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Indie Royale's ten-game Mystery Bundle could be anything

Well this is awkward. See, we were hoping to tell you about Indie Royale's new "Mystery Bundle," but there are only two confirmed games we can really talk about. We can say for sure that the ten-game bundle features The Sun at Night and Hero of the Kingdom, PC games packed with Steam and Desura keys as well as DRM-free download options available to buyers. While Indie Royale values the bundle at $70, it's available now for the pay-the-minimum price of 99 cents.

Here's the catch: Indie Royale will reveal a new game in the bundle each day and will increase its price by 30 cents with every reveal, so those buying in today while the bulk of the games are unknown will get the whole lot at its lowest price. We hate to speculate, but what if Indie Royale is pulling an Oprah on us and one of the eight other games is actually a new car? What if one title is the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, or the concept of love? The possibilities are endless. The Mystery Bundle ends on Wednesday, October 15.
[Image: Indie Royale]

Star Citizen earns Guinness world record for crowdfunding efforts

As Star Citizen recently crossed $55 million in funding, Roberts Space Industries founder Chris Roberts announced that the game is entering the Guinness Book of World Records "not as the largest crowdfunded game of all time, but as the largest crowdfunded anything of all time."

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Joystiq Deals: Remote aerial drone, Wolfenstein: The New Order

Today's edition of Joystiq Deals brings you the Micro Drone 2.0, a gadget aimed at those of you who've always wanted to experience the freedom of flight, but were born without wings or the vast fortune necessary to build a jetpack.

The Micro Drone 2.0 weighs just over one ounce, yet the miniscule quadcopter is powerful enough to carry an aerial camera. It boasts a range of "up to 400 feet" and can be recharged via a convenient USB battery. Best of all, the Micro Drone 2.0 has received a 46 percent discount, reducing its price from $140 to $75 for the next 12 days. Full details can be found on the Joystiq Deals website.

On the gaming side of things, Amazon is offering a sizable discount on Wolfenstein: The New Order. Currently, the Bethesda-published shooter is available at 50 percent off its normal price, which means you can murder legions of alternate history Nazis for only $30. The discount applies to all versions of the game, from the PC to the PlayStation 4. For more information, visit the game's Amazon listing.

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.

Customize your 'stache in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Image While a thick handlebar mustache, like the ones frequently seen in the above customization and crafting trailer, won't directly increase the power of your character in Dragon Age: Inquisition, it has been proven that dragons are far less likely to flash-fry a person sporting an impressive... Continue Reading

Ghosts, pools, Darth Vader coming to The Sims 4

Hoping to appease fans upset that The Sims 4 lacks a number of features that have long been a standard of the series, publisher EA has outlined plans to add a host of new content to the virtual life simulation over the next few months.

In the October update, The Sims 4 will receive costumes based on iconic Star Wars characters, as well as new ghostly forms for your deceased Sims. According to EA, these ghosts will behave much as they did prior to death, but the manner in which they died will grant the apparition wholly new behaviors. Those ghosts will come in handy once the November update arrives, as the mortality rate of your Sims is expected to skyrocket once pools are finally added to The Sims 4. Then, in December, EA and developer Maxis plan to introduce new career paths that are slightly less likely to result in your Sims drowning in the backyard.

There's no word on when exactly these updates might be released, but they will each be free additions, requiring only that players log onto EA's Origin digital distribution service to download each update.

South Park Pinball rolling in this month

The pinball wizards at Zen Studios announced today that two South Park pinball tables are rolling out in October (this month!) for the Zen Pinball 2 platform. The publisher currently has no further details to share.

Fine, fine. Well, If we were to guess, the South Park tables will likely be on most major devices, as was the case with the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Walking Dead tables. The price will also likely be around the $2.99 mark. Also, Kenny will likely die.

Battle Chef Brigade creates Iron Chef and platforming emulsion

Cooking competitions Iron Chef and Top Chef cross over into the realm of a fantastical fantasy platformer in Battle Chef Brigade. Developed by Trinket Games, a band of digital cooks made up of vets from Disney Interactive's Wideload Games, Battle Chef Brigade recently blew by its Kickstarter goal of $38,000.

The game finds players participating in a cooking competition, where they will experience the ultimate farm-to-table preparation techniques. That is, they must go out and farm the monsters themselves, then slice, dice, season and prepare the meal with magic for a panel of expert judges. A la cadabra cuisine!

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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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Civilization: Beyond Earth before planetfall 10-minute trailer

Image Civilization: Beyond Earth is all set to begin colonizing retail and digital distribution channels on October 24. Here's a deeper look at many of the strategy game's initial features. Key tactic: Don't attack the aliens (at least, not at first)!... Continue Reading

Hearthstone's first expansion will add more than 100 cards

A forthcoming expansion for Blizzard's mobile and PC CCG Hearthstone will add more than 100 new cards for players to collect, Polygon reports.

Hearthstone's first fully fledged expansion follows up on the recent launch of Curse of Naxxramas, a single-player add-on that introduced new bosses and a handful of exclusive cards. Production director Jason Chayes told Polygon that the expansion's new content will roll out in waves, to preserve the game's pacing and to ensure accessibility for newcomers.

