sunnuntai 29. maaliskuuta 2020

Best wireless routers 2020: the best Wi-Fi for your home network


Stop renting a router, and finally purchase the best wireless router 2020 has to offer. By doing so, you’re not just spending money on a device you need. Think of it as investing in a high-quality connection, which is vital these days whether you have a home office or you’re simply keeping your teens and tweens at home happy. 

The best wireless routers will make a big difference when you need a solid game bandwidth, to connect several devices at once or even to fill a large coverage area with a consistent signal. While any old router might only give you an intermittent or weak signal, the best wireless routers will deliver a strong connection as well as come with some impressive bells and whistles to ensure there aren’t any interruptions while you’re playing the best PC games, streaming Netflix in HD or 4K, or working on the cloud.

To help you get the best internet connection you’ll ever have, we put together a list of the best wireless routers on the market, each of which has been tested and reviewed here at TechRadar.

Best wireless routers 2020 at a glance

  1. Google Nest Wifi 
  2. Google Wifi
  3. Asus RT-AC86U
  4. Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500
  5. TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
  6. Netgear Orbi Pro
  7. Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23
  8. TP-Link Deco M9
  9. D-Link Covr-C1203
  10. Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Google Nest Wifi

Google Nest Wifi takes the Google Wifi and gives it the capabilities of Google Home.

Google kicks things up a notch in its Google Wifi line with its latest installment. Don’t get us wrong; the original Google Wifi is still among the best wireless routers today. However, if you’re all about the smart home life, then you’ll appreciate the pure genius of Google Nest Wifi. This wireless router takes the Google Wifi, gives it the capabilities of Google Home and wraps it all up in an even sleeker and more appealing package. It’s a mesh router and a smart speaker in one, all with the simplicity that Google Wifi is known for.

Read the full review: Google Nest Wifi

Google Wifi

Google Wifi is proof that the mesh revolution is coming.

The days of traditional wireless routers are coming to an end; the age of the wireless mesh routers is here. Google Wi-Fi, alone, is proof that the mesh revolution is upon us, which means that you might be saying goodbye to the days when the only way to have wireless bliss was to install a number of wireless extenders. The idea of Google Wi-Fi is simple: purchase a set of points, put them in strategic places around the house and then scan a QR code. And, just like that, you’re connected anywhere you are in your home. It’s no surprise that this wireless mesh router claims the loftiest spot on our best wireless routers list of 2019, as it’s also the one that’s most effortless to set up and get going.

Read the full review: Google Wifi

Asus RT-AC86U

Asus RT-AC86U easily outclasses practically all the wireless routers on the market.

If you’re well-acquainted with Asus, especially its gaming computers, then you likely have a general idea of what the Asus RT-AC86U brings to the table. This wireless router may look like the lovechild of Doritos and Mountain Dew, if they spent a night together in a router making machine. But, inside that kitschy gaming aesthetic is a wireless router that, for its price, effortlessly outclasses almost all of its rivals on the market. Even better, you’re also not paying a premium for a gaming device, so if you’re looking for a high-speed connection with an affordable price tag, the Asus RT-AC86U should be at the top of your list.

Read the full review: Asus RT-AC86U 

Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500

Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 is supercharged for your online gaming needs.

The Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 might be pricey and lacks a broadband modem. However, this is still a router that delivers, especially on getting those pings down. Designed for homes with gamers in-house, it’s supercharged for your online gaming needs, keeping those high “ping” and latency rates down to deliver an excellent connection whether you’re playing Call of Duty or PUBG. If you’re willing to pay a pretty penny – and if you’re a serious gamer, you should be – this is one of the best wireless routers to consider.

Read the full review: Netgear Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Google Wifi. 

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 can bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high-end functionality at a reasonable price point.

Are you in the market for one of the best wireless routers of 2019 and don’t mind a quirky design. If a ‘90s-inspired sci-fi design sounds like it will fit right in your home, then the TP-Link Archer C5400 v2 might be the best wireless router for you. It’s not exactly the most modern-looking mesh router out there, but it’s unique in that it can bridge consumer and enterprise users by offering high-end functionality at a reasonable price point and with a relaxed setup. It’s peculiar looking, yes; however, if you’re scouring the market for a wireless router that can cover a mid-sized home, you can’t go wrong with this.

Read the full review: TP-Link Archer C5400 v2

Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi Pro is a modular Wi-Fi mesh router.

If you need to bring your office’s networking into the modern age with one of the best routers of 2019, then you must seriously consider getting the Netgear Orbi Pro. It’s a modular Wi-Fi mesh router that takes some design and performance inspiration from its business-grade competitors. It’s on the more expensive side. However, if you’re running a business where you cannot afford any lags due to poor Wi-Fi, then it’s absolutely worth every penny.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi Pro

Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23

Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 is an economical alternative for casual users.

