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Trail Blazers Top 100: The Final Piece of the Contender Puzzle – Blazer’s Edge

The Trail Blazers 50-year anniversary season is temporarily on pause as the NBA goes on hiatus to slow the spread of COVID-19. During that break, Blazers Edge is counting down the top 100 Blazers: players, executives, and other influencers who made the franchise what it is today.

Games Played with Blazers: 557 Regular Season, 74 Postseason

*PTS: 10.5 | REB: 8.4 | OREB: 3.1 | FG%: 51.1%

*Statistics are pulled from a players time in Portland

Joined Club: June 1989, acquired from the New Jersey Nets for Sam Bowie and a first-round pick

Departed Club: July 1996, departed in free agency

Place in History: On June 24th, 1989, the Portland Trail Blazers made perhaps the greatest trade in franchise history, a move that ranks alongside selecting Maurice Lucas in the 1976 ABA expansion draft or Damian Lillard with the sixth overall pick in 2012. The funny thing is, they didnt trade for a superstar that day. Buck Williams had been an All-Star in New Jersey, but hed become the fourth man, at best, in Portlands new starting lineup. But oh, what a difference hed make.

Its curious that Williams was juxtaposed with Sam Bowie in that deal. Both were fine players, but they had polar opposite styles. Bowie, famously selected second in the 1984 NBA Draft, represented potential unfulfilled, a presumed franchise cornerstone who ended up a fragile spire. He was tall, lithe, a finesse player. The 68 Williams took the league by storm, becoming everything he was supposed to be and more. He brought life to the take no prisoners, give it 110% clichs, backing them up with muscle and attitude. He was a workman, showing up every day with all the tools needed to get the job done, refusing to quit until it was finished.

Rebounding and defense were Williams hallmarks. He averaged 12 boards a game during his first eight seasons in Jersey. His defensive win shares were obnoxious. Buck didnt block shots or generate turnovers. Hed get up into offensive players with that body, stick like crazy glue, and make them regret they even thought about setting up in his area. And that was all before they caught the ball. If they actually called for it, they better be sure they had some junk in the trunk to unpack, otherwise Buck was going to mail them home to momma.

When you just made six moves only to end up in the same spot you were before with 10 fewer seconds on the clock and no more options...congratulations! You just got defended by Buck.

Few Blazers fans remember that Williams could also score. He never shot below 50% from the field in his 17-year NBA career. He led the league in field goal percentage in 1990-91 and 1991-92, hitting over 60% of his attempts. He routinely averaged 17-18 points per game for the Nets, thrice being named an All-Star.

That wasnt his game in Portland, though. The minute he hit town, it was all about fitting in. His aggregate stats dropped when he came to the Blazers. This had nothing to do with ability. He was only 29 when he arrived; hed play until he was 37. But Buck knew what he was there for. He could have ridden out his time comfortably as a big name on the East Coast. Instead, he came West to chew bubblegum and win playoffs games...and he was all out of bubblegum. In fact, he probably stomped on the bubblegum factory during the trip over. Bubblegum hasnt recovered since.

News of the Williams trade brought sizzle back to the franchise. The Blazers had been running well enough for a few years behind the basic core of Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, Jerome Kersey, and Kevin Duckworth. Kiki Vandeweghe and Steve Johnson had both tried to lift that lineup over the top, but injuries interfered.

The year before Williams arrived, Portlands roster looked great on paper. When Vandeweghe appeared in only 18 games and Bowie 20, that paper got soggy. Infighting with Head Coach Mike Schuler further muddied the waters, and the Blazers plummeted from 53 wins to just 39.

Williams didnt play on paper. He suited up for 82 games, rain or shine. He could dead lift a moose if thats what it took. Raising up a roster already primed with great athletes and scorers would be piece of cake.

Throughout the Summer of 1989, Blazers players and broadcasters were forecasting a great season. A few even dared to mutter that the team was championship material. As it turned out, they werent far off.

Williams gave the team a sense of cohesion and professional pride. Players who had previously talked about how much they scored began talking about who they stopped that night. They quit gauging success by point total and started measuring the fear in opponents eyes. Bucks Blazers never let go of a rebound, never missed a chance to fast break, and if they ever lost, they didnt do it twice.

During Williams first three seasons, losing streaks were as rare as hens teeth. They only lost three or more games in a row four times, never losing more than four.

The conversation might as well have been:

Well, its time for our annual losing streak. How long should we make it this year? Four games?

Naw. Three.

Are you sure thats fair to the rest of the league? I mean, this only comes once a year.

Yeah, but were trying to win a title here.

And try they did.

Those Portland teams seemed to make the most of every opportunity. Single possession or entire season, they werent going to let go of it until they had wrung out everything possible.

Bucks own game mirrored that. He could post in the halfcourt when needed, executing basic moves to perfection. He was more of a slip in the seams guy, though. Hed wait until defenders were paying attention to Drexler or Porter, then hed slide to the hoop to catch a pass with surprisingly soft hands and dunk with scary authority. If the guards didnt get him the ball, hed lurk in the vicinity until they shot. If they made it, great. He wasnt concerned about his touches or numbers. But if they missed, the errant shot might as well have been a pass. Bucks dominant offensive rebounding kept opponents on their heels, praying they got the carom instead of watching him execute a demoralizing put-back slam.

The year before Williams came on board, the Blazers had the 14th best defensive rating in the league, finishing 19th in field goal percentage allowed. In Bucks first season they earned the 4th best defensive rating with the 4th best field goal percentage allowed. Thats an astronomical leap for a single season. And it only got better from there as the Blazers went on to win 59, 63, and 57 in consecutive seasons. During that span they made the Conference Finals each year, advancing to the NBA Finals in 1990 and 1992.

As 1993 and 1994 passed, the Drexler-era Blazers began to fade. One by one the beloved names dropped off: Duck, Clyde, then Terry and Jerome. The last man standing from that starting five was Buck. He played in Portland through 1996, departing to New York after logging 631 total games...only 25 fewer than he had played for the Nets, 480 more than Bowie had played in Portland.

