Night in the Woods Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Night in the Woods RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 7 Awesome Indie Games that Don't Have a Happy Ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending Fri, 02 Feb 2018 05:19:22 -0500 Highties

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Stories have a way of teaching us about life. They teach us that not everything ends on a happy note. Sometimes the tragic and morally questionable aspects of a stories ending serve as a caution about how we live our lives and how to improve our own story. 

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Despite all that these games told great stories and I, for one, can't wait to see what else Indie developers will show us in the future. 

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Did you feel this list did a good job of showing some of the unhappy endings of Indies? Were you disappointed that certain games didn't make the list?Comment below what sad tales you would have put and what you felt about these endings.

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To the Moon 
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Price: $4.99-$9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, Android & Apple

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To the Moon is a 16-bit story-driven game about two doctors who travel through a dying man's memories to accomplish his last dream to go to the moon. You will experience some of life's saddest moments; love, hate and the joy that this dying man went through in his life. 

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When it comes to sad endings To the Moon holds that title proudly. In To the Moon you play as two doctors who were hired to send an old man to the moon, but to do so you need to figure out why he wants to go. You end up exploring the old mans entire life through his memories and ultimately find out why he wants to go into space. 

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Not only do you start thinking about the beauty of To the Moon, but also about the futility of life and the fickle nature of memories. The ending is joyful in its way, however it is a bittersweet feeling. The idea that it was so close to being satisfactory and so close to being a happy occasion.

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Silence: The Whispered World 2
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Price: $29.99

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Buy it on: PC & Xbox One

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Silence: The Whispered World 2 is a story-driven game that allows you to experience what life is about for two kids named Noah and his younger sister Renie. The danger of war and the choices you must make for your family are an integral part of this fantasy world called 'The Silence.'

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What would you do if your brother was in danger? What choices would you make in the name of family? In Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will experience a fantasy world unlike any that have come before it, however there's a catch. Toward the end of Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will have to make a difficult decision that will have massive consequences for your character and their family.   

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Undertale
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Price: From $9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, PS4 & PS Vita

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In Undertale you will play as a human who falls into an underground world full of monsters. But, are all these creatures monsters? Are they as wicked as they may seem? Either way you have to find your way out, or chance being forever trapped in darkness.  Will you choose to play as a pacifist, or maybe you will choose a darker path and take the monster out of the picture?   

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Undertale is considered one of the best Indie titles of recent years, mainly because its story and pacifist playthrough options. Most of the interactions in Undertale deal with a variety of emotions and make you question the choices you have made throughout the game. As a pacifist the ending can be pretty satisfying, but will leave an emotional imprint on your mind. However, if you decide to choose the genocidal path the ending can be gruesome and unforgiving to the main character. As for the rest of the underground world it is left in a state of disarray from what you have done.

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Papers, Please
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Price: $8.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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In Papers, Please you decide who crosses the border between Grestin and Arstotzka while implementing government laws and policies that will bring glory to the Arstotzkan government and keep your homeland safe. However, Arstotzka is not all it appears; behind simply controlling immigration at the borders there is government corruption and revolution at hand.

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Behind Papers, Please lies a truly depressing story about a man who has been chosen to work for the Arstotzkan government through a lottery and must work in order to keep his family alive. In Papers, Please you will work as an immigration inspector on the borders of the Arstotzkan side of Grestin. The game takes a twist when the government you are working for becomes more hostile towards immigrants. Slowly, more and more policies are implemented to prevent suspicious people gaining entry into Arstotzka.

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One example of the depth of the story in Papers, Please is when a revolutionary group tries to convert you to their cause. You will have to make a choice between the safety of government or the radical freedoms of a revolutionary movement. However, you're not alone. Your family depend on you and every action you take can affect them and the outcome of your story. 

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There are multiple endings in Papers, Please and over 20 involve sad outcomes for you and your family. The naunce and thought gone into Papers, Please cannot be understated and it is well worth checking out.

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Oxenfree
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller that follows a group of friends who go out to have a good time, however it doesn't all go to plan. You accidentally stumble on a rift between worlds that traps you and your friends on the island. Alex (the protagonist) must find a way for him and his friends to escape the dreaded island before it is too late. 

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Oxenfree contains supernatural elements that will chill you to the bone and by the end of the game you must face an almost impossible choice. Oxenfree has several endings depending on who you help and who you end up leaving behind, but every choice you make has a consequence. 

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Gone Home
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Price: $14.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Gone Home is a mystery game reliant on puzzles which help the protagonist figure out what happened to their family. The disappearance of the protagonists family leaves him in disarray and he must figure out what has caused them to leave.

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Going home can form mixed emotions depending on an individuals situation, whether you feel jubilation or dread at the thought of returning home depends on your home life. In the case of Gone Home its a sorrowful affair for the protagonist. You come home to find everyone has left unexpectedly and with no explanation, therefore forcing you to explore your home to solve the mystery. Towards the end of Gone Home it is clear that everyone left for their own reasons and in time you understand that when you left your family moved on.

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The ending feels resolved, however you are left to wonder about the fate of some family members. It appears as though they may have left for good reasons, but there is a prevailing sense of dread throughout the entirety of the game.

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Night in the Woods
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Night in the Woods is an adventure game that allows you to explore a colorful world that is filled with interesting characters and conflicts that will require you to make friends with people throughout the town. 

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Night in the Woods centers around Mae Borowski: a college drop out who returns home and has to sort through issues that arise in her hometown. Throughout Night in the Woods the protagonist begins to form bonds and starts building close relations with many of the characters in the story, despite this towards the end of the game you end up feeling unsatisfied with the resolution. Especially since some of the issues are left unresolved, therefore creating a sense of indignance from the player. However, Mae does learn to face her problems and learns to move on from past events instead of focusing on them; which brings a somewhat neutral ending to a fantastic story and gaming experience. 

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Endings can be hard to handle. We spend so much time in these other worlds getting to know various characters and experiencing all the game has to offer only to be sent down a cycle of indignation. It's all over, your journey complete and you're left with a hole in your heart. 

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What's even harder to handle is when the worlds you have spent so much time in end on a sour or sad note. Several triple-A titles have included morose or melancholic endings that tug on our heartstrings. However, Indies are no stranger to these narrative archs, so we present our top 7 Indie titles that broke our hearts.  

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The GameSkinny Community's 2017 Game of the Year Picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks https://www.gameskinny.com/de4kj/the-gameskinny-communitys-2017-game-of-the-year-picks Tue, 26 Dec 2017 10:00:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

2016 was no slouch as far as gaming went, but 2017 was absolutely spectacular. From new systems, rebirths of old genres, and reimaginings of some of the best-known IPs, it'd be difficult for anyone to choose just one favorite game from this year. But that's what we did anyway. We asked our community writers what their top AAA, mid-tier (or AA, if you prefer), indie, and mobile games were this year, and here's what they had to say.

Thomas Wilde

As you'd expect after seeing his usual monthly catalog, freelancer Thomas Wilde chose from a broad range of games for his best-of-year picks.

Best AAA Game
Asking someone to make a choice like that in 2017 is like asking them to pick a favorite vital organ, and I haven't quite managed to play everything yet. It was even a good year for horror games. In a year where everything else about human existence seemed determined to suck, video games offered one of the best lineups of titles in maybe a decade or more, with surprisingly few outright disappointments.

