New Release Tagged Articles RSS Feed | New Release RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Second Extinction Releases on Xbox Game Pass For Console, PC Wed, 28 Apr 2021 16:57:41 -0400 David Carcasole

Developed by Systemic Reaction, Second Extinction is a co-op first-person dino shooter that released in Steam Early Access in October 2020 and has grown in player base and content immensely since then. . Now the shooter is on Xbox and PC as a preview through Xbox Game Pass. 

This release comes with a new content update with a new playable character, new tutorial, and new rewards for players to earn.

Second Extinction pits teams of three against swarms of dinosaurs roaming the post-apocalyptic world. The game features a wide variety of weapons and abilities to fight your prehistoric enemies, who have mutated into even better killing machines than they already were. 

Interestingly, the co op aspect of the game goes further than just your own squad. There's a metagame within Second Extinction whereby completing missions and activities directly impacts the threat level and challenges other players face. 

We enjoyed Second Extinction when we checked it out early in its life cycle. We praised it for its "fast-paced, smooth gunplay built perfectly for co op, complementary heroes [that] allow for varied squads, [and] addictive upgrade system with great rewards."

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights Slices Its Way Out of Early Access Thu, 15 Apr 2021 17:55:58 -0400 David Carcasole

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights has been given a release date: the 2D action game will officially exit Early Access on June 22, releasing first on PC and Nintendo Switch. It will also see releases on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 (through backwards compatibility) on July 6. Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S release dates are yet to be announced. 

Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights comes from developers Live Wire and Adglobe and publisher Binary Haze Interactive. It's a dark fantasy Metroidvania in which players guide Priestess Lily through the Kingdom of Land's End, and bring brutally challenging bosses to their knees. 

Along the way, players will face a number of unique enemies, some of them, according to Live Wire and Adglobe, can be conscripted "as equippable companion spirits." 

The game's Japanese dark fantasy aesthetic, along with its haunting soundtrack, gives Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights an eerie but beautiful atmosphere, something players have especially been enjoying as noted by Binary Haze Interactive CEO Hiroyuki Kobayashi:

Early Access users are in love with the soundtrack and have clamored to see the ending of Ender Lilies. Between the feedback from players, our action-packed gameplay, and the beautiful atmosphere created by Mili's music and our artists, Ender Lilies will satisfy existing metroidvania fans while bringing new ones into the fold.

For more on Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights, check it out in Steam Early Access here for $19.99. The developers said that the price will increase to $24.99 when the game exits Early Acces, so snag it up now if it looks interesting! 

New Game Releases: Week of November 11, 2018 Mon, 12 Nov 2018 10:59:27 -0500 William R. Parks

Following a relatively quiet week for new AAA releases, studios are coming out swinging with some major titles this week.

On Tuesday, IO Interactive is back with Hitman 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, the seventh title in the series and a direct sequel to 2016's Hitman.

For those unfamiliar with the franchise (and who cannot glean the premise from the game's vague title), Hitman 2 puts players in the shoes of Agent 47, a killer-for-hire. As with Hitman, the sequel functions as a sandbox game, setting players loose in six unique (and massive) locales as they decide how they will reach and execute their targets.

If you have been hankering for more stealth murder, Hitman 2 promises an updated and expanded Hitman experience. And if you have never dipped your toes into the series, this new releases looks to be an excellent entry point.

On Wednesday, Bethesda's multiplayer RPG Fallout 76 comes to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Set in a fictionalized West Virginia, 76 is an online-only open-world entry, and it boasts a map four times larger than Fallout 4. While many aspect of the game may prove familiar to fans of the franchise, the emphasis on multiplayer, the absence of NPCs, and alterations to the series' notable SPECIAL and VATS systems means this going to be a title not quite like any other from the series.

While reactions to 76's B.E.T.A. appear mixed, it is difficult to have a full understanding of exactly how the game will function until the general public is let loose on its servers. I am certainly curious to see how things will unfold.

And on Friday, Pokemon comes to Nintendo's newest console with Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! for Switch.

Let's Go is an updated version of 1998's Pokemon Yellow with modernized gameplay. For instance, Pokemon will now be visible on the game's map, allowing players to approach them directly rather than engage them through random encounters.

Additionally, Let's Go has integration with Pokemon Go, allowing trainers to transfer first gen Pokemon from the mobile game to their Switch. While this integration is optional, if you are looking to catch Meltan, a new mythic, in Let's Go, you will need to transfer at least one Pokemon from Go first.

What are you looking at for this week? Let us know in the comments below, and here is a more complete list of this week's releases.

