How to setup a VOIP phone – In just two steps!

 

Hey everybody, how are you guys doing? My name is Sebastian, and in this video I’m going to show you how you can set up an ip-based phone system, for your startup, in just two steps! This is ridiculous! And for demonstration purposes I’m going to use this very affordable IP phone from Yealink, as well as really cool new company that I found online, so let’s have a closer look. But first before I start, let me tell you why I like these IP phone systems so much, first thing I love so much about it, i can get a phone number in every country whenever I need it, and then I can have these calls routed anywhere I want to. So this is the first thing, why I love this so much, second let’s say someone calls the Miami office while I’m in, maybe on a business trip in Germany, if someone calls the Miami number that call can be rerouted instantaneously to my cell phone while I’m waiting in the airport in Germany and third think about how powerful it is to have an automated voice system where people can call in on your numbers that you have globally and you can have a call routing any way you want to and you can setup, set it up really flexible just in the back end, this is really terrific! Now that I’ve shown you why i love the IP phone so much let’s quickly go through the two steps together, first i’m going to show you how you can create a free Sonetel account and second i’m going to show you how you can quickly configure a Yealink IP phone, that’s kinda like enterprise-grade but still very very affordable maybe just around sixty seventy dollars so let’s jump right in and I show you how to create a free account for your IP phone.

 

And keep in mind that phones like these supports several lines you can easily use it for other providers as well, now I really went online and did some searching for you guys so check this out what I found, I found a company that specifically tailored for entrepreneurs and maybe small business owners and they offer you to sign up for free! How insane is that? How insane is that? And you can get a phone number, if you want to, for as low as eighty-nine cents i mean like this ridiculous and it’s exactly what I did so I’m just going to sign in and i’m going to show you the back end, and I show you the example set up that I just did so you basically just go to sign in, of course you have to set up the free account first, but once you have done that, you just sign into your account, and this will take you to the back end, where you can configure everything, like you can set up a phone number and link it to a user, you can set different users with different extensions and every user you can configure, you can add multiple phones to user, and then it routes it accordingly, for example what I did in my case I’d registered a number in the US and if people call my US number i can have that call rerouted to my cell phone in Germany, or i can have it rerouted to my IP phone, and guys since it is an IP phone, like it’s only needs the internet connection that phone could be located anywhere I wanted to! Heck, I could take this IP phone with me when i travel and just plug it into the internet and the phone is online, like who ridiculous is that? So to summarize you can connect multiple phones to a number and these phones can be located in different locations it could be cellphones, it could be a landline it could be an IP phone, a hard desk phone or a soft phone something that it could be even an app on your iPhone I mean the opportunities like what you can come up with literally endless so don’t be fooled by this simple looking interface and another amazing feature is what they called voice apps where you can configure like for example the main menu and you can configure this main menu anyway you want you can even hire a voiceover artist to do the menu for you I mean like this is really awesome, so let’s jump to the phone and I show you this voice menu, so let me quickly show you, how you can access this voice menu anytime, you just push star 21 and then it will dial welcome if you know the extension of the person you would like to speak to you can enter it now for sales press one for information about our operating hours press two for all other inquiries press three for stay on the line, now check this out, i can program this menu anyway I want to! We are open monday through friday between 9am and 6pm if you know the extension of the person you like…

 

But you can also do crazy stuff like this for example, what you could do you could just change the language of the menu to chinese, so let’s check this out real quick! Now let’s check this out once more but now with the Chinese menu, again I push star 21 Chinese… Chinese… Chinese… Chinese… And now i can have the phone call me, i just press extension 101 Chinese… And yeah it shows me the incoming call here so that’s it, end the call, but I could have also had routed to my cell phone depending on how it is set, depending on how i have it set up, so this is really amazing, and yeah you can still see this is the missed call from my US number so yeah terrific, now this really goes to show that these phone systems are incredibly flexible so i encourage you to head over to sonetel.com and click the services section, so you can learn more about the details of what you can do with a service like that and I mean it doesn’t have to be the same provider.

 

