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Donut County – Review

Donut County is a unique indie puzzler, featuring an adorable racoon intent on stealing trash and a town full of animal residents just waiting to be stolen from. Released over a year ago, does this award-winning indie adventure still hold up, or does age expose some previously unseen holes?

A hole lot of fun:


The player is dropped intoin the life of BK, a young racoon who has recently landed a new job at a start-up company that collects trash by the careful manoeuvring of portable remote control holes. Each level begins with the player clicking somewhere to summon a hole which, although initially tiny, gradually grows and grows in size with the more objects (and even unlucky Hole County residents!) that end up sucked into it.

Larger holes reward your progress by allowing you to swallow even larger objects which in turn help to increase the size of your hole, creating a supremely satisfying gameplay loop. This satisfaction is further amplified by the fact that your hole-size is reset in-between each of the self-contained sandbox levels. Working your way up from a tiny rabbit-hole that struggles to suck up even a few blades of grass to a colossal sink-hole that effortlessly absorbs entire skyscrapers just doesn’t get old no matter how many times it is repeated.

As the game progresses, you gradually unlock new abilities for your hole – such as a catapult which allows the player to hurl certain objects back into the air. These are used to facilitate the majority of the puzzles found throughout the game. Whilst these puzzles are not particularly difficult, even I who considers myself extremely puzzle-inept never had to resort to an online guide, they are spread-out enough and provide just the right level of mental stimulation to keep what would otherwise be a fairly simplistic game engaging throughout.

Heart and design:


A soothing yet upbeat soundtrack compliments Donut County‘s pleasing pastel aesthetic which is just soft enough to evoke feelings of calm and warmth yet still vibrant and quirky. It’s a perfect fit, and one that makes playing a highly relaxing experience. Although minimalist in design, levels each have their own unique and memorable look – usually matching the personality or appearance of their associated characters. Moving from a rural countryside farm to the likes of a desert to a city street helps provide a much needed pallet swap every now and then.

This colourful coat of paint makes Donut County perfect for younger gamers. It’s not too difficult, and they would certainly enjoy the charming design and appreciate the pleasing tactility of the physics engine.

This colourful coat of paint makes Donut County perfect for younger gamers. It’s not too difficult, and they would certainly enjoy the charming design and appreciate the pleasing tactility of the physics engine.

Not without its holes:


I found these cut scenes often overstayed their welcome – an issue amplified by the lack of voice acting. Reading dialogue boxes accompanied by randomised babble, à la Animal Crossing, simply isn’t engaging enough to carry a game that tries to focus so heavily on story. Sometimes the humour was a little jarring too. In comedy it’s natural that for every laugh, there are a couple of jokes that fall flat. In most circumstances is not an issue but when the vast majority of dialogue is comprised of jokes, it starts to feel like every other line is yet another wearisome punchline.

There are also long “texting” scenes in which you sit and watch your character receive SMS messages, stirring occasionally to either send a duck emoji (which does nothing) or clicking a single on-screen prompt to reply. Without the colourful aesthetic of the over world or the animated bouncing of characters to keep your mind occupied, these scenes are quite frankly monotonous. They also seem like a bit of a missed opportunity. Implementing an option to choose which reply you send would be a great way to add a small element of replayability to the game.

This lack of replayability is probably the biggest issue with Donut County. Clocking in at slightly over two hours, this short length is simply not enough content for the over £10 PC price-tag and the total lack of replayability and reliance on a linear story makes this a title harder to recommend than it otherwise would be.

The hole picture:


Despite its flaws, Donut County is nevertheless a charming and memorable adventure. In spite of the fact it may struggle a little to wholly justify its hefty price-tag at its rustiest points, frequent half-price sales since launch make this title just a little too tempting to pass up, even for those who don’t feel wholly convinced. As a little bonus, the low seasonal sale prices make Donut County a great option as a Christmas gift for your Steam friends.

Speaking of sales, as if by magic, Donut County is on a half-price discount for a few days! You can check it out by clicking on the link below.

3 great mobile titles the challenge the stereotypes

As I’m sure you’re aware, our mobile app, the Arcadeberry – Mobile Website Hub, has recently launched for Android and Amazon devices! Although we’d highly recommend you immediately go and download our app (you can even pick up reading this very article on it!), all this talk of mobile apps has got us thinking:

It’s an unfortunate fact that the mobile game app market has quite the poor reputation, especially on the gaming front. It’s an even more unfortunate fact that this reputation is actually quite well deserved. Most mobile titles are vacuous, surface-deep money-grabs. With countless asset flips and endless in-app purchases, many of us have simply just given up trying to find good games on the appstore.

That’s why we decided to wade into the practically infinite appstore library to try and pick out some diamonds in the rough. Although there a certainly more great games to be found on the appstore, and this list is definitely not exhaustive, these three great titles might be a place to start rebuilding your trust with mobile gaming.


3: GameStart Pixel Battle

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Price*: Completely free

Developer: Eliphant

It may have just been released as a little promotion for GameStart, a Southeast Asian gaming convetion, but GameStart Pixel Battle is actually a surprisingly excellent game.

You play as Alyse, the convention’s mascot, in a battle against a mysterious figure who has been sabotaging games. There’s a plethora of levels to play and numerous unique playable characters to collect as you go. If you’ve played any Mega Man title, you’ll likely be familiar with Pixel Battle‘s blend of 2D side-on running and gunning.

It’s not surprise considering the fact the developer, Seow Zonghui, worked on the Capcom endorsed fan-project Street Fighter X Mega Man. Pixel Battle may just be a Mega Man game at heart, but it’s an excellent Mega Man game at that. Best of all, it’s a Mega Man game you can carry around in your pocket, and is downloadable completely for free! That’s right, no pesky in-app purchases or even a single advert to be found.

With a small file size of 50M, GameStart Pixel Battle is a great little offline title to keep on your phone for when you need your gaming fix out and about.

You can click here to open GameStart Pixel Battle on Google Play.

 


2: Cytus II

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Price*: £1.79

Developer: Rayark Iternation Limited

Set in the near future, Ctyus II takes us to cyTus – an online virtual city – in the shoes of Aesir, a famous DJ hosting a virtual concert.

A solid rhythm game which has players frantically tapping notes as they pop up on their screens, Cytus II features 35 base game songs from a variety of composers and in countless genres. With electronica, rock and even classical music to choose from, Cytus II offers something for everyone.

Although the game does include song pack purchases, with which you can expand your repertoire, these are wholly optional. You nevetheless get an awful lot of high quality content for the entry price of £1.79. The music is great, and songs offer different levels of difficulty and a comprehensive scoring system which both serve to offer much replayability. If you want a cheap and cheerful mobile ryhthm game to keep you occupied on the go, you don’t get much better than this.

You can click here to open Cytus II on Google Play.


1: OXENFREE

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Price*: £3.89

Developer: Night School Studio

A gripping mystery set on a dark island, OXENFREE is like the adventures of The Famous Five gone horribly, horribly wrong.

The plot is excellent and, as it is best experienced first-hand, I will try and keep details to a minimum. Just be sure it’s intense and excellently written with a handful of shocking and memorable moments.

