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Games to Watch Out For This July GameSpew – GameSpew

The summer months are usually quiet when it comes to new game releases.

Not this year though. Weve had the likes of The Last of Us Part II in June, and July is absolutely stacked with titles such as Ghost of Tsushima and Paper Mario: The Origami King. Next-gen consoles might be releasing at the end of the year, but developers arent resting on their laurels and holding back the good stuff.

So, what games have you got to look forward to this July? Read on and find out. Theres bound to be at least one or two that make you want to part with your hard-earned cash.

Release date: 3rd JulyFormats: PS4

Feel like a superhero this July by stepping into Iron Mans shoes with Iron Man VR. Its a good reason to dust off that PSVR headset at least. Well have a review later this week.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 7th JulyFormats: Switch

If youve got a Switch and have never played Catherine do yourself a favour and pick up Catherine: Full Body this July. Its a puzzle game like no other. You can check out our review of the PS4 version right here.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 10th JulyFormats: Switch

Agent Francis York Morgan is back. The sequel to cult favourite Deadly Premonition lands this July and it promises to be as weird as ever. Also, it lets you skateboard around. Well have a review next week.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 10th JulyFormats: PS4, Xbox One & PC

If youre into NASCAR, NASCAR Heat 5 looks like it might be the most authentic representation of the sport yet. Preorder the Gold Edition to get three days early access.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 10th JulyFormats: PS4, Xbox One & PC

NASCAR not your thing? Well, how about F1 2020 instead? With an improved career mode and more, this should be on the radar of any racing game fan.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 10th JulyFormats: PS4, Xbox One & PC

The latest Sword Art Online game launches this July after suffering a minor delay. Based on the third season of the anime, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is sure to be a hit with fans.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 14th JulyFormats: Switch & PC

Farm you time away with Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. It should provide a nice diversion from Animal Crossing: New Horizons, at least.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 17th JulyFormats: PS4

Become a samurai in Sucker Punchs Ghost of Tshushima. Or maybe youll decide to play more like a ninja instead, striking from the shadows. If you like open world games, you should keep a close eye on Ghost of Tsushima.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 17th JulyFormats: Switch

Join Mario and friends on yet another paper-based adventure. Paper Mario: The Origami King promises lots of laughs and deep RPG gameplay. What more could you want this July?

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 28th JulyFormats: PS4, Xbox One & PC

Remade for the current generation of consoles, were excited to be reunited with Crypto in Destroy All Humans!We tried the demo, and our hopes are high for the full release.

Preorder on Amazon

Release date: 30th July EU / 31st July NAFormats: PS4, Switch & PC

After numerous delays, Fairy Tail finally launches at the end of this month. If youre a fan of the franchise youll definitely want to check it out. We imagine itll appeal to fans of RPGs on the whole as well, though.

Preorder on Amazon

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Games to Watch Out For This July GameSpew - GameSpew

Shelter Tails: Whoever adopts Hank will need a sense of humor – Times Herald-Record

By Mary Esparra| For the Times Herald-Record

Hank has healed, is doing well in his training class and is ready for a home of his own.

Sometimes a dog like Hank is better suited as a pet than a working dog in the Animal Farm Foundations innovative service dog programs. It trains former shelter dogs as mobility, active task work, hearing alert, or psychiatricservice dogs.

Hank, an 18-month-old mixed breed, came from a city rescue asking for help in training the big oaf who didnt know his size or good manners.

He was jumpy, mouthy and more pushy than they were able to handle, said AFF Director of Training Bernice Clifford. He is silly and will hold your hand or arm in his mouth as if to lead you where he wants to go. He is clumsy and has no idea he is so big.

We were just going to train him and give him back to the rescue.

Then Hank was diagnosed with a blown cruciate ligament, or CCL, in his knee because of a genetic bone defect. Surgery was needed, so AFF took possession of Hank.

After extensive surgery in February, Hank was on 10 weeks of crate rest, which was extended another month. Training had to be halted.

Hank has almost completely recovered and is doing well with his training.

Were working mostly on impulse control, said Clifford, instead of jumping up on people, to sit or lie down when he meets people. Hes very barky when he wants something, so were teaching him to sit, wait and be a little more patient. A lot of positive reinforcement. He has to sit or lie down, and then he gets a treat. Its working.

Hank had a home for about 48 hours, but his new owners preferred to reprimand him with a No! and he barked at them, and so he was returned to AFF.

