Online learning platform Unacademy gets $21M Series C from Sequoia India, SAIF and Nexus

Unacademy founders Roman Saini, Gaurav Munjal and Hemesh Singh

Bangalore-based Unacademy will add more educators to its online learning platform, which claims to be India’s largest, after closing a $21 million Series C. The funding comes from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from Blume Ventures (all four firms are returning from Unacademy’s Series B last year).

Originally a YouTube channel created in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal, Unacademy was officially launched as a startup in 2015 by founders Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh. It has now raised $38.6 million in total.

While Unacademy offers a wide range of courses, its most popular offerings include preparation for important exams in India. Its platform includes two apps: one that lets educators create lessons and another that allows users to access them. Unacademy says it has 10,000 registered educators and three million users. Last month, the startup claims 3,000 educators were active on the platform and lessons were watched more than 40 million times.

Many lessons are available for free, though last year Unacademy launched a paid service called Plus that gives users access to features like private discussion forums and live video classes for a per-course fee. Unacademy claims …read more


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How Cyberpunk 2077 Benefits From Its Tabletop Origins

“Steal from the best, but admit you did it.”

As a veteran designer for both tabletop and digital games, this is the advice that Cyberpunk creator Mike Pondsmith offered new game designers during a recent interview with IGN. He expounded, saying that “You’re not going to invent it all yourself – you’re going to learn from other people.” While this is certainly excellent advice for newcomers to the world of game development (or just running their own tabletop RPG session), the idea also bolsters my faith in CD Projekt Red’s upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, and reminds me of how important it is that Cyberpunk 2020 (along with several other versions of the tabletop RPG) came before it.

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No Response Is A Quiet Story-Driven Trek To Safety

Alone a highway, after a car crash, a cabin down the road is the closest place to reach for safety and medical attention in No Response, while text messages from concerned family light up your phone.

In this low-poly first person narrative game, you wake up in your car following a crash, alone on the road and a long walk ahead of you, traveling from asphalt to forest to tunnels. Your phone is damaged, unable to make calls or text but able to retrieve. As you progress towards your goal, you receive messages from friends and family, the tone of their texts growing increasingly worried and concerned, providing a gradual story told one text and step at a time.

No Response is a freeware game available to download from itch.io.

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‘Super Starfish’ is the Cute New Avoidance Game from the Makers of ‘Sling Kong’ and ‘Checkpoint Champion’, Coming July 26th

Australian developer Protostar Games burst onto the mobile games scene with their inaugural release Checkpoint Champion back in November of 2014, a slick top-down racing game that we loved in our review. Sadly Checkpoint Champion couldn’t stand the test of time and is no longer available on the App Store, perhaps because it was a bit too hardcore for your average mobile gamer. Their next release looked to rectify that with its simple mechanics and adorable veneer, and in August of 2015 Sling Kong (Free) was a seemingly immediate success. It had you slingshotting cute characters endlessly upwards while avoiding enemies and collecting coins to unlock even more cute characters. It was a nearly perfect one-handed game to kill a few minutes or a few hours, and I was mildly obsessed with Sling Kong in the months following its release. We also enjoyed it in our review. That more casual approach certainly seemed to pay off as Sling Kong has amassed more than 10 million downloads as of this past May and continues to receive near-constant updates up to and including one just last week, while Checkpoint Champion is nowhere to be seen. Let’s pour one out …read more


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Microsoft Is Reportedly Unwilling to Delay Crackdown 3 Any Further

Crackdown 3 is infamous for its repeated delays, but its most recent one may be the last. A new report from Eurogamer claims anonymous sources have reported this is “the final time” Microsoft is willing to delay it.

Announced during E3 2014, Crackdown 3’s first release window was 2016, but it was pushed back to November 2017 for a planned launch alongside the Xbox One X. But following lukewarm receptions at E3 and Gamescom 2017, Crackdown 3 was again delayed to 2018. But that wasn’t to be either. Last month, Microsoft officially pushed the game back to February 22, 2019.

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The Latest On Skateboarding Sensation Session

Montreal’s Crea-ture Studios grabbed the world’s attention with their skateboarding game Session at E3 when Microsoft showcased the title during their press conference. Session is coming to the Xbox One and PC, and will be in Steam Early Access and the Xbox Game Preview program in late 2018, with the first version of the title in 2019.

I met with some of the dev team at E3, and asked them about some additional game details since we covered it late last year.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Since we last saw the game, a mid-spin catch mechanic has been added, which is just the start of how the game is going to continue to evolve until it hits Early Access and beyond. At that time Crea-ture says it wants the game to be “almost perfect” despite being an Early Access title. Having said that, it doesn’t intend for the feature set to be locked at that time per se, but it will continue to add bits and work on what’s currently there. One of the examples of this is the game’s skater customization feature, which has already grown. There are plans to allow you to change the tightness of your trucks, …read more


Fantastic Puzzler ‘Tiny Bubbles’ Gets Landscape Support and iCloud Syncing in Latest Update, Android Version Still Coming

Back in early May the years-in-development puzzler from Pine Street Codeworks Tiny Bubbles ($3.99) finally made its way to iOS and Steam. The idea behind Tiny Bubbles was to pack a game full of nearly 200 levels that were built around various types of color-matching mechanics, and tie it all together with a beautiful physics system that emulated the formations and movements of bubble clusters in a mesmerizing way. And they pulled it off! We loved Tiny Bubbles when it came out and awarded it our Game of the Week. As wonderful as it was though, there were still some areas that players hoped could be improved, with the two biggest complaints being that the game didn’t support landscape orientation on iOS and that it didn’t sync progress over the cloud so you couldn’t swap between different devices and maintain your progress. Late this past Friday both of those issues were addressed in a new update for Tiny Bubbles which landscape support and iCloud progress syncing. Hooray!

Another area that players felt needed a little work was in the uneven difficulty throughout the entire game. Tiny Bubbles allows you to play levels …read more


Mothergunship Review: Bullet-Hell Extravaganza

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When it comes to its core run-and-gun gameplay, Mothergunship keeps things simple. You choose your next mission from your home base–which comes in several categories of various story and side missions that offer bonus rewards. From there, you’re dropped into a randomly generated dungeon where you’ll fight through rooms full of alien robots as you gain experience and funds to power up and buy new gear. But in true roguelike fashion, your trek through the dungeon’s depths will never be the same twice, resulting a constant air of uncertainty.

The dungeons themselves come in three distinct forms, …read more


Build Your Own Guns And Take Down An Armada In ‘Mothergunship’

Mothergunship is all about escalation. You like shooting enemies? Here’s a dozen angry robots for you. You like dodging bullets? Sure, have hundreds of bullets coming your way. You like guns? Ho ho ho, have I got news for you…

If you have played Terrible Posture Games’ debut title, Tower of Guns, all of this sounds vaguely familiar. However, Mothergunship is an evolution of the previous game’s concept, taking the parts that made it work and cranking them up to 11.

This time, your goal is to bring down the almighty Mothergunship that has dared to enter Earth’s orbit, threatening destruction of the human race and whatnot. To do that, you first have to take out its armada of smaller ships, all of which have a convenient self destruct button that’s just waiting to be pushed. Small problem, though: those buttons are guarded by rooms full of robots and turrets.

Thankfully, those mechanical enemies drop coins, which in turn allow you to buy new gun parts in the conveniently-located gun shops on those ships. And here, the real fun begins. You see, those guns you’re wielding – …read more