In this weeks very hot bulletin, we dicsuss Spirit Island, a recipe from Zelda in a historical novel, Troy: A Total War Saga, racism in Red Dead Redemption 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Spelunky 2 and HUMANKIND!

Spirit Island digital edition

Cooperative board game Spirit Island is now also available on PC. The game, being one of the best boardgames of the past few years, focusses on natural spirits defending their islands from aggressive militaristic invaders. The digital version was announced, but only released this week. However, according to PC Gamer’s Jonathan Bolding, the wait has been worthwhile! You can buy the game on Steam for €21!

Video: Handelabra Games

How a Zelda recipe ended up in a historical novel

Yes, you read that right: John Boyne (known from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) accidentaly included a recipe from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in his new book A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom. The recipe seems really out of place in a historical book about dressmaking. However, it seems that Boyne just googled some details on dyeing fabric red, and accidentally found the Zelda recipe! Luckily, he was a good sport about it. Read the whole (quite hilarious) story on Kotaku.

Troy: A Total War Saga

This is a kind reminder that Troy: A Total War Saga will launch next week! The game will focus on the general Total War battles, but also have a narrative element, viewing the Trojan conflict from both sides. The Epic Games exclusive (for a year) will be available from the 13th of August. Important: it will be free to keep forever for everyone who downloads the game on that day. Watch the trailer below to get in the mood!

Video: Total War

Jim Crow Racism and Red Dead Redemption 2: it doesn’t add up

Many games avoid portraying certain prejudices, atrocities or general bad things about historical periods. For example: video games about WW2 often do not touch upon Nazi atrocities. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes another route. However, according to Kotaku’s Isaac Monterose, the game doesn’t really know what it wants to do: sometimes it depicts structural and institutional racism in the historical time period (the well known Jim Crow Racial Laws), whilst in other instances leaving it completely out. Monterose makes some excellent points in the confusing portrayal of Rockstar (especially on black characters explicating racism, whilst white characters don’t), but does seem to skip over player agency too much. Protagonist Arthur Morgan is the view players get into Rockstars version of the time. A ‘real’ Morgan wouldn’t need explication on the Jim Crow Laws and why they were so dangerous for black people, but modern day players this contextualization is often necessary. Aside from this point of critique, it still makes for a very interesting read with some very good points. Check it out on Kotaku.

Image: Rockstar Games / Kotaku

Ghost of Tsushima: creative license over historical accuracy

You thought we were done with Ghost of Tsushima? Think again! But this time just a small mention of an article on about some of the creative licenses the game takes. It has been mentioned before that the game does sometimes represent certain elements of Japanese culture in a wrong timeframe. The article by Ian Chee points out some of these inaccuracies, but also concludes with the following statement: ”[…] because as mentioned multiple times now, a good game deserves some creative license. Ghost is an amazing game, and sometimes you have to respect the creative licenses devs make in their games.

Spelunky 2 launch date

Spelunky 2 a platformer game about spelunking (who would have thought!) is set to launch on PlayStation on September 15th. In a new trailer, developer Derek Yu dropped this date, along with talking about new features the game will have. New locations, new interactions with the world and a multiplayer mode! The game will also come to PC in the future! Check out the trailer below.

Video: PlayStation

Stratigraph round-up

This week, we posted a Stratigraph on Amplitudes ‘civ-killer’ HUMANKIND. Doc Random is one of the lucky few to have been invited to take part in the open dev first scenario. His takes on the first playthrough: combat seems different, but exploring doesn’t seem that different from Civlization or Old World (and isn’t that satisfying). The UI however is amazing! Check out Doc Random’s video below. Also watch our stream from Thursday August 6th, because we played through the second scenario (which was about combat)!