I just wanted to illustrate the point here look at these features they offer and yeah like another example for example let’s say you have some someone from your company located in Germany and you want to make a call in the U.S. so the guy in Germany just has an IP phone on his desk and you can just call over to us wait a second to maybe a friend who works at the coworking space somewhere in downtown Jacksonville so check it out guys this is kind of really crazy, and the IP phone systems make it possible I mean you can come up with your own examples like just imagine it and don’t be fooled by this simple interface in the back end, and to set up the IP phone just head over to the help section and go to help topics and look under SIP and then what SIP phones can i connect and bang you will find a list of possible options to how you can connect to their service and i’m using this Yealink phone, and bang a complete tutorial, you just, you just enter it in, here are the config details and it’s literaly that simple, you just log into your phone, your phone has a browser interface and you just put in the data into the browser interface, the way to tell you to and you click confirm and you’re logged into service I mean it couldn’t be easier right? So this concludes my presentation if you have any questions let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to get back to you as fast as I can and yeah if you still need a website for your business make sure to watch my website tutorial as well and i hope you have an awesome terrific day and I hope your startup is going to do extremely well and finally two rounds off and get you excited why don’t you head over to their YouTube page I mean they don’t have that many subscribers and but check out this video that’s called “be a global entrepreneur” that’s a really great video the marketing company that made that video I would hire that marketing company right away and with that I hope you have a great day and like i said if you still need a website for your startup make sure to check out my website building tutorial or download the free eBook as well!

 

Read More: SIP Internet Calling and VoIP on Galaxy S4

New iPad Pro 2020 – deals, price and where to buy Apple’s latest tablet

New iPad Pro 2020 deals are already starting to emerge this week, despite Apple’s new tablets being barely a month old. More and more retailers are starting to stock these premium tablets, and once more, even start to offer some great price cuts on the older ranges. We’re here to help you navigate the current iPad Pro deals landscape, show you where to buy these latest tablets, and tell you how much you should be paying.

Two brand new Apple iPad Pros for 2020 were launched in mid-March of this year replacing the capable, but venerable 2018 iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9. These new top of the line iPads contain some brand new features and tec, that we’ll briefly go over on this page. Most importantly however, we’ll be comparing them to the last-gen and asking ourselves the question – are these brand new tablets from Apple worth it?

Currently, you can order the all-new iPad Pro online at Apple.com in the US, UK, and Australia. If you’re not going to buy from the official Apple store then the good news is many retailers are now also beginning to stock these new devices. In the US, BestBuy and Adorama have launched them on their websites, and BHPhoto has even offered some tidy discounts, so definitely consider these options. In the UK, we’ve seen Currys, John Lewis and Amazon all offer the new tablets at launch prices currently, though stock remains an issue at Amazon. Note – Apple is only offering their orders directly from their websites right now, as their physical stores remain closed due to the ongoing coronavirus situation. 

Cut to the chase? Here’s where to buy the new Apple iPad Pro 2020

New iPad Pro 2020 price: How much does it cost?

New iPad Pro 2020 price

(Image credit: Apple)

Release date prices for the new iPad Pros are in line with Apple’s previous iPad Pro range – that’s to say premium prices for premium features. Here are the current launch starting prices for each size:

  • iPad Pro 11-inch (2020)
  • 128GB – $799 / £769
  • 256GB – $899 / £869
  • 512GB – $1099 / $1069
  • 1TB – $1299 / $1269
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2020)
  • 128GB – $999 / £969
  • 256GB – $1099 / £1069
  • 512GB – $1299 / $1269
  • 1TB – $1499 / $1469

It’s worth mentioning that these are just starting prices for the Wi-Fi only models, if you want to include the option for cellular capabilities then you’ll be spending an extra $200 on top of the above asking prices.

If you’re looking for the best new iPad Pro deals specifically, then you might have to wait as we’ve only got release prices right now – make sure you bookmark this page though, as we’ll be sure to update it with any price drops.

New iPad Pro 2020: Specs and features

These iPads come with a selection of storage sizes (128, 256, 512GB, and 1TB) and in two colors (Silver, Space Gray). All variations and sizes feature the brand new Liquid retina display and A12Z Bionic chip – which the company claims is excellent for “editing 4K video or designing 3D models”.

If you go for the 11-inch screen, you’ll get yourself a 2388 x 1668 resolution, while the bigger 12.9-inch model has 2732 x 2048 standard. Both screen sizes offer 264 pixels per inch and a rapid 120HZ refresh rate, which should provide a smoother viewing experience when scrolling or watching over the normal 90HZ rate.

These iPads are also the first to feature two rear cameras and the new LiDAR Scanner – which aim to improve depth-sensing capabilities for portraiture and improved augmented reality app support. The cameras will also handle 4K – if you want to shoot footage directly from the iPad itself for ease of use.

Software-wise these new 2020 iPad Pros come with the latest iPadOS 13.4 and can, of course, be expected to be supported with the latest upgrades from Apple for many years to come. iPadOS 13.4 specifically comes with trackpad-like support, which Apple claims will enable more fluid switching between apps.

What about older Apple iPad Pro prices?

A new iPad launch is also great news if you’re looking for something a little older – specifically the last generation models, which are sure to have some nice little price drops to make way for the newer, shinier offerings.

When looking at iPad Pros, you should definitely consider the 2018 iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9. At their current price, you can hope to save around $50 / £50, depending on your country and which retailer you go for. These iPads are still great buys, despite being a little older, as they still retain top of the line specs and components under the hood.

