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Category Archives: PC

Remastered Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Coming to PC with Multiplayer

The folks at Night Dive Studios have confirmed a remastered version of Turok 2: Seeds of Evil will be hitting PCs on March 16, 2017. This isn’t incredibly surprising, as the studio released a slightly touched up version of the original  Turok: Dinosaur Hunter on December 17, 2015, and it’s been assumed for a while now that Turok 2 would follow. But what is surprising is the addition of multiplayer. Night Dive has added a new gameplay mode called “Last Turok Standing,” which, according to a press release, will let players “battle with friends for an even more visceral gaming experience.” It sounds like a pretty standard deathmatch, but its addition is a welcome one for anybody who’s ever wanted to use Turok‘s assortment of sci-fi guns on their friends (digitally, of course). I actually spent a good deal of time with Night Dive’s remaster of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter.…
Word Munchers

I Was Mad Good at Word Munchers

One of the highlights of elementary school in the late 1980s was being allowed to play edutainment games in the computer lab. Back then, we had classics like The Oregon Trail, Odell Lake, and Spellevator. (All of these games were published by MECC, or the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, an organization that was basically the king of edutainment in the 80s.) Of course, The Oregon Trail was the undeniable cream of the crop, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun with others, especially 1985’s glorious twins, Number Munchers and Word Munchers (also published by MECC). In both games, you’re given a simple problem, which you solve by eating all of the appropriate answers from a grid while avoiding the evil (or perhaps just carnivorous and hungry) Troggles. The main difference between the two games was that in Number Munchers you were solving math problems or finding multiples and factors, while in Word Munchers you were finding correct vowel sounds or parts of speech.…
Wings out of Shadow

Baen Software Rose and Fell While Barely Making a Sci-Fi Splash

The name Baen has been associated with science fiction since at least 1983, when Jim Baen founded Baen Books (and maybe even before that, since he’d worked as an editor for various publications beginning in about 1973). What many people don’t know, however, is that Jim was also involved in video game publishing, having created Baen Software in 1979. The first game they published was Starclash, released exclusively for TRS-80 computers in 1980. The object of the game was to wrestle control of the galaxy from your computer or real-life opponent. A sequel, Starclash II, was released for MS-DOS in 1983. At first, Baen exclusively published games, but they teamed with sci-fi author Fred Saberhagen to start a development studio, Berserker Works, in 1982.…
Stardew Valley Truffle

Stardew Valley: Truffle Guide

In Stardew Valley, it might not be immediately clear where you can find truffles or what to do once you have one, and several players have been confused about this. So here’s a super quick guide to help you solve the mystery of truffles. To acquire truffles, you must have at least one adult pig. In order to get one of those, you’ll have to have at least one Deluxe Barn, which is the third tier of Barn. (You’ll have to go to the Carpenter’s Shop and upgrade your Barn to a Big Barn, then your Big Barn to a Deluxe Barn.) Once your Deluxe Barn upgrade is complete, you can visit Marnie’s Ranch (south of your farm) to buy a pig.…
Stardew Valley Wagon

Stardew Valley: 16 Tips for Beginners

Stardew Valley seems like a pretty simple game at first, but once you dig in you’ll find a deceptively complex, deeply layered experience. In my first save file, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how things worked, and by the time I made it to Fall, I had learned an enormous amount of information that, had I known it when I started the game, would have saved me a lot of time and headaches. So I started over and had a very successful first year. Below is a list of things I wish I’d have known sooner: Turn on Autorun Yes, you can enable autorun in the options menu. It will save you from cramping your pinky finger by holding down Left Shift all the time.…
Stardew Valley Flower Dance

Stardew Valley: Where Is the Spring Flower Dance?

