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The New Razer Edge Tablet: A Real Game Changer

The Razer’s Edge tablet blew away both consumers and journalists at this year’s CES, and we got a little time with it in all its varying form factors, leaving impressed by its ability to handle even higher-end PC games with relative ease. 

The Razer Edge, if you haven’t heard about it, is the only tablet out there running a full build of Windows 8 on an Intel processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GPU. That’s right, this bad boy is basically a desktop PC in tablet form -- no watered down, integrated graphics here -- and it’s finally ready for the masses to behold. But how does it perform?

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week: 

GAME OF THE WEEK
HUNDREDS
iOS ($2.99 - Limited Time)

Hundreds is a perfect example of minimalist game design, and it’s a great way to kick off 2013 here on Knuckle Up. We’re loving this ultra simple game of circles, and you’ll love it too... at first. A little backstory before we dig into Hundreds: the designer of this game, SemiSecret, is the very same studio that brought us endless runner Canabalt, and at the most recent Indiecade, Hundreds was an official selection. It’s a strong pedigree, to be sure; however, does this puzzle game stack up against its competition?

The concept and goal of Hundreds is simple: touch floating circles to increase their size (and the number inside them). Get enough circles ballooned up to total 100, and you’ve beaten the level. Sounds easy, right? Each puzzle presents a scenario designed to make attaining 100 more and more difficult as the game progresses. Oh, and let’s not forget this critical piece of information: when you touch a circle, it turns red as it expands, and if you touch another object while it’s red, you’re dead.

Hundreds is a beautiful juxtaposition of simplicity in design alongside increasingly complex solutions. It’s no wonder folks are already raving about it on social media, and often, they’re playing with a friend due to the fantastic multitouch capabilities. Even though it may seem basic at first glance, Hundreds is anything but, and well deserving of our Game of the Week.

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Cloud Gaming Infographic - The Rise Of Cloud Gaming!

Cloud gaming is the future and although we're not quite there yet, very soon we will be. As cloud gaming becomes more and more prevalent, do you every wonder about when it all began? 1998? 2001? What if I told you the roots of cloud gaming could be traced all the way back to the 1950s? You wouldn't believe me right? You’d slap me in the mouth and send me on my way but it’s true! After the jump, check out this pretty impressive infographic titled “The Rise of Cloud Gaming" courtesy of Big Fish Games.

Read it closely, there are lots of interesting little nuggets. For example, I never knew that Local Area Networks (LAN) were developed in 1973. That seems ancient. After you check it out, let me know your thoughts on cloud gaming in the comments. You can also view an interactive version of the infographic here.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it.

This week, we’re talking about our most anticipated games for 2013. Check out what we’re looking forward to in mobile gaming next year:

INFINITY BLADE: DUNGEONS
iOS (TBA)

The biggest iOS franchise ever will be returning next year with something a little bit different. Infinity Blade: Dungeons looks to bring a top-down, Diablo-esque feel to the IB universe. It’s also a pretty awesome plot that’s a prequel to the first and second Infinity Blade: you’re the apprentice to the Master of the Forge, and you must battle your way through the game in order to craft the Infinity Blade. If that isn’t awesome, we don’t know what is.

The first time we saw a glimpse of Dungeons was at the iPad event back in March of 2012; however, there were a few shifts in development (including a transition from Epic’s North Carolina studio to Impossible Games), so Dungeons got pushed back to 2013. Sure, we wish we were already playing it now, but the trailer holds so much promise -- not to mention Impossible Games has been adding their genius and baking even more awesome in -- we’re willing to wait a little bit longer for what looks to be one of the biggest iOS titles of the year.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it.

This week, we're talking about our five favorite games this year! Here's who made our "Best of 2012" list: 

GAME OF THE YEAR

THE WALKING DEAD
iOS (Episode 1 FREE - Limited Time)

Telltale Games has picked up a huge barrel of accolades for The Walking Dead, and we're adding one more to the bunch by naming it our 2012 Mobile Game of the Year. Participating in the gory, zombie-infested journey of Lee and his unplanned ward Clementine was both horrifying and heartbreaking. We can't count how many times we felt helpless as we made impossible choices affecting our entire party's feelings toward us, or how many times we weren't quite sure what to say to someone to quell their inner demons.