My top three is some combination of Resident Evil 7, Tekken 7, and Prey, depending on the day. Tekken 7 has a disappointing set of features in its long-awaited home releases, but the gameplay there is solid and quintessentially Tekken in a way that keeps you playing for evenings on end; Prey wraps itself around you and doesn't quite let go, with a paranoid atmosphere that has you questioning your own possessions and a truly weird alternate history; and Resident Evil 7 proves less is a lot more by removing (most of) the action-movie spectacle of the franchise and getting genuine scares out of something so simple as an old man with a shovel.

Best Mid-Tier Game
I'd probably hand this one to Nier: Automata, simply for how it sticks with you. It's a deeply weird game in a way that you don't typically get out of any release, indie or not. It feels like a localized production from an alien race. Sure, at its heart, it's a simple, remarkably short shooter/brawler, but it has a lot to say about loneliness, sentience, and violence. Even in as crowded a year as 2017, it's a stand-out for how it utilizes the medium.

Best Indie Game
I got a lot out of RiME. It may flag a bit towards the end, but it's a simple, evocative, and, above all else, colorful game, with effective puzzles and a bizarre world that keeps you asking questions. It's a learning experience about atmosphere and minimalism.

Ty Arthur

Freelancer and guide writer Ty Arthur had the unenviable task of choosing from several contenders, but he managed to do so nonetheless.

There were some absolutely fabulous games this year, from the long-awaited PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn to a slew of Switch hits like Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. Both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Call Of Duty: WWII rocked it on the first-person, Nazi-killing fronts, and Friday The 13th was more fun than it had any right to be. We got some very unexpected gameplay changes from Nier: Automata and Resident Evil 7 that sort of rocked the gaming world, along with a crop of outstanding RPGs. While it doesn't quite match its predecessor,Torment: Tides Of Numenera is easy to sink a whole lot of hours into if you love classic computer RPGs, and of course Persona 5 dominated on the console front. Now onto the impossible task of actually picking the best of the best!

Best AAA Game: While any of the above-mentioned games could easily sit in this spot depending on personal preference, I'm going to have to go with Arkane's tweaking of the stealth action formula with the sci-fi/horror mashup Prey. It has everything that makes the Dishonored games great, but in a revamped setting that really messes with your head. I love the combination of RPG elements with stealth combat that rewards thinking outside the box, and just wandering around the station learning little details about the people who lived there before all hell broke loose was a pleasure, even outside the killer gameplay.

Best Mid-Tier Game: I suppose there's some wiggle room on what exactly constitutes “mid-tier” over indie, so this might be a bit controversial, but I'm going to solidly put Divinity: Original Sin 2 here in this category. That was a game that absolutely lived up to the hype, and not many titles do that. This is the sort of title that shows why crowdfunding needs to exist and that the practice actively enhances the gaming landscape. Hats off to Larian for keeping the gameplay recognizable while improving on the original game in every single way. There's a hundred different ways to approach any situation, with dozens of character builds, and I've yet to get tired of trying out different combos. If you love turn-based RPGs, be prepared to sink a hundred hours or so into this one.

 

Best Indie Game: For me, easily the best RPG of the year is a little indie excursion that came out of nowhere and absolutely bowled me over with its amazing combination of style, substance, and humor: West Of Loathing! I'm still sort of in awe over how a black and white game with stick figure graphics managed to grab me and never let go. Every element of the game is hilarious, and there's always more to discover, whether it involves demonic cows, ghost pickles, or even more absurd hijinks. Throw in a killer old-school overland map, with random encounters that easily match the best of the '90s PC RPGs, and you've got a rare gem on your hands here that delivers on all fronts. It's laugh out loud funny and keeps you hooked with solid, classic gameplay.

El Conquistadork

Freelance writer El Conquistadork's choices are equally as varied and go to show that you don't have to love everything about a game for it to be your favorite too.

Best AAA Game: Horizon: Zero Dawn. I just had so damn much fun playing this game. The setting is fascinating and unique, the protagonist is amazing, and it’s the most beautiful game I’ve seen in a long time. A close second would be Persona 5 for the simple reason that I don’t like anime, I’m lukewarm on JRPGs, and their save system caused me to lose so much progress that I would take month-long breaks between sessions just to counteract the frustration ... and yet I put more hours into it than I’m comfortable with relating. How does that even happen? And RE7 would be in there as well: strong as hell at the beginning of 2017, and still strong as hell at the end.

Best Mid-Tier GameWhat Remains of Edith Finch was the apotheosis of what walking sims have been attempting to become since Gone Home and Dear Esther. There’s a level of vast storytelling interacting beautifully with its wide varieties of gameplay and its stylistic decisions, and it left me gobsmacked.

Best Indie Game: I wasn’t completely sold on the final, horror-themed moments of Night In The Woods, but that still left it plenty of room for being the best indie game of 2017. Its artwork, soundtrack, and themes of growing up, loneliness, small-town water treading, and crimes just sucked me right into its world.

Best Mobile Game: With a game titled We Eat Blood, And All Our Friends Are Dead, you know I’m gonna have a look. Based in the classic RPG world of Vampire: The Masquerade (a personal favorite of mine), this is a spooky, text-based adventure where you play a youngling vampire trying to learn about himself without getting purged by his elders. A damn fun time.

Kieran Desmond

JTP Mentor and community writer Kieran Desmond pulled from a wide variety of genres for his GOTY picks, a reflection of just how much there was on offer this year.

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like a bunch people this year, I really fell in love with Breath of the Wild. The way the open world was set up by giving you access to a few core mechanics -- remote bombs, Magnesis, Stasis, Cryonis, and the glider -- and then just setting you loose to explore Hyrule was a stroke of genius. The subtle score and beautiful visuals only add to the "open-air" atmosphere they were striving for. I'm still playing BotW, and after putting about 250 hours into it so far, I'm yet to encounter the final Divine Beast or enter Hyrule castle -- I never want it to end.

Best Mid-Tier Game: Absolver

Absolver was a game that I followed from its announcement, hoping that it would live up to the promise of being able to dynamically learn various combat styles and customize your style as you progress. And SloClap absolutely delivered. This unique open-world fighting game takes patience and a keen eye to master, just like many traditional fighting games. Studying your opponent in order to predict their next move is a huge part of the game that, when done correctly, creates an immensely satisfying experience.

Best Indie Game: Pyre

I was attracted to Pyre because of the beautiful artwork and music from its trailer. I was also curious about its odd mix of RPG, visual novel, and sports-centric gameplay, which turned out to be an innovative and really fun combination. Every character is endearing, the overworld map and the locations are stunningly designed, and the incredibly diverse score, composed by Darren Korb (who worked on Supergiant's previous games Bastion and Transistor) is just sensational. If I were to recommend a single game from 2017, it would be Pyre.

Auverin Morrow

Erstwhile senior editor (now with Hi-Rez) Auverin Morrow took the time to drop in and leave her thoughts too.

GOTY: Horizon: Zero Dawn, hands down.

Beautiful game, excellent combat, a truly unique environment (with awesome robo-dinos), and a badass female character who puts more emphasis on the badass part than the female part. What's not to love?

Joshua Broadwell

Your humble writer felt the need to add his choices too, because why not?

Best AAA Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Like Kieran and countless others, this one has to go to BotW, but it was a tough choice between it and Super Mario Odyssey. The latter is excellent in its own right, but with BotW, Nintendo managed to pull off a difficult task by creating a fantastic game that also happened to be a radical remaigining of a world-famous franchise. Despite being so different, it comes across as everything Zelda games always wanted to be. Hyrule is truly a living and breathing land, with areas that look and feel drastically different from each other and characters who are actually deeply connected to each other. The combat and weapon mechanics are spot-on, and there's always something to make exploration worthwhile, even if it's just standing on top of a mountain and admiring the gorgeous view. There is also a definite sense of progression, going from everything being a struggle to feeling capable of handling challenges like that Hinox that looked awfully intimidating when Link only had five hearts. Plus, it's one of the only games (other than Xenoblade Chronicles) where my cat sits on my shoulder and watches. And that has to count for something.

