Bowie in Skyrim: Chant of the Ever-Circling Skeletal Family

In our last outing, Bowie was contracted by a local shopkeep to go track down a band of bandit assholes who stole a golden claw from his place of business. And so on up into the mountains beyond Riverwood I walked. I think Bowie’s warming to his new role as protector of the innocent and defender of the public good. As I made my way up past the snowline, my new elven pack horse in tow, I could feel the good vibrations pouring from him. Or maybe he was just thrumming like a hazel rod in anticipation of all the bandit gold up in Bleak Falls Barrow.

We came upon it suddenly. It sprouted out of the snow, all bare rock and great weathered ramparts, flying buttresses exposed to millennia of wind and driving snow. The wind picked up as we approached with a swirl of freezing flakes, masking...


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Galaxy Questing and the Ko-Dan Armada

Although it's put a smile on many a face (and even more infuriated fists in the air) after its crowdfunding on Kickstarter a year and a half ago, it's only been a few weeks since FTL (faster than light initialised for you sci-fi muggles) got its release on the iShop. The masses now have in their hands the perfect opportunity to become armchair captains with this Advanced Edition.

Now, I'd like to start this with a confession: FTL is one of the first games in as long as I can remember where I actually had to lower the difficulty option to easy. You hardcore gamers might scoff at that notion but when you're faced with a roguelike distraction like this, you just might do the same - at least on your first play through.

Allow me to explain your situation. It begins as many adventures do - despite an impossible...


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Stan Bush Told Me I Had It

In 1986 Stan Bush told us we had the touch, but in truth it was 4 years earlier that researchers at the University of Toronto pioneered multi-touch human input systems. Despite these 32 years and a wide variety of devices, from Mitsubishi’s DiamondTouch to Microsoft’s original, and ill-fated, Surface, multi-touch didn’t get under the average plebs’ fingers until Apple sprayed their unique combination of fashion and obsession all over it.

This trademark blend made the iPhone the flagship in a revolution of handheld computing. Now nearly 7 years later our concepts of human-machine interfacing have been completely rewritten and the word “intuitive” is now, simultaneously, the most important word in interaction design and the bane of programmers the world over.

In the same span of time we’ve seen over 1,000,000 applications on the Apple App Store alone, another 1,000,000+ on Google Play...


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Take My Money Damn It! Games Marketing at it's Best.

On April Fool’s Day Google carried out their now traditional raft of prank’s and one in particular caught our eyes here at RTF towers. The high jinks in question was a video telling viewers that Google Maps had been overrun with Pokemon and the obvious question was posed “Could we catch them all?” As simple as this little gimmick was it actually turned out to be surprisingly fun and helped me pass several hours in work when I should have been doing something more productive. It was a great piece of marketing by the current masters of the art.

This got us thinking, what are the best and worst examples of marketing for games whether it be TV ads or billboard campaigns? After literally minutes of thought and debate here is the list of the best marketing campaigns that we’ve come up with. Feel free to add...


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Bowie in Skyrim: Absolute Beginners

After the dragon distraction and subsequent escape from captivity in the last chapter, our hero finds himself in a forest on a rugged hillside. Not particularly Bowie’s speed, I’d have thought - even when he’s sporting a kick-ass beard, Bowie tends to be one for the cities.

But putting cocaine funk and bleak Twenties imagery to one side for the moment, I found myself on the side of a mountain, a fugitive of the empire (maybe; didn’t stick around long enough to find out). My confederate in the escape suggested I join him at the nearest town, Riverwood, where we could find supplies, a warm bed and some pointers on what to do next. He reckoned the Jarl could do with knowing about the dragon thing. He’s probably right.

On we strode towards Riverwood, but I got distracted setting fire to a fox that ran...


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Hindsight: "Hitman: Codename 47 & Hitman 2: Silent Assassin"

Considering the fact that Hitman: Absolution is available for free with XBOX Gold membership until the 16th April, I figured there was no better time than now to have a look back at the early days of this gaming dynasty. The story that has lead to five games (so far) and a piss-poor action movie started with the release of Hitman: Codename 47 in 2000, which was followed by Hitman 2: Silent Assassin a couple of years later. Many consider these two early offerings to be the zenith of the series and for my part, they were the Hitman releases that I played and enjoyed the most.

Both these early efforts appeared on the PC and offered a weird blend of third-person perspective, FPS-style controls and stealth-oriented game play. At the time this seemed like a very odd combination - but it worked. Both games created a challenging experience that...


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