All throughout his stay in Portland, the Blazers boasted higher-profile players than Buck Williams. Even so, nobody was more responsible for turning the talented, but under-achieving Trail Blazers of the 1980s into the monstrous, dominating machine of the early 1990s than he was. Williams became the proverbial final piece of the puzzle that completed the picture and made it all come together. A beautiful picture it was, too.

Williams would return to town to serve as an assistant coach under Nate McMillan from 2010-2012.

For giving Portland everything it expected and way more than it bargained for, for defense, commitment, and showing up every single night to work, for the rebounds and slam dunks and finally bridging the gap between talent and victory, Buck Williams earns the 20th spot on our Portland Trail Blazers Top 100 list.

Check out the work on the boards and the break.

Share your memories of Buck Williams below, and stick with us as we continue onward towards #1!

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Trail Blazers Top 100: The Final Piece of the Contender Puzzle - Blazer's Edge

Call Of The Sea : Experience The 1930s South Pacific in Adventure Game – Gamer Rewind

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The Call Of The Sea is coming to Xbox Game Pass and is a first-individual experience puzzle game set during the 1930s that recounts to the tale of Norah, a lady on the path of her missing spouse.

It is 1934 and Norah has crossed the sea as she continued looking for a missing spouse and his campaign. They disappeared on an island some place in the most distant scopes of the South Pacific.

There, Norah will locate an overlooked island heaven, lovely, however puzzling and loaded with the leftovers of a lost human advancement.

The game happens on an island in the South Pacific, loaded up with mysteries standing by to be uncovered. It is a story of secret, experience and self revelation.

A supernatural story of puzzle and self-disclosure, Call of the Sea is an affection letter to the experience game class that tails one ladys edgy excursion an excursion driven by adoration and aching. What unusual insider facts of the past does the island hold, and what may she uncover as she continued looking for reality?

The game, while glancing dazzling in its specialty area, likewise plants the seeds of a story loaded up with things not as they initially appear. Motivations from comparable games, for example, Firewatch could be caused to notice, and not just on the grounds that they share a similar voice entertainer either. The game is distributed by Raw Fury, whose index shows a varied scope of outside the box titles that share a breath of innovativeness; and no uncertainty checks Call of the Sea among them. And keeping in mind that it despite everything may be for some time before we get our hands on Campo Santos next undertaking; Call of the Sea is seeming to be in a decent situation to scratch that riddle.

The first trailer, uncovered during the introduction, affirmed that the game is in progress at engineer Out of the Blue and Raw Fury, the distributer of famous non mainstream games like Bad North and Kingdom: Two Crowns. All the while, it affirmed that it will be going to the XSX and Xbox One, and will likewise be accessible on Xbox Games Pass.

Also Read: Disintegration a New Sci-fi FPS from the co-creator of Halo coming in June, Here are all the details.

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Call Of The Sea : Experience The 1930s South Pacific in Adventure Game - Gamer Rewind

The Best Video Games of the Year (So Far) – Vulture

Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Square Enix Games, Media Molecule, Dotemu, Lizardcube, and Guard Crush Games Cardboard Computer, Nintendo,

Unlike the movie or live performance or nearly every other business, the video game industry has made it through the first few months of 2020 with its output only mildly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Thats partly due to coincidence theres a new generation of PlayStation and Xbox consoles scheduled to launch this holiday season, and that typically means a fallow first half of the year. But while its anyones guess what happens over the next few months, the last few have already brought plenty to enjoy. Here are some of the most interesting games to arrive in this highly unusual time. Hopefully they bring you some pleasure in a bad season.

The communal video game experience of the year, Animal Crossing: New Horizons was uniquely primed to be a hit. It had been seven years since the last game in the franchise 2013s New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. It was the first entry on the wildly popular Nintendo Switch. And it arrived just before the nation entered lockdown in response to a viral pandemic. As a low-stakes game about building, and then living in, your own community of friendly anthropomorphic animals, the game was quickly positioned as a balm for trying times. But it was also the first Animal Crossing where sharing your experience via social media was possible, making it more than just a game, but another place where culture can happen on a large scale.

A game that begins as a faithful recreation before slowly becoming something more ostentatious, Final Fantasy VII Remake takes a seminal role-playing game from 1997 and turns it into a rumination on fandom. Re-telling a story about eco-terrorist thrust into a conflict larger than they imagined while introducing a new mystery, Final Fantasy VII Remake is at times confounding but always provocative. It rounds this out with wonderfully complex combat, brainy but action-packed, a dense way of fighting for a dense story full of twists. Final Fantasy VII Remake could have just played the hits, and instead tried to do something stranger.

Theres a Bruce Lee quote about being like water formless, shapeless, something that fills the space its put in. Nioh 2 is a game where fighting monsters feels like being water. An action game set in a fantasy version of Japans Sengoku Era that casts players as a demon hunter caught in a struggle between warlords, Nioh 2 throws you in the deep end and challenges you to dazzle your way out of it. Theres an overwhelming array of weapons and skills to specialize in, but as you begin to get more familiar with your tools, you also become more expressive. Nioh 2 is difficult in a way that rewards creativity, making it one of the most satisfying games to master.

A beautiful experiment, Dreams asks players what they want to see in a video game, and then gives them the tools to bring it to life. Versatile for creatives and meme-makers without being intimidating, Dreams boasts an impressive range shooters, adventure games, puzzles, platformers, theyre all possible. Dont know where to begin? Games made and recommended by the developers at Media Molecule will show you whats possible. Dont want to make? Thats fine youll never run out of things to play.

