It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - music

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Craft Recordings release the definitive edition of Vince Guaraldi’s evocative soundtrack to the 1966 animated television special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Remastered from newly discovered analogue session reels, the album features seven previously unreleased alternate takes - all of which offer insight into Guaraldi’s creative process. The package also includes new liner notes by Peanuts historian Derrick Bang, with contributions by the family of Lee Mendelson, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer and co-creator of the Peanuts animated specials. Additionally, a note by Mendelson (taken from the 2018 edition of the album) rounds out the release... [click here...]

 

Hell Pie (PS4 / PS5) - Game review

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Hell Pie is an obscene 3D platformer that takes bad taste to the next level! The game sees you grab the horns of Nate, the ‘Demon of Bad Taste’. He is given the honourable task of gathering the disgusting ingredients for Satan’s infamous birthday pie. To do so, Nate must venture out into the overworld and do whatever it takes to ensure those ingredients are secured in time, or there’ll be hell to pay! Luckily Nate isn’t alone on this quest, his ‘pet’ angel Nugget is there to offer support. Nugget offers his holy insight when needed, but more importantly is chained to Nate, so can be used like a grappling hook or swung around as a weapon. Nate can also equip horns he finds across the world to give him new hellish abilities. Together Nate and Nugget will explore insane environments, meet tons of repugnant characters and witness some truly shocking sights... [click here...]

 

The Secret Service - Soundtrack review

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The Secret Service was Gerry and Sylvia Anderson final puppet show… and also the least seen. The 1969 series was cancelled after just 13 episodes and failed to get a network transmission in the UK. And it’s easy to see why the show was largely ignored – it’s mainly very poor. The score is once again written by the highly talented Barry Gray but even he seems to have been feeling disinterested as most of the material he wrote for the show – title track aside – is very by numbers... [click here...]

 

Minions: The Rise of Gru - Soundtrack review

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Decca Records release the various artists original motion picture soundtrack for Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. Set in the 1970s, the film tells the origin story of how Gru, the world’s greatest supervillain, first met his iconic Minions, forged cinema’s most despicable crew and faced off against the most unstoppable criminal force ever assembled... [click here...]

 

Autonauts (Xbox One / Series X/S) Game review

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Travel the universe creating settlements on uninhabited planets with the sole goal of setting worlds in motion through the power of automation. Fresh from your spaceship you must harvest stick and stone and begin your settlement building efforts. Create rudimentary crafting items from blueprints and slowly build a number of workerbots to aid in your efforts. Teach and shape their artificial intelligence with a visual programming language, then instruct them to begin the formation of your settlement. Marvel as a planet you’ve shaped becomes home to a civilisation of workerbots, happy to do your bidding! Expand further with the creation of Folk; beings that require your assistance to survive. Push your workerbots further by introducing fishing, cooking, housing, and tailoring and help the Folk into a state of transcendence... [click here...]

 

Micro Scalextric: James Bond 007 - Toy review

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Aston Martin has been James Bond's vehicle of choice throughout the film franchise, and the Micro Scalextric James Bond 007 Race Set celebrates his most iconic choices: the Aston Martin DB5 and Aston Martin V8. This set features over 3.5 metres of track, with 9 track layouts which includes a ramp and the new lap-counter booby trap track piece... [click here...]

 

The Hand of Merlin (PS4 / PS5) - Game review

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The Hand of Merlin is a turn-based rogue-lite RPG in which Arthurian legend clashes with cosmic horror. Recruit a company of up to three mortal heroes and guide them in spirit on a desperate journey from Albion to Jerusalem. Explore a richly-imagined medieval setting on the brink of apocalypse. Trade with merchants, improve your heroes and unearth ancient relics. Search for the lost fragments of your soul, scattered across the multiverse - and save as many worlds as you can... [click here...]

 

Kao the Kangaroo (PS4 / PS5) - Game review

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Join Kao on his biggest adventure, as the brave kangaroo sets out to find his missing sister and solve the mystery of what happened to his father years ago. He will need to travel the world and confront the famous fighting masters, who are influenced by the mysterious, dark power. On the course of his journey, Kao will learn under the guidance of his master, Walt, how to become not only an awesome fighter but also a clever one who uses his head as much as his fists. Although he will need to fight lots of enemies along the way, he will also make new, and strengthen old, friendships. Finally, he will need to face his ultimate opponent - the mysterious Eternal Warrior, whose ambitions are a threat to the world balance. Will he succeed? It’s all up to you... [click here...]

 

Equal Rites - Audio book review

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Penguin Random House bring us an unabridged audio book recording of Terry Pratchett's third novel set in the Discworld universe, 1987's Equal Rites. The story is narrated by Indira Varma, and sees the dying wizard Drum Billet passing on his staff of power to the eighth son of an eighth son. Unfortunately for his colleagues in the world of magic, he failed to check that the baby in question was a son. Everybody knows that there's no such thing as a female wizard. But now it's gone and happened, there's nothing much anyone can do about it. Let the battle of the sexes begin... [click here...]

 

House of the Long Shadows - Blu-ray review

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A young American novelist is in England to promote his latest book. At the launch, his publisher challenges him to write a bestselling novel in twenty-four hours. A long-abandoned mansion house deep in the countryside is recommended to create the appropriate atmosphere to write a spooky tale. No sooner has he taken position in front of his typewriter in an upstairs room than he becomes aware of a presence in the house. A strict elderly couple purport to be the caretakers, and furthermore they are expecting guests. One by one, three spine-chilling, menacing and somewhat daunting figures arrive. Immediately, their imposing characters clash. But is there more going on than meets the eye? All but one appear to know each other, and the other is not what he seems. But just who or what has been sealed behind a heavily locked door for decades...? [click here...]