Looking for something other than an iPad Pro? check out our full range of the best cheap iPad deals in March 2020

Source

Cisco Offers Big Payment Deferrals Until 2021 as Companies Seek Remote-Work Tools

Cisco on Tuesday launched a $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 19,040 crores) financing program that lets its customers defer 95 percent of payments until 2021, giving companies additional leeway at time when some are facing a cash crunch but also need more remote-work tools.

As the coronavirus forces many businesses to operate entirely online, many of them have adopted or boosted usage of video conferencing and virtual private network software, including Cisco’s Webex and AnyConnect. The surge in internet activity has also increased usage of networking equipment that Cisco also sells.

The financing offer, which requires no payment for three months and then 1 percent of money owed in each of last five months of 2020, could help Cisco stand out among competitors in software and hardware and keep revenue flowing in a challenging economic climate.

Customers “are trying to reconcile how to make this investment to acquire solutions without knowing what’s around the corner,” Kristine Snow, senior vice president for financing arm Cisco Capital, said in an interview.

Cisco, which has extended financing for over two decades, had $9.6 billion (roughly Rs. 73,111 crores) in loans and other instruments in its portfolio as of Jan. 25. The company held about $8.5 billion (roughly Rs. 64,733 crores) in cash and equivalents at the time.

Its new program will be initially available in 19 locations, including the United States, Greater China, India and Germany. Hardware, software and services are covered, as are some fees charged by Cisco’s sales and installation partners.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

Source

The best Steam games 2020

Narrowing down the best Steam games of 2020 is practically backbreaking work, mostly because you’ll spend hours hunching over your computer doing so. There are over 23,000 titles on the popular online gaming platform, after all, and new exciting titles are popping up every day.

It’s not just the vast catalog. The best Steam games also encompass a wide variety of game genres, from the best open world games and best MMO games to the best co-op PC games you can enjoy with friends. And, while part of the fun is browsing and discovering all these games, many of which you’ve never heard of before, your time is perhaps best spent on immersing yourself in the games instead of the hunt.

That’s why we dug deep and did the work for you. We scoured Steam ourselves and found the best Steam games of 2020, some of which are among the best PC games we’ve ever played. Whether you want something brand new, a recent hit or a classic, you can’t go wrong with any of these titles on our list.

Kenshi

You’re going to get hours upon hours upon hours of gameplay out of Kenshi. (Image credit: Lo-Fi Games)

Kenshi

Some of the best Steam games 2020 has are those that cannot really exist anywhere else. Complicated RPGs and strategy games require the unique features of a gaming PC to thrive, and Kenshi is a perfect example. 

Taking cues from the old Mount & Blade games, Kenshi is a sandbox, squad-based RPG where you’re in charge of your own story. You’re dropped in the midst of a massive world – think Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall huge – and you’re not limited by any of the gameplay systems. You can simply build a home for yourself, or set off on a grand adventure. 

You’re going to get hours upon hours upon hours of gameplay out of Kenshi, because the world is the game, not just its setting.

What Remains of Edith Finch

If you’ve played and loved Firewatch, you’ll definitely enjoy What Remains of Edith Finch. (Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

What Remains of Edith Finch

One of the best Steam games is actually this indie smash from 2017. However, since it’s won a ‘best game’ BAFTA award, it’s time to give it another go. What Remains of Edith Finch, easily one of the first best Steam games on our list, is a narrative-led adventure in which you walk, first-person style, around as Edith Finch, exploring the house in which you grew up.

You look over the preserved relics of dead family members and are sucked into vignettes that tell the stories of how various Finches died. We get it, it sounds grim. However, its appealing style and magical realism make What Remains of Edith Finch touching and profound rather than depressing. 

It plays out a little like an interactive movie. You can’t fail as such, aside from getting lost, and the entire experience lasts 2-3 hours rather than 20. 

Don’t buy this if you’re going to feel short-changed by its length, but if you’ve played and loved Firewatch, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture or Gone Home, you’ll definitely find What Remains of Edith Finch to be one of the best Steam games 2020 has.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon

There’s plenty of fantasy fuel in Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon, and it’s more immersive than your average game. (Image credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon

While the first Ni No Kuni game was a collaboration with Japanese animation masters Studio Ghibli, Ni No Kuni II is not. It does, however, hold onto the same delightful art style. 

It also switches up the fighting mechanics. As opposed to training up avatars to fight for you, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has a fun real-time battle system. You control three fighters with fast, slow and magic attacks, and the ability to dodge. And, the sequel is a bit more action-packed than the first one. 