Although a strictly linear game, your dialogue choices offer a comprehensive degree of choice and a variety to your play sessions. The game is easy to control, and presented in a charming and unique graphical style.

Our only complaint with OXENFREE is that it’s just so good you might not be able to put your phone down until you and your friends have uncovered the sinister truth of Edwards Island.

You can click here to open OXENFREE on Google Play.


*Prices are Google Play prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of January 2020.

Soundcore Life P2 – Review


To aid this review, Soundcore Life P2 Headphones were provided free of charge by ANKER


The Soundcore Life P2 is a new release from ANKER‘s subsidiary Soundcore. Despite achieving success as a manufacturer of quality chargers and portable power-banks, ANKER has little experience in the headphone field. Do the Soundcore Life P2s manage to avoid some of the teething problems emblematic of a manufacturer’s first foray into the headphone world and deliver an excellent experience at a budget price?

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What’s in the box?

The Soundcore Life P2‘s relatively compact packaging, approximately 18cm x 10cm x 3.5cm, comes packed with a surprising number of goodies. As expected, the each earbud and their charging case is present, neatly secured in a plastic tray with the charging cable (USB-C). There is also a feedback card, a simple quick start guide and a little booklet of legal documentation in only occasionally dubious English.

The inclusion of ten differently sized rubber eartips is a nice touch. With sizes XS/S/M/L/XL included, pleasingly arranged on little plastic pegs in the packaging, every user is sure to find that perfect fit. It would be great if some manufacturers would learn from ANKER and begin including a larger variety of eartips in their budget, and even sometimes premium, headphones.

Set up:

As the quick start guide would suggest, the set-up process is quick and painless. First, You simply charge up the case with the headphones inside, the LED indicators in both the case and the headphones helpfully tell you their battery life and when they will be ready to pair.

Paring is as simple as removing from the case once they are suitably charged, which prompts the headphones to automatically enter pairing mode, and selecting “Soundcore Life P2” on your phone’s Bluetooth dashboard.

It is worth noting that the instruction manual suggests some phones will have more trouble pairing than others. Due to the “Qualcomm True Wireless Primary-Secondary pairing names”. This means your phone may mistakenly suggest that only one earbud is connected. Luckily, the instruction manual assures us, “it will not influence the using”.

Design and build quality:

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The design of the Soundcore Life P2 is functional, if not a little unoriginal. In the shape of traditional wired earbuds, just without the wires, these headphones will have no trouble staying in your ears. This particular shape is certainly tried and tested and, thanks especially to the plethora of included eartips, will have no trouble staying in your ears.

Despite not be sold as such, the Soundcore Life P2 is an excellent sports headphone. The secure fit makes it hard for them to fly out of your ears, even while performing the most rigorous exercise, and the waterproofing (rated IPX 7) means you won’t have to worry about sweat or other moisture damaging your headphones.

The inclusion of physical buttons, to pause and skip your music, instead of touch sensors also improves this proficiency for sports. Although they can sometimes cause your earbuds to painfully dig into your ears over a long period of use, you won’t have to worry about sweaty hands rendering your headphones unusable

The construction is very light, even including the charging case, which makes carrying them around in a pocket on the go pleasingly unobtrusive. The light earbuds also contribute to the great level of immersion one can have listening to these headphones. It’s quite easy to forget you’re even wearing them, a testament not only to their light weight but also their great in-ear comfort. Just make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself frantically searching your pockets for your headphones when they’re in your ears!

A side effect of this light weight is the plastic construction of the case, which is prone to scratches and scuffs and the fact that the magnetic lid feels somewhat flimsy. Although it’s definitely not overtly fragile, I’m sceptical whether the lid would survive being left open in a bag or a pocket for too long. 

Sound Quality and microphones:

Although sound quality is, to an extent, a matter of personal taste, I found the sound quality to be good overall. It won’t blow you away, but for a budget pair of wireless earbuds it is perfectly pleasant, although the bass does sometimes lack some punch it is made up for in crispness and overall clarity.

The volume goes suitably high and adjusts at good increments, although at the extreme lower end of the volume scale the audio quality does noticeably drop. Luckily, you likely won’t have the headphones on too quiet a setting as the passive noise cancellation leaves a lot to be desired. Despite doing an okay job of drowning out audio, they don’t fair to well  in a particularly loud train car or busy room.

On the other hand, the audio for phone calls is second to none. Featured most predominantly on the front of the box, ANKER is clearly proud of th P2′s “crystal-clear calls” – and for good reason. Our tests, which you can hear below, simulated speech in first a silent and then high-noise environment over a phone call and recorded the results via a second phone. 

In a silent room the quality is incredible and sounds far better than some full-size microphones we’ve tried. The second test, which featured deafening background noise on the speaker’s end demonstrated the excellent noise cancellation. Although there is distortion, it should be considered that the speech was being played amidst painfully load background audio.

If your main concern is how you will sound over the phone, stop reading and buy these headphones immediately – you simply can’t get better than this at this price.

Battery Life:

The battery life amounts to an approximately seven-hour play time, with an additional thirty hours carried in the battery of the charging case. This is more than enough, and means that, with moderate use, you will only have to charge these headphones about once every two weeks.

Charging is done through the included USB-C cable, although any old USB-C cable will of course work. Don’t worry though, if you forget to charge you headphones and need them in a pinch the Soundcore Life P2‘s boast an hour of playback in only ten minutes of charge.

Gaming performance:

Unfortunately, the separate headphone drivers, which have the left and right earbuds appear as separate Bluetooth devices, makes pairing the Soundcore Life P2 with a desktop PC a hassle. Don’t expect to be able to benefit from the pair’s excellent microphones on your desktop without a bit of fiddling.

However, the mobile gaming performance is superb. There is little latency between the headphones and on-screen action. Playing the excellent mobile rhythm game Cytus II, which is highly dependent on timing, was a blast and the bud’s great microphones let you step up your sound quality in games with in-game voice chat, such as PUBG Mobile.

Verdict:

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Although it certainly won’t win any design awards, the Soundcore Life P2 certainly manages to make up for this in the technical department. The microphone quality is incredible and, for budget earbuds, the sound quality is a good all-rounder. The inclusion of some modern high-end features, including USB-C charging and separate earbud drivers, means that you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck.

How to download and set custom Steam game covers

If you’re like me you absolutely loved the new Steam UI overhaul.With games presented like boxes sleekly displayed on a Blockbuster rental shelf in the bygone days of yore, and a simple click pulling up slick new banner artwork and enhanced social statistics, the new game library is a perfect much needed modernisation of a previously antiquated system.

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In spite of the lovely new design however, some issues still persist. As outlined in this article, some games simply don’t have the required assets yet. Although Steam tries to make do with some auto generated placeholders, this lends itself to a library that looks stilted and uneven. Not to mention the fact that non-Steam games added to your library lack even these placeholders all together.

Luckily, the inclusion of a few key, and very much appreciated, features allows you to fix these annoying inconsistencies. Although it can be a bit of a faff, this simple guide aims to simplify and streamline the process as much as possible.


