Counter-terror board game Labyrinth now has a digital adaptation

about X hours ago from
Counter-terror board game Labyrinth now has a digital adaptation

One of the best-regarded modern conflict board games has come to steam with Labyrinth: The War on Terror. Designed by Volko Ruhnke, a former employee of the CIA, Labyrinth is a comprehensive game about the struggle between US-led counter-terror forces and extremists the world over. It covers a sprawling range of topics like world politics, terror attacks, and fundamentalist nations alongside more conventional military actions like regime change and guerilla warfare. Ruhnke’s collaborations with GMT Games have been, for the last decade, some of the most sought-after wargames and conflict simulations to hit the tabletop. This overview in The Washington Post, from 2014, gives an idea of why: Players of Ruhnke’s games often find themselves sympathizing with, or at least understand, extremists and foreign groups’ reasons for engaging in armed conflict. Ruhnke is especially known for his COIN series, named for the military jargon for Counterinsurgency operations.

Roundguard is Peggle mixed with a dungeon crawling roguelike

about X hours ago from
Roundguard is Peggle mixed with a dungeon crawling roguelike

Not since the bizarre alchemy of Peggle World of Warcraft Edition has someone dared such a feat, to combine the dark arts of a pachinko-like puzzler with the fantasy adventure—much less the vaunted roguelike. Yet here we are. Roundguard released this week on Steam, a “bouncy dungeon crawler with pinball physics” and it looks like a complete joy. It did the convention circuit last year and netted a few awards, like the PAX 10 and Indie Megabooth Selection. It also has a thumbs-up from Jason Kapalka, co-founder of PopCap, on its Steam page: “Like Peggle had a baby with Diablo! It’s an awesome dungeon-balling adventure!” which is a horrible pun but I will forgive him just this once. 

Classic super-customizable RTS Warzone 2100 is completely free on Steam

about X hours ago from
Classic super-customizable RTS Warzone 2100 is completely free on Steam

It seems that we’ve done you a great disservice, nerds. We haven’t spoken about the very rad old real-time strategy Warzone 2100 in almost seven years and we haven’t yet alerted you to the fact that it’s completely free on Steam. First released in 1999, Warzone 2100 is a game all about a sprawling spaghetti pile of a tech tree you can use to customize your units to your heart’s content. Original developers Pumpkin Studios released the source code in 2004 and a fan community has kept the game alive and in development ever since…  culminating in a release on Steam. The campaign story of the game is fully playable, following the story of an organization seeking to rebuild human civilization after a nuclear holocaust in the late 21st century. It is delightfully dated. The multiplayer and skirmish modes are also fully functional.

Flesh-warping RPG Geneforge is coming back, remastered and full of new content

about X hours ago from
Flesh-warping RPG Geneforge is coming back, remastered and full of new content

Science-fantasy RPG Geneforge was released in 2001, and following a successful Kickstarter campaign by creators Spiderweb Software it’s getting a remaster in 2021. Geneforge was a unique game, a science-fantasy indie RPG adventure from a time before indies could reliably go big or successful via distribution platforms like Steam or GOG. (I played it on a burned CD copy in 2002. Sorry, Geneforge devs.) Geneforge had players as a Shaper, a wizard with the ability to literally create new forms of life, then use your twisted monsters in turn-based combat. The remastered game will feature improved interface, graphics, and game design, but won’t make any major changes to the game story. It was originally planned to include a few new characters, storylines, and abilities, but the success of the Kickstarter means more is coming.

Save the fish and otters in eco-management game Among Ripples: Shallow Waters

about X hours ago from
Save the fish and otters in eco-management game Among Ripples: Shallow Waters

Among Ripples is a game with a brilliant concept: A management tycoon game that has you saving the world rather than exploiting it. Your job is to save damaged freshwater ecosystems in northern europe, which may not be the sexiest idea but is actually the sexiest idea ever if you ask your secondary school environmental science teacher about it. In the game, you and your team of field scientists have to stock lakes with critters like dace, perch, pikes, otters, ducks, and my personal favorite: crayfish. (Or “crawdads” as they’re known where I’m from.) As a kid, nothing scared the everliving pants off me more than when you were wading in the creek and suddenly there was a pincer-toting mud bug scuttling about.

CS:GO has broken 1 million concurrent players

about X hours ago from
CS:GO has broken 1 million concurrent players

 Here’s a record for you: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has cracked the 1 million concurrent players mark for the first time since it released in 2012. Eight years of steady rises and falls, dips and upticks, have made CS:GO the game that absolutely, positively will not die. In fact, it seems clear at this point that CS:GO will only become more powerful. At about 14:20 GMT today CS:GO reached a peak of 1,007,062 players, beating its previous records by some 75,000 players. Valve seemed quite chuffed:

The Complex is an FMV 'interactive movie' that might not suck

about X hours ago from
The Complex is an FMV 'interactive movie' that might not suck

Traditionally, FMV games have not been great. The combination of bad scripts, terrible effects, and abysmal acting can sometimes come together in an ironically fun sort of way, but that will only get you so far, and eventually even the most committed MST3K fan has to admit that it's just not much fun. The situation has improved in recent years, though, with games like Her Story and Telling Lies (which, not coincidentally, come from the same developer), as well as Late Shift, a fully live-action, HD FMV thriller released in 2017.