Risk of Rain Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Risk of Rain RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Risk of Rain 2: All Red Items Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/5xbca/risk-of-rain-2-all-red-items-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/5xbca/risk-of-rain-2-all-red-items-guide Mon, 31 Aug 2020 17:15:21 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Red items aren't absolutely necessary for a good Risk of Rain 2 run, but they definitely help. Reds add some extra oomph to your build no matter your skill level, the survivor you've chosen, or the difficulty you're running on.

If you're playing with the Command artifact on, you can choose which red items you get, but even without Command, getting a random red is a welcome surprise to a run.

Below are all of the red items in Risk of Rain 2, along with what they do, how they stack, and my recommendations for use with my over 300 hours of game time. Not all red items are created equal, but they're all welcome additions to an item spread.

All Risk of Rain 2 Red Items

57 Leaf Clover

Though the 57 Leaf Clover's effects may not be obvious at first glance, you'll feel its effects if you've got any on-hit items.

The Clover increases the proc chance for most of the game's on-hit items, such as Ukelele, Tri-tip Dagger, Happiest Mask, and so on. It also affects crit chance. It doesn't affect Tougher Times or the Rusted Key, however; nor does it affect chest spawn rates. The Clover does stack.

Aegis

With this artifact, you'll be granted a barrier as you are healed past full health, starting at 50% of the amount healed. Each Aegis after the first increases the percentage of healing converted, with two granting 100% shielding, three granting 150% shielding, and so on.

Some items go better with this than others, notably the Rejuvenation Rack. On characters that attack quickly and often (Commando, Huntress, etc.) this can be a huge lifesaver when paired with Leeching Seed and Harvester's Scythe.

Alien Head

You want cooldown reduction? Because the Alien Head is how you get perpetual cooldown reduction.

The Alien Head decreases your cooldowns by 25% at base, but it gives diminishing benefits with each one as you stack them.

Brainstalks

Even more cooldown reduction, you say? Later in a run, particularly on Monsoon, Brainstalks makes the Alien Head almost obsolete. Here's how:

When you have Brainstalks and kill an elite enemy, you enter a frenzied state for four seconds that chops your skill cooldowns down to nearly nothing. Brainstalks enables you to spam like nothing else.

Each Brainstalks you have on-hand increases its duration by four seconds.

Brilliant Behemoth

A carryover from the first game, the Brilliant Behemoth enables all your attacks to explode on hit, dealing an additional 60% damage to nearby enemies. Each stack of Behemoth increases the explosion radius.

The Brilliant Behemoth is a very straightforward item to increase your overall damage output, particularly if you're using a very spammy survivor. It's not necessarily a must-have on long runs, but it sure helps you get further easier. It does not proc on-hits.

Ceremonial Dagger

Unlike the Brilliant Behemoth, the Ceremonial Dagger does proc on-hits; though it only comes into play once you kill something.

The Ceremonial Dagger releases three daggers when an enemy dies, which then seek out and deal damage to other enemies. Each stack increases the damage, with the first one dealing 150% damage and subsequent stacks adding another 150% on top for each one.

Dio's Best Friend

Dio's Best Friend revives you at full health once you die, after a brief death animation. You'll have a couple of seconds to move around with invincibility before being set loose and able to die once again.

This one's a sleeper hit, but can be a total run saver. Once you revive, however, it is consumed.

Frost Relic

Don't worry, Risk of Rain players. This thing won't crash your game if you have a few stacks here in Risk of Rain 2.

Frost Relic surrounds you with an ice field upon killing an enemy, which deals 600% damage per second to enemies within its radius. Its damage doesn't increase per stack, but its maximum radius does increase and it does proc on-hits.

It's not recommended you bother getting a Frost Relic when playing a ranged character, but melee survivors like Loader, Acrid, and Mercenary can get a huge damage boost from this red.

H3AD-5T v2

Either you love H3AD-5T v2 or you hate it, I'm in the latter camp but it does have its uses.

This item passively increases jump height, negates falling damage in general, and has a built-in stomp attack that can deal a massive amount of damage and in a huge radius depending on how quickly you're moving.

Stacking the H3AD-5T v2 decreases its cooldown, but does not increase its damage or jump height. You'll have to stack Hopoo Feathers like the rest of us for that.

Happiest Mask

If you want an army but are dissatisfied with drones, the Happiest Mask should be your go-to. This item has a low chance of spawning a ghost of any enemy you kill, whether normal, elite, or even a boss.

Enemy ghosts deal much higher damage than their living counterparts, but only last 30 seconds by default. Each stack increases the duration they stick around by 30 seconds.

Hardlight Afterburner

If you're playing someone like Huntress, Acrid, or Mercenary with a huge reliance on your utility skill for safety, you could do with a lot worse than the Hardlight Afterburner.

This item adds two charges to your utility skill, and reduces its cooldown by 33%. It's easy to see why the Afterburner is so great.

Each stack grants two additional utility skill charges, but that might be overkill.

Interstellar Desk Plant

This is a weird one, but it can be a lifesaver in the case of melee survivors.

Five seconds after killing an enemy, a plant will spawn in its place to grant 10% maximum HP healing each second for 10 seconds. Each stack only grants radius on this one, and it's certainly not as useful as some other items, but can be a potent aid if you have an Aegis or N'kuhana's Opinion.

N'kuhana's Opinion

How this one actually works is a little strange, but let's put it this way: Your healing fires skills at nearby enemies, each one dealing 250% damage. But only once you reach a healing threshold.

N'kuhana's Opinion needs a chunk of healing items to be worthwhile, and a Rejuvenation Rack to be especially effective. Each stack increases skull damage.

Rejuvenation Rack

What this item does is simple: doubles your healing. Each stack increases the amount, and it affects all healing sources.

Resonance Disc

The Resonance Disc is a little strange, but stick with me here.

Each time you kill an enemy, the Resonance Disc gains a charge. At full charge, it launches out from you toward a random enemy target. It pierces all enemies in transit, then returns to you. Ultimately dealing two hits to enemies along the way, and a single large hit to the target.

The damage on this increases per stack, without diminishing returns. The piercing hits do proc on-hits, but the hit on the target enemy does not.

Sentient Meat Hook

The Sentient Meat Hook has a chance to latch onto up to ten nearby enemies when attacking, with the hook dragging them along with you and dealing damage.

This item stacks with diminishing returns, but each stack increases the amount of enemies it grabs by five. It's not too shabby, and it can be very useful for AoE skills.

Shattering Justice

Shattering Justice can equate to one of the overall highest damage increases in the game if it's held by a survivor with particularly high attack speed or multiple multi-hit skills that can go off in succession all the time.

Each hit with Shattering Justice adds a counter up to five on a target, and when the counter is full the enemy gets a flat armor reduction of 60, for a base eight seconds. A Huntress Flurry critical hit applies it instantly.

This gets to be one of the best party-wide items in the game, but it should be picked up by any rapid attacker even when solo.

Soulbound Catalyst

The Soulbound Catalyst is perfect for the player who loves their equipment items, as kills reduce a player's equipment cooldowns by 4 seconds each. It eventually boils down to your equipment being up almost all the time.

With a couple of these babies, your equipment really will be up and ready to use all the time. Missiles? Accumulator? Whatever else? Bam! You've got it right there to use, all the time. Each stack increases the cooldown reduction by an additional two seconds.

Unstable Tesla Coil

Is the Tesla the best item in the game? I like to think so, but it might not be.

The Unstable Tesla Coil deals damage to three enemies every half a second when it's on, and switches off every ten seconds. Then switches back on and does it again. Its benefit lies in there being absolutely no requirement for it to zap your foes, it just does it.

Each stack adds two targets at a time. There's really no downside to this thing.

Wake of Vultures

If you haven't gotten a Wake of Vultures and delved deep into a run, you haven't lived.

Wake of Vultures grants you the power of any elite enemies you kill for 8 seconds after the fact. That's quite the benefit considering the number of elites and their effects. You'll leave fire trails behind you like burning elites, have half your health converted to a shield like an overloading, and even get the invisibility bubble of celestine enemies on kill with this item.

Thanks for reading my guide on all of Risk of Rain 2's red items and their effects. Take a look at some of our other RoR2 guides, including an artifact unlock guide if you're still on the journey to all the game's unlocks.

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Risk of Rain 2 Artifact Code and Unlock Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/51ior/risk-of-rain-2-artifact-code-and-unlock-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/51ior/risk-of-rain-2-artifact-code-and-unlock-guide Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:42:29 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Any dedicated Risk of Rain 2 player will tell you that slapping a bunch of artifacts onto a run is the best way to stay interested once you're a few hundred runs in. You'll feel like a god of inclement weather.

There are two routes you can take for unlocking Risk of Rain 2's artifacts.

The first route is to seek out the codes hidden throughout the game's stages, which you can then use at a particular mechanism found in Sky Meadow. The second is to just look up the codes and do the exact same thing at Sky Meadow.

We're going to go with the second option here and only display the codes, along with each artifact's function.

How to Unlock Artifacts in Risk of Rain 2

So, where is the mechanism you need to unlock artifacts found in Sky Meadow?

The mechanism can be found on the bottom rung of the stage. Usually, there are two holes the player can fall into to reach it, as pictured above.

If you're mostly safe and can't find its location, try to fall off the side of the map and look around to find the platform. It is always there.

Once you reach the mechanism, you'll need to configure a six-model display to a valid artifact code.

In this guide, we'll be listing from left to right and from top to bottom as seen in the image above.

Once you input a valid code, go to the terminal across from the input array and choose "Submit Code". If the code you have entered is valid, a large portal will appear on the platform for you to enter.

What's to come is the hardest part, as you'll have to fight in the Bulwark's Ambry to unlock the artifact for good.

The artifact will be enabled in the Ambry, giving you a glimpse of the challenge that awaits when using the artifact and, in many cases, giving you a run for your money in even attempting the thing.

You'll have to use the first Artifact Key you find (which is a yellow item) on the artifact's cell in the middle of the stage to begin the challenge. From there, you'll need to stay alive and slay enemies until another key drops.

You will have to insert a total of four keys to complete the challenge and unlock the artifact.

Risk of Rain 2 Artifact Codes and Effects

Artifact of Chaos Pattern

This artifact enables friendly fire for survivors and for enemies, which dramatically increases the difficulty in multiplayer and seems to decrease it a bit in singleplayer (as there are no friends to shoot you). The code is as follows:

  • Circle, Triangle, Circle
  • Circle, Triangle, Circle
  • Circle, Triangle, Circle
Artifact of Command Pattern

This artifact allows you to choose the items you get out of chests and boss drops rather than depending entirely on luck. However, you cannot affect the rarity of the item drops. You can choose yellow and blue items just as you would the others, and you can even choose your reds from the Lunar Shop.

  • Square, Square, Square
  • Square, Square, Square
  • Triangle, Triangle, Triangle
Artifact of Death Pattern

When enabled, this artifact makes it so that a single player death means the whole team dies. This doesn't do anything in single-player but is an interesting addition to a dedicated team's artifact array.

  • Circle, Circle, Circle
  • Square, Triangle, Square
  • Circle, Triangle, Circle
Artifact of Dissonance Pattern

Another artifact that really shakes things up, Dissonance makes it so monsters appear outside of their usual environments. Bison in the Abyssal Depths? Sure! Clay Templars in Siren's Call? Sure! This one makes things less predictable, which is a boon to long time players.

  • Circle, Square, Square
  • Square, Square, Square
  • Square, Square, Circle
Artifact of Enigma Pattern

If you find yourself getting bored using those predictable equipment items, why not get Enigma and its random equipment item effect? Enigma randomizes your equipment item each time you use it, so you never know what you're going to get. Equipment cooldown reduction effects do still apply.

  • Diamond, Square, Square
  • Triangle, Square, Triangle
  • Circle, Diamond, Diamond
Artifact of Evolution Pattern

Ever wanted the pain of Burning Elite Lemurians, but instead, it's regular Lemurians with Tri-tip Daggers? This artifact's for you! Evolution gives enemies items between stages, making them a more varied and potent threat as you push through a run. Golems with Razorwire? Brrr.

  • Diamond, Diamond, Diamond
  • Square, Square, Square
  • Circle, Circle, Circle

Artifact of Frailty Pattern

Frailty doubles fall damage and makes it lethal. Falling a bit too far when you're deep into a run isn't just risky with this artifact, it can be a downright run-ender.

