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Video: Tetris Effect: Connected Shows Off Its New Multiplayer Features – Pure Xbox

Tetris Effect: Connected might not be one of the most big-budget games hitting the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One on November 10th, but there's definitely plenty of excitement for it.

The game, which is also coming to Xbox Game Pass from day one, is an extension of the 2018 PS4 title Tetris Effect, introducing all-new co-op and competitive online and local multiplayer modes.

You can check out some of these in the new Gameplay Spotlight trailer above, including "Zone Battle", which shakes up traditional 1-on-1 Tetris gameplay via a time-stopping Zone mechanic, and "Connected", where up to three players can literally connect their Tetris playfields together and play as one.

If you don't have Xbox Game Pass (or you just want to buy it permanently), Tetris Effect: Connected is now available to pre-order on the Microsoft Store with Smart Delivery for 33.49 / $39.99.

Tetris Effect: Connected is the original Tetris Effect with all-new co-op and competitive online and local multiplayer modes. This is Tetris like youve never seen it, or heard it, or felt it beforean incredibly addictive, unique, and breathtakingly gorgeous reinvention of one of the most popular puzzle games of all time.

How excited are you for the release of Tetris Effect: Connected in November? Let us know down below.

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Video: Tetris Effect: Connected Shows Off Its New Multiplayer Features - Pure Xbox

Forget the moral panic Christians today are finding the spiritual side of board games and video games – ABC News

In the 1980s, Christians didn't mind playing Monopoly or chess but there were certainly games considered too mystical to be allowed.

Evangelical Christian activist Patricia Pulling and her lobby group, BADD (Bothered about Dungeons and Dragons) championed a moral panic surrounding Dungeons and Dragons, accusing the game of being a gateway into "demonology, witchcraft, voodoo ... divination and other teachings".

This probably sounds familiar: in Australia, these ideas were repeated by the Reverend Fred Nile and the Australian Federation for Decency.

None of this was proven true, but today there's a growing sociological and theological agreement that gaming and spirituality might have something in common after all.

Board game designer Phil Walker-Harding has a unique perspective on the growing board game market.

Phil's most popular game, Sushi Go!, is sold internationally in over 20 languages but he also helps pastor at Cottage Church, an Anglican congregation in Newtown, Sydney.

"Church is often thought of as a very serious place, and playing games is almost a frivolous place to be but I do think there are lots of links," he says.

"The biblical idea of Sabbath is kind of like pressing pause on regular life, to step outside of kind of our regular cycles of production and work and all those things.

"It's coming together with people resting, but not doing nothing kind of actively resting, even playing."

And here he sees a parallel with board games, where you can press "pause" on the world outside and focus on play.

"You're not thinking about what we can gain from this experience, you're just playing but you're doing it with quite a strong purpose," he says.

Another parallel, Phil says, is about how community can form around a game, much as it can form in church.

For example, tabletop games as their name implies require physically gathering together around a table. That reminds Phil of one of Christianity's most sacred rituals, the sacrament of the Eucharist, also called Communion.

"There's something about sitting together around a table and sharing a common experience like, embodied around the table and doing something tactile as well," says Phil.

"As things get more connected, and we're on our screens all the time, that becomes more important to me the physicality of having a social experience.

"I just think that really gets to what human community is all about."

It's an idea gaining popularity with clergy and academics alike.

The Reverend Amanda Hay is a Uniting Church minister with a large board game collection, and who completed her masters degree on religious ritual and tabletop gaming.

"The Venn diagram of Christians and nerds tends to overlap quite a bit, and I'm firmly right in the middle of that," she says, laughing.

Although she plays other kinds of games as well, Amanda's real passion is tabletop games that are best experienced as a group.

"It's important for me when I'm playing a game that I can see the board and touch the pieces," she says.

"But more than that, what I enjoy about having something on the tabletop is that it creates the 'magic circle'."

This is a phrase coined by the philosopher Johan Huizinga, she says, to refer to the space created when a few people come together to play.

It sounds like a pagan ritual, and it's true that the idea has been around for a long time.

Huizinga wrote in 1938 that these magic circles are anywhere "within which special rules obtain" including "the arena, the card-table ... the temple, the stage, the screen, the tennis court [and] the court of justice."

Amanda says in a magic circle, "rules are set up, particular social structures are made pertaining to that space, and 'flow' is achieved flow being this state of subconsciousness, where time seems to melt away".

James Carleton and the God Forbid panel discuss whether playing games can be a 'religious' experience.

This sense of "flow", or being "in the zone" is a mental state first described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. If you've ever been completely absorbed in a task and lost track of time, you'll know it first-hand.

"That's how we should be reflecting ourselves in worship as well ... we are connecting together and connecting with God," says Amanda..

Likewise, Amanda says the physical objects used in church play a similar role to pieces used on a game board, because they both tell a story which transcends the literal experience.

"Religious ritual uses the ordinariness of everyday things for something greater, so it's the same as flow in the magic circle," she says.

"It creates an experience greater than the sum of its parts, [and so does] religious ritual."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become far more difficult for both gaming clubs and religious groups to gather and create these transcendent spaces.

In response, online social games like Among Us have exploded in popularity.

Most of these are cooperative, and many are completely open-ended with no prescribed end goal, such as Minecraft, Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing.

Game store owner Benn Banasik describes these as "perpetual games", a category which also includes classic arcade games like Pac-Man.

In fact, perpetual games are the subject of his PhD and he holds the world record for the longest ever game of Columns on Sega Mega Drive.

Holding this record has given Benn the opportunity to meet others who see parallels between spirituality and games, including Walter Day, who founded the famous video game scoreboard organisation Twin Galaxies.

"He's into transcendental meditation and sees the same thing that I've sought to identify as part of my PhD, where people are getting into these flow-like states," he says.

According to Benn, the sense of flow required to play Columns for hours on end is similar if not the same as that required for long periods of meditation, ritual or prayer.

"There is a definite overlap of this religious experience that people are unlocking through these onerous activities," he says.

"There is not much difference between a monk who is in this mindful state sitting there reflecting on the magnitude of the world, and someone who is playing a puzzle game for 11 hours."

While Benn understands why people are interested in attending church services, he says he's more fascinated by people "seeking to have these ongoing lasting experiences through perpetual activity".

"I think that that's highlighted in games, [even though] my mother used to tell me they were a waste of time and to get off."

