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Updated: 3 hours 45 min ago

X4: Foundations update 3.30 arrives with a crew transfer system overhaul

Monday 3rd of August 2020 12:49:05 PM

Egosoft are continuing to improve and expand their detailed space trading, exploration and combat sim X4: Foundations.

Along with a bunch of gameplay improvements, one of the highlights of this release is the overhaul of the crew transfer feature. Instead of needing to make an order and having the ships meet up, it's been streamlined to be less of an annoyance. Now you can do it anywhere, along with it being possible to move any amount of people as they will use crew capsules to move around independently. Once you start getting far into the game and build up a little empire, this sounds like it will be much nicer.

The user interface for the new crew transfer system can be found under the Empire Overview in X4: Foundations.

Other patch highlights include:

  • Improvements to alerts and notifications
  • More information on the Logical Station Overview
  • New map filters and key bindings
  • Enhancements and fixes to trade behaviour
  • Lots of smaller fixes and quality of life improvements

X4: Foundations is such an impressive game when it comes to the scope of it. Being able to fly across a huge universe, with so much simulated as you move around it's crazy. The economy, all the different factions, NPC ships and stations and so much more. Some of the visuals in 52.50 X4: Foundations are absolutely wonderful too.

Want to pick up a copy of X4: Foundations and find your space legs? It's available from Humble Store, GOG or Steam.

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Arcane Fortune is a grand strategy empire building game you can play in your terminal

Monday 3rd of August 2020 12:17:30 PM

Newly released is Arcane Fortune, a free game inspired by Civilization and SimCity with their ultimate goal to have the same 'detail and realism as Dwarf Fortress'.

In the developers own words, "Arcane Fortune is a game of empire building, diplomacy, conquest, construction, and deconstruction. Whether or not you build some form of paradise, or a hell on earth is entirely up to you". It has an absolutely huge scope to include the handling, managing and instigating social and political turmoil in your and other empires. Even further out they want to make a formidable AI, with the help of 'deep-learning techniques'.

You can play it entirely in a terminal of your choice too, simply download it and then run it in terminal to begin. So you can probably make it look pretty wild with some of the retro terminal apps out there.

Pictured: the start of my civilization.

So far, it seems like it has a lot of good ideas and the interface is actually quite good for a terminal-based experience. I didn't have any trouble getting around it, although the beginner's guide helps with that. Sounds like things get pretty wild as you progress through it, especially with the technology tree—eventually you can get uranium and ICMB-loving civilizations might end up wiping each other out…or you. You definitely get the classic Civilization vibes from it but with the zoning elements of SimCity to end up making something like neither of them. I can feel the next time-sink coming on.

While it's not open source, it does have a reasonably permissive license allowing you to distribute it and modify it under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

Find out more and download on the official site.

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Aloof looks like a wonderful feature-filled upcoming puzzle-battler

Monday 3rd of August 2020 11:35:40 AM

Something of a recent discovery is Aloof, an in-development puzzle-battler somewhat inspired by the likes of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Puyo Puyo Tetris with its own unique take on it.

According to the full description of the game, you summon and defend small islands all the while you build combos against your opponent. What makes it different is that the puzzle pieces don't descend by themselves and you can even move up, you can also flush them all away. They said the game ' isn't about zoning out. It's about responding to your opponent, taking your time to think and move fast when you can'.

It actually looks and sounds quite charming, take a look at their new trailer:

Watch video on

Sounds like it's going to be ridiculously feature-filled too. They're planning a full campaign that can be played solo or in co-op, there's going to be local and online competitive multiplayer, the ability to play it offline while also searching for an online opponent, multiple win conditions and of course full support of Linux.

It appears that an actual release is still quite some time away but I'm already looking forward to it as it looks quite wonderful.

You can read more about it here and follow it on Steam.

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System76 are teasing their own brand Keyboard again

Monday 3rd of August 2020 11:12:11 AM

System76, the company that provides various Linux hardware along with their own Pop!_OS Linux distribution have started teasing their upcoming Keyboard again.

