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Try This and Not That for A Better Memory – Bel Marra Health

Do brain games help improve your memory, or do they just give you something to do?

Its not necessarily a straightforward answer. Challenging your brain with crossword and sudoku puzzles may eventually make you better at them. Still, they are unlikely to translate into better memory or other cognitive functions that will help you in daily life.

Overall benefit to the brain is more complex than that. To some experts, it requires moving out of your comfort zone and embracing new tasks and challenges. These activities aim to improve neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is the brains power to rewire itself and make new connections in response to learning and stimulation.

So, think of it like this: always doing the same thing is not challenging. If you curl a 15 lb. dumbbell all day every day, youre not going to get stronger. Repetition breeds familiarity, not growth. Its the same with your brain.

When it comes to brain games, be wary of the claims. They are unlikely to improve memory, decision making, or overall cognitive function.

Instead, try focusing and thinking deeply. Learn some new information and try something different. Try grouping the new information as part of a big picture, identifying themes that can link to other memories or areas of the brain.

This activity is better suited to deliver results.

One way to improve deep thinking and learning is to stop multitasking. Constantly moving attention from one area to another makes it much harder for your brain to work and remain focused. Multitasking is not productive, and plenty of science proves most people cant do it anyway.

Staying away from smartphones, tablets, and other attention-grabbers can also help. Overuse of these items can slow deep and critical thinking and disengage your brain. Lock away your devices for at least 30 minutes a day.

Traditional brain games like crossword puzzles wont harm your brain, but they likely wont improve it either. Take a more holistic approach to brain health and work to extend memory.

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Try This and Not That for A Better Memory - Bel Marra Health

How a Solo Indie Developer Built the Best Rated Game on Oculus Quest – Road to VR

Recently released on the Quest store,Cubism is a spatial puzzle game with a slick minimal presentation. Designed by a solo indie developerThomas Van Bouwel as a side project, the game impressively holds the highest user rating among all Quest apps with more than 100 reviews,according to our latest ranking. We reached to Van Bouwel to learn more about his approach to the project and lessons learned along the way.

Guest Article byThomas Van Bouwel

Thomas is a Belgian-Brazilian VR developer currently based in Brussels. Although his original background is in architecture, his current work in VR spans from indie games likeCubismto enterprise software for architects and engineers likeResolve.

In September I launched Cubism, a minimal VR puzzle game about assembling colorful blocks into complex geometric shapes. It was my first commercial release as a game developer.

I developed Cubism on my own in my spare time, all while keeping my job as lead product engineer at Resolve, a Brooklyn-based enterprise VR start-up. Ive only recently transitioned into working part-time for the game in the months leading up to its release.

Bootstrapping your first game alongside a full-time job can be a good way to allow for a flexible development schedule and reduce financial riskbut I think its only feasible if you design around your limitations and dont over-scope your game.

In this article, I want to share some lessons I learned on how to stay on track when bootstrapping your first VR game.

The first questions you need to answer when starting any new game is: is this fun? and could this have an audience? A good way to answer these questions is to build a vertical slicea small but fully playable segment of your game ideaas soon as possible, and put it in front of strangers to gauge their reaction.

I built the first functional prototype for Cubism over a weekend back in 2017. The prototype was pretty bare bones, but playable, and was enough for me to test the concept with friends and colleagues and to share the idea with strangers online to see if a game like this could spark interest.

The first prototype of Cubism had 3 puzzles, but no menu or game logic. Two of those three original puzzles ended up in the final game.

Choosing the right scope for a game is the best way to ensure you can actually finish it, and this will be determined mostly by your constraints (budget, skillset, time, etc).

For Cubism, I knew Id have limited time to work on it, I knew I wanted to work solo to keep my schedule flexible, and I knew that things like 3D modelling, graphics programming and audio design werent my strong suit.Cubisms minimal aesthetic and straight-forward gameplay leaned into these constraints, and helped inform many design decisions along the way.

For example, the minimal environment removed the need for detailed environment modelling or complex lighting, and helped put the focus on the puzzle in front of the player. This lack of environment also meant that having gravity made no sense, since pieces had no surface to fall on other than the floorso instead, everything floats. This actually made puzzle solving a bit easier and enabled more complex puzzle shapes which wouldnt be possible if gravity applied.

