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Apple Arcade just added two excellent mobile games

Apple Arcade just added two new games to its library, both of which are noteworthy. Subscribers can now download Dandara: Trials of Fear+ and Oddmar+ via the App Store.

Dandara Trials of Fear Edition - Launch Trailer

Both of Apple’s new games are hidden gems in their own right. Dandara: Trials of Fear+ is an expanded version of Dandara, a standout Metroidvania-style game from 2018. Originally released on consoles, Dandara is a game where players traverse by sticking to surfaces. The game is based on Brazilian history, drawing inspiration from the real-world Dandara, a woman who fought against slavery during Brazil’s colonial period.

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Oddmar battles a screaming enemies in the woods.

Oddmar, another 2018 game, is a Viking platformer originally released on mobile devices. It features gameplay similar to the Rayman series. While the game usually costs $5 on the App Store, Apple Arcade subscribers will be able to download it at no additional charge.

Both games feel perfectly suited for Apple’s growing subscription service and its recent suite of devices. Oddmar’s swipe-controlled platforming is as smooth as butter and the colorful visuals still stand out among mobile games (it’s especially vibrant on an iPhone 13 Pro). Dandara is especially worth checking out for those who missed it in 2018. I played it on a Nintendo Switch originally, but it’s an excellent match for mobile. On a new iPad Mini, it’s easier than ever to jump from surface to surface with the flick of a thumb.

Apple Arcade has gone through a major expansion in 2021, retooling the service. In addition to adding standout games like Fantasian, it’s also brought notable mobile classics to the platform. That includes phone staples like Solitaire and surprising ports like Monster Hunter Stories.

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Counter-Strike 2 limited test: how to play, game modes, and more
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After a few weeks of leaks and rumors, Valve has finally announced that Counter-Strike 2 will be launching this summer as a free update to CS:GO.

Valve is describing Counter-Strike 2 as an  “overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience” and “the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history," promising years of support for the game.

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Although the Nintendo Switch has some of the best AAA titles, the system has become known as an indie machine to many people. The portability of the Switch and Switch Lite makes them ideal for some of the best indie games, and dozens of small developers seem to love releasing their games on the hybrid console.

Better yet, plenty of previously released indie games, such as Hollow Knight, have received increased attention and acclaim after landing on the Switch. It's become a win-win for developers and Switch owners. If you're a new Switch owner or are simply looking for the best Switch games to play during your morning commute, we've put together a running list of the best indie games on the Nintendo Switch.

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This jaw-dropping puzzler just became my most anticipated game of 2023
A room appears in both color and black and white in Viewfinder.

Whenever I go hands-on with a game at a preview event, I try to maintain a bit of a poker face. I’m ultimately there to do a job, so I tend to stay focused on what I’m playing and quietly work through my first impressions in real time. That routine went entirely out the window the second I got my hands on Viewfinder, a game that quite literally had my jaw hanging open for 20 minutes.
Viewfinder | Announcement Trailer | PC & PS5 | 2023
If the title isn’t ringing a bell, there’s a chance you may have seen Viewfinder on Twitter at some point. In 2020, developer Matt Stark shared an impressive work-in-progress video that showed a character taking a 2D polaroid photo and then walking into it, seamlessly turning a flat image into a full 3D space. Three years later, that neat trick has become a complete game – one that has me in utter disbelief. If the final build is as magical as what I played at this year’s Game Developers Conference, we could be looking at an all-time great puzzle game.
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Within seconds of my Viewfinder demo, I find myself shouting “No way!” out loud. The basic gist is that it’s a level-based puzzle game where players need to solve objectives by taking still photographs and placing them in the environment. On a DualSense controller, the left trigger holds a photo up while the right trigger places it. No matter where a photo is placed, it’ll instantly turn into a fully explorable 3D space within the world. I’ve seen the trick in various videos at this point, but playing is truly believing in Viewfinder. It’s an astonishing feat.
The puzzles start simple enough. At first, I’m picking up specific photos and using those to alter the environment. In one puzzle, I need to get three batteries and place them on a power pad to turn a teleporter on. I find a picture of a room and carefully line it up so its floor attaches to the one I’m on. Sure enough, I’m able to walk into the photo and round a corner within it to grab a hidden battery. In another puzzle, I need to get past a large gated wall. I place a photo of an opened gate right on top of it and then walk right through into the space behind it.

Every puzzle the demo threw at me felt entirely distinct and like it could be solved in a variety of ways. A PR person for publisher Thunderful noted that the game is almost like Portal in some way, where players need to learn how to “think with photos.” I learn exactly what that means when one puzzle has me trying to reach a rooftop that’s too high for me to jump to. I find a photo of a building nearby and initially don’t get what to do. That’s when it hits me: I can rotate the photo and line the building up, so it acts as a walkable ramp leading to the roof. Every time I place a photo, I’m shocked by how perfect the effect is. It feels truly impossible. 
"There’s potential here for a once-in-a-generation, genre-defining puzzle game."

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