In Stardew Valley, your character will be treated to various festivals throughout the year. One of the first is the Flower Festival, which includes the Flower Dance, though it can be a little tricky to find in your first year. On the day before the festival (Spring 23), you’ll find this reminder in your mailbox: If you follow its instructions, it can be a little confusing. You’ll want to enter Pelican Town, go to the south edge of the town, then head due west. Of course, there’s an easier way to get there: Just head straight south from your home. You’ll end up finding a bridge to an area that’s otherwise inaccessible at this point in the game. Cross it and follow the path and you’ll be enjoying the festivities with the rest of them.…
Deathsmiles on Steam

Deathsmiles and Its Notoriously Saucy Papercraft Minigame

Deathsmiles, Cave’s 2007 arcade bullet-hell classic, has never really been a mainstream hit here in the United States. It’s notable, however, for using some pretty “unusual” tricks as part of its marketing strategy. Promotional flyers were handed out in Japan that contained a papercraft minigame on the backside of them, the point of which was to get a peek at an anime girl’s bottom. By cutting and folding this thing properly (following the included directions), you’d wind up with a skirt and slip that you could blow on, lifting it up to reveal the character’s panties. Did it work? Maybe. The game found its way outside of arcades, with a 2009 Xbox 360 release, an iOS version, and a PC version via Steam (released March 10, 2016).…
realms of the haunting

5 More Classic Horror Games Available for Under $6 on GOG.com

There’s nothing quite like a good scare. As it happens, you’re filled with a surge of adrenaline, and in the aftermath, you’re soothed by feelings of relief. Many people are addicted to the rush that fear brings, and some experts have even argued that being frightened is good for your health. If you’re a thrill-seeker who loves video games, you should find all the scares you need and more at GOG.com. It’s packed full of classic horror games, and many of them are available for less than six bucks a pop. Below are five examples. (For more spooky fun, check out this list of five more budget-friendly horror titles.) Realms of the Haunting Many horror aficionados think the haunted house setting is overused.…
Turok Dinosaur Hunter

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Tip: Use the Map Overlay as a Reticle

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter originally came out in 1997, and it shows (even in the 2015 remastered version). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. While it lacks modern-day FPS features like ADS (aim-down-sites) and target reticles, it really nails the slick, arcadey corridor shooter thing. Admittedly, those attuned to the more user-friendly shooters of today might find the lack of reticle a bit disorienting. Thankfully, there’s a dirty technique that will make this much less frustrating. The minimap overlay (pictured below) has a yellow arrow (it looks like an upside-down V) that can be used as the same purpose. Take note that your guns still won’t be 100% accurate, but it certainly makes popping headshots a bit easier. And, in later levels where enemies soak up more bullets and ammo tends to be slightly more scarce, this can be a life saver.…
Turok Dinosaur Hunter

The Remastered Turok Game Feels Like a Rendezvous with an Old Friend

When I was growing up, I had a PlayStation and my step-brothers had a Nintendo 64. Each was hooked up to a separate TV in a separate room, so it wasn’t rare to see our collective attention split between the two. However, there were occurrences when a game would captivate all of us simultaneously, and we’d gather around a single TV, oftentimes passing a controller around and sharing our game time. Since I only lived with my step family for a little over a year, this was one of the few things the step-brothers and I actually got to do as a group. I have very fond memories of bonding over Jet Moto, Super Mario 64, and, of course, Final Fantasy VII.…
Turok Remastered

Turok Remastered Brings Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Back from 1997

Everyone’s favorite dino hunter, my main man Turok, is back for another round of FPS madness. Night Dive Studios (the same studio behind the upcoming System Shock remake) has taken the time to carefully remaster the original 1997 Turok: Dinosaur Hunter game (the PC version, not the N64 version) and put it back into the public consciousness. It’s available on GOG right now (and if you get it right now, you’ll save 20%). If you need any convincing at all, I’ve posted a gameplay trailer below. If the shot of a velociraptor holding a gigantic freaking gun doesn’t force a spontaneous purchase, than I have no idea who you even are.…
Lost Souls Of Tong-Nou

The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou Offers Gamers a Real Glimpse of Hell

Over the years, countless games have allowed players to journey to the depths of hell. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 lets you grind over a lake of fire. UmJammer Lammy sent you to hell by way of banana peel. The God of War series might as well be titled Hell and Back Again, A Half-God’s Holiday. But the versions of hell presented in these games weren’t created with eternal torment in mind. Some of them are meant to be creepy, or even horrifying, but above all else, they’re meant to entertain. As players explore the underworld, they’ll be thrilled, titillated, or even amused. That isn’t the case with The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou. Created by Osamu Sato, who made the equally bizarre LSD: Dream Emulator, Tong-Nou tortures players at every turn.…
BioShock

Is BioShock Art?

