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Our favorite puzzle game of 2010 is getting a sequel: FBI agent Nelson Tethers will return to Scoggins and face a new gnome-related threat.
If the Steam Summer Sale didn't flood your library with more games than you can play, Indie Royale's July Jubilee Bundle has six more for you. The bundle's minimum price at the time of posting is $5.53 (~£3.50), and for that you get Puzzle Agent, Geneforge Saga, Oniken, Mutant Storm Reloaded, Swift*Stitch, and Unepic. For purchases of $8 and up, you also get Insert, a chiptune album by Prof.Sakamoto.
See that squirrel drawing? That picture brought PC Gamer Editor-in-Chief Logan Decker to his knees, weeping with joy. What divine creature could have drawn such a magnificent work? Why, Graham Annable, of course! The prolific artist's worked at LucasArts as lead animator and was the creative director at Telltale Games—quite the portfolio, especially if you're into adventure games. But what's it like for an animator and comic artist that's seen the glory days of adventure games and continues to make them today? Only one way to find out—read on!
It's James Bond season! That means it's time for a tie-in spy adventure - though before you rush to the shops to buy 007 Legends, you might want to give SpyLeaks a go. (Also, don't rush to the shops to buy 007 Legends.) Contrary to the name, SpyLeaks has nothing to do with either Julian Assange or a spy desperate for the toilet; it's a stealthy puzzle game with a wonderfully Layton-esque art style and one of those old-fashioned agents that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Telltale games have announced that the first episode in their five part Back to the Future adventure game series will be released Wednesday December 22nd. Until then the whole series is still available to pre-order from the Telltale site for $24.95, a deal which also includes a free copy of Puzzle Agents. Part 1 is called "It's About Time", and will have Marty McFly hopping into the DeLorean to travel back in time and save Doc from jail. For an advanced look at what's in store, check out the debut trailer.
The shambling Humble menace has claimed fresh victims. Not content with sucking the price out of assorted indie games for the excellently varied Humble Indie Bundle 8, they've also ambushed Telltale - creators of the brilliant The Walking Dead adaptation - in order to feed their Weekly Sale. Can they ever be stopped? Remember to aim for the wallet.
*Ahem* And now, dear readers, a (not kid-friendly) excerpt from Hector: Badge of Carnage!: "You sick son of a monkey's ginger half-brother. Yesterday at 8:25, on the hard shelter of the M2, the defiled, excrement-covered corpse of Ellen Pierce, 83, head severed by an electric tin opener and replaced with that of a goat, was found at the wheel of an overturned school bus filled with burning paraplegic orphans. A man of your height, stature, and hair color was reported at the scene wearing a gimp suit and crotchless toreador trousers, eating a tuna and sweet corn sandwich, while at the same time, sodomizing the bus."
Telltale, creators of the recent Sam and Max adventure games and last year's Monkey island episodes, are working on a Back to the Future game. The adventure will span five episodes, and they're releasing Behind the Scenes videos as development goes along. We've embedded the three released thus far below. Pay special attention to the sound-alike voice actor doing Marty McFly - he's kind of incredible.
Each year, our staff plays hundreds of games as we separate the good from the bad and the great from the good. Now, we separate the year’s truly exceptional from the rest, and crown our singular Game of the Year. Drumroll please...
This month we bring you the world's first review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Is it as good as we all hope? Can it possibly live up to the towering original? We punched criminals, hacked terminals, turned invisible and threw a vending machine off a rooftop at an army of gangsters to find out. You can read all about it in our eight page analysis in the September issue of PC Gamer UK which is landing with subscribers shortly, and will be available in print and on tablets on Wednesday 3rd August. That's not all, of course. There are 122 more pages to account for. Read on to find out what else lies within the golden covers of our latest issue.
A humorous discovery: as it turns out, some of those hyper-literal descriptions of objectionable content that the ESRB publishes about the games it's rating are ridiculous. Logan's tweet yesterday sparked a minor meme in the office, during which we compiled a list of the oddest blurbs-about-bad-stuff penned by the ESRB. If you've found any others, do share.
