Which PS4 games should I know about?

As the next generation of game consoles get ready to roll out, a good friend has opted to give me the long-term use of his PS4.

I am so totally stoked.

During a rough financial patch, a few years back, I had to sell mine in order to keep the heat on and put food on our table. I've missed it, ever since. Over the past couple of weeks, I got to finally finish Fallout 4 (with all of the DLC!) as well as Batman: Arkham Knight. But there's still like, almost five years of games out there, that I've never had the opportunity to play. I'm betting scads of them are less expensive to purchase now, as well—Once we're out of our sublet and back into the RV, storage will be at a premium, so I'll likely go digital downloads only. As we'll be living in seclusion on Vancouver Island, this fall and winter, having the console to help keep me from going insane (or at least building on the level of insanity that I've already achieved), is going to be such a welcome comfort.

I've got a copy of Red Dead Redemption III to noodle with. Any advice on what titles I should pick up? I like story-driven RPGs and open-world games. Straight ahead shooters and online games aren't my thing. Read the rest

Videogame to treat ADHD available by prescription

EndeavorRx is a first-person racing videogame designed to help children with ADHD and this summer, the FDA approved it as a "prescription treatment." Meanwhile, other researchers are developing videogames that can help lift depression and reduce anxiety by interrupting the feedback loops of negativity and fear.

“It’s a well-known fact that so many mobile games use all sorts of psychological tricks to get people to give them money,” Harvard psychology postdoc Chelsey Wilks told IEEE Spectrum. “So we wanted to use the same exact psychological tricks, but to trick [users] into doing something that’s good for them.”

From IEEE Spectrum:

Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs, maker of [EndeavorRx], says its racer was originally licensed from the lab of Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. The company touts four peer-reviewed studies (in PLOS One, The Lancet Digital Health, The Journal of Autism, and Developmental Disorders) as well as one paper in process as support for its claims that EndeavorRx significantly improves clinical markers of attention in patients with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

“EndeavorRx looks and feels like a traditional game, but it’s very different,” says Matt Omernick, Akili cofounder and the company’s chief creative officer. “EndeavorRx uses a video-game experience to present specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to target and activate the prefrontal cortex of the brain.... As a child progresses in game play, the technology is continuously measuring their performance and using adaptive algorithms to adjust the difficulty and personalize the treatment experience for each individual.”

Read the rest

Playing GTA without breaking the law is the real hard mode

Gamer and philanthropist MrBeast gave his buds several challenges in GTA V, with the stipulation that they could not break any laws. No punching, stealing, or even jaywalking. Turns out it's quite difficult, but not impossible. Read the rest

Trump un-banned by Twitch after ‘hateful conduct’ led to 2-week suspension

Twitch just un-banned Donald Trump. The impeached U.S. president's official Twitch channel [Link] had been suspended for two weeks for violating the streaming video platform's rules against hateful conduct. Read the rest

"Pokémon Go grandpa" has 64 smartphones attached to his bicycle

In 2018, Taipei resident Chen San-yuan, 72, had attached 15 smartphones to his bicycle so he could play numerous games of Pokemon Go at once. Dubbed the "Pokémon Go grandpa,” he has upped his game with a new total of 64 mobile phones in his array. Gotta catch 'em all, I guess.

The phrase 危險行為請勿模仿 in the caption translates as: "Do not imitate dangerous behavior."

(via The Verge) Read the rest

Grandpa gets a little too carried away with the VR headset

Man, 81, goes on rampage with HTC Vive VR headset

Relicblade launches campaign for new two-player starter set

It seems weird to be writing about something as frivolous as a game while the world is infected and on fire, but we do need a little distraction and joy to keep us sane, and for some of us, the gaming hobby offers just that.

Sean Sutter, the one-person game designing artistic juggernaut behind the fabulous fantasy narrative skirmish wargame, Relicblade just launched a Kickstarter for his latest product, a two-person starter set. Within 30 minutes, he had blown past his funding goal and is currently over $40,000. For those of us familiar with this game, this is no surprise at all. To know Relicblade is to love Relicblade.