It’s not all about action, though. While Ni No Kuni II is an action-adventure RPG, you also build up a kingdom, which lets you bonuses for your characters. This part is unexpectedly addicting.

The story is more conventional than that of the first game, which might be down to Studio Ghibli’s limited involvement. However, there’s plenty of fantasy fuel, and it’s more immersive than your average game, deservedly earning it a spot among the best steam games 2020 brings to the table.

Into the Breach

Into the Breach is moreish, smart and deceivingly deep. (Image credit: Subset Games)

Into the Breach

Not every top Steam game is an epic open world title that will set you back $60 on PS4 and Xbox One. Into the Breach is a sophisticated sci-fi strategy blast that you can play on your lunch break at work. 

It is made by the team behind Faster than Light, still one of our favourite PC games of the last decade. And for the handheld gaming veterans out there, there are shades of Advance Wars to it too.

Earth has been attacked – and almost occupied – by aliens. In Into the Breach, you control groups of mechs sent from the future to reverse this fate. That may sound like a mind-bending premise, but it actually proves that the plot doesn’t matter too much sometimes. We know Earth will come out tops, it’s just a matter of how.

Each encounter takes in an 8×8 block grid, your battlefield. Play unfolds in turns, and your mechs have to stop aliens from obliterating too many of the field’s buildings and outposts. It has the tactical purity of chess. As you play, you can upgrade your mechs to improve your chances. 

Like FTL, Into the Breach is moreish, smart and deceivingly deep. 

Surviving Mars

Surviving Mars’ survivalist approach to “city” building is absorbing. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Surviving Mars

Some screenshots make Surviving Mars look like The Sims: Red Planet edition. However, this best steam game is, in fact, more like Sim City meets The Martian. You build an outpost on a barren patch of Mars, and have to keep it running to avoid your colonists from dying on the planet’s harsh surface. And, it’s harder than it sounds. 

That is, while mismanaging resources in Sim City or Civilization may make your inhabitants angry or lower your income, in Surviving Mars it can cause a chain reaction that sees life support systems fail. You’ll hear “a colonist has died”, and be left scrambling to fix the problem before other inhabitants start dying like bubbles popping as they touch the ground. 

Surviving Mars’s interface leaves something to be desired, but its survivalist approach to “city” building is absorbing.

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV is somewhat different from the FF games of old. (Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy XV

After the massive multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix finally got back to their series’ single player roots with Final Fantasy XV. It came to PS4 in late 2016, but was only ported to PC in March 2018. However, you do get all the DLC released on the consoles and, if your PC is beefy enough, you’ll experience better frame rates.

Final Fantasy XV is somewhat different from the FF games of old. You travel around an open world, often by car, packed with Americana-style buildings, all your companions are human and the combat plays out in real time, not as turns. Still, you can tell this is a Final Fantasy game just by catching a 15-second clip of it in action.

Descenders

A mix of mobile game style and merciless old-school progression mechanics gives Descenders a fresh feel. (Image credit: No More Robots)

Descenders

The PC tends to get linked with the kind of games that sit you down – for hours on end until your eyes are red and part of you start to regret your life choices. However, it isn’t always that way. 

With Descenders, you can play in quick blasts. If you can drag yourself away from its moreish-ness, anyway. You’re a downhill free rider who has to get down procedurally generated courses with as much style as possible, preferably using a gamepad. It might remind you of the heyday of Tony Hawk games, or snowboard console classic SSX. 

The use of generated “tracks” means you can’t master courses, which means that it’s the mastery of the bike’s physics you need to be shooting for. A career mode pits you against a series of courses in the same style of environment, each with objectives. Finish the “boss course,” and you unlock a new terrain. But you have limited lives for the whole run. A mix of mobile game style and merciless old-school progression mechanics gives Descenders a fresh feel, just one of the many reasons why it’s made our best steam game list.

American Truck Simulator

There’s a business side to American Truck Simulator that gives it depth. (Image credit: SCS Software)

American Truck Simulator

Not every game has to be about destroying aliens or gunning down unnamed soldiers. For instance, American Truck Simulator, one of the best steam games to play in 2019, feels like mindfulness meditation next to those games.

You drive a big 18-wheeler-style truck over the long highways of the US, transporting cargo from A to B. Breaking the traffic codes doesn’t end in a GTA-style police chase, just a fine. This is the sort of game you can put on like cozy slippers after a long day at work. 

Yet there’s also a business side to it, giving it depth. You start as a lowly contractor, but can earn enough money to build your own shipping empire.

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity is a challenging, slightly retro-flavoured RPG. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Pillars of Eternity

PC gamers who have been playing since the ‘90s might remember all the fuss surrounding the Baldur’s Gate titles. In fact, some of their most loyal fans still get teary-eyed reminiscing about their favorite side characters. 

