Crime Simulator Demo Available on Steam!

May 13th, 2024 - Robberies, assaults and gangster hijinks - that's just part of what Crime Simulator, the new game from the makers of the bestselling Thief Simulator 2, has to offer. Crime Simulator will allow both to make a criminal career alone, as well as joint actions in co-op mode (up to 4 criminals). The PC release of the game can be expected in 2024/2025, with PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo console versions also planned. A free prologue of the game is available now on PC.

The Polish studio CookieDev, best known for the bestselling Thief Simulator 2, is working on Crime Simulator. Ultimate Games S.A. will be the publisher of the game on PC and consoles.

Crime Simulator is a unique simulator of criminal underworld activities with a first-person perspective (FPS) view. The game offers single-player and online co-op modes for up to 4 people at a time. The gameplay broadly depicts criminal life, also relying on elements known from other game genres.

A criminal career includes in Crime Simulator not only carrying out bandit jobs (such as theft and debt recovery) and fighting, but also, among other things, collecting raw materials, developing characters, upgrading equipment or gaining the right reputation among the factions present in the game.

"In Crime Simulator, players will find a fresh take on action simulators. It's a game created both for players who prefer solo gameplay and those who like to interact with others. Among other things, the title will offer a new approach to combat, a system of gangster factions and, above all, gameplay that includes many intriguing and diverse elements." - says COO of Ultimate Games S.A., Rafal Jelonek.


As of May 10, a free demo of the game is now available on Steam. In Crime Simulator: Prologue, players will find one smaller settlement with a construction zone and an abandoned farm that serves as a hideout for gangsters. The full version of the game will feature three larger settlements, desert areas on the outskirts of Mexico, national park areas in Canada and several additional locations, among others. The CookieDev team is also working on a whole lot of additional content.

In Crime Simulator, many tools await players to use in criminal actions. The developers offer, among others, baseball bats, crowbars, rods, wrenches, knuckles, knives, telescopic batons, pistols and various types of bombs and grenades. Specialized traps and turrets will also be available for use.

Crime Simulator - Main Features:

  • make a career in the criminal underworld;
  • execute orders and gain fame;
  • act alone or in cooperation (up to 4 criminals);
  • use a wide arsenal of weapons;
  • collect raw materials and create equipment.

The game is tentatively scheduled for release on PC (Steam) in 2024/2025. Crime Simulator will later also hit PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

Crime Simulator (Steam): https://store.steampowered.com/app/2737070/Crime_Simulator/

Crime Simulator: Prologue (Steam): https://store.steampowered.com/app/2928280/Crime_Simulator_Prologue/

Article by: Susan N.
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Final Factory - PC (Steam) Review

Final Factory by developer and publisher Never Games LimitedPC (Steam) review written by Susan N. with a copy provided by the publisher.


Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

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New Bullet Hell Available as a Demo on Steam!

Zurich, Switzerland - May 9, 2024 – David Stark and Metaroot have revealed the brotatolike Airships: Lost Flotilla. A demo is now available on Steam for Windows and Linux. Fight your way through waves of enemies on your way to a safe harbour. Destroy your foes, harvest wreckage, and upgrade your ship.



Engage enemies with different attack patterns and abilities. Fight massive boss monsters that require cunning and firepower to defeat.

Pick the slow but powerful Battleship, the nimble Copter, or the Science Vessel with its railgun and energy shield. Build a strategy around their strengths and weaknesses. Don’t feel the need to ever stop? The Megaplane will suit you. Want to build a mighty fleet? Start with the Flagship.

Improve your ship with training for your crew, more armor plating, or senior officers. Pick a doctrine to gain its advantages: terrify your enemies, dodge incoming attacks, make your money through trade. Find powerful combinations that lay waste to your enemies.

Unlock captains for your ship that give you powerful advantages and disadvantages and change the rules of your game.

Temples and monoliths as well as more familiar ports float in the skies, changing the game rules in parts of the map. Disadvantage your enemies and boost your abilities with careful positioning.



About David Stark

David Stark is an indie game developer from Zurich, where he lives with his partners and two orange cats. He's known for Airships: Conquer the Skies, a cult steampunk real-time strategy game. Apart from making games, he co-founded and co-organises Swiss Game Hub, an incubator for Swiss game developers. In his copious free time, he reads history books and makes pottery.

About Metaroot

Metaroot is a small publisher and marketing agency based in Zurich, Switzerland. Metaroot has published the nature simulation city builder "Of Life and Land" and will publish the brotatolike "Airships: Lost Flotilla" and the city builder roguelike "AUTARKIS".


    Article by: Susan N.

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    Check Out the 1.0 Release of Fabledom Today!

    Montpellier, France - May 3, 2024 - Two people indie studio Grenaa Games, in collaboration with publisher Dear Villagers, is happy to announce that, after an intense year in Early Access, more than 2.800 player reviews, 89% of them positive, more than 150.000 copies sold and more than 330.000 wishlists gathered, the enchanting cozy kingdom of Fabledom will be reaching its PC 1.0 form this May 13 on, being ready for players from the 5 continents to settle, build, trade and use their diplomacy (or even amourous!) skills! 


