Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.



PAX AUS Post-mortem – Developer Roundtable

Posted by Stephen del Prado On Monday 24 November 2014No Comments

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Following on from a series of interviews Black Panel writers conducted with the PAX Australian Indie Showcase participants, I was interested in hearing about their experiences during the expo. The responses I received to my questions served to highlight what a fantastic experience PAX AUS 2014 was and the increasing strength and vibrancy of the indie development scene down under. Read the rest of this entry »



The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Review

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Sunday 23 November 2014No Comments

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Available on PC l Published and developed by The Astronauts l Unclassified l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is the story of Red Creek Valley, its people, and the awful things that happened there. This is an immersive first person mystery adventure where the player must carefully explore the gorgeous environment for clues and artefacts in order to unravel the sequence of events that led to the vanishing of Ethan Carter. The game is slow paced, but this suits its melancholy atmosphere and sombre subject matter. My only complaint was that it seemed a bit short.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Black List 271

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Saturday 22 November 2014No Comments

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Welcome to The Black List, your one stop shop for the stories published on the site this week.

SUNDAY JUST ANNOUNCED SkySaga: Infinite Isles > A year after forming new a studio known as Radiant Worlds, British development legends the Oliver Twins have announced their next project.Revealed with a colourful cinematic trailer, SkySaga: Infinite Isles looks to be an online fantasy action game with strong crafting elements. Each player will take possession of an island in the clouds, mine or trade for materials, and take on other players in gladiatorial combat. READ MORE

MONDAY REVIEW Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare > Another year, another CoD, but in something of a surprise new developer Sledgehammer Games has brought us the best entry in the franchise for years. A futuristic setting, a cheesy yet enjoyable sci-fi story and a host of improvements to movement make the single player portion a blast. The multiplayer is also top notch, acting almost like a ‘best of’ collection of CoD features. All this makes Advanced Warfare the best round of CoD since Modern Warfare. READ MORE

TUESDAY REVIEW Lords of the Fallen > Proving that ‘derivative’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word, Lords of the Fallen is an enjoyable action RPG that initially promises controller-throwing levels of difficulty before petering out due to a lack of balance in the latter half. While it may pale in comparison to the titles it imitates, it does enough to warrant interest from anyone looking for a ‘Light Souls’ experience. READ MORE

WEDNESDAY REVIEW Halo: The Master Chief Collection > The numbered Halo titles have touched down on the Xbox One and all in one big convenient package! More than just a port from previous console generations, The Master Chief Collection has seen a glossy finish added to every facet of the originals. This one is a great pick-up for both fans and newcomers to the series. READ MORE

THURSDAY JUST ANNOUNCED Thimbleweed Park > While he has been reasonably prolific in recent years, Ron Gilbert is still best known for his contributions to LucasArts classics like Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island. It is to fans of these games that Gilbert is appealing to fund his latest venture, a traditional point-and-click PC adventure game known as Thimbleweed Park. READ MORE

FRIDAY NEWS Maulbeck back at Code Avarice > Just weeks after departing the indie studio he helped found, Mike Maulbeck has been welcomed back into the fold by his Code Avarice colleagues. Maulbeck was forced to resign from Code Avarice in October after threatening to kill Valve founder Gavel Newell in a Twitter post that he later clarified was not intended to be taken seriously. READ MORE


Maulbeck back at Code Avarice

Posted by Erin Marcon On Friday 21 November 2014No Comments
A bunch of creepy skulls gather to celebrate Maulbeck’s return.

A bunch of creepy skulls gather to celebrate Maulbeck’s return.

Just weeks after departing the indie studio he helped found, Mike Maulbeck has been welcomed back into the fold by his Code Avarice colleagues.

Maulbeck was forced to resign from Code Avarice in October after threatening to kill Valve founder Gavel Newell in a Twitter post that he later clarified was not intended to be taken seriously. Unsurprisingly, Valve responded by removing the team’s game, Paranautical Activity, from the industry leading Steam service. At that time, Maulbeck pledged to sell his stake in Code Avarice in order to assist the team in mending fences with Valve.

A blog post on the studio’s website has since announced that “Mike couldn’t commit to his decision to leave” and that he and cofounder Travis Pfenning “agreed the best thing to do would be to have Mike return to Code Avarice.”

Paranautical Activity is still nowhere to be found on Steam, suggesting that there is still work to be done to repair that particular relationship.

The team is now working on a new project entitled Spinal Destination.