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Thomas Was Alone Review – A Modern Velveteen Rabbit

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Thomas Was Alone is an indie puzzle platformer created by one-man development team, Mike Bithell  (with music by David Housden). In the game, the player controls a cast of colourful quadrilaterals as they venture through the computer program they were created for, seeking an escape, or at the very least, the definition of what “escape” means. As unassuming as their names – Thomas, Claire, and John for example – their simple character designs and innocent curiosity belie the fact these rectangles are in fact the first AI’s to gain consciousness, and whether they can realise it or not, their existence has forever changed the world.

Read our full Thomas Was Alone review after the break. Read the rest of this entry

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The Night of the Rabbit Review

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The Night of the Rabbit is the latest release from Daedalic Entertainment, and is well worth looking into. Daedalic is a studio best known for their humour adventure series Deponia and also helps publish a variety of other titles for other small studios.

In The Night of the Rabbit, twelve year old Jerry wants more than anything to become a magician. As his final days of summer vacation come to a close, he receives a strange message that appears containing an incantation. As boys do (and who hasn’t dabbled in a bit of dark magic) Jerry’s ritual summons a tall, elegantly dressed rabbit, who claims he is the Marquis de Hoto, a magician in search of an apprentice.The Marquis brings Jerry to the world of Mousewood, a forest town that’s a little Redwall and a lot Wind in the Willows, where he’ll teach the boy to cast spells. Before his training can begin, Jerry will have to help some of the townsfolk with their problems.

Hit the jump for our full Night of the Rabbit review.

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Lessons in Prehistoric Love & Game Jams

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I’ll start off this article by pre-empting your question with an answer – “Game Jam”. Usually comprised of several teams of 2 or 3 people, the Game Jam typically occurs over an intense weekend where programmers, artists, designers and coffee collaborate to build a game from scratch.

The purpose of Game Jams varies. Some are organized by big-name studios to foster the design process of their creative teams, allowing members a chance to develop their own ideas while still having access to top-of-the-line equipment. Others function on a local level, fostering the game development community, providing indie developers, students and artists alike a chance to network (provided they can bring their own computer). Read the rest of this entry

Evoland Review – A Love Song To Zelda And Friends

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The magic of discovery is an extremely hard thing to capture, and an even harder thing to write about. If the whole charisma of a game is wrapped up in the discovery of the game itself, how do you write a review about said game without spoiling it? Such is my dilemma with the excellent Evoland, by indie studio Shiro Games.

Find out if I figure out how to do so after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Paranormal’s First FREE Expansion – The Town Hits Kickstarter

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You might remember a few months ago I wrote an Indie Spotlight on this first-person haunted house simulator called Paranormal; a truly scary game that cast you as an unassuming guy with a camera who decides to document the hauntings in his house. The game featured random frights and and a pervasive atmosphere that kept you on the edge throughout your stay. I love it because it’s genuinely scary and even got me screaming like a little kid (or like Pewdiepie); but I love it more because it got horror right.

Where big budget horror titles empowered you through powerful weaponry, Paranormal keeps you helpless throughout the entire game. There’s no gun that will save you, it’s up to you to survive long enough and solve the house’s mystery. Isn’t that what true horror is all about out? Check out my interview with the developer here for more info on the game.

Anyway, great news for Paranormal fans; developer Matt Cohen has just begun his Kickstarter to help back development for Paranormal’s first FREE expansion. Titled Paranormal: The Town, the expansion will act as a kind full-on new adventure (with a bigger play space) featuring a brand-new storyline, improved gameplay, and even new mechanics to spice up the scares.  More info on Paranormal: The Town and its Kickstarter after the break. Read the rest of this entry

The Bridge Review – Turn The World Upsidedown

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The Bridge, developed by Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda, is an award winning 2D logic puzzle game that started life as a university project and has since become an Indie favorite.

If M.C. Escher was a game designer, The Bridge would have been his darling project. If you’re a fan of twisted images and perspective puzzles, this is a game for you. Read on for more.

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Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Coming To XBLA, PSN, PC as a Standalone Game

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Fans of Far Cry 3 rejoice! According to IGN and an Xbox.com listing, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is indeed coming to XBLA, PSN, and PC as a standalone game. That means you don’t need to own a copy of Far Cry 3 to play Blood Dragon.

Now, I loved the origninal Far Cry 3 (check out our review) for it’s open-world, satisfying combat, excellent story, and memorable characters. It looks like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will be going with what worked with the original; but instead of a brutally realistic story that dealt with the darkest corners of human psyche, Blood Dragon will instead take a page from the 80’s school of action.

Hit the jump for more on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon including screenshots after the break.

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Tomb Raider Review: Rust, Dust, and a lot of Fuss

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Written By: Justin Koop

In Crystal Dynamics’ 2013 reboot of the fledgling Tomb Raider series, you take control of Lara Croft, a 21-year-old archaeologist who becomes stranded on the mystical island of Yamatai. Right from the outset the game establishes itself as completely separate from its predecessors. Crystal Dynamics pulled the franchise’s decaying body from a vat filled with 1990’s action movies and Barbie boob-physics, and plunged it deep into the grey-brown filtered “next-gen” bucket; this Tomb Raider is rust, dust, and a lot of fuss.

Read our full Tomb Raider review after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Award Winning Papo & Yo Coming to Steam This April

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Montreal-based Minority Media announced this week that their award-winning Papo & Yo is coming to Steam this April. Originally a PlayStation 3 exclusive, the Steam version of Papo & Yo is reported to include a number of updates, improvements, and additions for its PC release.

If you’ve been following JTM over the last year or so, you’ll notice that I’ve covered the game extensively, as Papo & Yo has (in my opinion) one of the most personal and socially relevant stories in the last few years. The game is a semi-biographical/metaphorical story of Creative Director Vander Caballero as he dealt with issues such as his father’s alcoholism and abuse. As the title alludes to, Papo & Yo deals with a not-so-good father and son relationship. Its world is a fantasy world in which Quico creates in order to escape from his traumatic past.

See what Vander had to say about Papo & Yo’s upcoming Steam release (plus screenshots of the game) after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Paranormal – Developer Matt Cohen Talks Horror Genre, Game Development, and Indie Horror

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A few months ago, I wrote an Indie Spotlight about this scary game that I found on IndieDB and Desura called Paranormal. A game that was inspired by the Paranormal Activity movies, Paranormal is a first-person haunted-house simulator that scared the pants off unsuspecting players. It wasn’t your typical horror game, in fact, the game has no combat whatsoever and instead focuses on slowly introducing creepy hauntings; chairs moving by themselves, unsettling sights and sounds, and even creepy mannequins creeping up behind you for those oh-so-mortifying boo scares.

I had recently met with game developer Matt Cohen (AKA MattDementous) to talk about Paranormal, the horror genre, game development, and indie horror. At 19, Matt is perhaps one of the more successful and daring indie developers in the scene today.

Check out our full interview with Matt after the break. Read the rest of this entry

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