Samuel Horti

I'm a freelance journalist writing about video games, tech, and real estate/housing. Scroll down for article examples, and email me at sphorti@gmail.com 

PC Gamer

Super Mega Baseball 2 review | PC Gamer

Super Mega Baseball was a that was let down by its lack of online play. The follow-up keeps the accessible hitting and pitching mechanics, smooths over some rough edges, and adds everything that was missing, including multiple online modes, a detailed team editor, and custom leagues. Basically, it does everything a sequel should do, and the result is the best on-field baseball sim on PC. Online, you can play a one-off game or a custom tournament with friends, but the flagship mode is Pennant Ra
PC Gamer

Does Braid deserve its status as the iconic breakthrough indie game? | PC Gamer

Braid is one of those games that rolls lazily off the tongue in conversations about the most influential indie games of all time. Depending which of the many breathless pieces you've read about it over the years, Braid was either an "enormous leap towards realising the potential" of videogames that "ripped away…years of gaming blinkers", the "Sex, Lies and Videotape of indie gaming", or possibly even gaming's "Easy Rider" moment. It has a reputation as more than just a clever puzzler with a mind
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Should kids be taught using Minecraft? | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“The 14-year-old me was weeping inside” says Tom Bennett, the UK government’s school behaviour tsar. He’s recalling the time that Ian Livingstone – the co-creator of both Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy, the series of role-playing books – called him a “luddite”. “It really upset me, I used to love the books and the games that came from them.” The reason Bennett became the target of Livingstone’s ire is because of his views on Minecraft in classrooms. Last November, Microsoft released Minecr
CityMetric

Inside PATH, the 30km network of walkways, tunnels and malls beneath Toronto | CityMetric

Since moving to Toronto nine months ago, I’ve found serendipity hard to come by. I’m only here for two years, so if I’m going out to eat, or grab a coffee, or meet a friend, I’ll look up endless lists of the ten best restaurants or pubs in the area, trying to make sure no trip is wasted. I plan my journey door-to-door using local transport app My TTC, leave my flat so that I’ll arrive at the bus stop just as it pulls up, and, when I hop off again, I walk the route I’ve memorised, head down.
Kotaku UK

Frostpunk is the Harshest City Builder You'll Ever Play | Kotaku UK

One of your citizens is refusing to part ways with his frostbitten left leg. If your medics leave him alone then gangrene will kill him within days, adding another body to the growing pile dumped in a snowdrift on the edge of town. If you forcibly restrain him and amputate you’ll save his life, but he won’t be able to work, making him a burden on your already-strained resources. So: what do you do? These are the kinds of bleak choices you can expect in Frostpunk, a city builder about surviving
PC Gamer

We tried to get good with Tachanka, Rainbow Six Siege's worst operator | PC Gamer

I rarely get praise from teammates in FPS games. So when my Rainbow Six squad starts worshipping me as a god after pulling off a single kill, I have no idea how to react. I'm learning that this happens more than you expect when you pick Tachanka, Siege's worst operator, affectionately known as “our Lord and savior”. His unique gadget is a mounted LMG with insane stopping power. But it also makes him an easy target. Once enemies know where he is—usually by sending a drone his way—they’ll exploit
PC Gamer

Overwatch pros analyze Brigitte's strengths, weaknesses, and place in the meta | PC Gamer

Overwatch's new healer/tank hybrid Brigitte smashed onto the game's live servers last week, and I've been swinging her extend-o rocket flail ever since. She's only playable in Quick Play games for now, but she'll join the Competitive roster for the start of season 10, expected to begin in late April or early May. That gives players a good chunk of time to figure out how to make the most of her versatile kit before taking her into ranked games. With that in mind, I spoke with some of the best su
PC Gamer

Is it worth cutting out Steam to sell indie games direct? | PC Gamer

On May 14, 2011, only one game was released on Steam: Jason Rohrer's tactical shooter . "It was on the Steam front page for five days," he tells me. "Releasing a game back then on Steam meant you'd instantly have an audience—I had all these new players that had never even heard of it before." But things have changed a lot since then. Developers are pumping games onto Steam at an astonishing rate, making it harder than ever for individual games to stand out from the crowd. Last Wednesday, as 83

About me — scroll down for more articles

I moved from London to Toronto last year to give the freelance life a go. I started off in journalism writing about pharmacy and real estate, and now I mainly write about video games for places like PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku UK, The Telegraph, TechRadar, GamesMaster and others.

