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Bend your brain for 2 bucks with Monument Valley

Monument Valley, the physics-bending and fantastical puzzle game, is on sale for $2 on Google Play, down from its normal price of $4. This is the game's first sale on Android.

Monument Valley took home an Apple Design Award (and a lot of players' hearts) this year, and it recently passed 1 million in sales. Developer ustwo plans to release "lost scenes" for the game that should double its current playtime of 90 minutes or so. The scenes are due out in the fall, though whether they'll be paid or free is still up in the fresh monument air.
[Image: ustwo]

Blizzard investigating Hearthstone payment woes

Those who have been erroneously charged for Hearthstone's new Curse of Naxxramas singleplayer campaign can rest assured that developer Blizzard is looking into the problem.

Following yesterday's debut of the Plague Wing area, reports came rolling in of players unable to purchase the additional content or being double-charged by the game's in-app purchase system. "We are currently investigating the following issues affecting the new Hearthstone wing, the Plague Quarter," Blizzard wrote in a statement to Eurogamer. "Some players are unable to access the new wing after purchase. Some players have been charged twice in order to access the new wing. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve them."

Since issuing that statement, Blizzard has created a notice in the Hearthstone forums that offers guidelines for those affected. If your purchase failed, securing a refund should be a simple process, though Blizzard continues to look into those cases where payment was successfully made but players were not granted access to the game's new features.

Breath of Fire 6 delayed to spring 2015 in Japan


Breath of Fire 6: Guardians of the White Dragons's release in Japan has been pushed back to spring 2015 for PC, iOS and Android. Capcom tweeted the decision to postpone the game's full launch earlier today, and according to Siliconera, the publisher is in the process of determining whether the game will launch in other regions. It will be the first main entry in the long-running RPG series since 2003.

Breath of Fire 6 was previously expected to launch this summer, as reported in Capcom's earnings statements in May. The RPG was first revealed in August among a handful of other online games. It will feature a town-building system and the ability for AI partners to join in players' time-based battles. Capcom offered two new screens and a promotional anime trailer for Breath of Fire 6 as well, the former found in the gallery below.

PAX 10 spotlights Framed and Duet

This year's PAX 10, a collection of games from independent developers, has been determined and will be highlighted at next month's PAX Prime convention. The ten games were hand-picked by 50 industry experts, starting with Duet, Kumobius' elegant arcade-style action game for iOS. Duet is joined by LoveShack's Framed, a narrative puzzle game trapped in a comic world. Both Duet and Framed received attention earlier this year when the games were among six total mobile titles in the PAX East Indie Showcase.

Those two games are joined by an abstract 2D PC platformer from DigiPen's Neat Snake known as Flickers. Infinity Monkeys' Life Goes On is also in the mix, in which players set out to find the Cup of Life by ironically sacrificing knights to the game's deathly contraptions. Untame's amorphous puzzler Mushroom 11 will be included in the showcase, as will Funktronic Labs' sci-fi, turn-based adventure game Nova-111.

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Device 6 developer drops anchor on The Sailor's Dream



The Sailor's Dream is a melancholic, introspective game that features a lot of writing – most likely good writing, considering developer Simogo's previous work – the open seas, a series of islands and a splintered story that you piece together in whichever order you see fit. The Sailor's Dream is in the same vein as Simogo's most recent games, Year Walk and Device 6, but the studio says it's softer and carries less of a classic challenge.

"We're throwing out some more traditional game challenge-elements; in fact, The Sailor's Dream won't feature any puzzles at all," Simogo writes. "That doesn't mean you won't find playful things in the game, though – there are plenty of things to touch, play and tinker with. And it definitely doesn't mean that we want it to be easily digested! We hope it will leave you pondering and wondering and find reasons to talk about it with friends, and hopefully even return to it. It's a fractured story told in different ways, from different perspectives. When it comes to telling the story, we're drawing inspirations from both books, radio plays and even musicals."

