EMPORIUM Seeks Beauty In Life's Bleakest Moments

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EMPORIUM looks to take the player on a short, emotionally-harrowing journey through personal tragedy. It offers a series of bleak moments sprinkled with a handful of choices, having players join with another's pain and try to find reason, beauty, and poetry when their in-game lives are falling to pieces.

EMPORIUM doesn't offer much of an explanation going in, so I don't intend to either. Suffice to say that the game takes the player to some dark places in people's lives, and has them join with them in trying to find some sort of sense in life's seemingly-random cruelties. It's striking in its art and music, all while the story carries drags you through some ruthlessly emotional moments.

If you've got a half hour to spare to have your heart kicked around, give it a shot.

Trees, Cliffs, And Steep Descents Abound In Lonely Mountains: Downhill

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There was a time when off-road and unorthodox sports games were quite common, from BMX and dirt biking to wakeboarding. So in some ways, the dirt tracks and cliffside paths of Lonely Mountains: Downhill seem like a product of a time capsule from a past era, focused on intense downhill bicycling, a stylish low-poly aesthetic, and custom physics to capture every heavy landing and bone-crushing crashes.

Lonely Mountains promises to live up to its namesake: just you, your bike, and nature, as you race down dangerously twisting and uneven tracks. Drifting around narrow corners leaving spraying dirt in your wake, weaving between trees and leaping across rock outcrops, will require careful management of momentum to reach the bottom of the game's mountains. However if the tracks aren't daring enough, you can forge your own path, going literally off-road into the dense forests and boulders to earn the fastest lap times.

But such reckless downhill action won't leave you unscathed, and Lonely Mountains's physics engine means you'll see your rider suffer from those bad landings and headlong pedaling into trees. Much like its more over-the-top genre brethren Trials, sending your rider catapulting off cliff faces and into narrow groves of tress may be as enjoyable as skillfully surviving each descent.

Four Unlikely Heroes Sing A Familiar Tune In A World To The West

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Playing Rain Games' World to the West feels like listening to a familiar song, sung with a new voice. Or rather four new voices, as each of the game's four playable characters adds their own personality into the mix. While you can still hear the old familiar tune underneath it all, it is well worth listening to.

Or, to put it another way, World to the West may be riffing off of the Zelda games and similar top-down action adventures, and yet it doesn't feel derivative at all. If anything, it adds to the genre by splitting up different gameplay mechanics, making each of its four unlikely heroes play noticeably different. Oh, and the game's light-hearted cartoony style will probably charm your fake mustache off, so there's that.

Sharing the same universe with Rain Games' previous title, Teslagrad, World to the West follows four different characters whose fates appear to be intertwined. Teslamancer Lumina can control electricity and zip around fast as lightning. Knaus the orphan escapes a weird underground labor camp by digging lots of holes with his trusty shovel. Miss Teri can mind-control other creatures and bridge gaps with her shawl. And finally, the wonderfully pompous pugilist Lord Clonington likes to solve problems with his head... as in "head-first into the next wall."

Recover Your Memories To Learn The Truth In Remember, Remember

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Recover Your Memories To Learn The Truth In Remember, Remember

Remember, Remember is a visual novel that will test your morals as you try to uncover the mystery that entangles a group of students. To do so, you will be given various puzzles to solve in order to save your friends - or leave them to die.

You will be entrusted with the role of Kris, one of five close friends. Unfortunately for Kris, a secret has been kept from him, and he must find out the truth from his friends. To do that, you'll want them to stay alive, which means solving some high-stress puzzles where you will have to protect your friends within the time limit. For example, one of the first puzzles traps everyone but Kris in tubes filling with water, and Kris must navigate a maze game in order to save them. There is also a monster lurking within the maze that will try to stop you at every corner, and, if caught, you will lose precious time to save your friends.

Remember, Remember also features a voiced cast - complete with terrified screams and panic! Judging from the demo that is free to try on Steam, they cast some promising voices! The characters are very believable - given the very unbelievable predicament they have been placed in. The game shows some parallels between The Nonary Games and DanganRonpa - also very popular visual novels that feature locked-in casts that uncover secrets. Fans of that genre will be right at home with Remember, Remember.

The Edgelands Creates An Eerie Modern Folklore By Blurring Real & Unreal

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The Edgelands begins in a dark, eerie house set in an unknown rural backwoods town. From there, it will take you on a surreal, dream-like journey through folklore witnessed through a modern lens - a view of the current landscapes molded by mythology and the supernatural.

Your job is to navigate these strange twilight places, wandering through bleak visions of foggy swamps and murky pubs, meeting the people within and learning of their plights and stories. In doing so, you'll get to experience a blurring of fiction and reality - the ordinary and the supernatural coming together in a world shrouded in darkness.

