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 

EPOS invites you to “The Power of Audio in Gaming” Virtual Event

Copenhagen, Denmark – January 18, 2021 – Premium audio brand EPOS has revealed its first ever virtual gaming event for media and video game fans everywhere, “The Power of Audio in Gaming.” The special online broadcast is set to deliver a unique and graphically mesmerizing behind-the-scenes look at the future of gaming audio, told by key representatives from EPOS and others from the video game industry. EPOS’ “The Power of Audio in Gaming” event will commence at 01:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

During the event, EPOS fans, press, gamers and audiophiles alike will discover fascinating insights from guest speakers about the importance of lifelike audio in gaming, and how it drives the development of audio equipment. Similarly, attendees will learn about how the brain interprets audio, and how EPOS builds upon over 115 years of experience to use this knowledge to further the audio experience of gaming. A panel of renowned figures from the gaming audio world will also converge to discuss live the future of the industry in 2021 and onwards.

A full agenda for “The Power of Audio in Gaming” follows:

  • Welcome – Jeppe Dalberg-Larsen, EPOS President
  • 15-Minute Keynote: “Brain Hearing – How the Brain Processes Sound” – Jesper Kock, VP of Research and Development
  • Expert panel: “What Does the Future Hold for Audio in Gaming?” – Five key industry leaders, led by Danish tech journalist David Guldager
  • 15-Minute Keynote, EPOS Products: “Unleashing the Power of Audio in Gaming” – Andreas Jessen, Senior Director, Gaming
  • Conclusion – Maja Sand-Grimnitz, Global Head of Marketing, Gaming

Live interpretations for the event will be provided in French, German and Japanese.

“EPOS is thrilled to welcome media and fellow gaming and audio enthusiasts to our first ever event for EPOS in Gaming,” said Maja Sand-Grimnitz, Head of Global Marketing, Gaming at EPOS. “We look forward to discussing the future of audio in gaming with industry leading experts, sharing our passion, knowledge and exciting new releases with viewers from the comfort and safety of their homes.”

Media and viewers interested in attending can visit the official EPOS landing page to register for access to the event. The event will take place in two sessions, at 01:00 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday, Jan. 27.

More details about “The Power of Audio in Gaming” can be found on the official EPOS website.

About EPOS

EPOS is an audio and video solution company developing and selling devices for business professionals and the gaming community. Based on leading and advanced technologies, the Danish founded company delivers high-end audio and video solutions with design, technology and performance as paramount parameters.

The establishment of EPOS is based on the decision to let the business segments of the joint venture – known as Sennheiser Communications – between Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG and Demant A/S evolve in different set-ups. Alongside the introduction of a new own-branded portfolio, EPOS continues to sell the current Sennheiser Communications portfolio co-branded as EPOS I SENNHEISER. 

EPOS is part of the Demant Group – a world-leading audio and hearing technology group. As such, it builds on more than 115 years of experience of working with innovation and sound.  

With headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, EPOS operates in a global market with offices and partners in more than 30 countries.   

Find more information at www.eposaudio.com

Bewilder Box launches a humorous new virtual escape room, bringing people together over the festive period and challenging them to save Christmas.

With the nation under a strict tier system, getting together over the festive period will be impossible for many. But, team Bewilder Box has come up with an ingenious method for friends and family to spend time together whilst also putting their brains to the test.

After the huge success of their online escape room, ‘The B.R.U.C.E. Project’ (as featured in Stylist’s ‘Best Online Escape Rooms’) team Bewilder Box has launched its latest and most festive title yet ‘B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas’. The online game, which can be played with up to 6 players using a Browser and Zoom, features a healthy dose of festive spirit along with a series of mindboggling Christmas puzzles, which require communication and teamwork to tackle. The mission: players must deduce the identity of a mysterious turkey-masked villain who has kidnapped Santa.

The game has been made with both newbies and experienced players in mind. ‘We wanted to make something that allowed people to get together and have a bit of fun over Christmas.’ commented Dave Middleton (co-founder of Bewilder Box). ‘You don’t need to be good a computer games or escape rooms to enjoy it; anyone can have a go.’

‘B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas’ is the latest in a long line of games developed by the team, including Bewilder Box’s own hit games: ‘The B.R.U.C.E. Project’ [Virtual]; ‘The Initiative’; and ‘Judgement D.A.V.E.’ located in Brighton. And ‘The Official Peaky Blinders Escape Room’ for Escape Live in Birmingham; and ‘Flight 338: The World’s First Escape Plane’ in London.

