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Game of the Month: March 2021’s Best PS5, PS4 Games – Pure PlayStation

March was a very busy month for us lot here on Pure PlayStation, as well as on our sister channel Pure Play TV. We got through a lot of reviews and whittling down the top five from the many reviews we did was not easy. Actually, it was. We take the eight highest-scoring games of March and put them on a list. Not difficult at all, actually

This next-gen upgrade may have been light on upgrades, but it had them where it mattered. The boost to 60FPS is brilliant and makes the game so much more playable than on the last-gen consoles. Its tough as nails and it doesnt take any fools, but if youre after a budget-friendly Souls-like game, Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition fits the bill perfectly. (Read/watch the review)

Kalypso Medias portfolio of strategy and management games grew by one last month and it was a great addition because Spacebase Startopia is the resort simulator you didnt know you wanted. Rather than take the serious route and have you managing a hotel in Malaga, Spacebase Startopia puts you in charge of a space station resort. Your job is to attract as many alien visitors as possible and get them spending, all the while keeping up appearances and fending off competing resort managers and space pirates. Its brilliant and Ive spent more than a few nights getting stuck into this one. (Read/watch the review)

El Hijo takes players on a revenge mission in the Old West, but its not your typical western. There are no blazing saddles or Mexican standoffs here. Instead, youre getting a great little stealth game where your wits and toys are your weapons. Its a fantastic game for thinking players and it tells a sweet mother and son tale, too. (Read/watch the review)

This one was a fair surprise. I was on review duties for Die With Glory and I didnt do my due diligence before diving into this Viking tale. I thought Id be playing a cartoony brawler, but instead, I got a very clever point-and-click adventure with a story that goes any which way, depending on which tall tales you want to tell. Its cheap and cheerful fun and I wholly recommend it. I will say, mind you, that its probably best on Nintendo Switch with the touch-screen controls because this is a port of a mobile game. Dont let that put you off its a cracking little game and well worth a fiver. (Read/watch the review)

This isnt just another platformer its a platformer of two halves, and it packs an emotional punch if thats what youre looking for.

Seeing the world through the journal and imagination of a young child going through tragedy might not sound like traditional fun unless youre a bit of a psycho but its still an enjoyable game and itll make you think, feel, and maybe even weep. Not me, though. Im gruff and manly. Honest.(Read/watch the review)

I was on the job for this one and at first I was afraid, I was petrified, I never thought Id make it through the game without a guide but I did and it was quite the journey. Id never played the original so the PS5 version was my first time inside skinny boy Lloyds twisted nightmares. It didnt pack that many genuine scares, but its a hell of a puzzle game and I can only say good things about the ingenuity of how the puzzles play out with their world-shifting dynamics. Top stuff if youre a puzzle fan, and a free upgrade if you already own the PS4 version. (Read/watch the review)

Jeremy was disappointed by the lack of Papa Roach but impressed with how far Supercross games have come since he last played one. Fast bikes, dangerous jumps, and more challenges than you can shake a broken leg at earned Monster Energy Supercross 4 a high score from us. Jeremy has since discovered Spotify and he can now enjoy his bike racing with his favourite old-school music. Bless him. (Read/watch the review)

And our Game of the Month for March 2021 is

Horror games are not my cup of tea yet I was fixated with In Rays of the Light from the start. It was creepy without being in-your-face horrific. The masterful use of sound to create atmosphere, tension, and fear had me thrilled and frightened at the same time. Its a brilliant game let down only by some technical shortcomings, but theyre easy enough to overlook when the rest of the game is so damn good. If youve only got the funds for one game on this list, this is the recommendation. Its short, sure, but every minute is worth every penny spent. (Read/watch the review)

And thats another Game of the Month done and dusted. If you missed Februarys (our first proper one after five damn years) you can check that out and see what you missed.

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Game of the Month: March 2021's Best PS5, PS4 Games - Pure PlayStation

This Weeks VR Game Roundup: New Archery Game, Kitchen Island VR – VR Fitness Insider

Last weeks VR Game Roundup had an exciting licensed title in Zombieland: Headshot Feber, a horror shooter called Cosmodread, and some other titles. Slightly busier than last week but missing any games with a huge amount of name value, this week is still solid for VR. Highlighting this weeks new releases are a sequel to the memorable puzzle game Floor Plan, a new virtual reality shooter and archery title, and a game that is essentially Overcooked in virtual reality called Kitchen Island VR.

This weeks VR Game Roundup begins with Floor Plan 2, which is a sequel to the fan-favorite VR puzzle game that has players moving from one wacky room to another in order to collect items and make progress. This is a bit longer than the original chiming in at over four hours and it has the same comedic overtones of the original.

While this looks like a great sequel and early reviews are quite positive, this isnt the game to get if you are looking for a workout. Sure, you are interacting with objects but there isnt any urgency or constant motion as you are solving puzzles at your own pace. Its a great game to test your mind, though.

