“Larva Croft” and the Pine Hoverfly set to make a strong comeback after successful conservation collaboration between STORY OF SEASONS publisher and Royal Zoological Society Scotland!

Rare native insect breeding programme hits new milestone in partnership with videogame publisher, Marvelous Europe and STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town

Dr. Helen Taylor of RZSS with a new Pine Hoverfly Larvae incubation jar containing Larva Croft

London, UK – 14th April 2021 – The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is gearing up for a potentially record-breaking breeding season as keepers care for more Critically Endangered pine hoverflies than ever before at Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore.

Led by the wildlife conservation charity since 2016, the pine hoverfly conservation breeding programme is now responsible for the majority of Britain’s known population of the rare native species, currently only found in one small forest in the Cairngorms. Almost all of the 156 larvae that hatched at the park last year are now becoming pupae, entering the next stage of their life cycle on their way to becoming adults. Among them are ‘Larva Croft’ and ‘Pine-al Ritchie’, named by fans of project-funder Marvelous’ new video game, STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town.

Since the launch of STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town on 26th March, videogames media have been taking part in a “seed grower contest” where Marvelous provided each entrant with a seed pack asking recipients to post updates of their seedlings each Friday on social media using #SoSPoOT and #PineHoverfly. The winner will be whoever has grown the tallest seeds and their prize is to name the new incubation room for the pine hoverfly at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park! Here are some images from the last 3 weeks worth of action

Dr Helen Taylor, conservation programme manager at RZSS said, “Our charity’s conservation breeding programme at Highland Wildlife Park is currently the best hope for the survival of this Critically Endangered species. The last sighting of an adult pine hoverfly in the wild was over eight years ago.”

“Every individual matters, so it is really exciting to have more larvae pupating than ever before and nerve-wracking to have to wait and see how many complete the full cycle, from egg, to larva, to pupa, to adult.”

“The process they go through is extraordinary. Inside the pupa case, these animals are breaking most of their body down into goo and then totally reassembling it to transition from a larva to an adult fly. Most people will be familiar with this idea from caterpillars turning into butterflies, but it really is a magical transformation.”

“Invertebrates are a fundamentally understudied, underacknowledged and under-loved group of animals that fuel the food chain, pollinate plants and break down organic waste. They hold our ecosystems together, making them an important focus for conservation efforts. Without them, the world would be very different.”

Next steps for the project including moving the pupae into a brand-new purpose-built breeding centre at Highland Wildlife Park in the coming weeks thanks to support from Marvelous Europe alongside The National Geographic Society, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry and Land Scotland, and NatureScot. The pine hoverfly conservation breeding programme is led by RZSS in collaboration with the Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms project, a partnership between the RSPB, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, and NatureScot.

Narrative Puzzle Adventure Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood Arrives for PC, Mac and Linux Today

A Vibrant Adventure with Many Twists and Turns, Inspired by Brothers Grimm

Cologne, April 8, 2021 – Publisher Headup and the developer Devespresso Games announce the official release of Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood for Steam, GOG and Epic Games today. The game is available for PC, Mac and Linux platforms for 14.99 USD / 14.99 € / 11.99 GBP with 15% discount at launch.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood – Release Trailer

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a light-hearted puzzle solving adventure with many twists and turns. Developed by Devespresso, renowned for their signature hand-illustrated graphics and the popular ‘The Coma’ series and ‘Vambrace: Cold Soul’, the game features unique branching story paths with several endings and recurring time-loops (think Groundhog Day).

Scarlet, an aspiring singer, is caught in a powerful tornado, and wakes up in the mysterious realm of Glome – a lush, vibrant world brimming with magic, beauty, and artifacts from a bygone culture. There she meets a hapless Munchkin caravan who depend on her for guidance through the perilous Wicked Wood, guarded by the cantankerous witch, LeFaba. To help them, Scarlet must take on the mantle of the Red Witch and learn to wield the powerful Womping Stick. While she may be completely outmatched, Scarlet soon learns a recursion hex has her reliving the same day. Can she use her newfound powers and the knowledge gained from her previous lives to outwit LeFaba and lead the troupe to safety?

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is available in nine languages; English, Korean, German, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and Spanish.

