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Sigils of Elohim is The Talos Principle's free, puzzling prelude

Sigils of Elohim is an early, free taste of one puzzle type you'll find in The Talos Principle, but it's also prime practice for those looking to brush up on organizational skills. Each timed stage asks players to arrange Tetris-esque shapes inside a grid that allows exactly enough room for its set. iOS and Android users can find Sigils of Elohim in their respective stores, while PC, Mac and Linux users can grab it on Steam.

A related press release notes that as players conquer stages, they'll unlock "helpful items and relics" to be used in The Talos Principle. Sigils of Elohim's first set of puzzles is available as soon as the game is installed on your device of choice, but two additional sets will arrive before The Talos Principle launches on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and PS4 later this year.

To get a glimpse of The Talos Principle in action (as well as Titan Souls and Not a Hero), check out Senior Reporter Jess Conditt's tour of Devolver Digital's booth from Gamescom 2014.
[Image: Croteam]

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Republique's third episode reaches iOS, Android next week

Fans of episodic touch-based stealth adventure Republique who've been waiting for more since the second episode debuted in May will be pleased to hear that episode three is slated to launch on October 23.

Though previously exclusive to iOS devices, October 23 also marks the Android release of Republique's first three episodes. Developer Camouflaj has revealed to us that it plans to discount the first episode of Republique on both iOS and Android for the week following October 23, though the studio did not specify how large the discount might be.
[Image: Camouflaj]

Mega mobile update to Godus is 'game-changing'

That is the general point of an update, after all. The first major expansion to the mobile version of Godus is live today, adding a seafaring migration mission and a new, desert land for your Followers to inhabit. Players will have to build an Ark, fill it with 500 Followers and set sail for the arid environment of Weyworld.

"It's a desert world where the trees and rocks you're familiar with in Homeworld are replaced by cacti and baked earth," 22Cans says in a blog post. "That's not the only difference, however – in Weyworld, crops need to be built on verdant land and mines on rugged land if your want them to flourish and your Followers to prosper."

This marks the beginning of the Frontier Age in Godus, and the update includes a new Timeline, cards, stickers and abilities to unlock. Abilities include the power to keep skies blue and clear or stormy, call down a more powerful meteor, dig directly downward, and crop rotation. The update also refines the Voyage system: "You no longer have to complete a Voyage within a limited amount of time. However, the more quickly you complete a Voyage, the more points you'll earn. What do points mean? Points mean prizes!"

The update also enhances the iOS version of Godus. The Android version is due out soon and the Steam version gets the Balance File Editor modding kit on October 31.

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Humble tilts without temptation in South Park pinball tomorrow

Image Polish off those Awesome-o flipper skills and get ready to make some triple ball jokes: Zen Studios is releasing South Park pinball this week for nearly every platform under the sun. PlayStation 4/3, Xbox One/360, iOS, Steam, Android, Mac, and PC will all get two tables based on Trey Parker... Continue Reading

Valiant Hearts 'interactive comic' gratis with iOS version

Walt gets plenty of screen time in Valiant Hearts: The Great War, but no one's going to blame you for wanting to see more of the adorable, four-legged sidekick. Fortunately, Valiant Hearts' iOS breed of players have earned a related treat: according to the Ubiblog, an "interactive comic book" starring Walt and his sister will be offered for free on November 6 to anyone that purchases or already has Ubisoft's emotional war story on iOS devices.

The comic book follows a canine contribution during the initial years of World War 1, with players helping the pair save lives and deliver messages via touch navigation. The blog post doesn't mention the comic's appearance beside the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 or PC versions of Valiant Hearts, so newcomers and veterans without tours in iOS territory are facing the same $4.99 price tag for now.

Our review of Valiant Hearts praised the adventure as "a war game that recalls, in memories both cheerful and sad, that there is a person first, then a soldier, and then - if you're lucky – a hero."
[Image: Ubisoft]

Joystiq Deals: iPhone 6, Rebel DSLR camera giveaways

In lieu of discounts, this edition of Joystiq Deals wants to hook you up for free, with either an iPhone 6 or a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera.