Isometric role-playing games like Baldur’s Gate don’t cut it in the AAA world anymore. However, Pillars of Eternity brings back the spirit of those games to the Steam crowd. This is a challenging, slightly retro-flavoured RPG in which you control a band of classic fantasy-style adventurers. It’s made by Obsidian, the team behind Fallout: New Vegas. Pillars of Eternity II is on the horizon too. 

If you like your RPGs fantasy-themed, also consider Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Legend of Grimrock II

Legend of Grimrock II is a dungeon crawler where you move in blocks. (Image credit: Almost Human)

Legend of Grimrock II

Another throwback to a style of game that has all but disappeared, Legend of Grimrock 2 is a dungeon crawler where you move in blocks, as opposed to freely. Why would you want that? It changes your relationship with the environment, making it feel more like an intricate puzzle instead of an open world a texture artist had been let loose on. 

There are an awful lot of actual puzzles involved here too, in-between the bouts of classic “Dungeons & Dragons” style combat encounters. Plus, as retro as the play style is, Legend of Grimrock 2 looks incredible, with many outdoors areas to prevent you from getting bogged down in dimly-lit dungeons.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PUBG remains one of the most fun shooters on the market in 2019. (Image credit: PUBG Corporation)

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

When it comes to in-vogue games, few titles continue to capture the zeitgeist (and fill it full of bullet holes) the way PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds does. It may have one of the worst acronyms ever, but that hasn’t stopped PUBG from putting the ‘battle royale’ subgenre on the map and turning itself into a phenomenon in the process. Sure, there’s a lot of hype still surrounding it, but the game behind all the coverage and Twitch fascination is still one of the most addictive on Steam, as well as one of the best steam games this 2019.

That simple premise – parachute into a map with no gear, scavenge for weapons and armour, and fight for survival with a single life in a continually shrinking map – is still engrossing, even if it has a few too many bugs. Whether you’re teaming up with friends or braving its maps by your lonesome, PUBG remains one of the most fun shooters on the market in 2019.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the latest releases on our best Steam games list. (Image credit: Deep Silver)

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

One of the latest releases on our best Steam games list, Kingdom Come: Deliverance boasts an experience that’s both reassuringly familiar and deeply alien. Set in a fictional Medieval Europe, it’s a first-person RPG where dialogue choices mold your world as much as your ability to problem solve and your skills in melee combat. It’s a game of unbelievable freedom, allowing you to carve a path through the Dark Ages however you see fit.

You might get off your face on schnapps and get in a fight with the town drunk. You may start filling your pockets with the gold of unsuspecting townsfolk, Thief-style, or stain your blade with blood in the battlefield. Part Elder Scrolls, part Dark Souls, part something else entirely, it’s an action-RPG that punishes as much as it empowers. It also runs best on PC (with the right specs, obviously) so get it on the download pronto.

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six: Siege is one of those success stories that keeps on succeeding. (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Rainbow Six: Siege

Who knew, way back in 2015, that a Tom Clancy game would become one of the industry’s biggest success stories. But here we are, four years later, with a game that has over 25 million registered players and in its fourth year of consecutive content updates as well as premium bells and whistles. Rainbow Six: Siege is one of those success stories that keeps on succeeding, and for one very important yet simple reason: it’s fun as hell to play.

Paring back the Rainbow Six formula to its roots – two teams fight in the same map, one protecting an objective while the other attacking and fighting their way in – no two matches in Siege are ever the same. You’ll be barricading doors, breaching through walls, blasting through ceilings and building an operator that’s attuned to your playstyle. It might not be groundbreaking. However, add in the limited time Outbreak mode (think Siege plus zombies), and you’ve got one of Steam’s most complete packages.

Celeste

Celeste is one of the most unforgettable games we’ve come across in many years. (Image credit: Matt Makes Games)

Celeste

From the indie team that gave us TowerFall and TowerFall Ascension comes one of the most rewarding pixel platformers in years. As you climb the titular mountain, flame-haired heroine Madeline battles her innermost demons just as much as the harsh and dangerous conditions around her. In its simplest form, Celeste is a tight, 2D, twitch-style platformer, but in reality it’s one of the most unforgettable games we’ve come across in many years.

As poignant in narrative as it is unforgiving in gameplay, Celeste has over 700 ‘scenes’ to traverse, a myriad of secrets to uncover and a story that will grip you as much as the muscle-memory building formula of its platforming. For a game built around the simple mechanics of jump, air-dash and climb, there’s an incredible amount of depth to be found as you claw your way to the summit in more ways than one, which is why it warrants a spot on our best steam games list.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2’s secret sauce is the complexity of its combat. (Image credit: Larian Studios)

Divinity: Original Sin 2

When Divinity: Original Sin 2 was released in 2017, it had quite the legacy to live up to, that of its predecessor, which incidentally happens to be one of the most accomplished RPGs of all time. Then what does developer Larian Studios do? It only goes and follows it up with one of the most important additions to the genre in years. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an enthralling fantasy world with a deep and complex combat model and one of the most riveting stories you’ll experience outside of a 1,000 page tome.