Clifford seeks an experienced dog owner who will continue positive reinforcement with Hank.

Someone with a sense of humor who is not going to get frustrated by him, she said.

Hank loves other dogs and is enjoys playing and sleeping with the kitten in his foster home. He hasnt been around kids.

He loves to cuddle, enjoys a nice walk and likes romping with his dog friends. He thinks he is a tiny dog who can fit anywhere, but he cannot. He is very smart, playful and loves toys and any kind of smart game, like puzzle games with food inside them.

He doesnt fit into our other programs, said Clifford, he needs to fit on someones couch.

Donations to help with Hanks vet bills can be made at animalfarmfoundation.org/help-hank.

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Shelter Tails: Whoever adopts Hank will need a sense of humor - Times Herald-Record

Apple just unveiled its picks of the best iPad and iPhone apps of the year – here they are – TechRadar

If you're looking for advice on the best apps for your iPhone or iPad, then there's nowhere better to turn to on the matter (apart from TechRadar) than Apple itself, and the company has just announced its picks of the eight best designed apps of the year.

That's thanks to the Apple Design Awards 2020, part of the company's annual developer conference WWDC 2020 which also brought us the unveiling of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and more. Now, we know which apps Apple thinks were the best designed of the year.

There are four productivity or creative apps, and four games included as part of the list. It's worth pointing out that not all of the apps are new, so presumably the design awards can be given to recognize new updates which improve an app, but the games were all released less than a year ago, with two of them being part of Apple Arcade.

We'll list the apps that won the Apple Design Awards below, so you can see if any are ones you might benefit from.

The first app mentioned, Shapr 3D, is a computer-assisted drawing app for iPads, which lets you create 3D drawings for designers and artists without needing an actual computer to do so. You can check out Shapr 3D on the App Store here.

Another iPad-only app, Looom, is for creating hand-drawn animation and, in particular, looping animations. You can use an Apple Pencil or just your finger to easily sketch and animate. Looom is on the App Store here.

While Sibelius is the go-to computer program for writing music, it seems StaffPad could be that for tablets - it lets you hand-write notation, and it then adds that into the stave so you can edit it further. Like the two apps mentioned before, it's only available on iPad, but it seems great for people looking to write their own compositions. Check out StaffPad on the App Store here.

The final creativity app to be awarded actually is available on iPhones as well as iPads - Darkroom is a photo editing app which has been popular for a while. It's not as complicated as Photoshop but that's its charm, as anyone can easily turn their phone camera snaps into great-looking works of art by quickly tweaking some of the details. See if Darkroom could help you on the App Store by clicking here.

Sayonara Wild Hearts was one of the flagship Apple Arcade games, featuring prominently in the games service's marketing and promotion, and it's the first game winner of the Apple Design Awards 2020. The game is an arcade action game with a very distinct aesthetic style, and a strong musical element too. You can see it on the App Store here.

One non-Apple Arcade game to win was Song of Bloom, and it's harder to explain than the others on this list. It's a puzzle game which requires you to think outside the box to complete its wildly varying puzzles - maybe we'd best let its App Store page do the explaining.

Where Cards Fall is quite your typical Apple Arcade game, combining a cartoonish art style, oblique narrative focus, and relatively little gameplay, and clearly it has captured some hearts because of this. It's about reliving memories of the American high school experience, so it may not resonate with everyone, but if you think it's for you, you can check out its App Store entry here.

If you liked the game Journey on the PS3 then you'll like the final award-winner Sky: Children of the Light, because it's by the same developer and has a lot in common with its predecessor. In it you can explore a big cartoon world, and there's a strong multiplayer focus so you can bump into, and join in with, other people exploring the same places as you. Click here to go to its App Store page.

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Apple just unveiled its picks of the best iPad and iPhone apps of the year - here they are - TechRadar

Doctor Who fans are losing their minds over the new Thirteen Doctors game – RadioTimes

As if Doctor Who fans needed another great pandemic distraction alongside all the watchalongs, new material and video reunions, a new craze has been sweeping the community of Whovians online a truly addictive web puzzle called Thirteen.

The rules are simple, albeit easier to learn through playing. Working with a board of tiles representing different Doctors, players must use their computer arrow keys (or swipe on their phones) to move the tiles up, down, left or right, with the aim of smashing together two of the same Doctor tiles to regenerate them into the next incarnation (see the gif below).

