Tag Archives: polygon

Pokémon Go: The Community Day schedule for the rest of 2019

Niantic announced the schedule for the remaining Pokémon Go Community Days of 2019, though the featured Pokémon for each event was left out.

The Community Day for September was already announced for Sept. 15 and it will feature Turtwig.

Regardless, this makes it easy to plan ahead, so take a look at the schedule. Note that the times below are all in your local time.

  • Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 16 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 14-15 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on both days

We can likely expect either Piplup or Chimchar will be featured during October or November, with the other month being another Pokémon that requires a lot of candy to evolve, like Gible, Riolu, or Shinx. Last December featured a weekend-long event that increased the spawn of all of the year’s Community Day Pokémon for a weekend. We can probably also expect something similar to happen this year.

Source: Polygon.com

New Shenmue 3 trailer looks at a day in Ryo’s life

Ys Net and Deep Silver released this latest trailer for Shenmue 3 from Gamesom, showing the detail of the world surrounding Ryo Hazuki and his pastimes within it.

Mainly, it involves kicking someone’s ass.

There’s also pachinko and other midway mini-games to sample, but the most productive side activity looks to be the arena where Ryo can learn more kung fu. This training area also provides a useful demonstration of the fighting inside Shenmue 3, which is due to launch Nov. 19 for PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on the Epic Games Store.

Shenmue 3’s Epic Games exclusivity doesn’t sit well with many, and it led to some refunds for unhappy Kickstarter backers (paid by Epic Games). Still, almost 18 years after Shenmue 2, and four years after the crowdfunding campaign was announced in Sony’s E3 show, Shenmue 3 will at last be delivered. Open-world games have changed a great deal in that span, we’ll see if Shenmue 3 can change with the times, too.

Source: Polygon.com

Amazon Fire TV sale, a Switch Lite bundle, and more of the week’s best deals

In a new Back to School sale, Amazon is discounting several of its own hardware. That includes its line of Fire TV streaming devices, like the 4K Fire TV Stick which is $10 off right now at $39.99. But if you’re in the market for a cheap 4K TV with a built-in streaming hub, Amazon’s smart TVs are on sale as well.

50-inch versions of both Toshiba and Insignia Fire TV Edition 4K TVs are $100 off at Amazon, and include a free Echo Dot (3rd generation.) Those 4K TVs aren’t the most powerful on the market, but they’re solid starter sets, and perfect for dorm rooms.

Amazon is also offering a bundle for the new Switch Lite console, due out on Sept. 20. The bundle includes one of Sandisk’s official Switch microSD cards (which is just a microSD card with Nintendo branding.) The bundle starts at $214.01, which is the cost of the Switch Lite plus a discounted 64 GB microSD card. Those microSD cards are also on sale on their own, so you can save money on extra Switch storage even if you’re not picking up a Switch Lite.

Plus, pre-orders for the Switch version of Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age are discounted by $10 (for everyone, not just Prime members,) PowerA’s wireless GameCube-style controller is back down to $36.99, and several of the Lego Star Wars 20th Anniversary sets are on sale.

And if you’re looking for even more gaming deals, most of our exclusive codes are valid through the end of the month.

Best TV deal: Amazon Fire TVs + Echo Dot

Best console deal: Switch Lite bundle

Best accessory deal: Wireless GameCube controller

Best game deal: Dragon Quest 11 on Switch

Best toy deal: Star Wars 20th Anniversary Lego sets

Source: Polygon.com

Erica is a surreal, dreamlike full-motion video game that benefits from friends

Erica begins with a younger version of our titular protagonist going through an occult ritual with her father.

He instructs her to gaze into the fire, and imagine the future. She sees a dreamlike, hazy vision: her father, dead in a room she doesn’t recognize, with some kind of symbol carved into his chest. The door opens, and suddenly his killer is there, with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. Erica wakes up, screaming, in the present day. The mystery of his past murder is about to become a large part of her life, and she’s haunted by the conspiracies around her upbringing and his death.

Erica is a Choose Your Own Adventure-style, full-motion video game, somewhere between Her Story and Netflix’s Bandersnatch. I can choose between text options that appear on the screen, with choices like “cooperate” or “question” popping up during conversations. I can also use my DualShock 4’s touchpad to select glowing areas of the map, which represent paths to explore or clues to investigate.

While Erica is a single-player game, there can be a social element to it if you choose. The entire game is only the length of a movie, about two hours. My friends watched me play and shouted advice, and we threw out judgments about characters as they were introduced. The detective taking Erica to a safehouse? Seems like a safe person, let’s trust him. The chief of police? Nope, something shady about that guy. Everyone had an opinion about everyone, and our conversation was an only slightly logical mess as we tried to convince each other we were right.

Erica unfolds with a dreamy, abstract tone, even as it’s presenting horrors. Someone delivers a pair of hands to Erica’s door, and she’s taken into protective custody. There might be a grand conspiracy against her.

Erica is caught among a cast of characters, all of whom are telling her different stories about occult powers, her parents, and her childhood. No one can be trusted, not completely, until it’s all sorted out, but that’s going to take some doing. But I do have some choices about who I should listen to, and which paths of the story I should follow.