Video games as a medium are poorly suited for immediacy development is too long a process, and far too labor-intensive, to react to current events. Kentucky Route Zero, however, has always felt of the moment. A surreal, Twin Peaks-esque narrative game about Conway, a delivery man trying to drop off a package via a secret highway, Kentucky Route Zero was released sporadically in parts beginning in 2011 before concluding in January of this year. Every part of Conways journey, old parts and new, feel specifically suited for right now. This is a game where characters learn that someone invented a new kind of debt, where a whiskey distillery ages its spirit in coffins, where everything seems off in a way thats likely bad but no one can really do anything about it. There is no game quite like Kentucky Route Zero, and we will be contemplating its story for a long time.

If youve ever played a Picross game, then you know about the pleasure of nonograms: a puzzle where a blank grid is notated with clues that tell you how many cells should be colored or blank in a given row. Complete one, and it forms a picture. Nonograms are among the most soothing logic puzzles you can play, and Murder By Numbers pairs them with a self-aware story about actors on corny detective show having to solve a real murder mystery. Cheesy in all the right ways, Murder By Numbers is a perfect entry point into the vast selection of nonogram games. Finish it, and you might not even need the excuse of a story to start your next one.

Beat-em-up arcade games are mostly a relic of the past, a reminder of an era when games were designed to be fun, but also to separate you from your quarters. Outside of nostalgia, theres little reason to revisit the genre, but Streets of Rage 4 is a pretty good argument against abandoning it altogether. Impressive in its purist approach you will find few of the trappings of modern video games here Streets of Rage 4 is just a finely tuned game about being a rad cartoon character that hits a lot of other cartoon characters. Its action feels great, and a simple-but-versatile arsenal of moves give you a perfect idea of how you can navigate and control the space around your character. In keeping with the arcade experience, Streets of Rage 4 is best experienced with a friend, online or right next to you.

The most relatable game on this list, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is about trying to be a pop star by day and a demon slayer by night. A re-release of an obscure title from the little-loved Wii Us catalog, 2020 brings Tokyo Mirage Sessions to a stage big enough to appreciate it properly. Its an earnest story about Tsubasa Oribe, a girl who enters an American Idol-esque competition, only to find that it was co-opted by demons called Mirages, and that her innate talent lets her transform, Power Rangers-style, into a warrior that can defeat them. Completely ridiculous and equally committed, Tokyo Mirage Sessions merges bubblegum pop and satisfying strategy for one of the most tonally unique games youll play this year.

Ori is an adorable little forest spirit whos made a new friend: Ku, an Owl. When the two are separated by a storm, an adventure begins. Gorgeously animated, Ori and the Will of the Wisps takes an earnest, heart-on-its-sleeve approach to the Metroid-style exploration game. As Ori, players will slowly explore a sprawling map, gaining new powers that allow Ori to go places he couldnt before, and confront frightening new foes hiding within. Ori doesnt bring much new to its well-worn genre, but there is pleasure in its sure-footed design, and its beautiful world.

I did not expect one of my favorite games this year to be a comedy about nepotism. In Good Job!, you play the bosss kid, given a hard hat and told to work your way up to the top of a nondescript office building. As you advance through the floors, you are given tasks to complete badly. Plug in a projector and create chaos running the cable through the office. Demolish a wall like the Kool-Aid man while trying to round-up employees late for a meeting. Move shipping containers across a warehouse while destroying everything else. Good Job! Made me laugh harder than a video game has in a long time by figuring out how to turn The Office into a killer puzzle game.

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The Best Video Games of the Year (So Far) - Vulture

Justin Tobin Reigns Crackables 2.0 Champ at Crackables 2.0 Grand Finale Sponsored by OnePlus and Verizon – PRNewswire

NEW YORK, May 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --After weeks of testing the wits of novice and experienced puzzle enthusiasts, Crackables 2.0 Grand Finale sponsored by OnePlus and Verizon was held live on May 7, streaming online, and hosted by game fanatic PrestonPlayz. Hailing from Oswego, Illinois, United States, Justin Tobin reigned supreme among the top 10 fastest players from around the world competing to win the Championship Title and a Grand Prize of $10,000 USD. Tobin also received an additional $10,000 USD donated in his name to a charity of his choice supporting those affected by COVID-19.

Knocking his competitors out with over a 100-point lead, Tobin is no stranger to puzzles. Although Crackables 2.0 is a mobile puzzle game, he credits this win to his time spent offline.

"Puzzle games are actually one of the few types of games I am reasonably good at and what makes up most of my game library," Tobin said. "I actually spend more time solving puzzles from puzzle hunts and magazines than gaming."

With finalists from across the United States, France, Lebanon, Hungary, Slovenia and the Netherlands playing on the blazing-fast OnePlus 8 5G UW smartphone available at Verizon, Tobin made a big splash all from the comfort of his home in Illinois. Now that he has won, Tobin is excited to announce he will be donating $10,000 to the American Red Cross to continue its live saving mission during this national pandemic.

An addictive, crypto-puzzle phenomenon originally conceptualized in partnership with Google and created by UNIT9, Crackables 2.0 used digital puzzles as the core of the experience, enhanced with a state-of-the-art design, user-experience and cryptography. As thousands of eager viewers tuned in, the Crackables 2.0 Grand Finale itself was created byInvisible North, which designed and built the virtual environment, inclusive of motion graphics and custom content including a remote-shot product reveal spot, both 2D & 3D elements and green screen technology that transported the viewers and players to a virtual arena.

About OnePlus

OnePlus is a global mobile technology company challenging conventional concepts of technology. Created around the "Never Settle" mantra, OnePlus creates exquisitely designed devices with premium build quality and high-performance hardware. OnePlus thrives cultivating strong bonds and growing together with its community of users and fans. For more information, please visit


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Justin Tobin Reigns Crackables 2.0 Champ at Crackables 2.0 Grand Finale Sponsored by OnePlus and Verizon - PRNewswire

Spark Genies, an innovative match-3 game, is out on Android. It’s pets, puzzles and pits! – Gamasutra

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]"Spark Genies - Hatch Combine Stash" is a unique mix of your classic match-3 and your team game - now out on Android!

