha, the game is already considered a success. Almost immediately after its release in late March 2013, Kerbal Space Program rocketed to the Top 5 Best Sold Steam games, and the number one spot for Steam Linux games. 

And now Kerbal Space Program has a brand new frontier to explore.

http://i.imgur.com/G9zasAP.pngFollowing in the venerable footsteps of Minecraft and MinecraftEdu, teachers and students can now work together to learn rocket science and space travel with the official launch of KerbalEduthe modified educational version of Kerbal Space Program

Squad, the developers of KSP, have partnered with TeacherGaming to launch this project at www.kerbaledu.com. Interested students and teachers are encouraged to check out the website for more information on the game, now available on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

This is not to say that Squad is finished with the development of Kerbal Space Program! Far from it. In fact, it looks like TeacherGaming will be the ones taking the reins on the classroom version, modifying KSP to enhance its value in the classroom. 

http://izziesl.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/kerbal-space-program.jpgBut like Shakespeare and The Great Gatsby, will this rendition of KSP rip all the fun out of a cool little space sim and leave it an empty shell of what it really is?

Just what is TeacherGaming changing?

The first mod for KerbalEdu hasn't been released yet, but the KSP forums did give us an idea of what is in the works: 

  • Metric system and other systems for easier data comparison and integration with other school topics
  • UI alterations to include analyzer and data collector tools for easier data gathering, data summarization and problem solving with ship designs
  • Premade lessons that introduce or need a specific scientific method or formula to be solved, such as a rocket with too small of an engine needing more thrust
  • Valuable materials outside of the actual game, but with heavy connections to it, that help educators drive home important lessons

And according to TeacherGaming CEO, Santeri Koivisto:

"KerbalEdu is going to help players do more than just dream of the stars in their classroom. It's going to give them the tools to learn how to reach them. Squad is a great partner and a believer in our mission to use games to help educate the next generation of students."

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/064/7/4/kerbal_space_program___mun_lander_by_misterxman-d4rrlpy.png

Altogether, the future looks pretty bright. Moreover, in a different interview with PCGamesN earlier last year, Koivisto seems to completely understand this natural fear of soulless schooling, and wants TeacherGaming to bring the same philosophy to KerbalEdu that they relied on for MinecraftEdu:

"The idea is that we don't ruin the game. So when the kids come to school they don't think it's some rubbish school Minecraft, they just know it's their favorite game at home and now they're playing at school."

How many schools will be able to play KerbalEdu?

It's all well and good to learn that more hands-on educational gameplay and learning will be making their way into schools... but which schools?

It's not an easy process, and a lot of it is based on the fact that not every school is blessed with the ability to pick up something new and add it into their curriculum just like that. And then you have the fact that schools can't just use any old online marketplace to get their software.

"It may be funny for a private person to think, ‘I have my credit card, I can just go online and buy stuff,’ but schools can’t do that. It's a huge mess of purchasing systems. We’ve tried to work with the different countries’ purchasing systems and been successful with that.”

Early estimates stated that about 50 schools would be implementing the KerbalEdu software upon first release.

KerbalEdu will be provided for a discounted price for interested schools, and those who do choose to use the software will also be able to offer their students a discounted price on the regular Kerbal Space Program for when they go home, too.

Not a bad deal, huh? Definitely a step up from the educational learning of yesteryear which consisted mainly of learning home row. ("Quick. Ask. Zoe.")

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Kerbal Space Program: It *IS* Rocket Science (Sort of) for Space Tycoons https://www.gameskinny.com/wehef/kerbal-space-program-it-is-rocket-science-sort-of-for-space-tycoons https://www.gameskinny.com/wehef/kerbal-space-program-it-is-rocket-science-sort-of-for-space-tycoons Wed, 23 Oct 2013 10:52:16 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

Thanks to mankind's ultimate pissing contest between NASA and the Soviet Space Program, every boy* since the 1960s grew up with space rockets in the blood.

The days of childhood ambition to be a train driver were over, astronaut/cosmonaut was where it was at (well, until Jedis, but that's a space jam of a different flavour; let's not get into the Freudian replacement of phallic trains for rockets for light sabres).

Kerbal Space Program takes those dreams of orbiting the Earth, landing on the Moon and exploring the solar system and makes them a (virtual) reality with a comical twist; the small steps and giant leaps are being made by the adorably fat-headed Kerbal race who live on the Earth-like planet Kerbin which is orbited by "the Mun". Beyond that they have the entire Kerbol system with over a dozen celestial bodies to explore.

Exploring or Exploding, It's All Progress

The titular space program is facilitated with a simple drag-and-drop Lego-like construction mechanic which balances authenticity and accessibility very well.

The player can quickly plug together a command module, a fuel tank and some booster rockets. Within minutes an unsuspecting Kerbal will be strapped on top of tonnes of explosives built by a clueless idiot (well, certainly in my case).  

The comical tendency for everything to go wrong and explode spectacularly makes the whole experience quite dramatic and entertaining.

After numerous attempts to reach orbit see various launch-pad cartwheels, spaceport divebombs and premature splashdowns, the sheer joy of reaching the inky blackness of space is euphoric (that's not what the picture below led to though, as you can probably tell).

However, achieving a stable orbit and/or non-fatal spacewalks is another thing entirely, let alone reaching The Mun.

Features Recently Bolted On

Even though my early attempts to join the space with the demo version have met with limited success, the recent full-version release of a tycoon career mode certainly has me intrigued. New features include:

  • Career Mode is now open! Although still very much under development, you can now start new Career saves.
  • Added the Research & Development Facility to the Space Center.
  • R&D allows players to unlock parts (and later other stuff) by researching nodes on the Tech Tree (In Career Mode).
  • You can now collect surface samples while on EVA, and process them to do Science.
  • Added new scientific parts, like the Materials Bay and the Mystery Goo™ Canister (probably best explained in this entertaining video). Also added experiments to many existing parts.
  • Nose Cones now actually help with improving stability during atmospheric flight.
  • It is now possible to recover a flight after landing/splashdown on Kerbin without going through the Tracking Station. Look above the Altimeter.
  • Celestial Bodies now support Biome Maps, which are used to create different conditions for experiments.

Full v0.22 patch notes can be viewed here and the video below gives a visual overview. 

Kerbal Space Program is currently in an alpha state and the latest release (v0.22) is far from feature complete or bug free (although in this case, having slightly unpredictable software almost adds to the rivets-and-duct-tape charm).

The free demo and full alpha version ($22.99/£17.99/€21.99) are available on Steam or direct from the Kerbal Space Program website.

*possibly girls too. I'm not being exclusive, I'm just making sweeping generalisations for the sake of a nice opening paragraph m'kay?

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