Owl Cave popped onto the indie scene in 2013 with a macabre, witty point-and-click adventure called Richard & Alice, which received a slew of rave reviews. Studio co-founder Nina White specializes in crafting vaguely horrific stories packed with tension, and her latest creation, The Charnel House Trilogy, is no exception. It's a subdued brand of horror: no jump scares, no boogeymen under the bed, no demonic children with long, limp hair crawling out of the TV. Charnel House takes place on a train and tells the stories of three passengers over the course of a single night.
"For me, horror's all about the creeping dread, the slow, unsettling burn," White says. "It's this sense of unease and discomfort that I really like playing around with when crafting horror stories."
If you have creeping doubts about your golf game, there's a $500 sim that lets you swing real clubs in your house. Yep, your pets and furniture will need to make way for the OptiShot2, which gives you online play, simulated championship courses and instant practice feedback. You hook it up to a Mac or PC, download the software and swing away. The infrared sensors accurately track your swing while the simulated courses and online competition add a gaming-like fun factor. But $500 is a lot of money for a video game and sensor, so I want more than just fun; I also want to get better. Luckily, the OptiShot delivers both of those things.
With a new film on the horizon, there's a wave of excitement attached to the Star Wars franchise that hasn't been felt since the months leading up to the release of Episode I. Part of Disney's new plan for the $4 billion series includes a slate of new video game experiences over the course of a 10-year partnership with Electronic Arts.
Remember Project Cars, the beautiful sim racer from the team behind Need for Speed: Shift? Well, it's finally coming out, and relatively soon. Or at least that's what developer Slightly Mad Studios is promising, anyway. After three embarrassing delays, we've got a new release date for your calendar: May 6th. The game will be available first on PC (via Steam) in the US before a staggered international release on PS4 and Xbox One: it'll arrive in Europe and Australasia on May 7th, followed by the UK on May 8th and North America on May 12th. There's no word on the Wii U version though, which is a little worrying.
Channel 4 is gearing up to launch its own video game publisher. The UK broadcaster has commissioned mobile games before, but they've often been specific projects that relate to its most popular programming. Now, it wants to offer additional support to the indie developer community. Channel 4 will continue to fund a smattering of games, but its new "All 4 Games" brand will offer broader games development, marketing and promotional support. So even if Channel 4 isn't funding the title, the idea is that its guidance and experience will justify a small cut of developers' revenues. That includes publishing games on all of the major app stores, as well as promoting them through its new All 4 video streaming service. What's not clear, however, is the exact cut Channel 4 will be taking from the games. The mobile space is brutal, especially now that the free-to-play model is so prevalent, so the broadcaster will need to prove its services represent good value.
Remember that crappy, top-down Halo game that came out a few years ago, Spartan Assault? Well, it got a sequel that's available on Steam, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and as weird as it sounds, even iOS. Anyhow, Halo: Spartan Strike will run you $5.99 or, if you're using one of Apple's mobile gizmos or a PC, you can grab the first game and the new one in a bundle for $9.99. Spartan Strike's story is a simulation (much like the last one was) set during the events of Halo 2 -- but there's a twist. Remember the cool new enemies from Halo 4, the Prometheans? They're in this game too, which raises more than a few questions regarding its fiction and timeline.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a new game from The Chinese Room, the studio behind beautiful exploration experience Dear Esther and horror game Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It's exclusive to PlayStation 4 and takes place in a gorgeous, abandoned 3D world. In-game, players embark on a mission to discover where everyone in this quaint village went -- how and why they all seemingly, suddenly popped out of existence. Time plays a "fairly central role" in the game and it involves mysterious beams of golden light. The Chinese Room revealed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture at Sony's Gamescom presentation in 2013 with an eerie trailer hinting at a retro, post-apocalyptic environment, and the latest video expands on these themes. It's similarly vague but offers a look at another environment, this time an empty children's classroom that appears to have been ransacked by ... something. Along with the new video, The Chinese Room offers a taste of the game's music with a haunting, orchestral track.
More than a year has passed since the first half of Double Fine's Broken Age came out, leaving fans of classic adventure video games as flummoxed and desperate for resolution as the game's young heroes. Later this month Tim Schafer's point and click fantasy will finally continue when Broken Age: Episode 2 hits PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. We here at Engadget feel that there's no time like the present to revisit the first chapter. Composer Peter McConnell and artist Nathan Stapley will be joining us to give some insight into the game's strange world of technological prisons and human sacrifice-loving beast gods.
Valve currently offers two-factor authentication on desktop via "Steam Guard," which sends a unique code via email. Now it's offering players the option of receiving that code through the Steam app instead. The feature is called "Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator" and it's live now for a selection of Android beta testers. If you want in, you'll need to join this Steam group and hope Valve takes a fancy to your username. Once selected, you should see the new "Get Steam Guard codes from my phone" option inside the app. Otherwise, you'll just have to hang tight -- Valve can be a tad slow to update its mobile apps, but eventually this security feature should be available to everyone.