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Steve Haske


Featured articles

FeatureAztez is a beat 'em-up with a twist

Black and white and red all over.

FeatureSamurai Gunn is another PS4 indie to get excited about

Kurosawa and pixel-art meet in a duel to the death.

FeatureWhat happens when Spark, Team Ninja and Keiji Inafune collide?

Yaiba's development trio boast a shaky track record, but they're combining to make an outlandish, over-the-top slasher.

FeatureSex, death and bright colours: Exploring the strange world of Suda 51's Killer is Dead

"Maybe sexuality in games shouldn't be as big a taboo, but at the same time I live in a country where sexuality is pretty crazy."

FeatureFrom the writer behind FTL comes The Swapper, a philosophical platformer

Channelling the spirit of '70s sci-fi, Facepalm Games explore the ethics of cloning.

The Swapper's a cold, strange game. As it starts, low key lighting sets the mood in a series of deliberately-paced rotational shots: a small planet orbits an incandescent star; a space station orbits overhead, bathed in a melancholy blue; an escape pod launches, fleeing dangers unknown. The whole scene only lasts a minute and a half from fade-in to lunar landing, but the languid pace hearkens to the internalized mode of sci-fi films like Moon or Solaris, brooding and mesmerisingly obscure.

FeatureGears of War: Judgment Preview: Shifting up the Gears

Judgment's free-for-all reflects the title's broader freeform intensity.

Gears of War is no longer just a game about killing monsters - in the multiplayer space, anyway. Showing off a new free-for-all deathmatch mode for the upcoming series prequel Gears of War: Judgment, Epic's showcase at PAX Prime 2012 gave a glimpse into a seemingly alternate future that once was a franchise impossibility: COG killing COG.

FeatureRetrospective: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Does a bear drive in the woods?

The roots of my appreciation for Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts began long before Rare had created either bear or bird in an inauspicious-yet-somehow-none-too-surprising fashion that outwardly has nothing to do with video games.

Gauge is so simple you may think you're missing something at first, and the supreme confidence it projects in its minimalism only furthers the confusion. From high up in its ivory tower, it is laughing at you. It is playing mind games. Can you control the gauge? It seems easy enough.

If Treasure ever make an iOS game, it's likely to resemble Project 83113. The intense action is reminiscent of a fast-paced Gunstar Heroes or Silhouette Mirage (minus the sugary acid trip), while the amount of on-screen chaos reminds me of Bangai-O.

Mini Mix Mayhem's tutorial seems daunting. "This is part one," you could imagine it cheerfully telling you, maybe in Siri's voice. But it would be a ruse. In reality the game only explains the basic rules of each microgame, presented on a four-by-four grid.

There's a particularly perverse pastime that makes up one of the cornerstones of Slingshot Racing. Drivers are pitted against the Chomper, a merciless racetrack-bound compacter on wheels that eats any vehicle unlucky enough to cross its path. The rules in Chomper races are simple: be the last car standing and you won't be pulverized to a heap of twisted metal. Screw up on a turn or fail to hit a speed boost and you probably won't be so lucky.

App of the Day: Air Mail

Special delivery.

Do the skies really need a postal service? The denizens of Air Mail's towns do not, as a general rule, occupy the world's upper atmosphere. The number of times you're actually delivering packages is minimal, and you don't get much of a taste for actual floating cities until the game is nearly finished. But I guess the more accurate title "Air Errand-Boy-turned-rebel-pilot" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Game of Thrones Review

Questionable tactics.

This is an import review of the North American edition of Game of Thrones, published by Atlus USA and available now. The European version, published by Focus, will be released next week on 8th June. To our knowledge this review is accurate with respect to both versions.

App of the Day: Rocket Fox

Fantastic missile fox.

Most of us have had that jumping dream. You probably know the one. You're on the move, leaping into the air and watching the scenery rapidly approaching as you push through the open atmosphere, every subsequent jump a little higher, effortlessly bounding hundreds, then thousands of feet above ground. When you breach the stratosphere, it's almost as if time nearly stops for a moment at the apex: just before gravity furiously takes hold to commence re-entry.

There was a time I frequented a particular dive I'll call "X" that was well known as a destination to drunkenly meet and possibly hook up with the opposite sex. It was a scummy little hole in the wall that, in reputation anyway, provided asylum for wayward hipster types from the rampant club-bros and their arm candy that populated pretty much every other square inch of the neighbourhood.

When you hear the word "safari" you probably get pretty distinct mental images: the savannah, lions and elephants, straw yellow and burnt earth. But this is not what Brisbane-based Defiant Development had in mind, at least if Ski Safari is any indication.

The human immune system is one mad marvel. It monitors our physical well-being through a series of rigid precautionary and at-the-ready defence systems. It's governed by an army of cellular bodies carrying out their respective duties, in order to repel invasion from hostile viral and bacterial agents.

Let's talk about social networking and driving. Chances are if you've got wheels and a smartphone it's likely you've been tempted. When bored and caught in traffic or waiting for a signal change there's no harm in a quickie status update or tweet, right? Even if you don't have a vehicle you probably know someone that does, and I'm pretty sure they're guilty. Despite the potential risks of such a silly thing to do, I know I've certainly been there.

Few people I know have anything nice to say about Kane & Lynch. No one I've personally talked to about it has had anything particularly noteworthy to say - most of the time general chatter among gamers isn't exactly on par with Shakespeare - but the gist is that the series is bland, full of clichéd characters and generic cover-based gameplay.

Until five or six years ago, I had never heard of Parkour. My sister, a professional in the field of athletic strength and conditioning, first described it to me as something of a balletic aerobic sport with all the complexity and conditioning of a martial art -one used for clambering up the side of a building in seconds, or clearing two-story jumps without any messy bone breaking.