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Gaming News

Several Excuses For Why I Am Still Playing Nintendo's Latest Mobile Game

October 18, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

When Nintendo and Cygames’ Dragalia Lost launched at the end of last month, I said it was a slick version of the same old mobile action role-playing game. Turns out a little slickness goes a long way, as I’ve been playing the damn thing every day since. Why? Let me pull out my list of excuses.

Excuse One: The Music Is So Damn Catchy

High fantasy meets bubbly pop is the best way to describe the majority of the music composed for Dragalia Lost. Each piece is expertly engineered to crawl inside your brain and live there forever. There are times I start up the game and spend several minutes just watching the little characters I’ve collected stroll along the screen as the main theme plays.

Each song on the Dragalia Lost soundtrack fits neatly into its place. The opening song lures the player into the game world. Pounding dungeoneering music transitions smoothly into pleading chants when a boss fight occurs. There’s even special music for timed in-game events. We’ve been through two since the game launched, each with its own unique sound.

Excuse Two: The Art Is So Lovely

For some people there is a style of art that instantly appeals to their sensibilities. Dragalia Lost’s art just makes me happy. From the chibi 3D characters to the traditional 2D art, I love each new image the developers produce.

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That includes the menu screens, even when they are cluttered with stats and announcements of special events. Here’s one of the new rotating opening menus from the newly-launched Halloween event.

And while I might find developer Cygames’ idea of what constitutes a dragon a little suspect at times …

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Silke is totally a dragon and not a girl in a costume.

… I respect the passion and effort put into their creations.

Excuse Three: Wondrous Stories

Nothing gets added to Dragalia Lost without some sort of story attached. Every character, from the lowest rank to the most powerful five-star ultra-rares, has a multi-chapter narrative that serves to expand upon their personality or provide backstory. The same goes for the collectible dragons. As players upgrade and strengthen their bonds with the mostly scaly but sometimes suspiciously human-looking creatures, a story slowly unfolds. It’s all pretty compelling stuff. So far it’s all been very well written, with humor and heart.

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Or as I like to call him, Vampedward.

Even the gimmicky characters released for special events get their own storyline. Edward the butler, in his normal form, has several chapters of story to unlock. Edward in vampire form, released this week for Halloween, has his own tale to tell.

Excuse Four: It Doesn’t Beg For Money

There are things to buy in Dragalia Lost. It’s a free-to-play mobile game, so that’s pretty much its business model. The difference between this game and other collectible-character powered mobile role-playing games is there is nothing I feel I need to buy.

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I don’t get big flashy banners advertising sales or special time-limited deals. A small, unlabeled icon on the opening screen takes players to the store, where they can purchase premium currency or various upgrade items. Some of it costs real money or premium currency, though there’s stuff to buy with money earned in-game as well.

Even the store is adorable.

Dragalia Lost isn’t just chill about people buying stuff. It’s quite generous with the crystal dealies needed to summon new weapons, characters and equipment. The game constantly tosses the stuff at you. I’m six chapters into the main story, and its still raining gems.

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I am not averse to microtransactions in my free-to-play games. The game just has to earn it. When I drop $10 on some premium currency, it’s not because I feel like I can’t progress without doing so. It’s because I feel the game has earned it. So far Dragalia Lost has earned $10 from me. There may be more where that came from down the line.

Final Excuse: I Play What I Want

Look, I don’t have to explain myself to you people. I’m having a good time with Dragalia Lost. The stories are great, the art is lovely, the music catchy and the special events keep me coming back.

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Gaming News

How to Get Fortnite on Any Android Phone Now

October 14, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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Image: Epic Games

When Epic Games initially released Fortnite for Android earlier this year it made it exclusively available on Samsung devices. If you’re rocking a Galaxy S9 or Note 9, then that was great news. If you had any other Android phone on the planet, it was kind of a bummer.

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This week Epic officially made the game available to the masses. Whereas before non-Samsung owners had to join an invite list, now the game is available for anyone and everyone to download, provided your phone meets the minimum specs needed for the game. Specifically, Android 8.0 or higher, 3GB of RAM or higher, and Adreno 530 or higher (Qualcomm Snapdragon 820) , Mali-G71 MP20 (Samsung Exynos 9 8895) or higher, Mali-G72 MP12 (Kirin 970) or higher.

