The hunt is on! – theHunter: Call of the Wild 2019 Edition is Out Now!

Press Release: It’s hunting season again – grab your equipment and get ready to range through the idyllic German farmlands of Hirschfelden, the Layton Lake District in North America or the icy Medved-Taiga National Park in Siberia, where seasoned hunters can prove their skills. But the biggest challenge, with the largest and most dangerous animals awaits in the wild and savage landscapes of the Vurhonga Savanna in Africa!

This latest DLC is already part of theHunter: Call of the Wild™ 2019 Edition, that includes the main game as well as all previous DLCs plus the new Vurhonga Savanna for an SRP of 39.99 $ on PC and 44.99 $ on consoles. theHunter: Call of the Wild™ 2019 Edition is out today for PC, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X.

Layers of Fear + >observer_ Bundle Out Now!

Press Release: Halloween arrives early this year. Award-winning horror titles, Layers of Fear and >observer_, are now available as a single bundle. “There’s a natural connection between Layers and >observer_, whether it’s dysfunctional dads, easter eggs, or secrets, there are plenty of deeply disturbing and rewarding content in both titles,” Aspyr’s Michael Blair says.

Watch the bundle trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agERHsOM_F8

The bundle includes both games and all of their exclusive content on a per-platform basis, available for $39.99, on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.

Steam: https://bit.ly/2OAFzIf

Xbox One: https://bit.ly/2Nk1974

PS4: https://bit.ly/2PG9y1e

For more information on each game, head to aspyr.com

 

(This page contains affilate links. If you click through and make a purchase we do get a commission on it that helps support the site)

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots | Review | PC

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots by Pocket Trap is a retro style indie side scrolling beat-em-up available now on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch.

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The Shogun’s minions stealing the carrot crop

Ninjin takes place in a fantasy realm inspired by Feudal Japan and inhabited by animals. In the opening scene, the peaceful village of Usagi is attacked by the minions of the evil Shogun Moe who steal this year’s entire crop of carrots. The village shōya tasks two ninjas, Ninjin the rabbit and Akai the fox, with retrieving the carrots at any cost so the people won’t starve. Choose your ninja (or grab a friend for some co-op) and fight your way through the ranks of the Shogun’s armies, lieutenants, samurai, warlords, and eventually Shogun Moe himself to get back as many carrots as possible.

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Gear up for battle

 

Gameplay: The controls for Ninjin are fairly simple and perfectly responsive. While it allows use of either keyboard and mouse, or a controller, both have their advantages and disadvantages. The controller is nice for having everything right in your hands, but makes precision ranged attacks harder to execute. The keyboard and mouse setup is better for aiming ranged attacks, but makes dash attacks and movement a bit harder. Also the mouse cursor used to aim projectiles can easily get lost on the screen if there’s a large number of enemies. Overall the gameplay is well polished and smooth as butter.

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Fight through the frozen mountains

Sound: The soundtrack for Ninjin is very well done and it’s easy to hear the influence of retro games such as Zelda, Double Dragon, and even Mario. The game also has a large assortment of music, which keeps it from getting stale. The sound effects only serve to drag you further into the retro nostalgia of this game. Your character has a number of sounds for various weapons, attacks, and movements and that’s only the start. The many enemies each add their own movement and attack sounds into the fray, making for a symphony of commotion at times, but not to the point of being disruptive. One of my favorite sounds in the game is the burbling noise made as the text scrolls through the speech bubbles. I love that they chose this instead of having spoken lines because it pays homage to so many of the classics that this game pulled inspiration from.

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Spend your carrots at Corgi’s roadside shop

Visuals: The visual style of Ninjin is nothing short of spectacular, it perfectly combines ancient Japanese ukiyo-e art, old school video games, anime, and 2010 Cartoon Network. The level selection screen is an overworld map similar to Super Mario World, with new bits being revealed when you progress. As you travel from your village to the Shogun’s castle you ninja run through a number of scenic locations, including vast forests, snow covered mountains, the big city, and even a spooky graveyard. Each level has a bit of foreground, the path where the action takes place, and the background. The backgrounds are composed of multiple layers of cutouts making it look like scenery from a theatrical production or a painstakingly intricate pop-up book. Each new NPC and enemy that you encounter have their own unique look, weapons, and attacks to add to the palette of the game. Also you can unlock weapons and accessories to customize your character that range from authentic to hilarious and even downright bizarre.

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Some of the weapons are… interesting

Story: Ninjin’s plot borrows aspects from many familiar tropes and weaves them together in a way that, while not necessarily completely unique, is definitely enjoyable. After the opening sequence, most of the story is played out in cut scenes every so often in between levels, although occasionally bits of plot are interjected mid level by an NPC or enemy character. Most of the dialogue portions in the game are skippable, but I would say that they are worth taking the time to read as they are well written and quite amusing.