The winner of the Epic iPhone Giveaway will walk away with a $650 gift card to the Apple Store for the purchase of a new iPhone 6. The Canon EOS Rebel T3 giveaway includes not only the camera, but also a bag, extra memory card, and a bundle of reference software explaining all the facets of this excellent DSLR. All told, that's $850 worth of gear that could be yours at no charge.

Entering either drawing is simple: Visit either the iPhone 6 giveaway or Rebel photographer giveaway pages on the Joystiq Deals website, enter your registration details and you're all set. You've got plenty of time to sign up for the iPhone 6 giveaway - entries will be accepted for the next month - while the Canon camera drawing is only available for the next 5 days.
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.

Classic JRPG Dragon Quest 2 out now on iOS, Android

A mobile port of Square Enix's 8-bit era RPG Dragon Quest 2 is now available on iTunes and Google Play, following up on an adaptation of its predecessor released last month.

Debuting for the Famicom back in 1987, Dragon Quest 2 introduced many features that quickly became staples for the genre, including multi-character parties, battles against hordes of monsters, and vehicles that aid navigation across an expansive overworld. Today's release is part of Square Enix's ongoing plans to bring a number of Dragon Quest games to mobile platforms, and joins previously released ports of Dragon Quest 4 and Dragon Quest 8.

Dragon Quest 3 is next in line to receive the mobile treatment. A Hyrule Warriors-style series spinoff, Dragon Quest Heroes, is due to launch next year for PlayStation platforms in Japan.

[Image: Square Enix]

The Pac-Man family fights breast cancer during October

Bandai Namco is teaming up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation this month by offering special pink mazes for its mobile Pac-Man games. The mazes will cost $1 each, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the NBCF. Bandai Namco is calling the initiative, which will last until the end of the month, the "Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign."

If you have an iOS device, the list of compatible games is as follows: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Lite, Ms. Pac-Man Lite, Ms. Pac-Man for iPad and Ms. Pac-Man for iPad Lite. If you're rocking an Android device, your options are limited to Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man + Tournaments.

"We are very excited about our new partnership with BANDAI NAMCO and the Ms. PAC-MAN Pink Ribbon Campaign," NBCF founder and CEO Janelle Hail said in a related press release. "By encouraging their gamers to Join the Pac, we can reach more women than ever with our message of hope. The funds they raise will allow us to provide early detection services for women in need in all 50 states."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Marvel Puzzle Quest is first game to include female Thor

Remember the new version of Thor that Marvel announced back in July? You know, the lady Thor. Only, according to Marvel writer Jason Aaron, she's not "Lady Thor," she's Thor, and she just happens to be a lady. Well, she's about to make her first video game debut, and it's Marvel Puzzle Quest that will play the role of host. Thor: Goddess of Thunder will be a 4-star character reward for Season 7. All players of Marvel Puzzle Quest will be able to summon her in battle starting October 17.

The female Thor's inclusion in Marvel Puzzle Quest is part of a 1-year anniversary celebration of the game, with other additions rounding out the game's offerings. Players who have stuck with the game for 365 days will also unlock Devil Dinosaur as a playable character starting on October 8, for example.
[Image: Marvel]

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Sakaguchi's Terra Battle lands on iOS, Android this week

Terra Battle, a fast-paced, grid-based action RPG from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studio, will start filling experience bars on October 9. The adventure begins as a free download on iOS and Android, with players leading a party to the center of the world to learn about a being called The Maker. Naturally, hordes of monsters stand ahead of your destination, inviting your group into bouts where intelligent positioning doles out extra servings of damage.

While players can purchase Energy to restore stamina, avoid defeat in battle or unlock rare characters, Terra Battle's Download Starter will add content based on the game's accumulative download count rather than how much players spend. New music, characters, game modes and a console version can all be earned if 2 million adventurers brave Terra Battle's journey for knowledge.

Contributing Editor Mike Suszek got a closer look at Terra Battle at PAX Prime, noting that at first, its hectic pace didn't make "a lick of sense, yet the slide-and-move-on action was innate and enjoyable enough to encourage continued play."
[Image: Mistwalker]

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Entwined Challenge adds unlockables, new scoring system

You can play on-the-go matchmaker by guiding an unlikely partnering in Entwined Challenge, a mobile version of developer Pixelopus' twin-stick matchmaker on the PS4, PS3 and Vita. Aside from a meager 99-cent price in comparison to the $9.99 journey found on PlayStation platforms, Entwined Challenge adds a new scoring system to Entwined's Challenge Mode and, as noted by its store description, offers "never before seen" unlockables in the form of concept art, sketches and video clips.

