Tag Archive: Games

Below, we list the most noteworthy games expected to arrive in 2013. Release dates are provided when known.

Aliens: Colonial Marines Watch trailer(s)
Sega | February 12 for 360 / PS3 / PC (tbd for Wii U)

Developed by Gearbox Software (BorderlandsDuke Nukem Forever), the first Aliens-themed console game since 2010 has been in development for five years—and was included in our 2012 game preview article a year ago—but finally has a firm release date set for next month. The first-person shooter takes place between the second and third films, with locations including the second movie’s planet LV-426. The story comes from Battlestar Galacticascribes Bradley Thompson and David Weddle.

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs Watch trailer(s)
Frictional Games | tbd early 2013 exclusively for PC

The “Amnesia” in the title (rather than the porcine portion) reveals that Machine for Pigs is a sequel to the well-received 2011 PC survival horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent 85, though the new game comes from a different development team (thechineseroom, makers ofDear Esther 75) and features completely new characters, a different setting (Victorian England, 60 years after the first game), and revised gameplay. The changes are intended to add some unpredictability for returning players without eliminating what made the first title so successful.

Bayonetta 2 
Nintendo | tbd 2013 exclusively for Wii U

The 2009 action title Bayonetta was released for the 360 90 and PS3 87, but, in a bit of a coup for Nintendo, this long-delayed sequel will now be a Wii U exclusive. Don’t expect the violent hack-and-slash action to be toned down just because the game will be appearing on a Nintendo console. And if returning developer Platinum Games actually manages to find a clever use for the Wii U’s unique GamePad controller, it could go a long way toward silencing recent criticism about the console move.

Beyond: Two Souls Watch trailer(s)
Sony | tbd 2013 exclusively for PS3

Three years ago, the PS3 title Heavy Rain 87 brought something new to gaming, with a cinematic experience heavy on narrative and visuals rather than running, shooting, and jumping. Though the game earned plenty of critical acclaim, some gamers found the lack of user-controlled action disappointing. Developer Quantic Dream’s follow-up, Beyond: Two Souls, looks like it could address some of those concerns while serving as one of the PS3’s most technically sophisticated games to date. Featuring a motion-capture performance by Ellen Page (Juno), the new title is a supernatural/psychological thriller and emotional character drama centering on over a decade in the life of a young woman with a ghost-like companion. Few other titles this year have the gaming press so excited.

BioShock Infinite Watch trailer(s)
2K Games | March 26 for 360 / PS3 / PC

Easily the most anticipated game of the first quarter of 2013, the third title in the BioShock series follows after two of the most acclaimed and imaginative games on current-generation platforms: BioShock (96 on the 360) and BioShock 2 (88). Whereas the last game took place in an underwater city, Infinite (also a FPS) aims higher, with its action unfolding in an impressive mid-air metropolis (complete with a rollercoaster-like rail system) suspended by hot air balloons and blimps. While the game is principally set in 1912, a rift in the space-time continuum means that you should expect plenty of anachronisms (as well as some scenes set in the more recent past). Developers Irrational Games have also promised an ending unlike anything you’ve seen in previous games.

Company of Heroes 2 Watch trailer(s)
THQ | tbd early 2013 exclusively for PC

The WWII-set Company of Heroes earned an impressive 93 upon its release in 2006, which makes this sequel eagerly awaited by real-time strategy fans. While the Second World War is again the setting, the action moves to the Eastern front—with players controlling the actions of the Soviet Red Army—while technology improvements include True Sight (with soldiers now realistically able to see only what is in front of them and not obscured) and graphics that are better than ever.

Crysis 3 Watch trailer(s)
Electronic Arts | February 19 for 360 / PS3 / PC

Crytek’s sandbox-style FPS series returns with a third chapter that advances the action forward in time by over two decades, to the year 2047, when New York City has been covered by a dome and turned partially into a rainforest. Note that despite early rumors of a Wii U version, the game will definitely not be ported to Nintendo’s new console.

Dead Space 3 Watch trailer(s)
Electronic Arts | February 5 for 360 / PS3 / PC

While the first two Dead Space horror-themed shooters received an 89 and 90 (for their 360 versions), the early reaction to previews of this third installment were mixed, with some fans unhappy with the emphasis on the game’s new cooperative multiplayer mode, which will include story elements unavailable in single-player. Whether you are playing singly or with a friend online, protagonist Isaac Clarke returns (joined by newcomer John Carver in the co-op mode) to battle the zombie-like Necromorphs, this time on the ice planet Tau Volantis. Kinect owners will be able to use voice controls, a first for the series.