I was previously Digital News Editor of Property Week, and I still write for them on a freelance basis. Here's my Linkedin if you want the full spiel. 

I'm always open to new opportunities, so if you want me to write something for you, or have any questions, just drop me a line at sphorti@gmail.com.

PC Gamer

Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s save system shows you just how fun failure can be | PC Gamer

I’m a serial save scummer. In open-world RPGs my finger snaps to F5 at the first hint of danger, ready to quick save. As soon as things go south I’ll reload, and try again until I get the outcome I want. It’s a viable—and often very fun—way to play. You win virtually every fight, pass every skill check, and get the best loot, which helps you build powerful characters. But Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s save system has shown me that the aftermath of my mistakes is worth sticking around for, and tha
Kotaku UK

Rolling the Dice in Kingdom Come: Deliverance | Kotaku UK

My love of Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s dice game started off innocently enough. While I was settling into Rattay, the game’s first proper town, I’d visit one of its two taverns virtually every night. Deliverance’s evenings are so dark that I never really fancied wandering out into the wilds, and I’d picked a perk that let me go longer without sleep. That meant that, even when all the shops had shut, it was far too early for bed - and I had a lot of time to kill.
PC Gamer

My Little Blacksmith Shop is relaxing and overwhelming at the same time | PC Gamer

An adventurer with a pink shirt and luminous green beard steps over the threshold. They're after a one-handed copper sword, and they've come to the right place. The copper ingots are already heating on the forge. I kick into action, flicking two red-hot ingots onto the anvil, whacking them the exact number of times I need to get a split blade—my preferred style—before dropping it in oil to cool it down. When it hisses I fling it onto the workbench, where it merges with the handle I've already la
PC Gamer

Apocalipsis is a point-and-click adventure that creeps me the hell out | PC Gamer

I'm standing on top of a fish the size of a house. It has a knife stuck in its eye. I grab the handle and pull it out because I need the blade to slice up one of the smaller fish the beast is vomiting from its gaping mouth. Eight pieces of fish meat will do, one for each of the heads on the mutated ostrich that's blocking the path ahead. Once it's munched enough fish chunks it stops thrashing and I nip past it onto the next screen, where I outfox a giant rat so that I can catch a ride in a boat
PC Gamer

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength is more about puzzles than politics | PC Gamer

Captain Oleg Bakay can't hide anything from me. I have his passwords, his military records, his text messages, audio recordings of his phone calls, the name of his daughter and which school she went to, all of it laid out on my screen. The only thing I don't know is why he's gone missing—and whether he'll still be alive when I find him. That's the opening gambit of Orwell, a text-based game about an overreaching government pushing out propaganda and crushing nationwide protests. You play a stat
PC Gamer

The best weapons in Fortnite | PC Gamer

It’s possible to win a round of Fortnite with nothing but a basic pistol and a handful of grenades, and you can even do it without firing a single shot. But you’ll have to be really damn good or very, very lucky to pull it off. To reliably reach the late game and rack up the Victory Royales, you’re much better off kitting yourself out with the game’s best weapons and building a flexible loadout that will prepare you for an encounter at any range. With that in mind, we’re going to break down the
Gamasutra

Devs reflect on the impact and legacy of Burnout Paradise | Gamasutra

“Nobody was interested” in Burnout Paradise prior to its release, series co-creator Alex Ward tells Gamasutra. “I remember taking it to E3, and pretty much nobody came to see it. The folks running EA [the game’s publisher] were thinking: ‘get that game done and then make another one’. We were just happy to survive it, really.” The team at Criterion Games did a lot better than survive – they created one of the most-loved driving games of all time. Fans’ passion for the open-world racer remains
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

The Joy of Oxenfree’s natural dialogue system | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Few games nail the ebb and flow of conversations like Oxenfree, the supernatural drama about a group of teenagers on a deserted island. The cast speak over one another, cut their friends off mid-sentence and leave realistic gaps of silence that stretch on awkwardly until somebody says “so…”, and moves on. You’re an active part of that system. You select speech bubbles that pop out of Alex, the protagonist, and if you choose one while another character is talking then you’ll butt in. If they hav
PC Gamer

