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10 Super Mario Spin-Offs That Are Nothing Like The Main Games – TheGamer

Mainline Super Mario games are typically the most groundbreaking titles on Nintendo consoles, but there have been several Mario spin-offs over time.

Nintendo has dozens of different intellectual properties that have been able to achieve deep levels of success, but its unlikely that anything is ever going to dethrone Super Mario as the companys most popular mascot and series of games.

Related: 10 Best Super Mario Sport Games, Ranked (According To Metacritic)

The mainline Super Mario gamesare typically the most groundbreaking titles to appear on Nintendo consoles, but there have also been an increasing number of spin-off efforts that try to push the character into a different direction or genre. Many of these are successes in their own rights, but its shocking to see just how far off base theyve become from the standard expectations of Super Mario games.

One of the earliest forays of Mario stepping outside of his standard world of platforming comes in the shape of the successful series of minigame compilations, Mario Party. Now that the series is in double digits, the games have hit diminishing returns and feel like their best days have passed them, but theres no denying that the initial games were a revolutionary surprise and started a massive trend that Nintendo still hasnt entirely left behind. Now the idea of putting Mario and his friends in weird minigames feels like a standard shift in gameplay rather than anything radical.

The sports genre of video games is often an area that feels dominated by Sony and Microsoft as they indulge in making their titles as realistic as possible. Nintendo tapped into something special when they decided to cross Mario over with various sports and create an entertaining alternative to the norm. It initially seemed ridiculous to have Mario engaging in things like golf, tennis, or baseball, but its now become a mainstay for Nintendo. Mario has proved his proficiency in many fields, but its Mario Golf that helped advance these spin-offs in considerable ways.

The Mario Kart games are now just as popular as the proper Super Mario series and theyve turned into an excellent equalizer for both seasoned gamers and newcomers. The initialSuper Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo started off as an experiment that didnt even originally involve Mario and his friends, but its turned into one of the best decisions that Nintendo has ever done.

Related: The 5 Hardest Mario Games (& The 5 Easiest)

The whole concept of racing and confining Mario to a vehicle is completely foreign to where the series began, but its been a shift that audiences havent struggled to accept.

Super Smash Bros. is likely the only offshoot from Super Mario thats actually grown more popular than the original games. Nintendo had no idea that this series of crossover fighters would turn into such a phenomenon where gamers can never get enough. At this point the Super Smash Bros. series effectively represents the bulk of Nintendos franchises, as well as characters that dont even come from Nintendo properties, but its always been sure to feature many faces and locations from the Super Mario games. Its surprising to see how many of Marios platforming mechanics naturally translate over to fighting games.

For decades Mario has always been positioned as the friendly rival to Segas Sonic and the prospect of seeing these two characters work together in a video game seemed impossible even after Sega got out of the hardware business. Its truly surprising that not only do Mario and Sonic have their own spin-off series together, but that its a celebration of the Olympic Games of all things. This is a bizarre mix of both sports and minigame aesthetics to put Mario in an environment thats oddly become popular and spawned several follow-up titles.

There are many different Super Mario spin-offs that embrace a foreign genre or play in an entirely contrasting manner to the core games, but Paper Mario is also a series thats so visually distinct.

Related: Every 3D Super Mario Platformer, Ranked From Worst To Best

There are several different franchises that push Mario into an RPG setting and even though Paper Mario games have slightly lost their way in this regard, theyve still never stopped being visually exciting. The style of these adventures and the partners by Marios side would have been impossible to predict after playing the original Super Mario titles.

Its easy to forget that Mario actually got his start in the arcade classic, Donkey Kong, before he actually got his own series. Nintendo decided to return to Marios true roots with the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, which doesnt just make Mario and Donkey Kong rivals again, but it leans into a puzzle-based style of gameplay. This slows down Mario and puts more of an emphasis on problem solving. The games in this series are completely different than the main platformers, but its still interesting that this radical deviation can still in a way be honoring Marios past.

Its kind of incredible to see how many popular puzzle games have been born by just taking the basic concept behind Tetris and then marginally tweaking it. Dr. Mario is Nintendos attempt to launch a new puzzle series, but with the strength of Marios character to anchor it. Dr. Mario is simple, yet addictive, in its structure. Clearly this strategy worked because not only are there still Dr. Mario games that are happening, but the figure has even showed up as a playable character in other spin-offs, like Super Smash Bros.

There are a series of Super Mario spin-offs that have more of an educational aim rather than to purely entertain its audience. Many of the examples of this for the CD-i are disasters, but Mario is Missing! is a more subtle example that did come out on the SNES. The game stars Luigi and tries to give out a rudimentary geography lesson as he attempts to locate his brother. Its a nice change of pace to take control of Luigi, but the game feels like such misguided manipulation. Picture Luigi's Mansion, but without the ghosts or the fun.

It would have been a fair gamble to bet that a new Super Mario game isn't going to equip Mario and his friends with guns, let alone have strange and disturbing creatures cosplay as them, but that's exactly what's going on in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The inexplicable crossover from Ubisoft turns Mario into a turn-based tactics title that morphs the Mushroom Kingdom into a strategy game. Oddly enough, this game actually works and even though the Rabbids are still creepy on every level, this is a very fun Switch game.

Next: 10 Super Mario Fan Games Every Nintendo Fan Should Know About

Next 10 Minecraft Steve Smash Bros. Memes That Are Too Hilarious For Words

Daniel Kurland is a freelance writer, comedian, and critic, who lives in the cultural mosaic that is Brooklyn, New York. Daniels work can be read on ScreenRant, Splitsider, Bloody Disgusting, Den of Geek, and across the Internet. He recently completed work on a noir anthology graphic novel titled, "Sylvia Plaths The Bell Noir: A Rag of Bizarre Noir and Hard Boiled Tales" and hes currently toiling away on his first novel.

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10 Super Mario Spin-Offs That Are Nothing Like The Main Games - TheGamer

From Game Boy to 3DS: The legacy of Nintendo’s handhelds –

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Since the Game Boy's debut in 1989, Nintendo has operated a twin-pillar games business: home consoles and gaming handhelds. The discontinuation of the 3DS, and lack of a direct successor, marks the end of an era, one in which the platform holder not only dominated but expanded the games market.

Ubisoft's brand director for international brand strategy Shara Hashemi says Nintendo's handheld business "revolutionised the games industry", starting with the original Game Boy, which persisted alongside multiple home console generations. Think about it: the Game Boy launched one year before the SNES arrived, and by the time it was replaced by the Game Boy Advance, the PlayStation 2 was already on shelves.

The pioneering device -- and its Color iteration -- went on to sell over 118 million units worldwide. And Guha Bala, co-founder of Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit developer Velan Studios, observes that Nintendo's impact on handheld gaming stretches back even further.

"No other company seemed to be able to repeat the magic that Nintendo started"

Perrin Kaplan, formerly Nintendo of America

"Nintendo defined handheld gaming as a play pattern starting with Game & Watch in the early '80s," he says. "Portable gaming has played a huge role in the content I've enjoyed playing and making for most of my life. It was a totally parallel industry to console gaming for more than 20 years.

"But that changed fundamentally with the advent of mobile games on the App Store in 2008. While I love mobile experiences, they are quite different from handheld games."

Mat Piscatella, executive director for games at data firm NPD, says Nintendo's portable business "had a massive impact on the industry in several ways." Among them was the creation of a prime entry point for a crucial audience: children.

"Nintendo's portable platforms gave many kids a way to connect and engage with games at a younger age, helping them then transition into other types of gaming as they aged, helping make the market what it is today," he says.

"The portable platforms also gave many developers and publishers a less risky way to bring products to market, with lower development costs and faster timelines than AAA console development, for example."

Nintendo's achievements in the handheld space are all the more remarkable given how rivals Sega and Sony have failed to match them, despite numerous attempts. While Nintendo was dethroned in the home console space over the years, it proved to be untouchable when it came to handhelds.

