April Fools' Day is both a blessing and a curse. For every clever and genuinely funny joke there is one that's simply cruel (Shenmue III won't be hitting next-gen anytime soon). Here's our round-up of what jokes developers and publishers have cooked up for us.
1. Blizzard - Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished
Blizzard went the retro route with their announcement of a fighting game starring side characters and punching bags of their respective universes.
"We consider this roster only the first chapter in the Blizzard Outcasts™ heptalogy, with each subsequent release exploring a different facet of the rich pantheon of our games' unsung co-stars."
There's also a very large and microtransaction-driven controller to go along with the game (note this is only a conceptual representation).
2. NCsoft - Bobbleheads in Guild Wars 2
MMO players enjoy having heads on the avatars - thus bigger heads must equal bigger joy.
3. Wargaming - UFOs in World of Warplanes
The makers of World of Tanks, Wargaming are bringing something not entirely consistent with World War II into their dog fight sim World of Warplanes - UFOs. Alledgedly.
It seems Wargaming were not content on just one joke, however as they launched the browser-based World of Tanks: The Crayfish.
"This is my next big thing," said Chris Taylor, General Manager and Creative Director at Wargaming Seattle. "We can't wait for everyone to finally get their hands on it."
"I've been asked recently why an international company with over 3,000 employees is so slow in presenting new titles and what Chris Taylor and his team are working on in Seattle," said Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi. "Well, here's our latest project, and it answers both."
4. Bohemia Interactive - Arma III karting
Would you believe it, hyper realistic war simulator Arma III is adding karting as a DLC...
5. Paradox Interactive - War of Vikings - Godlike Warriors DLC
What's better than throwing an axe to the face of an enemy? How about throwing 100 axes? With the Godlike Warriors DLC for upcoming medieval combat sim War of the Vikings you'll be able to do just that as you're granted the powers of the Gods.
6. Google - Pokémon Master Challenge
Now this joke falls in the category of something that sounds rather cool and not entirely unlike some game concept out there. Basically Google wants you to capture pokémons around the world using Google Maps for a chance to win a job at the company (or something).
7. Gaijin Entertainment - Giant Japanese War Machine in War Thunder
While most Japanese machines of war are agile, but a little vulnerable this one - Gajilla - is a different story as you can see.
8. Team 17 - Floculus Rift
On the back of their announcement of new IP Flockers this weekend, Team 17 are up to something virtual reality and motion controlled with "Floculus Rift".
9. Kalypso - Tropico Llama Simulator
It seems El Presidente is keen to follow in the footsteps of Goat Simulator and the recently kickstarted Bear Simulator. Just imagine being able to finally play as El Presidente's favourite llama - Hector!
Slightly Mad Studios announce Flappy Cars
No massive surprise to see some Flappy Birds related April Fools' jokes. Slightly Mad Studios (makers of Project CARS) announced the one button Xbox One exclusive Flappy Cars.
"Designed for hardcore gamers, this fiendish race sim uses a one-touch control to activate the brake flaps (see what we did there?) on a gorgeous Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster before it crashes off the road. Navigate the windy road and last as long as you can!"
Not very eloquent in execution that announcement spoke of an HD remake (pointing to the official Project Cars website) and with optional in-game purchases that included the phone number to the devs "where players can leave voicemail messages saying how bad the game sucks".
Paradox announces Crusader Kings II: Claws of the Meowans
Paradox ran a few jokes today (you'll see the War of the Vikings one above), but the silliest one was probably the one for Crusader Kings II.
"Introducing Crusader Kings II: Claws of the Meowans, the highly anticipated next expansion of the critically acclaimed grand strategy RPG by Paradox Development Studio! Claws of the Meowans adds cats, cat events and the delicate art of CAPSLOCKING EVERYTHING FOR EMPHASIS into your game of historical deceit and murder."
Cats are always fun.
Blizzard strikes again with Happy Reaper
Blizzard put a lot of effort into their April Fools' shenanigans and Happy Reaper was another entry that pokes fun at the Flappy Bird phenomenon. Test your skills at reaping souls!
"In Happy Reaper, players take on the role of Malthael, the Angel of Death, who's recently returned to Sanctuary with a vengeance. With a series of well-timed mouse clicks or finger taps, skillfully guide Malthael through a network of ancient Pandemonium ruins to collect human souls and obliterate all puny nephalem with your trusty Death Laser of Doom™."
Bonus Bonus Round
The on again, off again, indie developer Phil Fish tweeted:
"im back! FEZ II is back on!"
We're not sure what to make of it. Most felt that at the time when Phil Fish announced his departure from game development and the cancellation of Fez II that it was just a way to avoid some of the negative attention the always controversial developer had attracted. But perhaps he was serious then, and he's joking now. Or this isn't a joke. Or maybe... Oh well. We don't know. You got us, Phil. But if this is a joke, file it under cruel ones.