The entire game has a gauzy, hazy feel to it; the environments are always slightly out of focus, and much of the game is spent on shots of characters’ faces or close-ups of clues that I need to examine. Everything is presented with a sort of eerie beauty and grace, as if Wes Anderson decided to direct a Silent Hill film.

The game doesn’t flash to a black screen or show any signs of strain or pausing when I make my choices during the story. The camera simply carries on, as if I’m offering gentle guidance to the hero instead of controlling her like a puppet. It’s yet another detail that builds up the surreal nature of this world. It’s mostly seamless, and often calming, at least between the scenes of violence. Sometimes the story becomes so abstract and odd that I find it difficult to parse, which at times feels like a strength, but other times detracts from enjoying what’s going on.

The dreamlike way Erica flows from scene to scene is also both a strength and a weakness. There are no hiccups or stutters in the narrative, but it also hides the major turning points of the story, or at least the moments when my decisions really make a difference. It’s going to be interesting to go back and try again, making different choices. The relatively short running time gives that option extra appeal, especially if you’re surrounding yourself with new people who don’t know what’s going to happen.

We’re in the middle of a strange run of interesting full-motion video game releases, but it’s hard to be upset about the genre coming back, even in a limited way, when they’re as good as Erica.

Erica is out now on PlayStation 4. The game was reviewed using a final “retail” download code provided by Flavourworks. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

Source: Polygon.com

The X-Men’s dark future in Powers of X is not what we thought it was

Marvel Comics’ weekly House of X/Powers of X series just keeps moving, plowing through X-Men continuity as it goes. But in this week’s Powers of X #3 (pronounced “Powers of Ten”), the series turns inward, making its first big reveal about its own storyline.

HoX/PoX, as it has come to be colloquially known, features four distinct X-Men time periods: Professor X’s early days of radicalization, the modern time period of the Marvel Universe, the human-mutant-machine war 100 years in the future, and a time one thousand years in the future in which a mutant-machine alliance is preparing to offer Earth up to the intergalactic Phalanx.

Powers of X #3 is all about that third period, 100 years in the future, that seems to be a dark potential future for mutantkind, just like legendary X-Men stories like Days of Future Past and Age of Apocalypse.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Powers of X #3.]

This week’s issue confirms exactly where the human-mutant-machine war falls in the X-Men timeline — and it’s not in the potential future, but, in a strange way, the past.

Just a few weeks ago, House of X #2 made the biggest change to continuity yet, when it revealed that long-time X-Men ally Moira MacTaggert has secretly been a mutant all along. Her mutation? A twisted form of reincarnation.

Every time Moira dies, she gets to live her life over again with all of her old memories, and make any new choices about her path that she wants. House of X #2 even laid out a fantastic chart of Moira’s lives, which raised as many questions as it answered.

The chart indicates that Moira’s ninth life continues after the beginning of the Apocalypse War, but that the events after that point are unknown, in House of X #2, Marvel Comics (2019).
The terminal sections of Moira’s seventh through tenth lives, shown in House of X #2.
Tom Muller/Marvel Comics

For example, the chart leaves the end of Moira’s penultimate life in the dark — that is, the life in which she attempted to ensure the future of mutantkind by allying herself with the mutant supremacist villain Apocalypse. It indicates that she lived for quite a while after the beginning of the Apocalypse War, but not what she did during it.

Powers of X #3 reveals that the human-mutant-machine war events it keeps showing us aren’t a potential X-Men future. They’re Moira’s ninth life, the one, according to House of X #2, that motivated Moira to “try something truly revolutionary” in her next life, to “break all the rules.”

What did Moira learn in the human-mutant-machine war to prompt that change? The secret of the human-mutant-machine war’s greatest villain. Powers of X #3 shows a brave band of future mutant operatives — including the original Wolverine and Xorn, who are still alive one thousand years in the future — lead by Apocalypse, the last-standing mutant leader of this timeline, as they mount a suicide mission to try to make a positive difference in their timeline.

Their goal is to break into the archives of the Machine Supremacy to recover all the information there is on the creation of Nimrod, the sadistic, upgraded Sentinel who rules Earth. If they can find out when Nimrod was brought online, and show that information to Moira — who Apocalypse placed in “stasis” for the past 16 years just for this — she can die. And then, in her next life, she can prevent it from ever happening.

Wolverine places a crystal full of information into a receptacle in Moira X’s chest in Powers of X #3, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, R. B. Silva/Marvel Comics

Moira X reacts violently, screaming, as a crystal force-feeds a large amount of information into her mind in Powers of X #3, Marvel Comics (2019). Jonathan Hickman, R.B. Silva/Marvel Comics

This ties the human-mutant-machine war era directly into the current Marvel continuity. Scenes from that timeline have all tended to connect to one thing (other than the creation of an independent Mutant state), attempts by the X-Men and their allies to uncover the location of the Forge, a secret Sentinel-factory in close orbit around Earth’s sun.

Sentinels, the giant mutant-hunting robots, are built by an even bigger Sentinel-looking robot called a Master Mold. In last week’s Powers of X #2, the X-Men discovered the existence of the Mother Mold, an even BIGGER giant Sentinel that makes Master Molds, on the Forge. This is a problem, and not just because it heralds an oncoming wave of potentially upgraded and more powerful Sentinels.

