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Have You Played? >is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.>
Prison Architect delivers all the satisfaction of a traditional Bullfrog-style management game. You place walls, lay pipes and wires, and soon slip into a zen state familiar to anyone who played Theme Park. What makes the game special is the simulation of the game’s people, which reminds you over and over that you’re not building Disneyland. (more…)
As you may already have spotted, Theme Hospital joins the legions of 90s PC games being blessed with 21st century spiritual sequels. The Sega-published Two Point Hospital is the first game from Two Point Studios, the new endeavour from Bullfrog and Lionhead alumni Gary Carr and Mark Webley, Their plan, ultimately, is to follow-up Hospital with a clutch of other theme/sim/management games set in the same world – picking up, perhaps, where the Peter Molyneux-founded Bullfrog left off when EA closed them down.
I chatted to Carr, Webley and Two Point technical director Ben Hymers (himself an ex-Lionheader) about why they’re returning to Theme Hospital, why now, the importance of humour to it, what’s the same and what’s different, how the audience has changed since 1997, how they’ve been inspired by Prison Architect, Planet Coaster and Twin Peaks, and their plans for that world of sim games. (more…)
The Simpsons, Aardman Animations, Twin Peaks, Prison Architect and, quite naturally, Theme Hospital – these are the major inspirations behind Two Point Hospital, an upcoming sim/management game from some of the folk responsible for Bullfrog’s Theme glory years. Two Point Hospital, a combination of management and comedy in a fantasy healthcare centre, is due for release – via publishers Sega – later this year, and the first trailer is below. I also had a big chat with lead devs and Bullfrog/Lionhead veterans Gary Carr and Mark Webley about the game over here. (more…)
A beautiful and novel game suffering from something of an identity crisis, Scanner Sombre [official site] is the latest from Introversion Software, making a play for artfulness after a few years of successfully popularising themselves with Prison Architect. But though Scanner’s central conceit – using a laser scanner to ‘paint’ dot-array colours and shape onto your pitch black, subterranean surroundings – is gloriously atmospheric, it lacks the lightness of touch needed to achieve the emotional clout it so clearly wants to have. … [visit site to read more]
The top-down shanking simulator Prison Architect [official site] has received an update that introduces needs for the prison’s staff, including the desire to go for a whizz, eat food in the canteen and the need to feel safe while working. The game was supposed to be fully cooked, or at least that’s what developers Introversion said in August with their 2.0 “final” update, saying that it wouldn’t be getting any more features. But they’ve gone back on their word, the dogs>, saying that this feature has been “something that has been niggling away in the back of our minds”. … [visit site to read more]
An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now brought up to date with the riches of the last two years. From intricate wargames to soothing peacegames, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.
In case you’ve not picked up on all the hints: Devil Daggers [official site] is my favourite new game of 2016, and I’d say the best-looking game in yonks too. Devil Daggers is Geometry Wars thrown against a satanic altar in a darkened room made of Quake [see me -metaphors ed.]>. I do recognise a leaderboard-climbing first-person shooter in skull-filled satanarena is a hard sell for some so here, look, it’s in the latest pay-what-you-want Humble Bundle along with Prison Architect and more games. Maybe that makes it cheap enough for you to give it a try?
Cos this stuff comes up in comments most every time I run one of these: these charts depict the top ten best-selling games on Steam as accumulated over the week leading up to Sunday just gone. They are not what are the top ten best-selling games at this moment in time, as seen on the front-page of Steam and which are invariably a little different. They come from this here Valve RSS feed. If there is any massaging of figures or weighing of e.g. revenue earned vs copies sold then I do not know of it, but neither can I say for certain that there is not. This is, however, pretty much all that Steam ever lets slip about what’s going on, though you can look to the guesstimates on Steam Spy if you want to try and drill down further into actual figures.
So: Steam’s ten biggest games last week. Well, nine and a half. Deus Ex has been dethroned already.
Cell-building sim Prison Architect [official site] has received its last update and the creators are taking a break before they come back to work on their next game, cave explorer Scanner Sombre. They ll still be doing the odd patch and providing bug support, they say, but this is the last batch of content to be added, resulting in version 2.0. And it s a bit of an old-fashioned addition, because it adds the ability to use cheats.
Prison Architect [official site] technically left early access ten months ago but developers Introversion Software have kept updating their build-o-management game as before. Now they’re finally almost done. After the upcoming release of version 2.0, Introversion plan to call it a day and – aside from fixing bugs which pop up – focus on new things like their pretty cave-scanning game. V2.0 will properly launch next month but you can try a preview version today if you fancy playing with tricky events like food poisoning and mass tunnelling.