Weekend Editor Sam Prell soared through the original release, finding simplicity to be "simultaneously Entwined's greatest strength and its biggest weakness." A "relatively bare construction" kept the experience short and visual hiccups also occasionally hindered Sam's flight patterns. Still, for anyone that finds short bursts of relaxed gameplay inviting, Sam remarked that Entwined "utterly succeeds" on that front.
[Image: PlayStation Mobile Inc.]

Star Wars Assault Team, Tiny Death Star get bullseye'd like womprats

It seems that Disney has instituted its own version of Order 66 and cleansed the iOS App Store, Google Play Store and Windows Store of free-to-play mobile games Star Wars Assault Team and Tiny Death Star. Both Pocket Gamer and Game Informer report that the decision to pull the games - both of which had been available for less than a year - was made so that the company could focus on Star Wars Commander.

Further, it seems that Nimblebit - co-developer with Disney Mobile on Tiny Death Star - was not made aware of the game being retired prior to the game, well ... being retired. "We're very disappointed to see Tiny Death Star shuttered less than a year after launch," Marsh wrote to Game Informer. "We had no prior knowledge that the game would be removed and no longer even have a contact at Disney after the recent layoffs."

"Suffice to say if you're a developer looking to partner with Disney this might not be the partnership you're looking for." Ouch. Maybe it's because the games just didn't fit Disney's new canon for the Star Wars universe?
[Image: Disney]

PSA: The Banner Saga plants a flag on the App Store

The Banner Saga has journeyed for almost an entire year to finally land on the iOS App Store, selling for $10. It's available on iPhone 4S or better devices.

Developer Stoic Studio says in a tweet that it is "actively working on the Android version."

The Banner Saga was originally due out on mobile in the summer, but that date was later pushed to September. October is close enough – think of the launch as both a trick and a treat. On PC, we found The Banner Saga to be a tough strategy game with beautiful lore and art to match.
[Image: Stoic]

NHL 2K faces off on iOS, Android today [Update: Nope, it's delayed]

Update: This just in from 2K - "The global launch of NHL 2K is being delayed to ensure we are able to offer our fans the best gaming experience possible, on all compatible mobile devices. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but will keep you updated on the title's expected availability as it is confirmed."

The mobile return of NHL 2K takes center ice today on iOS and Android, 2K confirmed to Joystiq. Announced last month, the game is the first in 2K Sports' hockey series to launch in four years since NHL 2K11 for Wii and iOS. The "complete and portable All-Star NHL experience" costs $7.99 and will receive live roster updates as the hockey season carries on.

Developed by Visual Concepts and Virtuos, NHL 2K includes 2K's trademark multi-season My Career mode (which WWE 2K15 will also feature in its own way) as well as a quick Mini-Rink three-on-three mode. Players can also participate in asynchronous turn-based shootouts with one another or take their favorite teams through a full NHL season. NHL 2K also includes a Winter Classic outdoor arena as well as a Free Skate mode for players to practice their skills.
[Image: 2K Sports]

Skylanders Trap Team review: Broccoli Guy's unjust desert

Skylanders' success is borne of equal parts solid game design and marketing savvy. Its central conceit – buy small plastic figurines in order to summon in-game characters – is instantly appealing for kids, and its Gauntlet-styled action-RPG gameplay makes it a guilty pleasure for adults.

The franchise's "toys to life" mantra, despite its potential for audience exploitation, rewards dedicated fans with bonus content and unlockables that mirror the size of their toy collections. There are now hundreds of Skylanders toys to collect, but to date, the series has maintained a delicate balance that ensures a fun experience both for hardcore collectors and for casual fans.

Skylanders Trap Team, the fourth major entry in the series, is the first Skylanders game to upset this balance. Trap Team still offers a fun journey at its core, but longtime fans will be disappointed to find out that they need to purchase several new figures in addition to an expensive starter set in order to explore the game to its fullest.

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