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      The Ars Technica GOG collection: Our picks from GOG’s big Spring Sale / ArsTechnica · Friday, 24 March, 2023 - 11:30

    <em>Frostpunk</em>, an alternate history survival city building simulation game.

    Enlarge / Frostpunk , an alternate history survival city building simulation game. (credit:

    Several staff members are big fans of the GOG games marketplace, primarily for two reasons: the games are DRM-free, and there are many classic DOS games from the '80s and '90s.

    GOG has been running its annual Spring Sale for a few days now. This time around, we worked with GOG to curate a list of Ars Technica picks. These are discounted games chosen by Ars staffers Samuel Axon and Lee Hutchinson that we think Ars readers might enjoy—assuming you haven't played them already.

    If you haven't, discounts during this sale range from 20 percent to as much as 75 or 80 percent. Since most of them are classics, they generally weren't too pricy to begin with.

    Read 25 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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      The Paws and Claws DLC for Children of Morta raises over $130,000 for charity

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 10:39 · 1 minute

    Paws and Claws, a pretty wholesome DLC for the fantastic and stylish Children of Morta has managed to raise a rather nice lump sum for charity.

    "We have a piece of truly wonderful and heartwarming news for you today! The Paws and Claws charity DLC has proven to be a huge success and ever since its launch, we've been able to raise MORE than $130K for animals worldwide!" - Dead Mage & 11 bit studios

    Not an essential DLC for the game by any measure, and it's a completely different experience to the main game overall. However, it's just so wonderful that you should probably buy it anyway. It adds in an animal shelter system, a herd of various animals to visit you, a new treats mechanic for animals, animal-related character boosts and quite a bit more. 100% of the proceeds of Paws and Claws goes to the Humane Society International (HSI) .

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    The developer confirmed the figure is PC platforms and Consoles combined for the total. Considering the low £2.99 / $3.99 / 3,99€ price - it means it's sold quite a number of copies.

    You can buy Children of Morta from GOG , Humble Store and Steam . We can easily recommend it.

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      Terraria has officially turned 10 years old with a small celebration update

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 09:07 · 1 minute

    Terraria, the 2D pixel-art sandbox survival adventure has now officially turned 10 years old and it's going as strong as ever. Seriously impressive from developer Re-Logic!

    I remember seeing it on PC for the first time almost 10 years ago while a friend was playing it, thinking it looked interesting and never thought it would go on to be as popular as it is. Frankly, I sort-of dismissed it entirely back then and went back to Minecraft. I was seriously wrong about it because it's an incredible game that deserves to be played.

    Anyway, a fresh update went out to mark the occasion. Re-Logic mentions that "this update may not contain any new content (we were serious when we said 1.4.2 was it ;) ) - it does contain a very special celebratory world seed that is unlike any other that we have made previously". The wink face being an obvious nod to this really not being the end of Terraria.


    Here's what's new in Terraria

    • Added Celebratory Seed
    • Corrected the damage on Frost Armor's set bonus debuff from 20 to 25 DPS.
    • Fixed Vulkan and Metal rendering issues that lead to crash, on FNA builds.
    • Fixed a certain exploit.
    • Fixed missing tooltip in Queen Slime's treasure bag.
    • Fixed every vine type except Normal/Flower vines from passing on paint as they grow longer.
    • Fixed King Slime's spiked minions being able to pick up money and despawn with it, similar to Queen Slime's minions previously.

    The celebration world seeds are:

    Spoiler, click me
    • celebrationmk10
    • 05162011
    • 5162011
    • 05162021
    • 5162021

    Across both GOG and Steam it's currently 50% off for about 8 hours, so the sale ends around 4PM UTC. Be quick if you wish to get it with such a nice discount although it's not the highest it's been discounted but still a fantastic game to get so cheap right now.

    You can buy it on GOG , Steam and Humble Store .

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      The absolutely awesome action-platformer shooter HUNTDOWN is out now for Linux

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 13:55 · 2 minutes

    After some time of being an Epic exclusive, HUNTDOWN has now released on GOG and Steam making it available for Linux from developer Easy Trigger Games. Note: personal purchase.

    Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. It's insane - in the best way possible. It reminds me of Broforce for the over the topic action, which remains as my all time favourite action platformer. However, HUNTDOWN is already looking like it might end up taking the number 2 slot - it's just that good.

    "In the mayhem-filled streets of the future where criminal gangs rule and cops fear to tread, only the bounty hunters can free the city from the corrupt fist of felony. Lay waste to the criminal underworld and make a killing in this hard boiled action comedy arcade shooter."


