ROBLOX

Create and play online games with this cool Windows tool set.

ROBLOX-iOS-IconHalf the fun of playing a game is creating it. When you can create your own levels with your own mazes, it makes for an interesting time. This is one of the reasons why I like Roblox. Its an online gaming tool set and game for Windows.

ROBLOX, is a huge multiplayer online for kids and teens ages 8-16. Players can create their own virtual world, where they and other online members may enter and socialize. Games on Roblox can be scripted using a sandboxed edition of Lua 5.1, and can be used to schedule events that occur in-game, creating different scenarios.

To get the most out of ROBLOX, you have to create an either an online free or premium account. Your account gives you a customizable character and in-game real estate to play in. In the online game, you use various blocks and bricks to build whatever you want. If you’re stuck for an idea, you can always look at other user’s worlds or ROBLOX games that have been created.

The first thing that’ll strike you about ROBLOX is that it’s blocky. Building in Roblox is much like building with Legos. With time and effort, you can build enormous and complex buildings, structures and objects. However, you have to accept the game’s design limitations.

RB-01

Roblox is very much like Mine Craft for those that play Xbox. The game is ok, and very basic for this modern world of powerful computer gaming systems and desktops. However, younger kids will definitely like making their own structures and playing game levels they’ve created themselves. If you don’t have an Xbox 360 console and have kids that want to play a Mine Craft like game, this is definitely an awesome choice.

download Roblox

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Create iOS games without having to understand Flash or use coding

Stencyl is a new piece of software that is perfect for the budding game designer who has not yet learned coding but has the ideas and wants to start producing their own games.

Stencyl allows the amateur to create games without having to understand Flash or use coding. As a result of this target market it is relatively simple enough to follow the tutorial and get started. That said it is not necessarily easy to master without a basic knowledge or at least aptitude for programming. It is probably most likely to suit hobby enthusiasts or young potential coders and programmers.

Once you have got to grips with the software the potential for what types of games you can devise is only as limited as your imagination, I found that I was able to produce a solid few games that were enjoyable to play, even when repeated. The software has enough to it to execute a good idea. That said it might seem limited or frustrating to those who are familiar with coding and programming already.

As a free piece of software this is a great first step in to game design, and probably as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. For someone young with some technical knowledge and a budding game idea this could be the start of a career or serious hobby in game design.

Download Stencyl

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Supertuxkart – the kart racing game

If you are a fan of Super Mario Kart then you are sure to either love or hate SuperTuxKart: there is no room for ambivalence here! From the wee-bit unoriginal name – SuperTuxKart – it is quite evident where the inspiration for this racing game hails from, but how does SuperTuxKart compare to its big famous brother?

SuperTuxKart can be downloaded for free, and as soon as you’ve done so it becomes evident that more than just the name of Mario has been borrowed. The interface is very similar to that of the original, with a selection of drivers/vehicles available for the user to choose from.

And just like with Super Mario Kart, there is a selection of various weapons and power-ups that allow the player to take out opponents, charge past them and essentially achieve the end-goal of being first across the line.

If you have always been a fan of the original Super Mario Kart then it is worth downloading a copy of this homage, purely for nostalgia and curiosity. It is fun to see how a classic has been taken, and interpreted by others.

Whilst some of the variations on the original can almost be viewed as improvements, making you wonder why the creators of the ‘real deal’ hadn’t thought of it in the first place, there are other features that just seem a bit facile and a bit weak. All in all, though, it’s hard to argue with a freebie that’s this good-looking.

Download SuperTuxKart for WindowsDownload SuperTuxKart for Mac

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Slender: The Eight Pages Review

Slender: The Eight Pages is the latest release by Mark Hadley, alias AgentParsec. It’s billed as a short horror game in which you’re alone in a dark wood, searching for messages scattered around the trackless forest.

And that’s exactly what it is, sadly.

After ten minutes of trudging around the forest, the screen fizzled and a rather portly, monochrome figure appeared for a moment. Game Over.

OK, that can’t be it, can it? Unfortunately, yes it can. On the second try I was slightly more successful; I found two of the eight pages before the overweight Slender Man had his supernatural way. Not wishing to spoil the game for fans of the genre I’ll say that there is a way to prolong your survival, but I’ll leave you to work out what it is.

The Slender Man meme has proliferated virally, and the concept of this impossibly tall, thin and faceless figure, glimpsed as a black shadow in the corner of the eye has undeniable horror potential. There’s a strong hint of Blair Witch in the videos to be found on YouTube, and the number of followers suggests that this is a cult that provides a rich vein for developers of horror games.

The game has reasonable atmosphere, but Hadley should review the chills created by the deserted orphanage in Thief II. Nothing happened for ten minutes in that game too, but I was riveted for every second. Much of Thief’s neck-prickling fear came from a brilliant sound track of half-heard whispers and moans. In The Eight Pages we get nothing more than our own footsteps. It’s a reasonable start, but it needs much, much more.

Overall this feels like an exercise by someone trying out their new 3D game development software. As a free download it’s a way to kill a few minutes, but if you’re already that bored, this is probably not the answer.

Download Slender: The Eight Pages for Windows | Download Slender: The Eight Pages for Mac

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Get in control!

Aaaah! Your favourite country didn’t won the Euro-Cup this year? No Problem! You can avenge them in Pro-Evolution Soccer 2013!

The Official Demo was released and as it was promised, it brings a lot of new features and licensed competitions and teams! They’ve done it again! PES2013 has the full UEFA Champions League License for the game and it looks awesome! They managed to extend their license from the PES 2012 with UEFA in PES 2013 too.

