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The Charnel House Trilogy review

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The Charnel House Trilogy review

The Charnel House Trilogy is a short, peculiar adventure game laced with creeping horror. It’s lingered in my mind many times the length of time it took me to get from starting the first chapter, Inhale, to the closing of the third, Exhale. That’s not saying much, I suppose, given the brevity of this curious story in three parts. 

I’ve been dwelling on it, anyway. It’s tonally spotty, it wears the skin of an adventure game without ever committing, and its conclusion offers few answers to the game’s many questions. But its atmosphere has its claws in me, and damn do I want those questions answered.

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Medieval Engineers Early Access review

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Medieval Engineers Early Access review

I know what you’re thinking: it’s Space Engineers with castles. Medieval Engineers is the second Early Access game from Keen Software, and like its predecessor, it’s a building game and physics simulation. The similarities run deep, but two key differences set the games apart. 

Where Space Engineers was a game free from gravity, Medieval Engineers is shackled by it. Things don’t fly, they fall, and this informs how and what you can build. Then there’s the second key difference: castles just aren’t as much fun as spaceships. 

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I am Bread is almost ready to pop out of the toaster

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I am Bread is almost ready to pop out of the toaster

Bread and physics gone mad simulator I am Bread has been cooking away in Early Access since last year, but it’s almost ready to pop out of the toaster and onto digital plates. 

Next week, it will leave Early Access with a 25 percent discount through the week of launch. Our Steve didn't find it quite delicious enough when he wrote his I am Bread Early Access review, but quite a bit has changed since then, including the addition of other breakfast foods.

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Gabe Newell will cut you in Crawl

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Gabe Newell will cut you in Crawl

Crawl joins the likes of Magicka in the list of games that will put a big strain on friendships. It’s a dungeon crawler where one player controls the hero, and three chums take control of traps and monsters as disgruntled spirits. 

Bosses range from traditional dungeon-dwellers, like skeletons, to IRS agents. And, due in the next update, Gabe Newell.

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Titan Souls gets a standalone demo based on the game jam prototype

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Titan Souls gets a standalone demo based on the game jam prototype

Game jam experiment turned full game, Titan Souls, is due out later this month, on April 14th, but you can take the gorgeous action-adventure for a spin in demo-form right now. In this world of premium and alpha betas, I find new demos rather comforting, and start to miss the days when my study was full of demo discs, little treasure chests that were so important back when buying a game was a luxury.

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2: You can fill space with searing neon death

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2: You can fill space with searing neon death

Gratuitous Space Battles 2, Positech’s laser-filled strategy sequel, is a training simulator for prospective fleet commanders. You never know when you’ll be whisked away to an alien world or the future and told to put together a fleet that can conquer the galaxy. 

Like its predecessor, players are put to work making ships, from midge-sized fighters to dreadnought behemoths, which can then be unleashed on enemy fleets in large, hands-off space battles. It doesn’t deviate much from the original, but is blessed with flashier sci-fi scraps, lavish space backdrops and some new, handy toys waiting to be affixed to extremely customisable ships. 

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Space exploration game Outer Wilds wins the IGF Grand Prize

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Space exploration game Outer Wilds wins the IGF Grand Prize

Last night, the IGF Awards took place, and Outer Wilds became the 17th Grand Prize winner. There’s a good chance that you’ve not played it, because it’s not actually out yet. There is a free downloadable alpha build, though. 

It’s a space exploration mystery game where you can commandeer a rocket and go sightseeing around an alien solar system. It was awarded with the Seumas McNally Grand Prize as well as the Excellence in Design award.

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InXile to give Wasteland 2 a graphical overhaul with Unity 5 engine

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InXile to give Wasteland 2 a graphical overhaul with Unity 5 engine

InXile has announced that they plan to raise the graphical bar of their crowd-funded post-apocalyptic RPG, Wasteland 2, by upgrading the Unity engine. Currently, the game runs on Unity 4.5, but it’s bigger brother, Unity 5, will enable modders to use many of the tools available from Unity 4.x Pro.

“There is no doubt that this migration will allow us to release better tools for modding to our community in the future." said project lead Chris Keenan.

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Earthlight is a first-person exploration game set on the ISS using the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2

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Earthlight is a first-person exploration game set on the ISS using the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2

Have you ever wanted to do a spacewalk above the vast and encompassing blue dot that we call home? Well developers Opaque Multimedia are about to offer you the chance to do just that, albeit in the space of virtual reality. Their new game, Earthlight, is a first-person exploration game that’s set on the International Space Station. It’ll use both the Oculus Rift and Microsoft Kinect 2 to provide a full body mapping system, and ensure that immersion is at the forefront of the experience.

“Earthlight demonstrates the very limits of what is visually achievable in consumer-oriented VR experiences," Opaque states. “Featuring the most realistic depiction of the International Space Station used in an interactive VR setting to-date."

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Versus Evil to publish Skyshine Game's Bedlam; "It really was a logical step"

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Versus Evil to publish Skyshine Game's Bedlam; "It really was a logical step"

Skyshine Games have announced today that Versus Evil will publish their upcoming post-apocalyptic roguelike, Bedlam. The game is built on the foundations of the same engine Stoic used for The Banner Saga, which was also published by Versus Evil.

“The Banner Saga team at Stoic have given us some great support and advice," said Skyshine Games. “And having seen the great partnership they enjoyed with Versus Evil, it seems [like] the natural choice to work with them on Bedlam".