  • Circle, Circle, Circle
  • Triangle, Circle, Triangle
  • Triangle, Triangle, Triangle
Artifact of Glass Pattern

This one would be even more aptly named "Artifact of Glass Cannon," because that's exactly what it does. Glass makes it so allies deal 500% damage, but only have 10% health. Pair this with Artifact of Swarms to see enemies pop like balloons, but you'll have to work extra hard to stay alive.

  • Diamond, Diamond, Diamond
  • Diamond, Diamond, Diamond
  • Diamond, Diamond, Diamond
Artifact of Honor Pattern

This artifact makes it so enemies only spawn as elites, which isn't as terrible as it sounds if you stack some Old Guillotines early on to make them pop like balloons after reaching half health.

  • Square, Square, Square
  • Square, Triangle, Square
  • Square, Square, Square
Artifact of Kin Pattern

With Kin enabled, only one enemy type will spawn per stage. You may have to fend off just a bunch of Lemurians, but you could also be bombarded with Golems, Elder Wisps, or whatever else the game decides to torture you with. This one gets incredibly dangerous deep into a run.

  • Circle, Triangle, Triangle
  • Diamond, Circle, Triangle
  • Diamond, Diamond, Circle
Artifact of Metamorphosis Pattern

Why stress about who to play, when you can just use this artifact? Metamorphosis spawns players as a random survivor at each stage, ensuring no build goes too perfect. This is more of a funsies one than some others but can be an entertaining challenge whether you want to learn the entire roster or just want to keep things dynamic.

  • Diamond, Square, Circle
  • Diamond, Square, Circle
  • Diamond, Square, Circle
Artifact of Sacrifice Pattern

Sacrifice causes all chests to disappear, and instead enemies drop items on death. This is a great artifact for players who like to rush the teleporter, and it sets you up for very speedy loop times. Make sure to use Shrines of Combat for extra item opportunities.

  • Triangle, Triangle, Triangle
  • Triangle, Triangle, Triangle
  • Triangle, Diamond, Triangle
Artifact of Soul Pattern

Soul puts the bane of most Risk of Rain 2 players at the forefront: Wisps. This artifact causes wisps to emerge from defeated enemies. The wisps are blue and drop no money (and no items with Sacrifice enabled), but are just as annoying as their regular orange counterparts.

  • Circle, Square, Circle
  • Circle, Diamond, Circle
  • Square, Diamond, Square
Artifact of Spite Pattern

Melee characters beware, as Spite causes enemies to drop a cluster of exploding bombs on death. This is a particularly dangerous artifact for players who aren't the best at positioning, and it can unceremoniously turn a great run into a finished run.

  • Triangle, Circle, Triangle
  • Circle, Circle, Circle
  • Triangle, Circle, Triangle
Artifact of Swarms Pattern

A personal favorite, this artifact halves enemy health and doubles their spawns. Enemies can be taken down far more easily with this artifact enabled, but it's just as easy to be overwhelmed by their numbers.

  • Circle, Circle, Triangle
  • Triangle, Diamond, Triangle
  • Triangle, Circle, Circle
Artifact of Vengeance Pattern

Vengeance causes a doppelganger to spawn every 10 minutes, with the items of the player it copies. This is a challenge, particularly once you are stacked with items, for a variety of reasons.

  • Diamond, Square, Square
  • Diamond, Circle, Square
  • Diamond, Square, Square

---

That's the end of the artifacts we have available in Risk of Rain 2. Every player has their favorite combination, though many less experienced players simply opt to unlock and use Command to choose their own items. Playing with an optimal build, or even a purposefully gimmicky one, is fun in its own right.

Check out our other Risk of Rain 2 guides here on GameSkinny, the list of which growing fast with the game's full 1.0 release.

]]>
Best Indie Games to Buy During the 2020 Steam Summer Sale https://www.gameskinny.com/dzwfo/best-indie-games-to-buy-during-the-2020-steam-summer-sale https://www.gameskinny.com/dzwfo/best-indie-games-to-buy-during-the-2020-steam-summer-sale Sun, 28 Jun 2020 15:47:46 -0400 Dylan Webb

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Crypt of the Necrodancer

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Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price: $2.99
Crypt of the Necrodancer review

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It’s been five years since Crypt Of The Necrodancer released, but it still makes for an excellent title, appearing on many (many) "best of" lists. And for good reason. 

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Developed by Brace Yourself Games, Crypt is another example of successfully merging roguelike mechanics with a genre typically not known for them — this time a rhythm game where you traverse dungeons in step to the beat.

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It’s another challenging affair but proves impossible to put down, and like Bastion, there’s little risk when it’s 80% off.

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Buy Crypt Of The Necrodancer on Steam

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---

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That wraps up this list of the best indie games to buy during the 2020 Steam Summer Sale. Here's to increasing our backlogs yet again! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/s/bastion-36728.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/a/s/bastion-36728.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211859","description":"

Bastion

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Standard Price: $14.99
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Bastion review

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Supergiant Games are hard at work with finishing Hades right now, but their first project, Bastion, is one of the most acclaimed 2D action indie games in recent memory.

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Playing a nameless adventurer referred to as “The Kid," you find yourself in a post-calamity world, exploring the ruins of society. It’s a title you can complete in one sitting, but don't let that fool you. Bastion is chock full of solid combat and great narration. It’s hard to go wrong at 80% off.  

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Buy Bastion on Steam

"},{"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/l/hollow-knight-471c0.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/o/l/hollow-knight-471c0.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"211858","description":"

Hollow Knight

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Standard Price: $14.99
Sale Price: $7.49
Hollow Knight review

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Hollow Knight sees you playing a nameless knight, traveling through the ancient kingdom of Hallownest, now plagued by vicious insects. Much like Cuphead, Hollow Knight gained recognition for its tough, but never unfair. gameplay.

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Coming in at 50% off, Metroidvania fans will find a lot to love here. Just be prepared for a challenge.

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Buy Hollow Knight on Steam

"},{"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/l/a/slay-spire-b7b1e.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/l/a/slay-spire-b7b1e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211856","description":"

Slay the Spire

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Standard Price: $24.99
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Developed by Mega Crit Games, Slay the Spire was an overnight success. One of the latest titles to implement roguelike mechanics in more traditional genres  this time a card game Slay the Spire uniquely bridges genre gaps with stunning effect.

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Making your journey up the ever-changing Spire, no two playthroughs are alike, allowing for many distinctive deck combinations. It’s 50% off right now, so if you've been on the fence, it’s a good time to invest.

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Buy Slay The Spire on Steam

"},{"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/r/i/s/risk-rain-15109.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/r/i/s/risk-rain-15109.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211855","description":"

Risk of Rain

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Standard Price: $9.99
Sale Price: $2.49

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Developed by Hopoo Games, Risk Of Rain is a bargain at 75% off. Incorporating roguelike mechanics with 2D Metroidvania sensibilities, you face off against a near-endless swarm of increasingly difficult enemies, requiring you to locate a randomly placed teleporter within each level to move on to the next.

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The developers have since released Risk of Rain 2, also on offer at 20% off. Both are worth looking into, though, RoR2 replaces Risk of Rain's 2D style with 3D models and environments and is still in Early Access. 

\n

Buy Risk Of Rain on Steam

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/r/i/gris-efc10.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/r/i/gris-efc10.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211857","description":"

Gris

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Standard Price: $16.99
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It’d be an understatement to say that few games are as impactful as Gris. Released in 2018, Team Nomada’s debut title is a 2D puzzle platformer overflowing with lush environments and gushing with character. 

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A story of trauma, this quest sees you restore color to the world, taking inspiration from titles like Journey. Its gameplay is somewhat minimalist but as an artistic experience, Gris is powerful and moving.

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Buy Gris on Steam

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/5/145ef72eaf396de.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/4/5/145ef72eaf396de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211854","description":"

Overcooked! 2

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Standard Price: $24.99
Sale Price: $14.99

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After the success of Overcooked! in 2016, it wasn’t surprising to see a sequel two years later. Developed by Ghost Town Games, you play as chef of the Onion Kingdom, looking to defeat a new zombie threat known as The Unbread.

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Cooking in increasingly impractical kitchens, Overcooked! 2 is a frantic multiplayer experience that’s worth ordering at 40% off. If you’ve not played the original, that's on sale for 75% off.

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Buy Overcooked! 2 on Steam

"},{"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/u/d/budget-cuts-4d92c.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/u/d/budget-cuts-4d92c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211853","description":"

Budget Cuts

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Standard Price: $29.99
Sale Price: $7.49

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Virtual Reality is an indie-dominated platform, and back in 2018, Budget Cuts was one of the earliest standouts. Combining corporate satire with an action stealth premise, you find both your job and life under threat from automation.

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It takes a few hours to complete but comes with an arcade mode too. Filled with humor and satisfying combat, it’s highly worth snatching up for 75% off. If you enjoy Budget Cuts, the sequel is 50% too.

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Buy Budget Cuts on Steam

"},{"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/o/v/e/override-cc363.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/o/v/e/override-cc363.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211852","description":"

Override: Mech City Brawl

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Standard Price: $29.99
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Released in 2018 by The Balance Inc, this 3D brawler will be of interest to Kaiju/Mecha fans, reminiscent of titles like War of The Monsters and Godzilla: Save The Earth.

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Featuring a mission-based campaign mode, Override: Mech City Brawl places you against swarms of monsters known as “Xenotypes” and has fully destructible environments. Packed with local and multiplayer options, it’s an absolute steal at 85% off.

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Buy Override: Mech City Brawl on Steam

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/p/superhot-switch-hero-28438.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/u/p/superhot-switch-hero-28438.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211851","description":"

Superhot

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Standard Price: $24.99
Sale Price: $9.99
Superhot review

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Superhot began life in 2013’s 7 Day FPS Challenge, but after a successful Kickstarter, it launched fully in 2016. Featuring a minimalistic art style, time only moves as you move, and everything plays out in slow motion. 

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Superhot received critical acclaim at launch — and well after — bringing with it some of the most unique FPS gameplay we’ve ever seen. At 60% off, it’s well worth a look. 

\n

Buy Superhot on Steam

"},{"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/c/e/l/celeste-e9847.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/e/l/celeste-e9847.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"211850","description":"

Celeste

\n

Standard Price: $19.99
Sale Price: $9.99
Celeste review

\n

Towerfall Ascension put Matt Makes Games on the map, but in 2018, Celeste cemented the studio as one of gaming’s best indie developers.

\n

You play as Madeline, a girl facing her inner demons as she journeys to the top of Celeste Mountain. Featuring hundreds of levels, it’s a challenging platformer but crucially, never feels unfair. Uncovering the mountain’s mystery as you progress, it’s another strong recommendation at 50% off.

\n

Buy Celeste on Steam

"},{"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/c/u/p/cuphead-switch-hero-7c820.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/c/u/p/cuphead-switch-hero-7c820.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211849","description":"

Cuphead

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Standard Price: $19.99
Sale Price: $14.99
Cuphead review

\n

Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc. brought us one of gaming’s most unique titles when Cuphead launched in 2017 — and it's focused on boss fights. Taking visual inspiration from 1930s-era cartoons, this run-and-gun title follows the brothers Cuphead and Mugman following their deal with the Devil to retain their souls.

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Praised for its challenging difficulty, Cuphead is one of the hardest games released in the past several years. It sold 1 million units just a few weeks after launch. It's not the greatest discount at 25% off, but Cuphead is a title you won’t want to miss.

\n

Buy Cuphead on Steam

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/i/r/firewatch-56e2a.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/f/i/r/firewatch-56e2a.png","type":"slide","id":"211848","description":"

Firewatch

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Standard Price: $19.99
Sale Price: $4.99
Firewatch review

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Firewatch was a huge success when it dropped in 2016. Developed by Campo Santo, it takes place in 1989, and you play a man named Henry as he retreats deep into Wyoming’s forest. It’s your job to keep it safe.

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Discovering something strange from a forestry lookout tower, you are drawn into a mystery playing out across this strange environment. Firewatch is a short experience but an incredibly fun one, and it comes highly recommended at 75% off.