So, were evangelical Christians right about Dungeons and Dragons after all?

Sort of, Amanda Hay says, but in a more positive sense than Patricia Pulling would have meant.

"Dungeons and Dragons and worship both create senses of being," she says.

"They create liminal spaces where people can come together and be there for one thing, to experience something together and to leave that place feeling blessed and altered in some way.

"Instead of choosing between D&D and church, we should be doing both."

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Forget the moral panic Christians today are finding the spiritual side of board games and video games - ABC News

The Dread X Collections are bizarre, brilliant medleys of horror hits – PC Gamer

It's the fifth day of my hunt, and I'm worried. I should be focusedI'm hunting!but my mind is stuck back at the house thinking about the message written in blood on my front door. "God is coming in five days," it read. It was worrisome, but I'm on a mission. I have to keep going. I have to keep hunting these squirrels and stapling them to a decomposing corpse.

It's a sweet charcuterie board of horror.

I've already bagged about five of them, but I need one more Big Squirrel to hit my quota. I start making squirrel calls to lure one out, and soon enough, a gargantuan mutated squirrel gallops toward me. As I scope into the rifle I make sure not to rustle the nearby shrubs. I've scared off way too many that way. I fire a round at the centre of the giant beast and it topples over. I add its pelt to my collection, and that should be the end of my hunting day. But something's shifted. A low growl comes from the bushes to my left, and some trees start shaking to the right. I am now the one being hunted.

I bolt toward my cabin with two Squirrel Bears on my heels. A red countdown timer pops up on my screen. "GOD IS COMING," it says. My door's locked. There's a slow crescendo of discordant sounds, and a chorus of voices: a symphony of despair. The clock hits 00:00 and the music is blaring. My door's still jammed so I rush into the forest rifle-first praying to get the drop on God. I look around, but nothing is there. As I turn around to walk back home a terrifying, incomprehensible orb bolts towards my face. The game ends.

This is Squirrel Stapler: Interactive Small Game Hunting by David Szymanski. It's a very cool, unassuming Cabela Big Game Hunting-style parody game and it's one of 12 assorted horror games that were made in 10 days for Dread X Collection 2. The other games in the Dread X Collections are just as creepy, intense, and inventive; they push the boundaries of horror in smart ways as compact games developed by small (mostly one-person) teams.

Dread X Collection originally began back in May as a game jam riff on P.T., the unnerving playable teaser for Kojima's Silent Hills that vanished into cyberspace less than a year after its launch. Publisher DreadXP details in a blog post that they wanted to push back against "billion dollar budgets" and games industry crunch, so they gathered 10 developers and said make the P.T. for your ideal horror project in 7 days." Two more collections followed, and have different themes: Dread X Collection 2 focuses on "lovecrafting," and Dread X Collection 3 is all about "Spoopy." The independent developers involved come from all around the world and include Breogan Hackett, corpsepile, and World of Horror's Panstasz.

Over the past few weeks I've been playing Dread X Collection 2 and 3 late at night, and I've been consistently impressed with how imaginative and different each game is. The packs contain 10-12 games each, and the play time of each game ranges from around 20 minutes to over an hour. It's a sweet charcuterie board of horror. Every game is a striking, creative standalone experience, but it's also exciting to see how each developer has interpreted the collection's shared theme.

Some favourites are the Dread X Collection 3's SPOOKWARE @ The Video Store by Adam Pype & Viktor Kraus. It's a classic tale of three skeleton friends renting movies together. It's a fast-paced compilation of horror minigames (like WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! but spooky). One minigame had me as a UFO making crop circles, another had me maneuvering away from a Kraken in a rickety pirate ship, and the next said "LOOK AWAY" and had me dodging eye contact with Medusa. All of that happened within the span of 30 seconds. SPOOKWARE @ The Video Store is a party game I am definitely pulling out whenever parties are allowed again. (Also, it's one of the few games in the collections unlikely to cause nightmares.)

In Charlottes Exile, a Dread X Collection 2 game by John Szymanski, you have to stop Lovecraftian beasts from being summoned while you're trapped in a library with one. It's a high stakes puzzle game that rests upon your ability to quickly memorize ancient texts while staying aware of your surroundings. I honestly deserve a medal for completing this game. I simply could not keep it together when I saw those nasty tentacles.

Another great one off of Dread X Collection 3 is Bubbo: Adventure on Geralds Island by Breogan Hackett, which is a cute, cosmic horror 3D platformer/collectathon game where you play as the titular Bubbo and help out the animals on the island. I won't spoil the story, but I will say Watch out for Gerald. This game captures the vibe of classic N64 platformers while staying contemporary; the controls are buttery smooth on a controller and navigating the vibrant and detailed cartoon architecture is a treat.

Playing these collections is like walking through virtual horror galleriesif this is the future of games, then the future is full of creative freedom, without crunch. The Dread X Collection is an energizing collaboration between some of the most inspired independent devs, and horror buffs shouldn't sleep on it, especially during this spooky time of year.

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The Dread X Collections are bizarre, brilliant medleys of horror hits - PC Gamer

IndieCade 2020 #AnywhereAndEverywhere Festival Award Winners Announced –

Paul David Nuez October 29th, 2020 - 3:55 PM

Like everything in the video game industry this year, IndieCade 2020 went virtual this year and provided nine days of 24-hour programming last week from October 16-24. IndieCade supports independent game development globally through a series of international events highlighting the rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant contributions of indie game developers. On October 23, the festival announced its award-winning games and developers across adventure, narrative, puzzle, augmented reality, tabletop, and live-action genres. The Grand Jury awarded hand-illustrated adventure game Mutazione with top honors and special awards celebrated noteworthy developers like Derek Yu ofSpelunky,Zuraida Buter of theGlobal Game Jam, and Holly Gramazio ofDicey Dungeons.

