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Stugan 2017 lineup unveiled

Who are the runners and riders from Stugan 2017?

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Stugan 2017 lineup

Who are the runners and riders from Stugan 2017?

Stugan takes place in a cabin in the woods. No, not the Cabin in the Woods – that’s something else entirely – but an actual cabin, in the Swedish countryside.

It’s a developer incubation programme, a residential scheme that runs for seven weeks, that gives 15 teams of indie devs an all-expenses paid immersion into an environment focused towards improving, achieving, and creating games.

It’s not all fun and games. Yes, there’s probably a fair amount of Swedish vodka, meatballs and general merriment – but not whacking each other with twigs in a sauna like most people think; that’s Finland – but there’s also a supportive and encouraging environment, and most importantly, time and space to focus. You can’t underestimate the value of getting away from daily life and public transport; hanging out with like-minded folks and getting great technical and business mentoring is a massive bonus.

So, who’s in the Stugan 2017 lineup, and what are the elevator pitches for their games?

Team 1: Ben and Cukia of Nyamkop (South Africa) – Semblance

Semblance is a ‘playdough platformer’ with deformable terrain, set in a beautiful minimalist world. It’s a game that asks, what if you could deform and reshape the world itself?

Team 2: Henry Hoffman (UK) – Splitscreen

Splitscreen is a first-person puzzle game about fractured memories. Playing across multiple screens, different characters must bridge their divides, piecing together fragments of each other’s pasts.

Team 3: Mario Carballo Zama (Mexico) – Pack n’ fold (working title)

Pack n’ fold is a rhythm packing simulator where you have to pack clothes and other objects depending on the trip you were assigned, the time you will be away, and where you are going.

Team 4: Lucy Morris (New Zealand) – Icebürg (working title)

Icebürg is a non-violent multiplayer collaborative game where players live the lives of penguins to build and support their own huddles. Waddling along with your friends, you explore, build a home, procreate, and grow your huddle.

Team 5: René Rother (Germany) – RK3000

RK3000 is a Megazord and Godzilla inspired 3D action game about being a huge robot destroying a colorful and stylized city together with up to four players.

Team 6: Amar and Ivan of AI Interactive (Bosnia & Herzegovina) – The Enchanted World

The Enchanted World is a puzzle game set in world torn asunder by grief in which our hero is searching for his lost love. On his journey puzzle piece by puzzle piece he brings order back to the world and peace to its various inhabitants who lost their way in the chaos.

Team 7: Anders Nord (Sweden) – The Lost Light of Sisu

The Lost Light of Sisu is an atmospheric puzzle platformer set in different alien environments. The gameplay is heavily physics based and driven by cubes that alter your abilities as you navigate across the galaxy to get home.

Team 8: Kubra and Yunus (Turkey) – Cube3

Cube3 is a very simple endless puzzle game based on the ability to think in three-dimensions. It is played on isometric view. The game is played in a 3D 4x4x4 cube, and the player can roll, pitch, yaw that main cube with 6 swipe directions.

Team 9: Sos Sosowski (Poland) – Mosh Pit Simulator

Mosh Pit Simulator is a game about wobbly humans that you can punch stretch or throw, in a world full of boneless brainless creatures that are out to get you.

Team 10: Doanna Neville (Singapore) – Trials of Torden

Trials of Torden is a strategy RPG game for mobile where you get to play dungeon master in bite sized sessions. Develop NPC heroes by throwing challenges in their path while bestowing aid and treasure. Keep them alive long enough and they may become legend.

Team 11: Andrea, Marta and Anna of Tahutahu Studios (Spain/Czech Republic/Japan) – Idearum

Idearum is a 3D puzzle platform game for PC. Main character Eidos is a soul trapped in nothingness who got a chance to become a citizen of a perfect city – the Atlantis. Eidos must pass series of tests which are educating and preparing her for the duties of an Atlantean citizen.

Team 12: Mads Vadsholt (Denmark) – The Forest Quartet

The Forest Quartet is an experimental single player game about getting a jazz band back together. You play as the deceased lead singer of the band who in her spirit form has to metaphysically inspire the band members to make them play again.

Team 13: Karina Popp (USA) – Ten Mississippi

Ten Mississippi is a narrative web game about the mundane motions of a single day, for a single person, in three lives. Wordless, Ten Mississippi tells its story through photographs and sound in ten second increments. The day begins as any other: brush your teeth, drink your coffee, walk the dog… but as Ten Mississippi proceeds, differences between each life emerge.

Team 14: Lucas, João, Victor and Thommaz of Long Hat House (Brazil) – Dandara

Dandara is a direction-less exploration game. Designed initially to be a mobile game that requires the player’s attention, the game ended up being a weird gravity-bending, dream-like adventure in an open labyrinth.