The big selling point, and the main ingredient of Divinity: Original Sin 2’s secret sauce, is the complexity of its combat. You control a party of characters together with your own custom avatar, and utilize each one individually in battle. With countless skills and attributes to mix and match, the breadth of tactics available makes this a daunting yet deeply rewarding way to test your RPG abilities.

Stellaris

There’s a wealth of sci-fi lore and mechanics to delve into with Stellaris. (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Stellaris

The grand and operatic strategy genre has given us some true classics on PC, experiences that consoles have consistently failed to duplicate. From Crusader Kings to Europa Universalis, these are games with bucket loads of tactics and guile. 

Well, it just so happens the developer of those very games has taken that deeply immersive concept and put it in the dark ocean of space. Enter Stellaris, an evolution of the genre that takes the space exploration of EVE Online and Mass Effect and hits the hyperdrive button.

You’ll traverse through countless of procedural galaxies, filled with thousands of planets and a myriad of alien species, each one possessing unique traits, economies and social strata. Whether it’s the power (and consistent balancing act) of interstellar diplomacy or the deep customisation of starship designs, there’s a wealth of sci-fi lore and mechanics to delve into with Stellaris.

Dota 2

Dota 2 is still one of the most addictive titles on Steam. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Dota 2

By far one of the oldest games on the list – well, that is if you consider 2013 old – Valve’s MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), Dota 2, is still one of the most addictive titles on Steam. It’s also the only game on this list that’s free-to-play, so you don’t even need to have a healthy bank balance to enjoy its addictive battles. Age aside, Valve has been constantly updating and overhauling the game since launch, making it one of the most evolved MOBAs on the market.

If you’ve never played it before, it’s a simple yet intoxicating setup: two teams of five players face off in a large map. Each one is defending a base with an ‘Ancient’ inside that must be protected at all costs. Find your opponent’s base and raze it to the ground to win. Anticipate to experience brilliant hero v hero showdowns, brutal ambushes, tactical plays and nonstop action.

Cuphead

Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Cuphead is a must have Steam title. (Image credit: StudioMDHR)

Cuphead

Run and gun platformers have carved a niche out for themselves on mobile, but they’re few and far between on PC. Luckily, this one was built to be a Microsoft exclusive with Xbox One in mind and the result is one of the most unique gaming experiences you’ll ever come across. Intended to capture the look and atmosphere of 1930s cartoons, Cuphead places you in the shoes of the titular hero and tasks you with battling across three distinct worlds and bosses that will capture your imagination with their ingenuity that crush your resolve with their difficulty.

Recommending a notoriously tough game might sound counter-intuitive, but the steep difficulty curve is part of its appeal. With a distinctive soundtrack and those standout visuals at your side, you’ll earn every stage clearance like a piece of territory in a war, each victory feeling that much more satisfying. Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Cuphead is a must have Steam title.

Subnautica

Subnautica is a survival game set deep in the ocean on an alien world. (Image credit: Unknown World Entertainment)

Subnautica

Another somewhat fresh release on this list, Subnautica has already made waves (pardon the pun) despite having only dropped in January of this year. A survival game set deep in the ocean on an alien world, its unique twist on the classic template makes for a game that’s both entrancing to watch and challenging in its many interconnected mechanics. You’ll explore shallow reefs, dangerous trenches on the seabed and everything in between, all the while managing your precious oxygen supply.

Oh, and there’s an entire ecosystem of alien marine life to contend with. Plenty of these fishy and mammalian critters want to add you to their menu, so you’ll need to outsmart and avoid them while scavenging for resources to build new equipment and tools. Like all the best survival games, the very best materials lie in the most dangerous of places. Do you dare swim deep enough to find them?

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus dials up the violence and the depth of storytelling. (Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

With so many multiplayer shooters sharing the spolight in this feature, it seemed high time to pay homage to one of the best single-player FPS games ever made.

MachineGames gave Wolfenstein a bloody, alt-history revival in the form of 2014’s The New Order, so it had its work cut out for it when it came to bettering all that visceral Nazi slaying. Then along comes 2017’s The New Colossus, dialing up the violence and the depth of storytelling that it would make most Call Of Duty titles look at the floor in humiliation.