In Spark Genies, players will find themselves enrolled as diggers matching and mining for treasures. In their quest to build a Museum like no other, they will have worthy companion creatures: the Spark Genies and their powers!

Players will enjoy a game with a totally different focus, innovating on many aspects.

Indeed, it's a match game, but it is not the same:

About Picking Pies

Our History:We are Picking Pies - a tiny team of game lovers aiming to create new things to love and play!

We are based in Spain and Picking Pies is an indie studio who started with a dream and a tiny tiny team. Strong of many years of experience in the free-to-play mobile games industry, we wanted to start our own projects and re-focus on the entertainment aspect of games. Spark Genies is the stepping stone in this long-term vision: a project made based on what we know best to build upon. As knowledgeable as we are, to reach the quality we aimed for, we spared no efforts and faced many challenges - a story worthy to be played.

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Spark Genies, an innovative match-3 game, is out on Android. It's pets, puzzles and pits! - Gamasutra

The best video games in recent years for Xbox, Nintendo and PS4 –

Video games have grown increasingly popular among anyone working from home or otherwise obeying stay-at-home orders. In fact, some gained popularity among unexpected audiences long before COVID-19 spread around the world. If youre looking for an engaging pastime during your time at home, heres some good news: Video games on multiple gaming consoles have gotten really good in the past decade. Whether youre exploring the world of gaming for the first time or returning after a long hiatus, here are some great titles from the past year or two thatll have you hooked.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of those games that blurs the line between game and life simulator. Set in a fictional version of the 1899 Wild West, you play as outlaw Arthur Morgan and explore an open world of near-infinite possibilities. You can spend your time furiously taking down rival gangs or wandering into bars and playing Blackjack or following the adventures in the story. The game had a notable opening weekend and won dozens of awards so its a worthy play. And dont worry, its a prequel, so you dont need to play the original to understand whats going on.

If you grew up with video games, you know the name Doom. In 2016, Id Software rebooted the classic franchise renewing the same fast-paced demon slaying we came to love in the 90s. Doom: Eternal is the most recent installment, and if youre looking for a mostly-mindless, heavy-metal-fueled slaughter fest in a video game, you cant go wrong with this classic.

If youre a fan of the TV show Firefly, youll probably enjoy The Outer Worlds. This science fiction role-playing game puts you in the middle of a corporation-ruled solar system, leading your hand-crafted character on a mission to recruit a team, explore the solar system through a series of tough moral decisions, and save the world(s). Notably, theres a healthy dose of dark humor awaiting you along the way this is not to be confused with Outer Wilds, an also-well-reviewed space exploration game.

If demons, cowboys and failing space colonies are a bit too dark for your tastes, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect getaway from the days stresses. Its only available on the Nintendo Switch and is one of those relaxing games where you can do just about anything: Create a character, build a house and otherwise live in your own hand-crafted island paradise with or without your online friends.

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If youve played video games before, you may be familiar with the controller-smashing frustration that comes after your character dies for the 19th time fighting a boss you just cant beat. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a ninja-fueled action game packed with an awful lot of that frustration, dialed to 11. Its punishing difficulty may not be for everyone, but if you have the patience to learn from your mistakes, the success can taste sweeter than any youve ever experienced. Theres a reason it won Game of the Year at the 2019 Game Awards.

Technically, The Witcher 3 came out five years ago, but Im fudging the numbers because it only recently came out for the Nintendo Switch not to mention its now a Netflix show and because its just that good. In this open-world fantasy game, you play Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter in search of his adopted daughter and his long-lost lover. Youll battle monsters, take part in a continent-wide war and fall in love in one of the most awarded video games of all time. You dont need to play the first two games before jumping into this one, though you could watch the first season of the Netflix series if you want the backstory before doing so.

If youre looking to relive your retro-game-laden childhood in modern fashion, its a tough call between Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch and Tetris Effect for the PS4 and PC, but Tetris Effect is such a cool take on the classic puzzle game that its hard to ignore. Between new game modes, an immersive VR experience and a killer electronic soundtrack that meshes perfectly with the gameplay, this renewed version of Tetris will get you addicted all over again.

Plenty of games allow for online multiplayer gaming, but Overwatch hits a sweet spot that few others can: Its enjoyable whether youre a hardcore gamer or a casual, once-in-a-while player. While it was technically released in 2016, its still hugely popular, with new heroes added every few months and a sort-of sequel on the horizon. Whether you want something you can dig into for months or something you can pick up and play in 15-minute bursts, Overwatch is a fantastic choice.

There are plenty of games to consider, of course. Below, we list Amazon's bestselling video games for different gaming consoles.

Whitson Gordon is a freelance technology writer with bylines in the New York Times, Popular Science Magazine, PC Magazine and more. Previously, he was the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker and How-To Geek.

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The best video games in recent years for Xbox, Nintendo and PS4 -

This digital escape room is popular with teams and families – Fast Company

In a world inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, you and your fellow adventurers are tasked with working together to break a witchs curse and escape from an enchanted forest. To find the clues, youll need to choose whether to first visit a series of mysterious castles or speak to a set of magical animals, knowing that only some of them will tell you the truth.

This isnt a video gameits an online version of an escape room, the trendy pastime thats mostly been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. Puzzle Break, an escape room company with four U.S. locations, a presence on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and a traveling program that visits business conventions, devised a virtual version of its challenge the Grimm Escape that can be played by remote teams during virus lockdowns. Its proven popular with companies looking for virtual team-building activities, part of the Seattle-based companys usual customer base. And, it turns out, its also become a hit with groups of friends and relatives looking for something to do together online while most in-person activities are suspended.

Almost as an afterthought, we put up games for consumer audiences on nights and weekends, and those were selling out immediately, says Puzzle Break cofounder and CEO Nate Martin. The company charges a list price of $35 per player, with a current discount to $25.