Tuesday, November 13
  • Hitman 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • The Room 3 (PC)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider - The Forge DLC (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Switch)
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PS4, Xbox One)
Wednesday, November 14
  • Fallout 76 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Thursday, November 15
  • Underworld Ascendant (PC)
Friday, November 16
  • Civilization 6 (Switch)
  • Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! & Let's Go, Eevee! (Switch)
Sonic Mania Releases Today Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:37:30 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Sonic Maniathe newest installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, as well as the newest 2D game in the series in quite some time, finally releases today.

Sonic Mania was not developed by Sonic Team, but was instead a joint effort between developers Headcannon, PagodaWest Games, and Christian "Taxman" Whitehead -- who served as the head programmer for the project. Whitehead was chosen for his past work in porting early entries in the Sonic series, such as the enhanced port of Sonic CD, and both Headcannon and PagodaWest games were chosen for their noteworthy work on quality Sonic fan games.  

The game will allow the player to take control of Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles as they adventure through 12 different zones, composed of re-visited classic levels, re-vamped classic levels with drastic changes, and a number of brand new zones never seen before in a Sonic game. The game also features a split-screen competitive multiplayer mode, as well as a "time attack" mode with online leaderboards, and two forms of bonus stages accessible in the main campaign.

Sonic Mania is available for download now for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One, and will be available for PC on August 29th. It will cost $20 on all platforms.

Tales of The Rays Out Now Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:52:16 -0400 Kevin Ngo

The wait for Tales of the Rays to be out is over, as it now available for Android users to download and play. (But iOS users will have to wait a bit until the app gets approved before they'll have access to it.)

We knew that Tales of the Rays would be coming out sometime this summer based on the game's announcement at Anime Expo -- but now it's finally here. What kind of content can you expect from this mobile JRPG? Let's break it down.


The story of Rays has you following the adventure of Ix Nieves and Milenna Weiss -- two friends who grew up in a small town island of Odanse. Ix and Milenna are Mirrist Knights who've been given the task of saving their world, Tir Na Nog. They will have to travel to other worlds, where they'll meet friends and foes alike.

For the English version of Rays, the first five chapters have been released. The Japanese version currently has 10 chapters, with Chapter 11 on its way. So it will be a while before the English version of Rays catches up.


Events are special quests that will occur every two weeks  --and it will come with two new characters from the Tales of series. For example, the first event in Rays features Jade and Tear from Tales of the Abyss.

You'll obtain the two characters when you complete the event quests. While you play through them, you'll also obtain materials you can exchange for weapons, costumes, or mirage artes, plus materials you can use to enhance your weapons, and mirage artes. 

There's also currently a sweepstakes campaign going on Rays' official Facebook page, where you could potentially win a prize if you like their page, like a campaign post, and send their page a message of who's your favorite Tales of hero.

You can download Tales of the Rays for yourself on Google Play to start this new Tales adventure.

What are your thoughts on the game so far? Let me know in the comments below!

Minecraft : Story Mode – Season 2 Out Now on iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox and PC Tue, 11 Jul 2017 12:23:51 -0400 daisy_blonde

Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 was released today on PC and across mobile and console platforms. This new season continues Telltale’s blend of option-based storytelling with the Minecraft universe, with the player’s actions and decisions in Season 1 having the potential to carry over and have an impact on the new adventure.

The new episode, "Hero in Residence", follows young builder Jesse (either male or female, depending on which the player has chosen) and their friends who stumble upon an artifact known as the Prismarine Gauntlet. It turns out that this object will unlock an underwater world.

Patten Oswalt and Catherine Taber reprise their roles as the voices of male and female Jesse, with The Last of Us voice actress, Ashley Johnson, also voicing a character.

An additional feature, Crowd Play, will allow other players to join in and make decisions with their smart phones.

The first episode is available online for $24.99, with the Season Pass disc containing all 5 episodes due to be released on September 5. You can buy the game from online stores or from Telltale’s official site.

Are you excited about the latest season of Minecraft: Story Mode? Let us know in the comments below.

Orion Releases New Game for Original Game Boy Fri, 21 Apr 2017 05:38:01 -0400 tofuslayer

Orion, an independent retro video game developer, has just released Escape 2042: The Truth Defenders for the monochrome Game Boy devices. It's been a long time since we've seen new software for the original Game Boy, which debuted in 1989. Orion describes the new release as "a futuristic fast-paced platformer game in pixel art."

The game itself takes place in prison Bulor 24, where you must make your way through while avoiding the security cameras. Along the way, you collect grenades to defeat enemies and hack computers to unlock doors and deactivate security systems.