The top three best-selling handheld consoles in terms of units in the US are Nintendo machines -- DS, GBA and 3DS respectively. Sony's PSP achieves a respectable fourth place, although it's worth noting that Game Boy had a full six years of sales before NPD began tracking in 1995.

Further down the ranks are the 'also rans': Vita, Game Gear, Sega Nomad and Neo Geo Pocket, all of which were unable to rival Nintendo's handheld might.

Perrin Kaplan, formerly Nintendo of America

"No other company seemed to be able to repeat the magic that Nintendo started, and each much larger system died out," says Zebra Partners' Perrin Kaplan, who spent 16 years heading up marketing at Nintendo of America. "I have no doubt that the iPhone app store took a hint from Nintendo when Apple realised games for phones could be a thing."

Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad adds: "Nintendo's most successful consoles have been able to pair innovative hardware with its IP in a way that provides unique game experiences for players. This has always been the secret to Nintendo's success, and [it's] why Nintendo invests so much to ensure hardware such as the DS or Switch provides unique ways to play, is affordable, and has software to take advantage of its features."

Bala agrees that the minimalist approach to handheld gaming enabled Nintendo to stay ahead of the competition. By selecting components that allow for a more accessible price point, the company turned its platforms' limitations in terms of raw power into real benefits for players. Case in point: the choice of two-tone displays for the original Game Boy, which improved battery life and made it easier to use in daylight.

"Other systems were about putting a console system in your hands, rather than recognising that an amazing portable game experience deserves a device devoted to just that"

Guha Bala, Velan Studios

"For an experience on the go, that was crucial," he says. "Contrast that with competitor handhelds where faster clock speeds and more demanding displays drove down battery life and places to play. Other systems were about putting a console system in your hands, rather than recognising that an amazing portable game experience deserves a device devoted to just that purpose."

During his time at Vicarious Visions, Bala and his team demonstrated this with a myriad GBA and DS games, many of which converted console experiences into something best suited to handheld. For the GBA launch, Vicarious developed Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which simulated the 3D gameplay of the console versions in a 2D space. Similarly, the studio created the Guitar Grip for the DS' GBA cartridge slot to enable a portable Guitar Hero.

David Yarnton, who served as general manager at Nintendo UK for nine years, says the platform holder's IP was another key advantage in the handheld space. As Yarnton puts it, "it's hard to compete with Mario" -- a claim backed up by NPD rankings that show the four best-selling handheld games in the US to be Mario titles, with the plumber headlining seven of the top 20.

Pokmon has been a consistently strong pillar in Nintendo's handheld business

Jo Bartlett, former Nintendo UK head of communications and partnerships, agrees: "With Nintendo consoles, it was never about the tech spec. It was about storytelling, the characters and the Nintendo magic. There was such a broad catalogue of high quality games, and they kept them coming."

For Piscatella, the data shows the power of Nintendo-exclusive franchises -- and there's one IP in particular that really made a difference. It will surprise no one to learn that the US' top 27 best-selling handheld games in terms of dollar sales are all for Nintendo platforms. Nor is it a surprise that all of these are published by Nintendo, and it's even less surprising that 17 of them are Pokmon titles.

"Sometimes things are difficult to analyse, other times there's Pokmon," he says. "Other factors surely contributed. Pricing, branding, and so on... but one portable business had Pokmon, and the others did not."

While the Game Boy undoubtedly set the course for Nintendo's handheld success, the Nintendo DS has perhaps the greatest legacy. It stands as one of the most successful consoles of all time, with 154.02 million units sold worldwide -- second only to PlayStation 2's 155 million sales.

But more than that, it opened the games industry up to new demographics in ways that few platforms had managed before. True, the original PlayStation and its successor expanded the audience for traditional games experiences, but the DS provided something for all ages -- for players from five to 95, as Nintendo used to say.

Shara Hashemi, Ubisoft

"Nintendo has been laser focused on games for everyone, devices for everyone, no intimidation of something 'for gamers'," says Niko Partners' president Lisa Hanson.

Ubisoft's Hashemi adds: "The DS opened up new ways of playing with its dual controls and touch screen. Games designed for the DS gave the console great casual appeal, and introduced many people to the video games industry... It brought a user-friendly versatility that made gaming accessible to a much wider audience.

"DS games were unlike any other games on competing consoles. The technology allowed for pet simulators that you can care for with a stylus, or for puzzle games that you can quickly and intuitively interact with."

It was an opportunity that Ubisoft, like other companies at the time, seized. From 2007 to 2014, over the course of both the DS and 3DS, the Assassin's Creed publisher published close to 50 Imagine titles and over 30 Petz games. The former were each themed around different careers that appealed to young girls, while the latter were a revival of the classic PC pet simulators Catz and Dogz.

"We saw an opportunity to widen our audience to a younger female crowd with the DS," explains Hashemi, who was instrumental in launching many of these titles. "Before the DS, the majority of our games appealed to young adults, mostly male. It's not that girls were not interested in these games, it's just that there were no games targeted to them specifically.

"We conducted lots of research with tween girls to discuss their hobbies and interests and what they would look for in a video game. That's where we saw a gap in the market and came up with the Imagine line."

The Nintendo DS' dual screen setup and touch screen interface were unusual at first, but paved the way for new types of games, new audiences, and the success of the Wii

With new interfaces and audiences came new franchises. For those who might not be interested in Mario, Zelda or Pokmon, Nintendo offered Professor Layton's logic-based puzzles or the more straight-faced Brain Age/Brain Training (depending on your region). Even Ubisoft's Petz could be seen as a reaction to the huge success of Nintendogs.

Nintendo's own pet simulator stands as the second biggest-selling DS game of all time, with 24 million units shifted worldwide -- beaten only by New Super Mario Bros' 30 million. The first Brain Age was fourth with nearly 20 million sales.

"Sometimes things are difficult to analyse, other times there's Pokmon"

Mat Piscatella, NPD

However, driving unconventional games experiences to such heights wasn't easy; Kaplan recalls that "marketing games that weren't well-known franchises was a bit challenging," while Yarnton remembers hearing doubts even from his own team members.

"I remember having seen a demo of [Nintendogs] at head office, a lot of the hardcore gamers in our team poo-pooed it," he says. "I had to laugh because weeks later, when we received samples, you could hear people talking to their puppies all across the office -- the hardcore were converted.

"I had such great expectations for Nintendogs and its potential that when I put our forecasts and orders into Japan, they didn't believe them. Needless to say, we exceeded these many times over."

Yarnton also observes that the success of the DS steered Nintendo for the next decade, and set the stage for the most successful home console in the company's history.

"A lot of people say that Wii was a big risk in launching such radical controllers," he says, "but I think DS paved the way for people to be able to play games with a different interface and it introduced so many new users to video games because it was so intuitive to use."

For the 3DS, the platform holder faced a much more challenging market. Having dominated the portable games scene for more than 20 years, Nintendo faced the unenviable task of selling a dedicated handheld at a time when that wider audience could access games on a far more ubiquitous device: their phone.

"A lot of the hardcore gamers in our team poo-pooed [Nintendogs]. Weeks later, you could hear people talking to their puppies all across the office"

David Yarnton, formerly Nintendo UK

The 3DS launched in early 2011, three years after Apple launched its transformational App Store. Casual gamers had also shifted towards other platforms such as Facebook, thanks to hits like the original FarmVille. Meanwhile, Sony was aiming for hardcore gamers with the upcoming release of PlayStation Vita.

Nintendo also faced obstacles of its own making: the difficulty of communicating that 3DS was a new platform, rather than a DS update in the vein of the Lite and DSi, and positioning glasses-free 3D as a key selling point.

Yarnton recalls that, as with the original DS' dual screen setup, the 3D effect "seemed a bit weird to some people... but with sampling, once people played it, they got it." However, shortly after the 3DS' launch, the team had to tackle some hostile press when UK tabloid The Sun ran an article claiming the 3D was making people sick.

"Overcoming this misconception and reminding people that the 3D was optional, safe, and not just a gimmick took a sustained effort," says Bartlett. "A few years later, The Sun ran a piece about how the Nintendo 3DS was the best console ever -- it was a moment of real vindication.