Attempting to shield Clementine from the perils of both zombie and human, and the gut wrenching sequences we experienced as each chapter played out was a perfect example of how mobile games don't need to mean simple, or childish; indeed, The Walking Dead served as a model for dramatic storytelling, beyond the platform. We could have watched this short story play out on our screens between seasons of the TV show (not unlike Battlestar Galactica's Razor), and it would have easily served as a parallel-timeline-slash-prequel.

There's no point in spoiling the story for you if you haven't played The Walking Dead, but there's no doubt in our minds it was the best of the best in both environment, character development, plot, and plain tugging at the ol' heartstrings. A well deserved accolade for Telltale Games, along with a hope that they'll continue to produce this type of polished, high-level content.

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With the action movie, Jack Reacher, in theaters on Dec. 21st, we take the time to look back at our favorite action games.

There are shooters and there are action games. Shooters feature action, but action games don't always involve shooting. Over the past five years -- what most of us would consider the meat of the current console hardware generation -- we've seen a diverse assortment of action titles from any number of talented developers. Soon enough, possibly even as soon as 2013, the gaming world will be starry-eyed for the next generation's slate of hardware. 

Before you start celebrating what's to come, why not take a look back now on the best action games of this generation. From the must-play sleepers to the AAA marquee blockbusters, these are all backlog titles that you should make a point of finding some time for before they're all outclassed by the video game industry's shiny, new toys.

New Batman: Arkham City Screenshot And Artwork

Batman: Arkham City

Rocksteady Studios took everything that worked about Batman: Arkham Asylum and dumped it into the content-filled open world of Arkham City. The improvements are legion. Exploration gets a renewed focus thanks to a wider offering of Riddler puzzles and a hefty helping of secondary story arcs, each of which amounts to a multi-mission challenge. The combat continues to be just as tight as it was before, with the added bonus of respawning bad guys and an open world that supports any number of approaches to a given challenge.

Wrapped around all of it is a Batman story that knows exactly who its audience is. This is a comic book game for comic book fans. The characters are elevated by top-notch performances by the likes of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Troy Baker. The main narrative thread carries actual consequences within the fictional world, a daring-yet-successful move. This is a game that can be enjoyed by a Batman fan of any stripe, and it continues to stand as one of the most entertaining action experiences of this generation.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS
iOS ($4.99)

We love the fact that adventure games are making a big comeback via mobile, and Hollywood Monsters (a.k.a. The Next Big Thing on PC) is yet another stellar iOS entry from Bulkypix and Pendulo Studios. Set in a world where monsters not only exist, but are huge movie stars in blockbuster horror flicks, Hollywood Monsters is the tale of ditzy rookie reporter Liz Allaire and curmudgeonly-yet-handsome Dan Murray. Like any good adventure game, our heroes get caught up in a plot bigger than they are, that threatens the livelihoods of the moviestars they’ve been sent to interview.

You’ll alternate between controlling Liz and Dan as they get to the bottom of the mystery unfolding around them. As with any Pendulo Studios point-and-click adventure, the puzzles are varied, fun, and offer unique perspectives and challenges. We especially enjoyed one sequence involving what goes on inside Liz’s mind... we won’t spoil it for you, but we will say that the game gets weird in all the right ways. It’s very reminiscent of the golden days of point-and-click, which will make a lot of you happy.

The game is huge, both environmentally and size-wise; indeed, you’ll need 4GB of open storage just to install Hollywood Monsters. Fortunately, the game itself is packed with gorgeous visuals, hilarious dialogue, and fantastic voiceovers for each character no matter how small their role. There’s no doubt in our minds Hollywood Monsters is one of the best point-and-click adventures released on iOS this year, so if you’re even a little bit curious, make the space and get to  installing it (and you will need space).

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

THE WALKING DEAD: ASSAULT

iOS ($1.99)

What's this? Another licensed Walking Dead game for iOS? Yup, but this time, it's not an alternate timeline with choices to be made. The Walking Dead: Assault is all about the main characters in the comic book and shooting/hacking down walkers. This isn't a touching, moving story about survival and humanity; on the contrary, you'll spend levels in Assault collecting supplies, keeping yourself alive, and rescuing other survivors.

