This open-ended world just got its first scripted story game. Photo: Mojang
Grab your diamond pickaxe and get ready to delve once more into massively successful indie-hit Minecraft, only this time, it’ll be within an episodic, story-based game from Telltale Games, purveyor of such fine episodic video game content as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Game of Thrones.
Titled Minecraft: Story mode, the game will launch on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox and PlayStation in 2015 and will release episodically, with new characters and typical Minecraft themes, which we assume will be “mining,” and “crafting,” two major components of the in-game world.
Un-save the princess and un-battle the epic boss in Spoiler Alert. Photo: Tiny Build Games
You’ve collected all the coins, you’ve beaten all the enemies, and you’ve finally gotten to the right castle and saved the princess.
Now, in order to avoid a nasty time paradox, you’ll have to do it all again. In reverse.
Spoiler Alert, from developer MegaFuzz and publisher tinyBuild Games, is the first platforming game you’ll play backwards, un-collecting every coin and un-killing every monster to make it back to the beginning. This is the first time the game is on iOS, as well.
Check out the trailer below for a quick taste of gameplay.
Penguins love iPad apps too. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
We all know that cats love playing with iPads. It turns out they’re not the only ones: the penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California love playing with iPads so much it can help them get pregnant.
One of the most cerebral Mac games is now on iPad. Photo: Lucas Pope
As promised — and after a tiny storm of controversy over Apple’s initial rejection of the app over so-called pornographic content — the award-winning dystopian document thriller Papers, Please is now available for iOS.
In a very strong year for iOS games, inventive platformer Leo’s Fortune was one of my undisputed favorites — a game that Cult of Mac described in its review as “one of the most beautiful iOS games” we’d seen in ages.
Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions
Classic adventure game Grim Fandango is getting a brand new coat of paint, with a newly restored version of the noir/Day of the Dead mashup coming to Mac and other gaming platforms in January.
The game will have all-new advanced lighting effects, high-resolution textures, and remastered audio for today’s high-end gaming devices. It wall also have all the charm and cleverness of Tim Schafer, the designer who created many other classics of the genre first at LucasArts, and later at his own company, DoubleFine Productions.
Grim Fandango is one of the more influential games of the late 1990s, with 3D environments and a high quality level of writing and plotting that is rarely seen in video games. This new version will bring the legendary title to a whole new generation of gamers, letting them experience the genius alongside those who just want to re-live the joy of the original game on a machine that they currently own.
Pretty good likeness, don’t you think? Photo: Telltale Games
In George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series, anyone can play the Game of Thrones, including little-known House Forrester.
Telltale Games, the house behind video gaming hits like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead, have brought this more obscure Westeros family to the forefront of a brand-new game set in Martin’s Game of Thrones universe, and it looks delightfully dramatic.
Check out the trailer below, which includes some fine voicework from Natalie Dormer and Peter Dinklage as their respective characters from the show, wily Margaery Tyrell and diminutive Tyrion Lannister.
You really need to download Vainglory and get your fingers into battle. Photo: Superevil Megacorp
Chances are, the first time you try your hand at Vainglory you’ll get ganked almost immediately by a crystal-toting Glaive.
If you’d rather avoid that ignominious end, you’ll want to read our guide to all things Vainglory. It’s loaded with tips and tricks on how to kick ass in this excellent iOS game, an Apple favorite that showcases the awesome fun possible in the multiplayer online battle arena genre.
You’ll find basic and advanced gameplay tips, plus a special top 10 list for every hero in the game, right from the developers themselves.
Not every video game that ties into a blockbuster movie has to be crap, destined to fill the bargain bins of your local electronics store. There are a surprising number of quality titles based on movies that belie the rather common conception of movie video games as fodder for kids and bargain hunters alike.
As we wait for Jurassic World to end up on the silver screen (with an appropriately awful tie-in video game likely to surface), here’s a list of the good ones: ten of the best film-based video game spin offs from the last couple of decades.
This delightfully colorful video game had kids throwing apples and leaping across dangerous bazaar stalls to re-enact some of the crazy scenes from the Disney animated movie of the same name. The title blended some Prince of Persia gameplay with the easy-on-the-eyes color palette of the Disney hit to create a very playable video game experience.
Spider-Man 2 (2004 - Playstation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
Here's one of the only video game adaptations of Marvel’s web-slinger that actually captures the true joy of swinging from rooftop to rooftop in New York. Sure, the side missions are a bit repetitive, and it took some grinding to get to new story chapters, but this Activision title is worth seeking out just for the city roaming alone.
This game was less tie-in and more franchise-based, but it surely brought the braininess of the original story — full of political and social intrigue — to the forefront, rather than sticking with David Lynch’s weird adaptation for the silver screen. You get to build the army of one of the three houses from Herbert’s sci-fi epic, and then command and conquer the rest of desert planet Arrakis.
Perhaps the only Bond game worth noting, GoldenEye holds a special place in every gamer's heart from the era. While the graphics are dated beyond belief at this point, GoldenEye might be that one game that introduced everyone to the idea of multiplayer death matches in style.
Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (2005 - PlayStation 2, Xbox 360)
Strangely compelling, this pixel-based spin-off from the celluloid film of the same name had bargain-bin written all over it. Until you played the game and realized that it was a challenging, well-conceived romp through the jungles where a giant ape can fight a big old T-Rex. Hats off to Ubisoft for making something good out of something that could have been absolutely awful and still have sold some copies.
Sure, this is mainly a kids’ game, but being able to beat up other martial arts animals while controlling a giant panda is one of the great joys in life. The animation is fantastic, as should any video game based on a Dreamworks animated feature, and the difficulty curve ramps up nicely as you progress through the game. It’s a fantastic time with younger nieces or nephews who really shouldn’t watch you own noobs in Call of Duty.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007 - PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Also available on Mac and Windows, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga launched an entire series of games that took the concept of toy bricks re-enacting entire genre movies to a whole new level. You'll thrill and laugh as you guide all your favorite Star Wars characters from all six films through their respective storylines, with a large does of humor thrown in for good measure.
Just because it's a kids game doesn't make Virgin Interactive's The Lion King any less compelling, especially when it came out in the early ‘90s. You’ll get to leap, run, dash, roar, and attack Simba’s enemies at each stage of this fun game on the Sega Genesis or Super NES. This one came out at the height of the 16-bit revolution and just hows off the fun to be had with a simple side-scroller themed with the hit movie’s lions.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004 - Xbox, Windows)
I have to be honest: the movie this game is based on is one of the two films I've ever walked out on in my life. I just hated it when I saw it in the theater. Imagine my surprise, then, when the reviews of the game came out that said what a masterpiece it was. Vivendi Games somehow created a stealth-based video game (with Vin Diesel's help, we hear) that transcended its own source material. Hooray!
While Disney's movie Tron doesn't quite hold up these days, what with its rudimentary green screen and awkwardly tight LED unitards, the video game still holds a special charm for those of us who remember how cool it was to launch our light bikes across the master computer grid while feeding quarter after quarter into the hungry machines at the local arcade. It's like the movie was made to be a video game, or something.
Awwww, yiss! New MMO mode for Goat Simulator is free to current Steam owners. Photo: Goat Simulator
What’s better than goats? Goats you can control in a weird physics-simulator, of course.
What’s better than that? A full-on massively multiplayer online version of the goat sim. Duh.
The hilarious developers at Coffee Stain Studios (Sanctum, Sanctum 2) just offered up a free patch to all current owners (via Steam, not iOS) of the game, turning a wacky game jam cult hit into an MMO with various classes, like the Tank, or Magician.
Shit just goat serious, guys. Check out the sweet trailer below.