The trailer for The Sailor's Dream shows navigational coordinates over beautiful, seemingly hand-painted landmarks on an open sea, and a series of interactive objects. Text mentions a lonely girl exploring the ocean and perhaps a bit of love lost, but not forgotten: "Seal our love in ink forever, on my heart and on his arm." The final touch of gramophone music in the trailer is haunting.

The Sailor's Dream launches on iOS in late 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy Pinball dated for all systems



This past weekend the Guardians of the Galaxy pinball table was announced, bringing the crazy crew to Zen Pinball 2 in addition to their appearances in Disney Infinity 2.0 and Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The table was revealed for PS3, PS4 and Vita, available for $2.99 on July 29.

The table will also be available on the following platforms and dates:
  • Steam, Xbox 360 - July 30
  • Xbox One, Android, iOS and Amazon - July 31

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Kasedo's strategy-RPG Crowntakers launching for PC, tablets this year


Kalypso's digital-only label Kasedo Games announced that it will release the procedurally generated tactical RPG Crowntakers for PC and mobile platforms later this year.

In Crowntakers, players hire a party of mercenaries with unique abilities and travel through eight randomly generated environments, fending off enemy soldiers and wildlife in turn-based battles. Crowntakers also includes crafting and character-leveling components, and the quest features multiple endings, giving players an incentive to finish their battles quickly as they rush to save a kidnapped king.

Crowntakers will launch for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS and Android tablets in 2014.

[Video: Kasedo Games]

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Beatbuddy paddling, grooving its way to iOS in September


Beatbuddy's rhythmically-accented adventure will follow along to iOS' beat in September, developer Threaks announced this week. A related press release notes the version has been "completely redesigned for touch," but judging from the above demonstration, it looks like the logical extension of the Steam version's follow-the-cursor gameplay.

If you've yet to swim through the journey's channels, Beatbuddy's musical world of Symphonia is plagued by the vain, detestable Prince Maestro. In order to ensure his nails-on-a-chalkboard-tier music spreads through Symphonia, Prince Maestro kidnaps Melody, a spiritual being from which a component of Symphonia's life-sustaining music stems from. Beatbuddy is faced with undoing this injustice and knocking Prince Maestro down a peg, solving puzzles that incorporate the game's soundtrack along the way.

To get a better sense of just how vital music is to Symphonia and the Beatbuddy experience, you can read our review.
[Image: Threaks]

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Fat Princess returns in match-three spinoff for mobile, Vita

The Fat Princess series has been overloading on real-time strategy-flavored sweets since its 2009 debut on the PlayStation Network, but Fat Princess: Piece of Cake adds a layer of match-three puzzler frosting to the metaphorical gameplay cake. IGN reports that Piece of Cake will be served on the Vita this fall, but a free, micro transaction-sprinkled mobile version is currently available on the Canadian App Store and Google Play.

Conquering one of Piece of Cake's 55+ stages requires making intelligent matches on its match-three game board, which guides the actions of your party's Warrior, Ranger, Worker and Priest. Pieces are attributed to different skills: matching three hearts will have the Priest use healing magic, for example. All puzzle-based progress is translated into an above battle against the blue army in a scene that's reminiscent of the series' established gameplay.

In a game featuring extensive portions, Piece of Cake's bonus feels fitting: the App Store and Google Play descriptions notes that after clearing level 15, players with a linked Facebook account will "earn access to a download of Fat Princess for your PS3 system at no additional cost." Assuming that amount of progress is feasible without purchasing power-ups or character upgrades, that's a pretty sweet deal.
[Image: SCEA]

Kamcord 2.0 is like Instagram for mobile gameplay videos

Kamcord is a 17-person startup company specializing in mobile technology. It is also the name of said company's app for iOS devices, which as of the recently-released update 2.0, now functions like a social network based around the recording and sharing of mobile games. Through the app, users can chat with and follow other players, as well as post comments on the videos they watch.

TechCrunch reports that users are currently uploading one hour of gameplay every minute to Kamcord, and that the sevice hosts roughly 14 million videos so far. The game with the most videos? My Talking Tom, a game where you interact with a virtaul kitty has, as of this writing, more than 5.5 million videos shared.