The lack of gravity in Cubism allows for more complex puzzle shapes.

Adjusting scope is something that will inevitably happen throughout development as well. One instance where I realized I was over-scoping was with my plans to support hand-tracking in the initial release of the game.

When hand-tracking first became available, I quickly prototyped experimental support for the feature and released it in a demo on SideQuestas it seemed like hand-tracking could make for a very intuitive way of playing the game. The reality was that hand-tracking at the time still had limitations, and the quality of peoples experience with it varied highly depending on their lighting conditions and their expectations of the feature. The demo I made did not handle these limitations well.

Linus from Linus Tech Tips struggling with Cubisms experimental hand tracking input (source).

I realized that properly implementing this feature would require much more work than I originally anticipated, which would delay the release of the actual game. I instead decided to remove the feature from the release scope and plan it for a future update.

This was a difficult call to make, since the SideQuest demo set expectations for the full game to support this feature as well, but I think it was the right call as it ensured I could give the development of this feature the time it required to be done properly.

When you recognize that an aspect of your game will require a ton of iteration to get right, its worth looking into what tools you can buy or build to help make that iteration more efficient.

For Cubism, I realized early on that I would need to iterate a lot on the design of the puzzles in the game, so one of the first things I built was a simple puzzle editor. It was far from release-ready, but as a developer tool it had a huge impact on how quickly I was able to iterate and find interesting puzzle designs.

An early in-VR level editor tool helped me speed up puzzle design and iteration

Another aspect of the game that required a lot of iteration was the audio design. In Cubism, every puzzle piece is associated with a note, meaning every puzzle forms a complete chord once finished. Completed puzzles and their associated chords form a complete song. When a player presses the play button in the menu, it will play this song as it goes through all the levels theyve solved.

Pressing the play button lets players hear a song composed of chords associated with each puzzle theyve completed.

In Unity3D, I built a simple editor tool that would let me modify the notes associated with the puzzles and would save these notes in a separate file. This allowed me to test multiple songs for the game in parallel and made it easier for me to keep the notes associated with puzzles up to date while the puzzle designs evolved during development.

This simple puzzle song editor let me modify the notes associated with pieces of each puzzle and preview what this would sound like in sequence in the game.

If you want to make your VR game accessible for newcomers to the medium, take special care to playtest it with non-gamers during development.

Since Cubism was meant to be a casual game, one of my design goals was to make it as pick-up-and-play as possible for newcomers to the medium. However, about a year and a half into development I realized one of the biggest blockers for newcomers was the games control scheme and the onboarding tutorial to teach new players.

Almost every button had a function mapped to it, and the game would start by walking you through each button, which would be very disorienting for people who werent used to holding controllers.

Cubism originally used every button on the controller and the onboarding tutorial would walk users though each one.

It took me a long time to realize this was an issue, because I had mainly been testing the game with other developers, gamers, and VR enthusiasts who would tend to breeze through the controller onboarding. It was only during a more family-oriented game event, where I got a chance to test the game with more non-gamers, that I realized input was a barrier to entry for some folks.

After that insight I focussed on simplifying the control scheme by making the entire game playable with just the triggers. This had some design implications as well: the menu moved from being anchored to the players hand to being anchored underneath the puzzle. And moving the entire puzzle, which used to be mapped to the grip buttons, now happened by grabbing the puzzle within its bounding box.

These changes greatly simplified onboarding and made the game much more easy to pick-up-and-play. Where some players used to get confused by the original tutorial, they would now breeze through it and be solving their first puzzle within 10-20 seconds of launching the game.

Cubism can now fully be played with just the triggers, greatly simplifying and shortening the onboarding tutorial.

Even though I made Cubism on my own, I would never have been able to finish the game without the support of various friends and organizations within the VR community. They kept me motivated throughout development and have given me valuable advice when I was stuck.

In most cities Ive lived in since I started working on Cubism, Ive been able to find meetup groups for Unity developers, indie game developers, or VR enthusiasts. And even though going to actual meetups is harder these days, many of these groups also have active online communities on Slack or Discord.

