Author - Jerry Paxton

Hasbro Unveils Murph the Mascot for Nerf

Hasbro, Inc., a global play and entertainment company, officially unveils Murph, the NERF brand’s first-ever official mascot. Made of NERF darts from head-to-toe, Murph is, by far, the most fun, playful and social member of the NERF team. Working with The Martin Agency to kick off an exciting brand campaign for NERF this summer 2022, Hasbro is putting Murph in the center of it all to drive the new brand mnemonic: Unleash the Play in You.

Consumers will start to see Murph appear across all NERF touchpoints, including on social media, at retail and pop-up surprise and delight moments throughout the year and beyond. The multi-year, always-on brand campaign encourages fans and families to step away from their screens and get up and active with NERF to create memories that will last a lifetime.

“For over 50 years, NERF has remained an unrivaled category leader in action-based performance toys, and the brand continues to expand through innovative products, digital and gaming offerings, licensed partnerships, sports collaborations, in-person experiences and much more, giving consumers a variety of unique ways to experience the brand,” said Adam Kleinman, SVP & GM, NERF, Hasbro. “The launch of Murph is a testament to the success of Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint strategy and turning NERF into the social, active play brand it is seen as today. We are thrilled to introduce Murph to fans, a mascot that represents the playful spirit that lives inside us all and is unleashed through NERF.”

Made completely out of official NERF dart materials, Murph is the personification of the playful spirit – the one that can only be unleashed with NERF. They’re a natural athlete, great at NERFoop and an expert at surprise NERF Super Soaker ambushes. They can also toss a NERF Vortex Football like no other and, of course, are a fantastic trick shooter with any NERF blaster.

The photos show Murph playing with some of the hottest NERF products of the summer: NERF Elite 2.0 Motoblitz Blaster, NERF Elite 2.0 Eaglepoint RD-8 Blaster, NERF Elite 2.0 Commander RD-6 Blaster, NERF DinoSquad Armorstrike Dart Blaster, NERF DinoSquad Raptor-Slash Dart Blaster, NERF Rival Fate XXII-100 Blaster and NERF Super Soaker Hydro Frenzy Blaster.

Stay tuned for Murph’s next moves on the official NERF social channels on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 Officially Announced

In today’s “10 Years of Dragon’s Dogma” Developer Video, Dragon’s Dogma™ director Hideaki Itsuno announced the highly anticipated Dragon’s Dogma™ 2 is now in production using Capcom’s RE ENGINE. This highly anticipated reveal followed a discussion of the inspirations behind the monsters, combat, and unique gameplay mechanics that define the high-fantasy world and open-world action of Dragon’s Dogma. The much awaited sequel was announced with the reveal of the logo for the upcoming title.

Itsuno began the developer video by recounting how classic pen-and-paper role-playing games introduced him to the genre of high fantasy and RPGs as a whole. After these early experiences captured his heart, Itsuno went on to develop a passion for arcade and action titles, especially the combat of Capcom’s Street Fighter™ II. By the year 2000, Itsuno had released multiple titles for Capcom’s arcade division and began piecing together the first concepts for a game that would eventually become Dragon’s Dogma. This dream would have to wait however, as Itsuno was assigned to finish the production of Devil May Cry™ 2, and its sequels Devil May Cry™ 3 and Devil May Cry™ 4.

After completing production on the Devil May Cry games, Itsuno returned to his passion project at last. The distinct approach to magic combat and the ability to grapple towering foes already set Dragon’s Dogma apart from its contemporaries, however it was the game’s unique Pawn System that helped cement its place as a fan favorite. This special system was born from Itsuno’s desire to keep the game a single-player experience, while still allowing players to feel connected to one another by sharing the AI companions they create and train. As development progressed, it was the production team’s trips to the United Kingdom that inspired the rolling hills and architectural identity of the world players would explore.

As Itsuno finished looking back at the origins of Dragon’s Dogma, he gave fans the first look at what lies ahead for the series with the surprise reveal of Dragon’s Dogma 2. Itsuno and the Dragon’s Dogma 2 development team including Dragon’s Dogma veterans Daigo Ikeno and Kenichi Suzuki are hard at work creating the sequel, and are excited to share more details in the future.