While I am a huge, lifelong fan of the tabletop gaming hobby in general, I especially adore indie games that are basically the vision of one artist. Relicblade is such a wonder. Sean does nearly everything. He designs the games, writes and lays out the rulebooks, does all of the art, sculpts all of the miniatures. This would all be impressive enough, but the quality with which he does it all makes it even more impressive. His product line confidently stands next to the big dogs in the industry.

The latest campaign, called Storms of Kural, is a two-player starter set designed to provide everything needed to enter the world of Relicblade. There are two main pledge levels, one at $100 for the rulebook, minis, cards, and tokens, and one at $85 for people who already own the rulebook. Read the rest

Watch: How to build your own Nintendo Switch

Seattle maker Brennen Johnston wanted his friends to play Animal Crossing with him but they couldn't get their hands on a Nintendo Switch, a scarce commodity amid COVID-19 lockdowns. Enraged by the prices scalpers were charging for a Switch, Brennen set out to build one himself from individual components. The Internet fell in love with the build notes he posted to Imgur and now he's released the above video documenting the project! Brennen writes:

The support I received from my original Imgur post has been overwhelming. I never imagined so many people were interested in my project or had thought of doing something similar. I with I was able to answer everyone's questions but I just couldn't keep up with all the requests.

Most of the private messages asked me to do a version for the Joy-cons so I went ahead and made you that you can find here:

https://www.unorthodoxtech.com/#/blog/5ecc7e3157d93d0017683e23

"How To Build A Nintendo Switch From Scratch - Building With Brennen" (YouTube)

• Previously: "'How to build a Nintendo Switch' for coronavirus #StayAtHome gaming" Read the rest

KontrolFreek's gaming gear cleaner is great for phones, monitors and laptops too

KontrolFreek's CleanFreek foaming cleaner keeps my monitor, controller and iPhone sparkling.

CleanFreek's foam leaves no residue or streaking on my cherished 1440p monitor. The grubby kid hand-stains left on my Xbox and Switch controllers easily wipe away. The layer of oil that constantly lives on my iPhone screen is gone.

I also use CleanFreek on my glasses and this very laptop. I hate it when my gear gets blech!

KontrolFreek CleanFreek Anti-bacterial Cleaner for Gaming Gear (2.7 fl oz) | Cleaner for Controllers, Mice, Smartphones, Tablets, Monitors and Glasses via Amazon Read the rest

'I painted Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal at the same time'

“I painted a happy little scene from Animal Crossing. Doomguy is there too!”

This video is from Two Ruru Paints, IMGURian @tworuru's YouTube show in which he paints landscapes and scenes from video games and pop culture. Read the rest

'How to build a Nintendo Switch' for coronavirus #StayAtHome gaming

Wow, man. Some of us take on more extreme projects during the Great Coronavirus Quarantine than others. Read the rest

Get into Google's Stadia game service for free

It's easy to get bored, sheltering in place, or worse, being confined to one room in your home under quarantine. I've played my fair share of video games over the past few days and, I'm sure that many of y'all have been getting down with a bit of pew-pew, too.

However, don't already own a gaming console or a computer with a decent video card, you might be shit out of luck: the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One are all reportedly becoming harder to find in stores and online. If you're having trouble nailing down a gaming system to blow away the hours with, Google announced today that they have a new offer to see you through the dull times.

From The Verge:

Google is launching the free version of its Stadia game streaming service today. Anyone with a Gmail address can sign up, and Google is even providing a free two-month trial of Stadia Pro as part of the launch. It comes just two months after Google promised a free tier was imminent, and it will mean anyone can get access to nine titles, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, and Thumper, free of charge.

Google is also making some changes to Stadia to accommodate the influx of new users. “To reduce load on the internet further, we’re working toward a temporary feature that changes the default screen resolution from 4k to 1080p,” explains Phil Harrison, Google’s Stadia chief. “The vast majority of people on a desktop or laptop won’t notice a significant drop in gameplay quality, but you can choose your data usage options in the Stadia app.”

