I hadn’t danced a day in my life before I spontaneously decided to go in on a discarded Kinect with possibly the best argument for owning one: Harmonix’s Dance Central (2010). My lack of dancefloor experience was not for a lack of interest. I’d made a point to position myself as “the wallflower who could (if only someone would give me a push).” I went to school dances, stood at the edge of wedding reception mosh pits, and spent hours studying dance videos on YouTube only to find that I was still as unable to get my body moving as ever. All of that changed with Dance Central. Continue reading Dance Central is for the Wallflowers
Dear Space Diary,
S. and I are preparing to embark on what will undoubtedly test not only our skills as pilots but the strength of our relationship itself. Though the Gumball Zero has been modified to accommodate four crew members, part of me feels it is better that it will be only the two of us aboard. It is likely that we will fail, and that failure may mean death, but, if nothing else, at least we will have each other.
In this grab bag: make friends with the narrator, search for your life’s purpose while wearing a poncho, wade through a depression blizzard, and remind yourself to tell someone you love them. Continue reading itch.io Grab Bag #2 – secrets, stars, snow, and sadness
In 2013, the Ebola virus broke loose across West Africa. It was the most destructive outbreak the of the virus in history, with over 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths reported (which accounts for only 17-70% of all infections). It was one of the most severe biological epidemics in recent memory, causing widespread panic and paranoia as countries scrambled to close their borders in the hopes of containing the virus to African countries (a move which no doubt resulted in even more unnecessary deaths and reflected our inability to respond to catastrophes like this). The outbreak lasted until 2016, though cases are still being reported and the effects of the outbreak will continue to be felt for years. Continue reading Alien: Covenant and the Horror of Humanity
Keyboard. Paintings. Wires. Window.
I return to these objects again and again as I circle the dark room. Besides myself, they are the only thing between these four towering walls, the only clues as to the room’s purpose and significance. I brush up against the desk on which the keyboard is resting, behind which glowing blocks bearing my messages are carried up towards the ceiling and off to who knows where. I curse my inability to jump, to touch, to see more than a few inches into the impenetrable black that is smothering me, choking out my hold on reality. Continue reading 2016, Games Criticism, and The Inescapable Madness of BUY2BILLIONFOLLOWE
Perhaps it was the wine. Or the holiday sentimentality. But as I sat next to our sparkling pine, gifts spread out beneath like some form of decorative roots, I was struggling to hold back tears as I presented Maple with her present and she failed to hide her disappointment. It was, of course, entirely my fault. She had been telling me for days what she really wanted (though what that was remains lost to memory), but as is so often my tendency I failed to take note, treating her along with so many others as somehow unworthy of even a moderate amount of my attention. Continue reading Life Through Childlike Eyes in Animal Crossing
The year was 2005. Probably. I believe it was Fall, likely mid-October. The specifics do not matter other than that it was a Sunday, which I know because I was hiding from my parents who were attempting to corral our five-piece (and counting) family into the car to head to church. As an uncooperative ten-year-old, I was far more interested in hunkering down in our addition, which held all manner of toy but, most importantly, our TV and video games. I picked up Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (2004), my current obsession, and placed the disc in our beloved and well-worn Playstation 2. Continue reading The raccoon that stole my heart, or “I had a crush on Sly Cooper”
In this grab bag: play shuffleboard with a crocodile, shapeshift through a post-apocalypse, explore a bite-sized space garden, and share a beer on the bed of a pickup truck. Continue reading itch.io Grab Bag #1: Space, beer, shuffleboard, and corgis on motorbikes
To quickly recap the past week, the long awaited mobile spin-off of Nintendo’s perennially popular monster collecting RPG, Pokémon Go, was finally released to the world at large (whether officially or otherwise), and seemingly everyone with a smartphone is now racing to catch them all. That race is actually fairly literal in this instance, as Go’s hook is sending players to real world locals in order to discover what Pokémon have congregated around various landmarks. It’s a fantastic concept (albeit, dubiously effective here), but where Go both succeeds the most and misses its biggest opportunity is in this same conceit that makes it so compelling: exploring the area around you. Continue reading Pokémon Go isn’t about collecting Pokémon, it’s about collecting places
A lot of games came out in 2015. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, as chances are you have your own pile of shame somewhere nearby to remind you of everything you didn’t have time to play. It’s ridiculous to expect to be able to play everything that comes out in a year, even restricting yourself to only the most critically acclaimed releases (which I’ll be the first to tell you is a terrible way to choose what you play), but the downside of this is a lot of great games, smaller games tend to go by entirely unnoticed. So rather than write up a typical best-of-2015 list (which, having missed out on a lot of this year’s heavy hitters would probably feel incomplete or reaching), here are some of the best games to come out over the last twelve months that chances are you never got around to. These games are weird, and awkward, sometimes completely beyond categorization, and represent some of the coolest games I had the chance to play this year. Continue reading The Best Games You Might Have Missed In 2015