If you’re curious if your phone meets the bill, here’s a list of supported devices (keep in mind some newly-released models might also make the cut)

•Samsung Galaxy: S7 / S7 Edge , S8 / S8+, S9 / S9+, Note 8, Note 9, Tab S3, Tab S4

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•Google: Pixel / Pixel XL, Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL

•Asus: ROG Phone, Zenfone 4 Pro, 5Z, V

•Essential: PH-1

•Huawei: Honor 10, Honor Play, Mate 10 / Pro, Mate RS, Nova 3, P20 / Pro, V10

•LG: G5, G6, G7 ThinQ, V20, V30 / V30+

•Nokia: 8

•OnePlus: 5 / 5T, 6

•Razer: Phone

•Xiaomi: Blackshark, Mi 5 / 5S / 5S Plus, 6 / 6 Plus, Mi 8 / 8 Explorer / 8SE, Mi Mix, Mi Mix 2, Mi Mix 2S, Mi Note 2

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•ZTE: Axon 7 / 7s, Axon M, Nubia / Z17 / Z17s, Nubia Z11

•HTC: 10, U Ultra, U11/ U11+, U12+

•Lenovo: Moto Z/Z Droid, Moto Z2 Force

•Sony: Xperia XZ/Premium, XZs, XZ1/Compact, XZ2/Premium/Compact, XZ3

To get the game you’ll also have to download the Fortnite Installer from Epic directly. The game is bypassing the Google Play store and is not available any other way. You can get it here. And if you need help getting started, here’s our official guide to the game.

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Gaming News

Organize Your Books, Movies, Music, and Video Games With Libib

October 3, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

I have a reasonable but not overwhelming amount of media: mostly books, followed by video games, followed by some collectible vinyls and CDs that I keep around. I also have friends who have rooms full of stuff: stacks of books and floor-to-ceiling bookcases that are nearly bursting from overuse. All of us could benefit from checking out Libib, a free service you can use to scan and catalog your books, movies, music, and video games.

Sign up for a “standard” account on Libib—the pro version costs $100 a year—and you’ll be able to register up to 5,000 items within up to 100 different “libraries,” or groupings of stuff. Setting up new libraries is an easy process via Libib’s website or its apps for both iOS and Android. (I prefer to use the latter, and I’ll explain why in a bit.)

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Once you’ve created a sample library and given it a clever name, it’s time for the fun part: summoning your inner Belle and organizing your stacks of stuff. On the iOS app, that’s as easy as tapping on your library and then tapping on the big plus icon in the upper-right corner of the app. When you do, you’ll be given the option to scan your items’ barcodes (yes!) or enter their details manually (no!).

The full title of my library is, “Books are like cats made out of paper,” in case you were curious.Screenshot: David Murphy

Dorky as it sounds, Libib’s barcode-scanning functionality is a ton of fun to use. It’s incredibly speedy and didn’t miss the mark with any of the books I tried. Each successful scan gets a satisfying “beep,” and you’ll be scanning multiple items faster than a typical experience at the self-checkout lane.

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Libib’s manual entry option, though much slower, is great for when you have rarer items that don’t come with barcodes. And this is all on you. Libib doesn’t perform any searches or lookups based on partial data you enter, so make sure you spell the title and author right (for your own records).

Screenshot: David Murphy

Once you have your book collection scanned—or at least a few—you can easily view your collection on Libib’s website or app. Pull up a book, for example, and you’ll see its cover (imported or shot manually); a thorough description of the book’s contents; key details like its ISBN number, page count, and publisher; and any reviews that you (not others) have written for the title.

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You can also set a status for the book—”Not Begun,” “In Progress,” “Abandoned,” or “Completed”—as well as a rating (one to five stars), custom tags (to help you find similar items later), and any notes you want to add (favorite quotes, the page number you stopped reading at, et cetera).

In addition to tagging, you can create custom groups for items based on any theme you want (“stuff I swear I’ll get to”) and indicate how many copies of the book you own. Pay for Libib’s pro service, and you’ll even be able to track who you lent all your media to. Don’t let anyone walk away with one of your favorites.

Gaming News

Pokémon Go Doesn't Want You Playing Outside During Typhoons

October 1, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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This weekend, a typhoon hit Japan. Pokémon Go players noticed something: a warning system.

Players were alerted of rain and strong winds. These warnings, however, aren’t new and have been appearing over the past few months. Guess some folks are just noticing!

The above Tweet pointing out the warning system this weekend went viral.

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Here is the warning message in English.

In-game, it was raining as well.

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Gaming News

Professor Layton On Mobile Could Really Use A Stylus (Or An iPad)

September 28, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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Screenshot: Level-5

The first game in the Professor Layton series, 2007’s Curious Village, is now out in a beautiful HD version for smart devices. It’s a nice way to revisit this excellent puzzle game, but trying to play something designed to use with the Nintendo DS precision stylus on a phone with a finger can be annoying.

