GOG 1000+ digital games achievement and Bundle Tower

GOG celebrates its 1000th game release on the digital platform by building a tower full of discounts.

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Maybe compared the Steam library, 1000 titles doesn’t sound like much, but considering these are all DRM-free and GOG has been very busy lately to revive old classics and have digital exclusives, it’s fair to say that this is an achievement worth writing about.

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Coinciding with this news, GOG offers various bundles each day which are added to previous ones until the tower of discounts is complete and the offers are over, namely Sunday, April 19, at 12:59 PM GMT.

These game bundles have already been revealed:
Hasbro RPG Classics
Divinity Trilogy
Lucasfilm adventures
Broken Sword Saga
Wacky Indies
Indie Platformers
SHMUP Attack Pack
S#&%, My Pants!
History Lessons
Pack of War
Geeks ‘R’ Us
Nerd Central
Headscratchers
Brick-by-Brick
Spatial Awareness
Cyberpunk Pack
Mount & Blade Pack
Gothic Trilogy

If you want some suggestions, you can’t go wrong with the Lucasfilm classics, (most of) the Broken Sword games or the survival horror stuff :). The Lego games are also a nice choice with accessible gameplay and great humor. Deus Ex is without a doubt a classic to be played as well, while the first Gothic is also great. If you want some more humor in your sci-fi RPG, then Anachronox is the way to go. Maybe the weather’s getting nicer to stay indoors and play these titles, but with these prices, the tower sure won’t fall anytime soon.

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Game release: “Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space” (PC)

Maybe it’s old news, because Z4g0‘s/Ivan Venturi Productions’ Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space was released almost a week ago, but with Headup Games bringing a retail box with some goodies on the store shelves after Merge Games did it for the UK, it’s still time enough to give this game a quick preview.

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The reason why Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space should deserve some more coverage and attention is that it’s an indie title made by just one man and inspired by 60s pulp sci-fi movies, telling the story of a night-watchman at a secret research facility he has to escape from. It does not only look great, but there’s some genuinely innovative gameplay in there as well, while the creature design and overall campy feel should also be taken note of.

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Combining first-person adventure and FPS mechanics, this is certainly a game trying to stick out from the crowd of indie games. In how far this can compete with other survival horror titles or creepy first-person adventures remains to be seen, but at least doing something different is recommendable, and not treading that click-multiple-times-to-move-forward-backwards control scheme ground but opting for real-time movement is welcome.

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Waiting to write this news also had the benefit to talk about Headup Games‘ upcoming retail box release. It will be in German stores on April 23, 2015 and include the soundtrack, screenshots, avatars, wallpapers, concept drawings, a 28-page digital developer’s diary, a walkthrough, two previous games of the developer (Longy2D and Longy3D), a sticker, and a poster. For just 19,99 EUR, this is a bargain if ever there was one.

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If you can’t wait, you can of course still get the digital version of the game on GOG and Steam or buy the UK version.

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Modern horror movies: “Wer”

More found footage-inspired documentary horror, but this time director William Brent Bell shows the wolfman in another light.

Wer
(USA 2013, director: William Brent Bell)

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A defense attorney tries to find out what’s behind the mysterious, bestial killings of a family her client seemingly did, while also trying to unravel his past and present mental/physical condition.

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It’s often difficult to like a movie despite characters one is hardpressed to feel sympathy for. Wer is such a case. The wannabe, fragile-tough defense attorney is more annoying than touching, while her former boyfriend and now medical advisor is just as clich├ęd as the Israeli guy who feels all the prejudices coming up against him. However, in a strange way it works, if only because of the action sequences.

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These are pretty good, but they need time to finally kick in. Starting as a mystery drama with some investigation scenes, the movie is more slow-paced than the trailer promises. This is one of its biggest problems, as a relationship between the audience and the characters seldom comes to fruition. As a realistic portrayal of a sick man, it works to a degree, but if one expects a full-blown horror flick, disappointment and even boredom will set in for the first part.

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However, the second half gets much better, and the finale is action-packed with lots of gore and blood spilling, while there are also a few creepy moments. Seeing SWAT teams decimated in a gruesome fashion almost makes the first boring half negligible. The ending has also a nice twist, although one could argue that it tries too hard to be surprising and different from other werewolf movies, being almost a bit laughable.

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Wer certainly doesn’t set the standard for werewolf flicks high, as it’s not really that original and suffers both in the plot and character development department. Still, as far as gory setpieces go, it’s entertaining to watch, if only one can dismiss the forced seriousness of it all.

Score: 6/10

imdb

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Modern horror movies: “Afflicted”

Derek Lee and Clif Prowse show with Afflicted that found footage horror can be more than just people talking and being scared of moving bedsheets.

Afflicted
(Canada/USA 2013, directors: Derek Lee/Clif Prowse)

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Two friends want to see the world and record their impressions with a travel blog, but one of them, the terminally ill Derek, is bitten by a woman and soon turns into something both can’t handle anymore.

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The first thing one notices is that the picture is crystal clear, so none of that old Blair Witch Project mess, which of course is due to the use of HD cameras. It’s also interesting to mention that one camera is attached to the belly of the characters. This makes for some particularly exciting chase sequences which can also become nauseating for those who already needed a bucket while playing the first-person runner Mirror’s Edge.

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It’s a much slicker approach to filmmaking with more action, although scary moments are present as well. This is what makes the movie quite enjoyable. There’s a mix of YouTube-like exchanges with the audience, conversations between Derek and Clif and the more action-heavy violent fight and chase sequences. Whereas other movies try to build up suspense but lose themselves in nonsensical blabbering and chatting, Afflicted mostly succeeds with a more streamlined approach, leaving out most of the boring parts.

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Sure, there are the typical party scenes, but the direction is much more compact. So one gets to know both characters with short but precise introductions and even if the people they meet (a band) are rather forgettable, the shots of the locations they visit make up for this lack of characterization. One also has to be prepared that the plot isn’t original in any way. It’s reminiscent of becoming-a-superhero-and-coping-with-it flick Chronicle. The special effects are similarly excellent and one always wonders how the directors did it. Unfortunately, the simple plot could have used a bit more twists and turns, as even the confrontation with the villain(ess) isn’t so exciting, although the conclusion makes up for it with some harsh revelation.

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All in all, Afflicted is an entertaining fright and blood fe(a)st that doesn’t really reinvent the found footage genre, but brings it to the modern age with less downtime so many other horror flicks suffer from. Using real names of the directors for example and a make-believe website also adds to the blurring between reality and fiction. It’s fast-paced, at times scary and should be checked out by anyone who has the stomach for this (and the cameras).

Score: 7/10

imdb

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Game release: “Fire” (PC, iOS)

Fire, a point-and-click adventure game without dialogue but with the stone age as a fresh setting, seems to be Daedalic Entertainment‘s newest way to breathe new life into the genre.

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It doesn’t happen often that a developer/publisher of classic point-and-click adventures tries something different in a market dominated by the same old formulas (especially in the point-and-clickers of today). Even though item-based puzzles are still prevalent in this title, the use of slapstick and situational comedy without the long dialogue trees the company is known for is recommendable and makes Fire a game worth checking out, especially with those lovely drawn backgrounds and the low price point of just 10 Euros (even for the retail box version). There’s also a small discount of 1 Euro on Steam that lasts until April 16, 2015.

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The game that tells the story of Neanderthal Ungh who has to find fire for his village is out now on PC and also iOS. So make sure to let the developer/publisher know that this is a step in the right direction and future of point-and-clickers with intuitive gameplay and an emphasis on fun storytelling.

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Steam
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Official Website

If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
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