    Set in a fairytale kingdom of trolls, knights and princesses, Fabledom offers a warm and optimistic approach to city-building games. Having recently launched the captivating update, "A Wedding in a Chateau" on Steam Early Access, players have already begun to explore the new mechanics and structures introduced, such as the prestigious Castle and the romantic Feasting Hall. Here, they can set off on the ultimate romantic journey, culminating in a memorable wedding ceremony. Console releases are also on the horizon, ensuring that players of all platforms can partake in the magic, sometime later this year.

    Once upon a Village... Set in a wholesome fairytale world, Fabledom is the ideal laid back City builder. Enjoy the growth of your settlement, trade and use diplomacy to ally or challenge your neighbors, and most importantly, find yourself a prince or princess and live happily ever after!

    Press Reception

    "There's something so quirky and delightful about Fabledom, and it's got so much promise." - Gamesradar
    "The whole thing is sickeningly cute, I also really dig the customisation aspects of the game." - Kotaku
    "The setup is a breath of fresh air in the city-building genre that 'The Settlers' enthusiasts will certainly appreciate." - Nordlivpodcast
    "Fabledom is a lot of fun, it's beautiful to look at, and it has a lot of promise as a charming little city builder." - PCGamer



    KEY FEATURES

    Create your Kingdom from scratch and fill it with castles, barracks, farms, fields, houses and more! 

    Customize your buildings to your liking, with a variety of decorations and utilities available to create the coziest and most functional village in the entire Kingdom! 

    Gather your Army, choose your Champion and defend your Kingdom against evil neighbors and minions. Or go forth and conquer, sending your Hero to fight on your behalf on a powerful quest to collect epic items and gear!

    Find a Princess or Prince Charming and marry for love! Or money! "Diplomacy" is the name of the game in feudal times, and Fabledom's extensive negotiation mechanics allow you to unite out of mutual interest - or battle for dominance!


    ABOUT GRENAA STUDIO

    Grenaa Games is a brand-new studio based in Sweden. This game is their first official title and is being developed by only 2 people. The company hopes to make games that focus on fun and charm, that can help bring joy to people’s lives!

    ABOUT DEAR VILLAGERS

    Based in the South of France, in sunny Montpellier, we are a boutique publishing label composed of a team of twenty people. Open-minded and versatile, Dear Villagers offers handcrafted marketing and production guidance. Our mission: We tell memorable stories through memorable games. We love pixels, but we believe in people.
    Article by: Susan N.

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    World War III RTS 'Warno' Releases May 23rd on Steam!

    May 7th, 2024 - Paris, France |  Eugen Systems have announced that Warno, their highly acclaimed World War III battle simulator RTS, is launching into version 1.0 on May 23rd, 2024 for PC on Steam. 


    Warno (Warning Order) is a systems deep, highly immersive real-time strategy game from the famed RTS developers behind the Steel Division and Wargame franchises. Set in alternate 1980’s during the final years of the Cold War where instead of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Third World War unfolds between NATO and the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces. 

    Compose your army from a massive pool of infantry, armor, support, artillery, air, and logistics unit types. Then strategically deploy and control your forces as you balance multiple battlefield factors that come as close to real warfare as possible.

    Waring Issue Ordered / Release Date Trailer: 



    Authentic Realism in Gameplay and Multiple Modes


    Meticulously researched and painstakingly recreated, over 1000 historically accurate units are available to pick from, thus creating armies that each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Take on the role of army commander for the U.S., West Germany, United Kingdom, France, the Soviet Union or East Germany in various modes from single-player campaigns, online competitive or online cooperative that can range from 1v1 to to 10v10 battles.

    What Comes with V1.0


    Version 1.0 launches with a mass of changes but most notably a fully fleshed-out single-player campaign (4 unique army general campaigns), enemy AI upgrades and various overhauls to some of the most popular maps.

    Strong Numbers Already Amassed


    Since launching into Early Access in January 2022, Warno has amassed a strong player base with 250 000+ copies already sold and is currently rated 82% positive on Steam from 7400+ reviews. Eugene Systems will also be supporting the game with long-term post-launch support, something they have proven themselves in doing with the level of support given to their previous titles, Steel Division 2 and Wargame: Red Dragon which still today garner regular daily player numbers in the 1000's.
     