Users can also purchase Escape 2042 for Sega Megadrive/Genesis and MIL-CD compatible Dreamcast systems. The full-sized console game features three different game environments: prison, desert, and forest as well as two mini-games.

If you want to experience the retro gaming feel of Escape 2042 but don't have the proper devices, the new release is also available for PC on Steam -- so that's nice.

Explore the High Seas in the New Black Desert Online Expansion Wed, 25 Jan 2017 06:49:21 -0500 Will Dowell

Sandbox MMORPG Black Desert Online now allows players to explore the high seas in the just released Margoria expansion. Margoria allows players to build their own ship and scour the oceans for trade and treasure. Guilds can do battle with the new naval combat system to protect their precious trade routes. And other players are not the only threat on these waters -- frightening monsters lurk in the dark abyss, killing anything that trespasses on their domain.

Players seeking a thrill can do battle against these deadly creatures and reap the rewards of victory. More peaceful players can fish and build expansive trade routes to expand their power in this large world. An additional 100 quests have also been added to Black Desert Online to properly showcase these features.

Black Desert Online already distinguished itself from competing MMORPG's through its focus on action combat and parkour. Taking inspiration from both  open-world sandboxes and World of Warcraft, Black Desert Online takes the best from both worlds and creates something fresh. Margoria can now be experienced by all Black Desert Online players for free.

Stay tuned for more news on Black Desert Online.

Witcher Developer CD PROJEKT RED Has a Bunch of Job Openings for 2017 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 01:02:18 -0500 Naomi N. Lugo

2017 is set to be a big year for CD PROJEKT RED, and they’re not shy about it. “If your New Year’s resolution is to work in the Game Industry, you’re in luck! We're recruiting!” they posted to social media on Dec. 4. Of course, this message was accompanied by a smiling Geralt, because he smiles all the time.

Anyway, they weren’t kidding with this proclamation. Their careers page is six pages long full of jobs. The listings range from working on Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, internally for the company, working with CD PROJEKT RED’s digital distribution platform and of course on the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077.

This push to hire more people onto the team is hopefully a good sign for Cyberpunk 2077’s release date and the future of the dev overall. Dec. last year, CD PROJEKT RED received some major support from their native Poland in the form of a $7 million grant. Reportedly, the company received the largest portion of the funds.

The positions are mostly internationally located in Warsaw and Krakow in Poland or Shanghai, but there is one opening in Los Angeles for a lead illustrator. Working with a critically acclaimed company like CD PROJEKT RED, however, might be worth the move.

Are you excited for Cyberpunk 2077? Do you think it will come out in 2017? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Five Games to Look Forward to in December Thu, 01 Dec 2016 07:00:01 -0500 StraightEdge434


1. The Last Guardian


Platform: PS4


Release Date: December 6 


Publisher and Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment and genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio.



Finally. After many delays, the PS4 exclusive title will be released on December 6th! 


Since 2007, The Last Guardian had been in development for the PS3 by Fumito Ueda, the creative mind behind other titles like Shadow of the Colossus and Ico. But due to Ueda, along with other project members leaving Sony, and other complications like hardware issues, the title was swapped to a PS4 release instead.


The game is sort of like a flashback from a boy's perspective. When he was young, he got kidnapped and was put in a castle. There he encountered the creature pictured above. With the creature's help, the boy tries to escape the castle. All this time, the two develop a friendship.


This is one of the most anticipated PS4 titles yet, and gamers have been looking forward to it since its announcement at E3 2015. The title has been in development for a long time, so let's hope that it'll be a mind-blower.




These are just some of the games that players are looking forward to in the month of December! What games are you yourself most excited for? Feel free to let us know down in the comment section!


2. Super Mario Maker for 3DS


Platform: 3DS


Release Date: December 2


Publisher and Developer: Nintendo



Are you a creative individual? Do you like to build stuff and design unique levels? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this game is for you!


The original Super Mario Maker came out for the Wii U last year. This time around, the game will be coming to the handheld device!


This special Super Mario game allows you to build, design, and construct your very own levels! You can also share those levels with the world and allow other players to try and beat them. You can either make a standard level which is very basic to the original levels from other games, or you can add obstacles, puzzles, or whatever it is that you wish in order to spice up your creativity!


The game literally allows you to create whichever level you want, play it, share it, and much more!


3. Super Mario Run


Platform: iOS


Release Date: December 15


Publisher and Developer: Nintendo



Super Mario Run will be available for the iPhone and iPad soon. The game quite honestly is pretty simple. Mario keeps running forward the whole time. By tapping the screen, he will jump and collect coins, or stomp an enemy. If you time your jumps correctly, he will be able to pull off interesting and unique moves, and gather even more coins!