Best Mid-Tier Game:Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee didn't go over very well with many at first (although we did quite like it in our review). But even with the original issues -- issues quickly fixed by the Spin 'n' Polish update -- it managed to recapture everything that made gaming great over a decade ago: bright, colorful worlds, plenty of challenges and things to do, fun and quirky characters, tight platforming, and generally just being fun to play. Being the first major 3D platformer in forever, it carried a heavy burden, and it would have been easy for Playtonic to rely just on nostalgia and hope for the best. Luckily, they didn't, and the end result is a quality experience.

Best Indie Game: Yono and the Celestial Elephants

Yono is definitely indie, since it's the result of a one-man studio. On the surface, it's a cute adventure game about an elephant trying to solve people's problems, with some Zelda-esque puzzles and combat. But underneath that, there's quite a bit more going on about the nature of life and death, reality, and the relationship between everything alive -- and dead. It's not going to tax your brain or skills, but it's more than worth spending time with.

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And there you have it -- a host of games from across multiple genres, with enough quality and variety to satisfy almost anyone. But you, reader, are part of the community too, so sound off in the comments below and tell us what your GOTY picks are!

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9 Best PS4 Games of 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/g5f1p/9-best-ps4-games-of-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/g5f1p/9-best-ps4-games-of-2017 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:58:16 -0500 bazookajo94

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So there you go. Some of the greater things that came out of one of the worst years.

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Hopefully 2018 will be better than its predecessors -- hopefully it'll be a year where people can feel happy again, and they won't have to make super relatable games about depression anymore. 

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But, if all else fails, I'm sure we'll have Skyrim to look forward to -- you know, again. 

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

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In this sequel to 2014's The New Order, MachineGame's Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus follows the story of veteran B.J. Blazkowicz in a war-ravaged America, fighting the eternal enemy: Nazis. The New Colossus received  praises for its combat and imaginative world building, in addition to being a lot of fun to play in general. 

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There's nothing like playing a game that could just as soon be a movie. All the blockbuster intensity and action, except you actually get to be a part of blowing up Nazis with some really cool guns. 

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Night in the Woods

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Let's take a step back from the blockbusters for a minute. Though they deserve their place among the best of the year, so do the seemingly littler guys, like Night in the Woods

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Night in the Woods, developed by Infinite Fall and released in February, is a single-player adventure game that follows the story of Mae, an anthropomorphic cat who has dropped out of college and returned to live at home. Upon her return home, she uncovers a secret that changes all she knows about her friends, her town, and her life. 

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The game surpassed its funding goal by over 400% on Kickstarter, and its acclaim has grown ever since. Night in the Woods has been praised for its writing and character development, bringing to the forefront the very real horrors of depression and mental illness. 

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So if you were looking for another reason to begrudge the changes happening in the world, I think you've just found it. 

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Nioh

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I never thought I would hear the words "Irish" and "samurai" together in the same sentence, let alone as a singular phrase, until I discovered Nioh

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That's right. You get to play as an Irish samurai. Do I even have to sell this title anymore?

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Another February release, Team Ninja's Nioh is an action role-playing game following Irish samurai William on his quest across a war-ravaged Japan in the year 1600. This hack-and-slash dark fantasy brings players back to their Dynasty Warrior roots -- and their subconscious need to, well, hack and slash. 

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Nioh's charm comes from its aesthetics, its true-to-source Japanese folklore, and its difficult combat. 

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What can I say? People like hard games with pretty pictures and folklore about demons (and don't forget the Irish samurai). 

"},{"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/6/5/a/65a270d8a10235.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/6/5/a/65a270d8a10235.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175535","description":"

NieR: Automata

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A year wouldn't be complete without at least one Square Enix title in it. I don't think my life would be complete if it didn't have at least one Square Enix title in it, and this year's title is NieR: Automata.

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A March release, NieR: Automata is an action role-playing sequel to Nier. Players travel as combat androids across a post-apocalyptic, open-world map and fight to survive against machines and the physical manifestation of their network, Adam and Eve.

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Perhaps it goes without saying that a Square Enix game has a good story and is generally praised for it. Add to that superb graphics and an improved combat system from its predecessor. And the soundtrack, too, of course. 

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NieR: Automata is a game worthy of its praises, and it's a PS4 game worthy of inclusion on a list of the best games of the year. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/s/lost-legacy-feat-85362.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/o/s/lost-legacy-feat-85362.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175536","description":"

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

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Sometimes games have so many sequels that they start to become household titles people either love or hate but still buy anyways. This year Naughty Dog released another game in their Uncharted series, The Lost Legacy, though I'm sure most people bought this game because they liked it. 

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Added to the shelves in August, The Lost Legacy is the first Uncharted game to not have Nathan Drake as the protagonist (gasp!). Instead, it follows Chloe and her band of misfits as they seek to find the Tusk of Ganesh. It follows the same gameplay vein as its predecessors, with third-person combat and plenty of platforming.

\n

Naturally, good aspects in any Uncharted title are appearance, design, and storytelling. But probably the best aspect is, as always, the palpable chemistry between characters.

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Cut that with a knife and spread it on some bread because The Lost Legacy has got chemistry to spare. 

"},{"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/d/e/s/destiny2-art-cd824.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/d/e/s/destiny2-art-cd824.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175539","description":"

Destiny 2

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It can be really scary hearing the phrase "online game only" for people who don't really like playing games with other people. 

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But Destiny 2 seems to get it right -- or at least it's good enough that people don't care that they have to play with others.

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Developed by Bungie and released in September, Destiny 2 builds upon what worked in its predecessor and improves upon what didn't. Players take on the role of a Guardian, protecting the Last City from variant alien races. In addition to the story mode, players take part in strikes and raids with other players, hunting for loot and experience. 

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This sci-fi mythos game boasts splendid graphics, a large cast of iconic actors (Nathan Fillion, anyone?), and more emphasis on providing a good time compared to its predecessor

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And you can dance. I know that's what all you heathens want to do in video games. Dance.

"},{"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/d/o/w/download-bf402.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/d/o/w/download-bf402.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175533","description":"

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

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People have been waiting for a good Resident Evil title since Resident Evil 4. And though they won't find as many zombies or umbrellas anywhere, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard reminded people why they liked this series in the first place: fear.

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A Capcom classic, the latest installment in this popular survival horror series follows Ethan Winters as he tries to find his wife, who has been missing for three years. His investigation leads him to the house of the Baker family, where he must solve puzzles and discover the secrets of the house if he wants to understand what has happened to both the Baker family and his wife. 

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With or without its VR capabilites, Resident Evil 7 won back the hearts of many who had strayed from the series, garnering praise for its scares, tension, and unsettling atmosphere. 

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And any game compared to P.T. has gotta have something going for it. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-impact-poster-ps4-07feb17-b62ee.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-impact-poster-ps4-07feb17-b62ee.png","type":"slide","id":"175531","description":"

Horizon: Zero Dawn

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If you're the type of person who likes to play good video games, then you're the type of person who likes Horizon: Zero Dawn

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Seriously. There's not a list on the internet detailing "The Best Games of 2017" that doesn't include this title. 