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Buy Firewatch on Steam

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-summer-sale-091ce.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-summer-sale-091ce.jpg","type":"slide","id":"211834","description":"

We’ve reached that wonderful time of year where the Steam Summer Sale is in full force, running from June 25 until July 9. Chances are that your Valve has already emailed you about cheap games on your wishlist, but there are thousands of deals to look through, bringing some fantastic offers and, almost inevitably, a renewed backlog.

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If you’re a fan of indie games, though, searching through for the best indie games on sale can be tricky; many aren’t limited to a single genre. Indie developers have brought us many of gaming’s most creative ventures in recent years and when it comes to this Steam sale, the choices can be overwhelming.

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So if you’re looking to narrow down these choices, here’s our guide to 13 of the best indie games we recommend.

"}]]]>
How to Unlock Acrid in Risk of Rain 2 https://www.gameskinny.com/1awwp/how-to-unlock-acrid-in-risk-of-rain-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/1awwp/how-to-unlock-acrid-in-risk-of-rain-2 Tue, 17 Dec 2019 16:45:01 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Hopoo promised we'd see a substantial update to Risk of Rain 2 in December, and as usual, they have stayed true to their word. The new Hidden Realms update is out and allows players to unlock the survivor Acrid, among other things.

The Hidden Realms update brings a lot more than Acrid. There are new hidden stages, new items, new stage variants, new chest types, and more. Read the patch notes on Steam; they're enough for any Risk of Rain 2 player to get excited about.

As an Acrid main in the original Risk of Rain, his addition to the sequel is a huge surprise, as Hopoo had previously mentioned the poison pup wasn't going to be making it into Risk of Rain 2. He's here now, though, and doesn't play that much different from the first game.

How to Unlock Acrid in Risk of Rain 2

Acrid is the hardest survivor to unlock so far, save for trying to get the Loader deep into a run. We're going to go into this step by step, because it is a huge pain.

You probably do not want to try this after hitting the Lunar Shrine on the very first stage unless you are on Drizzle. I have no idea what the difficulty of this is like on Rainstorm or Drizzle as I did it on Monsoon out of habit, and it was incredibly difficult.

The reason for this is you need healing. You absolutely must have some decent regeneration to deal with this challenge. Even just fungus  you need something to help keep you alive.

Step 1. Pop a Lunar Shrine to Gain Access to the Bazaar Between Worlds and Find the Null Portal

Walk down like you normally would to enter the bazaar, but don't enter it. Instead, turn your camera and look below the platforms to see the platform below. It's circled in the following image.

Drop down onto the platform. Don't worry too much if you fall all the way down; you can just try again.

From here, turn your camera down and look for the light green area shown in this image.

Jump to the platform pictured, then make your way into the tunnel. You will come across a purple Null Portal within. Enter the portal.

Step 2. Complete the Void Fields

Entering the Null Portal will take you to the Void Fields, a desolate and harsh environment that drains your health persistently while outside the Cell Vent fields. Hence my warning that you need healing.

This area is tricky to navigate and hard to deal with.

You must activate all nine of the area's Cell Vents, which sounds easy enough. It's not.

When you open a Cell Vent, you will have to defeat enemies in a fashion similar to regular teleporter events.

The difference here is that enemies will absorb the powers of random items when you open some Cell Vents, and you take persistent damage outside of the Cell Vent fields.

Once you finish one of these events, the field will rapidly disperse and leave you to hunt down the next one.

You don't have to wander around here completely aimlessly, luckily enough. Keep your eye on the sky and look for a purple beam of light to find the next Cell Vent each time.

Once you have activated the ninth Cell Vent, you will receive the "...To Be Left Alone" achievement, which finally unlocks Acrid.

This all sounds a bit trivial written out, but I had a very hard time doing this on Monsoon, and it took about 15 minutes. If you're not a confident Risk of Rain 2 player, unlock Acrid on a lower difficulty.

---

Acrid is a fan favorite from the first Risk of Rain, and my personal main in the original. His kit hasn't changed too much here in Risk of Rain 2, but how does he compare to the rest of the lineup? That's something I'm about to test out myself.

Good luck unlocking Acrid in Risk of Rain 2! If you found this guide helpful, take a look at our other Risk of Rain 2 guides here on GameSkinny.

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Risk of Rain 2 on Console to Get Skills 2.0 Update https://www.gameskinny.com/4dm1z/risk-of-rain-2-on-console-to-get-skills-20-update https://www.gameskinny.com/4dm1z/risk-of-rain-2-on-console-to-get-skills-20-update Fri, 06 Dec 2019 11:10:05 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Those playing Risk of Rain 2 on console won't have to wait much longer for the game's big skill update to land. The game's official Twitter revealed yesterday that the Skills 2.0 content update will be released for the console versions of Risk of Rain 2 on Tuesday, December 10.

The Skills 2.0 update arrived on PC in September, and with it came the Siren's Call stage, skill variants for skill loadout customization, skins, new items, and the Loader survivor, who's a punching powerhouse.

In just a few days, players on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One will get access to the update's many new features that may or may not have added an extra 60 hours to my personal playtime already.

The Loader may seem like the most exciting addition to Risk of Rain 2 in this update, but the real boon is the inclusion of skill variants.

Risk of Rain 2's skill variants are unlocked by completing special challenges for a survivor. Once completed, players can see the 'Loadout' button in character select. Players will then be able to swap their base skills for their alternative counterparts.

The new stage with the update, Siren's Call, is one I've come to hate as an alternative to Abyssal Depths thanks to the stage's alloy vultures and the bosses that come with them. If you have trouble finding the teleporter on Abyssal Depths, though, this addition may be very welcome.

If you're on PC, though, you should still have something to look forward to. The Early Access forecast for Risk of Rain 2 makes mention of a December update including a new survivor, hidden realms, bosses, and items. There's no official word on its release date yet, though Hopoo's track record thus far gives hope it will be released on time.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Risk of Rain 2 news and information as it drops. 

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Risk of Rain 2 Now on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/imw88/risk-of-rain-2-now-on-ps4-nintendo-switch-and-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/imw88/risk-of-rain-2-now-on-ps4-nintendo-switch-and-xbox-one Fri, 30 Aug 2019 17:07:59 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The theories within the community that today's Risk of Rain 2 news was going to be a surprise console release were right: RoR2 is now available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One!

Risk of Rain 2 had a very successful Early Access launch on Steam earlier this year and received its last large update in early July, introducing the new character Rex to the roster as well as a new change and a chunk of other new content.

Though I'm usually not a supporter of PC Early Access titles jumping to console while still in an unfinished state, Risk of Rain 2 proves to be a worthy successor to the original 2013 indie darling even without all the bells and whistles promised down the line. Unlike some Early Access titles, your adversary is in the gameplay  not in a slew of bugs.

Risk of Rain 2's is now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One for $29.99, a small price to pay for one of the most engrossing multiplayer roguelites currently available.

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How to Find Your Risk of Rain 2 Save Location and Behold Loads of Stats https://www.gameskinny.com/9v4ff/how-to-find-your-risk-of-rain-2-save-location-and-behold-loads-of-stats https://www.gameskinny.com/9v4ff/how-to-find-your-risk-of-rain-2-save-location-and-behold-loads-of-stats Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:35:51 -0400 Ashley Shankle

If you're like me and have been playing a ton of Risk of Rain 2 lately, you may be interested in getting your hands on your overall game stats. For now, that has to be done by looking into your save file.

Within your save file are more stats than you can shake a stick at. Want to know how many Alien Heads you've picked up, how many times you've died to Golems, or the total amount of time you've played as your favorite character? You can check out all that data and more right there in your save. Nice.

It's very likely all or a fair number of these stats will be available in-game in a later update, but this is your only option at this point in Early Access. At least we have this method to take a gander at how we're doing for now, right?

Of course, you may want to alter your save file instead. That's really up to you.

Where Is Your Save Data?

Your Risk of Rain 2 save file location isn't hidden in the game's steamapps folder like you might expect. Instead, you have to delve into your userdata folder to get your hands on the file.

For me, the file can be found in the following location...

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\X\632360\remote\UserProfiles

... with the 'X' being my Steam profile number.

Your number will be different, so just make your way to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata folder and figure out which profile is yours. From there, seek out the 632360 folder and you'll be well on your way.

Your save file will look pretty similar to mine in the image below.

Now:

  1. Right-click the file
  2. Mouse over 'Open with'
  3. Choose a text editor to open your save

I use Notepad since it's all plaintext. Whatever program you use, make sure you have word wrapping enabled to be able to properly see the data.

Doing this, you can see stats like:

  • Total kills
  • Total damage dealt and taken
  • Highest damage dealt
  • Loads of item stats
  • Total time alive with individual survivors
  • Total damage dealt to each enemy type
  • Total damage dealt/taken to/from each enemy type with individual survivors
  • Total kills on each enemy type

Honestly, it's a bit wild to be able to see all this stuff. The first Risk of Rain doesn't offer this amount of data in its in-game stats, so I'm curious whether all these Risk of Rain 2 stats will make it into the game at a later date. Even if not all of them get shown in the client, you'll always be able to take a look at the save file.

That's really about it. We've got a few Risk of Rain 2 guides to check out if you want to know more about Lunar Coins, how to unlock characters, and more. Enjoy the flurry of stats you're about to behold, and look out for those Elite Golem boss spawns. Those things are killer.

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Teleporters and You: A Risk of Rain 2 Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/9ch79/teleporters-and-you-a-risk-of-rain-2-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/9ch79/teleporters-and-you-a-risk-of-rain-2-guide Thu, 04 Apr 2019 13:15:46 -0400 Ashley Shankle

I have to admit, finding the teleporter in Risk of Rain 2 has been a very different experience from hunting it down in the first game.

Once you get familiar with the original, you know to check each corner of the map for the teleporter. Wander, wander, wander, stop to whomp on some stuff, wander some more until you find it.

It's probably way on the other side of the map, whatever. It's Risk of Rain.

In Risk of Rain 2, finding the teleporter is more of a mad scramble. Thanks to there being far more nooks and crannies to delve into — and the change in perspective from 2D to 3D  there are times where finding the thing can be more of a challenge than new players would like.

If you played the first game, finding the teleporter in the sequel isn't too bad. You know the drill, and you know how to spot the thing from the corner of your eye while scanning for some chests at the same time.

But if you're totally new to the series and just starting with Risk of Rain 2, you may be in for a bad time even with the new patch that made seeing teleporters much easier.

Not only do the structures themselves have a slight red tint to them, their particles now reach further than they did before. This makes spotting the teleporter possible even from behind walls or far away.

I've taken a number of screenshots since the patch and, with luck, you'll be able to find them, too! 

The Thrill of the Teleporter Hunt

So you've loaded into the next stage and you've got one thing in mind: Find the teleporter. Items are nice, too; but time is of the essence.

Unless your first priority is items (you could be early in a Drizzle run), you should first get to the closest high point and have a look around. Try to spot the glowing orange lights that surround the teleporter.

The orange part is important there are no other free-floating particles in the game that match the color of the teleporter particles. Furthermore, they can be spotted from as far as you can see. If you're at one end of the map and the teleporter is at the other, you can still see its particles floating over it as long as it's not under or behind something from where you're standing.

With the new patch, the orange particles go out far enough that you can see them through walls as well as fairly high above the teleporter itself.

Below are two images. The first is of some particles showing on one side of the rock you can see two right there in front of the Huntress. The second is the teleporter immediately behind the rock.

I've had to do three images for the next example.

The teleporter is not only far away and obscured, but the snow makes it hard to see. When playing the game yourself, you need to keep an eye out for the colors in the second image when searching for the teleporter.

Let's zoom in here.

Can you see it? Let's highlight what you should be looking at.

This problem is two-fold in the Abyssal Depths, but the particles are still orange, while the stage's decorative particles are distinctly yellow.

Motion in the Death Ocean

If you're having trouble discerning snow or ash from the teleporter's particles, look at how they move.

Teleporter particles will sway in the air, sort of how you'd expect fireflies to. They float around in a bit of a circular motion and dissipate, giving way to a new set of particles.

Learning to discern this motion from other environmental effects is key to quickly locating the teleporter. It only takes a little practice, too.

Hidden Areas?

I've seen a few people saying they looked around a stage for 20 or so minutes and were unable to find the teleporter. 

Like in the first Risk of Rain, stages are mixed up a bit each time you visit them. For example, sometimes the door is open in Distant Roost and sometimes it isn't.