1: Head over to SteamGridDB and download your covers

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Much like the name would suggest, SteamGridDB is a site that aims to assist in customising your Steam games library (or grid). It contains a wide collection of user-made Steam game assets at your disposal. Some closely mirror their official counterparts, whilst others provide colourful alternatives if you want to give your library a bit of pizzazz.

Even fancier are the animated covers, which are saved in the aPNG (animated PNG) file format – effectively the PNG equivalent of a GIF – and can really help bring your favourite games to life. If you are downloading an aPNG cover the process is no different – so read on.


2: Download your required covers

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Type the title of the game you want to customise into the search bar and hit enter. This will pull up a selection of covers for you to browse. Pick whichever cover you like the best – although for best results we would recommend only using covers listed in the 600×900 resolution – and press the download button.

The cover should save as a simple four digit number. In the case of our Mirror’s Edge cover; “1553”.


3: Apply your selected cover

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Simply located and right click the existing cover you want to replace. Select “Manage” and then press “Set custom artwork”. This opens a windows dialogue box allowing you to choose a file. Navigate to your downloads folder and select the file you have just downloaded and just like that, you have a shiny new cover!

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This process can be used to customise as many games as you would like in your library, and even non-Steam games you have added as links.

Just one last thing to note is that any changes you make to your library artwork are sadly only stored locally. If you log in to Steam on another machine, or reset your operating system, you will lose all of your changes – so be careful!

Receiver 2 promises to bring the most realistic firearms we’ve ever seen to the new decade

We can’t blame you if you missed Wolfire Games 2012 title Receiver. It was given away free of charge with a purchase of their long anticipated rabbit beat-em-up Overgrowth and after waiting almost 10 years for that game to be released, it’s understandable that a lot of players simply overlooked Receiver and left it to collect dust in their steam libraries.

Although at first only created as part of a 7-day game challenge, Receiver manages to be a fun little game that, although understandably lacking in features, is surprisingly revolutionary in what it has.

A series of randomly generated cybperpunk levels in which the player is tasked with collecting a set of tapes provides an excellent framework for the game’s superb gun simulation. In Receiver, your gun is your most important tool – but it’s also the hardest to master. Intricately modelled, each gun operates almost exactly like a real firearm. You can pull back the slides, cock the hammers and even flick the safety switch. With no on-screen UI, the only way to check something as simple as your magazine capacity being to manually remove it, and one-hit kills firefights with your robotic adversaries are short and extremely tense.

Once you’ve mastered all three available weapons and completed a couple of the levels, Reciever does begin to drag and won’t maintain your interest for more than 5 or 6 hours at most. Wolfire have done an admirable job keeping Receiver up to date, with performance fixes and the occasional minor addition to the game. As a tech demo, Receiver is excellent, but lacks far too many features to truly be considered a “fun” game.

As a result, I was ecstatic to see the Receiver 2‘s announcement appear on my feeds seemingly out of the blue. A snazzy trailer showcases vibrantly enhanced graphics rich in floods of primary coloured light and some truly beautiful cyberpunk scenes that put the original’s blocky aesthetic to shame.

Boasting eight new firearms, “including the Beretta 92FS, Colt Single-Action Army, and the iconic Desert Eagle”, and with an increased level of detail, promising to simulate every “single internal mechanism”, Receiver 2 certainly looks like it will turn out a worthy sequel.

turret_shadow.pngI am certainly very excited to see what Wolfire has in store for this sequel, and how they will apply their wonderful gun simulation technology to a game for the new decade!

Releasing in early 2020, you can keep up with Receiver 2‘s progress by adding it to your wishlist here on Steam or by subscribing to the official newsletter.

SuperEpic: The Entertainment War – Review


Disclosure: To aid this review a copy of  SuperEpic: The Entertainment War was provided free of charge by Numskull Games


SuperEpic: The Entertainment War, an indie-developed sidescroller, successfully delivers a best-in-class Metroidvania adventure that confidently mocks the slew of AAA games it has managed to supersede.

In the world of SuperEpic, greedy corporate pigs (literal pigs might I add) have bought out every game developer and are now pumping out mass-produced highly-addictive mobile titles that have entranced the populace and are draining their wallets at about the same rate as a Steam Christmas Sale. The adorable raccoon protagonist Tan Tan and his facially deformed llama steed, Ola, must whack, slap and thwack their way through swathes of RegnantCorps’ evil employees to put an end to their vile videogames for good.

Conveyed through cutscenes of pleasing animated slides and walls of text, the plot is certainly not one of subtlety. Although it does little to reinvent the wheel in terms of its retro presentation and simplistic writing, the plot of SuperEpic provides a decent number of chuckles and more importantly creates a perfect unobtrusive skeleton upon which the game’s excellent gameplay can be hung.

A classic Metroidvania, SuperEpic boasts large hand-crafted levels that can be explored in a non-linear fashion. The handy minimap is an excellent addition, and one that would have greatly benefitted other games in the genre. Being able to avoid confusion makes exploring levels and finding the plethora of hilarious hidden secrets dotted throughout levels even more rewarding.

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Exploration is littered with enemy encounters and gripping boss fights. Revolving around three attacks – a quick attack, guard break, and uppercut – the combo-oriented combat is deceptively simple. Whilst button mashing may get you through most levels, far more rewarding is the intricate mastery of each induvidual move and learning of unique button combinations.

The combat is also extremely satisfying, largely due to the brilliantly meaty sound effects and neon hit indicators. Furthermore, the impressive variety of unlockable weaponry – raning from household cleaning tools to comedic hammers allows the combat to retain a fresh feeling throughout the game and leaves you thirsting for more by the time the credits roll.

Handily, SuperEpic also includes an unlockable “roguelite mode”, a procedually generated challenge which gives you an even greater opportunity to amass huge quantities of the coins dropped by every enemy.  These coins can be used to further upgrade your weaponry and armour and add an additional satifsying dimension of progression.

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SuperEpic is also jam-packed with minigames. Scanning QR codes scattered throughout levels opens webpages containing short flash games on your mobile phone. Tongue in cheek parodies of popular mobile titles like Flappy Bird, these minigames are presented in-universe and provide an awful lot of world building. The use of QR codes also ahad me surpsingly immersed in the games’ universe, although I can’t help but feel such technology would be of greater service to a more plot-oriented title. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend going out of your way to try and exploring thouroughly in order to experience all of these optional extras.

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In addition to your mobile phone, for PC players I would also recommend bringing a controller to your play session. Whilst the developers have done an adequate job of mapping the 4-button control scheme to your keyboard, a controller really helps recapture some of the button-mashing nostalgia of your childhood.

Alternatively, the Nintendo Switch version of the game works like a dream. Speedy loading times and smooth-as-butter performance make curling up in a warm bed with the switch in handheld mode and therapeutically punching pigs to a pulp an absolute treat. The handheld version also helps you to appreciate the sublime 32-bit sprite animation, which is beautifully detailed and clearly the recipient of a great deal of love and care.

