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The New Yorker adds co-op to its online crossword puzzles – The Verge

I never knew I wanted online co-op in a crossword app, but The New Yorker has added the feature to its online puzzles. Turns out, its a really great way to solve a puzzle with a partner.

To start co-solving, youll first need to open up one of the New Yorkers crosswords (here is todays), click the Partner Mode text on the toolbar at the top of the crossword, and then login or make a free account with The New Yorker. Once youre logged in and you click that Partner Mode text, youll see a prompt with a button to copy a link to the crossword that you can send to a friend. When your friend clicks or taps the link, youll both be able to work on the crossword puzzle together. (That Partner Mode text will swap to Co-Solving once your friend is in the crossword.)

From there, youll each be able to click or tap around to solve the puzzle. The row or column that matches the clue youre looking at will be highlighted in blue, while the row or column your friend is looking at will be highlighted in green. As each of you fills in answers, those will show up on the other persons screen almost immediately.

I had a lot of fun working on todays puzzle on my computer with my wife, who was on her phone. The co-solving allowed us to each focus on different clues, and there were a few times where one of us would fill in a clue and the other would jump in to fill out another one because we saw something we had missed before.

I could definitely see us doing another puzzle together again though its worth noting that The New Yorker will count a crossword as one of your limited number of free articles for a month, so there will be a limit to the number of puzzles you can do unless youre a subscriber.

If youre looking for other ideas for games to play while youre stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out The Verges list here.

See the rest here:
The New Yorker adds co-op to its online crossword puzzles - The Verge

The Best Reviewed Games of 2020 (So Far) – IGN India

Much like the last transitional year for console gaming in 2013 a year that brought us Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite 2020 has been a strong year for new games. With the first quarter behind us, we've compiled a list of all 18 games that received a review score of 8 or higher from IGN. Note that, despite their qualifying scores, expansions (e.g. The Division 2: Warlords of New York) and games in Early Access (e.g. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord) aren't included.

Click through the gallery below or continue scrolling for our full list of 2020's best games (so far), ordered from lowest score to highest.

From our review:Whether you played Half-Life back in the day or not, Black Mesa is definitely the best way to experience one of the crown jewels of first-person shooter history. It doesnt look like a 2020 remake because its not, really but it still makes great use of the distinctively creepy atmosphere and excellent combat that left such a mark on this genre. And what better way to get ready for Valve finally returning to the Half-Life universe? Dan Stapleton

From our review:Even after completing it, Ive continued trying to master Bloodroots levels because the loop it introduces in its opening minutes remains fun all the way through its campaign. It doesnt revolutionize its genre but is such a solid entry, with a variety of weaponry to master, some fantastic boss fights, and an overall immediacy to its action. Dressed in a beautiful art design and coupled with a Tarantino-esque tale, Paper Cult elevates its murderous mayhem with an intriguing world. Aside from some slippery nuisances in certain level designs, and a somewhat predictable ending to the otherwise fun story, Paper Cult has crafted a bloody fun time. Jonathon Dornbush

From our review:The expectations around Final Fantasy 7 Remake are sky high, and it mostly manages to deliver. Its combat is top notch, its enemy variety kept me constantly entertained, and seeing this snippet of story fleshed out with real emotional arcs and the previously hidden humanity behind Midgar filled me with pure joy. The boring RPG filler and Kingdom Hearts-esque convolution that was inserted in between did stop my ear-to-ear grin from being constant, but never long enough to kill the mood completely. That leaves this remake as one that still delivered on letting me relive (part of) a classic in stupendous fashion, while also standing as a great RPG all its own. Tom Marks

From our review:Following in the footsteps of BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Granblue Fantasy: Versus is one of Arc System Works most approachable fighting games yet. It smartly balances considerations for more casual fighting game players without ever stepping on the toes of its hardcore audience. The result is a more grounded and neutral-heavy ArcSys alternative with all of the usual ArcSys flair, which is a fantastic breath of fresh air. Its RPG mode is dull, and its 11 character roster feels way too light, but all things considered, Granblue Fantasy: Versus feels like it could be the start of another special 2D fighting franchise. Mitchell Saltzman

From our review:Kentucky Route Zero is a beautiful poetry generator in the body of a point-and-click adventure game. Its frequently stunning to look at and beautifully written throughout. The way it tells its magical modern-day story can sometimes be hamfisted, stuttering like a dying old delivery van at times, but the creativity with which it delivers its dialogue and the freedom you have to shape it toward your interests makes this an ethereal road trip worth taking. Tom Marks

From our review:The Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy collection is great thanks to the quality of its six included games. Capcom's addition of new modes to help people play these classics at whatever difficulty they feel comfortable with is a great way for anyone to enjoy the wild sci-fi stories of these Mega Man X spin-offs without making it a walk in the park. The bonus features are great, but aren't anything more than what you'd expect to find in a retro gaming collection, although the Z-Chaser adds a new level of competitiveness to the games. Playing handheld games on a 55" screen is fun enough on its own, but these games in particular look and play amazingly well. Seth Macy

From our review:In what feels like a minor but noticeable update, MLB The Show 20 doesnt break what wasnt broken. Developer Sony San Diego has tweaked and tightened everything that was presented in MLB The Show 19, and as a result, playing baseball on a console has never been this fluid. But even with the excellent new Showdown mode, longtime fans may be just a little turned off by the lack of big new changes. That said, those who havent picked up an MLB The Show since 17 or 18 will absolutely find that MLB The Show 20 is the best place to pick the series back up. Gabriel Moss

