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LudoNarraCon, online-only story-focused games convention, returning in 2020

Online-only game convention, LudoNarraCon, will return in 2020.

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LudoNarraCon
LudoNarraCon

Online-only game convention, LudoNarraCon, will return in 2020.

Back in May, indie publisher, Fellow Traveler, debuted LudoNarraCon. The fledgling event was a global games convention that took place entirely on Steam. The goal was to offer all the cool stuff found at brick-and-mortar gatherings — demos! panels! networking! — but without the travel costs.

With 850,000 unique visitors, Fellow Traveler describes the initial convention as “wildly successful.” Today, the publisher announced that the event will be back — “bigger and better” — next April.

How Does LudoNarraCon Work?

Here’s how Fellow Traveler explains the convention’s offerings:

  • A curated selection of developers “exhibit” on their Steam store pages, using Steam’s streaming features to provide behind the scenes looks at their games. Some also provide downloadable demos, available only for the duration of the event but playable at the player’s convenience.
  • A “theatre” stream features panels on topics related to narrative games and panelists including narrative game developers, writers, and journalists.
  • All of the live streaming content is looped for the rest of the event, making it easy to access the content when it suits the attendee.
  • More than 50 narrative games run discounts for the duration of the event.
  • Media can register for a press pass, giving them early access to demo builds, press assets and facilitating contact with participating developers to organise interviews.
  • Attendees can connect with each other via stream chat, steam forums or a dedicated section in the Fellow Traveller Discord.
  • Steam brings the whole event together in a special event page on the store making it easy to find all the content. Steam also puts the event in front of millions of Steam users via promotion and exposure on the store.

Last Year

Last year’s panelists included Supergiant Games’ Greg Kasavin, Fullbright’s Nina Freeman and Cassandra Khaw, who works as a scriptwriter for Ubisoft Montreal and has worked on narrative-focused games like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine.

With the convention taking place on Steam, developers spent a fraction of the time typically required for a convention. Additionally, on average, games received 4,000-5,000 wishlists during the event.

Registration is open now for exhibitors and potential panelists.

But, you may notice some ludonarrative dissonance. How can LudoNarraCon do so much killing (in page views) but still be good (for developers and fans).

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.

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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (May 25-29, 2020)

Minecraft Dungeons headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Minecraft Dungeons headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Minecraft Dungeons doesn’t feature mining. And nor does it feature crafting. It does, fortunately, feature dungeons.

The newly renamed Mojang Studios has partnered with Double Eleven for the console port of this procedurally-generated dungeon crawler. The game looks beautiful, plays like a dream, and is an accessible entry point to the genre. It might lack a little depth compared to Diablo and the like, but that’s no bad thing. It’s a hack and slash experience for all the family.

The fifth game in WayForward’s long-running Shantae franchise also comes to PS4 this week. Shantae and the Seven Sirens received a warm welcome on its Apple Arcade debut last year, but we think it will feel more at home on console. Expect another enjoyable Metroidvania wrapped up in glorious visuals.

Other new games include Let’s Sing 2020, Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen, and Camel 101’s psychological horror, Those Who Remain.

Here’s the full list of new PlayStation Store releases for the PS4, PS VR, and PS Vita. We’ll add any late additions to the list throughout the week.

New PlayStation 4 releases: May 25-29, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

  • Castle Pals
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Rune Lord
  • Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

  • Many Faces
  • Wizards: Wand of Epicosity

Thursday, May 28, 2020

  • Atomicrops
  • Bug Fables
  • Hotel R’N’R
  • Let’s Sing 2020
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens
  • Those Who Remain

Friday, May 29, 2020

  • Genetic Disaster
  • Little Misfortune
  • Pong Quest

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also stalk us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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Sony to broadcast The Last of Us Part II gameplay deep dive

The latest episode of State of Play will feature an extended look at upcoming PS4 exclusive, The Last of Us Part II.

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The Last of Us Part II - State of Play
Sony / Thumbsticks

This week’s episode of State of Play will feature an extended look at upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive, The Last of Us Part II.

Sony has announced that the next State of Play video will be broadcast this Wednesday and is focussed entirely on naughty Dog’s promising new action-adventure and game, The Last of Us Part II.

The game’s director, Neil Druckmann, will lead viewers on a 20-25-minute-long preview that covers the game’s story, characters, and threats. It will conclude with around eight minutes of never seen before gameplay.

The Last of Us Part II – State of Play

  • Time: May 27, 2020 – 1pm PT / 4pm ET / 9pm BST / 10pm CEST
  • Watch: Twitch / YouTube

The game itself will be out in just under a month, coming exclusively to PS4 on June 19, 2020. It’s available to pre-order now via the PlayStation Store, Amazon, and other online retailers.

You can reacquaint yourself with the game by watching the recent story trailer for The Last of Us Part II right here.

Sony also says that this week’s State of Play will not include any information on the company’s next-generation PlayStation 5 console.


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We may receive a small commission on purchases made from online stores.

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This week’s Xbox One releases (May 25-29, 2020)

Minecraft Dungeons and Shantae and the Seven Sirens headline this week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Minecraft Dungeons and Shantae and the Seven Sirens headline this week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

Minecraft Dungeons is the week’s big new Xbox One game. The family-friendly dungeon crawler from Mojang Studios blends fast-moving hack-and-slash combat with the aesthetics of Minecraft to delicious effect. It’s not the next Torchlight, but it’s a polished co-op experience for intrepid explorers of all ages.