Shockwave: Land of the Blind Game Announcement Trailer

Polish independent developer Bnayat Games S.A today announced Shockwave: Land of the Blind, a first person immersive bomb disposal game about the high pressures of saving lives under extraordinary circumstances is coming to Steam for PC in early 2023.

Set in modern-day Syria, Shockwave: Land of the Blind tells the story of Jerome Kowalsky, an ex-military Sapper now tasked with a peacekeeping force as a contract bomb defusal expert. Jerome is accompanying an emissary heading to post-war Aleppo, Syria to save the lives of a community living a precarious existence in the ruins of a city devastated by conflict, lawlessness and crime. As a highly experienced sapper Jerome finds himself pitted against the destructive genius of a determined bombmaker, who is pitting his own wits, knowledge and expertise in the ultimate face off.

Shockwave: Land of the Blind puts a strong focus on stealth and intel gathering in missions that are multi-path and multi-layered, there’s no hand holding here or quest markers, no mini map or magical radar to expose the threat, it’s your knowledge and skillful resolve and how you adapt to the crisis wearing a full Advanced Bomb Suit designed to protect you from fragmentation, blast overpressure, impact, heat, and flame. In its strive for authenticity, developer Bnayat Games S.A worked closely with former members and world leading IED experts from GROM, a Polish Special Forces Military unit well versed in modern day warfare and tactical countermeasures.

“We’re excited to officially reveal the nerve shredding experience of what it takes to be a bomb disposal specialist working under extremely dangerous conditions. It’s our goal to provide players with a narrative driven, thought provoking and technically superior first person military game about the individuals who undertake one of most difficult jobs on the planet in their effort to save life” Said Jamal Bnayat, CEO of Bnayat Games S.A.

“Shockwave: Land of the Blind is also a story that conveys a very revealing journey where experiences are personal and intimate, and how spiritual revelation and positive faith grants Jerome the resolve to save lives” he adds.

Missions will require careful planning – not to mention equipping the correct tools and gear you’ll need to eliminate the bombers threat. The volume and weight of your inventory is limited, so you’ll need to choose your gear wisely. Need to extract something too dangerous to disarm on-site? Use the hook-and-line and the sapper robot. Landmines? Take a metal detector or ground radar. The location is expendable? Water charges will prove the most efficient.

As a highly trained Sapper you’ll need to disarm a range of different explosive devices – from simple improvised charges, through to more complex, procedurally generated IEDs and immense hand-crafted puzzles with a racing countdown.

Bomb disposal is a job where nerves of steel and a careful stealthy approach is necessary, keeping a low profile is essential so as not to antagonize the locals; staying out of sight of armed militia elavates your chances of mission success. As a bomb disposal expert you are a priority target in the area and the enemy will do everything to hunt you down.

The pressure is on and the clock is ticking.

Ticket to Ride: San Francisco Coming to U.S. Target Stores Nationwide

Today, Asmodee and Days of Wonder announced Ticket to Ride: San Francisco will be available Sunday, June 19 at U.S. Target stores nationwide. This city-edition title makes Ticket to Ride more accessible and portable than ever before. The easy-to-learn game packs an entire adventure through San Francisco into a session that requires only 15 minutes, and the compact game box makes it the perfect travel companion! Ticket to Ride: San Francisco is available for purchase in the U.S. at Target for an MSRP of $24.99. The game will be available worldwide and at other U.S. retailers in August.

Ticket to Ride: San Francisco transports the world-famous board game series to the City by the Bay for a quicker and more compact experience. Trade your traditional trains for mini San Francisco Cable Cars and race to claim the most routes through iconic locations like the Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies, and Alcatraz. The game can be learned in only three minutes but provides the franchise’s signature deep strategy, making it a great title for anyone over the age of 8. With games that last only 5-15 minutes, families and friends will want to play Ticket to Ride: San Francisco again and again, with varying strategies creating a new experience every game.

Ticket to Ride: San Francisco is designed for travel, as it comes in a small carry-on bag box that can be packed easily in a suitcase. The travel theme even shakes up the gameplay with Tourist Tokens, which add an exclusive rule twist to Ticket to Ride. Collect as many different Tourist Tokens as possible during the game to score extra points at the end.