From our review:Murder by Numbers successfully blends a Phoenix Wright-style visual novel with a Picross-style puzzle game by making each aspect great in its own right. It may not be the game to dethrone Jupiter from its Picross pedestal, and its somewhat overly linear detective story doesnt quite reach as high as its Ace Attorney inspiration, but that doesnt mean its not a mystery worth solving. Honor and SCOUT are a wonderful duo to watch grow, and their detective adventures are a heartwarming and undoubtedly fun time. Tom Marks

From our review:One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a great One Piece game, and though it wears its many flaws on its sleeveless, red button-down top and straw hat, its smart additions to combat go a long way in reducing the notorious tedium that typically plagues the musou genre. Its still a tough sell to a non-One Piece fan, but as someone who absolutely loves One Piece and was only just sort of into Musou games, I found a ton to like in Pirate Warriors 4. Mitchell Saltzman

From our review:The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario each found new life on the Nintendo Switch, and following those games in kind is Animal Crossing: New Horizons: An expanded, polished, next-generation reboot of a classic Nintendo game. Perhaps most importantly, like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is full of surprises. I cannot wait to see what's to come: Seeing cool custom islands from the community, special events, season changes. It took too long to get to the most exciting part of my island renovation (until I cheated), but now that all of New Horizons is spread before me, I have plenty to do, big plans for my island, and so much to look forward to. Samuel Claiborn

From our review:Overall, its not surprising that Doom Eternal is excellent in following up Doom (2016), but after playing its 15-or-so-hour campaign its delightful to see just how much better Doom has gotten just four years later. Eternal tips its cap to Doom 2 specifically while also building off of what made the modernized reboot a breath of fresh air for the genre. Whether youve been playing Doom for a few years or a few decades, Doom Eternal demands your attention. Ryan McCaffrey

From our review:Its a cliche, but Dreams really is something that needs to be played to fully grasp an understanding of. Its unlike anything else: an ambitious project that has been expertly brought to life by Media Molecule, and an audacious experiment in game design that gives you endless ways to enjoy your time with it. The creation tools allow for ultimate expression despite there being a few controller related challenges to work around never enough to deter. The vast range of experiences already on offer via Dream Surfing means that no two sessions playing it are ever the same, offering fresh ways to have fun every time you start it up and see what community creations have popped up while youve been away. Whether you just want to create, purely play, or get involved in a bit of everything, Dreams offers it all to you. This is one dream I urge you not to sleep on. Simon Cardy

From our review:Nioh 2 is an impressive evolution of its predecessor, strengthening everything that was already great, while mostly leaving its already existing issues alone. Its stellar combat is elevated by the addition of Soul Cores, Burst Counters, and the ways in which those two main new mechanics affect enemy AI and how you approach battles. Its depth is impressive, even though that can also make it feel a little overwhelming due to how much time must be spent managing Nioh 2s many systems. If youre up to the challenge, Nioh 2 is no doubt one of the most difficult and rewarding games of this generation. Mitchell Saltzman

From our review:In Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Moon Studios has taken an excellent foundation and made even more out of it. Its many new elements expand on and add to the first games fun without bogging it down or becoming overcomplicated. And thats really the best praise you can give a sequel - it stays true to the spirit of the original, doubles down on what made it great, and gives you more stake in the world and options to navigate it. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an excellent heartfelt follow-up that pushes the series to new heights. Brandin Tyrrel

From our review:Overall, Resident Evil 3 is a wonderful continuation of Capcoms latest remake efforts. Although its just-okay multiplayer mode falls short of the bar set by its magnificent single-player campaign, the latter does such a good job at balancing 2020 gameplay and a classic Resident Evil tone that I recommend it without reservations. Hopefully, well see more classic games in Capcoms library remade with such finesse and loving care along with some new games, too. Lucy O'Brien

From our review:The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a noteworthy step forward for VR gaming, proving that a Deus Ex-like Action-RPG can feel right at home in a headset. Every one of its many interwoven systems clearly has a level of thought and care behind it, swirling survival horror and roleplaying staples together with nuance. Even though character customization can feel limited and the story is a bit short, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a fantastic example of what VR can be. Gabriel Moss

From our review:Back when VR first became a real thing and we all started spitballing which game worlds wed most like to be fully immersed in, Half-Life topped my list (tied with BioShock). It took a few years, but Half-Life: Alyx has more than realized that potential. With it, Valve has set a new bar for VR in interactivity, detail, and level design, showing what can happen when a world-class developer goes all-in on the new frontier of technology. In a lot of ways, it feels like a game from the future, and one that the rest of VR gaming will likely take a good long while to match, much less surpass. Dan Stapleton

From our review:Persona 5 was already a strong front-runner for being the best JRPG ever made, and Royal really gets me wondering what else could even compete. The excellent story and its lovable, multidimensional characters along with the challenging, tactical combat are all refined and back for another round with new surprises and new friends in tow. There are new areas to explore and new twists to leave your jaw on the floor. Very little has been left untouched, and just about everything that has been touched is better off for it. The Phantom Thieves have stolen my heart all over again, and I dont really want it back. T.J. Hafer

What do you think is the best game in 2020 so far? Let us know in the comments. And be sure to check back throughout the year as we continue to update this list.

Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.

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The Best Reviewed Games of 2020 (So Far) - IGN India

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Review – Medium

Reviewed on Oculus Quest.

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is a short and sweet VR puzzle game that will remind you of the innocent fun and carefree peacefulness of your childhood. Despite it being a puzzle game, it is the perfect VR experience for when you just want to sit back, relax, and turn your mind off for a while.

The level design is creative, with cute 3D claymation style characters. The puzzle gameplay is simple, yet fun and at times challenging. Most of all, the music and voice acting set the mood so well that itll make you feel like the narration is a voice in your head and you are reliving childhood memories that dont belong to you.

The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is available on Oculus and Steam VR.

On the surface, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is about a bunch of your childhood pets that have gone missing. It is your job to revisit areas from you and your sisters childhood to solve puzzles and find all the pets. But beneath the surface, the real story is a story about how you and your sister didnt get along as children and have completely cut off contact in your adult lives.

Whats so great about the narrative is that it is told almost in the background while you are playing the game. Its presented as an afterthought to an extent, yet it is what gives the game meaning and closure. Throughout the game, you learn about the issues that created a rift between you and your sister and by finding your missing pets, hopefully you will remember the good times you had together.

The objective of the game is simple: find all the pets in each level, while trying to find coins hidden throughout the area. You can rotate the area, pick up items, and interact with the environment. To find the pets you must open chests, search through houses and solve puzzles.

The puzzles start off very easy and rise in difficulty, but are nowhere near the difficulty of puzzles in other VR games like Last Labyrinth or The Room VR: A Dark Matter. Rather than make every level a head-scratcher, the game was made to be stress-free and a fluid experience from start to finish.

Furthermore, the game can be played in standing or sitting mode, allowing you to choose whatever feels more comfortable for you. Throughout my review of The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, I completed levels in both sitting and standing mode and had no trouble shifting between the two.

While there are no hints available, each level is short and can be completed in 2040 minutes. Total gameplay time can range from 2 hours to 4 hours.

The art style in The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is incredibly bright and vibrant, reminiscent of Disney Pixar films. The characters and pets were designed in a claymation art style and are incredibly adorable. Youll often find yourself just admiring the art and petting the animals to see their cute reactions.

The 3D polygons are very clear with great definition, despite the Oculus Quests lesser-powered hardware. Since the entire game happens in one small area, the Quest can easily render the game with high quality graphics. I never experienced any controller tracking issues or lag whatsoever through the entire play-through of the game.

While the game has a lot of great things going for it, the best thing about The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is by far its upbeat and calming soundtrack. The music was composed by the famous Swedish folktronica band, Wintergatan, which has over 1.72 million subscribers on YouTube. The music sets the mood very well, keeping you in the flow of the game from start to finish. If we were to review The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets based on music alone, it would undoubtedly receive a 10 out of 10.

Since the game relied heavily on narration by the main characters grandfather, the voice acting played an important role in the game. Performed by Martin Cox, the soothing voice of the narrator helps bring the story to life. Furthermore, the sound effects were well-produced and greatly helped with the realism and immersion of the game.

With a beautiful soundtrack, superb voice acting, and a light, yet wholesome narrative, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is a VR gaming experience like no other on the Oculus Quest. For those who want to find the unique experiences that the virtual reality medium has to offer, this game is a must-play. It is a journey into the past which will remind you of the fun and innocent days of your youth.

We hope you enjoyed our review of The Curious Case of the Stolen Pets on the Oculus Quest. For more suggestions on what Oculus Quest games you should try, check out:

See more here:
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets Review - Medium

Were supporting mental health in the game industry with Safe in Our World – PCGamesN

PCGamesNs parent company Network N has partnered with Safe in Our World, a charity dedicated to raising awareness about mental health concerns in the gaming community and promoting positive change in the wider game industry. The charity was established in 2019 by veterans across the gaming world, and has a mission to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, to make it a natural topic of discussion, and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health so people are not afraid to reach out for help if they need it.

Starting with its first initiative, the BAFTA award-winning Fractured Minds,last year, which explores anxiety and mental health issues through an artistic puzzle game, the charity continues to grow.SiOWbrought on boardDr. Jo Twist OBE, CEO of UKIE, long-time industry advocate and Take This board member, Kate Edwards, and even The Witcher himself Geralt of Rivias voice actor, Doug Cockle as patrons earlier this year.

As part of its mission, the charity calls on the game industry to lead by example; to really embrace the subject of mental health in the workplace and commit resources toward training key staff members about mental health issues.

Its currently working on Mental Health in the Video Game Workplace guidelines for companies to build into their day-to-day operations, which should be complete in the coming months.

We are proud to be working with the talented team at Safe In Our World,Phil Jones, Network N global account manager and mental health first aider, says, to drive awareness that, for anyone experiencing mental health issues, help is available.

If you want to read more about the excellent work the charity does, and what its got in store for the year ahead and beyond be sure to take a look at its websitehere.

Safe in Our World also has a support page hereoffering information and advice (put together using NHS and Patient.info content with permission) on a wide range of mental healthtopics to help shine some light on some of the mental health-related terms you may encounter as part of your own struggles, as well as provide more information about some of the topics that are often discussed or felt among individuals struggling with mental illness.