The Deluxe Edition of the game will come with two digital artbooks – one containing illustrations and in-game art, the other featuring a photography from the making of Scarlet Hood’s live-action trailer. This package will also include the game’s original jazz soundtrack. The Deluxe Edition is available for 17.61 USD / 17.61 € / 14.09 GBP.

About Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a story-driven adventure game. As Scarlet, you must relive seven days of misfortune, and make a series of decisions to guide your Munchkin troupe safely out of the Wicked Wood. Experience branching outcomes based on your decisions. Most importantly, immerse yourself in a bewitching story of fantastic adventure!

Features:

▪ Survive a narrative time-loops
▪ Solve ridiculous puzzles
▪ Follow your own multi-path story
▪ Unlock multiple endings based on your decisions
▪ Ogle the hand-illustrated graphics
▪ Use Scarlet’s witching skills to avoid detection

Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle Draws a Summer 2021 Release on Nintendo Switch™

Marvelous Europe Limited Partners with Cygames to Launch Story-Based Reimagining of the Hit Strategic Multiplayer Mobile/PC Card Battle Game in Europe and Australia

London, United Kingdom – 30th March 2021 – Marvelous Europe Limited is today excited to announce that they will publish Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle on the Nintendo Switch within Europe and Australia this Summer. Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle on the Nintendo Switch will only feature English localisation.

Based on the anime adaptation of Cygames’ hit strategic multiplayer mobile/PC card battle game Shadowverse,

Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle brings the deep deck-building mechanics to a new platform and delivers them with a fresh narrative experience perfect for both new and experienced player’s.

Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle will be available digitally and physically within Europe as well as digitally in Australia, and all versions will come with a special promo code granting 2 alternate art cards (3 cards each), 10 seer’s globes, and cosmetic items redeemable in the mobile or PC version of Shadowverse.

Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is a reimagined version of the strategic multiplayer mobile/PC card battle game for the consumer platform. As players progress the game, they can collect new cards to build more powerful decks. The game can be experienced solo, or players can head online for multiplayer matches to test complex new strategies against others.

Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle will also feature a Battle Pass system with cosmetic leader skin rewards and other in-game bonuses unlockable by completing missions such as winning online matches. This Nintendo Switch™ release also adds deluxe battle animations for a more immersive experience.

In Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle, players take the role of a transfer student to Tensei Academy, where they are quickly introduced to the Shadowverse card game by their classmate, Hiro Ryugasaki. The new friends team up with Shadowverse club president (and only member) Rei on a quest to master the popular card battle game and restore the club to its former glory by winning the national championship.

Throughout their adventures, players will be able to explore unique locations around the school and surrounding town, where events and encounters await in the least expected places. Team up with new friends, battle to become the national champions, and save the Shadowverse Club for future generations!

STORY OF SEASONS publisher saving one of the UK’s rarest species

£20,000 donation to bring the pine hoverfly back from the brink

London, United Kingdom – 22nd March 2021 – Marvelous Europe Limited, publisher of STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town, is thrilled to announce a partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the wildlife conservation charity which aims to save one of the UK’s rarest species, the pine hoverfly.

With its natural habitat restricted to just one site — a small forest patch in the Cairngorms in Scotland — the pine hoverfly is so rare in the UK that no one has seen an adult of this species in the wild for over seven years. As part of the #SOSPOOT Campaign, Marvelous Europe is donating £20,000 to part-fund building new facilities at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park. These will include a larval rearing room, space for the adult hoverflies to fly and mate, and preparation space for staff to ready the abundance of flowers the hoverflies need for food. With the money from Marvelous Europe and other donors, including The National Geographic Society, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry and Land Scotland, and NatureScot, it is hoped that this conservation breeding programme will help bring the critically endangered pine hoverfly back from the edge of extinction.

Adult Pine Hoverfly – credit Ellie Rotheray

As well as a donation to develop the project, Marvelous Europe is working with partners to help raise awareness for the important work being undertaken by RZSS, with a Europe-wide seed growing competition for the gaming industry, kicking off with a special Twitch live stream from comedian, games journalist and one half of the UK’s Number 1 Parenting Podcast, “Scummy Mummies”, Ellie Gibson on Friday 26th March. Participants in the competition will get the chance to have a tangible impact on the species’ future, naming the hoverflies that will save the species, and winners will have a lasting impact, naming the new facilities that will keep this vital programme going for years to come.

In STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive Town, which launches 26th March 2021 on the Nintendo Switch, players begin their farming journey in a pine forest and must work alongside nature to breathe life into their farm. By saving the pine hoverfly, we hope to bring a bit of the game world alive, while also helping to save an endangered UK species from the very real threat of extinction. It may be small, but the pine hoverfly is an important pollinator, a role shared by many of the world’s endangered invertebrates. The breeding programme is ‘pioneering’ in its own right, developing techniques that could turn the fortunes of other species that are vital to delicate ecosystems around the world.

About Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town:
The brand-new entry in the STORY OF SEASONS franchise is putting down roots on the Nintendo Switch! This long-awaited entry in the original farm/life simulation offers players more freedom than ever before! Embrace the pioneer spirit to shape the untamed wilderness, discover new animals and produce, and help them flourish on your farm. Customise every inch of your new homestead to impress a new cast of marriage candidates from Olive Town, an aspiring tourist hotspot that grows and thrives along with your farm.Key Features:

* A Wild World of Discovery: Tame the wilderness of the peninsula, discover the flora and fauna that make it their home and unearth the secrets of the world around you. Work with the land to build the farm of your dreams from the ground up. Build facilities wherever you see fit, level up your farming skills and craft everything from fences to sprinklers for crops!
* Cultivate Your Farm, Cultivate Your Town: Gather and process materials to fulfill requests and improve Olive Town’s infrastructure, upgrade tools, or commission new outfits and accessories
* Simple Mechanics, Deep Gameplay: Fledgling farmers can rest easy with the return of Seedling Mode and Normal Mode, with a new request system highlighting the fresh features while you lend a hand to the locals! Veteran players ready to create a bustling farm of their own will find all the core elements of the STORY OF SEASONS series, with new twists on classic gameplay.
* There’s Always Something Going on in Olive Town! Participate in local festivals as the town comes to life with events that are new to the series! Get to know your neighbours better and you may even find love with a special someone among them.

Now Play This

London’s leading free festival of experimental games: 25-28 March 2021

www.nowplaythis.net  

London’s leading festival of experimental games Now Play This returns with a new four-day virtual programme packed with interactive games, workshops, and conversations for people of all ages to enjoy from home.  

 This year’s edition, presented as part of London Games Festival, explores the climate crisis through games and play, inviting audiences to creatively interrogate the ecological issues faced worldwide today.  

 Players can enjoy a vast range of both individual and collaborative gameplay, created by an innovative community of makers, designers and artists, with new games becoming available each day of the festival. From taking responsibility for the fate of the planet in interactive simulations, to creating beautiful ecosystems or witnessing environmental destruction in imagined futures, Now Play This 2021 offers a unique gaming experience, forming an exciting and timely online series, open to all ages and abilities. 

 Highlights include:  

  • Audiences are invited to ‘take flight’ to the festival with a live launch event and discussion within games designer Hosni Auji’s Airplane Mode simulator, offering light-hearted escapism in a time where travel is restricted, simulating the delights and annoyances of the airline travel experience without the carbon footprint of the real thing
  • Repurpose, a micro-adventure that sends instructions to participants’ phones, encouraging people to get outside and explore the natural surroundings beyond their home, specially created for Now Play This
  • Live role-play simulation of UN climate change negotiations in World Climate Simulation, where players can see the impact of their environmental decisions with live analysis from a digital modelling tool 
  • Interactive narrative game Villans and Heroes challenges players to uncover the identity of key players in climate change denial and disinformation campaigns, based on the real-life costume party hosted by multi-billionaire Robert Mercer shortly after the election of Trump in 2016
  • New interactive design game Among Ripples offers players the chance to experiment with building and maintaining their own lake ecosystem 
  • Fans of Age of Empires II can convene in the new online chatroom, The Garden of Earthly Delights a playful new work which allows users to transform into different species from the animal kingdom 
  • Venice 2089 invites users to explore a future of Venice, which once a significant tourism destination but now almost uninhabited, is struggling with the unpredictable behaviour of tides

FULL SCHEDULE: 

 Thursday 25 March 2021 | What Do You Need to Have Fun? 

Now Play This opens with a spotlight on projects that help us think about the infrastructures behind the way we play.  