One of the great breakout hits of the Nintendo DS era, Level-5’s clever combination of brain teasers and intriguing stories introduced us to Hershel Layton, he of the overly-lengthy top hat, and his young assistant Luke. The two traveled all over England and, eventually, the rest of the world solving supernatural mysteries. After six DS and 3DS-exclusive entries, the series returned last year with Layton’s Mystery Journey for both mobile and 3DS. And now, the one that started it all is out for iOS and Android, with a nice HD upgrade to the graphics.

Screenshot: Level-5

I’m a huge Layton fan, but I haven’t played the first game in a decade, so it’s been fun to go back and revisit the puzzle-solving duo’s original outing. It’s a credit to the beautiful design of the game’s puzzles that I remember them so strongly. Every time another puzzle pops up, my first thought is, “Oh, it’s this one, this one was great!” My second thought is remembering the answer. Oops. The experience is definitely not the same the second time around, even with over 10 years in between playthroughs.

The only puzzles that I’m spending more than a few seconds on, this time around, are the ones that relied less on thinking about a problem and having a single a-ha moment, and more on doing a bunch of busy work. Unfortunately, playing Curious Village on an iPhone 6 makes that more difficult than doing it on a Nintendo DS. I think I’d even take the 2004 launch DS, versus using my finger on a phone screen.

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The mobile version doesn’t change the puzzles or the layout from the DS game; your screen is split horizontally into two halves to mirror the DS layout. The many animated cutscenes can be played in landscape mode, taking up the entire screen, if you want. The walking-around scenes, full of their tiny little details that must be clicked on to find secrets and puzzles, are exactly as they were on the DS.

Screenshot: Level-5

But clicking precisely on these things with a large human finger is quite different than using the smaller, more accurate DS stylus. To find hint coins and other items, you have to tap on small features of the world—the tiny top of a chimney, a barrel under a window—and it’s much easier to do this with a stylus than with a finger. It’s also less tiring.

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So, will the prospect of playing more Layton on my phone—this one, and the other five entries, should Level-5 continue with the series—get me to buy a capacitive stylus? Perhaps. Another option might be to play it on a tablet. I loaded up Curious Village on an iPad and found that it was much easier to identify potential points of interest, then click precisely on them with a finger, when the playfield was blown up to massive size. This experience was much more fun than playing on the phone, in part because of the novelty of it—like playing on a Nintendo DSi XXXXXXXL.

If you’re a Layton fan looking to play this inaugural episode again, the mobile version is excellent, provided you don’t mind jabbing with your finger. You could also get a stylus, or play it on a device with a screen larger than a standard phone’s. If you’ve never played it before, this might be an excellent time to jump in, because unlike me, you don’t already know all the puzzle answers.

Gaming News

Nintendo's New Mobile RPG Is A Slick Version Of The Same Old Thing

September 28, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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Nintendo and Cygames’ Dragalia Lost is a very pretty mobile game. The characters are lovely, the music is gorgeous, and its overall presentation is quite charming. One could almost forget it’s just another generic character collecting mobile action RPG under all of that polish. Almost.

Nintendo’s done some pretty innovative things since moving into the mobile space. Super Mario Run applied set level structure to the endless runner game model to create something slightly different. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp gave fans a new (though sometimes expensive) way to interact with beloved characters while expressing their creativity.

Collect characters! Buy orbs to get new characters! Bunny Boy! Bunny Boy? Well that changes everything.

Dragalia Lost is easily the least original mobile game release we’ve seen from Nintendo. Players create teams of colorful characters obtained either through gameplay or by spending in-game currency in a randomized gacha machine-style store. These teams are used to take on a series of bite-sized action RPG levels featuring very basic game mechanics. Players swipe to move, tap to attack, and press buttons to activate skills or temporarily transform into a giant beast.

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Daily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.

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When not wandering through quickie action RPG levels or reading the game’s story chapters, Dragalia Lost gives players a whole lot to manage. Character levels can be upgraded. Weapons can be upgraded. Dragon forms can be upgraded. Dragon skills can be upgraded. Weapons can be upgraded. There is so much upgrading, and in order to upgrade players need upgrade materials, so grinding levels and special event dungeons is a must. There’s a Castle section where players can erect buildings to hep generate resources. It’s pretty basic stuff.

So many tales to tell.