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Seaworthy is a 16bit pirate adventure roguelike inspired by FTL and Sid Meier's Pirates

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Seaworthy is a 16bit pirate adventure roguelike inspired by FTL and Sid Meier's Pirates

Have you ever wanted an FTL-like game, but where the space is the sea and your ships are made of wood? Seaworthy is that game - an adventure roguelike about sailing the high seas in search of gold, glory and more gold. As the captain, you'll be tasked with growing your crew and improving your ship, while trying to keep her floating through dangerous encounters involving other pirates, and even mythical sea monsters.

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The Long Dark gets bigger, again, and wolves can be scared off

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The Long Dark gets bigger, again, and wolves can be scared off

My very first game of The Long Dark ended in the jaws of a wolf. There I was, minding my own business, rummaging through a first aid box, and bang. The wolf leaps out of the shadows and starts chewing my face off. But in v.192, wolves might not be as big of a problem. 

Torches! Those mangey beasties hate fire, and waving a torch at them will make them think twice about their dinner plans. The world’s bigger now, too. A new region’s been added, a 10 square kilometer valley for you to explore. Take a gander below to see all the changes. 

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Sunless Sea review

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Sunless Sea review

My ship has been swallowed up by the darker-than-black ocean. It should have been a simple trade run, ferrying lost souls and spider-silk across the underground sea, back to Fallen London, a Victorian metropolis dragged beneath the earth by bats. But I’ve overextended, travelling too far in search of goods, and now I’m out of fuel and supplies. 

As is so often the case in Sunless Sea, my crew is now mad, throwing themselves overboard, shrieking and fighting, brains unable to parse the existence of stars underground, or the monstrous sea beasts they’ve seen. Either at the hands of mutineers or mad men, I’m going to die, and it’s going to be permanent.

That almost, but not quite, inevitable climax, death, looms over every nautical journey in Failbetter Games’ top-down seafaring sandbox. With every text-adventure-style quest embarked upon, there’s always the question: is this the one that will send me over the edge? 

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Impact Winter is a chilly survival game with a team of survivors trying to live for one more month

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Impact Winter is a chilly survival game with a team of survivors trying to live for one more month

Winter is, according to myriad survival games, just awful. Sure, there are the holidays, time off work, lots of lovely snowmen - but those things rarely make it into sandbox survival affairs. It’s all icey death and frozen limbs. Impact Winter joins the list of these anti-winter games.

“It’s a post-apocalyptic, survival adventure," says developer Mojo Bones. But they are quick to promise that it’s not as generic as it sounds. You won’t be a lone survivor; you’ll be leading a band of them, with inspiration being drawn from the likes of John Carpenter’s The Thing, which also spawned a tense game of managing desperate people. 

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Subnautica Early Access review

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Subnautica Early Access review

I was meant to be at work, doing my bit to colonise new worlds. Nah, I thought, I need a holiday at sea. Conveniently, this was around the same time that my ship crashed and left me stranded in a pod in the middle of an ocean. Hooray!

With my thoughts full of singing Jamaican crabs and fancy cocktails with names like “Sea Breeze", I began my holiday in underwater survival romp, Subnautica. The genre’s very much trendy at the moment, maybe even a bit oversaturated, but Unknown Worlds has surprised me once before, with Natural Selection 2, and I was eager to take the plunge. 

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2 beta launches with plenty of explosions

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Gratuitous Space Battles 2 beta launches with plenty of explosions

Gratuitous Space Battles 2, the modular spaceship strategy sequel, hits open beta today. At least, that’s what an email told me. But emails cannot be trusted! It is indeed now in beta, but it’s only open to that that pre-order the game first. By doing that, though, you will certainly be getting some very gratuitous space battles. You can cast your eyes at the laser light show below, in the beta trailer.

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Sunless Sea displays its secrets this week; get a taste with the launch trailer

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Sunless Sea displays its secrets this week; get a taste with the launch trailer

Sunless Sea is one of two - I think - Early Access games that I’ve recommended that you buy despite them not being completely finished, the other being Starbound. But if you decided to wait until launch, you patient person, you, then your terribly long wait is almost at an end. 

Failbetter’s wordy nautical adventure launches this Friday, and to get you in the mood for these dark, underworld adventures, here’s a lovely launch trailer. 

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Don't Starve Together Early Access review

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Don't Starve Together Early Access review

Don’t Starve has always been an infernal machine, made out of monster flesh and oddly shaped gears, that’s churned out anecdote after anecdote. That time I jumped into the ominous maw in the ground, only to reappear half-way across the world and surrounded by nightmares. That fight I had with a legion of giant eight-legged creepy crawlies, where only the timely intervention of some noble pigmen saved me from death; pigmen I then killed and ate. 

Throwing another player into the mix, a fellow survivor, seems like a natural progression for Klei’s strangely whimsical survival horror game. A second player, just as desperate to survive, in a world with fleeting resources. Don’t Starve and co-op is, or at least could be, a perfect marriage. But is now the time to get hitched to Don’t Starve Together? 

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Sunless Sea review

SUNLESS SEA

Sunless Sea review

Subnautica Early Access review

Subnautica

Subnautica Early Access review

Don't Starve Together Early Access review

Don't Starve

Don't Starve Together Early Access review

Out There's Michael Peiffert on bringing the brilliant space roguelike to PC

Out There: Omega Edition

Out There's Michael Peiffert on bringing the brilliant space roguelike to PC