The game will have three modes: World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder.

  • World Tour: Just like any other Super Mario game, Mario must rush to Princess Peach's rescue and save her from Bowser.
  • \n
  • Toad Rally: This is sort of like a multiplayer mode. The goal is try and collect as many coins in order to set a high score between your friends or other players from around the world.
  • \n
  • Kingdom Builder: You can build your own little world from the coins that you have collected in Toad Rally.
  • \n

This is basically the classic Super Mario games that you played, but incorporate a new aspect (just tapping the screen). And as stated above, it'll have a multiplayer area which might prove to be incredibly interesting for a platforming game.


4. Eagle Flight


Platform: Vive


Release Date: December 20


Publisher and Developer: Ubisoft and Ubisoft Montreal



An exclusive VR title, Eagle Flight literally provides players with a bird's eye view. The whole game takes place in Paris after humans have vanished, and nature took over as a result of that. You can fly around the city and explore every street, building, and famous landmark like the Eiffel Tower.


Apart from having single player, there will also be multiplayer. You will have the option to battle other players in mid air for whatever objective. Or you if prefer to avoid combat altogether, you can just have pleasant and relaxing flight.


If you ever wanted to get a bird's perspective of the world, regardless of midair combat or just flying around and exploring, than this game might be for you. 


5. Maize


Platform: PC


Release Date: December 1


Publisher and Developer: Finish Line Games



I'm going to try and keep this simple... it's a P.O.V. adventure game about a corn that comes to life and explores an abandoned farm, the area around it, and a secret research facility that just so happens to be underground. There is also a Russian toy robot bear, so you have that to look forward to!


I'm also certain that besides the adventure aspect, gamers will have to solve puzzles of various kinds. And since this game will require exploration, you'll make some unique discoveries, especially in the underground research facility!


November is almost over. As December slowly makes its way towards us, gamers have set their eyes on new releases. And let us not forget that December is also the holiday season! Perhaps you're looking to get a gift for yourself, or someone that you know?


The following is a slideshow that displays the five most anticipated for December.

Infinite Warfare is Finally Out....But Did it Beat Battlefield 1? Tue, 08 Nov 2016 07:40:46 -0500 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

Now that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is out, it is finally time for us to get past all the debate about whether Battlefield 1 or Infinite Warfare was better. Although the question will spark once again as next year's annual installments start gearing up for release, for right now we can definitively say which 2016 shooter took the cake for the year. 

Let's consider...

The original hype for Infinite Warfare fell fast after the release of the first trailer showed at E3 2016, and had fans of Call of Duty feeling bored with the new concept for the game. Fans said it felt too much like Destiny or Halo rather than a Call of Duty game, and complained to no end.

That was until the trailer for Battlefield 1 was released later that day. At that moment, all of the hype that was originally meant for Infinite Warfare went towards DICE’s Battlefield 1. Fans of Call of Duty turned to Battlefield 1, leaving Infinity Ward in the dust.

But now that Infinite Warfare is out, did it somehow manage to beat Battlefield 1?

While review sites and reviews themselves say different things, it does seem like the fans really had good things to say about Infinite Warfare. Major review conglomerates like Metacritic and GameSpot gave it a 7.5 -- a much different score compared to the other entries they reviewed.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, was given praise and fantastic reviews upon release, and is still given the credit the game earned. Looking over the ratings from GameSpot and Metacritic shows that players and critics rated the game higher overall than CoD fans rated theirs. 

Ratings aside, launch day issues are something else to consider. And while there were some glitches in gameplay for Battlefield 1, nothing compared to the compatibility issues Windows 10 buyers experienced with Call of Duty's multiplayer. Players who had bought the game through the Windows store were unable to connect with players on Xbox Live servers, and were even barred from playing alongside other PC gamers who'd purchased the title on Steam. For that reason and the slew of bugs that players reported at the outset, Infinite Warfare took a serious hit. 

And while people say the multiplayer is as fun as they've come to expect in a Call of Duty game, many fans are having a problem with the forgettable campaign and “silly” zombies mode. 

Taking all the reviews and launch day issues into account, what did players really get for the price tag of these two games?

Infinite Warfare gave us the remastered Modern Warfare in addition to its base game, but it felt as if Infinity Ward was trying too hard to make players purchase the game at a higher price (and extra $20 tacked onto the normal $60 AAA price tag), rather than giving players the option to purchase Modern Warfare Remastered separately in case they had no interest in the new installment.