Team 15: Marcus, Fredrik and Rasmus of Coastalbyte (Sweden) – Puppet Fever

Puppet Fever is a game about managing a puppet theatre using paper cutout puppets. The player can act and play through pre-made adventures or create original stories to share with friends outside of VR.

26 developers, 15 teams, 15 games, and several industry mentors, locked away in the Swedish countryside for seven weeks making interesting indie games? Sounds like a cracking way to spend the summer (if you’re an indie developer).


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.

Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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New Nintendo Switch releases (Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020)

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary hasn’t been quite as celebratory as the Nintendo might have hoped. Much of the criticism has been directed at Super Mario 3D All-Stars, but the three-game collection has still sold like hotcakes and is an excellent – albeit bonus light – package.

Next up is Super Mario Bros. 35, a new battle-royale twist on the 1985 platforming classic. If it can match the pleasures of Tetris 99, we’re in for a treat. The game is free to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but only until March next year.

Also coming to Nintendo Switch this week is cult classic action RPG, Ys Origin. Nihon Falcom’s 2006 adventure is the ultimate dungeon crawl and blends a galloping story with excellent combat mechanics. As the game’s PS Vita release proved, its structure makes it the perfect handheld experience.

Of the 30-plus other titles release on the eShop, we recommend taking a look at MindSeize, the ambitious Metroidvania from Kamina Dimension, and Orangeblood, a frenetic hot mess of an RPG from Grayfax Software.

Here’s the full lineup of confirmed new Nintendo Switch releases. We’ll keep this post updated throughout the week with any late additions.

New Nintendo Switch releases: Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Alwa’s Legacy
  • Bacon Man: An Adventure
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip
  • Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in The Hotel Lisbon
  • Mindseize
  • Murder in The Hotel Lisbon

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • Candy Raid: The Factory
  • Electronic Super Joy 2
  • Farm Builder
  • Filament
  • Hot Shot Burn
  • The Last Days
  • Liege Dragon
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Macbat 64
  • Nubarron: The adventure of an unlucky gnome
  • Orangeblood
  • Powertris
  • Shmubedi Boo
  • Smoots World Cup Tennis
  • Super Mario Bros. 35 [Switch Online]
  • Warsaw
  • Ys Origin

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • 103
  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan
  • Logic Puzzle Collection: Sudoku – Permudoku – Nonodoku
  • Let’s Sing presents Queen
  • Make a Killing

Saturday, October 3, 2020

  • Quell

More Nintendo from Thumbsticks

For more Nintendo content, read about the new Final Fantasy eShop sale, the incoming Switch port of Doom Eternal, and our review of RPG Maker MV. You can also bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page and follow us on Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

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Classic Final Fantasy games up to 50% off in a Nintendo Switch sale

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

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Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch sale
Nintendo / Square Enix / Thumbsticks

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch does feature new games – every week! Bookmark our new releases page to stay up to date on that front – but it’s the console’s credibility as a retro machine that gets people excited.

Everything is getting ported to Nintendo Switch. Everything. Even PC games at both ends of the joke – Doom at the low-end, to Crysis at the high – are getting a run-out on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.

It’s a combination of that lovely form factor and the ease of portability, with a little help from a lovely 720p screen, that makes the Switch feel so good as a remaster-wielding retro machine. (And of course, Nintendo’s stellar back catalogue, from a raft of NES and SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online to the recently-released Super Mario 3D All-Stars.)

At the top of my list of things I wanted to see on the Nintendo Switch was “every Final Fantasy game ever, please,” and, sure enough, Square Enix and Nintendo are obliging. But they’re rarely cheap. You’d think for all the times I’ve bought and re-bought Final Fantasy VI, VII or IX over the years, I might get some sort of loyalty discount. Maybe a Final Fantasy equivalent of Nectar points? But no. They cost quite a lot, even if Square’s ports aren’t always that hot.

Which is why a Square Enix sale on the Nintendo eShop – featuring a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but also, more! – at discounted prices is so exciting. There’s up to 50% off, as well, which is a cracking discount.

Here’s everything included in the Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale.

Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale

  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD
  • Final Fantasy Explorers (Nintendo 3DS)
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Lost Sphear
  • Oninaki
  • Romancing SaGa 2
  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
  • Spelunker Party!
  • Star Ocean: First Departure R
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima

The picks of the litter are obviously the mainline Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is obviously brilliant; the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is splendid; Final Fantasy IX is secretly the best one; Final Fantasy X/X-2 is another excellent remaster; Final Fantasy XII isn’t great (but the Zodiac Age remaster makes it much more bearable); and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is… also on sale. There’s a reason the Final Fantasy VII Remake is so great, and it’s because it steals its best ideas from these earlier iterations.

The recent remake of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon – subtitled EVERY BUDDY!, their emphasis, not ours – is also well worth checking out, even if it is a bit of a peculiar curio. Romancing SaGa 2 is also well worth checking out, while I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear are modern-developed indie games published by Square Enix.

