Publisher: ustwogames
Developer: ustwogames
Release:

December 11, 2020
(PC,
iOS), 2021 (Xbox One,
PlayStation 4,
Switch)

Rating: 4+
Reviewed on: PC
Also on:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS

Alba is an adorable young girl who can’t wait to spend a vacation with her grandparents on a scenic Mediterranean island. However, things take a turn for the dastardly when the small town’s mayor partners with a shady building developer to construct a massive resort on the site of a beloved nature preserve. Armed with her trusty smartphone, Alba embarks on an altruistic quest to photograph the island’s wildlife to remind residents of what’s truly at stake and garner enough support to oppose the resort’s development.

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is a wonderfully charming experience from Ustwo Games, the team behind the Monument Valley series. Instead of challenging players with M.C. Escher-style puzzles, it … Read the rest

SuperData has released its 2020 report, and it finds gaming revenue up to 12% year-over-year, with $139.9 billion spent on digital games.

In the SuperData report, it notes that the top 10 premium titles accounted for 34% of total premium market earnings.

Premium console earnings grew 28% year-over-year, with North America accounting for over half (57%) of the premium console market. The report suggests the “significant impact” of COVID-19 on the US resulted in higher console engagement, pushing worldwide revenue upward.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons became one of the biggest hits in 2020, breaking the console record for premium launch downloads, selling 5 million digital units during its March 2020 launch and by the end of the year, it had made Nintendo $654 million.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the highest-earning premium game of 2020, though, and thanks to its hybrid business model including the free-to-play Warzone, player numbers … Read the rest

Hitman 3’s an odd one, though if you’ve been along for the ride thus far you’ll know to expect as much. Just as Hitman 2 wasn’t really a sequel in the traditional video game sense, so too Hitman 3 isn’t so much an excuse to fold in big new features and bold new ideas as it is simply a third season of new murderous playpens to participate in, and what amounts to a conclusion to the World of Assassination story which IO Interactive began with 2016’s reboot. It feels like something of a victory lap, though there aren’t many contemporary series more worthy of their moment of glory than Hitman.

What you’re getting here is a series of fresh theatre sets through which to guide Agent 47, and after a half dozen hours with a handful of levels I’m thinking these might well be the best batch yet. Dubai, which … Read the rest

The extra-terrestrial extravaganza Spacebase Startopia has deployed a surprise beta in Xbox Game Preview. 

Starting today, slip on your oversized space boots and take control of a three-tiered donut-shaped space station, managing the needs of alien visitors and residents across a fully voiced single-player campaign. 

Hire and house a diverse range of E.T.’s to keep your space base up to snuff, and ensure your visitors mention their trip to friends by giving them unique entertainment experiences like visits to cat cafés and all-night parties led by levitating DJs.

Though hilarious to look at, lifeforms aboard Spacebase Startopia also serve a practical purpose – energy. Harness this precious resource to expand your base and make it the #1 hotspot in the galaxy! 

Manage three unique decks: the Sub Deck – your base’s industrial beating heart; the Fun Deck – an area dedicated to ensuring your visitors’ receive a hefty dose of dopamine; and the Bio Deck – the agricultural hub where you can grow vital resources, assisted by the green-thumbed Dryads.

The Bio Deck provides resources for survival and a home to the graceful Dryads.

However, it not all sunspots and cosmic rainbows! Assert yourself against rivals with sly acts of economic sabotage or, if you’re not too fussed about stealth, send mechs to wreak havoc on those challenging your dominion. Oh, and keep all three eyes peeled for space pirates sailing in on the solar winds.

The Sub Deck is necessary for the base’s survival.

Spacebase Startopia features an extensive single-player campaign, amorphic sandbox … Read the rest

Publisher: Cassel Games
Developer: Cassel Games
Release:

December 22, 2020

Reviewed on: PC

The deckbuilding genre, once relegated to the physical tabletop, has seen explosive growth on the indie PC scene in recent years. Now, skilled developers are mixing, mashing, and combining traditional deckbuilding mechanics with other genres. In Ratropolis, Cassel Games successfully integrates card construction with city-building and defense to create a charming strategy mix. The resulting amalgamation is a satisfying soiree of rodents, robots, and giant ducks that keeps you coming back game after game. Your army of adorable mice and machines must restore the glory of the ratropolis! Yes, that’s like a city for mice.

