Defunctland’s VR amusement park revives a long-dead Disney ride

Obviously, nobody’s in a rush to hit the theme parks these days. But if you’re feeling the Disneyland itch after being cooped up for months, you can now ride a long-forgotten attraction from the comfort of your desk—no queuing required.

Over on YouTube, Kevin Perjurer’s Defunctland has been busy cataloguing classic, often long-dead theme park rides and attractions. Shortly after the channel debuted in 2017, Perjurer teased Defunctland VR, a project that’d let you pop on a headset and experience these shuttered rides for yourself.

Three years of relative silence later, and Defunctland’s first attraction is open for business. First opened in 1971, Disney World Orlando’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea has been fully rebuilt in Perjurer’s virtual park, sporting audio pulled from the original ride. The sub itself is fully functional, right down to flip-down chairs you can sit on to peek out at the aquatic animatronics through the window.

While intended as a neat little VR showcase, Defunctland VR is also fully playable in 2D, with a spacious little pre-ride lobby area to explore. The whole thing can also be experienced through a 360° YouTube video.

As it stands, Defunctland VR is a neat little historical artefact. But I’m more excited by the promise of what it could become—a museum-like collection of dozens of defunct old rides, keeping the experience of riding their real-world counterparts alive long after they hit the scrapheap.

“We are continuing to develop more attractions for the project. We’re hoping to bring rides from all sorts of theme parks and give them new life,” Perjurer told Polygon. “A surprising amount of people told us personal stories of loved ones they used to experience this ride with, and how getting the chance to ride it in VR brought back memories not just of the ride, but of their friends and family.”

The Stardew Valley Expanded mod is ready for 1.5 with a big new farm

Now that Stardew Valley‘s foundations-shaking 1.5 update has been out for a bit, let me point out to you that a bunch of the game’s most popular mods are already updated and fit for purpose with it. 

Specifically, the sprawling Stardew Valley Expanded mod is chugging along as usual, and got a nice new farm map to suit the big update to boot. Grandpa’s Farm is a huge new farm map with all manner of niceties on it, like a mysterious-looking shed. Some nice shady-looking groves. A lovely river. It also includes new secrets and quests to go along with a new look. The old farm map for SVE, Immersive Farm 2, is still available, but Grandpa’s Farm supercedes it as the primary map for SVE.

Return to Castle Monkey Ball is exactly what you think it is

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Return to Castle Monkey Ball is exactly what you think it is
By Mollie Taylor an hour ago

Grab bananas and bowl over some Nazis.


Ever sat there and thought “Man, Wolfenstein 3D is great but it really needs more Super Monkey Ball?” No? Well, maybe you should, because there’s now a fangame which satisfies that exact need.

Thanks to creator Nickireda Return to Castle Monkey Ball combines all the chaotic physics-based fun of Super Monkey Ball with Wolfenstein 3D’s Nazi fighting mayhem (thanks Kotaku). B.J. Bakowicz has traded in his arsenal of weapons in favour of rolling around in a plastic ball a lá AiAi. There are eight procedurally generated Nazi fortresses to roll through, with bananas to collect and enemies to bonk with your ball.

I had a go on the easiest difficulty, “Can I play, Daddy?” and quickly remembered how awful I’ve always been at Super Monkey Ball. It’s a very strange juxtaposition, particularly Wolfenstein 3D’s bleak castle being narrated by Super Monkey Ball’s enthusiastic announcer. But there’s something strangely compelling about barrelling monkeys into Nazis.

The fangame is available for free over on It’s a fun way to spend some time, and a bit of silly yet nostalgic goodness to brighten a bleak start to the year.

No More Room in Hell 2 pops up a Steam page

After jerking back to life a few months ago, No More Room in Hell 2 has risen to terrorize the denizens of Steam with a new Steam Page that says the game is “coming soon.” The developers over at Lever Games are aiming to deliver the Early Access phase of No More Room in Hell 2 some time this year, clearly. Their goal is for that to last about a year before the game’s full release. The initial release will have 8-player zombie killin co-op across two large, non-linear maps: Brooklyn Heights, based on New York City, and Night of the Living Dead, based on rural Pennsylvania. The maps will have randomized elements each playthrough “including apartments, building interiors, locked doors, electrical power, barricades, and more.” The default game mode is a co-op mode where players must work together to survive, complete objectives, and call for rescue.

