News Snatch: Llamas, Tractors And Pac-Man Moons

Science news first! Astronomers have noted that temperature variations on two of Saturn’s moons, Tethys and Mimas, look rather like Pac-Man. The feature was first spotted on Mimas in 2010 and scientists have now comfirmed the sister moon Tethys also has the Pac pattern.


“Finding a second Pac-Man in the Saturn system tells us that the processes creating these ‘Pac-Men’ are more widespread than previously thought,” said Carly Howett, of the Southwest Research Institute in Texas and lead author of the study. “The Saturn system – and even the Jupiter system – could turn out to be a veritable arcade of these characters.”

We’re hoping that Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, will have temperature variations in the shape of Zangief from Street Fighter.

You may have heard dearest Kev waffling about ‘some llama game’ on a podcast a few weeks back. You may have also heard the sound of my palm hitting my face and me screaming “How could you NOT know who Jeff Minter is?!?” For Kev and the rest of you younglings, Jeff Minter is a wise gaming wizard who has been making fantastic games since the days of the BBC Micro. They usually involve sheep, llamas and/or psychedelic frippery.

He posed the following thought on Twitter: “These people asking for Kickstarter money have ALREADY MADE POTS OF MONEY. That they could use to make games with.”

Focus Home Interactive have revealed that in just one month over 2 million mods for Farming Simulator 2013 have been downloaded. It sounds like it could be an awful lot of fun, with the “Lizard ATV” off-road quad, currently the most popular mod, allowing you zip across the fields MotorStorm style. You can also download a rather snazzy BMW and impress the local ladies who are cows.

I mean they are actual cows, not just grumpy women.

The Grand Theft Auto series has sold lots, making Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick very happy! If Square Enix screw up Final Fantasy XIV then it will be very bad for the company! Bethesda say Dishonored sold well, game to become franchise! The Curiosity cube is still a cube, just has different picture on it!

Namco Bandai have announced a PC version of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon for early 2013. The console versions of the game will also be re-released as digital products.

Forbes is reporting that the SyFy channel is investing $100 million in their new ‘Defiance‘ universe, described as ‘part frontier-town Western, part science fantasia — think “District 9″ meets “Deadwood,” with a dash of “Avatar” for good measure’. There will be a TV show and an MMO shooter for both consoles and PC and we now have a launch window of mid April 2013.

Travel Bug has just landed on the PSN Store, Craig Howard, Creative Director at Lucid Games helpfully explains the game thus:

“The premise of Travel Bug is simple. You first hatch a bug, then name it, then, using near, send it out on an adventure. Once it’s out in the real world, you will get regular updates as it meets strangers on its travels until it comes back to your PS Vita.”

Once your Bug is on his merry way you can then use near to collect other players Travel Bugs and help them across the globe.  To be honest I am a little confused how this will work,  I have a Wi-fi Vita so the only two places it is online is my office and my flat and I really can’t see any globe trotting travel fans choosing glamorous Streatham as a destination.

How the Travel Bugs move across the globe is not really explained, if I capture one using near can I then turn off the Wi-fi and use my PS3 to message the bug’s owner to demand a ransom for its release? Is it bad that’s the first thing that I thought of doing?

We end with a new developer diary for Sim City, well worth a watch as Lead creative director Ocean Quigley has the most impressive moustache.



  1. wakka wakka. ^_^

    isn’t Minter also a bit mental?
    with a lama fixation. o_O

    but he’s still something of a legend for gamers of a certain age. ^_^

  2. Will keep an eye on Ace Combat for PC, I wonder if they’ll add a few more missions or bundle in the DLC.

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