Ticket to Ride: San Francisco is published by Days of Wonder and distributed by Asmodee.

To learn more about the game, visit the official website.

Universal Studios Hollywood Bringing Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts back for Summer

The Best Day in L.A. starts at Universal Studios Hollywood as the popular theme park brings some of the most popular franchises in film history to life and readies for nonstop summer fun with its blockbuster rides and attractions, including the return of “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts TM Castle” in “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.”

As the hottest movies of the year hit the big screen, Universal Studios Hollywood is the only place in L.A. to catch the action after the credits roll and become immersed in one-of-a-kind blockbuster attractions. After watching the epic conclusion of Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World Dominion, which opened as the #1 movie in the world, guests can experience “Jurassic World—The Ride” where they will be caught in the middle of an extraordinary battle between the Indominus rex and her arch-rival, the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Minions continue to run amok at Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park prepares for the theatrical release of Illumination and Universal Picture’s newest film, Minions: The Rise of Gru, on July 1.

From Monday, June 27 through Sunday, July 17, mischievous Minions will take center stage at Universal Plaza, where guests can meet the newest Minion, Otto, along with fan favorites Jerry and Dave before they set off on an adventure aboard the “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” ride. The Minion activation also features exclusive experiences for guests, including interacting with a 16-foot Minion squishy and engaging in a specially-created Minion-themed game through Sunday, August 14.

Family fun continues on Illumination’s award-winning ride The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash!” where guests become transformed into stray puppies looking for their forever homes, and within the immersive “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” land. For a sneak peek of an authentic movie and television production studio, guests can get a bird’s eye view on the world-renowned Studio Tour, which now features several electric trams in its current fleet.

Beginning today, “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle” returns with a dazzling light and special effects projection display set against the backdrop of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As night falls on Hogsmeade village, guests can enjoy an awe-inspiring spectacle that showcases the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, accompanied by a special musical arrangement based on original scores from the film series.

This summer also sees the return of the “Special Effects Show,” a fast-paced and entertaining behind-the-scenes peek at the world of Hollywood movie-making magic. The Special Effects Show will run daily from Friday, July 1 through Sunday, August 14, then weekends only, beginning Saturday, August 20.

Preparing for a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood to experience the Best Day in L.A. is easy with a series of convenient online tools that range from Universal’s interactive mobile app and website and all-new Discover Universal hub, designed to help maximize trips for the ultimate visit.

More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter. Admission to Universal CityWalk is free. More information available at www.CityWalkHollywood.com.

Surviving the Aftermath: New Alliances Launch Trailer

Paradox Interactive and Iceflake Studios today released New Alliances, the first expansion for survival colony builder Surviving the Aftermath. This expansion builds on the World Map gameplay features and lets players unite a post-apocalyptic society by bringing together various colonies surviving in the Wasteland. Surviving the Aftermath: New Alliances is available now on PC at a suggested retail price of 14.99 USD / 11.99 GBP/ 14.99 EUR. Also now available is the Forgotten Tracks Radio Pack, for a suggested retail price of 3.99 USD/ 2.89 GBP/ 3.99 EUR.

Surviving the Aftermath: New Alliances takes your actions beyond your settlement’s borders, enabling you to influence and cooperate with other societies in new ways. Help others with constructing new buildings for their societies, or assist them in other ways when they ask for your help. Working together is more important than ever before as the wasteland has become more dynamic and hostile. Bandits and dangerous beasts move and react to your actions, invade strategically important locations, and even raid settlements. There is also a bigger threat on the horizon as a new powerful faction is ready to subjugate anyone who is not strong enough to oppose. Specialists can stake out covert missions and impact the balance of power through sabotage, theft, espionage, and propaganda. Failure will have dire repercussions, but rewards are worth the risk. Unite the wasteland, the future lies on your shoulders.

