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All posts by Wiehahn Diederichs: Columnist

  • Frostrune [PC] review: beautiful in every way

    Frostrune is a captivating point-and-click adventure developed by Norwegian developers, Grimnir Media, set in a world heavily inspired by Norse and Viking mythology. I honestly can't recall the last time I encountered a game so gorgeous it took my breath away. From the ethereal beauty of its music and hand painted artwork to the hypnotic charm of its narrative, Frostrune is an experience that will linger in my mental recesses for quite some time to come. It is the summer of 965. You take on the role of a thirteen year old girl (who remains nameless for most of the game)...

  • Meet APSARA: a cardboard drone for humanitarian emergencies

    In recent years, drones have slowly cemented themselves as an integral part of our future, providing us with a whole new dimension of possibilities. One of the latest additions to the drone family is the APSARA drone, a drone designed to potentially deliver supplies such as medicine in humanitarian crises. The APSARA drone, formally known as the "Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions" drone, is the creation of San Francisco-based robotics company, Otherlab. The project started as a challenge to Otherlab by DARPA, who also helped fund the project under its ICARUS programme, to design a single-use drone that will carry...

  • Urban Empire (PC) review: be the master and destroyer of worlds

    Urban Empire combines various elements of the citybuilder and political sim genres to create something the Finnish developer Reborn Games calls a “City Ruler”. This is a fascinating approach but one that produces a very complex and demanding gameplay experience as you are essentially playing two games at once. This also adds a healthy dose of unpredictability, something I’ve always appreciated in games. One moment your city will be flourishing and the next you will struggle to get it out of debt while simultaneously battling to win the election. Urban Empire can be a frustrating and unforgiving title, but for...

  • Beautifully bizarre platformer Anew: The Distant Light launches on Kickstarter

    It’s 4:01 pm and I’m about to hit the off switch on my work day when I receive an email. It’s from a man named Jeff Spoonhower, one half of two-man indie studio Resonator Games. “I thought you and your readers at Gearburn would be interested in knowing that our open-world action-exploration game, Anew: The Distant Light, will be coming to Kickstarter…” reads the opening line. At first I’m sceptical and I give an annoyed sigh. I’ve encountered too many emails like this from first time indie devs trying make it big in the ruthless world of gaming, their titles not...

  • Here’s what we know about Mass Effect Andromeda

    The saga continues… On March 21 we will bear witness to the release of the highly anticipated Mass Effect: Andromeda, a day the civilised world as we know it has been waiting for since the Stargazer uttered the prophetic words: "one more story…" Over the last couple of months, Bioware, the developers of the title, have been dropping various hints and clues about the nature and scale of Andromeda. This article sums up the most important information our esteemed detectives have gathered and will hopefully somewhat quench our uncontrollable thirst to once again enter the universe of Mass Effect. Let our...

  • 7+ games for the geeky Valentine’s Day couple

    February… the month of love, passion and most importantly, Valentine's Day. For some this is a time to embrace and celebrate the connection between them and their significant other. For others it’s a tender reminder of their perpetual singledom and utter loneliness. If you happen to fall in the latter group then this is probably not the healthiest bit of reading material… but hey! Why not read it anyway and see what you’re missing out on? If you do have a partner in crime though, then this list of games can, and probably will, provide you with the best Valentine's Day...

  • Beholder [PC] review: Orwellian errand man

    Beholder is an indie adventure title developed by Russian-based studio Warm Lamp Games. According to the developers, the game is inspired by “the oppressive laws introduced by the Russian Government”. It takes place in a fictional Totalitarian state run by the cold and calculating “Ministry”. You play as Carl Stein, a newly state-appointed landlord of an apartment building who has been ordered to keep an eye on the tenants and report any suspicious activity that goes against the Ministry’s wishes. To do so you will be profiling your tenants, secretly installing cameras in their apartments and, in certain cases, will have...

  • Shadow Warrior 2 [PC] review: a shallow, mind-numbing spectacle

    Shadow Warrior 2 is a chaotic, violent first-person shooter that aims to revive the 1997 original with some modern flair. Its predecessor (2013) did a pretty good job as a present-day reboot, bringing back its fast-paced pandemonium in a time where shooters have become much more refined and realistic. This time around though, things feel a bit tired and rushed and one can only wonder where the passion has gone. Admittedly, it still provides us with a healthy dose of constant brain-numbing action, which might be enough reason for some to pick it up. But before you do, let’s take a...

  • 8 essential gadgets for ghost hunting this Halloween

    In celebrations of All Hallows’ Eve (that’s Halloween if you didn’t’ know) we have decided to take a look at some of the cutting-edge tech being used in the ethereal realm of “paranormal investigations”, better known as “ghost hunting”. We might still be a long way from the “proton packs” and “ecto goggles” of Ghostbusters fame but that doesn’t mean the way present day equipment is being used in ghost hunting is any less intriguing. Also, I will have to admit that my knowledge of these paranormal affairs are a bit lacking so if you know if any other crazy gadgets...

  • Better Late Than Never: we review Stardew Valley, Inside & Stellaris

    It’s Better Late Than Never time again, the review series that takes a look at the gaming titles we have unforgivably overlooked in recent months. In this instalment we will be looking at three very distinct and vastly different titles: the light-hearted and addictive Stardew Valley, the beautifully sinister Inside and Stellaris, an immersive and remarkably thorough space adventure. Stellaris Stellaris is a 4X grand strategy game that takes place in the year 2200, developed by Paradox Developent Studios, who are well known for their work in the grand strategy sphere. This is their first title that takes place in a futuristic ...