Dota 2 Watch trailer(s)
Valve | tbd 2013 exclusively for PC

Anyone who would consider Dota 2 one of the year’s most anticipated games has probably already been playing the game for months, but its first official release won’t occur until later in 2013. A sequel/remake to fan-made Warcraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, the multiplayer online battle arena title Dota 2 is an action-RPG/real-time strategy hybrid—with two teams competing to take out each other’s stronghold—that is exclusive to Valve’s Steam platform. Eventually, you’ll have over 100 “heroes” to choose from (or strategize against), which means a steep but ultimately rewarding learning curve for newcomers.

Double Fine Adventure 
Double Fine Productions | tbd 2013 for PC / iOS

Once the biggest crowd-funded video game project in history (before being surpassed in recent months by the likes of Project Eternity and Star Citizen), Double Fine Adventurereceived nearly $3.5 million from donors on Kickstarter, starting a trend that ultimately resulted in $83 million in Kickstarter funding for gaming projects in 2012. What exactly will that money buy? An old-school point-and-click adventure game, a genre that has fallen out of favor in recent years with the rise of shooters. Given Double Fine head Tim Schafer’s extensive experience in the genre (as the designer of acclaimed titles like Grim Fandango94 and the Monkey Island series), there is plenty of reason for optimism.

Look for more anticipated video games in 2013 here http://www.metacritic.com/feature/video-game-preview-2013

–written by jason dietz for metacritic.com

20 Best Mobile Games of 2012

A good mobile game understands the power of impulse. It should be cheap enough to rack up impulse buys, like a candy bar or tabloid in a grocery store check-out line. It should also be quick and easy enough to pick up, plboyfrienday and then put away at a moment’s notice. Our list of the best mobile games of 2012 is full of games perfect for brief patches of free time, but with unlockable perks or deeper mechanics that will keep you engaged past those fleeting moments.

Our list was voted on by a number of regular freelance contributors to Paste’s games section and then tabulated and compiled by Paste’s games editor Garrett Martin (aka me). Ballots were cast by myself, Simon FerrariRyan KuoJ. P. GrantRichard ClarkStu HorvathMitch KrpataJoe BernardiDan CrabtreeLuke Larsen and Casey Malone. Here are the 20 best mobile games of 2012.

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20. Pocket Planes
Developer: Nimblebit
Platform: Android / iOS
Pocket Planes buzzes like a good pop song. The gameplay is repetitive, catchy and best in small doses. It’s pure and simple pop gaming—addicting, sweet and crunchy, but sure to leave you with a mouth full of cavities.—Luke Larsen

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19. Hero Academy
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Platform: iOS
Since the success of 2009’s Words with Friends, developers have been eagerly trying to find a way to implement its turn-based multiplayer format into other games and genres on mobile devices. Hero Academy is one of the first games to make that multiplayer format work in another genre—in this case, the strategy board game. Excellent use of multiplayer matchmaking aside, Hero Academy is a surprisingly deep tactical strategy game that forces the player to think, overthink and agonize over every move they take. That alone is the mark of a compelling strategy game.—Luke Larsen

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18. Uplink
Developer: Introversion Software
Platform: iPad
Imagine the ’90s cyber-crime movies Hackers or Sneakers in videogame form. That’s Uplink, a remastered version of the 2001 PC hacker sim. Few games effectively exploit the balance between power and vulnerability. Uplink does. Hacking a well-defended mainframe makes you feel like a superhero, but you never stop looking over your shoulder.—J. P. Grant

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17. Call of Cthulu: The Wasted Land
Developer: Red Wasp Design
Platform: Android / iOS
It’s fitting that the grim setting of World War I should figure prominently in a game about unimaginable horrors. Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is the latest videogame foray into H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Primarily a turn-based strategy game, The Wasted Land adapts some of the tabletop Call of Cthulhu RPG’s systems. In both its mechanics and its aesthetics, The Wasted Land demonstrates keen reverence for the source material. It’s a striking debut from a promising small studio.—J.P. Grant