    Gameplay Trailer: 



    Game Features

    • Experience in-depth and realistic real-time strategy Cold War-era warfare. From tactics to technology and hundreds of painstakingly researched and recreated military units from NATO’s and Warsaw Pact’s arsenals.
    • Get to know each unit in detail in Armory, and use this knowledge to your advantage as you build, customize and fine-tune each unique battlegroup.
    • Witness a battlefield of highly detailed environments and brutal destruction. The latest incarnation of Eugen’s proprietary engine simulates modern combat to the fullest extent.
    • Take on maps and missions in either solo, competitive online or cooperative Each map has a unique set of objectives with a dynamic frontline that directly results in one side’s victory or defeat.
    • Battle against a smart and truly challenging AI or pit your tactics and strategy against other players, from ranked 1v1 to all-encompassing 10v10 battles.
    • Dive into do-or-die Operations or the massive turn-based Army General strategic campaigns depicting some of the hardest-fought “what if” scenarios of a Cold War turned hot. Massive Warsaw Pact armies square off against the NATO formations for a vicious fight across Western Europe.
    • Taking advantage of Eugen Systems’ game experience and previous titles,  a host of quality-of-life enhancements will appeal to new and veteran players alike, from issuing commands during pre-combat deployment to AI-assisted Smart Orders.

    Article by: Susan N.
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    Will You Survive in a Medieval Survival Game?

    MONTREAL – April 30, 2024 – Haenir Studio and Behaviour Interactive are excited to announce their official partnership to bring Blight: Survival™ to life. First revealed in 2022, the much buzzed-about medieval action-horror co-op survival game pits up to four players against monsters and men in a visceral fight to destroy the source of the Blight, a deadly affliction that plagues the land. 

    “Teaming up with Behaviour Interactive signals the next major phase of development for Blight: Survival,” said Haenir Studio Co-Founder, Mads Christensen. “With Blight: Survival, we set out to deliver an ambitious and unique experience for players. Being able to utilize Behaviour’s resources, expertise, and horror pedigree will be instrumental in bringing our vision to life. We’re thrilled to kick off this journey together.”

    Blight: Survival takes place in the no man’s land between two desperate kingdoms locked in a ceaseless war. Within this realm of death and decay, a new strain of Blight has erupted from the remains of the fallen. Fed and strengthened by the blood that’s been spilled, it rapidly spreads – turning man into monster. 

    “As a game we were already looking forward to playing ourselves, we couldn’t be happier about this collaboration,” shared Stephen Mulrooney, Executive Vice President at Behaviour Interactive. “Working with talented studios like Haenir Studio in this type of partnership will be a focus for us as we look to publish more and more external games in the coming years. This is the start of something new and exciting for Behaviour, and we’ll be keeping our eyes open for interesting opportunities.”

    While Blight: Survival does not currently have a release date, Haenir Studio and Behaviour Interactive are eager to share more details about the game and its ongoing development in the future.

    In the meantime, players interested in learning more or being first in line for all the latest Blight: Survival news can join the official Discord and wishlist the game on Steam. 


     

    About Haenir

    Haenir Studio is a small independent game IP development company located in Scandinavia, who thrive to create immersive, exhilarating and fun gaming experiences.

    For more information, visit www.haenir.com.

    About Behaviour Interactive

    Behaviour Interactive is the largest Canadian gaming studio, with more than 1,300 employees worldwide. Behaviour is best known for its flagship franchise, the multiplayer survival horror game Dead by Daylight™, which has entertained 60 million players across multiple platforms. The studio is currently expanding its portfolio of original IP with multiple projects, including the acclaimed building and raiding title Meet Your Maker™. Behaviour has also established itself as one of the world’s leading providers of external development services.  

    The company has partnered with many of the gaming industry’s leaders, including Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner, Netflix, and Take-Two, among many others. Over 30 years, Behaviour has developed an unparalleled, award-winning culture. The company was named one of the Best Places to Work in Canada by GamesIndustry.biz, and has been recognized with Deloitte Canada’s Enterprise Fast 15 and Best Managed Company awards. Headquartered in Montreal, Behaviour has expanded its global presence with studios in Toronto (Behaviour Toronto), Seattle (Midwinter Entertainment), the United Kingdom (Behaviour UK - North and Behaviour UK - South) and the Netherlands (Behaviour Rotterdam).  

    For more information, visit www.bhvr.com.

    BLIGHT : SURVIVAL: © 2022 and BEHAVIOUR, BLIGHT : SURVIVAL and other related trademarks and logos belong to Behaviour Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.
    Article by: Susan N.
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    Race to the Finish is Ultimate Godspeed on Steam!

    Zurich, Switzerland - April 29, 2024 – Ninoko announced that Ultimate Godspeed is set to launch on Steam on May 27th ($12.99) for PC and macOS. This party racing game is all about modifying the racetrack. Place unique items on the level and bring chaos to the race! Use different objects like ramps, platforms, holes or mischievous traps. Freeze other players with the ice patch, kill them with deadly rotating saw blades, or obscure their sight with oily surfaces.


    Ultimate Godspeed is set in a universe ruled by different tribes of gods: There are gods that command the winds, nature, technology, or even death. The player controls one of the divine champions, chosen for the Kagashi Festival. A racing event in honour of the gods.