But that doesn't mean EA is off the hook just yet. The company is known for having unreasonable amounts of DLC, making games like Battlefield 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront feel incomplete. But at least EA is giving its fan the option to purchase DLCs for Battlefield 1 separately.

On a related note, the sales for Battlefield 1 were incredible. But the sales for Infinite Warfare didn’t do as well, selling only 50% of what Black Ops 3 did in the UK. This could be quite a problem for Infinity Ward going forward.

All in all, it seems like Battlefield 1 truly won the fight this time. But that doesn’t mean Infinite Warfare is the worst game this year by any measure. This entry in the long-running Call of Duty series could just be a drawback that will be learned from as Infinity Ward goes on to make more games in the franchise's future. Perhaps something like the (fictitious) cover above...?

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more on Infinite Warfare or Battlefield 1, check out GameSkinny for everything gaming!

The Last Guardian Gameplay Details Leaked by the ESRB Tue, 27 Sep 2016 16:00:50 -0400 Jared Elliott

Though it has experienced a multitude of delays since its announcement in 2009, The Last Guardian is slated for release on December 6, 2016 as a PS4 exclusive.

The game is directed and designed by Fumito Ueda, who received almost universal praise for his work on the cult classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Needless to say, anticipation for The Last Guardian is palpable.

The ESRB assigned a "T" rating to The Last Guardian today while providing a summary of the game's content, which reveals previously-unknown details about various gameplay elements:

This is an action-adventure game in which players control a young boy as he explores ruins and solves puzzles with his giant animal companion (Trico). Players can command Trico to zap blocked passages or strike enemies with a lightning attack that shoots from its tail.

Enemies in suits of armor generally break into pieces when defeated, though soldiers sometimes emit blood-like flashes or red symbols when injured. In some levels, the player's character can rip the helmets off enemy characters, though no gore is shown. Cutscenes also depict acts of violence and occasional blood: Trico attacked by spears or swords; Trico bleeding from wounds.

Similarly to Ico, it appears that The Last Guardian will feature enemies, a combat system, and weapons. Enemies found in the game may be reminiscent of the shadow-like creatures in Ico, as the ESRB mentions the player's ability to "rip the helmets off enemy characters" and the notable lack of gore. This implies that nothing exists beneath helmets in the first place, which raises a new question of whether The Last Guardian and Ico exist in the same universe.

The Last Guardian will be released December 6, 2016 exclusively for PS4.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare: New Official Trailer Released Sun, 18 Sep 2016 04:04:37 -0400 Michael Keener

Activision has officially released the story trailer for Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. It provides a look into what players will experience in the single-player campaign when the game releases in less than two months. Military backstabbing, global warfare that reaches out to space stations, and a substantial amount of... warfare (duh). If you're familiar with how the official announcement for the game went back in May, you'll know it received more negative attention than almost anything you can imagine.

In fact, the only thing outranking it on Most Disliked YouTube Videos is Justin Bieber's song titled "Baby". Since the Story Trailer was posted, and at the time of writing, the video has received roughly 36,000 likes and 10,000 dislikes (a big difference compared to the official Reveal Trailer with almost 531,000 likes and 3,252,000 dislikes). There's a couple million voters who obviously haven't clocked in to submit an opinion, but for the foreseeable future it appears the Story Trailer won't take off as a social media disliking trend.

If you get too distracted from all the enticing and dramatic scenes to fully understand the plot; Activision submitted a description summarizing what you see in the trailer. It reads:

"After a simultaneous surprise attack on UNSA forces in Geneva and the Moon Port Gateway, Lt. Nick Reyes must take the helm of the Retribution, one of Earth’s last remaining warships. In a time of unthinkable adversity, Reyes must lead his trusted crew against the relentless Settlement Defense Front’s plans to dominate all who oppose them.

The freedom of every citizen of Earth is at stake."

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare releases November 4, 2016, and an early beta will be playable October 14, 2016, first on PS4 (with Xbox One beta coming later), for those who pre-order the game.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X Out Today Tue, 30 Aug 2016 03:41:31 -0400 Ashley Erickson

The latest Hatsune Miku game, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X is out today on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Featuring multiple game modes and various Vocaloids, the single player rhythm game is the latest to be released in the series.

With new melody songs, the player must match the buttons being displayed on the screen in order to achieve a high score. With a new mechanic called rush notes, where you tap the buttons rapidly, you can greatly improve your score in a small amount of time. Between Live Quest Mode quests, visual novel style scenes are shown between the player's character and the Vocaloids. Free Play Mode allows the player to customize the stage and various modules of the game. Area quests are completed by performing certain songs, wearing certain styles in specific areas. Event quests are triggered during Live Quest Mode when special circumstances are met.