Excerpt from:
Were supporting mental health in the game industry with Safe in Our World - PCGamesN

Games That Are Helping Me Deal With the Lockdown – IGN India

Must be fun for a gamer, right? The amount of times Ive heard this statement must equal the number of times my local grocery has run out of garbage bags. To answer the question, no, the lockdown is as depressing and stressful for me as it would be for anyone else.

My friends think that this is the perfect scenario for me; sit at home and binge on video games till this all blows over. I wish it was that easy, but the truth is that like everyone else, I too have suddenly been thrust into a state of forced self-reliance. Cooking, cleaning, grocery runs, and money management takes up most of my time, and thats if I have any to spare after Im done dealing with my anxiety.

However, I have found the occasional hour or two in the day to dedicate to my favourite pastime. Despite the need for more social interaction, Ive been playing offline, single player games. Another common feature that runs through these games is that they can be picked up and dropped at any time; that always helps when you have endlessly spawning dirty dishes to clean up.

Each of these games also help me deal with at least some of the feelings that show up unannounced, as though they were on some gameshow spinning wheel.

Everything about Ori and the Will of the Wisps has been made to calm you down. The music, the art, the seamless platforming, and even the combat is so soothing. Oris adventures helped me get past the rough first week of the lockdown; we had no idea what to do, whether wed even get food, whether we should hoard stuff. It was a scary few days, but Ori and The Will of the Wisps kept my anxiety from getting the better of me.

A special shout out to the music. Gareth Coker weaved a fantastic score that reminded me of Pans Labyrinth.

Between the episodes of anxiety, there arose bouts of frustration and anger. Its natural to feel that way when your life suddenly comes to a grinding halt. But what better way to deal with this frustration than to Rip and Tear? The generous checkpointing also helps when youve got chores lined up.

Doom Eternals gameplay and combat chess mechanics are a great way to keep your mind devoid of any other thoughts. Youll be too occupied deciding between the flame belch, glory kill, or the chainsaw to worry about anything else.

It seems that I just cant stop playing this game. It also helps that it can even run on a potato. Into the Breach is a turn-based strategy game consisting of monsters and mechs; it also leaves nothing to chance, and you are presented with all enemy AI movements and attacks. So, in a way, its more of a puzzle game.

Its the only game on this list that has its own dedicated device. I leave it running on one of my old laptops. I play a few turns in between chores or just while passing by. The higher difficulties really help if you want to keep your brain stimulated.

I just cant seem to find the time or inclination for an immersive RPG or open-world game right now. Weirdly, staying at home seems to give me lesser time than I thought. Of course, everyone has their own way to deal with this and their own kind of games to help them cope.

Its heartening to see developers, publishers, streamers and pros coming together to help people deal with this pandemic in any way possible. I do believe we will get past this.

Stay home. Stay safe.

Read more here:
Games That Are Helping Me Deal With the Lockdown - IGN India

The Best Final Fantasy 7 Remake Posters, Plushies, Puzzles, And Other Merch – GameSpot

Final Fantasy VII Remake's release on PS4 is finally here, and even though it's just the first episode, it's still a lengthy role-playing game. GameSpot's Final Fantasy VII Remake review awarded the game an essential 10/10. If you're as excited as we are about revisiting Midgar, you'll probably want to check out the growing collection of merch, which includes a poster collection, vinyl soundtrack, compendium book, and, of course, the numerous collectibles that come with various editions of the game.

If you haven't gotten your copy of the game just yet, check out our Final Fantasy VII Remake buyer's guide, which gives a rundown of the numerous editions and bonuses. You should also know that due to the coronavirus pandemic, certain regions (Europe and Australia) will likely receive the game a bit early. Square Enix hopes that everyone who pre-ordered Final Fantasy VII Remake in the US will get their game on launch day, but it's possible (and understandable) that shortages of physical copies may occur. While you wait for your game to arrive, take a peek at the merch that's available.

The 1st Class Edition has been sold out for months, but we've seen it come back in stock on occasion. It includes a gorgeous Play Arts statue of Cloud Strife on his Hardy Daytona motorcycle and several other goodies in addition to the game:

The $80 Deluxe Edition of Final Fantasy VII Remake also comes with some nice goodies:

The Deluxe Edition has been sold out at most retailers.

Though it won't be ready in time for launch, Final Fantasy VII Remake: World Preview will certainly be a neat collector's item. The hardcover, 128-page book features full-color illustrations alongside background information on the game's world, its characters, and the gameplay. Game director Tetsuya Nomura and producer Yoshinori Kitase will pen the introduction. The book is expected to release on September 8 and is available to pre-order at Amazon for $18.42, roughly 25% off its list price.

To celebrate the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix is producing a new vinyl set featuring two LPs: select music from Final Fantasy VII Remake and memorable songs from the original. While these vinyls don't contain the full soundtracks, they do feature both of the main themes and roughly a dozen more tracks. The foldout sleeve is gorgeously designed and the art on each vinyl showcases Cloud in his two vastly different visual styles. A limited-edition of the vinyl has been sold out for a while, but you can still check retailers to see if it's in stock.