A friend once convinced me to read Ayn Rand’s famous novel Atlas Shrugged. Since I have a degree in Literature, I’m not intimidated by gigantic books, so I took his bad advice and read through over 1,000 pages of Objectivist bullcrap. It’s kind of a hard read to swallow, and it often feels like it was overly long just so it would take up more space on a bookshelf and intimidate the other books into submission. I typically don’t recommend actually reading the thing. I’m glad I slogged through it, though, because it made BioShock a far more potent experience for me. See, Atlas Shrugged sets up a world where the rich and prosperous get so tired of dealing with those obnoxious working class parasites that they create their own society in a secret valley somewhere (in Colorado, if I’m remembering the book correctly).…

Salt is Porn For People Who Loved Sailing in Wind Waker

After years of seeing awesome indie title after awesome indie title pass me by, I finally decided to purchase a somewhat gaming worthy computer after a nearly two decade hiatus. I spent about three hours on the Steam store looking for my first game to purchase; the result was Salt, an “early access” title from Lavaboots Studios. To me, the best part of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was sailing around aimlessly, discovering new places and enjoying the beautiful oceanic scenery. Thanks to the game’s seemingly infinite amount of seafaring and distinctly familiar color palette, Salt allowed me to relive those joys a hundred-fold. Throw in a Minecraft-esque crafting system and you’ve got one of the most addictive and endlessly enjoyable titles in recent memory.…
Minecraft

Why Minecraft Is an Undeniably Important Video Game

Infinity is a little bit like death, in that it’s a concept that’s difficult to wrap one’s mind around. I’d like to think that a person is transformed, at least on some level, when he or she is faced with a close proximity to either of those things. With death, I can almost certainly qualify the above statement. After all, if you’ve ever had to sit with loved ones during their final moments, or even if you’ve had a genuine near-death experience, you’ve probably been forced to ponder deeply what it means to be alive on this planet. But infinity is a bit more difficult, because I can’t think of a time when a human being is ever confronted with it.…
Girlfriend Construction Set

Girlfriend Construction Set Allows Me to Be a Virtual Jerk

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about this old indie game called Girlfriend Construction Set, and I was eventually persuaded to check this dating simulator out and see what all of the hubbub was about. Within a few minutes, I found myself becoming the very kind of jerk I loathe in reality. And Lord help me, it felt pretty good. I started out by typing my name and the name of my virtual girlfriend. I was then tasked with choosing her face. Naturally, I chose the most aesthetically pleasing pixelated mug, which coincidentally happened to be a 10. Next, I was tasked with calculating her stats: After this, it was off to the races. For our first date, I chose the default dinner option: She agreed, naturally, but during the date the waiter spilled soup on her.…

Gotta Graph ‘Em All

Last month we took a quick look at a graphing calculator adaptation of Super Smash Bros being made from the ground up to run on such hardware. Well as it turns out that game’s author, Hayleia, has also been working on a version of Pokemon to run on math equipment. This project looks to be a bit older, but it just blows my mind that such a thing exists. It looks pretty damn sweet too, check out these animations of the game: That’s crazy, but awesomely so. I guess it just goes to show the levels of dedication some fans have to a franchise. This hasn’t been updated in a while, and I can’t find any information as to where it’s going from here but it’s definitely worth taking a look at.…

Freedom Planet Is The Best Sonic Game Since The Genesis

It’s impossible to talk about GalaxyTrail’s Freedom Planet without mentioning Sonic The Hedgehog. For one the indie title was borne from a Sonic fangame but beyond that it just reeks of the Genesis’ most famous platformers extending from the blue blur like Gunstar Heroes and Ristar. It feels like a Genesis platformer with the power of a Neo Geo behind it… …and my god is it ever glorious. You choose between three distinct Sonic-esque furries. One is super fast, one can fly a ways, and one is more suited to close combat. Sound familiar? Well, I’ve always said the line between homage and ripoff is drawn with love, and this is definitely a more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The only real distinction between the 16-bit Sonic games and Freedom Planet in terms of gameplay are combat the health system.…
i have no mouth and i must scream game