B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas is available to play now and can be purchased here: https://bewilderbox.co.uk/onlineescaperooms

Games cost £19.99 per team for 2-6 players. Larger teams can compete by purchasing multiple games. Dave Middleton and Dave Staffell (co-founders of Bewilder Box Escape Rooms) are leading experts on the UK’s escape room culture. They have been interviewed by multiple publications, including The Economist; co-organised and been speakers at the UK’s escape room industry conference, attended by 500 industry members in 2019; and appeared on ‘What Britain Buys’ with Mary Portas, discussing the growth of the escape room industry.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Launches on Nintendo Switch™ and PlayStation®4 within Europe and Australia

A Spoiled Princess Reclaims her Birthright as the Harvest Goddess in Action Platformer and Rice-Farming Simulation Hybrid

London, United Kingdom – 20th November 2020 – Following on from the highly successful launch in Japan, Marvelous Europe Limited are today excited to confirm that action/simulation game Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is now available physically and digitally for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 within Europe and Australia.

The momentum around Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin continues outside of Japan having received positive reviews from critics, as commented by Marc Melton, General Manager of Marvelous Europe.

“We’re thrilled to see the reaction for Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin in Japan last week. We always knew this was a special title from a passionate and talented indie team and are excited to now bring their huge success to Europe and Australia today. We can’t wait to share the game’s unique combination of beautiful art, unique side-scrolling combat and rice farming to the gaming community in the West, we’re already seeing some incredible review scores from major sites across the continent!”

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin delivers the unforgettable story of Princess Sakuna, a harvest goddess banished to an untamed island with a group of humans, has been brought to life by developer Edelweiss. Acclaimed for their work on the shoot ‘em up Astebreed, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin presents a return to the combat-focused platforming roots of their earlier title Fairy Bloom Freesia, featuring refined action gameplay mixed with unique rice-farming simulation.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is available as a physical Collector’s Edition, known as Golden Harvest, for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, and as a Digital Deluxe Edition on the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 4.

A standard physical edition of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 are also available at selected retailers, and digitally from the Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Store, within Europe and Australia with an SRP of £34.99 / €39.99 / $59.95 AUD.

The Golden Harvest Edition of Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is available to order from selected retailers across Europe and on the Marvelous Games Store for £49.99 / €59.99.

Golden Harvest Edition Contents:

▪ Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Game
▪ 132-page Artbook
▪ 3 Disc Soundtrack CD Collection
▪ Double Sided Poster
▪ Collector’s Box

The Digital Deluxe Edition is exclusive to the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 4 and is priced at £44.99 / €49,99 / $69.95 AUD.

Digital Deluxe Edition Contents:

▪ Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin PlayStation 4 Game
▪ Digital Soundtrack App with 42 tracks
▪ 4 Exclusive PlayStation 4 Themes
▪ PSN Avatar Set with 9 Avatars

About Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin:
Developed by Edelweiss, the team behind acclaimed indie darling Astebreed, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin combines side-scrolling action with deep crafting and rice cultivation. Players take on the role of Sakuna, a spoiled harvest goddess banished to a dangerous island with a group of outcast humans. As she explores the beautiful yet forbidding environments of the island, she will also find a home in a mountain village, proving herself worthy of her title by harvesting rice and bettering the lives of humanity.

Key Features:

▪ Refined Side-scrolling Platform Action: Using farm tools as weapons, chain together quick, heavy, and special attacks to take down demonic beasts, while mastering the magical “divine raiment” will be essential to grapple distant platforms, evade danger, and overcome powerful enemies.
▪ Detailed 3D Simulation-style Gameplay: Learn the ancient art of agriculture by following detailed steps from planting to harvesting to cultivate the perfect crop. As a harvest goddess, Sakuna’s strength grows with each successful rice crop, with attributes such as aesthetic and flavour directly correlating to her combat abilities.
▪ Creating a Home in the Wilderness: Sakuna’s mortal companions make weapons, armour, and meals for her using the materials and ingredients she gathers on her adventures, and completing quests for them will unlock even more options.
▪ A Fresh Take on Japanese Mythology: The heroine is part of a pantheon of gods and demons inspired by traditional Japanese mythology but featuring many unique twists. The story and world are filled with lovingly rendered details, some familiar and some completely original.

Developed by Edelweiss and to be published by Marvelous Europe Limited for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in Europe and Australia, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin will launch physically and digitally on 20th November 2020. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin was also released digitally for Windows PC on STEAM via XSEED Games / Marvelous USA, Inc. on the 10th November 2020. This title has been rated PEGI 16, USK 12, ACB PG.

Secret of Mana Composer, Hiroki Kikuta, and Pixel Artist of The Textorcist, Misbug, Join the Team of Tinkertown

Multiplayer Sandbox Game to Arrive in Style on Steam Early Access Soon

2 November 2020, Cologne – Games publisher Headup is delighted to announce that Hiroki Kikuta, renowned composer of Secret of Mana and Soukaigi has joined the production of Tinkertown, Headup’s first in-house production, along with the pixel artist Giuseppe Longo (aka Misbug), a creator behind Gunbrick Reloaded and The Escapists 2.

This will be the second time Headup has worked with Misburg, who has already caused a stir for his incredible work on the pixel art for The Textorcist in 2018. Hiroki Kikuta will contribute two tracks that are exclusively created for Tinkertown. Check out a sample here. “When the team of Tinkertown approached me with their request to contribute to the game, I was quickly sold on the idea“, commented Hiroki Kikuta, “it’s a cheerful take on 16-Bit RPG classics, transported into the modern sandbox genre. My soundtrack is designed to enhance this experience, lifting up the spirits of any adventurers setting foot into the lovely world of Tinkertown.”

