Features

7 upcoming indie games to watch out for

You might discover a future favorite

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Tired of the constant barrage of sequels and AAA games that all feel the same? An indie game may be what you need! These are seven of the most promising titles coming out in the next year or so. Check ’em out:

Afterparty

Developed and published by Night School Studio, creators of Oxenfree, Afterparty is another narrative crafted in a similar vein. Friends Milo and Lola went and did the inconvenient thing for a couple of hard-drinking best buds — died and went to hell. They get a chance to come back to the surface, but at a cost: They need to outdrink Satan himself. Explore the streets of the underworld, meet (and party with) a host of demons, and see where the story goes by choosing your actions. Expect it out in 2019.

Children of Morta

Take control of the members of the Bergson family, each with a unique fighting style, in the hack-and-slash roguelike Children of Morta developed by Dead Mage and published by 11-Bit Studios. The pixel art graphics look amazing and fluid, especially during movement and in battle with the hordes of enemies coming your way. You are tasked, as a guardian of the mountain, to free it from the Corruption and find out the truth behind what exactly happened to the family’s once-peaceful home. Releases in 2019.

Disco Elysium

Looking for a new twist on the isometric RPG? Disco Elysium by ZA/UM, which you may have heard of by its previous name No Truce with the Furies, drops you into an urban fantasy city as a disgraced detective. Seek the secrets of Revachol, customize your character with skills that emphasize the psychological aspect of dealing with others, and be amazed by the amount of dialogue options and actions you can take to solve cases.

Indivisible

Lab Zero Games, who brought us Skullgirls, will be bringing us the RPG platformer Indivisible. You play a girl named Anja, who awakens to a mysterious power in a lush hand-drawn setting based on Southeast Asian folklore. Once engaged with an enemy on the main screen, you expand into a party (whom you recruit to your team along the journey) and action combat mechanics come into play. The opening intro was even made by Japanese animation studio TRIGGER! Check it out when it comes to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch next year.

N1RV Ann-A

Sukeban GamesVA-11 HALL-A was an anime-inspired visual novel with a little bartending twist, and was captivating with its great writing and focus on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in a cyberpunk dystopian setting. The sequel and second part in this “Cyberpunk Bartender Action” series was announced last September to much fanfare. The bar N1RV Ann-A had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mention in the original game, so this sequel seems like it’ll bring more worldbuilding and character exploration.

Ooblets

Described as a mix between Pokémon, Animal Crossing, and Harvest Moon, in Ooblets you take on the role of a new farmer in town. Instead of just plants, though, you harvest collectible creatures — the titular Ooblets — which you can take with you as you explore the town and surrounding areas. Developers Glumberland eschewed a traditional turn-based battle system in favor of dance battles and trading cards in the spirit of a more peaceful game, and it’s hard not to get charmed by how adorable it looks. Coming to PC and Xbox One in 2019.

Overland

Turn-based strategy game Overland doesn’t have a trailer yet, but from snapshots from developer logs and first access scenes, it’s shaping up to be an interesting experience. Survive in procedurally generated levels in post-apocalyptic North America while managing allies, resources, weapons, and more. It’s being developed by Finji, publisher of Infinite Fall’s acclaimed Night in the Woods, with an estimated release date in 2019.

Wattam

Keita Takahashi of Katamari Damacy fame teams up with Funomena for a zany game about friendship and discovery. Choose from a gallery of strange characters to play and do little challenges and activities to make more friends. It’s hard to describe exactly what kind of game this is going to end up being, but it looks absurd and sweet and a great game to come home to for a pick-me-up after a long day. Wattam aims for release later this year.

Hands-On

Snapdragon 865 Hands-on: Top 5 Features

5G for all, 200MP, 8K, and more.

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As we lean towards the second decade of the millennium, Qualcomm is ready to ship out their next flagship chipset.

Snapdragon has been running most devices people use today. Snapdragon 865 (together with the midrange 765) are two of Qualcomm’s chipset offerings for 2020. They offer more than incremental performance boosts.

Watch more to know the top 5 promising features of the new chipset.

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24 Hours Series

24 hours in Mövenpick with the Honor 9X

I didn’t want to leave

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I know you must feel strange to be hearing back from me writing another travel article when last time I tried, I preemptively said that I was horrible at writing about my adventures. Well, you guys might have to deal with reading my silly little travel psychobabble again because I went to Cebu for a weekend and I brought the Honor 9X with me.

Feeling beachy

Okay, this is technically not fair since Cebu is like home to me at this point. I luckily grew up visiting Cebu a lot. My older siblings were born there, so that’s not much of a surprise. On this trip though, my parents opted out of staying in a hotel in the middle of the bustling city. We decided to stay by the beach at Mövenpick. We have never been to Mövenpick before. So, it was going to be pretty interesting to explore the place.

