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Browsing: Games & Gadgets

Imperator: Rome, the newest grand strategy from Paradox Interactive, was released on the 25th of April. At the time of writing, it is the 26th of April, and I have logged 12 hours in the game. So, without further ado, a review. What is familiar? As always, loading up a Paradox grand strategy for the first time results in overwhelming confusion-but this is a universal experience in these games- if you are new to the genre, I recommend watching some gameplay before jumping in, unless you are a bastion of patience. On the other hand, for someone who has played…

Gaz Thomas, 36, is a local from Llandudno Junction who started making games as a hobby in 2008, while studying at Bangor. His website, freegames.org, is now the first-ranked free games site in the United States, and his most popular creations can be found embedded in over 14,000 others. Sitting at a little table in a lunch-rushed Bangor café, he told Seren how he got to this point. How did you get into game design? “I spent 7 years in Bangor University as a student. I was doing electronic engineering, and then I started doing a biochemistry PhD, and I…

…is pretty fun. I figured I’d start the article by getting to the point. I suppose I’ll elaborate a bit, tempting as it is to chuckle, hit save, and put this in a side column. Pulsar is a developing game which throws five players onto a spaceship in an open galaxy and tells them to swim. It normally follows this up by swiftly drowning them- and then you learn that it uses permadeath. The permadeath is a pretty regular customer at the beginning. The main disadvantage of the game is that you really do need a full team of friends…

By Sinclair Davis Folklore, mythology and film studies; German studies. These are probably not the first words that spring to mind when thinking of designing games. But perhaps they aren’t as far removed as one might think. These are the respective PhDs of Dr Eben Muse and Dr Melissa Kagen, the professors at the head of Bangor University’s ‘BA with Game Design.’ And the course is fresh out of the gates! Consisting of six modules over three years, the program has only now completed three semesters – halfway. Muse and Kagen share an ambitious goal – in three more semesters,…

Shifter, a student-made game in progress, is a mystery adventure with a sci-fi twist. Within the story, so-called ‘Shifters’ are capable of morphing into the forms of other people, allowing them to move undetected through the game world. The player character has just lost their father and, with his death, the answers to their fast emerging power. The gameplay revolves around this ability to transform, and a strong central plot. The game is an early prototype, by Anneka Dinham, 19, from Wolverhampton. She is a second year student in Game Design here at Bangor. She also happens to be a…

Zero Fear is a cooperative survival game, set in a zombie apocalypse, under design by Ben Penny. The tabletop game revolves around players working together to move across a randomised map, uncovering locations, encountering enemies, and collecting items along the way. In playtesting so far the objective has been to collect generic supplies hidden around the map, and return them safely to the starting point. In future, however, the game is intended to feature varying scenarios each with their own goals. At the beginning of the game, the entire map consists of face down cards, which are uncovered to reveal…

Here is a look ahead at some of the biggest games that will be coming out during the next academic year, up to exam season. September: Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4 – 16) In his latest game, the friendly neighbourhood superhero has been around for eight years. In this outing, Peter Parker has the entirety of Manhattan to explore, which opens the game up to many different activities for the players, from fighting crime to photography. The scale of the game is important as he investigates a mystery that brings up comic book characters and rogues that span the whole of…

Developer: Capcom Release Date: 12th Dec 2017 Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC Genre: Survival Horror Multiplayer: No Age Rating: 18 A year after the surprising reveal and release of Resident Evil 7, Capcom have collected all the downloadable content into one nice shiny package and re-released the game as the Gold Edition. Does this complete package offer the terror Resident Evil fans have been waiting years for? The beginning, in which the main character Ethan Winters responds to a strange video of his wife Mia warning him to stay away after disappearing for three years, is excellent at building tension.…

The Loading Bar is a video game bar located in Dalston, North London. It primarily opens at night time, and earlier in the evenings on the weekend. You can play a range of games from board games, to arcade games, to recent releases on both the PS4 and Xbox One S. Last month, I had a chance to go and visit the bar with a friend, whilst I was in London for several days. The atmosphere was quite pleasant and inviting. The staff were incredibly helpful and welcoming. Whilst the bar itself was clean, it was clear it was in…

Developer: BonusXP Release Date: 4th Oct 2017 Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile Genre: Isometric Action RPG Multiplayer: No Age Rating: 12 Stranger Things: The Game is a free, with zero microtransactions, tie in game, which was released to promote the upcoming second season of Stranger Things. Even though the game isn’t in depth, I’ll be mentioning characters and events that ties into the Season One’s ending, so here be spoilers swimming in the depths. You play through one main quest – in the form of a dungeon crawler – unlocking characters with unique abilities as you play the game.  Sadly,…

Have you received an email which knows your name, how about your address? These spam emails are often full of viruses, and the person who sent them has purchased your information from some website or service you have used, and often forgotten or not noticed a tick box. Lately some of these scams have become far more sophisticated by installing ransomware on the user’s computer. Members of the BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours team were among some of the recipients of the email which claimed they owed hundreds of pounds to UK firms, but when these firms have been…

Am I the only person who usually forgets to drink enough water? Even when I was trying really hard, preparing litre bottles each morning to try and drink more I would just… not drink it. If only there was an app for that – and there is! Plant Nanny is an app that encourages you to drink water by providing you with an adorable virtual plant to look after. Each cup of water you drink helps your plant baby stay healthy and grow into adulthood. You then get to keep your adult plants ‘outside’ where they happily give you seeds…

If you haven’t heard of Android you must have been hiding under a rock somewhere? The problem is that Alphabet, the parent company to Google, has been accused of abusing their market dominance in order to push their own services. The case the European Commission has brought against the company is reminiscent of that which it brought against Microsoft a few years ago, in this case the company was accused of forcing users to use it’s Internet Explorer browser, and until recently they were forced to offer a selection of browsers when you first install a new version of Windows.…

Is it ironic that the FBI and various government, and commercial networks have been compromised? We all know that various organisations, such as GCHQ and the NSA, have been spying on us for years but leaked documents have revealed that a hacking group has been spying on them since at least 2011. The “group of malicious cyber actors” are believed by security experts to be the government-sponsored hacking group known as APT6. There is not much public literature about the group, other than a couple of old reports, but APT6, which stand for Advanced Persistent Threat 6, is a codename…

Have you ever sent or received an illicit text message or picture? Or do you know someone who has regretted sending a SnapChat or two? Well maybe you should think twice, especially if you are under 18. A Freedom of Information request by the charity revealed that the number of children reported to North Wales Police for so-called ‘sexting’ rose considerably between 2013 and 2015. In the majority of cases obtained by the charity, the children were under 15. The issue is becoming more prevalent with more accessible and cheaper technology. In 2013, just two children were reported for distributing…

So how much did the FBI pay to get into the San Bernardino shooters phone? FBI director James Comey indicated that they paid more than he “will make in the remaining seven years”, which has been estimated in the region of $1.3m (around £900,000), although several US government sources have stated that they had paid under $1m. Given that such a large amount of money has exchanged hands it is surprising that the identity of the hacker is unknown to Comey, although he said that the payment was “worth it” as the FBI now has a piece of hardware, or…

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