Another highlight is Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward. The game returns to the franchise’s roots with another colourful instalment of exploration and platforming.

Other new Xbox One games include the dark fantasy adventure Little Misfortune and psychological horror, Those Who Remain. We also presume that the release of Ultimate Fishing Simulator means we’ll never need to buy another fishing game.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the confirmed lineup.

New Xbox One releases: May 25-29, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

  • Minecraft Dungeons

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

  • Castle Pals
  • Many Faces: Console Edition

Thursday, May 28, 2020

  • Atomicrops
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens
  • Those Who Remain

Friday, May 29, 2020

  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  • Genetic Disaster
  • Georifters
  • Indiecalypse
  • The Last Scape
  • Little Misfortune
  • Ultimate Fishing Simulator

If you’re looking for some video game bargains, read our roundup of this week’s new Xbox One sales and promotions.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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New Nintendo Switch releases (May 25-30, 2020)

This week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases includes some classics from 2K and a new Minecraft game.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

This week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch releases includes some 2K classics, the return of Shantae, and a brand new Minecraft game.

There’s a jam-packed week ahead on the Switch with a slew of great games coming to the Nintendo eShop.

We’ll take a deep breath and start with a couple of new games. First up is Minecraft Dungeons. It’s a family-friendly dungeon crawler that effortlessly combines a tried-and-tested gameplay formula with the iconic Minecraft aesthetic. It’s probably not a classic of the genre, but it’s accessible, polished, and lots of fun.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens is the fifth game in WayForward’s long-running series of visually resplendent action-adventure games. The little we played of it on Apple Arcade suggests its back-to-basics approach was the right choice.

The biggest release of the week – for long-time Nintendo fans, at least – is Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. The classic Wii RPG gets a visual and audio upgrade and a whole new epilogue that runs to around 10 hours. On this occasion, the ‘Definitive Edition’ subtitle sounds well earned.

2K Games is also releasing three content-packed compilations: Borderlands Legendary CollectionBioShock: The Collection, and XCOM 2 Collection. For players of a certain age – cough – the chance to replay Irrational’s 2007 classic in handheld mode will likely prove irresistible. Each collection is also reasonably priced, and teaches EA a thing or two on bringing older games on the Switch,

Other new Nintendo Switch releases include the Sega arcade classic Thunder Force AC, Little Misfortune, and Adam’s Venture: Origins.

We’ll keep this page updated throughout the week with any last-minute changes. Here’s the full lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases as it stands.

New Nintendo Switch releases: May 25-30, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

  • Ailment
  • Missile Command: Recharged

Thursday, May 28, 2020

  • Atomicrops
  • Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  • F-117A Stealth Fighter
  • Fly Punch Boom!
  • Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special
  • Hill Climbing Mania
  • Resolutiion
  • Let’s Sing 2020
  • SEGA Ages Thunder Force AC
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens
  • Synaptic Drive
  • Turmoil

Friday, May 29, 2020

  • Adam’s Venture: Origins
  • Castle Pals
  • Climbros
  • Despotism 3K
  • Genetic Disaster
  • BioShock: The Collection
  • BioShock Remastered
  • BioShock 2 Remastered
  • BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition
  • Borderlands Legendary Collection
  • Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition
  • Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition,
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
  • Flux8
  • Indiecalypse
  • Little Misfortune
  • Moonlighter: Between Dimensions (DLC)
  • XCOM 2 Collection
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
  • WildTrax Racing

Saturday, May 30, 2020

  • #womenUp Super Puzzles Dream
  • Undead and Beyond

More from Thumbsticks

Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Save up to 80% with this week’s Nintendo eShop deals

There are Switch savings aplenty with four big sales currently running on the Nintendo eShop.

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Nintendo eShop - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Sega / Nintendo

There are Switch savings aplenty with four big promotions currently running on the Nintendo eShop.

The latest crop of US Nintendo eShop offers feature some iconic video game characters, some anime superstars, and some digital versions of family-favourite board games.

The Sonic the Hedgehog sale is headlined by Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We don’t think it’s a very good game, to be honest, but if you have young family members going stir-crazy, it should bring calm and chaos to your home in equal measure. “Real gamerz” should check out the Sega Ages releases of Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2, and Sonic Mania.

Another iconic video game character on sale is Pac-Man. To celebrate the character’s 40th birthday, both Namco Museum and Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus are discounted. Both games are well worth getting.

The Ubisoft Family Time Sale features one of the best games in the Switch library, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. It’s accessible, tactical, funny, and addictive. And even the Rabbids are pretty likeable.

The AniMay sale also continues, with offers on games including Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and the wonderful Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch.

The Sonic and Ubisoft Nintendo eShop sales run until May 25. The AniMay and Pac-Man promotions lose their lives on May 26. Here are some more highlights.

Sonic the Hedgehog Sale

  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  • Sega Ages Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Sega Ages Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic Forces
  • Sonic Mania
  • Team Sonic Racing

Discounted 3DS games include 3D Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, and Sonic Lost World.

Ubisoft Family Time Sale

  • Jeopardy!
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Monopoly for Nintendo Switch
  • Risk Global Domination
  • Trivial Pursuit Live!
  • Wheel of Fortune

Pac-Man 40th Annniversay Sale

  • Namco Museum
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus

AniMay Sale Highlights

  • Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
  • Dragon Ball Fighterz
  • God Eater 3
  • My Hero One’s Justice 2
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
  • Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission – Launch Edition
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization Deluxe Edition
  • Tales Of Vesperia: Definitive Edition

More from Thumbsticks

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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