    The players race from point A to point B while collecting points. Each round starts with the players choosing from an assortment of randomly generated items. The chosen items are then placed all over the level by the players.

    Items in Ultimate Godspeed are objects like ramps, platforms, holes or traps like an ice patch where you lose control, deadly rotating saw blades or oily surfaces which can obscure the player’s sight. These items allow for different playstyles like building shortcuts, blockades or chaotic death traps.

    After placing the items, the players race. They can drift, boost or jump across the level, while evading traps and using shortcuts. 

    A round ends when all players reached the goal. They are then rewarded with points for rank, speed and traps. They can even lose points. 

    This process then repeats, while items from previous rounds remain, which leads to fascinating new ways to traverse the level or just utter chaos.

    The goal is pretty simple: The player with the most points wins.


    Links


    About Ninoko

    Ninoko is an independent game studio based in Zurich. Founded by Pierre Lippuner, Jan Schneider and Denise Hohl in fall of 2020, the studio is currently working on their first official release. The team is also a part of the mentorship program of the Swiss Game Hub. The three members graduated from the Game Design bachelor at the ZHdK in summer 2020 and have collaborated on different game and interactive media projects in the past. They all are generalists who can find their way around programming, animation and art with different specialisations.
    Article by: Susan N.
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    Bake Delicious Goodies in Baking Time on the Nintendo Switch!

    April 29th - Warsaw, Poland | QubicGames has announced that Baking Time by CrazyLabs will be released for the Nintendo Switch on May 3rd.


    Baking Time

    Stack all kinds of mouth-watering baked goods, from croissants to cookie hearts and everything in between!

    Grab your spatula, lift the baked goods out of the oven, and put them on display so that customers can buy them! With a steady stream of hungry customers waiting in line, it's up to you to deliver their orders quickly and efficiently!

    Satisfy your customers and earn money that you can spend to hire additional staff and expand your bakery! Unlock new recipes and serve even more delicious pastries!

    Need a helping hand? Invite your friend to play in local co-op mode and expand your bakery to the next level! Grab your aprons and get ready to bake up a storm in Baking Time together!


    Features:

    • Bake over 30 different pastries that your customers won't resist!
    • Collect baked goods with a spatula and put them on the display to sell them!
    • Operate the cash register and satisfy your customers' appetites!
    • Earn tons of money to unlock new levels of your bakery!
    • Hire staff to help you collect the baked goods much faster!
    • Unlock 32 adorable animals that boost the cash you and your bakers collect!
    • Upgrade your character and workers to walk faster or carry more pastries!
    • Perform baker's tasks and claim your rewards
    • Prepare baked goods for special large orders!
    • Feed your cookie monsters to get money each second
    • Use the teleport to move faster between levels
    • Get caught up in the cooking fever and try not to get hungry!

    So what are you waiting for? Keep those ovens hot and bake on!

    About CrazyLabs

    CrazyLabs is a top-three mobile game publisher and developer with over 6.5 billion downloads and more than 250 million monthly active players in the hyper-casual, hybrid, and casual gaming space. Check out our best games here.
    Article by: Susan N.
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    Witchfire - PC Preview

    Witchfire by developer and publisher The AstronautsPC preview written by Robert with a copy provided by the publisher.
     
    Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


    This game is witched-good fun... Sorry, wicked-good fun. Fast-paced and beautiful, Witchfire by The Astronauts is a snappy little extraction shooter that has recently been getting a bit more attention. Currently available on the Epic Games Store, Witchfire puts you in the shoes of a Preyer after the end of a war that saw witches defeat humanity. Preyers are a special soldier of faith charged with venturing into the wilds to hunt down artefacts and do what you can to survive the onslaught of the witches. 

    Combining roguelike elements with the frenetic combat of an extraction shooter, Witchfire manages to come out with something truly unique in a post-Tarkov world. Though it's still in Early Access, Witchfire is perhaps one of the best-optimized games I've played in years. Gorgeous, responsive, and simply FUN to play, Witchfire is most certainly one to keep your eye on.


    Not being the biggest fan of PvP (I'll throw down in games where PvP can happen but isn't the focus, think Star Citizen or Elite: Dangerous, but I prefer cooperative play over competitive), I was fairly late to the extraction shooter shooter genre. I've always loved the idea of an extraction shooter- diving into ruins or wild territory with nothing more than what's on your back, scrounge, scavenge, survive, then extract while gathering resources to improve your base defenses. One of the biggest struggles for me, though, was finding a title that had more of a solo or co-op PvE experience that ticked most of the boxes. While I absolutely adore everything about Zero Sievert, Witchfire is scratching the extraction itch in all the best ways.

    Worldcrafting mystic toxicity...