Professor Xavier believes that they are approaching the point in their timeline when Nimrod will be created and achieve sentience — and that it will happen on the Forge. As he and Magneto explain to Cyclops, the Mother Mold must be destroyed.

We can expect to see that “frontal assault of an orbital station tens of millions of miles away, built by a secret organization whose sole purpose is the extinction of mutants” play out in the next two issues of House of X.

In the meantime, look at this way cool timeline:

An extended timeline of nine of Moira X’s ten lives, revealing her role in the end of her ninth life, from Powers of X #3, Marvel Comics.
Click to enlarge.
Tom Muller/Marvel Comics

Source: Polygon.com

Angel Has Fallen is the best case scenario for a dumb action movie

Perhaps you’ve been on a road trip where you thought you’d make it to your destination in time for lunch, but there was traffic or a detour, and the next thing you know it’s 3:07 and you are starving. You pull over at a rest area and, no, gross, you aren’t going to poison your bowels with Burger King, so you crunch down on that non-chain grilled chicken caesar wrap and it’s like, hey, these tomatoes actually taste fresh, this dressing isn’t globbed on, and there’s a smidgen of care in the sear of these chicken strips.

These bright moments are nothing to dismiss in life, and it’s my major takeaway from Angel Has Fallen, a movie I barely knew existed 24 hours before I ended up in its weirdly captivating thrall.

I saw 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen, not that I remember it too well, and I skipped the sequel London Has Fallen, but I swear you don’t need to have seen either of them. Gerard Butler, looking more and more like Russell Crowe’s baby brother, is Action Hero Man in the guise of a secret service agent. He’s the best there is, like Rambo but pro-government. He and the President (Morgan Freeman) are pals. Standing next to the leader of the free world on a fishing boat is technically work, but he likes it. Why not? They are bros and they’ve been through two action movies together.

But trouble is brewing. Thanks to one exploded grenade in his face too many, Butler (whose character’s extremely regular name is Mike Banning, but may as well be Chest Steel or something) has headaches and can’t sleep. His wife (Piper Perabo) wants him to pack it in and “ride a desk” but his old army buddy/bellicose defense contractor with his own private killsquad college (Danny Huston) knows he’ll never give up the job. Indeed, the two men sit in Adirondack chairs one evening, mooning over the good ol’ days like they are ex-ball players, not warriors-for-hire who machine gun helicopter pilots until they are enveloped in flames.

Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) gets pinned to the ground after being framed for an attack on the president in Angel Has Fallen Jack English/Lionsgate

One day, Mike Banning is out with the Pres on his vacay and, like those weird balloons from the British series The Prisoner, very smart drone-bats appear over a lake, eviscerating the entire secret service detail. “Holy shit!” exclaimed the man next to me, who got into the screening for free. The President comes very close to dying in a fire, but Mike Banning saves him. He doesn’t save himself, though, because we see the murderbats’ POV (computers!) and his name was on a white list. He was never a target. There’s something fishy about this assassination.

When we get to the hospital the President is in a coma and Mike Banning wakes up with more than just a headache. His DNA is all over the van that launched the drones, and there’s a bank account with Russian millions in it, too. He’s being set up! Who will clear Mike Banning’s name? Mike Banning will, you idiot, who else!!?

Soon Mike Banning is on the run. He’s a fugitive, a word I’m using because Mike Banning escapes in a similar way to how Harrison Ford did in The Fugitive. Hey, go with what works, right? Now Mike Banning’s got the FBI and the would-be assassins on his ass.

Of note: I never, ever see a twist coming. All these years of watching stuff and I’m still a sucker. How many masks have come off in Mission: Impossible movies? I gasp every time. I bring this up because I knew who the baddies were in this one immediately. In fact, it was so obvious I thought there had to be a second twist. There wasn’t. It’s ok. Less thinking, more shooting.

There’s a lot of shooting. They shoot in the woods. They shoot on the roads. They shoot in what’s clearly Eastern Europe (Sofia, Bulgaria according to IMDb) trying to pass for a small Pennsylvania city. Under the direction of former stuntman-turned-director Ric Roman Waugh, the action is intense, invigorating, and engaging. At one particularly well-choreographed moment it wasn’t the guy to my right, but I who shouted “holy shit!”

Nick Nolte with a giant beard playing Mike Banning’s dad in Angel Has Fallen Jack English/Lionsgate

Bodies fly everywhere, glass explodes, trucks topple, there are bullets, knives, snapped spines and moments of mass panic. But it’s never really gross. I’m a renowned wuss for this sort of thing but this violence didn’t disturb me. It never tries to be real, though it isn’t sci-fi or fantasy bloodshed, either. That’s part of what differentiates the Fallen series, which, who would have guessed it, somehow made it to its third entry. I mean, we still don’t have a third National Treasure. Hell, for decades there were only three Star Wars movies!!

