retro

Shovel Knight has exceeded sales expectations, thanks mainly to PC

Shaun Prescott at

Do you like statistics and exclamation marks? Yacht Club Games has posted a breakdown of sales for its recently released platformer Shovel Knight, and it's a surprisingly interesting read. The Kickstarter-funded title released for PC, Wii U and 3DS on June 26, with 64 per cent of pledges coming from the PC community. The game sold a whooping 75,000 copies during its first week on PC and Nintendo's eShop, far exceeding the studio's expectations of between 30,000 and 60,000 copies. 38 per cent of sales in that first week were on PC: a close majority.


Exclusive: Shadowgate release date and new side-by-side comparison trailer

Cory Banks at

Shadowgate was a brutally-hard Mac (and later NES) adventure game, where one failed puzzle could murder you and force you to start all over. The remake that Zojoi Studios has coming updates those visuals for the modern age, but keeps the puzzles difficult and the atmosphere dark. When I spoke to developer Karl Roelofs last month about the game's progress, the team still wasn't sure about its release date. Now that date is set, and Zojoi has exclusively revealed it to us, along with a trailer that shows off Shadowgate's commitment to its history.

Shadowgate interview: crowdfunding, art style, and making a classic game just modern enough

Cory Banks at

I really wanted to fight wizards as an eight-year-old. I watched my older brother play Dungeons & Dragons with his friends, but I was far too young to join them as they adventured through castles and battled dragons. So when my brother sat me down in front of the NES version of Shadowgate, it felt like I was finally getting an adventure of my own. A terrifying, difficult adventure, where one wrong click meant instant death.

Twenty-five years later, the original developers are bringing Shadowgate back, this time to Steam. Developer Zojoi has reimagined what standing in front of the living castle should feel like, adding a (slightly) modern interface to the same punishing adventure gameplay of the original. Ahead of its summer release, I spoke to design director Karl Roelefs about what makes a modern Shadowgate, and why the team used illustrations instead of 3D models.


PC Gamer US digs through its archive of old games

Wes Fenlon at

The PC Gamer US staff recently packed up desks and moved across the office, which meant it was time to dig into some of the boxes crowding our shelves. We sorted through a treasure trove of old game discs and manuals, finding some great stuff—just about every Star Trek game on PC—and some even better stuff, like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 9.


Cipher Prime Studios Humble Sale debuts retro arcade shooter Intake

Patrick Carlson at

The latest Humble Weekly Sale features the colorful and exclusive launch of what new retro shooter Intake, which indie developer Cipher Prime Studios calls the “polychromatic love child of Dr. Mario and Ikaruga.” An arcade-style shooter, Intake joins three other Cipher PC titles in this week’s offering.


Rise of the Triad review

Ben Kim at

The original Rise of the Triad is a relic of the early ages of PC gaming. It didn’t ask you to aim up or down, quick save every few minutes, or worry about fiddling with graphics settings. It did, however, beg you to explode, shoot, and instagib everything.

Interceptor Entertainment’s 2013 remake is an earnest love letter to the original—warts and all. There are no quick saves, for example. There’s no regenerating health. The game doesn’t even have actual cutscenes aside from the intro. What it does have is an undeniable charm. This is Quake on steroids. Things move faster, explosions are bigger, and the giblets are greater.


Download This — Organ Trail

Evan Lahti at

Come say hello to our new weekly video segment! Today we're playing Organ Trail, a zombie survival-themed homage to its homophone game, The Oregon Trail. Tyler, myself, and The Dark Knight drive a busted station wagon across the United States in search of a new home. What can possibly go wrong?


Playlist: Our favorite classic shooters

Tyler Wilde at

Opinions! We have a lot of 'em, but we've somehow managed to distill our complex views on the big subject of classic shooters into a list of just five of our favorites. Note that our choices aren't based on some all-encompassing algorithm which weighs historical context, impact on the industry, and public consensus—these are the much-debated personal opinions of each editor, and we've focused on choosing titles which we still want to (and do) play today.


Reinstall: Crusader: No Remorse

Richard Cobbett at

Crusader isn’t about action, or even shooting. It’s not about explosions, about story, or about saving the world from the generic totalitarian government in charge of it. It’s about being That Guy. You know the one. The one the guards have no chance of stopping. The one who just walks through any trap. The one who’s sent in alone to save the world because he and his gun are, if anything, overkill.

Action heroes don’t get much sleeker than the Silencer—an unnamed, mute super-commando who worked for the evil, all-controlling World Economic Consortium until ordered to massacre a group of civilians. Refusing, he officially switched sides and joined up with the rebels instead, lending his gun, skill, and (most importantly) awesome-looking battle armor to their noble cause. Just one glance at him tells you you’re many, many weight classes above most enemies you’ll face.


Saturday Crapshoot: Jurassic Park: Trespasser

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, he’s sorely in need of a palate cleansing after five hours of tedium. And you know it's bad when you resort to this to wash away unwanted memories.

On a day with Skyrim, Saints Row 3 and the Tribes Ascend beta on my PC, do you know what I wasted about five hours of my precious existence playing? That's right - the new Jurassic Park game. Well, it claims to be a "game", though I argue that "Jurassic Park: The Vaguely Interactive Machinima That's Suspiciously Like Aliens For Some Strange Reason" would have been almost as snappy.

Did I like it? I did not. Do I recommend it? Only if you're planning a time capsule full of warnings to the future. Honestly, we sent this kind of interactive movie the way of smallpox for a reason. Instead, how about taking a look back at something a bit closer to what the Jurassic Park movie deserved. Something innovative. Something ambitious. Something not shit. Trespasser is definitely two of the three.

See if you can guess which two...

More Damn Kharacters - Overhaul Games' Trent Oster on putting the HD into MDK2 HD

Richard Cobbett at

Before Bioware became the RPG juggernaut it is today, it made a couple of action games - the mech combat sim Shattered Steel, and MDK2, the sequel to Shiny's surreal, phenomenally punishing shooter. A decade later, former Bioware man Trent Oster is returning to update the world of Max, Doctor Fluke Hawkins and Kurt... one of many backronyms created in those dark days when everyone thought games really could teach children to murder instead of merely making it look fricking awesome... and he's even started a brand new digital distribution service, Beamdog, to distribute it. Digitally!

I caught up with him to ask about both his two new companies - Overhaul Games and IdeaSpark - and why now is the time to bring MDK2's bizarre mix of comedy and shooting back to the world.


Super Meat Boy Review

Tyler Wilde at

Imagine a bouncing cube of raw meat sliding into the teeth of a whirling saw blade. Spludge! Now picture thousands more—as many as there are letters on this page—all going splat and splot as they disintegrate into an ocean of juicy beef-stuff. Gross. But your mental slaughterhouse still has nothing on my Super Meat Boydeath tally. I flung the game’s lovable, protein-based hero to his demise over 3,000times just to beat the main levels of this relentlessly difficult 2D platformer. Include the search for collectables, the retro-themed Warp Zones, and the unlockable “Dark World” levels, and the number of exploded meat-bodies I’m responsible for is genocidal—but it’s the fun kind of genocide.