The demo doesn’t impress much by graphic or features, and the options are quite limited. The only improved changes in graphics can be seen, for now, only in the replay mode and in slow-motion. As they mentioned while starting the game: the demo is taken from a product that is still under development and it doesn’t represent the quality and appearance of the final release. You can play with 4 national teams in “Match” mode (Germany, Portugal, England and Italy), and other 4 in Copa Santander Libertadores (Santos FC, Fluminese FC, SC Internacional, CR Flamengo.)

About gameplay, yes, it’s different. It’s changed. It feels like you are trying Ice skating for the first time after you walked all your life in normal shoes. I didn’t really got to control the players as I used to do in the previous versions, but I know that perfection is achieved with practice. The ball runs very naturally, and respects the physics quite in a very high detail. Anyway, the game gets really annoying sometimes, because the referee gives the fouls with so much ease and it’s stopping the game quite often!

So, Konami doesn’t let the PES fans down this year at all. The official release of the game is expected to be in the middle of September 2012, and it will bring into the sports scene the greatest soccer simulator, making you feel like you belong on the field! I can’t wait to play a full UEFA Champions League Season with my favorite team! Good luck scoring goals!

Download Pro Evolution Soccer 2013

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What starts with War, ends with Death

The long awaited apocalyptic game of the year 2012 Darksiders II was finally released, bringing into scene as the main character, the second horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, who wants to spare his brother from oblivion, War, and restore humanity.

The game continues the story of the first Darksiders, in a post-apocalyptic scenario of this world, and like in the previous chapter the hero is caught in the middle of the fight between heaven and hell, being forced to fight both sides, angels and demons.

While the original Darksiders was an action/adventure game, Darksiders II comes with some sort of role-playing elements, making the gameplay a bit different. In addition, your enemies drop coins, armors, and weapons. You can take the equipment, sell it to a merchant, or sacrifice it to level up rare possessed weapons, which you can customize at certain thresholds.

Some might say that Darksiders II is a combination of ideas and concepts borrowed from many other popular games like The Legend of Zelda, God of War, Prince of Persia, Legacy of Kain series, etc. But the think is that the game is still enjoyable to play, even if you find a mixture of common action elements in it.

Each level requires you to resolve a puzzle and to make you figure out how to get from one point to the next. You’ll have to scale walls, throw naturally occurring bombs you stumble upon, pull some levers, etc. You also get a phantom grapple hook that allows you to swing and you can extend your wall runs and jumps. Later, Death splits in three, petrifying your main form and using two doppelgangers to stand on switches and move platforms. Ultimately, you fire portals to travel across great ravines and even through time itself–and these are hardly the extent of the tools you use to make progress through Darksiders II’s clever self-contained puzzles.

Comparing with the original Darksiders, this one’s puzzles are more expertly created and you’ll have to really think harder and harder to unlock them (if you don’t see the youtube walkthroughs). But as much as you advance into the game you’ll find the controls more handy and you’ll learn how to resolve even the most complicated puzzles.

The combat movements and animations are looking quite similar to what the original Darksiders had to offer, but never mind, they are still looking gorgeous.

As a conclusion, I really hope that there will be one game for each Horseman of the Apocalypse as it’s now for War and Death!

 

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Mumble – the open-source group voice chat software designed mainly for online gaming

Mumble is a VOIP (Voice over IP) application which allows users to speak on a chat channel, as in a telephone conference call. It was designed for gamers, who use the software to communicate with other players in the same multiplayer game.

Mumble is a relatively new arrival on the VOIP scene; it has been around in a stable form for about a year, at the time of writing. It takes advantage of newer technologies, such as sound quality and low latency, removing the noise from the audio input.

It is a cross-platform product which is free and open source. It is integrated with the game software in a customisable game overlay so that as well as hearing the other players, you can identify which is speaking. It supports advanced voice activity detection and will record conversations if set up.

To start you must set up the Mumble Server, called murmur, which features secure communication and full extensibility.

We think this is a product with a bright future. It looks easy to work with on the face of it, but running into difficulties is unnerving. It has live support team contact available. There is some technical support from community forums, and there looks to be a wish list for future development. It looks and feels like a product that is on its way up and it will be interesting to see if it develops for usage outside the game arena, but first it needs to grow new functionality, to include things like a user database.

Download Mumble for WindowsDownload Mumble for Mac

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Diablo III – The role playing game of the year

It’s been quite a while… I haven’t played a role playing game since my senior year of high school. That however, is really about to change. Diablo 3 is now available, and it’s available on a computer near you.

Diablo 3 is a role-playing game that takes place in the fantasy world of Sanctuary. You play through a hero – a barbarian, demon hunter, monk, witch doctor or wizard. Your character interacts with other characters and players and the goal, is nothing less than the saving of the world from the fiery demons of hell.

Your hero engages in fast-paced combat that tests your reflexes and rewards your tactical decisions. As you hack and slay your way through hordes of monsters, your character grows in experience and ability, learning new skills and acquiring items of wealth and power.

The game can take months and months to get through. You can play with teams or with just a single character. At some point, Blizzard Entertainment is going to implement a real money auction house so you can buy and sell items for dollars or euros, or the real world currency of your country of residence. You can even sell off your character’s possessions, take the money and move on if you wish.

Diablo 3 is by far, one of the most highly anticipated games of 2012. While I am truly not a gamer and don’t pretend to be one, this game and the graphics and video behind it have impressed even me. If you like fantasy role playing games even a little bit, you must give Diablo 3 serious consideration. Its perhaps one of the most impressive games I’ve seen in quite a while.

Download Diablo III Game Client

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