Developer and Publisher: Turbo Button

Release Date: April 1, 2021

Compatible With: Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest

Update Price: $24.99

Link: Oculus Store (Quest) and Oculus Store (Rift)

New to the Oculus Store is Omega Blade, which is an extremely varied action game for the Oculus Quest. This fast-paced title has you taking on many different types of challenges that feature melee combat, gun battles and more. Youll face off against different types of enemies in stages as you attempt to set a high score for each challenge.

The faster-paced challenges will definitely test your endurance and give you a solid workout. You should look to make wide movements and really exaggerate your attacks to get the most movement in for melee combat, while the other types will test your reflexes. Due to its unique blend of styles, this winds up being a well-rounded title and workout.

Developer and Publisher: Manuel Pasamontes Romera

Release Date: April 1, 2021

Compatible With: Oculus Rift

Price: $4.99

Link: Oculus Store

Potentially the best fitness game releasing this week is Aria, an archery title that has you shooting to the rhythm of classical music such as Tchakovski, Wagner, and Handel. With enemies running at you from all directions, your archery skills and reflexes will be tested here.

Archery titles have always been great arm workouts. This looks to be no exception as you use both hands to bring the bow back and fire off arrows at enemies. With a fast pace and some great rhythm game elements, this looks to be a solid addition to any Rift owners fitness gaming library at a very low price.

Developer and Publisher: Gregory Campion

Release Date: April 1, 2021

Compatible With: Oculus Rift.

Price: $3.99

Link: Oculus Store

The final title in our VR Game Roundup this week is Kitchen Island VR, which essentially takes the gameplay from the popular cooperative multiplayer title Overcooked and translates it into virtual reality. However, it is a Steam Early Access release, which means it isnt feature complete. Currently, players get access to five normal stages and a boss battle that will test their skills. Additional recipes and even a competitive multiplayer mode are in the works and expected to arrive in the next year or so.

What makes Kitchen Island VR so interesting is that you actually have to perform actions in order to get the food prepared compared to Overcooked, where it was as simple as holding a button to chop vegetables. Here, you are doing the physical actions, which means skilled players will be able to get it done faster, and there is a higher skill ceiling. It also results in players moving frantically and getting in a decent arm workout while playing.

Developer and Publisher: VR Buddy Games

Release Date: March 31, 2021

Compatible With: Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality.

Price: $6.29 ($6.99)


That does it for this weeks edition of the VR Game Roundup. Let us know in the comments below if you are picking up any of the new releases this week, like Kitchen Island VR.

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This Weeks VR Game Roundup: New Archery Game, Kitchen Island VR - VR Fitness Insider

Best New Android Games This Week: The Wake, Quick Fire, Dual Summoners, and More – DroidGamers

The last few weeks of Android game releases have been very productive. Weve had Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy VIII, Dungeon of the Endless: Apogee, Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, and several other fantastic games, some of which weve been waiting a long time for.

Bear that in mind when you sift through this weeks roster of notable new releases. Were not slamming the games below theyre all solid games that will give you hours of entertainment.

But we hope things pick up next week.

The Wake is already available on Steam, and its an award-winner. This inventive narrative puzzle-adventure is the third in Somis Guilt trilogy. It exploring a record of the roots for guilt, and the memories and emotions that chain together three generations of a family. Where is it set? At a funeral. Gameplay-wise, The Wake sees you solving text-based ciphers.

Chicken Boom 2 is the simplest sort of fun, with the simplest sort of presentation. This unpreposessing sequel from AAGH Games doesnt look like much, but its surprisingly fun if you can ignore the school project aesthetic.

Like last weeks Pureya, Quick Fire is a mini-game collection. Its funny how games from the same genre sometimes show up in clusters. Quick Fire contains 50+ mini-games covering everything from driving a car to popping balloons. The twist is that it gets progressively faster as you play, so every attempt is doomed to end in frenetic failure.

When you get right down to it, match-three puzzling is the best smartphone gaming genre. Its casual, accessible, convenient, and eminently swipey. Duel Summoners is a match-three puzzler with a twist, albeit not a unique one. Youre playing against an opponent, clearing gems to summon heroes, and then clearing their skill blocks to summon their skills.

Sixth Extinction is the second depressing on this list. Described in the trailer as a dark, atmospheric puzzle game a story-driven game about revenge, extinction, and violence, Sixth Extinction is an hour-long narrative puzzler with hand-drawn art and poetic narration. It doesnt look like a laugh a minute, but it contains an important revelation about both yourself and the world you live in. And that spells fun.

Best New Android Games This Week: The Wake, Quick Fire, Dual Summoners, and More - DroidGamers

It Takes Two review: This is how it runs on PC – Laptop Mag

It Takes Two is the essential co-op experience, presenting an amalgamation of mechanics and designs originating from the most revered multiplayer genres. It refuses to let the player rest, barraging them with plenty of excellent ideas. Although not every one of these ideas stick, they always feel different enough to justify their existence.

