Available On: PC (Windows, Mac, Linux) , PlayStation 4, Switch
Card battlers are fashionably popular right now (see our review on the excellent SteamWorld Quest), and Slay the Spire checks just about every box for popular indie genres. Deck-building. Dungeon Crawling. Random Encounters. Roguelike. Even more than most in the genre, Slay the Spire is a purely mechanics-driven game, with very little storytelling. But those systems work beautifully together to create a memorable, deep, and easy-to-play experience that rivals many physical card games.
In a lengthy blog post Terry Myerson, Executive VP for Windows and devices at Microsoft, unveiled a brand new operating system. Windows 10 S, built upon Windows Pro, is designed specifically to be used by students in the classroom. Windows 10 S is launching this Summer.
“As part of our mission at Microsoft, we believe technology can be used as a tool to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow,” writes Myerson. Myerson notes what many in tech and education have realized – tech skills and knowledge are woefully under-taught in schools. Computer science skills are increasingly in demand and continue rising with each passing year.
Back in my day we had Macintosh computers in the computer lab, but these days Microsoft Windows dominates in schools. Windows 10 S is a more closed system where all applications are acquired and run through the Windows Store. This helps streamlines performance but potentially limits what programs students can use, which has already drawn some criticism:
Unity 3D blocked!
Unreal Engine blocked!
Photoshop (the real application) – blocked! Blender – blocked!
Microsoft Visual C++ – blocked!
Windows 10 S does allow any teacher or admin to switch Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro, which allows them to install any app. But it’s designed to keep students in a contained and structured environment, which for K-12 may not be such a bad idea.
For college students and older, Microsoft has announced the Surface Laptop. The new tablet-like device is powered with Windows 10 S and boasts up to 14.5 hours of battery life. It features a 13.5″ screen and an i7 core processor. The Surface Laptops start at $999 and will launch on June 15. It is now available for pre-order.
Stardew Valley has enjoyed massive success since its release in February. The indie farm sim has consistently remained among the top Best Sellers on Steam, while major releases like The Division have come and gone. Recently Stardew Valley surpassed one million copies sold, a huge feat for any indie game. With no marketing it has relied on positive reviews and word of mouth. It had reached the half million milestone after only two weeks of release. Read More
One of the many amazing things about games is how they can bring people together. Working together to overcome challenges gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, and makes you believe in the power of friendship and love.
On the other hand, nothing is more hilarious than games that force you to work together while simultaneously providing opportunities for your co-op partner(s) to throw 50 monkey wrenches into the works. Read More
We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the day, or the week, or something, and you finally have some time to sit back and relax. You want to do some gaming, but the very thought of loading up your last save in Fallout 4, tackling another long quest in The Witcher 3, or fighting another grueling boss in Bloodborne makes you want to lie down on the floor and whimper.
A lot of days I’m so exhausted from all of the usual life stuff going on that I don’t have the mental energy to play a game that requires intense focus. I love difficult games, but I’m not always up for fighting my way through a particularly obstinate level or area over and over again. My friends struggle with this as well; they love playing games, but when they go to do so, nothing they find actually helps them unwind.
Another hurdle we face is that a lot of games take a decent amount of time per play session. If I only have an hour or so of downtime, there’s no way I want to start playing a game where I know I’m only going to get through part of a mission before I have to go do something else. Sometimes what we need is bite-sized gaming: games that we can pick up and put back down quickly and easily.
Since just finding suitable games can be the hardest part, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite chill-out games for you to peruse. Read More