If youre planning on developing on the Oculus platform, I also highly recommend joining their Oculus Start program. Beyond the support Oculus provides to Start developers, they also have a really active and supportive community on Discord.

The choice of whether or not to work solo and/or part-time on a project will likely depend on your circumstances and the nature of the game youre making. Ive definitely felt the downsides of solo spare-time development as well: a dev cycle that was probably longer than it needed to be, being confronted with gaps in my own knowledge when it came to actually finishing and publishing a game, or the lack of a creative sparring partner to work through design problems and help make decisions.

But for Cubism, there was a flip-side to each of these downsides as well: not having to compromise between a game I wanted to make and a job I enjoyed doing, being forced to learn new skills, and being incentivised to seek out the wider gamedev community for advice, support and motivation.

In many cases, it will make more sense to work together with others or to seek funding for development, but if youre planning on solo-bootstrapping your first game, I hope this article will be helpful!

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How a Solo Indie Developer Built the Best Rated Game on Oculus Quest - Road to VR

Blair Witch: Experience the Horror of the Movie By…Solving Puzzles? – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Diving into the Blair Witch world through puzzles seems strange, but the tabletop experience captures the mystery and spookiness of the original.

TheBlair WitchProject changed the landscape of horror movies after its 1999 release, and brought audiences into the story through the found footage style filming. Many subsequent movies have tried to emulate it, butBlair Witch is still beloved by horror fans. It's no surprise that games would want to capitalize on this fan-base, but Hunt A Killer and Lionsgate Games dive into theBlair Witch story in a surprising way -- with puzzles.

TheBlair Witchtabletop experience is an at-home puzzle adventure that asks players to help solve the disappearance of Liam Kent, who's gone missing fromBurkittsville, home of the fabled Blair Witch and the events of the original movie. Piecing together timelines and alibis, deciphering cryptic clues and getting to know the inhabitants ofBurkittsville allow the players to participate in a mystery while immersing themselves in the spooky atmosphere of the haunted town.

Related:5 Killer PC Games to Start Your Halloween Early

Part of what makes theBlair Witchexperience so compelling is that many of the puzzles and clues are all physical objects that players can manipulate and combine in order to find a solution. Each mailing also makes use of digital tools to provide real-time feedback and augment the physical clues. The final multimedia result is deeply satisfying to dive into and just as immersive as the movie's found-footage style.

Rigorous code-breaking and complex puzzle-solving seems at first glance like a strange way to engage in the horror of the Blair Witch universe. But the mystery at the heart of the movie actually transfers well into the escape-room-esquetabletop experience. While the stakes don't seem quite as high, and the puzzles are certainly safer than a recorded exploration of the woods, the mystery genre is a great transition for the story.

Related: 5 Underrated Horror Movies to Get You in a Spooky Mood

If some of the aesthetic of a dark night deep in the woods of Burkittsville is lost in this new medium, the puzzles do a good job of trying to reintroducethe creepiness through attentive writing. Clues range from newspaper and magazine clippings to fake social media posts, sometimes including hand-written marginalia to set the mood even more.

The at-home puzzleexperienceis also perfect for lockdown. Blair Witch makes a perfect solo journey for the ardent puzzle solver, but also a great small group activity for quarantine pods or even date night.

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Blair Witch: Experience the Horror of the Movie By...Solving Puzzles? - CBR - Comic Book Resources

DREAMO, A LOVE LETTER TO THE NARRATIVE PUZZLE GENRE – Gamasutra

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Trailer link Nintendo eShop link

Warsaw, Poland, November 19th, 2020 indie game publisher Pineapple Works announces that DREAMO, has been released today on the Nintendo Switch eShop, with a 10% launch discount. Free demo version is available too. DREAMO, developed by Hypnotic Ants, is a game that echoes elements found in various Puzzle Narrative games from The Witness and The Talos Principle to Baba is You and Fez.

In DREAMO, you inhabit the body and mind of Jack, a scientist who barely survived a plane crash and lost his memory. Being an invaluable asset to his company, he is being given a radical experimental treatment to save his life. The treatment involves navigating through his subconscious and solving a series of cube based puzzles, known as Artifacts to uncover his past. Guiding him through his treatment is Dr Tara Reid, she claims to be there to help you but is she?

