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Maybe it’s my fear of the unknown that sways me away from playing open-world games. I take directions, orders, coaching and guidance well enough to at least pretend to interpret the advice. I definitely like exploration, but I hate the feeling of being hopelessly lost, particularly if there’s a pressing matter present. I rarely have the time to experiment with new routes, or try to find somebody to beg for directions. Why risk going wrong when you can prepare for going right?

I’ve changed my stance slightly, thanks to fantastic titles like Fallout 3, Red Dead Redemption and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. How can you not feel completely immersed in these worlds? Despite my initial reservations of not being told what to do (no, seriously, what do I do and where do I go?), I learned to trust myself and embrace the nature of what an open world means: relying on my previous experience and shedding fear of the unknown. READ MORE

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After three games and a handful of titles borrowing its approach to combat and stealth, the “final” game in Rocksteady’s Arkham series is here. Batman: Arkham Knight follows the tradition of the previous games, seeking to expand the scope even more by giving you a handful of new abilities and way to traverse the gigantic city of Gotham.

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Brjann SigurgeirssonWhat does an indie team do after its first big hit? We talked to Brjánn Sigurgeirsson, CEO of SteamWorld Dig developer Image & Form, about its new project: SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game set in the world of the breakout mining title. In the game, you’ll assemble a team of robots and take them into spaceship shootouts in a fight for resources and survival.

Snackbar Games: What is it like making a game after making a successful one?

Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: It’s hard. It’s not automatically easy. When we were done with the development of SteamWorld Dig, that was June, like exactly two years ago. It came out in August on the 3DS first. And we didn’t know. I mean, we’d been so engrossed in making the game, so we didn’t know if it was flawed, or decent, or good, or bad, or great? But we knew that we were very tired at that point. So it’s like “okay, everybody, let’s go for vacation,” so everyone went for vacation in July, and we’ll just pick it up in August and see what we do. So the first few days, we were talking about what kind of PR and marketing we were going to make for Dig. It’s coming out in seven days, and we didn’t have a plan for it. READ MORE

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The Xbox One may not have quite the indie support of the PlayStation 4, but it’s home to some truly engaging experimental titles and more than worthy of a look for fans of local multiplayer experiences. Here are the best titles for play by three or more that the system has to offer!

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Super Exploding Zoo

Super Exploding Zoo, at first glance is a simple puzzle game with cute graphics. It looks like something you might find on Kongregate: fast, easy to explain and teeming with short enough levels to play four or five while waiting for something else to happen. The first few levels do nothing to dispel that notion. You’ll guide an animal through a simple level, collect some companion animals, blow some stuff up along the way, kill the monsters and win. READ MORE

Massive Chalice

Massive Chalice isn’t perfect. I could spend 30 minutes complaining about poor enemy placements, stupid house mottos and enemies that just aren’t fun to fight. But after finishing a campaign and failing to save the kingdom, what I’m left with is an appreciation for the terrifying enemies, the intricacies of arranging marriages and the strategy that goes into deciding whether I should force one of my fighters into the Sagewright Guild to aid in research instead of leaving him on the roster in case I need his battle expertise in a few years. READ MORE

Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

Dungeon-crawlers have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years, led by the PC indie game scene and the Etrian Odyssey series. As a result, more and more niche titles have been getting a chance here, particularly on systems like the Vita. Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy is the newest entry in the genre from Experience Inc. (the studio behind Demon Gaze), but it’s not necessarily a step forward for the company. READ MORE

Graham, Andrew and Henry gather to talk about the best and worst of E3 2015! Topics include The Last Guardian, Uncharted 4, Xbox 360 backward compatibility, Rare Replay, Star Fox Zero, HoloLens and more!

You can check out the Snack Time archive for some great shows you may have missed.

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The very first Unplugged column I ever wrote for Snackbar Games featured the 2002 spaghetti-western shootout card game Bang!. In the eight years(!) since that column, Bang! has received numerous expansions as well as several spin-offs. Perhaps most relevant to the general Snackbar audience is Bang! Halo Edition, but I wanted to revisit Dodge City to talk about 2013’s streamlined Bang! The Dice Game. READ MORE

e3speculator

Who was the best at predicting Microsoft’s, Sony’s and Nintendo’s presences at E3 2015? Read on for the results of our staff lightning round competition!
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