Flying to the Festival   

Live Play Event | 15.00 

To launch Now Play This 2021, the team invite audiences to ‘take flight’ to the festival with a live event and discussion on what we need to have fun within Lebanese designer Hosni Auji’s Airplane Mode simulator. Offering light-hearted escapism in a time where travel is restricted, the game simulates the airline travel experience, without the carbon footprint, from your seat and the seatback in front of you, to the contents of your carry-on bag and in-flight entertainment, to the behaviours of cabin crew and other passengers.  

Repurpose  

Activity | Play Anytime 

Game designers Amy Strike and Tom Williams invite the public to join them on a meditative journey that begins within your home and leads you into the outside world. Delivering instructions and invitations through your phone, Repurpose is a self-guided micro adventure questioning how we consider and use objects in our surroundings. 

Greener Games: One Studio’s Approach to Sustainability   

Talk | 18.30 

Now Play This join London-based games studio Space Ape to discuss how they achieved their goal of becoming a carbon negative company and to share their thoughts on how we too can be more sustainable. 

Folk Game TikToks with Danny Hawk   

Talk | 20.00 

New York-based independent game developer Danny Hawk hosts a streamed talk exploring the emergence and explosion in popularity of folk games on the video sharing platform TikTok over the course of the pandemic. 

Communal Festival Space designed by Tiz Creel + Festival Party    

Activity | Available to access across the weekend     

Tiz Creel, Mexican born and London based artist and game designer, presents a 2D-social space for Now Play This 2021. Users can enjoy communal games, live events and a festival party all within a new digital work inspired by the festival line-up and architecture of Somerset House. See full schedule online for timed events in this space.  

Friday 26 March 2021 | You Fix the Climate! 

Day two of the festival highlights the more than 30-year-long tradition of games that present the climate crisis as a problem for players to solve, inviting audiences to experience how it feels to be responsible for the fate of the planet.  

Climate Change Games and Research – An Open Exchange 

Workshop | 13.00 

Hosted by game designer and urban geographer Jana Wendler, this workshop brings together climate researchers and game designers for a frank exchange about the hopes, fears and realities of communicating scientific knowledge through games and changing perspectives in Play.  

World Climate Simulation   

Live Play Event | 15.00 

Independent, not-for-profit think-tank Climate Interactive present World Climate Simulation, a live role-play simulation of UN climate change negotiations, where players can see the impact of their environmental decisions with live analysis from a digital modelling tool. 

Among Ripples: Shallow Waters  

Live Event | 17.00 

Swedish development team Eat Create Sleep present Among Ripples: Shallow Waters, a new eco-tycoon simulation in which players work together as a team of scientists to build, repair and maintain the delicate ecosystem of lakes and rivers in a near future setting.

Cards Against the Climate Crisis 

Live Play Event | 18.30 

Audiences are invited to join designers and activists in playing and discussing two board games, Ecologic and Carbon City Zero, both of which explore the climate crisis in different ways, from balancing extracting minerals from the landscape whilst offsetting damages, to developing a sustainable city.  

Balance of the Planet  

Activity | Play Anytime 

Players are invited to experience game designer Chris Crawford’s celebrated environmental crisis simulator, which was originally released for Earth Day 1990.  

Saturday 27 March 2021 | Beyond Repair 

Challenging the notion that the climate crisis can be solved or fixed by players, Day 3 sees Now Play This go “Beyond Repair”. The festival will present critical work that directly addresses the powers behind environmental destruction and imagines futures in which the damage has become irreparable.  

Alternative Ecologies Jam   

Community Game Jam | Anytime 

Writer and games researcher Emilie Reed invites audiences to engage with critical games writing and the themes of the festival through contributing their own writing, micro-games, or calls to action about gaming’s relation to economic and ecological issues. Contributors will be invited to come together for sharing moments and reflect on everyone’s submissions through dedicated sessions.  

The Last Survey  

Activity | Play Anytime 

Artist Nicholas O’Brien presents The Last Survey, a narrative essay game in which players take on the role of a geologist advising a Brazilian mining company and must make critical choices to save the Earth’s exhausted metal reserves or witness the consequences.  