When the Netgear Orbi hit the streets, it changed the wireless router scene. Then, in 2019, Netgear released the Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23, an economical alternative for casual users who don’t have a grand manor to cover. This makes it a worthy contender for the best wireless routers. Sure, it comes with fewer antennae and ethernet ports than its higher end counterpart. However, it does deliver more than enough to provide very solid network coverage. Plus, the small form factor means that it will have no issues blending in­ – not that you will feel the need to hide it.

Read the full review: Netgear Orbi AC2200 RBK23 

TP-Link Deco M9

TP-Link Deco M9 incorporates IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage.

The market is now flooded with wireless mesh routers, but it’s hard to complain when the level of coverage these wireless routers brings tops anything we’ve seen before. With devices like the TP-Link Deco M9, one of the best routers of 2020, we can see how they’re only getting better and better. By incorporating IoT smart home support, alongside industry standard speeds and coverage, the TP-Link Deco M9 is, without question, an excellent choice for a smart home supporter. Fair warning though, this router is a tad expensive. However, you’re also getting all these features and an outstanding performance in exchange.

Read the full review: TP-Link Deco M9

D-Link Covr-C1203

D-Link Covr C1203 is one of the best wireless routers if you want to upgrade and save at the same time.

Ready to jump on the mesh wireless router bandwagon, but without breaking open that piggy bank? You’re in luck with the affordable D-Link Covr C1203. It’s one of the best wireless routers, if you want to upgrade and save at the same time. It offers comparable coverage to that of the Google Wi-Fi while also being affordable, and it also looks futuristic in a great way. It’s somewhat slower than Google’s legendary router, but it will still be fast enough for the typical user. It’s no surprise that the D-Link Covr C1203 gets our vote as one of the best wireless routers of 2020.

Read the full review: D-Link Covr-C1203 

Eero Home Wi-Fi System

Eero Home Wi-Fi System gives users total control over their network while touting a secure connection through AI.

If you’re in the market for a wireless mesh router that gives you a lot of control over your network, then the Eero Home Wi-Fi system might just be the answer. It has a price more premium than that of your standard router, but it also gives users total control over their network while touting a secure connection through AI. Even better, the Eero Home Wi-Fi System comes with subscriptions to 1Password, MalwareBytes and VPN, which should keep everyone linked to your network safe and secure. 

Read the full review: Eero Home Wi-Fi System 

Joe Osborne, Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Uy have also contributed to this article

Images Credit: TechRadar

from TechRadar: Photography & video capture news

Best indie games on PC and consoles 2020: the greatest hidden gems


Unlike their AAA counterparts, the best indie games give gamers the pure artistic vision of game developers. Since they don’t have to rely on tired tropes just to sell millions of copies, like AAA titles, they’re basically artistic masterpieces and offer a more unique experience.

Still, the best indie games can easily rival mainstream games in both quality and scope. Just because the best indie games don’t have the corporate weight behind them doesn’t mean they can’t keep up with the latest AAA hits in scope and ambition. We've found that the opposite is often true. In fact, most ideally experienced on one of the best gaming PCs, many of them are among the best Steam games you can download in 2020.

If you’re looking for the next great indie hits, keep reading. We’ve put together a list of all the best indie games on the PC and console market today, from in vogue indies like Return of the Obra Dinn and Outward, to classic titles like Braid and Dwarf Fortress. 

Coming Soon: Ooblets

Coming Soon: Ooblets

Image Credit: Glumberland

It’s not out yet, with Double Fine promising it’ll be out ‘soonish,’ but Ooblets is already on our radar. Being developed by first-time studio Glumberland, and backed by Double Fine, the game is described as some kind of combo between Pokemon, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, capturing our attention – and probably yours, too. The game combines an art style oddly reminiscent of post-apocalyptic sensation, Adventure Time, with gameplay that revolves around gathering creatures called ooblets in the town of, uh, Oob. 

In the game, you’ll be able to train and battle your ooblets against other ooblet trainers. At the same time, you’ll have to balance your ooblet training with the real-world responsibilities of being a farmer. That’s right; drawing influence from the likes of Stardew Valley, you can cultivate, produce and decorate your house with various trimmings as well. You’ll also be able to join an Ooblet Club comprised of friends (NPCs) you’ll meet along the way. 

If you don’t know what to do just yet, you can just walk around aimlessly to discover new shops and buildings that suit your interest. Better yet, you can open up your own shop to sell produce that you’ve grown yourself on the farm, as well as items that you’ve scavenged throughout the world. And, you can feed the leftover crops to your ooblets to watch them level up and learn new techniques to be used in the turn-based, RPG-style battles.

Expected: ‘Soonish’

Untitled Goose Game

Untitled Goose Game

Image Credit: House House

Who knew an untitled game about a goose could be so fun? A bit of surprise hit, Untitled Goose Game quickly went viral after its brand of avian nuisance-making was unveiled to the world.