Both narratively and mechanically, the game expects the player to travel a mile a minute as they explore new worlds, gain new abilities and decipher clever puzzles. As a cherry on top, all of this is set to an adorable backdrop featuring a bickering couple pushed along on their journey by an irksome book of love.

It Takes Two takes a head-butting, married couple, Cody and May, and throws them into an unwilling journey full of shenanigans that challenge them to repair their relationship. The two had decided to divorce, and although they seemed dead set on this decision, their daughter is unhappy with the circumstances. She pulls out a love therapy book and wishes on it, asking the author (Dr. Hakim) to help the duo become friends again. She then takes two handmade figures of her parents and roleplays as if they loved each other again, uncontrollably shedding tears that land directly on them.

Cody and May find themselves shrunk down into clay and wooden forms, respectively. This obviously causes the couple to panic, but nonetheless, they work together to reach their daughter and ask for help. However, Dr. Hakim, a living incarnation of the book with goofy arms and legs, causes an enormous amount of trouble. He refuses to assist Cody and May in returning to their normal forms until they repair their relationship, inciting a series of wacky events that take the player through many unique settings.

Cody and May frequently banter and are often quite critical of each other, but as the game progresses, we subtly see their rudeness diminish. And although they dont love each other anymore, these circumstances (and hatred for the obnoxious Dr. Hakim) creates a sense of kinship where they must work together to get what they want. This leads to scenes that are heartbreaking; one in particular seemed as if it were straight out of a horror film. However, to avoid spoilers, I wont go into further detail.

Its hard to identify It Takes Two as belonging to a single genre, as it can be a puzzler, platformer, racer, third-person shooter, stealth game, hack-and-slash, isometric dungeon crawler, fighter, or flight simulator.

The puzzle aspect of It Takes Two is the most prominent, as Cody and May receive a designated gadget depending on the area theyre exploring. These usually synergize quite well, and are necessary for the gauntlet of puzzles present within each environment.

For example, throughout the Clocktower chapter, Cody gains the ability to modify time while May can speedily teleport to clones of herself. With this, Cody plays a supportive role to assist May in progressing through the level. In another chapter, May receives a hammer, which allows her to destroy obstacles and activate buttons that move platforms. Cody finds a projectile nail that lets him keep those platforms in place or create hinge points for May to swing across with her hammer. And when Cody gets a sap gun that lets him spew goop onto enemies, May receives a flame-propulsion rifle that lets her detonate that sap. Cody and May unlock plenty more of these abilities as they travel throughout the chapters.

To top it all off, there are 25 mini-games you can compete against your friend in, including chess, volleyball, musical chairs and snowball fights. To avoid spoilers, I wont reveal every single gimmick in It Takes Two, but with 13 hours of play time, the amount of diverse ideas are undeniably impressive.

Fundamentally, the purpose of these mechanics makes the title of the game relevant: it takes two players to get anything done. The entirety of It Takes Two relies on you and your friend working together to figure things out, as a majority of abilities, battles and puzzles require synergy between Cody and May in order to emerge successful.

Since It Takes Two features a conglomeration of genres and ideas, its unsurprising that not all of them land. In particular, the third-person shooting mechanics and dungeon-crawler portion never match up to the greatness of the platforming and puzzling segments.

The section where Cody attains a sap gun and May can detonate that sap with her rifle is fun, but its one of the less engaging parts of the game. Unlike other third-person shooters, the player is stuck with a single weapon as they battle through waves of killer wasps. This means most fights operate similarly, requiring a consistent use of the same strategy from the player to proceed.

However, the battles do get exciting again when new antagonists and bosses are introduced, as the Wasp Queen has engaging phases which require the player to jump over hazards, target weak spots, and slide across the field to dodge a terrifying amount of enemies trying to smash the duo. And players need to be careful with the Shield Wasp enemy, as their front is immune to sap, which means May needs to act as a distraction as Cody positions himself behind the enemy and strikes.

The puzzle sections of this chapter are far better. With the sap gun, Cody can weigh down objects to assist May in traversing gaps, while May can detonate sap to destroy obstacles in their way. For example, players will face an obstacle involving eight locks keeping a lid in place. To proceed, Cody needs to line up the sap along the side of the lid in a way that allows May to detonate all of them in a chain reaction. However, the sap gun isnt infinite, so Cody needs to be careful in how he positions the liquid. Another section requires Cody to use his sap gun to move wheels that allow May to jump between them. Each puzzle feels different, yet most of the combat sections get old pretty quickly when there arent new elements to keep things fresh.

It Takes Two also has an underwhelming dungeon-crawler level. Although the existence of this idea is exciting, it suffers from the same faux pas as the third-person shooting portions: a lack of puzzles and a focus on repetitive combat sections. Thankfully, the level only lasts about ten minutes, but its one of the weaker parts of the game.

It Takes Two doesnt just present mechanical variety; it also takes players on a rollercoaster as they explore dozens of diverse setpieces. Cody and May will find themselves battling wasps inside of a tree, flying mechanical birds around a clocktower, bouncing atop pillow forts in space, skating around a town inside of a snowglobe, riding spiders throughout a lush garden, exploring the gates of heaven inside a violin, and much more.