    Given the early stages of development, worldcrafting in Witchfire is currently fairly minimal, however I think that what's there is the start of something wonderful. The setting having a post-apocalyptic Salem Witch Trials-gone-awry mixed with the frenetic almost Souls-like combat actually marries the Puritanical + Inquisition themes and designs REALLY well. At first I was a bit skeptical of the aesthetic as I'm not a big fan of the pilgrim-esque designs of the 17th century Americas but the dark, almost mystically-toxic designs found throughout the world make it weirdly... inviting. It may be because amidst the open corridors of the map, the game feels wildly like Yarnham from Bloodborne. 

    The feeling is just right and continues to pull you in- as you work through a run, clearing the various spaces, a golden glimmer appears that feels inviting and warm, but then it dawns on you that the Witch's attention is starting to become more focused on you. When that happens, all hell breaks loose and it's a mad scramble to the nearest portal. There is a simple darkness to the environmental/world building found in Witchfire that is both new and nostalgic at the same time so it will be with baited breath that I wait for more lore from The Astronauts.


    Designing a colorful apocalypse...

    With the atmosphere established by the deceptively foreboding world design and environmental storytelling, The Astronauts draped a contradictively-bright veneer over the world. While not as bright as a title like Battlestate Games' Escape from Tarkov, Witchfire's pallette is clean, clear, and absolutely stunning to see. I think it's important to note that I'm quite colorblind so I do use ReShade to adjust the colors of a title, however... it's honestly not needed in my eyes. There is a smoothness to the art in Witchfire and I'm not referring to the weird, smoothed-out effect that occurs with AI-generated content. This is more that the huts and wheelbarrows, shrines, chests, and trees all smoothly interconnect to create this clean, flowing design that is mesmerizing at times. 

    Pairing the smooth and vibrant aesthetic with the sickly black and red effects caused by Witchfire creates a striking difference between the corporeal and the mystic. It's honestly one of my favorite-looking games and am eternally sad that there isn't a photo mode given my love for all things virtual photography. I will always encourage single-player titles to offer tools for players to show off / show appreciation or pride in accomplishment and a photo mode is an awesome way to bring that connective value.

    Agency of motion...

    The United States Navy SEALs have a message that they ingrain into their member is, "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast" and Witchfire is an excellent representation of that creed. Motion, while it is quick, near twitch-shooter levels of speed at times, but there is a fluidity to it that slows the action down. When first dropping in there is this sense of motion that makes you feel, "I gotta go fast!" But then you start moving, and smoothly through the level you start to realize that movement feels like Mirror's Edge and Doom (2016) had a witch-filled child. 

    This is by no means a bad thing; it adds a weight to your movement that feels good- it's slow enough that using your short dodge or double-jump to evade an attack is rewarding but not easy. Combine that with the meaty "thunk" you get with your firearms (Hunger, a revolver is most certainly my favorite as it hits like a Mac truck and just sounds mean) or the sizzling crackle you get when you're hurling fireballs and it almost feels like a dance. Once you begin to get the rhythm of your weapons down and you begin to pair them with the optimal distances for damage, Witchfire truly begins to sing.


    Hear where you go...

    With the punchy sounding firearms and an incredibly eerie-sounding witch voice (seriously- there is this deep, guttural growl is just amazing) however, sound is where I feel that we could see greater improvement. In part due to bugs- there are plenty of times where the music would start to swell and feel all, "oh dear, hear we go again" only to run around for five minutes not finding any enemies. It's also fairly typical in a modern tactical / extraction shooter to have audio cues for when you're running low on ammo and Witcfire is no different. However, the "click click" that appears as a magazine is almost out and needing to be reloaded... sounds really plastic-y. Almost like you're reloading an old plastic NERF toy that's on it's last legs. It's fairly jarring, given the thick, meaty sounds you hear when a fireball lands on an explosive enemy, or when you punch that damn pikeman that won't leave you alone ... then there's "click click." Given the Early Access nature of Witchfire, though, I'm absolutely confident that The Astronauts will continue to iterate and grow its audio cues and while it's annoying, it's not game-breaking.

    Enjoy what you have...

    Witchfire by The Astronauts is impressive, engrossing in its design, and one of my more excitable titles. It may be the thick atmosphere of fear that's permeating every step of your Preyer, or the sickeningly red witchfire that you collect, I don't really know but I love it as it has its hooks in deep. Snappy gunplay, wonderful optimization, with interesting environmental storytelling, and a theme not often seen in games these days. While the audio does, at times, leave much to be desired, overall the experience I had in Witchfire is incredibly positive so be sure to check it out for yourself at: https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/witchfire-db273e.
     
     
    Score: N/A  
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    Become an AI Detective on May 10th in Cyber ManHunt 2: New World

    April 25, 2024 – Spiral Up Games is thrilled to announce the upcoming Steam Early Access release of their latest title, the hacking adventure Cyber Manhunt 2: New World this May 10. Developed by the creative team at Aluba Studios. With a sprawling narrative across 4 chapters and 18 unique characters, this game offers more than 8 hours of immersive gameplay filled with intricate puzzles and engrossing social engineering challenges.