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Take down General Jam’s tank

Replay Value: I would say Ninjin has an upper middle range replay value as there are a decent number of things to keep you coming back. First off it has a good amount of stages of varying difficulties to fight through and depending on the enemies encountered you may need to rethink your strategy and change up your equipment before trying again. This of course could mean grinding through previous levels to “farm” enough carrots to buy something new from the store (pun intended). That brings us to the next reason: equippable items. There are over 200 unlockable weapons and accessories, most of which can have an impact on your stats and attributes and can give you the upper hand in the next boss fight, or get you a better rating on that last stage. Because when you do finish a level you are given a rating based on your performance, which is stored along with your best times, giving you reason to continue trying to better yourself. Also you can try your luck on The Oni TV Show, the game’s endless mode, which presents new challenges and has exclusive rewards that can only be unlocked by getting as far as possible. Last but not least is the fact that the game has local or online co-op so you can grab a friend and open up a can of carrot flavored whoop-ass on some baddies, just like the good old days.

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Co-op mode, now with twice the ninja goodness

Summary: I saw some promise when I first heard about Ninjin, so I was excited when the folks at Pocket Trap sent me a copy to do this review. I’m not sure what I expected the first time I fired it up, but I surely got more than I bargained for. As someone who grew up playing game series such as Ninja Turtles, Battletoads, Streets of Rage, and Double Dragon this game was a huge wave of nostalgia for me, although I feel that it’s modern aspects make it relevant in today’s market as well. So whether you’re an older gamer like me looking for a trip down memory lane, or a young gamer looking for something quick and new to play when the Fortnite servers are down, I would highly recommend this game.

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Win special rewards on The Oni TV Show

Claybook | Review | PS4

I sat down with my five year old to try this game for the first time. The moment the tutorial loaded and we rolled our “not Playdough” ball around, my son started to giggle. I knew we were going to have an afternoon of silly surprises. The following hours were full of laughter, smiles, and a few frustrations. It’s never a bad time though when a kid can laugh uncontrollably and scream,

“I turned into…banana rocket ship!”

“Look dad! I’m a duck! WAIT! I’m a BUNNY!”

“Why am I a nom nom nom chocolate!?

You just can’t help but laugh when telling a kid to “Go eat that candy bridge with that huge marshmallow!”

The entire game takes place in a child’s play room on tables full of clay. You are a ball, a square, a sphere, or even the aforementioned rocket ship, controlled by yourself, but through a little boy avatar sitting at the edge of play table in the room. It’s a bit creepy as he just stares at the clay object you’re controlling, with no emotions showing on his face. My daughter (who is 3 and loves to watch us play games) said “He looks sad because he’s sad!”

His emotionless, dead eyes still follow every flick of your left stick. Something as simple as a small smirk on his apathetic visage would release the feeling of it being a pre-rendered, storyboard, creepy Pixar character. Seriously though, I’m half expecting to see toys in the background from Sid’s room.

Each level has a set of objectives to complete and when you complete them, a waypoint pops up with your “exit”. After finishing, you are rated with a star based scoring system on how well and how quickly you performed the tasks. Upcoming levels are unlocked using your earned stars in a very similar way that they are in Angry Birds. Locking progression behind this barrier isn’t very encouraging for a young child.

“I already beat the level, why can’t I do the next?” My kid asked me.

Having to tell a 5 year old they “didn’t do it good enough” just seems like bad parenting.

It’s also bad game design.

The progression lock is very steep right off the bat for a game marketed at kids. This could be eased up in a future update.

The control system also isn’t very intuitive. For example, every kid presses “X” or “B” or “A” to try jumping when they first play a game. Having to explain there is no jumping in this game, and that X pauses the game, then allows you to rewind and make copies of your current ball of clay, can be very confusing for a kid…or myself. I found that even if I continued to try and press a non-existent jump button while rolling around.

The camera can really be quite a hassle at times as well. In the video you can see how the camera gets “stuck” if your dough ball shape thing is in a weird location.

These frustrations aside, Claybook is really quite charming, and must be seen in action. Screenshots cannot give this game its due display.

The color palettes are pleasing, the music (although repetitive) creates a whimsically pleasant atmosphere, and a physics engine that’s truly fascinating.

It reminds me of the graphic and physics demos that GPU developers showed off throughout the early 2000’s. Playing with the alluring liquid dynamics creates a temptation to ignore the level objectives, and just carve around in the dough to see what happens.

The creative team at Second Order knew this and had the forethought to put in a sandbox mode that’s available from the start in any level. It’s an absolute delight exploring this game engine, especially in couch co-op mode.

Regardless of the games problems, I’ve found myself going back a few times this week (without my kids) to romp around the clay. It does make me feel like a kid again. I can almost smell the fresh opened plastic container of “clay dough” now.

Played on PS4 Pro (with a 5 and 3 year old “helping“)

Available on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam.

