Train2Game News Astra Fund Funding Games That Make You Think

Astra Fund – led by Eileen Hollinger (thatgamecompany, Funomena, Riot) and Josh Taylor (former President of 9 Dots) – are  excited to announce today a lineup of wonderful, in-development games funded by their new, unique video games fund.

New titles include the debut game from studio Furniture & Mattress, a new studio founded by Nick Suttner (PlayStation, Carto), David Hellman (Braid) and Nico Ricabarren (Ethereal). The fund is also working with prolific designer Zach Gage to fund his next project, allowing him to develop his largest effort to date.

The full list of games funded by the Astra Fund:

Astra Fund is a philanthropic venture fund with a mission to support & promote the creation of thinking games – puzzle, strategy and genre-bending games that challenge players and spark genuine curiosity. The fund is headed by co-founders Josh Taylor, who previously held CEO roles in CS education and ed tech, and Eileen Hollinger, former producer on Sky: Children of the Light, Wattam and Riot Games.


“For Astra, the idea behind thinking games is simple,” said Astra co-founder Josh Taylor,  who spent years working with learning scientists at UCLA to develop coding games. ”They are games that create opportunities for the player to get lost in deep thought. We are really excited about our first signings which exemplify this idea by delivering on our three pillars – thinky mechanics, intriguing problems and wondrous worlds.”


Josh Taylor and Eileen Hollinger, Astra co-founders

Astra currently supports thinking games with project financing and self-publishing support. The team at Astra have also been offering year long patron grants to eight individual “Fellows” to support their work developing thinking games.  To support Astra developers and Fellows, Astra has engaged a team of top-tier mentors, including veteran puzzle game creators Gwen Frey (Kine, Lab Rat), Alan Hazelden aka Draknek (A Monster’s Expedition, Cosmic Express), Daniel Benmergui (Fidel Dungeon Rescue, Storyteller) and others.

“We are working to support and elevate the whole thinking games genre,“ said Astra co-founder Eileen Hollinger, who worked to create widely accessible games as Executive Producer at thatgamecompany.  “We want to demonstrate there is a demand for high-production, aesthetically rich, deeply thoughtful games. Beyond funding, we nurture the ecosystem through our Fellowship, which provides more entry points for new voices; through player and developer community-building; and through research and parent advocacy.”

Developers who are working on innovative thinking games and are interested in partnerships or applying to the Fellowship can contact Astra through their website at https://www.astragames.org.

For more information on Astra Fund, visit https://www.astragames.org/

Train2Game News Unknown Number Chosen For London Games Festival

Indie studio godolphin games are thrilled to announce that their voice-controlled puzzle adventure game, Unknown Number, has been chosen as part of London Games Festival’s Official Selection.

Combining cutting edge voice recognition technology with an explosive thriller narrative, Unknown Number is scheduled to launch in Q2 2022 on Steam.

An innovative voice-controlled adventure told entirely through interactive phone calls, Unknown Number has been picked for the London Games Festival Official Selection, and will be showcased as part of the 10-day in person and online event, from Friday 1st April to Sunday 10th April.

The game is part of this year’s ‘Narrative Excellence’ category, where Unknown Number and other titles tell gripping stories in innovative and experimental ways.

Watch the Unknown Number Gameplay Trailer

“We’re thrilled that Unknown Number has been selected for ‘Narrative Excellence’ at the London Games Festival”, said Thomas Keane, Creative Director of godolphin games. “Voice control puts players at the heart of the action like never before. After all, who needs a fancy avatar when you can speak to characters directly?”

“In Unknown Number, you’ll receive phone calls from a full cast of colourful personalities – from eco-warriors to oil barons. But it’s your words, and your voice, that really take centre stage. Heck, at the end of this, you’ll probably deserve an award for ‘Best Vocal Performance’. We’ll have a word with the LGF to see if they can make it happen.”

The first game in an all-new genre that the developers are calling a “First Person Talker”, Unknown Number combines elements from puzzle adventure, interactive story and augmented reality games to create a high-octane gameplay experience. Make your voice heard as you talk, sing, whisper and shout your way through the captivating narrative, and interact with a plethora of morally complex characters.


In this genre-defying thriller, use your voice to…

  • SOLVE complex puzzles to unlock treasure vaults
  • NAVIGATE a maze-like oil rig under serious time pressure
  • IMPERSONATE high-profile oil execs on conference calls
  • TRICK henchman into abandoning their guard posts
  • JOIN an underground eco-movement run by kids
  • MAKE crucial moral decisions that impact the story
  • TELL knock-knock jokes… and maybe even SAVE the world

More information about Unknown Number:


Add Unknown Number to your Steam wishlist: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1692340/Unknown_Number_A_First_Person_Talker/
Visit the Unknown Number website: http://www.godolphingames.com/
Follow godolphin games on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/godolphin_games
Like godolphin games on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/godolphin_games
Join the godolphin games Discord channel: http://www.godolphingames.com/discord

Train2Game News Magic the Gathering comes to Puzzle & Dragons

GungHo Online Entertainment is inviting players to channel their inner planeswalker and fight against the many mythical and mysterious creatures in a Magic: The Gathering collab for the mobile game phenomenon, Puzzle & Dragons.

Between June 25 – July 8, players can join forces with powerful allies from the Multiverse in Puzzle & Dragons.

In this collab, players must come up with tactics utilizing their monsters in order to defeat the elder Demonlord Belzenlok in the special collab dungeon. The innovative collab with Magic: The Gathering includes a plethora of characters through the Magic: The Gathering Egg Machine such as Jhoira, Vraska, and Karn. See below for a full list of characters in the lineup.

All players who log in during the event period will receive one free pull at the Magic: The Gathering Memorial Egg Machine for a chance to get a rare collab character. There will also be a special 1 Magic Stone + Magic: The Gathering Egg Machine limited time bundle for the equivalent price of 1 Magic Stone.

Additional details on the collaboration include:

Magic: The Gathering Egg Machine:

★6
● Karn
● Nicol Bolas
● Jhoira
● Vraska

★5
● Shivan Dragon
● Serra Angel
● Gideon Jura
● Jace Beleren
● Liliana Vess
● Chandra Nalaar
● Nissa Revane

Magic: The Gathering Dungeon Floors:
● Dominaria-Mythical
● Dominaria-Legend
● Dominaria-Master
● Dominaria-Expert
● Dominaria-Intermediate

Assist Evolutions:
● Weatherlight

Puzzle & Dragons is a mobile gaming phenomenon that continues to see tremendous growth, featuring an addictive combination of puzzle, dungeon-crawling, and monster-collecting gameplay. In the game, players capture, collect, and evolve thousands of elemental monsters while incorporating quick thinking to chain combos and maximize the abilities and skills of their monsters. To date, Puzzle & Dragons has surpassed 77 million downloads worldwide and can be download from the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore.

For information on GungHo Online Entertainment America, visit www.gunghoonline.com.

Fans can also follow the latest Puzzle & Dragons news on Facebook and Twitter.