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16. Angry Birds Star Wars
Developer: Rovio
Platform: Android / iOS
Angry Birds Star Wars takes the best of classic Angry Birds and Angry Birds Spaceand puts it in a setting that automatically conjures warm fuzzy feelings. It’s the level design here that makes this an undeniably well-refined product—it’s balanced, varied, and all-around delightful to play through. One star is easy enough to figure out for casual gamers, but achieving three stars still feels like a true accomplishment.Angry Birds Star Wars is the video game equivalent of going on vacation—even if for just minutes at a time.—Luke Larsen

15. Boyfriend Maker
Developer: 36 You Games
Platform: Android / iOS
Sure he was a bastard and a racist, ELIZA’s evil son, but he was taken from us far too soon. Boyfriend lived in our pockets for only a little over a week before being virtually jailed for his sexy crimes against users aged 4+. We cooked for him, we dressed him, and we chatted him up for five-minute spurts before he reminded us that he was out of energy. Some said it was our curiosity, or our loneliness, or the last gasp of our obsession with Asian culture. We were probably only bored, but Boyfriend was slightly less awful than most of the people who live in our computers.—Simon Ferrari

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14. Super Crate Box
Developer: Vlambeer
Platform: iOS
There’s a primal appeal to Super Crate Box’s basic set-up for anybody who ever spent time in arcades or played the 2600 or Nintendo Entertainment System. Simple controls and self-evident goals help Super Crate Box tap into a wellspring of nostalgia, and, like Angry Birds and other easily grasped mobile games, those aspects also welcome the non-enthusiast into the fold.—Garrett Martin

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13. Bad Piggies
Developer: Rovio
Platform: Android / iOS
Functional successor to Amazing Alex and spiritual successor to Angry Birds, Rovio’s Bad Piggies offered mobile gamers some creative license in the developer’s winning three-star physics-puzzle formula. Though not met with as much critical success, the swine’s mechanical misadventure has every bit as much charm as its feathered cousin, and a dash more ingenuity.—Dan Crabtree

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12. Monsters Ate My Condo
Developer: PikPok
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Platform: Android / iOS
Monsters Ate My Condo, with its single-swipe gameplay and seizure inducing neon aesthetic, kept me up at night. Sitting in bed, lit only by my iPhone, I tried to keep the monsters happy while growing my tower ever higher. But like the best endless puzzlers, it beat me again and again. Deleting it was the only way to get a good night’s sleep ever again.—Casey Malone

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11. Angry Birds Space
Developer: Rovio
Platform: Android / iOS
Angry Birds Space transports all the unpredictability, frustration and addiction of Angry Birds to outer space. It takes the basic foundations of the original and supplements them with various gravity effects. It’s not too dissimilar to Super Mario Galaxy in that way—the basics of an old favorite reinterpreted with new physical twists. It tweaks the formula enough to justify its existence and to send even the most reformed Birds fanatic into a time-devouring relapse.—Garrett Martin

A good mobile game understands the power of impulse. It should be cheap enough to rack up impulse buys, like a candy bar or tabloid in a grocery store check-out line. It should also be quick and easy enough to pick up, play and then put away at a moment’s notice. Our list of the best mobile games of 2012 is full of games perfect for brief patches of free time, but with unlockable perks or deeper mechanics that will keep you engaged past those fleeting moments.

Our list was voted on by a number of regular freelance contributors to Paste’s games section and then tabulated and compiled by Paste’s games editor Garrett Martin (aka me). Ballots were cast by myself, Simon FerrariRyan KuoJ. P. GrantRichard ClarkStu HorvathMitch KrpataJoe BernardiDan Crabtree,Luke Larsen and Casey Malone. Here are the 20 best mobile games of 2012.

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10. Cool Pizza
Developer: Secret Library
Platform: iOS
Cool Pizza is an auto-runner, but it avoids the been-there, done-that by changing the perspective. The action happens from a three-dimensional third-person view like the old classic Space Harrier. Instead of running left to right our heroine runs straight ahead. And instead of running she’s on a skateboard, albeit one that never needs a kick. The art style also distinguishes it from the typical mobile game: It’s not a bright cartoon or a navel-gazing 8-bit tribute, but a stark piece of black-and-white line art with sparse color accents and a great Tettix score that sounds like Jan Hammer jamming chiptunes.—Garrett Martin

