This looks absolutely beautiful and relaxing, exactly the kind of game I need now to get my mind of all the other stuff constantly buzzing about.

Unscramble celestial puzzles and create miniature musical worlds. Re-awaken shadowy forests and bring life back to sparkling lakes. Discover hidden creatures, help the Bird reunite the fragmented Moon… and find its way home.

Luna is out now on Steam, Humble Bundle or direct from the developer.

Source: Luna

Growing up as a kid in the 1980s, with the very real threat of imminent MAD hanging over our heads all the time, it was natural for me to start playing war-games focusing on the conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. I loved tactical and simulator games, especially the ones from Microprose, and one of my favorites was Red Storm Rising, based on the book by Tom Clancy.

I must have played hundred of hours of this game, and loved the tension and excitement of controlling a nuclear attack submarine, patrolling for Soviet surface groups or submarines, and having to sneakily avoid the inevitable counterattack after launching torpedoes or missiles at the enemy. It led to some very intense gaming moments.

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Very cool blog post from D-Pad Studio, the developers of the upcoming (and beautiful) Owl Boy on the recent trend of 8/16 bit pixel art aesthetic in games and the differences between the actual pixel art style, which was born out of necessity and hardware limitations, and the new stylistic “Hi-Bit” look.

While these games may be paying homage to the 16-bit era that started with the Super Nintendo (1990) and Sega Mega Drive (1988, a.k.a. Genesis), they’re working beyond the limitations of the tech in the 90s.

Some upcoming favourites: Rain World, The Last Night (awesome video below)

Source: D-Pad Studio – creators of Owlboy

The awesome people at Internet Archive have released a huge collection featuring thousands of emulated games, demos and applications from the Commodore Amiga home computer, running in the browser through the magic of emulation.

I’d still recommend a good emulator, like FS-UAE or WinUAE, to actually run these games without a lot of stuttering sound and hangs, as the in-browser emulation is not exactly optimal, but at least it works to showcase the vast number of great software that ran on the Amiga.

Amiga Juggler demo

Amiga Juggler demo

Link: Software Library: Amiga : Free Texts : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Another World screenshot

Another World screenshot

If you, like I did, grew up playing video games on the Amiga back in the early 90s, you probably came across Another World, a classic game with what at the time was revolutionary character animation and an original story that drew you in from the beginning. It is also one of the most frustrating games I have ever played, with parts so insanely difficult to complete they leave you swearing over the keyboard after failing for what feels like hundred times. But that only makes the feeling when you finally complete a part even better.

Recently the game has been released in an updated version for playing without needing an emulator, with high-resolution graphics and improved sound for those of us wanting to (re)experience one of the best video games ever. You can download the short demo at the Official Site, and the registration fee for the full game is only seven Euros – really cheap for this much retro-gaming enjoyment!

Also, don’t miss the excellent write-up at Binary Bonsai entitled How I learned everything I need to know about games from Another World.

Here’s a good and funny article on the next generation of game consoles and what gamers will want from them, regardless of game company hype – A Gamer’s Manifesto.

The Sony Playstation 3 is going to cost $465.00. In the desolate economic climate of post-apocalyptic 2006, I’m thinking that’s going to be a lot of money. Now, it’s true that at E3 Sony was boasting the Playstation 3 could crank out 1.8 TFLOPS, or 1.8 trillion FLOPS. If that many FLOPS were piled together they would fill the Grand Canyon, assuming each FLOP were the size of a muskrat. So what do gamers want from all that money and FLOP? Just ask them.

[Screenshot of F-16]Here’s a bit of good news for all flight-sim lovers; developers Lead Pursuit have announced the release of Falcon 4: Allied Force on june 28th.

I’m definitely getting this one as soon as it’s out, I just hope my somewhat aging system will be able to run it without too much trouble:

Based on the legendary Falcon 4.0 F-16 combat flight simulator, Allied Force features extensive improvements in all areas including artificial intelligence, graphics, multiplayer, terrain and of course the stunning real time, fully dynamic campaign engine. There is also a brand new theater of operation, the Balkans, in addition to revised campaigns for the Korean theater.

The screenshots look absolutely terrific, and they even promise to include a 100 page printed(!) manual with the game, really rare these days.

It makes me a bit nostalgic about the time when great simulations, from legendary companies like Microprose, included a manual the size of a brick, and sometimes even a keyboard overlay to help remember the zillions of keys you had to use. Ah yes, those were the days…