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‘Myst’ (yes, that ‘Myst’) is coming back as an Oculus VR game in December – Mashable

Almost 30 years ago, the computer puzzle game Myst, well, mystified players around the world, leading to a slew of follow-ups. If you fell in love with Myst back in 1993 and want to feel like you're really part of that strange, haunting world, it's coming to VR very soon.

Facebook announced Wednesday that a remake of Myst is coming to Oculus headsets on Dec. 10. Supposedly built with VR in mind, this version of Myst will let players solve all of the original game's inscrutable puzzles to unravel the mysteries of its iconic island setting in VR instead of on a low-res early 90s CRT monitor.

Myst on Oculus was originally revealed earlier this year, so the real news here is the imminent release date. To accompany that, Facebook announced release dates for a couple of other titles that were announced earlier this year. First up is Pistol Whip 2089, a sci-fi sequel to the original Pistol Whip. If you aren't familiar with it, Pistol Whip is about shooting people with guns in a colorful, stylized world while a bass-heavy synth soundtrack fills your ears. The sequel will launch on Dec. 1.

In addition to that, fans of Warhammer 40,000 will be able to visit that severe and intense sci-fi world in VR for the first time in Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister. That's also a first-person action game, though it looks to be significantly more bloody and violent than the other two games in this announcement. It's out on Dec. 8.

For gamers of a certain age, Myst might be a reason to invest in a VR rig. Nostalgia is powerful, after all. If nothing else, it's a decent excuse to keep an eye on Black Friday deals for Oculus headsets.

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'Myst' (yes, that 'Myst') is coming back as an Oculus VR game in December - Mashable

It’s Hitman’s 20th anniversary, so here are 20 facts about the silly stealth sim – Rock Paper Shotgun

Hitman: Codename 47 was released 20 years ago today. In all that time, IO Interactive have crafted an entertaining seven-game series (not including spin-offs), with the eighth aiming for the heart in January 2021. The subject matter might be grim, but from the very first game, IO Interactive were always happy to fold information and easter eggs into their immersive sim (dont @ me) to a ridiculous degree. The games all have murderdeathkills, but they also have hauntings, mythical creatures, and real-world actors as targets.

Ive had a blast digging up some forgotten facts and 47s more bizarre moments (this does mean this list contains some spoilers, so beware). There are so many that this could have been 200 facts for 20 years, but I stuck with 20. It seemed right. Enjoy!

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Hes a clone of multiple people. The DNA of four crime lords and terrorists was used to craft Agent 47 by German scientist Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer (who also added his own DNA to the mix). The plan was to create an army of subservient clones and organ donors for the men who provided the genetic goo. 47 was one of those experiments.

Most people get mum, but as 47 is more of a product than a human, he has a barcode. 640509-040147 does have some meaning, though. He was created on September 5, 1964. 640509 represents that but backwards. He was part of the fourth series of clones, the first clone of that batch, and he was the 47th clone created, hence 040147.

During his training, 47 took revenge on another bullying clone by garotting him in a bathroom before fleeing the facility that held them both. He was found at a bus stop and taken for breakfast pancakes.

The four main targets of the first game turn out to be the four DNA daddies. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer hired 47s agency to kill them all, which also ended up with Otto being killed for being a wrong un.

At least thats what his dating profile says. But its also true. IO were not happy with their hair tech, and so his iconic dome was born.

Exhibit Arrrrgh!

Hitman: Codename 47 was followed up by Hitman 2: Silent Assassin. 2016s Hitman, was followed up by Hitman 2. This information might one day save your life.

Theres a mission in Silent Assassin where its possible to kill several Sikhs in a Sikh temple. Not only that, but it looked quite a bit like the Harmandir Sahib, the holiest of the Sikh Gurdwaras, where several worshippers were massacred in 1984. The references were toned down in a patch, and use of the racist slur towelheads was removed. However, the GOG version is based on the unpatched release.

Though IOs action shooter was still a year out from release, you can see a quote fromFreedom Fighters Christopher Stone on one of 47s ammo boxes in Hitman 2. Later on, the game appears on computer monitors during the Samurai Showdown mission. There is a nod to this in Hitman 2 (2018) where theres a Freedom Fighters arcade cabinet in the Colombia level.

Technically Hitman: Contracts starts in between the Curtains Down and Flatline missions in Hitman: Blood Money, which is the next game. 47 is shot and relives a number of missions in his head, including all of the ones from the Codename 47. Its an elegant way to remaster the original game, while still bringing something new to the series.

