This week in video games, April 16, 2018: New Friday the 13th game makes you help Jason kill campers

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      This week, a subscription service offers new games, including six Batman titles and indie efforts, and a quirky new game asks if you can spare a minute. But first, a new puzzle game is both an homage and a send-up of the iconic Friday the 13th movies.

      Bejeweled creator murders Friday the 13th with new game

      A new game sending up the Friday the 13th horror-movie franchise was released last Friday, April 13.

      Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle, from B.C.-based Blue Wizard Digital, both celebrates and pokes fun at the tropes to be found in the horror movies featuring Jason Voorhees, but at its core is a puzzle game. It just so happens that you complete the puzzle by helping Jason murder campers and camp counsellors.

      The mechanics were developed for Blue Wizard's earlier game, Slayaway Camp (available on most platforms, including consoles). Players control the movement of the killer around an isometric board and have to cause the death of the bystanders—either overtly, with all manner of weapons, or by scaring them into environmental hazards like campfires and wood chippers.

      The levels get more difficult as you progress, and you might find yourself frustrated to the point you're almost willing to commit murder, if you're not careful.

      Blue Wizard was founded by Jason Kapalka, who cofounded PopCap Games and had a hand in creating Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs Zombies.

      Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle is free to play on Android and iOS mobile devices. It’s also available on Steam.

      Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle Trailer


      Get used to dying while playing Minit

      Minit is a game you play in 60-second segments. You die every minute, but you respawn with the items and powers you already acquired. The goal of the game is to learn the map, solve the puzzles, and work out the sequence of events—all in one-minute increments. Ultimately, after hours of trial and error and practice, you'll be able to defeat the final boss and win the game in 60 seconds. 

      With pixelated art in black and white, this is a decidedly lo-fi affair, but it’s different than anything you’ve played before, and it’s an interesting and compelling challenge.


      EA’s subscription service adds Batman and indie games

      Origin Access, the service from Electronic Arts that gives subscribers unlimited access to almost 100 games, has added titles from outside publishers.

      Previously, only EA published games were available on Origin, but in March Warner Bros. Interactive made a half-dozen games available, including the Batman Arkham trilogy (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Origins), and Lego Batman 1 through 3.

      Also coming to the service are indie titles, including puzzle game The Witness and turn-based role-playing game Wasteland 2.

      Origin Access games are only playable on Windows.


      Games released or releasing soon

      • God of War, which continues the epic of Kratos, releases this week. It’s only available on PS4.
      • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, with a protagonist suffering a psychotic break, is now available on Xbox One. We called it “masterful and unnerving".
      • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is exclusive to PS4.