Unfortunately, we don't know what every poster in this bundle looks like, but getting 22 high-quality posters for under $20 is a pretty good deal. Each poster is 11 x 14 inches and the collection spans numerous Final Fantasy VII properties: Final Fantasy VII Remake, the original, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus, and Crisis Core.

Yes, the Buster Sword makes for a fairly sizable keychain (about four inches), but this metal replica features a great design, especially when you consider the relatively low price.

Final Fantasy VII antagonist Sephiroth is one of the most well-known characters in franchise history. This 10-inch statuette has a striking pose and amazing attention to detail. It's available to pre-order from the Square Enix Store for $50. The Sephiroth statuette releases August 28.

If you don't want to shell out the cash for the 1st Class Edition, you can still get a stylish Cloud Strife statue. Standing at nine inches tall, the statuette shows Cloud's Buster Sword hanging over his shoulder. It's also expected to release August 28.

Whether you call her Aerith or Aeris, this 9-inch statuette will round out your Final Fantasy VII Remake collection. Like Cloud and Sephiroth, Aerith has a realistic look and comes with a display stand. Available to pre-order for $40 at the Square Enix Store, this Aerith statuette releases August 28 as well.

Releasing in July, this 1,000-piece puzzle naturally comes together to form an image of Cloud Strife on his Hardy Daytona motorcycle. The finished puzzle is 27.6 x 19.7 inches, and it's a picture you'll probably want to frame.

Tumblers are great for keeping drinks at the right temperature, and it's becoming a thing for video games to have their own branded tumblers. Final Fantasy VII Remake will join this trend with a pair of options, one featuring Cloud and another showcasing Sephiroth, releasing in May for $29 each. The downside here is that each one only holds 12 ounces of liquid.

Released a couple of years ago, these rather cute 6-inch Cloud and Sephiroth plushies are still in stock at the Square Enix Store. Each plush costs $20 and could arrive right on time for the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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CREW 167: THE GRAND BLOCK ODYSSEY Review: Mental Struggles In Lore And More – GameTyrant

The music isnt anything memorable, but they did a good job with the voice acting. For a game with only acceptable levels of visuals and sound effects, I was surprised to hear that they had enjoyable voice work done with decent dialogue.

If you didnt finish each chapter to the fullest and hate that you skipped a couple of puzzles for the sake of story progression, then there is a reason to go back. While all the mandatory puzzles are the same, you can go and redo the ones you missed. There is no level selection after you beat the game though, so you will have to replay the whole thing.

Definitely add a level selection to the menu once the game has been completed. I understand you wanted to make it so players cant return to an area if they skip out on the two remaining puzzles at the end of a chapter, but once they beat the game there is no reason to hold that back from them.

Tutorial could use some additions to it as well. I figured out how to reset puzzles, which is by holding the R key, just by doing it from habit. As a puzzle game fan, I am used to that being the default option for developers to use as the reset key, but it should be made obvious for players that arent playing games like this often. And if this is mentioned in the tutorial, it should be updated to be more obvious because I honestly didnt see it.

The story seems to have a good purpose, but I am not sure that it was brought out properly. He doesnt have a real name, his reasoning for being sad is somewhat relatable but at the same time it doesnt explain why his depression is hitting THAT hard, and if the microchip affects him as badly as it does then why do the issues continue, if not get worse when it was removed? If he is alone like we are told then who removed the chip? If he really is losing his mind and was at a facility doing those practices then wouldnt they have a doctor for him to see? And having the whole it was all in my head scenario is almost never a good ending. Just a lot of plot holes that make the story go from interesting at the beginning to unremarkable at the end.

Crew 167: The Grand Block Odyssey is a challenging puzzle game with an interesting theme. They did a great job in the aspect that matters, the gameplay, but could have used some work in other parts of the overall experience. I enjoyed playing through the game and solving the puzzles, so I can confidently say that it is a solid choice game for puzzle fans to check out!

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CREW 167: THE GRAND BLOCK ODYSSEY Review: Mental Struggles In Lore And More - GameTyrant

This Week In Indie Games (4/19-4/25) | TheGamer – TheGamer

This weeks indie releases feature something for everyone, from survival management and sci-fi thrillers, to puzzle games and bullet hell boss battles.

Here are TheGamers picks for the indie games that you should check out this week (April 19 - April 25).

Related:Craft The Space Drone Of Your Dreams In Nimbatus - The Space Drone Constructor

The Shattering- from developer Super Sexy Software - is a story-driven psychological thriller that looks vaguely reminiscent of 2019s Superliminal, with one major difference: the black and white aesthetic of the dynamic environments.

Players are dropped into the traumatic mind of John, tasked with exploring the twisted and unsettling world to discover the truth (and lies) behind what happened to him as well as remembering her name.

Take on both Heaven and Hell - and the terrors each brings with it - in Obey Me, from developer Error 404 Game Studios. Players will take on the role of a Soul Huntress - accompanied by her Hellhound companion - in this 3D brawler, fighting against demons, mutants, and angelic machines.

The immersive story allows for both single-player and co-op experiences, while weapons, special abilities, and upgrades add to the combat strategies throughout the game.

Along the same vein as 60 Seconds! and other survival management games, Help Will Come Tomorrow - from developer Arclight Creations - will force players to take on the harsh elements of a 1917 war-torn Siberian wilderness following a train crash.