Villains and Heroes  

Activity | Play Anytime 

Software artist and writer Marloes de Valk presents an interactive narrative game based on a real event: the costume party hosted by multi-billionaire Robert Mercer shortly after the election of Trump, December 2016. Players must try and uncover the identity of the disguised guests – among them key players in climate change denial and disinformation campaigns, without exposing themselves as an uninvited guest.  

Games about Bad Actors   

Conversation | 15.00 

Artists Nicholas O’Brien and Marloes de Valk (creators of The Last Survey and Villains and Heroes) join the Now Play This team to discuss games that explicitly explore bad actors in terms of the climate crisis. 

Venice 2089  

Activity | Play Anytime 

Presented by Italian development team, Safe Place Studios, Venice 2089 follows disaffected teen Nova who is visiting her grandfather in a rapidly sinking Venice. Players are invited to explore the city through the eyes of Nova, which once a significant tourism destination but now almost uninhabited, is struggling with the unpredictable behaviour of tides.  

Even in Arcadia   

Activity | Play Anytime  

In this experiential narrative game by Phoebe Shalloway, players can explore and eavesdrop on characters in a hyper-capitalist future on Earth, where corporations develop and move society to new planets, and dispose of the old planets like smartphone models.

Imagining Post-Climate Crisis Worlds   

Conversation | 17.00 

The creators of Venice 2089 and Even in Arcadia join the Now Play This team to discuss games that look at a future in which it might be too late. 

Sunday 28 March 2021 | Ways of Relating 

Day 4 sees Now Play This present works that give space for reflection and imagine other ways of relating to the natural world.  

Summit for Intergalactic Knowledge   

Live Play Event | 16.00 

Become an alien, or a slime mold, or a rock, in this playful online live action role-playing game from international artists Alen Ksoll, Margherita Huntley and Natalia Skoczylas which premieres at Now Play This. Participants inhabit various new characters to start addressing the challenges of the anthropocentric climate crisis. 

Garden of Earthly Delights   

Live Play and Conversation | 17.00  

Canadian developers SCRNPNT return to Now Play This with their new online work Garden of Earthly Delights, a chatroom which allows users to transform into different species from the animal kingdom of Age of Empires II.

Honour Water   

Game and Interview | Play Anytime 

Honour Water is a singing game for healing water that passes on songs in Anishinaabemowin, the Anishinaabe language, presenting Water Teachings and singing challenges alongside art by Anishinaabe artist Elizabeth LaPensée. For Now Play This, players can enjoy an exclusive interview with the creative team behind the game.  

Floating Point Leviathan 

Game | Play Anytime  

Dutch developer Yan Knoop premieres Floating Point Leviathan, a new game which provides players with a single implied goal to hunt a whale, however once the creature is hurt, the world too fractures around it, challenging viewers to face consequences of the damage caused.  

Now Play This 2021 is supported by Goethe-Institut  

THE 6th LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2021 PROGRAMME

  • A diverse range of 40 games from around the world chosen as part of LGF’s first Official Selection
  • 10 days of free talks and video programming available online
  • Now Play This programme features 25 games reflecting on the climate crisis
  • An added Safer Together Campaign with Safe In Our World which looks to battle loneliness and open conversations about mental health.

Hundreds of games creators from around the world are set to participate in the sixth London Games Festival, which today unveils the full programme for its brand new entirely online event. The London Games Festival runs 19 March to 28 March and will be the most accessible version of the event yet, with content free online to anyone.

For the first time, London Games Festival has chosen an Official Selection of 40 games from around the world, representing quality, innovation and diversity. The Official Selection highlights developers from a global pool of creative talent across its four themes of Made In London, Narrative Excellence, International Innovators and Pick Up And Play. The games will be presented via a dedicated showcase site available from 19 March, with associated store promotions at digital retailers. A number of the games are due for release during the festival period while others have free demos available.

