In December, the world was saddened by the loss of Leelah Acorn, a trans teenager who took her own life. In a note posted on her Tumblr, she explained that her parents had pulled her out of school and had forced her to go into conversion therapy because of her gender identity. There was an outpouring of support for trans folk across the world, from those in and out of the LGBTQ community, but two months on and conversion therapy still remains legal in all but two states in America and trans folk are still being mistreated by society. Something desperately needs to change so that no child has to go through what Leelah did and, as she was an avid gamer and had an interest in game design, the trans positive game jam, #JamForLeelah was set up to raise awareness. More on the game jam and its entries after the break.
For a good few months now we’ve been raving about LA Cops. An isometric shooter, LA Cops puts you in the shoes of two ‘shoot first, scarf a row of doughnuts later’ police detectives at a time and gives you a variety of levels to blast your way through.
The selling point here is that you can think strategically about the way in which you deal with the bad guys. Will you, for example, position one detective in a doorway and use the other to lure the bad guys towards them and then turn your foes into strawberry jam? Or will you go in all guns blazing and get turned into a gooey mess yourself? The choice will be yours when LA Cops launches on PC and Xbox One next month.
Released late last year, Iñupiaq puzzle and adventure game Never Alone was one of my favourite games of 2014. Developed and created by the Alaskan Native Iñupiaq people themselves (in partnership with publisher E-Line Media), Never Alone aimed to impart the wisdom and tell us the tales of their culture to us, without pulling us away from our digital doohickeys and our giant game boxes.
Putting players in the shoes of a young Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her artic fox companion named Fox, Never Alone was beautiful, educational and all round pretty flipping brilliant. The only issues I had with the game on PS4 is that there were some (fixable) bugs and glitches that detracted from the experience a bit. The game’s creators have just announced that Never Alone will soon be released on Mac, along with an official soundtrack.
Just about everyone loves dating sim games, which is why there are so many of them. Sadly, most of them are likely to cause offense such as HuniePop (where the busty character designs are less of an occasional irritant and are more like the foundation of the entire game) or are miserably drab or entirely heterosexual.
Thank God that Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is here then as “fabulous drag queen diva” Kitty Powers sets up her own dating agency to rescue an endless number of love lives and to save us from dating sim monotony. The game is also queer friendly, with opposite and same sex couples featured throughout. Watch the debut trailer of Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker after the jump!
Let’s be straight: The Sims 4 at launch was a bit of a mess. There were fancy new ‘emotions’ that affected your Sims’ interactions and offered new ways to kill them (e.g death by laughter) but there were also no swimming pools, no family trees and no toddlers. Pools and family trees have since been added via free updates (sadly, toddlers have yet to toddle into the game) but admittedly, The Sims 4 still doesn’t feel like a massive overhaul from The Sims 3. If you’re on Mac and have yet to experience this for yourself then you’re in luck as the game many are calling ‘reheated leftovers’ is now available on Mac computers.
Right, you’ve heard of Spelunky, haven’t you? In it, you ‘spelunk’ in randomly generated caves and go about hunting for buried treasure, exploring and saving damsels. If that sounds good to you then you’ll most definitely like The Swindle which is a roguelike platformer that its creator Dan Marshall describes as ‘Deus Ex meets Spelunky . In The Swindle you’ll be running and climbing around its procedurally generated levels, darting away from security guards or boffing them on the head as you attempt to steal all the money. Although that premise sounds mighty promising, Dan axed it back in 2011 because it didn’t feel right. Now, it’s back and better than ever and it’s coming to consoles. Find out more about The Swindle after the jump.
Sunset is a promising indie title that will be out soon. Why haven’t we covered it yet? Well there are no excuses for that, really, but with its three main characters all being people of colour it’s right up J Station X’s street. As the next game from award-winning developers Tale of Tales (who won the IGF Nuovo Award for sensual music game Luxuria Superbia) it’s probably right up your street too.
In Sunset we play as Angela Burnes, an American tourist who is stranded in a (fictional) South American city in the early 1970s as the country is conducting revolution against a notorious dictator. Once a week, one hour before sunset, she cleans the house of wealthy, anti-regime thinker Gabriel Ortega. Angela may only clean his house for a short amount of time, but the opportunities she faces could uncover far more than you ever expected. More on Sunset after the break.
We wrote about hack ‘n’ slash RPG Children of Morta a few days ago, when we reported that the next title from developer Dead Mage had successfully reached its Kickstarter goal. Good news, it was, that one of the best looking games to hit the crowdfunding service would be bringing its impressive ways to PC later this year.
Amongst other things, Dead Mage are promising a game that will be much more than your usual hacking, slashing and item crafting game (though it will have all of those things too) as the game’s story centres on a guardian family named The Bergsons. They’re an intriguing bunch in an intriguing title and as the game looks to achieve its stretch goals, we had a chat with Children of Morta‘s Team Lead Amir Fassihi about co-op, permadeath and bringing the game to PS4 and PS Vita.
Are you bored of beating zombies to permadeath yet? Maybe the Dead Island, Dead Rising and Resident Evil games only whet your appetite for more, and you’ve still got a hankering for undead murdering delights. Good news then as developer Bigmoon Interactive Studios and publisher Headup Games (who also published the brilliant RTS Meridian: New World) have just announced Trapped Dead: Lockdown for PC, PS4 and Xbox One and they’re hoping to avoid the ‘just another zombie game’ title by attempting to mix things up.
We’ve been hearing lots of good things from German publisher Daedalic Entertainment as of late. Over the next few months (and into next year too) they’ll be releasing a handful of female fronted games across consoles and PC so there’d be something amiss if we didn’t start covering them. Handily, the publisher recently hosted their annual Daedalic Days event and a released plenty of new screenshots, info and precious, precious gameplay footage of those upcoming titles. That includes the recently announced AER, upcoming console title Silence and mysterious adventure game The Devil’s Men. More on those after the break.