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The Evolution of Game Genres: NES, Gameboy, and SNES – Gamasutra

Here's a selection of the genre selections from some of the leading game platforms:

All platforms have the following genres in common:

Aside from "Indie" which arose fairly recently, these "classic" genres have been around as far as I can remember. Why did we wind up with these particular genres? How has their meaning changed over time? How far back do their origins go?

To answer this question definitively would be a major undertaking, so in this particular article I'm just going to travel briefly back in time to the late 80's and early 90's, looking only at Nintendo (specifically Nintendo of America). If this article proves interesting I might do some other eras and platforms (starting with SEGA).

What I'll do here is go through old packaging and advertising material for the platform in question, looking for formal genre markers. These are explicit labels and/or emblems that are part of an official classification scheme by the platform holder itself, whether that's directly on the game package or in some kind of catalog listing.

As you'll see, in this early era, formal genre markers were actually fairly rare!

Our first stop is the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. Poring over old box art and issues of Nintendo Power, I was only able to find formal genre markers in two places: "Players Guide" magazines (special bonus magazines included with a Nintendo Power subscription that showcased a variety of games from each of Nintendo's platforms), and the "Black Box" series of early NES titles.

Let's start with the NES Player's Guide, which conveniently starts with a genre classification "Color Guide":

These genres match the genre emblems found in the "Black Box" series of game packages. You can see "Action Series" prominently displayed on this copy of Super Mario Bros:

As far as I can tell, exactly 30 games were released under this packaging format. Future releases took on more illustrative packaging art, and dropped the explicit genre callouts:

Nevertheless, between the Player's guide and the Black Box series we have some decent information on how Nintendo of America was classifying their games in this period:

And here's the 90 titles in the Player's Guide:

Action, Adventure, Arcade, and Sports are familiar to modern eyes, and even Education isn't so far out but genres like Light Gun, Programmable, and Robot are notably dated.

Nintendo is famously credited with resurrecting the home video game market after the notorious Atari Crash, and the package design and presentation of their first 30 games seems to tell a story of earnest transparency meant to win back trust instead of fanciful illustrations that look nothing like the game as in the Atari era, you have simulated pixel art: what you see is what you get. The genre emblems and screenshots might have been an important part of their customer and dealer education particular when highlighting unique and interesting features such as the Light Gun and the R.O.B.

As Nintendo found their footing and gained confidence, the overly literal box illustrations and genre callouts seem to have disappeared.

But let's return to the genres that have persisted to the modern day Action, Adventure, Arcade, and Sports.

This genre still lives with us today, but as actual arcade machines fade further into obscurity so does its contemporary meaning grow ever more muddled. But back in the NES era, this genre had a very clear and objective meaning: "This is a conversion/port of a coin-op game". This genre signified nothing about the gameplay style, mechanics, or tropes, merely that the original version was played on a literal Arcade cabinet.

Another very straightforward genre, which unlike Arcade retains this straightforwardness today. It's a game about sports, the end.

Any simple and straightforward Action-y title that wasn't Sports or Arcade (or qualified under one of the special categories like Light Gun, etc), was Action. This genre persists today. It's a very simple term, although incredibly broad.

This is the most subjective of Nintendo's early genres. But from the very start, Zelda and Metroid were classified as Adventure games, which suggests that having a large, connected, non-linear world was a key feature. Castlevania and Kid Icarus are classified as Adventure too, even though each of those featured a more traditional linear level progression. Perhaps the stronger emphasis on theme, story, and set dressing of those games helped to tip the scales.

(As an aside, genre nerds might see this as evidence for Metroidvania being a sub-genre of Adventure though keep in mind this iteration of Castlevania was well before Symphony of the Night).

I'd also like to note the icon for Adventure: a guy swinging on a vine, suspended over a pool of water:

I absolutely refuse to believe this isn't a direct reference to Pitfall for the Atari 2600:

Notably missing from the NES's genre classification scheme are classics like RPG and Puzzle, especially considering how many of those were released on the NES. Of course, old issues of Nintendo Power will describe titles like Final Fantasy and Dr. Mario with the word "RPG" or "Puzzle game" in the middle of a long paragraph, but I haven't found any formal genre markers for those terms in Nintendo's own consumer-facing marketing copy or packaging.

The Box art for Dragon Warrior does call itself a "New Role-Playing Epic!":

And the back of the box calls it a "Role-playing adventure." However, this designation was likely made by Enix, not Nintendo.

Final Fantasy has neither the word "RPG" nor "Role-Playing" on the front of the box. The closest to a genre term is the word "Adventure" in the tagline: "Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure," though I'd hardly take that as an intentional genre designation, formal or otherwise. The back of the box describes the game as a "massive role-playing adventure."

