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Holiday Video Game Gift Guide 2011: Pt. 1

Holiday Video Game Gift Guide 2011: Pt. 1

The holiday season brings with it family, fellowship, and a whole lot of shopping stress. Thankfully, if you have a gamer in the family–or you just want to spoil yourself–buying a wicked-cool present is as easy as picking a video game (or two, or three) from our 2011 Holiday Gaming Wish List. Batman: Arkham City (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC) — Batman disapproves of all joy and color, so he’s not much of a Christmas guy. Nevertheless, Arkham...

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5 Reasons Why the Wii U Will Succeed

5 Reasons Why the Wii U Will Succeed

Nintendo has been taking a lot of hard knocks in recent months–and a few of those have come from us, we’ll admit. But if we’re hard on Nintendo, it’s only because we believe in it. It’s also because the company’s next major console, the Wii U, is set to come to life sometime next year, and we still don’t know a whole lot about the system. The mysterious nature of the Wii U, combined with Nintendo’s problems getting...

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Top 5 Free Online Games: Sports, Simulation, Family

Top 5 Free Online Games: Sports, Simulation, Family

If you’re on a tight budget, then no doubt you’re the owner of a thousand and one worries. Here’s a nice revelation, though: if money’s a bit scarce but you have a semi-decent computer, you already have access to hundreds of free games. Not surprisingly, only some free-to-play games are worth experiencing, while others are better off festering in a pit somewhere. Part two of our guide to online free-to-play games will direct you to some of...

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Best Free Online Games: Action, RPG, Classic

Best Free Online Games: Action, RPG, Classic

There was a time when playing free games online required you to wade through pounds of text in a multi-user dungeon (MUD) or else involved clicking aimlessly on a virtual pet for hours. But over the past few years, the free-to-play online game market has blossomed into a huge industry, with several offerings that are as detailed and complex as some of the full-price console games available at retail. With so many free games up for grabs, it can be difficult to...

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Can Indie Devs Survive on Consoles?

Can Indie Devs Survive on Consoles?

Canadian rocker Bruce Cockburn once sang, “Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.” Though every single human living on the planet can identify with those words, they hit independent game developers square in the heart. It’s not just difficult to get a small game published on a digital console platform like Xbox Live Arcade or WiiWare. To hear some devs talk about it, digital publication on consoles borders on impossible. Rudolf...

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5 Reasons Wii U Will Fail

5 Reasons Wii U Will Fail

Nintendo unveiled the Wii U at E3 2011, and will presumably be unleashing the final build of the system in late 2012. It’s all very exciting stuff for Nintendo fans, but there’s a lot about the system that’s still a gigantic question mark. For instance, Nintendo allowed the Wii to sputter at the end of its life instead of having the system go out with the explosion of triple-A titles that normally escort every console into obsolescence. Will...

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Lessons Developers Can Learn From Angry Birds

Lessons Developers Can Learn From Angry Birds

If smartphone gaming had a mascot, it would be a bird. Bird-themed games are hot on the App Store–hotter than the innards of a roasted turkey (we’ll knock off the metaphors). With over 350 million downloads since hatching (sorry) in 2009, Angry Birds isn’t only the most successful bird-themed game on the App Store; it’s amongst the App Store’s most popular games, period, and is still held up as an example that runaway financial and...

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Top 5 Social Games: Racing, Simulation, Kids, Family

Top 5 Social Games: Racing, Simulation, Kids, Family

There are hundreds of free social games available on the internet, and they span a multitude of genres, which makes finding a place to start a bit intimidating. The second half of our guide to the best social games will help you get a handle on games for Facebook and other social networks by listing the best available entries in the Racing/Sports genre, the Simulation genre, and the Family/Kids genre. TOP 5 CAR/RACING/SPORTS SOCIAL GAMES Car Town — If you...

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5 Best Social Games: Action, Adventure, Classic

5 Best Social Games: Action, Adventure, Classic

Social games are fecund animals: they’re everywhere, they’re readily available, they’re generally free to play, and they would love your company. However, despite persistent rumors to the contrary, not all social games are created equal. There are hundreds of entries in dozens of categories, including Adventure, Arcade, Simulation, Strategy, Racing, Family, Board Games, and more. Interested in getting into social games, but have no idea where to...

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5 Lessons Developers Can Learn from Zynga’s Success

5 Lessons Developers Can Learn from Zynga’s Success

Nobody really needs the aid of statistics to convince themselves of the popularity of social gaming, but Raptr, a social network dedicated to gamers of all kinds, went ahead and published a breakdown of how much playtime social games get next to more traditional fare. The verdict? Zynga’s “-Ville” games (FarmVille, PetVille, CityVille, FrontierVille) see far more playing time than social gaming’s remaining Top Ten put together. In fact,...

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