It’s not just the animations that have recieved love and care either. Everything from the pause screen in which you can practise your combo attacks to the detailed and varied enemy designs seems meticulously crafted and as such can offer a game that has as much, and often times far more, polish than the majoirty of AAA titles. This sustained superiority helps emphasise the importance of the games’ overriding message.

SuperEpic is in its very execution a commentary on the modern gaming market. In an age of over-inflated budgets and multi-million pound videogames stuffed to the brim with predatory microtransactions and vicious payment models, it’s really heartening to see a good old-fashioned indie title that is able to so severly outclass its competition.

Overall, SuperEpic: The Entertainment War is able to comfortably fulfil its lofty ambition to deliver a satisfying parody of the modern games. Although its writing may be too on-the-nose for some, this is more than made up for in the game’s gameplay which is the absolute pinnacle of indie sidescrolling action.

If you’re interested in playing SuperEpic: The Entertainment War, the game will launch on the Steam Store later this month in addition to the Nintendo eShop, Microsoft Store and Playstation Store.

 

How to download unlisted Steam games completely for free!

You may wonder where exactly digital games go when they die. The thing is, most of them don’t actually go anywhere at all. There are hudreds of games fully avaliable on Steam‘s servers but no longer listed on the store – theortically completely inaccessible. In some cases however, particurlarly with games that were once listed as free, it is possible to take a shot at download them following the guide below.

So why would you actually want to download unlisted Steam games? Although most hte titles below are mostly just defunct free-to-play games with their servers shut down there are a couple of single-player gems in there. Some of the online-only titles, such as the failed Age of Empires Online, have even been brought back to life through fan revival projects and thus fully playable.

If you’re interested in maybe uncovering a hidden gem, or just curious about games long past, we’ve put together this handy guide to walk you through the process of getting lost games.


1: The games themselves

Here is a list of all the games that we’ve found that can be downloaded by this method. Notice links to the right of the title and take note of the urls that correspond with the games you want to try – you will be needing them for the next step.

Age of Empires online - steam://install/105430
Arcane Saga Online - steam://install/238110
Arctic Combat - steam://install/212370
Arma 2:free version - steam://install/107400
Battle for Graxia - steam://install/90530
Brawl Busters - steam://install/109410
Bullet Run - steam://install/211880
Codename Gordon - steam://install/92
District 187 - steam://install/221080
Dungeon Fighter Online - steam://install/212220
F.E.A.R. Online - steam://install/223650
Fnaf world - steam://install/427920
Haunted Memories - steam://install/241640
Maple Story(US-version) - steam://install/216150
Pandora Saga - steam://install/106010
Renaissance Heroes - steam://install/221790
Rusty Hearts - steam://install/36630
Spacewar - steam://install/480
TERA - steam://install/389300
TERA EU - steam://install/323370
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes F2P - steam://install/218210
Wizardry Online - steam://install/22136
Forge - steam://install/223390
Warface - steam://install/291480
Vindictus - steam://install/212160
Bullet Run - steam://install/211880
Dirty Bomb - steam://install/333930
Dragon Nest - steam://install/11610
Arctic Combat - steam://install/212370
Metro Conflict - steam://install/356640
F.E.A.R. Online - steam://install/223650
Brick-Force - steam://install/272490
Fiesta Online NA - steam://install/300970
Atlantica Online - steam://install/212240
Sin of a Dark Age - steam://install/223390
DC Universe Online - steam://install/24200
Arcane Saga Online - steam://install/238110
Chaos Heroes Online - steam://install/290830
Quantum Rush Online - steam://install/304890
Rise of Incarnates - steam://install/258160
Dragon's Prophet - steam://install/259020
Age of Empires Online - steam://install/105430
Dead Island: Epidemic - steam://install/222900/
Dungeon Fighter Online - steam://install/212220
Zombies Monsters Robots - steam://install/306830
Heroes and Titans: Online - steam://install/407090
Ragnarok Online - steam://install/2507400

2: Opening Windows Run and downloading your gameCapture.PNG

Ensure Steam is open. Once you have Steam open, press the ‘Windows’ key and the ‘R’ key at the same time (⊞ Win + r). This will prompt the “Run” dialogue box, as pictured above, to open.

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The next step is very simple. Copy the url of the game you want from the list at the start of this guide, and paste it into the text input of the “Run” dialogue box . Finally, press “ok”. For the example pictured above we have chosen Codename Gordon a delightful little 2.5D Half-Life clone.


3: Enjoy your free games!

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After pressing “ok”, Steam should open the normal dialogue boxes associated with downloading a game. Click through them and voila! You have your game! To get more games, simply repeat steps 1-3 with a different url.

Our list of available games isn’t exhaustive either, if you find any other games that can be downloaded through this method make sure to comment them here and we’ll add them to our list!

Kind Words – a new, more wholesome social media

In an age that seems so consumed by negativity, it’s only natural that this is in social media. Unfortunately, for many of us social media is a form of escapism – allowing us to switch off from the outside world and focus entirely on something else. Being constantly consumed by the negative energies of current affairs, especially in our supposed downtime, is unhealthy and extremely tiresome.

Kind Words (lo fi chill beats to write to) is in many ways almost the antithesis of your regular social media platform. Presented through a warm and cosy virtual room, it’s clear from the get go that Kind Words doesn’t intend to have you scrolling through reams and reams of posts for hours or chasing the highest numbers of likes on your photos.

The minimalistic art-direction bathed in rich pastel colours is highly soothing and compliments the slow and smooth beats of Kind Words’ original soundtrack perfectly.

Centred around the therapeutic writing of letters, you interact with other users through a fantasy postal service. You can send out a letter expressing your thoughts and worries to receive helpful letters from other users or reply to others concerns in an attempt to comfort them.

There is a small element of progression, with the collection of stickers. Receiving letters with stickers you do not yet own adds them to your collection, and allows you to personalise your room with associated items or add them to letters of your own to gift them to others. It’s a nice detail and lets you add your own little splash of colour to the letters you send.

Kind Words is simple, yet deeply moving and, above all else, incredibly important.  Cute and reassuring, with probably the most friendly communities out there, this little gem is a perfect addition to your Steam library – and one you will love to revisit whenever you’re feeling down.

3 jolly holiday themed games to raise your Christmas cheer

Whether you find yourself craving the sublime action of Die Hard or the heart-warming fun of Elf, everyone has at least one Christmas film they love to watch time and time again. Unusually however, the popularity of the genre seems to exclusively extend to the mediums of film and music, and those wanting to experience a festive themed game are left with very few options to choose from.

Despite this, we’ve compiled this little list to bring a few often overlooked games you could try this Christmas season.


3: Dead Rising 4

Platform(s): PC, XBOX ONE, PS4

Price*: £19.99

Developer: Capcom

Although the inexplicable departure from many of Dead Rising‘s conventions, including the removal of the series’ time-limit mechanic, may have caused an uproar among series fans, Dead Rising 4 is nevertheless a worthy entry in Capcom’s zombie-fighting franchise.

The large open world of the fictional Willamette Colorado, complete with a colossal shopping mall, is decked out in decor festive in the extreme. With numerous weapons, items of clothing, vehicles and even boss fights entirely Christmas themed, accompanied by a soundtrack wholly composed of popular yuletide songs, Dead Rising 4 makes the absolute most of its November setting.

