Life would be so much easier as a cat. Few humans recognize the potential for feline bliss better than Chris Chung, the creator of Catlateral Damage, a first-person cat simulator. As a kitty locked up in a house full of annoying human things, your goal is to knock down as many objects as possible, including books, lamps, groceries, toys and plants. After exploding in popularity in early 2014 and raising $62,000 on Kickstarter, Catlateral Damage is out today on Steam for a launch price of $9.
"I'm extremely surprised by the positive reception it's been getting, especially considering that this is my first game and that it's kind of a weird concept," Chung says. "The biggest surprise might have been our Kickstarter and how many people wanted to put their cat in the game. We had to increase the number of tiers due to high demand, which was awesome."
The approach of summer might mean it's time to unfurl the Slip N Slide, but there's only so much gaming you can do while flopping around in the water. Yes, you should get outside while the weather's nice, but there are also worlds to explore back in the air-conditioned confines of your home. If that system needs a refresh, or you're still in the process of cobbling together the ideal setup, we've got a list of some must-have gaming consoles, computers and accessories. Items like Astro's A50 wireless headset help keep you in touch with your raiding party, while Antec's Bias Lighting can improve your display's aesthetics. We'll have even more gaming gadgets for our buyer's guide in coming months, but for now you can scroll through the gallery below or head to the full gaming section to see what you're missing.
You'd think that blinding a professional driver with a custom Oculus Rift headset as they drift around a live track would be a crazy way to promote anything. And you'd be right. But, well, Castrol really wants you to know about its new EDGE Titanium Strong motor oil. So much so that it strapped a VR headset on racer Matt Powers and turned a Roush Stage 3 Mustang into a VR controller for its Virtual Drift Trial. From his perspective he's navigating through an apocalyptic VR landscape with crumbling roads and tidal waves of volcanic rock. From ours, it's as if he's got a death wish like an extra from Mad Max: Fury Road.
You know what's a good cure for office boredom? A Mac app that changes parts of your screen into a playable level straight out of Super Mario Bros. Thanks to Aaron Randall's Screentendo desktop add-on, a similar process to that of taking a screenshot can have you playing a unique Mario level in seconds. In this case, game building is a two-step process that first determines the underlying structure of the image before generating those bricks on top. Randall admits that the app isn't without flaws, and that it's more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. For example, the image rendering works best on images with high contrast -- like the Google logo captured in the video after the break.
Turns out the PS4 port of Street Fighter IV isn't all that Ultra. Sony secured a next-gen exclusive for the fighting game and its sequel, but its release has been marred by complaints. The internet is awash with reports of severe slowdown in menus, moves not working as they're supposed to, sound glitches and bizarre visual bugs. Although we haven't noticed some of the more egregious issues, the game does appear to have some input lag, which is a massive problem for a title that is all about timing. The entire thing feels like you're playing online with a weak connection right now.
Evolve isn't a typical multiplayer shooter. The game pits four hunters against a quickly mutating monster, with the first task usually being to find and trap the player-controlled goliath. The experience can be a little bewildering for newcomers, so developer Turtle Rock Studios is throwing in a free Arena Mode that keeps everything simple. In a best-of-three match, the hunters and monster are dropped in a small, pre-determined dome with only one goal; take down your opponent(s). The monster starts at stage two with 50 percent armour, reducing the need to devour local wildlife, and when a hunter dies they're out until the next round. It's a bare-bones take on the Evolve formula, stripping away some of what makes the game unique. Still, if you're interested in shorter rounds where you can easily hone your combat skills, Arena Mode could be a welcome change on planet Shear.
I'm willing to bet that one of the best things about having Facebook in your back pocket is that your pocketbook is likely bottomless. How's that? Well, Oculus has acquired yet another company on its path to a retail model. This time it's Surreal Vision, a firm focused on "3D scene reconstruction" according to a recent post on the VR outfit's blog. "Great scene reconstruction will enable a new level of presence and telepresence, allowing you to move around the real world and interact with real-world objects from within VR," the post reads. So! This acquisition should help out quite a bit when it comes to building out the social spaces and experiences Oculus has been crowing about since Zuckerberg and Co. made their $2 billion purchase.
Nintendo's been going through some serious growing pains on its path to the modern era of console gaming but with this latest step it's actually beating Microsoft and Sony to the punch for once. The Japanese gaming company is running a Humble Bundle. Not a Nintendo homegrown version of a Humble Bundle, but a real McCoy on Humble's website. Pretty crazy right? Especially considering these are all indies. Up for grabs are digital codes for games on the 3DS handheld and Wii U alike, including Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition for the latter and Whoah Dave! for the former.
The "Savage Road" story trailer suggests that there's a deeper tale behind all of the desert-drenched road rage and creative killing in the Mad Max video game. Apparently, that story is about a dude looking for a car, finding a car, kissing a lady and then destroying all of the evil men he can reach on four wheels. It's a slightly different narrative than the one in this year's film, Mad Max: Fury Road, and plot isn't the only way these two products diverge. We played a portion of Mad Max last week and found it to be fun as a car game but lacking in intrigue as a brawler: "In its translation to an open-world video game, Mad Max: Fury Road's unique charm's been traded in for monotony." Still, a video full of rampaging, spiky vehicles and bloodthirsty desert overlords gets our blood pumping every time. Watch the story trailer below. Mad Max is due on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on September 1st, with pre-orders open now.