This is consistent with the overall pattern of no standardized formal genre designations on the packaging; however now and then key genre terms may appear in descriptive text or as informal marketing callouts.

If you have a careful eye, you'll notice that Dragon Warrior is formally classified by Nintendo as part of the Adventure series:

Strategy and Simulation are not here, though this is understandable given the simplicity of the NES platform. Still, there were several games that would have fit under these descriptors.

Racing is noticeably missing too. The Black Box series only had a few games that could be considered Racing Mach Rider and Excitebike are clear candidates, but they feature editable courses and were thus classified under Programmable instead. Slalom could also be considered Racing but it's categorized under Sports, which isn't surprising Sports & Racing tend to be closely associated, much like Action & Adventure.

Moving on the Game Boy, we have less to go on. The US packaging featured no formal genre markers that I've been able to find:

Fortunately, we do have the Game Boy Player's Guide from 1991:

We see Action, Adventure, and Sports make their return, and now we finally see Puzzle and RPG. Arcade as well as the NES's specialty genres are gone, and Simulation and Strategy have yet to appearthough their absence makes sense given this is the original 4-color gameboy we're talking about.

Action continues to be the dominant genre, especially now that Arcade is gone. Interestingly enough, the game boy version of Castlevania is considered an Action game and not an Adventure game, though it is amusingly subtitled "the Adventure".

On the other hand, Duck Tales is considered an Adventure game, perhaps owing to its strong theme & setting (for a Gameboy game), and its nonlinear stage select system. Though admittedly, Mega Man has much the same structure and I'm 90% sure the Gameboy Mega Man titles would have been considered Action games.

Gargoyle's Quest, Cosmo Tank, and Fortified Zone are more clear-cut, however each of them features a lot more exploration, dialogue and non-linear level design.

SNES packaging, like the Gameboy's, doesn't seem to feature any formal genre markers:

...or does it?

It seems pretty inconsistent. Chrono Trigger has nothing:

Secret of Mana has a bullet point that says "First Game in a new Action/Adventure series":

Which seems to indicate that this is more generic marketing copy that happens to use a genre term now and then rather than a formal genre marker system imposed by the platform itself.

So let's go back to our trusty source the Super NES Player's Guide:

Action and Sports are, as usual, the biggest genres.

The Castlevania series has gone back to being Action. The rest of the Action and Adventure titles seem to make sense, but if you really wanted you could make a case for Legend of the Mystical Ninja being an Adventure game. This is all just further evidence that the line between Action and Adventure has been blurry from the beginning.

But a few keystones remain The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an Adventure game, as usual. So are the nonlinear side-scrollers Wanderers from Ys and Actraiser, as well as the zeldalike Lagoon. Some of these could honestly be considered "RPGs" under the modern definition, but they all feature real-time combat, which seems to be a key differentiator here. (But Drakkhen, an "RPG" has real-time combat too! Although it's way more stats-and-menu heavy...)

RPG is tucked together with "Simulation" in this menu, but that might just be because this player's guide only chose to surface two of them.

This is a new genre for Nintendo, and actually has more titles represented in this player's guide than RPG even on the SNES, this genre was always more than just SimCity! We see Populous (a further sign of growing cross-pollination between PC's and consoles), as well as Pilotwings (a classic flight simulator and launch title), a chess game, and the Miracle piano/keyboard educational program (which was also available on the NES). So it seems that Simulation is also consolidating the Programmable and Education genres from the NES.

Puzzle is gone, and Strategy has yet to be seen, even though there were plenty of both kinds of games on the SNES.

A couple of key things stand out from this exercise:

It's fascinating how little game genres were formally used in consumer facing materials in the early Nintendo era. Where they were used at all, it was sparing and somewhat inconsistent, limited to an early run of NES packages and a single promotional player's guide for each platform that highlighted a small selection of games.

Admittedly I hardly conducted an exhaustive search, there could well be a bunch of material I've missed. That said, Nintendo Power magazine and the game packages themselves were two of the strongest ways Nintendo had to directly reach out to customers. Perhaps advertisements and other marketing materials had more to say on the subject, but it doesn't seem like a natural place to find a formal genre classification system.

The one place I might expect to see one is in the materials that Nintendo sent to their retail partners. I haven't been able to surface any of those dealer catalogs, but if I can get my hands on some I'll update this article with my findings.

All in all, the limited use of genres makes a lot of sense for this era. Games were still primarily thought of as being for kids, and the genres themselves had barely been established. Most importantly, the total number of games was still quite small, so sorting them neatly into categories might simply not have been necessary yet.

These four genres seem to have been there from the beginning, and persist to this day.

Arcade faded from prominence on Nintendo platforms as the market shifted from coin-op arcades to home consoles as the primary mode of play.