There are no robots who turn into cars, no portals to another realm, no one that could be called a metahuman. Just Mike Banning. There are, when you think about it, very few movies released in theaters with this level of action (even if the CG is hardly top notch) where everyone in it just a normal human being. Sure, their actions defy common sense, but it’s mostly muscle and firepower, not gadgets or tech winning the battle. Angel Has Fallen is the type of movie that gets pumped out direct to video, only it’s got just enough of a budget to make it worthy of the theaters, and also your time.

It also has Nick Nolte as Gerard Butler’s off-the-grid, armed-to-the-teeth, ex-military whacko father, and I swear to you his scenes start off goofy but end up being just a little bit touching. There’s even a soupçon of mature discussion about PTSD (basically, the Fallen producers feel, seeing a shrink won’t make you a pussy, if you’ll forgive the coarseness of my language) but it’s not too in-your-face about it. Fear not, this isn’t a message movie. And I would not be surprised if there’s a fourth entry focusing more on father-and-son.

Angel Has Fallen isn’t high art, but it’s a crowdpleaser. The dialogue sounds like they employed an English-to-Idiot translation book, with howlers like “we found an encrypted photo on the dark web!” But sometimes you just have to pull into a rest stop and grab something to eat. When you do, it’s nice to know there are decent options.

Angel Has Fallen opens nationwide on Aug. 23.

Source: Polygon.com

Super Mario Maker 2 level turns World 1-1 on its side

I know it seems like we’re highlighting one of these weird or fun Super Mario Maker 2 levels each day, but such is the size of its community and the depth of their creativity. There are almost too many impressive things being done.

Behold, World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., turned on its side.

Made by DannyB, you’ll see the smattering of workarounds that help Mario get through the level, or to present enemies along their original paths. Otherwise, it’s a direct copy of 1-1’s layout, except it proceeds up and not to the right. The Mystery Boxes are in their original locations, but most seem to be inaccessible; the one mushroom Mario is able to dislodge is the secret extra life, not a power-up.

Still, the bottomless pit halfway through becomes a ledge to rest and plan the next jump. And no matter what you do, you’ll 100 percent the flagpole at the end. GG indeed, DannyB. The download code is 9M3-SNK-WRF.

And, in the spirit of this offbeat level, we present to you Speedycop’s Hippy Trippy Van:

Source: Polygon.com

Why Overwatch League teams sign players that are too young to play

Since the inaugural season of the Overwatch League, teams have been signing talented players that they can’t put on the field. A player needs to be at least 18 years old in order to play in the Overwatch League, but teams are signing younger, but promising, pros. This strategy first made headlines in October 2017, when the New York Excelsior signed Hwang “Fl0w3R” Yeon-oh … even though he wouldn’t be able to play for the entire inaugural season.

This wasn’t a one-off incident. Matthew “super” DeLisi and Jay “sinatraa” Won signed in September 2017 to the San Fransisco Shock, and were not eligible for play until March of the following year. Guangzhou Charge signed Charlie “nero” Zwarg and Lee “Rise” Won-jae in November 2018. The pair were not able to play until late into stage two of the 2019 season. Most recently, star Chinese DPS player, Huang “leave” Xin joined Chengdu Hunters. He is currently pending league approval and will presumably be joining the Hunters in the upcoming 2020 season.

Why would esports teams take the risk of investing in an inactive player? Not only does the player cost money and resources, but they take up a valuable spot on the roster, ensuring that it’s harder for a team to pull from their bench. These acquisitions are risky, but the reward can manifest in multiple ways, including some that many fans wouldn’t expect.

Guiding narratives

Signing an underage player is an exciting moment. It’s a way for teams to say “we’re in it for the long haul,” and they’re willing to invest in young and sometimes unknown talent. It builds fun speculation when your team is finding success (will the new player fit in well with the team?) and breeds hope when a team is tanking (just wait until they can put the new player in!).

Take, for example, the season one iteration of the San Fransisco Shock. Even though the team’s start to the inaugural season was less than ideal, the discussion around the team was defined by a question: What does this team look like when Sinatraa and Super are able to play? As a fan, there’s always that convenient caveat that you have to mention when talking about teams that have underaged players that are unable to play — things could turn around at any time. The team clearly has a plan!

Overwatch League - players from the San Francisco Shock stand on stage and chat between games. Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

If the roster was built with these underage players in mind, is it foolish for the viewers and the community to assume the narrative that the team is playing a kind-of “long term” investment? This also echoes what happened with the Shock in 2018. With their less-than-stellar results in the first few stages the narrative was less that they were a mediocre team, but was shifted into unsure optimism.

These PR shifts are a subtle way to ensure the team and its branding always has some positive follow-up to any possible criticism. At the end of the day, there still is a business side to esports and competitive gaming, and being able to show not only the community but your investors that there is always hope is powerful.

Denial

The most obvious reason to sign a player that’s under the minimum age is to deny other teams the opportunity to secure that same talent. This is still a competition, after all. If you can act fast and find young talent before your rivals, then that’s an edge that you hold over them.

Take for instance the Guangzhou Charge and its acquisitions of both nero and Rise. They’re incredible talents, and probably would have been signed during the 2019 season once they became of age. Both players could have easily sat in an Overwatch Contenders team and done reasonably well for themselves, but the Charge invested into scouting ahead and denied teams that needed a midseason bump the opportunity to sign some incredible upcoming talents.