“The dynamic World Map in New Alliances allows our players to get creative with how they choose to work with other societies. This takes the Surviving the Aftermath experience beyond the colony, adding another layer of strategy to the Wasteland,” said Lasse Liljedahl, Game Director for Surviving the Aftermath. “Player feedback has been paramount in improving Surviving the Aftermath’s gameplay, as our community has been crucial in helping fine-tune new features and mechanics. New Alliances adds features that players have been eagerly requesting and we will continue to listen to our community for future content updates.”

Surviving the Aftermath: New Alliances Key Features
  • Stronger together: Meet varied societies and help them with their requests to earn their loyalty and improve your colony with 14 new buildings. Positive interactions with other societies increase your reputation. But ignore them or fail to meet their expectations and you’ll see them join your new rival, who will gain more control over the Wasteland.
  • New enemies in a Dynamic World Map: Bandits and beasts scour the Wasteland, compelling you to protect your settlement and those of your allies. Groups of bandits terrorize survivors and take over key locations. Make sure to defend and support other societies by trading and constructing new buildings whenever possible. An expanded user interface allows you to manage every single step to the unification of the Wasteland.
  • Covert missions: Shaping a new world isn’t easy. While collaboration is key, leaders can influence societies in more subtle ways. Sabotage, theft, espionage, and even propaganda will become tools in your arsenal, and specialists’ skills will affect how likely they are to succeed in a mission. Be mindful of the consequences though: failure will decrease your reputation and give more control to your rival and may cause the societies you targeted to retaliate.

In addition to the New Alliances expansion, the brand new Forgotten Tracks Radio Pack is also available now. This radio pack includes two playlists, which can be enjoyed through the in-game radio, for a suggested retail price of 3.99 USD/ 2.89 GBP/ 3.99 EUR.

Forgotten Tracks Radio Pack includes:
  • Easy Raider Playlist: Scout the Wasteland, gather resources, and fight enemies to the sound of rock! Easy Raider Playlist with 10 tracks and more than 30 minutes of music is every survivor’s dream playlist to thrive in the post-apocalyptic world.
  • Radiant Heart Playlist: Sun is setting on the horizon, the sound of an old guitar echoes in your settlement. This is the melody of survival. Ponder your next move with the Radiant Heart Playlist, 8 tracks with vocals from the Wasteland’s lost artists.

Surviving the Aftermath debuted first in Early Access on the Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Preview during PDX CON October 2019, and launched into Steam Early Access in October of 2020. In November 2021, the game left early access and officially launched on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, adding even more content and gameplay updates in the process. Throughout its lifespan, Iceflake and Paradox have incorporated player feedback into over 20 major content updates, introducing features that expand the World Map and Colony systems, enhance combat, and endgame content that sheds light on the nexus of the apocalypse.

For more information on Surviving the Aftermath, Paradox and Iceflake, visit paradoxinteractive.com

Starship Troopers: Terran Command Official Launch Trailer

Slitherine is proud to announce the release of the newest real-time strategy game set in the world-renowned Starship Troopers film universe, Starship Troopers: Terran Command. Watch the trailer here:

Starship Troopers: Terran Command is a single-player, real-time strategy game based on the 1997 movie. In the game, players take command of the Mobile Infantry and do their part in the war against hordes of Arachnid enemies. By striking an effective balance between tactical superiority and strength in numbers, they can ensure that human civilization dominates the galaxy.

Players can build, develop and control their armies and embark on an exciting military campaign. On their journey, they will meet unique characters, discover amazing locations and develop effective tactics with battle mechanics such as True Line of Sight and True Line of Fire. Furthermore, an expansive range of unique units, weapons, and special abilities are at their disposal.

Marco Minoli, Marketing Director at Slitherine said, “Working on Starship Troopers: Terran Command has been a rollercoaster ride. When we announced the project we were overwhelmed by the players’ feedback and expectations, and we almost had to go back to the drawing board on major aspects of the game. After over four years of hard work, we are confident in saying we are releasing a gaming experience that’s true to the heart of the IP, while giving a modern twist to some of the most established RTS mechanics”

Key features:

  • Dozens of unique unit types with special abilities, such as the Fleet Liaison, Grenade and Rocket Turrets, Wavebreaker Mortar and Tactical Officer.
  • Terrain elevation, True Line of Sight & True Line of Fire provide deep tactical gameplay.
  • Fleets of dropships, expanding base infrastructure and strategic positioning.
  • Heroics, explosions, gore, and Bugs.