The line-up includes:

A Musical Story: The Road To Pinewood Glee-Cheese (France)

Acolyte Superstring (UK)

Aerial Knight’s Never Yield Aerial Knight (USA)

Aeon Drive 2Awesome (The Netherlands / Spain)

Antstream Arcade Antstream (UK)

Beard Defence Jolly Good (UK)

CityClick Lost Native (UK)

Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark Spooky Doorway (Ireland)

Dead Man’s Phone Electric Noir (UK)

DIdim Twohands Interactive (South Korea)

Do Not Buy This Game Kingblade Games (Israel)

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins Maze Theory (UK)

Drive Buy GLITCHERS (UK)

Duality Biome Collective (UK)

Genesis Noir Feral Cat Den (USA)

Going Medieval Foxy Voxel (Serbia)

Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator Broken Arms (Italy)

Innchanted DragonBear (Australia)

King of Seas 3DCloud (Italy)

Legend of Keepers Goblinz Studio (France)

Lost Words: Beyond the Page Sketchbook Games (UK)

Murder by Numbers Mediatonic (UK)

Ping Pong Fury Yakuto (UK)

Puerto Viejo Bocata Games (UK)

Puzzle Heist Hutch (UK)

Star Hunter DX 1CC Games (UK)

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows Monochrome (France)

The Companion Studio 46 (USA)

The Wandering VIllage Stray Fawn Studio (Switzerland)

Theropods Lost Token (UK)

This is Reality ScribbleScape (UK)

TOEM Something We Made (Sweden)

Tunche Leap Games (Peru)

Underdogs Moonbear (UK)

Vahn’s Quest Plutomobile.inc (South Korea)

Waver Buried Things (UK)

Wild Planet Lukyantsev Company (Switzerland)

WildMeta (UK)

Zombieland: Headshot Fever XR Games (UK)

(NB. One title is still unannounced and is set to be revealed prior to 19 March.)

The Official Selection games will also be profiled at the LGF World Stage, the festival’s new destination for its talks, panels and broadcasts. Over 70 shows will be made available via YouTube and a dedicated LGF EPG at games.london over the course of the festival, with highlights including:

  • 40 original previews of the Official Selection games with developer commentary, exclusive first looks and premieres
  • Director’s Commentary: John Carpenter – a special event with the revered movie director which will be looking at his life through the lens of his love for video games
  • A free screening of the Tony Hawk documentary Pretending I’m A Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story – which looks at the origin of the bestselling games series and its legacy and ways it intersects with skating and music culture – followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers
  • Original documentaries by Games London looking at Games Are Good For You and The Game Tech Revolutionising Movies
  • Two exclusive music performances are scheduled for the opening and closing days of the festival, further showcasing the variety and depth of audio content in games. New York-based games designer Jane Friedhoff will be playing the EP mixes she has created using the game FUSER on Friday 19 March – while performances from Brian D’Oliveira (composer for Resident Evil 7, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and others), recorded at his studio La Hacienda Creative in Montreal, will close the festival on Sunday 28 March.
  • Refreshed episodes of the Ensemble Salons, Games London’s recent series of one-to-one interviews with the key talent in its exhibition focusing on Black, asian and marginalised ethnicities working in games
  • Launches of new programmes for consumers and industry alike from Games London’s Virtual Photography Challenge to a new cross-industry Green Games Guide intended to help developers hit 2030 sustainability targets
  • A London-based edition of the popular Games Jobs Live event which features career advice and experts talking about working in the games sector
  • Plus a series of industry panels and discussions on key issues and hot button topics in games, ranging from the ways fans have turned their love of games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox into a career, through to metaverse (covered in an exclusive fireside chat with CCP Games CEO Hilmar Petursson) and how games aid mental health

Opening up the mental health conversation further will also be a strand for the festival as it partners with games industry charity Safe In Our World on its new Safer Together Campaign. Safer Together will offer a public Discord that will launch during the festival and continue beyond, with the purpose of providing a public platform for gamers and industry folk to connect, discuss games and be a safe space for all to talk. To find resources and more information about Safe In Our World, please visit www.safeinourworld.org where the Discord Link will be announced at the beginning of the festival.

Elsewhere, the Now Play This programme will feature a further 25 games and experiences as its four-day event (25 March to 28 March) looks to engage players and creatives around the climate crisis and ways interactive works and inform and educate. Now Play This’s programming includes online talks and workshops plus a number of innovative in-game activities, such as the opening event: a ‘flight’ to the festival using Hosni Auji’s Airplane Mode. The full line-up has also been announced today and can be found at www.nowplaythis.net

The Museum of London in collaboration with Sacha Coward is also launching a brand new virtual video games tour on the first day of the games festival, available at www.museumoflondon.org.uk. The tour will take in some of the titles in museum’s video games collection and journey through the galleries to  see the incredible artefacts that inspired them.