Even with the 2-2-2 role lock set in place, player longevity is still a question that has not fully been answered due to the league slowly moving into its travel-heavy schedule for the 2020 season. Having the foresight and ability to find young talent early and deny your competitors those same opportunities is going to be important.

The Guangzhou Charge enter the Blizzard Arena, with professional player Nero in frame. Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment

Massive improvements

With all the scouting and PR spinning set to the side, when you sign a player that isn’t able to immediately see play, you’re looking at investment. If you’re banking your season or creating a roster with this specific player or players in mind, then they must be good enough to take a loss now, for large improvements later. Teams are going out and signing these kids because, in most cases, they simply are too good to pass up. And in most cases they dictate the postseason roster shuffles.

Take the press frenzy around Sinatraa when he was signed to the San Fransisco Shock in 2017. This happened again with Los Angeles Gladiators player Jang “Decay” Gui-un leading into the 2018 season. And I expect the next bright young talent to be highly sought after for 2020. Why? Because they not only are going to last longer, because they’re entering the game so young, but — if they’re talented enough — they can be your ace in the hole once they become eligible.

Overwatch is moving in the right direction with the role lock, but it’s a very fluid game. Things can change at a moment’s notice and that’s going to affect players, both in their ability to perform on stage and their motivation to continue playing and studying the game for up to 10 hours a day. And with the 2020 season adding even more stressors to the league, you could see more teams opting to sign academy rosters to play in Overwatch Contenders with the intent of promoting them once they become of age.

Having a strong second string is going to become increasingly important especially once the league finds its wings and begins traveling. This allows the teams to still foster young talent, but better acquaint them to their future teams and coaching systems so that once the player becomes of age, they can transition easier into the main roster. And to be fair to the Guangzhou Charge, that’s exactly what they did with nero and Guangzhou Academy. Yes, the team in Overwatch Contenders China didn’t find the success that they might have hoped for, but integration into the team’s culture and coaching structures is important.

And look where the Charge and nero are now. They both are doing incredibly well in stage 4 with the new role lock and are looking ahead to playoffs.

Young players like Super, like Sinatraa, and like nero, are the lifeblood of the league. And while it is a risk to sign them before they’re of legal age to play in the Overwatch League, it is a risk worth taking for the right player.

Source: Polygon.com

Every movie and show coming to Netflix in September

Even with Netflix’s recommendation algorithm steadily serving you new movies, new TV shows, and original programming tailored to your binging habits, the streaming service’s firehose of content makes what’s coming and going difficult to parse.

That’s why we break down each month’s additions with a spotlight on what to keep on your radar. Netflix’s own “new releases” category is an info dump. Consider us a picture-in-picture talking head, screaming recommendations at the screen.

After a powerhouse month in August, September is a bit more sparse. Two thirds of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Two Towers and Return of the King) hit the platform on Sept. 1 along with season 6 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and season 9 of The Walking Dead. You can also get your fill of wholesome reality television with the newest season of Japanese series Terrace House. Get your Ryan Murphy fill later in the month with American Horror Story: Apocalypse and his Netflix Original high school political drama, The Politician.


Available Sept. 1

300
68 Kill
American Psycho (2000)
Dante’s Peak
Elena
For the Birds
Igor

Loo Loo Kids: Johny & Friends Musical

If you’re lucky enough, you might remember the meme hellscape of Aug. 2018, which at its apex featured the horrifyingly banal “Johny Johny Yes Papa.” At the time, Polygon spoke with some of the internet’s top memesters to break down why a children’s rhyme was going viral. Anyways, now there’s a musical from Loo Loo Kids (whose version of “Johny Johny” has nearly two billion views) and it’s going to be on Netflix. Go nuts.

Adventures: Season 1
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 6
Moving Art: Season 3
My Sister’s Keeper
Mystic River
Olmo & the SEagull
Open Season
Rebel in the Rye
Scream: Season 3
Serial Killer with Piers Morgan: Season1
Spookley the Square Pumpkin
Stripes
Superbad
The Lake House
The Last Exorcism

Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings New Line Cinema

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films are classics at this point, and finally getting two thirds of the trilogy up on Netflix means that they’ll be just a bit more accessible for people who haven’t been hoarding their precious extended cuts for the past 15 plus years (hi, Dad). Unfortunately, The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film of the trilogy, won’t be available on the Netflix despite its six-month stint on the platform in 2018, so I wouldn’t give up your physical collection just yet.

The Saint
The Taking of Pelham 123
The Walking Dead: Season 9
Uncle Naji in UAE
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan

Available Sept. 4

The World We Make

Available Sept. 6

Archibald’s Next Big Thing (Netflix Family)

From Netflix: Archibald is an extraordinary young chicken who lives in the moment and “yes-ands” his way through life. Inspired by the acclaimed children’s book.

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Elite: Season 2 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: In the wake of a classmate’s death, a student vanishes, allegiances shift, new friends join the drama, and dark secrets become too difficult to contain.

Hip-Hop Evolution: Season 3 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Tupac, Biggie, Lil’ Kim and Jay-Z blaze a trail into the ‘90s as insiders sling the straight-up truth on the culture’s most iconic rappers and rhymes.