In other words, two Patrick Troughton tiles make a Jon Pertwee, two Pertwees make Tom Baker and so on, all the way up to the current Doctor (assuming you get that far weve barely made it past John Hurt).

But theres a catch with every move you make a new William Hartnell tile appears, meaning the board will rapidly fill up and end the game if you cant keep regenerating the Doctors.

As many fans have noted, this makes it nearly impossible to get all the way to the end, with few even getting close to unlocking Jodie Whittaker.

The whole thing is basically just a reskinned version of popular mobile game 2048 with a Doctor Who-y twist but all over the internet Who fans are completely addicted, complaining and wondering whether its even possible to make it all the way to the end.

In case it was unclear, yes, if you play this game you might get obsessed, waste loads of time and still get no closer to smashing those Peter Capaldi tiles together to complete the whole thing. Truly, the BBC has ensnared us all.

So has anyone got to the end of the game? And whats their secret?

One recommended trick to just smash the up and right arrows repeatedly, then shift to the left, then start again got us as far as Paul McGann before the Hartnells descended, and at time of writing we couldnt spot anyone online whod actually made it all the way to the end.

All we know is, were hooked. And once they finally add that Morbius Doctors DLC, our spare time will truly be gone forever

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021 check out what else is on with our TV Guide

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Doctor Who fans are losing their minds over the new Thirteen Doctors game - RadioTimes

THOSE WHO REMAIN Review: Fear Of The Dark And Heavy Decisions – GameTyrant

A lot of horror games that come out are looking to present a new scenario and a deep understanding of the purpose behind it. Camel 101 tried to have players looking at themselves in moral lighting with their latest title Those Who Remain. While I definitely have to say that they did a good job creating an interesting and new scenario for players to venture through, Im not so sure they did the best in executing the game itself.

Taking on the role of Edward, you find yourself going through one of the darkest and most telling nights of your life. After starting things off by pulling into a motel to meet your latest affair, albeit, with intentions of making things right, you find yourself venturing into the darkness in the town of Dormont. Can you make things right for not only yourself but those you come across as well?

Starting the game off you quickly end up figuring out that this game is based on reaching trigger points, finding notes or items that help you progress forward, and searching for whatever you need with subtle-to-no hints on what youre looking for. Whether you need a key to get into an area, a piece of information you can find on a note, or some random tool that applies to the section of the game you are in, you are mostly left to find this out on your own.

Boundaries in this game are set in a creative way as you have to stay within the light. A lot of progress will also involve whether you can turn a light on for an area or need to figure out how to light it up. Stepping into the darkness will get you instantly grabbed by one of the many shadow people that stand along the darkness edge, watching every move you make.

Occasionally you will come across an enemy that you have to avoid or run from. These moments change based on the creature that you are facing. Encounters with the different beings should all be handled accordingly and will require both quick thinking and stealth; unless you are forced to run from them, of course.

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THOSE WHO REMAIN Review: Fear Of The Dark And Heavy Decisions - GameTyrant

Five new Steam games you probably missed (June 29, 2020) – PC Gamer

On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So thats exactly what weve done.If nothing catches your fancy this week, we've gathered thebest PC gamesyou can play right now and a running list of thenew games of 2020.

Steam pageRelease: June 25Developer: Happy VolcanoPrice: $14.99 | 13.49 | AU$21.50

The Almost Gone is a puzzle game full of gorgeous, interactive dioramas. Poised in a mysterious state between life and death, the protagonist needs to study their environment in order to piece together what happened. These areas range homely living rooms through to dark forests, and while the screenshots imply a "pleasant" experience, The Almost Gone has a certain potent bleakness about it. It's written by popular Belgian author Joost Vandecasteele.

Steam pageRelease: June 23Developer: GametrekPrice: $19.99 | 17.99 | AU$28.95

This Early Access grand strategy game is about ruling the world, but in an underhanded, shady kind of way. You control the Brotherhood, a conspiratorial secret society responsible for everything. You'll need to keep your thumb on subservient governments, but you'll also have to contend with competing secret societies, too. In the current build you'll be triggering some kind of revolution in England, but a whole lot more is planned for the game before its official November 5 release date.