Although its simple mechanics and lenient difficulty make an experience far too casual for series veterans, for most Dead Rising 4 is actually a shockingly relaxing experience. The almost therapeutic ease with which you can mow down thousands of zombies in a sleigh to an orchestral cover of Jingle Bells makes a game that excellently accompanies a Boxing Day sofa-sprawl and a large tub of Quality Street.


2: Batman Arkham Origins

Platform(s): PC, XBOX 360, PS3, WII U

Price*: £14.99

Developer: WB Games

Recently given away on the Epic Games Store as a freebie, it’s quite likely you already own this oneSet on Christmas Eve, Batman faces off against eight of the most iconic DC comic book villains, including Bane and The Joker.

A third-person beat-em-up, Batman Arkham Origins shares the excellent combat of the WB Games Batman franchise in a much larger, and extremely festive, open world. With a plethora of interesting side-quests to choose from and an exciting main story, Arkham Origins offers a surprisingly rich experience.

Although often, and sometimes unfairly, cited as the weakest entry in its franchise; if you’re willing to sacrifice a small degree of polish found in the other Batman titles for a Christmas setting Batman Arkham Origins is definitely worth a look.


1: Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa’s Rampage

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £1.79

Developer: RuneStorm

It’s official. Christmas is cancelled.

After a lengthy dispute with the toy-elf workers’ union, Santa finally snapped.  This standalone expansion for Viscera Cleanup Detail tasks you with cleaning up the aftermath of Santa’s bloody rampage. Armed with only a mop, a bucket and a pair of rubber gloves it’s time to get to work.

Featuring an enjoyable co-op mode and hours of floor-scrubbing action cleaning has never been so fun. As the cheapest game on this list, Santa’s Rampage is the best option for someone who wants something festive to play, but doesn’t want to shell out a fortune on a game that is only really worth playing for just one or two months of the year.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of November 2019.

Killer Chambers – Review


Disclosure: To aid this review a copy of  Killer Chambers was provided free of charge by Village Bench


Killer Chambers is in many ways a wholly unique kind of bullet hell plat-former. Ditching the traditional sprawling arenas that have come to define the genre for minuscule micro-chambers, the levels force you to manoeuvre a highly claustrophobic environment, dodging a plethora of deadly traps as a timer excruciatingly ticks down to your release.

From a game-play perspective, Killer Chambers is relatively simple. You have the arrow keys that control your movements in the cardinal directions, including crouching, and a jump button. These help you evade everything from shooting projectiles to laser beams which are fired at regular intervals in patterns and combinations in each room. With practically unlimited lives (and extremely quick deaths!) the fun of Killer Chambers comes from learning the almost musical rhythm behind each set of traps.

Each stage offers three levels of difficulty which range from somewhat infuriating to downright impossible, and are sure to offer even the most hardened bullet-hell fanatic a tough time. There are five worlds to conquer, each with an incredibly difficult boss fight and a unique visual style.

The inclusion of shops in which you can spend your hard earned in-game gold is a nice addition, allowing you to purchase hats that drastically alter game-play to keep your experience fresh and often providing a slightly easier path to completing rooms.

Despite such items, you will still die. A lot. This is by design and the game deliberately punishes you for failure with a meter that increases each time you die. When full, you’re transported to a dark alternate realm with its own set of unique rooms to beat. Although this may sound particularly annoying, I often found this forced change of level very refreshing and kept repeating the same room over and over again from seeming quite so monotonous.

Further breaking up the experience is the story which is presented through delightful little dialogue boxes in-between levels. Entertaining writing with a cast of surprisingly developed characters and a lot of genuine laugh out loud moments make the short segments of story one of Killer Chambers’ best attributes. Seriously, the writing punches well above its weight and often the wish to see the next cut-scene gave me the motivation to keep going through the most difficult parts of the game.

The comic-tone of the dialogue and characters is complimented by the cheerful chip-tune soundtrack, which although somewhat repetitive at times is certainly satisfactory. It is nevertheless impressive that any music at all managed to be crammed into the game’s absolutely microscopic 85MB download size which, combined with its meagre running requirements, is sure to keep it a mainstay on all of your PCs.

With a great deal of replay value, a huge variety of levels and some of the best writing we’ve seen in an indie title, Killer Chambers is a game that despite its gruelling difficulty manages to be accessible, highly rewarding and extremely memorable.

Did we mention that Killer Chambers has a price of admission lower than your average sandwich? At only £3.99 on Steam, Killer Chambers is an essential purchase for anyone who wants a great value title which is sure to keep them coming back for years to come.

Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest – Review


Disclosure: To aid this review a copy of  Pathologic 2 was provided free of charge by tinyBuild


“Birdies… Birdies…

Gather ye here around the marble nest”

These haunting words catapult you into the unforgiving world of Pathologic 2.  Lashing rain and hooded figures beat at the old windowpanes as you stumble around a decrepit house swamped in death and decay. Your adventure begins here.

A re-imagining of the cult classic thriller Pathologic, Pathologic 2 preserving the excellent atmosphere of it’s predecessor through its unapologetic brutality. In equal parts difficult and rewarding, Pathologic 2 made no compromises for the modern gaming audience. Its open world operated on a strict time limit. Playing through 12 days of finite events created an unbelievably intense sense of panic and dread.

You must constantly choose which events to prioritise and which ones to miss, often times having to balance your need to evade the ever-present threats of starvation and sleep deprivation against the pressing knowledge that if you are absent for a story crucial event, life goes on without you and it is gone forever.

Inspired by Russian folklore, the world of the Steppe is as beautiful as it is bleak. A seamless blend of both Western and Eastern culture presented in a deliberately ambiguous time period, each line of cryptic dialogue and archaic custom has you feeling like a complete outsider. A cultural stranger who is at often times tolerated rather than welcome.

A malevolent plague ravages the town. Every character can and, without your intervention will, die.

With a stand-alone story designed to compliment the plot of the main campaign, The Marble Nest is a welcome return to gaming’s most Gothic world.

You play as the noble scientist Dr. Daniil Dankovsky. Presented with a grisly premonition of imminent doom and destruction. Whether you will fulfil this vision by sitting idly by as world around you to succumbs to the all-consuming plague or struggle against time itself to try and change your fate is entirely up to you. Whatever your choice may be, the game constantly reminds you that there will be “no happy endings”.

Graphically, The Marble Nest is as stunning as the base game. Utilising the same map and sharing many assets means Pathologic 2‘s trademark visual style and its world’s distinctive architecture is completely preserved. The unique visual style is accompanied by a fantastically atmospheric score, filled with tracks of folk chanting and the gonging of funeral bells.

Unusually, The Marble Nest seems geared toward series newcomers and with a greatly decreased difficulty in addition to a much shorter running time, this DLC does seem like the ideal place to start. Its stand-alone plot only loosely ties into the events of the main game and can certainly be wholly appreciated on its own merit. That is not to say it doesn’t hold value to returning players, in fact a more relaxed reintroduction to the Pathologic universe is an excellent way to prompt an additional play-through of the main game.