There are far more variances than that, though. For example, in the very same map (Distant Roost), there's a hidden ledge on the far side of the offshoot pictured below that the teleporter sometimes spawns on.

Of course, this area isn't always available. But if you're running around Distant Roost unable to find the teleporter, it's probably hidden over there.

There are a number of other examples of obscured, almost-hidden areas where the teleporter can spawn. Behind the large wall in Wetland Aspect is another example you just have to familiarize yourself with the stages and their variants.

The wider particle radius has definitely made finding teleporters easier (a little too much so in my opinion). If you know how the teleporter particles move and their color, along with each stage's layout, you shouldn't have much trouble finding the teleporter outside of the odd-off, "Wow, sandwiched under this platform and wall."

The first Risk of Rain is in my top three games and the sequel has all the makings to usurp it, at least in my book. Check out some of our other Risk of Rain 2 guides and good luck surviving out there. May RNGesus bless you with plentiful Fuel Cells.

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Risk of Rain 2 Nears 650,000 Players in First Week After Release https://www.gameskinny.com/jf7wm/risk-of-rain-2-nears-650000-players-in-first-week-after-release https://www.gameskinny.com/jf7wm/risk-of-rain-2-nears-650000-players-in-first-week-after-release Thu, 04 Apr 2019 12:24:03 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Hopoo Games' Risk of Rain 2 only debuted in Steam Early Access a week ago, yet it has already accumulated roughly 650,000 players. It's a showing that outperforms even the original Risk of Rain.

150,000 of those players took advantage of a special gifting offer where purchasing the Early Access version granted them a free copy of the game to gift to a friend.

In a blog post responding to the success, the Hopoo Games Team said the number of players surpassed all expectations. The whole team was

absolutely floored...with the reception so far. I was personally hoping for something to match at least half of the original game: apparently we’re doing a LOT better. It’s absolutely surreal - thank you all again.

Risk of Rain 2 was first unveiled during Gearbox Entertainment's PAX East 2019 presentation, with Hopoo Games being one of its new indie publishing partners.

Like with all Early Access games, this is a formative period for Risk of Rain 2

Moving forward, customer service is an area Hopoo wishes to improve. With the unexpected response to the game, some users' inquiries and problems are getting lost in the system, and Hopoo is keen to point out that it doesn't mean players are being ignored.

In fact, the developers are actively encouraging player feedback on all areas to help further improve the experience in the future.

Some specific areas Hopoo wants to focus on for the future is how players are progressing through the game — how long it takes to unlock the difficult items and whether progressing through unlock is too fast.

The team has already implemented a wide variety of changes based on that feedback with a patch that released April 3. But much like with Respawn's philosophy of updates, Hopoo is currently determining how best to support Risk of Rain 2 in the future, either through regular small updates or being content overhauls.

Those interested in keeping up with the game's progress can join its Discord channel

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Gearbox Publishing Announces New Games, Partnerships at PAX East https://www.gameskinny.com/d9gif/gearbox-publishing-announces-new-games-partnerships-at-pax-east https://www.gameskinny.com/d9gif/gearbox-publishing-announces-new-games-partnerships-at-pax-east Thu, 28 Mar 2019 17:15:44 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Steve Gibson of Gearbox Publishing, the publishing arm of Gearbox Entertainment, took to the stage at PAX East to announce details on a variety of new games and partnerships.

One new partnership is with Hopoo Games, a three-person development team behind the upcoming Risk of Rain 2a robot co-op shooter followup to the multi-million selling Risk of Rain.

The game is a roguelike built around brutal combat and the tantalizing promise of more, and greater, loot; the sequel is set to bring the series forward with high-quality 3D graphics.

Starting today, those interested in Risk of Rain 2 can download an Early Access version of the game via Steam for $19.99. Those who do will receive a free copy to gift to friends.

The launch trailer is below.

Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition

Gearbox Publishing is also working with developer People Can Fly to bring the acclaimed Bulletstorm to the Nintendo Switch this year. The game is currently eying a summer release, with Gibson stating he and his team are working hard to ensure it meets that deadline. 

Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition will include the full single-player campaign from the original Bulletstorm, along with the Duke Nukem add-on and all existing DLC. Gibson also promised fans this will be a high-quality version of the game, with current framerates surpassing what the team already hoped for.

A remastered edition of Bulletstorm, called Bullet Storm: Full Clip Edition, released in 2017 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Full Clip Edition also included the Duke Nukem Bulletstorm Tour

We Happy Few Season Pass and DLC

Gearbox also provided details for the first expansion to We Happy Few, called, They Came From Below. The DLC is set to launch on April 4. 

NPCs James and Roger take center stage for a brand-new We Happy Few story. Gearbox offered an overview of the campaign:

Wellington Wells stands besieged by a robot uprising, but the mechanized menace isn't the only thing threatening to tear the pair apart. Play as Roger and team up with your boyfriend James to Find Dr. Faraday, explore a vast underground laboratory, and discover the source of the robot invaders before it's too late!

They Came From Below is but one DLC extension planned for We Happy Few, with two more coming at some point in the future.

Players can purchase the Season Pass to get access to all DLC as it releases for $19.99, or each can be purchased separately for $7.99

Trover Saves the Universe and Astroneer

Gearbox also announced new partnerships that will let them bring physical editions of highly-anticipated indie games like Trover Saves the Universe, from the minds of the Rick and Morty creators, and Astroneer to players sometime later this year.

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Be sure to check out our other Gearbox at PAX East coverage, including the Borderlands 3 announcement and other reveals in the Borderlands universe.

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20+ Great Online Co-op Games Currently on Steam for Less Than $30 https://www.gameskinny.com/trd74/20-great-online-co-op-games-currently-on-steam-for-less-than-30 https://www.gameskinny.com/trd74/20-great-online-co-op-games-currently-on-steam-for-less-than-30 Sat, 30 Jun 2018 19:32:38 -0400 Ashley Shankle

If your group of friends is anything like mine, getting them all to both agree to and pay for a particular game is harder than herding feral cats. Maybe you're in a similar situation or maybe you're just on the prowl for some good multiplayer games to play in Steam Remote Play. Whatever the case, we've compiled a sizable list to help you out.

The good thing about Remote Play is that only one player in the group needs to own the game; the rest can try it out for free — at least in its current beta period. 

Let's choo choo on through, and hopefully, find you and your friend(s) a game you can play.

Terraria

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

You'll see this game mentioned on just about every list of co-op games. This co-op sandbox-adventure has loads of content for any group of friends to go to town on. Terraria has stayed on the top played Steam games for 7 years for good reason.

Grim Dawn

Price: $24.99
Steam Store link

If you're looking to scratch your ARPG itch, you could do a lot worse than Grim Dawn. Even without the expansion, you can find dozens of hours of whackin' and lootin' in Grim Dawn. If you're not too keen on its darker aesthetic but do want an ARPG, the next option may be more down your alley.

Torchlight 2

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

It may be older than Grim Dawn, but Torchlight 2 still has a lot of staying power if you've never given the game a chance. There is more content to be found in Grim Dawn but Torchlight 2 has a robust array of mods available, including content, quality of life, and classes. This is still a solid buy today in 2018, and it can be modded for up to 8-player multiplayer.

Castle Crashers

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Another staple co-op game sure to be on pretty much every co-op list, Castle Crashers is the poster boy for co-op beat'em ups. This is an easy one for all ages and kill levels to get into and have fun with.

BattleBlock Theater

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Another game from The Behemoth, the same studio behind Castle Crashers. BattleBlock Theater's campaign is completely co-op and it also features a healthy selection of hectic PvP modes, for when you want to prove your better than your friends once and for all.

Rocket League

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

Before you say, "Ugh, no. Too mainstream," take a breath and consider Rocket League as a co-op game with a low barrier of entry and a whole lot of speed. Rocket League may not be your first choice, but it's an easy game to get a group of people to agree to hop onto for a quick round.

Risk of Rain

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

Risk of Rain is a co-op game with an unquenchable bloodlust. Though not for everyone due to its extreme difficulty, Risk of Rain is an easy buy for roguelite fans or groups of friends who hate life. It's a hard game and it will knock you down a peg with ease, whether you've got 1 hour or 300 hours worth of gameplay logged.

Risk of Rain 2 is pretty good, too. It's currently $19.99 on Steam

Beat Hazard

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

This one always seems to slip through the cracks since it's been blessing Steam with its presence for eight years now, but despite its age, Beat Hazard continues to be a recommended purchase for co-op play, providing you and your friend(s) are good at shmups. Beat Hazard lets you use your own music or one of many radio stations to generate enemies, which is what makes this one so unique.

Ultimate Chicken Horse

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Playing this game with a group of friends is an exercise in sadism. You and up to three other friends will be tasked with creating and completing the stages in Ultimate Chicken Horse, and you can bet at least one (or even all) of you will make them nearly impossible to beat, in the name of being the better platformer player. Ridiculously fun and honestly not as enraging as it sounds.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

An outlier among the other games in this collection, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes only requires one person to buy the game. There's a reason for that: Only one player is allowed to see the screen at a time, so only one can directly defuse the bomb. The other players must tell the defuser what to do based on the instructions in the manual.

If it sounds a little convoluted, that's because it is by design. Can you and your friends defuse a bomb? Maybe, maybe not. But you can certainly yell at each other trying.

Don't Starve Together

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Don't Starve has stood as one of the more accessible survival games over the years, and the multiplayer expansion Don't Starve Together may be an even more enjoyable game than the base with the Reign of Giants expansion. Together contains both, plus the ability to die in the forest with your friends. If  as in my case — you tried the original game but didn't enjoy it much, you may still find this fun.

Left 4 Dead 2

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

You may be dissuaded from picking Left 4 Dead 2 up based on its age. It's been out for 11 years now, it seems like everyone's been through the game. Why bother? If you haven't played it yet, this is your reminder to pick up L4D2 to play with your friends. It's still fun to this day, but it's best played with friends. Any community for a decade-old game is bound to be elitist and this game is no exception.

PAYDAY 2

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

If you don't play PAYDAY 2, it's possible the only thing you've heard about it was the hubbub about microtransactions a few years back. It's been a long time since then though, and the game is a solid heister. You don't need to play the first game to dive right into this one and, provided your group can cooperate, there are hours upon hours of heists for you to tackle.

Dungeon of The Endless

Price: $11.99
Steam Store link

How about something a little different? Amplitude's Endless universe has expanded this way and that, with "that" being Dungeon of the Endless, a pseudo-tower defense roguelike. In this, players must hoard resources and expand based on the ever-increasing threats of the depth of the dungeon. A single round in this game can take several hours and it is very hard, but if your group's into roguelikes you could do a lot worse.

Borderlands 2

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

Borderlands 2 is another old staple that still holds up today, especially multiplayer. Pushing through this game with friends is satisfying as firefights are intense and the weapon system is a ARPG-style lootfest. Not many games age as well as this one -- you can come back years later and still have a ton of fun.

Golf With Your Friends

Price: $7.99
Steam Store link

If you just want a game to pay a little attention to while chatting, this is an easy choice. Golf With Your Friends isn't exactly rolling in content variety and only contains 7 levels with 18 holes, but things are kept fresh through golf ball shapes and game modes. A very easy game to just sit back and play while having a couple beers and a laugh.

Human: Fall Flat

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

How about something a little less-in-your-face about its silliness? We've got some pretty quirky games listed here, but they're all a bit more obvious about it than the cooperative physics-based puzzle solving found in Human: Fall Flat. The one downside here is that there are not a lot of stages, but it's a good deal at this price. 

Project Zomboid

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

Don't let this game's graphics and the year it entered Steam Early Access fool you: Project Zomboid is a fleshed-out survival sandbox with hundreds of potential hours of gameplay, with continued support from its developer as it slowly shambles toward full release. If you and your group can accept the high learning curve, you can have a great time with this game.

Portal 2

Price: $9.99
Steam Store link

The Portal games are famous for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is (Spoilers!) the stellar co-op campaign. If you haven't played Portal 2 and you want a game to play with a friend, you may as well throw the $2 at Valve and see what all the hubbub is about.

Barony

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

An other roguelike to add to the pile, Barony is the closest to a traditional roguelike of any of the games listed here. It looks old, it feels old, and it plays like an old game. That's perfectly fine: You'll be hard-pressed to find another game that takes the classic roguelike formula, turns it 3D and realtime, and allows for online co-op. This one's pretty niche but you're in for a good time if you're comfortable with classic roguelikes.