An online game selling out might seem unusual, but capacity is limited since the Grimm Escape isnt exactly a video game. Its an experience where players closely interact with Puzzle Break staff members, dubbed fairy godparents in the games context, who can guide players, verify puzzle answers, and offer customized hints to the perplexed. Teams ordinarily have their own dedicated guide, although one employee might supervise multiple teams if a corporate or other group has multiple teams playing at once.

We engineer all of these puzzles to lean into the fact that theyre kind of curated by our staff, Martin says.

Players interact with each other and Puzzle Break employees through a videoconferencing system, typically Zoom, and access puzzle elements through a file-sharing system, usually Google Drive, although alternative technologies can be used if theyre more convenient for corporate customers. To keep things moving, players are asked to designate a team oracle, who usually shares their screen with other players; an ambassador to the fairy godparent who takes charge of interactions with Puzzle Break; and an official scribe, who takes notes on whats transpired so far.

[Photo: courtesy of Puzzle Break]An online escape room cant replicate some of the aspects of a physical space, such as clues hidden in props. Nor can it mimic the pop-up escape experiences Puzzle Break brings to corporate events, which assume players are all in the same space. Instead, players sift through images and other files in a shared folder to explore the puzzles they need to solve. Some challenges focus more on scouring images for clues, such as one revolving around a series of images of fairy-tale castles, while others emphasize language and logic, like one involving figuring out which of those magical animals speak the truth and which only tell lies.

As teams make their way through puzzles, Puzzle Break employees drop new challenges into the shared folder, the equivalent of remotely unlocking a secret panel in a physical escape room.

The shared drive also includes an Adventuring 101 guide to the online escape room concept designed to help new players ramp up, as well as an entry-level videoconferencing guide. However, Martin says it turns out most players come to the experience already familiar with Zoom. Staffers typically give players a brief tour of the files and interface as they begin.

You cant assume that every single player on every single team knows their way around Google Drive, Martin says.

One of Puzzle Breaks IRL escape rooms. [Photo: courtesy of Puzzle Break]Visual, logic, and other sorts of puzzles are designed to appeal to players with varying interests and aptitudes. Thats a deliberate choice to make sure that even players skeptical of escape rooms or the general concept of interoffice fun can find a way to participate. Some of the best players have proven to be kids from ages roughly 10 to 14, according to Martin, but theres often a range of levels of experience and enthusiasm among different players on the same team that the games need to take into account.

You need to make sure that every single person on the team wants to be there and has buy-in, says Martin.

In practice, Martin says, many teams work through the puzzles together, exploring the files through a shared screen and often marking up the visual puzzles through Zooms annotation feature. As a result, a future version of the escape room is likely to include a connect-the-dots-style puzzle designed to encourage players to draw on the shared screen.

We kept seeing folks love annotating and drawing on the screen, says Martin, adding that the company has seen the new puzzle be a big hit in tests so far.

The online experience in general has proven successful enough that the company has been able to bring back some staffers who were initially put on furlough as a result of the pandemic, Martin says. Of about 20 primarily part-time employees put on furlough, roughly five have been brought back, and the company anticipates hiring more staffers within a few months to handle the growing demand. Unlike its existing escape experiences, which are typically limited to the United States, the online game has pulled in inquiries from would-be players from around the world through Puzzle Breaks website.

Embarrassingly late, we had to add a what-time-zone-are-you-in field, says Martin.

Puzzle Break is already planning to roll out a second virtual escape experience within the next few months. Its slated to be a kitschy hacking-themed game inspired by 1990s hacker movies. The company may also continue to offer online team-building experiences even after coronavirus-related restrictions ease.

This is still a great activity, Martin says. Its a lot easier to get everybody together in a teleconference than it is to get everybody together in a ballroom.

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This digital escape room is popular with teams and families - Fast Company

Xbox Game Pass: Everything Arriving and Leaving in May 2020 – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Every month, Microsoft adds and removes games from Xbox Game Pass. Here's what's subscribers are getting (and losing) in May.

Every month Microsoft adds new games to its hit gaming subscription service, Game Pass. Easily one of the best additions of this console generation, the serviceprovidesnew and old first-party, third-party and indie games, all available for a reasonable cost.

This month sees a combination of major triple-A hits, open-world games and RPGs coming to Game Pass, the most significant of which is the 2018 hit Red Dead Redemption II. However, the service is also losing some heavy-hitters this month. Fortunately, most of these don't leave until May 15, so you still have some time to try them out.

RELATED:The Biggest Video Games Coming in May 2020

In DayZ, players must stay alive in the midst of a zombie outbreak while exploring the fictional former Soviet Republic of Chernarus. It's a punishing, open-world survival game in which players start with almost nothing andhave to travel and scavenge for food, water, clothing and weapons. Players are also encouraged to interact with others on the server through voice and text chat and in-game actions.

Originally developed as a mod for military simulatorARMA II, the mod was praised for its innovative gameplay and variation on the often repetitive first-person shooter genre. The modhas even beencredited for helping drive ARMA II sales. After years in development and five years in early access, DayZ finally released in late 2018 to mixed reviews. Whilesome have said the game has some great but poorly executed ideas, this is the perfect opportunity to try it out for yourself.DayZ comes to Game Pass May 7.

RELATED:PlayStation Now: Everything Arriving in May 2020

Easily one of the biggest games of the past generation, Red Dead Redemption II is coming to Game Pass, giving anyone who missed it a chance to experience this epic open-world action-adventure.A prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption, the game follows Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang living at theturn of thetwentiethcentury and the end of the Wild West era. As the gang runs from federal agents, their loyalties are tested, and Arthur must choose between the gang and his ideals.

The gameis a critical and commercial success, breaking a variety of opening weekend and pre-order records and selling over 29 million copies as of February 2020. It's been praised for its masterfully designed and detailed open-world which, combined with the story and combat, creates an immersive gaming experience.Red Dead Redemption II comes to Game Pass on May 7.