What Nintendo and developer Cygames (of Granblue Fantasy fame) bring to the table with Dragalia Lost is lovely art direction and a strong focus on telling stories. There’s the game’s main narrative, which involves a prince of a mighty kingdom searching for the power to bond with dragons in order to save his people. Then each collectible character who joins the player’s entourage gets their own personal story that unfolds over multiple characters. Bonding with dragon companions in the Castle area’s Dragon Roost unlocks dragon stories. There’s a great deal of fiction to absorb between all the routine battles and upgrading.

The characters look nice. The music is a quirky mixture of traditional instrumental action and Japanese pop, which I enjoy quite a bit. Dragalia Lost is a great-looking and great-sounding video game. It’s just one I feel like I’ve played before.

PC News and Reviews

Best Gaming PC Under $700 September 2018

September 24, 2018 — by Wccftech.com0

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Today we have taken a look at best budget options for the best gaming PC Under $700 and using our PC Builder Tool as a rough guide and the knowledge of the hardware team we have decided to bring you the best budget build at this price point, especially since prices on GPUs and SSDs have significantly lowered.

Best Gaming PC Under $700 September 2018

In this build, we will be going with a balanced Ryzen and Radeon system, with the aim of some future proofing while still being very focused towards gaming performance to get the best out of a Gaming PC Under $700.

ryzen-threadripper-2000-2nd-gen-cpusRelated AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X Enthusiast CPU Is Here – The 1950X Successor With 16 Fast Cores, Great Overclocking Potential and A Stunning $899 US Price

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6-Core CPU $165

We decided on the Ryzen 2600 due to its current price, and the fact that I am actually reviewing it right now and found it to be impressive for its budget. It also still allows room for productivity, multitasking, and streaming if the mood hits right.

It comes with a decent stock cooler, though I wouldn’t recommend overclocking past 3.6-3.7GHz on it since it is only a Wraith Stealth. At 1080P you should see solid performance and very rare instances of it being CPU bottlenecked with the GPU we chose as well as future hardware when fewer games are lightly threaded if the trends continue as they have the past few years.

kmudjyjus1ddndf0Related MSI Announces GamersGoLive Initiative with AMD, Cooler Master, And Seagate

GPU: AMD XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB GTS XXX Edition 8GB $250

As for the main component of our build, the GPU we decided to splurge a bit and go with an RX 580 GTS XXX probably one of the better cards available for this price point, though if you have a bit more from the GTS Black Edition OC+ is available for $20 more.

The card we have listed has a core clock of 1.37GHz and a Memory clock of 8.1GHz, meaning it should be able to handle 1080p 144Hz gaming well and maybe even 1440P 60Hz depending on the games and settings. It also comes with a backplate, which makes it a decent value at Amazon for $250

Motherboard: Gigabyte AB350M-DS3H Micro ATX AM4 $50

As for the motherboard, this is probably the place I skimped the most on, and if you planned on upgrading the CPU one day, would probably recommend you save up a bit more and buy one of the better boards at the $80-110 range, but it will work out of the box at stock speeds and some slight overclocking shouldn’t be too much of a problem on the Ryzen 5 2600, though I wouldn’t push it past 4GHz. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for great gaming performance at a price of $700

It supports up to 64GB of RAM with 4 Dimm slots, has 8 USB ports on the back and 4 SATA ports. While it might not have the best VRMs out there, it will get the job done for this build, and at $50 it is an absolute steal!, however make sure you purchase it from Amazon as they are Ryzen 2000 series ready from Amazon with all of the bios flashed to work on second gen Ryzen CPUs.

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 8GB 2800MHz $71

The choice of memory was an easy one, as it’s the cheapest kit at 2800MHz and is made by G.Skill one of the top brands in memory. RAM speed is especially important in Ryzen powered systems as the CPUs Infinity Fabric (How the cores share data to one another) is directly tied to the rated speed of your RAM, The speed you should ideally aim for is 3200MHz and above, though for bang to buck performance 2800MHz still maintains a solid value, as higher speed kits are just a bit too far out of our budget in this build, though those who would like to spend the extra few bucks can pick up this kit on Newegg for $95.

Best Gaming PC Under $700

Storage: Crucial MX500 250GB SSD $60

For Storage we’re going with a single 250GB SSD, frankly that much storage probably isn’t enough for most gamers, but its enough to get started and using Windows 10 without an SSD is an absolute nightmare. The MX500 is one of the best 2.5-inch drives on the market and will stay that way for the near future. While this model will be slower than the one I reviewed, all drives of this space capacity will be slower than their larger brothers due to the way SSDs work.