This game's story more closely follows the comic books (there are some minor continuity errors with team members able to go back to areas before Rick recruits them). You'll control a party of up to 4 in each area and will be tasked with things like killing all walkers and rescuing new party members. Each member has a special ability, so there's some strategy in choosing who goes/stays in later missions. It sounds crazy, but Assault makes you feel like you're playing a top-down, living version of the comics. Bonus: Shane's "Freakout" special actually helps in this game, as opposed to just causing drama between Rick and the group.

Walking Dead: Assault is a fantastic little pick-up-and-play game from Skybound. They're the same company that publishes the comics, so it's no surprise they flat out nail the gritty, dark tone of the books. While the IAP gets a bit more insistent in later levels, it's nothing a seasoned mobile gamer can resist. For a couple bucks, it's a great investment if you love The Walking Dead.

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Bioshock Infinite Preview - Hands-On With One Of Next Year's Big Hits

Well, we have good news and bad news regarding BioShock Infinite. The bad news is that it’s been delayed again. According to Irrational Games’ Ken Levine, when they brought Rod Fergusson from Epic Games over to serve as executive vice-president of development, and to help finish this title, one of the first things he told them was that the game needed another month for polish and refinements. We’re okay with that... as long as it doesn’t signal a series of small delays.

So, that’s the bad news. What’s the good news? It’s worth the wait, and then some. While we don’t want to see this title pushed back any further, all of the hype behind it since the announcement and subsequent peeks at development have all been spot on. We were worried, as we are with most games, that the product wouldn’t live up to the expectations put out there from early looks and studio-controlled videos. But BioShock Infinite is on course to become the must-have video game for 2013.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

WALKING DEAD: THE GAME

iOS ($4.99 for Episode 1; Episodes 2-5 via IAP)

The Walking Dead is one of the best shows on TV right now, and Telltale Games brings the horror, the personal relationships, and the consequences that come with both themes in Walking Dead: The Game. It's been out for a while now, but we've held off on including it here so that we could play through the entire five episode story arc -- and what a story it is. Protagonist Lee's journey takes us through a parallel timeline to the show's, offering a glimpse at a new band of survivors dealing with the walker infection.

You'll meet up with some familiar faces throughout your journey, but the greatest part of Walking Dead: The Game is that it focuses on the same thing the graphic novel and TV show does: how the hero's choices affect everything and everyone around him. You'll often have to decide who lives and dies, who eats, and who learns (or doesn't learn) your past, and those choices will change how folks in your group feel about you or someone else.

The writing is spectacular, presenting us with dynamic characters who simply feel real. There aren't any pure heroes or villains in Walking Dead: The Game, and by the end of all five episodes, you'll feel closure. You'll also feel emotionally exhausted, as you become truly invested in the survival of the little girl Lee promises to protect soon after the game's start, and yourself. If you love the comic, if you love the show -- hell, even if you just love zombies and contextual gameplay -- do not miss Walking Dead: The Game. It's a masterpiece. 

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LA Game Space Aims to Explore the True Potential of Games

Adam Robezolli doesn't see video games the same way that most people do. To him, instead of an escape or simple entertainment, games are a medium with infinite potential. And now he's trying to build a space in Los Angeles to celebrate and explore that notion.

The LA Game Space (see their Kickstarter) will be a communal place for game developers and players to learn, create and gather. Artists and developers will collaborate on unique new experiences. Studios big and small will send their best talent to host live talks that will stream online. Months-long exhibits will present the best the industry has to offer. Benefit concerts will expose listeners young and old to the beauty and nostalgia of chiptunes. Members will play games on every system from every decade since Pong, contributing to future research projects as they rack up headshots. And that's just a fraction of what Robezzoli has planned.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

DREAM OF PIXELS

iOS ($2.99)

We’re all familiar wtih Tetris, the classic shapes-falling puzzle game that captured gamers’ hearts (and left them with the soundtrack incessantly playing in their heads). Strategically placing tetrominos are back in a big way with Dream of Pixels, an interesting puzzle game inspired by the old classic. This time around, though, you’ll be playing what amounts to “backwards Tetris,” in a way.

