Jul 30, 2012
Product Update - Valve
• Added "Ambient Mode" to Audio Settings. Once enabled all game sounds become musical instruments. Turn down the music and voice volume for maximum effect.
• This update will cause your graphics settings to reset to defaults.
Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 50% off Waves!

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

When I retire, I'm going to train become the world's greatest shmup player. Or maybe grow some vegetables.

I’ve not put anywhere near as much time as I’d have liked into Rob ‘Squid in a Box’ Hale’s graceful-but-frantic twin-stick shooter Waves, which has built up quite a following in recent weeks – as well as snagging the coveted RPS ‘best use of the Unreal engine’ award at Indievisibility the other week. I did, however, discover the other day that it runs rather well on my laptop’s integrated Intel graphics thinger, so I expect to spend a fair bit of time shooting shapes while hiding in the bathroom from my girlfriend’s extended family over Christmas. (That’s ‘shooting shapes’, not ‘shooting up’, heroin fans).

It’s just had a healthy free update, adding a sixth mode known as Chase, known variously as ‘the hardest mode yet’ and ‘the speed metal of shmups’, so masochistic nutters will be delighted. (more…)

Dec 21, 2011
Product Update - Valve
• Fixed Chase Leaderboard not downloading scores. This will reset your local score data but not affect your online scores.
Dec 21, 2011
Product Update - Valve
New Content
• New "Chase" Game mode added
• 28 New Steam Achievements
• Fixed the highscore display showing scores that are below your current highscore either locally or amongst your friends list.
Nov 28, 2011
Product Update - Valve
Control Updates
Fixed not being able to fire with right thumbstick at very high framerates.
Nov 23, 2011
Product Update - Valve
Fix for Killing Spree, Unstoppable and Godlike only unlocking on exactly 100, 200 and 300 times combos. Achievements will unlock on game start-up if you were owed them.

Video Settings
Added a Half Resolution mode.
Half Res Mode defaults to off.
Increased framerate limit to allow people with 120Hz monitors to take full advantage.
Nov 21, 2011
Product Update - Valve

Fixed progress towards Hard Boiled and Thug achievements not being saved correctly.
Nov 21, 2011
Product Update - Valve
Can now disable the slowmo effect on music.

Potential fix for challenges not completing. If this still happens please post in the forums.

Fixed Tutorial Messages not clipping correctly at resolutions other than 1280x720
Page Up and Page Down on the Leaderboards screen works correctly when filtered by Player Score
Aim Line doesn't appear until Player is allowed to move
Aim Line no longer appears when not shooting and using a control pad
Added option to choose a Random announcer voice at the start of each game
Fixed a typo in the Challenge description
Fixed Friend Leaderboard result sorting sometimes clipping the results incorrectly
Added HUD Settings
Added HUD Opacity Setting
Added HUD Aim LIne Toggle
Added HUD Player Ring Opacity Setting
Added extra resolutions to Video settings

Will no longer play two music tracks if you abandon a game immediately after starting it

Fixed restarting in Rush bringing up a game over screen

Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented a player getting the Kill 1000 achievement - This should correct itself after you finish a game and reward the achievement if you should have it already

Added ability for direcitonal Firing with keys


I don't know if it's the bite-sized gameplay, the escalating challenge, the flashing lights, or the pulsing soundtrack from electronica artist Smiletron, but Waves is the most addictive little twin-stick shooter I've played since Geometry Wars.

Created by Robert Hale of Squid in a Box Ltd. and now available on Steam for a mere $8.49, Waves is a simple and stylish twin-stick shooter that has been devouring my life two minutes at a time since its release.

The gameplay is relatively simple. You navigate a pulsing hexagonal field as waves of enemies spawn and converge on your circular ship, possibly upset over your lack of defined points. As you battle you gain levels, increasing the score multiplier and generating increasingly frantic batches of enemies. Generate a big enough combo and you'll earn a bomb, good for wiping out large chunks of evil angles all at once. As you kill enemies you'll also fill up your slow motion gauge. Kicking things into slow motion depletes this gauge, but gives you double points for every kill made.

The key to scoring big is managing your bombs and slow motion. Generate a bomb, make sure your slo-mo gauge is filled, and let loose, racking up ridiculous amounts of points in no time flat.

Wave's game modes make it the perfect title for a quick round of play between posts. Crunch Time in particular is lovely, giving you two minutes to drive up the multiplier and make a name for yourself on the leaderboards. Rush gives you two minutes to play but extends the timer with each level up (I've made it over five minutes!); Survival is self-explanatory; and Bombing Run takes away your guns and turns the game into an explosive round of tag.

And then there's the soundtrack, an eclectic selection of tracks from electronic music artist Smiletron that will have your heart racing and your desk shaking. Head to his website now and download every free track he's release. Then rub them all over yourself.

After spending the past few weeks playing expansive epics like Skyrim and the Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Waves is just what I needed to wind down. Hit up Steam and give the free demo a try right now.

Waves [Steam]

You can contact Michael Fahey, the author of this post, at fahey@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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