Set in a dopey village in the English countryside, you play as a goose tasked with terrorizing your human neighbours: stealing their crops, locking them in closets, and honking all the way through. Inspired by the stealth action series Hitman, but with its own charm, Untitled Goose Game became a huge hit in 2019. You'll zip through the game in a handful of hours, but it's very much work the journey.



Image Credit: Number None

At first, Jonathan Blow's masterpiece appears to be a simple pastiche of Super Mario Bros, with a middle-aged curmudgeon replacing the titular plumber, but still seeking to rescue a princess. But, the longer you spend in the game, the more that’s revealed to you, progressing from a series of time-bending puzzles to quiet reflective texts. That doesn’t stop it from being the smartest puzzle game since SpaceChem, however. Blow himself has subtly hinted that the ultimate story may revolve around the atomic bomb.

Cave Story 

Cave Story

Image Credit: Pixel

First released as PC freeware by Japanese designer Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya in 2004 after five years of 100% solo development, Cave Story predates this recent indie renaissance by a few years. Because of that, it's often been omitted in indie gaming discussions. 

However, this classic more than deserves to be on every best-of list, and not only for its loving homage to the classic action platforming games of the Super Nintendo era. It also boasts awesome music and a breathlessly vibrant world, not to mention, the hugely intuitive controls as well as gobs of secrets and weapons that are simply too fun to use. If you've yet to enjoy this one, you need to put it at the top of your list already.



Image Credit: StudioMDHR

From family-owned and operated Studio MDHR, Cuphead has resonated with millions of people around the world, many of whom normally wouldn’t touch a run-and-gun platformer with a ten-foot pole.

While its gameplay was inspired by classic games such as Mega Man and Contra, most gamers will likely compare it to a Fleischer Studios cartoon like Betty Boop. Because Cuphead uses a hand-drawn art style similar to a 1930s animation, it’s been universally praised for its gorgeous visuals.

Cuphead is more than just its stunning visuals, however. It’s a series of 19 challenging and engaging bosses, with platforming bits interspersed between them. It already made our list of the best indie games, but then Studio MDHR has announced that the Cuphead: the Delicious Last Course DLC, slated for 2019, will include a new isle to explore, new bosses to conquer and, most importantly, a new character to master.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Image Credit: Focus Home Interactive

This dark and moody action-adventure stealth game by Asobo Studio is hauntingly beautiful.

Set in the 1340s during the Black Death pandemic in the French countryside, you’re Amicia, a young noble girl whose parents were killed by the Inquisition. You must now traverse battlefields and villages with her brother Hugo to find a cure for his mysterious ailment. Along the way, you must scare away ravenous rats as well as stun (or kill) guards and hostile villagers with your sling and special ammunition supplies.

Despite the ghastliness and rawness of the Middle Ages and the Plague, A Plague Tale: Innocence is a complete stunner and a game who almost never want to end.



Image Credit: Derek Yu

Among the hardcore gamers we know, Spelunky is the go-to drug. Even today, several years after its release, some of them still play it consistently, despite having completed it many times over. That's because this ostensibly rogue-like platformer with a definite end is tough, varied and highly randomized.

It also has more dark secrets than a presidential candidate, which means that there are a number of ways to finish it, and its daily challenges are a sure-fire way to public humiliation.

The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable

Image Credit: Davey Wreden

Does humor belong in video games? Well, if the Stanley Parable has its way, it’s a resounding ‘yes’. This game is hilarious without being dumbed down. Players follow (or don’t) a very British narrator who changes the world around you, based on your choices.

No choice is punished, and every playthrough will be fresh with new humor and weird goings-on. In fact, being trapped in the closet in The Stanley Parable is more moving and funny than the majority of other games, indie and otherwise.

If you missed out on this ironic gem back when it first launched, you’ll be happy to know that the developer announced the Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe edition for 2019, touting fresh content, more endings and a console release. This Ultra Deluxe edition actually sounds pretty tempting, even for us – and we played it a whole lot when it first came out.



Image Credit: D-Pad Studio

It took more than nine years to make, but Owlboy is certainly worth the wait. Originally designed for PCs and released in late 2016, this clever indie game masterpiece is now available to experience on Mac and Linux as well – and there’s even a Nintendo Switch version! Owlboy revolves around a race of owl-human hybrid characters called, aptly enough, Owls. Of them, you control Otis, an Owl who is censured by his mentor for his inept flying skills.

The story sees Otis’ village destroyed by pirates who have conflict with the Owls. As a result, Otis has to work with an assortment of villagers in-game to take out enemies. Of course, before the boss battles arise, you’ll need to manage allies accordingly, as each character comes with their own set of unique skill sets to use in conjunction with one another. If you’ve ever played and enjoyed a Kid Icarus game, this is one’s for you. If not, well… play it anyway.