What makes The New Colossus so vital is how it doesn’t stray from its formula, but polishes and expands on it in almost every way. Bigger and more challenging bosses; intense set-pieces; myriad weapons that spit glorious death; a story that asks far more questions and presents some bold answers. It’s also rock hard, and consistently unforgiving, so lock and load at your peril…

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

You’d be crazy not to add Resident Evil 7: Biohazard to your Steam library. (Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard 

It’s not often that a franchise as significant as Resident Evil gets a new lease of life – especially when you consider the zombie-loving license had fallen into a lifeless parody over the past decade – but here we are with a truly terrifying horror game with the words ‘Resident Evil’ in the title. What a world, eh?

While us PC folk aren’t allowed to scare ourselves half to death in VR yet (RE7 is a PSVR at the moment), that doesn’t mean it’s any less frightening. Dropping the third-person perspective that’s felt tired and rote for awhile now, RE7 embraces the first-person view that’s helped Outlast and company re-energize the horror genre, and boy does it make for one chilling 8-10 hour scare fest.

With Capcom’s big budget, a creepy swamp setting (honestly, just go with it) and a storyline that feeds back into the series’ winding mythology, you’d be crazy not to add this to your Steam library.

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

Civilization VI gives you more freedom and control than ever. (Image credit: 2K Games)

Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

How could we make this list of games to play on Steam and not include the most recent offering from the master of turn-based strategy and tactical simulation? The Civilization series has gone through many forms over the years, but the sixth entry takes all the best bits from those earlier incarnations, smooths off the edges and serves up one of the most rewarding turn-based video games ever made.

There’s nothing quite like building a nation from a fledgling settlement and nurturing it into a worldwide powerhouse, and Civilization VI gives you more freedom and control than ever. Eliminating the pre-set paths that hampered the still stellar Civ V, Civ VI transforms into a landscape that rewards intrepid explorers and self-assured conquerors with the opportunity to expand their budding society with new technologies and alliances. Sid Meier’s name alone is part of PC gaming’s lofty heritage, so owning this little doozy is a no-brainer.

Undertale

Undertale weaves all the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre into world built on choice, consequence and compassion. (Image credit: Toby Fox)

Undertale

Undertale is one of those games that stays with you. A work of digital art whose charm and creativity never fails to keep its edge, no matter of how many times you play it through. And considering just how many innocuous JRPGs are out there right now, that’s a pretty extraordinary feat in unto itself.

So why is Undertale so superb? It takes all the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre and weaves a world built on choice, consequence and compassion. As a child dropped into an underground world filled with terrors, you’ll have to face a whole host of monsters to make it home. How you face them and what choices you make, define your journey. 

And its Telltale-esque consequence system doesn’t just extend to dialogue choices – you can spare monsters after a fight, forging possible crucial alliances for later in the game. You can even end fights by telling your opponent jokes. It’s a game of such warm and pleasant quality you’d almost believe it was a JRPG from the earliest heyday of the genre.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

There are just so many virtues The Witcher 3 has to its name. (Image credit: CD Projekt)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

For years, one game sat atop the dark and misty mountain of action-RPGs. Skyrim was its name, and no other franchise, be it Dragon Age or Dark Souls, could even come close to breaking its iron-clad grip upon the genre. Then along came Geralt of Rivia, riding atop The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with a confident swagger, ready to give The Elder Scrolls a good thrashing.

If you’re looking for a game that strikes a perfect balance between length of play (you could easily spend 100+ hours across its unbelievably diverse map – one that’s a good 20% bigger than poor old Skyrim) and sheer quality, then The Witcher 3 is a must. There are just so many virtues The Witcher 3 has to its name. Brilliant writing, memorable quests, truly challenging beasts and a pair of DLC expansions (Hearts of Stone, and Blood and Wine) make this one of the best games of this or any other generation.

Inside

There’s a reason Inside won many a GOTY award in 2016. (Image credit: Playdead)

Inside

Inside will break your heart. Fair warning. If you’re not off-putted by that, then see it rather as a mystery to be solved scene by heart-wrenching scene. Created by the same studio that made the wonderful 2.5D platformer Limbo – you know, the one about a little boy stuck in a nightmare world where a giant spider chases him endlessly – it should come as a huge shock to learn that Inside will leave you just as tearful as its predecessor.

Thing is, Inside is a brilliant piece of art. Without a scrap of dialogue, you’ll explore a world in a similar platforming vein as Limbo, overcoming various ingenious environmental puzzles and evading both the flashlights of an oppressive government and the shadow of a conspiracy that’s clearly not going to end well.

But it’s worth every second. There’s a reason it won many a GOTY award in 2016, so you’d be a fool not to add this to your Steam library. Just remember to pack a few tissues.