Mutazione,developed by Die Gute Fabrik received top honors at IndieCade 2020 with the Grand Jury Award. The game has players enter a mutant soap opera where small-town gossip meets the supernatural, and explore the Mutazione community, magical gardens, new friends, and old secrets in this hand-illustrated adventure game. The Jury Prix Award was won byWide Ocean Big Jacketfor demonstrating excellence in craftsmanship, innovation, and design. Developed by Turnfollow, the game is a short story that transports players to an overnight camping trip, complete with ghost stories and roasting hot dogs on the fire.Wide Ocean Big Jacketis comprised of 20 chapters and eight explorable areas rendered in a 2D/3D art style.Electric Zine Maker,by alienmelon was honored with the Innovation in Interaction Design Award which celebrates the specialized artistry and innovation required to engage with games on a new level.Electric Zine Makeris a print shop and art tool with playful art, writing, and image features developed to make zine creation simple and easy for kids and beginners. The game that provided a unique and curated experience and won the Innovation in Experience Award wasThe Eternal Castle [REMASTERED]. Its a cinematic platformer based on the original game with additional game mechanics, sophisticated sound design, polished 2-bit CGA animated graphics, and modernized game design.

The Performance Award went toTangle Tower.Developed by SFB Games,Tangle Toweris a detective adventure game that features a fully voiced and animated cast of characters and an orchestral soundtrack. Players unravel a thrilling mystery by exploring a strange and twisted mansion, discovering curious clues, interrogating peculiar suspects, and solving unique puzzles. Celebrating titles that leverage randomness and algorithmic content to create unique and innovative reactions, The Procedural Design Award was given toI Was A Teenage Exocolonist.Its a narrative life simulation game about spending your high school years on an alien planet. Players will explore, grow up, and fall in love. The choices players make determine their course in life and survival of the colony. The Audio Design Award went toNUTS,a first-person narrative surveillance adventure with a unique puzzle mechanic and a bold visual style. The game was developed by Joon, Pol, Muutsch, Char and Torfi.

Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective,by Darjeeling won the Visual Design Award. The game is a 2D puzzle game where players travel through the immense labyrinths of Opera City to catch Mr. X, an infamous thief who stole the Maze stone. Fourcast Lab was awarded the Location-Based and Live Play Design Award forTerrarium: An Alternate Reality Game.The game was scaled for approximately 1,700 people during first-year students orientation at the University of Chicago in 2019. The experience used transmedia storytelling and gameplay to increase understanding about and engagements with climate change.

Chronicling the many centuries of a vampires existence, beginning with the loss of mortality and ending with inevitable destruction,Thousand Year Old Vampirewon the Tabletop Award. The game features prompt-driven play and simple resource tracking that provide easy rules for exploring your characters human failings, villainous acts, and surprising victories.Sin Sol/ No Sunwon the Impact Award. Its an augmented reality game that allows users to experience the feelings of a climate change event. Its set 50 years in the future as players learn to consider how climate change disproportionately affects immigrants, trans people, and disabled people. The Narrative Award celebrates achievement in storytelling. This years winner goes toJourney of the Broken Circle,by The Lovable Hat Cult. Its a fun and vibrant trip about life, love, fulfillment, and existentialism, where new powers come from new relationships. The IndieCade Choice Award selected by this years nominated festival developers went toMini Motorways.Developed by Dinosaur Polo Club, players build a road network and redesign the city to keep traffic flowing in a bustling metropolis.

The Trailblazer Award was presented to Derek Yu. The Award honors a working creator who has made both great contributions to the field of games and captures the independent and pioneering spirit. Derek Yu created Spelunky, Spelunky 2,andco-createdAquaria.Zuraida Buter received the Game Changer Award which celebrates an individual who has impacted the gaming landscape in a significant way, a positive disruptor who has brought a paradigm shift to the community. Zuraida Buter is the Cultural curator of the Global Game Jam, Incubate Arcade, Screenshake Game Expo, and New GameGrounds. Holly Gramazio won the Bernie DeKoven Big Fun Award which recognizes creators significantly furthering the field and impact of new, big, and physical games. Holly Gramazio is the writer ofDicey Dungeons,Director of Now Play This,and installation creator.

By broadening our reach for the 2020 Festival to a global, virtual audience. we were able to connect with more indie developers, players, and fans than ever before and celebrate top achievement across the indie games community, CEO and Founder, IndieCade Stephanie Barish said. This years award winners represent diversity in both talent and gameplay and reflect the power of games as an art form, entertainment medium, and tool to spark change.

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IndieCade 2020 #AnywhereAndEverywhere Festival Award Winners Announced -

Carto is a comfy puzzle game where you literally control the maps – Polygon

Carto is a magical and delightful puzzle game, developed by Sunhead Games, that has the player rearranging maps to create new landscapes.

You play as Carto, a young girl who was separated from her cartographer grandma in a storm. After you wash up on an island, youll have to find map pieces and put them together to find your way back. However, the way that you put the map pieces together will determine the layout of the island. If a peninsula is in the south, and you move that map piece to the east, the peninsula will move to the east.

Using this ability, youll also have to help islanders find their homes and missing objects, and also solve other puzzles that involve piecing together the map in new ways. Of course, there are limitations. You cant just place ocean water against land; you need to find a piece with a shoreline on it. Also, the land needs to be able to connect against other land, for the most part.

As the game progresses, it introduces new ways to use the maps, like placing edges of a forest around a blank spot to make the full forest appear in the center. However, while some of these solutions are fully explained, others arent, meaning that youll have to play around quite a bit with your map pieces before the solution appears.

Ive played Carto for two hours, and so far, none of its puzzles have been particularly difficult. While some have stumped me for a couple minutes, it never got to a point where I felt frustrated. With the cute designs and calming music, Id imagine it would be hard to rage at a game like Carto. Even the puzzles that leave me guessing typically end with me saying, Oh, Im an idiot who was overthinking things, after I solve them.

Ive found that Carto to be a great game to unwind with at the end of the day. Its the ideal game for sitting curled up in 20 blankets and drinking tea while solving some map puzzles. The game is short, with its Steam page listing it as a five- to seven-hour experience. Ive enjoyed taking my time with it and playing it in bites between other games.

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Carto is a comfy puzzle game where you literally control the maps - Polygon

Xbox Game Pass Adds Remastered Classics And Spooky Adventures – GameSpot

Xbox Game Pass is expanding its library once again, with a selection of games for Xbox One, PC, and Android devices all available now. Remastered classics and a few scarier games highlight the additions, which include developer Sunhead's charming exploration and puzzle game Carton.

On the classic side you can experience remastered versions of some of the best games from LucasArt's golden age of point 'n click adventures, such as Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, and Grim Fandango. If you'd prefer something spookier, cult classic Five Nights at Freddy's will remind you to never trust animatronic fast food mascots.