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Developed by Guerrilla Games and released in February, this action role-playing game follows the life and times of Aloy, a young woman trying to survive in a prehistoric land overrun by mechanical dinosaurs. Okay, so not prehistoric -- more post-apocalyptic, "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but still somehow in the future" kinda land. 

\n

Horizon: Zero Dawn's glowing praises stem from the game's expansive open world, intense storytelling, and seriously beautiful visuals. 

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Just take one look at a screenshot from this game and tell me you can't feel the wind beneath your wings, can't smell the earth beneath your feet, the grass running through your fingers. 

"},{"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/3/6/1/36190303persona51280-1490732046280-bf4ee.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/3/6/1/36190303persona51280-1490732046280-bf4ee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175530","description":"

Persona 5

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I don't know about you, but there was at least one month out of this year where every social media outlet I went to was talking about Persona 5 (or maybe that just says something about my social media habits).

\n

Released worldwide in April and developed by Atlus, Persona 5 is a role-playing game with social simulations, and it is technically the sixth installment in the Persona series. It follows the story of high school students who have awakened powers within themselves, wherein they naturally turn to a life of masked vigilantes.

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With its praised role-playing mechanics and beautiful graphics, Persona 5 achieved high ratings by most all game reviewers, even dubbed as "Essential" by Eurogamer

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Guess I know what I'm adding to my Christmas list.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-shot-88104.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/r/horizon-zero-dawn-shot-88104.jpg","type":"slide","id":"175541","description":"

Ah, 2017. The year everyone thought was going to be better than 2016 (which was a terrible year for everyone apparently?) but ended up being almost worse, at least for some.  

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But not everything about 2017 was bad -- at least not in the gaming community. 

\n

Sure, Skyrim was remastered and released -- again -- and drama on the battle front -- excuse me, Battlefront 2 -- made some lose their faith in the gaming community entirely, but some titles released this year renewed that lost faith and joy. 

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More specifically, some titles released this year for the PlayStation 4 deserve recognition of their own. 

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So sit down, buckle up, strap in, whatever you gotta do to prepare for this showcase of the 9 best PS4 games of 2017, because even if they don't knock you off your feet, they're gonna do something

"}]]]>
Night in the Woods Mobile Port Announced https://www.gameskinny.com/fz0a5/night-in-the-woods-mobile-port-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/fz0a5/night-in-the-woods-mobile-port-announced Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:15:00 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Night in the Woods, the narrative-driven indie adventure game set in the small town of Possum Springs, will be receiving a mobile port in 2018. The game's developers, Finji and Infinite Fall, confirmed the port in a recent tweet by on the game's official Twitter account:

Night in the Woods revolves around the story of ac atgirl named Mae, who has just returned to her small home town of Possum Springs after suddenly dropping out of college for reasons that aren't immediately clear. As she begins to reconnect with her friends -- the best she can -- and see how much has changed at home, she suddenly finds herself entangled in a possibly supernatural conflict that may threaten her and everyone she cares about.

The gameplay takes a serious backseat to the game's story, as the experience is primarily narrative-driven and based on uncovering the mystery. Though there is still gameplay to be had in the form of different mini-games that range from shop-lifting to knife-fighting and band practice, your primary means of exploration are running and platforming around the town. 

Night in the Woods will be coming to iOS devices in 2018, with no other mobile platforms confirmed at the time of this writing. You can watch a trailer for the game right below.

 

]]>
Night in the Woods Getting Director's Cut "Weird Autumn Edition" https://www.gameskinny.com/21d0b/night-in-the-woods-getting-directors-cut-weird-autumn-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/21d0b/night-in-the-woods-getting-directors-cut-weird-autumn-edition Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:22:27 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

It was recently announced by developer Infinite Fall that their narrative-driven, small-town adventure game Night in the Woods would be receiving a director's cut release titled "Weird Autumn Edition", and would be releasing on "all major consoles" starting December 13th. 

The announcement was made through the official Night in the Woods Twitter account, and was swiftly followed by another tweet that hints at a potential Nintendo Switch port, based on the "all major consoles" statement made in the new trailer shown above. Given the fact that the developers also recently announced a mobile port of the game coming in 2018, as well as the fact that the Switch supports Unity, the game's engine, the pieces all seem to fit together.

Night in the Woods is available now on Steam and PS4, and will begin releasing on other major platforms starting December 13th. You can watch a full trailer for the game down below:

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5 MORE Unconventional Horror Games To Play This Halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/zpay9/5-more-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween https://www.gameskinny.com/zpay9/5-more-unconventional-horror-games-to-play-this-halloween Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:30:10 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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That's the list! Thanks for reading!

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I hope you've all enjoyed our selections, and hopefully you've found at least one good game to play this Halloween thanks to us! If you'd like to let us know what you thought of the list, or maybe suggest some other games for a future list, feel free to let us know about it in the comments! I'll see you all next year; have a happy and safe Halloween!

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We also did a list like this last year, and if you'd like to take a look at it you can click right here. 

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"},{"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/p/e/spec-ops-white-phosphorous-b6348.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/p/e/spec-ops-white-phosphorous-b6348.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171107","description":"
Spec Ops: The Line (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) 
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You came here to feel like something you're not: A hero.

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Spec Ops: The Line is a game that plays you. It's a game that seems like a standard shooter game from the outside -- but that's what they want you to think. It's a game that wants you to get drawn into the modern day fantasy of being a war hero, of being the good guy in a sea of moral degenerates, and of doing what you do because the ends justify the means -- only to rip the rug out from under you with an emotional gut punch. 

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Spec Ops: The Line is a shooter game meant to strip naked the war hero fantasy provided by most modern war shooters. It takes inspiration from both the novel Heart of Darkness as well as the film it inspired Apocalypse Now, and places the player at the front of a number of war crimes and amoral atrocities that you are constantly made to debate on your own as to whether you are doing the right thing or not.

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It's a game that deals with real moral dilemmas such as the use of white phosphorus in war time, civilian casualties, the disassociation of ethics from reality than can come during large-scale tragedies, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. You never know where the game will take you next, whether or not you can trust the character you are controlling, and whether or not what's happening in front of you is even real or not. 

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The game is rife with psychological horror that weaves itself in and out of both the narrative and the gameplay, creating a seriously unnerving and abrasive experience crafted with the expectations of the average FPS player in mind just to subvert them. Like Doki Doki Literature Club! it's a slow boil, as it tries to convince you that it's just a normal shooter for around the first hour, but then the creeping suspicion that all is not well rears it's head and the slow descent into madness begins.

\n

Spec Ops: The Line is an exploration of wartime ethics, ethical cognitive dissonance, and of deconstructing the power fantasy perpetuated by modern video games in a manner that may just mortify you. If you think you're a good person now, then play Spec Ops: The Line and tell me if you can say that with certainty anymore.

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Do you think you're ready to cross the line? Then watch the trailer right here and start your descent:

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/g/night-woods-banner-e68e2.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/n/i/g/night-woods-banner-e68e2.png","type":"slide","id":"171945","description":"
Night in the Woods (PC, PS4)
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Night in the Woods is the tale of Mae Borowski, a 20 year-old cat girl who drops out of college for reasons that aren't immediately apparent, and returns to her small hometown of Possum Springs, a former mining town in the mid-western United States that is slowly being neglected by the rest of the industrial world. Some things have stayed the same in Possum Springs, but many others have stayed the same.

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Night in the Woods has you playing as Mae spending most of her time exploring her home town after years of her absence have made it almost new to her, and the rest of her time trying to reconnect with her old friends from before she left. There's an odd mini-game here and there to break things up, but it's mostly reading and learning more about your friends.

