DayZ hits 1m downloads one year before launch

It’s hard as nails, it’s bug-ridden, and it has no tutorial – but online zombie adventure DayZ has now been downloaded 1m times, barely a month after its ‘alpha’ launch on PC gaming service Steam. Its creator, New Zealand-born game designer, Dean Hall, has become the latest independent developer to release a new project before it is finished, allowing gamers to …

Minecraft fan spends years recreating Spirited Away

There have been plenty of ridiculously ambitious Minecraft modelling projects over the past four years. Talented gamers have used Mojang’s Lego-like building sim to craft reproductions of everything from the Starship Enterprise to the Game of Thrones city of King’s Landing. But this is something rather special. Working with a small group of friends Alan Becker is creating a scale …

The 30 greatest video games that time forgot

History is not always kind to great games. Titles once heralded as masterworks are often lost as console cycles turn. Alternatively, there are the offbeat outliers completely shunned during their own lifetimes, only to be quietly ransacked by later generations of designers. Here, we be remember 30 brilliant, idiosyncratic, challenging or just plain weird titles that have been erased from …

Tap Happy Sabotage: four screens, one game

Alistair Aitcheson likes people to fight over his games. Literally, physically fight right over them. His first smartphone and tablet title, Greedy Bankers, had a multiplayer mode where participants could steal money from each other on screen. His second, Slamjet Stadium, was a futuristic sports sim, in which two opponents fought it out to score goals in a trap-filled arena. …

Thief – hands-on in the city of stealth

As obvious as it sounds to say so, in Thief you nick things. You nick a lot of things. Broaches, necklaces, wallets, candelabras – anything valuable that’s lying around, really – all disappear into lead character Garrett’s bottomless sack. You find some of these trinkets in the oddest of places. One would expect to find a golden bracelet or two …

The six best retro consoles for modern gamers

People often make the mistake of thinking that video games are a relentlessly forward-looking medium. It’s all about the next big release, the next console generation, the next PC graphics card technology. Except it isn’t really. Games are, like most other artforms these days, obsessively self-referential. They are constantly mining the past for successful ideas, merging old genres to create …