Read the rest

Coronavirus: Telecom Italia says internet traffic up 70%+, mostly online games like Fortnite, Call of Duty

The death toll in Italy's coronavirus outbreak today passed 1,000.

Schools throughout Italy are completely shut down, which is reportedly driving a surge in internet traffic as bored kids forced to stay indoors turn to online games. Read the rest

February is "Snag-a-Normie" month in tabletop gaming

The online gaming portal, OnTableTop (formerly Beasts of War) is trying to establish February as "Snag-a-Normie" month. The idea is for tabletop gamers to try and bring their friends and family over to the dark side, to expand the hobby gaming community, and to find more players for yourself. As a life-long tabletop gaming enthusiast, I am all for this.

As my Snag-a-Normie contribution for the month, I thought I'd share a few ideas for what I think are great gateway games for getting newbies interested in tabletop miniature games, card games, and fantasy and sci-fi board games. These choices represent my particular interests, so this is far from a universal list. YMMV.

Wildlands - This 2-4 person board game with gorgeous ink-washed minis is easy to pick up and really gives players the feel of a dungeon delver without too much heavy lifting learning a lot of rules up front. Most of the action is card-driven. Here's my earlier review.

Keyforge - This card game is cheap to get into. Each player (2) needs a deck of cards and the rules are free online. Every deck is unique, so you're forced to learn to leverage the strengths of the deck you have (and to overcome its weaknesses). The rules can be a little fussy to understand at first, but once you get beyond that, it's pretty straight forward. My review.

Escape from the Dark Castle - My girlfriend is not a gamer, but we've played this dungeon-delving card game together and she loves it. Read the rest

'My hobby is designing and building unique arcade games from scratch.'

This is a really cool homebuilt arcade game project. Read the rest

I love this cheap, mechanical gaming keyboard... and it lights up too!

This Redragon 10-keyless mechanical gaming keyboard has increased my gaming enjoyment.

I moved from controller to KB+M gameplay and things are better! I mostly wanted the insane update that moving to a modern graphics chipset, ram and storage would bring but the increased control of playing games with a keyboard and mouse are a huge bonus.

I settled on this Logitech gaming mouse.

The Redragon keyboard is a tactile delight. Solid and well made it is pleasing to rest my hand upon. The keys offer good resistance and click. Keys also are firmly in place and I do not feel any wiggle or give under my fingers, there is no side-to-side torsion to worry about.

The keyboard itself sits firmly on my desk and doesn't want to slide around as I am pushing W and constantly driving my character forward.

For less than $40 this keyboard is a winner, and helps me be one.

Redragon K552 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, RGB Rainbow Backlit, 87 Keys, Tenkeyless, Compact Steel Construction with Cherry MX Blue Switches for Windows PC Gamer (Black)by Redragon via Amazon Read the rest

Wolfeye Studios' Weird West is looking like my kind of game

I'm looking forward to Weird West, for a number of reasons. Its hand-painted aesthetic and  top-down tactical game play bring to mind all of the love that I hold for Fallout and Fallout 2 and Wasteland 2—as does the fact that it's full of monsters and other horrific entities that crawl around the desert waiting to carve up any travelers that they come across. the description for this recently announced title reads like a shopping list for all of the shit I adore in a game:

From Wolfeye Studios:

Survive and unveil the mysteries of the Weird West through the intertwined destinies of its unusual heroes in an immersive sim from the co-creators of Dishonored and Prey.

Discover a dark fantasy re-imagining of the Wild West where lawmen and gunslingers share the frontier with fantastical creatures. Journey through the origin stories of a group of atypical heroes, written into legend by the decisions you make in an unforgiving land. Each journey is unique and tailored to the actions taken - a series of high stakes stories where everything counts and the world reacts to the choices you make. Form a posse or venture forth alone into otherworldly confines of the Weird West and make each legend your own.

Currently, it looks like Weird West is only destined to make its way to Steam, but tell me I'm wrong: this title has Nintendo Switch written all over it. Read the rest

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