As the game goes along the puzzles feature increasingly complex and inventive internal machinery both to further engage the player and symbolise the increasing difficulty of accessing the deeper parts of your subconscious, coupled with the fully voiced narration, the game explores morality, single-minded devotion and the far reaching effects of ones choices

Key Features

First-person puzzle-adventure game

Dozens of individually designed, challenging 3D puzzles with moving components and a variety of modifiers

Challenge Mode for players seeking to put their skills to the test

Fully voiced narration

Relaxing gameplay formula

Expanding dreamscape

Low polygon environment with vibrant colors

An engaging three-chapter storyline that explores themes of memory, choice, and consequence

Raw Data:

Blurb: Warsaw, Poland, November 19th, 2020 indie game publisher Pineapple Works announces that DREAMO, has been released today on the Nintendo Switch eShop, with a 10% launch discount. Free demo version is available too.

Game title: DREAMO

Presskit: https://pineapple.works/presskit/sheet.php?p=dreamo

Developer: Hypnotic Ants (http://www.hypnoticants.com/)

Publisher: Pineapple Works (https://pineapple.works/)

Genre: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle

Languages: English (voiceover), French, German, European Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplied Chinese, Polish

Release Date: November 19th, 2020, on the Nintendo eShop

eShop Link: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/dreamo-switch/

Press contact: [emailprotected]

Facebook: https://facebook.com/pineapplesatwork

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pineapple_works

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DREAMO, A LOVE LETTER TO THE NARRATIVE PUZZLE GENRE - Gamasutra

Out Now: ‘Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead’, ‘The First Tree’, ‘Moonlighter’, ‘One Night at Flumpty’s’, ‘Tomb Toad’, ‘DeLight: The Journey Home’,…

Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, weve kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years thats the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this weeks new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games youll be picking up!

Art Restoration Puzzle (Free)

iTunes Description

What is the most satisfying feeling in the world? Recover masterpieces! Genius artists painted them 100 years or more ago. With time, those amazing paintings cant keep their original form. You are an art collector with the passion to recover the quality of those invaluable paintings. By rolling the color ball to repaint all damaged parts of the painting you will successfully recover that masterpiece.

Forum Thread: Art Restoration Puzzle (by Genix Lab)

Book of Beasts (Free)

iTunes Description

Book of Beasts is a multiplayer, free-to-play collectible card game (CCG).You place cards on the board by smartly connecting Gems on Beast Cards. Every card on the shared battlefield can be used against you. Additional Spell Cards and deck building offer unlimited strategies and endless battle challenges!

Forum Thread: Book of Beasts CCG (by Millform)

Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead ($4.99)

iTunes Description

Experience the fun of KILLING WALKERS using the POWER of your BRAIN!

Prepare for the ultimate mashup experience! Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead combines the legendary and challenging puzzle gameplay of Bridge Constructor with the post-apocalyptic zombie universe of AMCs The Walking Dead.

Forum Thread: Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead (by Headup)

DeLight: The Journey Home (Free)

iTunes Description

Story of Sammy, a girl blinded in war, and her journey to find her lost parents.Play as Sammy and step into a perilous journey into the unknown, with the help of her seeing-eye dog Deli Every decision you make will influence her fate

Forum Thread: DeLight: The Journey Home (by Wexplore Games)

Dragon Blaze classic (Free)

iTunes Description

The unique feature of this game is that able to pick one among four dragon knights, which is able to knight and dragon dismount attack through dragon shotDefeat the enemies with variety of attack patterns through mount and dismount.

Forum Thread: Dragon Blaze classic (by MOBIRIX)

The First Tree ($4.99)

iTunes Description

The First Tree is a third-person exploration game centered around two parallel stories: a fox trying to find her missing family, and a son reconnecting with his estranged father in Alaska. Players take control of the fox on a poignant and beautiful journey that crescendos at the source of life, and perhaps result in an understanding of death. Along the way, players can uncover artifacts and stories from the sons life as he becomes intertwined in the foxs journey towards The First Tree.