Availability:

Starship Troopers: Terran Command is now available to be downloaded on Steam.

The Fridge is Red Reveal Trailer

The Fridge is Red, the first-person horror anthology series with PS1-inspired visuals from developer 5WORD Team and publisher tinyBuild, haunts Steam later this year as revealed today during the Guerrilla Collective Digital Showcase. Download the demo of this macabre experience right now ahead of Steam Next Fest, featuring the first pieces of the anthology.

Frank cannot pry his eyes away from the red fridge in his basement as it emanates strange voices and ominous sounds. Frank wants to find his missing daughter; Laurie’s notes on the floor suggest that this demonic appliance somehow did something to her. Frank searches for answers to access the unopenable icebox, but he cannot look away, for every time he does, the red fridge moves in closer, emitting malice with every shake and scratch.

Frank’s tale represents just one of multiple terror-filled experiences populating The Fridge is Red. Unravel the mystery of the red refrigerator and the mental anguish of those who cross its path across a variety of stories including haunted hospital halls, a creepy church graveyard, snowy highways and other locations. Uncover horrifying revelations while contending with unspeakable dread tormenting those seeking the truth.

The Fridge is Red combines the aesthetics of the PlayStation 1 era’s horror games, combining early 3D with modern effects to replicate the memories those classics conjured. Drab and rusted colorways set a malevolent tone for different environments, all explored from a first-person perspective, set to haunting background music and dismal sounds to create an unnerving environment.

5WORD Team, creators of Death Crown, startled the world with their Epic MegaJam entry DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE RED FRIDGE, which earned attention for its introduction to a haunting universe inspired by PS1 horror classics. Now the team partners with acclaimed publisher tinyBuild to bring the full anthology to life under a shortened title: The Fridge is Red.

“We’ve explored countless ideas when participated in game jams and prototyping concepts in our own free time, however we never saw any developer receive as an enthusiastic response to a demo as we did with DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE RED FRIDGE,” said Artem Kudriashov, lead designer, 5WORD Team. “ After witnessing the terrified reactions and demand for a full game from gamers as well as streamers, we began considering giving the people what they called for, but when tinyBuild said they would help us realize our vision, we knew we had to bring the world The Fridge is Red.”

The Fridge is Red releases for Steam for PC later this year, and will support English, French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Simplified Chinese language text.

To learn more about the game visit tinyBuild’s official website, and follow the publisher on Twitter and YouTube, and join the 5WORD Discord.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl Enter the Zone Trailer

During Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase Extended today, Ukrainian developer GSC Game World revealed a new trailer for their immersive horror-simulation FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl. The long-awaited upcoming entry to the popular S.T.A.L.K.E.R franchise will release in 2023 on Xbox Series X|S and PC.

Some of GSC Game World’s employees have decided to defend their country while a part of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl’s development continues in Kyiv. The company has also established a new office in Prague, Czech Republic, where much of the game’s development will take place.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe is based on three video games as well as numerous books, comics, and fan-fiction pieces. With over 15 million copies sold worldwide, the franchise has been critically acclaimed and fans are eagerly waiting for its return with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl.

For more information about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or visit us at stalker2.com.

Lumberjack’s Dynasty Console Launch Trailer

Forestry life sim Lumberjack’s Dynasty is officially heading to consoles later this month. Marking the occasion with a brand new trailer and set to launch on June 30 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for €29,99, players will have the opportunity to live out their lumberjack fantasy.

Retreat from the bright city lights and enter the serenity of the forest in Lumberjack’s Dynasty. This unique life simulation game allows players to take on the role of a lumberjack who is new to this way of life. The game starts off with the player managing a run-down logging camp in an effort to restore it back to its former glory. Get behind the controls of heavy logging equipment to manage forests, harvest prime timber and produce high-quality lumber among other products for sale.

Set to launch on June 30th across PlayStation and Xbox platforms for €29,99, players can learn more about the series as well as other Toplitz Productions titles by following their social media.