The Sims 4’s new expansion pack, Realm of Magic, has a compelling premise. What if your Sims, who are usually worried about mundane concerns like getting a promotion or raising their kids, could focus on more magical pursuits? What if Sims could ruin a rival’s career by zapping their electronics, brew powerful potion, and disappear to a Hogwarts style academy to meet fellow witches and wizards? My first run through with the new The Sims 4 character type, spellcasters, was less than magical. I spent a long time carefully crafting a witch, Ravenna Ebenlocke, and her cat Burger. Ravenna was a little hungry after I filled their home with furniture and created a witch’s paradise, so I went to cook up some eggs. I had not purchased a fire alarm, and so Ravenna died in a fiery blaze. I had to reload and rebuild, and this time I forgot to put a door on the bathroom. Ravenna peed herself in the middle of a poor magic lesson and died of embarrassment. The more things change … [Read more...] about The Sims 4’s Realm of Magic expansion gets a little too powerful
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City building games aren’t exactly a genre one tends to associate with a particular mood. Aside from the jaunty, upbeat music of the all-time classic SimCity 2000, they tend to be relatively disconnected, dispassionate experiences. Cities Skylines is a bloody incredible game, but it isn’t exactly awash with atmosphere. Then there’s Tropico. Tropico is the city building and management game for the player who wants a bit of flavour. The concept is pretty simple, really: take the honest city simulation and management gaming tropes and cram them into a setting that’s awash with potential for satire and fun. The result is a simulator bursting with energy: instead of a gentle orchestral backing to the hustle and bustle of a city, the game blasts Cuban Big Bang, Salsa and Latin Jazz at you. Instead of being a faceless Mayor your player character El Presidente is designed before you hop in and can be sent around your city on foot to boost morale. This all works well … [Read more...] about Tropico 6 review: another solid showing for the most charming city sim around
The PCG Q&AFind all previous editions of the PCG Q&A here. Below are some highlights:What's the funniest thing that's happened to you in a game?When did you know you were playing a game way too much?How would you change Steam?The news that Fallout 76 isn't launching on Steam later this year naturally provoked a lot of discussion this week, with over 900 comments on our news piece and counting. How likely are you to play a game if it's not released on Steam? That's the subject of our midweek PCG Q&A. While our answers vary a lot, we mostly don't mind buying games away from Steam as long as we're offered a good experience. In some cases, we prefer it. But we want to know what you think. Tell us in the comments below. Wes Fenlon: Very likely—as long as it's not the Windows StoreI'm always running Steam, but I play plenty of games now and then that don't run Steam, and for the most part I'm fine with those secondary launchers. I always have the Dolphin emulator … [Read more...] about How likely are you to play a game if it’s not released on Steam?
Is crunch time still unconscionable even when it’s self-imposed? You have to wonder when you hear about one 28-year-old Seattleite's grueling four-year quest to make the ultimate farming sim. "On average, I probably worked on it 10 hours a day every day of the week during development," says Eric Barone. "Now that the game is out, I'm probably spending more like 15 hours a day on it." He’s talking about his one-man labor of love Stardew Valley, which began as an homage to the classic franchise Harvest Moon. Eventually, Barone dreamed of creating the ultimate apotheosis of Harvest Moon--a game that was equally soothing and idyllic, but vaster and more ambitious than anything Natsume ever dreamed of. "My experiences playing Harvest Moon are priceless and have had a deep impact on me, and I wanted my own game to have that kind of power," says Barone. "However, I know that to make a great game you can't just create 'art'... the game needs to be fun." The first … [Read more...] about The 4 years of self-imposed crunch that went into Stardew Valley
This week, we’re running a big list of what we — and a group of trusted friends — recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time. For the backstory, criteria, explanation of why Breath of the Wild isn’t on the list, etc., head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time. For numbers 400-301, scroll down. 400. Mirror's Edge (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) Keep moving. That's the main objective of Mirror's Edge. Releasing alongside dozens of first-person shooters, Mirror's Edge stood for daring to be different. Putting an emphasis on using first-person parkour to outsmart enemies, rather than just shooting through them, Mirror's Edge was a flawed beauty stuck in the memory of those who just kept running through its clean, white city. 399. Braid (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) In many ways, the modern indie explosion started with Braid. Unlike anything people had seen at the time, Braid and its time-bending puzzles … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 400-301