The Marble Nest is the epitome of short and sweet. An excellent experience despite its condensed length, The Marble Nest presents ample obstacles to overcome, fights to struggle through and dark secrets to uncover to successfully deliver an impactful narrative with enough punch in its poignant ending to stick with you for years to come.

If you’re interesting in picking up Pathologic 2: The Marble Nest in time for Halloween, it is available on Steam later today. You can view it by clicking here.

Why you should be excited for the release of SWERY’s ‘The Good Life’

When it comes to video-gaming, the works of no one developer is quite able to compare avant-garde genius of Hidetaka Seuhiro, a Japanese developer also known by the pseudonym SWERY.

Most well known for his gloriously abstract surreal survival horror mystery Deadly Premonition which, despite perplexing reviewers to the point it even won a Guinness World Record, has gained a sizeable cult following. Despite my love of his sillier titles I find the lesser known The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories to be his very best work yet.

A beautiful and poignant exploration into physiological trauma and struggles with personal identity The MISSING cemented my admiration for SWERY. To be able to cohesively create both the single funniest game I had ever played with Deadly Premonition and yet also The MISSING, which  had me crying for hours well after the credits had rolled, demonstrates a sheer versatility that is characteristic of true genius.

I cannot name a single SWERY game that has not been excellent in its own right. As such, I was simply overjoyed when I heard the news that he had successfully crowd-funded a new title, The Good Life, in May of last year.

The Good Life is a third-person heavily stylised RPG that centres around the character of Naomi. In a state of crippling debt, it is her desire to repay this debt that forces Naomi to abandon her snug life as a journalist in New York and move to the fictional English village of Backwoods.

It quickly becomes apparent however that Backwoods, like any rural English village, houses some dark secrets. This includes a gruesome murder which the player must solve and the fact that once a month at the stroke of midnight, everyone in the village inexplicably transforms into a household pet. Yes, really. The Good Life is certainly unmistakably a SWERY game.

Boasting free roaming around a beautifully stylised and, by the looks of it, uncannily accurate village full of unique and charming characters to talk to in addition to a plethora of side activities to pass the time with The Good Life looks to will certainly provide a great deal of things to do.

The game has also benefited in-depth updates published every month since the game was funded and a stream of titbits including character concept art and details of new gameplay additions constantly flowing out of SWERY’s own Twitter posts it is a rare example of an excellently managed Kickstarter project.

Currently available for pre-order, I find The Good Life one of the most exciting and unique concepts to come out of the games industry in certainly the last decade and now, hopefully, you do too.

3 truly scary indie games to play this Halloween

We’ve already highly recommended Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure as a perfect option for those who want something more cutesy than spooky to play this Halloween. For those who want to play something genuinely terrifying however, we have made this handy list of a few lesser-known indie titles which are sure to have your hair standing on end in no time.


3: Paratropic

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £4.79

Developer: Arbitrary Metric

You play as a smuggler in a decrepit world of surrealist corruption and a rapidly collapsing civilisation. Presented through the grimy lens of a corrupted VHS tape your goal is to smuggle contraband goods across a guarded border checkpoint.

With tense and highly atmospheric sections of exploration and dark discovery, Paratropic is a game which doesn’t hold your hand and refuse to provide any clear answers. Spiralling into insanity, you must see through the broken fever-dream world to try and understand what is really going on. Designed to be played in one sitting, Paratropic is accompanied by an hour of superbly composed dynamic music that serves to create a constant feeling of tense uneasiness.

With a short length and a branching plot that warrants one or two additional playthroughs, Paratropic is a game perfectly suited to occupy you on the evening of Hallows’ Eve.


2: DreadOut: Keepers of The Dark

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £4.99

Developer: Arbitrary Metric

Originally intended as a DLC for the first DreadOut title, a game we reviewed many moons ago, Keepers of the Dark finally surfaced as a stand-alone title two years later. Steeped in the lesser known world of Indonesian horror lore, Dreadout: Keepers of the Dark is a title with some refreshingly unique scares.

A short side story in the supernatural adventures of the lost schoolgirl Linda, Dreadout: Keepers of the Dark provides a chilling small set of varied levels to explore, some very good scares and a surprisingly gripping combat system.

It’s short, sweet and with the announcement of a highly-anticipated sequel game in, addition to the release of an officially licensed horror film on streaming giant Netflix, there’s never been a better time to jump back into the world of DreadOut.


1: White Noise 2

Platform(s): PC

Price*: £6.99

Developer: Milkstone Studios

The only multiplayer title on this list, White Noise 2 is an asymmetrical five player horror experience. Four intrepid investigators are pitted against one powerful monster in a frantic race against the clock to collect eight tapes and win.

With a a plethora of characters to choose from both human or monster, each game of White Noise 2 is as unique as it is terrifying. With something for everyone, it’s an excellent choice for those who want something to play that is both simple and scary this Halloween.

Despite being excellently balanced, and overall an awful lot of fun, low player numbers and empty servers do mean that (for the moment at least) purchasing this game with friends who all own it too is unfortunately a necessity.


*Prices are Steam store prices (excluding discounts or sales) as of October 2019.

I bought a huge Steam key bundle on eBay so you don’t have to

Have you ever seen those huge Steam key bundles for shockingly low prices on sites like eBay? Obviously, when I saw the listing of a “50 Steam game key bundle” for only £3.99, I knew that for less than 8p per game it was a bargain far too good to be true. With a product showcase boasting a chance to receive games such as Grand Theft Auto V or the latest Call of Duty – two titles, coincidentally I’m sure, ever popular with extremely gullible young children – curiosity got the better of me. And you know what they say about curiosity.

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First impressions were surprisingly good with a fast delivery placing the keys in my eBay inbox in under an hour. With forty-eight standard keys and two “gold keys” proudly in my possession I whipped open notepad so as to catalogue my spoils and set to work.

Redeeming the “gold keys” first was probably a huge mistake. Seeing that the very best the bundle had to offer was an unplayable first-person-shooter called Infernales and the mediocre driving game Insane Road set a fairly poor precedent.

Insane Road was definitely the strongest of the two “gold” titles. It’s playable with cheerful minimalist graphics – a little bit too similar to the popular Crossy Road to be original – and repetitive game-play that at least lends itself to a few minutes of enjoyment. Infernales is a generic DOOM-inspired shooter. Or it would be if the programmers had actually remembered to program in bullet collision. As it stands, your projectiles simply glide right through enemies rendering completion of the game impossible.

Unfortunately, the two “gold” titles were certainly the best of the bundle. Redeeming the other keys revealed a plethora of barely functioning titles – predominantly titles quickly cobbled together in GameGuru before being shovelled on to the Steam store en masse.

Highlights included Isis Simulator, which had seemingly been pulled from Steam almost as soon as it was released (I can’t think why), and  Make border great again! which seems to involve a super hero re-imagining of US president Donald Trump complete with mask and cape. If you couldn’t tell already, these games aren’t exactly the cream of the crop. In fact, they were all, without exception, unequivocally atrocious to such an extent that I feel wholehearted ashamed to have inflicted them on my account.

