Video
22 Comments

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter - Overview video

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas single-player expansion has been a long time coming, but it's finally here! To celebrate the new content and the new cards, I invited fellow card game nerd Griffin McElroy to check out the freshly-launched Arachnid Quarter. We face down each of the new AI-controlled bosses on Normal mode, marvel at their crazy abilities and make all sorts of hilarious mistakes. Griffin and I will be back checking out each new wing of Curse of Naxxramas as they go live over the coming weeks.
Video
8 Comments

Walking Dead's momentum leads to this violent, brutal, shocking moment

The video above contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4, as well as some very intense violence. If either of those things concern you, you'd best click out of this story right away and don't read further.Last chance before we get into spoiler country! All gone? Okay. Early into "Amid the Ruins," Clementine is forced to kill a zombie up close and personal. This isn't shocking in and of itself. Clem has murdered lots of zombies throughout the season. What makes this especially harsh is that she's essentially "putting down" the zombified form of Nick, one of the companions she's been traveling with for a couple of episodes now. It's worth noting that it's possible to never see this scene. If Nick has died earlier in your playthrough of Season 2, he won't show...
Review
32 Comments
6.0

The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4 review: existential crisis

Everyone you know and love will one day die. It's true for all of us, but Telltale's Walking Dead series — now nearing the end of its second season — has always done an especially powerful job of putting mortality at the forefront. In "Amid the Ruins," Season 2's fourth episode, that tension at the heart of the series is as loud and clear as it's ever been. Every moment of hope is contrasted by a devastating setback. Longtime companions fall before the episode is done, and protagonist Clementine finds herself in increasingly dire situations. This formula has done Telltale well in the past, but something is off in "Amid the Ruins." The normally brilliant characterization and writing of the series is less consistent. The plodding arc of the episode feels as exhausted and hopeless as...
News
5 Comments

How to make a video game about drag queens

A California-based studio is developing the sequel to RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis, an iOS and Android game that will feature seven drag queens from the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race. The ingredients? Queens, sass, glitter and glamor. Speaking to Polygon, So Much Drama Studios' founder Jeff Meador said the idea for the original Dragopolis came from the apparent lack of video games that targeted and spoke to the LGBT audience. "I think [drag] has such a celebratory element to it," Meador said. "Queens are such fun and they're such characters — it was a great opportunity to bring something like that that has such joy and passion to it, to bring it to life within a video game where we could really take it and make it very cartoony and over the top in a lot of...
News
21 Comments

Flappy Bird creator says game was inspired by bouncing a ping pong ball on a paddle

The inspiration for Flappy Bird, a game deemed so addictive by its creator he pulled it from mobile phones for awhile, was ping pong.Specifically, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen told a gathering of developers at Gamelab 2014 in Barcelona last month, the game was inspired by the habit he had of trying to bounce a ping pong ball on a paddle for as long as possible. "Every game of mine is inspired by sport," Nguyen said. "It's not from real life experiences. "Sports naturally follow the philosophy of something that is easy to learn and difficult to master. I just follow the experience of playing sports and put that into my games." In Flappy Bird, which was released in May, 2012, players tap the screen of a phone to make a small bird flap its wings. The object of the game is to pass...
91 Comments

Contest winners given early access to game, reward devs by cracking and releasing it to pirates

Modern Combat 5 has been cracked and uploaded to multiple torrenting websites over the weekend. MC5 is a first person shooter for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The developer and publisher, Gameloft, ran a contest recently and invited players into the game early. One of those winners apparently cracked the game and began distributing it online. Modern Combat's dev team is not pleased with the situation. "As you can imagine I am really pissed off," wrote Gameloft community manager Florian Weber on the Modern Combat 4 Hub Facebook group. "To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them? "Anybody which is talking to me and shows in some way that he already has MC5 will get an instant ban. Seriously, this is why we can't have nice...
News
57 Comments

Why some Magic: The Gathering fans are upset with Magic 2015

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 released on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Android devices this week after a week of iOS exclusivity. It's the fifth Magic game from developer Stainless Games and, in a year where Hearthstone has blown up, arguably the one Duels of the Planeswalkers release with the biggest chance at reaching a new audience.According to some fans, though, Magic 2015 is actually a considerable step back from previous entries in the series. In a Reddit thread full of complaints, user "AwSunnyDeeFYeah" leads the charge, pointing to a sluggish interface, slower gameplay and a more frustrating approach to unlock new cards and decks that can make it difficult to win with your preferred style. User "NeoFalcon2" points to microtransactions as an issue. While...
News
21 Comments

The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault is set against Warhammer 40,000's civil war

The latest entry in the Warhammer 40,000 franchise, The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault, will be the first game to take place during an era of civil war known as the Horus Heresy, developer Complex Games announced. Drop Assault is a fast-paced tactical game set against conflict among the Emperor's Space Marine Legions in the 30th millennium. After choosing a side as either a Traitor or Loyalist, players work to build and customize their armies. Players can also build chapters with friends or challenge players worldwide. "The Horus Heresy is an iconic and seminal part of our IP that describes the dark period in the Imperium's history that ultimately led to the way the Warhammer 40,000 universe looks now," Head of Games Workshop licensing Jon Gillard said. "As a setting it has been the...
Culture
52 Comments