Gone Home

Gone Home

Image Credit: Fullbright

Similar to The Stanley Parable, Gone Home falls into the unofficially christened ‘walking simulator’ genre. Where it diverts from the clever and philosophical Stanley Parable, however, is its focus on life’s difficult realities, as opposed to light humor.

After coming home to your childhood house following an overseas visit, you play as 21-year-old Kaitlin Greenbriar who is greeted by an empty house. While gameplay is limited to scavenging through notes to find out where your family is, the compelling story is extremely emotional and gripping, as long as you keep an open mind. After all this time, Gone Home still stands out as one of the best indie games out there.

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

Image Credit: Squad

Only SpaceChem has mixed learning with entertainment as successfully as The Kerbal Space Program. The game is simple - design and build a spacecraft to take the cutesy Kerbals to the Mun and beyond.

Its intelligent use of real physics, however, means that you'll find yourself following NASA as you’re building multi-stage rockets and space stations as well as exploring the Kerbal's strange universe on EVAs, before bringing your discoveries back for research on the Kerbal planet - that's if you can get off the ground at all. It's a huge, complex, challenging and fun game that manages to be super smart without being preachy.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Image Credit: Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl,

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is the exact opposite of something like Kerbal Space Program – it’s an action roguelike par excellence. You play as a young boy forced to kill his damned siblings, mother and possibly the Devil, using only tears that he shoots from his eyes, naturally. This indie games is matched only by the equally visceral Nuclear Throne. With dozens of weird items to collect, endless procedurally-generated levels and many secrets, the Binding of Isaac is a very dark take on the exploratory model established by Spelunky.



Image Credit: GameMaker Studio

Don’t let its pixel art graphics put you off – Undertale isn’t a game that would have fit on the Super Nintendo. That’s because, in Undertale, the decisions you make have a huge impact on how the game ends and, more importantly, how it continues in New Game Plus.

While playing Undertale, you’ll realize just how much freedom the game gives you. Despite its highly inspired and very intense boss matches, you’ll make it through the entire nine or so hours of Undertale as a total pacifist, if you choose to. Plus, when you go through the game a second time, you’ll bear the weight of the consequences from your previous run. What’s even better is that Undertale is out now on the Nintendo Switch, so you can take this masterpiece of game design wherever you go.



Image Credit: Playdead

From developer Playdead, Inside is very much like its predecessor, Limbo, in some ways, only with an added layer of depth that often inspires wonder. This is mostly a result of the unspoken narrative, which revolves around yet another nameless boy. In Inside, the boy is running away from a group of men who – if you fail to stay out of their sights – will try to mercilessly kill you.

It isn't quite clear why the boy is running from these men or why you should even care since you don't know who he is, so Inside will leave you begging for answers. The bleak, lifeless setting of Inside is more than worth the price of admission. Its minimalist art style alone is avant-garde enough to feel right at home in a museum. Factor in the fact that this game is both fun to play and dripping with curiosity, and you won’t doubt that Inside is one of the best indie games money can buy.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

Image Credit: Eric Barone

Developed single-handedly by Eric Barone, Stardew Valley is a technical feat for that little fact alone. If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon game, you’re already familiar with its premise – you may just not know it yet. Stardew Valley is an addictive farming simulator, which lets you interact with townees to the point where you can literally marry them.

Stardew Valley isn’t just farming, however – it’s a whole bunch of other things at the same time. You can go fishing, you can cook, you can craft stuff. You can even go explore procedurally-generated caves to mine for items and even fight slime-monster-things. You should keep in mind that your health and energy are finite however, so you'll want to keep your character rested and fed to avoid suffering from exhaustion. Pass out, and you’ll lose a considerable amount of money and items you’ve worked hard to attain. Stardew Valley will have you playing for hours on end, for better or worse. (Definitely better.)

Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods

Image Credit: Infinite Fall

From Canadian game developer Alec Holowka, creator of the award-winning Aquaria (also featured on this list), and independent artist/animator Scott Benson, Night in the Woods is an unconventional side-scrolling adventure game that revolves around a 20-year-old protagonist named Mae who drops out of college and moves back in with her parents.

Featuring a story largely based around dialog choices and mini games that put a spin on mundane tasks, like carrying boxes up the stairs and eating perogies, Night in the Woods is a timeless coming-of-age tale. Not only will you experience middle class America through the eyes of a personified cat, but virtually every interaction in-game will have you laughing aloud. And now that it’s available on the Nintendo Switch, you can now take it wherever you go.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight

Image Credit: Team Cherry

If you’re a fan of the recent wave of games inspired by Dark Souls, you’ll absolutely love Hollow Knight. You take control of the Hollow Knight, and lead them through the deceptively adorable landscape to take on bosses and other difficult challenges. Much like Dark Souls, it’s not immediately clear what you’re actually supposed to be doing as the narrative is intentionally obtuse. 