Action and Adventure have been favorite ways of describing games from the beginning. On Nintendo platforms, Super Mario was always the prototypical Action series and Zelda the prototypical Adventure series, with plenty of fuzziness at the boundaries of the two terms.

Sports has always been there, and always been pretty big. Nintendo never saw fit to break out Racing as its own genre, or to pair it alongside Sports as we sometimes see today ("Sports & Racing").

These genres found their way onto Nintendo platforms later on, sometimes popping in and off the radar. This makes sense as these tend to be more complex games, often slow-paced, text-heavy, and many were turn-based rather than real-time (the latter being a key staple of Action and Adventure titles).

Puzzle found huge success on the Gameboy with Tetris so it makes sense for it to make its debut there, and it makes sense that we don't see Simulation as its own genre until the SNES, given that genre's inherent complexity.

The omission of RPG from the NES is probably just because there didn't happen to be any RPGs in the first 30 Black Box games. I had initially guessed that early RPGs on the NES were formally classified under Adventure, with the RPG genre emerging as a distinct term later on, and this was confirmed by Dragon Warrior's listing in the NES Player's Guide.

This just barely scratches the surface. I didn't look into the Japanese side of Nintendo at all, nor did I look into the early days of the PC, Atari, SEGA, Sony, Commodore, Amiga, etc. All of that is ripe for analysis but I think it makes sense to just zoom into one small slice at a time lest I get overwhelmed.

If I do another of these, we'll talk about the Sega Master's Sysem, Game Gear, and Megadrive/Genesis next.

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The Evolution of Game Genres: NES, Gameboy, and SNES - Gamasutra

Hop ‘Til You Drop: Finding the fun with rapid iteration – Gamasutra

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutras community.The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

Funits at the core of any game design. But as anyone who has ever shipped a game can tell you, it can also be one of the trickiest things to get right. Ive been on teams where we found the fun early, and teams where we wrestled with the fun until the bitter end. It should come as no surprise which of those projects ran smoother, were more satisfying, and resulted in a better game.

Since fun can be so elusive, theres really no substitute for good old-fashioned trial and error, and that means rapid prototyping and iteration early in the process.

The importance of iteration and prototyping was drilled into me since I was a kid. My dad, David Maynard, was one of the first programmers hired at Electronic Arts. He used to tell me a story from the early 80s that demonstrated just how central iteration was to design. His co-worker was asked how long a game would take to complete. He pulled out a stopwatch and asked the lead programmer to compile a build. Then he multiplied the time by 10,000 to come up with the estimate.

The lesson? It will take 10,000 iterations of a game to get it right.

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Of course, back in 1982 my dad was working on an Atari 800, and it would take 45 minutes to compile one floppy disc that held 380 kilobytes of data. Todays games can take days to get a new build into tester's hands, and the complexity goes up exponentially if you add multiplayer to the mix.

A two-person team at Manticore recently shipped a multiplayer puzzle game for PC called Hop Til You Drop, that we developed in just two weeks using our Core platform. Its a great example of the importance of rapid prototyping, and how its still possible in an increasingly complex development environment.

Our original inspiration for the game was a Minecraft mod called Musical Blocks, where players race to stand on colored blocks that are called out by the game. Once the progressively-shorter timer goes off, the other blocks disappear, and anyone who didnt make it to the right color block falls to their death. Its like a deadly musical chairs.

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It was a fun starting point, and we were able to use the pre-created character models, physics, locomotion, animation, camera systems, and multiplayer networking in Core to essentially recreate Musical Blocks in about two days. Then we got to work playtesting.

We knew the core mechanic of racing to the right color block was already fun, but we found that as the game progressed the timing mechanic didnt scale. Once you reach a certain point, players just dont have time to navigate the map, and the game becomes frustrating.

We tried to find ways to ramp difficulty in the game that still felt skill-based for players, and stumbled upon a phenomenon called the Stroop effect. In psychology, the Stroop effect is the delay in reaction time between congruent and incongruent stimuli. So basically, wed put the word GREEN up, but it would be in white font. Players often instinctively race to the white block. It was a fun twist.

We thought the Stroop effect was a great way to ramp difficulty later in the match. But more playtesting revealed that it was confusing players who thought it might be a bug, not a feature. We tried a number of ways to communicate this to players and ultimately landed on adding a wink emoji after instructions that used the Stroop effect. This did the trick.

More playtesting also found that while the game was a great test of reflexes, it lacked any meaningful strategy. So we played around with a few options and implemented a series of coins that would appear after the players made it to the right color block and the timer went off. They then have a short window to navigate a jumping puzzle between blocks to collect the coins. This added a risk-reward element, since every jump could mean a fall to their death.

With the coin mechanic in place, we started to rethink the ultimate win state, which had previously been the last person standing. We ultimately changed the objective of the game from surviving the longest, to having the most coins at the end of a match. A player could be aggressive in collecting coins, get eliminated early, but still win the round.

