Yoko Taro And His Team Discuss New Mobile RPG SINoALICE's Dark Themes

The mastermind behind the Nier and Drankengard series, Yoko Taro, has a new free-to-play mobile RPG, SINoALICE, that launches today. To celebrate the occasion, he sat down alongside Square Enix producer Yoshinari Fujimoto and Pokelabo, Inc. producer Shogo Maeda to discuss what’s in store for this twisted adventure where fairytale characters must kill one another to revive their authors. Expect large real-time battles, gacha mechanics, and the traditional (or is that untraditional?) Yoko Taro-ness.

SiNoALICE launched back in 2017 in Japan. Why did you feel now was the time to reach a global audience?

Fujimoto: The folks at Pokelabo said, “We really want to release this globally.” Pokelabo always treats us well, so we thought we can’t ignore their wishes.

Maeda: Even before the Japan release, we thought this was a title that could put up a good fight globally in terms of its world-building and considering Yoko’s fan base. It’s been three years, but we still feel the same way.

How did you come up with the idea for the story, and how would you compare it to your previous work?

Yoko: I think of stories while I drink beer. Compared to other titles, I think maybe the amount of beer has increased?

What made you choose to use fairy-tale women as the main characters in this game? What about the idea that they were stories lent itself to what you wanted to do with this game?

Yoko: Supposedly we chose female characters because they’d make more money for gacha. Regarding fairy tales, I thought it would be nice because the copyrights have expired and it wouldn’t cost money.

Which one of these characters is your favorite and why?

Yoko: I like Parrah and Noya. Well, more like, they are useful. They can get away with anything.

What about the gameplay sets SiNoALICE apart in a crowded mobile game space?

Maeda: What sets SINoALICE apart is Yoko Taro’s world-building and massive guild versus guild gameplay that is simple and fun.

Are the gacha elements of obtaining weapons pretty standard for a mobile game, or are there any elements that differ or are especially exciting for this feature?

Maeda: There are cute characters with classes attached to the weapons. Users will be delighted to pull the cute characters!

What was the character creation process with Jino like? Did the character art concepts come first or did you dictate ideas for personality and appearance?

Yoko: I just submit the rough idea, and let Jino handle the rest. We’re both shy, so at first it was hard to communicate, but now we’re so close that we can throw punches at each other.

Why are so many of your stories about characters who are defined by their relationships to their creators?

Yoko: Every person depends on others. Even if you feel like you’re on your own when you grow up, we all have that childishness in our hearts, and feel like we want to be protected. The interdependent relationships between the authors and characters mirror that situation. … I just thought of this randomly, but it’s a pretty sound answer, right?

The word “bondage” is Alice’s “keyword” in SINoALICE, and it’s a concept that recurs in a lot of your works. Why do you think you are so attracted to characters who are bound to something? 

Yoko: I’m always bound to deadlines, so I always use that concept. Did you wonder when I’ll finally give a straight answer? I wonder that too.

Your games often include characters who are forced to participate in violent, absurd, or unfair systems that are imposed by absent, God-like creators… while you, yourself are in a sense the absent, God-like creator of these worlds. What are you trying to tell us about yourself?

Yoko: No, that isn’t my intent. That violent, absurd, unfair system you speak of is probably the real world. Compared to the real world, the worlds in SINoALICE and NieR are pieces of cake.

In your view, are players part of your creation, or, because they’re controlling things themselves, are they creating the violent system with you? How do you feel about summoning these fairy-tale women to die over and over?

Yoko: This is a great question. It relates to what I want to express in not only SINoALICE, but also NieR and Drakengard. So of course, the answer is “no comment.”

Your games tend to linger on the violence and death they depict such that the player can’t help but critically ruminate on them as they play. Why do you want your players to be thinking about the kinds of death they’re participating in or even experiencing in your game?

