Category: Gaming & Collectibles

Stuff to fill your shelves and entertainment unit with.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest

I’ve heard good things about Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest, but I kept pushing it off my mental radar because it’s an ongoing problem with me that I never make time to play video games. Luckily, Werewolf News reader Denise wrote in with a great capsule review, which she graciously allowed me to share:

I would like to recommend Werewolf the Apocalypse: Heart of the Forest to the werewolf fans out there. It’s a visual novel that’s on Steam as of today; set in the World of Darkness tabletop roleplaying series. Though the game is somewhat short compared to similar Choose-your-adventure/visual novel type stories I’ve played, the atmosphere and art are top notch. You play a character, Maia, and through choices, her personality evolves into one of the various “classes” of Werewolf; warrior, talesinger, shaman, and the like. You can play her as rage-filled and impatient, or introspective and friendly, and others in between. I’m also a fan of the WtA RPG, and I think it does it justice. I’m not sure how approachable it’d be for those that are new to the setting, but I think it’s a decent story on its own.

Denise’s review and the game’s “Very Positive” Steam rating make me feel quite confident that, against all odds, there is a good W:tA game for you to play on macOS, Windows or SteamOS right now!

Round-up of 4 one-of-a-kind werewolf Etsy finds

Every now and then someone – generally my wife Tandye or my friend Viergacht – sends me an especially cool werewolf doll they find on Etsy. They’re all one-of-a-kind art objects, handcrafted by artists whose interpretations of lycanthrope aesthetics are wonderfully diverse. Enough of these links have accumulated in my open browser tabs that it’s time to share them all here. Click on any title or image below for the Etsy product page.

Considering the state of the world right now, it feels especially important to note that these are expensive luxury items on which many of us don’t have the resources to splurge. However, if you’ve got the financial stability, supporting artists is an extremely cool thing to do!

The Rougarou – needle felted fantasy art doll

This posable friend from the bayous of Louisiana looks incredibly soft and hold-able, which is a dangerous deception because they will absolutely chomp your hand if you try to grab them.

Gray Raven, the werewolf shaman

I generally don’t go for any werewolf that reps the “shaman” look or who carries a weapon while in werewolf form, but the bared fangs, gnarly claws, and overall craftsmanship of this polymer clay & faux fur demand that I make an exception.

Ville Rockmusiker Wolf

Listed as an “anthropomorphic furry”, this polymer clay and alpaca wool creation is indisputably a doll version of Tandye if she was a werewolf.

Galiana / Blythe Classic Werewolf girl

The four things I can tell you about this munchkin:

  • she’s a collaboration of two artists, based on a Blythe fashion doll
  • she has four different eye types that can be swapped out
  • she’s the most costly of the four dolls in this post
  • she is my daughter and I love her very much

Again, these are all one-of-a-kind, so if you see something you like, act fast!

Werewolf & Wolfman Paws by John Pinkerton

Ohio artist John Pinkerton makes all kinds of sculpted monster collectibles under the name The Monster Sandbox. My wife Tandye brought two of his creations to my attention – he’s one of her favourite artists – and I loved them so much that I ordered both of them before I wrote this post.

The Werewolf Paw is a 10″ replica werewolf hand that perfectly represents what I wish my hands looked like when the moon is full.

The highly detailed paw seamlessly combines sculpted fingers and claws with dark fur, to create a realistic looking piece that looks like it came straight from a taxidermist!

The Wolfman Paw is a more “classic” interpretation of a lycanthropic paw, with shorter fur and an ISO standard plaid sleeve.

Inspired by old tales of lycanthropy, this handcrafted sculpture of a Wolfman Paw brings legend a step closer to reality for fans and collectors.

According to John’s Facebook page, there’s a Black Friday sale on all weekend, so if you like these werewolf paws as much as I do, now’s the time!

No haunted house or cursed castle is complete without this bust of “The Hound”

This 17.50 inch polystone sculpture by Kurt Papstein for Level52 Studios is the perfect addition to any empty plinth in your shadowy hallway or bare space between dread grimoires in your library. I also think it would look amazing on my rickety $30 Ikea shelf, but then, I’m not a wealthy insane baroness who lives in a dilapidated castle, so I have to make compromises.

From Level52:

The Hound is a super-sized new addition to the Busted Series by Level52 Studios. Sculptor Kurt Papstein has managed to capture the untamed ferocity of this nocturnal nightmare in stunning detail from its bright, ruthless eyes to its gaping maw and flowing mane. Add this beast to your collection, and you’ll have to do a double take when stepping into the room. Maybe this time it IS lunging at you!

