The Charles Paris Mysteries

I don’t usually stray from writing about gaming or warhammer but recently my wife and I have been listening to the excellent Charles Paris audio books from the BBC. They are based on a series of books (I admittedly haven’t read) by Simon Brett and adapted for radio by Jeremy Front. The stories follow a struggling late middle-aged actor who somehow ends up being in the middle of a murder investigation in pretty much every show he is in.

The stories follow a pretty consistent formula; in episode 1, Charles will get a part in a show, then he gets to know the cast and the politics of the situation and then a murder generally occurs. The following 3 episodes (there are almost always 4 in a series) is Charles investigating the murder in his own partiuclar style and potenitally stumbling across a couple more murders along the way. The body count across all of the Charles Paris Mysteries isn’t too far off an average for an episode of Midsomer Murders!

What makes the audio books so good though is the production and the cast. The production is spot on, with particularly good music choices to intersect each scene. The cast has the excellent Bill Night and his dulcet tones as Charles; his performance is the standout and really makes the programme. The supporting cast are also excellent, with his long-suffering wife Frances played by Suzanne Burden and his infuriating agent by Jon Glover.

I can highly recommend all of the Charles Paris Mysteries on audio but if you want to find one to start my top 3 are (all links are to Amazon.co.uk):

  1. Corporate Bodies

  2. A Reconstructed Corpse

  3. A Decent Interval

Top 5 Steam Early Access Games this Week

1. Northgard by Shiro Games

Northgard is a strategy game based on Norse mythology in which you control a clan of Vikings vying for the control of a mysterious newfound continent.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

2. Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf by Herocraft

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a card-driven turn-based tactical game which features RPG elements, containing a single player campaign, survival and PvP modes. Win these battles using the arsenal of weapons, abilities and cunning of the sky warriors.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

3. Golf It! by Perfuse Entertainment

Golf It! is a multiplayer Minigolf game with focus on a dynamic, fun and creative multiplayer experience. One of the most exciting features is a Multiplayer Editor, where you can build and play custom maps together with your friends.

Steam Link

 

4. Tresspass – Episode 2 by VROTEIN Inc

Trespass – Episode 2 is a game that will test your wits through puzzle solving elements and action packed scenarios. Assist Samuel Rodriguez through different environments by searching for clues and interacting with surrounding objects in order to escape.

Steam Link

 

5. Dad Quest by Sundae Month

Embark on a grand Dadventure! Bond with your Child to form an unstoppable team and become the world’s coolest (or Greatest) Dad. Undertake the most epic of trials a Dad and their Child can undertake… The Dad Quest.

Steam Link

Game Website

Top 5 Kickstarter Games this Week

1. Narita Boy by Studio Koba

Explore and fight in a retro futuristic world. Swim deep into an oneiric, poetic and unique experience across dimensional planes

Funding Goal – €120,000 by Sunday 26th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

2. Shardbound by Spiritwalk Games

A Tactical Collectible Card Game that gives streamers and their viewers exciting new ways to interact and play together on Twitch!

Funding Goal – $50,000 by Saturday 18th March (already achieved!)

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

3. Aaero by Mad Fellows

Aaero is a rhythm-rail-shooter. The console versions are finished, now we need some help to get it on Steam too!

Funding Goal – £2,000 by Thursday 16th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

4. Tiny Idle Action Heroes by Starcat Games

Tiny Idle Action heroes, Customize your hero through loot, then unleash them on your enemies!

Funding Goal – $3,000 by Monday 20th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

5. Cave of Sorrows

An Old School Rpg: The Ultimate Rpg Experience

Funding Goal – $2,500 by Tuesday 21st March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

The best Warhammer Old World Novels & Series

With the success of Total War: Warhammer, there has been a renewed interest in the Old World that the game is set in. Ironically the Old World no longer ‘exists’, it having been destroyed in the end times and rebooted as Age of Sigmar. It is now euphemistically called ‘the world that was’. Before the end of the Old Old World (that makes perfect sense…), there were quite a few good novels and series depicting it; some of which you can still buy. Some of my favourites are:

Gotrek and Felix (originally by William King)

The longest and best of series set in the Old World. I’m a particular connoisseur of the first set of novels written by the excellent William King.

The stories tell the tales of the Trollslayer Gotrek and his human companion Felix, who has sworn to record Gotrek’s deeds when/if he falls in battle. What follows is a series of increasingly incredible scenarios that manage to show off some of the best elements of the old world. We see everything from chaos cultists to Skaven and daemons to dragons. They are rip-roaring fun, easy to read and a great introduction to the setting.