Over the course of Early Access, the developers want to explore additional game modes, more weapons, gadgets, and abilities, as well as crafting and human NPCs like national guardsmen and survivalists.

No More Room in Hell was a profoundly beloved mod that became an even-more-beloved free to play game. It was our 2012 mod of the year, a game which took the Left 4 Dead formula, added four more players, and cranked up the lethality to maximum. One bite and you’re dead, just as George Romero intended. 

Fighting massive waves of goo in Creeper World 4 is oddly blissful

Creeper World is cursed with an off-putting name that makes it sound like a theme park for pervs, but it is in fact a long-running series of elaborate tower defence games, the fourth of which appeared at the tail end of last year. I’ve overlooked them until now, which was absolutely a mistake. I have learned my lesson while drowning in an unstoppable wave of blue goo.

Here’s the deal: there’s a big ol’ undulating mass of weird sci-fi fluid ready to swallow everything up, and through the power and science and guns—mostly guns—you’ll need to try and stop it. Your enemy is more like a force of nature, tirelessly swelling and rising until everything is trapped within a fluidic prison. But you can still hurt it.

At the start of the campaign—which really just serves to prepare you for custom maps and daily challenges—you only have a couple of things to worry about. You can plonk down cannons powered by your growing network of power lines and pylons to push back the tide, with each strike clearing a bit of goo and giving you more space to build, until you’ve cleared paths all the way to your objectives. It’s straightforward and methodical, and while the Creeper flood is a ceaseless adversary, rising up from multiple sources to surround you, fighting back is unexpectedly soothing.

I let clutter build up. I’m almost pathologically incapable of putting things away when I’m done with them, so I live in chaos. When I do remember to live like a human, it’s like a fog lifts. As I start to move all the half-painted Warhammer models off my dining table, or find homes for the teetering towers of books on the floor, I start to remember other things I really shouldn’t have put off. Tidying up is invigorating and liberating, and that’s really what you’re doing in Creeper World.

Every spot you rescue from the goo is land you can build on, another route forward, and you can turn these little islands into bulwarks against the tide. Throw down some cannons to protect them and you can expand the safe zone, until these formerly tiny oases expand across the whole map. Like any mess, once you start chipping away at it, it becomes a lot easier to eradicate.

Unlike the detritus strewn across my flat, the goo almost immediately seeks to fill in any gaps that you create, undoing your work in seconds. You need to keep up a constant barrage, necessitating more weapons and increasingly complex networks to funnel all of your resources into killing machines and building projects. And all the while, the goo level just keeps on rising. So you’ve got to earn those moments of bliss, where you’ve pushed your enemy all the way back, by keeping up the pressure. Always building, always pushing forward. It’s tower offence, really.

You might be in a race against the goo, but the pace is more like a march. It’s a hypnotic, orderly rhythm, which has so far helped me keep my focus even when things threaten to get a bit frantic and the goo is nipping at my heels. Sometimes, though, there’s good reason to panic, like when a tidal wave that dwarfs mountains is bearing down on you.

This is Creeper World’s 3D debut, so it’s now able to simulate 3D waves, which ominously pulsate as the goo builds up and overflows. There’s a lot of menace conveyed in those constantly shifting peaks and troughs. There’s an even more dangerous red goo to worry about, too, and assorted Creeper villains that you’ll need to take out with sci-fi gizmos like your nullifier. Eventually you’ll have orbital lasers, terraformers, teleportation technology and an air force at your beck and call, letting you match the goo’s constant escalation.

Developer Knuckle Cracker has been working on the series for over a decade, refining it rather than reinventing it, and this laser focus seems to have paid off. Even though we’re at game number four, pitting players against a huge flood remains incredibly novel, and the shift to 3D seems like the perfect way to take advantage of this unique enemy. If the prospect of blowing up an alien menace and maybe getting swallowed up by a goonami sounds appealing, there’s a Creeper World 4 demo on Steam that you can dip your toes into.