Standing at a truly massive 17.5” tall and produced in polystone, this finely crafted creature arrives in Level52’s signature premium packaging. The Hound will make an excellent watchdog to guard your other collectible treasures.

The Hound is available for pre-order from Level52, Sideshow Collectibles and Big Bad Toy Store for around $276 USD. It’s slated to ship in the first quarter of 2020.

Shout Factory’s “The Howling” Statue

Shout! Factory typically deals in deluxe home media movie releases, but this summer, they’ve teamed up with PCS Collectibles to bring werewolf fans something special:

…an exclusive, officially licensed and limited-edition statue based on Joe Dante’s classic werewolf film THE HOWLING. This special offer comes in two variants – one available at shoutfactory.com and the other for pick up at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

This statue looks like a scaled-down, simplified version of the two-foot-tall monster PCS released in 2016.

Unless you have a time machine, you’re too late to get in line for one of the Comic-Con variants, but the shoutfactory.com version is still available – and it’s marked down to $64.99 USD!

The Underworld Lycan Vinyl Statue from Star Ace Toys has tons of detail, great butt

I kind of liked the werewolf designs in the Underworld movie series. The designs have changed somewhat as the series continues its slide towards direct-to-digital purgatory, but they’ve remained consistently monstrous in a way I find appealing. I know that puts me in the minority, but I’m going to stand in my truth: you don’t need a hairy chest, a classically lupine head, or a tail in order to be a badass-looking werewolf.

Collectible company Star Ace Toys has got a new addition to its “super-vinyl” series (which I originally read as “super-villainy”) that will interest my fellow Lycan-enjoyers: a 32cm soft vinyl Lycan statue based on the creature design from Underworld: Evolution. It’s a super-detailed rendition that captures the vascular, gangly Lycan look, and which includes a curious mixture of modelled hair and fluffy synthetic hair. And, like, not to objectify monsters or anything, but this Lycan has a great ass.

Here’s the product copy from Star Ace’s site:

In the “Underworld” movie series a war rages in the darkness where humans cannot go. The vampires battle the werewolves or Lycans in a centuries-old war. The Lycans can transform from human to a fierce snarling beast, but still retain their human reasoning. This 32cm tall vinyl figure represents a Lycan ready to go into battle, his mouth wide open showing his sharp teeth and his claws out, ready to rip apart his vampire foe. This figure features synthetic hair attached to the head sculpt to better represent the look of the Lycan.

As of this post, Star Ace lists the statue as a pre-order product, due out “4th Quarter 2019”. If you’re in North America, you can put in your pre-order with BigBadToyStore, who list the Deluxe edition (which includes a more detailed base) for a very reasonable $189.99. I imagine other online retailers will have it soon, and for true good karma, you can always check your local comic shop to see if they’ll order it for you.

After 9 years, World of Warcraft’s Worgen are getting a fresh new look

From Blizzard WatchWowhead, and a bunch of other sites that cover breaking video game news comes some worgen-related excitement today. Blizzard’s annual gaming convention BlizzCon kicked off today with a bunch of announcements, one of which promises a fresh new look for World of Warcraft’s werewolf-like player race. Says Blizzard Watch:

One of the most requested features in WoW is an update for the Cataclysm-era goblin and worgen models. At the BlizzCon What’s Next panel, Blizzard announced that both races would finally receive model updates in patch 8.2.5 — immediately invalidating about 80% of the questions for tomorrow’s Q&A panel.

Given that these are among the least popular races in the game and still among the newer ones, a model update was low on Blizzard’s priority list. But it was sorely needed, especially for Worgen, who never turned out quite right. Even back in Cataclysm, players were unhappy with how the Worgen looked.

I was pretty happy with how the Worgen looked when Cataclysm came out over nine years ago, but these updated models are even better. Have a look at these screengrabs from the BlizzCon stream, courtesy of Wowhead.

Note that these updated models won’t likely arrive until sometime in early 2019.

Pose details for the updated male Worgen model

Head details for the updated male Worgen model

Pose details for the updated female Worgen model

Head details for the updated female Worgen model

 

Trash your house and ruin a babysitter’s life as a tiny werewolf in “Where’s Baby?”