\n

It's a game that has gameplay take a backseat while the narrative drives it forward most of the time, which is forgivable due to the very strong writing and cast full of likable, believable characters dealing with very human feelings and themes of self-discovery and fear for the future that most of us can relate to. It's narrative doesn't have too much of a clear direction at the start, and it takes a while for the dark mystery aspect of the plot to really get going, but the strong writing and the chilly, somewhat unnerving atmosphere at times keeps you invested and on your toes until you reach whatever climax you've earned in around 8-10 hours. 

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Since it's such a narrative-heavy game, we won't be jerks and spoil Night in the Woods for you, but we want you to know what quality fear lurks inside of it. Not fear of the potentially supernatural forces that show up later on in the story, no, but rather fear for yourself and your future. It's a game that expertly captures what it's like to feel trapped by circumstance, afraid of your own failures or tendencies to fail, and wondering just what you can do to fix yourself and the world. Even without overt danger resent most of the time this game can be very tense, emotional, and rel in it's subject matter, which makes it more horror than any monster or evil force ever could.

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Night in the Woods may not be all that scary for the most part, but it's highly dramatic and believable character writing, it's autumn setting and melancholy atmosphere, on top of the slow-building mysterious intrigue make it perfect for this time of year, and Halloween especially. If you're ready to hang with the old squad, then check out the game's trailer below:

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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS, Mobile)
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Okay, this is about as far of a stretch as I think I'll ever put in one of these lists. I could barely in good faith say that Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is really anything like a real horror game. But it does have a suspenseful atmosphere, a twisted murder mystery plot and death around every corner, so I guess that's just enough for it to count. Also ghosts are present, so that has to count for something.

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Plus, I really just wanted to talk about how cool this game is. Ghost Trick is a narrative-driven puzzle game directed by game designer Shu Takumi, the same guy responsible for the Ace Attorney series, and revolves a man named Sissel who finds himself dead and unable to remember almost anything about himself. He then learns that he has until sunrise the next morning until his spirit disappears from the world, and he has a single night to solve his own murder. 

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In order to get around in the mortal world, Sissel must move from stationary object to stationary object and manipulate their movement in different ways like some sort of low-level poltergeist, manipulate time itself,and set-up and solve a series of makeshift Rube Goldberg machine style puzzles in order to get the answers he needs.

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The game also sports a vibrant and fluidly animated 2.5D style that has rotoscoped 3D models operating on a purely 2D plain, all with the same bright color palette in both it's artwork and characters that you'd expect from the guy behind Ace Attorney. The comedy is definitely there, but the story is mostly serious and straightforward, but still with a few surprising twists and turns on top of the likable characters and involving gameplay that juggles time management, timing, and deductive reasoning in order to save lives and discover the truth.

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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective was a late release on the DS back in 2011, so not that many people got around to playing it, which is a shame considering it's quality and pedigree. It's a simple game at it's core, but it's a solid core, and it's gameplay is used to prop up and interesting story told well with unique presentation, which is what really matters.

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Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is an amusing and unique puzzle game enhanced by it's charming characters, engaging narrative, and slick presentation. Check out the trailer below for more details:

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Doki Doki Literature Club! (PC)
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WARNING: THIS SECTION CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS 

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Don't let the cutesy exterior and pleasant music fool you. Hiding underneath the surface is a game that wants you to worry. It wants you to worry about how much it loves you so that you give in and love it back out of fear.

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Doki Doki Literature Club! is a free-to-play psychological horror game that disguises itself as a dime-a-dozen dating sim visual novel game. It's a slow-boil, but the gradual build-up into a highly jarring and out-of-left-field payoff is completely worth it. There's little else I can say here without spoiling the game heavily, but just know this; Doki Doki Literature Club! is not what it appears to be. It is a game that will invade your privacy (both in game and out of game), subvert your expectations greatly, and won't care how uncomfortable it's making you.

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If this idea appeals to you at all, then check out the game as soon as you can. It takes about an hour for the game to really show it's true colors, but after that you'll never be the same. You'd never be able to tell by just looking at the trailer:   

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"},{"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/d/e/a/deadly-premonition-stupid-thing-1ec78.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/d/e/a/deadly-premonition-stupid-thing-1ec78.jpg","type":"slide","id":"171943","description":"
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut (PC, PS3)
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Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut is a very strange game to be recommending. It's not on this list because it's that great a game - as most people either seem to dislike the gameplay itself or just think it's mediocre - and it's not on this list because it's all that scary either - many parts of this story are just outright silly. It's on this list because it's one of the weirdest, most lovably flawed, bizarre mish-mash experiences of a game that could ever call itself a game. 

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Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut is an improved version of the original game that tweaks the combat, updates the graphics and controls, and adds more to the overall narrative. But at its core, it's still the same goofy, wonderfully weird game it always has been warts and all.

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Deadly Premonition stars special agent Francis York Morgan - but everybody just calls him "York" - who is sent in by the FBI in order to investigate some strange goings-on in the town of Greenvale, Washington related to the death of 18-year-old Anna Graham. If you're thinking this sounds a lot like Twin Peaks, then you'd be both right and wrong, as the game's now renowned director Swery claims that he had never seen the show before making the game, which seems unlikely but I'll let it slide.

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Deadly Premonition is a 3rd-person survival horror game that is loaded to the brim with bizarre and memorable moments, Whether it be the slightly demented fun-house reject monsters, the dime-store David Lynch style story, or the alien yet still somehow endearing characters, there's something new and strange around every corner.

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It really does feel like a foreign low-budget remake of Twin Peaks, but with that specific style of Japanese sandbox-game gameplay reminiscent of games like Shenmue and the Yakuza series. Deadly Premonition is like the playable version of a "so bad it's good" movie, and it does so in such a manner that all the negatives about it collapse into a singularity that somehow make it great.

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You may like it, you may hate it, but it you play Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut for any length of time then I can guarantee you this; you will not forget it. If the trailer sparks any intrigue, then you can flock to Steam to get a taste of the FK in the coffee: 

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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS NSFW

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It ain't quite Halloween without a few good horror games, am I right? 

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Horror games have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. It seems every year we get some new mainstream horror game that everyone is talking about, making videos on YouTube about, and even writing songs about. But that usually pertains to the the really popular stuff.

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Today we're going to be talking about a few "unconventional" Horror games. The kind of games that you may overlook or not come to mind when you think about the genre. Most of these games are not Horror games by definition, but have something spooky or unnerving about them that makes them perfect for this time of year.

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These are some horror games that for the most part shun the norm, take chances on some bizarre, intriguing new premises, and generally just feel like a breath of fresh air in an industry filled with clones and copycats. Let's appreciate the weird, the creepy, and the different.

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It's about to get spooky in here.

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3 Quick, Casual Indie Games You Can Play Between College Classes https://www.gameskinny.com/igaa5/3-quick-casual-indie-games-you-can-play-between-college-classes https://www.gameskinny.com/igaa5/3-quick-casual-indie-games-you-can-play-between-college-classes Fri, 02 Jun 2017 10:13:02 -0400 Angelica Dimson

Any gamer who's gone through college knows that when you're hitting the books, gaming time can be pretty sparse. As someone who enjoys immersive story RPGs, college takes over those monster battles and epic adventures, then replaces them with reports, projects, exams, and the occasional part-time job.

In order to maintain some semblance of sanity, small and quick games became my go-to breaks. And they're a great way to scratch the gaming itch without dedicating time you don't have to a more immersive experience. If you're a struggling student gamer who needs to get in some quick playtime between classes, here are a few casual indie games that are definitely worth checking out.

