PC/Mac/Linux • The first game I ever played was PC Research’s 1983 survival horror game, 3-Demon. And by survival horror, I obviously mean a first-person vector riff on Pac Man. John D. Price and Rick Richardson’s intimate maze-em-up was austere and unsettling, branded as a seminal experience into soft, impressionable neurons. So, imagine if that sort of ambience dropped tired old phantoms for battlesuits in a near-future subterranean lair? Das Geisterschiff, which arm should I present for cannulation, come November 25th?
Here’s a collision of interesting things. Remote Games are the blokes behind Isotopium: Chernobyl, and the premise is pure magic. Players control wheeled drones and remotely roll around a scale model of the infamous reactor and nearby town, searching for energy caches and seeking out new locations. Slivers of escape room meets Joe Haldeman’s Forever Peace. It’s currently in Kickstarterdom. And you can play a timed demo right now. Go on.
PC • Here’s a bold prediction. Kerberos Studios‘ Pit of Doom will be a runaway hit. And not just one of those cult sleepers, name-dropped for cred at gatherings of those in the know. A bona fide smash. It sounds ludicrous to predict the fortune of an unfinished game, one still slick with Early Access afterbirth, but I have that tingling sensation. Could be the creeping onset of Zuul poison, though. You never know.
PC, Xbox, PS4 • Listen up, nuggets. You should all be familiar with Black Lab Games‘ dark horse tactical gem, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock. Quite possibly the best licensed game this side of, heck, Dark Forces. A terrific tactical starship game based on the paradigm-shifting show of the 2000s, one that I’d put in my top five — count ’em, five — games of all time. Well, there’s a new expansion coming out very soon, and it sounds all manner of tasty.
PC/Mac, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch • You sneaky bugger. At least, that’s what you should aim to be, and Nintendo Switch owners can work on their window-smashing, wall-sliding, robot-braining, loot-grabbing, computer-hacking antics with the fresh release of a modern classic. Dan Marshall’s The Swindle has arrived.
Developers have distantly flirted with the idea of a Warhammer 40K grand strategy, but the commitment to rendering a colossal empire management sim in the grimdark future has yet to be fully realised. It would be an interesting undertaking, and while perhaps some conversions and mods have offered glimpses into what might be, we’re yet to see one with the official GW stamp. Along comes Gladius – Relics of War, from Pandora: First Contact devs Proxy Studios and published under the auspices of Slitherine, and while the game has aspirations to the grand strategy genre, it’s best described as a wargame. Or is that Waaaaarrrghgame? Apostates and the pious alike, read on.
PC, Xbox, Playstation • Ex-Bioshock devs Uppercut Games have enjoyed a very warm reception to their Arabian-themed swashbuckler City of Brass. No tricks here, it’s magical. If you’re not already playing on PC, Xbone or Playstation, it’s worth rubbing the lamp on. Especially now they’ve unleashed two post-release updates, the latest of which is very tidy.
PC, PS4, XBox One • There’s an inbound Steam summer sale bearing six-two-two-carom-one-eight, Statelies. You know what that means? That means, with any luck, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock might be had at a lovely discount, alongside the most recent and most wonderful DLC, The Broken Alliance. That is, if you’ve not already played it. And if not, here’s impetus in the form of an internet-grade list as to why Deadlock is worth a punt.
I’m making an infantry fighting vehicle for my three kids, which can also read as “guy makes 1:4 scale miniature under camouflage of parenting”. There’s more to it than that, though. Sitting back, nine-odd months on from starting this outrageous project, the act of making my kids an insane billy-kart is a pretty powerful allegory, and though that ball of gristle I call my heart doesn’t suffer cheese lightly, the journey continues to be an important one of personal growth.
PC • Though age hath wearied my nerves and reaction time isn’t what it once was, the siren song of the shooter still manages to kindle the old fascination. Eximius: Seize The Frontline is aiding and abetting this month, due to running headlong into Pandemic Studios’ luminary Ken Miller’s proposition that FPS players don’t want to think, and RTS players don’t want to die. If the idea of commanding, ahem, and conquering appeals — and why we aren’t enjoying a glut of these hybrids is one of gaming’s more mystifying vacuums — then give this a look-see.