Roguelite platformer ScourgeBringer and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds join Xbox Game Pass on Android, and Unruly Heroes arrived today, while modern helicopter shooter Comanche, co-op first-person shooter Deep Rock Galactic, and the leisurely exploration game Eastshade will be available from November 5. If you'd like to push your thumbs and your mind to their very breaking point while engaging in a touching story of overcoming the mountain in front of you, Celeste has you covered on that day as well.

On November 17 you'll be able to experience a prehistoric and brutal world in Ark: Survival Evolved: Explorer's Edition. This version combines the base game with the Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Extinction expansion packs. Each expansion will also be available as separate downloads.

Here's the full list of Game Pass games coming to a variety of platforms that support the subscription service:

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks, which can be claimed by going to your Perks gallery, include a few creepy bonuses beginning today, October 29. PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds gamers can grab the October Horror Pack, Dead by Daylight players can claim the Curtain Call Bundle, and Warframe players will receive the Gauss Bundle. If you're also wanting to watch a zombie romantic-comedy version of Romeo and Juliet, you'll be able to rent Warm Bodies

Microsoft will be clearing up some space to make room for the new arrivals, and you can expect the following games to leave Game Pass, including Lego Star Wars III, After Party, and Tacoma. If you want to keep any of these, Game Pass members will receive a discount when buying the digital versions.

Other games were added to Xbox Game Pass earlier this month such as Heave Ho, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse, and Katana Zero. The most noteworthy new addition was real-time strategy game Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition which revived the 2005 game with new detailed 4K graphics, new game modes, all previously released expansions, and two new civilizations, the Swedes and Inca, to play as.

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Xbox Game Pass Adds Remastered Classics And Spooky Adventures - GameSpot

The 10 best Picross games on Nintendo Switch – Gamepur

Puzzle games are a perfect fit for any portable console, and the Picross subgenre in particular has always had a home with Nintendo platforms. Also known as a nonogram, Picross puzzles are games of logic, where players fill out a grid to form a picture, using numbers as hints. The term Picross comes from picture crossword, and Nintendo devices from the Game Boy to the Switch have housed these games. We found ten of the best Picross games on Switch, many featuring other gameplay elements and concepts to shake up the formula. The list below is in alphabetical order.

What if Picross was just a bit more colorful? Depixtion from DevHour Games adds a bit of flair to the usual nonogram gameplay, offering the largest color palette of any game in the genre. These puzzles will take a bit more doing unlike traditional Picross, the puzzles in Depixtion have three layers to reveal. Eventually, youll come out with a bright and distinct image. Its great for nonogram veterans, but its easy to pick up for any novice.

This might be cheating a little Marios Super Picross is not a native Nintendo Switch game, but theres an official way to play it on the console. Online subscribers can play Marios Super Picross for free on the Super Nintendo Nintendo Switch Online application and experience one of the earliest Picross games to date. Naturally, youll end up making a number of Mario-themed pictures with your hammer and chisel.

The visual novel and Picross mash-up Murder by Numbers depicts a murder mystery in a surprisingly fun and lighthearted fashion. Actress Honor Mizrahi finds herself conducting the detective work that her fictional character would usually do when her shows producer is found bludgeoned to death. Honor comes across SCOUT, a quirky and somewhat oblivious robot who helps you to investigate crime scenes. This being a Picross game and whatnot, said investigating is accomplished through nonogram puzzles. In between, youll also be interviewing suspects and presenting evidence.

Nonograms Prophecy isnt a perfect Picross game, according to some reviews, but its visual and style and themes are definitely worth giving a look at. One quick glance at this game from No Gravity Games and the ancient Greek aesthetic should be evident. Unlike most nonogram games, Nonograms Prophecy adds color puzzles as well to keep the gears churning in your head. Additionally, this game supports three languages.

Developer Jupiter is perhaps the most renowned Picross developer, with a number of their titles keeping the Picross name thriving. The studio took a brief pivot with Picross: Lord of the Nazarick, however, crossing over the Picross brand with the Overlord series. An unusual collaboration for sure, but it does lend to some fun and fantastical images alongside the usual nonogram gameplay. Youll be following protagonist Ainz Ooal Gown and uncover memories from the characters, all while solving puzzles that resemble items, monsters, and other trinkets from the Overlord series.

If you just need a pure fix of Picross on your Switch, then look into Jupiters Picross S. There are four entries in the series so far, with the latest being Picross S4. Each iteration adds a new game mode, so S4 should be the most stacked feature-wise. Modes include a Clip Picross feature, where the player solves a larger puzzle by completing smaller puzzles within it, Color Picross, which adds some complexity and layers to both the visuals and your strategy, and Extra, which gives the player large 3030 puzzles to solve.

NanoPiko crafted an RPG that uses Picross as the basis for its combat in PictoQuest: The Cursed Grids. Youll traverse through a map and fight enemies and bosses through nonogram puzzles, chipping away at their health while avoiding attacks and using your own power-ups. Youll be able to earn gold and spend it on items to aid you in battle, and you can also participate in sidequests. PictoQuest may not have the most complex story out there, but its hard not to feel at least a little charmed by the RPG trappings.

Piczle Cross Adventure from developer Score Studios has a really appealing aesthetic for nostalgic players. This Picross game contains RPG elements, with a fleshed-out story and entertaining characters, all under a filter that resembles the CRT screens of old. Youll navigate through an overworld and progress by completing nonogram puzzles. This will help you to unlock more parts of the menu and also gain XP for leveling up. Its an attractive pixel art style, so give this one a look if you want your Picross to look a little more retro.

In a fun and unusual mash-up, Pixel Puzzle Makeout League from Rude Ghost Games combines Picross gameplay with elements of a dating sim visual novel. You play as Pixel Girl, the optimistic and bouncy Picross-themed superheroine who serves as the latest recruit for the Puzzle League. Pixel Girls power is to turn any problem she encounters into a nonogram puzzle to solve, and youll be doing this throughout the game as she runs into different pickles. On the Switch specifically, you can use the touch screen to solve these puzzles, and accessibility options allow you to customize your Picross experience. Warm up your mind with some Picross, and then gather the moxie to date one of your four co-workers, one of which happens to be a giant, sentient puzzle piece.

