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Legend of Grimrock iOS port announced, sequel enters beta

Finnish developer Almost Human Ltd. has two pieces of great news for fans of its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock: Not only has the game's sequel reached beta testing, but the original Legend of Grimrock is now coming to iOS.

According to an official press release, entering beta means that all content to be included in Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in place and needs only polish and quality assurance testing before the game will be available to the public. "We feel the game is like a raw diamond and now we're concentrating fully on polishing every aspect of the game until everything is perfect and shining," said Legend of Grimrock artist Juho Salila. The developers plan to begin beta testing soon, after enlisting a "carefully selected" group of testers. Almost Human believes this tight-knight testing group will allow for better developer feedback and more fluid interaction between testers and the people building the game. Barring any major problems, Almost Human hopes to launch Legend of Grimrock 2 on PC this Fall.

Unfortunately, information on the iOS version of Legend of Grimrock is currently lacking. Almost Human has yet to confirm a release date for the game, or even which iOS devices will be supported (though the above screenshot indicates the iPad is a very likely candidate). The developer claims that more information on the mobile dungeon crawl will be coming soon.
[Image: Almost Human Ltd.]

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Musical puzzler Sentris brings the funk to Early Access

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, developer Timbre Interactive has released Sentris to Steam Early Access.

Equal parts rhythm game and puzzler, Sentris sees players aligning musical components on a series of rotating disks. Line up the notes and beats properly and you've completed a puzzle, but you may also have inadvertently created a tune. On the other hand, if you'd prefer to focus entirely on crafting new songs, Sentris allows for that too (just don't expect your musical chops to unlock any of the later puzzles).

Those who pick up the Early Access version of Sentris before August 29 will receive a 10 percent discount on the game, which reduces its standard $20 price to $18. As with all Early Access games, Sentris is still in development and may still feature crippling bugs, missing content and all the other problems you'd expect from a game that's not complete. If you buy in to Early Access and encounter issues, don't say we didn't warn you.
[Image: Timbre Interactive]

Joystiq Deals: PS4 Battlefield 4 Bundle Giveaway

Here at Joystiq Deals, we like free stuff. We're only human, after all. If you also enjoy free stuff, you'll want to check out our latest giveaway for a PlayStation 4 hardware bundle that includes a PS4 console, a copy of Battlefield 4, and an extra DualShock 4 controller. A winner will be selected on September 14, so make sure to lock in your entries and spread the word via the #PS4BWIN hashtag on Twitter.

The freebies continue on Steam, where 2K Games is offering a free Borderlands 2 weekend for you and your gun-toting friends through Sunday. If you like what you see, you can pick up the digital Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands 2 at a steep discount through Steam, giving you access to the game's core campaign and all DLC for only $9.99.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Puzzle & Dragons tops 30 million downloads in Japan

Publisher Gung Ho Entertainment has announced that its massively addictive puzzle-RPG Puzzle & Dragons has been downloaded over 30 million times in its native country of Japan, reports Siliconera.

If one were attempting to design a game that could be described as "systemically addictive," it would be difficult to top the concepts found in Puzzle & Dragons. Players navigate a dungeon, taking part in battles, capturing monsters and using those monsters to battle other, more powerful monsters. In lieu of combat, all conflict in Puzzle & Dragons plays out on a grid full of icons which players must align to perform attacks. It's a simple system that's easy to learn but difficult to master, and Gung Ho is constantly adding new, free content to the game, including crossovers with other media properties like Batman, Hello Kitty (pictured above) and the stylized robots of the Evangelion anime.

If you're suddenly intrigued by the mobile game that's taken Japan by storm, you can find Puzzle & Dragons available on both the Android and iOS app stores. It's free-to-play, but know that the temptation to spend real-world cash on Magic Stones grows pretty intense after the first handful of dungeons.
[Image: Gung Ho Entertainment]

PlayStation Home turns off the lights in Japan this March

After closing its doors to new content last August, Sony has decided to turn off the lights on PlayStation Home in Japan entirely.

The PlayStation Home social network will end in March 2015 in Japan, Sony announced on the Japanese Home website. A translation of the message indicates that the Home service maintained by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment America is exempt from the shut down.

Sony's PlayStation Home service, a 3D-environment social network for the PlayStation 3, first launched its beta test in Japan in August 2008. The service was powered by advertisements, tricking other users, and dancing with hamsters.
[Image: PlayStation]

Assassin's Creed: Unity devs answer the question, 'why co-op?'

Image According to Ubisoft's developers, the co-operative multiplayer found in Assassin's Creed: Unity was a chance to do something new that still felt wholly appropriate to series canon, but more crucially the devs also came to the undeniable conclusion that stealthy, acrobatic murder is greatly... Continue Reading

Report: Dead Rising movie digs up a director

Zach Lipovsky has been tapped to direct the straight-to-Crackle Dead Rising movie adaptation we mentioned a few months back, according to The Wrap.

If the name doesn't ring any bells for you, don't worry, it shouldn't. Lipovsky began his Hollywood career as a child actor before moving into visual effects. It's only recently that Lipovsky has segued into the director's chair and the vast majority of his work to date has been in TV movies. His most notable credit is Leprechaun: Origins, a recent reboot of the cult-classic Leprechaun horror franchise starring Dylan Postl, a diminutive professional wrestler better known to fans of the WWE as "Hornswoggle."