Endless Legend

Price: $29.99
Steam Store link

Though Endless Space is currently also on sale, I would recommend Endless Legend over it for its similarities to the Civilization series and its overall fun factor. This is a more traditional-style 4X game. Expand, form alliances, wage wars -- it's up to you. A worthy strategy addition to most gaming groups on a budget.

Resident Evil 5

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

You don't hear much about Resident Evil 5 or 6 for a few reasons, but none of those reasons equate to them not being fun with friends. Resident Evil 5 is often overlooked in favor of 6 for co-op play because it retains the semi-tank controls found in its predecessor, but if you and a friend can adjust to that control style this is an intense and worthwhile co-op action game.

Resident Evil 6

Price: $29.99
Steam Store link

Like its predecessor, Resident Evil 6 is best played with a friend. Unlike its predecessor, it's got more modern, fluid controls and a whole lot of QTEs. This one is over-the-top in about every regard, to the extent I can't help but find it silly each playthrough. If you like classic Resi games, go with 5. If you can't deal with the antiquated controls, go with 6. The decision is as simple as that.

7 Days to Die

Price: $24.99
Steam Store link

One of the first titles in the survival game wave that paved the way for games such as Rust and ARK: Survival Evolved, 7 Days to Die still stands as one of the most played games on Steam and is just as fun now as when it came out. As with the two mentioned, 7 Days to Die allows you a great deal of freedom in your efforts to survive. Break, use, and do whatever you want to ensure your survival in a world overrun by over 50 types of zombies.

Orcs Must Die! 2

Price: $14.99
Steam Store link

The original Orcs Must Die! set off a chain reaction of action-tower defense clones, some good and some bad, but none really hold up to the sequel. Orcs Must Die! 2 is an improvement over the first game in almost every way, and has the added bonus of online multiplayer. It's easy to get into, easy to wrap your head around, and easy to spend too many hours in.

Tabletop Simulator

Price: $19.99
Steam Store link

This is a bit of a strange one since Tabletop Simulator itself isn't a game, but a mini-platform for tabletop gaming. The amount of games available via Tabletop Simulator are nearly endless, making this a fantastic purchase for any static group of friends who have trouble deciding on what to play or want to play board games without having to pick up after themselves.

---

These are definitely not all of the co-op games you can get for relatively cheap on Steam, but these are some I can personally recommend. I hope you've found at least one game you find worthy of your Steam library.

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6 of the Best Local Co-Op Indies the PS4 Was Graced With in 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/3g8hh/6-of-the-best-local-co-op-indies-the-ps4-was-graced-with-in-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/3g8hh/6-of-the-best-local-co-op-indies-the-ps4-was-graced-with-in-2016 Sat, 17 Dec 2016 12:35:50 -0500 Ashley Shankle

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Don't Starve Together

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Is this one of the biggest indies on PC? Yeah, probably. Is it also one of the biggest indies on PlayStation 4? Also probable!

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Don't Starve Together is a survival adventure, where up to two local players can ruin each other's good time while trying to stick it out in the unforgiving wilderness. You both must stay alive and try your best to retain your sanity and health, and of course not starve.

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There is so much to this game that there is not enough room for me to even begin here. This is a very different game from the rest mentioned in this list, and it's packed with so many hours of content its $14.99 PlayStation Store price tag is a total steal if you and your local bud(s) get addicted just like so many have on PC.

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There are many secrets in Don't Starve Together, but it's going to take dying over a dozen times to even begin to scratch the surface. With another player in co-op you have to share food and other resources, making this a true cooperative local co-op game... provided the person you're playing with isn't being a jerk.

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Don't Starve Together is flexible and allows for long play sessions should you get lucky -- just don't get mauled, don't go insane, don't freeze to death, don't starve, and don't let your co-op partner hoard resources.

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As mentioned at the start of this article, 2016 has been a fantastic year for indies on the PlayStation 4. Both single and multiplayer indie games are more abundant than ever and 2017 is bound to be even better -- but if not, at least there are plenty of amazing couch co-op run-offs from 2015 and 2016 to sink your teeth into on the console.

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Super Mutant Alien Assault

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So many games on this list are going to kill you a million times, what am I even thinking? I'm thinking, "Dealing with a bunch of bull with friends is way better than on your own," and that's very much the case with Super Mutant Alien Assault.

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An arcade-style meatgrinder roguelite that allows for up to two local players, Super Mutant Alien Assault's gameplay is just as blood-pumping as its music. Each stage you push through is a trial thanks to the random weaponry you're given and the variety of goals the game may throw your way, and it's absolutely packed to the brim with unlocks.

\n

Some may overlook this game because of its generic title, but it's definitely up there among the best local co-op roguelites on the PlayStation 4. A run generally won't last as long as one would in the previously listed Enter the Gungeon or Risk of Rain. The ship's radiation mutating your enemies should they be alive too long will make sure of that.

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It's fast, it's fun and it's only $9.99 at its standard price on the PlayStation Store. There isn't much else to say -- in this case, if this game looks like a good time to you, it definitely will be.

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Risk of Rain

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I'm going to recommend this game any chance I get and there's nothing GameSkinny can do to stop me.

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Risk of Rain is one of the better-known indies on PC due to all the media coverage when it came out in 2013 -- and it's still one of the best. It's pretty much just as good on PlayStation 4 as it is on PC, and is probably the second least forgiving game on this list.

Boy, is it worth it.

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The game launched on PS4 in 2016, complete with the whole PC experience, as well as online matchmaking. But the focus here is local co-op, and it's got that, too. Up to two local players can play locally on console.

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Risk of Rain is a frantic action platformer that is absolutely brutal, and even (especially?) when playing with another person in local co-op on console, it becomes an even more trying effort as you must portion out items and share the same screen.

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This game takes dozens of hours to get good at, and there are a good number of unlocks, but even the best player can get murdered in a split second with a misplay. It takes both skill and luck to push forward, and a run can either be a few minutes or well over an hour, depending on both factors.

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Risk of Rain can be grabbed up on the PlayStation Store for a paltry $9.99, which is a tiny sum considering how easy it is to rack up hours both solo and in multiplayer.

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The Bug Butcher

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This one may be a hard sell if you're not inclined toward shoot'em ups, but between The Bug Butcher's manageable difficulty, bangin' soundtrack and satisfying pew-pewing, it's really difficult not to recommend this game to someone looking for a quick pick up and play co-op game on PS4.

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The Bug Butcher is a vertical shoot'em up... kind of. While you certainly shoot upward and clear out waves of enemies while dodging their attacks and bouncing bodies, it's a different sort of animal from what one traditionally expects from the genre. And that animal is good.

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The game allows up to two local players to cooperate and shoot their way through countless enemies as the clock ticks down. You can stave off the timer and stave off your enemies, but if one of you has died enough and can't be resurrected by the other play fast enough, it's game over.

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The Bug Butcher is great to play with other people in short bursts. You pick it up, push as far as you can until one of you dies for good, and either go at it again on the same or different map or put it down. It's very easy to play a (hopefully not too) quick round and accidentally turn that into five or more in a casual play sitting.

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The game's singleplayer Mission mode has progression, but multiplayer Panic mode is where it's at for quick and totally fun gameplay sessions with a friend.

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Unlike the other games on the list, no one has paid much attention to The Bug Butcher, despite it being both fun and affordable. If a more arcade-style co-op game sounds down your alley, you may want to grab this up on the PlayStation Store for its standard price of $9.99.

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Enter the Gungeon

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Another popular indie title this year, Enter the Gungeon is a far cry from the four-player frantic struggle of Overcooked but not all that far off from the other games on this list.

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Enter the Gungeon allows up to two local players to cooperate as they shoot and dodge-roll their way through the perilous Gungeon, a dungeon both made of and filled with guns of unimaginable types. Well, unimaginable as a player. The devs certainly thought of them. But anyway ... 

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Despite its labeling as a bullet hell, the game is much more accessible than actual shoot'em ups and hardcore bullet hells. Bullet speed is generally on the slower side, and enemies have patterns for you and your gameplay partner to learn and eventually overcome completely. It may seem impossible the first couple hours, but in time you'll be a dodging and shooting machine.

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Enter the Gungeon's crazy tight gameplay is paired with a whole buffet of charm, from the enemies and music down to the gun and equipment descriptions. You'll stay alive longer in this than you will in the similar Nuclear Throne, and pushing to new depths and unlocking new guns is extremely satisfying.

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This bad boy can be picked up on the PlayStation Store for a mere $14.99 at regular price, and it makes for an excellent entry point into this intimidating genre.

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Overcooked

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The only strictly "party" game on the list, Overcooked has gotten a fair amount of attention since its release on both consoles and PC in August for its unique premise and frantic cooking gameplay.

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Up to four local players must cooperate to run a kitchen within a time limit, and let me tell you, cooperation is hard when you have to manually do every task from grabbing and chopping ingredients, putting together food orders, serving them and washing the dishes -- and that's not even going into the variety of stages that test your personal and team coordination and timing.

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Overcooked is by far the most stressful game on this list, but it is also the most full-on party gaming experience. You won't laugh as you play, but you will cry, scream and wonder why your fellow players can't just get on the efficiency ball. Should you and your fellow players be able to cooperate and coordinate properly, you'll run like a well-oiled machine all the way to the "this is immensely satisfying" bank.

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You can pick this baby up for $16.99 on the PlayStation Store when it's at its standard price, and there are two other editions with some extra content for the true gaming gourmet.

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2016 has been an absolutely amazing year for indie games on the PlayStation 4. The list of indies that have made their way to the console this year alone is a long one, and anyone looking for easily accessible couch co-op these days need look no further than the PlayStation Store's indie section.

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From high-tension pseudo-shoot 'em ups and roguelites to survival and platformers, the PlayStation 4's got some good variety in the co-op department that makes it easy to sit down for a few hours with a friend or loved one and just gnaw on the ol' gaming bone.

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This list will touch on six of the console's most gripping co-op indie games that are a lot harder on your fingers than they are on your wallet. They may be ports from the PC or other platforms, but they're well-worth your money on PS4 if you specifically are looking for games to play with other people in real life, the old-fashioned and superior way.

"}]]]>
Kickstarer: Blubber Busters - A Combat-Oriented Whale Doctor Platformer Now On Kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/zeb0c/kickstarer-blubber-busters-a-combat-oriented-whale-doctor-platformer-now-on-kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/zeb0c/kickstarer-blubber-busters-a-combat-oriented-whale-doctor-platformer-now-on-kickstarter Mon, 26 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Hello, and welcome to Kickstarer, where we dig up interesting video game Kickstarter and other crowdfunding campaigns, and stare at them until they exist. Today we will be looking at Blubber Busters, an action-oriented 2D Platformer with a team of indie and AAA veterans working on it, and a creative premise that lends itself to all kinds of new ideas.

Blubber Busters is being developed by new developer Thar Be Monsters, which as previously mentioned, is composed of a large handful of seasons developers from circles of both AAA gaming and indie gaming alike. Employees of Thar Be Monsters have worked on titles such as League of Legends, Darksiders 2, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Enter the Gungeon among others.

As for Blubber Busters itself, it is a combat-centric platformer, whereyou choose one of four different playable characters, and seek to cure the illnesses of giant space whales by annihilating them with enormous weaponry. Like many recent indie platformers, Blubber Busters takes strong inspiration from other games like Mega Man X and the Metroid series, what with it's 2D space exploration and familiar jumping and shooting. 

Blubber Busters' premise of exploring the insides of space whales in order to make them feel better lends it a great jumping off point for a humorous tongue-in-cheek plot, as well as a detailed and unique visual style, both of which the game evidently takes advantage of. The art-style in particular is a standout feature, being appropriately jagged and gnarly for the space-marines-meet-internal-organs feel they were going for, and the artistic talents of the former Ori and the Blind Forest and Darksiders 2 developers shines through very clearly.

Another special feature present in Blubber Busters is that you are able to swap between the four different characters on the fly for different situations. This opens the game up for a great deal of diversity in combat, as well as puzzles, as the different weapons and abilities between characters, such as wall climbing with Eva the power-armored chef, or burning through barriers with Rudy the Janitor's flamethrower.   