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In just two weeks the team was able to not only build and ship a high-fidelity multiplayer game, but we were able to make dozens of design changes based on our ability to instantly publish and playtest the game. At the end of the day, we did more than 100 iterations of the game - thats more than 7 builds a day on average. And while Hop Til You Drop is pretty simple, its a powerful demonstration of how rapid iteration can dramatically impact a games design, and make it easier to find the fun.

Check out the final version of Hop Til You Drop here.

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Hop 'Til You Drop: Finding the fun with rapid iteration - Gamasutra

Call of the Sea looks lovely, here’s a breakdown of the trailer by the devs – PC Gamer

Call of the Sea turned some heads last month at the Inside Xbox presentation, and we know a bit more about the game with a breakdown of the reveal trailer from the Future Games Show.

Call of the Sea is a first-person puzzle adventure with a strong focus on story, in which a woman named Nora goes into the unknown of the 1930s South Pacific to find her missing husband's expedition. In this overview, Out of the Blue games co-founder Tatiana Delgado goes through the trailer and explains some of the thinking behind the game.

Call of the Sea is an "otherworldly" game inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft, but it's not horrorOut of the Blue emphasizes that it's an adventure game. It's centered on Nora's story, with voice actress Cissy Jones of Firewatch fame as Nora. Though it is a puzzle game, Delgado emphasizes that puzzles exist to move the narrative forward and are integrated into it, rather than the narrative existing to present more puzzles. Some puzzles will be about authentic exploration technology of the era, while others will be about the ancient ruins of lost civilizations.

Call of the Sea is developed by Out of the Blue Games and published by Raw Fury. It doesn't yet have a release date, but both developer and publisher say it's coming "soon." You can find more information on Steam or on the Call of the Sea official website, which has some nice gifs. Here's a taste:

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Call of the Sea looks lovely, here's a breakdown of the trailer by the devs - PC Gamer

Game Review: BioShock: The Collection (Switch) – FutureFive Australia

Nintendo Switch owners finally get to dive to the undersea city of Rapture and fly into the clouds to the floating city of Columbia with BioShock: The Collection. As they say, theres always a lighthouse, theres always a man and theres always a city.

The BioShock games are some of the most well-received titles in gaming history. The games have a huge fan-base and no convention is without at least one character from the series being cosplayed in the halls.

Its been thirteen years since BioShock was first released on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The last entry in the series, Bioshock Infinite, came out 2013. In 2016 all three Bioshock games were remastered for current-gen consoles, with the notable exception of Nintendo Switch.

Now, some four years later we finally get to play these legendary games on Nintendos amazing portable console. The package contains all three games, in their updated forms, as well as the extra premium content released post-launch.

Each title is separate so you can install them individually if memory card space is tight. With the exception of 2Ks other Borderlands Switch re-release, this is possibly the best value release available for Nintendos console, right now.

In a nutshell, all three games feature similar gameplay, themes and abilities. They are all first-person action role-playing game. Both BioShock and BioShock 2 are related and feature the same setting. Bioshock Infinite features a new setting and a different time period.

The first game, BioShock, is set in 1960. Players take on the of Jack, the sole survivor of a plane crash near a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. On entering the lighthouse players are confronted with an odd art-deco interior with stairs leading to a bathysphere. After a short descent, Jack arrives at the undersea city, Rapture.

As a narrative adventure, the plot is an important part of the game. So, Ill be brief with the details. Suffice to say, Rapture was intended as the fulfilment of Walt Disney-like industrialist, Andrew Ryans utopian dream. The discovery of a substance called Adam allowed the development of plasmids, chemical augmentations granting users electrical, pyrotechnic and other special abilities.

The promise of a utopia was short-lived with an insurrection in 1958 destroying Ryans vision. When Jack arrives at Rapture, the city is in ruins, and occupied only by its Adam-crazed occupants, called splicers, the weird children called little sisters and their protectors the lumbering big daddies.

BioShock plays as a first-person action-RPG. Players need to traverse the crumbling undersea city, with the help of Atlas, an Irishman who communicates with Jack via radio. Using a combination of plasmid abilities, melee weapons and guns, Jack must stay alive and find out Raptures Secret.

The game looks very nice, in part due to the remastered visuals employed a few years back. But BioShock was always a pretty game. The design style, utilising art-deco features, gives the city a feeling of a former place of splendour that has seen better times. With exploration being a key part of the gameplay, the amount of detail makes for a very immersive experience. The combat is perhaps not as refined as more modern games, feeling a bit clumsy at times. This is better implemented in the next two games.