Steam pageRelease: June 23Developer: Simula GamesPrice: $19.99 | 18.00 | AU$31.62

If you're interested in trucks and related logistics, Truck and Logistics Simulator is for you. In addition to actually driving the vehicles, which range minivans, forklifts, ATVs and trucks, you'll also be making deliveries and forming convoys. There's realistic damage and weather, and there's also cross-platform multiplayer cooperative play. Reviews on Steam have been positive, so if you're keen on this particular niche it's probably worth a shot. It's in Early Access and is expected to release into 1.0 in 2021.

Steam pageRelease: June 22Developer: Mason LindrothPrice: $14.99 | 11.39 | AU$21.50

If you like isometric RPGs but you don't like fantasy or science fiction, then most of the time you're out of luck. Hylics 2 is a weird, psychedelic take on the genre, and it's one that James very much approved of when he played it earlier this week. The art style incorporates stop-motion animation with clay models and pixel art, but as for the story, well, I think you'll need to figure that out by playing it. Games like this don't crop up very often - just look at that trailer.

Steam pageRelease: June 24Developer: YAW StudiosPrice: $1.99 | 1.69 | AU$2.95

Geometric Sniper is a sniping game, but it's not much like others. For example, there's no gratuitous Sniper Elite-style gore in this: instead, you'll be panning your scope across whimsical hand drawn environments, searching out and then eliminating your target. In this way, it's a bit of a hidden object / shooter hybrid, but there appears to be a light story element as well. The game's in Early Access and is expected to be finished in two months.

These games were released between June 22 and June 29 2020. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read ouraffiliate policyfor more info.

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Five new Steam games you probably missed (June 29, 2020) - PC Gamer

The Almost Gone Review – New Game Network

Solving puzzles is all fun and games, as the genre typically plays it straight. You traverse between different areas, picking up things, interacting with the environment, and trying to get out or go further. But sometimes, the puzzles want to also tell a story whether that's The Witness, Braid, or The Talos Principle. A newly released game The Almost Gone is a minimalist puzzle adventure that also tries to stand out with its unique look and a dramatic story.

For its narrative, the game features brief blurbs of text. We learn about a child who is seemingly exploring a surreal world based on the home and neighborhood where their family used to live. The kid isn't sure how they got there, and there are no other people, but that's not really the focus. Instead, we discover about the family's troubles, about the divorce of the parents, the struggles with depression and drugs, and so on. The game tries to tackle some very heavy themes, however most of it sadly falls flat. The text is not narrated, so you're just reading and trying to get immersed based on that alone. But there are some issues with the writing (and perhaps translation, given that the development team aren't English speakers) so a lot of the text comes off as odd when discussing heavy subjects and from a child's perspective to boot. This setup obviously tries to imitate Braid, The Gardens Between and similar narrative adventures, but doesn't manage to capture their atmosphere.

Where The Almost Gone does manage to stand out is with its approach to level design. This is a puzzle room game, as you explore a number of different very small areas and interact with whatever is in the room. But the neat aspect is that each room is presented as a diorama, and you can rotate it horizontally to see it from every angle. The game helpfully shows the directions in which you can move to get to the next location. You start off exploring your home, so you move from room to room, from the kitchen to the hallway, and so on. Eventually you get outside and explore the area, which as mentioned contains some mysterious elements branches growing through the buildings, police cars stuck in trees, some homes being mere facades and are hollow as you turn the level around. Some areas and doors feature black goo that prevents you from progressing. Each diorama does feel somewhat unique.

The dioramas are small and only contain a handful of interactive objects. The goal of each level is to find a way out or a way to progress further, and to do that you'll need to interact with items, as well as collect some and bring them to the right place. It's fairly typical puzzle design, and what starts off simply enough find a crowbar to open a door, find a key to unlock something, scissors to cut rope things do eventually get a bit convoluted and require trial and error. Sometimes it's just a traditional challenges that have you twisting knobs on an object until they form the desired shape. As the levels grow bigger in scope, requiring you to traverse many dioramas to get to where you're going, so does your inventory of items. At least the game avoids tricking you with useless items and dead ends, and most of the puzzles are linear, meaning you aren't working on too many progress paths at once.

The ability to rotate levels and see behind objects is not used nearly often enough as a neat discovery tool, which seems like a missed opportunity. Another issue is that the game chooses to utilize the worst aspect of all pixel hunting. Getting stuck because you missed clicking on a random little object is rather annoying. There is no highlight of interactive objects (either on click or on hover). You do already try to click on everything, because many items also produce blurbs of additional narrative text, but still some items can be easy to miss.