Picross games are already pretty complex and a lot to wrap your head around, but Voxelgram ups the ante in a fairly entertaining fashion. These puzzles are 3D and procedurally generated; youll follow the same logic using the numbered hints, but its quite astounding how you eventually sculpt an entire object. Eventually, youll be left with these delightful little dioramas of your own creation.

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The 10 best Picross games on Nintendo Switch - Gamepur

EDUCAUSE 2020: With Esports, a Wider and More Inclusive Playing Field – EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education

In the world of college sports, there can only be so many Cam Newtons and Megan Rapinoes. However, as esports increasingly gains a foothold in higher education athletics programs, the opportunities for a new breed of all-star student-athletes are growing no magic hands or golden toes required.

For years, college sports programs and their scholarship opportunities seemed attainable only to those with the perfect blend of innate talent and elite physical athleticism. Esports programs like the one at Montgomery County Community College in Pennsylvania, however, have opened up the playing field for students who want to play an active, competitive role in college athletics programs.

Building an Esports Culture of Inclusivity, Dignity and Respect

At MCCC, our esports participants are considered varsity student athletes, Kelly Dunbar, the schools director of athletics and campus recreation, told online attendees during the 2020 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference. Our program offers a holistic approach that mirrors the traditional sports model to include competition, practice sessions, physical training, nutrition, mental health and academic regimen.

While esports does open a door for players who might not be able to run a seven-minute mile, competitive gaming has not always been a bastion of inclusivity and diversity. From the Gamergate controversy of 2014 to racist trolls who still target minority gamers online today, gaming has seen its share of ugliness and tension. At MCCC, all athletes (including esports players) are required to take an inclusivity pledge, in which they promise to foster an inclusive community that treats every person with dignity and respect and refrain from profanity and all types of bullying.Our esports program abides by the motto that e is for everyone, Dunbar said.

MCCC esports team player Victor Walker agrees.

I feel like esports is an opportunity for anyone to get involved in school in a competitive way, he said. It doesnt matter if youre not strong enough for basketball or fast enough for track. You can hop in and be one of the best people on the team. I love this program because it doesnt matter where you came from. If you give it an honest try, youre going to do great.

In the Esports Arena, There Are No Benched Players

MCCC student Kira Ariyamatr does not consider herself an athletic person, she told conference attendees. And when it comes to video games, shed always gravitated to puzzle games rather than the more competitive multiplayer games that are more common among esports leagues. Id never played player vs. player before, she said, but all my friends had been playing Rocket League, and I thought it was time to pick it up.

Now shes a member of the schools esports team. The program here is very supportive, Ariyamatr said. It doesnt matter if youre new or an expert. Everyone plays together.

When MCCC decided to explore the possibility of assembling an esports program, the IT department was engaged immediately, said Jim Stasik, the schools director of enterprise infrastructure. It was important that all the technical and facility aspects of bringing an esports program to life were considered, he said.

When the pandemic hit, Stasik told listeners, the esports team was able to use its existing equipment and assets remotely, allowing players to remain engaged and active. The team continued to use the Discord platform to stay in communication with each other, he said. They also continued to stream live using Twitch, which is the worlds leading streaming platform for gamers.

Putting in place the necessary facilities and resources to begin the team, he said, took a minimal investment, and the school was able to launch its program with just a year of planning and preparing. The program strives, said Dunbar, to provide its student players with everything they need in order to succeed, both in their gaming and academically.

We make it easier for student-athletes to participate by offering in-person esports arenas at both of our campuses as well as a virtual option, she said. We also have a wide range of skill levels that allow for growth within our program.

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Part-Time UFO’, and Today’s Other New Releases, Plus the Latest Sales – Touch Arcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for October 29th, 2020. Nintendo did a nice little stealth Direct yesterday, giving us some news and shadow-dropped games to enjoy. Ill briefly go over that before heading into the tons of new releases we need to summarize today. There are also the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales to look at. Plus, well be doing a giveaway of two North American digital copies of Torchlight III for Switch through the TouchArcade Twitter account, so make sure to check that out. Lets go!

Bravely Default II and More Feature in the Latest Nintendo Direct Mini

Nintendo dropped what it says is its final Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase for the year, and it had a lot of interesting things in it. We got a better look at Bravely Default II, which is now coming in February of next year. Two streaming games, Hitman 3 and Control Ultimate Edition, were announced, with the latter now available on the eShop. A new Story of Seasons was shown off, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has a demo available now. Theres plenty to see in there, so do give that video a watch if you havent done so yet.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Suda Goichis tale of a weirdo taking on the worlds top ten assassins makes its way to the Switch in grand style. This game was originally released on the Wii and if you want to maintain the motion controls of that version the Joy-Cons do a decent imitation. While this is definitely a beefed-up HD version of the game, it seems to be closer to the Wii version in most respects than the PlayStation 3 version. Trust me when I say that is a very good thing. Anyway, this is a really fun and charmingly unique game that is definitely worth the reasonable price theyre asking for here.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

The sequel to No More Heroes has, until now, only been available on the Nintendo Wii. It launched on that system in 2010, which means it didnt quite get as much as attention as the first game did. Perhaps that might have you thinking that it is not as worthy a game as the first, but that would be a mistake. No More Heroes 2 is awesome. Three years after clawing his way to the top of the assassin world, Travis Touchdown finds himself tumbling all the way down to number 51. Making matters worse, another assassin specifically has it in for him. Can Travis get his groove back and survive to see another day? The game has been given the HD treatment and is looking its absolute best here.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Well, this is interesting, isnt it? Realistically speaking, Remedys action-adventure Control was never going to make it to the Switch hardware as we know it. Weve seen the limits of down-porting high-end games to the Switch, and it sits somewhere between The Witcher 3 and The Outer Worlds. So instead, 505 Games has opted to make a different sort of compromise. Control Ultimate Edition is a streaming game on Switch, which means you have to have a good, reliable internet connection at all times while playing. Your mileage will vary as to how well thats going to work, but the publisher has been kind enough to let you test the first five minutes of the game for free to check before asking you to plunk down $39.99 for full access. Im a little mixed on this, because while it certainly opens up options for games that would not have been possible on the Switch before, I really dont like being chained to my internet connection. Fantastic game, though.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

