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Why Hasn’t There Been a ‘Minecraft’-Style LEGO Game? Giant LEGO Dongs.

With the Lego Worlds speculation that leaked out over the past week, I remarked as to why there wasn’t a Minecraft [$6.99] type LEGO game. Well, it turns out there might just be a good reason for that: giant LEGO dongs. Megan Fox, developer of Jones on Fire [$2.99], used to work on the MMO LEGO Universe. And as it turns out, LEGO is big on being kid-friendly, and not letting people build giant LEGO penises all willy-nilly, because kids might see them. And as it turns out, digital dong detection is difficult. This compilation of tweets from Fox on the dong issue are great and should be read through, but here are a couple of key ones:

Funny story – we were asked to make dong detection software for LEGO Universe too. We found it to be utterly impossible at any scale.

— Megan Fox (@glassbottommeg) May 29, 2015

It was all automated, but the human moderators were IIRC the single biggest cost center for LEGO Universe’s operational costs. Or close to.

— Megan Fox (@glassbottommeg) May 29, 2015

This is a roundabout way of saying “never build an …read more

Nintendo’s NX System May be Powered by Android

So here’s a rather juicy little piece of speculation out of Japan regarding the NX, Nintendo’s upcoming system. The Nikkei is reporting that based on an insider source, that the NX will use Android. Yes, the very same Android that powers countless phones, tablets, TV boxes, and ovens. So this doesn’t actually mean much on its own, other than Nintendo considering a non-homegrown architecture, and one that’s being used by hundreds of other tech companies, to power their latest system. This is far from confirmed, but there’s a lot to take in here.

Consider that the NX is not necessarily meant to replace the 3DS or Wii U (though the DS was meant to be a “third pillar” and it just replaced the GBA), and that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said this about the NX:

“Since we are always thinking about how to create a new platform that will be accepted by as many people around the world as possible, we would like to offer to them ‘a dedicated video game platform with a brand new concept’ by taking into consideration various factors, including the playing environments that differ by country. This is all that I can confirm today.”

So, let’s …read more

Metal Gear Solid 5’s Soundtrack Needs These 13 Songs

Impressions from the bulk of Konami’s recent two day preview event for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are still under tight embargo, but members of the press were allowed to tease some of their thoughts about the first hour of game on social media. During this time, AP Entertainment writer Derrik J. Lang tweeted out that he’d come across a boombox in the game that was playing Kim Wilde’s new wave pop hit “Kids in America.”

It would stand to reason that one licensed song in a massive open-world video game might suggest more licensed music, and, given that The Phantom Pain is set in 1984, that the music would be from the same time period. Between my love of Metal Gear and music from the seventies and eighties, this seemed like the perfect chance to compile a Phantom Playlist — which you can hear for yourself on YouTube or Spotify.

Continue reading…

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Play Lego Worlds, A New Minecraft Competitor From Lego, Right Now

When Minecraft came out, I heard a lot of people describe as sort of like virtual Lego. Now, there’s a game for which that description is even more apt: Lego Worlds, an open world building game that lets users create using virtual Lego bricks, and interact with the world as a customizable minifigure avatar. The launch trailer for the title is above, but it’s actually already… Read More …read more

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BeaverTap’s ‘Move the Walls’ Releases This Week, Watch the Incredible Trailer

BeaverTap Games are back with another fast-reaction game, after Radical [Free] managed to do well for the studio. This week, BeaverTap unleashes Move the Walls on to the world. It’s kind of what it says on the tin: there’s a constantly-moving object, and you must move the walls to keep it alive, racking up lots of points in the process. They’ve conjured up another fantastic trailer (with more cruel teases of the Mikey Shorts [$1.99] Fun Show) with music by Whitaker Trebella:

The monetization for Move the Walls will be the same as Radical: the game will be free-to-play, with an ad-removal IAP. If you score 20 or more, you can watch a video ad to get one continue, though if you buy the ad-removal IAP, you won’t have to watch the ad. It’s a perfectly cromulent system. There’s even ten different cosmetic skins to unlock, some of which you can see in the trailer. You’ll be able to enjoy some fine wall-moving this Thursday at no upfront cost! Check out the forum thread for the game, too!

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Touchstone Tavern #2 – Your Weekly ‘Hearthstone’ News Roundup

Welcome everyone to Touchstone Tavern #2, our Weekly Hearthstone [Free] Column. First of all, I’d like to thank you all for your encouragement in the comments of last week’s “Touchstone Tavern;” it’s good to see that there’s indeed interest in a column like this one and that you liked the way I planned it out. And do let me know if there’s any additional content that you think would fit this column; I’m always open to suggestions. This has been a crazy week mostly because of the many new Tournament announcements and because of the Viagame House Cup #3. So, on we go around the world of Hearthstone then.

Hearthstone Pros Discuss the Blackrock Mountain Adventure (BRM) Meta and the Current State of the Game

IGN did a great job bringing together some of Hearthstone‘s biggest names – among them Reynad, Kibler, Frodan, Trump, and Orange – and asking them all kinds of interesting questions about BRM’s effect on the game and how these pros want Hearthstone‘s future to look like.

Hearthstone 4

Best Cards to Come out of BRM

This question had some predictable answers, with Emperor Thaurissan, Grim Patron, and Imp Gang Boss …read more

‘Crossy Road’ Dev Hipster Whale Pumps $500k into Pretty Great

We don’t usually cover much investment news around here as typically it’s hard to come up with things that are more boring than board room financial dealings, but this news hits all my feel good buttons which is just what the doctor ordered on a Monday afternoon. Backing things up a bit, earlier this year it was revealed that some pretty great ex-Halfbrick guys left the company and started their own three man indie studio named Pretty Great.

We were justifiably pretty excited about all this, as when you’ve got a small group of super talented dudes and you basically put them in a room and say, “OK, make awesome stuff,” it usually results in some pretty great games. At some point, however, the realist in you comes out and you start wondering how long the guys at Pretty Great can afford to experiment and iterate on cool game concepts before needing one of their games to hit big to keep the lights on.

Well, news just came out from the land down under that Crossy Road [Free] developer Hipster Whale has provided Pretty Great with AUD $500,000 worth of seed money. This also brings Hipster Whale’s Matt Hall and …read more