The game also features uprgradable moves and equipment, as well as upgradable space stations. Treating whale patients will earn you cash, which you can use to upgrade each individual character to improve them in combat, or you can choose to upgrade your space station clinic hub, in order to analyze new infections, get more cutting edge tech, and treat more patients at once.  

Overall, despite it's familiar looking gameplay, Blubber Busters boasts a number of interesting ideas and is definitely worth at least a look. You can check out the game's Kickstarter page by clicking here, where there is a free prototype of the game available for download, and you can follow Thar Be Monsters on Twitter by clicking here.

You can also watch the game's Kickstarter launch trailer down below:

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Risk of Rain on PS4/Vita falls short in the multiplayer department https://www.gameskinny.com/nvjx5/risk-of-rain-on-ps4vita-falls-short-in-the-multiplayer-department https://www.gameskinny.com/nvjx5/risk-of-rain-on-ps4vita-falls-short-in-the-multiplayer-department Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:57:37 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Hopoo Games could not have released a better game than Risk of Rain as their first full-release game. It's just difficult enough to keep you going and just addictive enough to find it hard to stop. The gameplay is tight, music is great, and the overall experience is supremely gratifying.

There's certainly a reason Risk of Rain still has active players spattered about the Internet, eager for a host with a good connection for multiplayer runs. And that is because it is amazing.

My personal hype for Risk of Rain on PlayStation 4 and Vita was overshadowed by my dismay the console version of the game was getting dedicated servers, while we PC players still have to struggle with port forwarding and Hamachi.

Trying to connect to other players can be a nightmare with on PC, not to mention the game's desyncing issues mid-play. Any fan without a PS4 would rightfully be upset to hear the PC version would be the "inferior" one due to its not-so-great netcode.

But in action, the PlayStation 4 and Vita version of the game is not the PC-version killer some made them out to be. The console ports fall short of Risk of Rain on PC, primarily for multiplayer-oriented reasons.

Local co-op is regretfully the same as on PC

Risk of Rain is better with other people. It's a fact. It is also not all that amazing for local co-op no matter the platform.

Local co-op for the console release works the same as it does on PC. Both you and the other player can't wander too far away from one another and you can't see your individual items.

Much of the overall experience is drained by these two factors because of the limited mobility and the inability to keep track of your own items. Keeping both players in sight is a nightmare with a few Paul's Goat Hooves.

Local co-op has always been a mostly ignored feature of the PC release and it's obvious it was never intended to be amazing, but it's a big draw to the PlayStation 4 version in particular. Unfortunately much of the potential fun of console local co-op is sucked dry by its similarity to the PC version instead of trying to make the experience more friendly to console co-op players.

Fans hoping to play easily with friends and family at home should bear this in mind and be aware only two players can play local co-op at the same time.

Online multiplayer isn't really improved either

Look, I don't like having to use Hamachi. I don't know anyone that does. But I'm more willing to deal with Hamachi and spend a little time trying to get a game up and running than I am being stuck only being able to connect to one other console at a time for multiplayer.

The PS4/Vita release only allows you to connect to one other console at a time, which means you can have a maximum of four players at a time with two using one screen on one console and two on one screen on another.

Let's rewind a bit and paste the letters W, H, A, and T over the above paragraph because that's the way I felt when I could only play with one other person online (or two people on the same console).

The above is upsetting enough, but it's baffling that the game can only connect to one other console and still has desync issues. Not only that, but it's not uncommon to get stuck at the connecting screen trying to get matched with other players. It's far from ideal even when compared to the issues with PC connectivity.

I can see wanting the PS4/Vita version for online multiplayer with a friend without the connection-adjusting that comes alongside dealing with the PC version, but groups of 3 or more people would do better sticking to Risk of Rain on PC.

Spite is broken

Oh, Spite. My second favorite artifact.

Spite is great if you want a challenge ramp up on the PC version of Risk of Rain. But currently this artifact barely works on console.

Some Risk of Rain players have seen it, the bug where Spite only spits out one funball (bomb) per mob. It sucks, but it only happens on one level, then you're back to bosses spewing bombs on death like explosive pinatas.

This bug appears to be present in the console version, but it doesn't just last for one level. Instead no mobs will ever cough up more than one bomb at a time. Colossi? One bomb. Overloading Magma Worms? One bomb. Everything just drops a single funball.

Spite is on in this run and I just killed an Ancient Wisp. Where are the bombs?

Hopefully this is indeed a bug and not a concession made for the port. And if it is, hopefully Hopoo Games does fix it. Glass and Spirit without Spite is like a burger without the condiments. Why even bother?

Risk of Rain remains one of my favorite games of all time despite its flaws. Hopoo Games is releasing a bugfix patch for the PC release and hopefully the console port will similarly get some love from Hopoo and port-exclusive assistant developers Code Mystics.

I never thought I would have seen the day the game flew the coop and found its way on console, but it did. But the port trades the graphical slowdowns you get on PC for less than stellar online play that one would generally expect from a console release.

Despite my absolutely rabid enthusiasm for it in general I can't help but feel like Risk of Rain on a platform other than PC could have been better than how it turned out on PS4/Vita. It is not the safe haven from connectivity issues I (and others tired of messing with port forwarding) were hoping it would be. At least the game doesn't slow down when there are a million things on screen. That's a plus.

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10 indie gems on Steam that are worth your time and hard-earned dosh https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxcd/10-indie-gems-on-steam-that-are-worth-your-time-and-hard-earned-dosh https://www.gameskinny.com/2gxcd/10-indie-gems-on-steam-that-are-worth-your-time-and-hard-earned-dosh Fri, 26 Feb 2016 06:17:36 -0500 Ashley Shankle

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Endless Legend

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Standard price: $29.99
Genre: 4X turn-based strategy
Demo: No
Steam Store link

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It's hard to say this one is a "hidden gem" considering how often it goes on sale, but when Civilization V is still the top 4X game on Steam, I can't help but bring this baby up in this list. It's fantastic.

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Endless Legend is exactly the type of evolution I, as a regular 4X strategy player, would like to see in ground-based entries (as opposed to space titles like Sins of a Solar Empire) to the genre. Instead of taking pages from popular staple Civilization V, developer Amplitude Studios went in their own direction and created a basically triple-A quality 4X with more of a focus on unit management over city management.

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The game's Hero system, which has players customize Hero units' skills and equipment to better lead their squads to battle or oversee their cities, is fresh, fun, and adds an additional layer of strategy,

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The gameplay variety between factions (and your ability to customize your own faction) means you can play pretty much the way you want -- within reason.

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If you like 4X games, there's pretty much no reason to not pick up Endless Legend. Except maybe the $29.99 price tag with additional paid content DLC. But you expect to put that sort of investment in a high quality strategy game.

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Cook, Serve, Delicious!

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Cooking sim
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

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I'd be willing to guess you probably haven't played a cooking simulation game before.

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Okay, you might have. They're not the rarest genre these days, but they are certainly not common.

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Cook, Serve, Delicious! is a particularly charming brand of cooking sim, with a heaping helping of muscle memory and stress with a side of nice-looking renders of food and a refreshingly appropriate (cheesy) music.

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While the sequel is on the horizon, the original game has more than enough content to keep the virtual cook busy for now.

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Climbing the restaurant ranks is quite the feat in the standard campaign mode -- don't let the "casual" tag on Steam fool you. You have to memorize dozens of recipes, rotate out menu items based on your recent menu choices and challenges, and excel at your craft when catering and when appearing on famous cooking shows.

\n

Did I mention there's a ton of muscle memory involved here? Remembering each recipe isn't easy, and every customer wants something different.

\n

The Battle Kitchen update released in 2014 brought new challenges, leaderboards, and a New Game+ mode for veteran chefs. It's a lot easier than actually running a restaurant, that's for sure.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/1e37a0ae8084cf49a71acf37c369d345.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/1e37a0ae8084cf49a71acf37c369d345.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7638","description":"

Wings of Vi

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Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Precision action platformer
Demo: Yes (On Steam Store page)
Steam Store link

\n

You may as well move onto the next slide if you don't like ramming yourself into one set of obstacles dozens of times -- Wings of Vi probably isn't for you even on Easy Mode.

\n

But hey, if you're cool with that you're in for one of the best precision platformers in a long time. Plus you get to play dress up, what's not to love?

\n

Don't let the angel protagonist fool you: Wings of Vi is an absolutely brutal platformer both in terms of combat and the platforming itself, and it is not about to let you finish the game without pulling your own hair out or breaking a few keyboards/controllers in the process.

\n

There's a lot of care put into the game's music and visuals, and it plays exactly the way you'd want -- except weapon swapping is sometimes a hindrance.  There are plenty of secrets to be found, specifically new weapons and cosmetic items for Vi. It's just a joy to play if precision platformers are your type of game.

\n

If you make it through Wings of Vi, you get some serious bragging rights. But good luck with that, grasshopper.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/5f23f800902b5bce143913f86e5cf0f3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/5f23f800902b5bce143913f86e5cf0f3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7637","description":"

SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition

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Standard price: $7.99
Genre: ASCII turn-based RPG roguelite
Demo: Yes (On the Steam Store link)
Steam Store link

\n

Stop, don't go! ASCII games need love too, even in this day and age. And SantuaryRPG: Black Edition may just be the one that fits perfectly in your Steam library.

\n

SanctuaryRPG is a curious game. Despite sticking to some seriously classic RPG traditions and visuals, it's a peculiarly modern game with an addictive battle system that requires the player to pay close attention to enemy states and chain ability usage.

\n

While it seems a serious, slow game, it couldn't be more the opposite. What we have here is a fairly silly procedurally-generated RPG with more charm and secrets than you can shake a stick at, not to mention combat is pretty quick once you've got it down. And let's not get into its great soundtrack.

\n

This is one ASCII game that any PC RPG player can chow down on, even if they're unfamiliar with ASCII graphics. Definitely try the demo if you're even remotely curious.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/f91ef7b98748fd586f976b40127c64ae.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/f91ef7b98748fd586f976b40127c64ae.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7636","description":"

Vagante

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Early Access price: $14.99
Genre: Action RPG roguelite
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

\n

Wary of Early Access games? Me, too. But this is definitely not one to worry about. It's been in Early Access since late 2014, but developer Nuke Nine has packed to the brim with content and quality of life updates since the beginning.

\n

Vagante is like Spelunky with far more RPG elements, action, and sheer ruthlessness in design. It's slower than Spelunky, more complicated than Spelunky, and may just be the better game for you if you'd like a more serious RPG tint to your dungeon and cave-diving.

\n

This game is not even remotely for the casual gamer.

\n

Of all the roguelites on this list, Vagante is the one that took me the longest to get the hang of and progress in, thanks to the random unidentified drops (thanks cursed equipment) and RPG stat/skill leveling. It's worth it, though: Just about everything in this game is stellar, and at the current rate of updates the full release version is shaping up to be amazing.

\n

If you like roguelites and are comfortable with being even worse at the start than usual in these types of games, you have nothing to lose but hours of your life with Vagante. Especially once online multiplayer is released.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/1ff3495b14f2a9bf4bad4008c922bf6a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/1ff3495b14f2a9bf4bad4008c922bf6a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7632","description":"

LISA

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Side-scrolling turn-based RPG
Demo: No
Steam Store link

\n

I know, RPG Maker games don't have the best reputation and LISA certainly was an RPG Maker game, as you can see in the trailer -- though developer Dingaling did port it out of the engine not too long after release.

\n

What a boring way to start a description of what may be one of the strangest RPGs to see release, and what is certainly one of my favorite games of all time.

\n

LISA puts you in the shoes of Brad Armstrong, and you're out to save the last girl in the world -- whether it's the right thing to do or not.

\n

It's difficult to describe this game even as someone who has played it several times. It's dark and uncomfortable, a stark contrast to a certain other indie RPG (you know what it is). The music is catchy and weird, sometimes grating. The battle system is basic but has its merits.

\n

The story and characters are where it's at in LISA, but the game is not for everyone. It's not for the sensitive or squeamish, but it is for the adventurous gamer with a twisted streak. And if you want a game that utterly confounds you and ultimately makes you feel like trash, this is the way to go.

