Hand of Fate, a dungeon crawler with roguelike and beat-em-up elements by Defiant Development, is hitting a full release today for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game had a successful kickstarter back in 2013, where it raised $54,000. It has also been on Steam Early Access since July of last year.

Hand of Fate sees you play a magical card game against a mysterious, hooded figure. It features deckbuilding, random events akin to FTL: Faster than Light, and a 3D combat system a lot like the Batman: Arkham games. By progressing through many dungeons, and playing many games against the dealer, you can gain new weapons, equipment and events to mix things up later down the line.

When I played it back in early access, I found the mix of genres incredibly interesting, even if the game felt repetitive after a while. However, it also definitely seems like a perfect candidate for consoles, as it played much smoother for me using a gamepad.

Hand of Fate is definitely a game worth at least looking in to. If it seems like something you may be interested in, you can pick it up on Steam for $20 during the launch sale, and $25 afterwards.

Joe Parlock


The Long Dark

The Long Dark gets Steam update 

It’s been quite a long while since I’ve played The Long Dark. When I played it upon release way back in September 2014 it was a fun and nuanced survival simulator, but really lacked the features and depth to be a worth playing for very long. After looking at the fresh batch of updates, I’m inclined to revisit the game.

Developer Hinterlands Games detailed much of the new content in a recent announcement on their steam community page and I’m intrigued enough to pick up the game and play it again. The fresh update adds Pleasant Valley, which stretches about 10 square kilometers in the game world and features varied terrain to try and survive in.

To put it in perspective, the new region is takes up about half the 20 total kilometers of playable space. That means the other two regions combined (Mystery Lake and Coastal Highway) are half the size of pleasant Valley.

Other notable additions to the game include new mystery wildlife, harvestable plants, the ability to brandish torches and updates to the UI and the AI of wildlife. If you haven’t checked out The Long Dark yet, it may be worth you time to check it out on Steam Early Access for $19.99.

— Jose San Mateo



Mekazoo Coming to all NextGen platforms

When I first came across Mekazoo, my first thought was Sonic The Hedgehog. It’s got the kind of kinetic gameplay that is infectious along with a visual style to match. The game is slated for release in late 2015 on just about every major platform available (PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U)  and if the videos are any indication, this is an indie title to keep track of.

There are five different “Mekanimals” to play: an armadillo, frog, wallaby, panda and a pelican. Each have their own set of skills and can be combined with others for combos. I have to say,

It does look like loads of fun to see the Kangaroo bounce off walls to avoid razor blades punching out from the walls or the Frog swinging about by its tongue in a world that is colorful and dynamic.

Mekazoo is the work of Seattle-based Indie Studios Good Mood Creators. They are a studio made up of a collection of former students at DigiPen and are dedicated to making games that are suitable for both children and adults. .

— Jose San Mateo


UnderWorldAscentUnderworld Ascendant

Underworld Ascendant is another one of those ‘sequels’ to a classic series (in this case Ultima) that’s functionally identical to its precursors, but coyly sidesteps branding issues by choosing a tangentially related name or similar visuals (A la Shroud of the Avatar and The Mighty Number 9.)

Underworld Ascendant, a fantasy dungeon crawler RPG, is more than halfway to its $600,000 Kickstarter goal. The campaign ends on March 6. With two weeks and some change to go, developers OtherSide Entertainment decided to sweeten the deal. If the project gathers more than 8000 backers before noon of Feb. 15, everyone who pledges $5 or more will get a set of dwarven claw knuckles. And for every 500 backers exceeding 8000, the claws will be bedazzled with more and more Blue Opals!

The developers’ pedigree is laudable – being some of the original creators of Ultima – but there isn’t much here to excite someone not already familiar with the series. Furthermore, it’s a little misleading to name drop games like Bioshock and Skyrim, and say your series ‘inspired’ them. Maybe it did, but that’s like showing us a stick and a rock and saying: ‘Behold, the inspiration for baseball.’

— Matt Frymire


SavageLandsSavage Lands on Early Access 

What would happen if DayZ was more like Skyrim? Savage Lands hopes to answer that question by creating an open world survival game with first person melee combat. Death is permanent and anything, including other players, can kill you. Savage Lands looks like an interesting game if you haven’t had your fill of survival simulators by now.

— Bryan Rumsey

  • Swords and sandals fantasy games would certainly benefit from focusing more on Oregon Trail like survival than combat with monsters, but I worry that would be done at the expense of complicating the interface, which is already about 5x more complicated than it has any right to be for most games.