Not only have PC games never been cheaper, they’ve never been reduced in price so fast. That hot new release may cost you between £30 and £35 when it comes out, but you can safely expect that to drop by 15, 25 or sometimes even 75% over the next few months. Digital distribution services such as Steam and Good Old Games are constantly running sales and promotions. If you wait, you usually get the best version of the game, and often all its DLC bundled for free. What do you do with the money you save? You buy more games! Take some risks! Try more genres! Maybe there was something that caught your eye back in the day, but you didn’t have £30 to gamble on actually liking turnbased strategy games, or not being put off by a score of 70%. Maybe classics such as Psychonauts or Sacrifice simply slipped your attention at release, and you just never got around to catching up. Maybe you’re simply attracted by a screenshot or a funny description. For £5, it doesn’t really matter whether a game is an unsung gem, or just something to pass the time on a dark, rainy evening. Of course, we’ve set our sights a little higher, tracking down the best games that you can buy online for under £15, £10 and £5, as well as a selection of formerly commercial games that have officially been re-released as freeware. We’ve avoided a few, such as Deus Ex, in the name of giving some less-recognised games a turn in the spotlight, and of course, there’ll be sales on now that there weren’t at the time of writing. If the game you want isn’t cheap enough yet, just hold fire. With digital distribution, you’ll rarely wait very long.
This feature originally ran in PC Gamer UK issue 225. Adventure games suck. Sorry, but it’s true. This isn’t a lunk-headed action fan telling you this, nor a snotty RPG fan who wants to solve every problem with a sword. No. This is coming to you from a guy who considers beating every Sierra and LucasArts game ever made to be an amateur claim. If it exists, I’ve likely played it, or at least know of it. Broken Sword? Zork? The Last Express? Kingdom O’Magic? Les Manley? I’ve finished great adventures and rubbish adventures, and make no mistake, adventures are my favourite genre of all time. They’re what got me into gaming, the genre I’m most nostalgic about, and one still bursting with incredible untapped potential even today. Even so, today, they suck. And that's something that can change. That's why I get cross. Adventure games deserve to be great once again. The catch is, they have to earn it, and almost none of them are even trying.
Abandoned and resurrected at least once, The Iconoclasts is an indie platformer project of such lengthy gestation that it’s achieved mythic status in dev circles. A heavily truncated alpha has been knocking around for years, but its sole developer, Joakim ‘Konjak’ Sandberg, still declines to put a year to the game’s release. This would bode ill, were it not for the arrival of an expansive new build for the Independent Games Festival, revealing a lush Metroidvania-style world of ambitious scale, snappily acrobatic combat, sporadic puzzling, and a surprisingly involving, funny and philosophical plot.
It's been a good few days for superheroes. Marvel's Agents of Shield thingy made its UK TV debut, I learnt about Phoenix Jones, and I made the surprising discovery that, after being bitten by a radioactive Spider-Man, I can now pass for Tobey Maguire in a look-a-like competition if you don't look too closely or ask me to speak. With great power, comes great responsibility. Also of note: Scribblenauts Unmasked has been released, mysteriously on-time for once. It adds DC characters to the wordy, imaginative puzzle game - characters like Batman, The Joker, Superman and, er, all the other lesser ones no one ever remembers.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified underwent a tumultuous, prolonged development, so it’s understandable that some of its pieces are polished but so few of them fit together. The resulting puzzle-piece jumble is best forgotten in favor of last year’s far-superior XCOM: Enemy Unknown or other recent third-person action games like Mass Effect 3 or Saints Row IV.
You've all played SuperHot, yes? Then we can begin. This week's roundup features a utopian paradise, a very punchy sailor, and a couple of dancing secret agents, among other things. Unless it turns out this was all some sort of daymare, you can join me to hear more after the break.
Indie strategy designer Vic Davis just announced his next game, The Occult Chronicles. Openly inspired by board game adventures like Mansions of Madness and Betrayal at House on the Hill, Occult Chronicles is about a paranormal investigator trying to unearth the secrets of an ancient estate. Mansions of Madness, if you haven't played it, is a dungeon crawl board where the map is revealed by drawing tiles randomly, and assembling them into a floor plan. Along the way you encounter monsters, puzzles, useful items, and other adventure paraphernalia.