The Dark Souls inspirations don’t end there, either. It also embraces Dark Souls’s ‘tough but fair’ philosophy, and the game is only as hard as you make it. In fact, you can overcome anything as long as you have patience and learn from your mistakes. Hollow Knight takes these lessons from Dark Souls and injects them into a MetroidVania, with all the side-scrolling and upgrades you could possibly want. You can even play it on the Nintendo Switch now.

Dead Cells

Dead Cells

Image Credit: Motion Twin

If you’re looking for a game that’s as unforgiving as it is fun, look no further than Dead Cells. It takes gameplay inspiration from so many places – from roguelikes to MetroidVania. There’s even a hint of Dark Souls in there, creating a unique action game that will test your limits and skills. 

Each time you play this game, it will feel new. And, while you’ll lose some progress each time you die – and you will die a lot – the game will become even more rewarding as the complex and fluid combat becomes second nature. In the final release of the game, you get access to over 90 weapons, skills and abilities that will let you tailor your gameplay however you want. 

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged if you fail. Get up and try again, as Dead Cells will only reward you in the end, which is why it has our vote for one of the best indie games in 2019.

Deliver Us the Moon

Deliver Us the Moon

Deliver Us the Moon has gotten a new update ray tracing support.

If you often have fantasies about preventing a catastrophic world-ending event from happening, Deliver Us the Moon might be the best indie game for you. Released in late 2018, this apocalyptic sci-fi game will let you play the hero who saves humanity from extinction. In the game, you play a lone astronaut, and you’re sent on a critical rescue mission to the moon and find out what happened to Earth’s Helium 3 mining facility, Reinhold mining facility, there after it went dark. 

This game by KeokeN Interactive is an adventure game, as opposed to an action one, which means you’re mostly finding clues, navigating your way around abandoned facilities and solving puzzles to figure out what exactly happened. If navigating your way around empty facilities and the whole of the moon all by your lonesome might make you feel autophobic, don’t worry. You’ll have your trusty robot, ASE, beside you as you do so.

Best yet, Deliver Us the Moon has gotten a new update ray tracing support. It now boasts ray tracing effects like shadows, translucent reflections and opaque reflections.

Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress

Image Credit: Bay 12 Games

Dwarf Fortress is its own genre and its own industry. This is a game that has to generate the entire geography, mythology and history of its massive world before you set foot in it. It then tracks every single one of the dwarfs you're managing down to the hairs on their legs, and the particular horrible elephant murder that they’ve witnessed and are now carving on an ornamental chair.

Your task is simple: to keep the dwarves alive as they carve out their subterranean kingdom. Though given that insanity, monsters and starvation plague them at every stage, it isn’t easy. Plus, dwarves, always, always mine too deep.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Image: Team Meat Boy

Run. Jump. Die. Repeat. That’s basically the gameplay loop of Super Meat Boy, a fiendishly addictive 2D platformer that’s also bloody hard, with an emphasis on bloody. Gallons of blood is spilled as the game’s eponymous meaty hero leaps over deadly drops, spinning saws and walking chainsaws in a bid to rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil Dr Foetus. Obviously. 

With solid controls, lots of humor and vibrant graphics, Super Meat Boy leapt onto the PS4, Vita, and Nintendo Switch in style.



Image Credit: Playdead, Double Eleven

It might not be Playdead’s most recent game, but Limbo is eternal. Five years after its release, and the game’s haunting storyline still has an effect on us. You play the Boy, a child with glowing eyes who is cast into Limbo to find his sister. Making your way through a bleak and dangerous world full of hostile silhouettes, giant spiders and deadly gravitational fields, you’ll need to think on your feet and perfectly time your movements, if you were to survive.

Limbo is much more than a simple platformer: it's an experience, and one that will have you pondering the very essence of life by the time you finish. Deep, profound and absorbing, it's among the best indie games that everybody should take time out to play.

Towerfall: Ascension

Towerfall: Ascension

Image Credit: Matt Makes Games

If you're looking for a retro-inspired multiplayer archery combat game (aren't we all?), TowerFall: Ascension is the pick of the lot. Fast, frenetic and teeth-gnashingly hard in hardcore mode, the game's mechanics are simple: fire arrows at your enemies or jump on their heads to stay alive until the round ends.

Arrows that don't hit are embedded in walls, making for tense scenarios when you have to traverse the map while dodging enemies to retrieve them. As such, practicing until you achieve Robin Hood-esque levels of accuracy is key. Ascension is best experienced with friends in local multiplayer mode, which is reminiscent of Super Smash Bros' most manic moments.



Image Credit: Matt Makes Games, Matt Thorson

It’s not often that a platformer is able to balance challenging and engaging gameplay with an emotional and thought-provoking narrative. Celeste, however, pulls it off, making it one of our best indie games picks. From the developers of Towerfall, Celeste follows the story of Madeline, a young girl who decides to face her mental health issues by climbing to the top of the mysterious Celeste Mountain. In doing so, she learns more not only about the mountain, but about herself as well throughout the process. 