"We also found that a lot of people were still happy with their Nintendo DS so didn't feel the need to upgrade straight away, which was a testament to the longevity of the hardware. The steady stream of top-rated games changed their minds, but it took some time."

Titles like Nintendogs brought new audiences to gaming, but many of those players have since migrated to mobile

There are doubtless still units in the channel, but with the 3DS now discontinued, it's unlikely to rise much further above its current lifetime sales of 75.9 million. It's a respectable total, especially given the shift towards mobile, but still leaves the 3DS -- including its 2DS, New and XL varieties -- as the lowest-selling family of Nintendo handhelds, falling short of the Game Boy Advance's 81.5 million.

David Yarnton, former Nintendo UK general manager

With this in mind, and the long-established dominance of smartphone gaming, could we ever see a dedicated Nintendo handheld again?

Kaplan points to the success of the Switch Lite as proof that demand still exists: "There is a market for millions who love a standalone games portable system. I'm one of those millions for sure. So, never say never."

Meanwhile, Hashemi believes Nintendo could always tap into the children's market with a cheaper, more robust handheld: "As a mother to a seven-year old, I am always reticent to give my iPhone to my daughter. I would much rather have her play on a handheld with selected games tailored to her. She would love the Imagine games."

Earlier this week, analysts told Bloomberg that Nintendo could continuously refresh the Switch, iPhone-style, to further grow its audience. If so, the Lite could play a role in this.

NPD's Piscatella agrees that there's no telling how the Switch will evolve, but doubts a dedicated handheld could be released in the same way again.

"The tech is at a place where separating a portable is no longer necessary to have a market viable product," he says. "Today's video game consumers seem to be preferring flexibility with content engagement, so I'd expect other solutions to be preferable to a dedicated portable platform. But things change."

Ahmad and Hanson of Niko Partners observe that, while Nintendo's dedicated handheld line has come to an end, the company's philosophy of integrating hardware and software means handheld gaming will continue to play a role in the company's future -- the Switch being a prime example. The analysts fully expect Nintendo to continue at least offering the option of portable play in some form.

Bartlett concludes that Nintendo's track record of setting itself apart from the rest of the games market, particularly since the DS and Wii, takes nothing off the table.

She concludes: "Part of the magic of Nintendo is never being able to predict what it's going to do next, or how it will capture the imagination of gamers, so who knows what it's got up its sleeve?"

From Game Boy to 3DS: The legacy of Nintendo's handhelds -

Pokemon: A Step-By-Step Guide To Soft Resetting | TheGamer – TheGamer

Soft Resetting is going back to the games title screen without powering down an entire console or handheld. It's both convenient and simple!

Soft Resetting is basically the ability to go back to the games title screen without powering down an entire console or handheld. Its a huge time saver and was a feature that was more common in a lot of games before the HD era. Some of them were system based while others were designed on a one on one basis with games. For example, Final Fantasy X had a Soft Reset on the original PS2 version all the way up to the latest release of the remaster on Switch.

RELATED: The 10 Most Unused Pokmon Type Combinations In The Franchise

Speaking of the Switch, this feature is where Soft Reset ended for the main Pokmon titles. This is because its much faster to duck in and out of an app on the console rather than shutting the whole thing down. This is all to say that there are three main console lines where this trick is available.

Now, the biggest reason why players use Soft Reset is to find better stats in Pokmon with EV levels. Getting Shiny Pokmon might be easier as well and it just saves time altogether with catching things like legendary Pokmon. Lets explain how to do it along with why this cheat can be beneficial for players in specific circumstances.

First of all, in order to Soft Reset on the Game Boy, all players need to do is press and hold A, B, Start, and Select. This also works for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. This means that the Soft Reset trick can work for the first three generations of Pokmon. The games in question include Pokmon Red, Pokmon Blue, Pokmon Yellow, Pokmon Gold, Pokmon Silver, Pokmon Crystal, Pokmon Ruby, Pokmon Sapphire, and finally, Pokmon Emerald. It works for the remakes of the first two games as well. Speaking of the first two games, lets give some examples where Soft Reset can be useful in them.

In Pokmon Red/Blue/Yellow, there are only four legendary Pokmon: Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, and Mewtwo. This does not include Mew who was obtained through other means. Anyway, fighting these four Pokmon in their designated location is a one shot deal.

RELATED: 10 Early Pokmon Designs Compared To Their Final Versions

If the Pokmon faints, like Zapdos, thats it, no Zapdos for the player. So, it is recommended to save before any of these battles. That way if the Pokmon faints, a Soft Reset can quickly give players another chance.

There are actually two more games for these systems that will work too: Pokmon Trading Card Game and Pokmon Puzzle League. The puzzle game is less hectic but the card game might make the Soft Reset trick worth remembering. Losing a match also means losing cards and that is never fun.

The main game players will want to use this Soft Reset trick for on GameCube isPokmon XD: Gale of Darkness. In order to perform it players will have to press and hold B, X, and Start. This also works for Pokmon Channel although there isnt much use for it in that mini game collection.

RELATED: Pokmon: The 10 Most Badass Women Gym Leaders In The Series, Ranked

Pokmon XD, while celebrated for the time for being more than just a series of battles akin to Pokmon Stadium, is not as fun to go back to now. In a world where a real Pokmon console game exists via Pokmon Sword/Shield, it isnt as special. Still, for those nostalgic, there is the cheat.

Lastly, this is how one can Soft Reset the DS and 3DS portables. Players need to press and hold L, R, Start, and Select. This technique will work on a lot of the core titles including Pokmon Diamond, Pokmon Pearl, Pokmon Platinum, Pokmon Black, Pokmon White, Pokmon X, Pokmon Y, Pokmon Sun, and Pokmon Moon.

These were not mentioned specifically above, but all of the sequels and remakes for the core games, like Pokmon Black 2, will work with Soft Reset as well. Even the Pokmon typing game for the DS has it built in, but most other spinoffs dont.

Anyway, lets get to some strategy tips on the games on where to use Soft Reset starting with the very first entries for the DS line aka Pokmon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum. Those three games have some of the most legendary Pokmon packed into one game in any core title up that point that were not tied to outside events.

These Pokmon include the specific version monsters of Dialga or Palkia, as well as Unie, Azelf, Mesprit, Heatran, Regigigas, Giratina, and Cresselia. With only one Master Ball, Soft Reset is a must in order to minimize playtime. It can take a lot of tries and in-turn Pokballs before these monsters can get captured. As is the case for all legendary Pokmon, make sure to have a Pokmon that can can cast a sleeping move along with having a Pokmon with False Swipe. These will help but at the end of the day its all up to the numbers at play.

NEXT: Pokmon: 5 Features From Gold & Silver We Want In A Johto Remake (& 5 We Don't)

Next Animal Crossing: Every Job Isabelle Has Had

Tristan Jurkovich began his career as a journalist in 2011. His childhood love of video games and writing fuel his passion for archiving this great mediums annals. He dabbles in every genre, but hes particularly fond of RPGs and portables. Secretly he enjoys the Just Dance series a little too much. Aside from writing, Tristan also hosts a plethora of shows on his YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.

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Pokemon: A Step-By-Step Guide To Soft Resetting | TheGamer - TheGamer

The Epic Games Store free games of the week are Abzu & Rising Storm 2 – PC Invasion

Its another exciting week for those of us that enjoy the free games deals on the Epic Games Store. 2020 has been lame in many regards, but at least the hits continue to flow from Epic. This week, both Rising Storm 2: Vietnam and Abzu are free to claim and you dont want to miss out on these opportunities. The promotion is live now and runs through October 15 until 11 AM ET. Dont think about it, just go claim them. Both of these are great games of very different genres, so if you dont like one, youre likely to enjoy the other.

We will start with Abzu, which is an underwater adventure/exploration game from Giant Squid and 505 Games. Its a little over four years old now, and has been featured as a free title on the Epic Games Store before. If you missed it last time or simply havent had a chance to play it yet, consider it now.