Yoko: I always reflect real life in the characters that appear in the world of SINoALICE. We’re covered in greed and have the dirtiest thoughts in our minds that we could never share, but pretend to be good people – I think that’s so interesting, and that’s how the stories turned out to be dark and violent.

Network integration and shared experiences are often a major aspect of your work. What kinds of experiences are you hoping your players will be able to have by interacting with each other online in the game?

Yoko: The customers are the ones who decide how they want to experience it. I’d be delighted if users enjoy the game in an entirely different direction from the intent of the creators.

Maeda: Mobile games bring user communication closer together compared to other platforms. There are many users who have met new friends or even lovers through SINoALICE. We’d love for players to expand their world through SINoALICE, beyond the game.

Inquiring minds want to know: What’s next for Yoko Taro?

Yoko: A diet is next.

SINoALICE is now available for iOS and Android. 

You can read more of our interview in the most recent Game Informer issue, which you can read now if you’re a digital subscriber. Also, be sure to check out our previous interview with Yoko Taro where we dove deep into his creative process. 

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Report: Microsoft Announcing Xbox Series S In August

It has long been rumored that Microsoft is preparing a second next-gen system codenamed Lockhart which is cheaper and less high-powered than the announced Xbox Series X. Eurogamer reports that this version – also known as the Xbox Series S – is going to debut in August.

The Series S – named similar to the cheaper Xbox One S – was originally going to debut in June at E3, but Microsoft had to change those plans when the industry event was canceled.

Microsoft has yet to announce the official date and price for the Series X, but it will be out this holiday season. Whether the Series S releases alongside the Series X also remains to be seen. Perhaps all will be revealed in August.

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Best Buy July 4th Sale Discounts Video Games, Arcade Cabinets, And Apple Products

Independence Day is here, but this year’s Fourth of July might look a little different. With the pandemic, most people will likely want to stay inside. That can be a bit of a bummer, but safety is important, and thankfully, a lot of retailers have great July 4th sales running right now, including GameStop and Amazon. Best Buy has discounted a ton of video games, PC gaming monitors, and even Arcade1Up cabinets for the big day. There is also a variety of Apple products on sale, including a MacBook Pro, several iPad Pros, and all versions of AirPods.

Quick look: Best Buy’s best July 4th deals

6479270 – Best Buy July 4th – Video Games

Select games on sale

The recently released 40th Anniversary Edition of Pac-Man from Arcade1Up is a gorgeous machine, complete with that classic wood-panel look. It also features a 17-inch screen, a full-size joystick and set of buttons, and a matching stool. It completes the package with seven games, including Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Pac & Pal, Pac-Mania, Super Pac-Man, Pac-Land, and Galaga. It also includes a light-up deck protector. This cannot be found at Walmart, which also doesn’t include the stool in its package.

Arcade1Up Golden Tee cabinet

$300 ($400)

Golden Tee is a pub favourite, and this Arcade1Up cabinet lets you bring it home. It comes with four Golden Tee classics–Golden Tee, Golden Tee 2K, Golden Tee ’98, and Golden Tee ’99–and art that evokes the original game. Like the Pac-Man machine, it comes with a riser that makes it more comfortable to play while standing.

Arcade1Up Galaga cabinet

$340 ($380)

The classic Galaga cabinet looks gorgeous, and Arcade1Up has captured it deftly in its 3/4-scale version. Despite its smaller size, it features full-sized controls and the same great panel art. It comes with a riser as well as both Galaga and Galaxian.

Acer 27-inch 1080p, FreeSync monitor

$220 ($300)

Best Buy’s July 4th sale also discounts a number of great budget monitors. This Acer monitor comes in with a 27-inch, 1080p display, boasting a refresh rate of 144Hz. This makes gameplay ultra-smooth, allowing you to react to enemies on screen at a significantly quicker pace. It’s excellent for competitive gaming, especially shooters like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends.