Perhaps things are easier to spot when playing on a smartphone for which the game was originally designed but on PC, there are some tiny things that you'll need to spot and they can be a pain. The entire diorama takes up the center of the screen, while the sides are rarely used only to sometimes highlight important objects within the scene and get to them quicker on returning visits. In addition to lots of blank screen space, the game's mobile origins are obvious due to often awkward mouse controls when rotating the scene or moving between them. To top it all off, the PC version costs over 3 times the price of the mobile edition for no reason at all.

The presentation certainly matches what you'd expect from a mobile title. The art style is clean, with a variety of colors and nicely designed dioramas. Audio is minimal and there is quiet background music that fits the somber and mysterious atmosphere. However, there are times when jarringly loud sound effects occur because you interacted with something, or because an object is drawing attention to itself.

The Almost Gone tries to be both a good puzzle game and tell a dramatic story, but only succeeds in various degrees. Its narrative is poorly told and really not able to handle the heavy themes it tries to tackle, whether that's addiction, divorce, or neglect. By using abstract themes, the message gets muddled even further, leaving too much to player interpretation. The diorama design of the levels is by far the most memorable thing about the game, but even so it's harmed by the occasional need to pixel hunt for key items, to use in puzzles that grow more obscure the deeper you venture into the game. It's a nice looking title, but the mobile roots are unmistakable. At just about two hours long, and triple the price for the PC version, The Almost Gone is difficult to recommend on this platform in particular.

Presentation

70

The diorama design is a clever way to present the game, along with a nice ambient soundtrack. The occasional loud effects are jarring, however.

Gameplay

65

The puzzles start off enjoyable, but eventually devolve into pixel hunting and too many leaps in logic.

Single Player

50

The story tries to tackle difficult subject without adequate time to invest in them. The whole thing is over within two hours, leaving things too ambiguous. It's also a poor value proposition, compared to the phone version.

Multiplayer

NR

None

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.80 GHzGPU: ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU IIRAM: 16GB DDR3OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

90

No issues were observed. The mouse controls can be a bit awkward, having been adapted from touch screen version of the game.

Overall

60

The Almost Gone is an occasionally enjoyable puzzle game, with a unique way of presenting levels. However, its high price and inability to adequately tackle heavy narrative themes leave it lost in the sea of mobile game ports.

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The Almost Gone Review - New Game Network

Power-Ups – The New York Times

87D: This is a debut entry; a dealer could handle a variety of items but in this case they are forgeries, or ART SCAMS.

At what point, while working on this grid, did you realized that todays theme just involved one logical step? I assumed that we were looking at a layer cake with several interrelated components until I had completed one full example, and that didnt come until fairly deep into the solve.

There are eight theme pairs, all running across, at 25/30, 29/33, 47/50, 48/53, 85/90, 86/92, 107/113 and 112/116. Each of these pairs is arranged the same way, and thats critical to the theme one is a row above the other, touching diagonally. Theres also a revealer at the center, 70A, which was actually a punchline for me; I solved this entry pretty early but it made no sense until Id gotten a theme pair and the connection between the two entries.

My first pair to completely fill in was at 47/50. By the time I had both of those entries, Id solved several parts of other theme pairs and was thoroughly confused WELCOME, WOLVES, CUTS, BONE and ROOTED were all done, but I hadnt connected anything yet. I figured there was some Grimm-based (or just grim) fairy tale game I hadnt even heard of, sigh. Basically, I had CHOIR at 47A, the clue with no clue, and a few letters at 50A: With 47-Across, not change anyones mind, say. PREACH (to the) CHOIR was the perfect solution.

With that, the other pairs started to fall. They all have that same little link in common, to the, and theyre all very common expressions. And notice the juxtaposition of the clues to one another? Its as though the unclued entry is superscript, on the upper right corner of the clued entry. This is where the revealer comes in EXPONENTS. This is also where the title of the puzzle comes in each of those phrases is arranged as A to the power of B. I find this such a neat little trick, and very cleverly presented.

If the idioms arent clear as a bell to you, you have one that expresses commiseration, one that began as an impatient cinematic reference, an economic term thats broadly used these days, a theatrical reference, a symptom of being horrified, a horrifying thing to happen to someone, and something apt, but unwelcome.

Anderson Wang: I first got into puzzles in high school through online puzzle hunts, and the M.I.T. Mystery Hunt in particular, and branched out from there into logic and word/crossword puzzles. Jon and I first met at M.I.T., where we lived on the same hall, and weve done a lot of puzzling together since. (Im proudest of the work weve done writing for the Galactic Puzzle Hunt.)