Because it takes place in 47s head, Contracts enabled the developers to get a little bit wacky. As he dreams of the Traditions of the Trade mission from the first game and wanders through the hotel at the heart of the level, a ghost will appear in several locations. If you catch up to him in a corridor, you can garotte him.

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There are two dance floors in Blood Money, in the The Murder of Crows and Till Death Do Us Part levels. If 47 is left standing on either one without the player interacting with him, hell cut a rug instead of cutting throats. In Amendment XXV, you can force a group of marines to Riverdance by stealing a briefcase from a lady at the start of a mission, wearing a Marine uniform, and throwing the case onto an unlit fireplace.

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In the lobby of Hitman Absolutions Dexter Industries, theres a large bomb dangling from the ceiling. Its a lovely bit of industrial feng shui but suffers from the technical glitch of being a live nuke. If you accidentally shoot the tip, a cut-scene plays showing you the aftermath of your actions with a bonus cameo from Kane & Lynch.

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Everything about the character Mark Faba is a twist on Beans acting career. He has survived a multitude of assassination attempts (like, for example, being riddled with arrows) and nicknamed The Undying. He was designated Elusive Target #1.

It gets more meta: during the mission, Faba stops and talks to 47, asking him as a thought experiment how hed go about killing him.

In this case, both actors were portraying themselves. The fans chose which Gary was more evil. Busey won and was designated an Elusive Target, though both actors appeared in-game.

You can unleash one in a special Easter egg. Look!

Hitman has always been known for a dark sense of humour, like letting the assassin pluck clown costumes and Santa outfits during his missions. The last thing Dom Osmond saw in Hitman: Absolution was the cold, dead eyes of the chipmunk outfit I was wearing.

Hitman 2 took things a step further. Whats further than cosplaying and killing? Using dolphins as escape vehicles, thats what.

This time around, 47 makes an even more implausible escape during a hit in Miami, wearing a flamingo outfit and flying out of the level.

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Square Enix Montreal had an AAA Hitman game in development back in 2012. The plan was to take Hitman off of IOs hands to enable them to work on other projects. In hindsight thats hilarious, but at least they tried. Though it never panned out, Square Enix Montreal did make Hitman Go, a turn-based toylike puzzle game. IO Interactive have remained the stewards of the Hitman series, and have truly excelled in building a huge assassination sim over the last decade. It bodes well for their upcoming Bond game.

And it should include all the content from Hitman and Hitman 2.

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It's Hitman's 20th anniversary, so here are 20 facts about the silly stealth sim - Rock Paper Shotgun

Xbox head Phil Spencer on video games as a way of life, even for the powerful – CNET

In 1993, the US Senate held hearings about violence in video games and the influence of those games on children. Now, 27 years later, members of Congress are playing video games online.

Last week, Microsoft and Sony released their Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 video game consoles, capping off years of research and development. At this point in time, the game industry has become a central part of popular culture and entertainment.

"There's 7 billion people on the planet, and there's 3 billion people who play video games. It's almost half of the world plays video games on some device," Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Xbox chief, said in an interview with CNET sister site GameSpot. "When I started in this business, 20-plus years ago, it wasn't that way."

The video game industry today has grown to $120 billion worldwide. Large swaths of humanity are playing games on their phones, or on Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's PlayStation or Nintendo's Switch. Some of that's been driven by the games themselves, which have not only gotten scarier and gorier than the fighting game Mortal Kombat, shooting game Doom and interactive movie game Night Trap, but also more mainstream with puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga and competitive titles like Fortnite.

Over that time, the people who played games as children have grown up. Some of them still play games, and they've brought their children into it too. Entertainers like the rapper Drake and sports stars like Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield talk about playing too. President-elect Joe Biden's campaign created an island, complete with voting information, that people could visit in the city-building game Animal Crossing. And US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezof New York broke view count records in October when she started playing the online who-done-it game Among Us to promote voting.

And because of the social aspect, gaming has become particularly popular during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to connect with people.

"We're just seeing record levels of engagement, meaning people playing every day, playing online, connecting with friends and family," Spencer said.

Spencer also talked about the company's Xbox Games Pass subscription service, how the Xbox Series X has been received by fans and how his company's trying to make enough of the consoles to sell to eager customers. Listen to the interview up top for the full story, and you can read other details inhis interview with GameSpot as well.