Avalanche Studios and THQ Nordic are on the hunt again – theHunter: Call of the Wild 2019 Edition announced

Press Release: Passionate digital Hunters all over the world have brought home their prey, since theHunter: Call of the Wild™ was released in 2017. Through the idyllic german farmlands of Hirschfelden, the Layton Lake District in North America or the icy Medved-Taiga National Park in Siberia hunters have proven their skills. But soon it will be time to be challenged with the largest and most dangerous animals, in the wild and savage landscapes of the Vurhonga Savanna in Africa!

This latest, upcoming DLC will already be part of theHunter: Call of the Wild™ 2019 Edition, that will include the main game as well as all previous DLCs plus the new Vurhonga Savanna for an SRP of $39.99 on PC and $44.99 on consoles. theHunter: Call of the Wild™ 2019 Edition will be available soon for PC, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Owltimate Edition releases September 25th on Nintendo Switch

Press Release: If you don’t have a Nintendo Switch™ yet, here is one more reason to get one… Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Owltimate Edition. The critically-acclaimed platformer will be available in a new edition for Nintendo’s entertainment system with a ton of content on September 25, 2018. SRP is 29,99 € / 29,99 $ / 29,99 £.

The Owltimate Edtion contains the original Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams as well as all existing DLC, including Rise Of The Owlverlord. But that’s not all! Five brand-new levels and beautiful new story cutscenes between each level make this the best Giana Sisters outing ever. Also, renowned German video game music composer Chris Huelsbeck and Swedish band Machinae Supremacy have created new tracks for the game.

Developed by THQ Nordic’s studio Black Forest Games, GSTDOE will be published by HandyGames, the latest family member of the THQ Nordic network. HandyGames will act as an independent publisher, focusing on small and mid-sized projects or third-party indie games.

About Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams – Owltimate Edition

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams offers classic 2D platforming fun in meticulously detailed 3D environments. Players can turn cute Giana into a punk version of herself at the press of a button, transforming the game’s star, the soundtrack and even the world. This overhaul isn’t merely cosmetic: Giana’s punk persona is a critical to overcoming obstacles and solving particularly tricky situations. In her sweet incarnation, Giana whirls gracefully over obstacles and opponents, but when ‘punked up’ she smashes through stone blocks with mighty dashes and can master her environment by bouncing off walls.

Key Features:

• Impressive abilities: Negotiate tricky level design by wall-running, vaulting and smashing your way through the world, ignoring gravity in the process

• Intuitive and precise controls: Giana’s powers are numerous, but slick controls enable you to master her skills and pull off expert-level manoeuvres with ease

• Jaw-dropping worlds: Fantastical, transforming 2D worlds drawn in sumptuous 3D come to life on Nintendo Switch

• Explore and discover: Pick apart 40 thrilling, secret-filled levels brimming with challenges and surprises

• Innovative gadgets: Navigate evolving landscapes by utilizing everything around you – fly with bubble gum bubbles, bounce on springs and supercharge your sprints via conveyor belts

• Epic boss battles: Push yourself to the limits as you battle gigantic creatures from the depths of Giana’s worst nightmares

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots Out Now

Press release: Ninjin: Clash of Carrots, the high-speed beat-’em-up from Pocket Trap and Modus Games, arrives today on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4, Xbox One and Steam. A new launch trailer highlights the hilarious storyline and frenetic gameplay.

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is a fast-paced action game set in a colorful fantasy world inspired by Feudal Japan. Play as the title character Ninjin, or Akai, his female fox friend, as you fight to recover the precious carrots stolen from your people by the nefarious Shogun Moe. Purchase new equipment, weapons, and many more customization items to become the very best ninja in the land and get justice once and for all!

The side-scrolling beat-’em-up action can be enjoyed in a single-player campaign as well as local or online 2-player co-op. Need even more wild, ninja bunny action? Test your strength in the “Oni TV Show”, a special survival mode that pits players against endless waves of brutal enemies for the chance at earning special rewards.

Key Features:

• Be a Ninja. Play as either Ninjin, the charismatic rabbit, or Akai, the ninja fox, and fight across a feudal Japan to defeat the evil Shogun Moe and retrieve the carrots he’s stolen!

• Engaging Storyline. Follow a robust Story Mode, meet a diverse cast of characters, and play through multiple stages in a crazy universe.

• Fast and Furious Combat. Dodge rockets, blast through throngs of incoming enemies and battle bosses in frenzied, fast-paced action!

• Deep Customization. Choose from a huge variety of equipment with more than 150 weapons and items, including masks, swords, projectiles, and more. Equip your character to better defeat rivals.

• Slash, Smash and Bash with Friends! Join your friends in 2-player local or online co-op as you progress through the game’s story.

• Oni TV Show. Compete in a “Live TV Show” survival mode, solo or with a friend, to see who can get the furthest without dying, as wave after wave of enemies attack from all angles. Rack up special rewards when you successfully finish each challenging stage!

• Stylish Visuals. Play through unique environments with anime-inspired HD pixel art graphics.

Ninjin: Clash of Carrots is available now for digital download on

Nintendo SwitchPlayStation®4Xbox One and Windows PC for $14.99 (USD).

For more information, visit www.ninjingame.com