In the bundle I counted six obvious review keys, as designated by the listing of “review bundle” or “review copy”, which was extremely disappointing. Fraudulently claiming review copies to sell on the black market is a serious issue and can deeply hurt the relationship developers have with smaller web-based publications. Activities like these create an environment of distrust and can stop larger publishers from collaborating with the independent sites that need it the most.

Of course, some four of the keys were simply fake strings of numbers or had already been redeemed and quite frankly, I expected nothing less.

Would I ever recommend buying bundles like these under any circumstances? Of course not. If you want to pad out your Steam library with more games, why not pay a little more and buy a Humble Bundle. Humble Bundle is an initiative that aims to bring you top qualities titles for a fraction of the price. It’s completely legitimate and approved by publishers, and best of all it is charity-orientated, so you will not only help the games industry but also those in need.

Scene Investigators – An exciting new game from EQ Studios

Las Vegas developer EQ Studios has recently teased some details regarding an exciting upcoming project; Scene Investigators.

If the name EQ Studios rings a bell or two, it’s likely you picked up their previous title, The Painscreek Killings. An incredibly strong debut for the studio, The Painscreek Killings was a deeply stimulating murder mystery set in a deserted rural town. If you want to learn more about The Painscreek Killings, you can conveniently read our glowing review by clicking here.

Promising more mysterious murders, Scene Investigators takes players into the near future where, aided by future technology, a plethora of past cold cases can be meticulously reconstructed and re-examined. The reconstructed cases can be from any time or any place and each present a distinct set of challenges to overcome.

Much like The Painscreek Killings, Scene Investigators tests your lateral thinking and deductive reasoning, with players having to come to conclusions on their own to proceed. By the end of Scene Investigators, players should truly feel like a real detective.

Although information regarding the project is currently scarce, EQ Studios has already demonstrated a clear prowess when it comes to creating poignant digital experiences, and I am excited to see where they go next.

For the latest Scene Investigators news, visit the official site or stay tuned here at Arcadeberry!

How to make Games for Windows Live work on Windows 10

Microsoft has not had the best history when it comes to their gaming efforts. Whilst the Xbox One has gained an admirable foothold in the console gaming market, Microsoft’s attempts to capture the hearts of their PC audience have failed miserably.

Some modern gamers will be familiar with the laughably obscure Microsoft Store gaming platform built into every Windows 10 PC, Microsoft’s record of mishaps go back quite a few years prior.

Launching in 2007, Games for Windows Live aimed to bring the social systems of the Xbox 360 to the PC market – a fairly noble intention. Far less noble was the goal to charge PC users annual fees for the use of these basic chat features. Worse still was the price – almost $50 a year. Perhaps the worst aspect of Games for Windows Live was the intention to monetise online game-play, forcing users who wished to play multiplayer games to sign up for the subscription.

Consequently, Games for Windows Live was absolutely despised by users. When it was revealed that Dark Souls would launch with integrated Games for Windows Live features, a petition to have the game released without them racked up over 20,000 signatures in just under five days.

When it was eventually discontinued in 2009, Games for Windows Live was intent on not going down alone, ensnaring and soft-locking many of the games it came packaged with.

Although developers have for the most part tried their best to remove Games for Windows Live from their software, there are still some titles that fall victim to its parasitic influence. Grand Theft Auto IV for example, despite being sold on Steam, is in an almost broken state; leaving the games of many users without the know-how to circumvent the Games for Windows Live login system completely broken.

Luckily, this handy guide is here to save the day, offering the quickest and easiest way to get Games for Windows Live off your back for good.


1: Update Games for Windows Live

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Although it may seem counter-intuitive, the first step to begin getting rid of Games for Windows Live is to install the latest version. Simply visit the official website and follow the on screen instructions to install the software.

After installing the software, launch your Games for Windows Live enabled game and proceed to the next step!


2: Create an offline account

Despite Games for Windows Live‘s insistence that you have to log in to your Xbox Live account in order to play your game, this is a bit of a catch 22. Due to server issues, it appears that existing Xbox accounts cannot be used to log into Games for Windows Live, resulting in a soft-lock or an error code.

Luckily, Games for Windows Live contains an “Local profile” which you can use to circumvent this.

With your Games for Windows Live enabled title open, press your keyboard’s “Home” button. This should open a dialogue box at the top of your screen. This will prompt you to log in with an Xbox account.

Press “Create New Profile” and scroll down. At the bottom of the window there is an option to “create a local profile” in blue text as pictured below.Untitled.png

Press this button and complete the account creation process.


3: Enjoy your game!

By following all these steps you should be able to now play your Games for Windows Live enabled game hassle free!

Steam – The biggest issue facing the new beta and a potential solution

For those unaware, the Steam next major update has recently entered a beta state, giving eager users a much anticipated glimpse of the long overdue upcoming user library overhaul.

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The new library hub

Although this new addition can be cynically attributed to Valve’s new attempts to rapidly modernise Steam‘s features in the wake of the rising popularity of the Epic Games Launcher – perhaps the only game launcher with the financial backing to topple Valve’s market monopoly – it is nevertheless certainly nice to see Steam with a long overdue fresh coat of paint.

Boasting a sleek design, smooth animations and one-of-a-kind automated library management features users have so far been delighted with the new update. If you fancy a guide on how to acquire the new update, simply click here!

Although the update has been applauded by many, there is still one major problem – one that proves to be quite the sticking point for users less than keen to update.

The issue stems from Valve’s change to a new way of presenting game: the new vertical box art. Despite conjuring up some warm nostalgic memories in those old enough to remember browsing rental games in Blockbuster, and being overall more visually appealing, it requires quite a bit of developer input to pull off.

Developers have been encouraged to upload vertical box art and banner images with their games’ media assets for some time now a problem arises when developers won’t. Despite the best efforts of Steam‘s algorithm to generate box-art for every game, using pre-existing banner images, the results are hardly amazing and really detract from the otherwise flawless presentation.

It’s fair enough to understand that with old games, tiny indie titles, or even games where developers no longer have the rights to the product, it is unreasonable to expect a box-art overhaul there are plenty of examples of companies that do have the resources to update assets but simply won’t.

Rockstar Games for example, haven’t bothered to update their Steam releases for years, leaving L.A. Noire and Grand Theft Auto IV in almost unplayable states, and have continued this trend here – with all their past titles lacking the new box-art.

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Worse still is when companies update some of their games, but fail to update others (as pictured above with the Sonic franchise). It creates a disjointed feeling and the effect that, through no fault of Valve‘s, the update was in some way rushed or is unfinished.

Whilst some people’s suggestions that Valve should hire an army of interns to sit down and manually create box-art for every single game ever released on the platform are clearly un-achievable, there is a genuinely pragmatic solution quite close at hand.

For some years now, Steam has allowed the creation and sharing of customised user content via the Steam Workshop and it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to have this extended for box-art. There is already a feature implemented to have users be able to create and upload their own box-art to their games locally, so why not expand this facility to downloading and sharing the work of others.