After saving the world, what else could be next but saving Christmas? Join Cthulhu, Baba Yaga-Chan, the Snow Maidan, and Belsnickel as they seek to save Santa from the League of Christmas Evil in this holiday-themed JRPG from the fine folks at Zeboyd Games. This is a compact experience, running about four or five hours in total, but it is densely packed. A great combat system that advances on the one seen in Cthulhu Saves the World, much nicer visuals, a relationship system that lets you build bonds with friends and enemies, and more await. This Switch version also includes a New Game+ mode that allows you to max out all of the Rlyehtionship levels with everyone, which is quite welcome. Ill have a review of this one next week, but Ive yet to play a Zeboyd RPG that I didnt like and this wont be the one to change that.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This is an expanded version of the rather lovely mobile game released by HAL Labs a while back. You play as a cute little UFO who is trying to earn some extra money by taking on various part-time jobs. All of them involve using your UFOs hook to pick things up and drop them, and youll often find yourself needing to stack some very oddly-shaped objects. This new version includes some extra modes, including a two-player simultaneous mode that can get pretty chaotic to say the least. Ill have a review of this one detailing the new content early next week, so keep an eye out for that if you need more details.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

And you thought your first job was bad? Brian Pasternack starts his first day at Sintracorp, one of the worlds largest corporations. His first job? Hunting a witch who helped the company become what it is and is now back to collect the debt. In this horror adventure, you need to find the witch before they realize youre on to them, all while navigating an office building filled with weird and wild characters. Great puzzles, an excellent story, and a unique atmosphere make this a trip worth taking for fans of horror games or adventure games. Dont let the cartoony look fool you: things can get pretty bloody. And they probably will. Good luck at the office! This game has great reviews in its PC form, and I imagine it will find a receptive audience on the Switch as well.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

One of the hard facts Ive had to face over the last several years is that Contra and Castlevania are both effectively dead as ongoing brands. But were seeing a lot of games that want to try to recapture the spirit of those legends, to varying degrees of success. I think Wallachia is the first one Ive seen that tries to capture the spirit of both games at once. You battle through seven levels to take down Vlad the Impaler. Your character wields a bow and a sword, and shell be making considerable use of the former as she makes her way through waves of enemies. The developer made some Castlevania fan games in the past, managed to swing an unlockable bonus costume from Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and even brought in Robert Belgrade (the original voice of Alucard in Symphony of the Night) as a voice actor. This game was well-received when it hit PC a couple years back, so Im excited to see how it takes to Switch.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

This enjoyable hack-and-slash carved its way into our hearts when it launched on mobile a couple of years ago, and its still a lot of fun now. You play as a barbarian dressed like a bear who likes to solve problems with his axe. There are more than 100 levels of action, with loot, upgrades, and plenty of weapons to play with. Sometimes you rescue prisoners and recruit them to your army, but dont worry that the focus will ever be taken away from the pure thrill of battle. Just minor detours on your path of destruction, I promise. Not much to add, really. This isnt the most complicated of games, so my description can only go so far.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Sometimes a screenshot tells just about everything you need to tell about a game, and that screenshot right there sure does say a lot about Crimzon Clover. Its a vertical shoot-em-up of the bullet hell variety, and it wears that badge with pride. Multiple difficulty settings and play modes aim to give you a way to adjust the experience somewhat to fit your needs, but its obviously not going to change the basic hardcore nature of this one. As long as youre willing to punch that particular ticket, youll find this to be an absolutely awesome shooter that will test your skills while delivering solid thrills. Youll be chasing scores until the wee hours of the night, practicing again and again to overcome the stiff challenge of this intense title.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Well, thats a bold price. Thats Taito for you, though. Anyway, this probably looks a lot like Puzzle Bobble/Bust-a-Move, but it actually adds in a rhythm game element to make it feel like a whole different animal. And hey, Taito made Puzzle Bobble so Im fine with cutting them some slack. You get a whole bunch of Touhou characters to choose from, lots of songs to play to, and a variety of modes to play. And yes, ZUNTATA is on the soundtrack. If the 48 included tunes arent enough for you, you can buy more song packs. Its expensive, and frankly I think its somewhat overpriced, but if youve got the money to burn the game itself is definitely awesome.

This weeks Arcade Archives release flashes us back to 1991, when Jaleco released a beat-em-up named 64th Street. It follows a mustachioed detective named Rick and his cap-wearing partner Allen as they bash their way through the streets to save the daughter of a company president. Its more than a little inspired by Final Fight, but its amusing enough for what it is. A nice example of the flavor of the era, just before Street Fighter II caught fire and everything became one-on-one fighters for a long while. You could probably make the case that 64th Street ended up spawning Rival Turf and its progeny, which makes it at least a little noteworthy. Hamster did its job well as usual, giving you the finest 64th Street you could ever hope for.

ESPORTS! Statistically speaking, some of the people reading this like or even love them. And maybe some of those people also love sim games, and would like to mash the two together into a sweet little ball of sweat and pride. Well, my fragrant friends, this game may well be for you! Hire the big stars, set their training as you see fit, join tournaments, and try to make the big bucks so you can roll them back into your growing team. Hang back and watch the matches play out or step in to make certain decisions at critical moments. This game has middling reviews on other platforms, but I feel like games targeting specific demographics like this does tend to do fine as long as theyre not completely terrible.

Anyone can hunt demons, but these heroes are a special sort that spend their adventuring days tracking down demongs. This is an action game with some light RPG elements, and if you feel like youve seen it before thats probably because its the first of a series of games that have been on mobile for a while. Its free-to-play there, with microtransactions for gold and characters. Im not sure how that all works here in the Switch version, but I can say that there arent any IAPs in here according to the eShop description. It has its fans on mobile and I appreciate that they didnt go completely bananas with the price here. Some cute art, too. Give the free version a try on mobile first to see how you like it before you drop the eight bucks on it, of course.

This is something of an escape room puzzle game where you need to make your way out of a mansion with more than 100 rooms. You will come across girls caught up in a variety of traps, and your actions will determine if they will live or die. The ending you receive at the end is connected to how many of the girls you manage to save. The pixelated, cutesy graphics put a disarming face on what is actually a pretty disturbing game at times. Im not a big escape room guy, but if youre into them you might find De: Yabatanien to be an interesting, slightly different take on the genre.