Forum Thread: The First Tree (by David Wehle)

Freeway Fury: Annihilation (Free)

iTunes Description

Freeway Fury: Alien Annihilation is the ultimate version of the popular arcade-action game, featuring:

35+ different vehicles for you to grab and cause general mayhem with. Fill the Nitro and Fury meters by performing a variety of stunts. 13 distinct areas.

Forum Thread: Freeway Fury: Annihilation (by Serius Games)

Frog Hop Game ($2.99)

iTunes Description

A cute and quirky classic adventure platforming game about a frog named Hoppy searching for his frog friend Jumpy.

Swing and launch yourself through levels with your tongue ability.

A vast array of gimmicks, enemies, and obstacles; theres always something new youll encounter in each level.

Forum Thread: Frog Hop Game (by Tiny Warrior Games)

Hellopet House (Free)

iTunes Description

Enter the world of Hellopet House! Help Jane collect pets and transform a rundown old home into a beautiful mansion. Step in and begin your journey with new friends, neighbours and your very first pet!

Rush to complete special cooking, gardening and crafting tasks in time to help renovate and decorate the space in your mansion. Restore every corner of your home for your cats and dogs as you master your skills as a chef, gardener and carpenter. The exciting world of Hellopet House is free to play and cute fluffy pets await you, so just get right to it!

Forum Thread: Hellopet House (by Appxplore)

Hotrod: Speed Boat Racing Game (Free)

iTunes Description

Welcome to the world of Top Fuel Hotrod: Drag Boat Racing!

Its the newest, most realistic Speed Drag Boat Racing Game ever made- all available on your iPhone device. Customize every aspect of your builds down to the piston with a detailed engine simulation to boot!

Forum Thread: Hotrod: Speed Boat Racing Game (by Studio Pareidolia)

Lineweight (Free)

iTunes Description

Lineweight is a brand new experience from Cipher Prime. Each of its five chapters showcases a story with a specific emotional focus, illuminated with the studios signature stylings of color, light, and music. Every moment, word, and image is controlled by your swipe, marrying storytelling and graphic design in a unique union we cant wait to share with you.

Forum Thread: Lineweight (by Cipher Prime/The Label)

Maze Thief Puzzle (Free)

iTunes Description

Deep in an ancient tomb, lied a lot of treasures to loot. Aladin is a skillful thief who wants to change his life by entering the tomb and collect all these treasures. Unfortunately, no one ever escaped the maze of the tomb successfully, tricky gates, pins, mummies would come to stop them get the rewards. Aladin needs your help to solve those tricky puzzles and get all the gold from the tomb.

Forum Thread: Maze Thief Puzzle (by Genix Lab)

Moonlighter ($11.99)

iTunes Description

During a long-passed archaeological excavation, a set of Gates were discovered. People quickly realized that these ancient passages lead to different realms and dimensions providing brave and reckless adventurers with treasures beyond measure. Rynoka, a small commercial village, was founded near the excavation site providing refuge and a place for adventurers to sell their hard-earned riches.

Moonlighter is an Action RPG with rogue-lite elements following the everyday routines of Will, an adventurous shopkeeper that dreams of becoming a hero.

Forum Thread: Moonlighter (by Digital Sun Games & 11 bit studios)

Oculux (Free)

iTunes Description

Oculux is a relaxing, minimalist and beautiful puzzle game that offers hundreds of hand-crafted levels to immerse yourself into. A dreamy meditative soundtrack accompanies you in your delightful experience.

How to play:Move the orb by swiping your finger in the direction you would like to move. Avoid traps and use different puzzle mechanics to collect all the diamonds in the least amount of moves possible.

Forum Thread: Oculux (by Logisk Studio)

One Night at Flumptys ($1.99)

iTunes Description

Hi! Im Flumpty Bumpty. Im an egg. Im immune to the plot and can transcend time and space. I brought you to this special place so we can be friends. I hope you are good at hiding, because I am coming after you. Have fun!" Flumpty

Survive till 6 am by avoiding Flumpty and his friends. If you survive the entire night, you will have a new friend! If you dont, well youll see.