Survival will be the primary focus for players - such as resource gathering, crafting, and exploring to expand the camp - but players will also have to balance the morale and rising tensions of the nine surviving characters, which is easier said than done thanks to the variety of character backgrounds and economic social standings.

Developed by Glass Revolver, ITTA will not be a game for the impatient or faint of heart. This pixelated bullet hell, boss-rush style adventure takes players on a journey through a world full of monstrous bosses. Itta awakes to her family having been massacred, causing her - and a feline-shaped spirit - to seek out answers and take on 18 massive foes who will put her combat skills to the ultimate test.

ITTA is inspired by themes of a real-life personal struggle, which will be fully visualized within the games crumbling world and major battles. The game will also feature accessibility options including damage multipliers and invincibility mode, allowing players to move the story forward without getting frustrated or stuck in one spot.

If youre feeling down that last week marked the original planned release date of Cyberpunk 2077, ION LANDS Cloudpunk just might be the remedy for your cyberpunk-themed desires.

Set in a rain-soaked, neon-noir metropolis, Cloudpunk features a massive vertical world in which players must use their hovercraft to make deliveries - which skirt the line of legality - while meeting a diverse cast of characters that will unravel a story of corporate conspiracies and other dark secrets. Each in-game decision will impact the story and inhabitants of the neon world, which will hopefully speak to the games replayability factor.

In our preview of Filament - from developer Beard Envy - we were optimistic of the games challenging puzzles and intriguing narrative. Filament tells the story of a spaceman on a rescue mission to save another trapped pilot named, Juniper, from a seemingly abandoned research ship. To do this, players have to solve puzzles by winding a glowing cord around pillars to unlock more of the ships systems.

The preview showed promise with its engaging story and gimmick-free puzzles that were non-repetitive and challenging. As long as those trends continue into the full release, Filament should be on the radar for any fan of the narrative puzzle genre.

NEXT: The Hello Neighbor Animated Series Looks Pretty Much As Expected (& That's A Good Thing)

Square Enix Is Knocking It Out Of The Park With The Switch

Sam has been writing for TheGamer since early 2018, earning the role as the Lead Features & Review Editor in 2019. The Denver, Colorado-natives knack for writing has been a life-long endeavor. His time spent in corporate positions has helped shape the professional element of his creative writing passion and skills. Beyond writing, Sam is a lover of all things food and video games, which especially on weekends are generally mutually exclusive, as he streams his gameplay on Twitch (as well as TheGamers Facebook page) under the self-proclaimed, though well-deserved moniker of ChipotleSam. (Seriouslyjust ask him about his Chipotle burrito tattoo). You can find Sam on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as @RealChipotleSam.

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This Week In Indie Games (4/19-4/25) | TheGamer - TheGamer

STATIONflow Review | TheGamer – TheGamer

If you have to commute there's a good chance you've ridden a subway at some point. The experience of riding those things can be unpleasant enough, but making your way through the station can be a terrible experience all on its own. Finding a map, locating the right train, trying to figure out whether or not you should risk buying food from a nearby food stand, etc. It's enough to make the average person curse the people who built these underground train dungeons.

Despite that, the idea of creating your own subway station was apparently enticing enough for the folks at DMM Games to build an entire game around it. If you happen to be a big fan of optimizing routes, satisfying the needs of thousands of little people, and watching numbers go up, then STATIONflow might turn out to be far more addictive than you would think.

STATIONflow is a simulation and management game where the player is put in the role of an architect for a massive, incredibly busy subway station. You need to connect corridors together and put up signage to point commuters towards the entrances, exits, and subway-lines that they're looking for.

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You use STATIONflow's tools to lay down different sizes of corridors to connect the entrances together so that commuters can find their way to and from the subways. After a while, these travelers will have needs that have to be met, like putting in vending machines so they can get a drink, or installing washrooms, for obvious reasons. On top of that, new kinds of pedestrians will eventually show up, like tourists who need information signs to tell them where to go, or senior citizens who need elevators because they can't climb stairs.

Soon, you'll be staring at this gigantic, multi-level subway station frantically looking for anyone with an angry face icon over their head so you can figure out what their problem is and how you can solve it. It almost turns STATIONflow into a puzzle game at times, as you'll be forced to determine why a passenger is having issues finding the stairs or how to improve the flow of commuters from a busy entrance.

Much to my surprise, getting my station to run smoothly felt immensely satisfying. Juggling the population's satisfaction in order to increase my cash flow to build even more new corridors or buildings became a delightfully addictive gameplay loop. It's the same kind of dopamine rush someone might get from running the perfect kingdom in a Civilization game. Only instead of keeping an entire country happy, you just need to help a bunch of people make their way to their boring office job. It's also bizarre how the game could be both relaxing yet stressful, as you can pause time to perfectly lay out your building plans while also losing your mind over how to properly enhance the flow of your station.

Of course, there are some aspects of STATIONflow that could have used a little tightening up. The tutorial covers the basics of running a station, but doesn't teach the player how certain systems work or how to utilize later buildings and items. This means you'll have to use the time-honored method of trial and error to learn how certain elements work. It's not impossible to figure out, but since the game gets significantly more complicated as it goes along, a little more explanation on some of the gameplay mechanics would have been nice.