RELATED:Red Dead Redemption 2: Where to Find & Kill the Legendary Bear

Whether you've experienced Final Fantasy VII Remake on PlayStation or your a fan of recent entries in the long-running franchise, Final Fantasy IX is always a great title to return to. Widely regarded as one of the best games in the series, FFIXtakes the medieval style of earlier games and combines it with later developments and new features. One of theseis Active Time Events, which added more character development and options when exploring towns.

Final Fantasy IX follows Zidane, a member of the Tantalus Theater Troupe who helps kidnap Princess Garnet. To their surprise, the princess actually wanted to leave the castle and, alongside her loyal knight Steiner, sets out on a journey. Along the way, they encounter a variety of unique and colorful characters, including the tragic black mage Vivi, before saving the world.Final Fantasy IX comes to Game Pass on May 14.

RELATED:Final Fantasy IX's Freya Deserves More Attention

Another RPG joining later this month, Fractured Minds is a puzzle game meant to give players insight into the experiences of people living with mental illness. Each chaptertakes players through differentobstaclesthat those dealing with mental illness face, such as anxiety, isolation and paranoia.

The game has received praise for how it portrays mental illness and encouraging empathy and understanding towards those who are struggling. The game was designed by then 17-year-old Emily Mitchell, who won the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award for her impressive work.Fractured Minds comes to Game Pass on May 19.

RELATED:Game Pass for PC: 5 Games You Should Be Playing (But Arent)

Whensubscribers gain access to Red Dead Redemption II on May 7, they'll also be saying goodbye to Grand Theft Auto V. Another massive hit from Rockstar Games, GTA5is the second hight-selling game of all time. It allows players to explore the fictional state of San Andreas completing missions and heists as each of the game's three playable characters: Michael De Santa, Trevor Philips and Franklin Clinton.

Other games will leave Game Pass a week later on May 15. These are Black Desert, Doom, Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game, Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, Metal Gear Survive, The Banner Saga and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. While one week certainly isn't enough time to fully experience these games, you still have the chance to try them out and save 20 percent with your membership discount.

KEEP READING:Sega: A Look Back at 60 Years of the Gaming Giant

Infinity War: Why Dr. Strange Didn't Teleport Everyone from Titan to Wakanda

Noelle is a Features Editor for CBR. She can usually be found underneath a large pile of Pokmon plushies thinking about an RPG she never completed while trying to finish a different RPG. On the occasions Noelle remembers she has a Twitter, she can be found @Noelle_Corbett.

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Xbox Game Pass: Everything Arriving and Leaving in May 2020 - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Filament is a game to take your time with –

How long is a piece ofstring?

Filament is one of those games I could play forever - gentle, dreamy, quietly cerebral. And because of that last part it's one of those games that I think I probably will be playing forever. I'm not stuck as such, but I am making progress very slowly. It feels like the right pace, though. Filament is emphatically not a game to be rushed.

You play as an astronaut exploring a largely dormant spaceship in orbit around a beautiful prog rock planet. The place feels like it's in stasis - at first, almost no doors open and the area you can move around amounts to a few rooms. But there's a voice in your head - warm and funny and filled with digressions. Someone else is on the spaceship, trapped in a room somewhere. Can you find your way to them and free them?

You do this by bringing sections of the spaceship back to life. Every now and then you come across interactive objects which house a handful of puzzles. Completing the puzzles opens a door or turns on new interactive objects and generally gives you more options. So the person who's trapped on the spaceship somewhere is guiding you, and then when you play these puzzles? Well, you're guiding someone else.

You're guiding a little robot with a thick tether unspooling behind them. The job is to wrap the tether around a bunch of different nodes in each room you encounter - handily all of Filament is viewed from above - thus opening up the room's door and allowing you on to the next challenge.

The rules start simple: you can't go across a line you've already laid, and you have to trigger all nodes. Also, you have to make sure you can actually reach the exit door once you've opened it. Pretty soon, though, complications emerge. Nodes move around like planets in an orrery - I always worry I'm getting that word wrong - or coloured nodes require certain threads. Sometimes there are gates and nodes that open them. Sometimes there are nodes that cut the power from your filament. Onwards and onwards the complications pile up. It's dizzying at times. But it's also approachable, because each puzzle is only a room, and how hard can a room be? I've failed this one fifteen times, sure, but it's just a room! Just a piece of string! Onwards to the sixteenth attempt, the seventeenth.

Outside of these core puzzles the strings continue. You follow the cables strung between the interactive objects and you follow the links between the little snippets of information the trapped voice in your head is telling you. This is a sprawl of a game, but there is a single thread running through it, surely? It leads me through a spaceship that, at times, looks nothing like a spaceship, with arm chairs and wooden flooring and strange folksy human touches. It leads me through the narrative of a singular person who is far less chilly than the Kubrickian sci-fi archetype.

And so far it's led me through the last few weeks. I play Filament for a few minutes every day, but then I spend hours thinking about it, about solutions and connections and tangents and things that don't quite fit. I dream about this game. And I think about the thread I'm following and the developers who made it. Maybe they started out with a handful of ideas for puzzles, but then they followed their end of the thread and it led them to great discoveries and new challenge types and virtuoso complexity. And they continued to follow their end of the thread and I will continue to follow mine, and maybe in the end we will meet.

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Filament is a game to take your time with -

Apple Arcade: the complete list of games for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV – NewsDio

This story is part of CNET coverage of Apple Arcade, including the first exclusive looks we got on some of the services new high-profile games.

Apple firmly bet your claim in the gaming world in September with more details on their new gaming subscription service, Apple arcade. The service costs $ 4.99 ( 4.99, AU $ 7.99) a month and allows you to play more than 110 new and exclusive games. on iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod Touch and Apple TV. Not all games are available on all platforms, for example there are a couple dozen on Mac.