"One of the things that we spend a lot of time talking about is pacing," Chayes said. "Not just the pacing of the game as it is, but pacing of the rollout of new content. We really want to make sure the pacing is great not just for seasoned Hearthstone players but for new players coming into the game too."

Chayes notes that further details regarding Hearthstone's expansion will be announced "very soon."

[Image: Blizzard]

Hackers charged with Xbox One, Valve, Call of Duty data theft

The United States has charged four members of an international hacking ring with stealing up to $200 million in intellectual property and other data from Microsoft, Epic Games, Valve, Zombie Studios and the US Army. The hackers are charged with stealing software related to Xbox Live, Xbox One, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Gears of War 3.

"Specifically, the data cyber-theft allegedly included source code, technical specifications and related information for Microsoft's then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console; intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox Live, Microsoft's online multi-player gaming and media-delivery system; Apache helicopter simulator software developed by Zombie Studios for the US Army; a pre-release version of Epic's video game, Gears of War 3; and a pre-release version of Activision's video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The defendants also allegedly conspired to use, share and sell the stolen information," the US Department of Justice says in a press release.

The hacking group used SQL injection and stolen usernames and passwords to break into the targeted companies' networks. The men charged are Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland; Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey; David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and Austin Alcala, 18, of McCordsville, Indiana. Pokora and Nesheiwat have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and copyright infringement, both scheduled for sentencing in January.

"Pokora's plea is believed to be the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into US businesses to steal trade secret information," the Department of Justice says. Authorities in Australia have charged an Australian citizen in relation to this conspiracy.
[Image: Microsoft]

Pre-order Alien: Isolation digitally, watch it download in terror

Digital pre-orders for Creative Assembly's frightful first-person game Alien: Isolation are now available. Players can put money down in advance of the game's impending launch in one week on Steam, PSN and Xbox Live to pre-download the game and pick up its season pass.

Xbox One players can pre-purchase the game's Nostromo Edition on Microsoft's store, which includes the full game as well as the "Crew Expendable" bonus content. PS4 and PS3 players can scoot over to PSN to pre-order either the Nostromo Edition or the Season Pass bundle, with individual passes available on launch day, October 7. Likewise, the Nostromo Edition as well as the Digital Deluxe Edition are available to pre-purchase on Steam, the latter of which also includes the game's season pass. The $30 season pass give players access to Alien: Isolation's survivor mode map packs.

They sent a poet: Elegy for a Dead World due in early 2015

Elegy for a Dead World, a game that transforms players into British Romantic poets traversing a sci-fi landscape, is due out in early 2015 for PC, Mac and Linux via Steam, developers Dejobaan Games and Popcannibal announced on their Kickstarter page. Beta keys are due out for eligible backers in October (yep, the October that starts tomorrow).

Elegy for a Dead World imagines the cracked, desolate planets of classic Romantic poets Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and John Keats, and then asks players to explore the worlds' ruins and write about the symbols and archaeology they find. Players can then share the stories they've written with other people on Steam, or upload screenshots of their own tales to make personalized books via print-on-demand sites.

"We created Elegy so that everyone can write," Dejobaan writes. "As you explore, the game helps you create the narrative .... Each world offers multiple sets of prompts, each intended to inspire you to write a different story about it. Elegy might ask you to write a short story about an individual's final days, a song about resignation or a poem about war. In the more advanced levels, you'll sometimes get new information halfway through your story which casts a new light on things and forces you to take your story in a different direction. We like to think of those as puzzles – writing yourself out of a corner, so to speak."
[Images: Warner Bros, Dejobaan/Popcannibal]

Joystiq Streams: Casting a fiery eye on Shadow of Mordor



JOY-STIQ! JOY-STIQ! JOY-STIQ! STREEEEAAAAAMMMMMMMMS! One day, when we're all War Chiefs in Sauron's army of Uruks, that's what they'll chant. From high and low, they'll call our names out, afraid of our endless wrath and prowess in battle!

Then again, it seems like being an Uruk is hard work. You're outside literally all the time, giant pig-wolf things are always trying to eat you, and there is almost always a bearded dude carrying half a sword skulking in the shadows waiting to stab you. Forget it. Joystiq Streams may not be ready for war chiefdom, but we're certainly ready to play Shadow of Mordor for your viewing pleasure.

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) will be playing through Mordor's early missions. Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) and Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) will be around to talk about the game's subtleties and hang in the chat. Show up early for the pre-show tomfoolery.

Joystiq Streams airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but if you want to catch all our streams make sure to follow us on Twitch.

[Images: WBIE]

Dreamfall Adventures debut chapter arrives in late October

Despite earlier reports, developer Red Thread Games has announced that its episodic adventure game Dreamfall Chapters will premiere on October 21.

"Book One of the Kickstarter-funded game will be distributed to project backers, and will be available to download on Steam for PC and Mac, and on Linux on Tuesday, October 21," reads the developer's announcement. No specific date is offered for the PlayStation 4 version of Dreamfall Chapters, but the developer claims the console game will be available in "early 2015."

According to Red Thread, Book One will cover the game's prologue and first two chapters. The game's remaining four Books will complete the tale, though there's no word on when those additional episodes might arrive.
[Image: Red Thread Games]

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