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is a two-to-four player multiplayer shooter which requires players to spy on each other via the increasingly outdated art of screencheating.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.


Saturday Crapshoot: Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time

Richard Cobbett at

Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, a lost adventure about a lost adventure where ship happened and the world was never the same.

Frank Carlson is the unluckiest man in the history of gaming. A spy in 1912, assigned to the Titanic, he survived the sinking only to be fired from the OSS and end up alone in the Second World War, in a room he can't even afford. On his desk, just a tarot card - Death - representing, as ever, cliche. In his desk drawer, a ticket... for the Hindenberg. And just when everything seems at its worst, a bomb goes off outside his window. Do not stand anywhere near Frank Carlson. I mean it. Nowhere.

But wait. A game about the Titanic? That starts in the Second World War? I smell time travel! Not to mention the far, far more obscure, yet beloved by people who played it, spiritual cousin of The Last Express. Some years, it's best to just stay home. Frank doesn't even get to draw a naked lady...

EA Sports promises dire consequences for FIFA Ultimate Team cheaters

Andy Chalk at

With FIFA 15 just a month away, EA Sports has issued a rather stern warning to people giving thought to cheating in FIFA Ultimate Team. The publisher said it will be "more proactive in taking action" against bots, coin sellers, match cheats and other exploits, and players caught cheating could find themselves permanently banned from the game.


World of Warplanes adds PvE bots, improved ground targets and a new map

Andy Chalk at

The trouble with breaking into a game like World of Warplanes is that most of the people you run up against have been playing for months or years already, and are going to use that experience to smack you around mercilessly—and it's hard to get a feel for your fighter if you're being blown out of the sky every 45 seconds. That's a shortcoming the new 1.5 patch goes a long way toward addressing with the introduction of a new PvE mode creatively entitled "Battle Against Bots."


Civilization: Beyond Earth gameplay video takes a detailed look at building an effective colony

Andy Chalk at

Odds are you've already made up your mind about whether Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is something you want to sink hundreds of hours of your life into. But if you're on the fence, this lengthy gameplay video recorded during the August 21 Firaxis livestream might prove helpful.


Next Hearthstone expansion to include around 100 cards, bought via booster packs

Tim Clark at

Still trying to make your mind up about which of the new cards is most OP? (It's Mad Scientist.) The next Hearthstone set will feature more than three times the number of cards released in the recent Curse Of Naxxramas expansion to bitch about. Speaking on Value Town yesterday, Hearthstone's senior game designer Mike Donais confirmed the next expansion will offer a much bigger injection of cards, and these will be available from packs.


Titanfall returns to Game Time for another free 48 hours

Andy Chalk at

If you haven't yet strapped on a 30-foot-tall suit of futuristic armor and used it to flatten some poor schmuck into a gooey pancake, now might be a good time to rectify that oversight. The weekend is here, and Titanfall is once again free.


Civilization studio Firaxis Games annouces the first-ever Firaxicon convention

Andy Chalk at

Firaxicon is coming! But while it may sound like Firkraag's big brother has finally launched his quest for vengeance against the child of Gorion, it is in fact the first-ever videogame convention devoted solely to Firaxis Games, the studio behind the Sid Meier's Civilization series. And yes, it is official.


The week's highs and lows in PC gaming

Phil Savage at

Each week PC Gamer’s writers meld minds until the most significant events of the previous seven days have been chosen. It’s honestly amazing anything gets done around here.