Wonder Blade was a fun homage to Castle Crashers when it arrived on mobile a couple years back. I know Jared really loved it, and I think many of our readers did as well. Here it is on Switch! Its pretty much as you remember it, but without the IAPs. Can this game thrive on the same platform as Castle Crashers, selling for the same price? I dont know, but its nice to have the option to just pay an extra ten bucks and not deal with microtransaction nonsense if nothing else. Personally, Im not a huge fan of Castle Crashers so Im not really the sort that is going to chase down similar titles.

Otome visual novel time? Otome visual novel time. In Diamond Girl, you play a so-called love-allergic girl who lays about the house and doesnt even bother to properly get dressed. That is, until you suddenly find out that you are in fact the heiress to an enormously wealthy trading company. Youre whisked away to a mansion where you need to learn the ins an outs of your new role in life, finding yourself in contact with a charming and protective butler, a moody and arrogant fiance, a cool and strict brother-in-law, and an airheaded bad-boy cousin. One of these men will be your smooching target, but youll have to make the right decisions to make it happen. Nothing particularly outstanding about this one, but if youre hungry for what its serving, dont let me stop you.

This is the third Super Puzzles Dream game, and aside from the Halloween theme its basically the same deal as the first two. Kind of a falling-piece jigsaw puzzle game, which is a cute enough idea. If you enjoyed the first two games and are hungry for more, particularly with a theme that will be past its sell-by date in three days, you wont be unhappy with this. Pull in a friend or family member and you can enjoy the puzzle-solving action cooperatively and competitively. Not a whole lot more to say about it, so I wont.

There are four different types of puzzle game in here, which initially sounds like a pretty good deal. Lets see what you get. First, a match-3 game with 100 levels and a pirate theme. Oh, theres another match-3 theme here too. Well, thats fine. Jigsaw puzzles, 200 of them. Not very exciting, but okay. Some people dig these digital jigsaw puzzles. Next, a 2048 game. Mmm. The last game is a match-5. Alright then. Some of the games have a local multiplayer option in case you want to do some competitive 2048 or cooperative jigsaw-puzzling. So how much is this, about ten bucks? Thirty?! Thats good luck with that, I suppose.

An odd little puzzle game that at first glance reminds of Square Enixs classic GO games. But a second glance reveals that the first glance was largely mistaken, Im afraid. Gosh, I would love to have those games on Switch. Oh well. Detective Puz tasks you with completing 40 levels where you need to collect diamonds and defeat enemies in turn-based strategic gameplay. Theres a decent idea at this games core, but it feels just a bit too slight in the end even at a fairly reasonable price.

Heres the fourth release in SNKs NEOGEO Pocket Color collection, and its another fighting game. This time its The Last Blade, and its fine. Definitely stripped down from the rather technical NEOGEO original, but its a solid handheld fighter for its era. There are lots of unlockables in this one, so theres a lot of fun to be had even if you dont have a second player to join in. Of course, its better if you do have a friend. The unusual tempo of The Last Blade isnt for everyone, but if its your bag youll probably appreciate this handheld take on it. The nice people at Code Mystics have given this the same treatment they did the other three Switch releases, giving you the nicest possible presentation of the game you could expect.

(North American eShop, US Prices)

This is the calm before the storm as usual, with the rest of the sales likely coming in after I write this but before you see it. Well catch up with the remainder tomorrow. What we have already isnt too shabby, though. Lots of new games on there, plus a rare discount on SmileBASIC 4. Vampyr for twenty bucks is quite a treat for fans of Western RPGs. The outbox is somewhat small, but there are some good games in there to consider as well.

Select New Games on Sale

Gibbous A Cthulhu Adventure ($16.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)Poltergeist Crusader ($4.79 from $5.99 until 11/3)Esports Life Tycoon ($11.99 from $19.99 until 11/3)Worse Than Death ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/4)Othercide ($29.99 from $39.99 until 11/5)Vampyr ($19.99 from $49.99 until 11/5)Call of Cthulhu ($15.99 from $39.99 until 11/5)Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- ($15.99 from $19.99 until 11/5)SmileBASIC 4 ($22.49 from $24.99 until 11/5)Tropico 6 ($44.99 from $49.99 until 11/6)#Funtime ($8.99 from $14.99 until 11/6)Roundguard ($10.99 from $19.99 until 11/6)Deleveled ($6.99 from $9.99 until 11/6)Hidden Folks ($5.99 from $11.99 until 11/6)Touhou Spell Bubble ($49.49 from $54.99 until 11/9)

Glitchs Trip ($9.99 from $12.99 until 11/10)Bright Paw ($9.99 from $12.99 until 11/10)Save Your Nuts ($7.49 from $14.99 until 11/14)No More Heroes ($17.99 from $19.99 until 11/15)No More Heroes 2 ($17.99 from $19.99 until 11/15)Street Outlaws: The List ($9.99 from $39.99 until 11/17)Hidden ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/17)Rapala Pro Fishing Series ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/17)Big Buck Hunter Arcade ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/17)Goosebumps the Game ($4.99 from $19.99 until 11/17)Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers ($2.49 from $9.99 until 11/17)Neverlast ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/17)American Ninja Warrior Challenge ($7.49 from $29.99 until 11/17)Nickelodeon Kart Racers ($7.49 from $29.99 until 11/17)ZOMB ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/17)

Zombieland: Double Tap Road Trip ($9.99 from $39.99 until 11/17)War Tech Fighters ($8.99 from $19.99 until 11/18)Minesweeper Genius ($1.99 from $5.99 until 11/18)JackQuest: TTotS ($1.99 from $9.99 until 11/18)Siegecraft Commander ($2.99 from $19.99 until 11/18)Kid Tripp ($1.99 from $3.99 until 11/19)Descenders ($22.49 from $24.99 until 11/19)Pity Pit ($2.49 from $4.99 until 11/19)Habroxia ($3.19 from $7.99 until 11/19)Family Tree ($1.99 from $7.99 until 11/19)Ghost Blade HD ($5.99 from $14.99 until 11/19)Lost Sea ($3.99 from $9.99 until 11/19)112th Seed ($3.49 from $4.99 until 11/19)Crowdy Farm Rush ($2.99 from $5.99 until 11/19)YesterMorrow ($14.99 from $19.99 until 11/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, October 30th

