Clippings – 21 July 2013

Hi everyone! Since I’ve recently started a regular (non-gaming) link roundup at my other site, I thought I’d do something similar here — every week, I’m going to post a roundup (like the one below) of news, links, and thoughts that don’t warrant their own blog post. Here goes:

Games

  1. This is a brilliant take on Steam sales. (hat tip: reader Wolfox)
  2. Speaking of the Steam sale, my haul so far has been modest – a map pack for Civilization V; indie action-puzzler Gunpoint; and Wild West shooter Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. The highlight so far (I’m several levels in) is Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, a game with a unique premise — it is a chronicle of its hero’s adventures as recounted to an audience at a saloon. In other words, it’s in-universe fiction, and everything reinforces that: the art is vibrant and colourful, the music (and the hero’s bullet time ability) are an obvious homage to spaghetti Westerns, and levels will actually change mid-way as the speaker alters or embellishes his story. The actual game mechanics are nothing I’d write home about, but that’s not a huge problem; the atmosphere is the real draw. Here is a more detailed review from Polygon.
  3. Meanwhile, Episode 2 of Back to the Future: The Game is a worthy successor to the very fine Episode 1.
  4. Previewer quill18 is posting Let’s Play videos of Europa Universalis IV on Youtube. I’ve seen four instalments so far (out of five posted), and they’re interesting stuff. He’s playing England, the same country I intend to play for my (text/screenshot) LP, and his strategies are giving me some useful food for thought.
  5. A remastered version of Transport Tycoon is coming to Android/iOS! Owen Faraday of Pocket Tactics has rounded up screenshots, and Gamasutra has an interview with creator Chris Sawyer.
  6. The bad news is, Age of Wonders III has been delayed to the first quarter of 2014. The good news is, there’s now a dev diary on the official site.
  7. There’s an interesting-looking tactical RPG on Kickstarter named Liege, which has a week left to run.
  8. I never got around to posting this link from a few weeks back – the gist is that (a) EA’s chief creative officer estimates there are 25-30 AAA console game teams worldwide, (b) this number is down from 125 seven years ago, but (c) they employ the same total number of staff (i.e. each individual team is 4x larger).
  9. I’m planning to eventually buy a Vita and a 3DS, so this Eurogamer article was encouraging news.

Books

  1. Ben Aaronovitch’s latest urban fantasy novel, Broken Homes, comes out at the end of this month in the UK. (Unfortunately, American readers will have to either wait until next year, or import.) These books are a great read, and I’ve already pre-ordered Broken Homes; look forward to reading it!
  2. After a promising (and entertainingly whimsical) start, I was disappointed by the way Jasper Fforde’s comical fantasy novel The Last Dragonslayer panned out. Oh well.
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