Now What is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers that covers trends impacting businesses and consumers amid the "new normal." There will always be change in our world, and we'll be here to discuss how to navigate it all.

Get editors' top picks of the day's most interesting reviews, news stories and videos.

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Xbox head Phil Spencer on video games as a way of life, even for the powerful - CNET

Agate, Telkom team up for Bali-themed puzzle adventure game – The Jakarta Post – Jakarta Post

Game developer Agate is producing a Bali-themed puzzle adventure game calledTirta.

Set as the developers collaborative project with state-owned telecommunication giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom),Tirtaaims to show the world that Indonesia is equipped with talented game developers.

Tirtawill offer eye-catching graphics with characters and architectures inspired by the Balinese culture, which hopefully can encourageplayers to interact with all elements in the game.Tirtais also said to use Epic Gamescomputer graphics software Unreal Engine.

Were in the pre-alpha phase, meaning that its only 20 percent of the developing period, Igor Tanzil, CMO and COO of Agate, said in a statement.

Cipto Adiguna, Agates VP of consumer games, discussed the challenges of producing the game. Tirtais a new genre that were working on. In its development, were being very careful in its pipeline formation, design and gameplay mechanism, said Cipto.

The game is in the early stages of development and those who are interested in the latest updates are encouraged to submit their email address onTirtas web page.

Founded in 2009, Agate has teamed up with other parties in various games, including role-playing gameValthirian Arc: Hero School Story, e-sports manager simulation gameEsports Kingand casual mobile gameOnet Asli. (wir/wng)

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Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Hands-On Preview (PS4) – Still A Very Good Puzzler At Its Core – PlayStation Universe

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Hands-On Preview. If my preview time is anything to go by, then Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is shaping up to be more of the same, which is mostly a good thing, because the last one was generally superb. Yet, nowhere is that familiarity more apparent than in the return of those dizzying difficulty spikes.

Its rare that a game has me going from trance-like calm to the verge of throwing my controller in just minutes. Controllers are expensive and Im naturally always mindful of that, but damn if Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 didnt almost make that information vanish from my mind long enough to almost send a DualShock skipping across the carpet like a gaudy pebble.

As with its predecessor, under the candy-coloured surface of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 lies a cruel and heartless monster. This second attempt at a seemingly twee fusion of two great puzzle games is all fun and games until an A.I. rival pulls off a genius-level line clear combo that drops a load of lines/blobs on your side of the screen, flipping the game you were confidently winning seconds ago. Is it luck? Skill? Or just a mean streak?

Probably all of the above.

Even in the early stages, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 draws you in with a belief that this is a shiny happy kid-friendly experience, where challenge will be minimal. After all, it has a selection of cute and colorful characters who all talk in very child-friendly voices. It even plays pleasantly most of the time too. Like Puyo Puyo? It plays a good game of that. Like Tetris? Its very much Tetris, and thats always fantastic. When it mixes the two up like it did in the first game? Also great. Make no mistake, there is plenty of pleasant puzzle fun to be had. Its just that sometimes, a difficulty spike will hit out of nowhere and ruin that fun for a bit.

Ive played plenty of both puzzlers over the years and Puyo Puyo has always been the tougher of the two to master. Tetris has such simple shapes to line up that it comes as second nature, whereas Puyo Puyos match 4 is a little more complex. As before, you can decide from the off if you want to play the fusion of the two or just one of them, and then take that into a variety of game modes. 2017s original game showed that the best part of the package comes when the two modes smoosh together.

The Swap mode (arguably the best of all the modes in the original game) for instance, juggles you and your opponent between a Tetris game and a Puyo Puyo game. Its the same frenetic treat in multiplayer it was before. In fact, everything that was here before returns and with one notable exception is precisely as it was, for better or worse.

The exception is the new Skill Battle mode. In Skill Battle mode you have a team of three characters (which are earned by progressing through Adventure mode alongside item cards that boost stats) all of which have their own abilities to bring to the party. You face off against an opponents side and can use your abilities (which range from health replenishment to transforming your shapes) in Tetris or Puyo Puyo with MP just like in an RPG.

This means you cant just blast out your abilities to stifle an opponent, you must bide your time and deploy them when absolutely necessary. Against a human, this is a fine addition to Puyo Puyo Tetris. Against the A.I. its hit and miss. Learning the ropes sees you handed your backside more than a few times.

