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Survive Mars? It took me the best part of a day to decide where to land. And with good reason: there's a lot of stuff to think about from the very off here in this wonderfully detailed planet colonisation sim. I'm not sure that on my most recent attempt at surviving Mars - spoiler: I didn't - I was any quicker at finding a parking spot than I was on my initial outing.

There's a sort of voodoo pelican guy in Flinthook - I think it's voodoo, and I think it's a pelican. Anyway, this guy lobs flaming red skulls at you whenever you meet, and those skulls! Oh my! Those skulls are just the loveliest things. They're like the skulls in Towerfall: 2D art and animation of sufficiently magical quality to convince the mind that you're actually looking at a 3D asset as it spins towards you. I could get hit and killed by those flaming red skulls all day. Just as I could be killed by the insouciant guy who throws blades at you, spreading blades that fly from the hands of an insouciant guy whose very demeanor allows the pixel art to convey with real certainty that this character is definitely French. A French knife-thrower in space, a voodoo pelican with an endless supply of skulls. Flinthook is special.

You hear them before you see them - the awful croaking of the flap-handed poison frogs, the cosmic rattling death-baa of a squat and villainous ram. It's a tiny detail, but it brings so much to proceedings: when you enter a new chamber, seconds after you find yourself locked inside again, a game about shooting is briefly, regularly, a game about listening. What's coming next? Oh god, it's frogs! Luckily, I have exactly the right tool for dealing with frogs.

Mario is a simple guy. He wears overalls and a spiffy cap. He's got a brother and a couple of close friends. He can run fast and jump high. In his various quests to save princess Peach, he makes use of all of these attributes and relationships, yet none of them tell us anything about who Mario really is.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance tips - a guide to surviving Medieval Bohemia

A collection of guides and our various Kingdom Come: Deliverance tips.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a bit of an oddity, in a lot of ways. Its systems are unusual and sometimes unclear, and its gameplay is built around them in a way that lends itself to the idea of realism and replicating the sensation of doing things for yourself.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance console commands list - how to use console commands to add crosshairs, turn off the HUD and more

All the Kingdom Come: Deliverance console commands listed, and how to use them.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance console commands are a nice and handy - if a little old school - means of making your experience slightly more to your liking, whether that's by turning on crosshairs to help shoot your bow or turning off the HUD to help grab some lovely screenshots.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance horse riding - how to get a horse, find horse armour, and buy a horse explained

All the info you need on horses and horse armour in Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

In Kingdom Come: Deliverance horse riding and horses are one of the most important aspects to master, with horses the primary means of long-distance transport - outside of fast travel that is - and likewise a helpful way to avoid or gain advantage in combat, and even expand your inventory.

The 4X game is the Sunday papers genre: you spread out, prepare yourself for the long, luxurious haul, and tackle this glorious unwieldy thing, thick with features wanted and unwanted and packed with colour and far-flung intrigue. Your favourite part in it will be some aspect you were not expecting, and yet the whole thing is wonderfully awash with calming familiarity. I am still surprised that the new Civ does not drop a leaflet for life insurance when you pick it up and shake it.

The noise of flies fills your ears as you step down from the highway in search of shade. The body of a great white bull lies sprawled in the dirt among bits of rope and broken board, his hide blazing in the sunlight. You approach, covering your mouth, and recoil. The bull's chest - it's not maggoty flesh but beaten metal, held together by rivets the width of your thumb. Through tears in the beast's flank you see swarms of tiny brass pistons, shooting back and forth in a blur. The bull raises his head abruptly to regard you. Then he clambers to his feet, creaking like a furnace, and ambles back onto the road. The buzzing rises to a peak. When the air clears, the animal is gone.

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