\n

Spoilers: You do want a game that utterly confounds you and ultimately makes you feel like trash, you just don't know it yet.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/6bae66e74a928b516147b91f2b70677b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/6bae66e74a928b516147b91f2b70677b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7635","description":"

Risk of Rain

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Standard price: $9.99
Genre: Action platformer roguelite
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

\n

I don't think I could put into words how great Risk of Rain is if you're the type who prefers games that are tough as nails.

\n

I also don't think I could put into words how upset I am the PC version's netcode is so awful while the upcoming PS4 and Vita version is getting dedicated servers. My butthurt on that point is very real. But that isn't what this article is for.

\n

Risk of Rain is still an amazing game on Steam if you don't have a PlayStation 4/Vita, even if you have to jump through portforwarding hoops to make online multiplayer work.

\n

Things start out soft in a Risk of Rain run, but don't worry: there's plenty waiting to kill even the most seasoned player. Pushing through, your enemies become more wall than beast or machine -- and you, with luck, will become more weapon than man and escape the planet.

\n

The controls are tight, the music is amazing, and the variations between characters and their synergies with particular items is a delight.

\n

I can't think of a single bad thing about Risk of Rain outside of its janky multiplayer, and that is something I'm going to complain about until I'm on my deathbed trying to get in one more round with Acrid with Spite, Enigma, Glass, and Spirit activated.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/526331635fa647fc91615a55fe04263f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/526331635fa647fc91615a55fe04263f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7634","description":"

Road Not Taken

\n

Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Turn-based puzzle roguelite
Demo: No
Steam Store link

\n

The trailer in the header may not make Road Not Taken seem like a stellar puzzle game, but there's so much potential gameplay here for puzzle fans it's hard not to recommend.

\n

Road Not Taken has you wander into the cold, unforgiving wilderness to save lost children -- which, as you may expect, is not as simple as it seems.

\n

Players must pick up items they come across and toss them to open doors or combine them to make new items. Saving children is done much in the same way, as you unceremoniously toss them at their parents.

\n

As Road Not Taken is a roguelite, it has infinite replayability and there really is no getting tired of befriending or wooing townsfolk, especially since things often do not turn out the way you expect.

\n

Truly a fantastic puzzler from Spry Fox and worth every penny.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/930bbc2af4265309fe0a3653560d9ae6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/930bbc2af4265309fe0a3653560d9ae6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7633","description":"

Valdis Story: Abyssal City

\n

Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Metroidvania action platformer
Demo: Yes
Steam Store link

\n

Like Metroid? Castlevania? Devil May Cry? Why the hell haven't you played Valdis Story yet?

\n

This little gem was a surprise Greenlight in 2013, and despite the late release of the third and fourth characters last year, it remains one of the best games of the genre on Steam at the time of writing.

\n

Valdis Story: Abyssal City's plagued with absolutely awful things like:

\n
    \n
  • Great music
  • \n
  • Beautiful semi-3D visuals
  • \n
  • Responsive and flexible combat
  • \n
  • Secret areas and items
  • \n
  • Cool bosses
  • \n
  • Weapons, armor, and skill points to fit most playstyles
  • \n
\n

...All right, so those things are actually pretty great and so is Valdis Story.

\n

The controls definitely take some getting used to, and wall-jumping can be pretty awful at times. But if you can get over those points, you're in for one fun ride no matter the character you choose. A great buy for any action platformer or Metroidvania fan.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/af245c47475a145513c7d7cef11e3928.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/f_auto/v1/gameskinny/af245c47475a145513c7d7cef11e3928.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7631","description":"

Desktop Dungeons

\n

Standard price: $14.99
Genre: Turn-based roguelike
Demo: No, but you can try a prototype from 2010
Steam Store link

\n

Do you like math? No? Me neither, but man I love me some Desktop Dungeons.

\n

The game may seem like your typical roguelike at first glance, but it quickly becomes apparent it's not like its brutal brethren in one key way: it requires the player scope out a floor, check out enemy numbers and available resources. Once you've done so, you plan your strategy based on your level and enemy levels, your HP, MP,  and spells.

\n

Desktop Dungeons is definitely one of the more planning-intensive roguelikes I've delved into over the years and I'm not ashamed to say I've whipped out a calculator on multiple occasions to plan my strategy.

\n

If you like roguelikes and want something a little different, this may be one of the best options out there. The gameplay depth paired with unlockable races, classes, and other goodies makes it a well-rounded and excellent addition to any roguelike library.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-indies-header-06908.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steam-indies-header-06908.png","type":"slide","id":"104793","description":"

It's basically raining indie games on Steam, all the time. You can't go a day without looking at the New Releases section of the Steam Store and seeing a list of indie games. They're everywhere! But if you've dipped your feet into the indie pool before, you know they can be a gamble without some research.

\n

What's the best way to find indie games on Steam you'd like? Well, going to a game's Store page, checking out the similar titles at the bottom of the listing, and checking their reviews and discussion forums are technically the best way.

\n

But man, that takes effort.

\n

More often than not, I just buy my indie games based off recommendations from other similarly-minded individuals. Most of my friends also make their purchases based off word of mouth. You can make a bad purchase even when going off recommendations -- but that's what refunds are for. Sweet, sweet refunds.

\n

There's a lot out there to wade through, and you mostly base your indie buys off word of mouth anyway. Don't lie, I know you do. Why not take a look at some of mu suggestions? You (probably) won't be disappointed. I think. Maybe.

\n

Only one of these games is an early access title, and many have demos. What's there to lose? Aside from your future.

"}]]]>
The best co-op games to play with your sweetheart on Valentines day https://www.gameskinny.com/j33d2/the-best-co-op-games-to-play-with-your-sweetheart-on-valentines-day https://www.gameskinny.com/j33d2/the-best-co-op-games-to-play-with-your-sweetheart-on-valentines-day Sat, 13 Feb 2016 12:21:56 -0500 Emily Speight

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-5d42a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-5d42a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103340","description":"

It might not be romantic in the traditional sense, but we’re sure that a day or night spent with some of these games is time well spent with your partner. Happy Valentine’s Day!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steamworkshop-webupload-previewfile-122474054-preview-5fdbe.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/e/steamworkshop-webupload-previewfile-122474054-preview-5fdbe.png","type":"slide","id":"103337","description":"

For the couple who just got back from seeing Deadpool: Killing Floor

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Killing Floor leaves the fourth wall fairly firmly intact, but it’s definitely cut from the same cloth as Deadpool. The Merc with a Mouth would probably enjoy a few rounds of this well-regarded co-op shooter. But the real question is which one of you gets to play as the Pyro, and which one as Harold Lott -- an homage to Harry Enfield’s LOADSAMONEY act.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-super-mario-bros-5e255.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/w/new-super-mario-bros-5e255.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103336","description":"

For the couple who want to test the strength of their love: New Super Mario Bros U

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“True love can conquer anything,” say couples who have never found themselves in shouting arguments over a platform in New Super Mario Bros U. Test the depth of your relationship with this bright, happy-go-lucky divorce simulator.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/r/trrrmncrft-df9e5.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/r/trrrmncrft-df9e5.png","type":"slide","id":"103334","description":"

For the couple who build blanket forts: Terraria OR Minecraft

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If you’re dating somebody who’s irrationally afraid of spiders, maybe skip over Minecraft in favor of Terraria. Both of these building/survival games deliver similar experiences in 2D and 3D respectively, so your choice is largely left up to taste here. Know that no matter what you pick, you’ll probably both blink and realize you’ve played it all night long.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/s/risk-rain-cover-808be.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/i/s/risk-rain-cover-808be.png","type":"slide","id":"103332","description":"

For the couple who love a challenge: Risk of Rain

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Risk of Rain is a genuine challenge. Crash land on an alien planet and use items scavenged from your downed ship to subdue the world’s wildlife. Play as one of twelve characters with your co-op partner and be ready to be taunted over and over by the game’s death messages.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/u/doubledragonneon-605c8.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/u/doubledragonneon-605c8.png","type":"slide","id":"103331","description":"

For the couple who high-five in the bedroom: Double Dragon Neon

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Plug in your controllers and get ready for a deluge of synth-pop; Double Dragon’s been remade. It’s exactly as over-the-top and totally radical as you’d expect. High-five to power up and to split life and take on one of Skeletor’s college roommates… IN SPACE! It’s as brainless and fun as it sounds.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-645ab.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-645ab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103338","description":"

For the couple who don’t mind a bit of a mess: Magicka

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And Magicka is an absolute mess: a glorious, bug-ridden, incredibly fun mess. Plug in a controller for your partner, make sure that friendly fire’s enabled, and have a blast killing everything between you and your goal… whatever that goal is. Saving the kingdom? In all the time I’ve played, I’ve honestly never known, and if you told me by this point, it would probably diminish the experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-togetherpromo-623a4.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/n/dont-starve-togetherpromo-623a4.png","type":"slide","id":"103330","description":"

For the couple who still watches Survivor after 31 seasons: Don’t Starve Together

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It’s still in beta, but don’t let that deter you from the standalone multiplayer version of Don’t Starve. Sadly, there’s no couch co-op, but Don’t Starve Together will happily run on laptops and over LAN.

In spite of the two negatives upfront, Don’t Starve Together is a truly excellent experience -- and one that will suck away all your time.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/2483712-diddy-kong-racing-95b1b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/8/2483712-diddy-kong-racing-95b1b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103329","description":"

For the couple who love retro: Diddy Kong Racing

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Enter “JOINTVENTURE” on the cheats menu and you’ll be able to play this game’s single player adventure in co-op. “DOUBLEVISION” will save fights over who gets to be T.T.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-05cb9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-05cb9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103328","description":"

For the couple who got into gaming only recently: Portal 2

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If either of you have only recently taken up gaming as a hobby, then you need to have a run through Portal 2’s co-operative campaign. Challenging, fun, and full of the wit and humor that has endeared the series to fans, you’ll enjoy learning to think with Portals.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saints-row-644e3.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/a/i/saints-row-644e3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103327","description":"

For the couple who are spending the day apart: Saints Row 3

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Sadly, there’s no couch co-op options for Saints Row: The Third. If you’re spending the day apart, however, you might be able to sink some time into this sillier take on the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Sure, Saints Row 2 is probably better -- but with no servers supporting it, setting a game up can be a hassle.

And besides -- Saints Row: The Third is the game that debuted The Penetrator, everybody’s favorite weaponized dildo.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/c/necrodancer-5ab2c.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/n/e/c/necrodancer-5ab2c.png","type":"slide","id":"103326","description":"

For the couple who never got around to those dance lessons: Crypt of the Necrodancer

\n

Never played Crypt of the Necrodancer? Then you missed out on one of 2015’s most original games. Blending roguelikes with rhythm games, this fantastic romp offers an oft-overlooked co-op mode.

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_360,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-42204.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/fl_lossy,q_80/c_limit,f_auto,h_85,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/r/portal-coop-hug-42204.jpg","type":"slide","id":"103339","description":"

An elaborate, romantic evening is great on Valentine's Day…if, of course, you’ve got the money and the time machine you’ll need to still book anywhere nice by this point. If you don’t or if that’s not your style, we’ve got the skinny on some great co-op games to snuggle up and play with your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

"}]]]>
Platformers aren't dead, they're just mostly indie right now https://www.gameskinny.com/fswy3/platformers-arent-dead-theyre-just-mostly-indie-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/fswy3/platformers-arent-dead-theyre-just-mostly-indie-right-now Tue, 16 Feb 2016 18:11:40 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Everyone has their favorite game genre. RPG, FPS, puzzle, RTS, MMORPG...the list could go on.

The popularity of individual genres comes and goes in waves. Right now we're in a third-person action RPG phase. A few years ago we were amidst the big first-person shooter boom. Somewhere before then, RPGs dominated all but the sports game market -- and right in the middle of that period came the fall of platformers, the genre many who played games in the late 80s and early to mid-90s grew up with.

I grew up in that era, and like many others I cut my gaming teeth on Super Mario Bros. 3. Later I moved onto Kirby and Sonic, devoured Mega Man and Castlevania, then spent ages demolishing Rareware's N64 offerings, Spyro, and Crash Bandicoot. Some move on from platformers but I have not. Platforming games are all I need.

Within reason.

Someone outside of the retro or indie gaming communities may assume the platforming genre is dead. After all, how many big name platformers have been released in the past few years? And don't point toward third-person action adventure games like Uncharted and modern Tomb Raider as examples. They may have "jumpy bits" but they are certainly do not fit within the overarching "platforming" genre.

