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Reigns Beyond review – sci-fi silliness meets rock band road trip

You may remember the Reigns series from its excellent Game of Thrones tie-in: its signature is Tinder-esque card swiping, where you make snap decisions on what to say or do by flicking left or right, before watching the consequences unfold….

As if Wes Anderson ran amok at Aardman: Harold Halibut, the visually stunning puppet adventure game

Ticktock, ticktock. In the dripping confines of the Fedora 1, an aquatic space colony of exquisite retro-futuristic design, it’s not water but time that exerts an unmistakable pressure on inhabitants. A cataclysmic meteor looms on the horizon, threatening to wipe…

‘They even got a real jetpack in there!’: Todd Howard and Jonathan Nolan on Fallout

If you had asked director Jonathan Nolan what his favourite film of the year was in the late 00s, more often than not he would have given you the name of a video game instead. “Having grown up with the…

How Neopets’ nostalgic revival tripled users in six months

In the early 2000s, Olivia Packenham would get home from school, listen to the familiar sound of the dial up tone as her family computer connected to the internet, and navigate her AOL browser to the virtual gaming world of…

Now Play This 2024 review – the eccentricity is the point

Video game conventions are typically boisterous affairs, as thousands of visitors queue under a constellation of screens for the chance to play one of the hundreds of as-yet unreleased titles on display. Now in its 10th year, Somerset House’s Now…

Bafta games awards hail one of gaming’s best ever years

In London last night, the 20th Bafta games awards celebrated a year that was stacked with critically acclaimed games. Taking place against the backdrop of an unprecedented year of layoffs and studio closures in the gaming industry, acknowledged by Bafta…

It crawled from below 50 years ago: how the global Dungeons & Dragons empire began in a basement

There are 15 of us crammed into a cellar beneath a nondescript house in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. To the uninformed observer, there’s nothing to see down here: just two low rooms, bare breeze-block walls, a ceiling lined with pipes. Yet…

Botany Manor review – a peaceful period drama of a puzzle game

From the gatehouse, through the bright gardens and terrace, the winding orchard, the smoggy greenhouse, the warmth of the kitchen and smokehouse and beyond, Botany Manor unfolds like a labyrinth. This is our protagonist’s family home. She is the highly…

Pushing Buttons: Meet the pint-sized Pokémon pros

I spent much of my weekend at the ExCeL convention centre in London, where about 10,000 people from across Europe were gathered for the European Pokémon championships. There were 4,500 competitors, playing the perennially popular trading card game, Pokémon Go,…

A skate through cyberspace: on the edge with the Now Play This festival of experimental video games

For a week or so every year, Somerset House in London becomes home to a mini-festival of experimental video games: last year’s were all on the theme of love. Now Play This has been running for 10 years, and this…