Handily, you can skip Adventure battles if they prove too infuriating, but it has to be said that the satisfaction of the puzzle loop, and the fact that loading into anything is very quick, gives a compelling reason to butt your head against the problem time and again, even if it does compel you to turn your DualShock into a boomerang.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2s premise is not as fresh and inventive as it was in the original three years ago, and theres not a great deal of change to it either, but its still a very good puzzler at its core. Obviously, theres more to be seen, so things could well be different later in Adventure mode, and online play is still an unknown. What matters most is that while the fluctuating A.I. flaws remain, so does the inspired, and addictive, mashup of two puzzle game juggernauts.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 releases for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on December 8, 2020.

Preview code kindly provided by PR.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Hands-On Preview (PS4) - Still A Very Good Puzzler At Its Core - PlayStation Universe

Call of the Sea is an adventure inspired by Lovecraft, but it’s no horror game – PC Gamer

Stepping onto Call of the Sea's gorgeous and mysterious island for the first time, I'm grateful to know I won't get the crap scared out of me. We've just run through October's spooky Halloween gauntlet, and Amnesia: Rebirth and Phasmophobia are still fresh in my mind, so I've had my fill of horror for a bit. I'm down for some intrigue, some mystery, and even some unsettling sights, but I'm happy that Call of the Sea, while inspired by Lovecraft, isn't a horror game.

I've got my hands on the prologue of Call of the Sea, the first-person adventure from developer Out of the Blue and publisher Raw Fury. I'm playing Norah, a woman stricken with a mysterious illness who is searching for her husband, Harry. Like any upstanding '30s spouse, he undertook an expedition to a tropical island in the South Pacific in hopes of researching a cure for Norah's sickness. And as often happens when someone takes a boat to a mysterious island, Harry never returned, so now Norah is retracing his steps hoping to find out what happened to him and his crew. Islands: not even once.

I like Norah immediately. First, she's voiced by Cissy Jones, who put in one of my favorite acting performances of all time as Delilah in 2016's Firewatch, and more recently had a small role in Half-Life: Alyx. Jones is great here, narrating Norah's thoughts about her past and her current observations of the mysterious island, delivering her lines with an enjoyable touch of the famed transatlantic accent (if you've seen films from the 1920s and 30s, you'll recognize it).

But another reason I like Norah is that she draws the things she sees in a sketchbook, a bit like Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2. I won't spoil anything here, but the prologue contains a puzzle, a surprisingly big and complex one that I wouldn't have expected so early on in an adventure game.

The puzzle's solution requires a lot of exploring and the examination of various objects and artifacts scattered around the island, including some of Harry's own notes. While it's easy to grasp what actions the puzzle wants you to take, piecing together the solution is still very tricky. Thankfully, Norah draws the various scattered aspects of the puzzle in her book, and while you're standing there fiddling with the mechanisms of a mysterious obelisk blocking your path, you can hold up Norah's journal right in front of your face to make sure you're doing things correctly.

Thanks, Norah! I shudder to think of how poor and useless my own notepad sketches would have looked.

Searching for puzzle pieces takes you around the island, nicely blending the hunt for puzzles clues with the discovery of other items, like photos and journal entries, that gives you more insight into Norah's past. And having solved the puzzle, the prologue gets straight up bizarreif you've seen the original announcement trailer, you no doubt noticed that Norah undergoes a bit of an interesting transformation.

The prologue is pretty brief, but detailed enough that I get a sense of Norah's character and the beginning of her unusual journey. The island, built in the Unreal Engine, is lush, beautiful, and intriguing, as you can see in the trailer above, and the 1930s vibe gives it an enjoyable, almost playful noir detective feel despite the tropical setting and supernatural themes.

As we learned earlier today, Call of the Sea will release on December 8, and I'm looking forward to continuing Norah's story then.

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Call of the Sea is an adventure inspired by Lovecraft, but it's no horror game - PC Gamer

The best family board games – PC Gamer

Sometimes you need a family board game that'll go over well with your entire clan of nerds, and sometimes you add your non-gaming family members to the mix, too. (That's a myth, though: everyone actually likes some kind of game.) You need a game as complex, or less complex, than popular games like Monopoly while actually being designed in this century (and also by professionals who do not hate fun). Maybe you need a board game to play with diverse gaming friends: What will please hardcore FPS enthusiasts, their kid, a dedicated strategy gamer, and a third friend who lives for survival-crafting? The key criteria for a good family game is that a group of entirely young players or a group of entirely adult players can enjoy it just as much as a mixed age group. These are all games that are just as funor morewith kids and adults.