As well as the remastered version of the BioShock single-player story, theres also a museum of abandoned ideas from the games development to take a look around. The unlockable directors commentary adds extra insight into the creation of the game. The games original DLC, the puzzle-based BioShock Challenge Rooms is also included.

At the time, I found BioShock to be something completely different. Everything about the game from the setting, the story, the gameplay and the amazing art deco level design blew me away. Approaching it almost a decade later and the game still impresses.

But now on to the next game in the collection.

BioShock 2 returns players to Rapture, this time as one of the big daddies, Subject Delta - a prototype of the huge suited protectors of the little sisters. Whist the intro sequence starts in 1958, the game is a sequel to the first game. Players get to, once more explore the secrets of the ruined underwater city. The story further develops the bond between the player and the exploited little sisters as subject Delta searches for his little sister, Eleanor.

Using the same undersea setting, you could be forgiven for seeing this second game as a rehash. The gameplay is more refined in this second outing. Its a credit to the developers in that, for this second visit to Rapture, the larger character of Subject Delta doesnt make you feel like you are starting afresh with the new game. As a big daddy, players get newer, more powerful weapons to play with.

Being encased in a diving suit, BioShock 2 includes sequences where players get to go outside and walk on the sea bed. They also get to navigate flooded sections of the city.BioShock 2 is a worthy successor to the first game and, of course, looks amazing on the Switchs screen. The package includes the Protector Trials single-player, horde-like DLC as well as the Minervas Den DLC, an adventure into Raptures core. The multiplayer mode of the original is absent from this collection.

The jewel in the crown of this package is the third game, BioShock Infinite. For this game, we have both a new protagonist and a new setting. As amazing as the first two BioShock games are, Infinite pulls out all the stops.

This third game is set in 1912 and starts with a private investigator, Booker DeWitt, being rowed towards a solitary lighthouse just on the coast of Maine. The scene echoes the beginning of the first BioShock. On arrival, instead of steps leading downward, Booker must ascend to the top of the lighthouse. After a brief puzzle, Booker finds himself rocketing above the clouds to a floating city - Columbia.

BioShock Infinite draws upon early 20th Century American Exceptionalism. Columbia is, on the surface, an idyllic manifestation of the American dream, wrapped up in a steampunk setting. Of course, the reality is somewhat different.

Booker must fight his way across the city to rescue the girl, Elizabeth from the clutches of the citys founder, Father Comstock. Rather than just some two-dimensional damsel, the character of Elizabeth is still one of the best realised A.I. companions in a video game. As well as furnishing Booker with ammo when dry, she can also open up portals to other dimensions, aiding their escape from Comstock.

Again, the story is a big part of the game, so Ill leave it at that. The level of detail put into the city of Columbia is astounding, making exploration a must. There are optional collectables that further reveal the background of the story. The plot is rather esoteric, addressing, among other things, colonialism, racism and alternative dimensions.

The Plasmid abilities from the first two games return, this time requiring salts to refill the powers. Booker also gains access to a sky-hook. This device is not only a melee weapon, it also allows players to navigate high above the city using an aerial cable system. Its a massive amount of fun, especially during combat. The level design is astounding and a major leap forwards from the incredible setting of the first two games. Swapping the claustrophobic underwater setting for the open skies of a city floating among the cloud is genius.

The game is visually stunning. Ive no idea how they managed to fit this level of detail into a Switch. Even on the TV it still looks great, even fairing slightly better than the first two games. Columbia is simply breathtaking. Unlike the previous games, the city is populated and its easy to get lost in just watching the inhabitants going about their business. There are loads of little details, be sure to listen out for the old-time renditions of modern classics.

Despite the different setting, BioShock Infinite does wrap up all three games. The game includes all three DLC episodes. The last two Burial at Sea parts 1 and 2, take players back to Rapture with alternative versions of Booker and Elizabeth further tying all the games together.

All three games have been faithfully ported over to the Switch and look great on the consoles screen. BioShock and BioShock 2 seemed to suffer a little on my TV, with a few jagged edges, but Bioshock Infinite looks amazing.

The BioShock Collection on Switch is a must-have package for any fans of action RPGs and, indeed, Switch owners in general. The settings are amazing and the stories intelligent and thought-provoking. And, of course, the gameplay is second to none. The inclusion of all three games original single-player DLC makes it even better.

I would whole-heartedly recommend The BioShock Collection.

Verdict: 9.5/10

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Game Review: BioShock: The Collection (Switch) - FutureFive Australia

Some of the Coolest Games From Saturdays PC Gaming Show – Paste Magazine

PC Gamer had its digital PC Gaming Show Saturday, and showed off a huge amount and variety of, as you might have guessed, games for PC. Here are a few of the most exciting announcements from the two-hour show:

Ooblets is a zany, adorable take on the core concept of Pokmon, where you grow and train the wild Ooblets and engage in dance battles and other silliness. Its the kind of game that looks like a soothing balm for the cruel world we all live in. Of course, that means the Internet had to try snuffing that happiness out with vile harassments and threats after development studio Glumberland, consisting of just two people, made the mortal sin of announcing that the PC version would be exclusive to the Epic Games Store.