Will you be playing Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X and become the latest singing sensation?

Logophiles, rejoice - Pandora's Books is here to meet your literary gaming needs! Sat, 20 Aug 2016 07:21:46 -0400 Amy Turnbull

Pandora’s Books is the first game of its kind to hit the iOS App Store. This fast-paced brain teaser is both a word unscrambler and monster shooter game in one.

The player must help Pandora defeat the monsters that are taking over and attacking towns based on the worlds found within classic literature. To work your way through these towns, you must unscramble the jumbled words presented to you as quickly as possible. Defeating monsters will provide you with clues, should you require them. 


This is the debut game from the all-female indie development studio, Smithsoft. The studio’s founder, veteran programmer Sarah Smith, wanted to bring something unique to the market that would be fun for all ages:

“I wanted to bring these classic books back to life and reignite some of the old school words. To really challenge people and get them to use their brains whilst still having a bit of fun.”

The words you’re given to unscramble all come from classic literature, some of which dates back to the 1800s, with works from the likes of H.G. Wells and Emily Brontë making an appearance. You can currently explore H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds for free, and gain access to more classics along the way, including Wuthering Heights and Hound of the Baskervilles, to name a few.


Pandora’s Books features 20 levels of challenges that are “easy and fun to play [but] difficult to master”. You can also enjoy a soundtrack and full-colour scenes with each book you encounter.

The game is social media compatible, so you can share your experiences online. You can also use the Facebook leaderboard to compete with friends.

Pandora’s Books is available to download for free now on the App Store for iOS. There are plans to release the game for Android users later this year.

Exclusive Interview: Khaled Shariff, CEO of Project Whitecard, talks about Star Rangers and the future of the gaming industry Wed, 13 Jul 2016 08:18:31 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Recently, I had a unique opportunity to interview the wonderfully charismatic CEO of Project Whitecard Inc., Khaled Shariff. To say he is a visionary would be an understatement. His company is pioneering new ground in the gaming world with what are called serious games. These are games designed to be more than just entertainment -- they also teach.

Mr. Shariff is the brains behind Star Rangers, a near future space exploration game that was released on Steam last week. The game is in an early alpha state at the moment, but is receiving regular patches and updates. Mr. Shariff is hoping that community input from the alpha and beta stages will help to improve the game over the course of its development.

The Origins

Mr. Shariff left a career as a Senior Web Developer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to start his own company and design games that would change the industry. He believes games are not only for entertainment, but also as tools to inspire us to learn and grow. Here is what he had to say:

GS: Hello and thank you for taking a few moments out of your busy schedule to speak with me. Congratulations on the release of Star Rangers. How has the release been so far?

KS: "Thank you. It has been great, it's been very busy, but sales are great and we are getting some very positive reviews. So, yeah it's been good."

GS: Can you tell me a little about Project Whitecard and how you got involved with developing games?

KS: "Project Whitecard Was founded about 9 years ago. I was working at the news in Toronto before that as a senior web developer and made it to what I consider to be the top of that profession. [I] really wanted to do something that was good for mankind, if you will, you know, because I spent a lot of time posting news stories on the war, you know Afghanistan and Iraq.

I felt like people weren't getting smarter. There was a disservice being done, not at CBC, but you know I'd rather have the kids grow up smarter. So, I decided about ten years ago to leave and decided to start a game company. What I really wanted to do was work with NASA, with astronauts, and with the space program."

The Mission

While most of the player's time in Star Rangers is spent in a vacuum, it was definitely not designed in one. Mr. Shariff invested a lot of his own money and worked hard to obtain funding and support from groups like NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the Canada Media Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The University of California Irvine, and the California Academy of Science. That is quite an impressive pedigree for a video game.

Before Star Rangers, Project Whitecard developed a game called Robomath for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The game was designed for 5th - 10th grade children and reached nearly 1.5 million kids in Canada. Astronaut Julie Payette took the starring role in the game and gave it a real connection to the space program.

They also developed a game called Project Moonwalk which was a space simulator designed around the original Apollo missions. Astronaut Chris Hadfield played a role in the development of this mobile title. Starlite: Astronaut Rescue was another small, but expensive game project that really helped pave the way for Star Rangers.

One of the meetings Mr. Shariff had with NASA also garnered a thumbs up from renowned scientist and educator Bill Nye, who told Mr. Shariff: “Khal, build the game you want to, not what other people think you should build”. I was curious about how this all came about. 

GS: How did your relationship with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency evolve and how has that helped the development of Star Rangers?