All of these ideas are accompanied by staggering environmental detail and a gorgeous array of colors. While exploring the garden, theres an assortment of brown mushrooms, mossy stones, rich green grass, corrupted tree bark, nuts that crack under the players feet, little insects that traverse clear paths, and oversized man-made objects that provide a proper sense of scale.

And when Cody and May take flight upon mechanical birds, the sight of dusky mist dancing around the lifeless forest contrasts beautifully with the soft light emanating from the clocktowers entrance. This atmosphere is unsettling, but it also instills a desire to reach the safety of the light as soon as possible.

It Takes Two isnt a difficult puzzle game. In fact, only once throughout the entire journey did my friend and I get stuck for more than a few minutes. However, puzzles utilize each gimmicks mechanical foundation incredibly well, and considering that both Cody and May need to work together to get things done, finding solutions often feels satisfying.

Traversing hazardous obstacle courses that another player has control of is often hilarious. This creates an amusing tension when one fails the other, and creates an even greater sense of kinship when they succeed. Even when a puzzle isnt remotely challenging, It Takes Two often wows with its cool application of each mechanic.

When Cody and May each receive one half of a magnet, the two can activate them at the same time to slam into one another and reach platforms that were otherwise inaccessible. Cody eventually gets the ability to turn into plants, and as the couple try and stealth past a few adorable moles in the garden, Cody transforms into the grass that May sneaks through. When the couple is falling to their doom, Cody unwinds time and tries to assist May in traversing a gauntlet of platforms to get to safety. All of these moments had me saying, Wow, thats cool out loud.

However, I do wish that It Takes Two had more challenging puzzles that made full use of each mechanic in ways that really test the players skill and knowledge. These wouldnt have to be part of the campaign, instead acting as off-the-beaten-path side quests. It could be similar to the Helltower in the Clocktower chapter, which was a completely optional platforming challenge that took quite a bit of time to get done.

Although It Takes Two has charismatic protagonists, intense story twists and exciting pacing, its finale leaves a lot to be desired. To avoid spoiling the climax, I wont reveal exact details, but a major conflict is unveiled shortly after the last chapter of the game. And when this happened, I assumed that players would have to trudge through another exciting world with new gimmicks and mechanics to resolve the problem.

However, this isnt the case. This plot point finds its resolution only a couple of minutes after its actually revealed, which is strange considering its the most important narrative beat in the game.

Its also quite strange how its delivered to the players. Spoiler warning for the second half of the story: Dr. Hakim sends Cody and May to four different worlds to find the pieces of a destroyed note that their daughter wrote to them. This plot point is delivered to the couple on this note, but only when they return to normal. If the game had delivered this conflict while they were still in clay and doll form, we could have experienced the exciting climax I was hoping for.

It Takes Two turned out to be a bugless experience. At most, there were moments where it felt like the lock-on feature wasnt locking on properly, but this only happened a few times in the Tree chapter. However, I had an issue with the games performance.

It Takes Twos special effects caused stuttering on my PC (even with Effects Quality on Low). Dr. Hakim brings a ton of pink confetti with him whenever he teleports into a scene, and this is often when my PC would stutter. The existence of other effects, from gigantic explosions to magical abilities, would cause similar issues.

I tested It Takes Two on my desktop, which is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 GPU with 4GB of VRAM and an Intel Core i7-6700K CPU. When I initially launched the game with all settings on High, the opening cutscene was full of stutters. After a bit of messing around, I played the game at 1080p with some settings on High, but for the most part, I kept most of them on either Medium or Low. With this set-up, I managed a pretty consistent 45-50 frames per second.

Quality presets can be changed between Low, Medium and High. This alters the quality of textures, shadows, details, effects, shaders and post-processing. Anti-Aliasing can be switched between FXAA, Temporal AA, MSAA 2x and MSAA 4x. Anisotropic filtering can also be put at 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, or none. Frame rates can go between 30, 60, 120 or unlocked. Theres also a slider available for resolution scale, which goes from 50% to 200%. V-Sync is also available.

The minimum requirements to run It Takes Two includes Windows 8.1 or 10, an AMD FX 6100 CPU or Intel Core i3-2100T CPU, 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R7 260X GPU or Nvidia Geforce GTX 660 GPU and 50GB of free storage space.

The recommended requirements to run It Takes Two includes Windows 8.1 or 10, an AMD Ryzen 3 1300X CPU or Intel Core i5 3570K CPU, 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon R9 290X GPU or Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 GPU and 50GB of free storage space.

It Takes Two is comparable to an amusement park. There are plenty of attractions to engage with, and while not all of them are excellent, the overall experience is enhanced thanks to the staggering number of diverse concepts. The game could not work without its variety, as some of the existing ideas would fall flat if the player were expected to commit to them for more than an hour. On the other hand, some of the best gimmicks could have used further application, perhaps in the form of optional challenges hidden throughout chapters.