In Abzu, you are a deep sea diver that explores a series of beautifully detailed aquatic levels. There are light puzzle elements to the game, but its largely just a casual journey through impressive scenes. One might say Abzu is as much a 3D artistic exhibit of sea life as it is a game. If you enjoyed Journey, youll certainly enjoy Abzu.

They also say theres beauty in war, but good luck finding it on a charred hilltop in the middle of a Vietnamese warzone. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is a first person shooter experience that will certainly remind you of the Battlefield games. It of course takes place during the period of the Vietnam/American war in the 60s-70s. Tripwire Interactive released the game in 2017 to very positive acclaim and provided years of content and technical updates. Now is a perfect time to jump in and enjoy all of that content, especially if you enjoy chaotic team shooters.

Just like Battlefield, the game supports up to 64 player matches with over 20 maps to fight on. The gameplay also leans a little more on the realistic side than Battlefield, without getting too bogged down on the details. There are also 50 plus weapons to try out in addition to authentic equipment from the time period.

If you can think of a clich about Nam, this game probably has it. There are flamethrowers, napalm loaded helicopters, tripwire mines, and much more. If things do get a little too real for you though, you can always try the Army Men-style add-on. That will run you extra, but it looks pretty damn good.

In addition to this weeks strong offering, next weeks games look exciting as well. It looks like the Epic Games Store will shift its focus to more holiday appropriate free games. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs will drag your psyche down into the depths of horror, so tread lightly. If you want something not as terrifying, you can try Kingdom: New Lands, which is a 2D medieval adventure with fantasy elements. Well talk about both more next week when they become available.

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The Epic Games Store free games of the week are Abzu & Rising Storm 2 - PC Invasion

10 PC Games to Check Out This October – Power Up Gaming

Autumn is one of the most colourful seasons of the year, but also the one when it suddenly starts getting cold at night. Once the rainy season begins, and people move on to choosing a cosy home atmosphere over crazy night-outs, some kind of a fun activity must be there to save the day.

Among various exciting things you can do, chances are youll eventually end up playing some games on your computer. No matter whether you opt for some of those Facebook games or decide to try the best Red Tiger games on this website, there wont be time for boredom in your life.

However, if you have been playing video games for some time and think nothing is good enough for you anymore, read this guide and find out what new titles are getting launched in October and get ready to try out the most attractive ones!

Second Extinction is a co-operative shooter game designed for three players who are courageous enough to face a bunch of mutant dinosaurs and save the planet! Team up with other two players who think alike and combine ten weapons and six missions for a unique online gaming experience.

For all the lovers of a real-time strategy, here comes Age Of Empires III the brand new 4K Definitive Edition improved on so many levels. Players will value the innovative game modes, high-quality graphics, a catchy soundtrack, and all other developments and two extra civilisations. What else can you ask for?

If you loved the Bomber Crew created by masterminds from Curve Digital, its sequel is going to sweep you off your feet. Space Crew deals with saving the planet Earth from aliens by putting you in control of a spaceship. Create the crew of your dreams just the way you like it choose their appearances and equipment, and lead them into the victory.

Step into the shoes of Tasi Trianon and try to make it out alive from the isolated Algerian desert. After she crash-lands in the area, Tasi becomes witness to some strange events that happen in the caves. Apart from dealing with outer problems, the main character has to come to terms with her inner demons and put the puzzle of the previous events back together so she can finally return home.

Amnesia: Rebirth is coming from Frictional Games and represents the follow-up to Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

Real-time strategy games are always lots of fun, and Pineleaf Studio has decided to make us happy with Dwarfheim, the co-op in which choosing the right class is your key to victory. You can be either a builder, miner, or warrior, and show your skills big time!

Weve all heard about transformers, but only the true fans will be able to dominate in new Transformers Battlegrounds. Autobots are still there, and they now have you to help them defeat the Decepticons. To get a better idea of what the game will look like once its out, check out teaser trailers and pick up a few tricks!

Being a single-player game, Ghostrunner will be perfect for those boring Autumn nights when you simply cant fall asleep. Yet, bear in mind that the realistic graphics, including violent combat, might be difficult to grasp for anyone with a weak stomach. However, if you think you can handle blood all over the place, then this combination of the post-apocalypse and science-fiction will be perfect for you.

Not all games have to be dark and scary. For those of you who simply wish to relax before bed, Carto is the right choice. This is a simple puzzle game in which you are discovering new pieces of a map in order to offer a helping hand to characters living on that land and also take Carto back home.

Ubisoft decided to combine action and adventure in the latest game called Watch Dogs: Legion. After London has been devastated by the unknown terrorist, everything goes out of control. Now, the safety of the city is in your hands establish order and build a resistance to take London back to normal.

As we reach the end of the month, the weather gets colder and the night falls faster, making a perfect atmosphere for Little Hope, the second instalment of the Dark Pictures Anthology. Horror, drama, and survival make the game a little spooky, but for the lovers of the genre, the game will be a real candy, so make sure not to miss it!

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10 PC Games to Check Out This October - Power Up Gaming

Ghost of a Tale, Neighbours Back From Hell, The Survivalists, FIFA 21, and Ikenfell hit the Switch – Games Asylum

FIFA 21 bounces off the woodwork and onto Switch this week, but in all honesty, there isnt much to say its another Legacy Edition i.e a straightforward kit/transfer update. The only new additions are new stadiums.

To quote EA themselves: FIFA 21 Legacy Edition will featurethe same gameplay innovation from FIFA 20 without any new development orsignificant enhancements.

A couple of other franchises make comebacks this week. Neighbours From Hell was a moderately successful series back in the early noughties, gracing even the GameCube. Big in mainland Europe, we understand. It, quite simply, entails ruining your neighbours day by placing traps and pranks for them to wander into.

It didnt review too well on GameCube critics found that after seeing each scenario play out once or twice, there wasnt much more to take in. Regardless, THQ Nordic brings Neighbours From Hell 1 and 2 together this week with a lick of HD paint, available for a modest 12.99.

The original Nickelodeon Kart Racers was something of a slowbut steady seller too. It clearly sold enough to warrant a sequel, at the veryleast. Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is apparently a markedimprovement on its predecessor, with a lot more to offer. CulturedVultures who awarded it a 6/10 found the lack of voice samples a hugedownfall, however, which seems justified.

Then theres The Survivalists, set within TheEscapists universe. Here, youre tasked with surviving on a desert island. It soundslike a slightly cheerier rendition of Dont Stave Explore, build, craft andeven train monkeys with up to three friends in a desperate bid to survive,reads the presser.

We can throw indie platformer Skatemasta Tcheco intothis pile too, this being part of a series the first Tcheco game launched afew months ago. Its a NES-style pixel art affair, this time with a skateboardingtwist.

We spent some time with Ghost of a Tale on Xbox Oneand was left impressed. Going by screenshots alone, this Switch version is alsolooker. Set in a medieval world where rats rule over all other creatures, itsan action RPG with stealth elements. Dont be fooled by its cutesy exterior it has a dark streak too.

Ikenfell, meanwhile, is a 2D turn-based tactical RPG set in a magic school and featuring a cast of troublesome magic students. Little do the students know that a dark secret is about to be uncovered. We already know what goes into the school hotdogs, so lets hope its not that.

Others to consider include the 2D dungeon crawler 9th Dawn III, the full price detective mystery Agatha Christie The ABC Murders (also due at retail), management sim The Ramen Sensei, and the randomised space shooter Space Avenger: Empire of Nexx.

FIFA 21 Nintendo Switch Legacy Edition 44.99

EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Legacy Edition on Nintendo Switchfeaturing the latest kits, clubs, and squads from some of top leagues aroundthe world. It will also feature some of the worlds most famous stadiums,including some brand new to FIFA 21. Gameplay features and modes will haveparity with FIFA 20 on Nintendo Switch.

Skatemasta Tcheco 4.49

Tcheco is back for another herculean journey on his shinynew skateboard. Survive bigger and crazier auto-scrolling stages as you smashand flip over everything that tries to stop Tcheco in his tracks! From beachesand cityscapes to a sports stadium and even the moon, traverse a vibrantselection of stages in any order as you roll your way to victory.

