Amazon Fire TV Platform RSS Feed | Amazon Fire TV RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 5 Great Party Games That Can be Played with a Controller or a Phone Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:28:35 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Game controllers are expensive, and it's frustrating to try and dig a bunch of them out when you have buddies over to play video games. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of great party games that don't require traditional game controllers in order to play! 

Whether they're controlled by a phone, tablet, or laptop, or don't even require any kind of controller at all, these five party games will get your buddies involved no matter how many controllers you own. 

Jackbox Party Packs 1-6

The mad geniuses behind the Jackbox Party Pack were by no means the first to pioneer the phones-as-controllers trend, but they were definitely the folks who popularized it. 

By now, Jackbox Party Packs are de rigueur at most hip social functions, the same way beer is. And although the games do vary in quality (I can't remember the last time anyone ever asked specifically if we could play Zeeple Dome), games like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, Fibbage, and, of course, the original trivia party game, You Don't Know Jack, are all near-perfect party games.

The wild thing is that Jackbox Games doesn't seem to be running out of ideas anytime soon. Jackbox Party Pack 6 is the strongest title from the studio yet, and they're already hard at work on the next one, which will include another entry in the Quiplash series, the best game franchise they've ever created. It's possibly the best party game ever made.

And yes, these games are obvious picks, but they're also not the only ones out there.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a singular gaming experience that was, at launch, held back by requiring a virtual reality rig. Now, it's available across platforms (although if possible, I do recommend trying to play it in VR, even if it's just via Google Cardboard or a Gear VR system).

The gist is this: one player is tasked with defusing a bomb, but they have no idea how to do it. The rest of the players use their phones or tablets to access the bomb defusal manual to help them out. As the timer counts down to the big kaboom (complete with an anxiety-inducing ticking), the players must communicate as the bomb defuser can't see the manual, and the other players can't see the bomb.

How the bomb is defused depends on how the bomb looks, so it isn't long before the game devolves into a hilarious, stressful romp full of "cut the red wire!" "WAIT, NO: CUT THE GREEN WIRE!" "Are you sure?" "No, actually, don't cut any wires!"

It's incredibly unique, and the tense nature of the game is turned up to full if the bomb defuser is wearing a VR headset, effectively trapping themselves in a room with the bomb as it ticks, ticks, ticks away. If you're anything like me, this isn't a game you'll be able to play for more than 30 minutes or so at a time, but even still, those 30 minutes are incredibly fun.


Spaceteam bills itself as the original "cooperative shouting game" and that's pretty much the best way to introduce it. The game supports between two and eight players, all of whom are tasked with the near-impossible task of flying the universe's worst spaceship ever  together.

Each player's phone displays a different collection of panels, dials, buttons, and switches, as well as an action that must be performed in order to keep the ship running smoothly.

The trick is that most of the time, you don't have the right button to press to perform the action your phone is telling you to. This is where the cooperative shouting comes in.

Quickly, the game becomes exhilaratingly-quick and fun, with just a dash of stress sprinkled in for good measure. And better yet, the game is 100% free, though if you enjoy it, you can join the Admiral's Club and support the developer's future projects in exchange for more content!


Halfway between Mario Kart and Twisted Metal, Obliteracers is a high-action racing title that allows for a whole bunch of control options including keyboards and gamepads. However, it also lets up to 16(!) players to control their vehicles using a phone, tablet, or even another laptop or computer connected to the same network.

The game itself is no slouch either: it's frenetic, responsive, and sports a variety of game modes perfectly tailored to any environment, whether you want more of a hardcore battle racing experience, or whether you want to kick back with a party mode. Don't sleep on this one.

Use Your Words

Don't write Use Your Words off as a Jackbox ripoff. Yes, it is a party game that counts on you and your friends being funny, but Use Your Words sets itself apart with a distinct visual style and voice.

As with the Jackbox Party Packs, you'll be controlling the game using your phone, but the minigames on display here are different, more bite-sized, and they're more suited for casual-drop-in-and-drop-out party play, from a captioning contest to a wonderfully shameless spoof of Family Feud.

The game supports between three and six active players, but up to 1,000 folks can join the game's audience and participate as well! It's a shame that, despite its quality, it will always be compared to its beefier cousin over at Jackbox. It deserves to be appreciated on its own merits.


That's it for our list on the best party games that you can play with any controller, including a phone. Are there any we missed that should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below!  

Tech Giants Want in on Cloud Gaming Sun, 13 Jan 2019 13:07:27 -0500 notat_hall

The future of gaming is streaming, as two more companies are set to create cloud gaming services.

With Google, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, having already teased their streaming plans, two more companies have staked a claim in the streaming sphere.

Amazon, who own Twitch, are reportedly set to start their own cloud-based streaming service. Following up from an initial report on The Information, The Verge found job listings from Amazon, calling for engineers to work on cloud-based games. There is also a listing for a “Lead Cross Platform Game Engineer.”

Amazon Games does already exist (although it has done very little) so they already have the infrastructure in place for game development. Their infrastructure is perhaps what makes Amazon one of the more viable success stories in cloud gaming. The more servers you have around the world, the wider the audience your service will function for, as proximity does make a difference to quality.  

They join telecommunication giant Verizon, whose streaming service is already functioning on the Nvidia Shield TV box and is set to come to Android phones. According to The Verge, the service is being shipped out to testers for a trail period running up until the end of January. It seems to be controlled by an Xbox One controller, and screenshots show an unbelievable array of games, including PS4 exclusive God of War, and the console only Red Dead Redemption 2. As exciting as that sounds, this is very early days for the service, and these are likely placeholders.

Look out for more details on these services, and perhaps for more names to step forward with streaming services as the race for dominance in this burgeoning market continues.

Torque Drift Promises to be the First Triple-A Mobile Drifting Game Mon, 30 Jul 2018 16:29:26 -0400 UltimateWarriorNot

Grease Monkey Games, a small mobile games developer based out of Melbourne, Australia, have recently announced that their new game, Torque Drift, will be hitting beta very soon. The game looks to be a blend between arcade and simulation, all centered on the world of drifting.

Even with the likes of the Fast and Furious franchise, a la' Tokyo Drift, we haven't seen all too many games focused solely on drifting. Instead, the sport of drifting is often incorporated into other racing games. Grease Monkey seeks to change that with both single player and multiplayer available in their game.

Throughout racing game history, we have seen drifting slowly incorporated in racing games with titles such as Burnout and Need for Speed. But rarely have we seen a game devoted to the sport itself, one that delves deep into the mechanics and technical aspects of the sport. It seems quite odd that we haven't had drifting focused games, considering it seems to be something players love to do in all games that allow it.

While a game focused on just drifting is enough to raise an eyebrow, the idea of a AAA racing game on mobile goes to show the leaps and bounds that have occurred in mobile gaming over the past few years. The developers are promising "console-quality graphics" and an intuitive control system that will delight racing fans worldwide.

As drifting fans ourselves, we have gone into this creation as fans, looking to create something that's fun and true to the sport.

-- Arran Potter the Director of Grease Monkey Games.

Admittedly, the game, in its early trailer and screenshots, is shaping up nicely, but one does get concerned about the controls on a touchscreen device. When I reached out the PR rep about the controls and the overall quality of the game, CEO of Vicarious PR Michael Brown's response was simple:

Mobile games have come a long way from what they used to be. The technology is changed constantly which allows developers to ramp up quality, content and design. Torque Drift is going to be the drifitng game that sets the standard for some time to come.

Luckily, it won't be long to see the game in action; the developers announced that open beta for both iOS and Android devices has already begun. Players can sign up on their website

Once launch comes around, Grease Monkey has promised that a host of content and real-world drivers and their cars will come to the game, so if you are a big fan of the scene, that is sure to be a nice treat.

No firm release date has been given, but the developers have said that a soft launch should be hitting within the next few months. Only time will tell if Torque Drift does become the next mobile racing game standard, but even at this early stage, it certainly has potential.

If Torque Drift manages to be a hit with both fans of the sport, general racing fans and potentially gamers who don't traditionally enjoy racing games. It could be the tip of the iceberg for future games focusing on drifting as its very own thing and not as an attractive sideshow to a traditional racer.

How to Breed Turtles in Minecraft Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:08:49 -0400 Autumn Fish

Minecraft's Bedrock Edition added 3,000 new species of fish, Drowned Zombies, Bubble Columns, and even Turtles, the later of which is an incredibly unique addition. Why? Because you can breed them.

Breeding turtles in Minecraft is important since an adult turtle drops a Scute, and you can craft a Turtle Shell with five Scute. Wearing a Turtle Shell gives you the Water Breathing status effect, which prevents you from drowning or losing oxygen underwater. It even improves your vision when submerged.

Alternatively, the Turtle Shell can also be brewed with an Awkward Potion to make the Potion of the Turtle Master, which slows you down but also increases your resistance, making you a tank.

Turtles laying eggs on a beach near the water in Minecraft.

To breed turtles in Minecraft, you need two adult Sea Turtles. They spawn in groups on warm beaches. Once you find two, dig a small pit and put them inside so they can't escape. Make sure there's sand under them, so the eggs will hatch at night.