Some constructors notes: after coming up with the theme, we originally planned for a 15x15, but eventually decided that 21x21 felt better since there was a good variety of A to the B phrases. However, while we do have some experience with making crosswords, wed never attempted a Sunday-sized grid before, and we quickly realized how brutal the 140-word limit was: we spent probably about 30 hours filling the first draft, with many nights of screen sharing and iterating on the fill. We received an encouraging response from the editing team, but they wanted us to swap out one of our theme entries, and that change ended up propagating throughout the whole grid the second draft probably took about another 20 hours to fill, but I am happy with how it turned out in the end.

As a final note, in the process of making this puzzle I really came to appreciate having a friend to construct with. Having a collaborator really helps with splitting up the workload and motivating each other to continue making progress, but even more important, it let us bounce potential fill options off each other and see things from different perspectives. I certainly wouldnt have been able to make this on my own.

Jon Schneider: I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I was first exposed to crosswords in high school, through one of the teachers there who wrote cryptic crosswords for the local newspaper. (I was quite bad at them back then, but still found them a lot of fun!) Later, in college, I started solving the New York Times crossword. Like Anderson mentioned, this is also where we met. Weve been writing puzzles together ever since mostly puzzle hunt puzzles, but some crossword puzzles here and there.

Anderson did a great job of covering the construction process, so I wont say much. Ill reiterate that this was the first time we tried to construct a 21x21, and we were definitely a bit surprised by how much harder it was to fill cleanly than other crosswords weve constructed in the past (the unusual geometric arrangement of the theme entries probably didnt help). One of our biggest gaffes was after we had almost filled the puzzle for the second time, when we realized we had included both ELM STREET and TAKE [to the] STREETS. Luckily, we were able to swap out TAKE [to the] STREETS for PLAY [to the] GALLERY without too much more work, but it had us worried for a bit!

Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.

Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.

What did you think?

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Power-Ups - The New York Times

United Fresh LIVE! Badge, Puzzle and Trivia winners announced – FreshPlaza.com

With more than 7,500 active users on United Fresh LIVE! during the 2020 virtual experience June 15-19, attendees competed to show who was most active on the platform, as well as several games testing their skills.

The top badge collector indicating most active on the site goes to Fiza Jabeen of BrightFarms, followed closely by John Savidan of Gelsons Markets. Badge collectors will receive $100 and $50 gift cards to a variety of national restaurants. Special thanks to our sponsor FreshPoint for supporting our restaurants across the country! Congratulations to the following badge winners:

Badge winners $100 gift cards

Badge winners $50 gift cards

Attendees also showed their skills in solving a series of five puzzles submitted by our platinum sponsors. Congratulations to our top puzzle solver Andrew Even of Walmart, who completed all five puzzles in the best time. Other puzzle winners include:

Puzzle winners $100 gift cards

Puzzle winners $50 gift cards

Finally, attendees got to show their fruit and vegetable skills in a trivia contest of knowledge and speed. Congratulations to our top trivia expert Rayn Ellison of K-VA-T Food Stores, and all of our trivia winners.

Trivia winners $100 gift cards

Trivia winners $50 gift cards

United Fresh LIVE! remains open and online 24-7 to explore our expo hall, view workshops and general sessions on-demand, and even try your hand at one of the games. See how you do versus these experts! Disclaimer: the official contest is over, but have fun! To login, visit http://www.unitedfreshlive.org.

Contact:Mary CoppolaUnited Fresh Produce AssociationTel: (+1) 202-303-3425mcoppola@unitedfresh.org

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United Fresh LIVE! Badge, Puzzle and Trivia winners announced - FreshPlaza.com

Review: Neversong’s Moody Nightmare World Doesn’t Strike the Right Chords – thirdcoastreview.com

Screenshot: Neversong

Some games take their worth from what they do new for a genre. Games like Braid that pushed the mechanics and story limits of a platformer, or your Cupheadthat offer a fresh style. Theres also the games measured by being the best at what they do. Things like each Rockstar release iterating and raising the bar set by its predecessor for open-world games. Neversong is not without charm, but neither does it meet the standards above. Instead, it treads familiar waters in art, gameplay and story, and lacks the polish to stand independent of the nostalgia for games that came before it.

