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Realm of the Mad God review

The Steam release of Realm of the Mad God marks a new mainstream focus for the free-to-play browser MMO. It’s a combination of Rogue, Robotron and Diablo, an isometric fantasy shooter where quests are handed to you on the fly, where you’re never given a reason to stop running, shooting, or farming experience – until you die, and your character is deleted forever. It’s simplistic and supremely silly, but also one of the most distinctive multiplayer experiences around.

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Realm of the Mad God devs acquired by social games company Kabam

The team behind bonkers indie MMORPG-shooter-thing Realm of the Mad God, Wild Shadow Studios, has been acquired by social games company Kabam. Kabam's roster of browser-based social games includes Edgeworld, Kingdoms of Camelot, and The Godfather: Five Families. Gamasutra report that SpryFox - creators of Triple Town and SteamBirds - have sold their stake in Wild Shadow but designer Willem Rosenthal will stay involved in Realm of the Mad God as it continues to grow.

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Realm of the Mad God: free co-op bullet hell action RPG hits Steam

This may well be the "first ever cooperative MMO bullet hell shooter," but I pray to the mad god that it isn't the last. Realm of the Mad God is a massively multiplayer action RPG with all of the quest text and story stripped away, leaving only a lean, arcade style blaster in its wake. In the beginning, you're just a wizard with a weak wand, but as you hoover up experience for each kill, you'll level, grab new weapons and unlock new classes. There are a few roguelike genes caught up in Realm of the Mad God's weird, tangled DNA. If you die, your character stays dead forever and all his items are lost to the void. It's so fast paced it's hard not to just start over again instantly on death, making this very, very moreish. It's been free to play for a while on the Realm of the Mad God site, but its arrival as a free to play game on Steam gives us a good excuse to recommend it. Its Steam debut means its scatological collection of worlds will be packed full of low level wizards rushing around shooting chickens. 85 players at a time can jump into Realm of the Mad God's instanced zones, which results in some spectacular, chaotic co-op monster slaying. Give it a go, you almost certainly won't regret it, until your clicking finger falls off.

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IGF finalists announced: Dear Esther, Frozen Synapse, Spelunky and Gunpoint nominated

The finalists of this year's Independent Games Festival have been announced. A wide range of promising indie titles have received nominations including Dear Esther to Frozen Synapse, Spelunky and Gunpoint, made by our own Tom Francis, who is several feet behind me watching looking very happy and watching videos of bees. It's a fantastic line-up across the board. It'll be a very tough task for the judges to pick out victors. Until then, have a look at the list below, and let us know which games you think should take awards.

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Skyrim takes Game of the Year at the GDC awards. Portal 2 scoops a triple

Last night the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards took place in San Francisco. The awards ceremony celebrates the "creativity, artistry and technical genius of the finest developers and games." It was hosted by Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim brought home the bacon with Game of the Year, but Portal 2 brought home three different types of bacon: Game Design, Best Audio and Best Narrative. Fledgling developers Super Giant took recieved two awards for the innovative Bastion: Best Debut and Best Downloadable Game. Battlefield 3 took Best Technology, but not best Visual Arts which was awarded to PS3’s Uncharted 3. Boo! The 14th Annual Independent Games Festival Awards happened before the show. They’re about encouraging innovation and recognisng the best indie devs about. Our Tom was nominated for his excellently designed indie, Gunpoint. He was pipped to the post by one of his favourite game designers, Derek Yu, though so I doubt he’s that upset. Fez took the coveted Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Click through for the list of nominees and winners. Congratulations to everyone involved!

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15 multiplayer browser games to play right now

The internet is a scary place. It’s a place full of information, far too much for any one person to absorb even a fraction. It’s a place that caters to every desire, however depraved and esoteric. It’s a place full of other people. Isn’t that terrifying? And, more than that, you’re expected to interact with these people. Have discussions, comment on articles you’ve all read, and troll one another. It’s enough to make that hermetic ideal of cave living, where you only have to worry about which end of the skunk to eat first, look most appealing. But it’s ok, I’m here to help. Games are perhaps the best way to survive contact with other humans. They let you vent your frustrations, or work together without having to, y’know, have a proper conversation about it. You’re hidden and safe behind the anonymity of the internet, and the rules of the game. It’s a controlled environment, and so you’re probably going to be ok. And so, allow me to aid you to submerge yourself in the unwashed masses, a toe at first, before the rest of your leg, and then all to follow. Below is a list of games aimed at interaction over the internet, all from within the safety of your browser. Some are short-fire bursts of multiplayer gaming, others aiming for something much more long form and arduous, but oh-so more rewarding because of it.

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