Next, feed each turtle a piece of Seagrass. To get Seagrass, either use Shears to cut underwater grass or kill other turtles. Once you feed the turtles, hearts will appear over their heads, and they'll turn toward each other.

Afterward, one turtle will burrow under the sand and lay one to four turtle eggs.

Once they hatch, it will take them a little while to grow. You can accelerate this process by feeding them more Seagrass. If you feed a baby Sea Turtle 10 Seagrass, it'll grow into an adult instantly.


And that's everything you need to know to breed turtles for Scute. If you're looking to improve your Minecraft experience, be sure to check out our Minecraft seeds and Minecraft skins articles while you're at it.

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Review: A Clear Improvement Mon, 25 Jun 2018 11:47:33 -0400 Autumn Fish

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is finally out on the Nintendo Switch, allowing the portable system's owners to at long last connect and play with friends who own the Xbox One, Windows 10, and Mobile editions of the game.

Don't think that means you're getting the same experience as the original Java Edition of the game, however. This begs the question: what is the Bedrock Edition and how does it differ from the original?

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Review

On the off chance that you have no idea what Minecraft even is in the first place, allow me to summarize. Everything in the game world is made out of blocks. You can collect the vast majority of these blocks through methods of mining, shoveling, punching, and so on. You can then place these blocks in the world or use them in a crafting grid to create new items. This is the basic cycle that's existed since the earliest stages of the game.

That doesn't even cover the monsters you have to defend yourself from or the different bosses you can fight for unique rewards. There are even potions you can brew and enchantments you can put on gear. There're villages out in the world populated with people that you can trade with, and there are even various ruins and structures to discover across a wide variety of biomes. There are even entirely different realms to explore, such as the Nether and the mysterious End.

The scope of of this title is out of control. There's so much to do and so many different ways to get stronger that you could spend dozens if not hundreds of hours just existing in the world. And before you know it, you'll be living in a bonafide fortress with automatic farms, an intricate system of travel, stables for your steeds and pets, and any luxury you can possibly think of.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition in a Mineshaft holding a ladder

But of course, this game has been on the market and growing for nine years now. It's the best selling game on PC and the second best selling game in the world behind Tetris. What makes the Bedrock Edition different enough that it warrants this review?

How Minecraft: Bedrock Edition Differs from the Java Edition

Put simply, some of the content is different. And I don't just mean that the Bedrock Edition is behind in version parity to the Java Edition. Bedrock actually has some content that the Java Edition doesn't have yet. It even performs better and fixes some bugs and minor annoyances present in the Java Edition.

Notably, the world's chunks load in much quicker on this version, so you're not really put in a situation where you have to wait for the world to catch up. This is especially nice when you're flying around the map at high speeds, as it makes the world feel a little bit more cohesive.

Redstone, Minecraft's wiring system, comes debugged in this version. This is sort of a double-edged sword, however, since a lot of complex redstone creations actually take advantage of the bugs to accomplish some incredible feats. This means a lot of tutorial's for redstone won't be applicable to the Bedrock Edition, but on the flip side, it should make the complex system a bit easier to pick up and learn for beginners. 

On top of all that, this version comes with content that the Java Edition simply doesn't have quite yet. The first pass for Update Aquatic is already out on Bedrock, while the full update is still in it's pre-release stages on Java.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition in the Jungle about to feed an Ocelot a Fish

However, this version doesn't quite have everything the Java Edition has, either. For example, it doesn't have shields or the new combat mechanics, but there is an offhand slot present. It's also missing things such as the informative F3 menu and the new Advancements system. Ultimately, it has most of the content that the present-day Java Edition has, but bits and pieces are missing.

Additionally, the interface of the Bedrock edition is completely mixed up. For starters, you log in with a Microsoft Account, no matter if you're on the Switch or the Xbox One. Resource Packs, Behavior Packs, Map Packs, and Skins are all purchased from a store that you spend real-world money on, though a few will come with your purchase of the game. If you're on Windows 10, you do still get access to some community made projects for free, but those are limited since people are more likely to make content for the Java version.

On top of that, Behavior Packs don't even work quite the same as a regular mod pack. Instead of adding things to the game, they replace existing items. However, they can do a few things that mods on the Java Edition can't do yet, such as creating in-game windows and selection boxes.

When you go to play the game, you can either create your own world, play with a friend on their world, or join one of the featured servers. When you're playing on your own world with multiplayer turned on, any of your friends can join the world at any time, and you can set permissions for them individually.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition in a house with a villager in front of an enchanting table surrounded by bookcases

When you're playing with multiplayer turned off, however, you'll find that you can't even properly pause the game. That's because it supports drop-in split-screen multiplayer on the fly, where up to 4 people can play together on the same TV. All you need to do is press the start button on your extra controllers and decide which profile to play with.

That about covers everything that sets the Bedrock Edition apart from the Java Edition. For more tiny details on the differences in this version, check out the Minecraft wiki.

Verdict - Better than vanilla!

In my opinion, the vanilla Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is better than the vanilla Java Edition. It just performs better, it has some cool unique features, it makes playing with your friends so much easier, and it features cross-play between so many different consoles. It nails the vanilla experience, and I can't wait to see the bits and pieces of missing content finally get added sometime down the line.

If you're somehow new to Minecraft, the Bedrock Edition is a brilliant starting point. If you play for the vanilla experience, I highly recommend picking up this version. If you want to play with friends that don't own it for PC, this is a no brainer.

If, however, you play for unique server experiences and the plethora of mods found in the Java Edition, you'll probably be disappointed. No matter how you frame it, the Bedrock Edition will always have an inferior amount of community created content when measured up to the Java Edition. There's just no way it will ever compete.

Minecraft Bedrock Edition in the Nether surrounded by fire and getting attacked by ghasts with a portal in sight

When it comes down to it, both versions of Minecraft are fantastic. I never felt like I was playing an inferior version during my time with the Bedrock Edition. In fact, there were times when I appreciated it more than the Java Edition. No matter what version you play, though, you can rest assured you've got a great game in your hands.

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is available now for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire OS, Fire TV, Apple TV, and the Samsung Gear VR.

Writer was granted a review copy provided by the publisher.

9 Mobile Games With Surprisingly Deep Storylines Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:21:42 -0500 Blackcreed11

Mobile games are far from the usual gamer's choice of gaming. In fact, it is difficult to find a mobile game that keeps the player interested as well as has a story that's worthwhile. Here are nine mobile games with unexpected storylines that will have you hooked.

1. Homescape

This game involves you helping a character named Austin the Butler, who moves back home with his parents. His old childhood home is a bit of a fixer upper, but you help him improve the house. The game is a mix between The Sims and Candy Crush SagaAs you play the match-3 games, players earn money and help him make improvements on the home. This game is available in Google Play Store.

2. Infinity Blade

This game is an RPG combat adventure where, as the player, you face off against the main antagonist. The game plays in cycles, allowing you to fight the antagonist every time it is reborn. As the main character, Siris, you are on a mission to find what killed your father. The game consists of swipes to attack and dodge the enemy.

3. Device 6

This is a text-based game that uses images and sounds to guide the player through a set of puzzles, which the in-game protagonist, Anna, needs to solve to escape from an unknown island. She wakes up in a castle as she meets strange people and creatures appearing to be unresponsive or electronically controlled. The game consists of swiping the screen to move through or to review the story, using buttons to interact with in-game elements, shown in black-and-white pictures to get hints or to solve a puzzle.  Device 6 is available in the iTunes App Store.

4. The Room

This mystery puzzle game has four levels, each of which gives clues for the player to solve puzzles that reveal the plot of the story and lead to the next level. These clues are left behind by a benefactor and each clue brings you closer to the truth and a revelation about the story. This game can be found in the Google App Store as well as the iTunes App Store.


This indie title is a first-person sniper game with moral conflicts and a main character seeking revenge for the death of his family. It has a neo-noir style, which adds more suspense to the drama. The beginning missions start out easy and let you get accustomed with the system. The controls are simple and the aim is in the middle of the screen. Look for this game in the Google App Store.

6. Sinister Edge

This Android game allows for exploring locations, complex puzzle mechanics, and detailed surroundings full of unexpected occurrences. As the player, you are looking for your missing family members and uncovering a dark truth. This 3D game is available in the Google Play Store and iTunes App store.

7. Dark Meadow: The Pact

The game starts with you waking up in an abandoned, decrepit hospital with no memory. There is a strange man in a wheelchair warning you of the creatures dwelling within the halls and mentions a "witch" before quickly rolling away, never to be seen again. The game is in first person view; you can explore your strange new world. Touching certain items will open them and give you items. Small green nodes on the ground show you where you can go, and the controls are a simple tap and go; no on-screen D-Pad. Make sure to check this game out at the Google Play store and the iTunes App Store.