How QUBE and QUBE 2 went from student project to whip-smart indie puzzle games

In 2009, three games design students at Newport University were thrown together and given six weeks to create their final project. But none of them knew how to code. "We learnt everything from scratch," says Dan Da Rocha, one of the trio. "It was always going to be a student project—a portfolio piece to go and get a job at a large studio." Soon it was something much bigger, and two years later the group released the game on Steam, where it would go on to reach more than 200,000 players. What th
PC Gamer

Why cracking a tough mission in 2014’s Door Kickers is one of the best things I did last year | PC Gamer

It looks slick, doesn’t it? A polished SWAT squad that knows exactly when to move and which angles to cover. When Door Kickers comes together it’s a fluid dance of flash grenades, muzzle flashes, and dead terrorists. The problem is that you start each mission with two left feet. The short video above is the result of more than two hours of testing and probing, trial and error, and many trips back to the drawing board. Polishing it off was genuinely one of the best feelings I had with a mouse and
PC Gamer

Crossing Souls review | PC Gamer

Crossing Souls is a nostalgic buffet of '80s and '90s favourites. Its story harks back to Stand By Me and The Goonies, its mechanics are borrowed from Streets of Rage and Battletoads, and it's packed with references to Star Wars and Back to the Future. While some of its references are overplayed ("I'm sick of running after everyone. What do you think this is, a role-playing game?"), they're generally harmless, and most times you'll at least crack a knowing smile. As a tribute act, it works.
PC Gamer

Our biggest screw-ups from Into the Breach | PC Gamer

It should be easy. You can see exactly what the vek are going to do next turn, and plan accordingly. But then new vek crawl out of the ground and do things you didn't expect, or your perfect set of moves this turn leaves your mechs in a terrible position for the turn after, or you forget someone is standing in front of the train you're supposed to protect and it collides with them because you're a goddamn dingbat. There are a lot of ways Into the Breach can go wrong. Here are some of the ways i
PC Gamer

The best Sims 4 expansions and game packs | PC Gamer

If you feel like you’ve exhausted all that The Sims 4’s base game has to offer, then don't worry: the fun is just beginning. While it doesn't have as many game-changing extras as the rest of the series, there are some pieces of DLC that are well worth checking out, both among its larger expansion packs and smaller game packs. Here are the best five, ranked. Get Together adds a new world called Windenburg, a North European-style town that’s a mixture of old beamed buildings, ancient ruins and sl
Gamasutra

How Slay the Spire 's devs use data to balance their roguelike deck-builder | Gamasutra

Mega Crit Games' roguelike deck-builder Slay the Spire has already amassed nearly 400,000 players since entering Early Access in November, according to SteamSpy, and received almost unanimous praise from critics and players – not bad for a game with just two full-time developers. It’s even more impressive when you consider its unusual mash-up of genres. Balancing a card game alone is a huge undertaking, and tiny tweaks can bend entire playstyles out of shape. Stir in the random events of a rogu
TechRadar

Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a main quest you won't want to stop playing | TechRadar

I can never bring myself to finish open-world games. I've sunk hundreds of hours into the likes of Skyrim, The Witcher 3 and Far Cry 4 without completing their main stories, and I'm completely fine with that. For me, the thrill of marking a distant corner of the map, heading for it and seeing what happens is often far greater than going through the motions of a scripted story. But Kingdom Come: Deliverance feels different. Its story has hooked me in a way that few games manage, and despite its
Kotaku UK

Fortnite and the Way of the Assassin – Big Loot for Small Risks | Kotaku UK

Yes it is me: That Guy. The one who, when you were preening yourself after winning a huge Fortnite battle, dropped the hammer – and took all your winnings away. GG. See you next time. I creep to the edge of Pleasant Park and spy two enemies juking it out on the roof of a house. One takes a shotgun blast to the face and drops, but the victor can’t relax because another player starts lobbing grenades from the next building over, and soon a third player wades in from the east of town, spraying his
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