No matter where you go, cats on the internet will find you.
[Image: Kamcord]

Google Play adds 'Offline Games' section

Those worried that the games they play on their Android devices might be subtly pushing them ever-closer to their carrier's data cap can rest a bit easier by perusing the offerings in Google Play's newly-launched "Offline Games" section.

Like the name says, all games found in the Offline Games section require no Internet connectivity beyond the initial download. While this means the games (which include Plague Inc., Jetpack Joyride and Minecraft - Pocket Edition) won't automatically tap into the cloud for leaderboard updates and in-app purchase reminders, it also means your monthly phone bill won't suddenly inflate to ludicrous levels simply because you spent an especially boring afternoon at the DMV with only your portable device for entertainment.

As Engadget points out, the Offline Games section is currently paltry when compared to the thousands of games otherwise available on Google Play, but it's a start. Hopefully more mobile developers will see this move as a reminder that not everyone has an unlimited data plan.
[Image: Google]

TMNT movie tie-in mobile game out now, created by Combo Crew dev

Normally we'd ignore a movie tie-in mobile game, except that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was developed by a notable up-and-comer. First spotted by PocketGamer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created by The Game Bakers, who created the enjoyable Combo Crew and colorful RPG Squids.

"The violence feels robust and chunky," PocketGamer says of the $3.99 premium app. The game is based on the movie, which is based on the show, which is based on the comic, which is based on thoughts conceived when someone mixed Fresca, Tab and pepperoni pizza in the 80s.

[Image: Nickelodeon]

Alternate 1980s RPG Majestic Nights is one big conspiracy


Some choose to believe the Apollo 11 moon landing of 1969 was a hoax, or that the United States government is keeping extraterrestrials in a hidden building somewhere in the Nevada desert. Epiphany Games is playing off these types of conspiracies with its freshly-announced episodic game, Majestic Nights, which will debut in September. In the alternate 1980s game, these sorts of conspiracies aren't just theories, but are "truths." Players guide an intelligence operative known as Cardholder and a private investigator named Cal in the isometric RPG, uncovering clues to the criminal cover-ups and world-breaking facts about events like alien abductions.

The first season of Majestic Nights includes six episodes and kicks off with a "Chapter Zero" prologue for free in September, which dives into the aforementioned moon landing. Majestic Nights' subsequent chapters will come at a cost; the first is expected to arrive in October, with the season's conclusive sixth episode currently slated for April 2015. The game is in development for PC, Mac, iOS and Android, and while Epiphany didn't put a price to each chapter, season passes will be available for players to guarantee access to the whole shebang.
[Image: Epiphany Games]

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Allons-y! Doctor Who: Legacy gets new companions, levels

The fabric of space-time gets a little wibbly-wobbly today, when The Doctor from the BBC's Doctor Who invades multiple comic books and the mobile Doctor Who: Legacy game. Well, actually it's not The Doctor who we're surprised to see, but two of his companions: Gabriella Gonzalez and Alice Obiefune. These new characters will simultaneously debut in Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 and Doctor Who: Legacy.

Legacy players looking to add the companions to their roster of allies will have to pick up copies of the new comics, each of which contain an exclusive link to a code used to unlock Gabriella and Alice, as well as new levels and enemies taken from the comics. Copies should be available either through your local comic shop or online via publisher Titan Comics.

"It's a real delight for us that Gabby and Alice can now go on new adventures with the Doctor in between issues – and we look forward to sharing more comics-driven content through Legacy in the future," Doctor Who comics editor Andrew James said in a related press release.
[Image: Titan Comics]

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Live Look: Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas


If you've been interested in Blizzard's collectible card game Hearthstone, but the whole idea of competitive multiplayer is a turn-off, it's time to take another look at the title with the Curse of Naxxramas single-player expansion. Launched late yesterday, we did a quick little walkthrough of the new content this morning on our Twitch channel. Skip ahead to the seven minute mark for the start of gameplay.

We got a little confused about the pricing of the expansion on the stream, so we've placed those details after the break for easy reference. The first wing of Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas is available free-to-play now on PC and iPad.

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