These are the best family board games out there right now. This list focuses on games for families with players as young as eight or 10. For good board games that are fun with even younger kids we'd recommend you go peruse German games publisher Haba's catalogue, where you can rarely go wrong.

You can find more of my board game recommendations for bigger groups in our lists of thebest board games, thebest co-op board games, and the best 2-player board games.

Players:: 2-4 | Difficulty: : Easy | Time to set up:: 5 minutes | Time to play:: 30 minutes | Age:: 10+

Splendor is a great simple card game, and a great introduction to the foundational ideas of modern economic strategy board games. The players are renaissance gem merchants trying to become the most famous on the continent, and they do so by collecting specific sets of gems. Buying cards representing things like mines, boats, and caravans makes you wealthier and adds permanent bonuses of gems to your pool. The first player to reach 15 points of prestige wins.

Splendor is one of the best for a few reasons: It's got strategy, but not too much strategy. It's got luck, but not too much luck. It's got math, but only a little math. It also has hefty, chunky, clattery, ceramic tokens... and they are extremely satisfying to play with between turns.

Players:: 2-4 | Difficulty:: Medium | Time to set up:: 10 minutes | Time to play:: 30-60 minutes | Age:: 10+

There's absolutely no reason for a licensed Minecraft board game to be good, but Ravensburger knocked this one out of the park. This is an interesting, strategic game of resource collection and push-your-luck exploration. It's got a great centerpiece too, a block of resources that has pieces removed over time as players mine what they need. The game is really simple, with a character choosing two of five different actions each turn. You explore your own little personal Minecraft world and build bases on it while fighting off enemies.

It's a good game, and while it's one to skip if nobody in the family plays Minecraft, it's still fun for those who don't know the game inside and out. I'll also say that while the publisher recommends the game for ages 10+, I think it does just fine with kids as young as 8 and the broader community reports kids as young as 6 having fun. Truly one of those "ages 9-99" board games Im happy to play with a diverse group.

Players:: 2-4, or 2-6 | Difficulty:: Easy | Time to set up:: 2 minutes | Time to play:: 15 minutes | Age:: 8+

Kingdomino is only a few years old, but has become a family game staple in many board gaming households for a few key reasons: It's easy to learn, easy to teach, easy to play, and most people get it within a few minutes. It uses two-section tiles similar to dominos, but with land like farms, forests, or swamps rather than numbers. You expand your territory with a new domino each turn, trying to assemble the nicest kingdom.

Add in the companion set Queendomino and it plays up to 6 people very comfortably without adding very much time, or a slightly longer and more complex variant for 4. It's one of the few full-on family board games you can do that with, as you usually have to go to a card game or more complex strategy game for that high a player count.

Players:: 2-4 | Difficulty:: Medium | Time to set up:: 5 minutes | Time to play: 30-45 minutes | Age:: 8+

The exciting world of bicycle racing is well-presented in Flamme Rouge, one of the few racing board games I can unequivocally recommend to everyone. Each player controls a team of two cyclists on a variety of modular race courses, vying for the best positions by choosing from a limited number of moves. The simple strategy of the game revolves around the card decks, one for your sprinter cyclist and one for a roller, which are drawn and played in order. The types of movements for each cyclist are predictable, but when you get them isn't: You have to play the best move at the time.

Being at the front of the pack makes you risk exhaustion, while slipstreaming behind others keeps riders fresh. The middle of the pack is a safe place to hide, but the back gives you the most options for slipstreaming at the risk of falling behind. It's a tense, interesting, highly competitive race with enough simple strategies available that anyone can win it.

Players:: 2-5 | Difficulty:: Easy | Time to set up:: 5 minutes | Time to play:: 30-50 minutes | Age:: 8+

This game of building a kingdom in the Scottish isles is a lovely experience. It has all the interesting complexity of the other popular tile-laying game, Carcassonne, but without the finicky scoring rules and shared board. Each round players get new tiles to add to their kingdom, but only after a round of tile selling and buying between players. Money becomes tiles, so making money is key to winning the game, but money isn't worth points at the end. All that matters is a well-arranged kingdom.

What constitutes a well-arranged kingdom changes from game to game. In one game lighthouses might be worth points, while in another it's highland cattle. Isle of Skye has a great balance between two priorities, making money and scoring points, so every decision feels like it matters. It's fun to set a high price on a tile you've chosen, and even more to get a great deal on a tile that's perfect for you but useless for someone else.