8. SIM- Sara is Missing

The game takes place on a lost cell phone which the player has found. The phone belongs to a girl named Sara. The phone seems to have been corrupted and the phone’s AI system, I.R.I.S. greets you with a friendly “Hello Sara." After typing responses to I.R.I.S, it soon becomes apparent Sara is in grave danger. You as the player must help I.R.I.S find Sara by searching through the most recent text messages, notes, emails, pictures and music to try and find relevant information on Sara. The iTunes App Store and Google Play App Store both have this game

9. Ninja Arashi

The game starts with the escape of the main villain from his prison. The villain proceeds to kill Arashi's wife and kidnaps his son. The game consists of using all the main character’s weapons in defeating the villains in the hopes of finding his son. The graphics are reminiscent of the Edo time period and the colors used for special attacks and traps are beautiful. The controls on the left side of the screen are two arrows used for moving either left and right. On the right side are four other buttons used to perform a variety of commands. This game is available in the iTunes App Store as well as the Google Play Store.

Check some of these games out and see which one you like!

Puzzle & Dragons Gets Limited-Time Monster Hunter Dungeon Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:17:00 -0400 LuckyJorael

GungHo Online Entertainment America has teamed up with Capcom to bring Monster Hunter into the mobile game Puzzle & Dragons for a limited-time event. The collaboration introduces an all-new dungeon with massive creatures to battle, which players can team up to tackle: the Multiplayer Monster Hunter Collab! Dungeon. Inside, Massacre Demon Diablos awaits, with difficulties ranging from Intermediate to Ultra G Rank.

Additionally, players receive the new Male Hunter just for logging in during the event, and can also obtain the Female Hunter by clearing the Collab! Dungeon the first time. Players can get materials to evolve their new characters by playing the dungeon, or outright purchasing the characters in the game's MP shop.

High enough rank characters -- 50 or above -- will also get a free pull on the Monster Hunter Egg Machine, with a chance to receive one of the new monsters featured in the Collab! Dungeon.

The Monster Hunter event starts today, July 10th, and lasts until July 23rd.

New Logitech G433 and G233 Headsets Hit the Shelves This Month Thu, 08 Jun 2017 03:15:01 -0400 Valoryan

Today, Logitech announced the release of a new line of headsets, the G233 and the G433. They will both come with a new Logitech audio driver, Pro-G, that “delivers clear highs and lows with minimal distortion.”

These headsets are lightweight and meant to be taken on the go, for listening to high-quality music and playing games.They have mesh ear pads that are breathable and stain-resistant, so they can stand up to the wear and tear of travel. The G433 headset will also come with microfiber ear pads that can be interchanged with the standard mesh ones.

There are currently four color options available for these headsets: Royal Blue, Fire Red, Triple Black, and a special Camo Blue that's sold exclusively through Best Buy in North America. 

The G233 and the G433 will both have removable, noise-canceling boom mics, and are Discord certified to ensure clear communication with your team while gaming. In addition, the G433 will feature DTS Headphone:X® 7.1, allowing for full surround sound and aural positioning. This will let the player to hear games precisely as developers intended, replicating distance and direction for an immersive audio experience.

Both headsets will be compatible with PCs, consoles (including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch), and mobile devices -- and they come with both USB and standard 3.5 mm jack hookups, so that gamers can move seamlessly between sound experiences across all devices.

Logitech plans to have these headsets hitting the shelves later this month. The G433 will be priced at $99.99, and the G233 will be $79.99.

The 10 Best Indie Games of All-Time Fri, 05 May 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Curtis Dillon


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


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


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

Honorable Mentions:
  • Bastion
  • \n
  • Limbo
  • \n
  • Dear Esther
  • \n
  • Braid
  • \n
  • Super Meat Boy
  • \n
  • Hotline Miami
  • \n
  • OlliOlli
  • \n
  • Spelunky
  • \n
  • Rogue Legacy
  • \n
  • Oxenfree
  • \n
  • Thomas Was Alone
  • \n
  • Don't Starve
  • \n
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • \n
  • Actual Sunlight
  • \n
  • Three Fourth's Home
  • \n
  • Guacamelee
  • \n
  • Her Story
  • \n
  • Nidhogg
  • \n
  • The Beginner's Guide
  • \n
Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a phenomenon. Similar to Undertale, it has a rabid fan base and everyone that plays it falls in love. And there's a very simple reason why: it's addictive.


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


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


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


Shovel Knight


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


Gone Home


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


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


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




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


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


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


Everybody's Gone To The Rapture


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


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


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




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


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


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


The Unfinished Swan


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


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


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




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


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


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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Shovel Knight's Finally Getting the Spectre Knight Update Tue, 04 Apr 2017 04:39:05 -0400 Erroll Maas

Beloved 16 bit platformer, Shovel Knight, will finally be getting its Specter of Torment update on PC on April 5th, with the update coming to other consoles at an undetermined time later this month.

Specter of Torment is a prequel to the events of Shovel Knight and stars Specter Knight, who is sent by the villain, The Enchantress, to recruit members for her Order of No Quarter. The expansion will also cover the origin of Specter Knight and how he came into that position.

Shovel Knight Treasure Trove, a collection of all Shovel Knight updates and expansions as well as the first version of Shovel Knight to feature Specter of Torment, released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on March 3rd of this year. Shovel Knight Treasure Trove will be released for other consoles at an unspecified time this month for $24.99, and will include all previous and future expansions and updates. Current owners of Shovel Knight will be able to have their game updated to Shovel Knight Treasure Trove for free. The  DLC expansions will also be available as standalone titles for $9.99 each.

Shovel Knight was originally released by Yacht Club Games in 2014. In Shovel Knight, you play as the character of the same name, collect treasure, and fight against enemies with your trusty shovel.

The game released to critical acclaim and has had one previous DLC expansion released in 2015 called Plague of Shadows, in which you play as the character Plague Knight.

Shovel Knight is currently available for 3DS, Wii U, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.

11 Awesome Video Game Bromances Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:59:59 -0400 Ricardo melfi

Since the conception of the term "bromance," we've seen more and more examples of this type of friendship in all forms of pop-culture. To those who still don't know, a bromance is the relationship between two male friends that breaks the walls of mere friendship; they become "brothers." If there's one thing women hate the most, it's their man in a bromance.

We've had movies (mostly comedies) portraying this inseparable bond between buddies but (all alliteration aside), video games have used many bromances in their own stories, Here are STG's 11 Best Video game Bromances, bro... 

Mass Effect Trilogy

Commander Shepard & Garrus Vakarian

Garrus:"Nobody would give me a mirror. How bad is it?" 

Shepard:"Hell, Garrus, you were always ugly. Slap some face-paint on there, and no one will even notice." 

Garrus:"Ha-ah! Don't make me laugh, damn it. My face is barely holding together as it is. Ah, probably for the best. Everyone was always ignoring you and hitting on me. Time for you to get a fair shot at it."

Throughout their adventures in the Mass Effect series, Shepard and Garrus form a strong bond while trying to save the galaxy. If you played as fem-Shep, then you could have formed an even tighter relationship... Ahem.

But this is about the bros, so it stands to reason that sharing multiple near-death experiences would have only strengthened their friendship. Having similar personalities and a sense of humor helps, at least in our play-through.

Gears of War Trilogy

Marcus Fenix & Dom Santiago

Marcus: "What are you doing here?"

Dom: "Getting you out. Here, put this on." 

Marcus: "You could get into a lot of trouble for doing this."

Dom: "Not anymore. Things have changed. C'mon."

Another tale of friendships strengthened through battle and near-death experiences -- all while trying to save the world -- Marcus and Dom shoot their way through multiple alien species, as their mission is to eradicate all and save humanity. Two muscle-bound bad-asses carving their way through tough-as-nails aliens, all while spouting one-liners? This would definitely solidify a bromance.

Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, & Revelations

Leonardo Da Vinci & Ezio Auditore Da Firenze

Leo: "The blade is finished, though it will require the removal of your ring finger. It is the way the blade has been constructed."

Ezio: "Bene (fine). Do it, quickly."

Leo: "I'm just joking with you Ezio. In the past such a sacrifice was required but I have found a way to modify the blade."

This was always going to be a good combination. A master craftsman, painter, engineer, and all-around genius working with a sneaky, efficient master assassin. Ezio and Leo are the prime example of a great bromance, willing to risk their lives for one another and achieve their goals together. A bromance spanning across decades and countless Templar conspiracies sees this relationship to the list. 

Jak & Daxter Series

Jak & Daxter

Daxter: "Please, Jak, you're such a wimp. I could have taken them myself! Maybe you should sit on MY shoulder for a while."

This mischievous duo requires no introduction to many gamers. The Jak & Daxter series scored a massive following due to the captivating platforming, dialogue, and beautiful graphics. Naughty Dog definitely know how to create their characters/worlds and these two are no exception.

Daxter is usually riding Jak, pushing him forward and showing a somewhat false, yet still inspiring, sense of bravado from atop Jak's shoulders. However, when the time comes, Daxter has proven to be the ultimate ally as they go on a quest to not only change the furry friend back to his original form, but also to save their world as they know it.

Ratchet & Clank Series

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet: "If I can get that, I can get past those robot guards."

Clank: "Robots are not so easily fooled."

Ratchet: [trying to trick Clank by pointing at something] "Ahh! What's that?"

Clank: [falling for the trick, Clank turns his head] "What?"

Ratchet: "Uh-huh..."