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father: Season 3 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Now living and working in LA, Jack hopes to convince a reluctant Michael to move to the U.S. by showing him what the American West has to offer.

The Spy (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: In the 1960s, Israeli clerk-turned-secret agent Eli Cohen goes deep undercover inside Syria on a perilous, years-long mission to spy for Mossad.

Available Sept. 9

Norm of the North: King Sized Adventure

Available Sept. 10

Bill Burr: Paper Tiger (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Stand-up comedian, actor, and podcaster, Bill Burr, delivers a scathing review on the state of the world in his new Netflix stand-up comedy special, Bill Burr: Paper Tiger. Filmed in front of a packed house at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, Burr dives into Michelle Obama’s book tour, the problem with male feminists, his hang-ups on taking a bath, and why his personality is affecting his marriage.

Eat Pray Love

Evelyn (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: A man and his two siblings take an epic walk from Scotland to London to find peace and acceptance 12 years after their brother’s death by suicide.

Shameless (U.S.): Shameless: Season 9

Six young people sit around a rectangular table in a spacious living room. They are smiling and seemingly enjoying each others’ company.
Contestants from Terrace House: Opening New Doors
Netflix

Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020 (Netflix Original)

Widely acknowledged as perhaps the only pure reality television series out there, Terrace House follows the tried-and-true format of sticking a bunch of strangers in a house together and seeing what happens. The newest season takes place in Tokyo on the horizon of the 2020 Olympics.

Available Sept. 12

The I-Land (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Wiped clean of memories and thrown together, a group of strangers fight to survive harsh realities — and the island that traps them.

The Mind, Explained (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: From dreaming to anxiety disorders, discover what’s happening inside your brain with this illuminating documentary series.

Turbo

Available Sept. 13

The Chef Show: Volume 2 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Cooking is a journey. And making a meal is about more than just food. It’s about appreciating friends, family and tradition. An opportunity to come together. To learn, to share and to celebrate different flavors, cultures and people. In The Chef Show actor/director Jon Favreau and award-winning Chef Roy Choi reunite after their critically acclaimed film Chef to embark on a new adventure. The two friends experiment with their favorite recipes and techniques, baking, cooking, exploring and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the entertainment and culinary world.

Head Count

Hello, Privilege, It’s Me, Chelsea (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: In this documentary, Chelsea Handler explores how white privilege impacts American culture — and the ways it’s benefited her own life and career.

I’m Sorry: Season 2

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: The Battle of Unato (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Ikoma and the Iron Fortress take their fight to the battlegrounds of Unato, joining the alliance to reclaim the region from the kabane horde.

The Ranch: Part 7 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: While Colt tries to reconcile with Abby, Beau navigates the challenges of aging and Luke seeks his family’s forgiveness.

Tall Girl (Netflix Film)

From Netflix: Jodi (Ava Michelle) has always been the tallest girl in school — and she’s always been uncomfortable with it. After slouching her way through life for 16 years and being made fun of by classmates, Jodi meets Stig (Luke Eisner), a seemingly perfect Swedish foreign exchange student who’s even taller than she is. Jodi’s new crush turns her world upside down and throws her into a surprising love triangle, but with the help of her two best friends (Griffin Gluck, Anjelika Washington) as well as her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter), Jodi comes to realize that she’s far more than her insecurities about her appearance have led her to believe. TALL GIRL, director Nzingha Stewart’s first feature film, is a heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age story about finding the confidence to stop slouching and stand tall.

Unbelievable (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Based on real events, a teen reports and eventually recants her reported rape, while two female detectives, states away, investigate evidence that could reveal the truth.

Available Sept. 14

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Available Sept. 15

Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: On the 50th Anniversary of Johnny Cash’s famous prison concert, Los Tigres del Norte return to Folsom prison to tell stories through music.

Steal a Pencil for Me

Surviving R. Kelly: Season 1

Available Sept. 17

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

The Last Kids on Earth (Netflix Family)

From Netflix: When zombies and monsters invade his hometown, a scrappy boy teams up with his friends to survive the apocalypse. Based on the popular book series.

Available Sept. 18

Come and Find Me

Available Sept. 19

Océans

Available Sept. 20

Between Two Ferns: The Movie (Netflix Film)

From Netflix: Zach Galifianakis dreamed of becoming a star. But when Will Ferrell discovered his public access TV show “Between Two Ferns” and uploaded it to Funny or Die, Zach became a viral laughing stock. Now Zach and his crew are taking a road trip to complete a series of high-profile celebrity interviews and restore his reputation. Directed by Scott Aukerman, BETWEEN TWO FERNS: THE MOVIE is a laugh-out-loud comedy that gives new insight into the curmudgeonly, beloved outsider Zach Galifianakis has created over the years.

Criminal (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: This revolutionary procedural comprises 12 unique stories set in 4 different countries: France, Spain, Germany and the UK. It takes place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite. This stripped down, cat-and-mouse drama focuses on the intense mental conflict between detectives and suspects.

Daddy Issues

Disenchantment: Part 2 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: High-spirited Princess Bean walks through hell to save a friend, learns about a mystical destiny set for her, and helps restore her father’s kingdom.