    In Cyber Manhunt 2: New World, players step into the role of an AI detective plunged into a realm filled with digital mysteries and hidden truths. Employ real-world social engineering techniques and AI-powered investigation tools to crack intriguing puzzles and uncover a thrilling interconnected storyline. Each revelation not only provides startling insights but also weaves into a larger, meticulously crafted conspiracy that resonates with digital challenges.
    Aldric Chang, CEO of Spiral Up Games, expressed his enthusiasm about the Early Access launch, “We are incredibly excited to announce the Early Access release date of Cyber Manhunt 2: New World. This game introduces a new approach to narrative-driven puzzle games, combining elements of real-world hacking with strategic aspects of cyber investigations. We believe it will offer an unmatched, engaging experience for fans of deep storytelling and puzzle solving.”

    KEY FEATURES

    Intricate Puzzle Investigations: Step into the digital realm as an AI sleuth and explore a series of deep mysteries, each drawn from real incidents. Enjoy the excitement of untangling complex puzzles that demand sharp intellect and tactical foresight.

    Become A Master Detective: Start with basic skills such as password breaking and deceptive phishing, then advance to more complex methods like voice alteration and server infiltration. Engage with realistic hacking tactics that deepen as you navigate through the intricate narratives.

    Captivating, Interconnected Storyline: Immerse yourself in a story inspired by actual events, where each chapter intricately ties into a larger, complex plot. Feel the depth of each character's emotions and psyche as you navigate through a tangled conspiracy.

    A Diversity of Characters: Interact with a wide range of unique characters, each reflecting distinct societal roles, drives, and backgrounds. In this era dominated by advanced AI, peel back the layers of their hidden lives, uncovering the deep and multifaceted aspects of their digital presences, where not everything is as it seems.



    ABOUT ALUBA STUDIO

    Based in Qingdao, Shandong, China, Aluba Studio stands as a pillar of independent game development. Founded in 2019, the studio launched its first title, Cyber Manhunt, to critical acclaim on Steam in 2020. This game quickly garnered a "Very Positive" rating and multiple awards, celebrated for its innovative narrative and design. Aluba Studio is committed to creating immersive, story-driven games that not only captivate but also challenge their players.

    ABOUT SPIRAL UP GAMES

    Spiral Up Games is an international game publisher for high quality PC indie games, headquartered in Singapore. Its team members comprise experienced game veterans with decades of combined experience in indie game development and marketing. Notable games on their portfolio include Wandering Sword and Back to the Dawn. Visit http://www.spiralupgames.com for more information.
    Article by: Susan N.
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    Haenir Studio and Behaviour Interactive Partner to Bring Blight: Survival to Life


    MONTREAL – April 30, 2024Haenir Studio and Behaviour Interactive are excited to announce their official partnership to bring Blight: Survival™ to life. First revealed in 2022, the much buzzed-about medieval action-horror co-op survival game pits up to four players against monsters and men in a visceral fight to destroy the source of the Blight, a deadly affliction that plagues the land.

    Teaming up with Behaviour Interactive signals the next major phase of development for Blight: Survival,” said Haenir Studio Co-Founder, Mads Christensen. “With Blight: Survival, we set out to deliver an ambitious and unique experience for players. Being able to utilize Behaviour’s resources, expertise, and horror pedigree will be instrumental in bringing our vision to life. We’re thrilled to kick off this journey together.

    Blight: Survival takes place in the no man’s land between two desperate kingdoms locked in a ceaseless war. Within this realm of death and decay, a new strain of Blight has erupted from the remains of the fallen. Fed and strengthened by the blood that’s been spilled, it rapidly spreads – turning man into monster.

    As a game we were already looking forward to playing ourselves, we couldn’t be happier about this collaboration,” shared Stephen Mulrooney, Executive Vice President at Behaviour Interactive. “Working with talented studios like Haenir Studio in this type of partnership will be a focus for us as we look to publish more and more external games in the coming years. This is the start of something new and exciting for Behaviour, and we’ll be keeping our eyes open for interesting opportunities.

    While Blight: Survival does not currently have a release date, Haenir Studio and Behaviour Interactive are eager to share more details about the game and its ongoing development in the future.

    In the meantime, players interested in learning more or being first in line for all the latest Blight: Survival news can join the official Discord and wishlist the game on Steam.

    About Haenir


    Haenir Studio is a small independent game IP development company located in Scandinavia, who thrive to create immersive, exhilarating and fun gaming experiences.

    For more information, visit www.haenir.com.

    About Behaviour Interactive


    Behaviour Interactive is the largest Canadian gaming studio, with more than 1,300 employees worldwide. Behaviour is best known for its flagship franchise, the multiplayer survival horror game Dead by Daylight™, which has entertained 60 million players across multiple platforms. The studio is currently expanding its portfolio of original IP with multiple projects, including the acclaimed building and raiding title Meet Your Maker™. Behaviour has also established itself as one of the world’s leading providers of external development services.  