KS: "When I got back to my home town [Winnipeg] I created the company and I first set my sights on a game. [I] got it crystal clear in my sights on the Apollo program and decided to create a game around that. It was called Project Moonwalk.

So, I started working on that and let the Canadian Space Agency know what I was doing because, you know, we have quite a nice space program with some nice astronauts, Chris Hadfield being an important, recent, and very visible one [resource]. When I let Marylin Steinberg at the CSA know that I was really interested in working on this Project Moonwalk, she said "Well I'm interested in this kind of thing too, but you're going to have to hold on."

A year later I got a phone call saying: "By the way Khal, heads up we issued a RFP (Request For Proposal)". I had done quite a bit of work already on Project Moonwalk, had already been invited to speak at NASA by Bruce Damer on a couple of occasions. On one of those I had that famous meeting with Bill Nye."

The Design
"Designing a game is not an easy thing to do, but I would encourage anyone to try. You certainly become a new person." - Khaled Shariff

One of the great things about serious games is that they offer a chance to learn something new while having fun at the same time. The science in Star Rangers is real, and to prove it players can earn Mozilla Open Badges for scientific achievements made within the game. These awards, once earned, will be with the player for the rest of their lives and can have far reaching effects on their careers.

Despite the retro, pulp sci-fi appearance of the game, Star Rangers is actually a very sophisticated simulation of space exploration. Mr. Shariff and his team of developers has invested a great deal of thought, effort, and capital into its development. It is the culmination of nearly a decade of dedication and hard work.

GS: I've noticed that there is some pretty serious science in the game. I created a moon base where I built an Applied Science Lab. When I tried to upgrade the lab the game asked me to answer a fairly complex mathematical equation involving the coefficient of drag. Can you tell me a little more about that mechanic and what your plans are going forward?

KS: It requires a lot of meditation to come up with ways to introduce learning. One of the things Bill and Melinda Gates were interested in was to show evidence that this [the game] is evidentiary of the things that you have in the game and that becomes your evidence of learning.

I had to really think hard because we had done games in the past where it asks you a question and stops you and then you go on. It really would break the immersion. In Astronaut Rescue we did do some questions that help you triangulate a lost astronaut and that seemed to work okay, but we wanted to make it a little more interesting. 

To have a sense of immersion that there is science going on you can only do that right now in a video game or in VR. We are going to do it in VR as well and make it even more seamless. Then you're immersed in science, not just watching it on a screen. 

We have data caches that are spread throughout the game. You collect the data caches and that becomes part of your player inventory stored on your computer. Then when you try to upgrade certain items you can try to use different ,science based, data caches to upgrade. 

It's important to be able to demonstrate, at some point, that we actually did teach people something. That's the mandate.

GS: Can you talk a little about the Mozilla Open Badges and how that feature was added to the game?

KS: "I had started applying for a project that had initially thought to be a mobile project and had competed with NASA in something called the Digital Media Learning Competition 2011 (DML4). We won that to work with NASA to come up with a system of badges to recognize learning. But of course my idea was to put the badges in a game, right of course. I mean that's what I'm all about.

I got to pitch, both through the University of California Irvine, and at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco as well as the MacArthur Foundation. Then I was invited to speak at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and we won that [grant], so that got us on our way."

GS: The music in the game is quite beautiful. Can you tell me who did the soundtrack and how that came about?

KS: "We were given a grant by FACTOR [Canada] to come up with original music which was done by Joe Silva, Ali Khan, and Marty Famine. So that original album is available on iTunes and also on the front of our website. We've added some other space themed music in there too just to mix it up, but the core music was done by those three musicians. That was funded by a $50K grant." 

The Future

Project Whitecard is all about the future, especially the future of our youth. In addition to Star Rangers and the learning games developed for the CSP, the Winnipeg based company offers a program in game development at the University of Winnipeg.

They are also doing something completely unprecedented in the gaming industry. They are working with a program called Project PoSSUM and it is pretty amazing. 10% of the proceeds from the sales of Star Rangers is earmarked for this program and will send a few of the game's most active players to astronaut training at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Students will learn how to become astronauts and help with sub-orbital science. One of those lucky few will even get to hitch a ride on a rocket and become a genuine Star Ranger in real life! That is quite an incentive to play.

So, how can Project Whitecard possibly top all of this? How about curing Alzheimer's? That's one of the company's new goals. They are currently experimenting with the medical applications of Virtual Reality. Alzheimer's is just one of several diseases and conditions that may, one day, be cured or prevented by this ground breaking research. 

Khaled Shariff is a man who believes in a better future for all of us. He sees games and the gaming industry as a stepping stone on the path to bigger and better things. He believes in our future generations and is literally doing everything he can to put the future in their hands. 

