David Daw has studied the history and future of television and has a master's in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts from San Francisco State University along with a BA in genre fiction from NYU. More by David Daw
The most recent Ludum Dare has unleashed an avalanche of entertaining minimalist games, meaning we're pleasantly buried with an unprecedented third week of minimalist games. I swear next week I’ll do my best to have an epic RPG with a ridiculous number of art assets or something.
Sound odd? Sure, but it’s also rather neat. Steam Trading Cards are currently in beta, and themed after the few games that support them. You earn cards by playing the participating games, though you can only earn about half of a game’s total card set on your own. You’ll need to collect the rest of the set by bartering with friends or other Steam users.
Here’s where things get interesting (and potentially valuable): complete a set of cards, and you can craft them into a game badge. These badges can be displayed on your Steam profile, but you’ll also earn random goodies like backgrounds for your Steam profile and (more lucratively) coupons for DLC and discounts on Steam games.
Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news. More by Ian Paul
“One of our most exciting current projects is called Frostbite Go,” EA says on its site. “A mobile division empowering EA game developers with Frostbite’s proven excellent workflows and features to bring true Frostbite experiences to all major mobile platforms.”
Agam Shah, IDG News ServiceReporter, IDG News Service
Agam Shah is a reporter for the IDG News Service in New York. He covers hardware including PCs, servers, tablets, chips, semiconductors, consumer electronics and peripherals. More by Agam Shah, IDG News Service
Nvidia's Project Shield handheld gaming device, now called simply Shield, will be available for pre-order on May 20 priced at $349, though it won't ship to customers until the end of June.
Shield takes the form of a console game controller with a 5-inch, pop-up screen that can display images at a 720p (1280 x 720 pixel) resolution. It runs on Nvidia's latest Tegra 4 chip, which has four CPU cores and 72 graphics cores to support a maximum resolution of 3200 x 2000 pixels, so games can be played at full HD on an attached TV.
Shield will be available for order through Nvidia's website and via retailers Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center and Canada Computers. The handheld was introduced at the International CES in January.
Alex is a freelance videogame writer who writers for PCWorld's GameOn. He likes Star Wars a lot, maybe a bit much. More by Alex Rubens
Following in the footsteps of 2010’s Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light improves upon the gameplay of its predecessor without destroying what made the series great in the first place: the setting. Last Light takes you back to the post-apocalyptic Russian wasteland, employing an excellent soundtrack and bleak, desolate imagery to deliver a first-person shooter with surprising pathos and one of the most genuine game narratives in recent memory.
Boot up Last Light and you'll be dropped into the boots of Artyom–a man haunted by memories of his mother, or lack thereof–as he attempts to leave the Russian Metro to capture “a dark one”, monstrous remnants of the world before it was devastated by all-out nuclear war. Of course, nothing goes smoothly for Artyom, and along the way you'll be captured by other survivors and work together with another captive, Pavel, to orchestrate an escape. Arytom's quest ranges across the Russian wasteland, ultimately leading you through areas devastated by nuclear destruction and nests of enemies mutated by the apocalypse before culminating in one of the coolest and most intense firefight finales I've ever experienced.