While Lipovsky's IMDB listing doesn't offer much hope for the Dead Rising adaptation, the film is being produced by Contradiction Films, the same people responsible for the surprisingly good Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Hopefully, the positive karma from that project carries over to Capcom's timeless tale of survival among hordes of the hungry dead.

Pokemon Art Academy hits North America in October

Image Pokemon Art Academy launches on October 24 in North America, digitally and in stores for 3DS. This follows the game's launch on July 4 in Europe. Pokemon Art Academy trains players to be master Pokemon artists, starting with basic shapes and working up to blending, shading, and special lessons in... Continue Reading

Madden NFL 15 kicks off Xbox One digital pre-loading feature

EA's Madden NFL 15 is the first Xbox One game to offer digital pre-loading options for early buyers in advance of its launch, Game Informer reports.

Starting this week, players who purchase Madden NFL 15 via the Xbox One's dashboard or Xbox.com will have the game downloaded and primed for play as soon as it premieres on August 26. Microsoft announced at Gamescom last week that Forza Horizon 2 and FIFA 15 will also feature digital pre-loading, and Sony will offer similar options for future PlayStation 4 releases.

EA Access subscribers can spend up to six hours with the full version of Madden NFL 15 before its public launch next week.

[Image: EA Sports]

You can't join 11-vs-11 Pro Clubs in last-gen FIFA 15

FIFA 15 won't include the Pro Clubs mode on PS3 and Xbox 360, EA Sports announced. The mode allows players to create and join teams for 11-versus-11 online matches, which the last-gen versions of FIFA 14 included. "We're very confident in the amount of innovation and depth we're delivering for FIFA 15 on PS3 and Xbox 360 but there are some things we couldn't do for FIFA 15 on PS3 and Xbox 360, either based on the limitations of these consoles, or our time and resources," EA Sports wrote in an update on the FIFA site.

The previous generation of systems will still enjoy a number of changes in this year's game, such as improved teammate intelligence and player control. It will also feature Chelsea's Eden Hazard alongside Lionel Messi on some European covers and Clint Dempsey in North America, who will wear his Xbox-branded Seattle Sounders jersey on the Microsoft boxes. FIFA 15 will launch on September 23 in North America for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It will arrive on September 25 in Europe and one day later in the UK.
[Image: EA Sports]

Final Muramasa Rebirth DLC drags players to hell Sept. 2

Vanillaware will wrap up its DLC plans for the PS Vita brawler Muramasa Rebirth early next month with the launch of "Hell's Where the Heart Is," the fourth and last entry in the "Genroku Legends" expanded storyline.

Muramasa's final DLC chapter stars the Lord of Hell's daughter Rajyaki, who must shift between three playable forms as she hacks away at demonic creatures and confronts classic bosses featured in the game's core campaign. Previous Vita-exclusive DLC releases include "A Cause to Daikon for" and last month's "A Spirited Seven Nights' Haunting."

"Hell's Where the Heart Is" launches digitally via the PlayStation Network on September 2 in North America and September 3 in Europe.

[Image: Vanillaware]

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The Banner Saga journeys to tablets in September

Stoic Studio's Nordic tactical-RPG The Banner Saga goes portable on iPad, Android, and Windows tablets next month. Pocketgamer reported on the updated release window after the game missed its "summer" window.

No pricing has been revealed to take up the banner on mobile devices, but speculation has the port sailing in at a premium price.

Our review of The Banner Saga called it a "challenge on normal difficulty, but not so unforgiving" that you'd want to give up.
[Image: Stoic Studio]

Ascend: Hand of Kul to remain playable on 360 until November

Despite the game being discontinued on Xbox 360, existing owners of Ascend: Hand of Kul will remain able to play it until November 18, after which it will officially close. The news follows Microsoft's removal of the free-to-play action-RPG from the marketplace, a decision developer Signal Studios only learned of as it was investigating player troubles.

"We can confirm that effective November 18, 2014, Ascend on Xbox 360 will close," a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. "Players will still be able to play Ascend on Xbox 360 and use any content they have already acquired until the game closure date.

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Super Joystiq Podcast 109: Madden 15, Akiba's Trip, PS Vita

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This week's Super Joystiq Podcast spent the last year working on Madden 26, but it got delayed 11 years.

Anthony is in for Ludwig this week after a full five days of podcasts out of Gamescom 2014. Susan, Richard, and Mike are also in talking about the new presentation of Madden 15, the surprisingly not-so-skeezy, yet frustrating Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed, and the current state of the PlayStation Vita ecosystem. Be sure to stick around until the end for a bit of TV time-- Doctor Who, Under the Dome, and Deadliest Catch.

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Age of Wonders 3 expansion 'Golden Realms' announced


The Age of Wonders 3 will expand into "Golden Realms" next month. The first premium expansion for the game adds a new race, campaign, 20 new units, specializations and loads more stuff.

Although it looks like fans of the series were hoping for Frostlings as the first new race, it turns out that Halflings will be the new species on the block – don't worry, there's more expansions coming. The Golden Realms campaign involves helping the Halfling survivors of the Heartwood Massacre rebuild, with new enemies like Naga (fish-snake people) trying to hamper their expansion.

Golden Realms has yet to be priced, but will be available as DLC from Steam and GoG on September 18.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 109: Madden 15, Akiba's Trip, PS Vita

Latest episode: Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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