I believe they are still all available on the Black Library as eBooks.

Zavant by Gordon Rennie

A left field one this and you can only find it on places like Amazon and eBay second-hand. It tells the tale of the great sage Zavant and his Halfling manservant Vido. The best way to describe it would simply be Sherlock in the Old World! The book is a series of short stories told as cases; my particular favourite being the one involving feuding vampires.

For something beyond the blood and mayhem of the old world, and instead something with a bit of urban adventure and mystery, Zavant is well worth a read.

Hammers of Ulric by Dan Abnett, Nik Vincent and James Wallis

This is the first ever Warhammer book I read (and the frist Dan Abnett one) and as such, it has a very special place in my heart. It isn’t the best novel I’ve ever read but it is still a damn good read. The book tells the story of the White Wolves of Middenheim and how they stop an evil threat to the city. It’s a great standalone adventure and another great urban tale in the Old World.

Available as an eBook on the Black Library website.

The Legend of Sigmar by Graham McNeill

The Sigmar Trilogy by Graham McNeill is possibly the best series of Warhammer novels that has ever been written. Each of the books is well-paced, easy to read and they tell possibly the most important story in the Old World without disappointing.

The series shows the rise of Sigmar from the son of the Unberogen King to becoming the Emperor. All the expected events are there; the tale of saving the Drawf King, the battle of Black Fire Pass and the war against Nagash…amongst so much more. All the main characters were well written and believable, particularly Sigmar’s closest companions such as Wulfgar.

Possibly the best compliment I can give the series is that they are a great read even if you aren’t interested in or know nothing about Warhammer. In their own right they are simply a great collection of fantasy literature.

You can buy the trilogy as an eBook on the Black Library Website.

The Rise of Nagash by Mike Lee

My final pick is this excellent trilogy from Mike Lee. The tone of this series is significantly different and darker to the others on this list. This is mainly due to it following the utterly evil Nagash, of whom you can’t really feel any empathy for. This doesn’t detract from the books but it can make it difficult to read at times. The style is also vastly different to almost any other novel/series set in the Old World; it is almost more akin to a story set in ancient Egypt.

As with the Sigmar Trilogy this is an excellent trilogy in it’s own right, without being tied to the Old World. If you want something a bit different from a Warhammer novel and/or have a thing for Nagash and the undead, this is an excellent trilogy of books.

Available on the Black Library website as an eBook.

Top Steam Early Access Games this Week

1. Dropzone by Gameforge

Created by a team of veteran strategy game developers, Dropzone combines core RTS elements of strategy, map awareness and attention management with key MOBA mechanics like tactical positioning, unique abilities and in-game leveling.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

2. Grappledrome by 800 North

Mankind’s digital paradise has become a cyber-Hell! Armed with your grappling-hook arm, engage in arena-style combat in service to the Overlord – your A.I. God-King. This innovative multiplayer game built around a grappling/swinging movement mechanic will test your twitch-shooter skills like never before!

Steam Link

Game Website

 

3. Formata by Nezon Production

Lead. Fight. Win. Gain resources, build your own army to lead it into a battle! Create your own strategy, survive in difficult conditions and then break through enemy’s close formation to ruin their castles and reach the sole leadership on the map.

Steam Link

 

4. Sky Sanctuary by Glitchr Studio

Take a stroll in a peaceful VR sanctuary high in the clouds. Empty your mind, focus and unleash your combat skills. With your robot companion, explore the archipelago to reveal its secrets and become a true samurai.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

5. Sumer by Studio Wumpus

A new type of digital board game where strategic planning and swift platforming meet. As nobles vying for power in a mysterious ancient civilization, players harvest resources and bid in real-time auctions in a contest to worship the almighty goddess Inanna!

Steam Link

Game Website

Top 5 Kickstarter Games this Week

1. Prisma & the Masquerade by Shiny Bolt Games

Prisma & the Masquerade Menace is a challenging, side-scrolling puzzle platformer set in a colorful multi-dimensional world.

Funding Goal – $20,000 by Thursday 16th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

2. Anew: The Distant Light by Resonator

An open-world action game for fans of single-player adventures. Battle, puzzle, and explore an exotic alien landscape.

Funding Goal – $30,000 by Monday 20th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

3. Caveman Warriors by JanduSoft

Beautiful 2D world! Play solo or team up with up to 4 players! Play with the characters special abilities to advance in the game.