Click here to watch embedded media

The goal is simple: You must survive 30 waves of onslaught as you build up a city. To that end, you select a main commander mouse that dictates what cards are available on each run. Each … Read the rest

Today’s Monster Hunter Rise stream showed off one of the locales in the game, wyvern riding, lots of monsters, and some of the characters you will interact with while in the player hub.

In Monster Hunter Rise, there will be plenty of monsters featured in the icy region called Frost Islands.

You can get a look at these monsters which were shown off in the stream below.

One of the monsters is new and called Goss Harag. It produces blades of ice from its breath. Then there’s the monster Barioth, which is a flying wyvern with spikes, and you will also encounter Khezu, another flying wyvern that lives in dark places such as caves and uses electricity against you.

There’s the fanged beast Lagombi which uses its belly to glide across the snow, the flying wyvern Tigrex which is rather aggressive and deals heavy damage, and finally, there’s the … Read the rest

There’s a kind of vague density to Xbox’s year ahead: The Medium is out on January 28th, and then nothing else, out of the whopping 21 console or timed exclusives that I can count, has an actual solid release date. This, of course, is largely the result of the pandemic. Microsoft’s original plans for the Series X and S’s launch, like everyone’s, have been dramatically impacted, and so what we get is lots of games crammed into the broad window of “2021”, and lots of uncertainty about when exactly they’ll actually arrive, or whether they’ll even make it out this year at all.

None of those have been more publicly affected than Halo Infinite. There is a lingering sense that this is make-or-break for 343 Industries, which has done a decent job of imitating ‘real’ Halo without ever actually feeling real. The studio’s had a long time to focus on … Read the rest

Forge your destiny in the newest Paladins update featuring an all-new Battle Pass inspired by the purifying flames of the Pyre, an extra-worldly plane of existence of the Realm. The Pyre is home to powerful forces of light and radiant forges where mighty weaponry is crafted to combat the forces of chaos. Join its holy denizens to help keep the powers of the Abyss at bay and ensure the glory of the Pyre’s Light prevails!

This latest update features four angelic skins that reimagine fan-favorite champions as entities of the Pyre. Eternal Fervor Jenos fights to preserve the beauty of the Realm while Eternal Retribution Koga takes care of dirty work others would rather wash their hands clean of. Eternal Guardian Khan delivers absolution to worthy adversaries in service of Eternal Conflict Lian, an angel of war that demands dedication and valor from her followers. The Eternal Pyre Battle Pass … Read the rest

Shooter/RPG Outriders has been delayed to April 1, nearly two months after its original February 2 release date. Developer People Can Fly tempered the bad news by announcing that a free demo will be available on February 25 to give eager players a big taste of what’s in store. 

In a message posted on the game’s Twitter account, People Can Fly explains it plans to spend the extra development time “fine tuning the game and focusing on delivering a fantastic play experience at launch.” 

For those bummed out about the wait, the February demo gives players the chance to play Outriders’ opening hours and all four classes (Trickster, Pyromancer, Technomancer, and Devastator) will be available. The demo can be experienced solo or with up to three players in co-op, and your progress and character can be transferred to the full release; the chef’s kiss of Read the rest

Minecraft Earth will be shuttered later this year.

Microsoft’s augmented reality game for Android and iOS, Minecraft Earth, is shutting down on June 30.

According to an official blog post, because of the current global situation, free movement and collaborative play, the hallmarks of the game, have become “near impossible.”

“As a result, we have made the difficult decision to re-allocate our resources to other areas that provide value to the Minecraft community and to end support for Minecraft Earth in June 2021,” reads the post.

As a last hurrah, one final build of the game has been released. It contains some changes which will allow you to stay safe indoors while still being able to craft, and build.

This includes removing real-money transactions, reducing ruby costs, and the release of all completed and unreleased content currently in the pipeline. You can also expect reduced time requirements for … Read the rest