The only other duo that seemed to pick up hot on the tails of Jak & Daxter, this ingenious little robot and his marsupial accomplice span their known galaxies going on bounty hunts, stopping villainous henchmen and bosses along the way.

Ratchet & Clank are right up there with the Jak & Daxter games (though they have released a few more installments than the former).They have amassed their own cult following, even managing to take part in one of the most dangerous combat sports arenas in the universe and survive!

Street Fighter Series

Ryu & Ken

Ryu: "Let's leave the talking to our fists!"

Ken: "Can these things even talk?"

Everybody's favorite fighting duo from the Street Fighter series undoubtedly belong in this list. With a bromance spanning decades now (how do they stay so damn young?) and more than a few ways that it could have ended very, very badly, these two show us what true brotherhood and friendship can be. 


Contra Series

Bill Rizer & Lance Beam

Considered one of the hardest game series ever made, Contra puts games like Dark Souls and Battletoads to shame with its insane difficulty system (a true SNES staple). Many controllers have been broken against walls via fits of rage and epic moments of completion in this game, which solidified its place in history.

Contra brought forth two bad-ass bros, Rizer & Beam. Shwarzenneger and Stallone got nothing on these two. Side scrolling, shooter action at its finest.


Army of Two

Tyson Rios & Elliot Salem

Phillip: "No problem, fuck-o."

Rios:  "Fuck-o? Who says that?"

Phillip: "I'm gonna kill you both, slice you open and go to an aerobics class wearing your intestines for leg warmers!"

Salem: "I mean... does that even make sense?"

Elliot Salem & Tyson Rios, two bad-ass dudes who clearly live through hundreds of death-defying moments together, covering each other's hides. Their job? Being a complete 'Army of Two', with Salem & Rios, flanking, tactics, firefights and one-liners are literally their life.

Playing as these two mercenaries really pulls everything together if you have your very own bromance buddy sitting next to you playing co-op, even if things get a little weird.

Telltale's The Walking Dead -- Season 1

Lee & Kenny

Kenny: "Hey. Lee. You know how to pick a lock, right?"

Lee: "No, why would you say that?"

Kenny: "Well. You're... you know... urban?"

Lee: "Oh, you are NOT saying what I think you're saying."

Kenny: "Jesus, man! I'm from Florida! Crazy shit comes out of my mouth sometimes. Sorry."

Lee first meets Kenny at Herschel's farm after saving Clementine from a couple of zombies and bringing her along with him. Kenny has his wife Katja and his son 'Duck' there with him and things seem to be going kind of well.

As this is Telltale's TWD, this peace and serenity is short-lived. After a chaotic and surprising zombie attack, Herschel's son is killed and the gang are banished from the farm.

Lee and Kenny continue to do what they can with the ragtag group of survivors they meet up with but Kenny starts to lose his wits. This forces Lee to make some seriously hard decisions for all of them. A bromance that stands the test of time (or at least until the last episode of Season 1), Lee & Kenny are the perfect example of a true bromance, looking out for each other (and their subsequent 'families') no matter what happens; arguments, punch-ups, and all. 

Uncharted Series

Nathan Drake & 'Sully' Sullivan

Sully: "I'm sweating like a hooker in church!"

Drake: "You took a hooker to church?"

Sully: "Nate, let's just pretend for a minute that I don't really care about any of that and cut to the chase will ya?"

Drake: "Man only interested in the climax. You must be a real hit with the ladies."

Sully: "Never had any complaints."

Now there can be the argument made here where Sully isn't really a 'bro' and more of a father figure, however as they are not related by blood, this still counts as a great bromance. 

Throughout the Uncharted series, Sully is Drake's mentor and partner, keeping him focused and getting him to continue using his head and not his, erm, other head. Regardless of how you personally view their relationship, Sully is bonafidede bro in all aspects of the term and continues to be there for Drake no matter what.

Now Nathan's real brother, on the other hand.

Sonic the Hedgehog Series

Sonic & Tails

Sonic: "We good to go or what, Tails?"

Tails: "I've built a TV out of paper clips..."

Sonic: "Yeah..."

Tails: "...and reprogrammed a super computer using dish washing detergent and a toothpick..."

Sonic: "I know..."

Tails: "...So look, fixing a propeller on a biplane? That's about as difficult as taking a nap."

Sonic: "Kay, I did not need your whole life story. A simple "good to go" would have been cool."

Tails: "Alright. Good to go!"

These two heroes need absolutely no introduction to the gaming world (unless you've been living under a rock you're entire life). Sonic & Tails are the ultimate bros, taking part in adventures throughout the entire Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Once thought to be a female, Tails' first name is actually Miles, so show us one woman with that name, but I digress. Tails can fly and Sonic can run really, really fast. Put these two together and you have a bromance that spans across decades and still moves strong to this day.


So there you have it. The 11 Best Video Game Bromances that STG thought deserved some attention. Next time you pick up any of these games, see how much you notice.

So what did you think about the list? Any that should have been mentioned or that we seemed to forget? What did you think of the bromances listed? Leave a comment below and look out for our next article!

The 9 Best Hilarious Video Game Deaths Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:00:01 -0500 Ricardo melfi

Sometimes it's just not enough to see a certain villain or comrade die in (mostly violent) different ways. You may feel the need to see them die in hilarious and outlandish ways because of, you know, entertainment and stuff. There have even been moments where the situation is supposed to be sad or upsetting, yet the way the character dies is just too good not to laugh.

We decided to compile the very best deaths that we considered hilarious (which means they have physically and literally made us LOL). Here are our 9 Best Hilarious Video Game Deaths!

Johnny Cage - Fatality

Mortal Kombat X

Yes, it is a surprise that Mortal Kombat features on list of hilarious video game deaths. But the crew over at MK have never really taken fatalities that seriously, which is perfect for scoring unlimited laughs.

The series veteran, Johnny Cage, is still here carving out fatalities against his unfortunate opponents. His latest one sees Johnny go up behind his beaten foe and literally open them up from the back, peering through the gaping hole in their torso. This isn't what makes it great though, as Johnny pays homage to one of my favorite movies, The Shining, by saying, "heeeeeerrreeee's Johnny!"

Gold... just pure gold.

Spider-Man - QTE Sequence

The Amazing Spider-Man

There's a sequence in The Amazing Spider-Man, by Activision, in which Spider-Man (Peter Parker) has to execute a string of QTEs in order to pass the scene. Not an ultimately difficult sequence to keep up with, as Spider-Man is ever graceful. However, miss just one button and Spider-Man ends up flat on his face, extremities spread out as if he was squashed like a bug.

The above video shows off all of the hilarious death animations, but the first sequence is the most funny, with another having him spread out flat after hitting a wall. Cheap laughs? Absolutely, but still hilarious...

Daedalus & Sons- Hang Glider Plummet

Red Dead Redemption

Everyone loves Red Dead Redemption, as Rockstar absolutely nailed the harsh and untamed world of the Wild West. There are a few zany missions in this gem (that is still played today by the way) but the best one in our opinion is the Daedalus & Sons, hang glider mission. You see, Daedalus is determined to be the first man to fly using a hang glider, and is even willing to risk himself in order to prove it works... by jumping off a very high cliff.

After John has finished amassing the items that Daedalus needs and progressing to the end of the mission, we see him finally take the jump. Unfortunately, his hang glider isn't quite what he expected and he plummets to his impending doom, all the while screaming in true Rockstar fashion.

Horrifying? Maybe. Hilarious? Definitely. Rest in peace friend, the world will never know of your exploits.

Face McShooty - Embracing Euthanasia

Borderlands 2

Usually when someone asks you to shoot them in the face, you consider what that could mean? The person's obviously crazy, right? So what do you do? Well, if you're playing Borderlands 2, you happen to come across Mr. McShooty who basically begs and screams for you to, erm, shoot him in the face. No sooner does he say it that a mission automatically appears instructing you to actually go through with it.

It's got to be a trick, so you wait... and wait. Once he starts to repeat himself, you think, "Why the hell not?" Now the hilarity doesn't actually stem from this moment but with the immediate, "THANK YOU!" he shouts, milliseconds AFTER being shot.... in the face.

Leon Kennedy - Big Fish in a Small Pond

Resident Evil 4

Leon Kennedy has seen some weird shit in his life when it comes to bioweapons (ahem, zombies and mutated monsters). He works hard and barely gets time off. Entering into Resident Evil 4, Leon has his work cut out for him as he has to save the president's daughter. Still, all work and no play makes Leon a dull boy, right?

Thus, we all decided to go lake fishing and started taking pot shots at the fish swimming around. It was kind of relaxing, if we're being honest. However, after taking too many pot shots at the defenseless, small fish in the lake -- found midway through RE4 -- will not end well for Leon. He thinks he can just push those fish around? Well not today!

After too many pot shots, a massive bio-weapon fish launches out and swallows Leon in one go. Yeah, that's what you get for picking on creatures smaller than you.

Carmine - Keep Your Head Down, Stupid             

Gears of War

Carmine, you poor, poor rookie. We understand that you're still working out the kinks in your soldiering but just a little piece of advice for you. When it comes to being in battle zones, don't keep your head up. Stay down, at almost every opportunity, as Carmine finds out the hard way. Kneeling to fix a jam in his gun, he cops a round to the head after not staying behind cover. Tough break, man. Maybe you'll do better next play-through... oh, it's scripted.