Rocket League

Rocket League boasts fine-tuned physics and a larger focus on multiplayer. (Image credit: Psyonix)

Rocket League

Once upon a time there was a little game on PlayStation 3 called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. It was all about using remote control-esque cars to knock a giant football around a makeshift pitch. Thing is, no one played it and the game slowly faded into obscurity.

Then Rocket League came along, which was fundamentally the same thing, albeit with fine-tuned physics and a larger focus on multiplayer. One trip into PlayStation 4’s PS Plus lineup later and the game went supernova.

And with good reason, too. It’s a modest concept but it just works – it’s a place where skill shines through as you boost your little RC car and hit the motorized equivalent of a bicycle kick. It’s magnificent, offering one of the best ways to play online (whether with friends or a bunch of strangers). Come on, who doesn’t want to spend their evening chasing a football with a car? FIFA? Pfft.

Portal 2

Portal 2 manages to take a brilliant recipe and somehow make it even more delicious. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Portal 2

Portal, back in its day, was groundbreaking. Sure, it sounds like we’re filling out boots with hyperbole, but back in 2007 all those portals, companion cubes and sociopathic AIs were blowing our minds over and over. Then Portal 2 came along and made the original look like a crossword puzzle in The Sun.

Okay, the first Portal is still remarkable, but Portal 2 took a truly revolutionary concept and twisted it into something new. Everything in this game works without a hitch – the ebb and flow of its story, the growing difficulty of the puzzles and the new ways you’re forced to make your mind think with portals. It’s even got Stephen Merchant and JK Simmons in it!

Portal 2 manages to take a brilliant recipe and somehow make it even more delicious, sprinkling in all new depths of platforming and puzzle flavour. If you haven’t played it, buy it now. If you have, play it again.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley’s pixelated retro graphics, unique soundtrack and kooky characters make for a relaxed and fun game. (Image credit: Chucklefish / ConcernedApe)

Stardew Valley

The incredibly charming Stardew Valley is an indie farming RPG which sees you moving from the bustling city to your grandfather’s old, run-down farm near sleepy Pelican Town. You’ll get to uncover the secrets of the mysterious town while growing a thriving farming empire.

Stardew Valley’s pixelated retro graphics, unique soundtrack and kooky characters make for a relaxed and fun game which combines elements such as farming simulation, adventure, dating simulation and crafting.

Get ready to become emotionally attached because once you step foot in Pelican Town, it’s hard to ever leave.

Source

Facebook’s experimental app division just released an Apple Watch messaging app

Facebook’s NPE Team, its experimental app division designed to play around with new mobile ideas, has a new product out called Kit, short for “Keep in Touch.” In a strange move, it’s a messaging app exclusive to the Apple Watch, and it lets you “send a voice message, your location or an emoji” with just a tap of the Watch screen, according to the app description. Kit was first discovered on Tuesday by TechCrunch.

“You also have easy access to speech-to-text. We hope that Kit helps you keep in touch with those most important to you — without constantly needing to pick up your phone,” the description continues. As TechCrunch notes, the app lets you send a variety of messages, like voice recordings and ones containing your location data, similar to how Apple’s iMessage functions on the Watch already. The one difference is that the messages are routed over Facebook Messenger.

That said, it’s not entirely clear why NPE Team released Kit now — there is no mention in the description of the current pandemic — or what exactly it’s going for. The app looks pretty bare, and it’s basically just a stripped-down version of Facebook Messenger with a few extra Apple Watch-specific features, despite Messenger already having an Apple Watch counterpart.

Image: Facebook

The NPE Team, which was formed in July 2019 and is run by Ime Archibong, has thrown out quite a few different products in the last year. Those include a meme-making app called Whale, an app for couples to share with only one another, and a Pinterest clone, among some other music-oriented apps aimed at college students.

It’s pretty clear none are supposed to be big hits. Facebook is likely letting some of its product designers have the freedom to experiment so that they maybe stumble upon a fresh new idea that could potentially be useful in one of its established products like Messenger or Instagram. The company has a reputation for keeping its eye on the mobile market and either cloning or acquiring new startups, like it did successfully to Snapchat with its signature Stories and unsuccessfully to Houseparty with group video chat.

Facebook also found itself in hot water last year when it was using a VPN app distributed outside the iOS App Store to keep tabs on teenagers’ mobile habits in exchange for monthly gift cards. The company has since shut the app down after a dustup with Apple over privacy concerns, and now it runs a separate market research app called Study on Android.

This is all just evidence that Facebook is immensely interested in the next big thing, especially since the company may have potentially missed out on the resurgence of short-form video with the rise of TikTok. So it makes sense that its experimental app division would be trying all sorts of weird and unconventional ideas to see what might be around the corner.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Facebook’s NPE Team was run by Jason Toff. That is incorrect; it is run by Ime Archibong, while Toff is a member. We regret the error.

Source