Forum Thread: One Night at Flumptys (By Jonochrome)

PathPix Year ($3.99)

iTunes Description

Wishing you had LOTS of new PathPix puzzles to play? PathPix Year has 365 puzzles, one for each day of the year. Celebrate the seasons, enjoy the holidays, find quirky quotes PathPix Year has it all. A million squares to solve 12 full months of puzzles. Each month includes a wide variety of puzzle sizes, puzzle shapes, and difficulty levels. Solve one puzzle a day or do them all as fast as you can its your choice!

Forum Thread: PathPix Year (by Kris Pixton)

Queen Rules ($1.99)

iTunes Description

Explore this hypnotic world built of handmade modelling FIMO clay characters. Whats your vehicle? Logic and planning. Its a puzzle experience thats challenging but fun.

Led by a benevolent King and Queen, youll visit enchanted lands and enjoy an atmosphere like no where else you know. Your job while heredefeat a dark curse set in play by an evil witch. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! The puzzles begin simply and slowly advance in challenge, level by level, kingdom by kingdom.

Forum Thread: Queen Rules (by Juan Gabriel Palomino)

Ready, Set, Draw! (Free)

iTunes Description

Ready, Set, Draw! Draw the word before time runs out!

Artificial Intelligence will guess what you are drawing. Make your drawing as clear as possible for a faster correct guess.

Forum Thread: Ready, Set, Draw! (by BuildLoop)

Roll of Fortune (Free)

iTunes Description

Use skill and strategy to compete against your friends, family, and co-workers! Create a game just for your group or join a game that your friends created. It is a simple game to play but the strategy can be as complex as you would like it to be.

Forum Thread: Roll Of Fortune (by FairTran)

Slay the Beat (Free)

iTunes Description

Do you have what it takes to defend our Neon-Cyber Earth from an Alien bots invasion?Challenge yourself in this super innovative musical roguelike game!

Clear the Earth from Alien cyborgs with the flow of the rhythm. Bring your clones to the battle, attack and defend with the beats and feel the music to succeed. Use rhythmic patterns to prioritize your targets and try to stun your enemies for extra damage. Unleash all your power with a special attack that will crush your opponents! Choose the right path on our procedurally generated maps and select the correct items sets that will lead you to Victory!

Forum Thread: Slay the Beat (by Gosiha)

Sudoku Master (Free)

iTunes Description

Endless number of sudoku puzzles to explore. Install now to start mobile sudoku learning! Sudoku Master Classic Sudoku has different sudoku puzzles and comes in four difficulty levels: easy, medium, hard sudoku and sudoku expert levels. Sudoku kingdom for all kinds of sudoku players!

Forum Thread: Sudoku Master (by Peaksel)

Tomb Toad ($3.99)

iTunes Description

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Out Now: 'Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead', 'The First Tree', 'Moonlighter', 'One Night at Flumpty's', 'Tomb Toad', 'DeLight: The Journey Home',...

Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door are free on the Epic Games Store this week – Neowin

Epic Games Store has put on offer Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door to claim and keep for free this week, taking the place of The Textorcist.

Elite Dangerous is a massively multiplayer space simulation game developed by Frontier Developments, featuring an open-world representation of the Milky Way galaxy. Its the fourth title in the Elite series. Heres how the Epic Games Store describes it:

Take control of your own starship in a cutthroat galaxy. Elite Dangerous is the definitive massively multiplayer space epic, bringing gamings original open world adventure to the modern generation with an evolving narrative and the entirety of the Milky Way.

The World Next Door is a visual novel and puzzle game with a story featuring a teenager who is trapped in a parallel universe and must escape it before her time runs out. Heres how the Epic Games Store describes the title:

A mix of lightning-fast puzzle battles, powerful storytelling, and immersive visual novel elements, The World Next Door follows Jun, a rebellious teen trapped in a parallel realm inhabited by magical creatures, who must find her way home before time runs out.

Epic Games Store is offering The World Next Door for Windows and macOS and Elite Dangerous for Windows. Here are the minimum requirements:

If you wish to claim The World Next Door or Elite Dangerous, you can find them here. They will be free to claim until November 26, which is when Epic will put on offer MudRunner for its next giveaway.