    The company has partnered with many of the gaming industry’s leaders, including Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner, Netflix, and Take-Two, among many others. Over 30 years, Behaviour has developed an unparalleled, award-winning culture. The company was named one of the Best Places to Work in Canada by GamesIndustry.biz, and has been recognized with Deloitte Canada’s Enterprise Fast 15 and Best Managed Company awards. Headquartered in Montreal, Behaviour has expanded its global presence with studios in Toronto (Behaviour Toronto), Seattle (Midwinter Entertainment), the United Kingdom (Behaviour UK - North and Behaviour UK - South) and the Netherlands (Behaviour Rotterdam).  

    For more information, visit www.bhvr.com.

    BLIGHT : SURVIVAL: © 2022 and BEHAVIOUR, BLIGHT : SURVIVAL and other related trademarks and logos belong to Behaviour Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.


    Article by: Susan N.





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    Touhou Mystia's Izakaya - Switch Review

    Touhou Mystia's Izakaya by developer  二色幽紫蝶, and Re零同人社 and publisher Phoenixx—Nintendo Switch review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.
     
    Estimated reading time: 7.5 minutes
    You ever have the urge to help a Japanese "Night Sparrow" run an Izakaya (late night pub type restaurant) in order to help pay off debts? Well, neither did I before now, but it's all I can think about at the moment.

    Touhou Mystia's Izakaya is a cozy restaurant management type game based on the Touhou Project universe. In it you take on the role of Mystia Lorelei as you collect ingredients by day, and run the Izakaya by night, serving Gensokyo's residents. You will interact with the locals and procure ingredients by day, as well as completing requests for the locals, then at night you open up shop to try and rake in some cash so you can purchase new or different ingredients and to pay off your debts.


    Mystia's Izakaya is a really laid-back 2D pixel art game that's really comfy and surprisingly relaxing to play. The gameplay loop is separated in two segments: the daytime and the nighttime. During the day you'll be checking out areas looking for cooking ingredients, buying things from the merchants (whether that's food, recipes, or additional cooking tools), completing requests for the locals, both unique and generic, and hanging out with your friends. Once night falls, you will be prepping your store by selecting what items to put on the menu, getting your tools in order, choosing where and what size storefront to use, and serving customers.

    During the day you will have a set amount of time with which to gather what you need. Moving between areas, prepping food in advance, inviting a rare character to visit the restaurant, and harvesting items all take half an hour of time. Chatting with people, buying items, and interacting with characters, whether for sidequests or your assistant Kyouko for tips and tutorials doesn't take time. Once the time of day has advanced enough, you are then set to open your izakaya. Keep in mind you can choose to skip the daytime dealings if you want, and go straight to opening shop if you want. Also of note is that available harvest points change depending on time of day, and some rare gathering points are only available during limited periods. As an example, there is a rare gather that is only available early morning on the Yokai Trail (starting area).


    As I mentioned, you can get requests from characters. Some of these are from the local newspaper clippings you keep, which also detail interesting tidbits as well as currently popular food types. Other requests you'll get as your bond with the rare customers goes up. It's a good idea to complete these, as they usually give not only a little bit of money, but also cooking ingredients and new recipes! New recipes can also sell for more money when you open shop, so it's probably a good idea to give those requests a shot.

    Alright then, now that you've finished your gathering and request fulfilling, it's time to open the shop! First step is deciding where to open shop, provided you have more than one location available, how big you want the shop to be, and who you want as an assistant. Location determines who shows up, and different areas may have different levels of foot traffic. Size determines how many tables you have for guests. While guests will wait to be seated, usually more tables means more guests show up regardless. As a comparison, the amount I earned on the Yokai Trail between level 1 and level 2 size was 500 to 2000 yen in earnings. Yeah, it's a fairly sizable chunk for doubling seating. You can also hire an assistant to help out. You can also tell them what to help with, either handing out drinks to the customers, taking food from the storage area for them, or helping you out. 


    Next up is selecting your menu. This includes dishes you will serve, drinks available, and what cooking tools you will set up. You only have a limited amount of space for these, so pay attention to what you're selecting and how many of each you have the ingredients to make. Don't want to run out mid dinner rush, now do we? Good news though, not having an item on the menu doesn't mean you can't make it, it just means that the common customers won't order it, and you have to make it manually if you want to give it to a rare customer.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself here. After you've selected your menu and prep, you can open shop. Customers will come by, sit down, and then place an order. You then start cooking for them. For the common customers, they will order off your menu, so you walk up to the cooking implement needed, select the recipe, then start cooking. You can also play a little rhythm minigame when you start the cooking to have a chance of giving you a buff. My personal favourite is the ability to yeet the food you make (like a basketball player trying to beat the buzzer) at the customers, meaning you don't need to walk over to the tables. Food will cook on its own once started, so you can set up a bunch as needed. Once done, you can take the food to the table for them.