Space Cartoons? Void Destroyer II set for alpha release in Q2 2016 Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:09:08 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Iteration 11, the indie developer who gave us Void Destroyer, has offered up a tentative release schedule for Void Destroyer II. According to the game's Steam page, it's due to release in alpha during the second quarter of 2016, with a full release planned for sometime in 2017.

The Alpha demo was released on Steam on June 17th, but there was no mention of when the game might release until recently. Development has been slow, but does seem to be going forward as evidenced in the latest developer blog video.

With its distinctive cel-shaded graphics and bright sky box visuals, Void Destroyer 2 has garnered a few upraised brows and questions as to whether the game's cartoon like graphics will appeal to gamers. The developer has no plans to remove the bright sky boxes, but says he will tone them down a bit before release.

The graphics may resemble Borderlands, but that is where the resemblance ends. The game plays more like a cross between the X series and Homeworld. Players will be able to command huge fleets of ships and have the capability to jump into the pilot seat of any of them at will. This lets players get into the middle of the action, but still have tactical control over the whole battle.  

Although the fleet combat action takes center stage, the game is at its heart a sandbox simulation. Players will start with a tiny ship and almost no money, but can work their way up to commanding entire fleets. They will be free to roam, trade, explore, and complete missions to their heart's content. But the developer has also promised a story mode in the final release. 

Check out the demo on Steam and check out the developer's website for more details. 

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven Releases Today Tue, 28 Jun 2016 07:38:34 -0400 John Robson

Adventure fighting game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven is hitting the shelves today.

Based on the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga series, this game is the second in the series to be developed by CyberConnect2. Following on from the release of the game on PlayStation 3 and 4 in Japan on December 17 2015, it finally arrives on those same consoles in North America today.

To build up the anticipation surrounding its release, Bandai Namco has consistently released a number of trailers, each showing a different episode. Each episode features different characters who appear as the protagonist Jotaro travels through time to meet his ancestor Jonathon Joestar, his younger grandfather, Joseph Joestar, and his younger uncle Josuke Higashikata. Other characters the protagonist eventually comes across are Giorno Giovanna, and his own daughter Jolyne Cujoh.

All of this includes a mysterious plot involving vampires and a series of characters who the protagonist once knew who have succumbed to the dreaded curse. You could say the bizarre adventure part is apt.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven releases today in North America on PlayStation 3 and 4 and in Europe July 1st 2016.

Hyrule never looked so good, or so comfy! Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:20:48 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

That's right folks, Zelda jammies are here and they are selling out fast! Merchiod just revealed the latest in their Legend of Zelda clothing line -- the Zelda Lullaby Ladies Nightwear Set. The set will run you $24.99 and ships from the UK.

Their Zelda line includes everything from belts to bikini's. And the description on their website has a bit of flair to it as well:

Well, Link can’t awaken unless he’s asleep first.

  • A long day of adventuring deserves a long, comfy sleep
  • Comes in Link-y green because…well, because of course it does
  • Shorts, baggy neck and cap sleeves for summer nights that get hotter than the Fire Realm
  • Pair with an elf nightcap to complete the look!
  • Covered in Hylian crests – usually reserved for royalty – so you can feel like a real twilight princess
  • Offers no guarantee that pesky Navi won’t wake you up (grr)

If you're not into the Legend of Zelda, many other fabulous game inspired items can be found on their website as well. They have items from many major franchises, incuding Star Wars, DC, Marvel, Assassin's Creed. 

The Zelda Lullaby Ladies Nightwear Set is available now, but when last I checked they were low on stock, so if you love Legend of Zelda and you love comfy pajamas, now is the time.

ESO Dark Brotherhood DLC now available for Xbox One and PS4 players Wed, 15 Jun 2016 08:11:51 -0400 JessicaKloss

Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can now download Dark Brotherhood, the latest DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online. PC players were able to enjoy this content pack a few weeks ago, but it has just been made available for the rest of us today. 

The Dark Brotherhood DLC will allow players to visit the Gold Coast, an area on the west coast of Cyrodiil where the cities of Anvil and Kvatch exist (these two cities haven't been available since The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion). From there, you can play as the Dark Brotherhood's newest member and decide where your life as an assassin for hire will take you. The DLC will also include three new types of quests, two new world boss encounters, valuable new gear, and more. 

Players who have already purchased The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited and have an ESO Plus membership will have free access to the content pack, as long as the membership account remains active. Otherwise, Dark Brotherhood can be purchased for 2,000 crowns.