    Featuring hand-painted gorgeous 16-bit styled pixel-art, it's an absolute feast for the eyes combined with the incredible fluid action back up by the pumping soundtrack. The voice acting is absolutely spot on too, fits in perfectly with each character. It's weapons and boss battles that make it ridiculously enjoyable though with such a fantastic mix available. Small guns, shotguns, machine guns, huge mounted weapons, a guitar, a bat and the list goes on - blowing things up just feels seriously epic here.

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    Characters available:

    • Anna Conda: Ex-commando, firearms expert, and full-time loose-cannon, Anna will assassinate without question or mercy, as long as you don’t mind the collateral damage.
    • John Sawyer: Once a Special Forces cop who left the law behind. This scarred veteran has lost so many limbs in combat he’s practically half robot.
    • Mow Man: Modified recon droid, stolen and empowered with banned software. Trades bodies for cold hard cash. Don’t expect to be taken alive if Mow Man’s on your six.

    Gangs to take on:

    • Hoodlum Dolls: Violent feral punks winning the gang war with the toothless authorities
    • Misconducts: Organised hockey hooligans, experts in robbery and extortion with a penchant for explosives
    • The Heatseekers: Murderous motorcycle club. These rockabilly villains style themselves on the centurions of Ancient Rome
    • NO.1 Suspects: Masters of discipline and organised crime. Martial arts experts, these slick psychopaths control the night through their casinos and nightclubs

    It's an easy recommendation to go get it. Honestly it was love at first sight with HUNTDOWN. Not just because I grew up with similarly styled games but HUNTDOWN is close to perfection. As for the Linux version? Absolutely great! You just can't help but small and maniacally laugh as you blast your way through it. If you loved games like Metal Slug, and other similar explosive experience do check it out. In a word — fantastic.

    You can buy it on GOG and Steam .

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      Political grand-strategy game Realpolitiks II is out now with Linux support

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 09:56 · 2 minutes

    Realpolitiks II from Jujubee S.A. and publisher 1C Entertainment has left Early Access, and they've also released a Linux build along with it.

    A modern twist on the classic grand-strategy genre, as you take control of any contemporary nation in an attempt to assert dominance among the global superpowers so it's obviously a highly political game. Develop your country’s economy, technology and army; use your diplomatic skills, build an impressive spy network and get ready to fight major global threats such as terrorism, pandemics or famine. Build powerful alliances, wage wars on your enemies and achieve greatness! It expands in the first game in a lot of ways, enhancing all the features of the previous game and adding in many more options to expand.

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    • Dominate the Globe - Choose from 216 contemporary nations (including Sealand & Kiribati) and conquer your opponents. Adapt your strategy accordingly whether you start as a superpower or a small independent nation.
    • New Modern Warfare - A brand-new combat system enables full control of your units on the battlefield while taking into account strategic advantages such as the weather, terrain, equipment, and a whole lot more.
    • Expanded Management System - Create a communist utopia, a completely free market nation, or become a tyrant overseeing your citizens’ every step. With over 1000 projects and technologies to choose from, you decide the path to greatness.
    • Improved Diplomacy - Engage in advanced negotiations to establish new trade routes or military access to neighboring regions. With a completely reworked AI, and new Favor and Investment systems that allow you to influence other countries - diplomacy becomes a crucial tool once again, especially as other leaders will prove hard negotiators.
    • Advanced Espionage - Conduct clandestine actions with your spies, steal breakthrough technologies to further increase your military power, and invent new ways of mass destruction. Dominate your foes from the shadows.
    • New and Unpredictable Events - Over 1000 new events ranging from minor provincial issues to a world-threatening meteor strike. Be wary of the ever-changing world as each playthrough will be completely different.
    • Growth By Infrastructure - Buildings are a major part of your campaign as they enable you to recruit more units, train your spies and generals faster, defend against rocket attacks, or increase the supply range to your armies.
    • Modding Tool - Use a plethora of in-game tools to create your very own campaigns, scenarios, units, and nations.

    You can buy it from GOG , Humble Store and Steam .

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      Epic science fantasy roguelike Caves of Qud adds new game modes with checkpoints

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Monday, 10 May, 2021 - 08:34 · 2 minutes

    Not a big fan of permadeath? Good news for you as Caves of Qud, the awesome science fantasy roguelike epic, now has new game modes in Beta.

    While the traditional and normal mode of the game remains as permanent death, the current opt-in Beta on Steam now has new options available which should help people explore its truly wonderful and bizarre world. Here's the modes it has now:

    • Classic - nothing changes.
    • Roleplay - checkpoints and settlements enabling you to reload when you die from the last one.
    • Wander - checkpoints at settlements, most creatures start neutral to you, no XP for kills, more XP for discoveries, completing quests, and performing the water ritual.


