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By Matt Brown, March 9, 2013 0 Android, Industry, iOS, News

And who ever said video games can’t serve a practical purpose? In an interesting turn of events, the creator of strategy game Plague Inc. has been invited to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga. to discuss how the game models the spread of infectious disease. In addition, the CDC is looking at the game’s potential to be used to educate and notify the public of major health issues.

Released for iOS last May and Android in October, Plague Inc. allows players to create a deadly disease and help its spread across the globe. Starting with the infection of patient zero, the world’s AI-controlled doctors struggle to thwart your pandemic at every turn.

In an interview with Polygon, creator James Vaughan explained that the game isn’t a perfectly accurate model but he did attempt to make the game as “scientifically plausible” as possible.

Vaughan will be conducting a handful of private lectures on the game and its simulation just before Game Developers Conference in Austin, Tx.

By Matt Brown, March 5, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Every year, a handful of triple-A titles are released and every year more than a few of those titles fall short of all the hype. One title that for most, did not fall short of the hype was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. For almost everyone I know, Skyrim went above and beyond in so many ways. It enriched hundreds of hours of their lives and brought them great happiness. Great bang for their buck.

I did not get any of these wonderful things.

Skyrim felt, to me, like I imagine hanging out with the cast of Jackass would feel like. Repeatedly asking myself the question, “I am the only one who realizes how crazy this is?”

(more…)

By Matt Brown, March 3, 2013 0 Android, Industry, News

More and more, mobile gaming is morphing and evolving to rival console games in gameplay and complexity and immersion. And now that distinction is being blurred even further.

Developer High Voltage Software has announced on Facebook that The Conduit HD will be coming to Tegra-chip-powered Android devices through the Google Play Store starting March 14.

The first two missions for the game will be free, and the subsequent seven missions will cost $4.99 in-app or bundles of missions three through six and seven through nine will be $2.99.

…That’s right, console graphics right in the palm of your hand. Because you’ve never heard that before.

Source: Facebook

By Matt Brown, March 3, 2013 0 Mac, News

Who says Mac gamers get no love? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of patiently waiting, League of Legends is now in open beta for Mac. Developer Riot Games announced the much anticipated news on its blog this past Friday.

The announcement also insured that the Mac beta would stay on the same schedule as the Windows client, receiving patches and updates in time as well as getting its own targeted patches as necessary for any Mac-specific bugs. On top of all the great news, Riot included a pretty entertaining little launch trailer that you can catch after the jump. In the meantime, the Mac client is available for download here. (more…)

By Matt Brown, March 3, 2013 0 Multiplatform, News, Next generation

[UPDATE: The trailer is back, screenshots in tow. Check the updated video link after the break.]

Like a thief in the night, a debut trailer for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was leaked and pulled all in the blink of an eye. The pirate-tastic trailer showed us newcomer Edward Kenway in action while Blackbeard himself basically says, “I thought I was hot shit, but boy was I wrong.”

In the trailer, Blackbeard relaxes with what I think we can safely assume is a large bottle of rum and explains to his fellow buccaneers that their new captain, Kenway, “fights like a devil dressed as a man.” Rightfully so, I mean the dude is double-fisting every weapon a pirate could want. He’s got four flintlock pistols and two cutlasses. That we know of.

In addition to the awesome assassin action, the trailer also revealed that the title is slated to be released on Oct. 29 of this year for both current and next gen consoles. That’s some fancy booty right there (Sorry, had to).

If you want to look at the screen that says the trailer is now private, check the magic Youtube box after the jump.

(more…)

By Matt Brown, March 2, 2013 0 Deals, Industry, News, PC

This weekend Robot Entertainment turns four years old. And in celebration of this monumental birthday/anniversary thing, they’re putting some of their most popular titles on sale for the weekend.

They’ve announced on their company blog that three of their best and brightest titles will be on sale, DLC and all. Orcs Must Die!, Orcs Must Die! 2 and Hero Academy will all be available at a 75 percent discount throughout the weekend. You can check their site for a full list of the DLC and extra goodies that will also be heavily discounted.

Wallets, rejoice!

Source: Robot Entertainment

By Matt Brown, March 2, 2013 0 Deals, News, Xbox 360

Everybody loves a good deal. Savings and discounts and buy-one-get-several-at-a-slightly-lower-price will motivate even the most frugal to buy crap they never intended on buying.

Game sales are no exception. Now the Xbox LIVE Ultimate Game Sale is just dangling delicious offers right in front of my face.

Right now, today only, Xbox LIVE is featuring 50 percent discounts on both Borderlands titles, Arkham City, Portal 2, and many more. We’re talking major savings on several big name titles and none of the sale items will cost you any more than $29.99 today. Borderlands is only $9.99 and Borderlands 2 is going for $29.99. You can check the link below for the full pricing breakdown on all of today’s sale titles.

Source: Major Nelson

By Matt Brown, February 24, 2013 0 Indie, Multiplatform, News

I’m from Kentucky. There’s a game set in Kentucky. How did I miss this??

Kentucky Route Zero is an episodic indie adventure about a highway running through the cavernous bowels of my home state. And now all five episodes are available on Steam for $22.99 now through March 1. That’s ten percent off the original price of the season’s five episodes.

If you’re more interested in supporting the developers directly, the game’s also available on the game’s official website. Doing so will not only get you DRM-free and Steam versions of the game, you’ll also get the soundtrack and a “private monthly newsletter” (if you’re into that kind of thing.

Having both gone through the Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight rigmarole, the game has already received some high praise from other outlets.

All five of the game’s episodes are expected to come out periodically throughout the year, kind of like Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead.

Like a mint julep at a horse race, I don’t think I can resist. I’ll just have to go grab my race hat…

By Matt Brown, February 24, 2013 0 News, PC

For all the cat persons out there, this is the news you’ve been waiting for. You and everyone whoever had a Tamagotchi. Team Meat has confirmed that its new project, Mew-Genics, is a “simulated ‘cat lady'” game.

The post on the group’s blog dives into all the details doesn’t attempt to describe the specific ins and outs of the game but rather describes it through a story regarding gameplay. The story details the exploits of several cats, including Puddle, Champ and Goon. I’m not making that up.

According to the post, the game was designed in an effort to create a cat lady environment where cats behave and interact like cats and all their actions have consequences. So basically, this is the easiest and cheapest way to have more cats than you could ever know what to do with.

So me, my cat and every woman whoever thought her curlers were a fashionable accessory are super excited right meow.

Source: Team Meat

By Matt Brown, February 23, 2013 0 News, Next generation, PS4

After all the rumors and speculation, all the waiting, we now finally have real info about the first of our next-gen consoles. Wednesday’s PlayStation 4 announcement was a flood of tech demos and all the rest, but still left more than a few questions. And in an interview with the Guardian, Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., answered a few of those lingering questions.

Chief among the answers Yoshida provided was some insight into the nature of the next-gen distribution model. Namely, all next-gen titles will be available for digital download. This will also allow for smaller games akin to current-gen Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network titles to be cheap or free-to-play, Yoshida said.

Up to this point, most rumors postulated that next-gen consoles wouldn’t play used games. Now it seems they won’t actively disable them, but the digital model does sort of passively aggressively prevent them. In addition, Yoshida mentioned that the flexibility of digital distribution combined with PlayStation 4’s reported ability to recommend games and subscription services will subtly push players to try new titles.

So again we’ve got some very nice, very interesting next-gen stuff that brings with it another step away from physical stores and the used games market that goes with it. It’s subtle, it’s wrapped in the excitement of a new product launch and the only thing that remains to be seen is how all this will affect Joe Schmo, the gamer.