By allowing users to select and download their favourite Steam game box art, or perhaps even just large user-made collections of it, Valve would be able to effectively fix the biggest issue plaguing their latest creation without having to lift a finger.

Admittedly, it’s not the best solution, and is certainly open to abuse (although not more so than the already existing Steam Workshop), it is clear that something at least needs to be done about this problem before the library beta is released to the public; and I for one am very curious to see what this “something” will be.

How to update to the new Steam library beta

The much anticipated Steam library update is here, giving Steam a long overdue new coat of paint. Although accessing it right now in its beta state is a little bit of a hassle, we’ve constructed this helpful guide to help you have you new Steam beta downloaded and running in no time. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!


1: Install Steam

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If somehow you don’t already have Steam installed on your computer, perhaps you’re just a new user attracted by the buzz surrounding the new update, it is integral that you download Steam before following any further steps in this guide.

To do this, simply visit Steam and press the “Install Steam” button handily circled above. Once the file has been downloaded, run it and follow onscreen instructions. After you have done this, open Steam and log in. If you do not have a Steam account you will need to create one by following onscreen prompts.


2: Locate the “Settings” tab

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The top of your Steam window will look something like this. Press on the “Steam” drop-down label in the top left.

3.PNGSelect the “Settings” tab within the drop-down box.


3: Change “Beta participation” to “Steam Beta Update”

4.PNGIn the dialogue box opened by the previous step, select the “Change” button under “Beta participation”. Open the drop-down box in the popup and select “Steam Beta Update”.

This will prompt your Steam window to close and download an update, when the update completes and the tab reopens you will be treated to a fresh new look.

Superliminal – The most exciting upcoming game that no-one seems to be talking about

Pillow Castle‘s upcoming puzzler Superliminal debuted at E3 this year and, ironically contrary to the meaning of its title appears to be completely outside of the gaming’s collective consciousness.

Superliminal is a bizarre take on the puzzle genre that first captured my interest when it debuted at the 2013 Tokyo Game Show under the far lengthier title Museum of Simulation Technology. Although just a proof of concept, the 2013 demo showcased some of the mind-melting potential the game’s perspective puzzles could present.

Almost 6 years later and things have definitely started to take shape in a new trailer which showcases the same excellent game-play structured around what seems to be a more narrative based experience newly clad in a fresh minimalist art-style.

The trailer reveals some more information on the game’s setting, some kind of dream therapy based treatment program, and presents the character of Dr. Glenn Pierce whose soothing Scottish tones will presumably accompany you throughout your surreal wanderings.

The flashes of blood drenched corridors shrouded in static towards the close of the trailer do cast Pierce’s presence in a more sinister light and highlights what could be an intriguing mystery surrounding his true motivations.

The trailer is currently sitting at around only 12,000 views on YouTube, which certainly seems unfairly low, given the booming popularity of other quirky puzzlers in the past. With 2019’s trend towards the ultra-profitable all-consuming “live-service” model for our games, it seems we need to try hard to nurture these seemingly dwindling independent creative titles.

If you want to help support a more artistic approach to gaming, you will be able to pick up a copy of Superliminal when it launches to the Epic Game Store later this year.

Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure – Review


Disclosure: To aid this review a copy of Gibbous – A Ctuhulhu Adventure was provided free of charge by Stuck in Attic


Summer is practically over and as everyone knows, it’s now time for humanity to celebrate it’s customary spooky season by scaring the hell out of each other with spine-chilling stories, frightening films and ghostly games. If however the current state of the environment/politics/imminent global conflict etc. has you terrified enough already it might be wise to stick to things more funny than fearsome. That’s exactly where Stuck in Attic‘s point-and-click Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure comes in.

The plot of Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure centres around a weary student trying to revert his newly enchanted cynical talking cat to a state of silence by undermining the work of a charmingly inept cult, rescuing a kidnapped detective all while saving the world  from certain doom while he’s at it. If this sounds a little bit mental – it really is.

This story is told through the perspective of three interesting protagonists; the kidnapped detective Don – armed with his delightfully cliche gravelly tones and spouting constantly lamenting dialogue, the half-Romanian student Buzz and the imaginatively named cat Kitteh. You are given a good amount of time to get to know each character, and when the game eventually end you’ll find yourself quite sad to see them go.

As the name would suggest, Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure is heavily inspired by the works of horror legend H.P Lovecraft and the dialogue delights in making references to the source material – even lovingly cracking a few jokes at its expense. Despite its clear influences Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure feels very stand-alone, and thankfully avoids the over-reliance on its source material  – an easy to fall into pitfall that has ruined many parodies. This is thanks to the  great deal of work that has clearly gone into crafting a solid plot and presenting a unique and engaging world.

Rather than taking the easy route and lazily rehashing a Lovecraft setting, Gibbous draws from the overriding themes present in the locales of his work and transfers them to the new setting of the developers’ homeland; Transylvania. From the ancient tightly-nit houses of Kingsport to the isolation and decaying wooden walkways and huts of Innsmouth your favourite Lovecraft motifs are still here, but presented with the reinvigorating dash of a new cultural influence.

Artistically, the whole game is a marvel. With beautifully hand-drawn background stills showcasing moody Gothic interiors bathed in softly glowing candlelight leading out onto mazes of arched houses under a rich dusk sky. Cut-scenes are too hand-drawn and extremely reminiscent of Disney animations in all the best of ways.

The voice acting is also, for the most part, superb; with the few times where it wavers actually helping to add to the point-and-click charm.

One unfortunate area where the game’s overall visual excellence falters would certainly be character’s mouth animations which seem to bare very little correlation to what is actually being said. Although a minor gripe, seeing characters’ mouths flap open and closed wildly like an excitable goldfish for a couple of seconds before a line has started and after it has ended is a little distracting.

Gibbous triumphs as a successful comic work. Although the art of laughter is certainly subjective, there are many moments throughout that I feel could bring even the most hardhearted individual into a guffaw. The fast-paced delivery and the fact that almost every line of dialogue is jam-packed with jokes and pop-culture references one after another keeps things from becoming too awkward when the lines occasionally fall a little flat.

In typical point-and-click fashion, the game is structured with occasional puzzle solving throughout. With a small item pool in your inventory and (very unusually for a point-and-click game) developers that actually understand how trains of human logic run,  these puzzles can be solved with no real hassle. I’d say they were even a little too easy – even for a person as embarrassingly bad at puzzles as I am. I was actually a little shocked that by the credits of the game I hadn’t needed to look at a tutorial even once. This certainly isn’t a game for those yearning to self-inflict pain trying to solve incomprehensible dilemmas Monkey Island style.

Despite it’s lacklustre puzzles and slightly bumpy edges, Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure successfully tackles an ambitious blend of H.P Lovecraft’s hair-raising cosmic horror and the campy comedy characteristic of the ongoing rival of the point-and-click genre with an admirable level of finesse. For Lovecraft fanatics playing this is a necessity and, thanks to its accessibility in the fields of both comedy and puzzle design, it’s a title I would recommend to casual players looking for a game to play this Halloween – one that’s a little more sweet than scary.

Definitely give Gibbous – A Cthulhu Adventure a look on the Steam Store by clicking here!