Rexaura – a mod for Portal

Rexaura is a mod for Portal by Mevious, featuring a full sized campaign, unique dialogue, and plenty of puzzles including some new types featuring plasma balls, which you can deflect using cubes, send through light barriers and so on.

You can download Rexaura from moddb.  To play this mod, you need to extract the file into your sourcemods folder, and restart Steam.

The author of this mod has previously created another Portal mod: Portal Pro, which can also be downloaded from moddb.

Q.U.B.E. goes live on Steam!

First-person puzzle game Q.U.B.E. (Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion), by Toxic Games, is now live on Steam!

Players begin the game by being dropped into an all-white room, and with little instruction, they must find and use coloured blocks to solve the puzzle and discover the way out of each level.  Q.U.B.E. has drawn comparisons with Portal.. but you can see for yourself by trying out the demo.

Toxic Games is a UK-based independent games developer; Q.U.B.E. started out as a part of the developers’ student project in 2009.

Q.U.B.E. is also the first Indie Fund game to be released!    Indie Fund is an investment fund backed by a team of successful indie developers, providing the investment new indies need to help cover ongoing costs and get their game finished.  Other games being backed are Steph Thirion’s Faraway, Robert Briscoe‘s re-imagination of Dan Pinchbeck‘s Dear Esther, and Pocketwatch GamesMONACO.

Seeking Potatoes – Defense Grid and Killing Floor

Defense Grid: The Awakening has a “Portal” Level.. the Aperture Science Center for Human Annihilation Studies!  With two different core locations, this was a rather hard level.. the aliens very quickly took all the cores from my first base, then swarmed the second with a flood of tiny aliens which I was unable to stop.

My second attempt failed as I was beaten by the Crasher alien on the last wave..  in the end I took a friend’s advice and sold the towers which only overlooked the first, dead, run, so I could afford upgrades for the towers on the flat area.

After beating this level, I joined the guys for some Killing Floor.

We were killed off quickly in our first attempts, and I felt like I wasn’t helping at all, having not checked it out on single-player first.  Areas out in the open seemed the worst, with zombies coming from anywhere, though in the enclosed areas they had the cover of darkness.

I started out with the Commando class, as it was recommended as the easiest all-rounder, but noticed that I was filling the xp bar for the Sharpshooter class mostly, so switched class.  We turned the difficulty down, in the belief that the difficulty scales with the number of people playing, and after that things were a lot better.

As this is part of the Potato Sack Pack it has a slight modification adding GLaDOS to the game as the trader, with a few choice comments here and there 🙂

My first visits to the shop were a hurried glance at the screen before the timer ran out, so it took a few visits before I’d seen enough of the interface to know what I was doing and to start trying out new weapons.  I should possibly be banned from the grenade launchers in this game as I managed to blow myself up twice..  I also tried out the crossbow.. I loved it when the enemies were at range, but once the zombies were in the room with me it was just too slow.

It was fast enough to take out the Patriarch in the second of our full games though.. very lucky as I was the last alive and had only 3 health! 🙂

Chime

The boss had a nice game recommendation for me this week: Chime, which he referred to as a cross between Tetris and Lumines.. something I’ve not played, but which a friend described as “crack for the PSP”.

The game involves placing puzzle pieces on a grid to form quad shapes, but it’s set to music which actually changes a little as you fill up the grid.

There’s a rather cheesy achievement too: Fairy Godmother, earned for simply starting up the game.  Chime was developed by Zoë Mode for a charity called OneBigGame, which raises funds for childrens’ charities.. so I guess I have done something good by buying the game 😉

With the boss watching my first attempt, I didn’t bother to read the instructions and just jumped in.   It’s very easy to pick up, but on the first try I didn’t get a great score as it turns out to be a little more complicated than just slotting blocks in together..

Once you’ve made the required quad shape, you can add more blocks to the side to make it grow.. this also increases your multiplier.  Stray blocks disappear from the grid over time, though, and when they disappear they take away your multiplier!  It’s rather addictive, and there are scoreboards, so it could well get a little competitive too..

Tonight, with the internet finally up and running here, I’ve been able to get some more time in and have unlocked all six tracks, including the awesome final track: ‘Still Alive’! 🙂

It seems from the developers’ blog that this last track and grid were created for the move to PC.. and initially they were trying to make the grid represent something from Portal!  This made for too-difficult levels though, so it ended up as above.

On the subject of Portal.. I just saw the co-op trailer for Portal 2 this evening.. Ohhh yes <3

Free Portal!

Steam is now available on the Mac – and for the next few weeks, are planning on releasing a new set of games which will run on the Mac.

Along with this update, they’ve also announced that Portal is free until the 24th of May, on both PC and Mac.

Portal is awesome – so if you’ve not already got the game – go and get it now.