Originally talked about in a blog post back in March last year, we haven't really heard much since then. Things sounded pretty experimental back then but in a fresh blog post from July 30, it seems it's moving forward. However, it also sounds like it's not close to being finished yet either, as they stated:

We’re approaching our keyboard in 3 different ways: Redesigning the keyboard itself, maximizing your efficiency when using it, and empowering you to fully customize your keyboard to your whims.

We’ll announce the release of our keyboard through our newsletter and social channels once the prototyping phase is complete. This will take some time.

System76 say they want to build a keyboard you will 'fall in love with' and it seems they're going to be moving some keys around to make more use of all your fingers and thumbs. They're going with three key sizes:

  • 1U (letter/number keys)
  • 1.5U (tab keys)
  • 2U (shift keys)

They're also chopping up the spacebar into two '2U' sized keys, they said that apart from just making it smaller it will also 'bring useful functions closer to the center of the keyboard, but this also allows you to remap another commonly-used key to where it’s easy for you to smash with your other thumb'.

Swapping around keys will be part of the design focus to allow you to customize it, and to help with that they're planning to release an application to configure your layout properly. This application will also work with their laptops that have the System76 Embedded Controller Firmware which they say will 'enable you to use the same custom keyboard layout on both your laptop and desktop'.

Certainly will be interesting to see what design they ultimately settle on, with it also being design to work well with the new Auto Tiling feature found in their Pop!_OS Linux distribution. Speaking about testing their new keyboard layout, the System76 CEO, Carl Richell, said "I’ve found using the new keyboard layouts with Auto-Tiling is so addictive that when I go to another computer, it feels like I’m in a foreign land.".

If you were to change one major thing about the standard keyboard design, what would it be? Let us know in the comments.

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Looks like the recent upwards trend of the Linux market share has calmed down

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:43:05 AM

Recently, the NetMarketShare website and the Steam Hardware Survey showed the Linux share was rising but it appears both have now calmed down.

For NetMarketShare, something pretty big happened over the last few months. Back in March the Linux share they recorded was only 1.36%, and then it quickly rocketed upwards to 3.61% in June after multiple months of rising. The kind of rise you can't easily just write-off since it continued happening. No one really knows what caused it, possibly a ton more people working from home and not attached to their corporate Windows workstation. Now though, it seems to be levelling out as July's figure now shows it as 3.57%. Considering more people are being told to go back to work, perhaps it was as a result of COVID19. Across this whole time though, it's worth noting StatCounter which also tracks it has hardly moved much during it. So you may want to press X to doubt on it.

It's a tough thing to truly measure though, considering they all tend to rely on visitors browsing a specific set of included websites. They capture things like your browser string which can often be faked, but they're still about the best we have for an overall picture of any possible trends. One thing is for certain though: not a lot has changed overall.

As for the Steam Hardware Survey, it rose from 0.83% back in February up to 0.91% in May but it also has been slowly trickling down with it now sitting at 0.86% as of July's numbers. At least when looking over the past ~2 years, it's still trending upwards slightly overall. We're tracking it on our dedicated Steam Tracker page here, in case you haven't seen that before. We also recently added the ability to filter to specific year/months on our Steam Tracker, to allow for fine-tuning and adding more historic data.

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FNA and FAudio get a 20.08 release, with FNA3D and Vulkan getting closer

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:15:01 AM

Game porter and software developer Ethan Lee announced the 20.08 releases of both of FNA and FAudio, as work continues on the newer FNA3D.

What are they? FNA is an accuracy-focused XNA4 reimplementation for open platforms with it being used by a ton of games including the likes of: Celeste, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Full Metal Furies, Owlboy and a plenty more. While FAudio is accuracy-focused XAudio reimplementation for open platforms, which is used for a number of games and also by the Wine / Proton compatibility layers.

For FNA, it was quite a quiet release as the majority of their work is going into bringing up FNA3D which will soon be merged in with FNA directly. They simply upgraded to the new FAudio, removed some dllmaps for iOS/tvOS due to macOS ARM and removed some dead code elsewhere in 'ModelReader' which 'should mildly improve load performance'.