5 Retro Horror Games Available for Under $6 on GOG.com

If you enjoy retro horror, GOG is an absolute goldmine. There massive library includes all kinds of spooky games, from point-and-click jump-fests to moody FMV adventures. Best of all, you can enjoy most of their titles even if you’ve only got a few bucks to your name. Whether you’re in the mood for cheap thrills or atmosphere, these budget-friendly titles should keep you entertained. Harvester In its earliest moments, Harvester appears to be sending you on a chilling adventure. You wake up in a strange town with no memory of who you are or how you got there. When you ask for assistance, you’re told that the only way to get the answers you desire is to join a mysterious organization called “The Lodge.”…
phantasmagoria

What Phantasmagoria Taught Me About the Ethics of Plagiarism

During my senior year of high school, I filled my schedule with all the blow-off classes I could. I took an “independent study” class in which I glued photos of John Cusack to pieces of poster board. I took three full hours of choir. And, for one hour a day, I helped out my teachers as an unpaid aide. I mostly used this period to play on the Internet, but every now and then, I had to do actual work. While I wasn’t qualified to actually grade papers, I was occasionally asked to read through them and sort them into piles that represented the grades I thought they deserved. Reading my classmates’ assignments was initially entertaining in a voyeuristic sort of way, but it soon turned into tiresome work.…

PC Edu-tainment Ruined My Childhood

Last week, Mandi waxed nostalgic about a series of educational computer games she played in her childhood. While I certainly appreciate one’s affinity for 90’s PC gaming, I can’t say I share the same sentiment when it comes to the educational entertainment titles of the era. In fact, even hearing the word “edu-tainment” makes me bitter. That’s because when I was younger, I wasn’t playing Day of The Tentacle or anything cool like that. I had a Lode Runner game that came pre-installed on the family PC, but that was about it for anything that could be considered remotely fun. Instead, my parents insisted on buying me crap like Reader Rabbit and Treasure MathStorm and trying to convince me that they were equally an enjoyable as Prince of Persia or Doom.…
zoombinis pizza

Logical Journey of the Zoombinis Taught Me More about Determination than Math

During the 90s, I played a lot of games that insisted they were educational. Some of them taught me a few things — I’m freshwater fish expert — but most failed to live up to their grandiose claims. The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis said it would help me build advanced math skills, something I desperately needed. Its box alleged it covered everything from data analysis to set theory, and it promised I’d have a little fun along the way. And Logical Journey of the Zoombinis did indeed provide me with hours of fun. I played the game over and over, creating hundreds of Zoombinis along the way. I wound up using my own money to buy both of its sequels, and I sunk hours into those as well.…
ODELL LAKE PICTURE

Forget The Oregon Trail; Odell Lake Was the Ultimate Educational Game

While my classmates were buying oxen and dying of dysentery, I was off on a very different sort of adventure. I eschewed the concept of manifest destiny, and chose to live life as a fish in Odell Lake. Odell Lake didn’t teach you as much as it forced you to learn if you wanted to live. The game was a brutal survival sim, and if you couldn’t master predator-prey relations, you’d be lucky to last five minutes. While Oregon Trail could be fairly complex, Odell Lake was extremely simple. You could choose a fish and explore the water, or play for points and have your fish type chosen at random. As you progressed, fish, plants, and other creatures would appear on your screen.…
thrustmaster frag master

The Thrustmaster Frag Master Could Have Only Existed In the 90s

In the 90s, the world was a very strange place. Pauly Shore was a beloved comedian, and people who weren’t plumbers wore overalls willingly. McDonalds sold pizza, AOL was the Internet, and designers released controllers with names like “The Thrustmaster Frag Master.” The Thrustmaster Frag Master was created to make PC first-person shooters more accessible. People who struggled with Quake‘s controls could pick it up, plug it in, and frag with the best of them. The problem was that the Frag Master looked less like a controller and more like a toilet from the future. Nothing about its design was intuitive, and programming it was a complete nightmare. Adjusting to a device isn’t easy when it seems like glancing at it the wrong way will cause you to travel through time. To make matters worse, the Frag Master was incredibly uncomfortable.…
girlfriend construction set