These deals are only available until September 30, so you’d better get on that.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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 PlayStation 4 releases (Sept 28-Oct 2, 2020)

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Star Wars: Squadrons headline the list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Star Wars: Squadrons headline the list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Here at Thumbsticks, we pride ourselves in being some of the finest gaming armchair analysts around. But, we’re only human and have to confess that the popularity of Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy took us by surprise. With over 10 million copies sold it’s now over to Toys for Bob to bring the franchise up to date with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. First impressions are positive, and the recently revealed N’ Verted mode should give the game a venue to experiment with some wild new ideas.

EA’s history with the Star Wars licence has had its ups and downs, but following Battlefront II (eventually) and Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order the publisher has found some consistency. The strong run looks set to continue with Star Wars: Squadrons, a game that sets out to do one thing well, and from early accounts achieves it capably.

Speaking of licensed products, we’re also hopeful for The Walking Dead Onslaught, the new PSVR survival game from Survios. It’s about time the franchise had another decent tie-in.

Other new PlayStation 4 releases include Orangeblood, Genshin Impact, and Re:Turn – One Way Trip. There’s also a chance that the promising future racing game Pacer will be released on PS4 following a short delay.

Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far. Check back throughout next week for details of any late additions.

New PlayStation 4 releases: Sept 28-Oct 2, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Genshin Impact
  • Undead Darlings: No Cure for Love

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Commander ’85 – TBC
  • Pacer – TBC
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip
  • The Walking Dead Onslaught
  • Warsaw
  • Projection: First Light
  • Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!
  • Until You Fall

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • No new games today!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • FIFA 21 (EA Play First Trial)
  • Orangeblood

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Star Wars: Squadrons

More from Thumbsticks

Visit our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on 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 Xbox One releases (September 28-October 2, 2020)

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Do you know which Star Wars games are the absolute best? No, it’s not that new one with Archie Andrews off Riverdale as a Jedi, nor is it Episode I: Racer, or even Knights of the Old Republic. It’s the classic PC flight sims, the ones that came on half a dozen floppy disks: X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and X-Wing vs Tie Fighter.

With that in mind, we are perhaps most excited about Star Wars: Squadrons, a Star Wars space combat flight sim with all the pew! pew! you’d expect. Squadrons has pedigree, too; it’s developed by EA’s Motive Studios, the crew behind the brilliant Star Wars Battlefront II. (That’s the modern, multiplayer Battlefront II with lots of cool ships to fly, not the middling shooter from 2005.)

The other big name on the Xbox One Releases this week is Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Developed by Toys for Bob, the company behind the excellent remasters, publisher Activision hopes that the return of its mascot platformer will emulate the successful return of its other late-90s icon, Tony Hawk.

There’s one other big game this week, but it’s not for everyone. Literally. If you don’t have EA Play, you won’t get to play FIFA 21 on October 2; you’ll have to wait until October 9 like everyone else. But if you do have EA Play – and remember, it’s now included with Xbox Game Pass – you’ll get to try out EA’s big footie sim, FIFA 21, a week before your mates.

Other games of note include Feather, a zen exploration game with beautiful flight, Commander ’85, an intriguing cold war mystery, and Inertial Drift, a racing game with an innovative twin-stick control scheme.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 28-October 2, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • No games for you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Bartlow’s Dread Machine
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Commander ’85
  • Feather
  • Inertial Drift
  • Swordbreaker

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • FIFA 21 (EA Play First Trial)
  • Orangeblood

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • Dragon Lapis
  • Warsaw

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on 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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Left 4 Dead 2 is having a free-to-play weekend

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

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Left 4 Dead 2 free-to-play weekend
Valve / Thumbsticks

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

Valve, the company that famously does not make threequels, released Left 4 Dead 2 almost 11 years ago, in November 2009. It’s a co-op zombie first-person shooter and, well, it’s really good.

Unsurprisingly, Valve stopped releasing content updates for it years ago – the last one was the addition of the first Left 4 Dead’s campaign to the sequel in 2010, if memory serves? – but that doesn’t mean Left 4 Dead 2 has been left fallow.

Thanks to Valve’s famously open Source engine (that’s a “famously open engine called Source”, not “Open Source” in the licensing sense), however, fans of Left 4 Dead 2 have been able to keep the updates coming. One of the biggest was Cold Stream, released for PC in 2012 and Xbox 360 in 2013.

Then, just this week, another community-created update – called The Last Stand – was released for Left 4 Dead 2. Once again, Valve gave the community creation its blessing and, as a result, The Last Stand is a very official unofficial update.

To celebrate, Valve is hosting a free-to-play weekend for Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam. The game, including all single- and multi-player modes, will available to play for free all this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy it, you’ll be able to pick up Left 4 Dead 2 for the princely sum of $1.99 / £1.43 until September 28, 2020.


You like free stuff, right? Bookmark our free games page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular free stuff updates.

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.

Continue Reading