Slightly more exciting is the FAudio release, as it now has support for XAudio2.9-compatible reverb further expanding it's audio capabilities. On top of that, they're also now using GStreamer instead of the FFmpeg backend for WMA decoding, which should help more games with Wine and Proton.

On the subject of the upcoming FNA3D, the new 3D Graphics Library for FNA, Ethan Lee mentioned that while work is going well, Vulkan support is 'still really really tough'. They're looking for developers to help bring up their Vulkan support especially with 'threaded Vulkan and render graphs, command reordering, stuff like that' which you can help out with by joining their Discord. Sounds like Vulkan support is close though!

See FNA on GitHub and FAudio on GitHub.

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You can now support Wine Staging directly on Patreon

Monday 3rd of August 2020 10:03:07 AM

Wine Staging, the highly experimental area where all the latest (and often not "greatest") code comes in for Wine testing now has a Patreon so you can support it directly.

It's perhaps not as well known as the normal Wine project or Valve's fork with Proton but it is an important project itself. Containing a set of patches that are applied on top of the main development branch of Wine, the idea is to provide experimental features and fixes faster in a way that users can grab and test that eventually get upstreamed into the main Wine project once they're ready.

Wine Staging is still very much a volunteer project and it's been going for a few years now, as they keep updating patches and attempt to get more upstreamed. They said having this new funding campaign allows them to buy games, software and hardware required for all the testing they do.

You can find Wine Staging on GitHub and their Patreon here.

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Quench that weekend thirst with the release of Wine 5.14

Saturday 1st of August 2020 11:20:44 AM

The Wine team today announced the released of Wine 5.14, the next development release on the long road to Wine 6.0.

If you're curious on what Wine is: it's the constantly improving compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It's one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton. Helping you to get whatever you need done on Linux, or perhaps so you don't have to give up that favourite game.

The short highlights of Wine 5.14 include:

  • More restructuration of the console support.
  • Initial version of the Webdings font.
  • Beginnings of PE conversion of the MSVCRT libraries.

On the subject of bug fixes, they only checked off 26 this time. Some freshly fixed, some sorted a while ago. These bug fixes include issues solved for, Oblivion, Godot Engine, Diablo III, StarCraft: Brood War and more. It's quite amusing to see Webdings make it in, considering it's been around since the 90s.

You can find the full announcement here.

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CS:GO on Linux is actually not launching Trusted Mode by default - quick fix

Saturday 1st of August 2020 08:55:22 AM

Looks like Valve did a bit of a woopsie. With the recent updates to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive they implemented a new anti-cheat tool with Trusted Mode but it appears at some point they forgot to enable it.

What is Trusted Mode? It's supposed to be the new default for all CS:GO players, which prevents a bunch of outside applications from interfering with it and hopefully prevent more cheating. It's only a small barrier by itself, just another in the list of ways Valve are trying to clean up CS:GO online play.

At least in the Linux version, it's actually not on by default (bug report - verified here at GOL too). If it's off, Valve noted in CS:GO updates that it may cause your Trust Score to be "negatively affected" so you might see more cheaters and terrible people. If you have the developer console enabled, you can run "trusted_launch_info" and it will tell you if it's on or off.

Thankfully, it's a super simple fix. Add this as a launch option until Valve sort it:


So if you plan on settling into some CS:GO this weekend, this quick fix should help and you can carry on gaming on Linux.

Play CS:GO free on Steam.

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Monster Crown has a new adult take on Pokemon and it's now in Early Access

Friday 31st of July 2020 07:52:14 PM

With a darker tone, a setting aimed at adults and creatures that might give a few pixelated nightmares, Monster Crown has entered Early Access as a new breed in the genre of monster catching.

Monster Crown definitely captures some of the spirit of early Pokemon games, with a new and unique take on it. Instead of throwing a magical ball to capture creatures and force them to your will, Monster Crown gets you to offer them a contract and see if they want to join you. It's a little odd but an interesting spin.