Papers, Please

Papers Please, Gameplay

Papers, Please is a fun little puzzle indie game that takes place in a dystopian future. As developer 3909, puts it Paper, Please is "a dystopian document thriller".

While everything seems perfectly normal in your menial government job as a checkpoint inspector, there is a lot of political intrigue that changes your job and slowly builds the world around you -- such as what documents are needed to enter the country, and whether or not someone is carrying contraband. The game goes on for 30-day shifts. And almost every day, there is something new that changes the game to which you must adapt accordingly. 

It's perfect for short play breaks, and you're bound to see something a little bit different every time you pick it up.

Orcs Must Die 2

Orcs Must Die 2

For those who like MOBAs or tower defense games, Orcs Must Die! 2 is a fun level by level mix of those things -- sans mass multiplayer. When defending the realm from (you guessed it) Orcs, you can play with another college friend to procrastinate or suit up for quick matches in between classes.

As with most tower defense games, you get new items the more you play. What I liked was the new and interesting environments per level and the new items playable characters could use.

OMD2 involved a lot of tactical strategy and survival, and there's a lot to keep up with so that you get an intense play experience in a short amount of time. (For example, I would sometimes be watching the traps more than my own health.) Each wave felt fast-paced as swarms of monsters came at you, and your budget of gold would barely let you scrape by.

Night in The Woods

Night In The Woods Gameplay

For the RPG gamer in me, Night in the Woods was a welcome surprise. Despite the characters being anthropomorphic animals, they felt very relatable and dealt with real-life scenarios.

For example, two of the main character's friends are a homosexual couple growing up in a small town. Their dialogue really showed how difficult it was being in that small town with that rural mindset.

The story also had a lot of twist and turns -- but what really kept me playing was the relationships between characters. While this might seem like a time crunch sort of game, it really wasn't. I would start a day with Mae, the main character, and then end it within an hour, where I could save. 

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Those are just a few suggestions for indie games that are worth playing if college is taking up all your time. They aren't too short, and you can play for hours at a time if that's what you want to do. But they also don't demand so much of your time that it would interfere with your schoolwork. 

What are your favorite indie games to play while you're trying to unwind between demanding college courses? Let me know in the comments!

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Night in the Woods: The Mystery of Possum Springs https://www.gameskinny.com/hechh/night-in-the-woods-the-mystery-of-possum-springs https://www.gameskinny.com/hechh/night-in-the-woods-the-mystery-of-possum-springs Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 ThatRainbowThing

Night in the Woods is an adventure side scrolling game. Your character and her friends are trying to solve the mystery of her hometown when she returns. I really enjoyed the look and feel of this game. The bright colors and altogether the story line was very humanized and you really feel for the characters and the things they go through.

Introducing The Gang

The main character Mae Borowski, is a cute little dark blue cat. She's a 20-year-old college drop-out, who suffers from anger issues and depression; she's also been considered a delinquent growing up. I really felt an attachment to her character, since I know all about small town life. It's hard not ever having anything to do but commit "crimes" as Mae and Gregg call them. Then there's Gregg, a hyperactive fox (my soulmate), Angus, his quiet but large bear boyfriend (the nice guy), and Bea a Gothic alligator (the realist). These guys' personalities make this game golden. They each have their own personal story and getting to know them is one of the best parts of Night in the Woods. I'm seriously in love with all of the characters on here.

Home Sweet Home

Mae returns to the crumbling former mining town Possum Springs, to live in her parents' attic. Stan and Candy Borowski are seriously some of the coolest parents ever. Stan is a hard working dad who was a former miner but lost his job when the mines were shut down, he now works at the Ham Panther, a grocery store in the next town over. His wife Candy, works in the town's church as a receptionist. You can talk to them quite a bit throughout the NITW.

Mysteries Begin

Mae is soon confronted by the mysteries hovering over the town when she and her friends, find an arm on the sidewalk as their leaving the town's diner the Clik-Clak. Now I'm sorry, but if I ever found an arm on the ground, I'd probably do the same thing. Touch IT! But if you ever happen to find yourself in this situation, don't do it. It's not legal. I really liked how things start to slowly get creepy but I feel like this part of the game should've happened after you see the kidnapping happen.

night in the woods

Deep Dark Woods

Each night Mae and one of her friends wander into the woods after Halloween night, when Mae sees a mysterious kidnapping happen, though she believes she's seeing a ghost. That's when I would have been like nope! But they soon discover the kidnapper is following them. As each of the friends set out with Mae on different nights, adventure awaits in different settings of the woods around town.

Ghosties!

After her "ghost" sighting Mae heads to the library with her friend Bea and does some research, hoping to find something that will help her explain what she saw. Research on ghosts is always fun with a friend! But getting to search and read newspaper clippings was a pretty nice detail.

 Mysterious Cult?

This is where I thought the game got more interesting. One night, after Mae and Beas' research, as Mae and her friends are walking towards the mines, they hear voices. As they approach, below them they see dark, hooded figures, standing in a circle around another figure lying on the ground. And so they get spotted. The figures begin chasing them and Mae is separated from her friends so there's a bit of running and jumping involved. Obviously these hooded villains are pretty creepy dudes. I'd be running away too.

Hop, Skip. and a Jump.

The game play involves a lot of jumping on objects to get up on or over obstacles. I was kinda upset there wasn't any puzzle objectives though.There are also forgotten nooks and crannies on top of roofs, if you take the time to look in them. You can also earn achievements just for your curiosity.

night in the woods, jumping, gif

Mini Games

There a couple of mini games mixed in here too. Mae and her friends have band practice a few times and you're playing the controls for Maes' bass guitar. The music they play is also absolutely amazing and you can download the tracks on Steam. This mini game has quite the Guitar Hero feel to it with how you play. Then there's my favorite, on her laptop is a mini dungeon crawler game called Demon Tower. The fact the creators took so much time in designing this mini game tells you alot. They really put their heart out for Night in the Woods. It's a very beloved game by many people right now.

Different Endings

You can choose what you want Mae to say sometimes, and it can lead to other choices that can give you one of a couple endings. I absolutely loved that option in this game. So playing more than once is definitely recommended.

 No Spoiling

Now I don't want to spoil the entire game for you guys, but if you haven't seen or played Night in the Woods, I absolutely recommend it. I loved the detail they put into the characters lives and how relatable it all is to so many people, and the reviews are all incredibly positive. I feel like it really humanizes the game, and that anyone who hasn't tried it yet should totally give it a chance. You can buy Night in the Woods and/or download the soundtrack on Steam.

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Indie Gaming On A Budget: Hollow Knight Or Night In The Woods? https://www.gameskinny.com/37alf/indie-gaming-on-a-budget-hollow-knight-or-night-in-the-woods https://www.gameskinny.com/37alf/indie-gaming-on-a-budget-hollow-knight-or-night-in-the-woods Sun, 12 Mar 2017 12:00:02 -0400 BizarreAdventure

So, you just got $20, and you're torn between buying two recent indie games, Night in the Woods or Hollow Knight. Both of them have been very well received so it's making it extra hard to make your decision.

Well I'll try to make that decision a little bit easier by having a look at which is better value for your money.

Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods is a platforming adventure game with an emphasis on story. You control Mae Borowski, a college dropout who's returning home to continue living aimlessly and reconnect with old friends. Aimless wandering is a good way to describe the game. You can spend hours running and jumping around the town of Possum Springs and chatting up the towns folk. That's not to say there isn't anything else going on. The game is full of deep, which can get depressingly deep at times. Don't let the cute art style and anthropomorphic animal characters fool you, as conversations with Mae's friends can involve God, existential terror and what it means to be alive.

