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Think digitally, buy locally: 5 B.C.-made video games for the holidays – CBC.ca

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For some holiday gift shoppers, buying locally is a goal and if video games are on a loved one’s wish list, that won’t be a challenge — especially for those seeking out creative, off-the-beaten track titles.

Dennis Chenard, director of industry relations at the Centre for Digital Media, says B.C.’s smaller game studios have developed a track record in recent years of making those innovative products.

He says for curious gamers, they’re worth a try.

“Supporting not just the local economy but these creative outlets … creates a more playful world,” Chenard said. “It does lead to new and better play experiences.”

Here are five examples of locally-made games available for the holidays.

Hot Lava

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This game by Vancouver-based Klei Entertainment is a digital version of “the floor is lava.” This game takes it one step forward as you run and jump and do parkour moves in a first-person perspective across platforms on literal lava, racing against the clock. It’s just frustrating enough to make it challenging yet rewarding. Its aesthetic leans heavily into early ’90s nostalgia.

Available on: Steam, Apple Arcade

Stela

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Stela is a 2D platformer with a horror tinge from Burnaby-based SkyBox Labs. Your character wakes up in a cavern, climbs up a ladder and finds herself in a world in the throes of an apocalypse. In Stela, you solve puzzles, use stealth and sometimes just plain run to avoid carnivorous insects, ghouls and other dangers as you explore the collapsing world. It’s similar to Limbo, another puzzle-platformer. The visual style is reminiscent of the post-apocalypse movie 10 Cloverfield Lane and the sound design is chilling.

Available on: XBox One, Steam (forthcoming)

Garden Paws

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This is an adorable, zen game in the mold of Minecraft with touches of Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley thrown in. Developed by Burnaby’s Bitten Toast Games, this game puts you in the shoes of a cute woodland animal with a house and shop. You go into the wilderness to harvest plants and other materials to craft items for sale and help build up the town. There are dungeons to explore and monsters to fight. The art and music are warm and relaxing.

Available on: Nintendo Switch, Steam

Pistol Whip

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Qualicum Beach-based Cloudhead games is behind this ultraviolent VR shooter game. You shoot at enemies, dodge their bullets and weave your way through obstacles as you travel on an always-moving platform sort of like a people-mover at the airport. It gives you the feeling of being the star of an action movie like John Wick or Hardboiled. The movements required also give you the sense of being in a deadly dance party.

Available on: SteamVR, Oculus, Viveport, PSVR

Backbone

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This game from Vancouver-based EggNut is more of a belated holiday item because it is not expected to be released until 2020 but there is a free demo available for download. This game evokes point-and-click adventures like Monkey Island but with more action. You play as a raccoon detective in a film-noir-styled vision of Vancouver populated by woodland creatures like otters, squirrels and bears. The pixel art style gives it a striking throwback quality.

Available on: Steam (demo only), other platforms in 2020

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Here are the free games hitting PlayStation Plus in February 2021 – MobileSyrup

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Every month, Sony offers a few PlayStation 4 games at no additional cost to those subscribed to its PlayStation Plus service.

Now, the company has revealed what free titles are hitting the service in February 2021.

Notably, there’s a brand-new PS5 game here, as well as two acclaimed PS4 games.

The PS5 game in question is Destruction AllStars, a vehicular combat game that’s launching, as Sony previously promised, straight onto PS Plus.

Additionally, Sony is adding Control: Ultimate Edition — Remedy Entertainment’s latest trippy, David Lynch-inspired action game — to PS Plus on both PS4 and PS5. Finally, painting-focused PS4 action-adventure game Concrete Genie is joining the PS Plus catalogue in February and will be playable on PS5 as well via backward compatibility.

All three games can be downloaded for free via PlayStation Plus starting February 2nd. Destruction AllStars will remain as a free download until April 5th, while Control: Ultimate Edition and Concrete Genie will be available until March 1st.

A PlayStation Plus subscription costs $69.99/year in Canada.

For more on PlayStation Plus, find out what hit the service in January here.

Image credit: PlayStation

Source: PlayStation

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Here Are Your Free PS Plus Games For February 2021 – Forbes

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As expected, Sony just announced the free PS Plus games for PS4 and PS5 before the end of the month today, which includes three titles, one we knew already, and the other two that are a bit of a surprise.

Here are your February 2021 free PS Plus games, which will be available from February 2 to March 3, except for Destruction AllStars, which is available until April 5 instead.

Destruction AllStars – This is the one we knew already since Sony announced that Destruction AllStars would be delayed from its initial fall launch window and instead be released first on PS Plus. It has the unique debut ability to show up for two months instead of one as Sony tries to make the car combat game into a new Rocket League, and you can give it a shot in just a few days.

Control Ultimate Edition – I did not see many people predicting this, but it’s a good one. Control is a truly fantastic game so to get it offered for free here, along with all its DLC, is excellent to see. There was some manner of controversy about cross-generation versions of the game a while ago, but now that’s been cleared up, and PlayStation players can cut through all that and get the best, most complete version for free this upcoming month.

Concrete Genie – I heard a few people predicting that this would be the smaller, indie game on the list besides Destruction AllStars and it looks like those predictions panned out to the letter. It’s a fun little game that has probably been missed by quite a few people so hopefully it will get the attention it deserves with a run on PS Plus here.

Given that I’ve already played Control, I am probably going to check out Destruction AllStars to see A) how much staying power it potentially has, boosted by two free months on PS Plus, B) whether it can help me scratch the Twisted Metal itch that’s been missing from my life for a long while, although minus all the deeply disturbing stuff from that game.

These games will launch in just under a week on February 2, so make sure you uh, don’t buy Control or anything by accident before then. I’ll probably post a reminder when they go live just so you don’t forget, as it’s a good selection this month. Stay tuned for more.

Follow me on TwitterYouTube and Instagram. Pick up my sci-fi novels Herokiller and Herokiller 2, and read my first series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.

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PS5 restock at Sony Direct: More consoles expected this week – Tom's Guide

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If you’re searching for where to buy PS5, you might be in luck this week. It appears Sony is releasing PS5 restock on its own online store sporadically, so as long you’re sharp, your chance to score the elusive console could be coming soon.

Sony Direct had the PS5 in stock yesterday, but the units sold out in less than 30 minutes following a virtual queue. Today is a new day, and it’s beginning to seem like PS5 availability is catching up to the unprecedented demand. Of course you’ll still need to beat the scalpers, but the probability of you successfully checking out should be improving.

Be sure to check back in often for better odds during a PS5 restock. As soon as a Sony Direct queue goes live, you’ll want to get in line. Keep your browser sound on to hear a chime that indicates you’ve reached front of the queue, and make sure you already set up a Sony PSN account for speedy checkout. 

Having a spot in the queue doesn’t guarantee you’ll get to add a PS5 to your cart — shoppers are selected for the front of the queue randomly — but don’t get discouraged if a restock from Sony Direct ends before you got yours. 

Again, we’ve noticed the retailer has ramped up the frequency of PS5 restocks, so we could witness another drop or two by the end of this week. In the past, stock has become available on Tuesdays and Fridays.

As you probably know, Sony Direct isn’t the only way to buy a PS5. Plenty of online retailers have availability here and there. A PS5 stock insider believes millions more consoles will hit stores by April, so use the links below to check. Who knows? You could be the fortunate user who notices a PS5 restock before the masses.

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