25 01 19

Beat Street is a love letter to retro brawlers, echoing the likes of classic arcade title Double Dragon. Yet here you duff up all manner of evil gang members by way of using only a single thumb.

This is quite the achievement. Old-style scrolling beat ’em ups might not have had a modern-day gamepad littered with buttons and triggers, but they still had a joystick and two action buttons. Here, though, you drag to move, tap to punch, and use gestures to fire off special moves.

It works wonderfully. Beat Street gradually reveals new abilities and features – not least weapon pick-ups, one of which rather unsportingly has you smack opponents over the head with what’s described as an ’80s brick.

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Separated by grade level, Mr. Nussbaum’s website has games that encourage young learners to practice graphing, rounding, multiplication, other math facts, and many more topics. Sports-themed games that reinforce important math concepts will appeal to boys and girls, and students of all ages.

Other games news: Total War: Three Kingdoms has been delayed from March 7 to May 23, to make more time to ensure “this is the Total War experience that you’ve come to expect”. Interestingly, developer Creative Assembly says the delay means the next Total War: Warhammer II DLC – expected to be a Legendary Lord pack for the Skaven and Lizardmen – will arrive before Three Kingdoms, which narrows the release window somewhat.

One of the most buzzed-about topics in games in recent years has been and continues to be cross-play. Now, one prominent developer has spoken up to talk about the benefits of allowing players on competing systems to play together. Stew Chisam, the CEO of Smite and Paladins developer Hi-Rez, outlined some of the benefits of cross-play in a post on Twitter.

For Paladins, which supports cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Chisam said overall match quality is improved thanks to cross-play. Wait-times for matches is down 30 percent, while the quality of matches is better because the level spread is down 40 percent. In all, Hi-Rez is reportedly seeing an 80 percent reduction in what it calls “bad” matches.

Anyone who has played a ranked multiplayer game knows how frustrating it can be when you’re matched with players who have a much higher skill level, so it’s good to see the statistics seemingly indicate that cross-play helps improve things. Whether or not other games see these results remains to be seen.

Developer Respawn believed that it was “putting a lot on the line” with the surprise launch of Apex Legends, but it looks like the decision was the right one: just three days after launch, the game has reached 10 million players. Fortnite, in comparison, took two weeks to hit the same milestone.

“We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch,” Respawn CEO Vince Zampella wrote in a blog post. “But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it, too.” In addition to the overall player count, the developer also says that Apex has already reached 1 million concurrent players.