New Braille UNO allow visually impaired and sighted folks to play together

Mattel has brought inclusivity to one of its most popular card games, UNO. Read the rest

Burning Cat, a new IRL gaming event by the creators of Exploding Kittens

The creators of the Exploding Kittens game wanted to make an event to "fix the things that were wrong with traditional conventions," that was "actually fun," and had a "giant cat that explodes."

Enter Burning Cat. A two-day event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland that will feature guest speakers, a giant "ring," an enormous cat statue that will eventually burn, and, of course, lots of games.

About it, in their words:

We’ve attended a lot of gaming conventions. A lot of them. There are things we like. We like the fans. We like the games. We like the creativity. But there are many things that we don’t like. We don’t like that most conventions are basically glorified shopping malls. We don’t like that despite being a gaming convention, very few people play actual games or have actual fun.

So, we decided to reboot the idea of a convention. We decided to build something new from the ground up. We decided to focus on a core philosophy: this is a con you attend if you want to have actual fun. This is a place to observe and/or participate in games, comedy, and creativity. This is a place for tabletop gamers, card game players, casual party game players, families who love games, game makers, or anyone who ever hosted a game night.

Burning Cat is an event for people who are tired of screens and want to have fun face-to-face.

If this sounds fun to you (and why wouldn't it?!), better get your tickets now — this thing is definitely going to sell out. Read the rest

Consent in Gaming: a guide for GMs and players to difficult subjects for amazing games

Sean K Reynolds' and Shanna Germain's free, short ebook Consent in Gaming (from Monte Cook Games) is a beautifully thought-through exploration of how game-masters and players can negotiate their own boundaries before, during and after playing RPGs, in a way that allows everyone to be mindful and respectful of those boundaries without sacrificing fun or intensity of game-play. Read the rest

Mushroom Délicieux! is a demented glitchy Pico-8 game

I can't rightly say I know what's going on in Mushroom Délicieux!, a demented glitchy Pico-8 game by Rémy Devaux. But I had plenty of fun racing around the woods chomping shrooms, avoiding crawlies and getting high, for as long as it lasted.

Walking through the forest feels great! But sometimes you get a little hungry... You're in luck though, because the forest is here for you in... Mushroom Délicieux!

It's free to play online, and you can donate to Devaux on their itch.io page.

Read the rest

Who can sell Ms. Pac Man?

Bandai Namco owns the trademark and copyright in classic arcade game Ms. Pac Man, but a retro hardware company named AtGames has acquired rights to collect royalty payments on it. Read the rest

Tranceive a way out of RELAY's electronic dungeon

RELAY is a free browser game by Yahia Zakaria, Sameh Khater, and Yassin Zakaria. You control a robot trapped in a series of two-dimensional levels filled with electronic gates, hatches, moving platforms and mirrored surfaces. The bot skittles about and jumps short distances, but you won't get far. Escape is only possible by aiming a laserbeam, which triggers mechanical elements or transfers control to other 'bots in unreachable places—so long as you have a line-of-sight. The game thereby poses an increasingly elaborate series of logical challenges as you switch between robots, hook up the circuits that power each level's portals and pitfalls, and hammer the self-destruct button when traps are sprung and completion becomes impossible.

Relay's slightly sadistic gameplay is well-suited to its antiseptic corporate vibe, a setting skilfully established but offering no narrative to speak of. The visuals pose glitchy, filtered pixel art at retina-display resolution, an exemplary touch being when doors and platforms become stuck at odd angles around the player's bot. Both brains and physical precision are required to progress far, and at least one of the twenty levels calls for twitchy clickwork that'll frustrate casuals. Getting the knack of leaving your beam on a particular spot while moving is a key skill: master it before you need it, as puzzles requiring this trick aren't exactly obvious.

RELAY [itch.io] Read the rest

Space Nerds in Space: a free/open co-op multiplayer spaceship landing simulator with combat, NPCs and more

Space Nerds in Space is a free/open source team game where players take on the roles of Navigation, Weapons, Engineering, Communications, Damage Control and work their controls to safely land a spaceship on a variety of planets, each with their own challenge -- and once your team is practiced, you can use a multi-team server to compete against other teams, NPCs, and even engage in multi-team, player-to-player combat. Read the rest

Void Golf, an unexpectedly atmospheric physics game

Void Golf is a free browser game by Cactusmancer. You fire rocks into black holes on a 2D starfield—think Asteroids meets Desert Golf— contending with (and exploiting) the gravitational attraction of celestial bodies in the way. It's simple, habitforming fun, imparted a relaxing vibe by its muted pixel art, spacey music and careful attention to detail. There's even a custom font by Eeve Somepx.

The billiard-ball physics are the point, and it offers an abundance of the merciless satisfaction that such games offer. Pocketing a tough one after a dozen hapless attempts is incredibly rewarding. That said, it's always too hard to precisely power shots and sometimes too easy to avoid the "puzzle" of each level. It doesn't save your progress, either, so familiarity comes quickly.

Void Golf [itch.io] Read the rest

The best video games of this young century

Get your angry hat on, someone's made a list of the best video games of the 21st Century. What are The Guardian's picks?

