This week in gaming: Puzzling through Neil Gaiman’s Wayward Manor

week gaming puzzling neil gaimans wayward manor
Are you ready to start digging through the backlog? The July slump is in full swing, meaning blockbuster video game releases are few and far between. The end of the month picks up a bit, and August will of course bring the expected return of EA Sports’ Madden series, but fans of big-budget spectacle don’t have a lot to choose from in the coming weeks.

Of course, there’s a whole lot more to video games than first-person shooting and eye-searing explosions. This week brings the highly anticipated launch of Neil Gaiman’s first game, Wayward Manor, from The Odd Gentlemen. And iOS users get their first crack at the previously Android-only ARG, Ingress. There’s a couple other things as well; read on for the full rundown!

Wayward Manor

Mac/PC (July 15)
Neil Gaiman’s first crack at video games is a puzzler with a strong focus on characters and story. No surprises there, coming from the guy behind the likes of Sandman and American Gods. A dark comedy set in the 1920s, the story follows a ghost who tries to make an after-life for himself in a creepy Victorian Gothic mansion… only he can’t rest until he gets rid of the living souls that see the estate as a valuable piece of residential property. If you suddenly find yourself fondly reminiscing about Beetlejuice, you’re on the right track.

Gaiman shouldn’t need much introduction, especially since we already mentioned two of his most well-known works: Sandman and American Gods. This is his first journey into the realm of interactive storytelling, and he’s working with the Los Angeles-based team at The Odd Gentlemen. This is the same studio that created The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom and Flea Symphony. The team’s sense of whimsy should pair well with Gaiman’s own sensibilities.


PS4 (July 15)
Crimsonland is a twin-stick shooter from 10tons Ltd. It’s actually been out on PC (via Steam) since June 11, but it comes to PlayStation 4 as a download-only release this week. There’s not a whole lot to it on the surface: Move your little gun-toting soldier around from a top-down perspective as you annihilate everything in sight, including giant spiders, mutant lizards, aliens, and more.

Crimsonland 1

This is actually a remake of a 2003 release bearing the same title. There’s a welcome graphical overhaul, of course, but 10tons also included an assortment of hooks like unlockable weapons and perks to keep players invested. There’s also local cooperative for up to four players, but no online play. Note that Crimsonland is only available as a download via the PlayStation Store.

Abyss Odyssey

PC/PS3 (July 15)
Abyss Odyssey is a side-scrolling action game that sends players off into the titular abyss as one of three warriors, all of whom are capable of possessing enemies and taking on their abilities. Combat is focused on pulling off combos and chaining attacks together in a way that should appeal equally to fans of fighting games and highly technical beat ’em ups. The game’s levels are also procedurally generated every time you play, ensuring that no two adventures are the same.

Abyss Odyssey 2

Abyss Odyssey is the work of the Chile-based ACE Team, which created Rock of AgesZeno Clash, and Zeno Clash 2. It’s out this week on Steam and as a download in the PlayStation 3’s online store.

Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015

Android/iOS/PC/Xbox 360/Xbox One (July 16)
Another year, another Magic: The Gathering game. Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 is the latest Stainless Games adaptation of the Wizards of the Coast collectible card game series. There’s not a whole lot of mystery here. It’s a Magic game. If you’re a fan, here’s your annual upgrade. And if you’re a newcomer, perhaps with an interest kindled by Blizzard’s somewhat similar CCG, Hearthstone, there’s a built-in tutorial to teach you the basics.

Magic 2015 3

Magic isn’t the only series that Stainless works on, but it’s been in the studio’s hands since the first Duels of the Planeswalkers came to Xbox 360 in 2009. Stainless is also the studio behind the classic Carmageddon series, and the team is currently working to bring Carmageddon: Reincarnation to Linux/Mac/PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One after a successful Kickstarter bid.


iOS (July 14)

Ingress is an alternate-reality game from Google’s Niantic Labs that’s been playable in some form on Android devices since 2012 (its open beta kicked off in late 2013). It’s a game that requires interacting with the real world, as two competing factions vie for control of a map that’s tied to actual, physical locations. If you’re familiar with the practice of geocaching, Ingress is a similar sort of scavenger hunt, only with more locations to discover and a story wrapped around everything.

This week marks the first time Ingress is available on an Apple device. The iOS version is out now, and it’s functionally identical to its Android counterpart. This is just the first chance Apple users have to take a crack at the unique game.


Persona 5 The Royal rumored to have ‘a ton of new content,’ female protagonist

Persona 5 The Royal will be an enhanced version of the original game with a female main character and a lengthy epilogue, according to a GearNuke report. The website's source also revealed information about two more games based on the RPG.

Avengers aftermath: From The Eternals to The Boys, things are about to get weird

On this week's show, we'll take a deep dive into what's coming after Avengers: Endgame. Sure, it's probably going to be the biggest movie ever, but what about Marvel/Disney's Phase 4? We'll tell you why The Eternals may be a big part of it.

Play The Sims 4 the way it was meant to be played using a keyboard and mouse

The Sims 4 recently added keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One and PS4, giving players the chance to experience the game as it was designed. Here is how to use keyboard and mouse in The Sims 4.

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse — and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?

Castlevania Anniversary Collection offers some of the series’ rarest games

Konami is celebrating 50 years of games with collections like the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, which now includes Kid Dracula, Castlevania II, Bloodlines, and Castlevania the Adventure. Which of these are must-play titles?

Call up Durr Burger and grab some lunch with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite week 8 challenges are now available in season 8. One of the big challenges this week has players dial the Durr Burger number on the big telephone. We've got everything you need to complete this weekly challenge.

Streaming data reveals Ninja isn’t Twitch king, Fortnite still reigns supreme

Stream Elements and Stream Hatchet teamed up to produce the State of the Stream Q1 2019, a report that reveals a multitude of data. A few takeaways include Ninja not producing the best month of views, and Apex Legends' performance diving.

Get Kingdom Hearts 3 at its lowest price yet during Walmart’s Xbox One sale

Walmart reduced the prices on some new and popular Xbox One games. Kingdom Hearts 3 is at its lowest price yet, while Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 get some stout discounts as well.

Get jiggy with it and find the jigsaw pieces with our Fortnite challenge guide

For this Fortnite weekly challenge, players must search for jigsaw puzzle pieces under bridges and in caves. We've got the best locations for finding these pieces so you can complete this challenge fast.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

The best zombie games of all time, from Resident Evil to The Last of Us

Zombies are a longtime media staple, from movies to literature to TV to video games. Plenty of zombie games are bland and boring, but a good number offer tangible reasons to care about the undead. These are the best zombie games.

Ditch the discs: The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is available for pre-order

Like it or not, discs seem to be going the way of the VHS tape. Digital gaming is quickly becoming the new norm even for consoles, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition is now available for pre-order with three free games…

The Last of Us Part 2 finishes capturing its main characters’ performances

Calling it the most "ambitious cinematic shoot" the team has ever done, Naughty Dog revealed that the motion-capture performances for the main characters in The Last of Us Part II are finished.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.