An inevitable classic, Celeste integrates the obvious jump, air-dash and climb controls into a brutal series of platforming challenges in upwards of 700 unique screens. If that’s too easy, you’ll unlock B-side chapters along the way, designed for only the most intrepid of hardcore players. You don’t even have to worry about waiting an eternity between each respawn, as Celeste brings you back from the grave in an instant, a welcome departure from the typically extensive load screens.



Image Credit: Coffee Stain Studios

Have you ever wanted to land on an alien planet, and build a factory? Yes, it’s an unusual premise, but we promise that it works in Satisfactory. You’ll land on one of three planets of varying difficulty, where you’ll be tasked with building and automating a factory to exploit the world around you. 

The premise sounds bland, but being able to roam these beautiful worlds in first person while scavenging materials and fighting off hostile wildlife makes it all that more exciting. Plus, is there anything better than sitting back and admiring something you worked hard on?

Satisfactory is in early access right now, and exclusive to the Epic Games Store, but if you can get past all that, you’re sure to get hours of wholesome simulation out of it.

Nidhogg 2

Nidhogg 2

Image Credit: Messhof Games

After the raging success that was the original Nidhogg, it’s a shame to see the superior sequel get thrown under the bus. Nevertheless, despite its controversial art style, Nidhogg 2 packs a refined, stunning look that the first version, a cult-classic, wouldn’t dare compete with, which is one of the reasons why it’s on our best indie games list.

In still frames, we can see how this could get misconstrued, but fortunately, it’s the fun and addictive local multiplayer gameplay that makes Nidhogg, well, Nidhogg. And it’s all there in Nidhogg 2. Additionally, every time you respawn, you get one of four unique weapons that only bolster the challenge.

The Witness

The Witness

Image Credit: Jonathan Blow, Thekla Inc.

Esteemed indie designer Jon Blow's follow up to Braid may look like a wholly different adventure, being 3D and all. However, the two are more thematically alike than you might think. The Witness, at its core, is another puzzle game that tells an absorbing story through said puzzles.

This puzzler takes place in an almost equally impressionist – albeit heavily Myst-inspired – world, but it's story is far more nuanced and mysterious than Blow's earlier work. At almost every corner of this island that you've simply woken up on (or beneath), there is a clue as to how you got onto this island and why you're here.



Image Credit: Supergiant Games, Confetti Inc.

Don’t get us wrong, we liked Bastion. Still, we can’t deny that Transistor was SuperGiant Games’ best work to date – not to mention, one of the best indie games to hit the streets today. Much of that has to do with the combination of action-based and turn-based RPG elements contained within its cyberpunk futurescape. Likewise, in classic SuperGiant fashion, those mechanics are complemented with a stunning art style and a music score so stunning it’ll make you want to buy the soundtrack.

Leaving key gameplay beats up to the player, the story isn’t so variable. Transistor’s main character, Red, is a renowned singer in the city of Cloudbank. However, she’s been attacked by a group of vicious robots who call themselves the Process, operated by another group called the Camerata. In her journey, she finds the Transistor, a mysterious sword with the voice of a man. Soon enough, she’ll learn more about him and how he will shake up her world.


Oxenfree game - best indie games

Image Credit: Night School Studio

It’s weird to think that Oxenfree came out before the first season of Stranger Things, and yet, the two coincidentally have a lot in common. The 80s-inspired heavy synth music composed by scntfc, for one, highlights some truly gripping sci-fi horror revolving around – you guessed it – a group of teenagers stuck on an island.

The story involves a handful of uniquely written characters, namely the main character Alex, along with her stoner friend Ren, her newfound stepbrother Jonas, her dead brother Michael’s ex-girlfriend Clarissa and her best friend Nona, with whom Ren happens to be in love with.

The plot is explained through branching speech dialogues, kind of like Life is Strange or modern-day Telltale games, and it offers five different endings depending on your choices.


Firewatch game - best indie games

Image Credit: Campo Santo

Exploring a surreal wilderness seems to be the trend these days – and not just in real life. Developer Campo Santo's debut, Firewatch, only serves to keep it going in gaming. Set in the wilderness of 1989 Wyoming, you're playing Henry, a fire lookout that's all alone in the woods after exploring something strange in the distance.

That is, except for your partner on the other line of a walkie-talkie: Delilah. She's your only point of contact as you explore the wilderness. Will you make it back alive? Will the decisions you make help or harm the relationship with your only lifeline to the outside world, your boss? But don't worry about those questions just yet – as with any adventure in the Great Outdoors, take some time to appreciate those forestscapes first!


Rust game - best indie games

Image Credit: Facepunch Studios

Rust is one of the more successful indie titles – not to mention, one of the best indie games – of recent times. By the end of 2015, it had sold more than 3 million copies. That’s not too shabby considering it wasn’t even finished — the game has been on Steam's Early Access scheme since being released in December 2013.