However, the narrative needed an extra chapter to solidify the intensity of its finale. Revealing an unforeseen conflict that the couple resolve in only a couple of minutes with no gameplay in between makes the conclusion feel unearned.

Regardless, It Takes Two is chock full of creative puzzles, beautiful environments and unique mechanics. Its one of the best co-op games out there, and its a great choice for parties of two looking for a way to spend 13 hours together.

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It Takes Two review: This is how it runs on PC - Laptop Mag

Pillars of Active Aging – Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health – LNP | LancasterOnline

Photo: Nastasic via

Just as weightlifting builds muscles, many experts agree that doing brain exercises helps strengthen your mind as you age. But beware - digital diversions are everywhere even for older adults. Research shows that Americans ages 60 and over have increased screen time by nearly 30 minutes a day over the past decade.

While scrolling through news feeds and playing mobile games might be mentally stimulating, spending hours falling down a digital rabbit hole can disrupt sleep, cause headaches and eye strain, and other physical problems. Shutting down your smartphone, tablet, and computer to do old school puzzles and games is an easy trade-off that curbs screen time and helps boost your brainpower. Follow these ideas to get started!

Playing mobile word games is undeniably fun, but traditional newspaper subscribers may argue that theres something special about the look, smell, and feel of actual newsprint. Sitting down with a pencil or pen to do the local papers daily or weekly crossword puzzle engages multiple senses, cuts screen time, and gives your brain a workout.

A Harvard Health report suggests that brain-stimulating challenges like crosswords may help sharpen certain thinking skills that tend to wane with age, such as processing speed, planning skills, reaction time, decision making, and short-term memory. Likewise, doing number puzzles like Sudoku flexes memory functions, engages logical reasoning skills, and helps increase concentration.

If you dont get the paper, you can buy crossword, word finds, Sudoku, or Variety books with hundreds of different puzzles at a newsstand, supermarket, or bookstore. Tackling new mental challenges is also good for brain health, so be sure to try several and mix up puzzles you love with ones youve never tried!

Doing a jigsaw puzzle engages multiple cognitive functions. To put pieces in their proper place and reveal the final big picture, you must recognize patterns, discern colors and shapes, use your memory and even rotate pieces in your mind to determine where they do and dont fit. The more complex a picture is and the more pieces a puzzle has, the more your brain will work to solve it. Plus, putting a puzzle together with family and friends is a fun way to connect! Doing puzzles related to your hobbies and interests like Disney characters, fields filled with colorful flowers, different breeds of dogs, or anything else you like can make the project visually stimulating and more fun.

Beat Boredom with Board Games

Theres no better way to beat the digital doldrums than having a game night with family and friends - virtual game nights count, too! Classic games like Checkers, Dominos, and Chess involve strategic thinking to defeat your opponent. Word-related board games like Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, and Dabble help stimulate memory, sharpen focus, and promote learning new vocabulary. Whether youre using deductive reasoning to guess whodunit in Clue or attempting to broker a property trade in Monopoly, the wide array of game night options can provide hours of fun social interactions while you exercise multiple parts of your brain.

Playing card games like Poker, Bridge, Pinochle, Euchre, and Rummy have brought players together around a table to shuffle, cut, deal, and hope for a favorable hand for decades. Games like these require strategy, math skills, reasoning, logic, decision-making, and more! If youre not feeling up for a virtual card game with others, Solitaire will forever be a tried and true favorite.

Overall, staying mentally fit is an essential part of a healthy, active aging lifestyle. Any of these suggestions offer a fun way to take a break from electronic devices and give your brain the workout it needs!

At Luthercare, we believe when real passion is born, people catch a glimpse of their full potential andPotential is Ageless!For more information about how Luthercare can help you age actively, please visitLuthercare.orgor give us a call at717.626.1171

Pillars of Active Aging - Old School Puzzles And Games To Promote Active Aging Brain Health - LNP | LancasterOnline

Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game – Pocket Gamer

Look Closely at the Board

Tvinnr is a mind game of sorts, so it's good to definitely take your time a bit. Look at your board closely and see what move you want to make next. It's almost as if you're playing checkers with the CPU. See what the game is trying to throw at you.

The good thing is that you can take your time since there's no clock to worry about. I know that sometimes we can be impatient at times, but you'll feel good once you score a couple of combos. You never know where the best combo is going to come from, so that's why it's good to look thoroughly.

With so many blocks and colors, it can be a bit confusing. That said, if you keep your board as empty as possible (which is the goal), you'll be able to see everything better. This will also give you more flexibility on where you want to move your blocks to create those combos.

This goes without saying, and you might do this already, but Tvinnr is a great game to play while listening to a bit of music. It's a tranquil game that allows you to sort of customizing how you want to play. If you enjoy some light, calm music, then that'll work perfectly.

Maybe you enjoy listening to talk radio like I do, then that's another solid option. Podcasts work well too and share the radio vibes. Whatever you're feeling like, Tvinnr gives you the option to enjoy your own sounds while you connect blocks and score points.

