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Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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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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Joystiq Deals: Choose Your Own Android Giveaway

Joystiq Deals has a giveaway today that you'll definitely want to check out if you're in the market for a new Android phone. One lucky winner will walk away with a Galaxy Note 4, Moto X (New Version), HTC One M8, LG G3, or a Galaxy Note Edge as part of our Choose Your Own Android Giveaway. All you have to do is submit your e-mail address to confirm your contest entry, so enter today for your chance to win!

If you're on the hunt for Steam deals, many developers are taking part in a shared free weekend event, giving you the chance to test drive and purchase featured games at a steep discount. Awesomenauts, Blade Symphony, Company of Heroes 2, Don't Starve, Grid 2, Injustice, Killing Floor, Payday 2, Trine 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown are all free to play through October 19 at 1:00 p.m. PST, giving you more than a full weekend's worth of gameplay and a prime opportunity to expand your Steam library.
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.

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]

Google Play update adds local multiplayer to Android games

Android device owners can now crush virtual foes within spitting distance - please don't spit on your foes - thanks to the addition of local multiplayer to certain mobile games.

"Google Play Games has added the ability for players to find each other nearby in multiplayer games with the latest Play services update," reads an update on the Android Developers Google Plus page. "Through games that support Play Games multiplayer, players can now invite others nearby into the same game when starting a multiplayer session, creating more local competitive and cooperative experiences."

The only caveat here is that this local multiplayer support will only work in games built using the awkwardly-named Google Play Games services. It remains to be seen whether developers will embrace this new feature (and the Google oversight that comes with it).
[Image: Google]

Trine series tops 7 million sales, shares its level editor

The Trine series has surpassed 7 million sales worldwide, Frozenbyte announced today. That includes sales of Trine and Trine 2 across PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac, Linux and Android. To celebrate seven figures, Frozenbyte has launched the level editor for Trine Enchanted Edition and Trine 2: Complete Story on Steam.

"The editor for the Trine games gives users a first-hand look at the development process," Frozenbyte says in a press release. "Players can now do the same things to Trine or Trine 2 as the developers; they can edit existing maps to their liking, create entirely new ones from scratch, or even create a completely different game."

Both Trine and Trine 2 are free to play this weekend as part of Valve's biggest free weekend ever. Trine wasn't listed in the original free weekend announcement, so that's a nice surprise. Games in the deal are free through Sunday, October 19, at 1PM PT, and they're on sale through Monday, October 20 at 10AM PT.

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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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Google reveals $99 Nexus Player game console, controller


Google announced the upcoming release of the Nexus Player, a $99 set-top box and video game console compatible with thousands of Android apps.

The hardware boasts a 1.8GHz Silvermont quad-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage space, and supports 1080p video streaming via services like Netflix and Hulu. Google will also launch a twin-stick controller peripheral priced separately at $39, putting it in direct competition with Amazon's Fire TV console.

The Nexus Player launches on November 3, and pre-orders open on October 17.

[Image: Google]

Halo: Spartan Strike goes top-down on PC, mobile in December

Microsoft announced a new top-down Halo spinoff today for PC and mobile: Halo: Spartan Strike. Developed by 343 Industries and Vanguard Games, Spartan Strike will arrive on Windows 8 devices and Steam on December 12 for $6. Spartan Strike bears strong resemblance to the developers' other third-person shooter that launched in July 2013, Halo: Spartan Assault, though it is not a direct sequel.

Rather, the upcoming shooter is set during the events of Halo 2 and has players guiding a Spartan through cities, jungles and other environments while using an "all-new arsenal of weapons, abilities and vehicles" such as the series' popular Warthog vehicle. Spartan Strike will include 30 missions filled with Covenant and Promethean enemies. Head past the break for Halo: Spartan Strike's launch trailer.
[Image: Microsoft Studios]

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Three fresh games from Amazon Game Studios

AGS is keeping busy following the acquisition of Far Cry 2 Lead Designer Clint Hocking and Portal Co-Creator Kim Swift earlier this year. The studio has three games in development with three different partners: CreepStorm by Happy Tuesday, Tales From Deep Space by Frontier Developments and Til Morning's Light by WayForward.

CreepStorm (pictured above) is a tower-defense game with RPG elements and a cartoony gothic vibe made exclusively for Fire Tablets. See a trailer for CreepStorm below. Tales From Deep Space is an eccentric adventure and puzzle game set on a space station also due out exclusively on Fire Tablets. Til Morning's Light, which we covered earlier, is a haunted-house puzzler exclusively for the Fire Phone.
[Image: AGS]

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WayForward keeps haunting Til Morning's Light with Amazon



WayForward ain't afraid of no ghost, but that's primarily because it's got Amazon Game Studios backing it up making Til Morning's Light, a new haunted-house game. Built specifically for Amazon's Fire Phone, it follows the flashlight-wielding Erica Page as she wanders around a cursed New England estate solving puzzles and fighting off specters. Think of it as an Are You Afraid of the Dark? teen-friendly spin on Alone in the Dark, but not from the '90s.

WayForward is best known for its two-dimensional action games like Shantae and Mighty Switch Force, but Til Morning's Light actually marks a return to the studio's earlier experiment in young adult horror. LIT, an early WiiWare title from the studio, trapped a high school student in haunted classrooms and forced him to use a flashlight to escape. Devious light-based puzzles were the name of the game in LIT. Til Morning's Light, meanwhile, uses Fire Phone's "Dynamic Perspective."

WayForward and Amazon say the game will be out "soon." In the meantime, there are actually audio blog entries from lead character Erica available on Audible.
[Images: WayForward]

RuneScape getting Hearthstone treatment with new card game

RuneScape developer Jagex revealed a new complementary game to the studio's MMO today, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends. Set in RuneScape's primary world, Gielinor, the game is of the collectible card-battling variety and "focuses on quest building, allowing players to craft their own miniature RPGs against enemies." The game first debuted at Jagex's RuneFest event in London over the weekend, and the developer said it's been quietly working on Chronicle: RuneScape Legends "since the start of the year."

Jagex's announcement follows the recent success of Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a card game based on the World of Warcraft universe. Hearthstone reached 20 million players as of September on PC, Mac and mobile platforms. Likewise, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends will launch in 2015 for PC and Mac as well as mobile and tablet devices.
[Image: Jagex]

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NBA 2K card-battling app now available

We're all adults here and recognize that fantasy football/baseball is just Dungeons and Dragons for jocks, right? Ok, well, here we go with My NBA 2K15 for mobile devices, which is essentially Magic: The Gathering of Hearthstone for the polyester and nylon uniform set.

As PocketGamer notes, the card battler appears to be a replacement for a more traditional mobile basketball game. It features in-app credit purchases and over 1000 cards featuring players who compete through a season of numbers crunching, with the ability to make purchases that transfer to NBA 2K15. The companion app is available for both iOS and Google Play devices.

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]

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