Girlfriend Construction Set Proves That Building Girlfriends Is Harder Than It Looks

Long ago, in the dark, desolate year of 1989, a man named Tom Scheffler created a game called Girlfriend Construction Set. It’s a title some might decry as a lonely man’s daydream; a game for guys who need simulations to land dates However, those who look beyond its off-putting exterior will discover an addictive and fascinating retro gem. Girlfriend Construction Set asks players to build a lady from the ground up, selecting her face, height, weight, and measurements. From there, you must assign points to other important attributes, like “Personality,” “Jealousy,” and “Sex.” But the core of the Girlfriend Construction Set experience lies not in the girlfriend you create, but in the dates you take her on. See, your character has his own set of attribute points, which he can use to attract better girlfriends.…
Noctropolis Box Art

The Alluring Box Art of Noctropolis

Noctropolis is not a particularly good game. It relies on shock rather than charm, and it fails to stand out in any way. The art is lackluster, the music is monotonous, and the puzzles aren’t very challenging. It’s a completely unmemorable experience, and it doesn’t hold up well when compared to other adventure games of its time. But for several years, it was my video game holy grail. When I laid eyes on Noctropolis‘ box art, I was instantly smitten. The art deco font appealed to my love of Batman: The Animated Series, and the skulls in the background appealed to my childish love of all things spooky. Further inspection only increased my interest. The game was set in a world where comics were real, promising to deliver plenty of horror and mystery.…
Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator Is a Permanent Reminder That the Flight Simulator Genre Needs to Make a Comeback

Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series was one of the most important series in the early years of PC gaming, and for good reason. The games’ first few versions showed off the impressive graphical capabilities of the IBM PCs with their colorful environments, detailed instrument panels, and realistic airplane models. The Flight Simulator series holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. It is my first memory I have of gaming in any capacity; I learned to fly a digital Cessna around the same time I learned to read. My cousin would come over on weekends and we would sit in my father’s office chair for hours, flying around the world and concocting our own machinations of adventure along the way.…
Portal Companion Cube

Portal, When Sped Up to 2,000%, Takes Less Than 4 Minutes

No, this isn’t an epic speed run; it’s just simple math. YouTube user Killthealias uploaded a video of the game Portal sped up to 2,000%. The results are a less-than-4-minute playthrough of the entire game. I kind of hope some obsessive kid decides to take this as a challenge to speed run the game in under 4 minutes, though I doubt that’s humanly possible. Good luck if you are that obsessive kid. Either way, the footage is kind of hypnotic. Check it out below.…
Dota 2

How Valve Tricked Dota 2 Players into Better Behavior

Anyone who’s into online gaming knows how tough it can be to find a good team they can mesh with. This is largely because people tend to act their absolute worst whenever the Internet veils their identity. So how can a game like Dota 2, which is entirely dependent upon cooperative online play, run smoothly without the community collapsing in on itself? Well, that’s where psychology comes in. I had a chance to hear Dr. Mike Ambinder, Experimental Psychologist at Valve, explain a little bit about how Valve tries to coerce Dota 2 players into behaving well. And it’s kind of fascinating. At the end of a Dota match you have a survey that comes up. It used to just be one question, like “Rate the quality of the match, one to five stars.”…
Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines

Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines Is Everything I Want in a Video Game

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a video game. The best way I can describe the game’s genre would be “role-playing sandbox.” The game allows you to pick a character type (different types have different powers available to them), and then gives you five areas of a city to play through. Throughout these areas, you find an assortment of side quests and story missions. Each mission generally involves a combination of dialogue options with major NPCs, and attempting to either play stealthily or fight your way through some enemy-ladened territory. At certain points in the story, you get the ability to progress to other sections of the city. So, Sandbox. However, Bloodlines is based on a tabletop role-playing game, which means it has incorporated an experience system.…
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