Players:: 2-5 | Difficulty:: Easy | Time to set up:: 5 minutes | Time to play:: 30-60 | Age:: 8+

Ticket to Ride is a modern classic, so much so that plenty of gamers have moved on from it, but it's still a great gateway to board games and it's widely available. Players gain and use their cards to claim routes around the map, but any round spent getting more cards is a round that a competitor could use to claim the route you need. It's a game that balances your hunger for a big score against your hunger for a safe bet. Those whose families have players aged double digits and up will probably be happier with Ticket to Ride: Europe, which is just a hair more complicated and better for it.

Players:: 2-4 | Difficulty:: Easy | Time to set up:: 5 minutes | Time to play:: 30-45 minutes | Age:: 8+

Potion Explosion is one of those games that looks like a gimmick but is actually brilliant, a physical match-3 puzzle game using marbles and a rolling dispenser. The players are students in a magical school's potions-making class, each trying to make potions in order to score points and become Student of the Year.. Each turn you take a marble as an ingredient, and then other marbles fall. If the fallen marbles match, they explode and you take those too. As you get ingredients and make potions, you can drink the potions for weird powers that let you break the rules or mess with other players. It's a wacky-yet-grounded game that gets the fun rolling immediately.

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The best family board games - PC Gamer

Here Are The Games Coming Out In December 2020 – IGN India

The world got to witness the launch of several new games and next-gen consoles last month. In December, highly-anticipated games including Immortals Fenyx Rising and PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of FIFA 21 and Destiny 2 will be released.

Check out the list of games launching in December 2020:

Chronos: Before the Ashes is an adventure RPG title with a unique aging mechanic. Every time the main character dies, they lose a year of their life. Players will be tasked to save their homeland from evil forces. The game features several weapons, abilities, and powers, which enables players to choose their style of combat.

Immortals Fenyx Rising lets players play as Fenyx, a winged demigod who is trying to save the Greek gods from evil mythological creatures. The game features a vibrant open world that comes with seven regions inspired by different gods. Players will be equipped with a variety of weapons and abilities that will help them in defeating Typhon, the deadliest Titan in Greek mythology.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 comes with six game modes. Players can play this competitive puzzle game solo or against two to four players. It comes with the new Skill Battle that brings character skills and Item Cards. The game also features a new story adventure that is filled with vibrant characters.

Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to launch on November 19. However, CD Projekt Red recently announced that the game is delayed to December 10. Hopefully, players will finally get to try out this much-awaited game in December. Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in Night City, a megapolis that is obsessed with gaining power and body modifications. Players can use several upgradable weapons, hacking skills, and body-enhancing implants to defeat their enemies. Players choices in the game will affect its narrative.

PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of FIFA 21 and Destiny 2 are launching on December 4 and December 8, respectively. Along with these, Minecraft Dungeons new Howling Peaks DLC will be launching some time in December.

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Here Are The Games Coming Out In December 2020 - IGN India

The surprising health benefits of a crossword – Telegraph.co.uk

Most of us know by now that solving a lot of crosswords are more than just a fun way to pass the time. Theyre an excellent tool for sharpening your wits, improving your vocabulary, and boosting your brain power.

But did you know that they might also help you recover from surgery? Thats according to a new study fromThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine which has found that hospital patients who played an electronic brain training game on a tabletbefore they went under the knife were 40pc less likely to experience post-operative delirium than those who did not, and the more they played the better the results.

Those who played the brain game for 5-10 hours cut their risk of delirium by more than half, and ten hours or more of game reduced the rates of delirium by 61pc.

Its still unclear just what causes this reaction but scientists think that it might be related to keeping the mind active and primed ahead of the surgery.

But what have electronic brain games got to do with crosswords? Well, the studys author,Dr. Michelle Humeidan, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Ohio State College of Medicine Wexner Medical Center and first author of the study explained: "Using the app was ideal for this study because we could easily track how long and how often patients were playing but things like reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles or anything you enjoy to challenge your mind for an hour each day may improve your mental fitness and help prevent delirium as well."

But its not just surgeries that crosswords can be helpful with. These handy little brain teasers can do plenty for your health in some surprising ways.