Also set for broadcast during the festival is the BAFTA Games Awards, free to view live online during the evening of Thursday 25 March – the prestigious awards event named its nominees last week with over 30 games in the running.

The public-facing LGF content is also underpinned by a major business-to-business offer that will see hundreds of professionals log on for video meetings, pitches to investors and networking. The Games Finance Market specifically will feature 60+ major global funds meeting pre-selected studios from London, UK and around the world looking to get new games financed. The festival is using new online platforms and partners such as digital escape room company The Adventure Is Real (where delegates can network and meet new people while solving puzzles) to keep the business area fresh and engaging. The festival’s B2B strand is supported by Xsolla, Hiro Capital, CCP Games, Here East and Java Hub.

Overall, the online London Games Festival 2021 is set to include nearly 400 games businesses across all its programming making for its biggest showing since the festival started as a physical event in 2016. London Games Festival is backed by the Mayor of London and seeks to make London the games capital of the world. It is delivered by Games London, an initiative from Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, and video games trade body Ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment). 

Discover more about London Games Festival via www.games.london and @londongamesfest 

Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four, a Single Player Card Combat RPG, Officially Releases on Steam February 26

Cologne, Germany – February 16, 2021 – Publisher, Headup and Elder Games are pleased to announce the official release of Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four for Steam on February 26. Launched on Steam as Early Access in late July 2020, the game has since gone through multiple updates, unveiling new cards, artifacts, enemies, and biomes. The official release will unlock the fierce final boss, new deathly realm, and end game content.

Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a procedurally generated collectible card game with action RPG elements. Tinkering with magic and spells beyond his ability, a dark wizard accidentally unleashes The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their minions. The only way to send them back to the fiery pit from whence they came is by battling through with 240+ cards and 40 artifacts.

In the final chapter of the game, the player must fight through brutal creatures called “Agents of Death” at every corner. Agent of Death is a new enemy type appearing for the first time, and only those who win enough keys are allowed to enter the final realm and face the ultimate boss: Death himself.

About Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four

Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four is a procedurally generated collectible card game mixed with action RPG elements.

You are a dark wizard who tinkered with magic and spells way beyond your skill level. This time you messed up really bad: You’ve unleashed The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and their minions upon the World! Well done… So hurry, grab your magical cards and send them all back to their hellish dimension before the Apocalypse destroys everyone and everything – and much more importantly, before the old wizard council discovers what you have done…

Features:
* Encounter 5 factions and over 240 cards, each with its own unique abilities, art and 3D animation
* Equip your hero with over 40 artifacts
* Battle five mythic bosses, each with its own unique take on game mechanics
* Explore endlessly generated worlds in different biomes
* Complete challenges and trade cards in the Inter-dimensional ‘Pub’ you visit between quests

Tackle thorny problems in ‘Room to Grow’ a plant pushing puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021!

Learn to manoeuver like a cactus as you grow your way back to the desert!

Melbourne, Australia – 11th February 2021 – Releasing with the assistance of Film Victoria, Australia, Room to Grow is a Cactus based puzzle game launching on Steam for PC & Mac 25th February 2021. Mischka Kamener has created a visually stunning indie title that will twist puzzle fans minds in unique cactus based ways!

In Room to Grow, players must solve a succulent forest worth of prickly puzzles, learning to maneuver as a cactus in order to return other cacti to their pots, and with every puzzle solved, help to grow their way back home to the desert. Secrets and surprises await those who are brave enough to tackle the thorny challenges in each game world.

“I hope that the surprises I’ve left for players will leave a lasting impression on them, just like the games I was inspired by did to me,” commented Mischka Kamener, creator and developer of Room to Grow, “I’m incredibly grateful to Film Victoria for their belief in me and my game – without that, I wouldn’t have been able to turn Room to Grow into what it is today.”

Room to Grow Features:
* Over 100 hand-crafted puzzles
* Discover unexpected mechanics that will twist your mind differently to any other puzzle game
* Play the way you want – Undo and restart as often as you like, skip puzzles if you want to
* No timer, no action elements, no move counter – This game is all about the satisfaction of solving puzzles
* Featuring a delightful original soundtrack by Romain Rope

Room to Grow is available on the Steam Store from here.