This seems like an immensely small feature, but on social media, it's actually a pretty big deal, and so that can easily be the same for Tvinnr. The game gives you the option of choosing either a Light mode or a Dark mode theme for your experience.

Choose the one that you feel will be the easiest on your eyes. Experiment a bit and see which one feels best to you. It can make your gameplay more enjoyable from a viewing standpoint. Or, perhaps you can swap back and forth. This will give you a couple of options.

Some might switch based on what time of day it is. This is another route you can go if you so wish. But, if you choose one; do you want to shine with the light? Or do you want the embrace the darkness? The choice is yours, solver of puzzles.

Tvinnr: Basic tips to help you enjoy this relaxing puzzle game - Pocket Gamer

Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch – The Next Web

Can a video game make you cry? Its cliche as old as time. I think it was Steven Spielberg who talked about it in the late 90s. Infamous game industry charlatan Peter Molyneux was obsessed with the concept around the same time. It was discussed so much back then, that the discourse itself made me want to cry.

Surely people cried when Aeris died in Final Fantasy VII, others might have cried when Mario found out that the princess was in another castle. All that is to say that everyone has different emotional responses to works of art, and mine is comparable to that of an unfazed cow.

Im not sure if cows can feel emotions at all, but I am sure that a piece of media never made me cry. Thats not a brag, I wish I was the type to ball my eyes out at a gorgeous movie or a heart wrenching video game, but thats just not me. I didnt well up during The Last of Us and I didnt weep at the end of Titanic. Very cool and masculine, I know.

Playing Maquette, however, made me a little teary eyed.

Its developers describe Maquette as a first-person recursive puzzle game, which is technically correct but theres a lot more to it than that.

The game tells the story of a relationship that (spoiler, sorry) eventually goes stale. Its voice-acted by Bryce Dallas Howard (The Mandalorian) and her real-life husband Seth Gabel (Nip/Tuck), and it takes the player on a journey from the very start of the fling to its depressing end.

The story unfolds as you complete puzzles that are built around the games recursive setup. Its a bit hard to describe, but you basically have to manipulate objects in different sized copies of the world youre in.

At the start of the game you encounter a maquette thats an exact replica of the bigger environment you walk around in. You pick up a tiny little cube outside the maquette and you place it inside the miniature, where it forms a huge box that you can then use to traverse a gap.

The concept starts off pretty straightforward, but as you get deeper into the game youll have to wrack your brain on a bunch of complicated and beautifully crafted challenges.

The puzzle design in Maquette is top-notch and I had a lot of fun messing around to come up with a solution. Sometimes the controls and the mechanics were a bit finicky, but with some patience youll probably get through the whole thing without much frustration.

You dont often see games tackling real, human stories about mundane stuff like relationships, so it was refreshing to see Maquette tackle the subject. Both the writing and the voice acting are top-notch and the subject matter blends with the gameplay way better than youd expect.

Maquette is out today for PC, PS4, and PS5. PlayStation Plus members get it for free as part of their subscription, others will have to pay $19.99. If youre in the market for a well-designed puzzle game that tugs at the heartstrings, its well worth it.

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Maquette is a neat puzzle game that packs an emotional punch - The Next Web

Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 – Rock Paper Shotgun

Horaszdttir will bend us to her will to tell you about many different games we await this year. Just check the Most Anticipated 2021 tag to see colletions of all the genres as they appear.

Oh thank goodness, reader. It is almost over. We feel the influence of the mighty Horaszdttir receding. This is it: the last time this year that we must submit to her will, and receive her prophecy of the games yet to come. One last time for this winter, she draws turkeys from her eternal flock to auger the future from their innards. She comes closer, her breath hot and foul upon our ears, and whispers with a smile (oh! Her bloodstained teeth!) a final word: indie.

We are aware that Horaszdttir may be simplistically squashing in a lot of disparate games and developers under one unhelpful banner with this one, but look, they wouldn't fit easily into other categories, and frankly Horaszdttir has a lot on her plate what with tending to a huge flock of angry birds.

What is it? A remake and reimagining of Abes Exoddus, one of the all-time 2D platforming greats.Who's it by? Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc.When is it out? April 6th

Ollie: Its hard to overstate how excited I get when someone says Oddworld. Abes Oddysee and Abes Exoddus were my childhood. I am utterly incapable of looking at Oddworld: Soulstorm objectively. So just bear that in mind.

But oh my god, Soulstorm looks like such a treat so far. Abes Exoddus is still one of the most imaginative and characterful platformers Ive ever played. If they manage to capture the old Oddworld magic while also making every part of the game look as sumptuous as Im seeing in the trailers, and simultaneously throwing in new mechanics like crafting, new enemies and so on... Ill be very happy indeed. Soulstorm is less of a faithful screen-by-screen remake than New N Tasty was, but the amount of excitement it generates in me to say Ill soon be playing what effectively amounts to a new Oddworld game is making me vibrate slightly in my seat while Im typing this.