Alright, admittedly the science has gone back and forth about the efficacy of puzzles like crosswords and sudoku in delaying dementia, but a variety of studies have shown that there does appear to be some kind of link there, at least for some people.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and Kings College London found in 2017 that crossword lovers have the brainpower of people 8-10 years younger than their physical age.

Speaking at the time Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer's Society, said : "We know that keeping an active mind can help to reduce decline in thinking skills.

"This new research does reveal a link between word puzzles, like crosswords, and memory and thinking skills, but we can't say definitively that regular 'puzzling' improves these skills.

"To be able to say for sure, the crucial next step is to test if there are benefits in people who take up word puzzles.

"In the meantime, our top tips to reduce the risk of developing dementia are keeping physically active, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy balanced diet."

Others studies have shown that people with higher levels of cognitive reserve succumb to conditions like dementia more slowly and one good way to increase your cognitive reserve is to learn new things. If youre the type of puzzler who looks up new words, checks their answers, and makes an effort to use that knowledge in other contexts then you might justifiably be able to say youre learning while puzzling.

In these difficult times a lot more of us than normal are suffering from general anxiety. But did you know a crossword might be able to help with that?

A 2008 study from the University of Berkeley in California found that crosswords and other brain teasers help to activate regions of the brain which handle logical reasoning and concentration.

This is important because anxious thoughts such as spiralling worst-case scenarios cause people to struggle with activating the prefrontal region of the brain needed to focus on the task at hand.

The only caveat to this is that the study also found that participants dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes, which control planning, organization and memory, were only activated when they were being challenged by the puzzles in front of them. Faced with easy puzzles, their minds wandered back to their anxious thoughts.

"If anything, hard tasks can keep anxious people from being sidetracked and can help them stay on task," explained Sonia Bishop, the psychologist behind the study.

According to science writer and researcher Ann Lukits who wrote extensively for the Wall Street Journal, doing crosswords with others is a great way of improving your social bonds with them.

The term Lukits uses is collaborative cruciverbalism which means, in short, that by solving puzzles in a group, you work on a lot of skills such as verbalising your ideas, strategy, team-work, and improving your thinking and talking speed. Essentially the argument is that working together on puzzles causes your mind to have to think more deeply about the way you express questions and answers.

Read more:
The surprising health benefits of a crossword - Telegraph.co.uk

10 Puzzle Games That Are Impossible To Beat Without A Guide – GameRant

Generally speaking, the difficulty of video games has been on a downward curve since the days of arcade machines. Coin-operated arcade games were designed to ensure that most players would only last one or two minutes before getting a game over,ensuring that they would have to spend more money to play. This level of difficulty continued into the days of the Atari 2600 and early PC titles. Not only becauseit'swhat gamers were used to, but because many people only owned a couple of games and wanted them to last as long as possible. Moreover, console and PClimitations at the time meant that developers simply couldn't make long games, so the difficulty was a way of increasing runtime.

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Today,constant Steam deals and Microsoft's Game Pass service mean that mostpeople own far more games than before and are thereforewillingto chop and change games if they get stuck. Furthermore, the dawn of internet forums has bought with it online guides. These guides provide a problem for puzzle game developers, as they can spend months creating a fantastically designed puzzle game with intellectual puzzles, only for someone to beat it in an hour with a walkthrough open on another screen.

Unfortunately, this hascaused the puzzle genre tosomewhat die-out, and new puzzle games are hard to come by. Thankfully, many of the games released in the 80s and 90s, when the genre was booming, have been re-released on places like Steam and GOG.

Ifsomeoneis sick of hand-holding in modern games andwantsto challenge themselves, there aren't many tougher challenges in gaming than beating these ten games without a guide.

The Kings Quest series is one of the most recognizable names in the puzzle genre. The series was developed by Sierra Entertainment, known as Sierra On-line at the time of Kings Quest 3's release. Sierra's Kings Quest series, along with its other puzzle series' like Leisure Suit Larry, were notorious for their difficulty.

The games were so difficult, in fact, that Sierrasold hint books alongside their games. These hint books were sold separately, implying that Sierra intentionally made their games too difficult to encourage players to buy one. Any of the classic Kings Quest or Leisure Suit Larry games could have made it to this list, but Kings Quest III narrowly edges them as the toughest of the lot.

The Witness is one of the only games on this list that wasn't released when mullets were still cool. Thekla, Inc.'s 2016 game was heavily inspired by the genre-defining Myst, with its large, beautiful island that players are free to roam around and explore.