It seems people can't get enough of the Day Z-inspired survival sim. It sees you use your wits and bearings to survive its harsh open world, with nothing but a rock… at least, in the beginning. After gathering the resources you need to build a house and weapons to fend off attackers (other online players, in other words), Rust progressively becomes more intense as you defend your growing base — or attempt to breach others'.

Overcooked 2

Overcooked 2

Image Credit: Ghost Town Games

Fans of the original Overcooked will not be disappointed by its second installment in the chaotic couch co-op series from British indie game developer Team17.

This time around, your mission is to defeat the 'Un-Bread' (zombie baked goods) that have taken over the Onion Kingdom, by battling through brand new recipes including sushi, pizza and burgers in increasingly chaotic kitchens with up to three other people.

To add to the frenetic fun, you must deal with obstacles including random fires, collapsing floors and interfering passers by, all while getting your orders out to the pass in time. 

Things get complicated incredibly quickly. Relationships, friendships and family bonds will be tested as you work together to complete your recipes on time. Overcooked 2 is a fun and challenging couch co-op game that will make you truly understand the meaning of "too many cooks spoil the broth” and is well-deserving of its spot in our best indie games list.


SCUM game - best indie games

Image Credit: Gamepires

The natural progression of survival games, SCUM takes what predecessors like Rust and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds both succeeded at, only better by iterating in impressive ways. It offers a unique twist, combining the frenetic gameplay of battle royale games with the slow, thoughtful tactical of a survival sim. 

SCUM, unlike other similar games, is very heavy on the simulation side of things, however. You shouldn’t expect to run in guns blazing, as you’re going to get tired quickly (just as you would if you tried running outside in person with a ton of stuff in your backpack). But, if heavy statistic systems is something your into, this might be one of the best indie games for you. It’s like spreadsheets with a physics engine.

Just don’t go in expecting a polished experience, not for now. However, developer Croteam promises to add more features over time, and as they’re backed by Devolver, you can trust that the game is going to shape up into something great.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn

Image Credit: Lucas Pope

Every so often, there’s a game that perfectly balances aesthetic, gameplay and narrative – where everything feels like it just fits like puzzle pieces. The best indie games always excel at this, and Return of the Obra Dinn is the epitome of that. A mystery taking place on a derelict ship, your mission is to figure out how the crew of this lost ship died, disappeared or worse. 

The entire game has this old-school visual styling that, combining it with the simple controls and gameplay technique that make it feel like a nostalgic sort of adventure. Right from the settings menu, you’ll get to choose what kind of monitor you’d like to emulate – we picked an old school Macintosh option – that should give you an idea of the type of retro revivalism on offer here. 

Critical thinking, exploration and a ton of reading is essential in Return of the Obra Dinn. If that all sounds appealing to you, and you’re happy with retro aesthetics, you will love this game. In fact, it’s one of the best indie games in a season marked with AAA decadence.


Parkitect - best indie games

Image Credit: Texel Raptor

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent hundreds of hours playing Roller Coaster Tycoon during your childhood. These days, while there have been plenty of amusement park simulators over the last few years, they’ve never quite hit that spot. That is, until Parkitect.

Parkitect might just be the closest we have to those early aughts park simulators currently, and we’re absolutely in love. From the cartoonish art style to the realistic simulation and Steam Workshop integration, Parkitect is one of the best indie games 2019 has to offer.


Flower - best indie games

Image Credit: Annapurina Interactive

For years, thatgamecompany has been behind some of the best indie games on the market, but most of them had been exclusive to PlayStation. One such game was Flower. Serving as a kind of a precursor to the beloved Journey, Flower puts you in command of a flower petal, surfing through the wind. 

You’ll activate different colors of flower beds to affect the environment, which will also get you different colored petals, until you have an entire trail of color surfing the wind. It’s an incredibly relaxing and creative experience, which also gives you an insight on the industrial world we all find ourselves living in. Trust us, give it a shot as it’s one of the best – not to mention, most legendary – indie games ever.

Michelle Rae Uy, Bill Thomas, Joe Osborne, Kane Fulton and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article.

from TechRadar: Photography & video capture news

Best laptop for DJs 2020: the best laptops for music production


The best laptop for music production is essential if you’re a musician or a professional DJ. Utilizing one of the best laptops for music production makes perfect sense, even if you’re on a budget and think your old – not to mention, agonizingly slow – laptop will do.

Let us help you find the best value for you, no matter your budget. There are a few things to consider when choosing the best laptop for music production. First, you need a laptop with one of the best processors and plenty of fast RAM, so you can effortlessly tackle multiple music tracks at a time. You’ll also require one with a fast and spacious storage drive – or a dual drive with both an SSD and a hard drive should be plenty – to save your massive music files in. And finally, if you’re on the road a lot, you might even need a laptop that's rugged as well as light and thin like an Ultrabook so that it can take a beating or two and is extremely portable.