Apple Arcade launched ahead of schedule as part of the public beta version of iOS 13. Key games in the service include The enchanted world, Where the letters fall and Shinsekai: in the depths. It is available in more than 150 countries. You can try it for free for a month.

To see Apple Arcade, open the App Store and tap the little joystick icon at the bottom of the screen.

Here are all the games announced for Apple Arcade. They are available to play now unless otherwise noted.

Read more: All the hardware you need to play Apple Arcade games

Developer: PikPok Games

Play as an elite agent. trying to save the world and avoid danger with his high-tech spy vehicle.

Developer: Annapurna Interactive

First announced at E3 2017, this looks like a journey, to say the least. The Artful Escape is about a musician, Francis Vendetti, who is in search of self-discovery. The trailer hints at a colorful, wild, and mixed animation, and what I envision will be an amazing soundtrack. This game is coming soon.

Developers: UsTwo Games

Originally titled Repair, this one lets you play as Maria, an antique restorer. In addition to storing physical objects, Maria finds ways to solve other problems around her.

Developer: Wildboy Studios

If you are a fan of Norse mythology, take a look at this hand drawn game to explore beautifully represented worlds, face enemies, discover secrets and make decisions to reach one of the multiple endings.

Developer: Gameloft

In this game of pitcher-batter rivalry, baseball players will evaluate their opponent during an inning. Ballistic Baseball lets you test your skills and strategies in single-, three-, six-, or nine-player single player or multiplayer online modes.

read more: Apple Arcade just released Pac-Man Party Royale, Ballistic Baseball and more

Developers: BattleBrew

Eject barrels and enemies from the sky in this adorable shooting game.

Developer: E-Line Media

In Beyond the blue, you will play as Mirai, the lead investigator on a newly formed team. You will dive and experience the ocean, its beauty, mysteries and inhabitants, with high-speed technologies. The exploration is intertwined with a narrative involving high-risk choices along the way.

Developer: Revolution software

This cyberpunk thriller takes place 10 years after the events of Beneath a sky of steel, the classic point and click game of 1994. Youll play as the returning protagonist, engineer Robert Foster, and navigate terrain reminiscent of the Fall landscape. Beyond a Steel Sky has a comic book twist, but it still seems like it offers a dynamic world to explore. Soon.

Developer: Frosty Pop

This allows you to run, pole vault and flip without flipping.

Developers: Return and Luis Moreno Jimnez

Dont let the pixelated style fool you, this RPG is much more complicated and darker than it sounds.

Developer: Mediocre mel

There is no information available about this game yet, without a picture of a cardboard box. We will keep you updated. Coming soon.

Developers: Bossa Studios and A Brave Plan

The Bradwell Conspiracy is a first-person narrative game where you must discover the truth behind the explosion that destroyed Bradwell Electronics facilities. At the beginning of the game, you wake up from the rubble with only a computerized voice in your smart glasses to guide you. The eyeglass guide finally connects you to another person trapped inside the facility and you must find a way out.

Developer: Mighty Bear Games

Real butter It takes place in the near future, where weapons have been banned worldwide. To release tensions, citizens sign up for a game show called Butter Royale where they are thrown into the air on an island to deal with food. After moving from stale baguettes to Nutritionally Operated Machines, or NOMs, players engage in culinary battles and try to escape the floods of butter and reach safe areas in five-minute matches. Butter Royale has offline modes where you can play against a bot or online multiplayer modes. Whether youre playing with up to 32 players solo or in squads like Fortnite, the goal is to be the last one standing.

Developer: Zach Gage

This is a fun card based puzzle game with fun hand drawn characters.

Developers: Versus evil and gambrinous

In this single player game, you use card games to defeat the monsters that have been kidnapping students (think of Yu-Gi-Oh from the beginning). The narration is shown as a comic. Im excited about this one because the animation reminds me of a childrens book I read in the 90s. I also appreciate the depiction of a character in a wheelchair. It is a coming of age puzzle game.

Developer: Gentlebros games

I cant promise I didnt gasp audibly when this game was announced. As a cat owner for most of my life, I am equally excited that there is a Cat Quest II and an original Cat Quest. This open world action RPG lets you play as a cat or dog. Complete missions, defeat monsters and bring peace to your kingdom.

Developer: Batovi Games Studio

Charrua Soccer is a fun and colorful game that everyone can access. The almost Wii-like cartoon characters give the game a sense of nostalgia, while capturing roaring crowds when it scores a goal. Batovi didnt skimp on the game, either you can make short and long passes, aim while shooting, and more.

Developers: Universe and Sega

the classic sega game It returned two decades later, with hundreds of new 3D puzzles and multiplayer.

Developers: Give back and free lives

In this game, players trace the lineage of humans along with the history of cricket. It seems the game has levels where you play variations of cricket like cavemen (watch out for the dinosaurs), medieval knights, soldiers in World War I, and more traditional variations (although it looks like a beach ball might be involved). There may also be astronauts and aliens along the way. Possibly not for cricket purists.

Developer: Hipster Whale

Crossy Road Castle is the perfect colorful game for fans of nostalgic platform games like Super Mario Bros. and Frogger. The ame is one of the first sequels to an original iOS app, Crossy Road, to join Apple Arcade. The new game will be out later this year.

Read more: Crossy Road Castle reinvents Super Mario Bros as a multiplayer show in Apple Arcade

Developer: Headup Games

In Dead End Job, you play as Hector Plasm, a cleaner in Ghoul-B-Gone. Shoot the ghosts with your plasma blaster and plunge them into your vacuum bag. It seems that a less bloody version of Viscera Cleanup Detail meets Ghostbusters.

Developer: Local no 12

This game turns classic literature like Pride and Prejudice into puns. Decode anagrams, swap lines of text, and more.