Some aspects of the UI or gameplay menus can be a little finicky at times. It can be awkward to rotate or reshape a corridor to properly connect it to other parts of the station. Switching between the different levels can be cumbersome, which then leads to difficulty when connecting floors with stairs or elevators. It's also a little unclear where you should place the signs pointing toward entrances and subway-lines, as there were times where pedestrians seemed unsure of where to go even though there was a clearly placed sign a few feet ahead of them. But considering how many people are terrible at navigation, that might just be a case of reality bleeding into this game.

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STATIONflowis graphically simplistic, which can make it hard to determine which commuter is which at times. Without zooming in all the way, it can be easy to confuse a regular traveler with a senior citizen. For the most part, I liked how minimalistic the graphics were, as it resembled the look of a map in a train station. However, a little more detail on certain objects would have made it easier to identify them without having to click or zoom in on them.

I can't say I've ever been fascinated by or even remotely interested in the day-to-day operation of a subway station. Yet, there I was, pouring hours into this gamedeciding on the best place to put my escalators and pointing elderly passengers towards ticket machines.The premise of STATIONflow definitely doesn't scream fun, but if you're big into simulation and/or management games, then you'll find a lot to love about making the trains run on time.

A PC copy of STATIONflow was provided to TheGamer for this review. STATIONflow is now available on PC.

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Jamie Latour is a writer and actor based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From his hyperactive childhood to his....Well, still hyperactive adulthood, he's been writing and performing in some capacity for practically his entire life. His love for video games goes all the way back to the age of 4, playing Mega Man 3 for the first time on his NES. He's an avid gamer and can be found nowadays either messing around in Red Dead 2, or being cheap as can be as Reaper in Overwatch. He's still starting out when it comes to making online content, but aside from his writing he can found on his Twitch page under the handle SpontaneousJames. You can also find him on social media as @SpontaneousJam on Twitter (because Spontaneous James was too long apparently).

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STATIONflow Review | TheGamer - TheGamer

Games Inbox: Is a Viking themed Assassins Creed a good idea? – Metro.co.uk

This is official concept art, but its not proof that the next Assassins Creed is about Vikings (pic: Ubisoft)

The Monday Inbox is bemused by people that have already chosen which next gen console to get, as a reader is glad Edge magazine is still going.

To join in with the discussions yourself email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Ragnarok and rollGiven the crazy days were living in I know longer have any idea when to expect anything from games companies and I somehow doubt they have a much better idea of whats going on either I imagine this is compounded by them having to wait for Sony and Microsoft to announce first, and theyre probably not sure what to do either. (This doesnt explain Nintendo at the moment, but whatever does?)

But to focus down on one specific game I really looking forward to learning about the new Assassins Creed which was originally supposed to come out this year and is widely rumoured to have a Viking setting. If the Vikings are true then I assume that isnt going to change but I imagine theres probably a good chance of it being delayed until next year.

Apart form anything Ubisoft are famous for having some of the biggest teams in the business and someone I doubt huge developer farms of up to a thousand people are a thing right now.

But all this kind of deflects away from the big question: are Vikings a good idea? For me it seems a very surprising one, given how similar a lot of it is likely to be to God Of War and how Vikings and their mythology are quite common in games anyway. It might have worked better if the gods were mentioned less and it was more grounded, except Assassins Creed Odyssey put in more of that kind of stuff than ever before.

Personally I would have preferred ending the Ancient World trilogy with Rome, after Egypt and Greece, and Im going to be at least a little disappointed if thats what the new game is, even though theres no rumours of it. Rome seems super obvious in general even without the last two games and, unlike Vikings, is actually fairly uncommon in games. But what does everyone else think?Tolly

Be the customerFollowing the Readers Feature I was struck not by the actual subject matter, but more the decision to decision pre-order a console right now.

We know next to nothing about either console yet. I would want to wait to see what each one offers, the relative merits against my needs, before deciding which console to pre-order.

I hope that people make these game companies earn their money, and they dont sink a 400-500 investment on a console because its got Xbox on it instead of PlayStation, or you have a good gamescore or Trophies.

Buy the best console. Drive competition in the gaming industry by making choices based on how good their next console is, not because you liked the last one. Keep these companies vying for your attention and money every step of the way. THAT is how you drive innovation and development in games and game consoles. Vote with your wallets and purses everybody!Dan (grimwar85 gamertag/PSN ID)

Wait and seeI really dont understand the thinking behind Saturdays Reader Features. First there is someone stating that they believe the PlayStation 5 will definitely be worth the launch price, despite not knowing what the price is or the games the console will launch with. Second a reader saying they are definitely pre-ordering an Xbox Series X, again without knowing anything of the price, games, etc.

Why take this stance? Why not wait and see what features and games these consoles will offer and then make your decision. In fact, as a wider point, why pre-order anything gaming related at all? If none of us did, publishers and console manufacturers would work harder to ensure they had better products.Barry

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

Switch is brokenHi GC, cheers for keeping us entertained daily during this hard time for everyone, much appreciated.

This week Ive been playing a fair bit of Baba Is You on Switch. A very good puzzle game, really works your brain. Im only on the third world but already some levels just seem impossible and after almost an hour on them, I have to admit defeat and leave the world without clearing them.