A cloud cover descends on your iOS device’s screen, and you’ll be presented with a tetromino to place at the cloud’s edge. Dropping a piece clears that bit of cloud, so instead of making lines, you’ll be clearing them -- and the descent speeds up every 10 lines cleared. There’s more than just one way to play, too: in addition to Classic, other modes include Pro, Nightmare, Shattered Dreams, and Puzzle.

Dream of Pixels is a brilliant twist on classic Tetris, offering an interesting and somewhat relaxing jaunt through the world of tetrominos and stunning visuals, all set to a mellow soundtrack that will keep you calm as you reach higher levels.

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The 8-bit era is long gone, but its playful, blocky aesthetic is here to stay. It's an attractive art style that culls the best its of nostalgia and familiarity to create slick, intriguing interfaces. And who doesn't love breezing through a colorful, simplified world that resembles something from their childhood?

Designing from the ground-up to create a game that resembles some of the best pieces of the heyday of gaming is an undertaking in itself, so it's no surprise so many titles, indie or otherwise, are adopting this approach. The result? Spirited endeavors that aren't just fun, but kickass. We've compiled five of our favorite modern pixelated fantasies for maximum enjoyment. Instead of falling into a turkey-induced coma after you gorge yourself this Thanksgiving, why not load up on these goodies instead?

Five 8-Bit Games You Need To Play Right Now

1. Hotline Miami

A disturbing mess of gore, shotgun blasts, and the seedy underbelly of the night as far as assassins go, Hotline Miami may be one of the coolest experiences you'll ever have in an 8-bit playground. The top-down shooter relies on shockingly violent action with one-hit, one-kill blasts. It's the thinker's massacre. Low-res DeLoreans, menacing animal masks that grant the wearer powers, and chill techno really complete the package. The fact that pixelated red brains and tons of liters of blood stain each crime scene only adds to this truly bizarre and brutal puzzler. Sure, it could have been created with a more modern look, but it wouldn't have been the same. Somehow, the realism would have made it easier to desensitize the player. In this case, the low-quality graphics enhance the experience. And we happen to think it's pretty rad.

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Nerdsourcing finds you the best crowd sourcing projects from Kickstater, Indiegogo, and other such sites, and brings them straight to your wallet. Give, help spread the word, or just find out what’s going to be the hot new thing in the future; nerdsourcing is there to help support the dreamers out there looking to make the impossible a reality or those looking for the next big thing an edge on the competition. Time is limited to fund these projects so don’t wait to long.

LA Game Space

Imagine a space where developers work together, share information, show off their newest projects, and you can be a part of it. Now stop imagining and start giving because LA Game Space won’t make it if you don’t open your hearts and your wallets.

This new endeavor aims to develop a space where indie developers can work with others and learn from some of the top minds in the business. The Kickstarter offers up 30 games from developers behind Hotline Miami, Unfinished Swan, and the BIT. Trip series for only a fifteen-dollar donation, but that’s only the tip of the reward iceberg. Additional funding will nab you original art; a pixel portrait from the likes of Paul Robertson, Adam Saltsman, and others; and generous donors can even find themselves in a game. Of course, this isn’t just about gifts and trinkets.

LA Game Space looks to build a hub of information that can be accessed by other developers outside the walls of their space. You don’t have to be in LA to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to collaborate with others or to listen to lectures from other developers that will be posted on YouTube free of charge. Don’t pass up this opportunity to get some great games but to also help those who make the great games you love.

Reward: For $15 dollars, you’ll get 30 games from some of your favorite indie developers, artists, and designers.

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Black Ops 2

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is here. Unless you live beneath a rock sitting in the corner of a ruined basement in rural Arkansas, you are probably already aware of this fact. What you might not know is that Treyarch implemented some of the biggest changes that the series has seen since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to every facet of the game. Campaign features an odd sort of branching story, Zombies is set in a newly open world, and multiplayer introduces the new Pick 10 create-a-class framework.

It's the last of those that we're going to zero in on today. The class creation feature that fans have grown to love since the first Modern Warfare is a shadow of its former self, replaced by the arguably more robust and customization-friendly Pick 10. It's fun to play with once you get the hang of how it all works, but there's no clear tutorial within the game that explains it.

This is your tutorial. Read on for a rundown of Pick 10 and how to best take advantage of it!

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