Ghost of a Tale 22.49

Ghost of a Tale follows a courageous minstrel Mouse namedTilo on a perilous quest to escape the dungeons of Dwindling Heights Keep anddiscover the fate of his true love, Merra. Set in a medieval world where Ratsrule over all other creatures, Ghost of a Tale weaves an epic, yet intimatestory combining elements of classic adventure, action-RPG, and exploration witha rich and highly immersive visual style.

Armed with a mouses talent for stealth, agility, anddisguise and a minstrels talent for music, youll explore the decaying keep,from its expansive woodlands and lakeshore to its spider-infested catacombs,evading its many dangers and discovering its most ancient secrets.

Dwindling Heights is a dangerous place for a little Mouse,and Tilos hardly a fighter. When confronted by deadly enemies twice your size,guile and swiftness are your only allies. Talk to the denizens of DwindlingHeights, make allies of your enemies, and leave no stone unturned in your questto find Merra.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix 34.99

In Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix, you can selectfrom 30 playable racers and 70 team members to assemble your ultimate pit crew.Choose your favorites from Nickelodeons hall of fame, including JoJo Siwa,SpongeBob SquarePants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the babies fromRugrats, the cool kids from Hey Arnold!, Ren and Stimpy, Lincoln Loud and hissisters, and more!

Neighbours back From Hell 12.99

The neighbours from hell return! In this HD Remaster of thebeloved childhood gems Neighbours From Hell 1 and 2, you play the star of acheeky TV Show who is constantly pranking his nasty neighbour in the mostcreative and hilarious ways. You want to replace a candle with a firework? Whatabout replacing the shaving cream with the whipped cream? Go for it!

Ikenfell 17.99

A turn based-tactical RPG about a group of troublesome magicstudents. Use timing mechanics to power your spells and block attacks, explorethe twisted halls of a vast magic school, fight challenging monsters andbosses, find tons of hidden treasure, and uncover dark secrets never meant tobe found.

The Survivalists 21.99

Hunt (or be hunted by!) animals for food and an array ofmythical enemies, who arent necessarily pleased to see you. Get quests from aMysterious Stranger or find them washed up on the shore. Prepare to trek into aprocedurally generated wilderness, with a variety of biomes, for an adventurethats unique to every player.

I Am Dead 14.99

I Am Dead is a charming puzzle adventure game from thecreators of Hohokum and Wilmots Warehouse about exploring the afterlife.

Morris Lupton is the recently-deceased museum curator of thetiny island of Shelmerston who is reunited with the ghost of his dog Sparky,only to discover that a disaster is about to destroy his beloved island.

Together, they must uncover Shelmerstons ancient mysteries,prevent the islands volcano from erupting, and save the place they call home.

Aery Sky Castle 9.99

Aery Sky Castle is a very unique flight game featuring alittle bird that discovers an unknown world full of beauty and dreamylandscapes, little environmental riddles, and other surprises. Its astory-driven adventure to discover and rescue a broken world.

The game has relatively slow pacing as it is meant to helppeople to enjoy and relax after a day full of hassle.

Game Dev Tycoon 13.49

The popular game development simulator which lets you replaygaming history and run your own game development company is finally on NintendoSwitch. Optimized for both touchscreen and Joy-Con, Game Dev Tycoon playsbetter than ever before.

Game Dev Tycoon lets you experience game development historyfirst-hand, from the passionate garage development of the 80s to the AAAstudios of today. Its up to you to hire the best team, create the best gamesand research the best tech to make your mark on the industry.

Falcon Age 15.09

Bond with a baby falcon and go on an adventure. Falcon Ageis a first-person, single-player action adventure where youll play as Ara inher fight to reclaim her cultural legacy in the lost art of falcon huntingagainst a force of automated colonizers.

Home: Postmortem Edition 7.99

Play the complete indie horror classic, now with a brand-newPostmortem Mode a guided tour by the developer that brings you behind thescenes as you play the game!

Awakened by an oncoming storm, you open your eyes to discoveryourself in a strange, dark room tucked away in a house thats not yours.Find your way back home but be careful, because each choice you make canchange your story in ways you might not expect.

AstroWings: Space War 7.29

The new style of Shoot em up that youve beenlooking for.

This game brings you the thrill, urgency and fantasticexperience of an authentic arcade shooting game.

Evade enemy bullets and take them down. Unleash yourcompetitive spirit by going up against their deadly shooting.

Flipon 5.39

Mine flipoblocks by aligning them to make combos, survivethe garbages tempest, solve puzzles and defeats the (cute) bad guys!

Retro Classix Collection #1: Data East 17.99

Dodge These Balls 0.89

This game is very simple. Try to dodge all grey balls withyour red ball as long as you can. The more balls come, the more difficult thegame becomes.

Reflection of Mine 7.99

Help Lilly Witchgan, a young girl who has dissociativeidentity disorder. Discover which personality is the real one and uncover adark plot as Lilly navigates her mindscape.

Control two different characters at the same time as youattempt to get to the exit by navigating both personalities through a multitudeof traps. Each side of the stage is different for each of the personalities, sobe cautious!

Can you solve the broken puzzle that is Lilly Witchgansmind?

Street Racer Underground 5.39

Buy your new ride and pimp it till its hot!

Reach as many checkpoints as possible in the endless mode,run away from cops chasing you or compete against other drivers in fourdifficult racing events.

You have your babe on your side to support you in your efforts!

Dont forget to combine your nitro as much as possible for ajuicy speed bonus!

Drive fast go through checkpoints in the endless mode. Pushyour highscore to the limits. Every checkpoint raises your reward! Watch out,they are harder to reach every time! Dont forget to evade the police!

Pay the entrance fee in one of the four race types and enter the hall of fame of street racing! First three places get a reward, but only the first one is the champion!

9th Dawn III 13.49

9th Dawn III is a huge 2D open world Role Playing Game andcollectathon dungeon crawler packed full of adventure! Delve into the depths ofthe darkest dungeons, fighting over 270 unique monsters and searching for vast amountsof loot, treasures and rare materials. 1400 uniquely drawn items to collect,including over 300 weapons, and over 550 armour/accessories!

Train yourself by unlocking spells and abilities andfine-tuning your attributes and skills and evolve into an ultimate warrior!Level-up your crafting abilities in cooking, enchanting, weapon-smithing, andmuch more! Recruit some monsters to fight alongside you, taking care of themand improving their combat skills to turn them into powerful allies. Unlock amysterious companion to fight alongside you to build the ultimate team!

From Orbit 7.19

In From Orbit youll manage the crew of a small spaceship.Stranded deep in uncharted space, they need to make their way home. Journeyfrom planet to planet, each procedurally generated with unique environments,challenges, and alien creatures.

Agatha Christie The ABC Murders 35.99

The ABC Murders is an adventure and investigation gameadapted from the classic Agatha Christie novel. The player embodies the famousHercule Poirot in a 3rd person perspective adventure game packed withmysteries. Once again, the private detective will find himself up against amysterious opponent who goes by the name of ABC. Your intelligencewill never have been so challenged!

You will have to explore many crime scenes in various citiesset in beautiful surroundings across the United Kingdom. Leave no stoneunturned when it comes to cross examinations and deadly puzzles!

Observe, question and explore everything possible in orderto make the smartest deductions and understand the murderers plans!


SANTICIDE, the sixth volume, adds new elements to theextensively tested gameplay. A must buy for arcade and top-down enthusiasts.

Each match lasts 90 seconds and the quest is surviving in agun-filled pit while defeating as many enemies as you can.

Choose the Class Mods and Powers that fits best yourplaystyle, or do the opposite to polish your reflexes. Classic, Hard Boiled andSanticide mode setups how fast the pit will fill. Rank and Achievements keepyou on track beating your previous scores.

Welcome back, to UBERMOSH.

Charterstone: Digital Edition 22.49

The official digital adaptation of Jamey Stegmaiers boardgame Charterstone!