Asus 23.8-inch 1080p, FreeSync monitor

$200 ($250)

If you’re looking for a smaller monitor, then Asus has a great FreeSync option that boasts a 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate. Like the Acer monitor, it’s also great for shooters. The FreeSync technology also allows you to eliminate screen-tearing without enabling V-Sync in your games, which can cause performance hits.

Lenovo Legion 27-inch 1440p, FreeSync monitor

$500 ($550)

The Lenovo Legion is a more premium monitor, equipped with a 1440p display and 165Hz refresh rate. If you’re looking for an incredible PC gaming experience, then the Legion is an excellent choice–just make sure you have a strong enough PC to run games at 1440p and high frame rates.

MacBook Pro 15.4-inch

$2,800 ($3,500)

The MacBook Pro is a fantastic laptop for video production, photo editing, and other artistic endeavors, and this particular model is rocking some serious specs. If you’re looking for a workstation that you can take anywhere, then this MacBook Pro won’t disappoint with its 1TB SSD, i9 processor, 32GB RAM, and Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU.

iPad Pro

Up to $100 off all models

The iPad Pro is a great alternative to your typical laptop, and while it doesn’t quite pack the power of a MacBook Pro, it can still get a lot of work done, thanks to iPadOS. This bridges the gap between a tablet and a laptop, making for a much more productive workstation than your standard iPads and iPad Airs. All of Best Buy’s iPad Pro tablets are on sale, from the 1st-Generation models to the most recent.


Up to $50 off all models

Apple AirPods make for easy-to-use wireless earbuds, especially if you’re an Apple fanatic. All versions of the AirPods are on sale at Best Buy right now, including the new AirPods Pro, which come with more comfortable ear ergonomics to ensure a comfortable fit.

Best Deals This Week

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GameStop July 4th Game Sale Ends Today: Includes B2G1 Free On Pre-Owned PS4 And Xbox One Games

Following a day of deals exclusively for PowerUp Rewards Pro members, GameStop’s Independence Day Sale is now open to everyone. The sale isn’t huge, but it does have a pretty enticing promotion: buy two, get one free on all pre-owned PS4 and Xbox One games (sorry, Nintendo Switch owners). GameStop’s Independence Day Sale runs through July 4. That’s today, so you’ll need to be quick to secure your games. (Plus, see our roundup of the best July 4th sales happening this weekend, including a big sale from Best Buy.)

For some strange reason, GameStop’s sale flyer shows old games like NBA 2K19 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. While older titles are included in the B2G1 free promotion, the sale is especially good if you’re looking for more recent, higher-priced games. Since every pre-owned PS4 and Xbox One game is up for grabs, it’s a matter of searching for what you want and seeing if it’s in stock. For instance, you’re not going to find pre-owned copies of The Last of Us 2, but you will find other big-name titles like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Persona 5 Royal. As always, the cheapest of the three games you pick will be free, so make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. There is plenty of content there to keep you busy for weeks or months.

6479217 — B2G1 Free promotion — GameStop Independence Day Sale

B2G1 free promotion

PS4 and Xbox One controllers are typically fairly pricey. Right now, you can grab pre-owned DualShock 4 and Xbox One wireless controllers for $40 each. While it’s not as good as the $30 deal GameStop offered on July 1 to Pro members, it’s still a decent value.

6479217 – DualShock 4/Xbox One controller — GameStop Independence Day Sale

DualShock 4

Xbox One controller

More than 600 clearance collectibles based on Marvel, Star Wars, and My Hero Academia are on sale for 20% off. Additionally, you can get snag clearance T-shirts for five bucks each. Select Funko Pops, including Tyrael from Diablo, Mr. Mime, and Geralt of Rivia, are on sale for 50% off. Additionally, a separate collectibles promotion gives you 15% off $75 orders and 25% off $125 orders.

6479217 – Collectibles – GameStop Independence Day Sale

Collectibles sale

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
  • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

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Ubisoft Executive Resigns Following Abuse And Assault Allegations

Ubisoft executive Maxime Beland has resigned from his position on the company’s editorial team following accusations of assault and sexual harassment. Beland had previously been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation, and the investigation is continuing despite his departure.