Watch video on

Feature Highlight:

  • Make pacts with monsters to receive their protection in return for shelter
  • Breed and fuse over 200 base monsters to create your own new species
  • Travel across Crown Island with your monster allies to uncover a dark world.
  • Make a pivotal decision that will drastically change the ending and post-game
  • Play online to battle and trade, and have your new species reach across the globe

The inspiration is obvious and could be compared with to no end, Monster Crown makes me feel like my youth staying up late playing on the Game Boy. Not just because of the style, mechanically it feels like it too with the movement and interactions along with the UI.

What makes Monster Crown thoroughly interesting is the breeding system. If you want to rank up with the best, you need to breed the perfect beast. Mixing the DNA from parents into different species, you can end up with quite the unique party of monsters.

I actually supported this on the original Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2018, since then it's be fun to watch it evolve. The developer, Studio Aurum, are clearly thoroughly dedicated to it and they've been a pleasure to talk to when I found a few issues that they promptly solved. Right now it has the basics there to be enjoyable but it's very much a gem in the rough. It needs a fine cloth going over it, to polish up all those rough edges.

You can find Monster Crown on Steam.

If you want a little backstory on the developer and how it came to be, they did their own little interview with their publisher here.

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Core Defense offers up a different kind of Tower Defense with deck-building

Friday 31st of July 2020 07:14:42 PM

Core Defense is a Tower Defense game at it's core but it's quite unusual in how it sprinkles in the content and it's out now with full Linux support. After being in Early Access on for a few months, it's looking good.

It takes the usual wave-based approach from your typical TD game but instead of giving you set tower types and specific placements, it's a little more open-ended. As you progress through the waves, you build up your defences based on what cards you pick as rewards, a little like a deck-builder and you use these unlocks to gradually build through the blank canvas of a map you're given.

Watch video on

It's a thoroughly streamlined and easy to get into Tower Defense game that does make you think differently, it's good fun and it has scratched more than a few itches of my own. It gives you that feeling of needing to push through one more wave, and sometimes you get the need to run through it entirely fresh again. It's satisfying when you really build up a good hand of towers and upgrades.

Think you're good at TD games usually? Core Defense will firmly test that, across 20 different difficulty levels with each being picked when you start a fresh game. It ranges from 'Hard', which amusingly is the base difficult level (at least it's honest) up to 'Overload 20' which ends up giving enemies much higher health, higher speed, higher damage and so on. It's thoroughly kicked my buttocks more than a I would care to admit.

Mechanically speaking, Core Defense is relatively simple but that's part of the hook. It's straightforward on the surface but deep enough with how you progress through it that coming back again and again remains fun. When you start throwing in upgrade after upgrade, some of your towers can become absolute monsters. You often just get to sit back and watch the fireworks as your towers give 'em hell. It's needed though because some enemies are also ridiculous.

Also love the infographic it can save for you, a really nice touch.

Overall it's this fun back and forth between picking upgrades and building your deck, moving your little maze around and then taking on another wave that just makes me want to click Play again.

You can buy Core Defense on and Steam.

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Stoneshard has a small equipment patch while they rework the AI and Dungeons

Friday 31st of July 2020 11:58:39 AM

Ink Stains Games have announced that their Early Access and thoroughly challenging roguelike, Stoneshard, is set to get a huge overhaul to the AI and Dungeon Generation systems.

This was actually announced back in June, with the team going over their plans for it. For the AI they want to make it a lot more complex to allow different behaviours between factions, add in new enemy types with unique abilities, better pathfinding, add random NPC encounters and a whole lot more. As for the Dungeon rework, they're looking to add lots of unique rooms to it, removing a bunch of plain mandatory hallways you might see and add new types of dungeons.

In the latest Equipment Update, they noted all of the above and more is currently well under way but to keep players going a little for now they also pushed out a patch with these extras:

  • 2 new daggers: Commoner’s Dagger and Elven Stiletto
  • 5 new axes: Exquisite Tabar, Heavy Aldorian Axe, Aldwynnian Axe, Gilded Axe, and Lordly Axe
  • 1 new mace: Elven Flail
  • 4 new chest pieces: Dwarven Armor, Light Brigandine, Elven Brigandine, and Skadian Yushman
  • 8 new helmets: Barbute (4 variants) and Cervelliere (4 variants)
  • 3 new pieces of footwear: Town Shoes, Duelist Boots, and Splint Boots
  • 3 new mage sets (mantle + cowl): Cryomancer, Electromancer, and Chronomancer
  • 4 new amulets: Gold Medallion, Jibean Pendant, Amber Amulet, Lazurite Amulet
  • 1 new cape: Jousting Cloak

Plus they've fixed various bugs like an incorrect block power calculation, critical shots now get a proper log message and the list of bug fixes continues.