These conversations are where the game shines. Each character is really deep and you can tell a lot of time went in to crafting each one of them. Maybe a little too much time though. While the characters and interactions with them are all solid, the game parts are a bit lacking -- each of the mini games is decently fun, they're just not anything special.

Overall, Night in the Woods is great if you're looking for a slower paced, story driven game to play.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight is the opposite of Night in the Woods. If the latter is driven by character and story, the former is driven by mystery and gameplay. Hollow Knight puts you in the role of an insectoid knight exploring the world. What a world it is too. Everything seems to be made from insects as well, which is part of the reason the art style in this game is wonderful. It makes everything memorable and gives a very distinct but a feeling which is hard to describe.

You'd better get used to the world quickly though. Hollow Knight doesn't give you any guidance -- the only map you get is one you fill out as you go, so you're going to have to tread through this dreary world with little to no support. Which is actually a very appealing, with the game being a metroidvania style, it makes it feel like the older Metroid games. You are lost in an alien world with no real direction to go but forward, or upward, or downward. Okay there's a lot of directions to go, but not all of them lead to progress.

If you're looking for an action packed metroidvania style game with a unique world, Hollow Knight is for you.

Honestly, I think both games are wonderful. So if you pick up either you're making a good choice. My own personal preference though leans towards Hollow Knight. I'm a sucker for action packed adventure games that give me a world to explore. Plus, Hollow Knight is $5 less on Steam. So maybe you can save that extra fiver for when something else goes on sale?

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Small Town Adventure Game "Night in the Woods" Released Today https://www.gameskinny.com/g3mhx/small-town-adventure-game-night-in-the-woods-released-today https://www.gameskinny.com/g3mhx/small-town-adventure-game-night-in-the-woods-released-today Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:30:26 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Night in the Woods, an intriguing and visually captivating story of a diabolical small town mystery, was just released today on Steam. The result of a Kickstarter back in 2013, Night in the Woods was created by indie developer Infinite Fall, and has finally been released after over three years of effort. 

The game revolves around a twenty-something named Mae, who has recently returned to her home town after dropping out of college -- only to find that everything has changed while she's been gone. Some things in more bizarre and sinister ways than others.

Night in the Woods is a game that greatly emphasizes story over gameplay. The majority of the experience involves exploration, talking to people, and the occasional mini-game with a new control scheme.

While most of the game is dialogue and walking around, there is also light platforming to do, and challenge to be found, even with such lenient fail-states. It's a game with a diverse cast of characters, rich dialogue, and relatable themes.

Night in the Woods is available now on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux, as well as on the PS4. The European version of the game is planned for release on February 28th. 

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Night In the Woods Gets a Release Date https://www.gameskinny.com/jdah5/night-in-the-woods-gets-a-release-date https://www.gameskinny.com/jdah5/night-in-the-woods-gets-a-release-date Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:50:08 -0400 Adam Morris

Earlier today on Twitter, Night In the Woods developer Infinite Fall posted an official release date for their brand new indie game. The gorgeous 2D side scroller will be coming to PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux on January 10th, 2017.

Developer Infinite Fall stated in a tweet that the team needed "a few extra weeks" to finish up production as release was previously slated for sometime this year. GameSkinny previewed the game at PAX West last year, stating that:

"Night in the Woods is a game which intends to prioritize narrative and characters over gameplay, much like games such as Gone Home and The Stanley Parable. However, among other games that emphasize story over everything else, Night in the Woods still has more gameplay than most of its contemporaries"

The official website for Night In the Woods describes the story of Mae, a college dropout, who returns to her home of Possum Springs only to find things different. As she tries to reconnect with her friends she realizes that they've grown and changed. Mae must slowly piece back together her life, all while the mystery of the woods permeates across the town.

For a full review of Night In the Woods, check back into GameSkinny after the game releases on January 10th, 2017.

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9 of the Most Interesting Games from PAX West 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/l7h1k/9-of-the-most-interesting-games-from-pax-west-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/l7h1k/9-of-the-most-interesting-games-from-pax-west-2016 Wed, 07 Sep 2016 06:08:52 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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Battle Chef Brigade

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Trinket Studios
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Battle Chef Brigade was truly one of the most original games present at PAX. It is a bold combination of genres that was clearly made from a desire to create a game that the developers themselves wanted to play. Mainly because it just didn't exist already. It combines elements and mechanics from classic beat-em ups, hunting games, shape-matching puzzle games, RPGs, and of course, cooking games.

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What truly sets Battle Chef Brigade apart from other cooking games, and most other games with any sort of crafting system, is the ability to go off recipe. Every cooking battle does have a theme ingredient, as well often a particular element that the judge wants highlighted, but other than that, the player is completely free to use whatever available ingredients they want. You can end up with many different-looking dishes by the time that you complete cooking battle, and there are dozens of different ways to get to those different results, and it's all up to what the player chooses to do. Surrounding this freedom of choice is solid core gameplay packed with a swath of different mechanics.

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Battle Chef Brigade is set in a world of fantasy, where its cast of playable characters are all competing in an Iron Chef inspired cooking competition, and all the ingredients are collected from plants and monsters surrounding the kitchen arena that the player themselves must kill with beat-em-up style combat. In order too actually cook the ingredients, the player must then play match-three puzzle game in order to make more room in the pot and rack up a higher score on each dish to impress the judge(s). In between matches there are NPCs to talk to, cooking and combat upgrades to buy, and story to take in; so the game offers just a little bit of everything.

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The game is expected to have a five hour campaign on average for each playable chef, and with four different chefs with different storylines and play-styles, the game is expected to have a robust playtime at around 20 total hours. Add on top of all of this storylines for each chef which occasionally overlap, a gorgeously animated anime artstyle, and a great soundtrack, Battle Chef Brigade could very well end up being one of the best games released next year. 

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What were some of the most interesting games you saw at PAX this year? Let me know in the comments below!

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Night In The Woods

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Infinite Fall
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They could have called this game "Chilling with Your Friends Simulator" and it would have been just as accurate of a title. Night in the Woods is a game which intends to prioritize narrative and characters over gameplay, much like games such as Gone Home and The Stanley Parable. However, among other games that emphasize story over everything else, Night in the Woods still has more gameplay than most of its contemporaries.

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What gameplay is there is pretty scattershot, and exists in a vast minority to walking around and talking to people. But it is all fun to do, and much more traditional in nature compared to the average walking simulator type game. In the hour of Night in the Woods that was shown off at PAX there was a Guitar Hero style band practice with your pals, breaking flying light fixtures with a baseball bat, and even a shoplifting stealth section, all with plot relevance and different, intuitive control schemes.

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When you aren't being a college dropout, you're exploring your home town by platforming across mailboxes and power-lines in order to find secrets and talk to people in order to build up the world around you. It is possible that the target audience for this game is somewhat limited by the modern-ish teenage mindset of the principal cast of characters, but it if you do fit into that same age group, you're likely to see a lot of your friends and possibly yourself in the protagonist Mae and her group of friends.

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The real plot of the game didn't show itself very much in the demo, but there will be an overarching plot involving strange paranormal happenings involving the disappearance of people in the slowly shrinking town of Possum Springs, and Mae and her friends getting caught up in it. While the premise is admittedly very old-hat sounding and definitely been done before, there is a great deal of strength of writing shown in the very humorous and human dialogue -- so perhaps Night in the Woods could still re-invent the wheel on this one. 