Your options for best laptop for music production may not be limitless, but you’ve got quite a few choices out there. We put together a list of the best laptops of your music production needs, whether you want the MacBook Pro or considering one that runs Windows 10

Best laptops for music production and DJs at a glance

  1. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
  2. Dell XPS 13 (2019)
  3. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
  4. Surface Laptop 2
  5. Surface Pro 6
  6. Apple MacBook Air (2019)
  7. Dell XPS 15

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

The MacBook Pro has been the go-to laptop for musicians. (Image Credit: Apple)

For years, the MacBook Pro has been the go-to laptop for musicians all over the world, and its 2019 refresh follows in those footsteps. Actually, it fits the bill even more. If you can justify the price of entry, the MacBook Pro is without a doubt the best laptop for music production, particularly if you’re already invested in the macOS ecosystem. With its 9th-generation Intel Core chips and up to 32GB of RAM, you’ll be able to load up as many tracks as you want in Logic Pro X without crippling your laptop or have it suffer slowdowns. It’s also surprisingly robust – you won’t have to worry about things bumping into it in your tour bag or dropping it a couple of times. This is because Apple has designed their MacBooks with a sturdy aluminum chassis that can survive hard falls and bangs.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Dell XPS 13 (2018)

The Dell XPS 13 has had our vote as one of the best laptops on the market. (Image Credit: Dell)

The Dell XPS 13 has had our vote as one of the best laptops on the market for a few years running, so it’s no surprise that its successor, this model is no different. For budding music producers, the XPS’ move to an 8th-generation Intel Core chips should be alluring, as it will cut the time it takes to process tracks, making your creative process more streamlined and time-saving, which gives you more time to dedicate on other things. What’s even better, the 1TB storage drive configuration is back, which means you’ll have more storage space than ever to save your large files in.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is crafted for creative professionals and content creators.

If you think Razer laptops are only for gaming, then the new Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is here to prove you wrong. Razer takes its ever popular Razer Blade 15, fits it with even more impressive specs and turns it into one of the best mobile creative workstations has to offer. This powerhouse has been crafted for creative professionals and content creators, and is therefore ideal for musicians as well. You’ll be spending a lot of money to take this laptop home. But, make no mistake, it will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make. That is, if you can afford it.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Surface Laptop 2

If you don’t need Logic Pro X, the Surface Laptop 2 is a perfect match. (Image Credit: Microsoft)

With all the 2-in-1 laptops that can turn into a tablet and is bursting with features you might not even utilize that saturate the market, a more traditional Windows 10 laptop can be refreshing and might be best for what you need. If you’re a fan of the Surface devices, you’ll be ecstatic to know that Microsoft has released the Surface Laptop 2, which is one of the best laptops in its lineup. This best laptop for music production features a quad-core processor and plenty of memory, as well as a stunning touch display and many of the ports you’ll ever need – minus the Thunderbolt 3 port, that is. If you don’t need Logic Pro X, the Surface Laptop 2 is a perfect match.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

Surface Pro 6

The Surface Pro 6 is the best laptop for music production that can also moonlight as a Windows tablet. (Image Credit: Microsoft)

If you want the best laptop for music production that can also moonlight as a Windows tablet to do some light gaming and movie watching on in your downtime, the Surface Pro 6 might just be the ideal laptop for you. Not only does this laptop alternative boast powerful internal components that are ideal for music production, but it also has a superb display as well – not to mention, a number of legacy ports for connecting your equipment. It might be missing USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports, but if you’re just in it for music production, that shouldn’t matter as much.

Read the full review: Surface Pro 6

MacBook Air (2018)

The MacBook Air brings Apple’s thin and light mainstream laptop into the modern age. (Image Credit: Apple)

Recently refreshed, the MacBook Air brings Apple’s thin and light mainstream laptop into the modern age, flourished with a lustrous aluminum build, Apple’s Retina display and an actual modern processor. All of those add up to the best laptop for music production, especially if you’re invested in the macOS ecosystem but need to save some money in the process. Bear in mind though that you’ll need to invest in a couple of dongles or a port hub, since the two Thunderbolt 3 ports aren’t compatible with many music equipment. 

Read the full review: MacBook Air (2019)

Dell XPS 15

For a bigger and more powerful laptop, the Dell XPS 15 is the best laptop to meet your needs. (Image Credit: Dell)

If you need a bigger and more powerful laptop for running music production software on, the Dell XPS 15 might just be the best laptop to meet your needs. Touting the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen extends right to the edge of the machine, which means that this laptop is as small as it’s possible to fashion a 15-inch laptop. It's indeed pricey, depending on which version you get. However, the very top end configuration has a 4K color-accurate display, which gives you a brilliant overview of all the tracks you're working on.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

  • Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptops.

from TechRadar: Photography & video capture news