This experience is highlighted by electronic music that adapts to what you're doing, continually shifting depending on your behavior and how you choose to conduct yourself in this world. This creates a personal bond that connects you with your actions in The Edgelands, putting you in control of the mood created by the music and tying your choices into the narrative the game weaves.

Everyday Curation - Using Ordinary Tools To Promote 1000 Game Developers

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Everyday Curation - Using Ordinary Tools To Promote 1000 Game Developers

Making games is a daunting process. Releasing them even more so. Managing to survive both of those things, only to be met with indifference and silence, can be crushing.

This happens all the time in this industry, though. Games, large and small, are met with no fanfare when they release, finding small audiences and few players to take in the works they've created. It's difficult to get noticed, though, when hundreds of games release on so many different platforms daily. It's sad how many wonderful, personal, and beautiful games simply fade away, seen and played by few.

"A big goal with all of my work is to demonstrate just how many videogames slip through the cracks." says Steve Cook, creator of the 1000 Game Makers thread on Twitter. Started just shy of a year ago, this collection is Cook's personal journey to find one thousand individual game makers, curating them so the world could witness their work, helping developers find an audience that cares after putting in all that work and passion.

I Came To Forget My Daily Life Offers Escape From Constant Productivity

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Productivity is the be-all and end-all in the world of I Came To Forget My Daily Life, something that takes precedence over happiness and health. Still, a small pocket place exists where people are allowed a modicum of relaxation to bear it all, and you're given a glimpse into the world as you explore the floors of this shimmering, luminescent nightclub and the various means of leaving your work behind that lie inside.

I Came To Forget My Daily Life is a place of venting in a life where there isn't any other place to let go or relax. As players explore it, they'll be able to dance as electronic music pulses through the glowing walls, take drugs that help them bond and cut loose after spending so much time uptight, and hook up with the other people who are desperate for any way to escape the shackles of an existence focused on endless productivity.

While solving puzzles, popping pills, and taking in the brilliant neon mazes, players are also encouraged to think about how their own lives have become so divided between work and leisure, drug use as a means of connecting with others, and how we have compartmentalized joy in our own lives just to keep the lights on and food going into the old meat machine we all walk around in. It's a thoughtful walk through dizzying light and sound, one that encourages thought even when trying to forget.

Screenshot Saturday Highlights - May 13th, 2017

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Screenshot Saturday Highlights - May 13th, 2017


Planet-wide war, otherworldly horrors, and galactic conflict are all well presented by the games featured in this weekend's highlights.

First Strike: Final Hour
Blindflug Studios | PC | May
Nuclear war rages across the globe in macro-scale strategy game First Strike. An expanded port coming soon to PC, First Strike challenges you to build up your missile arsenal while protecting your country and wiping out rivals.

World of Horror
Panstas | PC | Pay What You Want
Set in the 1980s, World of Horror combines unsettling atmosphere inspired by the works of famed artist Junji Ito and old-school tactical RPG, as you explore, investigate, and try to fight back against monsters and eldritch beings.

Survive Minimalist Bullet Hell Labyrinths In Brute

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Inspired by the clean minimalism and skillful challenge of the N games, Brute is a hybrid of dual stick shooter and precision navigation, combining action and fast-paced puzzles within technicolor gauntlets.

Armed with your ricocheting bullet and limited fuel, you must glide and thrust through Brute's levels, hounded by relentless enemies. Your exit awaits somewhere within each stage, and an array of threats stand between your and escape: moving blocks that could crush you into dust, lasers that must be manually deactivated, homing missiles. Precise movement and shooting are your most powerful advantages, but using the environmental to even the odds is just as crucial to survive Brute.

From solid structures that force you to carve your path through to shield hubs that protect you from hordes of enemies, Brute's blend of varied level design, enemy types, and hazards promises an action-puzzler that lives up to its name. And that's merely the game's main fifty levels; an additional fifty secret levels ramp up the challenge even further.

Escape The Dungeon Or Die In Dead Cells

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What is a man? A miserable little pile of gooey cells, apparently. In Dead Cells, you are some kind of sentient slime, inhabiting corpses and trying to escape a dungeon. This is easier said than done, because this self-styled roguevania wants you dead.

If the term roguevania doesn't make you cringe too hard, you'll find that the game has a lot going for it despite having just launched as an Early Access title. Around 40% of planned content is already implemented and a little more of everything planned for the final release in 8-12 months. Don't let the game's unfinished state keep you from learning its devious ways, though.

Developers Motion Twin clearly understand that responsive controls and fluid movement are the way to go here, and Dead Cells delivers. It plays like a dream, allowing you to zip around and fight gracefully. While the game certainly evokes comparisons to other "Souls-likes", it ups the sometimes plodding pace of these games, turning fights with multiple enemies into fast-paced, tense encounters.