Story-Driven Oz-esque Adventure ‘Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood’: Steam Release Date Set for April 8

Official Release with Full Story and Additional Languages

Cologne, February 3, 2021 – Publisher Headup and the developer of popular “The Coma” series, Devespresso Games, have announced the new official release date for Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood. Formerly scheduled to launch in February on Steam Early Access, the game will be fully released on April 8.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood – Gameplay Trailer

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood will release in its entirety at launch rather than several sections unveiled over time as was previously announced. The game will launch in seven languages; English, Korean, German, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.

For those who are disappointed with the delay, head over to the Steam Game Festival (February 3 – 9) for the demo, and be the first to play the game! Featuring Devespresso’s signature manhwa-style with hand-illustrated graphics by Minho Kim and a non-linear story written by T.L. Riven, Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a narrative adventure set within a vibrant Oz-esque fantasy world. The game features a recurring time loop (think Groundhog Day) with unique branching story paths and multiple endings

Scarlet, the protagonist and a diva in the making, awakes in the realm of Glome after being flung over by a rogue tornado. She discovers an electrifying world brimming with magic, beauty, and artifacts from a mysterious bygone culture. Her strange journey begins when she takes up the mantle of the Red Witch and leads a troupe of Munchkins through the forbidden Wicked Wood. The fledgling witch soon discovers a Recursion Hex has her reliving the same day. However, each death presents new opportunities to branch the adventure in exciting new ways. The only way to get through the wood is by solving puzzles that require logic, or by finding clues that are scattered across the wood.

About Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a story-driven adventure game. As Scarlet, you must relive seven days of misfortune, and make a series of decisions to guide your Munchkin troupe safely out of the Wicked Wood. Experience branching outcomes based on your decisions. Most importantly, immerse yourself in a bewitching story of fantastic adventure!

Features:

▪ Survive a narrative time-loop
▪ Solve ridiculous puzzles
▪ Follow your own multi-path story
▪ Unlock multiple endings based on your decisions
▪ Ogle the hand-illustrated graphics
▪ Use Scarlet’s witching skills to avoid detection

Groundhog Day Meets Brothers Grimm Meets Oz in the New Vibrant Fantasy Adventure Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Developed by the Team Behind the Popular ‘The Coma’ Series, Arriving on Steam in February Cologne,

December 18, 2020 – Publisher Headup and Devespresso Games, the developer of popular The Coma series, are delighted to announce the upcoming launch of Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood, a new story-driven fantasy puzzle game with multiple endings, on Steam Early Access in February.

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood – Teaser Trailer

Featuring Devespresso’s signature manhwa-style with hand-illustrated graphics by Minho Kim and story by T.L Riven, Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a vibrant puzzle adventure set within an Oz-esque fantasy world. The game features a recurring time loop (think Groundhog Day) that creates unique branching story paths.

Scarlet, the protagonist and a rock diva in the making, awakes in the realm of Glome after being flung over by a rogue tornado. She discovers a vibrant world brimming with magic, beauty, and artifacts from a mysterious bygone culture. Her strange journey begins when she takes up the mantle of the Red Witch and leads a troupe of Munchkins through the forbidden Wicked Wood. In a world full of riddles and wonders, she encounters witches, tin knights, talking beasts, monsters, and many fearsome creatures to overcome. The fledgling witch soon discovers a Recursion Hex has her reliving the same day. However, each death presents new opportunities to branch the adventure in exciting new ways. Ultimately, her decisions lead to multiple endings. In the deep wood, where a bad hungry wolf roams and a wicked witch casts her evil spells, Scarlet must rely on her wits and a small fox, acting as her pathfinder, to overcome the disasters that await her at every turn.

About Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood

Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is a story-driven adventure game. As Scarlet, you must relive seven days of misfortune, and make a series of decisions to guide your Munchkin troupe safely out of the Wicked Wood. Experience branching outcomes based on your decisions. Most importantly, immerse yourself in a bewitching story of fantastic adventure!

Features:

▪ Survive a narrative time-loop
▪ Solve ridiculous puzzles
▪ Follow your own multi-path story
▪ Unlock multiple endings based on your decisions
▪ Ogle the hand-illustrated graphics
▪ Use Scarlet’s witching skills to avoid detection