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9. Letterpress
Developer: Atebits
Platform: iOS
Word game Letterpress is a shining example of minimalist game design that is incredibly easy to pick up, but deeply layered in strategy. Players take turns choosing from the group of 25 randomly-generated letters to create words. When you make a word, the tiles you use turn light blue, adding points to your score. As players claim the board for their own, deeper levels of strategy arise. Resources become increasingly scarce and competitors are forced to become more and more creative in their word-making. It’s as different from Scrabble or any word-puzzle game as could be, while still keeping the knowledge of a large vocabulary at the center of the game’s required skillset.—Luke Larsen

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8. Fairway Solitaire
Developer: Big Fish Studios
Platform: iOS
Big Fish Games’ Fairway Solitaire isn’t exactly a new title—it was originally released five years ago for PC and Mac, and only made its way to iOS in March of 2012. But the wait was worth it. This ingeniously simple hybrid of solitaire and golf is perfectly suited to mobile platforms. With its quick-fix gameplay, high production value and varied challenges, Fairway Solitaire is a bite-size gem that’s as tightly designed as it is polished.—J.P. Grant

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7. Super Hexagon
Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Platform: iOS
In Super Hexagon, you control a small triangle trying to survive in a world full of shapes, sounds and colors that would love to engulf you. Rotating left and right around a hexagon is the only action possible, as patterns and obstacles moving in sporadic motions come hurtling toward you. The first time you play you’ll probably make it through 10 games in 30 seconds. The game is that hard and sessions are that short. One thing is for sure, though: That 30 seconds will quickly turn into hours if you’re not careful.—Luke Larsen

6. 10000000
Developer: EightyEight Games
Platform: iOS
At this point, match-3 games are like zombie games: There’d better be a damned good hook if you want me to pay attention. Fortunately, the strange hybrid 10000000 has several. A fusion of the match-3, RPGand endless runner genres, 10000000 employs a surprisingly effective combination of common mechanics to keep players coming back.—J.P. Grant

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5. Beat Sneak Bandit
Developer: Simogo
Publisher: Simogo
Platform: iOS
Rhythmically-challenged gamers beware: Beat Sneak Bandit‘s environmental puzzles bounce to the beat of the music and you can only move by tapping the screen correctly on beat. Beat Sneak Bandit is another refined achievement from Simogo and perhaps their most successful game yet. It’s intelligently designed and it works marvelously with the iOS interface. Most importantly, though, Beat Sneak Bandit has cured me of my habit of cringing at the sound of the phrase “rhythmic puzzler,” which is saying a lot.—Luke Larsen

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4. Punch Quest
Developer: Rocketcat Games and Madgarden
Platform: iOS
“Endless runner-slash-something-else” may as well be its own genre. After the success of Jetpack Joyride, it wasn’t surprising to find clever hybrids popping up. Punch Quest adds the brawler to that growing list of endless runner mash-ups. Button-mashing brawling action takes center stage here, and for the most part, it feels great.—J.P. Grant

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3. Waking Mars
Developer: Tiger Style
Platform: Android / iOS
Thousands of video games ask you to take life, but very few ask you to create it. Waking Mars is one of the rare creatures in the second camp. It’s also the rare mobile game that excels in all phases of its execution, elegantly integrating story, mechanics and aesthetics. As the story quietly unfolds—as you, well, wake Mars—you may find yourself more emotionally invested than you’d thought. That’s the thing about making life instead of taking it: eventually, you remember how to care.—J.P. Grant

2. Ziggurat
Developer: Action Button Entertainment
Publisher: Freshuu Inc.
Platform: iOS
The one-finger shoot-‘em-up Ziggurat‘s unique greatness only becomes clear once you get sort of good at it. Like most good iOS games, it’s defined by an extremely focused shallowness, targeted entirely towards getting you to dive back in. Keeping the action set minimal while providing a wide variety of gameplay situations forces the player to get creative. Even in a short burst of play, it’s pretty easy to discover a permutation of the action that had previously gone unnoticed. Ziggurat has a great knack for creating itches and then permitting you to scratch them, if you can.—Joe Bernardi

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1. Rayman Jungle Run
Developer: Pastagames / DotEmu
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: iOS / Android
There’s very little to complain about with Rayman Jungle Run, a downsized iOS version of Rayman: Originsthat effortlessly simplifies its mechanics without losing an ounce of playability or character. Without even mentioning the incredible art direction and sound design, it’s a game that raises the bar for big franchises trying to make some extra money moving to the touch screen. It’s the kind of game that could easily stand on its own apart from the popularity of the successful franchise and will undoubtedly shape the future of the genre.—Luke Larsen

— article and image made by george graham for pastemagazine. 

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