Rag-doll Physics - "I'm Faaaaabulouuusss"

Almost every game, ever

Rag doll physics are reason enough for spontaneous laughs almost every time. I'm not sure how these kinds of physics are supposed to make the game seem more realistic, but due to some of the rags we've seen over the decades, rag doll physics still haunt our darkest nightmares. Other times we lose our (collective) shit. You know what we're talking about.

Chained, Whipped, Beaten & Killed

Crash Bandicoot Series

That brilliant bandicoot was the epicenter of my young, gaming life, collecting every damn box, gem, relic and crystal this series had to offer. The first installment became insanely hard the further you progressed, with punishing saves and checkpoints. This meant that you would die, a lot.

Even as a professional Crash player honing my skills over the decades, I still manage to lose a lot of damn lives towards the later half of the game. As one would expect, every one of Crash's hilarious deaths are burned into our memories. Every, single, one.

Pop Culture Resurrections

Sunset Overdrive

Everyone loves pop culture classics like Dracula, The Ring, Back to the Future, all of the Superheroes, Portal, and even Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, so it goes without saying that the (very versatile) re-spawn animations in Sunset Overdrive are a real treat.

The nods to many great films and pop culture appear and yes, we know they aren't technically 'deaths' but you do have to die in order to see them. Check mate?


Proving that not all deaths in video games have to be such serious circumstances and that laughter is good for the soul, even if it is at someone else's expense -- but they aren't real, so it's fine. But for now, that was my 9 Most Hilarious Video Game Deaths!

Did we miss anything obvious or did you find some hilarious game deaths of your own? Leave a comment below and get involved!


TinyCo and Fox Interactive Are Bringing the World of Futurama To Your Mobile Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:57:13 -0500 ESpalding

In the illustrious words of Professor Farnsworth: Good news, everybody! The much-loved animated show Futurama is coming back! It is being adapted into a mobile adventure by mobile gaming gurus TinyCo. Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow will feature original content from the show's creator, Matt Groening, as well as from Executive Producer David X. Cohen, and many more of the cast and crew from the show.

"Futurama is back, bigger and better than ever! Or possibly smaller and equally good. But either way, it’s back! We’ve got completely new stories from the original writers, cast, and animators. This is the real Futurama deal."

-- Matt Groening, Futurama Creator and Executive Producer

There is currently no date set for the game's release, but you can sign up for alerts and updates by going to the official website. Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow will be available through the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore.

This isn't the first time TinyCo and Fox have worked together -- in 2014 they worked together to create the highly successful Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. The game developer's latest title draws inspiration from the Marvel Hero Universe in Marvel Avengers Academy, where you get to interaction with your favorite heroes and villains as they make their way through a high-school environment.

If You Can Believe it: Evony Is Back, This Time on Mobile Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Evony is once again back in the media spotlight with its recent Superbowl TV ad, and credit where credit is due with it's big production values and A list celebrities they crafted a very impressive and epic piece of advertising. With stars like Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight Returns), Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) bringing recognisable faces to the campaign. With the average $5 million price tag just for a 30 second ad during the Superbowl and the multi million dollar production which is planned to span a further 11 episodes throughout the year, the developers Top Games US  are certainly putting their all into "The Battle of Evony" ad campaign.


Having popular celebrities endorse a product is nothing new in advertising but you don't often see ads with as big a scale as this and pulling in reputable very well known actors couldn't have been cheap. It's a respectable ad that while a bit over the top, references the themes and the eras you will be participating in during your time with the game. If you go back just six years the prospect of respectable advertising and Evony being in the same sentence would have been considered absolutely laughable.

Evony LLC's Sleazy Advertising

The company behind Evony gained a reputation as one of the most hated in the industry with allegations of stealing content like images or text that look like it was copied and pasted from Civilization. What really got everyone's attention though was the choice of adverts with scantily clad big busted ladies that they used to spam peoples browsers and social media pages. The original ad campaign for Evony started out quite innocently enough with normal generic medieval knights it wasn't anything too eye catching like this one:


It's quite possible the developers felt that ads like this weren't going to cut it and in fairness it is quite bland. So someone in their marketing team decided a shake up was needed in order to get their game noticed. The answer for them was to get a bit more risque with ads like the ones below.

 As you can see they got progressively worse even to go as far as using images like the one above with the two blonde models from the DVD cover of a pornographic film.

There was a lot to hate about these adverts, they inappropriately resembled something you would see on an adult website. Perhaps more inappropriately for some customers the game itself contains absolutely zero in the way of half naked women. It's a strategy game with more in common with games like farmville or a small scale Age Of Empires rather than a videogame that contains busty maidens in need of rescuing. It was a strange ploy to get new customers and the fact that it used misleading adverts to dupe potential customers into signing up to their game should have failed spectacularly -- It was a deliberate attempt create a massive controversial viral marketing campaign -- Sales data has shown that with enough controversy a game has better chance of selling, and using sex to sell a product is about as controversial but at the same time as common as it gets.

The games developers were villainized in the gaming community and industry alike and the original games lead producer Darold Higa doesn't regret a thing. In an interview with Kotaku he said:

"The whole idea with a browser-based free-to-play game like Evony is to put it in front of a large an audience as possible and say ‘Here you go, try it for yourself'. That was the end message: ‘Look at this'."

With 33 million registered users reported in 2016 the campaign clearly worked in what is a massively crowded market. As of right now there's no sales figures but with the multimillion dollar advert they've just launched and more on the way with some big name stars involved, they're definitely not short of a few dollars. A campaign that many expected (and wanted) to blow up in their faces helped them hit the ground running.

Controversy Continues To Create Cash

Even though Evony dropped its line of the soft porn marketing once it established a strong enough install base to be taken seriously, it didn't and probably never will stop other developers using similar methods to sell their game.

In a $40 million dollar ad campaign developers Machine Zone, hired Kate Upton to be the face of Game Of War: Fire Age in another Super Bowl ad back in 2015. Unlike Evony though she is actually an avatar in the game as the Greek Goddess Athena. That's not a particularly great compliment though. As her sole purpose for being in the game is to use her assets to encourage a certain demographic of male gamers to spend money on microtransactions to gain more success in the game.

Just like Evony the game was met with a lot of criticism from the gaming community and the media in general. Yet, just like Evony's clickbait banners worked for them, Kate Upton's invitations to "come play with me" worked, because their sales figures doubled to pulling in a million dollars a day according to the data figures on Think Gaming. Surpassing Clash Of Clans to reach the top spot -- It is still the number one seller on mobile devices at the time of writing -- It is definitely safe to say that Machine Games ROI (Return on Investment) in marketing this game was definitely a successful one.

There is clearly billions to be made from mobile gaming industry, which was something that seemed unlikely a few years ago. Yet now we see more ads for mobile gaming apps on the television than we see AAA games. These adverts are on all year round rather than just at launch and again with more A-list celebrity endorsements like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Machine Zones other mobile gaming success story Mobile Strike -- that is currently sitting at number 2 on Think Gaming.

One has to wonder if either Evony LLC or Machine Zone would have reached the same level of success without the questionable marketing? We'll never know for sure, but I doubt it. If you back to 1997 there was a little top down 2D crime game called Grand Theft Auto. Which was a fun game but there is no way it would have reached the level of success it did, had it not capitalised on the negative media campaign that rallied against it trying to get the game banned. Going as far as labelling it as a "murder simulator" and throwing around ridiculous statements saying the game shows children a "step by step guide on how steal cars". It worked brilliantly in the developer's favor, because its intended audience bought the game in defiance and it sold millions as a result -- The rest as they say is history.

It's through investing in big budget productions and celebrity endorsements like the ones seen in "The Battle For Evony" adverts, that the developers are hoping to reach a new platform by breaking the mobile gaming market but it was their original campaign that afforded them the luxury of such deep pockets. So in spite of the questionable way they got their success, other small upstart developers have to be looking at ways of replicating that success for themselves. So in all likelihood the use of sex appeal with cheap marketing techniques to sell a game like this is bound to happen again. For Evony it was a quick fix to get the game noticed without investing too much cash in a massive advertising campaign, it developed a large install base and gained some free marketing as a result of the controversy and like it or not, it paid off for them in a big way.

Opening Doors to the Public Is the Worst Thing That Could Happen to E3 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 05:56:29 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today it has been announced by the ESA that E3 will be open to the public. The Electronic Entertainment Expo has been exclusively a press only event, but for the first time in a while the public will be able to purchase tickets from February 13. 15,000 tickets will be available for purchase priced at $250 or $150 for early buyers.

The event is scheduled for June 13 to June 15 and will be held from the Los Angeles Convention Center. The ESA will be partnering with Geoff Keighly for interviews and features.

Now I'm set to argue this is a mistake. The event should have remained a press only invite. My reasoning doesn't lean on a holy grail mentality -- my opinion is mainly from a logistics standpoint.

In a Nutshell...