Ubisoft confirmed Beland’s resignation in a statement to GameSpot, adding that VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François has been placed on disciplinary leave as a second investigation is conducted and one employee from Ubisoft Toronto had been fired outright.

Watch Dogs product and brand marketer Andrien Gbinigie, who was accused of sexual assault in June, worked out of the Ubisoft Toronto location. However, Ubisoft did not confirm if he was the employee in question.

“Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination, and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct,” the company added.

Beland had returned to Ubisoft in early 2020 after briefly moving to Epic Games. Prior to this, he served as a creative director at Ubisoft Toronto. His projects included Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist, as well as support work on the Far Cry series.

CEO Yves Guillemot announced this week that the company would be undergoing a structural shift in order to change its company culture, including the appointment of a new head of workplace culture along with the use of an external consulting firm to review its procedures.

The news is the latest in a growing list of departures stemming from allegations of sexual abuse in the game industry. Evo Online, a fighting game tournament already acting as a replacement for the canceled Evo 2020, was scrapped this week following the firing of president Joey Cuellar for alleged abuse of underage boys.

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Call Of Duty: Warzone Gets Themed Flyovers For July 4

Call of Duty: Warzone has gotten a new update with some patriotic flair for Independence Day. While you’re waiting on the Warzone lobby, you can watch the skies for a jet flyover with colored smoke trails like you’d see in an air show.

The fansite CharlieIntel tweeted a look at the jet flyover with red and white stripes. The sky is also littered with fireworks which may be difficult to find this year in real life due to events being canceled in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Call of Duty stories often focus on the American military, in part as a coalition with militaries from allies like the UK. Activision has also closely tied the series with American military veterans with moves like its Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit that helps veterans find civilian jobs after ending their service.

If your holiday weekend includes playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or Warzone, you can pick up Double XP through July 7. The next big seasonal changeover is coming in August and may include some big map changes.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

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GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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Schalke 04 pick up their first win of the 2020 LEC Summer Split against Fnatic

The losing streak has finally been snapped.

It might have taken Schalke 04 four long weeks, but they have finally picked up their first win of the 2020 LEC Summer Split in today’s match against Fnatic.

With jungler Lukas “Lurox” Thoma out due to sickness, the European League of Legends team brought in Academy jungler Erberk “Gilius” Demir to fill in for what was supposed to be one of their toughest matchups of the season. But the game seemed to go pretty smoothly for Schalke.

Schalke played well together today, showing decisive shot-calling that we haven’t seen too much of this past split. Gilius also gave the team a shot of proactivity from the jungle, which might be what the roster needed to reach their true potential as a unit.

On the other side of Summoner’s Rift, however, Fnatic looked out of sorts with their decision-making and teamwork. Throughout the game, individual players made questionable calls and engages that led to lost teamfights. Others were simply caught out of position and disposed of by Schalke.

By the end of the match, Fnatic had only secured one kill as a team—they also only took two turrets and were down 9,000 gold as well. Their macro play wasn’t strong at all, and Schalke took advantage of every mistake they made.

The perennial LEC champions haven’t looked like themselves this entire split and are now sitting in fifth place with a lackluster 4-5 record. Although there’s still time to bring things back and turn around the season, Fnatic fans have every right to be worried after losing to the lowest team in the standings.

Next week, Fnatic will look to bounce back and regain some confidence when they face off against Team Vitality and Misfits Gaming. Schalke, on the other hand, will look to use this momentum to pick up another win against either SK Gaming or Rogue.

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Pokemon Go July 2020 Field Research Tasks

July is here, and it’s shaping up to be another busy month for Pokemon Go. On top of all the in-game events Niantic has lined up over the next few weeks, a new batch of Field Research tasks is now live, and if you complete enough of them, you’ll earn a new Research Breakthrough reward: Larvitar.