The island doesn't just have pretty trees and ponds though, it's filled to the brim with some of the most well-crafted and mind-boggling puzzles in not just modern gaming, but the history of the puzzle gaming genre.

The aforementioned Myst appearing on this listwill come as no surprise to anyone that has even a casual interest in the puzzle genre. The game had very little hype behind it before release but smashed sales records left, right, and center. Cyan's 1993 title was the highest-selling PC game ever until The Sims and is impressively still the third-highest today.

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Myst is the first game in the Myst series that featured many other tricky puzzles games like Riven, Myst III: Exile, and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

Speaking of Riven, this list wouldn't be complete without it. When unknown developer Cyan, Inc. burst into the forefront of the gaming industry with Myst, a sequel wasat the top of most gamer's wish lists.

Thankfully, the near four-year wait for Rivenwas worth it. Cyan didn't try to re-invent the wheel, and stuck to the same point and click, free-roam puzzle-solving as in Myst. Along with,of course, the devilishly difficult puzzles.

Although the game is every bit as good as Myst to play retrospectively today, it didn't score quite as well critically at the time of release. It's understandable why, as the gaming industry went through a significant change between Myst and Riven.Both the Nintendo 64 and PS1 were released, and games like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Timemade the point and click adventure feel outdated.

Discworld isbased on a book series of the same name and was developed by Perfect 10 Productions & Teeny Weeny Games. It was released, like most games on this list, on Windows and Mac. Uniquely though, it was also released on the PS1, where players could use theoft-forgottenPlayStation Mouse.

Game reviewers are usually wary of criticizing a game for being too difficult, as many fans often eitherdismiss it as a moot point or say that the reviewer is simply bad at the game. This didn't stop reviewers is 1995 though, as many deducted points from the game for its excessive difficulty. One such review was fromAdventure Gamers, who placed the difficulty in their 'The Bad' section and said that thegame "stops short of being a classic simply due to its sheer difficulty".

SpaceChem differentiated itself from other entrieson this list, in the sense that it isn't a graphic adventure. Instead, the game offers a series of increasingly complicated chemical bonding and automation puzzles.

Quintin Smith from Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote an extremely complimentary short review of the game in 2011, stating "Ill be brief: this game is incredible. I think we might have just received one of the years best indie games in the first week of 2011".

LucasArtsmanaged to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time when they followed the iconic The Secret of Monkey Islandwith Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Similarly to Sierra, LucasArt's puzzle games were some of the most difficult of the era, likely to sell hints, as LucasArts had a hotline that confused gamers could call for a fee.

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The game was infamous outside of America for its 'Monkey Wrench' puzzle.The puzzle is solved by hypnotizing a monkey and literally using it as a wrench. The issue is, that the term monkey wrench is unheard of in mostcountries, causing hours upon hours of hopeless confusion for many players.

Indiana Jones In The Lost Kingdomis infamous for providing players with no information,or general rules of how to solveits puzzles. This was a conscious design choice supported by the game's tagline "Nobody told Indiana Jones the rules. And no one will tell you."

Although there were no in-game hints, a hotline was available with pre-recorded messages. Furthermore, the game came with glasses that could read hieroglyphic clues on the instruction manual.

Dark Seed is a unique entry on this list as it is a psychological horror, meaning that the game's puzzles aren't the only thing giving players nightmares.

The game is notorious for forcing players to complete events within certain time-scales, or in a certain order, without giving them any real hint that they're on the right track.

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templarshas one of the most infamous puzzles in all of gaming. The monkey wrench puzzle in Monkey Island 2 comes close, especially for gamers outside of the US, but it still doesn't match up to Broken Sword's goat puzzle.

An old goat may not seem like the most threatening enemy, but it probably caused more game overs than any intimidating Resident Evil boss. For those wanting to know about the puzzle, fear not, as an entire Wikipedia page is dedicated to it.

The game itself is the first in the Broken Sword series. It was critically acclaimed upon release, with praise being directed to its voice-acting and impressive visuals, especially in cutscenes.

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Next Fallout: 10 Things That Make No Sense About Power Armor

A gamer since the age of 3, Jack is knowledgeable about virtually every genre of video game under the sun. He has a soft spot for platformers and collectathons though, and still hasn't given up hope of them making a serious resurgence! Feel free to follow his newly created Twitter account @JackPursey

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10 Puzzle Games That Are Impossible To Beat Without A Guide - GameRant


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