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Elite Dangerous and The World Next Door are free on the Epic Games Store this week - Neowin

The Pathless review: The joy of the unknown | Entertainment – UT Daily Beacon

In modern games, many have grown accustomed to tons of tutorials, built-in guides and tips that help players find their way from objective to objective. The Pathless, the newest game from indie developer Giant Squid, takes all of these helpers and throws them in the garbage.

In The Pathless, players take control of the Hunter, a master archer on a quest to destroy a great darkness that has spread quickly over the world. After arriving on the mysterious island that the darkness calls home, the Hunter must team up with a newfound eagle companion and bring light back to the world.

The Pathless is a game that revels in telling players as little as possible. From the second you hit start, youre told the bare minimum: the basic controls. From there on out, players are given almost no guidance at all. Though this can be intimidating or off putting at first, The Pathless does an amazing job of guiding players without them even really knowing it.

After a few minutes in game, players come across a visor that will scan the area around them, showing off evil presence or any other weird energies. Using this allows players to see objectives, puzzles or challenges without the use of a map, markers or any other clear indication. This makes every single discovery in-game feel more significant than they would have otherwise.

Though story isnt the most important aspect of The Pathless, the team at Giant Squid still did a fantastic job of scattering traces of a compelling one throughout the world. Very little is actually told to you, but small anecdotes and pieces of world building are scattered throughout the island on tablets and in the tales of lingering souls.

Without ever really knowing everything that is going on, players are given just enough to pique their interest and become enthralled in The Pathless world.

At its core, The Pathless is a puzzle game with a coat of action/adventure paint. Aside from a few tense boss battles, theres no combat in the game. Instead of slaying enemies, players must search for puzzles hidden around the island. Once found, they must figure out a way to free a number of charms from the darkness. These charms are used to light up towers that weaken each areas boss enough for the Hunter to purify them.

Just about every puzzle in The Pathless was clever and gives players a run for their money. Sure, some are relatively straight forward, but others will have you stumped for longer than youd be willing to admit. None of them feel cheap, however. Once you actually end up solving them, the feeling of accomplishment is worth every second spent cursing the developers for coming up with a puzzle so obtuse.

No matter which platform you play it on, The Pathless is an absolutely beautiful game. Giant Squid has done a masterful job crafting a stylized world that can look both good on an iPhone through Apple Arcade, and stunning running at 60 frames per second on a PlayStation 5.

Composer Austin Wintory has crafted a masterful score to go along with the game. Every second spent running through the island is accompanied by some of the most gorgeous music ever put in a video game, which is saying a lot.

Luckily, The Pathless also plays extremely well. Running around the island while firing arrows all over the place is an absolute joy, thanks most especially to how well the Hunter controls. Slinging arrows form target to target feels almost perfect.

There were, however, a few times that it felt impossible to hit exactly what you were aiming for. Though the auto-aiming for the bow works most of the time, it feels like there should be a way for players to aim directly at what they want for certain puzzles.

Though The Pathless is only a few hours long, it has proven itself to be one of the best games on PlayStation 5 at launch (and on Apple Arcade). With gorgeous visuals, challenging puzzles, interesting world-building and a moving score, The Pathless is a must play for anyone who considers themselves even remotely interested.

Game reviewed on a PlayStation 5. Review code provided by Annapurna Interactive.

4.5/5 Torches

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The Pathless review: The joy of the unknown | Entertainment - UT Daily Beacon

Every PS5 launch game ranked worst to best – Looper

What PlayStation or Xbox console would be complete without a Call of Duty game? Well, it's here, and this time it takes place during the Cold War.

Over at Hardcore Gamer, Kevin Dunsmore began his review by reflecting on the gimmicky nature of recent entries in theBlack Ops series. As such, he credited Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as a return to form. He praised the story, which he found gripping, intriguing, and mysterious, while also highlighting the more advanced integration of decision-changing plot points.

Unfortunately, the decisions you make, according to Dunsmore, do not pay off as they did in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Dunsmore was also critical of the overall duration of the game and its side characters. Ultimately, he liked Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as a more grounded entry, with a solid single-player mode and a fast-paced, if imperfect, multiplayer experience.