The hate hasnt stopped Glumberland from completing their vision, though, as an early access version of Ooblets launches on PC and Xbox One this summer! The games been in development since 2016, so this is very exciting news.

Although the game initially launched on PlayStation 2 in 2008, Atlus fourth entry in the half dungeon crawler, half high school simulator Persona series reached its largest audience on an unlikely platform in 2012: the PlayStation Vita. The game was a perfect fit for Sonys ill-fated portable system, becoming one of its best-selling titles. Now, Persona 4 Golden is available on Steam today, with full HD and Japanese audio!

Although it was initially announced in 2019 as one of the first titles to come to the PlayStation 5, Counterplay Games Godfall is also coming to PC! In the gameplay reveal, the developers talk about the games lore and introduction of what theyre calling a looter-slasher, a combination of Borderlands-esque loot collection and melee combat. The game launches on both platforms holiday 2020.

Among Trees looks to be a calming survival game in which you live among nature, chopping down trees, building a house, growing plants and fishing in a format that looks similar to Minecraft but distinct enough to look like its own thing. The game comes to early access on PC this winter, according to developer Fjrd Interactive.

Carto is a charming puzzle game from Sunhead Games which features an adorable kid helping out various people and animals by getting them where they need to go. The titular character does this through shifting the environment like a jigsaw puzzle, and the whole thing looks adorable and relaxing, which is really what we need right now.

As we laid out after Mafia: Trilogys announcement, 2Ks roadmap to updating its Mafia games is a bit confusing, but still exciting. Following the release of Mafia II: Definitive Edition and Mafia III: Definitive Edition on May 19, the remake of the original Mafia from 2002, Mafia: Definitive Edition, launches Aug. 28 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Its new story trailer shows the remake in motion, bringing the 2002 title to life with fully revoiced lines and completely new graphics. It looks great!

Developed by No Man Skys Hello Games, The Last Campfire is described as a smaller, more intimate offering when compared to the huge scope of Hello Games ever-evolving space exploration game. It sees a cute little creature navigating dungeons and solving puzzles, with skeletons and statues hinting that something Not Good happening there. Its the type of game designed to make players feel all fuzzy but also cry, and I personally cant wait. The game launches sometime this summer on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Haven is an RPG adventure about love and freedom, starring a power couple that fights together, instead of one saving the other. Its an uncommon thing for games to give equal control and power to both members of a romantic relationship after so many instances of the hero saving the princess, so Haven is definitely a nice change of pace. Add to that a gorgeous cel-shaded art-style and intriguing turn-based gameplay, and this is definitely a game to keep an eye on. It launches sometime 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

A new project by Dont Nod Entertainment, the team behind the Life is Strange games, Twin Mirror seems to play to the developers strengths by being heavy on story with interactive elements. The game sees an investigative journalist, Sam, return to his hometown only to unravel a gripping mystery. The game is planned to launch sometime in 2020 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Some of the Coolest Games From Saturdays PC Gaming Show - Paste Magazine

Huuuge Games teams up with Universal Games for a Trolls game – Pocket Gamer.Biz

Huuuge Gameshas teamed up with Universal Games and Digital Platforms for a new game based on DreamWorks Trolls IP.

The new title DreamWorks Trolls Pop is a bubble shooter, and is available through both the App Store and Google Play. Players will need to complete a variety of missions through blasting bubble clusters and solving puzzles.

More than 15 trolls are available to collect such as Poppy and Branch, all of which have a power that can help to overcome challenges. On top of this, users can modify their team of trolls and have customisation options available.

"As Trolls World Tour continues to entertain fans around the world, our goal is to provide an extension of the Trolls experience that resonates with and engages a broad range of players," said Universal Games and Digital Platforms senior vice president of production Jim Molinets.

"Trolls Pop brings together a diverse collection of characters and is infused with upbeat music and high energy that offers countless hours of entertainment for every member of the family."

Coming to life

"Huuuge Games has done an amazing job in bringing beloved Trolls characters to life in a new and exciting way by adding challenging puzzle elements and the expected variety and surprise that is unique to DreamWorks Trolls," said Alexis Gresoviac, general manager of Studio-X, Huuuge Games.

"With our impressive collection and customisation of Trolls characters with numerous costumes, we believe that there is no other game that will give players a deep dive into this colourful, wondrous and lovable world, and is the perfect addition to Huuuge's growing casual games line-up."