Each time you achieve a Research Breakthrough in July, your reward will be an encounter with Larvitar, the base form of the powerful Tyranitar. There’s also a chance that the Larvitar you encounter will be Shiny, so there’s a good incentive to complete as much Field Research as you can this month.

As a refresher, Field Research tasks are distributed via Poke Stops. The first one you complete each day will net you a stamp, and collecting seven stamps will lead to a Research Breakthrough. You can see the full list of July’s Field Research tasks, as compiled by The Silph Road, below.

There’s a lot going on in Pokemon Go this month. Pokemon Go Fest 2020 takes place on July 25 and 26, and before then, Niantic is holding a series of weekly challenges that players can complete to unlock additional Pokemon during Go Fest weekend. The Legendary Kyurem is also making its debut in Pokemon Go this month, and Gastly is headlining July’s Community Day.

Pokemon Go News & Announcements

  • Pokemon Go Is Finally Getting Mega Evolution, Galarian Farfetch'd
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  • Pokemon Go June 2020 Field Research Tasks

Pokemon Go July 2020 Field Research Tasks

Catching Tasks

Field Research Task Rewards
Catch 5 Pokemon with Weather boost Poliwag or Vulpix encounter; 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls
Catch 10 Pokemon with Weather boost 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls
Catch 5 different species of Pokemon 1 Rare Candy
Catch 3 Pokemon with Weather boost Alolan Geodude encounter
Catch 3 Rock-type Pokemon Graveler encounter
Catch 10 Pokemon Magikarp encounter; 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls
Catch 10 Normal-type Pokemon 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls
Use 5 Berries to help catch Pokemon Nosepass encounter; 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls
Catch a Dragon-type Pokemon Dratini encounter; 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candies, 2 Gold Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls
Catch a Ditto 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candies, 2 Gold Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls

Battling Tasks

Field Research Tasks Rewards
Win a Raid Lileep encounter
Win 5 Raids Aerodactyl encounter
Win a level 3 or higher Raid Kabuto or Omanyte encounter
Win in the Go Battle League Anorith encounter

Throwing Tasks

Field Research Task Rewards
Make 3 Great throws Gastly, Anorith, or Lileep encounter; 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls
Make 5 Nice throws Voltorb encounter; 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls
Make 3 Nice throws in a row 500 Stardust, 2 Pinap Berries, 5 Great Balls, or 2 Ultra Balls
Make 3 Great throws in a row Onix encounter; 1,000 Stardust, 1 Rare Candy, 9 Razz Berries, 3 Pinap Berries, 10 Poke Balls, or 5 Ultra Balls
Make 3 Great curveball throws 1,000 Stardust, 1 Rare Candy, 9 Razz Berries, 3 Pinap Berries, 10 Poke Balls, or 5 Ultra Balls
Make 3 Great curveball throws in a row 1,500 Stardust, 3 Rare Candies, 2 Gold Razz Berries, or 10 Ultra Balls
Make 5 Great curveball throws in a row Spinda encounter
Make an Excellent throw 500 Stardust, 2 Pinap Berries, 5 Great Balls, or 2 Ultra Balls
Make 3 Excellent throws in a row Larvitar encounter
Make 5 curveball throws in a row 500 Stardust, 6 Razz Berries, 2 Pinap Berries, or 5 Great Balls
Make 2 Nice curveball throws in a row 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls

Hatching Tasks

Field Research Task Rewards
Hatch an Egg Aerodactyl encounter

Misc. Tasks

Field Research Task Rewards
Transfer 3 Pokemon Aron encounter
Trade a Pokemon Onix encounter
Evolve a Pokemon Eevee or Rhydon encounter
Power up Pokemon 5 times Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle encounter
Send 3 Gifts to friends Dwebble encounter
Take a Snapshot of a Rock-type Pokemon Shuckle encounter
Spin 10 PokeStops or Gyms 200 Stardust, 3 Razz Berries, 1 Pinap Berry, or 5 Poke Balls