Developer: Studios effect

The better you build your robot in Decoherence, the more chances you have to win. You build your bot with specific tactics to strengthen your winning strategy. You can experience multiplayer and fight alongside your bot, or play solo matches in Entropy Tribunals. Think standing up and get ready for anything.

read more: 5 new Apple Arcade games added: Stela, ShockRods, Inmost and more

Editor: Shifty Eye

Investigate a lonely roadside restaurant at the end of an abandoned highway that locals say has lost its color. Solve puzzles in desolate places and restore the color of the world that was once vibrant. As you continue to discover clues, you will discover that not everything is as it seems. Discolorado is a first person puzzle that mystery fans can enjoy.

Developer: Moving Pieces Interactive

In this upbeat game, you play as a dodo bird that has to save its eggs after they hatch. Take them home safely as you collect coins, avoid obstacles like monkeys and snakes, and unlock more dodos. The game offers challenges like safely retrieving all eggs in under 30 seconds and more.

Read more: Apple Arcade reaches 100 games with UFO on tape: first contact and more

Developer: Frosty Pop

In Don t Bug Me, the Orion III crash lands on his mission to Mars. As Captain Abigail Blackwell tries to repair the ship, local Martians are causing trouble.

Developer: Not flying

In this Wall-E style puzzle game, Earths climate has collapsed and you must rescue the remaining plant life. Explore whats left of the planet in your robot suit, collect plant life and return it safely to the Last Judgment Vault.

Developer: Yak & Co

A pilot named Milton crashes on a seemingly deserted island in Bermuda where you must uncover the islands secrets, solve puzzles, and crack codes to find your way home.

Developer: Zen Studios

Supernatural forces have taken over the Hope cruiser. You must find survivors and food while hiding from monsters.

Developers: Shifty Eye and Cleaversoft games

Avoid obstacles and test your reflexes in this hand-painted 2D action game. Dragons have taken over Earth, and you play as a 14-year-old photographer who has to save the world and navigate the dragon-infested skies.

Developer: Noodle cake

the Enchanted world its just one of three games that Noodlecake will bring to Apple Arcade this fall. Players will help a young fairy to assemble a magical world torn by dark forces.

Developer: Management Games

There are not many details to offer about this game. The published images and videos show that it is a first person sci-fi shooting game and that it is probably a more mature game. This will come soon.

Developer: Give back

Exiting Gungeon, a dungeon climber, has the feel of an old arcade game. You play as a gungeoneer armed with interchangeable weapons, ways to loot and dodge and roll. Climb each level, fight the Gundead, and escape through changing rooms in your own unique way.

Developer: weRplay

If Cat Quest II wasnt enough, take a look Explottens, where you play as Captain K.I.T. and join your group of friends to save the world from the evil K.L.A.W.

Editor: Fair Play Studios

Play as Lancelot, the famous knight of the Round Table, in this futuristic side-scrolling action platformer. Lancelot and the other knights have sworn allegiance to the Round Table to defeat a terrorist organization bent on revealing a deep secret about a city. The game has six stages and multiple endings.

read more: Apple Arcade Gets New Games: Lifelike, Yaga, and More

Developer: Mist Walker

The team behind Fantasian went out of their way with craft dioramas and 3D computer graphics. There arent many details about Fantasian other than the immense amount of work it took to make the graphics look amazing. Creator Hironobu Sakaguchi is the mastermind behind multiple RPGs, so the game is in good hands. This game is coming soon.

Developers: Subtle boom

Take to the skies as Biscuit the Brave, a young macaw, in this tropical platform game. By touching, the bird flies. Too much tapping sends it too high, not enough tapping sends it too low. You must maintain the correct altitude to avoid enemies and obstacles and collect coins. As you explore more islands, you will learn more tricks and meet different characters like Penny the Penguin, who wants to be a pirate.

Developer: Lightning rod games

A separate fold is a puzzle game about long distance relationships. The colorful characters live in a world made of origami paper. Choose which side of the couple best represents you and literally unfold both sides of the story, such as the complexities of poor text communication and the emotions that come with being separated from the people you love. Flip, fold and unfold the paper puzzles in each characters craft world to help the couple overcome their relationship problems.

Developer: Konami

In this game, you must rescue the lost frogs from inside the humans house. You will navigate a terrain full of toys: avoid being crushed by small cars, climb block buildings, collect jelly beans and save the frogs. When you rescue a frog, it jumps on Froggers back (which is as cute as it looks). If you liked the old school Frogger, this might be a remaster that interests you.

Developer: Frosty Pop

Get Out Kids mixes mystery with nostalgia, leading players to 1984. Molly, Salim, and Mollys dog, Moses, sneak one night to see a late Ghostblasters movie presentation at the local drive-in movie theater. Along the way, they have to navigate creepy woods and sneak past the sullen cemetery worker. When Moses suddenly and suspiciously disappears, Molly and Salim begin an adventure like they have never had before to discover what happened to their canine friend. This narrative game includes puzzles, hidden object searches, and more.

Developer: Capybara Games

Put your puzzle-solving skills to the test in Grindstones dungeon, which is invaded by Creeps.

Editor: Estudios Servo

In this episodic, story-based adventure, you will embark on a digital quest with your friends to reach a mystical mountain temple. Fight the goblins, the ghosts and the coffee machines with conscience (you read it correctly: coffee machines). Dont forget to save the world. A magic phone is all you need to trigger the adventure. Guildlings is a casual fantasy story that adds nostalgic elements from classic RPGs and older point-and-click puzzle games.

Developers: Rogue Games

Navigate hexagonal puzzle mazes loaded with hammers, spikes, lasers, and more.

Developers: Versus evil and crazy about pandas

Talk about a mysterious road trip. Hitch-hiker its about a driver on lost roads. You play as the hitchhiker and you dont remember your identity or your destiny. As you travel, the road and driver offer clues to what is happening. This will come soon.

Developer: Bossa Studios

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Apple Arcade: the complete list of games for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV - NewsDio

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