Stoneshard proved to be quite popular at release, gaining over twelve thousand user reviews and an all-time online player count of over ten thousand which was impressive. The player count quickly dropped though where it now regularly sits at around 400 people. Looks like the difficulty has been the biggest source of player woes, along with saving only done at specific points (like the location pictured above) rather than whenever you want.

I'm extremely keen to see how they plan to expand it further once the aforementioned upcoming updates are out, as it does hold a huge amount of promise. If you can take the challenge, Stoneshard is already a lot of fun.

You can buy it DRM-free on GOG and also Steam.

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First-person roguelike RPG 'Barony' has a Steam sale, Free Weekend and an upgrade

Friday 31st of July 2020 11:04:16 AM

Turning Wheel are continuing to upgrade their first-person roguelike RPG 'Barony', with a fresh update available and you can try it free on Steam.

While they just released it temporarily free onto the Epic Store, which doesn't support Linux, they have put it on a big discount on Steam along with a Free Weekend so you can see if you like it. Not only that, they also recently pushed out an update with the Hall of Trials update. This free expansion adds 10 challenges to teach players more of the game and perhaps test the knowledge of regulars too. Looks like a nice proper intro to the game mechanics.

For Steam / Epic online cross-play, it's supposed to be live but I didn't see any mention of it in the Linux build.

They mentioned that all levels in the Trials were made with the built-in editor and scripting tools, so anyone can make mods and maps just like it which sounds great. One of their team mentioned how they're "not a programmer" and they found it fun to make using their own tools just like the community does.

Additionally, they're now crowdfunding for a Nintendo Switch version. While the main point there is the Switch release, they said a lot of the improvements will benefit the game as a whole like an overhauled UI and much improved gamepad support too.

You can grab Barony on Steam, GOG and Humble Store. Barony's code is open source too on GitHub but you still need a copy to play with it for the data.

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Impressive 2D action-RPG 'Chronicon' leaves Early Access on August 21

Friday 31st of July 2020 10:29:32 AM

To say I enjoy Chronicon would be quite the understatement, this 2D indie action-RPG has a huge amount of content and it's finally set to leave Early Access.

Subworld has announced on August 21, after 5 years in Early Access it's going to be considered a complete game. However they will be continuing to update it with free smaller content updates to keep it fresh, as well as paid DLC that include major additions.

This proper release will come with Act 5 content expanding the game even further, some of which you can see teased in the below video:

Watch video on

Keep in mind the above is far far into the game, it's a huge amount slower in the early levels as you build up your character across tons of skills and loot. Chronicon actually does a great job of easing you into it so that you can enjoy it as it piles on the pressure later on.

It's made with Gamer Maker Studio which had a few issues with Linux builds, thankfully after a while with a little help from me the launch script and included dependencies were sorted so it should work great across any Linux modern distribution.

Chronicon is one game I truly hope does well, as Subworld have shown some amazing dedication to crafting an action-RPG experience that feels and looks good. Nice pixel-art combined with a great classic Diablo atmosphere, along with wonderful audio and lighting make it worthy of adding to your library of games.

You can find Chronicon on Humble Store and Steam.

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Care for spirits of the deceased in Spiritfarer, new teaser released plus Stadia confirmed

Friday 31st of July 2020 10:04:30 AM

Spiritfarer, the upcoming game from Thunder Lotus Games that looks like it deals with death in quite a sweet way as you care for the spirits of the deceased has a new teaser trailer and more release info.

Wait, what is it? Spiritfarer is a 'cozy management game about dying', where you play as the ferrymaster to the deceased. You get to farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas as you befriend and care for spirits before eventually releasing them carefully into the afterlife as you learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.