Platforming isn't dead, it's just not AAA anymore

Despite the genre's current "sleeper" status, there are still plenty of good platformers released today for both consoles and PC. One look at Steam's "Platformer" tag coughs up 630+ results, and a sizable portion of the best on there were released within the past three or four years.

So why is it the platforming genre is generally considered "dead"? At a time when more platformers are being released than ever, one can only assume it's simply because AAA developers/publishers aren't putting them out, with the odd game in the genre released by a big publisher being minimally marketed.

Sorry, Rayman Legends.

You can take the above as it is and go, "Yep, that's it!" but the issue may just be more complex than the exclusion by big publishers.

On one hand we have a woefully small pool of marketed platforming games these days, but on the other hand we have...well, a really mixed bag of indie releases.

The genre is one of the biggest among the indie development community. Indie platformers come in all styles, difficulties, types, and quality levels. And the quality levels are where people who are less familiar with the indie scene have trouble -- with platformers being one of the easiest genres to make, there are a ton of indie releases in the genre that are less than spectacular.

In the land of indie platforming games

There are 630+ games on Steam tagged as being platformers. But what percentage of that 630+ is worth your time? Not a ton, but wading through the indie game pools can lead to some truly stellar platforming experiences.

There are a lot of great games of the genre on Steam, but let's be real: A lot of what's available isn't exactly what most people would even consider halfway good.

Spelunky is, though. You should play it.

I'm not saying this is indicative of the average quality of platformers today, but it is something that every modern fan of the genre that plunges into the grimy depths of indie platforming games has to bear in mind when they're looking for something new.

Now let's be totally clear: Some of the indie-developed platforming games I've played over the past few years fit very snugly into my list of favorite games: La-Mulana, Spelunky, Risk of Rain, Freedom Planet, Wings of Vi, Rogue Legacy, Rabi-Ribi -- these are just a few of the indie platformer offerings that have won my heart (and rage) over the past three years. And each one is insanely different, showing creativity in the genre isn't dead.

It'd be too easy to lament the amount of not-so-great options out there these days, but variety is the spice of life. Many new developers migrate towards the genre because it's easiest to dive right into making, and everyone has to start somewhere. And that somewhere may lead to something truly special later.

The future of platforming

You may not see advertisements for the genre anymore, but it is by no means dead. Indie developers have kept the platforming train chugging along, filling the genre with respectable games and keeping the hype alive for what's to come.

Platformers may be hiding in the corners of both hardcore and casual gaming for now, but it's not going to be that way forever. The genre dips in and out of popularity as soon as another genre strangles the market share, but it never goes away. It never will -- platforming is one of the few genres developers haven't squeezed all the potential from, and it's possible they never will.

While I am eagerly awaiting upcoming indie platformer darlings Mighty No. 9 and Yooka-Laylee, even without those big names coming I could do just fine with what's else is on the pipeline. There's so much in terms of the platforming genre today, it's hard to get dissatisfied with what's available, even among the sub-par options. There are just too many good platformers out these days to count, much less let the bad wash away the good.

Just because platforming games don't get the attention they used to doesn't mean they're dead, and it certainly does not mean there aren't any amazing recent releases. Platforming is the one genre that can stand the test of time -- and right now it's standing quite proudly, regardless of its current marketing clout.

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Persistence: Gaming's Greatest Teaching https://www.gameskinny.com/oocib/persistence-gamings-greatest-teaching https://www.gameskinny.com/oocib/persistence-gamings-greatest-teaching Sat, 24 May 2014 23:39:57 -0400 Mike Acciarino

Playing Rogue Legacy, Spelunky, Volgarr the Viking, Hotline Miami, and Risk of Rain, games that can be excruciatingly difficult at times, and these games have me wondering what it is that keeps me crawling back for more. The simple answer would be that some of these games have leveling systems that just plain work. The sophisticated answer? These games are helping players like me build a strong sense of persistence.

The aforementioned titles are all about countless retries, repeated moments of “I can do so much better, let me have another go.” Maybe it is merely the stats that keep me from rage quitting, I'd probably fully agree with that point if it wasn't for Volgarr the Viking, possibly the hardest game I've ever played, which has zero stats whatsoever – and even forces you to start from the beginning of the game every time you decide to log back on, retro style.

As tedious as restarting the game sounds, it doesn't keep me from playing the hell out of it. My increasing persistence allows me to memorize each stage and eventually even master them. If Volgarr kept count of how many times I've died in my five or so hours of playtime, it'd be embarrassing to repeat here. Nonetheless, my persistence reigns true in this title especially, and nothing stops me from trying again and again to clear each stage. 

One of my proudest nerd moments was the time I beat the Forgotten One (above) from the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow DLC Resurrection. The entire DLC was this one, huge boss fight that had me pulling my hair out for a good hour and a half. The sense of relief I felt when I took the beast down is not exclusive to gaming.

I get the same feeling when acing a test I thought I'd done poorly on even after studying hard. Or after I've written a piece of fiction that receives positive feedback from multiple critics. Sure, it was one test, and sure, the critics might have been a few friends and family members - but if you're persistent, you have permission to feel a wave of relief at the finish line.

My theory is that enduring consistent struggles in something like a video game can carry over into the real world. As a student and creative writer, persistence is armor I want and truly need. Basically, small victories like slaying the Forgotten One might help me shake off potential rejections when I try to get my writing published someday.

Rogue Legacy (above) tallied up my playthroughs recently after I'd completed the game. I died two hundred and thirty-four times. Two hundred and thirty-four. That's a pretty insane number of deaths. Why I kept jumping back into the castle full of things that wanted to kill me – and did kill me – could arguably have been because of the title's level functionality, but I'm willing to bet it's because, subconsciously, I knew I could do better.

Failures in life can't be undone with a simple respawn or redo, but you can always pick yourself back up after you've fallen and try again. Especially, I've found, when it comes to writing. Your skill with a pen improves over time, practicing constantly with some inevitable flops. Keep your pen in hand long enough and you could write something people really dig.

J.K. Rowling was famously rejected twelve times when trying to publish her phenomenon Harry Potter. Lesser known fact, after being rejected because his story was too violent, author Chuck Palahniuk wrote an even more disturbing piece to piss his editor off. This work is today known as Fight Club, a book that spawned a cult classic film directed by David Fincher. When life (editors, coaches, parents, et cetera) knocks you down, and it will, come back swinging. Hell, start a fight club.

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What To Watch This Weekend: JSmithOTI https://www.gameskinny.com/eevx5/what-to-watch-this-weekend-jsmithoti https://www.gameskinny.com/eevx5/what-to-watch-this-weekend-jsmithoti Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:34:41 -0500 Andrew Wynans

Once again, the weekend is upon us, and it's time to plan out the weekend's entertainment.  For all of you who have significant others (or others that you wish were significant), I'm sure this Valentine's weekend will be full of hearts and flowers and chalky candies with sappy messages. I confess that I did consider indulging that particular inclination with this edition of What To Watch This Weekend.  But as I began researching for this week, I realized that I had already brought you some of my favorite husband and wife co-op videos in previous editions (StephenPlays' Stephen VS Mal - MarioKart and AwesomeMattG's Kapricious Plays).  So resisting the urge to track down dating simulator videos, I instead decided to go with quality over sentiment.  

So this weekend, when you are done reading through all your love notes, GameWisp recommends you spend some time with JSmithOTI.  Here are three video reasons why: 

Quick Looks

Today's header video is from JSmith's own brand of first impression videos, a series he calls Quick Looks.  The title is an apt description of the series, because these videos tend to feel similar to the first episode of a longer series.  He keeps the videos simple, essentially showing off the opening stages of gameplay and providing opinions as he goes. JSmith has a voice for commentary, and clearly has honed his craft over time. He is well spoken, easy to listen to, and very knowledgable about the games that he plays.  Life often requires homework, and even first impression videos benefit from background knowledge.  JSmith clearly does his homework, making his Quick Looks very informative and beneficial if you are watching in order to determine whether the game is worth buying. Previous episodes have included such titles as Game Dev Tycoon, Hotline Miami, and Scribblenauts Unlimited

Today's header video is his quick look at Trace Vector, a puzzle game with something of a rhythm-based feel by VexelGames.  The game is fairly simple, requiring you to pilot a space ship (which during gameplay is represented by a solid line similar to the light bikes in Tron) through various mazes as you try to find your way back home.  There is a delightful 80's arcade game feel to it, which makes for a great video with simple lines and colors set to upbeat music.  JSmith's upbeat commentary matches the overall tone of the game, and his opinions are informed and fair.  First impression videos are primarily reviews of a game, and I appreciate the fact that JSmith does not hold back, wondering a couple of times whether the simplicity of the game is worth the $10 pricetag.   Overall, this is a great edition of a well put together series, which is certainly worth your time. 

A Week Of...

JSmithOTI is an incredibly diverse channel, containing all sorts of videos from his Quick Looks, to traditional Let's Plays, to various co-op videos with other well-known Let's Players. This series fits neatly into the mix.  

In it, JSmith typically takes a particular game (or theme) and plays it for one week, getting as far as he can in thirty to forty minute increments.  The series is certainly more than an extended first look, and while the restricted time frame seems like it would lend itself to shorter, more linear games, JSmith is not afraid to take on the sandbox.  

This is perhaps best seen in JSmith's week-long jaunt into Minecraft.  Moreover, the series, like the channel, is wonderfully diverse, showcasing anything from Hearthstone, to Don't Starve, to State of Decay.  This series also presents a lesson in channel continuity, as many of the titles that first appeared in Quick Looks also appear here. 

This video is actually the very first video of the series in which JSmith plays Risk of Rain, described on Steam as an "action platformer with rogue-like elements."  In the video, JSmith brings his characteristic upbeat commentary to the opening stages of the game, giving plenty of tips and tricks for enhancing your gameplay.  The action-filled gameplay makes for an engaging video, with plenty of bad robots, jellyfish-like creatures, and other attackers to destroy.  The graphics are also interesting, though the size and color of the main character and various mobs sometimes makes them somewhat difficult to make out.  Overall, this is a great way to start the series, and definitely one worth watching. (Also, Risk of Rain is currently 40% off on Steam.)

Let's Stream  

JSmith is also one of the many YouTubers who have found the wonderful world of livestreaming on Twitch.tv.  Like many channels that both make videos and stream, JSmith often records his streams and posts them to his YouTube channel.  Such is the case with this video, the opening episode of JSmith's livestream of the The Wolf Among Us.  

On the one hand, JSmith's livestream video adds something different, as JSmith uses a facecam while livestreaming (which he does not use in many of his videos).  On the other hand, as with all livestream videos, the content was originally intended to be watched and interacted with live, so during the video he will often respond to live comments.  This sometimes can have the effect of breaking up the natural flow of the video.  However, The Wolf Among Us is such an great game, and JSmith is such an interesting gamer, that this series is certainly worth checking out. 

Overall, JSmith provides a diverse, upbeat channel, with an extensive library of content.  He posts often, and while he moves from game to game quickly, the focus on a game for an entire week ensures that viewers have enough of each title to be satisfied.  With quality content, and great connections to other channels, JSmithOTI is definitely a channel worth your time this weekend and many more weekends to come.  

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Online Co-op Added to Risk of Rain https://www.gameskinny.com/ffpvb/online-co-op-added-to-risk-of-rain https://www.gameskinny.com/ffpvb/online-co-op-added-to-risk-of-rain Tue, 30 Jul 2013 21:33:15 -0400 Qyzex

The action platformer/adventure game Risk of Rain - published by Chucklefish - is currently in beta, has recently announced its inclusion of online co-op, and it's available to use in the newest update.

Previously, only local co-op had been planned and implemented; but due to the large number of requests from fans to add online co-op, the Risk of Rain team has brought in Matthew Griffin - one of the men behind the game Wanderlust: Rebirth - to help add it to the game.

Also included in the most recent update are two new classes:

  • Acrid - a sort of monster/lizard type creature attached to a ball and chain, that uses melee attacks, and can poison enemies.
  • Huntress - a ranged archer equipped with a bow, a glaive, and cluster bomb arrows.

Hopefully you're as excited for Risk of Rain as I am, and the chance to play this beauty of a game with friends online makes it even more enticing. If you're interested in pre-purchasing and getting access to the beta, head on over to the Risk of Rain website.

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