PlayStation LifeStyle's Chandler Wood gave Black Ops Cold War points for its unification of single-player, multiplayer, and zombie modes. While his score was near perfect, he did admit that the campaign gameplay is par for the course, calling it "relatively basic." According to Wood, multiplayer stands out the most, which he felt would only get better as time goes on.

Excerpt from:
Every PS5 launch game ranked worst to best - Looper

Call of the Sea sets sail in December – Gamesradar

Raw Fury have revealed that their first-person puzzle adventure game Call of the Sea will launch December 8 on the Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, and PC.

Call of the Sea, developed by indie studio Out of the Blue, is a mystery tale set in the 1930s where you play a woman in search of her missing husband in the uncharted reaches of the South Pacific. Set on an island paradise, you must investigate clues and solve a variety of puzzles to piece together the mystery surrounding your husbands expedition and eventual disappearance, inspired by H.P. Lovecrafts stories with influence from the likes of Firewatch, Soma and Subnautica.

Out of the Blue is an indie studio composed of 12 veteran game developers who have individually worked on titles such as Celeste, Red Matter, Metroid: Samus Returns, Deadlight, Gylt, Guacamelee! 2, and Space Lords.

The otherworldly adventure game Call of the Sea is Out of the Blues first game and a love letter to the teams biggest passions of adventure, puzzles, and story-driven games.

Call of the Sea was announced in May earlier this year during an Inside Xbox showcase, which also debuted numerous indie games coming to the Xbox Series X.

We cant wait to try out this puzzle adventure game on next-gen and its less than a month away. In the meantime, you can read our review of the Xbox Series X, check out our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games, or look out for some Xbox Series X deals.

For more heres a list of games just like Firewatch.

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Call of the Sea sets sail in December - Gamesradar

‘When the Past was Around’ confirmed for launch on Switch / PlayStation and Xbox mid-December 2020 – Gamasutra

Experience Love, Loss and Letting Go in the Award-Winning, When the Past was Around; launching on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox One in Mid- December

London, November 18th, 2020 From the teams that brought cult hits Coffee Talk and A Raven Monologue, Indonesian developer Mojiken and Indie publisher, Chorus Worldwide proudly present When the Past was Around, a whimsical point-and-click puzzle game about love, loss and letting go. Prepare for your soul to be touched and your heart to be warmed When the Past was Around launches for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in mid-December.

The game offers a wordless yet profound narrative experience and features heart-wrenching moments to move players of all ages. When the Past was Around invites gamers to gather clues, solve puzzles and unravel secrets buried deep within the protagonist's memory. Award-winning violin music accompanies you as you explore Edas world, as she re-traces the steps of her lost love within her memories.

When the Past was Around won the coveted Best Game Award at this years Gamescom Indie Arena Booth. Original music, composed by Masdito "ittou" Bachtiar, also won Best Audio at this years Taipei Game Show Indie Game Award.

Features:

Pictures Paint a Thousand Words - Experience the games story not through words or dialogue, but through beautifully hand-drawn art created by talented Indonesian artist, Brigitta Rena.

A Short, Sweet, Whimsical Journey - Explore a bittersweet tale between a girl and her love in disjointed rooms of memories through time.

Personal and Relatable - A game about overcoming the past and finding yourself.

Brain Teasing Puzzles - Solve intriguing puzzles to uncover the story.

About Chorus WorldwideChorus Worldwide is a game publisher that brings distinctive and unique games to players around the world. Established in 2014, based in Tokyo and Vancouver, Chorus Worldwide publishes games on the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, and mobile games on the Apple App Store and Google Play. For more information, visit chorusworldwide.com, and follow us on Facebook/ChorusWorld and on Twitter (@ChorusWorldwide).

About Mojiken StudioMojiken Studio is an indie game studio based in Surabaya, Indonesia. The studio boasts one special point, for the team consists mostly of artists, giving a breath of uniqueness in the games they craft. Games hailing from the studio, among others, are A Raven Monologue, She & The Light Bearer, and A Space For The Unbound.

Press Contact[emailprotected]Brown Betty PR

Nintendo Switch is a trademark of Nintendo.

"Xbox One" is a trademark of Microsoft.

More here:
'When the Past was Around' confirmed for launch on Switch / PlayStation and Xbox mid-December 2020 - Gamasutra


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