What happens if you microwave a _____?

Let’s say that for a minute you have this brilliant thought and you decide to look it up on Google. And much to your delight, Google is thinking the exact same thing just from a glance at the autocomplete section.

Let’s also say there’s an actual online game that utilizes that very situation. Google Feud is a completely free Jeopardy-esque web game that is based on the search engine’s API system, according to its website.

The rules of the game are pretty simple. First select one of the four categories (Culture, People, Names, or Questions). Next, a completely random sentence or question will appear in the search bar, and you will have to guess how Google would autocomplete the sentence. There are up to ten possible answers hidden in two columns beneath. Each is worth a certain number of points ranging from 1,000 points to 10,000 points.

The only catch is that you have three guesses. If you type in three answers that do not match up with any of the ten hidden ones below, you will be forced to start the game over again and choose another category.

Don’t have time to play on your computer? Worry not, as the Google Feud App will be available shortly!

 

 

 

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A Whole New Different Galaxy

Swedish game developer Killmonday Games announced this May that they have started production on their second game, Different Galaxy. According to their wordpress account, the game will follow the adventures of a young cat scout in the great outdoors, uncovering puzzles and surprises around him.

The developer, which consists of coder Isak Martinsson and animator Natalia Figueroa, stated that the game will be a “story-driven adventure hybrid”.

Different Galaxy will be Killmonday’s follow-up to Fran Bow, which has received widespread acclaim since its release in 2015. Also a point-and-click adventure, Fran Bow had a delightfully creepy blend of horror and fantasy. Keeping in mind how positively it was received, it definitely adds promise to the release of Different Galaxy.

Since it’s announcement, there have been a number of updates regarding the status of the game. Beginning in September of 2016, Killmonday has uploaded a number of devblogs, in which we are able to get a better look at the creative process behind the game. This includes both Martinsson and Figueroa gathering research of the woodland ecosystems, sketching character designs, and constructing a soundtrack. It goes without saying that fans of this rising star in the gaming world have much to be excited about.

When exactly the game, much less the demo, will be released is a mystery. On December 4, however, Figueroa announced that development will be put into “overdrive” once 2017 rolls around, and the developer will work on organizing a Kickstarter campaign and hopefully release a demo (take my money, already!).

Fingers crossed, everyone!

Scared Sh*tless: Underscares

It’s no secret that Outlast is one of the scariest games of our time. Left and right, gamers all over the web have been raving about it’s unpredictable and harrowing gameplay and all the horrors that are unleashed with it….including those in the terrified gamers’ pants.

Well, worry not, fans. With the release of Outlast II not too far away, Red Barrels has found a way to get to the bottom of this problem (yes, I went there). About 2 weeks ago, the Independent developer announced Underscares, a specialized diaper that will contain the jump scare-induced bowel movements that several players will no doubt experience.

An Onion article, you may ask? Well that’s the best part! This is a COMPLETELY REAL project that the developer is backing. It even has an active Kickstarter campaign that has raised over thirteen thousand dollars (as of Nov. 30, 2016).

The Underscares are made mostly of mesh padding abrasion-resistant fabric, perfect for spending an entire night in a pitch black living room with the horrific surprises of Outlast II springing out dead in front of you. Still too much for you to handle? The Underscares also come with a built-in nightlight to provide only a vague feeling of security (but really, what fun would that be?)

For those of you hoping to invest in a pair of underscares, I’d act soon and donate to the kickstarter campaign. It expires on Thursday, December 8 at 9pm, and must raise upwards of $30K by that time. Seeing as it’s only raised just over $13K, I would definitely recommend backing the cause, especially if you would prefer to not have stained furniture.

 

 

 

So You Want to Start a Kickstarter

More and more, the independent gaming industry is gaining momentum. That being said, it isn’t uncommon to happen across a really beautiful looking piece of electronic wonder and later find out that it was completely funded and created essentially by the fans themselves. It really begs the question of how it’s all done.

Perhaps the most renowned source of independently produced games is none other than Kickstarter. According to their website, nearly twelve million online users have funded projects since the site’s founding. Certifiably, it’s a haven for those who wish to branch out with their ideas and prospects in the gaming community.

But how to ambitious designers go about setting up their own project? Well, there are a few steps that need to be taken in preparation. According to Entrepreneur.com, it’s always best to give your project careful consideration in what direction exactly you would like it go go in. It’s also best to communicate this to your potential backers. Additionally, it would also be a practical move to set modest but interesting ideas for your project, as Kickstarter operates on an all or nothing type of basis. If your funds do not reach a certain peak at a set date, your project will lose whatever funds were pledged.

It’s also a good idea to create some kind of press release for your work. Whether this be in physical form to any number of businesses or online where potential buyers or funders of your work can most likely be found. Once you’ve found your niche, so to speak, branch out and spread word of your idea and project. If you’ve settled on a specific genre or category, it will be more likely that you will be able to find and build a constructive fan base. Hopefully in good time, your funds will begin to rise and you will be able to construct the game of your dreams.