John Lin’s physics sandbox returns with the best water I’ve ever seen

I’m increasingly convinced that the next big thing in games tech isn’t ray-traced puddles or eye-watering 8K displays, but voxels. Laugh all you want, but go ahead and look at John Lin’s captivating water up there and tell me I’m wrong, I dare you.

Malindy Hetfield first spotted Lin’s lush voxel forests for us last November. Since then, your man’s been plugging away at the project, showing off clouds of butterflies and moody moonlit pups. But it’s this week’s update that really blew me away, with a dive into some absolutely staggering water physics.

We’ve come a hell of a long way since Minecraft’s slow-moving cubes, readers. Lin’s fluids flow and splash and spray remarkably, refracting light and filling spaces just as you’d expect. Lin goes into great technical detail in the YouTube description, explaining that the water is fully volumetric to act like a real fluid—and while it currently only interacts with terrain, he hopes to soon have it splashing around players and objects.

An interesting aside is that, in this video, all the water is spawned from limitless faucets—meaning that the world will eventually submerge itself completely. Lin’s next problem seems to be the simple job of, well, implementing a full evaporation and rainfall cycle to refill lakes and ponds.

While Lin still has no concrete plans for the project, he does hope to eventually turn it into a game. That’s probably okay, considering destruction sandbox Teardown similarly started as a series of neat voxel physics clips on Twitter before fully forming as a smashing heist game.

Watching Lin’s video, all I could think about was a version of Teardown that included these magical fluids—thwacking open storage tanks to put out fires or wash debris off the pavement. Lin’s work already has some cracking demolition credits of its own, too. Toss in Fugl’s ability to turn you into a flying monkey, and I reckon you’ve got yourself a perfect game.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 goes free on the Epic Store next week

With the holidays over and a new year off to a roaring start, the Epic Games Store has returned to its usual weekly cadence of free games. The 2021 giveaways begins with Crying Suns, an FTL-inspired strategy roguelike that, when we dove into it in 2019, we quite liked in some ways, and did not care for in others.

“Together with the inventive combat and gauntlet of narrative choices to be made, Crying Suns is a good strategy game that’s absolutely worth playing as long as you’re okay with it not being much of a roguelike,” we wrote in our 79/100 review. “Repetitive encounters and a general lack of challenge made my journey through this corpse of a galactic empire not nearly as hardfought as it should.”

Tales of galactic empires will continue in next week’s freebie, which is a much higher-profile offering: The Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition, which includes “the complete collection of customization content acquirable through in-game purchase,” up to and including the Rise of the Skywalker update. It’s not actually available for purchase on the Epic Store yet, but is scheduled to show up—and take its place as the weekly freebie—on January 14

OnlyCans is a thirst trap-soaked game about sexy sodas

Well there’s a headline I never thought I’d write. But thanks to the eccentric mind of Sean Oxspring, there’s now OnlyCans: Thirst Date, where you lust after a variety of different sodas.

If it wasn’t already obvious enough, the game is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the site OnlyFans, which has become well-known for its use by sex workers. OnlyCans puts you as the principal photographer of each different drink. It doesn’t offer the deepest gameplay, being a sort of rhythm game/light dating-sim hybrid. Well-timed mouse or button prompts will either snap a sultry shot of the soda you’re currently courting, or cause their can to lightly spray with excitement. Get the cans all fizzed-up, and you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying click before it sprays its contents all over the place.

The game really has no right being as slick as it is, and the humour shines through its various personalities. There are 29 different cans here, all with their own stories, likes and dislikes—Lemon Party loves mornings and champagne sorbet, and hates motorcycles and jeans. Each can is even fully voiced, providing an immersive, unexpectedly juicy experience.

OnlyCans is free and made with considerable attention to detail, each soda offering a different aesthetic—from Cherry Pop’s lacy lingerie to Juicy Melon’s Harajuku street style. The main menu’s theme is also a bop, offering a sultry jazz piano that wouldn’t sound out of place in an equally horny game like Catherine. I’ll never look at cans the same way again.