The view was stunning. I didn’t even know what to capture first. It was that gorgeous. When we arrived, the staff were lovely enough to let us roam the area despite not having checked in yet. Mövenpick is pretty. The moment you get dropped off at the lobby, the place instantly assaults your senses with everything beach. It smells, sounds, and feels like you’re at the beach. 

That’s obviously because a few steps farther, you’re already at the beach. The place is well designed to have the ocean breeze flow from the bayfront to the resort lobby. It’s open-spaced.

No such thing as fasting at breakfast

This is the only photo of food I managed to snag before inhaling it. I’m not going to apologize for being a little hangry considering I hadn’t had a meal for hours and I stayed up all night. This is Mövenpick’s poached egg breakfast. Was it good? Yes. I mean, look at it. How could it not be?

I think off the bat, that how the food tasted may have shifted a little considering I was zoning out because of the view. It’s really pretty and honestly, it testing my writing skills (if I have any) to try and find more synonyms to great, pretty, and lovely. 

Dinner at the Ibiza

No, I didn’t take a pill in Ibiza. And yes I know, nobody asked. Mövenpick has this by-the-bay restaurant and bar called the Ibiza. They have live music and good food so if you’ve booked a room, this is the place to be at night. There’s food, an amazing view, and live music. Is there anything more I could have asked for? No. It was perfect.

The Ibiza is open in the morning too. If you want to have your breakfast there, you can soak in the early morning ocean breeze while eating.

Here come excuses

Alright, I didn’t take many photos while in Cebu, at least, not as many as I would like to. I wanted to savor every stunning moment there. I haven’t been back in ages and I’ve barely spent time at the beach. Not to mention, I rarely get to see my little nephew. 

I guess as much as this article is about bringing the Honor 9X with me to show off how the phone is capable of capturing every lovely moment of your travels, it’s good to sometimes be in the moment. It isn’t on the Honor 9X for uncaptured moments. It’s totally on me for leaving it in my bag. Having said that, I think it was good to have eased off bringing the phone along every single second of the trip. I’m more than happy to have lived those quiet undocumented moments.

I’m not saying you should drop taking pictures altogether. It’s nice to have documented moments of a trip especially when it’s somewhere stunning. It’s nice to have something to look back on and to remind us of good times. I suppose it’s just nice to sometimes wean off of being so obsessive with what you can capture and instead, be in the moment.

All photos are taken with the Honor 9X

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Hands-On

Realme X2 Pro Master Edition hands-on: Tough looks, solid performance

It’s made of a soft-frosted glass but feels like cement

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The Realme X2 Pro has gotten fans really excited. Touted as the new flagship killer, it has quad cameras, Snapdragon 855+, and other flagship-level features at an affordable price tag.

While the regular Realme X2 Pro is already pretty awesome, what we got here is even more intense. We have the Reame X2 Pro Master Edition to check out, the Concrete edition to be exact.

Tough looks

The Master Edition of the Realme X2 Pro also comes in a Red Brick design. I’m not too big a fan of that look, so I got the Concrete version instead.

The Realme X2 Pro Master Edition is designed by famous Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa. It comes with a signature of the designer on the back panel.

The texture is pretty similar to the Sandstone feel of the older OnePlus devices — just less rough and more matte.

Realme says this is a soft-frosted glass although it’s hard to tell to be honest. The finish looks and feels like concrete cement even if it’s soft-to-touch.

Solid performance

Apart from the differences in design, it’s pretty much the same exact Realme X2 Pro inside. It packs 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

The Realme X2 Pro has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a waterdrop notch, and a high 90Hz refresh rate. It boasts a 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio and an in-display fingerprint scanner that works really fast.

Making it an even better media device is a pair of stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There’s also a vapor chamber liquid cooling, a superconducting carbon fiber multi-layer scheme, multi-layer graphite sheet and other heat-dissipating materials so the phone can definitely game without heating issues.

This is all backed up by a massive 4000 mAh battery with 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charging technology. It can fully charge the phone from zero, in just about 35 minutes.

This super fast charging is definitely something anyone would appreciate. Imagine waking up in the morning and charging your phone while you’re in the shower. It’ll be ready and full just before you head out.

Capable cameras

The Realme X2 Pro has a quad-camera setup, with the Samsung GW1 64-MP sensor with a fast f/1.8 aperture as the main camera. There’s also a 13MP telephoto lens with support for up to 20x hybrid zoom, an 8MP ultra-wide with a 115-degree field-of-view, as well as a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help with portrait shots. Up front is a 16MP selfie camera.

In China the Realme X2 Pro is priced at CNY 3299 (US$ 469). In India, it will be going on sale around Christmas time for INR 34,999 (US$ 490).

What do you think about this version? Should phone companies make more special edition phones in a similar design? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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