Its a campaign strategy game with high replayability, whereplayers build the new Eternal City!

Build and discover in Charterstone!

TTV2 0.89

A reflex-based indie experience with original audio and art,made by the same creator of the arcade series UBERMOSH.

Are you ready to test your reflexes in a new indie game?

If your answer is YES; TTV2 is the right game for you.

The game was built for you to act quickly, testing yourreflexes and attention to detail when trying to escape the maze.

The Ramen Sensei 11.69

Build your ramen rep by fashioning the ultimate bowl from avast assortment of noodles, soup, and toppings. From roast pork to miso,mackerel, and morethe only limit is your imagination, meaning youll need touse your noodle to nail the right recipes and bring hungry customers in by thecrowd!

Enter contests and see how you size up against rivals, thuscementing your standing as superlative sensei of the savory! Succeedand oneday you might even have your own ramen theme park!

Tacticool Champs 8.99

Quick matches, wide variety of weapons and unlimited ways toeliminate the opponents are waiting for you!

Choose your hero from ten available characters, fight in oneof ten unique environments, select from sixty pre-defined scenes or create yourown with an in game scene creator!

Compete with friends in couch multiplayer or improve yourskills playing against computer controlled characters!

Filament 14.99

The truth is out there. Somewhere.

Board The Alabaster, one of The Filament Corporationsflagship research vessels, and try to wrestle control back from a mysteriouscomplication which left the ship locked down and the crew missing.

With only the help of Juniper, the ships stricken pilot, facefiendishly difficult puzzles that will push you to the limit in a bid touncover what happened to the crew and why they disappeared.

A single-player game with complex, yet ultra-addictivepuzzles, challenge yourself to board the Alabaster, then challenge yourself toleave.

Torn Tales: Rebound Edition 7.19

You will wield the powers of Robin Hood, Snow White and DrJekyll & Mr Hyde as they fight together in the dark landscape assembled bythe evil Bookbinder. He has bound enemies from across the fabled lands to stopyou, so be ready for the unexpected. Adventures of Chris

Adventures of Chris 13.49

Oh wow, Im actually kinda surprised you scrolled down thisfarthats awesome! My names Chris, and Im so excited to tell you about mygame! Its a 90s-inspired adventure platformer about the totally normaladventures I went on as a chubby kid back in 1995 traveling the world,learning useful abilities, and, naturally, getting kidnapped and turned into aballoon by cartoon villains. Thankfully, I escaped and learned to use mytransformation as a kind of superpower. I got to learn all kinds of cool stuff how to throw fireballs and lightning, how to bounce around like a basketballand rocket around the earth. Its a neat storyI think. I really hope youllenjoy it I had a lot of fun making it!

Continued here:
Ghost of a Tale, Neighbours Back From Hell, The Survivalists, FIFA 21, and Ikenfell hit the Switch - Games Asylum

10 Great Multitasking Games Similar To Overcooked | Game Rant – GameRant

Local co-op games seem to be something of a lost art, with the rise of competitive and online multiplayer romps as well as single-player epics. But Ghost Town Games and Team17 proved such a style is not only still fun, but can be a uniquely excitingendeavor. They've done this in the form of theirsurprise hitOvercooked, and its even more beefed-up sequel. The series brings a charming arcade sensibility with its simple mechanics and frantic gameplay.

RELATED:10 Co-Op Games That will Ruin Friendships

At the same time, these games very much do their own thing, with the emphasis on multitasking and collaborating with other players. This has spawned a number of similar efforts though there are also titles predating it, whichring similar in some way. Let's get cooking and take a look at titlesOvercookedfans should love. Some of these will stress cooperative gameplay, but all will hinge on multitasking when it comes to mechanics or objectives.

On the surface, a sidescrolling platformer might seem like a far cry from a cooking-based party romp. Yet, at its core, this colorful game from Space Mace and Graffiti Games isOvercooked-esque inits co-op leanings, rapid pacing, and juggling of multiple tasks.

The name of the game is to sort out the color-coded avatars while chugging along, which corresponds to platforms and other elements. Bringing the right color forwardallows players to progress, while mismatching the colors often leads to a swift death or pitfall.Joggernautsis truly a fun, innovative spin on the puzzler/platformer, especially when coordinating with other players.

LiketheOvercookedgames, this is a similarly-frantic arcade-style sim that will have multiple players fumbling through various tasks.While messing up in Team17's partier only yields angry, hungry customers,Surgeon Simulator 2puts lives on the line. These high stakes, coupled with some precise controls and tricky surgical procedures, makes for a uniquely tense experience.

This sequel to the 2013 sleeper hit ups the ante in terms of depth and difficulty, injecting cooperative gameplay and a story mode that further immerses players. LikeOvercooked, the cartoonyvisuals and animation provide some yuks.

Speaking of humorous gameplay this indie gem from No Brakes Games seemingly fell out of nowhere.Human Fall Flathaslargely flown under the radar even to this day, despite some inventive physics and puzzle-based platforming. Just a brief look at the stumbling, doughy avatars is enough to sense that we'rein for a unique and wild ride here.

Players will team up in groups of stretchy, staggering figures who struggle to even run or jump. Fumbling with the drunken physics proves both challenging and hilarious as players drag, hop, and fall around while messing with platforms and contraptions that trigger the next part of the stage.

This hand-drawn puzzler is a huge departure from the colorfulOvercookedand mostothergames for that matter. Still,the emphasis of multiplayer communication and multitasking here certainly has some overlap.39 Days to Marshas players tinkering with a number of weird, inventive puzzles in order to progress and repair their steampunk ship.

RELATED: The 10 Best Co-Op Games From 10 Different Genres

The campaign is slim, but the "outside the box" thinking and juggling of several tasks ensure there will bemuchtime spent experimenting. Objectives span from controlling a space bicycle to fixing some tea. Like Team17's game,39 Days to Marstruly thrives when collaborating even if it cantechnicallybe played alone.

The Knights of Unity'sTools Up!is to home renovation whatOvercookedis to cooking and baking. Outside the vastly-differentmotifs, the core gameplay rings quite similar to Team17's party game. Though the experience is a bit rough around the edges, scrambling with a friend to move furniture and tear down wallpaper proves surprisingly fun. It's an amusing alternative forOvercookedfans looking to knockout different types of tasks with a friend.

Put the collaborative, multitasking gameplay ofOvercooked&rework it into a cube-centric puzzler, and you might haveDeath Squared. Just as that game has chefs fumbling with various ingredients, this puzzle game forces players to deal with a number of contraptions, electric currents, and deadly robot explosions. Multiple actions and triggers will need to be initiated at once, meaning players will either need to have a friend at the ready or be great atmultitasking.

Much of the excitement ofOvercookedcomes from racing against the ticking clock and completing the job on demand. It's much the same with this evenmoreintense title, which is described as a "party railroad game." That certainly sums it up as Conduct Together!takes the job of navigating trains and adds a chaotically fun twist with its fast-paced arcade gameplay.

Players will be forced to shift from multiple points of interest, as various trains will be chugging along different paths. The goal is to guide each train to their station and pick up commuters, all while evading each other and avoiding crashes.

It wouldn't make sense to have a list discussingOvercooked-esque games and not include a cooking romp, especially one that similarly has players scrambling to complete food orders. Of course, this time cakes alone are the focus, but that doesn't meanCake Maniais any less thrilling or tough far from it!

RELATED: 10 Best Party Video Games of All Time, Ranked

The series began as a Flash-based time management gamein 2006, which eventually become a mobile game, and even saw releases on the Wii and PS2. Still, it's hard to beat the charm of the original, which manages to be both addictiveand accessible.

Holding parallels to the similarTools Up!, this Team17-published game also takes a typically laborious job and turns it into a fun, thrilling endeavor. Described as a "moving simulator," Moving Outputs an arcade-style spin on the task of hauling furniture with its cartoony visuals and fast-paced gameplay.

Players will work together on a single isometric screen to drag various items and furniture around, compiling them into a moving truck. Speed and maneuverability are stressed over strategy though the mechanics, style, and thrilling co-op gameplay definitely invokeOvercookedvibes.