Fastest Car: Season 2 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Extremely expensive supercars take on massively modified undercover speed demons, including Hondas, Fords, Oldsmobiles and even a Mini Cooper.

Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (Netflix Documentary)

From Netflix: From Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, He Named Me Malala) comes Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, a new three-part documentary that explores the mind and motivations of celebrated tech visionary, business leader, and philanthropist Bill Gates. After stepping down as CEO of Microsoft, Gates began what is undeniably one of the greatest professional second acts in modern history when he shifted his time and considerable intellect toward solving some of the world’s most persistent problems. The series, in-depth and unfiltered in its depiction of a man’s life journey, both his triumphs and setbacks, offers unprecedented access to Gates as he pursues unique solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems with the same level of optimism, curiosity, and fervor that inspired his original vision for Microsoft. Interweaving these endeavors with personal moments, Inside Bill’s Brain draws on interviews with Bill and Melinda Gates in addition to their friends, family, and partners in philanthropy and business, creating an innovative and revealing portrait of a man who, after changing the world, might just change the way others see it.

Las del hockey (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: The passionate members of a women’s roller-hockey team strive to keep their team afloat.

Available Sept. 21

Sarah’s Key

Available Sept. 23

Team Kaylie (Netflix Family)

From Netflix: After a brush with the law, teenage celebrity billionaire Kaylie Konrad is court-ordered to lead an inner-city wilderness club.

Available Sept. 24

Cody Fern as Michael Langdon in American Horror Story: Apocalypse 20th Century Fox Television

American Horror Story: Apocalypse

The latest installment in Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series, American Horror Story: Apocalypse was a crossover between previous AHS seasons Murder House and Coven. Full of the kind of twisted mythology that defined the series, Apocalyse merits a close (and if you’ve already watched, second) viewing in order to pick apart all of its references to previous seasons. Plus, it’ll satisfy your AHS cravings in between episodes of the newest season, American Horror Story: 1984.

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Ventriloquist and renowned comedy star Jeff Dunham talks parenting and pink eye, all the while skewering political correctness as only he can, in his second Netflix Original stand-up comedy special, Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself. Filmed at the American Airlines Center in his hometown, Dallas, Texas, Dunham is literally beside himself with his posse of unusual suspects: Walter, Bubba J, Peanut, José Jalapeño on a Stick, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and newest addition Larry – the high strung, chain-smoking, on-again, off-again personal advisor to the President.

Available Sept. 25

Abstract: The Art of Design: Season 2 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Abstract: The Art of Design returns to take you beyond blueprints into the art, science, and philosophy of design. The series goes inside the minds of the world’s greatest designers, showcasing the most inspiring visionaries from a variety of disciplines whose work shapes our culture and future.

Birders (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Border walls are no barriers to birds — or the people on both sides fighting to protect them.

El recluso (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: An ex-Marine poses as an inmate inside a Mexican prison in order to infiltrate a gang suspected of kidnapping a U.S. judge’s teen daughter.

Furie

Glitch: Season 3 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: More people rise from the grave and old friends become new threats as the mystery — and danger — intensifies in Yoorana.

Available Sept. 26

A collage of K-pop stars.
A collage of K-Pop idols from the first season of Explained.
Netflix

Explained: Season 2 (Netflix Original)

An original docu-series from Vox and Netflix, Explained takes a deep dive into topics like K-Pop or monogamy with the general goal to learn and explain (Disclaimer: Polygon is a part of Vox Media, which produces Explained). The second season will explain topics ranging from athleisure fashion to cults, and will be narrated by celebrities.

The Grandmaster

Available Sept. 27

Bard of Blood (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Kabir Anand is settling into his new life as a Shakespeare professor in the remote mountains of Panchgani when a call from the PMO thrusts him back into the world he is trying to forget. A brilliant agent who served under the recently murdered Sadiq Sheikh, Kabir was expelled from RAW because of a disastrous mission in Balochistan ten years prior. Kabir must now revisit those ghosts, avenge his mentor and face his deadliest enemies back in Balochistan while racing against time to save both his country and his long lost love. Based on the book by Bilal Siddiqui, the series is scheduled to launch in 2019 on Netflix.

Dragons: Rescue Riders (Netflix Family)

From Netflix: In the new Netflix original series, Hiccup and Toothless lead the Dragon Riders as they soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon eye — an ancient artifact filled with secrets that will lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered dragons. But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragonhunters, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dragon Eye.

El marginal: Season 3 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: A cop goes undercover in a tough prison while looking for the daughter of a powerful judge who’s been kidnapped by a gang.

In the Shadow of the Moon (Netflix Film)

From Netflix: In 1988, Philadelphia police officer Thomas Lockhart (Boyd Holbrook), hungry to become a detective, begins tracking a serial killer who mysteriously resurfaces every nine years. But when the killer’s crimes begin to defy all scientific explanation, Locke’s obsession with finding the truth threatens to destroy his career, his family, and possibly his sanity. Directed by Jim Mickle and also starring Michael C. Hall and Cleopatra Coleman, IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON is a genre-blending psychological thriller that examines the power of time, and how its passing can either bring us together or tear us apart.

