Blues and Bullets Out Now on Xbox One

Independent developer A Crowd Of Monsters today proudly announced that the first episode of its episodic crime noir adventure game Blues and Bullets is now available on Xbox One, as part of the ID@Xbox program!  Take on the role of former detective Eliot Ness as he investigates, interrogates and exchanges gunfire with the criminal underworld of the fictional city of Santa Esperanza, as he simultaneously unravels the truth behind the case.

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Zombie Studios Announce Daylight

Zombie Studios have announced their next game, Daylight.. a horror game built on Unreal Engine 4, where players take on the role of a woman who awakens in an abandoned asylum with no idea how she got there.

Zombie Studios - Daylight

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TRAUMA

TRAUMA came into my possession as part of the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle.  TRAUMA is a photographic experience by designer Krystian Majewski, where you explore the mind of a traumatised woman, through point and click scenes with clues to be found..

The first scene, “The Next Hurdle”, is a night-time scene with a teddybear trapped under a large stone weight..

Moving around the environment is rather easy.. point and click on blurry angled pictures, onto items within the frame, or via painting gestures on the screen.. you learn these from some of the Polaroids hidden in the scene.  The photos are rather nice looking, and combined with the easy to operate interface, I find the whole thing more curious and relaxing than a typical puzzle game, which tends towards head-scratching after a while.

The clues are all voiced by the traumatised woman, and while some seem irrelevant to the task of rescuing the teddy, I guessed they would be involved in an alternate ending, or in for one of the other four scenes.  There are a set of Polaroids in each scene too.. either for teaching gestures, giving a clue, or telling us a little bit about the woman’s life.

On my first try through the level, I managed to lift the large stone ball from the teddy, and completed the first ending: “Save the Teddybear”.  There were three more endings, listed under “Discoveries”, but I wasn’t able to get at them straight away..

The second scene is “Following Role Models”, with a task of capturing the ghost.. a man who has been blurred through most of the scene by long exposure photography.  One of the Polaroids had a picture of the storm cloud from the sky in “The Next Hurdle”, linking the centre of the storm to a drain.. and then in “What They Expect”, I was taught a gesture to use on drains.

Using this gesture in “The Next Hurdle” allowed me to find the “Swallow The Skyscraper” ending!

As I’ve achieved an ending for each of the four scenes now, I could consider myself to have completed this game.. however, with so many undiscovered endings, it just doesn’t feel finished yet!

Trouble in Terrorist Town

Trouble in Terrorist Town is a mod for Garry’s Mod, with Traitor terrorists hiding amongst Innocent terrorists.  Yes, a mod within a mod, and “innocent” terrorists.. x)

A friend invited me along last night, and I found that while the idea is simple, actually figuring out who is who, and knowing quite what to do, isn’t so easy.. though it is rather exciting when playing as a Traitor! 🙂

Roles are set by the game at the beginning of each round, with a few players being assigned to the Traitor team and the rest to the Innocent team. Traitors can see each other and plot against the Innocent team; their job is to kill off the Innocent team without being caught.  Innocent players don’t know which players are Traitors, and have to rely on what information they can find on corpses.. such as that player’s last words, or the weapon used to kill them.  There are also Detectives amongst the Innocent team.. they have additional information-gathering abilities, though beyond that, I didn’t quite make out.

The first few minutes were just confusing.. I managed to land a Traitor role, but erring on the side of caution I waited a while before attempting to kill anyone, hiding up in a tower where I tried to push somebody off the side of the building, fluffed it, but somehow managed to avoid suspicion.. that time.

Once dead, you can’t communicate, which would have come in handy as I was killed in a tunnel just after calling out who I was with.  Player deaths aren’t announced until somebody discovers the body, so a possibly useful clue.. the name of the player I was with.. went unused that time.

Portal 2 ARG and Defense Grid: The Awakening

Portal 2 was supposed to be released on the 19th April.. however, an earlier release date was suggested over the last week, as a pile of clues have been discovered by fans dedicated enough to go looking for them.

I am not one of those people; while I love the fact they’ve done it, I don’t have the time or knowledge required to root around with codes, convert random numbers to images and access encrypted files.  Seriously.. even if I had the time I wouldn’t even know where to start, nor whether I was even going in the right direction.  Instead, I’m content to keep an eye on the Valve ARG wiki..

The Potato Sack Pack appeared on Steam last week, and I just took it as an opportunity to grab a few more cheap games, but it was another part of this rather clever play by Valve!  The info gathered so far points to Portal 2 being unlocked when an unspecified amount of play-time has been reached on the various games in the pack.

There is also a potato-collecting mechanic involved, with collectible potatoes hidden in the games and elsewhere: one can be collected simply by joining the ‘nelipot’ Steam group.  The ARG Wiki people have discovered that more potatoes increase the rate that the GLaDOS@Home bars fill up.. so really, the aim of this game is now: collect potatoes and play indie games 🙂

I won’t be idling in any games overnight, though.. while it’s mentioned on the Wiki as a way of adding the the cause, I consider it to be too close to cheating when the ‘aim’ is to play.  I have similar reservations about using the login details posted for collection of potatoes as well..  I’m just going to play the games.

I was gifted Defense Grid: The Awakening on Friday: a tower defense game with a twist.. when the invading aliens reach your base that’s not it.. they steal a power core and attempt to leave the base with it.

Killing the alien results in the core being dropped.. it will try to make its way back to base but can be grabbed by another alien en-route.

The Meteor tower is my current favourite.. long-range, great damage when it hits.. though I like the laser too, especially when upgraded. 🙂