For the question of capacity over speed, I decided it’s much better to have solid performance, to begin with and buy a hard drive a bit later on since they’ve gotten so cheap. The 250GB drive is $60 while the 500GB is $90, so again if you’re willing to squeeze a bit more into your budget I would recommend taking a look at that capacity as well, though 250GB should be more than enough to get a few games and your install of Windows.

Case: Phanteks P300 Tempered Glass (Black) $60

The P300 is one of the best cases in the budget space, giving high-quality build, tempered glass, and Phanteks design to the sub $70 price point. I’m actually in the process of reviewing one as we speak and noticed this case was just in our budget. It gives room to grow for those looking for a first build, or budget focused build. It isn’t the best case in the world, nor should it replace cases in the $100+ price points but does really well compared to the likes of NZXT’s old S340 and other cases in the $70-50 price points.

 Power Supply: EVGA BR 600W 80+ Bronze PSU $45

Finally for the Power Supply, I decided on the EVGA Bronze series PSUs that are able to supply 600 Watts, this isn’t a lot but our total system power consumption should be under 350 watts at full load for this Gaming PC Under $700.

EVGA has made a good reputation on making solid power supplies in the budget space and very good power supplies on the top end. With the Phanteks P300 having a dedicated chamber for the power supply, the fact that it isn’t fully modular isn’t an issue.

Overall Build

This Best Gaming PC Under $700 should be used to target between 1080P 100 FPS+ to 1440P 60FPS at higher settings. You could save some money and go with a 4GB variant of the GPU if you only plan on 1080P gaming, though the higher VRAM does help in the longer term and for possible future upgradability. The Ryzen CPU will be nice for any streaming, or productivity work that you do plan on doing and its single core performance will still remain solid.

For a build like this there are some sacrifices to be made for the best performance, and you can be sure to take a look at any personal changes as this build is sort of a one size fits all type, also make sure to use our PC builder tool for builds priced inbetween!

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Gaming News

Doctor Who Infinity Tells Amazing Stories For A Match-Three Game

September 10, 2018 — by Kotaku.com0

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Before it was reborn in 2005, British science fiction mainstay Doctor Who survived 26 years of flimsy sets, questionable costumes and laughable effects by telling great stories with excellent talent. That’s also what raises Doctor Who Infinity above the match-three game that serves as its foundation.

Released in early August on Steam and more recently on iOS and Android from Tiny Rebel Games, Doctor Who Infinity is a match-three game, which initially put me off. Not that I am averse to lining up gems to make them disappear. It’s just match-three games aren’t known for their narrative delivery. Plus I’ve played plenty of Doctor Who-flavored match-three in the form of Doctor Who: Legacy, the popular mobile game also developed by Tiny Rebel.

Daily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.

But I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan, so I couldn’t resist the call of a new game for long. I secured a copy of Infinity from Steam, started it up, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it’s more of a storytelling game that uses match-three as a hook, rather than a match-three game that happens to feature Doctor Who characters. It’s episodic interactive fiction where each episode features its own professional writer, comic book artist and voice talent from the show.

The first episode, The Dalek Invasion of Time, begins with an extensive narrative/tutorial voiced by Michelle Gomez, the Scottish actor who plays Missy (the female version of evil Timelord The Master) in the show. Gomez’s performs carries the same playful menace as it does on the telly. British novelist George Mann, who wrote the story for the episode, captures the character’s spirit perfectly, and Gomez makes it sing.

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Comic book artist and writer (and Doctor Who storyboard artist) Mike Collins contributes visuals to the episode. It’s really like flipping through an interactive comic book. One that just happens to break up the narrative in order to play a few rounds of match-three.

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And the match-three action isn’t bad. It’s certainly not basic. Rather than simply disappearing gems, each board features some sort of gimmick pertaining to the story. In the screenshot above from the game’s second episode, The Orphans of the Polyoptra (written by legendary Doctor Who scribe Gary Russell and voiced by third Doctor companion Katy Manning), the player must match orange gems near patches of rubble to destroy them. Once the rubble is cleared, the freed citizens can head to safety.

Later in the same episode, the Doctor must match pillows beneath falling bombs in order to keep them from killing civilians. What seems like basic match-three in screenshots is actually a very clever and often quite challenging little puzzle game. It’s exactly the sort of thing a Timelord would appreciate.

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Doctor Who Infinity is currently available on Steam, iOS and Android. The mobile version is a free download, with episodes costing $4.99 each, while additional Steam episodes are $5.99. There are three episodes available now, with at least two more due out by the end of the year. If Tiny Rebel Games can keep securing amazing voice, writing and art talent, I’m down for whatever adventures they send my way.