 

 

Save Rump

With the election only a week away, I thought I’d take a break from the usual horror and survival games to bring you guys something fun and interesting to ease the stress.

Thanks once again to the efforts of YouTuber, Markiplier, I found this unique game produced by Game Developer X simply titled, “Mr. President”. Having absolutely nothing to do with a certain blonde and tan candidate, you play as a secret service operative named Dick Johnson (Yes, I’m serious), that has been hired to protect a fictional casino owner named Ronald Rump.

Rump is running for president, which puts him at risk for potential assassinations. That’s where Johnson comes in. As the player, your main objective of Mr. President is to oversee Mr. Rump’s rallies and dive across the stage to absorb the impact from assassination attempts using your own body. Either that, or knock the unsuspecting Mr. Rump out of the way before he can be injured. What’s also notable is that you can also dive into objects that can fall apart into blocks, vaguely resembling the Angry Bird series.

Should you fail to protect Mr. Rump from his assailants, LIE NEWS will either chastise you for failing to save him or place the blame on “socialist money stealers”.

The game gets more bizarre when the player is also given the option of helping Ronald Rump relive his glory days as a professional wrestler. Here, you will have the opportunity to tackle and bodyslam Rump from a variety of different heights in a wrestling ring among hundreds of spectators.

With all this in mind, it definitely makes for quite the dose of political satire. Keeping in mind the very uncertain times we are in, and the stress it is causing for many people, I can say with full certainty that a little laugh is needed for everyone. For that purpose, I recommend sharing the game.

Mr. President, as of the date of this publication, costs only $5 and can be purchased off Steam exclusively for Windows systems.

Welcome to the family, son: Resident Evil VII

20 years ago in 1996, a horror franchise was born; that’s right, folks. As incredible as it may seem, the Resident Evil game series celebrated its two-decade anniversary on March 22nd of this year.

Since then, there’s been plenty of big news regarding the series’ future; On June 14th, during the E3 2016 convention in Los Angeles, Sony announced the January 2017 release of the franchise’s latest installment, Resident Evil VII: Biohazard.

A teaser released concurrently with the announcement revealed a survival horror-type setup, with all new characters. A pretty significant move for Capcom, especially keeping in mind how the previous entries in the series were all biological horror/first person shooters. This time, it appears as though we are dealing with supernatural or possibly demonic forces.

The teaser in question, simply titled, “Beginning Hour”, allows you to play as an unnamed male character whose task is simple; escape the dilapidated home of a missing family and along the way, maybe even uncover facts about the home’s recent history (ie You’ll need to find a video tape somewhere in the environment to know what I’m talking about).

Also, your experience will likely end with you being surprised from behind by a disheveled Charles Manson-y dude who greets you with “Welcome to the family, Son.” and punches you out. You subsequently awake tied to a chair in a workshop, where the host seen on the videotape will attempt to free you, but is murdered by a mutant behind him. The mutant will then on you, and you will then be redirected to the menu.

Of course, the experiences of playing this teaser will differ, as there is plenty for the player to discover apart from the main events.

As someone who was never really wooed by Resident Evil, I was happy to see the saga take a more suspenseful and frightening approach. It screamed reminders of prior action-adventure horror games I’ve played in the past, namely 2014’s The Evil Within.

While it isn’t necessarily terrifying (at least of what I’m seeing now, keeping in mind that it is just a teaser), there was enough going on in the game to keep me interested. It invites the player to uncover one piece of information at a time slowly building tension and suspense. And really, that’s the best a horror game can do.

Personally, I am pretty excited to buy this game, and my decision was reinforced this week upon viewing the newest trailer released by the Tokyo Game Show in September. I was able to get a better glimpse the missing family mentioned in the teaser and could see a lot of inspiration from Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (I love the classics). January 24th can’t come soon enough. This is gonna be GOOD.

 

The Next Reality?

It seems as though our world of media is changing every day, from the use of arcades and cable, to the more accessible means of console gaming and web streaming. But especially in the case of games, it’s easy for one to think that consoles have completely taken over now and that arcade games are a part of a dying breed. Well, it turns out, we may be wrong.

This week, I read an article published by IndieWatch, which introduced the idea that virtual reality gaming can offer a much more vivid and active experience than its traditional sit-down-and-play-for-hours-on-end counterpart. It offers the player to become fully submerged in a given environment. (Imagine playing GTA V online, only this time, you practically become your player, ugh I’m getting chills already). It does sound like a divine concept, but IndieWatch makes a good point about the strings attached; virtual reality equipment can be astronomically expensive, so most of it you won’t find in the average consumers’ home. This is partly where the active part comes in: by keeping virtual reality games in arcades and in high numbers, it can lead to a revival of an era, only this time new and improved.

Will virtual reality games eventually replace console games that have limited environments to the player? My answer is probably. We likely won’t be seeing it right away, but more and more I’m noticing how video games are evolving to appear much more realistic and as if they’re taking place in the real world. It seems only logical that we’d be moving in that direction.