Anyway, over the past few days, the Switch kept losing connection to the Joy-Cons during the game, even though they were connected to it in portable mode, and Id have to press x to reconnect. At first it was intermittent, but eventually started happening almost every minute, to the point the game became unplayable.

And now today Ive tried to recharge my Switch and it isnt taking a charge at all, no signs of power to the battery, neither using the dock or connected to the charge cable directly.

Has anyone else had this problem? Its probably just under two years old, I wonder how long the warranty is? Guess Ill have to contact Nintendo UK and see what support they can offer.Stephen

GC: Is it a launch console? Because that sounds similar to the issues that were happening in the first few months, but which are now quite rare.

Next generationRE: next big remake. I reckon its got to be something from the PlayStation 2 generation as the classics from PS1 have been done now, so I reckon it will be the GTA games. They would benefit from a graphical overall into the new engine and from better gameplay, specifically around the shooting mechanics.

It would be something Id love to see myself, Id definitely love to play them all again in the GTA 5 engine or even an improved next gen engine. The soundtrack of the games is always really important and I suspect the original soundtrack could still be maintained, seeing as the games are available on digital stores at the moment with no issues.Angry_Kurt (Twitter)Now playing: Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One X) and Lara Croft And The Temple of Orisis (PC)

Parallel generationIts been said the next gen will see a long period of cross gen support. Microsoft confirmed this was their policy by not having any first party Xbox Series X exclusives for the first two years. Now a Bloomberg report suggests Sony will have a limited number of PlayStation 5s to sell in the first year, which suggests the 100+ million PlayStation 4 will remain salient for sometime after the PlayStation 5s launch. I get the feeling that the majority of third party games will release across both gens for probably two years. Also, cash cow games for services like GTA Online will want to remain cross gen for as long as possible.

Financially, its probably a wise move for everyone concerned. Im a little disappointed that we wont see many games that really take advantage of the new hardware for a while but can see the merit of folks being under no real need to upgrade. Theres the advantage that the latest released console can be high end when its part of a range of devices, like phones and now the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X leading to the very powerful next gen consoles.

Those that dont care about better graphics, ray-tracing, 60 frames per second and load times have no need to upgrade anytime soon. I dont care about phones and have owned three in my life, could not give a monkeys about having an up-to-date to phone. Gaming though, I want the best and happy to pay for it. Everyone, or most, it seems win with long cross gen support.

Im still very drawn to an Xbox Series X at launch. It should give me the performance upgrades I find frustrating on current consoles, of load times and frame rates plus a ray-tracing boon while offering a huge catalogue of games with backwards compatibility and value and variety with Game Pass.Simundo

GC: Two years is normal for cross-gen support under ordinary circumstances. This could mean it goes on for twice that, or maybe even the whole next generation.

Still publishingIve had some good news, Edge magazine emailed me a few days ago and they still intend to publish a magazine each month, but they are also going to give me a digital copy as well as the physical copy at no extra cost, which is very good of them and understandable in current times.

I get the digital copy early in case the physical copy is late getting here, as there is obviously a lot of letters and parcels in the Royal Mail network currently. I am a long-time subscriber since 2002.Andrew J.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Secret birthdayI dont know if were going to get a surprise Nintendo Direct or something on Monday but one Nintendo anniversary that seems about to pass without mention is Fire Emblem. The first game came out on the NES on 20 April, 1990 and well that maths isnt hard on this one. Although the first time any of the games were released in the West was on the Game Boy Advanced in 2003 in America (2004 in Europe).

There are 16 mainline games in the series now, of which the most recent, Three Houses, is by far the most successful. Which is not bad going for a franchise thats this old. As you might gather, Im a big fan of the series and am over the moon to see it finally getting its due and being acknowledged as a major franchise by Nintendo. Although I admit that Super Smash Bros. had as much to do with that as anything else (although they maybe went a bit overboard on that in the end, turn some non-fans against the series, which I dont like to see).

Not sure what is in the future for the series but obviously its going to get a sequel now that Three Houses did so well. Although I have to admit I hope that Intelligent Systems take over full development of the next game and not leave so much up to Kowi Tecmo, who I blame for the less than impressive graphics. Not that you felt you could really complain before but now I feel Fire Emblem only deserves the best!Focus

Inbox also-ransBattlefield: Bad Company 2 is 10 years old! Hooray! To this day, still the best of the Battlefields. And still with a full house of players. Still playing on my humble PlayStation 3, which I call Uncle . Have a nice day!Henry

Maybe its me, but Hojo from the Final Fantasy 7 remake reminded me of Riddler from Batman: Arkham Knight, look-wise and insanity wise. If theyre brothers then thats a dangerous family!Liam

This weeks Hot TopicThe question for this weekends Inbox was suggested by reader Iceman, who asks what game have you played the most so far this year?

Regardless of when it was first released, what game have you racked up the most hours on so far and why? Is it something to do with the coronavirus lockdown or would you have played it that much anyway?

Is it just because its a long game or perhaps because its an online title that encourages you to play regularly? Or maybe you just havent played that many games this year and it wins by default? How does the game fit with your usual tastes and has it influenced you to play any other related titles?

E-mail your comments to: gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk

The small printNew Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Readers Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and dont forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: What should be the next big video game remake?

MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: What should be the next big video game remake?

MORE: Games Inbox: PS5 UK price, GTA 6 in instalments, and Nintendos dual screen Switch plans

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk

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