What is it? 2D crafting puzzle game about being a well cool crone and doing crone stuff in a forest.Who's it by? Alientrap, Whitethorn DigitalWhen is it out? 2021

Alice Bee: I played the demo for Wytchwood last year and was on board almost instantly. I love the little scratchy-clawed witch, who wears an upside-down pot on her head and is being given quests by a very demonic goat. The animation is lovely - just look at the way she sort of bounces as she trots around her forest home.

As the witch (or possibly wytch) you're up to various witchy deeds, which end up requiring you to solve lots of puzzles in the local area. You need the hair of the dog, but the dog in question belongs to a woodsman and is a bit rowdy, so to quiet it down you need a spell. Maybe the ingredients include feathers, so you'll need a snare to catch a bird when it lands. And so on and so forth, in a fun little chain. I know, notionally, the witch is meant to be, I dunno, bad? But she seems pretty chill. I am Team Witch.

What is it? Top-down adventuring that looks like a Studio Ghibli made a SNES game.Who's it by? Pixpil, ChucklefishWhen is it out? TBA

Katharine: Eastward was on my big exciting games list last year, but alas, delays have pushed back its release yet again. Here's hoping Pixpil's sumptuous 16-bit era-style adventure game emerges again this year, because golly, I just want to soak in all those gorgeous pixel sprites until the end of time.

It's a bit like Studio Ghibli meets The Legend Of Zelda, only here you're playing a big shaggy, beardy bloke who fights with a frying pan instead of a pointy-eared elf chap with a big sword. The beardy bloke is a miner called John, who discovers a strange girl called Sam with magical powers in a secret underground facility. Together, they make their escape, and it looks like you'll be spending a lot of your time traversing the game's beautifully detailed environments as you search for answers about Sam's past, as well as trying to stop an evil miasma from devouring what's left of this handsome post-apocalypse. I cannot wait.

What is it? I fail to see what I need to explain that the title does not. Oh fine, it is a funny 2D action-adventure.Who's it by? Snoozy Kazoo, Graffiti GamesWhen is it out? 2021

Alice Bee: See Turnip Boy. He is a turnip. He is accused of tax evasion by the mayor. He likes ripping up documents, you see. I really like Turnip Boy. Anyway, to get out of the whole tax kerfuffle, Turnip Boy ends up going on a series of quests, involving killing a giant pig, and a snail not paying his rent, and lots of fun things. It's a bit Zelda-y, in that you have bomb plants to chuck around and puzzles to solve. But it will surprise you by setting up expectations and then subverting them. Also, Turnip Boy can find cool hats to wear. Honestly, it is so rare that I play a game that is trying to be funny and I actually find it funny, that I couldn't be more excited for this.

What is it? Surreal RPG adventure with turn-based combat and great writing.Who's it by? Studio ZevereWhen is it out? 2021

Alice Bee: That description is not all there is to She Dreams Elsewhere; it also looks great, too. Thalia has anxiety, and somehow wakes up in a sort of surreal, nightmare version of her waking world. The art, and limited colour palette, are absolutely striking - as is the deft writing describing Thalia's experience and relationships with her friends. I didn't entirely gel with the combat in the section of the demo that I played, but I'm keen to see if I can get to grips with it over the full game, especially because I want to see what happens to Thalia. Definitely one to watch.

What is it? Tony Hawk.Who's it by? Glass Bottom GamesWhen is it out? 2021

James: In SkateBird, youre a skateboarding bird. In tiny little environments you pull off sick kickflips and pop shuvits (leave me alone, I dont skate), grinding on book spines and using staplers as ramps. Described as "a game about trying your best", Im intrigued to see how it manages this. Its all well and good getting sick combos and mega points, but Im far from a skate game veteran, so Im hoping the birdies wont punish me for my incompetence.

By the looks of things it's a great entry point into the genre, though. Just have a look at the most recent trailer - the way those little wings flap mid-jump is the most precious thing in the world. Im envisioning a game in which me and all my homies are skating around our miniature cardboard parks, frantically flopping around, trying our hardest to fling our little round bodies around in the most elegant way possible, all the while vibing to the chill beats youd expect from a game about budgie Tony Hawks. Itll be nice to pretend Im a cute bird staying active, as opposed to my current reality of being glued to my office chair.

What is it? A slice-of-life adventure game with big Makoto Shinkai energy. Who's it by? Mojiken, Toge ProductionsWhen is it out? 2021

Katharine: I loved, loved, loved the chill slice-of-life vibes of A Space For The Unbound's free prologue demo when I played it last year, and I've been quietly looking forward to it ever since. Set in rural Indonesia in the late 90s, this narrative-driven adventure game follows the story of a young boy named Atma and his young friend Nirmala. It's classic coming of age stuff, with the added twist of Atma being able to 'space-dive' into the minds of others to find out exactly what makes them tick. That's not the only supernatural thing Atma will have to face on his journey, though, as there's also something more sinister at work that threatens to destroy the entire world. It looks like heavy stuff, but the good news is that there are plenty of pettable cats to nuzzle up with in between its big cosmic apocalypse moments, and that's something I'm 100% here for. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can try the prologue for free right now.