Let's say you have anxiety issues over crowds. This would be terrifying and that's putting it mildly. Now, perhaps you have no problem with crowds. Understandable, but tell me how fun this scenario would be? You would be essentially swimming through crowds of 15,000 across your 3 days at the expo -- these numbers don't include members of the press, or other industry employees (developers, PR, marketers, etc).

History lesson

Before we continue here's some history to reflect upon. E3 is the industry's largest annual trade show and party. It was founded in 1995 and has had attendants numbering over 60,000. Now the show effectively is where companies are competing to gain attention among the press and public whom could gain attendance.

In 2006, it shifted to invitation only. The reason for this change was that exhibitors felt the battle for best booth, and so forth, became too much. They reached their breaking point, and so with this change the show became quieter. Thus, over the years it has lost some of it's luster -- but it's place of importance remained.

So what lead to that the tipping point that made gaming companies demand it become press only? It became bigger and harder to manage than they imagined. The money being spent didn't make sense in the midst of the chaos.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Now should you go? Allow me to explain with the picture above. Now this isn't E3 but this is an example of what you'll be seeing. Mind you, if you watched any show of E3 over the past few years, you'll notice something. It's already crowded and that is only the press and other industry individuals -- how much of a positive experience could you have with this?

For every booth, presentation, and demo you'd like to visit there will be nearly 10,000 plus wanting to do the same. An overcrowded party is definitely not a fun party. Long waits, getting around in cumbersome fashion, and that general awkwardness that arises from crowds.

In a more serious note, the matter of security is also important. Of course it'll be secure but it would be far too easy lose your items in this madness -- let's assume no one would ever steal anything, it's easy to get jostled, and drop something.

The Show Must Go On...

Now let's move to how this would effect the show. So the main purpose of E3 is that it's a showcase.

This influx of people would get in the way of press doing their work. Tell me how effective the coverage of show will be with 15,000 more bodies to get through? An example; there's an indie title or game that seems really interesting. However, the press may overlook it due to having to make enough time to make it to AAA demos -- games will be overlooked and that would be a determinant for everyone at large -- as wading through crowds takes time right?

The other victim would be an effective show for viewers at home. Let's say that a publication is at a demo and conducting an interview. How effective will that interview be when drowned out by thousands of extra (unnecessary) voices? I'd be willing to wager it won't be a very good one. With the quality of work being effected readers, viewers, and consumers overall would be the losers. The only interviews which would be any good, are the ones who are conducted by larger publications with more money for high end equipment -- such as high end directional microphones, and camera rigs.

Coming full circle...

Another reason why this is a bad idea is because history would be repeating itself. The Expo moved away from a large showing because of the levels of stress it brought. What was being affected was that the attendance numbers took away from the show. It was more party than industry annual show. The ESA will of course do their best to organize the show overall. You know what you can't control? A lot of people. That's a massive, unpredictable, variable.

The other argument I offer is that the audience may not necessarily understand the show's purpose. I mean yes, everyone knows it's a show of previews and demos. Companies often take the time to create a workable and presentable demo for their titles. In truth, these demos may not be a proper representation of a game in anyway. Now combine the fact they can only be played for say 5-10 minutes, the said title could end up receiving unfair public opinion.

In the End...

...the show is best left in its current form. It should be a show for the industry and those work to provide us all the news surrounding it. It's a big spectacle anyway, and it already does well without the extra visitors. As of now E3, while yes it's not perfect, but it's fine without the extra white noise.

Quotes & One-Liners That Will (Definitely) Put A Smirk On Your Face Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Ricardo melfi

Video games (just like movies) tell elaborate stories, build characters and use dynamic effects and shots. It's an immersive medium and before long, you're emotionally invested. You're right there in the game. Dialogue is such an important part of said immersion and (again just like movies) video games have fired off some awesome and memorable one-liners/quotes. Most of the time they're generic action and dramatic one-liners but every now and then, a little piece of gold finds its way out...

With that said, here are some of the funniest one-liners and quotes that are sure to put a smirk on that face of yours!

Duke Nukem Forever

The Duke

*Looks in the mirror*

"DAMNNN, I look good..."

Don't deny it. Whenever any of us played as the Duke, our inner narcissist couldn't be kept down for long and a smile slowly creeped its way across your face. How could it not after hearing that line? Then again, now that I think of it, I laughed at A LOT of his one-liners...


Portal P.A Announcer

"If you need to go to the bathroom after this next series of tests, please let a test associate know because in all likelihood, whatever comes out of you is going to be cold. Only temporary so do not worry. If it persists for a week though, start worrying and come see us because that's not supposed to happen."

Portal is jam-packed with sarcastic and humorous quotes/one-liners. It was hard to narrow it down but the P.A Announcer made me smile first. While GlaDos always holds a place in my heart, she won't be seen on this list.

Assassin's Creed II

Ezio Auditore da Firenze

"Your sister seemed quite satisfied with the 'handling' I gave her earlier."

Ahhh, the good-old mum and sister jokes. For being as old as they are, still pack quite a punch when used. Seriously, it hurts. Just look at how easily the Pazzis are angered when Ezio uses the above line on them! Ubisoft know this too and young Ezio is a typical, "your mum" kinda guy...

Left 4 Dead


"Free copy paper? Sweet!"

What else could put your mind at ease when facing a zombie apocalypse? Guns? Water? Food? Defendable shelter? No! COPY PAPER! Left 4 Dead's Zoe shares STG's enthusiasm for the little things in a zombie apocalypse when she yells out her one-liner, in the copy room. Bless Zoe, you go girl.



"Hey I'm just exercising my second amendment rights here, you fuckin' communist."

This insane game made absolutely no sense but who cares? The violence and gore made sure you never had a chance to think about that. What I did notice, however, was the player's one-liners. Most notably, the above one. My drink nearly came out of my nose when I heard this gem. Yep, apparently shooting and killing people is just exercising your right to... shoot and kill people? Otherwise, you're just a filthy communist aren't you?

South Park: The Stick of Truth 


"If you have a fucking better name for them then fucking say it Clyde!"

There's something about Cartman spitting the dummy at people that's just so damn funny. He's everyone's favourite, evil, little shit. Stick of Truth was (finally) a fantastic South park game and the entire game made us here at STG lose ourselves laughing but when Cartman gets angry and says this to Clyde during the tutorial, it's hard not to laugh let alone smile.

Spec Ops: The Line

Robert Darden (The Radio Man)

"Geez man, where's all this violence coming from? Is it the video games? I bet it's the video games."

Yeah, I'm totally sure it's the video games and not the fact that you play as a highly trained, special forces soldier, trained to kill, dropped into unknown, enemy territory, are constantly attacked and have some tough decisions to make along the road. Definitely the video games...

Brutal Legend

Eddie Riggs

"Oh man... don't tell me I've been slaying hot girls this entire time!"

Eddie Riggs is your average, mediocre roadie who gets transported to a heavy metal dimension. Using his extensive knowledge of 'the metal', Riggs leads the inhabitants of this heavy metal heaven turned hell in a revolution against the dastardly General Lyonwhite. After seeing the face of one of his foes, Eddie immediately pauses mid-fight to ask himself the same question every man would. 

Marvel VS Capcom 3


*Everything he says in this game.*

We couldn't narrow it down with everybody's favourite merc, Deadpool. He's just too damn funny so instead we decided to just tell you to go out and play the game already! The great thing is when he actually talks to the player through the game and mentions the fact he knows he's in a fighting game. Absolute gold...

Sonic Colours

Sonic the Hedgehog

"No copyright law in the universe is going to stop me!"

This one made the list because it was unexpected, yet also feels personal. It transcends the game and touches on a real issue many gaming channels and platforms seem to suffer. You tell em', Sonic...

Uncharted 2

Nathan Drake

"Yeah good luck pal. That's almost impossible to... Oh, you did it... nice."

Nolan North is a great voice actor and the most recognised voice in gaming today. He does a fantastic job as Nathan Drake and can even get his disappointment and envy across the microphone. Being proven wrong is never funny but when you are, at least give the person credit. Real, genuine credit. Don't be like Nate, the jealous douche.

Assassin's Creed II

Mario Auditore

"It's a me, Mario!"

This joke is so old now but it seems to continue to get used. This one-liner was made famous by the super plumber himself and has been seen/heard/used almost everywhere in the world! It comes to no surprise that Ubisoft threw this little piece of chuckler homage in. I feel like I've heard this somewhere before...


Trishka Novak

"Yeah!? Go fuck yourself! You shit piles give chase, I WILL kill your dicks!"

Bulletstorm tough girl Trishka is a Final Echo mixture of sassiness and, well, extreme violence. You meet up with Trishka as she is getting sexually assaulted by one of the planet's denizens. Trishka can definitely take care of herself , as she proved as your companion in Stygia. You get the feeling she's got something to prove though and the one-liner she fires off above tends to prove it. Time to start working on your trash-talk Trish...

Conker's Bad Fur Day

The Great Mighty Poo

"I am the great, mighty, Poo and I'm going to throw my shit at you."

Now the line itself isn't actually that funny, but if you really want laughs then turn to a classic comedy method; turn it to song! The Great Mighty Poo serenades Conker on his Bad Fur Day (see what I did there?) and scored an ashamed little giggle from me. Guys really don't need much for comedy, do we?