Those few who have discovered this hidden gem have often called it "Overcookedin space," and to a degree, this is true. Though this 2018 romp from Inertia Game Studiosshines like a star with its own unique charm. Rather than whipping up meals, up to 4 players will man a spaceship, working to keep it running smoothly and ward off attacks.

This means arming torpedoes, evading solar flairs, and extinguish fires in a manner very much like Team17's game.Catastronautsespecially feels like the more chaoticOvercooked 2with its dynamic settings and thrilling action happening around the players.

NEXT: 11 Best Local Multiplayer Games for Nintendo Switch

Next Among Us: 10 Pro Tips For Playing Impostor

Stephen is an avid Nintendo, Indie, and retro gamer who dabbles in Xbox on occasion, mainly in the form of binge sessions of Overwatch. He's a history buff, an aspiring writer of short fiction, and a devout metalhead who enjoys poorly drumming along to Black Sabbath on his cheap drum set. When his beloved Chicago Cubs or Bulls are not playing, he typically likes to watch random documentaries or campy horror films.

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10 Great Multitasking Games Similar To Overcooked | Game Rant - GameRant

‘Rain City’ is the perfect puzzle game to spend a few hours on | Clocked – Happy Mag

In a time where everyone is losing their mind from boredom and might not be able to get their hands on all the newest, most expensive games, Rain Cityis an amazing indie titleto turn to.

A one-player puzzle game released June 2019 by ORENDA for Nintendo Switch and the PS4,Rain City isabsolutely lovely.

Follow the story of a dedicated young cat on his journey to find his missing sister inRain City.The city itself is designed wonderfully to fit in with the picture book aesthetic, and as you might have guessed, it always rains.

The game is as bizarre as it is adorable, with a surprising depth of emotion. The puzzles are fun but challenging, and there are quite a few that might be sending you to search for answers online. Some puzzles can only be solved with time and determination, but Ill give you a hand later on with one of the harder or at least, more frustrating puzzles if you find yourself in need.

Uncover the mystery of the disappearing sister through various puzzles and meet plenty of colourful characters along the way. Some puzzles rely on memory and observation, some on patience and dedication, and some depend on the sheer, single-minded determination that comes from almost losing your mind because you missed a minor detail you didnt think was important.

There are a number of fun and challenging mini-games throughout the storyline, and as you delve deeper into the game, your character will collect useful items to help you keep getting on. Dont miss those items or youll be lost and confused while running around in a strange underground bathroom for half an hour.

If you ever find yourself too confused, not to worry, a number of people have uploaded gameplay guides on YouTube. But heres a quick guide to one of the most confusing puzzles in the game:

When you walk into the greenhouse room, walking along the path will lead you into the noxious green gas and the character will pass out. You will wake up in a hallway with a sign reading welcome backwards, and a single door to go through. Once you pass through this door, the puzzle begins. There are ten rooms that follow, each with four doors within, including the one you enter from.

Here is the correct combination to complete the puzzle:

Room One: DownRoom Two: LeftRoom Three: UpRoom Four: LeftRoom Five: DownRoom Six: LeftRoom Seven: UpRoom Eight: RightRoom Nine: UpRoom Ten: Right

Once youre through the tenth door, youll enter another hallway which will lead you right to the mushroom you seek. I sure hope you collected the jar to keep it in from the Rats Lab!

Rain Cityis available on the Nintendo Switch for $7.58, with a free demo. Find out more here. Its available for $16.95 on PS4, find out more here.

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'Rain City' is the perfect puzzle game to spend a few hours on | Clocked - Happy Mag

Lesson of the Day: 35 Thoughts About Mario on Super Marios 35th Anniversary – The New York Times

Students in U.S. high schools can get free digital access to The New York Times until September 2021.

Featured Article: 35 Thoughts About Mario on Super Marios 35th Anniversary by Stephen Totilo

Almost exactly 35 years ago, Super Mario Bros., the iconic video game from Nintendo, debuted making a high-jumping plumber named Mario the Japanese video game companys equivalent of Mickey Mouse, the featured article begins.

In this lesson, you will learn more about Mario, what he means to video game culture and why he remains popular. Then you will create a new character to join the Super Mario Bros. universe.

Do you love video games? Would you consider yourself a gamer?

Take five minutes to write about or discuss with a partner the following questions about the role of video games in your life:

What do you like most about video games? The new, strange or fantastical worlds? The design and graphics? The sense of community?

What types of games do you play most? Strategy or simulation games? Puzzle games? Role-playing games? Why are you drawn to those styles and genres? How often do you play?

Do you play any classic games like Tetris, Space Invaders or Super Mario Bros.? If yes, what do you find appealing about those older games compared with todays games? Do you appreciate the rudimentary graphics and basic action possibilities?

Imagine you could play only one video game for the rest of your life. What would it be and why?

If you dont play video games, why do you think they appeal to others? Why dont they appeal to you?

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

1. Which of the 35 thoughts and observations presented by Mr. Totilo did you find most fascinating, surprising or memorable? Tell us at least three things you learned about Super Mario that you didnt know.

2. Mr. Totilo writes, Back in 1985, Super Mario Bros. was revelatory. What was new and revolutionary about the game?

3. Avatar of exuberance, superb strangeness and dreamlike quality of his game worlds are some of the words and phrases Mr. Totilo uses to capture Mario and the games appeal. In your own words, describe the game to someone who has never played it.

4. Mr. Totilo writes that Mario stands out as a relic. What are two ways that Super Mario Bros. differs from modern video games?

5. How has Super Mario Bros. adapted over the years to new technology and new fans? In what ways has it remained the same? Do you have a favorite title or spinoff in the Mario series? Or do you prefer the original?

6. What do you think accounts for the enduring popularity of Super Mario Bros.? Give examples from the article, as well as your own experience, to support your claim. Do you think people will still be playing it in 2055 35 years from now?

7. Does the article change your views on Super Mario Bros. or classic video games? Do you think the franchise deserves its place in the pantheon of greatest video games? What more about the history of video games would you like to learn?

Bonus Boss Level question:

The article concludes:

And finally: Marios best jump? I nominate the triple jump from Super Mario 64 a trio of high-arc leaps, accompanied by three giddy yelps. That might be the best thing in gaming ever.

Do you agree? What do you think is the best thing in gaming ever?

Option 1: Design a new character to join the Super Mario universe.

Imagine that Nintendo has asked the public to help it celebrate Super Mario Bros.s 35th birthday by creating a new character or giving an existing one a 2020 makeover.

Many iconic game characters exist in the Super Mario universe Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser and Yoshi, to name just a few. What kind of protagonist, sidekick or villain do you think would make the game more exciting, fun or help to keep the franchise fresh? What distinctive features, personality, skills or attire would they possess?

Create a 60-second pitch to persuade the company to select your character. Your elevator pitch should be succinct, vivid and persuasive: Why should your character be added to the popular franchise? In your pitch, be sure to include:

The name of your character

A vivid description of the character including personality, clothing, style and skills

An explanation of how this new character would add to the Super Mario Bros. universe but still fit into it. Why would players enjoy it?

A consideration of why purists or critics might be skeptical of your character. What would you say to persuade them to see the value of your creation?

If inspired, make a sketch of your character and its key accessories. You can design your work on paper or consider using a free digital design program like Canva.

Afterward, share with your class and have a vote on the next Super Mario Bros. character!

Option 2: Its 2055 what game from your childhood will still be lauded and played?

Its 35 years in the future. The New York Times has asked you to write about an enduring game from your childhood.

Think of the video games you play now or those you played as a child: Minecraft. Roblox. Fortnite. Candy Crush. Madden NFL.

If you dont play video games, choose another type of game to write about, whether a board game like Monopoly, a word game like a crossword puzzle, an active game like Hide and Seek, or anything else you can think of.

Which do you think will still be played in another 35 years?

