SimCity 4 Network Addon Mod maker warns against buying the game from Origin

Andy Chalk at

SimCity 4 is more than ten years old, but given the relative dearth of SimCity games since it came out, it remains a popular way for fans of the franchise to get their fix. But the maker of the Network Addon Mod says gamers should be careful about where they buy it: The version of the game being offered by Origin is the unpatched retail release, and because of changes to its copy protection it cannot be updated, nor can it take full advantage of custom content and mods.

Twitch confirms that it's being bought by Amazon

Andy Chalk at

Update: A post on Twitch's website confirms the rumors: Amazon.com is buying the streaming site.

Remember last month when it came out that Google was buying Twitch for $1 billion? It looks like those reports may have been premature, as the word on the street now is that Amazon is "late-stage talks" to acquire the company.

Five Nights at Freddy's review

Omri Petitte at

I’m tracking my doom through the fuzzy static of a whirring camera. The security office I’m in barely surpasses a shoe closet in size. Outside, I’m being hunted by a gang of animatronic animals bent on jamming my head into their smiling maws. I check the cameras again. Two small pinpricks of silvery light—they’re unmistakably eyes—return my stare from a dining room blanketed by shadow. A low chuckle rumbles between my ears. I wonder again how I would ever think taking a nightwatchman’s job at a children’s pizzeria was a good idea.


Battle.net stabilizes after DDoS attack, but "Lizard Squad" hackers remain active

Andy Chalk at

A group calling itself "Lizard Squad" launched a series of DDoS attacks against gaming services including Battle.net, Sony Online Entertainment and League of Legends over the weekend, and even used a bomb threat to divert an American Airlines flight carrying SOE President John Smedley. It appears that all is now well with Battle.net, but it sounds like the people behind the attacks aren't done just yet.


CD Projekt Red answers 20 questions about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Andy Chalk at

Are you concerned about forgetting where you parked in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? Have no fear: CD Projekt Red Community Managers Marcin Momot and Tadek Zielinski recently took to YouTube to answer 20 questions about the upcoming RPG, including what will happen if you lose your horse.


Age of Wonders 3 expansion Golden Realms adds halflings and new campaign

Tom Sykes at

Richard Cobbett used words such as "immediately engaging" and "is" to describe Age of Wonders III in his review, so the news that it will shortly receive an expansion is almost definitely a Good Thing. Golden Reams is its name, and "bucket loads of new content" is its game, including the hobbity return of the Halfling race. Triumph announced the expansion with a ginormous video describing the new stuff, but if you'd rather hear about it in text form, I have you covered there too.


Super Win the Game is a nostalgic, open-ended platformer with one hell of a visual hook

Tom Sykes at

An email from David Pittman after my article on Eldritch the other day alerts me to Minor Key's Super Win the Game, sequel to their 2012 freeware title You Have to Win the Game. If you can't recall it, or you've never heard of it, YHTWTG is a platformer with a curvy, scanliney visual filter reminiscent of the chunky monitors of yore. It looks absolutely lovely, as you can see here. Sequel Super Win the Game retreats even further from HD, by sporting an (optional) CRT TV effect. It's a warm, nostalgic-looking game, with a trusting, open-ended structure that reminds me of the NES Legend of Zelda titles. I'm pretty damned excited about it.


Sentris: a rhythm puzzle music game minus the plastic instruments

Tom Sykes at

Sentris is a rhythm puzzle music creation type game that looks a bit like Simon Says if it was being played by those little alien fellas from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Images and trailers show a game that seems strange and abstract in all the best ways, but we don't need to look at those any longer to surmise what it's all about, because Sentris is now on Steam Early Access. Look at it there, all early and accessible.

24 Killers: a whodunnit monster life sim from Winnose developer Todd Luke

Tom Sykes at

Todd Luke (you may know him from Winnose, Marble Safari, and other bouncy, colourful games featuring a bunch of strange creatures) is expanding his 7 Day Roguelike entry 24Killers into a monster life sim with whodunnit elements and yes that is exactly my cup of tea. The original was a slim mystery title where you had to finger (in a manner of speaking) a killer from a monstrous line-up; this new version is a game of discovery and interaction and monster possession in a small town by the sea. 24 Killers looks lovely, and it's now on Kickstarter for a rather small amount.

No Minecon this year; may return Spring 2015

Tom Sykes at

August hasn't been particularly kind to Minecraft conventions, official or otherwise. Following that worrying news about the unofficial 'Mineorama' convention comes the sad news that there will be no Minecon this year. Mojang COO Vu Bui announced as much on the Mojang site, stating that "while we’d love to do MINECON every year and it’s the only event we do as a company, we want to make sure we can give it the attention it needs, and that means that springtime next year will work best". In the meantime, there's nothing stopping you from holding your own Minecraft convention in the zombie-infested tunnels under your house.