Mortal Kombat

Boon & Scorpion



"Get over here!"

The two most iconic one-liners that came from Mortal Kombat way back in the 90s secured their place in pop-culture, still being referenced and used today. These two quotes will ALWAYS wrestle a sub-conscious smirk from your face.

The Wolf Among Us

Bigby Wolf

"Urggh. This shit will kill ya'."

*Takes puff of his cigarette*

Bigby Wolf is the protagonist in Telltale's The Wolf Among Us. He's the tough, emotionally withdrawn, whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking, wise-cracking, bad-ass tasked with solving a series of murders of fairytale characters in 1986 Fabletown. Again, Bigby (short for Big Bad Wolf) has a lot of great one-liners that made us smirk. Soda will kills you but your cigarettes won't, eh Bigby? Classic fairytale irony at its best.

Far Cry: Blood Dragon

Sgt. Colt

"I fucking HATE tutorials and this one is TERRIBLE!"

The 80s have made a comeback everywhere and Far Cry: Blood Dragon is no exception. Blood Dragon is an 80s-induced trip back in time to Hollywood's sci-fi and action films. Sgt. Rex Colt is a cyber commando in the near future of 2007 in which a nuclear war has destroyed the globe. One typical 80s best friend betrayal later and a revenge plot is set in motion. We all dislike most video game tutorials as much as the next guy (or gal) and Colt confirms this notion. You go Rex...

That's it for this listicle! We hope you enjoyed the article and found a few things to entertain you. Please leave a comment with what you think is your favourite quote in video games and don't forget to check out our channel and links!

How Much Is The Online Gaming Industry Worth? Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:16:09 -0500 vishal kumawat

Over the past decade online gaming has grown exponentially into one of the most lucrative avenues for developers to pursue.

With millions of gamers logging on to compete each and every day, the potential revenue for a business is massive, but how much is the gaming space actually worth? And who is leading the way in terms of pushing online gaming forward?

Web hosting experts 100TB have created a new infographic to help visualise the monetary value of this booming industry and answer these questions for anyone interested in the business side of the gaming industry.

For example, did you know…

  • Tencent games has a market cap of around $246 billion, making it the biggest gaming company in the world.
  • $36.9 billion of the online gaming market share is estimated to originate from the mobile market.
  • League of Legends is the most popular online game with an estimated 27 million active players every day. In 2014 the games earned $1.3 billion in digital revenue.
  • eSports continues to rise in popularity, with global revenue expected to reach $1.1 billion in 2018.
  • Saahil Arora, a pro gamer known as UNiVeRsE has earned $2,631,245 playing online battle arena game Dota 2.

You can take a look at the infographic below...

How Much Is The Online Gaming Industry Worth?
Provided by

The Top 7 Games of 2016 As Dictated By Me Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Clayton Reisbeck


And that's it! 2016 really was something fantastic for me in gaming. These games are ones that I feel will stick with me for some time and I can't wait to sink more hours into each of them. It's going to be interesting to see what 2017 is going to hold for us.


What games did you love this year? Am I wrong for loving any of the games here? Let me know in the comments!

Dark Souls III

Developer: From Software


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


It's sad to think that I won't be getting another Dark Souls game. While I was late to the SoulsBorne bandwagon, I have absolutely adored my time with Dark Souls III. I've talked before about how I am definitely not the best gamer you are going to find. I'm not the biggest fan of games that market themselves about being extremely difficult. For this reason, I thought I would never be a fan of the SoulsBorne series. But boy, was I wrong.


I started late with Bloodborne, but I immediately fell in love with the game and was hooked. When Dark Souls III came out earlier this year, I couldn't press the purchase button fast enough on Steam so I could finally get into the game.


Everything about this game is something to behold. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous. Every place you travel to in the game is just screenshot fodder (especially the first time you see Irithyll of the Boreal Valley). I was constantly being wowed by the look of this game. The way the game teaches you how to slow down and think through your attacks is one of the most interesting things I've seen in gaming in a while.


We live in a world where games that have quick kill times are the kings of the industry, but this game about slowing down and taking your time has been an absolute hit for years. It really is refreshing.


I think my favorite thing about the game, though, is that there is no obstacle that can't be overcome. Yes, it may take you more time than you thought, but you will always overcome that challenge. It's hands down one of the most satisfying games I've ever played, and I can't wait to see what From Software produces next.


Developer: id Software


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I'm going to get this out of the way now. I have never played the original Doom games. I respect the position they have in the gaming community and recognize the trends that they really started for our industry, but I still haven't gotten around to playing them. That being said, 2016's DOOM may be one of the best games I've played in years.


There is just so much to love here. The fast paced action, the gruesome glory kills, the personality of this silent Doom Slayer, the soundtrack (my god the soundtrack), the variety of weapons, the extremely well designed levels, the list goes on and on. I have just loved my time with this game and I was even late to the party. I started really playing this game around Christmas, but even then I knew I was getting into something special. Every moment I played I realized more and more why id is the juggernaut that it is. 


If you haven't gotten the chance to rip and tear your way through DOOM yet, drop everything you're doing and go get this game. You most definitely won't regret it.

The Jackbox Party Pack 3

Developer: Jackbox Games


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Mac, Android TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV


A few years ago I learned about a collection of party games called The Jackbox Party Pack. The collection contained a series of 5 different party games that were played on whatever device you bought the game on. The catch was that you controlled the game with any mobile device you hooked into the website. The games always brought laughter to my living room and gave me and my friends a real good time.


This year, the fine folks brought out the third iteration of the collection adding 4 new games along with a sequel to the previous collection's game Quiplash. I truly believe that this is the finest collection of games they've released yet.


With the previous collections, there were always a couple games that really had my attention but the other games could have been left to the side for me. This new collection, though, has a series of games that I have yet to get tired of. All of them are huge hits whenever I gather my friends over. Whether it's trying to escape from a gameshow loving serial killer, or just trying to make the group laugh with different quips, I have had a hell of a lot of fun with these games this year. The next time you get some friends together and are searching for things to do, The Jackbox Party Pack 3 can definitely liven up that gathering.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI

Developer: Firaxis Games


Platform: PC


Civilization V is my most played game on Steam. As of this writing, I have sunk 120 hours into the game. When Civilization: Beyond Earth came out, I was looking forward to continue my Civilization experience beyond the stars. Unfortunately, that game just doesn't click with me, so I was ready for a new Civilization game that could bring my attention back to the series that had taken up a lot of my time. Enter Civilization VI.


Civilization VI is hands down the most polished base Civilization game to date. It's clear that Firaxis learned from their missteps with Civ V and Beyond Earth.


This new game just feels polished in just about every way (save for the AI. Hoo boy does that need some work). I have already found myself saying, "just one more turn," and then looking over three hours later to find myself still playing. Civilization VI is definitely worth your time if you've been a fan of the series for a long time or are just now looking to get in on the fun.

Titanfall 2

Developer: Respawn Entertainment


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I never played much of the original Titanfall so I wasn't on the bandwagon of wanting this. After picking the game up when it was on sale earlier this year, I can safely say that I wish I would have played the original.


Titanfall 2 has done so many things right. It's campaign is one of the best first-person shooter campaigns I've ever played. Each level had some unique elements that it introduced that kept me wanting more. On top of this, the multiplayer is one of the best multiplayer experiences I've had in a very long time. I haven't this heavily into the fast paced shooter action since my days with Modern Warfare 2. What makes it so good? I think it's the relationship between the fast paced pilot combat and the slower, more strategic, Titan combat. This relationship is just fantastic to watch play out in any match in multiplayer.


I have had an absolute blast with this game and it's sad to think that more people aren't playing it. Sure, the game came out in a really poor time between the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield 1 but I really think that this is the title worth your time.


Developer: Blizzard Entertainment


Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC


I've been watching people play Overwatch since Blizzard started letting streamers and YouTubers play it early. With every person I saw playing it, my desire to play this game grew and grew. Finally this year, I got to experience what may be my new favorite shooter.


Overwatch is a game that I find myself coming back to time and time again. The team based combat really is something that I found that I really got on with. Being able to coordinate with your teammates to get that victory feels absolutely fantastic. The colorful cast of characters bring something desperately needed after years of drab military shooters. These characters feel like a lot of time, love, and effort were put into crafting them. The competitive scene is actually one of my favorite things I've gotten into this year. This is surprising for me as I am definitely not someone who was about the heavily competitive gaming scene. Now I can't wait to get my rank up and climb the ladder in the competitive mode.


On top of all this, we get the world class support of Blizzard behind it releasing free content in the way of new characters, game modes, and new maps. This game is truly something special and something that I genuinely look forward to playing for quite some time.

Pony Island

Developer: Daniel Mullins


Platform: PC


Last year, I was completely blown away by Undertale and was introduced to the concept of the meta game. These are games that play with your mind and bring the person behind the keyboard or controller into the game in a very real way.


This year, Pony Island was able to capture a lot of the same feelings I had while playing Undertale and really show what this new genre can do. This game takes a basic runner game and adds some extremely interesting mechanics and some fantastic storytelling elements to make you question what is truly going on in the game.