3. Dark Souls (2011)

You are dead, which comes with few advantages, but at least you can’t die again – not for good, anyway. Plunging you into a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth in a world where almost nothing still breathes, Dark Souls sets you off with nothing and lets its horror-tinged dark fantasy unfold as you flail and struggle to survive. Invigoratingly uncompromising and influential, it was the breakthrough game of FromSoftware and visionary director Hidetaka Miyazaki. Despite two more Dark Souls games and a raft of imitators, there is still nothing like it.

2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

Doing for the open-world game what Half-Life 2 did for the first-person shooter, Breath of the Wild tears up and throws away all the things that make exploration a chore – checklists, objective markers, forests of icons – to make way for true adventure. Breath of the Wild counts on your curiosity, intelligence, self-determination and ingenuity, giving you a thousand ways to apply them. Its thrillingly open wilderness makes other games feel like a quaint miniature train ride by comparison.

Number one is, I dare say it, obvious. Read the rest

Awesome 'Dark Souls' game-inspired embroidery project

Seriously impressive game-inspired stitching project right here. Read the rest

Enjoy being an unpleasant goose in Untitled Goose Game

In Untitled Goose Game, you are the goose: an irascible, annoying, hostile bird waddling around the environs of your pond, attacking children and ruining things.

It's a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose.

Makes me think of a cross between Katamari Damacy and Postal. It's made by Aussie developer House House -- Jacob Strasser, Nico Disseldorp, Michael McMaster and Stuart Gillespie-Cook--and published by Panic. Read the rest

The weird sexually-themed ad campaign for a Candy Crush style game

Lily’s Garden is a variant of Candy Crush, a brainlessly addictive match-three smartphone game. The thing that makes Lily's Garden different, says Brian Feldman of New York's Intelligencer, is its bizarre ad campaign, which has Lily telling her friend about the penis size of men she knows, and magically erasing her pregnancy by swiping away the "positive" line on a home pregnancy test.

From the article:

The reality of Lily’s Garden is even more complicated. For one thing, the fake-pregnancy story line is not present in the game itself. According to Stella Sacco, the game’s writer, those ads were created by a separate team. “All of those are all totally fabricated for, I guess, virality,” she said “And to that degree, I would say that it worked.” Lily’s Garden has a similarly intricate story line, but fans hoping for more information about the Lily from the ads might be found wanting.

Most mobile games are designed to appeal to every demographic on Earth simultaneously. Consider this: what is the narrative of Candy Crush? Nobody knows, it’s just bright colors and harmless shapes. Plus, most games have their narrative crafted to justify the mechanics of that game. For instance, if a developer makes a game where you can just hop into any car in the virtual world, the player’s character might be designated a car thief in the narrative, as in Grand Theft Auto. But according to Sacco, Lily’s Garden and its narrative structure is very deliberately targeted at what I’ll call (non-pejoratively!) “Facebook Moms,” women over 30 who make up the largest audience for these types of mobile games.

Read the rest

Why CRTs are great for modern video games

Photo of CRT monitor and an old CRT Macintosh

First it was vinyl, then it was cassette tapes -- now the latest old media that's being praised for offering warmer, richer, higher-quality experiences? Read the rest

Baby crocodiles "sound like a game of Galaga"

Crocfest posted this video of baby crocodiles in a tub.

Incredible video of complex social behavior from yearling Cuban crocodiles upon seeing their caretaker, Brad Valle, at Dragonwood Conservancy in Florida. We understand that Brad had to dress up like a crocodile only once!!

On Twitter, @xFREESKIMASK45x pointed out they "sound like a game of Galaga." Read the rest

Sadistic browser game of the day: Tetromino Slide

Tetronimo Slide is an unusually annoying variant of Tetris which adds a sliding mechanism similar to the game Threes. You no longer have to think and thumb quickly in the face of falling blocks, but have you thought about what happens if they can slide about after they land? You will, if you click that cursed link. Read the rest

Game champion threatens to sue records website that disallowed his precious Donkey Kong score

Billy Mitchell long held the high-score record for the arcade classic Donkey Kong, but his reputation suffered after his best times were shown to have been made using emulators rather than arcade hardware. Now he's threatening to sue one of the top scorekeeping websites, which struck his scores from the record, and the publishers of The Guinness Book of Records, which cites it as a source.

Owen S. Good:

This week, lawyers for Mitchell sent a letter to Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records demanding that both “retract their claims against Billy Mitchell” and restore the scores to their world record leaderboards, where Mitchell had been a fixture since the early 1980s. Attorneys made the same demand of Guinness World Records, which uses Twin Galaxies as its source for the video game high score records it recognizes.

At issue is the April 12, 2018 finding by Twin Galaxies, after a three-month investigation and deliberative process, that the gameplay in two million-point scores Mitchell claimed for Donkey Kong were not produced by original, unmodified arcade hardware. The implication in that finding is that Mitchell used an emulator running the game to produce the scores, and emulators allow different control schemes, display setups, and even the means to cheat or manipulate a score or performance.

Here's the letter. An excerpt:

its investigation did not provide Billy Mitchell fair opportunity to provide evidence to prove his innocence. Throughout the investigation, Twin Galaxies had a double standard. Specific evidence against Mitchell was accepted, while evidence of equal stature was rejected.

Read the rest

This guy re-made a classic Nintendo home arcade video game console

Seriously impressive re-creation of a Nintendo “Home Arcade” classic video arcade unit by an inspired retrogaming enthusiast. Read the rest

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