Neversong is Atmos Games follow-up to developer Thomas Brushs Pinstripe. A narrative-focused, action-adventure game, Neversong follows Peet, a young boy awakened from a coma to find his girlfriend Wren kidnapped, the adults vanished and his hometown overrun with creatures of the night. A loose remake of the 2010 Flash game Coma, the search for Wren unfolds in Peets hometown and outlying areas with hack and slash gameplay and a smattering of simple, but satisfying, puzzles as the towns true nature is patched together.

Screenshot: Neversong

Gameplay wise, Neversong delivers what it needs to. The full game clocks in at around five-hours sopping wet, with mostly softball combat and puzzles, hitting all the beats expected of a Zelda-inspired title, including subtle nods like Peets Hutts! during attacks or the fairy-esque helper Bird fluttering at arms length. Exploration and second playthroughs are rewarded a little bit, but not much, with most nooks and crannies in service of the main gameplay. Small detours can be found on the way, but offer little more than collectible in-game cards or cosmetic upgrades. The unlocked abilities throughout can be fun to fiddle with, things like skateboards and baseball bats all fit well into the world as totems of youth.

While my playthrough was for the PC version of the game, Neversong initially launched Apple Arcade, three weeks prior to a Steam release. Given its Newgrounds/Flash game roots, it makes sense how at home the game feels on something like Apple Arcade, potentially benefiting from small, bite-sized play sessions in the end.

Screenshot: Neversong

Where the game stumbles though is in its overall aesthetic and narrative, which it leans into. Hard. Neversong puts its story front and center, so much so that its hard to ignore the shared space it occupies with other gothic babe in the woods titles. Things like the similarly Zelda-influenced The Binding of Isaac and puzzle-platformer adventures like Little Nightmares or Playdeads Inside and Limbo, with all the same trappings of a fragile protagonist in a world of corrupted adults. Neversong even seems to share aesthetics with these games, with character designs plucked from Edward Gorey and John Kenn, and backgrounds inspired by Eyvind Earles layered, storybook landscapes. Its hard not to draw parallels between Neversong and those with similar flair, but the comparison ultimately doesnt feel fair. It delivers its theme with a far heavier hand, using dialogue to tell rather than show, and it never quite finds the pacing to suck you in. Whatever message it hopes to send gets muddled in the delivery and shows the value keeping a little mum on your message can be for weighty subject matter.

Before Neversong even starts, players are warned to expect a dark story and to be mindful of the threat of depression. In practice however, the game seems to constantly undercut itself, treating its supporting cast entirely as comic relief, and then in the same breath undercutting its humor by giving its characters serious mental health issues that only remind you of the games wellness themes. A fedora-toting, neckbeard caricature with body dysmorphia can be played as a joke with the right handling, but when its built atop currents of people should seek the help they need, it falls flat on both accounts.

While Neversongs humor can give tonal whiplash and make the moody setting seem like just window dressing, the jokes typically land well thanks to impressive voice performances. The dialogue and playfulness are reminiscent of another cited influence, Night in the Woods. Sharing similar themes of somber reflections on home and childhood, with equal portions of eeriness and whimsy, Neversong doesnt quite execute it with the same precision, but still manages to offer the odd satisfying moments

Taking the lead on music, story, art and game design, Brushs work shone through in the design of the games individual set pieces. Neversongs late-aughts flash game roots in Coma come through in the art style, and its honestly a nice touch. Its a kind of weird nostalgia I didnt know I was looking for, and granted not everyone may share, when pixelart is the used coin of the realm to evoke that kind of emotion. The games piano-forward score also manages to stand out, even integrating in as its own little mechanic to unlock new abilities.

Some game-breaking bugs did occur once or twice, requiring restartsthings like freezing in a certain state or having dialogue locked. They were typically small issues that were hard to be too riled about, but given the games smaller scope and rarity of the issue, the problem was immediately solved by relaunching and nothing was ever lost thanks to the autosave feature.

Screenshot: Neversong

The indie action-adventure field is packed and its bar set high, requiring a little something more for a game to stand apart. Despite not being an outright bad or broken game, Neversong never quite reaches that mark. The game attempts to take on some major league issues without really rising to the moment, and never separates from the pack far enough for its story or gameplay to stand out.

Neversong is available today on Steam and Apple Arcade.

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Excerpt from:
Review: Neversong's Moody Nightmare World Doesn't Strike the Right Chords - thirdcoastreview.com


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