Kim Kardashian's game is making millions of dollars because … it's not terrible

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the mobile role-playing game featuring the socialite herself, is forecast to make $200 million this year, which is significantly more than what most video games make in their lifetime. While it may be easy to attribute most of those earnings to her rabid fan base, which has been known to throw money at anything the Kardashian Klan puts its name on, there might be more to its success than just a pretty face. "There are a couple of things," said the co-founder of Drexel University's game design program, Frank Lee. "If the gameplay itself was really horrible, it probably wouldn't sell as well. Certainly having her name attached to it and given the amount of media interest she's able to generate is a great help, but the underlying gameplay is pretty...
News
8 Comments

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper mobile game brings back characters from the past

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, a new title in the long-running fantasy series, will feature protagonists and environments from past releases, Square Enix announced. The company is currently accepting pre-registration for the upcoming release, which will give those pre-registered users five Mythril at the game's launch. Record Keeper tells the story of a boy named Apprentice who is sent into the worlds of memories that have been sealed away within paintings. Apprentice will relive these memories from earlier Final Fantasy games, including Zanarkand, the big bridge and the Northern Cave. The game will also feature protagonists from earlier games including Final Fantasy 3's Luneth, Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife and Final Fantasy 9's Zidane Tribal, who can all be added to your party by...
News
10 Comments

Back to Bed trailer shows the perils of sleepwalking in a world built by Salvador Dali

The launch trailer for indie studio Bedtime Gaming's puzzle adventure game Back to Bed — funded through Kickstarter last spring — shows the perils of sleepwalking in a world that looks like it was built by surrealist painted Salvador Dali. Back to Bed is slated to launch next month through Steam and for iOS and Android devices. In the game, players control a man who has fallen asleep and is now walking with his eyes closed through some very strange dangers. Players must guide him through these walking puzzles and back to his bed, where he will be safe from harm. In February, project manager Klaus Pedersen told Polygon that with financial assistance from Danish game investment company Capnova, Bedtime Gaming was able to set up its own studio and complete work on Back to Bed. The game...
News
5 Comments

Assassin's Creed Memories is a card battling mobile game

The latest mobile spin-off from the Assassin's Creed franchise is card battler Assassin's Creed Memories, Ubisoft announced today. In Memories, players will travel throughout time building their own assassins' guild through a blend of strategy role-playing game mechanics and card-collecting. Players will recruit famous assassins as well as create their own to fight in multiplayer combat with up to 20 players on each side. Assassin's Creed Memories is part of a collaboration between Gree and free-to-play mobile games developer PlayNext. "The card battle genre has been hugely popular around the world and GREE and PlayNext have demonstrated their know-how and expertise on such games," said Ubisoft mobile division managing director Jean-Michel Detoc in the announcement post. " With such...
News
32 Comments

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas expansion arrives July 22

Blizzard has revealed that its popular digital card game Hearthstone will be receiving its first major addition next week. The single-player-focused Curse of Naxxramas expansion will see its first "wing" released next Tuesday, July 22. That wing will be free for the duration of the expansion's launch event. Four further wings will follow on a weekly basis and will cost $6.99 or 700 in-game gold per wing. While the majority of Hearthstone is centered around multiplayer, Curse of Naxxramas will pit players against challenging AI-controlled bosses. Overcoming these enemies will unlock 30 new cards that can then be used in regular play. We'll have video coverage of Curse of Naxxramas here on Polygon next week. In the mean time, you can watch me introducing a fresh Griffin McElroy to H...
News
4 Comments

Atari makes good on LGBT-inclusive promises with social sim Pridefest

Atari will release an LGBT-themed social sim game for Android and iOS tablets and mobile devices celebrating one of the community's biggest events called Pridefest, the company announced today. PrideFest is an annual parade and celebration that takes place around the world and in U.S. cities such as New York and San Francisco. Atari's game will allow players to build parade flotillas and decorate their city to keep it "happy and vibrant." As players solve challenges and complete quests, they'll unlock new items for the festival. With the Pridefest's social aspects, players can visit other cities and chat with friends, as well as create unique avatars. Chief operating officer Todd Shallbetter said Atari will continue to offer "a variety of games that are inclusive for all Atari fans." ...
News
8 Comments

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 hits next week

The fourth episode of The Walking Dead Season 2, "Amid the Ruins," hits next week, developer Telltale Games announced today. The episode will launch on July 22 for Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC and on July 23 for Xbox 360. The iOS version of Episode 4 will hit the following day, July 24. Check out the trailer above (warning: there are spoilers) for a look at what's in store for Clementine and her friends — more zombies and even more pain. Now free of Carver, the group heads north plagued by hunger, violence and conflicts between group members that are always on a slow burn. For more information on the award-winning series' second season, check out our reviews for episodes one, two and three.
5 Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy makes its video game debut with The Universal Weapon

Marvel's galactic super hero team Guardians of the Galaxy is heading to theaters Aug. 1, but the franchise's video game debut hits today with Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon. In The Universal Weapon, players cobble together a team of guardians and do battle in real-time.The game includes six intergalactic worlds and more than 60 levels for players to explore, as well as an Arena Mode and story-driven Battle Mode. Although the game is available shortly before the movie's release, producer Aaron Norstad said The Universal Weapon will introduce its own unique story that draws more heavily from Marvel's comics. "We started the game before we knew anything about the film, other than the release date," Norstad told Polygon. "We knew from the beginning that although we were...
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