Where’s Baby? is an award-winning asymmetrical multiplayer game. Each player assumes the role of a rowdy monster baby or a beleaguered babysitter, and respectively trashes the house while escaping capture or tries to fix all the broken furniture before slam-dunk the kid back in their crib.

One of four playable babysitters attempts to un-trash a bookshelf while a baby werewolf goes buckwild

From the developer’s web site:

Play as a baby critter, wrecking everything in the house and having a blast! Power ups along the way will help amplify your natural toddler abilities, including diaper bombs and a foot-powered pink plastic car (beep beep)! OR play as the baby sitter, and try to keep things together until the parents get home and the round ends! If you are lucky, you’ll be able to find a blanket, put that little guy to bed, and have a little peace!

It’s a Steam Early Access game that you can download for Mac or Windows for less than the cost of a bad cup of coffee. Currently included:

  • Single Player AI Verses!
  • Local Split Screen Multiplayer!
  • Beta-ish Online Multiplayer (via Steam Chat’s Join Me Function)!
  • 4 Power Ups for Both Sitter and Critter!
  • 4 Sitters!
  • 2 Critters!
  • 2 Levels!
  • And a whole lotta love!

All vampires are terrible and this baby is no exception.

One of the two critters is a baby werewolf who seems just as adorable as they are destructive, and the other is a baby vampire who – well, I’m not going to write profanity about a cartoon infant, but you know how I feel about vampires.

Here’s the announcement trailer, which shows some gameplay:

You can check out the game on Steam and follow its development on Twitter at @WellBredRhino.

Werewolf House: Synthincisor is the kind of weird, wonderful werewolf game that could only exist online

An itch.io browser/mobile game styled after 8-bit text adventures? I think I’ll pass. I make corporate web applications with middling JavaScript for a living and I don’t need to be reminded of the radical shit that people have made with bad JavaScript.

But what’s that, you say? The game plunges you into an eerily synth-scored story where you play as a vaping EDM DJ who gets hired to play a gig at Werewolf House, but who has their fresh new beat blasted out of their head by lightning, and who must have “an unforgettable, Webby-deserving interactive adventure in the Werewolf House in an attempt to create a new beat before the moon is full”?

Don’t mind if I do.

This is Werewolf House: Synthincisor, the third and final instalment in writer/musician Andy Kneis‘s trilogy of absurd browser-based werewolf-laden choose your own adventure games. I haven’t played any of them for longer than 10 minutes, having only just learned about them, but they all look deeply funny in a way that blends the chunky GIF-style graphics of the point & click text adventure genre with Kneis’s beautifully slapdash/smartass writing.

I beat this computer’s haunted web site by clicking past a GIF of a werewolf labelled “sensuality”.

The first two games in the trilogy, Werewolf House Rising: Werewolf House of Wolves and Werewolf House Rising: Werewolf House of Wolves – Arbor Day Edition, seem to be single-page HTML documents stacked with wonderful GIFs, music embeds, and links that jump you around in the narrative. Synthincisor is quite a bit more involved, though.

The full moon is out and what started as a choose-your-own adventure site has transformed into a full-on interactive fiction game with a unique mechanic that lets you to add new layers the game’s soundtrack as you progress.

“The art in the game is silly and the writing is really silly,” he told the Los Feliz Ledger in an interview, “so I wanted the music to be as good as possible.”

An animation from a Werewolf House pop-up ad

The music seems quite good indeed. During my brief playthrough, I made it through the ground-level room of Werewolf House, which was just far enough to enhance the pulsing 80’s slasher flick style music with some “modem sounds” I earned by helping a (potentially evil) web site exorcise itself by banishing 2002-era pop-up ads for werewolf pills.

This is the kind of weird, wonderful, fully-committed-to-the-goof stuff that I love. I made myself click the “save” button and come over here to write this post. As soon as I hit “publish” I’m going back over to that other browser tab to resume my game. I need to recover that missing beat, play a killer set for the Werewolf House denizens, and then maybe down some werewolf pills.

Fright Rags launches official Teen Wolf shirt collection

The OG, very good, very 1980s Teen Wolf movie spawned a lot of knock-off “Dicknose” t-shirts, but as far as I can tell, it’s never had an official line of apparel, until now. The venerable horror & sci-fi t-shirt company Fright Rags has secured the official Teen Wolf license – it says it right there in the banner! – and they aren’t sleeping on it. Starting today, you can buy one of six different designs on a variety of shirt styles. I think my favourite is the cartoon-style “85” design, but the Howard’s Hardware flyer is pretty great, too.