What is it? Noir detect-'em-up RPG where you are a private detective and literal raccoon.Who's it by? EggNut, Raw FuryWhen is it out? 2021

Alice Bee: We've mentioned Backbone a bunch of times, and I'm still well up for it. What I was most struck by in the demo (which you can still play on Steam) was the writing. In the course of your raccoon-y investigations around town, you naturally chat to people for info. The way the conversations flow and loop back around, but without any, "Wait, can you repeat that?" options make them, I think, the most natural dialogue I have ever seen in a video game. I still have some reservations about the ol' animals-as-metaphor-for-racism chestnut, but I'm trusting that the game is smart enough to play out its themes well. And, obviously, I am a fool for mystery games.

What is it? An isometric immersive sim from former Dishonored and Prey devs.Who's it by? WolfEye Studios, Devolver DigitalWhen is it out? 2021

Colm: From the people who brought you Prey and Dishonored, this action-RPG hangs its occult-soaked 10-gallon hat on immersive sim ideas. In this twisted, fantastical Red Dead Redemption, youre able to tackle objectives however you like, and characters will react to what you do. You can be the cowboy you want to be. And then the pigman. And then the werewolf.

Weird West has five playable characters: a protagonist and a main story, and four additional playable characters with their own quest lines. A cool wrinkle to this is that when you begin playing as a new character, previous characters will remain in the game world and can be recruited to your party. It reminds me of Metal Gear Solid 2, when Konami wanted to give players a different perspective on Snake by having him be your friend after the Tanker chapter. This is obviously already better, as you dont have to play as shit pre-MGS4 Raiden here. Hooray.

Its as simple as this: cowboys are cool, but cowboys in a stylish, contorted world full of monsters sounds even cooler. Fingers crossed WolfEye delivers.

Go here to see the original:
Our most anticipated indie games of 2021 - Rock Paper Shotgun

MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys – Pocket Gamer

TheCodingMonkeys have announced that the second game in their MonkeyBox series will be arriving for iOS on April 15th. It's called Cards! and will be the follow up to Polarized, which released in March last year. The MonkeyBox series of games are intended to be shorter, more experimental experiences.

Cards! then is a story-driven puzzle adventure that uses a deck of cards to depict its narrative. It promises to be simple to get the hang thanks to intuitive mobile controls, which will consist of a series of swipes and taps.

The App Store description of the game is deliberately vague, mentioning various locations you'll travel through, which include oceans, caves and deadly deserts alongside mentioning potential encounters with dangerous cats and a trip in a hot air balloon.

It certainly doesn't tell us an awful lot about what the story will actually be about, but that might be intentional on TheCodingMonkey's part, to keep their digital cards close to their chest. However, we do know that the world of Cards! is a dangerous one, so the choices you make may prove vital to your survival.

MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is available to pre-order now over on the App Store ahead of its release on April 15th. It will be a premium title that costs $1.99.

Continue reading here:
MonkeyBox 2: Cards! is an upcoming puzzle adventure game for iOS from TheCodingMonkeys - Pocket Gamer

Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch – TheXboxHub

Block pushing puzzle games are frequently added to any video game playing device. However, Gravifire on Xbox and Nintendo Switch is a unique one that also allows you to play with the forces of nature as you change the flow of gravity to get the blocks to their intended destination. And it can be downloaded right this very moment.

In Gravifire, the Green Fire has been abducted from their home planet and thrust into a series of puzzle rooms. Complete each room in order to return home. Are the aliens testing you, or are they making their own fun watching you struggle through the puzzles? Either way, there are 50 levels to complete before you can return home. Plus a bonus one if you can complete all 50.

Gravifire is a standard block pusher puzzle game with a unique twist; gravity manipulation. Control the direction of the force of gravity to help you solve the puzzles. And just when you think you have the hang of it, expect to have to solve them whilst dodging deadly lasers and other various traps designed to keep you abducted for as long as possible.

Our review is also live right now if you would like to know more.

Available to download right now with a slight discount if youre quick Gravifire on Xbox is a testing little puzzle game that should keep the brain ticking over for a couple of hours at least. Normally priced at 4.19, its a cheap way to fire up those brain cells too. Let us know in the comments if this unique take on a block pusher can part you with your cash. You can grab it from the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch too.

Game description:

GraviFire is a logic game that mixes the mechanics of movement and gravity. You need to put all the objects in the right places by controlling the character and the force of gravity. The Green Fire has been abducted by evil aliens, who force him to solve puzzles for tests. You need to pass all the tests to return the Green Fire back to his home. Looks like you are in for some serious brainstorming! Gravity, movement, deadly lasers What else the aliens have prepared? Features: Gravity control 50 mind-bending levels Many different mechanics Bright pixel graphics

See the rest here:
Play with Gravity in Gravifire on Xbox and Switch - TheXboxHub

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