Buddy Tasks

Field Research Task Rewards
Earn 5 Hearts with your Buddy 2 Silver Pinap Berries
Give your Buddy 3 treats Sudowoodo encounter
Earn 3 Candies walking with your Buddy Stunfisk encounter

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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The Steam Summer Sale 2020 Has Huge Deals On Skyrim, Doom Eternal, GTA 5, And Lots More

Summer is always a busy time for deals, and while huge sales from Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation have already ended, one of the season’s biggest gaming sales just launched. Every June, Steam users look forward to an absolute truckload of PC games going on sale as part of the platform’s annual Summer Sale, and the time has finally come: Steam Summer Sale 2020 is live now, as predicted by a developer at SteamDB back in May. The sale includes major discounts on a ton of great games, including Rainbow Six Siege, Disco Elysium, Skyrim, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Grand Theft Auto V, and Terraria. It’s one of the best times of the year to bulk up your game library. Don’t miss it if there are any titles you’ve been looking to snag.

Steam Summer Sale 2020 dates and times

Steam Summer Sale 2020 kicked off Thursday, June 25, and will run until Thursday, July 9, ending at 10 PM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST.

Steam Summer Sale 2020’s best deals

As usual, literally thousands of games are seeing major markdowns across nearly every genre, from first-person shooters and action-adventure games to city-building games, horror games, and more. See our full roundup of Steam Summer Sale 2020’s best game deals for our recommendations on what to grab.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence — $15.29 ($45)
  • Jackbox Party Pack 6 — $21 ($30)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — $6 ($20)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 – Complete Edition — $17 ($50)
  • Doom Eternal — $30 ($60)
  • Disco Elysium — $30 ($40)
  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun — $6 ($40)
  • Helldivers — $10 ($20)
  • Tabletop Simulator — $10 ($20)
  • Total War: Warhammer II — $20.39 ($60)
  • Dragon Quest Builders II — $36 ($60)
  • Titanfall 2 — $9.89 ($30)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition — $16 ($40)
  • Outer Wilds — $16.65 ($25)
  • Dark Souls III – Deluxe Edition — $21.24 ($85)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot — $36 ($60)
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — $30 ($60)
  • Rainbow Six Siege — $8 ($20)
  • Grand Theft Auto V — $15 ($30)
  • Rust — $20 ($40)
  • …and more

Cheap games under $10

If you’re on a tight budget this summer, you can fortunately find some incredible games for dirt cheap in the Steam Summer Sale–some of them are just a few bucks. Games like Celeste, Undertale, Darkest Dungeon, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will cost you less than $10 apiece right now, and they’re absolutely worth playing. For more budget recommendations, see our roundup of the best cheap games under $10 in Steam Summer Sale 2020.

  • Celeste — $10 ($20)
  • Undertale — $3.39 ($10)
  • Moonlighter — $6.79 ($20)
  • Darkest Dungeon — $6.24 ($25)
  • Papers, Please — $5 ($10)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — $9 ($30)
  • …and more

Best PC exclusives on sale

Most multi-platform games make their way onto Steam at some point, but there are still plenty of games that launch on PC and don’t get ported to other platforms right away. For that reason, it’s worth paying extra attention to PC exclusives during Steam Summer Sale, as you’re likely to find the best prices on these games that you’ll find in a long time. Put that gaming PC to good use and check out our list of the best PC exclusives on sale at Steam, including Total War: Three Kingdoms, Gears Tactics, and Half-Life: Alyx.