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Only time will tell how challenging or important the actual gameplay will be to the final product. But as it stands, Night in the Woods has a relateable cast, hilarious and well-written dialogue, gorgeous graphics, an intriguing if tiredly familiar setup, and simple, novel gameplay. 

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ClusterTruck

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LandFall Games
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ClusterTruck is an intense, toe-curling, teeth-clenching, truly challenging, and stupidly fun first-person 3D platformer. The basic premise is that you are jumping across an endless onslaught of freight trucks, and doing your best to make it to the end of each level without touching the ground once, like an insane parkour version of "The Floor is Lava". The game has no story, or any context for what is going on, but it doesn't need any in order to be gripping and fun.

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The behavior of the trucks is affected very slightly by how you land on them, as their momentum and trajectory is altered slightly, so memorizing patterns and forming a consistent winning strategy isn't a viable option. Add on top of this the fact that the trucks are always moving, often quickly, as well as in different directions, and you have a gaming experience that is based entirely on twitch instincts -- fast thinking, and quick reaction times. The levels are also usually on the short side, and the player can also restart the level immediately upon death, which keeps the game's flow consistently fast-paced. 

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The game is planned to have 9 different worlds with 10 levels each, all with different visual themes and gameplay mechanics, both related and unrelated to the surrounding environment. These hazards range from giant hammers, to rotating lasers, to the classic standby of huge walls. The player will also acquire new abilities over the course of the game that will naturally enhance the simple mechanics that the game establishes at its start. These include a helpful double-jump and the ability briefly slow down time in order to more accurately position a landing.

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ClusterTruck is shaping up to be a rare example of first-person platformer that doesn't just succeed, but actually does well. 

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100ft Robot Golf

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No Goblin
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Sometimes a game doesn't need to be the prettiest belle of the ball or the most technically advanced to be good. Sometimes all a game needs to do is know what it wants to be, and then succeed at being that thing. 100ft Robot Golf knows exactly what it is. It is silly, it is stupid, and it loves it.

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100ft Robot Golf is a multiplayer golf game that can support up to four players. But there aren't turns like in normal golf, but rather, a chaotic frenzy where all four players have their own ball that they need to get to hole. Each mech has different skills and abilities, which they must use in addition to flying around and destroying buildings, in order to essentially race their opponents to the hole. Everything about the game's premise, presentation, and writing is tongue-in-cheek and comedic in tone. From the corny anime trope characters to the dry humor narrations of the commentator brothers, it is all done for the sake of getting a laugh out of you.

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It's a game that is fairly simple to understand and is it is immediately satisfying. We played this game with a group of complete strangers, and we were all having a blast; laughing and cracking jokes as we knocked down buildings and watched as our mechs danced at the end of each hole. It's dumb fun in the best way.

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If you want absolute proof that the developers know what kind of ridiculous game they're making, then check out this tweet:  

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Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

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WayForward Technologies
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Shantae: Half-Genie Hero looks and feels like a very, very solid 2D platformer. The PAX demo showcased the typical on-point humor, fluid animation, and tight controls that the Shantae series has always been known for, but it also showed off bits and pieces of what promises to be the biggest and most content rich game in the series thus far.

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With a lengthy base campaign for Shantae herself coming, supposedly meant to be longer than any previous game in the series, as well as four additional campaigns with different characters all with their own stories and play-styles coming as DLC, this game promises to be packed to the gills with excellent platforming content. There will also be costumes meant to change Shantae's gameplay ever so slightly, and minigames and challenges thrown in here and there to add some variety to the jumping and whipping.

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The demo also showcased a number of staples from previous Shantae titles returning, such as the animal transformations, as well as a handful of enemies and set-pieces, making it a treat for both newcomers as well as nostalgic fans. The magic system also returns from Shantae: Risky's Revenge, which includes both new and old defensive and offensive abilities, which adds a bit more to the potential strategy used in combat. The hand-drawn characters and enemies are very detailed, and they blend very well with the equally detailed 3D environements -- all of which is complemented by yet another impressive soundtrack from series veteran composer Jake Kaufman.   

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Shantae: Half-Genie Hero looks fantastic for platforming enthusiasts as well as other gamers; and won't be long until the people of the world can get their hands on it. 

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Diluvion

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Arachnid Games
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There have been many other oceanic or undersea exploration games before, but Diluvion still seems like a somewhat unique take on the concept. It combines real-time exploration in a 3D environment somewhat similar to Skies of Arcadia or No Man's Sky, with real-time ship and crew management in a 2D style similar to FTL, and then adds on a number of interesting additional mechanics on top this.

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You can salvage parts from downed ships, recruit new crew members from scattered underwater colonies, and you must manage the oxygen and other resources of your submarine while exploring a tale taking place in the ruins of a now sunken civilization, all while making sure that your crew doesn't die.

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In a market where most underwater exploration is bright and crystal blue, Diluvion opts for a slightly darker and foggier underwater landscape, which makes anticipating the unexpected a frequent feeling. This leaves you to resort on the sub's sonar ping system in order to get a idea as to if what you're looking at it just a wall, or a gigantic cyborg spider getting ready to laser scuttle you to death.

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Diluvion isn't the most unique looking game in the world, but its mechanics seem very solid, and the exploration and art-style are both enjoyable. So keep an eye out for its release if you're looking to plunder undersea treasure later this year.

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Flinthook

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Tribute Games
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Flinthook is a light rouguelike (a rougelite) based around shooting, looting, solving time manipulation and switch puzzles, and grappling everywhere you go while you do all of these things. It's a game with consistently engaging gameplay, as the combat and puzzles both encourage and necessitate balancing grappling-hook platforming with shooting and using your other abilities.

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It's also a game that, while challenging at times, is much less difficult than most other quality roguelikes available, which makes it a great entry point into this sub-genre for both younger and inexperienced players. Its pixelated artwork is both very detailed and colorful, and creates a cartoon-y and expressive style that helps convey the game's adventurous and lighthearted tone as you plunder various procedurally generated pirate ships in space. 

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Klang

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Tinimations
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In a market where most rhythm games sell based on their unique soundtracks and visuals, Klang stands out by having a distinct soundtrack, visuals, AND gameplay. Klang strives to be more than a typical rhythm/music game by combining familiar directional-input-rhythm-matching gameplay with active platforming and combat simultaneously. This means that you will, at times, have to run and jump back and forth while also paying attention to the input innstructions.

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The difficulty curves very naturally, the visuals are stark and expressive, and the musical motif carries well through the background and character design. With tightly designed, unique gameplay built around a head-banging soundtrack; Klang is a rhythm game you should keep an ear to the ground for.

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Invisigun Heroes

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Sombr Studio
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Invisigun Heroes is a multiplayer focused 2D arena shooter built around a unique hook -- your character is completely invisible until you shoot or use your special ability. This requires all players to remember where other players are when they briefly appear, and then watch how the environment reacts and listen for their footsteps whenever they aren't attacking and visible. There are also power-ups a handful of different game modes in order to add some spice to the gameplay, which will span 50 arenas on 5 different planets, all with different hazards. 

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This game has a STRONG focus on multiplayer. There is a single player mode with AI opponents, but the game also features 2-4 player local multiplayer, as well as online play, AND cross-platform play. With all this multiplayer content and the mind games involved in every single match; Invisigun Heroes should be a great game to break out at parties.

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The title says it all!

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PAX West 2016 was loaded with great games, and these are some of the most interesting and fun that we encountered while we were there. We couldn't play every game that was there, but we played as many as we could -- and these are some of the biggest standouts from the show. 

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