Provide at least five insights and observations to Times readers of the future: What qualities will make your game endure? The characters? The themes? The graphics? Be sure to include interesting tidbits, trivia and offbeat anecdotes as Mr. Totilo did in his paean to Super Mario. What makes the game distinctive and compelling? What impact has it had on gaming culture? What interesting innovations or spinoffs have been created?

About Lesson of the Day

Find all our Lessons of the Day in this column. Teachers, watch our on-demand webinar to learn how to use this feature in your classroom.

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Lesson of the Day: 35 Thoughts About Mario on Super Marios 35th Anniversary - The New York Times

2D Games vs. 3D Games: What Are the Differences? | MakeUseOf – MakeUseOf

While there are many genres of video games, almost all of them fall into one of two general graphical styles: 2D or 3D. The basic difference between these is obvious, but there's a lot more to consider when comparing 2D and 3D games.

Let's take a look at some of their history and common genres in both graphical styles, as we explore the differences between 2D and 3D games.

In case you're not familiar, or want to consider the basics first, let's define how these types of games are different. It's important to note that there are many different types of 2D and 3D games, so these are not absolute.

2D games, as their name suggests, are titles with only two axes of motion. Typically, these are "flat" games where you can move left and right as well as up and down. An example is Celeste:

Because they don't have as many options for movement, 2D games are often simpler than their 3D counterparts. Many 2D games are linear, meaning that your primary objective is simply to get from the start to the end of a level.

In addition, the controls in 2D games are often relatively simple. Because your character doesn't have a full range of 3D motion, they have fewer possible movements and interactions with other objects.

In a lot of 2D games, objects exist as something called a "sprite", which is the name given to a small image mapped onto a larger image. Due to the 2D landscape, every sprite has X/Y coordinates that details exactly where it's located. These are flat images, unlike 3D games where you can view the objects from any angle you like.

The camera in 2D games is also greatly simplified. It typically looks straight at the game from the side, so there's no perspective like in 3D titles. Some 2D games use an effect called parallax scrolling, which scrolls the background at a different speed than the foreground to create the illusion of depth.

Because of this, character control is also much easier. In a 2D game, tilting your control stick to the right simply moves your character in that direction. But in a 3D game, tilting your control stick to the right moves your characterbased on the camera and the way they're currently looking.

3D games, by contrast, include full movement through three-dimensional planes. This means that the player is able to move around in a "real world" setting where they can turn 360 degrees, and in which objects have length, height, and depth. An example is Super Mario Odyssey:

As you can tell, 3D games are much more complex than 2D games. One of the biggest differences is the camera perspective. In many 3D games, you can move the camera independently of your character, which lets you look at the game world from various angles.

Instead of flat sprites, you can see what your character looks like from above or from a 45-degree angle. Moving the camera to an optimal position can be the key to solving puzzles or completing tricky jumps.

Character animations are much more complex in 3D games. Instead of simple sprites that might only have a few preset animations, 3D models react to other elements in the world around them. Their animations flow into each other to create a more fluid look, compared to the comic book-like feel of many 2D games.

Instead of the pre-rendered objects used in many 2D games, 3D games render textures on surfaces to make them look like solid objects. In complex 3D games, elements like light and sound can behave like they do in real life.

This increased complexity affects the gameplay, too. Instead of simple "reach the end" objectives, many 3D games task you with fully exploring a space, solving physical puzzles, and more.

Let's take a look at the history of these graphical styles to help understand their impact and how they have changed over time.

Early video games were incredibly primitive, so it's no surprise that they had to use a 2D graphical style. Text-based games were popular in the 1970s, which relied entirely on reading and entering text to interact with the game. But once video games advanced to using actual visual graphics, using three dimensions wasn't even possible yet, so 2D became the norm.

Early video games, such as Pong in arcades and the Magnavox Odyssey home console, used basic shapes in 2D planes. You certainly had to use your imagination to picture playing tennis or hockey on these platforms.

Even as video game consoles became more advanced, 2D graphics were the norm until the mid-1990s. The NES, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis featured almost all 2D games, such as platformers, sports games, puzzle titles, and similar.

Some games were able to achieve simplistic 3D gameplay, such as Star Fox in 1993. This was impressive for the time, but the SNES just wasn't capable of handling proper 3D graphics smoothly. That changed with the next generation of consoles.

The fifth generation of video game consoles, led by the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, finally made true 3D games possible. Thanks to the increased power of these consoles, developers could finally make games with full 3D movement.

Super Mario 64, which arrived in 1996 as a launch title for the Nintendo 64, was the first wildly successful 3D platformer and set the standard for years to come. Many of the PlayStation's top titles, such as Spyro the Dragon and Metal Gear Solid, were also full 3D games.

In the days since 3D became mainstream, consoles have become powerful enough to easily handle both 3D and 2D games. Let's look at how that plays out.

Since 2D games only exist on two planes, they lend themselves well to simpler titles. Let's look at some of the most popular.

Platformers are one of the most common types of 2D games. Since your goal is typically just reaching the end of each level, running and jumping in two dimensions is a natural fit.

Examples include Sonic the Hedgehog and Rayman Legends. We've looked at the best 2D platformers if you're interested in exploring the genre in more detail.

While 3D fighting games exist, classic fighting games appeared in 2D. These pit you and an opponent against each other in an arena where you can only move forward/backward and jump.

Examples include Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

Classic puzzle games, such as match-three titles or block-clearing puzzles, work in 2D as there's not much to them beyond moving pieces. 3D puzzle games are typically much more complex and involve puzzles based on movement.

Examples include Tetris and Bejeweled.

With the advent of 3D graphics, many new game genres were birthed and others took on new forms. Here are a few of them.

Since first-person shooters rely on you taking the perspective of someone holding a gun, they only really make sense in 3D where you can move around in a realistic space. This genre took off starting with Doom in 1993.

Examples include Half-Life and Call of Duty.

"Action" is a broad genre; the "hack and slash" subgenre refers to 3D titles with an emphasis on overcoming large groups of enemies using smooth melee combat strung together in combos. 2D games have a similar genre in "beat 'em ups," but hack and slash games can only exist in 3D thanks to the extensive combat options.

Examples include Bayonetta and Devil May Cry.

Simple racing games can exist in 2D, usually with top-down graphics. But almost all modern racing games are in 3D, taking advantage of modern graphics and more robust controls.

Examples include Forza Horizon and Need for Speed.

Hopefully, you now understand more about the differences between 2D and 3D games. We've looked at some examples of genres in each one, but it's important to note that these are not always hard-and-fast rules.

For example, many genres work in both 2D and 3D---platformers are a great example. While 2D platformers are usually straightforward, the extra dimension in 3D platformers gives them a lot more options. 3D platformers, like A Hat in Time, often feature various objectives, like collecting so many of a certain item.

Some game series even switch between 2D and 3D regularly. The Metroid series started out in 2D on the NES and SNES before moving to 3D with Metroid Prime on the GameCube. But since Prime's release, Nintendo develops both 2D and 3D Metroid titles. Sonic the Hedgehog is a similar case.

Games that use a "2.5D" style are another complication in the discussion. This term often refers to games with 2D gameplay that feature 3D graphics (such as Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Trine 2, or Street Fighter V).

These games use 3D models for characters and other objects, but only let you control the game in two dimensions. Compare how Donkey Kong and the environment looks in Tropical Freeze:

With Link's sprite from the original The Legend of Zelda game:

Both of these games feature 2D gameplay, but there's clearly a difference in the methods used to display those graphics.

With modern gaming, there are tons of great 2D and 3D games to play. Don't worry too much about the graphical style---you should just find the genres you enjoy playing and try more games like them.

Speaking of which, there are lots of niche game genres to discover other than the ones we discussed above.

Image Credit: Liu zishan/Shutterstock

What are roguelikes? What are walking simulators? What are visual novels? These niche video game genres are worth playing!

Ben is a Deputy Editor and the Onboarding Manager at MakeUseOf. He left his IT job to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. He's been covering tech tutorials, video game recommendations, and more as a professional writer for over six years.

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2D Games vs. 3D Games: What Are the Differences? | MakeUseOf - MakeUseOf

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