Gaming

Small Talk: A new beautifully engaging indie game

It has wonderfully charming characters

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The Game Developer’s Conference has been a place to find wonderful, unpretentious, independent pieces. Exploring depth through design, lore, and dialogue have always been the charms of indie games. And, one of the memorable games to sit down and test out this year is Small Talk. Small Talk is an interactive visual novel that is set on the evening of the world ending.

At first glance, it doesn’t look as dark as it sounds. With the color palette of the game being washed out, it presents itself to be more intriguing than horrific. The characters are kept outlined in pale red, with silly and witty details.


Since the game is set on the night of the end of the world, the characters you find are the partygoers. All of them are, as like any party, a mix of strange, interesting, and beautiful strangers. There’s a man with a plate of eggs and bacon for a head, crows morphed together into a body, and a cat with multiple arms.

In Small Talk, you interact with any character you choose in the party. Whether it be the egghead or the cat demon, you discover more and more about the context of the party and the strangers in it the more you wander about. I can only assume the game mimics the interactions we sometimes encounter in parties, but in the context of unconventional vulnerability since the party is set on the night of the end of the world.

Small Talk is hauntingly good looking and the snippets in the trailer can undeniably intrigue. There hasn’t been any word on the official release but it will be available on Windows, Mac, and Linus.

SEE MORE: Someone made an AR Street Fighter II

Gaming

Playdate is a handheld gaming system with a crank

Yes, an actual crank

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If you’re bored of the current gaming console landscape or are simply waiting for the next-gen PlayStation to come out, there’s this new handheld system that might keep you a little busy.

From a company named Panic, which is known for developing the popular game Firewatch, comes the Playdate. It may seem like a simple gaming system at first, but look to its right and you’ll see its defining feature: a crank.


The developer says that some titles will use this analog controller exclusively, while some won’t at all (which, to me, sorta defeats the purpose of placing that game on this console). Everything will be played on its monochrome screen with no backlighting.

You can see it in action here:

The spin here is that the Playdate will come with a subscription of 12 games — delivered to you once a week for 12 weeks. It’s part of the initial cost of US$ 149, but there’s no word yet if there’ll be subscriptions after that and how much they’ll cost.

Each game will be a surprise, which may or not be a good thing. Spending this much on an unproven console — and possibly more for succeeding subscriptions — could end up becoming a costly risk.

Orders will be accepted later this year, while actual shipping will happen in early 2020. For now, you can sign up through the official website to receive updates on its progress.

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Gaming

Here’s an early look at the Sony PS5’s raw performance

Spoiler: It’s fast!

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Even though Sony dished out some early info on the upcoming PlayStation 5 (should they choose to stick to the numbered naming scheme) and revealed that it’s more than just a mere upgrade, we don’t have any tangible data on what exactly to expect.

Fortunately, Wall Street Journal tech reporter Takashi Mochizuki was present at Sony’s most recent gaming presentation and had this video to show us:


What you see here is a comparison between the loading times of the PS5 and PS4 Pro. Make no mistake here: The next-generation console is incredibly fast! A lot of credit must be given to the built-in SSD the PS5 will ship with.

This should be taken with a grain of salt, however. Tech demos are often fixed to make the newer (and more expensive) product seem superior. To the next-gen console’s credit, it’ll come with the latest eight-core Ryzen chip and a custom GPU from AMD’s Radeon Navi, which are capable of 8K gaming and ray tracing when put together.

Sadly, we still don’t have a release date and Sony won’t announce anything at E3 next month. For now, savor your PS4 and its growing library of classics.

Via: Kotaku

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Apps

Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks

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In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.


Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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