Punjab Times

Indie developers are trying to make horse games that don’t suck. It’s not easy

Video game horses tend to play a fairly uncomplicated role, at least in mainstream titles. Like semi-sentient meat bicycles, they often exist as little more than a way to make the player travel faster, jump farther or occasionally defy the laws of physics. With the exception of Red Dead Redemption 2, an outlier beloved for its equine verisimilitude and breadth of riding-related activities, horses in video games are generally emotionless props, notorious for janky animations and unnatural anatomy.

That’s fine for most players’ needs, but for those who are drawn to certain games in part because they have horses, there’s a lot to be desired. Especially since the alternatives — dedicated horse games — haven’t proven to be much better. The genre is plagued with shoddy graphics, unoriginal storylines and drawn-out, repetitive caretaking tasks like hoof-picking. While horse games of the aughts, like the Barbie Horse Adventures series, sparked a lasting interest in the niche for a lot of young gamers, we’ve yet to really see what their maturation can look like for the now-adults still chasing that high.

The biggest actual horse game today, the decade-old MMORPG Star Stable Online, is distinctly tween-girl-coded. …read more

The smells and tastes of a great video game

Vector illustration showing the taste and smell of innovative sensory games.
Image: Samar Haddad / The Verge

As video games and movies become more immersive, it may start to become apparent what sensations are missing in the experience. Is there a point in Gran Turismo that you wish you could smell the burning rubber and engine exhaust? Would an experience playing beer pong in Horizon Worlds not be complete unless you could taste the hops?

On this episode of The Vergecast, the latest in our miniseries about the five senses of video games, we’re tackling the topics of smell and taste in video games — and whether either could actually enhance the virtual experience for gamers. In other words: Smellovision is back for a new generation of media.

First, we try out a product (actually available to buy today) called the GameScent, an AI-powered…

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Apple will reportedly offer higher trade-in credit for old iPhones for the next two weeks

It might be a good time to finally upgrade your iPhone if you’ve been hanging onto an older model — according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will be offering a little more than usual for some trade-ins starting next week in the US and Canada. The company itself hasn’t said anything about the promotion, but according to Gurman, it’ll be offered in-store to customers who’ll be using the credit toward any model in the iPhone 15 lineup. This will reportedly be in effect starting this Monday and last until June 3.

Apple lists trade-in values on its website for all iPhone models going back to the iPhone 7. Something that old currently goes for something in the ballpark of $50, while a more recent model like the year-and-a-half-old iPhone 14 Pro Max has an estimated trade-in value of up to $630. Of course, the online estimates aren’t always what …read more

Blue Origin’s first crewed launch since 2022: Where to watch

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
Image: Blue Origin

It’s been over a year and a half since Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket failed mid-flight, and more than two since its last crewed flight. Now, the company is go to launch six human beings into space. The company’s launch window begins at 6:30AM PT / 9:30AM ET, but will start streaming 40 minutes ahead of time on its website.

Blue Origin also normally streams its launches live on its YouTube channel, so it’s a pretty safe bet it will do so for its NS-25 mission tomorrow. Assuming the launch goes as planned, it will carry six passengers aboard, including the 90-year-old Ed Dwight, who was America’s first Black astronaut candidate but has never been to space. The other passengers are Mason Angel, Sylvain Chiron, Kenneth L. Hess, Carol…

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This modder proves everything’s better with a GBA SP screen attached

A picture of a Nintendo DS Lite that has had its top screen replaced by one from a Game Boy Advance SP
Is this a Game Boy Advance SP or Nintendo DS Lite? Who can say? | Image: Retrohai hai Softbank

Have you ever looked at a Nintendo DS and thought it would be cooler if the top screen was swapped for the Game Boy Advance SP’s? Or looked at a Super Nintendo controller and wished it had a GBA SP screen bolted onto the back? Whether you have or not, Hardware modder Hairo Satoh, aka Retrohai hai Softbank, has you covered with some truly cursed reimaginings of Nintendo’s portable consoles. (Recall their portable emulated PlayStation built into the Takara Roulette Controller.)

Let’s go on a little journey through Satoh’s Instagram account. Before we get into my favorite mutated Nintendo handhelds — frankententos, if you will — know that Satoh also does some very pretty custom jobs on the company’s various portable consoles. And they’re m…

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New trailer for Dead Cells: Immortalis gives us a first real look at the animated series

A full trailer just dropped for the upcoming animated show based on the popular game Dead Cells, and it looks like the creators have made a few unexpected choices. For one, the Beheaded can apparently talk. 

Dead Cells: Immortalis is being produced by Bobbypills, the studio behind the game’s animated trailers, and the French streaming service, Animation Digital Network. Along with the trailer, the series now has a release date: June 19. It’ll come out in French first, with English subtitles, before getting an English-language release later this year, according to Dead Cells developer Motion Twin.

The trailer shows a different animation style than we saw in the teaser that came out last year when the series was first announced. As hinted back then, the main character — who the show introduces now as “The Chosen One” — takes on the purple-flame-headed Bobby design. He’s accompanied by a character named Laurie Esposito, Guardian of the Truth. There’s an overall silliness to the trailer, too, so while it looks like there will be plenty of action, don’t expect the show to take itself too seriously.

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Replacing the OLED iPad Pro’s battery is easier than ever

13-inch iPad Pro with screen removed and laying partially on top of it.
The 13-inch OLED iPad Pro with the screen removed. | Screenshot: iFixit

Apple’s newest iPad Pro is remarkably rigid for how thin it is, and apparently also a step forward when it comes to repairability. iFixit shows during its teardown of the tablet that the iPad Pro’s 38.99Wh battery, which will inevitably wear down and need replacement, is actually easy to get to. It’s a change iFixit’s Shahram Mokhtari says during the video “could save hours in repair time” compared to past iPad Pro models.

Getting to it still requires removing the glued-in tandem OLED screen, which iFixit notes in the video and its accompanying blog isn’t two panels smashed together, but a single OLED board with more electroluminescence layers per OLED diode. With the screen out of the way, iFixit was essentially able to pull the battery…

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