The Elder Scrolls Online to reward long-term subscribers with loyalty program

Tom Sykes at

The Elder Scrolls Online should get a bit more Elder Scrollsy further down the line, but in the short term, here's a free pet. Starting September, Zenimax will be rewarding long-term subscribers with various tokens of gratitude. The first, for three months' good service, is a "High Hrothgar Wraith vanity pet", while the gift for six months' subscription time will be revealed "soon".


Screencheat is a multiplayer shooter where each player is invisible

Shaun Prescott at

A multiplayer shooter where each player is invisible is definitely an idea, but is it a good one? Well, we're about to find out: Screencheat is a two-to-four player multiplayer shooter which requires players to spy on each other via the increasingly outdated art of screencheating. Remember four-player Goldeneye on Nintendo 64? Well, Screencheat is like that, except in order to see where your enemies are you'll need to keep an eye on their screen.


Fortnite gameplay video offers commentary and comic violence

Shaun Prescott at

Epic Games' forthcoming free-to-play shooter Fortnite is much more than a shooter, and the studio is eager to emphasise this point of difference. In the video below, Systems Designer Cameron Winston and Community Manager "KL" Smith spend just under 15 minutes explaining how the game works, addressing the differences between character classes, combat, and - most importantly - how the game's central building mechanic will work.


Hacker group rains DDoS attacks down on Battle.net, Sony Online Entertainment and more

Shaun Prescott at

Hackers have targeted a range of gaming services including Battle.net, Sony Online Entertainment titles and League of Legends, among others. While the DDoS attacks have mostly been resolved, a Twitter account claiming to be responsible for the hacks is now targeting Xbox Live.


The Escapists infiltrates Steam Early Access

Tom Sykes at

The Escapists is a game about breaking out of prison, from the studio that made that game about a heroic potato. Banged up for 30 years for a crime you maybe did commit, The Escapists tasks you with busting out of a fortified penitentiary, using a variety of tools and methods to achieve this. It all sounds rather exciting and open-ended, and it's now on Steam Early Access so we can check for ourselves.


Ultra Street Fighter IV beta update available, opt-in to help Capcom fix their game

Tom Sykes at

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Super/Ultra/Mega Hyper Duper Street Fighter IV, and how the online situation is a bit of a mess since Capcom ditched Games for Windows Live for Steamworks. Capcom said they were working on fixes, and now they've applied some in a new beta version of Ultra SFIV available on Steam. This forum post has details on how to opt-in.


Mod of the Week: Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms

Christopher Livingston at

I don't know how successfully it comes across on the TV show, but the Game of Thrones book series makes the storied history of Westeros as important and intriguing as the current, rather messy state of affairs. Westeros: Age of Petty Kings, a mod for Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms, is set during the Andal Invasion of Westeros, thousands of years before the events of the series, which means now you can take part in the shaping of the turbulent continent and forge your own version of the history of Westeros.


The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes at

Free games are amazing, and the wide world of gaming is a wildly better place for all the wonderful interactive stories and goal-based games and exploratory oddities I've encountered over the last couple of years. While angry types grumble about 'walking simulators' and interactive fiction and having to look at games featuring pixel art, those of you with open minds may join me after the break. Read on for strange climbing, a different kind of haunted house, a dusty city, extreme berry-picking and more.


The Long Dark makes the perilous trek to Steam Early Access in September

Tom Sykes at

Andy was impressed when he got his frostbitten hands on The Long Dark, so the news that it's heading to Steam Early Access soon is reason to be cheerful. (Unless it arrives a bit too broken to enjoy, of course.) Developers Hinterland Games have announced the date on which we can expect the game, along with details of what the Early Access version will entail. September 22nd is the entry to circle in your diary with your last remaining ounce of energy, giving the people that find your corpse plenty to chew on as they poke around in your cabin and pilfer your supplies.


Eldritch gets free Asylum expansion to celebrate H.P. Lovecraft's birthday

Tom Sykes at

H.P. Lovecraft isn't quite alive enough to enjoy his birthday anymore, so Eldritch developers Minor Key Games have taken it upon themselves to bake him a cake, then toss it into their procedurally generated dungeon. By this I mean they've added some H.P. Lovecrafty stuff to their roguey, stealthy dungeon crawler Eldritch, and they've done so free of charge. The Asylum expansion is the biggest New Thing, but you can also expect trading cards, achievements, leaderboards and more should you decide to load up the game.