    Never played Qud? Here's just some of what to expect from it:

    • Assemble your character from over 70 mutations and defects and 24 castes and kits—outfit yourself with wings, two heads, quills, four arms, flaming hands, or the power to clone yourself—it's all the character diversity you could want.
    • Explore procedurally-generated regions with some familiar locations—each world is nearly 1 million maps large.
    • Dig through everything—don't like the wall blocking your way? Dig through it with a pickaxe, or eat through it with your corrosive gas mutation, or melt it to lava. Yes, every wall has a melting point.
    • Hack the limbs off monsters—every monster and NPC is as fully simulated as the player. That means they have levels, skills, equipment, faction allegiances, and body parts. So if you have a mutation that lets you, say, psionically dominate a spider, you can traipse through the world as a spider, laying webs and eating things.
    • Pursue allegiances with over 60 factions—apes, crabs, robots, and highly entropic beings—just to name a few.
    • Follow the plot to Barathrum the Old, a sentient cave bear who leads a sect of tinkers intent on restoring technological splendor to Qud.

    It is absolutely one of the wildest roguelikes I've ever played. What other game can you claim to be a mutated human with a beak that generates corrosive gas? While also having horns, multiple legs and you're cold blooded? Not many other games I bet, probably not any in fact. Caves of Qud is just brilliant.

    You can grab a copy now from GOG , and Steam .

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      Railway Empire heads to Japan in the latest expansion pack out now

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 7 May, 2021 - 10:34 · 1 minute

    Gaming Minds Studios and Kalypso Media have released Railway Empire - Japan, the latest DLC pack for the popular rail-network building and management sim.

    Railway Empire - Japan transports the series to late-1800s Japan where an industrial revolution is booming and the people are crying out for a nationwide railway. After the successful restoration of the Meiji rule, the Land of the Rising Sun’s long-term ambition to develop its own modern, nationwide railway network has become a reality and people from formerly feudal regions are yearning to travel to booming metropolises. Players can lay tracks between mountains and hot springs, using foresight, planning and clever strategy to establish a railway network and facilitate the 'great commute', moving Japan into a new industrial age.

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    • 2 new scenarios: ‘Rising Sun’(1870 – 1890) and ‘Twisted Paths’ (1900 - 1920)
    • Map expansion: 3 new maps of “Japan” (All, Mid and South) available in Free Game and Sandbox modes.
    • 8 historical engines including the D51 Degoichi, Class 9600 Kyuroku and Class 8620 Hachiroku
    • 28 new tradeable goods (e. g. sake and rice) and 35 more cities to discover.
    • Added ‘ticket’ feature playable on all Railway Empire maps - cater to tourists and commuters to increase your profits.
    • 11 iconic Japanese landmarks including Osaka Castle, Hells of Beppu and the Itsukushima Shrine
    • New music, buildings and reworked mini portraits for characters

    You can buy Railway Empire from Humble Store , GOG and Steam .

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      Defend your dungeon in Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager out now

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Friday, 7 May, 2021 - 08:41 · 1 minute

    Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager from Goblinz Studio is out now, letting you build up and protect a dungeon from pesky hero intruders.

    Very much a video game version of the excellent card game Boss Monster (which I also love), Legend of Keepers has you recruit various creatures and place traps to hopefully keep the heroes away from defeating your boss. It provides a good mix of management and tactics, one that's a bit engrossing when you get into it and it's easy to spend a good number of hours with.

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    • Join the Dungeons Company and climb the corporate ladder
    • Crush so-called "heroes" and protect the company's treasures
    • Hire monsters, manage your employees and your stock of traps
    • Deal with employee strikes and other fun events

    For the Linux version, one issue encountered is that the intro video is a black screen, which is likely a Unity codec issue - they developer has been made aware of it. It's quite short anyway and doesn't break the game, as you can just skip it.

    You can play it now on GOG , Steam and Stadia .

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      City builder Nebuchadnezzar is getting fire, crime and disease in the next free update

      Liam Dawe · / GamingOnLinux · Thursday, 6 May, 2021 - 11:00

    Nepos Games have announced the next big update for their isometric Pharaoh-like city-bulder Nebuchadnezzar.

    After launching with Linux support back in February, it seems a lot of people really loved the style but there wasn't enough substance to it. Thankfully the first update addressed some of the issues adding in big freeplay maps, new difficulty modes and a tax/wages mechanic too. Now they've teased the 1.2 update with no current release date which will bring in Fire, Crime and Diseases to add a little more challenge to it.

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    Once they mention a release date for this exciting version 1.2 we will let you know. Seems they're managing to turn it around, with the most recent user reviews on Steam being "Very Positive". Going over some of the user reviews, it seems it lacking a good challenge is what has put a number of players off so perhaps these new systems coming in will bring more players back.

    Buy it now on GOG and Steam .

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