Reigns invites you to be a king of inconsequential actions

If the 2016 US presidential election has shown us anything, it’s that politics is almost by design ruthless and unsavory. Though this is nothing new to most – few sentiments are as near universal across America as a disenfranchisement with the political machine – this election has proven exceptionally messy, sparking across the country a mood that in some ways approximate a mini civil war. There is no compromise, no understanding; only two sides with a widening gap in between. If keeping supporters happy is a difficult task for political leaders, appeasing everyone is utterly off the table. The best that can be hoped for is for this tension to hold, lest it break and plunge our country into even further anarchy. Continue reading Reigns invites you to be a king of inconsequential actions

In Karambola, vegetables have feelings too

I am sitting in a bar. Perhaps I’m tending it, but for now, I merely observe the man in front of me. He has been drinking profusely, no doubt on account of the bothersome negative thought bird hovering near his forehead. Or at least, what believe to be his forehead. Above his shoulders, his body expands into an egg-shaped mass of spines, and as his hat slips off his crown, a flowery mouth-like hole reveals itself as the means by which the patron has finished off so much wine. I feel a deep pity for this creature, and begin to tap out a tune on his discarded glasses. He perks up a bit. Continue reading In Karambola, vegetables have feelings too

Along the Edge brings dark and striking interactive fiction to Steam next month

Following its release on itch.io earlier this year and a successful Greenlight campaign, indie visual novel Along the Edge is now set to for release on Steam October 12th. The creation of French indie developer Nova-box – originally a contract house for larger studios who has recently branched out into interactive fiction – Along the Edge follows Daphné, a young woman stuck in a rut, as she attempts to restart her life after inheriting a remote country house. Continue reading Along the Edge brings dark and striking interactive fiction to Steam next month

Planet of the Eyes finds Limbo’s other half

It is immediately evident that Cococucumber’s Planet of the Eyes is indebted to the success of Limbo. The cold open, the parallax art style, and the first puzzle involving a runaway boulder, are all indisputably intended to conjure comparisons to Playdead’s pivotal release. What isn’t as apparent from the beginning, though, is that Planet of the Eyes is not a response but a reflection; the other side of Limbo’s macabre coin, only fully recognizable when both are placed in context with one another. Continue reading Planet of the Eyes finds Limbo’s other half

Magic Flute takes Mozart to Neo-Tokyo

My first time attending a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute was something of a defining experience, though the reasons have less to do with the play than they do this particular performance and my…anatomical development at the time. Around halfway through a large dance began (what the actual scene was I couldn’t say), during which roughly a dozen women stripped off their jackets as they performed a line-dance in only sports bras. My mother was appalled, but being myself a sheltered, hormonally overrun preteen, I began to pay significantly more attention to a play I had been nearly sleeping through moments before. Continue reading Magic Flute takes Mozart to Neo-Tokyo

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, or “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Sides of a Modern Shooter”

There is a scene early on in Gore Verbinski’s 2011 animated western, Rango, in which Johnny Depp’s titular chameleon is attempting to endear himself to the townsfolk after bumbling his way into town. Through a display of increasingly frantic and outrageous dramatics, he weaves a fantastic tale of his fight with a band of notorious outlaws, an account which the townsfolk have completely bought into by the end despite being fabricated on the spot and held together with the thinnest of logic. Though the scene’s primary purpose is to position Rango as a respected member of the town, as well as to play off his insecurities and reliance of acting in all his social encounters, it also feeds into one of the most persistent and engaging tenants of spaghetti westerns: a stranger’s tale told over a glass of whisky at the town saloon. Continue reading Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, or “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Sides of a Modern Shooter”

Pan-Pan Presents The Most Charming Of Shipwrecks

There are a few core facts I know as of now about Pan-Pan. First, that it is being published by Swedish art-house developer, Might & Delight, creators of the wondrous Shelter and various other pretty projects. Two, that it is being developed by the single-man studio, Spelkraft, whose primary goal is “to create ‘pure’ entertaining and creative interactive experiences,” an endearing mantra evident in his work. Which brings me, finally, to three, that Pan-Pan looks positively lovely, with an art style evoking something between The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Adventure Time. Continue reading Pan-Pan Presents The Most Charming Of Shipwrecks

JumpJet Rex makes 16-bit platforming cool again

JumpJet Rex acts as the continuation of a distinctly mid-90’s branch of game design. A 16-bit arcade platformer, TreeFortress Games’ prehistoric space escapade merges the divergent sensibilities of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, into a game that is as smart and enjoyable as Super Mario, and as undeniably cool as Sonic the Hedgehog. Continue reading JumpJet Rex makes 16-bit platforming cool again

GoNNER asks you to dive into its wibbly wobbly hell, because that’s what friends do

Mattias Dittrich (who goes by the developer name “Ditto) seems to have rather a love of jello. Or at least of jello’s quintessential shake and jiggle, a quality which can be found to varying degrees in all of his games, from the charming DAGDROM to the devilishly challenging hets. His first commercial project as part of his newly founded three-man studio, Art is Heart, GoNNER again begs comparison to gelatinous desserts, if, that is, jello fought back. Continue reading GoNNER asks you to dive into its wibbly wobbly hell, because that’s what friends do

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