Spot Gen3 outdoor beacon adds more robust tracking options, improved battery life

Spot Gen3 outdoor beacon adds more robust tracking options, improved battery lifeIt looks nearly the same as it did in 2007, but Spot's outdoor beacon has evolved quite nicely on the inside. Now in its third incarnation, the Spot Gen3 is designed to help wandering argonauts keep their loved ones informed of their location for an even longer period of time. Engineered to be worn by those intentionally heading off of the conventional grid, the Spot Gen3 adds unlimited tracking (enabling wearers to pre-set the device to send tracks every 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes), motion activated tracking and longer battery life. According to the company, this guy will last nearly twice as long as prior versions, and you can also power it via battery or USB. The downside, of course, is that you'll need to pay $149.95 for the unit itself, along with a required annual subscription plan that starts at $149.99 per year. No one ever said adventuring was a poor man's sport, eh?

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iON reveals Adventure and Air Pro 2 sports cameras, we go hands on

iON reveals Adventure and Air Pro 2 sports cameras, we go hands on

You may remember iON stepping out onto the action camera market back in spring, when we went hands on with the OG Air Pro. Fast forward to CES, and it's back with a brace of new cameras to capture your every move. First up is the iON Adventure, a 1080p GPS-enabled helmet cam with a twist, almost literally. The device has the same tubular format as the original, but the lens is actually on one of the longer sides, rather than at the end of the barrel, making it more suitable for chest mounting. The Adventure also has two memory card slots, meaning you can pack in a whole lot more footage, battery willing. For those extended shoots, a new loop recording mode allows continuous, non-stop recording between the two cards -- no more swapping out your micro-SD on the move. Other features include a vibrate-to-record function (it starts and stops recording when it detects movement) and a partnership with map / video sharing service Kinomap. The device has a sleek, gloss back finish, weighs just 4.2 ounces, and has a large, easily accessible record button on one end. While we only spent a short time with the camera, the quality of the build felt good, and the demo footage looked impressive. The Adventure will be available starting in March for $349.

The second new family member is the Air Pro 2. As you might have guessed, this is the second iteration of the original we saw back in March. Much of the external design remains the same, with the distinct octagonal accents at either end of the barrel. The main difference being the image sensor upgrade, which can now shoot at 14 megapixels, with 60fps for video and a 180-degree mode for those extra wide shots. Last time we liked the Air Pro, but we'll be especially keen to see how the follow up performs. With more and more cameras launching into the market, differentiating can be difficult, something apparently not lost on iON, who has clearly tried hard to introduce new and distinct features. The Air Pro 2 also becomes available in March, with two versions -- one with WiFi, one without. The wireless enabled one will cost you $299, or $249 if you don't need the extra functionality.

Sean Cooper contributed to this report

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Quest for Glory creators join with Brawsome to launch Kickstarter for Hero-U

Quest for Glory creators join with Brawsome to launch Kickstarter for HeroU
Corey and Lori Cole are the creators of Quest for Glory, a highly regarded series of role-playing adventure games that first arrived in 1989 and then continued as a series of sequels through 1998. Now, the couple is planning another game called Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption, and they've taken to Kickstarter to try and raise $400,000 to make it.

That's a tidy sum, but this is a substantial project: Not only are the Coles developing the title, but Australian game developer Brawsome is on board as well, having recently released its own puzzle/RPG game, MacGuffin's Curse. Hero-U is set to play like a tactical, top-down RPG, but it is also supposed to include the charm, puzzles, and story that the Coles and their games are known for.

If you're interested in contributing, the team is offering most of the usual Kickstarter bonuses, from a simple digital copy of the game and soundtrack, all the way up to the chance to get a personal D&D adventure from the Coles, or to appear in or help out with Hero-U's design yourself. The team's got about $290K left to earn and 26 days to get there, but given the pedigree of the folks behind this one we'd guess their chances are better than most.

JoystiqQuest for Glory creators join with Brawsome to launch Kickstarter for Hero-U originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 24 Oct 2012 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Anna

Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We believe they deserve a wider audience with the Joystiq Indie Pitch: This week, Dreampainters talks ancient Italian legend, modern murder and the beauty of point-and-click adventure games with its new PC release, Anna.

The Joystiq Indie Pitch Anna
What's your game called and what's it about?

The game is called Anna and is a point-and-click graphic adventure about a "sort of haunted" sawmill.

What inspired you to make Anna?

The main inspiration came from a real-life old sawmill in Valle D'Aosta, an all-mountain region in Italy (to be very precise, in Val D'Ayas). It is an ancient and beautiful place, with some legends about ghosts and hauting around it. We mixed all this with a set of local legends and personal stuff. This game is actually a true homage to Val D'Ayas and its heritage.