  • Half-Life: Alyx — $45 ($60)
  • Gears Tactics — $40.19 ($60)
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms — $45 ($60)
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad — $15 ($20)
  • Tabletop Simulator — $10 ($20)
  • Black Mesa — $13 ($20)
  • …and more

Steam Summer Sale theme and trading cards

While last year’s Steam Summer Sale had a unique Grand Prix theme, Steam Summer Sale 2020 looks to have a more generic summer road trip theme. There’s no real mini-game this year, but you can earn Summer Sale trading cards. You’ll get one trading card for every $10 USD that you spend; plus, you’ll earn one card a day during the sale by completing your Discovery Queue. You can then craft those cards to gain levels for the Summer Road Trip Badge.

A “Road Trip Special” is also available during the Steam Summer Sale. You can save an additional $5 on any purchase of $30 or more. The discount is applied at checkout. There’s also a free sticker to claim each day the sale is live.

Steam Summer Sale introduces Points Shop

Steam has launched the Points Shop alongside the Summer Sale, which will now be open year-round and lets you earn points as you shop. You’ll earn 100 points for every dollar you spend, whether that’s on a game, DLC, application, soundtrack, or in-game items. Those points can then be redeemed for Profile or Chat items, including animated avatars, frames, backgrounds, and badges.

You can also redeem your points to get a background or emoticon for games you already own, including those that were previously associated with trading cards. Another new feature: Community Awards, which let you reward reviews or other user-generated content that you find particularly insightful, heartwarming, or notable in some other way. There are also badges you can earn by rewarding others’ content.

Unlike previous Steam sales where items you earned expired after a certain amount of time, any Point Shop items will be yours to keep and have unlimited uses, with the exception of a special Summer Golden Profile that you can purchase–it’ll display for up to 30 days.

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
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Fortnite: Land Choppa At Steamy Stacks

The third week of Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 3 is nearly here with a number of new challenges that will have you clicking heads all over the map. A particularly tough challenge will take you to Steamy Stacks, the flooded factory located in the upper corner of the map. You’ll need to land a choppa at the bottom of Steamy Stacks. This guide will show you how to get to Steamy Stacks with a helicopter and help you land it right in one of those stacks. After you do that, you can take on other Season 3 challenges and get ready for Aquaman. You’ll have challenges to complete for a certain other superhero, as well. It’s one we weren’t expecting.

This challenge leaked early. However, July 2 brought with it the challenge and it’s still available to complete in the game. Log into Fortnite and complete the challenge so you can reap its rewards. These are releasing periodically, so keep checking back to see what the rewards are. There are challenges associated with all of them.

Where is Steamy Stacks?

Steamy Stacks is located in the top right corner of the map. It’s flooded after The Device event so you can no longer explore most of it. There are still some upper floors as well as rooms in both stacks that contain weapons. It’s separated from the rest of the map by water, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to locate.

How Can I Get a Helicopter?

Helicopters spawn in several regular locations across Fortnite: Chapter 2 Season 3’s map. Be aware though: the spots with helipads are usually popular, meaning you may have to fight to get to your ride.

Here are a few locations where you can find a helicopter near Steamy Stacks and the rest of the map:

  • On the southern edge of The Yacht
  • At the top of The Authority building
  • At the southern end of Rickety Rig
  • On the western side of The Fortilla
  • On the southern edge of The Yacht
  • On an island in the river north of Misty Meadows
  • South of Catty Corner on the snowy mountain
  • East of Frenzy Farm

How Do I Land A Choppa In Steamy Stacks?

The helipad locations closest to Steamy Stacks are at The Authority and The Yacht, although you can get a helicopter from any of those locations and get to Steamy Stacks easily. Depending on the route of the battle bus you should drop at the location closest to you, immediately get the helicopter and then go straight to Steamy Stacks. Be aware of where the circle is once you start flying.

Once you get there you’ll need to pilot the helicopter slowly over one of the two giant stacks and slowly descend into it. It’s easier than it sounds since you have plenty of room and the helicopter is quite sturdy. Make sure you actually land the chopper on the little watch tower within the stack in order to complete the challenge.

What Reward to I Get For Landing The Choppa?

Once those propellers stop spinning you’ll get experience points to help you level up.

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