27 Oct 2021

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Google Stadia introduces free trials with its own 'Hello Engineer' game

On top of announcing a Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot and a Doom Eternal update yesterday, Stadia appears to have added support for free game trials starting with its own exclusive title, 9to5Google has reported. Spotted by YouTuber Gem, the feature allows users on the free tier to get access to a 30-minute trial for Hello Engineer, before deciding whether to spend $20 buying it.

Hello Engineer is a new free game for Pro tier subscribers, but it costs $20 if you're on the free tier. Below buy/claim with Pro options, however, is a a new "Free trial" button that allows for 30 minutes of free play. Once launched, it starts a countdown timer from when you start the trial, rather than active playtime. At the end, Google asks if you'd like to purchase the game while saving your current progress, according to 9to5Google.

Google has yet to officially mention the new option and there's no word on whether it may expand to other games. You could, of course, trial any game available for free on the Pro tier with Google's 30-minute free trial of Stadia Pro. It would be nice, though, for all users to be able to try any game before deciding to buy it.

27 Oct 2021 9:25am GMT

Netflix's new 'Cowboy Bebop' trailer shows first footage from the show

Netflix has previously given us glimpses of its live-action adaptation of the classic anime Cowboy Bebop. Its latest trailer, however, shows actual footage from the series for the first time. You'll see scenes of the crew in action, from the time they met and decided to team up to the time they start hunting criminals in exchange for bounty. It shows fight scenes with Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda), their spaceship (the Bebop) and their corgi Ein. No Ed yet, unfortunately.

The streaming giant first announced its live-action adaptation way back in 2018, but it wasn't until earlier this year that production wrapped for season one. While the cast and crew have been shooting since 2019, production was paused after Cho got injured on set, and the coronavirus pandemic delayed things even further. Since then, Netflix has been preparing for its debut. In addition to releasing teasers for the show, the company has added all 26 episodes of the anime to its catalogue, so you can marathon all things Cowboy Bebop without having to hop services. (The anime is also available on Hulu.)

Netflix's live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop will start streaming on November 19th.

27 Oct 2021 8:41am GMT

Niantic's 'Pikmin Bloom' mobile game starts rolling out

Pokémon Go's creator has a new augmented reality mobile game, and this time, it's all about Pikmin. Niantic is now rolling out Pikmin Bloom worldwide, starting with Singapore and Australia where it's already live. Similar to Pokémon Go, you'll have to go out and interact with the real world enjoy the game. It's really more of a fun and colorful companion for daily walks or hikes, though, since it doesn't have battles and doesn't have the incentive of catching rare monsters like Pokémon Go does.

In Pikmin Bloom, you'll find seedlings when you walk that you can pick up and grow into plant-like creatures that'll follow you around. The more you walk, the more Pikmin you can pluck and the more Pikmin will follow you around. Onscreen, you're depicted as a Mii avatar, with a bunch of creatures walking behind you and making more flowers bloom along your path. You'll also be able to collect items on your walks, including clothes Pikmin can wear and fruit you can feed your creatures to make flowers bloom on their heads.

Niantic CEO John Hanke said in the game's video announcement that the flowers the Pikmin make can be viewed by other players, so you can create shared gardens with your neighbors. Pikmin Bloom is now live for Android and iOS in Singapore and Australia, and it will be arriving in more countries and regions "shortly."

27 Oct 2021 5:24am GMT