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Huuuge Games teams up with Universal Games for a Trolls game - Pocket Gamer.Biz

Nuts demo lets you spy on squirrels and their secrets – Rock Paper Shotgun

Squirrels: theyre hiding something. No matter how cute they look, theyre keeping something from us and maybe its more than just food. Perhaps youll see some of their secrets in the new demo for Nuts, a game about surveilling the goings-on of squirrels. By day, carefully place your cameras. By night, sit back to watch where the blighters go. Its a first-person puzzle game of sorts, about the daily cycle of tweaking camera locations to follow the furry fiends, but also has a story about squirrely secrets. Im interested.

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If this sounds familiar, thats likely because its expanded from a game jam game Matt played in 2018. Now its looking a lot fancier and has that whole voiced story going on. At this point, I have no clue whether that story is going to be fun and silly or dark and deadly. Never can tell with squirrels.

I like how tacticle Nuts is. Pick up the phone. Press the buttons on your monitors. Click the switch on your printer. Feed photos into the fax machine. Pop papers up on the board. Some good bits of first-person fiddling there. While the demo ends soon after introducing the basics, Im keen to see where it might go with future puzzles and plot.

Nuts is due to launch on Steam in 2021. For now, you can grab that demo from Steam and see more on its website.

Its made by Jonatan Van Hove (Laza Knitez), Pol Clarissou (Vignettes and Orchids To Dusk, plus small spookings like Offline), Almut Schwacke (sound designer on Anno 1800), Torfi, and Charlene Putney (writer on Baldurs Gate 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2). Noodlecake are publishing.

Disclosure: Jonatan Van Hove has done stuff for The Wild Rumpus, an events group Im part of. I also know some of the team, I wouldnt say well but Im glad when I bump into them at some event once every five years?

Whatever you call it, hit our E3 2020 tag for more from this summer's blast of gaming announcements, trailers, and miscellaneous marketing. Our E3 stream schedule will tell you what to watch and when. See all the PC games at the PlayStation 5 show and everything at the PC Gaming Show, for starters.

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Nuts demo lets you spy on squirrels and their secrets - Rock Paper Shotgun

How to make the best of Myntra’s end of reason sale through games – India Today

How to make the best of Myntra's end of reason sale through games

It is that time of year again when the nations most awaited fashion carnival, Myntras End of Reason Sale, EORS, arrives to deliver fashion at the door steps of millions of shoppers across the country. This year the event is eagerly awaited by many shoppers who will be able to access over 7 lakh styles from 3000 plus brands at best prices and offers, imaginable.

With EORS scheduled from June 19 to June 22, Myntra is enabling shoppers to play games on its platform and earn points that can be used to shop during the early access period, apart from a host of other benefits.

There are 4 exciting games for the current edition - Pipers, Book Cricket, Santa Drop and Brand Puzzle that adds a layer of fun to the shopping carnival, and brings happiness and cheer.

Pipers - The user needs to hit the tiles on the screen at the end of each stage to get points

Book Cricket - User has to beat a certain score to beat the opponent

Santa Drop - User has to collect the gift from the collection of gifts and bombs, falling from sky

Brand Puzzle - User has to arrange the tile of 3*3 to make brand, logo and tagline combination

Step 1: Download the Myntra App if you havent installed it yet on your smart phone.

Step 2: Browse through the GAMES showcased.

Step 3: Click/select the game you wish to play.

Step 4: Play the game and earn points.

Step 5: With the points earned, buy your favourite coupons in the buy and earn page accessible through the Myntra home page.

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How to make the best of Myntra's end of reason sale through games - India Today

Amazon Giving Twitch Prime Members Another Free Game – ComicBook.com

Twitch Prime subscribers are given access to a number of free games with their subscriptions. The latest such example is PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids, a title that combines gameplay similar to Picross but with RPG elements and visuals added for good measure. It certainly seems like a strange mash-up of genres, but Twitch Prime users will now have the perfect opportunity to judge for themselves! Developed by NanoPiko, the title is available free to Twitch Prime users to snag until July 10th. The title joins other free games on the platform, including Samurai Shodown II, Dream Daddy, and Forsaken Remastered.

Despite the peculiar nature of the mash-up, PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids certainly looks like the kind of game that would appeal to RPG aficionados. The game's visual style is clearly inspired by the RPGs of the Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis era, even if the gameplay itself isn't! In the game, the villain Moonface has turned parts of the world into picture puzzles. As players solve each puzzle's rows and columns, they'll do damage to the game's enemies. Players that are already familiar with the style of Picross games should find that the game adds an extra element of strategy.

For the uninitiated, Twitch Prime is Twitch's premium subscription service. The service is free for all Amazon Prime subscribers. In addition to free games, Twitch Prime also gives users a number of in-game bonuses, as well. Sometimes, this takes the form of in-game loot, and other times it's DLC, skins, and more. The service even offers "Starter Packs" for certain games, as well. As of this writing, users can get starter packs for Tera, Warface, and Warframe, for a limited time.

