Gods and monsters

The Magic Circle is another entry in the burgeoning but fascinating subgenre of games about the process of making games. Most games in that niche tend to aim small, often taking up the perspective of underdogs struggling to make tiny personal games in an industry filled with multimillion-dollar productions. The Magic Circle, on the other hand, aims big. It’s the product of AAA veterans, evidenced by some impressive technical wizardry, but also by the tone and timbre of its commentary, which pointedly deconstructs the egos of business types that tend to rip creativity up by the roots during big-budget game development.

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Murphy's Law.

In Tastee: Lethal Tactics, your plan is more important than the action that follows. It’s a game of bets and bluffs, and if you telegraph your next move, you’ll likely lose. Tastee doesn’t always communicate its ideas effectively, and there are frustrating barriers to hurdle, but there’s a tense, layered, turn-based strategy game waiting on the other side.

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One more day in paradise.

“We receive the due reward of our deeds.” So reads the inscription on an artifact discovered in the early hours of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s a passage from the Bible, spoken by Saint Dismas, a man crucified on the same day as Jesus. He spent years robbing and murdering innocent people before being sentenced to death for his crimes. And with those last words of revelation, Dismas earned the title of the Penitent Thief.

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When I'm sixty-four.

Chronos is a game about combat mastery. Hostile encounters lead you through its world, separated only by puzzles and moments of discovery. Understanding your enemies and overcoming them is key to moving forward, while death acts as the teacher that keeps you after class to discuss what you did wrong. Some foes can prove highly difficult, but learning their patterns and how they react to your actions turns such encounters from stilted and daunting to rhythmic and exhilarating. Chronos could be accused of mimicking a number of different games, but what it does with all it has makes for a highly enjoyable experience that stands on its own despite a few flaws.

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Amir Hekmati is now "trying to put his life back together as best he can."

The former video game developer and United States Marine who was released by Iran in January is now suing the country, claiming he was tortured while in captivity. Amir Hekmati said in a lawsuit filed this week that he was viciously tortured–physically and emotionally–during the four-and-a-half years that the Iranian government held him. Hekmati had been in prison since 2011, after he was arrested in Iran on charges of espionage.

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