Locked Up: Season 4

Ben Platt, playing high school student Payton Hobart, sits on a leather couch looking very smart in a library while wearing round glasses. Netflix

The Politician (Netflix Original)

Starring Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect), The Politician is a Glee-adjacent drama about a cutthroat high school election. Payton Hobart knows, with unshakeable confidence, that he is one day going to be the President of the United States. Of course, first he has to become the Student Body President of his high school, get into Harvard, and eventually make ascend to the nation’s presidency. To do that, he has to slyly outwit all of his classmates without compromising his public-facing persona.

Skylines (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: In Frankfurt, a young and gifted hip-hop producer gets the chance of a lifetime when he signs with Skyline Records. But the worlds of music, organized crime and high finance collide when the label owner’s gangster brother returns from exile to claim his share.

Sturgill Simpson Presents Sound & Fury (Netflix Anime)

From Netflix: In a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland, a noble few wage war against their oppressors. The odds are stacked. But hope for a brighter future means that all is not yet lost.

Vis a vis: Season 4 (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: A new director and a jailer-turned-inmate arrive at Cruz del Norte. Zulema is reunited with a long-lost relative, while Sole gets life-changing news.

Available Sept. 30

Gotham: Season 5

Mo Gilligan: Momentum (Netflix Original)

From Netflix: Comedian Mo Gilligan blends smooth moves and sharp humor as he riffs on humble beginnings, family dynamics and the complex art of dancing in the club.

Source: Polygon.com

Half Truth attempts to solve the common problem with trivia games

Half Truth is a trivia party game that, on the surface, seems simple enough: Players are presented with a trivia question and six potential answers. Half of those answers are real; half are lies. If players can pick a real answer, they score points, with additional bonuses for every additional right answer they choose to gamble on. That’s an interesting idea for a family-friendly party game, but the story behind its development makes Half Truth more interesting.

Studio 71 and Nighthawk Gaming are producing the game; the Kickstarter campaign goes live today. Half Truth was designed in a joint effort between Richard Garfield and Ken Jennings. Jennings is a novelist and Jeopardy! champion who holds the record for the longest win streak. Richard Garfield is the designer of Magic: The Gathering, and a host of other games.

Going from titles like 2018’s Artifact and KeyForge to a party trivia game seems like a big jump, but the process started 10 years ago, when Garfield read the book Brainiac by Jennings.

The board for Half Truth, which shows the board with three correct answers highlighted. Half Truth / Studio 71

Turned around on trivia

Garfield said he realized he’d underestimated the trivia genre, and his lack of enjoyment so far poised a challenge. “I’m constantly looking for games outside my comfort zone, to learn to appreciate and design to,” he told Polygon in a phone interview.

From Brainiac, Garfield began to see trivia as an art, and not just a collection of facts. He reached out to Jennings, and the two of them began bouncing questions back and forth. Garfield, who admits he plays “every game I can get my hands on”, played Trivial Pursuit, Wits & Wagers, and You Don’t Know Jack. He notes that he loved the “playful nature” of You Don’t Know Jack especially.

The problem that the duo identified was that trivia often had down periods, where people had to wait and watch other people answer questions, and trivia that relied on a binary knowledge of facts each way tended to be frustrating. Jennings briefly describes his favorite part of Jeopardy!: the clues given for each answer. “They’re like little puzzles and riddles that I teased out,” he told Polygon.

“I really don’t like ‘who cares?’ trivia,” Jennings said. “Once you hear the answer, it doesn’t add to your life in any way. You want the answer to be funny or surprising in some way, and it’s fun whether or not you know the answer.”

“The design of [trivia games] tend to make people feel bad, where you spend 10 minutes trying to rack your brain for something you knew in fifth grade. This is trivia that makes people feel smart, you’re surprised at getting the right answers. That’s the joy of trivia, is those little epiphanies.”

Garfield described memories of playing trivia games with his grandmother. “There would be moments where she would be the only person in the room who knew the answer,” he said, “and the light just shone on her.”

Half Truth - the box art for Half Truth, which shows a red crossroads on a white box.
The box art for Half Truth
Nighthawk Gaming / Studio71

Spreading the fun around

Jennings and Garfield went with a system, and questions, that would avoid heavily esoteric topics. Another issue to dodge was down time. Going around a table, one at a time, slowed the pace of the game. More importantly, on a long enough timeline, that system tends to piss someone off.

“One of the worst things in a night of trivia is where you’re frustrated, not getting anything correct, and then the one question you know the answer to in a room full of a dozen people … isn’t your question,” said Garfield. “I realized I had seen trivia as something where there were a few people in the room who knew trivia, and no one else was really part of the game. And I saw trivia as being a matter of ‘do you know this, or do you not know this,’ instead of making an educated guess by getting into the designer’s head.”

The other goal was ensuring the game wouldn’t feel dated.

“You want the game to feel contemporary; you don’t want every song to be baby boom oldies,” said Jennings. “But you don’t want to make so many Kardashian questions that in five years people are like ‘Oh! This came out in 2019, didn’t it?’”

Half Truth’s Kickstarter campaign is looking to raise $10,000 and ends on Sept. 20, 2019.

Source: Polygon.com