Like other Twitch Prime offers, PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids belongs to the user as long as they remain a Twitch Prime subscriber. As such, users will want to make sure they snag the puzzle/RPG hybrid as soon as possible!

Do you subscribe to Twitch Prime? What do you think of PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.

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Amazon Giving Twitch Prime Members Another Free Game - ComicBook.com

Best Action/Adventure Games For New Players | TheGamer – TheGamer

Action/Adventure games capture the thrill of an expedition, and good ones deliver memories that last a lifetime.

Action/Adventure games capture the thrill of an expedition, and good ones deliver memories that last a lifetime. This genre might be new for some, and can a bit overwhelming. Don't worry, though. We have an adventurous list for you to get started.

A Legend of Zelda game making the list is no surprise here. Ocarina of Time was a first for many, and is even regarded by some as the bestin the series to this day. You play as Link through his quest to stop Ganon and save Princess Zelda. Players will venture through many different areas, solving puzzles, and fighting enemies. All while traveling through time with the Master Sword.

This game is perfect for newcomers and veterans of the genre. It teaches players just enough with expansive dungeons and various equipment. Each dungeon will offer players a new piece of equipment. This piece will then be used to solve a majority of the puzzles, but as they go on, players will have to use their wits and other items to solve them. Early on the game is not too difficult, but it soon picks up once the player progresses.

Describing the greatness of this game is almost impossible. The moments and experiences that players make are what made this title shine. Great controls with interesting areas to explore make this title able to withstand the test of time.

Related: Best Action RPGs For Newbies

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time revolutionized the 3D platforming experience. It is one of the few action/adventure games that successfully made the jump from 2D to 3D, offering a more in-depth combat system using various weapons and abilities. Players take control of an unnamed Prince who obtains an artifact called the Dagger of Time, while his army takes over a city and finds the Sands of Time. The Princeis tricked into using the Dagger on the Sands and it turns all life into monsters.

Using the Dagger of Time, the Prince has the ability to rewind time, freeze, and kill enemies. This feature made challenging platforming and battles a bit easier and more controlled.

This title is a great pick for newcomers since it is extremely rewarding. Just getting across a room, or climbing to the top of a building leaves players satisfied. Many of the puzzles are acrobatic and have players become more involved with the area. As the game progresses, the difficulty of the battles and puzzles will increase. Can't complete a puzzle? No worries! Players can rewind time at any point even upon death to fix their mistakes.

Assassin's Creed II presents a war between Assassins, who fight for freedom, and Templars who seek to control. Players take control of Ezio Auditore da Fiernze as they travel through Italy. The main narrative takes place at the height of the Renaissance Era as the player guides Ezio on a quest for vengeance.

This title was critically acclaimed for its deep story, interesting characters, and combat. Considered one of the greatest in the series, this entry popularized the Assassin's Creed franchise.

Newcomers would have an easy time getting a hang of this game. Not only that, but they will fall deep into the story that is presented with such likable characters and dialogue. The free-running mechanics are easy to use, and the combat is smooth and explained well through the story. Seeing many familiar faces from history such as Leonardo Da Vinci and his works added another level of depth.

Of course a Rockstar title would be on this list. Red Dead Redemption 2is the third entry in theRed Dead series. The story is set in 1899 in a fictionalized Midwestern United States. Players take control of outlaw Arthur Morgan, a member of the Van der Linde gang. Arthur must deal with the decline of the Wild West while attempting to survive against the government and other gangs.

This game delivers an experience that few games can say they bring. Considered a game as an art form, it won countless awards and even Game of The Year for some publications.

New players will find themselves lost in an expansive and vibrant world. Between the local events and side missions, players can find themselves spending hours just exploring. With easy to master shooting, and a large catalog of weapons, and explosives players will always have a choice in combat. There is truly something to do for everyone.

Licensed video games get a bad wrap a lot of the time. Until Batman: ArkhamAsylum,that is. Rocksteady raised the bar for superhero video games tremendously. The players control Batman in Gotham's Arkham Asylum. Batman must battle against his arch-enemy the Joker, who plots to take over Arkham Asylum and all who are imprisoned there.

With Batman confined to small places, Rocksteady had the freedom to detail the Asylum so the player flows through beautifully. This style of gameplay fits perfectly with his arsenal.

New players of the genre will find themselves enthralled with the setting and combat of this title. The rhythm of combat can create a stunning flow in battles, making each encounter a bit more cinematic. This, with the dark detailed setting and memorable characters, will have players delve deeper into the series. Plus, it's Batman. And that should be enough.

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Zelda's 35th Anniversary Could Bring All Of The 3D Games To The Switch

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