Gallery: Anna

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JoystiqThe Joystiq Indie Pitch: Anna originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 30 Sep 2012 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Broken Sword returns (via Kickstarter) in ‘The Serpent’s Curse,’ coming in ‘early 2013′

Broken Sword returns via Kickstarter in 'The Serpent's Curse,' coming in 'early 2013'

It's been five years since the last Broken Sword franchise entry, but that doesn't mean Revolution Software forgot about its long-running adventure game series. The fifth entry - Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse - got announced this morning for PC/Mac alongside the launch of the project's Kickstarter page.

Rather than following previous tradition, The Serpent's Curse is a hardcore first-person shooter set in the world of Broken Sword, but a thousand years into the future after the apocalypse ravaged society. KIDDING! It's another adventure game like previous entries - a teaser with the beginning of the next game is just above.

If you invest $15 in the project, you'll receive a digital copy of the game "along with a host of bonus material." You can always invest more and get more stuff from Revolution, if that's your kinda thing. The folks at Revolution are allotting $400K just to develop their game, which needs to reach its goal by 30 days from now.

Continue reading Broken Sword returns (via Kickstarter) in 'The Serpent's Curse,' coming in 'early 2013'

JoystiqBroken Sword returns (via Kickstarter) in 'The Serpent's Curse,' coming in 'early 2013' originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fan-made Mass Effect adventure game surfaces

A Mass Effect fan-game by the name of Finding Shepard popped up on the Adventure Game Studio forums recently. Created by AGS forums user Nightfable, Finding Shepard is an in-progress game set in the Mass Effect universe that directly follows the events of Mass Effect 3.

Without spoiling too much of the story from the series, Finding Shepard stars Jack, who is searching for Commander Shepard after the "destroy" version of the series' ending. The point-and-click adventure style of the game lends itself to some interesting takes on the climactic points of the series' plot, and gives fans that weren't thrilled with the ending (or the Extended Cut DLC) an opportunity to experience other stories that folks like Nightfable wish to tell in BioWare's universe.

In other words, we'd totally play it. Check out screens from the project in our gallery below.

JoystiqFan-made Mass Effect adventure game surfaces originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 12 Aug 2012 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Book of Unwritten Tales available in North America right now

Book of Unwritten Tales available in North America right now

King Art's Book of Unwritten Tales adventure game is now available in North America after launching in the UK late last year. The critically acclaimed point-and-click saga has a brand new re-launch trailer above, detailing the basic tropes found in the adventure genre - for those of you crazy enough to have skipped some of the classics.

While BoUT, as it's called for short by fans, might borrow the trappings of yesteryear are decidedly in the vein of the current generation. You can grab the game for $19.99 at a digital or physical retailer near you.

JoystiqBook of Unwritten Tales available in North America right now originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 02 Aug 2012 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Atari: celebrating 40 years on the dots

Atari celebrating 40 years on the dots

Forty years. That's a long time in the tech industry and Atari knows it. Today it celebrates four decades in the game, and quite the tale it is. Highs, lows and everything in between, Atari has been there. As one of the most influential brands both in gaming and technology, it only seems right to take a look over the company's history and chart some of the more significant twists in its less than straightforward journey. After the break we speak to the man that started it all and the one currently at the helm, as well as some of the many people whose lives were irreversibly changed by its influence. Happy birthday to you, Atari!

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Atari: celebrating 40 years on the dots originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The glory of Quest For Glory

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This is a weekly column from freelancer Rowan Kaiser, which focuses on "Western" role-playing games: their stories, their histories, their mechanics, their insanity, and their inanity.
Last week, when GOG.com announced that Quest For Glory was the newest addition to its collection, I was delighted. In fact, I'm not sure that there's a game series that could have induced as much joy. I think some others, like Wizardry or a collection of old SSI games, might have been better and more important, sure. But I have more love for Quest For Glory than those other games. I'm not the only one, either: The Quest For Glory games are great games, yes, but they're also special games.

Quest For Glory is a five-title series of adventure/role-playing hybrids, with the first release in 1989, and the last in 1998. They were published by Sierra - a company whose fate was recently detailed to Joystiq by Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe - and used similar interfaces and graphics as other adventures, such as King's Quest or Gabriel Knight, combined with combat systems that varied from game to game.

Being a genre hybrid is one of the surest ways to become a beloved game. Panzer General, Deus Ex, and Mass Effect are all crossover hits, thanks in part to combining role-playing with other genres. Quality hybrids manage to feel both fresh conceptually and comfortable to actually play, a winning combination.

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JoystiqThe glory of Quest For Glory originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 17 May 2012 17:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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