Funding Goal – $10,000 by Friday 17th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

4. SmuggleCraft by Happy Badger Studio

Customize your hovercraft and smuggle your way to freedom. Your deliveries could decide the fate of the world. For PS4/PC/Mac/Linux

Funding Goal – $15,000 by Saturday 18th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

5. Winds of Change by Kyle Lambert

Join the rebellion, fight for freedom and shape the world with your choices. An adventure game with TellTale-like exploration elements.

Funding Goal – $7,500 (Canadian) by Thursday 16th March

Kickstarter Link

Top Steam Early Access Game this Week

1. Tyler: Model 005 by Reversed Interactive

Tyler: Model-005 is a 3D action-platformer and exploration game set in the 1950s where you control a spunky miniature robot named Tyler. Many years after being shut down, Tyler is accidentally powered up during the height of a thunderstorm.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

2. The Wild Eight by Eight Points

The Wild Eight is an unforgiving survival game set in Alaska full of mystery and danger. Explore, hunt and craft shoulder-to-shoulder with friends or random players online. Unless you are brave enough to survive this nightmare on your own?

Steam Link

Game Website

 

3. We Need to go Deeper by Deli Interactive

We Need to Go Deeper is a 2-4-player cooperative submarine rogue-like set in a Verne-inspired undersea universe. In the game, you and your crew must embark on many voyages into a mysterious undersea trench known as The Living Infinite.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

Top Steam Greenlight Games this Week

 

1. Anthology by Lewis Denby

Anthology is a collection of short adventure games by Lewis Denby, the co-creator of Owl Cave’s critically acclaimed Richard & Alice and the producer of Sepulchre (The Charnel House Trilogy). Set in a faraway city on a single afternoon, a series of point-and-click vignettes unravels the story of this strangely familiar world, its sprawling capital, and the lives of those who dwell within it.

Greenlight Link

 

2. World of Castles by Hammer Games

World of Castles is an online action-strategy game set in the medieval times, which features unique combination of constructing your own castle from a large number of blocks, besieging castles of other players, commanding your marshals who collectively lead armies of up to thousand men, and participate in battles as one of the marshals in 1st person view.

Greenlight Link

Top Kickstarter Games this Week

1. RUIN by Tarhead Studio

RUiN is a Top-Down Arcade Style Arena Brawler where you select your own set of abilities and battle it out on deadly arenas.

Funding Goal – 100,000 (SEK) by Thursday 9th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

2. Mutant Football League by Digital Dreams Entertainment

The wildest, goriest, most outrageous football game ever!

Funding Goal – $60,000 by Tuesday 7th March (already achieved!)

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

3. Die for Valhalla! by Monster Couch

You are a Valkyrie, a ghostly witch, sent by the gods to help Vikings save their world.

Funding Goal – $5,600 by Thursday 9th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

 

4. No Mercy: For Lorne Hope by Multivarious Games

Fight for a forest under siege in this brawler for PC+Mac+Linux. Hope lies with your team—at a grave cost. What will you sacrifice?

Funding Goal – $30,000 by Thursday 16th March

Kickstarter Link

Game Website

Top Steam Early Access Games this Week

1. Vidar by Razbury Games

In the middle of a blizzard, a community’s remaining citizens are forced to confront their impending deaths. Every night, a villager is killed, and the survivors are forced to alter their course in response. Chart a path through always-changing, challenging environmental puzzles, and explore the stories and grief of these townsfolk before Vidar is lost forever.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

2. Tavern Tycoon by Terapoly

Your job is to run the tavern – Dragon’s Hangover. Some will seek drinks and food while some might seek the warmth of a bed. Manage your tavern and be the host that all adventurers admire. Your journey, as the tavern’s keep, begins now.

Steam Link

Game Website

 

3. Obcidian Legacy by Black Tower Studios

DMM presents its first game to appear on Steam! “Obcidian Legacy” is an exhilarating hack-and-slash action RPG in which you kill throngs of rampaging monsters one after the other. Embark on an adventure to unravel the secrets of a polluted world. Become a “Guardian”, an elite protector of the last remnants of humanity. Level up and become stronger while equipping gear, gems, and skills that enhance your ability to destroy monsters.

Steam Link

 

4. Warcube by Haven Made

Become the WARCUBE. Crush your enemies, siege castles, and bring glory to your six-sided self! These cubes were made for battle, not building.

Steam Link

Game Website