In addition to Linux desktop support across GOG and Steam, they've also announced it will be available on Stadia following their recent releases there with Jotun and Sundered giving you more choice on where to play it. They also just released a new teaser which shows multiple previously unseen characters and environments:

Watch video on

Spiritfarer's Creative Director, Nicolas Guérin, mentioned that the game 'has only grown grander and more varied over the past few months' which the teaser above tries to briefly show off. Adding Stadia (and the Epic Store too) on top of existing stores was done as they 'had many requests for this from our fans' for them.

It's releasing sometime this year, although it's not entirely clear as to when. Once we do get a date, we will let you know as it looks like a very wholesome experience.

You can wishlist / follow on GOG and Steam (the Stadia store appears to have no upcoming section yet).

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Underwater suffering simulator Barotrauma gets a much improved campaign mode

Friday 31st of July 2020 09:45:26 AM

In the latest update to Barotrauma, the alien-world underwater co-op submarine sim (and very much a suffering simulator), the teams at FakeFish and Undertow Games have given it a bit of an overhaul.

This is the biggest update to the game so far, so likely worth a re-look if you bounced off it previously. It certainly sounds like they've been acting on a lot of the feedback I saw across reviews and forum posts. They said that you should now actually get a real sense or progression, especially in the campaign mode, which has been enhanced greatly with all sorts like: randomised outposts that you can actually explore, multi-step scripted events, NPCs to interact with instead of just menu after menu, bots can be hired in multiplayer and bots are persistent now, there's a brand new campaign map and loads more improvements. That is but the tip of the iceberg as lots more got overhauled including a bunch of the graphics, new decorative items and various bug fixes.

Watch video on

Keen to see if you can survive? Or will you suffer a fiery death like I usually do? It's a pretty good laugh if you play with friends. As you run from fire to leak, deal with horrifying alien creatures invading your sub from the depths of Europa it's got plenty to do.

If you wish to try out Barotrauma it is available on Humble Store or Steam.

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The 'living comic book' rogue-lite platformer Fury Unleashed arrives on GOG

Friday 31st of July 2020 09:34:08 AM

After your next crazy action-platformer fix? Fury Unleashed looks fantastic and it's recently been made available on GOG giving you another choice on your store.

"Fury Unleashed was created by combining inspiration from modern roguelite platformers, like Dead Cells and Rogue Legacy, with nostalgic memories of old-school platformer shooters, like Contra and Metal Slug."

Watch video on

Feature Highlight:

  • Gameplay-impacting combo system – Kill enemies quickly enough to unleash your fury and rip through everything in your way without getting injured. Learn to play flawlessly and beat the entire game in one, epic combo!
  • Game customization options – Choose either challenging Hard mode, which will put your skills to the test - or Easy mode, where you can adjust the difficulty parameters to your liking. Go solo or bring in a friend for a local co-op session. Choose your hero's skills to match your playstyle, customize their appearance or even replace their face graphic with your own!
  • Roguelite with soft permadeath – Discover worlds created by a mix of hand-designed levels and procedural generation algorithms. Choose the best items to assist you in your playthrough and unlock permanent upgrades when you'll die for your subsequent runs.
  • Unique settings – Play through the pages of visually distinctive comic books, each with its own enemies, and overcome a total of 40 bosses. All that accompanied by epic soundtrack composed by Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz, the creators of music for The Witcher, Bulletstorm and Shadow Warrior 2.

Since I quite enjoyed what I played of the demo, I'm going to be soon taking a look at the full game to see if it's truly worth of some positive thoughts here on GOL. From user reviews on Steam at least, it appears to have been given a good overall rating but from only a few hundred people so it seems to have been a bit overlooked. Shame because it looks far better than some other recent releases.

Find Fury Unleashed now on GOG, and also Humble Store and Steam as before.

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With seamless 2D and 3D camera switching, Neko Ghost, Jump! is funded on Kickstarter

Friday 31st of July 2020 09:08:18 AM

Neko Ghost, Jump! is an upcoming indie platformer with a great twist that allows you to easily switch between 2D and 3D modes whenever you want - and you need to.