Aggelos ($5.99 from $14.99 until 10/30)Aokana: 4 Rhythms Across Blue ($25.49 from $29.99 until 10/30)Arcade Spirits ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)Battleship ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)Captain StarONE ($4.99 from $9.99 until 10/30)Cat Quest ($1.99 from $12.99 until 10/30)Cat Quest II ($10.04 from $14.99 until 10/30)City Bus Driving Sim ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/30)Clue ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/30)Danmachi: Familia Myth Infinite ($29.99 from $39.99 until 10/30)Evergate ($15.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)Grip ($7.99 from $39.99 until 10/30)Mega Man 11 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/30)Mega Man Collection ($10.04 from $14.99 until 10/30)Mega Man Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)

Mega Man X Collection ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)Mega Man X Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/30)Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection ($22.49 from $29.99 until 10/30)Rescue Tale ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/30)Songbird Symphony ($11.38 from $16.99 until 10/30)SubaraCity ($2.50 from $5.00 until 10/30)The Outer Worlds ($47.99 from $59.99 until 10/30)The Rainsdowne Players ($0.07 from $3.99 until 10/30)World Tree Marche ($5.99 from $11.99 until 10/30)

Thats all for today, friends. But gosh, Id hope that would be enough to slake your bloodthirst. Theres so much there! If you buy all the games I recommended today youll be in the poor-house. Even scarier: theres a bunch more games coming tomorrow, along with a ton of new sales. Well be back with all of that stuff tomorrow, of course. I already said it up at the top, but make sure you keep your eye on the TouchArcade Twitter account today for your chance to win one of two North American digital copies of Torchlight III for your Switch, courtesy of the nice folks at Perfect World. I hope you all have a thrilling Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'No More Heroes', 'Part-Time UFO', and Today's Other New Releases, Plus the Latest Sales - Touch Arcade

Videogames that will make you see death differently this Halloween – ArtsHub

The interactive medium can engage players in profound questions about grief, mortality, and what it means to move on.

Videogames are one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world. From Nintendo classics, to the pandemic popularity of online multiplayer game Among Us, to military first-person shooters like the Call of Duty franchise, the medium seems to have something to offer everyone.

There are lots of factors attributable to this popularity: they can be escapist, or social. Role playing games can act as a kind of digital dress-up box, where players can try on different identities, and immerse themselves in fictional worlds. The competitive edge of some games is thrilling: whether youre playing against your friends, or working your way through a solo campaign, the taste of victory is sweet. And other games offer something slightly different: they engage players emotionally and philosophically, not just strategically.

2020 has seen the release of some really incredible games about death. Surprisingly, this probably isn't a reflection on the year weve had games take a long time to make, usually much longer than a year but these games can be a salve, in a year when so many of us have experienced loss in some way. Some of them are fun and exciting, offering a lighthearted look at a grave (no pun intended) topic, while others are more reflective, using the interactive medium to engage players in real questions about grief, and what it means to move on.

I AM DEAD, Hollow Ponds

Look, the title sort of says it all. The only puzzle game on this list, I Am Dead is a beautiful, gentle puzzle adventure set (it will shock you to learn) in the afterlife. Here, you play as recently deceased museum curator Morris Lupton, who is tasked with finding several lost ghosts on his island home of Shelmerston. Accompanied by his dog Sparky, Lupton uses his ghostly powers to move through objects, learn the island's secrets, and draw out secret histories and memories from objects.

I Am Dead is a deeply whimsical experience. It's as pretty as a picture book, with a quiet loveliness that both comforts and tugs at the heartstrings. Here, death is a comfortable backdrop to a gentle, supernatural tale that dwells on the intimacy of objects, and the material connections that make us who we are. Whether you're looking for a relaxed puzzle experience, or an affecting meditation the ways we come to know and understand each other, in life and in death, this is the game for you.

SPIRITFARER, THUNDER LOTUS GAMESSpiritfarer is another game set in the afterlife -- but this time, youre part of the team running the place. In this beautiful 2D game, you play as the newly-appointed Spiritfarer, who ferries the dead around on your customisable boat, fulfilling their last requests so they can rest easy. While the game looks and moves like a platform adventure game, most of the time playing is spent foraging for materials, growing a garden, cooking, managing resources, and keeping your otherworldly passengers happy while chipping away on the bigger quests. The artstyle is stunning, and the game feels designed to soothe. In Spiritfarer, death isnt something to avoid or defeat; its a comfortable inevitability, to be approached with curiosity, generosity, kindness, and patience.


This visual novel turned heads on release for its singular, cinematic art style, which won an Australian Game Developer Award for Art, and its snappy dialogue. Set in a Carlton cafe where the recently deceased spend their last 24 hours on earth, it perfectly balances humour with heartfelt. The game isnt miserable, and its afraid to get sillya trio of ghostly robots separate the chapters, and the writing is defined by a dry humour that feels deeply Australianbut its also one of the most thoughtful, moving games Ive played about loss.

Read more:Indie games let you experience Melbourne despite lockdown

As you spend that oh-so-limited period of time with this host of fully realised characters, Necrobarista delivers a powerful narrative about grief and letting go, within a sleek, sassy framework of great writing and gorgeous art. If youre looking for a game that might convince someone that games are art, I cant recommend Necrobarista more highly.


Lets finish on a totally lighthearted note: Hades is just an incredibly good time. The latest from Supergiant Games was available through early access for PC at the end of 2018, but it was fully released on Nintendo Switch in 2020 this year. In it, you play as underworld prince Zagreus, who tries repeatedly to fight his way through his fathers underworld to the realm of the living, in the hopes of finding out who and where his mother is on the surface. But the underworld is a tough place, and Zagreus finds himself defeated, and defeated often, each time returning to his underworld home. With each death, the player is offered more options to interact with other denizens of the underworld, and the plot deepens. In every escape attempt, different Olympian gods offer their aid in the form of boons, which affect the way Zagreus different weapons work.

Its hard to overstate how much fun Hades is. Even for someone who doesnt play a lot of action games, the game is approachable, with a God Mode that you can toggle on and off at any time, which offers a generous boost to your ability to resist damage. The writing is witty, warm and deeply charming; any mythology or philosophy nerd will grin when you happen across affable Sisyphus and his friend Bouldy in Tartarus, or Patroclus sulking in Elysium, and building relationships gives the game a sense of continuity that dampens the sting of your (frequent) defeat.

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Videogames that will make you see death differently this Halloween - ArtsHub

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