It's been a busy few days here at Kotaku. I've been down in Melbourne for a conference and we've also redesigned the site. But I've still managed to get some gaming in.
Little King's Story arrived while I was away and I plan to thoroughly abuse my power as "king of the castle" over the weekend. Initial impressions suggest a good deal of complexity lies behind its twee graphical style, as you lead your kingdom to conquer its neighbours, whipping your citizens into shape, managing various jobs and economic matters, and embarking on a host of adventurous quests. And, yes, part of the appeal is just how utterly adorable it all looks.
I played through the first area of Red Faction: Guerrilla yesterday. You'll see a small part of this section if you download the single-player demo now up online. It's no secret I'm a big fan of sandbox gaming, particularly open world environments that provide plenty of space for you to improvise. Any like-minded gamers out there would do well to investigate Volition's take on the genre. They've succeeded in turning a fairly conventional first-person shooter into a sprawling, free-roaming and surprisingly experimental third-person action game. The theme of liberation reaches far beyond the narrative and infects every aspect of the gameplay.
Finally, I've got a download code here for Lode Runner on Xbox Live Arcade, which I'll be sampling this afternoon. What's especially pleasing about this re-release is the inclusion of the level editor, and better still the ability to exchange creations with friends. My memories of the original puzzler/platformer are happy ones, but I'm hoping there's enough here to keep me going once the nostalgia subsides.