This perspective switching is used to get around enemies, puzzles, see platforms you can only access in specific modes and more. It's actually quite amusing when in action and works really well. We've covered it before to mention it but more importantly now, it's been fully funded on Kickstarter with time to spare—thanks to them being given an extension to their end date by the Kickstarter team.

Watch video on

Since it's now hit over the initial goal, they've revealed some special extra stretch-goals that if funded will add new features to the game like a limited-lives mode and more to be revealed later.

Here's a little more about it from what the developer said:

Neko Ghost, Jump! will run the gamut from an accessible family-friendly affair to a furmidable challenge for more masochistic players. Players will have the choice to use the playstyle they want to advance to later levels. Race against the clock trying to beat the speedrun time, take your sweet time and collect all the coins in the level, or for those that prefer no-fuss all action, just whack your enemies into oblivion with the swordfish. Use the loot collected in each level to not only take some time off the clock but also turn it in and customize Nekoman’s appearance with plenty of options available. Give him sweet specs, a dapper hat, or some shiny bling!

What I also appreciate about Neko is the almost Nintendo-style to it, with the playful style and bright colouring. It actually reminded me of some modern Mario titles.

See the Kickstarter here with a week left to go (August 7, 2020) and try the Prologue demo on Steam.

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Changing your country on Steam has been made harder to battle VPNs

Friday 31st of July 2020 08:55:12 AM

Something that has been happening for years now, is that people have been switching around their country on Steam and using VPNs to get cheaper prices - Valve looks to have put a stop to it.

Why was this a thing? Thanks to regional pricing, countries that typically have lower incomes can enjoy the same games as others with lower prices to match. Being able to get around that to buy cheaper games using a VPN was a bit of a loophole, which has been sorted by Valve.

Spotted by SteamDB, It's not entirely clear when this actually went live for everyone. Checking it myself, changing country on Steam is now a bit more involved. Previously it was quite easy with a VPN but if you did it too often, Valve would put you on a cool-down from doing so for a while. Now it seems everyone has the same full enforcement. After changing country, you then need to make a purchase from a payment method registered to that country.

It makes sense for Valve to sort it, otherwise developers have had to adjust prices in other regions to match resulting in people from countries with lower incomes ending up with higher prices. This is apparently exactly happened with Horizon Zero Dawn according to VG247, and when you check on SteamDB you can see the prices across countries like Argentina and Turkey rocket upwards.

Using a VPN or proxy to get around it, was actually already against Steam's Terms of Service, with Valve saying if found out they may place "restrictions" on your account.

What are your thoughts on this?

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The Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle is live with lots of games

Thursday 30th of July 2020 06:17:58 PM

The weekend is quickly approaching and you're in need of some games? Seems Humble Bundle have you covered today with the launch of the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle.

In the initial tier there is:

  • Psychonauts
  • Double Fine Adventure! Complete Series - Deluxe Edition
  • Amnesia Fortnight 2012 + 2014 + 2017 (special game jam stuff, mix of platform support status)

Pay more than the average for:

  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered
  • Broken Age
  • Brütal Legend
  • Massive Chalice
  • Costume Quest
  • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - VR only

£7 or more will also get you:

  • Escape Goat 2
  • Everything
  • Full Throttle Remastered
  • Gang Beasts
  • Grim Fandango Remastered
  • KIDS
  • Mountain
  • 140
  • GNOG - Has a Linux build on Steam but not advertised
  • 1 Month Free of Humble Choice for New Subscribers
  • RAD - No Linux support
  • Headlander - No Linux support
  • THOTH - No Linux support

Overall, that's a pretty damn good bundle full of interesting experiences and the majority of it supports Linux too so that's wonderful. Although, that will change with later games since Double Fine is owned by Microsoft now.

See the full bundle here.

Humble seem to be doing a lot more actual game bundles lately. While they expanded to do comics, ebooks and all sorts over the last few weeks they've suddenly started doing some good game bundles. On top of this bundle there's also the Humble Raw Fury 2020 Bundle and the Humble Best of Paradox Interactive Bundle too.

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