    Now we get to talk about the exciting part here: the rare customers. Essentially these are the named unique characters that are part of the Touhou universe. These customers are...well, awful if you've ever worked food service, or even retail. These customers give you hints at what they want, such as "I like sweet food" or "I can't stand mild flavored food" and it's up to you to select a dish that suits their taste. As an added bonus, you can add extra ingredients to the dishes to add extra tags to it. Each dish has certain tags associated with it, and each ingredient has it's own tags as well. Some dishes aren't compatible with certain tags, which will cause your dish to fail.


    Rare customers also have an extra aspect to them: spell cards. Basically, if your dish is too outside of what they want, or extremely in line with what they want, they will use a spellcard. If they're happy, it's a positive effect, such as attracting more customers or giving you ingredients. If they're unhappy, it'll be a negative effect, such as covering your work area in a dark cloud so you can't see what's going on.

    Now, considering how many characters populate Gensokyo, remembering their likes and dislikes can be pretty demanding. Thankfully you always carry around a handy dandy notebook. This notebook automatically records everything you need, whether it's personal stats, recipes, current ingredients and items, character info, such as likes and dislikes, and what tasks you currently have, both for story purposes and requests. Seriously, the notebook is absolutely packed full of a ton of info. Anything you need can be found in there. More good news, while you're looking at the notebook, time is paused so your guests don't get tired of waiting and leave.

    After a set amount of time passes, you'll now close up shop, count your earnings, and earn exp based on the number of guests served. Yeah, that's right, there's a bit of an RPG mechanic going on here. As Mystia levels up, her cooking speed, customer satisfaction rate, chance of activating a singing effect, tips earned, etc. will increase. You also unlock new recipes at certain level benchmarks, so you definitely want to do your best.


    So, let's talk a bit about some miscellaneous items. First up, the music is really soothing, so Mystia's Izakaya really does end up being a pretty relaxing game for the most part. Well, unless you get a big rush of people, but even then it isn't too bad. Also, all the DLC is included in this Switch release, which adds a nice chunk of content. The only real negative aspects I can think of are that the game does get a little repetitive by nature, so make sure you're ok with this style of gameplay, although the daytime gathering/questing period helps alleviate this, and the selected highlight. What do I mean by the highlight? Well, the box surrounding whatever you have "selected" blends in too much, so it gets really hard to tell what you have selected. On a cool other note though, there's a jukebox type thing set up where you can play some rhythm games for fun.


    Overall, Touhou Mystia's Izakaya is a really great and comfy restaurant manager sim. The food service is both rather simple, but with some complicated aspects thrown in to help spice it up, and the gathering makes a nice break to keep the nighttime food service fresh. The rare customers provide an interesting and unique challenge, the variety of recipes and additional ingredients is nice, and the rhythm minigames are a nice spice. I definitely recommend Touhou Mystia's Izakaya to anyone looking for a relaxing restaurant management type game to pass the time. Easy to pick up or put down, it's quite addicting.

    Score: 9.75 / 10



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    Far From Home Signs a Deal with Krafton Inc!

    April 22, Wroclaw Poland - Far From Home, the creators of Forever Skies have signed a deal with renowned publisher Krafton Inc, the company with ties to titles such as The South Korean powerhouse will acquire a minority stake in Far From Home and will be supporting the studio with the ongoing development of Forever Skies and future projects. Far From Home will remain an independent studio that will continue to self-publish its titles, including Forever Skies.


    Having a partner like Krafton helps further cement our belief in the strength of our team and project. Especially since Krafton's track record includes investing in the creators of one of the most acclaimed survival games Subnautica, and one of the biggest coop hits, PUBG. While we can comfortably fund the operation of our studio through the sales of Forever Skies, the capital injection from Krafton will provide important funding diversification and security for us in the long term. We are pleased that Krafton believes in our vision and wants to support our growth. With this in mind and with the recent announcement of our agreement with Sony, we believe that our games will be even better and the future of Far From Home looks bright. - Andrzej Blumenfeld, CEO, Far From Home 

    Founded in April 2020, the Polish studio has since self-published and released the first-person sci-fi survival game Forever Skies into Steam Early Access. The game has garnered 160,000+ sales with a co-op mode and a full release on PC and PlayStation 5 announced for later this year. The funds raised through the Krafton Inc. partnership will be used primarily for the development of the team’s second project. This will happen after the completion of Forever Skies development and alongside its post-full-launch support.

    “Our funding for the completion of Forever Skies is secured, but eventually, we will need to start looking ahead at what comes next for our team. The capital raised through Krafton will make it significantly easier for us to plan out and build our next title to be something bigger and even more ambitious. At the same time, we retain our independence and full creative control which is extremely important to us. added Andrzej Blumenfeld
    A Steam Blog Post that explains to players that the studio will remain independent and focused on Forever Skies has also been published. 

    https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/1641960/view/4172097464049218046

      Article by: Susan N.
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