Tinkertown is a drop-in multiplayer game where players build, craft and explore a procedurally generated, open world, and discover dungeons filled with enemies, bosses and epic loot.

The loot can be combined with countless resources and blueprints to craft as tools, armour, and weapons as well as furniture, workshops and machines to build settlements that can eventually turn into an impressive city.

Players explore the world through different biomes such as mystical forests, vast deserts, chilling ice tundras and mountains with glowing rivers of lava, all depicted with handmade pixel graphics.

Offering different experiences to all players, based on the choice of weapons and armour, they can play as a rogue, warrior, mage, or anyone they wish to be. It is crucial to choose carefully from the onset, as many enemies lurk in the world, and powerful bosses await in the dungeons.

Tinkertown will launch on Steam Early Access in 2020 with the release date to be announced soon. The project Tinkertown is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as part of the federal government’s computer games funding program with a total of €153,669.

About Tinkertown

Come to Tinkertown – A refreshing new Multiplayer Sandbox Experience! Grab your shovel, your pickaxe, and your sword and enter the realms of Tinkertown. A magical place awaits filled with loot, danger, and creativity. Build your own village – from small shacks to impressive castles and townships.

Gather resources as you explore this procedurally generated world either by yourself or with friends! Need some extra challenge? While the surface world is mostly peaceful, only the most courageous explorers will enter the sinister dungeons scattered around the world, and defeat the horrors that live within. Epic loot awaits those who dare to face the underworld.

Features:

▪ Explore beautiful landscapes such as mystical forests, great deserts, steaming lava mountains, and more.


▪ Craft new equipment and become a rogue, a warrior, or wizard – or create a new loadout and invent your own play-style.

▪ Gather resources and discover new things to build.


▪ Build your own habitat – by yourself, or online with up to three friends.▪ Descent into combat driven dungeons and battle large underworld bosses.

WE’re looking for 2 experts to join our expert panel coming in 2021.

Photo by Ayyub Yahaya on Pexels.com

As announced on Twitter new for 2021 we are introducing a experts panel into the magazine, we are currently looking for a theatre and gaming expert, the panel will be 250 words for each panelist and will cover there specialist area, and the readers will have the opportunity to ask questions via email and the panelist having complete control over what questions they choose to answer.

Don’t let the word expert throw you, we are looking for someone who has experience in either theatre or gaming professionally, and would like to write a short piece each month and have it published in the magazine.

As a small independent magazine, we have a limited budget, but are offering a small rate for this work to be increased as the magazine grows.

If interested contact me for more details at: norwich-nights-magazine@outlook.com

Free-roaming Squad based Single-Player RPG ‘Kenshi’ Hits 1 Million Global Sales

Kenshi 2 Under Development with the New Engine and Expanded Team

Bristol, UK – 30 September 2020Kenshi, a single player RPG set in a vast and atmospheric ‘Sword-Punk’ style open world, has hit the milestone of 1 million global sales this summer. Developed over 12 years, with 5 of those years under Steam Greenlight’s Early Access program, Kenshi released in December 2018 and remained among the top 100 most played games throughout 2019 with many players clocking over 1,000 hours of playtime.

We would not have achieved this without the passionate community of players who supported us from an early stage and have come back to play Kenshi time and time again”, says Lo-Fi Games’ CEO and Head Developer Chris Hunt, “Kenshi’s great for making your own stories and modding, which offers different experience of gameplay each time. We want to thank all fans who have shared their creations and have supported the game throughout the years.”

Kenshi Accolades Trailer

Proceeds from sales are now being invested in developing a highly anticipated sequel, Kenshi 2. “We have always strived to create a game that we are passionate about, free from the pressures of investors”, says Lo-Fi Games’ Director and Head Writer, Natalie Hunt, “success of Kenshi enabled us to recruit the best talents from around the world, and a new technology for Kenshi 2 that will dramatically improve the game’s visuals and performance.

Lo-Fi Games have revealed to their fans that Kenshi 2 is currently being developed with the Unreal Engine by a team of 15, with the new office based in Bristol.

Concept Art for Kenshi 2

About Kenshi

Kenshi is a single-player, free-roaming squad-based RPG with a focus on open-ended sandbox gameplay features. With 870 square kilometers of open-world map to explore and non-linear story, the game will never seek to limit the player or restrict their playstyle. Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a warlord, an adventurer, a farmer, a slave, or just food for the cannibals. Craft your equipment, train your squad, and build your base. Never forget that you are not the chosen one. You are not great and powerful. You don’t have more ‘hitpoints’ than everyone else. You are not the center of the universe, and you are not special. Unless you work for it.

Kenshi is available to purchase globally on Steam, GOG and other stores.
Follow Kenshi on Twitter, Facebook, and Steam.

Kenshi GIF ‘yes, yes, no!’