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Delver's Drop makes a promising first impression

One of the awesome things about indie gaming expos is the ability to interact directly with the developers. When most games are previewed at events, you'll be walked through a carefully selected segment of game that showcases a few key setpieces by a trained PR expert, then - if you're lucky - you...

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Dokuro review: The Mr. Skullhead Show

Let's talk about puzzle games. When you hear the term, your mind usually goes to falling-block stuff like Tetris and Puyo Puyo, right? But it's broad terminology: it can also apply to games in which you are presented with a series of problems that need solving – say, escaping a room, moving o...

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New Little King's Story review: All the King's swordsmen, farmers, chefs, TV broadcasters...

The original Little King's Story on Wii is a game I greatly regret not finding the time to play. It was the sort of niche Japanese title that I gravitate towards: a unique mix of ideas with a cute visual style and distinct humor. While I heard lots of good things, circumstances conspired to the poi...

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Rainbow Moon review: A real grind

Playing the PSN exclusive Rainbow Moon evokes an unusual sort of frustration: it's a victim of wasted potential. This kind of game does a lot of things right, features some neat ideas and fun play elements, but is crippled by one or two major problems – problems so significant that they drag ...

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Deja Review: Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention

We're of the firm opinion that your time is too precious, too valuable to be spent reading a full review for a game that was already reviewed many, many years ago. What's the point of applying a score to a game that's old enough to be enrolled in the sixth grade? That's why we invented Deja Review: ...

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Xenoblade Chronicles review: A cut above

I'll confess, I wasn't terribly excited for Xenoblade Chronicles at first. My experience with other "Xeno" titles (Xenogears, Xenosaga) could perhaps best be described as contemptuous. To me, those titles paraded the worst elements of Japanese role-playing games in front of a spotlight, gleefully s...

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Portabliss: Chaos Rings 2 (iOS)

Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. In each installment, we'll tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Androi...

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Cave's Watanabe on the benefits of premium app pricing

Conventional wisdom says that expensive iOS and Android games don't sell, but in a speech at GDC, Mikio Watanabe, COO of shmup developer Cave, frankly stated the exact opposite. In a presentation entitled "Japanese Retro and Social Games on Smartphones," Watanabe gave advice to developers looking t...

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Yasuhiro Wada waxes nostalgic about Harvest Moon

Yasuhiro Wada has been engaged in the games industry for over 20 years, but lately he's been more into management than actual game production. With the formation of Toybox Inc, however, he joins the ranks of Japanese developers like Yuji Naka and Keiji Inafune – developers who left top manage...

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Ecco the Dolphin: unexpected terror in the deep blue sea

It's Halloween, the day we all turn our attention to all things spoooooooky. In honor of this occasion, Heidi Kemps makes a convincing case for the secret scariness of the seemingly non-horror-oriented Ecco the Dolphin. Later, the Joystiq staff will share their own picks for unintentionally frighten...

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