If you haven't had the chance to play this game, you owe it to yourself to head over to Steam and pick it up. You definitely won't be disappointed.


Last week I posted an article listing the top games of 2016 as reviewed by us here at GameSkinny. There were some great games on that list, but I wanted to take some time to talk about other games from 2016 that didn't make the list (but I personally love), as well as expound on some of the games on that list and why I thought they were some of the best-reviewed games of 2016.


As I said in that article, I explored many new worlds that have stuck with me as I gamed my way through the year, and there were titles that I got into that I would have never expected myself to even touch. On top of that, some of those games have quickly become some of my favorite games ever played.


So while this list isn't in any particular order, it's a list of games that meant the most to me last year. Let's get into it.

Shovel Knight has Pretty Much Become Indie Gaming's Mascot and That's Okay Sat, 05 Nov 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Damien Smith

Since the release of Shovel Knight, the character has become somewhat of a mascot of indie gaming. There has been numerous cameos of the character in a variety of games. Whenever a Shovel Knight cameo is announced there is massive hype for the characters appearance. Over the past two years, the knight has stood for the best of indie gaming and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Where it all began

The popularity of the character began with the release of the side-scrolling platform game Shovel Knight on June 26th, 2014. The game was developed and published by Yacht Club Games. It initially released on PC, 3DS, and the Wii U. Due to the game's success, it was later released on PS3, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One, Mac, Linux and Amazon Fire TV.

The game uses 8-bit graphics that are reminiscent the NES era of gaming. You take on the role of the Shovel Knight, who lost his beloved Shield Knight after being cursed by an amulet. The former Shield Knight becomes the Enchantress and raises to power, spreading evil across the land.

Shovel Knight, returns out of exile to face off against the Enchantress and hopefully turn her back into Shield Knight. You must travel to the Tower of Fate while facing off against crazy enemies and upgrade your shovel and armour. The game was met with critical acclaim, with reviews averaging at 85%.

As of April 2016, the game has sold over 1.2 million copies. The game is immensely popular, and the fans all came to love the character of Shovel Knight from their adventures playing as him. It was the beginning of what would create him to be the mascot of indie gaming.

Becoming a mascot

With the popularity of the game and its protagonist, it wasn't long before other indie developers wanted to have Shovel Knight featured in their games. Already he has appeared in two games.

The first being Runbow a platform racing game for the Wii U. The second game being Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, an action-platform game where he appears as a secret boss when using the Shovel Knight Amiibo.

He is also set to appear in five upcoming games. Hex Heroes, a party real-time strategy game, racing game Road Redemption, action RPG Indivisible3D platform adventure Yooka-Laylee and finally the Metroidvania title Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

The ever popular knight also had a cameo appearance in Sun Creature Studios' animated series The Reward: Tales of Alethrion. There are few video game characters that have had anything close to the number of cameos that Shovel Knight has. Making him one of the most popular video game characters ever -- he might even become as iconic as Mario or Sonic are today.

What is so appealing about the game?

Before Shovel Knight was even released, many fans who grew up with the platforming genre were longing for its return. After the 90s, the 2D platforming genre slowly began to die off in favour of 3D.

The design of cartoon-like characters was forgotten due to graphical technology slowly allowing for more realism with each passing year. Developers began focusing on more action orientated games, with characters that resemble real life people.

It left gamers with nothing but memories of the 'good old days.' Shovel Knight brought back the classic character design, with cartoon-like characters that are full of colour, but most of all humour. It is a game that not only looks like the games of old, but plays like them too.

It was created by a fan for the fans. It is what many gamers had long waited to see released. For those who owned an NES system, it was the nostalgia trip of a lifetime. For those who didn't, there were enough modern touches to make the game so appealing -- Shovel Knight doesn't play exactly like the classic 2D platformers, it plays exactly how you remember those classic 2D platformers.

With a loveable character, a classic story with a twist, infectious music, beautiful retro graphics, great gameplay and simply a great experience, there is nothing to dislike about the game. It is something that any gamer can pick up and enjoy.

Shovel Knight is a hero

Shovel Knight is a game that has revived a genre that had been lacking for so many years. Not only that, but it stands out as a beacon telling you, "everyone with the passion and determination can go out there and make a great game." It is a game that told the industry it was wrong.

The industry was wrong in believing that people only wanted better graphics and realistic gaming. It was wrong in believing that the platforming genre is dead. Shovel Knight told the industry, that there is always a place for such games to exist, and that plenty of gamers out there still want them.

The character of Shovel Knight is about being more than just a hero in the story of the game, he is a hero to gamers too. He brought back the love of the 8-bit platformers, and that has given him the imminence popularity. It earned him the badge of hero in-game and out.

Top 10 Minecraft songs that boost your focus and productivity Tue, 18 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Autumn Fish


Alpha - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Album Only


What better way to end off the top 10 Minecraft songs that boost focus and productivity than with the wonderfully composed Credits music?


Minecraft's unobtrusive soundtrack has always been my favorite to work to. I just can't focus with a playlist full of upbeat, melodic, or lyrical songs. C418's repetitive music keeps me so concentrated I hardly even notice the songs change.


What are your favorite Minecraft tracks to listen to? Surely our top 10's can't be the same! Leave your own list of Minecraft songs in the comments section below.


Sweden - C418

Minecraft - Volume Alpha

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


This is another steady-beat playlist starter. It has a sweet piano melody that flows sweetly throughout the song. It's one of C418's most popular songs from Minecraft, and small wonder. It's simple and even easy to pick up for novice musicians; yet it has a certain charm in its simplicity.


Mutation - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


Despite being a more recent addition to Minecraft, it sometimes feels as if Mutation was always there. Aptly named, the song draws inspiration from "Minecraft - Volume Alpha" and throws in it's own, unique spin. It's both nostalgic and fresh.


Mice on Venus - C418

Minecraft - Volume Alpha

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


A slightly better playlist starter than Haunt Muskie. It starts quiet and slow, then comes in with a soft, unforgettable piano melody. Like Danny, Mice on Venus is another two-in one track, where it has two separate melodies with identical beats -- one at the beginning and one at the end. Once again, this song tugs at the nostalgia heartstrings that come from 6+ years of Minecraft.


Haunt Muskie - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


All right, it's another good playlist starter. A lot of C418's songs start softly. Haunt Muskie is another unforgettable tune that accompanies you throughout your Minecraft journey. Its mesmerizing harmonies combine together into one of C418's best Minecraft tracks yet.


Danny - C418

Minecraft - Volume Alpha

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


This is another nostalgic track for old Minecraft fans. It's got a prominent, relaxing melody and a steady rhythm to start. Then it drops into some soothing, atmospheric tones before jumping into a completely different melody with the same beat. It's almost like two songs in one.


Taswell - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


Taswell is one of C418's longer tracks. Like Dead Voxel, it starts out quiet and slow, making for another fantastic playlist starter. It takes over two minutes for the melody to even kick in, but when it finally does, it swells into one of the catchiest tracks in Minecraft.


Droopy Likes Ricochet - C418

Minecraft - Volume Alpha

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


Any longtime Minecraft fan should have a place in their heart for this song. It was one of the few songs that originally made it into the game. It's a mellow groove with an unforgettable melody and a solid beat.


Kyoto - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


Kyoto is another slow, yet hauntingly beautiful piece. It's again, great for easing into the playlist and is a natural follow up for Dead Voxel. It's even a great song to throw on when you need to catch some Z's (sleep).


Dead Voxel - C418

Minecraft - Volume Beta

Bandcamp: Buy Track


iTunes: Buy Track


This song starts out slow, but it really picks up in the later half. It's a great song to ease yourself into your playlist of music without grasping too much of your attention. Start out with this song at the top of your playlist and you can't go wrong.


Did you know Minecraft has over 50 songs that kick in at random intervals? They're wonderfully relaxing, and a great backdrop for building, surviving, exploring or even doing non-Minecraft related things like studying or cleaning your gamer lair.


Minecraft music is really something of an enigma. C418 brilliantly paints the atmosphere of the game in his songs. And yet, they're so unobtrusive that you may not even notice them kick in when you're neck-deep in building the fortress of your dreams.


Chances are, you're not going to be whistling or humming along like you would with traditional Zelda songs. However, if you're looking for music to do your homework or chores to, Minecraft has the perfect selection.


That's right, Minecraft music is specifically designed to boost your ability to focus. The quiet, repetitive, unobtrusive nature of C418's songs are fantastic for immersing you into the task at hand, which by extension bolsters your productivity.


... the repetition is intended to induce a state of relaxation or concentration ...


-Kill Screen paraphrasing C418


So if you have trouble focusing on your work, you might consider adding "Minecraft - Volume Alpha" and "Minecraft - Volume Beta" to your playlist. You can purchase the digital albums off of Bandcamp (Alpha, Beta) or iTunes (Alpha, Beta).


Personally, I don't believe Minecraft has a song that's definitely the best. All 55 of them are truly mesmerizing. However, there are a select few that stand apart from the rest. And we're counting down the 10 most outstanding songs from C418's repertoire.


Now, let's let the music do the rest of the talking, shall we? Plug in your best set of headphones, grab yourself a snack, and relax to the sounds of Minecraft.